Monday, December 31, 2007

Cottage Life

Because we get two weeks at Christmas—yes, I can hear it now: teachers have it so good...and you're right...we wouldn't change it for all the money in the world...p.s. Jason brought about 500 pages worth of marking...lucky for the family, he decided not to do any of it until after holidays—we decided to go up to the family cottage for a few days. It is a fantastic place to relax because there is nothing to do nothing. Perfect. The kids had fun playing in the snow, baking cookies with GG, sledding with cousin Sara and her husband Brian, building snow forts, eating icicles, and walking on the lake. The trip was also a learning experience: Riley learned not to play with, or eat, yellow snow...thankfully before she tried it. Jason had “fun” too, shoveling the snow off of the roof for about four hours one of the days...who knew you could drink beer and shovel at the same time?

A few days left of vacation to go home and get things sorted out before the new year. Here's to a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year to everyone...and those of you who can, have a drink for those of us who will probably fall asleep on the attempting to stay up “late” to see Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve Party. Party like it's 1999.

Friday, December 28, 2007

More Christmas Photos

Here are a couple more Christmas photos. Including Jason and Riley blowing out the candles on Baby Jesus' birthday cake.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Day(s)

Christmas Day(s) was a blast at the Hubbard household. We celebrated Christmas Day at our house with Amanda's family. Santa came in the middle of the night and answered the kids' letters/prayers. Simon got a train set, and Riley got a doll house complete with furniture and dollies. The two spent hours playing with them, and the many other gifts they received. The rest of the day was spent in our pyjamas (family matching ones I might add...nerdy I know, but a real kick for the kids), drinking and being merry. Had a huge dinner spread that night: turkey and all the fixin's, cabbage rolls, tourtierre, turnip, pie—you name it, we had it. Nothing like just relaxing with family.

The next day we celebrated Christmas Day again; this time it was at Jason's parent's house. It was jam-packed with my extended family...there were a total of thirteen of us—Jason's mom had to bring home extra tables and chairs to seat everyone for breakfast. The kids were spoiled, just like the day before. It is so much fun to watch them go...the awe of innocence is simply amazing.

After a fun day, it was back to work on the mountain of leftovers...not so good for my waist-line, but a nice way to spend the holidays. YUM.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Visit with Cousin Ainsley

During the Christmas Holidays, Jason's sister, Jocelyn, her husband, Corbett, and her daughter, Ainsley, came by for a visit. It was great to see them all since they live in Montreal, and their work does not afford them many holidays. It was a great time visiting and watching the kids playing. They played really well together. Simon taught Ainsley the Wo-Wo dance—essentially spinning in circles until you are to dizzy to stand up, yelling, “Wo-Wo,” the entire time, and then falling down and laughing yourself silly. It was quite the spectacle. They also had crash-up derbies with the strollers and dollies—felt kind of like being at the speedway...just needed an needed an RV, a case of Old Milwaukee and about a thousand of my closest carheads....yeeeeehahhhhh! A fun time was had by all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Making Christmas Presents

Riley and Simon, due to obvious financial constraints—they are only two and a half and one and a half—decided to make some of their Christmas presents this year. Amanda found a really great craft for the kids to do. Using finger paint and their hand prints (and a little motherly intervention), the kids were able to create angels for their grandparents and great grandparents. They looked great. After the official craft was complete, Simon decided to try his hand at a postmodernist approach to Christmas: The twelve days of Christmas as body art in finger paint? Eat your heart out Jackson Pollard.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bear Creek Christmas

Jason's high school, Bear Creek, holds a Christmas party every year for the staff's children. It is always a great night. The kids play in the gym for an hour or so (with all of the phys. ed. stuff), and then we eat pizza in the cafeteria. After dinner and ice-cream sandwich dessert, Santa makes a very special stop to see all of the girls and boys. By a strange coincidence, all the children got books...boy Santa is smart. Books were also donated by each family to the local Women's shelter. Check out the pics...Santa seems to have been visiting Weight Watchers.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gingerbread House

Continuing to get into the Christmas Spirit, we all decorated a gingerbread house together. As you can see by the condition of the kids faces, more candy was consumed than put on the house. The result was two crazy, hyper kids running through the house a half an hour before bedtime. Mental note: next year, decorate the Gingerbread house hours before you expect the kids to sleep.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mental Insanity

We are sure if you looked in the dictionary under insanity, you would find a picture of Amanda and Jason trying to decorate the Christmas tree with Riley and Simon. We aren't sure what was funnier: Simon running around the house with 20 feet of beads in tow, Riley attempting to cut the tree down with her toy jigsaw, Simon eating the beads, or Riley attempting to play dress-up with the ornaments. After untangling all the beads and a lot of laughter--because what else can you do--we decided that we would finish the job once the kids went to sleep. That was the best decision we made all night.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Adventures of a Christmas Tree

We all bundled up and headed out to a local tree farm called Drysdale's to get a Christmas tree. It is a beautiful place to go, it is actually where they filmed part of the movie A Christmas Story. While we were there, we traveled on a train, were pulled by a horse-drawn wagon, and even visited with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Simon is in the stage of life when one nap isn't enough but two is too much; with all the outdoor fun and excitement he was sound asleep in Amanda's arms for almost an hour. After all the activities, it was time to get a tree. We aren't fools; we quickly decided to get a pre-cut tree instead of attempting to drag two toddlers out into a field to cut one down. What a great decision that was. It was another fun day at Drysdale's, and once again we had a perfectly shaped tree to decorate. Decorating a tree with two that is another adventure.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Made a Memory

This post is totally unrelated to the kids, but cetainly one worth posting about. Thanks to Amanda's good friend Kara, she had another opportunity to go and see Bon Jovi in concert at the A.C.C. As they pulled into their parking spot down in Toronto, Kara told the girls that her husband, Paul, had upgraded the seats for them. An already excited car of girls became much more excited. The seats were two sections over, and two rows up from the floor, great seats. One row in front of them was a smaller stage. A security guard came over to them and told them that Bon Jovi would be performing from that stage as well. They couldn't believe it--BON JOVI FIVE FEET AWAY!!!!!!!!! He performed five songs from that stage, including Make a Memory and Bed of Roses. It was unbelievable. Amanda somehow managed to take 40 pictures of him on her camera phone while her friend, Erin, videotaped with her phone and her friend Colleen snapped away on her camera. It was amazing! Here is some eye-candy for you all.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hitting the Hay—something's different with this bed

Simon reached a new level of sleep. No, not a new level of R.E.M.—the kind that helps you sleep past 5:10am—a new bed!!! Simon has graduated to a toddler bed...for better or for worse. With a little encouragement from Daddy, and a little apprehension from Mommy, he is in. For those that have never had the pleasure/pain of transforming a crib into a toddler bed, this means that one of the sides (a length) of the crib is removed and the outside world becomes temptingly close. Now, Riley never tried to escape—she doesn't even get out of bed on her own to this day—but Simon is definitely his own man. We are early in this process, but we have our fingers crossed that Simon is more interested in sleeping than he is in exploring his room and the rest of the house in the night/morning.