Marten River Winter Fest (Attended March Break 2016)
Guatemala (Jackie brought back from Guatemala)
Yoda (When we went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Boxing Day 2015)
Darth Vader x 2: (When we went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Boxing Day 2015)
Joy: (In honour of us finding Joy in less stuff and more experiences)
Marten River Moose (WinterFest in March 2016)
Recycled Material (I bought this for Melissa to symbolize finding happiness by giving back, the money that I used to pay for the decoration went towards the local food bank)
Door Signs from Blizzard (Dropped off by Blizzard at the start of December)
Additional Decorations added for the year.
This year we went to get our Santa Picture when we were in Peterborough visiting Shawn & Megan. It was a special picture because Shawn & Megan brought Violet for her first ever picture with Santa. The kids took a picture with her and then they had their own Santa picture. Violet did not want to take the picture unless her Dad was in the picture with her.
Below is Abby & Aiden’s picture & below that is a video I put together will all of the Santa pictures the kids have been in for the past 10 years.
This year for Christmas, Melissa & I got the kids tickets for the Stingray Experience at Ripleys Aquarium.
This is where we got a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium followed by a 20 min swim in the tank with the Stingrays. I really do not know how best to describe how amazing this experience was for our family. When in the water, the Stingrays swam all around us for the entire 20 minutes!!! Aiden probably got splashed 7 or 8 times right in the face by passing Stingrays including in the video below. We even go to feed the Stingrays!!!
After participating in the Stingray Experience we stuck around at the aquarium until almost closing time.
By the time we got home, the kids had passed out from a very long and exciting day!!
Blizzard joined us for an eventful December this year. Some of the highlights included a rivalry between Blizzard and a Storm Trooper, Blizzard getting his flu shot the same night the kids got there flu shot, gift wrapping the toilet, getting Santa’s autograph and Blizzard drawing moustaches on the kids faces while they slept.
He arrived by bringing them each a lego advent calendar….
& left by leaving behind pictures from his month of mischief!!
On December 3rd this year, the kids, Melissa and I along with Shawn, Megan and Violet had our second annual Christmas dinner with Uncle Keith and Auntie Linda. This year though we added something new. When we scheduled the dinner at the Old Stone, we did not realize that it was also at the same time as Peterborough’s Santa Claus Parade. So, what we did was we went to the restaurant a little early and Melissa, the kids and I watched the parade from the street while Shawn, Megan and Violet, Uncle Keith and Auntie Linda watched from inside the restaurant.
After the dinner, we went back to Shawn and Megan’s for some coffee and dessert before Uncle Keith and Auntie Linda headed home.
Every year in our family, we purchase Christmas decorations that represent special moments in our family. It is a tradition that Melissa and I began the year that we were married in 2004 and has continued to this day.
Here are a collection of pictures of the decorations (with a few that pre-date 2004).
We got our Christmas season off to a great start this year by visiting Santa at the Mall. This year we all got to go as a family and take a family picture.
On Christmas Eve, Melissa came home in the morning from a night shift and we got ready (packed & dropped off Dogs at Kennel) and travelled to Peterborough at mid-day. We met Julie, Macklan, Eva, Mom & Dad in Millbrook for mass. After mass, we went to Mom & Dad’s. When we got there, we had supper and then got ready for Santa to come. We put out the stockings and cookies, carrots and Egg Nog for Santa.
And of course, before they went to bed, the kids were read bedtime story from Mama. I snuck the camera into the bedroom to catch the story, while Melissa listened in the hall. We love listening to Mama read bedtime stories to the kids.
Christmas Morning (Stockings)
When the kids got up in the morning they were overly excited and immediately came down and got Melissa and I up so that we could start to open the Stockings. While I did not capture Aiden’s reaction on video, when he opened his first gift from Santa (Yu-Gi-Oh Cards), he immediately ran to Mama exclaiming: “This is what I always wanted!!!” We carried on opening the rest of the presents in the Stockings and then we stopped and had breakfast, as this was the tradition in my family for as long as I can remember.
Christmas Morning (Gifts under the tree)
After breakfast, we continued opening presents under the tree. Most of the presents were from Family members with few left there from Santa. Part way through opening these presents, we were joined by Peter, Julie, Macklan & Eva. A new tradition we started this year was Face-Timing with Uncle Rob and his girlfriend Holly while they opened their gifts. It was great because Rob and Holly got to see all the kids reactions as they opened their gifts.
Star Wars Gift
One of the most anticipated gifts for Melissa and myself were the Star Wars Movie present we got for the kids. It included tickets to the Force Awakens, Star Wars T-Shirts & Star Wars Christmas Decorations for the kids. Needless to say it was big hit with Abby & Aiden. Their excitement continued long after the video ended.
Christmas Evening (Family Dinner)
We had a small family dinner this year, with the following in attendance:
- Mom & Dad
- Bruce & Jackie
- Melissa, the kids and myself.
We had a nice evening of dinner, visiting and playing one of the board games Aiden got for Christmas called Pictureka.
On Boxing Day, we had a quiet morning at Mom & Dad’s and then got ready to go to Star Wars in the afternoon.
After Star Wars, we met Mom , Dad Julie, Macklan & Eva for church at Mount St. Joseph. After church, we brought Macklan back to Mom & Dad’s for his first ever sleepover away from Mom & Dad. We built and decorated our very own gingerbread houses with Mama & Papa and Abby & Aiden.
We then put the kids to bed (which did not take as much time as I though it would) and then Melissa & I visited for a little while and then we all went to bed.
The kids & Macklan played with each other all morning and then Mom & Dad took Macklan in to met Julie in town at a wake. Melissa, the kids and I then proceeded to Lakefield to visit with Sandra and Ted (unfortunately Ted was sick so we did not see him). Then we went to Jackie’s house for the evening. When we arrived there Auntie Megan & Uncle Shawn asked the kids if they liked Star Wars to which Aiden replied: “Yeah!!!, followed by a huge spoiler 🙂
At Jackie’s we all opened our Santa stockings and then we all played a game of CAH, while the kids watched a movie on the iPad and played with the Toy Box in their bedroom. At the end of the night we returned back to Mom & Dad’s.
In the morning, we all got up and went to eat breakfast with Mom & Dad at the restaurant located at the Peterborough Airport. This way the kids could see some planes and helicopters taking off and landing. They only saw a couple since the flying school was closed for the holidays, but they sure enjoyed the couple that they saw. Aiden even went up to a couple of pilots who came in to eat their breakfast to ask them what type of plane they flew. It was quite cute. After breakfast, we returned home to Mississauga and picked up the dogs from the Kennel. They were exhausted from playing with other dogs for 5 days.