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

Monday, September 09, 2013

New School Year!

So as of today, both kids are now back at school! We survived, woot! As the rest of this week rolls out so do the start of activities and such, so once that happens we will be groovin'. Yes I really just said that. Haha.

Last week we saw our princess start grade 2! It was a slow week as we didn't get her class and teacher assigned until Thursday morning. Nothing funnier than watching parents stand around outside because they know its FINALLY happening and peaking in windows to see who the kids got. Ariel was going to be in either a 1/2 split or a 2/3. Of course there were pros and cons to both options and when it finally was announced she was in the 1/2. The good things, the class teacher is wonderful, I hear only fantastic things about her. Ariel REALLY wanted her as her teacher last year, so its nice she gets to have her. The hard side of things, she is a small group of her peers again. She was 1 of 8 last year with 11 kindergarten students in the K/1 split, and this year she is 1 of 9 grade 2s with 15 grade 1s. So another year with a small peer group, and she really misses being with a lot of those kids as the other group is primarily a grade 2 class with a few grade 3s. With a small school we totally knew these are things we would deal with, and we totally understand, but its hard to get picked 2 years solid to be in the smaller group.

Ariel is a great kid who generally thrives with whatever situation she is given, however the first few days she was a tad sad, and it was totally transition. She was frustrated with the noise when trying to work, and I kept assuring her the younger ones would settle soon. This week seems to be better and I am sure as things go on it will be a wonderful experience for her. She is such a leader and younger kids just love her. I had parents tonight from the new kindergarten groups telling me how their kids talked about her and the impression she left on them, makes me a proud momma.

She is looking so grown up these days, and that first adult front tooth is finally coming in so her looks are going to change so much this year.

Dance starts this week, so expect photos next time as we start those up, yay!

Xander started today his last year of preschool. He had one new teacher in his class as one of his teachers last year isn't working full time this year. He handled it beautifully and I know her as a fellow dance mom from our studio. Small world!

This year was so different for Xander, he walked into class and didn't look back. No tears, stress and he was ready. Amazing how much they grow in a few months. I will admit he was a bit bummed not to be at Ariel's school this year.... one more year, soon... which I do look forward to just for drop off sake and not having to rush to another place within minutes. He had a great class and was excited about show and tell starting soon. I am so proud of my little man.

Today was also Xander's first day back at gymnastics and boy did he have a great time. Colin is in his class again and they are having lots of fun. He loved his new shirt they gave him... can you tell?

We are thankful for our children's amazing teachers and feel blessed they get to be in wonderful schools. As parents we are praying for a good year for both of them.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Xander's 4th Birthday

We FINALLY had Xander's party with his friends this past weekend. It was a simple party, Xander just wanted kids to come over and play in his room, have cake, read his birthday book and have a good time. The boy has had in his head that he was having an Angry Bird party for over a year. In fact I think after his last birthday he announced it, well he got it and it was perfect for him.

Eagerly awaiting his guests to arrive!

The Angry Bird cake, this was fun to make. Xander watched me the WHOLE time I made it. He even drew a picture of what he wanted it to look like. Haha. 

This photo makes me realize how much he has grown up this summer. Wow, seems so big here!

We read his new book we wrote for him called 'Xander Man' - as he is into superheros these days. Then we watched his photo video... he picked out Beatles music for it. He sang along while the video played, super cute!

Our present to him was a second hand bike, its perfect and just a tad big so he will be able to grow well into it. He also got some Angry Bird stuff, books and money.

Our guests left and Dad and Rita stuck around for dinner with us, so we made up an Angry Bird pizza. Well that rocked his world! I saw it on pinterest and it was so easy but his face was priceless. 

Happy Birthday little man, I can't believe how fast you are growing up. Slow down a bit... for Mommy. Hehe.

Monday, September 02, 2013

The Countdown is on...

Its September!!! Wow, it came fast after several weeks of craziness work, fun times with the family and a few birthdays. So going to do a quick catch up and then on to what is happening in the next few weeks!

First off we celebrated Ariel's official 7th birthday on the 14th. Its amazing that our first born is already 7... that seemed to happen so fast. She has had an amazing year and we are eager to see what this one brings our little social butterfly. She is so excited for school to start that she is driving us all a bit crazy. I guess its a good problem to have. I did a little look back at her over the past 7 years, such a cutie!

The weekend of her birthday we decided to take a trip down to Seattle for some outlet shopping as Ken needed some new work clothes and Ariel had money to spend at American Girl from her birthday. Ariel and I had a fun time having lunch in the bistro, getting her doll a new hair do (including a tiara which she was most excited about so the doll can be royalty like her)

During our flower pot pudding desserts, they sang happy birthday and gave her a candle. 

Following our AG time we met up with the boys and got clothes for Ken. This was also our first trip down using our our Nexus cards. Can I say how much I enjoyed driving across both times at the border in minutes vs sitting in our car for over an hour. Worth every penny!!!

We had a chance to see Ken's cousin Bobby and his wife Kate when they came up briefly for a visit while on a vacation. All of us went to dinner in Vancouver and had a great visit. We don't get many of Ken's family in our neck of the woods so it was very special. Then a few days later Ken's Aunt Nancy, Uncle Bill and cousin Trevor were in town briefly as they boarded a cruise ship, due to schedules I couldn't get the kids downtown early for breakfast so Ken went and had a lovely visit. 

Some other exciting things to share. We found a second hand bike for Ariel on the Ladner Swap page. Brand new, used twice for $50. Ariel was so excited, as her old bike was too small for her now. Every night Ken would take her to the park to practice riding it and she is now a pro... but had one minor setback one evening when she wore her flip flops and caught her toe. This resulted in lots of blood under the nail bed, and there was no way she was going to let me do the make a hole and drain it. So it looks like she may lose the nail and need to grow a new one, it feels loose, but we will find out soon enough what happens. Upon telling her what would happen she actually took it really well. Live and learn.

Ariel also got her royalty jacket! She was very excited to finally have it and wear it to events. We have a big pageant in October that she is practicing for. Its a broadway theme and she has an amazing new routine that is going to be so cool, but I can't share until afterwards as its a suprise. 

The quilt and car show came to town again and our friend Tessa's Dad had a car both kids loved... wonder why eh? Xander felt like he was meeting a celebrity. He was totally amazed by it, and it makes up for the fact we won't be going to Disneyland this fall now. We need to wait as Xander is too short for the McQueen ride by 3 inches, so hoping next fall.

Ariel is starting grade one ballet this year, which means new shoes for class. She still uses her regular ballet ones but will start character work this year and needed the character shoes and skirt. We are hoping to get the character skirt at the swap but if not, Mommy will be sewing one. Can you tell how excited she is for heels! So she will be doing 2 ballet classes, in preparation for exams next year. This year she will take part in a 'presentation' which is like an exam but not as strict. Gives the girls a chance to experience what it will be like and what to expect. 

Along with ballet she is doing 2 jazz classes, one is her competition group from last year and the other is a new competition group which is a mix of older girls and younger girls for a production number. Very exciting. Then finally she is adding lyrical this year, which she is most excited about. After getting our copy of the recital dvd from the spring, we really do see how much this is her gift. She shines on stage, and I am thankful we can let her grow in this.

Then it was time to celebrate our little man's birthday. He turned the big 4 and wow has he grown this past summer.

We are having his party with his friends soon but in the meantime we had a mini family celebration at Dad and Rita's. Xander got a new scooter, pretty excited I think.

Xander is also ready to go back to school. He has been doing lots with his letters and numbers this summer. He can now spell his name out loud which is awesome... and in his spare time he likes to try on dog Halloween costumes... yep that is our boy!

Speaking of Halloween costumes, the kids have decided what the theme is this year. I will say its actually easier for me, so that is a plus... so I will be starting those soon.

Yesterday we did a massive clean up in Xander's room, rearranged things and sold a bunch of toys on the swap page. Xander was very excited and loves the changes, which give him more room to play.

We are starting to look for a big boy bed for his room. He has said he doesn't want the car anymore, so I am trying to find something that would work well. Maybe a mates bed with the storage underneath. Either way, it will be fun to start looking. He is really growing up fast too these days.

 So this week Ariel starts school and then next week Xander does, and activities start again. I will be taking some photos, not just phone ones, yep I have been lazy, but I was enjoying my time this summer vs trying to capture everything perfectly. I am excited for fall and cooler days. I have more to say but I need to get going so I will blog soon, bye!

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