Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Round Up

The highlight of April was Nathan's turning 5(!!!), but other then that it was pretty standard, working, playing, sleeping, karate, volunteering in the kids classes, playing outside, making new foods, snuggling, playing video games, big family dinners, small family dinners, watching movies, shopping all the great fun things in life...
 Last weekend we collected together the whole posse and played a fun game of baseball.  The wind was blowing A LOT so I thought we would be done in 10 minutes, but we stayed out for two and a half hours because everyone was having such a great time. 
There was also snuggling.  I think it's one of those realizations that as the kids are growing up that those times will not last forever.   When they are young it's so much work to put them to bed, so once they are there it's great to have some time to yourself, but now it's easy so it's nice to enjoy more time with them.
Here are the boys both learning from Darryl.  They love there Dad so much.  They both really love spending time with him and doing a lot of the activities that he enjoys.  This week they have been using his old tools to take apart our old vacuum cleaner. 
Spring cleaning was in full swing this week.  I went through Nathan's clothes and took a lot to Value Village.  And I also cleaned out the pantry and gave food to the food bank. One thing I found that I think we moved into this house was a big box of cannelloni.  We enjoy pasta here so I thought I would make it.  Man, I quickly learned again why that box has been sitting there for years, it's a lot of work to make it.  Filling all those tubes and in the end it tasted like lasagna, which is much easier to make. 

Hope everyone else had a fun month too, whether it was filled with adventures or the joys of daily life. 

Till Next Time


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My favorite sound

This weekend was very low key.  On Sunday I made a roast beef dinner and Nathan asked when everyone was coming.  We host a lot of meals at our house.  Mostly because it's the biggest, but also because Darryl is an excellent cook.   I love having people over and noise in my house.  I like to feel like everyone is having a good time and that I've done something to contribute to that.  Sometimes it's a big conversation with 8 people taking part and sometimes it's 10 little conversations with two people each.  I live an awesome life with great people in it. 


Friday, April 12, 2013

Emma Update

Many of you who have been following along for a while (which I know is like 2) know what a crazy dog we have in Emma.  She has been through many, many adventures.  There was also a summer two years ago where she went three shades of crazy and we have had to change our habits with her since then.

 For the last year we have been taking her to my angel/Auntie Karen's house.  Auntie Karen works from home so on the days I work, Emma happily sits in the basement with her while she works.  Auntie Karen takes her for walks on her lunch break and they both get a little fresh air and exercise.  I think it has worked out to be a really good solution.

The only time it becomes a bit of a issue that Emma can't be home alone is when Auntie Karen goes on vacation. In those instances we do one of two things with her.  The first is to take her to doggy daycare and the second is to keep her with me.  As long as the weather is good she is quite content to hang out in the backseat of the van and this week it was.  Luckily over my lunch break I'm also able to take her (and I) for a nice long walk.  This week I was working with students at the Childrens hospital and it has a lovely view. If you look closely in the background you'll see COP.  Of course you can also see the chinook in the clouds, which means the mountains didn't show up that well.  But it really was a lovely view on a lunchtime walk with my dog and partner in crime.


Book 4 Casual Vacancy

 When we got home from California (where I had been reading another book... review to come in a week of two) and this book was waiting for me at the library.  For those of you who read and don't go to the library I HIGHLY recommend it.  Free books... free entertainment.  There's nothing better!  I took the book out and started reading it right away.  The only problem was after the first 10 pages I was having trouble sticking with it.  There are so many characters.  Who's Miles?  Who's Howard?  How are they related?  The book is based in a small town in England.  In the first chapter Barry Fairbrother dies and he holds a seat on town council.  Once the seat is not filled they call that a casual vacancy, hence the title.  The book goes through who is going to fill it.  One of the interesting things about it is the 'socialist" part of the book.  There is a "bad" side of town that the council is trying to take out of there jursidication.  JK Rowling presents many of the pros of helping society to giving everyone opportunity.

Not the best book I've ever read, but definitely a good one. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Favorite Parts

One nice tradition we have with the kids is our bedtime ritual.  I'm sure I read it in a book somewhere, but we started it when Lucas was quite young.  Each night we ask the boys what their favorite part of the day was and their least favorite part of the day.  It's one of my favorite traditions we do with them.  The majority of the time "the whole day" is the answer.  But there are times we get the most interesting things from the boys.  Sometimes it's about one of the kids at the school being mean.  Once it was a kid calling Lucas a jerk.  Sometimes it's about the art they are studying at school or a special craft they did.  Most of the time it about playing with friends. 

Tonight Lucas's favorite part was building a boat with his dad. 

"My least favorite part was when I started building it and I was frustrated.  Then dad turned it all around and made it fun.  That was my favorite part of the day. "  He's lucky to have such a great dad.

Nathan's was "the whole day".

Till Next Time


Sunday, April 07, 2013

Nathan's Monthly Newsletter

Dear Nathan, This weekend we spent most of it celebrating your birthday and I can't believe you are 5. You are such a awesome kid so I was happy to spend so much time celebrating you.  Including having your yes day, for your birthday we got to do whatever you wanted.  You chose to play Mind Craft with your dad and go to McDonalds for dinner.

Being the second child is an interesting thing. You grow up quicker because of having Lucas around so you knew about Star Wars and Ninjago and Phineas and Ferb quite early. But also with physical activities you do them sooner, skiing is a good example of that.  We taught Lucas to ski when he was 5 1/2. It was a really good age for him to learn, but since it was an activity that we all wanted to do together we taught you this year, even though you are only 4, but then we could all be together.  It took you longer to learn, but mostly because you were younger.  But now you off the bunny hill and on the bronze chair.  Also this weekend for your family birthday party you suggested we all sing Happy Birthday to you in french.  You know that next year you will be going to french immersion like Lucas and so you have been speaking more of it.  

You are a cute and funny kid.  You love to say "holy" when I tell you something surprising.  You make me laugh a lot and you are learning the difference of people laughing with you and people laughing at you.  You really don't like it when you feel like we are laughing at you, but I try to get you laughing along so we are all laughing together. 

This year you participated in gymnastics again which you really enjoy.  You are very good with teachers and paying attention.  The other day we were waiting for preschool to start and you were telling me what great patience you have.  And that you are also a very good listener at school.   You have also done really well in preschool.  You know and can write your entire alphabet.  You also know all the sounds that the letters make too.  At the same time you still have some really cute things you don't pronounce correctly like "Tim Portons". 

You love your family.  You and Lucas play really well together.    You love to spend time with me or daddy too.  You enjoy your friends and sometimes have play dates with them. But you love you "mommy and Nathan" days. 

You are still a really affectionate kid.  I thought it was a phase for a while, but it has never stopped.  You love to snuggle and give hugs and be close to us.  But I don't know yet if you are an outgoing kid or more introverted.  You are not shy, if someone waves to you, you will wave back.  But sometimes you are shy to try things, although sometimes not too.  When we were in California you were the first one to go on the roller coaster, where Lucas was unsure. 

You are not a picky eater (knock on wood), you love vegetables.  We made chinese dumplings and edaname you ate those, when we go to Edo you get California rolls.   You are willing to try anything and you usually like most of it. 

Here are some of my favorite pictures of you from the last 5 years. 


You are a great, sweet and funny kid.  You make our family complete and my life so much more enriched and loving.  Thanks Bub bub and happy birthday!

love mommy.

Monday, April 01, 2013

March Break Week

This was a nice low key March Break with a couple of exciting things but lots of staying home and playing outside too.  One of the interesting lessons I learned from reading the "money" blog I read, the Simple Dollar is to not spend money on big activies each day when on vacation.  For each vacation there are a couple of key things you probably remember but most of us don't remember it all if it's jam packed with activites.  So I tried to implement that this week.  This can be a bit of a challnege for me as I'm someone who likes to be on the run.  For me to stay home for a whole day is a shocker.  Two days, might almost kill me.  Even if it's just for a walk, but I like to be out and about.  I'm not a homebody.  But both of my kids really enjoy being at home, so I'm learning.    And it started with these 10 days.  So we chose a couple of big (and fairly affordable) things.

We spent a day at the zoo (where we have passes), where the highlight was the penguin walk.  As some of you may know last year Calgary got a new penguin exhibit and 3 times a week they take the penguins out for a walk.  It's very cute to see the penguins waddle along.  I highly recommend going on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday that it takes place.

The second big thing we did was to go see a movie on a Tuesday night no less.  We ate lots of popcorn and enjoyed the amazing animals and good story of the Croods.

Today we went to the ski hill.  It's probably our last time this winter, but I was sad to be leaving.  It's been a great activity this winter, especially to do with all of our extended family too.

The rest of the days were spent playing MineCraft, playing outside with friends, riding bikes, going to the library, riding bikes with friends, sleeping in, eating waffles, going to the park, walking the dog, coloring, reading and other cost effective and stay at home things. =)  Luckily the weather really worked out for us and so we did get to spend a lot of time outside. 

It was a lovely week off, maybe not as lovely as going to an all inclusvie for a week, but a really good week at home, with great weather. Till Next Time Jenn