Monday, December 22, 2008


Edward (Ted) Gill--December 22, 1995

Hard to believe that another Christmas approaches and yet again we know we will not receive the only gift that we truly want. Oh what we would give to hear your voice and feel your touch one more time. So instead we make do with the wonderful memories of joy, happiness and laughter that you have left us with. Always in our thoughts and forever in our hearts.

Merry Christmas!
Your loving family

Click HERE to see the online Toronto Star In Memorium

Click HERE to sign the Guest Book

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dear Santa

I can explain everything!
I love this shirt
I love the look on Owen's face in this picture
I love that he reads this shirt to everyone and then explains what it means
I love that Owen is so very excited about Santa and Christmas
I love that I can call upon the name Santa to elicit good behaviour from Owen, must be used sparingly...but very effective
I love Christmas...I think I say this every year, but so far...this is the best Christmas ever.

Christmas Train

Who: The Stapley Family, Owen, Jackson, Nora & Me – Adrian and Isabelle were supposed to come, but poor Bella was under the weather and Daddy decided to stay at home with her.
What: Christmas Train ride with Santa
When: Sunday, December 7, 2008
Where: Tottenham South Simcoe Steam Train
Why: do we need a reason?

The kids, both big & small, had the BEST time. Santa sat down and spent a minute with each child, listening to their whispered desires, smiling for photos…doing all the great things that Santa does. The elves followed him with candy cane treats for all. Owen asked for an extra, he wanted to bring one home for Isabelle…my sweet boy always thinking of his sister…gotta love those moments. Here are some highlights of the day.

Boys being boys...waiting for Santa to arrive:
Nora and the kids:
Owen & Santa
Jackson & Santa
Madi & Santa
Cameron & Santa
A great shot of Jackson, look at that smile!
Jeff, Andrea & Madi:

Thursday, December 11, 2008


We went to see Santa at the mall last night. Owen loves Santa and asked for a few things:
- new snowpants that are easy to get on and will be warmer
- ninja turtle socks
- a speedracer car that is NOT remote control (as opposed to the speedracer car with remote control he wanted last week)

Bella on the other hand, was happy to wave at Santa and kept saying "Hi Snanta" from the safety of my arms, but when Santa tried to give her a way. She shrank back and said "No 5 Snanta...Owie turn high 5" "Snanta no touch Bella hand"

Needless to say she did not sit on his knee, but Owen did...

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Daily : Day 1

Here is day 1 of my December Daily album:

How To:

I printed a 4x6 of the advent calendar photo taken in the morning and trimmed it to size. Trimmed the painting that Isabelle painted. Adhered both of these to the back of Page 1 (seen yesterday). Added a strip of patterned paper to journal on, a piece of ribbon and a number circle. The other side is one of the reindeer's that the kids made at the Library story / craft night.

I got into the creative mood full swing and put together a little 3x3 album with some of the supplies from my Becky Higgins card kit. We went to a Christmas party at my mother-in-law’s place on Sunday. We had the best time, clowns, magicians, electric trains and Santa.

I loved the process of documenting our first day of December. The simple act of writing things down makes me pause and reflect and be thankful for all that we have. To anyone looking in, our day was not particularly spectacular in any way. It was filled with crafts and work and school and friends and all of our normal routines…a perfectly wonderfully spectacular December day. As you go about your days at this busy time of year, take a moment to reflect and maybe you will be inspired do something creative too.

December Daily

Inspired by the wonderful Ali Edwards, I have created a December Daily scrapbook album. Every day this month, I will select a few of the best photos of that day and add them to the album with a bit of journalling. I loved the idea of creating the bones of this albuem ahead of time, leaving more time in December to celebrate, enjoy, reflect and share the Christmas season with our friends and family.

This album will be a little peek into our lives, a way to celebrate our family traditions and the blessings we enjoy.

Here are a few pages from the album:

And 1 photo from today:

Check back tomorrow for today's layout.

Friday, November 28, 2008


After dinner is done, after stories are read, after kids are in bed, after chores are done...
...daddy's play games.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cowboys don't smile...

...but they do take care of their horses.
I arrived home last night to find the kids in full costumes, Owen as a cowboy with his trusty horse Millie. Isabelle was dressed as a fairy, but was already disrobing - the fluttery fairy shoulders were irritating her face.."no like" was heard a few times as she removed the offending costume.

Nora is such a blessing in our lives, taking such great care of the kids, getting dressed up with them, taking them sledding the first day it snowed, making wonderful meals and keeping our house running like clockwork. Thank you Nora!


Isabelle has been talking up a storm lately, it seems each day she is speaking in longer sentances and learning new words. This morning at 6am, snuggled next to me in our bed she said...
Hi Mama
Hi Dada
Where Owen?
Where Bella bottle?
Where Bella bear?
I lu ooo (I love you)
Show mama? Bella show?
Where Bella Gabba? (in reference to her favourite show Yo Gabba Gabba)
Where Bella Piggle? (her other favourite show In The Night Garden character Iggle Piggle)
Where Bella lambie?
More Gabba

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nature Table Tree

Months ago, I started reading Amanda Soule’s book The Creative Family and was inspired to start a Nature Table. In essence it is a seasonal area for bits of nature to reside, but more than that it is intended to be a place to enjoy the beauty of nature, perhaps a place for quiet reflection...a very special place. I talked to the kids about this and we immediately labeled the table on our front porch The Nature Table and the kids would put all of their treasures on that table. It quickly became covered in acorns, twigs, pinecones, rocks and other wonderful items. Yes, it was a nature table, but it was not very visually appealing or inspiring. Not something that one would want to come back to again and again to look at. So I have been thinking and searching and trying to figure out where, inside my house, did I dare set up a nature table. The front hall table seemed to me to be the best place, but for all sorts of reasons I could not figure out how to do it. Until I took a peek at Martha Stewart’s website this morning. She has a Christmas Workshop that has 6 weeks of projects leading into Christmas. Decorating, baking, gift making. I clicked on Week 5 interior decorations, saw this greetings tree and it was like a lightbulb went off. Perfection.

I love the idea of the branches giving some structure to the nature table. The little pots can be changed seasonally and added to as the kids find new treasures. It will work in all seasons and we will be able to incorporate some of our crafts – decorate with hand made paper snowflakes after Christmas is over, tissue paper flowers in the spring, green paper leaves in the summer and so many great colours in the fall – leaf rubbings in red, yellow and orange. It will work with all of our holidays – red hearts for Valentines day, decorated eggs hanging at Easter, tiny flags for Canada day…the ideas are endless.

I cannot wait to get home tonight and get started on our new Nature Table Tree.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Are we having fun yet?

Last year, Ajax started doing the Santa Clause parade at night and continued that this year. It was a freezing cold night -10c (14F). The Stephen Family came for a play date and attended the parade with us. We got there early to get a good spot and get set up. The kids drank their hot chocolate, played a bit in the snow, saw the first few floats that came by and then we bailed on the parade. The kids were frozen, Remy (the dog) was frozen, the adults were frozen and frankly we were all pretty miserable. Owen was the first to announce that he was "done" and the rest of us happily followed him back to the car where he and Isabelle cried almost the whole way home. Not such a happy parade experience this year...maybe we will find one next year that is held during the day.

hello monday

hello bottle with almond chocolate milk & goat milk
hello pulling hair while drinking "buh-buh"
hello sippy cup for drinks outside of the kitchen
hello kids with clothing on before the TV gets turned on
hello snuggling together in the princess couch
hello sweet blonde heads
hello Leapster game
hello pre-breakfast snack of fruit loops and organic bears cereals
hello tv show to ease into the day
hello monday from owen & isabelle.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

these are a few of my favourite things

I have been reflecting lately on our blessings and how very lucky we are. As I look around our home, there are so many things that make me smile.
A basket full of warm hats and scarves and mittens - reminding me we will not be cold this winter.

A shelf in my kitchen with cookbooks, new and old - reminding me we have lots of food to eat and time to be creative and make wonderful meals.

Fresh flowers in my home - reminding me of the beauty that exists somewhere when our world is covered in snow and ice - thanks dad & Barb
Photos of my children and loved ones that remind me every moment how very lucky I am and how much I am loved.

Take a moment today to reflect on your blessings and what you love in your life right now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


crackling fire

playing candyland
chilling by the fire
snugging with bottle and bear
hot cocoa in special mug

sitting in a princess chair reading books with fancy shoes on
footed sleepers and fancy shoes

us 3 snuggled together reading one of my favourite books Piggies
the only thing missing was Adrian...we hope you had a good night daddy...we love you and missed you...other than that perfection