Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Ho Ho!



Of all the gifts I gave this year, these are the ones I was most excited about.  I learned to knit in 2011, thanks to my amazing Mother-in-law, (and you tube, when she was not around to ask for help.)  I had a lot of waiting time in doctors offices, etc, so I got a lot of knitting done!  The Gryffindor scarf is so awesome - I knit it in a tube, so that both sides are nice, and it will be really warm. Mina's hat was a last minute project, but it turned out perfectly!  Thanks for the pattern Betina! 

We had a really fun Christmas. Mom, Anders and Celeste came over and it was very festive indeed.  I even had a festive tablecloth for the dinner.  Fancy!  And I did not run out of cutlery!  We went skating on Christmas Eve, did a secret Santa for someone, and saw some Christmas lights.  There were new PJs for all (thanks Eve!) and even new dresses, since it was a Sunday after all.  I quite enjoyed church on Christmas day. ( I always kind of envied the Catholics who get that every year, and for us it is only when the 25th falls on a Sunday. I am also envious of thier stained glass.  But I suppose I should not be envious....)  Anyway.

Merry Christmas to all!  Hope your Christmas has been happy!  And a Happy New Year too, in which we shall celebrate with the amazing cream cheese cinnamon buns, drool. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let There be Light!

We are officially the brightest house on the block!  Keith has revealed his previously unknown competitive streak. Next year I think there may be lawn ornaments and perhaps a mechanical lighted moose.  Every time I turn the corner and see our house lighting up the street I can't help but smile and laugh a bit because I love them so much.  Merry Christmas! 

In other festive news, my band concert was on Sunday and it was fantastic.  I love playing with a full orchestra (minus the string section).  It was the first time I know of that brass, saxophones, drums etc.  were allowed to play in the chapel.  The stake had to get special permission from SLC!  They even removed 3 pews so that we could make a little orchestra pit.  It was just beautiful, I wish you could have been there.  I invited my neighbours and and 2 of them came! This was big for me, as I have never invited a non member to a church event. There was a choir as well, and some solos.  I have 2 new favourites to add to my list: "Still, Still, Still", and "Guard Him, Joseph".  Especially when done by Brother Hatch.   

so, have a merry Christmas!

PS the Christmas recipes may be a little bit late, so to those sibs who have not sent any yet, you still can, we will just call them new years recipes this year. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy #5

Here Mina is at Christmas, wait a minute!  That's not Mina, it's me!  ha ha ha.  THis picture came from the Late Aunt Connie's photo album.  When dad showed it to me, I could not believe how much Mina looks like I did at that age.  It is incredible.  I love it!
Here is the real Mina!  She had a pyjama themed party, and wore her new birthday hat (a gift from Eli, the aformentioned childhood stealer.  He is forgiven.)  And the cake, was delicious!   Best frosting recipe ever:  Put 8 oz whipping cream and 8 ounces baking chocolate, we used semi sweet, in a bowl.  Microwave until w. cream is very warm, and chocolate begins to melt.  Let sit a few minutes, then mix it together.  Pour over cake, smooth it, let sit overnight or a few hours to harden.  I put a layer of it inbetween the layers of cake too.  wowza. 

So, Happy birthday Mina!  You are hilarious, beautiful, kind, sweet and loving.  You have a great imagination, you love your friends, you adore your sister.  You love watching Mr. Bean, and Sponge Bob, you appreciate a good joke.  You love to read, take the bus to school, play with Anna, your best friend, stretch your incredibly flexible body, and make cookies with mom.  You love candy, and have the dental work to prove it.  (you are also, incredibly well behaved in the dental chair, thank goodness.)  You love to come and cuddle in my bed before my alarm goes off, asking me questions like "what starts with Q?", before I have fully woken up.  Mina, I love you.  Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Very Harry Halloween!




Happy Halloween all, it has been very Potter-ish around here!  I did not get  a photo of our "HP/Deathly Hallows" Jack-o-lantern, but here are Abby and Mina in costume, (that would be Ginny and Arnold the pygmy-Puff). The picture does not really show the tie, headband and co-ordinating nailpolish, the wand or the robe.  But, you get the idea. Mina's fluffy vest is rather simple, but it was a last minute costume switch (she was going to be a skeleton until Abby decided she should be a pygmy-puff.  Luckily, Mina was more than happy to agree.)   Abby spent much time trying to get Mina to sit on her shoulder.  There was also a themed dinner, with mashed potato ghosts, orange/purple jello, and deviled eye-balls.  And I hand piped no less than 60 gingerbread skeletons for the class parties.  This stay at home mom stuff is getting really fun, now that I am not in agony.  Sadly, only 2 weeks left then it will be back to work for me.  I always thought I would go insane if I did not get to work, but it turns out that this is not the case.  I am actually really enjoying this.  Alas.  Now I know what I am missing. 

Also pictured is Mina's first day of school, and mom baking bread with the girls.  They had a great time!  Clearly, I will never get a commercial kitchen license, as our baking practises are rather unhygenic.  I have no idea why Mina has no clothes on.  I was in a post surgical daze, that is my excuse. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Gem

Mina: "Mommy, let's play castle.  Abby will be the queen and I will be the princess.  Daddy will be the King."

Me: "And what will I be?"

Mina: "Mommy, you can be the cook-servant."

thanks. 

As as side note, Martha Stewart always has really good hair.  Doncha think?

Monday, October 10, 2011

My sweet 4 year old...

On a Sunday Morning, getting ready for church. 
"But Mom, really, please, I have never been naked at church before!" ~~Mina

In other news, she is slowly loosing her innocence.  As much as I love seeing my kids grow up, learn things, go to school and make friends, it tears my heart apart to see them being subjected to the world.  Mina has a hat, well, one of many, and it is her yellow kitty hat that Granny made,  It has cute little ears on it.  She Loooooves this kitty hat, and wears it often.  She has me stuff the ears to they don't flop over.  She wears this hat to church and to bed.  One day, she came home from school with the yellow kitty hat in her backpack, and told me she would not wear it anymore.  Because Eli was laughing at it, and trying to take it away.  Eli!  You stealer of childhood! You breaker of a mother's heart!  So, since that day, the beloved kitty hat has sat alone in the bin.  Very very sad.  It is the thing about school that I hate the most.  I wish I could forever cocoon my children so that they could always be pure "Äbby"or pure "Mina", without all of the influences of the Eli's of the world.  (It kind of makes me think of the plan of Salvation in a way, and how HF must have felt about sending us down here and watching us grow up...)   Today the kitty hat, and songs about farting.  Tomorrow, well, I hope my girls are strong enough to love what they love, and be true to themselves.  I hope the kitty hat will be dusted off and worn proudly again. 



BTW, Happy Thanksgiving!  gobble gobble. 

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Things I Have Lost

Well, today I took off the remainder of the steri-strips from my tummy.  And, it turns out, not only have I lost 60 + cm of small intestine, I have also lost my belly button.  Very unsettleing. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I'm Back!

Well, I'm sort of back.  Recovering from a major abdominal surgery is a big deal.   I can't even imagine having a C section and having to go through the recovery from surgery, plus the usual post natal problems, plus a new baby.  My hat goes off to any woman who has had to do this.  And to those people who have "ëlective"surgery, well, you are plain crazy, IMHO.  Real life surgery is nothing like hospital experiences on TV.  No hottie doctors, the rooms are ugly and old, and there is always a room mate.  The only people who get private rooms here are people with super bug infections, or people who are dying.  In my case, the room mate was Sophie.  An elderly native lady who had her foot chopped off.  She was very hard to share with.  She kept her TV on all the time.  Even at night.  That is when I would muster all of my strength to cross the room, turn off her TV and move it out of her reach.  She blamed the nurses.  ha, take that Sophie.  And the food is just as bad as you have heard.  But, I did discover something about myself.  I have inherited a strange behaviour from my Grandfather.  In his fridge, in the butter and cheese keepers in the door, he always had a huge collection of individually portioned condiments.  Ketchup, salad dressing, soy sauce, you name it.  Well, by the end of my stay, I had nearly filled the top drawer of my bedside table with individually portioned condiments.  I just could not bear to toss them, they were still good, and maybe I might pack one in my lunch for work one day.  But then, I envisioned my grandpa's fridge, and all that mustard falling out every time you opened the door, and I threw them all away.  Just like that.  There are many things to be said about a hospital stay, and truth is, I could complain all day about it, but really,  I am just thankful to have it over with.  I am slowly getting better, even though my feet and legs are still ridiculously swollen, I can eat, I am not throwing up anymore.  I hope to start gaining weight, I am going to get a second medical opinion on managing my Crohn's, and also visit a naturopath.  And, I am going to start juicing, once I am able to go grocery shopping. 

Another thing about going through this experience, wow, people really care.  I have had so many people helping in so many ways.  I am thankful and blessed to have so many people, friends, family, co-workers, who are looking out for me.  Today's task is writing out thank you cards!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sick Leave

Apologies to all for not blogging.  I have been V. ill, and that is my excuse for not blogging, gardening, hanging pictures, cleaning the bathtub, keeping up with social and family communications and responsibilities and so on and so forth.  On Wednesday the good doctors will be chop chopping me into pieces, in hopes of fixing my plumbing.  Wish me luck, say a prayer, and bring dinner!  I will be in hospital for a week, then will be home to recover, if all goes smoothly.  Please call Keith first to see if I am up to seeing visitors in the hospital.  I am not sure how social I am going to be feeling after being surgeried, will all the hospital things going on.

And then when I am better, boy do I have a long list of things I would like to do!  Christmas dinner will take on a whole new meaning this year!   

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Pictures

Abby and Papa after her baptism. A very happy day! (Dad's suits apparantly have not been returned from the cleaners).
This was over Easter, I think. We had a fun dinner, and Anders came later to pick up mom. An Anders sighting! That was memorable.
This is how Abby and Mina slept for the first 2 weeks in our new house. They took a while to get used to sleeping alone. Pretty sweet, they really do love eachother.
Here is one of the many diarama's Mina leaves all over the house. They are very precise and orderly, and hard to clean up. But deadly to step on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

home! part 2

Here is part 2 of my home tour! Probably I should have cleaned up the house first, but, too bad. Here you see the actual real house, messes and all. (and more than a few unpacked boxes.) Just a side note, it takes forever and a day to upload a video! sheesh.


video

Home! part 1

video

Friday, May 27, 2011

argh.

I know, still no house pictures, if anyone cares. I have not forgot, one day they shall appear, perhaps.

And I have to say I am a little disenchanted with the blog world these days, kind of annoyed with bloggers in general. I don't really want to be a "blogger", like they are. But since I am writing this on my blog, it is obvious how confused about it I am. Because blogging can be a fun thing. Except when it is not, and everybody's perfect everything just gets irritating, and even their stories of imperfection have a silver lining. gag me.

But that is just how I am feeling today, and I am sure that once I get my house inorder, and finish my projects and stop feeling annoyed with everyone and their dog, (or should I say blog, ha ha) I will be a happy blogger again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

sad

I am sad. Much of my hometown is burning to the ground. But now that I have eaten a box of oreo cookies, I feel ready to share some favourite SL memories.

If I could blog the smell of being in the middle of the boreal forest, where the trees come up to the edge of the highway and go on as far as you can see. That is a good clean smell. The air is fresher there than anywhere I have ever been, (although now it is probably hard to breathe right now with all the acrid smoke.) Breathing felt better there. Also, I can't blog the sound (although if I looked hard enough, the internets might offer up a sound byte) of the poplar trees in the breeze as I am falling asleep. Only to be crowded out by the frogs and crickets in the yard. They also made a sound before it started to rain. Really, they did. And there are so many stars to see. It gets so dark, I swear you can see them all. SO Bright, so many. And it gets dark there. Actual, pitch dark. Like it never gets in the city. I love those things. They are what make me me.

Quadding through the forest with my friend. Once we stopped in a hay field and climbed up some of the bales. Although I had to do this on the sly because Dad forbid ATV fun because he was so familiar with the injuries they can cause. (but at the time as a mad teenager I just thought he was the fun police.) Snowmobiling was also fun, (and also banned,) especially at the old golf course, or towing us up the tobogganing hill - it was a steep long walk otherwise! There would usually be a bonfire at the bottom, and huge innertubes salvaged from industrial equipment to slide down on. Much safer than the red toboggan, right Betina?

Cruising main street. For hours. (sometimes resulting in complaints to your parents because the muffler on the car was not working!) Stopping at Sev for slurpees and meeting up with people there, because that is where you went to find out what was going on. Everyone showed up sooner or later. Then eventually finding your way to the arena to watch the Wolves play hockey. Holdie's mom was the biggest hockey fan in town! Getting to play keyboard for the hockey band a few times was a blast.

The REX theatre! Did it burn down? It would be irreplaceable. Another box of oreos may have to be sacrificed. Would they rebuild it the same way? With the shag on the walls, the sticky floors, the mismatched seats, and old benches from the highschool up in front? With the best orange slushies know to mankind? Where someone always announced what movie was playing "next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8"? the "upstairs" where many sorts of unapproved behaviour went on? (I never sat there!!). The old cash register the guy in the booth had? Only $5.50 to get a ticket.

Skiing at grizzly ridge. (although that has been gone for a while now.) Kevin's attempt to teach me moguls. Come to think of it, his attempt to teach me how to drive ended up just as badly! Driving adventures in the winter. meeting the ditch many times on the Mitsue road, and getting the neighbour to tow us out.

The beach. So many beach memories. In the winter that time laying in the snow in the dark watching the Northern Lights dance around the lake. Words cannot even describe how that feels. That was my favourite. My next favourite is bringing my own kids there. My mom being the only one brave enough to go all the way under before the water warms up (not until August!). Swimming all the way out to the raft and diving off of it. Riding bikes to the beach. Running there as part of Mr. C's torturous phys ed. class.

Jumping into the river from the bridge. One particular time, hey Michelle? Then having to sit through math class wet and stinky. The time Randy was getting pulled into the weir on the biology class field trip. That place where the road stops where the river joins in to the lake. Parking there and watching all of the big birds. Laying in the sad close to the airport runway and watching the water bombers fill up. (but for somebbody else's fire, far away.)

$1.99 breakfasts at Acropolois. The Beachway cafe and it's jukebox. Driving around in Nick's mini-jeep with the top down. That time, with the frog. Or was it a toad?

The demo derby!

The moose. That time when we were driving up to the cemetary, and there was the biggest moose we had ever seen and we sat there for half an hour before it decided to move. In hunting season driving through a neighbourhood and seeing a deer draining in every garage. (doors open of course, to show off!) The bear traps by the creek. The time the elk were brought in to help with overpopulation in the Jasper townsite and they all (the elk) found their way to 7-11.

Those are a few of my favourite Slave Lake things. Writing one makes me think of another after another. At 17 years old I could not think of anything better than getting far far away from there, but I think that was just the 17 year old who wanted to be on her own, away from parents... Every time I have gone back I start to think, if only I could stay for a while longer. Breathe the clean northern air, hear the poplars, listen to the waves crashing. And see one more movie at the Rex. Just for the sake of being there.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Phew

Well, the great moving weekend is OVER! Thank goodness. Moving is not a lot of fun, as most of you know. But it is fun to unpack, find new homes for things, make a fresh start. I know that the only thing you want to see is pictures, I'll post some soon. We still have to put together a bed or two, hang window coverings, unpack a few boxes and so on. Then, I'll take some. I did however bake bread and cookies, so it smells like home now! Here are some bullet thoughts about my new house.
  • Perfect size. More space, yet I still know where my children are.
  • The kitchen layout is far superior to my old house! It is very much the layout of Betina's kitchen, but a bit smaller. I love having the table separated from the workspace by a counter.
  • The girls have their own rooms now. For the first 2 nights, Mina slept in Abby's room. Since then Mina has been fine on her own, but Abby has been getting worried at night and crawling in to a camping bed in our room. A little unexpected for sure! But I'm sure things will settle in. Mina's room is actually staying very clean. Because she is hauling all of her collections out and creating her little diorama's all over the house, leaving nothing in the bedroom.
  • The upstairs toilet is higher than the downstairs toilet. Which causes an unexpected drop when using the one you are not used to yet.
  • I am not sure I love ceramic stove-top's yet. It takes forever to heat up, and then the surface stays hot a long time afterward.
  • The vegetable garden I have been dreaming about will not happen this year. The last person had the plot filled with tuberous perennials for about a million years. I need to get some advice about how to deal with this, (help internets!) but I am envisioning a summer filled with digging and roto-tilling to try and make it plantable for next spring. But I do have 4 apple trees, a raspberry patch (I think), and a place where I am going to try strawberries. Plus beds around the house for flowers, and I can always do a few containers. In fact the people left 2 half-barrel planters for me. And I can get a years start on some awesome compost.
  • I have met 3 neighbours who are all nice, friendly, normal people. Now that I have the oven figured out, cookies and bread will flow to them.
So. Pictures soon. really.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Story about a Camel and some straws.

Well, it seems the winter spell has (temporarily, because there is always the Easter snowstorm, and then a bit more on May long) broken. Today we awoke to "drip drip dripping" from the For Sale sign that is posted in the front yard. Yes, we are for sale. Actually, pending. we are currently quibbling over details, but will very likely be sold (and then owners of a new house) by Tuesday! Many thing have been happening here! B and N are having a great laugh about the story. I shall share.
"The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back".

Let's see. Where to begin. We live in a "bad" neighbourhood. There is a lot of crime, a lot of people who are on social assistance, a lot of group homes for people who are being rehabilitated from some deviant behaviour or another. Had we known these details, we probably would never have bought this house. But, in blissful ignorance, we did. (Now we know about a fabulous statistic page available that lists all of these things, by neighbourhood!) So we have been here for 5 + years. Only a few bad things happened directly to us. We had car windows broken a couple of times, dog poo all over the lawn, loud kids keeping us up all night because their parents don't care that it is 2 in the AM... Lots of bad things happened around us though. Like the scary night when the 2 rival aborginal gangs armed with garden hoes and shovels met at the intersection in front, the famous motorcycle club that moved in down the block with their mean pit bulls, Police at the drug house several times a week, many a domestic dispute spilling into the alley behind us. Condoms littering the street, likely leftovers from the rub n tug in the apartment building behind us. The local school closed down, and just last week there was an article in the paper about the drug deals and prostitution that go on the the park now. Still, we stayed. Even when a woman's battered, beaten body was left at my daughters bus stop, we stayed. The woman died later that day. I found a short length of rebar on my front lawn. And we stayed. because it was not happening to us, just around us. And we had a wonderfully tiny mortgage, and we found many other reasons to close our eyes, try to ignore it.

But then, the straw. Yes, something finally happened TO us that changed everything. We had some bags of milk jugs in the back yard. We save them up to bring in for a refund, which goes into the girl's savings accounts. Yes, that's horse camp money! And some one just waltzed right into our backyard and took it! Stole from a 7 year old! Well! Keith was furious and announced that he had had enough! So before he could change his mind, I jumped on that wagon, and we listed our house for sale. That was on a Tuesday. We had an offer an Friday, and found a new house Saturday. Whirlwind! Now, we are pending, waiting in limbo for our fates to change. How dramatic. Hopefully I will have an update soon!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Three Very Good Days







Here is a tale of 3 very good days. Which one do you think was the best?

Day #1: Christmas Day. A day of matching jammies made with love, wonderful mystery packages brought by the (cute) Fed Ex delivery man, sleeping late, eating junk, with nothing better to do than hanging out with the people you love best. Always a very good day.

Day #2: The day we ate these cinnamon buns. Lets try a link. That was my first time, I hope it worked. These rolls were the absolute best cinnamon buns I have ever made or eaten. I did not add the nuts or raisins, but I'm sure they would be good that way too. The recipe only makes 8, but they are so incredibly rich that 8 is plenty.

Day#3: The day the snowplow was dispatched to our street. Oh glorious day. The ice ruts were so big, the poor little toyota was bottoming out trying to slide into our parking spot. The ruts were so lumpy that I had to carry Mina across the street because her little legs were not long enough to clear the bumps. Before entering the street you had to say a little prayer that there would not be any oncoming traffic because if there was, there would most certainly be a collision. Some nights, people would get stuck and just abandon their cars. Resulting in a church holiday as there was no way past or around. Sigh. Maybe my defecting sisters have the meterological advantage here. Needless to say, the day the snowplow came to 79 street was quite an event. All the neighbourhood children, and men, were watching. Shovels in hand, waiting to clear the pathways of ice chunks. Glory be. Now there is (almost flat) pavement. This might be my favourite day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Danger, danger is lurking...

So what does it mean when you are asked personally to attend the "teaching - no greater calling" series at church, and then later that very day the ward music person asks me "so how is your calling going? Are you still enjoying it?" and so forth. I am afraid to answer the phone or the doorbell, or make eye contact with the Bishop. There, I said it. I am a chicken. Maybe it was just a coincidence. We shall see.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday

Hello. I was just online, complaining because the blogs I like to read have not been updated! So I thought perhaps I should update mine, even though no one really reads it. And also not much has been going on here. Lets see. Mina is sick, she has been puking for 3 days. But her breakfast of water and green jello has not yet made a reappearance, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The tunnel of laundry that a mother must to after a pukey week. And now of course I am feeling ill... great. Abby and Mina have been real troopers - we have been waking them up at 5:45 on my work days, so that Keith and I can get to school/work on time. It is a terrible thing to have to do to your kids, but happily it is temporary only 5 1/2 more weeks of it. Then Keith will be done school and officially a Journeyman. Then we can begin the next big life plan, whatever that will be. Also I will have a car again for my days off.. Being a one car family is certainly a learning experience. I am house bound on my days off, and because it has been so cold, I am going more then a little bit crazy. So, that's it. My update. Now to do some more laundry.