Canadian Christmas [ Part 1 ]

As I was saying, there really is no place like home for the holidays. 

We rolled into town at 4:48pm on Christmas Eve 
and within ten minutes we were racing out the door 
to the Christmas Eve service that Dad and Mom were leading. 
A beautiful evening of Christmas carols 
and a Christmas poem that told the Christmas story. 

No sooner had we arrived at church than Jackson felt an ear infection coming on. 
Oh boy. 
With everything closed and no international medical insurance in hand,
we buckled down, 
googled 'home remedies' and did our very best MacGyver on little buddy's ears. 
And much to my surprise, 
he slept through the night 
and hasn't felt a bit of trouble since. 
Wonders never cease. 
Or, prayers answered. 

As a little backdrop to that story, 
Jackson gets ear infections regularly enough that he knows 
what they feel like and how to diagnose them. 
Never once has he gotten it wrong. 
So the fact that he had one and it's gone is amazing to me. 
So grateful as that could have made for a miserable Christmas Day. 

Christmas morn was lovely. 
Nothing quite like seeing Christmas through a child's eyes.

Mom and Dad surprised Maddie with a real sewing machine 
(as opposed to a kid sewing machine) 
and she has already sewn a bag and an infinity scarf. 
Photos coming of her finished products.
They'll sew each day while we're here. 
I LOVE that my mom is able to pass along this amazing skill to Maddie. 
It definitely skipped a generation in me,
so I'm glad Maddie can carry on the tradition. 
I have the fondest of memories of my mom sewing in the little room off the kitchen 
which doubled as a pantry and laundry room and sewing room 
and really wasn't much bigger than a small 2-piece bathroom. 
She would sew and I would read out loud to her. 
For hours at a time. 
Growing up, she made most of my clothes, 
often from material that my Aunt Shirley would send to her, 
knowing that my parents didn't have much money back in those days. 
My mom --during college days (or right out of college - can't remember) -- 
worked at a sewing factory so she's got some serious SKILLZ. 
The lady can sew. 
Masterpieces.
One of her many talents!

Coco and Dad are best buds these days. 
It's really sweet to watch.

More Legos for little buddy.
The boy's crazy over Legos.

Mom, the seamstress that she is, 
sewed a horse apron for Maddie 
and a Hot Wheels apron for Jackson. 

 First up; Maddie on oatmeal pancake duty. 
[Again, the girl doesn't want her photo taken so I only snapped one.
No action shots. Grrr.]

Next up later in the day; 
Jackson on deviled egg duty. 
[ And the boy ate 4 Christmas night during dinner. 
And 1 tonight during leftover night.]

Boxing Day brought two special highlights for me. 
The first; we listened along as my dear friend Melissa's mom and dad were on Moody Radio sharing their story. A fascinating listen and a great book, too. Peace through tragic circumstances. God at work. Forgiveness. Hope.

Head over HERE to listen and HERE to purchase the book. You'll love both! 


Today's second highlight was a long a hike through the Provincial Park outside of town. 
 [We hiked it last year, too. You can read about it HERE if you've got insomnia and are out of reading materials for the night.]

Maddie is a little photographer extraordinaire. 
[ Months ago we gave her my old camera and turns out she's got quite an eye. 
I plan to do a post sometime soon with her images!]

Early on Jackson was Mr. Grumpy Pants.
Something about his snow pants not fitting right and his legs hurting.
Too bad mister.
Get hiking.
Oh life is just SOOO hard.
Gobbie bribed him with ipad time when we got home. 
Actually, I think it went down like this:
"Jackson, STOP pouting and get over here and smile."
He obeyed.
There's no messin' around with Gobbie.

And then, Daddy hatched a plan.

Jackson would be our scout. 
Leading the gang. 
Looking for animal tracks. 
And people tracks. 
And anything that looked suspicious. 
We were on the lookout for treasure. 
And adventure. 
Daddy's brilliant. 
Little buddy even said at one point, 
"My legs aren't tired now."
If any suspicious activity was suspected, the HALT sign was thrown and all following individuals must immediately cease movement.
Black canisters were hanging on trees; Jackson noting that one had the number 17 and another had the number 44. Daddy wondered if a bomb was going to detonate. Why are boys all about blowing things up? My first thought? Food. I wondered if they were tapping the trees for maple syrup. And if so, were there pancakes nearby?
He makes a mean "HALT" sign. That's why I keep him around. Nobody's sneak attaching us.
Totally random. In the middle of nowhere was a lovely little pond with these two adirondack chairs just itchin' to be used.
Jack teaching little scout the finer techniques of escaping should the ice give way below you. If only I could see Jackson's face. I wonder if he's thinking, "My daddy has LOST it!"
The ice got the best of him.
"And in case you're ever stranded and need help scaling Mt. Everest, be sure to look for branches that you can grab on and use to pull you up to the top of the mountain."
The sun popped out for just a few minutes. I was running through the woods like a mad woman trying to catch its' rays before it slipped back behind another cloud.
More hiking and woodsy fun and adventure. 
I heard, "TAKE COVER." 
And then lots of random diving into the snow.
And running for safety. And lots of "COVER MEs!"
This one above makes me laugh out loud. Jackson popped up as Jack was jumping over so Jack had to switch gears mid-air and do a triple sow-cow to avoid head collisions.
Tuckered out.
Apparently Daddy didn't cover him well enough so he did the sneak up and choke hold move.
Eventually all that running and scouting caught up with little mister and he felt into the snow and had a melt down. His legs were tired. And he wanted to be back at the car. One more mile, buddy. Hang in there.
LOVE THIS ONE. They ran off way in front to try to hide from me and when I got close and our eyes met he quick shut them to hide from me. As if to say, "If my eyes don't see you, then you can't see me hiding behind this tree!"
Snowy pom-poms make me happy. And you?
Catching snowflakes.
FAVE. My silly little mister at his best.
Both misters trying to catch snowflakes.
Some succeeding.
And some, NOT.
Always marvel at the beauty of color in a sea of white.
And that, my friends, is a wrap!

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