Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another Artist's date walk

Winter does have it's charm and so does spring. I have just loved watching my kids delight in the ice. I remember enjoying stomping on the crackly ice as a kid and really missed all the snow noises while in Texas for a dozen years or so. Now it is all coming back to me and doubly so as I get to experience it again and watch my kids experience it for the first time. It takes us FOREVER to get anywhere on foot, because they have to slide, stomp, scoop up and explore all the different ice types and formations- and there are plenty. The side of the road was all laced up in these ice formations when I started my Artist's walk this week and I was fascinated by all the little designs.

I tried to take what I thought was a cross-country ski trail, but it only lasted a few yards and led into a big open field that was very cold and not so interesting. I kept wanting to go up into the hills and had spotted a deer go up while walking through the trees, so I decided "up it was!" I started on a good path, but then saw a deer path and thought I'd let them guide me. I was led right into the darling deer dormitory. It was eerie and so beautiful. There were about 20 or so nests along this winding little path through the scrub brush. It would be impossible to locate them or navigate it in the summer and was pretty challenging for me to get through even in the winter, but it was plain that this was their bedroom. There were little rounded out icy patches with fur they had shed and a little poop pile by each one. I climbed as I imagined them all bedding down for the night.

When I got to the top of the hill, I saw that I was at the cemetary, where a whole herd was walking about. This was obviously their living room. I laughed inside as I saw them sauntering around, like they owned the place. Their demeaner quickly changed when they caught wind of me and they acted more like the deer I know, leaping away to stay hidden. Since I couldn't find where they had all darted off to, I followed one of their trails out of the cemetary, over a fence that was easy to cross since I was walking on over 2 feet of crusted over snow. I knew it was that deep because at times, I'd break through the upper crust and be into snow to my knee. As I rounded the hill, I scared up a bunch more deer. It was so beautiful to see them leaping off to a less disturbed location. Later I spotted them walking along the road to another bunch of trees.

By this time, I was getting tired and thought I'd come over the hill to go down to the truck, but I was on the wrong hill. I'm telling you, they all looked the same to me. I had to back track and felt like I was reliving the Sound of Music where they climb the mountains as I walked along the crest all covered in snow. I got to our sledding hill and hoped to slide down. I lay on my back, but there was too much friction and I didn't go anywhere. But it was nice to look up into the blue sky and feel the sun beaming on my face. I slowly made my way down some more and got to a steeper incline, thinking I would slide on my side and did I ever! I zipped down quite a ways, with my jeans on the cold snow. At that point I got to time travel a bit as I remembered that thrill of speed down a hill as I'd experienced so many times as a child. I finally got to the truck and felt so good to have gotten some exercise and appreciated so much the deer's giving me the little tour.

As I drove through town to drop off my little cousin last night, we spotted 11 deer by a creek near his house and we saw and heard the geese! I love the geese and am so glad they are back. Spring is on it's way, you just wait and see!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Almost moved in!

I can hardly believe that after nearly 8 months we are very nearly moved in! Yep, it's taken us a while. Actually I should really say that after nearly 8 months, the renos are almost done. In one week some wonderful people are coming into our home to install carpet ;) So glad we are getting to have other's do it. Brian is starting work this week on Wed. We will still have some left to do (ahem, HE will still have some left to do), but it will be close enough to start moving kids into their rooms.

He'll still have baseboards, and the bathroom to pretty up and get flooring, then some stuff he wasn't able to do when winter set in like put wells in to keep the dirt away from the new basement windows, caulking outside, our outside doors need some paint or more serious facelifts.

I am so looking forward to not being packed in like sardines and being able to unmess the kid room. The clothes are just piled all horrid in the closet as we wait on space to come.

Spring is taking it's sweet time to show up. Meanwhile, the kids are longing for time with friends, as are we. It's a bit hard to make friends here, but maybe once we all come out of hibernation some new relationships will spring up too.

We are thinking about doing soccer for the big kids... ah, lots of changes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

my date

I've been reading a book called the Artist's Way and it is totally rocking my world and giving me a better perspective, healthier inner journey, deeper connection with the Lover. One of it's recommendations is to have an artist's date once a week, all by myself, something that will recharge me. I had a lot of angst over this at first. In Abilene, I had time for me once a week- it was swimming, but since I don't have a pool here, I haven't found a substitute and thus haven't had time alone really.

I felt so bad leaving without the kids and I'm not all that sure why, because Brian is always going on walks or doing what he needs to stay sane. So one Sunday afternoon, when it was particularly glorious out and warming up, I took a walk, for my first weekly Artist's date.

Picnic season is not quite here yet, but I took a hot coffee and my book, some writing materials and sat by the lake.

It's not quite as energizing in the winter as the summer, but I had so wanted to see what my favorite spot looked like in full blown snow. It was pretty white, blinding actually. But the snow formations were fascinating and I was quite entertained to see the crazies out there ice fishing.

See them now? They drive their trucks out there! Can you believe it? I heard a guy lost his truck when it sunk here last year too. I bet the won't try that again, at least not with that truck!!

They weren't driving over here either, where it never freezes close to the damn. The light was dancing all over that water.

Everything looked so different in winter. The trees looked smaller, the path shorter, and I noticed all the different hues in the scrub brush, reds, yellows and browns, poking out of the white.

It was lovely...

On another positive note... Brian got a job at Rona. We just bought the last big expense for the basement (carpet) and hired some other guys to install it!!! YIPPEE! Almost done. I also got some material to make more curtains. We'll still have plenty of little things to finish up over weekend projects and so on, we will soon sit in our doubled in size home and just enjoy it ;)))))) Of course, then spring will really be coming and we'll want to work on the yard!! hee hee

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our first day of Spring is still pretty white

Today is supposedly the first day of spring, but just when we were thinking spring may actually come, yesterday we got dumped with 7 inches and they say we could get another huge dump tomorrow. Winter can't stay forever though. It's not far from 0 Celcius and the streets are like a giant brown slushfest. These pictures were taken from a few weeks ago, before the thaw started.

Excitement in our life: I bought ripped jeans, because my jeans had ripped, then got home and cut my old jeans up and used some of their material to patch my new jeans up. Wrap your head around that one!

Other excitement: Ivan decided to make supper the other night. He picked out a recipe from his kid friendly recipe book. He chose egg salad sandwhiches. Then Dominique wanted to make something so I guided her to make spiced corn and red pepper. I also made homemade fries to go with it all. The kids were so very excited to make supper "all on their own" and determined that it was our best supper ever. The good news is that Ivan has now decided that he LOVES egg salad sandwhiches. This is a huge relief because he has gotten pickier and pickier about his lunches and we had few options left, so now we have something new to add to the rotation. The bad news is that with all that help, I was in the kitchen for 1.5 hours instead of the usual hour or less to make dinner. Ivan wants to make supper every Sat. and Sun. but I don't think I'm up for it!!

The girls are still snotty and Emora's cough is getting thick, so I think we'll be home another day, which sucks. We're getting a little stir crazy, but I can't complain, we haven't had colds or flu in a year!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We got a ton of snow today and Spring is tomorrow!

None of us were very impressed when we opened the curtains and saw feet upon feet of snow piling up and blanketing the landscape in blinding white. So in honor of spring's supposed start and it's actual absenteeism, I am posting pics of Emora climbing the quinzee. The kid's were sliding down the side of it and some other things were sliding down too.

Made me roar with laughter. I couldn't even figure out which picture to post because each one made me laugh so hard, so you get them all!

Back to today's snow... it was actually very beautiful. It was a fluffy snow, so soft to walk in and the temp at right about freezing, so warm really. Ivan and walked downtown while the girls and daddy stayed home to recouperate from a cold. My work schedule is nice too. I do my big clean on Sundays, but in the afternoon. I like being there in the day. It's sunny, I get to walk and still feel like I have the evening off.

I hope for you that what at first appears to look grim turns out pretty nice after all, as it did for me today.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yikes, it's been awhile

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. We had a busy start of the week, with a trip to Regina to get more supplies for the basement and refrigerator, then the kids and I went swimming, while Brian got to play music with some friends of friends who are a part of a worship band. He has been having a lot of fun playing with them and it was fun for us to all go in.

The rest of the week, my mind was in Abilene with friends of ours who just lost their baby during their pregnancy. Our hearts and prayers go out to them as we mourn their loss.

It seems we caught a cold somewhere along the way too. Poor Dominique is running a bit of a fever, and is feeling really miserable. Looks like we'll be taking it easy until she feels better.

Brian has been making shelves in closets, and desks. We just got doors for the rooms and closet doors too and next up, the most exciting part- flooring, more trim and move in ;) So glad it's almost all done. Some job options are turning up too so we are praying on what to do along those lines.

The melt has started and I had to go buy rubber boots for Ivan today. We got a note from school that it was a requirement as the school yard has become a sloppy mud bowl. They also want us to send extra pants, underwear and socks. Apparently they have already had some mishaps.

Ivan's thoughts on school: he likes recess and hates homework. Doesn't take long for these tendencies to set in huh? He is doing well though and one of my greatest joys is his reading road homework, where I have to listen to him read. It's so amazing! We have more report cards and parent-teacher conferences coming up, so that is fun. I love to hear from someone else how he is doing in his "other life".

Monday, March 14, 2011


My last photo from the trip to the Muirhead farm. The kids really loved feeding one of the horses. I think it's always amazing to be by these massive, beautiful creatures.

Here's another beautiful creature.

I just found her so adorable and tiny sitting on the counter, having a little cup of "tea".

Spring is really here and it's delicious! Everyone keeps warning us that winter will have to have a final say and that there is typically another blizzard that comes through this month or next, but for now, the snow is melting, water is running down the street, the sun is shining, I got to wear a lighter jacket and played outside with the kids 2 days in a row. Yesterday we had a snow ball fight and then mommy mode kicked in. I went "treasure hunting" and not a fun kind. A winter's worth of dog poop was surfacing in the melt, so I figured I should try to throw it out while it was still easy to get rid of. Today, the girls and I made a final snowman. When we'd come home, his ears and nose had fallen off, so Dominique tried to stick the nose back on, only she pushed too hard and decapitated him. It was pretty hilarious.

I got to go on a walk yesterday by myself. It was so nice. I went to the lake, so I'll have to post pictures of my little adventure. I think I found my knee solution. Just go for it, take a couple of Ibuprofen when I get home and it was ok today. It hurt some at night, so I should maybe take something before bed too, but hopefully this means it's on the mend and just needs to strengthen back up. I have been scared to try skating again though. It felt so wonderful while I was doing it, but I paid for it the entire next week. Maybe I should have tried the ibuprofen!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The girls love to dress up in their matching dresses and play together when Ivan goes to school.

It has been warm the last couple of days, so we have really enjoyed getting out again and walking up to the school for Ivan.

May spring come and be a season of renewing for all. We are so ready for new life in us, new beginnings and relief from the cold isolation of our lives as we've transitioned here. It takes time, but I'm hoping time is about up and we are being propelled forward in something new. I'm already dreaming of swimming in the lake, picnics and beach days. I'm told this winter has been exceptionally bad and that it is not quite over yet, but some thaw today gives us anticipation for the freeze to finally break and for us that is on many levels, physically outside and in, financially, relationally, emotionally...

Monday, March 07, 2011

Our weekend

We got out of the valley this weekend, which was nice. We went to Arwen's grandparent's farm (otherwise known as my Aunt Mary and Uncle Bill's farm). It's only a couple of hours from here, so we stayed the night and got up the next morning to drive to Bienfait where my cousin Andrea had organized a grand day of curling.

Everyone kept saying how it would be such a huge cultural experience for Brian- and it was, but I had to admit that I had never curled before either, or been to a curling rink or ever watched curling! Apparently it's all the rage here in Saskatchewan, but I never knew it. I don't know if it was because I was a city girl, but I also think the fact that the women's curling teams have done very well here lately has something to do with all the talk around curling.

The kids got to get out on the ice a few times and try their hand at it.

The rest of the time, they were cheering (about 10 minutes) or watching videos (the rest of the day). I had brought books to read, coloring books and games, but those did not hold any allure when a tv stood there calling to them!

I would have loved to get out there and try it, but I didn't dare since my knee is still complaining quite a bit. Hopefully they will organize one more time before the season is over and my knee will be ok by then so I can try too, because so far, my Texan husband not only knows Saskatchewan geography better than I, but has now also surpassed me in curling! He's done nearly all the snow shoveling. But we're tied for getting his truck stuck in snow. 1 for 1 on that! And it'll take a while before he can outskate me, if we ever get him on skates that is.

Also, to all you Abileneans who read my blog. Brian was sporting his Bontera Blu shirt. It is a restaurant owned by some friends of ours. Brian got to go to their grand opening in Clyde when he was there and declared that it was awesome dining! So if you want a super nice night out with friends or your mate, look them up and go for the drive out, it's well worth it!! I'd love to go and will get there some day, but the commute is a bit much right now!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Some videos for the weekend

Saba in her new home

Emora and Saba playing fetch.

I just love the way Emora says "thank you momma" and about a thousand other things she says. Brian likens kid's voices to cartoon and puppet voices. If that doesn't make you smile and giggle every time you hear a kid, I don't know what will!

The girls sing and dance to the Sound of Music's "So long farewell".

Inaugural concert on Ivan's "stage" with of course, his favorite song at the moment.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

bathing beauties

This is a painting that my friend Kate made and gave us as a house warming gift. It kind of became part of our color inspiration for the basement. It was so amazing picking it out. She has several pieces that she has done hanging in her house and she told me I could walk around and pick out the one I wanted. I had seen her working on this one once when we visited and so the finished product was that much dearer to me. I'm excited that some day we will have it hung and I will get to sit in a room, look at it and let it speak to me.

I painted some birds taking flight as we walk up the stairs. I'm also going to have a few on the wall beside and behind the landscapes I plan on doing. I'm going to paint some windows that Brian had removed from the basement. We'll have one that is Saskatchewan, one of Texas and one of Fort Qu'Appelle. It'll be an informal portrait of sorts of our lives thus far. I'm looking forward to it. Meanwhile, Brian is building shelves for closets and desks for rooms.

Here are some bathing beauties that were having way too much fun in the tub.

We have also been having lots of fun with our puppets. I got a big box and created a new puppet stage, but the kid's tore it up in much less time than it took me to make it. To their credit, it was very very flimsy as I couldn't find any good tape and the stapler was not going through the cardboard. So our next plan is to make a more durable one out of the trashed out doors that were in the basement.

On other news, I am very mad at my knee. I want to get moving so badly and am tired all the time from lack of exercise and probably staying up too late, but I need my exercise too. The other day I did Emora's exercise video, for 2-7 year olds and now my knee is being a beast today! How ridiculous. I'm so ready for it to be well. I'm also missing the daily walk up to the school to get Ivan. OH SPRING, come already!! Or at least warm up a bit!

We are going to get a change of scenery at least. The Koops/Muirhead clan is going out to the "farm" (their parent's) and we are invited. The plan is to do some curling, which I've never done and would like to, but don't dare thanks to "stupid knee", but Brian and the kids will get to try it out and it should be quite the "cultural" experience for us all. Curling is a sport played on ice, like how kids played marbles, only this is in giant with people helping the "rocks" get to where they need to be by sweeping the ice. It will be a lot of fun no doubt and the kids are looking forward to a huge family sleep over.