Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tonsils Are Gone!



Love that little trooper!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

'Tis the Season

Well, I know that my last post was at Halloween...please forgive!
Here are some of the latest happenings with the Tapper family:
I am directing a Christmas production at Cornerstone Wesleyan Church in North Gower, ON on Sunday, December 9th at 6:30pm.  (Consider yourself invited!)
Andrew's Atom Icebergs team won a local hockey tournament!
Mike continues to plug away at his PhD research.  He has also started a research placement with The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and is enjoying that work, too.
We purchased a new-to-us vehicle, another Dodge Grand Caravan--silver this time!
We are mourning the loss of Celeste, Abby's fish, who passed away this past week.
And, on a more joyful note, we are looking forward to Advent and Christmas!  This weekend, we went tree-hunting...


We had a few crazy, smaller people with us...

Of course, there was also the tree decorating (note the ornament density toward the lower end)...

And I couldn't resist sharing this fantastic smile:

Life is certainly busy for us right now, but we are looking forward to a meaningful Advent season.  Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Creativity: Four Easy Costumes (with directions!)

The Tapper kiddos are off to school for another Halloween celebration.  I don't really enjoy the gory/scary emphasis of many at Halloween, and I definitely would not go out and buy a bunch of pre-made costumes.  Rather, I enjoy the opportunity for creativity and craftiness.  This year's costumes were particularly fun and easy. 
1) The Solar System (Jadon)
This costume is actually a hand-me-down from Ethan's 2011 Halloween.  It takes a bit of time and planning, but the results are "out of this world!"  You need a black outfit (that you don't mind transforming).  We used a pair of old black sweatpants and one of my old turtlenecks (big enough to fit over a coat for cold trick-or-treating nights!).  Then, you need some Heat'N'Bond or WonderUnder--the two-sided fabric adhesive--and some fabric scraps.  Simply, iron the adhesive to the back side of your fabric scraps, cut out the shapes of the sun and planets, peel the paper backing, arrange on the outfit, and iron again!  We labeled the objects and added a star (made with my silver and black eyeliners) on his cheek.

2) The Cat ...AKA Jaguar, Cheetah, Leopard, etc. (Abby)

Abby decided on this costume months ago!  She loves her "cheetah" pajamas.  To transform her for Halloween, we needed the pajamas (you could use any cat print outfit or go for the classic black cat look with black pants and shirt), a headband, paper, markers, yarn, and eyeliner.  For a very simple cat ear headband project, see http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/3d-paper-cat-ears.  Abby used markers to add spots to her ears.  I crocheted her tail and added her nose and whiskers.  Don't you think she's "purr-fect?!!"

3) The Quarterback (Ethan)

Here, you see Ethan's great sense of humor coming through.  This Halloween dress-up could be very simple.  You need a piece of cardboard, a pin, and a print-out of a quarter.  Ethan cut out a circle of cardboard, glued on the quarter design, and attached the pin.  One could stop there--just pin the quarter to the back of a shirt!  But, Ethan decided to sport his Brady jersey, add some under eye paint, and carry a football.  I'd say he's looking like a CHAMP!

4) Lightning (Andrew)

Andrew's original plan was to be a scuba diver, but, when he forgot to bring his mask and flippers home from his grandparents on the weekend, we needed to scramble for another idea--fast!  And what could be faster than lightning?  To make this costume, you need a black outfit, some cardboard, aluminum foil, tape, and pins.  Cut out some lightning bolts and wrap them carefully with foil.  Tape two pins on the back of each bolt, and pin them onto the shirt.  We added a headband (made from a pair of cut-up black tights that Abby had outgrown) and some lightning bolts on the cheeks (eyeliner again!).  Andrew was quite pleased with the "flashy" results!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Annual Jack-o-Lantern Guessing Game

This is the fourth Halloween for the six-member Team Tapper.  Once again, we have followed tradition and carved our pumpkins for the holiday.  And, once again, I am offering my faithful blog readers the opportunity to guess which design was chosen/created by which Tapper child!
Here are the completed designs-- rose, maple leaf, mustached man, and hockey skate:

Put your guesses in the comments and check back there as I will update on Halloween with the correct answers!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Rest Needed

Instead of recovering from today's scheduled tonsillectomy, Abby is recovering from yet another throat infection.  Surgery rescheduled for December 7.  Sweet thing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boys and Blocks

My boys love to play with blocks.  Their endless creativity makes me smile, too.

“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.”
~ Abraham Maslow

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guess Who...

It's only October, but guess who has been praying for snow!???!!!??!

Ethan was pretty excited to sport his new gear, as he anticipates learning to ski this winter :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving (and more!)

Every Canadian Thanksgiving, we Tappers have another celebration to add to the joy of enjoying the harvest and counting our many blessings.  Abigail Hope Tapper was born on a stormy morning, seven years ago today! 
Today, we know a girl who loves stretching down into the splits and working on her cartwheels.  She has been learning a lot of French and has started reading chapter books.  She enjoys swimming, shopping, singing, and playing piano.  And she is, by far, our most creative child--drawing pictures, writing stories and songs, and even designing party games for the entertainment of whoever might enter her room on a designated party day!
Abby is a very loyal friend and, although she may often present as rather quiet, she can be your loudest and most uplifting encourager when you need it.  She can also be amazingly stubborn, and we hope that she will learn to be most stubborn about the things that are truly most important!  We call her our beautiful treasure, and we believe that she is a gift from God, created for good works that we can only begin to imagine.
Happy Birthday, Sister Bear!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Andrew's First Big Race

Andrew came home from school several weeks ago, excited about an opportunity to participate in a running group during lunch recess.  All who were willing (which, of course, included Andrew, who would never pass by a good challenge!) trained with the gym teacher each day.  Every afternoon, I would get a report on the day's training.  First, I heard all about his aching muscles!  Then, I started hearing about how he had managed to get a few more laps in than the day before.  Finally, he brought home a paper from the school detailing a regional cross country meet for elementary students--a real race!  Imagine his excitement!

Today was the big day!  Andrew ran his mile with determination, finishing in the top 20 of his age bracket with a time of 7:22.5.  Not too bad for his first race!  (I think there might be more...)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Sweet Girl...

A sweet girl took her "baby" for a walk to the park tonight.  She was delighted (and delightful!) as she pretended to do all kind of "mama" things for her little one.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Whew! September in one post!

As Ms. Computer seems to be working okay right now, it is time for an update on Team Tapper!  I must start by saying that we had a fabulous summer.  We really enjoyed the time together and all the adventures that we were able to have. 

Admittedly, the fall transition has been a bit of a challenge.  Not only are the kids back to school, but I have started a new job (which I really love!), and Mike has been working extremely hard on a conference project at the University.  As we continue to settle in to our new routines, it is great to see how the children seem to love their new teachers and new fall activities. 
Here is a picture recap of some of the happenings here: 
The family was excited to see that the city was installing new equipment at one of the old parks in the neighborhood.  Here they are, trying everything out and having a blast!
Ethan, hanging around on the playground zipline...
Abby, trying out the new slide...
Andrew is growing more handsome every day, don't you think?
For Labor Day weekend, we trekked off to Lake Francis State Park in New Hampshire and met up with great friends for some time of relaxation and fun.  We had a wonderful time doing all the best camp-out traditions: toasting marshmallows over the campfire, telling stories, swimming, boating, and exploring.
Ethan loves to help build the fires.

There was lots of mud!  And it was thoroughly enjoyed!
Behold the pirates of Lake Francis, setting sail for all sorts of splendid adventures!
What could be better than sharing camp food with friends?

Last weekend was Mike's birthday.  Any of you who truly know Mike are aware of his compulsive "chewies" habits.  Basically, he has the potential to consume copious amounts of sugary candy--Gummy Bears, Cherry Blasters, Twizzlers, Fuzzy Peaches, Jelly Beans, Nibs, etc.--like no one else I know.  The kids had a blast making him a "jellybean cake" this year.

Of course, it is hockey season now, too!  This is Jadon's big debut year.  He is so excited to be on the ice!  Andrew is also playing hockey again this year; this year for the Aylmer AtomA Icebergs.  He has also been selected by his school to run cross in a cross country meet in October.  (I don't have a picture...but Abby started gymnastics a couple weeks ago, too.  You'll just have to imagine her tumbling around with a gigantic smile from ear to ear...)

Finally, we continue to support and pray for my Mom as she goes through cancer treatments.  It is hard to do this from afar (for her, too!), but we are thankful for her strong faith and excellent support system in Pennsylvania.  And we certainly look forward to time together!

In all, I find this to be a very exciting and meaningful time.  I am thankful for great friends and family who make each day uniquely special.  I am especially grateful for God's grace that helps us to live each day with joy and purpose.  Blessings!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dear Loyal Blog Readers...

Dear loyal blog readers,

Please forgive the delay in blog updates.  Ms. Computer has had a few minor illnesses and has been seeing the doctor.  We hope to report that she will be back to good health shortly.  Thank you for your kindness and patience during this time.


Team Tapper

Friday, August 31, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

Today was the day that Jadon has been waiting for!  He was so excited to be starting school today.  When we had a "first meeting" with his teacher on Wednesday, she gave him a very cute card with confetti to sprinkle under his pillow last night, to encourage a good night sleep.  He was delighted by that.  He did show a few signs of nervousness as we entered the schoolyard this morning (lip-biting, fidgety hands, etc.), but he went right to his class line and listened to the instructions from his teacher.  It will be fun to hear about his first day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day of School!

School year 2012-2013 has begun!  Abby, Ethan, and Andrew headed off for their first day in a new classroom this morning.  Jadon will have his first full day on Friday.  They were each a bit nervous this morning, but they were excited to find out who would be in their class.  Abby showed her bravery, as she had to stay with her teacher so that I could help the boys find their classes at the other school.  And the boys had a blast finding their friends on the playground.  Looking forward to a great year of growth!