Saturday, March 31, 2012

Last skate for the season

I was pretty happy that we finished off the skating season with 2 that can function without a bar to hold onto. Dominique really likes it and tries to do figure skating tricks on her hockey skates. We may have to get her figure skates, but then she'll have to figure that out without momma help.

I'm hoping next year Emora will take to the ice better. She was not a fan. She wanted to go almost every time, but then wanted her skates off after about 10min. I tried to take the big 2 each weekend for the public skate time as we were able and then I took the girls every second week or so, if Dominique was home from school.

Friday, March 30, 2012

in the valley

Last week, the kids had Friday off from school. It had been a long time since we went into the city for some fun, so we packed a lunch and made the drive. After errands we hit the library and pool. On the way out, it dawned on me that I have had a change of heart about the valley. When I first moved out here, I hated the big drive to the city to get groceries or necessities. It costs a bunch to go and it takes up a huge chunk of time. I had often wondered why we couldn't have been in the city and had thought of so many things we were missing from not being in a bigger center (I still miss the pool terribly!!) But as I drove in, I realized that my heart has changed. I was GLAD we didn't live in the city, that we can walk to the lake, go for hikes, live at the beach all summer and that our entertainment is this amazing piece of earth. I love seeing wildlife, the geese and pelicans. We didn't even know what this enormous flock of birds was (they are snow geese- not canadian geese), but we knew we were witnessing something remarkable. We stopped and watched, then got out for some pictures and to get a bit closer. They were so beautiful, sweeping up and down like a living cloud. Several other cars stopped and watched them too. I love that I will find people looking at a blue heron out for a visit, or a man painting these hills as I drove to the Koops' I would much rather that than easy access to cheaper food and supplies, even the pool, because if I lived in Regina, we would be missing the daily joy of all this. We would only rarely or never (?) drive out. Now we just make a list and even though it's a drag, we take time for a bit of fun too- after our long drive in.

Ivan realized the same thing, during the same outing. He said he was glad we didn't live in the city because then it would be harder for him to go bike riding with so many cars around.

And, our newest family member. Meet "Sunshine". We are going to have him for a very long time and when it's minus 40, we will call "Sunshine, come here Sunshine"!

He's adjusting well, already letting the dog give him licks and the kids haul him around. Their laughter as he skips after them is priceless.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

birthday bashes

Here was another pic from Ivan's skate time with his class. This day Dominique was off from school, so I took her along. Fri. is report cards and a short week next week as we gear up for a big Easter break. Also this weekend, we get to see family at a mini reunion of sorts. A school I went to Western Christian College is shutting down and having it's final homecoming this weekend in Regina, so my sister and her family are coming out, I'll also get to see my parents, brother and his wife and a slew of cousins, aunts, uncles...

Always fun to have a family bash. This was February, March birthdays, with of course fabulous food (Char made a lamb stew for St. Patrick's day that was amazing) music and laughter. I LOVE LOVE how the Muirhead/Koops and entourage inhabit the word family. Brian noticed that Andrea always seems to find a foreign student or "tag-along" to include in the family festivities, there is often a fire in the summer, a guitar, kids running off to play and stories by aunt Mary, family sing along...

and such cute entertainment!

We are getting a bit spoiled now I suppose. For so long we were too far away for family birthday bashes and now there's one here in town about every 2 months! Plus, we sometimes get to the MacLeod clan birthdays in Saskatoon!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sunshine and rain

I figured it's time for an update. It's been a bit of a busy weekend. Friday, the kids were off from school, so after the library program we headed into the city. I got some material to make some new table runners and matching place mats that I'm excited about, we also hit the grocery store, library and pool. It was great fun and great frustration all at the same time. So nice to get out, but had issues with each of the kids at different moments so that isn't fun!

Sat. there were a couple of programs in town, the one for Emora and a craft/cookie decorating/movie time that we took in. Brian played at an open mike that day. Sunday, Brian and I both had ideas. Another open mike and I was a bit done with the kids by then. It all worked out, teenage cousins are fabulous. Someone arranged for the kids to go with Moira and Arwen for a bit so that Mike could teach me some painting and drawing techniques. I'm excited about making Emora's portrait, but need to finish up all the sewing first!

AND- last night, our kitten was ready to come to our home. Our neighbor gave "her" to us. We wanted a girl and thought that's what we had, but upon more careful examination, and after "she" had weaseled her way into our hearts, we figured out our "she" is a "he". Ah well. I did get "sunshine" a red collar and at least didn't force him into the pink glamor one we had already.

So today we have cold rain outside and our little orange kitten Sunshine tearing through the house, exploring his new digs. He's adjusting very well, so that's a treat.

These pictures were from a fun last minute decision to explore the water logged park. Everyone loved the exploring, until both the little girls had their boots full of cold water and cold legs too (I striped Emora down and wrapped her in a blanket with gloves on her feet for the walk home) and then Kellen got stuck in the mud, and I mean really stuck! We were all giggling about it, but then he started getting really upset and no where out, at least not with his boots, so us adults had to venture in a bit too and unstick him and then retreave a very muddy, entrenched boot! It was an adventure for sure and a dear memory to plant away in our hearts.

Ivan has now lost 2 teeth and Kellen has a few left in his mouth!! Every time we see him, he has more loose ones! They are quite proud of being toothless! Dominique keeps saying hers are loose, but I think she's only wishing they were.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ivan's class got to go skating a couple of times this month. I think it was the grand finale of skating season. Fortunately, bike season has now started and soccer is around the corner. These are a couple of Ivan's best friends.

Here's Ivan, his teacher and a clasmate.

Emora still wasn't all that crazy for skating this year. I really hope she likes it a bit better next year!

But if skating is not her thing, we do know a few things that are. She is also loving coloring and writing and books, dominoes, puzzles and her big legos.

Our resident authoress wrote a couple of books this week with her own illustrations. She also decided to learn to write her name in cursive and has been getting better at that.

OK, the kids are begging me to get on to the movie for tonight- I think we'll be watching the Muppet Movie. Brian (I mean- the kids) are really excited! ;)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Daddy Daughter date

Dominique got to go with Brian to meet his band during their practice last week (or the week before that?). I sent her with the camera and she took her harmonica. She also got to play a drum and tamborine. I loved getting to see her perspective of the night and most of all a video she made. I'll try to post it soon. Cracks me up!

Looks like she sat at her daddy's feet, since those are his volume pedals. She was so glad to be part of the artistry.

This video is so funny! She videos her dad and the other band members, herself and then most of all her stylish shoes! I'm not sure where she got her sense of fashion, but she is a pretty good diva!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Enjoying "spring"

ach! time to upload pictures again. We've had a big weekend. I'm trying to remember it all... Friday night Brian played at an open mike at the being worked on new arts center. A group of people saved the old school from demolition and has been raising money and doing work to renovate it into an art center, which would be so cool. And as much as I wanted to see inside, it was really an adult deal, so I stayed with the little trio.

Sat.- pumpkin waffles- yum yum. I still have a good supply of pumpkin and apple puree. I keep thinking I need to use it up, but when I calculate when I'll get a new supply, I still have 1/2 year to go. Brian worked on our bikes while I finally did one of my workout videos. Felt so good! Got Emora to her library program where I also scope out books for my program. Then Dominique was off to a birthday party and I was making bannock, (Brian had made a salad) for our family birthday party/St. Patrick's day celebration. There were 6 more people to celebrate there! Amazing food, with real Irish stew by Char Tupone and lots of other awesome food and cakes, lots of stories and laughter, guitar, singing, drum and dancing, so lovely.

Today we got to enjoy learning from friends at the Outreach, sharing our hearts, our pains, our faith and hope, a meal, harsh words, kind words, hopefully healing words. Dominique and I got to what I think may be the last public skating time of the year. We will also get to go Tues. with Ivan's class. Then we got to ride bikes this afternoon. I just got a seat for Emora, so the kids and I got to go a bit around town. It needs to be adjusted a bit still, so we didn't go too far, but I'm forseeing lots of fun on bikes. I was surprised how fast we could get somewhere with a bike and really enjoyed being able to talk with Emora the whole time too as we took in our town.

Almost all the snow is gone and everyone is out enjoying the warm weather.

Friday, March 16, 2012

more pics from the Canada hill

Last night, I opened the door to shake out our rug that is full of gravel. I could smell wood burning and heard the geese squawking. It made my heart happy and those of the girls too who kept asking if they could step outside and take a wiff. Maybe we should make a fire pit and find wood this year or just invite ourselves regularly to the Koops' It's fun to realize that we live somewhere so fun. Yes, frozen half the year, but there are adventures to be had then too and as it melts away and the earth is renewed, it's joyful to think of the newness coming and outings we will get to enjoy.

Living in a valley is funny. I forget when we drive up and out of the valley, that a world of flat greets us, not some mountain top view. Janet noticed this when we got to the top of the ski lift, how funny it was to reach the top and look over a vast flat farmer's field.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

grab opportunities and run with it!

Our kids go to a community school- I'm not sure what all that means, but we do get special programs for the family. The other week, I got a message that the Community School Council was hosting a family zumba night at the school. So I jumped on that. I LOVE zumba! I got to go to one class once in Abilene and had so much fun. I'm interested in the zumba wii game, but want to try it out first. I know it can't possibly be as good as it is in person. The teacher was wonderful and really got the kids pumped up to be participating. We had so much fun. I loved how Ivan was dressed, all bundled up in his winter jacket and mitts, with winter boots and shorts! That guy!

Another day, we got to have a cousins day with Lannelle and Neve. Emora loved to play kitchen with them and make a hopscotch and be all grown up with the "big cousin" Lannelle and be all grown up with the "baby Nevy" in tow too.

Saturdays, there is now a program just for Emora! She loves that it's for her and not the big kids. She also loves it that Amber has managed to score her some awesome take home gifts from being at the program! The first week, Emora was very shy, so I coached her a bit and told her to try to answer questions when the facilitator asks something, even if it's to say "I don't know". Well, she became a regular chatterbox. There weren't as many kids or adults that week either, so that helped her open up.

We are loving that spring is coming bit by bit, bikes are out along with spring jackets. It's a bit tricky because sometimes it's colder than it seems and you realize once out that a hat would have really been a good idea, but it is exciting to see and hear the birds again, to smell the melt, to crunch spring ice... No pelican spottings yet. They are my favorite! We saw a lone ice shack out on the lake tonight. There were tons of trucks and people out on the weekend removing the ice fishing shacks, but there is one still out near Sheena and Mike's place on Mission lake. Mike was telling us the police (RCMP) will burn it down if it's out too late so that some (fool) avid fisherman won't try to retrieve it with his truck past the time to retrieve it.

We have yet to try ice fishing... maybe next year, although it's not high on my list of winter adventures to try out.

Monday, March 12, 2012

a little tour

Our house- It won't look like this much longer, in fact, a lot of snow has already melted away and my cousin came by today on a huge machine scraping the ice off the edges of the road, but a few days ago, it looked like this after a fresh snow. I just noticed that our vehicles match the paint of the stucco on the basement walls. We didn't do that on purpose!

I think Brian must have taken these pics. This is the most snow we've had all winter. It was a lot less up until the recent snows of the past week or more and now it's already melting away. The kids are LOVING playing in the puddles, wearing rain boots and "fall" jackets.

No igloo this year. We didn't even make a snowman, although now would be the right time to do it with the snow so sticky. I like this pic since it is showing that Saba was indeed in her house that I made! See- I'm not so crazy after all!

Our house is somewhere in there! We are up on the "Canada hill". I don't know if that's it's official name, but there is a flag on this hill, so that's how the kids refer to it.

That long road going up the side of the hill is our highway into "the city" ie- Regina. A much traveled road. I couldn't imagine that people drive in as often as they do, but some people go everyday- others weekly or several times a week. Brian is going once a week and I don't go near as often, especially if he'll pick up stuff at the store we have on the list, then I can avoid the city for quite a while! It's so exhausting to go in! I don't know how people do it so often! But then I do love the pool and library and lots of vegetables and fruits to choose from and decent prices! I do feel the charm of town working it's way into my system though. Like being able to walk nearly everywhere is awesome and sometimes it's nice to get things here without fighting crowds. When I do pick up something locally it may take as little as 5 or 15 min. from leaving the house to return. Gotta love that!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

more from our sledding/park time

WEEEE! Neve loves this!

I think it's so cute how Dominique likes to be the momma sometimes.

This totally reminded me of being this age and eating snow. In Quebec, they pour hot maple syrup on snow with a stick in it and make yummy maple "lollipops".

There were several good spots for a little slide through the park. We'd never sledded here, but it was really great for this age. Not too big and intimidating and lots of other spots to make up adventures and fun once one spot had lost it's interest.