Saturday, August 28, 2010

not so settled

Since Isaac's grand entry into the world we have been trying to catch up on rest in the midst of a wild nest of children (ha,ha). OK, so the brunt of them are my 3, but you add a cousin to the mix and do they ever get fired up! Thankfully auntie Andrea has come with us a couple of days to help with crowd control. Today, I took them for a short walk to mail a letter at the mailbox, then we picked beens and potatoes in grandma's garden. We also picked a bunch of green cherry tomatoes off the dead potato plants. Mom later explained they were potato plant seeds. I didn't even know they made seeds! And do you know they look just like unripe cherry tomatoes? I was wondering why there were tomato plants on top of the potatoes, but thought maybe some plants got mixed in together. Ah, well, I'm mostly a city girl, so I can't be expected to know everything! It is a bit embarrassing however when my 5 year old son knows more than I do. Brian usually does a lot of mowing when we are here on the riding lawn mower. Ivan was telling me that the grass is too long and that he would teach me how to drive the thing. He probably could too. Of course that would be interesting me trying to drive it with 4 kids on my lap. Yeah, it's not going to happen.

My mind is racing, I want so badly to go up and see my sister and her son. I did get to see Isaac that first day he was born, but didn't get to hold him. However, I can't get away while keeping all the kids and they can't go up, he's still in NICU actually, although doing really well. Plus I got some material to make curtains and want to get working on that, but again, when do I do that really? I could now, but they are napping in the room where the sewing machine is. Then I want to see the colours at our house in Fort Qu'Appelle and how that is progressing. I'm happy though that Brian is coming this way once the paint us up so that he can work at Jenn's and if I'm just patient, I will get to see her and Isaac, sew and get settled too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Early morning laughter

Yesterday I drove with the kids so that I could be here for mom and Jenn while they had doctor appointments today, but early this morning I was so excited to meet this not so little guy.

Baby Isaac Sol Wallace brought surprise and laughter to all the family when he decided to come a little before schedule. Jenn was going to go in for an amnio test to see if his lungs were developed and deliver him the 26th, instead, she started having regular contractions the night of the 24th. She was giggling, smiling and overjoyed that baby would come soon, but John was a little concerned that the time may be sooner than later. Jenn went in that night to figure out if she was having braxton hicks or was in labor. We were surprised that she was at a 6 or 7 and she was rushed for a c-section- since that was the plan and the healthiest option for Jenn with this pregnancy. Baby came out with full lung capacity. It was a wonderful birth. John and Jenn are visibly elated. Grandma Ruth, Grandma Sue and I were the privileged trio who braved the night and got to see baby first. All the family was called and are so happy. Immy still thinks she had a baby sister, but she was also full of smiles that the baby had come when she saw the pictures and gave the news to her cousins. Jenn and Isaac (laughter) Sol (answered prayer) are doing great. He came out weighing a healthy 9lbs, 4oz at 1:44am, Aug. 25th. Isaac is in NICU for a bit as they make sure his blood sugars will regulate themselves, but he nursed like a pro and is expected to move out of the NICU quickly.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Jenn's pregnancy and this birth. I am glad I will get to have some time to hold and know my nephew. Brian is still in Fort Qu'Appelle painting the entire upstairs of our house and then will come here for my brother and sister-in-law's reception/shower on Sept.4th. We are looking forward to going back to our even newer with paint house, and taking Saba to our new home.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I feel as though we've been caught up in a tornado since we got here. I can't even remember what we were doing the first few days we arrived, but the pictures tell me that by the weekend, we were in Moose Jaw at a wedding of my cousins. We got to see many of my first cousins there, uncles, aunts and of course our beloved IMOGEN! The kids danced the night away and we came back to Fort Qu'Appelle exhausted.

The next night, it was time for a powwow on Standing Buffalo reserve, so off we went for another late night of revelry. Again lots of dancing, but we got to watch this time. There were about 9 stations of drummers. This group was right in front of us. Here is one of my cousin's former students. I thought this little girl with her father and the boy doing an improve dance was so cute. Later we saw her playing pat a cake with one of her relatives and then later again, she did a dance off with another dancer.

Then, after our fully loaded weekend, we closed on our house and the real mayhem began. I don't recommend unpacking. Not so fun, except to see the kids delight when we located some of their toys and books today.

It feels like we went on a really long vacation, but when we came home, the house is all different, we don't know where everything goes or how all it fits, so it's not the relaxing "ah, we're home" feeling. However, I got the last of the big rooms mostly arranged, so all of our space is livable at present. We are still figuring out where all the stuff goes and plan on not unpacking everything since we still need to paint and redo all of the basement. Today it started to feel a little like home. Brian mowed the lawn, I have a functional kitchen and I did some laundry.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So tired

I am so tired of unpacking and we still have a ways to go. There are mountains, in fact entire mountain ranges of clothes to sort and put somewhere. The hard part is that we are sandwhiching the kids into one room and they have so many clothes, plus I need to get some warmer clothes out too AND Emora is growing out of one size and moving into another, if I weren't so modest, I would seriously think of moving to a nudist colony to just avoid all the work of it. Good news is that the kitchen is nearly unpacked. There are a few things missing, one being my waffle iron, so we are about to try hunting it down.

Moving day went great. We had 2 trucks and a van being loaded and unloaded all day. Mike (my cousin) and Brian did most the packing and unpacking since I was on kid duty most the day. Mike counted 13 trips to get everything over. The worst part of the day was that we had planned to stay in our new house the night, Brian and I were beyond tired and he was trying to put the bunkbed and our bed together, the kids were crazy hyper and tired and we had no idea where sheets, towels or anything was, despite all our careful packing and labeling. The best part was being in our own home.

The next day was consumed with me trying to get the kitchen unpacked and Brian trying to get the fridge to fit. I've pretty much been unpacking everything, because he ends up having to saw off some of a cabinet, move another cabinet, move a cable. I found a phone cable coming out of the heat register behind the front door in fact. I should probably tell him about that too, but the list seems to get bigger before it gets shorter. Still hadn't found towels, some sheets were found. Worst part was realizing I had only 2 drawers about a foot and a half wide in all the kitchen. Best part was realizing that silverware doesn't have to go in a drawer, a cupboard, albeit unconventional, works just fine.

Today was another monster day, although the morning felt pretty unsuccessful. I unpacked a found "kitchen" box and it only had a few kitchen items, none of which were the waffle iron, however, after being totally bored with eating p&j, Ivan saw a ramen noodle, I pulled out food offerings of potatoe salad, some fruit and fresh farm vegies from my uncle and we had a first real meal in our home. Then I drove to the city by myself (yeah) for the biggest shopping spree of my entire life. I had to do it in two sections. I did all the toiletries and pantry foods in the first run. The cart was full to overflowing, quite litterally- I had to pick up the giant toilet paper set a few times and I could barely push the cart. It had taken me 1.5 hours and cost $231 and change. Then I hauled it out to the van and went back for the next run. It cost about the same, but I ended on a great note, finding chicken for super cheap. Food here is very expensive and chicken is the worst, so I was all pumped and know I got about twice the amount of groceries for the price that I could have gotten in town. Wost moment- being indecisive about a shower curtain and pushing my monster cart through a giant store. Best moment- Brian saying "good" after I called with each run to tell him what the tally was and seeing the fridge, freezer and pantry with food in it, and eating delicious frozen pizza and salad for supper.

Monday, August 16, 2010

You'll have to be patient

Last week I got to visit with my friend Sarah. I ended up chatting with her THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON! It was so great. The kids played and we talked the day away. I had no idea it had gotten so late until I got in the van and was driving away.

In a park in Moose Jaw, where the wedding was.

My sister-in-law and daughter's dress shoes were discarded while they played kites in the grass.

Today is the big day, so I should actually get to bed, there are only 7.5 hours until we are given the key to our new house, then there will be moving and house setting up, grocery shopping, then renovations (probably not as early as tomorrow- haha, but the internet won't be hooked up until Thurs. So we may have to live sans life via the web! I know, you are crestfallen, and I promised you pictures, so added to my list is to take pictures tomorrow.

On a side note, we went to my cousin's wedding yesterday. It was so incredible great to be able to see so many aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids! Here are some of my favorite pics from the event, if you want more, go to my facebook photos, which is where I snagged these from, so they will be small!

my cuz Amber
It's a family affair
my dad at right wearing a skirt (did I spell that right, kilt, skirt, they look so much the same). ha,ha.
Emora was literally and emotionally quite taken with Everett, my giant cousin. They had lots of special time together.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Some of the sounds from the Saskatoon exhibition parade

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan parades have a few different sounds than in Abilene, Texas. Stoon had more bagpipes and minority groups- first nations peoples, ukrainian, caribean, environmentalists, politicians... We had fewer marching bands and cheerleaders, but our cheerleaders were fully clothed, which is a good thing, since it was raining. I remember once in Abilene, when the kids saw the cheerleaders with their midrifts showing and Ivan yelled out "why is she buck naked?" I had to explain that "buck naked" means completely naked and that while she was not wearing much, she did have a little bit on. There were also lots of roughrider themes (the provincial football team). Our favorite part was to share it with family.

Friday, August 13, 2010

belly paint

Jenn wanted to get her belly painted before I left Stoon. She picked the scripture from Psalm 139- " For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." It was so fun to feel some strong pushes/ kicks, shoves from my little niece or nephew before we left Saskatoon. The kids and I will head back to Saskatoon the 24th, to be there in time for baby's arrival, but before then- a wedding tomorrow and house in 2 days! We drove by today and it looks cleaned out, Brian and my cousin got out and looked in the windows and sheds- what snoops! They said it looked empty. I thought I still saw a desk and chair in the yard, but at least the skidoos, broken down cars and junk are out of the yard and garage. I'm hoping the house is somewhat clean, but I imagine I have some cupboard scrubbing ahead of me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

a new face

Our long awaited Andrea ( my brother's wife) finally came to us from Germany last week. We have had lovely times since then. The loveliest of all was when she entertained all our kids allowing us parents to all take naps Sunday afternoon- does she ever know how to win her way into all our hearts!! The kids LOVE her and we think she's pretty fabulous too. Her transition here is going much smoother than ours has, partly due to the fact that her other half- my brother is already settled here and also we were able to tell her what she would need and in what order to get the things she needed.

We are so glad she is here and she has quickly become a vital part of our family. I've already learned a couple German words, although her English is fabulous.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dominique's ideas

Dominique's assessment of our upcoming on MONDAY (if all goes well) move: "I am happy that Arwen will be able to come over to our new house, but I'm sad that Immy will not be able to come over". I think she means "come over everyday" since we have been living in the same house with Immy and auntie Jenn.

We arrived back in Fort Qu'Appelle after crashing/joining a birthday party at the Fisher's in Regina. The kids are asleep and I no longer have to be disc jockey to the great musicals. I drove the van where we listened to Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and the Prince of Egypt. I did switch to one of my cds for a bit and the radio, but Dominique's fierce protests made for quick changes back to her choices.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The mountain is growing

I thought we were mostly going to be in Saskatoon for the summer, so I brought all our summer stuff to my parents. All our clothes, a pile of books, arts and crafts stuff, toys, puzzles, swim gear... plus they've been given stuff, so as I gather our things for our final move, the mountain of stuff is huge and growing. I have yet to pack up our clothes and the front entryway is already bombarded. It's crazy! Tomorrow we drive the truck and van back to Fort Qu'Appelle and we are hoping it will all fit!

The cousins sing their theme song

Emora loves to sing Do a dear all day, but she is shy about recording it. We were trying to get a decent recording. When she quieted, Jenn started mouthing the words with her and she became even quieter, imitating Jenn by mouthing the words also! See if you can pick up the tune.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Our days are numbered

Looks like we are heading back to Fort Qu'Appelle again, to crash in my cousin's house again, but the promising point is that this will be our last time to head there without a house to call our own. We will of course be back to Saskatoon and actually in short order. My sister will deliver her baby most likely the 26th, so we or at least myself and the kids are hoping to come for that and then there will be a shower/reception for Andrea and Andrew the 1st weekend in Sept, that we may either come back for or just stick around for. The driving back and forth has gotten beyond old, it's achingly old, but for great reasons, we take to the road again and again.

This time we need to head back before closing to set up utilities and get homeowners insurance required for closing. We will also make a jaunt to Moose Jaw this weekend for my cousin Corey's wedding. Then our plan is to get keys, clean, paint, move appliances and start hauling our loot to our new garage and upstairs. Then start renovating the basement. Honestly, I'm not looking forward to the work involved. I'd rather snap my fingers and find everything organized and ready to live life, but I guess life can not always be tidy either. My sister is my inspiration here. It's been a tough transition, but she is enduring renovations while about to deliver a baby. I'm also thankful we didn't buy the house that I liked, that recently suffered flood damage- things could be worse!

We have had a full summer complete with camp cousins, library times, pool swimming and beach/lake time, playing on the acreage, puppet performances, lots of face paint, lots of giggles, spray park and tomorrow we are taking the kids to their first Canadian parade. Plus I've gotten to eat mom's delicious food all summer and watch my kids grow up before my very eyes. Who could ask for anything more? OK, so maybe I'll just ask that the renovations go smoothly, quickly and not too expensive? That's not too tall of a request is it?

We have a ton of stuff that has gathered at my parent's house so we are hoping to fit it all in one trip. Jenn gave us a dresser, we've also got snow tires for the van, Brian's yard tools, all our clothes, and a set of sinks- dad doesn't need them and the outreach we will be a part of in Fort Qu'Appelle does. So dad was joking that we will be packing up everything including the kitchen sink!

Friday, August 06, 2010

A pretty good day!

We signed a boatload of papers today for the house. I guess they do closing here before you close. In the US of A, we signed all these papers the day we got the keys, here they do it earlier to ensure that key day goes smoothly- all of that to say, we are about done everything to get into our house, minus a 10 day wait to pick up the keys. This will be such a huge change for us. We've nearly gotten used to mayhem as our daily standard. The kids will for sure go into mourning when they are separated from a couple of people, namely these ones. My sister and her daughter have been staying with us while we stay at my parent's since their house is under major renovations. This has been handy for us so that we could just get up and do camp cousins whenever we could, plus the cousins get to play together ALL DAY LONG! They are in cousin heaven. Lots and lots of special times. So that was the start of the day.

Then my sister went to a doctor appointment and baby is doing great, looking well developed and should be ready to deliver early as they are tentatively planning.

To top it all off, we had spagetti. OK, so the kids love spagetti and it makes me feel like an accomplished mom because they ate tons of vegetables without a single complaint, but part of the spagetti triumph was due to a little bit of extra inspiration, upon the completion of their meal, I promised to paint a German flag on their face as decoration to greet their newly arrived auntie or Tante at the airport!!!

My sister-in-law arrived tonight from Germany. She left yesterday, and while quite tired, she smiled for our numerous cameras, handed out hugs, delighted us all with her beauty (my brother was especially enamored) and became an instant favourite with all the kids. We are so looking forward to her being a part of our lives. Tomorrow is their 1 year anniversary and they have been apart since their honeymoon last year after they got married. Brutal! I can't imagine. But they made it and it was such a joyous reunion. We are letting them be newly weds tomorrow, but the day after, it's full onslaught family time! The kids can't wait and were most distraught that we could not bring Auntie Andrea home with us. We assured them that she would come out Sunday, which is not so much time to wait, nothing at all like a year!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Swimming in green soup

I do love the thought of living in a place with lakes. I love the thought of going for walks to just look at the water, reading by the water and hearing the waves, throwing rocks in it and swimming in it, but I have to admit that after having been literally spoiled by pool swimming, lake laps does take some getting used to.

We only got to swim in one twice this summer, once a month ago maybe and the other time last week. The first time, it was painfully cold, but mostly clear. However, the kids had a blast playing in the sand and after an hour of my getting used to the water, I actually got to swim a bit.

It was fun to swim with the cousins that day.

My next swim was in this green sludge. My cousin-in-law Janet (seen above with her kids) explained to me that as the temperature of the lake rises throughout the summer, the algae gets thicker. It was basically like swimming in pea soup. While it was warmer, Emora still screamed the entire time, now due to the nastiness of the experience. Dominique didn't care though and was spotted jumping off the dock while holding on to a loose float pool. That made me nervous. I am glad she has a bit of swimming skills at least, but could relax more if they were better swimmers.

But there was something to swimming out far to the swim buoys that rang with awesomeness. Way out there, everyone is far away, the water is crisp and cool, the hills rise up around me and scream out their beauty as far as the eye can see. It's a feast for the eyes and soul, if you can just swim past the 50 yards of sludge.

We had camp cousins this week which was way fun. We did songs, games and crafts. Jenn took the pictures, so I'll have to try and get some from her. We have also been enjoying special library programs, puppet hour at the Pooh corner and sleep overs. The Wallace's house is one step down from a hazard zone with all the construction, so she and Immy have been staying at mom and dad's with us. It's a cousin party everyday!!!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

the Fort Qu'Appelle mid summer arts festival

It was a very hot day.

Live music was fun.

My cousin introduced Brian who got to play and get paid for it!! Always a bonus.

Kate and Larry drove from Regina to see us and that was a huge treat. I lived with them and their kids when going to school and they become my second family. Our hearts are bonded and will forever joy in each other.

Ivan was there too, even if I apparently didn't get a picture. He and Dominique were great helpers putting up chairs and taking down tents and music gear, while I hung out with Emora and my friends.