Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My sweet Bridget died today! Bridget was seriously the best dog anyone could have asked for. Since I was very young my Dad always said that we could have a dog if I could find a pure bred beagle for free. It took me a while, but my junior year I succeeded and we brought Bridget home as a new member of our family.

She was always so happy and loving. Bridget was a mother at heart. She loved to give love to anyone who asked for it, or anyone who needed it. Until her dying day she even continued to try and give love to our cat Sheba who always refused it.

Bridget took care of our family emotionally for so long and I am going to miss her so much! (I am crying right now) For a while she has been sick and in pain. I know she is running circles around heaven and spreading her joy to the angels there. I just hope she knows how much I really loved her! I am just so glad that I got to say goodbye when I was in San Diego.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Evan now officially has his motorized chair. It is a really long process to get a chair and we are probably not going to be getting "his" chair until about December or January, so Justin and I decided to bite the bullet and rent him a chair in the meantime so he has mobility now. Every child should have the right to move and the right to independence and we are just tickled that we are able to give him this gift.

My favorite thing that he is doing in his chair is "running" away from me while laughing hysterically. He loves his new independence and we are blessed to appreciate what that independence means to him. How wonderful that I have to chase him down the isles at Walmart.

Man do I love summer

July 15, 2009

12:00AM We went to the first showing of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We went with Karalee, Jaimie and her boyfriend Ryan. While we waited in the really long line outside we played "guess the flavor" with Bertie Botts every flavored bean. Honestly this is one of the best games to play, but horrible to participate in. There definitely times that I was ready to throw up!! I felt the worst for Jaimie, she got all the bad ones!!

5:00PM We celebrated Evans 2nd birthday with a party at the Lake. Honestly, it was sooo much fun! We had so many friends and family show up and that just made everything so enjoyable. Of course Evan had to act his age and prove that "it's his party and he can cry if he wants to", but as soon as the cake and presents came out he was happy (fancy that). We did a joint party with his cousin Austin who was in town visiting. Each boys got their own cupcake and their very own birthday song.

This birthday was so much fun for me because it is the first one that Evan actually comprehended. He knew that it was his birthday, he knew that everyone was singing to him, and he knew the presents were for him. It was so cute, because he got really excited while opening his presents and even cheered when he saw what was in them. Thank you everyone for loving him so much. He really LOVES everything he got, and asks to play with his new toys.

Birthday boys!!!

Evan and his stash!
July 16-17, 2009
FINALLY THE WEATHER WARMED UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell that I am excited about this?? Seriously it took long enough to hit the 80's and 90's! Thankfully I have made some sun-worshipping friends (I thought I was the only one up here) and we planted our butts in the same spot two days in a row, while our kids played in the sand and water. My skin was so happy!

I was so sad that I didn't remember I had my camera until after our friend Rachel had already left with her kids, and Christy was packing ... oh well. Next time! :-)

Evan loves the water no matter how frigid (I don't get it). His favorite is when I have to wash him off and put his whole body in the freezing lake ... he laughs hysterically! Actually I do have to say that the second day was even warm enough that I braved the freezing water enough to dip my body in! (applause please!) :-)

He insisted on wearing his birthday hat for the majority of the day :-)


Butts planted in the same spot!

Evan just thinks the lake is too much fun!

while I was being brave ... my friend Becka snapped some pics (now I can prove I did it!)

July 18, 2009
We decided to go and do something that was new for our family. We went to a place that is called heritage park and learned about the pioneers of Calgary and the history behind the city. Our family really enjoyed it and Evans favorite part was riding the real train, the "aminals" and the rides! What a great relaxing day. We all came home and took a nap before our mini road trip to "Thunder in the Valley".

When we woke up we drove to the mountains with our friends to watch a fireworks show. Because it was in the mountains the sound just echoed everywhere. There were tons of people and the show was entertaining. The fireworks scared Evan and he promptly fell asleep. (poor guy!) Thanks Kathy and Leslie for coming with us!

Heritage Park

Thunder in the valley

I love this picture of Kyla and the cotton candy!

whoo ... what a day!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Boy

We cannot believe that 2 years ago today our angel was born! We will never forget that call at 4:00 in the morning. We were quite surprised when the baby girl we were expecting came out with a bit of extra plumbing. As unexpected as it was we were so excited to be the parents of a son and it just felt right. We were thrilled that Evan and his tummy mommy were both healthy and doing well. We clearly remember the feeling of holding Evan for the first time, and the overwhelming joy and ecstasy of finally becoming parents.

Over the last two years Evan has been more than we ever could have hoped for! We have had so many experiences through him that draws us to our Heavenly Father. Before we became Evans parents we had no idea it was even possible to love as intensely as we love him! He means everything to us!

Happy Birthday Evan!!!
We cannot believe you are 2 years old!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter

3:10 a.m. Just got back.
Can't wait for the next one!

Monday, July 13, 2009

another long one!

Since the last time ...

July 1, 2009

This was a HUGE double rainbow and I swear to you I have never seen one so brilliant. You can only capture so much with a point and shoot camera, but I am so lucky that I even had it on me. Just thinking about that rainbow still fills me with wonder of God's creations!

We celebrated the Canada Day with attending a baptism and hanging out at Sikome Lake with some friends and ended the day at Jared and Amanda's house for a bar-b-que with the McDaniels.

July 2, 2009
We took a day trip to my in-laws trailer in Sundre. It was heaven to be able to spend the entire day uninterrupted with my family. I love being with my boys, and it was fantastic to be able to spend all day with just them :-) We hung out at the trailer, played in the river, went swimming in the camp ground pool, played at the park, and ate at a local hotspot! We needed to be back the next morning so we didn't stay the night, but hopefully we will get to go back :-)

The wild Rose is Alberta's official flower

Justin taught Evan to yell "humperdink" every time he threw a rock into the water. It was too cute to watch him have fun!

Evan got really good at roasting marshmallows! 50% of the time they were perfect, the other 50% they turned into ash, but he had fun :-)

July 3, 2009
Happy Birthday Irene and Karalee! My cousin Kari was marching in the Parade so we hustled to see her, and missed her!!! I was so bummed! We hung out with her and Barrett at the stampede afterward though and that was fun. The Calgary Stampede is HUGE to say the least. For the San Diegan's it is similar to the Del Mar Fair. It was really fun.

I just really liked this picture of us.

My favorite part about the day was watching Evan go on rides. Until he gets his wheel chair there are very few things that he is able to do independently and it was such a treat to see the joy on his face as he is on these rides "all by himself". These bikes were his favorite ... he wanted to ride them over and over. (We let him go twice)

I left the stampede early and got prepared for the opening of our new chapel. I was playing and singing in the Musical Extravaganza to celebrate the occasion. I played Habenera by Ravel and following my performance that night one of my life dreams came true. I had just finished playing my oboe piece and from the crowd I hear an angel voice joyously scream "Hi Mama!!! Mama Oboe!!! Hi Mama!!!" No feeling in the world beats that!

I had a lot of fun performing in this and still laugh at the all to common comment from the general public when I play. "Wow, I didn't know an oboe could sound so good" or "Wow, I was really nervous when I saw that an oboe was playing, but you actually did really well" and other variations on the same comments. I have gotten it for years and it just makes me laugh. What I want to say in return is ... "I hope I can play well, since it is my profession" What I do say sincerely is "Thank you".

our new chapel

July 4, 2009
We started the day with a pancake breakfast at our new church building. It was so fun, but the best part was seeing Evan begin to learn how to operate his new chair!

We went boating with Jared and Amanda today. Evan was kind of a pill, but everything was very clear when he cut his LAST tooth on the boat. I would be a grouch too!!! I am so glad this stage is now OVER! I like my happy baby way better than the green monster that emerges when he is in pain. I did manage to get this picture which was decent.

After boating we went to the family restaurant to celebrate Karalee's birthday ... she got this mat from one of her friends. It made me laugh! I am so glad that you are here for at least another year ... LOVE YOU!

July 5, 2009
Happy Birthday Mom!! Following the dedication of our new chapel (which was awesome) we drove out to Justin's parents ranch and had a blast with everyone. His Aunt Jackie, Uncle Bill, and cousin Olivia had just arrived. It was so much fun to hang out with family out there in the foothills. Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so no pictures commemorating it, but it was fun!

July 6, 2009
Happy Birthday Rachel! We celebrated hers and Cody's birthday by grabbing a bite to eat at a really gross, but cute restaurant and then heading to stampede. Justin and a few other crazies paid to go on this thrill ride! I swear I thought I was going to die just watching him put his life into the hands of the 16 year old boys who strapped him in. Justin was extra crazy and rode the thing twice.

The girls ... (I do apologize for my appearance, but it was freezing and I have no "stylish" sweatshirts ... but hey ... "GO GATORS!!!"

I get a little obsessive when the Olympics come around, so you can imagine my excitement when I got to hold one of the official torches for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Check out the old torches ... the one all the way to the right is the one that Hitler carried!

Everyone else went to the Grand Stand show and the Palmer family went to the Simple Plan concert ... AWESOME! We started out close to the stage and pushed our way to really close! There were a couple of really short girls around us and the sweet boys both ended up carrying them on their shoulders so they could see the band. The girl on Justin's shoulders was about 14 and you could tell that Simple Plan was her favorite band. She was beaming when she was on Justin's shoulders and could finally see! It was cute to see her moms face, she thanked Justin a lot for giving her daughter that experience.

Pierre Bouvier

I LOVE this picture of us, we definitely have fun

July 9, 2009
Chelsea came into town and stayed with us for the first couple of days that she was here!!! We went to the pool, the restaurant, and lots of other fun things. Today we took our boys to the stampede. This was my first time being able to go to all of the day time events and I loved every minute of watching my son and my nephew taking in the sights.

A short story: For many months Evan has been obsessed with birds, but he thinks that every bird is a duck and that they all say "quack". Well when he was petting the duck in this picture the woman asked him what a duck says ... his response?? "tweet!" Go figure!

These statues were amazing and I cannot even begin to tell you how fascinated the boys were of them. Chelsea and I didn't even know they were real people until someone pointed them out to us. The boys LOVED them, and I get the feeling the statue people loved our boys ... who wouldn't?

ride 'em cowboy!

Evan couldn't take his eyes off the sheep!

Later that night we went back to the stampede with all of the adults. I don't know why Justin wanted a picture with the creepy crow, but I had to put it on the blog because we don't know who that other person is. Justin was posing with the crow and the stranger came put his arm around Justin and smiled for the picture as well. That is totally something Justin would do to someone else, so it was only fitting.

the start of our gluteny, and yes I am wearing a winter coat in July (*gag*)

I don't know what it is with this family, but they win everything ... it was actually quite fun

I got to ride this ride with Justin's mom and Uncle. It was crazy fun and honestly we couldn't stop laughing! Sorry for crushing you Bill!

This will give you some perspective about how big these horses are. I am standing level with him and I am 5'10" This horse is 6'0" to his shoulder!!! Crazy!!!

Can you imagine what a nuissance this particular physique would be??


Mark, you better be careful where you stand!

awe the men in our family

The show was AWESOME, but freezing!

July 12, 2009

Ever since Evan starting taking his medicine he moves so much more. This is one of my favorite new positions he likes to sit in. He can't get his leg up like this on his own, but he will pull it up with his arms and sit like this for a while. Does he not look like Joe cool or what??

July 11-13
HARRY POTTER MOVIE MARATHON!! Karalee has been an amazing friend and joined me on my quest to watch all of the Harry Potter movies before we go watch the new one at midnight tomorrow. I thought I would be watching them alone, but I got Karalee (and snoopy) to watch with me. Evan was so happy to see snoopy again!