Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What happens when a 4 year old....

gets to play with Mommy's camera?? OK, that isn't my camera, it's Braydon's. But he decided that it wasn't working properly, and KJ wanted to take some photos, so brave me let her take a few with my camera. Yes, my good camera.

There was this nice self portrait....

And the one of her loving brother....

I trust her, besides - getting the kids to take photos is one way I actually make it in them!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Wee bit of Me Time

I cannot say that this week of vacation was relaxing. Nor did I really expect it to be. I wanted this week to focus on the kids, and not to be starved of time to spend with them. While I love working, I do find it stressful to do all the things with my kids that they want (within reason of course). So having my date days alone with each kid, days together, swimming almost every day, celebrating a couple of birthdays and not to mention the ball tournament that the week started with, I'm pooped.

Was reminded about old gift certificate for Spa Utopia that my friend Jen had given me three years ago. Had forgotten about it, but Chris found it a few days ago and said I should check if it's was still valid. It was. I figured it was a perfect way to have a wee bit of me time when the rest of my week pretty much went to everyone else (I didn't even scrap at all! NOW that says something!! Well, I did make a few cards, but they don't count).

So this morning right after Kaylee's swim lessons I headed for a very rare (and much needed) pedicure. Ahhh delight. Spa Utopia is just that. They offered up a robe and a special green tea, magazines of all types to read, and no one called me Mom for that whole hour. Peace it was.

Since I don't escape all that often, I took the opportunity to drop off an album to Scrap Arts (bit overdue), and treated myself to just a couple new pieces of paper, some cardstock and some white pearl drops. Cash is tight, especially since we had some celebrations this month, but I had a bit of left over hidden me money from my birthday (thanks mom and dad) so I could get the paper and a little bit of photo paper (totally out, very hard to scrap without pics!).

Me time is over. I'm going to print a couple pics to scrap later. Then I'm going downstairs to have a Wii off with my kids. Braydon constantly beats me, and it's not cuz I'm not giving it my all. Maybe I can still win if I play Kaylee?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Girl

I cannot believe how fast four years can go. Lightning speed really. But in those four years I have to say I have loved being Mom to Kaylee.

She is the perfect girl. Throw on a dress, jump in a mud puddle and entertain all ages at the same time. She is full of zest, and I am sure will be nothing but a handful in her teen years! She has a smile that melts hearts, a character all her own, and an actress to boot.

Today we had a family party with the grandparents, uncles and great grandparents. She was spoiled rotten, and she enjoyed every last minute of it. Braydon tended to her brining her gifts (and he scored a few himself), and I am sure we have hours of fun ahead of ourselves.

So happy birthday Kaylee. I love you. Slow down on the growing up thing....it's going too fast for me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cake Boss, Here I Come!

Chris and I have been watching the Cake Boss on TLC this summer. This guy creates pieces of artwork. I mean, what Buddy can do with some fondant and obviously years of skill and training, well it makes me envious.

So, I attempted my first fondant cake. Lucky for me I was given a marshmallow fondant recipe from Hollee, which was easy to make and a lot of fun. Now that I have played with it, I can't wait to get a couple REAL tools and start making some cool cakes.

It's Kaylee's birthday tomorrow (ya, how did 4 happen so fast?) so I figured my little girl would be a perfect first go. She kept changing her mind from smarties, to candy, to butterfly. Here is the combo cake.

Can't wait to give it a try again. I wonder if my hands will return to a normal colour soon?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Girls Date Out

So today was my special date with Kaylee - just us girls. She wanted to keep it a surprise until we got there, so I didn't say anything until we pulled up to the Aquarium. We were going to see the new baby beluga, who was only born a few weeks ago. Kaylee was excited.

Now here is the thing with going to the Vancouver Aquarium, at least with my kids. There is a TON of stuff to see and do. And since we are members, we have the ability to go when we want. There is always new exhibits (like new baby beluga's), and old favs like the Octopus that only has seven arms.

So you think it would take a long time to go through everything? Nope, we zoom through. Glad that we went to see the belugas first, as KJ had all the time in the world to look and see this beautiful wonder of the sea. In the tank today were two mom whales, a year old calf and this newborn. We are very lucky to be able to see this all.

Afterwards we had some lunch and treats, then fed the ducks (remembered to bring bread this time) and a quick swing before heading home. THis afternoon, we are going to bake cookies for Grandpa together. Should be fun.

I loved my date day, and can't wait to do it again. When we got home Kaylee said "thanks for taking me on a date mom, your my best mom". Heart just melted.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Beach Morning

Jen and I it would be nice for just us and the kids to escape to the beach this morning for a little bit.

We found this secluded little area that only had a couple fishermen out in the water, and lots of places for the kids to explore. While we expected Brand and Braydon to be by each others sides the whole time

it was nice to see that Rachel and Kaylee stuck by each other too

While the sand wasn't there like the vacation beach, everyone still had a great time and it was nice that Jen and I could chat without some interruption.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A date with my son

Date day for Braydon and I. With me off this week, I decided I wanted to spend one special date time with each kid. Doing something fun, and something that just the two of us would do. So today, Braydon and I went to the petting Zoo and Children's Train in Stanley Park and had a picnic afterwards.

What a great time we had. First we hit the train - which winds you through the great forests of Stanley Park. If you keep your eyes out you see some little villages, a moose, a mouse, and cool other things tucked away.

Then to the petting zoo - where we saw goats, cows, sheep, pigs, lamas, bunnies, chickens, rooster, a cute kitten that wanted to play with the roosters, and a few other animals. We decided that we should get a donkey, but neither of us think Dad will say yes.

This pig is the type that my Mom wants to get. I will send her the photo - it's as close as she will come to really having one.

We then decided to sit under a tree for some shade and enjoy lunch. Braydon got some climbing time in the park, and obliged me with a few photo ops before asking if he could hop in that sprinkler.

And what is the best thing after a sprinkler??? An ice cream.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Different Kind Of Friend

No doubt that if you saw the two of us, you would not pair us as friends. But we were.

Steve and I met when I was 15. He was charming, funny, dangerous and tall. Very tall. From my 5'1, his 6'7 was giant like. Just like his life.

He was the only friend my parents banned me from seeing. They knew that his lifestyle was trouble. Drugs were only part of his world (a big part mind you), but he sadly surrounded himself with other troubled people and there was little doubt that he would end up in jail (which he did) and not really be that outstanding citizen.

While we lost touch for a number of years, he was always someone I thought about. For so many reasons, his life impacted mine. He was what I was not. And in reality, watching him fall was what kept me out of trouble. I did not want that for myself.

But a few years ago, we re-united through facebook. After hitting rock bottom, Steve had found himself, found God, and found a way back to that good person I knew was there all along. He had been clean for a few years and was helping others do the same.

Steve's rough exterior showed mean and tough still, but his heart of gold, and a smile worth a million dollars made you look past all the tatoos, scars, and apprent image and see the real Steve. While I would imagine that our day to day lives were still very different, there was always this 'connection' that we had.

Sadly, I have just learned that this life of his that he fought so hard to regain has been taken from him. He was killed in a car accident in Vernon a couple of days ago. I sit here in shock.
I am thankful for the impact that he made in my life, and that one that I made in his. I will miss him, and glad that while his life was short, he ensured that he made the most of it while here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I wonder where this current generation is going to learn it's manners. As I type this, my son had to ask 6 times for something before he learned to say please. As soon as he did, I did what he was requesting too. I take the time EVERY SINGLE day to teach these kids manners. Open the door for people, use please and thank you, send thank you notes when someone does something nice, tell people you like them, use nice words, don't hit. Well that last one I seem to have to repeat a lot these days - but the thing is, I keep trying.

Today I ran into a few people who made me think that no one bothered to teach them some of these skills.

Driving to work - I was almost hit by someone talking on their cell phone and driving. Now I try not to use my phone while driving - let's face it, it is more dangerous. But this guy was not paying ANY attention at all to the actual driving aspect of his venture. Lucky for me I was paying attention. But he didn't even bother to give me the "oops, sorry" look. Nope, he just kept chatting.

At work, a co-worker came into my office to ask me a question. She stayed in my office, made a personal phone call from her cell, and for a few minutes stood in the middle of my office chatting away to her father, all in a different language. Um - go to your own office.

Later in the afternoon I was walking into the washroom. Unfortunately, I share my bathroom with the 5000 visitors that come to my place of work every day. There are things that I have seen in there......well that is just another blog on it's own. Anyhow, as I am walking in, this lady was so busy texting on her phone that she didn't bother to look up, and when she did walk into me, didn't bother to apologize.

I'm not trying to say that I am the most polite person in the world. Far from it. However there are some common courtesies that I can guarantee you that I can do better than those three. And I hope, my children will too.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Last Day??

How did the last day of vacation come so soon? It just seems like we got here, yet we packed a ton of fun into the past seven days. The weather today was much cooler, making it a lot more bearable and being able to enjoy the day without hiding from the heat.
The morning started with blueberry and raspberry pancakes, eating them outside in the warm summer morning. Life is good.

We headed to Coombs again (Goats on the Roof), this time much cooler and not busy either. Picked up a few Christmas gifts and got a necklace for me too. Plus the kids picked up a pop gun, which has really kept them entertained most of the day.

We ate lunch there too, and the kids got some ice cream. Sure have had their share of that cold treat this week.
In the afternoon, I headed to the beach with the kids for some more swimming and Chris and Eric went to get groceries, and did some cleaning up around the house. When I came back, we just relaxed, played a lot of pig in the middle and had a lot of laughs.

Steak, baked potatoes and ceasar salad for dinner in the warm summer evening. Life is good.

Afterwards we headed back to the beach for one last swim. The kids have had such a great time, and been sooooo good. I’m proud of them. Vacation while fun, is always full of different days, and different places, with strange times, and not a lot of normalicy.
All in all, this has been a fantastic trip. I love my family, and love having this week with them. Can’t wait to do it again!

Braydon: going to the beach, getting the pop gun
Kaylee: goats on the roof, going to the beach, getting the pop guns
Chris: beer
Kirsten: finding some great Christmas treasures for people, and scoring a new sketch book for me.

So, what was your favourite thing the WHOLE vacation:

Braydon: playing fast football and mini golfing
Kaylee: Eric sleeping over and mini golfing
Chris: Going out in the ocean, playing, mini golfing, swimming, playing pig in the middle
Kirsten: Having fun each day as a family, and how well we all got along (oh ya, and getting 500 or so photos to play with)

Side Bar Note: The Hat.....

So when Purdy pulled out this hat of his, well we all had some fun with it. And we all had to have our photo taken with it (except mine didn't turn out)