Friday, December 5, 2014

November Shmovember

I am constantly reminded that we are well into the month of December.  I am asked multiple times per day, "How many days until the Christmas break?" and am told continually that, "I can't wait until Nanny and Grandpa get here" by the kids.  Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat!

As excited as we are for our current month, November was a good month.  I think the highlight of the month was a visit from Cath and Isabel.  When I saw Cath in Vancouver in early September, I invited her to bring the family to see us on her November long weekend.  In the end, she just brought Isabel as Howard had to work so we will have to wait for the next visit to see the boys.  

Not to be too mushy about it but it was awesome to have them with us.  As time goes on and life gets wildly busy, I so appreciate old friends who knew me "when".  I love that Cath and I know each other so well....the good and the bad....and I love her for that (it doesn't hurt that she is smart and funny as well...that girl can make me laugh).  It was so fun to see our little girls playing together.  It took Isabel a little time to warm up but then she was off and running. Evie and Bridget were great with  Franny and Is...even got them baking.

Another highlight of the month was having Kris and Billy down for a visit.  See...was a pretty super month.

One sunny Sunday, we didn't have anything on so we thought we would try to get a Christmas card photo at our favorite Seattle look out.  The photos didn't really turn out despite the beautiful day.....

However, the trip wasn't a total bust as the kids had fun at the park below the look out and then we headed to a Seattle institution for lunch....

American Thanksgiving was here before we knew it.  Four days off and lots to do.   The older girls and I started off the long weekend running a Turkey Trot with some friends.  Mags ran ahead with her pals while Eve and I steadily made our way over the 5K course.  Eve was awesome pushing through the pain and ran her best 5K yet!

We then went to friends for dinner where the kids played well together while the adults visited (there was a little friend for Franny which was fabulous!).  The older girls rapped us a song of thanks as we ate way too much (a stuffing recipe that I must get for Christmas!).

That same weekend we got our Christmas tree and got it decorated...

The most important event of the long weekend was Bridget's 8th birthday!  Sigh...there is something about 8 that just seems waaaayyy older than 7.  Bridget is creeping up there with the rest of them but what can we do except enjoy her wonderful-ness (recently had a superb conference with her teacher!).

Her day got started off right with snow on the ground.  There was much anticipation when they saw this...

But, the kids claim responsibility for the snow as they all slept with spoons under their pillows the night before to guarantee its arrival.  It even warranted a photo (not sure who took this...).  Our kids miss the snow.

B got some loot and dinner out for her favorite meal...sushi....Franny surprised us all by being fabulous in the restaurant and even used the kid chop sticks like a star (though there was some serious rice on the ground when we left).

Mags also played in a basketball tournament over the long weekend but no pics.  But I have to tell you, she is soooo fun to watch.  Those arms steal balls left, right and centre and she is so smart on defence and don't even get me started on her free throw accuracy - yowzers!  She claims it is not her favorite sport but things may change after a few more cold, rainy soccer seasons :).

Franny continues to entertain me in her dance class.  She is not always sure where that tutu goes...

Maggie's cool art work...

Kev travelled a lot this month...California, Europe, Texas...

There has been a ton of Dora playing.  Probably the toughest part of the month :).  We are trying to expand our story lines...Kev and I take turns and Gabe is pretty great....I wonder if I could have a friend of Franny's over and make them play Dora...if only I could get a guarantee from her pal that she would play Dora and not want to play anything else....

Quite a bit of hanging in the rain...

There has been far too much shopping.  2015 will see no shopping done by me - the end of shopping, I declare!  These kids keep growing and some are into adult sizes (read...more expensive!).  Time for them to start working!!

Just because I find her so cute....

Mags and I continue to do our volunteer thing with the National Charity League.  Evie is excited to join this spring (and I am excited to start doing this stuff with her as well!).

Ok rushing to post before my next Dora shift...should have had one more Dora-playing baby...she needs a partner.  Sigh.  We love you, Fransters!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Halloween 2014

I think this was the easiest Halloween on record.  Before I had the chance to really turn my mind to it, the kids had worked through most of the costume details themselves.  I am learning that they are way more creative than I am these days (endless laundry can sap one's creative juices :) and all I had to do was merely ask what they needed me to gather up for them...easy peasy.

Mags got a jump on her costume early.  She wanted to be a gangster (or rather, gangsta).  She looked so great when Kev took her over to a teammates place to gather with her friends for some grub before heading out to trick-or-treat.  

Evie's friend's mom really put their costumes together.  Marie is so on-the-ball and picked up these great masks for the girls to wear.  Not the best photo but I just had my phone and it was dark.  Can you tell which one is Eve?

Gaber was someone from The Nightmare Before Christmas movie.  He looked awesome.  Franny and I managed to make it to the elementary school for the costume parade which meant skipping naptime (risky given that we were planning on keeping her up late to trick-or-treat).

Bridget wanted to be a fifties girl which was easy given that she had a poodle dress in her closet (thanks to Marie again...the debt is too big, I tell ya).   Here B is with Betty outside their classroom.

And, finally our Fransters....At her blissful age, everyday is dress-up day so we didn't stress too much over the costume.  In the end, she was Sleeping Beauty for her class party and then a Fancy Toddler for the big night.

Here are all her little friends.  They were so cute but a little overwhelmed by it all.  Both girls came as princesses and Franny managed to get the teacher to give her the fairy wings off of her back for the party.

The chocolate and candy consumption for those first few days after Halloween was downright gross but the kids seemed pretty happy since Kev and I were relaxed about it all.  Eat it up and get it gone!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

school photos 2014-2015

A pretty cute bunch, if I do say so myself...

Franny gets her preschool photo taken in the new year.  That should be interesting.  We have tried to get her photo done for her Canadian citizenship papers and she won't let it happen.  We will see....

Thursday, October 30, 2014

the sun has gone but we are still here

We have recently come through a weekend in which we had no power.  Man, that was a drag.  I learned that I am not always someone who rises to the challenge or someone who puts their best foot forward when adversity comes a-knocking.  Luckily, I married someone who does.  I pretty much went to bed.

After a long Saturday, just as we were snuggling in to watch Modern Family altogether, the power went out.  This isn't as uncommon as you'd think in this area where million dollar homes are the norm (fyi, we don't live in one of these homes).  It took a day and a half for the power to be restored.  This all happened on the heals of not having safe drinking water for about a week this Fall (ecoli!).  Fun, right?

So, if I haven't lost you already due to the downer nature of the intro, I promise to turn things around with some photos.

Things have actually been clicking along pretty alright out here.  Let's see what I've got to share....

Our Fransters continues to be a force.  She continues to challenge us all daily.  Here, Evie indulged her by dressing up before bedtime...

Eve asked me to take a photo of their footwear (her shoes were killing her but it seemed to make Franny happy :).  Ah, the things we do for love (or for a quiet, happy toddler)...Ouch!

Franny continues to be a star student in her dance class.  Here she is with her pal, Charlotte, waiting to go into class...

We had Marc and Cindy and the kids over for dinner.  So fun.  These guys are from Ottawa as well and there is something so comfortable about hanging out with them.   

We hit a pumpkin patch.  That was a really fun afternoon...all getting out together, Franny and B riding horses, getting a tractor pull, checking out pumpkins.  We did bail on buying the pumpkin after discovering it weighed in at about 40 lbs and was going to cost us a fortune.  We'll just put that over here, thank you very much....(families were spending easily over $100 on wheelbarrows full of, you know those are just going to rot, right?).  Picked up a couple of beauties at the grocery store yesterday for $10.  We all survived.

I tried the Candyland game with Franny.  She isn't quite there yet but we had a good go at it.  The figures seemed to take on a life of their own and didn't seem to want to follow the path they were intended to take. analogy of life...

Candyland led to playing with the Dora figures and their play houses.  This has become a bit of an obsession of her's that we are all finding a bit of a challenge.  Franny wants one of us to play with her most of the time.   Thinking of drawing up a schedule but the big kids claim they have other things to do (though Gabe has been very patient with his baby sister).   Franny is always Princess Dora and the rest of us seem to be Boots.

Here, the kids are playing Master Chef...(oh, the mess...)

Fransters found a pink lipstick...

I got to sit in the rain at the All-Island Band Night last weekend while Eve played with her grade 6 corps.  The kids all seemed to have fun and I am thrilled that this has inspired Eve to stick with the trumpet.  Amazing music program here.  Hoping she sticks with it no matter where we are.  Band is cool.

We have been able to get out for family bike rides.  Bridget is no longer on the tandem bike with Kev but is riding the long rides on her own.  We are very proud of her.  She has a great attitude and works hard even when the rest of the crew is way ahead. 

Does Costco in Canada have these big guys?  My first thought when we saw them was "Only in the USA".  Big and excessive.  But cute.

Gabe continues to be a voracious reader.  Waking up with bags under his eyes for staying up too late but I love his love of reading.  He has devoured every graphic novel I can find (sourcing these books has become a new challenge of mine) and is slowly getting into chapter books - yay!

Saw these two crazy guys walking home from school the other day.  I told them to not scare little kids....(Gabe is the taller of the two)

Mags continues to be creative in so much that she does.  She is loving taking photos (I think she posted the one below on Instagram).  She is growing into such a beautiful young lady...I believe she is close to 5'9" now and we have the same foot size!  She has started babysitting and recently had to forgo a fun outing with friends because of a babysitting commitment.  Tough life lesson but she gets it.  There will always be another party/event but being someone that others can count on is priceless.

That's all. xo