Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vessel Update

Vessel just hit 23 months on the 28th. I really can't believe that he is going to be 2 years old. It doesn't even seem like 2 years ago that we had him. Kids make your life go by faster, at least for me! But I think things keep getting better and better. Vessel is talking a lot more now. He copies EVERYTHING we say and do. A few weeks ago I taught him that if he needs to cough he should cough in his shirt and I showed him how to do it. Now everytime he has to cough, he pulls up his shirt to cough in it. He catches on quick.
Vessel loves to say "I miss you" or "I love you." Sometimes those phrases are 1 in the same to him. He always folds his arms during mealtime prayers and at church and knows right when to say "amen" which he says proudly and loudly.
He loves going to nursery and every Sunday we get to church he persists that we take him to nursery RIGHT THEN. He has a really good nursery teacher that he just loves, so I'm not surpised he likes going there so much.
He knows some of his ABC's now. He has a little ABC puzzle that has pictures that correspond with each letter. He can pick up a letter and know which word it goes with. For instance, the other day he found the letter "I" on the floor and picked it up and said "ice cream." I was kind of amazed. Vessel also knows some of his shapes. So far he knows circle, square, heart, moon, star, and triangle. I like to play a game with him where I draw a shape and he guesses what it is. He's getting pretty good at it. The other day we went to a friend's house and she had some wooden heart decorations above her entrance way and Vessel shouted, "heart! heart!" He also knows a few colors. White, blue, red, green, and yellow seem to be the ones he knows best. He LOVES to play with the Blokus game Mike got for his birthday. He could seriously play with it all day, just lining up the shapes and colors on the board.
He LOVES to sing songs. His favorites are "Head shoulders knees and toes," "Itsy bitsy spider," "Once there was a snowman," and "The wheels on the bus." Once we finish a song he always asks for us to sing more. He still loves reading books. We read books every morning when he wakes up. Sometimes he'll ask me to read the same book 3 or 4 times in a row. He still loves drawing and coloring. I think he'd pick doing that over playing with just about any toy you gave him. Although, he has been really into tractors lately. He loves playing with toy tractors and gets so excited whenever he sees a real one when we're driving. Not long ago the landlord started doing some landscaping at our old apartment. They had a "baby tractor" (as Vessel called it) taking all the small trees and bushes out of the front of the complex. Vessel used to sit at the window and just watch and watch without getting tired. Every day he'd wake up and run to the window to see if the "baby tractor" was there. It was so dang cute.
Vessel has a pretty good imagination lately. The other day he helped me connect all his markers together to make a long stick. Without my help he insisted that he "go fishing" as he pretended the markers were a fishing pole. I don't know how he even knows what it means to go fishing! Vessel loves to go on walks and never gets tired of playing at the park. He is adjusting well to the new house and has more rooms to explore and lots of stairs to climb up and down. He isn't completely potty trained yet, and I think that it's mostly my fault because I haven't been working with him. I've slacked off because of all the other stuff that's been going on in our lives recently. But he does wear training pants now, and he'll tell me when he goes poop or pee after the fact. At least he knows that he's done it. Now I just have to make sure he does it in the right place!
We had a scary incident a few weeks ago. One morning at breakfast he was just sitting in his chair and Mike was feeding him some banana with peanut butter. Because peanut allergies run in Mike's family, we've always just watched Vessel closely when he eats any peanut related food. He's never had a problem with it before until that particular morning. He was using his hands to eat the peanut butter covered banana pieces and then afterwards when I started to clean him up and get him dressed he was complaining to me that he was "itchy" and had an "ouch." Then I noticed that he was covered in little red bumps on his hands, arms, tummy, and cheeks. (everywhere he got peanut butter on himself.) Then a minute or so later he could barely talk and he sounded raspy like his throat was closing up. Mike and I FREAKED out and were about ready to rush him to the hospital. Before doing anything Mike decided we should say a prayer. Luckily Heavenly Father answered our prayers and we didn't end up having to take Vessel to the ER. (It was a real testimony builder!) After a few hours his red bumps went away and his voice sounded normal again. Needless to say, we don't let him anywhere near peanuts or peanut butter anymore! Kind of crazy how the allergy decided to show up after who knows how many countless times he had PB before. But I hear allergies can be that way. Sometimes they just develop abruptly even if you've never had a problem with them in the past. Anyway, I'm glad our little guy is okay! I don't know what I'd do if anything ever happened to him. I don't think I could live with myself.
Anyway, Vessel truly is a joy to our lives. He is growing and learning rapidly. And he has such a sweet countenance. Of course, there are those times when he REALLY shows signs of the "terrible twos" but that's to be expected right? Despite those times, he is without a doubt one of the most amazing kids ever!

Friday, September 26, 2008

"I stole it"

Last week our next door neighbor finally had her baby. I knew about it because on my way down to take the laundry to the car I ran into her mother who was frantic with excitement. She asked me, "Do you know Melanie?!" I said, "uh, no" and the lady said, "you know, the one like this" as she put her arms out in front of her belly to indicate a pregnant lady. I said, "oh, yeah, I've talked to her a few times." And she squealed to me, "Well, she had her baby today!" and then ran out the door with inundated enthusiasm. I guess she was on her way to the hospital to see her daughter and the new grand-daughter. Anyway, I don't really know the girl all that well. I mean, I've seen her in passing and said "hi" a few times, but nothing more. But I thought, maybe I should make her cookies or something to congratulate her. Anyway, the next day Mike and I were sitting at the table eating lunch. Our table is right by the kitchen window and you can see the front of the complex and the street directly from our window. As we ate I noticed a car pull up and the new mom and baby step out of the car. Then I saw "Grandma" or the lady I ran into the previous day get out of the car and take out the car seat. I thought, "Wow, that car seat looks just like Vessel's." She started walking up toward the building and then she stopped in the street near our car. Then she opened our car and threw in the car seat she was carrying! It WAS our car seat! I was like, "WTF?!" So I opened the window and called down to her. I think she was a little scared that I caught her returning the car seat. She was all flustered and was tripping over her words and I was like, "What did you just put in our car?" acting like I didn't know. And she was like, "Your car seat. I stole it." Really? I didn't just gather that. And then she went off on some story about how she thought the car was her daughter's car and didn't realize it was the wrong car seat until she got to the hospital. Well, maybe she wasn't telling a fib, but really, how do you mistake your own daughter's car? Keep in mind that her daughter's car looks NOTHING like our car, plus it's still got Utah plates on it. I think she knew exactly what she was doing, and our car (lucky for her) just coincidentally happened to be unlocked during that time. You know, I seriously wouldn't have been mad if she just knocked on my apartment door and said, "Look, my daughter doesn't have a car seat to bring the baby home in. Is it okay if we borrow yours?" And I would've graciously let her use it for as long as she needed. But it kind of irritates me that she "stole" it and then just threw it back in the car all haphazardly like I wasn't going to notice. What's up with people these days? So that's my funny story for the week. Hope you enjoyed it!

Today's Thoughts of Random-osity (again numbered, because that's just how I like it, okay?)

1. I actually started this post yesterday, but just got around to finishing it this morning.

2. I am having weird cravings lately. No, I'm not preggers. But I've gotta say that my cravings are pretty strong. Lately I've been wanting to eat nothing but mushrooms, cheese, sweet potatoes, ice cream, grapes, and Chinese food.

3. I am SO peeved that I lost my earring! I was washing my face last night and it just popped out and fell down the sink drain. I loved that earring. *sniff*

4. I absolutely LOVE this new found smoothie from Junga Juice. It's called "carrot fusion" and it's got carrot juice, vanilla yogurt, banana and cinnamon in it. Does it sound gross? Well, trust me, it is DELICIOUS! And healthy too. It kind of reminds me of egg nog because of it's consistency and cinnamon flavor, yet it tastes better.

5. I don't think we'll send out Christmas cards this year. We've been thinking about sending Thanksgiving cards instead. That way they don't get lost in the masses of Christmas cards everyone receives in December. Well, actually Mike wants to do that more than I do. I guess we'll see if he gets his way. I've been known to give into his persuasive ways.

6. I've been seeing all these interesting movie trailers lately. Sadly they're all rated R, so that bites.

7. I have finally gotten to the point where I feel like Montana is "home."

8. So we are going to the bank today to close on our house. I am very scared and excited at the same time.

9. Yes, even with the financial crisis with the U.S. lately we are still buying a house. I have faith that everything will be okay.

10. I've been trying to show more gratitude in my life. I'm thankful to those who continue to read my blog, although I've probably become very boring. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Love Saturdays

I love Saturdays because it's the one day of the week that Mike, Vessel, and I get to spend the ENTIRE day together and do whatever we want. Oh blessed Saturday! Today Vessel let us sleep in until 9:00! That's got to be some kind of record. I wasn't complaining even a little bit. We lounged around the house for awhile in our PJs and ate banana pancakes. (Another reason I love Saturdays is because we can have breakfast together. Mmmmm, I love breakfast food.) Then we decided to go see what our fine city had to offer. We parked downtown and walked up and down Central Avenue looking at all the nifty shops. There were a lot of art galleries, antique shops, cute diners, thrift outlets, and health and beauty stores. Lots of cool stuff to look at. We found an old fashioned candy store that made hand pulled salt water taffy and homemade fudge. When Mike found out they were having a sale on the fudge, he couldn't pass up getting a box. I have to admit that I'm glad I married a guy who likes sweets just as much as I do.

After the morning events were over we took Vessel home to have a nap and Mike and I were able to have some alone time to talk and hang out. When all our errands were done for the day we went to a local park to fly the kites I won at an auction the night before. It was quite fun and there was just enough breeze to keep the kites in the air. (Here's some trivia for ya. Great Falls ranks #7 for top 10 windiest cities in America. That's just great if you want to fly a kite.)

Vessel was intrigued by the kites at first, and we even let him hold the string for awhile, but then he lost interest and decided to go exploring in the grass.


Sadly while playing at the park, I noticed that a little girl was getting picked on by a bunch of other kids. Then I saw a little boy push her down so hard it knocked the wind out of her. That's when I decided to intervene and the group of bullies took off when they saw me. There were no adults present and I just felt horrible for that little girl having no chance of defending herself against that big group of kids. No little kid should have to be afraid to go play at the park because they might get beaten up, right? But I made sure the girl was okay and then talked to her mom later. I couldn't believe the mouths those little kids had on them either, just cursing and swearing and trying to act all tough. It makes me not want to let Vessel EVER grow up. :( Anyway, I'm totally digressing here. Back to why I love Saturdays.
Another reason is because it's the one day that we usually get to go out and eat dinner together. (That means I don't have to cook or wash dishes. Yaay!) So we went out last night, and despite the truly embarrassing moment I had at the restaurant, everything was just great. For all of you who are wondering, no, my embarrassing moment did not involve an explosive onslaught of diarrhea. But it did involve toilet paper, so that's a plus, right? :) After arriving home and getting Vessel off to bed, Mike and I cuddled up on our fabulous camping chairs to watch a movie. Too bad the movie was lame. The whole time Mike and I were making comments back and forth about how stupid it was. Thanks for mocking it with me babe! Oh, just so you know the movie was called "One Missed Call" so don't pick that one up from Redbox on your way out of the grocery store, aight? I think I'm done with horror/suspense shows all together. From now on I think I'm going to stick with comedy. Anyway, Saturday was just great and I had a lot of fun with the fam!

Okay, so here's a little about our Friday night. It was the night of the infamous Ho-Down. The actual event was called "Kick Your Heels Up At The Farm" and we ate dinner and there was a live band. First up were some youth fiddlers, then we had an adult band play some classic country songs. People were out there cuttin' a rug and getting all lushed up. Mike and I danced a little, but we got kind of bored so we decided to go across the street to the Pow Wow. I've never been to one and let me tell ya, it was all I expected and more.

Here's a picture of me, Mike and our new Native American friend.

I don't know much about the Native American culture, but that Pow Wow was pretty interesting. Mike and I joined one of the dances and apparently we looked ridiculous because 2 young girls came and each grabbed one of our hands in an attempt to teach us how to do it right. Or maybe they felt bad that we were like the only white people there and thought we might've felt left out. Either way we appreciated their gesture.

Here is a video of some of the people walking around in the circle to shake hands with the rest of the crowd. I was pretty stoked about that one couple's get up. Isn't it totally sweet? Yeah, I thought so.

video

After a few dances at the Pow Wow we went back to the Farm in the Dell shindig to see if I won the silent auction. There was a basket of beauty products I bid on, and this one lady kept outbidding me. Eventually she took the prize, but I was okay with it seeing how I couldn't justify spending $70 dollars on it anyway. Every time I bid she'd come back and bid $5.00 more, then I'd go back and bid $5.00 more. We did that for a long time until I finally just gave up. But I did win the toys I bid on for Vessel. Only cost me 6 bucks for two kites, a container of Floam, and a stuffed animal. Come on, I had to bring back Vessel something to play with. And all the money from the silent auction went to charity.

Afterwards we drove around GF for awhile. I tried to get a picture of the 9th street bridge but couldn't get a shot that wasn't blurry. This turned out kind of cool though.

Then we went over to Gibson Park and walked around until it got too eerie for me to really enjoy it. So much for trying to have a romantical walk through the park, but it was practically pitch black and my mind wouldn't shut off thinking about scary thoughts of getting killed by some crazy park loitering murderer. So we got the heck out of Dodge.

Anyway, that was our fun weekend. I love getting to spend time with my fun family. Mike is so much fun to hang out with and we always laugh and have a good time. And we love hanging out with our son together. When the weekend is over I can't hardly wait until the next weekend we get to spend together!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I LOVE this song!!!

I heard this on left of center while I was driving in the car today. This band is totally worth checking out! It gives me such a happy feeling.
*YouTube wouldn't let me post it, so you might have to endure a short advertisement before seeing the video. The song is totally worth it though, okay?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This Just In....

So the brown house situation is going smoothly. A little too smoothly if you ask me. We're scheduled to close on the 29th of this month. I have so much to tell about the whole house buying experience! But it will have to wait for another day.

For now I'll just post some cute pictures of the boy:

Today Mister V and I
painted a picture for Mike. <-----click here to see the finished product. I think the boy had fun, but he was very, very concerned about getting paint on his hands. He wasn't a fan of that. He's kind of a clean freak! He kept asking me if he could wash his hands off. But he didn't mind getting it all over the carpeted kitchen floor. :) Trust me, if I even remotely cared about this dump apartment I wouldn't have let him loose with a paint brush.




Friday, September 12, 2008

Today's Random-osity

1. I hate feeling guilty for being happy. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? For instance, if someone asks me how I'm doing I will usually reply with a "so-so" kind of answer, even if I'm doing exceptionally well. That's because I worry that if I tell people I'm super happy, they might be having a bad day or going through a hard time, and hearing that might make them feel more like crap or something. I hate feeling like I have to supress my happiness because someone else might resent me for it, or be jealous, or think I'm annoyingly happy. I know it's stupid. I'm tired of feeling that way. I should just feel happy and not be afraid to show it or tell other people right?

2. I tried coconut milk ice cream yesterday and it was really freakin' GOOOOD. It reminded me of a frozen pina coloada, minus the pina.

3. I really dislike scammers. We've got our burple car listed to sell, and so far we've had like 6 people claiming they wanted to buy it, but they turned out to be scammers. What these people do is write us an email saying they will send a check for over the amount of the car and we need to send the remaining money to their "agent" for shipping fees, etc. C'mon people, do we look that stupid? Sadly, there are people out there who fall for tricks like that. It's frustrating because we'd really like to sell our car and then some stupid scammer gets our hopes up only to let us down.

4. This morning bright and early Vessel and I took a long walk around the neighborhood and over to a nearby park. I think it was the best idea I've ever had. The crisp morning air felt so good and the walk wore Vessel out enough that he actually went down for nap by himself this afternoon.

5. So tonight is the home inspection for the "brown house." Nothing better go wrong or I just might cry.

6. Did you know that Montana is big into using medicinal marijuana?

7. When Mike got home from work yesterday he said that he had some really exciting news. He proceeded to tell me (with a HUGE smile on his face) that at work he "won tickets to...." (he paused and got me all pumped up) "a HO-DOWN!" A ho-down? Man, I thought he was going to say Hawaii or something.

8. I don't think we're going to throw Vessel a big 2 year birthday party like we did for his 1st birthday. It was fun and everything but it was a lot of work. I think we'll just do something simple this year.

9. Mike and I decided we want to dress Vessel as a vampire this Halloween. Won't that be a precious sight? Fake blood coming out the corners of his little mouth, a widow's peak, and a black cape. I think he'll look super cute!!

10. You stay classy San Diego.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I...

I am: a wife, mother, sister, and daughter.
I think: about every option before making a decision.
I know: my prayers are answered.
I have: a really blessed life.
I hate: hearing sad stories on the news about children being abused.
I miss: the summer of 2003 when Steph and I hung out every day.
I fear: being a bad example to my children.
I feel: really happy lately.
I hear: Mike's crazy cell phone alarm every freaking morning.
I smell: the homemade peppermint conditioner in my hair that I made.
I crave: something sweet after a meal.
I cry: less often now than when I was a teenager. Good gosh, let's never go back...
I want: to be in a rock band.
I usually: laugh at the stupidest things.
I search: for Vessel's pillow every night at bedtime.
I wonder: who will be the next president.
I regret: judging people before I know them.
I care: about being a good wife and mom.
I love: the gospel.
I always: give Mike a kiss and a spankin' when he gets home from work.
I never: get car-sick when I'm the one driving.
I worry: about being prepared for the future.
I remember: lots of things from my childhood.
I forget: what it was like having a newborn.
I believe: there is a purpose for everyone.
I dance: around the house with Mike and Vessel.
I sing: out loud in the car.
I don't always: make a good first impression.
I argue: when I truly believe I'm right.
I write: in my journal regularly.
I win: thumb wars with myself.
I lose: sleep when I'm stressed out.
I wish: I could manage my time better (i.e. not writing random posts about myself when I could be doing something more productive.)
I listen: to those who have something to say worth hearing.
I dream: in color.
I don't understand: everything, and I'm okay with that.
I can usually be found: playing with Vessel.
I need: very little to be satisfied.
I am happy: when I hear my favorite music.
I am not: tired of life. I love it!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Brown Wins!

So are we totally wishy washy? We backed out of buying the blue house (at least for now.) After work Mike went with me to look at the inside of the brown house again and we both felt really good about it. Then we went over to the blue house to look at it one more time. And sure enough, we felt more of an attraction to the brown house. So we told our buyer's agent to get a hold of the seller and call off our agreement due to problems that came up during the inspection. Then we made an offer on the brown house! Wow, things happen so fast. Mike and I are really praying that the seller of the brown house will accept our offer, or at least give us a pretty close counter offer. And luckily our home inspector said he'd give us a discount on our next home inspection. A little is better than nothing, right? The nice thing about the brown house is that it's in the ward boundaries that we're already in too, so we wouldn't have to start all over again being the newbies and meeting a whole new set of people. I dunno guys. I guess we'll see what happens. Cross your fingers for us, mmmmmkay?

The Most Stressful Thing....

is buying a house. Or not really buying it, but deciding the RIGHT one. Deciding who to marry was easy. I knew right away. Deciding to have kids was easy. Always knew I'd want some. But deciding the right house? It's the most difficult and stressful decision for me!! We have been pretty "sure" of the blue house for a few weeks now. We even went so far as to put down our "earnest money" and make and offer, and get a home inspection (not cheap.) The house is actually in good condition but there are some things that will need to be fixed before we move in, and it sounds like the seller is not willing to compromise with us. So at this point we might not take the blue house. It all depends. We have until tomorrow to decide.
Yesterday we went over to a friend's house for dessert, and on our way over there we passed another house we looked at 2 months ago when we first started house hunting. I've always liked that house, but we took it off our list because it didn't have a garage. We kept looking but never found a house with a garage that we liked. Then we found the blue house and we liked it a lot and it was in our price range, but still...did not have a garage. Then Mike started thinking about building a garage near the back of the lot. Many houses here do not have a garage attached to them because it is just the style I guess. Anyway, Mike got pumped about the idea of building his very own garage with his own two hands. That would make him a real man, right? So as we drove by the other house (btw, it's brown) I thought, "I really like that house still. And it's not off the market yet. Why did we stop looking at it? Oh yeah, no garage." HELLOOOOO! The blue house doesn't have a garage either, and I like the brown house more! But we'll just have to see what Mike has to say about my renewed interest in it. I'll post some pictures so you can compare it to the blue house. Tell me what you guys think!!!!

I got these pictures off the real estate website, so some of them aren't all that great. But they give you an idea.

The outside. Craftsman style home with brown steel siding. This house has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a finished basement and an attic. It is quite a bit older than the blue house (built in 1920 vs. 1976) but it has all new appliances, furnace, and water heater.

Here is the living room (they have rugs to walk on to keep the carpet nice, just in case you were wondering what those dark things on the floor were.) New carpet throughout. I like the color of the walls. I think some crown molding along the top would look really nice.

Here is the kitchen. New oak cabinets and granite looking countertops.


Downstairs bathroom.

Upstairs bathroom.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Today's Special Intro

Yeah, this was like my favorite show when I was just a young lad. I can't find anyone that remembers it, though! Does anyone out there in internet land remember????

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mr. Smiley

I couldn't help posting this charming picture of Vessel smiling. He loves to sit at this little desk on his footstool or rocking chair and just draw or color. Such a cute, sweet boy. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We bought our first house....almost

Okay, so remember last Friday I said we were making an offer on a house? Well, after we got back from Canada we received a counter offer and accepted it. So all we have left to do is get a home inspection, which is taking place at 5:30 tonight. If everything goes well with that and the paperwork goes smoothly we expect to close by the 19th of this month! I am excited to finally get into a house and stop renting an apartment. I'm also excited to have more room! This house is a 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom home, so that means we hope (and expect) to have guests! The only problem we have right now is getting out of our current lease....but I'm actually working on that at the moment. Any tips from all y'all would be great, if you have any.
So, some of you have asked to see pictures of the house. These are just the ones from the website. And yes, this is the house across from the semen shop. :)

Sadly the grass is starting to die because it hasn't been watered.

Entrance way and hallway

Kitchen

Kitchen sink. They remodeled the kitchen and bathroom with ceramic tile.

Bathroom sink

Second bathroom

Books

The Secret

by Rhonda Byrne



So, I'm one of those people that totally missed the huge explosion of "The Secret" when it came out on DVD and then later on hardback. I never saw the show Oprah had dedicated to it or any of that stuff. One day I was talking to a friend and I told her I made lists of things that I wanted so I wouldn't forget. She said something to the affect that it was a really good idea because that way I could make things come to me. I didn't really understand and then she let me borrow her book "The Secret."

Basically the book explains the law of attraction. The law of attraction is just one of the many laws in the universe. If you think hard enough about something, it will happen. According to the book, our thoughts are very powerful. We can think things into existence. We are in control of our own destinies. Negative thoughts bring negative things. Like attracts like. If you think about what you want long and hard enough, the universe says "Your wish is my command" and gives it to you. The book claims to know the secret to money, relationships, health, the world, yourself and life.

I've got to admit that after reading the book I began to question every single thing I've ever believed in. For instance, is God acutally the universe? Nah, after a lot of thinking I decided the book was a bunch of hokey nonsense. And after reading some other reviews I realized I wasn' t the only one who felt that way. I agree a lot with this person and surprisingly even a lot with this person.
And this guy totally doesn't believe in "The Secret" and he gets what he wants out of life apparently. (LOL)

So I don't believe the universe will give me a million dollars or make me thinner or prettier or whatever. That part I think is all kind of stupid and whimsical. I don't believe you can just think things into existance or get what you want out of life without even working for it. But one thing I did take from this book is that having a positive attitude is important. It might not get you everything you want in life but thinking positive thoughts can have a huge impact on your day to day life. One particular quote from the book I liked was by Lisa Nichols. She says, "People have a tendency to look at the things that they want and say, 'Yes, I like that, I want that.' However, they look at the things that they don’t want and they give them just as much energy, if not more, with the idea that they can stamp it out, they can eliminate it, obliterate it. In our society, we’ve become content with fighting against things. Fighting against cancer, fighting against poverty, fighting against war, fighting against drugs, fighting against terrorism, fighting against violence. We tend to fight everything we don’t want, which actually creates more of a fight.” There were alot of good quotes in the book that made me look at life a little bit differently. Like trying not to focus so much on the bad things in life, and just thinking positive thoughts has really enhanced my life in a lot of ways. So the book wasn't a total waste, but for the most part I thought it lacked a lot of backing for it's claims. If anyone else has seen the DVD or read the book, let me know what you think.

Canada

We got up early Saturday morning and packed for our Labor Day weekend getaway. The drive to Canada was great. It was a sunny day and the scenery was gorgeous. I was in a really happy mood all day. Once at the Canadian border we showed our passports and Vessel's birth certificate. The border control employees were really stern and intimidating. They asked us all kinds of questions like who we were going to visit, how we knew them, what our plans were in detail, etc. But we were eventually given access into the country after about a 30 minute wait.

Here at the Coutts border.

Our first time in Canada! Mike posing next to the sign at the border.
We took I-15 all the way up to our friends' (the Harkers) house. It was a straight shot, which was nice and Roy and Kathy's house wasn't hard to find at all. They have a beautiful house that they built themselves. Mike and I really liked it. When we got there our friend Twila was already there with her 2 kids Kizzia (3 yrs) and Jayden (8 mos.) Kathy and Twila had made some lunch for us and we sat out on the balcony and ate. Afterwards everyone had the idea to drive to Lethbridge and go to a cornmaze. It was actually pretty fun. The weather was beautiful and everything was just so nice.

At the cornmaze entrance.

Mike went with Vessel on a cow barrel train pulled by a small tractor.


There was a petting zoo and a playground for the kids. Vessel liked petting and feeding the donkeys, cows, goats, pigs, and chickens.




Isn't this the cutest little goat you've ever seen?


The sign reads "unattended children will be sold at the market."

It was the first time for Kathy, Chelsea, and Daniel (Kathy's daughter and son-in-law) to go through a cornmaze, which was pretty surprising to me.







Me, Mike, Vessel, and Kizzia.


After our time at the cornmaze, we drove into town and did some shopping at Lethbridge.
Me with some of our Canadian currency.

And the most exciting thing is that I found Outrageous shampoo for a buck 98! This used to be my favorite and most used shampoo back when I was a freshman in high school and then it was discontinued in the U.S. But not in Canada! So I stocked up! Does anyone remember this shampoo? It's the greatest!
We also bought a few other things during our travel.
Many labels are in French. Rootbeer=Racinette

Back at the Harker's house we had a big cookout over the firepit in their backyard. Our friend Matt (Twila's husband) got off work and met us there. We had an excellent outdoor feast! That night we played games around the table and then called it a night.

Sunday we woke up to horrible weather. It was rainy and cold and quite miserable. We went to Matt and Twila's church to hear their sacrament talks. Then we went back to Harker's ward to hear Chelsea and Daniel speak. After church Kathy prepared the most delicious Sunday meal. She is seriously my idol. I admire her so much. She is the Martha Stewart of Canada. She makes EVERYTHING from scratch. She sews, knits, quilts, and all does all kinds of crafty things. I am astounded by her! She made Vessel a really awesome bib while we were there. She's very sweet. So after dinner we ate the best fresh peach crisp and homemade vanilla ice cream that Twila made. It was HEAVENLY. The rest of Sunday was spent just talking and catching up with our friends.

On Monday, we went to a free pancake breakfast in Magrath. Labour Day is a pretty big holiday in Canada. After our wonderful pancakes, Kathy offered to watch Vessel so we could attend the Cardston, Alberta Temple to do a session. Daniel and Chelsea accompanied us. The Cardston temple is like no other temple I've been in. It is huge and really unique looking. Something interesting is that the Angel Moroni statue does not sit atop this temple. The other really unique thing about this temple is that the inside is covered in beautiful wood. With each room we entered the wood got darker and darker. Mike and I really liked our experience there!

It was raining pretty hard after the session, so these pictures aren't the best.


After our temple session we stopped at the local "Extra Foods" market to pick up a little snack.

Mike with his No Name dill pickle potato chips. They also had Ketchup chips, but we didn't end up buying them.

Me with some chocolate bars.

Later we went over to see Matt and Twila's new house. We talked and ate dinner before we made our journey back to the States.

Our trip to Canada was delightful and good times were had by all!
Thanks to the Harkers and the Jensens for showing us Americans a good time!