Saturday, July 2, 2011

hot christmas

That's what we had on Wednesday.
A Hot Christmas, as Cade called it.

He made and posted this little bitty sign (the posts are straws with paper umbrellas on them) in the front yard of my brother's house.
Since we have not been able to be around for the past few Christmases, we decided to celebrate it together now while we were here.
The day started out with some very nontraditional events such as making a "water boobies" video by all the girls.  Yes, you read that right "boobies".  Just look at the pictures, and it will become more clear.

 There is something very very wrong (and slightly sick) about this picture.
That is all I'll say about that!
Then we did something traditional with a summer twist.  Eric suggested that we go "ice blocking" in place of tobogganing.  So he headed off to Safeway to buy six blocks of ice and we all headed out to A.D. Penner park.

After situating each block with a rag and giving a lively demonstrating, Eric set the masses to the fun.

Alex and Maddy were a little skeptical, but had a hoot.

I'm not sure if Mia is squealing because she is going so fast or because her little buns are frozen.
The kids had a few races as well.
And many people were left on the grass while the block kept going.
There was a large group of kids, a day camp perhaps, eating lunch on the hill where we were sliding.  We kept them quite entertained.  I'm thinking that we also gave the leaders of the day camp some idea of another good activity to do with their kids!
Mia and Brooklyn tried to go down sideways, holding hands.
The attempt was unsuccessful.
Eric tried some more unique approaches to the activity.  
I did a little experimentation with my camera and settings.  Little too blurry, but fun none-the-less.
Ah, that's better.

In spite of a few "that sounds dumb" comments from the kids (a certain teenager that I love most dearly was especially loud about it) they all absolutely loved it (even said teenager).  It was a very fun morning.
We got home and had a lovely spread of all kinds of yummy goodness.
After lunch it was time for a few more nontraditional activities (and the original purpose for the water balloons.... boobies was not the goal).  A water fight.
Not exactly what we would normally do on Christmas in Manitoba, seeing as you would end up throwing large pieces of ice at each other and injury or death could be the result.  Not festive.
Oooo.  Look at Cade's shot...
Right at Lucy.  Yup, it hit her.  She didn't cry or nothing.
Once the balloons were all gone, the slip-n-slide came out.

While the kids were busy soaking themselves, the ladies were busy prepping food (it was Christmas, after all).  One of the goodies was sugar cookie cutouts with lots of yummy, obnoxiously colored icing with which to decorate.
Come in, dry off, sit down and get gooey and sticky with icing and sprinkles.
First Auntie Glenda laid out the rules about not licking fingers and knives in between decorating.
Busted - and not happy about being caught!
I'm pretty sure no one was surprised that it was my dear, sweet Lu to be the first to forget the rules!

For those who were tenacious (or slow), they were rewarded with the licking of the icing dishes.
It was good that Cade was still in just his bathing suit - it made it easier to hose him off after.
A little clean up and then it was time for Christmas dinner:  Ham, twice baked potatoes, corn on the cob, jello cups, veggies.
The corn was the kids' favorite.  Ecuadorian corn is just not quite the same.  We call it "feed corn".  Apparently Alex and Maddy thought it was the same kind.

And whatever the big girls do, the little ones need to copy, right?
Manners were obviously not well enforced at this fine event.

The day before Maddy, Alex and I made a Christmas tree.  Christmas does need a tree, right?
This one is actually the second attempt.
The first attempt was three dimensional but ended up looking more like a tall, neon bromeliad.  Cute, but not really what I was going for.  Perhaps if we were celebrating National Ode to Tropical Plants Day.

I'm back.
I know, you didn't realize I was gone.  But all this writing about Christmas reminded me that we still had a few Russian Mints in the freezer.  Had to go get one.  
Had to.
Mommy bought a few of these delicious chocolates that I love so much (as do many members of the family).  It was quite a sacrificial splurge.  They ain't cheap, as my mom would say.
Mom shared a Christmas message about how we know the bible is true.  She talked about faith and believing in who God is and His power.
Then the kids got gifts.
A ridiculous amount of gifts.
Everyone felt it necessary to make up for all they had missed out on over the past two years.
Actually, this picture looks more excessive than it was.  I'm thankful that my family has a good balance between generousity and overindulgence.
All the kids got a Canada shirt and some other Canadian paraphernalia.  Perfect for the days ahead.
Maddy got clothes and itunes gift cards (only to find out later that she can't use them - for Canada only....  Ooops!).
Mia got books and gift cards to book stores (her one true love - reading!).
Lucy was very excited to get a smattering of all kinds of goodies:  Barbies, pajamas, a bathing suit, cute little shoes, and two littlest pet shop animals.
Cade was beyond thrilled with getting lego, as well as a head lamp, some spy gear and other wonderful boy type things.
Maddy also got some cash.
She actually is happy about it - she is only reenacting the time when Cade got some cash from Auntie Jann two and a half years ago.
It is a story worth telling.
It was Christmas, we were staying at Brent and Glenda's and we were all into rock band.  Cade loved to play the drums.  He was very intense about it.  His face showed all of the intensivity (not a word, but I'm using it anyway) that he felt.  Well, Jann missed seeing this hilarious sight, so we were trying to convince Cade to play.  Cade does not like doing things that other people want him to do.  So, being the good Auntie that she is, she bribed him with five bucks.
Cade played, we all laughed (inwardly) and Jann gave Cade his cash.
He freaked.
Completely and utterly freaked out.
You see, it was Canadian money - the five dollar bills are blue.  
He thought she gave him play money - fake stuff.
It took several minutes of my talking him down.  When I finally explained that this bill he was holding would buy 5 actual hot wheels cars, he got the picture.  It was the real thing - just a little different than he was used to. 
It has been a fond family memory ever since.

Moving on....
Then we gave our Ecuadorian treasures. 
Alpaca blankets for the adults.

Knit purses and personalize coin purses for the younger girls,
scarves and coin purses for Alex and Lauren,
and bows and arrows (coin bags and personalized bracelets) for the boys.
Riley really liked her mommy's new blanket.
We also handed out some little knit finger puppets after the fact.  Jann got rather attached to this little llama, so we let her keep it.  They are, after all, for the 8 and under crowd, as well as 41 year olds.
Dessert ended the day - of course.
Fool that I am, I neglected to take a picture of our very traditional and very delicious chocolate log roll.  No Giesbrecht Christmas could be complete without it (okay, it could be complete, but it is a very integral part of our menu, alright?).  And then, because we never have enough sweets, we had chocolate fondue as well.
I was thrilled and touched that my family would go to all this work and trouble to make a special Christmas celebration because we couldn't be there for the real thing.

We are so abundantly blessed to be so well and deeply loved.
It definitely was a hot Christmas.

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