Kiddle Family - November 2012

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

2011 May Long Weekend in Radium - Part 1

It's become an annual family tradition. To go camping together over the May Long Weekend in Radium.
It's something we've really come to look forward to. We've missed the last 2 years due to dance competitions being over that weekend, so we were quite happy to find that that wasn't going to be the issue this year. My kids were thrilled!
This year we were missing a few members of our family, but there were still 23 of us.... in 5 different sites. We camped in our usual, favorite campground.... Dry Gulch.

Anyways, here's some pictures of our weekend away.

Grandpa (my Dad) seems to always bring a new flashlight for each of the grandkids. My kids love it! This year, Grandpa surprised the kids with large flashlights for each of them.

One of my nephews brought his skateboard. The kids liked to sit on it and roll down the hill. Except, they'd get going down so fast and it was so unsafe, so after a day of it, I banned my kids from using it any more. It was just an accident waiting to happen.

Even my 98 year old Grandma came camping with us for the weekend. Oh, I love Grandma. She cracks me up! She wore a bright pink suit (you can see the pants in this picture) for not one, not two, not three.... but 5 days in a row!! You could spot Grandma a mile away with that pink outfit!
Funny story (okay, there's a few, but here's one)...... Dad was driving out to Radium, when Grandma asks "Are we on Indian land?" They were driving through Morley. My Dad replies "Yes we are". Grandma says "They've got a lot of animals out there!" Dad looks around..... all he sees is a big open area and lots of bushes. Mmmmhmmmm.

Saturday was beautiful outside! I had decided it would be nice to go for a walk and take the family to the Wilmer Bird Sanctuary closeby. We first went there last year, when we went looking for some geocaches in the area. It's so pretty there, I wanted to share this location with everyone else....Love the views here!! It's called the Wilmer Bird Sanctuary, yet I don't think we saw a single bird. Not that it matters.

Not that you can see it here very good, but our group split and you can see some of them up on the top ridge and some at the bottom of the cliffs.
EWWW! Who left this in the middle of the trail?? There was another leg elsewhere and some other bodyparts and fur somewhere else. Yuck!

Around camp, the kids love to play games and play together. Here's a couple shots I got of them hanging out together....

Monday, 16 May 2011

A 5 year old's drawing

Normally on Sundays, we have a big backpack full of coloring books and feltpens and other quiet activities for the kids to do. But, with Cam away this week, I wasn't about to carry my RS bag and the backpack around, so instead I grabbed a few of the "Friend" magazines and one feltpen bag to share and threw them in my bag.

I heard a few complaints, but not much. The girls each picked a Friend to look through. Matthew was the only one I brought an actual coloring book for, but when he saw his sisters, he asked for a Friend of his own.

Matthew quietly flipped through the magazine, looking for an activity that he's like to do. Finally, he stopped on this page....

And announced to me "this is the activity I'm going to do!"
I'm thinking, there is nothing to do, but whatever. We'll see what he does with this.
Matthew then proceeded to find a loose blank piece of paper and started to draw a picture like one that he saw on that page. A temple picture that a 9 year old had drawn. Can you see it? On the left? Okay, here's a closer picture of the one Matthew liked in the Friend....

As Matthew worked on his picture, I was surprised to see the patience he showed in trying to make it just like the one in the magazine. He studied each color and shape and I was A.M.A.Z.E.D. Here's Matthew's picture.......

With how close he could get his picture to look like the other, I'm thinking that next time, I should convince him to look off a real picture cause I'm sure he could make something really special!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Yet Another Missionary Cake

It's been a busy day.
Cam's gone again. This time he's off to a conference in Prague.
Today I've been running about taking girls to dance lessons, dropping off and picking up at birthday parties and a playdate for those who are home. I was fearful as to whether my kids would cooperate in my quiet time, to allow me to decorate a cake for a good friend. I love to decorate cakes, but I don't like to do it when kids harass me while doing so. Thankfully, no one demanded stuff of me while I worked on it. Yay!

I've seen pictures of cakes like this online. There's several versions of it from many people, so I can't give credit to any one person. I was originally going to do this cake idea for my nephew back in February. But, when I had the idea for something completely unique and original, this cake idea got put away. I still wanted to try it though. So, when my friend said that she was super busy with all that she needed to do for her son's mission farewell, I was more than happy to make her a cake. She told me she wanted something very simple. I told her to "never mind what I'm going to do.... I'll make something nice for you." After all, I don't really like to bake, in fact, I don't even like to cover a cake simply with buttercream usually. I like to make cakes that look nice. It's a way of expressing some of the creativity I have and let out my inner artist in me. Lastly, I have to say that this cake was surprisingly a bigger challenge than I thought. I couldn't quite figure out how to make it all 3D and look decent. Let's just say that I started to do it one way, started to make a mess of it and started over again. It was a good experience.

Okay, enough of my babble. Here's some pictures.....

I wish Tyler all the best as he prepares to leave on his mission soon. He's going to be a fabulous missionary!!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Cake, Dance and Parking Frustrations

It's been a crazy day.

This morning after seeing Cam and the twins leave for the day, I started working on a shoe box cake. You've seen the fondant shoe.... now you get to see the finished, complete cake.....

Inside the shoe box is some yummy strawberry goodness. Vanilla/Strawberry cake and a homemade strawberry filling between layers. One of my favorite cakes. Mmmmmmm.

Making this cake (shoebox), I tried a couple new things. First off, the sides of the box were constructed with 4 fondant panels vs. one big sheet that I normally do. The benefit of doing that, is that I could get perfectly squared corners. Just what you'd expect from a box, right. Plus, the lid was done a little differently too, just so the corners were sharp too. I thought it turned out good. I made the box and then I just couldn't figure out what I needed to do... it was lacking something. I thought about painting on a shoe name brand or something, but I couldn't decide on a brand or how I'd like to do it. Then I thought about adding a ribbon and bow across the box, but decided it would take the focus off the shoe. Then, finally the thought came to do something like hand painted swirls. Okay, I first thought I could use one of my rubber stamps and use food coloring instead of ink, but it didn't look good. So in the end, I hand painted it on and just looked at the stamp for reference. It was the perfect solution to filling in some empty space on a plain box.

I finished the cake in time and then it was onto my next focus of the day.... dance. Abigail was doing her group tap number today.... rain. I thought they did better today than they did a couple weeks ago at their last competition. They received Silver. Way to go Abigail!!!
I managed to grab a few photos of her today.....

Then it was time to leave the competition. I parked in the parkade at City Hall. I always park there.... always in, I park there once a year, each year for dance competition. This is where my parking frustrations come in. I was confused. Confused when I arrived because the parkade had changed and I no longer had to get a ticket when I first entered the parkade (in the past, I get a ticket, keep it with me and pay when I leave. Very simple). There were plenty of signs that said I needed my license plate number for when I was to pay. Okay. But, no other specific details. We go to dance, we go to leave. I go to the usual pay station, enter my plate number and my visa, only to find out that I was supposed to have done this before, when we first got there, and I was to do the annoying "guess how long you'll be" type of payment. Oops! So, I'm standing there wondering what I'm supposed to do. The station automatically enters a half hour and you're to enter more time.... but I'm confused. Next thing I know (I guess I was standing there too long), it says thanks for you payment, print a reciept? What?? Okay, so now I've really screwed things up cause we were there for 3 hrs. So, I press the help button. I explain to the voice (can I say how much I hate that there isn't a real person to talk to in person) and I tell him everything. He proceeds to tell me that I've probably already got a ticket cause they have one of those camera trucks that go through the parkade occasionally. So, now what? He tells me to go and take the little half hour stub, hold onto it and maybe I can dispute a ticket later. Nice. So, I'm frustrated beyond what I can handle and the tears flow (tell me I'm not the only one who cries when I get frustrated....)
So, we'll see what happens. And now I'm stuck knowing I must go back downtown for 2 more days and I don't want to park there any more. And I hate not knowing where to park. Grrrrr. The frustrations will continue beyond today. Boo.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

New Shoe

This is my new shoe.

What do you think?? Pretty cute, huh?

I hate shoe shopping and one day I came across some in the clearance section at Walmart. I bought them, especially since they only cost me $3. They're cute, as far as shoes go.... and I think that's saying a lot coming from a non-shoe lover. Now, on the other hand, there are some people that love shoes. Obviously, I'm not one of them. And I'm always surprised when I get a comment like "Oh, cute shoes!" I can honestly say, I never look at people's shoes.

Anyways..... my shoe......

I think this is one of my favorite new shoes. Why?? Because it's edible. But, you've probably already guessed that. Especially since it's positioned so nicely on my nice big foam block (because there's part of a wooden skewer in the heel).

I've seen pictures of shoes online.... shoes made from fondant. I look at them and think "I can totally do that... and make it as good as anyone else could." And so, after watching a little tutorial (most techniques I ended up not using, but it gave me good ideas) and looking at a website from another Calgarian baker, I decided to give it a shot. I think it's pretty good. Especially for a first time. I even painted it with edible silver luster dust. Love the sparkle of it in the sunlight.

Next week, I'm going to make a cake. A shoe box (using many new techniques to me) and I'll position the shoe on top. In my head, it looks fabulous. I hope it turns out like it looks in my head. So, stay tuned. I'll post pictures when I make it.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Calgary Cache and Release Spring 2011

We had a day full of geocaching yesterday, as the Calgary Cache and Release - Spring 2011 (CCARS11) began. CCARS11 is a full 24 hour marathon for some people, but we're only participating on the Saturday.

Our first event was a CITO (Cache In, Trash Out). We went to the Munroe Park and met up with about 50+ other people as we all cleaned up the park. Even the kids enjoyed picking up the trash for a little bit and using the pokey sticks that the city supplied. After finishing cleaning up, they took a group picture (I'll see if I can find a copy, if someone posts it online), and then they gave out door prizes. Lucky for us, we won our first Geocoin. It's a pretty one. Here's some pictures of it....

The CITO event ended just before 11:30, we found the two caches that were in the park, and then we were off to find our first cache released specifically for CCARS11. We picked on one our way home. This one is about 10m from the Bow Valley Chapel parking lot. Sweet. When we arrived there, there was no one else there, so that was very lucky for us. Part of the rules for CCARS11 is that you can not log a cache until after 12pm on Saturday. So, we waited a few minutes, looked for the cache (which we found very quickly) and then waited to open it until it was time.
Now, given who hid this particular cache, we knew it probably seemed a little too easy to find it so quickly under a pile of sticks and leaves. Plus, the cache had been given a difficulty rating of 3 out of 5, so something was up. Sure enough, I open it up and discover that the large ammo can is filled with about 15 smaller containers. I open one up, and it's empty except for a little note that says "This is not even remotely close to the log book. Sorry." Okay. So, I open another, and it says exactly the same thing. "Sorry". Boo. And so it went on. Now, for those of you who are not very familiar with geocaching, part of the rules are is that you MUST sign the log book to get credit for it. Now I know, the 3 star difficulty rating is because I must find the LOGBOOK, not the actual CACHE. Sneaky! I won't tell any more details of where the log book was found, but I will say that it took me a whole 20 minutes to find!!! Just as I signed the book, another group of cachers arrive and I scramble to put it all back together and replace it the way I found it. I won't be forgetting that one any time soon. Plus, I also got my first "First To Find" (FTF)..... which is highly coveted in the geocaching community.... and geocachers quite often will race to be the first to claim a FTF on a new cache. So, it was nice to finally get my first FTF.

We found several others in the afternoon with the girls, while Matthew was at a birthday party.

Then, after supper, the grandparents came over to watch the kids while Cam and I have a cheap date night and go find some new geocaches. This time, I remembered to bring a camera!!!
It seems that most of the ones released specifically for CAR, are a little more unique and fun to find.

Here are a few that stood out.......

This one was exactly what we were expecting. It said that we were to bring at least 2L of water with us when we were to find it. I've never found one of this type before, so it's nice to find something new, though I have heard of ones like this.
Pour the water in..... and the cache will float up to the top where we can get it and then the water drains out the bottom for the next person to find.

This cache was fun. Not many places someone could hide this Canada Day themed cache.
Good thing Cam was there cause it would have taken me a lot longer to realize you could take the bolt out of the bottom and lift it up. Phew! It was heavy too!

This one was a Christmas themed cache. Someone decorated this one up nice. And wholey! It was heavy!! It had the most swag ever! (FYI, swag is tradable items in caches. I don't trade, but my kids love to!)

This one might have been my favorite of the night. I love how bold and in your face some of his caches are. He must have great connections to do something like this......
And FYI, there are NO geocaching stores in the mall. Here's a close up..... and this was just the first waypoint and not the actual geocache....

Okay, another cache. Love how this one is in plain sight. And FYI, this was on the side of the road and no, there's no bus stop there. So random. I love it.
Okay, where's the log book to sign.....

Here's Cam driving. Like the covers we have for our side mirrors? Lots of people out yesterday had them. Just adds to the fun. Oh, the things Cam has to put up with.....

It was a great day. So much fun. We found a total of 20 geocaches yesterday.... a record for us! Our previous record for most caches in one day was only 8.... so yesterday totally quashed it.

So, has any of these pictures piqued your interesting in geocaching?? If you ever want to go... I'm always willing to have someone join me!!