Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best of 2011 Video

video
2011 has been a good year.  We got to go on lots of fun vacations,  Europe with Alexis, San Francisco with Darryl and Vancouver with Lori and Mackenzie.   The boys are at a really good ages, they can do most things for themselves and so are not totally dependent on us, but still love to spend time with us.  Lucas is at an age where he is learning new things and that is very fun to watch.  Although it can also be very hard to watch too.  But in all instances it has taken time but he figures it out.  I guess that is the joy of kids, they are resilient and always bounce back.    Here is some of the best pictures of the year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas 2011

Well as quick as it comes up, it is gone again. It was fun and uneventful and filled with all the luck and love that is in my life. I really am a lucky person to have such a great family. And when my house is filled with noise and happiness and laughter that is the best present I could ask for. Here are some of the picture highlights of Christmas day:
This picutre is Lucas and Nathan playing Nathan's new leapster.  Although I think Lucas has played it more then Nathan, Nathan usually watches so hopefully he is learning by watching and will play with it more as the year goes on. 

Of course one of the big stories this year was Steve Jobs passing. Darryl got the book for Christmas but I think everyone in the room wants to read it. 
 We got lots of Lego for Christmas, as it is Darryl and the boys favorite thing.  Here is the boys and Pop doing some building on Christmas morning.
Alexis has moved back to town and we are all so happy to have her around again.  Although no one quite as happy as mom, to have her best friend close to her.


One of my favorite presents was my new ukelele.  It's purple!  Here Lucas is playing it. 

Here's a picture of the adult table at Christmas dinner and below is the kids table.  With there plastic wine glasses and fake wine.


There was some video conferencing with Uncle Arnie and Aunt Lucille. 
And Matt hanging out with his favorite teaser
And myself, Darryl and Tammy cleaning up after dinner.
And Alexis's turn to build some lego
And the boys turn to build some Lego. 

I hope you all had a fun Christmas filled with love and laughter and good food.

Till Next Time

Jenn

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

November Round Up

By god, two posts in two days!  While posting about Torin today it reminded me I hadn't done my November roundup. 

That being said, maybe there's a reason.  As I went through the pictures of November I saw there was very few.  November is my least favorite of all the months.  Blah, it's dark here will 8am and then it gets dark again at 4:30.  But here is the a quick update on things we did do:

We have been attending swimming lessons which is going well for both boys.  Lucas was put in a more advanced class, so even though he's not the best in the class, he's being pushed more, which is a good thing for him.  He is working on both his front crawl and back crawl, plus diving in. 



We did go to some birthday parties and Christmas parties.  Which was lots of fun.  Nice for the boys to get out and have some fun and exercise.

I did go for a job interview which was a good experience as I haven't done that in a while. Although the idea of the job did consume my thoughts for 4 days straight. 

The boys are both doing well, Lucas has got more use to school which is good.  Nathan continues to be his funny self.   They continue to love Phineus and Ferb and oatmeal and chicken and guns and their imaginations and their Dad (especially Lucas, who wants to spend every evening playing videogames with Darryl.)

Till Next Time

Jenn




Monday, December 05, 2011

Torin

On Friday we had to put Torin down.  About a week before he stopped eating and when we took him into the vet we had blood work done and saw that his kidney's had stopped functioning.  As most of you know, you can't function without kidneys so we knew his days were numbered.  He continued to go downhill to the point where he was barely responding to us.  We knew he was suffering with not eating and so we talked to talked to the vet and decided it was best to send him off to kitty heaven.

Torin was a great cat.   He was the super friendly one.  He loved to be outside and would make friends with anyone outside (or inside if they came in).  He was the one who played with the kids and the one you could


 He was also very photogenic.

 And him and Emma were quite good friends.  They would play together all the time.  At first I use to worry about it as Emma is a dog, and bigger, but Torin had the claws and had no problem using them if he needed them.  I think Emma will miss Torin as much as the rest of us.  Just having that presence in the house. 

 Torin also had no problem sleeping right on us.  Or sleeping right in my face


Just over a year ago we said goodbye to Tigger.  She was a great cat and it was really hard to make that decision and the decision with Torin was just as hard.   The house feels empty without him here.  When Tigger died we still had a cat around and there was the cat presence.  Now there is no cat and I can really feel it. 

Till Next Time

Jenn

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

October Round Up

I just read over September Roundup to see how this month went and I see October was so much better then September.  My balance of work/home life was better, Lucas got better in school and the weather still stayed beautiful.

Things for Lucas have really improved over the month as well.  He was struggling with getting his work done in class.  We met with the teacher and we both suspected it was more of a confidence issue then a focus issue, as he's never had issues with being distracted before.  We worked at home with him trying to get him to write french words and Nathan and I would distract him or we would put the TV on and he'd still have to write a certain number of words in a certain amount of time.  I would make the time quite long to be sure he was always done in the time frame, again to boost his confidence.   Things at school have been steadily improving for him as well.  We have gotten a couple of notes home from the teacher when he has a really good day or writes quickly.  Even last week he put his hand up and answered questions in french.  Darryl had volunteered in the class the week before and commented on how Lucas didn't really participate.  But it's good to see that is improving as well.  We have also been working on speaking lots of french at home and he is reading to us in french.  He has learned so much and I am so so so so proud of him.  He has done a hard thing and came through it with really positive results. 

We did have Thanksgiving this year, but it was kind of a weird weekend.  I usually LOVE Thanksgiving.  It's my favorite holiday.  It has the good food like Christmas but not the commercialism.  And it reminds you to be thankful for all the wonderful things in life.  Well this year there was no turkey and most people went away.   It was fun to have a weekend alone with my sister and Auntie Karen came to have dinner with us too, but it just wasn't the same as having a house full of people and Darryl making turkey.   Although like I said I do treasure the weekends when my sister is down and I get her all to myself, so that was fun. 

We have been enjoying some fun family time too.  The boys are in a good age that we don't need naps anymore so we can go out and do something for most of the day.  Sometimes it's hiking or swimming.  One weekend this month it was Heritage Park.   Where I got some fun pictures of the boys.  We ate from the bakery.  Rode the train, fed the animals, played with the leaves, ran in the field and went on the rides.  It was fun. 







 Last night was Halloween and that was (as usual) really fun too.  The boys both dressed up as ninja's and I was a lion.  With my hair that's pretty easy to pull off.  The boys got lots of candy and there were quite a few kids here too.




 




Hope everyone else is enjoying fall too. 

Till next time

Jenn

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nathan... lately


3 years old has been very fun.  We did go through a couple of weeks of the terrible 3's about a month ago.  Nathan wasn't listening and being a pain and whiny and crying.  But that lasted all of about 4 days and now he is back to his happy self.  That's one of the consisent things about Nathan is that he has always been a really happy kid.

One of the funny things in the last couple of weeks has been his imagination.  We play beach day and Lucas pretends he is Nathan's puppy.   I'm loving this stage where he is still my baby but he is so fun and sweet.


Another funny thing he is doing is that every game we play or anything he shows me is something he learned from a birthday party.    Really he's only been to maybe 3 birthday parties in his whole life.  So it's funny that every food was something he "tried at a birthday party".  Or every game he's played is one "he learned at a birthday party."   Those must be some pretty eventful birthday parties.

Here is a cute video of him from last weekend.  He's got the moves down to be a guitar player now he just needs the technical skills.



video Till Next Time Jenn

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs died today. And although I never knew him, I'm sad. It's sad that someone who was such a visionary won't be able to give us any more of his ideas. And they were such grand ideas.

My mom and dad were early adopters of Apple Computers. We have had one in my house since I can remember. We had computers before anyone else I knew. My dad loved them. They were his hobby. Darryl sent out this picture a couple of months ago and this was my Dad's response.


Well I was a little older than that when I saw the first Macintosh 
If this truly is the earliest model I believe it was 128 K 
It was a rare expensive $3500 computer that you just could not purchase 
My first "mac" was 512K It brought us years of enjoyment 
And tought us that there was greater good beyond the realm of bill gates and the pc 
And note that I did not capitalize the letters on purpose 
My favorite game was dark castle 
And the evil one was the black knight who was a bear drinking swine that threw bear steins at everyone 
I learned excel on that mac 
Sniff sniff

After about the age of 13 we had more computers in our house then people. And they were all Macs.

One of the first purschase I made when I moved away from home was my beloved purple iMac. That computer was beautiful. And it was fast and it did all the things I wanted it too. That is one of the greatest parts about Apple is all you really need to do is take it out of the box, plug it is, start it up and it works. Whether it's an iphone or a MacBook Pro



Now I spent most nights with my latest best buddy, my 13 inch macbook. This is my second one. The first one died after 4 years, lots of sticky fingers and a cup of grapefruit water split all over it. Macs are great, I've been convinced of that since I was 2. Thanks for everything Steve Jobs, you were a genius and you have helped to make my life more fulfilled and fun.

Till Next Time

Jenn

Sunday, October 02, 2011

September RoundUp

Well this month was a challenge for all of us.  I had two weeks this month where I worked more then full time, which is hard for me because I usually only work part time.  But I agree to extra shifts and some extra duties so 2 of the 4 weeks of September were totally out of balance.


The other really hard part of this month has been school for Lucas.  He is having a really hard time adjusting to grade one as well as all of changes that came with grade one.  He went from half a day, English, catholic walk to school, school and now it's full days, french immersion, public and on bus.   Like I said it has been a really hard month with all the changes.  I posted already that I knew it was going to a challenge, but there have been many tears shed by both myself and Lucas this month.  I think the hardest part for him is how long the days are.    The first day of school when he saw me, he burst into tears.  I hugged him and he said to me "It's no fair mom that we got to spend the whole summer together and now I have to be apart from you for so long."  It made me start to cry too and say " I agree Lucas it's no fair".  But he also has trouble with the french and not having any good friends with him.   I asked him after the first week how it was compared to kindergarten.  He said "It's so different mom.  The teacher doesn't even speak english."  It's been quite hard on me too because I could fix it in a moment for him.  I could switch him back to the school that he was in last year, but in my head I know that is not the right thing for Lucas or for all of us.   But to hear him cry or be so anxious that he can't get his work done, or that he gets stomach aches or doesn't want to go to school, it all just breaks my heart.   When I talk to people though who know Lucas and know the situation they all agree that french immersion is a really good idea for him, so I don't want to just fix it for him, but I want to teach him how to cope and deal with the situations presented to him.   We did meet with his teacher and she gave him and us some suggestions.  On the good side it is AMAZING to me how much he already knows.  And his pronunciation is so good, I'm so proud of him.  And I'm loving that we are all speaking french more to help him.  It's good for all of us (even Spanish speaking Nathan).    But if anyone has any other suggestions on how to help kids deal with anxiety, I'd love to hear them.


On the good side the weather has been so great.   Most of the month the weather has been between 15 and 25.  Which means lots of outdoor time.  Here is one night when Pop was out playing soccer with the kids. 



Today we headed to the mountains to enjoy the one (maybe two) weekends of fall we have here in Calgary. I do miss the beautiful fall that they have in Ontario. But before the snow and cold comes here we were outside enjoying it. Lucas did a fantastic job and hiked 8km all by himself.  Emma was so happy too.  I don't think we will need to give her the pills tomorrow as she will be so tired.  






The boys have been continuing to get along really well.  Now that Lucas is back in school and they are not together so so much when they do play together they usually have lots of fun.   The new thing that they have both become crazy about is Phineus and Ferb.  Which is a Disney TV show about two brothers.  Darryl even enjoys it too.


It was also my birthday!!  Oma and Opa came down and Mom and Tammy and Darryl made me a fantastic dinner.  I also went and got my hair done and straightened. 

Till Next Time Jenn

Friday, September 30, 2011

Nathan knows Spanish

Things have been kind of tough around here lately as Lucas is having a hard time adjusting to grade one.  But the good thing is Nathan is just the same and makes us laugh.  Here is our converstation at the dinner table tonight.

Nathan: I know Spanish
Me: Oh yeah, what words do you know in Spanish?
Nathan: Sasanfra
Me: Oh yeah, what does that mean?
Nathan (while looking around at the table): Chair
Me: Really, what about plate do you know that word
Nathan: Yep..... tresipa
Me: Treispa, nice.  What about eat?
Nathan: Yep I know that one too.  (thinking)  Hesires
Me: Wow, you are really good.  Lucas will be speaking french and you can be speaking Spanish
Nathan: Yep, I know. 

All the talk of different languages, Nathan is making up his own (he just calls it Spanish)

Till the monthly round up

Jenn

Saturday, September 03, 2011

August Round Up

The second month of summer has been super fun.  It started with our trip to Vancouver with Lori and Mackenzie, which was fun and enjoyable to go on vacation with them.  We got home on a Sunday and Monday Darryl and I were back to work, Nathan to Lesley's and Lucas did a week of YMCA camp.    He really enjoyed the camp, although as posted in the previous post it did take him a little bit to get use to it.   But he loved the swimming (one way he is certainly my kid)  On Saturday was his birthday party.  This year Lucas asked for a reptile party. So we invited a couple of his friends over and had the reptile guy come and teach the kids about reptiles. It was...... interesting. There was a 9 foot boa in my living room!  But I was okay with that.... really I was. =)
Playing Elephant Soccer before the reptile guy.

All the kids watching and intrigued. 

Petting one of the snakes

The 9 foot boa!
  After the kid birthday party we had an adult birthday party.  Where as usual Auntie Karen brough the most creative gifts and one gift that her and Lucas had to open in the bathroom.  It's always some sort of trick gift.  This year it was a whoopie cushion.  Which the boys laughed about for hours and hours. 

She also brought a pirate board

And Auntie Lexie made the snake cake
Then things quieted down for a bit.  My students all graduated and became bonfided x-ray technologists.  Which was very exciting.   Then after that Tammy and I did our triathalon.  This year we did it in Strathmore, in a pool.  So my swim time was excellent.  I also got slicks for my bike (which are skinny tires) so I thought my bike time would be great but the wind got me (and my lack of practice).  All in all I was happy to finish, and happy to have someone to train with me. 




How was your August?

Jenn