October 11, 2014
Mountain Orchard

Our "must-do" chores for the day were done unexpectedly early so I bundled the kids into the car and headed for our closest orchard. Daddy stayed behind to work on the basement in peace. Elizabeth wasn't too pleased to hear this meant going to Mountain Orchard (a new place!) instead of the slightly longer drive to the place we went last year, but she was soon consoled by the discovery that it also had a play structure. And apples.


Matthew was quite excited to pick apples off the tree, though there was a learning curve - he found the wormy ones on the ground easier to pick up and couldn't understand why Elizabeth and Mommy didn't want him to eat those!

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October 8, 2014
Butterflies 2014

I picked Elizabeth up from school early so we could go on our annual field trip to see the Carleton butterflies. I hadn't wanted to brave the weekend lines, so I was thrilled when we managed to time it such that we basically didn't wait in line at all!

Elizabeth was super excited because they made bread at school. She apologized quite a few times that it wasn't gluten free so I couldn't try it, because it was "SUPER YUMMY".

Last year was gruesome with school crowds trampling the poor insects and my terrified small children not too sure about the dangerous butterflies possibly touching them. This year Elizabeth actually attempted to catch her own butterfly. Matthew did not want to hold his own butterfly though (a very nice lady thought he might like to hold her orange with butterfly - nope!)

Afterwards I still had quite a lot of time left on my parking voucher and it was a gorgeous fall day so I told the kids we could play in the leaves a bit.

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October 5, 2014
Xander's THREE!

It was party weekend and long past time to celebrate Xander's birthday which was technically last month. He's into Bob the Builder so had a construction theme to his party. Elizabeth approved, especially of the many chocolate options. The kids spent quite a while playing outside and were sorry when it was time to go home.

We gave him a sock monkey umbrella from the "store with the skunk" (aka the Christmas store in Huntsville). Elizabeth kind of thought she ought to have one too. Grandma H wrote Xander his very own book for his birthday! Lucky boy!

Erika did come too, but she spent most of the afternoon arguing with her dad so she's not in any of the photos.

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October 4, 2014
Brendan's party

We had the whole crew over to celebrate Brendan's birthday on the weekend. Lasagna, garlic bread, Caesar salad and homemade gluten free black raspberry forest cake. Of course the cake was too hot when I iced it as usual, so we had to get creative with chopsticks to hold it together...

Brendan wanted to go to Home Depot before the party and we were amused to discover it was fire safety awareness day or something. A real live fireman gave Elizabeth and Matthew fire chief hats. Matthew promptly threw his into the cart but Elizabeth would sleep in hers if she could.

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October 3, 2014
Happy Hearts!
Auntie Janice here.

In case you missed the backstory to Happy Hearts:
Our lovely next door neighbour NoŽmie loves having fashion shows with her friends. Then they decided they would do one as a fundraiser for CHEO research, and they invited all their parents and neighbours. They raised 22$, and Noemie's mom asked around and arranged a meeting where she could drop off her proceeds herself. The researchers accepted the donation with a huge thank you, and a tour of the facilities to show Noemie all the ways her money was helping other children. "I'd like to do another fashion show" she proclaimed as the tour ended...

She went around to many children's clothing stores, asking for their help in donating clothes. Almost every single one agreed. Then other stores agreed to donate silent auction items. Catherine (Noemie's mom) quickly did some hasty math of how many outfits had been donated, and thus how many parents would be coming for sure. Hmm... Not going to fit in the backyard. Thankfully the Canada Aviation and Space Museum stepped up and donated their huge rental space. Many other sponsors helped with everything from tablecloths and snacks to the very important stage, DJ, and photographer!

When I arrived at the museum, there was a huge number of wonderful volunteers taking tickets, directing me to the seats, and pointing out the silent auction items. I happily signed up for quite a few, and was later delighted when I won at least four of them. Elizabeth had been there since much earlier, practicing for her debut modelling career (link to previous post). There was just enough time to check the tables, and then to sit down before the main event.

The show itself was delightful. Each store was announced, and then the outfits were modelled two by two down the catwalk. Some of the models were clearly more comfortable with the crowd- but all were adorable! The sass and spunk of one set of models was occasionally followed by the very shy little models who couldn't quite figure out where they were supposed to be going. Elizabeth hit somewhere in the middle. She didn't look nervous, but didn't smile, and despite all our best efforts to catch her attention... We barely had time to get a picture! Turns out she was distracted by her partner who wasn't doing something quite right, but anyways it looked fabulous nonetheless. The last few outfit "poses" were very exciting- a number of models decided to show off their gymnastics skills, with all the audience holding their breath. It was quite a thrill, but thankfully none of the kids needed the services of the myriad of CHEO specialists that were sitting in the audience.

Then there was the silent auction completion, a final dance party as they tallied the results... And by the next morning we had heard the final numbers: over $13000 in funds raised for CHEO.

HURRAH! Happy Hearts was a resounding success, and while Noemie's parents would prefer she run a lemonade stand next year... I can't help but think of the Ryan's Well foundation and the power that children in our communities have to change the world. I for one look forward to attending the next Happy Hearts Fundraiser! ... or the lemonade stand, for that matter. Who doesn't love lemonade?

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