First, some random cuteness which I could not bear to leave unposted.
Glenn has a few weeks of holidays this summer. This week the girls are up at their grandparents for a few days and we are not relaxing. Nope. We are painting bedrooms – pink. Before dropping off the pair, we put them to work helping to tape the trim and then paint the closet. Pain got in the hair, on the hands but they had a bit of fun until they lost interest. I will post some photos of the finished rooms.
I absolutely love Santa Claus parade weekend. To me it spells the start of Christmas as it provides the perfect excuse to begin setting up the tree and all of my decorations. I love how festive the house feels once everything is in place. Makes me smile thinking about what memories we will build with family and friends over the next few weeks. Plus to be perfectly honest it also marks the lead up to my birthday and you know how I love my birthday.
Here are the girls Christmas letters. My favourite part of Katrine’s is where she tells Santa that it is okay if he only brings her 3 or 4 things (way to compromise). Now our eldest is smart. She has it all figured out. Apparently she plans on visiting a number of different Santas over the next few weeks and only aksing for one thing from her list. That way she will not seem greedy but will still get to ask for everything. Gotta love her plan. Wonder how it will work out for her? Elspeth’s list is simple. Candy for her Om Nom. I can almost guarantee that wish will come true seeing as how in all of my living recollection I have never received a stocking totally devoid of candy. Unfortunately, Elspeth is still only in love with the concept of Santa so I will have to work hard to get my coveted photo of the girls.
I also managed to get matching dresses for them. Of course, once the mandatory Christmas card photo was done, Elspeth had to put back on her fairy princess wings. 🙂
PS My thumb is much better. It still hurts like crazy when I hit or bump it (which being me is far too often) but at least it is no longer throbbing!
Only three more weeks until we leave for China!! Very exciting. Everyone is being really suportive and we appreciate it. It has been a long road, but no longer than the road to Katrine in some ways, and we are almost at the end. We got a treat a week ago. It was given to us by a family who had traveled to Elspeth’s orphanage in the spring. More photos. Such a serious little girl. What a gift they gave us with these photos. It is like a window into her life for two years. I don’t know if they will every know how truly thankful we are for their willingness to take and share these precious photos.
We have planted our garden as per usual. However, this year we chose slightly different crops given our travel plans. We planted mainly squash and potatoes. We do have two watermelon plants so we will wait and see what happens there. Right now everything is looking green and leafy but we do not have any flowers yet on any of the plants which is a bit concerning.
We have also been busy out front of the house. The “Pony House” has made its yearly reappearance. This year the ponies have been able to upgrade their accomodations. They now have actual walls (thanks to our new hedge trimmer which works great for trimming unrully flowering trees) and beds (actually piles of dry grass cuttings). Overall a comfortable abode.
What else? Oh yes, Katrine spent the first week of her summer vacation at skating camp. Her choice I might add. She had a grand old time skating at least two and a half hours a day plus off ice training for five days straight. She must have gone to sleep easily each night! No way, not our girl. That said, she was always easy to get up and raring to go. Glenn was at work of course and I spent my first week of holidays organizing our house and getting things ready for us to go. It will be really nice when the house is finally sorted and the basement set up.
Okay, I am going to try and get us caught up with this post.
The highlight of March was our annual visit to the Wye Marsh Sweetwater Festival in Victoria Harbour. Katrine just loves seeing my dad making maple sirop. This year we were joined by my brother and his kids so it was extra special for Katrine because she also got to play with her cousins. My dad got the bright idea of getting a cardboard box out of his garage and letting the kids use it to slide down the huge snowbank beside the driveway…until it split open. I guess that all good things must come to an end.
The highlight of April was Katrine’s 4th birthday. This year her party was on her actual birthday which was kind of neat. The party had a Backyardigans theme. She had a blast playing pin the tie on Pablo and using a Backyardigans playdough set. I think that aside from the cake(which was based on her favourite surfing episode) she loved the pinata best. Glenn set it up so that instead of whacking it, the kids could just pull strings to open it. The first time they pulled it and the string broke but it didn’t open. Then Glenn held it and it opened up. What a frenzy! We got her a new purple bike which she is delighted with. She has since announced that she wants to learn to ride without training wheels so you will probably hear about that in a future post.
May was Mother’s Day, Glenn’s birthday and renewing our paperwork with the Ministry for our second adoption(which is moving along at a snail’s pace!). If things continue to move at this rate, Elspeth will not be home until late 2010 or even into 2011. We are keeping our fingers crossed. Thank you to everyone for your continued support. There are days when it is really difficult to be patient. Katrine has taken to drawing family pictures with three people and then a fourth way off to the side because her Meimei is still far away in China. I guess somethings just don’t turn out as you plan.
June has been a bit of a sunnier month. Katrine had her first Highland competition. We thought that she might get overwhelmed and cry or really mess up but she was all business on stage. She walked on, bowed(totally serious face), did 15 of the 16 pas de basques, bowed, walked off calmly before breaking into a huge smile. She was ever so proud of herself. Well, when they did the prizes we were surprised too. We knew that she would get a ribbon simply for being there BUT she also won a sixth!! She left the stage with a medal as well. She wanted to know when her next competition would be and when she would be old enough to win a trophy. I also dance(yes, I know it is amazing that I still can). I managed to double sprain an ankle but somehow won a 7th out of 21 dancers for one dance. Now that was a shock.
The only other exciting thing that we have been doing is working on our garden. It is doing really well due to all of the rain that we have had. If this keeps up we will get a really nice crop. Especially of potatoes.
That is us up-to-date. I will try to not let it get as far behind again.
May began with a trip to Niagara Falls for a reunion with Katrine’s orphanage “sisters”. We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge; which is absolutely awesome! Katrine had a great time splashing around in the wave pool and playing with her friends. She also like the kiddie water slides once she saw some of her friends going down them. She was really impressed with the falls and just wanted to stay and watch them inspite of shivering. On our way back home we stopped at the Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory. Katrine loved the butterflies. I was actually able to get one to land on me!! Others got them to land on their hands while I had to settle for my shoulder…oh well. We had a lot of fun wandering through the gardens and looking at the spring flowers. One of the highlights was when Glenn and her found some frogs beside a wee pond.
Looking at frogs. 276
Perched amongst the cherry blossoms. 273
At the wave pool. 269
By the falls.
Glenn’s birthday was over Mother’s Day weekend and we were lucky enough to have my parents staying with us so we were able to go out with some friends to celebrate. On Sunday morning we went with my parents to visit my nana and enjoy some treats. Nana is doing quite well for 95. In the afternoon, we had Glenn’s family over for a barbeque. It was fun seeing everyone and a special way to combine the festivities of the weekend into one. I got a lovely card from Katrine that she made at daycare (it made me cry) and Glenn got my favourite photo of Katrine and I from last weekend blown up and framed. I have included it below. 279
This past weekend, we journeyed down to London to do the Tomlinson family birthday thing. We spent Saturday at Storybook Gardens. The kids had a great time playing together and climbing the various play structures. Katrine’s favourite part was riding the carrousel. On Sunday, we stopped to visit another one of her orphanage “sisters” and her adorable new baby sister. The girls had so much fun playing with Thomas and making necklaces, that Katrine didn’t want to leave and come home. Today, we planted our garden. The soil is excellent and it has us believing that this might acutally be the year that our vegetables grow (we never got much at our last house). We planted beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and cabbage. Katrine got to wear her cute Dora garending gloves and helped to plant the seedlings and then water them in. Hopefully our local wild bunnies won’t eat everything on us.
We have been in our house since October 25th and are making good headway into getting unpacked. It really feels like home. We are hoping to be able to start hanging pictures this week. Katrine really loves her new pink room and has adjusted to everything really quite well. Anyways, thought that you might like to see some photos of the move. Enjoy!
Just to let you know that we will not have an internet connection for a few days untill we are all re-connected. If you need to get a hold of us On Wednesday, try our cell phones. Our landline should be operational by the end of Wednesday.
Glenn and our helpful volunteers have put in a lot of work this past weekend. With all of the help we were able to prime the hall (so it now looks clean), get the two bathrooms painted as well as Katrine’s bedroom. It is amazing how much the paint has made it feel cleaner and more like home. But then again, it is not hard to look better than mint chocolate chip green now is it? The tubs have been caulked and carpets cleaned. The windows have arrived and will be installed tomorrow which is good as we move the next day. The bad news is that inspite of my best efforts, the fridge still smells of rotten curry. So, tonight we went and bought ourselves a new fridge which will arrive on Thursday.
Katrine has been having a hard time though. She enjoys playing in the basement of the new place but aside from that calls it the skunk house because it has always smelled of cleaner, paint, etc. She is basically unpotty trained, not sleeping well and not eating (although the fact that she is cutting her molars could also account for this particular symptom). Hopefully once we get ourselves settled and back to the usual routine she will feel better.
That is pretty much where it stands now. Wish us luck with the move.
Well I’ve got quite a bit done, and there is a lot more to do. So far I’ve painted the family room, living/dining room, and the master bedroom (2 coats, but it probably needs a third in the spring). The parquet floor in the family room, living/dining room was sanded, stained a dark oak, and had 4 coats of satin polyurethane applied (by a professional, not me). And the laminate is down in the master bedroom (by same said professional).
Now for the bad news. The bathrooms are in worse shape that we originally thought. There is lots of bubbling plaster and peeling paint that I chipped this evening, so I probably will not be done prep till tomorrow (Tuesday) because of spackling and sanding and washing with T.S.P. Also we talked to our window “guy” who has no news, which is definatly not good news, and is still waiting on the mill to finish production of our windows.
Things are still moving forward, the ducts and furnace will be cleaned this week, and the carpets will be cleaned next Monday. Also it looks like I’ll be getting some help from Tim, Bill, and perhaps Kris & Mark to finish off the painting this weekend (Yeah!).