Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 wrap-up

This year has kind of ended on a slow note in the blogging department.  I have to admit, there was a time I thought about stopping all together.  But then looking back, it's pretty cool to see some of the memories that I've captured and that I would have forgotten about already.  So, as I write a final post for this year, I hope next year will be back to some more regular writing.

Where to begin?  I've got a few notes on my iPhone that I jotted down, thinking I would blog about them.  Truth be told, I don't know what some of them mean now.  How bad is that?  Oh well, I guess I'll just try to wrap up our month of December.

We have a Fisher Price Little People nativity set.  We get it out every year before Christmas and then pack it up again with the decorations.  This year when we got it out, Jorja and Ginny took to acting out the whole story from start to finish.  They had Gabriel coming to visit Mary and Joseph, the census, the trip to Bethlehem.  It was amazing all the details they remembered even before they got to the stable.  They did this for a few days, and then one day they were looking for something to do, so I told them to play with the nativity set.  Ginny said, "I want to, but I can't.  I can't find Gabriel."  I asked her if the other angel in the set would work, to which she replied no because that angel looked like a girl.  Without Gabriel, the story couldn't start, so she couldn't play with it at all.  It's funny how things change from year to year.  This year was strictly a literal translation of the story.  Last year baby Jesus took a trip to Strawberry Shortcake's house.

We hosted our bible study Christmas party here this year, so we had the tree up maybe a little earlier than normal.  I think it went up the last weekend in November.  It was nice though - the girls all had fun decorating and I don't even think anything was broken this year.  Since we had snow that stayed since Halloween, I kind of missed the boat on getting lights on the outside of the house in nice weather.  But I found a day that was only slightly below zero and got some done.  Not as many as I would have liked to, but it still looked pretty good.  Julie loves the inflatable lawn decorations too, so this year I bought a couple of those too.
The girls proudly showing off their handy work

The lights up, inflatables inflated
We also had a bunch of Christmas parties to go to.  My work Christmas party and Julie's Weight Loss Forever party were on the same night, but we managed to take in some of each.  Both were a good time and Julie ended up getting the 'most inspirational patient' award for the work she had done on her v-log chronicling her journey.  We found a new babysitter this fall too that the girls absolutely adore.  She's in grade eight and lives right on out crescent, so it's super convenient too.  It just makes going out that much more enjoyable when you know the kids are in good hands and enjoying themselves too.  The next party was the kids' Christmas party, put on by the brewery.  The girls look forward to this every year and this year was no different.  They wore themselves out playing at the Fun Factory and then got to see Santa.
Playing at the Fun Factory

The last party we had was Julie's office party.  It was a good time too, and again no issues with the babysitter and the kids. 

Aside from parties, the month was also filled with concerts and recitals.  Ginny and CeCe sang in church with the Sunday School singers.  That afternoon, they both had their piano/music recitals.  Jorja had her school Christmas concert the next day (Monday evening).  And Ginny had her preschool concert the following week.  Yes, it was a busy month, but by the eighteenth, it was all over and we could take time and breathe again. 

Ginny and CeCe with the Sunday School singers

CeCe's music recital
December was also a month that saw quite a bit of sickness in our house.  CeCe had the stomach flu once, Ginny had a cold forever that ended up with an ear infection, Jorja had a migraine one day and threw up from that.  Ginny also threw up one morning with her ear infection (we think just from motion sickness because she said she was dizzy.  Any sudden movement and she would throw up.  A couple dosed of antibiotics and that was all cleared up.)  So yes, all three kids threw up this month - not something that I hope is repeated any time soon.  Jorja has such a tender heart and is really affected when her sisters are sick.  It upsets her and she wishes she could make things better.  Here's the card she made for Ginny when she was sick.
Her faith is also something that is pretty amazing.  She came up with the part about God healing Ginny all on her own.  She also made Ginny a Christmas card and asked to see my the Bible on my phone so she could write down a verse in the card.  She new exactly what she wanted to say (Luke 2:13-14).  She told me it was the verse about a great multitude of angels praising God.  I thought that was pretty impressive for her to remember the verse and want to put it in a card.

What else happened this month?  I have a couple more notes in my phone that I do remember.  One night Ginny was getting out of the tub and I asked her if she was all dried off.  She said yes, except for her butt.  I asked her why she didn't dry off her butt and she said that she didn't want to, because there were germs in there.  I said that it should be clean having just gotten out of the tub.  "Nope," she said, "it may look clean, but there is more poop right there lined up and ready to come out."  Okay, it's tough to argue with that.  Air-dry it is.  Then there was the morning I had Ginny and CeCe by myself shopping at Superstore.  I was looking at the cough drops and Ginny wandered across the aisle.  She pointed to a box with a little picture of a devil on it and asked, "What are these?"  Not wanting to explain what condoms were yet, I just told her they were nothing and to put them back.  We're not quite ready to go there yet.  (The stock boy thought it was pretty funny though - someday he too may have kids and I hope they put him in the same awkward situation.)  That afternoon happened to be when I took Ginny in to get her ears checked out for her ear infection.  As we were waiting for that to get filled, CeCe picked up a box of tampons.  She didn't really ask what they were, but when I told her to put them down, she just yelled, "No!  I'm still looking!"  Oh the joys the next few years will bring.

By the time school and work were done for Christmas, Julie had not yet started her yearly project of sewing all of us pajama pants.  So to get the kids out of her hair, I packed them up and went to my parents for a couple of days.  They got to meet their new cousin Cooper, and play with their other cousins Sophie and Carson too.  They had fun helping Nanny bake cookies and helping Poppa jam the jam-jams together.  After that, we had a couple night at home (one being Christmas Eve) and then went to Julie's parents' place for a few days.  We went to our church's annual service on Christmas Eve and then came home and opened presents.  The girls played a bit Christmas morning before we headed out.  When we were at Julie's parents' place, we went tobogganing one day.  It was quite cold this year, so it was a little shorter that we wold have liked.  But Julie's Dad plowed a path out to the hill with his back hoe so we could drive out there.  He made a fire to keep warm and we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.  It's a yearly tradition that seems to be growing each year.  Definitely a lot of fun.  The girls also get a kick out of all Nanny's singing and dancing Christmas decorations that fill the house.  They went on a couple of tours and took turns pushing the buttons and enjoying the singing and dancing figures.

Julie all frosted up

Gordon roasting hot dogs

The lunch bench (bucket of the back hoe)

Julie and her Dad

'The Redneck Slopes' Julie coined them

Uncle Darcy getting loved

Movie time

CeCe telling Poppa a story
My girls

Christmas dresses

Holding Cooper

CeCe and Sophie

Jam-jamming with Poppa

Playing lego with Poppa
So this has been a full month.  But it's been good.  The whole year has been good.  Lots of things to be thankful for.  It's past December 21st and we're still here.  The girls are all pretty amazing kids (if I do say so myself).  There may be times when they make me want to pull what hair I have left out, but they are good kids and I'm proud of them.  I'm married to an amazing woman who has lost over 100 pounds this last year.  What's more impressive than that is the confidence and self-worth that she feels now.  Pretty amazing.  We've been married 11 years.  I turned 40.  We both still have good jobs.  I read the entire Bible twice this year (thanks to my iPhone) and that has really been a life-changing thing too.  Julie and I are leading our Bible study group this year which was a huge leap of faith for us.  I tattooed my favourite verse on my arm (the gist of it anyway).  'Rejoice, pray, give thanks, always.'  1 Thess. 5:16-18.  I'm really trying to live my life by these words.

So looking ahead to 2013, I just hope and pray for continued growth and health and more of God's grace. (and more regular blogging) Later. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vegas Vacation

I'm going back in time a bit to write this post.  This actually took place near the middle of November.  I uploaded the pics to blogger a while back, but still never got around to writing.  So here we are, Dec 20.  Let's hope I still remember the details.
Way back in August, I turned 40, and instead of putting 40 flamingos on the front yard, Julie thought she would take me to the Flamingo.  What a great present!  So our trip was booked for November and Julie's cousin has very generously volunteered to watch our angels while we were away.
November 7th, we took off on our first 'couple' holiday since we had children.  It was awesome.  Julie had booked us a limo to take us from the airport to the hotel.  We're going to Vegas, we might as well do it up right.  We landed at about 8:30 pm Vegas time and were greeted by our driver holding the sign for Julie.  How cool is that?!  We were treated to a bottle of champagne and he drove us to our hotel and around to see a bit more of the strip.  We were already having the time of our lives.
We walked around the strip a bit more that evening just taking in the sights.  The next three days were filled with exploring the strip and Freemont Street, shopping and lots of walking.  And shopping.  And we got tattoos.  We had another limo tour booked to tour the strip, the famous sign and Freemont Street.  The weather was unseasonably cool there, so some of the shows (like the pirates at Treasure Island) were cancelled.  These were part of the limo tour, so we had some extra time.  Our driver asked us if we watched 'Pawn Stars' and we said that we had seen it, so he took us to the pawn shop.  It was pretty neat to see, but nothing very big or showy.  It looks more impressive on TV.  At Freemont Street, we decided to do the zip line.  That was very cool.  Neither of us had ever done one before, so what better place than over top of hundreds of peoples' heads in Vegas.  What a rush.  Julie also got to compare tongues with Gene Simmons there (ok, not the real Gene Simmons, but she had him beat, no problem).
We rented a car for one day and spent most of the day doing some serious damage at the outlet malls.  Let's just say we went down with two half-full suitcases and came back with three zipper-bursting ones. 
One of our dining experiences was at this little restaurant right off the strip called 'The hole in the wall'.  Some of Julie's friends recommended it - said the food and atmosphere were great.  It started out good.  We were serenaded by a little old accordion player who knew where Saskatoon was.  The soup was great and the unlimited garlic bread and wine were nice too.  By the time our main course was there, some commotion occurred at a table close to us.  As it turns out, they had a cockroach come out of their salad!  Did I mention we had the soup?  Whew!  The two women at the table freaked out and were ready to leave.  One husband was supportive of this decision, but the other wasn't.  "What's the big deal?  The place is called the hole in the wall.  What do you expect?  You just got to roll with it."  He was not winning his battle, so he poured himself some more wine before they left.  I don't think we'll go there the next time we're in Vegas.
We celebrated our eleventh anniversary while we were down there and took things a notch more upscale and dined at the Wynn.  A little nicer than the hole in the wall. 
There is so much to see there, we didn't even come close.  We didn't get to any shows or the wax museum.  But our days were filled and we were tired by the end.  I guess that just means we have to go back.  Here are some of the highlights:



And the girls were kept so busy by Auntie that I'm not even sure they missed us.  They went to a movie, the Fun Factory, the museum and did all kinds of other fun stuff.  It sure was nice knowing they were in good hands.  It sure was nice to see them all at the airport when we got home too.  We missed the little stinkers after all.  Later.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grade 2

I know it's been a while since I've written again and I haven't posted about our Vegas trip (which was awesome), but I need to talk about our three way conference with Jorja's teacher last night. Her teacher said she couldn't wait to see us so that she could share all that Jorja is doing.

I'm not sure I have ever been more proud and yet humbled at the same time (if that makes any sense). It's not just the fact that Jorja is an amazingly gifted student either. She excels in every subject and reads at a grade 6 level. This alone would have made for an awesome interview.

I guess the part that I take the most joy in is the person Jorja is.

She is a kind and tender-hearted individual who is a true friend to all of her classmates. She helps anyone in need and looks out for others. One boy was moving to a different school and yesterday was his last day. She helped him pack up all his stuff and then made him a card and got the whole class to sign it.

She loves her sisters and talks about them all the time. Her teacher seemed to know everything about them. What a proud big sister.

One of the best parts was when we saw her journal. One page said how she had a perfect family, loved her parents, sisters and God and Jesus. She said her favorite book was the bible and that she read it every night.

I'm so thankful that we went with the catholic school system. They read bible stories, pray and celebrate the real meaning for the holidays (Christmas and Easter). And Jorja feels totally free to share her faith with her teachers. Her teacher told Jorja that she recognized Jorja's tender heart was a result of the book she reads every night. Wow. That was awesome.

I guess that's what it means to have the faith of a child. Later.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The last month...

I thought I had some catching up to do last time I actually wrote a post.  It's almost been a month this time.  We've had Julie's birthday, Hallowe'en and in three days we leave for Vegas.

Julie turned 35 on Oct. 28, and I decided to use the force to make her a cake.  Since marrying me, she has really embraced Star Wars and I wanted to give her a symbol of my appreciation.  What better than a Princess Leia cake.
She was quite shocked to find out I made it totally free-hand.  Move over cake boss.  Here are all my girls gathered around the cake.
Jorja has been into helping out around the house lately.  After every meal, she likes to clear the table into the dishwasher.  It wasn't anything we made her do - she just started volunteering one day.  It's pretty sweet.  It also makes me stay more on top of emptying the clean dishwaher so things are neater in general.  After she had been doing this for a while, she asked when she could start doing chores.  Wow!  It's not every day a parent hears those words.  I told her that she already was by clearing off the table.  She figures she wants to take out the garbage as well.  She sees our sitter's boys taking out the garbage and wants to get in on that action.  I haven't got her to yet, but she is still going strong with the dishes.  I guess I'm not sure how to approach the situation.  I want to embrace this willingness to help out, but don't want to burn her out too soon.  I think we'll just stay with the dishes for now.
Hallowe'en this year was cold.  We've had snow for a while now, and I don't think it's going anywhere.  I think when we went out, it was -13 with the wind chill.  Needless to say, it was a shorter outing than most years.  But the kids still have a pile of candy.  CeCe really got into it this year.  She was very friendly too.  As she was walking away from houses, she would yell, "Have a good day!"  At one house, a woman held bowl full of goodies for CeCe to see and asked CeCe what she liked.  Without missing a beat, CeCe said, "Candy!"  She knows what she wants.
A couple of nights ago at the supper table, Jorja asked Ginny what 10 plus 11 was.  Ginny paused for a minute and then said, "21."  Jorja and I looked at each other with equally shocked looks.  How do you know that, I asked her.  She replied that ten plus ten was twenty, so ten plus eleven would just be one more.  Pretty impressive for a four year old. 
This morning as we were getting ready for church, I was buckling CeCe into the car.  Sometimes getting all three of them into the car is like herding cats.  Ginny was off eating an icicle and Jorja was off putting the toe of her church shoe into a snow bank.  I yelled at them from inside the car while still buckling CeCe.  CeCe saw the look on my face and asked, "Why you so grumpy Daddy?"  She calls it like she sees it. 
I guess the next time I write will be post-Vegas.  It is going to be a lot of fun.  Later.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Thanksgiving and preschool

I need to do a bit of catching up here, so I'm going back to Thanksgiving.  We stayed home this year and Julie's parents came to our house.  Julie cooked the whole feast and it was awesome.  Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, salads, home-made cranberry sauce and pecan pie.  When she was asking her folks if they wanted to come, Julie asked her Dad if he had any requests.  He said home-made cranberry sauce and pecan pie.  I'm not sure if he was half joking about the pie or not, but Julie took him up on it.  He may have just been testing her because as it turns out, Julie's Mom had never even made a pecan pie before.  At any rate, the pie was amazing - I've never had pecan pie before but I think I may request it again some time.  It worked for Julie's Dad anyway. 

The weekend of Thanksgiving, there was a world record being broken fairly close to Saskatoon, so Julie's Dad and I took the older two girls to check it out.  249 combines together at one time in one field!  Pretty impressive.
The event was being put on by a charity Harvest 4 Kids, so they had a bunch of other fun stuff going on too.  The girls went for a pony ride - I was shocked that they had the courage to get up there, but they did, and they loved it.  However, I think the highlight of the ride was when Ginny's horse had to stop and pee.  They both thought that was hilarious.

There was also an old threshing display and a bunch of old tractors which Julie's dad really enjoyed.  It was pretty cool to see.  The girls had fun sitting on some of the old equipment.

It was a fun afternoon and when we got home, we were ready for turkey.

Ginny is starting to get a bit more excited about going to preschool these days.  She will come home from daycare the day before preschool and want to pick her snack to take along the minute we walk in the door.  She gets her lunch kit out, packs up her snack and gets her backpack all ready before supper.  It's pretty cute.  This week had a special day at preschool - Ginny's special day to be exact.  It's been a while since I've written about preschool (3 years probably) but the special day is where the parent gets to come along and be the helper.  Since I don't work Fridays, we requested to have Ginny's days on Friday and that means I am forced to go...I mean am lucky enough to go.  I volunteer in the toddler room nursery at church and let me tell you, I would take a room full of two year olds over a room full of four year olds any day.  I guess I shouldn't be so harsh - most of them were good, but there are a few that are let's just say - handfuls.  Two boys who like to cause destruction and mayhem everywhere they go.  Jorja's class had some interesting characters too, but I never witnessed any time-outs helping in her room.  On Friday, I witnessed four - each boy had two.  My biggest nightmare is the bathroom break.  The rule is that all preschoolers go with the parent helper to the bathroom of the parent's gender.  Boys and girls together and just wait their turn.  One of the problems with that is urinals.  Now, I don't remember learning to use a urinal and not having boys of my own, I have not had to cross this bridge.  Where am I going with this?  Well, it always starts with one child saying they have to go pee.  Then the teacher asks who else has to go.  Suddenly there's eight kids lined up at the door all doing the pee-pee dance.  It's amazing how that works.  So for the first trip, both the little 'ray of sunshine' boys had to go and were at the front of the line.  When I opened the door, they were off like a shot, and the rest of us walked.  I got to the bathroom and there were these two boys, pants at their ankles using the urinals.  I put the brakes on the girls, but not before a couple of them saw the bare butts and snickered.  They finished their business and then the girls went.  Four year olds never lock the stalls I have discovered.  So there I was, holding one door shut with my foot, balancing on my other foot, and holding the other door with my hand.  All the time trying to keep an eye on my two boys.  Couple that with the occasional older boy walking in to use the bathroom and the occasional kid saying they need help (to which I reply - wipe yourself and come out, you can figure it out) and it's all very stressful.  By the third trip, I was ready for a drink.  But everyone survived and Ginny did have a really good day, so that's all that matters.  She brought in a Zooble for show and tell and did a really good job explaining what it was and where she got it from.  Here she is in the seat of honor.

I was definitely ready for the weekend after that.  Yesterday was piano lesson day for the little two, Jorja had a birthday party to go to, and we had friends over for supper.  A busy day, but it was a lot of fun to sit and visit after the kids were in bed.  This morning was church and then we raked some leaves and did a bit of yard work this afternoon.  Back to work tomorrow and someone elses 'special' day at preschool.  Later.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2/3 = ∞

One year ago yesterday, Julie went to Mexico to have a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) performed.  You can check out the amazing company and surgeon at Weight Loss Forever

What can I say about her transformation?  It is truly amazing!  There are so many things I want to say, but I'm having trouble finding the words.  She has always been beautiful, funny, outgoing.  I think her humour was in part a defence for the lack of self esteem she felt though.  It's easier and hurts less to make a joke about yourself before someone else does.  Now, as every pound sheds, her self esteem and confidence increase.  That is the most amazing part for me.  Now everyone else can see the beautiful woman I fell in love with and no prejudge her on her appearance.  It is still taking her a while to see what everyone else sees.  She will look at clothes and say, 'this won't fit' and I tell her that 'yes, it will!  You're a lot smaller than you think.'  I guess old perceptions take a while to go away.

She can do a lot more things now too - like jump on the trampoline with the kids.  I think this summer is the first time she has ever enjoyed spending extended periods of time out in the heat.  She used to hate the heat, now she is always cold.  I mean always!  This is taking some getting used to for me.  She has always been hot, and now it's the opposite.  Her toes are like permanent ice cubes. 

So here she is - physically she is less than two thirds of the person she was a year ago.  Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, she is infinitely more.  Way to go Julie!  I am so proud of you.  You are a great wife and a wonderful mother and role model for our girls.  We are all lucky to have you in our lives.  


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall morning 2

>> I'm not sure why this didn't send with my picture, but this was what I wrote while watching the kids play:

>> Our Saturday mornings now involve music lessons for CeCe and Ginny. CeCe starts at 9:30 and Ginny at 10:00. It's across town so we've all been going along for the morning. Julie takes CeCe and I kill time with the older two and then I take Ginny while Julie hangs out with Jorja and CeCe. There aren't many stores open on broadway before 10, so walking down the street was getting a little old. Today I found a park a couple of blocks away. Jorja and Ginny are having a blast and I'm enjoying a cup of coffee listening to the sounds of their laughter and enjoying the fall scenery. There probably won't be many more days like this this year. I'm going to enjoy a few more minutes watching them have fun before I have to leave. Later.
>> Sent from my iPhone

Fall morning

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Is this day over yet?  Wowsers, do we have some emotional, overtired little ladies here.

CeCe has basically cut out napping, but she could still use one a couple of times a week.  She gets so overtired by supper, she doesn't know what to do with herself.  She freaks out at the drop of a hat, hits, pulls hair.  It's not pretty.  At any rate, by 6:30 and she was fast asleep.  Tomorrow will be a nap day for her.

Jorja had a field trip today and spent the entire day outside.  All that fresh air and exercise for a full day makes for one tired girl.  Throw into the mix some boy sitting behind her on the bus reaching over the seat and pinching her, and she was a mess.  (Why do little boys think hitting and pinching girls is an acceptable form of flirting?)  Anyway, they went to Blackstrap, which is a little man-made ski 'mountain' outside Saskatoon.  She hiked, touched a tame garter snake, saw a frog, saw a badger hole, and tripped and fell and skinned her hand.  She took a pretty good chunk out of her palm and it was still pretty dirty tonight.  So it had to be cleaned.  Well, you would not believe the tears and wailing that ensued.  She does not deal well with pain, especially when she's overtired.  You'd have thought I amputated it when I put the peroxide on.  She was in bed before 7 too, reading until 7:15, instead of the usual 7:45. 

Ginny was a bit off today too.  Adjusting to preschool is taking a lot out of her.  Tonight when it was almost bedtime, she discovered a little sliver on her thumb.  I mean tiny, and close to the surface.  One good scratch would have it out.  But I tried to be gentle at first, and then she went into full blown hysterics.  I never did get the sliver out.  After the other two, my fight was gone.  It will probably rub out tomorrow when she's playing anyway.

At any rate, it is now 7:00 and all is quiet.  And I'm spent.  I've got to get that man cave built before they're all teenagers.  (Or parent cave - I agreed to let Julie in too.)  Later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Biking, Sunday school, Barbie and Bumps

Last Saturday turned out to be a pretty big day for Jorja.  She finally rode her bike with no training wheels.  She and Ginny wanted to bike to the park, so I told her that if she figured out how to ride her bike, we would go.  It took two laps around our crescent (I was beat - that's a lot of running behind a bike), but she got it.  She's not super confident yet, and she kind of needs most of the street to herself, but she was doing it.

Sunday marked the beginning of our Sunday School programs at church.  This is CeCe's first year in Sunday school, but she had no issues.  I took her to her room, signed her in, the teacher came over and said, "Hi CeCe!  Do you want to come play with some play dough?"  She was gone and never looked back.  When I got there to pick her up, she saw me and came running across the room with a big smile on her face.  "Hi Daddy!"  "Did you have a good time?" I asked her.  "Yup!"  That was easy.  Ginny is still our shiest and most nervous in new situations.  She was pretty tentative when I dropped her off, but she didn't cry, so that was good.  Jorja was fine. 

Our church has two services, and Sunday School runs during the first service.  Julie was playing piano this week, which meant she had to stay and play for both services.  After the girls and I were done, it was only 10:30.  We needed a few things at Costco, so I thought I'd head out there.  Alone with three kids on a weekend - I thought I may be taking my life into my own hands.  There is never a time when our Costco is not a zoo, but weekends are even worse.  When I got there, the parking lot confirmed my fear.  It was busy already.  But I was already there, so we ventured in.  It was busy, but the girls got to have a couple of samples, so they were happy.  And pretty much all the tills were open, so even that didn't take too long.

Now that CeCe is cutting out napping, it is cutting into Julie's and my Sunday afternoon nap.  By cutting into it, I mean eliminating it.  However, when you are a father of three girls, you just know certain things, like the release dates of the latest Barbie movie on DVD.  There just so happened to be one this week.  'Barbie:  The Princess and the Pop Star' in case anyone is dying to see it.  Anyway, back to the point of this whole Barbie movie story.  While in Costco, I got to thinking, 'what is the cost of an afternoon nap?'  It turns out that it's $13.49.  Yes, we own the new Barbie movie, but more importantly, Julie and I had an uninterrupted hour and sixteen minutes.  Too bad the next one doesn't come out until the spring.

After work today on the way home from the sitter, I had to stop behind a car.  I guess there's not usually much traffic between here and the sitter's (it is only a few blocks) because this was somewhat of an abnormality.  Ginny looked ahead and said, "Dad, don't bump that car."  I was already stopped, and I wasn't that close to it.  I wasn't going to bump the car, and I told her that.  Then she said, "Yeah, but remember that time when you DID bump a car?"  Yes Ginny, I remember.  Thanks for bringing it up.  Later.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back to School

I really need to start writing more regularly again.  September is almost half over.  Crazy.

September has meant the start of school.  Jorja is now in grade two and Ginny started preschool.  Julie took Ginny for an hour last Friday for the first day/orientation (where the parents stay).  Then I took Monday afternoon off work to take her for her first day on her own.  We were a little worried about how she would react, but she did really well - no tears.  I could tell she was close, but she kept it together.  After I left her, I realized I was pretty close too.  It's hard to believe how fast they grow up.  She had a good first day though and was excited to show off her first craft.  Apparently 'circle time' is kind of boring though.  I hope she doesn't find it too boring in general.  I guess we'll see.  Hopefully she can make a couple new friends.  As I was tucking her in last night, I said I was excited to hear about how her second day of preschool was.  (It's today - she goes every other afternoon.)  She look up at me and said, "Yeah, but it will probably be just like the first day.  If there's anything new, I'll tell you."  What a kid.

I am pleased to report that the younger two girls love of Neil Diamond is not waning.  Every day when I pick them up from work, they ask for a song.  I'm gradually broadening their song range too.  CeCe's favourite at the moment seems to be Shilo and Ginny's is 'Salvation Show'.  CeCe is also a big fan of 'New Jeans' (which is Forever in blue jeans) and America.  Jorja still claims she doesn't like any of it, but I think she's just saying that.  Who could resist Neil?  The other night when I was tucking CeCe into bed, I asked her if she wanted me to sing her a song.  Julie usually puts her to bed and sings her a song.  Jesus Loves Me, You and my Sunshine, Twinkle Twinkle and some of her usual requests.  She asked me to sing Shilo.  What a moment. 

Speaking of music, the girls all really like the song Springsteen by Eric Church.  I took this opportunity to explain to them that it was about an actual singer named Bruce Spingsteen.  Then I played some Springsteen.  I am happy to say that the younger two are now hooked on Darlington County.  Good stuff.

We went to Julie's folks' place for the long weekend.  They were busy with harvest, so the older two girls each got to go for a combine ride.  They thought that was pretty cool.  CeCe went in the truck, but it was tough to get her out of the grain testing shed.  Jorja was lucky enough to get a handful of grain.  She was really proud of that.  She carried it from the field back to the farm (sharing some with Ginny along the way) and then asked Nanny for a bag, so she could keep it.  City kids.

Here's some pictures from the last little while:

Ginny after her first day of preschool

CeCe the grain tester at Julie's parents' farm at harvest

Jorja reading with great grandma

Ginny playing some campfire bingo

Jorja on her first day of Grade 2

Jorja playing frisbee

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Christmas in the summer

We spent last weekend in Tofield at my parents' place.  It was our family's annual 'Christmas in the summer time' weekend.  There are just too many of us to try to get together in one house in the winter when we can't send the kids outside.  This has proved to be a nice alternative.  My sister and one brother each brought their RVs and my other brother was staying with his in laws.  That left just us to stay at my Mom and Dad's, which worked out nice.  It also happened to be my uncle's 60th birthday, so my grandparents and all my Mom's brothers were in town too.  It was a good weekend for visiting and reconnecting. 

We spent our first evening at my sister's RV, around the campfire, playing bingo and eating smores.  Good times.  Ginny was a little freaked out by the fire (we don't exactly camp much...or at all), but CeCe was oblivious and kept walking too close for comfort.  Everyone made in out unscathed except for the marshmallows. 

The next day we had turkey, stuffing and all the fixings - it was Christmas after all.  The grandkids exchanged presents and we hung out some more.  CeCe was playing with her cousin Carson, who is a year older than her.  There was a disagreement over a plastic meatball.  He had it, she had it, he had it.  Finally CeCe had had enough and lost her cool.  "Bad baby!" she yelled.  "You go to the corner.  NOW!"  Maybe not the best way to handle the situation, but standing back and watching them, it was pretty funny.  Especially since the baby was a year older than her. 

That night was my uncle's party.  He had rented the curling rink for the festivities and even had some live musicians.  The girls had a blast running around in the open space playing with their cousins and then dancing the night away with their one girl cousin their age.  One lonely guitar player and four little girls proved to be pretty good entertainment.  Probably not the usual bar crowd he was used to.

Sunday we headed home and then it was back to work on Monday.  We've been letting Jorja stay up a bit later than Ginny this past week.  Sometimes we let her read in her room or sometimes downstairs with us.  Last night, after having read downstairs with us for a while after Ginny was in bed, we told her it was time for bed.  I went up with her to tuck her in.  Her asthma has been really bad this year, so she does her puffer every night before bed.  Just before putting it to her mouth, she asked how come she gets to stay up later than the other girls.  As she is puffing away, I tell her that she is older.  It seems to be a revelation.  She just realized that this may have benefits.  Her eyes lit up, the corners of her mouth curled up around her inhaler, and seeing as how she couldn't talk at that moment, she gave me a thumbs up.  What a kid.  Later. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vegas, baby

We had to go to Costco on Sunday to pick up a few things. We've been going there more often lately and the girls are starting to enjoy the samples. Some days are better than others though and this fact has not eluded them. When I take them first thing Friday morning, the sampling is not too great. So as we were getting in the car to head out there, Ginny said she hoped there would be samples. Jorja piped up, "Of course there will be. It's the weekend."

I realize I haven't written yet since I turned 40. I have to say I don't really feel any different, which is good I guess. My party was awesome. I had some great friends and family out. The weather was great. Julie surprised me with a child-free trip to Vegas in November. I was shocked and ecstatic. It had been our goal/hope/dream to go this year, but I had pretty much given up. Then her cousin volunteered to watch the kids, she booked some flights and hotels and we're off. Well we will be anyway. Pretty cool.

I'm trying something new today. I set up my blog to be able to post from email so I am typing on my iPhone during my lunch. Hopefully it works ok. I'll have to check out the formatting when I get home. Anyway, beer calls. Later.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympics, spilled milk, iPhone and turning 40

We are nearing the end of our second and final week of holidays for the summer.  We spent this second week at home just hanging out.  The girls had some appointments - Ginny got her four year shots finally (there were a few tears but she did pretty good) and Jorja had her seven year doctor check-up and dentist check-up (no cavities!! - given my dental history, that is monumental). 

We've also watched a lot of the Olympics.  Julie and I both love watching the Olympics and the girls really got into it this year too.  They would go outside and play on the trampoline and play Olympics.  They did running events around the edge of it, as well as swimming.  They did diving by doing various jumping routines.  It was quite entertaining to watch and listen to.  Jorja shows her patriotic spirit and always represents Canada.  Ginny would apparently defect for whoever is winning.  She was representing China for most of the games, but has now switched to the USA as they are in the lead for medals.  Somehow they were both able to both win gold medals in all their events though.  Yesterday I overheard Jorja say, "Maybe someone else should win a medal now.  How about the Netherlands?"  I'm not sure where that came from, but it's nice to see she thinks everyone should win something.  However she does have some competitiveness in her.  She was asking where Canada was in the total medal standings today and I told her twelfth.  She got a funny look on her face.  "That's pretty good, isn't it?" I said.  She scrunched up her nose, shook her head and said "No."  Oh well.

The other day we had an interesting breakfast.  The girls were all having cereal.  Jorja and Ginny were almost done, and fooling around.  In the process, they spilled most of Ginny's milk all over the table.  I was not impressed.  I told them they were now done breakfast and that they should just go wash up.  As I was going to get a rag to wipe up their spill, CeCe decided to throw her entire bowlful of milk onto the floor.  Wow, unimpressed does not begin to explain how I felt at that moment.  There was some corner time after that.  The funny thing is that that night CeCe brought me a book to read her.  It's about a baby bear asking his Mom about how much she loved him.  On the second page, the little bear asked, "Will you still love me even if a make a great big mess?"  How fitting.  The mother bear still loved her little bear and so did I.

I do a lot on my iPhone.  Texting, surfing the web, facebook.  I really am becoming addicted to the autocorrect function it has.  I will find myself typing on the computer and pausing after I know I've made a typo waiting for the correct word to pop up.  It doesn't and I realize I will have to correct it myself.  Or I'll be typing and come to the end of a sentence and just double space.  When you double space on the iPhone, it puts a period in for you and capitalizes the next letter.  Very handy, but it makes typing on the computer very annoying.  Can't Microsoft just know what I want to do?  Is that too much to ask? 

I am typing this tonight on the eve of my fortieth birthday.  I don't really think I feel forty.  Well, I guess I don't know how that feels yet.  I don't think it bothers me either - I guess we'll see tomorrow.  Other than the fact that I've got less hair on my head and more in my nose and ears and on my shoulders and back, I feel pretty good.  I had my yearly physical a little while ago, and I think I am in better health than I have been in most of my adult life.  I don't smoke anymore.  I have a healthy weight now.  My blood sugar levels are good.  My bad cholesterol is low.  My good cholesterol is high.  My blood pressure is medicated, but under control.  And I asked my family doc when my physicals had to get a little more personal and she said not till I'm 50, unless I have trouble.  Woot woot! 

We're having a party tomorrow - I think about 20 people will be here, so it should be a good time.  For the last time as a thirty-something year old, later.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Holiday Road part 2

We left Calgary early in Wednesday morning.  Early because our children cannot sleep in.  It doesn't matter what time they go to bed, they are up between six and seven.  Holidays were no exception.  Probably worse than normal actually.  So we got up, packed and headed for the mountains.  Before going to Canmore, we went through the Banff first and took a trip up the gondola.  We all had fun and it wasn't even too scary.  Here we are on the way up.

After the gondola, we headed back to Canmore and spent the next three nights there.  We met up with my sister and her family who have a condo there.  We did some more shopping, some walking and spent some time in the pool.  The weather was still pretty good although we did have some rain.  It was nice enough for ice cream one afternoon though.

Saturday morning we packed up again and made the long trek back to Saskatoon.  The girls have seen Julie put her feet up on the dashboard a few too many times, to they thought they should stretch out too.  Here's Jorja's foot behind my head.

And what would a holiday be without our theme song.  We sang it at the start of every leg of our journey.  Look out Griswolds, here come the Kroekers.