Saturday, 20 December 2014

20/20 Vision of Potter

After a pancake breakfast, The Family HallMoo drove to Toronto for a Matinee performance of Potted Potter. We had a nice easy journey down there and cold walk along the surrounding streets. It was in a very small theatre and we were seated at the back (of course, Huffle booked the tickets). We started with a drink and popcorn (for the boys). Smallest got to try a Butter Beer (which was expensive as it was just a soda with 'special ingredients' added. It was very sweet but he liked it). The performance was done by two young English men. It was nothing like any of us expected but we all really enjoyed it. Smallest sat next to me and giggled through most of it.

They kind of re enacted the seven Harry Potter books, put on various hats, had different lights and sounds and basically guided us through the whole story. It was a comedy and went on for 70 minutes. It was very clever. There was even an interactive Quidditch game. Half of the theatre were Gryffindor and the other half Slytherin. Two members of the audience were brought on stage as the Seekers of the Snitch (one of the men dressed as a snitch). They sent a beach ball into the audience and they tried to score goals.

After it finished we all walked (miles) to the burger place we like. We weren't hungry so the long walk helped our appetite. It was quite cold and it was good to see a part of Toronto we haven't seen before.

We had a lovely dinner.

Moo and I left the boys for half an hour to go to St Lawrence Market to buy our Christmas Cheeses (mainly lovely English ones) and the boys went off to buy some pastries (the market was nearly finished so they didn't have a lot of choice). We all met back up and started our long long walk back up to the car. It wasn't quite as cold on the way back.

The journey back was very busy but not too bad.

What a lovely day.

A photo for you Grandad - Happy Christmas

....and a Happy Christmas to you too Huffle from your Boss' Boss (look how very pleased he is with his glittery (he hates glitter more than anything - he says it is on a par with wet sand between his toes) Poinsettia. Where's his expensive bottle of wine or shoe voucher for his long suffering wife?


Friday, 19 December 2014

Knit Twits

Our advent calendar is not only full of chocolate And small gifts, but also messages to various members of this family. Yesterday one of them was "Smallest, hug your brother". He was quite happy to hug him but Small was not too keen to receive the hug. Today's was a token for Moo to use to babysit the boys whilst Huffle and I went out - WAHOOOOOOOOOO.

The boys left for school with bags of goodies for the teachers and a game for Smallest to play in class where you pull the bogies out of Louie's head (I bet the teacher loved that). They came home with lots of Christmas and Thank you cards and goodies and happy that they had finished school for a couple weeks.

Huffle worked from home and Moo and I left him to it and went off to the 2nd hand furniture shop to look for a desk (we didn't find one) and then on to knitting. Moo spent the entire time knitting a cowl for Small and then undoing it (silly billy).

Moo trying on her knitting before she undid it!

It was a very festive knitting day with a full table. LRose had made us shortbread which was lovely. TK had come in for the day (from miles and miles away as she has now moved) and made us each a knitting needle holder (it was gorgeous).

At lunchtime we met up with Taff and had a lovely lunch together. After lunch we went into a few shops and did a bit of shopping, bought some bits from the Supermarket and a couple of last presents and came home.

I bought a new tree decoration, I couldn't resist.

The boys were home early and playing on the IPads. They were very silly. After dinner Moo, Huffle and I played a game while the boys watched TV.

Lovely sky this evening.


Photo sent to me by AuntyA of some very big baubles in London









Thursday, 18 December 2014

Is it Christmas, yes it's Christmas, what now?

At 4:20am this morning, Huffle awoke and knew instantly that something was wrong with the sump pump in the basement (you don't go through life with ears like that and not be able to pick up something far far away!). There was indeed something wrong. The sump pump, pumps away the water that collects around the base of the house and whooshes it away. Instead of it working intermittently, it was on constantly. I don't know what he did but he did fix it and we went back to bed. Of course, because we were rudely awakened, we couldn't get back to sleep for ages. It was also really windy so that didn't help either.

Smallest was up when I got up but Small was fast asleep. I put the landing light on to rouse him gently and went to make breakfast. He got up eventually. After the kids went to school, Moo and I had breakfast and read magazines (for approx half an hour). We dreamed of how nice it would be to sit and read all day long. However we had work to do. We cancelled our forest walk in order to get our wrapping done.

We then sat at the kitchen table for the next three hours diligently wrapping and gift tagging. We had a lovely time and the coffee was flowing. In between time we made some Chocolate Shortbread for the teachers (and us). Lunchtime we watched The Missing (the last part of the series. It has been really good but also heartbreaking as it is about a young missing boy). We watched half with lunch and then the other half after we finished wrapping (actually we didn't finish, we were tired of it) after another one and a half hours.

We made vanilla buttercream for the ginger muffins and then set all the cakes and biscuits on the table for when the kids came home. In the meantime we cleared, washed up and put the presents under the tree.

The boys came home and started sorting out their Teacher Treats, cards were written, bags and tins filled and then they both got on with their homework. Small went to the Science Centre today and had to write (on the computer) a week of journal entries, each a minimum of 150 words per day, for tomorrow morning. It was all about Space. He managed to finish it at bedtime! Smallest did his Maths computer Games work.

Moo and I worked so hard today and only properly got to sit down just as Huffle walked through the door (he never believes that is what is happening!). He served people breakfast this morning at work and won a prize in the raffle of a 'Texas Hold 'Em poker set (random).

After dinner, we all (apart from homework Small - we later found out he knew he had to do the homework yesterday!) played Scrabble.

Bedtime - ahhhhhhhhhhh zzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Concert Party

Just after breakfast, Small informed me that he needed black shoes, black top and a Christmas hat for his concert this evening and then Smallest said he needed 'beachwear' for tonight. Oh goody, I love it when I get lots of notice. We fitted Smallest out with sunglasses, cap and a summer shirt and Small found his black stuff. As we got to the front door to leave for school, Smallest said "did I tell you I had a pot luck today and I needed food?" WHAT? "Only joking". The little Bu663r.

Huffle worked from home getting angrier and angrier as he was being asked to work during his scheduled Christmas Holidays. Moo and I went off to aerobics. It was a fun but hard workout. Afterwards ExerciseNic gave me some lovely cookies decorated by her kids and a tree ornament and she didn't charge Moo for her workout as it was her Christmas present to Moo. One of the other ladies gave me a Snowman ornament with a candle in and she said she was knitting me a Yoga Mat cover but that I would be getting it late because she had to order the exact colour of my yoga mat. Aahh bless.

Moo and I came home, showered and went out again (dried and with clothes on) in order to get some more Christmas Shopping. We started at the Thrifty shop and purchased a jigsaw and then to the Consignment Shop where we bought nothing. We stopped for lunch at a cafe in town and then went off to the Strip Mall where we went into four shops (one of them twice) for various bits and bobs.

We got home just after the boys got home and unpacked the car and his everything away. We need to get some serious wrapping done tomorrow.

Small's secret Santa went well and he came home with an indoor basketball net and ball and a Crispy Rice Christmas Tree Kit. Small bought for Cog (who loved his present) and Cog bought for Small. Smallest did his computer work and Smallest played on the computer. The kids had a quick dinner and we were out of the door by 5:45 for the Christmas Concert. As we left it started snowing.

The place was absolutely packed but we managed to get a seat on the second row (not the front row because that was reserved for people who won the bid at the SpringFest - well we know what to bid on next year).

It was the best concert we have been to so far. They had a new Jazz band this year and it was really good. There was also the usual band plus the choir and lots of cheesey jokes which most people really guffawed at. Small sang in French with his class and Smallest sang lots of songs (in a Canadian accent. He asked later how I could tell. I could tell from the way his mouth formed the words. More English lessons for him tomorrow). The boys did wonderfully.

Yo Dude!

An hour and ten minutes later and we came away. It had snowed some more and was still snowing and starting to settle a bit. Smallest went straight to bed and Small watched a bit of TV before bed. Moo, Huffle and I finally got some dinner and watched The Apprentice. Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers. Huffle edit - does lord sugar still like big butts? (Listen to the opening credits)





Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The longest day

After the kids went to school and Huffle went to work, Moo and I had breakfast and then went off for a walk in the forest with NoCustard. It was fine rain (the sort that wets you right through) and quite foggy again. It was still beautiful and we walked for just over an hour. It was very hard work as the path was slippy and the thicker snow was too hard to walk in. We had a really good walk and were all shattered once we finished. Plus we were wet through, but we decided to still go to the Supermarket and pick up some stuff.

We didn't get home till 1ish and we were starving and weary so we quickly put the shopping away and made lunch and sat and watched half of The Missing.

As we are in the final week of school and very close to Christmas, there is plenty of baking to be done, so Moo and I made a start. We made flapjack and banana loaves. The flapjack was a bit squishy but tasted good and I forgot one of the bananas in the loaves and then they stuck in their pans! Moo made pastry which made her swear lots but she made some lovely mince pies and jam tarts. Next I made some ginger muffins and ginger loaves. Some of these will be for us and some for the teachers, we will decide on Thursday. At some point whilst things were in the oven, we finished The Missing.

When the boys came home we went out again to the library where everyone got new books, got rained on and then came home. Smallest got on with his Maths Computer work and Small made Choclate Brownies for his pot luck party tomorrow. He also informed me that he needed his Secret Santa present for tomorrow!!! Luckily I had some things in the present box that we could use and Small and Moo wrapped it up.

We made a roast dinner tonight which created far too much washing up, too much steam, a too hot kitchen and the smoke alarm going off, however Moo and I invented a new pie called Feleeki Pie. Filo Pastry with leeks, feta cheese, egg and seasoning. Very very yummy. Dinner was late because the potatoes wouldn't roast and we ended up leaving lots so I guess we will be eating that tomorrow.

Smallest and I tried to play one of his hard pieces on the piano and got so far and then had to give up. It's been a really long day and I shall be very happy to go to bed tonight.






Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Shopping in the Marl

Everyone was aching this morning and there were a few bruises.

Temperatures were between 0* and 5* but again it was spittling, miserly and foggy. After the kids went to school (Huffle worked from home), Moo and I went to Oshawa Mall and did some Christmas Shopping. It was really warm in there (why do they do that?). We did really well. One of the major shops we went in was a sports shop and we came out with a huge bag full of all sorts for nearly everyone. I got a Snowboarding jacket which was reduced and then reduced again (it was such a good deal that we called Huffle to see if he wanted one and went back later to get one for him).

In the body shop, Moo got her favourite Body butter for buy three get three free and we got buy two get two free on other stuff in there and then when we eventually got to the checkout we had a further 10% discount plus some loyalty points for getting a free membership card.

We briefly stopped for coffee and a muffin before carrying on. Our bags were so heavy we finally gave in, had a quick bite to eat, picked up Huffle's coat and left with armfuls of wrapping paper. I know what we will doing tomorrow.

The boys were already home by the time we got back. Small informed us that SkiClub at school was on and he was signed up ready for January - yay. Shame Smallest can't do it till Grade 4. Both boys helped with clearing and then played on the IPads waiting for their piano teacher to turn up (who didn't turn up but we later found out she wasn't at school either). We all had a dinner which was made up of lots of leftover meals from the freezer. It was very nice.

The kids got ready for Beavers and Scouts and watched TV till Huffle took them for Fencing (Small) and Christmas Activites (Smallest).


Sunday, 14 December 2014

First day on the slopes

After a nice lie in and a breakfast made by Small (he won the 'Smallest crown' for making the best scrambled egg)..............

.........we eventually got out of the house (12 midday ish) and headed for the slopes. It was lightly raining all day but a constant temperature of around 3*. This was our first boarding/skiing session of the season. Yesterday the boys presented Moo with the first of her Christmas presents (ski poles) so she now has all the kit and we don't have to wait for her to be kitted out at the rental place.

By the time we loaded the car, found missing gloves, added helmets, boots and goggles etc, it was 1pm before we got our passes. Huffle found a deal and got us three lift passes and two magic carpet rides and we all headed for the nursery slopes. This is the first time Moo has used all her kit so she tested it out and it was all good (Huffle sorted her bindings out after watching a video on YouTube, saving us a trip to Whitby and a bit of money). TODAY I LEFT MY PHONE/CAMERA AT HOME (GASP) SO I HAD TO RELY ON HUFFLE'S BLACKBERRY - HE DID WELL.

Smallest was the first down the slope and I was nervous watching him as it had been a while, but he was amazing. So confident. Small was next and he went down gracefully but not too fast. Huffle and Moo had no problems and made it look so easy. I was less than confident but after a few goes I was okay.

Moo and Huffle went up the chair lift to Little Momma. Huffle had some problems getting off the lift as it is tricky with a board attached to one of your feet. They came down and persuaded me to go up so I went up with Moo. I fell off at the end of the lift and scrabbled around trying not to get hit by the chair! It was a nice slope to come down though. We took it in turns staying with the boys and going up the chair lift.

Huffle helped the boys to learn how to turn (we definitely need to get them some proper lessons, good though Huffle is, lessons would help them greatly). Small has signed up for lessons after school in the New Year so fingers crossed it goes ahead this year. After an hour we stopped for a bite of yesterday's cold pizza and a drink before Huffle and I decided on going up on Rendevouz, a much higher slope. It was supposed to be Moo and Huffle but Moo somehow persuaded me to go instead! I fell off at the end (I really didn't even like the lift) and then once I was free of the lift, I boarded along a really nice gentle slope but fell quite badly and twisted my knee, foot and bumped my hip. That's when I decided I couldn't go down. Then I saw the slope and had a bit of a panic (well a huge panic really). There were three medics standing at the top of the slope which panicked me even more. Even Huffle was a bit wary of going down but he would have tried if I hadn't been so scared. I bottled it and we went down the other side (a bit less steep) though I did walk down a bit first. Once past the steep part I was fine but I felt my confidence had taken a huge blow. I was ready to quit but Moo and Huffle persuaded me to go back up Little Momma. I did and then I was fine and did a bit more Nursery sloping with the kids till my bindings broke and I had to give up (though I did have a go on Small's board).

TL: Me, Small and Smallest taken by Huffle who was up on the chairlift.

TR: Us at the top of the very steep mountain.

BL: Moo on the chairlift. BM: Me. BR: Smallest.

Moo did fabulously and actually looked a little bored but she wasn't she was just very good obviously. Huffle looked like a natural. Smallest kept going and going and going, so different to last year when he would get cold, or fall and get really upset. He did fall over today but only when he was picking his board up. The medics came right over to check him out which was nice. Small did well but needs to get enough confidence to go faster. Considering it was our first session, I think we all did very well.

TL: Smallest. R: Huffle

BL: Moo and Smallest.

After three hours, we went for something to eat and opted for Fish and Chips as it doesn't matter what we wear or that we were dripping in snow! We came home, got warm and got all the clothes dry. Some presents were put under the tree, Huffle had a soothing bath and Moo and I emailed and blogged while the kids watched TV.

I think there may be some sore muscles and bones tomorrow.