Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Concerts - Part 3


Alex's Christmas Concert performance.

Christmas Concerts - Part 2

Connor's Christmas play.  He's the one in the dragon costume!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Concerts - part 1 - Kirstin

Kirstin's Strong Start class performs Jingle Bells!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Santa's citizenship

My children wrote letters to Santa last week.  Complete with full colour illustrations of the gifts that they would like this year.  

Alex's letter (edited several times over the course of a couple of days):


Kirstin's letter:

 Connor's letter:

I have to commend their efforts.  But I also cringed when in my mind I calculated the budget required to fulfill this years' dreams!   Two DS's and a Wii U?  Not to mention the Star Wars Lego Millenium Falcon which bears a hefty price tag of $99 for something that's likely going to be spread all over the living room by Boxing Day, and inadvertently vacuumed up over the next several months.

Oy!

So I had a conversation with the children about how Santa's elves don't know how to make electronics, and Santa actually has to purchase those types of gifts.  And how if we ask for too much, then it makes us look greedy and it takes away from his budget for all of the other children in the world.  They seemed to be okay with that explanation. Alex even amended his letter to state that if given the choice, he'd prefer the Wii U over the DS.  (The more expensive Wii U --- but something the whole family can share so maybe a better bang for Santa's bucks)

Kirstin has only asked for one thing... the 2012 Holiday Collector Barbie.  Not something I would ever consider purchasing for her.  She's still at an age that she destroys the hair and undresses the barbies and loses the clothing.  The "collector" status of any barbie in our house is greatly dimished the second she gets it out of the box.  Still what are toys if they aren't meant to be played with, right?  And it's the only thing she wants for Christmas.  An ethical dilemma I'll leave to Santa to solve.

I guess we'll have to see.  I think Santa's going to pick and choose from the wishes of my children.  I doubt that he will bring them everything their hearts desire.  But maybe he'll bring them one or two things they want, enough that they'll still be excited by the magic that is Santa.

The kids kept harassing me about 'when are you going to mail our letters' and I kept procrastinating hoping I could get away with keeping them for future scrapbook potential.  But they prevailed in their nagging... so I took photos and we sent the originals away. We mailed them to:  

Santa Claus, 
The North Pole 
HOH OHO  

Canada Post must have delivered the mail rather quickly because on Wednesday, they each received a response from the big guy himself!!  Which was pretty exciting around here.  The letters were form letters so each one got the same letter. At this time of year, with the sheer volume of mail Santa must receive, it's no wonder he writes one letter and sends photocopies to everyone else.  My children thought that was very wise of him.  They even commented that it was how I do our Christmas letter, too.



The interesting thing was the return address.  The letters came from the same place we'd sent them, only with a slight addition...

Santa Claus
The North Pole
HOH OHO
Canada.

Canada?

The thought had never occurred to me that the North Pole might actually be in Canadian Territory!  I just assumed that, floating in the middle of the ocean the way it is, it doesn't belong to any country.  But when you do some research, Canada and Denmark have land masses that are equal distance away and the North Pole could go either way.

How cool is that? A little seasonal geography to mull over this time of year.  We might actually share a country with all the inhabitants of the North Pole... Santa and the Mrs, the reindeer, the elves!    And if that is the case, well then that would make Santa Claus a Canadian Citizen!  He's one of us!  I love that!  I mean, we are known to be a generous, multi-cultural, overtly friendly bunch of people.  Why wouldn't Santa be a Canadian?   Makes sense.

What a fantastic claim to fame!  The most famous, loveable, generous, fun-loving man in the world is a Canuck!

I guess we've earned our bragging rights, hey fellow Canadians?

At the very least, we can stop apologizing for Celine Dion now...

Merry Christmas!  Hope Santa is good to you this year! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chris Baty sent me a personal message!

I love November!  It's "National Novel Writing Month".  When I stumbled across it in 2009, I didn't have any idea whether or not it was actually feasible to write a 50K word novel in a month (it's approximately 200 double spaced pages).  But I was up for the challenge.  At that time I had a 5, 2, and 1 year old.  They went to bed relatively easily, so I did all my writing after that, from about 9-11 pm every night.

Thus, "Patchwork Saturdays" was born.

In 2010, knowing I had 'won' the year before, I was confident that I could do it again.  This time I worked on a novel idea that had been percolating in my brain since 2006.  I wrote 50K words on "Undesirable".

2011, I wrote 50K words again, this time on "My Grandfather's Clock".

Seeing a pattern here?  I am.  I am excellent at starting things, absolutely horrendous at finishing them.  I now have 3 unfinished first drafts of three very different novels.  I'm pretty pleased with them.  They're rough, unpolished, and rambling... but underneath their rough exteriors, they're really quite good.  At least, they're they kind of book I would read.

So, this year... I was expecting a baby in early November!  Poor planning on my part.  November is MY month.  I shouldn't schedule anything else in November.  At all.  I really didn't have high hopes of getting much novelling done this year and was going to take 2012 off, although the thought really disappointed me.  But, I have a friend (I sucked her into Nano-ing last year) who was very motivating (she even wrote me a poem to inspire me!) and I though, what the heck, I'll give it a try.

I didn't start until November 7th.  So I was already 11,667 words behind right out of the gate.

And I didn't have any ideas for an original story.

So I cheated.  Well, technically I was a Nano Rebel (according to Nanowrimo rules).  I continued to work on my 2010 novel, Undesirable instead of starting a whole new story.

And somehow despite having a newborn, I hit the 50,000 word finish line.  Two days early! :)  I just left the laptop on and typed whenever I could, sometimes one-handed with a daughter or two on my lap. I now have a 380 page, almost finished, first draft off my 6 year story in the making.  I have to say, I'm very excited.  Maybe I can finish the actual manuscript before I go back to work next October and start submitting it to publishers.

Easy Peasy...I've got a few chapters to finish typing, some plot lines to tie up, then a heavy due proofing job that goes beyond spell checker, then I need 5-10 volunteers to read and critique, then compile their suggestions, do a re-write eliminating the crap, another editing / proofing job...

Nah, it probably won't be ready to call a manuscript by next fall.  :P

Anyway, the crux of my blog post wasn't to brag about my insane annual hobby, it was actually to brag that I  got a facebook message from the founder of Nanowrimo!  He posted a slogan contest on facebook, and I was one of the 7 people who won it.  He's sending me a poster as a prize, and he sent me a personal message congratulating me!  So made my day!!!

My slogan...  "Week Four: My children have no clean underwear!"

Now that November is over, time to catch up on the laundry and embrace the Christmas Season!