Merry Christmas (belatedly) to you and yours! As usual I am behind on my reporting but I am making a real try to catch up… just you watch, November will spontaneously pop up one of these days! And then you will be in the know again!
Anyway… Christmas Day for the Reinsch-Johnson clan. It was a different one from our previous ones here in Minnesota. First off because we really did not have extended family beyond Nana and Baba here for the day or eve. In the previous years Christmas Eve was our time with Ken’s Uncle Moose, Aunt Colleen and their two kids. But this has been a rough year for Moose (Paul) and while he is on the mend they were really not able to come over for the traditional Ukrainian meal of potato soup and perogies. It was probably for the best as this December has been one of illness for the family. So many yucky colds! But thank goodness we were assured that he is better and home again.
Of course we DID enjoy our meal… and the company was wonderful as was.
That evening we did put out our cookies and milk for Santa. In our new pj’s.
Echo and Ken spread Reindeer Food out on the lawn since we went to bed without a speck of snow to be seen really.
Christmas Day was just the household and it was wonderful. We did not manage to Skype with Gammie as she was having issues on her end but we did text back and forth and take some pictures of the openings.
Amazingly enough with two countries and multiple states we did not have any duplicate gifts this year! Each and every one was well received and I can honestly say I have not seen the kids happier.
We had calls with both sets of grandparents… Alberta and South Carolina. As well as a lovely chat with My brother James and his wife Holly… well mostly Holly. Even a peek in on Cousin Jimmie.
Dinner was a delicious turkey and trimmings thanks to the hard work of Nana and Baba. But for the most part after the excitement of the great toy opening it was a nice, quiet and relaxed day.
I absolutely admit to being a garage sale lover. We found a game AND a recorder book… which only makes sense when you realize I bought recorders this summer and intent to start music next year!
We also found an early deal on snowpants at Sam’s Club! 15.00 for 60.00 children’s snowpants. THANK YOU! At the time only Emanuel was with us so we snapped them up for him. I should say, was the only kid with us that needs them. Once I find the winter coat bucket the girls are only down boots. Of course with all the sorting of things I am unclear WHERE that bucket is (fingers crossed the weather holds until I find it!).
We are still totally missing the sidewalk we always had wherever we lived in Alberta… road safety has become paramount as has Mommy’s obsession with watching how fast people drive down our street and at what times. We don’t do too badly but it seems some evenings the speeders come out to play.
On Saturday we had our numbers swelled to 9 kids! Jeffrey and Evan with big brother Nathan joined us for half the day or so while mommy was away at quilting class and daddy out hunting. The kids love having them over. Echo and Evan are best friends and the twins and Nathan are always off playing leaving the rest of us to enjoy wee Jeffrey.
Sunday was Sunday school and probably one of our last chances for shorts and pretty jackets. Where has the season gone??
We set the kids to work prepping our garden fresh carrots as well. I love how our canning and freezing have become a family activity.
Our big excitement for Monday was a visit over at Aunty Judy’s and Uncle Jim’s… or as the kids call it – Robbie’s house! Any excuse is a good one for a visit and this time our visit was based on Emanuel selling his wreaths for Scouts. He has done quite well doing so. So many lovely friends and family willing to help us out with our first real experience with fund raising.
Add in school and such to our week and that is the end of September! Our October is shaping up to be a month of Halloween learning. Lapbooks, stories and crafting I plan. So be sure to check up while I recount that… hopefully in a more TIMELY manner!!! I simply MUST get the blog up to date!
We entered the weekend with a hello and a good bye… first on Friday while we frolicked in the sunshine in the yard as much as we could…
And of course a little harvesting of the garden.
Ken went to the airport and after having lunch out brought home his friend JEFF all the way from Alberta, Canada. Ken worked for Jeff (and Darryl) way back when the twins were tiny and they have been friends ever since. He now works for Apple in their Canadian office though he does travel often down to California. We lucked out and he had holidays he had to use up and a break in projects AND trips even further south. What a total pick me up for Ken. I think he had been missing his friends back home more than he let on. And Jeff is great with kids!!
The guys were quick to settle down in our room where they could game in peace. Happy boys!
On Sunday we packed up the kids and Jeff and took him to see our favourite (though slightly chilly with the heat of summer fading) beach. Double bonus – Renee and Christopher were able to join us with their 3 boys. Our best beach buddies and a good friend from Canada on a day when the beach was NOT full of people… awesome!
I do not have high hopes for school progress the following week but Ken and Jeff have plans to power through cleaning in the sub basement and sort sort sort. Ken has dreams of a computer room down there and they finally look attainable! Sunday also marks the beginning of Nana and Baba’s first longer trip to Mexico in ages. Friends and family and fun… awesome!