Friday, December 24, 2010


If Kenny has a favorite activity while visiting his Auntie Afton on Mondays it's playing chess. For a 4-year-old he's pretty good. Afton makes him follow the rules and he even "wins" sometimes. We do not own a chess board and have no intention of getting one. It's simply not as fun to have one at home.

Yesterday, while doing my Christmas cleaning, I found a small fake tree. This tree instantly became a chess piece which the boys moved around the surface of a hard covered book. The further they got into their game the more it became Kenny's only piece and Alex was imagining all of his pieces.

As I sat watching them play Alex reached beside the book and picked up one of his imaginary pieces and proceeds to place it on the board causing Kenny to shout. "No Alex you can't do that! Alex put it back! That one's dead already! Alex!" So Alex removed the errant piece off of the board.

Oh to have that kind of imagination that you even respond to the other persons pretends.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Approaches

I read Mary's blog today, and figured I should do my own Christmas post.  She did a great job describing the nostalgia of my Christmas childhood (she and I are less than two years apart in age, so our childhood Christmas experiences are basically identical), so if you want more details on that, visit her blog by following the link I provided on her name.

On one of my days off near the end of November, while Avril was at work, I pulled the Christmas decorations out of the storage room.  The boys were pleased and helped me set out the decorations.  Our nicest decoration I would have to say is our bronze tea light nativity set.
Since we've been married, I've been gradually trying to get Avril to be okay with an artificial tree.  Don't get me wrong; I love real Christmas trees.  It's just that the fuss of getting them perfectly into the tree stand, keeping them watered, and constantly cleaning up the needles gets tiresome.  Last year, while I was working in Edmonton, Avril's parents bought us a Christmas tree.  It was a nice tree, but it wasn't a Nova Scotia spruce, which is what I usually buy, and Avril had an allergic reaction to it.  So she was much more willing to get an artificial tree.  So, again while she was at work and I was home with the kids, I went out and bought an artificial tree.  I set it up and put the lights on it, and waited until later in the evening to put the rest of the decorations on it.  The boys gladly helped, and Avril came home (later than I expected, which is why we started without her) and helped us finish.

Like Mary, I inherited some old decorations from Mum to add to my own tree.  Among my favourites are the first egg with my name on it:
...and the egg with my six-year-old face in it:
Unfortunately, there was a casualty this year.  I unwrapped the ceramic toy soldier I painted when I was 12 and found it cracked.
I plan on gluing it together again, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Hannah's favourite decoration is anything she can reach.
We have to block off the tree so that she can't wreak havoc on the tree, the decorations, and the presents beneath it.  She's wily, though, so we have to watch her like a hawk when she's in the living room.

Besides decorating, we're always sure to do some baking during the holidays.  Aside from homemade marshmallows, my favourite Christmas baked good growing up was sour cream cookies, and I try to make them at least once every December.  The boys always insist on helping, which is fine by me.
I have pretty good baking skills, especially for a dude, but I can't decorate worth crap.  Remember the cake I made myself for my 32nd birthday?  That's what happens when I mess with icing.  So when it came to decorating the cookies, I let Avril take the lead.

Avril brought with her some of her own Christmas traditions, including making chocolates.  One evening while I was at work, she and the boys melted some chocolate and poured it into little paper cups with peanuts, walnuts, raisins, and Skor bits.
So we've done some baking, we've decorated, and we've finished buying our Christmas presents.  Now we just get to sit back, listen to Christmas music, and wait for Christmas.

Also, just because, look at how pretty my little girl's eyes are:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Busy Week

Last Monday, I started working again, part-time, as a legal secretary. Mike and I work mostly opposite days and shifts so one of us is almost always with the kids. On Monday afternoons we overlap and my sister Afton watches the kids for us. We are very grateful for all she does and that everything seems to be working in our favor for once.

On Tuesday night we got a call from Edmonton from some of my in-laws. The family adult Christmas party was the coming weekend and we were not planning on attending. They offered to bear our costs, the reason we were not attending, so that we could come. So my already stressful weeks was intensified.

We left Friday when I finished work. The Chinook wind had melted the roads nicely during the day, but once night fell it froze the highways. It took me 45 minutes to get home. Then it took us an hour to get from home to highway 2 (usually a 20 minute drive). Once we got to the #2, the roads were fine.

This kids slept most of the way up, which was a blessing and a curse. We got to Sara and Quincey's house just after midnight with some well rested children. 2 hours later we finally got everyone to sleep. Kenny still woke up at 6:30 in the morning. Thank goodness Auntie Sara was up with her baby so we didn't have to get up with him.

Hannah got to meet her baby cousins. She's the oldest of this years batch, but somehow seems to be the smallest.

6 month old Tate with 8 month old Hannah

4 month old Quinn

Kenny and I crashed a bit in the early afternoon.

Alex and Eloise playing 'together'

Kenny exercising while Max plays video games.

The kids had so much fun with their cousins and were very sad to leave. It was really nice to see everyone. I hope we can make it up again soon.

Snow, Snow, Snow

I finally remembered to take the camera out while playing in the snow. The boys have so much fun out there. Alex doesn't have a proper snowsuit so he doesn't last as long as Kenny, but he still has a lot of fun.
Kenny and Alex bundled up for their first outing into the snow.

Alex with a snow encrusted toy.

Kenny decided to dig out the big snow drift.

The wind that day covered the shoveled walk withing minutes of shoveling.

Snow blowing in Alex's face. This ultimately caused him to retreat to the house.

This is how I found Kenny after delivering Alex in to the warmth of the house. Mmm Snow. We didn't last too much longer than this.

A Growing Girl

Hannah's 8 months old as of this last weekend. She still ways in light and is very petite, but that brings it's own set of adventures. She still isn't crawling, but for almost 2 months now she's been very mobile. She pulls herself around to where ever she wants to go. About two weeks ago she learned a new trick.

She can sit up on her own now. So she'll drag herself to where she wants to be and sit up. She is extremely happy about it. On Thursday of last week she surprised us again by doing this...

She pulls herself up on anything she can now. She's two month ahead of the boys on this. As a light weight her muscles have the strength to do this.

And just for fun here are some pictures of the boys boxing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spiders and Other Hallowe'en Fun

The week before Hallowe'en we borrowed some spider decorations from my mother (picture below). All week the boys would grab it and wrestle with the "Big Spider Boss".

On Hallowe'en night after we had gone out and got sugared up we were winding down with a movie. Before we started I sent Kenny to the bathroom. As he started to wash his hands he started screaming. My initial thought was that the water was too warm (he will only wash his hands in cold water) so I went the the bathroom to rescue him as he continued to scream.

Turns out a small spider had crawled out of the drain and Kenny was cowering beside the bathtub. I guess wrestling with a fake spider that is the same size as you just isn't the same as facing down the real thing even if it is smaller than your thumbnail.

On a lighter note here as some pictures of our Hallowe'en fun for those of you who didn't see it on Facebook.

We carved up some pumpkins on Friday night. They later became delicious pumpkin pie.

The kids dressed in theme this year. Above we have Luigi (Kenny) holding Princess Peach (Hannah) and below we have Mario (Alex) who is very proud of his gloves.

Our Ward had a Trunk or Treat on Saturday night but we still managed to get half way around the block on Sunday.

Monday morning Hannah stole Daddy's sucker and had a taste for herself. She wasn't too happy about us taking the sucker away though.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Helping Hands

Ever feel like your assistant is more of a hindrance and an aid. Here are some of the helping hands around our house.

Alex helping Mike install a baby gate.

Hannah investigating the dish washer.

The camera was missing while the boys were helping me bake yesterday. Now there's a job they can actually help with.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Memories of the '80s

In an attempt to get me blogging more often, I've decided that once a week I'll post a fond or funny childhood memory.  The first one is from 1983 when we were living in Fall River, Nova Scotia.  I'm not sure what brought this memory back to me, but I was thinking about it this morning as I drove home from Lethbridge.  My best friend in Fall River was a boy named Michael Fiander.  He came over to play one day, and for some reason there were a bunch of styrofoam pieces around the house.  We, of course, used them as swords and beat each other with them mercilessly.  It made a horrible mess, and when Dad discovered it, he told me that if it wasn't cleaned up by suppertime, I was getting a spanking.  Not just any old spanking, either.  It would be a BARE-BUM spanking!

Suppertime rolled around, and I hadn't touched the tiny bits of styrofoam scattered around the basement.  I ate supper quickly, and left the table as soon as I was done.  I ran to my room and hid under the bed.  I was under there for quite some time.  I didn't fall asleep, but I waited around with the patience of a child fearing his father's hard hand.  After a while, the family wondered where I was.  I listened to my mother and sisters looking for me around the house, and eventually going outside and calling for me.  I refused to leave my hiding place.  Eventually, someone thought to look under the bed, where they assumed I had fallen asleep.  I let everyone believe that I had been napping rather than hiding.  Everyone seemed so relieved to see me that the promised spanking was forgotten, and I was given a treat.

So, kids, if you're ever in trouble, disappear for a while so that everyone will miss you too much to be mad at you.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Week of Thanksgiving

I'd like to recount the things I'm thankful for from this past week. We've had a rough year and looking back there isn't much to be overly thankful for, but If I look at a small enough period of time there is much to be thankful for.

Mike lets me sleep in, or rather go back to sleep, most morning after waking up with the baby twice a night. He also lets me escape the house alone at least once a week and cooks supper at least every other day.

Kenny picks me flowers. The only kind he can find.

Alex has an annoying dependence on chocolate milk, but he is so cute about it. He asks for "chocat milk" at least 10 times a day and is always grateful once he receives it.

I love my boys.

I also love my girl.

Hannah is such a happy baby. She may keep me up at night and demand to be held half the day, but she always has a smile for me. She's pulling herself around now in an attempt to crawl and she sat for the first time unaided on Saturday.

I love my house. My sister has lent me hours of entertainment and is always there to talk when I need her. Mom and Dad are always willing to watch my kids if I need them to.

Thank you all.


Okay, first of all, this is Mike writing.  Secondly, I'm doing this at Mum's request.  Hope you find it interesting.

A - Age: 32 (Mum - 30 = my age)

B - Bed size: Queen

C - Chore you hate: Washing dishes

D - Dogs names: I had a dog for three weeks when I was 16, and I don't think the family ever really decided on a name before Dad gave him away.

E - Essential start your day item: Pants

F - Favorite colour: Blue and black

G - Gold or Silver: Gold, I guess.

H - Height: 5' 7 3/4"

I - Instruments you play: Guitar and bass guitar.  Poorly.

J - Job title: Senior Representative

K - Kids: Two boys and one girl

L - Living arrangements: Four bedroom duplex.

M - Mother's Name: Millicent Patricia (Pat)

N - Nicknames: Moike is the most prominent.

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Dehydration (three times) in the Philippines.

P - Pet Peeve: Southern Alberta drivers.

Q - Quote from a movie: "Of course I'm mad with power. Have you ever tried going mad without power? It's boring. Nobody listens to you."

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: one older brother, three older sisters, and two younger sisters.

T - Time you wake up: Between 6:30 and 9:00, depending on the kids.

U - Underwear: Mormony

V - Vegetable you dislike: Peas

W - What makes you run late: Kids

X - X-rays you've had: Teeth, wrists, head, chest, abdomen, heel.

Y - Yummy food you make: My cookies are legendary.  I also make a pretty mean black forest cake, and I'm quite fond of my simplified pepper steak.

Z - Zoo animal: Tiger

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Six Months

Big week in the MacKenzie house. Kenny has finally reached 40 lbs. and has since been begging for a new booster seat. He dislikes the fact that his car seat converts into one.

Alex and Hannah have both celebrated their half birthdays. I'm half way through those terrible twos again, yay!

Alex's language skills are coming along. He's a parrot most days. Unlike most two-year-olds "no" is not his favorite word. He says neither "no" nor "yes" instead he growls "don't want to" or smiles and gets all excited. He is a rough and tumble kid who can't help getting hurt every five minutes.

Hannah received the glorious gift of a needle for her half birthday and boy was she excited. She cried for maybe 30 seconds before stealing the toy from the health nurse and becoming her cheerful self once more. She weighed in at 16 lbs. 6 oz., a size which Kenny obtained by the four month mark. She is a sassy little thing who spends her time pulling herself across rooms after balls, exercising in her jolly jumper, and testing gravity from her high chair.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Anyone remember a couple of months ago when this happened?

This week we finally got our new floor. Rough as the boys are we decided to go with carpet because they will do it less damage than they will a laminate floor. It will also do our possessions a little less damage as Alex (and at times Kenny) has a habit of dropping things for no reason but to hear the thud.

Wednesday night we cleaned up the basement and Thursday morning we moved all the furniture into the office and the laundry room. The kids really enjoyed the empty rooms and the echo.

By the end of Thursday they hadn't quite finished the job leaving it looking like this. They couldn't come back until today so we packed the kids up and headed to my parent's house so that it wasn't a constant battle keeping the boys out of the basement. Never mind the fact the their bedroom was the least finished area.

This morning we rushed home so that they could finished the job. There is still a little work do be done at the entrance to the office, but they can't do that the it's empty.

We decided to take this opportunity to rearrange the furniture and get rid of some excess pieces we had. My mother and sister have some excess pieces of their own that I'll be taking off their hands in the next week so my house can be nice and comfortable again. Thanks gals.

So here is our new basement.