Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Happy Birthday Gemma!

How fast does a year fly by? Way too fast! My baby turned 1 on July 17th and we celebrated with a little party for her the following weekend. Since Gemma is a "Stampede Baby" I'm sure this is going to happen to her a lot, or at least until she is old enough to celebrate her birthday down on the Stampede grounds.

The most memorable point of any of my birthday parties was always the birthday cake that my Grandma Gwen (Dad's Mom) would create for us. I can remember thumbing through all of her cake decorating books to get a jump on what kind of cake I would request for my upcoming birthday. Even if Grandma was unable to make it to our birthday party she always made sure that our cake arrived for the big day. When Blade turned 1 in 2009 I decided that since this tradition was always so special to me, I wanted to continue it with my children. I had to get all my best creative juices flowing to get into cake decorating mode. My first creation for Blade's 1st Birthday was fairly simple, but I have been chanelling my inner Grandma Gwen and have been venturing further into the cake decorating world since then.

This is the cake I created for Gemma:

Bear cake for Gemma's 1st Birthday

(see how I did it here)

A few of my other creations include:

Truck cake for Blade's 1st Birthday

Train cake for Blade's 2nd Birthday

Lightning McQueen cake for my Nephew's 4th Birthday

Barbie cake for my friends (unspecified) Birthday

Friday, 1 July 2011

Missing a Great Man

There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go. ~Author Unknown

Our family was struck with a tragedy June 16. My Uncle Dale was killed in a car accident and taken from us much too soon. My heart has been breaking and I have no words to express my sorrow, he will be missed by so many family and friends.

A classic Dale pose

My brother & sister-in-law are in Australia and were unable to attend the funeral, but sent this beautiful tribute to Dale;

Farewell Dale

Words can often say,
The remorse and sorrow we feel,
But for the Legend we miss today,
Words cannot be yield.

A life robbed of time,
We will never forget his loss,
But smile and reminisce the times of good,
This great man we were privileged to cross.

Whiskey, wine and women,
Were legacy to the Legend we know,
LIved his life like a free spirit,
His mischief and fun were true.

With women on his mind,
And rodeo on the go,
This farm boy with a wild heart,
Was never far from a show.

An 8 time Canadian champion,
Rodeo was in his veins,
But the brotherly bond that made his team,
Was tougher then ropes and reins.

Accustomed to shorts,
To this he was a strange fellow,
Thought his legs were best bare,
Even at thirty below.

A plan was in the making,
To get a couple of Russian brides,
Even had his nephew out searching,
Russia's great countryside.

Suba diving was another passion,
Exploring the seas mystic creatures,
He travelled wide and far to dive,
And examine bikini features.

We heard the early Angels warning,
In the heavenly clouds above,
That there's a cowboy on his way,
And he's still chasing down love.

But all the fun aside,
A man true and honest to all,
He has inspired us to be free,
To be proud and stand tall.

He was a family man,
Who knew his roots were deep in Ashbacher sands,
Loved his two beautiful children,
More then anyone could understand.

Our thoughts and prayers are with him,
And also with family and friends,
We wish we could be with you,
In these times of tethered ends.

But we know he will be up there,
And he will find his way,
Ride those clouds like a cowboy,
And watch over us every day.

We will miss you forever and always,
Rest in Peace Uncle Dale.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Thanks for all the great memories Uncle Dale, you will be missed. Love you!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Love'n It Friday!

I'm starting something new...I'm calling it Love'n It Friday! Here is the first edition...


About time...please stay...'nuff said.

My Mom

She is so graciously staying with us during the week to look after the kids while I return to work for the next 5 months or so. This allows both Lachlan & I to work full-time and save money on child care. Thanks Mom!

Sunshine Kids Radian XT Car Seat
I love these car seats, I wish they were the ones I originally bought when we needed car seats. They are narrower at the base so it allows you to put 3 car seats across in (almost) any vehicle, even my Ford Escape - which is why I am now purchasing them. They are a rear-facing & forward-facing seat for 5 lbs to 65 lbs and allow for your child to stay in a 5 point harness longer then a regular car seat. Love them, recommend them.

Summer Outfits for the Kids

Don't they look ready to enjoy the sunshine? A big THANK YOU to my BFF Shantal for these outfits, she's always thinking of us.

I love everything about Shelaghs designs! They are beautiful, creative and unique. One of my very favorite pieces is the Day of the Dead necklace above. When I first saw this piece I was so stunned by it's beauty that I never even noticed the skulls among the turquoise. I want it, badly, so I may have to treat myself someday soon.
I also can't wait until our family is finished growing so I can order one of her Family rings - or beat my husband over the head with the idea that this would be a wonderful gift for his wife.

Check out Shelaghs website or facebook page for more of her stunning designs!

What are you love'n this Friday?

Friday, 3 June 2011

Because They Make Me Smile...

I know it has been awhile, not a whole lot shaking in our lives at this point. Just thought I'd post a few pics of the kids, just 'cause they make me smile.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Is 5 the New 4?

What does 5 have over 4? Well, it’s a handful!
Lachlan and I have been blessed with some very exciting news...we are expecting another baby!
How did this happen??? OK, I know how it happens, we do have two beautiful children already, but this one is a surprise. And let me tell you, we definitely had other plans.
When our daughter Gemma was born, Lachlan was insistent that we were finished with just two. His argument was that we have a boy and a girl, the “perfect” family and we were going to count our blessings and stop there. He was even going to book his vasectomy the week after Gemma was born. I was not convinced and encouraged him to hold off, at least until Gemma was a year old and we could make a permanent decision at that point. I truely believe that a decision like that should not be made in haste – especially in the adjustment period of a new addition.
Coming from a large family, I didn’t feel like our family was complete at “only” two kids. It seems so cliché. And just because one person’s family is “perfect” at four does not mean I felt the same way. I literally cringed every time someone said to me “a boy and a girl...you have the perfect family”.
So SURPRISE!!! Here comes another baby! Now I’m a bit of a planner, and this has ruined my plans. However, as one of my midwives reminded me – life is what happens when we have other plans. While I did want another baby eventually, I was thinking in the 18-24 month spacing, not the 15-17 month spacing. So although this is going to be an adjustment, I’m still looking at it as the blessing that it is. We are going to be busy! Three kids, three and under. Whew! I guess I’m just going to have to channel my parents energy, who had five kids under six (they cheated a little with the twins in the last go round).
Baby Bell #3 will make “his” appearance sometime this fall, we’re guessing between October and December.
So we're counting our blessings and preparing for another arrival.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The ABCs of Me...

I borrowed this from This Farm Family's LIfe, so I decided to join in the fun!

Bed size: Queen
Chore you hate: Vacuuming & unloading the dishwasher.
Dogs: Just 1, a Jack Russell named "Chook"
Essential start to your day: Sleep...lol. I'm not the best morning person, so I need some time to get "happy" (aka Don't talk to me for about 30 minutes)
Favorite color: Red
Gold or Silver: Gold
Height: 5'6"
Instruments you play: None
Job title: When I'm working, Clerk IV - Bookings
Kids: 2. Blade and Gemma.
Live: Alberta
Mom's name: Wendy
Nickname: Kelly Belly.
Overnight hospital stay: None
Pet peeve: People that don't merge correctly! Merge means get going to speed of traffic, not stop and wait for a spot to open up.
Quote from a movie: "Really, you want to poke at Momma Bear right now?" (sorry, can't remember what the movie is called, but it has Kathryn Heigal & Ashton Kucher in it)
Righty/Lefty: Righty
Sibling: 1 older brother, 1 younger brother and 2 younger sisters. I'm the second oldest and the oldest girl.
Time you wake up: 8:00-8:30.
Underwear: A fan of the Hanes boy shorts.
Veggies you dislike: Cooked carrots. Carrots are fine until you cook them.
What makes you run late: My husband - don't think he has been on time for anything.
Xrays you've had: My scaphoid (in the hand) a few months ago when I fell on a toy while cleaning up (not broken). My foot in Grade 9 when my brother squished it with a bobcat (not broken). My ankle a few times (not broken).
Yummy food you make: What food do I make that isn't yummy? Lol.
Zoo animal: Tigers

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Turning 30

                As Tim McGraw sings it “I think I’ll take a moment, and celebrate my age. The ending of an era and the turning of the page”
It is here, I’ve reached the big 3-0! And I’m welcoming it with open arms. Although all my plans for life have not panned out, I’ve had a great life with many blessings and many adventures.  
My birthday celebration started last Friday.  My Best Friend surprised me with a trip to get my hair done (while she watched my kids). It was a nice time to relax and just enjoy some “me” time – something I don’t really allow myself. And you always feel fantastic after getting your hair done! I had a bit of down time in the afternoon before some family, close friends and I headed out to a local pub for wings (yummy!) and drinks before heading to the Hotel for more drinks. We had an awesome time! The highlight of the night, they actually asked for ID to make sure I was legal at the Hotel.
Saturday night I got to celebrate my birthday with my family. I decided rather than cooking we would order sushi and go pick it up – much easier to control the kids at home then in a sushi restaurant. It was nice to have someone else cook.
That brings me to today – my “actual” birthday. I have to say it has been pretty low key. A close friend brought me a Tim Horton’s Mocha (my favourite!) and we have a nice chat over coffee. From there the kids and I headed into Calgary to get Blade’s hair cut, go grocery shopping at Costco (yikes!) and finish up the groceries at Walmart. Once home we headed out to the barn to spend a little time with Lachlan before he had to go to an appointment this evening. I am completing my day finishing up this post and zoning out in from of the TV.  I haven’t done any laundry, dishes or cooking today, my own little gift to myself.
So here I am, 30 years old. I don’t feel any older as usual, but most days I have a hard time remembering my age at all (maybe that’s a sign of my age).  I truly believe the best is yet to come – because if my best days are behind me, I might as well die now.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

It's Mid-Month - How I'm doing...

   We have reached mid-April, so to keep myself accountable I am posting how I'm doing on my 3 in 30 goals for April :

1.       Start my own blog
2.       Finish Blade’s quilt
3.       Get those Taxes done

  Well, the blog has been started (ta-da!) and I have been posting on a regular basis. I also made a quick trip up to my parents on Monday to take my taxes to the wonderful volunteer that has agreed to do them. Our volunteer does our taxes totally free of charge, so I am plotting a nice basket of goodies as a Thank You for all his work. Any suggestions of items to include? I am thinking some nice tea, cookies...hmm, need more thought on this.
  The one goal I really need to get my butt in gear for is finishing Blade's quilt. I have a few more stars to hand applique on, and plan to have that finished before this coming weekend so that when we go to Mom & Dad's for Easter we can get it on the stretcher bars, put it all together and get it tied so that all is left is the binding for me to complete before the 30th.
  It is all achieveable, just requires some committment and motivation. My motivation is here somewhere...I bet it's under all this snow.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Snakes vs. Bears

   Being married to an Aussie, I love the difference in what Australians and Canadians (specifically me) perceive to be a threat, aka something that can kill me. I hate snakes, even the harmless ones that reside here in Alberta. They are un-natural to me, they have no legs and yet they can move at an alarming rate. Gives me the heebee-jeebees.
   When I visit Australia, I am always on the look-out for snakes. I don’t want to see them, but if I’m going to then I want some lead time to (quietly, calmly, nonchalantly) get the heck out of the way! Lachlan has consistently regaled me with stories about finding carpet snakes (harmless) in the living room, or pythons (harmless) in the rafters of the barn, or brown snakes (poisonous and can kill you!) in the garden. Eek! I am petrified of having to get up in the night to go to the bathroom and stepping on a snake taking a siesta in the hallway. Or walking into the barn and a python in the rafters dropping on me. Or walking through the grass and a brown snake that I can’t see, biting me and I’m going to die. Irrational – probably a little, but I didn’t grow up with snakes around like Lachlan did. There are certain precautions that Aussies take, like never flip over rocks or logs with your hands and always shake out your boots before you put your foot in. Why would you leave your boots outside so a snake (or poisonous spider – yes, they have those too) can take up residence over night??? Ugh!

(I can't even post a picture of a real snake...like I said, gives me the heebee-jeebees)

  Aussies, on the other hand, have a fear of bears. Now to me this is just silly. In my lifetime, I have maybe seen 5 bears and I even live in the Foothills of Alberta where there is a greater chance of a sighting. Heck, in elementary school we had a little black bear that took up residence in the woods above our school for a short time. I was practicing for our cross country run and had to pass right by him in a clearing (at a walk of course, didn’t want him to think of me as lunch). But it was no harm, no foul. I wasn’t even scared.

   My rational, you can see a bear coming and plan an escape route accordingly. A snake, however, can sneak right up on you unawares – or you forget to shake out your boots and willingly allow yourself to be bitten. I just know one is to bite me, that’s why I’m wearing my cowboy boots at all times when visiting, less chance they can poison me through the tough leather.

   Lachlan keeps trying to tell me that they are more scared of me then I am of them...but I doubt it.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Laundry Pile

   There is a rule in our house, Don’t take laundry out of the dryer until you are prepared to fold it and put it away. My husband does not follow this rule, which results in this:

   Baskets and baskets, hours and hours of folding to be done. By who? By me.  I dislike folding laundry! Correction...I dislike laundry, period.  Hubby refuses to do it. Actually, he refuses to do anything that does not belong to him. Which makes me rebel and refuse to do any laundry for him. I have enough to do and laundry is definitely low on my priority list. Way low. I would like to say it doesn’t even make the list but we need clean clothes occasionally. So this is what our laundry baskets look like:
And this:

And this:

   I’d like to say I’m always on top of it, but truth be told these baskets are never empty. Especially mine. If laundry is low on my priority list, my laundry is a mere footnote on the list. As in, I have no clean clothes so I must really make an effort to wash something so I can appear in public.
I’ll get to it, maybe, eventually, someday...when we’re all out of clean clothes and I have no choice.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Meet my Family

As a glimpse into my life and an idea of who I am, I’d like you to meet my family. Now I come from quite a large band of parents, brothers and sisters (there is 5 of us kids), a sister-in-law, a sister-in-law to be, a nephew and a niece, so I’m going to keep it simple and limit it to just my immediate family.

The Love of My Life, my Soul-mate, Lachlan.

Not everyone believes in soul-mates, my husband included, but I always did, and I always knew he was out there and we would be together. Let me tell you, I did get discouraged at times believing that he was never going to show up and that I was going to have to settle for less, but he did show up, in an unexpected place at an unexpected time from an unexpected location (stay tuned for our story). Lachlan is my hard-working, loving, hilarious partner and I am so thankful for him in my life.

My son Blade, age 2 ½.

 What a character! I know I will regret saying this, but I really can’t wait until he starts talking clearly – I’m positive he has a wicked sense of humour (just like his Daddy!) He is such a boy in all things he does. He loves to run, jump, climb, wrestle and help whenever possible. Blade is constantly in motion, even in his sleep (he is both a cuddler and kicker in the night, I dread sharing a bed with him). He never ceases to amaze me in all ways.

My daughter Gemma, age 8 months.

After starting with a boy, and knowing boy things, I was leery of being blessed with a girl. I’m not a girly-girl and not sure I can keep up while she is turning out to be quite the little diva. But what a blessing she is and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She has a determination and smile to die for! And what a little chatterbox. I’m not sure if it is a girl thing or a second child thing, but Gemma likes to tell us all what is going on, or what to do, depending on how you look at it.

So this is us, the Bells. We’re normal, we’re busy, we’re wonderful.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

3 in 30

   I am a big fat copy cat! However, I love this idea so much that I want it to be a regular 1st of the month post on my blog. I seem to have a nasty habit of starting things and not finishing them, so this is going to keep me focused and accountable.  
   I first learned about the 3 in 30 goals from my friend Robyn (follow her blog at www.RobynBeazley.com) . It’s all about “making goals a reality three at a time”. Set 3 goals and then achieve them within the month.  Check out the 3 in 30 Facebook page too.
   So here it goes, my 3 in 30 goals for April 2011:

1. Start my own blog – a little bit of a cheater, hehehe. To add to this, I’m going to post two times per week.
2. Finish Blade’s quilt – this was supposed to be a birthday gift last September, and then a Christmas gift. Time to finish it!
3. Get those Taxes done! – I have until April 30th to get everything together for Lachlan & Myself and submit them. And it’s no ordinary, run of the mill taxes since Lachlan has his own business. Every year I promise myself that I will input all of his income & expenses into the spreadsheet at the end of every month, and every year I am shifting through a mountain of receipts in March & April. *Sigh* Will I ever learn?


   After a winter of following the blogs of some very inspirational people I know, I have decided it is time for my own blog. I’m kicking off April and ringing in the Spring!
   My original plan was to launch my blog in my Birth month (April!), however April 1st being what it is, I do not want anyone to think I’m joking or that I am a fool. So March 31st gets to be the day.
   I’m a total amateur, my grammar is terrible (bear with me), I have no idea what I am doing and have no idea what I’m going to write about, but it’s going to be fun! So please be patient, follow along, ask questions, comment a lot and have fun with me.