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Vancouver(ish) Tribe: Sugared Mountains & Bare Branches - Page 5

post #81 of 705
Thread Starter 
It's been pretty Christmassy around here! The tree went up on Dec. 1 and so did most of the decorations (but we don't go crazy with the decorations), and we've been doing lots of xmas crafting. Our last session was very successful. We bought those transparent glass ball ornaments and the kids did a mixture of putting stuff inside them and glue gunning stuff to the outside. They are actually pretty cute and funny. We used some nature stuff, some glitter. and various odds and sods from the craft bin. Stockings are tough, but I'm excited because I ordered lumps of coal for the kids from ebay . Not because the kids are naughty, but because I know that ds in particular has always been fascinated by the lump of coal idea (not an idea we introduced ) and he seemed to feel that it would be awesome to get a lump of coal. We've been getting xmas books and DVDs from the library and listening to xmas music on the internet. I'm not a super xmassy person, but it does create a focus for activities at a potentially gloomy and miserable time of year. Now I have to get hardcore for cabin preparations -- I love going there but ugh is it ever a lot of work...just prepping food for 5 days in advance feels pretty overwhelming, let alone the crazy packing required.

We went for a 1.5 hour walk today and Wolfgang was thrilled with finding needle ice. That's what homelearning looked like for us today Vancouver Mommy...freezing my butt off while my child investigated every single patch of needle ice on the trail .
post #82 of 705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
We went for a 1.5 hour walk today and Wolfgang was thrilled with finding needle ice.
So that's what it's called! In elementary school we used it to maintain a little "ice slide" along the path through a field. I think it started as an ice patch that developed when it snowed a little, and we kept it going for weeks, repairing and maintaining it in the morning and then taking turns gliding along it at lunch recess. Cool.

We're not too Christmassy yet. I found my favourite Xmas CD set, but my favourite CD in it is missing. And my little faux tree is at MIL's and I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet. Still not sure where it's going to go yet. I did dig out our Playmobil Advent Calendar. I think this is its 3rd or 4th year of use. But the tree will go up this weekend. And the rest of the stuff... I've sort of started the shopping, but I have no idea what to get Emily. And Wes is the usual mystery.
post #83 of 705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
We went for a 1.5 hour walk today and Wolfgang was thrilled with finding needle ice.
I loved that in elementary school. I would spend all of the winter lunch hours looking at needle ice. Truly. I still really like it.
post #84 of 705
Wow, I've never seen needle ice! That looks really neat!

We're getting into the spirit of things here. Emma's recently discovered ice skating so we've been doing that most weekends. The tree is up, the decorations are scattered all over the house (naturally) the kids decide they suddenly want to decorate the floor, the kitchen counters, etc.

I have no motivation to go Christmas shopping though. I bought a couple of stocking stuffers at Daiso but thats about it. Oh, speaking of Daiso.... I found the ultimate stocking stuffer! Its mug sized cup cakes that you can bake in 1 minute using 1 egg. You just crack the egg into mug, whisk it with a fork, add the cupcake mix in, mix again, and nuke it for a minute. Up comes this perfectly formed and fantastic tasting cupcake. I was absolutely floored. I know its probably not the best nutritional value but for the novelty of it...

Does anyone know where to get wooden hair combs, the kind that holds your hair up, around the lower mainland? I'd like to get something like this: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php...age=2&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title
post #85 of 705
The holidays are here?!?

Yes, I am slowly getting in gear, though this year feels different. We'll be having dinner with my sister in Maple Ridge, and hopefully my mom, who at first was feeling like "a bother" (her words) because now that Dad's gone we can't really do it at her house any more. At 85, she's a little frail to handle cooking up a bird anymore. And no one wants to stay there and do it for her, sooo...she'll be driven from Ladner to Maple Ridge and back again, and last I heard she was being a bit difficult about it. All of the other family members have spread out to include their own immediate children and grandchildren (I'm the youngest of 5), so it's weird. I'd just stay home but we've never done a turkey and I don't want the pressure of Christmas being my first attempt!

We have dressed some windows in glittery window snowflake clings (bought ones) and also homemade tissue snowflakes using these as our guide. It was fun to discover boxes of oranges, with white wrappers and have a use for them! The ultimate in repurposing. We also are planning to add onto our 4 year-in-the-making red and green paper chain, and some baking.

We're either getting a permit off of the internet to harvest our own tree out of the forest this year, or like last year, packing up the John Deere wagon and heading next door to the tree farm and chopping one down there. Then tie it onto the wagon and pull it home! It depends on how much energy we have and how much snow we get...baking today...Nurtured by Loves's pfeffernuesse and our old family ginger snap recipe that the boys love.

I'd love to attempt our centuries old shortbread recipe, straight outta old Scotland that my Gramma and Aunt used to make when they were alive, I miss it so, as I do them. We shall see. Every family member who's tried to make it since, has sort of made it the same, but I think they (Gramma and Auntie) just had the kneading knack, YK? It was my Dad's favourite, his taste of "home", and I think of the family clan history every time I bite into a piece.

Greens come into the house soon, too to dress up surfaces, and make into some garland. House lights are up and we might do a shrub outside that will be our Solstice tree this year, with pinecone birdfeeders we'll make and cranberry strings. Can birds eat popcorn?? We might throw that on too...

Christmas music, me lurves it all! The older the better! We have been enjoying the oldies as well as our family favourite the Barra MacNeils. This Cd is a real treat if you've never heard it. The boys request it every year until I'm tired of it. Oh, and the winter lullaby CD by Shawn Colvin, sooo sweet!!

Ksenia, what have you found on the Internet? I haven't found anything yet, except samples of partial songs....wanna lend us your Google secrets?? Or links??
post #86 of 705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
Our last session was very successful. We bought those transparent glass ball ornaments and the kids did a mixture of putting stuff inside them and glue gunning stuff to the outside.
We did that, as well, but no glue gun - just glitter paint. DD1 and ds2 each did two ornaments, and we sent one set (one of dd1's and one of ds2's) in the package for my in-laws. I'll wrap up the other two for my mom and stepdad...and the last few kicking around are for us.


ETA: I didn't know that ice had a special name. I thought it was the coolest thing in the universe when I was a kid, and I still enjoy it. Now, I can tell the kids what it's called. Thanks!
post #87 of 705
Our fav Holiday music is Barenaked for the Holidays

We decorated EARLY Nov 15, or something like that...


So envious, I'd LOVE to move to the island, but alas dh being a bus driver...needs a large city
post #88 of 705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Mama View Post
I'd love to attempt our centuries old shortbread recipe, straight outta old Scotland that my Gramma and Aunt used to make when they were alive, I miss it so, as I do them. We shall see. Every family member who's tried to make it since, has sort of made it the same, but I think they (Gramma and Auntie) just had the kneading knack, YK? It was my Dad's favourite, his taste of "home", and I think of the family clan history every time I bite into a piece.

Yes, shortbread requires a very particular texture. After 17 years of baking the family Christmas cookies, I still don't have it to the texture that my grandma used to have, and I have her recipe.
post #89 of 705
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn Mama View Post
Ksenia, what have you found on the Internet? I haven't found anything yet, except samples of partial songs....wanna lend us your Google secrets?? Or links??
AccuHolidays (most horrible name ever ) has many different Xmas "channels" -- each picture is a different channel.
post #90 of 705
Wooden hair combs - try Ten Thousand Villages? Or the Asian bamboo/wicker/etc store on Oak at 16th? Somewhere on Granville Island? I have to say that I've used plastic French twist combs like that, but found that I got much better results using two 2 or 3-prong combs. They didn't hurt as much going in and were much less likely to break off. Though wood would be more durable, as long as your hair was always dry when you put it in. Beautiful item...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
AccuHolidays (most horrible name ever ) has many different Xmas "channels" -- each picture is a different channel.
That looks good, but you're right, horrid name! (heaven forbid we should have inaccurate holidays. snerk.) I discovered Telus TV has a free video on demand holiday crackling log fire. Yes, we can have it all pixellated on our TV next to our empty real fireplace. Better than the small freezer we decorated with construction paper one year to look like a fireplace, the year Emily was born!

Well, today DH had signed up for the "gingerbread house contest" at the staff and grad student party, but didn't think he'd have time, so he invited us. We weren't doing anything much, so we hauled our butts out there. We went with DH's idea and made a cool "tornado" GBhouse, complete with cars strewn around a the roof broken and off. We'd have knocked the little tree over too, but I didn't think the icing would hold. We didn't win, but that's ok because the prize was a gift certificate to a bar on campus (we don't drink). And now we have a fabulous kooky gb house to decorate.

Emily's friend is coming over tomorrow afternoon for their now annual cookie bake-a-thon. This year they're also doing up some mochi so Calvin will be able to have something too. So I've tidied up the kitchen (which of course required a trip to Ikea for a new Trofast unit) and things should proceed smoothly!
post #91 of 705
Trofast, oh how I miss thee!

well, we got a christmas tree today... we took a picnic lunch with us, but because it was so windy we sat in the car right next to the ocean and enjoyed getting sprayed by the giant waves (now we need to wash the car, it's all salty) before we hit the pier parking lot for our tree. had to battle ferocious winds to buy the tree and tie it to the roof of our car, and luckily they had xmas tree stands at the tree sale because the two stores we went to not only didn't have xmas tree stands, but didn't know what we were talking about and said "everyone puts them in their recycling buckets with bricks and soil and a bit of compost"... . but the tree we bought was too heavy for the stand we bought, so we had to screw the legs of the stand to a huge piece of plywood we had left over from the other day when the piano movers didn't show up and mark suddenly decided we could move it ourselves (from one part of the house to another, but down one set of 3 steps and then back up a different 3 in another part of our house) so we left our house really fast in case the piano guys showed up (several hours late, and we had to get to an appt) and our friends moved it later using two big pieces of plywood. where am I going with this story? oh yeah, so we had to screw down the legs of our xmas tree stand, shave down the trunk of the tree, and tie it off to the wall, and I think now it just might not fall over... lucy is braving her first sleepover in NZ at our neighbor's house (friend her age) and I'm fully expecting a call in a few hours to go get her. erica, if you're reading this, you guys are still the only home she has ever dared sleep in outside of our own, and I think the last time, when she got sick in the night, kind of made her a little sleepover-shy anyhoo, we have to wait until she comes home in the morning to decorate the tree. It was a little odd when we were putting the tree up and suddenly realized it was one of those jobs that goes better with beer, as opposed to, say, hot chocolate, or coffee and baileys or something warm and cozy... I also bought sunscreen today... christmas in summer is just weird.
post #92 of 705
Thread Starter 
post #93 of 705
Thread Starter 
vancouverlori, love the gingerbread volcano idea!! My ds would absolutely flip if he even heard of that!
post #94 of 705
oh yeah, lori, I wanted to say also that your gingerbread tornado house is pretty appropriate here, considering there were 130 kmh winds in Kaikoura here today (south island, but the wind was crazy here today too) that tore roofs off of homes and blew motor homes across the roads... we just might have to steal your idea!
post #95 of 705
Wow, we're having a total couch potato day. I haven't watched this much "TV" (actually YouTube videos on the AppleTV) in years, I think. DD has a bit of a cold so she's been in bed with her netbook. DS was playing on his netbook all morning in his bed...it's kind of nice to indulge in a lazy day. For a while anyways...we need groceries and a Christmas tree!
post #96 of 705
What's a netbook? Have I missed something ?
post #97 of 705
It's a mini laptop. No disc drives; basically just for Internet use. They are small: the screens are about 8 inches. We got the kids one each (on sale for $200). No more fighting over the computer, nor me finding my desktop all rearranged!
post #98 of 705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68 View Post
It's a mini laptop. No disc drives; basically just for Internet use. They are small: the screens are about 8 inches. We got the kids one each (on sale for $200). No more fighting over the computer, nor me finding my desktop all rearranged!
post #99 of 705
for those of you who've had the flu with a non-nurser recently, any suggestions for helping her through? she's drinking a bit, and eats, but then she shrieks with the pain of her tummy, and she threw up in the night after not for quite a few hours...she had a solid fever for nearly 24 hours, which has passed. any suggestions for what to eat? i'm making her lemon + vit c drinks with stevia and a little sea salt for electrolytes...i've just tried buckwheat pancakes...poor love. i gave her a little bit of candied ginger to see if it might help with nausea...she wants to throw up but often cannot.

(this all began on the underground, all dressed up for the royal ballet that we got school tickets for, we were so looking forward to it, and poor love, she threw up all over all three of us!)

the rest of us are still well, and hopefully will stay that way or they may not let us fly on wednesday!!!

*
post #100 of 705
Thread Starter 
artparent, wishing your family a quick recovery!
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