Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sandbanks snapshots

This weekend was our annual family camping trip to Sandbanks, and we were blessed to be in the company of my parents, both of my sisters, and one brother-in-law. The weather was perfect (it actually started to rain a little as we left the campground), and there were very few bugs. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

OEYC works for me

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that we've only just started using the services of our local OEYC (Ontario Early Years Centre). Almost a month ago, on a rainy Monday, I thought it would be nice to visit the toy library there. We had never been, so I looked online to see what the hours were; I found that they offered drop-in playgroups in both French and English, and that the immersion playgroup (for families with limited French, which describes D although not me) was on Tuesdays.

D & me, in "la Belle Province" a few weeks ago
The girls and I have been going for the past three weeks, and it is a delight! For about an hour and a half, the kids play at whatever activity centre they want: there's painting, play dough, a sand table, a water table, a train set, a craft table, a play kitchen, and various large toys (trampoline, slide, stationary bike) and toy sets (cars, dinosaurs, potato heads) that vary from week to week. Then the kids and their care givers tidy up and gather on the carpet for about 10-15 minutes of French songs. It's been great to have the interaction with other bilingual parents, and to learn new music to sing at home; D's been humming the tunes to herself a lot lately, and occasionally tries out the words. We also picked up a copy of the play dough recipe (en français, bien sûr!), which we'll make after I've done this week's food shop. I'll never forget Prof. Paré's words to our 4th-year French class, that you can't teach someone a language without tying it to its culture. At least not if you want it to stick.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Redemptive bedtime

Since our Wednesday Bible study wrapped up almost a month ago, some of us decided to keep the fellowship going through the summer. After all, we're all free on Wednesdays anyway, we enjoy each other's company, and our kids love to play together. This week it was at Sarah's, and she has a bouncy castle in her backyard, along with a gazebo to keep the mommies in the nice, cool shade. We had a lovely time (and D had no potty accidents for once), even though M missed her morning nap. She proceeded to fall asleep on the way home, and woke up from her nap just minutes after I put D down.

This is way better than actually being in the exersaucer
So, too bad for me, there was no break until now. That being said, M is now quite mobile and entertained herself beautifully while I sorted receipts and did some tidying. She can crawl properly, and started pulling herself up on furniture last week. The kid is 7 months old, btw. I remember with D, from about 7-9 months it was a whirlwind of milestones: sitting up, then crawling, then immediately pulling herself to standing. At 9 months came my favourite one: her first word, Mama. Now, M is great at moving around, and not surprisingly, none too keen on sitting still. I don't know why I'm always surprised that my girls are so different.

Hey, how did I get myself in here? That was awesome!
M finally fell asleep in my arms around the time my sister came over to help with the dinner-bedtime routines (Hubby had evening class). She napped for all of half an hour, then was up and ready to move some more. D had been banging around her room for the better part of two hours, but did eventually fall asleep. I had to wake her up around 6, which is not something I enjoy doing. I know how rotten it is to be forced out of a comfy sleep, but it had to be done.

The cape I made her before she was born
After the baths were done, and the baby nursed and rocked, and D's teeth brushed, and the stories read, it was time for prayers. I will preface this part by saying I know D is only two and a half, and I know what happened probably doesn't count yet, but I loved her heart. Here's what happened. Whenever I pray with her at night, she chooses a few people to pray for, and I always pray for the same two things: that D's future husband will be a strong man after God's own heart (I know she may or may not marry one day, but I feel it's best to pray, just in case), and that D will choose Jesus to save her from her sins and follow him with all her heart all the days of her life. So maybe that's three things. Anyway, after I prayed and was about to say Amen, D whispered that God takes away our sins, and I whispered back that we have to ask him to first, but yes, he does. D looked up at the ceiling and murmured, "God, can you take away my sins? He took away my sins." It was the most beautiful thing I think I've ever heard, my own child asking her Creator to forgive her sins. I do realize that she's very young and that she probably doesn't fully understand the problem of sin and separation from God, or what Jesus' death and resurrection had to do with it, but she's putting the pieces together. And while it may or may not have redeemed her, it certainly redeemed my day.