Saturday, April 27, 2013

We're still here!

It's a long weekend.  Ivan is getting an extra long weekend.  He came home early Thurs. with a fever.  Then he had to miss out on swimming the next day in the city.  I have to admit, I love our city runs.  I load up on produce at Superstore and get some of our favorites- even if they tend on the expensive side at times, it's so nice to have our veggie treats.  I'm partial to the giant bag of snow peas, Brian loves the huge (probably genetically modified) spinach that doesn't seem to go bad ever, and Dominique has fallen in love with a weird veggie called daikon, strawberries were on sale, got a big bag of kiwis, bananas on sale...  I know, this doesn't seem very exciting, but when we've been eating nothing but apples, brocoli, lettuce, carrots and tomatoes, our new bounty is refreshing!

Seen these before?  These are purple potatoes that my parents grew and shared with us.  I've been singing a song for years at the library and with kids "stirring the purple soup, with purple potatoes and purple tomatoes..."  I didn't even know they existed!  I'm going to bring one next time to show the kids.

Here's our cool dude Emora in her daddy's shades and hat.  This one is always thinking ahead and coming up with ingenious plans.  She's also oh so tough- so watch out!  She likes to do things on her own terms and get her way-- don't we all? ;)

After our super long, cold, snow filled winter, these turkeys think the sun is too bright!  WOW- I'm so happy about the sun finally shining and they wanted me to close the blinds.  I said "no way!", so they got out their umbrellas to make their own shade!

We are excited for spring to be here-- is it finally?  The pelicans came back.  They are my absolute favorite.  I've never seen a more graceful bunch in the air.  They like to soar on the currents and fly in all sorts of formations.  I'm so glad we are on their path between lakes.  They often soar over our house, in my line of sight.  Also, the snow is nearly all melted (maybe today?) and our little seeds (planted indoors) are popping out of the dirt.  We have been told that this may not actually help us in harvesting food earlier, since the plants have a set back once transplanted, but at this point, we just wanted to see something growing- even if inside.

Brian has made me a couple of plant holders- for strawberries and/or flowers and he's also built a triangular arbor type structure that we wanted to train the squash, cucumbers and zuchini to grow on, in an effort to keep them from taking over the entire garden again.  Looking forward to planting in the next weeks.  Dance is winding up this week and soccer will be starting at some point, so we are happy about the season's changes.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Little Ballerinas competing and winning 1st!

Here is Dominique and her group of little ballerinas with their ballet teacher.  They are all bunned, make-upped and glitter sprayed.  It was Dominique's first time to be on stage dancing.  She has only been on stage twice before this and that was with her school class for the Christmas concert.  I was so very nervous for her.  I kept telling her if she just remembers to smile, she will look great- at her Christmas performances, she looked terrified.  We talked about how the lights would be bright, but that I was out there cheering her on.

Arwen also performed that day and we got to watch her and Victoria do their dance routines also.  We had caught a ride with another family in our group, who were heading back right after the dance, but then we saw the cousins and were having so much fun we decided to stay with them and watch performances well into the night!

It's a bit of a tradition to buy the dancer a rose and since this was her first ever competition, I had to get her one.  There were reds and pinks and I lucked out because this one smelled so heavenly.  We kept taking whiffs of it all night.

It was a bit of culture shock for us at the performing arts center- as this was our first time to a competition.  The dance world has it's set of rules and ways of doing things and we are still totally unversed in all of that. We do have lots of friends and cousins though to help us figure things out.  Dominique said she LOVED being on stage, so we may be doing this for a while- and unlike the Christmas concerts, she had the hugest smile.  You could tell she enjoyed performing.  Emora is already asking when she can get in!  We'll see.  Daddy hasn't seen Dominique dance yet and he is the one with the most reservations about it, so she'll have to dance convincingly at the town recital in a month or so to really show him that all the drama, costs, fundraising... is worth it.

oh yeah, they placed 1st at the competition!  So she was doubly happy for that!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

No bullying allowed!

It was pink shirt (AKA anti-bullying day) and Emora had a couple of friends over.  They all dressed in pink of course and I told them to pick a picture for me to paint their faces.

We also made up and recorded a song about anti- bullying:

" Pinkalicious, pinkalicious, Don't Bully Me!  Pinkalicious, think- I have feelings you see!  You're no different than I am, come on let's be friends again.  Pinkalicious, pinkalicious, Don't Bully Me!"

And if you don't get the words, you can understand this!  In Texas, there was a slogan- "Don't Mess with Texas" (an anti littering campaign).

And speaking of no bullying... we think winter has been here long enough and has overstayed it's welcome.  Things are slowly melting- which is good because flooding is a serious concern with all the snow we've had, but even while the hills are diminishing, we have more snow coming!  Seriously- enough already!  So we made us a snow lady in bikini and a sign to tell winter we'd had enough and to tell spring to come already!

She's a wee bit cold out there!

It's fun to see the neighbor kids come check her out.  She's not very visible from the road since our leaning tree is in the way.  I like how she seems to be rising out of the snow.

We are trying not to be total sour pusses.  The frost in the morning has been totally breathtaking and the snow falls are gorgeous big, fluffy flakes and it's not all that cold and even the air smells like spring, but yeah, after 7 months, we're ready to have grass again and dream of kayaks and beaches, planting a garden and soccer...  So come on Spring!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dancing cousins

Although Dominique really likes dance, she likes a lot of things:  yoga, soccer, skating, girl guides... she's had opportunities to try out little bits and pieces or do 6 week sessions... she likes it all.  We love karate- and had thought maybe we could lure her over to that discipline which is WAY nicer on our pocket books, but now that she has put on her overpriced costume and gotten to wear make-up and be a part of all the hoopla with her beloved cousins--- I'm not so sure our arguments for karate in lieu of dance will hold much luster.

It is neat to see the older cousins sharing their love with Dominique.  Her first competition is this weekend- in fact, as this posts online, she will be taking to the stage for her first ever dance in front of others.  I'm excited and a bit nervous for her.  One of the things I like about dance is that it teaches them to have confidence and be able to stand in front of others with courage and grace.

Even if they fall or forget, they learn to get up and face their fears with strength.

I wonder how her future will look as one is starting out and the other at the end of her dancing time as a high school student.

So thankful for all the lovelies in our lives and for cousins who have forged a path before us, for the Muirheads introducing us to the valley and their friends, to the Koops for their insights and connections through the Outreach.  We've come in making baby steps and are making them still, falling down, stumbling along, but perhaps we can learn to twirl and leap in the place we now call home.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our prima ballerina

Some of the neighborhood kids were playing with make-up this summer and we gave Dominique a strict "no"- I know- so mean!  But we did tell her there will be make-up for dance.  Considering that we've already paid out the wazoo for her dance- so so so ridiculous! I decided that I was not buying make-up in her colors on top of it all- besides the video they sent us was saying to use neutral colors and I figured I had enough old stuff to do her up.  The one really off part was my foundation on her -but Victoria- our dance expert told us the little kids don't have to use foundation- so yeah- dodged that bullet!

She HATES getting her hair brushed out, but with some tears, we finally got it in.  It's a little crooked, but this was our practice session.  Poor girl, she loves her long hair, but has a really sensitive head.

Brian (and I) were hoping to convince her to try karate next year instead of dance.  We'll see if it'll work, but as she got all fussied up, I was realizing that it will be hard to make karate tantalizing when she can look like this!

I had to admit, she does look amazing and so graceful.  She really does love the ballet.

I couldn't decide which coloring option I liked better... natural or brighter colors?

This is the week for her group photos to be taken and also this weekend for their first competition.

We will travel to Regina with a friend of her's also in the group.  I may need tissues.  I can't believe she is grown up enough for this!

Brian and the rest of the gang will come see her in Fort Qu'Appelle for the final recital.

There is a tiara that goes with the outfit too, but her dance teacher is holding on to them for safe keeping.

I love how the light shimmers onto her from her sequins.  Shine little gem of ours- we love you and are so proud of the way you get out there and try new things, are brave and face difficulties with elegance.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Knitting lesson and Museum time

Dominique brought her knitting needles to get another lesson from someone who knows how to knit.  She's getting better all the time, but doesn't know how to get it started or finish it.  I'm sure if her momma knit, she'd have something made by now!

We brought back a gift that was given to Emora and that she has grown out of.  Mom has lots of kids come by still and it's nice to have something for them to play with.

Check out the ice on the wagon wheel and seat outside!  Ah winter, what you do to us!

This is probably the kid's favorite part of the entire museum.

I've always loved this museum, and although we have been there lots and lots, it's a great outing for the kids, my sister has a membership so we get in on a discount AND the kids can run and move around a lot, see history, hear stories from us old folks who get to tell them about our first camera that used a thing called film- that they had to process in a darkroom- oh yeah, I'm a relic already!  Ivan was asking if we could go to the museum- they have fond memories from it and since we were still dealing with recovering kids (from fevers and coughs and colds)- we chose this over swimming.

There are about 15 buildings set up how they were during Saskatoon's big start in the early 1900s.  We went to the store.

and jail

the butcher's

train station... and lots of other places.  They love the magical kitchen that transforms from an old farm kitchen to a "modern" electricity using kitchen.  They have a table in it similar to the one I grew up with.  They also like the Bennett Buggy- an old car minus the engine that farmers rigged up for their horses to pull during the dirty 30s.  The kids can sit in it and "drive it" and it moves back and forth while they watch a video featuring the backside of the horses.  It's so cool!

Speaking of cool, look at who dressed like twinsies without knowing it!

This was in the museum and is an exert written by a relative of mine.  J.C. was my great uncle Cecil's brother if I've got my lineage figured out right.  My dad grew up in Radville.

And a touch of "home".  The Sanatorium still stands down the road, along the lake about 10 minutes from our house.  It's in disrepair, but there is a group trying to get historical status on it.  There is a lot of history in the area where we live now and it's keenly felt, especially among those who have been here generations.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Reading and weirdness

So I'm picking out pics from our time in Saskatoon and I notice that this next upload has a lot of pics of reading.  So I'm looking at the other pictures-- looking for a pattern- aha- I see it- we are WEIRD!  Yep, there you have it, no earth shaking news, because if you know me, and I hope if you are reading this that you do, than you already knew that I was weird- but now you can see that  I come by it honestly.

Isaac, my nephew found my dad's hockey equipment.  Later he was wearing the gloves too.  They were about the size of his entire arms, but the helmet was actually a bit close to a fit!

Yeah, it's not just the kids.  All kids are weird some, but in our family, it's the adults too, or maybe they are also part kid?- which I think is very awesome by the way.

I kept thinking this bed was a princess and pea bed.  They about needed a ladder to get up there, except for the fact that kids can climb anything.  When the girls had all three sleeping together, we put the top mattress on the floor because it was a long fall and too dangerous with 3 vying for space.

Jenn was reading the book she wrote after her firstborn passed.  She had written it as a way to share Gordon with her future kids and now here they are talking about Gordon and remembering the brother who has gone on before us.  Time heals in a way, but there will always be that place in us that longed for him and is looking forward to being with him.

Grandpa has read a lot of books over the years and still can't refuse a little eager one lugging a book over to his lap.

This one is the queen of giggles.  We have a container of pennies (in Canada, pennies are being discontinued- we aren't getting them at banks or going to use them anymore, but we saved some for game pieces and who knows what else we will use them for).  Anyways- Emora said "those pennies that we can't use... they just don't make cents (sense)".  I don't know if she heard the joke somewhere or made it up, but it was hilarious hearing it from my little 4 year old!

AHA- proof that he did more than just the wii during his break!