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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Easter 2016

      Easter 2016 will definitely go down as an Easter to remember!  Schools closed, the ice storm, trees crashing down, no power for 3 and a half days, we pretty much had it all!  But just like the story of the Grinch who stole Christmas, we realized that we don't really need all the fancy parts and somehow it all turned out to be a beautiful holiday. 
     Wednesday night as I sat watching the snow and then later listening to the freezing rain, I knew I would not likely be leaving town tomorrow to get to my school.  Buses would most definitely be cancelled if this kept up.  Sure enough, not only were buses cancelled but schools were closed, a surprise treat for both of us!!!  Grace and I spent the day hanging out, getting a few things ready for Easter.  Thursday night, as the weather worsened, as Grace and I listened to the freezing rain start up again, I knew the power would be going out.  I watched TV, listening to crash after crash, watching transformer after transformer lighting up the sky out my back windows.  What I didn't know was that that power would go out and not return until sometime early Monday morning. 
     Friday was easy enough, a long day when you've already been house bound the day before, but we survived fine.  My dad was kind enough to come over and get the generator going, but it really only helps to keep the sump pump running and eventually keep the food in the freezer and fridge from spoiling.  It did get very cold very quickly in the house however and by Friday afternoon we picked up our elderly neighbours and headed out to see what we could find to warm us up.  We ended up at Wimpy's diner, not my favourite choice of restaurants but anything warm was going to make us happy at this point!  It was busy at Wimpy's but not as busy as everywhere else in town and we settled down to a warm coffee and a bite to eat.  As we were finishing up the hydro at the restaurant went out and we were left paying cash.  A drive through town revealed all the damage from the storm, trees and branches were down everywhere.  I don't ever remember seeing so much damage from one ice storm.  I had several down on my own property.  If one could past the damage and past the cold house and no water, the ice really does make everything beautiful.  In the sunshine of Friday afternoon, everything truly looked beautiful glistening in the sun!

So onto the Easter part.  By Friday night, the house was down to single digits so Grace and I packed it up and headed to Grandma and Grandpa's to spend the night.  Aunt Lynda and her family were expected to be taking the other spare room but their hydro came on long enough for them to stay the night at home.  Over at the grandparents, they still did not have hydro but at least they had warmth with their wood stove and a generator powerful enough to use a hot plate to cook a little.  Grace enjoyed the adventure and kept telling me it was like camping!!!!lol
By Saturday night, it was occurring to Grace that the Easter Bunny was on his way and that we were not going to be home!  This was a major concern and rightfully so.  How would we let the Bunny know where we were?  Grace got out her paper and pencil crayons and began writing a letter to the Easter Bunny, the gist of which was:
We are not at home because we have no power.  We are at Grandma and Grandpa's house in ________.  Please come there. Love Grace
Now, normally this might be enough to appease both the Easter Bunny and a young child, but not my Grace!  It also occurred to her that the Easter Bunny might go to our house first (before coming to Grandma and Grandpa's).  She was quite concerned that he would wander around our house calling her name, and not know where she was.  So..... we had to call our elderly neighbours and ask them to write a short note to the Easter Bunny and post it on the front door!lol  Lovely lady never missed a beat on the phone when Grace called her and she agreed to do us the little favour of posting a note.

Writing her note to the Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny left some nice treats for Grace, including a lot of eggs all over the house!

Dancing with Aunt Carolyn Sunday morning

Sneaking into Uncle Richie's room to leave some chocolate treats.  She couldn't contain her giggles and he was such a good sport pretending to stay asleep!

Of course, no Easter party would be complete without a few decorations!  No point putting them up at our house, we wouldn't be there to appreciate them, so we packed them up and brought them over

Part two coming soon!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Family Day Fun 2016

Just realized this was still in my drafts, oops!  So, Easter and Ice Storm posts will have to wait.  Let's take a stroll back through memory lane to mid-February 2016!
Grace and I took advantage of the free ski day at a local park.  First time ever on skis for Grace and it's been many many years since I've donned cross country skis too.  We both had a blast, we both fell a lot and we both never even made it onto the trails!  The flat area just past the chalet was more than enough!  Not for lack of wanting to try out the hills though, Grace was all over that idea!  She tried and came down on her butt all the way smiling!

Just jammin' 
She's actually getting really good! 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Some Winter Fun!

The last real winter day for this year.  A warmish, sunny Sunday in early March.  I forced Grace to come out and enjoy it with me.  It's a little hard to tell from this first photo but that is one big tobogganing hill!  She wanted to go all the way to the top but I made her stop there, mostly because I had to walk all the way up with her and then run down after she took off to meet her at the bottom! I climbed up and down that hill about 20 times!  Grace loved it and was laughing all the way down the hill every time!

Here's how she felt after our tobogganing.  As it turned out she was coming down with something and ended up quite sick Monday and Tuesday.  Was feeling a little mommy guilt for having her outside like this but she had a blast!

ps, sometimes Blogger is not my friend.  I have no idea why the program won't let me increase the size of the font or photos on this post.  Whatever!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lunar New Year 2016

Lots of  fun and festivities again this year to celebrate the Lunar New Year.  We're a little Chinese fooded out (even though that's not really a word, you know what I mean!).  We're so lucky to have friends who include us in their celebrations as well as the ones Grace and I plan for ourselves and family.  This year started with a  trip to the Mandarin Restaurant with Grandma and Grandpa.  Grace loves the Mandarin.  Well to be honest, she mostly just loves the soup and the ice cream and the cotton candy, but it keeps her entertained to eat these while we enjoy the rest!
We also got the opportunity to visit with a lovely group of people, most who have adopted from Vietnam with a few of us China families thrown in for fun.  I don't see them very often but Grace and I always have a great time and they always make us feel so welcome.
Finally we hosted our own Chinese dinner for family.  Grace loves to help with the preparations, taping up all sorts of Chinese themed decorations all over the walls.  She puts the appetizers out and usually has a few samplings before the company arrives! lol     

The very mature "grown up" shot

Handing our her red envelopes, she just couldn't wait for Uncle Bill to come out of the washroom!

Still waiting for Uncle Bill!

Notice the outfit.  I would love to say please don't notice the outfit, but I know it's hard not to notice the outfit.  What you can't see is her beautiful Chinese dress hanging at the top of the stairs.  She was supposed to put it on after her nap, before family arrived.  Somehow that didn't happen and so here she is, at the party in her play clothes, which she chooses herself, as much as it kills me to let her do so!  So, please don't notice the outfit!

Showing off our yummy dinner!

At least she put on her fancy party shoes!!!!

Dumplings!  yummy!

Uncle Bill trying to be Elsa!  Silly Uncle Bill!

Thanks to Danny and Julia for hosting another great Lunar New Year party!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

My Valentine!

Grace and I spent much of the Family Day weekend preparing for Valentines and Chinese New Year, waiting for the Bell guy to show up to fix our home phone, and just hanging out.  More Family Day photos to come but here are the Valentine highlights.  I know I'm a little biased but I swear, every time I think Grace is at the cutest stage ever, she just gets cuter!  The heart scarf in the hair was her idea!!

Writing our Chinese New Year cards, decorating with monkeys

The card we made for Grandma and Grandpa for Valentines Day.  I loved it so much I think I will help her make one for me too!!  lol

Trying to look shy  :)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Christmas Festivities 2015

Christmas Eve, Grace was beside herself with excitement.  We went to church at the Children's Mass where we watched my students participate in a Christmas pageant.  The priest there is so inclusive of the children in the congregation and invites them to participate in the celebrations as much as possible.  So when Grace was allowed to carry up a sheep to the altar to display at the crèche, she was thrilled!  We finished Mass and headed over to my brother's house for dinner and a short visit. 
Once home, it took some coaching to get my munchkin up the stairs and into her bed.  She had many questions about how the whole "Night Before Christmas" would unfold.  I tried to answer them as best I could but she was concerned.  She wanted to be sure that Santa would not be coming upstairs to our bedrooms and that the reindeer would stay outside.  These were worrisome moments for her and I reassured her that the night would be fine as I laid down beside her on her bed.  Once in bed however, her excitement returned and the minute her head hit the pillow, she bolted upright. 
 "Why he's not coming Mommy?"
I almost fell off the bed laughing!!!  "Well Grace, it's only 8:00 and Santa only comes when everyone is asleep."  She asked again several more times, telling me she "thinks she hears something"  Too funny!  These were precious moments that I'm glad to have recorded here so the memory stays vivid!
Christmas morning was early but not too early thankfully!  Grace and I spent a bit of time admiring the presents, checking out our stockings and her trying on her new high heels!  Here are the photo highlights

Just before Christmas I arranged for Grace to go to the Dollar store with a friend's daughter.  I gave her some money in her purse and off she went to do her Christmas shopping for Mommy!!  Secretly I watched through the window a bit, seeing her at the check-out, handing up her gift, getting out her money.  It was all so grown-up and I was so excited to see what she might choose for me. 
Here she is holding her present that she wrapped herself, so proud of herself!!!!  I loved my Christmas themed water cup!
Don't mind the chocolate face... she had been into her stocking treats obviously!!!

High heels and her guitar were the biggest hits this Christmas!!!

It took a while to warm up to her new kitten.  She's still not sure about it!

I've never met a kid who loves music as much as Grace.  She truly spends much of her waking hours singing, playing instruments and just making music.  I so hope it continues and pays off for her one day.  Maybe I have a budding rock star!!

A new back pack for school.  She pretty much destroyed her first one in three and a half months!  Before Grace, I never understood why parents bought new back packs for school each year.  I just couldn't figure it out, why don't they just use the same one again?  Well, now I know!

Painting Grandma's nails on Christmas morning with her new nail polish

Happy birthday Jesus!!

cousin love! 

Auntie love!
The Boxing Day hike through Grandpa and Grandma's forest.  It's becoming an annual tradition, everyone that's hanging around heading out for a winter walk.  Or at least everyone that can be convinced to leave a couch!  The past couple of years it's been so mild and snowless it's been more like an Autumn walk. I don't mind snow, really I don't, enjoy it on a sunny February day for sure, but secretly I have no problem with a green Christmas.  I don't know why, I just like it, cool weather but dry.  So I was happy, no snow, just frozen ground and bare trees!