Monday, August 31, 2015

Classroom Helper

I've been pretty good about enjoying my summer away from school this year but now it's crunch time. Today Kiandra graciously came with me and gave up her day to  colour code and label ALL of my books so that maybe, just maybe, they can stay a bit more organized this year. Each bin now has a unique sticker colour and each book in that bin has a matching sticker. It's beautiful!


On the way home, I was sorry I had not taken a photo of Kiandra in the midst of her work and so Kiandra snapped this one of us on the way home:


I am blessed and lucky to have a daughter like Kiandra. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Day at the Lake

Kaden's friend Jen and her family invited us out for the day at their cabin. It was a fun day enjoying some time by the water...

...and on the water...






..getting sprayed with water...


...jumping in the water...


...and sliding into the water...


We're thankful for good friends, good weather, good food, and lots of fun!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pounding the Pavement

Well, after our family discussion last Sunday, Kiandra agreed to let me help her create a resume and cover letter to apply for some jobs. Kiandra has a really great acting resume but it isn't very applicable for applying for a "real" job. After googling resume templates I found this one that I thought would be a funky one that would make Kiandra stand out and that we could edit and fill with related experience for working. 


 We kept the "about", "education", "contact",  & "work experience" sections but changed other sections to more applicable categories. The "portfolio" section became "interests" with a link to her online voice over demo, recent theatre festival play, and other interests. The "certification" section was changed to  "availability" to outline specific days and times Kiandra is available to work. The "Contributions" section we changed to "Volunteer Experience" because we could highlight some of her skills that would be applicable to a working environment. I think it turned out really well but Kezia wasn't quite sure what to think of it when she saw it. I wonder if she'll let me help her with her resume when the time comes. ;)

Conrad and I had a few errands in the morning and then we drove Kiandra around to drop off some of her new funky resumes and cover letters.

 

So... we will see if her resume lands her a job at any of these places.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Spoiled

The backordered spoiler that Conrad ordered for his new car arrived today and so it was installed this afternoon...he also had his command start installed at the same time :)


While Kezia was hard at work today, these other kids of ours came with us. Kaden got his last pieces of new hockey equipment and we all got Slurpees.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Burger Lunch!

It's not often that I have two days of lunch plans in a row but this week was an exception. Today my friend Tammi and I went to one of my favourite burger restaurants for lunch. Although we've been able to keep up with most of our family news through our blogs and instagram it was so nice to catch up in person.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Best

Best new lunch place:

Best deal: ($9.95 for unlimited toppings!)

Best drink combo: (peach sprite zero)

Best Pal:

Best!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back at it...

It's been a great summer and except for two quick stops to drop off some stuff, I've been away from the school since June. This is how I left the room today. Still lots to do before school starts...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sweet new ride!

A few months ago, Conrad began weighing options of fixing the GMC Safari van he had been driving the last few years or upgrading to a new vehicle. His van's air conditioning had stopped working a few years ago, the heat stopped working last winter, and other, more needed, repairs were on the horizon. After doing some shopping around, test driving, weighing out a variety of options, and then finally crunching some real numbers last week this was what Conrad ended up with:

 

A white car!

(I know it has a real name and lots of fancy features but really all I know about it is that Conrad got all of the features he wanted (and more!) and he is very happy with this final decision. (Of course, if he had bought a Nissan 350 or 370 he would be even more pleased but this one has enough bells and whistles to put a big smile on his face too.)


Kezia and I were both bummed that we didn't get to keep the big red ribbon, lol!


Conrad's car was number 46 of the 63 Civics sold this month alone at this dealership. It has been the number one selling car for 17 years....this probably means he'll really have to remember where he parks because there will be a couple dozen in the parking lots at any given time!




We've been so blessed to have the use of the other van for so long. It served us well....but the working heat in this new vehicle will be much appreciated when the cooler weather comes....and those heated seats well now he's just spoiled, lol!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Adjusting the Nest


We are journeying into new stages as our children grow up. In March, Kiandra turned 18, she doesn't need any parent/guardian signatures anymore, and she was removed from our family health card and now has her own card. Kiandra can now vote in the next election. She is, in the eyes of the law, an adult. We have never been the parents of an adult child and we are so new to this stage of transition. It's a hard one. Hard to realize that your child is not so little anymore. Hard to realize that decisions are more permanent and can't be wasted. Hard to know when to hold or when to set free. Kiandra is very independent in many ways. She's packed her lunches and done her own laundry for years. She has her driver's license, can use transit, and will even walk to the places she needs to get to when she is able. She's been cooking like a pro ever since she was 9 years old and created a recipe that came in 14th place out of over 150 entries. She often makes supper for the family and loves experimenting with new recipes. She keeps her room tidy, sometimes volunteers to clean the house, and she helps out with setting the table and cleaning out the dishwasher. She is obedient, surrounds herself with great friends, makes good choices, and she is not even remotely close the boy-crazy teenager that her Mom was, lol! I am so blessed to have her as a daughter. She is becoming such an amazing young person.

However, in many other ways, Kiandra is very young in her thinking and in her responsibilities. Her full baby-sitting schedule, acting work, and especially her stand-in gig have padded her bank account in a way that few people her age have experienced. She hasn't had to have a "real" job. Lately, due to a number of conversations that Conrad and I have had with others we realize that on the job experience is invaluable as a skill and is a more reliable way to become even more independent, responsible, and more mature. Ultimately, that is the goal. It's hard for me to think that way because as much as I would love all my kids at home forever I need to realize that me making it too comfortable is not going to benefit anyone. 

One of my favourite Mom bloggers (Vicki Courtney) wrote in one of her books that a parent's job is to successfully launch our kids from the safety of the home nest. To prepare them for life outside the home and to slowly move them to that goal. I found this illustration here:

When a baby eagle is born, its home is a very soft, warm, cozy nest, high up in a secure place. The mother and father eagles make the nest as comfortable as possible for the baby eagle. While the baby eagle is safely tucked in the nest, getting stronger and growing bigger, mother and father eagle soar above in the sky, showing the baby eagle what eagles are meant to do. But with such a comfortable nest, the baby eagle is content and complacent to remain a “freeloader” and just let mother and father feed and take care of it.

One day mother and father eagle start changing. They don’t bring any food to eat, but instead they start grabbing chunks of the comfortable feathers padding the nest and dropping them over the side. Little by little, they take away all the warm, soft lining of the nest until finally the baby eagle is left in that very uncomfortable, sticky, prickly nest. Why? Because the baby eagle will never complete the process of learning to fly and soar as long as its nest is comfortable, warm, and feathered. 

So as we move into this new stage of parents to adult children, Conrad and I met with all of our children today to talk about expectations as they become adults. Things we have always provided and paid for will slowly become the responsibility of the new adult. We are slowly taking away the comfy padding and beginning to help with the transition. It's not easy. A friend of mine whose child is a year older than Kiandra says she struggles with the same thing: How much to create comfort and enjoy whatever time they choose to stay at home and how much to expect so that there is an increased independence. It's a tough call. 

It was an interesting family meeting yesterday. A little too soon for Kezia and Kaden who seem to be so far away from the reality of adulthood and a little too close and personal for Kiandra. Conrad and I agreed that this meeting should have occurred years ago but this whole adult child thing kind of snuck up on us too. 

So we journey this new stage together....one day at a time. We want our home (nest) to be welcoming but not at the expense of stunting our children and not preparing them for life when they move out. Our job as parents is to get them ready for the next stage and if we aren't doing that, we aren't doing our job.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Happy Birthday!

It was Conrad's Mom's birthday today and we had her and Dad over for dinner. Kaden lit a sparkler on Grandma's pie and she didn't look too sure of his fire starting skills:



Finally, Kaden got it started:


Happy Birthday Mom!



Friday, August 21, 2015

Must be August

...time to outfit the boy in hockey equipment!

This growing guy needed quite a few pieces because he's grown about 4 inches since last year this time. He's just a smidgin taller than Conrad now!

Even though it's painful to keep buying new stuff every year I thought we did pretty well today. The skates were regularly $209 were on for $129 and then they offered a spend $100 and get a $20 giftcard. 

The nice cashier allowed me to use that $20 of the $39.99 (on sale from $59) hockey pants. I even got 3 free skate sharpenings because that was the deal when you bought a pair of skates this week.  Sa-weet!


Only a few more pieces left to buy and he's all ready for hockey try-outs in a few weeks.

 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hair Today

Hair date with my son this morning 
Before:
(not really shown: silver sparkles in my hair and long moppiness of Kaden)

During:


After!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Princeton

Note to Self: 
Do not go to the pet store with your determined daughter 
when you are grieving the loss of your cat
and you've been realizing how empty 
your house seems without a cat
and you just adore black and white cats
Don't do it...because you might come home with this:










Welcome to the family Princeton!


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