Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring is here

Ok, so the winter jackets are still on, but a sure sign of spring is chalk talk. Peter and Gaelle spent their afternoon out on the sidewalk drawing pictures and crushing chalk. Oh the joys of spring.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Talking about cars

As a child I didn't grow up participating in Lent. But I had lots of Catholic friends who obsessed about what they would give up for Lent. That seemed to be about the extent of their conversation and concern with Lent. I've been hearing a lot more about families preparing for Easter by daily Lenten readings and activities. I looked around the internet and found this website which listed a "Road Map to Easter".

It seemed very doable for us and a nice hands on simple project for the kids. So every Sunday of Lent Peter and Gaelle are moving their car through all of the road signs. They each made their own road and they have their own car and signs to color and put on. They love it and would like to do it every day, but for us right now, it's great that it's just once a week.

Speaking of cars, we have another full fledged driver. Kaylin took her road test and passed. She can now drive on her own. Wahoo.....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Birthday Party Continued

Saturday afternoon Peter had his birthday party. It's easy to say that food would be the most important consideration for Peter. This party involved pizza... easily Peter's favorite meal.

The party also involved water. Peter loves to go swimming and this was also an easy choice for him.

Yes, Peter got 2 cakes. This was just a chocolate cake... store bought... easy.

Smiles all around.

Gaelle wasn't supposed to be a part of the party. But we had to get to the pizza place early to get a table because they don't take reservations on weekends. But it all worked out great and you can see that she is intently observing the antics of the older boys.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Birthday Boy

On Wednesday Peter had his 10th birthday. We carried on the birthday cup tradition which brings lots of laughter. Peter has been planning and dreaming about his 10th birthday for almost a year now and I think he was not disappointed.

Just an interesting note about birthdays and the kids. They both have quickly caught on to the importance of birthdays and parties here in Canada for little kids. It's become a bit of an obsession talking about their parties and who they want to invite and what they want to do. To the point where we've basically banned Gaelle from birthday talk.

But one day it was just the 3 of us in the car and birthdays came up. Peter observed that if he was in Haiti he wouldn't be celebrating his birthday. So I said that he had birthday parties in Kay B.

And can I just say that Molly still sends birthday greetings to the kids and how much that brightens their day. Can you imagine how she manages to keep up with all of the kids that have passed through the doors of Kay B? She must have amazing organizational skills. Thank you Molly!

Yes, Peter had parties at Kay B but according to him, nobody else in Haiti celebrates their birthdays. But in Canada everbody does. Why is that? So we had a conversation about the differences in countries. We have different traditions and different celebrations, etc. And Peter threw out the concept of poverty, which quite often is not on his radar when it comes to Haiti. But he stated that people in Haiti are too poor to celebrate their birthdays.

Peter and Gaelle rarely exhibit gratitude which can sometimes be difficult to accept and yet we're happy they take so much for granted. After all, this is their life and they accept that. Anyway, Peter verbally stated how thankful he is that in Canada so he can celebrate his birthday. I'm thankful for that too!!

Peter's main gift from us was drawing and painting supplies. Just for him. He is not allowed to share his special supplies with Gaelle. He was thrilled.

Just another note of interest. Most parents encourage their children to share but with our kids we see 2 different dynamics going on; control and lack of ownership. We want the kids to feel that certain items are special and because they are special we need to take good care of them. They're no longer in a setting where easy come, easy go. I know, I know, in our society we hold onto things too tightly so isn't this good? Not always. There is a definite balance and we are trying to help the kids learn how to take care of our belongings.

We also notice that the kids are quick to try and control others with their "things" and with "sharing". This of course is common with all kids, but we really notice it and try to eliminate the opportunities for control.

Peter chose a lemon meringue cake for his birthday cake. All 3 boys in this family love this cake and ask for it on their birthdays. So it warmed my heart on more than one level that Peter asked for this.

Peter recieved drawing instruction books from his 2 older sisters. He really is good at this and he's been having fun with the step by step instructions and seeing how his pictures look just like the original.

Another note of interest. When it comes to birthday talk, presents are almost never mentioned. We've said it before and it continues to be true, that "things" just aren't very important.

Once again, Josh is missing from the birthday shot. We missed him but maybe next year he'll be around during the birthday month of March.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

No longer a teen.

Where does time go? Have I said that before? My little girl is 20!

Her birthday was on Tuesday but she was so busy with a midterm and didn't want to take time out to celebrate her birthday, so we had her family meal on Sunday night.

She requested chocolate chip banana cake with peanut butter icing. Yum. I haven't made it in a while so this was a great treat.

Gaƫlle bought her a pack of gum. My girls all like their gum.

Just missing Josh, but otherwise, a great night. Full of fun, talk, and laughter. I love you Emily and I'm so proud of you for your dreams and your motivation and the beautiful kind person you are. And way to go on your physiology midterm!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekend fun

Uncle Al and Aunt Claud stopped in for a visit while they were in Halifax. Aunt Claud got to ooh and aahh over the dog book and guess who doesn't even like dogs? I guess pictures are still cute.

We found an old bag of marshmallows and Robin relived his youth by teaching the kids how to play "Chubby Bunny". See who can stuff the most marshmallows in your mouth and still say the words, "Chubby Bunny".

Concentrate Peter.... you can do it.

Nope, the laughter got the best of him. He only managed 3 marshmallows.

Then there's Gaelle. Put the music video on and she just starts to move. It's so cute.