Wednesday, September 29, 2010

tons of pics to show you

I've been snapping away pictures like a mad woman. I have such a huge file of them to share with you that I figured I'd better get some up! Plus I have a bunch more to upload. The last few days, the colors have been just amazing, but it is starting to slow down. The leaves are falling and the hills are going from golden to brown speckled with the naked tree limbs. The days have been warm though, so that has been truly nice. We are still enjoying walking to drop off and pick up Ivan from school and high jacked him today for a lunch picnic. It wasn't as much a huge treat for him and for that I'm pretty thankful because it means he really loves school. I know that wouldn't have been the case the first week and am glad I waited until now to get him for lunch.

Nana leaves tomorrow, so that will be a sad day. She has been so much fun and a huge help too. So glad she got to come for the time she did. Next time we should have a room for her and she won't have to share again with all 3 kids! Not that she was complaining. I think even if she had her own room, the kids would end up in her room anyways!

We had a feast for her send off tonight- carrot salad with garden fresh carrots, home made perogies, elk sausage and peas. The perogies were incredible- thanks to Ian and Janet! and to uncle Bill and aunt Mary via Sheena for the rest!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A wonderfully great weekend!

What an amazingly fun weekend! We started off with a bang. Friday, Nana, the girls and I went on a town wide walk, to the beach where we were greeted by flocks of Canadian geese. They were enjoying the shore until we came along and then they swam out farther. The colors of the trees is magical, transforming Saskatchewan into a golden landscape dotted with vibrant reds, yellows, golds and greens. So pretty. That evening, we went up to our Stoon berry picking spot and looked over the valley while the sun lit up the countryside.

We enjoyed a wiener roast at the Koops' with the Muirheads and even Victoria coming in from Regina. We talked, they brought out a couple of guitars and sang, the cousins played and played. It was so nice.

Sat. we took Barbara out to the even smaller town of Lebret where we saw more beautiful colors, a great spot to picnic on the shore of a lake and got to tour an old Catholic church. This town was once French so the street names are rue St. Joseph and the like, but the local giving us our private tour said none of the people know any French anymore ;(
That afternoon, Brian and I got a supreme treat. Nana had volunteered to keep the kids overnight so we could go to Stoon. I went to my sister's baby shower and Brian went to a concert of his favorite band, Arcade Fire. Look them up on the web, they really are amazing, but while the masses may differ from my opinion, I thought my nephew even more amazing. I knew there would be tons of people at the shower, so I had prearranged to go over to Jenn's after and then I got to spend a little time with Imogen and hold Isaac some before Brian came to take me back to mom and dad's where we spent the night.
Today we drove back, did a monster grocery run and return to Nana and the kids, who had not only survived, but thrived during our absence. They had so much fun. This afternoon, the kids were all biking and Ivan biked without training wheels for the first time. He is not very confident and doesn't like it yet, but he is getting there. Of course the girls all had to try too. They have a bit of work to do before going training wheel-less, growing taller being part of it!! Hope your weekend was splendid too!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nana arrived

Nana got here today so the house has been all abuzz. She played no less than 3 games with Dominique this after noon while Ivan was at school. Then walked with me and Dominique to get him after school. He came tearing out of the school with his teacher behind him. She was happy to meet Nana since Ivan had talked about her arrival all day in class. I really like Ivan's teacher. She is so nice and gave us a grand welcome inviting us to go see his classroom, where Nana took pictures of everything with Ivan's name on it (which was at least 4 things that I could see).

Tonight, there was a meeting for the school community council where they were going to elect new officers. We didn't know what that meant, but in several places it said that everyone in the community was welcome to attend, so Brian and I asked Nana if she would keep the kids and walked in to a kind of awkward, but ended up a pretty good meeting. Awkward because there were about 12 people and they all knew each other and were obviously familiar with the council or had been on it before and we were totally clueless. But they were so welcoming and thankful we came and asked if we wanted to be elected into the group (we politely declined) but will probably make a real effort to make other meetings and volunteer as we can. The group is to be a support to the school and staff and do whatever possible to reach out to the community and help the students excel if I understood it correctly. We ditched the meeting a bit early since we needed to get back and get the kids in bed, but were glad we had gone in the end. We met a couple of people who live on our street and one of the members was saying that he may have work for Brian. Everyone is saying there is a ton of construction work here all year, so sometime soon, he's going to have to get a better paying job than our own remodeling work (hey I give him meals and love, what more does a guy need??)

I am really enjoying meeting people. They didn't seem outwardly friendly at first, but there is an added bonus that each one I meet lives right here. We ended up walking home from school with a kid on our street, we could run into the bank lady at the post office and the school teacher in the grocery store. It's nice to be so interconnected. And Ivan made a guy friend. Brian and Ivan were walking on our street when a kid called out to him saying "hi Ivan". Ivan said hi back and Ivan explained that the boy was Tyson from his class. I guess that broke the ice, Ivan said that they played together every recess today. His favorite person ever in class after the "alien" Ugboo is Alena who runs away from him at recess, but is so nice to him in class. Ivan gives me a daily tally of her status (in school, not there today, hey- there is her dad), but it's nice that he made a friend who will play with him and lives nearby too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

At the beach

It doesn't take much to guess who is the poser of the house.

Dominique moments: She likes to eat spoonfulls of relish (does that count as a vegetable?).

She asked for an allowance and explained that an allowance is when we all have lots and lots of work to do so that we can be responsible.

Every night she asks me: "Can you take me a bath?".

I love her so much and have to go now to take her a bath.

Monday, September 20, 2010

in 1 year's time

I got a picture of the kids as we walked past the treaty four memorial and I thought I had the same shot with Arwen from last year, but this was all I could find. It is pretty wild how much the kids have grown up in a year's time though.

Here is a shot of the waves the day the kids and I went to the beach when it was so very windy and cold. They were riotous, so powerful and thundering. I loved to hear and watch them crashing on the shore, but next time I'll wear a snowsuit to go watch! ha,ha

I noticed today that I was overdressed compared to the other kids, parents and teachers filing out of school at the end of the day. I spotted a teacher in sandals and another in a sleeveless shirt. Ivan had his winter coat and mitts on and I had a winter jacket, gloves and scarf on. It was only raining, but we were cozy warm.

The girls are so funny. I say that they have my sister's genes because she was always writing something or drawing, just like my two. Emora nearly always has marker on her face, hands and half the house. She is really too young for markers, but how do I tell her she needs crayons while her sister wants to use markers? Is this why the 3rd is spoiled? The girls and I painted some new cards today. Our supply was getting low. We love to make cards together. It is so relaxing and fun. Dominique was painting actual things so that was fascinating, then I let her put titles to them, which she also loved. Emora's were mostly an incomprehensible cacophony of colors, so I tweaked most of her's after. I look at the designs and try to see things in them like animals, creatures, birds or flowers, then I outline them with black pen and name the finished design.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Forgiving delinquency

That is what I am hoping for anyways, that you forgive my blogging delinquency. Not sure where all the time is flying off to, but it seems to be doing just that. The girls were under the weather over the weekend and I took them to the Dr. Tues, so that was some of it. They are both doing great now. Some more time escaped as I made these.

Mom has had this material for forever, or at least a couple of decades, so she let me have it. It is not the exact same color of our living room, but we figured it was close enough to compliment our new color. The cushions were dark forest green and blue plaid that really didn't go, so I made covers for them and also used antique buttons from mom's treasure trove of sewing accessories. It was fun because I remember some of the buttons from clothes or things long ago. I had enough material left that I made a couple of bags too. One big enough for just my wallet, keys, phone and the other with room for a book and diaper too.

I also do this on weekdays. No not follow my kids around town, but pick up Ivan from school. I walk and Dominique rides her bike up. So far, Emora is always asleep so we let her rest to the delightful sound of Brian ripping out walls (yep, she does sleep through the banging and saws cutting through metal and wood!) Before you say how cute this picture is, I'll forewarn you that it is deceptively innocent. They are holding hands, but the reason is that we were finding a lot of change on the sidewalk and Ivan didn't want Dominique to find them before him, so he suggested they hold hands!

I've also been admiring the changing colors in the trees. The hills are resplendent with their fall wardrobe and the air is quite nippy.

We keep trying to go here and each time we are shocked by the cold. The view is still breathtaking, but now so is the wind.

Today we went to this beach with my cousin Janet and her duo, but on our way, we found out there was a parade going through town so we went to that first. Every ride threw handfulls of candy to our kids, so they learned how to run out into the street by the cars and pick up sugar from strangers. They enjoyed the experience thoroughly and I've got a good stash started to regift for Halloween. Janet told me she gets about 300 kids each year! That's 3 to 6 times what we got on Briarwood Street in Abilene. Not sure we'll have that many on Craigleith, but we'll see.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

not raining, but still home bound

The rain finally let up a bit, so I was all excited to get the kids out and go to a park or something, then Emora started running a fever. She has been feverish all weekend and mostly drugged up, since it kept getting too high for my comfort. We've had lots of middle of the night runs to her room, although right now she's sitting on the couch in a diaper and one shoe singing to herself. I'm thinking if she does not show improvement over night or in the early morning, I'll be taking her in. She's been congested a lot since we came up in May, with the different weather and environment and from teething (she has 4 eye teeth emerging), so I'm sure it's in her ears now. I'm also watching Dominique, we walked to the beach today (I was wrong btw. It is not a 7 min. walk. I timed it and we clocked in at 16 minutes to the beach ;) It was so incredibly windy, which was kind of fun because the waves were riotous and the kids got to chase the seagulls off the lawns a couple of times and I got on the dock with Ivan and Dominique seperately where we rocked and rolled with the waves and got splashed up to our faces from the waves crashing through the slats of the dock. It was kind of scary, but I didn't take them very far onto it. That really would have been dangerous. I'm not sure how deep the water is out there and there is really nothing to hold on to.

Definitely one of our favorite things here is being able to walk to places- the school, the community outreach, stores, the Post Office, the beach and in neighborhoods, I don't think anything is farther than about 30 minutes by foot from our house. We need to enjoy it now. Fall is already here, the leaves are starting to change colors and snow will be coming beyond that!

Friday, September 10, 2010

first week

We survived our first week of school, although it was actually only 4 days long. Getting used to the schedule will take a bit of effort. I need to get to sleep earlier, but we are enjoying the walks up to and back from school. The girls are also enjoying their time sans Ivan. There is just a different dynamic when someone is not there and we can focus on their needs and desires. Ivan is loving school, although misses being with us too. There is an alien in his class named Ugboo who has a lot of troubles with school work, so Ivan and the other kids are trying to help him out. So far they taught him how to write numbers 1, 2 &3. I am already very impressed with his teacher and don't know much about her, but that she knew Ivan's name the first day, welcomed him warmly, helped him figure out the routines and made personalized notes of what to work on with his writing. He came home with a stack of papers, some of it his work and calendars, school picture forms and so on. I'd been wondering when we'd get some info about the year, or something. She told him the same thing I'd been telling him about his writing, so it will be interesting to see if he will follow the advice from HER. Sometimes, it just takes someone else than mommy with the instructions. They also have music class, so that is way fun.

We met lots of friendly people at the community outreach today and got to have the cousins over for supper in our newly settled in house. It was a great way to start the weekend.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

As promised, the before, during and after pics

When you first walk in the front door, we present, the living room, before, set up somewhat and then the final look with paint. I discovered their names when I went to water my new plants, Big Cane on the left and Song of Jamaica on the right! So cool huh?

Next, off the living area is the dining room... It is painted yellow, the same as the kitchen and a tan color on the other wall, which isn't coming out the same in the pictures, but you can barely tell they are different colors and the tan tones down the yellow some on the other wall of the dining room.

The same tan color from the dining room is the color of the hallway seen here.

Which leads first into the kid's room. We didn't paint this room since we could live with the color.

Next down the hall is the upstairs bathroom. It's so nice having a bigger bathroom. This one is not huge, but at least normal size. Our last one in Abilene was so very small. The mauve walls kind of matched the sink, but was more pink and I really hated it. Now the cream color is a blend between the white of the bathtub and the off white of the cabinet. We took the color from the marble in the counter top.

Last down the hall is our master bedroom. I made the head board, cushions and curtains while in Stoon for this room and the curtains also in the dining room, kitchen and laundry, plus I added material to the back of the curtains in the kid's room so that it would be dark in the mornings and filter out the early sun.
It's funny because I did not set out to make my room black and blue. The black dresser was given to us and the walls are a very pale blue, plus I do like blue. But mom convinced me to get this darker blue material, which is actually my favorite color although I was going to get something paler. Now I love it and remembered that as a teenager I begged and begged my parents for a black and blue room. I got it now though and we still didn't need to paint a wall black (which was what my dad didn't want to do).

I had enough material from the kitchen to do the laundry too.

Lastly, where I spend a considerable time, the kitchen-