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Archive for December, 2009

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Dec 31

Two Christmases

Category: Journal

Christmas has come and gone for most of us and we were lucky enough to have two this year. First was Christmas with my family on the eve and day. Christmas eve is usually one of my fav's as we attend we usually attend a traditional Christmas candlelight service. However this year was not the traditional service as we attend the production at Trinity Baptist, all I have to say was wow! The presentation they put on was amazing!! From angels coming down from the roof to a giant snake, amazing lights, and crazy animal costumes myself and the boys were enthralled. Rhys during each scene would just exclaim WOOOWWWW!!! and then after AGAIN!! Making everyone around us giggle.

Of course after all this we all headed back to our house for some much looked forward to grub and the opening of presents. This year my mom made sushi and I made up some gioza which my grandma's were none to thrilled about but we still had the traditional german fair of cold cuts cheeses and baking to keep them happy. I think my brothers where happy too as there was little food left (somebody really needs to cook for those boys).

Next as always in our family came the presents and boy what fun to watch the boys open theirs. Christmas is really for them is and is so much more fun with them as it is really magical. Of course as typical kids we really only needed to let them open one present and they are good to play for awhile. Oh well what fun there is more!! 

In the morn of course their was stockings from Santa, what is becoming traditional eggs benny in our house and then off to my parents for turkey dinner yum!!

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Now after all this Naomi's family arived all in town after the weekend and we got to start it all over again. This time the dinner was one of my fav's roladan (beef wrapped around bacon and a pickle and cooked in gravy yum!!) turkey dinner came two days later on new year's day! Then we were off to open even more presents!! Yikes sometimes I think the presents get out of hand but it is fun. It was so much fun to watch the boys be the "elves" and hand out everyone their present, they just loved doing this as I remember loving it as a kid too.  I think that is one of the great things about Christmas now with our own kids is remember what Christmas was like when I was a kid a trying to re-create that for them.

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Amounst all of this we there was of course lot more that happened. We finally got snow but too late for Christmas but the boys got to use their new shovels and "help dad" shovel the driveway. As I had 2 weeks off work as well as usual on weekends and when I have time off I usually make a really good breakfast. As you saw above on Christmas morning it was eggs benny, and on another day one of my recent new recipes my interpretation of eggs florentine (see below), and amounst that was breakfast fajitas, omelets and my version of grilled cheese sandwich. Someday I will post these recipes. 

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We all here at the Mackhouse hope you had a great Christmas as well and would love to hear about it. Please feel free to let us know. I will now leave you will some pics of the boys and their "tea party" which they insisted on having.

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Dec 24

Merry Christmas!!!

Category: Art,Journal

It's finally here! The day we have been planning for, shopping for and waiting for well the eve of which but in our family that is all when it begins. So we would like to say from The Mackhouse a very very Merry Christmas!!!!! and we say that with great joy as we it seems that lately the true meaning, celebration and spirit of this season has taken a huge hit. 

Unfortunately I was un-able to find adequate time to create the annual Christmas card and not without trying (I started 2 weeks ago). I am very sad that I wasn't able to do it and apologize as i know many of you really look forward to it. If i get some time in the next few days I might zap off a quick one. In the meantime here is a sketch I did while in a meeting ( I really find the sketching and doodling while in meetings helps keep focus and fill the boredom). Enjoy!

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Dec 20

Staff Christmas Party 2009

Category: Journal

This past Friday was our annual staff Christmas party and as usual it was quite the party! This year it was again at the Grand in Kelowna here as it is the only venue that is big enough to hold us (Kelowna sure needs a convention centre). The food was great especially the prawns and salmon.. yum, and the way they had the ball room done up was just awesome and of course the photo booth was lots of fun.

The highlight though was how much Naomi went all out for this party. She got her hair done, makeup, dress and jewelery. She just looked amazing! All in all it was a really good time except that we didn't really see that much of each other sadly with socializing. 

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Dec 14

New Family Addition

Category: Journal

The weekend mark the addition of a new member to our family as the kids got their Christmas present early. On Saturday we presented the boys with little Leeloo the family dog, a week earlier than we had thought. The boys were so excited and have quickly become attached to her. 

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Now the hard part starts with training her and getting her used to the new family. Many sleepless nights are ahead for me!!

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Dec 12

Christmas is Coming!!

Category: Journal

Well here we are and all of us especially the boys are getting very excited about Christmas. Both boys are really into it from setting up decorations to shopping and wishing everyone merry Christmas. Tristan just loves to where his santa hat. 

This past weekend we set up the tree and all the decorations around the house and got the kids to help out as much as we could. This year we have a new fake tree as our last one was a hand me down and was looking a little ragged over the years. Plus i really wanted a tree with the lights already on it as i was tired of tangled strings and lights that didn't work. This tree i bought last year after Christmas and got an amazing deal and it is HUGE ok well huge for our house. Unfortunately we didn't have hooks for our new decorations so Naomi had to head into town to get some so we finished the tree once the kids where in bed.

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Dec 01

Fire has been unleashed!!

Category: Journal

Card-Jitsu: Fire has been un-leashed!! What is this you ask? Well it is the latest project i have been working on at work over the last 9 months or so. One of many projects but probably one of the largest of the many. Card-Jitsu: Fire is the next stage in the Ninja experience on Club Penguin and so far the game has met with great success (yay! was a lottle worried to say the least). It has been a crazy last few months just getting this thing done. 

The ninja experience for those of you who do know all started a year ago in November with the release of Card-Jitsu our trading card game both on-line and off-line. In this game players would challenge each other in a game based on rock, paper, scissors with a few tweaks in an effort to become a ninja on the site. This game became hugely successful almost turning Club Penguin into Club Ninja. It was cool as I had a small part in this game but more was to come when I was tasked at expanding the Ninja experience.

So for the last almost a year with a small team and then later a much larger one when all is told we pitched many ideas and finally rested on what is now the Fire game and expanded Ninja experience. We took the basic symbols we had and expanded on it creating the fire game. Using similar elements of the Card-Jitsu game to make it familiar and then using a board game element we have what is now the Fire game. Basically once a player has "leveled up" and become a Ninja they now must continue along their journey and master the element of fire! Only now they can challenge up to 4 players (believe me the was a challenge) and earn items to complete a full Fire ninja suit to become a fire ninja. The images below will give you a taste of the experience.

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So far to date this game release has been crazy successful with much relief. Their was much blood, sweat and tears on this (literally) and I think it paid off. The cool thing is being part of it and the largest project I have worked on to date aside from the CP DS game but that was really a small part. The biggest thing is though that their was a huge team on this one to get it all done and who all put in crazy amounts of work. Thanks to all of you!!! You guys truly rock and deserve much much credit. Above all i would really like to thank Russ who put in many many hours on this and was put on the hot spot to deliver and he did in spades!! You are an inspiration man! 

I will leave it at that for now as this post is getting long and I must get onto the next project as it's deadline is looming…

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