Sunday, August 24, 2014

ALS IceBucket challenge

This week, the ALS icebucketchallenge hit our house. First up, Julie was nominated by a friend of hers who lives on the east coast. They must be used to the cold ocean spray out there - probably a piece of cake for them. Out here on the prairies, we're not used to that sort of thing. But Julie is not one to back down from a challenge. Here are some still shots from her video. 

1.  Saying a little prayer. 

2.  I'm not going to like this. 

3.  Oh mamma!!

4.  The children squeal in delight! 

5.  That was cold!! Dave, run me a hot tub stat!!

Late on in the week, I was nominated by my brother. His wife nominated him after he dumped a whole front-end-loader bucketful of water on her head. I asked the girls if they wanted to do it with me and only CeCe was up to the challenge. She was super excited and really into it. Here's some shots of us. 

1.  CeCe yells, 'let's do it as a team!!'

2. Her bucket hits her head a little before mine. 

3.  Oh mamma!!

4.  That is really cold. 

5.  More screaming...mostly from me. 

So there you have it. A lot of fun, but it is bringing a lot of exposure to a worthwhile but overlooked cause. Get out there and donate. Later. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Birthday, Andy Brown, love moments and friends

Not quite a week ago, I had a birthday.  Number 42 in case anyone is wondering.  Depending on which child you ask, I have either 8 more years or 38 years until I am an old man.  I'll go with the 38. The girls made me some cupcakes which tasted really good.  I'll let you be the judge of the looks:

I think they turned out pretty awesome.  Especially when you realize that they put the tip of the icing bag into the middle of the cupcake first and filled the middle up with icing.  Mmmm.  Icing.

That was on Monday.  On Tuesday I was reading the paper and came across an article on a band that was going to be in town.  I had never heard of them, but I noticed that Andy Brown was opening for them.  He is an artist that Julie and I have really liked ever since we first heard a song of his on the tv show Rookie Blue back in 2011.  I have since bought both his albums on iTunes and they still get played regularly.  Anyway, I texted Julie and told her Andy Brown was going to be here.  'Our Andy Brown?' was her reply.  Yup, our Andy Brown.  She asked around work for a babysitter and there were a couple of teenage daughters, but they were busy.  So Julie told me to go by myself.  It wasn't the same without her there, but he put on a really great show.  He played a little coffee house in town and there were maybe 25 people there.  It was just him and his guitar, some incredible heat (it was really hot in there) and a pint of beer.  I talked to him after the show and told him the story of how we heard of him and both wanted to come but couldn't.  He was a really nice, down to earth guy.  I bought a CD there and he signed it for me.  Yeah, I know I already had the digital album, but you can't sign that.  

To top the week off, we had the girls in DVBS at a church here in town, so I had a couple of hours to myself every day.  I'd be lying if I said it wasn't kind of nice.  But they really enjoyed themselves, even though the first couple of drop-offs were a little rocky with CeCe.  She was super excited to go until we got there and then she glued herself to my leg.  I sat with her the first day while they sang a couple of opening songs.  Then she spied the snack of cookies already set up in an adjacent room.  That looked pretty good to her.  I told her she wouldn't get any unless she stayed by herself and had fun.  She pondered this for about 30 seconds and then told me I could go.  Nothing like a cookie to make things better.

One day they were learning about the ten commandments and made a craft that had them all listed.  Ginny was reading them to me and got to the 'no adultery' one.  She read it and kept going to the 'don't covet' one.  She asked what that meant and I told her.  Then she went back to the adultery one and asked what that meant.  (You'll need a little background info here first.  Every time Julie and I hug or kiss in front of the girls, they chime in with a chorus of 'Love moment!  Love moment!  Love moment!'  and often come over to join in the hug.)  So I said to Ginny, 'You know how me and Mom have love moments?'  She nodded.  I said, 'No adultery means that I only have love moments with Mommy and no one else.'  She was satisfied with that and I heard Julie snickering from the next room.  We both thought it was a pretty good (and funny) explanation.  

Here are a few more pics from the week taken with my birthday present (I got a new camera!):  

Then on Friday we went to Saskatoon for an overnight trip.  (See the previous post for some pics of the pics.)  We saw a couple of friends, the girls swam in the pool, we went to their old school playground and managed to get a hold of some of their friends to come and play for a bit.  It was a good trip.  This evening, we had some more friends from Saskatoon stop in on their way home.  It was really good to see them too.  Sometimes you don't realize how much you miss people until you see them again.  Later.

Friday night photo shoot

We were in Saskatoon for a couple of appointments and to get the girls' pictures taken. This is now their third summer with an amazing photographer. She is so good with the kids and they all just adore her. 

I have always like those behind-the-scenes photos of the photographer, so I snapped a couple on my phone. Here is the artist at work: 

Her props and set-up were so much fun this year. I can't wait to see the final product. I'm sure I'll be sharing more of those when the time comes. Here are a couple more of the girls between shots:

Check out her blog here and see some of her other amazing work. Later. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

New lunch ideas

One of the things I struggle with most is ideas for meals.  Lunch is usually pretty low key - buns, sandwiches, muffins, pancakes, veggies, fruit.  I try to make sure there are some veggies eaten and the girls all like carrots and cucumbers, so that goes alright.  

I usually make muffins when the bananas are getting over ripe, but yesterday I tried something different - banana pancakes.  I found a recipe online and all the girls wanted to help.  So CeCe was stirring, Ginny was adding things and Jorja was mashing bananas.  We did make one modification to the recipe - Jorja insisted that if there were bananas, there had to be chocolate chips as well.  It's hard to argue with that logic.  So we mixed and fried, and even sprinkled some icing sugar on like the picture on the website.  Needless to say, they were a hit, even with our fussiest child, Ginny.  However, I'm not sure if she's going through a growth spurt or what, but she has been inhaling her food lately.  This was no exception.  She was the first one done.  

Today was a different story.  We had chicken, rice and peas yesterday for supper.  When I was putting the leftovers away, I cut the chicken up and put it all everything in one container.  There wasn't a whole lot left, so I thought we would eat it for lunch.  I decided to try chicken fried rice.  I've eaten plenty of chicken fried rice - it was part of my favorite combo #3 from the Granite curling club lunch counter across the street from the brewery.  But I've never actually made it before, let alone for the kids.  They have had it on a couple of occasions before though and it went over reasonably well.  

The girls walked into the kitchen this morning and asked if it was lunch time just as I was dumping everything into the frying pan.  I said it would be ready in a couple of minutes.  Then I was greeted with a chorus of 'What is that?!' and 'Leftovers are for supper!'  and 'We want buns!' and finally, 'I'm not very hungry.'  I didn't let this slight lack of enthusiasm deter me.  I fried on.

And it turned out really good.  I made sure I sampled it before I turned it over to the eager mouths just to make sure their whining was unfounded.  CeCe asked for ketchup (before she tasted it) and ate it all with no issues.  Jorja rolled it around with her fork for a bit and then gave in and tried it.  'This is actually really good Dad!'  See, I said, sometimes you just have to trust me.  She said, 'There's one thing I won't trust you with though - music.'  That hurts.  But she was now eating lunch with no issues.  Ginny was still saying she wasn't hungry and pushing her lunch around with her fork.  I said that was ok, she could have it for snack when she was ready.  She didn't like that idea either, so she eventually gave in.  She had to separate out all the chicken and put some ranch on it (don't ask - she eats ranch on all meat) but she eventually ate her plate.  It was long after the other two were finished, but she made it.  Maybe the growth spurt is over.  Later.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beatles, Buggles and a little love

The girls and I were heading out to buy a few groceries this morning.  I'm not exactly sure how the topic came up - some sort of fight or disagreement - but Ginny said, 'all you need is love.'  

That's when I broke into song, singing the Beatles.  I asked the girls if they new the song, and Jorja said yes and asked excitedly if it was by Rixton (a fairly new group that we first heard on the TV show 'The Voice').  Their song says, 'all I need is a little love in my life.'  I said no, that was not the song I was talking about.  My song was by the Beatles.  Jorja immediately piped up, 'I don't like eighties music.'  I said that the Beatles weren't from the eighties, but from the sixties.  Jorja then replied, 'But they sing Video Killed the Radio Star.'  Close, but not quite.  I told her that the Buggles sang that song, not the Beatles.  She said, 'the Beagles?'  No, the Beatles, like the bug.  'Oh, I think the Beagles would have been a better name.'  This was getting more confusing by the minute.  Jorja then said that some of the Buggles were dead and one was shot.  This was news to me, so I asked her how she knew this.  A friend of her's had told her.  Then I realized she was now talking about the Beatles.  Sheesh, did I mention confusing yet?  I'm guessing that this was probably the first time the Buggles were mistaken for the Beetles.  

I suggested a music lesson when we got home, to which Jorja replied, 'I don't want to listen to a music lesson.'  And she put air quotes around music lesson.  I'm losing her.  She's heading into the great abyss of tween music and I only hope she remembers some of her upbringing on the other side.  I know my dad cringed at my music, but I grew up to appreciate Johnny Cash and Johnny Horton.  Let's hope Jorja does too.  Later.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Coffee in the park

When the girls were done breakfast this morning, they took off for the park, which is fairly normal.  It's usually pretty much empty first thing in the morning, so I thought I would take my cup of coffee and follow them.  Usually I just keep an eye on them from the kitchen, but it was nice (and a bit nerve wracking) to watch them close up.

I wanted to take a picture of all three of them together, and this turned out pretty good.

After they saw that I had my phone out, it was "Dad, take a picture of me!"  "Over here, Dad! Take a picure of this!"  You get the idea.  So I took some more shots.  


Almost a bat:



Don't forget about me:

In and on 'the cave':

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One month

Exactly one month ago, we woke up in our new house in our new city for the first time. It still seems a bit surreal. Sometimes it feels like yesterday, sometimes it feels like longer. 

We are mostly unpacked now and settled in. We've had company from India and from town here. Tomorrow, we will have our first overnight guest (from BC). Jorja had a birthday and turned 9. We found a preschool for CeCe, got her registered and met the teacher. We found a piano teacher for the girls. Our next door neighbor came over with a warm pan of brownies one day (they were so good). This morning God solidified our feeling of what we were thinking would be our new church home. We discovered that the Pizza Hut here still has a sit down restaurant and a lunch buffet. Hello 1995!  We've got some pictures up but still need to paint. When you work in health care like Julie does, you have too many things to compare color to. Our walls are bile. All in all it's been a good month. A lot has happened once you sit down and think about it. 

Here are some pics of our first month I haven't already posted. 

My two corn shuckers:

Dropping Julie off for her first day of work:

The girls testing out Julie's new 'nest' chair:

My own minion army:

With the help of YouTube I can braid:

Art time:

Being this close to Alberta, I thought I should become a cowboy: