Our 2011 Adventures

This year we tackled a lot of firsts in our family.  We truly mixed things up and made our lives uncomfortable, sometimes for the better and sometimes not.  So as adventures go (taking the good with the bad), the following is a list of our many, many firsts for 2011.

-the discovery of elanaspantry.com and cooking with almond flour: I have only had one true recipe flop.  This style of eating has truly transformed our gluten free lifestyle and has made it so that I am nolonger a short order cook.  We all eat the same thing.
-motor home trip: 4 kids, 4 provinces, 7 days, you decide
-5 hour international flight as a family + return: thank goodness we had help
-entire family attended a wedding in which my husband was in the party and he wanted to show off our delightful family (read: pulling my hair out difficult, not to be repeated.....unless of course their uncles ever decide to settle down)
-lip balm making
-beeswax candle making
-foraging for food other than mushrooms
-unplugged Sunday
-major house renovation
-multiple appliance relacement: dishwasher, furnace, dryer
-cooking curry and acquiring a tast for it
-new job as Sales Manager and more house responsibilities for me
-LBB skiing :)
-BW transitioning from crawling to walking and speaking a number of words: 'what's that', 'thanks', 'Nan',
-officially home learning
-went 2+ months without an illness (Wow.  Our crazy diet does work.)
-drove 8 hours round trip with 4 kids to visit my sister for 3 hours
-Animal can write his name without any assistance, anytime he likes


Skiing Hill

We are at the ski hill.  We are having a blast. 
 I watched and skiied with all 3 of my boys.
I helped and watched Little Boy Blue ski for the first time.  He's hooked.
I played cards with all 4 kids. 
I cooked healthy cookies for the kids. 
I sat and knitted with my mom.
I read books with my boys.
I skied with my husband.
I walked to the village twice.  Once by myself.  Once with three kids.
I watched both my parents spend time with my kids.
I listened to my husband play trains with LBB over the baby monitor.
I snuggled with my husband on the couch when everyone was asleep and watched Big Bang Theory reruns.
I enjoyed a full-on, Nan-style Turkey Dinner.  Yum
Builder organized a 'dine' at dinner: lights low, heads down, candle, each say what was good about their day.

This is what vacations are all about.


We Survived

Well, these past three weeks have been long.  We have watched more video's than I care to count.  The toddler is a bear from being catered to and allowed to eat as he pleased.  We all contracted the Chicken Pox, except my Husband.  And we all contracted the Flu, except BW.  A few more days and I think we may be out of the illness scare.  Ya.  We survived. 

Having 4 children does increase the fun, but it also increases the sick days.  Now for some healthy vacation fun.  The twins headed to the ski hill today with Nan and Papa.  We have had to postpone their trip for three weeks now.  The have been counting down the sleeps.  Today, they started packing as soon as they awoke.  Builder was waiting in the front yard a 1/2 hour before my parents were set to arrive.  They were truly ready to go.  LBB was sad to see his brothers go without him, but we quickly remedied that with a trip to the library, a smoothie, and time playing Tonka Cars with just him, BW, and I.  We ate dinner late.  Played in the bath.  And he got to pick his night time video.  I think he was happy to say goodbye to his brother in the end. 

I will be busy preping for our vacation tomorrow and then we are off.  Wahoo.



It has only taken 5 years, but my brother has finally warmed up to being an uncle.  He is even feeding BW.  He came over and we had our 3 month visit!!!  We only live an hour apart and yet never seem to see eachother :(

The other two children are missing from the picture because we are now battling the flu.  Yup, we still have lingering spots, no longer contagious, but now have the flu.  Yick.  Hopefully, this will all clear up in time for our vacation in 4 days.  At the same time, Builder seems to have picked up some mysterious allergy.  He developed hives all over his body yesterday that subside with Benedryl, but return after some time.  I thought he may be allergic to some new paint we were using, so I thoroughly cleaned his nails and he had a bath.  The hives still remain, though.  I am a bit baffled.

We are all looking forward to our week with Dad.  Hopefully, we will be well enough to enjoy ourselves.



We are sick.  Not the normal cold/flu-asthma fear that we usually have going.  We have the Chicken Pox.  Ug.  Actually, so far the toddler, who from this point on will now be referred to as Little Boy Blue (LBB), is the only one sporting the pox.  It's kind of wierd to see what he will look like with his hormonal-teen-pimple face that he is sure to have inherited from me.  The baby, who will now be referred to as Book Worm (BW) because she absolutely loves books, has spent the entire day sleeping and has a low fever.  I expect her spots to emerge soon.  The twins, twin1 to be referred to as Animal and twin2 to be referred to as Builder, are still going concerns.  Life seems to be carrying on, except that we are no longer able to have social outings.  And I think the choir performance that we have been preparing for will no longer happen.  We will have to wait and see if the twins get sick, too.

The twins have been playing chase constantly.  I think this is a result of too much time spent in the house during these cold days.  I kicked them out of the house tonight, so I could prepare dinner without being the safety zone.  I am constantly saying, "Out of the kitchen."  It would be so much easier if they would just help cook dinner.  Usually LLB does.  But at the moment, everything he touches hurts.  Poor little man.

BW is walking.  Ya.  14 1/2 months old.  Way to go BW.

I am drained.  My husband has been covering shifts, or watching the super bowl, and I am on my third week of 6 full days with the kids.  He hasn't even managed his one early (1 hour) night a week.  Last weekend we unplugged for his one day off.  The kids really enjoyed this and so did we.  I think we are attempting this about once a month.  It is nice to have a complete family focus for the day.  The kids asked to watch TV while drinking their milk and we told them no because...  The were even phased.  They were happy to cuddle up and read some books with Dad.  We also walked up my parents mountain and went for an afternoon swim at the pool.  I am ready for these 6 day weeks to be over.  However, 2 more and we are on holidays at the ski hill.  Wohoo.

The reno is slowly coming to an end.  And boy am I ready for it to be over.  It seems as though the workers do something outside and muddy up the area and then decide to do something inside and track all the mud in.  I have been constantly vacuuming and washing the floor.  The counter top went in last week.  It is amazing.  We had a family dinner last weekend and dumped all the dirty dishes on it and there was still some usable space left.  Wow.  They did leave a huge mess that I came home to, though.  They must have done their cutting in the house, instead of outside.  Grrr.  Wood dust was everywhere when I came home from a super long day of visiting my sister, including 7 hours of driving time.  That was not what I wanted to come home to and had to spend the entire next morning making the kitchen livable again.  A necessity when I have to cook every meal.

We made candles today.  It was fun.  The kids loved it.  Especially lighting and blowing out their candle.  Fun.  We have some major mood lighting for dinner tonight.  And with that, dinner is ready.  Good Night.


Finishing Quilts

I finished up a couple of quilts lately.  The two above were made for the twins.  About a year ago, they both picked  out their own fabric.  Bob the Builder for twin2 and Safari Animals for twin1.  The are very appropriate.  I was a bit afraid that their interests would change while I finished them up, but their infatuation still continue.  I finished the opposing side of both with a pirate map theme.  Both boys are very proud of their quilts and so am I.  They love almost everything I make for them.  As I was finishing twin1's quilt, the toddler asked where his quilt was.  Since my mom has made him a beautiful quilt, I thought that I wouldn't make one for him.  I guess I was wrong.  I hope the store still has some more of the fabric to make the rainbow.

 Here is another quilt that only took 2 1/2 years to complete.  It was the second quilt I started and his a bit too intricate for my taste, although I love the pin wheel pattern.  The embroidery took the majority of the time, though.  The result, however, is beautiful.  This one was made special for my mother and father in-law.

I still have one more quilt for my husband that needs finishing.  It is all pieced together, but needs the filling, quilting, and binding.  Then, I'll have to get started on one for the toddler.  That will be a hard one because he doesn't really seem to have any specific passion.  I think he will have to go to the store with me!!