Thursday, June 28, 2012

Emora mailing a postcard

On the way to school. We pass the Royal Canadian Mounted Police station, then this statue commemorating the signing of Treaty 4. They were going to put a parking lot here and discovered bodies. Those killed during the signing. The man stands, with an eagle in his arms. The Saskatchewan flag behind him is torn, flapping in the wind. I'm pretty sure it's shameful to have a torn flag, but then it's pretty shameful how the treaties were made and most critically how they were broken. It's a solemn reminder right before we walk by the courts, on toward the school. A loaded walk with little people who will write the future. As they see, may they bring understanding and healing.

Emora's program this last week was about the mail. After some cool stories and sorting activities, she got to make a postcard to send. I called my neighbor to find out her address so that Emora could send her best friend Nick a letter. Then we all walked to the Post Office, where they gave us a tour...

let the kids put the cancelled stamp on the cards

and place her card in the appropriate slot. It was a pretty cool outing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Last day of school!!!

Today was the last day of school, which is also in many ways the best day of school. The kids visited their next year's class. Dominique will be in a class with none of her best friends, but she was still smiling. I later found out her teacher planned that on purpose. Dominique is VERY close to her best friend Sierra and to her cousin Kellen and the teacher thought it would be good to make sure that she also develops relationships with some other kids. She was already chumming up with another girl who will be in her class. Growing up, my classes were always just one class- so you were just with everyone and there wasn't this drama and also the possibility of making more equal/better relating classes.

Ivan's class is small. His first year they had 2 classes, but then went to one 2nd grade and a second and first split class. Next year they are doing some of both. He will be with the entire grade 3 class for half the day and the group will be split for the other half of the day. He will have 3 teachers.

They both did so well and we are thankful that for the most part, they enjoy school.

But today was not about the work, it was about celebrating. The Wood tick festival is when the teachers all have a booth they run- from jumpy castles, to edible crafts, to face paint (with professional face painters hired), hair designs, books, fire truck tours, new boat rescue tour, numerous crafts and games...

There are burgers for sale, but we packed a lunch and Brian got to join us.  Usually the festival is held out doors, but we've had crazy weather with tornadoes threatening and it was still very windy today, so they moved us down the road to the Rexentre/ skating rink.
If it's hot, they spray water from the trucks so the kids can cool off and go in the water, but not this year! I was getting knocked off my feet just standing beside it!
Last night there were power outages and crazy winds.  The sky turned black and Brian and I ran out in the rain to move the van into the garage and take everything not attached out of the yard and into the garage.  Storm chasers had come up from the States to see what would churn up.  Today was still crazy windy.  I'm hoping it will be calm tomorrow while I drive into the city.
After lunch, the kids got to enjoy a concert in the gym.  Emora discovered that she and her cousin matched!
We hope the kid's teacher's have a great summer!  They were truly wonderful at understanding our kids and meeting them where they were at.  Ivan has a hard time being focused at school and Miss Howden used many, many strategies to try to help him get his work done.
When Dominique went through a short time of not liking school, Miss MacPherson took it very seriously and created a personalized plan for her that she loved.

What is your best memory from grade school?

Monday, June 25, 2012


I finally got myself into a lake to swim. It was hot Sunday and Brian and I had just gone rock picking. We've wanted to get some rocks to cover up an ugly drain that comes out in the front of the house and one of Janet's friends offered me rocks from her acreage. Of course I found a huge one that I wanted, but we didn't get it this time. It was probably too big anyways for what we did, but it's hard for me to turn from a challenge or idea once it flits through my head. I think I must have some of my dad in me, because I have memories of rock picking and of him always wanting to get the biggest one home, even wrecking a van to bring home the biggest rock.

 A couple of people wanted to declare their love for the Creator through baptism, so we were trying to hurry up with the rocks. I got an idea to let the kids swim and pulled out our supplies. Sure enough we get down to the lake for the baptisms and Emora is soon drenched in water. They were all wading in and she slipped.
The water was so cold! I finally got myself in the water and as I dove it kept feeling like I was diving into a snowbank over and over. Eventually my nerves all froze and it was pleasant, but my trio didn't get more than their legs wet. Arwen was totally soaked and the first to dive in, as usual.
It was so beautiful with the sun shining on the water. I was rejuvenated.
Once home, I worked with the rocks some more while the kids scavenged leftovers out of the fridge. I noticed that some of the rocks were looking like the base of an inukshuk, so I made one. It still needs some work since I didn't have a long rock for the arms. Looks like we'll have another rock picking date at some point, because Brian wants to redo some of the wood border that is deteriorating. Of course, I'll probably be eyeing that big rock again and a good arm rock.

 By the way, these pictures were not from the swim time. I haven't uploaded those ones yet.

Lots of excitement this week, tomorrow is the kid's last "real" day of school and the next day, they visit their class for next year and have their annual, long awaited Wood Tick festival.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Soccerfest pics

Such a perfect weekend. The kids both had a game Friday evening. Dominique's team has struggled all season, but I told her that if she didn't get the ball down to the other end of the field, I'd embarrass her. Right away she got about 3 goals! Who knew! The whole team worked together and stepped it up and they scored a bunch. This one actually went in- although it looks like it would have missed. It was good to finish on a high point since it really was a very rough season for them. Now Dominique is a bit of a soccer maniac. She wants a soccer birthday so that she can invite her friends and play another game! We'll see if she changes her mind in a few weeks.

Ivan got his first goal too which was really exciting. He is not a very strong player, but he is enthusiastic for his team. He made some good stops in goal too and really enjoyed playing with his team. They were a very strong team, so that gave Ivan some chances to improve too and he was quite ecstatic that they won all their games. There is no score board, but apparently the kids or someone was counting the goals.

It's nice to knock something off the schedule. We now have Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings back.

Only one and a half weeks of school left. The kids are pretty pumped about it and we are all looking forward to the last day which is the woodtick festival and the highlight of the year!

Brian worked for his new boss today. He's still in remodeling, but hopefully this guy will be a more positive environment. They will be working on a house from the ground up, so that will be neat too for Brian to get to be a part of a project from start to finish.

We rearranged some in the house and hung new hooks and rearranged a bit and it's so awesome! It's crazy how some hooks and the kids being able to put up their own packs or get their lunch boxes out of sight is nice or to get rid of clutter in Emora's room is so refreshing!

I keep hoping to get in the lake, but it's been a cold and rainy spring. There was a bit of rain during our first game Sat. at which point Dom's coach's wife pulled out an umbrella for the team and her mother-in-law wrapped the kids in her coat to keep them warm. Cathy (the one with the coat) is also the principal in the high school. It always surprises me how people are so inter-related here and how many people grew up here and stayed all this time.
I thinned out the garden. It was sad to pull out healthy plants. I didn't like it at all, but I guess it will produce better. It's shocking to see how well it's all coming in. We had very little success in gardening in Abilene, so we keep expecting nothing to grow. It's encouraging to see some fruit on the way and we are looking for that in hope in many layers in our lives.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I finally uploaded pictures, so I get to show you the amazing difference in our kitchen. Just in time for Father's day, here is how Brian spent one Sat. afternoon.  As you can see, our kitchen is very small.  But by taking out all the cupboards over the dishwasher, and cutting down the cupboards that went to the wall and putting the smaller two sections on the wall, we increased the feel while taking out space to store things.  I did have to get creative and buy a bunch of baskets as a type of drawer for the bottom cupboards, so we can pull out a basket and get the corresponding kitchen stuff.  Now I can see out of the kitchen into the rest of the house, or from the other rooms, we can see in the kitchen.  I have tons more counter space and it's so much easier to prep and get things ready in the kitchen now.

And in other transformations, look at how little Emora was when we first moved in!  Those dining chairs are now beds- hee hee.

We went for a walk the other night to get ice cream (yeah!!) and check out the lake.  It was gorgeous to see the sun set.
We love you Brian- You are a great dad and husband.  Hope you enjoyed your day- even cooking your own supper ;)  He just fired up the grill for our first bbq of the season- burgers.  Now the kid's really think he's the best dad ever!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

sunshine and rain

This spring has been a bit crazy- good for the garden I guess. Most days are hot, unless it's rainy and some days it's rainy and hot, alternating all day. The kids both had soccer practice in the rain tonight. They loved it. Ivan was quite sure that the lightning would get them, but they took cover before anyone was struck, then went out again for some more wet fun.

Dominique has been having tons of fun excursions with her class- touring DQ and having lunch there, going to a dairy farm, scavenger hunt at the beach with her school "team", next up is a butterfly parade- where they release the butterflies they have been watching grow from caterpillars in their room the last month or so.

This weekend we have soccerfest. Each kid will play 3 games. It'll be lots of fun I'm sure so we're hoping for no rain that day.

I've been loving my new kitchen! Brian removed about half our cupboards and put a smaller section up on the wall. We have way more counter space and I can see out of the encumbering kitchen to the dining area and living room. It's so wonderful. Although the floor space is not any bigger, it FEELS so much more spacious. I hadn't even realized that the little counter space I did have was further encumbered by the overhead cupboards. It's awesome! Also, so proud of myself for getting my oven cleaned FINALLY! I should have done it so long ago. I spent more energy avoiding the process that wasn't all that bad. They now have "no fume" cleaners, so that made my kitchen even nicer. And what kind of fun am I having in the kitchen? I have a new joy called homemade popsicles. Mom got me some popsicles containers some time back and I used them again recently. We really liked the treat, so I got a bunch more containers at the dollarama. I now have 20 and make up a big batch. I love that I know what's in them and it tastes like desert although it's mostly fruit and so yummy. I started with the first recipe I used: fruit, yogurt and orange juice (it's nice with yogurt like a creamsicle). Then I tried lime and strawberry (excellent). Mango, kiwi and yogurt was amazing- I layer them so that it makes different colors and flavors as you eat it. Ivan brought home a recipe for smoothies with the wacky snack program from school and they made it with vegetables too! They mixed fruit with spinach, carrots or kale... So my last batch (yet to taste) is carrots, strawberry, blueberry and banana with some apple juice. I can't wait to try it. We don't drink juice often, so it's a special treat and so nice to have out in the hot sun. I also like it because if fruits are getting overripe, it just makes it taste better! I still have frozen apple puree, so I'm dreaming up apple pie flavored pops as our next adventure. I was also thinking of making a list of our flavors and what we liked best, although I'm a wing it kind of person.

The cousins have moved out to their acreage, so we were helping them pack, then unpack a while back. The kids loved to ride on uncle's quad. It took all 6 of them to take something to the garage, while us moms were in the house setting up the kitchen.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


This is Brian with his band GH Summit based in Regina, SK. They are mostly a family band- husband and wife duo with Graham (the lead's) brother on guitar, son in law on drums. Graham's daughter (wife to drummer) also sings and plays accordion, but with little ones and the fact that they need a drummer, she hasn't gotten to perform of late. This gig was at the Cathedral Art's festival. They played in my friend Kate's backyard deck and were a big hit. It was fun to finally get to go to one of their gigs. I had only met Graham and his wife Pixie before once briefly. One of the downfalls is being so far from them. Brian is really reenergized and refocused from playing with them and it would have been sweet if we could all benefit more often, but all in time.

Hadn't seen Brian play bass in years!  That was fun.  I'm glad he didn't sell it all this time!

The weekend was a bit crazy, but lots of good came of it- as far as I'm concerned.  We had soccer in a town about 30 min. away, then went into the city for a few quick errands.  We hightailed it back to Fort Qu'Appelle and arrived a bit late for a birthday party.  Just the girls wanted to go, so I took them while the boys demolished our kitchen.  It was awesome to walk back to my kitchen all opened up.  I'll post pictures at some point.  So that night, I was painting a wall and dusting off dishes and silverware.  The next morning it was time to vacuum, sweep and mop all the sawdust away and gaze at the space!  We have a tiny kitchen, but by sacrificing some cupboards, we can at least so out to the rest of the upstairs now.

This afternoon, I tried to take my kids and Arwen to the beach.  We arrived, but so did a cold wind.  Some others had the same idea and the parking lot was fairly full, but only a few brave souls got themselves in the COLD water- one of them being Arwen.  She looked like she was having a blast, but us wimps, shivered on the beach in the sun and strong wind.  The waves were a good foot and a half high.  I read for a while with Emora cuddling in my lap in the towels. 

I'm also hoping she is not coming down with something, because tomorrow is a huge day.  She had a mild fever tonight, but I need to go into the city for groceries and errands which I wanted to include the library and pool.  Ivan has an after school program so we won't need to pick him up until 5pm.  I've been looking forward to it all weekend, and so have the girls.  They both have new swimsuits they want to wear!  So hoping she's better in the morning!