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