Merry Christmas!

We have finished the last of our Christmas celebrations and I thought that it would be nice to take a moment to share some of the holiday highlights.


Katrine visiting Santa

Our holidays began the first weekend of December with a visit to my parents in Victoria Harbour. My brother and his family were also up there so we had an early Tomlinson Christmas (complete with turkey dinner). On the Saturday night we trecked off to St. Marie among the Huron for their period celebrations. The kids got to stay up late and do crafts while walking around by candle light. One of the highlights of the evening was listening to the Native drummers. We would have stayed longer in the longhouse but it was too smoky. Sunday morning was gift day. It was nice to see all of the kids ripping paper and smiling at their various gifts.

113 Christmas dinner

117Learning to write with a quill.

123This is the only real snow that Katrine has got to play in so far.
120 The excitement was unbearable.
Sunday, December 17th was our holiday open house. It was really nice to show off our new house while having a chance to chat with friends. It also gave me an excuse to do some gluten-free baking. I am getting much better at transfering family recipes into gluten-free concoctions. Katrine had a blast running around with all of her friends. We only wish that more families had been able to join us.

Christmas Eve was a bit quieter. Glenn, Katrine and I went to visit my Nana at her nursing home and too drop off some presents for her. She surprised us by giving Katrine her stuffed puppy dog that sits by her bed. Katrine usually plays with it when we visit so she was tickled pink. My parents had driven down from the Harbour (my dad is recovering from kidney stones), and my mom joined us at church. Unfortunately, I missed a chunk of the service as I was dealing with a tantruming toddler. Oh well, maybe next year.

126 Had to show you Katrine’s Christmas dress; just in case she never wears it again.
On Christmas morning, Katrine let us sleep in until 8:00 before we journeyed downstairs to see what Santa had brought. She was still pretty calm this year because she still sees Santa as a fat, old guy who gives out candy canes if you ask nicely as opposed to the bringer of your heart’s desire. We managed to get her to eat some breakfast before we dove into the pile of gifts. We tried not to go to crazy but there still seemed to be a lot of stuff at the end of it all. After gifts Glenn and I took Katrine to visit his parents and then it was back up to the nursing home to see her Great-nana again. After the turkey and fixings we enjoyed Baby Jesus’ birthday cake. I have to tell you that Katrine actually helped to make it by pouring the various ingredients into the bowl and sprinkling the stars on top. I also have to give her the credit for thinking this tradition up. She is currently obsessed with birthdays and parties…constant topic of conversation. Well, we were trying to explain that Christmas was when Jesus was born. Then, on went the light bulb and hence the cake.


132 Look at what Santa made for Monkey. The lengths we will go to for our kids.

135 This present thing is so taxing.


On Boxing Day the three of us drove out to the zoo and walked around for a few hours. The fresh air and exercise were great pick-me ups after all the food. In the afternoon, we headed over to Glenn’s parents for the Attwood family Christmas. More food, more family, more gifts. It was a relaxing and fun time.



Today, the last day of Christmas, we had the Toop family Christmas(Glenn’s mom’s side of the family). It took Katrine about an hour to truly feel comfortable but then she was off and running. She really had a great time with her cousins. It is nice that she has so many cousins close to her own age.

Now we have a few days to rest before we drive back up to Victoria Harbour to celebrate New Years with my folks. We hope that all of you have had an enjoyable December.

Getting settled

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!




Moving Day Commeth!!

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.

Group 268 Meeting

Welcome to the last week of August! That means school starts next week. Sigh!

This past weekend we had the chance to get together with three families in Elspeth’s group at a park in Orillia. It was a beautiful day. The adults chatted and generally got to know a bit about each other while Katrine played with one couple’s children. The highlight of her day though was definetely the train ride around the park. Especially when the train went through the tunnel.


The past two weeks have been pretty exciting for Katrine. We bought her a three-wheel scooter last week (they were on sale). She has been practicing using it inside the house and can get some pretty good speed. Now she just needs some practice steering. When we were up at Heather’s parents, they gave Katrine a small trike with the seat all the way down. Katrine was thrilled. Since then she has been out peddling everyday. She can peddle pretty well but can’t start when fully stopped. She can steer pretty good around corners but gets distracted by the scenery on straightaways.



We have an LID!


We received word that our dossier has been logged in! (It was actually logged in shortly after it was sent overseas but you know how long paperwork can take.) That means that our official wait has begun! This is very exciting. It brings us one step closer to Elspeth’s referral.

Home from the Cottage

We have just returned home from a visit to Karen’s cottage up north…and what a visit it was. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon to a warm, sunny day perfect for swimming. After a refreshing dip in the lake and dinner, the skies began to darken. We thought that we were in for a little rain storm and settled into the cottage to wait for it to blow over. What began as a wee storm became quite the storm. The winds were strong enough to uproot trees and move docks down the water. Needless to say, we also lost power.

The next morning dawned bright and cheerful while the sound of chainsaws filled the air. It was really amazing to see how all of the cottagers checked on each other and their damage and then helped out where needed. Luckily no one was hurt and our car’s tail-light was the only casuality (it got hit by a branch) at the cottage proper. Unfortunately, the power remained out as a clump of trees were lying across the hydro wires. It did add to the overall excitement of the visit.

78 This is the tree that took out our tail-light.

81 Clump of roots.

84You can just see the trees on the power lines.

Katrine loved spending time with her aunt and cousin. She was in awe of the tall trees that were “in the sky”. She also was very excited when she saw “tree frogs” (well, actually just plain old frogs but all frogs are tree frogs to her because of Deigo). She was not so sold on the concept of swimming in the lake. She liked to wear her life jacket and sit on the dock. That was as far as she would volunteerily go. After much coaxing we managed to get her onto a little dingy she called “Katrine’s boat”, but she would only stay there for short periods of time before demanding to be returned to dry land.

Overall, it was very relaxing.

71 Katrine voices her displeasure about this whole lake concept.

75 Her personal boat.

Children’s Bridge Picnic in Ottawa

We just got home from Ottawa and Katrine is finally asleep so I thought that I should take a moment and update our blog and bring everyone up to date.

We drove to Ottawa yesterday and Katrine slept part of the way so it wasn’t too bad. After checking into our hotel, we headed out for a walk. We took Katrine to the Parliment buildings and then to the canal. Our timing was perfect as we got to see a bunch of boats going through the locks. Katrine was fascinated by it all, especially the ducks swimming inbetween the boats. It was an entertaining walk as we were walking infront of a wedding party which was being piped from the church to the canal for their photos.


Then we met one of the families from Katrine’s travel group for dinner. At first the girls were shy with eachother and then they spent about half an hour playing “chase me” around the tables giggling and laughing. After dinner Katrine did some crafts at the hotel’s Kiddie Playroom and we headed out once again to see the light show a the Parliment builidings. Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulities and a bug bite we had to leave shortly after the start of the show. Katrine however, was extremely impressed by the portion which we did manage to see.



This morning we were awoken by a bubbly toddler asking about the picnic and going home. Doesn’t sound odd except that it was 5:30 in the morning. Thank goodness for fruit loops. After breakfast we drove to the picnic site to begin a morning of bubbles, face painting, sliding, bouncing and much more. We were able to visit with the Terzis once more and Julia and Katrine enjoyed playing in the bubble soap while Julia’s dad blew bubbles for them. We also had the opportunity to meet the Zernentsch family who are part of Group 268. That was very exciting. Their daughter Rachel and Katrine had fun playing with some balloons and sharing snacks.

We had originally planned on staying until Monday so that we could get together with another family from Group 204 but it was not to be. Katrine has been battling ‘lower intestinal symptoms’ since Wednesday and it was getting to be a bit too much so we packed up and headed home.

54 Bubbles with Baba.

66 Bubble Girl!
57 Getting her nails done.

60 She had to get a butterfly on her face.


Lantern Festival Update

23Here we are right before they began to light up the lanterns. I think that the lantern pandas, bugs and dinosaurs were Katrine’s favourites. She kept saying “Wow! Pretty!” as she marvelled at the magic that was unfolding before her eyes.27 We were equally entranced by the array of colours and shapes. 3025

All of the lanterns were built on site at Ontario Place by craftsmen/women who traveled from China specifically to create these works of art. I have often seen what I thought were lovely lanterns in store windows or in movies. When we were in China during the New Year festivities we also saw bright red lanterns decorating the streets. However, these were truly extrodinary. The artists have created tableaus out of wire, lightbulbs and silk. We would highly recommend that you go to see this display sometime this summer.

The evening out also provided us with the opportunity to hook up with some friends who had adopted their daughters from Katrine’s orphanage. The girls had a wonderful time rediscovering eachother while we adults had a chance to get caught up.