Friday, April 26, 2013

A time for goodbyes

Kaylin left this morning for her interesting summer job. She will be a cook for about 50 tree planters in British Columbia. For the next 3 months, she will be sleeping in a tent. Living in the bush. And from all that we hear, the work is extremely hard but the pay helps to make up for that. She is excited because it will be an adventure. She will be with a friend and so won't be completely alone and she will have the entire month of August off. So, hopefully, it will meet her expectations and help her get through university debt free.

Robin is still on his trip meeting with organizations that deal with human trafficking. We miss him but have had the chance to talk with him on the phone.

And you have to love the free computer conversations. So helpful to keep in touch when we can see the other person while we are talking with them. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Games, Teddy Bears, and Kids

Peter loves to play Settlers of Catan but usually has to convince others to join in. This week he was successful and we played a game. Altho this week we had beautiful weather and the kids were outside most of the time.

Gaëlle and a friend had great fun with their teddy bears and putting them to bed, and all that goes along with that.

Kaylin finished her first year of nursing and is home for a brief time before she heads off for her summer job. When I asked her what she wanted for supper, she said, "Anything but soup and casseroles." She has been eating lots of soup and her roommate's mom gave them MANY servings of casserole that they have been eating up. So we had our first batch of corn on the cob this year and it was really good. Oven baked potatoes, grilled salmon or sausage rounded out the meal.

There was much mocking as I forced them out on the deck for a group photo. 

But they did it. Thanks guys. It's great to have you all together once more.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Food photo wars

Robin went through LaGuardia Airport today. He apparently had a slice of meatball pizza and wanted to tease Peter. This is Peter's dream pizza.

Little did he know, Josh made homemade hamburgers for lunch topped with fried eggs and bacon. 

So thick Gaëlle could barely fit it in her mouth. 

Hopefully tomorrow, Robin will send a photo of healthy food.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Earth Day Project

Apparently Earth Day had its origin back in 1970. As a child, I can't remember even hearing of it. Now, it is another learning day for kids in school. I asked both kids what it meant because I never celebrated it. Peter couldn't or wouldn't come up with a response. Gaëlle said it's a day to clean up the earth. Whatever, the purpose, bring on the Earth Day Project. 

Gaëlle's class is supposed to come up with some kind of recycling project. The suggestions were music instruments, bird feeders out of pop bottles, or planters. I just want to say the best and greatest recycler in this family was Kaylin. She could not let a box/ styrofoam/ or anything be thrown away without saying, "Can I have that?" If we allowed her to keep it, she went to work creating houses and towns for all of her toys. Amazing imagination. One day Robin threw out 8 large garbage bags of creations Kaylin and Emily had made and had been keeping under their bed. It was a sad day.  

Anyway, I suggested Gaëlle take some of our cereal boxes and make beads out of them. There are several groups in Haiti that do this and the jewelry they create is beautiful.

We found a great step by step tutorial on the internet and away we went. 

I had to do the cutting with a paper cutter, but Gaëlle made sure she did everything else.

You roll the large end of the triangle onto a stick and then use Mod Podge as a glue and sealer.

Once it's all rolled up, you put another layer of Mod Podge to add shine.

This has been an excellent project for her. She has taken her time. Sometimes unwillingly, but she commented, "When I take my time rolling the bead, it goes much better." Ah, what a great lesson. Especially for her. That is something every single teacher comments on. She rushes through her work, art, whatever. But this time she is going slow and the end result it really impressive. 

She still needs to roll more beads, but she does a few at a time and here they are. We still don't know what to use for the string. We just don't have old string we can recycle. I'm looking and hoping something will pop up this week so she can make a necklace and bracelet. Maybe even put some beads in her hair. This is turning out to be a great project for her. Go Earth Day. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bedtime books

Gaëlle is just full of energy and loves to be on the move. But one pleasure we all have is reading books together. She looks forward to her evening stories and loves to be read to. 

Reading has been a real struggle for her. She is impatient and easily gives up when it gets too hard. And it's been hard. However, she wants to read and has made huge improvements this year. I know at times she is discouraged, but she still tries to read to us. I'm so thankful she keeps at it and just LOVES books. 

I have no doubt that she will pick up this skill. She is a very bright little girl but for many reasons, this is taking work for her. But I know the sense of accomplishment she feels when she succeeds is huge and the reward will be so worth all the struggles in the end. 

Mini Road Trip

Last weekend we headed to Moncton where Kaylin was working hard on the online course she needs for her summer job. It's supposed to take a week to finish and she tried to fit it in a long weekend. So, last minute, we decided to combine a visit with Kaylin and a trip to Crystal Palace.  

The kids were pretty excited when we told them we were going. And just full of smiles as they tried all the rides.

Gaëlle didn't have any troubles with bumper cars and was right in the thick of it. Both of them also just loved spinning around.

Peter is an old pro at laser tag but this was Gaëlle's first time and she was ready for battle.

It was cute to see their nervousness as they started out on the rides and then their enthusiasm as they raced from ride to ride. The swings were first up for them and both of them held on tight but still had huge smiles. By the end of the afternoon, Gaëlle was rocking in her chair and both of them were hands free; whooping it up. 

Not their favourite but that doesn't stop either one of them. Full of laughs and smiles. 

After we finished at Crystal Palace, we picked up Kaylin again and went out to supper. Then it was time for home. I'm sorry Kaylin couldn't make it home for Easter, but I'm glad we had the chance to just  hop in the car and go. Good ol' spontaneity.