you'll find cochrane a little northwest of calgary... with a population of about 12 000... you'll also find this AWESOME mural in downtown cochrane that took 200 artists 3 months to work on.

i guess it was originally painted and then panels were taken apart for artists to paint individually and then reassembled back. when you click on each mosaic tile it will show in detail each one. some even show what the original tile was painted as.

check out the mosaic tile of the horse's eye, of the cowboy's nose and mouth, actually all the tiles in the cowboys face are incredible... i haven't had a chance to click on all the tiles yet, i'm sure i'll find more awesome ones... i can just imagine how this must look in person!
the girls had my eyes. i guess i've been told this before but this time it made me reflect a little more... and yes, i take it as a compliment! i think they have beautiful eyes... i love the colour - such a dark brown - they're so brilliant! although this photo isn't as clear as it should be, i still love it because this is how i always picture chantale and danielle... smiling, brilliant eyes, hair all messy and enjoying being together!

too funny! as i write this, chantale is coming in the house saying that danielle isn't letting her do something... oh well, i think i'll still choose to remember them always as they are in this photo : )

here we are waiting for the bus to take us to the fairgrounds... the kids weren't very patient : ) the bus runs every 15 minutes and we didn't even have to wait that long but it seemed like an eternity to the kids!

matthieu posing in front of his artwork that was submitted for the fair... his is the watercolour painting of the flowers in a pot. awesome work!!

matthieu and katlyn waiting for this ride to get going...

we all had fun at the fair but i'm glad it's done for another year! (but i'll miss the food)

katlyn and daniel playing game cube...

matthieu and jeremy playing nintendo ds...

this is how i spent part of my saturday morning a few weeks ago... they started out as plain papier mache ribbon storage boxes... there's just as many holes on the back side so i have access to twice as much ribbon.

more practical than some of those boxes that only have holes for 3 or 6 ribbons.

pretty to look at and cheap to create!

matthieu seemed to enjoy his birthday this year - and his cake was yummy!!! (roseau bakery has awesome cakes!) he was excited with his gifts but i imagine that's going to get harder to do soon...
danielle is looking foward to swimming lessons - she keeps asking when they are... and of course, they have to be at the end of august!

danielle also lost her first tooth!!! she was so excited that it finally happened! the toothfairy visited her on tuesday night while she was sleeping... we forgot to put her tooth under the pillow the first night - it was still on display : )

chantale is loving being outside every chance she gets! the thunderstorms and tornado warnings have slowed down - so now if only the mosquitoes would go away it looks like it's the beginnings of an awesome summer...
well that was fairly easy slipping into no school for the summer mode. need to take advantage of the kids' time off! also trying to get stuff done in the yard... the rain we got from last week/this weekend still has things wet in the backyard. pretty squishy by the play structure and trampoline. so the kids have been spending most of their time in the front yard.

matthieu got a soccer net which he begged for and is thoroughly enjoying. it's 6'x4' so it's an okay size but i think ideally it should be larger. he basks in every goal he scores against me or guy!

danielle is bummed.... no handstands for another month and she'll have to wait til then to take the training wheels off her big girl bike... doctor's orders : (

what a scorcher today was!!! wasn't ready for that yet - we're still only the beginning of june! thank god for central air!
danielle is bummed and matthieu is looking forward to the end of the school year... it sounds like matthieu isn't interested in taking in summer fun classes this summer.... oh well... i can still make him take swimming lessons - hopefully : )

i figured my flowers would be safe from freezing now so i planted my annuals last night, i'll get the others in the flower bed tonight. i hope monday morning was the last of the frost... guy put up the trampoline last night, so of course the kids were excited about that. the girls came up with this idea to jump rope on the trampoline.... i'm not ready to go back to the emergency room so i told danielle she had to be extra careful. "i know, mom" she says.... yeah, right.... she's also been begging to take the training wheels off her bike. she'll at least have to wait until her dr. says her arm is 100% when we go next week before we take off the training wheels. danielle has improved some for bending her arm but she has a long way to go! at least she can extend it all the way now.

that's it for now....
been busy.... haven't we all!
well where do i start? hmmmm... new name at work - our members voted to ammalgamate with caisse provencher (no, not the ones in winnipeg) so that become official - as of may 1, we are caisse la prarie. that's been a little hectic, but getting better now. we had some preparation to merge our two banking systems but most of it was done at administrative level so we didn't have to work on it too much : ) we threw a little "party", as matthieu called it. still getting used to answering the phone properly, and the new titles, new people, new service charges... keeping lots of notes handy.

saturday was national scrapbooking day - so of course had to go celebrate by scrapbooking... worked on memere's album and made a couple months worth of cards for card club. glad to have gotten those done! the weather on saturday was wet and dreary.... good day to be indoors and doing something i love.

now we're getting ready for the bedard garage sale this weekend... i think it's from 8am to 3pm on saturday if you feel like stopping by. look for the bright pink signs south of town among the sea of garage sale signs that will be up.

the grades 4, 5 and 6 will be putting on their spring program tomorrow.... i'll be going to watch matthieu in the afternoon. chantale will be with me but danielle is going to get her cast taken off tomorrow. she is sooooo looking forward to it. she's had this one on for four weeks now and i'm anxious for her to have it removed too... it's pretty filthy... guess that's what happens when you play in the dirt, in the rocks, and the sandbox with a cast on and get food on it and stuff. she's been very active with her cast on, didn't slow her down for long! guy will be bringing her tomorrow so hope the dr. thinks she's doing good enough that she won't need another one!

well, talk to you all soon....
well diane called me at work tuesday morning because danielle had a sore arm after jumping off a chair, not a high chair, not a kitchen chair, but a kid's little yellow plastic chair. i guess she landed on her arm and then it started to swell. i didn't know what to do when diane called to tell me about it - danielle wasn't crying, she could move her arm some, she said it hurt, but she wasn't crying. diane and i were at a loss, neither one of us have had to deal with broken bones before so we didn't know what to look for. diane put ice on it and then said she'd call in a little while to let me know danielle was doing. well then danielle was acting normal, playing and joking and eating, but she said it still hurt. luckily, one of diane's neighbours is a chiropractor so she asked him what he thought. dislocated, maybe? so we need to bring her in. i wasn't thinking when i left work, i was still signed on to everything, left my desk with stuff i was working on - thinking i'd back before the end of the work day. it couldn't be broken, we wouldn't be at hospital long. yeah, right!

first we go in a room where the nurse checks out danielle and asks her questions, then we get moved to another room. we wait there until they come get danielle to escort her to xray. she thought taking a picture of her arm was cool. she was hoping she'd get a chance to see the pictures of her arm. then we went back to the room to wait for the doctor. imagine my surprise when he comes in after looking at her xrays and telling us that danielle has a broken elbow! so they moved us to yet another room where the doctor came back to put her arm in a splint and said that we'd have to go see the "bone doctor" in grand forks. it hurt danielle when they were putting the splint on, but she was being tough! she didn't care for the sling they put her arm in though, especially when they said she'd have to keep it on til she saw the doctor the next day. they gave her prescription for tylenol with codeine.

danielle didn't wake up that night, but she was restless. so she didn't have any meds till yesterday morning, we gave her her dose and then a little bit to eat. she started saying she was going to be sick and sure enough.... she tried nibbling on a few things but nothing would stay down. when i called the hospital to see what i could give her instead, they said it was the codeine, it's hard on the stomach. she was still throwing up on the way to grand forks. fun... i even missed my exit because i was trying to help danielle open the bag - poor thing was having a hard time managing with one good hand : )

so then we're at the valley bone and joint clinic, chantale is striking up a conversation with EVERYONE... "what's your name?" and usually they wouldn't realize she was talking to them, so it was like a loop of "what's your name?" "what's your name?" "what's your name?" until they would turn their attention to her LOL

all the doctors and nurses there are super nice. a VERY busy place! dr. thompson is her doctor, he showed us where the break was and said it's aligned pretty good but you could see one part where it was jutting out slightly, he said that should not cause any problems though. he explained a few things and that we'd have a few trips ahead of us. luckily we'll be able to do the re-xray in a week in roseau and they'll send the pictures to the clinic in grand forks for her doctor to take a look at them there. we'll be going back to grand forks in three weeks when she'll likely have this cast removed and have a new one put on for another three weeks. after that, danielle will need "parental supervision" for a while. LOL.

ben came and wrapped her arm in a full arm cast, he enlisted me as his nurse - good thing we had a good patient or i might not have done so well : ) he's a super nice guy too - gave us some tips on taking baths, etc. since he'd been through it last year when his little guy broke his arm. i gave guy a call when we were done. he was in grand forks for work and he took some time off to join us for lunch. we went to boston pizza - but in the states they call in "boston's - the gourmet pizza" as i've been corrected.

oh yeah, dr. thompson gave danielle prescription for an anti-nausea medicine or something but i brought it back to roseau to get filled, no one had that dose in liquid. they could get it by this afternoon but in the meantime she'd be puking... so we decided to try just regular tylenol/motrin and that's been working fine. she says she's not in pain with just the regular stuff so we'll keep up with that.

flashback to when my nephew, daniel, was one and a half (i think?) and he broke his leg after a tumble from a little tykes-type playstructure - and he had to be in a whole leg cast : (

danielle appreciates the calls and emails : ) so thanks for checking on her. if you do talk to her, please remind her she needs to rest her arm and not be so active - she thinks she can still continue to do everything like usual!

spent the weekend at camp moose lake, it was so much fun (like usual). i love going there because it is such an awesome setup - have your own space to scrapbook, lots of fun people, good food put on by the camp hosts, fun projects and fun ideas!!

here's a pic of the group that was there this time...

i started on a scrapbook album for memere (shh - it's a surprise!) it's been really interesting reading my ancestors history in the family books - i was trying to put faces to old pictures i was putting in her scrapbook. when i was thinking of doing this album for her, i was thinking that i wouldn't have much journaling in it but now i have some awesome stories to put in her scrapbook - there's a ton of stories in the family books, even about their voyage over from france and when they immigrated to canada. poor nicole had to put up with my blabbering about these people she didn't know : )

i was happy with what i got done - i still have a lot to do so i'll have to keep at it for the rest of the week. good thing i have a couple of days off this week!!
for over forty years the canadian cancer society has been selling live bunches of bright yellow daffodils across the province to raise money in the fight against cancer. buy daffodils to celebrate spring and give hope to the future of all manitobans. the money raised through daffodil sales support cancer research, information and support for people living with cancer.

ok - maybe not that popular! some of you have said that you'd like to see some of my scrapbooking/papercrafting projects on here so i thought i'd show some of the altered lunch boxes that i've done. i love doing these!!! i think i've done 10 or so of them so far - gave some as christmas gifts a couple of years ago - i hope they were well liked : ) the rest of them i finished last fall and i still have - like these ones that i'm putting pics of. i tried selling them at a couple of places where lisa (my sister) was selling her fibers/ribbons but no takers. oh well. maybe i'll put them on ebay or something. in the meantime...

"what is an american or a canadian?" have you read this one before? it's been around a few years. the email claims it’s written by a dentist in australia but according to it’s actually written by an american professor soon after sep.11.2001. the email version i got referred to both americans and canadians - which i think is mostly interchangeable when reading this. my first thought was who's out to want canadians killed just for being canadian?! what did we do?! without getting all political and correct, because my blog is just for fun, i think most of this rings true for both u.s and canada… here's as it was originally published:

What Is An American?A primer.
By Peter Ferrara, an associate professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law.September 25, 2001 9:20 a.m.

You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper there an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.
So I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they would know when they found one.
An American is English…or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them choose.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.
An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God-given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.
An American does not have to obey the mad ravings of ignorant, ungodly cruel, old men. American men will not be fooled into giving up their lives to kill innocent people, so that these foolish old men may hold on to power. American women are free to show their beautiful faces to the world, as each of them choose.
An American is free to criticize his government's officials when they are wrong, in his or her own opinion. Then he is free to replace them, by majority vote.
Americans welcome people from all lands, all cultures, all religions, because they are not afraid. They are not afraid that their history, their religion, their beliefs, will be overrun, or forgotten. That is because they know they are free to hold to their religion, their beliefs, their history, as each of them choose.
And just as Americans welcome all, they enjoy the best that everyone has to bring, from all over the world. The best science, the best technology, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes.
Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The nation symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed.
These in fact are the people who built America. Many of them were working in the twin towers on the morning of September 11, earning a better life for their families.
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo and Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world.
But in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then those lands too will join the community of free and prosperous nations.
And America will welcome them.
how much fun did i have and how much did i get done this weekend!! it was awesome! of course, it's hard to screw up any weekend that is dedicated to scrapbooking LOL. terry and i left friday morning for pequot lakes to return to the intensive crop unit for the second year in a row. we have it booked for the same weekend next year already. there's a group of us that got together and formed a "dorm" for cku (a place where manufacturers and "experts" give classes on scrapbooking techniques and using their products) in 2005. we were originally all from northern minnesota, and we still try to get together once a year. it's hard for us to all be able to come though it would be nice if we can all see each other again. we have a few people who've joined us since cku so our group is growing!
we took the blazer in case we needed the 4wd on our way back since they were calling for winter storm during the weekend. i'm glad we had it! got dumped with about a foot of snow over there, in pequot lakes and looked pretty much the same all the way back to roseau on our drive back - lots of snow, no cars in ditches though. the only casualties we noticed were several mailboxes.
i love the setup they have at that place! it is so great - she has a huge crop area that is off the scrapbook store so we can crop as early or as late (or all night) as we want. we have our own door to access the crop area/living area from the outside. the upstairs has lots of space too. it is so nice for large groups. (we were nine people this time). kitchen/dining room/living room all open, two bathrooms (each with double sinks), three bedrooms with a total of 10 beds.
as for food, we decided to get most of it catered this year. we loved the food that lakes latte had brought us last year. it was even better this time - and cheaper in the long run! (we gave $35 pp for all our food and drinks and snacks for the whole weekend-that's for 6 meals!) lakes latte's food is so yummy!! i hope we decide to do that again next year.
anyways, we also organized a few games which were a ton of fun. my favourite was the putting together a scrapbook page... blindfolded. it was so funny to watch! then it was my turn. that wasn't so funny LOL i felt so disoriented just trying to reach for the pieces of paper that were for the journaling and photo mats and titles, etc. and then trying to place them on the scrapbook page so that it looked ok. we all managed ok - guess now we can say that we can scrapbook with our eyes closed : ) one of the girls, lisa, took some pics - i hope she shares because i forgot to pack my camera!
i always get a lot done when i go there because i don't have to put anything away! i made three months worth of cards for card club (plus extras for myself) and a few little albums, a generic one, a cmas one, one for matthieu. i didn't get to finish the flower shaped chipboard album that i was doing for the girls though. maybe i'll finish that one when i go on my next scrapbook retreat in march. that ones in moose lake.
pequot lakes is such a cute place - a lot of little boutique-type shops, and the people are so friendly. all in all it was a great weekend!
well i braved the cold and brought the kids back to the festival du voyageur saturday. actually, it wasn't too cold... the sun was out and it didn't feel as cold as what's it's been all week.
we had a blast! matthieu's been to the festival before but it was the first time for the girls and for katlyn. they had so much fun i'm not sure if they could pick any one of thing out that they enjoyed the most. when i asked danielle what her favourite was she pretty much named everything she had seen and did LOL

of course they were impressed with the immense snow sculptures. those guys that are so talented!! copying from their models - all to scale! they're part of the international snow sculpting symposium. the kids loved the snow maze - they'd come out of there giddy and laughing, with their cheeks all rosy! katlyn even poked at one of the walls as we were coming in - she was convinced they were sculpted out of foam

our first stop was at the caisse tent where they had singing and, of course, food. tourtiere and bannock were on the menu. yummy! saw a lot of people from st-claude there... then the kids went inside a little igloo. they found furs, sleeping bags, dishes and food in there!! turns out you can spend the night in one for $250!!! not quite like a night at the fairmont...

we watched as some people were starting to line up for a toboggan run competition... but the toboggans were out of cardboard!! reinforced with good old duct tape. one team actually had actually wrapped their person in duct tape to the cardboard toboggan!!

towards the end of our day there we went for a sleigh ride - the kids LOVED that too! me, on the other hand, was freezing my butt off because, of course, i didn't think i needed to wear ski pants (since it was such a nice day out for a change) i was sitting on my gloves. that helped a lot - until i had to get my hands free to save chantale when she fell forward. i think that's when matthieu and katlyn fell off the sleigh - along with a few other people : ) they were running to catch up to us but it was difficult since the snow was almost knee-deep. they eventually made it back on... katlyn says the highlight of her day was falling off the sleigh! my favourite would have been watching angie play the washboard - but i missed it.... LOL

we're all looking forward to going back already - this time i'll be wearing ski pants!

click on official guide to pull up the festival's guide for this year if you're interested. and here's a write up about this year's festival in the winnipeg free press.

pictures went great!!! they were all so adorable and looked like life-size dolls. most of the girls had their hair all up in curls and with their big bows on top. cute cute cute!

i heard many parents comment that they didn't care for the outfits but to me the girls wear it well! can't wait to see them at their recital - doing their "splish splash" song!

btw - angie, thanks for getting that cd together!!

they're so looking forward to dance this afternoon because today is picture day. last year, only danielle was in dance, and she was in the middle of this shy phase. i could not get her to pose for picture - not even in the group photo!!! well this year she is so excited to do better! her and chantale can't wait to put their dance costume on. we steamed their costumes last night so the crinolins lay really nice - all pouffy!

matthieu is excited too because he'll probably have to stay at the school age childcare until the girls are done - that means he'll be there a little longer than usual : ) he'd go more often than one day a week if he could! plus he appreciates any time away from the girls.

the girls went for a little snowmobile ride in the yard again yesterday. i'm amazed how well danielle drives that thing! she can't steer a bike but she can steer a snowmobile LOL i don't think they'll get to go too many more times unless we get more snow soon... snow situation pretty sad out here. not as bad as along hwy 11 going to i-29 though... there's this section, by donaldson maybe? where it looks like they have drifts of DIRT and not snow in the ditches... the fields have had all the snow blown off... i'm glad we're more sheltered here!

well, i hope pictures go better this year!
still busy, still feel like i don't have time, still have a growing to do list..... one day i'll be caught up!? i'm starting to get the feeling that's one of those things that will just never be....

and to top it all off we couldn't get in the house last night! it was so cold yesterday - the doorknob was frozen stiff and the key wouldn't budge. of course, i had the three kids standing at the door with each of their backpacks, and i was at the door with my bag, my purse, the diaper bag, four bags from subway, the mail - trying to get the key in the doorknob!!! i always carry a butane torch with me because we have this cronic problem at work of our locks freezing and it has saved me many many times (like yesterday morning). but now that i needed it at home the flame wouldn't stay lit! AGH! get the kids loaded back in the van to keep warm and eat their subs while i could figure out to get the torch to work again. finally figured out that i just had to turn the setscrew (i think that's what you call it) in the bottom. i can't figure how that got turned?! so within ten seconds of thawing the keyhole, i was able to unlock the door! alright! it's just a keychain butane torch but it is awesome! i have to talk to guy about showing matthieu how to use one in case he can't get in the house afterschool one day - or maybe he'll just have to go to daycare if we have any more cold cold days like yesterday.......

danielle just woke up, right away she came to find me and asks me if now it's her birthday today. she just broke down when i told her that her bday is tomorrow. she's still so upset! wonder what her hurry is?

she has been so easy to get dressed this week-now that all her plain jeans are decorated with studs and jewels. we dressed up a pair of chantale's jeans too - chantale thought that was fun too. i got this thing that sets pronged studs and rhinestones, and it's so easy! i was looking for something to dress up jeans and stuff - without too much fuss. since fall, danielle's been on this kick that she didn't want to wear pants or jeans unless they were embellished in some way. even shirts - she won't wear a plain shirt. it's been that way for a few years already - ever since she could voice an opinion! it doesn't have to be much, just a little picture or a little bow but especially a little bling : ) so like i said, danielle now loves picking which bottoms to wear! she had it all planned out this week, which ones she was going to wear on which day LOL i think we're in for more t-r-o-u-b-l-e.....
so i took a little break from this during the holidays. and some of you even noticed - thanks for the reminders : ) i've fallen even farther behind on emails... will i ever have my inbox empty? nope - don't think so! LOL
put on the computer tonight and i'm reading winnipeg and southeast manitoba got over a foot of snow. roseau is 10 miles from southeast manitoba and we couldn't have gotten more than 3, 4 maybe 5 inches (i'm not great at estimates, ok?!) guess they must have meant more north of us, along the trans-canada since that highway was closed for awhile. we might have had more snow but we had a lot of freezing rain... the trees are always so pretty when they're white... some of the willow trees had a hard time with all the ice and snow - branches are touching the ground... should have taken a picture now that i think of it! but that would have meant having to go outside...

the girls went out for a while. they can actually play in the snow without getting dirty now LOL... guy told danielle she can take matthieu's little snowmobile (120) out tomorrow. of course she kept reminding us of that all night : ) that matthieu's too big for the red snowmobile now but that she's big enough!

well i hope you've all had a wonderful holidays with your family and friends!