Thursday, August 18, 2011

Farewell, Red Deer

This will be short and sweet. I don't like long goodbyes. In fact I don't even like short goodbyes. I prefer a "see-ya'-later", or "until next time". In the past couple days I've found myself saying more often, "We WILL see each other again!" in a rising, high-pitched, oh-my-goodness-I'm-about-to-cry pitch. If some people don't make it down to our new home for a visit, we'll eventually be back in The States, which will make it easier for visiting, going either way.

Red Deer, you've been a really good home to us. You've provided a wonderful school for our boys to attend, great sports to watch and play, and life-long friends. Thank you. You won't be forgotten.

Much Love,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Lloydminster and the Pysanka

When we were in Lloydminster for lacrosse provincials last month, one of the most unique things about the town was that it's split down the middle, half in the province of Alberta, and half in the province of Saskatchewan. We were VERY excited to visit one more province.

There were four large red markers at the border that we visited.

One the left is the crest of Alberta, on the right the crest of Saskatchewan, and in the middle is Lloyd's crest.

The town, I learned, existed before provincial lines were drawn. They also refer to themselves as the Border City (logically), though I haven't heard anyone call it that over here.

A nice memorial to Canadian Veterans in front of City Hall.

We took our obligatory I'm Half Here and Half There pictures.

Hmmm, maybe 60/40.

The next day on our way home we drove through Vegreville, and visited the largest Easter egg in the WORLD!! It's a Ukrainian Easter egg, and is called a Pysanka.

As we were pulling in, Andy mentioned they talked about it in Social when they were studying the Ukraine. Well, perfect!

It turns with the wind, ever so slowly. At first I thought it was motorized, but realized the breeze was causing it to shift.

There was also a caboose on the property that the boys enjoyed exploring.

It was very well- equipped; even had a little kitchen. I guess that makes sense, but I never thought about what might be IN a caboose before, I was always just excited to see it at the end of a train. Now you're lucky if you get a solitary flashing red light magnetically stuck to the last rail car. BO-RING.

We had fun hanging around, but soon needed to hit the highway again. Due west to Edmonton, where we hung a Louie and headed home to Red Deer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Wednesday Ladies

Pretty much every Wednesday morning for the past three years (during the school year), I've been hanging out with the same group of gals. Some have floated in and out, but every six weeks there is a Mom's Night Out where anyone who has ever been in the group can gather for dinner. Sandra, one of my friends who I met a couple years ago there, threw me a going-away luncheon last week.

Wednesday morning topics varied widely, but most revolved around what our children were up to, difficulties that we may be having, and brainstorming about solutions. It was just nice to sit around and talk, and bounce ideas off one another. We took turns bringing a snack, so not only did we have good company, we had good food. On the odd occasion that I was in a bad mood when I arrived, I was always in a great mood when I left.

It was SOOOOOO nice have met them at the start of school that first year. They made whittling out my new life up here MUCH more enjoyable.

A parting shot of Andy, Sam, Sandra, and Ben.

Thank you, Friends. You won't be forgotten, and keep in touch! I'm still considering skyping in on Wednesday mornings! ;o)

Monday, July 25, 2011


Andy and Sam participated in lacrosse this spring. I was going to sign them up for soccer, but a friend mentioned she was signing her boys up for lacrosse, and it was indoor. I thought about how cold soccer had been a couple years back when Sam had participated. A couple of the games were relatively warm, but most had been chilly, or cold and rainy, or cold and windy. Indoor sounded REAL good.

Lacrosse is Canada's national sport. Yes, really. The booklet they gave us when we signed up said that it was Canada's official summer sport, I think because the writers of the booklet knew, in their hearts, that Canada's national sport is hockey. Both boys really enjoyed playing. Sam was in Mini-Tyke, which wasn't as involved as Novice (Andy's level).

Sam was signaling for the ball here,

and just about to catch it.

Another action shot.

Happy after making a goal.

Andy's team participated in three tournaments, and won the gold at each one. Here they were after winning gold at the Tradition Lives tournament here in Red Deer.

This one was taken at the same tournament by one of he moms. These three fellas were all in the same class last year in Grade 2, and their teacher, who now lives near Edmonton, was nice enough to drive down to see them play! (Thank you, Madame, for driving down, and Carla for taking the picture.)

One of the dads took these two pictures of Andy at the Spirit of the Sticks tournament in Innisfail (and Olds). Thanks, Curtis!

Andy even got a turn as goalie for their game in Drumheller, which he quite liked. He tried the equipment on a few times here at the house before the game.

They were such a good team, and so fun to watch.

They placed second in playoffs for the Central Alberta Lacrosse League, but went to Provincials in Lloydminster, beat the team they lost to in playoffs, and ended up getting the bronze medal! (Again, Curtis with the photo cred below.)

It was a great experience that none of us will forget!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

End-of-School Activities

School ended at the end of June here, so I'm tardy in getting a few of these pictures posted.

Track & Field Day was a lot of fun, and we had GREAT weather, but I didn't take my camera.

With Sam's class we went to Old MacDonald's Farm. This is a popular campground that's about an hour away, where there are lots of kid-friendly things to do. Some of the families went up the night before with their camper trailers and stayed a couple days, and we met them there.

There was a merry-go-round,

mini golf,
a place for large groups to eat their food,

and a few farm animals, too!

There were also some (self-propelled) go-carts you could take around the property that were lots of fun, and a playground. And there was ice cream, of course.

On the last day of kindergarten they had a small, very nice graduation ceremony. Madame Terry had each child stand on a stool next her her, handed them a scrapbook of their work, and spoke about how they had grown throughout the year, what their strengths were, and a funny fact or incident that had occurred. It was very sweet.

And here he was with Madame Irene, the Educational Assistant in the classroom, who also happened to be the grandmother of one of Andy's classmates.

I went on a couple of field trips with Andy's class. To the pool, then to the little ice cream shop, and on a different day to the Ukrainian Catholic Church, but didn't take my camera. But I did get a picture of Andy and Madame Meadows, on one of the last days.

It was a truly great school year all around!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Twin Day

About once a month Andy and Sam's school has a special dress up day. Yesterday was TWIN day.

Andy and his friend went for a red shirt with jeans. I think they ended up with a more "fraternal" look.

These two were a bit more identical. Funny enough, Sam's buddy in this picture has an identical twin brother in the same class, but they didn't want to be twins with each other. I guess they get enough of that the rest of the year.

The Grade 3 teachers did it right! Andy's teacher is on the right. Aren't they cute?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Many-Layered Pancake Cake

I made this creation a couple months ago for my friends at the mommy's group I attend on Wednesday mornings. It all started with this recipe for thin, Swedish-style pancakes. Which turns out are very crêpe-like, but without the pressure of making crêpes.

One of the comments on the blog post had the cake suggestion, and I thought it sounded pretty tasty. I think I ended up with about 24 layers of pancake.

I alternated whipped cream layers with wild-berry jam, then covered the whole thing with whipped cream. I think it would also be DE-licious with a lemon curd.

I made the pancakes the afternoon before, and refrigerated them overnight, then assembled everything that morning. It was fun; like a giant, edible art project. And it WAS very tasty. Give it a try!