Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hello There!

Just incase you were wondering if the reason I haven't posted on my blog for over week is that the NEW driver had an accident and was no more...relax and rest assured that I'm still here. However, unfortunatley that means the roads are still not a safe place to be if I'm on them. I had Driving Lesson #2/5 on Monday and lesson #3/5, today. I didn't blog after my last one as, if it had been the test, I would have failed "six ways from Sunday"! I was hoping that after today's lesson, I would have a little more upbeat and good news to tell you about. Rather, I'm very frustrated with myself right now and wondering if I'll ever get this driving thing right and be safe to let me on the roads. My instructor even commented at the end how he had noticed me sighing a lot today and wondered if I was frustrated. Behind the self disappointed tears I managed to say, "Yes". Because I'm doing things that I know AFTER the fact that I shouldn't do/have done. He proceeded to try and encourage me saying we all have bad days, perhaps it was the sun, a bad sleep, ... I would have liked to said "yeah, that's what it was...the sun, yeah!"
But I know that it was just me, there is so much to watch at once and I just have to keep practicing. Considering This is "Hump Day (3/5)" re. lessons, I'm hoping I get better next week. My final 2 lessons (of the package of 5) are next week. As it looks now, I'm thinking I'll need to schedule more lessons after the initial package.
  • Did you know it is an automatic fail on the test if you put on your brake unneccesarly?
  • I need to practice changing lanes and maintaining my speed while doing it.
  • When I turn right, slow down but DON'T stop at the corner.
  • Somehow, figure out a method that works for me to keep the car in MY lane and not veer out of it
  • Review the point of no return for stopping at a yellow light about to turn red
  • Review, Review, Review AND Practice, Practice, Practice!!!

God is a God of Miracles so please pray that by next Monday, He will work a miracle in me and make me a better driver! And would somebody, PLEASE tell me HOW they manged to pass their road test and get their driver's licence (as the GETTING it, is the hardest part. I (and probably you) have seen enough licenced drivers and the way they drive, you have got to wonder how they ever passed the driving test as they break sooo many rules. ........I hope I don't sound bitter. I'm just frustrated and dissapointed with myself.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Did It...I Really Did It!

...drove a vehicle on the road in traffic, that is. I had my first driving lesson today. As much as my hubby says he can teach me how to drive, he really just doesn't have the time. Take last week for example, he works full-time so when he is working his day shifts, he goes to work in the dark and comes home in the dark. Plus if we were to go "practice driving", we would also have to take the kids with us and I REALLY DON'T WANT TO have to bring them along until I'm more confident with myself and my driving alone (or with just an adult passenger). Plus, last time I had my Beginner's and I had people helping me learn how to drive , I just never got enough experience or the practice I needed. Needless to say, this time I made a decision to take some driver's ed courses. I have two more scheduled for next week. Wow!, I must say that I'm pretty good at multi-tasking as a mother/wife/homemaker etc but when it comes to driving.....I was sweating bullets. The instructor was constantly having to put the window defrost on as the windows kept fogging up (due to my nervousness). When we first started out I just controlled the steering wheel and my instructor did the brake and accelorator pedals. Then about halfway through the lesson as I was feeling more relaxed and comfortable,I did all three - the steering wheel, brake, and accelorator. AHHHHHH! Experienced drivers make it look so easy. I came home and promised my hubby that I won't talk to him any more while he is driving. He just laughed. I'm looking forward to our lessons next week and hoping I get more comfortable with handling the car so I can atleast relax my grip on the steering wheel some. Oh, and how do you short drivers (vertically challenged- is that more politically correct :)) manage to see the road infront of you and reach the pedals of the car? Even with my seat all the way forward, I felt like I needed longer toes/toenails, and a higher seat. If nothing else, atleast it will encourage me to sit up and have good posture. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Guitar Hero

Have any of you played the new fad out there - Guitar Hero?? I bought it for my husband for Christmas. Just last night he finally got a chance to really try it out. Let me tell you, it is sure addicting...for everybody as you can tell by the pictures. It keeps you wanting to do it again, thinking "I can do better than that. Let me do it one more time." Plus the guitar songs on the games are so old (70's & 80's - the best years for my opinion) just goes to show you they don't make songs these days like they used to. Here are some pics of the whole family trying it out and having fun. Even Autumn & Liam, whose fingers are really too short for the guitar and reaction time still not quite there, wanted to at least put it on and "feel" like they were playing and look like cool dudes.

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's Out!

Actually it fell out last weekend but I just got aroung to posting a picture now. Remember the "first loose tooth" I posted about before - voila! He looks so cute with his little gaping grin. Wynn now has two more loose teeth, soon he'll be able to stick his tongue right through the gap. Not to mention he defenitly won't be able to whistle for a while.

I'm Legal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D

I wrote my Learner's Test this morning and passed with only one wrong! :) I've been waiting for this day for so long. Well actually I'm half way there - one test down and one to go. Because I had a licence before the Graduated licencing program came into effect, I'm exempt from that. Inshort, that means I don't have to wait nine months before I go for my road test. I work tomorrow and Sunday at 7:30 am so Cliff says I can drive us there. I know that Cliff can be rather impatient/ not very tolerant of mistakes and since I haven't drove for so long and I'm very nervous of getting behind the wheel, I am going to take some Driver Ed courses. I'm hoping that I will gain the confidence to drive well soon quickly and I can go for my road test soon. It will make things much easier when I can drive and don't have to rely on others all the time and organize my schedule around theirs. BJ, maybe when I come out to visit in the summer I'll even be able to drive a standard transmission uphill!!! ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I Need To Lose Weight But How???

Losing weight isn't as easy as it sounds. Burn more than you eat. OK, that sounds simple enough. I don't eat that much and I always seem on the go and "busy" with my work & kids..... so why do I keep gaining weight? I've been told that because of my lifestyle my body has gone into starvation mode....thus the following article also suggests and explains. I find the following article very interesting and applicable to my lifestyle so am going to try to apply some of the tips and suggestions as possible. Hopefully I can get back to a proper weight for my height. I have 6 months before seeing family I haven't seen before and be able to look healthy & feel good about the way I look as well as fit back into alot of my summer clothes that are too snug on me now.

MOMSense, September/October 2007

Weight-Loss Tips for Every Mom
Ways to win the battle of the bulge.
By Carrie Carter, M.D.

Q: Our MOPS group has moms of all ages who are raising active preschoolers. Yet we all struggle to lose weight. How can we win the battle of the bulge?

A: Same Problem—Unique Issues
There are unique weight-loss issues facing moms of different ages and stages.

A nursing mom needs to eat enough food to produce nutritious milk while trying to lose mommy "baby" fat. Don't be surprised if her body won't "give up" those last ten pounds of excess weight until after she stops breastfeeding. It's a built-in insurance policy that ensures Mom has enough body mass to continue making healthy milk for her baby.

A mom who is constantly caring for kids often doesn't take the time to meet her needs. Skipping meals can cause her body to go into "starvation mode," slow her metabolism and make her gain weight even when not eating more calories. Continual stress causes the repeated release of the hormone cortisol that makes her body deposit fat in her mid-abdomen/waist area. Even without eating more calories, her waist size may grow. How unfair!

An older mom faces the body's tendency to lose lean muscle mass and gain fat as each year passes.

But we can fight most of these issues and win the battle of the bulge!

Basic Weight Gain and Loss Principles
Weight loss takes time! Here are some basic principles to follow:

1. Something must change for you to lose weight. You must either burn more calories or take in fewer calories—or both.

2. Slow and steady weight loss is better (1-2 lbs. per week); weight loss that is fast usually doesn't last.

3. Eating 1200-1800 calories a day is the usual range needed for weight loss. Go to for a description of what a healthy diet looks like in that calorie range.

4. BMI chart (Body Mass Index) helps you select the weight range ideal for your body type and height. Go to the Web site: Look on the BMI table and find the weight for your height at a BMI of less than 25.

5. Eat frequent small meals and exercise to boost your metabolism.

6. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you'll burn even when sleeping!

Pick the Trio Right for You
While caring for a family, you're living "the crazy life." To reach a healthy weight, you need a plan that works with your lifestyle. Choose what works for you from the three-part combo: a nutrition plan, an exercise plan and a weight-loss plan.

1. Nutrition basics: Enter your age, weight and height on and receive a personalized printout to guide your servings, portion sizes and food choices. Avoid the biggest weight-loss mistake: Don't eliminate a major food group (such as carbs) from your diet.

Tips: Breakfast is your friend! It stokes your metabolism and is the best time to eat extra calories. Plan daily what you're going to eat and don't skip meals. Stock healthy snacks in the car if you're shuttling your kiddos from place to place.

2. Exercise: Choose fun, doable exercises—and then do them regularly. Examples: walking, dancing in the living room, working out on a treadmill or other machine or with your favorite video or DVD at home. Break up the sessions if that's the only way to fit them in. Ten minutes of exercise will clear most of the cortisol from your bloodstream. Build some muscle!

3. Weight-loss plans: Studies show most women lose more weight and keep it off if they have a specific plan and someone holds them accountable. For some, weekly meetings (weigh-in) work well, while others need help with portion size and find prepackaged food a better fit. Some like to use a meal replacement drink or bar for one to two meals and eat a sensible dinner.

In this limited space, I've provided a few weight-loss tips, but there's a wealth of additional information about nutrition, exercise and weight-loss plans. I recommend you read the weight-loss chapter with detailed major diet plans in my book, A Woman's Guide to Good Health (Spire/ Revell), and the nutrition and exercise chapters in the same book and in Mom's Health Matters (Zondervan). Both books are available in the MOPShop.

Remember, God loves you just as you are and wants to help you. No matter what your weight, you are a cherished woman in God's eyes and heart!

Dr. Carrie Carter is a mother and national speaker on health issues. She served as a pediatrician for more than 10 years in San Diego, California, and wrote A Woman's Guide to Good Health (Spire/Revell, 2006), available in the MOPShop at

MyPyramid Plan
Eating these amounts from each food group daily may help you gradually reach a healthier weight. This plan is a 1600 calorie food pattern. Click here for more information about weight loss diets.

This plan is based on average needs for a 34 year old female, 5 feet 0 inches tall, physically active less than 30 minutes a day, in the healthy weight range. Your calorie needs may be more or less than the average, so check your weight regularly. If you do not see gradual weight loss, adjust the amount you are eating.

grains - 5 ounces
veggies - 2 cups
fruits - 1.5 cups
milk - 3 cups
meat & beans - 5 ounces

1 Make Half Your Grains Whole
Aim for at least 3 ounces of whole grains a day

2 Vary Your Veggies

Aim for this much every week:

Dark Green Vegetables = 2 cups weekly
Orange Vegetables = 1 1/2 cups weekly
Dry Beans & Peas = 2 1/2 cups weekly
Starchy Vegetables = 2 1/2 cups weekly
Other Vegetables = 5 1/2 cups weekly

Oils & Discretionary Calories
Aim for 5 teaspoons of oils a day
Limit your extras (extra fats & sugars) to 130 Calories

Physical Activity
Physical activity is also important for health. About 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days can help you manage your body weight and prevent gradual gain. About 60 to 90 minutes daily can help you maintain weight loss. If you are inactive, work up to these amounts gradually. Click here to find out if you should talk with a health care provider before starting or increasing physical activity. Click here for more information about physical activity and health.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Some More Pics : Winter Fun

Christmas Gift Cards

From my parents in Alberta, they sent each of us (Hubby, Me, Our 3 kids) our own gift card. The kids have all been anxious to spend theirs and "get their Christmas presents from Grandma & Grandpa Colley. So we finally went to cash/spend their cards.Here are some pics I wanted to share. Autumn's gift card was for at La Senza Girl. Here she is wearing her new baby girl is growing up.

Note the fashions today are going back to the seventies. I don't mind this dress but not sure if I'll buy my daughter platform shoes.

A side view so you can see her silver headband

Liam got a Go Diego Go musical money bank that plays a song every time you put money in it (not shown). And he LOVES music so since he wouldn't let this guitar go when we were in the store. We thought that was a good bet he wanted this too.

Do you think he likes it?

My "little Rocker"

Wynn got a Gift Certificate for Future Shop so he bought an XBOX video game. That would be where he is now. Sorry, no pic.

One Tough Maid

From MOMSENSE Jan/Feb 2008 newsletter:

"One Tough Maid". - If you're an overworked, tired-of-feeling-like-I'm-doing-everything Mom, then read this!By Julie Barnhill
"We should all be so fortunate to live the fictional "Brady Bunch" lifestyle of Carol Brady. As the wife to Mike, mother to three golden-haired daughters and three stepsons, and employer to one live-in housekeeper named Alice Nelson, Carol, in my humble estimation, did, well, pretty much nothing. OK, maybe she put together an ice pack for the swelling on Marcia's nose during one episode, but that was about the extent of her household exertions.But Alice—oh, dear, Alice always had one serious "to-do" list to get through: Cook breakfast, fix school lunches, wash dishes, vacuum carpets, brush Tiger, dust, run to the butcher for beef tongue—again, help Cindy find her missing dolly, fix supper, wash dishes, replace Muffy's flea collar and make sure the Astroturf was mowed.Too bad for Alice (all that 24/7 cleaning and putting away), but who wouldn't want someone just like her in their home to keep everything going? I know I would have, especially when my children were preschoolers. But as I say to my kids when they're asking for the ridiculously impossible: "Hello, McFly! Is anybody home?"Chances are you, and the vast majority of moms reading this column, are not living the Carol Brady lifestyle. In all likelihood, you're an overworked, worn-out, tired-of-feeling-like-I'm-doing-everything and it's-time-these-kids-learned- how-to-help-out Alice who's seriously looking to change the way things are being done (or not) when it comes to the details of keeping a neater and thereby saner household.Good for you! But you're wondering, How do I get there, past the Legos, soiled Pull-Ups, Doodle Pro, half-finished coloring pages, cracked Veggie Tale DVD holders, crammed Cheerios between sofa cushions and freshly laundered but nevertheless piled-to-the-ceiling bath towels and onesies?By harnessing the Alice powers of your children! (Please don't pass out or roll your eyes and move on to the next article! Trust me, and keep reading.) One of the first things you need to recognize and seize upon as One Tough Mother is this: The preschool years are the years when most children want to learn to do household chores.Whoo-ha! Rather than continuing to attempt to do it yourself (or not at all, as the case may be for some) or postponing teaching simple housekeeping skills until you think they'll be able to do it easier—dive in now. There's no better time than today to initiate self-help skills that can grow your child's sense of contributing to the family and self-worth.But beware, the hardest part of stepping down from the role of One Tired Maid will be accepting results that are less than "perfect." But hey, Alice doesn't live here anymore. And we can shoot for perfect and never see change, or we can give a little on our expectations, apply a big dose of grace for effort and reap the benefits of teaching our children the satisfaction of helping their family.Repeat (and live) the One Tough Maid mantra: Don't do chores for my children that they can do themselves … (even if I can do them better).Julie Barnhill is One Tough Mother to three children, author of seven books and popular speaker nationally and internationally.Becoming One Tough Maid:Take the time to train and teach the chore. Don't assume because your child has watched you do all the work, she knows how to do what you're now asking.Establish clear and consistent chore times. With young children, it's important to break up responsibilities into manageable moments. During the preschool years, most chores will fall into categories of wake-up, meals and bedtime.Put together a child-friendly "cleaning kit." Include an old pair of socks for both the feet and the hands for dusting furniture and a child-sized water spritzer. Keep rag boxes handy in various areas of your home for window cleaning and for when spills happen and fast clean-up is needed. CLEARLY mark the adult-type cleaners with the "Do Not Touch" symbol (circle with a line through it). Place all dangerous cleaning products in a safe, secure location—far from a child's reach. Clearly instruct your child to use the cleaning supplies only found in his cleaning kit.Choose age-appropriate chores. Don't underestimate what a 3-year-old is capable of doing quite well!Go to for a list of chores and other tips."

I need to swallow my pride and my"Things aren't done right unless I do them myself" attitude & be open to some imperfection. It's true, that preschoolers are more open to housework and helping. I know Wynn & Autumn both enjoy helping me do certain tasks but it is me that isn't always open to their help.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Manitoba's largest seasonal light display and it is right here 5 minutes from home. Celebrating it's 8th year. Over 700,000 lights, if you stretch them all out straight end-to-end the lights will cross Winnipeg.

"solider alley"

covered ice skating park

"old man winter"

Cabin Fever

From MOMSENSE Jan./Feb. 2008 newsletter:
"Got Cabin Fever? The "ins and outs" of this seasonal condition. By Caryn Rivadeneira

Last winter, when my preschoolers discovered fighting, I thought I'd lose my mind. I remember sitting in front of our bay window, rubbing my very pregnant belly, looking out into the whirling snow as they fought over something in the next room. I figured their newfound fighting was just another fierce symptom of what had plagued our house for weeks. We were experiencing one of modern motherhood's greatest winter-weather maladies: "cabin fever." I started longing for springtime.If you're reading this article on your sunny portico in San Diego or somewhere else with perfect weather, you're probably thinking, Cabin what? But you know what I mean if you've ever struggled with being cooped up and feeling trapped as driving snow, pouring rain or blowing wind keeps you from enjoying the world beyond your home. And you also know the craziness cabin fever can inflict on a family with preschoolers!Winter brings with it some wonderful family fun with snow-filled hills and frozen ponds. But during long, gray winters, the times of truly enjoying the season are few and far between. It's in this "far between" time that cabin fever strikes a household. And as you try to remedy the symptoms with endless fun indoor activities, you can experience agitation, frustration, boredom and gloom.But anyone whose family has been stricken with cabin fever knows while we can find temporary fixes, we look forward to springtime. We know that bursting through doors (coat-free!) into the warmer spring weather, running wild with our kids under a wide sky and bright sun, and breathing in fresh air will help cure us.If only these solutions worked so well for the other kind of cabin fever. Because, of course, cabin fever doesn't only hit when we're cooped up in a house with preschoolers. Cabin fever can occur when we're cooped up in life with preschoolers! As much as we adore our children, the demands of mothering them can leave us feeling a tad closed in ourselves.I've struggled with this kind of cabin fever since I left full-time work to stay home with my eldest son. I've never regretted this decision. But I've frequently felt the sensation of life moving on without me as I sit "stuck" in the house waiting for one child to wake up while trying to get another one down. I'm often anxious to burst out into wide skies and sunlight (ah, freedom!). And when I feel like I've left the "real me" back at the office (because this near-crazed, frustrated and exhausted woman can't possibly be me!), I long for springtime.Unfortunately, wishing for spring means wishing away a season I don't really want to go away. As challenging as this time of my life is, I love these years with my kids. They're as full of wonder and fun as they are tantrums and time-outs. While this may be the season of feeling cooped up, it's also a season of freely offered hugs, snuggles, silliness and play. And unlike actual seasons, these times with our preschoolers don't come back. We only get one shot.To avoid cabin fever, experts advise getting out into the very elements that keep you housebound—and enjoying them. I love this wisdom. Turns out, the cure for cabin fever is contentment—enjoying what we've been given when it's given. That's God's advice, too—learning to be content with whatever my circumstances are because he gives me the strength.I make no bones that these suggestions are easier to type than to follow (especially since springtime didn't cure my kids of their fighting!). However, this winter—and in each "winter" of motherhood—I'm giving this a whirl: keeping my eyes off spring and trusting that the cure for cabin fever is in living and loving the season I'm in. I hope you'll join me. Now bundle up and enjoy! "

I guess I need to get out more and enjoy all that winter has to offer with my kids. One thing we want to do again is go to the park and slide on the toboggan slides there.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

What A Sweetie

This morning while I was laying in bed with my recovering toddler who still had a low-grade fever, DH went downstairs and started making breakfast for all of us. He made pancakes, scrambled eggs, and fried kubosa for everyone. then to top things off, he put on one of my many Paul Brandt CD's to play and called us all to come for breakfast. It was so nice to have all of us at the table for a meal and talking with each other...for the whole meal. :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

All Work & No Play Makes Rachael A Dull Girl

...and not much to blog about. "Christmas Vacation!?" call THIS a vacation?? Since my last blog, I've either been working (at my part-time nursing job) or with family for the holidays. Actually I'm supposed to be working night shifts (11:30pm - 7:30am) tonight and tomorrow. Except my youngest has a fever and was screaming his head off when I was calling in to work for family sickness. Hopefully it is just a 24 hour thing and he will be over it quickly and nobody else gets sick. I hate how things often cycle through all members of the family (sometimes more than once even!)
Let's see...Christmas day my family (moi, DH, and 3 kids) spent the day at my mom & her husband's place. Dec 26 & 27 both DH and I worked day shifts and my mom babysat the kids at her place. Dec 28, hubby worked and I packed everything that we needed to take for the weekend as well as Christmas presents and food. And when DH came home, we piled in the van for a 1 1/2 hour drive into the country to DH's family's house where we celebrated Christmas with them. Cliff's (DH's) brother & wife have 2 kids and so all 5 of our kids had lots of fun regardless of the holiday. For lunch we had a wiener and marshmallow roast in the backyard. Then the kids went sliding on the huge snow hill in their yard, next ice-skating on their home-made ice rink, and then rides on the four wheeler. Needless to say, they had lots of fresh air and fun. Then inside to warm up, open gifts and have another Chistmas dinner. We came home on the 30th and on the 31st, Cliff's parents arrived at our house to babysit that evening as both DH & I worked evening shifts. So that is how we rang in the New Year. We have a great view of the river from where we work and so were able to see the fireworks from work. It would have been right around 12 o'clock midnight AKA 2008 as we arrived home and got ready to collapse into bed. January 1st, for 4 years now, Cliff's mother's side of the family always gets together for a New Year's lunch. That is often when we get to see and talk to people we don't see for the rest of the year. And while all the adults are talking, the kids (cousins) are playing. January 2 & 3, I worked day shifts and then January 4 (that would be tonight) and January 5 (tomorrow night), I'm scheduled to work night shifts. However as said earlier, I had to call in family sick for tonight. I don't usually work this much and am just picking up as many shifts as I can now while the kids are out of school as I'm planning on going on a trip to New Zealand this June and would really like to be able to go out to NB later this summer for a visit (just me). So since I'm already spending money I don't really have, thought I should start making some money to put away.

I was just reading what I've wrote so far and boy, do I ever have a bad case of verbal diarrhea. Not much interesting to write about. Hopefully I'll get some pics downloaded and post some soon.