Friday, December 31, 2010


So the big day finally arrived! I only snapped a few photo's of the kids opening their stockings at Christmas breakfast. I forgot the camera for our Francis Family gathering on Christmas Eve (sorry!) but here are the few I got on Christmas morning...

And these are a couple I got after the kids had opened their presents Christmas night. Yes - that's right - we don't open our presents till the evening. All in an effort to make the anticipation and feeling and spirit of Christmas last longer - its fine for the moment while the kids are young, and perhaps we'll have to change as they get older, but for the moment we enjoy taking the day slowly. Yes, we're crazy!

It was great to get the kids into bed that night though - a looong day and the kids were fairly cranky by the time bed came around but another day of family and fun and love. I love Christmas and the feeling gets better every year - its wonderful to be able to share the Christmas story with our growing family and try to help them understand the true meaning of the season. It seems as we strive to help them it helps us to remember it too. I'm so grateful for the time to reflect and contemplate on the miraculous birth of our Saviour - who can deny the beauty of the first Christmas...I wish it was a feeling that would stick around all year long.

Putting up the Christmas Tree

This year we decided to put our Christmas tree up on the first Thursday night of the month - normally we would put it up on the first Monday of the month but this year Thursday worked out better for us. So - we dug it out of the garage and found the box of ornaments and got to work putting it up. Ystyn normally does most of it himself but I got to help out a little this year which was fun. As well as putting our tree up we had Fondue night - another trandition - and a yummy yummy one! :) Here are some photo's of the kids enjoying themselves...

I love this photo of McKinley - such a sweet feeling to it...

Madson and daddy putting up the star...

And then the fondue - YUM! Chocolate with about 1/2 cup of cream melted in the microwave - delicious as these next lot  of photo's show...:)

Madson wearing the door wreath. Such fun memories...

And our sorry looking tree - :)

Our kids were so naughty this night and we were so close to sending them to bed without their fondue, but I'm glad we stuck it out. This is one family tradition that I hope will stick around for years and years. I could see our kids coming back home once they've moved out or married for putting up the Christmas tree and Fondue night. I can see it in my mind and really really hope that it comes true...I love our kids so much and love having fun times like these with them.

Madson's Kindy Christmas Concert

Well, one of our end of year activities included Madson's Kindy Concert. I have been fairly blase all this year about Madson finishing kindy and going to Prep next year, but I have to admit to feeling a little teary at the end of his year - he's growing up so so much, so quickly. Anyway - we got a couple of really bad quality photo's to remember the event by. :)

Doesn't he make the cutest little reindeer!

It was raining (RAINING!!!) the whole day (week/month) and it was coming down buckets when we left the house - and of course we were running late and I forgot the umbrella's, so we got soaked. This is what McKinley looked like the whole night - a drowned rat!!! Still cute though...

Nice double chin action - cuddles with Westie...

And these next 2 photos are of Madson and his special little friend Elle. She's a sweetheart - such a happy little soul and Madson and her seemed to have a great time playing together. Mind you - Madson's friends were Elle, Ruby, Alicia, Trinity and Isla - all girls! Do we see a pattern developing here. He's just like his father - hehehhee.

So that's it. He's done with Kindy - and starts Prep next year. Its almost like he's grown up over night - even just over these holidays he's starting doing things and saying things that are so boy-ish. I am so excited for his year at Prep - for all that he'll learn and experience. This is such a good kid - all on his own - he's ALWAYS been a good kid, even as a baby. He is so good at entertaining himself and is so helpful and well mannered (normally) and I am so grateful to be his mother. I love him to bits and can't wait to watch him grow and develop into a wonderful young man. He just amazes me in his awesomness. He must get that from his dad too. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So - I did it!!!! I SOOOO did not have the time to spend on doing this - I have so much work, cleaning, cooking, washing etc that needs to be done, but I'm all of a sudden feeling a real need to make family time important, and to make Christmas special for our kids as well as for us. Madson is so excited for Christmas and I really want to help build that for all our kids and help them have some great memories about this time of year. Good memories period would be great but we can start with this Christmas! :)

So - this is just a cork pin-up board that I've painted and added some handmade tags to. On the back of each tag is a different activity to do on the count down till Christmas. Today - make Christmas Jelly! Its sitting in the fridge as we speak and I'll take some photo's of it once its set. Other activities include doing a christmas painting, writing to our sponser child, visiting Gran (we will give you a call Gran! :)), caroling, seeing Christmas lights, making cookies, eating candy canes, putting up the tree etc etc. I actually got a lot of inspiration for my list and calendar from here (thanks Sarah!!!!) - check out this site - it has some AWESOME idea's on it!!!

So there you have it - the Francis Family Advent Calendar!!! Yay for Christmas! xxx

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Carols!

So Christmas in our house doesn't normally begin until the first Monday of the month when we put our Christmas Tree up for Family Home Evening, (which this year would mean we would have to wait a whole 'nother week!!!) but we've decided to put it up on Thursday night which I am so excited about!!! So excited that I couldn't wait till Thursday night and have put on the Christmas carols already! And all of a sudden it feels like Christmas is here!!!!

It really does help having kids old enough to be excited about Christmas - they ask every day when Santa is coming. I have decided just today that I HAVE to organise an anvent calendar - its too hard trying to explain that Christmas is still 4 weeks away!!! Maybe if they can see an anvent calendar it will help the explaining process. I'll be sure to post pictures when I complete it...:)

ITS CHRISTMAS!!!!! Carols just brings the spirit of chirstmas so much - I'm loving it and its making me feel happy today!

So - carols from now on till the end of Christmas week. Thursday night we'll put the christmas tree up with all its pretty lights and decorations and make fondue for treats. This is a family tradition we've had for the past 3 years - the first year we made cheese as well as chocolate fondue but have realised for our little family that's probably a little bit rich so we've just gone with the chocolate fondue last year. Going from this photo the boys LOVE it!!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!! Hopefully we'll get around to share some christmas love with you all but if we don't we're thinking of you and wishing you the merriest of merry christmas's!!! xxx

I love Christmas Carols!!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


So I still need to get back to my Japan entries - I promise to do it soon!!! hehehehe

In the meantime I just HAVE to load some photo's of what the boys got up to today after all the rain...

I looked out the window and saw my boys stripped down to their underwear splashing around in a puddle out the front of our house with mud ALL OVER THEM! I was on the verge of running outside and screaming at them to get out of the mud and stop getting dirty, but decided to run inside and get the camera and capture some of their funny kid-ness! They had a ball...

I've been trying really hard lately to be a little more patient with my kids - OF COURSE I fail 9 times out of 10 but I really am trying to stop and listen to them rather then just start yelling. And it does help. West is my little Mr Challenge - but he really responds to being taken aside and listened to - he just seems to need a little more time and care then the others? I've been reading this blog and this blog and have been finding some really helpful hints here - wherever you can find it right? :)

And I just had to include these cute cute cute (I can say that cant I) pictures of my little girl - this smile just makes me smile...

I love these kids so much - even though I had them all in bed by 6pm two nights in a row because I had just HAD enough! :)