25 December, 2010

Sunday (Except really it's Saturday) Six

Now I'm speed-blogging. It's Christmas afternoon, the pork roast is in the oven (I've never actually cooked one before so we'll see how it goes); the applesauce is done, the potatoes are soaking, the carrots are all ready, still have salad to make and jell-o jigglers to shaperize.

Without further adieu, here are six things I 'love' (sorry I haven't got time to post pictures of everything!).

#1) Boxing Day - I realize it's not a holiday celebrated in the U.S., and honestly, having no servants, it's not one we celebrate in its purest form at our house either, BUT, it's a great excuse to have a day off (in most cases) and for those who love shopping, it's the Canadian equivalent of Black Friday.

#2) This recipe for fun jell-0 treats. We're not having them today but we made them last week for a family Christmas gathering and they went over like beer, er, lemonade on a hot summer day! Fun to make, fun to look at.

#3) This is not exactly the same as the one I got for Christmas but I knew it was coming and I was even dreaming about it last night! I can hardly wait to use it this week. Now to decide on a good muffin recipe to use....

And now I shall tell you about three things we never knew we needed until Christmas Eve/Christmas Day:

#4) This item would've come in handy Christmas morning. The girls missed naps yesterday so they slept in this morning and even when the Little Goat woke up, she wasn't terribly interested in opening presents. She wanted to look at the tree and then come back to give me a hug and a kiss and curl up in bed with us. Awww...

#5) This also would've come in handy Christmas morning after Squawky dumped a large portion of her little Christmas stocking cookie box all over her clothes - and the floor. *sigh*

#6) This came in handy on Christmas Eve when we realized 'ACK! All the grandparents are going to be around for the next week and we have nothing to pull the kids around in outside when we go skating at the park, etc!' Plus, Erin K. and Co. came over yesterday afternoon for playing in the snow and then hot chocolate and chocolate fondue. (Wow - do kids ever play well together when they're all sugared up!)

What about you? Is there anything you realized after the fact that you might've asked for for Christmas? What is your favourite present you received? Did you make a new special memory? I hope you've had a wonderful Christmas holiday! Enjoy the last week of the year!


And if you missed last week's post, can I encourage you to check out this entire Andrew Peterson CD. You have to click through each song to hear it but they're beautiful songs - not just for Christmas but anytime.

19 December, 2010

Sunday Skip?

I know, I know. I just came back and I'm bailing on you already. But it's pretty much midnight, we've had a vastly productive and full day - cheesecake making, jell-o dessert making, carmel popcorn making, present wrapping, label making, grocery shopping, and a trip to America to mail presents - and we're T.I.R.E.D. Which doesn't explain why I just watched Friday Night Lights instead of going to bed early.

At any rate, I would tell you six things I love and be all fancy-like with pictures and numbers. Instead, here's six Christmas songs I pretty much could listen to all day....beautiful, beautiful, beautiful....

#1) Love Came Down at Christmas - JOC
#2) Good King Wenceslas - as performed by the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir
#3) Glory - BDW
#4) What Child is This? - MM
#5) O, Holy Night - NB
#6) While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night - Andrew Peterson

10 December, 2010

Sunday Six: 2.0

I married a slightly geeky geek (no, really - he's playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii right now). I myself could in some instances be considered a slightly geeky geek. Therefore I present to you six slightly geeky (but significantly super awesome) gadgets that I think would only bring my slightly geeky geekiness to a whole new (and superbly brilliant) level (and yes, half of them are culinarily-minded items. So there.).

#1: Because who wouldn't want to store their keys this way?
#2: So many uses....such as achieving Mad Scientist Level 4...or actually not wrecking my brain doing math to convert foreign recipes.

#3: This way, I could fall asleep while watching the minutes tick by but wake up with "improved vitality and mood."
#4: Up until this very moment, I had no idea what a raclette actually was, but I see now that it involves cheese - SWISS cheese even - so I'm pretty much sold. Now I *need* it not simply because it looks cool but also because it MELTS CHEESE.

#5: This isn't something I actually need anymore, having no children presently in the strictly puree-eating phase, BUT, it looks super-cool, ridiculously practical, and the name makes me snigger.

#6: So perfect for life in my alternate (spy) universe! And if I couldn't have that, I'd carry one of these. Military grade, people!

So, tell me, if you could choose ONE of the above, which would you choose and why?

04 December, 2010

Sunday Six

So my friend Jodie over at Velour started this list a while back called The Sunday Six. Every Sunday she posts a list (that was obvious, wasn't it?) of six things she loves...or perhaps just really likes. Like, a lot. Jodie has been one of my most ardent encouragers (it's a word now) to get back to blogging (but more on that another time). For now though, I think I'll stick to her suggestion to rip off her Sunday Six schtick. So here goes, Jodie, here goes.

one: this guy - even when he's not dressed as Mr. Cleaver. He turned 30 yesterday and as I type, he's out at the surprise party that I so ingeniously masterminded for him. A sneaky plan that actually made me so ill in my stomach I had to have a rest after lunch today.

two: these two yahoos. I mean, have you seen anything so cute? (Nope, didn't think so.) (And no, we don't make them go around wearing sunglasses all the time.)

this coffee, without which the zombie-like state I wake up in every morning would never cease. Caribou Coffee fuels my little world in the wee (or in most cases, the not-so-wee) morning hours.

Christmas. Truly, I used to loathe Christmas. Then we had one girl, then we had another and ever since, it's gotten better and better and I can hardly wait to dive into the Season after Thanksgiving.five: Grover. Need I say more:six: this toothbrush is AMAZING. And it makes me feel so fancy and planet-conscious (*eye roll*).
And there you have it. Next time I might even blog about actual thoughts I've been having as of late. Or if you're really lucky, I might actually tell you what's going on in our corner of the world - which might involve some thoughts. Aren't you lucky? I know, you're waiting with bated breath.

21 November, 2010

We interrupt this inexcusable blogging absence....

....to bring you these hilarious videos.

My friend Rachelle posted this on Facebook and it had LJ and I in stitches. Hooray for satire!

Another friend posted this and it's so ridiculous it's funny. At first I thought it was a joke, but the lady in the commercial seems so convinced!


23 August, 2010

Uh oh...

The Little Goat: I'm a alligator, Mom. You're a alligator and Dad's a alligator.
Me: And what is Squawky?
LG: Squawky's a duck. I'm a alligator. I'm going to eat the duck!
Me: Oh no! That would make Mom sad. I don't want Squawky to get eaten. Who will you play with?
LG: Well not Squawky, anyway.

30 July, 2010

But in My Defense...

...we were away for longer than planned on our holiday. We left July 2nd and had intended to be back on the 14th, but LJ's Nana passed away on the 12th (it's a cool story, I'll tell it to you sometime), so we ended up staying a week longer.

Anyway, I'm presently in the throes of getting the laundry done and house tidied so we can skedaddle off for the weekend again. This time, to Grand Forks for a Post-Holiday Holiday. We used one of those 'choose-what-you're-willing-to-pay' websites last night and got a steal on a room (essentially half-price) at a nice hotel with *phew* a pool AND hot breakfast. The Little Goat was more than just a little excited when I told her she could have waffles for breakfast AND go swimming.

So to tide you over until I'm back, here's a few pictures from our adventures in Washington. Okay, well, nevermind. Blogger won't let me upload pictures. Sorry!!

28 June, 2010

The Birthdays

I get to the end of June and I can never figure out what happened to April and May...and the beginning of June for that matter. It seems like my birthday was ages ago and in fact, it was only a month and a half ago. And now here we are and it's already been a week and a half since the girls' birthdays.

The Little Goat and Squawky both seemed to enjoy their day. We had "special birthday pancakes" for breakfast. Squawky got a number 1 and the LG got a number 3. By the time she finished it and asked for another special birthday pancake, I was finished making them all, so she ended up eating both a 'balloon' and a 'moon'. (I was all ready with 'ball' and 'polka dot'...)

After breakfast a friend called and invited us to the beach so we got all packed up and away we went. The LG has never been a fan of the beach. She doesn't love sand and doesn't like swimming either. I had to carry her over the sand the first time and she responded with a howl when I dipped her feet in the water. Fortified by lunch, however, she was ready to go play in the sand and she and her little friend actually played nicely together and found common purpose in destroying the sandy lobster molds we made. It was fun to watch them. And because our daughters daily like to confound us and reinforce that they are two very different girls, Squawky LOVED the water! She stood up in the water and started kicking her feet and splashing. When I think about it, I'm not really sure why I'm surprised.

The rest of the day was rounded out with naps, birthday supper (grilled cheese with a side of...cheese) and a trip for ice cream which Squawky refuses to try (I'm guessing because it's cold), and of course presents. So here you are, the day in pictures (ignore the dates on the pictures; I think the camera clock is wrong).

Oh...and a funny story!
The friend we went to the beach with has boys and the oldest was getting dried off and changing from swim trunks to shorts. Three-year-olds aren't necessarily noted for their modesty and the Little Goat got a pretty good glimpse of a certain little body part.
LG: Mom, what's THAT funny thing?
Me: That's part of what makes M a boy.
M (to his Mom): Mom, what's so funny? What are you guys laughing at?

And shortly after they all left:
LG: Mom, M has a finger on his bum.
Me: It's not a finger, dear, it's a special boy part.

I should tell you that the last time we went to the beach together, we made sure to hold up towels around the kids.

Playing - together! - after Birthday Breakfast.

Practicing to be a vigilant lifeguard?

Beautiful, even when she's just playing.

By the time we walked home from the beach...

Enjoying birthday ice cream.

Almost ready for the end of the day.

16 June, 2010

1, 3

Many days still go by when I cannot believe I'm actually a mother - and also many days when I think maybe I shouldn't be. Kids' birthdays are good for many things but not the least of which is to remind us that we've actually survived motherhood (or fatherhood) for another year!

Tonight, at 10:02, LJ and I will celebrate the technical beginning of parenting the Little Goat which began in 2007. Twenty minutes later, we'll celebrate the technical beginning of parenting Squawky, which began a mere 12 months ago, even though it seems like she's been around a lot longer.

In celebrating parenthood, we are so grateful for God's grace. for His gift of these two fantastic, beautiful girls. We love you two - and we wouldn't trade you for anyone! Happy birthday, Little Goat! Happy birthday, Squawky!

15 June, 2010

A Conversation

Me: So, Little Goat, do you still like your special little bed?
LG: Yes. I would like it to move back to Mom & Dad's big room. Mom & Dad would like to share a room with me.
Me: No. Mom & Dad don't want to share a room with anyone.
LG: Are we taking my special little bed to Nana & Papa's?
Me: I don't think it will fit on the airplane! It's too big!
LG: We can put it in the airplane.
Me: No, Dear, it won't fit.
LG: We can put it in the airplane and we can dribe the airplane to Nana & Papa's house!

04 June, 2010


So my birthday this year was fantastic! LJ actually planned a birthday party for me (in three days!) and even though it rained, everybody had a good time - LJ even came home early from work so he could help get everything ready and cook.

Next up was Mother's Day. We were rushed getting in to The Big City, but it turned out we really weren't on that tight a schedule. As we were driving through the city, we were passing through a familiar neighbourhood; I've known quite a few people who've lived there. Then we got to 'M' Street and everything fell into place: "HEY! Lindsay lives on 'M' Street! We're going to Lindsay's house! Does that mean we get to leave the children and go on a date?!"

Well, no, not exactly. [And as a sidebar here, let me give you a word of warning that getting a little too excited about the prospect of dropping your kids off somewhere is maybe not the best idea if you want to keep them from FREAKING OUT.] LJ had been planning this surprise for no less than THREE weeks! We got to Lindsay's, fed, watered, and bathroomed the kids, and then LJ gave me some money and said 'have fun!' He took the kids to the zoo (well, the gift shop anyway because the zoo was about to close) and Lindsay and I went shopping. Then we met back up with LJ, the kids, and Lindsay's boyfriend for supper. Seriously, it ranks right up there as one of the best 'surprises' ever. I have no idea how LJ will ever top all this celebrating next year.

Oh, and as the icing on the cake of all this celebrating, I ended up with not one, but three new CDs: for our anniversary, I got a Simon & Garfunkel greatest hits CD (in lieu of some very expensive tickets to the concert in The Big City), for my birthday, the new Starfield album (Have you heard them? They're really good! They love Jesus and the lead singer was a lunch-buddy of mine in college...and he's a HUGE U2 fan.), and for Mother's Day, the new Swell Season record (kind of folksy and well...swell).

LJ also had his appointment with the glaucoma specialist in The Big City which was a debacle all its own. And when I am better able to laugh about it, I will tell you the story.

We spent May Long Weekend in my hometown with my parents, played a round of golf on possibly the coldest May day in my recent memory, watched the series finale of Lost (and boy, am I glad I didn't waste six tv 'seasons' of my life on THAT), and concluded the weekend with a drive home I hope to NEVER repeat. EVER. (I'm not laughing about that one yet either.)

Last weekend, my parents came out here and we celebrated my Dad's birthday. Next up is the girls' birthdays on the 16th. So soon! The Hello Kitty invites will be 'in the mail' this week. *gasp*

04 May, 2010

Birthdays....and Other Signs of Aging

I read an article the other day called "30 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 30."
According to that article I have failed miserably at enjoying my 20s. I didn't travel the world solo, get a job in Australia (one of the 30 things I might actually have considered doing at some point); I didn't mud wrestle at a giant music festival or get a free condom at the Love Parade in Germany. What I did do in my 20s was get married, move to a foreign country, move across said foreign country, make a lot of amazing friends, and have two of the most beautiful kids in the universe.

Thirty has gone by so quickly. I think thirty was supposed to feel different, the start of something other than just a new decade of life, the first steps on the Road to Greater Maturity. Thirty was a pretty epic year: We sold our first house, celebrated our seventh anniversary, celebrated my 30th birthday (oh Cracker Barrel, how I miss you)...my Mom battled cancer (and won!), LJ started a new job, and most exciting, we moved Home to Canada just in time for Squawky's arrival - and that was just in the first six months!

So thirty was good, but 31 already feels like the 'real' new beginning. We're more settled and less in a state of flux. This is Home now and I feel like we've been here for years already. We love it here! Looking outside this morning it's an almost perfect spring day. The grass is green, the sky is a little blue with big puffy white clouds. The leaves are almost fully out and waltzing in the breeze. I can look down the street one direction and see a friend's house, I can look down the street in the other direction and see another friends house...we are incredibly blessed - even on the 'bad' days.

Thirty-one holds a lot of possibilities - first steps, first words, first written words - so here's to the hope of another year, here's to continued contentment. Here's to another year of living life and loving my family in a place I never thought I'd be, in a place I can't imagine ever leaving.

And also - happy birthday to my birthday twin! I love you, Brenda!

26 April, 2010


Spring is here and we've been busy getting outside and walking, exercising, and watching these kids grow! Squawky is way beyond army crawling now; she's pulling up and walking alongside furniture. It's incredible the rate at which her gross motor skills have developed compared to the Little Goat who didn't walk until after a year. Every day it is more apparent just how different our girls are.

The LG is developing in her own areas. She can recognize a little over half of the alphabet when she sees the letters (even some upside down!), though we haven't made much progress on memorizing them. She's been enjoying our walks and reading books. Yesterday, when she was outside with LJ she told him she wanted to "dig the garden." Soon. We went out to feed Earl the Squirrel ('he' and 'Alice' live in our backyard) and instead of leaving one of the pieces of bread on the log by the fire pit, she just sat down and ate it. Luckily, Earl found the chunk of bread on top of the shed a little while later.

The trees in our backyard have almost all started to leaf out just in this past week, the tulips are about to bloom and some of the flowers we planted last summer actually made it through the winter and are about to bloom too. All of this is happening quite a bit earlier than usual this year. I can't think of an April in recent memory when I could wear just a tshirt outside and be roasting. Hopefully it's not an indication of how hot it will be this summer because me and heat - not the closest friends.

Speaking of heat. The guys that live in the tiny house beside us (really, everybody around here knows it as The Little House) are getting ready to move out sometime this summer. They rent and the owner has plans to build a house. In the meantime, they have been cutting and burning trees/wood on the property to help clear it off. We're pretty sure it has digressed almost entirely to the point of simply seeing how high they can make the flames go during their weekend bonfires. We've seen flames at least 15 feet high and the pile of stuff waiting to burn is crazy! At least 48 wood pallets, the cut logs from two trees that were at least three stories tall each. Oh, and a shed. Yes, they are slowly dismantling an entire shed. (We're wondering if they're going to take apart and burn the house piece by piece too.) It's really quite the sight behold.

In other news, the missions team from our church left last Wednesday for Indonesia for two weeks. For the month of April, there is a challenge at church to walk/run during the week to see if collectively we can walk the distance to Indonesia. I can't remember what the total number of kilometers walked so far is, but my personal total is 85km in the least three weeks and I'm pretty excited about that!

I have a post half-written about our Lenten experience this year and I really want to get it up on the blog. Finding time to write has been a challenge lately though but I'm shooting for sometime this week. Er, hopefully. Hope everybody's enjoying some nice spring weather wherever you are!

20 March, 2010

Nine Months Already!

Squawky was nine months this past Tuesday. I can hardly believe that much time has gone by already. The Little Goat, of course, marked her two years and nine months milestone. Just as cute, but only willing to be photographed as her alter-ego "Penguin Banquet."

And because I know you love some gratuitous cuteness:

08 March, 2010

Amor Patriae

The Olympics are finally over (we won some gold medals, did you know?) and it was quite the whirlwind two weeks of addictive sports viewing. The Little Goat has discovered skiing...at least vicariously for now. Last week she saw a huge mound of snow in a parking lot and told me she wanted to "go skiing on that hill. Grampa hode you." I chortled my reply, "No dear, as funny as that would be, Grampa doesn't ski. He'll hold you when you go skating though!"

Speaking of, yesterday was her last skate of the season (it's finally getting too warm out) and LJ said there was really only one good patch of ice left on the rink. The LG kept seeing patches of grass where the ice had melted away: "Hay for the horses! Hay for the horses!"

Let's see if I can put in point form a few other things that have happened since last I was here.

- Squawky has in actual fact, gotten louder. Ikea doesn't need to play birds-of-prey sounds anymore to keep smaller birds from nesting in their parking garages, they just need a recording of Squawky at suppertime. Sheesh! She's also started pulling up on the crib rails, army crawling a little as of late last week, and her first tooth is a week and two days old!

Squawky's first tooth!

- We won some gold medals.

- First tooth = great but also = biting. :(

- We won some gold medals.

- We went to two baby showers, one baby dedication, and one surprise 30th birthday party.
Me holding my newest little cousin! Cute, even when she was crying.

- We won some gold medals.

- My cousin finally got engaged (YAY!)!

- We won some gold medals.

- The last baby in our church small group arrived last Tuesday. A BOY! *gasp* Will he have his pick of girls someday or what!?

- We won some gold medals.

- Lent started and so did our fast from yeast/leaven. We declared a few exceptions though - crackers are still allowed and we are taking a one-day moratoriam for St. Patrick's Day (LJ was more than a little concerned that we were going to have to go without beer on St. P's Day). So far it's been okay but some days....what I wouldn't give for piece of bread and a cookie! Oi!

- We won some gold medals. Did I mention that already?

Now we're looking forward to St. Patrick's Day (Guinness stew and Guinness brownies!), LJ's surgery and subsequent week (off!) of recuperating, the winter fair in my hometown (which is HUGE), and Easter (baskets, bunnies, eggs! Love, The Resurrection, and GRACE!)! And after that? The start of our season of celebration around here which will include several anniversaries, at least six birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and a slew of new babies! And, obviously, continued reveling in all of Canada's gold medals. (You didn't know Canadians could be so immodest, did you?)

14 February, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

In retrospect, we probably should've taken the LG's picture first. Thankfully, Squawky didn't eat the whole thing.

12 February, 2010

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day

The LG and I have been crafting and baking this week and today is no different only our theme is baby shower cookies and cupcakes (photos to follow pending the outcome).

Presently, the LG is working on tower construction (future engineer?) and Squawky is sitting up but pending over like an ostrich attacking her toes to chew on them (future contortionist?).

Come back on Saturday/Sunday for your official Valentine's greeting!

02 February, 2010

Just a Couple More Pictures

Squawky enjoying her oatmeal.

The Little Goat sporting spectacular spectacles!

What? Deep thoughts? From me?!


It turns out January is ALREADY OVER which I find a little hard to believe. We had a great two weeks at my parent's place...except for the fact that Squawky hardly slept the first week and improved very little in that department the second week. The Little Goat had, in two weeks, only one truly successful day of potty training so we're not really any further on that front either.
I, on the other hand (because it's all about me, right?) actually got to go hang out with my friend Chandra. We went to an actual theater (my first theater movie in a LONG time!) and saw Leap Year and then went and shared some tasty cheesecake. All without children!

This month, we're going to be working on some organizational projects around here, particularly the girls' room. I should take before-and-after pictures. It looks just awful after the little we sorted this morning. There are boxes and piles of clothes all over the floor. The time has come though because we moved Squawky out of our room (HALLELUJAH!) and her stuff needs to be sorted into her dresser instead of being in a heap in a laundry basket, which means we may as well sort EVERYTHING all at once. So, she and the LG are officially sharing a room and so far, it's going pretty well.

Oh yes! Squawky started solids at the beginning of January which really consisted of trying applesauce in tiny portions twice. Then we quit until we were at my parent's. We tried applesauce one night and banana the next. Then applesauce again. Mom and I determined it really wasn't doing anything for her sleeping and seemed to be making her ill so we ended that. But yesterday morning I fed her some oatmeal cereal with fruit and it was a hit. The brown rice at suppertime was an even bigger hit! At first I was annoyed because I thought I had mixed way too much and would just end up throwing it away, but I momentarily forgot who we were feeding. She practically inhaled it! I'm attributing her slightly better night to her fuller belly. She actually had a three-hour stretch!

Enough of that. You're here for the pictures, I know.

Getting ready to go skating!

First time skating! She's really Canadian now!

Squawky stayed inside with Grama.

The LG wearing the "scarsp" she made with Grama.