Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow in Louisiania and updates









Yeah! My blogger finally published some pictures!! I have been having trouble with it, which is why you have not seen many lately! I know most of you probably saw these on my facebook, but here are some of the boys on Thursday when it snowed here. We are gearing up for a busy week next week. Our movers will be here on Wednesday morning to pack us. Wednesday is also Ben's preschool Christmas program in the morning...so it will be a little crazy. The movers will plan to pack Wednesday and load on Thursday morning. Depending on when they get finished will determine if we drive to Paducah on Thursday afternoon/evening, or Friday morning. We are still running around getting shot records for dogs and kids and things fixed on our cars, and driving records and all kinds of crazy stuff that you would never think you would need for a move. Cancelling our currents services at our house, etc. We found out less than a day after my last post, that for some reason, we had assumed that our cars were going to be shipped to Calgary, but Shell does not pay for that. We have decided to drive our mini-van and leave/sell our car here in the states. So we are also planning for the 4 to 5 day drive from my parents...with a few stops along the way! Along with that goes some issues on where we can actually cross the border and immigration in the easiest possible manner. Apparently it is more of an issue than we thought when you are moving into Canada as an X-Pat. We are planning to move to a Hotel on Tuesday night, so that I can get the towels and sheets washed and ready for when the packers get here. And also so that Collin is not running under all of their feet! So, if you need to get a hold of us you can facebook us, or call our cell phones, or e-mail. Not to mention saying goodbye to our dear friends here. Too much to think about piled into one week! I think by the time we get to may parents we will be pretty fatigued physically and emotionally drained!! Thank goodness for time to relax during Christmas week!! Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!! I will try to post updates as I can.
CB






Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Plan

Well, it has been a while since our last actual post. Reasons being we really did not have any good updates as far as when we would be moving. So very frustrating for us! I have spent the whole last month waiting on pins and needles for any shred of detail that I might get about our move. Everyone has been asking, but still we have not known anything, and Earle has been in Calgary about every other week since the beginning of Nov. So finally, at last, we have a tentative plan!(susceptible to change:)

Earle is headed up to Calgary next week to spend one last week up there working before we all go. Our movers are tentatively scheduled to be at our house the 17th and 18th of December. We decided to go ahead and look at houses rather than condos...and in the process we have decided to go with an unfurnished house that Earle will be finalizing details on hopefully next week. So that means, almost everything goes, just like it would pretty much in a statewide move. But we are keeping our home in Mandeville, and our friend, Noel and her son, will be living there, house sitting and keeping up maintenance on everything. After the movers pack us and take our cars, we will have a rented car(possibly two) that we drive to my parents in Paducah with anything that will go with us on the plane. We will also be driving our dogs and their crates to my parents. We are going to have our dogs shipped by a dog transport company from my parents house. We will spend the week of Christmas with my parents in Paducah, and then, most likely on Tuesday the 30th, we will fly out of St. Louis to Calgary. We will then live in temporary housing for about 2 weeks or so, if everything goes as planned, and then around the 15th of January we will move into the home we are planning to rent.

Sorry to bore you to death...but that is the story as we know it today! We are so happy to have a tentative plan! It may have worked out better anyway. We get to spend the holidays with our families and Ben will get to finish this semester in Pre-K here in Louisiana. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Earle's family in Texas and are looking forward to a big family Christmas with my family! God's timing always has a plan...sometimes being patient is hard!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Confessions of A Busy, Tired Mother's Mind

Well, Earle is due back tomorrow night and I realized after the past few weeks that there are a few repeat conversations I have with myself somewhat frequently when he is gone....Please don't call CPS...I have the best intentions!

1. At night time it goes like this, as I am brushing Collin's teeth..."Wait a minute, did I brush his teeth yesterday, I am not sure, surely I did." At bath time, "Okay, Ben get in the bath...I think Collin is good for another day, I will just wipe him down with wipes."
2. After the boys are asleep, "Okay, I smell something not quite right, oh my goodness, is that my underarms? It can't be me. I know I showered this morning, I am sure that is not me, I could wait until tomorrow morning, Oh wait, I showered last night...(I take a deeper whiff..)
Oh my goodness it IS me...how embarrassing! I guess I have to muster up the energy to shower tonight!
3. Ben asks, "Mom, can I have pizza for dinner?" Not really feeling like cooking I reply,"That sounds like a great idea." As I pull the pizza out of the oven I quicky remember, oh, no, "Ben what did you have last night for dinner?" "Pizza!" says he. Ay-Yai-Yai!!!

3. HMMM... Now when was the last time I changed Collin's diaper???( Some days he gets changed constantly because I ask this all day and other days, I keep telling myself that I just changed it so we have occasional 2 lb. wet diapers. )

4. Ben constantly asks for snacks, if I am busy sometimes it does not sink in to me how many he has had, I give him pretzels, goldfish, cereal bars etc...some days I ask when Ben refuses to eat a real meal, "How many snacks have you had today anyway?" He replies, "A real, whole lot of them mommy."
"How about an apple," I ask.
"No, thanks," he replies.

5. When I wake up in the mornings...after going to sleep with wet hair I think to myself, " I'll just pull this back into a frizzy ponytail today...and put on my stretchy pants...on second thought why change, I think these pants I slept in should do the trick!"

6. The day Earle is coming home I think to myself.. "Okay, I need to pull myself together and I should do something special and straighten my hair do my make-up and put on some jeans with a decent t-shirt...so he won't come back to find a Troll has eaten his wife." That is my plan anyway!:)

Have a good one!!
CB

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This week I am thankful for....

1. Starbucks!!!!! The new salted caramel signature Hot choc. with 2 shots!! MMMM....(Time change has been difficult! We are now up at 6:15!)
2. The beautiful weather so that Collin and I can walk and Ben can jog!!!
3. That while Earle is gone I don't really cook much! Crockpots are awesome and we can eat the same thing for days!!!
4. Preschool!!!!!
5. Good friends and family that endure my anxious and non-stop talking moments!
6. Early bedtimes and some relaxing time after:)
7. The good health of my family... at the moment.
8. The Wii and Noggin Games online for Ben to play!
9. For stretchy clothes...I know, it is a terrible faux paux but I am still working my way back into last years pants...summer was ugly on the hips!! The bright side, I have lost 6 of the 12lbs I gained!

10. That when I am about to lose it in the car with two loud screaming boys...I look back and see this and it can't help make me smile and everything a little better!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Collin's Surgery Day!

Today, on Halloween, our sweet little Collin had to have some tubes put in his ears and he also had his adenoids removed. He did great! The tubes were long overdue! Ben had them as well and I had been expecting them for a while. The ENT said that when she removed his adenoids, she found that they were enlarged...so she thinks that he will be feeling MUCH better now that they are gone. They were kind of blocking his sinus passage and making it harder to drain. SO hopefully we will be in better shape...especially for all of the cold weather!

We left the house this morning at 5:30 am. for a 6:30 am. check-in. We were home and Collin was in his own bed by 9:15ish...so not bad at all! I tried to snap a few shots.


Here is Collin oblivious to what is about to take place...just thinking he got to get up early and go somewhere special with mommy and puppy of course! We had just arrived at the surgery center.


Putting on the hospital gown threw him for a loop...he knew something was not right! Bless his little heart!


The room with toys and the big rocking chair was not too bad....he was just chilling.
About 15 minutes after his special "cocktail" syringe from the Anesthesiologist:):) Life is good...


Saturday, October 25, 2008

6 Things that have impacted me this week...

1. Spending a week without Earle, realizing this is what it is probably going to be like for awhile!

2. A woman on Oprah named Jill Bolte Taylor she is an author of a book called, "My Stroke of Insight" an amazing story...click here for details

3. I read the Blog of Jordan and Kari Clark, two Christians that we are going to be attending church with when we get to Calgary. Their 14 mo. old passed away about a month a go from what appeared to be a mitochondrial disease. I sat sobbing while watching the slide show and felt so blessed and amazed at their spiritual strength and courage. Click here to read their story.

4. I realized the reason that Collin took so long to walk was most likely because of his inner ear and all of his ear infections. Our ENT told us that he was probably too dizzy to get his balance...and she feels he is still struggling with balance. He is having tubes put in and adenoids taken out next Friday. So, I just felt horrible that this went unnoticed by our pediatricians and that we have had to wait so long to have something done about it. I admire Collin's tough little happy spirit.

5. Ben is coming into his own as a little person. I loved spending time with him one on one this week. Even though he can be super hyper and exhausting, he is really a funny little boy, and so creative. I am proud of the way he is growing up...and especially how much he loves his little brother and wants to take care of him.

6. Earle sent me flowers yesterday before he got back and arranged for me to have a Manicure/Pedicure today!! It made me feel special!! Thank you and I love you Earle!

Have a great weekend!

CB

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Race for The Cure



This weekend, was Earle's 35th Birthday! We had a busy but great weekend together as a family. On Saturday, we got up early and had a yard sale to prepare for our move. The weather was beautiful! We were able to get rid of quite a few things that cannot make the move with us. Then Saturday evening we went out for pizza. After that we took Ben to Wal-mart because he was sad on Saturday morning that we were selling his toys:(:( I know, it sounds horrible, but we actually let him help pick what to keep. We let him use his money from the yard sale, and he got a new bike and helmet to take with us...so all was good. Then we came home and had birthday cake and ice cream to celebrate Earle's birthday. On Sunday, we did Race For the Cure. I had done this race before (walking it of course) but this year it had deeper meaning to us. Earle and the boys wanted to come too to support, Brenda Brown (a.k.a Mops) Earle's mom who has battled breast cancer this year. Luckily, we got to race in Celebration of her. She is doing great, chemo treatments are almost over and she has been a real trooper! We admire her positive spirit through this whole ordeal! We love you MOPS!!!

In Celebration of : MY MOM...the sign says on his back:)
My friend Michelle Carlson and her kiddos that went as well!

We let Ben out of his stroller on the last mile and the Race turned into a temporary "Chase", partially because Ben thinks in a race, you run as fast as you can...and I guess you can do that! Luckily his daddy caught him!
I took this picture this afternoon..and yes, we were all this exhausted! Too cute!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I heart your blog!


Well, today was my lucky day! Two of my friends, Rachel Wells, and Amy Hadfield tag nominated my blog with the I heart your Blog award. Thank you so much! That was way sweet ladies!!

As a recipient of this award, there are rules to follow. I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to ten others! The questions are as follows:

1. Where is your cell phone? car
2. Where is your significant other? Couch
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? Cindy Owen
5. Your father? Dan R. Owen
6. Your favorite thing? Family
7. Your dream last night? Don't remember
8. Your dream/goal? Heaven
9. The room you're in? Dining room
10. Your hobby? Music, Blogging, Socializing:)
11. Your fear? Something terrible happening to my kids.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Wherever God leads me.
13. Where were you last night? N'Tini's with Earle
14. What you're not? introverted
15. One of your wish-list items? To pay off our mortgage
16. Where you grew up? Paducah, KY
17. The last thing you did? Went for pizza with the boys
18. What are you wearing? Clothes
19. Your TV? Big
20. Your pet? 2 dogs
21. Your computer? HP
22. Your mood? Content
23. Missing someone? Sometimes
24. Your car? Toyota Sienna
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your summer? Travelling!
28. Love someone? Of Course
29. Your favorite color? Bright Blues and Greens
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Maybe last week? Not too often.


Okay, here are my 10ish nominees:

Jeni Shephard
Stephanie Schwieter
Rochelle Waddill
Janell Bunt
April Travis
April Flasschoen
Erin Lonard
Lindsay Slate
Deborah Chapman
Kathryn Hamilton
Betsy Coggin

**So I broke a couple small rules...oh well!
:) CB

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just felt like sharing a recipe!!!

Yesterday, I decided to see what ingredients I could round up to make a soup after watching a 30 minute meal on the Food Network...I soooo felt like Sandi for the day!!:) You should check out her blog, because she always has great recipes and menus on there...Anyway, it turned out great...and my boys really liked it. Even Ben was persuaded to eat some:

Pantry/Freezer Soup

2 frozen chicken breasts...boiled in about 6 cups of water or so
2 beef bouillon cubes
1lb. Smoked Andoulle Sausage
1 1/2 to 2 cups pureed carrots
1 cup of pureed butternut squash
Approx a cup of either frozen spinach or canned greens(I used the greens, I think Earle may have preferred the spinach)
1 mostly used and opened bag of frozen chopped onions.
1 can of diced potatoes
Approx 2 cups of egg noodles, or any small noodles
1 bag of Italian dressing seasonings
*Garlic Powder, Chicken seasoning to taste...I also used some Tony Sacherez, but I added it to my own for the boys sake..and cracked black peppercorns...careful on the salt until you are almost done because of the sausage:)

How to combine it:
Put your frozen chicken breasts in the 6(or so) cups of water with the 2 beef bouillon cubes.
Thaw and cut up the sausage into small bits, however small you like and brown it in a pan. You can drain it if you like..While browning the sausage, stir in onions, when it is all brown and nice, pull out your poached chicken, cut it into bitesized pieces and throw it in there with the sausage mixture..mmm..it should be smelling great by now! Mix in your pureed veggies while you use you broth from boiling your chicken to start slowly adding to make the soup.(I used this because I had no broth) Add a little more than you think necessary, because later you have to add the noodles. Stir in the potatoes and the frozen green spinach or greens and add about half of the Italian seasoning mix. Keep checking for the taste on that one. Mix in your seasonings..and I added 2 packets of Sweet-N-Low...just because I always like a little sweet to balance things out. Simmer for as long as you like, stirring occasionally...then add your noodles about 20 minutes before you are ready to eat. It seems complicated, but it was really easy!! Serve with some toasty bread..and enjoy!!
CB

Monday, October 13, 2008

What have we been up to????






Last weekend we went to Kilgore Texas to spend some time with Earle's parents and siblings.



We had a great time, and as you can see, Ben was excited to get a new costume from his Aunt Elice...just what he wanted!!
Ben got to spend the whole time playing with his step-cousins...especially Allison, who he has not stopped talking about!!





Yes, Elice, he is still wearing the costume....but this was at a costume party last weekend here at our friend's the Carlson's...Both boys had a great time. At the end of the night, Ben was running in the dark outside with the Batman mask on and busted his head on the Carlson's deck railing....he is fine, there was a little drama, it is swollen, and there was blood...but in the end, he wanted the mask right back on!





Collin, was Spider-man...I thought that the hat and eyes would come right off, but he insisted on keeping them on for most of the night. I think he wanted to be like the big boys!

As for Canada, we have been busy applying for passports...talking with Condo owners and preschools...and waiting on the Human Resource Dept...to get things moving with all of our paperwork. We found out last week that Earle has been cleared to start working there on November 1st....which is a little earlier that what we had thought..so he will have to go and I will have to stay until we can get everything scheduled for our move. Circumstances have changed, and now we are very grateful that we all get to fly, our cars are going to be shipped and they will also ship a container for us with anything we need to bring for our house. We have most likely found a nice furnished condo to stay in. We have talked to the owner and he is happy to have us...we just have to wait on our paperwork before it is all said and done! I have met a friend, another american X-Pat, through blogs...which I am so greatful for! She has helped me and answered many questions!! Thanks Erin! And thanks Kathryn for connecting us! So it is nice to know that I will have a christian friend there in Calgary! God is good!!



Even our dogs had to have pictures sent to the Canadian condo place to make sure they were approved to live there....they were accepted!

Here are some pics of the boy's passports. I thought they were too cute...sorry for the quality, but it is hard to take a picture of a passport!










So anyway, November is truly right around the corner! We will keep you posted as we find out more!



CB




Friday, October 10, 2008

Sneaky Boy!



Mom---Thank you for the Monster Mash card that you sent to Ben! He loved it and of course did not want Collin bothering it! Ben was in the living room and I kept hearing the "Monster Mash" playing from the playroom. I looked in and caught Collin sneaking the card from his brother! He really liked playing it over and over!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Best Buds...

Watching t.v. together.... Sitting on the window sill...
Cracking up....
Ben, making Collin smile....


I have snapped a few pics of the boys lately that I think are too cute. You always wonder...will they love each other this much when they are older? Ben says that Collin is his best buddy. I am not so sure what Collin would say if he could tell us...but he really likes his brother too. They love to play together, even though they annoy each other. Every morning, Collin calls out, "Beh, Beh," so that Ben will come up and see him. As soon as Ben walks in the room, Collin squeals with glee. Collin is still a little small to be able to play quite as big boy as Ben might like, but if Collin sees Ben lying on the floor, he piles on top of him to wrestle. This makes me nervous, but Ben is really pretty gentle with him. It makes me so happy to see that they love each other! They love playing together and cracking each other up. Ben thinks that everything Collin does is hilarious. They way Collin waddle walks, when he dances, when he jibber jabbers and when he cracks up laughing, Ben thinks it is all so funny. Anyway, just thought I would share. They constantly play monkey see, monkey do...it is a good age! I hope they are always best buddies.:)

CB

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Lesson for Ben about Motorcycles!

A few months ago, Ben started asking me about motorcycles. He thought they looked awesome, every motorcycle in the parking lot that he saw caught his eye and he decided that one day he really thought he would like one for himself. You know, the total guy testosterone thing! This is how our conversations would go when he saw a motorcycle....

Ben: Mom, look at that MOTORCYCLE!

Me: Yes, Ben, cool.:(

Ben: Mom, I really want a motorcycle.

Me: No.

Ben: Why not mommy?

Me: Because they are dangerous and your not old enough to have one.

Ben: When will I be big enough?

Me: When you are older like daddy.

Ben: How will I know I am older?

Me: I am not sure, you will just know.

Ben: I think it will be when I get hair under my arms like my daddy.

Me: (Laughing) You know, that is a good sign that you will be getting closer to being big!



So anyway, this past Saturday, we were driving over to a local park to let the boys play. We drove under I-12 and we were stopping at the light. There was a motorcycle right in front of us turning onto the interstate. The motorcycle, clipped the truck in front of him, started to spin and right in front of Earle, Ben and me watching, he crashed. Literally like 10ft from our car or less. Earle and I were sort of freaking out like," Oh my goodness, oh my goodness! " He fell and the motorcycle fell on top of him and things flew off of the motorcycle. Ben saw the whole thing. Luckily, the guy seemed to be okay and was not hurt too badly. The emergency vehicles arrived and it was pretty intense.

This is how our motorcycle conversation went after that:

Me: Ben do you think you want a motorcycle when you get big?

Ben: No, mommy, I think I want a blue truck, or maybe a red one!

Me(ecstatic about this decision): Oh, that sounds great Ben!

Earle(disappointed): Really Ben, you don't want to ride motorcycles together someday?

Ben: No, daddy, because I will fall and bust my head off!


My hope...maybe this one will stick!! Have a great rest of the week!
CB

Monday, September 29, 2008

Coffee Break Fall Study!!

Living By Faith
What does it mean to you personally to live by faith?
I have spent some time trying to think of another study for this fall, but it seems like the words are flashing in neon lights in my mind. So, that is what we are going to study. This fall I would like to encourage everyone to figure out just what living by faith means in our day to day lives. Lets look at what actions and circumstances lead us to taking leaps of faith and what the Bible teaches of the blessings that can be bestowed on us when we do. I would love to have you log on to :
and join in on some great study and discussion!!
CB

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Canada????

Okay so here's our latest news. We(Earle) are being transferred (by choice, not by force) to Canada for a year. We were approached about this the week of Gustav..and then evacuations, and hurricanes sort of slowed our information flow and we wondered for a few weeks if we are going or not. Word is out and we are going. We have our passports, and Earle was told last Thursday that he was going to tentatively be expected to start full time in right outside of Calgary as of Dec. 1st! It is a partial relocation, so we are going, but not selling our house here or really taking any of our belongings except for essential clothes and just a few things. Right now we are planning to rent a furnished condo. The downside...besides all of the crazy chaos of the next two months and the 2400 mile drive up there(with our dogs!)...is that we don't know what will happen after our year there is over. We don't know whether we will be selling our house Mandeville and moving to Houston or coming back to Louisiana. I get very impatient with unknown things like that! But we think it will be a good experience for our family and for Earle's career and are looking forward to the next year. We know God has a plan! We have already been in contact with a church in Calgary that we are looking forward to attending. I have so many questions like, how soon can I get Ben into preschool there? How do I know which preschools are good? Is this going to mess up his kindergarten/Pre-K schedule etc.... Luckily he is the youngest Pre-Kr in his class, so if we have to repeat next year, it will be okay, or if we have to repeat kindergarten it will be okay. Today Earle and I worked with Ben on trying to practice writing his name. Fine motor skills are so hard for little boys!! But we were excited when with some strong coaching, he was able to write his name or the semblance there of all by himself! So yeah Ben! I posted a pic of it!! Anyway, that is the latest! We would love visitors once we get settled a little!

CB

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

18 months and Finally Walking!!

Ben Last Year on the first day of pre-school:

Ben this year, confident and excited about starting Pre-K!

We have had so many things going on the past couple of weeks! Ben started Pre-K, and Collin started walking! It seems like every time we sit down to try and post, for some reason blogger has been locking up and our pics are not posting..etc...So anyway, hooray for the fact that it finally worked today!! Last Saturday, we were cleaning out some toys in the playroom and noticed that Collin was walking across the room, and in about two days he decided he was ready to be a complete walker! We are proud! It was about time!! Ben loves Pre-K so far this year and all of the new friends in his class!! They are growing up so fast! Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!!
CB



video





Sunday, September 7, 2008

Haircut and Pizza Party!

Well we finally did it...we took Collin to get a haircut. I really did not want to cut off the curls, but he kept getting tangles and food in the curls, and I decided that it was not worth it to keep them. We took him yesterday and he did a great job at the salon. He sat perfectly and was as pleased as punch to see himself in the big mirror. He was even more excited about the sucker! Here are some before and after photos...















These other photos are of our little informal birthday party for Ben tonight. Since we had to cancel the 'big one' at the bounce house, we decided to have a pizza and cupcake party at "The Italian Pie" with just a few of his friends. The kiddos had a great time. He got a superhero Backyardigan movie from Conner and Micah, and from Brian, Sean and Timmy he got the "Bumblebee" transformer..which he did not have and it is his absolute favorite transformer...and then from the Carlson's he got this awesome Superman P.J. set that he had to put on immediately when we got home! He also got some superman underwear that I am sure we will wear more than any others!! Thank you guys! You were so sweet to give him those things...he was so excited!! Have a good one!
CB