Friday, December 30, 2011


Here are some pictures from December 23rd - we haven't downloaded the photos from the 24th and 25th onto the computer yet! Rachel was in a fabulous mood - the last one is my favorite!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Yes, I am still alive. And yes, I knew it had been a while since I posted, but - yikes! - I haven't posted since September 16th. Let me take a quick minute to tell you why:

1. Summer ended, along with Grant's growth spurt, and he quit taking afternoon naps.
2. We had something going on every single day of the week: Sing and Sign class at the church on Mondays, Toddler Development Class in Coalhurst on Tuesdays, Moms and Tots on Wednesdays, Grant's music class on Thursdays, and Stay and Play in Coalhurst on Fridays. It has been very busy and very fun.

Now, the Toddler Development class has ended, music class is over until January, and I have abolished Moms and Tots. We will now be doing Sing and Sign on Mondays along with Stay and Play on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Grant will be doing gymnastics again on Saturdays, starting December 17th. Rachel will also start that week if there is enough interest to run the class for her age. I'm not really sure what they do for "gymnastics" with 9-18 month olds, but the government is picking up the tab, so we'll give it a try.

The kids and I will probably have something every day or nearly every day of the week once January comes.

A little bit about the Toddler Development Class: a free class for parents run out of the Parent Link Centre in Coalhurst. They even took care of my kids for me while I learned how to be a better mom. I loved it - I don't think they told me anything I didn't know, but I always need the reminders. I also loved it for the two hour break from the kids. This part was a bit of a learning curve for Rachel; the first few weeks she didn't stop crying while in the play room so I had to go get her and bring her to the library where she played nicely. But I kept taking her, and it slowly got better. The last few classes (there were eight total) she stayed in the play room the entire time, and when I dropped her off at the very last class, she immediately went in and started playing by herself - she never even looked back to see me leave. I could have just burst I was so proud of her.

Also, Halloween happened:

Yes, we are awesome.

Now, we are getting ready for Christmas, we are eating pork and beans every day so we can save for a house (or at least we will be by the end of every month once we've run out of grocery money), we are staying warm since the snow has come this week and winter is officially here, and Trevor and I are just LOVING our little babies. Grant is so super fun. He loves Cheerios (I think another growth spurt started this week, which means an upcoming pants shortage for him), he loves doing chores, he loves singing ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle. Rachel is ridiculously cute and I love her flawless skin. She is already her own little woman, full of independence and sass. She's wonderful at playing on her own. She loves blueberries (biggest messes of your life), bananas, mandarin oranges, and swipes all her food onto the floor when she's done. 

Most importantly, she took her FIRST STEPS today during church (because she wanted to get into the garbage can I had taken away, of all things). Trevor missed it :( She was standing at the garbage and I took it away. She remained standing on her own, then took four or five little steps over to the garbage. I've been saying for a couple weeks now that she could walk if she tried; she walks all over the house with her walker toy and she's getting really good at standing for long periods of time. I'll be thrilled due to the fact that she gets her socks and the knees of her pants insanely dirty when she's crawling. 

One last update about me: I finally used my spa gift certificate from Carolyn and Bob that was my birthday present last year to get a mud wrap - it was amazing. They put the mud (more like lotion) on your arms, legs and back, put plastic around you, and then a big cocoon sleeping bag thing and let you sleep for twenty minutes. Plus I coupled mine with a massage.... heavenly. Thank you Eclipse Spa. And more thanks to Carolyn and Bob for such a thoughtful birthday gift.

That's all for now. I make no promises as to when I'll be back. Happy Winter!

Friday, September 9, 2011


One year ago today...

One month:

Two months:

Three months:

Four months:

Five months:

Six months:

Seven months:

Eight months:

Nine months:

Ten months:

Eleven months:


I know everyone says this, but my little girl is just perfect.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I was skimming through a couple of old blog posts yesterday when something caught my eye - we were still in Vancouver, and I mentioned that I was dreaming of having my own washer and dryer someday. In my very own house! And I could take as much time as I wanted, do laundry any day of the week!, and enjoy the laundry the way Kate Gosselin says she does - or at least did back when Jon was in the picture.

Well, since moving into our townhouse, that day has finally arrived. It has been pure bliss laundry-wise. And while the washer and dryer are the cheapest, junkiest ones out there and I do wish sometimes that I could choose the temperature on the dryer, it's heavenly in comparison to our pre-townhouse state, and I am just grateful that I have a washing machine. They really are amazing. So unbelievably convenient. And there are people in the world who have never even seen a washing machine.

I know it probably sounds completely ridiculous to some - okay, ALL - of you - but I LOVE doing laundry. The kids' clothes especially. The little orange and blue t-shirts with cars and tractors on them along with the sweet pink and purples and yellows, little summer dresses and skirts - I'm obsessed with baby clothes and in love with washing them. 

I'm a freak, I know - but I figure that I might as well play to my strengths. I'm not a very good housekeeper in any other way, I'm not a good cook, and I'm generally lazy and don't ever go looking for work. I'd rather relax on the couch and do absolutely nothing while the kids nap than actually clean a bathroom or vacuum the rug.

But I can make sure my husband has enough jeans. And socks. And clean underwear. So that is what I do.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Grant has one fabulous personality trait that I'd love to have, and that is that he can turn his attitude around in a snap. We can ask him if he wants to go to Great Grandma's house/Farmer's Market/park/showhomes/Moms and Tots/Costco/biking/etc, and sometimes he says No. But once we start the activity, whether it's walking or biking or driving there, he starts talking about what he can bring with him (blue blankie, shopping cart we borrowed from the library, Elmo, juice) - and he is all of a sudden actually looking forward to and enjoying the activity! It's amazing. One second he'll be screaming his lungs out and resisting getting into his carseat, and then we snap the buckle and it's all sunshine and rainbows and he can't wait to take part in whatever we're doing next. I don't know about the rest of you, but I despise being forced to do something I hate and generally can't make myself enjoy it. But the world is so simple to him and he takes delight in everything he does even if he didn't want to do it at first. I'm envious. And I love him for it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


This is my 100th post! I'm surprised I've written that many. It deserves a celebratory photo:

There you  have it. 

July - here we go. (Wait, wait! Rachel officially started crawling on June 30th! Okay, NOW on to July).

For Canada Day we went to the parade in Raymond. Grant collected a giant bag of candy (I threw most of it away after Trevor ate the chips).

(Although you might not be able to get him to admit it, Trevor's grandma and his dad live in Raymond so we watched the parade right in front of her house. She is the sweetest grandma we could ever ask for).

Then we went to Henderson and Grant loved all the bouncy houses.

The kids wore cutesy Canada Day shirts. I'm obsessed with them matching.

Swings are the best, aren't they?

More July:

Grant ate corn on the cob for the first time and thought it was fantastic. Rightfully so. He ate eggs for the first time too; easy over.
Trevor had this big project out of town - funny that while he doesn't work as a laborer of any kind, his job is so closely tied to construction season that summer is always crazy and winter is slow and dull. Not funny, haha - more like LAME. Anyway, he was out in Lake Louise for three weeks on a project that should have taken a week at the most. In the meantime, I took the kids down to the US border to pick up some packages I ordered from the states - tons of clothes for Rachel from eBay and Carters. The kids were real troopers and Grant had his own ice cream cone from Dairy Queen with shockingly little mess. (Why have I already spent so much time talking about Grant eating?)
Rachel tries to escape out the front door anytime it's open. Grant has started saying "Oooooo" when he sees something interesting and it's cute every single time.
We went to Calgary for the stampede parade and got a flat tire on the way. It would have been merely annoying except for the fact that we had a flat a few weeks ago which ended with a busted jack that had to be thrown in the garbage. After waiting a while and trying to figure out what to do, along with fighting cell phone reception, a very sweet older couple from church stopped to help us!!! Thank goodness. We made it to Calgary and decided it was best to put four new tires on the van. We were going to push the envelope by making them last until winter started, but we had to change the timetable. Oh well. Thanks to our rental customers for buying us new tires. And in spite of the tire thing, we had promised Grant we would stop at the train place in Nanton, so we did, and he even got to pick out a new train for being so patient with the whole mess.
Stampede parade: HUGE disappointment trying to see Will & Kate. We all got up at 4:30am, got downtown, set up shop, waited, waited, waited... FINALLY the Duke & Duchess are coming. Then... wait... was that them? That's it? 
Here's what happened: five or six identical black sedans cruise by at 40 or 50km/h, one of them has a back window halfway down and William is waving from inside the car. I can't even begin to say how disappointed I was. As disappointed as when I wasn't a bridesmaid for a friend who obviously didn't think I was as good a friend to her as I thought I was. More disappointed than when I watched Prison Break, because, hey, at least it was entertaining all along the way. Did I mention I couldn't see Kate AT ALL?

I panicked and this is the best picture I got. I had to laugh or else I would have been crying right there on the sidewalk of 9th Avenue.

We took the rest of the day off and napped.

More July:

We went to a fabulous stampede breakfast at the Masonic Hall. The pancakes were amazing. Trevor is dying to have the recipe. I told him to join the Masons. We went to Spruce Meadows and it was fantastic - I've never been before and of course that means neither has Trevor - his life didn't begin until we got married. He barely even existed before then.

Rachel has her left front tooth with no right one. 

We got our free 7.11 oz slurpees on free slurpee day. Grant must have been growing that day because he slept in until 11am!

I got to get an entire day to myself to go to Calgary with my childhood best friend, Casey! We went on the rides at the stampede, and, let's just say, I am not the person I used to be and thought I still was. I even puked after the last one (to which the carnie said "Nice one!"). But I had an absolute blast. Although it's been a few years since we saw each other last, it was like not a day had gone by. I vividly remember being five years old, as shy as can be, and walking into my first grade classroom where I saw her and thought "we are going to be friends". I would even say that we are still best friends. (Okay, Casey, I said it on the internet so now it is true). It was a wonderful day (puke notwithstanding) and I can't wait to see her again!!! (Plus my husband is amazing for taking a day off work to stay home with the kids with no car. He found it stressful and said I really deserved the break). Also, Casey and I committed conspired to moving heaven and earth to SEE the Royal Couple next time they come to Canada because she nearly got to see them and then missed out. 

Rachel is getting really funny - she objects so loudly to toys being taken away that she wanted. She yells if she's not getting the same food we are having. She occasionally pulls herself up to standing and when she does I cry "Too soon! Too soon!" - as if that will make her be a baby forever.

We celebrated Grant's half birthday with the frog backpack from this post and some Thomas pajamas. 

Grant tried watering the plants at Grandma Susan's house and thought it was a riot - giggling the entire time.

Rachel finally started clapping and she is so proud of herself! 

All four of us chatted with my older siblings, Megan and Evan, on Skype, which is a serious technological miracle in my opinion - my brother normally resides in the Philippines, but was in Saskatchewan at the time, and my sister lives in Singapore! Trevor has never met Evan before, so I guess now he has, and Evan has finally met the kids!

Grant actually went in the water at the spray park for the first time ever. He doesn't love it and would still rather play at a playground or just explore the outdoors. 

I fulfilled a long overdue promise to Grant to ride the bus. Actually we went twice in July. Partway through the bus ride Grant realized he forgot his blankie at home and then said "Forgot blue blankie" for a good ten minutes. Trevor and I joke that he gets stuck on repeat.

Trevor took his birthday off work. Grant got up, peeked in our room, saw Trevor sleeping ("Daddy sleeping"), went downstairs and before I could get down there had taken out the waffle maker, eggs, oil, syrup, whipping cream, and blueberries! He correctly assumed that since Dad was still home, we were making waffles. He's a smart cookie, that's for sure. 

We did our best to spoil Trev for his birthday - an ice cream cake with dinosaurs and a volcano on top, and now I can't even remember what his presents were. My mind is slipping from me... oh wait! One of them was the LOTR entire series extended edition on Blu-ray - thank you Costco for putting it on special in June!

At first we thought we wouldn't, then changed our minds and took Grant to the airshow this year. Well, I didn't go; Trevor took his dad and Grant. They all loved it and it will most likely be an annual tradition. (I might even call it the Time Out for Men Trevor's been longing for).

Trevor sometimes uses Grant's favorite show, Toopy & Binoo, to manipulate him. At bedtime, he reminds Grant that Toopy loves to go to bed and sometimes it works. Haha.

Grant now regularly says thank you in his prayers for waffles, whipped cream, and sometimes strawberries, blueberries, syrup, pancakes, mixers... these are the most important things in his life, so why shouldn't be thankful for them?

Grant has done his regular chores plus extra chores the past couple weeks to earn some Thomas trains that I got used. We also took out more track from the toy library - and he has now earned Percy, Bertie the Bus, and James! He loves them. He even said thank you for chores in his prayers one night.

We also took out a white metal shopping cart from the toy library which Grant has taken to Costco a few times, Safeway, Save On Foods- he is a ridiculously cute little shopper. Part of the fun for me is watching everyone else in the store look at him trotting along with his groceries. He is SO independent. I am not allowed to help him out of the van, help him unload his cart at the cashier, help take some of the groceries in my cart, etc. He was very offended today at Costco that the lady didn't put back exactly what he had had in his cart before the till.

That's about it for July. We went to a charity fun festival at Galt Gardens this past weekend and, aside from no lines at the bouncy houses, the highlight was me actually hitting the target at the dunk tank! Woot! And also going to show homes that afternoon - we found THE ONE. We fell in love with this plan that includes a fabulous family room upstairs. Someday we'll have a down payment...

The showhome for that particular plan even had a tea set in one of the kids bedrooms that when Grant saw he happily proclaimed "Just like Toopy and Binoo!" We had to drag him away when it was time to go. 

So there it is, all of it at once. I read somewhere when I started my blog that, like many things, blogging vs. real life have an inverse relationship - that is, when real life is boring, you blog more because you have the time, even if it's just about nothing, and when real life is busy, the blog sits neglected, and that has definitely been the case for July. Our business has been very busy, Grant doesn't nap every day and that's okay, we try to get out of the house for nearly every minute that we can - if a) no customers are coming, b) Rachel is not napping, and c) we can think of somewhere to go. 

We are all busy, happy, and extremely sad that it is already August. I've been slathering the sunscreen on the kids, drinking lots of water, and barbecuing every night, so on that note, I'm off to heat up the barbecue. 

Friday, July 1, 2011


Since my last post, I've been thinking a lot about the word I wrote in bold: remember. And then I thought of this talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. And while he is speaking solely about the sacrament, I would like to suggest that his emphasis on the word remember applies to many other situations, many other circumstances and principles and even our day to day thoughts and actions.

I recently started watching 19 Kids and Counting again. Those Duggar parents make having 19 children look almost effortless, and it seems to me as though it is because they never forget what the purpose of this work is - that they wanted and still want each one of their children, that they are precious souls with an eternal mission and purpose, that the Lord has entrusted them with a marvelous work - and so the rest comes easily. They seem to always have this at the forefront of their minds, so naturally all of their words and actions are simply an outward expression of this belief, and they are wonderful parents.

If we keep HIM in remembrance, He will lead our thoughts, our words, our actions, and that will inevitably lead to our becoming as He is.


"In the simple and beautiful language of the sacramental prayers those young priests offer, the principal word we hear seems to be remember. In the first and slightly longer prayer offered over the bread, mention is made of a willingness to take upon us the name of the Son of God and to keep the commandments he has given us.
Neither of those phrases is repeated in the blessing on the water, though surely both are assumed and expected. What is stressed in both prayers is that all of this is done in remembrance of Christ. In so participating we witness that we will always remember him, that we may always have his Spirit to be with us (see D&C 20:77, 79).

"If remembering is the principal task before us, what might come to our memory when those plain and precious emblems are offered to us?

"We could remember the Savior’s premortal life and all that we know him to have done as the great Jehovah, creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are. We could remember that even in the Grand Council of Heaven he loved us and was wonderfully strong, that we triumphed even there by the power of Christ and our faith in the blood of the Lamb (see Rev. 12:10–11).

"We could remember the simple grandeur of his mortal birth to just a young woman, one probably in the age range of those in our Young Women organization, who spoke for every faithful woman in every dispensation of time when she said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).

"We could remember his magnificent but virtually unknown foster father, a humble carpenter by trade who taught us, among other things, that quiet, plain, unpretentious people have moved this majestic work forward from the very beginning, and still do so today. If you are serving almost anonymously, please know that so, too, did one of the best men who has ever lived on this earth.

"We could remember Christ’s miracles and his teachings, his healings and his help. We could remember that he gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf and motion to the lame and the maimed and the withered. Then, on those days when we feel our progress has halted or our joys and views have grown dim, we can press forward steadfastly in Christ, with unshaken faith in him and a perfect brightness of hope (see 2 Ne. 31:19–20).

"We could remember that even with such a solemn mission given to him, the Savior found delight in living; he enjoyed people and told his disciples to be of good cheer. He said we should be as thrilled with the gospel as one who had found a great treasure, a veritable pearl of great price, right on our own doorstep. We could remember that Jesus found special joy and happiness in children and said all of us should be more like them—guileless and pure, quick to laugh and to love and to forgive, slow to remember any offense.

"We could remember that Christ called his disciples friends, and that friends are those who stand by us in times of loneliness or potential despair. We could remember a friend we need to contact or, better yet, a friend we need to make. In doing so we could remember that God often provides his blessings through the compassionate and timely response of another. For someone nearby we may be the means of heaven’s answer to a very urgent prayer.

"We could—and should—remember the wonderful things that have come to us in our lives and that “all things which are good cometh of Christ” (Moro. 7:24). Those of us who are so blessed could remember the courage of those around us who face more difficulty than we, but who remain cheerful, who do the best they can, and trust that the Bright and Morning Star will rise again for them—as surely he will do (see Rev. 22:16).

"On some days we will have cause to remember the unkind treatment he received, the rejection he experienced, and the injustice—oh, the injustice—he endured. When we, too, then face some of that in life, we can remember that Christ was also troubled on every side, but not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed (see 2 Cor. 4:8–9).

"When those difficult times come to us, we can remember that Jesus had to descend below all things before he could ascend above them, and that he suffered pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind that he might be filled with mercy and know how to succor his people in their infirmities (see D&C 88:6Alma 7:11–12).

"To those who stagger or stumble, he is there to steady and strengthen us. In the end he is there to save us, and for all this he gave his life. However dim our days may seem they have been darker for the Savior of the world.

"In fact, in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, our Lord of this sacrament table has chosen to retain for the benefit of his disciples the wounds in his hands and his feet and his side—signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and perfect. Signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn’t love you. It is the wounded Christ who is the captain of our soul—he who yet bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love and humility and forgiveness.

Those wounds are what he invites young and old, then and now, to step forward and see and feel (see 3 Ne. 11:153 Ne. 18:25). Then we remember with Isaiah that it was for each of us that our Master was “despised and rejected … ; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). All this we could remember when we are invited by a kneeling young priest to remember Christ always.

"We no longer include a supper with this ordinance, but it is a feast nevertheless. We can be fortified by it for whatever life requires of us, and in so doing we will be more compassionate to others along the way.
One request Christ made of his disciples on that night of deep anguish and grief was that they stand by him, stay with him in his hour of sorrow and pain. “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” he asked longingly (Matt. 26:40). I think he asks that again of us, every Sabbath day when the emblems of his life are broken and blessed and passed.
How great the wisdom and the love
That filled the courts on high
And sent the Savior from above
To suffer, bleed, and die!
(Hymns, 1985, no. 195)
“Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!”"

And while this post has become about the Sabbath day as much as about remembering, I would like to remember all these things that Elder Holland listed on many other days too, on every day of the week. I think that thinking about - remembering - Christ - is what brings Him into our hearts and lifts our spirits. That the very thought of Him can bring us spiritual and physical power and renewal and healing.

I am ever so grateful for the Savior and for what remembering Him can bring my life, even when that is all I can do amid the chaos. His power is immeasurable and within reach of every hand, and His comfort understands all affliction.