Friday, October 3, 2014

Jackie's book list

My brother Greg texted me the end of August - he said he that at that time of year, he generally like to go back over the year and see how many and what books he has read that year. He asked us about the books we had read - and I tried to make a list ( which was abominably - 12 I think). Jackie and Alice had no way of remembering all the books they had read - they read a lot. 

Jackie vowed that next year she will be prepared - so she is keeping of track of the books she is reading. This is her September list.

Dive - the Deep
Dive - the Danger
Island - Shipwreck ( All of the above are by Gordon Korman)
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle ( which I made her read because it was her Aunt Mary's favourite book when she was Jackie's age.)
Hunter by Eric Walters ( who she met at the Young Writer's conference)
The Magicians Nephew - C.S. Lewis.
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier  ( a graphic novel for kids)

My September books were:

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper ( yup - read it because I wanted to see the movie because Tina Fey is in the movie. Haven't seen the movie yet)
It starts with Food - the Whole 30 book.

Alice read the first two Narnia books and at least three but maybe more Dragon Lance books recommended by her Dad.

It is lovely that I have such great readers - though sometimes I have to kick them outside.

Monday, September 22, 2014

September Snowstorm

We knew it was coming. It was forecasted a couple of days in advance. But it was still a little hard to believe. This picture was taken on September 8th.  Way too early for a first snow fall.
 Sometime in the future, the first snow of the year will come and the children won't all put their snow stuff on and go out to play. Someday it will happen - but not this year. They all went outside and played and played and played.
 The trees, however, were less impressed with the snow fall. It snowed on and off for three days. The snow was HEAVY. There were power outages, and a lot of broken branches, and bad traffic due to the road conditions and lack of traffic lights.

Our power was out for only 6 hours  - which was so lucky, some people were without power for 5 days.  But we did have some power related excitement.  The gas valve on the furnace didn't close right away when the power went out, so I came home to a scary sulfur smell. Atco gas came and checked it out and everything was fine.
 Andrew and Eve's school had no power - Andrew left due to our "gas leak and so we went for lunch and then picked up Eve early from school. She was all, " why did you pick me up early, today was AWESOME, we got to play all morning because there were no lights. We got an extra recess and we got to go with another class. The only problem is that the bathrooms were super dark, but I never need to go so it wasn't a problem for me". 
 Alice and Jackie's school had power all day, so they had regular day and were jealous of Eve getting out early. Now the weather is back to normal - maybe even a little warm for this time of year. There are still logs that the city needs to pick up in the green space. And our bush will probably never be the same,
But other than that, every thing is business as usual.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Back to School - Grade 7 Edition

Alice was excited about back to school shopping. She has grown a ton and knew she needed a lot of things - which meant she would get to buy a lot of things. Alice like to shop, but Alice does NOT like to pose for pictures. I said that a back to school photo shoot is my right as a mother, my payment for spending all that money on clothes ( that don't fit me at all). Alice refused so I said I would just take a picture of her everyday the first week of school. Problem solved. 

This was her favourite outfit. She wore this on her first day and for picture day. The peter pan top was from the Gap factory store ( and was only 4 dollars!) The cool paisley jeans were from XX21 ( first time Alice could shop there - size 24) And the leather oxfords from Globo were only 30$. The back pack is from sport check and the faux leather jacket from Suzy Sheer.

Since Alice hates getting pictures taken she has developed some strategies. One strategy is to try not to look in the camera - she is often looking away. The other strategy is to get one of her sisters to pose in the picture with her. Luckily, her sisters are always happy to oblige. Here Jackie helps Alice Out.
 The polka-dot sweater and leggings below are from H&M. The belt was from Australia. ( Whenever any one wears something we bought in Australia it makes me nostalgic).
 I promise she wasn't as sad as she looks in the picture below.  She is tired. The mornings are early - The bus comes at 7:15. The coral sweater is from Gap. The black skinny jeans from XX21.
 That concludes are back to school posts!! Hooray for school. Hooray for me the girls! Hooray for me for actually posting it!! ( I have the proposal I am have trouble with to thank for that).

I Have Created A Monster - Elementary Hair Styles

 I have created a monster. For years I have lamented that my girls would not let me braid their hair. Eve is my only daughter who will let me do whatever I want in her hair. Well, she used to let me do whatever I wanted. Now - her standards a higher.

The other day, she was having waffles for breakfast, and she asked me to put her hair in a pony tail so she didn't get syrup in it. I did " a nice pony tail straight out the back." Later that morning she freaked out because I hadn't done her hair for school. I said,

Me: I did your hair already, it is in a cute pony tail
Eve: Mom, anyone can wear their hair in a pony tail. I wear mine in braids.

Apparently she likes the compliments she gets on her hair styles.

I am glad she likes her hair and that she gets compliments - though I don't know how I feel about her feeling like she needs braids - like her hair style is important to her self image. She is only 7!  But then I tell myself not to over think it. The fact of the matter is I like to braid and we have 20 minute after the big girls leave in the morning, so what else are we going to do? ( Ok we could read, or clean her room, or any number of things - but what we do it sit on my bed and watch Clifford or Daily Planet and braid her hair. The braids keep her hair out of her eyes and hopefully safe from lice ( then neighbour kid she plays with had lice but Eve's hair was safe - dodged a bullet).  I think I am getting better at braiding but then I my braids to the pictures on instagram that I try to copy - like the one below of sheerbraidedbliss (who we know) and I am humbled. Also, it wasn't a good idea to show Eve the instagram hair accounts - because many of those hair styles are way out of our reach.

What to wear to Grade 2

This year Eve is in Grade 2 - her little body doesn't always show it, but she is one of the big kids now. Eve loves back to school shopping a lot more than she likes actually going to school . She does well in school but does not get excited about pleasing the teacher or learning new things the way her sisters do. She lives for recess and loves seeing all her friends. This is Eve's back to school photo shoot. 

This outfit came from the Gap Factory Store. She  wanted the leopard jeans so badly but I wouldn't buy them for her until she proved she could move in them ( because otherwise I knew they would not get worn).  She did this by doing the splits in the store. I also didn't approve of the shirt -  the graphics on the shirt are articles of clothing. I explained to her that shopping isn't really the thing that most describes her and wouldn't she rather have a different picture - one that doesn't glamourize materialism?  She retorted that she just cared about the colour and the comfort and it was on sale - so I relented.  Eve's biggest win are the twinkle toe shoes. I was completely against these -  I think they are hideous AND over priced.  But - again I relented. (Did I mention eve was persistent.) She pointed out that these shoes will be her but they are her inside shoes at school so I never have to see them, all the bright colours mean they match EVERYTHING, and they were on sale ( which she means they were only twice as much as shoes at Wal-Mart instead of three times as much. She made up the price difference by forfeiting a new back pack. She is using one of Alice's old back packs instead.
 Jeggins from Gap Factory Store, T-shirt and cardigan from H&M. Unlike the first outfit, this one was totally mom approved. The jeggings have been worn a lot.
 The yay shirt and leggings from Joe Fresh. A few days after we bought this, we watched Cityline fashion Friday and Joe Fresh was high lighted and they modeled this shirt. Proves we have great taste.
 Here is Eve on the first day of school. Bow shirt from Gap factory store. Cardigan, runners ( that she can tie herself) and giant bag are all hand me downs. Head band was a party favor from a birthday party. Incidentally, she used this shoulder bag for a few days then opted for a back pack that is easier to carry.
And this is how Eve looked when she found out the these three great friends are in her glass. It is the old crew from kindergarten. She was so happy she had to do the angry squinty eyes for this picture.

 It is sure to be an awesome year.

How to start middle school - Jackie style

A Haiku for Back to School by Jackie Rasmussen
School is starting too fast
My paper cuts are plenty
And homework means DOOM!
Her haiku sounds negative, but in actuality, Jackie was super excited about starting school this year. Even more excited than she normally is. Something about starting at a great big middle school where she would have her own locker, with her own combination lock - and so many new teachers to impress that made her extra keen this year. The early dismissal on Fridays doesn't hurt either. 
Now - three weeks in, she is still loving it - though in her opinion her teachers give a little too much homework.  Her haiku was foreshadowing. Jackie looks great every - here is her back to school photo shoot.  
 Tunic - Gap Factory Store, Jeans - hand me downs already in her closet, and the most exciting item - boots from Target. Jackie had enough money for fancy boots in her back to school shopping budget because she used so many hand me downs this year ( from Alice and one of Alice's friends)

Denim button-up - Joe Fresh, Coloured Jeans - Australia Target ( yes, she has been wearing them for 1 year and a half - they used to be baggy long pants and now they are skinny capris.

This butterfly shirt from the gap factory store was Jackie's biggest bargain.  it was only 4 dollars and we love how long it is.
On the first day of school we waved her hair and she opted for the denim shirt. Her Dad took her to school and took the official picture, I had to make due with this paparazzi shot as she walked to the car.

 Here she is after completing the first week of school. She is wearing my favourite hand me down sweatshirt from Alice, and she is holding her cool school  white board binder and new backpack . She is also wearing the sun glasses all the grade 5 were given on the first day - little did we know then what terrible weather was coming the very next week. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy September Everyone!!

So it has been a year and a half since I posted.
Feels like even longer though, since the last post was written in Australia - right before leaving for France. That whole beautiful vacation feels like a dream that we sometimes can't believe actually happened. But it did and we are so glad we did it. There has been a lot growing up since we got back . I hopefully will write posts that will fill in what we have been up to - but here is quick update.

Eve is 7 - here she is sporting her toothless grin. Eve has always wanted to run her own life, so the older she gets the better life is. She is our fire ball, full of athletic energy. She is our extraverted social butterfly who loves to have play dates and can play can pretty much have fun playing with anyone. This year she is doing basketball and piano, and gymnastics and dance around the house. Hopefully in January we will have to money to sign her up for gymnastics.


Jackie turns 10 the end of September. Today is her first day of grade 5, which is the beginning of middle school. She is our sensitive artist, who feels all the beauty of the world. She discovered this year how much she likes to perform. She started speech lessons from my Mom in January, and in February competed in the Kiwanis Festival and did so well she was invited to perform in the evening of outstanding performers. She loves to read and write and was so excited about school starting she couldn't sleep. She has her own instagram account and I love seeing what she chooses to post. This year she is doing piano, Irish dance and more speech. This picture was taken at her grade 4 farewell. Can't wait to hear how today went.

Alice is 12!!! Starting Grade 7 tomorrow. Her dad and I feel super lucky to have her for an oldest child. She is gentle and kind, loves playing with little kids,  loves to follow rules, loves to take care of people - which pretty much makes her the best older sister and babysitter around.  She loves to read - and has read a lot of great books this year- though right now she is doing her best to finish the last twilight book ( that she started yesterday) before school tomorrow.  She scoffed at the twilight books and resisted reading them, and even made fun of them, until she picked one up at the library - and then the crack hit her system. Turning 12 means that she is in young women's at church and got to go to girls camp. It was super fun being there this year with her. She is doing piano and basketball and hoping to babysit as much as possible. She loves to earn money and like her father, loves to not spend it.

And here is Andrew and I. We are 38 this year so the count down to 40 is on. Andrew is still in the bishopric. This past spring he worked hard and won the biggest loser competition at work and lost 21 pounds and has kept it off all summer. He loves his Aikido classes and this year will be coaching the senior girls instead of the junior girls.  I have been released from being YW president and now I get to teach Gospel Doctrine (the adult Sunday school class) at church. It is great. Last year was really stressful and in the midst of everything I let a lot of things I enjoy slip away - book club, exercising, spending time with friends, blogging). With the kids back at school I am excited about setting goals and spending my time  to build the life I want. I am excited to build my business and my knowledge base, and taking advantage of all the great books, and friendships, and all the beauty around me. It is going to be a great year.
Happy September everyone!