Tag Archives: Christmas

Rudolph Lives On

She spent the holidays singing this song for nearly anyone who’d listen, and believe it or not, it’s still alive and kickin’ even now in February (with killer dance moves no less).


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iPhoneography // Boxing Day {2012}

Boxing Day 2012

puppy love // Bella’s twin

dress-up day // Christmas {round 2} at Grandma Sue’s

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Christmas Day {2012}

IMG 3943Our Christmas was lovely this year.  We awoke to our usual morning call –  “Mama, Mama!  All done! All done!  Grae Grae had a nice sleeeeep”, had a little family snuggle in bed, and made our way into the living room so that Miss G could open the little gifts in her stocking.  It was filled to the brim with bath fizzies, miniature kitchen utensils, wooden stamps, a couple of little clothing items, an owl puppet, and some of her very favourite nuts and treats.  Grae opened the tiny packages carefully, admiring each before moving on…  She was thrilled with all of her new goodies.

IMG 3946With her stocking opened, we took a little present break and made a big Christmas breakfast together.  

IMG 3949Brad and Gracen’s jobs?  Playing with our freshly made gingerbread play dough and entertaining the crowd.

IMG 3950With breakfast eaten and cleaned up, we gathered back around the tree for our gift exchange.  Gracen opened  her gifts (plus helped everyone else open their’s) and spent a few minutes investigating each, before thanking the gifter and moving onto a new package.

IMG 3964She was hugely spoiled with new clothes {these little black boots included}, games, puzzles, a doll stroller, and wooden kitchen accessories, as well as this giant dress-up kit filled with all kinds of costumes and accessories.

IMG 3968After a lazy rest of the morning and early afternoon {plus a good nap for Miss G}, we all got dressed and ready for the big Ogasawara family Christmas dinner. 

IMG 3971My mom  and Rorie were able to come out and join us, which Gracen loved.  She toured around the house showing Grandma Sue the gifts she’d opened earlier in the day and then settled in to play with her gingerbread play dough again.

IMG 8421As usual, christmas dinner was absolutely delicious.  Gracen’s favourites included the turkey and rosemary smashed potatoes.

IMG 3981Afterwards, us adults visited with full bellies and glasses of wine while Grae snuck in a few last minutes with two of her very favourite new things – a vintage doll from Grandma Sue and a stroller to push her around in from Grandma Charlotte.

It was a good day.  And only the start to our special days with family this holiday season…

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

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Play Dough Gingerbread People

Play Dough Gingerbread PeopleAfter decorating gingerbread houses this morning, this afternoon I whipped up a batch of this delicious-smelling and amazingly soft gingerbread play dough for Miss G to play with.

IMG 3909In addition to the play dough, I set out several things create gingerbread people with, including a rolling pin, cookie cutters, buttons, straw pieces, jingle bells, ribbon bits, and toothpicks.

IMG 3915IMG 3917IMG 3910Gracen dove in as she usually does, and loved decorating each of the people in their own unique way.

IMG 3913The best part is that this dough smells so amazing that you sometimes forget that it’s just play dough and not actual gingerbread baking in the oven. ☺

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A Christmas Eve Tradition

Christmas Eve was always special for me growing up.  We usually spent it at my Grandma and Grandpa Routhier’s house with all of our cousins and did Christmas dinner, mass, and our big gift exchange that very same night.  It was the one night of the year when my brother and I got to stay up as late as we wanted and eat all the treats (including pop – gasp!) without having to ask our mom first. I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but we always said that we celebrated on Christmas Eve because we were French.

While Brad’s family does the classic Christmas Day celebration, we’ve held onto a tiny piece of my childhood Christmas Eve tradition with a little gift opening for Miss G on the night of the 24th.  Each year, she gets two small gifts to open – one a new pair of Christmas jammies, and the second, a special Christmas book to add to her collection.

IMG 3924IMG 3928IMG 3933IMG 3934Tonight Grae opened candy cane-striped footie jammies (her favourite) and a hardcover copy of  A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas under the glow of the Christmas tree.  After a warm bubble bath, we read her new book as a family and tucked our little candycane-striped girl into bed for the evening.

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A Gingerbread House for Grae

Grandma Charlotte and Auntie Judy have had plans for a gingerbread house decorating afternoon in the works for several weeks now.  While Auntie Judy took charge of making the gingerbread pieces and assembling the house, Grandma Charlotte collected all kinds of {healthier} decorations so that Miss G could decorate and snack a little along the way too.  

With all of the prep work already done, today, we popped over to Auntie Judy’s house {conveniently located just down the farm’s lane way} to let Miss G decorate her first ever gingerbread house.

IMG 3888After Auntie Judy whipped up a quick batch of frosting, Gracen got started with ‘painting’ the icing onto the house using a popsicle stick.

IMG 3890Her decorations included all kinds of dried fruit and nuts, as well as sesame sticks and breadsticks, and while not the most traditional of decorations, Grae didn’t mind one bit.

IMG 3894She completely covered the roof and two sides of the house, then decided that doors and windows were required on the front and back.

IMG 3897Afterwards, with the help of Papa, a fence was added to the backyard.

IMG 3908Tadaaa!  The finished product. 

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Home for the Holidays

After a fairly uneventful drive home yesterday, we’re back in the Okanagan to kick off our Christmas holidays.  Today involved sled rides, icicle pops, and plenty of snow – the perfect winter combination.

IMG 3882IMG 3885IMG 3899IMG 3902Upcoming destinations on our Christmas 2012 adventure include Cochrane, Edmonton, and {the wee little town of} St. Paul.  Fingers crossed the nearly 40 hours on the road will go easy on us…

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Stanley Park Bright Nights

Today my little lady and I headed down to Stanley Park for our second year at Bright Nights.  Last year, Miss G was just a tiny little thing still riding around in the Ergo, but this year was a whole new ballgame.  She rode the train and pointed out things with one hand while holding my hand with the other, she cruised around the displays taking in the lights, she made friends with the Frosty the Snowman mascots that were strolling around the park, and enjoyed a warm milk and a bag of popcorn as a special treat.

Here’s our evening in photos…

IMG 3633All aboard!

IMG 3636Beautiful light displays.

IMG 3644Through the tunnel.

IMG 3652Chillin’ with Frosty.

IMG 3655Firefighter Grae.

IMG 3658The happiest little girl.
IMG 3662
Taking it all in.
IMG 3660Magical.
IMG 3666“Mama, take Grae Grae’s picture!”
IMG 3673Warm milk to end a lovely {and chilly} night.
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Puzzle Piece Wreath Ornament

Puzzle Piece Wreath OrnamentNot too long ago, Miss G ‘s advent calendar pouch included jigsaw puzzle pieces and the instructions required to make a snowflake ornament.  Gracen really enjoyed the project and loves her sparkly snowflake hanging on the tree, so she was excited to find more puzzle pieces and a note saying that they could be used to make a wreath ornament today.

IMG 3586This time, we started with an ‘O’ shaped cardboard base.  Gracen glued her puzzle pieces (this time using just regular white glue) onto the cardboard doughnut, overlapping them as she went along.

IMG 3589When the ‘O’ was covered to her liking, we set it aside to dry for a while.

IMG 3592Later in the day, she came back and painted the puzzle piece wreath all green.  She quickly discovered that dabbing the paint on gave much better coverage than brushing it on, so she went with that method.

IMG 3599When she was done painting, we let the wreath dry again.

IMG 3601Next came the really fun part – decorations!  She chose magenta sequins as holly berries, but you could easily use buttons, mini pompoms, foam circles, or dot stickers too.  Just add some dots of glue to the wreath and pop your decorations on.

IMG 3697The last step was adding a little ribbon bow I’d quickly made for her… Regular white glue worked just fine for this job too.

Later on in the evening, once the frontside was dry, I flipped it over and added a ribbon loop using my glue gun (I had it out already – you could just as easily use white glue or craft glue) and the pretty little ornament was ready for hanging.

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North Pole BC at Maplewood Farms

I don’t know what it is, but  I’ve hit a major lucky streak recently.  I swear I’ve rarely won anything in my entire life, and throughout the last few months, I’ve won a conference ticket, photo book credit, and most recently, a giveaway from Kidsvancouver.com (an awesome online resource for Lower Mainland families – check it out if you haven’t already!)  My prize?  A family pack of tickets to North Pole BC, operating up at Maplewood Farm this year.  We were very excited to check it out, and luckily the weather cooperated quite nicely for us.

Our evening consisted of story time with Mrs. Claus, a personal visit and photo with Santa, a stop by the North Pole post office, a visit to Santa’s toy workshop, and a quick stop at elf school.  Here is our night in photos…

IMG 3556Waiting patiently for the action to begin.

IMG 3557Story time with Mrs. Claus.

IMG 3560A visit to Santa.

IMG 3564Lovely horses in the post office.

IMG 3570Santa’s toy workshop.

IMG 3581Elf school in the barn.

IMG 3585Goofy Gracen and Papa.

Overall, Gracen had a really good time.  Each element was done nicely and the elves and other staff members were all really lovely.  Did it feel like we were visiting the North Pole?  Well, not really… But I blame that partly on the lack of snow.  The event is a little pricey (everyone 18 months and up pays between $15 and $20 admission, depending on when you go), but you certainly can’t complain when you’ve won your tickets!

Thank you Kidsvancouver.com and North Pole BC!

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