November 2009

Friday evening we transformed our house, like every year, to a Christmas wonderland. Maybe not wonderland but a house that definitely shows Christmas is coming. We have put up our first of two trees, yes two. Why two you may ask? Well we like to have a real tree but we won’t get that until 2-3 weeks before the big day, and my wife and son love christmas, not necessarily the  just day but everything that comes before it and this is one part of that. We made the two tree decision to allow for them to have a tree up several weeks earlier (don’t tell them but I like also).  The artificial tree is kinda special in a weird family way, we use it to display our growing collection of homemade ornaments. Every year we pick an ornament craft for us to do as a family and one weekend we while sit down and make those ornaments. Yes it is kind of a corny thing but personally it is something I love.  Seeing the corny, okay, lets just say less than beautiful creations from the years before. I will post our craft this year once we get it made.

Anyways here is some pictures of the tree this year.


Sunday we had a nice day. My boy was up at seven, I let him watch cartoons for a bit on Sundays before breakfast. As normal I asked what he would like for breakfast and he decided a pancake. I personally was thinking he would want his usual Cheerios dry and fruit, but pancake it was. Okay one single pancake and strawberries coming right up. About a year ago I watched my wife make him a single pancake, but she just mixed a small amount of mix in a mug with some water? And yes I was mystified for a couple of minutes that you could do that (was thinking too logically that you needed to make a batch), anyways it is a great tip for anyone that is like me. So the day is going similar to any Sunday at this time. Later, before lunch, I took my boy outside to play while I did couple of fall jobs. I got the shelter on my snow blower ready to go for the first snow storm.

So what made this Sunday different? Well it was the Santa Claus parade in Toronto, so we PVR’d it to watch later without the commercials. We also started the never-ending playing of my son’s favorite Christmas movie.  The one he has seen all his young life, the one that still makes him smile that sweet smile. Can you guess what it is?????? Yes the Polar Express, from when we start to watch now, till after New Years it is one continuous playing of the hot chocolate song.

That song sticks in my head. I also made a roast chicken and the fixings for me and my bride for supper. Our little picky eater ate some chicken and a spoon of potatoes. It was a nice start to the holiday season for us, and my son and bride have already asked to put the first of our two tree’s up next weekend.

Saturday night my sweet wife made a lentil soup, or maybe it was a stew, either way it was so very yummy.

We have been in a real soup or stew mood lately, it is a meal here a couple of times a week. The nice thing about them is your one batch is good for two meals and a lunch. Such good value and a great time saver, and there is nothing more comforting then a nice homemade soup or stew.

So what is the recipe for Lentil Soup? Well it is so easy to make, here are the ingredients for it:

  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2 cups of Lentals (we use brown or red)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 – 28oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh dill chopped

So in a large saucepan melt butter, once hot add the onions and garlic and saute till translucent. Add the lentils to soak up some butter and onion goodness, then add the rest of the ingredients, except the dill. Bring to a light boil. Then reduce the heat to low and cover and simmer for about an hour…depending on the lentils you use….if you choose a longer cooking lentil it may take longer. Our lentils took an hour. Stir in the fresh dill about 5 min before serving. Freezes very well. Please note that this makes a very thick, almost stew like soup.


And of course when you have a kick ass pie baker you get a very tasty apple pie too.

apple pie

One of my favorite comfort foods, Warm Apple Pie

What a great comforting meal followed by a fire and some relaxing Batman Lego with my boy, then watching  a movie Bed Time Story.

My bride has been working on becoming a better photographer. She always took great photos like most people do, but I have seen a huge improvement in the way she looks at things and and takes the picture, and quality of her photos has improved with that. I wanted to share with you one of my favourites she has taken.


Love this picture. I think it is because it visually shows what I feel as a parent. Thank you for capturing this for me sweety.


My boy had his first hockey practice today. He is in Timbits, it is a learn to play program that is sponsored by Tim Hortons. For those of you that are south of the border and haven’t experienced it yet, Tim’s or Timmy’s is a coffee chain that was started by an NHL hockey player in Canada. They have been slowly growing into the USA. Okay that was a little off topic, anyways I was so very proud with how he did. His skating improved about 15% in this first time out and the coaching staff was great.

It has been many, many years since I did a learn to skate program and the drills and games are exactly the same.

markhockey pic as a kid_edited-1

Definately gives me the urge to start to play again, the whole experience was great and one he enjoyed. We will see if he wants to play next year, but for now it is a nice fun time for him.


He seems so intense in this picture, kinda true he has just gotten on the ice without any help of his skating aids like he has had at public skating.


He is getting the hang of the skating with two feet so very very proud of him.


This picture kinda speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Okay we all know we as  consumers that we have finally gotten enviromentaly concerned and started to use reusable bags. But have any of you noticed that with this change, grocery stores have stop bagging your groceries? They now make you do it while they push the next client purchase at you and stand there and look at you as if to say “What the frig is taking you so long?” Not all stores do make you bag but the majority of them in our area where we shop do.

So my suggestion if they don’t help, take your sweet time. Some accountant somewhere will calculate that they need to help bag so they can get more people cashed out and make more all mighty money.