Thursday, March 31, 2011


We made play dough today.  After yesterdays' harrowing events it was a wonderful, relaxing activity.  I took the girls to RUH for Raina's weekly cast and as I entered the hospital, I realized I could only read parts of the signs...weird, but I felt fine.  By the time I reached Registration I wasn't sure on Raina's name, her Dr's name, but still recognized our mailing address and phone number.  I proceeded to the Orthopedic Out Patient wing, informing the receptionist that I was not feeling well, and if possible, would appreciate if I could get Raina's cast put on asap.  The Dr. had not yet arrived, so I decided to go to the ER to register.  I could hardly focus enough to find my way and thought I might pass out.  At this point I phoned Martin and asked him to come help...I was terrified that I would faint and the girls would be afraid.  Apparently my conversation did not make a lot of sense.  After registering at the ER, all I could think about was getting Raina's cast put on...illogical, I know, but for some reason I thought it had to be done, before I could go see a Doctor.  So, we went back to Orthopedics.  Raina's orthopedic surgeon is wonderful, and got us in immediately.  I managed to express my thanks, but was obviously not acting normally.  Dr. Dzus insisted that I go to the ER and kept looking at me with a very concerned expression on her face and finally said "You're worrying me!" 
By the time I once again arrived at the ER my right hand was tingling and numb.  I informed the nurse as best I could, and sat down.  By the time Martin arrived I had a massive headache, and felt like vomiting.  He asked to see a doctor this point I was having all 5 symptoms of a minor stroke.  To make a long story short, I waited for 4 hours without seeing a doctor.  After about 3 1/2 hours I began to feel well enough to think somewhat realistically...if I wanted to see a doctor, I would have to see to it myself.  I left the ER and went to see a doctor at my Family Physician's office.  After many questions, and a thorough examination, the doctor concluded that what I suffered from was a migraine...go figure!  Why not tell me that in the ER, give me some pills and let me go home?!? ...instead of sitting there for 3 1/2 hours curled up in pain!  I feel fine today, although I still feel weak and tired, with a bit of a headache even though I took some recommended Migraine Tylenol.  My right arm still feels numb, but for the most part I feel well and so very thankful to be healthy!  Thank you Lord!!

Anyhow, back to the play dough...

Raina was thrilled to have the play dough.  Her expressions tell the story...

 ...and then, after being told "No, don't eat that!"...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Raina: 16 Months

Our angel is 16 months old!  She is growing in leaps and bounds.  She likes to say "Mama", among other words, but for now I am her favorite!  I will treasure this status while I can!
Raina crawls around at a fast pace in spite of her cast and is constantly getting into things.  She loves my cookbooks, anything in the cupboards, and sometimes even her toys!  If Malia plays with Raina, she will stay in her playroom...that is how I manage to clean the house, etc. 
Raina can say many words, but generally chooses not to use words.  She can say, "Papa, puppy, nigh-nigh, bottle" and other words.  She is terrified and cries when the dog barks (Cheeko has made a full recovery).  She also cries when she is tired or hungry, but for the most part is a VERY happy little girl.  She likes to look at books and play with her little car,and any toy that makes noise.  Raina is becoming rather possessive and will not let Malia take toys away from her, which is a good thing!
Raina has wiggled her way into all of our hearts and is dotted on by all!  She is being spoiled, but in a good way.  Alex and Morgun generally don't fuss when asked to watch Raina (another opportunity for me to get household chores done), and love to play with her!
It is almost impossible to get a decent picture of Raina...she moves too quickly.  This time I put her on the couch and had much better success!  Here are some of my favorites!

 This is her goofy grin!  She'll use it with strangers or when she is being silly!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Alex is a typical 11 year old in many ways.  He LOVES Lego, especially Star Wars Lego and will spend hours in the playroom building and revamping his Lego men.  On the day I mended pants, he found scraps and made capes for his Lego guys...not so typical of an 11 year old.

 He LOVES to read...almost any book he can get his hands on.  He will read and reread his favorite books...the Narnia Series, Hardy Boy books, and any Star Wars books.  I recently took this sums up his passions. 
 Alex is also an artist...not so typical of an 11 year old.  Here are some of his drawings.

 This is the latest piece Alex completed.  The boy loves wildlife!
I am so VERY proud of Alex.  He can frustrate me to the core in seconds and warm my heart in even less time.  He is a boy of many emotions and is extremely sensitive and perceptive.  He continually amazes me with his desire to live for God.  He works hard to control his emotions and to be a gentle, loving kid.  He is the kid that when talking about the importance of education (which is a common topic in our household simply because our families and many in the community still view a high school diploma as some GREAT achievement rather than a simple expectation), says "It's kind of like a door to a whole new world!"  Yesterday I happened to be watching an Oprah show on what makes people happy.  The discussion was on the amount of money needed to be happy.  Alex commented "I was thinking about this last's not about how much money you have."  
And that, in a nut shell is MY son!!!  So proud of him!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Raina's Progress

Raina had her first cast placed on January 31, 2010.  This is what her foot looked like at the time.

The original cast has been removed and replaced 5 times.  Each time the foot is manipulated a little farther.  At each appointment Dr. Dzus stretches the foot prior to casting.  Raina screams and cries every time.  This last appointment was particularly brutal.  Her whole body shook in pain while the foot was stretched.  I have asked the doctor if Raina is in pain or if she is just angry.  The doctor said she was just angry...I disagree.  I'm strong when it comes to these kinds of things, and generally will agree with the doctor, however, I do know my child and I know without a doubt that she was screaming in pain!  Once a new cast is in place Raina settles quickly, but does not have a very good nights sleep for the first night, with the second night being a little better.  I think this is in part due to pain and partly due to the cast being very cold.  The cast is cold until it dries completely which usually takes about 12 hours, at least according to my uneducated guess...after about 12 hours the cast is no longer cold, and Raina is able to sleep a lot better.
Martin joins me for these appointments when he can and can hardly bear to listen to all the other kids crying, let alone his own baby girl!  I know it is perhaps best to go on my own, but it sure is nice to have someone watching Malia, and to have the support.
We have a date set for Raina's surgery, April 12, at which time her heal cord (Achilles tendon) will be snipped.  After the surgery the foot will once again be casted for about 3 weeks.

I am continually amazed at how quickly Raina's little foot is being corrected.  This is what it looks like now.

The little wrinkles on Raina's foot will most likely always remain, at least some of them.

Playing with those cute little toes!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Countdown is On!!

It is official!! The countdown is on!  Only 102 days till Kathy & Mark, and Owen and Kiannah arrive in Saskatoon!!!  Can you tell I'm a little excited?!?!  The last time we saw each other was in July of 2008 at a family camping weekend.   These pictures were taken that weekend...I know that Owen and Kiannah have grown and will be neat to get to know them again! 

I'm looking forward to once again playing soccer, barefoot, against the guys.  We beat them in 2008 and I'm guessing we'll still play well together, even though it has been 3 years...I still chuckle when I picture Joe's sheepish admission that we had won!  (Sorry, Kathy, that I picked this photo, but it is the only one of us together.  We'll have to take a decent picture this summer!)

A part of me wishes that we were the only family Kathy & Mark are coming to see...selfish I know.  I would love to have them all to ourselves.  But, we WILL have a blast!  Let the planning begin!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I became a hockey mom this year.  It was something I always said I would NOT be...too time consuming, too expensive, AND I do not like the body contact at all...but my reasoning and logic evaporated when Morgun, with his big "Puss n' Boots" eyes begged to play.  He played first year Atom and spent the first few practices and games on his butt.  At one point he was almost in tears after a particularly nasty fall, but concluded "what good would that do!?!", and continued to play.  Morgun is very tenacious and it has paid off.  At the first tournament Morgun won the Hustler award.  It is awarded to the player that plays the hardest and has the best attitude.  Along with the award he was able to pick out his favorite team banner.  Morgun scored 3 he says was a lucky one...I disagree...the boy knows his position and plays it amazingly well and never gives up!  His team won the bronze in league playoffs...and I couldn't be a prouder hockey mom!

Monday, March 14, 2011


This weekend we headed to Calgary for a mini shopping get away.  Calgary is not my favorite city for shopping.  It is a rather unattractive city, at least in my opinion, lacking trees and just general appeal for this country bumpkin.  However, Calgary DOES have The Lego Store.  Our boys have been begging to go to the Lego store...their hard earned money was burning a hole in their pockets!  lol!  Malia was tickled to be able to go to Build A Bear to buy a new outfit for her bunny.  Martin was thrilled to finally be able to go to The Bass Shop.  It is a must see!  What an incredible store!  It is huge and has many stuffed animals and a fish pond complete with waterfall, not to mention ALL the hunting, camping, fishing, and outdoor "stuff" any guy could EVER want!  As for myself...I found some awesome deals at Gymboree and most importantly, got to go to IKEA!  We will be renovating our "never finished" entrance and completing the laundry room.  I found everything I needed for that and can't wait to get out the sledge hammer to begin knocking down walls!

This was Raina's first road trip and she travelled amazingly well.  Like most kids she was best entertained with non-toy items, such as an old pair of sunglasses.
We discovered just how difficult and expensive it is to find a decent motel with adequate space for all 6 of us.  We ended up with a King Suite and were creative, to say the least, in finding space for every one to sleep.  Malia slept on the couch,  turned to the wall so she wouldn't fall off!  Nice and cozy!

The boys played with their Lego immediately on returning to our motel. 

Travelling with 4 kids can be a little crazy...especially when you need a bathroom break!  :)  However, our kids travel very well, keeping themselves entertained with their DS, books, movies, and looking for wildlife.
Of course, the best part of travelling is when the little ones nod off for a much needed sleep!
As we headed to Calgary, I found myself wishing we were heading to Red Deer instead...wishing that Kathy and Mark still lived there...thinking we would have all headed to Calgary for the day and had a blast...perhaps even a "ladies only" shopping day...
It has been almost 3 years since I last saw my very good friend and sister, Kathy.  It has been far too long and I miss her and her family  incredibly!  I can hardly wait to see them all this summer!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fresh Buns & Memories

I baked buns today and couldn't help but take a walk down memory lane. 
I clearly remember walking home from school and the closer I got to the house the more I could smell the fresh buns Mom was baking and the faster I walked.  I always wished they would still be warm and hurried in to help myself to my favorite after school snack...
I would pick the biggest, warmest bun I could find, top it with peanut butter and as much syrup as possible.  Then I would add a glass of cold chocolate milk.  Not the kind bought in a jug, but rather, milk mixed with Nestle's Chocolate Milk Mix.  The best part about mixing it myself was that I made sure that not all the powder would dissolve and that little chunks of chocolate were left on top to scoop out with a spoon! 
As I ate my yummy snack, turning the bun this way and that, so the syrup wouldn't drip too much, I ALWAYS heard mom say "Marie, nicht zo viel zyrup! (not so much syrup)". I finished my baking I couldn't resist making one of those snacks, except this time I opted for hot chocolate with a little coffee, but still with the little chocolate chunks on top...and still as much syrup as possible!  :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekend Project

We tackled a project this weekend that we have been talking about for far too long...putting river rock on one wall in our living room.  First Martin put up plywood and mesh.  Then on Friday we placed all the rock.
 I slathered each rock with grout and Martin held them in place.  It was a bit like doing a puzzle, making sure all the rocks fir snugly and also making sure that the various colors were evenly distributed.
 Today we filled in all the spaces with more grout.  What a tiring and tedious job!

 We were told NOT to use our fingers for smoothing the grout, but rather to use a tool.  I tried various tools, but using my fingers worked much better and was faster.  However, I ended up with very sore and raw fingers!
 Here is the (almost) finished product.  We still need to wash all the stones to remove any extra grout.  (The grout should be dry enough by tomorrow or Monday.)  As you can see, we still need to install the wood stove and chimney and the ugly door needs to be refinished.  Hopefully the stove will be installed sometime this next week, but the door will have to wait until the weather warms up so I can refinish it in the garage.