Chloe is always drawing photos. Her favourite thing right now is to draw people, fashion and families. She did an amazing job at this 'self portrait' and I just love it. Especially the inclusion of pigtails - something she never lets me put in her hair anymore.
The start of the track and field season always makes Keaton happy. He still loves to run. His relay team was strong this year and did well. It consisted of Keaton, Bailey, Joe and Curtis J and they ran 2 different relay lengths. I took the girls to cheer them on but barely managed any photos. I was too busy Cheering!
Keaton - Age 11. What an amazing boy. Full of compassion and always thinking of others in our family. He has a soft heart. He is enjoying Grade 6 and all his friends at school. He finished up Hockey at the end of March and is gearing up for a lazy summer playing golf and lounging around the pool. I tried to talk him into signing up for soccer but he really doesn't like to do summer sports so I let it go. He has a 'girlfriend' (for a few years now) and can't wait for school to be over for this year.
Chloe - Age 8. My pet-loving light hearted sweetie. She writes songs and poetry and still loves to play Barbies and make-believe with Meg. She is happy in her room for hours and as a result has to clean her room from top to bottom on almost a daily basis. She is back at horseback riding and loving it very much. This year she is moving up to a slightly bigger pony named Mickey and she likes him a lot. She is continually asking for us to take in more pets: cats, puppies, bunnies, turtles and of course... horses. I am sure she will live on a farm someday and then she will finally have her way.
Meg - Age 3. My little love. She is still so tiny and I imagine she always will be. She is still wearing size 18 months clothes with lots of room to spare. Her feet are size 5 and she is a little pint of fun. She has the vocabulary of a 6 year old but when out in public she barely says a word. She saves all her chitter chatter for home. We've discovered she is extremely flexible and she wants to do gymnastics so we will enroll her in the Fall. I can just see it now! I am enjoying this time alone with her. Soon school will be over and then summer is so busy and then - my little gal goes off to Jr Kindergarten at the big school. GULP! Meg loves to sing and has the softest, prettiest voice. If she could get over being a bit shy, she could be quite the little performer I think.
My cousin Crystal is Chloe's hero. She is a dancer and she is a 'farmer' of sorts too. All the things Chloe is currently WILD about!
She has a slew of horses and lives only about 5 minutes from us so Chloe is always wanting to go see both Crystal and the barn. In April Crystal's horse had a new 'baby'. His daddy is a really big fella so we were shocked at how big this little colt was at only 1 week old. His name is Axle and he is precious. Chloe and her friend Natalie visited the barn to see this new little guy and to groom some of the other horses. Keaton and Meg came along to 'observe'.
We started planning this trip months before and it was so much fun. Who would of ever thought that my entire group of besties would be able to coordinate themselves (we have 19 kids between the 9 of us) to get away together to celebrate turning 40! With the exception of Kerri, we all turn 40 this year of 2012. I have known these girls my whole life. Most are best friends from public school and then a few I met my first year of highschool. We have been through everything together and we have something special. I feel lucky to be so blessed.
For our fortieth, we booked a vacation in Orlando Florida at the resort: Holiday Inn Orange Lake. It was convenient for all our flights and it was just what we wanted - poolside relaxation, shopping and dining. It was a week of fun and a trip I'll never forget.
I just took my little point and shoot camera b/c I didn't want ANY responsibilites while I was there - and lugging around an expensive and heavy camera all week did not appeal to me. So, my photos aren't great but my memories ARE.
A little too much fun at the Adirondak bar waiting out our 8 hour flight delay? We made the most of the wait and stopped complaining our 2nd drink in.
We got all dressed up - Dragonfly Sushi was amazing. Blurry shot.
Playoffs finished and his hair went from blue, to light blue to a sad shade of dishsoap green. We had to do something, so I took him to my hairdresser and it was either shave it all off (Keaton said NO WAY) or bleach the blue/green out of it. It took 2 rounds but Karen managed and now I have a platinum haired boy in the house. It is shocking but I will say he wears it well. Eventually it will grow out or we will have to dye it back to his regular dirty blonde - because the roots are going to be killer with this style.
For now, I am calling him Iceman (from Top Gun) and he is liking the compliments that he's been getting.
The bunny came... and left way too much chocolate and sweets behind. We've (mostly Daddy, honest!) been helping the kids out and putting a dent in the sugar pile - I'm sure they'd thank us... if they knew.
March was a busy one. School out for a week, Hockeyville in full gear and beautiful weather. In no particular order, we managed to grab a few photos here and there of the fun.
Keaton and Shaune went up to Toronto to watch a Leafs vs Islanders game. Keaton loves doing this with his dad. They drive into Toronto and then grab the subway down to the AC Centre. This time they met up with Collin and Taylor and went to a pub pre-game. Thanks Collin for taking these photos:
Our hometown's bid for Kraft Hockeyville was in full swing in March. Lots of events were happening and we celebrated every time we got closer to the final win that would be announced on March 31st. We had been voting our a$$es off at each portion of the contest and I can't even begin to imagine how many times I voted in total.
Above: Jen and I at the Black Dog, celebrating St. Patty's Day and a big win in voting for Stirling - we beat out the rest of Ontario in votes by a LANDSLIDE and go on to try and win the whole thing! I'm sure you could hear Stirling cheering all over the countryside.
Below: Freddy Vette did a Kraft Hockeyville song for Stirling and I took the kids over to dance in the background of the video. Go Stirling, Go Stirling!
We had tons of hockey including a fun hockey tournament in Baltimore, ON called the "Cross border Clash" - they played in Cobourg and Porthope arena's that weekend. Shaune snapped this photo of Keaton and his two sidekicks during some down-time in between games:
Voting is over - hope we did enough!!! Now we wait til' March 31st to see if we won!?!
Here we are celebrating the win at the Hockeyville Party on March 31st! They had a parade and lots of fun for the kids. And guess what... We WON - everyone was so proud and excited. Yay for the little town with the big heart!
The local ski-hill found the ski season coming to an early end this year due to the crazy weather March brought. Because the weather got so warm, Batawa offered a free tobogganning day on some of their smaller slopes. The kids took full advantage and had an awesome day. The snow was melting fast and by the end of the day they were completely soaked. The boys took turns going over the jump on the GT snowracer and another sled... the girls took the safer route and kept to the hill to the side a bit. Good times and suntans on the slopes, perfect way to say goodbye to Old Man Winter.
We ran into 'the other' Lightfoots who came out for a few runs down the hill. Fun for the whole family!
March brought some beautiful (weirdly warm but beautiful ) weather. We celebrated "Family Day" with a bike ride along the water for the kids and a play at the local "Pirate ship" park. Perfect day spent with the family I love so much.
I started Valentine's day off in a fun way. I taped 3 hearts to each of their bedroom doors and wrote on each heart, something that I absolutely loved about them. They loved waking up to the love notes from Mom. I also got all June Cleaver on them and made homemade pancakes with heart cut outs. I used my regular batter recipe and then mixed 1/2 of the batter with a touch of pink food colouring. They turned out cute and tasted great too.
Chloe loves to celebrate a holiday. Together (thanks to Pinterest for all the ideas!) we came up with a fun way to say "Happy Valentines Day" to all her classmates. We bought little favour boxes at Michael's and then dove into my scrapbook supplies to come up with an owl design. She was so pleased with them that it made all the effort worth it. We filled them with red and pink candies and they were a hit!
I spent my 40th birthday doing something super special. We took a drive up to Toronto and celebrated Vietnamese New Year (otherwise known as "TET") with our good friends and our TDH family. The main floor of a Vietnamese restaurant was rented out to us for the occassion and all the kids dressed in their Ao Dai's - so adorable! The buffet meal they prepared for us was delicious with the best spring rolls I think I've ever had. All the food was great and there was a dragon parade and the kids stomped on bubble wrap to make it sound like firecrackers. It was Meg's first TET celebration and she loved it. We all did... and can't wait to go again next year.
On the way home we stopped by Pusateri's in Toronto and the kids helped me pick out a decadent little birthday cake to eat when we got home. It was as good as it looks, plus some! A sweet treat to celebrate 40 years for me!
...and just like that I turn 40 years old. I really can't believe at times that 40 years of "Leslie" has already whizzed by! How did it happen? I can still remember me as a 10 year old excited to be going away to camp in the summer. At 13 I remember vividly waiting for the school bus to take me off to highschool and a big old bird pooping on my favourite new leather jacket! It seems like just yesterday we were camping May 2-4's away at Marble Lake to the music of Steve Miller. Can it really be 20+ years since I graduated highschool and moved away from home to go to college all on my own?
Its funny how time can pass so swiftly - here I am at what I used to consider "old" and I feel anything but old. I feel lucky. I feel inspired. I feel brave. I feel loved. I feel like me, only better - life and experience and AGE make us better. Yes, there are new wrinkles popping up and the grey hairs require a little bit of "coverage" from my fabulous hairdresser, but I still feel like I am evolving and growing up still. I am not perfect and I never will be. That isn't what I'm striving for. I just want to keep living my life with the recognition that each day is a gift. I have many gifts and I don't take any of them for granted. My family is my most prized possession and I cherish my children, my husband and my immediate family more than anything else on earth. I look at them and 40 really feels fabulous. I'm not looking back - I'm looking forward.