Sunday, April 25, 2010

Edmonton again - Snow again

We took our third trip to Edmonton in 6 weeks, this time for an Irish dance feis. Olivia did great with one 1st place, one 2nd place, and two 3rd place medals and an 8th place trophy (out of 25 dancers!) Here she is after receiving her trophy:

We've had great weather all of March and April so far. It seems like a real spring (although it still gets below freezing just about every night.) But, on driving back into Calgary about 7:30pm last night this is what we found:
And by the time we got home everything was covered in snow again.

It all melted again today but more is predicted for later this week. I think we are paying for the nice, snow-free weather of the past weeks. Of course, I blame it all on myself. I got overconfident with the weather and had my winter tires taken off the car on Fri morning. The girls always tell me what a jinx I am. I think it might be true.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Marcy had her Sparks advancement ceremony last night. Sparks is the first level of Girl Guides in Canada, equivalent to Daisy Scouts in the US. Now she is officially a Brownie - in Canada and the US. Now we just have to see whether she can be a Brownie in Kazakhstan. Apparently they have had scouts in Almaty in the past but I'm not sure it is active now. After 10 years of being a Girl Guide/Girl Scout leader I'm kind of wanting a break but since Marcy and Emily both want to do scouts next year I'm betting I'll be roped into leading again. Scouts has been the one consistent activity across all our moves - essentially the same no matter where we live - so it is hard not to help make it possible.

Here's Marcy with her Brownie Buddy after receiving her pins:

And here are all the 2nd year girls who are moving on to Brownies next year. Our unit is half 1st year and half 2nd year Sparks. We actually have 22 girls in our unit!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What you didn't see!

It seems like spring break was forever ago already! I posted plenty about our stay in Dallas but we also had a 5 day ski vacation before we got there. Part of that included a day of skiing at Lake Louise and a stay at the Fairmont Hotel on the lake with skating and afternoon tea the next day.

Madeline, Olivia and I went for afternoon tea at the hotel. It's my 3rd or 4th time to have tea at the Fairmont and it's always enjoyable. It's the inspiration for my mini-chopped fruit salad and has incredible scones and a mango-cilantro sandwich. Yum! Here are Madeline and Olivia with their tea service:

Emily and Marcy brought along their skates so they could skate on the actual frozen lake. We had planned on renting skates for the rest of us but because of warm weather the rental shop at the hotel was not open. But, the ice was still plenty frozen and Emily and Marcy played a game of soccer-hockey (we had a puck but no sticks) with Frank and I:

And here are some views of the lake and the hotel:

I love the two week spring break. We got two vacations in one! We'll definitely miss that next year.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Go Stars Go!!

Madeline had a cheer competition at the West Edmonton Mall (comparable to the Mall of America in Minnesota) in March. Her team won the 1st place trophy out of five teams. Here's a picture of Madeline with the trophy and some team mates:

The competition video came in the mail today. I tried to post it here but it didn't work so I've posted it on You Tube. Click on the link below to watch. Madeline is the tumbler in the front at the very beginning of the performance. After that you'll just have to follow her. She does alot of tumbling so if you lose track of her she's easy to find again.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bargain Day at the Ballpark

Thought I ought to post one more time before we head off to Calgary tomorrow. The forecast there calls for up to 10 cm of snow overnight and tomorrow. (Sigh) At least it didn't snow here in Dallas this visit!

We had to get in one more Rangers game before we headed out so we went to today's afternoon game against Seattle. Another win for the Rangers! And what a bargain for us. We bought the family pack tickets which included - ticket (lower left outfield), hotdog, drink, and $5 in game tokens for the kids fun park (or whatever it's called.) All for $20 a ticket. Plus it was dollar ice cream Sunday AND free Ian Kinsler cap day. Added bonus that Pop-Pop and Mimi joined us and the Rehagens. Here's at least most of the crew:

We had a great visit in Dallas. Olivia asked why we can't just stay and live here again. Always a tough question to answer but at least they all know where home is!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mavs Game #2

Olivia got to go to tonight's basketball game. Excitement all around!!
#1 - It was Dirk Nowitzki bobble head night. You can not imagine the crowd already lined up when we arrived at 5:45pm - 1 hour 45 minutes early! Luckily we had the good seats and got to go in the special platinum entrance. We came home with two of these obviously valuable bobble heads.

#2 - At halftime I left to go to the washroom (as we say in Canada) and I told Olivia to jump around and get on TV while I was gone. Dutifully, Olivia did just that. Apparently a cameraman came to her and said there was a commercial break but when they went live again she would be on TV so jump around, laugh, clap, etc. Luckily the lady behind us took a picture for me and emailed it. Did anyone out there see Olivia on TV??
#3 - They were throwing t-shirts out to the crowd. The Mavs horse mascot, Champ, gave one to a referee to throw out. He gestured that he was looking for a small person, spied Olivia jumping around, and threw it right to her. She made a nice catch that everyone around complimented her on.

#4 - The Mavs won! I'm thinking this might be the first win that we have witnessed from these seats. I made Olivia hold up her Mavs sign before the game just like at the Rangers game. She might have some lucky thing going.

A great evening that I know Olivia will remember for a long time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Opening Day

Surely I can't keep up this nearly daily blogging but might as well while I have the time!

Yesterday we attended Opening Day for the Texas Rangers. Ceremonies included much Texan and American patriotism - giant flags, Roger Staubach throwing out the first pitch, Double amputee parachuter bringing the game ball, and jets flying over head following the national anthem. Added bonus - they were playing the Toronto Blue Jays so we got to belt out the Canadian National anthem as well.

The game was not that great at the start considering that Toronto had a no hitter through 6 1/3 and the Rangers were down 3-0. Frank's new fantasy baseball players Cruz and Guerrero helped get the Rangers to within one at 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth. Here are the girls in their rally caps which obviously worked as the Rangers came back and won 5-4!!
Maybe this is the start of something good for the Rangers and their new season catch phrase will come true for them this season:
PS No pictures of Madeline - she chose not to attend - or Marcy, who sat on the other side of the stadium with the Rehagens. Check out her Opening Day experience on Sarah's blog at

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Fun - No Mess

We had a great Easter weekend which involved going to someone else's house for all the festivities. Not planned but a great way to do things. Today we woke up to see what that Easter Bunny had left us, went to mass, and then headed to the Rehagens (Mary Ann and Gary) who graciuosly invited our family to a fish fry. Inviting our family meant they had 10 members of their immediate family and an extra 10 members of the Holland family. We can quickly double the size of any party. The girls got their 3rd egg hunt so they have massive amounts of candy!

Egg hunt #1 was Saturday at the Ryan's house (Becky and Phil) and was a Ryan/Holland family egg hunt which really included the Schwarz/Holub/Rehagen/Mount families. They had an overabundance of eggs so once again we benefited from someone else's generosity and the use of someone else's home. Luckily the Ryan side of the party has just as many members as the Holland side so we didn't so much overwhelm as match up!

Here are all the kids - post egg hunt:

And lastly in the theme of benefitting from someone else's generosity - Sarah nicely had Emily and Marcy over to dye eggs and Olivia dyed eggs at the Schwarz' house. I wasn't planning to dye eggs regardless but felt alot less guilty about it since they did it elsewhere.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to my mess free weekend!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Inaugural post

I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while now. I don't do Facebook and I don't want to send massive emails out to update people about our family. This seems like a good way to keep everyone up to date but not force it on them. It's your choice to read or not to read. (Of course, I guess I'll have to send email just once to let people know how to find this!)

So what to post? How about a brush with greatness story? I've always loved those.

We bought into Mavs season tickets this year even though we don't even live in Dallas. We managed to trade tickets and get quite a few dates while we are in town. The seats are great (4th row on the floor, center court) so it's definitely "sitting among the pretty people."

Tonight I took Marcy so she definitely was the real pretty person:

But then there was this big guy sitting directly in front of me:

Turned out to be a pretty person after all:

Now that I've started, hopefully I'll keep up with this. And now that you've read it, hopefully you'll read it again!!