Sunday, February 23, 2014

library, pina, literacy, vicka's house

These pics are all activities we did in Feb. before we went to Saskatoon.  The library had a special Saturday program that was fish themed.

The kids enjoyed the activities planned and the snacks.  In fact, Ivan asked if he could have that HUGE bag of pretzels you see in the back ground and they gave it to him!  He had a sleepover that night and shared them with his friends.

For a family that never goes to the movies, we've hit them this Christmas, or at least Ivan has!  The last time we'd been to a theater with kids when was Ivan was a baby and he cried the entire movie, so we put that on the backburner.  Just this year, we realized that they were probably old enough to go now, so we went as a family to see Frozen.  Then Ivan got to go with his karate friends to the Lego movie and this past weekend in Saskatoon, his aunt and uncle took him to Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2- so he went from never going to the movies to seeing 3 in about 2 months!

This weekend was the Winter carnival in Fort Qu'Appelle- so while it's terribly cold out, it's fun to have great activities to attend.

If it looks like we are in a school gym- you guessed it right!  This was for literacy day.  The school had a book swap, story telling night where the kids wore their pyjamas, got to take home books and get read to while munching on cookies and milk.

Yeah, they loved it.

Even Ralph the Reader- our school pet made it out for the evening.  He likes to listen to stories too and mostly smell the kids cookies.  He would have liked to eat the cookies too- but the kids guarded them really well!

Emora always enjoys her days at gymboree.  Wednesdays they open up the gym and put out equipment for preschoolers to enjoy and once a month a HUGE jumpy castle is set up too.  It's such a nice break from the COLD!

Right smack in the middle of the freezing temps is the perfect time to pretend we are in hawaii.  The School Community Council hosted and provided pretenda coladas which were delicious.  Families came out for the picnic with their kids, the gym was decorated and people dressed hawaiian style.  We could also buy pizza- yum, yum.

Nothing like a picnic with half the town while it's -30 outside!  It was so cold that they had inside recess that day.

While there, some friends who weren't able to get to Emora's party- which got postponed due to me being sick- brought her a belated present- her own fun loom- which has been a big hit with the girls.

On our way to Ivan's karate testing, we took Uncle Bill and Aunt Mary into the city and dropped her off at Victoria and Tyler's new apartment in the city.  When we got there, we got a tour and met their moving crew- including our favorite house sitter and babysitter- Moira!  LOVE all our cousins ;)

It's been SO WONDERFUL to have time off from the regular school schedule.  I could use another week off, but we'll have to wait for Easter break and summer for lots of time off.  In the meantime, it's wonderful to have this week to sit back, sleep in, hang out together and pause to give thanks for the many, many blessings in our lives.

Friday, February 21, 2014

share the love

It's been a fun week.  We just got back from Saskatoon.  Monday was family day and the kids (and I) had the week off from school, so we had planned to go see everyone in Saskatoon and have a little get away.  Mom and dad were not there unfortunately- but we got to stay at their place and Jenn and her family came out to stay while we were there and my brother and his wife came out most nights and we also got to see a couple of my other cousins.

Before we left it was Valentine's day.  Dominique saw these cute valentine owls in her magazine and decided to make them for each of her classmates.  They said:  "w-h-o-o-o wants to be your valentine?", then when you opened the wings it said:  Dominique.

We left the next day- on Saturday and settled in at mom and dads.  I haven't looked through pictures yet or uploaded them, but I'll get them up soon.

Meanwhile our favorites:  Ivan- his special day with auntie and uncle for his birthday outing, and all the rest of us loved swimming the most.  Oh how we've missed getting to a pool!!  We also went sledding, skating and to a museum, lots of family suppers and playing games and watching olympics.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The big test

 Here are some highlights from Ivan's karate testing for his yellow belt.  It was pretty fun and intense at the same time.  They started off with a special class/training for everyone.  There were 6 black belts there, one of whom is Ivan's Sensei.

 They did demonstrations and practices.  There were tons of people of all ages.  They were always bowing to each other and they talked about being nervous and how the color of the belt doesn't matter and that it takes 17 years to become a black belt.  The main Sensei had started this club in Regina and earlier that week had been to Sri lanka for karate and was headed to Egypt.  In between, he came to Regina to work with the kids here!  After the training, they started testing with the white belts.  3 black belts watched from the sides and helped position kids, while 3 other black belts sat at the judges' table at the front.  They started with the youngest kids, calling up 3-4 at a time.  The Sensei called out directions and counted for them. 

I didn't think Ivan had passed, but shows you what I know because he came back the next week from his regular training and said that his Sensei said that he wasn't too fond of Ivan's white belt anymore and he'd earned his yellow! He was so excited and we were so happy for him. Ivan really struggles to focus and I can see that his karate training can help him to learn to be still and on task- to center his energies on a specific moment, task, goal.

Thursday, February 06, 2014


The kids have been learning a song for our fort Qu'Appelle winter festival.  In the song they say wintertime is the best -it's hard to think of winter time being the best when it's so cold outside but there are always reasons to be thankful.  I've been fighting a cold since Christmas and hasn't been all that bad most days but it seems every 4 to 5 days I'm laid up in bed again.  But today I'm thankful that I could get medicine and hopefully will be feeling better soon.  The elementary school will be doing a project on kindness throughout the week.  I got to help put it together and I'm realizing how many people surround me with kindness each day.  We have so many generous friends and family-  Who in rich our lives each day.  Ivan is making great strides at focusing on his work and was rewarded this week with a yellow belt in karate.  It was great to see him test and to see how excited he was at accomplishing something.  Tonight the kids got to learn about chopsticks  and learned how to make sushi at an afterschool program.  I am thankful that our school celebrates diversity and engages kids in innovative ways.  It's been hard in some ways as we's taking up new roles and are lives, but it's been great to see new skills arise out of us and learn how to be family and new ways.  Brian has been doing a great job learning how to take care of Emora, cook get groceries and Adjust to a different life while I'm substitute teaching at school.  I'm posting this from my phone since I'm being lazy and I'm not sure how to get the pictures on so I'll have to save that for another post. In the meantime I want to treasured the days for the gifts that they are and want to live in thankfulness no matter what difficulties seem to come our way.