Olive Background

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Social Responsibility

It's difficult for anyone to move to a new place and meet new people. Perhaps there are some extra ordinary extroverts out there in the world, but I definitely am not one of them. I am one of those who must constantly convince herself that people aren't rolling their eyes when they answer my phone call.

But I like people. I like social contact. I don't find joy in confining myself to the walls of my own little world so I make an effort to connect with others. I push myself. I do it not only for myself, but also for my boys. I would hate for them to miss out on friendships because their mother is aloof and unfriendly and makes everyone uncomfortable. I want my boys to push themselves also. I want them to learn that to have friends, you must be a friend first. You often have to make the first move.

Yesterday we went to a church activity at Pavan Park. It's a park with walking trails along the Oldman River in the coulees (click for definition). We quite like the coulee thing in this family. Jordan just loved this landscape and I hope we can find a day to go back and hike some of the trails. It looks like a great place to do some biking and horseback riding, but I own neither a bike nor a horse so we'll stick to the walking.

I never have to worry about Jared or Jackson getting into the social scene. They are young enough to dive in head first with varying levels of success and not shy to try again if things don't work out. The older boys stand on the sidelines for a long time. I was so happy to see James join in a game of football. Jordan and Jared played with them for a while also - cast and all for Jordan.

I was so pleased they participated, and I learned Jared and James have great throwing arms. Jordan didn't get a chance to throw. Hmmmm.....perhaps I have football season to consider. They were happy, had fun, and they got to know more of the good people we have come in contact with.

The food was yummy too.

I hope they grow up with a desire to "put themselves out there". I hope they can use their goodness to make this world a better place. I hope my sometimes not so subtle nudging (I do try to be subtle) helps them to stretch. I hope they find joy outside the walls of their own spheres of comfort and bring a little joy to whomever they find there.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Before and Sort of After

There are bits and pieces of this house of ours that are slowly coming together. What we really have are a bunch of half done projects. This is something I swore I would not do in this house, but alas, renovations are not the most organized of sports.

For those who have been wanting to see something to prove we are actually being somewhat productive, I present you with the following.


Sorry, I didn't bother to arrange the cushions.

This half wall is the replacement to the first wall we took down in June.

There you have it. We are actually doing something around here.

Is It Almost the End of August

Sometimes time drags. Sometimes it just flies by. August is definitely flying by. We haven't done anything different or exciting, but for whatever reason we are now days away from school starting.

We started off the month at the Erickson Family Reunion. That is where Jordan managed to break his arm for the second summer in a row.

This is the hill Jordan fell on and this is the mother of all slip and slides that he missed out on because of his mishap.

You gotta love little brothers. Jared was good about getting me for help when Jordan fell. He fetched me, he led me to the injured party, and then asked if he could go play. I found Jordan on the ground obviously in pain and Jackson sitting above Jordan's head jabbing his finger into Jordan's forehead saying, "Name ten chocolate bars!! Name ten chocolate bars!!" Jordan was doing his best to let Jackson know that this was not the best way to help, but Jackson would have none of it. Jordan was flat on his back and in no condition to move. What more could a little brother want?

Jordan was lucky to get a swimming cast this year so he's able to get wet. It's been so much easier.

It's on until the middle of September so he will start his school year with a cast again.

Electrical issues aside there have been few surprises. The deck is completely gone now and we got to meet our air conditioner.

About fifteen years ago the deck was built over the air conditioning unit. It's certainly not the way to do it and it was obvious that it had probably never been serviced. It's not in good shape and it has been added to the "need to replace at some point" list. It can only work for about an hour and it doesn't cool things too much anyway.

You'll notice the window next to it. Well now we actually get light into that previously flooded basement rec room. It's great!! Makes me want my rebuild done even sooner.

Today Sean and the boys did some more cleaning and digging and replanting in the post-deck area. We are planning to build a fence and instead of a new deck we are creating a courtyard. It will be a better and more usable space.

The boys were not exactly excited with all this work today, but eventually got through it.

Jackson helped his dad measure out the property line for the fence. He was having a great time with that.

Our kitchen cabinets have arrived, but we can't do anything about it until the electrician comes and does his thing. That was supposed to have happened last week and then this week. I wonder if the customer service levels improve when there is not such a huge building boom going on. Hmmmm........

So we wait on that, but I really want to get the kitchen done.

All the school supplies are purchased. I think we are up to 12 pairs of shoes purchased in the month of August so far and Sean hasn't been shopping yet. We've purchased one snow suit from Costco for the bargin price of $64.99. Fortunately the boys don't care about having brand new clothes for the first day of school. I'll worry about that in October.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


So I haven't posted lately because I am cranky.

I miss my friends.

I miss my family.

I miss Old Navy for back to school shopping.

I am sick of renovating.

I am sick of not having a basement to exile the kids to.

I am sick of spending money.

I am tired of uncertainty.

I am tired of "Mom" sounding like vulgar language.

I am tired.

Quite pooped, frankly.

Monday, August 4, 2008

My Mortality and Other Musings

A few weeks ago, a BC man called in to a local radio station to complain about Lethbridge drivers. I had to laugh. I don't find a problem with them on the road, but I told Sean shortly after we arrived here that if I was going to die it would be in a Lethbridge parking lot.

Folks drive everywhere there is not a parked car. I can't count how many near misses I have had both in my car and out. Trust me, my obituary will say death due to unfortunate encounter with rogue automobile in the Lethbridge Costco/Walmart/Park Place Mall parking lot.

We discovered "rolling stops" here. They are yield signs at intersections instead of stop signs. Sean loves them but I think it's just another way to get killed around here.

Because of the wind, the traffic lights are installed sideways. I think it's a great idea. Why we don't do that on the island is beyond me.

I have a pretty good idea what goes on in the winter around here. You can't miss all the pregnant women so close to giving birth.

Prairie dogs are everywhere. People hate them. I don't suppose I blame them, but I think they are interesting little vermin. Perhaps Animal Planet should consider these guys after Meerkat Manor.

This week we started our back to school shopping. I purchased 10 pairs of shoes and all the school supplies. Why do I have four children? We haven't even started on the winter outerwear. Yikes!!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

End of Week Updates

I just spent some quality time on the roof with Sean while he finishes off the shingling. Yeah!!! One project completed.

We found out this week that we have issues with our electrical. Seems that some very important work was not done by a certified electrician and does not meet code. We have some potential hazards and the fixes are not cheap. Not something we budgeted for.

Jordan broke his arm - again. It's the same one he broke last summer and in all the same places. We had to leave a family reunion early last night and spent the evening in emergency.

The deck is still in demolition mode, but it should be taken care of this week.

We are still having fun. Seriously.