Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our Christmas Letter to the Masses

Hello Friends and Family!

I love the Christmas Spirit and how we are reminded to focus more on the people around us. We’ve been having a wonderful time this year teaching Porter about the true meaning of Christmas and about the significance of the birth of the Savior. Here’s a long winded update of what our family has been up to this year.
This past year our travels have revolved around specific family and friend events. My Grandpa Harrison had his 80th birthday up in Fort Kent which was a great visit. Later in the summer, we were able to to attend the Trim’s first family reunion down in Oregon. On the way up from Oregon, our little family stopped in Vancouver to visit my Grandma and Grandpa Seu. I was able to learn more about my family history from that side of the family which was a great experience. We went to two weddings, one where I flew solo to Utah and also one as a family to Rexburg where I was a bridesmaid. We really enjoyed visiting our family and friends within the province and getting to visit those who live far away. Hopefully in 2011 we can continue to strengthen and build our family/friend relationships and get to see those we weren’t able to last year.
Lane has had three great things happen this past year for him as a police officer. One, he was entrusted to train four rookie police officers (because he’s so awesome). Two, though he didn’t make it on the Hawc helicopter team in September, he did have the best test scores. He needed a few extra courses and some acting time as a Sergeant, which he has completed and is re-applying in January. At least he still gets to go up in the helicopter a few times a month. Last, and this is the best part of all, Lane passed his incident command course!! He was already able to be an acting office sergeant but this course enabled him to be an acting street sergeant. He is the big chief on the street so watch yourself. He’s decided he doesn’t want to yet apply to be a sergeant full time because of his desire to pursue the helicopter team but this was yet another way for Lane to move forward in his career. I still want to give him high five’s whenever I talk about it.
Apparently he has a lot going on because there’s one more noteworthy thing to mention. Lane has been putting a lot of effort into getting sponsors in the hopes he can attend the World Police-Fire Games and compete in the ATV motocross in New York this upcoming summer. He served his mission in New York which is really special and 2011 also marks the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. It’ll be an incredible experience so we’re really hoping that sponsorships work out.
As for myself, I’ve been able to continue classes at the UofC part-time. I attend an aerobics class regularly and it’s been liberating to feel stronger and healthier. I’m also the room parent for Porter’s kindergarten class which I like because it really enables me to be more involved and still somewhat in control in this ‘unknown’ school realm. I love being a Mom and spending my time with Porter and Grady, doing my best to raise them to be wonderful little men. So that’s kind of a big deal though it remains the same year to year!
Porter has been in swimming and soccer this year. His highlight was turning five and going to school where I also convinced him that kids who go to school have to zip up their own jackets. That really worked well for me. This was also the first year in many that we didn’t have a Thomas the train birthday party. I kind of regret saying that it was forced. There’s only so many takes you can do on a Thomas birthday cake so he settled for Dinosaurs.
Porter is absolutely loving school and he’d probably challenge anyone who did not give praises to his beloved kindergarten teacher. He has learned so much in such a short period of time. His school is a little more rigorous in the homework department but he really takes pride in the work he does. His only slight disappointment this year was when he was a hamburger for Halloween and every other boy was a superhero that wanted to eat him. He liked being a hamburger up until that point. He loves making crafts. There is not enough tape or styrofoam plates that could fill his needs.
Grady is really funny but balances it out quite nicely by being mischievous. His smile envelops his whole face because his smile is so big and once the dimples reveal themselves fully, it’s like his whole face is smiling. This is his trick after he has thrown yet another random item in the toilet. My cousin kindly put it that he’s not being bad, he’s just ‘busy’, as he turns on the water jug, dumps the dog food, digs in the plant dirt and goes to empty out a cupboard. Yes, Grady is adorable and ‘busy’. He loves to play fight, jump, run, dance, and tackle. He was in swimming lessons earlier this year and loves the water. He loves jumping off the edge of the pool like walking the plank would be a party. Grady loves to cuddle, play with cars, and read books. So along with funny and mischievous, he’s also pretty perfect.
Upon reflection, it’s great to look back on a year. We had some really great experiences together as a family that were worth the work and sometimes strain behind it. We loved every minute, with the exception of Grady screaming in the car. We hope everything is well and hope we get to hear how you are.

Love The Trims

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Rest of October

This cupcake was inspired by an invitation to a family Halloween party via the Woodruffs. I thought I'd put in the extra effort and make something truly spooktacularly festive. oooh. I felt like a jolly, old soul when I saw a picture of monster cupcakes in a Taste of Home that looked sooo easy. To sum it up, my cupcakes looked nothing like the magazine picture! Yes, you can assume the magazine's looked better.

As well, I was limited to making a mere 12 of my monster goodness because as I left the room, things got quiet (oh, blessed quiet), only for me to walk back in and find Grady had left his trademark. That's okay, my couch needed some mooshed cake into the cushions. I want people to know as soon as they walk in the door that this is a kid friendly home that they can first-hand witness from the dents in my walls, and stains on furniture. Kidding! I love my kids and everything that goes with them AND at least in hindsight, they're cute even when they create disasters but the food stains on my furniture that I can't afford to replace is a no-go.
To be honest though, I did think it was particularly funny that he took a single bite out of each one before moving on to the next. I feel as though I am a living story of Robert Munsch. His stories and characters are hilarious because they exaggerate the reality every family knows, with a 'find joy in your day' attitude. It's good to find humor while I'm vacuuming baked cake off my couch.

Thank you blogging world. I love these ghosts! I found the idea on the blog, eighteen25. One more way to preserve their childhood. To keep with the eternal handprint, I'm switching it up and this month, those fingers are going to be snowmen.

The last mow of the season. This is also the last time I saw any living plantation.

This rad snowman was created but days later. Bye, bye grass for 8 more months of cursed cold...I mean winter wonderland. Lucky!

Happy Halloween! The classic from Porter this month was that he was thrilled to be a hamburger until he saw everyone else his age was a superhero. Then he felt left out because he too, thinks that spiderman and his Marvel comrads are fascinating beings of ultimate coolness. The tipping of the scale came when the superheroes at the Halloween party said they wanted to eat him. Sorry, Po! He is a cute burger though and I loved it! He had a good attitude after he realized they really weren't going to eat him and enjoyed his day as a fully loaded hamburger.
Grady was Nemo. It never gets old for me. Grady was none too pleased with his fin hat though, but I felt it was necessary for his overall fishy look. I told him it makes mommy happy, but he didn't alter his pattern of high pitched whining. All head piece annoyance suddenly disappeared at the first sign of candy. mmmm. It's like he won the lotto after that. After they went to bed, it's like Lane and I won the lotto! jk. Halloween and all of the parties and activities, were great. Now we're just rolling forth into the Christmas season.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pre-Halloween Merriment

I discovered a new place to go to in Calgary area for some good ol'fashion family fun. It's called Kayben farms. I thought I knew the majority of the cool things to do around these parts but as it turns out, I've been missing out on the Global fest until this year (it's one of the best, if not the best festival in this city) and now Kayben farms.

This place has a pumpkin patch which has enough lure power for me by itself. I have always wanted to go to one for picture purposes but the closest I had ever had was in the fall splendor of the Eastern United States via Stars Hollow via The Gilmore Girls. Kayben also had a corn maze, a massive, bouncy contraption, slides, tire horses, old fashioned water pumps, bikes, dune buggies, wagon rides, green houses and a gigantic+enormous=ginormous scarecrow to greet you at the entrance. Here's some pictures of our Kayben Fall Festival Day.

Porter and the pumpkins.

Searching for pumpkins to take home!

Pumping water like ol'Auntie Em.

This was the funnest, bouncy...thing. Porter needed help a couple of times so I sprang to his rescue and got a few jumps in. I would spend a lot of time on this if it was in my backyard.

My sweet baby riding his first tire horse.

They had some really cute spots to take pictures, although I faced two obstacles. One, the sun was in their eyes and they were quite vocal with their complaints. Two, Grady would not sit down. The first picture I was telling Porter, 'Hold him down and then smile at the camera!'. It didn't work, can't imagine why. The second picture is Grady escaping.

I love this picture. The picture shows how fun it was. If there was nobody around, I totally would've gone down the slide too. My only concern would be if my hips would not fit the width of the slide.

Grady hitting a dead end of maize.

The Boys painting their purchased pumpkins. Tres Magnifique.

Here is some fantastic, live action footage of my epic pumpkin sling shot. I think I'm a champ in the making. I would like to say in advance that I was just warming up.

I have discovered I need a little more practice with a pumpkin slingshot. Good thing they only gave me mutated, mis-hybrid, or rotting pumpkins. I thought for sure on the second time that pumpkin was going to fly to China, instead it caught some low air and rolled not a few, but many feet short of the target. Next time for sure I'll get it. I'm all warmed up now!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Summer Cap Off- Porter's 5th Birthday

To end the summer with a bang, Porter turned 5!! I can hardly believe my baby is that old. Not to sound cliche, but seriously, how did that happen? He is the most amazing little boy. He's a total goof ball but amazes me and teaches inbetween the goofiness. For example, this morning, I was going to press snooze one more time on the alarm clock when Porter said, "Mom, I don't want to sleep anymore. We need to all get up so we're not late for Church."
He said what I was trying to push out of my mind for another ten minutes on the snooze button but he was right!
Our party was dinosaur themed. Poor guy wanted another Thomas the Tank Engine party but I didn't want to do another one. That would've made three in a row so I can him the option between dinosaur and pirate. He went back and forth between the two until he finally decided on dinosaur.

Pin the tail on the Dinosaur

Crawling through treacherous terrain to find their dinosaur prize

Yet again, more treacherous terrain!

Making dinosaur feet. I thought I was so smart killing two birds with one stone (metaphorically of course) by buying glitter glue instead of glitter and glue. Well, turns out that was a crappy idea to put it bluntly. Glitter glue takes hours, who knows, maybe even days to dry! I had all these imaginings of pictures with all the kids wearing their dinosaur feet and that little hope was thrashed.

My Mom started by telling the kids a bunch of stories. They were hooked! She had them wrapped around her storytelling finger!

Kids encircled about their entertainer.

She made a puppet out of a banana. Now Porter constantly wants his banana made into a puppet.

This cake, though it make look juvenile, was my pride and joy for that day. The hershey kiss spikes were the talk of the table.

Sugar much?

Each kid had an egg with the letter of their first name (this was to prevent one person picking up a bunch, etc.) and then they searched around the Church for their egg.

Little dino jube jubes. They also got a dinosaur balloon and dino water gun. Though trying to think of enough activities to keep kids busy can be tricky, I love planning my kid's birthday parties!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Summer Re-cap Part 3: Family Reunion & Vancouver

Lane's family planned their first family reunion. With 9 siblings, plus spouses, and more grandkids than I feel like counting right now, it's hard to get everyone together. We headed off to Portland area where one of Lane's sisters lives for our destination beach house. And may I say, though I've traveled to Portland a few times for reunions on my side of the family, my memory didn't do me justice. It is gorgeous there! Breathtaking! I'd like to go back and do some more touring. AND...AND! On top of that Portland is a hub for great diners (thank you drive-ins, diners, and dives). On the way back we went up through Vancouver where I met up with grandparents. The adventure continued until we made it back to home sweet home. May I say, though this may not be realistic at all, I would like to have this kind of adventuresome fun all the time! It's so much fun to have fun! That statement may not be quotable but it is true.

First stop on the holiday journey: Spokane!

On the way down to Oregon, we traveled down with Lane's best friend and bro, Kale and my buddy ol'pal (works out nice doesn't it?) Kenny AND Porter's fave/ Grady's toy rival, Brookey. Lane and I have never traveled with anyone else before and I loved it! It was so much fun! We shared snacks, pulled over for breaks, got lost together. It was so much fun to travel down with friends! We even got to swap war stories about which child had the best meltdown.

A personal highlight for me! I am all about food. I would travel the globe for the sights and FOOD. I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more...for food, yes I would. This was the Byways cafe. I caught a glimpse of it on Drive-ins, Diners and Dives. I don't know why but I love that show. Actually, I do know why, they show you hidden gems with amazing food and then I even think to myself, 'if I go to that obscure town in Kansas, I am definitely going there!' I narrowed my list down to three diners I wanted to try in Portland but sadly, I only made it to one. On the bright side, I made it to one! I felt like I was going to a celebrity diner. For the records, Lane got amaretto french toast and I got corned beef hash. Also, I couldn't speak about this experience without noting that Grady screamed the whole time, Porter then through a temper tantrum which is surprising for him, and in the end, after being embarassed (it's a diner! It's ten feet long!), Lane and I proceeded to eat in shifts while the other walked around the block. It was worth it.

The Portland Rose Gardens. It was dreamy. :)

The Portland Oregon Temple.

Teaching Grady the fun of smelling the flowers on temple grounds. I made sure to point out many flowers for my photo needs.

The Tillamook cheese factory. I hyped up my little family and those around me because I went here as a kid and loved it! There used to be a tour guide that took you around the massive factory with little samples along the way. Now there's not that. There's a viewing window with some helpful signage. Maybe there cheese became too popular for their own good. Who knows?!

Yes, we had to do tricks for our food. I made a funny, it was a family home evening activity. Lane is so tough he is on the bottom, holding up the masses of children. And bonus, no hernias or popped blood vessels while walking away with a little sugar to quench the carb need.

My niece offered to teach me how to hula dance. My, oh my, I'd be delighted! She was quite a pro. I paled in comparison to her shoulder shimmeys.

This was a sight to behold. They were both laughing hysterically together! Grady just loves her!

Seaside City, Oregon.

The Olympic Cauldron! I was so pumped to see this! I imagined all the excitement from months ago while standing in front of it. I am cheesy, always have been, it's innate but I just think it was so magical when the Olympics were here earlier this year. I wished I was an athlete, to be apart of something that wonderful. Unfortunately, I snow plow down the hill, the whole way! I have always been one for self preservation. It wasn't meant to be but I can say with conviction I truly admire and appreciate the talent and event as a whole.

Grady and Grandpa Seu. This was a really great experience. I don't know my dad's side of the family very well and after taking a family history class, I was more in tuned to ask questions about my heritage. It was really incredible listening to my Grandpa's stories about his past. He used to work for the UN! I'm really grateful for that experience of being able to listen to his story.

Looking over the water in Vancouver.

In fact, not the Orient but a cool area in a beauitful park guessed it! Vancouver!

The Enchanted Forest. I went here a few times as a kid but may I say it is way better to watch your own kids enjoy it. The forest was beautiful and it's filled with sculptures from old nursery rhymes and fairy tales.

A spot of tea?

Wild ride on the log! Whooaa!