Kalea's Using My Phrases

My almost 3 year old has become quite the quirky little personality lately. She is really picking up on new words and expressions, and is trying to use them effectively. She's also doing some weird things, like every single time I wear a skirt/dress/cover-up she tries to look underneath. I'm not exactly sure where she picked this habit up, but I'm not thrilled about it. Sorry in advance if she does this to any of my blog readers at church on Sunday. Anywho, whenever she does this indecent thing I say, "Kalea stop, that is so rude!" Today that phrase came back to haunt me. Kalea was wearing a beach dress and I lifted it up to check the status of her diaper. She got really upset and yelled, "Mom don't, that is so rude!"


Reunion Fun & Games

I have been trying to post the rest of my reunion stuff for a few weeks now. Blogger has been slow to say the least, so finally here they are.
 I'm thankful to the creators of Minute to Win It for providing mindless activities that we can all be entertained by, as a family :) It really was hilarious and definitely great bonding time.

I'm glad that even during our down time, there were lots of different people to talk to, and a great assortment of lively conversation. And if not, there were always kids to entertain.
 Remember that time that Kalea got into Michelle's make-up and made herself a "Goth Goddess" in less than a minute? Yeah, that happened at the reunion too, in between climbing and monkeying around of course!
 Or how about the time Brynlee and uncle Stephen got reacquainted? Magic. She didn't even play shy when he got home from school last week- yay for reunion bonding!
 How about when Kalea would rather tumble through a ditch to go hang out with some cows than sit/stand for a family picture after church? That was fun. She took her sister with her. It was only blistering hot out, what's a half hour standing in the heat gonna do anyways? The cows sure enjoyed it, and Brynlee now "Mooo's" at every animal she sees, which means it was a happy thing for her, awesome!
I think the best part of the reunion was celebrating Grandma's 80th birthday, granted a little early, but it was fun to celebrate with as many people as possible for a change. The cakes were AMAZING, I can't even explain how good, and the reminiscing was so awesome. One thing about my Grandma that I love is that she loves us all differently, but equally. I have never felt like she cares any more or any less for me compared to another grandchild, I just feel really lucky that I've gotten to have so much of her attention growing up and even as an adult. *Her bday post will be next month, stay tuned*
So that was our fun at the reunion, finally all blogged about. Next up, SLC and going home early, HA.

The Friendship Debate

Steve and I had a wonderful rhetorical yesterday about Facebook Friends vs. Real Friends. I said something to the extent that "my Facebook Friends aren't necessarily my Real Friends", for which he threatened to post the quote as my new Facebook status. Don't get me wrong, I have whittled and tweaked my friends' list to really only include people who I care about, or people who I know are interested in what's happening with me, and obviously family members are more than friends, but seriously, the majority of the 200+ people on my friends' list cannot possibly be real friends. And I mean the kind that call you up out of the blue to see how life is, or send a random note in the, duh duh duh MAIL. I don't even have 200 names on my speed dial or stored in my cell phone. I know for a fact that my husband doesn't call up his Facebook friends when he's bored or needs man-time. I know that I certainly do not receive friendly phone calls from the vast majority, or even have much of an inkling of what exactly is the scoop on very basic things in their lives. It's kind of my personal opinion that Social Networking is sure taking the friend out of friendship. It used to be that to find out how a friend was doing you'd pick up the phone and ask them, or just show up for a quick visit, now you just have to look at Facebook or read somebody's Blog and voila, leave a comment to show you care and that's it. That's it. For serious? I dunno, I think I've become a rather crappy friend since it all showed up. I can appreciate the fact that it's made me so much lazier my life so much easier, since I don't always get the chance to have a few minutes of noise free phone time, receiving rapid concise updates on what's happening with friends/family is great, I like that I can keep in contact with so many people, but I hate that it's so impersonal. It could just be me, but I find that my conversation skills are lacking, not just from spending so much time at home with my little people, but because I'm completely out of practice with big people. I read your blog, I already know how you're feeling about whatever. I can ask you how you're doing, but you already wrote about it so has anything changed since yesterday? I dunno I think our society's view of what the term "friend" means has changed drastically and it's seeping into my own life in ways I don't like. I can't be the only person who feels this way, can I?




verb (used with object)
1. to cause confusion and shame to; make uncomfortably self-conscious; disconcert; abash: His bad table manners embarrassed her.
2. to make difficult or intricate, as a question or problem; complicate.
3. to put obstacles or difficulties in the way of; impede: The motion was advanced in order to embarrass the progress of the bill.
*Thank you dictionary.com*
3 Embarrassing Moments
1:  We took the kids to the Stampede yesterday. We parked in a great place just like last year. It has the option of revolving door or handi-door to exit. Steve chose the revolving door. I thought I could do it too... Turns out I couldn't and I feel really bad for the guy that was stuck trying to enter the building while I was trying to exit. I am glad Steve didn't take a picture of it all and instead decided to help us get unstuck, and I'm glad that I'm sure I brought a lot of laughs to many people as the story was retold.
2: Got across the pedestrian bridge over MacLeod and turned to go down the ramp that takes us to the c-train platform, not the Stampede Entrance. 
3: Asked for a handstamp on the way IN to the Stampede, even though I know you only get stamped on the way out.
I blame #2 & #3 on the fact that I was frazzled from the revolving door incident, haha! 


En-Route to the Reunion

 Roadtrips are so much fun! Lesson #1: Make sure your license isn't expired BEFORE you leave. Luckily I noticed that Steve's had been expired since his birthday *ahem March* the night before our trip, so we were only delayed in leaving Calgary by an hour or so on the 30th. Our girls did great in the car, it was the release of pent up energy when Steve and I were really exhausted that made for an "adventure". We tried to have dinner at Appleby's in Rexburg- right across the parking lot from our hotel. My parents were eager to feed us, which we appreciated. Kalea was not really in a sit down mood. What got her sent to the hotel pool with very little dinner was her new found love for cups with lids and straws. She discovered how to flick her milk out of her cup with her straw. It was semi-annoying/kinda cute when she was spraying her aunt and uncle, not so much when she ended up spraying the bald man sitting at the booth behind them! Bedtime was way too late that night. Good times!
 On Canada Day, we decided to kill some time before leaving to get to Bear Lake and took the kids to the temple grounds so they could run off some energy and hopefully sleep most of the way to our next stop. Great idea! The Rexburg Temple is beautiful and the girls loved running around, saying hi to every passerby- mostly female (seriously if guys are looking for a place to pick up girls, they just need to walk around there in the morning) and provided all sorts of fun entertainment for onlookers, including trying to climb the gates and screaming/writhing out of our arms when it was time to get back into the car!
Steve thought it would be really fun to celebrate Canada Day with a bang this year- since we can't buy fireworks in Canada why not do it while we're in the States?! It was worth the expense and he really was like a kid in a candy store. We got an "anonymous tip" about where to go to buy the best fireworks- go figure, the reserve! It was fun but I felt hugely out of place and a bit uncomfortable, so I took Brynlee to sit out in the car. When Steve got to the car he told me he had asked about the different tents that were set up, apparently the striped ones are just individuals trying to make some cash, the white one that we bought from was supporting the local CASINO! Awesome! Steve thought it was hilarious, I didn't quite share his enthusiasm about it.
Also, this day was one of our gong show driving days. I am usually a great navigator- hurrah! But not so much this trip. I had no map. I had no GPS. I did have McDonalds free wi/fi so that eventually saved us, but not before my total FAIL. We left Rexburg and wanted to go to Lava Hot Springs/Soda Springs to see the geyser, etc... We left pretty early and I wrote down directions at the hotel and then POOF! they disappeared- so did some other things at that hotel, mysterious? Anywho, I thought I had a good idea of where we had to go and then I second guessed myself- I should never do that. Needless to say we drove over half way to Pocatello and then turned around and went back to Id. Falls (thanks McDonalds) and then drove to Pocatello again and got to our turn-off, it is now our roadtrip joke! Good times again!


I Have A Family Here on Earth

We recently returned from our McMurray Reunion in Bear Lake. We loved it. Our kids loved it and everyday since we've been home have asked repeatedly, "Go car ride?!" I wish it were that easy to just pick up and go hang out whenever we feel so inclined. Too bad gas is so expensive and we don't have access to an evergreen money tree. Val & Scott et al did a great job organizing what was a very successful reunion and we couldn't be more grateful for their efforts, we just wish more family could've come and enjoyed it all with us! We had a few tender mercies along the way that removed the financial stress of it all and we're very grateful for that as well. We would've taken the hit regardless, but it was so nice to come home and still basically be on track with our financial plan. It's evidence to me that my Heavenly Father is profoundly aware of my needs, even when I think He's got bigger things to deal with.
This reunion venue had a lot of perks that made life a lot easier. Adjoining rooms and lots of bathrooms are more important than I previously thought! Steve and I have already started looking for similar venues in Southern Alberta for the next reunion.
Anyways, it was a busy weekend, but it was tons of fun. Our kids travelled really well, we only watched one movie in the car? I guess they just really liked the scenery? They also had a lot of fun with their cousins running around the property, climbing the playground and locking people out of the cabin... Oh yes, Kalea's fetish of locking people out of places travelled with us! She did not get the time-outs that she deserved while we were there, my trick was to let Steve deal with most of the frustrating things that she did and he did well. One of my cousins actually told me she was amazed at how patient I was with Kalea, which made me happy that at least I was fooling somebody! I did learn a few things about parenting while on vacation- I'm sure some "expert" has already written a book that covers these points, but I like to learn from my own experiences.
1: Correct the behavior in the moment or they come home way brattier than they were before :)
2: Extending bedtime by a half hour is great, missing it by 2hrs is a horrible, terrible, very bad thing.
3: Kalea does not eat much around a lot of people or if there's a park available to her 24/7 so be prepared for lots of snacking. Brynlee eats like a champ no matter what, you just have to remember to feed her, poor thing.
4: Do not take kids straight from a 10hr car ride to a family restaurant, they will not behave, you will be embarrassed and you will have little patience/tolerance, they will not sit still and you or your spouse will not get to eat your/their food.
5: Vacationing with kids is still a lot of work. Do not be fooled into thinking it will be sunshine and happiness the whole time just because you moved your chaotic life to another location HAHA

We still had a great time despite our lack of knowledge as far as parenting on vacation goes, we will do worlds better next time. Steve sacrificed a lot of fun-time so that I could still be a part of the evening activities, he was a huge help and he has an incredible amount of patience that serves us well.
We really love our family, immediate and extended. It's fun to look forward to reunions and to have a spouse that values the importance of these things as well. I am really fortunate that he is willing to sacrifice so much so that I don't ever have to worry about whether or not we're going, we are always going to go- unless I am very pregnant and unable to travel, have pregnancy complications or our kids are gravely ill. Bottom line, family is where we want to be. It's important to be together and to have and not miss out on opportunities to make more memories together. We love it and we look forward to the next one!