Sunday, September 14, 2008

Summer Recaps and New Resolutions

Remember me??? I once wrote a blog pretty regularly in an effort to keep friends and family up to speed on how our family was getting on in Calgary. Life got in the way and one week of not writing, turned into two, then I would stress over how much I had to catch up on, so I would procrastinate. Now here it is, over three months later. For shame.

I'll try to sum up the craziness that is our life in a shortened list. All that has happened since May 2008 (and maybe even before that). You ready? Not sure if I can do this, but I'll try:

Marci (our therapist) left us to go to Cali to be with her family = we were sad

I stole this picture from Marci, so I'm not sure what the heck this picture is all about.

Lauren joined Owen's team & Laura & Janelle joined Will's team = we were happy

In May, Steph and my dad all came for visits. For Mother's Day we all got Willowjak tattoos!!! = fun

Dad getting his tattoo from Mike

In late May, my mom came out for a few days = catching up with the boys and picking up cowboys

Jake celebrated his 7th birthday with lots of friends and Grandma = painting pottery and lots of smiles

Lisa, Kimberly, Wendy, and Jake & friends for his birthday party

All five of us enjoyed our first meal out together in a restaurant in years = SUCCESS!

I went with Lisa to the AutismOne conference in Chicago = I got to see Sandy and her family and what I learned changed my entire perspective on Autism

Beginning of June, Granny, Grandad and my Gram (Gamma) arrived after driving across the country, to settle into their new digs here in Calgary ... not to mention that they live at the end of our street! = my life is now Everybody Loves Raymond! :)

The Reunion: Granny, Grandad Brian & Gamma with the boys

Started Will on the Gluten/Casein free diet + no artificial food colouring or processed foods = A whole new kid!!! (will have to get back to this one in another post)

Will eating rice macaroni and meat sauce

Jake's school year was winding down in the most miserable of ways. Lots of tears, lots of calls from the principle's office and the bad taste in our mouth that we failed him in letting him suffer through a whole school year with a school that failed him = enrollment in a new school for next year

Uncle Bill and Nadia came for a visit from New Zealand = a good reason to celebrate at a Jim Cuddy concert

Nadia, Uncle Bill, Granny, Dad, Will & Jake on the deck

Granny & Gamma joined me as guests of honour at a Parents' Tea, put on by Owen and Will's classroom = pride Gamma, Granny & Will at the Tea

Last day of school was bittersweet for all of the boys = goodbye to Jake's classmates and goodbye to Owen M., as he would be moving on to kindergarten next year!

Owen's last day of school

We welcomed summer's hot weather with full-time therapy in the house, goodbyes to Melanie and hello to Tara = happy/sad/topsy-turvy

Owen and Will's teachers: Erin, Tara, Melanie & Sherri

I proudly attended Erin's bridal shower and watched her stuff her mouth full of gum and fell in love with a pretty rainbow-layered jello dessert that I'm still waiting to get the recipe for = feeling old because I remember my own bridal showers 9 years ago!

Jake was enrolled in a 2 week theatre camp, which concluded with a presentation of the Jungle Book = a post I will write later with all the details

Uncle Greg and his girlfriend Devon moved to Calgary, just in time for Jake's performance = the addition of the brother makes the Everybody Loves Raymond comparison complete

Jonathan, Carol, Jake, Greg, Devon & Squire

July's highlight was what we've been waiting for for 5 years.. our very first family vacation with all five of us in the Shuswaps = yet another post that I need to write later with more detail

Gamma went back to Ontario in August for 3 weeks to pack up and sell her house = nobody to do my dishes!

Jonathan and Jake went back to Ontario to hang out with Grandad David and visit some old friends = we were lonely without them

Jonathan and Grandad David

Uncle Ian and Bella came to visit us for a few days = a whole lotta naked kids playing in water

Jake and Bella

Owen and Bella at the River

Erin and Gareth got married!!! It was such a gorgeous day and the boys did Erin proud by making lots of noise = we went to our first wedding as a family

We said goodbye to good friends- Kimberly, Rob, Kealey and Harry = people to visit when if we ever go to Cranbrook, BC

We said goodbye to Janelle, Sherri and Lauren = hello to Rebecca


Jake started at a new school in mid-August = an early start means more vacation days throughout the year and a lot more smiles from Jeek

Jake's first day of 2nd grade

Lauren joined us for our front row centre seats at Sesame St. Live = an ecstatic Owen and a puzzled Will as he held up his stuffed Bert and Ernie to compare them to the real thing on stage

Lauren with Jake, Will and Owen

Auntie Vick and Gamma drove back across Canada to join us again in Calgary = someone to do my dishes!

Celebrating Devon's 1st Birthday in Calgary: Jake, Devon, Uncle Greg, Will, Jonathan, Auntie Vick, Grandad Brian & Gamma

Auntie Vick, Granny, Gamma and I took a road trip to Jasper = Steel Magnolias: Jasper

Auntie Vick & Carol at the Bow Summit, looking over Peyto Lake, Banff Nat'l Park

Lisa and I finally managed after 2 years to get Craig and Jonathan to go out for a day of golfing = a play date at our house with the Owen, Ella, Jake, Will and Owen

Owen and Will go back to preschool for their last year = a very panicked Mommy. Where will they go next year???

We drove to Edmonton and walked for Autism = a fabulous day with Devon, Lauren, Bonnie, Erin, Gareth and Melanie AND Chuck E. Cheese!

Walking for Autism: Melanie, Jonathan with Will, Lauren, Devon & Jake

The Willowjak Team: Devon, Lauren, Melanie, Jake, Will (in front), Bonnie, Erin, Jonathan (with Owen) & Gareth

Will's hair was attacked by a lawnmower = a calm and cool Will at the hairdresser!

Owen is a happy camper these days. The exzema is all cleared up, he's finally off all dairy and he's smiling all the time = a happy mommy - (minus) the fact that he's still not eating

Jake is back on his quest to be in Riverdance someday. He's now in two Irish Dance classes and will be in competitions this year = very proud parents

Can't forget our trips to Calaway Park, The Calgary Zoo, Sikome Lake and our many, many mountain drives and wildlife searches!

Accomplishments: Will is talking! Will is finally toilet trained! Owen has learned how to work the mouse on the computer! Jake is the next Canadian Idol (in acting)!

I'm going to try soooo hard to keep up with the blog. I love having it as much as I love that it might be doing something good for those who read it. Keep on checking in and feel free to post any comments to let us know that you're out there!


Dana Pollard said...

Welcome back Stace!! I Love your updates, makes me feel like I am really should write a book, so much talent, so many stories!! I miss you guys like crazy. We'd like to book into the Hotel Haley in the new year if there are any openings. Let me know when is good. No more vacation time this year :( will have to be after January!! Love to all of you!!!! Dana & Emily

Anonymous said...

So glad to have to blog back, Stacey! I love hearing about the boys :)

I am happy to hear all three are doing so well! Sounds like Will and Owen are making some wonderful gains! (And how great that so many more family members have joined you in Calgary :)

My class of 12 has 5 students with Autism this year... so we are all about the visuals - time timers, schedules etc. It's grade 4,5,6 so I miss working with the little guys sometimes :)

All the best for the fall!

Devonious said...

Oh my god we totally are "Everybody Loves Raymond"! So far Im loving every minute, glad to be included.

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