Sunday, 30 November 2014

Birds and ET Combined

I think this was from last night. I'd like to say they were cuddling but I think they were fighting!

Huffle and Smallest had to get up early this morning in order to get Smallest ready for delivering presents to the disadvantaged. Small and I had a lie-in. I actually needed the lie-in because Smallest was in our room at 3:30am because he had a nightmare about being frozen to death. He was very upset and actually very warm. He lay very close to me and his big messy hair tickled my face. He also poked Huffle with his feet and made him jump. After telling him nice things to think about and us both laughing about Huffle snoring, he went back to his own bed.

While Smallest was delivering presents, Small, Huffle and I played a new game called Agricola. It was very complicated but really good. After we had whiled away the morning and Smallest came back from Tim Hortons having eaten a breakfast bun and a Christmas doughnut, we all went out for dinner.

Sharing an ice cream

We took Monopoly Deal with us and played a game whilst waiting for our dinner. After dinner we went to the Tire to get a Christmas present for Huffle but they had run out. Today we learnt what a 'Rain Check' was. Because they had sold out and the item we wanted was on sale, they gave Huffle a ticket with the item number on it. We can now buy this item at any time, from any location for the sale price. That is a rain check. Clever!

We went to another shop to stock up on chocolate/sweets and gifts for our homemade advent calendar while the boys played on the gadgets and then we came home. On the way we noticed many many many birds on a wire - we think they were those birds that fly in huge flocks and make weird shapes in the sky.

On the road to our house, there was a huge Combine Harvester and a lorry blocking the road. The combine had just cut the field and was emptying the contents into a lorry. We sat and watched for a while as we couldn't move anywhere.

At home we had a Christmas delivery and Skyped Grandma and Grandad to find out whose package was who's. Today Grandma was being very silly and pretending to be ET (or a new wife for Grandad).

Because the boys were caught fighting yesterday and Small has scratch marks on his arm and Smallest was kicked, we gave the boys chores in order to make them think about fighting in the future. Small's was to empty the dryer and fold the dry towels and then empty the washer contents into the dryer and Smallest had to clear the stairs (the bottom of the stairs is where everything gets placed when it needs putting away upstairs somewhere).

The boys have both been worried by dreams and nightmares recently. I have tried to reassure them as I know myself all about bad dreams. I was plagued by them for most of my childhood and plenty in adulthood too. I left them this evening with lots of happy memories and thoughts.

Huffle and I are both suffering with sore throats and I made a concoction of fresh ginger, lemon and honey for us to drink this evening.


Saturday, 29 November 2014

3 children and a muppet

Not a bad nights sleep last night but definitely a nice lie long lie in. We had nothing to do today so we spent the morning doing our own thing. Huffle watched the football (though not through the satellite as he usually would because it broke). The boys played on IPads and I knitted and watched an Interior Design programme. Leicester City lost today and so did Stoke - BOOOO!

Huffle spent over 45 mins on the phone to Bell trying to sort the satellite problem out. They said they would send someone but it would cost us to come out. Huffle told him He wanted to speak to a manager and we would cancel and they said they would let him off 'just this one time'. Late morning, the boys and I went into the garden and collected red dog wood sticks and pine from the wood at the back of our garden and I made up the Winter Urns. Smallest gave in first and Small and I got creative. The urns were frozen so we had to use many jugs of hot water. Hopefully they will freeze before any big winds come along and ruin them. I even went to The Royals and cut some of their BitterSweet berries which add a bit of colour.

Bell (our satellite/internet provider) came around midday. We decided he was Constantine the Kermit impersonator from Muppets Most Wanted. (He spoke like him and the boys heard me calling him a muppet!). He decided that the connection to the dish was broken (Summer last year the same thing happened when a 'creature' chewed through the wire and they dug up our lawn and left it a mess to put new cables in). The muppet wanted to do the same thing but we said NO! Surely they don't want to keep doing the same thing so he said he would move the dish and wanted to put it on the side of the house in between Smallest's bedroom window and another window. That would be ugly and I wasn't happy but there seemed no alternative. Huffle was ready to cancel our contract with them but unfortunately there is no other real competitors. In the end, Constantine went up a ladder and came inside and we had 100% signal. He was talking really quickly and told Huffle he had to leave. He said he had to charge us an installation fee and when Huffle questioned this he said he would waive it. CROOKS! I went out to look where he had put it and noticed it was on the roof. I came in whispered to Huffle that he had put it on the roof. Constantine said "no it isn't on the roof". YES IT IS. "No not on the roof, on a blurblurblur bit". YES THE ROOF! Then he told us that Bell would guarantee for 25 years that it would not make the roof leak. Huffle made a note and took a photo of the work paper just in case. Constantine ran away. Crooky Muppet!

This afternoon we had a little visitor by the name of 'Monkey' - Suffolks youngest daughter (6). Her other two kids were doing a creative writing class and I said Monkey could come here and play and give Suffolk a couple of hours to herself. We had much fun, playing Operation, Uno, Pictureka and Mousetrap. She showed us how to make the Loom Bandz on a board and played the piano for Smallest.

When Suffolk came to pick her up, she brought us a big slice of cake. They all came in for a quick hot chocolate and went home. Small did some piano practice, Snallest showered and then we all had pizza in front of Harry Potter (Smallest and Huffle have finished the first book so we have to watch the whole series again, but only after they have ready them).



Friday, 28 November 2014

Catching Snowflakes

A cold day with snow flurries but none of it settled. Huffle worked from home and while I was away he put up the Christmas lights outside. We have always said that people here put up their stuff for Christmas too early, but in reality they do it because it is so cold and if you wait till mid-December, it is far too cold to be climbing ladders and fixing lights etc.

The boys went to school wearing coats (much to their disgust). I went to knitting but popped into the local shoe repairs on the way. My lovely Fat Face (UK) boots' zip pull broke and I wanted it repaired. The shoe man was strange and went through various things he could do with them, including sending them back to the shop they were from(!) and then turned round and said NO I WONT DO IT, I REFUSE, TAKE IT TO THE MALL AND GET THEM TO DO IT. strange! I was really annoyed but the ladies at knitting said it was a good job as he was not good and made a real mess of RudeTrudes expensive boots once. Phew! Off to the mall I go (next week).

I had a good knitting session and got quite a bit done. Suffolk and I went for lunch, visited a book shop and interrogated a man in the hardware shop to find a timer switch for the Christmas lights and a motion sensor light for our coat cupboard.

The snow flakes were really big and slow falling and the boys were trying to catch them and eat them

At home I had just enough time to get a Beef Stew out of the freezer, thawed and into the oven for Huffle and Smallest's tea and a pot of pasta on for Small's tea. When the boys got home, Small had his pasta and Smallest and I went off to swimming lessons. He did so well tonight, lots of lovely swimming and a beautiful dive where he swam along the bottom of the pool and beat his swimming friend who is five years older than him. He was very pleased though it said it hurt his ears. Smallest and I ate in front of the end of a film and the beginning of another.

Small and Huffle went to Scuba Diving with the Scouts. Small chose his flippers, snorkel and mask and in the shallow part of the pool, they learnt about the pool safety. Once he got his tank sorted, he learnt to breathe. They got to throw foam torpedoes and swim underwater. He loved it. Hopefully soon they will get to go again and get a certificate.

Smallest and I made Loom Bandz at bedtime. He was so sleepy he fell asleep instantly. Small and Huffle came home and we all watched I'm a Celebrity until Small's bedtime.


Thursday, 27 November 2014


Another night of not sleeping, which meant that Huffle had a restless night too because once I told him I couldn't sleep, he then couldn't sleep! What are we like?

Huffle went off to work tiredly and the boys got ready to go school (arguing over whether they should wear coats and gloves even though it was -3). I drove Small and Tuba to school and watched Smallest get on the bus.

The plumber came today to service our water softener and reverse osmosis doodah. He is a funny chap. Very tall and big - he walked into our kitchen, smiled and nodded and then just went into the basement to do what he does! He has been coming here for years, way before we moved in so I guess he knows his way around.

Today Suffolk came round and we went into the forest to meet NoCustard for a walk. No snow in there today but lots of leaves and it was quite cold. After we finished, NoCustard went home and Suffolk and I did another walk through the forest.

When we got back home we had a lovely warming soup and then sat and knitted until she had to go home. I carried on knitting for a while and then made dinner and muffins.

The kids came home and did homework, Small in his bedroom with the radio blaring (brings back memories) and Smallest at the computer quietly writing. Smallest did a beautiful job of his Maths work and then practised piano where I helped him with a tricky bit. He soon mastered it and played on the IPad. Small did his Readers Response homework in rough yesterday and just needed to refine it and write it up.

Huffle came home and we all had dinner. The boys played on the IPads and Smallest complained about Small having more time playing than him (in reality, Smallest had more time but he would not accept it). Come bedtime, Smallest argued and argued until he ended up stomping off to his room. He is a stubborn so and so (where does he get that from?).

Small and I decided to find all his Lego figures at bedtime instead of reading. So far we have been through one of many drawers and found loads. He knows what each one is and what set it was from. I found a hippy and he said it didn't have a weapon. I told him "It can't have a weapon maaan, hippies are peace loving yeah!"


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The remote kicked me!

I slept terribly all night long. Lots of dreams, one after the other, but I don't really know what about, they are kind of on the edge of me remembering but just a little bit out of reach. (Does that even make sense?).

Huffle worked from home and was very frustrated as he spent most of the day (up to the point of sitting down for our evening meal) waiting for some information to be sent through so he could work on it. That meant he then had to work during the evening - not good!

The boys went to school wearing fleeces and trainers today (another 1* day). I went to aerobics and worked hard despite the fact I was very tired. We had a laugh too though.

Huffle and I managed a quick cup of tea together plus a Skype of Grandma and Moo before we had a quick lunch. After my shower I sewed for the rest of the afternoon until it was time to get the boys from school.

Homework was done. Tuba was played beautifully (if not a little too loudly), piano was practised by both (but Smallest got upset when he asked for my help but wouldn't look at the sheet music!) and Smallest's bedroom was cleared, cleaned and sorted.



Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Tree Damage, Tax and Tradition

Apparently the wind was wild last night and some homes were without power. We filled the bath, kettle and jug with water and got all the candles out. We didn't get a power cut despite the lights flashing. We also slept really really well and heard nothing of the wind or branches falling.

Huffle worked at home and the boys went off to school. Smallest was fine this morning. The temperatures went back down but stayed in the positives (just, I think it was about 1*). It also snowed but not too much.

I spent the day at Suffolk's house sewing, she was busy making her blinds for her college course and I just got on with one of my quilting squares. We had a lovely lunch, a laugh and got a lot done.

The boys were already home when I got back and were emptying their bags. No homework today apart from Smallest practising for his presentation tomorrow. There was some piano practice and the boys and I went to the library to get new books.

Today we had a package from UK from Marks and Spencers. On their website they are offering free delivery to Canada, New Zealand and Australia on orders over £30. Grandma decided to take advantage of this offer and get us a few bits for Christmas. However, when it was delivered, Huffle had to pay tax of $55. He was outraged. In his words, M&S are con merchants and are preying upon people desperate to send gifts to people in ex-pat countries. I was just about to send something to Australia as well, now I will have to read the fine print to check!!!!!

Smallest preparing for his presentation which included a magic trick.


Monday, 24 November 2014

Just one of those days!

It rained all through the night and all the snow pretty much disappeared. During the day it was 14*. How ridiculous. Then during the afternoon/evening, and forecast through the night, we had Severe Weather Warnings of strong winds. What a silly country!

All Gone!

Huffle went to work and I took Small and Tuba to school after watching Smallest get on the bus. After my breakfast I did a shop for food, big boy hangers, bulbs for the cooker hood and a couple of Christmas presents. After putting the shopping away I drove to the dentist and had a filling. Now I am terrible with anaesthetic. I always have to have far more than anyone else and even then it doesn't work properly. After my third dose, I just told him to get on with it even though I could feel it. As the dentist is near to Suffolks house, I popped in for a cuppa and then I went home as I was starting to feel yucky. A side effect of too much anaesthetic for me is it makes me feel sick, tired, emotional and woozy. I thought I would get a couple of hours of rest but after making a soup and a bread and finding I had only half an hour before the kids came home, I made myself a slice of toast and went to sit down.

On Saturday, Smallest had bought himself a robotic fish (have I mentioned this already) and I filled our big round fish bowl for it to swim in. Today I decided to move it from the middle of the table and it was this I was doing before I sat down with my toast. The whole thing broke and water gushed everywhere. All over the table, over my new IPad, over Smallest's homework, over the kids school reports, glass and water all over the kitchen floor.

First I rescued the IPad and wiped it clean and hoped it would be okay (I don't think Huffle bought a warranty for it!), then I got the mop and mop mop mopped for over an hour. Honestly I didn't realise how big the bowl was, thankfully we didn't have a real fish in there (I was actually talking about getting one yesterday!!). My IPad had water in the headphone socket which meant the sound didn't work but after I stuck some kitchen roll in and the headphone jack in and out a few times, it seemed better (fingers crossed).

The boys had their piano lessons and their teacher said they were both doing really well. Smallest got upset over his homework (I don't know why because he is perfectly capable and it wasn't that hard). His breath is a bit smelly (just like Small's was when he got Strep over and over and over!). He complained of a tummy ache and dizziness but I don't know if this is because he didn't want to do his homework or not.

Small went off to Scouts and did some Destination Imaginiation (challenges and creativeness - he didn't seem too enthused). Smallest's Beavers was cancelled so after his homework he watched a bit of TV. Huffle tried to get a new ringtone for my phone and we watched I'm a Celebrity...... with a cup of tea and a piece of Small's brownie.



Sunday, 23 November 2014

Updating our technology

Oh it was lovely to have a lie-in this morning, I felt I really needed it. We all sat and watched the end of a film (that the kids started first thing) and eventually moved to get breakfast which was very late. The boys played piano, table tennis and IPad while we Skyped Grandma and Grandad and sorted out some Christmas presents.

Small playing (we are in the process of posting a YouTube Video of him).

Late morning we went out to a Mall in order to get my new phone (my contract ran out). This took a while and the boys got to play on the phones in the shop. Eventually we got away and went and had something to eat in the Eatery (food hall). Huffle and I had Indian and the boys had burgers.

Next we drove to another gadget shop in order to get the kids Christmas Present (shhhhhhhh). Recently our English bought Wii broke and to get it mended would be a nightmare as we are not in England! The boys have been saving their money for a while now in order to buy the Wii U. We didn't want to buy it originally as we felt having the Wii too was a waste, however, now the Wii isn't working we decided we would buy them a Wii U or an Xbox as a joint present. We have researched and deliberated long and hard about which one is best. It seems their friends have one or the other and some days they rave about XBox and others they love the Wii. Anyway, we decided on the Wii U, found the bundle we wanted and drove there today. Huffle went off to find the bundle and I followed the boys who incidentally headed straight for the XBox. I found Huffle and spoke to him about it and then suddenly we didn't know what to do! We talked to the Geek Squad (no explanation needed for what they were surely?) and told them how old the kids were and they suggested the Wii U (especially for Smallest and it being a family console plus the ability to move around rather than sitting and gaming). Decisions made without the kids knowing, all bought and packaged away in the car, we finally left the shop with a couple of games too.

We came home where Huffle smuggled presents out and the boys and I baked nice things. Small made brownies which were gorgeous and Smallest and I baked Shortbread which were scrumptious. The kids watched TV with tea and Huffle and I refused to sit with them as they wouldn't stop arguing.

At bedtime Smallest and Huffle carried on reading Harry Potter while Small and I sorted out his wardrobe.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Pop goes the weasel

I left all the boys at home this morning playing games of table Football, Table Tennis, Ghostly Galleon and Jenga in between watching the football, playing on the IPads, breakfast and lunch and a bit of a film. Meanwhile I went and picked up Suffolk and carried on to our quilting class where we learnt that we had missed one session (despite the fact that I called and left a message last month and went into the shop to see when the next one was, only to be told they had cancelled it) so we now have two different squares to do. The upside though is that we have two months to do it in as there is no session in December. She was very apologetic.

Suffolk and I bought some fabric to make a project bag for our on the go knitting projects and attempted to sign ourselves up do a beginner quilt Course (where she teaches us to make a quilt from beginning to end). We were there for so long we decided to go for something to eat afterwards. Stupidly we decided on Tim Hortons for quickness and tried one of their soups, after finding out it was made with vegetable stock, but it wasn't very nice and it had nutmeg in it for some reason. We had to leave it, it was that bad! Next we visited Fabricland where they had 50% off and I bought a couple of quilting rulers. After I dropped her back at home I came home and was just in time to play Disney Monopoly with the boys. I won - hurrah.

Smallest finished one lot of homework and we all helped him sort out what he was going to do for his second homework where he has to write about a Family Tradition. That should be fun. There was plenty of musical instrument practice today.

This is Smallest on the piano playing without looking or the music (after only four lessons)

It rained early evening so hopefully the snow will have disappeared by tomorrow morning.


Friday, 21 November 2014

Did you just snump?

I forgot to mention that yesterday (three years ago) was the day we arrived in Canada. Today (three years ago) was our first full day here. We didn't have our house yet and were staying in a tiny place belonging to two people who have become firm friends. What a shock, I remember opening the door to a very cold blast and wondering what the hell we were doing here. It wasn't even really cold then either and we hadn't had snow!

This morning we all had to get up as usual even though it was PA Day, as it was Parent/Interview day and we went to school. We had our first interview with Smallest's teacher. We asked the Head Teacher if we were supposed to have the kids with us at the interviews. He said it was up to us but he thought it was better for them to be there so they could hear what was being said. Smallest's teacher disagreed and so did we so we left the kids in the hall reading.

Smallest's teacher was very happy with his work so far and we discussed how we could get his organisation skills better. The chart that Huffle devised last night seems to have worked today and we came up with a few ideas for school. One worrying thing was that Smallest lost his indoor shoes last week and has been missing out on some of his gym sessions because of it. We caught him, at home the other day, putting a pair of trainers in his bag and when we questioned him as to why he said he was confused. He was obviously bringing a new pair of indoor shoes but didn't want to tell us he had lost his others as they were new (to him). When I asked him about it later he said he was worried we would be angry with him. Anyway, we found the shoes, they were just on someone else's shelf. What is he like? He is reading at a Grade 5 level (he is in Grade 2!) and he is doing maths of a Grade 3. We did explain to her that he would be in Grade 3 if he was still in England so this made a bit more sense to her. Also we told her what we did if he got upset or worked up (ie leave him to calm down, reading, draw etc) and she said she would do that. We got to see one of his art pieces which was of us as a family. We liked it very much.Huffle edit, bit worried about my teeth and skintight shorts but the hair is amusing.

Huffle's got hair (which he doesn't have in real life) I love my spotty dress (rare for me to be in a dress). Smallest's hair is fabulous. Small is grumpy (because he is! Smallest's words).

We spoke to his Music teacher who said he was not worried about him at all and that he was doing well and his Art teacher was very happy with him, though Huffle told her he didn't agree with her telling Smallest that he should not leave any blanks on a paper (particularly on the Rememberance poster that he won 2nd place for) and she thought this was funny.

We spoke to Small's home room teacher who also teaches him language, social studies, art, drama and gym. She was very happy with him and her only criticism was that he was sociable and talkative (I wonder where he gets that from?). His Maths and Science teacher was happy too and said that he wants Small to enter the Maths Club that he runs where they do Maths contests. He wants Small to let him know if the work is too easy so he can give him more challenging work.

His Music teacher is trying to find him another Tuba so that he can join band and sit with the other older band member as this would be useful for Small to learn. We have the tuba over the weekend so he can practice more. All in all it was very good and we were very happy.

After dropping Small and Huffle back at home, Smallest and I went shopping for Snowpants. We went to Walmart and I hate this shop so much but it is so convenient and close. I had an argument with the check out lady as she informed me the Snowpants I bought (which were found for me by a sales assistant) were part of a set. I argued that because they were priced at $20 and there was morw than one pair on the rack with no coats or anything attached, that they had to sell them to me for that price and not the $40 she wanted to charge. We discussed back and forth and she spoke to her Manager several times before I got really angry and told her I would buy the others but that she was very wrong and she should tell her Manager!! She ended by asking me if I wanted a Walmart Card. NO I WANT NO OTHER REASON TO HAVE TO COME BACK INTO THIS SHOP.

We came home and had lunch with Huffle and Small. Small went off and played with Log for a couple of hours and Smallest and I played piano, Skyped Moo, did homework and played MouseTrap.

The boys and I went off to swimming lessons leaving Huffle working (he was not having a good day). He went out for 'a couple of pints' with MrG (another English person who lives in the Hamlet and works at Huffle's company but in the city). He had a very nice chat and drink and they are going to do it again soon.

Swimming went well and we came home and had tea in front of The Grinch.

Lovely photo taken by ExerciseNic - she is also a photographer.

Just been reading the blog and our first days here. Very weird, brings it all back.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Operation Clean Squirrel

Huffle's alarm went off at 7am and he got up and woke Small up before getting back into bed. Yesterday all the winter duvets came out of hibernation and we all now have cosy quilts and warm brushed cotton sheets. We did not want to get out of bed this morning, especially when we saw how much more snow had fallen. Small attempted to get his breakfast started and I got up soon after and helped him. We hurried him along and then Huffle (after clearing the drive and my car) took him to school. Today he visited the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Small said it was boring because they weren't allowed to go where they wanted on their own and the Art wasn't great. That's a shame.

I spent the first part of the morning sweeping, cleaning one of the bathrooms and tidying before getting myself ready for a forest walk. Thermals today and sturdy walking boots for a wak with NoCustard and TeaLady. The sun was shining despite the cold so it was a great day for shadowy photos again.

The snow was boot high so it was a tough walk but very very enjoyable. It took us about an hour and a half as the snow really slowed us down.

A quick lunch with Huffle who was pretty much holed away all day and only appeared briefly to stretch his back and collect a cup of tea. I made Lemon Poppy Seed muffins and Banana Bread and prepared dinner whilst watching The Great Interior Design Challenge and folding washing.

I popped to the library and sorted the boys books out before they came home from school. Homework, snacking, piano and putting clothes away and then dinner for all. Huffle has devised a chart for Smallest to make him tidier and more organised at home (though Aunty Rumbleskin says she is forgetful and loses things and I lose things all the time including my new sunglasses today in the forest, so he probably doesn't have a hope really!).

IPads were allowed in the run up to bed and Small and I looked through old photos of when he was four/five and Smallest was just a baby - awwwwwwwwww.



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Report Day

-7* with snow pretty much all day. It was cold too! Huffle worked at home and the boys went to school. I went to aerobics and I drove (of course). It was really cold in the exercise loft today but we soon warmed up. It was a good workout and I came home and showered, had a quick chat with Huffle who was perched on the stairs, with his laptop balanced on the washing basket, paint brushes and ladders waiting for him to paint the stairway at lunchtime in between telephone calls and email replying. I left him to it and went off to my dentist appointment.

I had a scale, clean, polish, X-ray and Cancer screen plus a good poke around my mouth. All good except for a small filling and a quick file of a tooth I chipped. All this to be done on Monday! BOOOOO!

Next I went to the foot place where I had left Smallest's orthotics to be made into full length ones and take the cover off so it didn't slip too much in his shoes. They had them ready for me so I didn't have to wait long. I did a quick food shop and then went and had a cup of tea with Suffolk and her friend.

When I came home it was snowing really hard and the roads were getting a bit slidey (not my favourite driving conditions at all, despit my winter tyres). I drove straight to school to pick up the Tuba which wasn't signed out again so I waited for the boys in the playground. Smallest came out with his lost gloves (hurrah) but still can't find his Pokemon cards and book (boo). He wanted to have a friend back but there was no room in the car and I didn't want to drive again in the snow. He decided to go on the bus and I waited for Small to get the Tuba. We drove home together. As soon as we got home and emptied the car of musical intruments, shopping, feet inserts and dental samples, the phone rang. It was Smallest's friend wanting him to go and play which meant I had to drive again to take him there. Arrrggghhhh.

Small practised his tuba and piano and helped me put away the shopping while I made dinner. Huffle had done a fabulous job on the stairs and now we just need to decide what colour we are painting as he has just done the final undercoat (which does look lovely but it won't last because it is not wipeable). I looked up lots of ideas in Pinterest until Huffle thought I was getting carried away. He picked up Smallest for me and we all had dinner. I made my lovely Leek and Cheese Sausages (no meat) for me.

The boys brought their reports home today and we are very happy with both. (Grandad can they have some wine gums?). Small got 3 excellent and 3 goods on his learning skills and work habits, is progressing well in language, science and technology, social studies, health, phys Ed, drama, music and visual arts. He is Progressing Very well in French and Maths.

Smallest got 5 goods and 1 satisfactory (for organisation, not surprised at all!) for his learning skills and work habits. He got progressing very well for language, Maths and Music and progressing well for science, social studies, health, PE, Drama and Visual Arts.

We get to see the teachers properly about their reports and work on Friday morning but we certainly do not have any concerns with either of them. (Apart from that Smallest definitely needs to get more organised and stop forgetting things - anyone got any ideas on how to make him tidier, organised and not so forgetful?)

Huffle soaked in the bath, Smallest and I played Cracassonne and Small watched TV before bed.


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Half my hair gone!

Three years ago today we left our lovely little Village house. Smallest and I went to Moo's and Small and Huffle went to Grandma and Grandads. We stayed in our temporary abodes for two days before finally coming here to Canada.

Through the night we had just a sprinkling of snow but it was very cold. Certainly minus but it made the driveway slippy. Small woke me and I was all confused. I didn't know what day it was and I had no idea what I was doing today. As I came out of the bedroom, Smallest was just passing and said "I've only just woken up too, shall we just get in my bed and have a cuddle?". What for I asked, is something wrong? "No, I just wnt a cuddle". How could I refuse? Bless him.

Our Sun Room windows

After the kids were packed off to school (Smallest in last years snow pants and gloves) I drove to Mrs Royals and then back again twice (because I forgot my sunglasses and chequebook and rather than walk the short space back and forth and risk slipping on the ice, I drove - how very Canadian).

The field from the Royals house

I drove us both to Brampton (an hour and a bit away) to get our hair cut by the lovely Smoothie. It was a good journey there and back and we had a really catch up as we haven't seen each other properly for ages. She told me about a lady who lives in our Hamlet (a bit further away than us) that had a bear in her garden at the bird feeders! I would love to see a bear in our garden and it would make a fabulous photo but also it might be a bit scary. I wonder if they are in the forest at the back???

Smoothie had lots of good news, new house, new man, getting married. I'm am very happy for her and she definitely deserves some serious happiness. When I left the house this morning my hair was way down my back (below my bra strap) and I asked her to cut it to my shoulders. It is shorter at the back than the front and I love it. She blowed it beautifully which I know I could never do. Smallest looked at me doubtfully when I told him I was having it all cut off.

I hate photos of me and I am rubbish at selfies but I won't be able to do my hair like this again!

When the boys came home, Smallest said I hadn't had it cut but Small noticed it was half gone. Huffle noticed and liked it.

Dinner was eaten, IPads played on, TV watched, tyres sold and homework done (not necessarily in that order).

Tonight we found out that not only has Smallest not found his new gloves but he took his Pokemon Book of cards into school and lost them too!!!!


Monday, 17 November 2014

.....and the snow begins

We awoke to a good covering of snow and it continued all day and into the night.

Today was the first day of full snow clothes for the boys. Snow Pants, Gloves, Hat, Scarf, Coat. Small wanted to go out in his trainers! Of course they had to have a snowball fight before school as it was packing snow (their favourite!).

Huffle worked from home (not his normal day but because of the snow, he chose to). I got out of his way and went to Suffolks house where we then went on to Fabricland, a sewing shop, lunch and then back to hers for a cup of tea.

On the way home I picked up the Cooker Hood we ordered and came home. The boys were already home and had put their wet things in the drier without telling anyone (which they later needed for their walk) and were just clearing their rooms before having a play on the IPads.

They did their piano lessons (plenty of Christmas tunes being learned now), had dinner and then got ready to go on their night hike with Beavers and Scouts. The forecast said it was going to feel like -16 and it was still snowing quite heavily. Luckily I had found the wet things and dried them. Smallest put on his Snow Pants and THEN informed us that the zip had broken (at which point there was not a lot we could do about it right then) and also informed us (though a bit earlier) that he had lost his gloves - first day of wearing them to school and lost already. What are we supposed to do? Huffle wants to staple them to his hands but I wondered about the old elastic through the coat idea like we did when they were toddlers! We found him another pair of gloves and a pair of Small's snow pants which we rolled up and secured over his shoulders! He also borrowed Small's head lamp and was told not to take his gloves off and not to lose Small's lamp. Small was given strict instructions to keep an eye on Smallest as it was dark and they were going in the forest. You would hope that the leaders might take care of them but an extra eye doesn't hurt!

They came back very wet, cold and tired and went straight to bed. Huffle and I watched I'm a Celebrity Get me out of here.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Lazy Popcorn Santa

Everyone slept well and long. Today we decided we needed a slow day after yesterday so no-one really got dressed and we didn't do an awful lot.

We played Niagara (Huffle won), the boys practised and messed about on the piano. Homework was done. Huffle tried and succeeded (in the end - Grandad he was so smug!) to sell his Winter tyres from his old Hunk of Junk. Washing was done. Socks were paired. There was much arguing (possibly because we are all tired).

It snowed all day and settled a bit. It was about -1 today but felt like -3.

A photo I didn't post yesterday because I was blogging in the car on the way home and missed it was this one.

Upside down house. Honestly in Niagara, there is so much to do, Like arcades, waxworks, haunted houses, tat, tat and more tat, you could spend a fortune. Small really wanted to go in this house but it was too late to do anything but drive home and go to bed!

4pm we watched the Toronto Santa Parade on TV with our popcorn which resulted in many burnt LANs, a burning smell in the kitchen that wouldn't go away and a badly burnt finger. Still it tasted good in the end. We Skyped Grandma and Grandad.

We watched a bit of Grinch and sent the kids to bed. YYYAAAWWWWN - so tired.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Do we get cake?

Everyone was up, showered, breakfasted and out of the house by 9:30am this morning in order for us to travel across the border to America to finalise our Permanent Residency. It was a fairly uneventful drive until we hit the Peace Bridge where we queued for ages and ages. The border control was big with 16 lanes of traffic. Huffle had done research which informed him it was a bad idea to say that we were there just to get our residency papers signed so we told them we were shopping for the day in Buffalo.

On the Peace Bridge on the Boundary Line between US and Canada

We went throught the initial passport check and they said "Hi, how are you today?" To which Huffle replied. "I'm very nice". WHAT said the border policeman. "I'm very nice" said Huffle (he says he was factually correct but I say he's an idiot!). Each of our passports were checked and he called our names and we waved at him. Because we are all British but live in Canada we had to pull our car over and go to Door #2. This was a large room, that you couldn't get out of once you were in, and resembled a cattle market of many nations, mainly Indian, Chinese, Portuguese and our poor little British family. We sat here for nearly an hour at which point Huffle was chuntering under his breath about waiting too long, the whole system being ridiculous, people going in before us etc etc. I went and spoke to one of the Border Police and told him we were waiting and everyone else was going before us. He shouted to the men behind the counters and told us we would be seen soon. Lo and behold we were shouted instantly and went through to the glass room (immigration). We met a very nice lady who chatted to us, took mine and Huffle's fingerprints and photos, stamped our passports and charged us $6 each for the privilege and waiting for an hour. Thanks a lot then!

We were then free to drive through Buffalo and onto the Galleria Mall, round and round in circles where we descended upon the Cheesecake Factory. However they had a 50 minute wait and by now it was 3pm and we were starving. We went in a very nice place where we were seated instantly and got our food.

The Mall where we searched for Macy's and JC Penneys because we were informed there were good toy departments there. OH NO THERE ISNT!

We had a couple of hours in the mall looking for toy shops which we didn't find, we didn't buy anything because there were too many people and we were getting annoyed. We had a Gelato before leaving and then drove in the dark to Niagara Falls US side. Here we had to go into a building with other immigrants and handed them our passports and told them we wanted to declare our papers to finalise our permanent residency papers. This building was much smaller than the US side with not many seats so for a couple of hours we stood bored waiting. We were so close to the falls but couldn't quite see them. There was a firework display outside but the border police wouldn't let us go outside to watch. We played on the IPads and phones and finally got called to hand over papers which were then photocopied, another long wait and then we signed our paperwork and were congratulated on being Canadian Residents. We have to live here for two years out of five and renew the Residency in five years. Phew! Fourteen months of paperwork and waiting plus an awful lot of money.

Rainbow Bridge. The missed fireworks.

Skywheel. Small and Smallest in Richard Ludlow's chair (Worlds Tallest Man).

We drove towards the falls, parked and walked through tatsville (very reminiscent of Blackpool), through the Christmas lit park and onto the Falls which were also lit up. It wasn't easy to take good photos here but we had a good walk along the falls to the end and then back again.

Boys with lit up falls behind. Falls Tower.
Christmas Lights. Niagara Falls.

I can't say the falls are better at night but it was different and the fact we got to see the Christmas Lights too was a bonus. In fact, the lights had only been turned on that night which is why the fireworks display was on too.

By 9pm we were tired and the boys Wanted something to eat and drink so we celebrated our residency with a Beaver Tail and Hot Choclate. A beaver tail is a flat doughnut with various toppings. Huffle had Nutella, Small and I had Maple Butter and Smallest had Cinamon Sugar. They are very vey sweet (almost too sweet) but it did the job and we walked back to the car and drove the two hours home.

What a long long day.