Wednesday, 31 October 2012

No pictures please

This is the book I'm currently reading with the kids.  

We enjoy Jean Little's novels - I think this is the second or third one of hers we've read this year.  Today when we were reading it, I turned the book around to show the kids the picture on the page we were reading.  All I heard was "NO!!!!" which shocked me.  I thought kids liked seeing pictures in books??  When I asked what the problem was, they explained to me that they had the story imagined in their heads and they picture the characters in a certain way.  When novels have pictures in them, it totally ruins the pictures they've already created in their heads.  Hmmmm . . . that makes so much sense.  I'm so thankful God created us with imaginations and the ability to use them in our everyday work and play.  And now I know not to interfere with these imaginations when we're doing our read alouds!  

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Dot Art

We tried some dot art (aka pointillism) for art class last week.  I had good intentions with this lesson but it ended up being a bit lame.  I think the kids enjoyed it though so that's all that counts.  We're enjoying our Friday morning art classes with our friends and the combination of the six kids is working out well so far.  

Finished works of art:  

Falling Back in Space

I had Victoria and Austin work on these "falling back in space" pictures just for fun.  I got the idea from this website.  They started by tracing their hands and feet on a large piece of paper and then added in the head and arms and legs and finished up with other details.  Then they outlined the picture with a black sharpie marker and finished it with puck paints.  And there you have it . . . falling back in space.  I think they turned out great and Victoria and Austin had a lot of fun creating them.  Austin decided to make his a little freaky by making the eyes red and giving him some nice yellow buck teeth.  Beautiful.  I guess it's for Halloween.  LOL!  

I made Falafel!

That's right . . . I made Falafel!  And who knew they would be so good!?!  YUMMY!  I got the recipe from here and the picture came from there too.  I'm just getting back into this blogging thing so I didn't remember to take a picture of my food (I'm not sure that will ever come naturally to me!) but mine looked very similar. I got the recipe for the sauce I put on top from here.  It too was so good!  

A funny story.  When I went to start making the Falafel, I was opening the can of chick peas and Austin walked into the kitchen.  The conversation went something like this:

Austin:  Did you get those chick peas in the good food box Mom?
Me:  Nope. 
Austin:  No??  Then where did you get them?
Me:  I bought them.  
Austin:  WHAT??  Why would anyone want to buy chick peas???  

LOL!  So typical of Austin - it made me laugh so hard.  Cause seriously, if it's weird or different than something we would normally eat, it must've come from the good food box!  

(He was also shocked to find out that hummus - something we often have in the house - is made from chick peas.)

Monday, 29 October 2012

Book Review - Secret Daughter

This book tells the story of three people – Kavita the birth mom, Somer the adoptive mom, and Asha the daughter.  The story was extremely insightful and I appreciated the way the author portrayed the emotions of all three women.   Kavita and her feelings of guilt for not being able to raise her daughter.   Somer and her feelings of intimidation and fear with respect to her daughter’s birth mom and culture.  Asha and her feelings of wanting and needing to know more about her life in India – more than her adoptive parents are willing to share with her.  It really confirmed for me again the need to respect and honour the birth families of our kids as well as their countries and cultures.  It’s important our children feel comfortable asking questions and expressing their feelings about their early life before joining our family.  I believe we need to assist them and do everything in our power to help them get the answers they’re looking for. 

I enjoyed learning more about the country of India as well as Indian culture.  The author is the daughter of Indian immigrants from Mumbai where parts of the story take place. 

I don’t want to say a lot more about this book for fear I’ll give the story away.  It was a really good read and I would definitely recommend it.  

Happy Birthday Denver!

Happy Birthday to our handsome four year old!  Denver, I'm so happy that God put you in our family and allowed us to be your parents.  We love you so very much and are blessed every day by your sweet, loving nature and your huge smile.  You are such a snuggly boy who loves to kiss and hug . . . I hope that won't change now that you're four and getting all grown up!  

I love this picture of big brother Austin reading Denver's new book to his younger siblings. Sweet memories!  

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Good Food Box

1 head of celery
1 head of lettuce
1 rutabaga
3 onions
6 apples
3 orange peppers
1 bunch of bananas
2 heads of broccoli
1 butternut squash
9 potatoes
1 bag of carrots
1 cucumber

This is what was included in our Good Food Box.  This month was the first time we participated and I was very happy with what we got.  This program takes place at various locations and it's quite convenient.  Once a month you pick up a box of fresh produce - it costs $15 and you get at least $25 worth of good food.  I'm excited because it will encourage us to eat more vegetables and different things that we otherwise wouldn't buy.  I may have to be creative with some of the items to try to get the kids to eat them.  We'll see how it goes.  Here's a picture of the month's pick up.  

When I went to download my pictures, this one made me laugh!  I live with a cute little monkey that LOVES bananas.  Check it out!  

And now I have one major question . . . what in the world am I going to do with a rutabaga???  LOL!  

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Random notes to make people smile

The other day the kids and I went away on a day trip.  The kids knew we would be gone all day and when Mike came home for lunch and to let the dog out, this is what he found on the table:  

Victoria loves leaving notes around for people to find.  It's so special.  She has left them on our pillows so we find them when we go to bed.  She has left them in Mike's lunch so he finds them when he's at work.  She has left them for her siblings in various places.  It's always an unexpected surprise that we all love.  She has a real gift for making people smile this way and I hope she keeps it up for the rest of her life.    

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Fun with cardboard

It's no exaggeration to say Samara LOVES cardboard.  I'm not sure why but she saves a lot of it - cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, etc.  So when I received some packages in the mail, I wasn't surprised when Samara claimed the boxes as her own.  I'm not sure what she's doing in these pictures - hiding?  wearing them as clothes? - but regardless, she's having fun. 

After some scissors and markers, here's the final creation: 

Friday, 12 October 2012

After a library visit

If it's not book orders, it's a visit to the library.  This is what our table looked like when we got home from the library the other day.  I love how intently they're all looking at their books.  Juice and books and movies . . . oh my!  

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Book Order

There are few things as exciting as when our book orders arrive.  I love how the kids delve into their books and are so excited about what they're reading and learning.  It's like Christmas with an educational spin!  And I hear, "Check this out!" or "Hey Mom, did you know great white sharks don't have bones?  Just cartilage!"  So fun.  The kids get money from Grandma and Grandpa for their birthdays - money to spend specifically on book orders - so they get to pick out what they want themselves.  Thank you G & G!  As you can see, they LOVE book orders.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Victoria baking

Victoria has always loved to bake and now she’s old enough to do it on her own.  If it’s a new recipe I’m there by her side but she has a few that she’s done enough that I can just leave her to it.  Her siblings and dad also love it that she enjoys baking! 

I love it that she’s old enough to bake on her own but young enough to still enjoy doing it with her doll!  

Mmmmmmm . . . snickerdoodles!  One of her favourite things to bake. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Thankful for Church

We had an amazing Thanksgiving service at church on Sunday morning.  It was Compassion Sunday where the focus was on how, because we’ve been so very blessed, we can reach out to help those less fortunate in the world.  Our church’s focus is particularly on Haiti. 

Geoff Moore led the worship which was very moving.  He shared stories about his family and their adoption journeys as well as their experience supporting Compassion International.  Mike and I have been fans of his for a long time so we were excited when we heard he was coming to our church.  We had an opportunity to chat with him after the service.  Mike told him about how when he first became a Christian, his was one of the first Christian cd’s he owned.  We also shared with him how we had watched an interview with him and his wife where they spoke about their adoption journeys  and how that was one of the things that helped kick our adoption journey into action all those years ago.  He told us that was one of the only public interviews his wife did as she isn’t big on public appearances.  So it’s cool that we happened to see it at that particular point in our lives and how it made an impression on us. 

And speaking of making an impression, it was really neat because Geoff made a point of speaking for a few minutes especially to Victoria.  He told her how special she is and how beautiful she is.  He told her that she had an important role as a big sister and that even though it can be hard and it wasn’t a role she chose, God would give her strength to be the best big sister she can be.  He told her that she would be helping her little sister grow up to be a Godly woman.  And he told her that God had a very special plan for her life.  It was really neat and I think it will be something Victoria will remember for a long time. 

Samara wasn’t too interested in hanging around when I told her I wanted her to meet Mr. Moore.   When I told her that Mr. Moore had two daughters that were born in China just like her, her response was “So?!”  LOL – gotta love it! 

Here’s a picture of us all together.  It was taken on a phone so the quality isn’t the best.    

And by the way, Compassion International is a great organization that we've supported for many years.  We currently sponsor three children through them - Mike and I write to a little boy in Columbia, Victoria writes to a little girl in Ethiopia and Austin writes to a little boy in Ethiopia as well.  I highly recommend the organization and it's a relatively simple way to make a difference in the life of a child.  

Monday, 8 October 2012

Happy Birthday . . . .

. . . to the world's greatest husband and dad!  

We love you Mike/Daddy!!!  xoxoxoxo . . . 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Another good run

On Sunday, I laced up my shoes and set out for the annual 5k run I always participate in.  

This year I had the privilege of running with a buddy.  Austin had been asking for a long time if he could do the run with me.  So a few months ago, I told him if he was serious, he had to start training.  So that's just what he did.  I started slow with him and increased the distance bit by bit until he was able to join me in a 5k run.  After participating in this run for five years on my own, it was nice to have someone to do it with this time around.  I am so proud of his determination and his desire to run for a good cause.  Good job Austin!  Same time, same place next year??  

Who I was running for.  
Who Austin was running for. 
Getting ready to start.  

There's always so many people participating in this particular run that Mike and the kids had a hard time spotting us as we were nearing the finish line.  They didn't see us until we were almost right in front of them.  So the camera came out when we were already past (which is totally fine with me!)

I love how we're running in sync - right leg, left leg . . . 

Isn't he cute?  Check out that red face.  What a workout!  

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