My Best Friends Wedding.

Mar 31, 2014

One of my best friends got married last weekend. We have been friends since grade one. That is 26 years of friendship people! We have gone through so much together and have remained friends through it all. Megan and Keven have been together for I think 9 years, have two beautiful kids, and have bought a house, so for them to finally make it official is really, really exciting. The girls and I went to the wedding ceremony, and then our whole family went to the dinner and dance. It was such a great day. Megan looked beautiful, the food was great, and I had so much fun celebrating with Megs. Ryan took the kids home around 9:30, but I stayed and danced until after 1:00am. I had the best time. I drove the bride and groom home afterwards so I didn't get home until 2:30am. I was definitely feeling that in the morning. I really had the best time. It felt like we were 23 again:) I am so incredibly happy for Megs and her cute lil family. I am so grateful for her friendship over the years and am looking forward to a lifetime of memories with her. Love you Megs.

While the girls and I were at the wedding ceremony, the boys were at Nate's Kub Car Rally winning first place! Ryan felt bad because he hadn't had time to paint designs on the car or personalize it, but maybe that worked out for the best because he won every single race he was in. I think it was out of around 40 cars. He got a cool trophy and was pretty excited.

Helen Schuler.

Mar 13, 2014

A couple of weeks ago I got to go on a field trip to the Helen Schuler Nature Center with McKenna and her class. I love going on field trips with my kids and try to sign up when ever I can. I think its a great way to see how your child interacts with his/her peers and with their teachers. Plus it helps me get to know the kids in their classes and see who they are playing with. It was really cold and snowy when we went. Thank goodness we didn't spend too much time outside. It was seriously really cold. McKenna has a great class with tons of good kids. We had a lot of fun.

McKenna Ray

McKenna just turned 6. She is such a cute, sweet, and petite little thing. We sure love her around here. She is such a good big sister and loves playing with Hayley. I love that even though they are 3 and a half years apart they still love to spend time with one another. She loves Kindergarten and is such a social butterfly. She is always telling me who she "hung" out with at school and is always asking for play dates. She listens and learns well at school and knows all her letters and is excited to start learning how to read. She still lets me dress her every morning and lets me do her hair the way I want. I love it. I hope it will last a couple more years. She takes Ballet and Tap and is really starting to excel in both. She is quite active and likes to be outside riding her bike or playing on the trampoline and swing set. Earlier in the school year she got a little crush on one of the boys in her class and would call him her boyfriend. But the other day she informed me that he is no longer her boyfriend because every time he is next to her in line he says "boo" to her and she thinks its annoying. Ha. I hope she always realizes that boyfriends are more annoying then fun when you are young. She still loves to spend time with her Mom and really listens to me and takes what I say to heart. I hope this will last forever.

I sure love you McKenna! You are an important part of this family.



Mar 1, 2014

Ryan and McKenna both had birthday's in February. We had Ryan's family over one night to celebrate. We had a nice ham and baked potato dinner and my sister in-laws brought cupcakes. It was a really nice evening. Ryan went snowmobiling with a friend on his birthday, and then we went to a movie together. We went and saw Saving Mr. Banks. It was really good. McKenna got a Disney Princess lego set, and some treats for her birthday. Her and I ended up going to my friend Megan's shower on her birthday. Megan has a daughter a couple years younger but the two play really well together. We both had so much fun celebrating with Megan and her family and friends. Megan and I have been friends since grade one, so it is really neat to see our daughters playing together now. I even let McKenna eat like 5 cupcakes because it was her birthday. I am so happy for Megan and her cute little family. Its exciting that they are making it official next month and I can't wait to celebrate with them.

It was also my good friend Devon's birthday. Megan arranged for a surprise dinner with all of Devon's friends. We all met at Hudson's and waited for Devon to arrive. The surprise was ruined because Devon recognized all of our vehicles in the parking lot. It was fun to celebrate with her. The food is so good at Hudson's. It was a really fun night.

Valentine's Day

Yikes. I'm getting quite behind again. Hopefully I can get caught up in the next couple of days.

I'm not a huge lover of Valentine's Day. But this year was extra fun. I decided to do something more creative with the kids Valentine's cards instead of just buying one's from the store. I found a printable that I liked and just had to buy glow sticks from the dollar store. It was really easy. Here they are:

So cute. McKenna had a boxed social for her V party . All the girls decorated a box and then we put a little snack for two inside. All the boys (plus 2 girls to make it even) brought a toonie and then bid on a box without knowing who's it was, and then they shared the snack in the box. It is such a cute little idea. I loved decorating the box with McKenna. She dressed up really cute for her party. I felt like I was sending her on her first date. I tried to make the box appeal to the boys, but one of the girl's bought her box. She had fun sharing it with her little friend. I'm sad Hayley won't get the same party. Its going to be hard to send her to public Kindergarten after all my other three went to Miss Pati's.

All the kids loved their parties. I got invited to my friend Devon's house for a girls Valentine's Party. It was so fun and she had her house decorated so cute. She had a hot chocolate bar, and lots of yummy snacks. It was fun to visit with good friends. Devon made us really cute mugs to take home as well.

It was really fun to celebrate this year. Ryan and I didn't really do anything, but I don't think we need to do something every year. Makes it even more fun and special when we do celebrate.

P.s. My husband just kindly reminded me that we did celebrate Valentine's Day...this is what happens when I don't blog right away, I forget important things. My sister took the kids and Ryan made me a fantastic dinner. I relaxed while he cooked stuffed chicken, rice, and made a spinach salad. It was so delicious. We also had some martinelli's. It was perfect. I can't believe I forgot about it. Then we just sat and talked for awhile before we went to pick up the kids. It was a really nice evening. Thanks for the reminder Ry.

Ty and other news.

Jan 31, 2014

I can't believe its the last day in January. I will be so happy when winter is over.

Ty turned seven this month. We had lunch and brownie with the Olsen's and then we had a nice ham and potato dinner at my Grandpa and Grandma Shurtz's with the Malacko's. Ty had a great day and was excited to receive Disney xfinity on xbox and some pop and a chocolate bar. Ty is my ball full of energy. He is always going and wants something fun to do all the time. He loves playing outdoors and loves to play with friends. He is doing well in school and has improved so much on his reading. I hope this will get him more excited about reading and that he will want to do that more. He is funny and witty and is always making us laugh. He is quite street smarts. I am sometimes surprised at some of the things he catches onto. He has a great memory. He loves one on one time with his Mom and Dad and is always asking to go on a date with one of us. He wants to be good at everything. He has a good work ethic and works really hard to master something he is interested in. If he is not interested then it is a different story. Then it is really hard to motivate him into doing it. He is in gymnastics right now and is doing awesome. He excels at head stands. He will start baseball in the spring and get back into swimming lessons. He will try anything, and he is definitely my best eater. We sure love this little boy!

McKenna started skating with her Kindergarten class this month. She is doing awesome and is not afraid to get out there and try. I skated with her the first two times but now she is out there on her own. Hayley and I like to watch her. Sometimes we'll hit up Tim Horton's when she is finished.

Hayley loves this dress. She spent all day in it.

Love this girls curls right after she gets out of the tub. Then it dry's and it is a nightmare. Just a ball of crazy fuzz.

These two girls keep me busy each day. I sure love the way they play together.

and don't worry, its just Hayley...

Weekend getaway.

Jan 21, 2014

A couple of months back Ryan and I had our 10 year anniversary. We decided we were going to go to Las Vegas in February to celebrate, but then as time passed we got responsible and decided that putting that money towards debt was a better idea. Then one of the home builders that Ryan does soil bearing tests for sends a bunch of people to Kalispell for their Christmas party. We had to pay $100 for two nights in a really nice hotel, and then we got 2 free breakfasts and a really nice dinner. We decided to take advantage and went this past weekend. McKenna went to Adam and Britt's and the other three went to the farm. It was so nice to get away for the weekend just the two of us.

We made it to Kalispell on Friday right around dinner time so we went to eat at the Mackenzie River Pizza Company, which was really, really good. Then we checked into the hotel and just watched t.v and lounged for the evening. They were having a poker tournament in one of the ball rooms but we had no desire to check it out. We did a little shopping at Target on Saturday and went for lunch at Hu-Hot, another favourite of ours. Its all you can eat stir fry. Then we went to a movie in the afternoon. We went and saw Jack Ryan and it was really good. We had some time to kill before the movie after lunch so we went into the big sports store and I ended up finding a new winter coat. It was the last one and it was my size and was on sale. It felt like it was meant to be. I've had the same coat for like 15 years, so I am very excited about this new one. I really, really love it. After the movie we went back to the hotel and started getting ready for the big dinner and dance that the home builder puts on. The food was amazing and we had a lot of fun at the dance. I love to dance. Ryan isn't much of a dancer but I got him out on the dance floor a couple of times. We stayed until midnight. When we left there were still a lot of people there. I don't know how they do it. Up all night partying and drinking. Its crazy. I was done by midnight and ready to go to sleep. We slept in Sunday morning and then packed up and headed home. It was Ty's birthday so we wanted to get home so we could spend his birthday with him. We had a really amazing time. My favourite thing was just relaxing and not having a busy schedule. It was so nice. We definitely want to make it a tradition and do it again next year. So I guess we will count that as our anniversary celebration. It was perfect.


Jan 6, 2014

We rang the new year in with Roy and Connie out at the farm. It was really relax and chill. The kids were all in bed by 10:30pm and us adults played card games until midnight, said Happy New Year and then went to bed. It was nice.

I love the beginning of a new year. Making new goals and plans for the year and for our future. 2013 was such a good year for us and I'm expecting 2014 to be even better. Since we bought our house and I quit my job I've been having a hard time realizing that I can't quite live and spend like I use to. I am now ready to stop being in denial and start pulling up my socks and putting all of our extra money into our debt. I am ready to focus and sacrifice so that we can get that burden off of our shoulders. So that is what this year is for us. To go crazy on our debt snowball. It will feel so good to have more financial freedom and to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course I have the obvious goal of getting into shape and eating healthy. Ryan and I got ourselves a Blendtec for Christmas so we plan on drinking a lot of green smoothies. I also want to read more this year and spend more time just hanging out and playing with my kids. Sometimes I think I can be one of those trendy fashionable, crafty Mother's with beautifully decorated homes but I always end up feeling bad about myself and I know its because I've never been one of those people (I think they're great) but its just not me, and when I really take a moment to think about it, I don't really care to be. Sometimes the pressure of social media gets to me. What I love more then anything is being active and spending time doing fun things with my family. So that is what I'm focusing on this year. I'm going to worry less about having my house perfect and looking perfect and more on having fun. This is the time when I can do it, so I need to. Its going to be a fun year!

I also have some spiritual goals. The main one making it to the temple way more often with Ryan. We've really been slacking on that. And also really strengthening my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I feel like I've focused so much on my Saviour that I've kind of forgotten I need a strong relationship with my Heavenly Father as well.

So I just want to say Happy New Year! I hope that 2014 is your best year yet!

Christmas Letter 2013

Jan 4, 2014

Winter has just barely started and I’m already feeling like spring can’t come fast enough. It might have something to do with the -44 degree weather we’ve been having. It is so cold. We have had a really fun year. We started it by going to Disneyland. We had the best time and are looking forward to going again in a few years. That is where the picture on our Christmas card was taken. We talk about our trip all the time. It definitely was the highlight of our year.
 Hayley is two years old and is growing up way too fast. She talks very well and loves to be around her family. She calls everyone her favorite right now. “that is my favorite Ty…” etc. She loves to do puzzles and play with her dolls. She loves watching Dora the Explorer and Mickey Mouse clubhouse, and has started playing hide n seek with her siblings. She is so sweet and cute, and just so much fun to have around. She is still our little baby and loves to cuddle with her Mommy and Daddy. 2014 will be a big year for her. She will be learning to use the potty, live without her soother, and sleep in a big girl bed. Wish us all luck!
McKenna started Kindergarten in the Fall and will turn 6 in February. She loves school and is a social butterfly. After I pick her up she has to tell me who she hung out with, and every day without fail she tells me it was the “best day ever.” She is starting to sing more and is still in dance. She takes ballet and tap. She is really excited about learning her letters and learning how to read. She usually spends her afternoons playing with Hayley or the neighbour boy and loves to watch Netflix. She is always willing to help her Mama and takes good care of her little sister.
Ty started grade one and will be 7 in January. He is so happy to be at the same school as Nate. They are good friends and will even play together at recess. He is also very social and always wants to tell me about his day. He is our little chatterbox. He is quite witty too and has a good sense of humor. I could probably write a book about the creative and funny things that he says. He is interested in a lot of things and wants to be good at everything. We are starting with gymnastics, baseball, and swimming lessons. He loves to be outside and still loves to help his Dad work. He is doing well with his reading and is starting to read beginner level books really well.
Nate started off the year by being baptized. It was a really special day for him and we are all very proud of him. He started taking cubs and is excited about earning some badges. He started grade 3 and will turn 9 in 5 days. He is excelling in his studies this year and had his best report card to date. He is really coming into his own these past few months and is more confidant and more courageous. He loves to read, write stories, and has gotten the film making and directing bug from his cousin Ben. They love to act out plays and create stories. They have some really great apps on our Ipad for him to experiment with. He still loves to read and is going through a star wars phase.

Ryan and I just had our 10 year anniversary. That is a decade people! Ryan has been given more responsibility at work and has been very busy. He has been helping his Dad out quite a bit this year on the renovations they are doing to their home, and is getting excited about building us a home one day, and already has a house plan drawn up. I started cleaning Ryan’s office building every other weekend, and am babysitting my friends 3 children one afternoon a week. It is nice to be making a little bit of my own money.  We love playing cards in the evenings and love watching movies together in bed. We are hoping to start finishing off our basement this year by doing the framing and dry walling.

We have had a fun year spending time with our kids. They are getting big enough to do more things with, and it is easier to be spontaneous and more adventurous with them. We are all very excited about Christmas and all the traditions and time spent with family. We hope this holiday season brings you much happiness and that 2014 will be your best year yet!

Love you all
The Olsen’s,

Ryan, Kelli, Nate, Ty, McKenna, and Hayley

Malacko Christmas.

Jan 3, 2014

But before that we had a big Chinese dinner with all the Shurtz clan on the 27th. We went a bit earlier so we could enjoy lunch with our friends the Pratt's. We don't see them very often so it was nice to visit with them and their sweet family full of cute little girls. Then we headed over to the church to play volleyball, basketball, sit and visit while the kids ran around with all their cousin's. It is always so good to see everyone and watch all of our lives change and our families grow. We ate chinese and then took some family pictures. Its been awhile since we got any of the whole family. A picture was being taken of my grandparents with their children and I was hit really hard with the fact that Mom wasn't there. Its been awhile since I've been hit so hard that I couldn't control my emotions. Tears streamed down my face as those who could see looked at me a bit weird wondering what I could possibly be crying about. Its been almost 6 years. Sometimes I get annoyed or irritated, or even sad because we don't see the Shurtz's very often anymore. And I understand why completely. We've grown so big and its hard to get everyone together, but sometimes its like pulling teeth to get everyone out. And while everyone likes doing stuff with their individual families and that's great, they might forget that they are my family's connection to my Mother. That through them we remember her and feel close to her. For me anyway. I wonder what will happen when my Grandparents pass on...will our family be forgotten. Wow. I really didn't mean to vent that. The words just kept coming. Now I know my Grandmother will be reading this so I want her to know that I'm not talking about her. She always makes me feel loved and remembered. And not to worry, these are just some of my insecurities creeping out. Moving on...

The next day we headed out to my Dad's to have our Malacko Christmas. The kids got great gifts. The boys were very spoiled and got a combined birthday and Christmas gift and got their own tablets. They are very excited. It took Ty a minute to realize what it was. He opened the case for it first and then when he opened the box with the tablet Nate said its a tablet and they both got excited, then Britteni said "oh that's a case for your tablet" Ty said "I don't have a tablet." We all laughed pretty hard. Mckenna got a Princess Sofia dress, and some My Little Pony toys, and Hayley got a dora backpack and doctor's kit. They all were so pleased with their gifts. We had a great time the two nights we stayed over. We played lots of games and ate delicious food, and got to go to the Science Centre and tobogganing.