December 22, 2010

Dashing Through The Snow

Fun times at Grandma-with-the-dogs and our cousins . . . right before they moved out west.

Uncle Greg sat on the snowmobile and whipped all the kids around the front field on a toboggan.

Naturally, the Templeman tradition of competition under any circumstance prevailed and teams were made and an object of the game was invented: throw the other team off the moving sled.

My attempts of getting the first shot with Avery and Liv instead of Nadia and Liv . . . proving that you can never really recreate a shot in photography. At least not with kids.

Jackson had had enough of getting kicked off by Anna Beth so he snuck onto the snow mobile instead. (Judging by the next picture, I really don't blame him.)

Yes, it is THAT intense. You should see them at the annual Easter Egg Hunt . . . or Cottage Pinata Party. (We train year-round to keep up with Greg and Suzanne's kids.)

Livvie: Nine Months

At nine months, Liv has sprouted some teeth. With them, her appetite for semi-solid food has grown. She lives to eat and somehow LOVES her baby food.

I know. Seriously, I almost feel bad indulging her, but it really just simplifies my life to feed her mushy jarred food. Grinding my own table food would really be a pain at meal times when it's me against the four hungry mouths.

Liv has also mastered the roll. Both ways. Once upon a time I used to sit her down in one place to do something quick . . . that reminded me to do another quick chore . . . and then another until I had a chore that brought me back to the spot where I left her . . . an hour before. Well, that just doesn't happen anymore. If I leave the room, she will go missing. I have found her under beds, in closets, in bathrooms, etc. Fortunately, she hasn't figured out how to turn efficiently. While she has mastered the 27-point turn, she often gets frustrated and gives up after the 7th attempt.

Even though she spins her legs like Fred Flinstone while being held, there is no chance of her walking any time soon. If you lower her to the ground, she will automatically push her legs out into a sitting position. Every time. She just likes to sit.

(I thank my lucky star every single night.)

I used to hear about these types of kids, who'd sit for hours beside their mothers as they would tend to chores and endless piles of laundry. But looking at my little tazmanian devils I didn't think there was any way a child so sedentary could possibly exist but in urban legends.

But it does. And how refreshing for me.

She is still so sweet and eternally happy. Such a little joy. Except, of course at 2am and 5am. :) We're still working on that part.

Union Strike

Santa has been busy shopping this year.

It's actually pretty incredible, considering how busy he has been as of late.

But it does pose one, major, wrapping problem.

The Elves are WAY behind. And one in particular has been wrapping non-stop between the hours of 10pm-12am for the last few nights.

The solution: Santa needs to return a few items or the elves are going on strike (as their union recommends.)

Santa, of course, isn't pleased with either option. In fact, he claims that Santa can't wrap. He's too busy sleeping and getting fat for the big day. ;)

I guess we'll have to find out on Christmas day if Mrs. Claus came to the rescue. :)

December 15, 2010

For Those Busy Parents . . .

Who have procrastinated sending out their kids' Santa letters . . . or haven't taken them to the mall.

This is a really cool idea . . . personalized Santa videos!

Take a few minutes of your child(ren)'s naptime or sleep time and fill in the questionaire . . . including some personal photos and voila! I can't wait until tonight when I can show my kids their message from Santa. I think we will email him our lists . . . if we have time. If not, we did at least see Santa on the train last weekend. That counts, right?




To make your own, visit:

December 9, 2010

Overheard . . .

Jayden: I want a house coat for Christmas. Then I don't have to put pants on, I just need to put the coat on.

Jackson: I want a snuggie.

Really?? I hope it's not for the same reason that Jayden wants his house coat. Snuggies certainly warrent pants at all times. :)

White Christmas

It is highly doubtful that we will have to be wishing for a white Christmas. It is here and will stay for a while (unless someone sends some crazy rain storm and some hot weather up this way--anyone? anyone??)

At first I kept positive.

It is really pretty and romantic to be inside watching the blizzard pelting at your window when you have your Christmas decorations up and your fireplace and hot chocolate on.

The first shoveling of the year was fun too . . . great exercise . . . for the first 20 minutes. And not so great the next day when I was so sore and had another foot to shovel. And then another foot that night.

Happy thoughts of sledding expeditions and ski days came to mind.

But they all fleeted fast when we ran out of groceries and couldn't find our car under the snow. Or when Brad had to drive on the slippery roads.

And the sledding, well, my kids have been taking turns passing illness around so we haven't had much of that.

Not to mention the frigid temperatures. (Is there a rule that you either get bone-chilling cold with no snow or mild temps and a dumping of snow??) Even being inside with hot chocolate, the fireplace on, and the thermostat cranked to 73 isn't taking the bite away.

So, if anyone has yet to get us a Christmas present, I have a few suggestions:

1) A Snowblower (please, oh, please!)
2) An all-wheel drive car for me. :)
3) (Okay, so that last one was a stretch, but at the very least . . . ) Snow tires. For the van.
4) A warm weathered vacation?? (Can't blame a girl for trying!)
5) A snuggie . . . per Jackson's request. :)

I'm Dreaming . . .

I'm dreaming . . . of a snow-blower!
With every shovel that I push.
It would clear up high ways, clean the sidewalks, and make my paved drive way appear.

I'm dreaming . . . of a snow-blower!
Unlike the ones I used to know.
It would stop the blizzard, make stir-crazy kids calm, and send their mom off to Cancun.

I'm dreaming. Please, don't wake me.

It has been snowing almost non-stop since last Sunday. Today we actually have a day of relief . . . from the blizzard. Instead, we have bone-chilling temps in the -15 range.

Here's Brad digging his car out in the blizzard so he could get to work. I think we've gotten about 3 ft so far and there is another storm blowing in on Friday . . . followed by a day of "rest" and then another one Saturday night lasting until Monday morning.

And, to top it off, the kids have been sick for the last week so we haven't been able to enjoy the snow . . . or get out of the house. (Read: Mom is going a little crazy.) I was desperate the other day and shoved Jayden off to school inspit of his pleas to stay home and his horrible hacking cough . . . only to get a call later that day from his teacher insisting that I come pick him up asap.

December 7, 2010

Christmas List

This year, there is one thing topping my list . . .

a Kelly Moore camera bag!

Check them out here, they are gorgeous and functional.

I think for me, I'd like two. One large one like the Juju to carry and store all my equipment, but then I feel the need for a b hobo . . . in teal . . . for going out with the kids or doing a shoot.

Besides being so much nicer to look at than my ugly black boxes with straps, I love that I can configure the interior compartment to suit my needs. Also, I love that the dimensions are narrower than my small black box . . . It seems that when I am out and about with my kids (diaper bag in tow), I hate to carry very much else . . . let alone something so bulky. (My current bag seems to get in the way when I am chasing a kid.)

Anyway, Santa, if you are reading this, keep it in mind. Give Kelly a call and hook me up! :)

December 6, 2010

Mind Boggling

An old, (outdated) clip but interesting.

I think about the population explosion in Asia and can't stop wondering about what life will be like in a world where India and China are superpowers and the US and Canada become more second-world countries. Maybe that's drastic, but it is possible.

November 29, 2010

A Nativity!!

After almost 10 years of marriage, it seems crazy that we really haven't had a nativity.

First I had to find one that I liked. I used to prowl through BYU bookstore looking at their many different nativities. This was the one that I liked best, but I still searched. I looked for a few years until I realized that this was it.

White, but not all white and {boring}. Simple, but artsy and interesting. Slightly traditional, but also modern looking.

It's been on my wish list . . . but I always figured it would be better to purchase AFTER Christmas when it wasn't sky high in price, and then I would have it for the next year. But it was usually sold out and I kept forgetting to allocate Christmas money towards it. So I would vow that the next year I would get it before Christmas.

I'm sure all of you can agree, the months before Christmas prove busy and expensive and prioritizing a nativity really never happened. Especially since I planned to get the whole thing in one shot.

Finally, I broke down and put it on my list for others to buy . . . assuming that it would be a collection in the works.

And, I'm so happy to say that my brother and his family got us our first set. (And having a hunch that's what they got us, we took the liberty of opening their present early! So glad we did, it looks fabulous!) I look forward to adding to it in the years to come . . . but in the mean time, we are really enjoying it.

Thanks Mark and Tricia!

(P.S. Anyone still looking for gift ideas, there are still sets of wise men, camels, shepherds, and an angel to fill in.)

November 19, 2010

Eight Whole Months

Livvie really grew up this month.

First, she really discovered toys. Boy does she love toys! She plays with Avery's barbie's (I think she loves to touch hair). She likes her stuffed animals, but is obsessed with her "pop up" toy (not sure what it's called, but I'll take a pic one day). I even caught her playing with Jackson's Bakugans. (Oh no!)

She went to Vegas with us recently and discovered that her gag reflex is no longer present on "real" food. (Apparently Vegas buffet food is far better than mom's cooking.) Now, she eyes all my food . . . particularly the chocolate bars. ;)

Her second tooth came in. And she has learned how to bite. Ouch!

Liv has learned how to put her paci in on her own now. Usually at this point I have taken it away, but our lives are so crazy that it gives me a bit of a break when I'm running around doing errands for the office or taking the kids to gymnastics.
Most importantly she figured out she had mom wrapped around her finger. Especially at nights. For some reason, mom's bed is so much more comfortable than her crib. (Mom has given in lately because we've dragged her all over the place . . . but soon this will stop! Right??)

So. Very. Busy.


And just when I don't think there is any way we could possibly be busier . . . we are.

November 16, 2010

Christmas Presents . . .

If anyone is on the look out for some unique gifts, here are a few that I have stumbled upon.

Little_Wonder books are custom books with your child as the superhero star.

Personalized cape. I mean, how cool would that be??

Fairy_Princess_Tent--it's pricey, I know. But a mother can drool, can't she?? (Avery better not see this or it will get added to Santa's list.)

Art_on_Canvas still one of my favourites.

For those on your list who say, "Don't give me a gift" and mean it, check out Heifer_International.

For your kids' teachers, instead of more lotions or hand soaps, try personalized_book plates.

And, for the photographer in your life (or family who just can't get a good pic), check out this_book. I know I will!

November 8, 2010

Looking for Some Good Company

I've been surfing the net these days for sympathy, hope, a time machine to go back to last Thursday.

Here are some fun stories I've come across to help me feel better. I'm sure they will put a smile on your face too.

My daughter just cut her hair like a hare krishna on one half and billy ray cyrus (90's style) on the other. my wife starting crying immediately(we FINALLY got it grown out to 8 inches long) now all she has is a hair noodle in the back of her head and we're going on a cruise in 1 week! What the heck am i supposed to do? Wigs are expensive and there is NO hair cut that can fix what she has done.. She said she "just wanted it littler"

Lovely stories from everyone! :) My little niece did something like that, only different and way more dangerous. She wanted to haircut and so she took a cab, went to her regular hair saloon all by herself and got herself a haircut like her favourite filmstar.She was six and this was in mumbai!

When I was 5 years old, I snuck the scissors and cut both sides of my hair and cut my eyelashes off (how dangerous was that?!). Good news was that my eyelashes grew back thick and long (and stayed that way until I started using mascara as a teenager). I wouldn't recommend trying it, however...

Yes i'm not alone.... last night i found my daughter with her new haircut....a mullet yes a mullet it is so short on the top that a hairdresser would have 2 cut it like a boys haircut 2 even make it look right.... all i can say is at least she didnt cut her self.... i took a picture to show her when she is older... all you can do is laugh. her hair was sooo long and beutiful now she looks like she's on her way to a monster truck ralley.

Oh my goodness, I am going through this just now. My daughter just gave herself a reverse mohawk. I was going to go and get it cut into a pixie (but I think it is too short for that), so, I pulled the sides up and pony tailed it right on top and it almost hides it... at least until it grows out another inch or 2.

I guess tat since we won't be watching grass grow this year (at all) we'll be watching hair grow. Let me know if you find some good images of pixie cuts.

November 7, 2010

Beauty School Drop Out

I have seen funny hair do's on other people's children.

I have listened to parents' (humorous) stories of how their children have taken hair styling into their own hands.

I laughed. It would never happen to me. Not my children.

They know the difference between pretend scissors and real scissors.

And besides, I am usually very strict about scissors around here.

Nope. It would never happen to my children.

But it did.

Avery has been increasingly interested in hair styling. She would brush my hair. She'd brush hers. Guillermo would get a good brushing. And even Liv would have to sit as her client in her "salon". On rare occassions, she would pull out the plastic doctor's kit scissors and pretend to cut hair.

"That's okay to use those scissors," I would remind her, "but we don't use real scissors. Okay?"

"Okay Mom."

Then last week, between the chaos of painters roaming around, knife blocks with kitchen shears being moved off the counters to the table, and a mom trying to keep the place somewhat clean and pack for a quick weekend trip . . . the unthinkable happened.

I came downstairs to find Avery sitting in a pile of hair, and the boys just sitting at the table licking lollipops.

Grabbing the scissors out of her hands, I lost it.

"Oh, Avery! What did you do?? Why did you cut your hair?? It looks ugly!! You look like a monster!"

(Certainly this wasn't my most impressive mommy moment. And it may even make me lose out on any "Best Mother in the World" prizes, no matter how wonderful I might be. In truth, I am just hoping at this point that I didn't ruin her self esteem or ability to deal with less than pleasant circumstances.)

Avery burst into tears.

Brad and I have been crying ever since. ;)

Here are the pictures . . . be sure to look at them with some kleenex near by.

Brad and I tried to brainstorm as to who she most resembled:

a) a chemo patient
b) a brain surgery patient
c) an insane asylem patient
d) the Barbie dolls that Sid would desecrate off Toy Story
e) a pretty girl in a zombie costume . . . just escaped from the grave
f) a really bad tough (er, you know) girl from the 80's

I am at a loss of what to do in order to salvage her hair, or make a bad cut into something (short and) cute. For the mean time, I bought about $50 worth of hair bands and bandanas . . . but am desperately looking for more suggestions. Naturally, her beauty license has been revoked and she had to drop out of "Beauty School." And close her salon.

On the bright side, I am glad that it is just her creativity that has put her in this circumstance and not that she really did have brain surgery . . . or chemo . . . or was a zombie. ;)

As I blow dried out the remains of her hair the other day she asked that I put her hair in pigtails.

My heart ached as I told her it would be quite some time before we could ever think of pigtails again.

Anyone know any ways to grow hair at lightening speed? Anyone have some cute hats in the meantime? Or hair cut ideas???

November 2, 2010


Very scared.

And so very nervous.

We have two men downstairs, sanding and painting my house.

Yes, this has been a long time coming. And yes, 8 years of living with builder's paint is finally coming to a close. And the colour I picked looks great (I've already done the upstairs hallway on my own).

But I am so scared.

The painters seem pretty novice. (As in they are asking me for tips . . . the advice kind.)

Yesterday, the main guy came to do the plaster work (which I had to pay extra for) and got wet plaster all over my baseboards, floors, house, etc. (How neat is he with paint??)

And, when he was about to climb the ladder up the 18 feet, he seemed really nervous. Nervous enough to point out that he had tied a rope around it and my banister to keep him from sliding out.

The plaster? Well, lets hope that their sanding today makes it look so much better.

I'm really wondering if it's scarier for me to sit here thinking of them working in my house, or for me to climb up that ladder and do it myself. I think the former.

However, the dust is awful . . . after sanding the upstairs hallway I vowed to never to do it again. And there is such a huge area to paint, it really isn't worth my time.

As for the novice . . . he was available and seemed decent. I've had other "trades" run through here enough times to realize that just because you are paying someone more for their experience, doesn't translate into better work. (Like take the drywall that came standard with our brand new house. Even having them come back didn't make it look all that much better and was such a hassle to even get them here! At least this guy is willing.)

And even still, I over heard him talking to his partner about how his insurance policy cancelled his home owner's insurance because of two nsf checks. And how he just refinanced his house.

Oh, and this morning he called me down to check out the paint colour . . . it was completely different than the colour I had picked out. (Thank goodness I painted the upstairs a few weeks ago otherwise we would have just assumed it was the right colour!)

So I sit here scared. And very nervous.

Please, don't wreck my house.


October 30, 2010

7 Months

At seven months, Liv definitely found her voice.

A very high-pitched squeal. It kind of sounds like a canary crossed with Celine Dion's highest note . . . if she were on crack. Or a guinea pig squealing into a microphone.

Not that she never squealed before, but this month brought forth much more communication in that manner. Especially at meal time.

Speaking of which, Liv is the first of my babies to LOVE baby food. She gobbles up all the jarred concoctions. And, as much as I wish I could be the mom who makes all her baby food from scratch . . . I'm not. And having a child eat those jars of food instead of me having to grind or cut up table food like the other kids, I'm very glad.

Her newest talent has been "flopping." When seated, she will flop to the floor to help her reach something, and then she will roll onto her back (her prefered position).

Teething has settled in and she now has one little pearly white. It's cute. But was a pain to have to go through with all her crying.

Our Liv is really a lively little girl who is quiet . . . most of the time. She really is a joy to have around and reminds us of how much harder kids are when they get older. If only they would all stay as easy as Livvie. (In fact, if only Livvie would stay as easy as she currently is. One can hope.)

Wishing . . .

That I was here again.

I know Halloween is upon us, and that is fun. But the weather is getting pretty chilly and I'm just not sure I'm ready for the frigid cold that looms. At least not as long as we don't have a warm weather getaway planned.

I'm also wishing I were up to date on all our pictures and end of the year book. (Last year's is laying stagnant in February and I'm supposed to be working on this year's.)

This picture was taken at the Colony Tennis and Beach Resort in Florida. We went last April. If you can't remember the post, you're not alone. I haven't gotten to it yet! (Yup, I'm rather behind.)

October 19, 2010

Bare Walls?

I stumbled across
site and thought I would share.

They are awesome!! Hmmm . . . do you think any of them would suit my living room??


Wondering what to dress your little child in for Halloween this year?

Please DON'T use any of

October 8, 2010

Random Photos

Some random photos that we shot just last month. Nothing special, just cute kids and their favourite things.

Liv, who is hard-done by for floor time because it's just too dangerous. With a big sister on the prowl, she prefers to be up high so she is out of "love's" reach. (Aka, harm's reach . . . since she often gets smothered with love.)

Reason 1 of why there aren't a ton of Livvie pictures. It's near impossible to shot photos of her when Avery is in the house . . . which is always . . . and she insists on being in all the pictures.

(Sweet) Little Avery. For the most part she is sweet. I believe her heart is good, but she gets very strong willed and so-help-her if you don't let her do as she pleases . . . especially with her sister.

Jayden and his favourite toy. Lego. After collecting just about every Lego Star Wars kit that existed, he is now branching out to Lego City. If only Lego would invent a toy to clean up Lego pieces scattered through out the house.

Jackson desperately wants his own animal to take care of. Even though I suggested that he already had one, Guillermo just didn't suffice. Apparently, Guillermo doesn't sleep with Jackson. In his room. All night long. So he needs something else. Like another dog. Or a cat. Or a Gekko. Currently he is trying to show his responsibility by taking care of Guillermo . . . taking him out to potty, making sure he is fed, has water, and attention. And trying to get through 100 reading lessons to get his new pet. I am hoping that by the time he puts in all his effort with Guillermo that he will find that Guillermo recognizes him as "Master" and no longer feels the need for another pet, particularily one who requires live flies every other day. If not, at least he will be reading if he can finish off his reading lessons. Surprisingly, he is not only enthusiastic about them, but actually good at them. As in, he is really focused. Really focused. It's amazing. Hopefully it will stick because the first few lessons are pretty easy . . . even Jayden had trouble once he hit the 50's.


I think the look says it all. The things he puts up with. (Babies pulling his fur, preschooler boys learning how to be gentle, life without grass . . . or long walks.) It's no wonder the vet recently suggested that we put him on prozac.

The Woman Behind the Camera

I am often behind the camera, taking what I hope will be perfect pictures of my sweet children so that years from now I can remember everything about them as they grew up.

The dark flip side is that I am almost never in any pictures. Should anything happen to me, or in 10, 20, 40 years from now my children and grandchildren look at our albums, they wouldn't have a single trace of me. Not IN the photos anyway. Or at least not any idea of what I looked like.

So, for posterity's sake, I did a little photo shoot with Liv . . .

and Avery even took a portrait of me.

October 6, 2010

Morals vs Money

Busy shoppers whirled around me, quickly running through their lists for the week and the upcoming holiday.

I, however, stood frozen beside some packaged fresh turkeys.

Trying to do the math of converting kg to lbs, and trying to price check the big box store's brand vs an add in the local paper from a farmer around the corner for his fresh turkeys.

I was nauseated. Food Inc has made me terrified to buy any meat from any store, but the pressure of spending on four kids, groceries, Halloween costumes, new house items, and the looming purchases for cold weather in the next few weeks as well as Christmas was suffocating me.

Do I abandon my morals to save $20?

It was just a few days before that I was at another grocery store and paid $12 for TWO breasts of chicken. Robbery! Perhaps . . .

Surely it wouldn't hurt to purchase and eat one more big box bird . . . and next time save up more for the dinner. Would it?

And who is to say that the local bird would taste good? Maybe I'd get an old bird and it would be gamey?

The financial pressure did get to me, and I guess it was just the mere ease of picking the bird up with everything else since I do have four kids . . . and I never shop alone.

But next time, I vow, I will budget for a fresh, local bird. I will start sourcing out good farmers and not let the financial burdens control my food choices.

Scientific Advancements

As a trained scientist, I know how much good scientific advancements can improve the quality of human life.

I suppose that I have remained in a "fortunate" oblivion (fortunate because at least I could eat and wear what I wanted).

But, after watching Food Inc at my mother in law's insistance, I have not been able to grocery shop well. I scan the aisles for anything that might be edible . . . or safe to eat. I search for items from small, local companies in order to avoid the unethical animal and human practices that the larger companies most probably are involved in.

Then, I began researching sunscreens. Now I know that there are problems with them, and they present themselves on my family's skin. Photo-unstable chemicals producing free radicals demonstrate themselves in bright red, bumpy rashes on us. The doctor said it was "normal" and to either live with it or try to find a sunscreen that doesn't do it.

This summer it was to the point where I had a decision to make: use a sunscreen that does more damage than good and causes us to break out in rashes or take our chances playing skin cancer roulette. We opted for the last and got a few bad burns.

With all my researching, I came across some physical blocking sunblocks and thought all my problems were solved. I even found one in a powered form that was perfect for putting overtop of makeup through out the day.

Until I realized that nanoparticles of Titanium Oxide and Zinc Oxide were in it. And in everything else cosmetic. Virtually every powder has it in it, and now pretty well every liquid foundation AND liquid sunscreen.

Is our society too scientifically ruthless? Do we can so much more about the immediate result (beautiful complexion, "tasty" food) than we do about the end result (skin cancer, organ toxicity, cruel and unethical treatment of animals and small businesses . . . even humans)?

Or, are we just so technilogically advanced that we have the time to develop these things . . . and then have extra time to find things that could be wrong with them? (Remember, once they said eggs were bad to eat, now they are okay . . . and caffeine is beneficial or not, depending on the study you read.)

Because if you take all these "studies" you will find yourself standing in a grocery store, surrounded by food . . . and yet you will be starving, afraid to eat. And in order to avoid sun damage you will be cooped up in your house with your blinds drawn because nothing is safe to wear outside.

I'm still undecided. In the mean time, I'm looking for some good local husbandry farmers and maybe a sunscreen with mostly physical blockers but lots of antioxidants in it. How about you?

The Other Pink Meat


After already being spooked by Food Inc, this was no surprise, but it was disturbing and nauseating none the less. Be sure to check out Jamie's Food Revolution clip.

Second Thoughts

Some time between lugging groceries (that included a turkey and lots of unbagged Costco items) across the torn up grand cayon that was my driveway while hurdling over the tall concrete block that is soon to be a sidewalk and walking the to the mailbox while "admiring" (and choking) on a sky filled with dust . . . I began to wonder if a new construction was really worth while.

I mean, really, did we think at all about our children and how it would affect them? And poor little Guillermo who no longer knows what grass is all about. I watch last night as he ran to something that looked like grass, but was covered in dust and construction scraps.

And this morning, well, this morning was fun. Hoisting garabage cans that are so heavy they should only be rolled because our garage is full of stuff, including a car, so our driveway can get done. And then trudging through the mountains of gravel/dirt, again carrying my garbage cans, to get things at the end of the "driveway" and find a spot amidst more mountains and cazms for garbage to sit properly.

To put it bluntly, it sucked. I mean, really sucked.

Then I watched as all the kids walked to the bus stop, deeking out construction trucks rolling by, and trying not to step in any of the foot deep mud that makes up the road (naturally, it would be rainy week) . . . it brought my spirits down even more.

To be honest, it was a hard decision as to where to move to: and which house to buy. Along the way, there have been several times where Brad and I have sat down and bantered about whether our first love would have been a better choice. Certainly, this summer without a/c and without grass for the kids to play on was a biggie. And the fact that we are no longer starting our office here, but closer to the other house. And then with every weekend bringing more "to-do's" to our list and looking at a partially finished kitchen and master suite, it isn't hard to pine for our lost bungalow.

Fortunately, the community has more than made up for most of these. The extra space immediately available in our five bedroom (as opposed to the three bedroom bungalow) is more than nice. The neighbours, they are simply wonderful. And I can't even being to talk about how much we love the location in relation to anywhere we want to go . . . or the grocery store at the corner.

Yes, for the most part, the decision has been good. And I think that once everything is done, it will feel better.

But, for today, and several parts through out this year, my heart aches a little for the "normal" life we could have had.

October 2, 2010

Learning the Ropes

To pass the time without Dad, I loaded up the kids in the van and drove out to a local conservation area where the township was hosting a "Fall Fest" family day.

Even though we made it one hour later than planned (I wanted to be there the minute it opened), we had no trouble getting on any equipment. It seems that everyone slept in or had something else to do on their Saturday mornings. It worked well for us.

The kids were able to walk right onto the jumping castle and have races up the wall and down the slide. (Sorry, no pics, just video and my a/v skills are not up to snuff . . . well, truthfully, I haven't even tried to figure it out. Maybe one day . . . )

Next we ventured over to rock climbing wall. Jayden was confident that he could handle it since he had previously been to a rock climbing party last year. Jackson, was eager to try so they skipped off to the "harness tent."

Suiting up.
Testing the equipment.
Learning the "ropes" of climbing . . . aka learning the lingo and safety tips.

Belay-On? On-Belay!

Jayden was right. He was a master at rock climbing. Seriously, I was impressed. I remembered the parent of the child's birthday commented on what a great climber he was and figured he was just good for his age. Not even. He could kick any expert climber's butt. Well, almost any. ;)

Jackson did really well too. For being five, and not scared, he was pretty good. His counter-climbing to the cookie cupboard experience paid off . . . but coming down was a lot more fun!

Next we moved onto the high ropes course. (No sense in starting at the low ones!)

Jackson was up first on the catwalk. He climbed up the ladder pretty well (again, those counter-climbing skills coming in handy) but looked down too often and got scared. (Maybe that's what I need to do . . . make my counters 15 ft high!)

After a bit of "practice falling" so that he knew he wouldn't fall to the ground, he started up again and got higher . . . but still, the height got to him. Down he came.

Jayden originally wanted to go on the "swings" but was talked out of it by a 9 year old girl who said even her 11 year old sister had trouble. He thought it prudent to start himself on the catwalk too.

He seemed cool as a cucumber up there . . . but once he came down he confessed as to how scary it was.

Coming down is just so much fun!

Just for some perspective of what they did today.

My little "rope" men.
(This photo is for those of you who wondered why I posted the other one . . . we are now entering the man-photo-aversion phase of life.)