Sunday, 3 January 2016

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Ski Trip to Montana

Almost every year we take a trip to Montana to go skiing, but this year was extra exciting because it was our time to get together with Jaclyn and Mason over Christmas break!

Chloe's fancy colouring books helped pass the time on the drive down.

Ken thought stopping at a roadside turnout would be a good idea for lunch. I disagreed, and local dogs roaming in and out of the restaurant solidified my opinion. Oh, Montana.

Then when Ken and I spent the night dealing with what I will only describe as 'food poisoning symptoms' I just knew I was right that it had been a bad idea.

I wiped down the cabin the next day while the kids went skiing (Ken and I were too weak to ski). Ken texted with his family and exonerated the roadside diner because it turns out much of our family we had spent Boxing Day with were also sick, so it wasn't the dubious hygiene of the diner that made us ill. Something got passed around before we left. I still never again want to eat in a diner with wandering animals.

Luckily we felt better fairly quickly!!!

Mason, Barb, Jaclyn

Mason, Ken, Barb, Jaclyn


Chloe, Carmen

Carmen, Ken, Barb




Captions seemed necessary since we were all in masks and goggles. It was cold and beautiful, and we tried to appreciate it just a little bit more for Steven. 
(Maybe I should ask him to appreciate his warm weather and palm trees a little bit more for me.)

Christmas Day

The first gift of Christmas was to open our package from Steven!

He used pass-along-cards as gift tags which I thought was funny funny.

Later we Facetimed which mostly worked well even though there were 8 missionaries all talking to their families on the wifi in their local church building at the same time. We loved talking to him, but man it is hard to say goodbye again!

Santa created a new tradition of changing the lights on our tree from white to multicoloured after he comes. Crazy old guy. 

We got a foosball table and Chloe is making future party plans already!

The girls settled down for some serious colouring after breakfast.

Followed by some serious music listening (Chloe on her record player and Carmen on a cassette tape and walkman.)

 Followed by some serious napping.

We had Christmas dinner with Ken's parents and the MOCM family! 

I sat at the children's table. Naturally.

The Holly Days

Our Christmas Activity Advent suffered this year with school work, it was so sad.

(We did still manage to fit in the important stuff.)

Like making chocolates.

Chloe put her muscles into beating the fondant for the chocolate centres.

Carmen decided to replicate a photo from about 10 years ago with that smile.

Basketball competed with Christmas activities, but Carmen made it work.

We had a couple of fun family parties in December! The first party was with Ken's side of the family.

Eric kept us entertained with his gift. He opened his present from Chloe and said, "A gun! I love guns!"

He has a talent, for sure. Nerf guns shouldn't be as accurate as he made his seem. It was all fun and games until his dad broke the rules and mom had to confiscate the fun, haha.

Our second party was in Lethbridge where our new little niece lives!

Little Lila

Lila gave her family a scare when she was first born, and we are so glad she is home where she belongs.

Naturally, they are being cautious about exposing Lila to any health exposures, so they stayed home from the party and only the healthiest of us came to her house to visit.

Here's the rest of the Canadian cousins! Our kids wore Calgary Flames jerseys to tease the Oilers fans in the family.

I didn't get nearly enough pictures - I was having too much fun to pick up my phone! 
This is pass the present.

Carter and Monte working the tree-decorating-conveyor-belt.

Grandma and Grandpa went head to head on the Jingle Bells Box game, and even without her hearing aid Grandma won!

Christmas Nut Stacker 

Dirk Won

 Sugar Cookies


One last pre-Christmas Event:

A Christmas Carol at Theatre Calgary

They really changed the play since the last time we went. Some changes were strange and non-traditional, some changes I liked. I did like how Scrooge was the embodiment of Christmas Present after his experience on Christmas Eve. 

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas Card Picture

I really wanted snow for our Christmas card this year, but I wasn't patient enough to wait for snow to come to us, and I wasn't willing to spend the time to drive to find snow. A talented friend of Carmen's snapped this picture, and as it happened it snowed at this location the very next day!

Sunday, 1 November 2015


It was Chloe's last year for a school costume parade. She's lucky she gets some bonus years in a K-9 school!

Chloe as Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Loves her Wolf

Carmen is more in the last-minute-group-costume years. Apparently Discovery Channel's Shark Week only runs from Sunday - Friday.

Plus a last minute decision to go to the youth dance in costumes from a friend's dress-up box.

Halloween is a pretty quiet night around here with our kids no longer going out to trick-or-treat, and the whole neighbourhood being a little older. We had about 30 kids come to the house, so plenty of leftover candy just for us!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Take Your Kid to Work Day

 (Send your kid to someone else's work day)

Chloe is one lucky girl! 

She got to shadow a private chef on Friday as her Take Your Kid to Work experience with one of the loveliest people we know!

Chloe's actual lunch

Susanne cooks for a workplace, making healthy snacks as well as the staff lunch. How much do I wish my office did that???

lunch as it was photographed

Friday was the birthday of one of the staff, so lunch was birthday boy's request of Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with a side of potato hash and bacon.

Chloe got her picture taken with a billionaire for the second time.

I guess billionaires that hire a full time chef for the office also bring pets to work. What a life! I wish I had my own private chef. . . if only Chloe wasn't at school all day.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend

Sometimes doing something twice in a row makes it a tradition around here, and I'm not sure that's the case this time, but we've now gone to Utah for two consecutive Thanksgivings.

We drove down to Great Falls Thursday night after work, and we arrived at Dillon around noon on Friday.

We had lunch at the Taco Bus and shopped the Patagonia outlet.

We got to Salt Lake City with enough time to do baptisms at the temple and walk around temple square a bit.

Saturday morning Carmen met some friends for breakfast and photos. Meanwhile Ken, Chloe, and I went shopping for Thanksgiving dinner groceries.

We met up at Jaclyn and Mason's place and played a quick game of Coda. Can I just point out here how Mason is sitting? I told him he could be a yoga instructor if the electric engineering thing doesn't work out.


Carmen and Ken went fly fishing.

More pictures of Carmen, since she caught more fish, haha.

I think the score was 5-3

Our family isn't competitive that way, though. Right?


Chloe, Jaclyn, Mason, and I went to the corn maze and dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point. Chloe gave us her best Bellatrix Lestrange impersonation, haha. The dinosaur museum was amazing! It is the second largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the world, second to a museum in China. Well worth the visit.

Saturday night was the homecoming game for the BYU Cougars. What a gorgeous spot for a football game!
Even though they won 45-38 and the fight song was sung after every touchdown, I still don't have it learned (the song's a little long) but I do have the 'rise and shout the cougars are out' part figured out for when to stand up. Also, I still need to work on doing the 'first down' synchronized karate chop thing. 

Carmen bought a CougarTail, which is a Long John caramel frosted donut the size of a baguette. 

Good times!

Sunday we went to the married student ward and had turkey dinner. It was a perfect weekend.