Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Clean Up - Do We Dare Say Spring?

While Parker is away on his trip, we decided that we didn't want to go away for Easter Break without him. So, while we are enjoying a great week off school with no sports or music commitments, we are doing a lot of much needed work around our house and yard. We are not naive enough to think that we won't see snow a couple of more times but for now, the snow has melted and we've had a couple of perfect spring days for getting thins done!
We have cleaned out gardens, raked the lawn, caulked a part of roof that was leaking, put up hose hangers, hung a mailbox (it's only been 3 years...), took down Christmas lights, changed burnt out light bulbs, sorted through the shed, cleaned windows and screens and swept decks. Matt and I also bought some metal screws and put one in each joint of the hockey nets that we got from Uncle Scott a few years back. They will no longer fall apart when carried to the road! (Parker will be thrilled!) It's been great! It's amazing how much there is to do. I'm the first to admit that we have enough to do here and I would not do well living on a farm. I feel adequately busy!
In addition to all these things, we are starting a new project as a family. Our garden has been less than optimal these past three years, so after doing some research (mostly by Dave), we are going to try Square Foot Gardening. Pre requisite - square boxes. We've now made multiple trips to Home Depot and Totem - I think they all recognize us there now. We decided on cedar so they would last for many years. We've completed one, the second is close to completion with the third to be built tomorrow. Matt, Sara and Hannah have been great helpers and have all tried their hand at drilling, measuring and screwing in bolts. The boxes look great! Let's hope we can get some food out of our beautiful boxes!

Easter Egg Decorating

We're really not sure why Egg Decorating is a part of Easter. We actually really play down the commercialized part of Easter. Maybe because neither Dave or I had a very big focus on that part of Easter as kids. But, egg decorating and then egg rolling, is a family favourite! So, while Dave and Matt did some male bonding watching a movie, Sara, Hannah and I and Sara's friend did some spectacular eggs. A favourite friend of ours has the best recipe because it makes the eggs have swirly designs. We love them! Here's the recipe for future Easter use...

Fill four mugs 3/4 full with boiling water. Add 2 teaspoons vinegar and lots of food colouring - 8 - 10 drops. We always do one mug of each colour - blue, red, yellow and green. Stir and then let cool. When cool, add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil. You're ready to go. *The trick is to make sure to stir the dye before placing your hard boiled egg in. This ensures that the oil is somewhat mixed in. The result is a swirly coloured egg. You can then take your egg out and place it in another colour for AMAZING results. Have fun!

The bad thing is that they are so pretty that you cry as you see them being rolled down the hill!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Today we were cleaning Parker's room while he is away. Normally at night Parker gets too hot so he kicks his socks off. So we checked in his sheets to see if any socks were there. We thought it was funny that he had 5 socks in his sheets. We also thought it was funny there were 16 socks under his bed.

Here are the 16 socks from under his bed.
While cleaning, Hannah decided to try to keep up with her cousin Dillon. Matt caught her on video. Check this out! Maybe they can start a band together.

YouTube Video

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

World Traveller Departs

So, he's off. Just pulled away on his very big adventure! How do parents do this? It's so wonderful, but so hard to see them grow up! If someone offered me a drug that would freeze time right now, I'd buy it for top dollar. I treasure every day and event my kids go through.
Parker will have an amazing time! He'll learn lots about other parts of the world, get to know his friends better, make new friends and will have to keep track of all his possessions without parents around. (that last one worries me a little bit....:). We even hear he might get to meet the infamous Carmen!
We told him to buy lots of gelato and a treasure or two. We all wish we were in his suitcase!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Weekend Inside...

Our family spent A LOT of time in a few different gyms this weekend. Matt had a badminton tournament all day friday and both he and Sara had a basketball tournament on Saturday. So we went back and forth between games. Parker and Hannah were really great to be scorekeepers! It was fun to cheer them on! It was the perfect weekend to be inside because someone missed the memo in Alberta that it's supposed to be spring and we have another batch of white stuff. It makes you think of the quote by the White Witch from Narnia where she says that in her land it's always winter and never Christmas. That's what we feel like out here! So, we enjoyed being in the gym!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring in Lethbridge

Just thought we'd show you what Spring looks like here! Thank goodness for good friends who convinced me to still go running in this! One of those good friends also stuck some money in her pocket just in case we needed to make a stop at Timmy's! Now, that's a good friend! Surely the sun will shine and we will see some green soon! Right?

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from my iPhone

Monday, April 11, 2011

Waterton SNOW!!!

The kids had no school on Friday so we loaded up in the big ole Burb, picked up Grandma and Grandpa and headed to Waterton. We did throw in our snow gear...just in case. We couldn't believe our eyes when we arrived and saw the snow...I mean SNOW!!! Parker, Matt and Sara even sledded off the roof of the cabin. We made huge snowballs, had some snowball fights and sledded. We had a great time! And guess what - there was no wind that day! Amazing!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Concert at Lakeview

Our elementary school is celebrating its' 50th birthday this year so there have been lots of neat little celebrations throughout the year. Last Thursday was Lakeview's 50th anniversary Spring Concert. Both girls sang with the choir, sang with their grade levels and Sara was one of three MC's. They both did a fantastic job! We have an amazing music teacher. She incorporated all the Orff instruments in all grade levels. There was drumming, recorders, xylophones and lots of extraneous percussion instruments like triangles, wooden blocks, a rainstick and chimes. There is also a handbell choir which Sara is a part of. A few days before the concert, the girl that plays C6 and D6 in the handbell choir was given a surprise trip to Disneyland from her grandparents. Sara's conductor called me and asked if I could read music. I said yes. She asked me if I would fill in on handbells because the concert was only 5 days away and she was now short a player. I said sure but that I had never touched a handbell in my life. She gave me a crash course and I got to see if I was smarter than a 5th grader! I'm not, but here's one of the two songs we did. Sara is right beside me and on her left is her cousin Dean. It was so much fun to do that with Sara!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gold for HANNAH!

Today was Hannah's last day of basketball! She has played in a Steve Nash league. They teach skills for half and then scrimmage for half the time. Today, on her final day, she sunk two foul shots and received a medal along with all the other players. She's excited to play again next year!

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Sara's "Neverland" Project

Sara LOVES to read! I keep encouraging her to write down a list of books that she's read in the last year so that we have a reference of good books to suggest to other people when they ask. It is a very long list now!
Her teacher challenged her to do an extra project for school on one of her favourite books. She chose a series that she really enjoyed. They are by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The books are titled "Peter and the Star Catchers", "Peter and the Shadow Thieves", "Peter and the Secret of Rundoon". After she'd completed her project we learned there was a fourth book called "Peter and the Sword of Mercy". The fifth book comes out this fall. They are about Peter Pan - before he was Peter Pan. We would highly recommend this series!
She decided to make a diorama of her impression of the island where the books take place. We had a great time at the local dollar store finding supplies for the project! Here is her end result. We all thought it was pretty darn cool and her teacher was quite impressed.