Thursday, December 30, 2010

This Christmas Was Extra Special Because...

 Our family was together for Christmas this year.  Since Middle Bro got married, he and his wife started alternating Christmas with his side of the family and her side of the family.  Hubby and I got married a few years later, and adopted that tradition.  This year, it was Christmas with my side of the family.

Christmas is my favourite time of the year, because that's when we all get together. Baby Bro lives in Toronto now and Middle Bro and his family live in K-town. To visit my brothers, it takes 6 hours to Toronto and 8 to 9 hours to K-Town. We made the trip to K-town with Little One and my ESL student in tow.

I was a bit worried about how Little One and her cousins would make out, since they only see each other once or twice a year. They got along amazingly well! They played together nicely, and there was no fighting at all. They all shared their toys with each other, and no one tried to dominate. I was in complete and utter shock. It was so nice to see the cousins so happy together. The laughter, smiles, kisses, hugs, and holding hands just melts my heart.

I really wish Little One could see her cousins more often.

 Lola and Grampy got Little One a tricycle for Christmas. Check out our big girl!

 Yes, family photo time and she's on the phone!
 My friend from England celebrated Christmas with us this year.
 My cousin and his wife announced that they are expecting in May!
 The twins, my nephew, and Little One made gingerbread men. Little One just wanted to lick the icing off of the cookies.

 Middle Bro made me this birthday cake!!! I was so surprised, since he said we were having "Christmas cake"! Of course, I believed him! Thanks so much, Middle Bro! :) You are so thoughtful!

 My parents really wanted photos of them with the grandkids. This was photo #21 out of #38. Not bad. Only two children seem unhappy and the other two are tolerating the photo shoot.
 The guys taught my student how to play poker. It was too funny. Apparently, the concept of having a "poker face" is somewhat of a difficult thing to grasp. :) I shouldn't say anything, because I don't have a poker face at all either.

Situation: A King on the flop and Dad says to my student, "Do you have two kings?"

Student: Yes.
Guys: (Roaring with laughter) I FOLD!! (in unison)
 Little One really enjoyed hanging out with her cousins.
 It was good for Hubby to spend time with "the men folk". They had a great time bonding over poker and assembling various children's toys. I am a firm believer in already-assembled-ready-to-play-with toys! Who knew toy kitchens could have a million and one parts and required assembly with a real screwdriver? Yes, as opposed to a fake screwdriver, much like the one Little One got in her toy tool kit! Yes! She received a tool kit for Christmas and absolutely LOVES it!

 Some of you have been asking me how Little One fared on that tremendously long, excruciatingly painful and treacherous drive from nowheresville to civilization and back. Well, this is pretty much what she did for the entire drive.
 I kid you not. She slept for most of the drive...which was about 12 hours since we had to drop my student off in Ottawa and then pick him up on the way home from Montreal. Oh, yes! We also went to Montreal to see the rest of my family after we left K-Town!

12 hours in a van. She played, she "read" her books, she sang, she chatted, she ate, she slept...
Yes, it was terribly painful traveling with her. I'm being sarcastic, of course.

Things that shocked me on our trip:
1. I was actually shocked that Little One fared so well in the van for so long. When she was a baby, she traveled really well. However, she is 2 years old now and doesn't like to stay put for long. She did very well!

2. Who knew that one could get lost in Pembroke, Ontario for an hour?!?! We couldn't find our way out of that place! All in the name of finding a Tim Horton's for a coffee (okay, so I could change Little One's diaper)!

3. Some people are not shy to speak their mind. We stopped at the McDonald's in Sturgeon Falls (I needed to get some milk for Little One and change her diaper). While waiting I was waiting in line, a woman stormed up to the service counter.

Manager: Can I help you with something, M'am?
Customer: Yeah. Your 7Up tastes like @$$.
Manager: (surprised) Oh, okay. Would you like something else to replace it with?
Customer: Yeah. You bet your (Bleep! Bleep! Bleep!) I do! Make that four Cokes, will you?

Wow. I was beyond shocked. Firstly, I was shocked at the customer's behaviour. Secondly, I was impressed by the way the manager handled the situation. I guess it's her job to handle things so well. She was cool, calm, and collected. I probably wouldn't have been so polite if someone spoke to me that way. Then again, maybe that's why I'm not in that line of work. That would be difficult to deal with.

Anyway, we finally returned to the Island. Our friends came over to greet us a belated Merry Christmas and gave Little One this amazing present!!!
 Our friend handcrafted this spectacular rocking horse for Little One. Everything is from recycled material. The wood is salvaged wood (from their old barn).
 It will definitely be a present Little One will treasure forever. Little One is too young to understand the meaning of Christmas. I would like to teach her (when she gets older) that it's not about the presents and the partying. I wonder when I should introduce her to the true meaning of Christmas? She is only 2 years old.

 For now, she knows that she has just spent some special time with her cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends.


Cindy said...

Those owl hats are CUTE!

We brought our Japanese student to all our family Christmas stuff this year too. She didn't learn poker...she learned pool/billiards though!

I was hoping you might have been at J&R's annual chocolate party to meet you, but it will have to wait! I did see your photo book she made though!

Dina said...

wow looks like you had an amazing holiday season!!! The pics are awesome and your parents look so proud to be holding all their grandkids at one time!! So cute!

C said...

GAH! You were there?!?!?! Ohhhh! We totally intended on going to the annual chocolate party!!! We were passing through Sudz on our way back from Montreal and thought we might do it. Then we realized it was 8:30 and we had been on the road for 11 hours. We just wanted to get home. Maybe next year though...

The photo book is amazing, isn't it?!?!?! :)

C said...

Thank you! My parents were so happy to be with all their grandchildren this year :) How was your vacation? Can't wait to hear more!!! xo

Cindy said...

Yep! We got there about 8:30pm, stayed until 1am. Had some wine, chocolate and a good visit.

That's a LONG time on the road!

C said...

Awwwww! I had no idea you were going to be there!!! :( We should have popped by. I was so looking forward to going this year too! We *thought* of dropping by, but Little One was already asleep in her car seat and Hubby was feeling the aftermath of Red Bull and being on the road for 11 hrs.

R&J's parents stopped by our place the next day and said we missed a fab party! Waaaaaaah! :( Next year...I must keep telling myself that there's always next year! ;)

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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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