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Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Little Activist

Marley has long been obsessed with birds. In particular, owls. Several months ago I dug out an old book of mine called "Granny's Gang" which is about the goings on at a wild bird shelter specifically, with owls. She has read it at least twice and last week asked to take it to school to share with her classmates. She's also been busy creating "Owl Awareness" posters and getting them put up in various classrooms and the front office.

She's on a mission.

I'm not totally sure what her mission is but she sure is passionate about it! For her birthday she asked for donations instead of gifts. She raised over $100 most of which went to her Aunt Christine's Ride to Conquer Cancer team (Team Finn). But she had some put aside some for her favourite charitable society O.W.L - The Orphaned WildLife Society.

Today we got the chance to hand over her donation as O.W.L was having their annual Open House. Here are some pictures from the event.
Two red-tailed hawks were released back into the wild.

The girls got to go fishing for prizes.

No luck with the bigger prizes - just lollipops all around.

There's the gang chatting up a very nice lady about her hawk and sanctuary.

This is Phoenix, a 4 year old female Harris hawk. Gorgeous, no?

Marley brought one of her posters and showed it to this lady. It's too bad you can't see it, she did a really great job on them.

Putting in her birthday donation money.

This is Sarah - a 4 year old barn owl saying hi to the visitors in the hospital area.

And here is the little owl that started the whole love affair with Marley.
Snoopy the saw-whet owl.
Marley first met him when O.W.L came to her school a couple years ago. She liked birds before meeting him, but afterwards become completely smitten! Not hard to see why - he's pretty cute!!
He was hanging out in the office where Marley got to talk to some really nice ladies about her campaign. They loved her poster hung onto it. They told her that as soon as she turns 13 she can volunteer at O.W.L. Best news ever! She's on the 5 year count down now!!

This post may sound a little tongue in cheek but that is simply because I'm not sure what to make of Marley's passion and drive. I love that she feels so much for these beautiful creatures. I love that she's worried about their welfare and wants to help in any way she can. I love that she believes she can make a difference.
This must be a symptom of her generation. The knowledge that she can make changes even at the tender age of 8. Not something I would ever have dreamed possible! I think I may be forced out of my comfort zone with her!! I sense great things if I can only get our of her way and let her take it as far as she wants to.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bad Mommy Catch Up Post!

Wow. I should be nominated for Worst Mommy Blogger of the Year! I just realized today that I forgot to do a Happy Birthday post for Paige. My poor middle child! So shafted!! Her 6th birthday was last Sunday and we had a super busy day. Here are some highlights ...

The traditional height taking as soon as she got up.

Not sure if you can even see her new height what with all the additional ... er, decorations! She is now 45.5" - almost tall enough for some of the wilder rides at Disneyland in a couple weeks!

Then there was the opening of presents before breakfast.

The shrink jewelry making kit I found was a big hit.

Examining all the new things while I "cooked" the toaster waffles. Yes, I was feeling lazy that morning!

Then it was off to Go Bananas in Richmond for her 11:00am birthday party.

The party girls!

I can't seem to NOT take pictures of this cutey!!

Fooling around with the party hats.

Cake time!

And then presents.

We had the party room booked for 1.5 hours and I was worried it wouldn't be enough time but we almost didn't need it. Even though the party included a hotdog and drink for each guest, the girls were definitely more interested in playing downstairs than in eating. The room was used (by them) as more of a snack bar with revolving door! At least we were finished with it before the kid at the party next to ours started throwing up!! Yuck!

Paige had to leave her party at 1:00 and motor over to her first field hockey game ever. I had one Mom completely forget to pick up her kids so I only caught the last few minutes of the game. Paige looked completely comfortable out there!

Christine got to spend some time with her boyfriend, Levi. He lives across the street and the two of them are inseparable! It's so cute ... now. 10 years from now we'll be having a little talk though!!

I brought the leftover cake and fruit for the team to snack on after the game.

And then Marley played her game directly afterwards. 

To round out the day we went out for Sushi (Paige's choice) after a family "quiet time" to recover from our busy first half of the day. Paige had a really great day. She did not want to leave her party to go and play field hockey but that was the only "incident" all day. She is really growing and maturing so much!
We met with her Kindergarten teacher a few days ago (despite the job action, our school held parent teacher interviews this past week and I am SO glad they did!) and it was just so heart warming to hear all the glowing things she had to say about Paige. How hard she works. How well she's liked. How helpful and cooperative she is. We were worried about her as she has speech issues and can get very anxious about new experiences to the point that she shuts down. But so far, none of our fears have amounted to anything. She is working hard and making strides with her speech. Her reading and spelling are exactly where they are supposed to be for her age. And socially, she is well liked and has an ever growing circle of fine friends. 
Way to go Paige! Your Dad and I are so proud of you! Keep up the good work!!

And now for some things that happened earlier last week ...

Yep,  you're seeing correctly. Paige lost her first tooth! Popped out during dinner on Wednesday the 12th. 

Paige was a bit surprised (mostly that it didn't hurt!) but so unbelievably proud of that new gap!!

And of course, the Tooth Fairy came and left her a shiny new Toonie!

That same day she got this sweet little suede bag from my Aunt Moira. Do you remember when we had to run sneak attacks to get pictures of Paige? Well, now she's into her "model pose" phase. Sigh. All I ask is for a normal picture! Oh, and Aunt Moira, thanks for the bag. Paige loved it so much she took it to school the next day for sharing. 

Well, we are rapidly approaching today's field hockey games so I'd better finish this and get the girls ready. Greg has started Mockingjay today so I may be on my own!! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday everyone!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Latest Happenings Around Here

Happy Easter everyone. We have enjoyed a sunny long weekend - something we've been waiting for. The sun that is! Today was historic! We all went for a bike ride on the Dyke! Greg and Marley have been helping Paige get comfortable on her "new" bike (Marley's old bike) so we decided to test out her new found confidence.

My Orthopedic Surgeon told me that running was OFF my list of approved physical activities and that cycling was now my new best friend. So ... I dusted off my bike several weeks ago but today was the first time I've been able to take it out. That's Christine in the Chariot. She was initially pretty upset that we wouldn't let her take her "new" bike (Paige's old one that we put the training wheels back on) but she soon settled into the comfort of having the Chariot to herself!

Here are Paige and Greg catching up to Marley  and I. She had a huge grin on her face! So proud of her!!

Marley, scanning for owls while we wait for Greg and Paige to catch up. This year marks the return of the Snowy Owls to Boundary Bay Dyke. Every year some stop here on their migratory trek north but every 4 years they come in the huge numbers to feed on some sort of rodent that is on a 4 year population explosion cycle of its own! We didn't see any today but I wasn't expecting too. Not in the bright sunshine! We did see a different owl which you will see below.

Greg and Marley took off and I kept Paige company. At the 72nd Street entrance we asked her if she wanted to turn around or keep going. She said "keep going" but within a few meters she was complaining of sore legs so she and I turned back. The next few shots were taken at the rest area at the 72nd entrance where we stopped for a snack and some water.

On our (painfully slow) return journey back to the 64th Street entrance (and our van) we saw an owl fly across our path and around the grasslands next to the Dyke before coming to rest here. I've zoomed in as much as I can (while still being able to identify that it's an owl ... okay, bird of some sort!) - it's the grey-brown thing on top of that transformer post. 

Yesterday was Easter Sunday and the girls got their requisite ration of chocolate. Greg's parents were looking after his nephews so the four of them came over for an Easter Egg hunt and an early birthday celebration for Paige.
The morning chocolate surprises.

The afternoon egg hunt. 

Griffin (and Jasper) couldn't find the Easter bags they brought so we used the girls' old Hallowe'en buckets (McDonald's Happy meal leftovers!)

Marley was very good about helping Jasper and all the younger kids find eggs too.

But she wasn't afraid to take her share!

Some were hidden in plain sight up high so Marley found most of those!

I went through the approximately dozen shots I took of the group and NONE of them are great. This one is probably the best of the lot. sigh.

Enjoying the fruits of their labour!

Paige's cake. Yes, it's a carrot cake! Also, it was Easter and Spring so ... the decor came easily.

Paige looked a little ... er, shell shocked. Not sure what happened during dinner but she was "having a moment"!

Despite that, she blew out her candle and enjoyed a piece of cake like a trooper!

After cake was the promised "Birthday Horsey ride" from Grandpa.

Griffin bumped his head and got cuddles from Grandma.

Paige's gifts included a new Barbie - this one with extra long hair extensions!

And the game Hiss which is fast becoming a favourite in the Day/Nielsen clan.

Breaking in the new game.

Thanks for stopping by. Paige's birthday is on Sunday and we've managed to squeeze in a birthday party at Go Bananas before her field hockey game! Gonna be a busy weekend!! Have a great week everyone!