October 7, 2018
Big family thanksgiving dinner featured Sarah (plus boy), Uncle Dave and Auntie Karen and family, Auntie Heather and Andre, Uncle Mark, Grandma J, Uncle Chris and Auntie Yukiko and family, Auntie Janice and of course our crew of hooligans.
We made a kid table for all nine cousins, even Michael and told Erika and Elizabeth they were responsible for feeding him. It actually worked for the main course!
Turkey supper with sweet potato and corn. Squash, salad with many toppings to be added. Uncle Chris brought his famous rolls and pumpkin pie - including one that was gluten free!
Mila and Simon from across the street came over to play before supper. Then we kicked them out, and they came back after we were done eating.
After supper the kids built a massive fort to sleep in and Erika stayed for a sleepover. Maria is not a fan of sleepovers, so she went home to sleep in her own bed.
October 6, 2018
Matthew has kind of been looking over his shoulder as Erika and Maria get closer and closer to passing him. All indicators are that they are headed to grading this month and so he was motivated to actually practice at home with his sister in a last ditch effort to grade as well.
It won't make a practical difference; technically they have already passed him since he's in the tyke "half belt" system and they are kids so he'll be staying in his current class and they'll be moving into the exciting "allowed to spar" intermediate belt classes, but with some hard work he might make it into intermediate before the girls graduate out of it.
In any case he was super excited to get his third stripe, so hopefully he can keep it together for that all important red one.
Auntie Janice here.
My dear friend Chantal told me she'd be visiting Ottawa with her husband Andrew and her son. They live quite far away, so I hadn't met Philippe yet... and so we decided to meet up somewhere he could run around. "Why don't you bring along some nieces and nephews?" she suggested. As it happened, Amelia and Matthew were the available ones, so off we went.
We arrived just in time for the tractor "train" ride, which included a delightfully incomprehensible 3 minute tour of the farm crops. Then there were animals to climb on. Then we went to feed the goats. Philippe was rather fearless and even went right up to pet a couple goats who had just been crashing into each other headbutting etc... Amelia and Matthew were predictably much more concerned about not being eaten. "Scary" came up a few times from A. After washing our hands, we saw some unusual chickens, and then found the "tractor" tricycles. Sadly Amelia was only *just* too small to make the pedals go around, but she was awfully attached to the tractors nonetheless. This is unsurprising. Amelia LOVES "her" cars. Then we took a look through some little museums with old things in them, and made our way to the play structures.
WHOA. THE PLAY STRUCTURES. There were so many of them. They were so well made! There was a house, a boat, a train, a fort, a ship, a tractor... My personal favourites included an airplane and a working grain elevator. You used little shovels to dump the sand into the trucks below... very collaborative, and I might have had more fun doing it than the kids did... though they enjoyed it a lot. To finish off, we decided to do the little walk in the woods, but "the big dark woods" were "too scary" for Amelia and it was starting to drizzle a tiny bit so I took her back to the play structures while we waited. More playing, and then we all went home. SO much fun all around. Great suggestion, Cha-chi!
October 5, 2018
The fort magic building pieces have gotten a LOT of use over the last two and a half years; so much that some of the connectors are starting to wear out and will need to be replaced.
Matthew and Elizabeth are now old enough that they can build very elaborate things; Amelia enjoys it too but tends to demand that someone helps her build specific ideas. Recently she's been playing at being a scary tiger in a cage.
The other kids thought this was a great idea. Elizabeth and her friend Ruici turned it into a Michael trap.
October 4, 2018
It is now firmly fall, even though the temperature has been swinging wildly and we've had quite a very +30C days. Amelia is very excited to be wearing long sleeves and sweaters, even if the thermometer doesn't always agree.
Fall means that we have a new "household deficiency" list to work on. Twice a year we walk around our house and photograph all the outstanding maintenance items, prioritizing them.
This year we ended up with a list of about 80 items - quite a few that we wanted done "before winter". We've been working away on the list ever since.
In addition to many of our regular fall tasks, we replaced the patio doors, cleared out the garage, repainted the exterior garage walls, replaced the raccoon's toilet (aka the little roof at the back of the garage), and rerouted our TV cable under the house extension. The last one represents a big milestone because the kids were actually able to go under the house and do a lot of the messy work. This is good because I'm getting to the life stage where I no longer think this is exciting and Brendan just doesn't fit. I am also no longer comfortable sitting up on a roof or climbing a ladder. My balance changed quite a lot after pregnancy and it just doesn't seem to be coming back. I did manage to do what needed doing but I was NOT happy about it.
One thing that we haven't yet had to do is raking leaves. Not having to rake is one good thing that has come out of losing our beautiful tree.
-April Fool's Day