The Cutest Blog on the Block

Monday, November 29, 2010

Swimming with Dad - Thanksgiving

The starting line-up.

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

3 large dates
1/2 c white raisins
1 cup cashew nuts, soaked for 3-5 hours, then set out to dry (I didn't have enough so I added raw sunflower seeds to equal a cup.)
3/4 cup soaked pecans, soaked and dried

1/4 c maple syrup
1 1/3 cup oats
1 t vanilla
1 t butter (can omit this)
1 T raw honey or agave
Carob Chips

Blend fruit and nuts in a food processor until chunks are small. Then add the rest and blend. Can make into cookies and freeze for later.

This is one you can eat with reckless abandon on the couch without feeling badly - that is until the dates kick in and you're spending quality time in the nearest bathroom.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Primary Program Practice

Every ward has a kid who opts to sing an octive lower. Except they only go about 6 1/2 notes down and tend to sing a few decibels above everyone else. That kid makes the program complete.

Snow is flitting from the sky.

I don't know what flitting means, but neither do you, so I think it will work here just fine.

I think I have not stopped being cold since we entered Canada.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ottawa - Canada's Capitol

Glenn had meetings in Ottawa and the boys had a day off school so we the four of us tagged along.

While Glenn was in Meetings, the boys and I went to the Museum of Civilization, the War Museum and even killed some time in McDonalds Play Area where we met a nice woman who got their life histories of all the places they have lived.

The Children's Museum in the Museum of Civilization was fun for the boys. Stafford preferred the History of the Horse Exhibit in the adult section of the museum. We walked through it several times and he exclaimed at all the horses each time.

Porter and Warrick's favorite part was making clay sculptures.

Christian spent at least 30 minutes playing African drums in the African exhibit. There was an African-Canadian woman there teaching people and Christian got a few private lessons. He loved it. I have to admit that was one of my favorite parts of the museum too. She was soooo good. I love the rhythm.

Warrick on stage as "The Owl".

Arabian Knights and a highjacker.

The War Museum
Before we came Christian's teacher read a book about a bear in the war museum. A girl sent it to her dad while he was fighting in WWI. He died and they sent it to his family along with a note that his 7 yo son had written to him. War is so sad.

This bear didn't look as sad as the other.

I think the two highlights were seeing real soldiers and chasing each other around and between two columns. Notice Warrick squished in between the older boys.

On our way out of town we stopped by Parliament.

On our way to Ottawa, Glenn was amazed to see a sign that said, "Glen Small Road". It is one thing to have a sign with your first or last name, but both is unbelievable. We stopped on our way home to take a picture. Upon closer inspection...

I shouldn't have to break a sweat to get my can opener to work!

Our Toronto Beginnings

After reading Holly's blog. I have decided that a blog is a great way to keep the memories alive of raising a family. Thanks Hol, but please forgive me if I copy your format. Please say you won't be mad and will still sit by me at Pizza Factory when we re-unite. (Whenever that will be.)

This is an email I sent out after we arrive in Canada. I've added to it a bit.

I sit down to attempt to write what we have been doing lately. There are so many stories floating around in my head that I don't know which to speak of and which to leave out.

About 50 miles out of Springville our van/trailer fish-tailed. I don't think Glenn and I can quite explain the predicament we were in and exactly how crazy our van was swerving and screeching. Nor can we count how many times we switched lanes without signaling. We were both certain we were going to roll. When we were still. We sat in our van in the thick quiet of terror. ("the thick quiet of terror" That's quite poetic if I say so myself. I should write that down.) So we sit in "the thick quiet of terror". 50 miles down and 2250 to go. Glenn and I both were wondering how we could possibly make it. Every time we went over 60mph or went down hill, the dreaded swerving would begin. It was never to the extent as the first because practice makes perfect and Glenn got quite good at learning how to come out of a fish-tail. As you know, we did not perish (Perish is a word that I choose to use a lot on the Sabbath.). We made it to Glenn's sister LaDonna's house in Cheyenne and the next morning spent a couple of hours pulling out the contents of our trailer and repacking them. I was so relieved to find that the swerving had ceased. (Ceased is another Sunday word.)

The rest of the trip was fairly mellow compared to that first day. We stopped in Winter Quarters, Nauvoo, and Kirtland. (Traveling across Ohio took two hours longer than it should have, but I don't want to talk about it.)

Monday October 4th we arrived in Canada. We have been here less than a week and I'm enjoying it all. It is a big adventure. I have not experienced being homesick, yet. I'm not sure if I will.

Some highlights and thoughts are

When people say a place is multi-cultural they mean, you will often be the only white person around.

People have been very friendly to both us and our kids.

They have a very complex garbage system and the garbage people are like the soup Nazis from Seinfeld. If you don't pack it the way it should be or put
it in one of the three specific bins then "no garbage for you!" and they leave it. I am waiting to see if we get our garbage taken this morning. I hope so. We had to sneak garbage to Glenn's work last week. I just want to tell them that at the rate we American's throw away waste in Utah, they may as well stop trying. We're going to start filling up their landfills soon.  I'm kidding.  There are recycling facilities here, just not as organized and larger cities have more resources.

When Americans see all of our boys, they say "bless your heart", or "you poor thing", but the Asians here say, "So cute!" One even exclaimed. "Four boys! You lucky!" In a very thick accent.

We have flocks of Canadian Geese that fly over our house. It is impressive. They are so huge and they fly low. I love that.

We are happy to have our cat here. We almost didn't bring her.  She is a comfort to me and our boys. But somehow she found a mouse and left it on the porch - in half. So gross, but that's our girl. If there is a mouse within a mile radius, it will end up on our porch.

One day, I looked out the window and thought I saw her, but then took a double take and realized it was a black squirrel. Christian has set some traps for them - unsuccessful so far.

It is so fun to see the boys play with the neighborhood kids. I love that their parents were born in interesting places.

There are lots of 1st generation immigrants.

People seem to be very accepting.

We are trying out the school here. It is 100 yards away. That will be a new experience.

The food here is different. Even the Twix candy bars have the same name, but don't taste as good. Oreos have the same disappointment. Other things taste better. McDonalds has a different menu that caters to the more "multi-cultural" crowd.


Ps I forgot to mention church. We arrived just as the Chinese ward was in between classes. then when we sat at our pew there were only chinese hymn books. porter was distraught that we were the only ones there that couldn't speak chinese. most people have accents and maybe he couldn't understand them? That really stressed my little 7yo out.

Fast and testimony meeting was complete with an Iranian man breaking into Farsi at the pulpit. He made his statement more emotional by flailing his arms, throwing his head back and closing his eyes - you don't see that in Utah. It really livened up the meeting.

This is a townhouse. We live in 1/3 of it. A family from Peru lives in the middle and on the opposite end is our landlord and two little girls that the boys love to play with.