Christmas this year began with the arrival of Blizzard. Blizzard kept us on our toes for the month with lots of pranks.
On the first weekend of the month we went to Peterborough to have Christmas Dinner with Uncle Keith & Auntie Linda. While there we went with Shawn, Megan & Violet and took our family Santa Picture at the Peterborough Mall. This was Violet’s first Santa Picture.
The following weekend we decorated our Christmas tree. We hung up all of our Family Christmas Decorations (new ones added: Yoda, Darth Vader, Marten River Winterfest Pics, Marten River Moose).
Our Christmas started off on an extremely sad note with the passing of Uncle Jack. Melissa and her Mom flew to Quebec after Christmas to attend his celebration of life.
This year the Christmas holidays started on December 24th. On the 24th we travelled to Mom & Dad’s house. After dropping off our stuff at their house, we went to Lakefield to celebrate mass at church with Mom & Dad Miller. We were also joined by Shawn, Megan & Violet. Violet was quite busy at mass checking every book in the pew to see if they had pictures. She was not happy when they did not have pictures 🙂 During mass, Abby participated as an Angel in the Children’s play depicting the Christmas Story (Aiden chose not to participate this year).
After mass, Melissa & the kids went back to Mom & Dad’s and I went to Sandra & Ted’s to help out at the restaurant for the night. It was a busy night at the restaurant, but lots of fun. After the restaurant closed we had a Christmas dinner at the restaurant. Melissa then picked me up and we went back to Mom & Dad’s. By that time the kids had already hung up the stockings and put out the cookies for Santa. This year they sent out a Dab to Santa and his reindeer.
For Christmas morning at Mom & Dad’s, we were joined by Rob and his girlfriend Holly. On Christmas morning the kids let everyone sleep in until 8:00am (yeah!!!). When we got up, they began by opening all of Santa’s gifts. We then had breakfast and then opened up the rest of the presents.
We got 2 experience gifts this year, an AGO membership that Mama & Papa got the kids & The Stingray Experience from Ripleys Aquarium that we got for the family. Below are some videos and pics from Christmas morning.
AGO Visit Post
Stingray Experience Post
Attending Christmas Dinner this year was Rob & Holly, Peter & Julie (Eva & Macklan), Craig & Jane, Mark & Susan, Betty, Uncle Joe, and Bruce & Jackie.
We had our traditional Turkey Dinner this year with some after dinner entertainment.
Abby’s Christmas Play
During the day Abby had worked on writing a Christmas Play that told the story of Jesus. After dessert, Abby and I got everyone ready and gave them copies of the script and performed it in the living room in front of our audience (Dad, Uncle Joe, Betty & Bruce). Everyone had lots of fun performing the play and we were so proud of Abby for putting it all together. When we travelled back home after the holidays, Abby & I edited the video together one afternoon. Below is the final copy of the play.
Dec 26-27: Miller Family Christmas
On Dec 26-27, we spent the day at the Shawn & Megan’s. We left from my Mom & Dad’s in Douro and picked up Bruce & Jackie and went into Peterborough. Picking them up though was exciting because I made a mistake and almost got us stuck at my Uncle Joe’s.
So, on Dec 26, there was ice rain and rain throughout most of the day. Before we left to go to Lakefield, we went over to Uncle Joe’s to drop off some gifts that he had forgotten at Mom & Dad’s the night before. When I got there I decided that the driveway was not too icy, even though my Dad had warned me that it was and had told me to park at the top of the driveway. So I backed into the driveway and we dropped off the gifts. When we went to leave, the vans front wheels just spun. It was at this point that Melissa reminded me that I should have taken my Dad’s advice (which I should have) and then we started to put some sand and salt under each of the four tires with a little extra placed under the front tires. After about 15 min of putting sand and salt under all the tires, I was able to floor it enough to get up and out of the driveway. After that we made our way slowly to Lakefield and then Peterborough.
In Peterborough, we had a lovely supper and opened some gifts with Shawn, Megan & Violet. At the end of the evening, Jackie and Bruce took a cab back to Lakefield. It was the first time that Jackie had ever rode in a cab. It was a very positive experience for her. The cab company took Bruce back and waited for Jackie to drop Bruce off and then drove Jackie off at her house.
On the 27th, we got up and had a relaxing morning with Shawn, Megan & Violet and headed back to Mississauga as Melissa had to work over New Year’s.
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.
As we do for most Thanksgivings, we went to Douro & Lakefield to visit both grandparents.
We spent the day in Lakefield visiting with Mom & Dad Miller. We all went for a walk to Ridpath PS and played in the park. While there the kids met some kids from the neighbourhood and played We then went to Mom & Dad Miller’s and had dinner.
Today we went out to the Allison’s to visit for the afternoon and had a family dinner. The kids played together outside in the afternoon and then we had a relaxing evening.
On Thanksgiving Monday, the kids got up and played some board games with Mama & Papa. We then popped into to see Ted & Sandra and then over to see Grandma one more time before we headed back home to Mississauga.
This was the first Father’s Day Weekend in the past few years where Melissa was not working. It was also the same weekend as Stephanie’s wedding shower. So, what Melissa did was to book us in at the Holiday Inn in North Bay for the Friday & Saturday Night so that we could have a little family getaway.
We left Mississauga right after work & headed straight for North Bay (dogs were boarded for the weekend). We did not hit nearly as much traffic & we arrived a little before 9pm. We checked into the hotel room, read the newspaper, jumped on the bed, had a pillow fight & then went to bed.
On Saturday, we celebrated Father’s Day (since the shower was going to be on Sunday). We started our day with a free breakfast (pancake maker is always a hit), followed by a swim in the pool at the hotel. The swim didn’t last long since the heater in the pool was off and the water was a brisk 67 degrees. After our cold swim, we returned to our room, where Melissa made a the bathtub into a hot tub with bubbles & had the kids leave their suits on so that they could soak in the tub together while watching a movie. They absolutely loved the fact that they were watching TV while having a bath.
After that, we headed out for lunch & found a great restaurant in downtown North Bay that served many Vegan dishes.
After lunch, we proceeded to the lakefront and went for a ride on the mini-train and the old-fashioned Merry-Go-Round
Following that, we carried on over to the beach, where we went for a swim in Lake Nipissing, which was a first for Aiden.
We then proceeded to Aaron & Chantale’s for a BBQ dinner in honour of Father’s Day. Before the BBQ though, Aaron took Melissa out for a ride on his Motorcycle. She absolutely loved it!!!
Our day wrapped up with us, renting Star Wars: The Force Awakens in our hotel room and watching with popcorn, candy & chips in bed. This was the first time any of us had ever rented a movie in a hotel.
We started our Sunday with me opening my Father’s day presents from the kids. Abby made me a World’s Best Dad Certificate and paper plate ribbon. Aiden made me a scroll with a poem and pictures that he cut out of magazines to go with the poem. Both came with their own hand-made cards. We then, had went down for a free breakfast and a swim. This time the swim was quite comfortable as the heat was back on in the pool. We then all got ready and packed up to check out.
After check-out, I dropped Melissa off at Chantale’s house for the wedding shower and the kids & I were headed for Callander Bay Beach.
On the way there I missed the exit ramp and I took the next one. While pulled over on the side of the road, I heard my phone ding. It was Aaron asking if we wanted to come out to Marten River to go tubing with his new boat. We said yes & headed straight out there. Unfortunately when we got there, the boat had had a mechanical problem and did not run for the afternoon.
We did not let the breakdown dampen our mood or slow us down. The kids & I decided to go swimming, paddle boating and canoeing. While swimming, Abby was joined by Andy, which was Jill’s dog (As a side note, we met Steven’s new girlfriend Jill for the first time). When the kids went paddle boating, it became cleat that even though their was only a slight wind, it was too much for the kids to handle so we grabbed them and brought them back in.
Afte paddle boating, I decided to take the kids for a quick ride in the canoe. After being out on the river for about 2 min, I quickly realized that it was too windy for me to safely steer the canoe (I was paddling the boat so that it would turn left, but the wind kept pushing us right). After several unsuccessful attempts to get back to Joyce’s I had resigned myself to the fact that we would have to steer to Rockpine & get picked up by someone. However, Steven and Jill got into the second canoe and came out onto the River and tied a rope to our canoe and toed us all back to Joyce’s. And that my friend’s is why you always wear life jackets when canoeing. It was those life jacket’s that helped to keep both kids calm as we floated further away from Joyce’s house.
After the rescue, we went & picked up Melissa from the shower, visited for little while and then went to Greco’s for supper. We then hit the road at 8:30, arriving back in Mississauga a little before midnight.
It was probably the best Father’s Day we have ever had so far!!!!!
Thursday Snow Day
We started Easter weekend with a surprise in the way a of Snow/Ice Day on Thursday. However, Melissa and I decided to have a little fun with the kids. I got dressed in my work clothes and at about 8:30, Melissa and I came running down the stairs yelling that we had all slept in and that the kids were about to miss their bus. What followed was 3 min of pandemonium with Abby running to get dressed, Aiden running to get his bag and get dressed, all while Mel and I were pretending to be frustrated that we were running late. We got everyone ready and out the door before we told them as captured in the video below.
On Saturday morning we headed to Peterborough to visit. Melissa had to stay because she was working. After arriving, we visited with Rob & Holly and Julie, Macklan and Eva. During the visit, Rob told us that Holly and him are moving in together. Later in the afternoon, the kids and I went to visit Grandpa at the home with Grandma. The highlight of the visit was the 4 baby ducks that were there visiting for the week. The kids and the residents watched their bath and feeding.
Easter Egg Hunt
On Sunday morning, the kids woke up early and went on their Easter Egg hunt. There were Easter Eggs full of gummy worms and bears all over the yard.
We then went to mass. After mass, we went up to Lakefield and delivered an Easter hugs. Then we went to Craig and Jane’s for Easter Brunch with Mark, Betty, Susan, Mama, Papa, Peter, Julie, Macklan and Eva. After brunch, we quickly stopped and Peter and Julie’s and had a nice visit while the kids played. We then came home and spent Monday back at home.
Visited the Allison’s: Saturday
On Saturday we went to visit the Allison’s and brought Marley to meet Macklan for the first time. Marley was very well behaved, but quite excited and wanted to lick Macklan any chance she could. Then the kids and Macklan played for the afternoon and evening while we visited with Julie & Peter.
The video below shows Macklan and Aiden having a snack at the table.
We returned to Shawn and Megan’s which is where we stayed all weekend so that Marley could be off leash for most of the weekend. Aiden and Megan then had a heated game of chess, which Aiden won with a little help from his old man 🙂
On Easter morning the kids got up and found gifts from the Easter Bunny on the table in their living room. The kids went to quick work opening the presents from the Easter Bunny
After they opened their presents, they went out to hunt for the Easter Eggs in the yard. As you will see in the video a little snow fell overnight and it was cold, so for the first time in history, the kids did not finish the Hunt!!! They filled their bags and then finished in the afternoon when it was a little warmer
Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Present Scavenger Hunt
A little after the Easter Egg Hunt we took the dog for a walk to park while a scavenger hunt was set up for the kids. While we were at the park going down the slide with Marley, we received a video text from the Easter Bunny stating that there was a missing gift that needed to be found and that we had to get home to find the gift. So we rushed home to find the gift, but not before one more quick time down the slide with Marley.
After the Easter gift scavenger hunt, Shawn set up a background in the front porch and we took some family and group photos.
On Easter Monday we went out to see Mama & Papa and visit. While there, Aiden, Marley and I helped Papa with the wood. Right after I finished the wood, I found Dad’s glasses, which had been missing for over a month. I found them in the basement right where we throw in the wood. They probably fell out of Dad’s pocket while he was putting on a fire one morning and didn’t see or hear them fall.
After a busy weekend, Melissa and Marley had a quick nap before we hit the road.