This has been quite a year for us as we made our transition back to Stittsville, Ottawa after being in Ancaster for nearly 3 years. The move was bitter-sweet having made a wonderful circle of friends in Ancaster. It was especially difficult for Josh to leave his tight group of friends but the excitement of returning to Stittsville and to his best friend Connor was a huge positive for him. We couldn't have chosen a worse winter to return in as Ottawa experienced the worst winter and snowfall in many, many years. I have to say I have never seen so much snow as we did this past winter (certainly the most in the 8 years we have been in Canada) - the boys had a blast to say the least! Just look at those snow banks!!!!
Josh & Joel settled in very quickly back at Guardian Angels School. Josh was returning to his old school so recognised many old faces and made quick friends again with his old buddies. Joel, to ours and his delight, got into Ms.White's Gr.1 class. She has to be the most amazing teacher ever and that certainly helped Joel settle into his new environment. They ended the school year with flying colours which made Sean and I very proud of them indeed!
We had a very exciting summer this year with a return visit to Ancaster whilst Sean was in Burlington on business for the week. The boys loved catching up with their friends again, as did I, and we enjoyed a wonderful week of weather and everyone's pools! We also treated them to a night's stay at The Great Wolf Lodge at Niagara Falls which is a big indoor waterpark, much to Josh's delight as it was a surprise for his birthday! The arrival of nana and papa from Jersey for a 10 week visit brought lots of excitement! The weather wasn't the best (lots of late afternoon thunderstorms and fairly mild temps) but we still managed to get out and have fun! Josh celebrated his birthday and entered the world of double digits!! He enjoyed his favourite Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza on his special day.
Picnic lunch at Calabogie Lake
We decided to rent a cottage for a week and we found a gem of a place on Crow Lake (about an hour and a half west of us). We decided to introduce the boys to fishing see as mum was with us (who is the fishing pro after all!!) and we all had SO much fun. Even Sean got hooked, literally! We rented a boat for the week and had a blast relaxing either in the boat or off the end of the dock! We caught mostly bass but seeing the smiles on the boys' faces after their first catch (eventually) was well worth it! Josh and Joel loved swimming in the lake and Jacob was happy to potter on the 'beach' and play. We made a day trip to Fort Henry (an old British Fort) during the week which the boys were thrilled with. They even got to experience school in the colonial times - that was an eye-opener for them!! One of the other families at the cottage had a boat and invited the boys and I to go tubing with them - so much fun! It was the perfect way to end the summer and we look forward to going back again next year and making this our new yearly cottage getaway!
The boys at Hog's Back Falls, Ottawa - Summer 2008
One other activity that both the boys expressed a desire to join was Scouts. September saw them start Cubs and Beavers with much enthusiasm. Josh is really enjoying Cubs and has already tested and received 2 badges (Law & Order and Musician). As well as having lots of fun, it's instilling wonderful values of commitment, respect and community involvement. Joel is in Beavers for the first time and absolutely loving it. He desperately wanted to go to Fall Camp at the end of October but it was just too cold!! We (meaning mom and Joel) did the Science Museum Sleepover instead. Yes, it was indoors but sleeping on museum floors with 200+ other beavers wasn't quite as exciting for me as it was for Joel!!!! We did have fun though and having a thorough tour of the museum was pretty awesome!
October - Grandpa's Visit
We had lots of visitors this year with Sean's dad, aka Grandpa, arriving for a 2 week visit from Bangkok in early October. He tries to visit every year and the boys were as excited as ever. Nana and Papa left the day before and not even 24 hrs later Grandpa arrived! It took the pain away of one set of grandparents leaving with another one arriving! Pete had a great time with the boys, the only thing that he was no longer able to do with them was to treat them to Timbit donuts at Tim Horton's due to Jacob's nut allergy. He did manage to sneak in a treat though with Josh & Joel and Sean without Jacob knowing ;) Jacob thoroughly enjoyed Grandpa and his special walks to the park and the creek. I don't know if Grandpa's knees have recuperated yet from being Jacob's horsey though!!! We look forward to your visit next year if you're up to it Grandpa!
November 27th saw Joel turning 7 this year - wow! - where do those years go to! We celebrated his birthday with a group of friends coming to the house for a 3D viewing of 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' on the home projector system. They had a blast - and other than popcorn being thrown all over the basement floor - the boys were pretty good!!! Joel received the Star Wars Republic Gunship Lego set and was so thrilled!! Can you tell!
Joel's Music Recital
Joel started Moonbeams I this year in the Music for Young Children Programme. He is thoroughly enjoying his music lessons and has achieved a lot in a small amount of time. He is already playing with two hands and can play his Scale of C with all the major triads in his left hand! It is such a pleasure to watch him play and improve all the time. This was his Christmas Recital which was held at the end of November. His teacher is sitting there in the red sweater.
And Finally ....
Sean continues to keep very busy with his work at Sound Design Technology. He is based mostly in Ottawa now with a business trip down to Burlington maybe every 6-8 weeks. He is hoping to receive a promotion to VP position in the new year which he has worked hard towards achieving. With the current economic crisis, we're just very thankful and grateful that Sean provides so well for us as a family!
I continue to make cards and craft and am enjoying my brand new craft room in the basement. It is beautifully organised and I love my little space of crafting heaven! I teach a class at Heather's Stamping Haven once a month which I've been really enjoying. If you want to look at my latest creations, check out my other blog here.
That pretty much concludes the year so far! I hope you enjoyed our year review and that it brings you up to date with all our family activities. We look forward to having as much fun in 2009!