Archive | December 2010

Home Alone… Sort of…

Well Christmas is certainly more like 12 days around here. I am actually debating doing something special NEXT year for the 12 days of Christmas. Yesterday it was a visit from a friend we have known since our years at Augustana – Kathy. She came bearing toys AND empty Rubbermaid tubs. They had been holding her brother’s books until they finally set up their library. Now we can use them to put away all our extra stuff in a more organized manner.

Yay!

Talk about spoiled kids though! Kathy was the one who gave us the large pink Rubbermaid container of Lego originally. Well, for the boys this year she gave each of them 2 different sets/containers of Lego. They were over the moon and instantly tearing open boxes to build their new sets… and of course perusing the little catalogues they include in ALL the boxes.

Present time (Zander left)

Trinity got the full out Princess treatment with Princess themed Disney play doh. She had lots of “helpers” almost immediately! She also got a nice oversized Princess colouring book and a set of crayons. So lots of crafty stuff for our little girl.

Princess of Play Doh

Playing with Aunty Kathy

I personally think the BEST present was for Baby Echo. A Leapfrog My Pals Violet. Not only is it our favourite Echo colour – purple – but programmable! It is able to say her name and we put in “her” favourite food (Baby food), colour (purple) and animal (cat). I was able to choose 5 daytime songs and 5 lullabies that it plays and already it is doing wonders with getting her to snooze nicely. Although no further than my chair in the living room, one of my new goals is to get her napping in the bedroom once in a while. After all she is almost 5 months old. Of course not TOO often as I do love my baby snuggle time.

Echo and her 3 favourite new toys

Magic of Violet

I finished one last Christmas project (with Ken’s help), I am not sure if I will leave the interior as is but we made the box sled off of the UK site. I am debating doing the cut up papers on the inside as well as putting the paper in and taping it down as Ken has does not have it flat against the cardboard, but I am VERY pleased.

Sled

Ken got stuck a little over an hour away at mom’s house waiting on the minor repairs that were agreed upon when we bought our new old van. I didn’t know until suppertime so it was a little frustrating. We are really in need of “everyday” groceries! And to top it off the kids were dying all day to see Daddy so I had a mini revolt on my hands!

Certainly does make me appreciate Ken’s working from home. I like having him here to share the schooling, disciplining AND all the joyous moments. Rather lonely just me and the 5 kids.

Gavin's creation - a Fireplace with LOGS!

What a Wonderful Holiday!

In the usual Reinsch-Johnson style Christmas has come and is ongoing. Not only did we have a party last weekend, Christmas Eve at mom’s and Christmas Day as our not so little family… but today we had Aunty Christine and her puppy Bella over and TOMORROW it is Aunty Kathy… then there is Aunty Karyn coming on her way BACK from Saskatchewan, an envelope on its way from Grandpa Reinsch and a little bit of post Christmas shopping money to be spent! Whew! The kids are over the top wired for sound at this point!

So to catch up the masses… Christmas Eve was a blast! Not only did we get a van (mobility at last!) but in the morning Grandma made waffles while I had “help” making sugar cookies (we had to do the letters for Grandma, Grandpa and Great Uncle Wayne as well as 2 for Santa). Grandma had Zander and Gavin cutting strawberries and Emanuel set the table! Sharp knives and no injuries – it really IS Christmas!

Breakfast prep (Zander blue)

I had mainly Gavin as my cookie helper but Trinity did a bit and Zander a momentary interest shown.

Gavin rolling out dough

Uncle Wayne came nice and early in the day bearing presents. The early open was an exciting one – he had hunted down a Spirograph!!! Talk about old school. Gavin was down in the basement for over an hour working diligently with Uncle Wayne on some amazing creations. I remember having one as a child and using coloured pens that I found at different stores to make images. I am certain the boys (well especially my artistic Gavin) will get hours upon hours of fun out of this thing!

Gavin working with Great Uncle Wayne on the spirograph

So Mike spoiled mom once again this year… not only did he get her Phoebe (back in November but a Christmas gift all the same) who is an absolute doll and actually was willing to come to me… as long as the boys were not RIGHT THEREĀ  and LOUD…

Meeting Phoebe

but he traded in her old convertible for a MUSTANG convertible!!! Silver 2008… and mom is over the moon. I don’t have a picture of it yet, but trust me I will! We are all wondering how he will top this year! 2 years ago he asked her to marry him on Christmas Eve and then last year it was the scooter… what next? Doubly impressive as while he was purchasing this fine vehicle he was also negotiating the purchase of our lovely new van AND working. Talk about a man who can multi task!

Ken and Mike spent quite some time cleaning out the new old van. The previous owner had smoked in it so there was a distinct odour to remove, but it is in TERRIFIC condition for a 1996. And like ever Nissan we have ever owned – it has a sun roof. And in true 90’s style – a 6 disc cd changer. So no stow and go and no dvd player but the only BIG issue – only one sliding door… with a lack of space inside it is a bit tricky. We have to tip up the carseat base for Echo and let in everyone first, buckle Trinity, flip the base down and THEN put in Echo but we can do it. I think it will be that feature that will most likely spur on further searching in better financial times.

Uncle Wayne, Grandma and the 7 of us made it to the Christmas Eve carol service… well HALF of it. The Children’s time consisted of all the kids getting a teddy (except Echo I figured she could live without). Apparently the local hockey team had a teddy bear drive that was VERY successful so they had surplus to send out to the churches to give to the children there. The kids were so pleased! But soon after that point we just had 4 very wound up kids wanting supper and presents and out of their finery. It was so full that we had to sit way in the back almost out of the sanctuary anyway so we packed everyone up at that point and headed back to mom’s rather than disrupt the service for the other people forced to sit so far in the back already. After all the service was at 4:30!! So early!

Ready for Church (Zander in white)

Hello Kitty dress

With the teddies they got at church (Gavin middle)

Supper was a traditional turkey dinner with homemade cranberry sauce (Zander REALLY liked) and even sweet potatoes. Yum! And then… PRESENTS! Talk about organized chaos. Trinity chose Uncle Wayne to be her designated helper and had to be reminded to open ALL her presents. Every time she came across something she REALLY liked – like a dolly, she wanted it out of the box and would start to play.

Opening presents

The boys were just opening fiends. Lots of neat presents. Each of them got a game from Uncle Wayne, Gavin got golf clubs, Emanuel Lightning McQueen blocks and Zander an old school box of Construx.

Chaos! (Gavin white)

They each got a wooden car you put together with screws. Gavin sat down and in one sitting and minimal help made his!

Working on Gavin's car

Ken and I got a brand new cookie sheet from mom (hint hint about the old ones) and Mike and a blanket from the centennial celebration for the University we both graduated from.

Awesome blanket!

I personally got another beautiful shawl from mom and Mike AND some books. There were a multitude of bits for the kids to open and go through and then a nice long play time AFTER the excitement before heading home.

Reading the pillow book

Of course desert too – mom defrosted the chocolate zucchini cake we made in the fall and iced it with chocolate cream cheese icing. The kids had had floats earlier in the day when Chris and Chris had stopped by with gingerbread and shortbread cookies for all of us.

Chris and Chris stopping by

Home by 11 ish with cookies for Santa and chocolate milk (see the 24th blog entry for picture) and a big first for Trinity – first time in her BIG GIRL BED! She was a little intimidated but managed it without falling out.

Big girl in the big girl bed

Christmas day started later than expected as we all got a nice lay in with our late night. So started things around 9am or so. First the singing (see previous entry), a song they were all PROUD to learn and sing. Then pictures (we had to bribe Trinity as she was a little off that morning – note the Pepsi filled – only 1/3 of the way – sippy cup as bribery).

Bribed into cuteness on the left (Gavin red)

Of course photos with the stockings too… Echo’s is slightly more narrow than the others but it suits our pixie baby (Grandma now has TWO names for our darling – The Little Tyrant when she is mad and The Little Pixie when she is smiling).

Echo amongst the stockings

Presents were another case of organized chaos… Trinity is just not understanding that there is more than ONE thing for her and was in constant need of reminding to KEEP OPENING. And of course she had a couple extra to open as I was able to get a few things at H&M cheaper than I thought… like her new butterfly style faerie wings!!!

Trinity and baby

Wings!!

The boys were so excited to get games and toys and pencils.

Emanuel

Zander and Gavin

Emanuel was over the moon with his very own easel that is already in the centre of room where he can work on either side of it.

Dry erase!

Dinner was super late… the kids didn’t mind and Ted managed to make it over in time to share it with us! Which meant Ken went to get him so – SLURPEE!

Christmas dinner!

We ended our evening with Dr. Who (the 11th Doctor) and chocolate ice cream with butterscotch topping. Late but marvellous night. We also decided to move Echo up to 2 rice cereal servings a day – lunch and before bed, she seems to sleep a little better.

Boxing Day (today) was rather quiet with Aunty Christine and her puppy Bella paying us a call with presents in hand. We hadn’t seen Christine in a while so it was great to sit and catch up… chaos and all. Even Echo got some puppy kisses… and DIDN’T cry!!!

Kisses for Echo

After Christine headed home all 5 kids had naps. Echo has been VERY clingy (more so than even normal!) the past few days with all the excitement and travel time so we are hoping that after this busy time we can work on getting her to nap on her own. She is almost 5 months old now!

Gavin and his god-mommy

The last activity tonight was some Ken/Zander one on one time (he had played with the other two boys one on one in the morning when Echo, Trinity and I were still asleep). They built a spaceship! Very cool.

Spaceship

Now I have a livingroom to clean, laundry to fold… Ken has a kitchen to get into and we still have more company coming tomorrow. We have Echo and Emanuel’s shots on the 30th and then life SHOULD be going back to our version of normal…with a VEHICLE! Bonus! Though as part of the agreement of sale Ken has to take it back to the mechanic who originally inspected it (being as it is over 10 yrs old) to have some minor repairs done. We do seem to excel at keeping busy!

Asleep on the floor at Grandma's!