Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 A year in reflection

Honestly, good riddance 2010. You have been a really crappy year. Darryl lost his job and I worked like a banshee to keep the money flowing. Darryl did find a new job and he really likes it, but it's downtown and he's gone for 11 hours a day now, which means I am responsible for meals, most chores and taking the kids to and from the day home the days I work. Ian died, tigger died, one of our best friends got cancer, Emma went crazy and ripped up parts of the house and jumped off the roof. Like I said, good riddance 2010, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

On a positive note, we did have some really good times too and got some good pictures....

video

Till Next Year

Jenn

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

As I sit here late on boxing day I thought I'd type up some of the lovely details of the last couple of days. We have had 3 nights of great food and great family. At one point on Friday night, there were 3 conversations going on in different parts of our living room and kitchen. I wasn't really part of any of them, but I was so happy to be surrounded by so many people who get along so well. I felt so lucky and blessed in life. It's also been great to see the boys and there joy over Christmas. It's been nice to give gifts that they really like, it's also great to give gifts that other people really like. I got Darryl a new apple product (which has been good for me too) and Mom and Dad and Alexis some new dancing games. But most importantly we have been able to share lots of time together. Auntie Karen was here for a couple of days and the boys were so happy to have her around. She is one of those people who genuinely loves being around the kids. Here are some picture highlights.

Alexis with her Just Dance game

Grandma with the plate Nathan painted.
Pop with his bag of onions

Some of the mess after Christmas morning

Karen, Lucas and Nathan with their cake.

Nathan in his guitar sweatshirt
Darryl, Pop and Nathan putting together Lego.





We have also been working on potty training Nathan. He's 2 1/2 and showing the signs of readiness. With Lucas we waited until he was over 3, but I'd love to be done with diapers and becuase we are home with him for over a week I thought this would be a good opportunity. The first two days were hard. We were 1/6 and 2/6 for the first two days. But at the end of the second day we seemed to have a break through, which Darryl and I needed for our sanity. Days 3 and 4 now have been much better. Of course now that I'm writing this who knows what will happen for the rest of the week, but I feel like we are on the course of being diaper free.

Well I hope all of you had a very merry Christmas. I hope Santa, or someone was good to you. But most of all I hope you got to have some good times with some good people.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Time

Work is winding down and our Christmas holidays are coming up. Not that we are going anywhere, but I'm looking forward to some fun quality time with my boys (all three of them) and my sister and all my big family. Even with all the work we have been keeping up with the "non chocolate" advent calendar. Here are some cute highlights:


Cookie making


Campout around the Christmas tree

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Working and more working.....

Well sorry for the lack of posts this week. I have been busy with the accreditation and for some crazy reason I picked up a bunch of extra shifts. Luckily three more days of work then I'm off for two weeks and oh how I'm looking forward to it. Even in the spare moments of the last week, I've spent them making cookies or buying presents. I have so much respect for those mothers who work full time. Working so much does make me grateful for the extra days I have to spend with my boys and my husband. Even the time to clean the house. The good part of it all was the hard work for accreditation payed off. And I'll have some extra money with the extra shifts. But I'm looking forward to a little balance back again.

Till next time

Jenn

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brothers...

Here are my two beautiful boys with their two blond heads.



Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Accreditation


Hopefully my hair won't look quite like this after the next 4 days. At work we are having the CMA (Canadian Medical Association) in to do a major review of the program. This only happens every 6 years. We have to prove we are doing a good job with the students. If we don't they could potentially shut us down. So much of it is depending on what other people say about the program.... so yeah hopefully my hair won't look like this.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Start of December

I'm traditionally known as quite the bahumbug about Christmas. I find it to be stressful and all about the gifts. I much prefer Thanksgiving, where you have the food and family and greatful-ness without the gifts. But as the boys get older I really enjoy Christmas. It's great to watch them get so excited about Santa and lights and cookies and the fun things we do. They make it magical again.

One of the fun things is the "non chocolate" advent calendar (as my sister nicknamed it) The boys do have a chocolate advent calendar but we also have an activity that we do everyday.
Sometimes it's something bigger, like skating and sometimes it's something smaller like have breakfast for dinner. It's fun to see the kids excitement over what we do each day.
They helped to put up the Christmas tree (Saturday's activity) and we loved singing one of the bedtime stories.

We have been all a bit under the weather and I have a major review at work next week, so we are all looking forward to a couple of weeks of enjoyable family time.



Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Lucas Skating

I don't really like skating. It's not my favourite winter sport. As a kid I usually spent most of my time hanging onto the edge of the boards. So when Lucas friend Elliot's grandma, who picks the boys up from school. Offered to take the boys skating once a week I was all for it. The grandma was telling us what a great job Lucas is doing, so Darryl who does like to skate took Lucas to our community centre where you can skate for free. Here's how he did:



Much better then I do on skates, and this is only his fourth time. Glad to see he picked up Darryl's gene of being good at pretty much anything he tries.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Friday, December 03, 2010

Bahamas: A funny misunderstanding.

Jenn: I won two free tickets to the Bahamas tomorrow night.
Darryl: what?
a call just came in claiming that?

Jenn: No it's the folk fest newsletter, they always give away free tickets.
I always try to win becuase I love free music.
This time I won.
The only problem is they are on really late.

Darryl: so the Bahamas are a band, not the island

Jenn: Yeah, sorry... guess I should have clarified.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Love Bombs

Not sure if you have heard about this new great thing that the internets are doing called a Love Bomb. Each week the Love Bomb team finds someone who is in need of.... love. The love bomb team sends out an e-mail with the website of the person who is in need and "the internets" all go the the website and make comments on their blogs. So someone who is going through a hard time suddenly gets hundreds of comments on their blog.

It is a great easy way to contribute to the good of the world. And it is a great reminder to appreciate everything you have.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

My Dad's the Coolest

Look at the cool tobogganing hill Darryl made with the slope beside our house. He piled up the snow and banks it around the fence and the playcenter. He is a really cool Dad.


Till Tomorrow

Jenn
video

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Weather

Today in Calgary we were the second coldest place on earth, only second two Antartica. That's right it was cold here then Siberia and the Artic and Alaska and all those all places you think of when you think of really cold places. It all started a week ago when the snow and cold hit with a vengeance. Outside we have about 5 feet of snow. When I woke up this morning, with the wind chill it was -40. Luckily on Thursday it will be -4, I can't remember the last time I was excited about -4. It's been at least a year =)

So we have been playing inside a lot. Tonight we were all coloring on the floor, later we did some karate moves (or I watched the boys do there karate moves). We also made more cards and I made a big batch of my favorite soup. We did go outside to go to swimming lessons, but we were well bundled. And spent a lot of time in the hot tub at the pool too.

One of the worst parts of the horrible weather and snow is the driving. I have spent a lot of time in my vanigan over the last week. It sucks because it takes up time for other fun stuff I usually do, like exercising and playing with the kids. Kudos to all of those who job it is to clear the roads. Once the snow finally stopped I noticed a real difference in the ice on the roads.

So that's the big news over here for the last week..... although I wish it wasn't....

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Party Weekend

What a really fun weekend we had. On Saturday we went to my cousins wedding. We took the boys with us and it was cool to see there excitement. They saw a princess, went shopping downtown and danced their hearts out. I couldn't believe how much they danced. And they were so good at it. Kudos to Lesley for all their great dance moves. We went with Auntie Karen too, who is so so fun. Sometimes I forget how fun she is, but she makes those boys laugh with no props just sitting at a table.




It was great to see my uncle as a grandparent too. The couple who got married had a little 2 year old, who is my uncle's grandaughter.



Today we had my work kids Christmas party. It was so fun for Nathan. He had a sword balloon made and sat on Santa's lap.



Then this evening we had my mom's birthday dinner. I made lasagna and it was delicious and mom brought a fantastic bottle of red wine from 2003. Then I made a fantastic birthday cake. The kind of cake that is so good, you don't need icing for it. And it was super easy. Here's the recipe:
1 cake mix
1 pudding mix (instant)
1 cup of apple sauce or oil
1 cup of sour cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup of warm water
2 cups of chocolate chips

Mix all of it together and bake at 350 for 50-55min.

See, super easy and I made it fairly healthy (as healthy as cake can be) with fat free sour cream and apple sauce rather then oil.
Love Lucas's face in this one. Getting ready to blow out the candles. Just had to post it.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn










Thursday, November 18, 2010

Abc pooh pooh

Nathan's Newest Video. Injecting his favorite funny word into a song.



Jenn

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November Newsletter

Hi Boys,

This month is another combined newsletter. I wonder how you will feel about these newsletter when you are grown? I hope you are able to look back and read these and see how life was and see how much I love you. This month I didn't get a letter done for Nathan so I'm going to combine them. You spend a lot of time together. You are really really good friends. The talking and the playing happens all the time. Which in turn means there is also some fighting and not getting along. But most of the time you two are the best of friends.




Nathan you are talking a lot. Sometimes you'll repeat a word over and over. Sometimes you'll repeat every phrase I say. You've started to say funny words to, like "actually". Just like Lucas does. You are still having trouble with certain constanants, but most of your speech has come a long way.


Your favourite thing lately has been airplanes. We have an airplane book that we read most nice. You love to pick up Pop at the airport and we go and watch the airplanes come in. You talk every day about going on an airplanes. Whether it's to go see Aunt Lori or Grammie or go with Auntie Karen or Grandma. You are really wanting to go on an airplane. Next year baby... next year



As for you Lucas, things are continuing on quite hunky dory. You are still loving school. It is usually your favourite part of the day. You love Mrs. McKenna, your teacher. We have been talking lots about bullying and being nice to people. Luckily you are a really nice kid in the first place so we don't have to talk about it very much.



You have been more willing to try new things. Tomorrow you are going skating, which you were not interested in last winter. And you want to try skiing this winter. You have also become more willing to eat different foods. The other day we had stomput and you ate so fast, when last time we had it you didn't like it.


You love playing with Lego. Which thrills Darryl to no end. Most days on the weekend, when Nathan goes for his nap you want to go downstairs and play Lego. You love to build ships and play with them. You are also really enjoying spending time with your friends. We organize more play dates with them and you love playing with Matt and Shaun still too.



The other night, Nathan was sick, so to help us both sleep I brought him into bed with me. Later on in the evening Lucas you woke up with a bad dream. You were both in bed with me and I was the meat in your boy sandwich. It was so peaceful to hear you both breathing. I slept great.


Well boys, may the fun continue into next month. Christmas is coming and I'm looking forward to seeing all of the joy and excitement on your face for the season.

love you both

love mommy

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Weekend..... So Far



It's so nice to have four days off. Especially when my sister comes for the weekend. We are also dog sitting so Emma is so happy. Both of the dogs have been outside with slobbery ears. It's funny to watch dogs play. Emma is the female smaller dog, but because we are at her house and she is older, she is still the dominant dog. She easily get Tails on his back. The other interesting part about watching them play is that they always try to get each others ears. Must be a sensitive part on dogs.

The other fun part so far is that my sister is here. My sister does come home fairly often, but this time I get her all to myself. Today, by her request, we went to Banff. It was really fun. I haven't been to Banff is quite a while. They have lots of unique shops there. We also went to Old Spagetti Factory for lunch which is delicious and such a good deal. We also went and walked up tunnel mountain.



Hope everyone is enjoying their weekends too!

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tigger

This morning we had to put one of our cats, Tigger down. She has lost a lot of weight over the last couple of months and has had diarrhea for the last two weeks. They figure she has colon cancer and won't take anything orally to help it. So after lots of crying and talking we decide it was best for her to go up to kitty heaven.


She was a great cat, who would sleep between our pillows every night.


She loved Darryl to no end. She would come when he called her.


She purred and meowed alot.


She was also the boss of the house.


If all the animals were hungry she would be the one to eat first.


She was unique because of her orange coloring


She loved to eat, for most of her life she was a big cat.


She will be missed not only by her animal family but by her people family and all the people who loved her.

Rest in peace Tigger.

Jenn

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Book Review: The Help


I just finished a fantastic book. It's been a while since I've read a book that is so good I stay up late at night reading it. Where I wonder if I should watch the latest TV show or read the book.

Help is the story of 3 women in Mississippi, in the in 60's. One white women and two black maids "The Help". Each chapter is written from one of the women point of view. I really like have multiple narrators in a story. In the chapters that are narrated by the black women when they speak it is written just like you can imagine they would say it 'shoo nuff' and they use the word 'law' instead of damn.

The story line has a lot to do with civil rights and how life was for the black women working as maids for the white women and how poorly they were treated. I found that to be so interesting. Although I know racism is still around, I don't feel like I it's something I think about very much. It wasn't that long ago that it was so prevalent in our day to day life, especially in the southern states. It was a book that made me think and made me laugh.

It was so well written. I couldn't wait to finish but was so sad when it ended. The characters will stay with me for a while.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Love.....

I've been working and going out lots this week. I rushed home tonight from a going away party to see them before they fell asleep. They were both so happy to see me (as was Emma) and we talked and cuddled for a while. I love those boys so much....

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Happy Halloween





Hope yours was a fun one. Ours here was good. The weather wasn't too cold which was great. And although Nathan got quite scared part of the way through it was still a fun night. One of the houses we went to had a hand in the bowl and when you put your hand in to get a candy, the fake hand came down on you. That totally spooked Nathan, he was not reaching into any bowls after that. =)

Here is my scary ninja dinosaur.





Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Christmas Cards

Edited to Add: Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

For the last couple of years we have been using Shutterfly for our Christmas cards. Although one year I wasn't really on the ball so it ended up being a Happy New Year card rather then a Christmas card. I really like the Shutterfly cards becuase the are so unique. Rather then one picture on top and a greeting below, like most photo companies do, Shutterfly has so many designs that you can have a collage of photos. I love that people get to see lots of things we have been upto rather then just one photo. Last year I include a Halloween picture of the boys and a picture of mom and I doing our triathalon. There designs are also so beautiful. They use beautiful colors and beautiful sayings. Here are some of my favourites from this year.





If you are looking for a creative and beautiful Christmas card this year, I would highly recommend Shutterfly

TIll Tomorrow

Jenn

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A New Calgary Find

For the last couple of months we have been picking up my dad at the airport, as he is working a lot out of town. Nathan is loving it because his favourite thing lately is airplanes. When we drive there sometimes it is hard to get in the left turn lane so I have to drive through the lights and turn around at the next intersection. I've realized though that the next intersection is a viewing area to watch airplanes land. There is a nice parking lot with picnic tables where we can sit and watch planes land and take off. It's called the Edward H LaBorde Viewing area. I've looked on the internet and there is not a lot of information about it. But here is a map of where it is.




It is a great spot to watch airplanes if you and your kids enjoy them.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

I can tell the boys are getting older. For the last couple of years we have just gotten one pumpkin and carved it. Neither of the boys want to get their hands dirty, and they get bored of the pumpkin carving pretty quickly. But this year the boys are getting older and we got pumpkins for all of us. They still didn't want to get their hands dirty (a la Darryl) but they had a lot of fun colouring the pumpkins. Here are our works of art.



Darryl's work of art. He takes pumpkin carving to a new level



All of the pumpkins
The shirtless boys and the pumpkins.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monthly Newsletter: 61 months

Dear Lucas,

This week you had your 62 monthly birthday. Which is 5 and 2 months. You are becoming more and more responsible. I really feel like are getting older. I'll leave you to play in the back yard for a bit. Or if I ask you to put on your shoes, I know for sure you'll do it. Or help me clear the table, you are becoming very responsible.


We had a crappy month as we went back to Ontario for Uncle Ian's funeral. I didn't know how you would react to it. At first I wasn't really sure you understood what was happening, but one night we were having one of our conversations and I knew you did. I said "tomorrow we are going on an airplane" You kicked your feet with excitement. I said "You will have to be good though, as we are going to be around all of daddy's family". You said " Everyone, but Uncle Ian" and I said yeah "everyone but Uncle Ian". I've got to say you were so good throughout the weekend. You seem to have a good ability to access a situation and know how to act. You have enough wisdom at 5 to look at a situation and follow the lead of most people.

School continues to go really well for you. I had a interview with your teacher and she hit the nail on the head about you. She said, you are always taking everything in, always learning. She gave an example of you and sorting. There are a whole bunch of small animals that you are suppose to sort. So you "super" sorted them. You didn't just sort the turtles into one group, but sorted all the different kind of turtles. Turtles, leather-back sea turtles, tortoises etc. Glad to see that all the zoo visits and books you were taking in all the information.



You are also in swimming lessons this fall. It is also going really well. You can dive down to the bottom of the pool. And although I won't let you swim in the big pool by yourself yet you probably could. You love swimming, when swimming lessons are done. You swim to the edge of the pool till you have to get out. Just like school, you are a really good student in all situations.

You and Nathan are continuing to play together more. It is so nice for you to have a brother to play with. You guys tonight made up this game called "turrets" which were like a kind of bomb that you guys would run around and destroy. You also played a rousing match of Hungry Hippos together. You love to make him laugh. Which makes you laugh, which makes him laugh and it continues on and on.


Grammie came since the last newsletter too. You were so thrilled about that visit. You followed her around like you were her shadow. Of course she ate it up. She would sit in your room in the evenings and Daddy would read both of you James and the Giant peach. She would play with you and pull the wagon when walking you to school. You would ask for her to come up for extra hugs after we left your room. You really enjoyed her company and took to her quickly.


Lucas you are a really good kid. I'm so proud to call you my son (Keep that up =)

love mommy