Monday, May 10, 2010

Playa Del Carmen

is where Den and I went by ourselves for 10 days. My parents looked after the kids while we were away. We stayed at The Royal all inclusive resort. This by far has been the best all inclusive we have ever been to. The staff were incredible, kind, and polite. The place was spotless inside and out and the food was great! I gained a whopping 8 pounds to prove it! HA

This is where we spent the first 4 days of our the beach drinking. My fav's were the banana mama's and the peach combers. Den's fav's were the mango tangos and rye and coke. We liked the beach cause the breeze off of the ocean...we tried to lounge at the pool, but I couldn't take was too hot. Once we got back to the ocean it was much better. The beach was great, there was no vendors, no people bugging you and it was patrolled all day by security and there was a lifeguard on duty as well. They whistled at people who took drinks into the ocean...that is not allowed. We never got whistled cause the drinks never lasted long enough to take in the ocean! HA

We went on a snorkeling tour on Thursday, which was so lame, but we met a couple from Calgary on it and hung out with them that evening. We walked 5th Ave to a small pub right beside Senior Frogs that made the BEST pina coladas ever and everything was 2 for 1! Then we headed over to Senior Frogs (where I am in this picture) and had a drink there, danced and just hung out. It was fun.

Friday and Saturday we rented this cute car and went to Chichen-itza which is now a 7th wonder of the world. It was over a 3 hour drive to get there, but boy was it worth

it. We had an excellent tour guide named Rafael, who was Mayan and his family was from the area.

Here is the pyramid (which you can't climb anymore) but who cares, it was amazing. They are finding more and more ruins there and I am so glad we made the effort to go.

Saturday we drove to Coba to see more ruins. It was so hot there and no breeze. We were dripping in sweat and once we were done we went back to the resort and headed straight for the bar downed a few blended drinks and headed straight for the ocean.

Sunday we took the 11am ferry to Cozumel and rented a jeep and toured the island by ourselves. This was my favourite day. We got a map and headed out. On the way we stopped at various places to watch the huge waves. After a bit I was dying for some taco's and a pina colada, so we stopped at a place and had a great lunch -we split it as I was too cheap knowing we get all the food we want at our resort-and off we went again. The next place we stopped was where we rented a snorkel set for $5 each and snorkeled and wow was it awesome there. Way better than that lame-o tour we went on. We snorkeled for about an hour and headed back to the car rental joint and took the jeep back. We were a little early so we went for more pina coladas-Den had Sol-and waited for the guy to come back. We did some shopping there where I got a dress for Danika, and 2 masks-one for Travis and one for his friend Ryan. Then we took the 6pm ferry back to Playa and got ready for supper.

This is how we came to our room the very last night and they did the rose petals when we arrived and one more time in between. I told them we were celebrating our 11th anniversary and each night they had a turn down service included in our package. It was so nice. They did up some animals during our stay as well. I can't recommend this hotel enough!! The best part about it was knowing Den and I still have fun together and the love we have for each other is still strong.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The past few weeks

have been busy. We had Den's mom fly in for a quick visit, which was great to have her, but the little kids were sick and to top it off our main sink wasn't draining and was backed up. So I felt bad for his mom as the kids were grumpy and Den was busy for almost 2 days trying to fix it. Thankfully he did get it fixed without calling a plumber, but it sure ate up the time Doreen was here. When she comes back in June (for my Whitefish trip) I hope it goes a lot better! :)
Two weeks ago we went to Black Rock, just north of Cochrane and spent the afternoon there. Dennis wanted to go for a quick ride and while he was gone the kids and I played at the river. Nothing beats rocks, sand and water! We packed a cooler full of buns, pop, milk, turkey luncheon meat, wieners, etc. Thankfully we had the turkey, as we weren't sure if we were allowed to have an open fire to roast weenies, so we didn't. We sure were craving it though! Here is Dennis taking off for his ride. He ended up going for just under an hour. He sure liked that I snapped a picture of him.

When we left to come back home Travis, Danika and Kael all fell asleep in the back of the truck. Amazing how fresh air can wear the kids out! :)

Kael now climbs in and out of his crib and being that Danika is in the same room as him, he likes to load up her crib with books, toys and whatever else is around. She is so easy going that she just is like s-weet. I had to get this picture as it is funny, but can't let him know that or he will be constantly doing it.

Here are a few layouts that I have completed. I have been out of my scrap room for over a week and probably won't get back into it for the rest of April. My parents are set to roll in on Wednesday from Arizona. They have been gone for almost 6 months! Time sure flies. They are busy closing up their place there and heading here to see the kids and of course look after them while Den and I go away for 9 days to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico! I can't believe we leave a week on Sat! Yippeee!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Happy Anniversary

to us. We celebrated our 11 year anniversary on March 12th and Dennis gave me the best card ever and on top of that he got me a necklace with a cross on it. I have been wanting one of those for so long. He really shocked me as usually it is just a card (which is totally fine by me). I didn't get him anything...oops. I booked a sitter though and on Sat night we went to the Keg for supper. It was so nice to go and have a hot meal and a few drinks by ourselves. The waitress was going to sit us away from the fire and Den spoke up and said could we have the table right in front of the fire...he was reading my mind!! After supper we met our friends for a movie - The Green Zone. It is full of action and was a good movie. I would give it 8/10. I love going to the movies and it was good to be there with friends.

I have been slacking in the scrapbooking/art department lately as I have been busy around the house. Even though you can't tell as with 4 kids, nothing stays put for long. But at least I know what I am doing and that is all that matters. This layout is of Travis and Jacie when they went to the Calgary Stampede with my parents. I love Travis' face as he was not sure about those crows. Mom had told me about it, but when I saw the picture I knew exactly what he was feeling.

This layout is of Jacie when we were living in the first rental house and I just love it. She is just doing her thing (can't remember what she was doing) and she has no idea I am behind her taking this picture. I love these kind of pictures. This rental house was nasty too. The only thing that saved us was it had a great backyard and because it was spring/summer while we lived there we spent it all outside. I shudder when I think of this rental!

Here is my little girl looking out the window in our house. She is growing up so fast...and then there is trouble (Kael).
He is so full of life this one. He got into my ink pads and markers and had a great time covering up with them. I was busy doing something else when he came down the stairs and showed me his hands. He was so proud. I put him in the tub right away and it all came off except the marker on the forehead. That lasted a few days! :)
You can see we are in the process of patching up our walls (in the picture with Kael). I will get to that story another time!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The sun was out

last week and we enjoyed every ounce of it. Kael was never so happy, as he loves being outside, and he was just thrilled. I set up the lounge chairs on the driveway and watched the kids play. The neighbours would come out as well and our kids would play together while we had some adult time. I already have a slight sunglasses tan...even after I put sunscreen on. Go figure. Then Monday came and it is cool out again, but while the sun was here I took advantage of it.
This layout was done from the Sketches blog. I added cardboard to it to give it some texture. Dennis buried the kids in snow while he was snow blowing the drive way...If you look close behind Travis you can see the neighbours driveway and how much snow we had. The kids loved that!

This is an art journal page that I did for myself, so I didn't put it in the kids art journal book. Instead I made it on a 12x12 page. I look forward to the prompts on the blog A Year in the Life of an Art Journal. It is good to get out the thoughts and feelings I have and it is a healthy way to do it.
Last Tuesday I started a group exercise class. Tuesday is Xtreme kicks, Wednesday is a circuit of weights, Thursday is spinning and weights and Friday is Xtreme kicks again. Last week I went Tues, Wed, and Thursday. I loathe spinning, but did try it...I think I lasted 2 minutes and went back to weights for the rest of the class. Let me tell you it took me Friday, Sat, Sun, and Monday to recover. It took all my strength on Friday and Saturday to roll over in bed, to do the stairs in the house, to squat down to go to the bathroom, etc. Sun was a bit better and Monday I was pretty much back to normal. This week I am only going Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Spinning sucks! For those that can actually do it, I tip my hat off to you!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Last Saturday Dennis and I met up with our friends to surprise Rochelle for her 40th birthday. We all met at the bowling alley and waited for her arrival. It was great to truly surprise someone. She had no idea and I love that! After bowling we went out for supper. We had a great time and it was fun to have the babysitter come and have a night out with our friends.

This layout was inspired from a persons page on the Sketches blog. I love looking at someones page, get ideas and add my own touches to it. This is Travis when he was almost 2 years old. I love looking back at Jacie and Travis and see them at Danika and Kael's age right now. It's kinda surreal!
This is another art journal page that is the book for the kids. I am so thrilled to be doing this and get down on paper what I think is important. I hope they like it. I just painted this, used stickers for the titles and modge podged the journaling and then once that dried went over some of the words with a golden yellow paint.
Last night I went out with the girls for supper and then a movie-Valentines Day, as it was Pam's birthday. The movie was good and so happy to say we have broken the bad movie streak. Woohoo! It is a gorgeous +6'C out right now and look forward to getting outside a little bit later to enjoy the rest of the afternoon!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February is a great

month for getting together with my family, friends and having fun. I got Dennis to call over to my aunt and uncle's house and we invited ourselves over, as my grandma and aunts were in town. I haven't seen them since my dad's 60th birthday party in Sept, and it was great to see them again. We had a blast. It was so much fun. They even fed us a great supper of ribs, baby potatoes, and baked beans! YUM.
My grandma can talk about anything and she loves to tell stories. There is nothing off limits! Next time though, we will have to plan it better as I never got to see my one aunt and uncle and my cousin. They all got together the night before, but because that was a 'school night' we couldn't go because we couldn't get a sitter. Here is Dennis with my two uncles. There is truly nothing better than being close with your family and extended family.

This layout I did was just for fun. I used the papers, transparency and the cut flower from a kit from Created with Paper. The chipboard letters and the rest of the embellies is from random stuff I already have. I like the 'my work is done here' tag as it is true of babies, but NOT true with all the work we have ahead of ourselves. lol

Here is my second Art Journal page. This Art Journal book will be passed down to the children one day. This book is made just for them and I hope they use it to enforce our faith, values, and beliefs. I hope it helps them when they are struggling or if they just want to feel close to me when I can not be there in person. I hope they appreciate it and most of all that they use it throughout their lives. This prompt was from A year in the Life of an Art Journal .

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stranded at home

as my husband took my van key to work with him for the second day in a row! He used the key to open my van to take out a cupboard door that I picked up for him (yesterday) and then he forgot to bring it in with him. It is in the front seat of his truck. :( BOO! So here I sit, when I could be at Walmart with Carrie. Double BOO!
I was inspired to do this layout once again from Pencil Lines Blog, but of course added my own ideas to it...The big flying bird represents the grandparents and the little ones represent Jacie and Travis. This one is simple but I really like the way it turned out. I hope my parents like it. Full of Wonder was inspired from a persons layout on OLW (One Little Word) Blog. This blog is no longer active, but they left up the blog to inspire, which I am thankful.

Here is my first ever Art Journal page. I have been wanting to start this for a long time now. I may need to do two, as I want to pass one along to the kids as kind of a life lesson guide which will reinforce our values, and I hope they will use as a 'go to' to look to for guidance, strength, etc. The other one will be for me and my struggles, what I have learned, life lessons, etc...just a good place to go and create in a different area. Here is the blog where this idea came from The word they used was 'Hope' which was picked by my cousin as she is guesting there. How awesome is that! Great job Glenda!
Ps. Dennis changed the lightbulb in Kael's room the night I went to Costco (which was the same day I posted about it)...I guess trying to put the kids in their jammies, diapers, etc is a little tough when it is pitch dark out and don't have a light to do it with! HAHA.

Monday, February 8, 2010

February is a busy month

and for a month that is already short in days, how can so much be jammed packed into it? This past week Dennis had to work out of town. He was gone from Wednesday and back around 7pm on Saturday. It seems strange to me that it is almost easier without him here-as much as I miss him- the meals are less work, I run my own schedule, and I know it is just me, where if he is home and something is going on with the kids, or supper, or whatever he isn't usually quick to help/respond so that adds to my stress level and makes me grumpy. I can't fault him too much as he works hard and when he comes home he is tired, I get that, but oh I wish I had the quick to help, and do things (when they needed to be done) kinda of guy. Here is an example, right now, Kael's light bulb in his room is burnt out and has been since Friday. I asked Dennis to change it when he got home on is still burnt out...I keep you posted on when that gets changed. :)
This layout is of Kael (Wuza) of when he was just a little guy. Jacie hung him with that nickname (wuh-zah) and I just love it. So we all still call him that. The layout design for Wuza and Us Girls came from the Pencil Lines blog and Stampede Fun was just one that I came up with on my own. It is too bad the Stampede Fun came out a little blurry, as the girl in the bottom right picture is hilarious. Mom was taking the picture of the kids and my dad and this girl (who we don't know) is smiling and waving at her as she must know she is going to be in the picture...I just couldn't crop her out...I would have regretted it as I would have told the story to people who looked at this page and would have said 'I wish I didn't crop her out'. So I didn't!

Here is a layout of me and Jacie. Look at my cheekbones! I wonder if I will ever get those back! HA
Every weekend is booked now till March! It is a nice feeling actually as it is booked up with date nights, friends and a birthday night out with the girls-dinner and a movie..I wonder what Pam will pick to see?! Us girls (there is about 6 of us) have been on a bad movie cycle for a long time now...I hope we actually pick a good one this time. :)
Last night I made a turkey with all the fixings...with homemade perogies. YUM!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sitter is coming tonight

so that Dennis and I can go to the trailer show (in peace) and then for a late supper afterwards (with friends). This is so exciting. We have two babysitters that live close to us and they really like babysitting!! How awesome is that?! S-weet!
The Perfect Day and So Young are the two layouts I did at the same time. I am trying to use up the rest of the birthday pictures of Travis' 4th birthday party, which if I could truly pick the perfect day, that one would be it. We just celebrated his birthday with just us. No friends, etc. We got up, went to church, then headed to Okotoks, got some subs at Quizno's and had a picnic lunch by the river and spent the whole afternoon there. I was pregnant with Danika at the time, and Kael just loved sitting in the river chewing on rocks! HA The kids had a blast playing in the river and we were almost the last to leave there. We came home and Travis opened his gifts and then it was bedtime. It was just a great family day! All three of these layouts were from sketches over at the Pencil Lines Blog.
Look how young Den and I were. No kids...just us. I don't even know if we bought our first house yet or not here. I have NO idea how old we are here!
I had a lot of fun with this layout, using paint, Glimmermist, stamps, ripping paper, etc.

Well baby is sleeping, so I am going to go start another layout and then get ready for date night! YEEHAW!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Finally a layout

was completed and here it is. I used a stamp from Stampin' Up (the long grass) which I just love. I can think of endless possibilities for that one!
I started two layouts today which I have never done before. Usually I complete one layout before I start another one, but because I used paint on one, I had to let it dry, so I started another one!! Woohoo.

Tonight I made a new recipe called Chicken Cordon Bleu 11 from All Recipes. It is a keeper as it has this great creamy wine sauce that is to die for. I made pasta with it and put the sauce over that too. I know the chicken is buried in sauce so you can't really see it, but oh man was it good. The kids ate it all up as well.

We went to the movie Avatar on Saturday night with our two oldest kids and friends of ours and their kids. It was playing in 3D. This movie is the best movie I have ever seen and I am telling you to go out and not miss this experience. The movie theater is the best place to see this movie and it must also be seen in 3D! The technology is AMAZING! This is a movie experience you don't want to miss. It is just that good. PLEASE please go see it!! I am hoping to go and see it again at the Imax! I just can't say enough great things about it! How about you? Have you seen it? What did you think?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The end of the cookbook testing

for Art Smith is here and I had three chicken breasts to use up, so I made Red Pepper Jelly Chicken breasts. The Red Pepper Jelly is from Epicure and is very tasty with pork as well-especially ribs! It makes a sticky glaze over the meat and is very good. BUT in this case I over cooked the chicken and it was very dry...I can't stand it when I do this. What a waste. The kids ate all of theirs, which was nice, and we ate about 3/4 of ours. That was too bad. We had it with macaroni and cheese and corn.
I also made buns for the very first time and after supper Jacie and I finished making them. I started them too late to have for supper, which was maddening, but at least I could pack them in the kids lunches for Friday. The buns were very good and will try to make them every couple of weeks. YUM
With some of the dough I made cinnamon buns because I wasn't thrilled with the first batch. Dennis liked the first batch better, but I liked these better as I don't care for the caramel glaze the other ones I will keep trying new recipes for cinnamon buns.
Friday, Carrie came over and we made homemade perogies. It was my second time and I was a little intimidated, but with her help we pumped out many dozen...I didn't count exactly how many, but maybe 8-10 dozen? Not sure...We had them for supper with fried onions and farmer sausage. SOOO GOOD! Kael alone eats at least 6. Danika doesn't like them yet...same with is a texture thing.
To sum up the cookbook, I think it is a great cookbook that offers wholesome, pretty easy recipes, and uses ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store-which is super important when you have a busy household (and a large family) when one stop shopping is ideal.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Last night

we had Chinese Curried Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables. It turned out really well. I didn't have egg noodles, but did have Angle Hair pasta, so I used that instead. When I make this again I will add an onion along with the green onions. I also didn't have celery that it called for. The whole family ate this one up.

Here is the finished supper. Yum.

During the afternoon I got an urge to make Cinnamon Buns for the first time. This recipe was from All Recipes and it is called Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns. They turned out okay for me. My husband ate 4 last night and just loves them. I think for me it isn't the recipe of my FAV cinnamon buns, so I will keep exploring...but for a first attempt, can't complain.
Now, what to make for lunch? Still haven't gotten around to figuring that out yet...the weekly lunch menu.
After supper, I put on the tunes while the kids and I cleaned up supper. Music soothes the soul and gets me in a better mood to tackle any clean up. I don't know about you but I loath cleaning... so anything to help ease that pain is much appreciated...and music does that!
One of these days I am going to get back to my other love...scrapbooking. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Okay a day late!

Last night we packed up the kids and went to Swiss Chalet for supper. This is the first venture out with all of us in a family restaurant in about a year. We brought both of our booster chairs for Danika and Kael and got a big booth and strapped them in and prayed for the best. Over all it went very well and so glad we did it. It was great to get out as a family and enjoy a sit down meal. Swiss Chalet is so good too as they have a great kids menu and really good meals for the whole family. I recommend it to everyone. YUM!
Tonight I finally made the Flank Steak with Red Wine Butter Sauce. I really really like this cookbook. I like how you just have a few ingredients and the recipes are straightforward and easy to do, with so far good results (the parsnips was my fault as I guess on the bigger ones there is a bitter core that needs to be cut out-lesson learned!). This recipe was good but I screwed up the sauce, as the flank steak was pretty rare so I put it back in the sauce to cook a bit more, but the juices made the sauce watery again after I had a nice reduction...oh well it still tasted good.

Here is a side called Creamed Spinach. This one had mixed results and Danika ate it up like crazy, Kael had about 4 good size bites, Jacie gagged (with her nose plugged) but got it down with a piece of steak to mask it and Travis gagged about 4 times and with teary eyes I said he could spit it in the garbage. Oh man I laughed at him after. I know, nice mom eh?! But they all have to try it no matter what! I also made Two Potato Mash with Yams and Yukon potatoes. This was VERY good and will be made a lot. It is by far the best side I have made in a long time! 5 out of 5 here!! Here is the final product.

Lastely, this afternoon I made Carrotcake Muffins with a creamcheese icing. The kids got to eat them after supper and they liked them, so they are a hit! YEAH!!

I am off to watch some TV as I have been in the kitchen from 2pm and finished cleaning up supper after 7:30pm. My feet are throbbing!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rummoli anyone?

Yesterday I was feeling blah all day and feeling sorry for myself, as Dennis was at work, yet again on a Saturday-and as much as I should be thankful that he is busy still in this economy, I was down because I miss him. He worked late quite a bit over the last two weeks, which just sucks for him and us. At the end of this month, he is going to be gone a full week working out of town, so it is all just building up. The kids miss him when he is gone; so do I-which is a good thing, as if I didn't I would be writing on a whole different topic. So missing him and my stomach bothering me (I have a doctors appointment on Monday morning), there has been a lot on my mind.
Anyway, when Den finally got home I wanted to go out for supper, so as we were getting ready I turned on the music and I immediately phoned our friends-who conveniently live across the street-and invited them over for a games night instead. The music got me pumped for company! We had a great time. It was what I needed to pull me out of the dumps. The game we played was Rummoli, which is a great great game! I think we quit playing around 2:30am??? and then we chatted until 4:30ish.
Tonight I will post again as I am making 3 new recipes for supper.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 3

Today I was suppose to make a dish (from the same cookbook) using the left over tenderloin from last night...but I could make excuse after excuse as to why I didn't go out today, but the plain truth is that I didn't want to load up 3 kids and head to the grocery store for the 3 items I was missing. I know, lazy eh?! The funny thing is that I may have to load up all 4 kids tomorrow instead as we need milk yet again. I would love to get delivery to the door for milk...I need to check into that! :)
BUT I did make my own dish instead. I used black bean sauce, hoisin sauce, Epicure Oriental Stir-fry seasoning (which if you do a lot of stir fry's is a must), and you'll see the rest of the ingredients from the picture. Looking at this I should have cut the tenderloin in smaller pieces (this is Dennis' bowl) but whatever it was really good. I love stir fry's. They are quick and easy and I feel that they are good for you as well.
After supper and after Danika and Kael went to bed we watched The Water Horse for family movie night. It was a great movie. Finally a good family movie! That one gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!
In regards to what Dennis thought of the side dish from yesterday (the diesel mash)...he said it was okay and turned and looked at me and said 'what was in that anyway, parsnips?' Yeah I looked at him and was like how the heck do you know what parsnips are?! I have never made them or bought them before in my life...and the most gourmet thing he made while he was a bachelor was pork chops in cream of mushroom soup! MEN!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 2

Tonight I made Roast Pork Tenderloin with Asian Glaze. Again, pretty simple ingredients-the sesame oil was the most 'exotic' ingredient. I paired this meal with Mashed Cauliflower and Parsnips which I was super excited to try. I made corn as well to give some sweetness to the Asian sauce.

Here is the finished product and yes the pork loin tasted as good as it looks. It was very good. I would definitely make this again! The Mashed Cauliflower and Parsnips on the other hand looked good, but tasted horrible. Something went really wrong here. My first bite I wanted to spit it out! My first thought that came to my mind was it tasted like diesel or gas...I think the parsnips were extremely bitter?! I have no idea why this didn't turn out and I am so sad that it didn't work, cause I wanted to pass it off as mashed potatoes! BOO! Oh well, I will google how to peel a parsnip and make sure that I didn't leave too much 'outside' on it...I just took out my carrot peeler and peeled it like a carrot. Is this right? I dunno, but will check it out, as I don't ever want to taste that taste again!
As far as the family test, the kids loved the pork and corn...I didn't let them eat more than the one bite of the side dish, for obvious reasons! Dennis is not home yet, so I will post his thoughts tomorrow...and yes I gave him a good amount of the side for not coming home on time and I'll just see what he thinks of it all on his own!! Bahahahhahaa! Think evil laugh! Bahahaha!