Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas angels

We have had the pleasure of Don and Waneta's company for the past three days and I am so thankful that they came...they've been so very helpful during our hectic, busy season.

They came on Saturday and checked into a nearby hotel in Aldergrove, which they picked based on proximity to us and the indoor swimming pool that the kids would enjoy : )  Don had the tree farm open at that point, and Patience was at a birthday party, so on Saturday Don Sr. went and visited some friends and Waneta, Jordyn, and I did some Christmas shopping while Nick napped. Sean babysat him when he woke up. We headed into Langley and got ALL her shopping done for my family with the exception of me and the part of the girls' gift that Don Sr. is actually building.

When we got back we got gussied up and the adults went out to dinner at Elisabeth's Chalet while Dylan watched the Littles. That was fun, and delicious! After dinner we got the Littles suited up and headed over to Don and Waneta's hotel to swim. We didn't plan that very well. Suffice it to say that we had to cut that visit short when Jorydn nearly drowned, compliments of Patience, and it was clearly too close to bed time.

On Sunday Don and Waneta came over for some breakfast and then they headed out for more visiting while the kids and I went to church for the first Sunday in Advent. It was lovely, with lots of Christmas carols mixed in with the singing. Oh, and Don and Waneta delivered a big tree for us on their way to visit their friends, huge help! After church I put Nick down for a nap and, with Sean set up to watch him when he woke up, I took just the girls to the pool! I also put Jordyn in her floaty suit. It was a totally different experience, with the girls swimming and having a great time for a full two hours!

Don and Waneta came over Monday morning and Don went to work in the trees with Donald while Waneta told me, "I'll watch the kids...you go do something you need to do." So I went to Costco and did a major stock-up on groceries. I figure that if I don't have to run to the store for the next three weeks that will be a very helpful thing! When I got home we packed up the kids and went to McDonald's for lunch and some play time. The Littles had a great time and couldn't believe their good fortune!

Monday afternoon Don and Waneta moved hotels to a swankier place in Langley, which they'll most likely stay at when they come for Christmas. Last night Waneta and Dorothy met me at Kwantlen for Dylan's recital and Don Sr. came here to help "babysit," which meant that the guys played three games of cribbage while the kids entertained themselves : )

Then this morning they came back bright and early and the guys headed off to work in the trees, rain and all. We're so thankful for all their help!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kwantlen Brass Recital

This evening Haley, Waneta, Dorothy, and I all went and watched Dylan play at Kwantlen's recital. All the performers did a great job...of course Dylan was superb! Here's the video if you want to see for yourself : )


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dylan and Haley...14 month anniversary shots

Tree farm fun

We went outside around 4:30 today to take these pictures...our days are getting really short now : (

Who's the cutest baby in the world?


Friday, November 26, 2010

Skating videos

Patience skating backwards:

Jordyn skating around a bit:

A real workout

Nathan: Dylan challenges you to a "sibling" pushup battle. You've been warned.

A boy and his dog

The weather has been so cold lately that we've been letting Harley come in and "thaw out" in the evenings. I'm not sure who enjoys it more, her or Nick!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


We've been getting a few centimeters of snow for the past few days. Here are the girls enjoying it! Yes, Nathan, Patience IS wearing her Sharks jersey under her jacket : )

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Father-daughter ho-down!

Tonight is Patience's "father-daughter" night at Pioneer Girlz Club and the theme is a western ho-down. On Monday night Patience and I went shopping and she picked out this western shirt for Don and we got her this cute little cowgirl outfit. She's been excited all week, counting down the days as if it were Christmas! They're sure to have a great time.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"N-other" driver!

Yeah! This afternoon Haley took her driving test and passed, so we now have another "N" driver in the family, which means that she can drive with one person who is not in her immediate family. We are so proud of her and excited for her : )

Of course we had to celebrate with a DQ ice cream cake!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trumpet duo with Justin and Dylan

Let me preface this by saying they are sight reading...no rehearsals at all.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Rockin' the ice rink

Today was the girls' fourth lesson.
Man, oh man. Nathan wanted to be able to skate with his sisters when he came home for Christmas. Well, that's one Christmas wish that's going to come true! Not only will they be skating with him, but they'll be skating around him, frontwards and backwards! A woman at the rink today noted that Jordyn was at the top of her class. Mind you, Jordyn's taking lessons twice/week instead of only once, but she can definitely do everything her instructor wants. Today she even had Jordyn holding the hand of a littler boy who needed help! It was really cute.

Today Dylan met me at the rink (his school is literally across the street from the rink) and took Nick and my van and got some gas for me. It was so nice to not have to chase take care of him at the rink and be able to watch the lesson and visit with other moms. Sean babysat yesterday so this was a good week. Dylan had to bring him to me about 10 minutes before the lesson was over so I found the candy dispensers, bought a quarter's worth of m&m's and then doled them out slowly as long as he was sitting by me. That got me just to the end of class.  But this is so worth the effort. It's hard to be Canadian and not know how to skate.The girls will use these skills all their life, even if they don't play in the NHL. What a generous big brother they have to make sure they're able to skate!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Maternal instincts a la Nick

Nick likes to push the stroller around (so watch yer ankles!) but he doesn't put a baby in it! He loads it up with cars, trucks, and trains! He's a man's man. Or a man's boy.

Minestrone soup for 2!

Nick didn't want his own bowl of minestrone soup, but when Sean came up and started eating his, Nick was all over it! I love this picture of both of them : )

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Miscellaneous news from the farm

1. Don is working crazy-long hours now to make up for the hours he won't be working during the Christmas tree season.

2. I am a single parent. I told Don I am taking January off.

3. Nathan is on a 21-day tour of tending buoys. He'll get back to Cordova near the end of November, and then he'll have just 3 weeks to work until his Christmas leave.

4. Dylan got a paid gig...he's playing Reville at a Remembrance Day ceremony at White Rock.

5. Haley got a job! She'll be working at Shopper's Drug Mart starting next Wednesday.

6. Sean will go to the Provincial swim meet, but only for the first day (Friday). That way, he can help all of his relay teams to qualify for finals, which, of course, is where the points are doled out. He'll come home late Friday night so he can still be part of Don's baling crew for the weekend. Win-win.

7. Patience is being homeschooled. See post below.

8. Jordyn, even though she's deathly afraid of bugs, likes to kill them. With a toy, or even her bare hands. Yuck.

9. Nick has discovered Thomas the Train. He calls him Choo-choo and loves to play with the Brio train track and to watch the Thomas the Train television shows.

Miscellaneous pictures of the cutest boy in the world

I said cutest. Not best-behaved.

Murphy's School for Boys

is now open for girls!
That's right...Patience is now being homeschooled! We're going to teach her reading, writing, and arithmetic here at home and then send her back to North Otter in Grade 2 when Jordyn starts kindergarten and Nick starts (gasp) preschool (Good luck, Miss Tammy and Miss Tracy!).

This morning at breakfast Dylan asked me what was on the agenda for school today and I told him that since the sun was shining (thank you, dear Lord) we were going to rake leaves! Then I told Patience she should be thankful that we didn't have a Walnut tree. That got a smile out of Dylan and I'm pretty sure Nathan will smile, too, when he reads that.

We did "school" during Nick's naptime, and Jordyn joined us at the table with her own workbooks. I'm pretty sure that at this rate she'll be reading before she gets to kindergarten, she's like a sponge and can frequently answer the questions I'm asking Patience.

Goodbye Fuko and Saori!

On Fuko and Saori's last night here we took Sean to cadets and then stayed to watch the opening parade, called "Colours," where they hail the flag to O Canada and then do a march past with guard leading (aka Sean's division). I wanted to get a picture of Sean in his uniform for the girls but I forgot that cadets don't smile in uniform. Even if their mother tells them to. It's like against regulations or something. Anyway, here are my Japanese daughters and my very tall son.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Ice skating lesson #2

Jordyn waiting for class to start.

Waving as she "skates" by...

"Hi Mom! See, I'm smiling!"  And in the background is Patience's group...I think she's the one hanging onto the wall : )

Patience and Jordyn started their ice skating lessons yesterday, but I forgot my camera so we didn't get pictures and therefore there was no blog post (sorry, Nathan). It was just as well...both girls spent so much time horizontal on the ice, Patience flailing about before landing hard, Jordyn eventually just deciding to not get up, as she was tired of falling. And I was so thankful for those helmets!

But today was a different story altogether! Both girls were upright more than horizontal, Jordyn getting right back up after falling, and smiling and waving to me several times during her lesson. Phew. It looks like we will have skaters after all!