Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We're Cruisin' To Alaska!

Only two days left before we leave on the most exciting summer vacation we've ever taken! Joshua's parents are treating our family to an Alaskan cruise aboard the ms Noordam! His parents and sister are coming as well, so we'll just be one big, happy family! (I hope!) The cruise ship leaves from Seattle, WA on July 1 and will have us back on July 8. We're going a couple of days early to see some sights in Seattle, and visit some wonderful friends, Brian and Lindsey Jacobs, who now live in a suburb of Seattle. For those of you who know Brian and Lindsey, they have four kids now! I'm excited to get a Lindsey hug! We leave on Thursday, so we've been running around all weekend doing last minute shopping. I was already in the early stages of packing yesterday, so hopefully I won't be up too late on Wednesday trying to get everything done! I probably will anyway! I always do that. :-( Packing for this trip has proved to be a monumental task! Because we're headed for Alaska, the weather will be somewhat "rugged!" I checked the weather forecast in all the cities we'll be docking in, and it looks like it will never be any warmer than 60 F (15 C). And I don't think we'll see the sun very often either - there was a lot of clouds and rain in the forecast! But, I'm not complaining....we're going on a cruise, baby! So, we're packing everything from swimsuits (indoor pool), casual clothes, jackets and mitts, to formal wear! At least two outfits per day and three on some days! There are two formal dinner nights, so we had fun shopping for that one! I finally found that perfect "little black dress" and I just love it! We will be docking in Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka and Victoria, BC. I'll share details later, but the on-shore excursions we've booked include whale-watching, walking on a glacier, a salmon bake, kayaking, a zip-line expedition through the rain forest, The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, and a semi-sub boat tour! The more strenuous, adventurous sounding ones will be Joshua and his Dad only! The kids and I are doing stuff like the Lumberjack show! Grandma and Auntie Shannon are going on a couple loooong nature hikes and I knew little legs would never be able to handle that! So, keep us in your prayers that everyone will be safe! I know it will be an amazing time and I'm so ready to get away from normal life for awhile. I will post plenty of pictures and stories when we return!

In other news....the kids had their last gymnastics class for the season on Friday. The last class of each 10 week session is always fun because the kids get to roam the gym and do whatever they want! There's always a pretty good scattering at the beginning, but as time goes on, you can see the definite favourite spots! There's always a line-up at the trampoline, the rope swing, and the high jump into the pit of foam blocks! Nobody wants to walk the balance beams! Anyway, here's a few pics of Sara and Sky showing off their stuff! Sky does an amazing job on the pommel horse! He has very strong arms!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

It's time to unveil the gift we got for Joshua for Father's Day! Drum roll please...... I took the kids to get their portraits taken and we framed them and gave them to Joshua! It was one of the best portrait sessions I've ever had with the kids and they were sooo cute! I had a hard time choosing which poses I wanted because they were all so good! We have a great store here called The Real Canadian Superstore, but we simply call it Superstore. (It's about the same idea as a Super Wal-Mart.) Anyway, their portrait studio is just amazing and so easy to work with. You get to choose the poses you want (after everything is taken), and with the particular package I chose, I could choose up to three poses. Then, I get 7 portrait sheets of my choosing! So, I can get whatever sizes or combination of sizes I want and I'm not limited to "the package." And all this for only $29.95! There's no temptation to pick more pictures because I already chose exactly what I wanted. I love Superstore! We do have Wal-Mart here, but their photo studio is just inferior! That might sound like blasphemy to you Americans, but it's true! Anyway, the kids and I were so excited that we ended up presenting our gift on Saturday evening because we just couldn't wait anymore! He loved them, so it was a success! And here they are for all to enjoy! Don't worry, Mom, you're getting real ones in the mail!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Day Out On The Town

Today was a busy day for me and the kids. It started with a trip to the dentist in the morning. Our dentist recommended that Sky get sealants put onto his molars because they have really deep grooves in them. Since Sky did such a good job holding his mouth open and everything when he had his cleaning a few weeks ago, they decided they would go ahead and try the sealants. I could tell he was a little apprehensive, but I told him that they would stop if his mouth got too tired. He felt better about that. I think he mostly just couldn't understand what they were going to do. And it was hard for me to explain! Well, my brave little man came through again and he did an excellent job for the whole procedure! He never even whimpered and he hardly moved a muscle, for that matter! The dental assistants who did everything couldn't believe how well he did! They said they'd never done sealants on a three-year-old before! They were thoroughly impressed and I was a proud Mom! Now he has "skating rinks" on his teeth! After we were done at the dentist we stopped downtown to visit Daddy at his bank. Everyone loves it when I bring the kids in there! We stayed long enough to have some chocolate from the candy jar and draw a few pictures on Daddy's notepad paper. We had to go pretty quick because a client was supposed to be coming for an appointment soon. As it turned out, she never showed up! I was disappointed because we could have stayed to have lunch with him. Oh well! We headed home for lunch and some playtime. After that I dragged the kids out again to finish shopping for Father's Day. I'm sooo excited about what we got him! I'll tell you later since Joshua reads my blog too! It was a fun day, but we were tired. I was thankful to get the kids in bed and finally relax.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pink Sunglasses and Other Stuff

I don't have much to report as far as family news goes. It's been a fairly normal, quiet week. I thought I'd just post a few cute pictures, because I know that's your favourite part anyway! The picture above is my favourite one of the week! They were playing with these boxes and suddenly I heard Sara yell, "Look mom! Come take a picture!" She's seen my blog and has figured out that I post cute pictures of her and Sky! I guess she thought that pose was blog worthy....and she was right!

If Sara were the one writing this post she would want to tell you that she got new pink sunglasses yesterday. And that they have little brown flowers on them that match her favourite brown purse! This girl goes through sunglasses like you wouldn't believe, by either breaking them or losing them. Somewhere there is a pink sunglasses abyss because they just seem to disappear into thin air! She has a pair of aqua blue sunglasses that we bought her when she was like 3 years old. The lenses are a light bluish colour too, but are still UV protective. Weird, but she loved them at the time. Then one day, she got pink sunglasses from Grandma and that was the end of the blue ones. The problem is, we never lose or break those blue glasses! Oh no, only the pink ones! The blue ones might get lost for a season, but we always find them! It's crazy! So, now Sara has a new pink pair and the blue pair, but....they don't count! (Oh, and not to leave her brother out, she would also tell you that Sky got a new pair of sunglasses too - sliver, with cool looking flames on the stems!)
We've had a lot of rain lately. Tuesday evening of last week, we had this incredible thunder and lightening storm! I've never seen it rain that hard in Calgary and it lasted for hours! Unfortunately, there was some major flash flooding and many homes and cars were damaged. Also, two people were struck by lightening! And several homes had fires caused by the lightening as well. It was a wild night for the emergency services in Calgary! This picture of the kids was taken in between a couple of days of rain. We took advantage of the dry day and visited our neighbourhood playground!

On Saturday we spent the afternoon at Heritage Park and this time we didn't get rained out! Sara got her ice cream cone, but Sky's fell on the ground after only a few licks. He was pretty good about it, though. He had already had candy from the general store, so that helped ease the pain! I even went on the big Ferris wheel with both the kids! Did I mention before that I'm terrified of those things?! Joshua hates them too, but he usually goes, so he said it was my turn. The absolute worst part is the loading and unloading when you end up right at the top and you're just sitting there! Ahhh! I was so scared and my crazy daughter thought it was funny! I was hanging on for dear life, and Sara is sitting beside me having a fit of laughter! Of course, that made the seat rock and I thought I would have a heart attack! Joshua was threatening to disown me if I screamed and they had to stop the ride for me! I managed to hold it together and spare him the embarrassment! Once we got going, it was better, but I still had to hold Sara's hand. Sky started to get a little concerned and wanted the ride to be done, but he was brave. Afterwards he said his tummy was "very, very hurting." Poor little guy! We caught a ride on board the SS Moyie paddlewheel boat. That's Joshua's favourite! All in all, it was a fun day, and we went home tired, but happy!

This week has been just normal stuff like school and laundry and grocery shopping. Tonight Joshua are going on a date, so I'm looking forward to that! I'm also getting a haircut, so that should make me feel beautiful!
Here's one last picture! The kids have these big ducks that Grandma got them for Easter and Sky discovered a very unique use for them - a seat to slide down the stairs on! The "feathers" are kind of slippery, so they actually go pretty fast! It's hilarious! And it's great padding for their tailbones! The ideas kids come up with!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Broken Wrist That Was Not

I don't really know why my only post his week was a recipe! It wasn't even a busy week for me! So much for my great plans of posting at least every other day! I did get a lot of housecleaning done, so I guess that's my excuse! I made two posts today, so don't miss the first one!

We had some drama on Friday (June 1st) morning, but by the time things calmed down and I had time for the computer, the drama had ceased to be! Sky apparently sprained his wrist during his gymnastics class Friday morning. It was the end of class, and the kids had finished their cool down exercises. They told the kids to do the "crab walk" over to their individual coaches, where they turn in name tags and get stickers or stamps. Sky had worked hard and he was so tired already. He was struggling along and suddenly his wrist twisted and crumpled. He cried and cried and he wouldn't let me or the coach really check it. Sara had also gained a few bumps (one on the head and also scraped both knees on the trampoline). Both kids were crying when gymnastics was over! It was so crazy, because in the more than three years that we've been doing gymnastics, there have only been one or two other injuries to speak of! What a mess! Anyway, I got us all home, but Sky still seemed in significant pain. I called Joshua at work, and after the secretary heard what the problem was, she went and interrupted a big presentation he was making! He finished up and excused himself early! He decided he'd better come home as we probably needed to get the wrist checked by a doctor. The kids and I got back in the car, picked up Joshua, and headed straight to the clinic. (The one right by our house, with the lavender walls!) Thank goodness it was a short wait, and we got right in. The doctor decided to send Sky for an x-ray just to make sure, as his wrist still seemed pretty tender after two hours. Joshua took Sky to the lab and Sara and I walked home. We picked up a pizza on the way! Sky got his x-ray and evidently did really well. He wore his sticker proudly all day! The radiologist said she would call that day if anything was broken. Well, we never got a call that day, and on Tuesday, it was confirmed that his x-ray came back fine. In the meantime, Sky refused to use his hand or arm for two entire days. At one point we had it wrapped, as you can see in the picture. It didn't seem to make a difference. He kept saying it didn't hurt, but whenever we tried to get him to use it, he would whimper or cry. I was pretty sure it was just fear, but I didn't want to hurt him just in case, either! What's a mother to do?! And Sara, was so sweet and helpful to him in any way she could be. She was so sad because he couldn't really play with her, either. Finally, after his nap on Sunday afternoon, in which he never actually slept, he was a totally different child. He came downstairs waving the "hurt" arm saying, "Look, Mom, I can move my arm!" He was so happy the rest of the day as he rediscovered his abilities to use his hand again! I could tell he was just so relieved. Poor traumatized child! And I'll never know if it ever really was hurt or not! I was never so excited to see him put his shoes on with both hands! Or put his hands on his hips, with his pouty little face, because he was irritated about something! I just thank God that he didn't have to be in a cast for six weeks! Knowing Sky, we'll probably have at least one for real at some point! He's not hyperactive, but he will try anything, especially if he thinks he'll get applause or attention. He's quite the showman! For all of you with boys, what has been the worst injury you've had to deal with so far?

Imagination Friends

I forgot to post the other day a conversation Sky and I had at the dinner table one night. Sara was done eating, so she had moved on to other things. Sky and I both eat more slowly, and it's especially slow when Sky won't stop talking! (He talks more than Sara does!) He had to go to the potty in the middle of eating, and when he came back, he had two imaginary friends in tow! He told me their names, so I said hello and invited them to eat with us. Sky quickly seated them and gave them some imaginary food. He climbed back into his booster chair, ate a few bites, and then we had the following conversation. I could tell he had been thinking!

Sky asked, "Who are your friends?"

I listed a few of my friends that he knows.

With great consternation he retorted, "Mom, WHAT are you talking about?"

"What do you mean?" I was puzzled.

He clued me in. "You're supposed to have imagination friends!"

"Well, I don't have any imagination friends," I said.

Sky has a solution to everything, so he replied, "You can borrow mine if you want!"

Kids really do say the "darndest" things, don't they?! I would remain far too serious for my own good if I didn't have my kids around!

I'll post more news and pictures from the week later today. There seems to be a problem with Blogger right now and I can't upload any pics.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Happy June everyone! It's amazing to me that we've already hit the "J" months!

Karen asked me yesterday about my fruit smoothies (mentioned in a previous post), so I thought I'd share my recipe with everyone. It's really more of a formula than a recipe, because they turn out different every time! This is a "vegan" recipe, which means there is no dairy - they are truly all fruit. (We are not vegan or vegetarian!) First of all, make sure you have plenty of bananas on hand. When they are nice and yellow (not green at all), take them out of their peels and put them in a freezer bag in the freezer. For your other fruits, the best ones are strawberries, peaches, mango, blueberries and raspberries. You can definitely experiment with others. Here's the basic recipe:

Combine in a blender:
1 cup apple juice
1 1/2 to 2 frozen bananas (broken in pieces)
1 cup cold or frozen fruit (1 kind or a combination)

I also add an apple (peeled and sliced) to help make it go further sometimes. And obviously, you'll need to double or triple this recipe if you have more than two kids! Blend until the smoothie looks creamy, about 45-60 seconds.

I assure you, you're kids (and husbands!) will love these smoothies! My kids will take these over ice cream any day! Let me know if you come up with any exotic combinations. Enjoy!