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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Cheer

As the low - and once again COLD - winter sun streams through my windows this morning I cannot believe that 2010 is drawing to a close in a mere 14 hours. 



It is as 'they' say, the older one gets the faster time moves along.  As I allow my mind to scan over the many memories of 2010 I am realizing that the majority of them are good ones.  I feel fortunate and joyful and anticipate 2011 for it's many possibilities.



I'm not going to bore you with a list of sure-to-fail resolutions.  I've done that many times and it's kind of depressing.  


I do have a goal, however.  My goal is to appreciate and enjoy each day the best I can.  I want to attempt to not wish the time away any faster than it already is moving but at the same time to not to mourn it's passing either. (i.e. my kids growing up way too quickly)  I have a fantastic life and, although I hesitate to even type these words for fear of jinxing it, one never really knows what's around the bend - good or bad.

 
Here's to a happy and blessed 2011 for us all!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Highlights

Family.
I love my family.
I feel blessed by the great relationships we all have.
My grandmother, sister and brother-in-law, my parents and us.
Not a huge family but we had a good time together.  Our kids didn't drive us too batty with their noise and we all managed to enjoy ourselves and keep the peace.  We're not prone to fighting or anything but as all families are, we certainly have our moments.

Gifts.
Plenty of gifts.
Generosity was apparent.
Sierra was the most spoiled.  She was also the most excited and into Christmas. A big doll house with accessories, a Play Doh cake making kit, paints, markers, car with track set, bath toys, doll toys.  I'm not sure who is happier - me or Sierra.  She actually really needed some new stuff to do so she wouldn't drive me as crazy!

Food.  
Oh the food! 
Copious amounts of food.
Chinese food Christmas Eve.  Brunch Christmas morning.  Turkey dinner Christmas Day.  Hamburgers for lunch and then lasagna for supper yesterday.  Those are just the meals.  I'll not mention the trays of cookies, candies, chips, and other nibblies.  It was delicious.

 Clutter.
Stuff is everywhere.
I'm starting to get twitchy because I like order and neatness.
All those new presents are great but now they need a place to go.  They currently inhabit the floor and it's an obstacle course around here.  Do I feel like dealing with it?  No.  It's at this point every year that I feel ready to let Christmas go.  As much as I love the season and all the decorations I'm ready to have my house back.

It was a great Christmas filled with great memories and it'll be here again before we know it!





Thursday, December 23, 2010

One More Door!!!

Last year was the first year we bought Sierra a chocolate advent calendar.  At age 2 1/2 all she cared about was getting chocolate every day, she didn't have too much of a concept of time and what the end result was.  This year is a completely different story now that she is 3 1/2.   Every morning, immediately after she inhales her toast, she opens her "chocolate door".  She is super excited about Christmas and is totally into it and "gets" it.  
Decorating the tree was a magical event that she enthusiastically assisted us with.  Sierra also enjoyed buying presents with us and helping wrap them filled an entire morning (they are well taped!)  She even "wrote" on the tags herself.   In fact, wrapping gifts has been such an intriguing concept to her that she wrapped up one of her puzzles and is constantly folding up and taping her drawings to put under the tree to be opened on Christmas!  We are asked daily if she can put out cookies and milk for Santa, too.
We have also been teaching her the story of the birth of Jesus to add the 'reason' element of Christmas.  My parents gave our kids the Little People nativity set and she plays with it daily.  We have even acted out the Christmas story.
All of her delight in the season has added a new dimension to our own Christmas excitement.  Trevor and I have found the anticipation of a child is totally catching and we, too, are filled with new eagerness about celebrating Christmas this year.
I wish everyone a happy and blessed Christmas!
Only "One more door" to go!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Being Mennonite - The Faith

Faith is a complex topic.
By definition it is the belief in God and/or the doctrines and teachings of a religion. One’s faith, whatever that may mean, or the choice to not believe in anything is intensely personal. While I firmly believe what I do I recognize that each person is unique and there are many opinions and beliefs in the world. Naturally I would love everyone to believe what I do because it brings me great joy and peace, but I respect the reality of human contrarieties. Faith is hard to discuss without the risk of sounding “preachy“. Preachy is not my intent so please try to read this solely as a source of information if that is all you wish to take out of this. I’ve grown up with this so if anything I’ve written is confusing please ask because what may be commonplace to me is likely to be foreign to someone else.

The Mennonites church I grew up in has something called the “Confession of Faith” which is the framework of our essential beliefs. I’ve referred to that for this post but I haven’t included it all and have added my own points. http://www.mennolink.org/doc/cof/

* We believe in God, that there is only one God, and that He is Creator of all things. We believe God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, a concept also known as the Trinity.

* We believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God. “He is the Savior of the world, who has redeemed us of sin and reconciled us to God by his death on a cross.” Oh how do I explain this one? Hmmm let’s see. We believe that people are born as sinners (this is not meant to be an insult, I totally put myself in this category). Sin is anything from a little white lie to murdering another person; a moral or legal violation. Basically, pre-Jesus, God required man to make regular animal sacrifices where blood was shed in order to be reconciled of their sins. Then along came Jesus who was crucified on a cross as the ultimate sacrifice, thus eliminating the need for animal offerings once and for all. All people have to do now to be in God’s favour is to believe that Jesus died for us and ask Him to reside in our hearts. This is what becoming a Christian, or “saved“ or “born again“ means.

*We believe in the Holy Spirit, an invisible omnipresent form of God. (present everywhere simultaneously). I realize this is a rather bizarre concept when I really think about it! If I pray or “talk to God” I believe that He is beside me listening. Bizarre or not I find it an incredible comfort.

* We believe in the Holy Bible and that it is God inspired and the ultimate authority of our faith.

*We avoid the swearing of oaths. For example, if someone is a witness in court we will not put up our right hand and “swear” to tell the truth… we will say that we “affirm.”

* “We believe that peace is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God's peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world.” If you’ve ever read from the Old Testament of the Bible the barbarism and war is very apparent. Then comes Christ who was not violent or ever fought but at the same time was not in any way a pushover. He managed to accomplish everything peacefully. “We follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance, even in the face of violence and warfare.”

* We believe that the Lord's Supper or Communion (the bread and wine ceremony) is symbolic of Christ‘s body and blood. We do this as a sign of remembrance of his sacrificial death on the cross.

* We believe in baptism of Christians with water and that it is a sign of their freedom from sin. It is viewed as a person’s choice and not a method of being saved.

*We believe in heaven and hell. When a person’s earthly body dies their soul goes to either of the two places. Heaven being eternal life with God and hell being eternal separation from God. Although we believe the Bible reads that only Christians go to heaven we fully realize that the meaning and judgment of that is completely up to God.

*I’m not sure of the official stance of this one but I but I believe in angels and demons and Satan.

That is the gist of it.
The majority of Christian faiths will essentially agree with most of these points. It's the finer points such as how to conduct a church service, type of music and instruments used, baptism types, various lifestyle aspects, and so on that have resulted in the many different kinds of churches both within the Mennonite faith and beyond. That is why Trevor and I can still embrace our Mennonite background while attending another type of church - because the meat of the faith is still the same. I'll go into this a little more in the next post where I talk about the cultural aspects of being Mennonite and some of my personal thoughts on the church.

Again, don't hesitate to ask questions. Please email if you're more comfortable with that.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week in Review...and it's only Thursday!

* On Monday it became apparent that Trevor has a strange and violent allergy to the bag of dried mangoes we recently purchased. Oddly, it is the second bag of this kind and the first did not affect him??? I have fine but am scared to eat too many. I checked online but all I could remotely find as a possibility to his ailment is the sulfites used in the drying process. Hmmm.

*Two days ago Trevor did something to his shoulder and was in horrific pain last night until a warm bath relaxed the muscles and put it back in place.

*I did something to my neck a week ago and still feeling it.

*I am super duper close to being done my Christmas shopping and had plans of completing it this afternoon but....

* My van had a flat tire. The CAA (AAA for my American friends) guy came and changed it to the spare (apparently the fact that it was in the garage didn't matter, it's still part of the service) but it's snowing and the combination is not good for highway driving. Grrr!

*Absolutely nothing is going as planned this week and it is driving me batty! I don't even think I had super high expectations.

*My daughter decided to give herself a haircut. I screamed in horror when I saw her hacking away at her locks with scissors which promptly made her cry because she was rather pleased with herself at her work. Fortunately her bangs suffered the worst and the damage can be somewhat hidden with a strategic hair combing.

* My floor is so disgusting. I have plans to go over it with a grinder this evening.

* Sawyer is officially crawling. EVERYWHERE. He is also officially getting into EVERYTHING. Catfood is especially appealing for some reason. He actually put a piece in his mouth and made the most hilariously awful face. This new-found ability also greatly irritates his sister because he is into her things and bugging her. Ah, the sibling rivalry is beginning.

How is your week going?


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Decorations

I love Christmas and Christmas decorating. Nearly everything is a favourite but here are a few that stand out:



I just think this is a pretty ornament (it has "hope" on it in case you can't make it out). I have another one that has "Faith" on the snowflake.


My mom tried to get us kids a collector ornament every year that had some significant representation of that year of our life. The metronome with the mouse signifies my involvement in anything music related and the car was given to me the year I got my driver's license.


This is an actual hollowed out egg with a nativity scene in it. Trevor won this at church when he was a kid for memorizing a whole bunch of Bible verses.

Around eleven yeas ago a collector hockey-player-ornament series was started. One player a year, a notable player such as Wayne Gretzky, was released for five years and then they stopped. Trevor has all five and every year they are proudly and prominently hung on our tree.


We bought this nativity scene first year we were married.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Shadow

I don't know if I've been invaded by Oscar-the-Grouch or if it's a nasty case of PMS or if she's worse than usual but Sierra is making me want to sit in a corner, wrap my arms around myself and rock while wailing.
She is everywhere I am!!!
Sierra puts the bread in my toaster for me in the morning, wants to select my clothes, my earrings, my necklace, and my watch. I go to do my makeup and hair and she has to sit on the counter and also do makeup. She also wants to brush my teeth for me. I had a bath this afternoon to try and get away from her for a short while and loose myself in a book (this often works) and she had to come in with me. I go to use the bathroom and she follows me and hands me toilet paper. I change Sawyer's diapers and she's right in there with that task too! I try to cook, bake, clean - ANYTHING -and there she is.
Lately, absolutely everything (except - do you want chocolate) is immediately answered with a "no" or some other alternative. I stand my ground and she disputes me more. (for the record, we usually win) We are convinced that she will be a hostage negotiator or hostage take when she grows up because of her stellar arguing.
Most of the time I try and suppress the squirmy feelings that come with being constantly shadowed and smothered and bantered with me, telling myself in a few short years I'll wish for this time back.
"Cherish these times, Carla."
Not today.

(I actually just firmly refused to play with her, told her I was going to have some coffee and type on my computer. Amazingly enough she is amusing herself, quietly.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Being Mennonite - The Groups

I started researching this over a week ago and was somewhat amazed at the number different groups that call themselves "Mennonite"! I am one and have studied their history in church and in school and I thought I knew quite a bit. I was a little surprised at the amount of diversity under one name, there happens to be over twenty different groupings.
Since I didn't want to write a book I grouped them into major categories and did my best to provide accurate descriptions. I recognize that within these groups are sub groups and not all believe and live the exactly the same. If you have questions please don't hesitate to ask.

1.Old Order Mennonites: They formed as a rebellion to modern radical changes and chose to maintain an extremely conservative style of living. Technology is not viewed as evil but their concern lies in how it might affect the nature of their communities. "Community is important to a Mennonite, and a technology or practice is rejected if it will adversely affect it." (Wikipedia) They live in colonies, often don't have electricity and drive horse and buggy as opposed to automobiles. There is a huge emphasis on plainness, especially in appearance, hence their "old-fashioned", non-showy attire. They school their children separately and refuse involvement in politics and other "sins of the world". Church is based on a set of standards, not an individual experience.

2.Holdeman (The Church of God in Christ, Mennonite): They branched off from the Mennonites in the mid 1800's under the leadership of a man named John Holdeman. They parted on disagreements over doctrine.
The families live a plain and simple lifestyle. They do not have TV, radios or CD players but do have telephones. Only plain and non-sporty vehicles are driven with all radio systems removed. Their dress is of similar uniform design with allowances of different patterns and fabric (women do no wear pants). For everyday, women wear a small black cap that is placed over a bun of hair on the back of the head. For church the women wear a veil that is placed over a good portion of their head, hangs down their back and ties under their chin. Courtship and dating are not practiced. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, divorce is not allowed. Modesty in clothing and material possessions are strongly encouraged. The men wear a beard and may or may not have a mustache. Photographs are prohibited. CGCM has parochial schools and they educate to the eighth grade, leaving the remaining years to vocational training. They do not have any musical instruments, instead they sing Acapella

Much of this is taken directly from www.holdeman.org

3. Conservative Mennonites: (there is a specific conference or group of churches, that call the themselves "Conservative Mennonites" but here I use the term generally)
Encompass a variety groups that aren't nearly as strict as Old Order or Holdeman Mennonites. Not a unified group, per se, there are many different churches that retain a core of traditional beliefs. The woman often wear plain, old-fashioned style dresses, small head coverings, have long hair and refrain from the use of makeup or wearing jewelery. The men can be seen wearing jeans and button down shirts. Far less strict on their view of technology they drive automobiles and use telephones. Some allow limited computer and internet and TV.

4. Modern/Progressive: In most forms of worship and practice they differ very little from other protestant congregations. Within themselves one will find a variety of worship styles. There may be hymns and/or contemporary choruses, choirs, readings and a variety of instruments. The ministers don't necessarily have to be "Mennonite" or from the Mennonite faith, although they do have to agree with their statement of faith (an outline of their faith). Peace and community are emphasized but they do no live in their own communities. Military service is not permitted. For the most part their faith is distinguished from other Mennonites by being one of emphasis rather than rule. The main elements of Menno Simons' doctrine are retained but in modern form. Outreach and help in the wider community both at home and abroad is very evident. There is no special dress or technology restrictions. The main two groups that I know of are the Mennonite Church Canada/USA - MC ( formerly General Conference Mennonites) and Mennonite Brethren-MB. The only discernible major difference between the two groups today (that I know of) is their form of baptism, MC's will only pour water on the person's head while MB's practice full immersion in a "tank".

I will get into the culture and then the faith, both as I know and live, next. Hopefully those posts won't take me as long!



Friday, December 3, 2010

Mr. Flu

Mr. Flu ripped through our household like a Chinook wind this week. He began at 11 o'clock Saturday night when I heard a little voice saying "Mom-my" coming from Sierra's room. Of course I went to check on her only to be greeted by a vomit covered little girl who wasn't quite sure which way was up. Trevor and I cleaned everything up and a long night ensued. I stayed in her room with her, laying next to her on her bed so I could grab the garbage can at the first " I think I have to puke". I didn't sleep. The next day the barfing ceased and by evening she was herself again.
Sunday night: repeat with Sawyer. I slept on the couch with him on me so if he moved I could grab a bucket. His stomach eruptions quit by 3:30 so I had a little more sleep. Since then his back end has been spewing unpleasant contents. Poor guy. (Poor me for having to deal with it!) Other than that he's over it.
Mr. Flu blew over Trevor the next night - I woke up to an incredibly loud belch to which I asked
"Are you OK?
"NO."
Well, at least I didn't have to stay up with this one.
Just when I thought I had avoided Mr. Flu, I became the last victim on Wednesday.
Mr. Flu has left the building and we are all more-or-less over it. The adults for sure. The kids are taking a little longer for their systems to right themselves. It's been a long week but I'm glad it only afflicted each of us for only one day.

On that note - I'm working on my next Mennonite installment but I haven't had the time I'd hoped for thanks to Mr. Flu. There's a bit of research involved because I wish to be as accurate as I can. It's coming soon!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Building Project

In attempt to combat the caged animal feelings of the past two weeks I had the bright idea of making a gingerbread house.
It was an experience.
It looks okay - like a novice assembled it (if you look inside, there's a butter knife holding up part of the roof) and a 3 yr old decorated it.
It was fun and passed the time and I've learned a few things for next year - if I dare try one of these again!



Friday, November 26, 2010

Old Man Winter

"Maybe winter has been canceled this year," said Trevor hopefully during one extremely balmy November day. Most of September aside, we've had a gorgeous fall.
Monday, (November15!) it was sunny, and reasonably warm. Sierra and I played outside in the afternoon - jumping on the trampoline, building sand castles in her sandbox, and kicking a ball. Snow was in the forecast for the next day.
Bah - I didn't believe it.
They were lying.
They must be.

Sadly, they were correct. The next morning Trevor phones me and orders me not to take the kids anywhere. The roads were a skating rink due to all the snow. Winter had indeed arrived. Not like it just drove slowly up the driveway, stretched and gradually unfolded itself out of the car. It crashed right into the house and hollered, "Here I am!!!" with determined fury.
I went out once last week and decided that any sane mother wouldn't do that again unless absolutely necessary or driving a snow plow. By Friday the roads were passable without white-knuckling the steering wheel so I managed to escape and accomplish a few errands.
Then the temperatures plunged into the basements of all basements for this last week. Two days ago Calgary (2hrs North) was reportedly the second coldest place on Earth at -33C (-27F), after the Antarctica! Believe it or not, come January and February it could get even colder. Traveling hasn't been too dangerous but bundling up two little kids against highs of -25C (-13F) hasn't exactly been tops on my practicality list, especially since there hasn't been anything absolutely necessary that I had to do.

You know cabin fever has set in and must not be good when Trevor - on his own initiative - arranges to have my mom babysit yesterday evening so he could take me out for a break from our house and kids.

Today the Chinook is arriving so we've got gale force winds, blowing snow, but a mild -7C (19F). Warmer but not much better for getting out.
I could complain more. Would you like me to?
I'm fine.
Really.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

She lasted all of five minutes!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Being Mennonite - Historical Overview

Although the Christian Church truly began with the birth of Christ, the Mennonite way of the faith goes back to the 16th century with the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformation essentially was the movement where Roman Catholics began to disagree with and then attempt to reform major aspects integral to the faith. Unsuccessful in their reformation, people ended up separating from the Roman Catholic Church. There ended up being many church branches stemming from the Reformation, Mennonites included.

The first Mennonites came mainly from Swiss and German roots, with many of the important martyrs of the early church coming from the area around Zurich. Mennonites took their name from Menno Simons, a Dutch Roman Catholic priest. Upon studying the Scriptures Menno Simons determined that infant baptism was not in the Bible. He came to believe that baptism should be a conscious adult decision. Those with this belief are called Anabaptists. It was the distinguishing feature to Menno Simons' movement because every infant born in Western Europe was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. He converted to the Anabaptist faith and helped lead it to prominence in Holland by the mid-16th century. Due to the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church and the nature of his reason for leaving the Roman Catholic Church, he and his 'followers' were the victims of much persecution.

To escape this persecution, many Mennonites fled western Europe for the more accommodating religious climate of the Americas or Catherine the Great's Russia (1770ish), giving these two groups distinctly different cultural heritages. The Russian Mennonites were eventually forced out of Russia in the last half of the 19th Century and the early 20th Century, and many migrated to the western states and provinces, where today there is a large Mennonite population. (My grandparents were in this category)

Swiss German Mennonites migrated to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries, settling first in Pennsylvania, then eventually across the Midwestern states. Today large Mennonite populations can be found in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Kansas, although Mennonites live in all parts of the United States and the world. Many people in the older generation of this group continue to speak a low German dialect called "Plautdietsch" and eat traditional foods.

The Amish, who separated from the Mennonites in the late 1600's, are widely known for their plain dress and rejection of modern technology and conveniences.Unlike the Mennonites, they form an exclusive and tight-knit community, with the church dictating much of what may or may not be done: for example, each local church district would dictate rules regarding the use of telephones, if indeed they are permitted at all.

While certain conservative branches of the Mennonite church still dress simply and require women to wear head coverings, Mennonites generally are not culturally separatist, choosing to embrace the larger communities outside of their church rather than forming a separate community around the church. Where the Amish believe in keeping themselves spiritually focused by limiting their interaction with modern society, Mennonites believe in practicing Jesus' teaching of service to others in a broader context.


* My intent is not to judge or criticize the Roman Catholic faith but to explain the history behind Mennonite Christian faith. I have great respect for Catholics and their faith even if it is not my personal belief.


Sources:

http://history.mennonite.net

Wikipidia - key words Protestant Reformation and Menno Simons

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Being Mennonite - Intro

When I mention that I am Mennonite many people automatically bring up images of long skirts, little hats, and simple living. Then they look me up and down and notice that my fashion choices are little more modern, the simple fact that I wear pants skews the original perception pretty quick.
Did I leave the Mennonite way? Or am I a black sheep in the faith?
No.
I've always worn relatively stylish clothes (I realize this is open to interpretation and opinion!) and am not a Mennonite rebel or anything.
Then what?
"Mennonite" actually includes a wide spectrum of both culture and faith that swings from Amish-like living to blending in with the society around them. I am more the latter. I'm never offended or hurt or bothered by the old-fashioned type image, it is merely because they don't know. Our culture and faith is so diverse it is hard to know. While that assumption is not exactly wrong it isn't entirely right either.
My blog friend Tammie mentioned that she'd like to know more about my Mennonite-ness so
I'm planning on doing a series of posts about Mennonites. It is not something that can be written about in a few paragraphs because we go way back to the 1500's. I'll do brief history overview, go through the different sects, and also explain the faith as I believe it. I'll do my best to be as accurate as I can but please don't view me an expert. Feel free to ask questions and correct me if I'm incorrect.
Although Trevor and I do not currently attend a Mennonite church we still cling to the main belief system and community, embrace the heritage and are proud to call ourselves Mennonite.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

November 11.
Remembrance Day.
The day in 1918 that officially ended World War I.
A day to honour those that fought - and still fight - for our countries.
A day I have trouble with every year.

You see, I was raised in the Mennonite Christian faith and Mennonites are pacifists. We believe this because Jesus himself was all about peace.
I also live in a country where war and military are noticeably scarce compared to our American neighbours.
Therefore, we never observe Remembrance Day with particular reverence. My family also has chosen not to wear the commemorative red poppy that is handed out every year.November 11 is mostly just an extra day off.

But...

Today I am feeling a bit contemplative on the issue and not as hard-nosed as I have been.
.
I am thinking:
- where would my life be had those wars not taken place? Hitler would have still been Hitler and done his Hitler things. The same goes for Osama Bin Laden and many others.
- would we be living the life of freedom we currently live? Or would those evil dictators have taken over?
- there are men and women who truly believe(d) in the their country and in fighting for it, am I dishonouring them as people with my refusal to observe this day?
- is this day about more than just war?
- could/is there have been another more peaceful way?

I will likely never be pro-war but I realize that there is more to this day than just fighting.
I don't need to honour the war but I can honour the people who have/do/will sacrifice themselves for what they believe in.



Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rezoning

Whoever thought that rearranging our times by one hour twice a year was a good idea did not have little kids.
I HATE time change.
My daughter is currently sobbing in her bedroom from exhaustion because she's been up since 6:25. I attempted to gradually adjust her these last few days by being okay with no nap, keeping her physically active, and having later bedtimes. Her little body refused to sleep longer in the mornings.
So today she' s basket case and we are pulling our hair out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Exploring

It's just after 9:00A.M. and the sun has just made it's very bright appearance through my very filthy windows
Maybe I should wash them.
That likely won't happen.

Trevor went to Calgary today to a Franchise Expo. His mind is constantly whirling with various business ideas so he figured this was a great opportunity to explore the options already out there. A few years ago we were this close to buying into and opening up a Marble Slab in our little city, but as with most ventures scrounging up the start up investment deterred us. Less than a year later someone else had the same idea, were able to follow through on the idea and the business flourished so much that they opened a second location a year later!

If only....

As you know, teaching appears to be a closed door to Trevor. We even briefly considered moving but too many factors closed those doors too. While Trevor enjoys his current job he is too motivated and money driven to think of it as long term - he hates the idea that he is making money for other people! He works for a family owned business where certain members get a cut for doing absolutely nothing (great gig for them!) and if we could buy in that would be a whole different story but the possibility of that isn't too high.

So we explore and think and dream and hope.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Little Strawberry

I'm not one of those people who is talented, or innovative or motivated enough to whip up a spectacular Halloween costume from random articles such as old T-shirt and a cardboard box. Just when I was thinking I'd have to dredge the back of my brain and root through old clothes to attempt to fashion something for Sierra I found this adorable little strawberry outfit at Children's Place for $15.
I bribed her into keeping the hat on but other than that she loved the outfit. She absolutely refused any makeup and since I hated face makeup myself as a kid I didn't fight her on it. Whatever, she looked cute as is.
I, must say, I was appalled at all the kids that came to my door that had obviously merely threw on some ratty old clothes and a hat, or drew on a mustache and figured they were 'dressed up'. I know it's all about the candy but seriously, put a little bit of effort in people!

Carving the pumpkin in the afternoon.

The costume.


The candy. (she will be sick!)





Sunday, October 31, 2010

Home

I've had three days pretty much entirely away from my kids.
Friday was spent at an eye doctor appointment.
Saturday until this afternoon Trevor and I drove to Calgary for a wedding and spent the night at my sister and brother in-law's house.
The kids stayed with my parents.
While it was a strangely nice break it was even nicer to be home. As we were driving back there was a little bit of wistfulness at the taste of the freedom we'd had before kids.
Then I walked in my parents door and the smiles and joy that greeted me totally eliminated any of that. I cuddled and hugged both Sierra and Sawyer and knew that life was exactly as it should be and as I wanted it to be.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

stuff

I have pretty much run out of things to blog about, it's been a fun challenging month of blogging but I'm glad it is nearly done!

I was at the ophthalmologist yesterday and fully expected a second needle-in-the-eye venture. Doc said no, not needed! I went home happy.

My dad had the day off so he drove me the 2+ hours and we had a great time hanging out and talking. My dad and I are rarely short of words when we're together. I love my dad and feel very fortunate and thankful for our relationship. It was nice to hang out with him for a change because it's usually my mom I chat with. That happens simply because it's a mother/daughter thing.

After my appointment we celebrated by thoroughly enjoying a large hamburger and fries with coke for supper at White Spot.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Salsa

We had oodles of scrumptious home-grown tomatoes this year that seemed to all ripen at once. So we decided to make salsa.
After chopping tomatoes, various, peppers and onions we cooked the whole mess up and canned it!
Yum!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Passing Time

I stayed home all day on Tuesday.
It was a cold, grey day and I had no errands to run so hanging out at home seemed like a good idea. I even wore comfy pants all day, did not put on make up and I don't think I brushed my hair. All of those things are highly unusual for me. I puttered around my house all morning and played with my kids. Then Sierra and Sawyer both even gave me the pleasure of some time alone while they napped in the afternoon. And by evening I was going stir crazy.

Wednesday I was out all morning until 1 P.M., Sierra did not nap and yet by the kid's bedtime I was not ready to sell them like I was on Tueday.

Hmmmm.

So today I went out for the sake of going out.
I brought Trevor coffee, found some stuff to buy at Walmart, had coffee with my mom, and made a quick trip to the mall to exchange something. While all of it was good and ate up a huge chunk of my day, what I really wanted was to be with a friend for a warm cup of coffee and a chat. Last year this was far less of a problem but this year two good friends have gone back to work full-time, and one moved away for the year.

Most weeks during the hubbub I call my days I'm wishing I could just be at home, but this week is different. My second eye injection is tomorrow so perhaps I'm subconsciously affected by that. The weather has also suddenly turned colder and with all the leaves gone and everything turning brown the landscape is rather drabs so that could be contributing to my mood too. Maybe it's just one of those days, everyone has those.

Anyway, Sierra refused to nap and I've managed to successfully push her to play alone for the past hour but that is soon to end. I need to motivate myself to tidy up and vacuum (I can't stand dirty floors!) and maybe clean the bathrooms. Supper would also be a good thing to figure out too! Maybe I'll procrastinate and pick up the phone....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Me

For fun, how about some random stuff about me?
Okay, here I go:

1. I've been polluting my mind and watching Young and the Restless on and off, here and there for many years. I'm actually at a point where I've been away for awhile and don't know what's going on. Three or four episodes should remedy that..
2. Peanut butter and sliced bananas on toast are my current breakfast obsession.
3. I'm a total coffee snob - no Folgers or Nabob in this household! (To my friends who serve this to us - it's totally okay, I wouldn't drink it if it wasn't okay!) Oh and I don't think Starbucks is the greatest coffee ever invented. I drink it and like it because my city has limited options in few locations.
4. My occupation and training as an optician makes me a high demand employee again. I'm a sought after person these days as my maternity leave is up in two months. I wish it were my husband and not me in this position. I hate making decisions like this. (more details on this another time)
5. I dream of own a small truck. Perhaps that's the redneck in me.
6. I also dream of owning a vacation home. It can be by a local lake or an exotic beach as long as I can get there often.
7. Popcorn is, hands down, the best snack of all time. I could eat it by the boatload.
8. I've only had remotely short hair twice in my life - when I was 9 and when I was 25 (or so). The second time Trevor was so sad that I didn't dare keep it up.
9. I dream of being able to afford matching bras and underwear - many, many sets!
10. I thought watermelon a really bland, uninteresting fruit to eat for the first 29 years of my life, then I got pregnant with Sierra and now my taste buds do a dance when I eat it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On The Bottle

It seems that Sawyer has decided that he's had enough of breast feeding.
For a good month now I was only nursing him during his one nightly/early morning wake-up. Then one night last week he didn't even feign interest in me and wailed until I got him a bottle which he promptly drained before going right back to sleep. He did that again a few nights later and now it's been two nights in a row and I think he's decided to go completely on the bottle.

Formula was already his primary form of liquid. I stopped taking my milk enhancing drugs soon after he went on solids and then of course my production went down and so formula entered the picture. I would try nursing him here and there but then the teeth came. Teeth and breast feeding with Sawyer were not a good combination. At night he was too sleepy to practice his new chewing capabilities on my nipples so it wasn't problem.

Now he's decided that bottle is better. I have mixed feelings about the end of this phase. I definitely had a much more positive experience breast feeding Sawyer than with Sierra but I wouldn't say it was the greatest thing in the world for me or anything. Although I would say I enjoyed it for the most part, I did it because it was easy and free and good for Sawyer. Many times it was just a nuisance and I felt merely like a dairy cow.

I suppose it's more what it represents than the actual breast feeding being over. It means that my baby is growing up at lightening speed and I'm not ready for it to be passing so quickly. He's getting more delightful everyday as his personality is increasingly coming through so I don't really wish him to be a newborn again. But the fact he's all baby now and no longer an infant and the fact that I will likely never experience this again is causing me to swallow a little hard.




Monday, October 25, 2010

Carla's Buffet Challenge

Kids have to be the most frustrating beings on this Earth to feed.
My husband may grumble at some of what I make - but he eats it because he didn't have to prepare it.
My parents and in-laws are generally just appreciative of my providing them a meal and aren't that fussy anyway.
My cat gets no choice and doesn't seem to care, he eats what I give him and adds the occasional mouse to his diet. (he's caught 4 since we moved in to this house - ewww!)
Dogs will eat pretty much anything and think it's the most divine culinary creation to ever cross their taste buds. (well my dogs I had while growing up were like that)

My children write a whole different story.
Sierra would exist on pasta and bread if I let her. Oh and chocolate, or anything sweet for that matter. She's a true female! Oh wait, that is what she live on! I wrote this post a year and a half ago and not much has changed except her ability to verbally communicate her dislikes about what I offer her.

Sawyer, to my dismay and while still limited to baby mush, is already showing strong dietary preferences as well. When I offer peas or some other veggie mixtures he will obligingly eat a few spoonfuls before either spitting it at me or clamping his mouth shut or looking around at anything but me and the loaded spoon. It doesn't matter if it's homemade or store bought, he turns his nose up at it. Last week I tried a pasta and veggies combination and he gaped his mouth open like a baby bird in between spoonfuls and nearly polished off an entire jar! Most fruit gets the same response, his cereal is eaten well too. He is also very texture sensitive, the new pasta meals I've been giving him contain tiny bits of noodles and meat that are not pureed and if he feels them in his throat he gags, sometimes until he throws up a bit. He doesn't choke, the bits are far too soft and small, so it doesn't worry me. He just needs to swallow and all would be well.

Meal times take an hour most days.
I prep Sierra's food with all her particulars, I prep mine (usually healthier, with less carbs and more veggies) and while trying to eat my meal run back and forth to meet Sierra's demands. Then I feed Sawyer. It is sooo frustrating and not only does it take a considerable amount of time to make there is also a lot more clean up too.

It feels like a restaurant buffet in my house and I'm the chef!
Yet what else do I do?
My kids have to eat and I do my best to get at least some healthiness into them. (Sneakily I might add but whatever works sometimes) The food Trevor and I occasionally prefer (such as salad and steak) would get the scorn from many kids so for those meals I prep something separate for her. I often try to cook meals that Sierra might enjoy but reading the mind of a three year old?
Ha!

So I spend what feels like a ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen and pray my kids don't suffer malnourishment.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

On My Way

Remember on Monday when I listed the things that were making me kinda grumpy and in low self-esteem?
I managed to work my way through that entire list.

I exercised four times.
I ate well most of the time.
My mom and I went for supper Friday evening then we indulged in some retail therapy. I was able to spruce up my wardrobe with five new items and only spent my birthday money! It was also really nice to hang out with mom and no kids.
I got my hair trimmed and coloured on Saturday.

Tomorrow's Monday again - let's see if I can keep up this self-improvement trend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Week

(I realized at 10 o'clock last night, while sacked out on the couch watching CSI, that I hadn't posted for the day yet. I really didn't feel like it - so I didn't.)

I have had a great week. I attribute that to a combination of many factors with the main one being the Spirit of God working in my life. A lot of it seems very practical and simple and I can see how people will look at the list and say
"How is that anything spiritual?"
It's a little hard to explain but I believe that the Spirit of God motivated me to do these things and provided me with a positive attitude in spite of some factors that could have been potential downers.

1. I started exercising in the morning again and my body is thanking me rather than complaining. I've done four out of five days this week so far. Activity to start my day is so stimulating and pushes me through the rest of the day both mentally and physically.

2.I've been feeding my body much healthier food. It's amazing how the right fuel achieves higher output!

3.The weather has been fantastic! Warm and sunny - we wore shorts yesterday! Is is really fall? I'd be confused on that one if it weren't for the lack of leaves on the trees.

4. My kids have been in great moods. I'm sure most of that has to do with a happy Mommy. I have been far less irritable with them and been able to exhibit a higher level of patience with their antics. The fact that they've been awake every morning by 7:15 when they used to wait until 8 hasn't angered me - it's extra motivation to work out! And they've allowed me to work out with only minor interruptions. Sierra calling to me repeatedly from her room at bed time or afternoon nap/quiet time hasn't made me want to pull my hair out. I can even say that Sawyer's aggravating 4 A.M. wake up calls haven't infuriated me (but seriously, the kid is 8 months old - JUST GO BACK TO SLEEP BY YOURSELF!!) Overall, I have truly enjoyed my children this week - most of the time.

5. Despite not particularly wanting to watch hockey all three times already this week, I haven't felt at all snarky with it being on. I don't sit and scowl at the TV wishing the ice would crack open and swallow up all the players. Besides, we're paying for it so we might as well watch the games.

6. It's Friday, my house is already clean because we hosted our church Bible study group last night so I can leisurely work through the mountain of laundry and just be at home.

I'm anticipating an equally great weekend.

I hope yours is too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I'm Watching

1. Hockey: namely the Vancouver Canucks approximately three times a week. I do enjoy it most of the time, tolerate some of the time, and resent it occasionally.

2. The Event: new this season and is supposed to be "Lost-esque". It is intriguing thus far. I don't find it nearly as vague and abstract as Lost which is a good thing. Lost was irritatingly addicting and yet we never knew anything that was going on! I'll see where this one goes.

3. The Defenders: a couple of lawyers who banter back and forth with each other and of course battle cases. So far it is entertaining, Jim Belushi and Jerry O'Connel are an amusing pair.

4. CSI - all of them. I've been watching them since they began and I just can't stop.

5. Survivor: this show annoys me and yet I keep watching it. They make the dumbest voting decisions! I try to remember that TV only airs what they want viewers to see but many times I shake my head at what is going on. Then again, I'm not sleep deprived, starved, and living in the wild with a bunch of strangers so I can't identify with their states of mind - you'll never catch me doing that either!

6. The Amazing Race: not really my favourite. I find the show drags.

7. Bones: this show never fails to make me laugh. It's great! Grisly and disturbing but an enjoyable time.

8. NCIS: Los Angelos: I don't know what to say besides that I find this is simply a good show to take up an hour of my evening. Your usual solve-the-crime-type of show.

9. Hawaii Five-Oh: it's okay. Nothing totally captivating or that unique, some cops catching bad guys. It's good enough.

10. Sister Wives: a polygamous family in Utah. A concept that is totally beyond my understanding and thinking so I'm bizarrely fascinated by it. They seem happy....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christmas?


One of my Christmas cacti is blooming already. Apparently no one told it that it's two months early. It's the wrong colour for Christmas decor anyway, so I'll enjoy it's beauty now!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Back at 'er!

After having a birthday which was celebrated three times over two weekends in a row and a road trip coupled with Thanksgiving the weekend after that - all of which were filled with inactivity and tons of scrumptious food - I officially decided it was time to get back on the healthy track.

I've also had a rather low self image lately:
I hate my wardrobe,
I'm unhappy with how the clothes I have fit.
I need a hair colour and cut.
I've been eating rather poorly.
Exercise has not been a part of my vocabulary.

Rather than hibernate in my home and mope I decided to do what I could.
My hair - well that's just a matter of getting it done.
There's not a whole lot I can do about what clothes are in my closet because of limited funds.
But I can change my fitness level and better my eating habits which in turn should improve how my current clothes fit. I did my own version of boot camp near the end of June and was liking the results both physically and mentally. Then vacation happened, and summer, and, and, and! My kids and life have changed since then and that is not a realistic method of being helathy right now. What is doable is getting up when Sawyer gets me up at 6:30 or so and working out then. It's not like I'm getting a whole lot more sleep after that anyway so I might as well utilize the time beneficially. For me, eating healthy goes hand in hand with exercise because I don't want to waste the exercise.
I started this morning with a half an hour of cardio and ate really well today and feel pretty good. I hope to keep up the momentum. My goal for weight loss has also changed since summer and I'm hoping for 5 lbs for now.
Here's to success - this time!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bedtime

"Mommy, come close my toes!" (cover her with her blanky)
"Close your own toes!"
"I can't!!!"

"Mommy, I need another big hug!"
"You've already had 143 hugs, you don't need another one."

"Mommy, sing me another song."
"Daddy, already sang all your bedtime songs."
"I need one more."

"Mommy, I'm hungry."
"You've had pancakes, a muffin, and grapes - none of which you finished, no more."
"I'm still hungry!!"
"You can wait until breakfast."

"Mommy, come blow my nose."
"Blow your own nose!"
"I can't!"
"Yes you can!"
"No I can't."

Sobbing from bedroom.

I finally relent. I sigh and stomp to her room.
I blow her nose and close her toes and give her one more big hug.
"I love you Sierra."
"I love you too Mommy."

Silence.

Ahhh, sleeping.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This and That

We finally had out first hard frost last night - fairly late in the year for these parts! It left the ground a lovely sparkling white and was quite pretty.

Much of me is still not really wanting to let go of summer but as Trevor and I started cleaning up our basement this morning I began feeling ready to move on to inside stuff. We are gung-ho to finish up our basement development. Plus there are many other little bits of inside things that have been ignored all summer that desperately need get accomplished.

We had a plentiful tomato harvest this year and will likely be cooking them up into some fresh homemade salsa. Or else if we run out of time because they are very ripe already we will simply dice them and freeze them. I'm hopeful for the first option!

Of and on I read a name blog called Swistle Baby Names and yesterday the person who was up for help had chosen the name "Sawyer" for her expected girl and was wanting middle name suggestions. Her first name choice sure brought a lot of controversy which resulted in several deleted comments due to impoliteness. I personally can't stand boy names for girl names, especially the one used for my boy that I never imagined being a girls name. However, naming one's child is extremely personal and the child becomes their name and grows on people. I'm sure there are many that turn their noses up at my kids' names. When the Morgan, Jordan, Taylor trend arrived that took some adjusting for me. I went to college with a guy named Stacey and that took awhile but eventually he was Stacey and it felt normal too. I know a couple of Morgans and now it doesn't seem so strange. I admit I had rude thoughts when I first read the post but I put myself in check and did my best to respect another person's tastes. Maybe I should feel flattered that she also likes the name Sawyer - not offended that it's for a girl.

Speaking of names - when I was in grade 5 I thought Roberta the most beautiful name in the world and wished it was my name! I am so glad that I didn't get to name myself at the age of 10.

Hockey season started a little over a week ago. My T.V. watching schedule is now preset for me until June.



Friday, October 15, 2010

My Cuties


I love my kids!

(P.S. That's makeup on Sierra's cheeks, it's blue and she thinks she looks beautiful!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Old Treasures

I was rummaging around in our disaster of a storage room this morning hunting for something I that just can't seem to find when I came across a box labeled "Carla's" in my mom's writing. On the top I spied an old Barbie-type doll of mine and decided to bring the box up for Sierra (and myself of course) to discover.
Join me down memory lane:

Left is Bethany Rosetta - my only Cabbage Patch doll that my parents fought people to buy!
Middle is Kelly - my first and favourite doll.
Right - can't remember this one's name but she's what was called a "My Child" doll.


My mom sewed all these clothes for Bethany. I'm amazed at the skill she had and the detail that went into these! (she doesn't sew these days)


The blue bunting bag was hand made by my grandma.


You can't see it in this picture but the pink pants on the left have little flower stitching along the pockets and a zipper seam sewed in!
I made the cape on top, you can tell, it doesn't match the caliber of the other items!

Doesn't she just scream '80's? I loved her outfit!

Don't I look accomplished with all these?
Yeah, whatever.
Left to Right: Two academic medals of some sort from grades 7 & 8
Canada fitness badges, physical tests we had to go through at the end of each school year grades 1-6 (sit-ups, push-ups, endurance running, sprinting etc.)
Swimming lesson badges.
Gymnastics badges.
Bronze and Gold for playing ping-pong in the summer games. I won the bronze out of only three competitors and was for the singles division, the gold was doubles and there was only one other team, I think I was 11.
The green ribbon was grade 9 track, the relay. We only got forth because one team member neglected to eat lunch and nearly passed out. I remember being so ticked because we totally had the number one spot!
The red and blue ribbons were for our local fair where I entered carrots or potatoes or something that I'd grown in my own little corner of my parents garden.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Family Matters


Great-Grandpa - Opa - holding "Little Henry" (Opa is one of the people Sawyer is named for), feeding him ice cream and only letting him go to play with Sierra or when Sawyer had enough and wanted mom.

Great-Grandma - Oma - singing Sawyer to sleep. She still has the touch - 10 younger siblings will give you that!

Great-Uncle Randy getting on the floor and playing toys with Sierra.

Great-Aunt Anita spoiling Sierra as much as her grandmas do with gifts and special treats. Sierra snuggled with her on the couch watching 'Dennis The Menace' movie on afternoon.

Cousin Matt trying his best to befriend Sierra, she didn't run away but still wasn't so sure of him.

Cousin Sabrina getting huge points when she and I took Sierra to the park.

Second Cousins Shayla (almost 5) and Ceili (3) having a hoot with Sierra and were enamored with Sawyer.

Going to a small country church and observing that the bottom two of four rows of mailboxes have the family last name. Every other person was a relative!

We had a fantastic three days in Winnipeg visiting with Trevor's family, some of mine, and some great friends!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Zoo Day

(Yesterday's post somehow did not get published-go check it out!)

With the mind consuming issue regarding my eye that occurred at the beginning of September I totally forgot about a delightful highlight from that day.
We took our kids to the zoo.
Sierra was thrilled to meet Bob the monkey, Nirmy the elephant and Fox the zebra. No, those aren't actually the names of the animals there. Trevor tells Sierra original bedtime stories with those such characters. It added an extra element of excitement for her to meet the figments of Trevor's imagination. She was especially stoked at meeting Nirmy the elephant.

Kids sure do add a fun outlook on life!


She wasn't so sure about the snakes!


Sawyer contentedly rode in the Snuggli on my back and here he is actually snoozing. Clearly, he was ethralled!

It's too bad such a lovely outing was shadowed by my gimp eye but it's a good thing we have pictures as happy reminders!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Attack of the Birds

It was late last night when we returned to Trevor's aunt and uncle's house - the place we are staying on this little/long trip. The kids were both sleeping so we carefully gathered all our things and gently lifted them out of the van and walked toward the house. I was ahead of Trevor and had Sawyer.
A bird began to fly around the porch light as I neared the door.
Then another one appeared.
All of sudden there were approximately fifteen of them flying around like they were buzzed out on drugs!
At that point I was committed to going so I emitted a little shriek, ducked my head and ran, opened the door and raced in. As I shut the door I heard a bird smack into it and saw it fall to the ground through the window. Then I turned around and lo and behold a bird had flown into the house and was flying down the hall! Thankfully it simply perched itself on a cabinet at the end and just stared at us.
Great!
Now what?
Meanwhile Trevor was carrying Sierra who'd had a conniption at the sight of those crazed out birds. He ended up coming through the garage door to avoid the melee. We both zipped down the hall to our rooms, upsetting the bird again. (There is nothing quite like having a bird zooming by your head!) By this time the commotion had fully aroused our kids so I worked on getting a terrified Sierra settled down while Trevor dealt with the lost bird. He managed to heard the bird into the garage where it stayed until morning.
This morning - aside from the bird in the garage - there was no sign of a bird anywhere near the front door!
Strange.
Speaking of birds - it's Canadian Thanksgiving today and I was attacked by another bird. This one was dead and all it assaulted were my taste buds and stomach! Yum!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Straight

My hair straightener that I'd had for many years finally kicked the bucket recently. I guess it got mad at me for dropping it and heaving it unceremoniously into the cupboard repeatedly.
It broke.
My awesome hairdresser got me a new one from her supplier for basically her cost and it is fabulous! It's called a "Love Your Hair Pro". My hair slides through much easier than my old one and leaves it nice and smooth.
I'm blessed with a wave that either takes product and work to bring it out, or product and work to combat it.
Good product and good tools are the key.

Driving

(Sorry I'm a day late with this one. The post was typed but there was no access to internet.)

5:00 A.M. Alarm goes off. Carla moans and curses knowing it’s not just a quick Sawyer feeding that is waking her up.


5:35 A.M. On the road - only five minutes later than planned. Pretty good with two kids!

5:55 A.M. Sierra declares her need for a bathroom. We try to explain that she just went, after we woke her up, apparently she was still sleeping and has no recollection of the act. We stop in order for her to produce a mere dribble. I explain that she better push all her pee out now because it is going to be a long while before the next potty.

6:30 A.M., Carla is asleep. Sawyer is also back in slumber mode. Sierra on the other hand is watching the sky begin to lighten.

7:30 A M. First DVD

7:45 A.M. Second DVD

7:55 A.M. Third DVD - Carla has had enough of this game and says no more DVDs!!! Apparently Sierra is excited by all her options and was hoping to view them all at once. Carla on the other hand has to crank her head back and contort her body every time a DVD needs switching.

9:20 A.M : Breakfast at McD’s. The food was stellar (insert sarcasm here). Sierra turns her nose up at all options and ends up getting toast from A&W.

10:05 A.M. Back on the road. Carla spends the next half an hour switching DVD’s, fetching drinks and snacks for Sierra, and retrieving Sawyers toys from the floor. Carla feels like she’s had a work out for the circus and says “ENOUGH!!” Everyone goes to sleep except Trevor - who’s driving.

12:15P.M. - We reached the half way point and stop for lunch.

1 P.M. Back on the road Carla is sitting in the back of the mini-van and entertaining Sawyer. It must suck to sit backwards and stare at the back of a car seat.

7:00 P.M. - We are just over a half and hour from our destination. Sawyer is finally asleep having only slept about forty minutes since noon when he normally sleeps a good two plus hours. He was G-R-U-M-P-Y!! My body is very sore from all the acrobats I’ve done today climbing from the front to the back to the front again, from picking up many a dropped items and providing various snacks and DVDs etc. Sierra somehow managed to poop in her underwear as well which we discovered at the last rest stop. Nice. She was farting away for awhile there and apparently more than air was coming out. She’s three, stuff happens with three-year-olds. The timing sucked though. Overall she has been a good little traveler, very little complaining and her demands haven’t been too great. She has only slept a half an hour since waking up this morning so I’m not sure how she is functioning. We’ll likely pay tomorrow!
Anyway. I’m glad to say we are safe and mostly unscathed - Sawyer may resent his car seat - and us - after this trip but he’ll survive! I’m signing off now, we are obviously really close as we’re driving on the signature bump, bump, bump of Winnipeg roads and I can barely see my shaking screen.
Align Left

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Prepping

It's eight A.M. and all I want to do is go back to snoreland. Unfortunately there is a list full of tasks that I need to get done today. It trails from my hands across the floor and into the hall . I have kids so I'd be awake anyway list or no list, but maybe I wouldn't feel so tired if I didn't know I had so much to do. I see a big cup of steaming coffee in my near future.

I had a terrible kid day yesterday and managed to accomplish exactly nothing, hence my stress so early this morning. Tomorrow we are leaving for five days to Winnipeg and I need to pack up my house and fit it into our van because, you know, we need everything.
Bah!

Later: The check marks are increasing and my stress is decreasing!! Yay to my grandma for taking Sierra this morning, Sawyer for napping this morning and both kids for napping now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Party Time

I love a party.
I love to celebrate.
I take after my Opa that way.
I don't care who or what we're celebrating I love any excuse for a party.
Not a bring-a-keg-in-and-invite-the-whole-town-to-get-sloshed kind of party but a more civilized, calm kind of party.

My birthday was on September 25 and in my family birthdays last a week. On my actual birthday Trevor and I went out for dinner and then this past Friday we had some friends over for a gourmet pizza party.
It was so much fun to plan and prepare and we had a grand time. Trevor and I made the dough and sauce from scratch and assembled the pizza's ourselves.
We ate:
Caesar Salad
Three Cheese (Parmesan, Mozzarella and Gorgonzola) Spinach Pizza
Calebrese Potato Provolone Pizza
Mushroom Fontina Pizza




Chardonnay White and Chianti Red to compliment.

Of course cake - a decadent homemade one from a friend - for dessert!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shane O'Brien

Who?
I know you are all asking and insanely curious to know.
He is a hockey player who, until today, played for the Vancouver Canucks, (Trevor's favourite team) and is greatly disliked by Trevor.
"A brainless thug of a player who takes penalties at the most inopportune times because he has no brain!!!" (Trevor)
Every time we watched a game - which was two or three times a week - the incessant complaining and groaning over the brainless acts committed by a certain Shane O'Brien were heard by me.
I put up with them because that is what this wife does when it comes to hockey. Puts up with it or be banished forever. Actually, I quite enjoy it most of the time. The game that is, not Trevor's moaning over the antics of a certain player short of a brain.
Anyway, Mr. O'Brien, was picked up by another team today and there has been much cheering.
Trevor, because, well I think the reason is obvious.
Me, because now I don't have to listen to the wretching and whining!

P.S. I was stuck on what to blog about this evening and asked Trevor - hence a post on Shane O'Brien! Sorry.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Summer - Finally!

The last two weeks have been incredibly warm and beautiful - almost making up for the summer that barely arrived! Yesterday we took a spontaneous day trip with my parents to Waterton Lakes National Park.

First we stopped by the river for a picnic lunch. Sierra and my dad threw rocks while the rest of us prepared the grub.


Wildlife decided to make an appearance on the other side of the river. We warily watched him (her?) amble down the banks, wade across the river, give us a look and continue on up stream. Phew!
We were primed and ready to heave the kids and ourselves into the van if he took even one step towards us.

Sierra worked on her endless energy source:
at the park....

...throwing leaves and more rocks into the lake.
...eating ice cream to refuel (no pic)



...walking along the lake and 'crunching' and kicking up leaves.






It was a fantastic day!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Corny


Sierra's first try at corn on the cob!
She chomped away on it and asked for more.
 

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