30 January 2011

We've made it 3 weeks!

Lest you think we are suffering on this raw food diet... we're not!

Silas is very much enjoying raw food. Tonight we had sushi with a sunflower seed rice/tuna pate and lots of veggies.  I hate sushi, I mean really hate sushi, but I actually enjoyed our delicious raw meal!  Really.  Although we couldn't get Silas to smile, (he was too focused on the dessert) here is evidence of the chocolate torte that we made and absolutely LOVE!  Topped with fresh blueberries, it doesn't get much better than this.  With only one more week to go I am having a hard time envisioning myself cooking up a pound of ground beef for a spaghetti dinner, or eating bacon and eggs for breakfast, ever again.  I feel good, really good, and I want this to last. 

We've been talking about where we will go from here and decided that before we are done we are going to have to set some ground rules for once we aren't eating 100% raw.  I think the major thing for me is going to be to avoid processed things. Even though I generally eat organic, natural things, I am all about convenience, and so I eat a lot of crackers, granola bars, etc.  I am going to continue making my own snacks so that I am not tempted to eat that kind of stuff.  I am going to reach for an apple instead of something from a box.  I am not going to buy stuff I can make on my own, and I am going to live without stuff that just isn't good for me.  I am not going to eat things just because they are available.  If I didn't plan on eating it, I'm going to leave it. I'm going to fill my plate with salad first, and then the entree afterward.  Most importantly, I am going to continue actually cooking for my family.  I have loved being in complete control of my own health, and am going to make sure that I continue that.  I am going to make our breakfasts, not pour them out of a box, I am going to make our lunches, not let a "sandwich artist" do it for me, and I am going to make our dinners, not just dump some pasta into boiling water and sauce it up with a canned concoction.  One more week people!  We've almost made it!

28 January 2011

My Testimony

This week has been hard, and while my boys have certainly done some darling things, and while the raw food challenge goes on, I feel that instead of sharing these things I need to share with you my testimony of my Saviour, Jesus Christ, and his plan for us.

You see, this week something tragic happened in our family.  My dear sweet niece came into the world and our Father In Heaven called her back almost immediately.  Her story isn't mine to tell, so I will not go into the details, but what I can share is the impact that the sweet little Amelia has had on my life, even though hers was so short.

This week my testimony of prayer, and of the communication we have with God, has increased.  We went from praying that the baby would be okay, to that she would live, to that she would be cradled in her Father in Heaven's arms until her parents could hold her again one day.  Eli loves to pray and constantly reminds us to do just that. He prays over every meal and multiple other times a day. Through his eyes we have been reminding of the hand of God as Eli has asked, unprompted, for Heavenly Father to take care of his auntie's baby so that we can see her when we go back to heaven someday.  Although we are completely heartbroken, through prayer we have felt comfort and love, and have seen God's hands in our lives.

My understanding and testimony of the Plan of Salvation has grown.  I know that because of the great plan of God we will be able to return to live with him again, and at that time we will be reunited with those who have died before us.  Not only will we be able to see those people again, through the gift of Eternal Marriage we will be united with those people forever.  My sweet niece was born into this covenant of Eternal Marriage, and no matter how short her mortal life was, she will one day be with her family again, and her parents will be able to raise her and hold her close.

I have also felt my testimony of family grow.  All this week, as I have looked at my two sweet boys, I have found my heart overfilling with gratitude for the blessing they are in my life.  The sacrifices I have to make for them seem nominal when I think of what being their mother has given to me. I would not trade the family I have for anything. Last night, when Silas woke up multiple times, and I had to sooth him back to sleep, I couldn't help but spend some time staring at his sweet face and feeling a little bit of that love that the Lord must have for us.  I have also seen Jared's family band together to support their sister and her husband, each in their own way. We have been put here in families so that we don't have to be alone in times of trial. I have learned this week just how imperative those family units are, and am so grateful for mine.

Tomorrow Amelia's parents will bury her.  I can't imagine ever having to do that. My soul aches for them completely. At such a heartbreaking time I am grateful for my understanding of Heavenly Father's plan. The Lord loves us and wants us to be happy.  He wants us to make good choices and return to live with him again one day. He has given us the Saviour, who has atoned for our sins, so that we can do just that. Tomorrow is going to be so hard, but with lots of prayer, and lots of support, hopefully we all will be able to be touched by the spirit, feel the Lord's love, and know that we will see sweet Amelia again one day.

21 January 2011

Day 12!

Here we are, day 12 of the Wiebe Family Raw for 30 Days Challenge, and we are doing great!  Seriously, not only are we surviving, but we're really enjoying it.  The food is delicious, we all feel incredible physically, and I am just having so much fun finding and trying and modifying new recipes.  I was so worried about not getting enough calories, but the food has been so good (especially all the healthy treats!) that if anything, I'm eating too much!

So, to add to the reasons that I liked raw food last week, I add a few more:

11. I love that every single day I have made healthy food for my family.  There is something very empowering about providing for the health of my family.
12. I have never been very good at following recipes: with raw food recipes it doesn't matter!  I can change them up anyway I want without worrying if it will ruin, because there is no chemical reaction to be made or rising to fret about...  It's actually been really fun to take a recipe that I like and change it up to be even better.

And, something I don't like?  Well, I spend so long on each of these recipes and after dehydrating for two days they are GONE in hours! Seriously.  This week we made 10 heads of kale into kale chips.  10 heads!  We took them out of the dehydrator yesterday afternoon, and they were devoured before we went to bed.  Silas loved them more than anyone, I think, and I can't blame him, because they were delicious.  It's just that making your own chips seems like a lot of work just to see them disappear so quickly.   I suppose I should be glad that at least it is something healthy, but still...

Another one of those recipes that will be gone before I know it is my granola.  It is packed full of healthy goodness, and oh so good for you!  While I don't want to rip off someone's hard work, I'll tell you how I've made it, because I really, really love it!

Living Berry Nut Granola
 That's right, that's what I call it!  I adapted the recipe from "Cranberry Maple Granola" from Raw Food Real World by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis.  Like I said, you can change it in any way you want, but this is what I did, and it is absolutely wonderful. (I made a mega batch so that it would last a little longer. It could easily be halved if you don't want to make so much.)

Living Berry Nut Granola

2 apples, cored
2 cups date paste
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup of agave
Juice of one large lemon
2 Tbsp vanilla powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP salt
1 cup Sunflower Seeds, soaked over night
4 cups almonds, soaked over night
6 cups walnuts, soaked over night
1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked over night
8 oz of frozen berries (I used 1/2 a package of cranberries, and 1/2 package of raspberries)
2 cups of dried currents

1. To make date paste soak 2 cups of medjool dates in hot water for 15 minutes.  Separate dates from water and in a food processor mix until a paste forms.  Add some of the soak water if you need more liquid.
2. Add apples, maple syrup, agave, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and 1/2 cup of the sunflower seeds to the food processor and process until smooth.  Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the remaining sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds to the food processor (you may have to do this in two batches - it's okay - and don't bother rinsing the food processor) and process until coarsely chopped. Add nuts to the mixing bowl.  Add the frozen berries and dried currents and mix well.  If it looks like it needs more moisture, add more agave or maple syrup.
4. Spread the granola on a lined dehydrator tray (you could also do this on an oven sheet in the oven) and dehydrate at 115 degrees F for 8ish hours.  Flip, remove the liner, and dehydrate for another 12ish hours. (Dehydrate less if you want a chewy granola instead of crunchy.)
5. Remove from the dehydrator, break into pieces and once it is cooled store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks (it won't last that long!)

There you have it.  Living Granola, or G'raw'nola, if you will!  Do you know that walnuts have the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids of any nuts?  Well, you'll definitely get your share in this granola.  If you don't have access to those nuts though, add some cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia, hemp, flax, buckwheat...  Really, anything will do.  Make sure that the nuts and seeds you buy are not pasteurized though, or the whole dehydrating thing will be kind of useless. Try it, and enjoy!

More recipes to come, I just need to have something last long enough to take pictures.

19 January 2011

My life, right now.

Remember a few months ago when I was whining about feeling like I had no purpose here in Calgary?  Well, I finally am beginning to feel at home here, and am excited about the months to come!

Eli and Silas are such a riot right now.  Silas is finally at an age where he and Eli are really starting to play.  Silas still refuses to talk, or sign, or do much besides point, nod and go "Uhhhh" with various inflections, which we try to interpret.  But, he is so stinking cute that we don't much mind.  He is terribly mischievous, and I spend most of my time at home trying to make sure that he doesn't destroy something else of my mom's.  I can't wait until he does start talking, because I'm sure he'll have a lot to say.  Together we are taking swimming lessons right now, and he is loving it. Eli is an absolute riot.  Where Silas lacks in communication skills, Eli makes up for it.  Today on our way out he asked, "Mommy, what's college?" I tried to explain and he said, "I want to go to college and be a lawyer just like daddy, but I want to go to college in our house.  Can you teach me college at home? I'm going to ask Andy about it, because he goes to college."  I don't know where he get's these things, but I sure love it.  He is taking a class at the YMCA with crafts, gym time, and a swimming lesson as well as an art class with the City of Calgary. It is fun to have him out and involved, and he loves it so much. 

This week Jared writes the last of his exams that will allow him to practice law in Canada!  That means that next week he can start looking for a job, and once the results are back, he can do what we have worked all these years for him to be able to do.  After four years we are ready to enter the next stage, and I am so incredibly proud of Jared for getting to this point.  Go, Jared, go!

In the life before I was a mommy I was a teacher. I always wanted to be a mommy, but I also loved being a teacher.  Not once have I wished to go back to that life, but every once in a while I wish I could stand in front of a group of teenagers again and impart something to them.  Today I got to do that!  I am teaching two classes of Speech Arts to Alice's homeschool group. It is actually quite perfect.  I teach for two hours every week while Eli and Silas play with the Russells. And I make a little money doing it.  There is literally no downside.  Today was a lot of fun, and I really think I'm going to enjoy it. The best part is, I get to teach Benny. I love teaching people I love.  I taught Phoebe when she was in grade 7, and it was a riot.  Benny is pretty rad, so I think it's going to be wonderful!

But, the most exciting thing going on in my life right now is my budding Doula business (for which I have yet to pick a name.) At this time I have three births lined up before summer, and I am so excited for each and every one. Honestly, I. LOVE. BIRTH.  I do.  I love that I get to help birthing women.  I love that I get to help women I love! Being asked to be a Doula at someone's birth is quite honestly such an honor to me, and I'm truly grateful to be able to do what I'm doing.  It is so exciting!  So, send your referrals, and your name suggestions my way, because I'm rearing to go.

It's nice to be excited about what's going on in my life.  I'm feeling like things are falling into place, and I am thrilled.  We are fixing up our Ranchlands house next week, and either finding a renter (prolonging our stay in the basement room) or moving in.  We'll see what the market is like.  Either way it gives us a chance to work on something, and I am excited to do it.   Life is good. There is lots to be grateful for.  I hope everyone else is feeling the same, because it's good to feel good!

17 January 2011

Expansive doesn't quite describe us...

Huge. Prodigious. Gigantic.  Enormous. Tremendous. 

Really, pick your favourite synonym of "big" and it might come close to describing the Evans Family!  Just wait a few years...

This Christmas all but one (one who we missed so terribly it hurt!) squished and squeezed into our parents' cabin in Idaho to celebrate the season together.  Like I said before, I didn't pull out my camera, and I am just now getting pictures from my sisters, who were more than happy to take pictures, so here you have a few of my favourites, all of which I've stolen from their blogs.

First of all, the Evans Family Photo shoot.  Here we all are, sans Joan (another tear falls):
Um, yup, that's the pic I love, and the one you get.  My favourite?  Merrin. 
15 grandbabies and counting!  A few were not too pleased with the idea of a photo shoot. 

And then there's the Evans girls.  All but Joan.  We are wonderful!
And, my beautiful mom and dad.  Parents to eight and Bumpa and Bumma, Fatboy and Grandma, really, whatever you want to call them, to fifteen and counting!
On to some other favourite pictures for you to enjoy!

We all know I'm a big supporter of breastfeeding in public.  Well, does it count as public when it's as many as we have in our family???  PS Do I look super young in this picture?
I love my dad's smile, and apparently so does Silas!

On the dock with my view of heaven.

Pretty sure I'm going to make a Christmas decoration out of this picture.

And this one's getting blown up and put in Jared's future studio.  I love it!
And, one last one for all to enjoy, because I love my mom's smile too, and I love that Holly and I are wearing twinner hats, and I love that Phoebe's hat is pretty much useless.

14 January 2011

Too wet to go out, And too cold to play ball.

So we sat in the house. We did nothing at all.

It may not be wet out, but it is definitely too cold!  Eli was dying to go out today.  He even got his snow suit from downstairs, and mine, and begged me to take him out.  Call me a bad mommy, but I just wasn't willing to venture out in the -22 degree weather (which, for you Americans out there, that is -8 F) and -30 degrees with the windchill (-22 fahrenheit).  So, while I said just yesterday I was probably not going to craft much during my Raw Food adventure, I figured if I didn't do something I'd have my own little Thing 1 and Thing 2 destroying my house "on this cold, cold wet day"!

So, out came my bag of tricks: paper, scissors and a sewing machine.  That's all. Super easy, very involved, and pretty cute, too. 

Sadly, even though I took tons of pictures of the entire process, even Eli sewing the strips together all by himself, none of the pictures are on my card, and I don't know why.  So, you will just have to imagine how cute Eli was trying to cut a straight line, or how darling Silas was coloring his own paper while Eli and I were cutting, or how determined Eli was to hang them up by himself.  Really, it was wonderful!

Here's how I did it.  I got out 5 peices of paper. I picked some pretty, recycled looking ones, so that the sun would shine through them, but you could use any.  I gave Eli a pair of scissors (do you know that a lady at the YMCA was telling me that her son, who is the same age as Eli, had an assessment done at school to see if he had any delays, and one of the questions was whether he could cut with scissors or not. Well, believe it or not, until today I had no idea if Eli could use scissors. Early screening or looking for problems???) He cut the paper width wise into strips, which we carefully stacked.  We took the strips down to the sewing machine and sewed them together right down the middle (make sure to set your sewing machine to a long stitch, otherwise it might just perforate the paper enough for it to rip really easily. Then we took our beautiful mobiles upstairs and hung them in the window to add a little brightness to our cold, white world.  I think they are beautiful, Eli loved that he could use the sewing machine, and he didn't mention going outside again (fewsh!)

The one good thing about losing all the pictures is that you don't have to see the terrible haircuts I gave my boys today. Maybe I will try to fix them before I take any more pictures!

13 January 2011

Thoughts on RAW!

So, tonight marks my 5th day of eating Raw.  It's true.  I've made it this far.  You're impressed, right?  Well, you should be.
Raw Blueberry GRAWnola

First of all, let me tell you ten reasons why I am absolutely loving this:
1. After too many months of eating pasta and grilled cheese sandwiches, my family is consistently eating healthful, delicious, homemade food EVERY meal!
2. Every single recipe I have tried so far has been delectable.
3. I can eat as many treats as I want, because, after all, they are mostly just sprouted buckwheat, or coconut, or raw cacao powder!
4. I am losing weight - kay, maybe this isn't a plus: new pants are definitely not in the budget this month.  I guess back to junior high and baggy pants I go. There's a plus!
5. I have significantly more energy - this week I was motivated by Lindsay's comment on my last post about exercise, and I actually went to the YMCA to use my pass for more than just watching Eli's swim lessons. It felt great.
6. It is nice to have a motivation to actually cook (or un-cook) for my family.  It's been hard, living with my parents, to do much.
7. I'm teaching my boys to enjoy eating good, healthy food.  Silas mostly just plays with the food, but Eli has been a trooper and tastes everything and likes most of it.
8. I am equipping myself with some great recipes and habits to use once we aren't eating 100% raw.
9. Jared is doing it wholeheartedly with me, which is not only fun, but hopefully really good for his health too.
10. Spending time in the kitchen with my mom and my boys is infinitely more fun than hanging out in the basement watching the same movie over and over again.  It takes a lot of time, but all of that time has been totally delightful.
Eli helping to spread the Blueberry Crispies I invented.

Making Cheese.  We've really formed a close relationship with that food processor. I don't think I'll ever be able to live without one again.
There you have it. I'm sure I could come up with more, but those are the first that come to mind. 

What do I eat, do you ask?  Well, let me break it down for you.

I start each morning with a delicious green smoothie: spinach or kale with bananas, dates, mangos, flax, spirulina, maca and whatever other good stuff I feel we need.  And I'm not talking about just a glass of green smoothie, I'm talking about at least a litre, if not more.  Delish!  Jared drinks the same as me, and Eli and Silas have their own portions.  The smoothie is enough for me, but I usually give the boys some raw granola or buckwheat crackers as well.  I still have them drinking milk (raw, mind you) so they have some of that on it as well.
Eli and Silas eating breakfast. Eli refused to smile.

For lunch we have had leftovers from the night before.  Plus, so that I make sure I am getting enough calories and good healthy fat (no surprisingly, Raw Food is a low calorie diet) I share a whole avocado with Eli.  I never knew I liked avocado so much, but I really do.

For dinner each night we have tried a new recipe.  While the many salads don't take much to throw together, many other recipes don't just take time the day of, but require you to soak nuts and grains for days before hand, and often to dehydrate the meal for at least 24 hours as well.  We live in a society of instant gratification, so this is difficult to get used to.  But, I find that if I just prepare one meal a day, even if I will be eating it two or three days later, I haven't been too overwhelmed.  We have had cheese sticks (made with sunflower seeds), pineapple pizza (dehydrated onion crust, collard, sunflower seed cheese, raw marinara sauce, veggies and pineapples), cream of mushroom soup (the cream is just cashews and almonds), zucchini pasta, mock salmon wraps...  Really, the possibilities are endless!
Soaking almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and chia.

Breakfast in the dehydrator
 In between meals I find, when I get a little peckish, I just eat an apple with raw almond butter, or some celery with almond butter and raisins.  Kale chips are so good. A handful of nuts and dried fruit satisfies a lot.  I've been a little concerned that the low fat, low calories might effect my milk production, so even though the meals are very satisfying, I try to eat more than I otherwise would.  I'm not a big snacker, but raw snacks are good, so I'm surviving.

So, what's hard about it?  Well, it takes a lot of time and preparation.  I've got the time, but I'm not used to thinking days ahead for meals.  Spaghetti is definitely easier.  I don't miss meat, and dairy is easier than I would have guessed to live without, but I do love baked goods.  I don't mind eating all the raw food, but when I am offered something like banana bread I want to have less resolve. Also, because this is really new to me, it does not just take a lot of time to do, but I'm spending the rest of my time reading recipe books and learning about why to eat raw.  This is good, because I love to learn new things, but I've got a funny feeling that I am going to have to put aside crafty things during this adventure.

So, there you have it.  Five days in, and I'm going strong.  Despite the few things that are hard, I know I can do just about anything for 30 days.  When I'm done we certainly won't eat 100% raw, but I will definitely incorporate a lot more of it into our lives.  I feel healthier already!

09 January 2011

Raw Food, Christmas Crafts and a Shoe Repair

As I'm sure you all gathered, I completely threw in the hat this year with Christmas decorating, Christmas tradition making and all such nonsense. Sure, I was a little bit Scrooge McDuck, but with Jared gone the entire month of December (okay, not the whole month, but the vast majority of it) and with us living in "the room" survival was the goal, and avoidance of the worst mother of the year award.  The kids were generally kept happy and fed, and we all survived until Jared got back.  Instead of thinking about all the Christmas celebrating that we didn't do, I decided to focus my efforts on eating.  Sounds reasonable, right?

Early in December I went to two days of an introduction to Raw Food.  It was interesting and inspiring.  I am of the firm belief that God put us on this earth to learn to make good decisions.  The greatest gift he has given us is our bodies.  Therefore, one of the most important decisions we need to make is how to take care of our bodies.  He has helped us along the way with the Word of Wisdom and instruction from the prophets about things like tattoos, piercings and such. But, I think he also expects us to search out knowledge and find ways to keep our bodies healthy and strong.  I know we all die eventually, but I'd like to spend my life healthy, vibrant and aware, not waste away riddled with disease and discomfort!  So, while I am young and healthy I am trying to set habits for me and my family that will ensure that we are best prepared to combat all the polluted, toxic things in the world.

Janice Skoreyko taught the class I went to over the weekend.  She was incredible! She was quite honestly one of the happiest, most genuine women I have met.  I couldn't get enough of her. She made us the most delicious foods, and completely inspired me to be more healthy.  Now I just need a few hundred dollars to equip my kitchen with a good food processor, a dehydrator and a better juicer, and I will be ready to go! I guess I could sell my oven???  I am not interested in eating raw 100%, but with Jared's family history of diabetes, I am always looking for ways to eliminate the possibility of my children developing it, and I think incorporating raw into our diet would definitely do that, while helping us be more healthy in general. Now that Christmas is over (I'm not THAT raw) we are going to do a 30-Day Raw Food Challenge. Hopefully it will go better than my 30-Days of Giving challenge (which, BTW, I did far better at than I reported, in case you were wondering.)  For 30 days we are going to try to eat as much raw as we possibly can, which means we nothing cooked, nothing pasteurized, nothing heated over 115 degrees.  It also means we will eat tons of delicious smoothies, soups, pastas (made from zucchini) and lots of deserts. Actually, I think the deserts are going to be my favourite - nothing like a chocolate ball of goodness that you don't have to feel one bit guilty about!  Anyway, I think it's going to be harder than I imagine, but I am excited to do it! We started tonight with a big raw family dinner to celebrate Jared's birthday, which was last Wednesday. Don't worry, I'll let you know how it goes.

In other news, despite my avoidance of Christmas festivities, Eli was totally thrilled with the whole Christmas season.  Since I decided not to do any major crafting, he submitted himself to finishing every last random craft my mom has in her cupboard.  Years of gathered Christmas crafts, bought in January for dirt cheap,  came out to deck the halls of "the room."  Maybe he is deprived, but I'm pretty sure he'll survive. He was quite upset when we took them all down earlier this week, but a quick trip to the Michael's sale section ensures that he will find the same joys of the season next year.

Lastly, with a brilliant suggestion from Jared, we have saved a purchase this month by spending $1!  Eli has been wearing the same shoes for over a year.
They are the greatest runners in existence, only because they are velcro and he can put them on and take them off all by himself.  Prior to this wonderful pair of shoes I didn't mind tying his laces, because frankly he was too young to put on any shoes by himself, be them velcro or flip flops or knee-high Doc Martins (a lasting desire of mine from junior high). But, now that he has been able to dress his feet all by himself for an entire year, going back to tying shoe laces is just one thing this momma is not prepared to do! Yet, in my ignorance of the freedom I so much enjoy today, I purchased, at bargain prices, several pairs of shoes in increasing sizes before we moved back to Canada.  So, as the velcro shoes get tighter and tighter, I've got laceable shoes that actually fit Eli that neither him nor I enjoy putting on - never mind that they have the longest laces of any child's shoes EVER! 

Thus necessitates Jared's brilliant plan: throw out the laces!  Who needs them anyway?  Instead of the pesky threads I went out and bought some matching elastic, Jared threaded it through the shoes, and voila, Eli can again do it all himself.  Sure, he will be the only kid in kindergarten who hasn't been taught to tie his laces, but I'm okay with that (I'll probably homeschool him anyway, so who cares!).

This project was so easy I am considering replacing everyone in the family's laces with elastic.  In fact, I don't think I'll ever tie another shoelace again. Down with shoelaces!

07 January 2011

Goals by the Wayside

2010 was meant to be our year: the year our ship came in.  Well, turns out we're still living in my parents' basement.  But it's okay, because 7 days in, and 2011 is looking pretty good. 

Today I found this in the back of the closet (which is pretty stuffed, considering it contains the life of the entire Wiebe family.)  Sadly, it's full of quite a few unfinished goals. And, we're still praying for peak oil.

Don't look too closely, or I'll be embarrassed by our lack of follow through.

Let's focus on some of the positive:

Eli did take swim lessons, where he went from being scared of putting his head under the water to doing back flips, under water and swinging off the rope swing.  He also figured out the bike.  Just in time for 2010 he learned to write his own name, although it often is written backwards.  Go ilE!

Silas mastered the sit up, roll over, crawl and walk!  He has yet to utter his first word, but that certainly doesn't stop him from effectively communicating exactly what he wants.  For "mo" (our endearing word for breastmilk) he pats my chest and nods his head desperately.  He points and yells for most everything else. What we won't give him he will climb too, and if he can't he will find the closest thing he can carry, move it to where he needs it to be and crawl up on it to get what he wants himself.  We love our little Si-guy.

I didn't journal in my journal as often as I hoped, but I did start this blog, which is pretty good. I still want to write in my journal more, the things I wouldn't put out there for the world to read, but that I want my children and grandchildren to know. I did lose the 30 lbs I wanted to, and I'm feeling pretty good.  I didn't finish the scrapbooks I wanted to, but I do have a standing craft date with Renee where I'm working on them.  I figure as long as I'm done Silas's baby book by the time I have the next baby I'll be doing okay.

While the road has been long, Jared is well on his way to becoming a lawyer in Canada.  He has passed the first test of four that he needs to in order to article in Canada. He will write the other three in two weeks, and hopefully get a job in the weeks after that.  He has done nothing but study for so long, we can't even imagine life doing anything else, but we are looking forward to the day it's over. 

2010 didn't bring us exactly what we planned but I can't help but see blessings everywhere I turn.  We are so thankful to our families that have taken such good care of us. We look forward to the day when we can afford to shower them with gifts of our appreciation.  When we can, we will be moving into the condo that we own in Cougar Ridge.  It is small, but we think it will be a great place to start our life here in Calgary.  We might have to move into our Ranchlands basement suite for a few months in the interim.  Funny how the tiny little one bedroom basement suite feels like it will be huge compared to the bedroom we live in now!  When I think of the stories our parents tell of their first homes and their struggles through school I don't mind a bit the life we are living. We were so spoiled in Michigan that I often dream of living in a big house with a big yard, but I'm okay with living small for a while longer - at least we have more than just a flat of brussel sprouts and a round of cheese! 

Family Home Evening on Monday will bring the Wiebe Family Goals: 2011, and hopefully we'll reach a few more of them than we did last year. 

04 January 2011

No Camera in Hand

After years of being the only person in my family with camera in hand most of the time, this year I had three sisters, plus a brother-in-law and a father who had fancy cameras and were happy to document my holiday.  For once I might be in some of the pictures.  If I ever get any of them (hint, hint...) That being said, I have yet to get most of my Christmas pictures, but wanted to share with you some of the joys of the season, so here you get the very few I actually took. 

Christmas was wonderful, as usual. We spent the week of Christmas at my family's cabin in Idaho, then came home for New Years with the Wiebes. Eli is just at that age where the magic of Christmas was apparent, and I loved it.  We were on a very limited budget this year, but you wouldn't know it because of the amazing generosity of people we love.  We were blessed again and again, and had an absolutely wonderful Christmas!

 Discovering our stockings!
Santa was good to us!
 Oh ya, and I cut off all my hair.  There's the big reveal, with me just woken up, in my pjs. It will have to do.
 This lacrosse stick was quite honestly Silas's favourite gift.
 Santa had a helper.  Eli loved these!
 Kay, so this pic is the best I can do to showcase the silky pjs that Jared got on Christmas Eve.  That's right, black satin! 

That's all I've got folks.  Sorry.  We did take a few more once we got to the Wiebe's, but Silas was sleeping, so we're missing him in all of them.  Oh well.

 This was the greatest gift EVER!!!  A saddle for Princess.  Eli can't wait for the next warm day!
There you have it, the Wiebe family Christmas. I'm pretty sure that by the time I get all the photos from my family I won't be in the mood to blog about them, so this will have to do.  Merry Christmas to all!!!

A Vesty for Si-Guy

When I was 13 I sneaked into the Mormon Youth Dance, where I was supposed to only be admitted if I had reached my 14th birthday.  Well, no rules or coveted dance card were going to stop me!  I distinctly remember my best friend Nicole's older brother Gareth asking me to dance, and being sure I was busted and was going to be in unimaginable trouble.  I also remember the Heninger girls singing to me, at the top of their lungs "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.  For the next dozen or so years I remained just that, the dancing queen, living for the next Saturday Night when I could go again to the youth dance, and then young adult dance, seeing people I only ever saw there, and dance away the night.  Many of the people that are still so dear to me I met at the youth dances, including my sweet Jared, my good friend Justin, the Kanes... I'm sure there are more. I was something like Eliza Doolittle, minus the being picked off the street and taught to speak well, but I certainly could have danced all night and still have asked for more. 

I don't dance much any more.  Being a 30-year-old mother of two leaves little opportunity for such things.  Sad? A little.  But I'm over it.  I've found other things to love, and other things to do.  So, with the title of Dancing Queen stripped from me, I've got to claim another throne, and today I think I'll take the moniker, "Knitting Queen."  Not quite as disco song worthy, but I'm also over that.  I am the self proclaimed Knitting Queen and quite proud of it!

Last night I finished a vest for Silas. I actually wanted to make it for Eli, but it turned out to fit Silas just perfect, so a vesty for Silas it became.  And here it is:
Please tell me I am deserving of the title! I got the pattern here, and if you've ever wanted to knit such a thing I would recommend the pattern.  There are no seams and it is a very quick knit.  I love knitting baby things because they knit up so much quicker than huge big people sized things.  Sorry Jared, you're never going to get a hand knit sweater, I just don't have that much attention span.  I think I am to the point where I can design my own sweater/vest, so stay tuned (but not too closely, because it's going to take me a while.)
You can also tell me how ridiculously cute my child is, because a mom can never hear that enough!

02 January 2011

Oh Ya, I have a blog...

So, it's been a while.  I have to admit, I've really enjoyed hated the little break I've taken from blogging. With Christmas and New Years and all the festivities surrounding the holidays, it's been nice to know that this space was okay without me for a few weeks. 

IF I had found the time, and IF I had taken pictures, there were many things I would have blogged about this past month:

The Raw Food class I went to - stay tuned for the Wiebe Family 30-Day's of Raw!
Eli's many wonderful Christmas crafts littering our home
The incredible makover of Eli's horrible lace-up shoes
Christmas at the cabin
Me: snowboarding; Eli: skiing!

Oh, and all the other little, wonderful, amazing things we have done. All those things.

So, I'm back.  I missed you. Don't worry, I'll not be a stranger!
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