Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sharing Christmas for CanArtisan

A very often heard sentiment this time of year is
How BUSY We All Are with
December activities.
True enough, there is definitely lots to do!
This is a very special time of year for me.
It brings family and friends and even new aquaintences together in a very magical way.
Speaking of MAGIC, I will Always Believe In Santa Claus!

I will always be a big kid at heart and I love the magic of Christmas!
And of course, Prezzies are a lot of fun too!
We anticipate the gathering together of everyone dear to us.
The gift exchanges, the wonderful plentiful food, the seasonal activities such as enjoying the cooler outdoors.

* Sarah, Alexis, Justyce, Luc & Sammy the cat. *
The many special holiday sights, sounds, and smells.


Tinsel shimmering on christmas trees, traditional & contemporary tunes being played on radios etc, and the warm waft of cinnamon, cedar boughs, pine, and all the lovely fragrances from the baking and cooking of the turkey or ham or whatever is your traditional fare this time of year.


Speaking of traditions....


Our family has a few traditions that really make the holiday feel complete. Christmas wasn't Christmas unless we were all together. That was a main focus for us all to be together. My dad always made sure to keep our family together in his roll as the Head of our Family. My dad is no longer with us though he is thought about often and especially at this time of year.


My dad always made sure we had some small but memorable traditions in our household. Christmas to me is clementine organges, nuts in the shell such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, and also a box of chocolates was always a part of christmas goodies.

Clementines ~ Chocolates ~ Whole Nuts


As well, a very different little addition that we always have too is something my dad introduced to us at a very early age. Halvah. Halvah is a very sweet candy-like treat that can be found at most deli's. Not a taste that everyone likes, but a very favorite of mine!



My favorite Christmas photo from this year, is my daughter's GingerBread House.

* *

Sarah is very keen on Architechture as a possible future career so she set to work designing and building a very cool gingerbread house this year. I could see the total enjoyment she had in the entire process.

From cutting out a pattern, building the model,


... taking the paper model apart with care, baking the gingerbread, cutting out the forms and putting it together all with a big smile on her face and mine too!

Sarah added in crushed orange candy to melt in as windows.


She did a wonderful job! And it smells SO GOOD it's very difficult not to crave gingerbread when in our kitchen standing next to the house now. lol

Christmas Memories ~

As far as favorite Christmas memories, there are lots of them for sure! Lots of them come to mind and make me feel good all over again. I will share with you our Christmas Cookie Exchange from last year as a special memory. I choose this one as I have photos to show all the fun we had and it was our first Christmas gathering in our new home since we moved here recently.
My favorite Christmas recipe is the one I use for Christmas Cookie Exchanges.
1/3 c. butter
1 1/2 c. graham wafer crumbs
1 c. coconut
2 c. chopped mixed candied fruit
1 c. chopped dates (lightly floured)
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in the cookie sheet while preheating the oven. Sprinkle crumbs over butter, shaking pan to spread crumbs evenly. Sprinkle coconut over crumbs, then candied fruit, dates, and nuts. Each in a layer. Press lightly with hands to level. Pour sweetened cond. milk over top. (drizzle it slowly from the can as best as is able. It makes it easier to cover the entire surface of the cookies) Let tray stand for 5 min's to allow cond. milk to soak into cookies. Bake for 20 min's approx. Cool completelybefore cutting. Cut into desired size. THESE ARE VERY VERY SWEET! So a small diamond is enough for one serving. diamonds or squares whatever you fancy.
What is CanArtisan? ~ <- (Click link to go to CanArtisan) CanArtisan is a site dedicated to finding talented, independent Canadian artisans with a passion for creativity and the handmade. It connects customers with the handmade items and art that they seek. Check out the link above, where you can find a Shop Directory for a listing of artisans, artists, and crafts people that sell online to do some shopping. If you're looking for a craft show in Canada, there is a listing in the Shows and Events section.


Happy Birthday JESSE! ~ Love Mom

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fire Burning at Lake Sturgeon Today it's still burning as I type...

Fires burning steadily at Lake Sturgeon today.
*next day update ~ looks like the cottages are still intact! I'm going to view them now.

A big fire has consumed a few of the lakeside cottages on Sturgeon Lake.

It started today just after lunch and is still burning now.

At first I thought it was perhaps discarded broken glass that worked like a magnifying glass with the sun to start the brush fire. I have heard of this happening before. But when the thick black smoke started filling the entire sky around us and people from everywhere were comming onto our street I walked out to see that indeed it was looking more like a deliberately set series of fires, targeting the cottages along the lake front.

Now it is spanning a huge section of the lake front and the flames are quite high at times.

* I just got back from surveying the damage this morning.
YAY!!! All the Cottages are safe and sound this morning!
From our perspective last night, with all that severe black smoke, it looked like these cute cottages were gone. We could see the high antenna and just flames and black smoke.
These are the cottages nearby the fire. Some of the cottages were being used

And some were abandoned

I don't know if many on our street will be able to sleep tonight wondering if the fires are going to be able to put out.
All these cottages are only accessible by boat so it makes it extremely difficult to put them out.
I'm happy that it wasn't as bad as it looked!
~ Ux

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween 2009

A very different Halloween this year. Not as many tricker treaters as years past. But LOTS of different costumes tried on with all the various school parties and friends parties to attend this year. Check them out!!!!

Justyce and Alexis..........

Alexis as a pretty princess & Justyce as a Devil!

The neighbourhood ghouls, goblins, werewolves, oh and tho' I asked them what they were dressed up as......................guess what? .............YES, I forget the costumes already. *sigh.
Sorry guys...It's NOV 4th and that was 5 days ago I have to recall from. LOL
Maybe you can write me and let me know and refresh my memory again.
KeeBee says she'll just stay safe here behind the bars looking out at these ghoulies comming to the door.

John feeding the halloween crowd outside.

Henry B cat catches the flash of the camera and shows off his laser eyes!

Henry B Cat?

NO! Not the Adams family........But close! lol

Do you like my new friends?????? BOO!

Like my hat? Ok, how bout these stripes!?


Are we DONE YET??

Do you REALLY need pictures of me in this??????????????????

Okay, can I get fresh red paint on your couch with my Zombie outfit.............................YES! But aunt Paula told me to sit here! Oy vey! It's OK, It is all for Halloween FUN!

My cat SAMMY! I'm going to Snuggle with you!!!!! My orange Zombie Friend!

KeeBeeDee needs a Zombie Snuggle Too!

Justyce.................... Pre-Zombie mode......................

7 years old? Or 27 years old? Yikes!

Lots of previews of halloween as Justyce and Alexis got ready several times in different costumes for their parties at school and with friends.