Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jake made the Tier 1 Atom Hockey Team!!

Jake made it through all of the tryouts and made it to the Atom Tier 1 Travel Team. I am soo proud. He is 1 of only 3 first year kids to make it. And out of those kids, he is the only 1st year forward! I took a video of him, this is still early in the season, but I do like to have videos on here because its been neat to go back through my posts, and watch their progression. It's amazing how much difference a year will make.

He isn't scoring any goals here, just playing the good ole hockey game :)

Love,

Jodi

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A little Giles Family History

An integral part of the Giles family passed away recently. Our beloved Aunt... At the funeral, I got dad and his siblings together for a pic. Unfortunately, I didn't have my good camera, and I missed Grandpa.

Dad did the eulogy. There is a whole lot of Giles history in this eulogy, and I wanted to preserve it, so I'm posting it here. He did a great job of it...

Eulogy of Thora Giles

"I have been given an opportunity by being asked to give the eulogy, a chance to talk about Thora. I am appreciative of that. Before I start I would like to thank each and every one of you for coming here today to help us remember her. Some of you know her as Thora Giles but in our family she is known simply as “Aunt.”

I think Aunt can be best described as “the wind beneath our wings” kind of person. Before anymore can be said about Aunt it is important for us to travel back in time. Let’s set the stage with a series of events that were to mould her life.

Aunt was the first born to Jack and Jessie Giles. She was born in 1923 and was 6 years old when the world entered into an era know as the great depression. 1929 half of all Americans and Canadians were now living below the substance level. Average yearly income had fallen to $750.00 and for farm families it was a mere $273.00 per annum. Once fertile land was now dried up and blowing away. Not everything was infertile though, by 1936 there were 9 at the dinner table, Jack, Jessie and their 7 children. It was tough times........Tougher times than I can only imagine and then it gets worse............much worse. In March of 1939, at the age of 39, Jessie Giles passed away.

Here is the starting line-up at the table. Thora was 16, Jean was 15, Terry 14, John 12, Dennis Russel, better known as Barney, 10, and two babies, Merv was 4 and Joan was 3 years old. Wow, let’s just stop and think about that...... and the bad luck does not stop there. 4 months later on stampede parade day, hmmm, parade day. Parade day, in 1939 as always, the Giles’s attended the Calgary Stampede parade and then went on to St. George’s Island for a picnic, only this year it was without Jessie. It was on this parade day that Harry Anderson sought out Granddad with more bad news. After they had left home that morning their house had burned to the ground.. Jack gathered the kids around and declared that they would get through this.... they were going to stick together. Thora was darn sure listening and stick together she did. She gave the rest of her able years to taking care of family. As the years went by and the siblings went on their way, nieces and nephews started showing up. Aunt’s house was always like a second home to me, I spent almost as much time at Aunt’s house as I did at home. Being the oldest and the first of the nieces and nephews I am going to say that I single handedly am the reason that Thora was first called Aunt but it didn’t matter if you were a niece, nephew, sibling, or any relative, everybody felt at home at Aunt’s. It was always that way.

If you were to poll the family and ask everybody what they remember about Aunt, all lists would include one common denominator, the “New Year’s Day “ traditional dinner at Aunt’s house. I am going to guess that I went there for dinner on New Year’s Day for forty odd years, I never missed one and I wouldn’t have missed one. I have memories that stretch from myself being there as a young boy to our girls being there with their dates. She did all of this and more, probably way to much more, yet still never lost her love of ranching. There are stories of her feeding and checking the cows, and tipping over the truck while hauling barrels of fuel home. So surely, surely, if your jobs range from raising the family, cooking the meals, checking the cows, etc.etc etc., one would guess that she probably did not have time to pay attention to details around the house. Right? Wrong.......The house was spotless. Everything had to be perfect. Blankets were folded a certain way, blinds were open this much and the chair had to be turned that way. It was unbelievable.

Even more details. When Aunt was cooking she took recipes to a new level. I guess it started with Granddad’s recipe for overcoming the tragedies of 1939. When Aunt made her famous cherry cake or even chilli it was a 2 day ordeal, but she could whip up a fruit salad in half a day or so and still wash and dry each grape individually, cut in exactly half, lined up side by side and then placed perfectly, one by one, into the salad.

Aunt was also our teacher. I can remember sitting on her knee while she read me countless books, taught me math and how to write my name. Later years, she taught the kids how to drive, but I am not really sure anybody picked up on how to take two days to make a cake. Aunt never stopped teaching right to the end. I know that Claudia took a few lessons and knows exactly how far the blinds should be open and exactly how Aunt’s blanket was to be folded at the foot of the bed.

I have talked a lot about fond memories that I have accumulated over the years growing up at Aunt’s house and I am going to guess that under these circumstances that is kind of normal, most of us want to remember the good years. But this story has a different ending. One, and one, of my fondest memories comes from about a month ago when my sister Susan had flown in from B. C., and Merv and Mona had invited Susan, Karen and I for dinner. After dinner, Merv suggested we go and visit Aunt. In hind sight, I guess you could say she was on her death bed. I understand she did not weigh 90 pounds. She had deteriorated to the point where she could no longer get out of bed, but we never noticed that. We sat and visited for over an hour, just chatting, laughing and having a good time together. She was funny, witty, always of a sharp mind and had a great memory. It was another great visit and I left feeling lifted. I never saw Aunt have a bad day and it was never a bad day when I saw Aunt.

She truly was the wind beneath our wings. "

Taylor Giles also did a slideshow of pics of Aunt's life. It was awesome, and I hope to one day get my hands on it and post it here as well.

We will all miss you Aunt. Rest in Peace...

Love,

Jodi



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yummmm Oh!

Drew loves to get dressed up really fancy for playschool. Good thing is doesn't start until 1:30 because it takes us most of the morning to get ready :) Anyway, I thought she looked really pretty this day, so I snapped a picture while we were waiting at Timmy's on our way to school. And with my kids, when you take a picture of one, you must take a picture of all 3. Thought I would share...
She calls this dress her "twirly dress". She must have twirled like crazy that day, because when she got home, she told me she wasn't allowed to twirl at school. I assume she probably overdid it a little :)
I don't remember what Jake was doing in this pic. Listening to his iPod, so I assume he was dancing for me...
Kolt's favorite pose. And, I know what Jake was doing in this pic.....do you see his hand?

Mom and I went to the Spruce Meadows Masters on September long weekend. And there we had lunch and some catch up time with an old friend Lesley. I snapped a cute picture of the two of them




And, after I got back from Wasa, I was on a fresh food kick. So I drug Brian and the kids to the Calgary Farmers Market after Lacrosse one day. They usually have incredible face painters there. So the kids each got their faces painted.

This first one is Jake. I can't believe how much it changed how he looks!! All day I kept telling him how different he looked. He finally just started smiling at me (maybe thats where Drew gets the "overdoing" things from....ya think? Nah, she totally gets it from Brian ;)






Last night I was supposed to go with Julie to the Anne. Murray. Book Signing in Calgary. I skipped out because I wasn't feeling well. So she had to go all by herself. I think it couldn't have worked out any better for her. At 5:30 she texted me to say how much fun it was and that she had found her cult! The lady behind her had come alone as well (and had brought a chair), so they took turns holding each others spots in line, and sitting in the chair. A man behind her knew Anne from when he was a child. She had babysat him for 10 years! Julie said when it was his turn, Anne remembered him and said he was a brat to babysit.
Anyway, after she had spent a couple of hours in line with these people, I'm not sure she wanted to be a part of the group so bad. Apparently they were all very competitive with their "Anne information" and "Anne encounters". Not so welcoming and excited for each other by the sounds of it.
Funny.
Here are the pics.



This one I had to post, because it shows Julie's adorable baby bump!

Check out my buns!! Yummm OH!! So easy, Here's the pic!

Brian's immediate reaction to this picture was, "those are not your buns". I'll have you know that these ARE in fact my buns, I took the picture. He didn't know because we ate them too fast. Or wasn't referring to my cinnamon buns :)

Here's the recipe!

Ingredients
1 (1 pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream
Directions
On a floured surface, roll dough into an 18-in. x 6-in. rectangle; brush with butter. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal. Cut into 16 slices. Place, cut side down, in two greased 8-in. round baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 50 minutes. Pour 1/4 cup cream over each pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately invert onto serving plates.


The jury is out on the cream. I made them both ways. (I made 48 in 2 days, they were all gone in 3 days, and we didn't share with one single other person!!) We think we prefer them without it, it made them a little soggy. However, they still went down good!


That's all for today!



Love,
Jodi







Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Changes

Hi Everyone,

As you can clearly see, I have been making some changes around here :) I'm looking for your opinions on them. Let's go for a little tour.

Over on the right, I have added a few "gadgets" (techinical blog term). Under the archives, is Julie and Reg's baby countdown. I'm counting it down because I get to be there for the birth!!

Under that gadget, is the live traffic feed gadget. So now I know that lot's of somebody's are browsing around my blog, but I still don't know who??? (If you left me a comment occasionally, I would know you were here!).

Under that, is the "Other Blogs I Visit" gadget. I love to visit all sorts of blogs all the time. If I have a free moment, that's usually what you will find me doing (oh AND shopping on kijiji - I heart good deals ). At this point I am not going to post ALL of the blogs I visit, only the special ones. The link there (This is Where I Belong), is for cousin Leanne's blog.

Finally, at the bottom, we have a "Followers" Gadget. Here you can follow my blog! If you want the details on what this is and how to do it, click here.

I have also changed the font and background. I think it's really pretty, but I'm not sure it's so easy to read? This is where you come in :) Leave me a comment (if you don't remember how how to do that, click here - at the bottom of this post, I gave a small lesson on commenting).

At the very least, I have given you 3 options to click. Funny, cool, sweet. I only have 3 options, but if you'd like a different one, let me know! These are beside the "comment" spot. Click on the little white box.

I won't hold my breath, but I will look forward to hearing your opinions :)

Love,
Jodi

Monday, November 9, 2009

Explosive Edge is Open for Business

Hi Everyone,

Well, after 1-1/2 years of planning, building, preparing, talking, and negotiating. the hockey training facility at our place is open!! It's true when they say "All good things take time". But it was well worth the wait. We had a cleaning frenzy this past weekend. While they cleaned, I snapped pictures :)

I really only needed one picture of Kolt, but the steam from the pressure washer made a really cool effect, so I'm sharing 2 pic's :)


The kids worked so hard! Jake's feet hurt for 2 days, and Kolt had sore muscles in his neck and arms. They are such good help!



Yes, you are seeing correctly. I finally caught Brian working ;)



That was the rink part. They were pressure washing the synthetic ice surface. These next pics are of the gym. It is attached to the rink. We made the signs with the router. They turned out so great! This wall is 60' long, so I had to do it in 2 shots.

The next picture is at the back of the gym looking to the front. On the front right side of this picture is the skating treadmill. I thought I had pics of the boys on it, but then realized that I was not using my camera when I took those. I'll try to get some when they are on it again.
Look who finally snuck into the picture. She was doing everything she could to get in them.
This wall is the coolest. It's my favorite part. It's the wall behind the skating treadmill.


There are two dressing rooms...




Oh look! Finally a picture by herself. While we cleaned, she was drawing - this is the picture, and of course her baby.


Jake's team came out for training last night. I forgot my camera, but it was neat to see the facility full of kids. They rotated through stations and Jake claims they worked him hard. So that was good!
It's nice to have one project done to completion. We will have a grand opening at some point, I'll keep you posted, we'd love to have you over! Or stop in for a visit to check it out. We are very proud and love to show it off!!
Love,
Jodi

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hallowe'en at Preschool and Trick or treats

Hi All

Drew had her Hallowe'en party at preschool last week. This year they changed it from a costume party to Orange and Black Day. I know not everybody celebrates Hallowe'en, but it was sad. The little people in their costumes are the cutest and always the ones I enjoy the most! I took some video. They sang a little Hallowe'en song and then took turns whacking the pinata.


You can't see very well in the video, and the lighting is really bad. But you can see what a performer she is. She gets right into all of the actions. It's soo cute!

video




video


I took the picture above because it is so funny how much bigger Drew is than everyone else in her class! She's the one in black in the middle of the line that is a "whole head plus some" taller than the little peanut beside her. I have included steriods into my children's diet to be sure they are big and strong - guess it's working ;)


Jake and Kolt got turns at the pinata as well. I wasn't prepared with my camera to get video of Kolt, because he went first, so he just got a picture..






Jake got a video. Isn't he impressive hitting that preschool pinata ;)



video

Here are the kids in their costumes... Drew had 2 costumes this year because she bought hers so early and lost her enthusiasm about it (shouldn't I know better by now?). So when we went to buy Kolts costume (he was a ninja), I saw a pink unicorn costume that was sooo cute. So I suggested it to her, and she wanted it. She came home and tried it on. I never saw it on her, but Kolt thought it was so cute, he laughed. That was the end of the unicorn. She couldn't deal with Kolty laughing at her, and went back to being a witch. Jeepers, girls are so much more tempramental! My boys thrive on being laughed at!

Here's the pics....








Isn't this a fabulous make-up artistry job on Jake? I do amaze myself as I find all of my hidden talents :)


Julie wasn't completely in favor of me taking this picture. But she came around. Geez Jake, you don't look like such a tough hockey player in Aunties arms...



That was it for the Hallowe'en festivities. The boys had a sleepover at Momma's at the end, and Drew came home with her Mommy. I love that she still wants to be with me most of the time. She crashed on the way home. She was tired from all the excitement, but at least we were together - Brian was at the Flames game.
Have I even mentioned hockey lately? Gonna have to update you soon, but there isn't much to say, still going well. My boys are both still superstars :)
Love,
Jodi