Monday, November 29, 2010

family update

Jordan: the most noteworthy item to mention is his marriage to Cherisa Tagg in August! He is still working at Transcanada and continues to stay busy playing tennis, volleyball, racquetball and hockey. He turned 28 this year which hasn't seemed to slow him down at all. Jordan recently got called to be a Scout leader which will be a great fit. Jordan and Cherisa have worked hard to fix their apartment up by installing floors, and painting furniture.

Cherisa: The newest addition to the Smith family and we couldn't be more excited! Cherisa is currently working at Montana's Restaurant and is working to finish her Bachelor's degree from BYUI in health studies. She is a very hard worker and if you ever second guess that just remember that she shovelled snow for 4.5 hours by herself in one day. Cherisa is currently a FHE group leader in the ward.

Jenny: keeps busy by teaching step aerobics, singing, decorating, and most importantly being a mom to Charlotte. She still plays piano for the primary and organizes the mothers group for the ward.

Dave: Keeps very busy as he is in his third year in medical school. I heard him say that this is the most tired he has been in his entire life. In addition to that he is a counsellor in the Elders Quorum and still finds time to give his two girls the attention they need (okay, want).

Spencer: Currently working on submitting his mission papers which is such an accomplishment, way to go Spence! He is working at a great labor job with nice people. He is continually working harder than almost anyone I know and is still the most honest person I have ever met. Despite having to deal with very difficult situations and trials he has some how been able to maintain his quick wit and `Spence`of humor.

Matthew: Started volunteering as a dog bather at Petland which is a great fit for someone who is such a dog lover. He is a person who noticeable strives to be accepting of people in diverse circumstances and has a great sense of humor. He has a soft heart which is evident when Charlotte comes to visit. He is currently in a recovery program in Calgary. Despite setbacks he still continues to work hard to overcome his extremely difficult challenges.

Amanda: is in grade 12 at Centennial High School. She takes voice lesson two times per week and juggles the workload of learning dozens of songs with the huge homework load she gets each night. Her vocal technique is oustanding and is also proficient with the piano and guitar. She also sings in a performance group of friends once per week AND particpates in the school and church choirs. She is looking at different options for college including BYUI, BYU Provo, and University of Alberta. Whereever she goes she will be successful.

Alison: Turns 7 next month and is in grade one. She takes piano and swimming lessons. She has spent so much time with the other girls in the family discussing singing lessons that she now knows quite a bit about voice technique. She once said, "Mom, when I sneeze, I engage my back muscles!" She is full of life and energy and still will go around making everyone's beds.


Our family has really been getting into racquetball lately. We've always really liked to play, only now we're actually doing something about it. A few times now we've gone to Fish Creek Racquet club, brought our own dinner, music and a whole brood of people to play racquetball. With such a large group and range of skill levels there is always someone to play with. Cherisa is really giving the Smith girls a run for our money with her ever improving technique and skills. Hopefully we can keep this fun tradition going!

the low family lately

Halloween. Do I even have to tell you who Dave is? Yes I am married to Napoleon Dynamite.

Charlotte as a fairy

The above photos are of Charlotte with her friend Brooklynn. Lucky for her (and me) that Brooklynn is right across the hall so they get to play a lot with each other. Brooklynn's mom Suzanne is the best. I love having her across the hall as well. She's full of good parenting tips, recipes, support and is just an all around awesome friend. I never feel lonely when Dave is gone because I know she's home during the day too if I ever need someone to talk to.

Charlotte is definitely into the toddler stage and it is as they say, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good:
Charlotte is at a really fun age where she loves to participate in everything. She helps me unload the dishwasher, sort laundry, and recently she just helped me with the Christmas tree and baking some cookies. She's also learning how to play better with others and how to share.

She also loves to play dress up with no persuasion from me. Her fairy Halloween costume is usually her go to choice. It hangs in her closet and for the week after Halloween she would go into her room every day and "ask" (whine) until I put it on her. Now it's about twice per week she'll ask to dress up. Same thing with the apron. I put it on her to make cookies and then she refused to take it off for the rest of the night. I used to think that kids couldn't "refuse" to do things but now I realize that in certain cases it's not worth Charlotte's huge tantrum to get the apron off her.

Charlotte is my little buddy and I love spending time with her. She is so fun, full of energy, personality, sass and is learning so much. She really is one of the greatest joys in my life.

The bad:
If I have to hear "owie" or "nya" (snack) one more time, I might lose it. ANYTIME Charlotte is physically hurt, sad, angry, upset, emotional hurt, or anything in between she expresses it by falling to the floor crying and saying owie over and over and over again. It's a little embarrassing in public because people must think I'm ignoring her physical pain. If she ever does get hurt I'm going to have a hard time believing it. Maybe I should read her the story, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Her other buzz word of choice is nya. She asks for a snack literally the second she's awake pretty much until she goes to sleep at night. She'll even ask for a snack after she's had a big breakfast. She'll ask for a snack while she's having a snack. This is confusing and annoying to me.

The ugly:
Charlotte picked up lice from my sister Alison. We just spent last night washing literally everything in our house including winter jackets, hats, scarves, bedding, pillows and anything that couldn't be washed got vacuumed to death. I have to sit and pull out the nits one at a time from Charlotte's hair. They're really hard to get out and she will not sit still to let me do it. Dave and I are both driving ourselves slightly mad thinking that our scalps are itching all day.

Dave just finished sending his applications into Residency programs for internal medicine. He doesn't need to decide what he'll subspecialize in within the internal medicine program for a few more years but right now he's narrowed it down to Gastrointerology (GI/digestive tract) or Nephrology (kidneys). We're really hoping he matches in Calgary but our 2nd choice is Edmonton followed by Vancouver. I feel like I'm always saying these two things about Dave, but he works extremely hard and that he's really busy. We prioritize a needed date night once per week and we make sure that we plan our week each Sunday. Those two things have really helped us enjoy each other along the way. I feel like I'm still in honeymoon stage with Dave most of the time because he is so easy to love.

I've been keeping busy with my aerobics as I mentioned in the post earlier. I've also tried to find little projects to keep myself occupied for those nights when Dave is at the hospital over night. His last call shift I was able to finish some throw pillows for my couch. I LOVE how they turned out and I LOVE the fabric. The photos that you see are recently printed photos and I told my photography that I'd post pictures of them once I had them hung up. I have to admit though, I might have done that anyway because I looooove how they turned out. (The bow is just up for Christmas)

I discovered last year that Christmas wrapping paper in frames is a really cheap and cute way to decorate for Christmas so I was excited to get new wrapping paper up this year again.

Phew this has been such a long post that I'm too lazy to read over it to see if it makes sense.. so sorry if I sounded like an illiterate teenager. lol, ttfn :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fall Family photos

Happy Birthday Spencer!

Spencer just had his 23rd birthday, and to celebrate we had a little Halloween themed party for him.

Spencer's presents included:
- Special rocks from Waterton that she picked, and a homemade card
- Stewart Maclean concert tickets from Jordan
- board game, snowboarding magazine, Twix bar from Dave and Jenny
- Picture frame with picture in it from "Charlotte"
- professional massage from mom and dad

Parental love

Last week it got down to - 30 degrees. In a word, freezing. What do my parents decide to do that night? Come to my step aerobics class of course. Yes, my mom AND my dad. How many dads out there would come to a step aerobics class in their 50s to support their daughter? Not only did he come, but he had a pretty mean cha-cha I might add.

Step up

In grade 8 I won the competition of best Richard Simmons impersonations in my gym class.

This past summer I trained to be a step aerobics instructor for Goodlife Fitness. I had to suppress my Richard Simmons-ness.

I've been teaching aerobics for a few months now and these are the things I've learned.

1) It's really hard to talk and workout at the same time.
2) You have to workout even if you don't want to sometimes
3) Charlotte isn't following the plan of happily going into the free child care while I teach
4) I sweat through my eardrums....or at least it feels that way
5) I can't eat before a class because I'm so nervous.
6) I feel amazing after the class and all the way home
7) No matter how much you try to put a spin on it, step aerobics is still a little 80s.
8) Anytime I hear an upbeat song, I make up a step routine for it in my head
9) I get really "phlegmy" 3/4ths of the way through my class
10) Getting paid to workout is really motivating.
11) I used to think Lulu Lemon workout attire was outrageously overpriced and not worth my time. I now think they have the MOST flattering and comfortable workout shorts I've ever worn.
12) People don't appreciate living below a step aerobics instructor-in-training.

Every few months the club releases new material for all the classes. We dress up and work as teams to present the new material. Here are a few pics from that night. The same night that I majorly messed up the choreography... not fun.

post workout. Hence my super shiny/sweaty face.

Now time for the plug.
One of the classes I teach on Wednesday nights has low attendance. It's always more fun with more participants. Getting any ideas? Come on out!! It's a great workout. You might even get to see a little Richard Simmons if you're lucky.