Saturday, March 31, 2007

Horsing Around

Isn't it funny how you forget things, or diligently force yourself not to be reminded of how much you love certain things? I LOVE horses. Love how they smell, look, feel when they are beneath you, everything. I have allowed myself not to think about this because I have had to real contact with horses in the past 10 years. I used to go riding everyday with a friend of mine in high school. We'd ride for hours, everywhere, no where.
Yesterday afternoon my mom and I took the kids horseback riding, it was fabulous. Mom and Rod's horses are beautiful, well behaved and ride with children well. B-Man was super excited about being a "ca-boy"While Ms. R figured the horses were now here new best friendsI was in seventh heaven. Mom let me ride Rod's horse Duke back to the feedlot, it was awesome to be out riding in the field - just me and the horse doing our thing. Because it was Rod's saddle we couldn't get the stirrups short enough for me to sit right on Duke - so nothing faster than a trot.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I don't have a catchy title for todays post - so ya'll are stuck with that.
Today I went over to Dawn's house to help her clean/organize before people arrive en mass for Mr. T's baptism on Saturday. Considering the kids will just tear apart the basement again tomorrow - I stuck to the main level so I didn't feel like tearing my hair out over the redundant-ness of it all. I've been way too spoiled by only having two kids. With as many kids as Dawn has, it feels like you just keep going around and around and around and ... well you get the idea, in circles. Never really getting anywhere, just cleaning the same stuff up every other minute. Drives me nuts. I am a bit of a neat/organization freak though. When I saw Becka's scrapbooking room on Sunday I about bowed down and started worshipping. I don't scrapbook, but such a pretty, organized, well placed room made me feel very comfortable. Her whole house was well put together. I was envious of her ability to bring rooms together with pretty things.
Most of the day the kids played really well together - with the exception of B-Man. He, as usual, did his loner thing and spent most of the day outside. I took this picture of him because I thought he just looked so darn cute in the toque I borrowed from one of Dawn's kids. Oh, and NO it wasn't THAT COLD here today - but you'll remember we are from Texas and I worry about his hairless head getting cold.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stay & Play

This afternoon Dawn asked me to come over and watch Little A, Big R and T (her sister in law Rachel's youngest) while she worked the afternoon shift at the store. Tina had told me about a Stay & Play they have a few days a week in Raymond that is open to every one; so I was more than willing to take all the kids there for a couple hours to play. There was a ton of centers for the kids to play at dress up/dolls, sand, puzzles, cars, little people,crafts, water:Painting:Playdough :Ms. R thought it was all pretty darn great because not only were Tay and Big R there, she got to see her other cousins - Nevee and Laina as well:I pretty much just kept an eye on them and got to chat every once in a while with Tina and Kirk (because of the snow around Calgary he got an extra day off today). I have no idea why anyone who has access to this wouldn't come. That's just insane. Two hours out of your house, at a play place you don't have to pay for, your kids get social interaction, you get to see other parents ... What could be better?
This is just a funny picture I took of B-Man at Dawn's house.He's had a funny fascination with babies lately, especially if there is a bottle available for him to "feed the baby" with.

Playing Catch Up

Sunday was a lazy day. B-Man napped the afternoon away Ms. R made a friend in Buddy and mom and I played Scrabble. It was really nice to have people around to spend our day with.
Sunday evening I headed up to Ben & Becka's in Calgary so I could go into the passport office first thing Monday morning. Becka and I spent a few hours talking and looking through her scrapbooks. I have an insatiable love of pictures. She would comment on some of her earlier scrapbooking efforts and comment on how ugly they were - which would make me laugh; her worst efforts are better than my best.
I didn't sleep very well Sunday night because I kept on having worries about if I had all the information I was going to need to give at the passport office. I did NOT want to have to go in there two days in a row. I was up and out of the house by 5 and took the train down town, in line at the Harry Hayes office by 6 which gave me the 12th spot in line, in and out of the passport office by 9. Turns out I had more than enough information for my passport. All the additional information they talked about needing was only if I was sending my application from the states.
I spent the rest of the day hanging out with Becka. She taught me how to make bread - and it didn't turn out like a stone. Yipee! We went out to Tony Roma's for lunch, she found a chicken bone in her first bite - so her lunch was free. After Ben got home we went out for sushi at Edo's; not the best I've ever had but certainly not the worst. She went tanning after we got home and Ben and I played some Phase 10. I forgot how unrepentantly competitive that punk is. He headed over to a friends after our game and Rebecca and I spent the rest of the evening playing and talking. I really enjoyed the entire day.
I headed back to my mom's Tuesday morning amongst a flurry of snow. It's been YEARS since I drove in snow. Not as bad as I remembered it to be.
I found mom, Rod and my kids all out at the feedlot where Rod works. Spent a while watching he and my mom work with the cows - really a fascinating process. Then we headed into Lethbridge for a bit of shopping, supper and then the auction. I've never been to an auction where they are just selling stuff not memorabilia, an interesting process, seeing what people will pay for certain items. There was a set of 1 ct. diamond earrings I had my eye on. I said to myself all I'd pay for them was $25. They of course went for $30. Ms. R was a doll, quietly playing with the horse grandpa Rod had bought her while we were shopping. While B-Man, true to form, was up/down/all around with either my mom or my eye on him at all times.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saving the World

One beautiful Barbie outfit at a time. Ms. R has discovered, she absolutely LOVES putting together all sorts of outfits, dressing up the horses, ect. Fun time had by all, "Look mom, look what I did!"Yesterday we spent the afternoon over at my cousin Tina Hall's house. Ms. R had a great time playing with Pacey and Laina while both B-Man and Nevee did their own thing. I haven't seen Tina since we were teenagers, it was really fun to catch up with her. We got so involved in talking that I forgot to take pictures of the kids playing. Oh well, we'll go over to play again soon. I'm here for at least a month, for heaven sakes! I'll have time.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Morning Already?

Oy! I cannot believe I am awake and coherent at this time of day. I guess considering I have been awake since 4:00 am it's not that big of a surprise that I am coherent. Still disgusting that I am awake though. I hate having a daughter that is an early riser. Can anyone explain this phenomenon to me?
Yesterday morning I packed up our stuff and came over to my mom's house for the duration of my stay. She pointed out that I wasn't having much fun all by myself over at my dad's house and if I came to stay with her, I'd have people around in the evenings after my kids went to bed. B-Man found my mom's dogs' kennel fairly quickly and made himself at home. In the afternoon my mom, Dawn, Ms. R, B-Man and I went to the Home and Garden Trades Show in Lethbridge. It was fun to wander around getting samples, buying quirky things, seeing people I haven't seen in years - the conversations that ensued with the run ins.
Them: "Krista - I haven't seen you in forever! Where have you been? What have you been up to?"
Me: "I lived down in Texas for the last 7 years. Married with two kids now. What about you? What have you been up to?"
Them (a little depressed): "Oh, still just here in Lethbridge ... doing my thing..."
B-Man found the Anderson's Awesome Adventures booth quite fascinating - knew that he needed a paddle for the kayak and all. He was very sad that we weren't near "the beach" and had to stay on land while navigating his boat.Ms. R was VERY pleased with when we found the quad/motorcycle exhibit ...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Slow Down

Today was all about just hanging out. After I spent the morning unpacking our stuff, playing with the kids ... puttering around in general we headed over to Dawn's house. She took off to paint her sister in law Rachel's place while Big R, Ms. R, B-Man and I hung out at her place. Big R and Ms. R played really well togetherwhile B-Man mostly did his own thing. After Ms. T got home from school she, Ms. R and Big R put on a "puppet show"which was really funny because none of them could keep their head behind the chair; they all wanted to watch AND be involved.
We ended the day by going to Mr. Ts' Spring concert, pretty darn cute. The music teachers didn't do the expected songs and kept it fun. I took some pictures but because we were inside and so far away they turned out rather crappy. So no pictures to share from that.

Pics from Trip

These are more for my farmer cousins. I took this picture just after we'd left the city to show you just how red the dirt around where I live is. This actually looks a little browner than it is because I took it with my tinted window up as I was driving:
This one is from a field up near Amarillo - more of what people expect when they come to Texas:And this is the first "mountain range" we came across, near Clayton, New Mexico:Seriously, not even as high as Old Chief Mountain and they are calling them mountains. I think someone may have illusions of grandeur.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Miss Me?

Alrighty folks - here I am! I know, I know, several of you were probably going into withdrawals. Sorry about that, a girls gotta do what's right when it's right.
The drive up to Canada was very bearable. I worked it out and we only stopped every 2 hours, added on only 2 hours to our trip, and only had one minor tantrum. For a full two day drive from Texas to Magrath - I'd say that was darn tootin' great.
To make the trip go faster I found myself making lists. Of things we saw, when we stopped and for what reason, general theme of the billboards in each state, funny signs, how many police/state troopers I saw in each state ... When I got bored of that I started playing the alphabet game, thinking of songs I didn't know all the words to and making up new songs by ad libbing - yeah 30 hours can only go by so quickly. No matter how many things you employ your mind with.
Today was a pretty full day. After unpacking, we headed over to Coaldale to see my mom and Rod. Rod was at work at the feedlot - Ms. R was absolutely THRILLED with all the animals, especially the horses. I think we have another horse girl on our hands. If she is good with them while we are here, I think I will sign her up for some riding lessons down in Texas in the fall. After Coaldale we headed over to Dawn's in Raymond. Played there for a while, then all of us headed in to Lethbridge. Dawn went shopping with Little A while mom and I took the rest of the kids to see "Charlotte's Web". Then we all hit Pizza Hut for supper. I ran into an ex-boyfriend there. Haha. Something I don't miss doing in Texas - is that awkward for anyone but me? At this point B-Man was DONE with everything, so we headed back to my dad's house in Magrath.
Tomorrow, I am sure will be more low key. I don't think after two days of traveling and a busy third day any of us could handle a fourth insane day.
Hahaha, I was just talking to Dawn and she was making fun of me for my blogging. Go ahead, laugh. You have your books, I have my blog.
I'll take pictures tomorrow for all you picture lovers.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Bit if A Delay

Jerry was able to get my tires rotated and balanced and change my oil yesterday, but since he woke up at 3 he ran out of sunlight and time to replace the belts on my truck and get a DVD player. His friend who is going to help him with the work should be coming over this afternoon to finish. Therefore, us leaving has been delayed till tomorrow morning. It's not so bad, leaving in that big of a rush was kind of giving me a panic attack. Anyone that knows me, knows I thrive on structure, lists and organization. Anticipating 2 more weeks to get everything in order, then jumping the gun is a little unnerving. With the extra day I am rechecking the bags, putting the house in the state that I pretty much want to come back to it, finish shopping for the DVD player and buying a few more things I think will make the trip easier.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Here We Come

I talked to Maria's mother in law, Vi, this afternoon. They had considered sending Courtney up to Edmonton to the best heart surgeon in the province, but decided against it. They are afraid she wouldn't make the trip. Vi sounded absoluetly broken down. As at peace as Maria seems with it, Vi seems so much the opposite. My heart weeps for them. If I let myself think about what they are going through I cannot make myself stop crying.
After further discussion, I figured it didn't make any sense for us to stay here when I feel like I need to be in Alberta right now. So Jerry is doing a few things to my truck, buying me a new DVD player and the kids and I will be heading up to Canada in the next couple days.
This evening we started packing our bags and Ms. R was ALL about packing her own bag. So entirely cute. Things she thought were essential: 10 t-shirts, 1 set of p.j's, 1 swim suit, 1 book, and her horse (I bought her and H each one this summer - she wants to share it with H again).

A Prayer ...

My friend Maria's, infant daughter, Courtney Michelle Wert's story follows... Feel free to read and add your prayers to mine. This situation just makes my heart sick. With the doctors unable to tell them what is wrong with Courtney, unable to help her at all ... it brings back, painfully, the memory of my cousin Lisa Marie George who passed away several years ago. The doctors at the time were also unable to give her family any insight into what was going on inside Lisa. At this point, the only thing keeping Courtney alive are machines. To those of you who wonder why I haven't called you about this: I can't, I have no working house phone. Maybe you should call ME more often ;)
Courtney Michelle Wert's story to date:
Courtney was sent to Calgary Children's Hospital Monday morning March 12, 2007 after she stopped breathing at home in Raymond on Sunday night. Mom and Dad helped her get breathing again with some effort and mom giving her several breaths. She continued to have difficulties with her breathing in Lethbridge and was flown to Calgary while Mom and Dad drove.
The initial explanation was Pneumonia but since Courtney's cultures have come back negative, further testing revealed thickening of the heart muscles in her left and right lower chambers. She is on several medications including antibiotics and medication to help lower her heart rate and increase her blood pressure. She was not responding well to all the treatment initially and her oxygen levels and blood pressure kept dropping so they started giving a drug to paralyze her. This drug is given by intravenous continuously to keep her from exerting herself and from fighting against the machines that are helping her breath. She is also on Morphine to help sedate and comfort her. The Morphine however kept her from passing urine so they have since put in a catheter. They have been slowly adding more medications to find a balance in keeping her stable. She is in very good hands and Mom is staying here in Calgary. She is getting breast milk through a tube in her nose that goes past her stomach. Even the heart specialist is baffled by her condition and will order more tests to help determine the cause and help give us a better plan of attack on her treatment.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


This afternoon we climbed into the mid 80's so I decided to take B-Man to a fun fountain I knew of in Las Colinas, at Williams Square. It was a great IDEA. We got there and the fountain had been drained. One of the guards told me they were in the process of having it prepped for spring time. What season are we in anyway, if not spring? For heaven sake! It was in the EIGHTIES today! So, I was disappointed, B-Man thought the horses were pretty cool.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

BIG Plans ...

Jenie and I were talking today about destination vacations, where we'd go, what we'd like to see and we came to the conclusion we need to take a family vacation together. With Michael lining up to take another year of school and the ages of our kids (not even a year - almost 8 years) we figure it's safest to put the vacation 5 years out. Jenie and are are both HUGE into planning and organizing so we talked through EVERYTHING. What we'd want to do (cruise - easiest way to keep kids contained), what type of cruise (Disney, most family friendly), what month we'd want to go in (February or March, the average temp in the 20's), how long we'd go for (7 days, why spend that kind of money for a short vacation?), what port we'd want to go to (Castaway Cay), who would want to come with us (more the merrier - any takers?), how much money we'll have to save every week in order to make it doable (Jenie says she's going to give up chocolate bars. Hahahaa) ...My stomach was seriously getting butterflies because I was getting so excited and the trip is FIVE YEARS OUT. I love the idea of a big vacation with family. I think we need to start having family vacations - obviously on a smaller scale.


With the weather over cast and gloomy today, it was calling for home made pizzas at lunch. B-Man LOVES the whole process. If you could see the front of him, you'd see sauce splatter from head to waist. His favorite part, I think is watching it bake. Fortunately our oven doesn't get hot on the outside, so he's free to stand like this as long and as often as he wants during the cooking process.
It's been a strange thing, being home alone during this time with B-Man. When Ms, R was this age, I didn't get to spend time with her alone - so this stage and age one on one (maybe one of the contributing factors is that he's a boy) is completely foreign to me. I find funny things about him every day.
I regret not being able to spend this kind of time with Ms. R. I hope as they get older, we will be able to find ways to connect one on one like B-Man and I have been able to lately.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yoga - Crow

All together now, folks - YOW! I think our yoga instructor hates us. This is the "difficult" position we are working on currently. Wait, maybe I just hate my yoga instructor; not her us.

Walk in the Park

The lady who is currently assigned to be my visiting teacher has been a friend since I first moved into my current ward - infact, she was one of the first ladies to rush up the first Sunday and say, "Are you moving in, or just visiting?" For a while we spent a fair amount of time together. However, as time has passed, she has started going to school part time for pharmacy, flies 40 hours a month with Delta, AND has four active daughters ages 12-6. So she's a busy lady and we've had a hard time keeping close. Since she's become my visiting teacher, we've had a chance to renew our friendship.
It's Spring break for her girls this week, so she invited the kids and I over to play this morning. I spent a couple hours showing her how to download her pictures from her camera to her computer, taught her how to list things on, we had a delicious lunch of club sandwiches and then headed over to the park for a few hours. My kids absolutely adored having older kids to play with. With all the equipment there was to play with, they both enjoyed playing in the sand the most.
B-Man crawling UNDER the play structureMs. R, trying to figure out where B-Man went

Monday, March 12, 2007


Here are the last two rooms I am going to take pictures of. The family room/dining room. If you scroll back, you can see they are located immediately off of the kitchen, which is open to both of them. We just painted this room before Christmas. I'm not personally a huge fan of green on walls, but Jerry loves it and I'd rather have it painted green than leave it the grimy light brownish/grey it was. So green it is. Eventually we've talked about putting down cherry hardwood floors - I imagine the walls will look good with it.Jerry has also talked about replacing that uuuuugly couch with a set of leather couches now the kids are past the destructive stage. Maybe I'll come back from Canada and my master bathroom floors will be done, new hardwood floors through out the house and new couches. HAHAHA, I kill me!
The dining room has tentative plans to get ceramic tiles down - the carpet is just obnoxiously gross.


Tonight after I'd read a few books to the kids, I suggested to them they read me a book. B-Man "read" (recited from memory) "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and Ms. R "read" (made up the story after she'd looked at the pictures) "Apple Dumplins Day". Then she got their animal book and went through it, pointing to the pictures saying, "And what is that B-Man? ..." lol - yeah, she got that from me.

New Hair Cut

It was time and I wasn't going to ask Jerry for money to get it done ... so snippy snip I went with the scissors. Ended up a wee bit shorter than I had anticipated. I seem to have no control when it comes to length. But I think it will be okay ... Unless I want to leave it down and curly. It becomes REALLY obnoxious; not enough length to weigh it down apparently.
Oh and good job to Ms. R who took the beautiful picture.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


After trying two different recipes with two different kinds of ground meat (beef and turkey) I am giving up on meatloaf. The recipe I tried with ground beef came away greasy and not so much appetizing. The ground turkey recipe came away bland and pastie looking. I am not even sure I WANT to like meatloaf, it just seems unnatural not to like something that is considered a "comfort food". I suppose I make up for it with my love of macaroni and cheese whiz. Has anyone out there made/had a meatloaf they weren't gagging over the grease or grabbing for the salt to season it? I may be interested in trying this again ... the majority reason - it's a cheap dish to make. Well, it's SUPPOSED to be - when you're making that and then a "replacement" meal as well; it turns out to be kind of costly.Pat's dog, Buddi Ann, passed away late last night. When I talked to her this morning she was a little hysterical, so I am heading over there this evening to play Scrabble with some icing (no cake, just the icing - it's her favorite part)to hopefully cheer her up a little.

Excuse Me

Alright, this whole post will disclose too much information ... but I am still giggling about it, so I am going to share.
Yesterday as we were driving home from Sharkarosa we'd stopped to get a snack (juice and goldfish all the way 'round), after drinking a bit, I burped. I immediately said, "Excuse Me" and went on snacking. Not 30 seconds later I hear B-Man do what can only be described as a fake burp and then laughing, "Excuuuuuuuse ME!" I tried not to laugh and replied, "Excuse you, B-Man". Thinking it's even more hilarious, he followed that up with another series of fake burps and "Excuuuuuse Me"s till both Ms. R and I were laughing. What a card that kid is.

What do YOU do?

My son, the little kleptomaniac, has me pondering seriously if I am dealing with a certain situation correctly. So I am going to put the question to ya'll.
Most times when we go to the grocery store he will pick up something as we are shopping. Sometime just carrying around with him the whole time we are shopping, sometimes at the check out, sometimes - I haven't even noticed when he has picked up a random object. If I am aware of when he picks up stuff along our voyage, I talk to him about asking mommy before he picks anything up and how I need to pay for things before he eats them. On a fairly consistent basis I check his hands at the check stand before we leave the store so we don't accidentally become shoplifters.
However, there are always exceptions. Some days I just want to get out of the store because the kids have been driving me mad. Or I am really tired and forget. These are the days I usually find something mitted in B-Mans hand when we get out to the truck. My usual M.O. for these moments is to take away what ever he has snuck out of the store, give him ANOTHER lecture on not taking stuff without paying for it, make a mental note of it and bring another of what ever he has snuck out up to the till with us on our next visit, pay for it and leave it at the store. Is this still shoplifting? Should I be going back into the store at that moment to return it?
I know I am not the only mom this happens to ... so what do ya'll do?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sharkarosa Ranch

I went perusing on this morning for a fun new activity for the kids and I to do today and I found an exotic animal ranch about an hour north of our place that I thought may be a bit of fun to spend a few hours at. It's in an obscure part of the country side that mapquest didn't know how to get to, so I used their ... interesting set of instructions. I forgot how country people give directions here in Texas.
We got there just after noon, I was a little unimpressed with how much I had to pay ($16 for Ms. R and I, B-Man was free) considering on their web site they talked about the place being run on donations - but in the long run, I guess it was worth the cost. They had an interesting set of animals: Ring tailed Lemurs, various small species of small monkeys, wallaby's,albino kangarooscamelsllamas, zebrasa few breeds of large dogs, Clyde's dales miniature horsesdeer ... and you were allowed to pet/handle all of them.
I fell in love with the lemur. One of the animals handlers was wandering around letting people pet it when it all of the sudden leaped onto my shoulders and wrapped itself around my neck and seemed quite content to just stay there. Ms. R was THRILLED, she thought it's almost two foot ringed tail was completely fascinating as it wrapped itself round and round her arm. B-Man was fine as long as he was able to stay near the back end of it. Very soft fur - even softer than a cat, and it's paws are made up of skin that feel as soft as a babies.A bit later as B-Man was cozying up to a monkey named Michelle, he grabbed towards her mouth. As tame as they may be, that still makes me nervous. So I reached over to stop his hand from making contact with her mouth and SHE jumped into my arms. What is it with tamed exotic animals? It was kind of cool, more nerve wracking ... I kept a careful eye on her, afraid she'd decide that I wasn't her type of person and bite me.
As we were watching another monkey leap around it's cage it came down to our level and started reaching out towards Ms. R's bag with it's hands, couldn't quite grab it so it shimmied over a bit and started using it's TAIL to reach out. It managed to wrap it's tail around her bag and tried to pull into his cage, she couldn't stop giggling. "Stop, you silly monkey!" B-Man mean while was shrieking with excitement and fear, as usual. With all there was to see and touch there Ms. R's favorite part was the "tractor" ride - next time I think I'll just take her to a kiddy amusement park.
And B-Man's favorite "feature" was the sink - good thing springs here and the pools are opening back up.