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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of three. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and will have been married for 57 years this February.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


We woke up to a fresh coat of soft snow on the ground for Christmas morning and the sun was shining. It was glorious...  and on Boxing Day the kids went wild in the snow.

Christine helped the boy make a snowman. They even made a snowdog, but it's not finished in this photo.

Grampy George made a snow mountain for James and Daniel to slide down from.

Mama and Daddy had snowball fights and tumbled in the snow.

James is enjoying his hot chocolate milk after  playing in the snow. He looks exhausted.

And so is Daniel.

Christmas was busy as usual with family and stray visitors and little people. I kept my spending in check and as per my budget but everyone got plenty of gifts under the tree. We kept up with Christmas traditions of going to church for the Christmas mass. We no longer have midnight mass at our church.( No Pics.)

As per tradition, Joe made Belgium Waffles with real whipped cream topping and the boys devoured every bit of it. 

Another Christmas tradition Christine started is The Elf on the Shelf brings a new book during advent right up to Christmas Eve.  His name is Choir and he brought the book you see on the table. Choir watches to see if James and Daniel are good boys and reports to Santa.

The Christmas turkey was huge as we were 18 for dinner. I roasted the turkey and the girls did all the rest.  That was easy on me...  Roasted turkey with sour cream mashed potatoes, carrots, squash, peas, cranberry relish, dressing, gravy, Broken Glass dessert to crown the meal and wine.

Sorry,   no one thought of taking a picture of the food but the  kid's plates were filled first as Daniel wouldn't wait a minute longer.

There were so many presents for the game that it had to be played twice so not everyone is shown here.

Cypress wanted to use my camera to take photos. 

Liam got some present on his lap and grampy is calling the cards.

Bill's turn at choosing  a present.

This is one of the many present Cypress won in the game.

Uncle Sandy's turn to pick a present.

This year, the present game was a bigger hit than last year.  The present game was introduced to us by Nicole many Christmases ago and has become a serious tradition at our house.... We had over 60 gifts for the present game as more people brought more gifts... This has become serious business...

Our new tradition this year was a toast of Scottish whiskey to remember Nicole. Everyone got their turn to talk about a memory about Nicole. There were tears and laughter in remembering and lots of hugs... This was a solemn time. A photo of Nicole was on the buffet with candles that were blessed.

Nicole was much present in our hearts. We also held my brother in law, Henri and my sister Leona and family in our thoughts and prayers as he's is in Palliative Care in hospital during the Holidays.

 We worked on a puzzle, another tradition we usually do on Boxing Day. Jackie got the puzzle out  on Christmas afternoon. Christine and I finished it late that night and we went to bed.

This blog is to record these memories for posterity.  I missed taking a lot of pictures but at least, I have mentioned how we spent Christmas Day to the best of my memory.

Now on to the New Year. It will be a quiet event for us. No sparkles or gala but a quiet evening at home.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Happy New Year everyone.


  1. Comfort of family always eases the pain, I think. Blessings to you and yours. Have a blessed New Year.

  2. I'm sure your Christmas was filled with mixed emotions this year...many new memories with family and also the grief of missing your daughter. Hugs to you from afar, and Happy New Year wishes too! (Your grandsons are adorable!)

  3. Merry Christmas, my friend. It sounds like it was a wonderful day with the ones you love.
    I'm sure Nicole toasted with you from heaven. What a wonderful new tradition.
    Hugs :)

  4. It sounds like you had such a nice day. I know Nicole was there with you and maybe enjoyed it as much as you all did. I am so glad you have little ones around you. I always think that they help me not be so sad. Thank you for sharing all of your family pictures with us. I enjoyed seeing everyone from year to year. I wish and pray for you to have a wonderful 2017. Much love from me to you.

  5. The snow pics are pure Christmas fun. I love those red cheeks of the Grandkiddos. Certainly hot cocoa was in order! I know that the first holidays are so hard when we lose a loved one. Being surrounded by all those loving family members with all of you remembering your dear daughter was a blessing. I'm sending you hugs and prayers. Your Christmas celebration looked like a lot of fun and we do a game with gifts that are called "white elephants"...things that we don't want anymore and some of them are really funny. I got a silly turkey hat that will be in my white elephant gift next year for sure! As this year closes I pray for many happy moments in 2017 for you and your family. I know Nicole is smiling down on you all.

  6. I'm so glad you were surrounded by your family. Such a nice way to remember your daughter. Hugs

  7. So wonderful to be surrounded by people you love.
    I am sure your sweet daughter was there with you all.

  8. It's settled. Jilda and I are spending next Christmas at your house. I'll be the official photographer so you don't have to worry about that:)

  9. Julia, what a wonderful way to honor your daughter at Christmas.
    I loved your words and how they really made you feel like you were there.
    You have such a lovely family. We had hail which is unusual in southern california. Have a peaceful New Year . Were going to bed early. Hugs and prayers cheri

  10. I love to see how other people share in Christmas traditions & the Scottish whiskey toast, brought tears to my eyes. How fitting to share her memory next to the nativity scene, another angel to watch over you & yours Julia.
    The boys playing outside & the rosy cheeks when they got inside to have their hot chocolate brought back memories of my boys, many years ago. Enjoy their youth as if you's gone. Love the Elf on the shelf & his influence over the innocence of the kids. Wish I had that playing card when my kids were growing up! lol
    Just had the 'stalking Santa', watching them 24/7. lol
    The very best to you & yours in 2017 Julia!

  11. Julia, you have a beautiful family. I love that you make and then preserve memories. This is how it should be. Thank you for sharing. Warm hugs. May the new year bring you joy. ❤

  12. Julia, my warmest wishes to you and your family for this coming year. Jan

  13. Hi Julia,
    I just loved reading about your very special Christmas with your dear family!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!! The dinner sounded amazing and your present game seems like such a fun way to celebrate!! How wonderful that your dear daughter was so present with you and I'm sure it was a very healing time for everyone!! I hope that 2017 will be a good year for you, filled with many wonderful Blessings to you and yours!!!
    Thank you so much for your sweet friendship and lovely comments during this past year!!
    Happy New Year, my friend!
    Heart Hugs~

  14. Happy New Year,
    Your Christmas sounds like a great family time. It also sounds like a good time to remember and love on each other.

    Sending hugs and prayers into 2017! Love, Carla

  15. Thanks for sharing your Christmastime with us, Julia. Your family is blessed with love. It touches my heart the way you honored your daughter and kept her memory sacred in your gathering.
    You are an amazing mom; what a beautiful family you've built.
    A beautiful new year to you,

  16. What a wonderful family Christmas. That snow mountain looks like a very fun place for children to enjoy. Those sweeties do look tired in the pictures but what fun they must have had. The waffles look so yummy as I am pretty sure all the food was.

    Happy New Year sweet Julia, Ihope for all wonderful things for you and your family in 2017. Hugs, Maggie

  17. What is it about us grandmas and loving seeing those rosy cheeked children. And what a grand time the adults had as well. Life goes on, as best it can and we just have to sometimes limp along with it. Happy New Year.

  18. Hi Julia ~ I loved reading about your Christmas celebration with your family ~ bless you and your family as we start a New Year!

  19. Julia, I can't believe how big James and Daniel are getting. I am so glad you were surrounded by so much family this holiday and especially all the little ones. I hope 2017 is full of many blessings for you

  20. Wonderful Christmas memories for sure. Grandchildren are Grandmothers hearts hearts aren't they?

  21. Your Christmas sounds wonderful Julia, I'm so glad all your family were around you and you included Nicole in such a fitting and wonderful manner. It must still have been hard without her being there in person.
    James looks utterly drained but I imagine in the most fulfilled way. Mmmmm, hot choc milk sounds a delight!
    Nicole's present game sounds a great one, remind me of the rules! 62 pressies is a good number. Oooh, your turkey sounds delicious and I'd love to try the soured potatoes! Your broken glass pudding is one I'd love to try, I always loved the pics you shared!!

    Sending you hugs and best wishes dear friend xxx

  22. It's fun to catch up on your news, dear Julia!

  23. I am so sorry about Nicole. As you know, I haven't visited anyone on the blogs, so I didn't know. It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas, surrounded by your loving family. And the whipped cream looks wonderful! I think the Women's marches helped me feel so much better. I just realized I have been depressed ever since out election. Feeling much better now. Will keep you in my thoughts.

  24. Such beautiful family. It looks like you had a full house! The traditions are so important and yours sound so wonderful.

    Happy New Year to you.

  25. A white Christmas !!!! Wow....would love to enjoy one of those. Seems like years since Nashville TN has had snow on Christmas. Years since we have been able to enjoy a good snow period! Great pics. Don't you just love family traditions. Thanks for coming by the blog and stopping to leave a comment. I only have one dog and he is at my mom's with me visiting with her dogs. He, like me can't wait to go home. Mom is great taking care of me, but in this case it is more a thing of her watching me take care of me....healing has been a breeze. Take care and visit me again.