My Dad drove all the way from Iowa on snowy roads so he could spend Christmas with us! This was Will's first Christmas, and Kate's first Christmas spent with a grandparent. It was very special having Grandpa Rich here, and a great help! Those of you who have family nearby to help you, I hope you fully appreciate it!
Grandpa Rich with Kate and Will
Getting to know each other
Grandpa Rich brought a wooden rocking horse for the kids
Not quite sure what to make of this new thing
Will decides he likes it!
Reading Katie Morag books together
Wearing Grandpa's coat!
Will on his new lion walker/rider
Doing a puzzle of the US states. I want to make sure our kids learn American geography and history, as well as Canadian!
I like to poke around on the Divorce Busting website on occasion, to see if Michele Weiner-Davis has posted any new articles or information. Recently, I found this interesting article called The Marriage Map, in which she describes the typical stages of marriage. Her other articles are worth a look too, as is the whole website.
Kate participated in a concert at her school--the preschool class did a little skit followed by the song "Bonne fête Jésus!" This means, "Happy Birthday Jesus!" Kate is the angel with a white dress, in the middle of the line of angels.
Recently, I went with Kate on a "Family Friday" preschool trip to a Christmas tree farm. The place was cleverly named "Come See, Come Saw." However, I realized it was doubly clever when I found out the owner was the teacher at Kate's preschool for 12 years. "Comme ci, comme ça" is a French phrase meaning "like this, like that."
Hanging out with preschool friends on the sleigh
The Christmas tree lady explaining how they grow the trees
It was cold but that didn't stop the kids from having fun!
They demonstrated how they make the tree "dance" before wrapping it up for customers
Nifty tree wrapping machine
The reindeer! They were supposed to come close so the kids could feed them popcorn, but they were pretty shy.
After some hot chocolate and a Christmas-tree shaped sugar cookie, we all hopped back on the bus, grateful for a fun family outing!
I have an American expat friend in England, who is about to move back to the US. I love this recent blog post of hers in which she shows us what the US healthcare system looks like from the outside. I'm curious what you think of her analogy, especially if you are skeptical of universal health care.
If you know someone who loves a person with Down Syndrome, or anyone struggling to come to terms with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome, you might want to give them a copy of Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives. It's a book of honest essays by mothers who are full of gratitude for their children with Down Syndrome, despite the challenges involved. The foreword is by Martha Sears, whose seventh child with Dr. William Sears has Down Syndrome. I would have liked to read a book like this when our prenatal testing indicated a higher risk of Down Syndrome (I blogged about this here). This book includes an essay by Emily Zeid, who commented on my post after I recommended her blog about her beautiful Emma Jayne.
He loves to pull up, and I've caught the beginning of cruising
I'm having lots of fun with boy clothes!
He's a good little eater! He can eat much of what we eat at this point. If he doesn't like something, he either pushes it away, or sticks out his tongue in an effort to get the offensive food out. If he does like something, he waves his arms frantically. Still no teeth! And he still doesn't have a clue about how to pick up a piece of food and get it to his mouth.
The reason that our Christmas ornaments only cover the top 2/3 of the tree. He is such a curious little explorer!
I meant to take a photo of both kids by this young tree this summer--that way we can see how the kids and the tree grow together. I never got around to it, but here's Kate in the snow by the tree.
Snow angels are fun to make!
It's great to have a helper for shoveling snow!
One of Kate's latest tricks: throwing all Will's cloth diapers on the floor and climbing into this changing table cabinet. Kate's other fun activities this month have included pulling the Christmas tree down on top of herself, and pouring wood glue all over the kitchen table. We love our little imp...but needless to say, I will be doing a post on the topic of patience soon!
We go to St. Aidan Anglican Church in Moose Jaw. They had a wonderful Advent Brunch for children and families last Saturday morning. The highlight was a visit from St. Nicholas! He told the children how the story of Santa Claus was based on events from his life. There were several craft projects set up around the room and children could choose whatever they wanted to do.
Kate had fun glueing stars to a bowl--great for holding a votive candle!
Our church hall has a British flag on the wall, and this photo of Queen Elizabeth.
Interesting article on the Macleans website about the results of a poll conducted with people from several nations, including Canada. 91% of the Americans surveyed thought they would have a better quality of life in Canada.
Those of you who aren't from Canada, do you think you'd have a better quality of life here than in the country where you live? In what ways? Canadians, do you think you have a good quality of life?
I had no idea that HarperCollins has adapted the Little House on the Prairie books for younger children! I was excited to find this Christmas book at the library, and will definitely be looking for more of them!
As I mentioned, I've recently read several books on how media affects family life, most notably The Plug-In Drug: Television, Computers and Family Life by Marie Winn. What struck me most was that she didn't focus on the content of media, but rather, on all the things we don't do when we spend too much time watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the internet. We socialize less, spend less time on hobbies, read less, and don't play as many games. And it can leave family members feeling less connected. Eric's brother, Dane, had a wonderful quote on his blog about how Jonathan Edwards engaged with his family in the evenings. I just love the picture it brings to mind, and I want to make sure our family has lots of evenings together, rather than looking at our separate screens.