Tag Archive | chess

Christmas Eve With the Novaks

I know, I know… slow me. But there were some great photos I want to share as well as some good memories. I promise once I get the Christmas parties posted I WILL get back to getting current AND sharing my school resources. Nothing deep and introspective right now. But… that can always change.



Our tradition has become going to the Novak’s for Christmas Eve. This year we added in a trip to a church that Alex has become very active in to enjoy their Christmas Eve service.20171224_161259

They had a great tree in the lobby, so we took full advantage and took a whole bunch of pictures. Not a bad looking group. And again, mistaken for blood relatives, surprisingly it was Ken and Andy who were asked if they were brothers. Usually it is confusion over whose kids are whose.20171224_160508


Just the god son

Just the god son

After a larger number of photos we took advantage and got a couples picture.20171224_160736

Then it was into the sanctuary for service. It went pretty well with 9 kids, two moms and 2 dads. I will let you guess which ones nodded off.20171224_162932

20171224_162615The little kids got a lovely little gift bag as well.

After all that fun it was back home for dinner. We had a brisket (thanks to Ken) and ham and lots of snacks and lovely foods. Everyone was well filled up.20171224_190719

Presents went over well and we had a nice visit with Andy’s parents John and Maggie.20171224_195723


Each of the boys got a handmade gift, a couple from my fair pieces.

Each of the boys got a handmade gift, a couple from my fair pieces.

We always have such fun at the Novak’s. Even with Alex recuperating from some rather scary brain surgery the kids had fun, snuck in some sledding and basically left the adults alone to eat too much, sit and chat, play a game or two and enjoy some Christmas music. Wonderful!



And We Celebrate 3 Birthdays With Great Joy

Well it has been a while since I have done a full blog entry! We have had a party, driven to Grandma’s, reconnected with friends gone for 3 years now returned, had chicken from the 7-11 for old time’s sake and played with the family pet (well Grandma’s pet but we share while we visit). It has been a whirlwind of fun, food, and best of all FRIENDS and FAMILY. 

Baby in a hat

We said good bye to Sean who left shortly before we did on Friday. He had errands back home and his folks in town for a conference. (she) Chris dropped off her van earlier than expected so we were even out the door earlier than originally planned. We left her with our house key and were off! It is actually rather lucky that we couldn’t take our van as with the amount of stuff we came back with it would have been a SUPER squeeze! Oh to have a newER van!!!

Visiting with Chris

A picture for Aunty

We made good time to Grandma’s and the kids were quick (as usual) to make themselves at home. Gypsy, my mom’s new dog was there and amazingly calm with the kids. They absolutely LOVE her though Echo and Gypsy had some struggles finding a balance. Gypsy wanted to give kisses and steal snacks and Echo most definitely did NOT agree! She is not a tiny dog so Echo did a bit of her usual screaming to make her point as really what else could she do with someone so much bigger than her??


Dinner was already waiting for us when we got there – roast beef with potatoes and gravy!!! Ohhhh yum! With enough left over for tons of leftovers (that should give you an idea of how big a roast… our 7 plus mom with leftovers!). There was lots of time for visiting and playing (Trinity just disappeared into the playroom to play with her dollhouse) and of course fun with puppy time.

Saturday morning we had the usual amazing Grandparent breakfast fare – WAFFLES! Homemade of course! Everyone in the family loves a good waffle from the biggest to the smallest! Though Echo tried our stamina by waking up around 6 am. Mom even had strawberries, blueberries and raspberries defrosted to go on top with some whipped  topping. The kids love that as she puts the bowl on the table of the fruit and those cans that you push the nozzle for the topping and they get to go nuts! The mess is actually rather minor and with our family, NO leftovers! 

All growed up

Puppy prettied up for the party

There were a few errands to run, mom and I went to the grocery store and picked up the cake Mike ordered for the boys from the Co-Op. He is in Jamaica right now (until the 21st I think) and so was unable to make it. He did call AND the cake… well the cake was absolutely AMAZING! 


The most awesome cake

Grandma and Echo

Ken and Zander ran out as well, and were SUPPOSED to get Zander’s glasses fixed (nose piece, straightened) only to have Zander bring the case without the glasses in it! You can imagine how happy Ken was NOT. So the new plan is to take him in tomorrow (Mondays are a black out for Ken with work) with the glasses firmly on his FACE! 

2pm marked the beginning of our first true KID party! And did we ever do it in style!! TONS of kids, lots of fun, food… OMG the food! Mom made her absolutely amazing dip that we all crave and covet. Crackers and veggies (thank you Chris and Chris for the broccoli and tomatoes you picked up at H&W for us!!) and punch (orange juice and generic ginger ale)… Along with the Epicure dip mom won at Christmas… so much snacking!



There were kids everywhere – down in the basement where toys reside, outside… babies in the kitchen (and so many babies!). Echo finally got to meet her birthday buddy Seth as well as 2 month younger Avery… They all played rather well with the baby toys my mom has on hand just for such occassions. Oh and don’t forget baby Russell (9 months)


In the basement


Babies - Avery and Russell

Birthday buddy Seth

On top of all the snacking there was hotdogs before cake! We had to contrive enough places  to sit and eat but we managed!

Some of the guests

And then the cake… it was DELICIOUS!

Blowing out the candles

And finally PRESENTS! People were so generous… everything from Swim lessons (thank you SO much Bleau family! Pictures WILL follow) to transformers and even something to go with our Wii… lots of educational things as well! I have to say I was right with Zander’s present… a 3.00 chess set to replace the one he has that has pieces missing apparently was the PERFECT choice! 

Sharon and Echo

Lucky boys

I had stamps and paper and pencils for those kids left after all the fuss to create with and visited late into the evening with the one family that stuck around. Christine (Gavin’s god mother) even brought her two puppies to meet Gypsy (Bella and Jasper). So we also had a puppy playdate. Don’t forget that we had friends come who we had not seen in years! OH and new friends to meet… What a day! 


And to end the day – going to 7-11 for an old University treat – wings and wedges… noms! Seriously we would once a week go and get this stuff… they had a special on Thursdays!! It was tradition!

Nostalgia in a box

Karyn stayed the night and we hung out with Ken in the basement. I have to say for a birthday party literally over run with kids and noise and festivity… I think we did a great job!! I am hoping to go back in March and plan some playdates for the kids. We are the only homeschooling family out of the bunch but there is always weekends, late afternoon… baby playdates… I am sure we will manage! 

Out from behind the camera

3 Days in One Entry

And the weekend comes and goes and the time got away from me! So… 3 day post! Enjoy! Let’s see… Saturday… well, surprisingly the kids played nice and Echo took and early nap in the morning (which kicked me into Emanuel’s room) and Ken and I both got to sleeping. Ken did have to make breaky and do baby duty for a bit but we got sleep!!! Did it ever feel nice! 

All dolled up

Our afternoon was when the real fun (for the adults) started – Karyn came over and she and I ran out on errands. After all, Saturday night was nacho potluck and gaming night! I lucked out watching Freecycle and was able to go out and grab some children’s dvd’s. Freecycle is a definite godsend! We got everything from Bob the Builder to Thumbelina and more. Included is a dvd on astronauts! Timely huh? 


We played Arkham Horror Saturday night… it is a loooong game and lots of fun! And Kristen brought desert… VERY yummy!!

Camera Thief



Our Sunday was a little out of the ordinary too… no Sunday School and with Gavin’s tooth being VERY stubborn we opted to stay home and wiggle. (still no luck but in the past two days VERY loose… just equally as stubborn!). So it was laze around and enjoy the family day… and mid way through that – a visit from Grandma and Grandpa! Presents too! Oh and Grandpa Mike tried to pull the tooth to no avail as well… wiggles yes, out NO. 

Along with the grandparents came some pretty dresses, socks, etc. AND another storage unit!! YAY! So we have TWO now that match and I am already filling the new one up. Organization makes Lisa HAPPY! The twins are to take a look at their room and little sets, kits, etc that have been making their home in their room at to migrate to the drawers. I am hoping we can cut down on the clutter. They have a small room and need all the space they can get. 


Grandpa Mike even spent some time teaching the twins how to play chess! There are so many rules that I am sure there will have to be quite a few sessions. I personally am not sure of all the rules but I bet by the end of the year I will have to learn them! 


Today marks back to school for a lot of children. We have been going pretty steady over Christmas but now I am trying to get us really busy and focused. Since Chinese New Year is in January it is time for us to start our colouring and worksheet fun. There is a poster to create! I would suggest, if you are interested in learning about Chinese New Year, that you go to EnchantedLearning. They have a nice selection of worksheets… 

Workbook time

I am very proud of Zander today. Once he got over his “I don’t wannas” he spent an hour or more teaching Trinity different games… everything from tic tac toe to boardgames to memory. Very patient and not too competitive. 


At the same time the other two were hard at work with their blocks creating different cities and races. It is so lovely when they pair off and get along so well!

In Emanuel's room

Ken was a busy man today so a lot of stuff he was hoping to do for the family got postponed. I am so proud of how hard he works for us. Tomorrow morning he has errands to run and then Wednesday we lose the whole day to the city. Thankfully he can do work that does not depend on internet connection while we are at the hospital. 

Out in the snow now ice

So with math and reading and colouring and playing and time outside… well the day went by quite quickly! I wish I could say ALL the laundry is done and put away and the rooms cleaned BUT some progress has been made! 

Post bath curls