Tuesday September 19, 2017 L e a n n e   V e r k l e y not logged in

Schools in

Well, we are now into the second week of school.  The kids seem to have great teachers.  Hadley has the same teacher she had when she was in grade 1 and Easton has a new teacher to the school who is great with technology and sends me texts every few days about what they did in class and what I can ask Easton about -  I LOVE IT.  Currently he is working on zones of regulation, a Wits program about feelings, and gaining class points to earn a classroom fish based on achieving their personal goals, following rules and routines.  
Easton's current goals are to sit properly, raise his hand before speaking, and sit quietly in the reading corner.  
Grade 5 and grade 2 this year!
Hadley has worked on a self portrait, and some ripped paper art.  She is learning the names for mother, father, sister, brother, uncle etc in French.  Science, she is learning about cells and Hadley said the 6 grade 5's from the split class join her class.  It sounds like for science only.  She says she has read a little, wrote about herself and will have a math test on Friday of 0, 1, and 2 times tables with some doubles addition.  She said the teacher is working up to see what the class knows.  

Back to the first day.  The first day was super easy.  Hadley was excited with her new kitten outfit, and all the kitten school items we could find, and Easton had new clothes, backpack etc but the feeling I got from him was just thankful he had the stuff he needed.
We took the usual before school photos and arrived about 5 minutes early to the school to briefly see each kid off with their new teachers.
Hadley has 24 kids in her class and Easton has 18, but of course those numbers can change.  
Hadley had two of her closest friends change schools this year, so this year will be interesting as she spreads her wings to new friendships.  There are two new girls in her class and a few girls from the other class from last year that have been mixed into her class this year.
We have started some new morning routines which Hadley seems to completely have embraced.  Easton is still working on it but we are making progress.
Pretty much their morning routine looks like this:
Wake up, get dressed, make bed (this is new this year), washroom, eat, feed cats (Hadley does this, also new to her this year), brush hair (Hadley has been doing a great job with this on her own this year but if she wants her hair up, I help) and teeth, put lunch and water in their backpacks (another new responsibility to them), and then if there is any time left over (there is usually about 25 minutes for them to watch something or play a game on their devices or laptops before they get shoes and coat on, kiss/hug, get on the bus.

Easton has started a speech program at the school where he will get 11 sessions to work on his R and L sounds.  He has also had two evaluation skates and should get his team assignment for hockey on or before this Friday to start Saturday.  Hadley got a new skating outfit and upgraded skates that I was lucky enough to find used at the skate exchange.  They had one pair in her size!  She is now into specialized skates!  She also starts Saturday.
Brian started a new job at Cognizant.  All of these new beginnings!  All on the first day of school!
I have been busy at the school.  A few days of lunch monitoring, a few days of breakfast boost planning, which is set to start in two weeks, I have started volunteering in the grade 1 class again this year (which happens to be Matthew from next door's class) and next week I am helping out with the book fair.  
Plus the regular every day stuff.
The kids have logged into their prodigy accounts (online math program that is awesome) and they are quite pleased with the new changes for the new school year.  Yay!  
Also my nephew Jayden turned 9.  We will celebrate Jensyn and Beckett, who will turn 6 later this month and Jayden, and Easton who will turn 7 all together at Thanksgiving.
All in all, life is good!

- Leanne Verkley

Camp Can-Aqua

This past week Hadley spent 6 days at Camp Can-Aqua.  This year she was the only intro camper from the Toronto area so they did a home pick up.  The intro camp was mixed into another two week camp so she had the privilege of camping with a larger group this year.  After 48 hours I got a call from camp with a brief update that she had done some canoeing, a spa day, and some yoga.  She had 6 girls in her cabin and two leaders.  I missed her like crazy.  I was okay from Saturday until Tuesday and then I started to really feel her missing.   It was quiet.  Easton and I kept busy with some back to school shopping and with lots of playdates.  We had one playdate that was mostly games, one that was a splash pad and park, and one that was backyard water balloon/water gun fun.  The last one was with Nathan who he hadn't seen since school.  The boys were so happy to see each other, they giggled with so much laughter.  We also found out who the kids teachers were for the upcoming year and were happy to know that both kids had their best friends in their class.
When Hadley finally came home on the coach bus on Friday, we met her in Thornhill and Easton couldn't have been more excited to see her.  Me too.  The excitement to hug her was bubbling inside me.  :)  She sounded like she had a wonderful week.  It was a little cold at night but good times were had.

- Leanne Verkley

Hockey Camp

This past week Easton attended Headstart hockey camp.  It ran from 8:30 am - 4pm every day for 5 days.  The first morning Easton was a little nervous but after arriving in the dressing room, he saw his coach for soccer, and his coach from this past year at hockey.  So, within minutes of being there he already knew 4 kids that would be spending the day with him.
Then... he was all good.
All week when we dropped him off he never even looked back.  He was excited to go and had great stories at the end of the day.
We were even fortunate enough to be able to come watch a few games throughout the week as they provided a schedule for parents.  I think it will be good that he has played a week of hockey before they do the team placement skate next month for the coming season.
The last day there was pizza and freezies plus a video game truck and an ice cream truck for fun after the kids were let out at the end of the day.  He loved this!  Hadley did too.
I spent most of the week shopping with Hadley for back to school stuff, and getting reorganized from our trip.  Lots of laundry etc.  
We did manage to have some fun playing games and other stuff too but it was a busy week.  Especially since Hadley would be leaving on Saturday for her week at Camp Can-Aqua.  

- Leanne Verkley

Europe Part 2.

Well, Hadley was a trooper on about 4 hours of sleep.  She took her brothers luggage and rolled it along to help out.  We took a very early morning flight to Tenerife, Spain.  
Canary Islands here we come!
We arrived early to our hotel.  This time the Ritz Carlton.  We would stay here for the remainder of our trip.  The resort was HUGE, and beautiful.  We cashed in some of Brian's travel points in order to stay here.  Our room had a view of the ocean and the courtyard where we would later listen to live music in the evenings.  Surrounding the grounds were banana plantations everywhere, or volcanic rubble.  
Since we arrived early, our room wasn't ready, so we enjoyed some lounging time on the grounds.  We didn't plan well enough to have our bathing suits with us, so we just enjoyed some time having lunch and enjoying our surroundings.
After finally settling into our room mid afternoon, we took a drive to town to get some food for the room, do some laundry at the local laundry place and have an easy pizza dinner.  That night we went for an evening swim and called it a day.
The next morning we spent a few hours planning our week.  We booked a cable car for that evening as there was only limited availability but we of course wanted to go up the highest mountain in Spain at Tiede National Park.  
Easton was completely unaffected by the altitude of the mountain, and had energy to spare.  The rest of us took in the view, one step at a time.  
That night at a local hotel near the mountain we tried salted potatoes for the first time, which were tasty (and later we learned this would be served with most meals), we were blessed with a beautiful sunset, and a starry night that was pretty amazing since there was no light pollution.  Brian was happy to get a pretty good shot on our camera of the milky way as well as spending a few hours playing with settings to photograph the North Star.  
The next day we spent the morning at the hotel.  The kids wanted to just relax in the morning, so that is what we did.
For lunch we went into town and had lunch at a local restaurant.  The drive up the road was interesting, and after we parked, we used the railing to walk up the street.  :)
Hadley noticed that Tenerife had a pearl store and was very interested.  So, we took her shopping for her first ever pearl bracelet.  She was beyond happy!  I think she felt so grown up with this experience.  
We took a few minutes after that to look into the banana plantations, and then we headed back to our resort to get ready for a resort walk to their private beach.
This was beautiful.
I was surprised that the kids didn't say anything about some of the women and young girls being topless, but I think the waves had their attention.  European beaches, quite the experience, but once you let yourself decide that this is normal, it really isn't that distracting, just at first because it is different than what we are used to.  
The next day we spent the day at Siam Park.  Tripadvisor says this is the #1 water park in the world. I was impressed but I am not sure what makes it #1.
We had a great day in the water.  The lazy river, the water slides and just enjoying some quality family time.  
The next morning we went to the marina and saw the morning catch being carved up for the local restaurants and then boarded our catamaran for our three hour tour.
We had a great time whale and dolphin watching, Brian and Hadley enjoyed some ocean swim time off the boat, and our family avoided seasickness, however; some on the boat were not so lucky.  At the end of the boat ride I was gifted a bottle of champagne to take with me.  
For lunch after the boat ride we ate at the marina.  Easton gave Brian's fish a kiss.
It was the day before my birthday but we were flying out on my birthday so we celebrated with a beautiful steak dinner at the hotel.  Hadley wore her pearl bracelet and the hotel brought out drinks and dessert to celebrate.  Then we went for an evening swim.
A great day.
On my birthday after only a few hour flight we arrived in Brussels, Belgium, we went to Atomium, and enjoyed more Belgian Fries, and the Laeken Fireworks fun night.  
Fireworks on your birthday on the last day of your European vacation is pretty perfect.
Then we ventured home on the long flight that was delayed by about an hour but the kids were great on the plane so it was all good.
I love holidays.  

- Leanne Verkley

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