Thursday, November 22, 2012

oh wow!

ACK!  I just deleted a huge post I'd written, with the 3 videos and thanksgiving message for our American friends and family!!!

I'm a bit stuck technologically tonight obviously!  First it says that I've used up all my photo space, so I'm going to have to figure out how to delete photos I didn't know were being saved, somewhere... out there...  Then I thought I was just cleaning up my list of posts, some of which were empty drafts, which I thought I clicked on and   OOPS- deleted my longest post ever- so witty and enjoyable- really you would have loved it!
So I'm working at getting the videos back up and trying to remember the best of what I'd said!

First off- happy thanksgiving to all our American friends and family!  I hope your turkey is moist, your desert rich, your heart full of love and thanks and that you know that you are loved and amazing- a gem in this world that we are truly grateful for.

We have a shortened week, not because of thanksgiving, but to compensate for busy nights with parent/teacher/student interviews.  It's always good to hear the teacher's perspective of how our child is doing and to figure out ways we can work together to help our children maximize their learning.  School work is a lot harder for Ivan than it is for Dominique- mostly because he is not passionate about writing, spelling, paper work...  If spelling was rearranging lego characters and he wrote with a light saber and writing involved a yelling chase to terrorize his sisters- he'd be all about it and excel with flying colors.  Dominique on the other hand loves the paperwork and homework (she doesn't have any, but likes to check out Ivan's), the stories and writing.  She comes home and bosses/teaches her sister, who also loves to write, color and learn from books.  All of that said- I am super proud of Ivan for making a huge effort this year and making marked improvements already, for the very fact that he does have to work hard at it.  We are also learning how he learns best and ways to encourage him that are meaningful to him.

We did make it to a pancake breakfast fundraiser finally.  It motivated us some to have Ivan serving.  We had to arrive with camera.  I'd say our family only got a C- on our performance that day though.  As soon as Ivan helped push a tray out, he picked up a plate and a sausage rolled off onto the floor, then Dominique spilled her full glass of juice all over the floor, table and paper place mats made for the occasion.  Fine dining is not our forte- but our dog would have been impressed!

The fundraisers are for the kids' trips to the Globe theater.  Dominique went last week and Ivan went Monday to see the Wizard of Oz.  Ivan's class also went swimming.  We are hoping we get to go to the pool Friday since we missed last time with the blizzard that came in.

Today was a weird day in that it was raining/sleeting/hailing/snowing the temp must have been right at freezing, because the precipitation didn't know how to come down.  It made it very slick, and beautiful white again. Winter can be so breathtaking here.  The other day, we were dazzled with frosted trees in the morning.  I love the sounds snow and ice make, the different way it shapes, the way wind can create designs in it.  The only thing I really have against winter is the cold.  I really hate being cold, but being bundled up in the cold isn't horrible, if it's not too bad out and hot chocolate, soups and cuddles under the blankets are always more appreciated when the temps outside are the chilliest.

 Emora and I got to skate this morning, at the rink, then again on the road and sidewalks as we went to get the kids from school.  That one is growing up too.  Last week, she had a 30 min. meltdown because I was having her walk instead of taking her in her stroller, now she's decided that walking is quite fun- and it really is without the big stroller and with a dancing, happy, walk/ skippy little thing at my side.

Hopefully next post, I'll be able to figure out the picture situation, but until that gets fixed, this appears to be letting me put up videos and I had several to share here with you.  We got to watch one of Dominique's ballet classes (contrary to Ivan's predictions, they do not karate chop each other!), as well as her demonstration of a yoga class she did.  And I've got video of Ivan and his bow, of him on his guitar singing about his bow, that same bow that then sat in the garage unused.  ah well, it sure did create some excitement when he got it though!

Hope your weekend is a wonderful one and ours too!  I am happy and thankful for the many Americans in my life, especially the 4 that gather around the table with me each day.  Texas was a wonderful place for me in so many ways and has meshed it's way into my life in inseparable ways.  I will always have a place for it in my heart (Texas would add a "BIG" place) and it is- a BIG place in my heart- where the heat is hotter, the tea is sweeter, the pecans fell into our yard and amazing people were brought into our lives.  I was forever changed, enriched, graced with love- so to America and the Americans who make it home- thank you.  And of course to the Lover/Creator/Friend always at our side, thank you for the journey, even the hard parts, because you are there and that's all that matters.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sledding part 2

More pics of us sledding.  I'm finding with winter here, I barely take any pictures.  Inside pics are just not as nice and I don't think of it much since we are not doing anything out of the ordinary.  And outside- we haven't done much special either, and it's tucked away from the cold.

Emora's my sled buddy.  We pick up the kids from school with her riding in the sled now.  The other day, since we weren't in a rush, I had her walk and get exercise- she threw a huge fit and cried for about 4 blocks, until I got to the store.  I told her she could sit outside because they didn't let crying kids in stores, or she could quit crying and come in so that we could get her waterproof mitts.  She finally stopped crying, LOVES her new mitts (we had to search every possible store in town- all 3 stores to find a pair).  She later informed me that if I had taken her to go get a donut that she wouldn't have cried all that time and that maybe we should in fact go get a donut.

Dominique is still loving ballet and just finished up an after school yoga 6 week program.  She wants to be in everything!  I'd like to sign her up for a keeping your room clean program, but don't know where to find one.  We were giggling over her report card, because her teacher put in that she always keeps her things organized.  We told her that her teacher must not have seen her room and she laughed saying "no way- but my desk is tidy".

Brian the stunt man was roofing on ice again today and has successfully not fallen off ;)  We are quite proud of you hun!  This was a little play snowboard I got cheap when our other grocery store went out of business.  I think you have to be much shorter than Brian or I to attempt it.  The kids had some fun on it, but we just kept falling over!

Sliding head first produced less snow in the face than feet first actually, but you have to try several methods to figure out the best way down!
Ivan is the lego king at our house.  He is always building away and will work days and days following the instructions from a kit.  He has also made some huge improvements in his writing, so we are super proud of him working so hard at something that is not his passion. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sledding part 1

Taking to the hills.  It was so, so nice to have a 4 day weekend, even if we did get snowed in and missed out on swimming- look at what we got to do instead.  By Monday it had stopped snowing.  Brian was all caught up on shoveling and the temperature was nice, so we took to a hill and got our first sledding outing of the year in!

Emora went down several times in front of Brian or I, then, fully face washed, decided she'd had enough!  I don't blame her, it got cold on the face.

I'd never sledded on this hill before.  It was pretty perfect for a good long run with plenty of speed.

Dominique had her own style too which included lots of snow in the face.

Poor Emora- I got lots of pics of her, for one thing, she looks so dramatic with all that snow and for another thing, she stayed still long enough for me to get a picture.  The others were just going up and down the hill non-stop!

a lovely day and hot chocolate at home, a friend came along after a bit so that was good too to catch up and check in.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Snow, snow and more snow!!!


If you haven't heard, we got some snow.  We had a 4 day weekend for Remembrance day, so I had planned to take the kids to the city to swim, but everyone was saying a blizzard was coming through.  The roads didn't look bad, but I figured I'd better listen although I really wanted to go, I wasn't sure how hard it would be coming back.  The snow started Friday and didn't stop until Sun.  Brian would go out and shovel a foot of snow off the drive and in 2 hours later, you couldn't tell he'd shovelled at all.

We all had to go run in it a bit.

The kids barely wanted to be inside- it was awesome!  They even noticed that they weren't asking for "screen time" constantly!

Friday, November 09, 2012

A long, long weekend

The good news is that we get a long, long weekend... the bad news is that I had my heart totally set on buying a kayak and it seemed like it was perfectly set up for me to get it, but someone had already bought it... and I had plans to go swimming in the city, but a huge storm is coming in, so caution says to say put.  BUT we are stocked up on books, we can make play dates happen, we even have movies from the library and an art show to go see and the kids are so far playing nicely, Ivan's even reading, I've got some of the yummiest muffins in the fridge, and while our community regularly goes through intense heartache, there are people who care, people trying to make a difference, people who won't give up.

This was a fire prevention night at the school.  Dominique landed in the paper again.  They just love seeing themselves in the paper!  I always learn something new at these although we've been a couple of years now.  The kids love checking out the fire trucks.  Ivan was away at guitar this night.

We may be doing a lot of this this weekend.  I hope so ;)

Brian and his crew are racing to get the plywood on the roof of the house they are working on before the snow hits.  Hope they got far already, because the snows-a-comin'.

Some furry creature in our house just gets bigger and bigger.  He must have a sweet nighttime deal, because we pretty much kick him out of all our beds and then he cries and cries to go out at night.  I think his former home, my neighbor lets him in to sleep.  Come morning, he cries at our door to get in.

Dominique loves to read too and so does Emora.  Of course Emora makes up words and repeats what she remembers, but she's getting closer and closer to reading and is mostly a delight all day.  Yesterday though she had a rough one and kept crying.  At one point she yelled at me "I want Dominique"- "ah so your other mommy is nicer huh?" I replied.

Maybe I'll get to painting on Emora's portrait some too this weekend.  The drawing is nearly done and then it'll be the fun parts- or at least something different.  I can still see the little girl in Dominique as I look at her and Ivan too.  I need to get Emora's done because I know she already looks so much older!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

1st snow

A few days ago this fell.  The kids were SO EXCITED!  Emora wanted to get dressed and go right outside.  She ran in the snow and threw snow balls at our cat.

The kids had a snow fight the second they got home from school.

The following days, each night had brought a little more.

They like to shake the tree and watch it all pummel down.

This year's first taste test- yep as yummy as last year's.

Eating snow is fun.  In my opinion, you can never get too old for it.  And yes, we only eat white snow.

Of course in Quebec, they pour hot maple syrop on the snow and that makes it VERY yummy- but then it's not so much the snow you're eating, but sugar on steroids.

Ivan also gave himself a face wash.  I took a picture of it, but he looks a bit possessed in it.  Maybe he was- possessed by the snow happy spirit!

Can you all stand still one second for a picture?  Our tree is not so pretty, it kind of leans and has two trunks, but it's worth really shines in the winter and spring.  It's so nice to have something green in all the white and in the spring, there are always one or several bird families that make a home and have babies in it.

As I write this, the snow has about all melted.  It's felt like spring... and so my mood is looking to summer next, but I hope that my heart will be happy again as the snow returns.  I'm sure it will.  3 days would be much too short for winter!- we didn't even get out sledding yet (at least not on a hill- I pulled Emora to school a couple of times- but that doesn't count).

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Now that it's November!!

I figured that I'd better post pics from Halloween before Christmas was upon us!  Yep, that time of year is just around the corner.  A little ways yet, but still...

I let the kids draw a design on their pumpkin and then carve it.  I didn't realize until I'd uploaded pics that I didn't get a picture of each kid with their own pumpkin.  Of course I had my little helper, so we got her pic done.

This was the face Emora drew I really liked the nose she made.

I'm thankful that they are happy to choose costumes either from our dress up pile or something we make.  Emora was a "pony" 'cause she could not remember the name "unicorn".  Dominique a ballet dancer and Ivan a karate/kung fo master.  He lost his black belt during the week, so he got demoted to a blue belt at the last minute.  I tried to tell him to let the shirt hang out, but he had his own idea and when he does, you just have to leave it at that!  Of course my other idea is that you will all be cold and to put your jackets under your costume.  The only one to listen was my littlest and so the older two were also frozen popsicles.  We were only out 30 min. on our street before they were crying and running home!

Left to right- Emora's pumpkin, then Dominique's and then Ivan's.  I'm not sure where the candles from the first two pumpkins came from, but they sure worked good!  Ivan's not so much.

Apart from the tears, and my staying up way too late to cook up pumpkins, we ended up with a super duper deal.  Victoria called up to ask if she and Tyler (her bf) could take the kids for a cousins time.  So they took Ivan and Dominique back out after we had done our street.  Not only did they take the big kids- who had a blast with their well dressed and used to cold cousins, but they let my kids ride in the car periodically to warm up while they took the kid's bags to the door and said there are 2 more in the car!  Can we say SPOILED and LOVED and SPOILED!

Thank you Vikka and Tyler- you guys rock!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Take 2- Ivan, Ivan, Ivan!

We couldn't miss out on our traditional pose.  Ivan was born on my birthday, so each birthday we try to take this picture, with me holding him, sitting at the dining room table (usually with birthday cake or pumpkins, but we missed on the accessories this time!)  He is getting bigger and bigger!

I had found a bow for Ivan at a garage sale for 50 cents in the summer.  It was so cheap because it had no arrows.  Ivan was so excited about that bow and I saw on pinterest how to make arrows.

So Emora and I spent the week creating.  It was fun.  Of course I always think a project will take a couple of hours, which turns into days!  And everything takes a bit longer with a little one to interact with still.

I was surprised at how well the arrows fly.  I don't know if they are accurate at all, but he has hit the target a time or two.

Vana white always wanting to help out.

He's serious, everyone make way!!

He wanted to teach his sister of course.

Ivan's had another good run with guitar.  For now, he's going to take a break from lessons.  Maybe he'll take it up again some day.  He did do a great bluesy song that I'll have to post- all about looking at his bow in the garage with no arrows, no target... oh the sorrow!

He's on again off again about skating too.  It all really depends on who is there.  He loved skating when Dominique's friend was there and swimming when his friends went.  I picked up on this over the summer and found a way to kill two birds with one stone.  Ivan loves being with his cousin Arwen, who loves being at the lake.  The girls and I also love the lake and Arwen's family is often busy with stuff- so it was a perfect marriage of sorts.  We grabbed her and everyone was happy!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Lots and lots about Ivan part 1

I realized that I hadn't posted the pictures from Ivan's party yet!  And here it is November already.  Sometimes the days just zoom by.  Now that Halloween is over, I can take a breath.

Ivan had a brother pair Konomu (the older one in glasses- who is Ivan's age), his brother Nozomu (Dominique's age) and Kellen (also Dominique's age) for an all boys' birthday and sleepover.  The theme was Star Wars- much to all of them's delight.

I was super excited to NOT have to do a big party and to let Brian take care of it.  I made the cake and decorated it and (so happy) the kids loved it even if it only took me a bit to create it.

The secondary theme to the evening was shooting daddy with nerf guns.  Apparently Brian thought he could deflect the bullets with a light saber.  As he nearly got his eye shot out, he decided some safety gear was in order.  They don't make nerf guns like they used to!

It was the Sinclair boys' first sleep over ever.  Brian got them all pizza and they were all so wonderful.

The girls were excited to go to the city with me to do some shopping (OK, they weren't excited about that part)- to eat out (MacDonalds- unfortunately for me, happy for them) and SWIMMING! 

The girls each got Ivan something with their own money- he was excited to see what they'd gotten him.

More weapons!  Another light saber and nerf gun- cause you can never have enough.

Next episode I will show you his reaction to the gift I'd made him... stay tuned.