Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Since the haircut

Brian and dad left the day after Christmas to get back to drywalling. Before we left Fort Qu'Appelle, dad got drywall up in Dominique's cubby. She even got a fancy archway for it. Now they are feverishly trying to finish up the rest of the basement while we played the week away.

Here the kids were making it snow on mom's snowy village. It lights up, but the kids didn't find that quite animated enough, falling snow was that extra touch of "je ne sais quoi"- umm mess?

We have been enjoying dinners and playtime together. Today will be our first real day apart as Jenn's kids have appointments and the trio and I are going to go hang out with a friend in town this afternoon and evening.

The kids and I enjoyed a day of adventuring on the acreage, through knee high snow. I got a lot of great pics to upload from that. We were going to enjoy the outdoors today also, but our warm snap ended and it dipped down to -17 C so we are instead enjoying the Wallaces' wii game indoors ;)

The kids were careful monitors of the food being dished up around here. I have a feeling they were also the recipients of some delectable morsels during this observation session.

Yesterday, we had a huge day. We went swimming, then to the library, back to mom's to read some of the materials we'd just gotten, then back into town to Jenn's where we enjoyed crepes from France, sent by some friends and the kids played while I painted in Imogen's bedroom. They are getting here room all painted and organized, so I had offered as one of my Christmas/birthday gifts to her a small wall mural/decor painted on. They picked a branch of cherry blossoms and it turned out so nice! She will enjoy it now, but it is not babyish, so she can enjoy it when she is older too. I had seen a similar design several times on the net and was so excited to get to paint it. Pictures upcoming... hey, I have to leave you with some suspense so you'll keep coming back for more!

Hope you have had some holidays and are getting to enjoy them. We are looking forward to having the daddy back tomorrow-basement drywalled or not! Yippee!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Emora's 1st haircut

For 2 years I waited in eager expectation for Emora's hair to lengthen and thicken. I was just able to get it into pig tails. Here she was 2 days before Christmas. Then she found a pair of scissors. Ivan the tattle tale allerted me to the situation like this : "MOM! Emora is cutting her hair with scissors and there is hair all over the floor". Meanwhile her sister who was an accomplis and is also missing some hair was hiding the evidence by putting hair in the garbage. She couldn't hide it all though. There was plenty all over and big patches missing from my daughter's head.

She chopped a bunch off the front, lots of the length is gone and some sections in the back. It could be worse, she could have cut her skin, poked her eyes, shorn it to the scalp... plus with it being curly, you can't tell all that much except that I can tell. Her hair looks like it did a year ago. In a few snips she took off 12 months of growing! Oh well, I put the retrieved hair in a baggie for her memory book.

She has strong survival skills that one. Last night she was up 2.5 hours in my bed, talking away while I hushed her and told her to go to sleep. At one point, she leaned over, patted me on the cheek and gave me about 30 kisses. How can you be angry with that!

Brian and dad only have one more day left to drywall the basement and they are about 1/2 way through. They did have a lot of extra stuff to do work on to start with though and my cousin has had lots of unexpected stuff come up, so he has had to come and go a lot. My uncle also went back home, so the 4 man crew is at best 3 and more often 2, but that is still twice our usual amount. Plus Brian says they are working 12 hour days and my cousin is feeding them lunches and suppers so that they don't even have to prep food or clean up. I am so excited to see what it looks like as real rooms. So far they have drywalled Ivan and Dominique's rooms and dad is working on an archway as I type ;) I love archways, so enchanting. I didn't even request this one, he just offered to do it. Yeah dad! They still have the living room, guest room and bathroom to drywall. Then there will be a whole lot of mudding, paint and floors, as far as I know-- so exciting!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hope you are having fun

Hope that you enjoyed your Christmas day and that you are having fun with family and the things you received. If things weren't quite as you liked it, it's not too late to make a little fun- go out and create a little magic...

or find new meaning in something ordinary.

The kids are an endless source of interest, joy and adventure.

Laughter is always just a moment away.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sorry if you are getting this twice!

Picture taken in Fort Qu'Appelle, on a cold enough day, reminiscent of 12 years ago when we took our wedding pics outside, quickly taking off jackets, holding our breath, smiling, taking the picture and running back to our jackets and indoor warmth. Yes, we are a bit crazy and the kids were pretty good at humoring us! It is very beautiful here if you like lakes, rivers, beaches, hills and stuff like that. However, if you are not a fan of snow or cold, you may want to visit us in the summer, which here is really July and Aug. June and Sept. would also be passable, but not quite as warm. May and Oct. could be hit and miss. If you are a canuck, you already know all this and are just as crazy, so come on! Working on the guest room is in progress, should be ready in the next month or two. Call to make reservations ;)

December 2010
Greetings all!

In case you haven’t heard, 2010 has been the biggest year of change in the Baggett family. On the last weekend of May we moved away from Abilene, Texas, and the United States.

Our new home is Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada. “The Fort”, as the locals call it, population 2300, is nestled between four lakes in the beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley, 45 minutes northwest of Regina.

After a long summer of living with various relatives around the province, we finally moved into our new home in mid-August. Two weeks later, Ivan (now 6) began school for the first time ever. He began his academic career in Grade One. During our first teacher/parent in November, his teacher Mrs. McLean said he is doing very well and is well liked by his peers. Ivan says, “I just like my friends and going to school”.

Dominique (now 4) states that she misses Texas, but you wouldn’t know it by her enthusiasm for sledding. She and the others kids bundle up and join the neighbors at the sled hill across the street, provided by the town services and their street snow removal. Dominique says, “I love to make new friends”.

Emora (soon to turn 2) enjoys singing, coloring with markers, and learning to go “potty” all by herself. We are so proud of her. She even appears to pretend reading by opening books and babbling to herself for long periods.

Angela is readjusting to life in Saskatchewan fairly well. She greatly misses her friends in Texas. But she is happy to be close to family for the first time in over twelve years. She misses weekly swimming and easy access to pools. But she enjoys the lakes and the ice skating rink, all a short walk from our house.

I am dealing with a fair bit of change. Although an unexpected trip back to Abilene, TX in November reconfirmed that it was time for our family to move. Most of my time and resources are spent on making our basement become livable space. This should be finished soon, so our new guest room awaits you. I am hoping to find work or find a way to begin a house flip project in the new year. And I am looking forward to getting back into music again soon with a new rehearsal room downstairs.

The Baggetts
PO Box 2743
Ft. Qu’Appelle, SK S0G1S0

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas eve special

OK, so yesterday's post was decidedly unChristmassy with talk of my MRI! I am now redeeming myself with pictures of the gorgeous snow in Fort Qu'Appelle a few days ago.

This is a few blocks from our house.

We walked to have coffee with a mom of one of Ivan's classmates that live a few blocks from us. So glad we walked instead of drove! The trees were so magical. Sometimes winter is like an enchanted world of glistening majesty. The ground and trees just sparkled, all the textures and shapes become so intriguing.

While here, I get to tell you some fun stories. Dominique had made a bunch of little paper creations as presents for her cousins, pieces of paper and tape with marker colors on them. She had a meaning for them all and was so excited to give these little scraps of creativity. Janet told me that when her daughter Lannelle received her scraps of unidentifiable "genius", she exclaimed "I have always wanted this!"

Then from the fights of sister and brother... Ivan was giving Dominique "instruction" and Dominique said "Quit being so bossy!" to which Ivan replied, "I am not being bossy, I am just telling you what to do!"

Hope your time of celebration is joyous and joyful this Christmastime!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas concert videos

I'm going to make a few posts in advance to entertain you while I am traveling to Saskatoon and enjoying my first few days there.

When this posts, I will be on my way to Regina for my long awaited MRI. They are doing a little look to see what is going on with my knee. I am actually looking forward in working towards a solution for the pesky thing. It's been hurting for over a year. Exercises from physical therapy have helped some, but if I do anything out of the usual, it gets to hurting again. Hopefully the specialist will come up with a great solution. I'm pretty sure surgery is in the plans though since they already know there is a pretty sizable pocket of fluid pushing on my outer tendon causing the pain.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This weekend, we went to a classmate of Ivan's house to get some cookies made for Christmas.

The big haul yesterday was walls and ceiling for the basement. I keep thinking we are so close to having twice the amount of house to move into, then I see something like this and realized there is still a ton of work to do. But my cousins stopped by and OFFERED to come help next week with his father-in-law, dad- seeing a construction party forming up decided that he would for sure be back and with Brian they may be able to get all these hung next week? This would be the hugest Christmas gift ever! I bet by himself that would be about a month of work, but with a crew of 4, they can possibly do it in half a week. Sheena volunteered to cook for them and I will be blissfully missing it all while my kids play with their cousins and I get to hold my growing new nephew and see my sis, brother, sis-in-law and mom for the week, take in some swimming...

This will definitely be on my list of favorite things to look forward to all year. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, not just watching Ivan, who is so serious that he looked angry the whole time, but all the classes were spectacular. Dad kept leaning over and saying "they were really good!" The teachers at Ivan's school are incredible I tell you! Meanwhile Brian sat with my cousins and our neighbors at the back with all the other parents who didn't catch seats. I think they were being goofs most the time, but he did shoot a couple of videos and get some pics!

Dad got the closer pics and videos. We managed to snag a couple of seats near the front.

Today we woke up to a winterwonderland. It's enchanting to see the trees covered in frost, the snow glittering and fluffy. So nice.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary babe!

Have a good look, it's about to go under transformation again. Dad arrived tonight. So far he has been busy reading books and having 1 to 3 kids on his lap or in his arms at all times. I did manage to get a couple of pumpkin pies baked. He had asked if I'd make some if he came, so you can't beat that price for free labor! I was hoping they would get the drywalling done, but Brian hopes they will get to the drywall. They still have a little electrical, duct work and framing still to do before drywall to install.

The girls were playing house under our one and only tree. Brian's not crazy about it because it is leaning, but I think it's charming. I like a bit of green year round and I haven't had a pine tree in my yard in well over a decade!

Dominique wanted to try her hand at shoveling. She liked it for the half minute she lasted.

Here was the bank from our front door. We have more driveway in the front than we do yard, so the snow is getting pretty high out there. We wouldn't have to shovel it all since I get to park in the garage, but it is nice to have space for others to park when they come over.

Today is our official 12 year anniversary. We never imagined when we were getting married that we'd be living here someday. It's been quite a journey and a ton of change, makes me wonder what the next twelve years hold for us...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

more winter fun

You may as well get used to the winter pictures. I find I am not taking as many pictures. Something about freezing your fingers off while you fumble for your camera and the fact that everything is white or shades of gray has slowed down the camera shots a bit. But there are still some fun things, so I have to get it out from time to time. Here I am after working on the quinzee. The snow in my hair is from digging snow out over my head and it pouring down on me.

Here is the quinzee, not yet finished.

Just as Brian was wondering where he'd put all the snow throughout winter, since our piles had already gotten pretty tall, our neighbor came over and volunteered to push it into the yard with his snowblower.

Some shots on the sledding hill when the sun was out. That sun sure makes a huge difference! When it is cloudy, it's just so ugly looking, but on those days I get excited to drink hot chocolate and make soup.

I have a lot to do this weekend.
Make another painted gift. Wrap gifts, address a couple of gifts, clean the house, move out of our room into the kid's room so that dad can have our room (yeah, dad is coming!), make Christmas baking with another mom from Ivan's school (she volunteered we do it together) and go out for my anniversary! We are celebrating 12 years this weekend. Who would have known we would be living in the country where we married all this time later?!

What was your best anniversary gift/memory?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Some of our inside activities

I have been painting Christmas gifts. For each of my kids, I make an ornament with their name and name meaning on it. Got Emora's done this year. She likes blue. I wanted to paint a 3D heart for her like Dominique's was, but I only found a 2D heart and a sphere, so I put them together.

Brian's 1/4 of a year long project. Here he is with my cousin's husband, Mike. Dad is coming Sun. to help for a few days before we all go to Stoon for Chrismas. Dad and Brian may come back for a few more days after that while the kids and I stay in Stoon and hang out with family and cousins!

The kid's wanted Arwen to face paint them as clowns and then they did a clown skit for me. They were pretty hilarious.

After clowning around, they had lunch and devoured Arwen's gingerbread house.

Emora is still working on mastering the potty skills. She mostly likes to just do funny things, so here she is our master of hilarity.

I've been pulling late nighters to get my Christmas gifts made. I've discovered from this experience that recovering from staying up until 2am repeatedly is not as easy at it used to be. It took me 3 days to recover this last time, but hopefully I won't have many more of those left. Today my neighbor's daughter asked Dominique to come play. I got Emora down for a nap and got to work on a project, so maybe tonight I can be catching zzz by midnight or earlier with another project done!! I'm excited about that concept.

How are you doing with the Christmas bustle? got everything done? overwhelmed? on track? fed up with it all? loving it?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

some wintertime videos

Saba in her cheap house/quinzee

Dominique has her own sledding style.

Dominique going down head first.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Speeding up now

Now that the walls are up in the basement, things are really moving fast. Brian is finishing up the last of the subfloor as I write. Since the basement is cement, which is cold and not very comfortable to live in, he's covered it all in once inch board and OSB board. I haven't even got a picture of it yet, but it looks and feels so nice! Dad is coming Sun. and they will be drywalling. Brian has calculated that it will take about 80 sheets! That's a lot of drywall. There are all the exterior walls, the inside walls and the ceilings, about 900 square feet, so the size of a small house down there! I'm getting so excited about having that space, except not too excited about setting it up as we don't really have furniture for down there, but hoping to find some good deals when the time is right.

This is in Dominique's room. She gets a closet under the stairs and a cubby for playing in. She and Emora have already been playing there for months, so it will be a fun space once actually finished.

Today was so incredibly gorgeous outside! It was just a snippit below freezing, the sun was shining in the blue sky, the wind wasn't blowing and we'd just gotten about a foot of fresh snowfall last night. It was sparkling and so white. Brian shoveled half the driveway, so then I tackled the other half this morning while the girls played house in the snow bank. Brian was just wondering where we would put all the snow, since it is technically not winter yet and we already had banks 3 or 4 feet high beside the driveway, when a neighbor stopped by and volunteered to snowblow our banks further into the yard! The girls were thrilled to watch him with his machine shooting snow 15 feet up into the yard. It was pretty dramatic.

I pulled Dominique on a sled to school to get Ivan and our cousin Kellen, they took turns riding in the sled back to our house and we got working on a quinzy/igloo out of the giant pile of snow in the backyard. It was lots of fun. Dad always makes quinzies, so I figure that is where I got it from.

But when I walked into the house, I realized that I am not a kid anymore as every muscle in my body started to scream at me! I may not be able to lift my arms, or walk tomorrow! I'm thinking a hot bath is in order too. But days like today make me so thankful to be somewhere so incredibly beautiful.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A few of my favorite things

The reinforcements arrived today. Mike helped Brian put in our first subfloor. They got the living room downstairs done. Arwen also came and played with the kids. I got Emora's ornament painted ;) The kids got some sledding in at our neighborhood hill. I love that place being so close! Super awesome. Some other super awesome things in my opinion include:

-hugs, kisses and back rubs
-the kids' excitement at something new, found or discovered
-nature here in the valley: the trees, the hills, lakes and birds, sometimes seeing a wild animal
-our aprons made by Valarie
-wearing clothes given to me by Tighe makes me feel close to her
-wipe board notes from my hubby
-Brian or the kids playing music

-walking to stores and the school, appointments or the lake because they are so close!
-people who say "hi" or smile
-reading to/with my kids
-painting/creating things
-swimming-ah, I really miss swimming!
-laughter: mine and others, especially kids, so bubbly
-a good book
-my big windows with lots of sunshine, awesome sunrises and sunsets

-the feel of my kid's hands when they touch me, their little lips and little butts ) they have the cutest butts!)
-taking and looking at our pictures

-my big pantry and all the freezer space
-getting the house cleaned while visiting with a friend on the phone
-knowing that good things have come to my friends or family
-having deep conversations with friends
-knowing that each day is a new day with no mistakes in it and that my mistakes are as far from me as the East is from the West
-the Lover always and forever brings me joy, knowing I am never alone and help is always at hand