Thursday, April 17, 2014

starting off a long weekend and welcomed break!

I love breaks with my kids!  The kids love breaks with their friends.  We are at the start of the Easter break and we are looking forward to going to Stoon and seeing cousins and meeting my new nephew, of going swimming and not having to do SCHOOL!  Ivan was hanging out with his buds after drama (this his spiked hair).

We are coming off a very busy season that is not quite over so it's nice to have a reprieve.  Ivan had tons of drama sessions to attend and participate in and that same weekend, Dominique had a dance competition 1.5 hours away.  Emora was dragged to much of their stuff.  Some of it she loved (the dance), some of it was a bit much for her (hours of plays).

We are so ready for winter to leave.  We have pulled out the bikes, I'm anxious to get the kayak out and soccer is around the corner, but in the meantime, there may be one or two snowstorms left to this winter that doesn't know well enough to leave us be!

But I know the snow will leave and the cold will go.  We started some seeds and are looking forward to garden time.  The kids have already started playing on the backyard swing set, playing soccer, getting on the tire swing- which makes me so happy, carrying on it the memories of Abilene and even back to my childhood of a tire on a chain and turning in the sun.

Looking forward to holding my new nephew--- yeah!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

First bike ride!!

How exciting- we pulled a few bikes out, aired up a tire and got out in the sun for our first ride of the season.  We went to the beach (my secret reason was to see if the water is starting to break up to see if I should try to get my kayak out.  The good news there is that while the lake is still frozen, the river is flowing- so there is a short run a few blocks from our house.

These panoramic pics are not accurate.  It shortens the middle up a lot, but gives you a bit of an idea on how my favorite place in town looks in spring.

Ivan and Emora enjoyed getting out and playing in the snow and trees.  I LOVED watching the geese, hearing their squawking and watching them bathe and take in the sun rays and LOOK a glimpse of the beach beckoning from in between the snow patches.

Guess whose tracks these are and they are not deer!

Aha, the culprits and beautiful singers who added melodic flair to our outing.  The sound of their calls and splashing was refreshing.

However, someone else's squawking was not quite so melodious.  This one had to go pee and the bathroom was not open and she adamantly refused to let me help her go in the trees- she wanted to go home!  So we finally complied-  our sneakered feet were wet and cold too since we had only planned to ride and not tramp through the snow mounds, but once out there could not resist!

I asked the kids what they thought the geese were saying out there.  Ivan interpreted their honking for us "get lost, scram, go away people!!"

I'm thinking he was pretty right on.

Poor geese- we are so happy you are back.  We love your songs and your flights, your gracing the skies over our home and livening up our lakes.  Sorry we can't leave you alone in peace- we are so enamored at your coming back to your summer home!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Highly entertained

Dominique has learned a new trick she is quite proud of!

Ivan and I got to go on a mother/son dinner theater date.  He got special permission to be in a play at his school for grade 6&7s, so we thought we'd better encourage his dramatic bent by letting him see a play by the highschool.

He liked the play, but liked the chocolate malts the best.  The play was set in a dinner, so the foyer was decorate in theme and all the servers and staff on hand dressed up to play the part.  It was pretty spectacular.  After dinner and the play, there was desert and coffee/tea in the library with student art on display and for sale.

I had a fun sub day that week where I got to help paint this on the front doors ;)  Gotta love it when paid a ton of money to have fun painting!

A day after my mother/son date, I got to go on a mom/daughter date to Dominique's first dance competition this year.  She and her modern group, dressed in gold, earned gold for their fabulous performance.  It was also awesome since Victoria and Tyler managed to find me in the dark auditorium and sit with our group and because she had bought Dominique a rose and because the crowd all applauded when Dominique and Natasha were lifted onto the shoulders of a couple of bigger dancers and slowly spun to the music.  That is Dominique's favorite part!  Next weekend we're off for another competition in Moose Jaw and then they will perform in the Fort for the final recital.

Emora has been missing me with all the sub days I've been getting lately, but she's also in the works of her next puppet production.  She and Dominique are painting sets and I dreamed up a puppet stage to replace our beaten up cardboard one.  We got Brian into building more and I of course had to add some creative embellishments.  Emora choose the "rug" pattern for the "stage" and the decor on the front is taken from the design of the doors on Elsa's room from Frozen which Emora is totally enthralled with right now.

Emora was checking out the impromptu puppet performance and giving her approval.

While Emora writes her sweet plays about puppy friends finding each other, Ivan creates his own macabre scenes with lego.  He entitled the top one "awww- poor grandma"  and I'm not sure who one in the next scene, but I bet it wasn't the lego girl.

Ivan and his friend Koh are also writing a series about their karate Sensei and his advice giving which is really fabulous.  We'll see if we can get it together into something they can present to him at the end of the season.

Friday, April 11, 2014

First day of spring???

I saw an add about how Canadians celebrate the first day of spring.  It was hilarious with people getting out to fly kites on frozen lakes or go for a picnic on a beach filled with mounds of snow.  Victoria and Tyler planned a spring celebration for the family.  Tyler got on his snowsuit and grilled burgers outside in minus 25 or so.  The kids jumped on the trampoline.  After a couple of hops, they pulled their liners out of their boots and put them on their feet.  They raced up the hill and back inside as frozen little children.

We warmed up to a crackling fire, some fiddle music and cousin play!

Emora had chosen her wardrobe to flaunt her new hairdo.  It was cute that each of the girls had dressed in dresses/skirts.  It may be a winter-like spring, but fashion prevails!

We celebrated Lily's 1st birthday with our friends at the Outreach center.

I did go check to see if the lake is melting and while there is a lot of ice out there, the river has broken up- so I'm thinking it's kayak time!  We took out our bikes last week for some riding and soccer season is around the corner.  LOVE this season of transitioning to warmer temps. and new beginnings.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Some beauty in winter

We have been running a series of Family Fitness Classes this winter.  Unfortunately the only night that would work is the worst night for my family as Dominique has dance and Ivan karate, but Emora and I get to join in the fun.  This was the first night and a HUGE success.  We offered badminton with the lovely Moira (my cousin's daughter).  Badminton in the gym- which was packed and a kid zone.  The next week was belly fit, then dance, then yoga, next we'll have circuit training and then taekwon do.  It's been a ton of fun for me anyways and hopefully a big benefit to families in our community.

Even if the cold can be miserable, I am still overcome each year with the beauty of it all.  I came back from my early morning workout to this one day.

The day was not only memorable with the trees dressed up in white and then pink as the sun rose and splattered color on the elaborate displays-- but also because it was the day that I found out Natsu (Summer) was born.  Natsu is Japanese for summer and is the given name of my brand new nephew born to my brother Andrew and my sister-in-law Andrea.  I was so happy for them.

I haven't gotten to meet Natsu yet, so I'm really looking forward to our trip to Saskatoon at Easter to see family and get to hold this little bundle of joy.

Ivan was quite pleased that they managed to create another boy cousin to add to the entourage!

We made these cranes at a school program and the girls and I decided that they needed to be flying in our window.  They are a joyful addition.

A few weeks ago, Emora decided a hair cut was in order and not just a trim this time, she wanted a short bob like her best friend's hair.  She was so excited about her big girl choice!

Dominique fought a brutal cold in March.  She ended up on antibiotics and missed an entire week of school.  In fact, we got a letter from the school telling us just how many days she'd missed that month and reminding us of the importance of her learning and catching up!!

No worries, we brought home her homework to help fill her days, 'cause this girl does not believe in naps, even when she is sick!  So glad she finally got over that.  Actually, we've fought a lot of colds this winter, I'm sure in part because we've had to be inside so much.  I am thankful we don't live somewhere with lots of pollution.  We can go outside and it help our health instead of the other way around!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Life with a puppy

Polo is growing everyday.  Seriously, you can almost hear her body stretching and augmenting!  It's been a long time since we've had a puppy.  Welcome back to the world of potty training, chasing down shoes, boots and slippers, of chewed on table legs and toys, of chasing her off the couch and off the kids...  And let's not even talk about leash training which is my particular weakness.  I've been trying to read and they say to not let the dog pull on the leash and to move at a quick pace to stay ahead of the dog.  I've power walked.  I've jogged.  Today I took my bike out and held on to the dog on her leash.  I realized that I still wasn't staying ahead of the dog when she was whipping out ahead and we were flying down the street- while I wasn't even pedaling.  Maybe we better go back to training in the garage where there is less distractions.  sigh.  The bonus of this is a year or so of puppyhood and we wind up with a lovely dog ;)

She's already a ton of fun.  This day, in Feb. Ivan and I let the dogs drag us to the beach.

We climbed hills of snow on the frozen lake where they had made the race track for the winter festival.

It was so nice to get out and Polo LOVED the snow.  Saba had fun too, but was soon biting ice off her feet.

We stopped off at the ice castle too.

It's fun to look back and see the beauty of winter even as it slowly melts away with the slow arrival of spring.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Spring cleaning

When most people do spring cleaning, that means to get the house in order and scrubbed down, which never seems like fun to me- so here's is my modern updated version.  Spring cleaning for me is to upload the 300+ pics off my phone and get them on to my blog!!

Dance season is coming to an end.  This was during "watch" week.  Dominique is taking "modern" this week.  There are about 8 girls in the dance ages 7-12 I believe and Dominique is most excited that she gets lifted up by one of the bigger girls.  They just went to their first of 2 competitions and earned gold!

Emora and I got to have the day together, so we prettied her up.  She got this shirt from her cousin and LOVES it.  It really is gorgeous and gorgeous on her.  As soon as it comes out of the clean laundry, she has it on, so it is barely ever on a hanger even!

I have been really thankful for activities in the community at the art center, library and schools during this super long winter!  They say this is the coldest winter we've had in 50 years and it's not over yet. 

An artist came and set up three stations this night- with the papers, they made mobiles, they did prints with the clay and paint and there was a portrait drawing station too.  In the other room was artist works to look at.

This was one of the rare days that Ivan and Dominique had to walk home from school.  It snowed on them the whole way!
Brian has been making improvements to his man cave in the garage.  See the stereo setup!  He built the workstation behind him.  There used to be a kitchen counter top with sink (and no plumbing).  He designed this with a protruding edge so that you can work at it and made the shelves next to it.

Stay tuned--- more totally old photos (by today's standards) to be posted soon ;)