May Long Weekend.

May 20, 2015

Right before the long weekend McKenna had her school talent show. We had a ward talent show in the Fall where I taught a bunch of girls a tap number from McKenna's previous year end show so we decided to do that one again with a couple of the same girls. We practiced and then the girls had to audition. They did awesome and made it into the talent show. They did such a good job in the show. They new all the steps and didn't need to look to me for any help. I was really proud. And they were the cutest one's by far.

Speaking of dance McKenna got her ADAPT exam reports back. We had never done them before so I had no idea what to expect. Its kind of like a school report card where they assess you on a bunch of things like technique, floor work, centre work, and then give you an overall grade report. She did really well on both for being so young and doing them for the first time. For tap (which she's been taking for almost 3 years) they said she knew the steps very well and timing was very nice for her age. She needs to work on keeping her chin up and keeping all her sounds loud and sharp, and to smile. She got a Commended Plus which is 80-84%. For Jazz (this is the first year she's taken it) they said her work at barre must be sharper, and in center work steps had nice control and neatness. She got a Commended grade which is 75-79%. I thought she did great. She loved doing it and was happy with her reports. Its nice to know what she can improve upon too. We will definitely continue doing exams each year. I think its a great way to build confidence and learn more about technique and find ways to improve.

Now onto the long weekend. We really didn't have much planned besides working on the house. We are just waiting on carpet, then we can move the boys downstairs. I cannot wait to have my house back and nicely organized again. Then Ryan needs to do a few things in the yard before we are ready to list it. The girls and I did go see Cinderella at the theatre. We all loved the movie. It was super cute.

My flash may be a little too bright for them lol. Sunday the boys and I went out to Raymond to hang out with my family. The boys love playing with their Shurtz cousins and I had a nice time visiting. We stayed way too late but had so much fun. McKenna stayed home because she had a fever. Ryan and Hayley kept her company but she was pretty bummed she couldn't come. Monday was another busy day working on the house. It was really nice to have a couple extra days to work on it. We had my family come in for a BBQ because Ryan had to try out his new grill he got for Father's Day. Yes we are big on early presents around here. The weather was nice and it was fun starting the BBQ season off. We love spending time with family.

The kids had Tuesday off too which was really nice. I am lacking just as much or even more motivation then they are for school. We are ready for summer. Please teachers, stop sending home reading, and spelling tests, and any other assignments because we probably won't get them done. We are all exhausted and over anything school. Just trying to keep it together until summer holidays.

I have to say I am really impressed with Nate. He has become so interested in basketball and is out in our driveway non stop practicing and playing. He has improved so much and is getting really good. I love that he is pushing himself and working very hard. We just registered both boys up for football starting in the Fall and they are really excited. Ty is constantly putting on his helmets and pads and Nate is doing this:

He wants to bulk up for football and basketball:) I love watching my kids work hard and excel at something. Being a Mom is the best. Hope you all enjoyed your long weekend.

Why I Blog.

May 15, 2015

Social media is dominating our world right now. It is very enticing to connect with everyone (and I literally mean everyone) to share information, ideas's, or just promote how incredibly awesome we are:) Some people are very into it and have accounts with every social media program available and some stay far far away from such programs like its the plague. I, like I think the majority of us, have a few of my favourite's that I put time and energy in to. I have a facebook account but actually put very little time into it. I check it once a day to see if I have any alerts, to check important groups that I belong to and I post my blog entries for family and friends. I really don't spend too much time on there, but still use it a little to connect with others so don't want too get rid of it completely.

I love instagram. I love sharing my life with others through pictures and video's. I love that I can follow some celebrities lives that I find uplifting and exciting, and stay connected with friends and family. I usually make a video of all my instagram pics that I posted in a year. Its fun to look back and watch them. But my favourite one is blogging. I started blogging 6 1/2 years ago and have printed 6 journals from my blog entries. I have always been a journal keeper but this has taken it to a whole new level. Like most of us, I have things I want to say, things I want to learn from, memories I want to keep, moments I want to remember, and things I'd like to share with my family and especially with my kids. Blogging for me has been the best way for me to do that. Its super easy. A place where I can organize my thoughts and post pictures and then make a book out of it that my whole family can enjoy. I've been asked how I find the time and its really quite simple. I enjoy it and I think its important, so I make the time. We all have different priorities and this is one of mine. So, to end this blog post sooner then later...why do I blog?

Its to write my family history. When I decide what to post on it isn't what I think will get the most likes, or comments but always something I want to remember or I want my kids and Ryan to know or remember. If I die at 50 like my Mother, or live a long life  my children, and their children, will have years and years of these books to learn and remember from. I can also look back 20 years from now and remember what my life was like "way back then". Bottom line...its MY journal, and I love doing it.

Mom's Day getaway 2015

May 11, 2015

My sister in-law Britt and I headed to Invermere, BC for a weekend getaway for Mother's Day. We left around noon on Friday. The drive was beautiful and as we chatted away the time went by quickly. We checked in to the hotel and then went into town for supper. We ate at a delicious restaurant that makes Middle Eastern cuisine called Safta's. It was yummy. Then we headed to Radium to enjoy the hot springs. It was a beautiful evening. I just love being in a place surrounded by mountains.

We got up the next morning and headed into town. We walked down the main street and looked in the shops lining the street. We had to go into the bakery and try the Cronuts. I've heard about these things but haven't seen them where I live. Its a donut and croissant in one. They were seriously to die for. One of the best donuts I have ever had. We walked down by Lake Windermere and sat on the beach for a while. It was a gorgeous day. We went and had lunch at a yummy pizzaria and then went back to a couple of shops to get some souvenirs. I got the kids some different chocolate bars and rootbeer. I remember every time my Mom traveled anywhere she would bring us something back. I loved sitting down as she unpacked her luggage just waiting to see what goodies she brought back for all of us. I want to keep that tradition going and do the same for my kids. It was a hot afternoon so we headed back to the hotel and hung out at the pool for the rest of the afternoon. I love laying in the sun and then cooling off in a pool and then laying in the sun..etc. It was such a nice relaxing afternoon. I even got a bit of a tan:) We even got to witness a wedding, which was literally going on like 10 steps away from the pool.

Morning cup of tea in bed. Perfect way to start the day

After the pool we showered and got dressed up nice and went for dinner at the hotel. The food was really good. Then we walked around the hotel grounds. We found a bouncy house and of course had to try it out. We had so much fun being silly. Then we went for one last dip in the hot tub before bed. It really was such an amazing day. Perfectly perfect in every way.

This beauty was to show off my tan line:)
The next morning we headed to the spa in the hotel for a mud bath and massage. It was the perfect way to end our getaway. Neither of us have ever had a mud bath before. It was not like I expected. I thought it would be thick but it was just a mud mixture in water so it was like taking a brown bath. It is supposed to release toxins in the body. It was nice and relaxing and of course the massage was amazing.

Sadly after that we had to pack up and head home. It was such an amazing weekend I could have stayed a few more days. But I missed Ryan and the kids and was excited to head back to them feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. It was the best mother's day ever. The only thing that would have made it better was if my Mom was there with us. We always went on girls weekends with her and my Gramma, sometimes my aunt and some cousins. They were always so fun. Its hard sometimes to see all the social media pictures and shout outs to all the Mom's because it just reminds me that mine is gone. It was a little depressing cause my photo albums are all packed away and I had a hard time finding any pictures of my Mom and I. But I am grateful for the memories that will always be a part of me. Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful Women! Britt, I had the most amazing time with you and am so happy that I can call you my sister and friend. And a shout out to Connie who came in and watched the kids Friday so that I could take off. Isn't being a Woman the best:)

And to Ryan, I couldn't be half the wife and Mother that I am without you by my side. Thanks for letting me take off for the weekend and for always being exactly what I need. Love you forever and always.

Busy week.

May 6, 2015

Life has become very busy. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. Most of it comes from our own decisions. I like being somewhat busy. Its just a matter of prioritizing and choosing the things that mean the most to our family. Ty started baseball last week. So we had two nights of baseball, two nights of dance, cubs and young woman's, which of course is on the same night as both baseball and dance, any spare time Ryan has (which hasn't been much lately) goes to working on the basement and yard. Then we have school homework, spelling tests, and reading. Ty is also in marathon training. Its amazing we have time to breathe!

Last Saturday was our busiest day for sure. The 3 older kids started swimming lessons,  McKenna has been getting prepared for her Tap and Jazz ADAPT exams so she had an extra practice to go to right after swimming, and then Ty had a baseball game in the afternoon. I was lucky to be able to get away in the evening and have a girls night with Mandy and Teale. We went out for dinner and then to a movie. I always have such an amazing time. I have always needed girlfriends in my life and these two are the best of the best. I sure am grateful for them and love spending time with them.

Sunday McKenna had her two ADAPT exams. It's the first time she's done them so I really wanted her to feel as little stress and pressure as possible. I made sure she knew to try her best and that it didn't matter how well she did. Its nice because they go into the room with 4 other kids from their class and do it all together. Their dance teacher had them all prepared so she felt really confidant. She was excited the whole time and came down happy and said she loved it. She really liked the examiner. I'm so glad it was a positive experience for her. She is in a class with a good group of kids and loves to go each week. I love being a dance Mom:) We went out to frozen yogurt as a family afterwards to celebrate. Its so fun and rewarding to watch your children's talents blossom and grow. That is why it is worth it to me when life gets busy like this. We are exhausted after that week but it was so rewarding and knowing it is only for a short time makes it easier. I really love the stage of life that I am in.

Watching baseball from my van because it was so cold and windy. Ty up to bat.

Ready for their tap exam

Ready for their jazz exam

Jazz hands


Apr 24, 2015

On Monday the kids had a P.D day. My two friends Teale and Mandy invited us to go to Writing-On-Stone. We all have kids around the same age and always have such a great time together. I really feel like our move to where we are was definitely inspired just so that I could meet these two girls. They are the best and I am so grateful for their friendship. Monday morning we packed up and headed out. We had such a great time and the weather was perfect. Such a beautiful, sunny day. I am a climber. I love to climb and heights do not bother me in the least. I really need to go when I don't have little kids to worry about and really hike those hoodoos. My three older kids are the same. They just go and I don't worry too much about them. Hayley too is a natural climber but of course I need to keep her by my side and help her, but I also had Will (the little 2 year old I babysit), so it made it harder to really enjoy the hoodoos. It can be pretty stressful sometimes. But we still had fun. The boys got in a little bit of trouble because they took off on their own and went way too far. Then they had to be glued to my side and I had them be in charge of helping Hayley and Will for awhile. Its hard when you go someplace like that and one adult is in charge of 5 other little people and then they don't listen. I try to stress to my kids that we need to stick together and help each other out or going and doing activities like that are impossible and can't happen. I think they learned their lesson. We had a picnic and then spent some time on the beach before we had to pack up and head home. It really was such a fun and perfect day. It has gotten me so excited for summer.

14 kids between us three Momma's


Apr 23, 2015

I had my 34th birthday last weekend. Its funny because every year I get older but I definitely don't feel any older. I still feel like I'm 24. I wonder when I will start to feel and act older. Maybe I'll always feel 10 years younger. I guess that's not a bad thing:) Ryan was still out of town on my actual birthday but my sister was kind enough to take Hayley for a sleepover the night before. The kids were so sweet in the morning and left me nice birthday messages all over the house and brought me toast in bed. The boys got up and went to school and McKenna and I went to the Yates to watch some of a dance competition that was going on. We had fun watching the routines for a couple of hours and then we went and got cupcakes and brought some more home to share with everyone. After the boys were home we headed out to Raymond to my Gramma's for the afternoon. It was a beautiful day. Brit and the girls came over and gave me a gift and we enjoyed the rest of the day with our cousin's. My cousin even brought the town Fire Truck over and let the kids check it out and go for a ride in it. They loved that. When we returned home the kids and I had cupcakes and they sang to me. It was a really nice birthday. I got lots of birthday love on facebook and instagram, and a few phone calls. My two friends Teale and Mandy made me Chelsea Buns and mini cheesecakes which were both super delicious. Even though Ryan wasn't here, everyone made it a really special day for me. And don't worry, Ryan owe's me big time for missing my birthday and I will collect:) I get a girls Calgary shopping trip with a bigger budget then usual. Can't wait. When he did return home he took us out for brunch too. So far 34 feels pretty good. I feel like I'm in the best place that I've ever been in. I'm exercising regularly, am trying to eat healthier, and my mind and spirit feel happy and at peace. I have never felt better and am excited for what my future holds. Life is good.

Single Parenting.

Apr 21, 2015

Ryan was working out of town for a whole week. You really notice how much work there is when there isn't someone to share the load with. When the kids were really young it was more emotionally exhausting and lonely. Now it seems to be more physically exhausting and tiring. As the kids get older there are extra curricular activities, more school responsibilities, and more things added to the calendar that you have to keep up with. I love having all these things to do but it is definitely easier when there are two of you. Usually I'm in charge of Mckenna and her dance, and Ryan's in charge of the boys and their sports. Well Ty started baseball that week so I had dance and baseball to get to. Even having to grocery shop with all the kids is challenging. I will say that it gets easier as they get older because they can help out more, but we sure missed Ryan. He was supposed to be home Thursday night and after I made it through dance and baseball I joked that I didn't actually need him, but then he said in that case he had to stay until Saturday night. Darn. The truth is, we always need him. We love having Ryan home and miss him like crazy.We made it through the week and were so happy to have him home again. I love how excited the kids get when they see him and how insanely happy and grateful I feel when he returns too. I really appreciate how hands on he is and how hard he works for our family. We are so blessed to have such a great dad and husband. We sure love you Ry.

Dad's 60th Birthday.

Apr 17, 2015

My Dad turned 60 on the weekend. We went up Saturday after Ty's baptism and Penny made a delicious dinner. All my siblings came up and we had fun visiting and playing games late into the night. The next morning we drove into the city and took the C-Train downtown to the Calgary Tower for brunch. None of us had ever been. It was really fun. At the top there is such a pretty view of the city. They have one section where the floor is glass so you can stand on it and look down and see the ground way below. Its kind of trippy, but I love heights so it didn't bother me. All the kids loved it and none of them were afraid to step on the glass. The food was really good. The floor moves in a circle slowly so you can see each part of the city while you eat. It didn't really bother me, but I didn't really like it either. When we left and were on solid ground I still felt like I was spinning for awhile. We walked a couple of blocks to an indoor garden. It was really beautiful and there was a fun little park the kids played on for a while. Then we got back on the train and headed back to my Dad's. We packed up and headed home. It was super fun. I love spending time with my family.

My Dad is pretty awesome and we enjoyed being able to spend his birthday with him. He is so generous and supportive, and has always accepted us for who we are, and when we've changed or made different decisions he still accepts us. Thanks Dad. Happiest Birthday. You don't look a day over 40:)

Hayley thought it was so cool that she could stand while the train was moving