Sunday, February 28, 2010

the perfect canadian weekend

laughs and giggles
nail biting hockey
clinking glasses with friends to a well fought victory
sleeping in
crave cupcakes
national pride
wheatgrass juice
cards from sweet friends
saturday outfits
fresh sushi
friends stopping in
shattering olympic records
amazing race
gold medals
figure skating gala
river walks
skipping through puddles
a winning goal
group hugs
planning how to accomplish your dreams
that my friends, is Canada

Monday, February 15, 2010

There's a monster upstairs

Jimmy and I were at home this weekend to visit my family. And the latest trend at Grandpa and Grandma's house is to go monster hunting.

This is a very serious mission. You must be fully equipped and so the first thing everyone does is tests out  the flashlights. If possible, every boy likes to carry two but with the extra visitors from Calgary, they weren't always able to be fully prepared. But with the new LED flashlights, you can get even deeper into those shadows with a single light!

Grandpa was the first to trek up those stairs with all three boys in tow. After various reports that always start with little feet pounding down the stairs, eyes huge - especially Rhyder's who was a strong imagination and such an earnest look about him, we discovered the monster had a cold (there was a pack of tissues under the desk), he was freezing (had taken the boys blankets from the chair they were sitting on after their last visit to the closet shelf they were discovered on) and the monster had left spiderwebs and flies in his wake.

On Sunday, the boys were anxious to continue their search. Grandma was sure to tell them the monster had been spotted again as the trailer door was swinging wide open without any tracks leading up to it. This made them all the more excited and so they grabbed both Jimmy and I to sneak up the stairs and see what we could see.

Rhyder was quick to spot out that Jimmy's suitcase was open, there was water on the table in Jimmy's room and my phone had moved a little from the day before. Jimmy dilligently packed up his suitcase and zippered it shut. We tidied up the beds, put away any clothes that were sitting out and generally made sure both the bedrooms were in order!

So Jimmy and I (of course not having kids of our own were on the same wave length) decided to have a little fun with this. When all the kids were distracted downstairs, I 'went to the bathroom' but actually raced upstairs, flung Jimmy's suitcase open, tossed around some clothes, poured some of the water down the sink and hid my phone. It wasn't long before the boys were ready to hunt more monsters.

If at all possible, Rhyder became even more earnest when he saw the general disaray. Without a moment to spare, he raced downstairs and told everyone the news.


I had been promising the boys a sleepover and it finally worked out to have one Sunday night. But rather than Jimmy and I trying to drag stuff over to Trev and Kim's and then come back to the farm to pack up for the plane it made much more sense for the boys to stay with us that night. It wasn't long before bed time had come and gone and it was incredibly apparent that we could not delay a moment longer. My plan was to tuck the boys into their sleeping bags beside my bed and watch a little olympics before hitting the hay myself.

I wasn't getting it when Rhyder suddenly became very nervous over the thought of me going downstairs without him! He insisted that I was going to sleep with them in my bed and begged to come to the bathroom with me to brush my teeth. Our compromise was to leave the main bedroom light on and I rushed as quickly as possible to Rhyder's questioning on how much longer.

We snuggled into the double bed. Joshua on one side and Rhyder on the other. They had their pookie, rufus (Rhyder) and their geoffrey (Joshua). The hall light was on and the door was open a crack to let the light in. Suddenly it all became clear!

Rhyder, clutching pookie and rufus tight: "Auntie, do you think the monster will get us while we sleep"

Juliane: "Oh no honey, this monster only comes out in the daylight"

Rhyder: "Okay!"

The topic quickly turned to school, friends, our weekend highlights.

Rhyder: "But auntie, what if he does come out."

Juliane: "We'll be safe honey, I will protect you. Remember, if we are scared, we pray and ask Jesus to help us not to be scared."

The air was filled with a long moment of silence and then we started talking about other things. After a little while . . .

Rhyder: "But auntie, he opened Uncle Jimmy's suitcase."

Juliane: "Oh sweetie, I think Uncle Jimmy just needed to get something out of his suitcase"

Joshua: "It's okay Rhyder. It was just them playing tricks on us. Right Auntie? You was just playing tricks on us kids!"

Juliane: "Yes honey, Uncle Jimmy must have just needed something from his bedroom."

Another pause, this time not quite as long

Rhyder: "Is the door locked."

Juliane: "You betcha! Grandpa always locks the door. And Jimmy and Grandpa will protect us too."

Rhyder: "Uncle Jimmy gets scared sometimes. He was scared today. But Grandpa never gets scared! Right Auntie?! Grandpa isn't scared."

Juliane: "That's right buddy, Grandpa isn't scared. And I know that Uncle Jimmy will help us too!"

Joshua: "Rhyder, they was just playing tricks. It wasn't really real!"

Rhyder: "But auntie what about your phone?"

Juliane: "It's over on the trunk, charging. I moved it to charge it."

Joshua: "Yeah, I see it."

Rhyder: "I can't see it. Are you sure it is there?"

Joshua and Juliane: "You bet - it's over there; Yeah buddy, I can see it!"

Juliane: "Honey, the monster isn't real. It is all our imagination. That is what makes playing so fun. But when it is bed time, it is important to remember that was just our imagination!"

Rhyder, as he snuggled extra close and clutched pookie: "Auntie, here's rufus to sleep with. I don't need him!"

Juliane: "We ready to change topics? Let's chat about fun things!" What's your favorite ice cream?"

Joshua: "Chocolate! but i don't think i have ever had chocolate ice cream."

Rhyder: "What's yours auntie?"

Juliane: "Chocolate!!"

Rhyder: "Mine too!! Grandpa's favorite is chocolate too!"

And with that not another word was spoken as both of them drifted off to sleep. Although Joshua did find my hand and clutch it tight.

Moral of the story, the next time you take your nephews on a monster hunt, don't do it on the same day you have a sleepover planned in the same room that you plant a monster!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Catching Up

I had the opportunity to catch up with some old friends lately. It must have been 10 or 15 years since I have seen them and almost as long since I have had any news on them.

Not much has changed in their lives. The family owned business continues to grow. Unfortunately that also means it continues to cause strife amongst everyone (power and money always seems to have that effect on families). The family has increased in size- children have grown up - marriages celebrated - degrees earned - and sadly divorces mourned.

Nick and Sharon will always have Paris. Victor will always love Ashley and Jake will always protect his sister from Victor's vile ways. Everyone has their role in the family and they all play it to a fault. Aww, the Newmans.

But as I was cleaning my house and listening to their trivial chatter in the backgroun, I felt such a strong sense of familiarity. Funny how that can be. After all those years of Grandpa and Gladys watching Young and the Restless or at the very least being sure to tell me all the news, it's almost like the Newmans were our out of town relatives.

I am sure it will be another 10 years before I hear any news again. I am willing to bet that not much will have changed. I am also quite confident that it will still be familiar.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I love this girl

I met Colleen at Briercrest and I can declare that my life has certainly not been the same. She is a true delight to be around and I absolutely love her to pieces.

This past January she toured around the Saskatchewan country side with Dara, another precious sole that we both have the privilege of knowing. They were featured on STC's 15 minutes of fame.

Check it out:

Minus 40 Tour: Songs to Warm your Soul

(Pick Season 4 and Episode 22)

I'm so proud of Colleen. She has big dreams and isn't scared to pursue them. It is such an honor to cheer her on from the sidelines.

While you were out

Yeah - finally I can share my exciting secret!!

It was Jimmy's birthday in January and the weekend before his birthday was the annual ski trip with all the boys. This presented the perfect opportunity to do something extra special. Something that I have been thinking about for awhile as Jimmy has uttered a desire for this change on more than one occasion. The timing was perfect as I had 2 whole days to execute the plan.

The other aspect about this plan that made my eyes light up was that it included a passion of mine. A passion that drew me out to Calgary all those years ago. Something that I dearly miss when I moved into the software industry.

And so as those two worlds met - my passion for design and my love of giving a really fun gift to someone I really care about, the idea was born. The design started to take shape in my mind. The to do list started to form.

And here is the final result:

Thanks to C's help, we got the dresser together, Totem's popcorn eaten, the mirror hung and the TV hooked up.

What do you think?

(p.s. Jimmy loved it! It wasn't a lame present at all!!)