Olive Background

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I've been looking through other blog sites this morning and found this post through one of my cousin's sites.

It was a nice way to start my morning....even if there were a few tears and a lump in my throat.

Larger Families: Never Alone

Have a nice day!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Jared and His Mouth

I'm taking a break from throwing shingles into the dumpster. Sean has been up on the roof all day. He is the best.
The other day when our friends came by for a visit, Garret got out of their family van and said hi to Jared.

Jared just looked at him and replied, "I don't know you. I don't remember you. And I don't care." He promptly turned around and walked off.

Welcome to my home.

We all had a good laugh about it later and Garret and Jeff thought that would make an awesome family reunion t-shirt slogan.

If only everyone had that same sense of humor.

Monday, July 28, 2008

May I Please Be Nervous?????

My men are on the roof.

When I got home from shopping I found the nine year old up there too.

Jordan and Jackson weren't too keen on heights and falling and opted to pose on the ladder. We are all sitting inside now listening to the ruckus above us.

At least I'll have two left when the rest fall off the roof.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Since I showed Sean's "kill" of the day yesterday, I thought perhaps I should add James' on here too.

Day before yesterday he went with the young men from church on a hike/bike/fishing expedition to Goat Lake in Waterton Park. He was eaten alive by bugs and I just secretly call him Spot now. Itchy and Scratchy would also be appropriate names.

He caught his first fish - a trout. Pretty exciting stuff!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Barnwell Bash

We have had a fun two days reconnecting with old friends. Tobi and Jeff and Garret and Ryanna were on their way to Barnwell for a family reunion and stopped by to see us. It was great to see them again.

We were all young families attending UVic at one time. Now we are living in various parts of BC and Alberta.

We met up with them in Barnwell today for the town's Pioneer Day celebrations. We barely made it in time for the pancake breakfast, but there was still lots of food to eat. We visited and met their extended family. I actually share a great, great, great grandfather with them. Our children all played together.

Sean and Garret went out to do some "shootin'" They brought home a gopher....one of the unlucky ones. I would bet that was the best part of Sean's day.
In the afternoon we all went down to Heritage Road for the parade. I have to say it was so much fun!! It's no more than two blocks long and the town's residents make their own floats and throw candy at the spectators along the parade route. One of the family floats carried water balloon throwers and super soaker shooters. Lots of fun on a hot day.

The boys loved the candy part. I don't know how many children were knocked into next week by Jared racing for the candy on the ground. He was all business.

My favorite of the parade was the "Stone Slinger" truck. They used this conveyor belt to toss candy at the kids. It was chaos. All the children were diving for sweets.

I am so glad we stayed for the parade. Though it was so "small town", I enjoyed it more than any "big town" parade. It really celebrated community and family. Spectators cheered and waved at their neighbors and relatives. It just felt so good.

We said our good byes and drove back to the chores waiting for us at home. Hopefully we can make plans to visit with everyone again in the near future.

The deck is half gone. The sub floor is screwed in. We will rest for a day and get back into it on Monday.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Deck Destruction

It seems as though most projects around our house are half done. We get to a point where we can go no further until other projects get done.

We have the sub floor set in the living/dining area of the main floor. We tried to rent a big tool that drives screws into the floor. It's broken. There are other projects stalled because we need an electrician.

So this evening Sean tackled the dismantling of the deck.

The deck is rotten. There are spots where your foot may go through. The stairs are shaky. The deck is painted blue. It's time for a replacement.

Sean wanted to salvage as much wood as possible, but at the moment it's not looking too good. Most of it is junk. Too bad.

James and Jordan were put to work. We will make men out of them yet!!

Hopefully by tomorrow evening we will have it done. What lies under the deck is a bit of a mystery, but I know it's not good or tidy. I am sure that will be the next great adventure.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On the Night Shift

One of the qualities some of the boys have taken from Sean is their ability to stay up late.

These pictures were taken a 1:00 am today as Sean and James ripped the remaining carpet out on the main floor and cut and laid it in the den. They were up until around 2 am I am sure. Indeed James is out cold as I write this.
He told me last night how much fun he was having.

"I didn't think work could be fun!"

Mwaaaa - ha - ha - ha............

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jaunt to Waterton

This afternoon we drove out to Waterton Park. I don't ever recall going there and it was such a lovely day. So I dragged the rest of my family kicking and screaming to the car for a pleasant outing together to make some memories to look back upon fondly.

It's a great place....what we had time to see today. The lake is so pretty and there was deer everywhere.

It's the closest to water we have been since leaving the island, unless you count the pool. The boys were throwing rocks into the lake. The water was cold, but beautiful. We saw a couple of speed boats. There were some no swimming signs, but I doubt it was warm enough for swimming being that it is snow water from the mountains.

While in the vicinity, we decided to drive to Cameron Lake. I didn't realize how close to the BC border we were.
You can rent boats and paddle around the lake. Jared thought that would be great fun, but I can't help but think that he would have us all in the water pretty quickly.

We took a short stroll down one of the trails. It's bear country and Jackson was so worried that we would meet a bear. No such wildlife appeared unto us, but I did manage to get this shot of a bird before it flew away. Its body was a vibrant blue and just beautiful. I've never seen one like it.

I would love to get a cabin or camp at Waterton some time in the future.

We survived the trip. We arrived home safe. Great Day!!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

End of Week Updates

Right now I have flooring boxes in my kitchen, new carpet for James rolled up in the living room, no carpet in the den/family room or James' room, no carpet and partial walls in my recently completed/more recently flooded basement rec room, new shingles and roofing material in the driveway along with old carpet, broken television, ripped out drywall, empty boxes, wood, and cut branches.

I have new furniture in storage at the store I bought them from because I have no place to put it in my house.

Sean went to Sweetgrass, Montana today to pick up a pallet of Mexican Vanilla and Agave. We finally took the plunge and there are now 106 boxes in our garage....just to add to the fun. We have a bunch of back orders to fill. Thank goodness we have product to sell again.

We've survived 4 storms this week. Everyone says this is not typical summer weather. At least before and after the storms it's absolutely beautiful outside....except the one last night at 2:30 am. I can't believe most of my boys slept right through it.

I can deal with the storms. What I can't understand is why can't the two trees in my front yard just do me a favor and fall over during one of these breaks in my nice days?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Let a Little Light In

We finally ordered our new kitchen cabinets last night. I was a little tense through it all because by the time we arrived at the hardware store the skies were very dark to the north of us and the wind began to blow. There were dirt devils everywhere. Even walking to the store from the car I could feel the grit of dirt covering my teeth. The change in weather was alarmingly fast. We only live a three minute drive from the hardware store.

I was thinking tornado and why am I ordering my cabinets? Sean, however, in his manly ways said nothing was going to happen and let's get the kitchen ordered. I grudgingly complied.

Well we witnessed the fastest hail storm I'd ever seen. The hail was huge and the wind was howling. Then as fast as it started, it was done and the sun was out and it was all over.

So the cabinets are ordered and I looked at the news headlines this morning and indeed there was a tornado in a town north of us called Vulcan. So not really close to us.....but my gut was right all the same.

ANYWAY.....on to the blog....

On Monday evening after bringing my lobsters home from swimming, Sean decided for a family home evening activity we would do some major "pruning" to the trees in the back yard. There are four of them and some of the branches have grown to form a canopy of sorts over the back yard. It makes for a dark yard and not much clearance for tall people. Obviously I would be more concerned with the first issue.

So with a ladder, various cutting implements, rope, and a camera our family proceeded to dismantle the canopy. I know Sean would have loved to buy a chain saw for the occasion.

I admire his restraint. The boys were quite eager for demolition. We've run out of walls in the house to destroy on purpose.

Sean would tie a rope around a selected branch and the boys would hold that rope and pull while Sean was cutting. No patio furniture was harmed in the cutting of the branches. Once the branch was down, Sean would cut it up and the boys and I proceeded to take them out to the driveway to pile up.

Now we can see the sun!!!! Hopefully we didn't do too much damage to the sod and grass seed we put on the ground a few days ago.

The time flew by and the boys learned a valuable lesson about what can be accomplished when we work together (which at the time of this posting is now well forgotten).

After two hours of fun and WAY past bedtime, we took the boys for Slurpees and chocolate bars. There aren't a lot of kids getting Slurpees at
10 pm. What cool parents we are!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Lessons of Sunscreen...or Lack of it

We spent the afternoon at the outdoor pool. It was great fun, and two of the boys only got yelled at by the lifeguards twice.

Successful swim.

By dinner time, the boys were turning all sorts of red. Yes, we started out with sunscreen but follow up was lacking.

Yes, it was SPF 30 and waterproof.
Yes, I realize sun exposure around water is intensified.
Yes, I know that burning my children is not good mothering.

Sometimes I forget that the majority of my brood did not take after me when it comes to the sun.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Life is just continuing on its merry way.

I was nearly in a fender bender with a guy who looked like a Honeymoon Suite reject in an orange Mercedes who I guess didn't think I would stay in my lane as I turned left.

I was eaten by more mosquitoes.

The remainder of the basement was dealt with and disinfected.

We doubled our little back yard lawn dimensions with sod.

We found a great outdoor swimming pool and plan to go back again.

Sean and I went on a hot date to the movies. $20 got us admission and drinks and popcorn. How great is that!!

Life goes on!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Will Not Cave on My Principles

I realize at this point I have no place to put replacement items in my house, but I have been looking at furniture anyway.

I'm a tad picky when it comes to furniture. #1 Because I am on quest to make a beautiful home. #2 Because I am on a quest to make a beautiful home for cheap.

Champagne tastes.....beer budget.

Now I realize that the beauty of a home is found in the spirit within.....I'm not that shallow, but I also feel like if this is going to be my work/living environment then it must be a place that looks nice. I don't want to spend my days being Mrs. Happy Homemaker in an environment that makes me want to leave and for me that also means the visual.

So now I am looking for new things to replace the old things.

My project at this point is to get the rest of the den completed. Our basement was disinfected for the second time yesterday and once it dries we will be putting some of our stuff back down there to get it out of the way. We are ripping out the gross den carpet, ripping out the decent carpet in the living room, installing the living room carpet in the den, and installing laminate wood in the living room. I already painted the den and just waiting for that basement to dry.

During all this, the boys are flopped all over my living room furniture. It's not the fanciest stuff, but I do think it looks pretty good. I really like my occasional tables. I like them so much, in fact, that I covered the main one in a blanket so the boys wouldn't scratch it up. Sean and I have been quite firm about them taking extra care with the furniture because it's not junk and we want to actually keep this stuff for a long time.

To which James in all his adolescent wit replied, "Well you know we are going to wreck it. Why buy good stuff in the first place?"

Well........what a funny guy.

As the boys were growing from smelly babies to smelly boys, Sean and I taught them not to touch certain things in the house. We baby proofed the safety issues but left the rest and they did well learning that certain things were just left alone. My philosophy has not changed. If I purchase junk furniture so they can destroy it, what does that teach them?

Since the basement rebuild may take a few months, I am focussed on furnishing the den so we can have a small family room. There is ample room to do that even with the desk and computer already set up. I would have eventually done this anyway and made it the entertainment room for the grown ups. I want a couch and a chair with some nice lighting for reading and of course my plasma TV on the wall. I want to peacefully lounge on my sofa and work on my new laptop that I don't have yet, blogging until I turn blue.

Whoa, wake up from that dream.

So am now on the furniture hunt. I want to furnish the basement and the den on the budget I was given in my insurance payout. It's turning out to be quite difficult.

The boys may get their junk furniture after all, but it will be over my lifeless, shopped out body.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Love the Smell of Disinfectant in the Morning

Our basement was sprayed with disinfecting chemicals yesterday afternoon. I could sit around and sniff it all day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Out With the Poopy

The insurance adjusters paid me a visit yesterday to assess the damages to our basement. The company sent the best looking guys who both commended me on how organized Sean and I were in getting things done and listed and documented. They also raved about my home decorating. How better to get quick payouts. Send over hotties who sweet talk you while your husband is out working.

We agreed on the amount of compensation for the contents damaged in the flood(they were higher than me), and I get a cheque in the mail shortly. I can sort of go shopping again.

The bad news in all of this is that it may take 6 to 8 months to get the basement redone. There are a lot of damaged homes in the city. Our insurance company is dealing with at least 60. I am sure contractors are just raking it in at the moment. We should look like a relatively easy fix since our basement is basically one big room. Only one wall has to come out completely. So we will have to do some research and perhaps become our own contractors. Who knows what will happen?

Last night Sean and James loaded up the front yard with our poopy furniture and blankets and other contaminated furniture. James got to smash a guitar like a rock star. He thought that was fun.