Happy Autumn Moon

Happy Moon Festival to everyone!

We started our celebrations off with dimsum with Tim and Heather.  The actually had congee (rice porridge) so I got to eat too.  Then last night we were invited to a wonderful party in honour of the Moon Festival.  It was great to mean all of the new people and the girls had a blast making lanterns and eating “moon cookies” (I was thrilled to see that we are not the only family who has created a non-traditional dessert in honour of this occassion).  Then the girls got to join the rest of the kids in a lantern parade through the neighbourhood which was a nice change as they are use to parading alone in front of our house.

 

Today we stayed close to home with the exception of church and Elspeth’s kungfu class.  Dinner was chinese food of course and along with the traditional moon cakes we had “moon cupcakes” (which are much tastier if you ask me.  Maybe one year I will get a traditional moon cake mold and play around at making a gluten free version that actually looks like the traditional variety).  We had bought Katrine’s favourite variety of moon cake; the ones that she had at least half of at every breakfast in China last year only to be told by her that she couldn’t eat her favourite part as it was not fresh enough – darn shipping.  Then it was off outisde to use our muscial lanterns before it rained and look at the setting sun….sorry, I mean moon, and talk about the people in China who love us and who we love.  Of course the outside time was not long enough so the girls brought their lanterns inside and danced around for another half hour with the annoying, no I mean joyful, music playing non-stop.  Not sure that the musical lanterns were the best choice we ever made.  At least the girls enjoy them.

 

First Skating Lesson

Elspeth had her very first skating lesson on Tuesday – Preschool Skate.  She was soooo terribly excited about it.  She insisted on wearing her “skating princess” t-shirt to nursery school.  While at school, she showed off her “skatey” moves which are adorable but have little to actually do with skating.  Then she simply couldn’t stop smiling when it was time to put on her skates.  I don’t think that the smile left her face the whole time on the ice and I know for a fact that she didn’t want to get off.  I spent the time taking photos and just enjoying as Katrine ran around playing with a friend whose younger brother was also skating.  Can’t wait to go back next week.

A 10th Birthday and a Fall Fair

Every year we go to my brother’s for the weekend to celebrate my nephews birthday.  For the last few years (with the exception of last year where Elspeth was not really ready to do crowds) we have helped him celebrate at the local fall fair by checking out the displays, the baking (my sister in law and neice both won prizes this year!!!!), the rides, parade and demolition derby.  This year we added lawn tractor racing to the itinerary.  Aside from being FREEZING we had a wonderful time as a family.

Displays that stuck out to me:

This hula pumpkin may not have won the ribbon but I thought that it was adorable.
One of the children's categories was to make an ear of corn. Can you believe that some child was patient enough to string together this ear of corn entirely out of beads?

Cuteness:

As you can tell from the last photo, it was really quite chilly as we were taking in the entertainment:

Both Elspeth and Katrine really enjoyed these races.

 

The demolition derby was more my speed but a little confusing for Elspeth while Katrine once again spent the entire time worrying about the drivers. (Glad she missed the car which threatened to go up in flames while she was at the bathroom with Grandma).

 

 

Trying out kung fu

Okay, we are a busy family.  Inspite of that fact we have added on yet another activity…at least until the end of October at which time we will actually have to commit for real.  Kung fu – a truly chinese martial art.

Why kung fu?  Well, a few years ago Katrine went to culture camp run by our local FCC chapter.  One of the activities was kung fu and she loved it.  We looked and the only places we found offering kung fu were downtown or in Scarborough. Neither of which worked with our schedules.  No kung fu.

Well, we have a reasonably close kung fu school so off we went to check it out.  Now we hoped that Elspeth would like it and that Katrine might be interested in picking up a relaxed, non-competitive physical activity.  We were not expecting to all sign up but that is exactly what happened…at least until the end of October.

I must say that I am having fun.  Both Glenn and I get to go once a week by ourself and then another time with Katrine.  It is hard (at least for “huggable” me;  Glenn is already awesome after all of those years of karate) and today I hurt horribly from yesterday’s class but we might just stick with it as long as we can maintain our schedule.

No photos of me modelling my fashionable uniform but cuteness in the form of my three sweeties.

I bet that you noticed that Elspeth’s outfit doesn’t quite fit.  Turns out that their xtra small t-shirt was not meant for a child taking size 24 months.  One of these days I will get around to hemming it.

 

First Day of Nursery School

This morning I dropped Elspeth off for her first day of nursery school.  She was so excited to wear the new “Hell-oooo Kitty” backpack that her grandparents gave her along with her new shoes purchased just yesterday as her feet have finally grown into size 6!!!

Got her backpack on and she started down the steps.  I turned to lock the door and when I turned around she was at the sidewalk beginning to walk the route we take every morning to Katrine’s bus stop.  “Elspeth, where are you going?”  “I go little bus mama.  Go school.”  I felt so bad when I had to explain to her that we would be traveling by car not bus.  The damage to her spirits was temporary as once we arrived at the parking lot she was ready to go again.

Of course, traffic was an issue so when we arrived, all of the kids were inside already.  “Mama, where friends?”  Well, once she saw that they were inside she was  gone with a kiss hug and was content until I arrived to pick her up before lunch.  Hopefully the pattern will continue.

What does Elspeth do when Katrine is skating?

By now, you all know how much time we spend at the arena each week.  This season there are multiple or extended visits in a day.  If it was just me, I would easily find any number of ways to relax and have some fun.  But what exactly can a two year old do to kill time for an hour or more in an arena when she is not allowed to skate.  I am posting some of my favourite photos to give you a snapshot of what life is like while Katrine skates.

We have a very simple daily schedule:

1. Snack

2. Read a book (I mean, you can never do too much to encourage vocabulary growth and a love of books)

3. A page of “homework” which is really a page of colouring, cutting or such.  One of her favourite activities right now it to practise copying shapes.

4. Some other activity from her bag or the ipad or her Calico Critters house.  On very long days I lug that as well as as the other bags into the arena and we spend the time arranging the furniture or making food or giving baths.  We thought that we needed to branch out and try to incorporate some imaginative play along with the other activities.  I really miss the Duplo wall which was at the arena we frequented this summer.  It got daily use at both drop off and pick up.

Now I am hoping that once December comes, Elspeth and I will be able to hit the ice trail while Katrine is skating.  That would nicely change it up.  The trail is there right now but there is no way that I am trying to pack a scooter or trike along with everything else.  Even I have my limits.  Check out the photos and if you have other simple, and light, suggestions for activities please share.

First Day of Grade 3

Last year Katrine insisted on matching dresses.  This year it is hats.  However, you won’t get to see Elspeth’s until next week after her first morning at nursery school. 😥   Katrine seems to like her teacher and has been happy everyday when I pick her up.  Fingers crossed that this year will be reminiscent of Grade 1.

This outift was matched with a blue rain coat and purple boots due to vast quantities of water pouring out of clouds in the sky.  It was an interesting look when it was all put together.

Apple Picking Time

We decided that we should head out to our favourite apple orchard as early as possible this year given the warm temperatures followed by the late frost.  Luckily, “our” orchard managed to save a number of varieties which flowered later.  The remaining apples are delicious and crisp.

Gingercrsip:

Paula Red:

Katrine loves to go picking almost as much as she loves eating fresh from the tree apples (they have a more crunchy texture).  After many years she knows how to spot good apples which are on the small size (aka perfect for lunchs in that they will actually get eaten instead of thrown in the trash).  Elspeth started to bounce in her car seat as we pulled in saying “pick apples, pick apples”.  This year she not only ate apples but also picked a few.  It is nice that she is enjoying this family tradition.  I was a bit disappointed that the Macs are not yet ready but I had fun watching the girls, dreaming about apple recipes yet to be made and soaking up the sunshine.  Glenn liked the fresh apple fritters and playing with the girls on the piles of hay bales.  Overall, a high point of the summer.