Thursday, 31 October 2013


Here are my little girls this morning before school: 50's Girl and Vintage Nurse.
Chloe's costume is all about the accessories: ribbon in her hair, cat-eye glasses, matching scarf, and saddle shoes. Too bad I arranged them so that the poodle on her skirt is hidden!
Carmen's uniform is a vintage 1960s uniform from Fresno California. The nurse's cap was tricky! We didn't know about the loop on the inside to bobby pin it down - we figured it out eventually.

Happy Halloween!

End of an Era

Steven played his last high school football game last night. He played well, and mostly his team played well, but it didn't translate into a win. Of course, that's the way seasons end - unless you win Provincial's.
After nine seasons of football, I just want to say here that it's been the greatest, and I'm glad Steven talked me into signing him up so many years ago when he seemed small and football seemed scary.

Chloe's Halloween Party

Chloe is the life of the party wherever she goes, and once in awhile she deserves to throw one of her own!

She let her friends know well in advance what her plans were, and then closer to the party she gave them severed fingers (with the date and time attached on a tag) as a reminder. I like that she wore last year's costume, coincidentally, while she made the invitations.

Our house has never been so well decorated for Halloween!

The food table in the basement.

Spooky lighting.

The party started out with dinner: pumpkin shaped cheese ball, chicken wings, veggies, bacon wrapped  sausages.

The drink was the best! We called it Bloody Temple's - Shirley Temple's with the grenadine in a syringe.

After dinner we played Fear Factor. Here Chloe is powering down some sardines.

Carmen lost out on the Grass Jelly level - just a little something I found in the Asian aisle. Carmen has problems with texture. (Her costume was someone-right-after-volleyball-practise.)

Everyone deserved a donut after that game!

Next was the movie, E.T. Judging from the screaming coming from the basement, it was plenty scary enough - but not so scary that anyone had to come upstairs or call their parents or anything.

It was a long party! Next the girls decorated cookies, 

And then they played Kick-the-Can until their parents came to pick them up.


Our Thanksgiving weekend doubled as our pie project weekend with Grandma, Marie, and Ortensia. Ortensia and Mark hosted us in Edmonton. As usual, Grandma had all of the bottom crusts prepared in advance, which left the slicing and dicing, the seasoning and spicing, rolling out the top crusts, and assembling the pies into Ziplocs and boxes.

I'm afraid we took advantage of Grandma this year, and in addition to bringing home completed apple pies, we all brought home extra crusts for quick work making pies of other flavours through the winter. Thanks, Grandma!

Sunday we had formal Thanksgiving dinner with all the Calgary family gathered together at our other Grandma's house. (I thought the conference talk earlier in October referring to Grandma's house -not- Grandpa's house was funny and accurate.)

Top of the Ferris Wheel

On Monday Ken went for a bike ride, Steven stayed home and vacuumed and did laundry (no, not as a punishment, he was just looking for a quieter day), and Carmen, Chloe, and I went to Heritage Park. I'm so glad we got out and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Heritage Park makes me nostalgic for when my children were smaller - we used to spend so much time here!

Later in the afternoon the five of us went to a movie (Percy Jackson), and then most of us went back to Grandma's for turkey buns - perhaps the most important tradition we've created: leftovers, back at Grandma's. Count on it.

Feast or Famine

About 4-5 years ago the leadership students at our school decided they wanted to build a school in Africa, and so they did. I'm sure it wasn't that easy, but if you know anything about the school my children attend, you know they make things happen. The "Building Hope" project was born. A school was built in Kenya, followed by an additional building for a kindergarten in later years, and last year, for the first time ever, someone from that community left to attend University.

2013-14 Committee for Building Hope

One of the ongoing fundraisers to support the school in Kenya is an annual 'Feast or Famine' event at lunch time. Students can buy a lunch ticket, which gives them a 1/8 chance of getting pizza, chips, and a brownie. The other 7/8 of the kids eat a bowl of rice because that is the reality of the disparity of the world we live in.

I think someone in this picture is the reason I was invited to help cook rice this year. It was my privilege.

We cooked 2 large bags of rice on the stove, in the oven, and in any and all rice cookers we could find. If I am included next year, I will suggest outdoor propane stoves to get the water boiling faster.

Following lunch, the Building Hope students ran an afternoon of African games and activities for the rest of the students to help them feel the pride of what has been accomplished for kids just like them on the other side of the world.