Tag Archive | stocking

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

Christmas Day!

Christmas day was a busy one for our family… well AFTER 10 am when Miss Trinity FINALLY woke up! Then it was time for a quick kid photograph in front of the tree with their stockings before CHAOS!

Pre Presents!

Echo opened maybe ONE present I think before she lost interest but everyone else was very excited and ready to tear in. Trinity had a happy squeal for each and every new present! This is our first year of having the twins getting different gifts more tailored to the individual. Gavin was very happy with his art set and Zander his puzzles. 

Echo at work


Emanuel’s favourite gift of the season was long in coming (about 2 yrs to hunt one down! Thank you Michaella!!) – Sleepy Bird from Pocoyo! He was so excited that after we calmed down he had to sit and make a thank you up RIGHT THEN! 

Front of the card

And the back... he drew ALL the characters he has toys for

Snuggles with Sleepy Bird

Instead of a full out lunch after our late breaky we did a platter of random nibbles for the kids. They thought that was too much fun, being able to come and go and eat as they pleased! 


After presents and before nibbled Sean stopped by with mail from the old house on his way to his parents’ place. He was supposed to go Christmas Eve but was feeling too under the weather. There was actually some GREAT mail in the stack making Sean our Christmas elf and another dear friend our Christmas Angel. I am glad to report the stress that was there a week ago is now resolved due to these two forces. YAY. It is looking like 2012 should be the beginning of a much better set of circumstances for our family. It has been long in coming since Ken was sick those years ago. 

Had to open the Laura Secord Chocolates from Ted!

Of course there were presents for the adults… well I got ONE present and an IOU. Poor Ken got thwarted at every turn and had people either buy what he was planning on getting me (ie. Camera) or stuff that he had already bought and then had to return. Most likely my presents will be wrapped and… well not under the tree as it will be boxed up by then… but gifted end of January! At least he loved what I got him!! And I DID get rechargeable batteries and the charger from Ken and the kids. The boys actually gave up their MAG trip that last Saturday to hunt it down for me!! 

Our afternoon was total  toy chaos that headed right into the evening. Supper was LOVELY! We had a large beef roast thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Mike who also sent home some moose for us to enjoy over the rest of the year. There was corn and rice and everyone was so FULL! Then Grandma and Grandpa stopped by on their way back from James, Holly and Jimmie’s! 

We had sent presents with them and they in turn were bringing presents from my brother’s family. Apparently both sides were VERY happy! I am looking forward to going to Chapters or Indigo and doing a little book shopping myself! The kids were right into their presents and cornered the grandparents long enough to get making a few items. Their visit was brief but the kids had so much fun having their grandparents for a little more time. 

There were phone calls from Ken’s folks and my dad to be had as well as the wild abandon that comes from excessive amounts of NEW toys laying about the place. I think I can safely say that though I decreased the amount of gifts the fun was no lessened, nor the mess sadly! BUT I am proud of my kids and their gratitude and sharing of their new things. Of course we are NOT planning on heading out to hunt the deals on Boxing Day… I would rather stay home with the kids and relax and play. AND do not have the extra funds to do said shopping anyway. I am an over the year deal finder myself! Are you?

Girls and Dolls

On The Second Day of Advent My Children Did With Me…

Quite a bit considering I had Karyn and Victoria over and we went out for a large chunk of the day! That did not deter us and we started off the same as usual – calendars and colouring. Of course once Echo went for her nap I left with the ladies.


We got even more snow over the night and the boys took full advantage… I think they are building some sort of fort!

So much snow!

I had the buffet out at our favourite Indian restaurant. Curry and butter chicken… and some of their pizza, don’t forget the naan bread! VERY yummy!

With pizza??

I did some crafty shopping and got the items we needed for today and yesterday’s Advent crafts as well as a couple Christmas present pieces. I even got one of my small stocking stuffers for Ken! It was windy and cold but we managed to enjoy ourselves and include a stop off at the scrapbook store. 

When we got back the kids were busy watching the CyberChase dvd’s Victoria got for them at her local library. Of course they were being SUPER quiet so as to keep daddy from realizing that the two that were SUPPOSED to be in nap were not! We paid for that later with some outbursts from Trinity!

With two extra adults in the house there was much crafting (with some bead kits we have here in the house thanks to Kathy and our pony bead collection). Thank goodness Victoria is patient!

Crafting with Victoria

Echo sucked up to her Aunty Karyn and got to play piano on the iPhone… I swear if I ever get one I will NEVER get to use it!!

Playing the music

Today we had a candy cane theme on Activity Village… there were two videos to watch. I have to share the one that shows how candy canes are made! The timing is so amazing…

Tomorrow we will cut down what we do to just the colouring project… oh and our numerous calendars. There was another verse to read today… Genesis 3, 21-24… the portion about Adam and Eve being kicked out of the  garden of Eden which was likened to having ALL your toys taken away at Christmas? Interesting… I am not sure how I am liking this Advent book but the searching pictures are entertaining the kids. One more Perler bead ornament is up on the chart and we have counted out the days left to go. 

Yesterday we had some mechanical excitement! The local Canadian Tire was FINALLY able to get our van in for the coolant system repair! And the cost… NOTHING! So worth the wait. Granted we stayed pretty well home the past 3 months but we kept busy, had company and really didn’t suffer too much for it. We did miss Grandma and Mike, but that can now be remedied! And apparently the smell of burnt coolant should disperse in the next few days! YAY!

We did our two days of Advent crafts as a family. You can find the instructions for both on Activity Village (seriously this is THE go to site for us!). My favourite was the Christmas stockings… I got ours at Dollarama for 1.00 a pair! 2.00 and things around the house (though I did buy some clear plastic snowflakes – 60 for 1.00 same store)… well worth it!

Working on the stockings

Completed Candy Cane hearts

So be sure to go back to Activity Village’s Advent Calendareach day! I can hardly believe we are into December but there it is, the date, screaming it loud and clear! So I am going to make each day count with celebration, activity and of course family time. 

4 little stockings waiting for the glue to dry!