Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: The video recap

Ahh, time flies when you are having fun.   It's interesting to go back and look at this same post from 2012 and it really doesn't feel like another year has gone by.  As I said last year we are in the glory days of our lives and the days are filled with lots of fun times.  It's busy and has it's ups downs, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  We were lucky that everyone was happy and healthy this year and there were no major issues. 

2014 looks like more of the same.  I've been debating my new years resolutions, but will post them tomorrow and progress on my 2013 resolutions. 

video

My favorite memory of 2013... ahh so many... hard to pick just one.  Our family vacation to California was so so fun.  Even though I made the most expensive mistake I have ever made, it ended up being one of my greatest mistake too.   Also as you can see from the video our trips to Kelowna and Sandpoint this summer were highlights too. 

My biggest regret of 2013 was that I didn't do the first run I had signed up for.  It was my first ever and I have no good excuse for not doing it.  I sat at home and was disapointed in myself the whole day (and really the whole year) for not doing it.  Luckily it is back next year and I am definitly signing up and doing it.  No. matter. what.   Luckily though I did more runs and ran more this year then I ever have in my life.  2013 was the year I became a runner. 

2013 was also the year I learned to golf and had many fun nights out with my mom, Karen and Tammy in our own ladies league.   It was also the year we started picking different family activities each weekend.  It was also the year we started big family baseball games. 

I hope everyone else had a wonderful 2013 too!

Till Tomorrow

Jenn


Sunday, December 08, 2013

Super Awesome

I don't think I talk often enough about how super awesome my husband is.  He makes delicious food, is a great dad to our two boys and is very creative.  He is in Ontario now sharing his greatness with his family, but I really missed his banana pancakes this morning.    I wanted to brag and give two good examples of his creativeness, from the last month alone.
First is our Halloween Pumpkins.  While he doesn't like to get his hands gucky he does love to carve pumpkins.  This was this years pumpkins and you can see the bottom one is his.  For those of you who don't have 5-12 year old boys it's a creeper from mine craft.  


And on Friday night I got this picture of the cool snowflakes the boys were making at home.Do you see Yoda and Darth Vader and Storm Troopers?  Isn't that super cool. 

As many would say, I married well.

Till Next Time

Jenn

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

November Round Up

November is always challenging as the days are very short.  I miss the sun and the vitamin D it provides, but since I've had a couple of sad Novembers I try to do things to fun things in the month.  We are pretty well in a routine for November too.  Activites are all well established.  Karate and swimming nights are well known as our school days vs. weekends.  

Both boys are doing very well with the routine.  Sometimes there are disagreements about homework or swimming lessons, but in general they are both thriving in school and at home.  Lucas is doing well in leadership club and had to read a school announcment and was part of the Remembrance Day assemby too.  It's amazing how that kid has grown and become a leader in his school. 

We continue with the each person getting to pick their activity on the weekend.  So in November  we went to the Glenbow Muesum, which was Darryl and Nathan's first experience.  It is a really nice museum.  Lucas has been there for a couple time with school and I've been lucky to join them.  Lucas wanted to show Darryl and Nathan their large rock collection which we all enjoyed.   But the best part was the "80s in Calgary' section where they taught us how to break dance.  At first the boys were shy but once I got into it (even though I wasn't good) they started to participate more and loved it.

video



The next weekend was Nathan's turn to pick and surprisngly enough he choose bowling.  The same thing he chooses most weekends.  =)

Tammy and I also did our freezing cold run in the dark.  Good thing I am a seeker of adventure cause that certainly was!

But the highlight of the month for sure was visiting Edmonton and my good friend Jodie.    We headed up on a Friday and got to the legislature for the last tour.    It was great as all the school kids were gone so we got our own personal tour. We learned a lot about the history of Alberta and it's governenment.  It was very informative and Darryl, Lucas and I really enjoyed it.  Plus Nathan didn't show his boredom too badly.  (wink wink)


Afterwards we headed out to dinner and then to our hotel.  The hotel had a waterslide that the kids loved so they used up lots of energy on that.    On the Saturday, after waking up on very hard beds, we headed to the Science Center in Edmonton to the Harry Potter Exhibt.  It was very informative and Lucas and Darryl really enjoyed looking at all the costumes and props used in the movies.  The Edmonton Science center was really good too.    Very kid friendly.



After that we headed to my friend Jodies "farm" outside of Wetasakwin.  As usual it was great to see her and her husband Chris.  They got a new (and big) dog Scout, which the boys loved.  We had great food and wine, played Scattegories which Jodie kicked all of our butts at (unlike cards, that is not her forte).  The next day was snow rides with their ATV and getting the warm sun on our faces and beautiful fresh air.    It was great to chat with them and they were wonderful hosts. 

Sometimes I feel like our weekends are spent shopping, playdates, birthday parties, working, cooking, cleaning, video games and TV with not a lot of quality family time in their.  I also recognize that these are the "glory days" and in not too long the kids won't want to hang out with us, so it's important to capitilize on these times and that's what the weekend was.  Before it started I wasn't too sure about it, spending money to go to Edmonton, usually I would claim to save it for a bigger vacation.  But it was such a good time; informative for the kids, lots of good laughs and food and fun times.  Well worth it. 
Hope everyone had a great November and had happy moments in the lack of sun.

Jenn

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Running

I have done 3 sprint triathalons in my life.  It was on my life list as something to complete, I always loved swimming and biking and I did the running becuase that was part of it, but I never loved the running.  Honestly I barely did the running, I did mostly walking and a bit of running.  But over the years I've started running and running more.  I've gone through 3 pairs of running shoes with the running. 

I usually run once a week with Tammy, sometimes twice, but usually just once.  Usually about 4-5 km each time.  But there have been times in the last while when I think to myself "By god I am a runner".  A couple of weeks ago I woke up on a Saturday and it was starting to snow.  A couple of years ago i would have thought "oh good it's snowing I don't have to run', but when I woke up that morning I thought "oh crap I better get running, so I can get my run in'.  And then on Saturday I ran a run I had signed up for and I went and ran 8 km.  That is the longest I have ever run!  Plus it was snowing and -15 degrees, and although I complained about it all day, the run was really fun.  I dressed properly and had great company. 

Who would have guessed.... I'm a runner. 

Jenn

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nathan's Bad Dream

This morning Nathan wakes around 6:30, crying.  I go in and he says he has a bad dream.

Mom: Oh that's too bad, what was your bad dream about?
Nathan: I was locked out
Mom: Oh, locked out of where?
Nathan: The dance floor
Mom: Yeah that is hard to be locked off the dance floor. 

Till Next Time

Jenn

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October Round Up

October is always a pretty good month.  I feel a bit more settled after the craziness of September.  Not that October is less crazy then September, but I (and all of us) get more use to the routine then in September when it's still a shock to the system. 

Nathan has gotten more use to  his new routine with going to the neighbors and going to school.  He is starting to understand and speak some french words. 

Lucas is also really enjoying school, he loves science and wants to decorate his room with rocks which is what their science classes have been about. 

We have done a couple of fun family activites this month too.  Thanks giving weekend we went to Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump.  If was very interesting to see the history in this part of the world.   Here are the boys at head smashed in buffalo jump. 
We have also had an unseasonably warm and long fall.  Usually in Calgary we have fall for about a weekend or two and then in snows.  The snow doesn't usually stay, but it makes the leaves fall off all the trees and the air feel more chilled.  But this year it's snowed on October 27th, so we had almost a month to enjoy the fall.  And we totally took advantage of it.  Lots of playing outside and fires with friends. 

 
I also had opportunities to do more running this fall and one day I even biked to work.

Our other big "adventure" this month was Lucas getting his braces. All of this orthodontic work he has had this past 3 months has been a big learning curve for us.  I've learned about what Lucas's favorite soft foods are, how his mouth can ache, what medicine works best for him, how he can eat very slowly and different ways he can brush his teeth.  It is challenging to watch your kid in pain especially when it's your decision that are causing it.



Every year the boys have a Halloween dance at school, last year it was Darryl and Nathan who were matching and this year it was Darryl and I who coordinated with our Batman and Robin costumes. 


Hope you had a good October as well!

Jenn






Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Leadership club

Lucas came home the other day with a letter from the principal, congratulating Lucas and his parents that Lucas was selected for Leadership Club.   There are 1 or 2 students chosen from each class by their teachers.  The criteria is: a student who takes initiative, is a natural leader, creative and artistic, make announcements, has a fair to above average reading level and a student who wants to makes a difference. 

Lucas was very proud of himself, and Darryl and I were so proud of him.  I remember nights sitting in his room after he had been upset or crying.  Or days when he was having anxiety attacks at school.  We taught him many breathing technques and questioned taking him to a counsellor to see if they could help him work through it.  Thinking and wondering if we were doing the right thing for him.  I could have so quickly made the decision to change him back to english school to make it all better for him.  That's a hard thing about parenting is you as the parent make these decisions for your kids, thinking and hoping it's the right one.  And sometimes it's really hard for the kid and you know it's you who is inflicting this pain on them.  But you stick with it because you think it is the right decision.  Lucas has been really good with school for quite some time now, but I never knew how choosing french immersion and the challenges he had in grade one would effect him in the long term.  Would he always suffer from anxiety? All those times I've taken him on adventures and they have made him nervous would he never want to go on adventures as he grew up?  What kind of effect did the decisions I made for him effect him in the long run?

But seeing that letter in his backpack, made me feel better.  He's a quiet kid, but starting to show leadership qualities.  He is starting to participate more and tell his own stories.  Those hard times have made him stronger, not weaker.   We are doing okay at guiding his path. 

Till next time

Jenn

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Under where??

A funny story from this summer I thought I should document so it's in this space forever. 

The last week of the summer we hang out and get ready for school.  We have also had Lucas's friend Elliot over so they can get in some serious playtime before school starts again and they only see each other on the weekends.  That week I need to do a big grocery shop so that we have everything for lunches as we have long since ran out of that stuff.  So I took all three boys to the store, which wasn't bad till the last part when I had to make them walk because of all the groceries I was buying.  So they are hanging of the cart, doing crazy things and generally being 5 and 8 year old boys, who are driving their mom crazy. 

So we get to the till and I try to make a race of getting the stuff on the converyor belt so that we can get the heck out of there.  At one point Lucas grabbed a bag of apples that must have been upside down and apples went EVERYWHERE!  In the surrounding ailes and under other peoples carts.  The lovely 50ish year old lady behind us is trying to help the giggling boys running around trying to gather the apples.  She says "there's one under there"  and point under a display.  "Under where?" I say.  Which makes the boys laugh so hard.  Nathan is doubled over he's laughing so hard.  The lady asks what is so funny.  I say " I said the words under where, which if you are a 8 year old boy you think is hilarious.  She smiled and said, " of course.  It's been a while since I've been around 8 year old boys".

Hope that's a smile for today.

Jenn

Monday, September 16, 2013

September... always starts with a bang. Oh and chapter 18 of the Emma story

As usual September starts with a bang.  I think part of it is that summer is so relaxed and then in one day lunches and waking up early and going to school and making dinners and swimming lessons and karate and OSCE and working and traffic.  Makes for a busy two weeks.  Then we start to get into the groove again and we treasure the weekends and we drink more tea and we read more and we get back into the routine.  I love the summer and not having a routine, but I'm okay to get back into it too. 

First both boys have started in the same school now.  Nathan is still half days but it's nice that Lucas is there to help him with some parts.  Lucas is really liking his teacher, but they made 5 split class of grades 3/4.  He was disappointed his best friend Henry wasn't in his class, but that quickly turned around when he saw he had another friend in the class.  So things have been smooth sailing for him ever since. 


Nathan on the other hand is still adjusting.... it's all been quite new for him.  He goes to the neighboors house now and not Lesley and kindergarten is something new for him too.  He seems to be enjoying each aspect, just not changing between the different parts.  Slowly though he is making friends and feeling more comfortable with it.  But there are still tears.  I was talking to Alexis about it the other day and while the tears break my heart and when he whispers in my ear "i don't want to go, I just want to stay with you", I'm still trying to appreciate the stage that he wants to be with me and that I am his favorite person to be with.  I'm sure as he continues to get more use to it, the tears will be replaced with excitiment. 


Lastly Emma.... she does continue to do well and is glad to be back to hanging out with Auntie Karen again.  Emma thrives on routine, so she is very happy it's September.  Although one night the first week of school Darryl and I sleeping and are awoken by a horrendous smell.  And a smell has to be bad to wake you out of a slumber.   Darryl then realizes that he left Emma outside when we went to bed and let her out to pee.  Of course Emma has been sprayed by a skunk.  Darryl in his sleepy stupor lets her in the house and makes her sleep on her bed at the front door.  But the smell is just atrocious!  Neither of us can sleep it is so bad.  So I go on facebook and message Lori and as it is 4am here, not sure if she'll be up or be in the midst of getting out the door we also google what to do.  Luckily the answer was there and we took her to the garage with peroxide, baking soda and soap to make a paste to scrub her down.  Once she was scrubed and the dog bed was thrown out the smell aired out fairly quickly and we were able to fall back asleep.  Of course now Emma has a new name "black dog with brown ear", as the peroxide bleached  some of her hair and now she is a dog of many colors. 

Till Next time

Jenn






Sunday, September 01, 2013

Summertime 2013

Even though my job is really crazy sometimes and often keeps me thinking and working at times when I should not be, it has some great perks.  And one of those is the vacation time.  Which means I have the majority of the summer off to hang out with my boys.  I love the days of summer, staying up and sleeping in.  Not having a plan or structure.  And while I'm happy to have structure for 10 months of the year, I do love having the two months of very little structure.

This summer has been filled with many of the same things other summers are filled with:




Stampede parade and Stampede Parties,
 

Kelowna both with Darryl and Auntie Karen

 
and then again with our best friends,


And Lucas's birthday celebration


And gardening


And Calgary Folk Fest to see Alabama Shakes.

We also found some new traditions like Okotoks Dawgs baseball games and family baseball games





And road trips by the Coulee Dam and to Sand Point 


 And going to the fun restaurants and eating poutine.

All in all it was a lovely, relaxing summer.

Jenn



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

To Lucas on his 8th birthday

Dear Lucas,

Well our action packed weekend of celebrating your birthday has come to a close.  As I sit here still trying to cool off from the super fun baseball game I thought I would start the draft of your yearly newsletter.  It's always interesting to reflect back on the year you have had and how much you've grown.  I can see that most of your personality is pretty set, but also that certain things do change as you grow and have new experiences.

 

One of the things that stands out in my mind was gymnastics camp this year.  This has become a fun yearly tradition for you and your best friend Elliot.  This year Nathan was able to attend as well.  While Nathan has always said he wanted to go, turns out he really didn't and was quite sad being away from his family with people he didn't really know.  So on Thursday we made a plan for Dad to come and meet him for lunch, which you knew about the plan as well.  Of course things did not go according to plan and I had to come and tell you about it.  You gave a quick shrug and said "okay".  Where a year ago if things didn't go according to plan that would have been a challenge for you.  So I can see you becoming more independent.  Even earlier this year when I messed up the flights from California I could see you standing in the airport with a look of worry "are we going to have to stay here for a month".  You didn't cry or get upset and you saw your Dad and I deal with it. 
 


 


You continue to be a kid who loves and excels at sports.  You started karate a couple of months ago and are already on your third belt, partly because you skipped a level.   You also did a great job with swimming this year and doing flips and 360s in the pool.  Your skiing also improved too and you got to making controlled turns rather then little quick ones that slowed you down just a bit.
 

You still love reading and have done well advancing through books.  When we went to Kelowna this summer we packed 3 magic tree house books and it took you 40 minutes to read one.  So you went through those books really quickly.  You have also started reading longer books so that you can get a bit more involved then the quick reads.   You also continue to grow physically.  You eat a lot more food now.  This is the first year you've graduated from kids meals at restaurants to adult meals.  And I can't split a hamburger between you and Nathan you'll eat the whole thing.  And while you are still fairly picky about food you are slowly expanding your horizons.  But I know you need to eat frequently or you start to get shaky.  It's something you are learning about yourself too.  You need to eat often.


 You continue to be a kind person.  Helping people who need it.  You are the oldest so tend to be a leader, but in a quiet kind of way (except with your brother).   Grade two was really good for you.  You started with a great teacher, and although she was off for the majority of the year you adjusted to the new teacher really well too.  Henry continues to be your closest friend at school, but you also made some new ones too which meant lots of playdates. 







 











 You are an amazing kid Lucas and Dad and I are lucky to have you in our lives.  Being the oldest you teach us so much, about parenting and ourselves, about you and about life.  You make me proud on a daily basis.  The way you treat other people, what you know and what you do with what you know is fantastic.   Happy 8th birthday Lucas.  I'm looking forward to seeing what this year brings for you. 

love mom