Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 2015

We made it! This will be the last picture collage for 2015.  It was so fun to do one each month and served as a wonderful way to recap the year.
Dec 2015
December 2015 was filled with the magic of the Christmas season.  Our family was touched to be involved in the celebration of Advent with our Church community, we embraced new Toronto traditions and enjoyed wonderful time with Family in D.C. It was the perfect end cap to a particularly memorable year. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

James Robert's Preschool Christmas Party

James Robert's school had an adorable Christmas party this year.  The children spent weeks creating artwork that told the story of Christmas around the world. He was so excited to show off his work, visit with Santa and have Daddy come to his school! 
chartwell christmas

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas 2015

Please forgive me for being so behind on posting.  I had every intention of getting these Christmas pictures posted before the New Year and now we're well into February!  The best part about getting caught up is remembering all the wonderful memories made in the past month or two.

Christmas this year was spent in Washington, D.C. We celebrated with extended family from near and far- 7 kids in total this year made it especially fun!

The weather was unseasonably warm, so we enjoyed dressing up for Church without jackets this year. How nice!

christmas collage
Christmas morning was magical watching these three discover all the goodies Santa brought them.  The looks on their faces when they saw the tree was priceless.  I think they all wished that the trampoline was theirs, but Lena was such a nice sport and let everyone have fun with her new toy.
We also enjoyed the most delicious Christmas breakfast.  I think a new tradition has been born- Eggnog Overnight French Toast with all the fixings was delicious! 
christmas morning
The kids table was full this year- I can only imagine next time with another baby in the mix.
And here's one of the whole gang! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Big Brother + Baby's first picture

I can't believe I neglected to update our family blog with the wonderful news that James Robert will be a big brother in June of next year!  We are so very grateful for our growing family and can't wait to welcome another baby into our lives. 
We have had two ultrasounds so far and the most recent one at 12 weeks was especially exciting. Baby Leanderson was full of movement and the ultrasound tech even caught the baby sucking it's thumb.  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Santa Picture 2015

While it may not be our best, it certainly is our funniest Santa picture yet! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sugar High

I'm not sure if there was more icing on our gingerbread house or in his belly by the end of the project, but it was sure fun! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree

The magic of Christmas grows each year as James Robert begins to partake and help create new traditions.  This year, he was especially excited to help decorate our Christmas tree.  Although 90% of our ornaments were left in storage back home, we had a great time making homemade ornaments and decking the halls. 
oh christmas tree
We made applesauce and cinnamon ornaments and they made our entire home smell like Christmas all month long.  (So I can remember for next year, I used this recipe!)

Saturday, December 5, 2015

November 2015

November 2015
We had one jacket-free day in the park at the beginning of November, but then winter came to stay.  We had our first dusting of snow, which we managed to get out and enjoy.  And we had a wonderful trip to Chicago to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Bring on the holidays! 

Family Photos

We hadn't taken any professional family photos since James Robert was a baby.  To commemorate our time in Canada, we thought it would be special to have some pictures of our family here, at one of our favorite parks, to remember the experience.

It was a cold morning after a very rainy day, so we were thankful to be able to sneak in our shoot. We worked with Jeff and Diane photography, a husband and wife team, who couldn't be more kind. They wrote us a very sweet handwritten note and baked us cookies as a thank you! I couldn't recommend them more if you're in the area.

Between a toddler and a hyper dog, things were chaotic, but Jeff and Diane were miracle workers!  I am so thankful to have these memories captured. 
\Leaf Collage


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Two and a half

Untitled  This is a snapshot of two and a half:

-Energy and spirit infuses all that you do.
-Trucks and "diggys" ,as you you like to call them, are your most favorite thing to play with.
-You ask approximately 150 questions by the time we finish breakfast.
-You adore music and if you're not asking a question, you're likely singing (Wheels on the Bus is STILL your favorite).
-Dirt is glorious, but you find glue to be yucky and hence hardly participate in arts and crafts
-Your teachers tell me that you're very expressive!
-If I let you, you would chase Major around the backyard pretending to mow the lawn for hours.
-Those precious little smiles are so tender and underneath the rough and tumble, you are still fiercely affectionate.   

Springridge Farm

We met our friends for a fun morning at a local farm and discovered James Robert's heaven on earth.

There were animals to feed, huge slides to be discovered, a real tractor ride (complete with farmer) and even a sand pit with hundreds of trucks for him to play with.  It was such a treat!
Springridge Farm
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October 2015

October 2015

Autumn is in technicolor up here and October was the month to take it all in.  The weather was still warm enough to get out and enjoy the foliage, but gave us glimpses of the winter to come.  From pumpkin everything to trick-or-treating, it was a sweet month.  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hutchinson Farm

Autumn puts on quite a show up here!  The colors have exploded in the past week and despite a cold snap, we endeavored to get out to enjoy them last weekend.  Head 30 minutes west from where we live and you're in beautiful rolling hills. There are numerous farms and pumpkin patches to visit; this year we explored Hutchinson Farm and it was such a treat.

What I loved most about this pumpkin patch was that we had it to ourselves.  It felt quintessentially festive!  We got there at just the right time;  we avoided crowds and the commercial feel.   It was one of those childhood moments that you can just see being etched into his memory.  James Robert ran through the field springing from pumpkin to pumpkin with total glee.

We also loved that Hutchinson Farm had so many varieties of pumpkins. We picked 3 different kinds of pumpkins and have grand plans for all types of pumpkin seed baking (mine with old bay seasoning and his with cinnamon and sugar).  We'll definitely be back next year!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Banff Trip

Gram and Grandpa September Visit

Gram and Grandpa drove up to visit us at the end of September!  James Robert was lucky to have them all to himself for a few days while Mat and I traveled to Banff.

We caught the most gorgeous sunset one evening while going to skip rocks and collect lake glass.  
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Sunday, October 4, 2015

September 2015

September 2015
September felt monumental.  We celebrated an anniversary and did the most exploring of Canada yet.  A family trip to Montreal and a visit from Gram and Grandpa allowed Mat and I to visit Banff, AB together.  Additionally, James Robert started at a new school.  The pictures tell the story much better than I could describe; it was a stunning month.