Archive | December, 2011

They will get it eventually, I think

31 Dec

So, I know they don’t get it.  I know they won’t for a while, and maybe never for that matter.  But I made something for my boys and my nephew out of my fathers old jacket.  It was a jacket that he wore at funerals and functions where he had to dress up, so, whenever he was incredibly uncomfortable and out of his element.  One might think that it’s kind of odd to make something for my boys out of something that my father didn’t like.  Not so.  In fact, like I always tell my boys, just because you don’t like doing something doesn’t mean you don’t do it.

My sister-in-law had these memory bears made out of my late mother-in-laws wedding dress.  How lovely, right?  And I thought of doing something similar with my fathers tweed jacket, but then I saw these splendid leather buttons.

They’d be perfect, I thought, for cuff-links.

They opened them together on Boxing Day, and they were all equally disappointed to see buttons, until I explained that they were cuff-links made from grampy’s jacket and then there were slightly less disappointed.

Colin and Ryan weren’t sure what cuff-links were, but Evan, well, he knew.



26 Dec

So…it came, and then it went…just like that.  The presents unwrapped, the turkey cooked and consumed.  The ornaments will soon be put away, the tree out the door.

It was a good Christmas but far too much was consumed; too much stuff, too much turkey, far too much to drink, and now, as the new year approaches, it’s time to take stock and evaluate how much I consume and resolve not to do as much of it in the coming year.


Well, I can’t think about that yet.  I still have a few days until I’m the role model mother I will vow to be.  Until then, we shall laugh.

You know, I do these videos and they’re fun, but really, I’m NO Rachel Ray, and I’m just winging it.  I make a lot of mistakes and I’m sometimes quite terrible.  But it all started because of Tim, the Camera man at Lighthouse who has been encouraging me for at least 2 years to do this, just said, come-on, what are you waiting for? So, I did it, knowing that he wouldn’t judge me, and all my mess ups would be between him and me.

That is until, the little bugger put my bloopers in a video for all the world to see.  And sure, I have the choice to not put them up, but he did such a good job, and plus, you sort of get a good ab workout from the laughing.

So, I hope you enjoy the laugh, at my expense.  Hope you had a great Christmas with big plans for a good 2012 and of course, I hope you continue to tune it.

An Icy Treat

22 Dec

I gave my boys the task of coming up with a gift that they created, or, at least had a hand in creating.  It’s been a whole lot of fun.  Evan, my techno wizard, downloaded and burned his favourite holiday hits and new years eve dance tunes and burned one for all his classmates for the last day of school. I thought that was brilliant.  And, because we bought the music on iTunes, I don’t feel the least bit like he broke any laws.

Colin, my lover of food, gave all his buddies packages of hot chocolate.  He told me they loved them.  He knew because they all ate the hot chocolate crystals right out of the package with their fingers.

I’m sure the teachers love us!

And then, we also made something that we love eating!! You know those Treatza Pizzas at Dairy Queen?  Well, I think they’re 9 bucks, and you can feel 8 kids ice cream.  It’s come in handy since getting the Sienna and I lug up to 7 kids to soccer.

So this year, we decided to make them.

I took a box of brownie mix, and divided it between 4 disposable cake pans from the Dollar Store.

Then, I topped it with home made ice cream (2 cups of whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks, fold in 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk).

Then I plunked them in the freezer.  Once frozen, I gave them to the kids with M&M’s, caramel and chocolate sauce and told them to go crazy.

Evan’s looks like a work of art, while Colin’s friends will be going into diabetic shock.

Then I decided to make one for my friends at work, but a more sophisticated version if you will.

I started with a gingerbread base, then topped with the caramel and chocolate, but I omitted the M&M’s and went with pecans.  I also added After Eights, though to make it again I’d delete those.

Note to self: Gingerbread and mint isn’t such a combo

A lesson in giving

21 Dec

Every holiday I have a favourite moment.  A few years ago, it was when my boys sold candy canes that they decorated with some of their buddies and gave the $70 that they raised to the food bank.

Last year it was when we carolled at the nursing home.

So this year I had big hopes that my favourite moment would likely be when my boys and I volunteered to man the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle at the Bridgewater Mall.

I thought after our 2 hour shift, my kids would learn about gratitude and what it means to give.  I thought they’d feel the spirit of the holidays and really feel the importance of community and giving.  See, big hopes.

Thirty minutes into our two hour shift, Evan grew antsy and asked for my phone.  I thought that was fair, and I gave it to him, thinking that he’d want to play games.

I was wrong.  He called his father.  And while he muffled his conversation so I couldn’t hear it, this is what I made out:

Hi… Daddy… Yeah… You have to break me out of here and come get me…  But it’s sooo boring… This is soooo embarrassing… But…I already asked her and she said no…she said she won’t give me any money because that would contradict this whole stupid lesson she’s trying to teach us…Dad…come on…fine…bye.

And while I was a little bit heart broken, I couldn’t help but chuckle under my breath.

I ended up giving each boy a toonie and told them to go in the Dollar Store, mostly because I wanted the whining to stop.  They came back happier with these two stupid blinking things.  Their mood continued to get better as the end of our shift grew nearer.

We walked to the book store and despite feeling defeated, I thought it was worth one last ditch effort to see if they got the point of it all.

“So guys, do you at least feel good about what you did tonight?” I asked, hoping that they’d catch on to my leading question.

“Yeah, it felt good to help all those starving kids in Africa,” Colin piped up.

I was too tired to tell him the difference,  I simply explained it was the Salvation Army and the kids we were helping were local.

On the way home, I was in terrible need of a drink so we popped into Jens and explained the whole story while all the kids played.   Wayne later asked the boys if they did anything tonight that was cool, either to give them one last chance to prove they got it or to throw salt in my wound, I’m not quite sure which.  Colin said, “We went to Wendy’s, and we bought blinking buddies, yeah, that’s about it. ”

Then I asked if they raised money, again, a leading question.  Colin said, “Oh, yeah, we raised money for the army.”  I just hung my head.

At bedtime, I tucked the boys in and Evan hugged my neck.  He said, “Thanks for today, mom.”  Sure, he might have meant, thanks for letting him try out for spring hockey, he might have meant, thanks for buying him a Frosty from Wendy’s, he even might have been thanking me for that stupid blinking thing from the Dollar Store.  But if it’s all the same to you, I’m going with, thanks for the lesson in giving. 

I appreciate your restraint in commenting the difference.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…

20 Dec

I went to my mothers today.  She’s surviving since dad died, she has her moments, but she reminds herself that dad would have hated being here in the state he was in.  Then she’s ok.

And cable helps.  She has more channels than she needs, which isn’t much, because all she really needs is Coronation Street.  She said to me during my visit, “There’s so much to watch, and I’ve pretty much watched  everything.”

Yep, that pretty much sums up cable.

But she has been keeping busy.  I noticed she made dozens of these lovely little snowmen out of stair spindles that dad kept from a demo.

See, I come by it honestly.  We both take old useless things and make new useless things that are slightly more adorable.

The must have gift of the season!

19 Dec

OK- this is the gift that everyone should have, or at least everyone who is like me.  Everyone who loses their keys, feels like they’re going crazy, anyone who feels they have signs of dementia, anyone whose husband regularly says, “This is not normal to be this forgetful.”  If that is you, don’t forget to watch this video and remember to tell someone to go get it for you.

Oh- and before I forget, how cute is my Colin!?

Let’s swap!

16 Dec

So- I’m really not a good baker.  I think it’s the measuring.  I’m not very precise.

But I do bake on occasion, when my boys ask me to for class parties, for desserts for dinner parties, and for cookie swaps at work.

Now- while I don’t bake, I do have a pretty handsome collection of cookie cutters.  Probably every shape you can think of.  I have the alphabet, even stamps to write on cookies.  So it’s weird that I don’t do more of it.

Anyway, at work, we’ve organized a different event for each Friday in December.  It’s been a whole lot of fun.  We’ve had tree decorating contests, a dip exchange, and now, a cookie swap.  So it was a perfect opportunity to bring out my collection.

I found a pretty lame ol gingerbread man cookie cutter, but in seeing it a different way, I made little reindeers.

Adorable, yes?

But even better, after the swap, I got tons of other cookies that I wouldn’t normally bake, which is part of the appeal of swapping.

You get everyone’s best cookie and then a tummy ache.