Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sprinkler Fun!

I have been so bad about posting this past week. I love my blog, but I also feel guilty sometimes because there is always something else I SHOULD be doing! Anyway, last Thursday I posted pictures of snow, so I thought you might want to see how this Thursday looks! The pictures say it all!We had a beautiful, warm weekend as well. We were so happy to have our Daddy and husband home for a few days. On Saturday we all worked together in the yard - mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, watering, weeding, etc. Sunday was church, lunch with some friends and a nice, restful afternoon. Because Joshua had to go out of town again on Monday afternoon, he was allowed to take the day off. We had dentist and chiropractor appointments, along with a few errands to run. It was nice to not be doing everything by myself for a change! It was Sky's first visit to the dentist and he did so good! That kid can open his mouth way bigger than I can! He let them polish and then even did the fluoride treatment! He was so proud of himself! The highlight for both kids is the new toothbrush and floss, and the toy prize when they're done. I forgot the camera, but Joshua got a picture or two with his cell phone. We haven't downloaded those yet, so I'll post that later.

Joshua was gone again for a conference in Edmonton (three hours north). He got home at 8 p.m. last night, just in time to get the kids really worked up and crazy before bedtime! Oh well, I wore them out with a trip to the playground earlier, so they were still asleep pretty quickly! So, all is well, and their are no more business trips on the horizon! Now we can get down to the business of enjoying summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Surviving (Part 3)

So, that snow I was talking about last's what it looked like when I got up this morning! The poor trees and shrubs were nearly breaking under the weight of FIVE INCHES of snow! I'm not exaggerating either - I measured!You should have seen me this morning! I was outside, still in my pajamas (and coat!), shaking all the branches with my broom, praying they would be O.K. Sky woke up first and I brought him downstairs to show him the snow. I said, "It's not supposed to snow in May. This is pretty crazy, eh?" He shook his head "no," so I asked what he thought. He thought for a moment, pointed at the snow, and said, "I know what I should do! I should shovel all that snow! Then it will all be gone!" I said, "Sounds like a good idea to me!" After Sara woke up a few minutes later, I bundled them up (I just put away all the winter accessories yesterday!) and sent them out to shovel. They did a great job clearing the deck! After they got cold and wet enough, they came in and I made hot chocolate, scrambled eggs, and toast for breakfast (in that order!).

We stayed home all day today and I got lots done around the house. The kids played so much better together and there was hardly any fighting, so that was wonderful! Sky had a nice, long nap, while Sara and I did some schoolwork. She can finally write her name without tracing the letters! This is a HUGE accomplishment!

After supper, we went around the corner to Dairy Queen. I know, crazy on a day like today! Sara and Sky each polished off a Dilly Bar, and I had my favorite - hot fudge sundae! That gave them plenty of energy to help clean up when we got home and they actually did an excellent job. They are asleep now. Only one more day of flying solo! We pick Joshua up at the airport tomorrow after supper. He has been bored and lonely, but glad he missed the snow! It was nice and warm in B.C. today!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Surviving (Part 2)

Today was hard. Sara had a really rough day. She whined, she complained, she bugged her brother incessantly, she was bored, she made messes, she was tired....and she got a lot of spankings. Poor baby. Maybe I was too hard on her? I don't know. I just know that tomorrow is a new day and it's "fresh, with no mistakes in it!"

Sky didn't take a nap, so he cried about every little thing from about 3 o'clock on through the evening. After supper (thank God I had leftovers to heat up), I gave them baths, made them clean up their toys, and bundled them up in bed. It's a good night to be bundled. It started snowing at 9:30 p.m. and is now accumulating on the deck and patio table. I covered the garden plants with boxes, but there are just too many flowers to save. I hope they can make it through the night.

We did go to my friend, Trina's house today, and the kids had a couple of happy hours there. She fed us a nice lunch before we headed home. She's always so thoughtful.

I got the house vacuumed and the dishes all washed up today, so that made me feel better. Things were looking pretty trashed around here! Tomorrow I have to crack down on the laundry. You know, it's funny, you think your husband never does anything around the house until he's away for awhile! Boy, am I surprised at all the work I have to do this week!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Surviving (Part 1)

We've survived day one of four without our Daddy and Sweetheart! Three more days to go! The kids were pretty whiny today, but I think they were just bored after all the excitement of the long weekend. The only excitement today was Mommy's visit to the chiropractor and haircuts for both kids. Tomorrow we'll be spending the first half of the day at my friend Trina's house. She has a four-year-old boy and one-year-old girl. Sara and Sky are looking forward to that. Better go. It's time for bed and I really need the sleep!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Heritage Park Historical Village

All winter we wait for the May long weekend when Heritage Park opens for the season! It's step back in time, a slower pace of life for a few hours. There is so much there, we learn something new everytime. Of course, there's the stuff we have to do EVERY time we go! We have to ride the real train that puffs it's way around the huge park. We have to stop by the bakery and buy cheese buns and sausage rolls for lunch. (Baked in wood burning stoves.) We have to visit the Midway where they have old-fashioned rides like a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and dangler swings (see picture). But, that's not even the absolute favorite part. Sky couldn't wait to go so he could buy rock candy at the general store! Sara was really looking forward to the ice cream parlour, but it started raining before we got there. Poor child, I'll have to get her an extra big scoop the next time we go! Actually, there were lots of things that we missed out on because of the rain, but we still had lots of fun! We rode ALL the rides in the Midway. Well, except for the big Ferris wheel - Joshua and I don't like those so much! Seriously, they terrify me! They have a mini Ferris wheel for little ones, and that made for some happy smiles, as you can see below! We also rode the train and stopped to visit the farm animals. The mama pig had a new litter of piglets again! For lunch we decided to put tradition aside for the day, and eat at the old Wainright Hotel there. Very quaint dining room, and pretty good food, but really terrible service! They were more busy than they knew what to do with. And there was this table next to us with a table full of really old people in wheelchairs, with bibs and everything. I tried to think nice thoughts as long as I possibly could, but the sights and sounds soon became more than we could handle. It was just so sad, but honestly it was gross! I don't know how their caretakers do it. God bless them! Anyway, that was one of my rabbit trails! After lunch we made bought the long-awaited rock candy, and then had to hurry back to the car. We came home for a rest and then headed out into the rain again to our favorite pasta restaurant for supper. That helped end the day on a happy note!

Are We Having Fun Yet?

So, this is the sight that greeted me when I got up this morning - and it's still snowing! I am no longer enamored with the beauty of my city! The weekend started out great with mostly sunny skies and a temp of 21 (C). Yesterday, it was quite a bit cooler, but we braved a family outing to Heritage Park (more on that later), and after the sun peeked through the clouds a few times, it gave up and disappeared forever. We were forced to beat a hasty retreat to the car when the temperature dropped and the rain started. In spite of the rain for the rest of the day, I never guessed it would turn to snow! I think we've decided to hang out at the mall today. At least there we can't see the snow out the windows anymore! Stay tuned for pictures of our few hours of fun yesterday.....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fun at the Park!

This has been a busy week for our family. We've had all the normal busy stuff during the day, but the evenings have been very full as well. So far, three out of the five days in this week, we've gone to a playground to burn off excess energy. (And it wasn't my excess energy! I wish!) The highlight of everything was probably Monday evening. Just as I was getting ready to fix supper that evening, Joshua called, and said, come pick me up, let's eat out and play at the park! I was more than happy to oblige, so I packed the kids in the car, and we headed downtown to get Daddy. (He normally takes the bus home.) Sky wouldn't take a nap that afternoon, so he fell asleep on the way there. When Daddy pulled him out of his car seat in the parking lot a few minutes later, he had the sweetest little smile of delight on his face! It was precious! We went to the Spaghetti Factory for supper and had more food than we could handle in one sitting! And, all the meals come with free ice cream for dessert! It doesn't get any better than that! Then we headed to Eau Claire Park, which is right in the heart of downtown and runs along the river. It was so beautiful - the grass is a brilliant green throughout the city right now, the trees are budding and blossoming, and the Canadian geese are pooping everywhere! Yep, it's springtime! Joshua told the kids to go pet the geese, just so he could see the chase! Sky couldn't figure out why the geese wouldn't let him pet them! We also had fun at the big playground there. Sara amazed us with the way she can flip over a bar all by herself! She's been doing that in gymnastics for years, but the coaches are always helping. We had no idea she was so agile on her own! Here are the pictures to prove it.
Here she goes.....
Over, over....Ta da! She did it!

In other news, Joshua is out of town today and tomorrow. I guess I've never said in my blog what Joshua does! He started working for Canadian Western Bank in September 2006, and is going through a two year, manager training program. So far, he loves it and it has been a good fit for him. So, this morning, he flew to British Columbia (we just say B.C.) to fill in for a Manager of Sales and Service position at a branch there. He's just getting the lay of the land for these two days, will be home for the weekend, and then goes back for all of next week. Here's a little education for my American friends. This weekend coming up is a long weekend in Canada. Monday is Victoria Day. It means nothing, just an extra day off! So, we call it the May long weekend. My mom laughs when I say that! We do not celebrate Memorial Day here, so we get our long weekend before Americans do, that's all. Oh, and the May long weekend is the last weekend you can head to the mountains to go skiing! (Our favorite hill is about an hour and half from Calgary.) Crazy, eh?! Even Joshua, who loves skiing, isn't that committed! We usually quit going on ski trips the end of March or very beginning of April. Wow, was that a rabbit trail or what?!! I'm really good at those! All that to say that the kids and I will be going crazy by the end of next week, but I'm sure we'll survive! There's always the evening run to the playground!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Our Home

Here are the pictures of our house I promised Jen! This was way too fun! And the added bonus was that I had to clean the house to take all these pictures! Enjoy!

The Knaak Home
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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Cherry Tree Blossoms and Gardens

It must have happened overnight. I looked out my bedroom window, down at the backyard, and the cherry tree was covered in blossoms! It's so beautiful that I had to share! We've also been gradually putting in the vegetable garden this past week. The kids have had so much fun helping with that! So far, we've planted potatoes, onions, tomatoes, yellow and orange peppers, and pumpkins. We have carrot seeds too, so they'll be next. Below is Sky proudly holding "his" potatoes. Joshua bought red potatoes and white potatoes. Sara got to help plant the red ones while Sky was taking his nap. Then, Sky got to help plant the white potatoes later in the evening! So, now we have Sara's row of potatoes and Sky's row! They also picked out "his" and "her" carrot seeds! Today, we also planted some new perennials to replace the ones that froze when it rained/snowed two weeks ago. We also filled our big wooden buckets (half whiskey barrels) with annuals. It looks so festive and colorful! Now we pray there will be no more frosty nights. I will be more vigilant about checking the weather and covering everything this time around.
When I was out planting and watering today, I actually worked up a bit of a sweat! That's an exciting day in Calgary! It's been so nice to have the windows open too, and feel warm air coming in the house. And I love it that the kids can play outside without needing to be bundled all the time! The T.V. has been watched very little this past week and no one seems to miss it! Yay! It was starting to be a major addiction for Sky, in particular. I will admit that Mommy is just as addicted - not because I watch, but because it gets the kids out of my hair! I know, it's bad. Anyway - rabbit trail - we are just so happy that Summer is near. We are loving the sunshine!
P.S. This post took two days to write, so that's why it's dated the 12th, but you didn't actually see it that day! I can't figure out how to change the date!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sugaring (It's not as sweet as you think!)

So, does anyone know about body sugaring? No, it's not a sugar scrub - it's hair removal! It's the new "waxing", but very natural and supposedly not as painful. Ha! Ha! I am here to say it hurts just as one would expect when you rip hair off your legs! Joshua was the one who actually first heard about body sugaring and told me about it. Knowing my hatred for shaving and constantly having razor burn, he said I should try it. So, as Spring approached, I decided it would be nice to have nice, hair free legs for the summer! I went for my first session in March, intending to have my full legs done. Well, it was so painful for me, and took so long, that my sugarist and I decided to just do the lower legs. Then, right when I would have gone for my next appointment, we decided to spend a night in the mountains where there was - a pool! I tried to book a quick appointment, but she was gone for the weekend. I was forced to shave the lovely locks I had been saving up! (You have to not shave for at least ten days, but I had waited like three weeks!) Then, we got sick for over a month and I didn't want to add that to my list of pain and misery.

Finally, today was the day! My friend/babysitter, Charity, came along for the ride and took the kids to the park while I underwent my torture. I really wish I had before and after pictures. You girls would laugh so hard! My sugarist assured me that this second time wouldn't hurt nearly as bad as the first time, but it did. She also said, the second leg wouldn't hurt as bad as the first leg. I said, that's what you said last time, through my teeth clenched in pain. She said it wasn't as bad as labor. I think I disagreed with that too. It's just that it only lasted for an hour - not 23! But, in the end, we persevered, and she did both legs all the way! Seven hours later, I still look like I have the measles, but I am hair free! So, you ask, what is sugaring? Well, it really is all natural. She takes a big handful of some very stiff and sticky substance that kind of looks like honey or corn syrup, but a lot thicker. She spreads it on a section of skin with her fingers against the growth of the hair. The sugar stuff softens with your body heat and then she quickly pulls off the sugar with the growth of your hair, and everything comes out with it. That's the "ow" part! This is repeated until my legs are completely red and throbbing! The good things about sugaring are that it can never burn your skin as with waxing, and it doesn't cause as many ingrown hairs.

So, you should try it! Trust me, it's not that bad!

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Big Top!

We went to the circus yesterday! I can't remember the last time I was at a circus, but I think it was sometime before the teenage days! That's a long time ago! Mom, do you remember?

This was a fairly small circus (no trapeze artists or tight rope walkers), but still tons of fun! There were plenty of clowns, juggling, balancing acts and even trick dogs and elephants! Of course, there was also plenty of junk food, so because the show started at 5 p.m., we were forced to partake of the goodies! The kids were fascinated and sat very well for the two hour show. Sara kept saying, "I can do that!" She loves to put on a show! It was good to have that family time and laugh together. We needed a break from the reality of life! After we'd had more than enough of hot dogs, popcorn, sno cones and caramel corn, we happily headed home. I made fruit smoothies for a bedtime snack, and it made me feel better about the junk food!

Friday, May 4, 2007

My Sisters

For those of you who haven't seen or heard from me since the Life Action days, I thought you might want to see a recent photo of my little sisters! They are growing up and really not so little anymore! Heather is 14 (!), Heidi will be 12 next month, Holly is 9, and Hannah is almost 7! My family is still in El Paso, TX being missionaries and homeschooling the girls. The last time we got to see them, was in November 2005, so we really miss them a lot. We are so far apart and travel of any kind is so expensive. We're hoping to work out something soon!

In other news....Sara and Sky are now coughing. I feel so bad! Fortunately, no more runny noses, so hopefully after a few days of cough syrup, they'll be O.K. Please pray for our family's healing. This has been a very discouraging month and my energy is so low. I find myself being very cranky and impatient with the kids, too. I feel so rotten because I know they don't feel good either. And it turned out that what I thought was ribs out of place are really pulled muscles. All I can do is ice the area and just wait for it to get better. Sara and Sky's gymnastics coach confirmed today that those are some of the most painful muscles to pull! What next, eh?! I do thank the Lord that no one is in the hospital or anything like that! It could be worse! I trust this post finds the rest of you in wonderful, good health. I've realized how much I take healthy bodies for granted.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I'm Running Away!

O.K., so I just looked outside and it's SNOWING! That's it. I've officially had it with this city! I'm running away and never coming back. Oh, I wish I could. We had snow all April and now it's ruining May too. Ahhhhhhhh! We even planted new flowers on Saturday - they are so dead now.

I just needed to vent. I'm off to the chiropractor because my coughing has put my ribs out and it hurts to take a deep breath. Why did I ever say I didn't HAVE to go anywhere today?! I think the day might end on a brighter note. Joshua called this morning to say he got a substantial raise after a glowing performance review! He is floating today! So, he wants to take us all to dinner to celebrate! I'm all for that!

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It's raining and cold. Double yuck! I must confess that my mood has a lot to do with the weather for the day. I really want to be negative and feel sorry for myself on days like today, so it's time to make a list of positives!

1. I didn't have to go anywhere today, so at least we don't HAVE to go out and get wet.
2. It's wonderful for all the newly budding trees, plants and grass.
3. This is a great chance to be creative and spend some quality time with the kids. (I'll let you know how that goes!)
4. Also, a great chance to get lots of housework done! No temptation to go anywhere!

That's all I can think of, but that's pretty good for me on a rainy day! We won't push it any more than that! What do the rest of you do on a rainy day? Check out some of my cool links for some fun things to do with the kids on inclement days. The Making Friends paper dolls are hours of enjoyment! Just keep some card stock on hand and your printer in working condition!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

How would YOU make a guitar?

I have to brag on my son a bit! He is so creative sometimes that I'm amazed! He came into the office the other night to show me his "guitar." It consisted of a plastic baseball bat and a foam shield! The shield has armbands attached to the back, so you can slip your arm in for a sword fight or whatever. Well, Sky decided to slip the bat in there and it made the perfect guitar! He even "played" me a few songs! It was too cute and very creative!

Yesterday was mostly uneventful. Sara has been taking a multi-sport class at the nearest recreation center. The purpose of the class was to learn the basic rules and skills for all the different sports. They covered soccer, baseball, basketball, badminton, hockey and maybe more, but we missed a couple with all our sickness. Yesterday was her last class, and I didn't want her to miss it just because I was sick. So, I managed to get all of us out the door for that. She had fun, and they even let Sky join in this time. The class is for 6-10 year olds, so Sky sits there every week wishing he could be big enough. They were playing hockey and the teacher said he could join the others. He was sooo excited and it totally made his day! After that we spent a few minutes at the library (which is in the same building) and then headed home.

I'm feeling better, but still running a low-grade fever. That cough syrup with codeine is the best stuff! It really keeps my coughing to a minimum, for which I am most grateful! My mother-in-law is driving down from Edmonton (three hours north) to bring supper and spend the night. It's a long drive just for supper, but she's just that way! Very much a servant! She's also going to babysit while Joshua and I go to our small group, so that will be nice.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Why do Mom's get sick?

Wow! I'm overwhelmed! It has been so incredibly neat to hear from all of you! I was up late last night and early this morning just to see if I had any comments! I definitely needed a distraction yesterday. I mentioned we had all been sick for the month of April. I thought we were finally going to shake everything, and then on Thursday, I had a relapse complete with fever, sinus infection and bad cough. I had already had the cough, but it was getting better. Over the weekend it got worse and I stayed home from church. Then yesterday afternoon, after a particularly bad coughing episode, I could taste blood in my mouth. That freaked me out pretty good! I called Joshua and he told me to get to the doctor right away. Fortunately, we have a very good doctor literally right around the corner from our house! It's this tiny little clinic, with lavender colored walls (no kidding), and chairs that desperately need replacing, but the doctor's are great! So, I herded the kids into the car for the short drive, and put my name on the waiting list. In the meantime, Joshua called up our babysitter and friend, Charity, to come and rescue the kids. She's a wonderful, 18-year-old that I couldn't live without! If I could hire her to be my nanny, I would! She showed up in record time and the kids were grateful to follow her out the door to more exciting venues! When I finally saw the doctor he very quickly confirmed the sinus infection AND bronchitis. Lovely! I headed to the pharmacy next door and he supplied me with the hard stuff - antibiotic for the bronchitis and cough syrup with codeine to knock me out of my misery!

After I picked up the kids and got home, Joshua went hunting for food! He ended up at the Vietnamese noodle house and brought home noodle bowls and spring rolls for all to enjoy! After supper, my sweet husband headed out again to do my grocery shopping for me. He definitely earned his keep yesterday! He brought home raspberries for the kids, and they had those for a bedtime snack. Major points for Daddy on that one. Mommy is too cheap to ever buy raspberries - they're such a ridiculous price for such a small container! At least up here anyway!

I think that's enough griping for one day. Oh, wait, I forgot about the night! I got booted to the couch because of my cough (I was not happy about that), and BOTH kids got up. Sky wanted more milk in his sippy cup and Sara wet her bed. (Which she NEVER does!) Sigh! Maybe we'll all get a nap today, but I doubt it!

As requested, you will find pictures of me and Joshua. I had to go retrieve them from Winkflash because our computer crashed a couple of months ago and we lost everything. Thank God, I had uploaded all our pictures to Winkflash, so we still have them there!