Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Happy Birthday!

Today was my birthday and it was a really great day! My day started out this morning with Ladies' Bible study. One of my friends gave me a really sweet card and these pretty flowers and they all sang "Happy Birthday" to me Canada style(there is a little added blessing verse). Then I got an hour or so of kid less time during the study!



As the day progressed Earle had planned little sweet things for the whole day. I have to say, he really made an effort for me to have a special birthday. This afternoon the doorbell rang and they delivered a dozen roses and this Happy Birthday Balloon. When Earle got home from work, he came with goodies...he bought a delicious cake from a specialty bakery called here "Crave". It was a four layer choc. cake with butter cream icing....GO EARLE!! Then Ben handed me a card that he had picked out himself for me...and he had signed it himself too.:) I tried to take a pic, but it did not turn out very well. Next, Earle had taken the initiative and called my friend Erin to get the name and number of a trusted babysitter so that we could go out on a date. He took me to a restaurant here in Calgary called Caesar's. It was soooo good. Since it was my birthday, I decided to go for it! I ordered the Filet Mignon, medium, smothered in Peppercorns with a loaded potato! It was really awesome! I think one of the best steaks I've ever had! And I think Earle even has enough left from my dinner for lunch tomorrow! It was a great date and a great day. I am so thankful for all of my blessings! Thank you Earle for doing Everything Right! You made it special!

Now hopefully my family will get some power soon in Paducah! Please keep them in your prayers! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

CB

What's going on this week??? Ramblings!:)

It has been a good week! So far we are settling in pretty well. We spent all of last week "turbo unpacking" boxes. We got mostly done except for a few, which I have chosen to ignore this week because I was burned out on unpacking boxes!!
The boys are adjusting really well. Ben is still loving his school. This week he had, "winter play day" which they got to bring big cartons full of frozen colored ice to build a class igloo. That was something new for him! He got to wear his snowsuit to school and have a great time playing!
It has been a great week for me. I have gotten to visit with several different ladies in the area. Our church has a Moms and Tots group which I think is quite similar to M.O.P.S. in the states. So we have gone to that the past two weeks. I have also been going to a Thursday morning Ladies Bible Study that has been great. There is also childcare there. Collin is used to being left in childcare for a couple of hours at a time. I have to say, he has been pretty spoiled up to this point with only having me around...but it is time!! This week I had two separate mornings with a couple of hours of uninterrupted adult time! So this is progress!!
The people here are really friendly and most seem really interested in getting to know new people, which is so nice! I have been able to have coffee with some people two different days this week! I have found that my Tassimo Beverage maker is great for having people over for coffee! And I can just let the boys run wild or put Collin down for his naps! It seems to work a little easier with the kids than meeting up at Starbucks...but I do still love Starbucks, of course! I have found a drive thru Starbucks which makes me happy about twice a week! This week, we are enjoying a "Chinook". A Chinook is when a warm wind blows over and melts the snow away. So today, I think it got up to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It gets like this for about 3 days or so and then a cold spell comes and puts us back into the -0 temps. So this is how they have the winters here. I think it is supposed to be a nice weekend.
Something funny to share:
Last week I was talking with someone and trying to figure out when we could get our families together for a visit. I suggested this weekend and the very sweet person said, "Um, no that won't work, the weather is supposed to be nice, so I'm sorry, I think our family will be ice-fishing."

That cracked me up! You would never hear a sincere answer like that in the States! But she was serious and she and her family go ice-fishing all of the time!!

Today is my Birthday...and I already have great things to share...but it is not over yet, so I will save it for the next post! Hope everyone has a great weekend!!
CB

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Funny things that have happened to me since I have been here in Canada...

These are just a few funny circumstances I felt I might not have run in to in the States...hope you see the humor!

1. On Saturday, Earle and I had and appt. at a bank to get my name on our account...so he had to find one that was open on Saturdays...we got closer to the place we were supposed to be going and everything was in Chinese....we arrived at the Bank site..it was inside a Chinese supermarket where no one spoke English. We stuck out like a sore thumb..but were trying not to smile under the circumstance...luckily the bank teller spoke English...but everyone else was looking at us like, "what in the world are you doing here!"

2. Today I was walking the kids down the street. I could not figure out what the stroller was stuck on...I finally saw that I had been dragging and small iceberg about at 7 in. square for the past few yards...oh, that makes sense!

3. Ben's school requires a pair of athletic shoes to keep at school. We got there with the pair the had on and the one that we were going to leave...I realized that all of the other kids had snow boots on and were taking them off at the door because they were full of snow. "Oh," I said to his teacher, "they have on boots, now I understand...the tennis shoes are the dry ones to wear in the classroom." I looked over at Ben as he was kicking the snow off of his light up tennis shoes. She laughed and said, "You aren't in Louisiana anymore!"

4. I got into the first grocery store last week with Collin in hand. It was a Safeway...I was about to put him in the cart when I realized that I had to put a quarter in first. I realized I did not have a quarter, and to make the situation worse, even if Earle found one in the car, we did not yet have a Canadian quarter...luckily a nice woman gave me her cart as she was coming out. When we turned it in..guess what, it gave us her Canadian quarter back! I kept the quarter for future use!

5. Lots of times grocery stores and Wal-marts are in Malls...it is sort of different..but the cool thing is you can get your groceries, keep the kid in the cart and walk around the mall.

6. The monday after we got here, our new friends, the Lonards had us invited us over for dinner. It had been a long day, Ben's first day of school and we had taken our dogs way out in the country to be boarded before we went to their house. I was really tired, but excited to finally meet my new friend for the first time in person. We got out of the car..and I had on my tennis shoes and no coat...I got Collin out of his seat and started to climb through the almost foot and a half deep or so of snow over to the much more shallow side walk. I lost my balance and my whole body fell into the snow drift! I was covered from head to toe on one side of my body...while I had managed to keep Collin pretty much out of it. I was so tired, I was laughing and crying at the same time and told myself to pull it together. We went up to the door and my friend Erin opened it...there I was, a snow dipped girl...I said, please excuse the mess, I fell in the snow!! She acted like it was nothing and went on about buisness. Earle was still laughing at me! Thanks Erin for not being horrified! So much for first impressions! At least you know she met the Real me!!!:)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Part II The pictures...

Part I ...The Story.....

Warning....Very long reading post ahead!!!!!!!
Well, we are finally here in Calgary! The past month has been really crazy! We had our house packed on Dec. 17th. Also, on December 17th, was Ben's preschool Christmas program...which if anyone of you read my post in May from his last school program...you know we were a bit nervous. When we got to the auditorium I was approached by another mother asking me if I would be performing that morning..I just laughed and told her I hoped not. Anyway, he did great! We did have to hide from him, but he was successful and we were sooo proud of him! That was a huge accomplishment for him.
We left Louisiana on the 18th of December and drove to my parents in Paducah. On Saturday the 20th we got to go to Nashville to see our friends Robert and Betsy Coggin and their new son, Nik. They had just gotten back to the states after adopting him from Siberia. He was precious and we were so glad to get to see him!
We spent Christmas week at my parents and had my lots of relatives to visit with. It went really well and we had a great time and Christmas with everyone..and yes, I finally got my Christmas shopping done a day or two before!
We left the week after Christmas to start our drive to Calgary. We took our mini-van with an attached 8'5" U-haul trailer and both of our dogs. The first few days were uneventful. The boys were great, but really hyper in the hotel rooms, but the drive was easy. I have never been through Wyoming, S. Dakota, and Montana so it was a new experience. The land up there is totally undeveloped. There are only about half a million people in the entire state of Wyoming. It is all plains and mountains, with hardly any place to stop. One day we drove five hours without having even so much as any fast food place to get the boys lunch! But it was pretty and there was quite a bit of wildlife...
On Friday, we left Great Falls, Montana and we planning to make it to Calgary. It was supposed to be our "short" day of driving. It was snowing, so we checked the road conditions before we left. We started out on I-15 north. We had only gone about 40 miles or so and the snow started getting worse. It was not the actual amount of snow, but the wind was really whipping it...so our visibility got quickly worse. We kept slowing down until we could not even see the road or anything in front of our car. We were in a White Out. We saw that a Semi had pulled over, and Earle decided that if the Semi pulled over, then maybe we should too. Quickly, cars started piling in all around us and stopping in the middle of the interstate. Earle got out to talk to the guy in the Semi, and came back with a sheet of ice frozen over his entire face. It was 8 below with probably a wind chill of 25 or 30 below. Luckily we had a full tank of gas and heat! After being there about 30 min. Earle looked up a Comfort Inn in the next big town and called them to make a reservation! It was a really good thing he did that! We were stranded there for about 3 and a half hours. After about 3 hours, we realized that we were stuck in the snow drifts that had quickly piled around our car. We did not have a shovel, so Earle used a drawer from under my seat in our mini-van and shovel the snow from around the tires...quite a few attempts. Bless his heart, he had to wrap one of Ben's sweatshirts around his face to be able to stand out there long enough to do this. We had called 911 and they told us that we were in a group of 30 cars stranded and that they were sending emergency vehicles to help us, but it would be a while. Some how, we were able to inch our way out of being stuck and slowly start driving. By now the roads were visible to some extent...but they were completely unploughed...and we do not have 4 wheel drive and did not have chains on our mini-van...so it was a nerve wracking hour and half down the slippery snow packed mountain hills to our exit. We were so excited to see our exit, we pulled off and started to turn into the street where the Comfort Inn was and we got stuck!! Luckily a nice man and his wife were driving by and saw us stuck and the wife told her husband that it looked like we had children in the vehicle and that they should stop and help us. He had a tow chain and pulled us out twice before we could get into our hotel! Wow, that was such a gift from God! When we got to the Comfort Inn, we were lucky because of all of the people stranded, they had no rooms left, in the whole town! So anyway, we stayed the night there and left the next morning and arrived in Calgary late Saturday afternoon.
We went to church on Sunday morning and really enjoyed it! The people were so friendly to us! We were dead tired though! We even made it though Monday. Ben had his first day at school and loved it. Also, some new friends, the Lonard's had us over for dinner last night, they are X-pat too, so it was great to talk to some people that have been through this.
At the moment, we are in our little temporary apt. I think I speak for Earle and I both, we are feeling more than a little overwhelmed. We are still really tired from the past few weeks. Canada is different than the U.S.A. Not only do I have a new city to get to know, and I have to learn to drive in snow all of the time, but lots of things are different. There gas is in liters instead of gallons, they have a different currency than we do so I have to think about the exchange rate constantly, speed limits are in kilometers and not MPH, measurements are metric, temperature is in Celsius, not Fahrenheit, and the grocery store is different, the food is called different things and it is way more expensive. We went to the store on Sunday evening, we got about 5 small bags of groceries...it was $180.00!!! Earle just about had a heart attack right there! All in all though, I do think we are going to like it here. It is just going to take a little time to get accustomed to all of the little differences. It is a beautiful town and the people are friendly. We are excited about our church. We will keep you posted..and I plan to post Part II...the pictures today or tomorrow!! Have a good one!
CB