Spartan Race Montana 2014

We finally had our first Spartan race of the 2014 season! This is Kris, Kyley and I before the race.
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Here is a post race photo.
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Not that muddy I know but this is clearly where the distinction between a “mud run” and an obstacle course race starts to show. The main focus for both is of course fun. A mud run is all about getting as muddy as possible so almost everything you go through has mud in it. For me an Obstacle Course race is more about running and challenging obstacles. There was plenty of both on this course. 18 obstalces, 7.4km of running and 4,000 feet of elevation gain on the course! Let me say that part again, 4,000 feet of elevation gain!

This years Montana Sprint was a Founder’s Race and Joe Desena put his special touch on the layout and design of the race. It was a very awesome course featuring lots of hills, some technical sections and lots of new (for me at least) obstacles.

The “shower” after was a first for me too. I have never been sprayed off with a pressure washer before never mind 3 at once when it is only 8 degrees out!
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Here is the footage from the Go Pro. Sadly I expected to complete this “Sprint” in around 50 minutes but this Founders Race kicked it up a notch and took 1 hour 33 minutes for our team. I did not pack extra batteries for the Go Pro and so am missing part of the run and a lot of the obstacles (last 1/2 hour). It was an amazing course though so enjoy part of the course…


April 7, 2005 – October 17, 2013

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Kosmo came into our life on a chance visit to the Edmonton Humane Society on June 14, 2005. Born on April 7, 2005 he was a mere 8 weeks old and only weighed 10 pounds. He was so small that he could lay down on the centre console in our truck while we took him home. His given name was John and his brothers were the other Beatles, Paul, George, and Ringo. We felt Kosmo was a much better suited name because of the way he looked.

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We fell in love with Kosmo right away and chose him because he was the quiet one of the litter. Little did we know this would soon change and Kosmo turned out to be full of energy, highly intelligent, easily trained, and loved to work! The more work he had the happier he was. Kosmo was also very protective and extremely loyal and did not like being separated from his family!

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Kosmo was also quick to display his prowess as an escape artist and provided us with countless challenges to find ways to keep him safely kennelled while we were away at work. I really wished that I had the type of job that would have allowed me to keep him with me during the day but it is hard to make a living playing fetch!

Kosmo loved cuddles and being petted, going for walks, runs, bike rides, playing tug of war, and agility training. When we first moved into our house most of the surrounding area was still rural with lots of fields and woods. It was like living in the country and Kosmo loved to go for very long off leash walks, sometimes 3-4 hours, so that he was free to run, play, and explore.

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Playing fetch was by far his favourite thing to do though. Kosmo would greet you with toy in mouth, most often one of his rings, trying to initiate play and would not stop until you played out. I think he was worried that if he stopped you would stop too. Often times we would have to make him take breaks so he could have a drink. I am certain he would have played until his heart exploded if you let him. He was in is glory doing this for countless hours each day!

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In 2007 our family grew with the birth of Owen. Kosmo was very happy to have mom home with him and he was sure to stay close for cuddles and watch over them while Angela would feed and care for Owen.

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In 2008 our family grew again with the arrival of Brandon. Kosmo now had mom home again and was very familiar with the routine of feeding and cuddles.

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Kosmo was very protective of his brothers, he kept a careful watch over them and always made sure he could see where they both were. Kosmo also enjoyed being brushed and petted by Owen and Brandon. As we all got older their fondness of each other grew and the responsibilities of having a dog were taken on by the boys. They would often help us take Kosmo to the bathroom, get him food and water, make sure they were gentle petting him, put his leash off and on and even help to bring him into the house from the van. They were proud of Kosmo as their dog and took great comfort in knowing he could help them find mom and dad in a game of hide and seek as well as keep them and our house safe. Simply put Kosmo was the best dog ever and worthy of super hero status!

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Over the Thanksgiving Weekend Kosmo became very sick. His breathing was short, labored and wheezy and had a whimper to it. We thought that it might have been kennel cough and so I took him to the vet. After an initial physical exam, blood tests and x-rays the results were in. Kosmo had a very large mass in his lungs and another in his abdominal area. Our biggest fear came true, Kosmo had cancer.

We took a few days off to spend with Kosmo and the boys stayed out of school on Thursday afternoon so that we could take some pictures with him. Kosmo passed away Thursday afternoon with Angela and I by his side. He was only 8, his life to brief. We were far from ready to let him go, to say goodbye but knew he was suffering badly. He is already missed more than words can express and will be greatly missed by our family. The pain of losing Kosmo is difficult. We were fortunate to have him be such a tremendous part of our lives. The memories we have of him will be cherished forever.

It is sad to see all that remains and everywhere I look I am filled with wonderful memories of our beloved Kosmo and wish he was still with us.

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Happy 5th Birthday, Brandon!

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Brandon is weighing 48.80 lbs and is 46 inches tall now! Even with this growth Brandon still seems to fit into size 5/6 tops but is struggling with bottoms, size 5 fits in the waist but is getting too short in length but size 6 is just too baggy! And Brandon loves, LOVES “soft pants” as in sweat pants and thankfully I found some sweat pants with a real drawstring! Brandon is wearing a size 12 shoe.

Brandon still likes the comfort of knowing Mommy or Daddy are close by — so Mom or Dad usually read in our room for a while until Brandon has fallen asleep.

Brandon is more open to trying new foods but he still has his staple go to foods — pasta of any kind (we are slowly trying sauce sometimes), egg scrambled or poached (just like Mom), hot dogs with ketchup and of course strawberries and raspberries, cucumber, carrots and broccoli. Brandon’s new food likes since last year are rice, green peppers, watermelon and pizza.

Brandon is definitely a strong personality (like his dad); he gets frustrated easily and is constantly trying to keep up with his big brother, Owen. Brandon is very competitive in everything he does – we are trying to teach Brandon that winning isn’t everything and that trying your best and not giving up is more important.

Brandon loves attention and will do most anything to get a smile, a laugh, a giggle from anyone. Brandon loves to dance, to sing and be silly to music. Some of Brandon’s favorite tv shows and movies are Special Agent OSO, Handy Many, Bee Movie and Rio.

Brandon moved to a new daycare this summer, the daycare Owen went to when he moved to kindergarten. Brandon and Owen seem much happier now that they are both together again. Brandon and Owen take care of each other, watching out for each other’s jackets and shoes and lunches (makes Mom’s job a little easier).

Brandon started kindergarten this September and was very excited to be going to school with Owen. On the first day, though, when he stepped off the daycare van, the look on his face was the look of oh-my-gosh there are so many kids! Thankfully he spotted Mom and Dad waiting to walk him to class; he grabbed Mom’s hand and didn’t want to let go. Dad did a very good job of distracting and encouraging so Mom and Dad could leave the classroom. So far three weeks in, Brandon enjoys school – recess is the favorite!

Brandon played outdoor soccer again this spring; this time with Owen on his team and Dad and Mom as coaches. The soccer was a hit again, Brandon loved chasing for the ball, running for it and trying his best to score a goal! Last year Brandon and Owen played ice hockey for the first time. It was a great experience for them and for us. Dad did the head coach role and we made some wonderful friends through hockey that we have continued to keep in contact with all year! Brandon and Owen will start another year of hockey this fall….with Dad as head coach again (he loves it)! Over the summer we built a play set for the boys in the yard, Brandon loves to swing and he will swing for hours! Sean and I have been encouraging the boys to ride their bikes more over the summer and by the time school started, Brandon was trying very hard to ride without training wheels! He is so close!!

Brandon still loves playing bad guy and good guy — so army men (complete with the jeeps, tanks, helicopters and guns), superhero’s (The Hulk, Spider-man, Batman and Ironman), police men and fire men are his favorite thing to play with these days. Brandon still loves building and fixing things – so tools, construction trucks and lego are always a hit. Brandon also still really enjoys dress up — fireman, policeman (or SWAT) or cowboys are the favorites!

Brandon’s birthday party was Army theme at a wonderful facility with a climbing structure, movie theatre, air hockey table and plenty of room to run this year.

Beach Day

We recently discovered Gull Lake; it is a wonderful spot just before Red Deer with a great sandy beach, nice grass area for a picnic, a playground and of course an ice cream shack. We only made it out once last year, as the weather didn’t cooperate on the other days we had planned. This year we planned a few extra days, just to ensure we got out a few times. Our first visit was wonderful, it was hot, sunny and just an awesome beach day!

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Looking forward to another visit to the beach this summer!!

Summer Holiday

Our summer holiday was all planned – take the boys to Banff to see the mountains then go onto Calgary to see the Calgary Zoo!  Well all those plans fell through when Southern Alberta experienced a most horrible flood.  So instead we turned our summer holiday plans into a stay-cation.  We stayed at home and did something each day – on rainy days we saw movies (Despicable Me 2), checked out the new Lego store at Southgate Mall and picked out books from the library.  One rainy day we stopped by the Fire Station by Callingwood.  There were fire men and fire trucks and there was even a fire call while we were there, so we were able to see what the fire men when they get a call.

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We checked out the Ukrainian Cultural Village with Grandma and Grandpa H. It was the first time we ventured out there and it was well worth the visit. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it!

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Of course the boys wanted to dress up for our outing — so we brought our cowboy and superhero along!

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Sean was determined to be in at least one photo from our visit!

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We also enjoyed our local Valley Zoo one day. I love our zoo; I think it gets a bad rap sometimes for being too small and too simple but that is what I love most about it. For the kids, I think it’s the perfect zoo – you can go check out the animals, have an ice cream treat and be done for the kids get too exhausted!

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The boys really enjoyed our week at home. One of my favorite parts was that we could go out each day but we got to come home each night and sleep in our own beds!

Remember the summer heat?!

The Canada Day long weekend gave us a few wonderfully hot hot true summer days.  While we normally make our way to the Alberta Legislative Grounds to enjoy the wading pools and everything Canada, this year with the heat, we felt we would stay closer to home and away from too many crowds.  So we spent the day at the Callingwood Spray Park.  We brought our beach umbrella, our picnic lunch and of course our water guns!  Owen and Brandon had a blast and it was wonderful when Owen and Brandon asked if they could share their water guns with some of the children there — makes you feel good about your parenting!

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The heat continued for a few more days, allowing us to pull out our inflatable pool and giving the boys a chance to play on the deck.

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They spent hours in the pool, splashing, watering my flowers, filling their buckets and then dumping them.

These are the things I most look forward to when summer comes!

Let’s Play Catch Up

We are half way through summer (even though it really doesn’t feel like summer — don’t get me started)…let’s start with the tail end of soccer season – the Tim Bits Jamboree. As from most of the soccer season we battled rain outs and why should the Jamboree be any different. We smiled through the rain and thoroughly enjoyed the day! Thanks to Aunty Claudette for capturing this family shot!

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In the spring I made my “Sean” list for the summer; my annual list of things that I would love for us to get done over the summer – this could mean activities, yard work, major house cleaning, photo help. It’s a Sean list as I need Sean to either help me do these things or I need Sean to do these things. My hubby loves me so much! First off we decided to replace our mulch with rock, as with all the rain, the mulch was too light and would litter the driveway and sidewalk and grass after a rainfall. I discovered the most excellent thing about having 2 boys, is that I have 2 more worker’s. With much excitement, Owen and Brandon got their work gloves on and helped Dad shovel the mulch and move the rock.

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Frequent breaks were required.

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Of course it’s not all work and no play…Sean signed up for the Spartan Race that was held in Edmonton this year. He accomplished the 5 km obstacle race and thoroughly enjoyed it — enjoyed it so much he will be doing the next Spartan race in Red Deer this fall. Congrats baby! So proud of you! And thanks to Kris for taking care of him through the race!

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Oh yes and we cannot forget my most favorite, new hobby — gardening, as in veggie gardening. A few years ago I started a small garden with the intention of showing my boys how food can grow from seeds. Well the first year I had success which made me eager to try again. Each year since I have added more to my garden, become more adventurous and my garden has become much larger. This year I took the boys with me to pick out some seeds – Owen picked watermelon and Brandon picked pumpkins. Unfortunately Owen’s watermelon has not come up – as I tell Owen, try again next year! Brandon’s pumpkin has come up and is growing quite well. By early summer my lettuce had grown to a size big enough to cut and eat. Of course whenever I am picking veggies I always have the boys help!

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Since the lettuce, we’ve picked more veggies…but let’s save that for another post.

It’s been a while….

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve updated you with things. Life has been crazy, hectic and wonderful. The boys are in a ton of activities and loving it! With the amount of time in a day and the amount of things I want to accomplish, it is tough to do it all. We have decided to do a few more things in the yard this summer, so will be busy with the hard work — which we all love!

Happy weekend!

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Happy 6th Birthday Owen!!

Happy 6th Birthday Owen!

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Owen is 6 years old now!  Owen weighs 56 lbs and is 48 inches tall.  He is growing so much and is in between a size small and medium for tops and size 6 or 7 for pants (if they are pants he needs the size 7 for the length).  Owen’s feet have grown to a size 2 (wide)!!  Owen is wearing glasses now and is doing such a good job taking care of them!  Owen definitely knows what he likes and now when it comes to clothes shopping, Owen has to come along to pick out the right graphic tee’s and pants  We have continued the tradition of having Grandma K come along when we buy clothes, as Owen loves to use the fitting room and show off!.

Some of Owen’s favorite foods are – watermelon, pineapple, apples and oranges (cut up with a fork please).  He likes all kinds of veggies – carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, broccoli and red peppers.  Pasta continues to be a BIG hit with chicken fingers, hot dogs and baloney sandwiches.  Boston Pizza is a favorite – Bandera Bread with meat sauce and Subway is another favorite as well.  Owen enjoys pancakes and toast (cut up like a dinosaurs) and cereal of all kinds.  While Owen is still a picky eater, he has expanded his food choices, making it a little easier on Mom!

Owen moved to his Out of School Care Centre in September, just in time for Kindergarten.  He has thoroughly enjoyed the centre and school.  Owen goes to Kindergarten in the afternoon, so he spends the mornings with his other pm kinder friends.  The centre does a ton of crafts for every holiday and season, which Owen loves.  Kindergarten has been great, Owen loves to write his letters and words, loves learning to read and has matured and grown so much!  Hard to believe Owen will be starting Grade One this fall!  Sean, Claudette, Angie and I have all had a chance to go on field trips or volunteer in the classroom and Owen really really enjoys showing off his family to his friends.  Some of Owen’s new friends would be McKinnon, Alexa, Josh and Nathan (from school).

This past year we saw some exciting things, as a family we visited Drumheller to see the dinosaurs, experience a long car ride and stay in a hotel.  We stopped at Gull Lake first to enjoy the beach and then went to Calaway Park as well.  We went to Capital Ex again and the boys enjoyed the rides and games even more this year.  The new spray park in Callingwood opened up and we spent many Saturday mornings there, enjoying the water and having lunch on the blanket.   We went out to visit a very good friend who has horses – the boys both got to ride the horses and have talked about it ever since.  Sean and I spent four days in Vegas, so the boys enjoyed a sleepover with Aunty Claudette and Grandma K.  And in between it all, we saw movies, the boys enjoyed play dates with their new friend Andrea and explored new playgrounds in our area.

Owen started ice hockey this past fall / winter and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Dad was head coach and Owen had some friends on his team as well.  Along with ice hockey, Owen did skating lessons and swimming lessons through the winter.  AND…Sean took the boys out to Rabbit Hill to experience skiing and snowboarding.  They went 3 or 4 times at the end of the season and really enjoyed the new experience.  Owen’s confidence with skating and swimming grew immensely.  Through the spring Owen played soccer again, this time with Brandon on his team and Dad and Mom coaching.  What a year makes, Owen thoroughly loves soccer and loves to be in net but also running with the ball!  Saturday morning’s Owen and Brandon (along with some of his hockey friends) have been playing ball hockey for the first time — and it’s a big hit!    I think Owen’s favorite part is asking Mom to feel his sweaty, wet hair at the end of the game!  Owen and Brandon expressed an interest in doing gymnastics again, so I was able to find a class once a week in the evenings.  They really enjoy the bouncing and balancing and the foam pit.

Owen still likes Superhero’s like Spider-man, Thor, Capitan America and Batman.  Everything Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been the biggest interest this year.  As well, Lego has really taken off – Owen loves to build with Lego and  can now build the sets for 7-14 yr olds, all on his own!  I am so proud of his patience and excitement.  Owen still love puzzles, but it is getting harder to find ones for Owen, as anything less than 100 pieces is too easy for him.  Owen loves to color, do crafts and play board games!  Some of the board games he really loves to play are Guess Who (Star Wars version), Candyland, Ladybug Game and Go Fish.

Owen’s birthday party will be a Star Wars theme this year with a Jungle safari bouncy house at Aunty Claudette’s house.

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Happy 4th Birthday Brandon!

Brandon is 4 years old today!

He weighs 43.6 lbs and is 42 inches tall. This means Brandon is wearing size 5/6 tops and size 5 bottoms. He wears a size 12 shoe too!! Brandon seems to do okay without an afternoon nap. He seems to be right on the brink of skipping them, as we are finding he seems to have a harder time falling asleep at night if he naps. We are alternating naps each day to slowly help him transition out of napping. At night Brandon likes the comfort of knowing Mommy or Daddy are close by — so I usually read my book in our room for a while until Brandon has fallen asleep (and I have to admit a lot of nights, I will lay with both Owen and Brandon for a few minutes until they settle – they won’t be asking me to do that for much longer, so….).

Brandon is more up for trying new foods but he still has his staple go to foods — pasta of any kind (but usually no sauce), egg scrambled or poached (just like Mom) and of course strawberries and raspberries, cucumber, carrots and broccoli. Vanilla is still Brandon’s favorite flavor – yogurt, cake and ice cream (just like Dad).

Brandon gets frustrated easily but is slowly learning how to voice his concerns, instead of hitting, yelling and crying. It’s got to be tough trying to keep up with a big brother like Owen. Brandon loves to pick out his clothes and dress himself; most often the shirt ends up backwards…but he tells us he likes it that way! Mr.Independent.  Brandon is quite a funny boy. He loves attention and will do most anything to get a smile, a laugh, a giggle from anyone — and this just eggs him on. Brandon loves to dance and be silly to music. Some of Brandon’s favorite tv shows are Special Agent OSO, Handy Many, Shrek, The Incredibles and Tangled.

Brandon is at the daycare this year without Owen. He has moved to the Pre-Kinder room; the room that will help him learn all that he needs to learn to prepare him for Kindergarten next year. It’s been a bigger transition that either Dad or I thought it would be. The place didn’t change, the teachers and friends didn’t change, just his brother isn’t around. Dad and I didn’t expect that to be as big of a deal as it has been. The drop offs are a little tougher, as Brandon feels more alone in the mornings without his brother (even though his friends are all there). But after a few minutes Brandon is off playing with his friends –swimming, music, baking, counting, library time, gymnasium time and nature walks.

Brandon did one last session of gymnastics this past year and in the spring played outdoor soccer. The soccer was a hit, Brandon loved chasing for the ball and running with it — the only thing was trying to explain to Brandon that we share the ball with our teammates but not with the other team. This fall Brandon, with his brother Owen, will start playing ice hockey. This is a big step for the whole family, but we are all looking forward to the new experience.

Brandon loves playing bad guy and good guy — so army men (complete with the jeeps, tanks, helicopters and guns), superhero’s (Spider-man, Batman and Thor), police men and fire men are his favorite thing to play with these days. Brandon still loves building and fixing things – so the tools, construction trucks and men as always a hit. Brandon really really loves dressing up as a fireman, policeman, cooking in the kitchen or building forts to keep the monsters away. And this year he got a new dress up outfit — SWAT! Now how perfect was that!?

Brandon’s birthday party was Lego City theme with a bouncy house at his Aunty’s house this year.