Oliver’s drawings.

I feel like Oliver’s been drawing basically nonstop since he could hold a pencil. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the first thing he does when he wakes up is reach for a paper and pencil, and it’s usually the last thing he puts away at the end of the day too. He fills every spare minute he can with drawing, and I just love his work! He crams so much amazing detail into every drawing he does. Lately he’s been adding a lot of misspelled words, too, which I love. He does his six year old best. 

These are a few of my favourites from the last couple days:


He’s been reading Dog Man all week and he just loves it. He ordered one off Amazon (with his mom’s help of course) and read it in a day, and now he’s reading one of Ben’s. He still reads solely out loud, stumbling along and asking for help when he doesn’t know the word, or just skipping or making up the words.  I just love it. At the end of the book there’s a “how to draw dog man” section and Oliver clearly aced that lesson. I posted one of those pictures on IG and the author of the book left a comment- so cool for Oliver (and me too!).


Those are Oliver’s mock up logos for a BMX shop. He’s a leftie so he occasionally writes his letters in reverse. I told him he may have a career in graphic design/branding.


That little guy at the end of the first line of that comic strip just kills me.


That pose! That’s A.B. Pronounced “Abby”, like “abs”- like a six pack who’s a guy. 

Here’s another picture of “Ab Man” and his “Abby Sidekicks”. I die. (Still working on getting “b”s and “d”s straight when writing.)


The “ab-y sidekicks” are actually just little six packs with arms and legs!! His imagination runs deep, that’s for sure.

And this last picture is just a school project, but I still love it.


I love that the things that make him lucky are 1) his pets 2) his family 3) his home and 4) fruit. Oliver lives for bananas. If we are out of bananas, life is not complete, so it’s only fitting that he drew a bowl of fruit. 

Oliver is starting art classes in a couple of weeks and I’m really excited to see how that goes. He’ll be learning all kinds of new mediums and I’m curious to see if he’ll like them, or if he’ll just want to stick to good old paper and pencil. Either way I really can’t wait to see what he creates.

What she said.

Yesterday I was working on a quilt block while Ivy played nearby, when she turned to me and said,

“You know, there’s basically no such thing as bad luck, scientifically speaking.”

And she used air quotes when she said “scientifically speaking”.

Five year olds are freaking awesome.

She’s been keeping busy working on a million pieces of paper food for daaaaays now. She’s drawn and cut out fruits and vegetables, slices of pizza, a whole cake, many many pieces of cake, cupcakes, donuts, brownies, jugs and glasses of lemonade, plates, forks, spoons, napkins, and even tiny crumbs. It’s actually seriously awesome. She’ll make you a plate of paper food, hand you a fork and napkin, and do the same herself. She even dabs at the corners of her mouth with her napkin (which is a piece of paper) after she’s eaten her food (all hand drawn and cut out by Ivy). She’s made a very impressive collection already and she still has plans to add to it. She wants to work on hard candies today. 


Today I’m trying to fight off a chest cold/maybe bronchitis for the second day and so Ivy is watching way too much YouTube kids, again. I just dragged myself out of bed after sleeping for 2 1/2 hours, because I felt like I should probably feed Ivy lunch. Because it’s 2 pm.

I had to bake cookies and blondies this morning for Seth’s class bake sale tomorrow, which almost killed me. 

The laundry is piling up but I feel too overwhelmed to carry it to the basement.

Neil’s away in Edmonton till midnight. Being sick and single parenting is a bad combo. I’m trying to figure out if the kids can cook their own supper tonight, or if they’d mind just eating popcorn for supper. 

Anyway I did make it out of bed and onto the couch and I’m sure Ivy won’t mind topping up her screen time by watching some Netflix with me.


She loves wearing that toque with built in headphones while she’s on the iPad, and she will only ever play on the iPad in bed, usually with her door shut. Works for me.

Also, she’s been wearing those pajamas since Monday evening. She even wore them to swimming lessons. That’s how we roll. 

The big chop.

Last week Ivy asked if she could go get a haircut. She wanted to chop all her hair off. She’s been asking to cut her long hair off and on for a good year so I decided to just go with it. It’s her hair, after all, and if she wants it short, she should be able to have it short. We discussed the pros (less brushing, less tangles) and cons (no braids, no ponytails, it will take a long time to grow back) and she was still adamant about cutting it. So we booked her in for a cut.

First she had to let me take pictures of her beautiful long hair though.

IMG_5793

Ahhh! It’s so thick and long and healthy! Her hair is really amazing- I just love it.

But honestly she hated having it brushed- it was a fight every single time; and she refused to wear braids or ponytails most of the time, so why not cut it I guess.

It was long enough that she could donate her hair, so that was a nice perk.

And, of course, she looks adorable.

IMG_4352

It’s been over a week now and she’s had no regrets. She loves her haircut. I love it too, although I miss that crazy long hair too!

And now someone else who needs it more can have that lovely hair for their head.

IMG_5803

I lied- her one regret is that she didn’t keep her braids to play with at home. ­čśë

IMG_5800

Ivy :: 5

Ivy is five today! Holy smokes you guys- the last five years went so crazy fast. I just can’t believe my last little baby is a full-on kid now. Not gonna lie, lots of feels about that. She’s a really great kid though, so I’ll be ok.

Oh Ivy, I just love you so freaking much!

img_4053

You are such a fun kid, always up for any adventure. You’ll tackle any hike, try any new sport, and throw yourself right in on a royal rumble with your big brothers. If it looks fun, you’re up for trying it.

You love animals. Pretty much all animals, although soft and cuddly is your favorite. Cats are your life. I think if we got you a cat all of your dreams would come true and your life would be complete. But even though you love soft and cuddly, you also love catching frogs and snakes, and you love playing with our bearded dragon. You give him baths and take him for walks in your doll stroller sometime. Right now you want to be a vet when you grow up, and I think it could be a good fit for you!

You love playing. You play all day long with your Lego, your Shopkins, your dollhouse, whatever. You like hauling all the millions of small things you own out into the middle of the floor by the kitchen and playing there. That way you’re not alone. You keep yourself busy and you love being at home with your stuff. Yesterday morning you asked me, “Mom, are we staying home alllll day today?” And when I answered yes you said, “Oh good! I just love being at home with you.” I love being at home with you too babe! We have such nice days together. And even when we do have to go run errands, you’re always a good sport, always patient and helpful, even when we’d both rather be at home.

You’re such a good sister and daughter. You get along really well with all of your brothers, even Oliver, FINALLY! You play with them all the time, whatever they’re playing. You have no problem watching Star Wars or superhero movies, or wrestling, biking over jumps, imagining you’re a bad guy, whatever. You get right in there and play with anyone. You hardly ever get to play anything “girly”- so you love it when your cousins come over. You love those girls so much!

img_6486img_3174

You’re polite and kind but also so crazy and weird sometimes. I love that about you. You tell fart jokes as well as any of your brothers but you still love dressing up all fancy once and awhile. You’ll accessorize to the nines or hang around in your brother’s old sweatpants. You love lip syncing. I haven’t heard you sing in years since you discovered lip syncing. Even if I’m singing in the van you ask me to “just move your mouth but don’t let any sound out, Mom.” You love music and you know what your favorite songs are. You’re pretty much the boss of the radio in the van.

img_1462

DCIM100GOPRO

img_9237

Even though you’re mostly a really sweet girl, you are also very strong willed and have no problem saying NO to me and Dad if we ask you to do something. If you don’t want to do something, you’re pretty resolute in your decision not to do it. If you decide you don’t like what I cooked there’s pretty much nothing I can do about it. Once you’ve decided something, you are sticking to that decision for life apparently.

img_3583

Your favorite foods are KD, spaghetti, sushi, and hamburgers. You asked for KD for your birthday breakfast. We had birthday pancakes with sprinkles instead. Grammy took you to “King Burger” for your annual birthday date last night. Almost every time we’re in Winnipeg you’re also of a sudden hungry for a “buhger”. We go through drive-thrus more often than I’m comfortable admitting. I can’t say no to your face and you know it.

You still love sleeping. You already when back to bed for a rest once this morning. (You were up so early today- SOOOO excited for your birthday!) You would take a nap every day if I let you, and if you ever catch me dozing on the couch, you’re like, “I’m gonna have a nap too Mom!!” You literally love napping. Like your Mama. I love your little sleep-loving self so much.

I just feel so lucky I get to be your Mom, Ivy. I love all the time we get to spend together. I’m excited to watch a girly movie with you today and to go out for sushi at a real restaurant instead of just Superstore. You’re a true gift to me Ivy and I love you so very much. Happy 5th birthday Baby.

img_4115

ps: when Seth, Ben, and Oliver turned five. Apparently I didn’t write anything meaningful when Seth turned five. Sorry buddy. I’m sure you were a great kid then. ­čÖé

First Day of School //2016-17

Okay so I posted like one time over the summer and now it’s ever-so-suddenly fall. What even just happened? Blink. It’s over. Sigh.

Today the kids went back to school. First grade for Oliver, third for Ben, and fifth for Seth.

img_8204

Oh Oliver, how can you be in grade one already? I miss you already, so much. I thought of you so often today, and I’m feeling sad about you going to school again tomorrow already! I’m so happy you had such a great first day, though. I loved seeing your big smiling face in line with your new classmates, waiting to follow your new teacher in for a brand new year. I got choked up saying good-bye to you, just like I’m choked up again just writing about it. I just love you so much buddy. I love the kid that you are, and I know your class will too.You’re so friendly, kind of quirky, and really fun. I took these pictures half an hour before the bus was due to arrive, and you wouldn’t even come back inside afterwards- you just wanted to wait outside and be ready. You were laying on the driveway using your backpack as a pillow waiting for the rest of us, which made us all smile.

img_8206

Benji, I’m so glad you had such a great day too! I’m so glad it wasn’t nearly as scary as you thought it would be, and I’m really so glad you liked your teacher too. I’m happy you had so much fun at recess playing soccer with your friends, and I’m glad you were so hungry that you ate your whole lunch up. It makes me feel like the nervousness that left you with no appetite for breakfast was gone, and that makes me happy. I hate it when you’re anxious about things, but I’m always proud that you know what you’re feeling and are able to acknowledge it as normal and okay. Those times when you tell me your tummy feels funny and that you’re nervous, and then we can pray about it together- I’m just happy we can do that, and that you can tell me those things. I’m really excited for you to have such a great year. You’re starting to know more and more who you are, and who you are is seriously just so fun. You’re very into clothes lately┬áand are developing your very own sense of style. It’s kind of weird, and I like it. You love knee high socks these days, and when I bought you new underwear you were so excited it might as well have been Christmas. Those kind of things make you who you are and I just love it!

img_8208

Aw man, Seth. Why are you so grown up already? Last year of elementary school! You’re the oldest kids in the school now and I know you’re excited about that. I know you were nervous about having a teacher with a reputation for being very strict, and I’m really glad you liked her so much. I know you’ll have no problem at all with a teacher who demands the best from her students. You ARE a student.You love learning! You always work independently and do your best, and I know you’re gonna ace grade five just like every other grade. I’m excited to see how you get involved with patrolling or volunteering in other areas of the school this year. I know the younger kids really look up to you, and I know you’re an excellent role model for them. Oliver told you yesterday that you were his favorite patrol, and your face beamed so big. It made me so proud, and so happy. I’m so happy that the rest of my kids have you as their big brother. I know you’re always gonna look out for them and have their backs.

img_8207

So here we go! Cheers to another amazing school year ahead of us; to learning, to laughing, to making friends, and to being kind! I love you, kids, more than you’ll ever know.

Oliver :: Six.

Well, the littlest boy turned six last weekend. We celebrated on Saturday with his first-ever school friends birthday party. I was so excited to meet Oliver’s friends, and all of the rsvp’s were from moms telling me that their kids were sooooo excited to come to Oliver’s birthday party. One of the kids even tried to convince his mom that the party was earlier than it actually was. I told her to just bring him over early anyway if he was that excited, and so she did.

All Oliver wanted for his birthday was Minion stuff. Minion everything! And a candy table. He reallllly wanted a candy table. And he told allllll the kids at school he would have a candy table. I feel like this may have contributed to the overall excitement level with his friends. So we whipped together a super simple birthday party. A yellow cake with some minion toys on top, a minion tattoo station, pin the eye on the minion, and of course, a candy table. I even made some Minion eye photo props just for fun the morning of the party. We went to Bulk Barn and tried to pick yellow candies or candies that minions might like, and then I let the kids fill their own treat bags. Seth and Ben were really excited about Oliver’s party too, and took charge of things like the tattoos and some outside games. Neil and I pretty much sat around and watched while they ran the show. Pretty awesome.

It was a beautiful warm and sunny day out, so kids jumped on trampolines and played Ollie Ollie Octopus and kicked a soccer ball around. Nothing beats being able to play in the backyard for a birthday!

IMG_1624

Oliver had so much fun with his friends, and I think they had so much fun too. While they were eating cake, one of the kids said, “This is the best day of my life.” I mean, melt. This was the first year Oliver knew how to blow out candles, so that was exciting! Look at that sweet face!

It was such a great day celebrating our amazing kid. Happy birthday Oliver! We love you!

IMG_1730

Ben :: Eight.

Today Ben turns eight.

We celebrated yesterday with the most low-key birthday party ever. I think it cost me a total of like $25, including treat bags. For reals. We blew up a few balloons, but Ben didn’t want them hung up. He didn’t want any games either. He didn’t even want a cake! All he wanted was to hang out with his friends in the basement, and eat cinnamon buns. And so that is exactly what we did.

IMG_1170IMG_1216

Everyone had a great time, including me, since this party required basically zero effort besides making cinnamon buns and opening up a couple bags of chips.

Today we got up and fed Ben some birthday pancakes and then he opened up his birthday presents from us. Ben is really into cars lately, and so Seth got him a model car to build, and Oliver bought him a lego car. Oliver came up with that idea all by himself, because Ben loves Lego City, and he loves cars, he said, and made him a couple birthday cards, too. He was so excited to give his present to Ben this morning.

IMG_0719

Neil and I (and Ivy!) got Ben a snow skate, which is basically a skateboard with no wheels that still costs just as much as a regular skateboard. Ben was really really wanting one and he was very excited to get one, so it was all worth it. After a little lego building he was outside playing on it at 8 this morning, and he had the best time.

IMG_0733

Neil flew to Edmonton today for the week, so I took Ben for a date after school today. I took him to Toys R Us and Walmart to spend some birthday gift cards. He bought more cars mostly. Why are there toys as big as that Darth Vader? I don’t get it. Who has one of those? And why?

IMG_0755

We had such a great time together. One on one time is such an unusual occurrence in this family- it was a real treat to get to spend three solid hours with Benji. We went for supper at Five Guys because Ben loves “burgs” lately. Especially with cheese and bacon, obviously.

IMG_0763

It really was delicious. He made me smile because he commented on how “old” he felt, eating a burger covered in all kinds of toppings, because when he was little he’d only eat a plain hamburger with ketchup and nothing else. I had to agree with him; his burger taste has definitely matured. And so has his appetite. Holy smokes, we ate so much delicious burger.

After Five Guys we needed a food break so we went to play at the pet store for awhile. Ben still loves animals, and we had fun holding tiny furry things and narrowly escaping ferret teeth. Ben found a baby ball python to pet, and a little kitten to play with through the bars. After awhile he asked me if I was less full now, and when I said I was, we went for dessert. Ben ordered a root beer float and an order of mini donuts. After all that food we basically had to crawl to the van.

The picture Ben drew in the restaurant totally cracked me up. I mean, the forks and the knife! And the noses! One of the girls in Ben’s class told her mom that Ben was the best draw-er in the class, and that she was going to write books, and Ben was going to illustrated them. I think she might be onto something, because seriously, that picture. Later he added the server carrying food and water, and some restaurant decor, too. Obviously I tore this part of our “tablecloth” off and brought it home with me.

IMG_0780

I have to say, I was so proud of Ben in there. He has just turned into such a confident kid, and I’m actually amazed by it. Only a few short years ago Ben would have barely made eye contact if a server talked to him, but today he happily made conversation and then even wore a silly hat and stood on a bench proudly while the staff sang him happy birthday.

IMG_0784

I’m just in love with this kid and who he is. He’s just so full of life, with such a mischievous sense of humor, a good dose of wit, and a whole lot of love and compassion.┬áHe’s getting to be so confident in himself, and his personality is really shining through. I can just tell all the girls are going to fall in love with him, if they haven’t already. Sometimes he calls me babe, and smacks me on the butt when he walks by, and I have to say, I think it’s seriously hilarious. Mostly I’m just glad that he feels like he knows who he is and is comfortable enough to be himself, because he’s amazing.

Happy birthday Ben. Like you said, we took the food too far today, but other than that, it was the best night ever. I love you and I love spending time with you. Happy birthday baby.

IMG_0714

ps. I just read the post I wrote about Ben’s 7th birthday and I’m actually horrified by how much he’s changed and grown up since then. *ugly cry*