I love this idea of a word of the year.
It gives me another way to keep the cobwebs off the brain.

I think listen is good word for me, I love to talk and I think I need to listen more.
I love to listen to my 2 year old tell me what he's doing, what he wants and what he needs. I feel so lucky to be able to hear and watch him grow. I am so lucky to be his Mom.
"Are you happy Mommy?" are the sweetest words right after "love you soooo much".
This holiday we really focused on family and listened to our hearts. We skated, we sang, we played, we visited the pet store for over an hour.
Listening takes patience-I wonder what else I will learn in 2011.

Christmas Do Again's for Next Year

One big present instead of many little ones. With a tree full of gifts a new kitchen was the highlight leaving many unopened gifts even a few days later!Appies! MMMmm! Spinach Dip, Baked Brie, Des's Ham ball and Pam's new Hot Mama Southwest Chicken and Taco Dip......a huge hit!Salad's in parfait dishes. I was going for a red and green theme, pretty and yummy. Thanks to my brothers great teaching I even did a balsamic cran-raspberry dressing solo this year.Brunch. Brunch is my favorite. Quiche, fruit cups and fresh cinnamon buns are easy to do on a lazy Christmas morning. I loved sharing them with a few close family members-this was my favorite part of the day. Oo, and the vintage mugs from my collection-note to self look for more green and white fire king for next year-had enough for brunch but it was close for after dinner tea.Schmoo Torte.
Whipped up fresh Christmas morning (extra fresh whipped cream went on the fruit cups). Dessert also included home baked apple and Saskatoon berry pie and fresh fruit cups. I felt like a good hostess giving my guests options of what and when they wanted dessert. Dessert bar-definitely a do again-note to self- keep your eye out for a few more super dainty and cute vintage side plates, I think they make homemade pie taste even better!

Happy Holidays!

I call this my anti-Christmas card.
The pics were done this summer by the amazing Justin G-google him, he's off travelling the world right now instead of shovelling snow in eighteen layers like the rest of us. Anyway, with my master's classes finals at the same time Christmas family pictures should have been done...classes came first.
Oh well, I like the idea of Christmas pics in a bikini-makes me wish I lived in California even more!
Happy Holidays!

more gingerbread...

We have a new Christmas tradition..... It involves gingerbread men on sticks and our favorite ipad app. The gingerbread men on sticks is great for acting our the story. The sticks are like long thin Popsicle sticks-no points, perfect for puppets.

We listen and read this story more times in a day that I can count. The story is riveting. A real page turner. Book clubs beware. I can't believe Oprah hasn't suggested this read yet.
The Gingerbread Man.
Read it. Love it. Repeat.

tools of the trade

I love having my boys in the kitchen......

I love that my boys tolerate my family kitchen activities.....

I love having a house that smells of warm gingerbread and has trails of gingerbread crumbs following my boys.....

small things for Christmas #2 planners

I love planning, organizing and reviewing.
I like it even better all wrapped up in one place like this super cute book I whipped up.

The idea came from another blog of course and it is a keeper!
I made 3 and loved sharing one with a great friend. I also gave her one to share with another person of her choice. Makes the giving even more fun.
So far my book is filled with to do lists, menus and gift lists. My favorite part is an envelope I added in the back for ideas for next year.
I carry my book in my purse an jot down ideas whenever I get a chance, today I came across a cranberry ricotta quiche recipe which will definitely be a part of my Christmas morning brunch.
The book is a small thing that has brought me great joy in sharing. Next year I'll have the girls over in early November for pre-Christmas planning party and we can each make our own.

small things for Christmas #1 lunch treats

Being a teacher I've never really had the option of eating out for lunch. My husband on the other had the delicious food of the hospital cafeteria to nourish him for the years pre-me. Needless to say when the offer of making him lunch for the next day arose early in our relationship he jumped at the opportunity. A lunch taker was born.
Many years later I still take part in making my hubby's lunch.
I take pride in taking care of him a little bit.
So for each work day in December I made a treat bag for him.
Each bag contains small treat and a little love note, warms my heart just thinking about it.
He has already thanked me for his first note and the others are lined up ready to be popped into his lunch, 16 in all.
For me, Christmas this year is about the small things.