Wednesday, January 4, 2017

bed jumpin'

I'm doing a personal project called a 365 project on my photography social media platforms. I have to post a photo a day, every day of the year. It's not going to be easy, but it'll keep me shooting, and I can use all the practice. 
It's hard to remember to take a photo every day though, and I've been finding myself at the end of the day with no photo.  
I want the photos to be natural, so I can document the days at the same time, so I don't want to stage the photo. I kind of cheated for this one because I told Benny that he could jump on the beds so I could get a cool shot. Still natural, still documenting, so I think it counts. 
  That's the one I chose but here's a few more just for fun. :) 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

crafty girl

Gracie got some pretty cool craft kits from Santa this year, and she's now at an age where she's confident enough to try to figure them out all on her own. 
When she finds herself uninterested in what everyone else is up to, she pulls out one of her kits and makes some pretty cute little masterpieces. 
She's loving being able to stay up late during her break, so that's a perfect time for her to work on them too. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

picture of the day

After a day of crazy "Mr. Couch" shenanigans.

mr. couch

The kids are just loving their Christmas break. They don't need to be doing anything fancy, they just like to hang out and play. 

We're in the middle of renovating a couple rooms, so it's caused some mayhem in the house. Everything is out of place, and it seems it takes nothing to bring this little house upside-down.
It helps that the kids make their own fun, and we can work without worrying too much about what they're up to.
And then, when it gets too quiet, I have to find out what's going on and I find this:
 They all took off their top layer shirt, and made Hanna's bed into "Mr. Couch". They fold the mattress so it's like they're sitting on a couch, and gave it that very original name. 😎
 Not sure what the undershirts are about, but they are crazy!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Review

I am over the moon to be able to review the year with some great memories.

We've had a healthy year full of joy and laughter. The kids and I sat down before bed tonight and I asked everyone what their favourite memory was of the year. Gracie and Hanna both said Florida.  
Second in line for them was Rocket. (Maybe he was tied with Florida, they couldn't decide.)
Hailey and Ben couldn't decide on what their favourite was, but everyone only had good memories to share, and that is what I was most proud of. 
Of course we had some bad days, like the day we lost our beloved Ritz, but the good days overpowered the bad. 
So, a review for everyone: 
Gracie: My favourite 9 year old. She's an amazing kid, and really takes on the responsibility of biggest sister, and oldest child seriously. She's helped me get kids ready for bed when I'm out searching for a dog in the dark, and she goes out first thing every morning before thinking of anything else, to let out and feed the ducks. 
She helps Gram set the table when we go for our weekly dinner, and always offers to help dry dishes.  
This year she's grown up a lot. In the way of being out of her comfort zone, she's come a long way. I can actually leave them all in the car now if I run quick into a store without her having a panic attack, and she holds the fort if I run to town while Matt sleeps. No major milestones for her this year. All I know is another down, means another year I got to enjoy her crazy antics and happy-go-lucky attitude. 
Hanna: A good year for Hanna! We've had a very uneventful year. Thank God. She had her cardiology appointment with only good news as a result, and being told to come back in 3 years was amazing. 
She started school with a great attitude, and wanted to learn. Because of this new attitude, she's come a long way with school. I feel like math is finally starting to click, and she's reading sentences. 
This year she's also taken a new interest in drawing and colouring; Something the kid has never been interested in. 
She's grown up alot this past year. The way she thinks things through now and just her attitude when she's put into a situation she's not comfortable with has improved leaps and bounds. 
For example: bathrooms. And new places. She has a much more mature response to these things now. Bottom line, she's growing up. And she's doing it beautifully. It may be a little slower than average, but what's average anyway? It doesn't even matter. All that matters is that she continues to grow, and stays the healthy, energetic, little beauty she is. Her health is always on my mind. Always. But I think she's proving to be strong enough to handle anything thrown her way, so I'll just have faith that she'll always be my little, but mighty warrior of anything she encounters. 
Hailey: She's had a rough year. Well, her teeth have. She's had a lot of work done on her little mouth. Having to be put under in the hospital was nerve racking for me, but she handled it like a rock-star. She's one kid that is ready to just dive in. It doesn't matter what it is. I think that's why we always joke about her being the rebel child.
Nothing really phases her. 
She's also become quite the artist this year. She's gone from stick and circle people, to full-blown portraits of her siblings in a year. 
She's learned to write some words, and perfected her name in many different designed-by-her fonts. 
She experimented with swimming without floaties, and lost just a little bit of her little, adorable accent. 😜
I'm looking forward to seeing what this year brings this crazy little blondie. She'll start school in September!
Benny: What can I say about the little guy? He went from 2 to 3, and that's a big leap. He is all of a sudden no longer a baby. He joins in everything the girls do, adding his boyish charm to every game. He's started talking a whole bunch.  Although totally unclear, he has a lot to say, and most of the time it's pretty entertaining. 
He surprises me with some of his words he uses. He used the word "winch" the other day talking about a truck, and "water meter" pointing at the meter against the wall. The year brought tantrums and snuggles, and everything I enjoy with having a toddler.  He's sweet, and tells me he "lubs" me at least a handful of times every day, and falls asleep cuddling me in my bed every night. 
He's had his first real toboggan session, and we've fed his Paw Patrol addiction. He's growing into a little person and it's so much fun to watch! 
2016, Thank you for being so good to us!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

There's no need to even think about what to do or where to go on New Year's Eve. It's always been - and always will be - my parent's house. 
It's a quiet night, spent with family, and the only place I would ever consider venturing off too for the evening, into the early morning hours of New Year's day. 

I didn't get many photos. We went pajama-clad and did some karaoke and pictionary, but mostly laid low to end the year. It was absolutely perfect and I wouldn't change one single thing. 

 All the kids lasted well into the night, and there was no problem keeping them up to watch the ball drop. 
When the countdown starts, there's always at least one person with a phone up to countdown with someone on the other side. "3 - 2- 1...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!" Everyone makes their way around the room giving and receiving hugs and kisses. Another year of  memories, and a new one full-swing ahead to celebrate.

I couldn't be more thankful for a family like mine to celebrate year after year with.
 There really is no other way to end the year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Harper Christmas

Today was officially the last Christmas celebration of the year. 
We hung out all day just being lazy, and then we headed to mom and dad's for our Harper Christmas dinner. 
My mom put it on again this year, and it was perfect. I didn't get too many photos, but Aunt Jan spoiled the kids - yet again, and everyone stuffed themselves with turkey, ham, and multiple side dishes. 

 Christmas 2016, that's a wrap!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas night

Round 2. 
We got to my parent's house around 8 and everyone was waiting on us to start opening gifts! 

 Everyone's gifts were so thoughtful, and the homemade gifts were a hit once again. 
We came home with some homemade salad dressing, maple syrup, and a pinecone wreath.
We gave everyone some fresh honey from my hive. 😃

 The kids all got spoiled like always. Gracie said her gift was her favourite yet. She got a backpack full of explorer things. Walkie talkies, compass, swiss army knife, flashlight. She loved it, and can't wait to go on a proper adventure in the spring.

 We (all of us siblings) opened our gifts together because we all got the same thing. A weekend away to the Smokie Mountains! It's a five bedroom, five bathroom house with a hot tub, a theatre room, and a game room. Mom and dad will keep the kids for the weekend while we go. They may regret that part of the gift. 😜 We were not expecting anything like that. We're really looking forward to it!

Another late night for everyone, but I wouldn't have it any other way! It was a perfect day. Starting with Matt's family, having an amazing dinner, and coming home and finishing the night at my parents.
Another memorable Christmas is in the books!

Christmas Day and Dinner

 The kids had a good night's sleep and slept in a bit. My mom and dad came over in the morning to see what Santa brought, and then we had to hit the road to Matt's mom's. We picked up Gram, and I tested out my new camera in van.

  Gift opening is nuts! There's kids all over the place opening up a different gift every time I look at them, and it's hard to keep up! 

 Everyone was spoiled.
 Next was dinner! My favourite part. It's always delicious and leaves us full for the rest of the night.

 We hung out for a while recovering from dinner fullness, and then headed home for round two at mom and dad's.

Of course we had dessert and coffee first. :)