Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas at the Giesbrecht Household

It was our third Christmas in Swift Current and I think we've done a pretty good job of incorporating some of my family's Christmas traditions into our own traditions. On Christmas eve we went for a drive around the city and looked at the beautiful lights. Darlene came with us this year and suggested some areas of Swift Current which we hadn't visited before and definitely paid off with some excellent displays of festive lights. She also got into the spirit of things and joined in the critiquing of displays (not "judging" as some would say, just deciding which were tasteful, which were over the top, which were gawdy, and which were "a nice try". Ha! I'm so judgemental!!). After our tour de Swift Current, Brad and I went home to watch the classic movie A Christmas Carol. Black and white, Alistair Sim, 1951. Can't be beat.
On Christmas morning we got up and had a delicious breakfast (waffles a la Jessica, eggs & sausage) and then got to opening prezzies. We opened the stockings first and then our presents. Once again, we were definitely spoiled with lots of goodies. After prezzies, we went to Ben and Brenda's house for a turkey lunch and lots of visiting with family well into the evening. Boxing day continued the festivities as we went to Darlene's for brunch and more prezzies. By the time Sunday rolled around, I felt like I needed a vacation from our long weekend! But it was a nice time to relax and visit and generally not have to go to work!
Now, here are some photos:

Our Christmas tree on Christmas morning, loaded with prezzies!!
Ollie feels it would be very much in the spirit of Christmas if Brad would share his breakfast
The stockings were hung by hour electric-fireplace-entertainment-stand with care...
Brad's new scarf!
Me helping Ollie to unwrap his prezzie (Yes, I am wearing a pile of ribbons on my head. what's it to ya?)
Ollie determines the best location to play with his new squeaky lion is on my new sweater. Who am I to deny him this fun?
Our first Christmas as the Giesbrechts (or Gieslliams, depending on who you ask)
Ollie is all tuckered out from Christmas, but is certainly not willing to part with his new toys while he naps on my lap (I swear I didn't put them there!)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!

It was time for a change. BIG time! So I booked an appointment, and chopped the hair! I realized a couple of weeks ago that I've been trying to grow my hair out for three years. I finally did, and now what? All it did was annoy me, weigh me down, make me feel too hot, and cause issues. Sooooo, Goodbye hair! (In true makeover fashion, I took the before photo with no makeup, not smiling to really emphasize the transformation. Haha! )

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Last year after Christmas we bought two packages of LED christmas lights on sale. The particular ones we bought were solar powered. It seemed like such a great idea: no increase on the power bill, and totally self sufficient! So this year near the start of December, Brad was up on a ladder stringing our lights along the front of the house, and around the front window (we didn't buy enough to go around the house. whoops!). The solar panels were tricky to position where they would receive enough light but Brad did his best.
So, why was it not a good idea? Well, solar powered lights run on a battery. Batteries don't work too well in -28. Cold wires don't conduct electricity very well. Solar panels don't work very well when they're covered with snow. HA!
I wondered why there were so many boxes of them on the shevles of Canadian Tire when we bought them. They seemed like such a good idea! But I guess some other people were a little quicker than we were in determining the flaws. We do get points for trying though, right?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas to Me!!

Upon selling my car I sat down to determine what would be the best way to spend my newly aquired funds. I was trying to decide whether to put it towards our Vegas trip in April, or a downpayment on a new car (or blow it frivolously on a shopping spree for cute new clothes and fun things...come on, I wouldn't actually, but it was fun to toy with the idea) when I remembered the letter we had receved the other day reminding us that our property taxes were due. Sigh. Sometimes I hate being a grown up. So I decided to do the *gag*responsible*gag* thing and give the city the money they tell me belongs to them.
BUT, there was some left over. So, in consolation, I bought myself the new camera I've been eyeing up! Scrapbookers, rejoice! Not that my old camera wasn't working, it just wasn't producing the quality of pictures I want. Being that it is Christmas time, this particular camera went on sale every other week at one or more stores in the city. Of course, the Saturday before Christmas meant that pretty much every single store was sold out. Except the Source, and they are now. (Sorry). The main selling features were the 10megapixels, and the 10X optical zoom. (yay geek speak!). I convinced the very nice teenager in the Source to give it to me for the sale price at Staples; they're not supposed to if the store that has the sale is sold out, but I found a loop hole and got him to cave (don't EVER get in the way of a determined shopper with a goal in mind).
So I started playing around with it when I got home. Here are a few of the shots my Canon SX120 IS has taken.
It may be blurry, but it was the first picture I took. Ollie was very curious

(the only picture from the Christmas party last night. Brad reminded me it was at a casino, and thus, no cameras allowed. Sigh. Scrapbookers nightmare.)

The End of an Era

I sold my car on Thursday. It served me well, but just wasn't what we need anymore, so it was time to sell. It's funny though, I felt a little twinge of sadness to see it switch hands. That little cavalier carried a lot of sentimental value. My parents found it for me when I moved to PG in 2006 and with help from my mechanicl, Tony, it kept me mobile for that full year, with a ton of trips to and from Smithers in all kinds of weather. It had the tires stolen (I think we all remember that day. And if you don't, the blog entry is still here, just look for the one with all the swearing from November 10th, 2006). It got me to Swift, and carried Brad to and from Rosetown for a year. Yup, definitely a good little car.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Truly Upsetting

In an attempt to annoy Brad this evening, I flipped through the tv channel listings and clicked on the Fireplace channel on Shaw. (not exactly his idea of rivetting suppertime viewing). To my horror and dismay, Shaw informed me that I was not subscibed to the Fireplace channel, and in order to view it I would have to pay $13.95!! That's right, 13.95 (plus a service fee, I'm sure) to watch a crackling fireplace on your tv. Occasionally a hand will reach into the shot and deposit a new log to keep the fire burning (usually that part scares the crap out of me if I'm entranced by the flames).
Good news though, the Christmas Tree channel is still free. Phewww!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmasy things

Since we're just about at the middle of December with less than two weeks to Christmas, the activities have started.
Friday night was Brad's Community Health Christmas Party. We went to the Modern Family Restaraunt's Banquet room for supper, games and prezzies. Afterwards, a number of the people we were sitting with decided it was time to go to the bar, so we went off to the Big I where we stayed for about an hour. Anyone who's been there will understand that an hour at the Big I while sober is more than enough. We went home after. Ha!Karlene, Kyla, Myself, and Erin doing a very festive China White shot. Yum!
Me and Kyla (from Brad's office) at the Christmas Party.
Yesterday we put up the tree and decorated. It's nice to have some festive decor in the house. And so far, so good; Ollie seems disinterested with the tree. Fingers crossed it remains that way. The bottom foot of the tree remains bereft of ornaments in hopes that he won't get creative and learn how to use a stepping box.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ode to Winter

Holy CRAP it's cold!

And now, a montage of some thoughts I've had recently:

New Kids on the Block (groan if you will)
I have recently changed email addresses, so I only occassionally check my old address to see if anything useful has come in through the piles and piles of junk email. You may recall last year my intense excitement to see the New Kids perform in Saskatoon. Well, I signed up for their emails so I could hopefully get a pre-sale. I still get those emails. One that came the other day had this as it's title: Limited Edition Autographed Platinum Albums Now Available. Now, I may have been at the concert, screaming like a hormone charged teen, but I draw the line at spending $625 to have one of 100 limited edition platinum albums. And, to be honest, I judge those who do not draw their line there. I have, however, added the collection of 6 holiday ornaments featuring Joey, Donnie, Danny, Jordan and Jonathan for only $100. It would take any christmas tree to a whole new level of tackiness! (kidding! Kidding!!)

It's December 8th today, which is pretty remarkable. Christmas is suddenly approaching very quickly and yet, I still don't find myself in the spirit. We've received a couple of Christmas cards, and Bev and I sat down and made a ton as well. I've even just about finished my shopping. Still, nothing. Maybe once we have the tree all decorated and some other festive items up, it will feel different.

DAMN it's cold out!!

The New Year
So far, I've got quite a list of things to look forward to in 2010, and looking forward, I am! At the end of January, Brad and I are hoping to get away to Smithers for a post-christmas holiday. In April, Vassy and I will be on the floor at the John Mayer concert in Saskatoon (this time, SHE'LL be the one screaming her undying love to a performer on stage). Later in April, Brad and I are going to be heading to Vegas for Leah's wedding (can't wait to see everyone from the Twin!!), and in July Frank and Christi will be getting married! It's looking like a good year so far!

In the meantime
Christmas...sigh...still feels weird. Luckily Ollie is in the spirit: His christmas list to Santa includes many squeeky toys, a couple of lovely bones, and more delightful clothing (he told me so!!)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Adventures on the East Coast!

Last week I had the fantastic opportunity to travel to Halifax for a career fair. The major bonus (aside from seeing the other side of the country again) was that I was able to extend my stay a couple of days and see Maureen and her boyfriend Barry. They were gracious enough to let me stay with them and made sure I had an amazing time and got to see some of the many highlights the city (and Nova Scotia) have to offer.
~Drinking Champagne out of mason jars en route to the restaurant~
The night I arrived we went for supper and drinks at a restaurant known for their martinis. It was excellent and a nice cap to a long day of travel. Thursday Maureen took me downtown where we wandered the shops. We had intended to go to the Maritime Museum but never made it. Ha! Too many fun stores to look at before hurrying back to her place to help Barry make perogies for a supper with friends that night. We made a heap of perogies (around 80 I think) and everyone enjoyed the delicious meal.
~The restaurant owned by Mike Smith from the Trailer Park Boys! Love it! ~
~Maureen and I in front of Citadel Hill~
~Making perogies~
~At Barry's Brother's place~

Friday was the career fair which went very very well, and afterwards we went back downtown to look around and visit some more cool shops. The three of us went out for an amazing supper that night at a fantastic Italian restaurant downtown. Saturday Maureen took me for a tour of the Halifax Farmers Market. It was just amazing! The whole thing is held in a series of historical buildings and is jam packed with craftsmen selling their creations, as well as meats, cheeses, baked goods, and veggies. Maureen had promised to take me on the ferry from Halifax across the harbour to Dartmouth. Since we were short on time, we took the 12 minute ride over, got off the ferry, re-boarded, and came right back. It was a neat way to view the city though and reminded me of the Seabus in Vancouver.
~Taking the Ferry to and from Dartmouth~
Saturday night was Halloween and Barry's brother Robbie and his wife Sonia hosted a Murder Mystery Party at their place, 30 minutes outside of Halifax. It was a ton of fun and I loved meeting all of their friends. We spent the night there (long drive, plus a little too much booze) and left after breakfast.
~Dressed up for the Murder Mystery Party~

~The cast of Murder in Margarhitaland~
After showering, Maureen and I went for a drive to Bridgewater to try to find a huge Adirondack chair that was apparently somewhere in the town. We got mildly lost (it wouldn't be a roadtrip adventure for me if we weren't somewhat lost at least once!!), and asked for directions twice. Despite the help from locals, we couldn't find the chair and left the community to visit Peggy's Cove before going home.
Peggy's Cove was incredible! I was struck with how powerful the ocean is. And it was a pretty calm day at that!
~Peggy's Cove~

We left Peggy's Cove after sunset and went back to Halifax where Barry had made supper (yum!) and afterwards we went to a comedy sketch show with a local troupe called picnicface. I certainly laughed my money's worth!
Monday it was a ridiculously early morning and I was on my way by 7:40 Halifax time, arriving back in Swift at 5 Sask time. A long day of travel and a busy busy week, but so worth it!

I'm one of those people....

...who dress up their pets.
I feel no shame.

Nick and Kim's Wedding

Nick, my new brother in law, got married on October 24th to his girlfriend of the past five years, Kim. It was a beautiful ceremony at the Palliser Pavilion in Swift Current, followed by a delicious supper, and great reception also at the Palliser. I think we all had a great time and it was just what Nick and Kim wanted to mark the start of the rest of their lives together!