Monday, August 17, 2015

2 weeks

2 weeks of summer left, I can't believe it!  We have had an AMAZING summer, I'm not ready for it to be done.  Definitely the most fun we've had as a family of 4.  We have great things still to come in the last couple of weeks and then begins grade 1 and kindergarten.  Can't believe that, either!  Fall will bring a very busy schedule as I increase my teaching schedule and Sammy begins full day school.  But, a blissfully relaxing and enjoyable summer has us ready to take it all on.  Hope you've had a great summer!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sammy Graduates Kindergarten

Dear Sammy,

It has been quite the year for you.  You happily went off to the first few weeks of school.  And then this happened and it took you a couple of months to feel comfortable about school again.  It was a tough time but you did still went every day, tried your hardest and you made it through.  We are so proud of you for this.  You made some really good friends and I had several parents tell me how kind and sweet you are in class.  You always did such a good job of sitting quietly, politely raising your hand but it took you longer to participate as you seemed content to sit back and observe.  You worked on this and made it one of your goals and by the end of the year, your report card said you were always participating (though still quietly) and a leader in that you spoke French and modeled it for the other kids.  Imagine that, you started off day 1 only really knowing a few numbers and how to say hello and goodbye and now you can speak in sentences and are sounding out spelling and reading in French.  Pretty incredible!  You are a lovely 6-year-old who reads anything and everything now, leaves fun little notes for us, has lost 3 teeth, has rapidly excelled at playing the piano and loves school.  We are so proud of the growth you've shown this year, not just academically but emotionally as well.  You're fantastic!

Love Mama

1st day of Kindergarten:


Last day of Kindergarten:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Presley Graduates Preschool

Dear Presley,

Today you had your last day of preschool.  Yesterday was your concert/graduation and today was a fun field trip to the park.  You were most excited about riding a city bus there.  When I picked you up, you reported that you got to take TWO city buses there and I thought, wow, your teacher is so brave to manage a transfer with the morning AND afternoon preschool classes!  Presley, you've had such a fun year.  We've had some bumps with your best buddy quitting the program halfway through the year and your first experience with a "mean girl".  You handled it all with poise and grace beyond your years.  You act so mature and grown up that I sometimes forget that you're just 4.  You really blossomed in the last few months at school.  You know all the kids by name and have several favourites.  You're reading early readers and love the Biscuit series.  You are starting to get curious about words on signs and wanting to know how to spell things.  You are unstoppable on your 2-wheel bike and now all 4 of us can go for long bike rides.  You keep up despite having the shortest legs of the family!  We are so proud of the sweet, caring, polite, smart and lovely little girl that you are.  This is just the start, you're going to go far!!

Love Mama

1st day of preschool:

Last day of preschool:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Night Before...

I'm sitting in a quiet house, Shawn is out biking, the girls have gone to bed and I'm reading past blog entries about the girls' first day of school.  I can't believe tomorrow is their last day.  We have had ups and downs this year.  Mostly ups and ending on an up so for that I am grateful.  This year feels like it has passed in a blur and while I'm excited for our summer, I'm also sad that the girls are done school.  They were confused when I told them this at bedtime tonight.  I said it meant they were growing up.  And at this, they were even more confused because they thought it was a good thing that they're growing up.  And it totally is.  But, like I told them, it also means they're not my babies anymore and that is unbelievably bittersweet.  So, I will savour the quietness tonight and reflect on their growth and enjoy one last night of having a preschooler and a kindergartener.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day 2015

We spent Father's Day in Waterton.  Seems fitting to celebrate Shawn in his favourite place, doing his favourite thing!  We started by having a lunch picnic by the river.

Then we headed up to Cameron Lake and showed the girls the spot where Shawn proposed, 9 years ago.

 We did the hike around the lake.  No elevation gain which made it super easy for the girls.

 You can rent boats at the lake and we decided, why not?!  They recommended the girls go in the back and us go in the front.  Which probably would work fine, except steering was in the back...and the girls were having a tough time realizing you needed to steer the opposite direction you wanted to go.  We couldn't stop making circles!  The wind was blowing us to the other end of the lake and we were happy to sit in the sun relaxing.  And then came time to head back.  Against the wind.  Wow, was it tough!!! We couldn't rest or we would wind up back where we started.  We did it, though, and it makes for a funny story.  The employees were impressed we made it back within an hour despite getting so far.

 It was chilly on the water.  I thought I was packing too much by packing warm things for our heads but it just goes to show, you can never overpack for the mountains.
 After a snack, we checked out another hike that neither of us had noticed or done before.  It was worth the small detour.  We really tired out the girls.  They slept during the drive down the mountain!

We had a fire and cooked supper...along with hundreds of caterpillars.  They were EVERYWHERE.  I have never seen it so bad. Luckily no one is scared or squeamish of them.  I have to admit that I ate standing up, though!
 S'mores for dessert, perfect way to end the day.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Adventures

Now that the girls are older, we are really into getting them hiking with us.  It's one of our favourite things to do and being in the mountains is pretty much our favourite place to be.  We are really fortunate that we live fairly close to the mountains so we can do day trips.  We've already been to Waterton twice this year so yesterday we decided to head to a different part of the mountains and visited Crowsnest Pass.  It's about 90 minutes away so we packed lunch and supper, left after breakfast and were still home for a reasonable bedtime.

We started off the day by having a picnic at a park.  The girls are posing with the largest piggy bank (in the world?  Canada?  I can't recall!).

This one has really gotten into posing for the camera.  Not something we taught her!

Presley always wants to take her own pictures.  She loved all the big dandelions and needed to take a picture!

After lunch we hiked to this waterfall.  The Crowsnest Pass area is rich in history and this particular hike was the same walk miners would take to work every day in the early 1900s.

After our hike, we let the girls cool off in the spray park.  There was a birthday party having water gun fights and we got caught in the crossfire several times and it was refreshing!  A super hot day, Shawn and I both got little sunburns.  Then we headed to Frank Slide.  I remember being absolutely fascinated by this as a child.  One of the peaks of Turtle Mountain collapsed in 1903 and covered the town of Frank in 90 million tons of limestone.  It's Canada's deadliest rockslide and there is a hiking trail carved out of all the rocks.  We thought the girls would be tired by this point but after completing the trail, Sammy begged to do it again!

 Open this one larger for a better idea of the rock coverage.

After 2 hikes on such a hot day, we had to stop for ice cream!

One last stop before we headed back home.  Pictured is Lunbreck Falls.

It was such a great day.  We are really loving these (pre) Summer adventures.  Up next is a backyard campout.  We have a busy day on Saturday so we don't have time to go somewhere camping so we will do the next best thing!

Friday, June 5, 2015


Today Shawn turns 36!!  Not sure how we got older so quickly but here we are!  Speaking about a partner on a birthday is always so cliche but it must be done.  The girls are so lucky to have Shawn for a dad.  He is loving, kind, patient and fun.  And I, of course, am so lucky to have found Shawn for my partner.  He is a true partner that makes my life better simply because he's in it.  Happy Birthday, Shawnyboy!!