Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Ivan had a goal made some time ago to practice his guitar 5 days a week. We write it on the calendar, but since he was having problems reaching it, I told him that I would also join his goal by adding 5 days a week of exercise. That was some time back and I have done way worse than him- like never!

So last night, when I was telling him how proud I was that he has been so good at practicing and already has 2 nights in a row and didn't that feel good, he asked me if I had exercised. ACK I was so BUSTED!

So this morning I made it my goal to exercise. Then I added to the incentive by making a deal with Ivan. If he practices more times than I exercise this week, I will owe him 50cents. He also told me he doesn't need me to remind him- which would be amazing because that would mean he wouldn't be arguing with me to not practice. But if I exercise more than he practices, he will owe me 50 cents.

My legs feel great and I got out in the beautiful fresh air too! Yippee, maybe our little competition will help me more than I thought! Also, I went for coffee and ended up at a free clinic, so I thought I should be a good sport and let them test me. Despite my total lack of consistent exercise and the fact that my mind, body and emotions are suffering for it, I haven't too adversely affected my heart, cholesterol or blood sugars which are all stellar ;) Big smile. So thankful to be healthy despite my meager efforts.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

a weekend in Kenosee

Aunt Mary and Aunt Betty (my dad's first cousins).

It's great to be closer to Lin. Lin and I pretty much grew up together. We are second cousins, but closer to each other than our first cousins. After we graduated, I wound up in Texas and she in Yellowknife, so we were about 4 or 5 days drive from each other and saw each other only a couple of times in all these years. What do you know, we both moved (her South 2 days and me North 2 days), so that now we are only 3 hours from each other!

It was nice to have a weekend away sans kids. I got to see my sister and cousins without kids hanging all over us too. Conversations are just a bit easier without them some times! I wish I hadn't been battling a cold and that we had more time because Janet had invited me to do some cross country skiing with her and came with 2 sets of skis and it was so beautiful, but I didn't even go outside the whole time! I did admire the deer in the yard at night and an amazing foot or so of fresh snowfall the next day. My cousin Roberta spoke on the topic of "This is my story". She is Aunt Betty's daughter between Lin and my sister Jenn in the group picture. I haven't seen her in so many years I can't figure it out, but it was before either of us had kids. We giggle that we have nearly parallel lives. We both have a boy age 7, a girl age 5 and a girl age 3, so that sometimes she'll post on her blog the exact thing we are living! So funny. Maybe we'll get to spend some time with her and her lovely family in the future. They now live only about 9 hours away!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Western Development Museum

Jenn has passes to the WDM so we often go there when we go to Saskatoon. We had just missed the sleigh ride, so that was a little disappointing, but at the same time, there is so much to see there and never enough time to take it all in, plus the kids don't want to read all the info, of course, so I usually get to read just one or two panels per visit. At this rate, it will take me years to read it all! Plus they are always adding new sections.

What used to be the main part is Boomtown- a recreation of Saskatoon in it's early 1900s when it was first being populated. There is an old house, laundry, mercantile, doctor office, dentist, RCMP, train station, butcher, Newspaper, bank, school, church, firehouse, barber... There were some guys working with metal and hammers in the blacksmith shop.

One thing Ivan and I found interesting was to compare the jobs then and now in the school classroom. They had kid's names beside jobs like: brushes, water, wood, ink... I asked him what jobs they had today in class. Brushes was the same, but others now included recycling & white board...

The kids liked everything they could steer! From the old cars, to a modern tractor. They liked the trains and running around with us trying to track them down!!

This was an old trolley car actually used in Saskatoon. It has yet to be restored, but then it's fun to see too the ruggedness of age.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Baking with auntie

We had a fun night at Uncle Andrew and Auntie Andrea's house. She loves to bake and let the kids help her create a german style cheesecake. It was so yummy, although it could have cooled longer. We were a bit impatient to taste it! She even let them crack the eggs and didn't freak out when she had to clean up egg shells and spilled egg all over the counter!

Of course had to taste as they went along. She also made pudding from scratch and it was so good! I bought cornstarch so that we could make it too and will get her recipe off her blog. Umm- what's the link again Andrea?

Here's my brother!

The kids loved playing with their cousins. Isaac is growing up so fast! He runs all over, loves to climb and says some words, understands a lot.

We went to the fun factory in Saskatoon, where it was fun!

Friday, February 24, 2012

skating outside

We had such a fun time skating in Saskatoon. Every year, the city makes an ice rink beside the Besborough hotel downtown, facing the river.

The scenery is pretty. There are some big trees in the middle of the rink and they have skates available for free for people to use.

The fun thing is that a lot of immigrants and families are out there, first time and beginning skaters. Somehow, the ice was super easy for beginner skaters.

I think since it was so warm, the ice was soft and also there was a fair amount of snow on it, which made it easy for the kids to skate. Ivan and Dominique could go around easily without support and Emora even skated for a full hour! Usually she only lasts about 10 min.

And here for your gruesome pic of the day. Ivan's new toothless smile!

It was so funny. Dad really yanked on it. He screamed, got a bloody mouth and was running up and down the hallway dancing and yelling with delight! He was so excited to have it gone. I'd made him a letter with pics of him growing up and telling him how much we have loved watch him learn and grow, with a coupon saying that we could go to DQ or for donuts and look at his album. He gave me a huge hug and said thanks. He loved looking at his album with us all and picked DQ for the family treat. Another milestone passed!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ice castle

We had a fun time in Saskatoon seeing family and friends & having fun adventures in the city. We went to a place along the river where they had ice sculptures and this fun castle with an ice slide. There were square pieces of plasticized canvas on site for the kids to ride on. They loved it!

Some cities have wonderful winter celebrations as a way to embrace winter and have fun when it seems the most miserable. The Carnaval in Quebec city is in the coldest part of winter, and yet people come the world over to be outside for races and snow sculptures, ice sculptures and palaces... So much has to do with our mindset. Of course, that is easy to say since this winter has been gorgeous!

Got to have lots of time with Jenn, my sister, and her kids Isaac and Imogen.

Isaac has gotten so big and gives the best hugs I've EVER had! He melts into you like butter to a hot pancake.

We got in late last night and today woke up to fluffy white snow falling. So pretty. We didn't get out much though. We were being holiday slugs! We did celebrate Ivan's losing his first tooth though with a family date night including a trip to DQ.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

finishing touches

Brian hasn't had as much work this month, which has been fun for him so that he can focus more on his music and it's been fun for me since he has helped with kid pickup from and to school and also got the shelves I wanted for the bathroom. When Brian made the bench/structure to hide the sump pump and water softener in the bathroom, I saw that it gave the bathroom a real boxy feel. Whenever there is a weird house part that I'm not all that excited about, I figure the solution is to elaborate on that theme. When we had weird ceiling levels in the guest room, we added a skylight and painted it so that you noticed it even more. Same with the narrow stairwell, I decided to make all that descending and ascending space decorated with fake tile, birds soaring and painted windows to give a sense of space and movement.

I saw these shelves online and liked them a lot. Brian had to do some mental gymnastics to figure out how to hang them, but he did it and I love the results!
Then I added more geometric designs to the cabinet/bench to tie it all together. I keep thinking it's all done, but my mind is simmering with the idea to paint in Emora's room too. She doesn't have any permanent wall decor, but is at an age now where we can collaborate on what she would like. We have a couple of butterfly things up already and since she is not into any one color, we are probably going to go with a butterfly theme. I wonder if I'll get to paint a sky on her ceiling. I miss our skies that we had in Abilene in the kid's rooms ;)

Emora loves our friends Ellen and Keitha. This was Valentine's day and she was all into the love and cuddles.

How is your bedroom decorated? Do you have a theme or color that it's organized under?

When I did Brian and my bedroom, I didn't really conciously pick the color scheme- as some items were given to us, but we ended up with black and blue room- which is the colors I had wanted for my room ever since high school!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The big little 3 year old!

3 is a bit of a hard age. She wants to be a big girl, but in some ways is still just little. She doesn't want to take naps, and sometimes she can make it without one, but in reality, she still kind of needs one. Emora takes huge naps and then has a hard time falling asleep at 9pm, when we put the others down. But when she goes to bed at 9 with no nap, she will often wake up in the middle of the night, so that's not fun. This day, I kept Neve and Lanelle for the day. Lanelle doesn't nap, so I let Emora stay up too. Emora and I had just decided to walk to pick up Ivan and Dominique from a program they were at. It was about an hour after Lanelle had left. I went to get her stuff to walk and Brian said "I think she's asleep". She was standing up, but had leaned over the dining room chair. I moved her hair to see if she was in fact sleeping and she was out cold! Brian did move her to the couch.

Emora loves to help make muffins, which we do pretty often. I thought it was funny how the flour had gotten her on her face so artistic like!

Emora had gotten money for her birthday and it dawned on me that she would love a play kitchen. Ivan has his huge lego collection and Dominique has a huge barbie house and barbies. Both the kids love to play the wii and watch movies, but Emora is not really into any of that. She loves her books and imagination play, but more at her level. She was very overjoyed with her gift. We noticed there was no microwave, so I made her one to add and then we got her a sponge and cloth and a little bottle for doing her dishes ;) so fun! There will be lots of time here making creations! She usually makes me a pretend coffee each day now and brings it to me in her little blue cup!