Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas Letter 2015

This has been an EPIC year for our little family.  It all started with snow, & more snow until Prince Edward Island broke the all time snow record & got 18 feet of snow!  The kids had fun in it, I had fun looking at it from inside the house with a cup of coffee, but I don't think PChad had fun snowblowing it!

We had a long winter full of snow which lasted us right up 'til April!  PChad has been doing an Executive Masters which means lots of travelling to Paris & London, & I got to join him for one of his weeks in London!  Now, when I say I joined him, what I really mean is that we flew together, then he went to Oxford for the week, & I gallivanted all around London visiting friends & shopping, then we met back up at the end of the week & flew back to PEI together!

April was also my Dad's 70th birthday, & my brothers & I few out to Seattle to surprise him!  It was awesome to get together for a few days.  We also had a breakfast together with a bunch of Aunts & Uncles & cousins we had not seen for a few years.

PChad received & accepted a call to a church in B.C., with a move at the end of the summer.  We knew we had to take full advantage of our last PEI summer, so we hit the beach as often as the weather allowed!

At the beginning of August we packed up, & headed across the country.  We decided to take our time & visit family along the way, which made of an EPIC 3 week road trip!
We stopped at both of my brothers' places, Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone, met my parents for a weekend at my Uncle's ranch, & Chad's parents house!

We arrived in BC just as they were having a huge windstorm that caused a 2 day power outage.  Thankfully we had a lovely couple from church to stay with & they took good care of us.  We housesat for the first almost 3 months living in BC, & looked for a house to buy.  We found one really close to the church, but it was being rented & we had to give a full 2 months notice to the renters.  Unfortunately, that means we couldn't get into our house until January, so we are now renting a duplex with furniture donations from church people.  So, for the last 4 months, we have been 'camping' as I like to call it.  ("Sorry kids, we can't bake Christmas cookies, we're camping!  Everyone knows you don't bake cookies when you're camping!")  The kids have learned to adapt to our transient lifestyle quite well, but I think we are all ready to be in our own place with our own things.  When we packed for this adventure it was July, & we never anticipated we'd be without all of our household belongings this long.  Thankfully we packed a few sweaters & long sleeved shirts as it has been a bit chilly, & we have even had a tiny sprinkling of snow!  Now that we live only 4 hours from my parents, we are taking full advantage & spending a few days with them over Christmas!  It's been 9 years since we celebrated Christmas together & we are really looking forward to it!

My address book is in the moving truck, so this is as close to a Christmas card as it's going to get this year...

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Idle Threats

Last night PChad had a meeting, so I put the kids to bed.  Asher knows that once he's in bed, he needs to be quiet, & if he calls out we usually ignore him because he will just keep talking if he knows he has a willing audience.  So, when a few minutes later I heard him calling for me, I did not answer.

He was persistent though, & after awhile decided to change tactics, "Mummy!  Are you being rude & ignoring me? ... Mu-mmy!  Well, I guess I will just have to turn my light on & read then!"

(We have also discussed that he may not read at night, & have removed his bedside lamp because the temptation was just too great)

"I'm going to read now, & I might just read all night!"

I wasn't too concerned that he would actually do it because he knows he'd be in big trouble.  But after a few more minutes he couldn't take it any longer.  He came out of his room to tell me, "My arm really itches & I need some lotion!"

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Grocery Store Prices

After 3 months of living in BC & always wondering if the "closer, more convenient" (Save-On) grocery store was THAT much more expensive than the "seems cheaper, but farther away" (Superstore) store I decided it was time to make a list.  And make a list I DID!  I wrote a big list of the regular type things that I buy from the store, sometimes I get these groceries from Costco since it is so much closer than when we lived in PEI, but here's what I found...

On my list was:

Cranberry Juice
Veggie Juice
Dr Pepper
Coffee Creamer
Pilsbury Biscuits
Magnum Ice Cream Bars
Vanilla Ice Cream
Cream Cheese
Coffee Filters
Tortilla Chips
Brown Sugar
Soup for Cooking (cream of mushroom)
Soup for eating (Italian Wedding)
Pasta Sauce
Butter Chicken Sauce
Peanut Butter

I compared the same sized items, & priced according to the brand I would normally pick if I was shopping at that store.  I only put the full price of the item on the list so I wasn't comparing sale prices  I then added all the prices as if I had bought one of each item at both stores & compared the final cost.

The results were...

Save-On-Foods (with 6 store brand items)  $203.04

SuperStore (with 5 store brand items)  $168.64

Individually, the only items cheaper at Save-On were bread & broccoli.  I did not compare other produce, but I'd be interested to know if that is cheaper.  I don't really like the selection at Save-On for produce though...  I was shocked at some of the price differences!

Brown Sugar       Superstore $4.98          Save-On  $6.49
Peanut Butter      Superstore $8.97          Save-On  $11.88
Salsa                    Superstore $6.99         Save-On $12.89

I'll still shop the flyers since I know Save-On have good sales on some of my regular items (Magnum Ice Cream Bars!), but I definitely will aim for Superstore more often now!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Three Things...

It's been a busy few weeks, so just for fun, I decided to do this fill-in. 

Three names I go by
1 Sherilyn
2 Mum

3 Chad's Wife

Three places I lived
1 Poulsbo, WA
2 London, England
3 Charlottetown, PEI

Three places I have worked
1 Solicitors' Office
2 Western Retail Store
3 Doctors' Office

Three things I love to watch
1 The 100
2 Orphan Black
3 The Chicago Fire, PD, & Med shows :)

Three places I have been
1 Israel
2 Newfoundland
3 Greece

Three things I love to eat
1 Pizza
2 Brownies
3 Shrimp Cocktail

Three things I am looking forward to
1 Christmas with my parents for the first time in 13 years
2 Moving into our own house after 5 months of temporary housing
3 Summer!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The End Is In Sight!

I've had a few people ask about what's been going on in our lives, so I figured it was time to post an update.  Life has been a bit hectic & chaotic to say the least.  Last weekend we moved out of the place we had been house-sitting since the owners were coming back home this week.  We were very fortunate to be able to stay there for nearly 3 months, & initially when we began our move we had figured by this time we would be moving into a house of our own.  However, the house we ended up buying had renters in it, & we needed to give them 2 months notice to vacate the premises.  Unfortunately, that left us with about 6 weeks with no place to live. We put out the word that we were looking for a place in the meantime, & through church connections we managed to find a 3 bedroom duplex to rent, & church people have donated furniture for us to use since our things are all in storage!

We are thankful that everything has worked out, but this time of transition has not been easy for the kids.  They are adjusting to a new school, new friends, new church, & their normal routine has gone out the window.  PChad & I are trying to maintain as much normalcy as we can, but there's always the occasional thing that comes up, & while it's not so difficult for us to deal with, the kids occasionally have little meltdowns.  I made the mistake of bringing the kids to the grocery store after school the other day, & they did not have as much time to play at home as they wanted, & dinner was a sad, sad time.  If you have seen the movie "Inside Out", you will understand that my kids wanted to lay on the floor like a blob, & just disappear.

I have been filling my days trying to do normal boring things like laundry & cooking, & also trying to do as much as I can to get things set up for our new house.  Making sure we have electricity & heat when we move in, so we don't actually need to lay on the floor like blobs under a pile of blankets just to stay warm.  (We did move into a house once in November & were without heat for a week, it was not fun).  Getting the vehicles inspected so they can be registered & insured.  Some of this stuff has to wait until we are in our new place so we have an address (you can't have a drivers' license without a home address on it).  I have started making a list of all the things I will be able to do once we have a permanent address again: library cards, Nexus cards, Provincial healthcare, Order new checks from the bank.  It will be so exciting!

So, we get our new house January 1, & all of our things come in the moving truck January 2.  The kids go back to school after Christmas on the 4th, & my parents are going to come up & help me to unpack all the boxes while the kids are in school.

Before we left PEI the kids were so excited for this move.  Asher was 2 years old & Chancery was 6 weeks when we came to PEI.  They kept saying, "This time when we move we'll remember it!"  I dare say they will never forget it!  At dinner the other night we were talking about how I had decided that I'd like to marry a farmer so I would never have to move, & then we were counting all the houses each of us had lived in, & how sometimes what we plan doesn't work out, but it's ok because God knows, & his plans are better.  For those of you who are curious, by the time we move into our house here...

Chancery - 7 Years old
- 1 Country
- 3 Provinces
- 4 Schools
- 5 Houses

Asher - 9 Years old
- 2 Countries
- 4 Provinces & 1 State
- 4 Schools
- 7 Houses

PChad - 35 Years old
- 3 Countries
- 4 Provinces & 2 States
- 6 Schools
- 16 Houses/Moves

Sherilyn - 36 years
- 3 Countries
- 4 Provinces & 4 States
- 4 Schools (PChad went enough for both of us!)
- 18 Houses/Moves

Friday, 13 November 2015

The Butterfly Princess & The Robot

I realize I am nearly 2 weeks late with the kids' pictures of Halloween.  It's been a busy time.  My parents came to visit, my computer crashed, & it's been hectic around here!  Better late than never!

 Chancery wanted her wings this way, but they kept bonking her in the head, so we snapped a picture, then turned them over.

And every butterfly princess wears cowgirl boots!

Asher decided to be a robot, but he also kept asking for a sword.  We compromised on a lightsaber.  Of course a robot walking in puddles would be an issue, so he wore rubber boots.  Pretty smart, eh?

The kids had a great time trick-or-treating.  They got more candy than they needed once again, but they were willing to share with PChad & I, so everyone was happy!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Beach Blondes & Spring Fling -review

Beach Blondes is a book about a girl named Summer from Minnesota who goes down to Florida to stay with her cousin for the summer before her last year of high school.  On her flight she meets a woman who does a tarot card reading & tells Summer that she will meet 3 guys, one is a mystery, one is dangerous, & one is the right one.  Chaos ensues as she tries to determine which one is which.  This was an enjoyable book, a slight deviation from what I normally read as it was about 17 year olds rather than adults.

After I finished reading Beach Blondes I realized there were more books in the series, so I picked up 'Tan Lines' which is about the second summer, but as I started reading the book, it kept referring to things that had happened over Spring Break.  I realized I had the 'Spring Break' book, so I checked it out.  Here's where I started getting confused.  According to the publishing dates, the order is:
1. Beach Blondes (1995)
2. Tan Lines (1996)
3. Spring Break (1996)
4. Sun-Kissed Christmas (2010)

I don't have the Christmas book, but the Spring Break book refers to things that happened over Christmas, so I assume she decided to go back later & write those books to fill in what had happened.

When I was reading Spring Break there were several pop-culture references that didn't line up with the publishing dates.  The book was first published in 1996, then re-published in 2010.  They listed several bands which had not formed yet in 1996, & they referred to Heath Ledger having died.  What I don't understand is why the author felt the need to try to update some of these notes in the book.  The new bands & references didn't mesh well with the other things happening in the book, & it made me not enjoy it as much.  True, the book itself never states what year it is, but usually a publishing date will let you know that the book is written about that year or earlier.  I probably would have enjoyed these books better if I read them before they were re-published & had things changed.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Hard Choices

My parents are up visiting for a few days, & today while we were out & about we stopped to have lunch at Tim Hortons.  Just after we had gotten our food as we were bowing our heads to pray, a man came up to us & said, "Please could you buy me some food? I have not eaten in 2 days."

At first we said no.  We didn't have any cash or change with us, then I thought about how we were bowing our heads to pray, thanking God for the food we have while this man is asking for a meal.  I got out my credit card & went after the man to tell him I'd buy him some lunch.  At that point he was at another table asking another woman for some food.  She was reaching into her purse as I came up to him & said, "I'll buy you something."

The man replied, "She's going to give me some money."

The lady said, "I only have about a dollar."

"That's ok," he said to both of us, "she's giving me some money, you don't need to buy me anything."

Funny how if he hadn't eaten in 2 days he was happy only getting $1 rather than having a meal bought for him!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

New Groups

Every time we move, I try to find a new Bible Study group to join.  Sometimes the new church we are in has one, & sometimes they don't.  When they don't, I peruse the area churches online & see what they have going on.  This morning I went to a church about 20 minutes away, & as I had been warned beforehand, the group consisted of 10 ladies who were at least twice my age.  Every single one of these ladies had an accent, mostly Dutch.

When I came in the room, they greeted me & then told me what normally happens.  "We sing a song, & read the Bible, then we have coffee & snacks.  After that we do the devotion, then we sing again & have more coffee!"  Very formal, but you know what to expect!

I thoroughly enjoyed the study & company of the women, but what really made me smile was after our second round of coffee, one of the women beside me was telling about how she had bumped her leg at the doctor's office last week, & before she knew it she had  exclaimed, "Potverdekke!"  Then she had to apologize to the doctor for saying it even though he had no idea what she had said.  I don't know many Dutch words, but I knew that one!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Asher's Boredom Buster...

The kids have no school today, & apparently during quiet time, Asher got bored.  He came to me afterwards & asked me to take a video...

Bartholomew Cubbins has met his match!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Crossing the Border

There is a long-standing breakfast meeting which is held in the tiny town that my Dad is from.  Every Wednesday my Aunts & Uncles, & occasionally some Great Aunts & Uncles get together for breakfast in a private room which the restaurant keeps ready for them.  My parents often come up to join them, then visit my Grandma afterwards.  Since we now live within an hour, I figured it was time to join them (& get a free breakfast!).

I dropped the kids off at school, then headed towards the border.  Despite the rain & a bit of road construction, I arrived right on time, & even beat my parents to the restaurant!  It was great to get to see some of my extended family, & I look forward to being able to make it for family get-togethers & holiday celebrations.

After breakfast my parents & I headed to Grandma's to visit for a little bit.  Grandma doesn't always remember who you are, but I love that she still has her sense of humour.  She was sitting in the chair & her feet were peeking out of the blanket.  "They are worn out," she said.

"What are, your socks, your feet, or your shoes?" my mom asked.

"All of them," Grandma replied with a little smile.

"You have been dancing too much!" I said.

Grandma turned to me quickly, & shushed me.  I guess that's her little secret that no one's supposed to know about!

After visiting Grandma, the tree of us made a quick stop at Starbucks, then I headed back home.  It was nice to take a little break from house-hunting, but I had a few appointments to see some more that I had to get back for.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sunday Pictures

Asher - 9 years
Chancery - 7 years
 Asher: "I have a happy face sticker..."

Asher: "...and I have placed it over the button on my shirt!"

Chancery: "That's a strange thing to do, Asher!"

Chancery: "...but if the shoe fits..."
Asher: "That's what I do!"

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Sunday Pictures

Asher - 9 years
Chancery - 7 years
 Asher: "Make a silly face, Chancery!"

Chancery: "Um, no thanks!"

Asher: "Come on, it's fun!"

Chancery: "You do know these pictures will be around for a long time, right Asher?  People are going to be able to see these for many years!"

Asher: "And generations to come will think, Boy, that Asher sure is a funny guy!"

Chancery: "How about one nice picture, then I can go back to reading my book?"

Friday, 11 September 2015

First(ish) Day of School Pictures!

Well, I did manage to get pictures of the kids on their first full day of school, though it was after school & not before, which probably ended up better since the sun would have been in their eyes in the morning!

Coincidentally, both kids are wearing shirts from one of Grandma's trips.  We love these keepsakes, as they are useful (less clothes for us to buy), & after the kids outgrow them, they 'll be made into a quilt!

Asher - Grade 4
Chancery - Grade 2

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

First Day in Another New School

Asher started grade 4 & Chancery started grade 2 today.  This is the third new school they have been to since starting Kindergarten, going from French Immersion, to French, to English again.  I'm a bit relieved to be able to understand all of the newsletters again!  I guess you could say all the changes in the past few years were just to make it not seem so strange for them to go to another new school (good planning, eh?), not that it was intentional, that's just the way it worked out.

It was a bit of a weird morning.  The kids only had a half day today, so they didn't need lunches.  Because of that I totally forgot about snacks!  Fortunately, they made new friends who were generous enough to share!  We were ready about an hour before we needed to leave the house, so we played games for awhile, & totally forgot to take first day of school pictures (tomorrow is the first full day, so we'll go with that... if I can remember)!

When we had gone to visit the school, the teachers had not decided where everyone would sit, so I asked the kids where their seats were after they came home...

Chancery: "I got to sit in my first favourite seat that I chose when I went to school the first time!"

Asher: "I got to choose, but a lot of the seats were already taken, so I got to sit in my fourth favourite seat.  The one that was all alone in the back row.  But then I made a friend, & I wanted to sit by him, so I moved my pupitre to beside him!"

Me: "Did you ask the teacher if that was ok?"

Asher: "Yes, & she said it was!"

I love that they are making friends already, & that Asher still thinks in French sometimes.  I hope he doesn't lose that now that mostly everything is English.  Although in grade 4, they start learning French at this school, so there is hope!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Sunday Pictures Returns!

Asher - 9 years
Chancery - 7 years

Asher: "We're ready for our new church..."

Asher: "I think we're going to like it!"

Chancery: "I'm excited about our new school too!"

Asher: "Me too, Chancery!"

Asher: "Get ready, 'cause here we come!"

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Final Day in the Van

Our last day of driving took us right into smoke & clouds. It was wierdly dark at 11 in the morning. I told Asher at one point to look for forest fires (he was claiming to be bored), after an hour he asked, "Is it ok if I stop looking for fires now?" There was plenty of smoke, but no fires spotted!

I think Digby was getting bored of all the driving as well.  This is how he chose to sit for quite awhile, & if we moved him, he'd just readjust back to this position!

We made it to BC after 3 weeks of travel, & were welcomed by a giant wind storm which knocked the power out for 2 or more days.  Church was cancelled due to no electricity, but we have gotten power back, & have settled into the place we are staying.  PChad started his new job, the kids start school next week, & then it's time to look for a new house!

Monday, 31 August 2015

Up Through the Rockies

When PChad & I lived in Alberta, we often drove the Crowsnest Pass to get to my parents, or go on holidays in the States.  We decided to take the Kootenay Highway up into the Rockies this time since we had only done that once before.

We saw the giant truck in Sparwood
(as we drove by!  No time to stop!)

 PChad & I had stopped at Fort Steele the one other time we had taken this road, & it was fun, but the weather Friday did not make for a great day to do the fort.  We stopped for fuel & snapped this crazy photo & called it good!

We decided it was perfect weather to swim at Fairmont hot springs!  All throughout Yellowstone, the kids kept asking to feel the water in the hot springs, & imagining how warm the water would be, & how fun it would be to swim in it, so we took them to a hot springs you are allowed to swim in, on a cool day.

 The kids had a great time, & I thoroughly enjoyed the warm water!

Friday, 28 August 2015


Southern Alberta is a place where dinosaur fossils have been found, & as we were driving to PChad's parents' house, we passed a few signs for the Devil's Coulee Dinosaur museum.  The kids thought that sounded exciting, so we went one morning to check it out.

There's a museum as well as a site where they found several fossils that you can go & look, but you are not allowed to take anything home with you.  It was a hot smokey day, but that didn't stop us from finding a few treasures.

 At the top of the picture is a fossilized dinosaur bone, & the black bit is part of a dinosaur egg shell.  We also found fossilized turtle shells, teeth, & Chancery kept finding fossilized poop!

 Here's large piece of fossilized dinosaur bone we found!

 It was cool to see on the different levels of ground, they different types of fossils.

Strange to think there were turtles, crocodiles & dinosaurs out here on the prairie!

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Ranch

Sunday after church we headed to my cousins' ranch.  I always loved coming here during the summers as a kid.  There were so many fun things to do, & it's probably what lead me to look for a farmer to marry (not that he ended up being one in the end, but that's another story)!

My cousin has enough quads for us all, so we went for a ride up to what we call "The Bench".  It's a flat piece of land where my Grandma grew up, & the house is still there.

Chancery was very excited for her first quad ride!

And I was also excited, they are so fun to drive, & it was time to share that with the kids!

My parents took the Razr instead, & were thankful for the windshield which deflected a lot of the dust.

Up on the Bench we discussed the crops, & the old license plates used to patch the grain bins while the kids explored...

They climbed up in the old wooden grain bin

And we found the old International truck!

This is the old house where my great Grandfather & my Grandmother lived.  We even got to go inside & kill some mice we found (which the kids found super exciting!)

 Then Justin let the kids try out the combines

 And while PChad & Justin talked about the mechanics of it all, the kids played with the grasshoppers

It was a really fun ride, even if we did get a bit dusty!