Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Merry Christmas Frohe Weinachten Feliz Navidad Joyeaux Noel

Here we are, near the end of another year and celebrating Christ's birth with family, friends and way too much food! We have received many Christmas cards/letters/photos from friends and family near and far. I love those. They are sometimes the only contact we have throughout the year (that's right, not everyone is on facebook!) and I can replace the pictures on my "wall of fame" and see how much families have changed in a year. The pictures stay up year round and for those that don't send pictures every year the old ones stay up until new ones are sent (hint, hint!!). We try and pray for a family every night before the kids go to bed. One of the kids will run to the wall and choose a family, sometimes they need to be reminded who the family is, we tell them how we know that unfamiliar family, and then pray for them. After a while the kids will tell us who the now familiar family is and how we know them and they look forward to hopefully meeting them one day. This year instead of a long-winded letter we did a Top 20 of our year. I think next year we'll go back to the letter style, there was a lot left out of the list! Here it is....

This year we’ve decided to do a “Krahn Top 20 of 2012”

(We couldn’t narrow it down to 10!)

In no particular order....

1     Camping with G&G Voth (kids)

2     Turtle Mountain Bible Camp (N & L)

3     Family Camp

4    Camping trip to Drumheller, Banff, Jasper and Edmonton

5     Sports Camp (N)

6    Soccer (kids)

7     Nathan making his first big purchase, a camera

8     A girl Voth cousin

9    Skating

10   Gt-ing behind the quad in winter

11    Music lessons (N-piano, L-violin)

12   Dance (B)

13   Friends moving back to Manitoba from Iowa

14   Nathan turning 10 & in Grade 5

15   Larissa turning 7 & in Grade 2

16   Bethany turning 5 & in Kindergarten!!

17   Swimming lessons

18   Girls donating 10” long ponytails to “The Little Hairpiece”

19   Successful farming year

20  God’s many blessings throughout the year!

We hope this season has been filled with much love and happiness and the knowledge that Jesus came down from heaven in human form to bring us love, hope, peace and joy and to have a personal relationship with each of us. For those who struggle with this time of year we pray that you have the same knowlegde and that he is the God of Comfort. Merry Christmas!!

Friday, 14 December 2012

A Community's Nightmare

It takes a lot to make me cry but today's violent act at an elementary school in Connecticut has tears streaming down my cheeks. I've been working at the local high school (grade 7 - 12) for the last seven weeks. It feels like the safest place on earth. Kids laugh, skip down the hallways, tell the teachers about the fun things they've done (like last night's school dance), and also tell them about their troubles and know that people care. That's how it should be. We shouldn't have to practise lockdown drills but because of acts like today those drills are a normal part of school life. My heart breaks for those families whose innocent children and teachers had their lives cut short. The loss the families of the victims will feel will be overwhelming. It is the Christmas season, they should be looking forward to laughter, presents, great food and meaningful family times. Now they will have an empty spot at the table, unopened presents and broken hearts. Lives forever changed by one act. One man. I pray for those families and friends.

It is the Christmas season. Lives forever changed by one act. One God. I pray also for the family of the shooter. I don't know what led up to today, and I'm not going to pretend to know, but this family also lost someone. The guilt, the what-ifs, the sorrow will overwhelm this family too. Please pray for them.

Hopefully one day Christmas will mean Love. Hope. Peace. Joy. for these families again.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Parenting Rant

I don't do this often. I'm pretty laid back and can often look past things. There really isn't much that bothers me but I have started a new job and it has raised some issues in my parenting brain. I got a call a few weeks ago from the high school wondering if I would be interested in an ongoing casual position as an Educational Assistant. Sure. Why not. I liked the wording "ongoing casual". To me it meant not every day but consistent. Ha! So far it's been more ongoing than casual! It has also thrown me waaaayy out of my comfort zone. My kids aren't that age yet so I have no idea how to relate to the junior high students I'm working with. A few times now I have thought I would much rather be at the elementary school. The kids in the classroom I'm in are so varied in personalities that every day is a new day. One day may be good but the next one is not. It can even vary from morning to afternoon! At first I thought it was the kids that were out of control but the more I watch, the more I realize it's the parents. Yup, parents. Most of the kids that make EA's necessary in classrooms have homes where parents are uninvolved in their lives. That has two sides to it; either parents who don't care or parents who think their kids can do no wrong so let them do whatever they want. I am not a parenting expert, I fail at it many times, but I'd like to think I learn as I go. In fact I often feel I'm going faster than I can learn!! Just because your kid reaches their teen years doesn't mean they are finished growing up. They constantly need love, attention and knowledge that their parents have their best interests at heart. Here are just a few points I'd love to bang into certain parents' heads!! (not in any particular order)

1) Be involved in your child's education. This does not mean doing their homework for them but showing interest in what it is they are learning about. Keep them accountable. Don't nag, the natural consequences will show in their marks. Ask which course they are struggling with and offer to help. If you can't help because it's beyond your own ability (pre-calculus maybe?!) find someone who can.

2) Take care of your child's health. Proper diet and exercise goes a long way.

3) Ask where your child is going, with whom and implement a curfew, at least on school nights. They may grumble and complain about having to be home earlier than their friends but it shows them you care about them.

4) Make sure they get enough sleep. There are studies that show kids need between 9 & 12 hours of sleep, depending on the age of the child. I realize that different kids need different amounts of sleep, just make sure they are well rested.

5) Teach your child respect by modelling respect. I can't tell you how many times I've seen kids speak disrespectfully to a teacher. However, I've seen the teacher speak respectfully to the disrespectful student and it's amazing how quickly attitudes change and results happen.

6) Just love your child. Spend quality one on one time with them. Play a game or go for a walk together. Find something that shows them you want to spend time with them and get to know who they are.

Again, these are just my own observations after being at school for three weeks. This does not apply to every child, parent or situation but they are all things to keep in mind as we raise our kids. Our parent/teacher interviews today taught me things about different stages in a child's life and it was eye opening. We may actually not be dealing with a disrespectful attitude at home but an inablility to know how to apply a social skill that's developing. Ron & I are guilty of jumping down our kids throats if we think they are being disrespectful or rude and don't often think about what they are learning outside of the academic realm. Psychology courses should be a requirement for parents!

I could go on and on about this subject (a trait I inherited from my dad!!) but I will stop. I just need to remind myself that as long as we are all parenting to the best of our abilities and love our kids they should turn out alright! Right?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Update from Last Week

I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday in regards to everything that went on last week. My EEG results were back and showed no major abnormalities. There were a few levels that were higher or lower than "normal" but nothing that was so out of the ordinary that would have caused what happened last week. It was also determined that I did not have a seizure. So all of my tests have come back normal and we are left wondering what the heck happened. My doc said he wasn't going to send me out of his office with a diagnosis of a migraine until all of the tests had been done. I don't know what those tests are but I am meeting with him again next week. There were no notes from the neurologist to suggest any kind of follow up or other possible tests to be done so I really have no idea what I'm in for next. Where's Dr. House when you need him??!!

I have had a headache since last Wednesday and the left side of my face is numb to some sort of degree almost all the time. I am also quite tired, I hope all of this subsides soon!

So I guess I don't really have anything new to update after last week's post, hopefully there will be more to say after my appointment next week. Thanks to everyone who has phoned, emailed and texted. Your prayers and support have meant so much to us all.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A little bit of drama

We have had a bit of drama in our household this week. I have just returned home from a short stint in the hospital! Tuesday morning at 3:00 my whole left side went numb, I collapsed on my bed and started shaking uncontrollably. Ron called his parents to come stay with the kids and then called 911. We headed into the hospital and immediately had blood work and a CT scan done. The results were normal and I was then scheduled for an MRI and EEG. My MRI results have come back normal as well and we are still waiting on the EEG results, which could take a few weeks. I was told that having normal CT and MRI results ruled out stroke, MS, tumors and an aneurism. The EEG will show signs of seizures. Apparently it takes the neurologist a while to get around to reading results so it will be a bit before I know what is going on. I know some have suggested it was a migraine and others are hitting the Google search engine for other suggestions as well but I'm being cautious and waiting to see what the last test results are and what doctors have to say before I say anything more as to what has happened.

I am home now, have a headache and my body is sore from lying in a bed for the last however many hours but I'm glad to be home and Ron and the kids are happy to have me home too. I missed sending the oldest two off to their first day of school today but made it home 10 minutes before the bus pulled up at the end of the day. My mom has been here to help out which means my house is clean and laundry is done!! I may need to fake something tomorrow so she doesn't leave! ;)

We are still in the process of figuring things out while waiting for test results so I will update here when I have more information. Thanks to all who have sent well wishes, it has meant a lot!!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

What a summer

Have I really not posted since May? So much has happened I can't put pictures with all the events. I've done blog posts in my head as each event has finished but it doesn't seem to transfer automatically to the computer. Huh, go figure!

May and June were filled with soccer. The girls were in the same mini-soccer program so that made my life easy. I do all the running around with soccer, for the obvious farming reason, so to have two of the three kids on the same schedule makes life bearable. Nathan's soccer team plays two days a week, once home and once away. There were a few games cancelled due to weather, some that should have been cancelled due to weather, but it was a good season for the boys. The last game of the season was so exciting that I think my heart didn't slow down for a few hours after the game was done! It was one of those games that kept you on the edge of your seat from the get go. Tied at the end of the first half, they scored a few minutes into the second half, we scored a few minutes left in the half, it goes to double overtime and then to penalty kicks it went! They scored on shot 2, we scored on shot 5 so then it went to sudden death penalty kicks! They kicked first and missed, we kicked next and scored! I don't know how many of you are competitive but that game just about killed me! I'm competitive to a fault. Thankfully in my wisdom *cough* I do keep my thoughts to myself and I don't coach (from the bench or the sideline). I learned a great lesson from one of the moms. I can tell she's competitive but she is constantly talking to the boys and it is always encouraging, never coaching from the sidelines. I try to do the same thing, and if I can't say anything nice I try to be quiet!

June also saw the end of preschool for Bethany, grade 1 for Larissa and grade 4 for Nathan. All three kids are hitting years that seem hard for me. Nathan hits double digits in a couple of days, grade 2 seems so grown up, which Larissa is, and my baby is going to Kindergarten! Aaaaaaah!!! Good thing summer isn't finished yet, I can be in denial for a little while longer!

July was super busy for us. The local fair was the first Wednesday with horse competitions starting the evening before. We knew a few people competing so we had to go watch. The girls love horses so this was a great way for them to see horses in action and play with their friends who were there watching too. Nathan went to help Ron with the beef pit barbeque, he doesn't care so much for horses! The kids entered items in the fair so we were frantically getting those together the day before too. They showed well and all earned money, which they were thrilled with and have now been encouraged to enter more items next year! Two days after the fair we left on our family vacation! We headed to the Rockies with our camper in tow. It is the perfect way to travel in the summer time! We were in Drumheller to see the dinosaurs then off to Banff, Jasper and Edmonton. We spent only a couple of nights in each place and packed in as much as we could in the nine days we were gone and needed a vacation from our vacation when we got home! The kids thought the waterpark at West Edmonton Mall was the best part of the whole trip so I guess next time we can just camp there. They did have a good time in the mountains and thought it was great to throw snowballs in July! We got home from our trip and Nathan started sports camp in town. He did eight sports in four days and then played all of the sports they learned on the last day of camp. He learned how to play badminton, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, pickle ball (I have no idea what that is!) and a few others that I can't remember right now. He had a great time and told me our summer has to be planned around sports camp every year. Sports camp ended on a Friday and that Sunday we packed up Nathan and Larissa and left them at bible camp for five days. They went last year as well and could hardly wait to go back. Bethany wanted to stay too but she's too young, she's going to hold me to the promise of next year! When their time at camp was done Bethy & I picked up the older two and headed to my sister's place to meet our new niece/cousin and her two brothers. There are four nephews so this is the first girl on my side of the family, other than my two, and the youngest so she will be well spoiled. After that quick visit we went to my mom and dad's for night and saw my other sister and nephews. We got home on Friday and started an intensive week of swimming lessons on Monday! Each kid had two lessons a day and all three kids were in different levels so that meant we were at the pool for six lessons a day. It was a busy week but all three kids loved their lessons (they all moved on to the next level) and played with friends while waiting for each other's lessons to be finished. I got to visit with other moms so it wasn't a hard week. The weather was very cooperative too and there are some huge shade trees to stay cool under. We also started combining July 30. As for the house a deck was built, brick work done and lawn was seeded. I think I remembered everything for the month!

We kicked off August by going to family camp at the same camp Nathan & Larissa were at in July so Bethy could enjoy all the activities too, now she's really raring to go next summer! We had an "off" week last week but easily filled it by watching the Olympics. This week the kids are at VBS in town in the mornings and I'm cleaning house, which I didn't do last week while cheering on Team Canada! Did I mention I'm slightly competitive?

Next week the kids are off camping with Grandma & Grandpa V for a few days. That gives me an opportunity to spend time with one of my sisters and her family and then we're visiting friends and staying with my other sister to celebrate Nathan's birthday and my nephew's birthday. When we get home harvesting should be almost finished, Ron's sister and her family are out for a few days and school starts after the September long weekend. Thankfully school supply shopping is done. Whew, what a summer it has been!

Columbia Icefields

The brick on the house and weeds still on the "lawn"!

Future agronomists checking out the wheat field

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Mmmmm, Rollkuchen

I'm a sucker for my kids. Especially when it comes to grocery shopping. I don't give in to all of their demands but there are a few I can't resist. Watermelon is one of them. When a certain 5 year old's big brown eyes look up at me and ask if we can have watermelon and rollkuchen for supper one night as she's standing right next to the watermelon, it's really hard to resist! So needless to say, I had some super happy kiddos yesterday when we had watermelon and rollkuchen for supper. For those of you who don't know what rollkuchen is, the best way I can describe it is dough fried in oil. As far as I know it's a Mennonite "dish". I haven't met a non-Mennonite yet who has known what rollkuchen is. My kids are shocked that there are people in this world who have not had rollkuchen. Ever.

This was the cooking station on the front veranda. There is oil on the veranda now but the mess and the smell are better left outside!

We don't have patio furniture yet but our tv trays and lawn chairs work well.

This is rollkuchen. The ones with the slits in them are crispy, the way Ron likes them. The other ones are puffy, the way the rest of us like them. The syrup pours easily into the puffy ones once an end has been bitten off! You can also stuff a piece of watermelon inside if you don't want syrup. But let's be honest, who doesn't want Rogers Syrup in their rollkuchen??!!

I was told these were the best ones ever. That's probably because they were the first ones of the summer season but hey, why not get an early start on Mother's Day gift bribes?

Monday, 14 May 2012

Spoil Mom Day

Yesterday was Mother's Day. This is the day where you find out how your kids truly feel about you and what they take away from their life with you. Do they remember all the discipline moments, the learning moments, the "mom is so frustrated she doesn't know what to do with you" moments? Or will they remember the fun moments, the read-to-me moments, the "I'm laughing so hard I'm going to pee my pants" moments? Thankfully my kids remember the latter rather than the former!!

I had been given strict instructions on Thursday already that I was to sleep in on Sunday. The day started off at 7:50 with Larissa "sneaking" into our bedroom to wake up Ron so they could make me breakfast (not in bed, I don't like food in bed!!). They came to get me at 8:20. First I was given my gifts then I was treated to bacon, eggs, toast & jam, tea and orange juice. We went to church then out for lunch with two families, came home for a couple of hours and then headed to the lake where we met up with the same friends we had lunch with and had supper by the beach. It was a great day, I am truly loved!

Here are the gifts I was blessed with:

This one's from Nathan. The wall plaque he chose on his own from the grand re-opening of the church library. The card and bath salts are from school. The card has a haiku on it:

nice, kind
cooking, relaxing, visiting
I love my Mom
scrapbooking, reading, singing,
awesome, caring

These are all from Larissa. I think if you click on the picture you can see what they all are. My favourite is  the "I Love You" card. Inside was fill in the blank sentences, here are some of my favourite answers:

My mom is "35" years old. (I'm not, but thanks!)
My mom weighs "55" pounds. (really??!!)
My mom's favourite food is "pantkacks" (pancakes, apparently)
My mom's job is "being a mom" (it's true!)
My mom really loves "me" (there were two lines for that answer, apparently only one word was needed!!)

This was Bethany's gift to me. It was so cute. She jumped up onto the bed and "read" it to me. She then said, "It's not true, Mom. My arms are longer so I love you more!"

Now the challenge will be to top this for Father's Day!!

Monday, 7 May 2012

More Construction

We are adding a sidewalk and patio to our house this spring. It was all supposed to happen last week, but as our luck would have it, it started raining! We told Josiah that if we needed rain all we had to do was hire him for a project. He's now booked for mid-July. Just kidding! The sidewalk up front is the only thing that's really progressed for now.

As you can see, the puddles are preventing work from getting done. I think the guys have been here about an hour a day before they get rained on....again.

This is our back patio area. It's tempting to just dig a hole and make a pool!!

I wonder how long that trackhoe will be a yard ornament....

Ron has said that we have had enough rain now to make up for the lack of snow this winter. We are not saturated like we were last spring, so that's good. We are just over half finished seeding and Ron's not in panic mode yet. The forecast is promising for the rest of the week so hopefully yard and field work can get well on it's way to being finished!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Look Who's Five!!

Our baby is five today! Five is a big number. Five means she's no longer a little preschooler. Five means she'll be leaving home in the fall to be swallowed up by the big yellow school bus. Five means she will gain more independence as she is away from home and playing on the playground without us right there watching her. Five is scary for us as parents. Five is exciting beyond words for Bethy. I keep telling Bethany that every birthday she has from now on she will turn four all over again so she can stay home with me and just keep going to preschool. She refuses. I said the same thing to the other kids when they turned five. They refused too. Either I'm doing something wrong that they don't want to stay home with me forever, or I'm doing something right that they don't want to stay home with me forever. It depends on the day!!

Bethany loves life. I don't quite know how to describe her in a way that would actually capture who she is. She says what she thinks (she gets that from her Great-Oma V AND her Great-Opa B!!). She's not afraid to be who she is. She can't sit still. I think the highest Ron & I have counted when she is actually still is 4....maybe. She's discreetly attentive. You don't think she's paying attention to what you are saying and weeks later she will give you the details on the conversation you had. She's competitive. It's how she passed swimming lessons, she couldn't let the other kids do better than she did! She's inquisitive. There are no less than 10 questions from her brain in five minutes. Ron took her to the elevator one day. Forty minutes into the drive he sent me a text saying she hadn't stopped asking questions since they left the yard. He wondered how I could answer questions all day! I say Bethany might be a genius some day because of all the questions she asks. Or not so much because I'm the one answering all the questions! She retains all the answers too. Random information comes out of her mouth and when I ask her where she learned that information she can tell me exactly where she heard it. Be careful what you say around her!! Bethany loves music. She is constantly singing some song from some show or preschool class. If she's not singing she's dancing. She has attitude. It's going to either get her into trouble or keep her out of it. Hopefully we can steer her in the right direction! She knows how to assert herself. If there's a line drawn she will erase it and tell you exactly where she thinks it should be. (It's a good thing her mother is just as assertive!) Bethany wakes up every day with a smile on her face, a sparkle in her eye, and a desire to live life so it's always exciting. We hope we can enjoy her enthusiasm!

Love you Sweetie!!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Six Months

Sunday will be six months since we've moved into our house! The time has gone quickly, it sure has been easy to "settle in". The kids hardly ever mention the house trailer and never say they miss it or the other yard, which is kind of funny because we don't have any grass here. They have spent a lot of time playing in the garage. I back the van out, Ron has the truck at the farm, so the kids can skip, do tricks on their bikes (ok, that's just Nathan!), ride bikes with training wheels and not get hung up every 2 seconds on a gravel ridge, skateboard...I think you get the idea! The other week we came home and it was raining hard and very windy. Larissa says, "Mom, I'm glad we have a garage, now we don't have to walk out in this yucky weather!" She is definitely appreciating the house for what it offers and not taking it for granted. The kids can't decide which is their favourite thing about the new house. Nathan loves the size of his room and the fact that he has a place downstairs to shoot hockey. Larissa said the other day that our lives would be so different if we didn't have an island in the kitchen! I was preparing supper and she was sitting at the island with her craft supplies so we could "work together". Bethany wonders when we'll stop calling it the "new house" because it just feels like we've always lived here. Ron loves the lack of water consumption our new toilets and washing machine have provided! He will often tell people how much less water we use now. In the trailer we had 11 year old toilets and a traditional top load washing machine. Now we have 6L flush toilets and a top load HE washing machine. We haul our water so it's maybe more obvious to us than it would be to some people. In the trailer we would haul 3500 gallons of water every 4 weeks. We are now down to 2000 gallons or less in 4 weeks. We didn't have a single time of running out of water at 1:00 am in -30 this winter! (That maybe happened once or twice in the trailer!!;D ) I can't say I really have a favourite part either. The house just feels like home. There was no adjustment to living here. Perhaps that's due to the fact that we came by here almost every day during the building process and we we've been dreaming of this for years. The kids had no adjustment issues either. They were involved in choosing things for their rooms and they were just as excited about the new house as Ron & I were. Comfort. Love. Home.

We have been winding down our year long activities these last couple of weeks. Nathan's piano lessons and Larissa's private violin lessons finished last week. Bethany's final dance recital is this weekend. We've been busy running to extra practises for that but by Sunday at 4:00 it should all be done! Then soccer starts. That will be three evenings a week for 8 weeks plus Larissa has violin group class on a fourth night of the week, if we choose to go, so it might be busier in the next 8 weeks than it was all winter long, and I'm doing it all as a single mom! We started seeding last week Thursday, took a break due to rain, then started up again yesterday. There is no rain in the forecast for the rest of the week so hopefully we can get a good chunk done. What looked like an early spring due to lack of snow and an unseasonably warm March has turned out to be a very average year for us. I had secretly hoped for seeding in March, harvest in July and the month of August off to do some camping and fun family activities but I knew that would never happen. Ron would want to plant a second crop!! In reality I knew my "hope" would never happen but I figured it didn't hurt to dream! Fourteen years of being a farmer's wife still hasn't erased the 20+ years of being a teacher's daughter! Don't get me wrong, I love the farming lifestyle I just sometimes still feel like and old dog learning a new trick!

I have been out of picture-taking-mode the last few months so I don't have too many to share. I did receive a few complaints last time for not having any pictures posted (you know which aunt you are!!) so I will deliver on my promise to have some this time!

This is Larissa with her violin teacher.

The kids playing in the garage.

I know this isn't a clear picture of Nathan but I'm hoping you can see his facial expression. Lips puckered and tongue out of the mouth, a classic "I'm concentrating on what I'm doing" look for him!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

My Parents sure made it look easy

Parenting is hard! It's not a new revelation to me, it was just reconfirmed tonight. I had a great talk with my boy. Bedtime is great for that. I love bedtime for that very reason. Most nights it's just saying goodnight, a kiss and a hug. Other nights though, are like tonight. I started it. I did it on purpose too. It all started at the supper table. Larissa asked a very innocent question. "Can quadruplets ever be three babies?" The kids know up to triplets but we've never thought of going beyond that, we don't know anyone who's ever had three or more babies at once and animals have litters, so why did we need to go higher? So we did the whole 4=quadruplets, 5=quintuplets, 6=sextuplets (giggle). Yup. Giggle. (insert my inner groan here) Did my 9 & 7 year olds really just giggle at the word SEXtuplets? They sure did. My kids know the actual words for their body parts. They know it takes a man and a woman to make a baby. I can't remember using the word sex. I just explain things as the topics come up. Am I bit conservative in educating my kids in that regard? Maybe in this day and age I am. Can you blame me for being protective and wanting to keep them young and innocent? Is that not my job as their Mom? (these are questions I'm asking myself. I don't need actual answers!!) At the table we ignored the giggles and kept going until 8=octuplets. Neither Ron nor I could remember what 9 was. The kids were either satisfied that we knew until octuplets or still too distracted by sextuplets that the conversation basically ended there. Until I picked it up again with Nathan at bedtime. I asked him what was so funny about the word sextuplets. He looked at me, half rolled his eyes and gave me a look that said, "Do I really have to tell you?" So then I asked him what he knew about sex. "Uh, Mom, this is awkward." And then I heard everything about what he knew about sex to friendships at school to faith to our shower pressure being too hard that it pierces his back! We cried, we laughed, we sat in silence, we prayed. I love that kid! I have a boy. Everything I've heard about boys not talking is true. I don't always get things out of him....right away. I guess the key is keeping him up until midnight the night before so he's sleep deprived and he feels emotional enough about everything that he just talks. I wonder if it will work when he's 16? ;) Nathan's a great kid. He's confident, happy, even keel. He's also observant. Very observant. Some of the things we talked about tonight I don't remember thinking about as a kid. When we decided to have kids I thought it would be easy-ish. I remembered enough of my misspent youth that I could relate to everything that my kids would go through. (did I mention I was also naive??) What I didn't bank on was that it wouldn't be just my personality in those kids!! Nathan thinks. I don't think.  I talk it out and change my mind half way through a conversation and then maybe change my mind again. I fly by the seat of my pants. Open mouth first, activate brain second. Ron thinks. I'm so glad this parenting thing involves both of us! My parents sure made it look easy. I knew I was loved no matter what I did. Home was a safe place. Ron's home was the same. We're trying our best to raise our kids in that kind of home. I hope my kids will think we made parenting look easy too!!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

We are still here!

We haven't gone anywhere, we are still here! It's amazing how quickly time can pass. I knew it had been a while since I've posted anything but I didn't realize it had been a month! We have very busy weeks with our regular activities and the weekends have been a bit quieter but we've been really enjoying them being together as a family. I realize our schedules aren't as busy as some families but this month we have three days that are completely clear on our calendar! Everything is fun and exciting, the kids don't know half of what we're doing, it would be too overwhelming. They do know that my sister and her boys are coming here for a few days during Spring Break so she can escape while her husband is in the thick of tax season and we can go to the Winter Fair to watch the horses, but Bethany asks almost everyday how many more sleeps it is until they come. Unfortunately it's at the end of the month so there are many more sleeps (and questions) until they get here!

The kids & Ron went ice fishing a couple of weekends ago. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures, I didn't get out there, I hadn't been feeling 100% and I needed to get some housework done. They had a blast! They were out there with the Krahn cousins, aunts & uncles so it probably made it more exciting. Nathan said that a fish ate the minnow right off his hook and one of the cousins thought he had a huge fish but it ended up being the bottom of the hole! No fish were caught but that didn't seem to bother anyone. The winter here has been beautiful. The weather has been perfect, the only thing I would change would be to add more snow. Living on a yard that's nothing but dirt makes it hard for the kids to go out to play. It has snowed all around us this weekend but we haven't had much that amounts to anything. Ron hopes there's enough in the ditches to go sledding for a little ways but I think he may have to ride on dirt occasionally to get to some good ditches. We are concerned about moisture in the fields, it's looking pretty dismal right now. Hopefully the old wive's tale about rain 90 days after hoar frost is true. If so it looks like we could get some rain in May. I'm still amazed by last summer and how we went from flood to drought in a matter of a month!

February saw a couple of milestones for two of the kids. Nathan lost his first tooth naturally in about 3 years! When he had his palate reconstructive surgery in grade 1 the surgeon pulled 7 teeth to  get his job done and about a year and a half ago Nathan had an abssessed (sp?) tooth that needed to be removed so to lose a tooth naturally was exciting and scary at the same time!

The other milestone is that we registered Bethany for Kindergarten! Our baby is going to school in the fall! She can hardly wait to go. She does seem nervous about the bus ride though. She's constantly asking Larissa if she'll be her bus buddy. Larissa doesn't want to do it but she won't really have a choice! When it comes closer to the time of school starting in the fall we'll make a big deal of it, in a good way, so that it's fun for both of them. Bethany's been at the school many times to that's not scary for her but she's never been on the bus so my guess is that's why it seems scary to her. She did say something the other morning about the bus eating the kids when they got on it! I will have to call the bus driver and see if he'd stop by some day on his way home from morning drop-off and give Bethany a short little ride. He did it for Nathan so I'm pretty sure he'll do it for Bethany too. Larissa wasn't scared of the bus, she could hardly wait to get on it!

Well, the sun is shining and I'm feeling the need to bake something with yeast so it can rise in my nice sunny kitchen. Cinnamon buns maybe? We're going gt-ing behind the quad later so I should get started!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Birthday Party....Take Two!

Two weeks ago (probably my last post) I posted about Larissa's birthday party that didn't happen because she was sick with the flu. It was just as well considering it was cold, I think the only really cold day we've had this winter, and windy. Just down right miserable, really. Not a bad day to be sick with the flu actually. Today was the rescheduled date, and it happened! No one else in our family got sick in the last two weeks and the morning started off with a very bright-eyed, bushy-tailed birthday party girl! The sun was shining brightly and the hoar frost was beautiful, all signs that the day was going to be great!

First thing on the agenda was gt-ing behind the quad. None of the party guests had done that before so we were not sure how the girls would like it. Would they find it fun or would they be too leary of being pulled on two skiis behind a quad?

As you can see there were smiles on everyone's faces. One girl fell off her gt, stood up and said, "He could go faster!" (Ron drove the quad.)

While waiting their turns the girls played "Capture the Big Brother". Hmmm, a sign of things to come??

They were a little disappointed when it was time to go inside. The only thing that got them inside was the promise of cake! The girls played for a bit while I melted the chocolate discs needed for the girls to make their own chocolates. I don't have pictures of the girls making their chocolates, I was too busy helping! Here is the final product.

Pink and purple chocolate, every good thing for little girls! It was then time for cake. Thankfully it survived the freezer for two weeks. I knew they would freeze fine, it was a matter of the cupcakes getting jostled around and toppled in the freezer while trying to get what was needed in and out of there for two weeks.

The party was a hit! I heard a few of the girls say they were going to ask their moms if they could get a quad and GTs!! I'm guessing I won't be a favourite amongst the parents for a least until the next friend's birthday party when they do something really fun there!

Here is Larissa with her friends!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

A Sick Birthday Girl

Last week Saturday was Larissa's birthday but the weekend was booked with moving friends home from Iowa so we didn't officially celebrate her day with her school friends, that was supposed to be today. This morning at 10:30 (2 1/2 hours before the party was going to start) Larissa confirmed that her tummy did indeed feel upset. She didn't perk up right afterwards either so I thought it must have been more than excitement for her party. I asked her if she felt better or if we should cancel her party. She chose to cancel the party. She's sick. She doesn't even feel disappointed that her party is cancelled. She's most definitely sick!

Larissa's rainbow cupcake cake with a sun and cloud. She designed it and picked all the colours, I just had to put it together. (Now that I look at this picture the cake looks like it's disappointed the party is cancelled too!)

So now instead of having seven girls running around our house giggling and screaming and crafting I have one girl lying on the couch. Poor thing. She looks pretty cheery in this picture. That's her. She can be on death's door and she will still have a smile on her face!

As for the rest of us, we're good. Ron & Nathan will go work in the shop. Bethany has a birthday party for a friend to go to. I will enjoy the fact that my clean house will stay clean! I also have a cup of dark chocolate chai tea and a good book to enjoy. Other than a sick kid, it sounds like a pretty good day is ahead of us!

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Seven. It's an age that seems so grown up. You're not a little Kindergartener anymore. You know how to read. You can get yourself ready for school with very few reminders/distractions. You are learning how to play the violin, just like your dad! When asked to do something it gets done, to the best of your ability. You want to do things independently, and most times it works! You are creative. You are smart. You are kind. You are gentle. You love greatly and easily. You cry when others cry. You laugh when others laugh, even if you don't quite get it! Your sense of humour is hilarious. Your smile is genuine. Your eyes sparkle. You understand sarcasm (mostly)! You came into this world on the coldest day of the year. Quickly. With the cord wrapped around your neck. Twice. Cried instantly. For days. Dare I say months! Thankfully you haven't been as dramatic as when you entered this world. Not always. You are a joy. You are maturing into a beautiful young lady. Inside and out. We love you Little One. Thank you for being part of our family. Thank you God for blessing us with our Larissa.