Sunday, January 30, 2011

No Screens Update

Just wanted to let you all know how we're doing with our no TV/Screen watching this month. In one word - AWESOME!!!

Seriously we should have done this ages ago! I was worried that I wouldn't be able to accomplish anything with out my TV babysitter. But my kids have gotten along 100% better during the past 2 weeks, then they have in ages. They have played with their toys again. We have played games together as a family. We have read books again. Its been great.

I do have to admit that on Friday, Chase stayed home sick from school, and Spenc. and Mar. weren't feeling great either, so I did let them watch TV. (quite a bit of TV). But in my defense, we did make the rule that Friday was our movie night...

I did cheat one other day, and let Marlie and Spencer watch a movie one morning, after I had been up all night with Nixon, cleaning up puke.

So overall, I think this experiment is a smashing success! 2 weeks left.

And to all of you who made comments to me about the computer being a screen.... zip it!

Oh and on Friday night (for my movie night), I found an addiction. For any of you with Netflix, please, please check out the TV series Survivors. I promise that it is the best show Ive ever seen. If you don't have Netflix, find some way to watch it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Fun

After 2 weeks of being cooped up in the house with -30 degree weather, when it finally warms up, everyone is excited to go outside and play.

Our little town of Blackfalds has 1 hill. So a few of our friends gathered there one day to go sledding. I made the mistake of wearing the smallest hat ever made. it barely covered the top of my head. Here's Marlie, Nixon and I getting ready to go down the hill.

The next day, Matt got out the skid steer and made us a sledding hill in an empty lot across the street. The kids had a blast jumping out of the bucket into the snow piles. It was so cute when all of the neighbourhood kids came running out to play on the "new hill".

Yesterday I planned a Family Ski Night for our school. We had a great turnout, and everyone had a blast. For those of you who don't know, i really hate skiing- but Matt loves it, so I plan this night for him. Chase was sick, so he wasn't able to come, but Kadie and Spencer came. Kadie has been skiing a few times, and enjoys it. Shes cautious like me, but she has fun.
This was Spencer's first time, and he did OK. I'm sure with a little practice he will come to love it. For some reason Kadie wasn't around when we were taking skiing pictures.

Friday, January 21, 2011

No More Screens

So lately, my kids favorite thing to do is watch TV.
If I wont let them do that, they really enjoy playing the DS.
They also completely love Matts I-phone.
Netflix is a new favorite.
Games on the computer.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Right now my kids are obsessed with anything that has a screen. They beg, and plead to watch. Trust me, when I was packing and moving, I didn't have time to get them going on anything else. And when I have bookwork to do, its soo easy to pop a movie in for them. But, Ive come to realize that enough is enough. They have absolutely NO desire to do anything else. There is snow outside on the ground, and friends come over to invite them out sledding, but No, they don't want to go, they are watching a show.

So this week for FHE, we made a family challenge. No Screens for a month!

Morning #1, Marlie and Spencer both begged for a show. I said no, then they went and happily played together with their toys. After school, the first thing Chase wanted to do was watch TV, I said no, and him and Kadie went off to play together. There was no fighting, and less crying all day!!
Day #2, Marlie and Spencer both asked to watch a show. I said no, then they told me that they never agreed to stop watching TV. I said tuff luck, and they happily played.

I can honestly say that I am loving it! I should have done this months ago. We told them that Friday night could be our movie night, and we would watch a movie together as a family. So I'm happy to report that not once have me or the kids broken our no screen rule.

But today I got home from running around doing errands, and I saw the X-box controller out, and all the blinds drawn... I'll have to ask Matt if he saw anyone sneak into the house today and play the X-box while he was working in the home office...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Evans Family Photo Shoot

My Sis-in-law, Chloe, has taken an interest in photography. While we were in Sandpoint this Christmas, she arranged to do a photo shoot of the whole Evans gang. All 30 of us!! The whole family was there for Christmas, except one (Joan we missed you!!), so we took full advantage, and got some family pics. With that many people crammed into one little room, its next to impossible to get a pic where everyone looks good, but Chloe, I have to admit you did awesome!

Here we all are. Even Oscar the dog managed to creep into the picture.... Aaron, how did we ever let that happen?
I guess there is always photo shop.

Of course there has to be a goofy picture.

I really don't know how I lucked out with in-laws. I can honestly say that I love them all! Here's just the girls- (dang it Joan, why weren't you there?)

We had a major snow dump one night, and it was completely beautiful the next morning! Aren't my kids the cutest?

I love this family picture.
Chloe, you are amazing! Thank you for taking all those pictures! I think we need to make time for family photo shoots more often!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fresh Bread

Most of you know that I grew up right next door to my Grandma and Grandpa Gibb. I have tons of memories with them. One of them is Grandmas homemade brown bread. When I was a kid, I definitely would have rather Grandma make white bread, but now I can appreciate her delicious brown bread.

Today it is really cold and snowy. Its a comfort food kind of day. So I thought I'd try and make Grandmas bread. My loaves don't look as perfect as Grandmas did, but I think they taste pretty close.

Of course after I took them out of the oven, I had to quickly put some butter, and honey on it, and eat it just how Grandpa use to!

Thanks Grandma for the recipe, and the memories!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New House!

On Dec 14 we were FINALLY able to move into our new house. I feel that I was mostly patient for this move to come. For those of you who don't know, last Feb. I was supposed to move into a new house, we were living in a tiny rental while we were building, and 3 weeks before our move in day, Matt sold the house!! This was good for our business, and it really sucked for me. So we moved into a different rental house, and started the whole building process over again! Because Matt is the contractor, our house was on the bottom of the priority list, and now almost a year later, we have finally moved in!

I don't have a picture of the front of the house, because I'm too lazy to go outside and take a picture, but here's some shots of the inside. This is our living room, looking down the stairs. Upstairs we have 2 bedrooms, and a bathroom. all of our boys sleep up there.

Looking up the stairs. the front door is to the left. (it still needs to be painted). And to the left of the front door is the office, and to the right is a bathroom, and laundry room.

Here's a shot of the en suite. No tub, just a big shower. I love it!

Here are 2 kitchen shots. I LOVE the dark cupboards! Our cabinet maker does such a great job. After being in two small rentals, I feel like I'm living in a mansion! The kids all love being here, except the fact that I'm trying really hard to keep the house clean, and that means more work for them!

Just one funny story. Like I said, all my boys are upstairs, and there is a bathroom up there. So one day, Spencer was playing downstairs, and I saw him run up to the main floor, and then he kept going at top speed to the upstairs.
Me: Where are you going in such a hurry?
Spencer: To the bathroom!
Me: do you know there is a bathroom down stairs?
Spencer: What? (in shock) Where?
So I told him where the bathroom was. I thought that was really funny. Then about a week later, the kids were all playing outside, and Spencer had to go to the bathroom again. So he went inside to take care of business. I came in a bit later, and saw him coming down the stairs again.
Me: What are you doing?
Spencer: Going to the bathroom
Me: Spencer I want to show you something. I then walked him to the main floor bathroom that is 3 feet from the front door, and said: Did you know that we had a bathroom right here?
Spencer: (in complete shock) No!!
Looks like next time we move, I'll need to give all the kids a tour of the house after we move in!
We still have pictures to hang, and a few random boxes to unpack- that I am avoiding! But it feels so good to have space again, and to actually have access to all my stuff that has been in storage for the past year and a half. Thanks again Meg for letting us use your garage for so long!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas Morning!!

Well it turns out that Santa found us again this year! The kids were worried that he might leave presents at the old house, luckily Santa knows all, and no mistakes were made. Here's the family (minus mom) Christmas morning. Why wasn't I smart enough to set the timer on the camera, and get myself in that picture??

Chase got a new BMX bike. Matt just might have been the most excited about this present!

Marlie got Strawberry Shortcake stuff! What more could a girl ask for?

Nixon loved the snow racer! He played on it all morning!

On Boxing Day we went to Gma Evans cabin in Sandpoint for a few days. Everyone loves going there! As the extended family gets bigger, its gets harder and harder to find a bed for everyone, but we made it work. Nixon got an ear infection the first night, and kept us all awake. Luckily Dr Darby showed up the next day with some medicine.

The kids went skiing, the dads made an igloo (well half of one!), and I went shopping. Perfect holiday! Of course my camera didn't come out, so I have no fun pictures to show.

Next we went to HillSpring. The party started the second we walked in the door. Tracie was out with all her kids and they were all VERY excited to see each other. It was really cold out, so we did a lot of games, dancing, and unfortunately eating. Again I have no pictures to show.

For New Years we had a Gibb party! the kids made decorations, there was lots of food, party games (just an FYI, 3 and 4 year olds will cry uncontrollably if they get out on musical chairs), a balloon drop, and noise makers. I love celebrating new years with the kids!

All in all, it was a fun little holiday. It was great to see family, and have a get-away from real life. But I am happy to have the kids back at school, and have Real Life start up again!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Eve

Red Deer has an amazing ice sculpture display every Christmas. Every year I have good intentions of going, but we always get too busy. This year we finally went. It was honestly the coolest thing ever! It was a Toy Story theme, and all the sculptures were characters of Toy Story- cool, but not really Christmassy.

It was a freezing night, so we all got bundled up to look at the display. The kids loved it, so I think we will try and make a point of going every year!

For Christmas Eve, we invited the Darbys over. (well half invited, half invited themselves). -----kidding Meg. We had a really fun time.

We started the evening off acting out the Nativity. Meg bought some really great costumes in Jerusalem when she went, and I have never seen such fancy wise men!

Next we had to do the Evans tradition of playing the bells. This is one thing that my in-laws do that I absolutely LOVE!

I made big copies of all the Christmas songs that we play, but of course I couldn't find them so everyone just gathered around aunt Meg, and played their bells right in her ears.

After the songs were done,the little kids had fun just running around and playing their bells. It got really noisy!

After all the performances, we decided to wind the kids down with a little snack before bed.

Chocolate Fondue. Mmmmmmm

Theres nothing like a bunch of kids (some of them sick) double dipping fruit into chocolate! They loved every second of it!

It was a really fun night. I'm happy that the Darbys live so close to us, so we are able to get together with them.

After they left, I thought I would really try and wind down the kids with a Christmas book. Notice the p.j.'s- not matchy matchy, --no time for that this year. We read, and sent the kids to bed. I think they were all asleep in 15 minutes. I remember being awake all night, because I was too excited to fall asleep. Not my kids!

I like doing Christmas at our own house, and making new traditions for our family, and fun memories.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Spencer's Birthday

On December 21, Spencer turned 5 years old! Every year I feel a little sorry for Spenc, because his b-day is so close to Christmas, and we are always busy doing a million other things. This year I was smart, and had a party for Spenc in November. We rented the swimming pool, invited all his little friends, and swam our little hearts out! Of course I didn't take any pictures, but we had a really good time. The only problem with celebrating a month early, is that for the whole month of November, Spencer thought he was all ready 5. I think on his real b-day in Dec, he was a bit confused as to why he got more presents!

When I was pregnant with Spencer, because it was so close to Christmas, I really felt a connection to Mary. I could imagine her being pregnant with little baby Jesus, and how hard it would have been to have a baby so far away from family and friends. For that reason alone, I am happy to have a Christmas baby.

Spencer has brought so much happiness into our home. Here's a little FYI on Spencer:

  • He is wild, and crazy.
  • He gets into mischief.
  • He has one of those smiles that makes me smile.
  • He loves to play outside- unless he is aloud to play video games.
  • He loves jumping on the tramp.
  • He loves to ride his bike, and learned to ride a two wheeler this summer.
  • He loves to swim. At Gmas cabin he is always the first one to jump off the dock, and the last one to leave.
  • He started pre-school this year, and loves every second of it.
  • He is very stubborn.
  • He loves his dad. Spencer loves to help dad work, and is always so sad when hes not aloud to go. He also loves and looks up to his big brother Chase.
  • He still sucks his thumb faithfully! Hopefully this year we will break that habit.

Spencer I love you, and I'm soo happy that you are a part of our family! Happy 5th Birthday!