Monday, 22 August 2016


We took a trip to a violin luthier here in Strasbourg to rent a violin for Elijah. When we arrived a lady fitted him for a violin, showed him how to tighten and loosen the bow and how to put it away in the case. Elijah was so excited and held the violin so proudly. The lady noticed his enthusiasm and offered to show us around the workshop, it was so beautiful. We toured each room as she explained to us in detail how the instruments were made- from choosing the wood to stringing the bow with horse hair! Eli was stoked, as he has quite a love for how things are made! We signed our rental papers and Elijah set off with his violin case in hand as happy as could be, he did not want to put it down and insisted on holding it on his lap for the car ride home.
The other day when I was dozing off on the couch Elijah asked me where his markers were, I had no idea (and I did not want to get up) so he ended up finding a tiny red pencil crayon to work on his project. When I woke up from my nap he showed me page after page of  "music notes" that he wrote in his note book. "Look mom, I wrote down all the music so now I can play my violin" he then proceed by taking out his violin, looking at his notebook intensely and began to play as if he was reading the music! 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Elijah is 5 years old!!!

Elijah asked for a few things for his Birthday, a snail enclosure, a skipping rope, chess board and a pinata (one he could smash all by himself). Dan was supposed to be out of town for Elijah's birthday, so we did not really make a plan...but luckily the trip was cancelled. We found out the night before that Europa Park was free on your Birthday- so in the morning we made some pancakes and we were off to Germany! We had an amazing day going on ride after ride, visiting all the 'countries' and even watched a bubble show where the guy did the entire performance indoors- smoking cigarettes and blowing the smoke into the bubbles- you know a typical kids show. We did not arrive home till super late so we did not even end up doing cake or the pinata, but it worked out perfectly as we had family come by the next day for an impromptu visit and we celebrated together. 

I always loved the age five. Whether it was being a camp counsellor for five year olds at summer camp, directing drama plays with them at the community center, teaching them yoga, or instructing a huge group of five year old girls at Sparks. It was my favourite age. And now, I have a five year old! I am excited to see what the year brings. To be honest it started out a bit rocky, with a failed summer camp, a bout of sickness, and a very strong willed "NO" for going to school in the fall. We were not off to the best start, but sometimes that needs to happen for things to shift. I really took the time to think about Elijah, listen to him and follow his lead. He is determined, courageous and not afraid to think outside the box. With my help, he wrote out a list of things he wanted to do this year and what he wanted to learn: going to museums, art galleries, climbing trees, learning violin, doing ballet, playing ball, learning chess, watching math videos, doing LOTS of science, cooking and baking, learning about Space and Ancient Egypt. "See mom, I can learn this all at home with my encyclopaedias and watching documentaries. Besides, when we go back to Canada I can go to forest school". He was right, and why did it matter? I had this idea that it would be great for him to go school here, learn French meet new friends, but that is not what he wants right now. Sometimes you have to stop and listen, and see your child for who they really are, not some made up idea of what you think they want or need. So what if most of your friends are adults, or if you act a bit silly when you are in big groups that overwhelm you, and that sometimes it is hard for people to see who you truly are because they always see you in those situations. This year I am going to try my best to stop caring about that, embrace you and your amazing self and try not to get too frustrated. You have taught me more than I ever thought possible, I hope in return I can guide you through your life in a way that fosters your amazing talents, abilities and that very inquisitive mind of yours. So here's to watching videos about geometry, learning which planets have moons, the theory of the big bang and enduring the squeaky violin! I love you Elijah. Happy 5th Birthday.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

El Masnou to Barcelona...

The night before we were supposed to leave we thought "but we are so close to Barcelona" so again we made a last minute booking and in the morning drove to El Masnou, which is a hop skip and a jump from Barcelona. When we arrived we found a place to park, which was quite tricky as the whole town is basically built on a super steep hill. After navigating the hot downhill slope to the beach, we were all so excited to swim in the calm crystal blue water. The beach was lined with these cute little beach bars with playgrounds and trampolines right beside them, so the parents could relax and eat tapas while the kids play- novel concept. We checked into the apartment, the family that was hosting us was super nice, they had fun toys, a ladder in the living room, and an awesome balcony that was filled with bikes and scooters. We were having so much fun that we never ended up doing our day trip to Barcelona...but the night before we were leaving I thought...we have to go!!! Even though it was already six at night, we walked to the train station bought a few round trip tickets and thirty minutes later we were in the hustle and bustle of Barcelona! The kids had a blast running through giant bubbles and chasing pigeons, later we perused some shops and looked at the beautiful buildings. We were going to go for a nice last dinner but our bank card was not working, so we settled for the "the Catalan BBQ experience" which was basically hotdogs. It was getting pretty late so we headed back to the train station, it was chock-full of people that looked like they had been waiting a very long time. I asked someone what was going on and she said that a train had not come for hours as there was some sort of strike. Yikes. Lucky as she was just finishing her sentence a train pulled up, and it was our train- not even five minutes after we arrived. Phew. We had a very early morning ahead of us and a long drive, in fact Dan insisted we talk the non toll route home so it tacked on another four hours to the already long 10 hour drive. I can't complain, the kids slept most of the way home and the little towns we drove through were absolutely stunning. Well...that wraps up the end of our magical road trip, Angelina made it 3500km and such wonderful memories were made.