Monday, December 31, 2007

Wishing You a...


We hope that 2008 has lots of wonderful adventures in store for you and your loved ones.
Love,
C, Hubby, Chance, Trouble, Spike and the rest of the menagerie here on the farm!
xoxo
Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas in Montreal


We just got home from our wonderful trip to see my family in Montreal for the holidays. Christmas was almost as I remembered it as a child...except that now my brothers, cousins and I are all grown up. There were Christmas carols as we gathered around the piano. There was the smell of logs burning in the fireplace and the crackling of the wood as it burned. There were decorations aplenty, putting everyone in a festive mood. The tree glittered and sparkled as it stood proudly amongst all the presents. This year, the presents were of love and thoughtfulness. The young gave presents to their elders, while before it was the "adults" giving to the kids. We're all grown up now and it's our turn to return to our aunts and uncles, grandparents and parents. Thoughtful little trinkets to show how much we care were all that was given. Our aunts and uncles gave us little presents too, but we're trying to turn the holidays into something more than just gifts.

The thing I love the most about the holidays is just being with my family. It's the laughter, the warmth, the togetherness and the memories that mean the most to me.

Downstairs, the boys played Guitar Hero.

The next few photos are some of my favourites.
Here's one of me with Baby Bro. I just saw him yesterday and I miss him already.



In the above photo: The newly engaged couple, Ren and Sharmander.
Below: The newly married couple, Marriedl Winkel and wife.

Above: Baby Bro and Papa.
Below: Boys will be boys!
Au lieu of buying into the commercial aspect of the holidays (that's what it seems to have become), we all brought a few funny gift items and played a game. Two decks of cards were shuffled and each person got a card. When your card is called, you get to pick a present. When there are no presents left, and there are still cards being called, your present can be stolen from you by someone else. It was a really funny game and we all had lots of good laughs. This has become a new family tradition for the holidays.

My uncle received an empty popcorn bucket (there was a bag of microwave popcorn taped inside), Married Winkel's wife received a traffic pylon, Hubby received a deer droppings (kind of like a PEZ dispenser, only chocolate jelly beans come out of the deer's rear end), and True Numperor's fiancee received a giant pen! True's future mother-in-law received a giant collander that looked embarrassingly like a catheter! One of my aunts got a can opener that she mistook for a castration device! There were some other really funny gifts, but those were by far the funniest.Hubby's present from the Christmas exchange game. Deer droppings!My student from South Korea spent Christmas with us. She had an amazing time, but I have a feeling she thinks my family is nuts! :) She loved how close our family is and she also loved how much fun they are to hang out with.Here's part of Hubby's presents from me. I made him two cereal bowls since he likes eating cereal every morning.

It wouldn't be a proper Filipino party if we didn't take photos of the food! There were so many delicious dishes to choose from. Hubby certainly loves the way Filipinos party!

This creme brulee is divine! It's definitely not for those who are on a diet! The cool thing is that you get to keep the ceramic dishes that the creme brulee come in. Premiere Moisson does an amazing job with pastries and sweets of all kinds. My uncle also ordered a Black Forest cake from them for our dessert on Christmas Day. It was very moist and light, and quite possibly the best Black Forest cake I have ever tasted. If you are in the West Island, definitely check out Premiere Moisson.

On Boxing Day, we took Hubby for his first Dim Sum experience. My Dad thought it would be a good idea to let Hubby try some real Chinese food. Many people think that fried rice, egg rolls and chicken balls with cherry sauce is "Chinese" food. Dim Sum is a good way to show people what other Chinese dishes there are out there.

I love Dim Sum! It's been ages since I last went out for Dim Sum. I explained to Hubby that people go around the restaurant with carts that are loaded with different dishes. You check them out and order whatever you want and they mark it on your card. When you're done eating, they tally up your order and then you pay.


The above dishes are among my favourites. The first food photo is Middle Bro's and my favourite dish. They're taro dumplings. Someone once told me that they are called Hargao or Har Gau, but I'm not sure. The next photo is what my Dad calls "Chinese lasagna". The last food photo is of some shrimp dumplings and shaomai. Curosity Killer, I'm counting on you to let me know what the names of these dishes are. I never know what to call them when I order, so I merely point at the dishes as the ladies go by with their carts and they happily place the bamboo steam basket on our table.

Poor Hubby! My family wanted to initiate him since this was his first Dim Sum experience. They ordered some pretty strange dishes that even I never ever eat! I considered his "initiation" as a mild form of hazing! It was cruel...but Hubby surprised us all by going through with the dare.

In front of Hubby, a plate of chicken feet was placed. Hubby picked a chicken foot up with his chopsticks and ate it!!! I was kind of grossed out, but Hubby was a good sport and humoured my family. Chicken foot eating video to be posted soon!!!

I also had a chance to meet up with some old university friends of mine over the holidays. The four of us went to university together and we also worked together at a kids' summer camp.
We also hammed it up a bit and did some sightseeing at the same time. If my student didn't think we were crazy already, I'm sure she now thinks we're insane! In this photo, Hawaii Joe is "watering" the post, P is doing his James Bond impersonation and Hubby is hanging on for dear life.

From MTL, we headed to K-town to see Middle Bro, his lovely wife and the most adorable little nephew in the world. I miss my little cuddle bunny. Kenny's getting so big so fast! 9 months and 4 teeth later, he's still as adorable as ever!


Kenny's wearing his Habs jersey for good luck! Good job too, since Montreal beat Tampa Bay that night! Hockey is serious stuff in our family! Even Kenny's teddy bear, Habby knows that!
Saturday, December 22, 2007

We're off...


By this time tomorrow morning, we'll be en route to my hometown, Montreal.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Whatever holiday you observe (Kwanzaa, Tohji-taisai, Chanukah, Christmas...), we hope you have a wonderful time celebrating with your family and loved ones.
*********************************************************************************
P.S. My banner at the top of my blog is all wonky. The photo of Chance is kind of skewed to the left and on the right it's just white. Does anyone know how to fix that? Arrrgh!
Thursday, December 20, 2007

'Tis the Season!


A friend of ours gave us our Christmas present early, since we won't be seeing each other over the holidays. Her gift has got to be one of the most thoughtful presents I have ever received. When I got home after hanging out at her house, I just wept.

Hubby rushed to my side when he heard me crying. "What's the matter? Are you okay?"
All I could manage to say in between sobs was, "There are people in the world who are less fortunate than we are!"

Perplexed and amused, Hubby saw me holding the card that stated that our friend had made a donation in our names that would "provide an impoverished child in Canada with a backpack full of school supplies".

Our friend's gift really touched me.

I went to the World Vision website to see what other gifts we could give people. I wept again when I saw that for $60, we could give "A gift of 10 fruit trees that will produce tons of fruit and much needed income" or for $55, two hens and a rooster.


Instead of buying our loved ones loads of material things that they probably don't even really need, how better to celebrate the season of giving than helping others who really need assistance?

Thank you again, to our lovely friend. If you are reading this, your gift is much appreciated and a true testament to how wonderful you are. Now, if you will excuse me, I must grab some Kleenex! Oh, why do the holidays always make me so weepy? ;)

Creepy!



This isn't a holiday post or a Throwback Thursday post. I haven't gotten around to scanning old photos from my mom's house yet. She's got all of the family photo albums and our scanner's not working. I'll get my act together one of these days. I just wanted to tell you about something truly bizarre that happened to me recently. It is really creepy!

The weirdest thing happened to me the other night. It was pretty late and I fell asleep in Hubby's La-Z-Boy while watching Casino Royale.
Hubby was already fast asleep in our bedroom. The kittens were curled up on my lap, keeping me warm and I had dozed off. All of a sudden, I was awakened by the most frightening sound ever! I just heard this strange whisper, "Chrissy...." in my ear! I opened my eyes and saw no one. The kittens were still sleeping and the TV was still on. A sudden wave of fright washed over me. I got really cold and had goosebumps! I shut the TV off, turned out the lights and ran upstairs to bed. I woke Hubby up to tell him what happened, but at 2AM, he didn't seem too interested! I've never been so scared in my life!

It was the strangest thing ever. It was this really odd whisper...and not too many people call me Chrissy! My mom, one of my aunts and a friend of mine call me that, but no one else. So weird! I wonder what that's all about. Creepy!

Has anything like that every happened to you?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

32


I remember when I was in my teens and early twenties, thirty seemed ancient. Thirty seemed like this age that I'd never get to because it was so far away.

Today I turn 32.

I don't really feel old. I don't exactly feel young either. I catch myself thinking about my youth
and the "good 'ol days" quite often though. I miss those carefree days. This said, I am really happy and feel like my thirties are full of adventure, excitement and new lessons.

In honour of my 32nd birthday, here are 32 things about me:


1. I am a family person. Nobody messes with my family!

2. I have been married to my wonderful Hubby for a year and a half now!
3. When I was a teenager, I always thought I'd get married at 24 and have my first baby at 26. Things didn't exactly go as planned! Career and stability before all else for me!
4. Hubby and I want to have three or four children.
5. I picked out our future children's names already (Haha! I picked them out a long time ago)!
6. I don't like pop/soda/cola...whatever you call it.
7. For some reason, I've never been able to finish an entire can of pop/soda. I can only drink half a can and I always feel guilty for wasting!

8. Christmas is my favourite holiday.
9. I was born a week before Christmas.

10. My mom said she wanted to name me Christmas because I was a "blessing". Thank goodness she and my dad didn't name me Christmas!
11. The Chinese character for my maiden name translates to "tree" in English. Imagine being called "Christmas Tree"?
12. I have two nieces and one nephew.

13. I started taking pottery lessons and I am now addicted!
14. I'm allergic to cat and dog dander, but I have cats and a dog.
15. I'm allergic to dust and mold, but I live on a farm.
16. I'm allergic to cigarette smoke.
17. Hubby and I go down south to the International Plowing Match and the Outdoor Farm Show every year.
18. I actually love going to those farming events! They're educational and fun! Seriously.
19. When I'm on the Island, I sometimes feel like I'm not "country" enough for some people.
20. When I'm in the city, I no longer feel "city". My friends and family joke about how I've gone country. I'm neither here nor there. *sigh*
21. Hubby and I are very involved in the community.

22. I sometimes feel like I have too much on my plate.
23. I often don't know when to stop and rest.
24. I check my e-mail, blog, and Facebook every day.
25. I love teaching ESL (English as a Second Language).

26. I am horrible with using PhotoShop.
27. Friends are very important to me.

28. I love living on the Island.
29. I get stressed out driving in the city. I hate traffic.
30. I would like to learn how to drive standard.
31. I cannot parallel park and I'm horrible at reversing into parking spaces.
32. I wouldn't change a single thing about my life :)
Sunday, December 16, 2007

5 Random Things


It's been a busy week, so I'll leave you with a few thoughts.


1) This is our cute, unique, little Christmas tree. Our nieces call it my "Charlie Brown Tree" because they think it looks so pitiful. I think it looks cute.

2) I have no idea why, but this week I have just been craving carbs...and lots of them! I'm usually very good in feeding Hubby and myself a healthy, balanced diet with lots of veggies and nothing fried. We don't even drink have pop or junk food in the house unless we're entertaining friends. This week, however, I have had the incredible urge to have some latkes! I loooooove latkes like you wouldn't believe! They're just so delicious! My friend, Gavie's Gal's Dad makes the best latkes I have ever had. I've been craving them! Luckily for me, gal pal, Fancy Pantsy posted a latke recipe a few days ago! Thank you, Fancy Pantsy! Your recipe was excellent! The latkes were perfect! Whenever I think of the golden, crispy, perfect yummy goodness, I get hungry again! Hubby really enjoyed them as well!

This is what they looked like:
3) On the weekend, in my free time (Free time? What's that?!?), I had Mom and my friend, Amazing Girl over for a baking session. We tried to get all our Christmas baking done so we could give our goodies away in the next few days. Although I don't like eating any of the sweets I make, I do love making them for other people who enjoy them.

Here's Mama making snowflake shaped shortbread cookies. We had an assembly line going. I made the batter, Amazing Girl rolled the dough and did the prep work, and Mama cut the cookies. Later on, we all iced and decorated them.

Mama and Amazing Girl, hard at work. Mom says I'm a slave driver. I beg to differ! Just because I said, "Hey! A little less talking and more working!" doesn't mean I'm a baking tyrant, does it?



Our list of delectables included:
Snowflake Shortbread Cookies (Get the holiday sprinkles from Watkins Online!)
C's Festive Chocolate Brownies
Amazing Girl's Fun Fudge

Chocolate fudge
Maple fudge
and
Chocolate Chip Cookies

4) Hubby took me off-Island yesterday for a birthday meal and to do some shopping. What a nice treat it was! Speaking of Hubby, he is just so funny! We invited some friends over for supper tonight. Hubby spoke with them on the phone yesterday and we agreed on 5:30 f
or supper. I'm used to having supper at 6 PM, but 5:30 worked well for all of us. This morning (as I was about to get the house cleaned up so that all I had to do after my pottery lesson was to concentrate on cooking our supper), our conversation went like this:

Hubby:
Oh! By the way, they're coming a little earlier than the time we agreed on.
Me:
Oh, really? What time are they coming?
Hubby:
5.
Me:
Are you serious? (laughing) And you didn't tell me this yesterday???
Hubby:
Well, I didn't want you to stress out about it.
We both laugh.

Me:
Nice! Very nice!

5 o'clock for me is really early for supper. I have friends who eat their supper at 4PM and some who eat at 9 or 10 PM. I don't like to eat anything after 7PM, so if I eat too early, I get hungry. 6 o'clock seems like a good time to eat. You have enough time to digest your food before going to bed and it's not too early so you don't get hungry again later at night. I guess it's just funny when
you get into a routine, it's so hard to do things differently.


5) I think the kittens are mad at me. I got them matching collars with bells on. They really, really hate them! I thought it would be a good idea to get them collars with bells and a reflective strip on them so I don't step on them when I'm walking to the bathroom at night. They are definitely not impressed.

Here's Trouble: "Please! Pleeeeeeease take this stupid thing off me!!!"
Here's Spike...and she looks even less impressed! This is her "We are not amused" look.

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About the Blog Author


City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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