Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Settling into Summer

For the first time in a few weeks I feel as though I can exhale.  The crazy business of the month of June is behind us.  All of the school parties, wrap up activities and last minute playdates and outings have taken place.  We are officially on summer holidays and it feels good in a way that is hard to explain, especially this year after Sydney's first full year of school.

Sydney came home on her last day of school with a heap of things from the year, precious work that was evidence of how much she'd learned, how far we'd come from that first nerve wracking day in September.  The most precious thing in the entire pile was, of course, her Kindergarten Portfolio, a book that took a year for the teacher's to compile filled with all of Sydney's best work, drawings, photos and memories from her Kindergarten year.  It is something that I will treasure forever.

Not being in school has left Sydney feeling a bit out of sorts.  She is used to a day with structure and stimulus and isn't quite sure what to do with herself without the comfort of her classroom, friends and teachers.  We have had a few harrowing moments trying to settle into summer around here!

Last week I took Sydney to see the Broadway production of The Lion King at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.  What an amazing show, we both loved it so much!

We just returned from a weekend away with Paul to Ryan and Christina's beautiful home in Suncadia with our Sally, Allan and Ollie.  What an amazing weekend we had enjoying each other's company and the 38 degree weather!  On Saturday we rented a catamaran boat and jet ski for the day and spent the entire day on Cle Elum lake.  It was amazing!  The boat rental place gave us a huge 25 foot floating mat which we could literally all float on in the middle of the lake.  The kids loved it and I was so proud of myself floating out there on the mat and even floating and treading water with my life jacket in the middle of the lake, first time ever!!

On Saturday evening we got a babysitter to come watch the kids and the adults headed out for an amazing dinner at the winery together.  What a lovely treat to have some time on our own and enjoy a delicious dinner together.

The kids so enjoyed each other's company too.  I love this shot of them hanging out eating popsicles together, summer bliss!

This morning I brought Sydney's little table and chairs up from the playroom and surprised her by setting up a little space in the kitchen as her 'summer office'.  She was thrilled and immediately got to work busy working and writing lists.

While we were away in Suncadia we went to the Sunday morning farmer's market in Roslyn.  What a sweet town it is and I got Sydney her very own bouquet of dried lavender flowers there which she has proudly displayed in her new office.

Besides working on her writing Sydney and I have been plowing our way through some Fancy Nancy chapter books together.  She is loving reading so much and I am only too happy to foster that love over the summer while she's out of school.

Sydney has been enjoying having her Mandarin tutor, Jean, come every Monday morning.  The have such fun doing crafts, singing songs and learning all sorts of words and phrases in Mandarin.

We have lots of summer fun ahead of us, I am so grateful for this time with Sydney, the amazing weather and to slow down our pace of life.  Feels good!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Countdown's On!

It is almost midnight and I know that I should be off to bed to catch some precious sleep before another full day tomorrow but I can't help but stop and take a few moments to reflect on where we are at in Sydney's life.  In nine more school days she will be finished Kindergarten.  It seems hard to believe that an entire year has gone by.  She has had so many wonderful memories and learned so much during this first year of school.  It has been life changing for us all!

Sydney's class has been doing a 'neighborhood' project for the past several days whereby the girls set up different businesses and run the classroom like a neighborhood.  They have a bank, food market, art gallery, airport, travel gift shop and restaurant.  Each girl takes a turn working in every business or being part of the family that frequents the businesses on any given day.

I have had the fortune of being able to volunteer in Sydney's class several times for their neighborhood project and have so loved watching Sydney interact with her classmates and have fun role playing!

This morning she was the pilot of the 'Super Fly Apple Fly' airplane.  She flew her classmates around the playground to India, Hawaii and Australia.  It was adorable!

We've also had a special event at Sydney's school where we said goodbye to Ms. England, a Kindergarten teacher who has been with the school for forty years.  We had a lovely tea party for her and Sydney even had the chance to make her own bonnet for the occasion!

We've been trying to squeeze in as many playdates as possible before the end of the school year!  Sydney had her friend Julia over today to play, the girls had a great time bouncing in the bouncy castle, having a picnic outside and playing hospital.  I love that Syd and Julia have known each other since they were two years old and that their friendship keeps growing and blossoming!

It has been record breaking warm temperatures in Vancouver the past several days.  I took Sydney to Emma Lea Farms on the weekend to pick strawberries which are several weeks ahead of schedule this year with all the good weather we're having!

I just love watching my very own Strawberry Shortcake in the strawberry patch, it's adorable!

What a precious time it is as we wrap up Sydney's first year of school.