Friday, May 31, 2013

First School Supplies

For a couple of months now Hannah has been saying that she wants a Princess lunch box when she goes to ‘big girl school.’  Since she will be going all day, every day she will take lunch and snacks with her each day.

Saturday when we were at the mall (one of her favourite places to go!) we saw this lunch bag and immediately she knew it was the one for her!  As I was paying for it I noticed the matching back pack so picked that up at the same time.  I guessed if I waited they might not be there so was glad to pick them up when we saw them.




She was so proud and wore them out of the store…and everywhere else we went the entire day!  So grown up and yet still my baby girl!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

4 is Such a Fun Age!!

Check out these fun pics I’ve captured over the past few weeks.  This is my girlie just being herself.  I am blessed beyond measure to be able to enjoy her and her silliness every single day!


I could take out shares in scotch tape!  I buy the no-name stuff in bulk.IMG_1329

She makes us breakfast on a regular basis.IMG_1327

Helping choose plants for Nana’s garden.IMG_1302

Wearing the crayon bowl on her head.IMG_1262

Nutella faceIMG_1260

Trying out the swings at Auntie Deb and Uncle Scott’s cottageIMG_1223

Ready for a road trip with Sparkles and Baby SparklesIMG_1216

Riding on Papa’s shouldersIMG_1161

Playing the Princess Game with her little friends.  LOL – Check out their jewels!IMG_1128

Wearing a beach ball on her headIMG_1093

Tissues (aka – toi1et paper) at the ready for her runny allergy nose.IMG_1281

On a similar theme, wearing torn napkins on her head when we were out for breakfast.IMG_1040

I am SO blessed!  This is just a snippet of life with Hannah XiaoFen over the month of May.  She is nothing short of wonderful and so much fun!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pizza and Movie Night

Earlier this year Hannah and I started a new tradition that ends up happening about one Saturday per month.  We make our own pizza dough in the Kitchenaid and then top it with our favourite toppings.  It’s a fun meal we can make together.IMG_1310
We each choose our own toppings.  This week’s toppings of choice were cheese, chicken and bacon for all.  On Hannah’s part she added pineapple and broccoli while Mommy’s section featured tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.IMG_1314
Pizza and tonight’s movie choice – Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I love that my little girl is still enamoured by Mickey Mouse and that she’s not ready for most movies.  That works for us!  IMG_1324
We really enjoy this tradition and the family time it allows us together. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Look Mom, I Dressed Myself!

What a cutie!  Miss-matched socks, princess crocs, purple pants, pink top, yellow sweater and a jewel in the middle of her forehead!  She was stylin’ when she walked into preschool last week!  Winking smile


Monday, May 27, 2013

Riding Her Big Girl Bike

Last weekend Hannah had the first opportunity to take her big girl bike on a longer ride.  We’ve been around our complex a number of times but this time we ventured off to visit Auntie Carol and her family.  Hannah loved it!!


I hadn’t realized some of the things I would need to teach her.  She was still a little challenged about using the brakes even though we’d ridden around our complex a number of times but by the end of the ride she had improved greatly.  I also didn’t realize that when she came to a 90o angle at a corner that she’d attempt to take it at full speed.  Yikes!  I quickly grabbed the seat and it was all good.  She only took one big tumble and that was when one wheel slipped off the side of the road.  She went down and her little leg was caught under the bike but she quickly shook it off and after a couple of kisses she was good to go!  Yay Hannah XiaoFen!

I quickly learned that I needed to ask her to stop about 10’ before a street to give her enough time to get herself stopped.  We followed the rules and walked her bike across each intersection.  Might as well learn good habits right from the beginning. 

Some things never change.  Even when tooting along on her bike flowers grabbed her attention.  She blessed Mommy with a beautiful bouquet of dandelions.  As beautiful as any bouquet of  roses when picked and presented by my little love!


Showing off her new riding skills to Auntie Carol, Katie and Jacob.IMG_1285

Our first ride was a huge success and I can’t wait to enjoy more with you Hannah!  Once she masters controlling her speed when going down inclines Mommy might even try riding her bike too.  Hmmm, that would require me getting it from Nana and Papa’s garage.  I rode it there one day but then ended up staying until it was dark so parked it in their garage….15 years ago!  Oops!  Will change that soon so that we can enjoy family bike rides together.  Fun times ahead!

Computer Update:  The little netbook I purchased when the power button went on my old one also quit working about 2 weeks after I purchased it.  When I took it back we quickly realized that it just wasn’t powerful enough for me even though I only use it for uploading and editing pictures, blogging and surfing the net.  I upgraded to a HP laptop and have been really happy with it.  So much faster, a bigger screen than I’ve had in a long time and just a great machine.  I miss the portability of the small netbook but reading blogs, looking at pictures and watching videos is much nicer on the 15.6” screen.  The one challenge I’d had was adding Windows Live Writer to it which is the program I use for blogging.  Thankfully one of the guys at our lunch table (we eat with The Big Bang guys) was able to add Live Writer to my computer and also retrieve the pictures that were locked on my original broken computer.  Thanks Cory!!

Now….if I could just figure out stupid Windows 8!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weekend of Fun at Nana and Papa's Trailer

Hannah and I were excited last weekend to share an extra day together as it was a long weekend here.  Yay!  We were invited to spend a few days with Nana and Papa at their trailer which is always a treat!  We were celebrating Victoria Day in Canada so it was only proper that cousin Tor was there!

We started our visit by taking Nana and Papa's new wheels out for a spin.  Fun times!

Cuddle time with Tor watching Tinkerbell

Hannah was wonderful at entertaining herself when the adults were visiting together.  Unfortunately the black flies and mosquitoes were out in hoards so we spent that majority of our time indoors in order to avoid being their next meal!  Here she was teaching her 2 current favourite stuffies Sparkles and Baby Sparkles,  how to play 'Go Fish.'  She said they played well but she won.  ;o)

We took a ride to the bookstore I used to volunteer at on weekends.  I worked there much of the time that I was waiting for Hannah.  To see her sitting contentedly amongst the books warmed my heart and once again reminded me of God's faithfulness!

Helping Nana hang up her new flag.

Story time.  Precious moments.

Sorry Papa.  We had tons of fun with you but somehow Mommy didn't capture you with the camera this weekend.  Oops!  Thanks for inviting us to spend the weekend with you at your trailer!   We can't wait to go back again this summer.  We love you!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mother's Day Gifts from the Heart

Hannah was beyond excited about Mother's Day!!  She began working on surprises more than 3 weeks before the day and my adorable girlie kept every one of them!  Beginning about 5 days before Mother's Day she would wake up and ask how many more days until Mother's Day?

Being a single Mommy, I have always been blessed by many helping Hannah to creates special moments to help us celebrate Mother's Day and this year was no exception.  I cannot tell you how much each and every one of these special treats meant!

Friday Hannah came home from daycare with sweet little paper flower pots that she had created at both preschool and daycare.  (LOL!  You can tell when something is hot on Pinterest.  They both made the same thing was the same thing I had already planned Hannah would make for Grandma, Nana and Grandma Dale!)  And....we all loved it!!  (Heh.  I had to giggle at what Hannah told her teacher about why she loves Mommy.  Hmmmm.... ;o)

She also made this sweet little flower pot at Ange's.  Love the cute little butterfly made using her footprints.

Sunday morning I woke up to adorable gifts that Hannah had chosen when Grandma took her out shopping a couple of times.  Mom said my little love took 2 hours to carefully wrap her gifts Thursday evening and she couldn't have been more proud.

 The gifts Hannah chose for Mommy - a vase with a pink rose, hair jewels (since she noticed I didn't have any), nail polish, a 'M' for Mommy to put on my keychain and a pink 'flute'.  I love how she chose the pink theme.  She said it was because she knew I liked pink.  How sweet of her to think of that!

On the Saturday evening, Nana had requested Hannah visit she and Papa for an hour.  Check this out!  It says, 'I love you to the moon and back.   Love, Hannah'

A couple of weeks earlier when Hannah was helping Papa with the dishes she stood on her tippy toes and reached up to the sky.  Sharon asked me to take a picture of her and send it.  I guessed it was for Mother's Day but had no idea what for.  Love what they made together!

Hannah, Mommy loves you so very, very much!  Thank you for all your beautiful gifts but most of all, thank you for being you!  You are the sweetest, most loving, caring, wonderful little girl and Mommy loves you to the moon and back too!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day with the Ones We Love

Hannah and I were blessed to begin Mother's Day together and then later we shared it with the ones we love most.

This is us posing with the beautiful hair jewels she chose for Mommy.  (Being brave posting a picture without makeup and bed head.) 

After church we went to Nana and Papa's and enjoyed lunch with them 

plus a number of their family too. Life is busy and we don't get to see Auntie Joy and Auntie Japhia nearly as often as we'd like so we appreciate any moments we share together.

Next we went to our traditional Mother's Day dinner at a restaurant we enjoy and shared a wonderful supper with Grandma and Grandpa. 

Hannah shared a dessert with G&G and couldn't help but lick the plate.  LOL!  The rest of us only wish we could do this!

Mommy, Hannah and Grandma.  We are SO blessed to be family!

Hannah XiaoFen, I love you more than words can express and will be forever thankful that God created our family in the way that He did!  He sure does love us a lot!!!  He planned our family before the beginning of time. You and mommy - FAMILY.  Together...forever!!!

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. 
 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
 Psalm 139: 13 - 16

Kindergarten Orientation

In September Hannah will be attending Junior Kindergarten so a couple of weeks ago we attended her Kindergarten Orientation.
In Ontario kiddos attend kindergarten for 2 years - Junior Kindergarten (JK) and Senior Kindergarten (SK).  All children born in 2009 like Hannah will begin JK in September.  The province is in the process of transitioning all schools to full-day kindergarten and her school already offers this so she will go to school Monday through Friday, full days.  It sounds like a lot but it's a play-based learning style and each classroom will have a full-time teacher and full-time early childhood educator.  I think Hannah is going to flourish in this environment!

After signing in and being welcomed by one of the kindergarten teachers, the children chose to visit a number of different mats located on the gym floor, each with a different activity on them.  Hannah chose to play with cars, then Polly Pockets and finally finished with a mat of building blocks.

After an initial welcome by the principal, each teacher took the group of 8 students assigned to her to her classroom.  Hannah did well.  She wanted me to hold her hand and asked to be picked up for a moment but then was ready to get back down as we followed the group into the classroom.

Once in the room she was happy to find a spot on the floor with the other children.  That's a familiar activity for her as she does the same at Preschool so it was a nice transition for her.  The 3 teachers present introduced themselves, said a little poem about circle time and then they sang a couple of songs.  Each child introduced themselves and Hannah did really well by participating in all of it!

After circle time the children were broken into 2 groups.  Hannah and her group went to the literacy area first.  She rocked!  There was a laminated card with her name on it that she traced with an erasable marker; wrote her name with plastic letters and then started to form her name using sticks that are a little bit like string dipped in wax that can be molded into shapes.

At the second literacy table she had the choice to play 2 games and she chose a challenging one and did quite well.  There was a game board with pictures on it.  She rolled the die and moved the corresponding number of spaces.  When she landed on a picture she said the word, sounded it our and tried to figure out what letter it started with and then put that letter on the picture.  She did really well getting top, yarn and another word correct before it was time to move on.  Way to go Hannah!

She next moved to the math centre (where I finally asked if I could take pictures and found out the answer was 'yes'.  Wish I'd asked earlier!)  This first activity was 2 parts.  Part 1 was finding the plastic numbers in a dish to match those on the sheet and then part 2 was adding the corresponding number of popcorn kernels.

The second part of the math station was a book about drowsy dinosaurs.  After a couple of pages she was able to anticipate the next page and 'read' it.  As she said the colour and number she put the corresponding coloured block on the number.

After we spent about 30 mins in the classroom all the classes moved back to the gym which was now set up with little picnic tables.  Hands were washed and I was excited to find out that they also sang a song of thankfulness for their snack before eating it.   This pictures shows that my little sweetie, while having a good time, was still a little out of sorts.  Normally she would sit 'inside' the picnic table but no amount of encouragement from mommy would get her to move in.  This was one of the few little clues she gave off that as much as she appeared to be doing well, this was still a big step for her!

Snack was a little dish of crackers, grapes and carrots.  It was no surprise to me when she ate everything but the carrots, but I noticed many of the other kiddos did the same.  Heh!  She's not a huge veggie fan but we're slowly working on it.

While Hannah did really, really well at her orindergarten orientation, it threw her for a bit of a loop and she regressed a bit.  For the next few days she wanted Mommy close and was more tender with more tears than normal.  The day after orientation she had a HUGE meltdown at preschool drop off, which was a first for her.  It was reminiscent of those she had as a baby when I was trying to transition her to the nursery.  One of her teachers held her and cuddled her close for a couple of minutes but she was still distraught so I quickly went back in and was able to help her through this.  Poor little lamb!!  It broke my heart to see her experience this and brought back memories of our earlier days at home. 

I know this reaction is totally understandable but I'll admit to being surprised that it happened at orientation time.  I was fully prepared that this might happen when kindergarten begins in September but I wasn't prepared for it to happen now.  I took her lead and made sure to pull in and spend extra time with her for the next number of days and listen to her concerns.  For now I've pulled back on talking about her going to 'big girl school' unless she starts the conversation.  We drive by her school often during the week and this morning she said, 'Mommy, I can't wait to go to my big girl school!'  This is a big step for her and I got excited with her.  I know she'll do well once she gets going, it's just the transition that may be understandably challenging.  She's doing excellent at preschool and I know that she will do well in JK too!

Now, here is where you come in friends.  May I ask you to pray about something?  I am SO thankful that Hannah will still be in Ange's school district so she will not have to change daycare.  Yay!!!  That is a HUGE answer to prayer as we love both Ange and her family!  But, we still have one small piece of the puzzle to put into place.  Hannah's bus will  drop her off at Ange's boys' school but her bus will not arrive at the school until 30-40 mins after their school is dismissed.  There is no way I can ask Ange to dress the other 5 kiddos each day and walk back to pick up Hannah so I need to find someone to walk her from the bus to Ange's home.  It's only .2 of a kilometer (about 10 houses) but at this time it's still an unknown.  I'm asking God to show me the person I can hire to care for Hannah each day and walk her this distance.  It's not far but I need someone reliable and responsible.  Thank you for praying about this with me.
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