Monday, May 30, 2011

Like sands through the hourglass...

...So the days of The Green Girls' lives! ;-)

Hi, this is Kaya. Sorry we haven't updated in awhile. We've been busy. School is ending for the summer for us, so us older girls have been doing final papers and projects, and studying for exams. Felicity and Josefina have been practicing their French conversation for their oral exams. Josefina has also been working hard on the final issue of the school paper for this school year.

I've also been getting ready for my dance recital. As I mentioned before, I'm in five different dances. Two are modern; three are ballet. One of the ballet ones is en pointe. So I've been at the dance studio pretty much every day except Sunday, and my toes really hurt! It's worth it, though, because the dances are really coming together.

I've also been getting Fiona ready to dance with her class. She knows the dance really well now, so she's definitely going to be allowed to be on stage even though she's the "new girl." (We'll find out for sure from the teacher in a few days, but I'm confident in her!)

We rehearse for the first time on the stage on Wednesday, and then Thursday will be the full dress rehearsal. Friday and Saturday we're doing performances! I'm excited but nervous!

Dancers don't say "break a leg," but we do tell each other "merde"! To our French speaking readers - yes, that means what you think it means. ;-)

Sunday all us sisters had a break, so we barbecued hotdogs on the grill with our neighbours, then we all watched Doctor Who. Fun times! Back to the daily grind today, though. Not long till school's out for the summer!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Went Camping! :-)

Hi everyone! This is Kirsten, Bree, and Felicity. We didn't get to post from our camping trip like we expected, in spite of the novelty of a campground with internet access - we were just too busy having fun.

Bree had never been camping in Newfoundland before, so she decided to do some internet research to find out what to expect from the great outdoors in our province. She found a link about black bears. Now, black bears are not common in Newfoundland, especially within any proximity to the city. Somehow that website interpreted this as basically, "If you venture into the woods, black bears will kill you." None of us have ever seen a black bear, but poor Bree spent the entire weekend looking over her shoulder for bears. ;-)

We did see a moose, though! They're very large and not very smart, so they can be aggressive. Luckily this one was just grazing and didn't want to bother us.

We slept in a tent, cooked our meals on a charcoal grill or over the campfire, went hiking a lot, went climbing on some rocks, and told ghost stories and roasted marshmallows after dark. You know, the usual camping stuff.

It was fun! We're glad to be home, though... with lots of laundry to do, but oh well. Camping is popular here so we'll probably go several times between now and the fall. Next time, hopefully we can all go, because our younger sisters are jealous!

Today was the official Victoria Day - May 24th. In honour of that, and in honour of our camping trip, a little joking video from "Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers" about the Victoria Day weekend activities.

Hope everyone else had a nice weekend too... whether or not you went camping!

Kirsten, Bree, and Felicity

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mind Over Matter

Hi, this is Josefina. As you (hopefully) recall from my previous post, Fiona said she was going to teach me how to float a pencil like she can. We didn't have anything planned for the evening, so we sat across the kitchen table and I tried to learn.

Fiona set the pencil down between us. She looked at it for a minute, and then it rose a couple of inches off the table. I looked around to see if there were hidden wires or clear cords or something holding it up, but I didn't see anything. She lifted it higher and lower, and then made it spin. Then she set it down, and told me to concentrate.

I tried. Nothing happened.

Fiona said I should focus more.

I tried some more. I started to think it wasn't going to work. I never did manage to lift it in the air... but there was a little burst of flame, and the pencil looked scorched! It was the weirdest thing!

Fiona said that had never happened to her before. She can make things move - like the pencil, or the spoons she talked in her interview about balancing on her hand. Nothing ever caught on fire, though.

I am sooooo freaked out! What's going on?!


Happy Victoria Day!

Well, Victoria Day weekend, at least. The actual Victoria Day is May 24th. (Queen Victoria's birthday.) This is a long weekend holiday for us.

Kirsten, Bree, and Felicity are going camping with one of their friends' families - believe it or not, their campground has internet access, so they may stop by and say hi. The rest of us are having a barbecue in the backyard tomorrow; our neighbours are going to join us. No school for anyone on Monday! Should be fun.

If you know much about the history of our province, you may be wondering why we celebrate Victoria Day...

Yeah, Canada recognizes the British monarchy as ours also, but Newfoundlanders have in general had pretty mixed feelings about the royals ever since World War I, when an entire generation of young men was lost, poorly equipped and trained and basically used as cannon fodder. Newfoundland didn't become part of Canada until the late 1940's; it was British till then, and loyalty to the then-king provided a major incentive for men and boys to join the army in the first world war. So it seemed like a betrayal, not just a military defeat, when so many died needlessly because they were considered expendable.

For a pithy but accurate explanation of this, Great Big Sea has addressed it in a couple of songs. For the history, see "Recruiting Sergeant."  Then the more modern view is summed up in another song, "Over the Hills." Specifically the "The queen has called and we obey"/"We owe the crown and now we'll pay..." lines.

Recruiting Sergeant song and Lyrics

Most references in the song should be clear, but the CLB is the Church Lads' Brigade, an organization for boys age 4 to 21. It's sort of like cross between Boy Scouts and religious ROTC. "The stone men on Water Street" describes a war memorial that has become a major local landmark.

Over the Hills (really terrible sound quality, sorry!) or Sample (higher quality but a short section) and Lyrics

So why do we celebrate Victoria Day? From what we understand... mainly as an excuse for a holiday! It's seen as the end of the long winter, and most people will either go camping or at the very least spend some time outdoors. Hopefully no more snow. We'll be enjoying our long weekend!

The Green Girls

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is seeing really believing?

So, my friends, I think I might be going crazy. (This is Josefina, by the way!) Have you ever seen something that was just too weird to be true? Have you ever doubted your own eyes or your perceptions?

We were all doing our homework this evening. I needed something to use as a straightedge for my math project, so I went to borrow one from the younger kids. When I went into their room, Fiona was sitting there with a pencil resting on her outstretched hand, just sort of staring absently at it. She didn't seem to notice me. While I was watching, it looked like the pencil rose from her hand, and even started to spin a little.

I was too creeped out to ask her about it. And what would I even say? That's just crazy! Right? I wonder if there's something wrong with me.

Josefina... confused

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Police Visit...

And not the English rock band, either.

Hi, this is Kirsten. Last night there was some chaos in our neighbourhood. At almost 3 a.m., we woke up to the sound of something loud next door, like a banging and a crash. We went out on the porch, and a couple of guys were trying to break into our neighbours' house! Before they could react to us, we ran back into our house and called the police. We only live about two blocks from the police station, so the cops were there in just a couple of minutes. I think the burglars heard the sirens, because they ran away.

We had to give police statements! That was pretty different. None of us have ever done that before. We were all pretty nervous, but the police were nice to us. They knew we didn't do anything wrong; they were just trying to find out if we remembered anything that would help them catch the guys who tried to break in next door. Unfortunately it was dark and they were wearing hoods, so we didn't see much, but maybe what we said helped.

Luckily Inna, Maia, Summer, and Kiwi aren't hurt, but they're pretty shaken. Last we heard the police hadn't caught the burglars, but hopefully they will soon. So that was our drama! We're all pretty tired after all the excitement last night. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get a better post done - and things will be calmer!


Friday, May 13, 2011

The Redhead

Hi, this is... as I'm sure you guessed... Felicity. ;-)

According to Wikipedia, I share my red hair with 1% to 2% of the world's population. (More like 5% to 6% in regions where redheads are more common.) The colour of my hair is caused by a high amount of the pheomelanin pigment and a low amount of the eumelanin pigment. Wikipedia further tells us that, "Red hair appears in people with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16 which causes a mutation in the MC1R protein." 
So basically, my red hair is a scientific fact, and I got it because of my genes. My sisters don't the same two copies of the recessive gene. It's perfectly normal to be a redhead.

You know what, though? A lot of people make assumptions about my personality because of the colour of my hair. People assume I must have a bad temper or get angry a lot. They assume I'm loud and have a sharp tongue. Some people even think I'm more into boys than my sisters are, or that I'm more aggressive and prone to be violent.

I'm not, though. I'm actually the quietest and most patient in my immediate family. I hardly ever get really mad, and when I get annoyed or impatient I often don't even show it. I'm generally very calm, and in fact I'm almost always the one who calms down my sisters and mediates their fights.

It gets annoying when people just assume because of how I look. I guess it's better than medieval times - people might have thought I'm a witch! Still, it makes me sad to be assumed to be troublesome, or to be laughed at for something that isn't even true just because I'm "the ginger."

I know lots of people get stereotyped, and most people who do have it worse than me. I try not to complain about it too much because I know it's not as bad as racism or sexism or homophobia. I just get irritated sometimes (and it's not because I'm a redhead, it's because people are being unfair!) and the blog is here in part for venting, right?

The Ginger Kid in the Family 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Quick Comment on Comments

Just FYI, we're having a little bit of trouble with comments not being visible from the main page when first posted. If you're having this problem, your comment more than likely did go through. Hit refresh a couple of times, and you should be able to see it. If that doesn't work, you may need to try again, but so far they've all shown up eventually. Thanks!

The Green Girls

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cast Off!

Today Evelyn got her cast taken off her broken (well, not really broken anymore) arm! She still has to wear a splint for a couple of weeks and go to a few physical therapy sessions, but no big bulky cast anymore. Ev is really happy about that. She hasn't been in any pain since right after it happened, but having a cast on her arm made it harder to play.

Because of the severity of the break, the doctors thought she would need to be in a cast for a few more weeks beyond this. When she went in for her routine x-rays to check her progress, though, it was a lot better than they thought it would be. Like, so much better that they did another set of films to make sure it wasn't a mistake. No mistake, though. Her arm just healed really fast.

We're very happy for her! I'm going to bake her some cookies to celebrate. Yay for a swift recovery!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

In which Kaya and Fiona bond and Bree meets a strange person

Hi, this is Bree again, catching you up on our Saturday.

Today Fiona went to her first ballet lesson at the dance studio where Kaya studies. Fiona used to take ballet where she lived before, but when you start studying someplace new, there's always a lot that's different. She did really well in her class, though - the teacher gave her a lot of compliments - and the teacher seemed to like her.

Unfortunately, then something not so good happened. As she was getting ready to go, Fiona said how excited she was about being in the dance recital with her class. The teacher said, "Oh, but you can't! It's too late. You won't be able to learn the dance in time. You can't go on stage with your class." Fiona hadn't seen that coming at all. She had thought everything went really well. She wanted to dance with her friends. So she started to cry.

It's a very good thing I wasn't there, because I would have yelled at the teacher and probably gotten us both kicked out for good. I mean, that's my little sister she was being mean to! Luckily Kaya wasn't quite so hot-headed about it. She said she would teach Fiona the dance and personally guaranteed she'd be ready. The teacher was skeptical that it was possible, but she trusts Kaya, so she said she could try. If Fiona is good enough at the dance by the first dress rehearsal, she can be in the recital.

Kaya worked with her for awhile this afternoon, and Fiona was already catching on. Kaya said Fiona will be fine. She seemed really confident. I think Kaya saved the day for Fiona, for sure.

Also, I (Bree) wanted to add a random little story from my day. I was taking the bus to Chapters (the big bookstore; it's like Barnes & Noble in the United States) and this weird guy sat next to me. He was old and seemed harmless, but when he first sat down, he looked at me and said, "You're burning. You're on fire. There's smoke and you're on fire." I just kind of looked at him. I mean, what do you even say to that? It was so random. I couldn't think of a polite reply, so I just smiled awkwardly and hoped my stop would come quickly. He was quiet for awhile, then he leaned over like he had a big secret and said, "You're a panther. You and your entire family are panthers." I couldn't help but laugh. He didn't seem to mind.

I had a good time at the bookstore, and bought a couple of books that look like they'll be good. Usually I use the library, but I'd been saving my allowance so I decided to treat myself.

So, a good day for us, overall, in spite of Fiona crying at the dance studio. Everything worked out, at least... thanks to Kaya! :-)


Thursday, May 5, 2011

And the New Neighbours Visit

Hey there! This is Bree.

As we mentioned yesterday, tonight our new neighbours came over to visit. We originally were going to have them over for supper, but they were busy then, so they stopped by later. It was actually warm enough that we could sit out on our (rather tiny) deck for a little while and enjoy the dusk, before moving inside. 

We got to know them a little better sitting together and chatting than we did yesterday hefting furniture. We really like them!

Inna is Russian, like we thought. Well, originally, at least. She hasn't lived there since she was a kid. She has a little bit of an accent but her English is pretty much perfect. (Probably better than mine, and I don't speak anything else!) Inna is an art historian, and she came here to work at the provincial museum. She has really interesting stories about traveling for her job! Overall she's the most talkative of the sisters. Inna said maybe she can teach us to speak Russian. That would be really neat.

Maia is the shyest, even though she's an adult like Inna. She was born in Canada but her parents were from Rwanda. She seems really nice, even though she didn't talk much. Maia is a math teacher, and she applied for a job at Fiona and Evelyn's school, so they may be seeing each other there too. (It's hard for me to imagine anyone liking math! But Maia says she likes it a lot.)

Summer loves to write and read, so she has things in common with me and Josefina and Felicity... but she also loves horses like Evelyn! Summer actually knows how to ride horses. She takes lessons. I think Evelyn is going to start hinting to take lessons, too, once she gets her cast off her arm. Ev had fun talking to Summer about horse stuff.

Kiwi is really funny. She loves to tell jokes. She does gymnastics, and was showing us her tumbling routines in the yard. (Good thing we clean up after our dog or she could have gotten a nasty surprise!) She and Fiona seemed to really hit it off. They're the same age and they're both natural born performers. In their eyes they're both stars!

So, those are our new neighbours. Tomorrow night they're coming over again. Inna and Maia are going to watch Grey's Anatomy at our house with us teens and our guardian, and the younger girls are coming to play. Should be fun! It's cool that we're making new friends!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Neighbours

A couple of hours ago, some new neighbours moved in next door. Kaya and Fiona noticed them when they were taking April (our new dog) out for a walk, and we decided we'd go help them bring in their stuff and see if they needed anything.

They turned out to be really nice. I think they appreciated the help because it was already getting dark when they got here. They said they had driven from the ferry (an hour and a half from the city,) so they didn't really have much choice about the time, because the boat schedule just is what it is.

Their family is actually a lot like ours! We were kind of surprised. They're sisters too. It's pretty obvious they aren't all biological, though, because they don't look alike at all. They aren't even all the same race... just like us! It felt like we had a lot in common.

The oldest two sisters are adults. Their names are Inna and Maia. (Inna has an accent; maybe Russian?) The middle sister is twelve, named Summer. The youngest is ten, and she's called Kiwi - but it turns out her real name is Caroline and Kiwi is just a nickname, because that's how she said "Carrie" when she was little and it stuck.

They didn't say exactly why they moved here, but it sounds like it was something to do with Inna's job.

So, those are our new neighbours! We decided to mention them in our blog because we hope to be friends with them, so we'll probably talk about them more in the future.

The Green Girls

Monday, May 2, 2011

We are a family that owns a dog!

Yesterday, we finally got our dog! :-)

We went to the animal shelter again yesterday, and they had just had a new dog brought in. She's a female, about two years old, of mixed breed. We can't tell exactly what breeds she has in her, but it seems like maybe she has some retriever blood mixed with something fluffy like a poodle. She's all white except for her black nose, with kind of longish and curlyish fur. Our dog is a little bigger than we planned - she stands almost hip height on the older girls - but our guardian said it was alright as long as we promised to take her outside a lot so she wouldn't feel cooped up.

When we came in the room at the shelter, our dog starting wagging her tail, and she licked all of our hands. She seemed to like us already! We knew she was supposed to be ours, and we felt like she thought so too. When we first brought her home she was more shy because it's a new place, but she settled in fast and now it's like she was always here.

The reason we didn't post about her right away is we had a hard time deciding on a name for her! When we actually met her, none of the names we had picked in advance seemed quite right. We still haven't decided for sure yet.

So now, we are pleased to introduce you to our new dog... soon to be named! We're so excited! :-)

The Green Girls

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Foster Care Month and Walk So Kids Can Talk

Hi everyone! We'll be posting later on with some happy news of our own, but in the meantime, we wanted to draw your attention to a couple of important things that are going on outside of our family. As you know, many of us have been in foster care, and some of us have struggled with mental health issues or come from difficult backgrounds. So we felt it was important to mention this stuff.

This month - May - is National Foster Care Month. (This applies to our American friends too.) This month's observance is meant to draw attention to the needs of children and youth in foster care, and hopefully get people involved, whether as adoptive families, foster families, volunteers... or just getting to know the foster kid in your class, and realizing that you aren't so different.

Foster Care Month

Also, May 1st (today) is the annual Walk So Kids Can Talk event here in Canada. It's a big fundraiser in support of Kids Help Phone, which is a service where kids can call 24 hours a day and talk to a counselor confidentially and for free about their problems. Some of the kids who call just need encouragement or advice, but others are struggling with major mental health problems or abuse in their homes that might not get noticed any other way. This is a really great cause, and we encourage our friends to support it, whether today or throughout the year.

Walk So Kids Can Talk

Kids Help Phone

Happy May! :-)

The Green Girls