Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Birthday Season - Hailey

The bonus of having two parties with the same theme in the same week is that when you royally mess up on the cake you get another chance. The problem is, I have lots of talents. Cake decorating isn't one of them. Why would it be? No on in my family even likes cake! Why would I bother to better myself at something that will never be appreciated. So, I tried a different approach this time on the cake. Instead of using a plain cake mix I use the WASC recipe - which is a cake mix with a few additions. So much easier to decorate. Then I used a thicker tip for icing the cake and things were also so much easier. It's still not amazing, but at least passable!

Anyway, Here are some pics from the day:

The difference between this Barbie Party and Paige's is that Hailey's was Barbie and the Popstar!! So we set up a stage and had a little concert from all the kids. I didn't take any pictures I snapped a few after the party when Hailey decided to wear her bathing suit bottoms?? Interesting choice.

Then the next day we cerebrated her real 6th Birthday with gifts from mom and dad and sister (and Nana and Grandpa).

The big gift of the night was this easybake oven. Hailey has been asking for one for a LONG time. We promised her that if she stopped sucking her thumb she'd get one...and she did!! She still has a problem with her thumb if she's asleep and not aware, so she wears special mitts to bed to stop it. But the conscious sucking of her thumb has stopped entirely! Pretty impressive!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer days

I love summer. Did you know? One of the best things about summer is spending our days outside, in our bathing suits running through the sprinkler! Early in July we got to have our good friend Emma over for the day. It was a great summer day, until the icecream truck came singing down our street. THEN it turned into the PERFECT summer day! I quickly grabbed all the change I could find in our house and the girls and I chased that truck down! We only had enough for the cheapest Popsicle on the truck (note to self: keep more chance on hand in the summer). BUT, the lovely driver gave the girls all Hello Kitty Popsicles for the same price as the cheapo Popsicle! Thank you kind man!

Does anything scream summer more than these pictures? I don't think so!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Curb appeal

So these last few years Ben and I have been tossing around the idea of moving to an acreage. It's his dream...and maybe mine too. I'm not sure. I really like living in town...neighbour kids to play with easy access to shopping, parks, bike rides to the store, and did I mention neighbour kids to play with? That's my biggest draw to the city/town life. But I see the benefits to acreage life too. Lots of land to play with, the kids can explore all over, Ben can store all his toys (quad, side by side, 5th wheel etc) a lot easier, the business would have a better location to run, privacy etc. There are pros and cons either way.

This year we got semi serious about it and actually went and looked at a quite a few properties. We fell in love with two of them...and then realized that we own TWO homes! We can't own a third...which means we have to sell this house BEFORE we buy another one. AND, well, we just didn't quite get our act together quick enough. There are a few projects that need to get done around here of them being adding a bit of curb appeal. The house isn't terrible...but we want a quick sell and we know that takes a little bit of effort. I totally believe in staging a home...and curb appeal is a small small bit of that. So one fine Saturday we dug up a bit of sod, filled it in with wood chips and planted some shrubs. Really really easy...but it totally makes a huge difference on how the house looks from the outside. It brings the 'rust' accent colour together a bit and makes it look much more cool! If you remember from when we moved in I hated the trim colour but it didn't make sense to replace it. But somehow just adding a row of wood chips and shrubs brings it all together...and it actually looks nice.

Anyway, I documented the day by taking pictures...

of Cait...

drinking water from the hose!

It's pretty much way cuter than pictures of boring old shrubs and wood chips. You've seen one shrub you've seen them all. But a baby drinking from the hose never gets old!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What has happened to this blog

I really LOVE having a blog. It's such a great way to journal...but I've been so terrible at it! But I have been taking pictures all summer and one day I'll catch up!

The last time I blogged was the last little taste of sanity around here! And then the flooding hit Calgary and High River. It flooded a bit in Okotoks...but not enough to change my little life. But the flooding in High River has impacted us more than expected! First of all our Church has been turned into the command Center for the Mormon Helping Hands. I've had the chance to volunteer in the call center where I took calls and created work orders for all the people that needed help. It was so overwhelming and humbling. The most amazing part of it all was how kind and bright and happy everyone was. People who lost everything were still just so grateful and enjoyable to talk with. Which makes serving them so much more rewarding. The gratitude has been so humbling as well. Everyone is just so overwhelmingly grateful for all the kindness they've received from us and all the other people so willing to serve! Anyway...the command center remains open and working strong, which means our Sunday Church meetings have been sort of pushed around...moved to the other building...or shortened etc. It's kind of fun and interesting.

So...besides that we've been pretty busy. Ben's in High River everyday helping people get water back into their homes. I started a photography business. And I also took on a friends day home for a few weeks. PLUS we've had two Birthdays and TWO Birthday parties...and countless weekend camping trips. It's been a good but busy summer!!

Here are a Three quick pictures that give the TINIEST glimpse into what our summer has been like:

Writing On Stone - playing in the hoodoo's

Watering our plants...and the Baby

Popsicles from the Ice Cream truck with a friend

Monday, July 15, 2013

Birthday season - Paige

Birthday season in our home starts June 7th with Ben (who enjoyed a nice little celebration with friends back in the mountains for a weekend of quadding), then we move to the 26th for Paige and onto July 14th for Hailey. It's fun having the Birthday's all together! So this year the girls both wanted Barbie themed parties...and somehow in a moment of genius (or not) I didn't think to combine them! What was I thinking? Not a lot I guess...since I had two Barbie Birthday parties in the same week and they pretty much invited the same people. I think next year I'll combine their parties!

So Paige's 4th Birthday party started out with some Barbie colouring pages

Then a little pin the pony tail on the Barbie (no cheating of course)

Lots of crying from Cait (kidney infection...of course)

Even with all the cheating going on, I still helped with the pin the 'pony'tail on the Barbie

Presents were a hit - lots of lego

I'm not sure who was more excited about the lalaloopsie doll...Denver or Paige?

Basically presents turned into a mob of kids trying to be as close as possible to the present...and of course they should be!

The girls BEGGED for a Barbie cake this year. So I bought a pan, and even some icing tips and and got started on the cake...about an hour in (making little stars all over) my hand cramped up. It was 11:30 at night, I had a baby who hadn't been sleeping well (kidney infection) and I was exhausted. So...I did what any self respecting cake decorator would do and smeared the icing all over! I was soooo mad at that stupid cake!! was supposed to be so easy! Anyway, I know my strengths and this was not one of them. but ti still looks like Barbie...sort of...if she were melting.

p.s. here is what it was supposed to look like. hahahaha

The cake was a hit regardless of how ugly it was. Paige had no problem blowing out the candles

And she also had no problem tasting the was still yummy!

So that's that. I now have a four year old (and a 6 year old an done year old). I can NOT figure out how these last few years have flown by so quickly...but I'm loving it! These girls of mine are so fun and spunky and sweet! I have the best job ever! are awesome! 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Pelican Point

Every year we camp with Becc and Jar at Pelican point. Every year it rains when we show up. It's annoying because I KNOW it's beautiful weather the rest of the summer. But we don't care if it rains on our parade because we're COOL and have lots of fun no matter what. But I will admit defeat when it comes to my camera...if it's raining, that camera is safely hidden away. I won't risk it! So sadly Rain=no pictures

So this year was no different, it rained. Oh well. We did spend almost the entire rainy afternoon in my Aunt and Uncles trailer playing card games! I LOVE playing games and I love it even more when I have people to play with!! It was so fun!

When the rain wasn't coming down I did take a few pictures of:

-My beautiful pregnant sister who is having her 5th BOY!! Yep...she is one lucky lady. She's a LOT like me. When we perfect the recipe, why change it up? She has lovely, crazy, fun boys!! So I'm excited to know she's having another!

My sweet Hailey Babe...she just LOVES the Beach - rain or shine!

Paigey and her oldest cousin...these boy cousins of theirs are so AWESOME! They LOVE to play with my girls (and even the baby). It's heaven for me!

My crying baby Cait...she was brewing a kidney infection here and was soooo cranky. Her poor life has been full of pain and suffering. I know that sounds dramatic...but kidney infections are so painful! And she's had over 10! We're on track right now to surgery #3. It's not confirmed yet...but that's the direction she's headed. We just hope she can have some pain free days soon.

Three of my favourite people just taking a moment to watch a Barbie Movie and relax a bit!

Anwyay, I just love spending time with my family. Camping is one of the easier ways we can all be together in one place. I'm not the best outdoors person (hence the giant, full amenities trailer) but when it means I get to relax and spend time with those I love, then I'll happily go every chance I get!

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Two Wheelin'

Back when Paige was still three...but just barely I decided it was time for her to learn to ride a two wheel bike. She had a few tricycles and was an expert and riding those, but not so much on the two wheeler. So we pulled out Hailey's old bike that she learned on and planned to give her some time with the training wheels...and then take them off next year. Well of course we couldn't find the training wheels. So then we decided to turn it into a balance bike by removing the pedals. Well that didn't quite work either because her little three year old legs were too short to ride that way. Onto plan B...or C. I bought her a little balance bike (a real one that was short enough for her legs). But because I was too cheap to buy a pink one, she had to settle for a blue and yellow one. Anyway, she pretty much refused to ride the 'boy' bike and was determined to stick with her tricycle or learn to ride her real two wheeler. So one sunny May day I pulled out her big girl bike to give it a go. Then I looked across the street at our neighbours and saw he was out front teaching hisr little daughter to ride a two wheeler as well but with training wheels. His girl is just a month or two older than Paige. They don't ever's a busy road and you NEVER cross it without parents. And we have great neighbours on either side so there's been no need. Anyway she had a FANCY pink and purple bike with a purple basket and streamers and everything a little girl could dream of on a bike, including BIG shiny training wheels. And here was Paige with four options:

-A blue 'boy' balance bike
-A garage sale tricycle
-A hand me down princess bike without pedals or
-A giant 6 year old's bike...that was a little bit rusty (because that's what $5 on kijiji gets you).

I felt sort of like a failure...I mean we had quantity, but were lacking in quality by quite a bit. We're thrifty people and are proud of it, but I felt pretty bad for my little girl. We were both so envious of that flashy purple bike. So...I taught her a lesson that day. I decided we would show that little girl up! lol. I never said I taught her a good lesson...I just taught her something, which is when you feel less than someone, just show them you are better and you will feel better! hahaha.

So I grabbed Hailey's bike put her on it and said "GO" and guess what...she did! I ran with her for about a house length and then let go and she was flying! No problems at all! And while I could hear the Dad across the street yelling praise for his 4 year old riding her bike WITH training wheels (he was saying "look at you go!! you're only 4"...which honestly isn't that impressive right? I mean, she had TRAINING WHEELS!!!) I was yelling "GO Paige!!! you're only 3!!! Woohoo!! No training wheels!!" It was the battle of the neighbours and I wanted to win!!

And that my friends is how Paige learned that a little competition is all it takes to accomplish what you want. That when you feel inadequate you just need to make sure you're better then someone and you're good to go. AND to really feel great, you just need to rub your success in someone else's face! So....maybe not my finest parenting hour. But she did learn to ride her bike. And I'm extremely proud of her!!

And then the next day Ben came home and put the pedals back on her princess bike (with one streamer) and reenacted the whole 'learning to ride' thing (without all the competition and gloating I brought to the table). And I took pictures quietly, Hailey pushed the baby in the stroller and my heart grew 100 times because this was good quality family time...and that beats a quality but flashy purple bike any day!