Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Lucas!

The little guy turned 7 last weekend, so we celebrated this weekend with a wild and crazy birthday party of glow bowling, cake and pinata. Amazingly, we survived. Last year I swore I would never do another large boys' birthday, but I found myself in the same predicament all of a sudden with 15 kids RSVPing yes for the party. Yikes.

Unfortunately the morning had gone poorly at Lucas' soccer game. Lucas received a hard ball to the face in goal and he couldn't turn himself around to get past it - which ended in frustration for all. We consequently started our birthday proceedings grumpy The result of which was my telling him that his Spongebob pinata would get no arms as a result. Lol. Regardless, I thought the results of the previous evenings late-night crafting was fairly decent.

The saving grace for the party and my sanity (besides the weather) was Rob. He deftly undertook the job of entertaining the kids with a game of "Robert Says" to whittle away the time until the glorious moment up pick-up. He was my hero!

All in all, the party was a success with very few injuries, entertained kids, and a happy birthday boy.

But... could someone please remind me to make it smaller next year!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A lot to be thankful for

What a cliche!

However it has been a hell of a year and yet there still resonates in me a deeply grounded understanding that life is giving and good and that all that is, simply is. Sigh....

I feel that it was about this time last year that life went to pot for me. But now that I look back on the fall of 2010, I realize that I had heaped way too much onto my plate. I was working full time at school plus had taken on a part-time contract facilitating workshops in high schools for a research project. I had organized and hosted a huge 70th birthday for my beloved mom. We had committed to a confused rescued three-month old puppy. Mia's part time participation preschool hours were sucking up my free time with duty days and evening meetings. Lucas had just been diagnosed and we were only starting our journey to understanding how we could help him be more successful. I was playing hockey, Mia dancing, Lucas swimming and playing soccer and Rob busily working away at a pretty new job.

It was a lot.


And so, I put my head under the sand, dug deep and began to breathe.

Breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe...

That's all I've done all year since, really.

I've hardly seen friends. We've not had a lot of adventures. We quit a lot of activities and we busied ourselves instead with fortifying foundations of health and well being.

And that's ok. :)

So here we are a year later on Thanksgiving weekend. Lucas has just turned 7 and is finding himself more every day. The puppy is one. Mia is successfully settled in kindergarten. Rob is well-established in his job. I'm working a little less and learning to balance a little better.

My head, dare I say, is coming out from under the sand and we are getting there..

And as I emerge and see things that make me smile again.

Like a weekend that went well.
All of it.

Very few disasters, tears or upsets.
Goals of laundry, marking and exercise were met.
Cookies were made. Dogs were walked. Friends were played with. Phone calls made.
We slept in.

Breathing feels nice now. Not hard.

A journey never ends of course. And I write this with the knowledge that things get better after they get worse. And that's ok.

People surprise me.
Like my students. One class of young 'uns liked a new novel so much that they decided to buy it with their own money and study it together.
Ummm... really?
And the other class.
The ones who frustrate me daily because I just can't get into the swing of the split level I'm teaching.
They all want to take my class again. They like me. Really? I thought I was doing a crappy job.
And the grade ten class in the summer that raised $300 bucks for Red Cross African famine relief when I suggested quietly that a donation would mean more than us eating cookies on our last day.


There is always sadness and disappointment.
October has seen a death in the family. And breast cancer.


My world is good.
People envelope me in their warmth.
And with that I can emerge a little less scarred.

And for that...

I am thankful.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Savary Island year four

We are deep into week two at our favorite piece of paradise. So far we have had great weather and lots of beach time with very few glitches. As usual an abundance of wildlife has thrilled us; seals, sea lions, snakes, starfish, crabs, eagles, herons, woodpeckers, Sand dollars, and lots of deer.

Sadly, Hunter had a run in with a mama deer who did not like his naughty aggression. She clobbered him in his rear and took out a grand portion of butt. Rob and Mia spent a large part of their day driving him to the vet in Powell River where he will stay overnight and have the tissue connected tomorrow. Pour little guy... But it kind of serves him right for being such a pest.

Well, we're off to get the kids to bed - Mia with a fresh bee sting and us with bellies full of Rangoli and Reisling, yum!!

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Monday, June 06, 2011


Daddy has hockey fever. We are all worried about him, but are assured it will pass soon.

Lucas' class has caught it as well, as you can see.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lucas is now writing his own Captain Underpants.
Watch out Dav!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Music to my Ears

Rob and I are sitting upstairs catching up on the day whilst listening to Lucas read through the vents. We are amazed with his increased ability and grateful to all his teachers who have supported his journey through literacy this grade one year. I myself remember struggling with reading and sobbing tears of frustration when left to my own devices at Duthies in Arbutus Village after being told to find a book I could read before we left! (No offense Mom, I'm sure you were near and as frustrated as I was!) It was such a break-through to me when I realized I could indeed read, and the skill quickly developed into a love for a medium that remains one of my very favorite. Indeed to this day there is little else better than sinking into a good book.

So today I say thank you to Dav Pilkey, author of the Adventures of Captain Underpants series, for although I frown upon any book that uses gimme or wanna, I am thrilled that my son is sitting up reading, and asking to be allowed just a little more before bed!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Seattle Getaway

Rob and I left town yesterday to spend some quality time together. After a 3.5 hour border wait, we made it to Seattle for a great gastro-pub dinner. In our funky room at the Hotel Max, Rob fell asleep after the movie was running playing for about a minute. A good sleep later, we shared a light breakfast, picked up a big wine order and headed downtown to have a walk around. After parking our car well underground, we got into the elevator where Rob decided to have a little jump. Many springy bounces later, our elevator became stuck, and this is where we remain at this point while the rest of you enjoy the warmest Saturday we've seen in months.

We may not have Internet connection, but at least we have our iPhones. I'm guessing at least an hour, but it's been 40 minutes so far and they just banged on the wall to say the elevator company was on it's way. Not sure this was what we had in mind for quality time!

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Update: Well I guess Carol was just in requesting an update; we are NOT still in the elevator. It took an hour and a lot of patience, but we were released with nary a scrape or a piddle in our pants. (Although the latter was constantly on my mind!) After we got up to level ground we decided we were too hungry and needed to head back in the car and get to our chosen lunch spot. The parking attendant was incredulous that we didn't think we should pay for parking, so we swallowed our pride and paid for our experience. Truly unbelievable! The drive home took twice as long as the drive down... but the border wait was shorter coming back and the Easter bunny arrived Sunday morning without a hitch. Next time we may tale our mini-vacation downtown?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Break Goodtimes

Although I must admit to looking forward to Monday just a little, Spring break has been great so far. I was initially rather disappointed that Rob couldn't get any time off to go anywhere but in the long run I think it has been a blessing. The kids have really slid nicely into the rhythm of slower days with less rushing, and I have loved being able to drink the whole pot of coffee every morning! Miraculously the two monsters have also found a happy place in their relationship and have been caught playing together for longer and longer periods of time. Wonderful! I'm keeping my optimism high for a great spring.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Things I Love

It has been a hard year for all of us.

But still, there are wonderful things all around us.

Here are some everyday things I love.

Everyone absorbed in their own medium. Mia playing on Starfall, Lucas playing Plants vs. Zombies on the i-phone and Rob working.

My dogs. How I love my dogs and the countless hours we spend in the forest together. They keep me sane on many a day. (Except for when hunter is on a chewing tirade!)

How often Mia is dressed up like a bunny. Often she can be found delivering home made paper Easter eggs to all. I find them in the pockets of all my things.

Lucas reading. And reading. And reading. This makes me blissfully happy and proud.

Food. Good food in particular. Like these llapingachos and fried eggs. Mmmmmm.

How I can actually mark 30 essays a week in these conditions. Honestly, is this not multi-tasking at its best?

Smiles, which make us all happy.

Ample supplies of red pens and mechanical pencils. These were all Christmas gifts. No joke.

And finally, no picture, but the sun. The healing sun reminds me that the spring will soon be here.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

It's been a Loooonng Time...

Not up for writing too much yet - there is so much to catch up on and I don't know where to start and what to skip. Here are some photos to get me started and show you that we are still here! lol

First up is my purple hair which the kids love because it smells like Popsicles and I love because it averts viewers gaze from my grey.

Mia choreographed and danced an amazing dance piece with her dance partner and friend for their dance school's Christmas show. They were AMAZING and Rob and I were jumping out of our seats with excitement and surprise!

Lucas has grown and grown and grown. he's having some wonderful success with reading, swimming, riding a bike with gears (and I can barely keep up!) and growing muscles as you can see from the picture!

Christmas was blissfully quiet.

These are totally out of order, but Mia turned 4 years old! Wow!!!

We got a puppy who the kids named Hunter. His Mama was a Coonhound and his rascally Pops left without a trace so we don't know who to send the bill to.... We rescued him from a kill shelter in North Carolina. He doesn't like our rain here much but is enjoying our beaches and forests, so he says. He also wonders how his Mama got replaced by an overly furry black and white senior male. Pillo pretends to dislike Hunter but secretly loves the cuddles and walkies. And hey, what big brother doesn't love a little sibling to boss around?!

Mom turned 70 and the boys came from Toronto (and Boston) to celebrate. We had a blast!

Everybody participated in Movember.

Lucas turned six with an awesome climbing party. Rob took three time-outs from the party and we secretly thanked our lucky stars that we would only ever have to do one sixth birthday for Lucas. Large groups of six year old boys are beyond my wrangling capabilities.

Snails became pets and were finally named, labelled and released bearing permanent tattoos. They have not been seen since but we are eagerly awaiting their spring return.

That's all for now, but I have high hopes to return with more poignant stories and crazy photos for you all.

Until that time, I wish you all a Happy New Year. May it bring much joy. Lap it up. :)