Tag Archive | Bleau Family

A Very Merry Canadian Christmas

Is  what I am told our loved ones had this year! And I lucked out, friends and family were willing to share their pictures!

My brother, my nephew and my Uncle together after Christmas building toys… thanks Holly!

The Bleau kids ready to open their presents on Christmas Day… So cute, thanks Sharon!

Jeff, Sean, Tedd and Darryl on New Years! Good memories of times like this! Thanks Sharon!

Though not pictured, Karyn sent me this picture from her time in Saskatchewan… this is her mom, her sister inlaw and her nephews!!! Oh and a puppy!

And a close up of the puppy, thanks Karyn

The parents to be Kristen and Fydo! Baby is due imminently

Not a picture but equally cool! Here is the video of Ted’s very own Christmas tree… very cool!

I really missed my time with our oldest god daughter and her family. Emanuel was also rather sad to not get his usual hugs and quality time with his god mommy. But I lucked out, the den Otters have a wonderful picture to share with us here! We miss you all so much!

Alex, Isabella and Izaac, thanks for the amazing picture Xinny!

It was super busy this Christmas for our other god daughter Anna… not only does she have a new baby sister but they also moved over the holiday. So here is the picture Ada was able to find for me. So cute! She is just 2 months older than Echo.

Miss Anna, thanks Ada

And of course we must include some images from the She Chris and He Chris Christmas. With Mae as well! You will remember them especially from their wedding!

Note the owl couple! I gave that to them last year

Miss Mae

The puppy

I want to thank everyone who send in their pictures! I am hoping to do this for other major holidays so PLEASE save those Easter pictures as well! 

A Very Merry Johnson Christmas

We have not spent a Christmas in Minnesota since we were first married so this was a long time in coming and a day of HUGE excitement, even for Ken! We started our morning at the reasonable time of 8 am with Echo having to be WOKEN UP! Of course, she had not had much of a nap on Christmas Eve so it was not a huge surprise.

Sneak attack on the Santa gift – a rocking… MOOSE!

Luckily the Christmas pj’s managed to make it through the night unscathed so we had our cuties all dressed up and ready to start the presents.

With their stockings

The morning was set aside for our Canadian Christmas items… Of course Santa delivered with the wish lists. The biggest item of excitement ended up being (not surprisingly) the ps3 game Skylanders Giants. The boys had been talking about this game since the summer when we spent  that month or so with the Bleau family. It was a favourite of Logan’s. Santa’s presents were too big for the stockings (like Echo’s rocking moose or Trinity’s special toy trunk) so Santa let ME use the stockings.

Ripping into the presents

The hats I made each of the kids went over well as did the little Pato inspired bird I crocheted. (Picture to follow later)

Echo’s hat (Sorry, a later in the evening picture… in her pj’s from Grandma and Grandpa Reinsch)

Add to that the lovely handmade creations from my sister Kat (South Carolina) and the pj’s from my dad and step mom and we were well outfitted.

Emanuel in his Angry Birds hat made by Aunty Kat

There were also the toys from Uncle Wayne, the items mailed to us from Gammie AND the toys from James, Holly and Jimmie. It was Echo’s year to have the “some assembly required” toys. Although when all was said and done her little nursery center from her Aunty Holly and Uncle James and Jimmie was a total hit! As was her brand new Cabbage Patch baby. In fact, Trinity says that since she did NOT  get a dolly for Christmas she is going to use HER Christmas money to purchase a Cabbage Patch kid all her own.

Opening her Assembly Required gift

With baby

Trinity ended up with her tea pot, cups and saucer set, fruit AND hat and was pleased with all! Echo LOVED her bunny… so I am feeling a bit accomplished with people LIKING my handmade gifts still.

Bunny love

We also gave Ken’s parents two strings of traditionally coloured lights to put on their tree… you know, the red, blue, yellow and green ones?

Traditional colours… like the big bulb ones we used to put on the outside of houses

After all the excitement of the “Canadian Christmas” it was time for breakfast – sausagestrata and then tidying up because the cousins were on their way!


Eating breakfast

Of course we had to put Skylanders in and let the boys play and truly explore the presents we received that morning.

Starting up the game

For the first time in YEARS I got my present ON Christmas… my very own Kindle Fire! It is so much lighter than the iPad but still has a lot of the tablet capabilities. So while I still need the iPad for a few things like the Apple IM I now have my own reader. I need to take some of my Christmas money and get myself a cover right away and then see about connecting to the library and start borrowing some books! Perhaps later in the year I can create a bit of a book budget???


Of course I had to dress the girls up. And have the boys in matching shirts.


Now on to the afternoon and presents from Nana and Baba… talk about MOUNTAINS! Santa was ALSO present in the form of amazing bags with each kid’s name on it. 7 kids with piles of presents wrapped and waiting… can you imagine the high energy? Seriously it was CRAZY!

A room full of joy


There were so many wonderful gifts, Hello Kitty, a wall car set, a Little People Princess Castle with all the people for Echo. Although it was slow going with Echo… she would open a present and then want it ALL the way open before starting on the next.

Gotta examine the puzzles


Opening their gift from Joe and his family

There was candy and fun little quick items like glow bracelets mixed in with Legos and other wonderful items. Trinity was over the moon with ANOTHER Hello Kitty outfit. In fact, add to that the headband I purchased online from Facebook and she was head to toe in it once she took off her party dress.

Hello Kitty from head to toe

After all the presents were opened and carnage of paper cleared it was a rush to get into every toy they could! I think everyone was rather pleased with what they received and very thankful. Soon after the paper clean up was done it was time to welcome the rest of the family coming for dinner – Johnson side! Jim, Judy, Robbie and Jessica. They came bearing MORE gifts… and pie!




Showing off the new toys in the basement

We HAD TO open these new presents BEFORE supper, though at that point Miss Echo was already asleep for a much needed nap. The theme for the boys – remote controls… helicopters for the twins and a monster truck for Emanuel. Talk about wild excitement.

Present time… AGAIN



Remote control for the win

Trinity got Hello Kitty themed blocks (now she has two sets and is absolutely over the moon at having so many) and automatically collected her Aunty Faith AND Aunt Judy to help assemble.

Working together


After the presents were opened and paper away AGAIN it was time for supper… HAM! The tables looked beautiful yet again and we all ate until we were beyond full.

Supper time (Echo was sleeping/napping)… Gavin is in the red



This time, TWO tables full

There was an assortment of deserts including our candy cane cake, this time… as CAKE!


Echo had her present time AFTER her nap (which was much needed)…

Post nap present

All in all everyone was pretty pleased. Though when asked Trinity stated that she got everything BUT a Cabbage Patch Doll (as I mentioned previously). Which is why we saved our Christmas money until AFTER Christmas… but that is a story for the next entry. 

On the phone with Grandma in Canada

The Day Before the Day Before Christmas

While not a special day for the kids… but for Ken, very much so. With the cabbage rolls created the day before it was time to move onto potato soup and “gunk”… another Johnson family tradition. There are so many special things Ken has talked about EVERY year and things we truly could not recreate without the presence of his parents. It has been over a decade since Ken has last gotten to have Christmas with his parents, instead he has spent it with us and my family. Special, but definitely NOT the same.

Zander playing Candyland with Baba… somehow the instructions did NOT make it from Canada!

We have two days of family coming up… Christmas Eve will be spent with Ken’s mom’s brother and his family (they have two kids) here at the house with Christmas Eve dinner – the potato soup, cabbage rolls and gunk… we have not seen them since moving here as Ken’s uncle has been a little under the weather. Then on Christmas Day we have Ken’s brother and his family AND Ken’s dad’s sister and HER family. (Jim, Judy and kids) I think dinner will be ham! YUM!

Gunk… I am told it is “to go on top of everything”… trust me NOT healthy!


The kids have expressed a little bit of sadness over missing some of the traditions and people we have left behind but we are so thankful to get to have these chances in Minnesota to really get to know and BE with the family from Ken’s side. We have been so lucky to be able to come here and live with Ken’s parents and take the time to find a real and stable life here in the USA. There is still lots to be done and hurdles to be jumped but we are starting to have a home again and that is a very precious gift.

Potato soup with unknown spelled Ukrainian name

The day before the day before Christmas has been a quiet one for the kids out of necessity. School stuff is put away, cleaning is being done… and most importantly to the kids — cookies are iced!! Butter icing on sugar cookies with sprinkles and M&M’s… though it was bemoaned that they are NOT the same as Smarties (Canadian, not those candy things).

Ice the cookies

In the meantime Ken and his mom had some bonding time on the iPads with a “jelly game.” It is looking like AFTER the new year these comfortable moments are going to be less often… at least during the week… for KEN… but I can’t say anything until January has begun so check back on that one!!

Gaming together

We sent most of the kids outside to play a bit in the afternoon but really I don’t think anyone is too motivated to do much more than wait for the Christmas festivities to begin, though the twins and I did vacuum the basement and tidy up toys and excess things that were out and in the way.

Front yard fun

A close up of the structure in the front yard

We ended the night with POLISH sausage (yum) and then some traditional Christmas movies for the kids (thanks again Sharon) and we are READY for Christmas Eve! 

A Santa out of Perler Beads… you can find the pattern on Activity Village