Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sun Dogs

WAY back in January of 2009 I started this here bloggity blog...and found it funny (and fitting!) that my very first real blog post was about Canadian winters being cold. :) 

Forward 6 years ahead and I'm still talking about the same thing!! 

In that long lost post I introduced (some of you!) to "sun dogs"... and it's kinda neat to be introducing them to my little kidlings now too.

See that "horizontal rainbow" beside the sun? 

That's a "sun dog"... and it's an indicator to this here fresh new Canuck to STAY INSIDE! That means it's coooooold. And no, not just cold to me... because we all know that would be like down vest over a hoodie type weather... but REALLY cold! 

Even to the seasoned Canadians! :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Rainbow of Fun

Our little Larren turned four last week... and oh what an event! She wanted a "rainbow unicorn" (?!?!?) party and knew specifically what she wanted... but after a teeny bit of convincing we settled on just a rainbow party instead! With the help of Pinterest, and some "yes's" and "no's" from the birthday girl, it all came together! :)

After our pool and play weekend we came home and started getting to "work" right away!

Daddy was enlisted to help hang up the high streamers, since... well, he's tall! And if Jonathan is doing something, you know it's going to be done right! Out came the tape measure! :)

 The morning of her birthday party, Larren whipped out her highly treasured sticker earrings and spread them wealth to both her sisters and I! 

(Wanna know something funny... I totally forgot I had mine on until I was washing my face that night... thankfully no one noticed because of my hair, but it definitely made me laugh!)

Larren's "job" was to hand aprons to her friends when they came so they could protect their clothes at the "craft table"...

The craft was decorating little coin purses with fabric markers to look like a rainbow!

(A little touch from Alia!)

Food consisted of a rainbow fruit platter...

... veggies, cheese, chips, and rainbow jello!

Which, may I just say, my mom is the MASTER in making! Mine didn't hold a candle in the wind to hers... if only she could have teleported us some!! Guess what my one of my new goals is?!?! Yup... hopefully our kids like jello cause I'm going to get this right yet! :)

And a coffee station for the mama's. I have only started drinking coffee in the last year, so it never crossed my mind to have coffee before now... so I appologize to all our party goers of the past who didn't have any! :)

 I, of course, forgot to take pics during craft time, or as people were snacking... but here's a couple...

(The dress up armoire was raided and it's always SO CUTE to see what creative little minds come up with!)


Caidrie had to be woke up from her nap so she could enjoy the party (and her friends!) too!

 What a wonderful group of friends Larren has! Every person invited was at HER request! :)

Gifts (again people are so generous... wow!) were quite a "group event!" :)

Alia and her friend from school made Larren a special rainbow book in class (that really is super cute!) and it brought them GREAT JOY to finally be able to give it to her sister!! 

For favor bags I ordered a number of things from Oriental Trading company.... 

... and it's a fact... I'm such a sucker (HA!)  for a themed party! 

We gave Larren's friends rainbow colored bracelets, a rainbow crayon "pen", some scratch art bookmarks, Skittles, some rainbow stickers, a rainbow sucker, and a set of rainbow colored carnival stencils.

Just our little way of saying "We're glad you're a friend and we hope these things make you smile!"

Larren's actual birthday was two days after the party, and it was a bit more low key. The girls have come to expect streamers on their door when they wake up... :) 

... and after pancakes for breakfast, Larren did some crafting with some of her new birthday gifts!

Larren requested taco's for supper (surprise, surprise!!) but when supper came around our day was going down hill fast (sadly it was a VERY challenging day for a number of reasons!) so her and I went out for supper on a Mommy/daughter date. Which... though not what we normally do on birthdays... was really fun! It was a highlight of the day for me... no doubt! I loved being with HER... just her... and seeing her in her own light!

So there ya have it. A rainbow birthday for a bright and lovely girl!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Vacation Before a Vacation

Have I mentioned that this winter has been long? And hard? And cold? (OH SO COLD!) And that it's been the worst winter yet?!?! 


We had two days of around 0 degrees (32 degrees Fahrenheit) temps this week and it was glorious! But now we're heading back into the deep freeze again... with no indication of when we can return to the land of the living!

Anyhow... all that to say... we are going on holidays at the beginning of March (woohoo!!!!) but felt like we needed something to help us make it through February! So... our best friends and us headed to the big city for some IKEA shopping (enter me and the girls saying "YAY!!!!!" and Jon saying "UGH!!!") and a quick stay at a hotel with a fantastic pool and play area!

           ** PLEASE NOTE**
The vast majority of these pictures have NOT been edited and the lighting was HORRIBLE due to so many light sources... so take them for what they are... pictures of US in our raw form with not a bit of help! :)

One mention of a pool and our girls are bouncing with excitement! So the fact that this hotel had a pool ...

... AND a super cool play area...

... AND a theme room with bunk beds in a "ship"... which I sadly didn't get a picture of...

... AND a kids eat free deal (okay, maybe THEY don't care, but us parents sure do!) and it was a HIT!

Larren started out in the kiddy pool...

... but bravely worked her way up to going down the water slide all by herself! (Though she drank a fair amount of pool water on that one!)

Oh Alia and those beloved goggles... that "really do help her swim better!" :)

Sydney got word about the superpowers in swim goggles and decided to give them a try too! :)

Caidrie... she just opted for the kiddy pool most of the time. 

She's not a super big fan of the water... I guess she takes after her mama!

We ate supper (and breakfast!) at the hotel because of the kids eat free deal... and it was quite yummy! Plus it was handy to not have to warm up the vehicle and leave when it was -40 degrees out!

The play centre.... wow, this place was CRAZY! There were four levels... and foam balls galore...

 ... and a ball basket that dropped balls from the very top every so often... 

... and vacuumized (?) air guns... 

... and a big twisty slide from the top level...

... it goes without saying that the kids (and the dads/papa) had a GRAND ole' time!

While the guys were up shooting each other with foam balls...  the girls would run down and get more balls for them!! Caidrie was like a little trained ant... getting balls was her MAIN mission... and she took her job quite seriously! Up and down and in and out and gathering and climbing and scurrying and giving... all at surprisingly quick speed! She was SWEATING when we called it quits!

Though if there was a free gun, she didn't mind taking a little detour! :)

At check out time we sent the guys outside with all our stuff while the ladies and the littles went to hang out at the play area. When they came back in was when the real "battles" started!

Oh, and don't worry... Nana Betty did a fine job keeping this little pumpkin away from any cross fire! :)

There was Papa Ron and Alia on one gun...

... Larren and Jon on another...

... and Uncle Brad (with the occasional little helper!) on the third!

I'm not sure who won, but the fun lasted for quite sometime before everyone came trudging out all red faced and warm! :)

The two little ones did pretty well in the big play area, considering how large and crazy it was, but it was SO nice for them to head to the small play area when they wanted to! They had two slides and a couple of things to climb on... just right for two silly giggly girls!

All in all... it was just what the Dr. ordered! 

Though next time we'll have to remember that when bedtime comes... we need to allow an extra two hours to get those little eyes closed! Something about sleeping in bunk beds with built in portholes just makes sleeping a thing of the past! Jon won't confirm it ;) but I'm pretty sure I fell asleep before any of the kids did! Vacations are for relaxing, right?!?! :)

Next stop : CALGARY!! With a little side trip for Jon and I to Banff for my birthday! We are all SO excited to visit with family and I'm a tad :) excited to be sneaking away with just my love!! Fancy restaurants and spas (okay, maybe not plural!) here we come!