Monday November 19, 2018 L e a n n e   V e r k l e y not logged in

Grateful

Today I was challenged to find ten things that I am grateful for.
In no particular order:
1.  My kids and my husband.  
I am thankful for my two wonderful children!  I learn so much from my kids, every day; something new, challenging, fun or even difficult makes me thankful for them.  They make me laugh, cry, and feel a true sense of what a mother should feel.  I am blessed beyond measure by having them in my life.  I am thankful for each hug, and cuddle, each deep conversation, and every moment that makes me laugh.  
My husband is a true provider.  He works hard for us to have material things but he works even harder to be present.  We feel loved when he is on the ice with Easton at hockey, or when he is watching Hadley perform at the Remembrance Day assembly.  We feel loved when there are random dances or sing a longs, or math challenges in the kitchen, or even when I just need a break and he takes over.  
I am grateful for my kids and my husband!
2.  Being a stay at home mom.  I was blessed to have a stay at home mom, and I am blessed to be one.  This means on days when the kids are sick, I am there.  When the kids are healthy I can be at school trips, or volunteer at the school or get all the running around for the family done.  Laundry, and other such things can be done during the day and I can even have tea or go for walks with friends while the kids are at school.  Routines are in place and I am present.  No after school care by a provider but rather the kids can be in their own homes, or doing activities that they love.
3.  Family Values.  My childhood had a village.  I had cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and even great grandparents around ALL THE TIME!  I am thankful for this.  In a moments notice I know that being there for family an easy choice.   I married into a wonderful family who continue to show me what the beauty of family is.  
4.  Friends.  I have friends that share my childhood, mommy friends, school friends, friends that share my love of outdoors, indoors, faith, and even 4 am please call me friends.  I am truly thankful for all my friends.
5.  Material things.  While I am not going to list everything, I am thankful for our home.  It is in a fantastic location with space to breath!  I love country living, with steps to the city.  While I could list food, clothes, furniture and all the stuff we posses, I am thankful for all THINGS that I have.  
6.  Money.  I am thankful to not worry about money.  There are lots of things that we must save to acquire, like finishing our house, but I am thankful for not worrying about where my next meal is coming from or if my kids will have coats for winter.
7.  Health.  The occasional cold comes our way, but I am grateful that our family is healthy.  
8. Travel.  I really didn't travel as a kid.  A few hours from home at most.  As an adult I have been blessed to explore the world.  I am also thankful that we have been able to provide travel experiences for our kids.  The world truly is beautiful.  
9. Pets.  We have two cats that have become part of our family.  Trinity and Marble.  I miss my Tinkerbelle all the time and am thankful for pets in our lives.  
10.  Volunteering.  This gives me a sense of purpose.  I volunteer at the school in the grade 1 class and have every week for the past four years.  I have also started and continue to provide the breakfast program at the school twice a week, I lunchroom supervise, and I am the chair of the SCC parent council.  I am thankful for the time I have to put into this.

Sometimes it is nice to take a moment to take it all in.  I am grateful!  Life isn't perfect so if you direct your thoughts towards the good, you can see why you should feel grateful!

- Leanne Verkley

Spa, Class Trip, Photos, Shaye's 40th, Halloween, Brian's mom's visit, Remembrance Day

So, I guess life has been busy the last few weeks, so I am just now finding time to write about it all.  

There was a random day where I had nothing planned, Brian was travelling and the kids were at school, so I took this day to spoil myself with a gift card that I received from my birthday in the summer.  I spent a few hours at the spa.  It was lovely.

Easton had a class trip to the Pickering Museum and this was the first time they didn't ask for parent volunteers.  I was happy to know that he was able to go with his friends from grade 3.  Things like going on class trips with his peers gets tricky when he is in a 3/4 split class, but he was happy to spend the day outdoors with his friends from the other classes.
Going along with the 3/4 split, Easton has come home singing the national anthem in French.  This is because the grade 4's are learning it and he was either part of the lesson, or over heard it.  Either way... kinda cool that he is learning it.  I think I was in grade 7 when I learned it in French.

After getting Easton's 8 year old photos done a few weeks back, Hadley put our name in a draw to win a family photo session and... we won!  So we went on location to Cullen Gardens in Whitby where the leaves were autumn perfect!  (Sadly there were hardly any of them that showed up in our photos, but we did get some nice family shots which should be ready for Christmas).

Shaye's surprise 40th.  It was a month early... so she was surprised!  I had so much fun putting together a music playlist for this party!  Lots of 90's music and music from musicals, plus 60's music and more!  
There were about 70 people there and she was COMPLETELY surprised!  From music, decorations, invitations, cake and many phone calls in the background... we all thought she might know something was up, but she didn't!  Her brother and his wife even made an appearance from England and her friend Todd from highschool serenaded her with his guitar.  There were happy tears!  
I had rented a room with the intent of having a get away with Brian but both Easton and Brian's mom, our babysitter, fell ill.  So... I had an after party room complete with hot tub.  Jen from camp, Shaye, Shaye's sister Destiny, Randy from camp, and myself stayed up until 3 am talking the night away.  There was an attempt at ordering pizza but when it didn't arrive, we tried to call but the pizza place was closed.  The night was still a lot of fun, even if the pizza didn't arrive.

Halloween.  I managed to get a good visit in at the zoo with the kids again this year.  Boo at the zoo is always fun.  The leaves are so pretty and walking around the zoo in costumes seem to make everyone around you smile.  Hadley was a mermaid, but not the little mermaid from Disney.  She had a green dress that extended into a tail, with a shell necklace, and gloves that matched.  Easton was a Lego Ninjago character and when he was in costume you couldn't tell it was him.  It completely transformed him.  I was playdoh.  I wore a yellow shirt with a printout of the word Playdoh cut out and glued onto cardboard around my neck.  Then I wore a green had for my lid.  All the kids at the school dance loved the costume.  We sold samosas at the school to raise money.  This is always good!

Brian's mom came this past weekend and she and I had a date night to see the movie "A star is born".  It was nice to have a night out.  She then stayed for a few days where she saw Easton play hockey, and babysat so Brian and I could go to the community dance.  She had full intention to watch Hadley skate but she was not feeling well on her skating day, so she didn't go.

There was one last adventure while she was here.  Brian's grandma was not well.  In fact, it was serious enough to call 911 and end up the emergency room.   With thoughts of possible heart attack, Brian's mom and I drove to London while Brian stayed home to watch the kids and get some work done that had deadlines.  When we got there... we were pleasantly surprised to find her well.  We waited for a few results to come and then took her home for the night.  This was well after 1 am.  We had a sleepover in a room at her place which was surprisingly no charge.  Breakfast included.  We got up early to have breakfast as there are only certain hours for this.  Then we got me all set up to take the Via Rail home.  This is such a lovely method of travel.  I didn't have a book or anything with me, so I spent much of my time enjoying the views from the train.  I did however chat a little by text with Brian's sister who is in Vancouver starting some of her radiation treatments, which seem to be going well so far.  I was tired for a few days afterwards but I was so happy I could be there.

Today the school had a Remembrance Day assembly.  Hadley had a reading part and sang in the choir.  It was lovely.  I am so proud of her!

The snow that is mostly rain started today, so it is wet!  But I feel the winter transition coming.  
Never a dull moment.

- Leanne Verkley

Easton is Eight!

Easton's birthday seems to have lasted for about two weeks.  It started with a friends birthday at Nebs Fun World where he celebrated with Krishna, Nathan, and Lucas.  The boys enjoyed bowling, pizza, cake, present opening, rides, the playground area, the arcade, and then when we got back to our house it was time for party part 2!  This is where Todd, Shawn K, Shawn B, and Ryan all came and played LAN party games of Easton's choice for his birthday!  This also included a fun sleepover with Todd! (And the rest of the clan).  The parents even enjoyed some fun late night board game time!  
His actual birthday was on a Tuesday so he was happy to hear his name on the announcements at school!
While unrelated to his birthday, that same week was the Terry Fox Fun and Easton's first ever Cross Country meet against other schools.  He has been practicing for both for about a month including running while at the arena while Hadley skated!  He loves to run!  This made his week!  He came in 25th out of 76 runners!  I was a proud mamma and felt very fortunate to be able to  watch him run!  
I did a few laps of Terry Fox with both Hadley and Easton at the school and watched from the sidelines with the other parents and teachers at the Cross Country meet.
Thanksgiving gives us a great way to celebrate Easton's birthday with family.  We had one weekend where we had a turkey dinner at home and then a turkey dinner with cake at Brian's dads.  Then the following weekend we went to Snyders farm in Waterloo where we met up with Brian's mom, Julie and Wole.  Here we enjoyed a corn maze, a mini petting zoo, jumping pillows (kind of like trampolines, or jumpy castles), a playground area, haunted houses, straw to climb on, pedal cars, and a hay ride.  We then slept in Listowel and had yet another thanksgiving with my dad.  Here we also celebrated Jayden, Jensyn, Beckett and Easton's birthday's.  

The doctors report for this year:  Easton is up to 58.6 pounds.  Last year he was 53 pounds.  He has maintained the 50th percentile.  He is growing like crazy and is up to 129.7 cm up from 123 cm from last year.  This is about the 55% percentile.  

All good!  I can't wait to enjoy every moment of him being 8!

- Leanne Verkley

Adjusting to the new school year

After school started that following weekend we enjoyed some family time as we attended Wes and Ted's wedding.  Easton danced the night away as always and while Hadley danced too, she also took some DJ lessons and helped Brian's cousin Amy play some music for the night!  She loved that!
The wedding was lovely at Brian's aunt Maria's house, and the speeches were heart felt.  It was a nice celebration!

The company I used to work for BMO/GGOF held a work reunion.  It works out so perfectly that the bank distributed people from our small company around the same time that I left work.  This means that everyone feels like reunions are a great idea!  This time Brian's mom came to babysit as Brian had been travelling.  However, he literally got off the plane and headed to downtown Toronto to join us for the evening.  He knew all the people since we did a lot together when I worked there.  Sports and evening outings and such.  This visit even included a visit from an old colleague who was in town from Scotland to surprise an old friend for her 50th the following day.  After many hours catching up, the restaurant comp'd us each a drink since it was revealed that at lot of the people there had been going to JUMP (the restaurant) for 20 years!
After the evening fizzled Brian and I left for the GO train but since there was a bit of a wait, we decided to get another drink close to Union Station and catch up on life.  (Since he had been travelling).  It was nice to have a date night with him in the city!

We are starting to settle into new routines with hockey, skating, guitar, piano, and school.  
Hadley's school return has been smooth sailing.  In fact, she loves school!
Easton's has been a little crazier.  He has had 4 teachers in three weeks.  He started in a grade 3 class (teacher 1), but with new students enrolling he was shuffled into a grade3/4 split class.  However, this was a newly created class, so he had a supply teacher (teacher 2) for a bit.  Then they hired a teacher who was there for two days, but was unable to continue her placement for personal reasons (teacher 3).  So that leads him to his first ever male teacher.  (teacher 4).  Easton has had a male teacher for science before but never all day.  So... fingers crossed he is in for the long haul.  I met him this morning for about two minutes since I was in the school volunteering for the grade one's.
We are still waiting for a portable, so for now, Easton's class is in the library.  At least there will be no shortage of books!

- Leanne Verkley

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