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November Update

The month started off with Brian's mom coming to stay with us for a few days.  She was able to come watch Easton's hockey game where he scored his second goal! This time a break a way goal.  Which in the change room he told everyone that he dedicated to her.  There were smiles all around.  It was a beautiful goal!  
This day was a busy one as Easton also went to celebrate Nathan's birthday and there were skating and hockey photos.

Our first round of snow came in early November and we attempted to make a snowman, but he was ever so small with it not being packing snow, but now that it is the end of the month, we are seeing temperatures at plus 10C.  We did a nice walk around the property to gather greenery, pine cones, berries, wood, etc. to make into a lovely entrance piece for the season on the front porch.  Although I hear the weather is about to change this week with a snow storm expected tomorrow.

There were quite a few baking adventures this month including cake and apple crisp.  I love that we are making more things from scratch.  Bread, and pizza are now regulars.  

Hadley completed Star 2 Skills at skating.  She is working really hard at all her new skills.  Her and Rachel have become really close and skate together during their free time each week.

We went to Santa's Cottage this year, which I just learned about this year but wished I had learned about it long ago.  It is a lovely rustic place in Oshawa.  Highly recommended!   It was such a wonderful experience.  Santa was so authentic and Mrs. Claus was so sweet.  They had muffin cookies baking in the farmhouse rustic kitchen, and each kid got one after talking with Santa and taking photos with beautiful scenery in their living room.  It felt warm and cozy and super inviting.   The atmosphere was amazing!  We were allowed to take as many photos as we wanted within 15 minutes.  We were the only ones there, with no lines like a mall.  It was magical.  The backyard had many photo opportunities as well.  An old red truck, with a Christmas tree in the back, a sleigh, an old buggy, and so much more.  Even the lit fence and painted signs felt warm and inviting.  Again... highly recommended.  (All for $40 which is way better than the mall where you get three digital photos for the same price and it is just crazy busy and not at all the same feel).  

Frozen II came out, and we took the kids.  We all loved it!  Popcorn, family time and a good movie!  

The CP Holiday Train rolled in again this year.  We met up with Lynn, Ayslyn, and Beckett from Hockey.  I picked up the kids early from school as did Lynn because the train came through at 3pm in Oshawa.  This meant that the lights on the train were hard to see, but the music was still fun!  Scott Helman sang his song "This is how it goes", and there were Christmas carols as well.  We enjoyed hot beverages and donated to Feed the Need Durham.  

The Pickering Tree Lighting Ceremony was well done again this year.  Elsa and Anna took to the stage.  Hadley was happy enough but wished they sang some of the new songs, Easton was happy with the games like whack a mole, and a few others and they both liked the fair type rides like the ferris wheel and the Fun House.   This year they had a new walkway that was lit up that you could walk through.  It felt festive.  There were also many other light up words.  HO HO HO, etc.  However, the grand finale fireworks are always amazing!  Such a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit.  

- Leanne Verkley

Halloween

This year Halloween was wet, very wet!  However, the skies opened up between 6 pm and 7 pm and it was just drizzle.  By 7 pm the rain started but was manageable with umbrellas.  However, by 7:30 pm it was time to go home.  The kids had full bags of candy and the rain was intense.

This year Hadley went as a beautiful blue butterfly with silk type wings, and a blue tutu.  We made her antenna with pipe cleaners and a black headband.  Her centre was just black sweatpants and a black sweater.

Easton was Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.  A crocheted beard, a cloak that was a grey poncho from a previous camping trip, and a grey pointed hat that we had from our trip to Germany many years ago at Octoberfest.  He found an amazing staff (stick) in the yard that completed the costume.  

The kids had a great time trick-or-treating even with the wet, wet weather.

- Leanne Verkley

Day trips

Both kids had school trips to Duffin's Creek.  Hadley's trip didn't need volunteers, but she had a great day and said she really enjoyed it and was able to talk easily with Easton after his trip as they had similar experiences.  I was invited to go on Easton's trip.  We enjoyed the day outdoors.  We learned about birds of prey, and played a fantastic game of predator vs. prey where the kids actually were allowed to run through the trees and field and collect food and water stamps without being caught by their peers who could take their lives if they were not careful.  So much energy and so much fun!

Then on October 28th it was a beautiful day with a temperature of 17C, so I took the kids out of school for a half day where we met up with my cousin's Natasha and Brittany and their kids at the Toronto Zoo.  It was lovely!  Some of the kids wore their costumes, some not.  The kids all got along, their was space for everyone to run if they wanted to as their were no crowds and we enjoyed the day catching up.  We were so close when we were kids and it was easy to pick up as if no time had passed.
We need to try to get together again soon and not let so much time pass between visits.

- Leanne Verkley

Easton's First hockey goal!

After a busy week with Brian's family, I managed to get home in time to arrive just before Easton's hockey game.  The week prior he switched from playing his usual defence position to centre.  He was so close to scoring that we all knew it was coming.  This week he also played centre and with some good opportunities throughout the game and he managed to be in the right place at the right time to score the game winning backhanded goal!  The game finished 6-4 with a great win!
Graham, his coach was excited for him, and you could see him patting Brian on the back on the bench as the goal happened, and then Easton celebrated and high-fived all the coaches before heading back to centre to play some more.
After the game, he was given the puck that he scored with as a mini trophy.  He earned player of the game for his first goal and that meant that he got to wear the coveted gold jersey which he wore with excitement at the next days practice.  He literally skipped out of the change-room with so much energy and excitement that it was contagious.  We were all so very delighted for him!  Brian's dad captured his energy perfectly in a picture skipping toward me with my arms wide to congratulate him.  Easton was so glad that we were all there to see it.  I even got the play on video and he loved watching it!
Then it was time to take him out for lunch and of course it was his choice which was to McDonalds, his favourite restaurant to celebrate such a wonderful moment.  I couldn't be happier for him.  He worked so hard and earned his first hockey goal!

- Leanne Verkley

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