Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More from the winter festival

The ice castle before the kids got to sing their songs.

They had different competitions.  Jac, Ivan, Dominique and I tried out spike driving!

It was fun!  Brian said I got 2nd place, but the judge was on the other end and didn't see me... or that's how our story goes.  I told the lady next to me whose spike was half way in the log when I was done that we'd just renovated our basement so I had some practice ;)

Singers and dancers came from Standing Buffalo reservation.  It was moving to watch them dance out their prayers.  Their community has been through a ton of heartache these last few months-- lots of unexpected deaths and yet they come and dance and honor a generations old relationship with the Fort.  The lady who introduced their youth said that they were glad to be asked to come as their reservation has sent dancers since in the early days when the festival was at it's hayday.

We missed a lot of the other competitions as we took off to the lake.  Ivan was angry that we'd missed the donut eating contest... gotta leave some fun for next year!

Emora making a noble attempt at skating on natural ice.  It was super hard and we didn't last long, but the big kids did, I was impressed with them.

I thought this was cute with Jac giving Ivan a little snuggle.

Can you believe we'll be swimming here in 4-5 months?

This was the best way to play mini golf!  It was so fun!

Cold foot remedy.  A lady who was leaving gave us some hot pockets (is that what they are called?).  They are little bag things filled with something that when squeezed give off heat for 3 hours.  I put them in my gloves and my gloves on Emora's socked feet.  That turned the complaints off for the rest of the day!

Going for another round.

Brian gets the credit for this pic.  Yeah Fort Qu'Appelle!  We totally enjoyed the festival.  May it live long and prosper!

Monday, February 25, 2013

family, family, family!

I've got an eclectic mix of pics to share over the last many weeks.  I pulled several of family gatherings that we've had.  We got together for Jan/Feb birthdays- which includes all but one of the Muirhead clan who is the month before, Victoria, Brian and Emora.  It was nice to do a party, even though several couldn't make it.

Speaking of birthdays, Andrew, my brother and his wife Andrea made a very special trip to the Fort to celebrate with Emora.  I realize now that I didn't get a pic with Andrew!! and this one with Andrea in it is blurry.  Anyways, they took the birthday girl to the city and spoiled her rotten!  They bought her gifts including 4 pairs of shoes!  I thought them coming and taking her out to swim (her choice) and eat out (also her choice) was her gift, but there was more!  That was last weekend.  We got to play games and Andrea did some baking.  They were also here for the birthday bash, so that was fun.

This weekend, Lin and 2 of her kids came for the weekend.  And I now see I didn't get a pic with Josh.  They made it here in time to get to check out our first Fort Winter Festival.  Apparently these used to be quite the famous event a couple of decades ago.  It has been resurrected and we loved it!  The kids sang Sat. on the ice palace stage, I got to take part in a spike driving contest, we played mini golf on the frozen lake.

The kids and I tried skating on the ice too in the maze.  Emora and I didn't last too long at that- too much snow on the ice for our liking.

We also walked the maze and despite how easy it looked, got lost twice.

We went on a sleigh ride and the kids played on the mounds of snow made from all that snow removal.

It was a fabulously beautiful day.  Only about -1 C and sun shining- a perfect day to get out.

Thankfully I had brought our leftover lunch with us, because the kids needed replenishing several times, but a little respite in the van and they were ready to get back out and enjoy the festivities.

So fun to get to see cousins more often now that we are all within some hours drive.

Today was back to regular programming- with the school schedule.  And now that it's evening, they are back to fighting too.  I guess I should go referee a bit... until next time ;)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Party on!

Emora and I drove out to the Muirhead farm one morning for Lanelle's birthday party.  It wasn't all that cold, but there were 4 of the brightest sun dogs I've ever seen.  They were huge and brilliant.  Emora and I enjoyed watching them all the way out for the drive.  Sun dogs usually appear when it is very cold, so I'm not sure why they were there.  For my southern friends, they are rainbows or bright white lights that are on either side of the sun.  Often there are just 2, one on each side, but this time they were doubled up on each side.

The kids found the costume stash and enjoyed dressing up.

It was fun to make crafts and the adults all got in a wonderful visit and terrific lunch too.

This picture says it all-- cousins are awesome!

When it was time to leave, we couldn't find any of the kids!  We looked and looked.  Finally, I heard giggles in the tub.  I knew something special would greet me when I moved the curtain, so I got my camera ready and found this!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Teacher Dom

It's so interesting to watch our children's personalities come out.  Ivan could play legos all day and loves to be with his friends, but really doesn't enjoy school work much.  I remember having to teach him how to hold a pen so that the right tip could be on the page to make marks.  Ivan still doesn't like to write much.  Then comes number 2.  Dominique wouldn't stop writing.  I remember punishing her for writing on walls, herself, the furniture...  She loves to write and do "school work".  Now that she is in grade 1, she has homework, a reading record and spelling words.  She loves it all.  The minute she gets home from school, she gets her books out and does school with Emora and every other willing "student" (ie. stuffed animals), they can find.  Fortunately Emora enjoys being her student, because Dominique likes to be the teacher and doesn't want to have the roles reversed!

When Dominique is at school, Emora also enjoys to write and do Dominique's spelling words and her letters, but she is not as passionate about it as Dominique was.  She does LOVE to color most of all and likes to do puzzles and games.

Fortunately Ivan does like to read and has even realized that it is a good way for him to de-stress.

We are enjoying our week off for winter break.  It's too cold to enjoy the sunshine outside today, but the kids all have play dates, so they are happy to be with friends.

Love my trio and all their differences!  It wouldn't be nearly as interesting or challenging or enriching if we were all the same.  Each of them brings a flavor to our family that helps us to grow and experience life more fully- and it's never ending- they grow, have new interests, build on their strengths, learn through their struggles and discover new things together.  So thankful for our trio!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hawaian day!!

At -45 the buses don't run to pick up kids from school, however, the school is open and running anyways, because lots of kids don't get bus service, including mine.  It was that cold on Hawaian day- where we got to pretend it was warm, wear our summer duds (in the cold gym) and have a pretenda colada from the School Community Council.

Today it has been snowing non stop- big fluffy wet flakes.  I parked in the front- out of fear of getting stuck in the alley and the van is covered in snow.  I shovel, wipe the snow off, go to the bank, am there an hour and the van is once again totally covered in snow- you can't even tell that I shoveled.  But I managed to get Emora to walk with me to the school without throwing a fit.

She even got a shot today without throwing a fit.  She only threw a fit when I got her colors wrong when painting her nails today.  It was a pretty bad fit, but the moments of non-fits give me hope that she is maturing and maybe growing beyond the tantrum stage.  Of course we all throw tantrums, but maybe with a little less volume, tears and drama would be nice.

I told the kids that once it got nice, we'd dig out an igloo/quinzee.  So we dug this weekend and it's pretty cool.  With all this extra snow, we should be able to enlarge and expand on it.

Ivan tried Tae-kwon-do in town, but didn't like it- however, he kept insisting that he wanted to join Kellen at karate.  So he tried it out and says he loves it.  I didn't want to have to drive and it really does take up a whole evening a week (maybe 2- if we try to make it for all the sessions).  I hope he'll stick with it though and enjoy it.  It would be cool for him to grow up doing something with his cousin.  It was a nice group of people and not so bad a drive as I had first thought.

We are looking forward to our winter break.  The kids will have the week off from school and we are starting it with a visit from Uncle Andrew (my brother) and Auntie Andrea (his wife) and a party- birthdays for Jan/Feb.!  So awesome!!  I hope it will keep being nice and warm and that we will get to go sledding, have play dates, go skating and enjoy the break from routine.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hint of spring

The weather was so gorgeous today.  Warmer than it has been and sun shining with blue skies, but I couldn't convince Emora to go out with me.  If it's this pretty tomorrow, we may just have to walk to Gymboree or I'll force her to go with me to the beach with Saba.  I like slow Mondays though.  After having all three kids to torment each other all weekend, it's sweet to have Monday and not need to go anywhere and be able to do some recovery.  Emora and I got some of the house tidied up, did a load of laundry, got muffins made and played games.  I also got a nap.  I haven't had a nap in ages, but I watched all the Lord of the Rings movies this weekend, mostly with Brian which caused a lot of late nights, so I was crashing today and it was so lovely to do some catch up ;)

Speaking of catching up, I don't have any new pictures to share!  Gasp! I know, wow-- but my computer is neat in that it saves pics in it's photo program for one year, so when I open it, the first pics in are from a year ago that day.  I found a pic of about a year ago with the cousins and one from Christmas.  I thought they would look so much older, but just the 2 smallest look really different to me.
Tonight was zumba.  It has been so much fun and we had a glow in the dark night with glow sticks.  The kids had a blast, so they wanted to continue the party once we got home.  We did Just Dance 4 and Just Dance kids and I finally had to call it quits.  That's about 2 hours of tons of movement and my body is saying that's quite enough!  So fun though.  Time for some heat on these sore muscles... I hope I can move in the morning!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


I see from my non-existant photos that I need to #1 take pictures and #2 upload them.  We haven't been doing much eventful anything, and the weather is so weird, we don't know if we are coming or going.  A day (or 2?) ago, it was so nice out and sunny- but I couldn't convince Emora to go for a walk or outside for anything.  To her credit, I've told her and her siblings to go out to play and that it's nice out- not having realized that there was a nasty wind and she came in crying that she was cold.  So there is a trust factor that I have to recognize here!  She is enjoying playing with and making friends lately- so that's been nice.  She loves her "programs" as she calls them and is generally a great helper with all I do.  I had the kids help clean the house this weekend and realized that I've trained her better at cleaning than the others!  This hasn't been intentional, but during the day, part of the time, I clean and she wants to help, so we do it together.  My big kids didn't have a clue as to how to clean the bathroom.  It was a bit of work for me to be teaching them and keeping them on task, but wow, the house got cleaned and we had time left in the day to play! ;)

Emora and Kayda were having some time together and Kayda asked her mom if they could play on some techy thing they've got.  Her mom said no, so they made their own (ipad?) and "played games" on them.  Emora made one for Dominique also and wrote her name on the back of it.  And no, this picture is not reversed, she wrote it from right to left, but I was quite surprised that she could do all those letters!  She read her first word the other day while we were at the optometrist's office ("up"), so yesterday we made a book for her with words and pics of easy things where she can flip the caption with different sections... I guess I need to take a picture of it, too hard to explain... 

We need to go skating tomorrow.  I hope I can get her out!  I've been missing skating.  There is a new recreation coordinator and I don't know if that is why, but they aren't posting public skate times on the weekend anymore and that was a highlight of our week, so I need to get out so that we can find out what is going on and plead that we get an hour on the weekend back again!  Dominique really loves it and is the only time she gets to skate!

The kids were driving me batty tonight, but then things settled down and went well.   I think we are all suffering from cabin fever.  This winter has been so wiggy and we are not getting out enough.  I'm already dreaming of spring and a kayak and swimming in the lake... ahhh, some day it'll come!