Monday, January 21, 2008

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month

.... for blogging, that is! On the whole, it's been a good month, really, I just wasn't busy blogging about stuff and sharing photos. I think the proper blogging-etiquette would have been to inform my readers (all four of you) that I would be taking a little break, and to please check back in a few weeks. But it really wasn't planned, honest!

Here are a few snapshots of what we've been up to....

Vana, I mean Samantha, setting out milk & cookies for Santa

Christmas morning - Nathan quietly raided the stockings, hoping we were all too distracted by presents to notice...

Brett doesn't like to waste time - why not colour when it isn't your turn to open a gift?

Jesse's favourite gift was his new hockey stick, but I didn't snap a picture of it :(

Samantha got the movie, "Bridge to Terabithia". I have never read the book, nor did I know what the story was about. OH MY GOODNESS! Do not watch this unless you are prepared to cry your eyes out! (It's really good though - just be sure to stock up on Kleenex.)

Grandma Paton came down with Scott's parents for Christmas Day!

Wake me up when the turkey's ready!

Wing Ki came for a visit to show us her Hong Kong pictures. I would love to visit there someday!

We all LOVE having Aunt Mona visit. We had so much fun!!! Our kids all suffer from attention deficit when she leaves.

Now, after all that, I have to say that I don't have any pictures of the REAL reasons why I haven't been up to blogging a whole lot.

First of all, Scott and I were working on something we nicknamed the OM (short for Operations Manual), which is basically a 90+ page document of every detail you would need to know in order to run your own Play On! tournament. We finally completed it last weekend, and it is such a relief to have it done! It was quite a project, for Scott mostly, as my contribution was only a small portion of the whole. Even so, after a few late nights of typing until 1:00-ish in the morning, I had little energy left for more "chatter".

Secondly, my trusty laptop here is on it's last legs. It can't handle too much stress, gets over-heated and crashes - often multiple times per day. With the purchase of a 500 GB portable storage device to backup my files and photos, I finally had to admit that, sadly, I will soon have to say goodbye to good ol'CLEVO. I just hope it can hang on until the replacement gets here, although we're not exactly sure when that will be?? Until then, I'm just grateful every time I turn it on and see the green lights as evidence that it may indeed function for one more day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year & Baby News!

We've had such a wonderful Christmas holiday and break from regular life. With the festive season winding down now, I'm looking forward to getting back into some semblance of normalcy (i.e. putting the kids to bed at half-decent hour and eating something other that Christmas treats for breakfast). Scott tells me he checks my blog daily hoping for an update and I'm sure he's getting tired of looking at that super close-up of Brett's tooth injury, not to mention so much has happened since then. Here it is (in a nutshell)...

Christmas 2007 at the Hill House:
  • Christmas Eve day was spent doing some last-minute errands, shopping, and wrapping
  • Christmas Eve night we went over to our friends Dave & Tasha's home along with some other friends for a fun night of make-your-own-loaded-nachos (and a pile of other delicious food) and, of course, visiting. Lots of visiting. A little unorthodox for our family for Christmas Eve, but we were so glad to spend time with dear friends and we didn't stay too late because we didn't want to miss Santa
  • Christmas morning the kids ran downstairs and were happy to see that they were pretty good this year after all?!?
  • We read the Christmas story from Luke 2 before tackling the presents under the tree (Actually, we have a tradition of opening the presents one at a time so that everyone gets to see each and every present... And yes, we clean up all of the wrapping before the next present is opened)
  • Shortly thereafter Nana & Papa showed up from Kingsville, along with Grandma Paton, and the present exchanging started all over again
  • We talked on the phone to family members across the globe before indulging in a traditional Christmas turkey feast
  • We spent the rest of the day enjoying new toys and games and ended with some Karaoke before the grandparents had to head home in the evening
  • A couple of days later my sister Mona came to visit (she took the train from NYC where she had spent Christmas with her fiance)
  • Jesse came down with an ear infection and was in quite a bit of pain for a couple of days until the Biaxin kicked in
  • Scott and I went to a party on New Year's Eve while Mona had her own party at our house with Samantha, Brett, Jesse & Nathan (We tried to convince her to come with us, but she insisted that spending the night with our kids would be more fun for her that going to someone's home that she'd never met) They played Mouse Trap, made treats, watched a movie, and stayed up REALLY late!
  • The next morning, despite several inches of newly fallen snow and the forecast for more treacherous weather ahead, we set out on the drive down to Windsor to get together with the extended family on the Hill side (Scott's Dad's relatives). The roads were bad, but the reunion was great and we stopped back in Kingsville after for more time with Pat and Bill
  • Grandma Paton and Uncle Tom came by for a visit, and the kids entertained us by dressing up with some of Nana's clothes they found in a dresser in the basement and coming up as various "people", such as George of the Jungle, complete with theme song. Some of their ensembles were quite creative, but my favourites were Brett wearing Nana's silk nightgown and Samantha and Jesse wearing dickeys as skirts.
  • Scott did a fantastic job of getting us home safely that night despite a highway closure (due to an accident), and the incredibly slick road conditions. We saw a lot of cars in the ditch (I stopped counting after the first five) and I was so grateful when we finally pulled into our own driveway late last night
  • Today was a sad day as we said goodbye to Mona and sent her off on the train back to Montreal
Hands down, the most exciting thing that happened this Christmas was the arrival of our new nephew, Tyler Wade Hill, who decided to make his grand entrance into the world on December 29 (eight days late), weighing in at 9 lbs 2 oz, born to the world's proudest dad (Jeff) and mom, Lindsey. We are so happy and excited for them and can't wait to meet the little... er, not-so-little guy!

Is anyone making New Year's Resolutions this year? I would love to hear what you are all resolving to do in 2008! I've got a New Year's Resolution spreadsheet in the works, but for now I will share just three:
  1. read more books
  2. do monthly meal plans
  3. stress less about unimportant things
I hope to maybe blog a little more too, but I haven't set any specific goals for this because I really enjoy it and don't want it to become a chore. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that 2008 will be a year to remember.