Monday, April 30, 2012

During Easter break- was that Easter break or another one?  We get a lot of breaks at our school, which I LOVE!  I'm sure if I worked, I would hate having to figure out other arrangements all the time, but since the kids change of schedule does not wreck havoc on my scheduling, I really enjoy it.  Like today, they had the day off, so we got to sleep in a bit and not rush up to the school.  They played with friends outside while I got some laundry in and supper cooking in the crock pot.  Then we headed in to the city for groceries and swimming.  It would really be WONDERFUL for me if they had a day a week, or every two weeks, which is actually pretty close to the truth this month as I look at the calendar.  I still don't get as good a workout as I would if I were by myself at the pool, but I do try to keep moving while playing with them in the water and I definitely feel refreshed when I get back home.  It makes for a long day, but with some fun too.
These pics were from another break when we got to go to the museum with Brian and then I took the kids swimming, while Brian took the van to get the brake pads changed.
Yeah, I got the good end of the deal ;)
Emora and a little boy were having a lunch date with pretend food.  She had just met him and they got along so well.  After he left, she had some pretend lunch with me too.  I don't remember what she was serving, but it must have been awesome from someone so cute!
I just realized that some of my seeds were a waste to buy since I didn't start them yet.  We'll have to get tomato and pepper plants if we expect to eat any before freeze time in the fall.  We also brought okra seeds with us that were originally seeds from Big Buddy's garden.  He just turned 95 this year!  We are about positive that they will not grow well here.  I think they need hot temps, but we'll try.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sunshine in the heart, on the floor, on the table

We are in kitty mode, trying to house train the kitty- oh he knows how to use his litter box, but he would also like to eat along with us, snag all our food, clean the counters, stove and sink.  There is not much we can do about some things, but we are trying to keep him off the table, dining chairs and counter top.  It's not easy- "PSST" doesn't phase this cat and neither does the spray bottle.  So far he has run off with many a waffle and is so fast that my slow eaters often get their plates robbed.  I've never seen a cat that does not fear water like this one.  He's already fallen into the bath with the shower running and has tried to get in the toilet.  He has gotten in the clothes in the washer and stayed in there with water pouring in.  He LOVES our fish too.  We all have kitty scratches, but he's pretty fun too.

Thanks to my cousin Janet, I am slowly learning to engage here.  Brian helped me realize that it's a different frame of mind that we were not used to in Abilene.  Sure we went outside some, but the parks were about he extent of that and it was to go on the play structures.  The first year here, I was bewildered as to what all to do with the kids, but Janet has been good to remind me lately that our new home IS the play area.  There are hills to climb, places to bike or walk, beaches to visit, great picnic spots and adventures just waiting if we will just GO.  I often forget to take to the hills or beach, but I'm trying to refocus and get out because it is so rejuvenating and exciting to go check out the world around us.
I have also had a change of focus by writing some words of gratitude or thanks each night.  I have often heard of gratitude journals, but never thought to keep one.  I am still trying to do morning pages as suggested through the Artist Way and it's really helped me figure out my goals, hopes, prayers, direction for the day and for life in general, but my nightly 5 to 10 words have really given me a different perspective.  It takes no more than half a minute and I just write a word or a few for each point of what I liked most about the day... it could be as simple as someone saying "hello" which made me feel more a part of the community, or a great lunch food, or as big as a special moment with the kids, or even as huge as an awareness of how amazingly good the Lover has been to me in my life.  I've only written and done this 3 nights so far and it's incredible how those 30 secs has steered my heart to recognize the beauties, grasp hold of the treasures and even orient my day to being thankful and sharing joy with others.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What a wonderful day!

The sun came out today!  We've had rainy weather, which is needed from time to time, but makes things a bit gloomier looking.  Today we had full out sun and warm temps (about 25C or mid 70F).  Arwen was over and the kids insisted on putting water in the pool.  They were SO hot!  But not so much once the water was in.  Even with hot house water, the got cold pretty quickly, but no matter it was so lovely outside!
It made us realize that summer is on it's way, so that is so fun!  We have new fish and plants are peeking through in the flower garden.  I need to start weeding and in a few weeks, we can get a garden in, so we need to figure out what to plant and build a fence.
This week is also the start of soccer, so that is fun.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Baa baa black sheep

Apparently the black sheep do have a lot of wool for giving out. Helen was explaining that no one wants the black wool ;( These were twins born that morning. So fun for the kids to get to see real baby lambs.

Emora and I enjoyed walking to take the kids to and from school and even took the dog out for a bit. The sun finally decided to make an appearance, so we were glad to take it in a bit.

Tomorrow is carnaval night at the school. Always a fun night out.

The girls and I made a castle/house for her mini barbie that Dominique got at a party. It's been fun. I think we are having fun vicariously living through it. It has an indoor pool and is on a lake and of course it is SO lovely ;)

I felt a bit off last week, so that was my bad excuse to not exercise in forever. That is always a bad idea for me. Today I got even with myself and played our wii (I'm a bit addicted to Just Dance 3). I did about 5 songs too many. By the last one, I could barely move. But it sure does feel good to have done something again!

Monday, April 16, 2012


This picture was before Easter and was our first picnic this year. OK, so a little chilly then and we've gotten snow TWICE since then, but spring is here and we are getting excited for SUMMER!!

You may notice that I have way more pictures of the girls lately than of Ivan. There are several reasons for this. The girls pose for pictures, or at least tolerate them, while Ivan runs away. And while I am keeping in mind that I should in principle at least try to keep things somewhat even, Ivan had a ton of pics taken of him at these ages too! Also, I am with Emora the most, so she wins out on pictures. Not to mention that small is just cuter! How can I resist the morning light on her and watching her do puzzles, or color or amaze me with her intelligence and creativity. And the others are at school- so it's not always easy to get their shots.

But I was thinking that I do need to share the cute things they are saying lately. My favorite of Ivan's: eye yeye yeye He says it all the time. I asked where he got it from and Brian said it's from me. I'm not sure if I say it all the time, but I think it's super cute on my little 7 year old.

Emora is learning her letters and numbers. She's got about all of them down, only she keeps calling N "zen"- which I think is so totally smart because it does look like a Z on it's side. So it's a Z and N- a zen.

I got this project done before we went to Saskatoon last week. I had an "assignment" from my "Artist Way" stuff. It said to go get fabric from the store and get a new look for your house. I was not liking my table runners and found this super cheap end pieces (the yellow and green). So I figured I'd make runners. Then I took a couple of un-needed blankets and make backing and cut them so that I also had enough material for 6 place mats each. Then I realized that I also had some left over curtain material to recreate my old brown runner, whose design had worn off. So now I have 3 new looks I love and it really did create a new atmosphere of joy when I see them, or switch them out.

This one is always trying to grow up way too fast. But then she'll have a crying fit and I'll remember she's still just a little girl.

We are enjoying who they are with their strengths and idiosyncrasies. Emora has been rough around the edges the last few days. I think all the lack of routine got to be a bit much for her. As much as we enjoyed the break, it'll be good to be more regular with school again.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vacation week is winding down!

I was happy that we got to finish off Easter break with a big bunch of fun. Last weekend was Saskatoon with family Easter and a bit of cousin time. We also got to go swimming and have Jamaican food at a restaurant ;)

When we got back, I was feeling a bit under the weather, so we didn't venture too far from the house.

Brian got a couple of days off, so he got to do some work on the garage and Fri. we went in to the city to visit with and have lunch with a friend.

Then we went to an awesome museum as a family. It was fun to get to have Brian with us since I get to have most the fun with the kids while he's at work.
Then while Brian took the van to get new brakes, the kids and I played at a park and went swimming. Ideally, I could take the kids swimming once a week and go once by myself. That would be so awesome in my perfect world. But even with the kids, I do get a huge benefit of being in the water.

Our Just Dance 3 training seems to be taking effect. While waiting for a changing room, our favorite song came in over the loudspeaker, and my kids could actually remember the dance moves and which character they were! They were so cute dancing in the hall in their wet swimsuits while other families and I waited. Swimming was a bit chaotic. When we arrived, it was at max capacity and we had to wait for people to exit. Not only was it full, but a lifesaving class was going on. So for about 30min to an hour, every few minutes some teen/adult pretended to have a major accident or drowning episode while others hollered and rescued them, at times with stretchers, IEDs, medical equipment... After a while we got used to it and the kids liked to watch the procedures, but you could tell that newbies in the pool were a bit shocked to see it all.

Today was gorgeous and we had a birthday to attend. The kids had so much fun and it was good to be a part of it all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

more bunny fun

I still have many pictures from our trip to Saskatoon, so here's the next installment. Auntie Andrea organized coloring for the kids, ok- I did some too. Ivan is not a fan of coloring, so I did his. Emora is always making me color with her, but this time I chose to! Must have some kid left in me. I take that as a good sign.

There may be some more adults in the house with a kid in her heart! Andrea has perhaps started a tradition? She made a sheep cake lake year and now added a bunny. They were hazelnut flavored. Mom made an amazing "Easter" spread (it was actually good Friday because that's when we could all be together). It was nice to feast and be spoiled with FANCY food!

It's always fun to see how the kids have grown and developed. My nephew Isaac's hair is curling more- so cute and he is saying more and more words. I still have to work on my auntie magic with him. He doesn't come running to me with delight yet, but I've got his sister charmed ;) All in time little man.

My favorite quote from the stay was made by Imogen. I was pretending to be a bunny and Imogen said to Emora- "Emora, your mom is CRAZY!" Made me laugh so hard and was so worth the acting.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter pics

It was a bit cool outside and although the kids would have gladly hunted in the cold, I think us adults were not relishing the idea, so we opted to hunt eggs inside at mom and dad's.

We had chocolate eggs of course and I asked dad if he had some pennies to trade for my loony, but he handed over a big jar full of coins including nickels, dimes, loonies and twonies. I told the kids just to use the small coins and put a couple in each egg, but I think dad got robbed a bit!

We had the cutest Easter bunny!
Before we left for Saskatoon, Sunshine was checking out an Easter basket. I bet he won't fit in it this easily next year!

Today we unpacked, did laundry, gorged ourselves on the wii and went for a walk to get some things at stores, including advice and materials for a fish tank. Mom and dad got a bigger tank to winter their pond fish in, so I asked what they did with their old one and they asked if I wanted it. I was just realizing, that after all this time, we will have our original combination of pets. When Ivan was a baby, we had Saba, a cat and fish. It'll be fun to have all three again.

Do you have pets? What kind and how many? What did you have in pets growing up?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter to you!

I haven't uploaded any pictures from Easter celebrations yet, but I had these to post from before we left town. We were enjoying spring's arrival, but while we were away in Saskatoon, it snowed here. The dog survived outside and the kitten flourished also all on his own in the house. He's already grown since we got him. Emora was enjoying the sunshine when I spotted her reflection in the window, so I told her not to move and captured the moment.

I like to take advantage of deals in town, one of which is 10 for $10 Tues. The first Tues. of the month, the local bakery sells 10 loaves of bread for $10. The trick is you have to buy in increments of 10. Thankfully I have freezer space.

We got to see aunties, uncles, cousins and the grands in Saskatoon. Now we are home and looking forward to no school schedule for the rest of the week!