Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Mash Up

Christmas is so much fun. We are having a lovely time here on the veranda this year. I am quite enjoying my week off from work. I am not even wearing my watch, just timing the day on the kids and the activities we are doing. Today was swimming at the fun pool with friends. The other day Keith built a maze/fort in the backyard for the girls. Although now that it is butt cold again, we haven't used it since... Tomorrow is library/pet shop day. Books for Abby and I, viewing of puppies she will never get for Mina. (sounds kind of sad, but she still can dream...) It was quite a sad moment when I had to inform dear Mina that Santa does not bring live animals for Christmas. Only toys, and sometimes clothes and underwear. Yes, even though he is magic. Poor girl. I heard her little heart break a little bit. We did, however, compensate by visiting a friend's house on Christmas Eve where there were 3 very excited and happy dogs who Mina could run around with and let lick her all night long.

The JW's came to my door again. They visit every few weeks, and are very nice. I like to share words of wisdom from the golden plates with them. Well, today they were telling me all about the myths of Christmas. Usually, when we chat, I do not get offended, and we usually agree some if not all of the things they decide to talk about that week. Well, I finally found out why they do not recognize Christmas. Yes, they do believe in Jesus Christ, and that he was born in a manger and so forth, but, do not celebrate this because "no where in the bible does it say to celebrate this event." My goodness! HF sent an incredibly huge star! It was so big you could not tell day from night! Angels were sent and sang beautiful songs! Shepherds and wise men alike came from near and far! They even brought gifts. Sounds like a celebration to me. I wish I had thought to say this when they were still in my doorway, and not 10 minutes later, which is usually the case with me when it comes to important discussions, arguments, petty disagreements etc. I can never think clearly enough during the conversation and only come back when it is too late. Anyhow.. Here are some of the things we do to celebrate Christmas:
  • Make cookies! Stay up late decorating them. Share them with friends, and make sure to have enough to eat at least a dozen of them yourself.
  • Have a gingerbread house decorating party with the neighbours kids. FUN!
  • Turkey dinner. 3 this year! I over booked our social schedule in an attempt to keep so busy that I would not notice that my sista's and the cousins were far far away. It did not help. I noticed.
  • Have a mini-tree in the girls room so that they can play with and decorate it all season long.
  • New jammies for Christmas Eve! This year they were homemade princess style.
  • Tobogganing: still to come, weather dependent.
  • Cinnamon buns for breakfast - this will be a New Years day thing this year, I hope to be more organized next time around. I found a recipe where you fold cream cheese into the dough, like the way you add butter and fold/roll when making puff pastry. It looks delish and a bit complicated, and I cannot wait to try it.
  • Little presents tucked into the tree. This is something they do in England that Keith's mom did for her kids. So we are carrying on this tradition and it is very fun.
  • Online shopping! Three cheers! A friendly, sometimes foreign, fed ex/UPS/Canada Post driver brings parcels right to the door. How wonderful! I really liked this part.
  • I also really like the "marathons" on TV. Even though I don't get to veg out watching TV long enough for a marathon, I love them, and look forward to a day when I can watch all the Harry Potters back to back.
Those are some Christmas things that I like to do with my family. I realize that the bible does not say to specifically do any of those things, but we do it anyway. I love Christmas hymns and carols especially, and nativity sets, and watching my girls act of the Christmas story. I love doing secret giving, and hearing Abby and Mina sing "away in a manger" in their bunk bed, not knowing that I am listening from the hallway. I love knowing that Christ was born, and lived and taught and showed us the way. I am thankful. I will celebrate.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

And Then There Was Light!

Yes, and then there was light. Created by my former Christmas (almost) grinch, Disney suspicious, husband. Now he has not only been to the happiest place on earth no less than 3 times, but has also, with no prodding, pleading, nagging or asking by his Christmas fanatic wife, purchased and installed Christmas lights on our humble abode! I must say, I am very thrilled. We have only ever had them over the door before, because that was all I could reach with the small ladder. But, lo and behold, this year we are the brightest house on the block! One of the best things about living here, when it is dark by the crack of 4:47 PM, is that we get to enjoy the Christmas lights that much longer. I have always loved Christmas lights, and now I have some too. Best Christmas gift ever. Thanks Keith. You are the best.

Friday, November 26, 2010

and so the seasons turn.

...for the worse, Keith would say. And there are some things I agree with him about. Such as:
  • Driving the short distance from the grocery store to your home causes all of your fresh produce to freeze and it is ruined. We will die of scurvy! I imagine having to crawl back to the store on my rickety legs, and eating raw potato's from the shelf.
  • Blinking while outdoors is hazardous. Every time you do, your eyelashes freeze together, and when your eyes open, at least a few of them have ripped out. But you don't feel it, because your skin is frozen. Soon, we will all look like we have alopecia.
  • Having to really consider whether or not to adjust the rear view mirror in the car. Choosing not to, because if you do, the plastic will very likely break (just like that time the door handle snapped off) and then you won't have a mirror at all. So you drive like Quasimoto attempting to see out the back window when having to change lanes.
These things, and others, make winter awful. But there are also some very great things, and I was trying to convince Keith of this the other day.

  • In the morning, early, walking to the train. No one else is around, and yours are the only footprints. It is dark, the sky is clear and there are more stars then you remember, and it is so quiet because of the new snow which is crunchy and sparkling.
  • The sharp intake of excited breath from the kids, who on seeing the new snow want to go outside immediately, even with jammies on under their snowpants to go and play in it.
  • Christmas lights. Although those inflatables really annoy me.
  • My birthday.
  • Tobogganing down very dangerous hills. Hot chocolate in a thermos.
  • The sound of shovels scraping all around your neighborhood. It echo's at night and everyone sounds so industrious.
  • Having an unspoken contest with your neighbour to see who can shovel each other's sidewalk the most.
  • Seeing the city lights when driving at night, well, anytime after 4:30 when it is dark, always reminds me of driving to Calgary at Christmas time and we would be sleepy and excited, and we would drive over that last hill and there would be this sea of city lights in front of us and we knew we were there.
And those are a few of my favourite things.

Friday, November 05, 2010

In Lieu of Halloween

Here is Georgia, who I am smitten with. She wanted to play with ME, not her mom! I think I now qualify as a fun favourite Auntie!
And here, Big and Little Red have a fun game of peek-a-boo. Again, very cute.
Ah, the Hogwart's express, with Oakley wandering off to do his own thing. Oh Oakley, we should implant you with a GPS microchip.
Eden and Abby together. They were so nice to eachother the whole time! I expected some girlie disagreements, but nope, they were both very happy and sharing the whole time! I am one proud mamma!
Ah, the Butterbeer. That alone is reason to go back again. Butter beer is like a rootbeer float, but with a butterscotch/caramel flavour. Very good!

We had a great time in Orlando, and accomplished some excellent cousin bonding. Thank you Dad for a wonderful fun trip! Everyone had a blast, and many great memories were made.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Great Wind

Here is a funny story about my dear husband. He works very hard, and does many different things during the day. Yesterday, he found himself on top of an industrial building's roof, and a great wind came up. The great wind blew down his ladder and he was stranded on the top of the roof. Luckily, he was rescued not too long after the great wind. The End.

My day at work was not nearly as interesting. However I did sneeze really hard, and got a bloody nose. So I had so sit in the back and wait for it to stop. Very embarrassing and inconvenient. I like to think that perhaps Keith was stranded on the roof, and I was sitting in the staff room bleeding at the same time. Ahh, bonding.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Cute Little Old Lady in the Mall

You know how strangers will observe you and your children, and find that they really must go up to you, even though they don't know you from Adam!, and deliver some obviously much needed advice? When my girls were babies and toddlers (sigh), I very often got: "you know, you should really out some mittens on your poor child". Because I am such a dummy that I obviously want my kids to loose their fingers to frostbite. But really I had just put mittens on them 8 times walking down one block and had finally given up. Often people would comment, or raise their eyebrows about how and what I fed my kids. Usually it was something related to nursing my babies. Even then, I did not react emotionally, I am pretty levelheaded about these things. Even when strangers are stupid, they usually do not mean any harm.

Today Mina and I went to the mall with a friend (Yay! I have a friend!!) and her girls. Mina had a knock-down drag-out tantrum. I had finally caught up to her and brought her to a bench and was holding on to her while she finished her outburst. A little old lady comes over. I think she had been at the mall to get her hair blued. She stoops down to us and hisses to Mina (with perio breath, I might add. NuNu will understand the horrors.)


Holy crappola! Who says that to their kids? Who says that to other peoples kids? What an awful awful thing to say to a sad and angry little girl and her flustered mother! I could not believe it! Now poor little Mina has another reason to cry. I did not even know what to respond to this wicked witch, so I picked Mina off the bench and carried her to the car assuring her that she could be as bad as she wanted and I would never ever ever take her to a bad man. And that the little old lady was really the wicked witch from Hansel and Gretel. (well, I did not actually say that part..)

So. Watch out for cute little old ladies. Especially the ones with blue hair. There is something unnatural about them.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Which I Finally Post Some Photos

So that my readers will not be so bored! I have been v. lazy about that. So here we go, although I seem to be impaired as far as labelling and downloading them in order goes. So, bare with me.

see- look! Now the text is below all of the pictures! Sheesh. So, first off is Keith and the girls, on the happy happy celebration of his birth. Which was quite lovely, especially as I finally have my own fenton milk glass cake salver. Why yes, after many tries, I became an ebay winner, and no longer have to covet my sister's cake stand. The solution to covetousness, is to just get your own, (whether it be a cake stand, or your neighbours wife... ha ha...)

And then, Abigael on her first day of grade 2. She has requested that her teacher call her Abigael this year. My, how grown up of her.

And lastly, a sister grouping. We had a fun weekend here before the departure of Bunny to Halifax, and P's imminent departure to DC. She looks happy here, but I think we did not quite fill the void left by her absent husband... If you look closely in the background, you can see my other milk glass aquisition, a 2 tiered desert plate found in an antique mall.

Later I will post some pictures of the parents, yes dad and mom are here this weekend to enjoy the corn fest at my church!. How fun. Taber corn for all, and a display of peoples talents - I am going to display my wedding dress. Now I must be off to make sure that mom does not eat all of the sugar I have in the house.

Monday, August 16, 2010

2 random thoughts, and one confession.

  • Sometimes I think it would be funny if we (we meaning people with weird names) changed our names to the words that spell check thinks that we mean. My top two alternative spell check names are: serene and veranda. I rather like to think of myself as Serene Veranda when I am blogging, or sending e mails, or signing my name to anything that has spell check enabled. When I google my name, I end up with stories about a racehorse, and pictures of a porno model, who uses my name as a stage/print name, or Axel Rose's ex wife. Which is a bit funny because in high school, I could do a great Axel impersonation.
  • A recent Mina conversation: M: mom, what are these holes in my nose called? S.V.: "nostrils" M: "Look mom, I can put my tongue inside my nostrils!" That little girl is so flexible she can pick her nose with her tongue. What a time saver...
  • Sometimes, instead of making dinner, I make peanut butter cookies, or apple pie. And, I don't really feel bad about it. (I have found a great sour cream pastry recipe that was wonderful and easy! I normally have trouble with pastry, but this recipe is great. Maybe I'll post it later.)
Serene Veranda

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

First half of Summer re-cap

Summer is half over! We have had rain and thunder all summer long here, so it has not really seemed summer-y. Although truth be told, I hate the heat, and love electrical storms. We have had a fun summer so far though.
  • We had a visit to SL, and put in some good beach time with the family.
  • We have gone swimming at the wave pool, where I had some great bonding time with Abby. I have been thinking about her attitude problems, and perhaps she just needs more quality mom time. Her happiness factor jumped by nearly a million that day, when she and I hung out at the pool and I did not have to say "no" all day. I think that I need to treat her more like the 7 year old she is, rather than the grown up she seems to be.
  • Abby has attended horse camp, and plans to go again next year. So if anyone wants to contribute cans, bottles, and milk jugs, they are welcome for the cause! She even went on the overnight sleepover. I think it was hard for her, as she forgot her special blanket, and had a nose bleed that night. Also there was an incredible lightning storm that night. But she did it!
  • We have been to the zoo, and the girls are going again with their babysitter. Much fun was had, especially seeing Uncle Dan fold himself into the child sized train compartment.
  • Fort Edmonton has been conquered, by 6 cousins! That was a very fun day, except for the grumpy conductor who does not like children to have any fun. He needs a new job - he takes trains way to seriously!
  • Keith, my most excellent husband, who not only can fix anything, but can also make anything better, even when you did not know it was in need of betterment, installed a hot tap for the hose outside! So now, the kids can fill the wading pool with water that is not ice cold! Yay!
  • Also earning him the best husband ever award, is when he set up a ladder and brought Abby and I up to the roof of the garage to watch the fireworks. The yearly exhibition happens merely blocks away from home. Usually this only serves to bother me, as the outdoor stage is really loud when I am trying to go to sleep. But getting to see fireworks 10 nights in a row is a pretty cool perk. If we ever move, we should list that on the feature sheet.
  • Canada Day was celebrated at our church's pancake breakfast. We have a super activities lady now, and she throws the best parties. There was a jumpy castle, more than enough food, a bike parade, singing the whole national anthem by the flag. Very fun. I love my country. And also my church.
  • We are renewing our mortgage. It is all very grown up. I met with the bank lady and she was very impressed with the state of our finances! It was quite a compliment to hear that we are doing a few things right! It made me feel like staying in this house, rather than taking on the debt of a bigger/better place. We can pay off our mortgage within 10 years! This thought made me feel much happier about my home. Although now rather than dreaming of building a new house, I am consumed with thoughts of building an addition... I think in another life I would like to be an architect/designer/engineer of houses and develop floor plans and blueprints all day.
I am sure there is more, and there is still another snow-less month to enjoy. But, today, I must go and get my tire fixed. As is exploded yesterday. (Well, that is how it felt. Really, I just ran over a nail. A nice stranger named Frank helped my change it. Thanks Frank!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mixed Bag

Tell me, why is this blue and underlined, and why are the pics in the wrong place? You will have to deal with it. I don't have the patience to fix it. Above, are 3 lovely donut eaters. I have another picture of Ivy just after this bite, with colourful sprinkles all over her cheeks. Very cute. Alas, blogger decided not to load it properly. Notice, as the picnic table says, we were in Colfax.
And here is young Goldilocks. The bedtime curlers worked magic!
Above is my slipcover project! Imagine that there is a hem in place, it is not quite finished yet. I have decided that my home furnishings etc. will never really be subdued. I have kids, and I like the colours. I may place a red throw on the couch though, to tame the blooms a bit.

In other news...
City Mouse vs: Country Mouse.
Remember that story, with the 2 cousin mice? Well, I kid of volley in between being a city mouse, an country mouse. I love my new commute to work. I walk about 8 minutes to the train station, jump on the train, where I watch strangers going about their lives, and dream up novels based on the snippets I observe.

Like the man who was running for the train and just as he got in the door, a white plastic horse fell out of his pocket and clattered down to the platform. He turned and looked at it, trying to open the door to get it, but it was too late and the train sped away. Was it his daughter's horse? Was it a gift for a little boy's birthday? Was it his good luck bingo charm? We will never know. Or, the man in the expensive suit, with really nice leather shoes. He had a laptop, but was using it to balance a plastic case in which his needle point supplies were resting. He was quietly cross-stitching a scene of a lighthouse, with waves crashing up against what would become rocks. Who is this corporate cross-stitcher? Is he an lawyer, zenning out on the train before a big case? The plastic surgeon from the 14th floor, whom I am working up the courage to see about my droopy eyelids? Alas, we do not know.

Then, voila, 10 minutes later I am in the lobby of my building. I even have a doorman guy, Abdul. There is a Timmys in my lobby, and even though there are often 30 people in line, I can get served in about 4 minutes. I think I will buy Abdul a coffee next week. Then up to my 8th floor office, where I can look out the window and see planes landing and taking off at the muni, trains far off in the distance, and automobiles down below. If I had binoculars, I could peek into the window of the room where my first born took her first breath. I have a wonderful new job that seems too good to be true. (my boss likes to go down to the lobby and buy candy inbetween patients.) 2 blocks down there is a high end grocery store which I will check out over lunch one day, if it ever stops raining. Plus a huge new and used book store across the street.

These are things I love about the city. I am trying very hard to notice the things I love about the city and my place in it, because I often get caught up in complaining about all of the things I hate about city life. But I am not going to do that today.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


To all who read this Meagre blog: You are invited to our end of the year dancing celebration on Saturday May 8! Abby is very excited, because it means she will not have to wear the squeezy headband, and Mina also gets to dance and "dress like a flower".

On an aside note, would it be improper if I had the bishop announce once and for all in sacrament meeting that: "No, Sister Nixon is not pregnant. She has merely gained 6 pounds, which puts her at a much healthier weight than her previous all time high of 98. So go and concentrate on your own extra 50 or so and mind your own freaking business. Let us pray."

Monday, April 12, 2010

What we did for Easter.

Hi all. I can't figure out how to arrange pictures in the right order with text... That is the cake, of delicious raspberry goodness that P and I made for Easter desert. It was V. yummy! (Patience, I stole that "V" thing from you. I hope you don't mind.)
Here is Abby, getting her make up done. Very fancy. Nothing makes this girl happier than some girl time with an Auntie.
Here are the girls, and their surrogate parents for the weekend at the zoo. Abby was not interested in having her picture taken at this time. And, I should have cropped out that stranger. oh well.

We had a very fun time visiting P and D over Easter. The egg hunt in the apartment was really fun, Mina was so excited about finding eggs in her shoes! Thank you for having us! The girls are amassing a feather collection to tickle Uncle Dan with for next time....

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Guest Blogger!

Introducing my new guest blogger! Here is the very first post by Abigael! Mar. 21 2010

Hi! I just cut my hair. I get to go to my friend's birthday party!It's at Lets Play.

Well, thank you Abigael, for joining Meagre Offerings today. How fancy of me to have a Guest Bloger! Mina is a bit to young to blog as of yet. If she could, she would write: " I'm hungry. But I don't like any of the things you are suggesting to eat. All I want is a peanut butter and jam sandwich. I'm a robot."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday's Trials

Well, it is Tuesday. A terrific day to :
  • be attacked by your babysitter's dog. (I am okay, other than being bruised and sore.) But he tore a hole in my NEW FAVOURITE hoodie. And now I am rather terrified of him. My new babysitter starts in April! YAY! (decision unrelated to dog incident).
  • discover that someone tried to break in to my car. Silver lining, the damage is not big, I think someone came by while the jerk was getting started. So I might become the next annoying person with a sensitive car alarm that goes off every time someone walks by. Sorry. Jerks.
  • finish antibiotics. Discover that at least part of my ear/sinus/head infection must not be bacterial because my head still feels like there is a wrecking ball swinging back and forth inside of it. Although my ear does feel better, and the roof of my mouth is no longer numb.
Ponder excess weight.
  • My cups overfloweth. Rather nicely I must say. Keith agrees.
  • It is much healthier to be more than 100 lbs.
  • It is good to have a couple of those extra lbs for the lean times of crohn's which overcome me.
  • My pants do not button comfortably. Which reminds me of the extra lbs every minute of every day and that is what makes me feel fat.
  • Today there was a slight jiggle when I drove over a pot hole. Not a nice feeling.
  • I can no longer get away with eating a bakers dozen of sugar cookies with thick buttercream frosting. This is very sad, and I think about those cookies daily. I think this is what my sisters meant when they would talk about the evils of butter all day long. Now I understand, and I apologize for having being annoyed at the time about it.
  • I think the best thing to do is to buy a couple of new pairs of pants.
PS: I like bullet lists. They make me feel justified in using poor grammar.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Keeping Promises

Abby's first Ukrainian Dancing performance was a couple of weeks ago. It was at a seniors home, and many of the residents were asleep in their wheelchairs. Cute story about 2 of the ladies who live there. They are the best of friends, do everything together, hold eachother up when they walk down the halls, eat together in the dining room, do crafts together. One speaks only Portugese, the other only Ukrainian. Neither can understand a word the other says! They were very happy sitting together, watching the kids.

In this dance school, you rent the costumes - and just have to pay for cleaning at the end of the year. No more mom's having to figure out how to make them! Sweet. They actually buy the costumes directly from a village in the old country. 3 of Abby's primary classmates are in her dance class. Abby will be having an end of the year thing too - I'll give you dates soon. Mina will dance at that one too. (her class just does the one performance.)

Well, I tried to upload the video, but it is just to darn slow. I tried! So Instead I will instruct you on how to dress like a 3 year old.

1: Put on a brightly coloured shirt. Backwards. (Certainly do not choose the shirt that your mum hunted for at the mall for 3 hours that matches the skort she made you.)
2: Ignore the fact that it is still winter time. Put on the cute Diego skort your mum made you. (because the Thomas the Train one is dirty.)
3: Add a pair of purple fairy socks. The skatey ones that you can skate with on the floor. (All socks must be skatey, or do not even bother buying them. Even though the rubber grips would be so helpful for a girl who falls down as much as this one does.)
4: You must always wear a hat. Actually, a toque. Every day and all day, it must be on. Otherwise your hair gets in your face and causes endless tantrums and gets food in it.
5: Cover the big scrapes on your knees with special Diego bandaids. (Hey - they match the skort!) The scrapes are because you were not wearing tights, leggings, pants or snowpants when you went running down the sidewalk, with your winter boots on the wrong feet, and fell. Hard. In front of the gorcery store, with big tears running down your cheeks, and blood running down your shins.

Before I was a parent, I decided I would never give in to buying licensed things for my kids. I would not become a part of the marketing machine that is taking over the world and brainwashing all of our children. blah blah blah. Everything was going to be gender neutral, with no recognizable trade-marked images on them. Ha. It makes this girl so very happy to have Thomas or Diego on her shirt, you'd think she had died and gone to heaven. With Abby, all she needs is a horse and she is the same way.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Well hello there.

I have sick children. Ear infections, colds and whatnot. We have not slept well for a week, waking up all night long for Mina's horrible coughs, and then her sad sad cries. "Mummy I am so so sad. My tummy hurts and I have snotties." Her ears started bugging her last night. I think her head was really stuffed up. She was really tired and delirious, I think. "Why is the house floating? Why are there flies all over the wall?' I am not sure that she needs the antibiotics that Papa so kindly called in for her though, as her ears are not as bad as last night. But I must say, the codeine put her out like a light last night, she slept all night long, with no coughing fits at all. Blessed blessed codeine. Sadly though, she is not well enough for me to go to the gym today. And it would probably be bad parenting to drug her up so I could exercise. Perhaps today will be a yoga on TV day. Painting the kitchen ceiling could be a good workout too...

Tonight is Abby's first Ukrainian dance performance. She will be dancing at a seniors nursing home. I promise to post some pictures! My blog is so void of colour I really must pick up my camera again. It is just that sometimes, having a camera in hand all the time makes me feel so separate from what is going on. Like I am watching, not participating.

For my birthday, I got an little mini IPOD. So e mail me your favourite running playlists! I also received some very awesome olympic gear. I heart the winter olympics. Go Canada!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some Wednesday things

Today I learned that Pretzels + Nutella = Bliss. I don't buy nutella, but dad gave me a jar last summer, and it was close to expiry. So in the spirit of good food storage and rotation, and not throwing away perfectly good food, considering Haiti, I am eating it.

We also learned (a few days ago) that our cat will live another day. At least. She is not at deaths door. She will probably continue to crap on the floor for many more moons. But the good news is that she has stopped vomiting. Therefore, our basement reno ( laminate flooring) will remain a distant dream. The bathroom however, is coming along nicely.

I have also learned that exercising really DOES feel good! I always thought that my sisters (and others) were crazy liars. Sorry. I even like getting all sweaty at the gym, and feeling my heart pumping. And Keith says that my face does not get all red, like I told him it would. (but then, he may have said that just to be supportive and loving, which he is.) And I did not fall down over my step in class this week. Also, there is a class I really love which is a cross between ballet and yoga. So 3 cheers for the gym!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Close your Eyes

You are going to have to close your eyes. And imagine for a minute. Because I did not bring my camera with me, so cannot share with you the funny pictures. And a still picture just would not do anyway.

Ukrainian dancing class. Parent viewing day. A group of 3 and 4 year olds, little Mina among them. She is the smallest, and the youngest by about 6 months. They are all lined up, as straight as possible for 3 and 4 yr olds.

Except for Mina, who stand apart, facing the wrong way.

The teacher asks the children to imagine a ball, right in front of their feet. And tells the children to kick the ball "one, two, one two", and do the "kick kick" step. So the children kick their balls, one two, one two.

Except for Mina, whose ball has rolled across the gym. She follows after it, picks it up and throws it in the air. Then it starts to bounce, and so she hops around in a circle, like her ball.

The other children are doing "kick kick" in unison.

Mina's ball has once again rolled away.

Now it is time for the "stomp" step. (It is Ukrainian dancing after all, not ballet!) The teacher asks the children to imagine a bug on the floor, and to stomp on it. Which the children do happily, it is fun to stomp on bugs.

Except for Mina, who does the initial stomp, then sits down, and removes the bug from the bottom of her dancing slipper, walks to the corner of the gym, and puts it down on the floor. then tries to find more bugs on the floor.

And when it is time to "draw a line on the floor to hop over", Miss Mina sits down, drawing a line that turns into a letter M, and then finishes writing the "INA".

I think that perhaps she is not going to be a dancer. Her dancing teacher says that "Mina makes me sweat! She is very, um.... Artistic". (But not in a danc-ey sort of way.)

So Keith and I, sitting on the bench, tried very hard not to pee our pants laughing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Well, I just did something shocking and unexpected.

I joined a gym.
Because I want to be fit.
I want to run, and refuse to do it in the cold winter, which is 3/4 of the year here.
Because I have no room in my 750 square foot house for a treadmill.
Because my brand new running shoes are gathering dust while waiting for better weather.
Because they have Thomas the Train stuff in the gym's daycare.
Because I want an excuse to buy and ipod and listen to Roxette really loudly.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Well, the sunbeams last week did not shine. The other teacher (there are too many kids for one class) did not show up. So guess who got to "teach" not 6, but 12 Sunbeams? Me. And, I did not bring enough supplies for 12 kids, so 1/2 of my plans were not useable. Disaster. And, I fed one of them something she was allergic too. Even better. My approach this week is to adhere to a strict schedule. And also bring dairy/egg/nut free candy.

In other news,
  • Today I primed the walls of the new bathroom. Very exciting. I am quite happy that I redid the lifting seam, as that wall looks very nice now.
  • Keith has a job! It seems to be a good fit. We are working on how to arrange my work/childcare with his new schedule. I am cultivating a friendship with a teenager who I see in the AM while we are waiting for the bus. I hope that she might be interested in watching the girls on days that Keith has to work late.
  • Tonight we are going to IKEA for dinner. A fun field trip for the girls, because now Mina and Abby can both play in Smalland, and Keith and I can browse towel racks, mirrors, and the as-is asile at our leisure. One of the other good things about not having a baby in the family.
  • On the same topic, today was swimming lessons, and for the first time, I did not have to go in the water with them!
(am I maybe, perhaps trying too hard to convince myself that we don't need another baby?) It's just that I am noticing all of these little life changes which tell me that our family has entered a new stage. It is certainly food for thought.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A nothing post

Well folk, this is a nothing post. Or maybe not. Who knows. Sometimes it feels like I have nothing to say, and I should just do a duty post, because all of my sisters have new posts up.

I have not finished my basement bathroom yet. One of my tape seams was lifting. I tried to stick it down with more mud, but that looked just awful. So I finally just ripped it out, and started again. So, It will be another 3 day cycle of sanding and mudding before I can prime and paint. Thanks to youtube, I learned that fixing the seam is really not a big deal, and I was over sanding. Youtube is great for stuff like that! I was trying to watch the reno shows on HGTV to find out what I was doing wrong, but they never show the boring and tedious ins and outs of tapping and mudding drywall. (Really - all of those HGTV marathons I may have watched over Christmas break were research, not lazy procrastination! ha ha)

My friend just found out she is pregnant. I am very happy and excited for her. But the strange (for me) thing is that I was not jelous or wishing it was me. I was more jelous of the fact that she had a moose walk by her front window yesterday, not of the pregnancy. Just kind of strange to me, because usually that kind of news paints me very green with envy.

In other news, my new primary job is the Sunbeams. Last week was a disaster. They are used to nursery where they get to play and eat. I actually have to control them and teach them. For 2 hours. I really hope today goes better than last week. I woke up to horrible dreams about loosing some of them when I took them for a potty break. I think this week I shall bring candy for them. And if their parents have a problem with that, then they can have my job of teaching 6 sunbeams and try to do it without bribery. I hope that I can become a better Sunbeam teacher. If you have any tips, please share. My new idea for this week, courtesy of some LDS website, is to bring them "primary pets" (beanie babies from the thrift store) that they have to hold and keep quiet during the combined primary time. Our lesson today is about how our bodies are like HF's body. So we will be tracing our body shape and colouring it, reading a book about body parts, and playing with Mr Potato Head. And the candy. Church is now at 9AM! YAY! So, I better get going.