Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday Thirteen: The gift of giving (year 2)

I did this a few years ago on my blog and had a ball planning it out, so I am doing it again this year.

One of the things I love the most about the Christmas season is the spirit of giving. I love giving gifts. I am going to make a pretend list here of gifts I would like to give people if I had unlimited funds. It would be nice to give gifts of healing to my family members and friends who are in need of a healers touch, but I have no control over things like that. Maybe one day I will have loads of money and will be able to give people really cool presents - but for now I can just wish for fun things to give away and so this is what I would give if I could.....

1. For my Blog friend Teena: I would get her a trip for two to Germany and a Beer Tour!

2. For my sons: I would build an addition to each of their bedrooms - a slide from their room on the second floor to the living room on the first floor. I know they would love an indoor playground and perhaps running up the stairs to use the slide would have an additional benefit for me :)

3. For my spouse : I would buy round bales of hay. Enough round bales to put all the way around our property. She has big plans for round bales and thinks I am opposed to them. She would LOVE this gift!

4. For my friend Loralee: I would build an indoor doggie park where she could take Cletus anytime of the year to play and play and play and not get attacked by vicious dogs in the neighbourhood or tormented by kids in the backyard. Since this present is REALLY for Cletus I would add a lifetime supply of Frog Calendars for Loralee. She loves them.

5. For my friend Mel: I would buy matching kilts for her and I and a photographer to follow us around taking photos with strangers. (so that wouldn't take a lot of money but oh how flipping funny that would be.) I would also buy her a piece of land in Scotland from HERE so I could call her "Milady Melody".

6. For my Sister Jill: I would buy a truckload of VERY cute fabric and a wicked sewing machine for all of her sewing projects. (this would not be seen as a punishment I am certain!)

7. For my baby bird: I would buy a whole closet of dress-up clothes - really this is so that she will stop dressing in the boys underwear as we are folding laundry or taking boots from the back door to wear so I can't find boots when I am dressing the boys for the bus in the morning. 

8. For my mother: I would buy one of those weekly grocery deliveries of exotic fruit - for the rest of her days. I haven't seen anything like this recently but I used to see these things that you could pay for and have groceries or fruit or treats delivered through the mail. Mom would be in HEAVEN with fresh fruit weekly!

9. For my friend David. I would buy a floor cleaning company. When we worked in youth corrections he would stay up all night and strip and wax the floors because the staff had to do all the cleaning in the facility. I told him I would get him a sweet floor stripped if I ever had the money but what the hell - I'll get him a whole COMPANY of floor cleaners. Then he can tell people what to do.

10. For my mother in law. I would buy a tractor. So she could give it back to us. When she stayed with us this year she told me every day I needed one. I agree. I think she should give it to me!

11. For my dog Rescue Puppy. 365 chew toys. One for every day of the year so she can stop eating everything in my house. I mean EVERYTHING.

12. For the town where I live: A movie theater.

13. For myself : A ghost writer to finish my thesis FAST.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 of 12 : December

Today is an interesting day the 12th of the 12th 2012. (12.12.12)
I had an appointment today to go to Grande Prairie and get a tattoo on my foot. When I started out the day it was still pretty dark.

Once I was on the road it was getting lighter. I was taking photos as I was driving so I was not focussed on the quality of the photo at all.  Headed down to the river the roads were sketchy.

 For November we have had a LOT of snow.

 Crossing the bridge.
 My first tattoo of the day - I got two.
This is words from the song " You'll Never Walk Alone" by Gerry and the Pacemakers, more famous for the fact it is the song of the Liverpool Football Club.

 This is my tattoist. James. He is excellent.
 Set up
 Working on Tattoo number 2 - my family crest (adapted by me for the purposes of this tattoo)
 Oh the gorgeous colours of ink. So pretty!


Where I grew up the roads around my home were lined with Jacaranda trees - (the photo above is actually from Zimbabwe). I LOVE Jacarandas.
This Christmas my mom brought me a baby Jacaranda. She has grown it from seed - from Zimbabwe. It means so much to me and I have it in my office at work where it is safe from kids and pets.
I love it. I need to name it. I'll keep you updated on it's progress.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

REAL Christmas music

My mom was able to come and spend some time with us in November. It was awesome (as always) to have her and we celebrated a bit of an early Christmas. We put up the tree, had a Christmas meal, sang carols and exchanged some small gifts with one another.
I am a HUGE fan of Christmas carols and never tire of hearing them. We busted out the CD's and started to sing along.
I learned for the first time that Max has a favorite Christmas carol - he loves Deck the Halls and sings along to every fa la la. I also learned that he considers Boney M to be "REAL" Christmas music and a couple of times when we were listening so something other than Boney M he threatened to remove the source of all music playing (he IS is charge of music in our house if you didn't know) unless we played REAL Christmas Music.
Thank goodness Boney M is a favorite of everyone in the house!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

take down the trampoline

There are some things meant to be done as the "getting ready for winter" yard ritual. One of these things is taking the pad off the trampoline. Last year I was diligent in my preparations and I did this. This year I thought I would leave it up - I know of others who leave theirs up all winter - and then if we had balmy days they kids could play.
Well what do you know, we have more snow at the beginning of December than we had all year last year and the tramp mat was busting under the weight of the snow.
I kept thinking I would get out and take it down, and then we heard a weather warning for our area and a prediction of another 15 cm of snowfall and I knew we had to take it down right away. It was bitterly cold and windy but mom and I girded up and went out to take it down.

 It was VERY cold out - the wind was blowing and the windchill made it even colder. I think it was about -26 degrees C.
 We were enthusiastic to begin with!
 The snow on the tramp made it very heavy. The tool I have to pull the springs to get them off broke about half way through and we had to improvise our strategy. It is a LOT easier to do this when it is warmer and now covered in snow.
We did finally accomplish our task and packed the tramp away until the spring. I will have to get a new tool to put it up, but I don't need to think about it for a few more months. (You can see in the background other toys that were pulled out after being packed away for the winter. These will have to stay out now - the Quonset is frozen shut!)

Friday, December 7, 2012

I love the frost

Frosty mornings are beautiful. I love this aspect of the winter.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

raise your words, not your voice

This is my goal as a parent this year. I MUST stop raising my voice!!

family photo

My mom was here with us for a week and we had an AMAZING time as we always do.

While she was here we had scheduled some family photographs. We don't have any family photos of the four of us and we have been saying forever that we need to get them done but for whatever reason it has not come together until now.

The whole thing was a fiasco.

We thought we scheduled a full session with a photographer, but she had us scheduled for a Christmas mini session. We thought we got a print as part of the package but we didn't. We asked for them to be taken inside but she said her inside studio was a mess and that she had a place set up outside where we could go that was sheltered from the weather (It was -26 degrees). The kids FROZE. Her house backs onto a main road and in the background of some of the photos are cars driving by. She thought she could use the photos in her online portfolio but because we have foster kids she cannot - and I think this is why we didn't get what we thought we were getting? We picked up the disk from her and when we opened it the first group of photos were COMPLETELY out of focus. The really good photos were in black and white and we wanted colour but she said we didn't specify colour and she edited them to look what she thought was the best.

I guess the moral of this story is - ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS PEOPLE! If you don't like something (like the location of the shoot) then I recommend cancelling!

At the end of the day there are one or two usable pictures and we now have a photo of the four of us.

Here is one for your viewing pleasure. (with a car in the background!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reading with the boys

How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?

Shel and I are HUGE readers. ( I have read 111 books this year!!!)

It has always bothered me that as much as we like books we could never interest our boys in sitting and having us read to them. It was part of my "dream" of having kids that I reluctantly had to let go of when I realized there was no way our boys had any interest in being read to and in fact trying to sit and read with them was a complete exercise in frustration. Pre-kid days I had visions of curling up with books and reading to my sons and sharing with them the joy I had in having books read to me as a child. When we finally HAD children and they never stopped long enough or paid any attention to books whatsoever, I set that dream aside and mourned a little at what was not to be.

Imagine my surprise when all of a sudden, THIS year, THIS month, they have both expressed an interest in having us read to them before bed. I am THRILLED beyond words, and so we have begun our journey into the world of book reading and cuddling with our boys to read a book, or two or three.

Shel ordered this book from the library this week and CJ brought it to me as soon as he found it. I was excited to read it to him as we are right in the middle of celebrating the Christmas season in our house.  I have to say I was very disappointed in it. The illustrations are AMAZING, but the story leaves something to be desired. For the first half of the book the dinosaurs are all doing naughty things - shaking presents and being destructive. The second half of the book explains that this is not what dinosaurs REALLY do at Christmas and proceeds to show them being kind, singing sweetly and so on.  I would much rather read a book that didn't have the initial focus on being bad around Christmas and even if the point of the book was to say that the dinosaurs really were NOT bad - the ideas were already out there on HOW they could have been.

So while I am thrilled to be reading to my boys and will continue to do so, I doubt we will read more in this series.

Monday, December 3, 2012

a little birdy told me

This little guy visited us at work today

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Thirteen: Random

1. While driving to work today the sun was rising behind me. Looking at the shadow of the vehicle cast onto the road in front of me as I drove I thought it looked like Shrek's head. I wonder where the inspiration for Shrek's body type came from? Was it when someone was driving to work in a minivan?

2. In the middle of the night I awoke to my dogs face in mine. The first thought that entered my head was that I had missed an appointment to chaperone an event at work. I was certain the event had passed and that I had it on my calendar and wondered why no-one called me to find out where I was. I was extremely worried that they had the event unchaperoned. The feeling stuck with me all day and bothered me. It fascinates me that emotions I experience in my dream can linger into my wakefulness.

3. If it is so important to drink lots of water every day, why does drinking water increase the amount of times I need to go to the bathroom? Shouldn't my body be "using" more water? I have a huge issue with using the bathroom. Some people think sleep is a waste of time. I think using the bathroom is a waste of time. I hate doing it.

4. Dust jackets on books don't repel dust.

5. Why do people think it is sexy (or intimate) to have "relations" on a beach. Have they never tried to remove sand from body orifices?

6.Who named "the Earth"?
I googled the answer to this one: The name Earth originated from the 8th century Anglo-Saxon word erda, which means ground or soil. In Old English the word became eorthe, then erthe in Middle English.[106] Earth was first used as the name of the planet around 1400.

7. United Postal Service ( UPS ) has some pretty cool television ads where they talk about delivering packages all over the world. Nice ads but completely untrue. They don't deliver to my community and it is a HUGE pain. Everytime I see an ad with a UPS delivery man on a bike in China I wonder why I can't get a delivery to my town.

8. Customer service seems to be a thing of the past. I have in the past month encountered the worst customer service ever from two very large companies, CIBC and Honda. It is ridiculously frustrating and seems as though no-one cares to make any change, or apologise, or do anything to make my experience any better. It seems as though when you have to use a bank and you have to use a car you are a hostage to the people who provide the service - poor as it is.

9. Why does armpit hair grow so fast?

10. Max wrote us a thank-you card in school because it is apparently parent appreciation week. He said in the card "Thanks for feeding me". I told him he is welcome. I wonder what he thinks parents are for if not for feeding him?

11. I would love to take a waking tour of the places I dream of at night. I don't always dream about the same thing but I do know that I have dreams of places that as I am dreaming I am thinking to myself "I have been to this place in my dreams before". It would be so cool to have a tour of these places when I could remember them.

12. I like to stop in once in a while at one of the local gas stations and get some hot chocolate. The one place has a REALLY good hot chocolate machine. I went in this week to get some and they have "upgraded" to another, crappier hot chocolate. SO ANNOYING when things "upgrade" for no justifiable reason. Now I have no reason to stop there anymore and get hot chocolate. Bummer.

13.The thing I miss the most about moving from the city is the access to a movie theater. When I first moved I hated just about everything about being in a small town. After ten years there are still things I find annoying but for the most part I prefer it to living in a city with one exception. After ten years I STILL miss the movie theater.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Things I am Grateful for

I am a Canadian living in Canada and so this day technically has nothing to do with Thanksgiving where I live. HOWEVER - I was living in the USA for a number of years and my spousal unit is American and so this day will always be a Thanksgiving kind of a day in our home.

Here are the things I am grateful for today:

1. I am grateful to be a mom. This has to be one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life and I constantly feel as though I am not being the best mom I could be for my kids, but I LOVE them. I LOVE them so much the thought of it takes my breath away. I wish I knew how to deal with the obstacles we face and with Maxies anxiety. I have learned some things that DON'T work and for now what works is to let him sleep on our bedroom floor. Last night I could hear him breathing in his sleep.. I just lay and listened to him breathe and my heart was full. My youngest is carrying around the Sears wishbook and his excitement is contagious. I have the most amazing, funny, caring, loving kids. They bless my life every day.
 Here is a photo from about 6 years ago - when I was REALLY good at parenting things like carrying the  car seat. Parenting has been harder since then.

2. I am grateful for my mom. My mom is coming to visit us this week. I am so excited I can't stand it. I love my mom SO much and want to be the kind of mom to my kids that she is to me. For the past two years she has lived in Canada. It has been the most difficult two years of her life and I have to say (selfishly) that I am so incredibly happy she is here, despite the crappy circumstances. We text almost every day. We skype as often as we can. The fact that my kids have access to her - in a way they didn't when she was in Africa - is awesome and I love her, love her, love her.

Here is mom this summer Planting a garden and watering with Max.

3. I am grateful for my job. This economy is whack. Having a job is something that means more to me now that I have dependents than it did when I was in college and it didn't matter what I ate or where I slept. I have a job that I like with people I like and a boss who is SUPPORTIVE!!! I also get great benefits and vacations and all that cool stuff, so I don't have to work on the holidays and I can leave to watch my son sing in his remembrance day program. I have a great job.

4. I am grateful to be a sister. I have cool siblings and sibling-in-laws. I play games with my brother online (he beats me consistently). I talk to my sister on skype and smile at her gorgeous baby. Technology keeps me in touch with the people I love who live far away. My sisters and my mom and I have boards we share on pinterest so we can post things that make us think about each other. I envy people who are in close geographic proximity to their families and can visit more than I do, but I also see people who have terrible relationships with their families and who live close but never see or talk to them. I love being the oldest of five kids - I love my brothers and sisters.

Here is a photo from 2 years ago at my sisters wedding. It is the most recent photo with the most of us all together. Unfortunately my bro Just and fam were not there.

5. I am grateful to be a grand-daughter and great grand-daughter. My grandparents and great grand parents have all passed away. This year my last living grandmother passed away. I miss my grandparents. I think of them all often. I am SO SO grateful to have known them and loved them and been loved by them. I have known of their love for me and it has blessed me.

6. I am grateful for my spouse. I think the hardest thing in my life - besides being a good parent - is being a good spouse. I could get down on myself for all the ways in which I am a terrible spouse and the ways in which I could be better. I just keep trying. My partner and I have gone through some hard stuff, some wonderful stuff, some stressful stuff, some happy stuff, some devestating stuff and some other stuff!  It is a blessing and a curse to be with someone who knows all the light AND all the dark in me. Sometimes it's hard to get through the dark, but at the end of the day though, I am so grateful for Shel. I wouldn't want to be without her navigating this crazy life. She is a great spouse and a great mom.

Wow - look at us in years gone by!
7. I am grateful for music. Corny right? Music is so integral in my life and I see it becoming the same in the lives of my kids. You would not have any idea how important music is to me if you could see my scores on songpop - but if you used that alone as the gauge you would be dead wrong. Music heals me and lifts me and gives life to the feelings I have no words for. You are surprised I have no words for some things I know. It's true.

8. I am grateful for books. I LOVE to read. I have read some amazing books this year. I wish I were a better reviewer, but alas I am not. That goodness I don't need to be a good reviewer in order to enjoy a good book. I have became recently fascinated with fantasy books and I feel as though a whole new world - or many worlds - have opened up for me in the literary world. Thankfully writers keep writing so I can keep reading. I have read 108 books this year. WOOT WOOT! I am working now on reading Canadian authors or books set in Canada. I can't wait to see what I can read next year.

9. I am grateful for my friends. I have been blessed with the most amazing people in my life. I have friends who I love and who love me. I have wonderful memories with all of them and look forward to making more memories. One of my wishes is to be closer to my friends so I could spend more time with them. In spite of the distances which separate us they bless my life constantly.

Here are some of my friends who came from Utah to meet Shel and I when we went ot San Francisco. What kind of cool people do that? OH RIGHT! My peeps.
10. I am grateful for my pets. I think I like animals more than I like people sometimes. Shel and I have had the most amazing family of pets in our lives who have have made us happy and who have broken our hearts at their loss. Max and CJ still talk about Hugo and I miss that crazy dog like nothing else. Thankfully we still have Zuva, Rescue puppy, Helios and Nyx, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention Tora, Shilo, Muki, Hugo, Buddy, Sadie, Tiger, Simon, Angel, Gina, Georgie, and Foxy.

Max and Hugo 
Nyx and Helios as babies
Tora and Maxie
I think I may need to do a separate post to get all the animals in!
11. I am grateful for laughter. What would life be without laughter? Laughter with my spouse, laughter with my kids, laughter with my family, laughter at work, laughter with my friends. I need laughter and I am blessed that my life is full of  joy.
12. I am grateful for my health, my home, my life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Canadian Book Challenge: Revenge of the Vinyl Cafe


The Canadian Book Challenge

Here is yet another example of how I sometimes feel as though I am on a foreign planet, when really, I am just in Canada and reading Canadian books.
I checked this book out of the library and the librarian asked me if I listened to Stuart McLean on the radio. I had NO idea who Stuart McLean was, but I smiled and nodded as I do when I am completely confused.
I took the book home and read it in one sitting and I FELL IN LOVE.
I laughed (out loud for REAL), and I cried, and I decided right then and there I was googling Stuart McLean the very next opportunity I had in front of a computer.

I did it. I googled Stuart McLean. I have learned something today people. Something I am going to share with you here so you don't have to go out and google him yourself. A MILLION people listen to his radio show. AS THEY SHOULD - and so should I  - and so should you!!!!!!

This is all from the CBC website which I am siting here so as not to be accused of plagiarism:
Here is all you ever needed to know about Stuart McLean but didn't (or maybe you did)

Stuart McLean is a best-selling author, award-winning journalist and humorist, and host of CBC Radio program The Vinyl Cafe.
Stuart began his broadcasting career making radio documentaries for CBC Radio's Sunday Morning. In 1979 he won an ACTRA award for Best Radio Documentary for his contribution to the program's coverage of the Jonestown massacre.
Following Sunday Morning, Stuart spent seven years as a regular columnist and guest host on CBC's Morningside. His book, The Morningside World of Stuart McLean, was a Canadian bestseller and a finalist in the 1990 City of Toronto Book Awards.
Stuart has also written Welcome Home: Travels in Small Town Canada, and edited the collection When We Were Young. Welcome Home was chosen by the Canadian Authors' Association as the best non-fiction book of 1993.
Stuart's books Stories from the Vinyl Cafe, Home from the Vinyl Cafe, Vinyl Cafe Unplugged, Vinyl Cafe Diaries, Dave Cooks the Turkey, Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe, Extreme Vinyl Cafe and Vinyl Cafe Notebooks have all been Canadian bestsellers. Vinyl Cafe Diaries was awarded the Canadian Authors' Association Jubilee Award in 2004. Stuart is also a three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour for Home from the Vinyl Cafe, Vinyl Cafe Unplugged and Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe. New out in the fall of 2012 is another story collection, Revenge of the Vinyl Cafe.
Vinyl Cafe books have also been published in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.
In December 2011 Stuart McLean was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is a professor emeritus at Ryerson University in Toronto and former director of the broadcast division of the School of Journalism. In 1993 Trent University named him the first Rooke Fellow for Teaching, Writing and Research. He has also been honored by: Nipissing University (Ed.D.(H.); University of Windsor (LL.D), Trent University (D.Litt) and Saint Mary's University (D.C.L.). Stuart served as Honorary Colonel of the 8th Air Maintenance Squadron at 8 Wing, Trenton from 2005 to 2008.
Since 1998 Stuart has toured with The Vinyl Cafe to theatres across Canada and the United States, playing towns from St. John's, Newfoundland to Whitehorse in the Yukon; from Bangor, Maine to Seattle, Washington.
Over one million people listen to The Vinyl Cafe every weekend on CBC Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio and on a growing number of Public Radio stations in the United States. The program is also broadcast on an occasional basis on the BBC.

If I were brave enough

Every now and then I come across something and I think to myself - If I were brave enough I would TOTALLY do this.

I would LOVE to have pink dreadlocks.
Lana Wachowski is so cool!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Canadian Book Challenge: Into the Abyss

This is the Fourth book I have read for the Canadian Book Challenge. Into the Abyss by Carol Shaben.

Into the Abyss: How a Deadly Plane Crash Changed the Lives of a Pilot, a Politician, a Criminal and a Cop

On an icy night in October 1984, a Piper Navajo commuter plane carrying 9 passengers crashed in the remote wilderness of northern Alberta, killing 6 people. Four survived: the rookie pilot, a prominent politician, a cop, and the criminal he was escorting to face charges. Despite the poor weather, Erik Vogel, the 24-year-old pilot, was under intense pressure to fly--a situation not uncommon to pilots working for small airlines. Overworked and exhausted, he feared losing his job if he refused to fly. Larry Shaben, the author's father and Canada's first Muslim Cabinet Minister, was commuting home after a busy week at the Alberta Legislature. After Paul Archambault, a drifter wanted on an outstanding warrant, boarded the plane, rookie Constable Scott Deschamps decided, against RCMP regulations, to remove his handcuffs--a decision that profoundly impacted the men's survival.

I must say I had to chuckle when I started to read this story (not because the topic us humorous) because it is the story of a plane crash in "Northern Canada" - and it all takes place SOUTH of where I live!

This story actually touches something close to me - one of the people killed in this crash is a native of the community in which I currently live. Grant Notley was an NDP politician who was revered in this community and I actually work in a place named for him!

Since moving to Fairview about ten years ago I have become vaguely familiar with the story of this plane crash and so to read it was very interesting. I knew of all the places being spoken of.

Interestingly enough, although there was plane service to our Northern town in the 1980's there is no such service any longer. The city airport in Edmonton is closed.  Fairview still has an airport - I have been there the summer for drag races with my family - but no commercial flights come here any longer, and I expect it has something to do with this crash.

I really enjoyed this book. One of the things I found fascinating was the impact this crash had on the survivors - particularly Erik Vogel and Paul Archambault. Erik's life was essentially ruined by this crash, and although Paul was hailed as a hero for his actions following the crash and had his criminal charges overturned his life never really changed and ended in a tragic death not many years later.

I wish the author had delved more deeply into the psychological effects on the survivors of the crash. I found it to be a fascinating story on how people react following tradgedy. Although she gave a thorough description of what happened to each of the survivors it is left to the reader to "put it all together" in the end.

Canadian Book Challenge: Annabel

This is the third book I am reporting on for the Canadian book Challenge.
You can link to others in the challenge here:

The book I read is Annabel by Kathleen Winter.


In 1968, into the devastating, spare atmosphere of the remote coastal town of Labrador, Canada, a child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor fully girl, but both at once. Only three people are privy to the secret: the baby’s parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbor and midwife, Thomasina. Though Treadway makes the difficult decision to raise the child as a boy named Wayne, the women continue to quietly nurture the boy’s female side. And as Wayne grows into adulthood within the hyper-masculine hunting society of his father, his shadow-self, a girl he thinks of as "Annabel," is never entirely extinguished.

From page one of this book to the very last I absolutely loved every single word. The book is set in Labrador. Wayne's father Treadway is a trapper who spends months each year away from his family.
I tried to come up with an excerpt from the book that I could share to illustrate how powerful the writing is but it is impossible to chose just one. The entire book is like a poem. It is so vivid and beautiful it was a pleasure to read and be carried away by the author. It is the best book I have read all year. I absolutely LOVE it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Royal Canada Humane Silver Medal of Bravery for my brother

I am the oldest of five children. I have a lot of memories of my younger brothers and sisters - as I am certain everyone does of theirs. When I think of my brother Justin, even though he is now in his 30's, I STILL think of him like this:
He's a cool cat. He is a lover of kids, of animals and of his siblings.
I happen to like him considerably, so do our dogs - and his dogs.

My two sons happen to think there is not a cooler man who walks the earth and we do little to alter their opinion. One of the reasons they love him so much is because he treats them like people. He pays attention to them and he gets on THEIR LEVEL and plays with them.

Two years ago he was on location of an explosion in the Canadian rockies. Here is a  link to a news story about the event from when it happened.

He did something remarkable and he has been honored this week in Edmonton for his Bravery.

Here is the podcast of my brothers interview following his award of the Silver medal of Bravery from the Royal Canadian Humane Association.

I have mentioned him and his act of bravery before and since this all happened this week I wanted to give him a shout out again - but I also wanted to let people know the guy behind the medal -
The kid loving, older sister adoring, face pulling, song pop winning, cool cat. (Who by the way, in his lifetime has never beaten me at arm wrestling!)

So - here he is ladies and gentlemen. My brother. The hero.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Maxie singing for Rememberance Day

Max got all dressed up for school today in a BUTTON shirt (which he hates) and a sweater ( which added a layer which he also hates) and some nice khaki pants which we got for this occasiona especially. He was so excited to sing and insisted that we would love the song and that we needed to give him thumbs up. He is standing in the middle row right in front of Mrs G.
(I must apologise for the jittery hand, but I hope you love the song!)

Thursday, November 8, 2012


We have had some insane weather here recently. There was more snow on Halloween than there has been in October for as long as we have lived in Canada.
The harsh weather does bring some cool sights. Here is the wall outside my office.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Art by CJ

The foot on the left belongs to Mikey and the foot on the right to CJ. CJ got into the food colouring and the whole house was blue.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Art By Max

Mom, Max and CJ

A Moose on a Hill