Friday, 18 March 2016

Carmen's 17th Birthday and a Grand-baby!!!

It was a little difficult to shop for Carmen for her birthday this year because I knew someone else was giving her a much better gift than I ever could! Jaclyn and Mason told Carmen and Chloe that a niece or nephew is on the way!

They sent Carmen a cute package to unwrap that announced the pregnancy, and then Skype'd in to watch the reaction. It really woke Carmen up (we always open presents in the morning) and feels like a gift to all of us! 

The next day Jaclyn and Mason posted this on Facebook for the public announcement.

Carmen had school and a basketball game on her birthday, so we went out for sushi after her game (winning on your birthday is a pretty good thing) and came home for birthday cheesecake.

Happy Birthday and btw that baby is not yours.

So Much Basketball & City Champs

Carmen was wondering why she didn't get to ski much this winter?
 Um, it was kind of obvious.

So Much Basketball!!! If I were to post all the pictures, it would be ridiculous. It was a busy season with a full academic load, practises or games every weekday, and tournaments every weekend. Once again her team went undefeated in the season, but on top of that they were also undefeated in all tournaments!

It was hard work and good fun, and ended with the most important win of all: City Championships!

Carmen with her fantastic coach.

(Captain) Carmen raising the trophy high for her team!

(And that's why Carmen didn't ski much this year.)

Winter of Chloe (Ha!)

No-one in our family has done more skiing this winter than Chloe

Norquay with Cache and Cheyanne

Winsport (COP) with Mom (twice!)

Panorama with Mark, Camille, and Monte

She also got in some tubing at Lake Louise with Ken, Carmen, and I, along with Natalie and her kids.

Lucky Chloe! 

Carmen asked me why Chloe has been able to do so much skiing . . . there's an answer to that.

Winter of Ken

(Okay, the title is kind of a joke. Summer of Ken was legendary in a way this winter was not.)

Ken was laid off from his job at the end of November. The new job searching began immediately, but Ken has tried to take advantage of the open schedule.

He took me snowshoeing to Chester Lake

He'd done this trip a couple of times before, but it was my first time.

Ken has done a lot of biking this winter. Some of it fat biking (above), but we have had a very mild winter, and more of his biking has been on the highway.

Keith and Mark

Ken also did a little bit of road tripping with my brother Mark. They met up with Keith (another of my brothers) in Utah for some skiing.


Happily/Sadly the Winter of Ken is coming to an end because he got a new job and is scheduled to go back to work on March 28. I guess we still have A Week of Ken to look forward to!

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.