Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Oh Where To Begin.....

I have to tell you that grandma is sitting here wondering where the heck that last two weeks have gone.....and to also tell you that it seems much longer than only two weeks since all the holiday craziness began :)

Santa was very good to everyone this year, and with loving family all around, what more could I ask for!

It started on December 23rd with Uncle Warren and Aunt Cindi coming up from southern Ontario, and lots and lots of prepping and cooking to get ready for Christmas Eve with family/friends that we have had year every year for decades.

The girls and Cade were quite excited for Santa to arrive and Cade was super wild while playing with Uncle Warren LOL! The kids don't get to see Uncle Warren very often, so it was nice that it didn't take a day or so for Cade to warm up to him this time.
Merry Christmas :)
Our little Hannah ended up spilling something on her outfit so mom put her in the tub, but Hannah couldn't wear her clothes home. So grandma went out to the storage shed to search through all the gifts to find the proverbial "new pjs" that every child gets at Christmas LOL!  Of course I should have known that it would trigger a "that's not fair" retort from mom and I went back to the shed to look for Hailee's wrapped pjs. We couldn't forget Cade either, so they all went home in new pjs LOL! Too cute!

Grandpa and I had bought them each school desks and chairs like the ones we have here for them. We were wondering who would be the first to ask why their desks/chairs were in the living room on Christmas morning.  We finally had to tell them to go clean up their bedroom so they would notice that they still had desks/chairs at our why were there extras in the LRoom? LOL!  I think they were in shock to realize that they could take these extra ones home with them :)

Once all the gifts were unwrapped and oohed and ahhhhed over we grabbed some leftovers from the night before to fill our tummies and the gang went home with us following shortly after to see all their new gifts and have Christmas dinner.

I have to tell everyone that my favorite meal is turkey, dressing and all the trimmings. So to go over to the kids and have a delicious turkey dinner is the best gift I can get LOL!  Thanks to our DIL's mom and dad for preparing such a great meal. We were almost too full to have any of the desserts that I made, but we managed and left stuffed just like the turkey had been LOL!

Home sweet home to decompress for the evening watching movies with Warren & Cindi, then up early the next day to start cooking a couple big roasts to bring to the Kirwan Christmas dinner that afternoon. I've been bringing sliced beef in gravy for years now and I think I will continue to bring it for years to come :)

It was great visiting with the family that could make it and the kids got to spend time with their little cousins who they don't see often. One little guy was quite taken with the girls and kept saying they were his girlfriends and trying to kiss them....hehehe!

Warren and Cindi left earlier that day for home as Brittney & Austin were coming back from their dad's. So when grandpa and I arrived home it was very quiet, but nice to finally let go and relax.

The next day it was time to clean up and start putting decorations away, not to mention catch up with laundry as I had to pack for the 29th as grandpa and I were heading down to Niagara Falls. Ryan, Angele, the girls and Cade were going to meet us there on the 30th and were were spending New Year's Eve at Great Wolf Lodge.  They were coming from Kingston after visiting her brother and his family and dropping off her parents there for a few days.

Grandpa and I had a really nice hotel room at the Falls that night right across from the Casino...with a jacuzzi tub!  Ahhhhh the calm before the storm LOL!
  And guess what's behind those shutter doors?
The jacuzzi tub of course!
The kids had no idea they were going to GWL so it was a big surprise when they pulled up into the parking lot. They also had no idea that grandma and grandpa were going to be there. So when our DIL came into the lobby to find us and we walked out to the van to see everyone, there were looks of shock on their faces. I think it took them a couple hours before realizing where they were LOL!

Seeing as Hailee can read and loves to read street signs now, our DIL said she had to keep dropping things on the van floor whenever she saw a sign/bridge etc that would trigger Hailee's reading abilities and her knowledge of landmarks, so Hailee had to look down to find what mom dropped LOL!
   Waiting for mom and dad to check in :)
When we first arrived at the Lodge and were waiting for our room to be ready, grandpa and daddy took the kids to explore. Mom and I hung around with the luggage cart enjoying the rest before all the craziness started. A while later the kids came running up to us with magic wands! Yes, grandpa's first foray into the gift shop with them and $169 later, they each had magic wands with lighted creatures to put on the end. All of this so they could go up and down the halls of the Lodge playing a game to open treasure chests and making books talk. it was too cute :)
After a break to have apples and Goldfish our room was finally ready. It didn't take long to sort out beds, luggage and change into our suits.
It was grandpa's first time at GWL so the kids were excited to show him all the things there were to see. Unfortunately, once we were changed into swim suits and down in the waterpark, no one thought to tell Grandpa about the water that people try to drop on you from above...hehehe...and he and Cade came walking up behind us completely drenched. We sure had a good laugh LOL!

Then it was every man/child for themselves.  One wanted to go to this water feature, another to another feature, some to the slides...and Hannah and I to her favorite, the wave pool :)  And yes, they even talked grandma and grandpa into walking flights of stairs to get to certain slides. My goodness, I never thought I'd go on some of those slides, but I did, and had a great time laughing all the way down.
Hailee, Mom and Grandpa coming down a ride!
I was even more surprised when I found out that grandpa went on a couple of slides what I never in a million years thought he would ride.  But all it took was Hailee's pleading to make him break LOL!
The kids brought along games for us to enjoy and grandpa and I were initiated into the game of Fibber and one with a wiener dog that you stuff with yellow "poop" and try to pump out the other end after throwing the dice. You wouldn't believe the sound effects from that one LOL!
Hehehe...Hannah trying to see what the pup's problem
was. Poor thing was "constipated" and the yellow poop
wouldn't come out LOL!
Our DIL had booked a loft room for all of sleeps 8 people!  The word "loft" should tell you all you need to know LOL!  It was ripe for throwing things to the beds down below. And who was on one of those beds? Hannah and grandma.  Daddy started it with throwing a soap wrapper down to us....then the clothes continued as well as hand towels and even a pillow at one point LOL!
Grandma rolling up a hand towel for Hannah
to try throwing back up to the loft LOL!
Hannah and I were not going to be outdone.  We got on the bed and started throwing everything back up to daddy.  Mind you, it was harder to toss everything back up to the loft than it was for daddy to throw things down to us, but we sure had fun LOL!
     Hailee and grandpa getting ready to play
On the 31st GWL had lots of great activities for the kids to enjoy....balloon hats, bean bag games. painting pillow cases...and everyone won candy regardless of how they did in the games LOL! They handed out white top hats for all the guys to wear and feather tiaras for the ladies to look stylish. Our DIL had chosen a medieval themed banquet for us to attend and once again we left stuffed.
  Happy New Year Everyone!
A little after 8:00 we got our winter coats/mitts on and went outside with the rest of the lodge to watch the fireworks the Lodge had prepared. It was wonderful watching the kids faces, even in the freezing temps, while they watched the exploding colors in the sky. 
Daddy and Cade watching the fireworks.
When we got back to the room the kids got their pjs on and we headed back down to the lobby for the NYE celebrations....balloon drop, music, singing, dancing, punch, noise makers, it was all there for the 10:00 ballon drop.
Get come the balloons.
Hannah was on my shoulders and you can see her left hand
trying to catch a balloon.
We managed to get a great spot under the balloons on the ceiling and when the count down was ready to start, the kids got on our shoulders to make sure they were able to grab a balloon or two :) Once all was said and done the kids were tired, cranky and we were all happy to get back to our room for the night.
  Having our own balloon drop
back in the room LOL!
In the morning, New Years Day, we had a light breakfast then grandpa and I loaded up the car with everyone's luggage and started home. The weather was great and so were the roads. The kids decided to get a later check out so they could enjoy the waterpark one last time. Unfortunately they weren't as lucky with the weather/roads and didn't get home until 9:00 last night. What a long day for them.

Our widower neighbor watched Sparkles for us and she was sooooo happy to see me when I went to pick her up. It was the first time we left her with someone and she's been sticking to me like glue since last night LOL!  She loves our neighbor, but there's no place like home.

What a great way to end one year and start the next.  Oh I wonder what joys this coming year will bring to our little family. There's only one way to find out....get up each morning and enjoy what each day brings :)
The saddest and funniest thing of the evening was after
mom set the camera to take this pic of us all.
Cade wanted to take a picture with his ipod and tried to
set it up the same way mom did. We tried to explain
that his ipod touch doesn't work like mom's camera
does. We didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He
was so determined to do it :)

Grandma loves you