Saturday, January 18, 2014

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2014... seems like 2013, haha.

So where to start?

Early December was some fun stuff. Ariel got to be in the Santa Claus Parade downtown, which was a blast but lots of work as we helped build the float the few weeks prior to the event.

We were thankful for no rain! The girls looked great and were so well behaved. We had lots of compliments on how nice they were. Dad and Rita came down to see Ariel on the float which was special too. 

Shirley Temple Soda is now sponsoring National Canadian Girl for the parade over the next 2 years, and so they got to carry some on the float... and drink it afterwards. Ariel quite liked it... it was pink! LOL (this was taken by my friend Amber... leading to what happened next)

The following weekend was the Christmas charity pageant, where the girls helped and we had a toy drive! It was then I was told that the soda company wanted to do a photo shoot with some of the girls for their new ads, and Ariel was picked as one of them!

So in the midst of the whirlwind of holiday fun, we had a photo shoot and these are some of the pictures they took. I will share the ad once its released. 

Amber asked if I wanted to do a fun photo of Ariel and I said it be neat to capture her love of dance, and this is what happened... that is baby powder... oh the mess that followed but the photos from it were STUNNING!!!

Our Brownie troop had our enrollment ceremony, most of our girls are first year so it was very exciting. Here is Ariel's circle group the Fairies waiting to take their promise. 

The girls could work on badges but wouldn't get them until they were enrolled, so Ariel got a LOT that night. 

My little Brownie. Congrats sweetie! I am looking forward to doing a post on my Brownie life and how its changed over the years compared to hers. I even have my Mom's old Brownie stuff. Look for that in the coming week.

Both kid's had school performances, Ariel's class were angels, the play was about all the different traditions at Christmas, really awesome and its always nice to have a touch of 'the real meaning of Christmas' in a public school. Did I mention how much I love our school!!!

Xander had a speaking part at his preschool production, something he honestly dreads but worked hard for. He did great, saying his line and flashing a big thumbs up to us watching. I cried, it was a big moment for him and how far he has come. Great work shepherd #2


Then at church we the kids program. I don't have many pictures since I running around with the kids, but Ken got this video of the dance. This was a special one, Kara was due with baby of course and was sitting out and so we had Madi and Kate take over teaching and doing the choreography for the girls. Needless to say its a HUGE job and I am impressed with them. Easter is coming girls, and I know they are excited to do another dance!

We had some crazy snow days, one on the last day of school before the break.

Ariel's school had a skating field trip, and Xander decided he wasn't going to sit and watch. Thankfully Ariel pushed him around the ice several times. Reminds me of Ariel with his determination... way to go Xander!

Ariel's dance studio had a meet the snow queen photo day, and of course it landed on those few days we had crazy snow, but we went anyways and had a great time. Sounds like it was a great success and they will do it again next year.

Christmas was nice. Quiet, and simple this year. We had an early family celebration as it the year Dad and Rita spent it with her family. Deb and Blair joined us this year which was very special. It was also at that time that my pink eye had started. Yes, both eyes, with TERRIBLE pink eye. It hurt so bad, but didn't get to the worse stage until Christmas Eve of course. I managed to get through the discomfort as all of Ladner was out of the special medicated eye drops... yeah, awesome.

Christmas Eve also brought the news of Kara and Chris' daughter arrival. Much like our girly, Aubrey chose to arrive a tad late, but of course it was exciting to hear she finally came safe and sound.  The Christmas Eve service was special, Ken had to film Ariel's special part since I couldn't see, lol, thanks pink eye. There is no greater joy than seeing your child serve the Lord, using their gifts.

Christmas day the kids slept till past 8, and we all got up and slowly started with stockings and Santa gifts. We would eat, open a few things, then facetime with Ken's families during the course of the morning. The kids got some special treats. I had wanted to have more hands on gifts this year, so craft kits for Ariel, and paint and play doh for Xander. I had gotten a lot of the things brand new but second hand on our local swap and shop page. Ariel and I spent most of the holiday crafting, lots of rainbow loom bracelets, beaded animals, pom pom puppies and clay charms.

Xander is showing a very artistic side these days. He is quite the play doh sculptor and painter, so his new goodies are getting good use.

Meeko got his own stocking this year... can I point out that Ken and I didn't get ours finished, and the dog's is? 3rd child indeed! I made it from a pattern I found online. He liked the treats that came in it.

Fast forward to January and a quiet new years eve, chinese food and early bedtimes for most, I stayed up playing with Ariel's loom, making a unicorn, haha. Fun times.

Everyone went back to work and school and lift started rolling again. Xander decided to take a break from gymnastics and is trying out Hip Hop. He is REALLY enjoying it, and usually I am asked everyday if its hip hop day. Perhaps we will have 2 dancers in the family?!

Ariel after lots of pleading the past few years, has finally started piano lessons. She is taking lessons with a lady from our church, and is loving it. Since we don't have a piano, we borrowed a keyboard for home and when we are at church for any reason during the week then she practices on the real piano. So far its working and honestly she is better at it than I ever was. Haha.

I have been under mountains of paperwork lately. From kindergarten forms for Xander to booking camps for my Brownie troops, its been a tad nutty. Work has been busy too. Lots of cakes, to the point it sometimes makes my head spin.  Sometimes when people come to pick up I need to ask what cake its for, that is how many I have been doing, haha.

Ok, I have enjoyed catching up but its time to run and get Xander to a birthday party!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Wow, its been over a month, sorry. Its been busy here with the kids, hubby and doggy over the very full month of December! I am actually a little in shock its Christmas today!

Its a quiet day for us this year. We had our family dinner last weekend and its just us four er five if you count Meeko. We have spent the day lounging, eating, opening gifts, facetime visiting with Ken's family and building toys. I just stuck the turkey in the oven for most likely a later dinner since we got a late start.

I'll do a full recap of Christmas and stuff leading up to the big day maybe later tonight, but for now I will leave you with Ariel and her special moment at our Christmas Eve service at church last night, sharing what the real reason for the season is.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Here comes Christmas!

Wow, November was a blur, literally! We have only one week left and then we are on to CHRISTMAS time!  Yay!

Our past few weeks were filled with regular routine, add in Ken going on a business trip to LA for several days, Remembrance Day and lots of cakes... lots! The weekend Ken was gone turned out to be my busiest week, 9 orders, ack!

My Brownie troop has been busy preparing for enrollment next week. Ariel has been enjoying working on badges, and she is excited to be finally getting most of them at the ceremony as she will finally be an official Brownie. She is a circle leader this year, we only had 2 second year girls, so we had to have some of our first years take on the big jobs.

Working on her gardening badge - building a rainforest in a pop bottle. 

We marched in the parade for Remembrance Day, thankful the day was actually some what warm and sunny. So proud of how many of our girls came too, I think we had the best turn out for Brownie units. Woot!

Ariel leaving her poppy on her school wreath. 

For the past several months we have been looking for the right bed for Xander's room. At first we thought a mate's bed would be good, but we realized that it wouldn't fit the space as we hoped and wouldn't be able to make it up to Xander's loft.  I put out a request on the local swap and shop page on facebook and ended up getting contacted by a lady selling this bed and mattress for $90, which was perfect for our budget and allowed us to take Xander out to pick some fun new bedding. I got to pick the nice neutral comforter and he picked the Angry Bird sheets, haha. He was so excited the day it arrived, big thanks to John for helping with his truck. The first night the kids had a sleepover in his room, so cute.

I got invited to paint the library windows of Ariel's school again this year. The kids picked out the characters for me, and as usual it was a blast to do. 

As promised here are a few photos from Ariel's pageant in October. Here she is in fresh face, the girls all wear the pageant t-shirt and black bottoms.

Glitz beauty wear, her cupcake dress fits her almost perfectly now. Only took 2 years! lol. I ordered a really cute present for Ariel for Christmas, I found a lady who can copy your pageant dress into a mini one for an American Girl doll. She is gonna flip!!!

Outfit of choice , her spacegirl routine. I had to modify her costume since she grew. Made the dress more of a tunic with shorts under, worked perfectly.

Still her fav, Mary Poppins for dollwear. Always a crowd pleaser too. 

Finally, broadway dollwear, Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors. Ken is the puppet plant, and she got the best reaction from the crowd from this. 

 In big news, next weekend Ariel will be in the big Roger's Santa Claus parade riding the float with her fellow royalty girls of National Canadian Girl. So today I spend a few hours helping work on the float. Its looking good, lots of pink! It will be televised the following weekend it looks like, so look for our girl! I'll be riding in the truck with a few moms, others are walking, I frankly don't want to be on tv, haha.

Well I am looking forward to posting Christmas fun, so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fall Fun

Its been a fantastic fall thus far. Lots going on and keeping us busy and smiling as the weather gets cooler. We have had some crazy fog lately too, so thick, I don't remember having several days in a row like this before, and it lasts sometimes for the whole day! So wacky!

We had a simple Thanksgiving over at Dad and Rita's. Before we left I snapped a few shots of the kids in their pumpkin outfits from last year that still fit, woot!

Of course one with Meeko too! He is pretty much full size now, and as you can see, he is our 3rd baby. 

The holiday weekend also marked our family visit to the pumpkin patch. We were having a great time until some crazy lady accused me of stealing her pumpkin... yeah no joke... she proceeded to take it from our bag and walk away... that was just WEIRD!

 Yep, the pumpkin hats still fit too, yay!

Gosh I love these guys, they make life awesome! They are growing up so fast!!!

The following weekend was Ariel's big pageant! We got all packed up and checked into the hotel on Friday afternoon. Ariel was excited to see her friends and they had so much fun stuff planned that we were always busy. I am still waiting on the photos, so I will do another post when those come in. I will say that besides starting to get sick on Saturday, she did her best and won Mini Grand Supreme in the 4-9 year old group. It was a first time for her to get that high of a title, so it was very exciting! She won a beautiful crown, sash, trophy, gifts and $25 which she put towards a book at her school's book fair.

Mommy upon coming home had to spent the next few days sewing like crazy to finish the halloween costumes. They were pretty pleased with them as you can see. Done just in time for the local family event in the village on Thursday night.

Princess Leia... in the throne room dress, in case you are wondering where the 'buns' are. She liked this gown better, more her style. Haha.

My little Luke Skywalker... he loves this costume... seriously loves it.

During dance this week its 'Halloween costume' week so for each class she has been wearing different outfits, depending on the class, as some are easier to dance in of course. Today for jazz she wore her cupcake fairy outfit, and I painted up her face. So pretty!

Today I had 2 photoshoots, both went extremely well, and I had wonderful weather which is half the battle! I am pretty zonked now. We concluded the day with dinner at Mike and Jo's to celebrate Henry's upcoming 3rd birthday. It was nice to have dinner made after a busy day of working, so it was a treat for sure. We got home and Ken and the kids fell asleep in our bed reading Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Thankfully I managed to wake at least Ken to carry everyone to their own beds, as I could have ended up on the couch.

We have harvestfest this week at a local church where the kids do AWANAS. Looking forward to some fun with the kids. They have been really enjoying Cubbies and Sparkies. Ariel finished book 2 and is on to book 3 now. It was amazing to see her memorize Psalm 23, something I did around her age. I think she learned it faster than I did. Xander is nearly done book 1, and is already telling me how he will be a Sparkie next year. So proud of them and how its helping their spiritual walk.

Well, I did some editing but I am getting cold and tired, so time for bed! Zzzzz

Friday, October 11, 2013

October... I want pumpkins!

Ok, I've decided to stop apologizing for lack of blogging. It happens when it happens. What can I say :)

Here is the quick catch up on us all. I have finally found the 'fall rhythm' of school, activities and work. Its actually easier this year for some reason, no less busy but yet it seems to fit better... or I am just adjusting better. Who knows. Work hasn't slowed down, which is great, but I am somewhat looking forward to a break... probably Christmas ha! This weekend is brings to an end of 'wedding season' at least for now. I haven't had them come so late into the fall before, so that was different but all good. I am starting to get brides contacting me for next summer, and so begins the cycle.

Brownies has been going well. I am finally getting the feeling like I am not totally scared and out of my 'zone'. The paperwork is coming together. I have been a whirlwind of trying to confirm particular wait-list girls into our unit, which is stressful since I am a pleaser and hate disappointing people. I know there are several girls who would love to transfer in but we are so full with 28 girls... yes you read that right. I am looking forward to the holiday monday and a night off... hmmm turkey! We have successfully sold all our cookies, 64 cases which I transported in our car, I should have taken a photo, it was a sight for sure. Meet my little cookie friends.... yep, I am nuts.

Next week Ariel has her big pageant weekend. We have been busy building props, practicing routines and finishing up costume touches. My poor dinning table is covered with stuff, I do look forward to seeing it again once the event is done. Ariel has improved so much in her stage routines with facial expressions, it will be an exciting weekend no matter what happens. We are looking forward to a weekend with our girl friends, kinda a mini break for me, even though I work up till the time we leave, ack! I am eager to share our photos we had done but its all a surprise for next weekend so until its happened, here is another picture we had done of Ariel in her royalty crown and sash, thought these be cute for her room.

The kids have been loving the AWANA program. Both are keeners and working hard each week to learn their verses. Ariel is blowing people away with her memory skills. She finished the first book in less than 3 weeks, and is half way through the second book. Since she is grade 2 and would only be a Spark this year, she can do all the books in one year. So she has one more to do and they are busy looking at extra stuff she can do because chances are she will be done in record time. She is really asking great questions about her faith from doing these too, its always wonderful to sit with them and go over verses. She just learned Psalm 23, which I remember learning around her age ... she learned it faster than I did. Xander LOVES the Cubbies program and looks forward to it all week. Its so cute when he has to wear his vest to bed, and when he earns a patch I have to have it sewed on by the next morning so he can admire his achievement. Pretty darn cute! He has nearly finished his first book too. So proud of the kids.

Speaking of Xander, we had his first 'party day' at school, and he stood on the line, didn't sing but at least wasn't completely miserable. That is progress, haha. Daddy came too as it was the one they celebrated his birthday. He is very much my shy little guy, but don't be fooled, he has a dynamic personality he wants to share... on his own time.

Also, as promised, here is miss Ariel in her Character skirt. Looking lovely and very grown up for ballet all of a sudden. Her second class she takes midweek has only 2 other girls so she is loving the extra attention and practice time. It will be very helpful next year when she does her first exam.  She is really enjoying all her classes and the new steps. I got to watch the end of her production class tonight, eek! Love it... a hint, MJ!

Finally here is the other 'baby' of the house. Yep, he grew... I think he is pretty much done now. He is pretty much the same size Lucas was. He is a bit of a dope right now but oh is he a cuddler. He is so wonderful with the kids, if we could just curb that craziness when people come to visit, he gets a tad excited... to say the least. He is lovely and we can't imagine life without him.... he is keeping my feet warm as I type. He is getting his special visit to the vet this month... we will see how much he loves me after that.

What else has been happening? Xander had a dentist appointment. He loves the dentist, watching the tv in the ceiling is a highlight for him, and the treat at the end. Whose kid is sad to leave, mine apparently.

We are hoping to go to the pumpkin patch this weekend while its sunny. Ariel is going with her class next week, so she is getting Meeko his first pumpkin. Hee. Lots of halloween stuff coming up... I need to get sewing. Want a hint to the theme this year.... here ya go! They are both excited... as is Daddy... not sure who is more, ha!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bring on the Crazy!

So the big second week after school starting was the beginning of activities for the kids. I shared Xander started gymnastics again but Ariel had to wait till the end of the week till her stuff started again. She is dancing in 5 classes, and we started back with ballet. She is now in Grade 1 ballet, and that meant a new uniform for class. She is now in the navy blue with no skirt, and boy does that make them look older!

We just got her character skirt this week so I will post a photo with that next week. She is very excited to use the special shoes in class, haha. Ariel is really enjoying the lyrical class so far, and the production jazz class is going to be amazing!!! What can I say, if its dance, its great!

We had our first Brownie troop meeting. Meet Brown owl... aka me. Yep, I took on a pile of crazy, but its all good. Still finding my footing with everything, but just trying to sort out our numbers at this point. Trying to get all the girls on the waitlist in. So many things to understand paperwork wise... makes my head spin a bit.

This year the kids are able to take AWANAS, something that I always thought would be great if it every worked for us, finally this year it did! Ariel is a Spark and Xander a Cubby, both earned their vests the following week working hard at learning their verses. Ariel is great at memorizing stuff, but this was a first for Xander to really see him work at something. Oh he wanted that vest so badly. When I came to pick him up I watched him glow with pride when his name was called for learning 4 verses and getting that vest and program book, and cute bag to boot! I wish I could have captured that smile, this was so awesome for him. This quick and silly photo coming home sums up his glee.

Happy Spark! Ariel has been working hard this week and is up to 9 verses memorized... a sponge I tell ya! I remember when my brain was that good, haha.

Ariel's school had its open house and meet the teacher night. We got to see her new classroom and meet her lovely teacher. She is settling in well and we will see how things go.

What else to say... um, oh, we have Halloween costumes picked, Mommy has to start sewing soon. Ariel is working hard for her upcoming pageant, lots of practicing and Xander is her faithful audience... and harsh judge too I might add. She has a new routine for Broadway doll that is amazing. Grandpa is building her prop, costume is done, she got her photos done, so we moving in the right direction.

Ok, its time to call it a day. I delivered 2 wedding cakes today, so that was someone exhausting. Sleep now....zzzz
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