Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Skating, dancing, games and reading

I found this idea on pinterest.  I was told about Pinterest by lots of people saying I'd love it, before I actually ventured over to check it out.  I do kind of like it.  This was made by leaving construction paper out in the sun a day with letters on it.  Now we have a puzzle to play and Emora LOVES to play games.  We have lots at her level, so that's fun.  She likes puzzles and coloring too and YEAH for me, has decided that she finally loves skating!  I've taken her for 2 years before this year and she always hated it, but now she begs to go and likes for me to push her around super fast, but she has started- like Dominique showed her- to push the bar away and skate to it.

Dominique is not sure which she likes more- dancing or skating.  But then she kind of likes it all- she's doing an after school yoga program too and going with her BFF this week to her "Sparks" outing (like Brownies).

Here she is off the bar.  Unfortunately, Ivan takes a lot longer feeling comfortable with new things and got teased by a not so nice kid in his class last time he skated, so it took me a couple of weeks to coax him back onto the ice.  I hope he will get back into it.  He really liked to go last year.

Emora found an auntie to play a game with at thanksgiving.  This is Sheena's sister Andrea- so my kids have 2 auntie Andreas!

Ivan loves playing legos, getting play times with his cousin Kellen and friends from his sleepover, doing archery and reading.  He also really loves to tease his sisters.  Can you tell?  He's mostly good with them though!

Natasha and Dominique are in ballet together.  Natasha also has a set of twin sisters in Ivan's class- so that's pretty neat.

We got our first smattering of snow today.  Well, it kinda snowed one day, but not enough to stay on the ground and this stuff didn't really stay either, but it was all excitement when I got the kids up and I made them guess what the surprise was outside.  Dominique and Ivan both guessed snow right away.  Emora didn't know what the surprise was and when I took her to the window she still wasn't sure.  Is that rain or snow?  It's white and really, really wet.  We had to dig out boots and warmer jackets.  It's coming!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Week long celebrations

A week ago or so, I got to borrow a kayak to try it out.  It was totally awesome!  So fun.  I've been wanting to try one for a while and it was great to see how they handle.

During thanksgiving, my sister, her family and my parents arrived bearing gifts!

Guess what I got?

A super hero suit!!  I told my cousins and they ask which super hero and I told them "Speedo".

Thankfully, after I got the suit, we had a warm weekend, so I let the kids play on the play structure, while I played in the water.

Dominique got these pics for me.

The water was extremely cold, but with the suit, it was no worse than a pool or the lake in summer.

I don't have pics of Ivan's actually party uploaded yet, but here was the cake.  Some lego Star Wars people helped me make and decorate a snowman for Ivan.

OK, and maybe I had another cute little helper.

Ivan had a fantastic party.  Super daddy took over and got the boys pizza and played with them, while the girls and I went into the city, did errands and went swimming.  The girls and I came back home to some very excited boys who had their first ever sleepover.  It went great and Ivan had so much fun.  He also got to open up presents from his sisters and us- which he loved and we've gotten lots of phone calls and special treatment!  So fun!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

back yard fun

I'm liking how our weeping birch is looking in it's autumnal colors.  Emora picked out her own clothes this day.  The weather yesterday was crazy with wind, so most of these leaves are now sprinkled on the ground.  All of town looks like it's had a confetti party with leaves all over the streets, yards and roads.

I got a horseshoe set at a garage sale and it was missing the posts, so I told Brian that if they had any leftover rebar from the job site, we could use a couple of pieces and what do you know, there was some- perfect.

This was when we didn't know what Ivan's outbreak was on his face.  The kids all got impetigo and are now thankfully done with treatment and over it.  You can't tell from this side of his face, but the other side was all messed up.

Trying out the horse shoes.

And the fence- my little monkeys.

Then it was time for hopping on the stepping stones.  I am liking having the garden space free again.  Ivan and I are hoping for lots of snow.  I think it would be so fun to make a big quinzee and mazes in here.

Can you guess which one goes with which kid?

Ivan is looking forward to an all boys birthday party tomorrow.  The girls and I are going to go into the city to do errands, then SWIM!  We are excited.  Then we will come back and the boys will stay over for a sleepover too.

I'm excited to give Ivan his gift.  It's a surprise, so don't tell him... but this summer I found him a bow at a garage sale, only it didn't have arrows.  I saw on pinterest ideas of how to make arrows and started my project this week.  I didn't think it would take as long as it did, but after several days and lots of time of Emora and I in the garage, we made 8 arrows and a quiver, painted and ready to give to him.  He's going to love it!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Our community school

Our elementary and high school (which are beside each other and share school yard space) are community schools.  I'm still learning what that means, but I've figured out that they have special funding and a focus on reaching out to all our community.

There is a school community council which does programming to enhance the school experience and get the community involved in our schools and also to bless our town with school resources too.

It's a win-win for everyone.  Businesses are very generous with the school- often providing DQ treats or pizzas that the SCC has awarded students with sometimes for everyone and other times to reward positive behavior.  Last year our school policewoman gave the kids tickets for doing good- they got DQ treats.  This year, a bunch of high schoolers got a pizza for having a great start to the year.  The principal was gushing at the joy those kids expressed when they were recognized for their effort.

They offered these photo sessions for us at a very minimal cost.  The SCC pays a good photographer (the professional they used last year moved, so this year they used a couple of students from the photography class).  Then we got the disk to make whatever copies we want!

The kids are offered programs like after school yoga and fitness class.  Next week is education week, so the kids can go early to hear a book and have breakfast before school.  The theme is exploring our roots, so one day after school, they are going to have wagon rides and a weiner roast.

I've never lived in a smaller community before, but I am loving how they seem unselfish with resources.

One of the SCC members figured out that the gym has an hour open everyday, so she arranged for moms and preschoolers to come in once a week and use the High schools' gym and equipment for a "gymboree preschooler fun time".  Emora loves her new program.

They are also offering classes to the public at a minimal cost by the high school teachers.  So far a photography class and an art class is being offered.  So, despite our busy evenings, we will have to juggle a bit more to be able to take part in some of these fun activities!

It's not just fun that we get to try something new and learn skills, but it's often the same people coming to the programs, so we slowly get to know each other.

We were having a hard time getting Emora to smile, so Brian and I started to give the poor photographer bunny ears.

Then they couldn't keep the giggles away!

Emora is a tough one went it comes to smiling for the camera.

This is the only pic with a halfway smile and the light was bezerk on it, so I had to fudge with it some to get another effect rather than her struck by way way too much sun look.

Mike- my cousin's husband brought these dresses for the girls from Chinatown in Vancouver.  He is part Japanese and got himself a jacket too.  We'll need to get their pics all together.  I couldn't believe he got their sizes right!  He's a better shopper than I am!

I'm always discovering who the girls are.  Dominique is so specific about her clothes and look.  She loves being fancy!  Emora is not so inclined.  She is much more easy going about her clothes and look and will often let me suggest what she should wear.

Ivan lost another tooth last night- so now he has 3 gaping holes.  He also just recovered from impetigo so he has new skin that turns funky colors on his face.  Even with all that- he still pulls off handsome! :)

Today is an exciting day- first we got these pics and I'm about to get to try out a kayak and maybe my new wet suit too!  So glad the weekend came out a bit warmer than the last week or so.

Monday, October 08, 2012

LONG weekend

Here are more pictures of Emora of course.  I do have 2 other children, really I do.  I noticed that I am getting worse and worse at taking pictures!  We went to our first skating outing and I forgot to bring the camera and this weekend, my mom, dad, sister and her family came for the night and day and I've barely got anything on the camera to show for it!

Emora enjoyed this game that I saw on pinterest.  I thought maybe I could convince Ivan to practice his spelling words this way too, but that didn't work!

My herbs grew seeds this summer and since the plants were getting old, I figured I'd start new ones.  Basil and cilantro here.

The kids had Friday and today (Canadian thanksgiving) off.  They also have impetigo- a highly contagious skin condition that starts from having colds.  With meds they are supposed to not be infectious, but we were trying to get them well before family came, so we stayed in the house Friday and Saturday and made this!  Finally got a new puppet stage made.  We had a great one in the states, but it was too big and I'd promised the kids we'd make a new one once we got up here.  So it took a couple of years!

Mom, dad, Jenn and her family arrived yesterday evening. We got to play games and get food ready for today- the big thanksgiving celebration at the Koops. There were over 20 people there and it was a blast as always. I am totally spoiled that I got to do thanksgiving this way. I cooked a turkey and dressing and ate like a queen with tons and tons of dishes and homemade pies! So amazing and fun. The Koops are the best hosts. Sheena is always referring to superpowers- and being a most amazing hostess is definitely one of theirs!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Beautiful, beautiful Emora

                        Emora doesn't always let my do her hair fancy- but sometimes she'll let me.

                                 She had picked out several different clips to add to the look.

                          While we were at it, we figured we should do some face paint to match.

Emora doesn't nap anymore, and she used to be our lively night owl when she did nap, but now she often crashes really quickly.  Last night, I took the girls to a violin recital and she slept through a fair amount of it.

I always think it's so cute the way she sleeps.  Like a little princess, with her body all folded up and her hands at her face.

I finally got the pics loaded up- so here is our exciting outing to the cosmetology class at the high school.  One of the teens did my nails in a French manicure while Emora got panda bears on hers.

Then since my nails were taking longer, Emora also got her hair curled.

And clipped up in a fancy hairdo.  This was after the cosmetology class.  We next popped in to the grade 12 art class, where Mike was teaching- he'd told us to stop in sometime to see what the class was up to.  We got to see his daughter, our cousin- Victoria's amazing creations.  Then we stopped to see Auntie Sheena- who told us to stop by to show her our nails. 

We still had a few minutes to spend before picking up the big kids from school, so we checked to see how the elementary felt about us reading in their library- to which they gladly facilitated us. 

By this day, some of the panda's were getting messed up.  But she didn't let me get a good close up the day of the manicure. 

Yesterday, we made a puppet stage and I took off my French manicure, which was also getting beat up.  I realized that I prefer paint smudges over fancy nails by a long stretch.  But it's still fun to get out and try something different and the girls love the special treatment.