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!