Friday, November 14, 2014

{this moment} game night

{this moment} - A Friday ritual.
A single photo capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

lest we forget

Thank you, Daddy!

These two are sad their father is unable to attend their school's Remembrance Day ceremony today, instead they are proudly bringing in pictures of him.

Today I am taking the time to remember not only those veterans who have served and continue to serve Canada; I am also paying tribute to our neighbouring veterans in the American Armed Forces. Thank you. 

Joseph's handy-work

I leave you with this beautiful Canadian song, Highway of Heroes, written by the Trews and Gordie Johnson. 

Lest we forget.

Monday, November 10, 2014

we remember

Remembrance Day, also referred to as Poppy Day by my children, is very important in our home. Not only because my husband is military, but because I truly believe it is important to honor those veterans that have served, and continue to serve, our country with the very best of intentions. Those that have put their country, and fellow countrymen, first; risking their lives, their mental and physical health, and the relationships with those they love. For me, it has nothing to do with politics or whether one agrees with past or current missions. It is simply a day to honor veterans of the past, present, and future. It is a day to pay tribute to their lives, spirits and sacrifices.

Over the weekend, while taking the time to speak with Fiona and Patrick about Remembrance Day, and teaching them the first verse of the poem In Flanders Fields, we put together a poppy craft - poppy sun-catchers - to display in our front window. The kids made five poppies, one for each family member.

On the day after Halloween, the widow and six year-old daughter of one of my husband's friend's, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan (see this post written two years ago), made a Facebook challenge encouraging us, before pulling out our Christmas decorations, to decorate for Remembrance Day. Every year we have always hung a homemade poppy wreath on our door, however the kids and I took it up a notch this year by accepting their challenge, and created this window display!

The banner is made out of pages from an old ruined book, and the cardboard letters were cut from a frozen pizza box and coloured with a black sharpie. We pinned the letters on twine with clothespins, and admired our work! The pictures don't do it justice. My good camera's battery needs replacing, so I took these pictures with my camera phone. 

Tomorrow morning I will be attending Fiona and Patrick's school Remembrance Day ceremony, and in the afternoon the kids will be laying a wreath with my mother, who is avidly involved in a local Legion, at an Ottawa cenotaph. I have no doubt tomorrow will be a day filled with tears; and numerous discussions/questions about Remembrance Day, Daddy, Daddy's current deployment, peace, war, and soldiers. One thing is for certain, we will remember.

Friday, November 7, 2014

All Hallows' Eve, one week later

This year, as Halloween approached, my almost seven year old daughter had many questions about why we celebrate Halloween. She expressed that she found it kinda strange that people dress up and go door-to-door for candy. To be honest, I had a bit of a difficult time explaining it, myself. I started off by describing how Halloween was originally referred to as All Hallows' Eve, and how historically there was a strong belief that souls of the dead (ghosts) came to visit us in the living world for one day each year, All Hallows' Day. I explained how food is often an important component of any celebration, and after referring to this book, I further explained how food was prepared for the visiting ghosts, as they were thought to be starving and lacking in proper nutrition. My daughter replied, "candy is not proper nutrition!", I agreed with her, but that is a completely different post (maybe one day)!

Giving our skeleton an apple ('proper nourishment')
 so it has something to eat before he starts his haunting! 
Instead of just focusing on dressing up and trick-or-treating, we invited a couple of our special family friends over for a little old-school Halloween party!

Pre-party energy burn!
The kids bobbed for apples....

 ...they felt for zombie eyes (peeled grapes), toad's blood (runny jello), and monster brains (overcooked spaghetti)....

They all guessed the zombie eyes were 'guts'!

...and even had a little treasure hunt!

The kids eventually did dress up and go out trick-or-treating, but both Fiona and Patrick agreed that the 'party' was their favourite part of the evening. Fiona has since asked if it can become an annual tradition. Maybe next year we'll have the adults bob for apples, make homemade caramel apples, use pumpkin 'guts' as one of the sensory bowls and perhaps concoct a special witches brew! Yes, I strongly suspect I had as much fun as the kids did!

Halloween 2014