Wednesday, May 28, 2014

There's a grad in the house

Last Thursday Emily graduated from Dalhousie University with a degree in Neuroscience. It was a great day of celebration.

She has worked so hard and accomplished so much in her 4 years of university. And now this chapter is over.

When we were outside taking pictures, a professor insisted we get the eagle in the building behind us. She got on the ground to take the picture. 

Our own flying eagle.

Loving and hugging.

The happy graduate.

We couldn't be happier for her as she takes off on new adventures and challenges.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

From one end of the province to the other

This week we had a lot going on. Peter has been playing volleyball and has been enjoying it. This week teams from his school went to Sydney (the northern tip of NS) for Jeux de l’Acadie. Robin went as a chaperone and from all accounts is having a blast. Not really. 

When he went to the parent information session he was surprised by how many parents were driving there (not going on the bus), renting a hotel room (not sleeping on the floor of a school), and not chaperoning (not responsible for junior high kids who are not your own). 

Let's just say, the next time Peter is going on a school trip, Robin will be driving, staying in a hotel room and not chaperoning. Junior High kids are known for their immaturity and obnoxious behaviour but unfortunately, it seems to be taken up a notch. Anyway, Peter is having a great time. And that's all that counts, right?

My parents came up this week because my cousin passed away. Gaëlle hauled out the cards and convinced her Grampy to play non stop with her.

Kaylin gave Grammy a computer lesson on printing her photos and resizing them. 

Kaylin has been in clinical for the month of May but she also was home for the long weekend. Snickers was super happy to cuddle with her. we are always happy to see her, but Snickers truly shows it.

Gaëlle's school had a multicultural day on Thursday. So here she is in her costume representing Haiti. It was a little difficult to come up with a costume because to my knowledge Haiti doesn't have a national dress or costume. But I figured if we went for colourful skirt, we couldn't go wrong.

It was nice to have a full table for breakfast. 

The burial was in Sandford which would be the other end of NS from Sydney. We stopped for lunch and saw a photo op. 

It was a gorgeous day and I'm so glad we were able to go.

Gaëlle has a cousin who is her age. They don't see each other often but when they do, they get along great. So they had a chance to play together after the burial. I'm really sorry for the circumstance of my parents trip and our trip to Sandford, but I was glad that we could visit with family. Gaëlle always seems to love the connections and trying to figure out who is who. And what does that mean for her? 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

I've been singing a song lately by the band "Downhere" called Lving the Dream. So for Mother's Day I was given a really fun decorated mug with those words on it and all of my kids names at the bottom. I absolutely love it. It was Gaëlle's idea to fill the mug with Snickers Candy Bars. Love it. And everything else my family did to show me love today. It's such an honour to be a mom to my 5 kids and to be a daughter to my amazing mother.

This week Ann Voskamp wrote about an initiative to share the Bible orally with woman in Asia. I immediately thought of my mom because she is one of the best storytellers I know. I was also blessed as my kids donated to The Esther Initiative. I can't wait to see the fruit of that ministry. 

I'll finish with the song that has been played in our house over the last few weeks. I really am "Living the Dream". So blessed.

Friday, May 9, 2014

On the bed - On the bookshelf - On the table

Mia is in the house. And on the couch. And on the table. And under the couch. And basically everywhere. Emily moved out of her apartment last weekend in order to get ready for her summer travels. And after that, she will be heading to Alberta for grad school. So, now there's a cat in the house. As much as we want to support our girls, we also unfortunately don't want a cat. So, I think there will be a parting of the ways soon with Mia and the family. Unless the girls can come up with another solution. 

Just a snapshot of one book each of us is reading. Gaëlle has discovered the joys of American Girl books and before she goes to bed we are reading "Jess". Peter is reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. This is a popular series that most kids his age have already read or at least they have seen the movies. I am reading a really interesting book about how we as North Americans try to help those who are materially poor. Are we doing it well? Can we do it better? I highly recommend "When Helping Hurts". Robin has just finished a book by the founder of International Justice Mission called, "The Locust Effect". This book is about the effect of the lack of justice in developing countries. The author describes a little bit of the background of the justice system for countries that were previously under colonial rule and how that is impacting their view of justice today. The author believes there won't be any real progress in development until a strong justice system is in place.

One of Emily's friends from camp last summer came to visit last week. Khalid is from France and he decided he wanted to see Canada. So Emily did her best to show him all around. They even took a brief trip to Montreal. In this photo he joined us at an international potluck here in Halifax. We even sat at a table with a francophone from New Brunswick so they spent some time speaking together. His English is great and so he didn't have any trouble getting around. That's one of the nice things about Emily's experiences in Thailand and Wisconsin. She knows people from all over the world.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Another First

Today was another step in our precocious puberty journey. It was the day of the MRI. This was just to rule out other reasons for the early puberty. Unfortunately, We didn't have a lot of prep for the procedure. When we received the appointment, they didn't give us a lot of details and I didn't get my questions answered. But we have had great experiences at the IWK. The staff have treated us well and  I knew once we got to the MRI area, it would be no different. 

I had to fill out a few forms and this is when Gaëlle started showing her anxiety. The questions started. The technician was very nice and let us know what to expect. Gaëlle found the room cold so they brought her a heated blanket. Jealous. I love those!!!! She also got to choose a movie to watch. The machine is loud so she wore earphones to block out the noise and to provide the sound to the movie as well as audio to the technician. The movie was in the glasses that she wore. She was also given a call button so that if she ever felt like she needed something she could press it and the technician would talk to her. 

She was laying down on the bed, covered with the blanket and she started crying. She told us her stomach hurt. I was actually so proud of her. She never lets us know when she is legitimately scared and this time she did. I affirmed her and said that it was hard not to know exactly what was going to happen. I really didn't know either, but the technician has done this a lot and we could trust her. It only took her a few minutes to calm down. She was slid into the machine and it started. 

She did so well. Towards the end, she had a needle to inject dye so they could trace the blood flow. I think. She wasn't thrilled with that either, but she handled it like a trooper. 

Anyway, now we wait for the results. I'm not expecting anything, but at least we will know for sure.