Monday, January 21, 2013

Canadian Post Card

I'm sitting here trying to think of what I could post about because its been a while since I've posted.  Truth is, I haven't taken pictures of anything recently and most of our days are exactly the same. A lot of snow, a lot of messy toys, a lot of dishes, a lot of potty training and a lot of healthy eating. Well, two things stand out in my mind as noteworthy besides normal life. A night in with friends and a night out with friends.

One of my running buddies recently finished a cabin on the nearby Wizard Lake -- recently as in almost a year ago.  I haven't had a chance to see it so we were all so excited to get invited over for a little Family Home Evening party with a couple of other families.  The cabin was beautiful and sat at the edge of the water, frozen solid.  Just after Christmas they made an ice rink in front of their cabin.  He cleared the ice of snow and used an auger and pump to flood it, getting a nice smooth finish.   We all had ice skates and the scene was like a Canadian post card: 15 + people and kids skating around on a home made rink in the dark with hockey sticks, pucks, and no net; flood lights casting long shadows in the dark....a nice adult skating backward holding a hockey stick horizontally, pulling a little boy (my Alec) so he could learn how to skate ....a few little kids pushing chairs around the ice to help with stabilization giving even littler kids a ride....the littlest kids sitting on mounds of snow around the rink throwing snowballs at the skaters.  It was beautiful and surprisingly not too cold. It was warm enough to have a hot dog roast over an open fire and after warming up inside for a small stretch we ended the night with a dip in their awesome hot tub.

Wow, right? It was a pretty wonderful night and a memory I won't ever forget.  I wish I would've taken pictures but it was a little crazy getting out there before too late and I forgot my camera. Oh well, it let me just enjoy the evening.

The other fun evening we had was just this past weekend. Another good friend had some extra tickets to West Edmonton Mall's water park and had a brilliant idea to let the husbands take the sons out to the water park while the moms and the daughters (plus 1 sickish little boy) had a girls night.  We made a yummy stir-fry then painted nails and gave each other pedicures while we watched Cinderella 2 and a bit of Mary Poppins.  We treated ourselves to an all fruit smoothie....what? no chocolate at a girls night-in party?  Can this be happening? Yes and it was hard and saddening at times when I noticed the lack of it but this particular friend is not eating any junk food for 6 months (!! I think she's crazy) and that night happened to be a Hyper Healthy day for Chris and I (that means we're not eating meats, sugar, or non-whole grain) so yeah, no chocolate    The Hyper Healthy thing is part of Chris's and my New Year Resolutions.  We're going 'double H' every other day in hopes of establishing legume/vegi/fruit/whole grain heavy diet habits...and I think my friend thinks we're crazy.

Ugh, sorry....this post has way too much text and no pictures. Lame I'll try to fix that later...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Back to the Cold - Potty Training!

We enjoyed our stay in good old U.P. and the nice break from the cold.  It was fun to see cousins, family and friends.  I even got to go out to dinner with my good friend Sandra and her husband Jordan for dinner!  We ate as much Mexican food as we could stand and went to two movies in the movie theater!

Now we're back to the cold, cold, North. It is beautiful.  The kids on the drive home got so excited when we saw our first bit of snow. Its like they hadn't seen it for a whole year, instead of 2 1/2 weeks. We went sledding and ice skating before it got really cold this week. 

I love new starts and getting organized with life goals and dreaming about the year. This could be a pretty big year for us.

We've taken advantage of the inside time and started on some goals:

- Potty Training Gwen! She's doing fantastic. I think she's pretty much got the hang of it, and then she has an accident or two or three in a row and reminds me she's not superhuman, shes only 2.  She's an amazing 2 year old.  She gets to open little potty prizes on her successes and really enjoys that.


- Chris and I are working on forming habits. We're focusing on eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables (no sugar, refined flours, or meats) every other day. We're waking up early to exercise 5 days a week and adding in other 'focuses' every two weeks.  There's a little friendly competition going between us where the 'loser' of the week gets to plan date night the next week and put the kids to bed.

- Our 18 hours starts to finish from WA to AB gave us time to put together a new job system for the kids so they can earn money and have incentive to take responsibility to take care of themselves and help around house.  We love the time in the car to talk. I think its worth the trip back to our parents' homes for Christmas every year just so we can have the long drive talk time.

(BTW, I've back posted a bit about Christmas and Alec's birthday)