Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Earle is a good man. He brought me flowers yesterday. I think he's a keeper. Thank you all for your sweet words, and as predicted today is feeling like a much better day! Sometimes it just helps to share!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pity Party!

Okay, today I am having a pity party for myself! Please don't think I have dropped into the depths of despair, because that is not the case, but I am just having a bit of a reflective down type of day. As you know, since the end of 2004 when Ben was born, we have lived in three different states and one different country. I am a pretty positive person and I rarely ever complain or let things get me down...but I think maybe I am just tired! I think the fact that my parents were here for a visit and have now gone may have something to do with it. When they left for some reason it hit me, "hey, I am in the middle of nowhere and totally disconnected from everyone that knows me, and no one can even drive to see me or me them!" I am always wondering what lesson God is giving me by sending me to these places...and I learn and take things from every place...but there is always a period of trying to "break through" to have relationships and also to break through within the church community that I am in. Every place we have been, I have had to establish new friends and it has been good. Usually at this point, about 3 months, the ball is starting to roll. I have been so blessed here by a few great friends. Erin and Nicola have been great because they understand and are Americans, and a couple of Canadians have really reached out to me...Brandi, and a girl in our small group, Aisling. I have nothing to complain about, I have been out for girls' nights and I have had friends to call up when things seem overbearing...that has been such a huge blessing, because without this, I think I would have folded in being overwhelmed!! Needless to say, I am not really feeling a "friend" void...I think it is more of an "involvement" void. The church that I attend here is an amazing one! I really like it, and people are so friendly, but it is hard to break through into relationship circles when these people have lived here all of their lives. Also, there are some cultural differences, so it is taking me longer to understand just how things are done. I am not used to being part of church from the sidelines, I am used to being a "doer" and being in the middle of too many things. In the U.S. it seems like I could "push" myself into these circles by helping serve and genuinely making it clear that I wanted to get to know the different ladies. Here it is a bit harder, because I am having to learn to listen more. Maybe people don't want someone pushing their way in. This is a good lesson for me. It is harder here, this is a harder egg to crack. Maybe I am just tired of the continual energy of having to start over and break in. I talk to my friends in the states and I know that some of them even struggle with this in churches they have been in for the past 10 years. I think I know what God is teaching me...maybe when I am finally at a church that feels like home, and I am coasting and involved...I need to pull the ones on the outside in. That is how we make our churches grow! I'll have to adopt a little young family who has small kids and no family and make them feel at home. That must be what God is teaching me. Also, I think the weather is a little depressing here! I am really looking forward to summer and flip flop weather, which I hear last for a couple of months!! Thank you so much sweet friends here that have embraced me and helped me settle. Thank you also my precious friends from the U.S. who I call and are a constant fountain of encouragement to me. For some reason, I just needed to share, I am sure that by tonight or tomorrow I will be getting over myself!! I need to count my blessings and close the pity party! Thanks for tuning in!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Beautiful Day for the Park...

Ben throwing a snowball at Earle..
It is great that Ben can now push Collin on the swings....but oh wait, we still push Ben!
Ben trying desperately to get Earle's attention with more snowballs...from a picnic table....what is it about boys and throwing snow???

I am pretty sure, with the evidence from this picture that Earle got Ben back!! Don't worry, he was laughing, not crying...it was soft snow!

Well, this afternoon, while I unpacked groceries from the store, we thought it would be a good day for the kids to walk down to the park with Earle. It was in the mid-30s today and the sun was out, and we were in need of them to run for a while and get to play. The past three Saturday evenings, we have had big snows, so I am getting a feeling we may still have it for the next month or two. We have kind of learned, if you get a nice day, you need to take advantage of it because tomorrow may not be!! Earle took the camera, and in looking at the pics, it looks like he and Ben were involved in snowball fights the whole time! I hope you all are enjoying the Spring in the U.S.! I am really a little jealous of the fact that you have snow less playgrounds to play on! But, we are figuring out how to "make it work" anyway!! Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Banff Trip

We had a great time in Banff during my parents visit. We should have stayed for an extra night.

Here is the hotel that we stayed at. It was called the Fairmont at Banff springs. It was really a great place. It was a castle built in the 1880's. The rooms were beautiful and it had a great atmosphere.

Earle and I had a time trying to get the boys to sleep...as always in a shared hotel room... but they had a great time. Also, Ben got to swim both nights so he loved that! They had a hot, outdoor pool ( a little cooler than a hot tub)and Earle told me that the first night he took Ben out there, Ben would get in the hot pool and swim and then get out of the water and go sit in the snow! Crazy kid!Collin was completely obsessed with the phone of course and constantly was picking it up saying, "wello..... Bye, Bye!!"The next day we took Ben tobogganing. It was a blast!! He even went down the big hill by himself! It was a quite a hike ...but we really enjoyed it!Collin was not too fond of the tobogganing, but he like watching us! He did try it once with his dad on a small hill...he cried the whole time!We walked around the town of Banff and all of the shops, it was beautiful!
We took an airlift up one of the mountains. It was great, we got lots of pictures and an amazing view up on the top!

There were so many more things to do, I am sure we will definately be back before we leave here!! We did not even get to the hot springs!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy 2nd B-day Collin!!

Our little man turned two today!! Wow, how time flies!! He is at such a great age. In his own little way, he seemed so appreciative. We really did not do much to prepare for the day. We just had a small celebration with our little family and my parents, who have come up for a visit. Collin had the best time having a special day that was all about him! He was so excited about every detail, the decorations, the balloons, he really took pride in being able to blow out the candles...he sat there for about 5 minutes working on it until he did it! We had a few presents and some yummy cupcakes from Crave. Ben was a great and supportive big brother today and let his brother have his special day! They both enjoyed playing with presents afterward, and Ben even let Collin pick which ones he wanted to play with first. It was a great day with family. I am so blessed to have my precious little Collin!! Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!! We love you so much!! You are such a joy to have!

Friday, March 13, 2009

In case you ever wondered.....

In case you ever wondered what would happen if an entire bottle of batman shampoo was dumped into a jacuzzi tub...You might not be able to find your child!!
This is what happened when Earle got Collin out of an ordinary bath and left Ben in to "Play" for a few more minutes..... Ben started laughing and screaming, "they just keep getting bigger and bigger!"

Collin thought it was cool. That boy is going to do me in someday!!:)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kid's Artwork Display Idea...

Okay, my friend Nicola, had a similar display up in her kitchen. She is so creative! She got the idea from a blog called Soule Mama.(Click on highlighted links to their blogs.) It really only cost about five dollars to make if you already have the clips on hand. If you are like me, your preschooler has so much paper/artwork that they feel is sooo important, but it is taking over your house! Anyway, Ben usually finds some of his in the trash and says, "OH NO! Who put this here!!??" So I decided this way he could pick what goes up and what comes down. Here is how you do the display:

First, you get some little circle screws. The circle part should be about the circumference of a dime or close to it. You just use your hands and twist them into the wall. Then you get a little package of wire and attach it to the circle parts. I used light duty wire, and I could twist it together pretty easily.

Next, you just get some clips like this, or if you have clothes pins on hand, that would work too!

Put up the artwork for the week and OOWAH-LAH! A fun display!

P.S. Thank you Elaine for the cute jackets you sent the boys!! They LOVE them!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Jesus and the Devil by Ben Brown

This afternoon, Ben and I were drawing pictures, and he wanted to draw one of Jesus. So I asked him to tell me about Jesus...I was interested in what type of concept he had in his head. I was wondering if we had gotten good concepts of Jesus across to Ben. Here are some of the things he said.

Jesus usually gets wonderful food.
Jesus gives toys to people.
He lives in Heaven
Jesus usually comes down to us.
He goes to people's houses everyday and gives wonderful bread to people.
Jesus loves Me, you, daddy and Collin very much.
Jesus wears a white coat and has brown hair and a beard.
Ummm...what about the Devil, what does he look like?
Does the Devil look like a storm or a snake? I think a monster.
The devil scares people...he lives in a cave and there are people walking around outside of the cave and he gets them and eats them for lunch and for dinner.
Jesus is the good guy and the Devil is the bad guy.
Jesus wants to rain on the Devil
Jesus rains on the devil and gets him wet and makes him run back to his cave.

I thought this was pretty funny! Oh what a comes from the mouth of a four year old!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Carrie's Favorite Things 2009

Okay, I decided to post a favorite things mostly because I really would like to know what you like and what are your favorite things. When deciding what to put on here, I decided it had to be all about me...what was easy, practical and made my days a little easier. I thought about putting kid stuff on here, but the list may have been a little long. So here are some of my favorite things this year...and some have been my favorite things for many years. If you feel inclined to do so, please post your favorite things!!

My Snowboots: These are newly one of my favorite things since we moved here a couple of months ago. I never have to worry about getting them dirty or my feet being warm because they do the trick! They are insulated and I think I got them at Wal-mart. I am sure you could find a much nicer, fancier pair, but these work for me.

The Straw Bowl: This is all about me because it helps cut down on soup and cereal spilt everywhere. I just tell Collin and Ben to drink their soup and eat out the chunks...and cereal is the same! I love whoever invented this!
Insulated Starbucks Cold Cup: This is an insulated plastic cup with a plastic straw that I purchased last summer when I got Frap.'s at Starbucks everyday. They do give you a discount if you use it, it fits a grande size but looks like a venti. I actually use this all day at home for water, iced tea, or really anything. It was well worth the $15.00. It also fits nicely in my car cup holder so I can take my beverage on the go. I don't know why I love it as much as I do, but I just do.Beverage System and Pods: I am pretty sure I have mentioned this before, but it is the Tassimo beverage system by Bosch. It makes single servings of Cappuccino's, Lattes, Chai Tea, Coffee, Hot Choc....etc. And they are really tasty. The Cappuccino's are only 70 calories and they are so good. Anyone who has come over and tried one really likes them. You do have to buy the pods, which are about $5.00 for about 8 to 16 depending on what you get, but it has saved us money and I still feel like I can indulge on something really tasty everyday!! The Cappuccinos are my favorite one. My sister has one too and loves it, so do a few other people I know. You can get these at Target for $100.00 or at Bed Bath and Beyond for way more than that. If you like coffee and having people over for coffee, it is worth the investment! In Canada you can get them at Wal-mart.
5 Big Fat Hot Rollers: These give my hair the look of being fixed. My hair is wavy and frizzy naturally, but these smooth it out and only take about a minute to put in my hair and about 10 minutes later, pull them out, run a brush through and go. So I can go to bed with wet hair, put these in in the mornings and all is okay. They are much quicker than using a straightener, even though I do do that occasionally. They also don't make tight curls, just a loose fixed look. Huge time saver! I got them at Sally Hansen Beauty Supply.
Black & Decker Dust Buster thing:

My mother-in-law gave me this. I really like it ! It often keeps our car from being a crumb, snack, pretzel disaster. It works really well and the nozzle is skinny and can get into the cracks of a car seat. It also folds up and you can just slide it under the drink console or underneath one of the front seats. You do have to charge it occasionally, but I could probably go a week or more without charging it. I am not sure where she got it, but I would think Target or Wal-mart.

Treadmill: Okay I usually have a gym membership, but here it is a little less practical to get out and a little more expensive because you have to pay by the hour for childcare even if you have a family membership. This is about 6 or 7 years old and I bought it at a place that sold used fitness equipment. It cost me half of what my year membership would have cost me. It is right by my side of the bed and right in front of the Television...and I use it when Collin is down for a nap and Ben is having quiet time. It is all about practically fitting exercise into my day, or I don't do it. The Last Resort Bra: (click on the title)
To go along with the exercising, this has been one of my favorite things for a few years. I used to have a really hard time finding a sports bra that would do the trick. Sometimes I would have to wear 2 , one on top of the other. This is so worth the money if you ever have had that problem! I still use them so check out the link!

Cute Little Red Rhinestone Reading Glasses: I got these at a bookstore. I recently realized my eyes were getting harder to focus on reading. I was not happy because that means I am getting old!! But these were cute and made me happy!

That is all I could think of today!! Enjoy and tell me yours!! And Yay....this is my 100th post!!