Saturday, September 28, 2013

September Saturdays

For the past 2 Saturdays, we've headed over to the Farmers Market downtown. With kids who love to eat, it's an easy sell.

Gaëlle asked for a huge peach, which she devoured.

Peter chose a Samosa. 

Gaëlle had birthday money to spend and so we went to the big toy store and look what we found; a female mountie. With red hair. Altho, that is not what she chose. She surprised me and chose a doll. 

After that we went to the Clay Cafe where the kids had gone with Kaylin a few weeks earlier. It just took us this long to pick up the final product.

Some pretty tiles.

Then on Sunday after church, we tried a Vegetarian restaurant. The girls were amusing themselves with hand games. 

Emily had a hummus sandwich.

I had tofu scramble. We enjoyed it altho Peter wasn't a fan of his nacho chips.

Last night Gaëlle's school had a BBQ complete with bouncy toys. 

There was a ton of room to jump around.

Just one of three of the inflatables. 

Gaëlle tried them all. Here she is racing through the tunnel.

Down the slide.

And out.

This morning we started back to puppets. It was such a beautiful day, that we headed back over the bridge to Halifax and the Farmers Market for lunch. Gaëlle had spring rolls.

Food always tastes better when you're outside on a sunny day.

This weekend all across Canada, cities are celebrating culture days. Our local theatre had an open house so we headed on over. For some reason, as we wandered through the facilities, there were area stores giving out samples. Here we are enjoying some chocolate peanut butter balls in one of the rehearsal rooms.

In the costume room, we tried on a few hats.

Gaëlle tried on a couple of costumes. 

Then we ended our afternoon with a tour of the theater. 

We got to go on stage and look at the current set.

One of the managers was our tour guide and told us a bit about putting on a production. It was interesting and a nice way to spend a Saturday.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Meet Your Farmer

Every year Nova Scotia holds a day to "Meet Your Farmer". Each year there are farms all over the province that open their doors to visitors. They offer tours, samples, and all around fun. This year I noticed there was a honey farm open, so that's where we headed.

Our farmer was a hobbyist who has turned to full time farming of honey this year. The operation was not huge by farming standards, but he was very interesting. I didn't get may photos but here he is giving us the information and showing us the parts of the hive and the steps to the process. And sure enough, there were samples. 

There were also products to purchase so we bought some honey.

Then we headed down the road to a U-Pick Apple Orchard. 

This involved climbing ladders to trees that were loaded with apples.

And there was running from tree to tree to try all the ladders.

I thought it was still a bit early for the apples, so we just filled one bag. And now I have to make some apple crisp. Yum.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Game night

I don't think I've posted anything about a new favorite game. My mom gave the kids "Mancala" when we were visiting and it has been a huge hit. We had never played before, but it's an easy game to pick up. It's great because all of us can play and we all enjoy it.

Gaëlle has just as much chance as winning as Peter, as does Robin or me. The game is won or lost pretty much at the beginning if you can anticipate what the other player will do and make your moves accordingly. But you don't have to use strategy and can still win. And it's a fast game, so it's easy to play one or several games depending on the time we have. 

Peter and I also enjoy playing "Settlers of Catan" and we always tried to talk Josh into playing. Sometimes he would humor us and play. But now he's gone. So tonight we talked Robin into playing a game with us. Fortunately for us all, he did well and almost won. But Peter prevailed. With the success Robin had, I think we can safely say, we can talk him into playing with us again.

A great day

Today was the birthday party. Sometimes the party talk becomes overwhelming throughout the year and we put restrictions on birthday talk. This means you are not allowed to discuss party plans AT ALL until it is closer to the actual birthday. It sounds mean, but it can be a huge source of anxiety to think about the party. 

All that to say, we try and make the birthday special and what the birthday girl wants. This year, she wanted a pool party or a party at home. So we did both. We had pizza and cake at home. Played a few games and then headed to the pool. 

It's actually kind of fun to just sit around and play simple games. The kids generally love it and show lots of enthusiasm. It's kind of cute.

I try to keep things moving and not give the kids any down time. This balloon game didn't take long but it was fun.

Even just simple blowing up balloons can be hilarious for the kids. This really got the girls giggling.

Altho Snickers was not amused. She did not like the noise at all and she started her shaking.

I just love the simple side of life these type of birthdays bring out. Gaëlle and the girls were also highly amused by this card. So cute.

Make up seemed to be a bit of a theme this year.

Emily and I joined the girls in the pool.

Good times.

Lots of energy and excitement. And at the end of the day, Gaëlle said that it was her favorite birthday. It just really satisfies me that a simple party with just a few friends can bring so much joy to one little girl. Of course, it also blesses me greatly that one little girl can bring so much joy to our lives. We can't imagine life without her.

The power of conviction

Kaylin came back from her summer of cooking and let's just say that she came back changed. She decided to eat vegan, for health reasons. And she's doing an amazing job with that. But she also came back with some ideas about thriftiness. She went grocery shopping with me and was horrified that I would buy a small bottle of cooking oil when I could save soooo much money with a large jug of cooking oil. 

"But I don't have room to store all these supersize bottles."

"But you can save so much money."

So, I walked out with the large jug of cooking oil and have been using my funnel to fill my smaller bottle so it's more convenient. 

The power of conviction. One person changed the buying habits of another just through persuasion. I pray my children develop convictions about many issues and that they are willing to live out those convictions and be a powerful influence on those around them. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Our Sept 11th Celebration

Like most of us, I can remember exactly where I was on 9/11. My thoughts. My emotions. My fear.

But in 2007 when we received our referral for Gaëlle and I realized the date of her birthday, it became obvious that September 11th would be a day of celebration in our house. We have a birthday girl.

On her birthday, we had our usual family birthday meal. But this day was not quite the usual family meal. None of the older kids could join us for supper. But we still celebrated the life of one amazing girl.

Gaëlle requested ice cream cake, pizza, Sunny D juice, and all dressed ripple chips.

She received 2 phone calls during our celebration; Emily and Grammy and Grampy. You can see by her smile how much this meant to her.

We played with her nail salon kit. 

Glitter and sparkles everywhere.

Then she had fun with her Tasty Science kit. She made watermelon and raspberry fizzy drink. Quite fun.

The goggles may look like part of the science kit but they are actually the only present she asked for. She wanted swimming goggles. So that was easy. Goggles and a girl ready for bed.