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.

So... We Really ARE Moving!!

It's crazy, but we went from casually talking about moving and looking at houses on-line, to meeting our realtor on Thursday evening, to actually viewing some homes Sunday morning, to putting down an offer on a house Sunday night! Double YIKES! The owners accepted our offer Monday afternoon, and if the inspection goes well tonight, the house is really ours! My head is still spinning! So, why are we moving? The new house is in Airdrie, a smaller town about 20 min. north of our current home in Calgary. Most of the people living in Airdrie actually work in Calgary, but they love the smaller community and are willing to commute a few extra minutes. We actually already have quite a few friends living in Airdrie. But, for us the draw is more than just a smaller, less hectic place to live. Joshua's bank is opening a branch there next year, and unless a really major surprise happens, he'll be one of the managers at that new branch. All the "higher ups" in the bank have told Joshua that's the direction they want for him, and when they found out we were considering moving to Airdrie right away, instead of discouraging us from that, they recommended a good realtor to us! One of the big reasons we decided to look and buy now was where the housing market is right now. Houses in Airdrie are quite a bit cheaper than Calgary, but there is some new development happening between Airdrie and Calgary in the next year that is supposed to cause the housing market to spike. We think we made a smart decision! So, that's the scoop! Like I said, we go for the home inspection tonight. A very good friend, who also happens to be a contractor, is doing that for us. I'll ask our realtor if it's O.K. for me to take a few pictures, so I can post them! We'll see what she says! Our possession date is August 31st. Our realtor is coming tonight to measure rooms and take pictures so she can list our current home. So, I'm trying to make all the cluttery spots look decent! The housing market is pretty hot in Calgary, so we don't think it will take too long to sell. Anyway, just wanted to let you know what was occupying my attention and energy these days! I'm just glad that we can get moved before we get into Grade 1 with Sara, instead of getting interrupted in the middle somewhere. I'll keep you posted! Hopefully pictures and details tomorrow....