Sunday March 24, 2019 L e a n n e   V e r k l e y not logged in

Hadley's 12th Birthday Party

After spending the day on Friday making cake and prepping icing and other cake supplies, Hadley and I managed to really outdo what I even thought was possible with her cake.  It was a rainbow kitten with three colours of icing mixed together with candy and oreos to make the face.  It was awesome if I do say so myself!  
We prepped the loot bags with candy, a sleep mask that was a rainbow unicorn, and some fun lip-balm with the girls initials on them!  I was so happy with these finds!
Hadley invited her two best friends, Ayslin who she plays with every week at Easton's hockey games and practices.  Her twin brother plays hockey with Easton.  So the girls spend a lot of time together!
She also invited her best friend from school, Harmony.  Harmony is in grade 7, a year older than Hadley, but they seem to really enjoy each others company at recess time.  She met her while volunteering to do kindergarten lunch supervision.
The three girls spent the day at the Oshawa Centre.  We started at Build-A-Bear.  Hadley got a fun birthday headband to wear and then the girls picked out a stuffed animal that they got to fluff themselves, adding a heart, and a sound inside them before sewing them up.  Hadley got a kitten of course, that she named Harmony after her friend as this was their first official playdate outside of school and she wanted to remember it, Ayslin got a purple bear, that she named Pinkie Pie, and Harmony got a classic brown bear, that she named Raptor.  They all picked their own birthday's as their stuffed animals birthdays but they all agreed that they would be born in 2019.
There were about 50 or maybe more different stuffed animals to choose from.  After fluffing, they got to "bathe" them by blowing air on them and using special brushes to get the extra fluff off them.  Then came the fun part of accessorizing them!  Hadley picked a super cute and colourful dress for her kitten with a nice bow on it, and she decided she didn't need shoes, Ayslin found some fun candy pyjamas and rainbow shoes, and Harmony made her bear a sporty bear by adding a Raptors shirt and black shorts with black running shoes, and cute army boxers underneath.  
The girls looked so happy!  After taking some fun photos with props, we were off to the food court where we enjoyed some snacks, drinks, cake and present opening.  Then to finish off this special 12th birthday party, the girls got their nails painted and had some fun giggling away with their unicorn sleeping masks.  
I am excited to see what 12 brings.  Every year, I love Hadley more and more!  I feel blessed to be able to provide this happiness to start off her next year!

- Leanne Verkley

March Break & My Uncle Steve

This week had ups and downs.  March break is always a week to look forward as I get to spend time with family.  This year it included extended family.
On Friday, it was a PA day.  So we decided to have some down time at home.  The kids were so looking forward to this.  I think they thought that they were going to be on screens all day... however, I broke this up with baking cookies, playing board games and a little outside time.  
On Saturday after hockey we travelled to McCowan Park in Scarborough where they have an outdoor ice skating circle that is chilled from below.  It was a mild day so it had patches of slush, but they were clearly marked by pylons, and it was reasonable enough to enjoy outside time with the family.  There was also a rink where Brian and Easton were able to play some shinny as they both had helmets.  
Sunday morning was hockey again for Easton, we changed our clocks for day light savings, and spent most of the day at home after early morning hockey.  The week ahead was going to be a busy one so a day at home was nice.  
I got news this day that my uncle Steve had passed away.  I was in shock!  Mental health is serious!  Suicide is not what I was expecting to have to wrap my mind around, but here it was in front of me.  I haven't seen my uncle in just over a year, but the last time I saw him, he was happy.  I had the best conversation I had ever had with him... in my life.  He was sharing news about his cottage, about his kids, grandkids and life.  Sadly he had suffered from seizures for a few years, sometimes up to 5 a day due to a workplace accident from a windstorm clean up that he was helping with, and then after many difficult years dealing with this, he finally had brain surgery last spring.  It seems the surgery really changed his personality and things went downhill from there.  I don't pretend to know the ins and outs.  I just knew I had to be there to support my cousins, and other extended family.  My uncles oldest daughter Natasha was like a sister to me when we were kids.  My sister Mandy and I would either stay at her house every weekend or she would be at ours.
Of course I loved my other cousins in that family too but they were 5 and 10 years younger so we didn't have the same connection.  Still, I felt their pain.  I am incredibly sad for my cousins.  They were a very close knit family and will feel very lost as they navigate the next year, and years to come.  I think there were over 400 people at the visitation, and then I attended the private family service that had about 70 or so, with a food and drinks after for visiting time.   I choose to remember him as the soft spoken man that was happy in our last conversation.  
Despite rearranging the March break around this time of grief, I was glad that my kids didn't really know him and could stay home with Brian to enjoy their March Break without such heaviness that my cousins kids will have to endure about their beloved Papa.  

On a brighter side of March Break, we did manage to fit in a movie date to see the Paw Patrol movie where the kids used their gift cards from Christmas.  We stopped in a Nebs Fun World to enjoy a few rides.  We enjoyed some time at Rocket Ship Park.  Chapters had a free day of fun where we did a scavenger hunt, played games, made a craft and Hadley did an LOL toy exchange for doubles that she has.  
Easton had a full hockey practice with Rob Pearson, a former Toronto Maple Leaf.  He was pretty excited to get an autographed card and he even got Rob to sign his stick.  
There was a giant snow hill at the park near the rec centre that the kids loved playing on as it is probably the biggest snow hill they have ever seen.  
Hadley and I went with some friends from school (Ashna and Aria) to the Tales for Tails program at the Pickering Animal Services centre where the kids could read to, or socialize with dogs, cats and kittens!  Hadley loved this!  She even made cat toys that she could use to play with the kittens and then leave them behind for play at a later time.  
There was also homemade pizza, that somehow turned out to be in the shape of a heart.
Perhaps animal cuddles and heart shaped pizza was exactly what I needed.  

- Leanne Verkley

Hadley was home alone for the first time

With only days to go until Hadley turns 12... Hadley decided she was ready to stay home alone for the first time.  After all, she has taken the babysitters course and felt ready.  She knew not to answer the door, not to turn on the stove and to call if she needed anything. Or to go next door if necessary.  I was only going out to the grocery store for one thing, and to the library to drop off a few books.  She thought that an hour would be perfect for her first time to be home alone.  
She did great!

- Leanne Verkley

Winter Weekend - Family Time

This past weekend, while it wasn't officially family day weekend, should have been called family weekend.  We spent so much fun family time together.  We tried out the outdoor skating rink beside the Greenwood community centre for the first time.  This is normally flooded by fire hose, but due to the recent freezing rain, it was perfectly done by mother nature!  We were the only ones there and enjoyed the ice for much of the afternoon!  
Then yesterday we got a great deal on lift tickets for Skyloft Ski Resort which is a mere 20 minutes from our house.  We spent the day on the slopes enjoying the outdoors and family time!  It was a lovely day with great weather! So much fun!  
Skyloft is a small hill and good for beginners or families with young kids.  I had never been on the hills at Skyloft before but if you are a green/blue skier, this is a good place to go for a reasonable price.  
They close at 4pm, so this was perfect to be able to go out for dinner, get showers done and kids to bed at a reasonable hour before school this week.  

- Leanne Verkley

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