Archive | May 2012

A Week Off to a Busy Start

Now how do you start a Monday the right way? Well… walk your mother’s dog with two happy little boys. There was even some treasure found! Zander found a penny and a marble! Very exciting, and on our walk we practiced spelling random words… Zander absolutely LOVED the one on one time and is determined that we need to do it much more often. 

Found treasure

I have to admit that as much as I do not want our own family dog… grandma’s is our dog now lock stock and barrow and we love her. I think she rather loves us as well! I was a mean Mommy on Monday and forced the boys to get all educational… outside… in the front… with… GASP… CHALK! Yup, I gave them a list of names of everyone in our family and Grandma and Grandpa Mike and Gypsy and told them to go create. I think they did a great job!

Our family courtesy of Gavin... I especially love the hair

We did our usual school stuff… and made our way through our day with baby and dog in perfect alignment for entertaining themselves. I do love how well they have bonded together!

Buddies

We had surprise visitors, a friend of mine and mom’s came by slurpee in hand (seriously EVERYONE knows my addiction)… Tammy and 2 of her kids (Veronica and Russel). VISITING TIME! You never realize how much a supportive friend is helpful when you are feeling a little down. We chatted about life, frustrations, silly things… and watched our babies enjoy each other’s company. Russel is MUCH younger than Echo but almost the same size. She kept petting him like she does the dog and following him as he crawled. I love it when she plays with other kids. She is so happy! 

Toys!

Travel buddies

I have a new goal – I am going to take the two patterned rolls of duct tape Tammie got me and make a lunchbox for her daughter. I have some ideas I just need to go to Michaels in the city next weekend (church again) and get some purple to tie it all together (none in town here at Walmart boo). A new challenge is always welcome, I just need to finish up the purses I have for sale on the 9th first… and the headbands… and a few more stacked bows… oops! Oh and I think there are a few featureless owls STILL!

After we saw off our friends it was time to make a family trip to Walmart for food and a few craft supplies… oh and a stop off at Dollarama for more RC Cola… I had had a really rough morning with tears and all first thing so I did take a walk before lunch SOLO to get some perk me up items! So yes, it was a TWO slurpee day… and I emotionally need it. Sometime being a woman SUCKS! And as Ken says… it HAS TO BE at the end of the month when right now that is an instant high stress time…

So we had to make it up with Tuesday… I decided to be one on one with the dog and speed walk my way to happiness… when Mommy is the one out of sorts sometimes SHE needs a time out. So I took one, with Gypsy. I have to say I love that feeling where we both just focused on the walk and what we could find out and about. The rest of the world, for that period of time, did not matter. Just Gypsy, me and whatever we saw as we wandered around the neighbourhood. I came back much more stable and ready to work with the boys on their books. And wow are we creating wonderful adventure books! 

A little crafting too

Oh and of course the cake mix I had picked up the day before (chocolate) made wonderful cupcakes for everyone to have a bit of chocolate therapy!

Note the missing one that Ken stole before I could take a picture

With more time in the backyard enjoying the sunshine and rather nice weather we are really enjoying our opportunities to see fresh air and play without electronics and book work. Sandboxes are a great medium for creative play! As is being in charge of your baby sister on a sunny day! 

Fun in the sun

Though Echo did spend some time playing dollhouse…

Dolly time

And we had to bust out Echo’s toy from Dollarama… a no name brand version of the AquaDoodle. If she and Trinity keep on enjoying this one as much as they have I may even have to invest in the brand version… we had one back when and the boys love it but it wore out and it looks like they have improved it over the years!

Doodle time

Now we could not let another day go by without crossing something off our list! This time it was TWO somethings – the fountain on one side of the lake and the swan which apparently felt like being on the other! Add in a bridge, some green grass (and some trees) and a nice drive and I think everyone had a good  time. 

The girls

With Daddy

The fountain

The swan

Now with TWO items crossed off I think we were ALL ready to head back to the house… Supper, baths and BED… and then, come midnight, Grandma and Grandpa Mike home from their Nebraska vacation! WOW has it really been almost 2 weeks??? So I am no longer dog mommy but I still get to spend lots of time with her – apparently I am loved at this point and she enjoys being at my feet when I take my quiet time in the kitchen to craft. And I really must get crafting more… time is ticking! If you are going to be in the neighbourhood remember – JUNE 9th… ELKS LODGE… 10 am to 4pm!! We will have a table (It’s a Hoot and Friends)…

Finding our stride AND our balance

Adventures of a Sunday Nature

Sunday, what sort of adventures did we have on Sunday… well quite a few actually! First off the whole family had to be up and out the door by 8am… this is actually a bit of a struggle when you add in IN THEIR CHURCH CLOTHES to the equation, but we managed. Thankfully I had everything we could need or think we needed in bags and ready to go. We left Sean sleeping downstairs, the dog outside to play with her across the alley friend and packed up and headed out. Straight on to the church and Sunday School in our Sunday best. 

We managed to dress Echo perfectly in red for the Pentecost Sunday and met up with the NEW minister… he is freshly ordained and VERY nice. We had a chance to speak to him, get some spiritual support and find out that he lit a candle for our family in prayer at the Synod convention this past week. I felt so blessed. AND he says that once we are back in town there is no issue with me lining up some time to come to the church and talk to him. I just want someone other than Ken to share my thoughts with who can be a support system. 

The right colour for the Sunday

Playing in the cry room

After chasing Echo in the cry room and saying hello to people, dropping off the costumes that mom made to finish off the series with the man in charge of them and helping practice next week’s costume dedication songs it was time for church. Now, with 5 kids and the service starting around Echo’s nap time (at 10:30) we usually do NOT stay…  but… this Sunday we were part of the service as it was finally the dedication and welcome of the new members. I am so glad we ran into the minister BEFORE service as that allowed us to sneak out after that point and head on our way to the next adventure on our adventurous Sunday. 

My family

So with church thoroughly enjoyed (the twins even got to draw chalk drawings outside)… and the family back in the van it was time to find an internet connection… thank you Starbucks parking lot… change everyone OUT of their Sunday finery and check the emails to make sure nothing new had come up that we could accomplish in the city… Well there was an errand to run but nothing else… 

With everyone in spring casual again it was time to head out of town, this time to Chris and Chris’ to pick up the all important Chinese New Year poster and some mail I had sent to their place. This was a solo endeavor by Ken. The kids were cranky and time ticking to make plans to meet up with friends. As well, She Chris has been under the weather since the day we left for mom’s so less was best. 

From there it was to the No-Frills which had an awesome 1.00 sale going on. We are very careful when it comes to eating out on day outings like this… with 7 people to feed cheaper is better and going to a grocery store for sandwich fixings, water (great sale I am telling you) than eating out. This No-Frills is actually attached to our clinic where our family doctor is! 

One more internet connection to be found to check email and then on to the MAG to see the new displays. We met up with THREE people this time – Karyn, Victoria and her friend Fatima. So we made a new friend while we learned about proper food preparation and Chinese immigrants who came during the gold rush etc etc. Ken had to dart out for the errand which left me in charge of all 5 with the ladies for help… so we multi tasked as well! I am so helping that those keeping an eye peeled for us can find us the coupons (when they come out) for the free family pass for a year again! We love the MAG. 

Running before we get educational

Then the fish in the entrance

Me and my baby

Zander in one of the Chinese outfits they had to play dress up in

How much cycling does it take to burn off a chip? (Gavin)

A bit of history

One more stop before we said good bye to the city and headed back to Grandma’s – this time a combo. Ken dropped me and the kids off at Dollarama and then went across the parking lot to empty out the old van (bye bye Quest). We shopped all over the place, everyone got a treat and I picked up some things for my craft table. I am almost ready I think, I have some bright containers, baggies for bows to ensure bought bows do not get dirty when taken home, and black Velcro. YAY! It was actually a rather fun walk through. 

A surprise find! RC Cola!

When all was said and done it was around 3:30 when we went through McDonald’s to get apple slices for the kids and head back to home (well where home is for now). We even stopped off at the pharmacy on the way back into town and Gavin got to see his god mommy Christine and give her a specially coloured picture! A fulfilling and FUN day. We ran, we played, we learned and we celebrated… all necessary Sunday activities don’t you think? And we came home to a rather rested puppy who had an afternoon playdate with her bestfriend (thanks again Ashley). 

Worn out kiddos

We also had a Sean to visit with before he had to head home to get ready for school in the morning. I am sure you can imagine how excited ECHO was! And that was how our weekend played out… 

Back in the backyard before bed

Let’s Start the Weekend Recap…

The end of the week is here, the end of our first week pet sitting leaving us just a half a week or so to go. In retrospect it has been relaxing, rejuvenating, and remarkable. Of course I have come to the realization that I do NOT want a dog any time soon… but Gypsy is cool. Now where to begin on my weekend… well… Friday of course! The rain had finally truly stopped so there was A LOT of time spent outside…

Gavin and his mini book report. He read the whole book himself!

Backyard Baby

But in the afternoon I got my long awaited and much anticipated trip to the library. This time Ken dropped me off to search out the books I had found as available while searching the online catalogue… I actually got a whole bunch of WONDERFUL suggestions off of my Facebook friends… I will share some suggested Authors!

  1. Carola Dunn… a wonderful author and lovely lady. I can brag that she is my friend on Facebook!!! Seriously – check her out, her new stuff AND her older Regency romances (many are on ebooks I am told!!)
  2. Robert Asprin… a punny favourite from long past suggested by a cousin as a reread. 
  3. Kim Harrison… great paranormal element… I actual dove into hers first
  4. Kelley Armstrong
  5. Joanne Fluke
  6. Donna Andrews
  7. Christine Feehan.

I have books out from all these authors and will of course share some of my favourites as I read them. For now though CHECK THEM OUT!!

While I was perusing the shelves Ken and the kids had gone to the local cable company to talk to them about mom’s spotty internet. Thankfully the town is small enough and the problem house based so they were willing to come out without talking to my mom to check it out. They at first wanted to call us from the house but Ken solved that one by explaining we did not have a landline and not being from a local location do not have a cell number we could give out. (we have added cash to the phone though so we can call just no plan). Besides when the woman finally went to the back to talk to the people out of sight they were able to check remotely and verify that there WAS something wrong. 

Fixing the cable

So I was collected and we ran to the store to get groceries and then returned home to await the repair crew… which brought in an unexpected adventure for the kids! The chance to watch 3 people at work stringing an entirely new wire to the house from the pole. They got a lesson on ladder safety (always have a spotter), got to see how they do the repair and enjoy the excitement of strangers in the yard (which meant the dog was NOT… though she did not go after anyone I took her into the house to keep her out of inadvertent mischief). We also had a discussion about the usefulness of the Internet and what we need it for. All in all a terrific object and real life lesson.

Then there was the added excitement of UNCLE SEAN! He had a free weekend as he is in his last term of school right now so was able to come and spend the weekend. Something he has not been able to do since before this “lovely” extended move saga (adventure? chaotic frustration?) began. For Echo it was a moment of ecstasy… HER Sean was here! She tried to stick to him like glue from the moment he walked in the door.

Eating dinner with Uncle Sean

We ALL went out to the park with Gypsy and met up with the kids’ two friends who live across the street from the park. Sadly after 3+ days of rain the mosquitoes were out and we did not have our spray so it was relatively brief but everyone ran and climbed and played and had so much fun! Even with a little sprinkle on the way there. 

Fun at the park

With new friends

Petting puppy

Then it was back to the house for baths and bed… the kids had a day with Uncle Sean and Daddy ahead of them and Echo and I had a trip to make to Saskatchewan with Lauralee and Karyn. (for Karyn’s dad’s internment)… and that is where our adventures diverged. I think I will start with the kids and the guys. They saw us off around 10 am and then were left to their own devices. I am told the morning was mostly playing in the basement and watching the guys play their games… but in the afternoon Ken (while Sean was napping… he was a little under the weather) took them ALL to the splash park!! Talk about FUN! It is one of the best ones in Alberta. I look forward to taking Echo there this week as well. 

Splish

Splash (Gavin right)

Trinity held out until the last 10 min they were there but then she went all out splashing in the water and enjoying the other children there. I am told we HAVE TO take some sort of containers with us next time to move water around (we later bought some cups for super cheap at Walmart to take). 

Boys all wrapped up

Trinity at play

Then they had time on the computer! I am told much Minecraft was played (ewww) and then a LATE supper that occurred only after I got home around 9pm!! Lucky things! So they had fun AND crossed something off our to do list for the town. 

Now for Echo and MY adventure… it all started off with a late start from here to head out to Saskatchewan with Karyn and Lauralee collecting us, the stroller (not needed in the end), Echo’s seat and her day’s worth of stuff… the first stop was at the edge of the city and a Canadian favourite – TIM HORTONS! That is where the adventure aspect came into play. We got our treats (I got hot chocolate yum!) and returned to the vehicle. As we were getting settled in to drive an elderly gentleman tapped on Karyn’s window. He was so apologetic as he told us he did not want to ruin our day BUT he thought the back tire on the driver’s side should be ROUND! ACK! A flat! Thankfully when I looked up from Echo I noticed that we were exactly across the street from Fountain Tire! So no tow and now call to AMA. Karyn just had to walk across the street, have them come fill the tire and then drive over to the store. 

They had to check out what was up with the tire and the end decision was to put a used tire on and have her replace all 4 at a later date. So we managed… it took some time and almost some tears and Echo had to explore the seating area of the store… but we survived. AND were lucky, they are only open until noon on Saturdays!!!

Digging through Aunty Karyn's purse

Checking out the tv

Snuggling Alaskan Sock Monkey on the road

So that mountain climbed it was time to head out. It meant no dinner in Lloydminster before the ceremony but that was ok. We had our breakfast and there was a lunch AFTER the time at the cemetery. The rest of the drive was uneventful… rocks.. trees.. water.. cows.. and we made EXCELLENT time. There was some concern that we would have to have everyone wait on us but we made it to the gathering right at 2pm. 

It was the perfect day to remember and celebrate Karyn’s Dad’s life… the sun was shining, the birds singing and friends and family gathered together. He was put to rest near his parents and family. During the hugging and general graveside chatting Echo got to play in the grass… though every little gust of wind on the uneven ground almost blew her over. 

Then it was time for the luncheon of sandwiches, pickles and desert. Very yummy… with real CREAM PUFFS! I think Karyn’s Dad would have approved. I know Echo did! After we visited there for a bit and let Echo wander around in the grass by the parking lot it was time to head over to a family friend’s to visit briefly. Echo was the center of attention and LOVED IT. She even warmed up to Karyn’s brother Ian by the end of our brief visit. 

Myself, Lauralee, Alaskan Sock Monkey and the largest rape seed???

Back into the car we went, this time Lauralee drove instead of Karyn and we were off on our way back home. With a car full of left overs from the dinner we were on the look out for a suitable picnic spot but first… the much needed SLURPEE!!! NOMS! Echo was equally excited to share a Pepsi slurpee with her Mommy. We did find a wonderful picnic spot, it had lawn, a bridge, a gazebo and a… TANK???

Walking across the bridge

Luncheon in clean clothes

TANK... Echo thought Alaskan Sock Monkey was NOT making the right statement over there on his own

After the picnic and tank pictures it was time to finish our journey and head back to mom’s. The other kids were still up playing on the computer so they got some quality time with two of their aunties… add to that the continued presence of Uncle Sean and the kids were more than content. Our version of family is so much more than blood relation and I LOVE it! 

Thanks to mom for the loan of the outfit