Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's been 5 days 9 hours and 14 minutes since Christmas!

I Love Christmas and everything about it! We have had a really fun holiday so far and I am so glad to have this whole week off to sleep in, play games, visit with friends and hopefully do some skiing.
Here is a little update on some of our Christmas celebrations!

My Mom and Dad, uncle Ken and Uncle Keith came up on the 23rd and spent Christmas with us. It was the first time they have spent Christmas at our house. We loved having them and felt that it really added to the TRUE meaning of Christmas... The love that we have for one another and The SAVIOR who binds us all together. This is Grandma reading us a story from the "Christmas binder"
Our Christmas eve supper! Mark and I both followed traditions set in our childhood homes and we make Oyster soup! I know, yuck right?! WRONG it's delicious! We love it. I won't hold out for any recipe requests! 
Sam got to open his gift from Grandma and Grandpa D on Christmas eve... Grandma has made each one of her Grandkids one of these fabulous sleeping bags! Sam is their last grandchild and the only one who didn't have one yet! He has been sleeping in Maryn's bag for most of the last year and asked often why he didn't have "my own sleeping bag" Needless to say he was thrilled when he open his present and there was his very OWN sleeping bag! Thanks Grandma!! You are amazing!
Everyone else got to open new P.J's!
Christmas morning! Sam with his new Ben Ten Omni tricks and watch!
Dallin with a massive Lego project, which took one very talented brother to get it put together. Thanks Max!!
Dallin with his new "laptop"
Julie gets her own blow dryer and hair straightener! Mom is sooo happy! No more sharing!
Max got a PSP. He didn't play with it for atleast two days due to the above mentioned LEGO project! Look close though and you'll see his favorite present...A YOYO! he has hardly let go of it all week.
Maryn got an Ipod touch. LUCKY!!
Shaina's present was by far the funnest to see opened... She has been begging for about a year for some kind of "pet" she started by asking for rabbits (thanks to Aunt Julie and Sarah) I just couldn't say yes to that having a beagle in our house! Next was the request for hamsters. I pretty much told her that we had all the animals that this Mom was prepared for and that she was just going to have to let it go! Well... Shaina didn't ask for much of anything for Christmas this year and when all the gift buying was done and presents were wrapped we realized that we hadn't gotten Shaina much of anything. Mark and I were laying in bed one night (a few days before Christmas!) and Mark just said one word... "HAMSTER"! I said "brilliant" and we both slept like babies! The next morning I went out and with Maryn's help picked out two adorable dwarf HAMSTERS for Shaina!!! As you can see from the pictures she was thrilled!
They are sooo tiny and cute... I'll just have to endure the smell! It's all good, I know from experience, it won't last long! (what a mean thing to say, sorry Shaina!)
Christmas Day the Missionaries from our ward came to make their phone calls to Home from our house. This is Elder Stewart
This is Elder Baxter. They each talked for an hour. We also got to talk to OUR Missionary! Russell is doing great, it was so nice to hear his voice. Everyone got a chance to talk to him, which really made the time fly by too fast. It was hard not to have him here with us for Christmas, but we are continually grateful for his faithful service and example. 

The whole family sitting down for Christmas Dinner! It was a delicious meal, and so nice to have Grandma there to help! I actually enjoyed the food this year! ( I am usually so tired of cooking that I don't even care!)
Boxing Day took everyone outdoors! Maryn down to White Ave. to shop, and everyone else to the ravine to go sledding! Here is Shaina playing in the fluffy white stuff!

Miss Julie climbing trees???!

Dad working off all the Christmas baking...pulling the boys up the hill. What a nice Dad!
Jules and Shai!
... and then down they go!!!
I think Mark has more fun than anyone!
And... truth be told, I stayed home with the dogs! We didn't get another Beagle, this is Lacy. She belongs to our friends the Fairbanks. We babysat her while they went down to Raymond to watch their son play in the Sugar Bowl. Which by the way Ainlay took first place in the final against Raymond. Yeah!!!!!
It has been a wonderful Christmas! It is such a peaceful time of year! (even at our house!) My good friend Brenda suggested that we go to the temple together on Saturday. (the 27th) It was such a blessing to be there with Mark and Brenda, and to really reflect on the Savior and all that he means in my life. I want to make going to the temple part of our Christmas celebration every year. It is my ultimate desire to have my whole family there with me one day! That will be the Best Christmas Ever!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm back on the blogging band wagon!!

Well... It has been so long since my last post that I figured the best thing to do would be to begin where I left off! Here it goes, it might be long!
Mark and I went to Kauai in October ( I was really bad about taking pictures, I have a few,but they are on the lap top. We had a great time and wish we were there now being that it is -35 with the wind chill!) We got back t 2:00 halloween day! This is Sam and I trick or treating if you look close you'll see that I am unusually tan for this time of the year!
Shaina, Dallin and Sam in their costumes! We have sure gotten a lot of milage out of the M and M costumes! I am pretty sure that everyone except Russell and Sam have worn them. We just took the kids around Blue Quill Estates, they got too much candy and were very HAPPY!!!

As soon as Halloween was over Brenda and I went full steam ahead to get ready for "The Writing on the Wall" Christmas open house. The above pictures are a few of the designs we came up with for this year. We had a very successful season and are already looking forward to next year! I always say that one of the perks of doing this business is that I  have my house all decorated long before Christmas is here. Their was a day when I would shake my head at people who put up Christmas decorations before December. Now I have it up before Remembrance Day and I love it!!!
I am on the Activities Committee in our ward and we had our Ward Christmas party on December 3rd. We did "A night in Bethlehem" It was a lot of work but well worth the effort. I know a good time was had by all!! Here we have Mark and Sam dressed in their "Biblical" attire. Don't they look cute?! 

On December 13th I hosted a Bridal Shower for Tyler Fairbanks new bride Kristine. It was a bitter cold night but I was just amazed at how many people came to show their support to Georgeanne. Kristine is a great girl and will fit so nicely into the Fairbanks family. Sorry I don't have any pictures to share, I guess I was too busy trying to be a good hostess!
We also went to their wedding which was just this past Saturday night. It was a nice evening and we got to visit with our Fairbanks cousins who came up from Calgary for the wedding.

Mark and I celebrated Mark's birthday on the 16th and our anniversary on the 19th! Sorry no pics again! I just don't think about these things! I'll try to do better over the holidays.

That is the update! I will be back soon!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So Thankful!!!!

The kids spent all day last Saturday helping me with little jobs that I needed done but just couldn't get around to doing myself. Max put together two shoe racks that I bought at Ikea at least six months ago!! Thanks Max.
Julie washed walls in the basement. Everytime I walk down stairs I say  "I  really need to wash these walls, they are awful"!! Thanks Julie!
Shaina spent  a good two hour raking and bagging leaves in the back yard. She was all alone out there and I was impressed by her determination. Thanks Shaina. Funny thing is, if you looked out in the back yard today, you would never know she worked so hard. Their are leaves every where again!!!
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had our "Feast" on Sunday. I did most of the cooking on Friday and Saturday. We had the usual... turkey,  potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry salads, cream peas, stuffing, buns and pumpkin pie. We had the missionaries over and they more than made up for Russells' absence!! We all missed Russell and wrote him letters for F.H.E on Monday night. We all wrote why we are "Thankful" for  Russell.
I would be so ungrateful not to mention a few of the many things that make my life so richly  blessed...
  1. Mark- I have always known that no matter what happened our family would be taken care of. Mark works hard and  does his job well. He is a wonderful Father and his kids love him. His service in the church is a huge blessing to our family and a great example too. Their is no one I would rather spend my time with than Mark, he is my best friend and I love him!
  2. My kids- Russell, Maryn, Max, Julie, Shaina, Dallin and Sam. Seven amazing people. I have so much to  teach them and they are all growing up so fast. They each have such unique personalities, I am thankful for each one of them. They give my life purpose and help me be a better person.
  3. Parents, In-Laws,  siblings etc. I have been blessed with a wonderful extended family. I feel bad sometimes because I don't get to spend a lot of time with these great people, but their love and example is a great blessing in my life and I hope they all know how much I love and admire them. 
  4. Good friends- When I think back over the  years about the friendships that I have made, I know that my Heavenly Father has had a hand in who came my way. I have known people who have stepped in and served me and my family in times of need, people who I played with, laughed with and cried with. I have not always been great at keeping in touch with friends who come and go, but I am grateful for all of them none the less.
  5. My  Heavenly Father, the Savior and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- Where would I be without these in my life. I know that I am daughter of God and that I can look to my  Savior for comfort and guidance and to be forgiven of my sins and weaknesses. I am thankful for the scriptures, as I read them I feel buoyed up and more confident in sharing the gospel with others. I am thankful for the Prophet and for his guidance and direction and for the priesthood keys he holds. I want nothing more than to follow the Savior and return, with my family, to live Him again.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sammy Turns 4!!

Here is sam with all his presents! 

Sammy with his new Webkinz Dolphin from Maryn...Dallin was keen to take it away 

After presents we went to the park with friends 
from the ward to eat cake and play!

Update on Russell

This is a picture of Russ the day he entered the MTC. He is suppose to send his memory card home once in a while so we can upload all his pictures. I will post more when that happens.(if it ever happens) !!!!
Russell has been gone for almost six weeks. His first area is Santaquin and it includes 4 other small towns near by. He covers 3 stakes and has 15 investigators. On his second Sunday out they attended 4 sacrament meetings, 4 ward correlations and a youth fireside. He and his companion spoke at two of the sacrament meetings and at the youth fireside!!! He is very busy and really happy. We couldn't ask for more! Russell's companion/trainer is Elder Gregson from Calgary! Russ actually met him the summer after he graduated as Elder Gregson was working in Edmonton for the summer. They get along great and obviously have lots in common. I love getting his weekly email and hearing about his experiences. He is doing great and loving his mission.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Maryn and Max were in too big of a hurry to have their pictures taken on the first day of school. I will try to pin them down one of these mornings. Maryn is in grade 12 and Max in grade 10. They both go to Harry Ainlay. It is hard to believe that this is Maryn's last year. They both have pretty full schedules and will have to work really hard. Max was lucky enough to have Jordan Garside in almost all of his classes and Maryn got her timetable just the way she wanted it with a 7/8 spare. I think they were both being "looked after" by Mr. Olsen, because that just doesn't happen. It's going to be a great year!
Sam didn't start playschool the first week. I thought he would be bored an unhappy at home alone with me, but he was just the opposite. I think he really enjoys the extra attention. We made soft pretzels together on the first day of school. They were really good but too time consuming. Sam likes to be where ever I am and is so good to entertain himself when needed. He really likes to "go" and this is what he said to me the other day " let's go grossry shopping mom, but grosseries aren't gross"!! Too cute. 
Dallin is in grade one! He was pretty nervous about his first day. I tried not to let him see how anxious I was too. I will really miss having him around during the day. Of all the kids I think Dallin would really love home schooling.  Every Monday morning He starts the count down until the weekend. He has the BEST teacher this year. Mme. Henry, she taught Shaina in grade one too. She is kind of the "full meal deal" she's funny, kind, organized and very enthusiastic. We couldn't ask for more! I know it will be a great year for Dallin.

Shaina is in grade 4 this year at Richard Secord. She has Mr. Girard for her teacher, he is very french (I can hardly understand his english!) Shaina comes home everday with funny stories to tell me. The thing she likes most about school is that her teacher lets the kids in her class bring Webkins to school.

Julie  didn't have the best start to her school year. On the first day I get a phone call at about 10:00 " Hi Mom, can you come and get me?"  " Sure Julie, what's the matter?"  " I just threw up in the bathroom" " I'll be right there!" At least she made it to the bathroom!
It was just a 24 hour flew and she was right back at it the next day. Julie is in grade 8 this year. She goes to Vernon Barford Junior High.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Trip to the Redwoods!!!

So last Sunday I was sitting in sacrament meeting and Maryn leans over to me and says "I work all this week" Karen- "I told you not to book yourself this week" Maryn- "Why? it's not like we are doing anything" Karen- " Well maybe we are going to go somewhere" Maryn- "Ya right, like where?" Me- "Maybe the Redwoods!"

The long story made short is... We went! I came home and asked the kids if that sounded like something they would all like to do, we did some rearranging of schedules, a couple quick loads of laundry (yes, on Sunday) packed our bags and pulled out of the driveway Monday morning at about 10:30 a.m.!!! We stopped at Wall Mart and while Maryn and I loaded up with all the road trip essentials, Julie managed to drain the juice out of the Yukon battery. (listening to the radio) We spent the first hour of the trip waiting for AMA to come give us a boost and then...We were off.

We drove to for 12 hours the first day and stayed in Abbottsford B.C the first night. Tuesday morning we drove on toward Seattle where upon arrival I tortured Max, Dallin and Sam with a few hours of shopping at the Outlet Mall before making it to Jim and Marie's by about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday we went downtown Seattle to the Science Center, we spent the morning there, then on to the Zoo for the afternoon. It was great to visit with our Davidson family there. We don't see them often and the kids had a great time catching up with Will and Nina. Thursday I got the kids up early and we were on the road again! The drive from Seattle to northern California was about 8 hours. Oregonites drive a lot slower than what I am used to and there were state troopers everywhere, so it was a bit of a painful drive. We got to Cresent City at about 4:30 p.m. We checked in to a hotel and then Max and I went looking for some kind of Park information place. We got there at 6:00 just before the ranger was closing up. He was very helpful and showed us some things we could see in our short one day stay. With some protest, we all loaded back into the Yukon that night, and drove along the coast and down into the Redwood National Forest. We went to see the "Biggest" tree, it was just about dusk and let me tell you, the sheer enormity of the trees combined with the lack of day light nearly sent us all running back to Edmonton that night!! Seriously, it was AMAZING! we couldn't get over just how big "BIg" really is! (that doesn't make much sense does it?) Since it was getting late we went back to our hotel and had a quick sleep anxiously awaiting the adventures that Friday would bring. I woke everyone up early, as I knew we would be short for time. After we ate, we loaded up again and set off for Jedidiah Smith National park where the ranger had told Max and i that we could do a fun drive and a little day hike. I can't begin to tell you how great of a day we had. The trees were sooooooo big and the kids all had such a blast exploring the trail. It never got boring, tree after tree after tree. Our only regret is that we didn't have time to see more. We took lots of pictures and of course they don't really do it justice, but here are a few for your viewing pleasure! I haven't figured out how to arrange the photos so they follow the text, can any one help me out???

After a half of a day of fun we drove back to Seattle where we bunked down at Jim and Marie's for a few hours, then at 6:00 a.m. we got back into the Yukon for the long drive home. We arrived back in Edmonton at about 10;30 Saturday night. It was so nice to see mark and be back in our own beds again. The kids did so great with the many hours in the car. They watched a ton of movies and then some! Dallin will remember the trip for the fact that he beat two new D.S games in 5 days GREAT! Maryn read half of the book Twilight to me and most of her own book to herself. Shaina turned 9 on our trip and spent her day in three states-Washington, Oregon and California! O.K she really just spent the whole day in the car!! Julie had the onerous job of sitting by Sam most of the time. She did really well helping him to stay full of junk food and entertained. Sam was great, he only got really mad once or twice, and he kept me awake with his constant requests for more junk food. Max gets the award for sleeping the most and making the least noise. And I take the prize for being crazy enough to haul six kids to the Redwoods for six days hands down!!!

We had such a fun trip and hopefully created some great memories! I would do it all over again in a heart beat. With the new school year on the horizon i am already looking forward to next summer and what ever adventures it will bring!