Switch-over

Hey if anyone still checks this blog, I’m moving over to http://www.alwaysonholladays.com

I was having too much trouble posting pics and things, so I kind of stopped blogging for a while there to save myself some sanity.  Justin hooked me up with this new and improved one though, so now I hope to start up more frequently again.

See you at the other site!

Advertisements

Comments (2)

Christmas Part 2 – Larson Style!

I know, it’s a little late to be posting Christmas but I really just haven’t had time!

On Sunday afternoon we headed out to the Larson parents house, where everyone but my oldest brother Darren and his family were able to make it. (If you guys read this- we missed you lots!)  When we got there we opened some presents from Grandma and Grandpa and the Darren Larson family (who had our names this year).  Thanks everyone for the great gifts!  My parents gave us a food saver, it’s supposed to help out with food storage and such…looks awesome, can’t wait to give ‘er a try!  Russell’s big floor puzzle was a hit – we’ve already assembled it a few times!  And of course Bryn loves her Littlest Pet Shop stuff!

Ash being a stud

Ash being a stud

Monday we headed out to the sugar bowl for some sledding and had a great time!  Ok, well at least I did!  The kids were whining and crying that they didn’t want to go sledding, but we forced them to so that mommy could go down a few times!  I love sledding!  I also love hanging out with my brothers and their families, so that was another reason we went.   Bryn ended up going down once with Justin and I managed to coax Russell to go down with me a few times.  And even though he laughed both times, he said that it “made his tummy feel funny” so he wouldn’t go willingly one more time.  Oh well, when it looked like the kids were freezing, Justin took them back to the van so I could hang out with my bros.  Despite Justin’s urgings to stay as long as I wanted and have fun, I felt guilty that they were all waiting for me and just went down a few more times.  After sledding was done, the rest of them were going to grab something to eat and go swimming, but Justin and I just didn’t have the energy to take our kids that day, so we just headed back to Grandmas house.

Russell and I

Me and Russell - he looks a little scared

A few years ago, I’m pretty sure it was at Christmas time, we (and when I say we, I mostly mean my brothers cause they did most the work) anyways, we made a hot air balloon.  Our attempt several years ago was successful – we used a dry cleaning bag attached to a Styrofoam plate with candles on it (roughly).  However, as it got higher in the air and started floating across town, our excitement turned to panic as  flaming pieces of the styrofoam plate started falling to the ground!  We ran as fast as we could stomping out the small fires until finally the balloon came down.  Phew!  I think it was this memory that made my mom forbid us “kids” from doing it again this year.  However, we are over 18 and chose to go ahead and try again anyways.  THIS time though, we had a “safety string” attached!

So we found a bag and attached the bottom open end to a half a pop can.  Inside the pop can we made a bunson burner of sorts…rolled up cardboard soaked with fondue fuel!  Our first attempt didn’t fly, and neither did the third, but the second try was a success!  I was going to put up a video of it, but can’t get it to work. Here’s a pic…

Home-made hot air balloon

Home-made hot air balloon

That was our project for the year…  The kids had lots of fun staying up way too late playing with their cousins.  We adults played a new game Blokus which is really fun and kind of addicting.  It’s a strategy game, but definitely involves some luck!  We also played lots of Bananagrams – my family enjoys word games.  If you haven’t played those games, you ought to!

Bryn!

Bryn!

Comments (2)

Christmas Part 1 – Holladay Style!

It’s hard to believe that another Christmas has already come and gone! We started out on the 23rd of December at Justin’s parents house. All of Justin’s siblings were able to make it out and we had a lot of fun with everyone.

Christmas Eve we had a massive fondue for supper…very yummy. Normally we read and have the kids act out the Nativity and things like that, but this year everyone forgot! Russell and his cousin were asking to go to bed at like 7:00 so they opened their Christmas Eve pjs and were in bed and Russell was asleep soon after…no talking or goofing around, he just went right to sleep. Bryn was a little more difficult, and Asher was up until probably 10-ish, but gradually they all got to sleep. Us adults stayed up playing cards quite late – “Shoot the Moon” in this case. Justin’s family is different than my family in a lot of ways…one of those being that his family doesn’t seem to get as excited about things (including holidays – which is ironic considering their last name) as my family gets. Perhaps we just have different ways of expressing our excitement? (I haven’t quite figured it out yet.) In any case, Justin’s family is really nice and we enjoy hanging out with them. What I was going to say though was that sometimes it’s hard for me to hold in my excitement in order to fit in with the rest of them…but I think I did ok. 

My kids are usually up by 6-ish but of course Christmas morning they sleep till 7:30!  Why can’t they do that other days?  Russell had asked for a telescope and a few books for Christmas and all Bryn wanted a pink doll (they both got what they wanted). Santa had no idea what to get Asher, but he did ok in the end…everyone was happy! Even I got a nice hoody and a touque with gortex around the ears…NOW I’m prepared for Canadian Winters!! (Well, I guess I still need boots, gloves and a coat…but heck it’s sure nice to have warm ears!) Oh and we got socks…Justin and I traditionally get nice wool socks in our stockings! Justin got a shirt and scarf as well. Justin’s parents made us some more of those bean bag cookers, and are also replacing our Temple clothes that were stolen out of our car, so we’re excited about that.

Bryn opening her beads...this present is a favorite!

Bryn opening her beads...this present is a favorite!

Russell hugging his telescope

Russell hugging his telescope

Asher got some cool trucks from grandma and grandpa.

Asher got some cool trucks from grandma and grandpa.

Christmas Day was beautiful weather wise, so we spent at least a couple hours out there playing. They had a huge snow drift (many actually) and my father-in-law and Justin and the other brothers made a pretty sweet slide down it…complete with stairs. They also helped the kids dig a tunnel through another drift. And what visit out to the farm would be complete without quad rides?? Not this one! Driving around in the snow made my muscles ache the next day…I had to hang on tight! Almost got thrown off it a few times!

Me...heading down the slide!

Me...heading down the slide!

Justin on the quad.

Justin on the quad.

More quadding...that's me and Justin (check out my sweet new toque).

More quadding...that's me and Justin (check out my sweet new toque).

Russell in the tunnel.

Russell in the tunnel.

Justin’s sister, who is prego, had come with their little girl who happened to be sick. When we went to bed Christmas night, I was awake all night listening to his sister make trips to the bathroom…apparently she got sick too. At about 4 in the morning, Asher threw up, and continued to do so throughout the night, and by morning I was feeling quite ill. A night from H E double hockey sticks for sure! We got our things together quickly and headed home. The original plan was to go to Stirling but we ended up staying home for a few days instead, to make sure we wouldn’t pass anything to anyone else at my parents house.

To be continued…

Comments (3)

November Highlights

Wow, it’s been so long since I posted something on here!  It’s not that I don’t think about it, I just haven’t had time lately!  Where to begin…
Nov. 8 – Happy Anniversary to us!!  That makes 6 filled years together!  I’m trying to remember what we did that day…oh yes, it was a Sunday.  I likely spent the morning doing the mom thing and doing last minute preparations on my YW lesson, did the church thing, and yeah, that’s pretty much it!  We haven’t even gone out for dinner or anything yet to celebrate…we should really get on that!  OH…how could I forget!  We don’t usually get each other gifts on our anniversary, and actually, I shamefully admit that Justin has gotten me something more often that I have for him.  Such was the case on this anniversary as well!  He bought me an iTouch! One of the biggest reasons I wanted one of those was so that I read scriptures and conference talks without kids ripping pages out of my books.  Don’t get me wrong…I like some of the other apps too!  But yeah, it’s been so nice to have everything right in my pocket, wherever I go.  The kids think it’s pretty fun too…we put some math, reading, and other apps like that on for the kids.  Russell mostly likes to look at the maps, weather, and the APOD (he’s on a geography/weather kick right now).  Bryn likes to practice drawing letters and play on the piano app.  Anyways, it’s quite nice to have.
Nov. 19 – Happy Birthday Justin!!!  Now officially 28 – he’s catchin’ up to me!  We didn’t do too much for his Birthday…he was at work all day.  When he got home we had some birthday cake and sang to him, but it was pretty low key.  I took pics, but can’t post them, I’ll explain that later.
Russell also had a field trip that day, but was quite nervous about it.  It was one of the first ones I couldn’t accompany him to, and they were taking a bus to the Galt Museum.  When he woke up that Thursday morning he said, “What day is it?”  I said, “It’s Thursday!”  He said, “Oh maaaan!  I was hoping we could go right to Friday and skip this day!”  He told me he wasn’t going to like it, but he actually did really well…loved it even!
Nov. 20 – Justin’s staff party, and I must say it was waaaaaay different than any staff party I’ve ever been to!  I remember going to the Sobeys staff parties when I worked there, complete with the alcohol and the type of environment that entails.  Those were always interesting to go to, but definitely not the type of environment I like to put myself in.  So to go to Justin’s party where the Bishop of the town was present and said the opening prayer, conversation where we could actually hear each other without yelling, and a fun little “get to know the staff” game at the end….was quite a change!  I was sure they were going to open it up for a little testimony meeting at one point!  No skanky dresses, no loud drunks, no foul language, and when we got home, I didn’t have to throw all my clothes in the wash and jump in the shower to get rid of that smoky alcohol smell!  (Though let it be said that I did always have an enjoyable time associating with my co-workers…we had a lot of fun together!)  Anyways, everyone was so nice and friendly – and Justin is loving his job, so it was great!
Nov. 22 – The Primary did their presentation in church.  Russell had been doing his part in the practices so I was hopeful that he’d come through for the real deal…which he did!  He did awesome!  It was so cute to see him up there singing the songs, and even funny in between when he’d pop up and wave at us or give a thumbs up to his friend sitting on the front row bench.  Well at least it was all fun and cute until at the very end when he started signing “donkey”!  Why must my boy go and make a “donkey” of himself on stage?? I asked him why he did that and he said he was telling his teacher how we wave goodbye to Grandma (Larson) when we leave her house.  And yes, she knows we do that and waves the same thing back…it’s not something we do behind her back!  I won’t explain, it’s a long story…we’ve done it for years probably!
Nov. 25 – I had the opportunity to sit down with Russell’s teacher Joy and have parent/teacher interviews.  I got a good report…she said he is “very knowledgeable about many things”  and is just doing really well.  Her only concerns were that he didn’t know how to zip up his coat, and that he is shy and doesn’t play a whole lot with the other kids yet…at recess he likes to sit with the teachers and talk.  So, I taught him the other day how to zip up his coat, and it really doesn’t bother us that he doesn’t have a lot of friends right now.  We don’t think it’s too important to have a lot of friends at that age – I’m sure the friend stage will come sooner than I’d like anyways!  Besides, he plays just fine with the friends he does have when we go to their houses or they come to ours…we’re not worried.  So yeah, we’re glad he’s doing so well, and that he enjoys it for the most part.
Nov. 26 – Russell had an appointment with his cardiologist (Dr. Harder) in Calgary, so Bryn and Asher spent the day with Grandma while we went to that. The report was good!  Russell checked out fine, and we were only there for 2 hours! That’s got to be a record time for any hospital trip we’ve taken!  And we don’t need to go back for another year.
I had been so excited to do some Christmas shopping in Calgary, so we had a list of stores we were going to go to and had borrowed my parents GPS so we could find them faster.  We started out just stopping at the Deerfoot outlet mall.  After we had been there for a while, we went to take a bag out to the car (we had taken Justin’s parents car that we’re borrowing for Justin to drive to and from work every day), we found that we had been robbed!  Someone had broken into our car and stolen all of Justins school bags and books and laptop, our digital camera, my parents GPS, and they even got into our trunk and stole all our Temple clothes!  We were (are) devastated!  Hence, no pictures for this post 😦 We’re still waiting to hear if insurance covers anything, or if we want to even make the claims (depending on if it makes our insurance go up).
Russell got pretty scared when the whole thing happened…cried really hard when I told him grandmas GPS was gone. He loved looking at the maps and plotting a course from two places.  When we went to the Police station in Calgary he was looking exceptionally sad so one of the police officers took us back to show us the police cars and motor bikes – that made him feel a bit better.  That was really nice of them to do that.  Then the other day I had driven with the kids to one of our friends house to drop something off, and so I was just going to run in.  Russell said, “What if some bad guy stoles us?”  I told him I was just running to the persons door and that I would be right back – he’d be fine.  He said, “Maybe we should make a big sign for our van that says “No
Strangers Allowed!!” ”  Maybe we should!  Has anyone ever tried that before?
Those are the highlights of the month…hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with the posts a little better!

Comments (3)

Huge news!

Just over a week ago, Justin was interviewed for a job in Glenwood.  On his way home from the interview, they called him on his cell phone and offered him the job!  Woooohooooo!!  We are so excited to finally have work!  He’ll be teaching Grade 5 in Glenwood.  Although he would prefer a couple grades higher, we are really excited he’s in the Westiwinds Division, as that is the division he really wants to teach in.  So hopefully this is a good “foot in the door” job for him.  He’s covering for a maternity leave, so it’s just contracted till the end of the school year.  But that’s ok…its something!  He’s been kept quite busy with subbing up until now as well…we’ve been SO blessed!

We don’t really want to take Russell out of school, and it is a temporary contract, so we will most likely not make any big moves.  However if rent goes up too much here, we won’t be staying…at least in this house!  We’ll see how it goes and make our decisions carefully and prayerfully.  Just the fact that getting out of this tiny place is actually going to happen (even if it isn’t for a little while), makes living here more bearable!  Like there’s light at the end of this very squishy tunnel!  Things around here are really different (extra busy), as I’m trying to adjust to Justin’s 12 hour days.  We hardly ever see him anymore!  As soon as he gets home he tries to spend some time with the kids right before they have to go to bed, and then he’s back to work on the computer preparing.  I expect it’ll be crazy like this for quite a while.  This past week was especially hard though cause I was sick for 3-4 days.  No, not with H1N1…just the regular flu.  Bryn had some high fevers there for a little while too, and Russell and Asher had colds, but we are all feeling somewhat better now.

In other news…Russell made me proud the other day.  In Kindergarten he’s been going to gymnastics – only 4 times, but I was a driver for their class, and it was a good thing.  Russell is quite shy and needs a lot of encouraging to believe that he can do anything.  Especially when it comes go going to new places and trying new things.  Anyways, such was the case at gymnastics.  Long story short, he absolutely refused to go in the foam pit every time…like he’d start crying even when I just wanted to talk to him about it.  On his last day there, I got him to go in!  Woohoo!  (Ok, I’ll admit, part of the reason I wanted him to go in so bad is because that is the only way I would get to try it!  And yes, it was fun…although since Russell would only stay in one place and hanging on to the foam blocks for dear life, I wasn’t able to climb around in it like I had hoped!)  But on the other hand, I was actually really proud of him for going in and just trying it.  Small as it seems, it was a big accomplishment for him!  I only had my cell phone with me so the pics are pretty bad but it’s the best I could do.

Gymnastics - doing some stretching

Gymnastics - doing some stretching

In the foam pit!!!  (If you look close at his hands you can tell he's hanging on for dear life!)

In the foam pit!!! (If you look close at his hands you can tell he's hanging on for dear life!)

Getting his medal

Getting his medal

Comments (1)

Kindergarten!!

And so it begins. The “school” frenzie. I only have one child in school…and it’s only for 2 1/2 hours, and I already feel like a taxi driver! Well, that is partly cause Justin also got some calls to sub, and with one vehicle, I had to take Justin to school, then Russell, pick Russell back up and then get Justin. But now we are borrowing my in-laws car, so it won’t be like that anymore, thank goodness! I do realize that as more of my kids start school and everything else that life will get crazier and crazier…I’m just glad we get to ease into it. I do actually like the routine we have for the mornings now, and my day doesn’t seem to drag on and on as it has in the past. And I’m also working on lining up different activities for me to do with the younger two while he is at school, such as baking (if Asher is napping cause Bryn loves to help with that), or learning sign language, or exercising, things like that. We’ll see how it goes.

First Day of Kindergarten

First Day of Kindergarten

Ok, back to Russell. All summer I dreaded the end of summer! I’m not one to like being away from my kids…not even for a few hours. I was also worried about Russell having a hard time going to Kindergarten – worried that he’d cry when I left, and have a hard time adjusting. Well, I don’t want to speak too soon, but so far so good. I think he was even excited to go! His first day of school was quite funny actually. When I went to pick him up after his first day, I went in to get him and he had this really sad look on his face. I instantly got really worried, tried to talk to him hoping I could cheer him up about his day, but his face stayed solemn. As we walked out to the van I said, “So? Did you like it?” With his head down he sadly shook his head “no”. I was so worried, and after I got him into his seat in the van I said, “Russ, you had fun today, didn’t you??” Then…he burst out laughing! He was totally messing with my head! I couldn’t believe it – what a kid! So he did have fun, and he’s just fine going. I’m sure we’ll have our ups and downs, but he’s doing really well so far.

The jokester after his first day

The jokester after his first day

We went to a Welcoming School Pot Luck down in the River Bottom earlier in the month and talked with some of his teachers. Apparently he is doing well and actually cooperates and participates in things! Woohoo! Oh, and one of the teachers told me that they were quote “flabbergasted” when Russell drew out the entire Solar System on the ground outside with chalk and knew the names of all the planets. If only they knew what he knows about space! He comes home most days with maps he’s drawn – maps of Waterton, Edmonton, Calgary, Magrath, or Russia. He’s also learning some French and informed me on the way to school the other day that “I think that after I learn a bunch more words in French, I will probably switch languages.” I don’t think so Russ! He tells me that his favorite part of school is playing on the playground, but whenever I ask him about his day on the way home from school, he tells me that he “didn’t play on the playground today…I sat with the teacher.” Well, whatever he does, he has a fun time.

The other day there was a field trip planned to the Fire Hall. The previous day when I had talk with Russell about it in the van (trying to get him excited about it), he burst into tears and didn’t want to go. He said, “Please, please, please don’t make me go!!!” So, the next day I talk with his teacher about it and asked if it would be ok to go along with them. They thought that was a great idea, and Justin was home that day, so I went. Eventually I got him calmed down and we walked with the class to the Fire Hall. When we arrived, Russell started to get nervous again and so I said, “Not yet Russell…don’t get scared yet! He said, “What??” I said, “I’ll let you know when you can be scared.” He said, “Well, when is that?” I said, “When there’s a scary part coming!” He agreed, and obviously there were no scary parts and he did fine. He was a little extra clingy but I managed to get these pics with my cell phone camera:

A fireman helping him out of the Rescue Truck

A fireman helping him out of the Rescue Truck

Fireman Russ

Fireman Russ

He admitted later that he did have a great time, and has been playing firman/rescue truck a little more too.

Comments (2)

Russell turns 5!

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

I can’t believe I have a five year old!  Where did the time go?  I’ve done a lot of reminiscing the last few days, about his birth – everything leading up to it, and everything that has followed.  And then I look at Russell and just feel amazed at what an amazing boy he is!  He’s got such a great personality and sense of humor – he’s so much fun to have around.  We think Russell is pretty smart too, but then again, we are his parents!  He’s a decent reader, loves math – he can add, subtract and is now catching on to multiplication…he understands and can tell time, is grasping the concept of money and the worth of all the coins, and loves to measure everything.  Lately he always wants to take a meter stick and pen and paper to the park to measure all the equipment.  He also loves learning about the Human anatomy, and is really into learing about world geography as well as the solar system.  So, for his birthday we got him a measuring tape (which he loves), some posters about the human anatomy, and the phases of the moon, a book about constellations (that glows in the dark…it’s pretty cool), and a kid microscope type thing…oh and a shirt.  The grandmas and grandpas gave him a globe and some walkie talkies (both very popular gifts as well).  He also got some other games and toys and books that he really likes.

Opening Presents

Opening Presents

When I picked Russell up from school (there will be a post about him starting Kindergarten at a later date) that day, he said that all his teachers had wished him a happy birthday and that his class sang happy birthday to him in English AND French!  He also said he got to pretend he was Earth and walked around the sun (a candle) five times.  He must have left out some details, cause to me that doesn’t make much sense…oh well.  After school, I took the kids to the new Henderson park, which was kind of a treat cause we’d only been there once before.  While there the kids made some friends (a brother and sister around the same ages), and had a great time.  Actually, I was in on the fun and had all five kids laughing hysterically…it was fun.   Apparently Russell got a little motion sick at one of the things at the park (coulda been partly Justin’s driving on the way home too) – he didn’t feel so good on the way home, but we got him feeling better before everyone arrived for his party that night.  As usual, we had both sets of grandparents AND some great grand parents there, as well as my brother and his family and our Hill friends.  I never thought we’d be able to fit 20 people into this little place (and if you’ve ever been in here you’d wonder how the heck we managed that), but we did, and it was fun!

Cramped Quarters (Looks like the kids were all outside eating)

Cramped Quarters (Looks like the kids were all outside eating)

I had a hard time deciding what to make for his cake this year…I knew I wanted it to be “space” themed, but didn’t actually know what I was going to try to do until the night before.  Here’s the final product:

Jupiter and Saturn Birthday Cakes

Jupiter and Saturn Birthday Cakes

The top one, Jupiter has it’s “great red spot” and it’s four main moons (it has 63 total, but that’s a lot of cupcakes!)…Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.  The bottom one is obviously Saturn, with it’s moon Titan.  I think they turned out ok…that ring on Saturn caused me some grief though!  Had I thought of this idea before the midnight before his birthday, I could have made sure the cake I used to make the ring was frozen better…BUT I didn’t, so I had to do the best I could with a partially frozen cake.  It worked.  Russell loved it…that’s all that really matters, right?

Russell with his cake

Russell with his cake

Blowing out the candles

Blowing out the candles

The poor boy had a heck of a time blowing out those candles!  It probably took a good 3 min for 5 candles…and I think his cousin even blew one of them out!  It was actually quite funny, though I’m sure all our guests didn’t think all that spit on the cake was too hilarious!  Oh well…they ate it!  I hope he had a really fun day…Happy Birthday Russell!

Comments (4)

Older Posts »