Monday, January 28, 2013

Blake turns One!

It's hard to believe that Blake is one already. If you would like to reminisce with us click HERE to see the post about his arrival on January 19, 2012. 
We celebrated Blake's first birthday with the De Vries family this past weekend. I went with a Cookie Monster theme for the party. Not because Blake loves Cookie Monster, but because he loves cookies and I thought he would enjoy them over a cake. I searched Pintrest for ideas and this is what I came up with.

 Buckets of mini cookies and pretzel M&M's, mini cookie sandwiches with blue frosting, a large Cookie Monster decorated cookie, a medium sized cookie with a frosting B for Blake, and a thank you favor of Chips Ahoy cookies with a label that says, "Happy 1st Birthday Blake." I also cut out Blake's name and the number 1 on the Cricut and put them on sticks.  
We also had balloons on the dining room light and Blake's chair. Blake loved playing with the balloons before we hung them up.
I really didn't have a great plan when I started decorating the cake. I had a large picture of Cookie Monster so I could get the head shape correct. From there I added a body, half eaten cookie and his hand. The number one and words were added last. To finish it off, I added the stars around the outside. Getting the eyes round and even was probably the hardest, but overall, easier than any cake that I've made for Rebecca.
For his birthday meal, we had homemade mac and cheese, peas, fruit salad, and sloppy joes - his favorite foods right now. 
 I love his silly little grin in this picture!
Yummy cookie and frosting! He would have finished the whole thing, but after a few bites we took most of it away. He didn't even notice.
Our growing family!
After cookies, Blake opened presents. He got a few new outfits, books, and a musical helicopter that he loves. He also got an "I Spy" quilt from Grandma Pontier. 
Another memorable birthday celebrated!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Christmas in Canada

Here is the long awaited recap of Christmas in Canada!

Last time we visited my parents in Canada (they have lived there for 5 years now) was July of 2009. We enjoyed the warmest part of the year and did lots of sight seeing around their town and Jasper National Park. This time we were visiting during the coldest time of the year and enjoyed staying inside by the fire. 

This was Blake's first plane ride and Rebecca's second, although she wasn't old enough to remember it last time. Blake was easy going as usual. He was charming to the flight attendants and those sitting around us. Rebecca was well behaved, but needed to be constantly entertained and if she wasn't, would announce very loudly that she was bored. The drinks and snacks on our flights kept her occupied most of the time and it's a credit to all that no drinks were spilled! 
Chilling on the plane sipping apple juice.
 We arrived safe and sound in Edmonton right on time. Unfortunately, my sister Rachel's flight was delayed and she did not arrive until midnight. Dan and mom went back to Edmonton the next day to pick her up. Once we were all settled in at mom and dad's, we enjoyed wonderful meals together, craft projects for all (the women were sewing and the men were building), watching movies, playing with tech devices, and just sitting around visiting. 
Enjoying a wonderful Christmas dinner of ham and all the fixings!
On Christmas Eve the kids got a bath and new pajamas to wear to bed. We read them a few Christmas books and put their wooden shoes by the tree. It's the Dutch tradition to use wooden shoes rather than stockings. So when in Neerlandia...

On Christmas morning we went to church and took traditional Christmas family photos.

After Christmas day we had a few outings to keep us busy. We went swimming at a local pool where mom and dad swam laps and us "kids" played in the kiddy pool. We also went bowling, Canadian style. None of us knew that Canadians like 5 pin bowling with bowling balls the size of large grapefruit. But that is how Canadians roll, so we did too. And had a lot of fun doing it! 
The "kids" in the kiddy pool.
Aunt Rachel "coaching" Rebecca.
Cute as a puppy!
We really had a great Christmas in Neerlandia. We would love to do it again, but for our next trip to Canada I would like to enjoy some warmer weather again before going back for winter. We are all smiling in this next picture because our faces are frozen that way! It was only about -10 F for the high the whole week we were there!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas in Canada

Here is a little preview of our very cold Christmas in Canada. I will get to posting pictures soon, but you can look at my sister's blog for now. She has great pictures too.