Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our New Addition !!

A little before Christmas my friend Sandra share that their dog Hannah was expecting. This news was shortly followed by offering us a puppy if I was interested. Sandra is a new friend and was unaware that I/we have been in the long precess of deciding what new pet would be right for us. The boys were voting for a dog, the girls were voting for several ( cat, bird, hamster). I however was on the fence between kitten or puppy? After weighing the pro's & con's and considering all the wonderful advice I received from friends & family who have owned dogs....I decided to say " YES" to Sandra. The kids and I visited the pup's several times. Anthony & Liam are thrilled. Ana is excited in theory ( She's still a little jumpy/nervous). Keisha is quiet, saying she's happy, however she wouldn't get out of the all ! ( I'm hoping that having her own pup will help her overcome her fear of dogs). I'm excited, feeling reasonably confident and committed to the idea of the adventure of having my first dog !!

This is Hannah the mom. She is part Boxer & Shephard.

This is Snooka the dad. He is a Huskie cross.

These two have a true doggie romance. Right out of a Disney movie !!

The kids weren't drawn to any one puppy. I was however, the little brown girl. She is happy & appears to be healthy. She's slightly smaller than several of her sibs. She's adventurist however she's not if your face. I have only heard her bark once...she's not too fond of the chickens. I weighed all the advice and I considered all the pro's & con's to which gender would be right for us. In the end I just went with my instincts !!! The kids are happy and were okay with me choosing her name, since I have never named a pet or any of my children they thought that it was only fair !! So with out further a due...let me introduce to you Ms. Piper Shepley.

( 6.5 weeks - photo taken by Anthony & edited by mom)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Did you know Liam's a BEAVER?

This October was the beginning of a new adventure for my not so little boy. Going to a group/activity once a week on his not a new thing. He's attended preschool, playgroups, summer programs etc. I'm not sure what it is that makes " Beavers" so special, maybe it's wearing a uniform !! Maybe it's the cool/fun activities they get to do?

Healthy food night!

Homemade Pizza night!

Learning his " Beaver" pledge !

Dirby car challenge.

Maybe it's all of the above? The reason I guess isn't really that important. He's learning really cool stuff, making strong friendships and is over the top excited to go ever Wednesday evening.....what more could I ask for as a mom !!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Which one?

Do You think should come to live with us?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Autumn Cellar Soup

I've been laying low the last few days trying to shake a pesky cold. When feeling under the weather I tend to crave simple, low fat meals...comfort foods like the following recipe. I love everything about this soup. Root vegetables & cooked tomatoes are on the top of my lists a fav.'s. The thing I like most, besides the flavor, is the cost. On average I can make a huge pot for around $12 buck. It will last several days in the fridge & can even be frozen ( I don't care for the texture of potatoes that have been frozen so we tend just to eat it for every meal until it's gone)

2 lbs ground red meat ( beef, bison, moose or elk. It all works well)
2 large onions diced
5 stalks celery diced
5 large carrots diced
1 medium rutabaga diced
6 -8 large red potatoes large diced
3 bay leaves
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tbsp. beef bullion
2 medium cans diced tomatoes
Hot water to cover
salt & pepper to taste

1. In a large stock pot brown meat.
2. Drain off any fat.
3. Add diced vegetables, seasonings, bullion & enough hot water to cover.
4. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 min.
5. Add canned tomatoes. simmer for another 20 min.
6. Salt & pepper to taste.

I hope you give it a try. It really is a good one !!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ms. Destructo & Mr. Wirling Durvish

" What Mom, I don't see what the problem is ?" - Ms. Destructo
" It wasn't me ! " - Mr. Wirling Durvish

" I need to keep it all ..." - Ms. Destructo
" It wasn't me ! " - Mr. Wirling Durvish

" We're just playin !!!" - the crazy duo

Monday, January 18, 2010

Banana Bread Shepley Style

2 cups unbleached ap flour
2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 ground flax seed
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 eggs
5 lg mashed banana
2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk ( cow's, soy or rice )

Preheat oven 350. lightly grease 2 glass loaf pans & fill muffin tins with paper liners - set aside

1. combine flours, flax, b. powder, b.soda, cinnamon & nutmeg - set aside

2. mash bananas - set aside

3. combine sugar & oil, mix in eggs one at a time, mix in mashed banana & milk

4. add flour mixture to wet ingredients, combine.

5. fill muffins tins, split remaining batter in 1/2, fill loaf pans.

6. bake muffins for approx. 15 min.

7. bake loaves for approx. 45 min.

Hope you enjoy !!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My girl Ana..... a force to be reckoned with

Loves going to school

really struggles with having to choose just one !

is always up for an adventure ( no matter what she's wearing)

has the sweetest little face

loves a baby almost as much as her momma !!

Most certainly has her OWN sense of fashion

is channeling her own " bag lady" at times

Has her momma's HEART !!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gluten Free Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour 1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup Gf quick oats 1/2 cup white sugar
4 tsp. Gf baking powder 1/2 cup milk ( cow's, rice or soy)
1 cup blueberries ( fresh or frozen) 1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs zest & juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350. I prefer to use paper liners, however you may use non-stick pans - ungreased.

1. Mix dry ingredients

2. Toss blueberries in dry ingredients gently

3. Cream shortening & sugar, cream in 1 egg at a time, add milk, vanilla, zest & lemon juice

4. Combine wet & dry ingredients

5. Fill muffins 3/4 full

6. Bake approx. 15 mins. ( time depends on your oven & type of baking pans) Check with an inserted toothpick

7. Let cool 5 mins, scrap sides of muffin tin if not using liners, allow muffins to cool on rack.

I sure do Love that smile !!!

What to do when.....

......when your whole town looses power right in the middle of dinner? Well....first be thankful for the fact that we were eating dinner, not still in the midst of cooking it ! Then what to ? Let's start by lighting some candles, then calm excited children, finish eating dinner, then calm stressed children, then take a big breath (everyone) & work on a plan......

1. located all our flashlights
2. located the right size batteries
3. remind people to BREATH !!
4. refresh batteries in all flashlights & portable CD player
5. calculate whether or not it's too early for more Meds !! - not for 2 of the 4 - lucky me !!
6. send functioning 2 off to entertain themselves. tuck crazy 2 into bed.
7. have showers by candlelight and a little " Alley Mcbeal" playing in the nice
8. curl up on the sofa with my calm 2, a bag of chips, flash lights & a crazy fun book about freaky, scary, gross, extraordinary & simply unbelievable facts for an hour.
9. say "Goodnight" to calm 2. read a little longer on my own.
10. go to bed around 9pm.
11. @%#!@ get back up....go and turn off all the lights & t.v's so we don't get startled awake !!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Well the decision has been made !

I will be putting my professional parenting hat back on. A choice I wasn't sure I could have made a year ago. A choice after much healing & growing was really the only one! Loving and caring for my special babies is what I do. It's my purpose, if that makes sense. Apparently, the choice all that know me well knew I would get to in my own time. It's what my children ask for daily. It's a journey that I will try to be more prepared for this time around, if that's possible !

Now time to finish the paper work and prepare for a new home study.....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

one more special Christmas moment.....

I have been asked many time since Christmas how our holiday went? Our holiday was great. My mom arrived safely, the weather co-operated and everyone was in pretty good spirits. Sometimes " special things" can be hard for my kids. The change in routine, the energy/emotion of the event can be to much in many cases. This year everyone did pretty well.

There are so many fun, happy positive memories from this Christmas. I had an extra special Christmas from my kids this year. Each of them gave some thought and worked together to purchase gifts for me. The gifts were nice. For me the fact that they consider " mom" when picking their gifts, took pride in wrapping them and the biggy.....they manage to keep them a SURPRISE made this holiday extra wonderful for me !!!

1. Keisha chose a box of one of my favorite candies.
2. Anthony remembered a comment I had made about wishing I had more small loaf pans. He looked every where to no avale. In the end he gifted me 2 full size Pyrex loaf pans.
3. Ana decided that I/we needed new soft pillows for my bed.
4. Liam chose a holiday themed candy bowl to go along with Keisha's gift.

I'm such a lucky Mom !

Friday, January 8, 2010

a long overdue visit to the Aquarium.....

My kids have been visiting the lower mainland their whole life. While I was planning our trip over after Christmas I got to thinking about how little site seeing/ touristy things I hadn't done with the kids. They had never been to the Aquarium, Science World, etc. Crazy Huh !!

So we headed off to the Aquarium & Stanley Park. I was able to get a family pass for the year for only $ 138.00. Not bad when you think it cost me $100.00 one way on the ferry. If we visit twice this year it's more than paid for. The bonus was that we were able to put my sister Marina down as the second adult. So she can now take Connor has many times she wants this year. The kids really enjoyed themselves !! We were only able to check out about 1/2 of the displays and none of the shows. We'll certainly be stopping in again this summer...maybe once on our way to Alberta and again on the way home.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Well...I was planning to start today sharing about our trip to the Aquarium. In an effort to give a true & honest look into my life, I thought I'd share a little of the not so rosie parts !!

I have this have a morning full of lots of calm voices, a morning where everyone is on tasks, a morning that runs at the perfect pace. My goal each morning is to get them to school on time, totally in order with a full tummy and a smile on their face.

Instead I'm saddened to omit that many of our mornings, despite my efforts are full of crankiness, constant repetition, spilt drinks & half eaten bowls of cereal, " I will not's" & " I don't want to's" and rushing out the door.

This morning was not a good one but we made it ! I'm thankful for a quiet morning to sip my tea & eat my breakfast....... there's always tomorrow !

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Nolette's - part 2

I'm so HAPPY to have these moments & these pictures. The last time I was with my little James it was at a real tough time for him and all those who love him. We were bringing him home after being diagnoised with a serious heart condition and almost losing him. He's doing great now.

James's dad ( Jim) and I have a been friends since our early teens. Our friendship is unsinkable.... 20 years of loving & supporting each other has made us real strong. Jim met, fell in love with and married the amazing Joy. I'm thankful that Joy & I hit it off. Over the years we have grown exceptionally close. She could have easily encouraged the end of Jim & I's friendship. To the contrary. She has lovingly welcomed me & my children into her life & family.

I have carried of level of sadness about how little time I was able to spend with Jim & Joy while they were expecting their first child, a daughter named Hailey. I wasn't able to hold Hailey until she was almost a year old. Life has granted me the opportunity to spend lots more hands on time with them over the last couple of years.

My friends have been thrown many tough challenges over the years. Despite that they are strong. They have weathered it all, many other couples would have bailed ! They are strong ! I am so thankful they made the brillant decision to create this beautiful boy. I am honored to be considered a member of their family and inner circle.

Love, Aunty Shannon


Monday, January 4, 2010

Hanging with the Nolette's - part 1

We decided to spend the second week of holidays over on the mainland visiting. Our first stop was a play date & dinner with Jim & Joy & the kids. My sis Marina & her little guy Connor joined us. We met up at one of those large indoor playgyms. Jim had heard of a new one in Langley that looked pretty cool. It was WAY cool according to my big boy !! Us adults were pleased with the quality & cleanliness compared with the other indoor gyms we have visited.

Joy & Marina

After our 3 hours of playing...we headed off for dinner....Chinese Smorg !!! Anthony's smile says it all. We LOVE a good Smorgasborg especially when we get to visit with great people.

A wonderful way to start our trip.