Today is the first day of Holidailies, and that means I’ll be doing my best to post daily or almost daily from now through January 5th. A lot of people start Holidailies with an introduction for new folks dropping by. I don’t normally bother but I saw that Carrie had done an intro so here’s my brief version for anyone who hasn’t been reading here before.
I’m Sherry, I’m 36, and I live in the Great White North. Okay, it’s just Montreal, it’s not THAT high up there, but it’s been snowing all day, so it’s definitely pretty white out there. Included in this blog you will find frequent references to George (my husband), even more frequent references to Hayley and Breanna (my 8- and 5-year-olds), and a lot of random blathering in between. We recently got a Border Collie/Black Lab mix that Breanna named Winnie, I work from home as a freelance blogger (not this blog!) and content writer, I obsess somewhat over yoga, I am highly involved in Hayley’s school (I’m the secretary for the PPO, co-chair for the Governing Board, and I volunteer for a lot of the events up there), and I can’t leave home without a camera (and the few times that I do I almost always regret it).
Until Christmas comes you’ll find me updating about our family’s Advent Activity calendar. You can read more about it over here but the basic gist of it is each day we open an envelope that contains some sort of activity either just for the kids or for the whole family. If you feel like catching up, check out the Advent category.
Yesterday was our fifth day with the calendar and our activity was really just for the kids since neither George nor I joined in this time. It involved going from this:
It was Build-Your-Own-Sundae time! I scooped out the ice cream and the kids added sliced bananas, marshmallows, broken pieces of candy cane, chocolate sauce, and of course sprinkles.
It was not surprisingly a big hit, and surprisingly the sugar rush didn’t keep them up all night.
Today was day six and I had chosen a Christmas movie (just a short one since it’s a school night) as our activity but when Breanna opened it up the kids both decided they’d like to repeat Saturday night’s family Wii challenge instead. We ended up saving the movie for the weekend instead. Alas, there was a bit of a meltdown near the end, but it’s still fun.
In other news, today was one of the best days I have ever spent up at Hayley’s school. A local restaurant (Table 51 for Montreal peeps – you should go, the food is delicious and the staff is awesome) sponsored a hot pasta lunch for all the kids at lunch time. They served pasta with tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, bread rolls, juice boxes, and even red velvet cupcakes for dessert.
More than that though, they really wanted to re-create a restaurant experience because some of the kids in our school have probably never been to a proper restaurant in their life. Since we couldn’t exactly bus them over to the restaurant because of logistical issues, they brought the restaurant to us. Several staff members – wait staff, chefs, etc. – came to the school along with all the food and it was incredible. We put tablecloths out on the tables, there were menus, and we had music playing. The kids all sat down and the staff served all the kids just like they would in a restaurant. Meanwhile, the parent volunteers just kept things moving by bringing plates up to the front table for the wait staff to grab.
The kids had a blast. Everyone was smiling and enjoying the food, and they especially loved being served. I think it made them feel really special. One anecdote had a few of us a bit teary-eyed; one of the boys who often shows up with a very sparse lunch or no lunch at all because of financial issues at home was so grateful for this experience that he sat at the table with his hand pressed together and he prayed to God, thanking Him for the delicious food and all the kind people who came in to bring it to him. It was so touching and that one moment was worth every bit of effort.
The whole thing went smoothly. I was there by 9 am, things were set up and the pre-cooked food was heated back up, and we were able to serve 350 people by the end of lunch hour. We even got to sit down to eat our own servings, clean up, and get out of there by 1:15 pm. It was a great time.
By the way, that was the first time I had ever tasted a red velvet cupcake and I now understand the hype. I am completely RUINED for any other cupcake from now on.
Thanks Table 51, you guys were amazing!