Posted by: vmlay | November 30, 2009

The Annual Boo Cake

The Boo Cake is a Halloween tradition in our family, one that has become even more fun as the kids get older and do most of the decorating (and a lot of the actual making) of the cake.

There was a lot  of collaboration on the cake this year, it was so neat to Alex and Mac working together to make the cake “just right”:

Of course, Alex tends to try and be the “manager” of all things creative, until Mac told her that he could do his part just fine on his own 🙂

The 2009 Boo Cake:

And the rest of our Halloween craft display:

Posted by: vmlay | November 27, 2009

Visit with Santa

Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, we take the kids to visit with Santa at Plaza Frontenac.  It’s one of our annual traditions.  Usually this results in a photo of the kids (and sometimes the whole family) with Santa.  Unfortunately the picture this year did not turn out well (overexposed) and we didn’t ask for a retake (as we really should have) so that part of the day didn’t work out well.  I did, however, take photos of the kids while we were hanging out waiting for Santa and as Alex correctly informed me “it’s just a picture, Mom, we still got to talk to Santa” 🙂

Alex and Mac in their dressy coats in front of one of the big decorated trees in the main lobby:

Santa arrives in a horse-drawn carriage (as he does every year) and while Mac was excited to give Santa a big hello hug, Alex was more fascinated with his Percheron.  Look how small she looks next to such a big draft horse!

Mac finally wandered over to meet the Percheron also.  It was the sweetest horse, very patient with all the kids underfoot.

I thought this was a cute photo of Mac waiting to see Santa:

Alex and Mac discussing what they want to talk to Santa about:

Alex’s turn to pose for a photo:

Alex explaining that since she has a very short list it will be easy for Santa to remember it 🙂

Mac just hanging out waiting for the big moment:

Both kids enjoyed getting to sit on Santa’s lap and tell them what they would like for Christmas.  Alex says that the Santa at Plaza Frontenac is the “real” one so I guess it’s good that we go to see him every  year 🙂

Posted by: vmlay | November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Alex’s all natural Thanksgiving turkey craft 🙂

Posted by: vmlay | November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Craft

Mac and Alex wanted to do something crafty for Thanksgiving and I found some templates online.  Some of the templates (for a pilgrim mouse and a turkey) were perfect because we had all these toilet paper tubes hanging around waiting to be used 🙂

Mac loved coloring the turkey “feathers” the most I think:

Mac’s Pilgrim Mouse:

Alex taping together her pilgrim mouse:

Alex cutting the Pilgrim Mouse’s pumpkin pie slice so it would look like the mouse (or the turkey?!) had taken a bite out of it 🙂

One of the finished sets that we will use to decorate the Thanksgiving table:

Posted by: vmlay | November 9, 2009

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

This is hosted over on J. Kaye’s Book Blog.

Books completed this week:

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis — I  really enjoyed this YA novel.  It was a fairly light read and I haven’t read many werewolf books so this made for a nice change of pace.

The Ninth Daughter by Barbara Hamilton — A “new mystery series set in revolutionary Boston” featuring Abigail Adams.  I’ve always been fascinated by Abigail Adams (her letters are wonderful)  so this looked interesting.  I found it a bit hard to get into at first (and I discovered how little I remembered about Revolutionary American politics!) but I stuck with it and I’m glad I did because it really turned out to be a good book.   I’m looking forward to the next one in the series.

Lady Macbeth’s Daughter by Lisa Klein — Since I enjoy Shakespeare this YA novel looked intriquing and I’m glad I picked it up at the library.  It was very well done, a nice mix of Shakespeare, history and fiction with excellent characters that really came to life.

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe — Another YA novel that looked interesting because I often enjoy ghost stories.  This novel turned out to address some pretty serious issues but I found it very compelling and stayed up late to finish it last night.

Books I started but didn’t finish:

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow — This went no where for me so I gave up after the first chapter.

Books I am currently reading:

A Christmas Promise by Anne Perry — I’ve heard that Anne Perry’s Christmas novels are very good so I thought I’d try this one since Christmas is not so far away now!

Up Next:

TBD — I need to look over my library pile and my TBR pile but the kids are calling for me now 🙂

Posted by: vmlay | November 6, 2009

Aloha Friday

Kailani, at An Island Life, hosts Aloha Friday. It’s a chance to relax and get ready for the weekend. So on Aloha Friday, you ask a question and answer others’ questions.

My question today because I’m trying to remind myself to notice the small stuff:

What are the little things in life than you enjoy?  The everyday things that make you smile 🙂

Some of mine are when my kids give me hugs, when I’m cuddling on the couch with a purring cat and having hot cocoa with marshmallows!

Posted by: vmlay | November 3, 2009

Cats on Tuesdays — MacKayla the Empress


Cats on Tuesdays is hosted by Gattina!

I found this picture this morning as I was digging through some old files.  My daughter is three years old here, but I just love the look on MacKayla’s face.

Alex 3-06

MacKayla the Empress (aka Charge Card) is one of the funniest cats I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing — she’s a furry ball of contradictions.  She has to know what is going on at all times, she’s nosy beyond belief.  That quote about curiosity and the cat — it was written about MacKayla!  She keeps close tabs on all activity going on around the house and inspects every visitor who walks through the door — she even goes through their purses if they leave them where she can get to them.  Many times I have found her buried in someone’s purse or bag up to her whiskers 🙂

Because the kids tend to be so busy with “stuff” MacKayla can usually be found keeping an eye on whatever they are doing.  She is especially fond of Alex, as you can see from the picture above.  She has always let Alex carry her around, hug and love on her, even dress her up.   She has been the most patience of cats.  Which I find interesting because she is most certainly not patient with anyone else.  Anyone who tries to hold her gets “yelled” at most ferociously (“put me down this instance you cretin!”) and really you can’t even pet her very long before she gets upset (“you’re messing up my fur, can’t you see that!”).  She is most definitely a cat that prefers to be admired from a distance.  Except for Alex who can get away with almost anything!  She’s not quite so patient with my son, probably because Mac has a harder time being “gentle”.  But even with him she tries to be more tolerant and I often find her sleeping with him at night, purring contentedly.

And every night at bedtime, when we read books together, MacKayla is right there with us.  She sits on the bed and purrs and headbutts the kids to make sure they are paying attention to both her and the book.

She’s a quirky little cat but we love her a lot and she is a favorite character in the “stories” that the kids make up about our pets — she often travels to Paris for the fashion shows, with her butler and chauffeur of course 🙂

Posted by: vmlay | November 2, 2009

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

This is hosted over on J. Kaye’s Book Blog.

Books completed this week:

Ruined by Paula Morris – this was a great ghost story, I really enjoyed it.  Especially appropriate right before Halloween!

Confessions of a Slacker Mom by Muffy Mead-Ferro — I started this last month, then got distracted by some other books but finally got back to finish it.  I enjoyed it since there were a lot of things the author discussed that I really agreed with — I think everyone could do with a bit of slacker mom in their reportroire.

How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World by Jordan Christy — this is geared mostly toward single young women but I still enjoyed it.   Like Slacker Mom it was a book where I found myself agreeing with a lot of what the author had to say about how to handle oneself as you go through life.  I am going to hold onto this one as there is a lot here that I want to be able to share with my daughter as she gets older.

Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris — I have been a bit ambivalent about this series, the first three books were good but I didn’t really feel “hooked” into the characters the way I would have expected considering how much I enjoy Harris’s other series about Sookie Stackhouse.  This book really turned that corner for me though, I stayed up late last night so I could finish it, I was so anxious to know what was going to happen.  The ending was unexpected and I must say I really enjoyed this book alot.  I am looking forward to the next one!

Books I started but didn’t finish:

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel — I love this particular era (Henry VIII) so I thought this would be a good choice for me, but I only managed a couple chapters and couldn’t sustain my interest.  It probably has more to do with being tired and stressed out then the book itself, so I’ll pick it up again later for another try.

Books I am currently reading:

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis — I’m about half way through this YA novel and am really enjoying it.  It’s been a light read so far which seems to be what I need a lot of lately.  I haven’t read many werewolf books so this makes for a change of pace.

Up Next:

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow — Not sure if I’ll like this one or not but it certainly sounds interesting!

The Ninth Daughter by Barbara Hamilton — A “new mystery series set in revolutionary Boston” featuring Abigail Adams.  I’ve always been fascinated by Abigail Adams (her letters are wonderful) and I often enjoy mystery series that feature historical characters (such as the Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron) so this could be a really good series.  I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Posted by: vmlay | October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Posted by: vmlay | October 28, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

Wordful Wednesday’s are hosted by Seven Clown Circus.

One of our Halloween traditions is the “ghostie tree” as the kids look forward to hanging up the ghosts every year.

Here are some photos of Alex and Mac putting up the ghosties, they worked really hard to get every one hung up even though the wind was blowing quite hard and the ghosties kept trying to escape!





By the time we finished it was dark, next time we won’t wait until after dinner to get started.  But the tree looks nice and spooky according to Mac 🙂


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