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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Once Upon A Time.....

Once upon a time there was a baby named Jackson. He was a beautiful baby and a joy to his mother's heart. She loved him dearly and cherished each moment they shared together. Indeed she savored their moments together because he was her youngest child. She would never have another.

Jackson was an affectionate little boy. He loved to cuddle. He loved kisses and hugs and snuggles. This made his mother happy beyond words and she looked forward to those moments when the world would just stop and Jackson would come and cradle himself in his mothers arms.

But as time always does, it moved forward ever so slowly yet so quickly. Jackson grew older and did not need or want the hugs and kisses and snuggles like he used to. Those moments when the world would just stop became fewer and far between and his mother became sad.

His mother became sad because she knew that for all that has been written about children needing affection, it was she that was now suffering. She needed that affection too, and her heart broke as she struggled to accept the fact that this wonderful little boy didn't need her in the same ways he had as baby.

Her attempts to cuddle Jackson were rebuffed with a push and a "NOOOOOOOOOOO." She felt pure rejection. But every once in a while Jackson must have sensed that his mother needed some love and he would come over and hold her hand. And sometimes he would sit on the sofa with her and snuggle along side her just for old times sake. This made his mother happy and grateful that perhaps all was not lost......at least not yet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


We enjoyed a great evening last night in Calgary. My aunt threw a Halloween party with great games, food and fun. The boys looked forward to this party with much anticipation and were certainly not disappointed. Even better was the fact that they got to wear their costumes early and I am not left to scramble for costumes this week because we were prepared for this party.
I must say that my kids usually do not look as good as they did for the party. Halloween is not normally a huge issue for me. I do Christmas. I am a Christmas as soon as American Thanksgiving is over kind of gal. I have to say it was fun getting the kids ready this year and I may have to rethink my Christmas only stance.

Jackson (I will bite you and you will become one of my minions) Vampire

Jared (I've been wearing this outfit for almost 3 weeks already) Ninja.

Jordan (talked out of being a grim reaper for the second year in a row) Man in Black (aka. Tommy Lee Jones) or Secret Service Agent........you choose.

James Angus (AC DC) Young - rock star - playing Back in Black with my cousin Jake. May I say I don't much like the music but I get all proud seeing him do this.

This will probably be our Christmas 2008 family photo. Merry Christmas folks.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Developing An Inner Compass.....

......And I'm not talking moral uprightness, though that is good too.

No, I am talking about compasses of the directional, outdoors sort that seem to be built into the anatomy of most Albertans. Everything is north, south, east, west, and all things in between. This has taken some getting used to for a British Columbia gal accustomed to winding roads and hills.

Conversations usually go as follows:

Someone: "Where do you live?"

Me: I tell them

Someone: "What side of the street?"

Me: Long pause, "Umm, the odd number side."

Someone: "Oh, the south side of the street."

Me: "Okay."

I just try to look like I know what folks are talking about when they start giving directions about going down one road south then turning west onto the next road then turning south again and finally reaching your destination on the east side of that road. The office is located on the north end of the building.

I admit I am getting better and I do like the numbered streets and avenues. It's easy to find places.

I remember my grandpa hating Victoria roads because they were winding and did not follow the north/south/east/west thing. I guess if I lived in Alberta all my life, Victoria roads would bug me too.

I do hope that one day I will be able to talk the directional talk with the rest of the gang and not have to strain my senses to figure all this out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Furnace Day

The day FINALLY arrived. It was time to bid adieu to the dinosaur in the basement. The one we spent oodles of money on only to see it wading in sewage a couple of weeks later when we flooded on Canada Day.

We've dealt with the water, the burned wires, the rusting. Now it is off to the graveyard of furnaces, with our sincere apologies to Mother Earth. We tried to save it. We really did. It had to go.

A smaller youngling was delivered in its place. Newer. More energy efficient. Rustless. Wires in tact.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth and potty words coming from the basement, we finally had the new furnace installed and some furnace installers hoping to never see my weird old house again. It stinks like new and I have a headache. I don't care at this point. We have a new baby in the house. He's not cuddly, but he'll keep us warm.

Creating the Perfect Lips

My main destination while in Great Falls on Monday was the Bath and Body Works store. I go into a tizzy every time I am there and I buy way too much. This trip was no exception, but I feel no remorse. I use everything I purchase there.

While waiting in line to pay for my goods, I noticed some lip color boasting to have properties that would plump up my lips. I don't really need help in that area, but I couldn't resist. Would applying it send my lips into Pamela Anderson lip proportions? Perhaps a bad comparison subject. My curiosity got the better of me. Into my shopping bag it went.

A couple of minutes after application, my lips were tingling. My lips felt like something minty had been applied. It smells like chocolate or sugar or something sweet-like. I just don't think I am getting the right effect. I'm not sure.

Actual untouched photos, folks. Yeah. Never doing that again. These close ups are way to close.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Call Me Sparky

Alberta is dry. As the weather gets cooler I have become a static electric conduit in a big way. I make cracking, sparking noises with my fingers all the time. I am loud. It kind of hurts. My hair crackles. I sizzle.....and not in the sexy way.

My conduit proficiency is not limited to Alberta. I am also very effective in Montana, which I found out yesterday when I spent the day shopping in Great Falls with a couple of friends. I snap, crackle, and pop. My shopping buddies don't.

Today I have been able to ease off the zapping. We had a little rain and that seems to have curtailed things. But if anyone has any ideas on how to reign in my super power I would be happy to hear about it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gobble, Gobble

Jackson wanted to show off his artistic prowess. Who am I to hold him back?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

True Thankfulness

Jared came into the kitchen a short time ago to remind me it was Thanksgiving Day tomorrow while I was preparing the stuffing for our Thanksgiving meal today.

Me: "That's right, Jared. It is Thanksgiving tomorrow. What are you thankful for?"

Jared: Swaying from side to side, thinking of all the wonderful ways to tell me how thankful he is for his mom, "Well, video games. I'm thankful for video games. And who was that guy that discovered electricity? What was his name? Yeah. I'm thankful for him too. We couldn't play our video games without him."

And so we give thanks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Feed the Bug and Paint the House

It was a cold, cold day today. It was perfect weather to try out our new winter jackets that will keep us alive in -30 Celsius. It wasn't anywhere near that of course, but man was it chilly!!!

Today was Feed the Bug Day. It's a fun way for the students at various schools in the community to participate in a food drive for our local food bank. The students brought in their non perishables this week and stuffed all this......

.......into these

Imagine 410+ students, teachers, and parents out in front of the school loading up Volkswagen Beatles and chanting "feed the bug!!!!". It was the best organized chaos ever!! The kids all had a blast and the fact that this school can donate and fill two bugs was amazing to me.
James' school fed their bugs yesterday....actually Hummers (much cooler for preteens) and I believe they filled three vehicles with food.

It was a real heartwarming activity on a cold day.

On the home front, Sean worked to finish painting the house before the anticipated snowfall this evening. It will be nice to have the house all one color finally.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Letter to My Boys (the under 13 ones)

To my beloved boys,

As I folded your laundry today, I was reminded of some things that have bothered me for some time now. I feel that I must tell you how troubled I have been about the issues surrounding your clothing.

Now you know I love you all. I cherish you. I just have some things to get off my chest so that I will not feel animosity towards you. I know you are still young and have a lot to learn. I hope you will find it in your hearts to listen to what I am saying and to accept my pleas.

Stop growing so fast. I know this is what you do at your ages. You grow. You stretch up and out. You add bulk to your frame. I get this. I really do, but do you have to do it so fast??

When you were small it wasn't as big of an issue. You didn't really care what you wore and so clothes could be passed down from child to child with relative ease. When did you all decide to have different tastes in clothes? Why aren't stripes good enough for all of you? What is so bad about the color green? Shirts with collars are cool too.

With this constant growing, clothes are not wearing out fast enough and the next child is not keen on the hand-me-downs because it's not their style. I feel I am falling behind. The only solution is for you to stop with these constant growth spurts. Stay one size for a year instead of 3 months. James, stop growing taller. This is insane!!!

Now I am also at a loss as to why you can change your socks twice a day but your underwear twice a week. I have lamented this fact in the past, but it seems to fall on deaf ears. Lack of spillage does not constitute clean underwear. I rejoice when the dryer produces an abundance of boxer briefs. I know you are all getting older and I don't want to nag. Please make an effort; baby steps if necessary. I would be grateful.

As I said at the beginning of this letter, I love you all dearly. You encompass a large portion of my world. I feel the weight of being responsible for your upbringing and the kind of men you will become. I hope you always remember that I want the best for you.

Your Mom

Monday, October 6, 2008

Escape from Renovation City

The drywall is up and primed and it was time for the paint. The weather around here is turning rather fall-ish and I didn't want to stick around the house. So we left the house key behind for the painter and drove to Calaway Park for a day of fun with Kristy and Evan and kids.

I love the fall. It's been lovely here. Everything is turning orange and red. Some days are like summer and other days....not so much.

Sean came with us this time so it was truly a family affair. It was nice having another "big guy" around to go on rides with Jackson. I am not a ride person and Sean soon realized that he is not the ride person he used to be 20 years ago.

Jordan rode the Adrenalin ride 7 time before he turned green. Jackson got brave this time around and rode Adrenalin for the first time. He love it so much that Sean took him on another ride that made me nothing but nervous.

The day started out iffy weather wise and by the afternoon it started raining and was freezing cold. We left the park early to do some shopping which the boys loved. No. They really didn't.

We returned home to find our basement painted and I am so happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this rebuild.
I'm just waiting to hear about the carpets and the furnace and the finishing work. This house will feel big for a while after it's all done. I'm thinking we'll lock the boys down there for a few months.