Thursday, January 26, 2012

Grip It Continued!

We've been going weekly now for almost a month to Grip It and have been having a great time!

Look at that monkey go!

I've been so impressed with this little guy!

Neither of our kids have been much for climbing - not around the house or even outside. I expect it has a lot to do with their over protective mother always telling them to 'be careful' or 'don't do that, you might fall' etc etc.

But I think given the relative safety of being roped in and being encouraged to climb, it has opened this great opportunity and Finnegan has really taken off and UP with it.

We've been totally impressed with Keira too. This past Monday, Tim encouraged her to climb to the top of the low wall. He has the strength to give her that extra boost and help lift her upwards as she's reaching for holds which helps her out a lot.

WOW she did it!

Suzuki Strings Winter Concert

On Sunday, the kids played their violins in the Saskatoon Suzuki Strings winter concert.
Luckily the weather was really nice and the bike ride across town was definitely not as bad as it could have been - especially for mid-January in Saskatchewan!

The beginner cellos and violins went first.

These little children have only just begun playing the violin since September.

Good patience is needed while either the cellos or violins take their turn.

I love the sound of the cellos. Unfortunately the shear size seems a little more problematic for a family that travels bike bike. Tim reminds me that one of the Suzuki cello teachers lives just across the river. For the time being, I think the kids will stick with the violins - definitely a more portable instrument!

The group starts with the more advanced songs and then gradually more and more kids are standing up playing the music.

I think the group lessons and the opportunity to play together at these concerts is a great experience for the children.

Keira joined in for the final 6 or so songs.

And for the last few violin songs, everyone was up playing the 'twinkles'.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ladybird Singing in Saskatoon

I've recently learned that one of the Ladybirds, Melissa McClelland is coming to Saskatoon on April 17th to sing at the Broadway Theatre. Together she and her husband, Luke Doucet, comprise the duo Whitehorse. I am hoping to go see them at the Broadway as it is sure to be a fun night out close to my birthday!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Warrior Friends

Every Sunday at 10 am at Hot Yoga on 20th, Keira and Finnegan help me out teaching a family yoga class.

It's for children ages 3-7 with their parent/guardian to have fun learning yoga poses in an interactive way. It's a karma class so all donations go directly to charity ($5 minimum suggested donation per family). For the next couple of months, donations will be given to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. This is to help fundraise with my friends Crystal and Darcy who will be running a marathon in April to raise awareness and support for the LLS through Team in Training.

This past Sunday, likely due to the huge snowfall from the night before, unfortunately no one showed up for the family yoga class. That has never stopped us however, as Finnegan and Keira are little yogis who always like to have fun!

Two Down Dogs - I use books, yoga cards, and games to encourage kids (and adults) in the class to try out different poses with the emphasis always on having fun.

Lizard on a Rock - We tried out a lot of the 'partner poses' from the Yoga Pretzel cards. These are really fun cards with lots of great poses for kids of all ages.

Two Boats (I was pretty amazed that they could balance for this one!)

Finnegan - Shark Pose

Keira -Shark Pose

What does a gorilla look like?

Is that a girl or a turtle?

Bridge Pose

I just love this one of Keira in tree pose.

Big brother demonstrating tree pose as well.

And of course some just plain silliness!

Grip It

The day after Finnegan's birthday, we ventured over to Grip It which is a new climbing gym in Saskatoon.

We had just started going to Climb 306 in 2010 but then shortly afterwards it had closed down. At Climb 306 we arranged with them to instruct a course for homeschooled kids that Finnegan participated in and I also took a learn to climb course from Amy Holowach.

I was very happy to learn that Grip It had opened up in fall 2011 and was still in our neighbourhood, now just located over on Avenue F and 23rd Street.

So we've bought a monthly pass to try things out. The plan is to go there at least once a week and make it a family outing, having fun climbing together. And so far it has been a lot of fun. I am totally amazed at how much of a change there has been in Finnegan from two years ago when he had first tried climbing and was pretty fearful about going up to any significant height.

After just a couple attempts he had already climbed to the top of the low wall and then proceeded to climb straight to the top of the 50 ft wall!!!!!!! Who are you and what have you done with my son!

Keira has also been pretty stocked about the climbing too.

She's not quite yet the spiderman that Finnegan seems to have become, but she is also 2.5 years younger and has been doing extraordinarily well.

Even mom gets to give it a try at the end of the session! I can only manage about one, maybe two times up, on the easiest of climbs and by then my forewarms are already aching!

Happy Birthday Finnegan

It seems only yesterday (except for the added wrinkles) that my water broke and we were heading to the hospital!

A request was made this year for a dragon cake - so that's what was created!

Opened up presents in the morning, played DragonLance with his friends all afternoon and then more friends came over in the evening for cake and ice cream. Pretty good way to spend the day!

It takes some concentration and strategic planning to blow out all eight of those candles!

Christmas Carols and Violin

Over the holidays Tim and the kids played a couple of violin concerts - one at Oliver Place and the other at Luther Riverside Terrace. At Oliver Place, there were two other families who joined us, as we travelled through the building stopping at various spots and playing a few Christmas tunes.

The residents always really seem to love the kids playing their violins.

I also think it is a great experience for the kids to share their music with others.

"The Brown Trio"

My two favourite fellas playing Minuet #2.

LAS Youth Ambassadors

The Ladybird Animal Sanctuary has set up a Youth Ambassador Program for children to demonstrate their support of LAS and express their commitment to protecting animals and being concerned the welfare of animals.

From their participation in the 2012 Pet + Pose calendar, Finnegan and Keira were invited to submit a drawing/writing about their experience and were named the first two youth ambassadors of the program. You can check out their submissions on the Ladybird Kids Corner page.

As new youth ambassadors, they each received a Certificate from the Ladybirds and also these awesome t-shirts!

Irish dancing must be in their genes

Here are a few photos from the Queen Maeve School of Irish Dance winter performance in December. Fortunately this year there was hardly any snow and the temperature was pretty good, so even though we biked to the school again, we didn't have to thaw out a couple of kidsicles like we did last year before they started dancing!

One of the tiniest girls in the class, Keira really enjoys the Irish dancing (she's the one with the long pony tail on the right side).

And Finnegan - boy can that kid dance! I haven't seen him practice for some time and it was truly amazing (OK I'm also pretty biased) but it seemed that many of the girls where watching him to know what steps to do (he's the only boy in that class) and near the end of the show, he was up there taking part in one of the dances with all the adults and he sure could keep up well and knew all the steps and where he was supposed to be dancing.

Everyone on stage for their final bows.

The winter Irish Dance performance was a certainly a fun event, watching Margie, Finnegan, Keira and Sophia dancing their skip-two-threes.

Definitely happy to be with my little dancers!