Monday, June 29, 2009

While my Sister Sleeps

I saw this book at the library and thought it would be a good novel to read (yes, I judged the book by it's cover). I didn't expect it to be such a thinker, but it was! Here's the authors summary...
At 27, Molly Snow is the youngest of three siblings. Feisty but hard-working, she has always been overshadowed by her older sister, Robin, an elite marathoner who is favored to shine at the upcoming Olympic trials. When Robin suffers a heart attack during a training run and fails to regain consciousness, her family is devastated.

As Molly's parents fold under the heartbreak and her brother retreats into the cool reserve that is threatening his marriage, Molly is the one left standing. By default, she is thrust into the role of family spokesperson, not only with friends and the media, but at Snow Hill, the family's hugely successful tree and plant nursery. More crucially, Molly becomes her sister's voice when Robin can' t speak for herself. In the process, she finds her own voice.

While My Sister Sleeps is more than a coming-of-age story. Taking place over six days, this novel explores a family in crisis, peeling away layers of relationships to expose one startling truth after another. Mother to daughter, sister to sister - it is a story of rising to a challenge and making hard decisions, then loving enough to let go.

I really enjoyed reading this book and pondering the issues raised, some of which are important to me, having seen these types of situations from the nurses perspective. Wills and living you have one? I am a firm believer that EVERYONE should have a living will (a personal health care directive for what you want done in case you can't express your desires and assigning someone to make the decisions for you that knows what you would want done). yes, I have one. Another issue raised, organ donation...did you know just because you check yes to being an organ donor on your ahc card, it is still up to your family to make the decision! make sure that they know what you want done (better yet, but it in your personal health care directive/living will).
This book helped me see the family side of things. So many times I don't understand why families have such a difficult time making decisions when the outcome seems so obvious (brain dead is brain dead, there's no coming back and no real quality of life). I hope that I've been a caring, understanding nurse in situations I've been in, and I hope that this eye opening book will help me even more the next time I am caring for someone's mother/father, sister/brother, friend.
I really think that you should all go to the library and read this book...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Father's Day

This is what we did for dad and grandpa's...

Monday, June 22, 2009

monday's list of things to do...

For anyone that knows me, you know that I make lists for EVERYTHING. It's the only way I can survive without forgetting wipes on an outing to the park, or someone's swimsuit on vacation, or milk on a trip to Safeway! well, I've got a list of things I need to do this week, and I thought if I posted the list it would make me more accountable. (and maybe I'll work on the list rather than spend my time on facebook). so, here goes...
sweep and mop the floor (sweeping could be done after every meal, but i aim to get it done at least once a day).
laundry (it nevers ends!)
dishes (another task that never ends, my goal is to have dishes done each night before i go to bed so i'm not having to do them every morning)
pay bills
clean off the table (it seems to pile up with everything...bills, flyers, hair clips, movies, pictures, leftover seeds, and anything else you can think of)
thank you notes
update simple moments website
get kids haircuts
return books/movies to the library (maybe even watch the movies i borrowed)

I'm sure there's more I need to do, but we'll see how long it takes me to get this done. For now, I'm going to have a shower while the kids are sleeping (can you believe that all 3 are sleeping at the same time????)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reading list

Here's just a list of some of the books I would like to read this summer...
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte(I'm reading this right now and we're discussing it in book club this week)
Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Stolen innocence by Elissa Wall
Any other suggestions? Ever read any of these? What did you think?

Flowers and vegetables

I've tried to plant a vegatable garden every year for the last 5 years. Some years are better than others. I've had to leave a few gardens behind when we've moved. In Okotoks we used a community garden plot. I've stuck to vegetables, because, if you know me at all, you know that I can kill flowers (any house plant) with out even trying. Last year, in an attempt to increase the "curb appeal" of our house (we were selling) I planted some flowers, and managed not to kill them! This year, in our new home, I inherited some perenials (are those the ones that you don't have to plant year after year? I never know). They grew all by themselves! It's nice to not have to worry about them (I'll have to look into what needs to be done in the fall so they keep coming back). I even planted a few annuals (the ones that need to be planted every spring?). and planted some strawberries too. We weren't sure if the garden plot would be great for this year (there were some trees blocking the sun), so we took advantage of an empty, irrigated field and planted peas, bean, tomatoes, onions and beets. Chris cut the trees down in our yard, and we ended up planting more vegetables in the backyard...potatoes, lettuce, carrots, zucchini, spaghetti squash, and some herbs. I'm excited for the harvest in the fall!

I don't know what these are, but they're pretty.

pretty sure this is one of my zucchini plants.

Garden butterfly.

these look like pansies, they came up all by themselves (I always thought pansies had to be planted year after year).

my strawberries are already blooming. i love strawberries!

I really don't know if this is a flower or a weed, but it's cool!

peonies (i've got one with a pink tinge on my table, beautiful!). these were covered with ants and my mom told me that they need the ants to bloom. i looked it up online, and that's not true (but many people believe that).


Pansies that I did plant.

I can't remember what they're called, but i planted purple and white ones.

Iris'. they weren't blooming when i took this picture, but I love when they are blooming.

orange pansies. ryker picked these ones (his favorite colour is orange)

my garden girls. kayla loves to play in the dirt (mostly she eats it)

blake is happy to sleep in the sun! (for now)

I'll try to remember to post pictures of the vegetables as they grow.


So, this past weekend we decided (Friday morning) to go camping...that means, Chris goes to work and leaves me with 3 kids, piles of laundry, and an unorganized storage room (the black hole for stuff we had nowhere else to put). Because Chris gets off work at 3:30, we figured we could get wherever we were going at a decent time...we finally left Taber at 6pm! We had planned on going to Waterton, but it would have been WAY late by the time we got there, so, instead we called to make a last minute reservation at the Michel Family Campground. We set up camp in my parents yard and had a great time. We roasted marshmallows for s'mores on Friday night and enjoyed a sun filled Saturday with Lola and Grandpa Wally. Auntie Shelsea, Kenyon, and Tayvee even stopped by on Saturday to play! It was a great way to start the camping season, now that we've got everything found and organized we can actually make it to our destination the next time.

Grandpa even helped set up the tent.

Kayla got a new hat

Ryker loves his Diego bed.

Blake kept warm all night.

Kayla had a rough night, and fell asleep before we got to the end of the driveway when we went for a walk by the creek.

Friday, June 5, 2009

book review

At our book club a few months ago, rather than discussing a book, we all brought books that we had read and really enjoyed. I loved this discussion and seeing the kinds of books that everyone has read and recommended. It's always nice to get another perspective and read a book you would have never thought to pick up otherwise. The only problem with this was that I came home with a list of 30+ books that I wanted to read. I ended up buying about 6 books that week, not all of which were on my list, but that caught my attention while I was looking for other books. I know, I could just go to the library, and I do, but I LOVE books and love having them in my home to read again and again. I did get some books out of the library...I love being able to look them up online, put them on hold, and pick them up when I take the kids to get their books (ever try looking for a book with 3 little kids running around??)
I read 3 books (a series) by Deborah Ellis. The lady that recommended them was reading them because her grandchildren are reading them in school. That said, they are junior fiction, and a very simple read. Simple read does not mean simple content...

The first in the series is the Breadwinner. All the books are based in Afganistan after the Taliban took over, they deal with how children survive, girls especially. the Breadwinner is about Parvana. "One day, Parvana's father is arrested by the Taliban -- the extreme religious faction that controls Afghanistan -- and the family is left without anyone to earn money and shop for food. Forbidden to work as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy to save her family. The Breadwinner is a novel about loyalty, survival, families and friendship under extraordinary circumstances."

Parvana's Journey is about Parvana's search for her family after they are seperated. "Her father has just died and she has no idea where her mother and siblings are. As she crosses through the wilderness she bands together with other children and they all try to take care of each other as they search for her family."

Mud City is about Parvana's friend, Shauzia, and her quest to flee Afganistan and go to France. "We find fourteen year old Shauzia and her dog Jasper in a refugee camp in Pakistan having left her miserable life in Kabul, Afghanistan behind. She carries with her a magazine cutout of a field of lavender flowers and dreams of one day visiting France and seeing the ocean. She decides that the only way to make her dream come true is to leave the refugee camp and instead earn money on the streets. Living on the streets is dangerous, scary, adventurous, and she even spends a night at the local jail. She discovers that navigating her way through a country full of Afghan refugees is not easy and that her dream of escaping her miserable life may well be out of her hands."

I really enjoyed these books. They opened my eyes to some of the situations that the children in Afganistan find themselves in every day. I would recommend these books to anyone. It made me appreciate the quality of life that I have and the blessings I enjoy each day in a free country. I think that books like these are important for our children to read, they need to understand that life is not the same for all children around the world.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer begins

I love the warm weather, after being inside most of the winter it's nice to be able to get outside every day (without bundling all the kids up).
Shelsea and her kids were down for the Cardston 1/2 marathon (go Shelsea and Mom), so we had a picnic at Henderson. For the past 6 months my sister, Cassidy, has been wanting to take Kayla to get her ears pierced, but can't seem to find someone that will do it...finally they decided to get them done that day. Shelsea found a cute set of studs, and they pierced them at the park! Kayla did really good, she cried when they did it, but was playing just a few minutes later. They look really cute, she looks like a little girl now, not my baby anymore!
We took some pictures in the park and had a great afternoon visiting...