Sunday, 31 October 2010

Neighbourhood Fun

Our kids got enough candy at the church Trunk-or-Treat, so no Trick-or-Treating for our little girls.

We did, however, hand out candy from our house. And somehow during the afternoon Carmen and Chloe decided to dress up as a little old man and a little old lady to hand out our candy. They were so funny (though a little scary to some of the smaller children who came around).

Miss Patti & Mr. Harold

Mr. Harold trying to steal an extra donut.

Friday, 29 October 2010


It hasn't been too painful so far, but maybe the fact that I want to post about it like it's over says something here. We still have the church Trunk-or-Treat tomorrow night, but everyone has had a chance to wear their costumes with various parties and such, so I have what I need for a post.

A few weeks ago Jaclyn and Carmen were talking about something and Jaclyn didn't quite believe what Carmen was saying, so she used Grandpa's phrase, "You know, in this family we can't afford for our noses to grow . . . "  I'm pretty sure that was the inspiration for Carmen's Halloween costume 2010: Pinocchio.

I found a nose online, but shipping from the states is iffy for timing and I was a little nervous that the costume wouldn't come together. To be safe, Carmen crafted a nose from Crayola Model Magic which would have been fine, but we're glad she didn't need it. This one is much better. The rest of the costume is composed of used items from Value Village for the most part. We already owned the figure skating tights which will hopefully keep her warm enough tomorrow night.

Chloe had been considering several costumes from the dress-up box, leaning towards Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. But when Carmen and I came home from shopping for the Pinocchio costume Chloe got a little jealous and decided she wanted something fresh and new. Jaclyn was much more compassionate on this point than I was and found her dress she wore when Aunt Marie got married which fit Chloe perfectly. Chloe asked me to buy her some long white gloves and a tiara to complete the princess costume and satisfy her need for new. Which I did. On the last day to return new Halloween items to Value Village.

Then on Sunday she found out that two boys in her primary class were dressing as Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy.

Yep, back to plan 'A'. She assures me the long white gloves and tiara won't be wasted. She is committed to playing with them. Mmm hmm.

So to finish up with Carmen and Chloe, one last thing:

I'm pretty sure I saw this idea via Be Different, Act Normal. We saved our bread ties all month to make special monster ties which Chloe and Carmen attached to treat bags for their friends.  These are my favourites: Red-Headed Girl by Carmen and Green Monster by Chloe.

I fully expected Steven to dress in his football uniform yet again. (Not that I'm complaining or criticizing. I love a low-maintenance Halloween kid!) Instead Steven borrowed glasses and boots from Uncle Bruce, wore his gas station t-shirt from Uncle Kevin, and then with the wig I bought:

Napoleon Dynamite. I think maybe Steven enjoyed putting on the attitude as much as the costume.

Jaclyn got serious enough about Halloween this year to come up with her 'permanent' costume. As in now she has something she can wear forever and she never has to think about it ever again.

She found the striped shirt for $5, and I know you can't really see, but she knit herself a red & white hat. The glasses were the finishing touch for "Where's Waldo". Technically she's just "Waldo" but that doesn't sound quite right, does it?

Sunday, 24 October 2010


This year I bought seasons tickets to Storybook Theatre for Carmen, Chloe and I.
Friday night we got spiffed up and went to our first show: Annie.

We arrived early because I've never been to the Pumphouse Theatre before (turns out it was easy to find) and also not long ago Ken and I went downtown for dinner on a Friday night and it took way longer than we thought (turns out Friday nights driving into the city is a popular thing) so I allowed plenty of time to get there. It worked out great because we got to meet Sandy (who's real name was Chloe). She's a labradoodle, and a terrific actress I must say.

The girls really enjoyed the show. Annie was sweet and sassy and loveable (though we liked Molly with her spunky ways a little more). The broadway version of Annie is a little different than the movie with a few musical numbers we hadn't heard before, but they still had 'Hard Knock Life' (my favourite: Molly was hilarious),  'Tomorrow', and 'Together at Last'. The one thing that was really ruining the show for Chloe was Daddy Warbuck's language. He had quite a few *D* words and I think once he dropped the *H* bomb. Chloe filled out a feedback form at intermission and that made her feel much better.

One thing the girls missed out on was intermission treats. Last Sunday while Ken, Steven, Jaclyn and I were at the church for meetings in the evening Carmen and Chloe polished off a pan of Blondies (blond brownies). They knew better, trust me. So no treats for them for two weeks (till the church Trunk or Treat) and all the food in the concession was off limits. I bought them each a water.

After the show we braved the autograph gauntlet where Chloe got to hug Annie (I think Annie was a little surprised). When we got to Miss Haningan Chloe said, "I love you Miss Hannigan." To my surprise she didn't chastize Daddy Warbucks - got it all out on that feedback form I guess.

(The next show is Les Miserables (School Edition), and I just noticed the asterisk & content warning associated with it on the website. I might leave Chloe at home for that one.)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

We've had a beautiful fall

(Better than our summer, actually.)

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Winning is fun

Oh, #21. Were you tired of Steven pulling you down?  

(I would have been.)

And then you tried to jump over him, but he got you anyway. I wish we had pictures of the few seconds before and after this one.  It was a beautiful moment.  (For Steven's fans.) (I cheered loudly.)

Ken probably held it in a little more than I did, I expect. (Loud cheering might have been unbecoming while working the sticks.)

(#33: You were probably a little tired of Steven yourself.)

Good times. Love the football.

Monday, 18 October 2010


Tomorrow morning I'm driving south for my cousin's funeral. We grew up and attended school together from elementary all the way through high school graduation. Of course I'm sad to lose her.
Shauna was diagnosed with cancer 3 weeks ago at a stage where there was nothing to do. I had the privilege of spending an hour with her and her family as she lay in palliative care 10 days ago. We laughed and reminisced. As her sister Michelle said, everyone had already cried it out, so there was nothing left to do but laugh it out.
I have to say, if you get the chance to say good-bye: take it. A sweet experience I'm grateful to have had.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Tough as Nails

(or wasp stings)

This week at Chloe's cross-country race, during the walk-through of the running course, a wasp kamikaze'd on Chloe's neck.

When was the last time you had a wasp sting?  Mine was recent enough to know it really hurts.  Most kids would drop out of the race.  (At least most of my kids wouldn't run in that situation.)

Chloe held her shirt away from her neck and nursed the injury, but she lined up with the rest of the 4th grade girls when her race was called.

She tells me she didn't feel the sting at all when she was running (just the pain of two hills on the course).

 I have no doubt that Chloe's talent for mental toughness will take her far.

Friday, 15 October 2010

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a
Methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the
adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, "Why didn't
we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?"

I replied, I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church
on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I
was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.
I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also
drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought
home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the
teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in
everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap
if I uttered a profanity. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden
and flower beds and cockleburs out of dad's fields. I was drug to the
homes of family, friends and neighbors to help out some poor soul who
had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some
firewood, and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime
as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my behavior in
every thing I do, say, or think. They are stronger than cocaine,
crack, or heroin: and, if today's children had this kind of drug
problem. America would be a better place.

God bless the parents who drugged us.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Happy 17!

Jaclyn turned 17 on Monday. Carmen and Chloe spent quite a bit of the day obsessing over the reality that this was Jaclyn's last birthday at home. I chose/choose to completely ignore that fact.

Though it might be a good thing. See a couple of weeks ago I took Carmen out shopping for a new ski jacket. She found one she really liked, her jacket of destiny, but it was a ladies small. It didn't fit. Not even close. So I bought it for Jaclyn instead. Don't judge me! It was an amazing deal.

Carmen felt the need to (fairly cheerfully) protest when Jaclyn opened the yellow-ski-jacket-of- (Jaclyn's) destiny. Up till now the age difference between Carmen and Jaclyn has prevented this sort of problem.

The distance from here to BYU should prevent it from happening again.

The other blog-worthy present was Chloe's gift basket to Jaclyn:

Chloe made a list of 17 things Jaclyn likes and then made up a gift basket. It was awesome!  Jaclyn likes music so Chloe made her a musical instrument (hair comb wrapped in wax paper). Jaclyn likes church so Chloe gave her some archived (under her bed? jammed under the dresser?) primary handouts. Chloe also  included 17 cookies, brie cheese, a vase, a Chloe-created hair clip and necklace, as well as some nailish polish (3-year-old Chloeism).

It was super sweet.

Sunday, 3 October 2010


This weekend was General Conference.  My earliest memories of General Conference are from when my family travelled to Montana and stayed in a hotel so that we'd be able to watch it on TV (the broadcast was not yet available in Canada).  Swimming in the hotel pool was a highlight for me.

The highlight this year was seeing my nephew singing in the MTC choir at Priesthood Session. Ken and Steven told me they'd spotted him, so I looked it up in the archives.  (Can you believe how fast they get those up?  Digital is awesome.)

I've been wanting (in the back of my mind) to figure out how to take screen shots for a little while now:  finally I had the motivation to follow through.  (I hope you can see the white arrows I added to the pictures.)

To celebrate my birthday Ross will be leaving the MTC for Asuncion, Paraguay on October 26th.

Love you Ross!  

Friday, 1 October 2010

Five for Friday

1.  I hurt my hand at work this week and now I almost can't grip a door nob to open a door. Cutting Chloe's breakfast for her this morning was a challenge. On Wednesday I had two patients who hadn't had their teeth cleaned in more than 10 years.  Some people get away with that sort of thing - they didn't. And for some reason I wasn't getting anywhere with the ultrasonics so it was all hand scaling.  3 1/2 hours of hand scaling tenacious black calculus. Ken's going for a bike ride today, but there's no way I can go with him.  I wouldn't be able to use the right break. (I'm thinking that could be a problem.)

2.  Carmen had her first playing exam in band this week. She tells me she probably did the best of everyone; that there was a stunned silence after her turn from everyone including the teacher. The girl has had an unfair advantage with her long-time access to the flute through Jaclyn. Actually, Jaclyn and Carmen are going to try to even the playing field, at least for the flute section. Starting this Monday some of Carmen's flute friends are coming over for a weekly (free!) flute clinic. Very generous of Jaclyn with her time, and generous of Carmen to share Jaclyn I think. Steven and Chloe will also benefit - I'm sure the quality of the after school snack will improve on Mondays with extra guests coming over.

3.  On Tuesday I was elected (uncontended - is it still an election?) secretary for the high school parent council. There was a major turn-over of officers which turns out to be a lot of work for the secretary. I've had to do all the paperwork to transfer banking authority to the new officers etc. The really crazy thing about accepting this position is that the meetings are on Tuesday night - our church youth activity night. And Ken is first counsellor in YM's.  So it seems kind of stupid that I'm taking on the commitment of attending all the meetings in their entirety (I've got to do the minutes). But I don't know, I feel very strongly that I need to be involved in school this way to both contribute and be an influence. These are times of changing values in schools and I think I need to be there.

4.  Back in the spring I donated 'sewing scout badges' to the RS service auction. I thought it was a good idea at the time, but the badge sewing was cashed in this week, and now I think it was brilliant. Service is rarely a service of the giver's choice. I'll sew badges over clean someone else's house/fridge/garage/yard any time.

5.  Chloe had another tonsillitis/ear infection/shot of antibiotics last week. It's been a rough year - six times in 2010. On Monday I'm taking her to our family doctor and begging for an ENT referral. I want those tonsils out!