Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nose Picking, Willy Grabbing and Scene Stealing: Our Christmas!

This Christmas was nearly perfect!  The only part I would like to do over would be the part where I suffered through a nasty headcold.

We have been spending our days visiting with friends, baking, sledding, climbing the giant snow hill, warming up by bonfires, eating baking, more visiting.....    All around fun and relaxing times!  At one point we ended up at a gully in town with about a dozen other families.  We were sliding down and then being hauled back up by skidoos.  So fantastic.

Christmas day was pretty low-key here.  Presents were opened by gleeful boys, chocolate was consumed by the pound(s) and we went sledding with another family.  We didn't have company for supper and I just cooked a big ham in the crockpot.  We watched Cars 2 and all crashed pretty early that night.

I love that Faro gives us so much time to just relax and enjoy the family time.  With only two stores (the general store and liquor store) there isn't much for last minute shopping or Boxing Day sales.

This video is one of the most memorable moments of the holiday.  My kids crack me up. 

Nose Picking, Willy Grabbing and Scene Stealing:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Rink Rats

Our family has started to live at our local rink!  We are full on rink rats now. 

Hunter is taking skating lessons and we are so impressed at quickly his balance and coordination are improving.  We got to at least two public skates a week and Matt also helps out with youth hockey a couple times a week.  The arena is busy spot!

It is also quite the steal compared to larger centers.  Hunter is signed up for two sessions of skating lessons and we also have a family pass to cover all public skates for the season.  The cost?  $195.  Amazing!  Plus the arena has heaps of used skating gear that you can borrow.  Both boys are using skates that belong to the town.  We did buy them their own helmets.  What an inexpensive way to entertain our kids over the winter.  And if you cannot afford that fee?  The town of Faro has a lot of grant money for recreation to hand out to families to cover that costs with just a bit of paperwork.  How great is that!

Skating lessons with Michelle and Emily.  Hunter is in the middle.

Don't want to skate?  There are lots of toys and games to use as well!

Learning how to turn.

Craft time at the rink!  Reindeer! 

Alex and Cavan racing chairs.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Tools of Distraction

Prior to having my weight loss I put a lot of though into how I was going to distract myself after surgery to keep from eating.  Binge eating has been part of my life since I was a young child and I knew it was going to be a really hard habit to break.  But I am breaking that cycle little by little as each week progresses.

Here are my best tools of distraction:
A friend gave me a very generous monetary gift and I used it to buy some things for myself that I would never have done else wise.  I bought a Kindle and a bunch of books, an online subscription to a weight loss magazine, and a subscription to a month beauty product sampler.  All things I would have felt so bad spending our own money on, but they have been so fantastic at helping me.  Thanks Letia for playing such a big role in my success so far!

If I am typing I can't be eating!  And I have been drinking a lot of Crystal Lite to make sure I get all my fluids in during the day.  Thank you to everyone that I correspond with online.

Train building with Hunter keeps me away from food.

My sewing machine and hands have been in overdrive filling orders for Christmas!  Again, if I am sewing I am not eating.  I have some exciting ideas to start with in the new year as I work to expand my business out of the traditional crafts and into new areas.

I love shoveling.  I really do!  I am keeping our driveway well groomed after each snowfall.  Time outside just boosts my energy levels and burns up calories.

These boys are professionals at distracting me!  They had a friend sleep over for two nights this week and I was so busy, there was definitely no time to think of eating.

Any other suggestions for ways to keep myself distracted?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Christmas Concert

Last night we attending our first Christmas concert as parents and it was fantastic! I have been hearing from other parents that a number of schools no longer put on Christmas concerts and I so glad this isn't the case in Faro. The whole evening was so well planned right down to a spaghetti supper for the kids before the concert. Thank you to all of the teachers and volunteers who helped make the evening so memorable!

I was secretly hoping that my kid would do something on stage that I could blackmail him with later in life. But Hunter got up there and sang his little heart out along with his classmates. Cavan was upset the entire evening that he could not get up on stage with the other performers. School cannot come soon enough for that one.

Here is the video from the Kindergarten class and a few other photos:

Time for makeup!

Cavan wasn't too impressed with some of the performances.
Cavan and his buddy Alex really wanted to be part of the performance.

So they opted to put on quite the performance of their own.

Our little reindeer!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Soon this will get exciting.

In another 7.5lbs my life is going to become a lot more interesting.

Here is a picture of me from one year ago- December 2010- at 271lbs:

And here I am 8 months later in August of 2011 at 319lbs:

And a photo of me now in December 2011:

 In 2010 I lost 50lbs.  I went from 321lbs to 271lbs in twelve months.  But then over an 8 month period I gained all but two pounds back.  That huge failure played a major role in my decision to have weight loss surgery.

I have nearly made up that loss and in another 7.5lbs I will be back at 271.  The weight that I have lost since surgery has been great, but I think it will be a heck of a lot more exciting once I break through that old barrier. 

Since October 1st, I have lost a total of 40.5lbs.  Eleven pounds of that was prior to surgery and then since surgery on the 19th of October I have lost another 29.5lbs.  I am hoping to hit 50 by the new year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Cookie

Every year at Christmas time I send an email to the mother of one of my dearest friends.  Each year the email is the same:

Help!  I want to make your awesome shortbread cookies but don't remember where I wrote the recipe down!

And every year this lovely woman shares her recipe and wishes of love for our family.

I have had a few requests for the recipe and I am sure she wouldn't mind me sharing it.  So here it is with my little tweaks:

1 cup soft butter
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup fruit sugar (comes in those little bags also called Berry Sugar)
Cream butter and add sugar gradually.  Beat until almost white.  (Then I whip it in my kitchen aid for about 6 minutes)
Add 1 3/4 c flour gradually.  Whip again once all of the flour is added for 2 minutes.
Roll into tiny balls and squish a little hollow into the top of each ball with your thumb.  Put half of a glazed cherry into the hollow.
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes  

The cookies don't brown up except for a little on the bottom.  And good luck trying not to eat a dozen by yourself right when they come out of the oven!

Thank you Mrs. Whitrow! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sense of Community

Just over a week ago I attended the annual Church Ladies Tea and Craft Bazaar here in Faro.  It is a fun event held every December.  Tables are rented out crafters, artists and other groups and the public pays $2 to get in to shop and enjoy tea, coffee and lots of snacks.

We have only lived in Faro just coming on four years and I have had a table each of those four years at the bazaar.  But this year blew my mind!  There were 26 tables rented out this year.  And then the community came and filled the rec center right up!

It is so fantastic to see this little community thriving, especially during the holidays. There were kids running around stealing snacks off the tables, adults mingling and sharing laughs over tea and money was being spent locally!  Faro is turning into quite the busy little hub.

The view from the stage in the rec centre gym.  Busy place!

We tied a helium balloon to Cavan and then laughed as he tried to run away from it.

Darn thing just kept chasing him!
And I am pretty sure my children ate their weight in cookies that day.  Every time I looked up I would see either them stealing a cookie from a table or someone feeding them a cookie and giving me an evil grin!  I love living in a community where my children can freely run around and the worst thing I have to worry about is how many cookies they ate.