Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home Again

I got back from the weekend scrapbook retreat at Pigeon Lake a few hours ago. It was every bit as fun as I had expected. The weather was beautiful, bright and sunny with no sign of snow - very rare for this time of year. We arrived on Thursday night and stayed up past midnight laughing and visiting and doing some scrapbooking.

At supper time on Saturday Mickey got a phone call from her husband saying that their daughter-in-law was in the hospital in labor, so she and her daughter Andrea (who was also at the crop) drove back to Edmonton so Mickey could be present when the baby was born. Andrea was back at Pigeon Lake in a couple of hours but Mickey stayed away all night and was back at our retreat working away before Emily and I got up and made our way to the cropping room. Mickey's new 8 lb. grandson, Charlie, was born safely and all are doing well.

Emily and me at our work table.

Two sets of mother/daughters - Emily and Me, Mickey and Andrea.

The birthday girls - Kim (store owner and organizer of the retreat, in pink), Laura Lee, and Amber all had birthdays in the past couple days (it was actually Kim's birthday) so one of the scrapbookers had this cake made for them.

And Santa paid us a visit, handing out treats to everyone. He and I were very well color coordinated.

Some of Emily's wedding layouts. She's doing a lovely job with them.

My main project was a small album for grandson Anson. This will be a Christmas present for him. His mom says he loves looking at pictures of himself so I gathered up a bunch I had and put them together in this album.

It was a great weekend. We've already booked our room at the Inn for the one next October.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Weekend Retreat

I'll be missing Elly's first birthday party today but it just can't be helped. Mickey, Emily and I are headed to Pigeon Lake, about an hour south of town, for a weekend scrapbooking retreat. This will be our third retreat in Pigeon Lake and we look forward to them for months. Lots of preparation is done, deciding what supplies to take, what pictures to work on, packing, etc. Here's some pictures from last year's retreat. There was plenty of snow last November...not so this year...hoping it holds off till after we're home.

The main building of the lodge, where we have a large work room that'll accommodate a couple dozen scrappers and all their attendant paraphernalia. The back wall of the work room is floor to ceiling windows overlooking a large deck and acres of woods.

The second building, where our room is (Emily, Mickey and I always share a room), as well as the spa, hot tub, fireplace lounge, etc.

The townsite - it is very quaint with several good restaurants, one in particular which offers wild game and organic vegetables, free range chicken, etc. Our favorite eating place. There is also a scrapbook store there for those essentials that we might have forgotten to bring, like adhesives. Always fun to browse in when we feel the need to escape the creative mode and stretch our legs.

This is Mickey standing on the boardwalk/bridge between the two buildings.

So you'll have to excuse me if there's not another blog posted for a few days. I'll be enjoying some serious R&R in an idyllic rustic location with lots of like-minded friends. We usually stay up till past midnight scrapping, grab a few hours sleep, then get back at it, taking breaks during the day as we need them. A great way to spend a weekend. See you back here on Sunday night.

You've Come A Long Way Baby

A year ago today Eloise Patricia Hardwicke-Brown joined the family - the third child in her immediate family and the 14th grandchild in the MacKenzie clan.

It's been a busy year for the little girl - she has her own passport and at the tender age of three months made her first international flight to Arizona with her Mom and Grammie. She's a seasoned traveller now, having flown to Kelowna, BC with her Mom and siblings in August.

She also participated in the first MacKenzie family reunion in June where she already was the big cousin to James and Alex.

Now at the ripe old age of one year old, she is a force to be reconed with - motoring around the house, climbing stairs, turning her mother's computer off while Sara's busy working on it, terrorizing the cat, and learning to walk.

Happy birthday sweet girl.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Winter Coats

Remember this cute bunny that I blogged about in October...the one who lives on our cul-de-sac and likes to hide/rest under the tree where Lloyd parks the truck???

Well here he is again...all decked out in his white winter coat. Doesn't he look nice. I took this picture yesterday at the same tree that he was under last month. I talk to him but he never answers and doesn't stick around long enough for much of a conversation anyway.

And that's it for today. Sometimes I really feel like my mother's daughter.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Brooklyn's Birthday

Although Brooklyn's 5th birthday was earlier in the month, Lloyd and I went to their place tonight to celebrate with her with a birthday dinner. She was excited to have us there - she's such a sweetheart.

Don't you just love watching little kids open their presents! So much excitement and happiness.
Brooklyn doesn't hesitate to show her appreciation - it's a pleasure to give to her.

She made short work of the wrapping paper.

and loved the Disney crawling baby princess..."it's just what I wanted"... and we were glad that it behaved the way it was meant to - crawling to Brooklyn, laughing and cooing. When we were kids it was enough that our new dolls had 'rooted saran hair and eyes that opened and closed.

She loved her new baby doll. We had good visit with our firstborn and his family, as usual.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Preview of Christmas

First, here's Elly, standing but not walking. She actually did take one step yesterday but she doesn't realize that it's something she could be doing on a regular basis.

Sara's Christmas tree and ornaments were destroyed in their floods earlier this year, so this year she gets to buy a new tree and new ornaments. From among the ones she put up last night, these are my favorite...

A feathered owl, bought because Grammie loves owls - and she's very smart too ;)

My very favorite, Sara's frog prince, to honor Quincey

I love pictures of babies by the Christmas tree.
Here Elly is playing with Max's favorite ornament, a penquin.

Another baby picture.

It's a bit too early for me to put our tree up, but I always get a few new ornaments for it - it's part of the fun.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flat Tire

I got a call from Sara at 4:30 this afternoon. She has a flat tire, can I rescue her. I bundled Charlie, Max and Elly in the car and head to South Edmonton Common to find their Mom. The kids were excited - Charlie had never seen a flat tire before. Max had so he was very self-important and lording it over Charlie.

When we found her, Max quickly assured us that indeed, the tire is flat.

Charlie had to see for herself - she was concerned that a flat tire can't roll properly.

Sara reassurred them that Daddy would take care of the car later. In the meantime, since we were in the immediate neighbourhood, we went to Michael's and Sara bought a Christmas tree and some ornaments.

A very exciting afternoon for the H-B's.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Youngest and Oldest

With Mary in town for a few days, Jenny and her family came from Lacombe to see her and meet little Baron. Jonah, as the oldest of her five boys, is very comfortable with babies and it was nice to see him holding this littlest grandson of ours - our oldest grandson and our youngest. Jonah is 12 and Baron is 3 months.

Jonah and Baron

Jonah, Baron, Mary, Sam, Jenny
Daughters and Sons - Jenny with her two oldest boys and Mary with Baron

Three Generations
Mary, Baron and Lloyd, the proud Papa

Jenny and Jonah
She suddenly finds herself outgrown by her first son.

No room at the table for Layla and Charlie so they ate dinner at their own separate tables.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wasn't That A Party!!

Today is Charlie's 5th birthday. She was glad to be 5 but sad about leaving 4 behind ("will I ever be 4 again?" "No Charlie, not until you're 44") She can draw the number 4 really well, but finds 5 a bit harder. She had a good day, topped off by the arrival of cousin Layla from BC who came with her Mom and baby brother to celebrate with Charlie. The 'family supper' turned into quite a birthday party for Charlie.

Sydney, Charlie, Kenzie, Layla
Four little girl cousins and a princess cake.

Charlie requested tacos for her birthday dinner - her favorite. Poor Max is outnumbered by all the girl cousins.

Charlie admiring her cake.

The candles were easy to blow out, but...

...those darn sparklers just would not be blown out.

Elly was lost in the crowd - the youngest girl. She likes the balloons though.

And Sydney was happy with the noise maker and balloons.

These cousins and more will get together at the Princess Palace for Charlie's 'real' birthday party on Saturday. Grammie is excused from that one - one party is enough!! Four little 3, 4 and 5 year old girls can really make a lot of noise (the squealing and screaming!!). I don't remember my 5 daughters ever being that loud, but maybe I've just got selective memory now. Anyhow, it was a fun day and Charlie was happy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kenny and Thomas

Mike and Kenny came to visit tonight. Avril and Alex were sick so stayed at the hotel. Hopefully they'll be feeling better for Charlie's birthday party tomorrow.

Anyhow, like little boys everywhere, 2-year old Kenny loves Thomas the train and when he comes to Grammie's house, he plays the whole time with my Thomas and Percy.

He brought some of his own too - the smaller set - and integrated them into his play with mine.

It appears that Thomas had vision problems tonight and needed Mr. Potato Head's glasses.

I think this is such a boyish position - right down there with the trains.

It's very serious business, this Thomas the Train play.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First Snow of the Season

Today we woke up to the first snow of the season. It was nice wet sticky snow, perfect for snowballs, snowmen and playing in - and warm enough outside to go out.

I took Charlie and Max out to Sherwood Park to play with their cousins Brooklyn and Anson for a couple of hours. There was more snow there - 30 minutes from their place - than there was in Edmonton.

Brooklyn and Charlie wasted no time going out into the back yard to play. They started out building a snowman but didn't get very far on that project and ended up throwing snow at each other.
Brooklyn scooped up a huge handful of snow

Charlie and Brooklyn had a standoff...

Then Charlie came up with a much larger handful of snow and all bets were off....

Snow flew through the air.

Charlie liked it...

Brooklyn tried rolling the world's biggest snowball.

Charlie changed tactics and created a snow angel.

Brooklyn thought it was just a big laugh.


just wanted to eat the snow. A great start to winter this year.