Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The McGregor Family Christmas Letter

Each year my husband and I write a Christmas letter.  This year I seemed to put it off but not for the reasons you might think.  I am a busy person but that wasn't why... I just felt like I didn't have anything to say.  It came to me one day to include the kids into our letter.  We have done that before and it was fun and honestly very truthful.  Here we go again:

It has been another amazing year – we have so much to be thankful for. 
For this letter, we want to share our favourite things of 2015.

Let’s start with Jean: 
Fast facts:  7 years old; grade two; dances and sings like no one’s watching; favourite activity is playing teacher (Mrs. Simons is her inspiration… this is Jean’s second year with her); Jean is small but mighty!
1.      Her favourite part about being in Florida last winter was playing mini-golf and swimming.   
2.      She loved our trip to Niagara Falls for the dance competition (best part was staying in the big house).
3.      Her favourite part of summer was going camping and especially going in the canoe and taking a big hike at Bon Echo park.
4.      She really loves having a puppy; her name is Lucy and Jean hugs her a lot.
5.      Jean turned 7 years old in November and her birthday party was at Extreme Trampoline. 

Alex: Fast facts:  9 years old, grade four; loves playing hockey, soccer, minecraft… any game!  He has just discovered his love of drawing.
1.      He loved our trip to Florida last winter… visiting alligators and even holding one.
2.      He really enjoyed playing in a ball hockey league last spring.
3.      Alex likes our annual staff party… pizza, KFC, ice cream, playing games outside!
4.      His birthday party was a highlight where they played a big game of soccer!
5.      Our family got a puppy this fall and her name is Lucy. 

Grace: Fast facts:  11 years old (how can that be?); she is our tech-support and probably always will be; loves to bake; is in her 5th year of competitive dancing so I guess you could say she is pretty darn good!
1.      She also loved our trip to Florida this past winter.
2.      She loves being part of the Arnprior School of Dance Competitive Dance Team. This is a very big part of her life.
3.      We travelled to Niagara Falls for a national dance competition… an all-girls trip for a week!
4.      She loved the whole summer!
5.      Grace loves that we have a puppy now.

Ian: Fast facts:  38 years old; looks after our family; works very hard, passionate farmer; loves being a hockey dad but still trying to figure out being a dance dad!
1.      Our vacation to Florida was great… swimming in the ocean, taking an airboat ride through the Everglades and then spending time with his parents at their home in Port Charlotte.
2.      Being fortunate enough to go to 3 Ottawa Senators games: one with Alex, one with friends when Sens were in the playoffs and then this fall with friends (and Alex) in a box.
3.      Having a successful growing season with McGregor’s Produce and cash crop business with Cameron (his brother).
4.      Hosting good friends, Warren and Courtney, from Boston this past summer.
5.      Going to Prince Edward County on a wine tour with “the Mrs.”
6.      Being able to get away on a few weekends with friends camping, 4-wheeling, ice fishing and hunting.
7.      Attending the Ontario Fruit and Veg conference in Niagara Falls
8.      Enjoying a great wedding with family at the Chateau Laurier Hotel.
9.      We welcomed a new nephew in our McGregor family; wee Harvey.

Deb: Fast Facts:  38 years old; looks after the details of our family; trying to make time for her passions (quilting, sewing, blogging); still works part time for family business and loves that!  Maker of many batches of jam! Loves being a hockey and dance mom.
1.      I love our vacations to Florida.  I plan it for months, which is part of the fun.  Taking time to be together as a family of 5 without other distractions is my absolute favourite part of this vacation!  It starts as we drive out the laneway beginning our 23 plus hour drive.  It’s called QUALITY FAMILY TIME.
2.      I was very fortunate to take my girls to their national dance competition in Niagara Falls.  We celebrated Canada Day there as well… 13 girls in one house was a blast!
3.      After a busy summer of working hard, I take the fall as time for ME.  I can devote time to the things I love such as quilting, sewing, blogging, spending more time with friends and taking a couple little trips including a wine tour getaway with Ian and a shopping trip in Toronto with my mom and sister.
4.      I was the driving force behind getting a dog for our family.  I had to be ready to take time to look after her and this fall I decided it was time.  She is our crazy baby! She gets me outside more but our walks together are quite comical… I try not to trip over her too much.
5.      This year our church welcomed back our Minister.  With his assistance we are bringing Sunday School back and I am the coordinator… we want this for our own children but I am actually finding a huge amount of fulfillment from it.  It brings me joy.

It seems like every year becomes more busy and full. Despite that we try to take each day as it comes and feel blessed that we have this life.  It can change in an instant.  We often think of our friends and family that live far from us and even though distance keeps us apart we hope to somehow remain in touch.  Thank goodness for email and social media…

Merry Christmas and wishing you all the happiest of New Years!   

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Handmade Craft Sale

A couple weekends ago I participated in The Goods A Handmade Market; a Christmas craft fair.  It was a last-minute decision for me so I didn't have a lot to sell but I did want to be a part of it.  The products being offered were top-notch, high-quality handmade items and I wanted to be in the same room as these people who were also makers.  The event was also supporting one of our local high school's programs.

It got me thinking that I love working craft sales.  I have decided I want to do more next year.

Here are some photos from my day:

Jean bought these decorated rocks from another vendor (a high school student)... we got a few cute items from others.
One vendor was a 10 year old girl who had baked amazing Christmas cookies.
 She was a firecracker and very friendly; great at promoting herself.
There is NOTHING better to give kids a great experience at making and selling.

Jean was my helper for the morning.  Our weekends are full.  My husband had to take her to dance class and my son to a hockey game before they were able to visit me.  Jean got to stay for the rest of the morning to help me sell.  

Another vendor told me that if I want to participate in craft sales next Christmas season, to start preparing in January!  I guess I know what I will be doing then.