Saturday, November 30, 2013


Nothing super awesome has happened lately.  Just living life.  Cora had YW and Excellence this past week.  I thought she did a really great job presenting the value project she had done.  Hers was the Good Works Boredom Buster that she worked on this summer.  Leah and Blake have been getting along better.  Dave has his car running again, for the moment, we will see how long this time.  It seems a little funny, if we have nice weather for him to work on the house we have no vehicles to drive.  His truck is down right now also.  If the weather is freezing and blowing then the car is running etc.  Sometimes I really don't know about this decision we made. Cora has started basketball and Leah will be starting soon.  Christmas shopping is almost done.  In previous years we have all taken an FHE night and gone out to have the kids do their shopping for each other.  Dave or I would take one and then the other would entertain or get ideas for the one shopping, we tried to hide the items in the cart under coats and sneakily pay for them.  But as they are more grown up they didn't want/need things from Toy R Us, they don't play toys much now and it was getting harder to hide it.  Anyways this year I have been taking one at a time and we have shopped and then gotten a treat of their choice afterwards.  I think a new tradition has been born.  I have really enjoyed the one on one time with my kids and sitting down with the treat after and talking with them has been priceless. I hope what they remember most is spending the time together.  We went to our first Pronghorn game last night.  They have upped the prices quite a bit so we may not get to go very much, which is sad.  Everyone really enjoys going. We made sure to get the girls game also this time.  Cora really enjoyed that since she knew a lot of them from basketball camp.  We took pistachios, jerky and water and it was a really fun time.  The boys had a great game.  I love close games where we win at the end.  Perfect ones to watch.  Tomorrow we have Prelude to Christmas.  Dave and the kids are participating in that and I have been put in charge of the refreshments.  Can't wait until it is over. Christmas is coming so fast.  I thought I had planned well and was so prepared.  But then Leah said she need a white elephant for school and one for activity days, and Cora's friends have all been reading the Book Thief and want me to make them pancakes,  they will open the Secret Santa gifts they have been planning for months then I will drive them all to the movie.  Blah, Blah Etc Etc. Then there is work parties and ward parties and I want to spend time with my family.  Every year I am still amazed that this peaceful, giving, loving, family oriented, celebration of Christ's birth, is so crazy, busy, stressful. I feel the need to simplify more every year.  But I do enjoy it and am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chocolate Time

The first thing that starts our Christmas season off every year is chocolate making with the Puzey family.  I don't decorate or listen to Christmas songs until December.  I defiantly shop though and am usually done by December, but nothing feels like Christmas is really getting close until we all get together and make chocolates.  This past weekend we went to the farm and got to work.  I was the last to arrive, which was shocking really:) and Lalainia was unable to make it because of family things.  We really missed her.:( As usual it was a good time. We rolled and dipped and topped and ate.  By general consensus we made a bit less this year and decided that if we wanted more, Myrna has taught us well and we could do it on our own.  It was nice, we were done and cleaned up by 4ish then had a quick bite for dinner and headed home at a decent hour.  My three kids helped with the rolling.  Leah helped for a while then played with her cousins, Blake also helped then played with Lego.  He was really missing Ashton to play with.  Cora helped most of the day in between her gymnastics.  She even tried dipping this year.  On the way out she had asked if she was old enough to learn that part yet.  I am a terrible dipper and thought it a great idea for her to learn. I told her once we had gotten into it a bit and in a routine then I would see if Grandma minded if she gave it a go.  She really enjoyed it and would have like to do much more, but felt pressure to be done.  I thought she did really good for a first try. Leah had wanted to dip also but for various reason didn't, maybe next year. Or maybe I will have to make some at home for them to try.  Myrna had got a few foam Christmas ornaments that the kids had fun making in the afternoon. I seem to be really bad at remembering pictures lately and if I took them, you all would just be drooling anyways.  Another successful chocolate making done and now we are almost ready to celebrate this Christmas season.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Grandpa Smith

Frank Wayne Smith

May 12, 1922 - November 10, 2013

My Grandpa's funeral is today.  It is in Utah and I was unable to travel down this weekend.  I am sad that I am missing this.  I have decided to share a few of my memories here as everyone else is sharing them down there today.
1.  My Grandparents lived in Utah my whole life.  Before I was born they lived right next to us on the family farm.  We would travel down once a year and stay with them for a while, they would also travel up to see us.  Grandpa always brought us American candy.  He had quite a sweet tooth and would bring us the good stuff to share.
2.  I remember him laughing all the time.  It seemed like he always enjoyed a little tease or a good joke.
3. Once on our visit in Utah he took a few of us kids to a pond to feed the ducks.  He was breaking the bread into tiny little pieces to make it last longer and of course was teasing them a bit with it.
4. One time, when we were down seeing my Grandma for the last time, Grandpa took Natalie and I to a little airport to have a scenic ride over the Salt Lake Valley.  I have no idea how we or this activity got chosen, I don't even remember actually going in the plane.  But while we were waiting there was a bowl of candy on a table.  In it were Fireballs and Lemon Drops.  Natalie and I chose a Lemon Drop, but Grandpa wanted to try the Fireball.  We told him it was really really hot. Grandpa opened it and popped it right in his mouth.  A few second later he started exclaiming, 'oh that is hot, yes that is hot' but never took it out.  Looked for a glass of water but still did not take it out.  I think of this every time my kids get Fireballs for Halloween.
5. My Grandpa was only 6 or 7 when one day he was out with his dad.  His Dad had a heart attack and fell off his horse into a near by water trough and died. I can not even imagine losing your dad as such a young age.  It is nice that he finally gets to see him again.
6. He loved my Grandma,  you could tell. He loved his children and grandchildren. He was always so excited to see us.
7. Last year my Dad and Uncle Vaughn moved Grandpa back up to Canada.  We would try to see him at least once a month.  Towards the end he was mostly sleeping and he didn't know we were there. Didn't know us when we did see him. He loved to talk about the old days on the farm and riding horses.  Grandpa always loved to tell a story, and we enjoyed listening.
8. When Dave and I were dating we took a last minute trip to Utah to meet both sets of Grandparents.  We couldn't leave till I got off work and couldn't rent a hotel together, so we traveled through the night.  We arrived at G & G Smith's house at 3:30 in the morning.  My Grandpa was up weeding his carrots by street light.  Dave always thought that was the funniest thing.  But he always got up early.  I guess it is so ingrained from years of farm live.
9. Even when it got hard to travel, Grandpa made it to our weddings and everything else that he could.
10. One of the place that my Grandparents lived had a pool table in the basement.  He would take us grand kids down and play us a few games.
11.Grandpa would always call for our birthdays.  Up until just a few years ago.  It was always really early since he was up, but he never missed a grandchild or a great-grandchild.  We knew the first phone call birthday morning was Grandpa Smith.
12. He has two brothers.  One passed away a few years ago and the other is still around, living in Utah I believe.
13. He has 7 children that are scattered across Canada and the USA.
14. Last year I was able to go to Utah with Natalie, her boys,and my parents.  While we were there we celebrated Grandpa's 90th birthday.
That is just a few of the things I remember about my fun-loving, happy Grandpa Smith.  Grandpa I am glad you are no longer uncomfortable and you can remember everything again.  I am glad that you get to be with Grandma and see your parents again.  You will be missed.  We will see you again soon.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Myrna wanted us all to celebrate her birthday in Edmonton again this year.  We had not been up for 4 years and decided it was time.  We had enough Airmiles saved that we were able to get 2 nights in a hotel, Water Park, and Galaxyland tickets.  This was great and saved us lots.  We headed out Thursday.  We had a late start since our car had died Tuesday and was just sitting in Carmangay.  Dave picked it up that morning then we headed to Champion to open a mail box then continued on our way.  We picnicked in the car and arrived about 4ish. After unloading all our things we headed to the mall.  Our poor deprived children where the most fascinated by the escalators. They just rode up and down and up and down.  In Target they also had an escalator for your carts.  Blake thought this was amazing and again just sent them up and down.  Lalainia had made reservations at Old Spaghetti Factory for everyone to celebrate Myrna's birthday (which was Sunday) It was very tasty and Leah once again managed to eat an unbelievable amount of spaghetti.  The next morning we ate breakfast, headed to the mall, did a little shopping, and spent the rest of the day at the Water Park.
Everyone had a great time.  The dads went on some scary rides.  You would stand in the top and it would count down, then the bottom would drop out.  Dave really enjoyed these.  Blake found a slide that you rode on a little board.  You went straight down then bounced across the water.  It ended up being his favorite slide.  Leah rode some slides the first part of the day, then spent most of the rest of it in the wave pool.

When we arrived at the Water Park, I slide for a bit then got out the camera.  It was blinking at me.  I totally forgot the charger. So thank you to Rachel for all the pictures from Galaxyland.  There was a new Zipline that went all across the Water Park.  Myrna really wanted Cora to go with her so we ended up getting her a ticket.
She was a little nervous, but ended up loving it.  I would really would have liked to try it but was trying to make the trip as cheap as possible.  We pack a lunch as often as we could instead of eating out and chose only a few activities.  Anyways after 9 hours at the park it was time to go.  My crazy kids still wanted to swim in the pool at the hotel after all that but we got back too late.  Saturday, again after a great breakfast we went back to the mall.  Another new thing for us was Rope Quest.  This was 3 stories of ropes and beams that you walk and climb through.  We were tethered in, in case we fell.  Blake was a little nervous, until Dave let him see how the rope would hold him if he fell.  We were told in the beginning instructions not to fall on purpose, so I wouldn't let him do it.  But Dave told him to.  Unfortunately is was almost time to go at that point.

It really was lots of fun.  I would love to do it again.

We had a picnic lunch again then did Galaxyland.  Everyone had so much fun.  They tested their fear levels, and concurred quite a bit.  Since I am such a lam-o and unable to ride any rides, I watched for a while then did a little Christmas shopping then met back up with them.
This is the little roller coaster.  Dave, Jared, Jared, and Rachel rode Mind Bender together.  Everyone but Leah did the Space Shot.  It shoots you like 135 feet in the air, then drops.  Even Blake did this one with Ashton.  He was a little white after, but said he would do it again next time we go.
Leah and Emry stuck pretty close and rode lots of rides with Grandma.  I think she was the favorite ride companion.  Everyone wanted to be with her.  Leah loved the Swing of the Century and Ocean Motion. They all loved the twisting roller coaster and rode it many times.

The kids could have gone a long time but we were getting hungry and they really wanted to swim at the hotel that night. We went to Boston Pizza for dinner.  Of course on a Saturday there was a little wait, then Myrna took us out for ice cream, then Amber and Jared had all their coats taken (they were in rented stroller thing and later found) so Dave suggested we walk around to all the exits and see if someone had just taken the stroller thinking it was not being used.  There are a lot of exits at the West Edmonton Mall.  Once again we made it back after the pool closed. Sunday we slept in until my mom texted me, we ate breakfast, packed and drove on home.  Blake really wanted to try to go swimming one last time, but of course it was Sunday so we were unable to. We ate the last of our sandwiches and treats so we didn't have to stop on the way home.  We also sang some church songs, discussed things we had learned last week in Sunday School, did a Gospel Q & A, then talked about a few memories of my Grandpa Smith (when my mom texted that morning she had let me know he had passed away early that morning) When we got home we unpacked and watched a movie together.  Then bedtime. It was a wonderful holiday.  We had a lot of fun and made a lot of great memories. It is always fun to get together with family and talk and learn more about their lives.  Can't wait until the next trip. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Leah's Volleyball

Last night was Leah's mini volleyball tournament.  They just do a small 8 week program to teach the kids the basics.  She really enjoys playing sports.  Our camera was having some setting problems, sorry about the fuzz.
Getting ready to play.  Listening to beginning instructions.

They were practicing with regular volleyballs, then when the tournament began they brought out these giant beach ball type things.  We started laughing. And they have these weird bounce and catch rules, but you can see it really does teach them teamwork and to think about their moves.

Look how huge that thing is.

Leah had fun.  At one point I looked around and lots of parents where on their phones.  Lots of little kids running around even on the court.  It was crazy, so Cora and I started cheering everyone on.  I think we may have annoyed Dave a bit, but really did you come to watch your kids or not.  And even though it is a small town school game, keep your kids off the court.  We cheered lots.  At one point Dave said to me, 'How do you know all these kids names?" Way to Go Leah!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween

Mummy chocolate sugar cookies

Witch's brooms.  Cora gave these out to seminary kids and her friends.

I thought it would be fun to make Mummy Dogs.  But like the cookies they didn't look like I what I saw in my head.

My parents brought Levi in to trick or treat with my kids.  They also brought their famous donuts. So good.  We had Mummy Dogs, bat wings, witches fingers and apple cider for dinner. Then the kids all got dressed up.

A Prisoner


A grandma and Sacajawea

Whatever the name is for a Halloween Scrooge that is me.  I enjoy sewing the costumes, dressing up, the fun foods, the cute little decor, fairies and witches and a little trick or treating.  What I really, really don't like is the kids that don't dress up, but run from house to house just collecting all the candy they can get, the costumes that are gruesome and bloody, and the mounds of candy that I now have to deal with.  After about 20 mins of being out I think my kids have gathered enough candy to last a bit and they had fun.  Yes I know, Scroogeish.  This was pointed out a few times by husband and children last night. But as they dumped it all out on arrival home, all I could think was, 'how in the world are they going to get through all that and where am I going to store it?'  Whey I suggested, again this year, that we could take it to a dentist that pays for it by the pound and ships it to soldiers over seas, I was once again met by dirty looks.  They had a blast and I guess that is the important part.