Adam’s 5th Birthday Party

It’s already been almost 5 months since Adam celebrated his 5th birthday, but I wanted to document it here on the blog.  5 sure seems like a big age!  Adam was so excited for the big milestone.  This year, we celebrated with a family birthday party on March 17th, 2 days before his actual birthday.  Since we hosted the party on St. Patrick’s day, we added some Irish flair and lots of green to the day!  Auntie Barb and Uncle Andy made some delicious chocolate mint cupcakes that we all enjoyed.  It was fun low-key celebration for our big boy.  

The birthday boy!!

Uncle James and Adam.

Now I get to open my presents!!

Adam opens his present from cousin Daniel and family.

Gathering around to see what Adam received!

Blowing out the candles on the chocolate mint cupcakes.

Adam went to school the next day, where they celebrated his birthday with his classmates.  Auntie Barb visited with cupcakes that Adam handed out to all his classmates and teachers.  It was a special day for him!  Adam was the first child in his Junior Kindergarten class to be 5 so that was a pretty big deal.  


Adam and T-Ball

Adam played his first year of T-ball this past spring/summer and it was a success.  He was so excited to get out and play with other children and apply the skills he has been working on at home for the last couple of summers.  Adam watches a lot of baseball with us as our family is a big fan of the Toronto Blue Jays.  He’s been to a few games, as well, and started the season with a basic understanding of the game.

Every Wednesday night from 6:30-7:30, from the beginning of May until the middle of July, Adam had his t-ball games.  Unfortunately, this conflicted with our weekly swimming lessons at the Y which go from 6:00-6:30.  Adam still made it to most of his lessons, staying until 6:15, and then being whisked off to the baseball diamond, which was thankfully, less than 10 minutes from the Y.  Once lessons finished, Benny and I would join them at the baseball diamond.  Adam often had his grandparents there as well to cheer him on.

T-ball clinics were held on 7 Saturdays during the season, and Adam didn’t miss any of them.  He loved the extra chance to practice!

Adam’s favourite position to play on the field was the “pitcher”.  He tried to make every catch,  sprinting after the ball if needed.  In fact, near the end of the season, his team mates would just let him run to the ball because he usually got there first anyway!  Adam also loved to play back catcher.  He did have to get used to hitting the ball of the tee since he was used to Steve pitching the ball to him.  That didn’t take him long!

It was a fun season, and Adam already misses playing baseball with his team.

Summer Swimming

My boys are big fans of swimming, and although we don’t have our own pool, are in one regularly with weekly swimming lessons.  They are both so comfortable in the water and are able to stand up in some shallow ends which gives them a lot more freedom.  This summer, our friends put a gorgeous pool in their backyard.  We’ve been swimming there now a couple of times, and it has been so fun.  It helps that our boys love Sara and Mike’s kids, who are between the ages of 10 and 16.  Corey is 14 and Benny absolutely adores him.  He plays so well with Benny and Adam.  They also love the two younger sisters, Lauren and Tayah, who play very well with them.

Last week, we spent an afternoon there with Barb and Andy and family, and it turned out to be a gorgeous, warm afternoon.

Benny on Two Wheels!

Benny surprised us all today by agreeing to let Steve take the training wheels off his bike.  We were convinced that he was going to have training wheels on until next summer, when he’ll be 4 years old, but he sure proved us all wrong!  Steve was in the garage removing the training wheels when I left for a quick run around the block.  When, I came back, Benny was biking on two wheels on the road, with a huge smile on his face.

Steve had removed his training wheels, turned around to put the tools back in the tool box, and Benny just rode off down the driveway on his own!  He was obviously a lot more ready than we had thought.  He and Adam are on their bikes everyday, so he certainly gets lots of cycle time.

We’re all pretty proud of him, but there is no match to the pride shown on his face!  Within an hour, he was even riding ramps with his big bro!

Summer Vacation – Centre Island

I want to catch up on posting the happenings in our family over the last five months since this is blog is both my journal and the way I share photos and anecdotes with our family and friends.  I think that I will try to keep up with what’s going on now and blog some flashback posts interspersed.

This past week, I took a week of vacation from work to spend some time with the boys and give my Mom a break while my Dad had time off work.  Steve had just ended his own week at home with the boys culminated last Friday with a family trip to Centre Island in Toronto.  We had a lot of fun there last year, and it was a day trip we wanted to do again this year.  Adam and Benny both remembered their favourite rides (Adam – log ride and Benny – fire trucks) and couldn’t wait to go on them again.

It was a beautiful day– sunny and not too hot, and thus, the island was very busy.  We had to wait in line to get on the ferry, but the boys were fairly patient.  Thankfully, the ferry ride to the island takes no more than 10-15 minutes, so we were on the island in good time.  We were all starving, though Adam would have skipped lunch if we would have let him.  After a picnic lunch, they were chomping at the bit to get into the amusement park.

Centreville is the a perfect amusement park for younger children.  Almost all of the rides are age appropriate, even if the children sometimes have to be accompanied by a parent.  Adam was gung-ho to ride everything.  He is fearless and loves speed, height and excitement.  Benny is quite the opposite and prefers rides that stay on the ground.  Steve patiently waited in line with the boys and went on the rides where a parent was needed.  I served as both mule and photographer, carting our gear around, waiting and taking photos.

In pure coincidence, Emily, Leanne and Charlotte had planned to go to the island the same day!  We met up with them for a little visit, but they were able to spend their time walking the beautiful trails and enjoying the beach, while the boys kept us in the amusement park.  We also rode the ferry back to the mainland with them, at the end of the day.  The boys were excited to see Charlotte.

By the time we left the island, the boys had been on almost all of the rides that they could, and they were tuckered out from all the fun.  Our ferry ride back to the city was relaxing, and we had a smooth drive home from Toronto.  In the future, I would like to take our bikes with us and cycle around the island, as there are some beautiful trails, free from traffic, that would be perfect for Adam and Benny.

End of July 2013

After an almost 5 month hiatus from blogging, I wanted to get started again by posting some pictures of the boys, since I know my family are the primary followers of this blog.  The following are a few photos of our summer thus far.  We’ve been enjoying the beautiful temperatures of summer.  Now I have lots to catch up on….look for more posts from me!

Lunar New Year 2013

It’s taken me over a month to finally post about our lunar new year celebrations, but I didn’t want it to get missed.  We had such a wonderful time with the Korean Canadian Children’s Association (KCCA) and the members of the Korean Light Presbyterian Church who hosted us.  They have a beautiful, large facility that was more than perfect for the event.  This year’s event was our 4th celebration with the KCCA, and each year is a little bit different.  Barb, Andy, their boys, Jenana and my parents joined us for the day.  We were also happy to spend the day with Krista, Matt and Alex.

The morning started with a ceremony where we were entertained with a Jin-Do drum dance, a fan dance and Hwa-Gwan Mu by the children’s Glory Mission Dance team.  We were also shown a mock Pe Bak ceremony that is done at Korean weddings.  Very entertaining!  Before the end of the ceremony, the children got to participate in the traditional Se Bae bowing ceremony.  Adam and Daniel eagerly ran to the front while Benny was more hesitant, and then behaved in typical Benny fashion.

We were all eagerly anticipating the delicious lunch prepared by the women of the church, and it did not disappoint.  Vegetable rolls, dumplings, bulgogi, japchae, and more.  It was all delicious.  During the lunch, we were entertained by a drum dance that fascinated the boys.

In previous years, we have rarely stayed much past lunch time, with our boys being tired out from all the excitement.  This year, they were so excited and really enjoying themselves, that we wanted to stay for the afternoon’s event.  The church organized a number of activities that allowed us to experience a taste of Korean customs, traditions and food.  The boys got to play Yut-Nori (the most well known Korean traditional board game that is played during Korean New Year) and Gonggi (a popular Korean girl’s game that is traditionally played using 5 or smaller grape sized pebbles), and had a blast.

As soon as the boys saw that children were getting their faces painted, they raced to that room and Adam made sure to get the Korean flag smack in the middle of his forehead.  Benny rolled up his jeans and asked for a Canada flag on his leg.  Only Benny.

From there, they headed to the calligraphy room where the boys got to decorate prints with their version of calligraphy.  Benny painted his full sheet black.

Finally, my favourite room was the Korean market where we got to make KimBab and rice cakes.  The boys loved hitting the ball of rice with the hammer, though no one much enjoyed the taste of the rice cakes.  We loved getting to make the KimBab.  Adam was so patient and did an excellent job of his.  It looked great!  We also enjoyed tasting the cinnamon ginger tea and the tteokbokki.   The ladies were so awesome and made sure that we all took home whatever we wanted to (and lots of it!).

We have so many great memories of this day.  The members of the Korean church were so welcoming, kind and generous to our families.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about all the volunteers who helped with the whole event, who embraced all our families and were so fabulous at sharing little pieces of their culture.  We look forward to joining the KCCA for more of their events in the future.