Thursday, March 30, 2017

Happy 8th Birthday Sam!

Today Sam is 8!!!
(How did that happen?!?!?)

I picked a picture for each month, many of which I think, describe Sam at 8 well.
April 2016
Sam checking up on the Blue Jays in our national paper!

May 2016
Sam played T-ball for the first time last spring and loved it!

June 2016
Sam's sense of humour makes rare, but hilarious, appearances :)

July 2016
Traveling, especially for baseball games, is right up Sam's alley.
(Comerica Park, Detroit, MI)

August 2016
Sam is an excellent traveler, even on long roads trips.
(Lake Superior, Terrace Bay, ON)

September 2016
Sam really likes school, especially math and gym.

October 2016
While traveling, Sam likes trying different foods.
(Katz's Deli, New York City)

November 2016

December 2016
Sam loves his immediate, and extended, family.
(At Oma and Opa's in Saskatchewan on Christmas Day)

January 2017
Don't bug Sam when he's in the middle of a book.

February 2017

March 2017
Tacos are a newly discovered favourite food.

To our Sam-Sam-Sam -- We love you so much and are forever thankful that you're a part of our family.

To read Sam's surprising birth story, click here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

All About Sam

Every year, usually around January, I ask the kids the same set of questions. This year I am a little behind. Given that this is Sam's birthday week, I thought I'd start with him. So for your enjoyment, here is "All About Sam."
This is a pretty typical "Sam" picture these days -- hanging out in his cozy pjs and playing Lego, Minecraft Lego in this case.

What is your name? Sam
How old are you? Seven
What is your favourite colour? purple and blue and red
Who is your best friend? Willem
What is your favourite animal? Uh... owls
What is your favourite movie? I don't really have one
What is your favourite book? books about Minecraft
What is your favourite food? nachos and tacos
What is your favourite song? Twas In The Moon of Wintertime
What makes you happy? playing iPad
What makes you sad? When someone punches me (Yikes! I did clarify that no one was punching him on a regular basis.)
What is your favourite game? Monopoly
Can you write your name for me? (Sam really wants to learn cursive, as you may have guessed!)
To read previous years' "All About Sam" click on the year: 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Where I've Been Spending My Money Lately

So it turns out when you don't blog for awhile, you run out of ideas and have to blatantly steal borrow blog topics from your friends. This one came from Amanda. So here's where I've been spending my money lately:

1) Tulips
As happens every winter, we've had fresh tulips in our house almost continuously since January. Since it's still rather cold here, these bring a little taste of spring to our house during the time I need it most. And bonus -- they're cheaper than a warm vacation :)

2) A new book
I am a bad Harry Potter fan because I didn't even realize this book existed until about a month ago. But I made sure I went out and got a copy. Now if only I remembered I owned it and actually made time to, you know, read it.

3) Baseball tickets
These are just a couple of the baseball games we're going to this year. I'm super excited to see the Buffalo Bisons (the Blue Jays' Triple A team) play and we're going as my birthday experience this year. Although honestly, with a name like the "IronPigs" I might just have to cheer for the opposing team :)

And I'm really excited that a group of us who go to a Blue Jays game together every year are going to go experience them in Detroit this summer. I'm excited to visit Comerica Park again and enjoy a little road trip away with good friends. Yay!

4) Our washing machine
This is a less exciting thing to be spending money on, unless you like clean clothes. I don't understand why the dryer, which I could happily live without, is fine but the washing machine broke. Doesn't it understand it's my favourite?!?!? Thankfully, the repair was fairly simple and cheaper than the cost of a new machine. Phew.

5) New shoes
I wanted a pair of shoes for wearing in the spring to run errands or to go pick the kids up from school. These bright red ones fit the bill and they were on sale. Bonus! And the layout of this picture came from my friend, Bekah, who had a similar picture on her Instagram. Thanks Bekah!

6) Our kids
the kids' allowance barns -- 
one each for spend, share (donate), and save

I kind of didn't count on how much money would come from "the Tooth Fairy" and how much having two kids with a weekly allowance would impact our spending. Ha!

Where have you been spending your money lately? If you're willing to share, that is!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

#tbt: Rachel's 5th Birthday

So apparently I missed blogging about a few major events last year :) Since I really do want this blog to be our family's memory book, and Sam's birthday is coming up next week, I thought I should document Rachel's birthday. This really is a legit #tbt because her birthday was in JUNE. #momfail
So this Rachel on her actual birthday and it's a good photo of her obsessions at the time: pink, dresses, make up, jewellery and buns in her hair. She was thrilled to be able to indulge in them all at once.
Since my parents were here for her actual birthday, we had a big dinner (probably BBQ although, to be honest, I don't remember!) with Dave's family, Tim and Janice, and all of us. Rachel asked for ice cream sundaes for dessert which was a fun change from cake.
For Rachel's party the next day, which was a tea party with her friends, I made a teapot cupcake cake. I decorated it to look like the special teapot Tim and Janice had given her for her birthday.
The girls came over and made necklaces until everyone had arrived. Then they decorated fancy hats for the tea party. They LOVED this and the whole process took about half an hour to forty-five minutes.
Then they all played outside and I got one picture of them in their fancy tea outfits and hats!
Inside the table was all set in pink and they ate various kinds of goldfish crackers, fruit, and cupcakes. We went to a thrift store and found little cups and saucers so each girl drank their tea out of a special cup and saucer which they got to take home, along with their hats, as party favours.

It was such a fun party to celebrate our girl turning five. And I would be remiss if I didn't do a shout out to my friend, Kendyll. Kendyll's daughter had a tea party for one of her birthdays and invited Rachel and I stole most of my ideas from her. It was just too much fun, and too sweet, to only experience once!

Friday, March 17, 2017

(Not) Late Breaking News

As my friend, Amy, says, "Good thing I am not paid to do national news or anything. Wednesday's kind of late for breaking weekend news." Well Amy, I've got you beat because it's technically this weekend, and I'm still talking about last weekend. Ha!
There are two reasons this post is late(r than I had intended):

1) I've been fighting a nasty, horrible cold all week. In fact, it started in earnest last Thursday, and we ended up throwing out our plans for a mini weekend getaway and staying home. And figuring out how to come up with a fun weekend to make it up to the kids.

2) It has been March Break this past week so I've either been a) working, b) sleeping, or c) watching four kids. And since it's been so cold outside I will declare that it has neither been "March" nor a "break," at least not for me.

So what did we end up doing last weekend? On Friday night Dave took the kids to the Purim party at the synagogue. You can read more about Purim here, but basically it's like Hallowe'en in March. Rachel dressed up as a princess (in case you couldn't guess) and Sam took inspiration from a musical we saw a few weekends ago and went as the Guard from Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz.

I stayed home and acted like someone who has a horrible, nasty cold.

Saturday was one of our favourite days of the year in our city. It was CANstruction! We went to the mall to check out all the structures. As Canada is celebrating its 150th Birthday this year, there were many Canadiana themes, like the beaver dam below, which I LOVED!
The kids loved these Paw Patrol structures.
The drawbridge and the dragon on this castle actually moved. It was super-cool!
This voyageur was another piece of Canadiana which I loved!
I also liked the train and the scene of Niagara Falls. It just amazes me what (imaginative) people can build out of cans and boxes of food!
Did I mention it was a "Canada is turning 150" theme?
But I think the winner for my absolute favourite structure this year was the one below:
I think they did a pretty good job of re-creating our Parliament Buildings, don't you?
us in front of the (non-canned food) Parliament Buildings, April 2016
On Saturday night, Dave took the kids bowling. They LOVED it! And they've been asking to go again ever since.
And on Sunday, while I once again, stayed home and rested (and finished our road trip book from this past summer -- yay!), Dave took the kids to a board games cafe. While our weekend didn't look like what we thought it would, the kids ended up having a blast! And we still have our mini getaway to look forward to. We just postponed it by a few weeks.

And now, after all that excitement, it's the weekend again. Yay!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Totally Taco Tuesday

Last week my parents came for a visit. We didn't tell Sam and Rachel they were coming so when the kids woke up, and my mom and dad were here, the kids were pretty excited.
We had a good week with them and, of course, I didn't get around to taking pictures until the last night. But, as it was Taco Tuesday, it was a good picture taking night. At Christmas my dad discovered a homemade tortilla recipe and it just makes tacos that much better. Sam ate four!
After supper, the kids snuggled on the couch. First with my mom...
...and then with both of my parents.
We love it when my parents come to visit and can't wait until their next visit. Maybe we'll even tell the kids they're coming this time!