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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Restaurant Rigamarole

I critically studied the family at the table just across from us. This particular family included the parents and two children probably around the ages of one and three. The kids were noisy and restless. They were bored and not wanting to sit still while waiting for their food. Mom and Dad were valiantly trying to entertain the kids but slowly loosing the battle as a loud wail erupted from the table and one of the kids took off across the restaurant.

“I don’t know why parents come to regular restaurants with kids that age,” I complained, “especially if they've got kids that rambunctious!”
“I agree,” Trevor said over mouthful of food. “Go to McDonald’s or somewhere that doesn’t require waiting.”

That was a possible situation Trevor and I would’ve been in a mere two years ago. Those are possible things we would have said.

A lot has changed.

On our way to a little family weekend get-a-way on Friday we stopped for supper at a restaurant. Sierra is a good natured, but busy, little girl. We’d been out and about all day and since we almost never go out to eat thought it would be a nice treat to officially start our weekend.

Several factors contributed to it being a trying experience:

1. Sierra didn’t have a lot of play time or run around time during the day.

2. She only had one nap when she normally has two.

3. Our food took 45 minutes to arrive after we’d eaten our appetizer. (a whole other story that got us a discount on our bill!)

Needless to say her patience wasn’t very high, nor was her willingness to sit. We endured an hour and a half of trying to placate our daughter and not disturb the other restaurant patrons. I fed her cookies, let her clean out my purse several times, took her outside to play in the gravel, and read books to her. By the time our food finally arrived (after I threatened to leave) there was no keeping Sierra sitting. So she did laps back and forth in our little section while we ate with one eye her. The food was a least good but we left feeling a little frazzled. As I sat in our vehicle when we drove out of town I distinctly remembered how I used to feel being on the other end of that scenario and thought that it would never be me with unruly kids in public place.

I ate those words and feelings for dessert.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I have to say that I absolutely LOVE my daughter.

Sierra is my joy and my sunlight. Her smile and energy and cuteness radiate wherever she is every day all day. There is nothing that rejuvenates me more thoroughly when I come home or am home than being with her. Her presence makes me forget about myself and I’m instantly drawn out of my selfish world into her world of discovery and being one.

Sierra mimics us like crazy now. Words, actions – not much gets past her eyes and ears. Everyday she says or does something new and as simple as it often is I, as her mother, think it’s the most astounding, brilliant thing!

Whenever music is playing she does the sweetest little dance. This evening I was cradling her while she was drinking her bottle and Canadian Idol was on. As a contestant was singing and Sierra was sucking on her bottle she started bouncing her bottom up and down!

Sierra has two speeds: High speed or sleeping. She never just sits for more than a couple of minutes. She always moving, exploring, learning, and playing. She has a great time horsing around with whoever is willing. She does not display any obvious signs of being tired. She will go and go and go. Trevor and I know her signs – putting her hands to her head, dragging her blanket or stuffed bunny around – and the general times she needs to nap and make sure she goes to bed. Anyone else would just assume she wasn’t tired and let her keep going. Eventually she gets super duper cranky and over tired and that is not a pretty scenario.

Just a few thoughts on Sierra and my feelings as her mother.

I cherish her dearly.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We Have..A Basement!

I apologize for not not writing lately but I've been struggling mentally of late over our life issues and I have not had the time or energy to post. In the meantime here are a few pictures depicting the progress of our house. It is exciting to see progress. The framing begins tomorrow!

From the front sidewalk.

From the back of our property.

We had 26.7 tons of gravel delivered by a friend of ours and Trevor spent the weekend shoveling it all evenly about the basement for a 6" floor base. His body now hurts but he saved us over $800.

Sierra is "helping" too -actually she is pushing bits of gravel the wrong direction!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Feed

A delicious, traditional Mennonite summer meal:
Rollkuchen and Watermelon
We partook of this tasty lunch on the hot holiday Monday a week and a half ago.

My sister Andrea and her husband Stephan, my Oma, my Mom (my dad, Trevor, and Sierra missed the picture but were there too)

The feast. Rollkuchen are deep fried and taste some what like a waffle. We eat them dipped in syrup or sugar.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What To Do...

I’ve been busy working full time for three months as of yesterday. Aside from bombarding my brain with the details and procedures of learning a new place and remembering how to be an optician after a year off it’s been a relatively stress free time. Then the other day I was asked if I knew anything of our September situation yet.


But that’s…..,

wait a minute….,


There are way too many ‘if’s’ in our life to know how to go about planning for September. ‘If’ Trevor gets a job than the original plan was for me to work one to two days a week. “If” Trevor does not get a job than he has to be able to substitute teach. So we’re thinking he would be available three days a week and I would work three days a week. Both of these scenarios require minimal child care for Sierra. One day a week is all I’m looking at – that’s not much, easy right?

I wish! I have absolutely no idea who will look after Sierra. I don’t know who to ask or where to look. I also am not willing to leave my precious daughter with just anyone. Day homes often won’t agree to one day a week. There are too many people needing full-time day care for them to do that. Then there's the issue of cost. I'm willing to pay someone to watch Sierra but then how much is it and is it worth going to work to pay for some else to be with my child?

‘If ‘ Trevor is able to get a full-time job (the ideal and desperately prayed for scenario) than I would even seriously consider not working except for a few Saturdays or the odd Thursday evening. That I can deal with. It’s the subbing situation that has me in knots. I need to work to ensure some consistent income. Trevor needs to sub to stay active and known in the school system to improve his chances when permanent positions come up. Sierra needs someone to care for her on the days we both work.

Being a mom brings such heartache sometimes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Home Alone

Late last week Trevor got this e-mail from his brother, Brian, begging for a week of help at work. He’s an electrician who has his own business and his current job is wiring a huge dental office. The job is quite near completion but apparently the contractor is so awful that Brian just wanted to get this job over and done with. Problem: he lives on the coast, a day's drive from here.

So he flew Trevor and Sierra out yesterday and is paying Trevor’s expenses and a wage. Meanwhile, Trevor’s mother – who also lives out west - is in her glory babysitting Sierra.

This scenario has left me home alone.


It’s feels weird, actually. For fourteen months I’ve come home to my little Sierra and I’ve gotten quite used to it. I love her grin when I come home from work and feeling her soft little body in my arms. I know I left her to go to Disneyland back in April but is it different when you're the one who does the leaving.

Yesterday it simply felt like an evening to myself.

Today I wanted them back.

I know the week will be over before I know it and I’m trying to enjoy this quiet time while I can.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Slurpee, Slurpee, Slurr-peee Time!

Saturday was a fantastically hot and humid day.

There’s nothing like a Slurpee to wet one’s tongue and grace one’s tastebuds on those kinds of days. They are a sweet, sugar-laden, calorie packed, brain-freezing incredibly delicious slushy drink.

As I savoured my first few slurps while lounging on the back-yard lawn, Sierra toddled up to me with an inquisitive and expectant look.

“What’s that you got there, Mom? Can I try some?” Her eyes said.

“A Pepsi Slurpee, can you suck out of a straw?” I asked.

“No,” Trevor answered for Sierra since she really doesn’t speak yet.

I continued to slurp the icy beverage but Sierra’s intense blue eyes kept staring at me and my Slurpee.

“Mom! I wanna try!” Those eyes said.

I relented.

I put the straw in her mouth and she immediately began sucking as if she’d been sucking since the day she was born – oh, wait a minute, she has - and got her first taste of frozen pop.

Then it was no longer my Slurpee that I was sharing with her.

It was Sierra’s Slurpee and she was sharing with me!

She would suck some into her mouth than push it toward me so I could have some. I would get to suck some up and then she would grab it out of my mouth for herself.

We drank Sierra’s Slurpee like this for a few minutes.

Then the Slurpee needed stirring, as we all know Slurpees do, so I stirred it. I did so by pumping the straw up and down in the mug (putting it in a thermal mug prevents instant melting on such hot days). Sierra observed my actions and promptly did the same. Then she continued to enjoy the partially frozen sugar-drink, allowing me some every so often, and pausing to stir it once in awhile too.

Before long, there was no more Slurpee and 1 year old on a sugar high!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Golden Fields

The canola fields are in full bloom now (rather late in season due to a cooler summer) and I absolutely love the massive expanses of bright yellow blooms. This is what I gazed at on our drive home from Calgary on Friday while I contemplated life. If you look closely you can also see the Rocky Mountains in the distance.


God always has a knack of speaking to me when I try and wallow in self-pity. The music in church this morning focused on admitting our weaknesses as humans and acknowledging God’s power. The sermon this morning was on hope. It was a really good message. Even through all my rumblings I knew/know my life is pretty good but hearing the pastor’s words helped put things back into perspective. I feel kind of sheepish and put-in-my-place, but also renewed with a more positive attitude.

I’m taking iron pills now and I expect that to help with my energy level. A higher energy level tends to translate into a better mood all around.

I’ve had some sleep.

My mom and I are going to work on getting back into healthier eating which should also improve a variety of things.

Sierra’s been in a fantastic mood and just heaps of extra fun lately. I love her so much!

We had a great two days visiting friends in Calgary. Weddings are such happy events and feeling loved always contributes to a cheerful frame of mind.

I knew my depressing state wouldn’t last long, it generally doesn’t. I’m definitely on the up and up.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tres' Grande Event


Where: Centre Street Church, Calgary

Calgary Skyline and Saddledome

When: Noon, Friday, August 1, 2008

Why: They are in love!

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Number of Attendants: 6+ ushers

4 candle-lighters/rose petal scatterers.

6 Bridesmaids and Maid of Honour

6 Groomsmen and Best Man

Wedding Party Attire: Ushers wore black suits with fuschia satin ties. Candle-lighters/rose petal scatterers wore a summery dress of their choir. Groomsmen wore standard black suits and each with a bright pink flower, I honestly didn’t notice anything else! Bridesmaids wore black cocktail length dresses and carried simple, fuscia bouquets; the maid of honour had a fuschia sash.

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Bride – well that’s a given! She looked gorgeous and radiant (see pictures below).

Groom - looked pretty good but secondary to the bride of course!

Music: 20 piece orchestra (all friends of the couple)

Country singer Paul Brandt sang a song he wrote specially for them during the signing of the registry and lighting of the unity candle.

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Number of guests at the ceremony and luncheon: around 700

Why so large: the groom’s father is the pastor of the church

The formal reception: 6:30p.m.

Guest number: 160

Where: Links Golf Course, Calgary

Menu: Prime rib; blueberry chicken; various side dishes

Who was this all for:

Kristin and Jon

From June 1999 until summer 2004 Trevor was the youth pastor at a small Mennonite Church in Calgary. Kristin was one of our faithful youth group members (one of our "kids") and contributed to some awesome memories from our time there. She also happens to be Trevor's second cousin. Getting to know her revealed a wonderful, sweet, loyal, God-loving woman with a fantastic singing voice. I am so happy for her and pray God's richest blessings on her life with Jon!