Archive | December 2014

Christmas With the Schwartz Family

December 22

Yes yes,  November will be rehashed but first… lets share some Christmas 2015 cheer! Our parties with friends and family have always meant the world to us and with the bulk of our friends (who are family) up north we were ALL excited about the opportunity to have a Christmas celebration with friends closer to home.102_0187

This was our first celebration of the year and our first PRESENTS of the year! But first, the making of the gingerbread houses. We went with a process Renee learned about through Nathan’s kindergarten class where you use a school milk carton (thank you Mrs. Speltz for saving those for us!) and graham crackers instead of the basic gingerbread pieces. Much better structure! Each of the kids had their own to decorate with a combination of bought sweets and Halloween candy. Talk about creativity!10888147_10152550296407727_997171063_nIMAG0866

102_018610881347_10152550296332727_462094515_n10904777_10152550296347727_1344162956_n10893810_10152550296352727_394258487_nAnd then, once the kids declared themselves done the adults took over and made one a piece.IMAG0873

Supper was delicious pulled pork and assorted nibbles. I think we ALL ate more than our fill.102_0191

Look at that masterful pour by Chris

Look at that masterful pour by Chris

And then… presents! I got to give out the first of my handcrafted pieces personally. All were well received. I am especially pleased with how the Pikachu turned out for Renee… Ken tried a new process to us called Felting. Lots of jabbing and loose wool and the possibilities… well things are going to be even more interesting craft wise around here! You can find the Pikachu pattern I used HERE. This deviantArt artist is AMAZING! 

NOMS

NOMS

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Pikachu!

Pikachu!

All of the kids were really happy with their presents, although I think Trinity with her toy bow and arrows was the most pumped.

Of course we had to take a group picture! What a crowd!102_0195

102_0198I do have to show off my special gift. Renee knows me so well! LABELS for my crochet projects! I am dying to make an afghan or blanket and sew one on! Sadly I ran out of found yarn on a blanket I was making so have to remake it before I will have one done but they are so cute! And my favourite colour – BLUE!10868294_10152956347806151_274196724871734689_n

There is something spectacular about a friends who are family Christmas isn’t there!

Of course Mystro pictures as well!

Of course Mystro pictures as well!

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HO HO HO How Our Visit With Santa Claus Went

December 10

It has become a tradition, three years and counting, to go to Macy’s in the city and see the display there and visit Santa. This is our third year doing so and the first where Echo really stopped and took everything in… AND sat with Santa WILLINGLY.

As always, we dressed in our best and the kids took pictures in front of the tree. The girls were so pleased to have the opportunity to wear this year’s Christmas dresses for the first time. Last year they wore matching, this year Trinity opted to wear one of her “big girl” dresses and Echo enjoyed shopping around, finally settling on one of the Sam’s Club dresses we saw while out grocery shopping.

So grown up. Thank to Grandma Anna for the dress! Last of the ones we brought with us when we moved!

So grown up. Thank to Grandma Anna for the dress! Last of the ones we brought with us when we moved!

She especially loved the little sweater over top!

She especially loved the little sweater over top!

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Emanuel

Emanuel

Zander

Zander

And Gavin!

And Gavin!

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The display was much the same as last year but we noticed a few things we hadn’t noticed before… sleeping and hiding cats… Rudolph’s nose glowing behind a stable door… Echo ran back and forth looking at everything.

With Mrs. Claus

With Mrs. Claus

In order of age.

In order of age.

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After the display it was a relatively short wait to get in to see Santa. I was amazed that Echo was more than willing to sit in his lap. The kids were VERY clear about what they wanted and it was smiles all round.

Our camera

Our camera

The official photo we chose.

The official photo we chose.

After Santa was done we went into his gift shop to write a little personal note to Santa.IMAG0647

And then the other yearly tradition – lunch at Culver’s!

FROZEN CUSTARD

FROZEN CUSTARD

This is also the second year in a row that Baba was working but we had a blast, our 7 and Nana. Now enjoy the extra photos!

They are growing up so quickly!

They are growing up so quickly!

Trinity is in love with taking pics with her mom... for now.

Trinity is in love with taking pics with her mom… for now.

The littles.

The littles.

Zander and Echo

Zander and Echo

Zander and Gavin

Zander and Gavin

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Daddy and his boys.

Daddy and his boys.

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My Sweet Valentine… a Book Review

Novellas seem to be the lucky find this last week or so, though this one is more in length to a full novel (I still found it a shorter read). My Sweet Valentine by Jill Sanders is book 6 in the Pride Series. A contemporary romance based in the town of Pride this story centers on the lead instructor of the Coastguard and a young woman returned to town to open a bakery. 

Running from a serious stalking situation Sara Lander is just trying to rebuild her life and create her dream… her very own bakery full of her sweets and coffee. Coastguard and ex-Navy SEAL Allen Masters is proud of his position in town running the Coastguard school and saving lives locally. 

Be ware… this story does have some overt sexual scenes. The passion is definitely alive in this story as is the mystery of the stalker complete with red herrings! An enjoyable contemporary romance with some history to be unearthed with each of our two main characters. There is definitely some history with surrounding characters that I am sure is explained in the previous books in the series. Something to look into. 

I love the changes you see in both of the characters. While not a story of faith it is a story of growth! 

If you are looking for romance and some adventure this could be the story for you. 51R64jDzuOL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_