Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mexican Fiesta Night and fun friend time...

Ready or NOT!

They were hiding...Sam was IT!

Ready set, RED LIGHT!

The easy sweet!Big boys making pizza while the little ones steal the pepperonis...
It is quite hard to find good Mexican food way up here in Canada. A couple of weeks ago a colleague of Earle's at work, brought us 4 cans of rotel back from the U.S. I was so excited that I decided we had to have some friends over to share in the tastiness! Last night we had a few couples over to partake in the fun! Two of the other couples were American and one was Canadian, so we all pitched in for a huge buffet of Mexican foods...kind of Texas style! I have to admit, this morning I am feeling quite bloated from all of the eating....but it was really good! We also had a house full of crazy kiddos and mad pandemonium. I am pretty sure the kids had a great time playing. I took them outside for awhile and we played some kid games...I realized it was a great moment for photo taking! They played hide and seek, red light green light and freeze tag...which was kind of hard for the little kids because they like to make up their own rules. I hope the neighbors did not mind the fact that we were playing in their yard and using their house to hide around..and their car as base! Just to give you an idea of the length of day up here right now, these pics were taken close to nine o'clock in the evening. I should have gotten pics of the time! There are also a few here from a week ago when we had a two of the same kiddos over. I realized I needed these pics to put in our memories. I recently downloaded for the third time and and finally decided to start making our blog into yearly books. The only one I have finished so far is 2007 and it turned out pretty good. I am including a photo of it for your viewing pleasure..and must say that if you use your blog like you do a scrapbook, it is definitely worth the fifty to sixty dollars to do it! It includes all of your written posts and photos. Maybe should pay me for advertising! I got the hard cover because I figured it might hold up a little better, but you can get it hard cover with the book cover, which actually looks even nicer, I think.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cystic Fibrosis Test..

Well, we just heard back from Collin's Pediatrician....his test came back NORMAL!! Big sigh of relief!! Praise the Lord! We really did not think he had it, but I tell you we were still really anxious about getting the results back. It is hard for a mother to not worry in the back or her mind when her child is being tested for a terminal illness! If you prayed for us thank you!
So glad to be able to get on with the weekend with this good news!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I've Got Nothing...

I have not had any great ideas for a blog I guess you could call that bloggers-block! This week has been a slow one. It has been cold with snow flurries and drizzle...ick! Ben has been sick and has Strep throat with the rash..(scarlet fever) and little Collin has been running all over the house being "buck wild" and enjoying antagonizing his big brother while he is down. I am sure Collin is ready for Ben to be better so he can have his playmate back. Today I took Collin to Alberta Children's Hospital to have a precautionary test taken for Cystic Fibrosis. Due to his small size(he is in the -3% for weight and the 10% for height), the pediatrician here wants to rule it completely out, but does not think he has it. So, we should know back on that one in a day or two.
One thing I have been craving lately is Banana I will leave you with this yummy recipe that is one of my favorites and to give credit where it is due, given to me by Rochelle Waddill who got it from her mother-in-law Sandy Waddill...

Banana Bread

1/2 Cup of Shortening
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Eggs
1 3/4 Cup of Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 mashed bananas
dash salt
Carrie Variation..( I add half a bag of semi-sweet choc. chunks or chips)

Bake @ 350 for about an hour. Cover with foil if it starts to brown. Makes 1 loaf.

Cheers people!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Grosser than Gross....

I have realized in the past year or so that little boys go beyond my idea of disgusting at times. They take being gross to a whole new level. They are constantly picking their cute little noses and eating their boogies and they have a special knack for getting really dirty as soon as you get them freshly dressed. I am wondering, do little girls do this??? I have always assumed not. My oldest is constantly laughing at himself, and when I ask what is so funny, he tells me things like, "I just passed gas at you."
So needless to say, little Collin thinks everything that Ben does is hysterical and is beginning to be equal in the mess making. I even think it has been a bit worse now that the both of them work together to encourage each other in disgusting endeavors.

So the story goes that this past Tuesday evening I was gone to a hair appointment and Earle was watching the boys. They had gone on a long walk with Earle pulling them in the wagon, and were home for just a few minutes. Earle was tired from the hour long walk and was probably resting on the chair upstairs drinking a glass of ice water when her heard eruptions of laughter coming from the basement. I presume that he also heard the toilet lid slamming down a few times. He ran downstairs to investigate the situation. Both boys were in the bathroom with their faces in the toilet, pretending to be dogs or something and doing motorboats in the toilet water. Earle was disgusted at this and moved them out of the way while scolding them. Wait, it only gets worse. As Earle peeked over the toilet bowl, he saw that Collin had thrown his play cell phone in the toilet. It was also apparent that Ben had peed in the toilet earlier in the day and did not flush. Yes, they were motor-boating in the toilet water with Ben's pee in it! That is sticking their faces in the toilet and blowing bubbles in the pee water. I told you it was disgusting! Earle made a huge deal about how unacceptable it was to put your face in toilet water, or to play in the toilet. Both boys had some suitable punishment and were bathed, and put to bed.
When I got home, Earle relayed the story to me. My first question was, did you brush Collin's teeth? He said he had was the first thing we did when he woke up on Wednesday morning. Yuck!
Have a good weekend!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I love you, I love you, I love you I do....

All of the sweet Mother's Day gifts!

Special Tea Party...look how nicely the kids sat the tables for us!

I had a great Mother's Day today. Other than the fact that I could not spend it with my own mother, my little princes and king treated me like a queen! On Friday, Ben's school had a Mother's Day Tea for all of the mothers. It was sweet and they sang us some little songs. They laid out rose petals on the table and served us bowls of fruit. They made us some sweet little cards. Then on Saturday, my mom sent me some of our favorite baked goodies...some Crave cupcakes!! Last night a friend of ours babysat the kids while Earle and I got to go on a date. My friend also surprised me with a sweet Mother's Day card and some flowers. Today, I got to get up and go for a walk by myself. The boys had gotten me as I was getting ready for church, Ben brought up a bushel of daisies that he picked out especially for me. Ben had also picked out a card that he and Collin both fought over who would get to bring me...I felt so special! ;) I thought that they had given me such sweet gifts, but as I walked into the kitchen I saw that Earle had gotten me the Rachel Ray pots and pans set that I had wanted! Whoo-hoo!! We can now get rid of the scraped up cheap pots and pans we have been using since we got married!! No more little bits of coating in the cooking!!

We had a good day at church, Ben gave me this little sunflower cut magnet out with his picture on it that he made in Bible Class...I thought it was precious, but pretty funny.
We tried to get a decent "Mother's Day" picture of everyone acting nice...but it just did not happen for us. So Earle took some pictures of us making funny faces while the boys enjoyed the cupcakes that Cindy sent us. At Ben's school all of the kids sang this song to their moms and I decided it was ever so fitting for this post....

I Love You,
I Love You,
I Love You,
But don't get excited,
I love Monkeys too!

Hope you all had a great day with your monkeys too!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

How involved should "we" get?? What is smart and what is not...

Warning, Extremely Long Wordy Post Ahead!!
So, the area in question here is the homeless population in Calgary. I have always been a suburbia girl myself, so I have never quite been so overwhelmed with the homeless population in a city as I am here. This is really the first time I have ever lived in the "inner city". I have been approached by quite a few homeless people who come up to the mini-van at gas stations asking for money or cigarettes, I even had one person follow me all through a grocery store while I got everything on my list while Collin was in the cart, so that I could help them with money when I checked out. I was a little scared which is why I complied. Overall, the homeless people here have not seemed too dangerous, but a little more aggressive here in approaching you and asking you eye to eye. I am not sure if it has to do with where we live or that possibly there are more homeless people here than we have ever encountered before. Don't get me wrong, we do not live in "the hood" at all, we live in a very nice inner city neighborhood, with lots of families and children.

Let me rewind to 25yrs. ago....

All through my elementary school career, we lived in Denver, CO. My grandparents also lived there. Often times, when I would go to my grandparents house, which was a nice middle class home in a nice suburb of Denver, my grandfather, "Bu" would take me on walks. Before our walks, he would often hand me a plastic grocery bag and I would know what we were going to do.....the collecting the cans game. I thought all kids did this with their grandparents! I thought it was fun, we collected as many cans as we could, then he would take my brother and I to a place where we would get money(very little money) in exchange for the cans. Sometimes we would come home from our walks with many bags...sometimes, none at all. I think it went a bit far at one point when he had taken us to a park and "Bu" and I were digging through the big dumpsters for cans. It was at this point when a couple of teenage guys saw us digging and came up to us and handed my grandfather some coins....I am sure that my mother was a little horrified...but that is truly my only experience being a can collector, dumpster diver...and it was hard work, but I had a nice warm bed to go home to. I think after that, we stopped with taking the bags on our walks:)

Fast forward to now. We have been here for four months, I have never witnessed so many people diving in dumpsters for cans and anything salvageable. As you drive through drive thru's there are usually people right by the drive thru digging in the dumpsters. I feel especially bad if it is a really bone chilling cold day and I see them as I go thru the Starbucks drive thru, they are cold and digging. A friend of ours told us to leave our cans behind our house in our alley and let them collect the cans...I thought it was a decent idea and I had noticed that the man behind our house often left out a coat or some gloves we started doing that. I must say that Earle did question if it was a good idea to attract people to come near our home. Although he did like the idea of helping people in such an easy way. Strangely enough, within 30 minutes or so of putting them out, they were almost always gone. So you wonder, how they know so quickly and where they may be hiding and watching things from. Yesterday morning, I was coming home from getting some coffee and as I pulled into the alley I saw 3 men walking down it with their grocery carts looking for left out cans. They stopped almost directly behind my house and started chatting with someone, as if, stopping by the neighbors house to say hello. Then I realized that a homeless person had been staying almost directly behind our house. I had remembered on a walk seeing through the fence that there was an old chair and a mattress behind the shed in some one's backyard. first thought was, maybe we should leave out our left overs for this person or something...I kind of wanted to see where he was was hard to see through the fence, but I could see where he got into the people's yard, there was a hole where the trash cans are collected that he crawled through. I decided I might have to snap a quick picture over the fence so I could on my way to take Ben to school yesterday, I took some pictures outside and then decided to quickly take one to ease my curiosity of where this person was dwelling...

After I picked Ben up from school as I drove down our alley I squinted to try and see between the slots of the fence a little more than I could capture from the pretty poor picture I had taken of the dwelling... and to my disappointment, the chair and mattress were gone. He had left! I am afraid I may have scared him by taking the picture, I had not thought that he was there at the time!

My neighbor was pulling into her garage and I told her of the events of the day. I told her that I felt so badly that I may have scared this person off. She on the other hand, was horrified that there was a homeless person setting up camp directly behind her home! She told me that about the time that we moved in that the three other homes in our garage grouping had all had their garages broken into and bikes and things stolen. And then she said she had noticed that we had been leaving out cans, and that the other neighbors had decided after the break-ins to not leave them out or anything that might attract people to our alley. I guess I now understand her surprised reaction. So after such a long story.....can you tell me what is our place?? I understand being smart about not getting vandalized, but seriously, I have really been thinking about people and classes of people and how everyone is equal in God's eyes. I mean, none of us have "immunity" to the possibility of that happening to us some day. I am sure that none of these homeless people thought, "Hey, I want to be a homeless person when I grow up and have to beg people for stuff and dig through dumpsters."

What about the poor man and Lazarus? Jesus really seems to focus quite a few of his messages on helping the poor and needy people. Hebrews 13:2 says.."Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."

So where is the line here? I know you have to use common sense and be careful, but it is a hard line to define, especially if it is an issue that is literally almost right in your back yard. I am sure there are other ways to help...maybe we'll just leave our cans out at the recycling plant. Any thoughts????

Here are the pics I took on Friday...

Alley behind our garage...
This fence is to the facing our garage just back from the garage you see on the left. The cut out hole is where people put their trash cans. This is where the person would get in and out of the back yard directly, catty cornered behind our garage.

Dwelling can see a chair through the fence vaguely... Over the fence....not a great pic, but really so sad.