happy holidays!

 it's christmas time and the snow is finally flying in chilliwack.  ty and i made a sweet snow monster in our front yard.
 the people who built our house had a classic little lamppost placed in the front.  it highlights the snow very nicely.
 this year for the first time i mustered the energy to put up our christmas lights.  they give a great blue ambiance to our front porch.
 a few days ago we got to enjoy our family friends the vks.  all their kids are home for the holidays and the house was bustling.
 patti has a different approach to gingerbread houses than my mom.  it involves less gingerbread, but allows for much more freedom of expression.  kylie invented the cult of igor the hockey bear, a religion that lost sight of its roots, only to have igor the hockey bear rise from the dead to deliver retribution to his reprobate followers.
 matt constructed the eye of sauron in barad-dur.  so evil and yet so sweet.
 it turns out ty is a big fan of gingerbread houses.  big surprise there... the "candy house" did not last long.

 levi vk and i made it out to baker one more time to revel in their record snowfall.  our way home was slowed by a few trees that had fallen across the highway.  we were a bit annoyed, but not nearly as annoyed as anyone attempting to get to the hill the next morning.  apparently 100 trees fell across the hwy overnight and they had to close the entire hill... with record snowfalls... right before christmas.  glad we made it in time.

the snow was incredibly deep and light.  we quickly progressed to the double blacks.  not knowing the hill very well, we got stuck on the top of a few drops and chutes; but the snow was deep enough to feel safe picking up some real speed.
 finally i am happy to report that aaron and su have once again graced BC with their fabulous presence.
 we were able to host them for a short time before they continued on the train to alberta.  our window was short, but we were able to visit our local trails and our local river.

 aaron threatened to baptize su, but common sense won out.
 niko found one of the last rotting salmon, deep in the throws of its putrescence.  he managed to smear its grey goo all over his back and neck, which made for a great compliment to the screaming kids in the truck.
 it was great to see aaron again.  we have since followed him to alberta, and plan on meeting up for some toboganning, as well as new year's festivities at a cabin near the crowsnest pass.  looking forward to it.

merry christmas everyone!


Birthday Weekend and More. . .

Marc has noticed my tendency to title my posts with a phrase ending with '"and beyond" and while I was tempted to title this post Birthday weekend and beyond . . . I held back and just mentioned it here. ;)  I am currently getting into the Christmas spirit eating Christmas baking (marshmallow chocolate squares, homemade turtles and peppermint bark, all not made by me.  Even better!)

I started out the weekend doing some Christmas baking with some great friends.  Here are the cute kids in front of the fire.  (I would love to tell you that they often sit like this and just reminisce and be the little angels that they all are but Strawberry Shortcake was on in the background.)

 I wore this shirt when I had Zeke and had to remind Ang of that fact multiple times. ;)

I also went shopping downtown with friends and ended the day downtown for tea.  I must say it is hard to shop (as Haley pointed out) and talk.  One must chose one or the other to fully devote your time and energy to.  Otherwise you end up buying crazy scarfs for your mother and expensive presents for your niece.  (Not that I would know this from experience.)
For only??!! $130 this can be yours!
 On my birthday morning, while I enjoyed a lovely sleep in, Marc and Ty made cardamom monkey bread for me.  Delicious!
 Marc and I then went out for lunch.  This is a lovely salad with cantelope foam! 

 Marc spoiled me and got me an antique persian carpet for our room.  I love it!  It fits perfectly there.  After lunch we made our way to Minter Gardens and went on the Christmas train. Ty was only slightly more interested in the train than his popcorn and he loved looking at all the lights.  Me and my boys on my birthday. A lovely day!

I took the boys to see Santa today.  Ty was very happy to eat popcorn in line (I notice a theme here, is Ty going to associate all Christmas outings with popcorn?  This could be a problem.)  Even though you can't tell at all I must admit for posterity's sake that I was the mother who took her son to see Santa knowing fully well he had a lot of glue in his hair.  Pesky stuff that glue!  Also you cannot tell that Zeke's shirt says 'Mr. Happy' which I thought was fitting because of how much he loves to smile for the camera. ;)

Heading home this weekend for a couple weeks of family time and visiting!  Merry Christmas one and all!


hungarian white christmas

it's officially the christmas season and kylie was excited to decorate with ty.  she got out some christmas treats, put on some nice music and opened up the decorations.  unfortunately ty has a different definition of christmas cheer.  several glass balls and a few family heirloom ornaments quickly fell victim to his version. the above picture is reminiscent of a similar basement disaster involving niko.
niko's is still better, but he had more material to work with.  and sharper teeth.

we finally got around to organizing zeke's room.  i am really happy with the result.  a few more pictures have to go up, and maybe a shelf, but its already a nice place to be.

on thursday i took my first trip up to mt baker this season.  none of my friends could make it midweek, but watching the forecast i had to get out.  it was incredible!  the hill claimed 8 inches of new snow, but at the top it was closer to 20.  there was one chute that i sessioned half the morning where the snow was up to my waist!  even though the chute was steep you had to keep your speed up or you would just sink in and stop.  no lift lines.  soft landings.  so fun.
the snow was falling thick and fast all day, filling everything back in.  here is the subaru at lunch time.  wow.  as i was hopping from mogul to mogul i was thinking that it is a privileged life when one can ski powder this light while sporting a tan.

finally i would like to tell you about zoltan and petra's christmas party.  they are our next door neighbours.  zoltan is hungarian and petra is german.  their party was attended by a mixture of hungarian canadians, german canadians, british canadians, and native canadians.  hungarians really know how to party.  zoltan makes his own wine and someone had smuggled in hungarian moonshine from the homeland.  they make cherry and plum and apricot schnaaps that taste delicious and make your face go numb.  somehow your glass never gets empty.
zoltan was giving us a tour of his wine cellar, dispensing his favoured varieties using a long blown glass carafe with a slim spout on one end and a mouthpiece on the other.  he would dip the spout in a vat of wine and suck the carafe full from the top.  just before the wine hit his mouth he smoothly transfered the carafe to his shoulder and carried it under his arm with a finger on the spout, lifting to fill any wine glass that came in reach.
as you can imagine, packing a bunch of hungarians in a wine cellar and distributing the fruits of his labours in such a manner, zoltan had quite a party going when he whipped back a curtain to reveal an entire wall of speakers.  he said, quite seriously, "when i make my wine, i like to listen to rammstein".  zoltan is of my parents' generation, and the picture of a hardworking immigrant, so kylie and i thought he must be referring to some german violin composer or something, but then he pressed play and the entire wall began pounding out hardcore german techno.  so awesome.

a really great mix of interesting people, from german seniors to british schoolkids.  delicious food, including hungarian goulash, cooked outside on a pot hung from a tripod, while the men drink wine and chat.  getting to know your neighbours can be really fun.  getting up early the next morning to go to work... less fun.


Hawaii Part Deux

(Photo credit here goes to Lowell and Julie.  Awesome shot!!  We love it!)

Our second week in Hawaii was spent doing much of the same as the week before. . . Going to the beach and spending time together. One day we headed to this great park.  It was so big we were constantly losing Ty!
Two years ago in Hawaii, Julie took this beautiful picture of Ty and I.  One of my favourites!  Last year I recreated the picture on my birthday on our balcony in Lahaina. 

This year Zekey wanted to pose with his mama.  (Ty was too busy running and playing in the sand and howling at the full moon -  see picture below.)
Cutie patootie!

I also wanted some not so windswept ones so had Shareen take some the next day.  Zeke was a tough crowd, making his very stunned face for all of the pictures. 

Shareen danced, waved her arms, cooed, ahhed and laughed to no avail.  
Well, If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

And 15 minutes later this little turkey was in the jolly jumper laughing and smiling away.

We ate VERY well on this trip.  Here is Marc's taco from taco night.  Mmmm - delish!

Julie teaching the next generation that she loves having her hair played with!

Shareen, Bette, and I and  our driver Pete ;) headed to the botanical gardens one day.  Unfortunately they were already closed so we did a quick parking lot tour (which still had a beautiful path to the ticket booth) and then stopped at some shops and Kauai Coffee Roasters. Seen many places on our travels was the rooster, the official? unofficial? animal of the island. (Or at least most prevalent and annoying.  I am apparently not so fond of roosters running in our condo and into our kitchen to eat our garbage.)

Shareen and I decided that these beautiful flowers looked better in our noses than our hair.  Added bonus -  the smell is constantly with you!
Beach time:

On our last Marc had a great time boogy boarding with his mom.  This sure is a fun family pastime!

The sun has now set on our lovely Hawaiian adventure. Until next time . . .