Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our Christmas family pic

Since we've been stuck in a deep freeze for some time now, It's pretty awesome to get to look at this pic and remember that it won't always stay cold!  Here is this year's winner of our family pictures taken this fall.  As we look back on the year and toward the next, we have so much to be thankful for.  We have transitioned a lot this year and that has not always been easy.  We have had to go through growing pains, but it has also brought unexpected joys.  Brian has enjoyed not slinging hammers in -30 temps and Emora has enjoyed learning to be a film maker.  I've gotten to meet lots of amazing kids and teachers in our schools.  We have watched Ivan surprise us with a flair for drawing and amaze us with his presentation speaking skills.  Dominique still loves to dance and draw and study.  At ages 4, 7 and 9, the kids have chosen some career paths already.  Emora wants to make movies and has found her first co-director (ie. dad).  She pays well- in happy days and little armed hugs.  Ivan has decided he wants to be a lego designer.  To that end, he tries to spend as much time playing legos and on the lego web site as possible.  We tried to convince him that math, science, some English skills... may help him to that end.  Dominique doesn't have a firm plan as yet.  At times she wants to dance, or be a teacher, then it was being a synchronized gymnast or swimmer.  She likes pretty much anything with flair.  Brian has dreams of doing more music.  We are really thankful that he has an employer that lets him take off tons of days as I get sub days, so that one of us can still be with Emora while the other is out making a paycheck.  We could mention a myriad of big and little things we are thankful for.  Although we are still finding our little niches in our community, we are no longer newbies either and that's nice too.  There have been days when it's been less than clear why we are here, but at times we get a little confirmation or clarity and know that we have been lead here for reasons not always known, and many hidden, but true and lasting.  Our days are great gifts for us lent to us by the Creator, the Divine Lover and we are thankful for this journey and most of all for his presence with us as we dwell in the valley and on the mountain tops of our lives.  May your journey and new year be graced with beauty and love, purpose and fulfillment.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to you!

I love the school Christmas concerts!  Some parents hint that it's a dreaded event, but I've always found it exciting and actually entertaining.  The class all do different things and there was a great play by kids and I get to see my little darlings up there shining like the stars they are.  I sat with Emora and asked her if she'd be ready to be up there next year.  Her eyes got big!  WOW- next year and no kids will be sitting with me- they'll all take their turn to do a song or dance or play.

Speaking of playing, look what talented musician got to play some pre-show Christmas music?
I missed getting a pic of Lanelle's class.  Bad aunty!  but I got Arwen- with the green shirt.  Isn't she growing up fast?

Ivan's class played bells.  Brian informed me that Ivan was the note Re.

They also did a cute poem they had memorized and did actions to. 

Dominique and her class played drums and sang and did a poem also that they had learned.

Yep, I was a proud momma. 

In other holiday news, see that crooked tooth and long hair?  Dominique had a make-over.  Now she's got a big gap in front and less hair.  She's been getting a horrific knot in her hair at the back and won't let me brush it.  She went to school for pajama day with her hair all knotted I'm sure, but then she decided enough is enough and asked me for a shoulder length hair cut.  She loves it- lost about 6 inches!

And of course, like one, like the other.  Emora then wanted a shoulder length cut too- even though we had trimmed her hair not so long ago and she is much tougher about me brushing her hair out.

These two love to play with each other.  We have been enjoying our days off from school and work and will get to have time with lots of family.  Aunty Andrea and Uncle Andrew are coming for a visit and so are Nana and Papa, plus there will be the Koops', and Muirheads SR and JR and another aunty Andrea.

AND- Brian and I are going to get to celebrate our 15th anniversary!  We are going to get to go to Moose Jaw while Nana and Papa take care of the kids for us over the weekend.

Hope you are having a glorious Christmas with loved ones!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Christmas Eve to you!

The month of December has been a whirlwind.  We attended a couple of pancake breakfast fundraisers.  Ivan got to be our cashier when we arrived along with his friends.  This was just moments before he realized that he was sick and spent the next week home from school in bed!

The girls can pack away some serious amounts of pancakes!!

Aunty Sheena had another jam night, and we actually made it on time to this one.  I got to play fiddle again a bit and tried out the guitar too.  I like the violin a lot better.

Brian stole my phone and got this pic of me visiting with Lori.

So it's been insanely cold in Saskatchewan and how do my girls compensate for it?  They are such kooks.

My Christmas cactus is blooming. 


We got our tree up.

This night was a double header.  I wanted to go to the art show where Brian was playing, but the library was hosting a movie/game/craft night.  I got vetoed.  It was actually a super fun evening.

They found reindeer all over the library and won chocolate- yeah, me too, so that sweetened the deal.

The next day was the reindeer festival.  Where the kids get to make crafts and see...

reindeer of course!  That's not something you see every day in their mud room.

There were lots of stations and we got hot chocolate too.

Hey we know that kook too, I mean Koop ;)

Emora carefully guarding her loot.

We did get some holiday shopping and a quick stop at the art show in that day too.  Phew---

Monday, December 23, 2013

oops- ok, catch up for about all of DECEMBER!

So I've figured out some pretty elementary things about subbing.  That first month of school, jobs are slim to none, but come Dec. you could fill your docket.  Sorry I haven't been posting here, but life got a bit hectic there.  First of all, Brian was able to make a surprise visit to his dad in NY for his dad's 70s birthday.  During that time, I had several sub job days and 3 kids to take care of, with some help from friends and relatives.  I did learn that I'm thankful for all the things Brian does to help.  I felt like we were juggling a dozen balls while he was away... but it was so worth it.

Here is the front door to the Baggett manor.

Brian's dad- grandpa Ray enjoying an iced tea at a cafe.

They went for a few walks and enjoyed having a week off together.  (Grandpa Ray had scheduled the week off to celebrate his birthday, not knowing that Brian was going to be there too!)

They had an early thanksgiving meal.

Brian enjoyed the not so cold temperatures of NY and came home to build this...

They are still working on it and building it.  It now has big wall sides that keep them from conking themselves out in the picnic table and they are building an underpass at the end of the run.

This was Ivan's brainchild BTW- but I have noticed that the daddy has done most of the work for the project and with gusto may I add- while I keep my not wanting to get cold self indoors!  I've become a total wimp this year and it doesn't help that it's the coldest year ever!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

dancing and skating

Twice a year, our dance studio hosts a "watch" week, where parents and siblings are invited to come see what the girls do.  This year Dominique is taking "modern dance".  She is enjoying it.  They did stretches and some dance drills, then practiced their music routine for their recitals in the spring.

There are 7 or so girls in her group, but Dominique and Natasha are the youngest and smallest.  The music is kind of funky theatrical music.  Modern has some elements of ballet, jazz and lyrical- so they kind of act out the music.  It starts off with them acting bored and them coming "alive" as they watch another dancer soar.

Dominique is excited because she will be lifted up and spun around by one of the bigger girls.  A part of me will be sad to see her leave dance, but at the same time I like the idea of her being exposed to and getting a taste of several different disciplines and Brian will be VERY happy if she leaves dance.  Thankfully she has lots of interests and the other activities she is interested in are CHEAPER- oh yeah ;)

She was inspired when she saw another girl her age doing jumps on her figure skates.

Emora wants to follow along with the big kids.  She is interested in karate, dance and skating, but the Sensei recommending starting karate at age 7, so we'll find something else to start with first.  So fun to watch them learning things I've never learned, of growing in skills and of building relationships through it.  One thing that has been nice is that the kids love what they chose and are dedicated to their activities.
Emora has really enjoyed skating this year.  I've been taking her since we moved up here.

That first year she'd only last 10 min. on skates at a time.  I never thought she'd even like it.

And Ivan was the oldest when we moved here and has done so well at learning since he'd never even been on skates.  He's getting steadier and steadier and can go fairly fast, but doesn't know how to stop yet!

I'm thankful that there are still lots of activities to take in even when it's so cold out.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Painting with cousins and reading with Ralph

It's always fun to get some cousin time in.  The kids suddenly decided they all wanted to paint and came up with some great creations.

I've been taking the girls to a special program the school has been hosting with our schools' mascot Ralph the Reader.  He goes to school everyday and a couple of his "moms" have been doing sessions on his life at school, how to train and handle a dog and books about dogs.  They've also had dog themed snacks each week.

It's pretty cool having a dog at school and brings some joy in everyone's lives during and after school.  He lives with our friends the Cochranes and the other day when I took the girls over there and saw Ralph it was so strange- like I was seeing someone famous!  I'm always seeing him at school and forget that he goes home eventually too.  He's pretty beat by the time these evening sessions run and often lays down about half way through.
Our dog Saba has been getting old quickly.  She's 10 now and has some mass growing on her leg that we hope is just a fat lump (the other option was that it could be cancer).  She gets anxious at night now when she can't get to us, so we now sleep with our door open for her.  She has been a good dog in lots of ways, but not very friendly with the kids.  I don't know how long we'll still have her, which is weird since she's been a part of our lives since before we had kids.  Dogs can be some work and we don't invest in ours nearly as much as we should, but she's given us a lot in love and loyalty in security and in learning life lessons.

I haven't asked a question here in so long!  Did you have a pet growing up? Do you have one now?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

quick visits

Mom and dad came down for a quick visit last weekend.  The girls decided to comb grandpa's hair with their new combs.  It was fun to watch them because I remember doing dad's hair as a kid.  He'd let us put his hair in a hundred ponytails if I recall correctly.

Speaking of blasts from the past.  I highjacked this jacket of dad's about a decade and a half ago.  I don't use it anymore and thought maybe it was time to return it.  This was his actual jacket when he was in his 20s.  We have old pics of him in it when he was dating mom (or were they just married?).  Some of the leather is worn right off on the collar, but other than that, it's still in good shape.  I wore it for lots of years too.  Dad said he remembers some of his sweaters going missing too, um, yep that would have been me.  My favorite sweaters as a teenager were ones I had "borrowed" from dad.  I wore them forever too.  Not sure if they ever got back though--- sorry dad!

We went for a quick walk down the street to go give a tour to my parent's of aunt Mary and uncle Bill's new house.  If you hadn't noticed, winter has arrived in Fort Qu'Appelle.  Until last weekend, we didn't have snow, but this fell when mom and dad arrived and then when they left, the temperature dropped 20 degrees or so and we've been in a deep freeze ever since.  It is super pretty outside though.

I was hoping to do some of this today since it's so cold, but they didn't have public skate times this weekend!  urgg- but they had some times last weekend and we'd told dad to bring his skates too.  It's amazing to see how good the kids have gotten since last year.

Dominique is thinking of switching out of dance for next year and doing figure skating instead.  Emora wants to follow Dominique.  They were also talking about karate- so we'll see.

Dad was able to show Ivan some stick handling skills, so that was awesome.  One thing we've learned especially with our son is that it takes a village to raise a child.  It's so wonderful to have a great uncle who can introduce him to fishing, an auntie who taught him guitar, an uncle who taught him art, another uncle with a tie to hunting, grandpa who can share hockey knowledge, grandma who can sing of foreign lands, more grandparents who sow love into their lives...

Emora is getting more and more confident where she doesn't always use the bar to skate.  She hasn't gotten the skill of getting back up yet though, so hopefully that will come soon.

She and Ivan actually played nicely together for a bit.  (A rare occurrence).

Brian took most of these pics and mom did some rounds around the rink on the walking track.  We are missing the daddy this week.  He's off to NY to visit his dad who he hasn't seen in a couple of years.  He took on an extra job this summer to fund his trip and surprised him!  Which means we've been Brianless all week.  I'll tell you what, I've got a new admiration and understanding for those single moms out there- and I know mine is not a permanent situation.  It's crazy trying to do it on your own!  And of course, the day Brian left there were a dozen extra scheduled items to take care of- like parent teacher interviews!!  Aunt Mary and Uncle Bill came for half the week to help with the kids some, but even then, it's been exhausting and the list I've had for each day was crazy.  I only subbed 2 days, but it was so hard to get everyone where they needed to be.  Thankfully there was no school Friday and now it's the weekend- so we're about home free!  I'm thankful for the big family we have even though they are stretched all over the continent and so thankful for my kids and Brian to share this fun and crazy life with!