Sunday, March 6, 2016

Celebrating My Dad Today

Happy Birthday, Dad! 


My Mum and Dad today.  They look good, right?

Today we celebrated my Dads birthday. I know some people really hate their age. Mostly because at some point we realize that we are no longer wishing to be older. We've accomplished all of the fun milestones and we feel content and happy with the 30 something age group.  I'm not sure why, but the number of my age has never really bothered me. Maybe it's because I've never really looked my age, and now I take it as a health challenge to not "look" my age. Whatever that really means. At some point, people stop looking an age. They either start looking older or don't seem to age much.

So today, my Dad turned 72.  I know this number should seem old but when I see my dad I don't see someone that fits that age description. He has shown me that age really is just a number and not one that should define you. I wish all of you could get to know him, but that might be a challenge. My dad is an introvert and takes a little time to get to know but once you do you would see what I see and how blessed I am to have him as my dad. He's not perfect but he's been a good dad. I think I'll keep him.

For his 70th birthday, a couple of years ago, we (my brothers and I) each wrote him a letter about who he is to us.  It's funny how even though you grow up in the same house, you can have vastly different experiences and memories.  I thought I'd share with you my letter to my dad.  It's my way of showing you what a great guy he is.  So Happy Birthday , Dad! And I'm sorry if this post embarrasses you.  I wanted everyone to have a glimpse at your awesomeness!


Todays standards of what makes a man are probably the most blurred as they have ever been.  There are always “those people” that will criticize and judge your actions.  Everyone has in their own mind, what they view as a hero.  If you look at history though, people have revered those that have remained strong during adversity, have known when to allow their moments of weakness to show, to 
be the voice that they can hear that leads them, to know when to be the calm in the storm.  

I'm sure when you saw me those 40 years ago, you thought “Wow!  She’s beautiful!  Look at her!  Oh my!”  and then followed by maybe a little bit of internal panic and “Holy smokes what am I going to do with a girl!??”  Don’t worry.  I’m ok with that.  Just keeps you on your toes!
Here just came your storm!  Just kidding.  I was the easy one!

You became a dad to a girl and with a little help, started to figure out what that meant.  Now this isn’t going to be about a dad who had tea parties or played dolls with his daughter, but about MY dad.  You.  I never really liked playing dolls anyway!

I think we figured out early on that the way we can talk to each other is through sports and your work as a veterinarian.  Now, this isn’t saying we couldn’t communicate about other things, but that this was where we connected.  I loved throwing the ball around with you.  I loved playing on the same team as you. I loved watching you play ball. I loved working with you after school. To this day, when I see the International Coffee ads it takes me back to working at the clinic. Remember how stained those coffee mugs were?  Huh.  Anyway, I digressed.  More recently, you became my running partner and then my Crossfit partner.  I can’t tell you how special that time was for me.  Running with my dad. Lifting weights with my dad.  That’s not something you had the time for when I was younger, but now, now is a new season.  I have loved this season with you.  I was always proud of you, but now, as an adult I realized something.  I think that even though I am the girl you weren’t sure what to do about.  We get each other.  I think with sports and hard work, we are more alike than what I thought. It didn’t become clear to me until we were doing Crossfit together.  Thank you for that.  Thank you for that tenacity and perseverance that you have shown and that you have given to me.  Some people may call it stubbornness but I choose to see the better side of it! :D

My dad WAS,

the person that taught me the right way to throw a ball.
the man that made sure to tell me he loved me almost everyday.
the one that was my calm, quiet place. 
the one who shared his love for the outdoors with us.
that taught me to change my own spare tire.
that taught me that I can take care of myself.  I didn’t need a guy to rescue me.
the one that demonstrated to his children his faithfulness to God.
the guy that knew just the right words to say to make me feel safe.
the one that wrote me my first poem.
my example of a Godly husband.
the one that could crush me with the 3 words, “I’m disappointed in you.”
but also made sure to tell me, “You’ve done good kid” and “I’m proud of you."

My dad IS,

still someone that tells me he loves me.
someone that I am proud of.
Someone that I am in awe of. 
my workout partner
the guy to call to talk about baseball/football
the one that is still a calm quiet place.  
A great Papa.
My Friend.
My Hero.

You have faced adversity and struggles in life and while maybe you’re not perfect (you’re not?  jk), you have remained steadfast and true through it all.
You have been my calm in the storm more times than I can count and I’m sure you were not really all that calm in my early 20’s but you had me fooled.  Your voice is what lead me out of darkness when I was lost and broken. And YOU can climb a rope, run, lift weights and do Double Unders at the young age of 70!  You didn’t let the diabetes define who you are.  You fought for your marriage and showed us kids what the vows mean. 
Dad, you are MY hero. This.  It’s so short, when I have a lifetime of memories and thoughts and it’s impossible to tell you how much I love you.  

So, a toast to you.  My dad.  My hero.
This is my Dad, people! This was his first try and he made it to the top.  It takes me longer to tie my shoes! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Birthday Present For Dad

Happy Birthday to the greatest guy that I know!  Happy 40th Birthday!

GO to this link to see what the kids and I did for Jeremy for his birthday today.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

First Annual Table for 5 Scavenger Hunt


 I promise, we didn't tag this ourselves!

Most families take to the roads this long weekend.  They spend their time together hiking, camping, barbecuing or something along those lines.  I hate camping on these long weekends.  Everyone seems to be out on the roads, campgrounds are loud and crowded. Honestly it doesn't do anything but put me in a crabby mood. Camping with a toddler who can't sleep due to someone partying it up at the next campsite over isn't my kind of fun!

The hubs is going to be heading out of town today for 5 days so we wanted to spend some quality family time before he left.  I have always loved scavenger hunts.  Really!  It's also been a great way to occupy the time of my older kids when I just need a break.  Each of my kids has a camera so we do picture scavenger hunts.  I have sent them out in the snow to walk around the block to take pictures of various things and actions that I have quickly jotted down on paper.  

Today, since it's a holiday.  Memorial Day weekend to be exact.  I felt it was a time to put some of our hometown things on film.  We will be moving away sometime soon, (we don't really know when) so we went on a photo scavenger hunt so the kids will have pictures of places that they have been to or that have been a part of their lives the past 6 years.

The hubby and I took a lot of their pictures because one of my requirements is that they be in the photos.  Although there is the occasional, ok often, picture of the random car or grass but I'm not going to post those!  So here goes.  Enjoy our Scavenger Hunt.  It took us 3 hours, one lunch break, one trip to a museum and a whole lot of pictures!  

First stop.  Our front door!
Someone is so excited!

Second stop.  Where the kids have their sports and sledding hill!

Where they both learned how to ride their bikes.  Around and around the track.
Ok, so we throw in a simple find too.  They needed to find some flowers.  Lilacs!

Next clue was to find the steam plant.  The kids were stumped until they caught a glimpse of the tower.  Do you see it?  Peanut took this pic.

Along the way.  Ok, I asked them to hug each other, but at least they are still smiling!

Not to be left out.

They found it!

Whoo Hoo!  They all took turns standing on this guard rail.
Even Sweet T

Next stop.  The Hall on campus that Peanut had her dance recital.

1 of 2 sculptures they had to find.

 Historic Arch.  Did you know it's only a replica and not the original?  It's only 3/4 the size of the original.  I guess I was expecting the original.  Still really cool though.

 Not the historic arch.  But fun to climb through!

2nd sculpture they had to find

Next on our hunt was the Conner Museum.  Pretty cool!

Next clue was: Through something you can see the sky.  Looking in to the skylight.  I love that I can see my little photographer in this pic.

Martin Stadium.  Another stop.

Last destination.  The Cougar.  Yay!

And another picture of another sculpture.  Why not?

We had a lot of fun and arrived back home tired but had a great time.  No fighting and lots of smiles!

Here are a couple more pics of our adventure.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

To My Sweet T

Things that I want to remember and I know that I will forget.  The things that make up who she is right now.  The funny sayings and quirky sense of humor she has. 

 All of these things I have sworn with each of my kids, that I will NEVER forget.  Then time passes and I have found it interesting to hear my husbands stories of each child.  I sometimes wonder if I was even there because some of the stories sound so foreign or like they are someone else's life.  The very things that I promised I wouldn't forget are lost somewhere in the recesses of my brain.  Maybe due to sleep deprivation or just the simple fact that,  as much as I want to cling to everything that makes them unique and absolutely endearing, it's just not possible.  

Sweet T has made our family complete.  The missing link in our family.  The fine line between the yin and yang that makes the differences in her older siblings meet.  She is a true blend of all of us in the family.  She is sugar AND spice.

I want to remember how smart she is at almost 2.  How aware she is of what is going on around her. When the rest of us would be scrambling all over the house looking for the lost object and then she would inevitably bring it to us or point it out to us.  How did this 1 year old know?  Is it because we still think of her as our baby?  Yes, OUR baby.  All 4 of us has laid claim to this little girl.  
My son adores her and makes her laugh, but it's what she does for him that   makes me admire what  this 2 year old can do.  Unlike her older sister, she can get her brother to willingly ask her to play with her dollhouse with him.  WHAT?  Yes, my son, my  Lego building boy has uttered this sentence a time or two. "Want to play with your doll house with me?"  Ah the power of a 2 year old.  Her face lights up and I'm convinced that is all that it takes to bend him to her will.  I've never seen it before.  He is not a child that I have EVER been able to make to do something, but our two year old can.  
My 6 year old daughter loves having a playmate to play dolls with and dress up.  She is teaching our Sweet T the fine art of pretend.  The rules of the game.  To just "pretend" to eat the fake food.  Don't really eat it.  Playing house and zoo.  This is a game that I love to watch.  My Peanut is fantastic at it and she has quite the imagination.  We have a lion costume that I picked up after Halloween a few years ago.  One day I hear Peanut yell, "Oh no!"  I had to wait for the rest of it,  I was concerned until I heard, " The lions have gotten out at the zoo!  They are running around everywhere!"  To my surprise, my 2 year old was running through the kitchen and dining room growling and roaring.  I laughed so hard!  Oh my!  When did this toddler get to be a kid?  Where did my baby go?  

I wish I could give you a view into what I get to see everyday.  My kids are amazing, funny and creative.  Here is what I want you to know about Sweet T.  The things that I don't want to forget.
Sweet T
1.  When you are looking for someone, you cup your hands around your mouth and holler. Yes holler, "Are you?" It's so cute.  As in, "Where are you?"
2.  If someone is crying, particularly one of your sibs, you rush over to them to kiss their owie.
3. You are seriously funny!  We laugh all of the time because of your humor.
4. When we ask you how old you are, you hold up 2 fingers and say, "9"
5.  You are outgoing and say, "hi" to everyone.  
6.  You give smooches.  Lip smacking smooches.  It's really cute.  
7.  You love LOVE Yo Gabba Gabba!
8.  You have a big stubborn streak and have been throwing tantrums since you were 14 months old.  
9. You are also easily distracted so when you are throwing a tantrum I can usually get you interested in something else.
10.  Your vocabulary is unending.  You will try any word. Play and Pray are the same sounding word and we have been known to tell you no, to Praying at bedtime because we thought you were asking to play.  PAY.  

Freshly bathed and in matching outfits Nana made.  Look at these 3!  Ah, I love them!

I don't know what to say about this one!

We had a yogurt bar at her birthday party.  Birthday Parfait and some juice.

So excited that she now has her own dollhouse!

Legos from Gramma and Grampa.  They Skyped in on the party.

Yay!  A dump truck!

A little unsure of the candles.  But can't wait to eat the cake!


Still eating.  Still Yummy.  Coconut cake with mandarin filling.  SO good!

Finally, on this day, April 14, 2012, I want you to know that you are loved.  You have Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents and a cousin,  Monkey and Peanut and Mama and Daddy that love you SOOOOO much!

We love you, Sweet T!  Here's looking forward to this coming year!  Don't grow up too fast.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Stickiness

One week until Easter.  I have to say that all of the Easter prep is always a lot of work for me.  Maybe it's because it usually falls close enough to several birthdays that it's about all I can do to buy the ham and get the girls their dresses.  I must confess that it's been a few years since we have colored eggs.  *gasp*  I know!  What kind of memories are my kids making?  So in an effort to make some sort of moment and also to find another activity for them to do on Spring break, I tried making fondant.
Getting our hands very messy and greasy with Crisco and powdered sugar!

I love the look on Monkey's face!  He hates to get his hands messy.  He even hates the feel of lotion!

This may seem bizarre.  I hate to bake.  I do it when my husband drops enough hints that he would really like some warm chocolate chip cookies, but he usually makes them himself.  Sometimes I think about it, but I really don't like to bake.  I bake the kids their cakes or cupcakes for their birthdays and those I do willingly and I find that I like doing that for them, but really that is it.  So, I will NEVER be the one that offers to bring a dozen cookies to the bake sale.  Ever!

Look at how much fun they are having!

So back to the fondant.  My Sweet T is going to be turning 2 in 2 weeks and I have been thinking about what do bake.  It's something that I start thinking about months in advance so I can gear myself up to it.  I have been on Pinterest so much  lately looking at these amazing fondant cakes and cupcakes ( and they look so fun.  I thought that maybe the big kids would like to help me make it.  So this week was the test run.  Kind of fun.  A little like play-doh.

As the cupcakes were cooling off, I rolled out the fondant.  We, (the kids) had decided to try a light orange or peach color for the fondant.  I had thought I was using my round cake pans for the cakes but then realized that they were in storage. (When staging your house for a move you eliminate all but the necessary!) So the cake became cupcakes.
I decided that it might be cute to make the cupcakes into individual eggs and the kids could decorate their own "eggs".  Kill 2 birds with one stone!  Wahoo!

So here is the collection of our creations.  The older two kids and me and then the hubby had to make his own.  Don't mind the cupcake that is an eyeball, the other two are truly Easter related!

So with 5 days left until Easter, I have started on the decorating track.  Now, something for tomorrow that helps the kids remember what the meaning of Easter really is.  Not the Easter bunny.  Oh, I saw this picture on pinterest.

Next year I am so going to do this.  I think it's a pretty center piece.  What do you do for Easter?