Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas and a Birthday - Hourly Photo and Instagram Style

Christmas Day - Hourly Photo and Instagram Style

8:00am - Opening Presents from Santa.
9:00am - Playing with presents!

10:00am - Getting organized to go to my Nana's house and then my parent's house.

11:00am - Silly Birthday Boy on his way to Grandma and Grandpa's.

12:00pm - At my Nana's house for Christmas lunch.

1:00pm - My Dad carving the turkey.

2:00pm - Dessert time! So many choices.

3:00pm - Time for presents!

4:00pm - Arriving at Mom and Dad's house.

5:00pm - Relaxing at my parent's house.

6:00pm - Lego building, a great way to pass time until dinner!

7:00pm - Time for Birthday Cake!  Happy Birthday Liam!  (Liam turned 4 at 7:02pm)

8:00pm - My brother, Quinten, modeling the new hunting apron that mom made him.

9:00pm - Driving home.  Too dark for a real photo!

10:00pm - Taking inventory of Liam's gifts so he can write thank you notes!

11:00pm - Admiring the quilt my mom made for Liam.  She also made him a tote bag filled with activity books!  Awesome!

12:00am - Good night and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Favorites - Mulling Spice

Some how crazy amounts of time have passed and it is December 17th.  A week from now it will be Christmas Eve.  A week from now I will be begging an overexcited three year old to go to sleep so that I can do last minute wrapping and probably decorate a birthday cake, because that three year will be turning four the next day.  So, it is double excitement for this boy who knows that "December 25" is his birthday AND that Christmas comes on HIS birthday.  Because you know, being a "the world revolves around me and me alone" three year old, his birthday must have come first!

In an effort to slow down and enjoy the season, I am going to take some time this week to share some of my holiday favorites with you!

Mulled apple cider is something that I've had around the holidays for as long as I can remember.  Mom would dump a jar of home pressed apple cider, that we made the previous summer from the apples from my Papa's orchard into the slow cooker.  She's throw in a couple of cinnamon sticks and and is she had them, a handful of cloves.  It was simple and it was good.  

Then I grew up and on a trip to Niagara on the Lake, years ago when we lived in Hamilton and could go visit the wineries whenever we wanted, we bought a bottle of mulling wine with a package of spices.  And it was so good!  I have been hooked on Mulling Spices ever since.  About two years ago, we discovered that Mulled Cranberry juice with Ameretto or Rum was a perfect Christmas drink. 
Normally, I buy an already made mulling spice mix but this year, I decided to make my own.  And I don't know if it was the freshness of the mixture or what but I think it is the best I've ever had. 

And it was fun to make ... I mean really, who doesn't have fun smashing things with a hammer??  Oh, and also cheap (enough of all ingredients to make a double batch was $10 at the Bulk Barn) and easy!

 First you take the hammer to a bag of cinnamon sticks.
 Don't put that hammer away yet, next you get to smash up some nutmeg.  I always wanted to buy whole nutmeg, just because it is cool, but never had a reason until now!

 Cinnamon Sticks and Nutmeg ... starting to smell really good!
The Allspice is a little trickier because it is small, the hammer didn't work so well.  So, for this I used my marble rolling pin and just rolled it back and forth over top of the buds.

 Cloves and dried orange peel are kind of boring, there is absolutely no smashing or crushing involved, they just get dumped in as is.

 Throw it all in a bowl together, mix it up and you are done!
Put it in a little jar and it makes a good gift, but once you try it, you aren't going to want to give it away because it is SO GOOD!

Mulling Spice

6 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg
1/2 cup whole cloves
1/2 cup whole allspice
1/4 dried orange peel

Add two tablespoons of spice mixture to four cups of beverage (apple juice or cider, cranberry juice or red wine).
Put in slow cooker and simmer for a couple of hours.  Serve hot.  (Can also be done in a pot on the stove for about half an hour if you are in a hurry.)  Longer = more flavour.

For red wine, add 1/2 white sugar or else it will be very bitter.

For the grown ups, add a shot of ameretto or run to your apple or cranberry juice when serving.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Procrastination Is My Middle Name

Procrastination is my middle name and it is way past time to change that.  

At home it is five minutes at my computer before I do <insert task, chore, anything that needs to be done here> and next thing I know it is 10:00pm and I should be in bed. But I have successfully avoid the task that I was supposed to do.  Damn it, I'll do it tomorrow ... after I check my e-mail, facebook and twitter and I should probably check here for comments (even though I get e-mail notifications) and something interesting may have happened on twitter or facebook while I was doing that.

At work it is a quick break from whatever task is melting my brain to organize a pile of papers into proper files and next thing I know the office looks like something has exploded in it because I have decided to organize while taking a break from the brain melting task.  Organizing which no doubt involves making piles of things that I don't want to deal with at the moment and will procrastinate finishing until some day when I am procrastinating doing something else.  

(Right about now, I hope my boss doesn't read my blog!  Although, if you are reading, I assure you that all the really important, time sensitive stuff gets done on time.  Usually, I think!)

So, please people, I need some suggestions, what is a better middle name for me to adopt?  Procrastination just isn't working for me anymore.  It is bad enough that I procrastinate when it comes to things that I don't like doing or that cause my brain to melt, but when it comes to doing things that I like, that's a sign that it is getting a little out of hand.

I should go start making Christmas cards . . . but I think I will go get a drink first and then check Facebook and Twitter.  By then it will be too late to be bothered starting.  Maybe tomorrow would be a good time to start.  Or next week?  I still have a month before they have to be in the mail . . .

Sunday, November 4, 2012

From Pumpkin Patch to Pumpkin Pie

Our journey from Pumpkin Patch to Pumpkin Pie started a couple of weeks ago.  On a sunny Saturday morning, we went to Miller's Farm in Manotick in search of pumpkins.

We took the wagon to the pumpkin patch to look for the perfect pumpkin.
Although there were lots of great pumpkins in the field, all of the REALLY big ones were already at the store area and we wanted a REALLY big pumpkin!  We came home with a 40 pound pumpkin.

Then it was time to get that pumpkin cleaned out and turned into a Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween.  Once all the guts were removed, it was carved into a scary face, as per Liam's instructions.

As is the case with all good Jack-O-Lanterns, when Halloween is over, so is their life.
 The 40 pound pumpkin turned Jack-O-Lantern was destine to be cut into pieces ...
 ... put in a 350 degree oven ...
... and baked for an hour.
 As if that wasn't enough torture for  poor Jack, he was then peel and chopped into smaller pieces ...
 ... tossed in the food processor ...
... and made in to puree.

And that my friends, is what we used to make a lovely pumpkin pie for dessert!
(And A LOT left over to go in the freezer for future pumpkin goodies!)

Pumpkin Pie Filling

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 375 F for 50 minutes.
For a large deep dish pie, double recipe.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


My eyes itch and water.
My nose is stuffy and drippy.
My throat is dry and scratchy.
I feel like I have blown my nose a million times today.
My eyes are bloodshot.
My nose is red.
I have taken allergy medication.
I sit here sniffling.
I wait for it to start to work.
I hope it kicks in before I scratch my eyes out.
Because I really do like being able to see.
I really think my allergies are trying to kill me tonight.
I really hope they don't succeed.
Because I have things to do tomorrow.
And the next day and the day after that.

So, allergies, if you are reading this, 
Please, get the message.
I want you to GO AWAY!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Six Word Friday - Questions


Everywhere I turn there are questions.
Questions being asked.  Questions needing answers.
All day long, home and work.
I feel bombarded by the questions.

Sometimes answers are easy to give.

Sometimes I silently look for answers, 
to impossible and  even ridiculous questions.

Sometimes I just want to scream:
"Go figure it out for yourself."

Sometimes I really don't understand why
the question is even being asked.

Sometimes I am happy to help,
to find an answer for someone.

It all depends on the question
and why it is being asked.

Who?  What?  When?  Why? Where?  How?
The questions will never, ever end.
Some will bring joy and excitment.
Some will bring angry and frustration.
Some will bring indifference and boredom.
But they will always and forever
Be an everyday part of life.

This post was written as part of Six Word Fridays at My Memory Art, take a minute to pop over and see some other "Question" posts.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Fun!!

Every year, Halloween gets more and more exciting!  Two years ago, we Trick or Treated at 2 houses because every time someone opened their door, Liam cried.  Last year, we had to be right beside him to knock on doors, ring door bells and take the candy when he decided to be shy.  This year, he was a pro!  Walking up to houses by himself, knocking on the door, saying Trick or Treat and Thank You and having a wonderful time!

Here is our Halloween adventure in photos!

 Miller's Farm in Manotick.  Liam would have played on the hay bales all day if we hadn't reminded him that we were there for a pumpkin!
 Checking out the pumpkin patch.  So many pumpkins!
 "I want these two.  One can have a happy face and one can have a scary face."
 "You want me to put my hands in there?  I don't think so!"
 "Are you sure I have to touch this stuff?  It is like slime."
 "I guess it's not so bad after all."
 The scary pumpkin. (We got a small pumpkin that was supposed to be the happy face, but it started to rot before we craved them.)

 Captain America . . . ready to save the world . . . if you have candy!
"Come on people!  There are more houses to go to, lots more houses."
Captain America and all his goodies.  We told him that he could choose 2 things to eat before bed.  He was very good about it but probably only because he was too exhausted to put up a fuss!  We stopped Trick or Treating because he asked to go home to bed!  I don't ever remember asking to stop Trick or Treating, we were always trying to talk Dad into one more house!  But then again, I don't remember being three years old!  When he finally went to bed, Liam was very sad that he couldn't wear his Captain America suit to bed!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Conversations With Liam

As time goes on, conversations with Liam get more and more interesting.  He is just over 3.5 years old and he loves to talk.  My mother will tell you that he gets that from me.  She always said that once I started talking, I never shut up and I find myself saying the exact same thing about Liam on a regular basis.

Here are just a few of the conversations that have occurred over recent months.

Liam: "I need two mommies."
Me: "Am I not good enough?"
Liam: "No, I need two mommies."
Me: "Why do you need two mommies?"
Liam: "Because I am a little boy and little boys need two mommies and a daddy."
Henry: "Who do you you want your other mommy to be?"
Liam: "I don't know, you can pick. But you can be my one daddy."
Me: "Do I get to be one of your mommies?"
Liam: "Yes, but I need two mommies.  Daddy, who is my other mommy going to be?"
Henry: "I have to pick now?'
Liam: "Yes, I need another mommy soon."

Driving home, Liam could see smoke from a bush fire, he said:  
"Look at all that smoke, it must be a volcano.  I want to go see the volcano right now."

He frequently tells me the following:
"When I grow up, I want to be Tony Stark because he had a lot, a lot of money, he is really smart and he's IRONMAN!"

There are a lot of made up words in our conversations lately, but everyone has a meaning.
Liam: "Mommy, is that a shickhitter?"
Me: "Huh?  What's a shickhitter?"
Liam: "It's a small, very tiny, little digger machine.  You should know that."

Friends of ours, Ashley and Danny recently got engaged, Liam will be their ring bearer, although I don't think he has any idea what a wedding or a ring bearer is, he has plans for their special day.
Liam: "Ashley should get married in a princess castle."
Me: "No, Ashley's not getting married in a princess castle."
Liam:  "OK, I want Ashley and Danny to get married on a horse.  Actually on two horses, one for Ashley and one for Danny."

Liam wants a castle:
Liam: "Mommy, I really think we need a castle."
Me: "Really?"
Liam: "Yes, a big one."
Me: "Where are we going to find a castle?"
Liam: "We'll have to build one.  I want to build it with you."
Me: "I don't know how to build a castle."
Liam: "That's OK, it's easy, really easy.  First you get all the parts and put the parts together and then you put the top on.  Then you put lots of toys inside.  You put in the floor and paint it.  They you put the walls on and paint them.  And you have to put on a top that you can walk around on.  That's a castle."
Me: "What colour are you going to paint it?"
Liam: "We can paint it red or blue or grey or any colour, really."
Me: "But what colour do you want to paint it?"
Liam: "Well, red, I think red is good."
Me: "What colour are you going to paint the floor?"
Liam: "Well, blue of course."
Me: "are you going to live in your castle?"
Liam: "Sure.  I want you to live in my castle with me."
Me: "OK.  Who else is going to live in your castle?"
Liam: "All the kids from preschool."
Me: "All of them?"
Liam: "Of course."
Me: "What about Daddy?"
Liam: "Well, sure, Daddy can live with us."

There are some farms close by that use propane canons to scare birds out of the corn fields.  Here is Liam's interpretation of the situation.
"That noise is to make the birds fall off the corn so that the farmers can get the corn and feed the corn to the cows in the winter because cows are hungry in the winter."

I really never know what he is going to say next.  I wish I could always have a paper and pen near by to capture some of the stories that he tells because I can never remember them all.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Saunder's Farm

This past Saturday we met up with my sister, Teanna and my nephew, Denver at Saunder's Farm.  We have never been before, I looked at their website last Halloween and thought that it was a little too expensive for what Liam would have gotten out of it at that point.  And I honestly didn't know until about a month ago that they had summer stuff!  I always just thought of them as a Halloween activity!

I wasn't sure how the day would go, Liam and Denver really do get excited to see each other and have fun when they are together but I was worried that at a place like this with so much to do, the difference in age (Liam is 3 and Denver is 7) would prove to be too much to keep them together and both happy.  I was pleasantly surprised at how content they were to do most things together.  

The boys had a wonderful time and Liam is already asking to go back again.

Seeing as how this is supposed to be a Wordless Wednesday Post, I guess I should get to the pictures!  (I don't do the Wordless part of  Wordless Wednesday very well!)  

I wasn't sure we were going to 

 "It's OK, we don't have to go anywhere else, we can just play here all day!"

"Umm, I got up, but how do I get down?"

"This is supposed to be challenging?  For who?"


"No, I'm not going to fall, I'm good!"

I'm not going to lie, I had a blast on the jumping pillows and would have spent more time there if the boys hadn't lost interest!

Mazes from the look out tower.

"I can find my way through here, no problem!"

"Just follow Denver, he knows where he is going!"

Liam wasn't too sure what to think of the splash pad.  He's never been to one before and isn't a fan out getting sprayed with water.

He did however have lots of fun spraying the water and running around the edges!

Witch's Mountain Slide.  I was very surprised to see Liam go down by himself!  It is very high and very fast!

After a few runs on his own, he talked Auntie Teanna into a couple of rides.

And even one with Mommy, but then he requested Auntie Teanna again!

Much like the tree house when we first arrived, we weren't sure that we were ever going to get to leave once the boys found the pirate ship play structure!