Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words....

I know, I know, it's been forever and I really have no good excuse! Just really busy! And when I finally do get some down time, I don't want to be staring at a computer screen trying to think of clever things to say! So, I've decided to do a little picture update for you to get everyone caught up. The last two weeks have been very full, but fun! Here's a peek into the fun....On November 21st, my little boy turned 4! Joshua was out of town Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, and he got home at 7:45 p.m. on Sky's birthday. We had a special, late supper and gave Sky his gifts from us. On Friday, we had a party with Sky's little friends in the afternoon. I won't go into the details, but it was a pretty crazy day! Special thanks to my friends Trina and Penny for helping me clean up messes and keep my sanity! (I was also babysitting that day!) Sky had fun and that was all that mattered!This is the birthday cake that Sky requested - a baseball cap and glove, complete with ball! Yes, I still make these cakes! Believe it or not, this one was actually quite easy.This past Monday, Joshua had the day off because he worked on Saturday. We spent the morning in a rather frustrating search around town for those clips to put up Christmas lights. After three stores, we finally found them. Of course, the temperature plummeted the night before, and there was my poor husband putting up Christmas lights when it was -15 C! I knew it was cold because my snot was freezing in my nose! It does that when it gets below -10 C!We also put up the Christmas tree later that evening. Here's Sara relaxing in her nightie after a long day of decorating and playing! They were excited to have the Christmas books out again!On Tuesday, we finally got a decent amount of snow! Never mind that it was absolutely freezing outside, every kid in the neighbourhood was out to play! Here is Sara posing with her her friends. The one in the red is Alexa, who lives two doors down. They are like two peas in a pod and are only weeks apart in age! After having fun making snow angels, the kids decided to all form one team and have a snowball fight! Who was on the opposing team? ME! Yes, that's right! They all ganged up on me (about 8 of them!) and thought it was hilarious! I said it was no fair, but they didn't listen! It was really more of a powder fight because the snow wasn't the kind you could pack into a snowball. You should have seen the rosy cheeks!

Sky looks like he's afraid someone's going to step on him! He was excited to be wearing his new ski pants for the first time.And this is what my front entryway looked after five kids came in from playing in the snow! I made them clean it up after I took the picture!

So, now you know what's been going on around here. Tomorrow we're going on our first family ski trip in the mountains. Joshua's taking a day of vacation, so we can avoid the weekend crowds. We'll be dragging the kids out of bed before dawn, loading up the ski's boots, poles, and everything warm we can find! It's going to be a very cold day, but we're going to have FUN! Oh dear, I'm actually quite dreading it, but there's always the coffee shop or the fire in the hotel lobby where I can hide if I need to!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Annual Family Portrait!

I really did post an entry (a nice long one too) about a week ago. When I was done, (spell check and everything), I decided I wanted to change the font. I'm not sure how, but the entire thing disappeared and I couldn't get it back no matter where I looked. It was late and after losing 45 min. of work, I was so mad, I got up, washed my face, put my jammies on, and went straight to bed. I wouldn't even explain to Joshua! The next morning, I finally told him, and he said, "No wonder you were so mad!" I wrote that entry the day before my birthday, which was also the day we went to get our family portrait taken. Something about portrait day and Joshua just do not mix well and we pretty much had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day because of it! What is it with men and family pictures? Or is it just my husband? Oh, and he didn't even have to dress up! He got to wear jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt! And I'm the one who bathed, dressed and fixed hair for the other three people in the house. Anyway, point made! Then, later that day, we had to clean out the garage and that just made things worse, because (apparently) there were a million other things that my dearest would have rather been doing! Oh well, he survived both ordeals and lived to speak of them! And the pictures turned out really great, as you can see! Superstore scores again! We got 9 sheets of pictures AND 50 Christmas photo cards (with two pictures on each) for only $77! I thought that was a great deal!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Busy Day....

Today has been a very busy, but fun day with five children! Hailey and Dallin have a four day weekend because of Remembrance (Veteran's) Day. I had them yesterday too for a normal day, and then, bright and early this morning, all three arrived for the full day! We played games, ate lots of snacks, had tuna melts for lunch, played outside, went to the store, and did a movie and popcorn! They will be going home in 15 min. and I can honestly say that, although I was worried at the beginning of the day, we actually enjoyed the day rather than just survived it! My next excitement for the day is that I get to go out for dinner with two of my best friends, Trina and Penny. The three of us formed an accountability/fellowship group about 3 years ago. This year we started a new tradition for birthdays. We get together and go out for dinner and the birthday girl gets her dinner free! So, tonight is my night (my birthday is Nov. 11th) and I'm so excited! It will be a nice break after a very busy week. Looking forward to that kept me going this week! We're going to a great local restaurant called the Deluxe Diner. It's a fifties diner with very unique, healthy, organic food. It's hard to explain, cause it's not your typical diner fare. It's very Canadian, actually and we just love it. Trina and Penny have never been there, so I hope they like it!

I have to go get ready, but wanted to write even this short post to let you know I'm still alive and kicking!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fall Cleaning

Wow! Today is my 50th post! I'll have to figure out a way to celebrate that one! How about by getting more comments than I've ever had before! (hint, hint!) Maybe a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte! O.K., I'll quit being weird and get on with other news....

Yesterday was another gorgeous, warm day! I even opened the windows for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I wanted to take advantage of some fresh air while we still have the opportunity. Winter months create some pretty stale air around here! Joshua was feeling pretty icky with a cold, so he stayed home and slept the morning away. I had school with the kids and then we all had lunch together. It was fun having Daddy home even if he was sick! The warm sunshine got me motivated to get outside and clean some windows. Wow, did they ever need a cleaning! We have two big windows, one in the living room and one in the dining nook, that look out over the back deck. I had to wipe them 3 times over before they sparkled enough for me! The back door and screen door (both have glass) were absolutely filthy and I was embarrassed I hadn't noticed until yesterday! The previous owners had a dog and I'm sure that was dog slobber I was scrubbing off the glass! GROSS! But, that wasn't even the worst! There is a window in the basement that was just covered with a film of dried mud. You could hardly see out! I wanted to clean that window from Day1, but the reason I had not done so, was it's location. In order to get to this window from outside, you needed to crawl under the back deck! Once I got the other windows clean, I was officially in "conquer" mode! It was time to clean that window. First, we tried spraying it with high pressure water, but the dirt didn't budge! Then, I opened the window from the inside (standing on a table), and tried to reach around and clean it from that angle. That wasn't happening either! So, I'm sure you've guessed the next step! I wriggled myself under that deck, cobwebs and all, and cleaned that crazy window by hand! Once I got under the low crossbeam, I was able to sit up partially, so that made it a little easier. We were throwing out our old patio furniture cushions, so Joshua had the idea to put those down where I had to crawl. That was much more pleasant than dirt! And today, the window is bright and clear, and I'm so glad I picked yesterday to clean, because this morning there was snow on the ground! This last picture is Joshua's idea of keeping the kids occupied and out of his hair (he decided to get in on the action and organize the shed). I was cleaning the living room window and Joshua had just handed over the hose to Sara for a turn. I hear him say, "Now, stay there for a LONG time, cause the tree needs LOTS of water." I was dying laughing! He denies the forced slave labour, but I know better! :-)

I think I overdid it yesterday because today, I'm very snuffly and sniffly today. It won't be as productive a day, that's for sure! Rachel is here today, but it will be a short day, cause her grandparents are coming to pick her up at 2:30 p.m. and then they'll pick up Hailey and Dallin at school. I need to be having school with everyone, so I'd better go....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics

I am posting this video again because the previous one became unavailable on You Tube. Some of you missed out on seeing, so I hope you enjoy it! It's funny everytime!

Goodnight Moon

The moon was so beautiful last night and I just had to take a picture to share with you! This was just before 7 o'clock and Joshua was not quite home yet. (There was a lot of traffic on the way home and then I needed him to stop at the grocery store.) Yesterday was a cold, but clear, sunny day. This gorgeous moon was the perfect finishing touch!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Random Thoughts

I haven't posted in awhile, but even so, not much, other than "regular" busyness, has been happening around here. That's a change for once! Someone asked me where I've been lately.... Just trying to get into a groove with homeschooling mostly. I don't have as much time to play on the computer anymore! Sara is doing well in school. The discipline of sitting down to the books everyday, has been a challenge for her AND for me! I wouldn't say she "loves" school, but she's getting used to it, and her attention span is lengthening bit by bit. She enjoys games and songs most, so I try to find ways to incorporate those two things as much as possible! Sky joins us for about half the activity and the rest of the time he just plays by himself, does puzzles or watches Treehouse (kids' channel) for awhile. Even Rachel joins in the fun when she's here! We generally get started with school around 10 a.m. and go till lunch. Some days we do a bit more after lunch or later in the afternoon. Thursday is our no school day where we go into Calgary to see the chiropractor and do any other errands that need to be done in the city. I'm happy with what we're accomplishing in a four day school week, so we're sticking to that for now. I'll never be a rigid schedule kind of person, but at least we have a framework in place and that is working out great for us.

The kids have made so many new little friends in the neighbourhood. It seems like there's always another child playing over at our house, or my kids are over at someone else's place! Once the rest of the kids have come home from school, I hardly see Sara and Sky until suppertime! There is a playground directly across the street from our house, so I can always see what's going on through the windows at the front of the house. The other day, my kids decided to take Sky's toy doghouse out to play with at the playground. When I looked out to see how things were going, I noticed quite the stir! Every kid on the street who had a stuffed dog, had brought them outside to put into the doghouse and play "pets!" It was so cute! Then one of the little girls got a little bossy and territorial and I had to go do some damage control! One of the sweetest little friends that my kids have made, is Emily. She's a very cheerful, free spirited girl and we all enjoy having her over. She's almost 5 years old, so she makes the perfect friend for Sky and Sara, cause she's right in the middle of their ages. The three of them posed for this picture the other day! Also, here's one of Sara and Rachel, the little girl I babysit.

It snowed last night for the first time this season! We've had absolutely gorgeous fall weather and I couldn't believe the snow held off this long! It's been so warm and sunny for October. The kids have played outside so much and I've just been so thankful for the delay in winter. After a very warm day yesterday (short sleeve temps), the wind blew in with a fury in the evening and the weather changed very quickly. Right after the kids went to bed it started raining a fine mist. I kept seeing it out the window against the street light while we were watching T.V. We kept commenting on how "misty" and strange looking the rain was. When I finally got up to go downstairs for something, I looked out to the playground and everything was covered in white! It was so beautiful! We laughed at ourselves for not recognizing snow after such a nice summer and fall!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Updated House Pictures

I took some pictures of the house last week and posted them on my Facebook. I tried to post them on here the other day and it was giving me trouble. Also, there would have been a lot of pictures to scroll through! So, click on the link below to see how the house looks now! The boxes are cleared away and there are a few more pictures and decorations up. It's starting to feel more like home. It sure is a lot of house to clean, though! Enjoy the tour!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

William Tell Overture for Moms

(To see the video I'm mentioning, go to the October 27th post, The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics.)

This video came through on the homeschool forum I'm a member of here. So funny! I don't think I've mentioned yet that I've started babysitting for a family with 3 children. When Joshua was working at the bank branch downtown, he was one desk away from Gillian Merrett, the lovely mother of these 3 children. I got to know her a bit when we would stop in to say "hi" to Joshua at work and she would always give my kids candy. Anyway, it's a long, complicated story, but Gillian was looking for childcare for the new school year because they just moved to Airdrie a few months ago! She knew we were moving there, so she asked if I would consider taking the job. After we talked, I agreed to watch her kids until Christmas time, and then we would re-evaluate and see if we wanted to continue the rest of the year. Her husband, Jeff, is a pilot for a private jet company, so he works weird, sporadic hours. Sometimes he'll be home for days or a week at a time, so then he just watches the kids. I'll only watch them when he's away flying. Rachel, is the youngest, and she comes at 7:15 a.m. (early for me!) while my two are still sleeping away! She is just one month younger than Sky, so she'll be 4 in December. The other two, Hailey (6 1/2) and Dallin (8), are in school all day. I pick them up a few blocks away at the bus stop at 3 p.m. Then we have two hours of excitement and craziness that only 5 children can create! (How do you do it, Judith?!) It's amazing the food they can eat, and the messes they can make, and the fights they can get into! We're still in the adjustment and "getting to know you" stage, but we're having fun I think! Rachel fits right into the family during the day and is quite the little sweetheart. I had the kids yesterday and today, but that was it for this week. I'll have to take some pictures next week when they're here, so you can see my new children! And after all that, I just wanted to say that the video I posted rang very true with me! I said all that before, but now it's even more so!

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Short Explanation....

I wanted to say one more quick thing about my new Canadian citizenship. This is for all you loyal Americans out there! I DID NOT lose my American citizenship yesterday when I took the oath to become a Canadian citizen. Canada does not require anyone to revoke previous citizenship or otherwise reject the country they originated from. I am now a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada. I will have passports from both countries, I can vote in either country, I have all the rights of a citizen in both countries AND I can pay taxes to each country as well!! :-) And just so you know, the U.S. is not nearly as easy going as the Canadian government. When you become an American citizen, you have to revoke all previous allegiance and citizenship to the country you came from. For many people, that's not an issue, but to proud Canadians, it's a tough pill to swallow! :-)

Canadian, Eh?

Yesterday morning began way too early for my comfort! Joshua and I got up at 6 a.m. to get ready for my Canadian citizenship ceremony. Now, you must know that I don't get up before 8 a.m. if I can help it, and if I DO get up before that, I go back to bed! Joshua had to leave the house at 6:30 a.m. because I made a HUGE oversight. The night before, after the kids were tucked in bed, Joshua and I were relaxing on the couch. We were talking about the ceremony and what the morning scedule should be like. I mentioned that I really needed to locate my "notice to appear" because I was required to bring that with me. I found it and to my horror, realized I had forgotten to tell Joshua I needed my permanent resident card (to be surrendered) and my passport (to be stamped). We keep all those things in a safety deposit box at the branch where Joshua works and it's not a big deal at all for him to get those things. But, did I remember to tell him that while he was at work? Of course not! Well, to make a long story short (let's just say that Joshua was NOT HAPPY), we made a few phone calls and were able to work everything out. It involved Joshua and a friend/co-worker getting to the branch at 7 a.m., unlocking the vault (you need two people), retrieving the documents, and locking everything back up (everyone else arrives between 8 and 8:30 a.m.). They were successful and were on thier way downtown by 7:15 a.m. In the meantime, I had to drag the kids out of bed at 6:30 a.m.! Sara was very sweet and got dressed right away, but she did point out to me that it was still dark and that we should be in bed sleeping! I heartily agreed! Sky was very difficult. I was holding him on my lap, trying to dress him, and he was fighting and kicking and reaching for his bed, crying "I WANT MY BED!" I finally had to spank him and then he only cried. Poor baby! I had packed breakfast and snacks the night before, so we loaded into the car, and were on the road by 7 a.m.! Wow, was I ever proud of myself! But, still very stressed, because at that point, I didn't know if the guys had gained access to the vault yet! The traffic was terrible and I was at a standstill or crawling for half the way. Joshua and I both made it to the place downtown by 7:45 a.m. and we were supposed to be there at 8 a.m. Mission accomplished! When we got in the building, they hadn't even started processing the 105 people because they couldn't figure out how to get the lights on in the auditorium. Oh brother! Finally, a few minutes after 8, they got the line going (I somehow ended being first in line!). We had to wait in the auditorium until 9 a.m. when everyone had been processed and we could start. It was a long and boring ordeal, but I got a certificate and a cool pin and lots of other Canadian paraphanalia! The kids really didn't understand and they were so tired and bored, but at least we had snacks! Here a few pictures of this very momentous occasion!
Mommy and Sky waiting.....Daddy and Sky waiting some more.....Sara and our good friend, Mitch, (he's the one who helped Joshua get my documents from the vault!) watching 105 people receive their certificates.Receiving my certificate from the judge. He was really nice and personable.Our whole family after the ceremony with the judge, RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officer, and military official.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Moving In

We've been sleeping in our new home now for 10 nights! I wish I could say we're completely unpacked, organized and decorated, but, I can't! We're getting there slowly, but surely! I'm just so happy to not have the stress of showing a house and keeping it perfect all the time! Now I can go at my own pace. I've found myself wearing out and becoming overwhelmed very quickly in this unpacking process, so I've had to take it easy. The last couple of months were way too busy and stressful, and my body is finally screaming, "Enough!" Anyway, there's not much else to report about unpacking boxes, so I'll let you get on to the pictures! Moving day! Still smiling after a very long day!
Sara on moving day! She spent the day making new friends at the playground across the street! She's my social butterfly!Sara's first night in her new pink, princess room! She was simply glowing with excitement that night and for once, I didn't have to tell her to clean up her room! She already had everything put away just like she wanted it!Sky posing on the first night in his room. We've since decorated with dinosaurs and other animals.

We did something a little crazy and made one of Sky's walls into a blackboard! There's actually special "chalkboard paint" comes in black or green. Sky's favourite colour is black, so there was no question what the choice would be! This is the first day they could draw on it, because the paint had to cure for 3 days first. It's been a lot of fun!
This is the bonus room above the garage. This was like the first day, so a lot more has been done since. I just love the windows!
Here's the new living room right after we placed the furniture. We decorated it on Sunday, but it's a wreck right now and I couldn't take a new picture!
So, there you have it, Karen - even more than just one picture! We have to have the house cleaned up nicely by Sunday because we're having a huge party. I'll be going downtown on Thursday morning to be sworn in as a Canadian citizen. Because it's at such an inconvenient time, we're having a celebration on the weekend when everyone is more available. Joshua decided to take over all the inviting and planning and even the food preparation! What a guy! So far, everyone he has invited, has said they will come, so we're going to have a very full house! It'll be fun, though, and I'm really looking forward to it!

Old Promises First - Dinosaur Pics!

Here are some pictures of our Labour Day Weekend dinosaur adventure! I finally figured out the new software for the camera, so here we go! Joshua, Sara and Sky exploring the Badlands - where dinosaurs used to roam! (Well, that's what they say, anyway! :-)) Joshua had Sky so convinced that we might see a dinosaur come around the bend at any moment, that he was quite ready to leave that canyon!
This is the "World's Largest Dinosaur!" He is quite the amazing sight! We climbed up inside of him (there are LOTS of stairs) and got to stand in his mouth.
Here are the kids standing in the mouth of a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Look at those teeth!
And this is the bad boy's claw back on the ground!
Sara with "her" dinosaur - a Triceratops. Say it slowly and you'll hear her name - TriSARAtops!! The one in the "Land Before Time" movies is named Sara!

Now we're in the actual museum - it was fascinating! So much to see and do!Bubbles!Sky was in seventh heaven! Dinosaurs are his thing right now!Sara loved the museum because she could TOUCH so many things! That's what she needs to do all the time!Sky and Joshua climbed to the top of an observation hill and took this picture of the museum and surrounding area. Pretty impressive for the middle of nowhere! (Literally!) Hope you enjoyed the tour. Someday you'll have to come see it for yourself!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Moving, Dinosaurs, and Craziness!

Just wanted to give a quick update while I have a few moments this morning! We got possession of the house in Airdrie on Friday afternoon. There was a little mix-up with the bank and the lawyer, but we sorted that out and everything else went great. We drove out for the walk-through and unloaded what we had packed onto both vehicles. We'll be taking smaller loads of fragile and awkward stuff throughout the week. (We're renting a Ryder truck on Saturday for the big move.) There wasn't much time to enjoy the new house because we had to rush out for the next thing on the agenda. Joshua has a friend, Ryan, who lives in Edmonton and they've known each other since they were mischievous boys! Every year, Ryan, comes to Calgary for the Labour Day long weekend. We always do something fun with him as a family and then he and Joshua go to the Labour Day football game together. Calgary and Edmonton are HUGE rivalries when it comes to sports of any kind, and every Labour Day, they play a football game (CFL) against each other in Calgary. Then, a week later, they play again, but up in Edmonton. Ryan came in on the bus on Friday afternoon, so Joshua had to go pick him up downtown. He always stays in a hotel, so that was one less thing for me to have to prepare for! (But, you know we would keep you any time, Ryan! ;-)) Joshua dropped Ryan off at his hotel and came home. We headed out again to grab some supper. On the way, we made a stop at Best Buy and made a very exciting purchase - A NEW CAMERA! Joshua took the old one in and found out it was going to be $125 to fix the crazy thing (the shutter was not opening)! So, we got a new one for $199! So far, I love it, but I haven't had much time to play with it!

The next day, we went on our Labour Day weekend adventure for the year to Drumheller, AB. It's about an hour and a half from Calgary and it's known for it's unique hills and dinosaurs! They've found many, many fossils and bones out there, so they built this amazing dinosaur museum. This museum was like Disney World comparable and quality! We couldn't believe this place out in the middle of nowhere! In the town of Drumheller there are statues of dinosaurs everywhere and then, there's the biggest dinosaur in the world! This thing was pretty cool - there were stairs inside and you could climb all the way up and stand in his mouth! (It was a Tyrannosaurus Rex.) Sky has really been into dinosaurs lately and he was just enthralled! We all were enthralled, for that matter! It was a really fun and interesting day! I got lots of great pictures, but I'm going to have to put those up later. I need to install the new software for the camera and everything.

Sunday, after church, we went to the new house and got some painting done in the two bedrooms in the basement. We're also going to paint Sara's room pink and white and do some green in Sky's room. Sara's getting a princess room and Sky's will be dinosaurs! So, along with that painting, there's the cleaning and packing to be done as well. I'm exhausted already. I got the entire kitchen and most of the main floor cleaned yesterday while Joshua was at the football game. Today I have some errands to run, but maybe I can get some painting done later in the afternoon. Anyway, hopefully all the necessary things will be in order by Saturday morning. I'll try to keep you updated, but my computer time will be limited this week!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, our house in Calgary is still conditionally sold. The only thing left is that the lady who bought, has to sell her townhouse by Sept. 24th. We had two showings this weekend, so we're still hoping someone will put down a better offer!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Kissing Is Yucky!

So, Sky thinks kissing is yucky. This has been his opinion for several months, so whenever he catches Joshua and I kissing or sees anyone else kissing he says, "Eww, kissing is yucky!" But, somehow, he still doesn't mind being kissed! Last week when Sara was at day camp, Sky and I were driving in the car. I'm not sure how, but the subject of kissing came up. I think he was talking about being a Daddy someday and that it would be O.K. to kiss his kids. I informed him that he would have to have a wife first. I said, "You know what, when you get bigger, you're going to LIKE kissing girls!" He argued with me for awhile, and then he sensibly came up with a solution. (Sky can get very indignant and he argues well!) "I'm not going to marry a 'grill' (that's how he says 'girl')." Being a good, Christian mom, I saw the next line coming, so I quickly nipped that in the bud, and told him, "Well, you can't marry a boy because God says that's wrong." He came right back at me and said, "No, I'm going to marry myself!" Too funny!

Monday, August 27, 2007


It's official - we sold our house! After a few counter offers back and forth today we finally came to an agreement. There are some conditions, so we'll still have to see if everything works out. The lady who is buying needs to get her financing by Friday. Also, the house inspection has to be done and passed by Friday. We wanted her to get that stuff out of the way before the long weekend. The last condition is on the sale of her townhouse by September 24th. She's getting a possession date of October 15th. So, if you think about us, please be in prayer for all these details to work out. In the meantime, our house is still listed online and people can still come look at it and make offers. That means I still have to keep the house perfect all the time! Oh well, this too shall pass! We move in less than two weeks. I've finally started to pack, so that's progress. I think I'm dragging my feet because I'm excited and sad all mixed up together. I really loved everything about our current house and I'm going to miss it. And it was the first house Joshua and I bought, so it will always be special for that reason. I guess as the years go by, we'll drive by with the kids to see how it's changed, and tell them stories about our time here. I always get sentimental, so you'll have to bear with me for a few weeks! My emotions are a little unstable right now. :-)

And if the excitement of the house being sold wasn't enough, I had another momentous occasion today! I went downtown to take my test to become a Canadian citizen! I applied over a year ago, and finally got the notice to appear for the test, about two weeks ago. With everything going on here, I hardly had time to study. I was really panicking this morning and even called Joshua at work bawling my head off! He was very sweet and took some time to go through a bunch of questions with me. (Thanks Sweetie!) I dropped the kids off at my new friend Helen's house. She's the one I went to Coffee 'N' Scream with on Wednesday. Her kids are almost the same ages as mine. My Sara and her Shana are great together. Sara is very touchy, feely and has no concept of personal space, but Shana just loves it and lets Sara hug her and play with her hair, etc. Most other kids get a tad irritated with my loving daughter, but Shana doesn't seem to mind at all! Anyway, enough of that rabbit trail..... Helen was so good for me this morning because she is also an American who became a Canadian citizen several years ago. She was able to tell me a lot about the whole process and relieve some of my jitters! After she found out how stressful my night and morning had been, she said, "Let me just tell you this - taking that test is going to be the easiest thing you do today!" She was right! I passed, and now I just have to wait for my notice about my swearing in ceremony. They said it will be in 2-4 weeks. Now, I'm just simply exhausted. Joshua called to tell me not to fix dinner because we were going out to celebrate! He's earning major brownie points today!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dragon Boating

So, what is a Dragon Boat? Well, I would love to show you some pictures, BUT my camera decided to break this weekend and I got NO pictures of the boats or the races!! I was not a happy camper when I discovered the awful truth. Now I have to find the repair store somewhere in downtown Calgary and take it in. Which means I will also be without my camera for more time and pay lots of money for them to fix it. Frustrating. Now, that I'm done with my rant, I'll get on with Dragon Boats! I do have few pictures I can share because I took some during a practice run.

Every year, at the end of August, Calgary hosts Dragon Boat Races. The boats are like long canoes and are rowed by teams of 18 people. There are professionals racing, but amateurs as well. Every year, Canadian Western Bank, puts in a team to compete. Joshua was quick to sign up this year! They had three practice times earlier this month. On Friday evening they had the Banker's Cup, with just the teams from the banks in Calgary competing. I picked up pizza on my way there that evening and then, after a quick supper, we watched the races. It was fun, but our team.... well, they tried, but failed miserably! They were running late, and when they got in the boat, they were very unbalanced. The steerer wouldn't let them move around to fix the problem, so they had to race like that. It was too big a problem to overcome and they finished dead last! It was good we could all go home and get a good sleep after that.

The next morning, the official racing started, with over 2,000 rowers in all! Anyone can put together a team and race as long as you have enough people. There are mixed, women's and junior divisions. Joshua's bank was a mixed boat. They finished 6th in their first heat, but still advanced. I arrived with the kids after that. The second heat was against all the other 6th place finishers. This time they came in first!! Boy, were we excited! That was the last race for the day, so we gratefully left to get supper and go home to rest. Today, they had two races, but the weather took a turn for the worse overnight. It was cold and raining all day. After the first, early morning race, Joshua joined the kids and I at church. Sara got to perform her day camp songs again for the whole congregation! She was so cute with all her little friends! After church, I took the kids home where it was cozy and dry. Poor Joshua had to head back for one more race. They rowed with black plastic bags on in the pouring rain! They finished 4th. Disappointing for them, but they did well over all and I was proud of them! Joshua fell asleep on the couch two hours ago - he is so very, very tired and sore! I guess it's time to get him in bed. I'm pretty exhausted too!

We got an offer on our house today! It came through this evening and we sent back a counter offer soon after. We should hear first thing in the morning, so I'll let you know! It was a tense evening!

Going, Going, Going....will we ever slow down?

Life has been an absolute whirlwind of activity since the kids came home last Saturday! As if they weren't over-stimulated and over-tired enough from 4 days with Grandma and Grandpa! I won't be surprised at all if we get sick in the next week or two. I pray not.

Sunday - The kids and I went to church and Joshua went to Dragon Boat practice (more on that later). I brought the kids home for a quick lunch and change of clothes. Then we piled into the car again to take in a Calgary Viper's baseball game. (Joshua got free tickets with online points from his favourite radio station!) Joshua joined us after the first few innings and we had a really fun time. When I was taking Sky for a potty break in the middle of the game, we stopped behind home plate to see everything up close for a minute. The ball boy thought Sky was cute with all his questions and gave him a baseball!! Very exciting! We got it signed after the game too! And both kids got to go onto the field and run the bases after the game. We couldn't have asked for more!

Monday - Sara started Kidz Day Camp at our church. This was a first for all of us. Sara had never been away from home for that long (except for stays with Grandma and Grandpa) or in any kind of school-like environment. I had never had that much alone time with Sky and I was wondering I was ever going to entertain him! Sky had never been without his playmate for that much time! We were all a little nervous, but it turned out to be a great week! I woke the kids up at 7:45 a.m., which is quite early for them, got them dressed, and gave them a portable breakfast to eat in the car! Sara was so excited she barely ate, but the excitement was good, because the night before she went to bed saying she didn't want to go. Sara got dropped off and signed in on time. She was very proud of her lunch box! Sky and I went back home. We did some laundry, weeded the garden and flower beds, and did some watering. Sky actually played by himself for a long time while I worked on the computer! Then we went grocery shopping. On the way there he told me that he was having a fun day with me! It melted my heart! After we dropped off the groceries at home, we went to pick up Sara at 4 p.m. She was tired, but glowing and asking if she was going back for a lot of days! I was happy she liked it so much.

Tuesday - Same schedule for Sara and another fun day for her! Sky and I went to Heritage Park in the morning. We actually made it there early enough for their free pancake and sausage breakfast that they serve every morning. It was a little chaotic cause it's a pretty popular affair, but yummy! It was fun to go and be able to do just what Sky wanted. He's never really experienced that! We got home in time for a late lunch and just relaxed the rest of the afternoon.

Wednesday - We got a new counter top installed in the morning. After I rushed Sara to church, we raced back home and emptied the cupboards just in time for the installer to start his job! He was noisy and messy, but the counter looks really good! I cleaned for two days before it was back to normal - the dust was awful. Sara had another great day and came home singing songs at the top of her lungs! She was really getting to know them by this point!

Thursday - It was rainy and dreary and we got a slow start in the morning. We still made it to church only 7 minutes late! I had planned to get together with another mom that morning, so we set a time and place. I went home to shower and she went home to eat breakfast! We met at this place called Coffee 'N' Scream that serves coffee and ice cream and lunches. They have a separate play area for kids to play while the parents have coffee and talk. It sounds like a great idea except that every time I've been there, it's been a madhouse! There are too many selfish 2 year olds in one place, the coffee shop allows too many kids in at once, and there aren't enough chairs for moms to sit on! After about 45 min., we'd had enough. My friend, Helen, also has a three year old boy and he was freaking out. We bought the boys mini ice cream cones (tiger ice cream!) and moved to the non play area. Everyone calmed down considerably. We decided to go to my house where we could visit and play peacefully! They stayed till 2:30 p.m. and we had a great time! And another good day for Sara even though they were cooped up inside all day because of weather. Later that evening we went back to church for a BBQ they had for all the families of the kids in day camp. The kids sang their songs for us, and showed us all their crafts and projects. Sara was so proud and excited!

Friday - We dropped Sara off, made a quick trip to Wal-Mart, and then came home for a bit. The highlight of the day for Sky and I was going to have lunch with Daddy at work! Everyone at the branch loves to see the kids come in, so they can have a distraction! We ate at Cora's, a wonderful place that only serves breakfast and is famous for their crepes and omelette's. Very yummy! Sara had a very fun and busy last day of day camp. They had a carnival and one of those big, inflatable jumping things. She came home with lots of loot and all her crafts! She can hardly wait till next year already! We came home, chilled out for an hour, and then headed to the next adventure - Dragon Boat Races! And that will be in the next blog entry!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Where I Have Been :-)

Goodness, I really hadn't realized how long I've been AWOL until Jen said something!! I'm still alive and kicking! Here's the latest news....

We drove up to Edmonton (3 hours north) on Sunday afternoon, to Joshua's parents. We had a good trip thanks to our wonderful, portable DVD! We always feel guilty about using it the whole time, so we periodically make them take a break. But, it doesn't take long before a 3 year old and 6 year old have exhausted any creative ideas we have, and the DVD goes right back on! Oh well, we don't travel very often! We also stopped halfway there at Chapters (same as a Barnes and Noble) for Starbucks drinks. Also, for Daddy to give in and buy the kids something! Sara got a pink princess cape with fluffy trim and a tiara. She looks so sweet! They have such beautiful costumes there and anytime the kids and I go to look at books, they want to try everything on! Sky almost settled on the pirate costume, which he's been wanting for a long time, but then something else won out. They had these medieval times figures, and he fell in love! He got the black knight on a black horse because that's his favourite colour! They were both happy to get to Grandma and Grandpa's house and show off their new treasures!

The reason we went to Edmonton was because Joshua needed to be there on business for Monday and Tuesday. We were able to work it out for those days because we needed to be in Edmonton because of a mistake Joshua made! Let me explain. Josh Groban, my current favourite singer, was coming to Alberta and we wanted to go to the concert here in Calgary. He came 3 years ago, we went to the concert and it was incredible! So, the minute the tickets went on sale, Joshua got online and bought two. When he went to pick up the tickets, the lady said, "Oh, so you decided to go to Edmonton to hear him!" Joshua was like, "What? Really? I did that?" He inadvertently clicked the button for Edmonton and that's the way it was! It's good thing he didn't click Winnipeg or Toronto!! When Joshua found out that head office wanted him to come to Edmonton for a couple of days of training, he asked if it could coincide with the concert day. They said that would be great! So, the bank paid for the trip and meals, we got to see an amazing concert, and even got free babysitting! (More on the concert later - Joshua got some pics with his cell phone!) Then, to top it all off, when Joshua's parents found out about this trip, they offered to keep Sara and Sky for the remainder of the week, so we could come home and have some time alone! Who could resist such an offer?! We drove home Tuesday night after the concert, and the kids will be delivered on Saturday afternoon! Joshua took Wednesday off, so we took advantage of that and got so many errands done. We spent most of the day in the car, but it was fun to do everything together and get it done fast! Yesterday and today, Joshua was/is at work, so I'm enjoying the time to myself! I must admit, I hardly know what to do, so I'm probably not being as efficient as I could be! Yesterday, I went to see a friend and we exchanged some homeschooling stuff. Then, I headed to the homeschooling supply store to browse and get ideas buy a few things too! I was there for about 2 hours - it was great! I had to kill time anyway because our realtor called and said someone was coming to look at the house between 1:30-2:30. When I got home, I found out that the people ended up not coming because they were running late. Oh well.

So, today, I'm just sitting here in my pajamas and doing stuff on the computer! I think it's time to get dressed and eat breakfast! And then maybe I'll work on school preparation for a bit, and then maybe go shopping or take a nap (or both!)..... And to close, here a couple of pictures of the kids playing at the playground by Grandma and Grandpa's house. I know that blog entries are just way more interesting with pictures!

Monday, August 6, 2007

More About Me

My sweet friend, Judith, has "tagged" me to answer a few things about myself, so here goes!

4 jobs I have had:
1. Babysitter
2. Life Action Happiness Club worker
3. Life Action Singer
4. Mother to Sara and Sky

4 places I have lived:
1. Quito, Ecuador
2. Brownsville, TX
3. Upper Peninsula of Michigan
4. Lodi, Ohio

Favourite TV shows:
1. CSI Miami
2. Supernanny
3. Amazing Race
4. So You Think You Can Dance

Favourite Food:
1. Mexican
2. Brownies
3. Chicken on the grill
4. Biscuits with butter and honey

Places I would rather be:
1. The ocean
2. On a cruise
3. Life Action
4. Visiting my family in El Paso

Favourite movies:
1. Sound of Music
2. Kate and Leopold
3. The Guardian
4. The Village

And now I tag:
1. Jen Wade
2. Beth Chretian
3. Suzanne Poffenburger
4. Meghan Prescott

You can answer through your own blog, the comment section, or Facebook comment section! Look forward to learning more about you!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Cute Kid Sayings and The Tooth Fairy

Yesterday we had to be out of the house between 1-2 p.m. for the first showing of our house. We spent the morning cleaning up clutter, mowing and trimming the lawn, folding and putting away laundry, and vacuuming. Sara pulled all the weeds that were coming up through the cracks in the step stones in the side yard. Daddy paid her a toonie ($2 coin) and she was pretty proud of herself! Once we got out of the house we headed to Ricky's (kind of like a Denny's) for lunch. We all ordered breakfast except for Sara, who got a pizza. Then we made a stop at the city dump to unload the back of Joshua's truck. We throw junk in there, and then every few weeks we drop it off at the dump! The dump is actually quite fascinating. When you drive in, you pay $5 at the little booth. Then you drive along a network of dirt roads that go up and down and all over. When you arrive at the spot where they are currently dumping (it's different every time), you back up to the pile of trash and throw in your stuff! It's SO nasty!! Joshua is such a sissy about the whole thing and it makes me laugh every time! He stays as far away from the trash as possible, with this scrunched up face, and throws the junk as hard as he can! It's too funny! There are seagulls that just sit there or swarm around in the air and wait for something good to come along. Such disgusting little scavengers! After that distasteful job was over, we went to Blockbuster, and everybody got to pick out a movie. While we were standing in line to check out, Sky wanted me to pick him up so he could see over the counter. I was nuzzling his cheek and said, "You smell like maple syrup!" (From his pancakes earlier.) He grinned and started sniffing my cheek! He then declared, "You smell like YOU!" He seemed to think that was a good thing, so I'm glad he likes my smell!

Later, we were having our supper of corn on the cob and grilled sausages on a bun. (Yummy!) Sara was having a having a bit of a challenge eating the corn. Her two top front teeth are loose and one of them was VERY loose! Being the kind parents we are, we were laughing at her predicament! Joshua commented to her, "You're going to be so cute when you loose those teeth!" She got this funny little smile on her face and she said, "I AM cute!" We laughed and laughed! About 7 minutes later, the tooth actually fell out!! The tooth fairy left her a loonie ($1 coin), but she has to be a little creative when it comes to Sara. See, Sara isn't quite sure if the fairy is real or not, and I'm not quite prepared to reveal the whole truth. So, Sara does not let me put her teeth under her pillow or even beside the bed, because she's afraid the tooth fairy will actually be in her room! I left the tooth on the kitchen counter and told her that the tooth fairy could still find it because she can find a tooth anywhere. Well, I'm a BAD tooth fairy because I forgot to leave money last night! We ALL forgot about it this morning in the rush to get ready for church. So, we get to church and Sara was telling people she lost a tooth. What does everyone ask? "Did the tooth fairy come?" Sara kept looking at me with questions in her eyes and I kept saying, "Oh, I'm sure she did, but we were in such a hurry we forgot to check!" Well, as soon as we got home, Joshua found a loonie, I planted it on the kitchen counter, and said, "Sara, come look! I found something!" She was sufficiently delighted!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Pictures of Our New House

Here it is....the newest addition to our family! (The home inspection went well, so we signed off on that condition!) We love the rock and neutral colors on the outside.I really like this kitchen! That's an island in the middle and the sink is in front of the window. I love the light wood cabinets and white appliances. I think kitchens should be bright! To the left of the kitchen is the dining nook and living room. I didn't take a picture of the living room because the other people have a few piles of junk still left lying around. There is a fireplace in there.
When you go upstairs, there is a "bonus" room that looks out over the park across the street. It's so big and wide open and I'm excited about this extra family/play room!This is Joshua's favorite part - the soaker tub in the corner with a window! He really wanted this and a garage and he got both! This is in the master bedroom en suite. There is one more full bath upstairs, a half bath on the main floor, and a bathroom with a shower in the basement! So, I guess there's a toilet for each one of us!Here's one side of the backyard. To the left is a wide side yard with three more trees. I'm very excited about the fire pit! I love to roast marshmallows!
And the other side of the backyard. The deck was originally finished very poorly, so it needs to be stripped and stained. Also, for some reason there are no steps or railing. We're not sure what happened there! So, we'll have to get those in pretty quickly. Of course, the kids think it's great fun to jump off the deck and climb back up again! Who needs steps?!
This is the park and playground directly across the street from the house! The kids are very excited about this one! And it will be a good chance to meet the neighborhood kids and parents.
So, that's it for now! It's not too much fun looking at empty rooms, so I'll post more when we move in and get decorated. I didn't take any pictures of the basement. It's fully finished with a large family room + fireplace, a bathroom, and two other smaller rooms! We have lots of room for guests, so you'll have to come visit!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Stayin' Cool at Allen Pond

The last two weekends we've made a short trip to the mountains to have a picnic and play in Allen Pond. It's in Kananaskis Country, west of Calgary. I'd say about an hour away? The river there makes a little inlet that creates this pond and little streams that go over these awesome, rounded river rocks. The little streams are no more than calf deep, so it's tons of fun to splash and get cooled off! The water is so cold it makes your feet ache if you stay in too long, but when the sun is beating down on you, it really feels good! The rocks are unlike anything I've seen before, with brilliant white lines running through some of the grey ones. Then, there are some white ones with just small pieces of grey on the edge. You can see that there are layers of two distinct deposits. And they're all rounded and very smooth. We had so much fun collecting and exclaiming over all our finds! The kids (that includes Joshua :-)) really enjoyed throwing and skipping rocks in the river. I used to be able to skip seashells on the ocean really well, but I've lost my touch! It's been so nice to get away and relax in God's beautiful creation.