Ty Guy

Jan 27, 2015

Ty turned eight last week. He had a week of celebrations the lucky boy.

On his actual birthday he opened his present from us. He got a new sled, some gatorade, and candy, and a huge ninja turtle sticker book. He got to stay home from school that day. For some reason my kids think the day is more special if they get to stay home from school. We had a busy evening with dance, basketball, and yoga so I picked up some cupcakes from crazy cakes and we sang to him before all our activities started. He said it was a good day.




There isn't any snow so he found another way to use his new sled


On Friday he had a couple of friends over and we went to Mariner's Cove to swim. We had such a fun time. Then we went back to our house for hot dogs and birthday donuts, and then the boys watched the Maze Runner. Another fun night. The boys got him a t-shirt that they created. Ty is excited for it to come in the mail.





At the beginning of the month we had a birthday get together with the Olsen's to celebrate all the January birthdays. Ty got to pick supper and he chose Lasagna. It was a good night celebrating with family. Then on Sunday we had our Malacko January birthday party at our house. We were celebrating Ty and my niece Cohen's birthdays. Ty got a nice hoodie from Grampa Jim and Gramma Penny, and a remote control toy, and baseball cap from Adam and Britt and the girls. We had spaghetti and meatballs and ice cream cake. It was fun. My whole family was able to be there which was great. Family really is the best. My kids are always asking for big parties with their friends but I always tell them that family is who they should be celebrating with. They will be there for all your birthdays and their the one's who know you and love you best.



What a great week of celebrations. We love you Ty!

The weather has been beautiful too. It was 18 degrees the other day. The boys are both in basketball right now so they were excited to be able to go outside and play basketball the other afternoon. I love it when we get  beautiful Spring days in the middle of winter. I'm sure the snow will be coming back soon, but we'll enjoy it while it lasts.



Look at that sky. I love Southern Alberta skies.

So far.

Jan 19, 2015

January is just a zoomin by. So far, so good. I've been keeping up with my daily exercise and green smoothie routine and I feel great! I've been trying to get out of the house more, so Hayley and Will and I have started going to Time for 2's at the library, and we've gone swimming, and a couple of times we've just gone and hung out at the mall. Its been nice to just let go of all the things that need to be done around the house to go out and enjoy the day and each other.

Donuts after swimming


The boys both started basketball. Nate is playing through the school. He practices every Monday night from 6-7. I have McKenna at dance at that time so I haven't been able to watch him yet. He starts games next month. Ry says he is doing really well. Ty is too young to play at school so we put him in a minor league in Lethbridge. He plays every Saturday morning. They practice and learn skills for half the time and then they play a mini game for the rest of the time. He got his own basketball and jersey. He loves it and is doing well and improving each week. Basketball is one of my favourite sports to watch so I am enjoying it too.

McKenna had her parent viewing at dance. I love going to her class to see how she is doing. She is in ballet, tap, and jazz. I often ask her what she likes best but she can never decide on just one. She will do exams this year for tap and jazz. It is so fun to watch her improve. She is remembering her routines way better too and will teach them to me. It will be fun to have both girls in dance next year.

McKenna and I got to have a girls lunch with Lora, Shan, and Connie, then we went Wedding dress shopping with Shannon. It was so fun to watch her try dresses on. She looked so beautiful in so many of them. It will be hard to pick just one. She was able to narrow it down to a style that she really liked. Weddings are so fun. When we got home I had to bring out my wedding dress and try it on. Amazingly it still fit:)




I started a beginners yoga class. So far I really love it and I'm not as bad as I thought I would be. I am really not flexible so I'm hoping this class will improve that. Its fun to go with Britt. We're talking about maybe checking out a zumba class too. I'm so grateful for so many awesome sisters:)

Life is good. really good. Today is Ty's birthday so we have a lot of exciting things this week that I will blog about soon. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Mind over Medicine

Jan 6, 2015

Well we are officially back into regular life. Ryan is back at work, the kids back at school, and I am babysitting again. Life is busy. But a good busy. I loved our holidays but was ready to get back into a routine. I also got hit with a cold, probably because I wasn't taking proper care of myself, so now I am back to eating well, exercising and getting a good nights sleep. McKenna is back at dance, the boys start basketball, and my yoga class starts next week. Its all very exciting.

The main reason I'm blogging today is to share a book with you that I read over the holidays. Its called  "Mind over Medicine" by Lissa Rankin M.D. It is so amazing and inspiring. She shares her story of becoming a doctor and maxing her self out to the point of quitting her career and moving to the country, and then tells about her journey of how she had to heal her mind and body. I've always believed that our body's can heal on their own and that the mind is really the powerhouse that keeps our bodies functioning but this book took it to the next level for me. How illness comes from being in a stressed state. When its in a relaxed state it is repairing and healing anything unwanted, so if we are constantly stressed, unhappy, or lonely our bodies can't do their job and fight off the unwanted attacks and we get sick. She tells of incredible stories of healing illnesses like stage 4 cancer, miracles that cannot be scientifically explained. How their minds were the root of these curing's. She talks about what we can do to have optimal health and happiness. She is super smart and has done a ton of research. I think everyone should read it. It has changed my life. So hurry up and go read it. Then if you are as excited about it as I am...call me, message me, or just show up at my house...and lets talk. Cause I love to talk:)

Highlights of 2014

Jan 3, 2015

2015

We spent New Years Eve at my Aunt & Uncle's house in Raymond. It was a small gathering with us and them, and then my grandparents, Ginger, and Adam and Britt were there for a couple of hours. It was really nice. Our kids get along and play so well with Dan & Connie's kids. We had a great time. We all made it to midnight but I always regret it in the morning. Its not as easy to bounce back from staying up that late anymore.





2014 was a really great year for us. I have been struggling with a few personal things for years now. I guess they mostly started a couple years after my Mom passed and probably came about from going through that experience. I've felt like I have been trying to break through a wall for so long and finally did near the end of this year. It is not from doing anything that I've been told my whole life to do to get through difficult times which was hard for me to process and is probably leaving most of my family shocked and maybe a little sad, but the reality is I am happier and more excited for life then I have ever been. I finally feel like I have control over my life and that I can move on from the trauma of losing my Mom. I feel like a better person, and I want to and feel like I can give more of myself freely and love more unconditionally then I ever have. So no matter how I got here, I'm here. And I am genuinely happy.

2015 is going to be a busy year for us (we are hoping anyway). We are going to finish our basement this Spring and put our house up for sale. We are hoping to sell quickly so we can begin building a house. Ryan will be doing most of the work himself so it will take a good 9-12 months to build it. We want to stay in Coalhurst and already have our house plans all complete. We are anxious to get this project started, so hopefully it will happen quickly.

I personally want to take better care of my body and mind. I am so fascinated with how our minds and bodies function and would like to know and learn more about this.

I want to be more optimistic and keep negativity out of my life. I don't want to see the World as a wicked place anymore, but see it for what it truly is...a very wondrous and beautiful place with so many amazing people in it. Sure, there are wicked people too, but not as many as the wonderful and good, so that is what I am choosing to see.

I start a beginners yoga class next week which I am really excited about. I want to make yoga a big part of my life, and if its a good fit, maybe I'll even teach it one day. The possibilities are endless. I'm young and can do whatever I want in life. Sometimes I forget that.

I want to read more, and spend more quality time with my family.

I want to blog more often. And blog not only about my family life, but about my thoughts, and experiences and the things that I am learning about. It is very therapeutic for me and I feel like it is a creative outlet for me as well.

I want to have fun and be enthusiastic about life.

I am really excited for 2015 and all the possibility's and experiences that are just waiting to come my way. I hope that 2015 turns out to be your best year yet and that you will find ways to better yourself and increase your happiness with yourself and life.

Happy living.

Christmas Letter 2014

Jan 2, 2015

This has been an incredible year for us. I love how as each of us grows and learns new things, our relationships with one another grow too, and I feel like our connections to one another continue to grow and deepen. We truly love and cherish each other and all of you.
            Nate is so excited with life right now because he is officially a preteen. Yes, we have a ten year old. I love watching his excitement and enthusiasm for life and getting older. He is more independent in the morning. Most mornings when I come down he is completely ready for school and playing on his tablet. He is very helpful and it is so nice that I can leave him home with the other kids while I run quick errands. He love to read and write stories, and is currently learning about all of the Countries in the World. He has been earning cub badges and has made a goal to read at a grade 12 level (he is reading at an 8th grade). He is starting basketball and football next year.
            Ty is almost 8 and in grade 2. He is very social and loves playing with friends. When he gets home from school he is anxious to get his jobs done so he can go out and play. He still loves spending time with Dad and Mom and rarely wants to play by himself. We taught him Skip Bo (a card game) this year and we enjoy playing that together. He is very active and loves being outside, and loves to work side by side with his Dad. He has his own sense of humor and is always making us laugh. He is very excited to get into sports and will play basketball and baseball next year.
            McKenna started grade one and is very excited to be at the same school with her brothers. (So am I). She loves school, and loves learning and being with friends. She is boy crazy and is always telling me which boys she likes and which ones like her. She got glasses a couple of months ago and she looks so darn cute with them. She is such a patient and caring big sister. I love watching her and Hayley’s relationship grow, and they play so well together. She is in ballet, tap, and jazz this year. She loves it and is doing very well. She definitely gets her natural dance ability from her MomJ
            Hayley is our feisty little 3 year old. She knows what she wants and tells you exactly what she thinks. She gives us all a run for our money. She is also learning so much and is starting to understand the World around her which is exciting to see. She will sometimes play with her little friend from next door, but really loves to be at home playing with her toys. She entertains herself so well. She loves to sing and dance, loves to pick out her own clothes, and hates getting her hair done. Her new favorite word is “Fine!” which she uses all the time. A big milestone for he is she is potty trained! Yeah!
            Ryan and I are working hard to get out of debt. Ryan is picking up lots of extra work, mostly helping a friend build his house. I am babysitting my cousin’s little guy a few days a week. He is a sweet little boy and it has been nice to reconnect with her family. We have really opened up to one another this year about our thoughts and feelings, and have a stronger connection and love for one another, and our family. We both found a love for monthly professional massages and are trying to have a good attitude and think positively to make our lives more fulfilling.
            We are all super excited about taking off to Montana to spend Christmas at a friend’s cabin this year. We hope that your holiday is magical and filled with love.

Love Always,
The Olsen’s

Ryan, Kelli, Nate, Ty, McKenna, & Hayley

An Okotoks Christmas.

We packed up and left Boxing Day and headed to Okotoks to celebrate with the Malacko family. It was a long drive being squished together in the truck. I was itching to get out by the time we got there. We also hit some bad roads so it took a little longer to get there. We opened gifts from Dad and Penny. The boys got nice new basketball runners (they start basketball in January) and a new shirt. McKenna got a bed and a ton of clothes for her American girl, and Hayley got an Our Generation doll which is a cheaper version of the American girl. And she got some clothes for her doll too. The kids were very happy with their gifts. Ryan and I got a really nice pair of mittens with some spending money hidden inside. Dad and Penny were very generous and we were both excited to buy ourselves something. We had a delicious turkey and ham dinner, then played games and got into the hot tub later. They had rented one for the weekend. The next day we went shopping and the kids did some sledding. I bought some clothes, some yoga clothes (I start a beginners class in a couple of weeks). Ryan got a new nice winter coat. We spent the rest of the weekend playing games and hot tubbing. It was a really fun weekend. I was anxious and ready to go home on Sunday. We had been away for 10 days. Again, like every year, I took tons of pictures before and at Christmas but for our Malacko gathering I only took one picture. I really need to work on that. It is so nice to be home.





Our first Christmas...

Dec 31, 2014

okay, so of course it wasn't our first Christmas ever, but the first Christmas where it was just our little family. I wasn't sure at first how it would be. I kept thinking what will we do. But we came up with some new traditions and it was really, really nice and actually fun. We kind of cheated and had Christmas a day early. We had Christmas eve on the 23rd and Christmas Day on the 24th. Ultimately it didn't really matter. It just made it easier for us because we were packing up and leaving on Boxing Day. It was nice to have Christmas done with on the 25th so I could use that as our cleaning and packing day. Christmas Eve we had finger foods for supper...cheese, crackers, pickles, veggies, chips...that sort of thing. Then we played Disney Headbandz. They had it at the cabin and loved it. Funny thing was we had already gotten it for them for Christmas so we knew they were going to love that. We also played Apples to Apples which is Nate's favourite game. Then we sang some Christmas songs and did our gifts to Jesus. Put our stockings up and headed to bed.






We woke up Christmas morning to this...



A white Christmas. Beautiful. Christmas morning was so fun of course. We started by reading the Christmas story from the Bible and then shared our gifts to Jesus. We did stockings and opened presents and then just played and played.




The kids were all so happy with their presents. From Santa they got a Rainbow Loom to share and Disney Headbandz. Hayley got a Frozen piano book, and Disney palace pets. Hayley got a bunch of little toys and some awesome food for her kitchen.


             


Nate got a Go-pro. We felt like the go-pro hero, which is the original would be perfect for him. It is not the newest and most expensive model. He was so excited and got to go out on the quad in the afternoon and try it out. He also got a Darth Vadar alarm clock and the newest Diary of a Wimpy kid book.


Ty got a scooter, a new hoodie (which he has been asking for for months) and a new hat. Already such a cool kid. He rode that scooter all over the main floor of the cabin.



McKenna finally got her American Girl doll. She has wanted one for a couple of years now. We got her the girl of the year Isabelle who is a dancer just like McKenna. We also got her matching glasses to go with it, The cutest. She also got a brush and some pajama's to go with her doll. She named her Izzy. She also got a Cinderella stuffy to add to her collection.

Ryan got a new phone and new hat. I got new boots which I'm still waiting for.I ordered them at the end of November but they still haven't arrived. I also got a really comfy blanket and this amazing mix called Rudolph's mix. So yummy.




It was a happy and successful Christmas. In the evening we went outside and set off these noise poppers we got and went sledding down the steep drive way, then in for hot chocolate. It was the perfect evening. We loved having Christmas away from home. I'm thinking it might be a new tradition for every other year. We were sad to say goodbye to the cabin but were ready for our next Christmas adventure...Okotoks!

His happy place

A Montana Christmas

Dec 30, 2014

December 19th we headed to our friends cabin at Macgregor Lake. It is about 3o minutes West of Kalispell. The drive went smoothly and the kids were really good the whole way. I was worried because we took the truck so we were in close proximity to one another, but it went really well. Once you pass Browning it is a really beautiful drive. We had to stop in Babb to pick up the girls presents from Grampa Jim and Gramma Penny. We met Roy and Connie in Kalispell for lunch and then went to Walmart and Costco to get all the groceries we would need for the week. We could barely fit all the grocery's into our vehicle. Its a good thing Shannon and Jody were not far behind us. They met us at Costco and fit the rest in their car. Then we headed to the cabin. Ryan and I go every year for the Hasegawa retreat but this would be the first time the kids have ever been. They were so excited to check out the cabin when we got there. We settled in and hung out and played games. Lora and Ryan made it just before midnight. We were all there and ready to start celebrating!



Saturday we went out and chopped down our Christmas tree right off the Hasegawa's property. It was so fun. It has been a long time since I've had a real tree. We managed to fit it in the house and then decorated it with old ornaments and lights that Lora and Shannon had kicking around. It turned out awesome. We took the quads out and just played around all afternoon. We had our turkey dinner that night and the kids opened their presents from Gramma and Grampa Olsen. They had to find their presents by scavenger hunt and they loved it. The adults did our gift exchange game. I got some heated pad warmers to stick in your gloves, and Ryan got an Itunes card. We then opened up our Christmas pajama's. That really is the best Christmas tradition ever. We had the best time as usual.











The next couple of days were spent playing tons of games, and eating good food. Gramma did hair cuts. Hayley hates having her hair done so Gramma cut it into a cute little bob. We did Gingerbread houses. Sunday night we did our Christmas program. Grampa read the Christmas story, our kids sang a few songs, and Lora and Shannon had some games planned. We played a few minute to winute Christmas style games. It was so much fun. We also spent time in the hot tub. My favorite. Their hot tub is underneath the balcony. Its always fun to wait until people are sitting in the hot tub and then you go and dump buckets of cold water on top of their heads. Ryan and I did it to Shannon, Lora, Jody, and Ryan. We had a good laugh. Family is the best. We had such a fun time with the Olsen clan. We also got to facetime and talk to Dave and his family and Steve, which was nice.







My injuries from our wicked game of spoons. It was worth it though cause I won.




We were sad to say goodbye to everyone. Everyone except Roy and Connie left Monday, Roy and Connie left Tuesday. Then it was just us...

Ten...oh my!

Dec 18, 2014








How is this even possible. I can't believe that Nate is ten years old. A preteen you know (as he would say). That means I am getting older too. It feels like just yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital. Our new little bundle of joy. He won our hearts over way back then and our love for him has grown even stronger. He is smart, fun, and has a great sense of humor. He is becoming more and more independent and gets himself up and ready for school all by himself. He is usually up and ready before I even get out of bed. He has been babysitting the kids when I need to run quick errands and is so helpful around the house. As he gets older I feel anxious and sad that my role as his full time mommy is coming to an end, but am excited to see where his life takes him. We are so proud of you Nate, and love you very, very much. Happy Birthday.

He wanted to stay home from school on his actual birthday so it would feel like a special day. He really loves to be at home. We got him some pop and a huge interactive floor map that teaches you about all the Countries in the World. It quizzes you and then you can also challenge people. It is really fun and he is already becoming a pro at answering the questions right and knowing where each Country is. The following day we had our immediate family over and one of Nate's friends came over and we BBQ'd burgers (yep, the weather was nice enough, which is incredible) and had cupcakes. He got some nice presents and lots of $, which he is excited to spend on Boxing Day. After that Ryan took the boys to see the movie "Guardians of the Galaxy". He loved it and had a good birthday. He is quite the kid...



Before all that went down we went out to Raymond for the town Christmas festival. The kids enjoyed the hot chocolate, balloon animals, and of course decorating cookies, and visiting Santa. We then went to the church to see all the beautiful nativities they had set up. It was a fun night.





Hayley got an early Christmas present from Auntie Ginger. She made this amazing doll house out of cardboard. The girls love it. It is quite amazing. So much fun details in each room.




This girl is my favorite three year old, mismatched pajama's and all. Which by the way drives me nuts. But she wears them so well.



We are headed to Montana tomorrow to spend the week at our friends cabin. We are all bursting with excitement. We all need a good, long holiday. The next time I am back to this little blog of mine Christmas will be over and done with so, Merry Christmas everyone. I hope your holiday is filled with Magic and lots of love.