Monday, January 31, 2011

The Classics

So I have recently been feeling the need to write down some of my family's 'classic' stories and since this is where I write to publish (technically you could all buy copies of my blog published (gasp I know you are way too excited)- but not really cause I have them all marked as private) here is one of the ones that make me smile.

For about 4 months Vance and I lived in Athabasca - not to be confused with Alaska which was my first thought when Vance said he got a job there. It was a volunteer position with Fish and wildlife so he could do his practicum to finish his degree in Conservation Enforcement. We REALLY wanted to finish so we said yes. At this point I am confused because I am sure this place is in the states despite being north of most of Canada. Then Vance said it was just a couple hours north of Edmonton. Then I knew he was lying because I had been to grand prarie which was about 4 hours north of Edmonton. And Athabasca (me thinking Alaska) was much much farther north. I called him a dirthy liar so he got out a map and showed me. Happily Athabasca is only about an hour north of Edmonton. SO we then packed up our house and moved within three days. We had searched online on the newspaper there to try to find a place to live and had called a bunch of places only to leave messages they couldn't call us back for. We managed to make one appointment for the night we would arrive there. We packed up most of our stuff in a uhaul and left what we didn't need at my cousins place since I would be moving back there in the fall to finish school. We needed to return the uhaul to the place in town the next day. We arrived in Athabasca in the first couple days of May. It was snowing. We turned around and went home. No we didn't turn around but we were a bit traumatized. We got there just in time for our appointment with the landlords of some place we didn't know anything about. They were the sweetest couple ever!! They bought us supper and we chatted for a while about what we were doing up there and mentioned that Vance would be working full time volunteer so I would hopefully get a job fast to support the team. They were concerned about the rent for their place being more than we would prefer but they showed it to us anyway and allowed us to stay there for the night so we wouldn't have to pay for a hotel. They then fed us breakfast the next morning and called into the radio ('coffee row' type thing) saying we were looking for a place to live. They fielded calls for us all day and were fabulous and helpful. We soon discovered that we would rather starve and live in their place then live anywhere else in town. Kindof like brooks - many rentals NOT PRETTY! So they let us rent in their fourplex and allowed Vance to cut down on our rent by mowing the lawn and such. They were amazing. The branch there was super fabulous as well. The Branch president and first counselor came and helped us move in and I hasseled Vance that he was going to be the second counselor becasue they didn't have one and they were both the same age as he was. We were thrilled to be called to run nursery, teach a primary class and lead the music in sacrament meeting the very first week we attended church. The whole ward was wonderful to us and we made some fabulous friends there. I got a job working on a road crew a little ways away in a town named Boyle. I had always wanted to work road crew so I was pretty excited. Now the strange thing was road kill. We were responsible for the roads obviously so if there were any dead animals on the road people would call and report it and we would clear it off. This includes fish and wildlife. Which means for example: Vance would call and report the road kill and I would go and clear it off. Sounds wrong doesn't it? Our funniest experience was the skunk. I'll tell you about the woodpecker duck another day. The other girl I checked roads with (Stacey)and I came across and skunk and shovelled it into a plastic bag and took it back to the shop. We asked where we should put it and were told just to toss it in the garbage. So we did. A couple days later our boss got a phone call which he passed on to us. The garbage man respectfully requested that we no longer put skunks in the garbage. He said the smell wasn't really that bad untill he compacted it. Then it was really rank. Since he had to drive it all the way to edmonton he enjoyed that special smell all the way there. Even that wasn't all bad he said cause he was going fast anough to outrun the smell but once he hit the city limits and had to slow down it was pretty agressive. On the plus side though he had never had so much room in between him and other vehicles before. For some reason everyone was quite happy to give him LOTS OF SPACE. We sweetly complied and put no more skunks in the garbage.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Organizing bug.

Apparently the organizing bug is out biting! I just saw Kimara's lovely organizing and it may have hit us both on the same day! All you need is the proper tools and some genius. Using what I had kicking around and Lisa's genius we vastly improved my gong show of a pantry system and now I am scouring the rest of my house to see what other progress can be made. Its a bit overwhelming but I am going with ONE THING AT A TIME! I will win.




It can't possibly just be me that gets all giddy thinking I will actually be able to use AND see my stuff. Vance likes it but I just didn't sense the giddyness that strikes me every time I look at my lovely shelf. My spice rack actually TURNS so I can see and use it all. My cooks books are all hanging out together and happy. I really have to go through those... And my other shelf that left that area is now happily holding blankets and such in Talia's room where this shelf came from.
And I thought I would share a picture of the lovely one supervising my taking pictures of my shelf. Kids must think we are so strange. Should I tell her now that she doesn't have a chance of being normal with Vance and I as her parents? Maybe I'll just let it be a surprise!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Voluntary Child Labour

A little while ago in the NEW dollar store

Melia says: "look Mom little kid shovels - can we have one?"

Me: "why yes you can!"

Melia: "can we have two so we don't fight over it?"

Me: "why yes you can!"

I think it is a fabulous use of energy and greatly entertaining. It does slow Vance down a bit but its very fun for me to watch!


Does it look like she is shovelling from the bank onto the walk? Well that is probably becasue she is.



I don't think he actually moved any snow but he was very cute with the shovel =)


And in the natural course of things Melia got tired and resigned herself to a supervisory role.



And then a napping role...



While Kyan is no where to be found (outside that is). The indoors and the hot chocolate beckoned to him after all the hard work of carrying that shovel around! A perfect price for so much entertainment =)

For those of you making calls to social services - this is not from today. My drifts are almost as tall as my six foot fence in my back yard today. Tommorow I'll send them out to shovel again =)

Super Sweet Sledding

So we had the opportunity to go sledding with the Wissler rascals and had a blast! Vance was scrapping with Talia for a while so I was keeping a eye on chaos but not performing the 'father' role of hauling the sleds up the hill. Mostly cause I couldn't stop laughing!


Melia and Ellison had a great time cruising down together until they realized they could also go down alone!






Now Melia spent a lot of time hauling her own sled - just for the record - but also very much enjoyed making use of Ellison's big brothers.






What you can't see in this picture is Melia standing at the top of the hill waiting for sweet Sebastian to haul her sled up the hill. While Ellison crawls up hauling hers of course. I couldn't not bust a gut laughing every time Ellison crawled up the hill or Sebastian either carried up Melia's as well as his own or she carried the lighter one while he hauled the blue one. What a sweet boy!







The other question you are asking yourself or course is: "Where are Kyan and Tessa?" They did sled for a bit but then they got cold and so retreated to the van to warm up ... and cruise around town. Now you may be nervous for poor Tessa with that wild look in his eye at the wheel but..





...she was clearly having fun despite his driving like a maniac!






For Stephanie's sanity: there were no keys in the car at the time and Vance was in there.


My cool dude.



A picture of the rather creative but quite traumatic (for me that is) handlebar mustache we enjoyed for a couple days while gradually shaving his school beard.





It was a perfect sledding day and fun was had by all and I expect it was rather quiet afterward at both our houses due to rather tired little sled haulers.

Santa Pictures

Since we don't actually have a mall here we had to treck to the hat for a santa adventure and a classic photo!
All three are smiling you just can't tell.
And of course the sweet boys (and mommy) we abducted to come on our adventure with us. We also went to a lovely new restaraunt in the Hat called five guys and a burger place. Lovely little place hmmm I need to go again. I may have to abduct the same sweet boys - what do you say mommy? Well I guess I could just take them since you are due a 13 hour child free escape. We shall see..
My only concern with Santa was that he suggested to my daughter that what she wanted for Christmas was one of those baby alive type things. In case you are curious - santa got vetoed! I already have one crying rascal to change (sometimes 2) I am not BUYING another!!