Friday, July 31, 2009

Frisky Kitty

Mickey, the kitten, has learned to climb the ladder on the kids playset and slide down the slide. No one taught her this action - she just learned it herself. Again, I took the video sideways so you'll have to bend your neck to watch it. You can see the kitten halfway up the ladder on the left side and then the slide. That's Elly on the swing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fun With the Woolf Pack

We spent time in the back yard yesterday playing with our Woolf grandchildren. It was a fun time.

Kenzie, Me, Sydney

Lloyd, Kenzie and Aidan

Aidan and his Grammie

Kenzie and Syd love their Papa

Syd tried to teach Papa some moves on the trampoline. He made me promise not to post the video I took of him.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Addition

Amy and Curtis have added a new member to their family...

This is Bernie, a three-month old St. Bernard. He's only been a member of the family for a week, but he's already won the hearts of all who meet him.

Aidan likes to hand feed him by putting bits of food (and his fingers) right into Bernie's mouth. He was a bit intimidated by the size of this puppy who was almost the same size as him.

Kenzie is very proud that she can walk Bernie on a short leash. I imagine as he grows up he'll be harder for her to control him.

One thing for sure, he'll have lots of attention and love as he grows up. Welcome to the family Bernie.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Home Again

After getting a good start on the refinishing of the hardwood floors in Lethbridge, we left Mark to finish up the sanding and varnishing and Lloyd and I headed for Edmonton and home. On the way we stopped in Lacombe to visit Jenny, Anders and the 5 grandsons.

It was so nice to visit them and see all they've done to finish their yard and landscaping...such a huge yard for the boys to have fun it. They've had a successful garden this year and have planted lots of trees and bushes as well.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Lloyd and Mark are working on the hardwood floors today. What a job. They used a stripper on them first to make the removal of the old varnish easier and less dusty, but the smell was breathtaking. They finished the first sanding by 6 pm and will continue with a couple more rounds of it tonight and tomorrow. The natural maple wood looks really good with the old yellowed varnish off.

Mark surveying his work in progress

The bottom of the picture is the natural wood, the top is the wood with the old varnish still on it.

The hall is done and the living room is still covered in old varnish here.

And while the men worked, I set up a scrapbooking station in my laundry room downstairs and completed 4 pages.

We were pleased to have a visit early this afternoon from our great-niece Jade and her friend Mark.

And for those of you who are interested, this is what the blue spruce looks like after Lloyd finished pruning away the lower branches. We had no idea that there was a ring of treated wood around the base of the tree. It looks very nice now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Unexpected Guests

Last night we had a call from Mary in BC saying they were on their way to visit Greg's parents in Magrath - just down the road from us in Lethbridge. They didn't realize we were still down here too so we arranged for them to come and have lunch with us today. It had been months and months since I had seen them and little Baron is growing up without seeing his Grammie very much. Layla just turned 5 and she's always fun to visit with.

Lloyd barbequed burgers and I made a green salad and Judy salad (pasta) and cooked corn on the cob for an easy fun lunch. It was so nice to visit with them for a couple of hours. Baron is growing up fast. He'll be a year old on August 5 and is walking around furniture so it won't be long before he's running all over the place. They found out yesterday that Baron has scoliosis, a common condition associated with his Gordenhar syndrome.

Layla loved our Lethbridge house - there are so many cool hiding places because of all the built-in storage areas. She made us play hide and seek with her, and at the end none of us could find her. But she eventually popped out of the sun room where she had found a good hideaway and won the game.

Layla found an old wig of my mothers and put it on, pretending to be an old woman.

We'll be visiting the Bournes in BC at the end of August, so that's something to look forward to.

Tomorrow Lloyd and Mark start sanding the hardwood floors so we'll be in a state of dust and mess for a couple of days before we head home on Sunday night. It'll be nice to have it done though.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lilies and Puttering

My back yard has been thoughtfully planted with perennials. I missed the large patch of purple irises earlier in the spring but they have been replaced with beautiful lilies...four shades of them.

At least, I think they're all lilies. Aren't they beautiful!

I don't have an overabundance of counter space in my fairly large kitchen so we bought a kitchen trolley which I spent the morning putting together. It will sit along an empty wall alongside the portable dishwasher which will be delivered on Friday, thus giving me some additional work space.

I did all the assembling myself. Lloyd can't stand to read instructions so usually isn't too good at putting things together. It was challenging to do it on my own but it sure felt good to get it done!

While I was putting the trolley together, Lloyd was outside trimming the beautiful, huge blue spruce in our back yard. His main goal was to remove the lower branches so it would be clear under the tree and two feet up the trunk of the tree. It was a hard job, using just clippers. When he was just about finished we decided he needed a chain saw to finish the job, and to tackle the two blue spruces in the front yard, so he just cleared up the debris and we went to Canadian Tire and got the chain saw. He'll finish the chore tomorrow.

We have a whole list of projects to do during these two weeks, and have accomplished a lot of them. We manage to do two or three a day, taking lots of breaks, going shopping, resting and relaxing, etc. It's nice not to have schedules and deadlines for awhile.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Around Here

We kept ourselves busy puttering around the house last week. By puttering, I mean cleaning up the painting mess (our spare room was full of paint cans in varying stages of fulness), putting away all the stuff that hadn't been put away. I discovered that I have three dust mops, three brooms and three floor mops! Lloyd did some touch-up painting as well. The biggest job though was pulling staples out of the hardwood floors before we can sand and refinish them this weekend. I guess the previous owners of this house thought they'd never want to see the beautiful maple hardwood again so when they carpeted the whole main floor of the house, including the kitchen, they didn't hesitate to use staples to anchor the underlay. Pulling staples out of hardwood is not an easy job! It took us several days to get them all out. Of course we only worked at it for an hour or so at a time, but even so...

In between times we enjoyed spending time with the little grandsons we don't see very much - Kenny and little guys...although Alex (1 year old) went home with a black eye yesterday after knocking a chair over on himself and falling on his face a couple more times! Here they are playing before all Alex's accidents. Kenny is blurred because the little guy is a constant motion machine!

Emily and Allan stopped in for an overnight with us on their way home to Edmonton from their visit with Mary in BC. We visited the Japanese Gardens with them and Mike's family.

Before going to the Japanese gardens though we had a big breakfast for Mike's family, Emily and Allan. Kenny loves to help in the kitchen so I let him butter some toast.

The little boys really enjoyed the walk through the gardens, especially all the waterfalls.

We also got my dining room set out of the garage and into the dining room so we celebrated by having a barbeque with friends Cory and Cara Rasmussen. Emily and Allan arrived in time to join us.

Cory and Lloyd shared the cooking duties. The steak was delicious.

This is my dining room table. The runner on it was made by my sister Wendy from material she bought earlier in the year in Arizona. It's very southwest looking. I love it.

We did quite a bit of shopping. Among our purchases is this beautiful solar lighthouse. It sits between two bunches of lilys along our fence.

I'm not taking too many pictures of the house because it's relatively empty awaiting the refinishing of the hardwood floors. Then we'll be able to add some furniture and make it more homey looking.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm Back

Just a quick post - it's late tonight. Lloyd and I have been down in Lethbridge working on our retirement home. We've decided not to rent it out so are setting it up so that we can stay here whenever we come down. We've moved my dining room set out of the garage and into the house where it looks really nice. We've got a couple of beds here and a couple of comfortable chairs in the sun room. We don't want to buy a lot of furniture and 'stuff' for it because the furniture and stuff we're using in our Edmonton home will be coming down here when Lloyd retires in a couple of years.

We decided to use our cell phones down here instead of getting a land line, but we finally, on Thursday, got our cable and internet services installed. So I was off-line for a week and wasn't able to keep up with my blog.

Lloyd and I are having such a great time down here on our own. We're going to love retirement when it happens. We've spent hours talking and working together. Lloyd golfed once so far and while he was doing that I did a bit of scrapbooking, but mostly we're just hanging out together and having a great time.

We've also spent time with Mike, Avril and the little grandsons. Emily and Allan stopped by last night on their way to Edmonton from visiting Mary and Greg in BC. They spent the night with us and this morning we all went to the Japanese Gardens here in Lethbridge.

I'll try to keep up to date here from now on.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sleepy Baby

Elly had a busy day today. She had to go to drive her Mom and siblings to the airport this morning and leave them there. Then she and her Grammie had to drive back home. Who can blame Elly for dozing off for 5 0r 10 minutes on the way home. She had a nice lunch with Grammie and played with the bunny and kitten for awhile before being put down for her nap.

The nap didn't take. After not sleeping for 20 minutes, she got up and resumed her playing. She was very low key, I think she was mostly missing her Mom and siblings. The house was too quiet.

At 5:15 she sat down to a dinner of her favorite noodles. I sat across the table from her reading my book. When I looked up, this is what I saw.

Poor baby just couldn't keep her eyes open any longer. I picked her up from there and put her to bed. Her eyes didn't open once. I hope she sleeps all night for Quincey. He's not used to being in charge of sleeping babies. The monitor is on in his room though and I'm sure his daddy senses will kick in. I'll be over first thing in the morning to see how things went. And I'll make sure she has her regular nap tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jenny Hair

Our oldest daughter, Jenny, has a head of silky thick blond hair - the only blond among our seven kids.

It wasn't always that thick and silky. She was born bald and didn't have much hair till after she was two. It came in thin and fine. When she slept on her back, she had the worse case of bed head ever - matted and tangled. It took several years for it to get thick enough not to matt up so bad.

Her five blond boys all had 'Jenn Hair'. This is her youngest, Jammers, sporting his Jenn Hair which occurred as a result of sitting in his car seat for over an hour, probably sweating against the head rest. No point trying to comb it - nothing short of soaking it down will tame it.

No, it's not blowing in the wind - Jenn Hair really does stick out like that - doing it's own thing. He'll outgrow it in a couple of years - Jenn and his four older brothers all did. It's just part of growing up in her family. We love them anyway.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hula Hooping

When I was 10 years old, at the height of the hula hoop craze in the '50s, I won a hula hoop contest sponsored by Dad's regiment at a summer event. At the time, I was skinny and straight and could twirl the hoop around my waist, up over my arms to my neck, back down to my waist and then to my knees and back up to my waist...without ever dropping it. Unfortunately some other kids could do that as well so for the final 'act', those of us left hooping had to start walking around in a large circle while keeping the hoop twirling. The other kids dropped like flies and I alone was left standing...the first time in my life I had ever won anything! It was the highlight of my childhood. My first place prize was a pink wallet and key case set.

It's nice to see my granddaughters playing with hula hoops now. The other day Charlie was demonstrating her skills for me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bouncing Babies

Lloyd and I were keeping an eye on 23-month old Aidan and 19-month old Elly in Amy's back yard this evening. Since the big kids were otherwise occupied, we put the babies on the trampoline and let them run. It was so funny...Aidan has the funniest run when he's on the trampoline and the two of them just followed one another around and crashing into each other. Lloyd acted as spotter on one side and I took care of the other. Luckily there were no accidents and everyone had fun.

The first video features Aidan's funny run. Both kids had very soggy diapers on which added weight to their little bodies and softened the falling down. These two little cousins have become great friends in the past year.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day Barbeque

We went to Sara and Quincey's place for a Canada Day barbeque this evening. It was a really nice time, just us and the H-B's. Quincey manned the barbeque - when we got there the barbeque was smoking away and no cook was in sight. I located Sara while Lloyd went to rescue the charred food. Apparently, because of a miscommunication, Quincey left the food cooking while he went to the store and Sara didn't know that she was supposed to tend the food. When Q. got back home, he found himself in the doghouse. It all turned out good though because it was hamburgers that got charred beyond recogntion and had to be replaced by the best tasting steak I've ever had.

Meanwhile, the kids were being very busy playing in the yard.

Elly knows no fear and climbed up on a small bike that was too big for her and tried her best to pedal it around, although her feet didn't quite reach the pedals.

They hounded Papa to push them on the swings. He's such a good sport and pushed those kids around for quite awhile.

Elly loves the swing but needs to be watched carefully - she tends to start letting go and climbing off while the swing is still in motion.

Meanwhile, the kitten was busy chasing ants.

Charlie insisted that they were going to sleep out in the little play tent. I don't see that plan being put into action. It's fun to play though.

Max was pursuaded to get off the swing long enough to eat a hot dog and tortollini

Elly eats hotdogs her own way.

After several hours Lloyd and I left, in time to go baby-sit Aidan for Amy and Curtis while they took Kenzie and Syd over to watch the fireworks with the family we just left.

A good Canada Day.