Christmas is coming...
The last few days have been crazy busy. On Thursday I took the kids out of school an hour early to take them to see the Christmas train. Terri Clark sang, and we enjoyed carolling with the revellers. Always a fun way to collect food and money for the feed the need community. Raising $7000 in just about an hour.
On Friday we went to the Pickering Tree Lighting Ceremony. The kids were especially aware this year of what they wanted to do at this event. Rides! The lines were long but we got about 4 rides in, saw Santa and Mrs. Claus, sang carols, decorated gingerbread cookies and watched the fireworks all while the event happened by battery power as the power was unfortunately out in that part of town and we didn't actually even notice until it was brought to our attention. I love this fireworks display!
The Verkley Christmas was in Kitchener this year at Rustico on Saturday. This was actually a decent restaurant for mingling. I was sceptical as restaurant meals usually mean eat with your own family and go home, but it was actually good and I caught up with a lot of people, and the food was good. We were only in the restaurant for about 2 hours and then about 7 hours back at Brian's dad's house. Brian unfortunately couldn't be there as he was celebrating his friend Shawn's 40th birthday with the guys. Which I also understand was a good time, leading to him going to bed at 6am ish! (Video Gaming).
We can't do it all... but we do try. I love this life!
- Leanne Verkley
Shaye's 40th Birthday
It has been a little crazy around here lately. Brian has been travelling a lot! He was in NYC for three days, then the day after he arrived home, he left to go with his mom to visit his sister Lisa in Vancouver for almost a week. From what I understand they had a lovely time catching up and even met up with Brian's cousins Meaghen and Erica and they even explored a Christmas market. While I am sure that radiation is no picnic, it sounds like Lisa is doing as well as can be expected with it.
The day that Brian and his mom flew home, his other sister Julie went to have her appendix out. I thought this might mean that my plans to go to Collingwood for Shaye's 40th birthday may have to be cancelled but the surgery was an in and out surgery and she was home a few hours afterwards with Wole to take care of her.
So, while Brian boarded another flight to Vegas for work, I drove up to meet Shaye for her 40th birthday and Brian's mom stayed to watch the kids.
Getting away like this was such a treat. We went out to see Bohemian Rhapsody at the movie theatre, the story of Freddy Mercury from Queen. I was amazed and I truly think this movie should win awards. Then we talked until the wee hours of the morning. I woke up way too early as I forgot to turn off my regular alarms as it was a school day, (I think I got 4 hours sleep) and was unfortunately unable to go back to sleep, so we went about our day, swimming, and cooking a lovely roast dinner, playing cards and enjoying some indoor time as it was a crazy storm outside. We ended up talking until 2 am, enjoying specialty wine and cheese.
I was surprised how many people came and went over the few days that I was there despite the crazy weather outside, but it was nice to see all the people that came to bring their good wishes for Shaye's birthday.
I was gone Tuesday to Thursday and came home early Thursday morning so that Brian's mom could go see Julie who has been off work to recover.
I was ever so thankful for the get-away, and to celebrate my friend Shaye, thankful for an amazing mother in law who has been pulled in many directions too in the last few weeks, and also thankful that both Brian's sisters are doing okay despite their circumstances.
- Leanne Verkley
Escape the Darkside, and the start of Christmas shopping
For Easton's birthday, part of his gift was an escape room. He loves riddles and we thought this would be fun. We originally had planned to do do the Super Mario theme escape room but unfortunately when we called to book they had just changed it to the new themes. So... from the new themes we chose Escape the Darkside. When we arrived we were given instructions and a lightsaber, and then... we had to figure out how to start the Millennium Falcon and escape the darkside. Both kids were a little afraid as we started in the dark but as we solved puzzles and made it through the lazers, I think they began to enjoy it more.
This was my first time doing an escape room. I think the kids thought finding a key behind a picture was pretty awesome!
This week I also had two shopping adventures. One with my brother Joe that was super successful. I think we mostly finished off all of the kids. I think I have one thing left to buy for Christmas.
Now... the adult shopping is another story.
Good thing I still have a month!
The other shopping was with my friend Christine from college. This shopping trip was less successful and more about catching up in a warm space.
We planned this day a while ago, and then this morning realized how crazy this idea was as it was black Friday shopping. Lines were long, and people were everywhere!
So, we mostly mall walked and then went for lunch.
Good exercise anyway!
- Leanne Verkley
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