Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Diary:Day 3 - Hanging out, playing the piano & a craft show

Sundays in Texas are lazy days. Sundays in Canada are lazy days too.

The morning air is crisp, the day was bright. We skipped church in lieu of getting a few extra hours of some much needed sleep. Cutter started his morning off by reading, err eating, the Sunday paper - just like his Mommy already. (No I don't eat it, I read it :))

The little man adapts easily to change. He is a wonderful sleeper at home, but I was unsure of how he would do sleeping in another, unfamiliar place. I tried hard to keep him on his routine, trying to make it easier for him to make the transition, but all my worries were put to rest the first and second night of our vacation. He slept all night long and took good long naps when needed.
We woke every morning to this smiling face! We knew he was getting a good nights rest if we woke to him saying "Dada". Aunt Bette graciously lent us her room and Cutter slept in his pack-n-play at the foot of our bed. He would wake, stand up and look at us with his big grin as if saying "OK Mom and Dad time to get up and eat some grub.".
The whole time we were visiting Aunt Bette, Cutter would so casually walk over to this table, stand there and look out the window. Then he would inch his hand over to her nicely decorated fall candleholder and look at me until I told him "no". He listened, but would try over and over again, hoping that one time I might just let him touch it. It must have been so enticing to him, but he would follow the rules and not touch it!
Cutter found this footstool a lot of fun. Over the week we were there he must have pushed it around the living room at least 100 times. By the end of the week, he realized that once he ran it into the couch he had to get on the other side to go another direction. That's my boy, problem solving already!!

Cutter was very interested in the piano. The night before at our first family gathering of the week, Warren (Lauren's husband) played a nice rendition of Charlie Brown. Cutter was mesmerized! He sat and listened the whole time. We got quite a few nice songs played while we were there. But the best song played was when we put Cutter at the piano and let him go to town. He loved it and had a blast listening to himself play. I have always told Greg that Cutter may want to play the piano instead of playing ball and we agreed while we were on vacation that it would be just grand if he did want to play. We would totally support him if that is what he chooses to do. We hope that he is as talented as our "Canadian" family.

Aunt Bette has taught most of her grandchildren how to play. I joked that I would be sending Cutter up to see her once a year and the only thing they would be doing during his visit would be learning how to play. Or at least she thinks I was joking!

Before we left for our afternoon out to the craft show and Daddy to the golf course, we took some pictures outside in the beautiful weather we were having.
Also, Dave and his clan were going back to Moosejaw. We were so sad to see them go. Audra was such a great play date for Cutter. She has lots of patience and enjoyed play with him as much as he enjoyed playing with her. Dave really took a liking to Cutter as well, although that is not hard to do. I know Dave enjoyed seeing Cutter smiling face early in the morning. We didn't get to see much of Burke, with his cousin and friends just down the street in such a small town, once he got up Saturday morning we didn't see him again until Sunday when they were leaving. We felt so very lucky to be blessed with their presence for 3 days and are so glad they made the drive down to see us. We didn't get a chance to see Mary Kay; we sure did miss her!

Burke, Dave, Audra, Cutter, Mommy, Greg and Grandma Mac
While the girls went shopping and the boys went golfing, the grandma's went to the casino. On the way to the casino, Aunt Bette stopped and picked up Jackie. Jackie is my grandfather's cousin's wife and they often would visit Texas in their retirement years. Kip and Jackie came to Texas so often that have vivid memories of having dinner, laughing and telling stories from when I was younger. Kip passed away shortly after my grandfather in 2005 and since then Jackie's health has started to decline. Jackie has Alzheimer's and although she acted like she knew whom we were, we were almost positive she didn't. That's OK though, I am glad I got a chance to see her again. I don't remember not seeing this smile on Jackie's face! What a wonderful lady to have known.
Aunt Bette, Jackie and Grandma

Diary:Day 2 - History Lesson

On Saturday, after a good nights rest, we were ready to get going and do some sight seeing. I had been to Canada 16 years ago, in 1992 and we had gone to visit the house where my grandfather, his twin brother and two older brothers were raised. I was eager to go back and see it. I was warned that it wasn't in the best of shape and the gentleman that had bought it didn't want us on his property, so we stayed back and took pictures from the street.
They were right, the house wasn't in the best of shape and the out-house that used to be right off the back left hand side was gone. My great grandmother would have never let her house look like this. She was very particular and took pride in her house. I wish we would have been able to go inside. The last time we were there we at least able to get closer and see inside, but we understand.
This chicken coop was used to house the chickens and later was used as storage. At our previous visit, we went into the coop and retrieved many family photos, priceless belongings and some nice antiques. This time all I could do was look from afar and wonder what might still be in there. It doesn't look like much has been done to it, so there is no telling if there are belongings still left in there.

Our next stop was the cemetery where my great grandparents and their infant son are buried. In 1992, a white church stood next to the cemetery and in 1995 the church was destroyed by a plow wind.

Kopperud Lutheran Church was erected in 1910 and destroyed by a plow wind at 12:30 am on July 30, 1995. The cemetery grounds are now maintained by a local family and they do an amazing job!
This bell was once used at the church and is the only item that survived the plow wind.

This is the school that my grandfather and his brothers attended. They were so strict that they would not allow my grandfather to use his left hand and would often slap his hand with a stick to remind him to use his right hand. I was surprised that it was still standing, I took this picture from about 100 yards away, as there is no longer a road that leads to it.
Here is the old border crossing office. They have built a new one, this one is no longer in use. It is right across the street from my great grandparents house.
Our last stop was there cemetery where my Great Uncle Leonard is buried. Uncle Leonard passed away unexpectedly in 1989. He was watching t.v. fell asleep and never woke. Aunt Bette wanted to stop by and see him as she does very often.

After our tour of North Gate and North Portal we met back at Aunt Bette's house for a dinner and a chance for everyone to get together. We had a great time socializing and Cutter was the best entertainment we could have asked for. He had a great time playing with all this 3 rd cousins.

Cutter and Audra
This was entertaining watching him figure out how to get it off his head. It only took 4 times for him to figure out that the ring disappeared to the top of his head and how to get it off. He had a blast playing with Audra. The funny thing is is that at our last family reunion Audra was Cutters age and I was the one playing with her this way. Oh how the circle of life goes.
Nikole and Cutter
Grandma and Cathie
Nikole and Dorna

Welcome Frederick Blayne MacDonald

On Labor Day, September 4, 2008, my cousins wife, Quincy, gave birth to a 3rd generation of Frederick's. Frederick Blayne MacDonald entered the world at 11:30 am, weighing in at 6 lbs 14 oz and was 21 inches long. He was 4 weeks early and as healthy as we could have hoped for!
Before we went to Canada we got a chance to meet the new little Mac! He is just so precious and I can't believe that Cutter was once that little. Grandma enjoyed meeting him for the first time and she was just so smitten by him! Cutter is going to have so much fun having a cousin so close to his age.
Frederick Jay Mac with Blayne and Grandma
Blayne has the intials of our Great Grandfather, Frederick Beers MacDonald - what a great way to carry down such a great family tradition.
Welcome Blayne to this wild, crazy family! We love you and can't wait to watch you grow into a handsome young man!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Diary: First 24 hours!

About 3 months ago when Greg and I were discussing what we were going to do for our 3rd anniversary and my vacation I expressed concern that I wasn't quite ready to leave my little man for more than a couple of days. He agreed and we set out to find a place that we could go to as a family and still be "baby" friendly. I immediately phoned my family up in Canada and decided that we would go for a visit, they had yet to meet Cutter and I was eager for them to meet my handsome little man before he graduated high school. So away we went.

Before we left on our long journey to Canada, I needed Cutter to get out as much energy as possible, so I gave him his walker and let him loose in his Canada shirt that his Aunt Bette had sent him. He was just as anxious to get going as we were. We gave Cutter a bath, a bottle and off to the car seat he went. Before we were out of the block, he was sawing some zzzz's and slept til 6 a.m. the next morning, we were well into Nebraska by then. After a morning bottle, a few kisses and lots of smiles later, he drifted back off to sleep til about 1030.

By that time we were entering into South Dakota he was waking and ready to play. Luckily I had prepared for such a long drive, I loaded up on books, movies and lots of patience. Much to my surprise, little man is such a good car rider that not much patience was needed.

By noon, we were eating lunch and switching drivers. Daddy had driven all night long was getting pretty tired so it was mommy's turn at the wheel. While I was driving Daddy did a great job at keeping the little man occupied. Within 2 hours Daddy and Cutter had had a nap and Daddy was ready to take the wheel again. So I jumped back in the back and took over keeping him busy. I tried a new Winnie the Pooh video, but he just isn't into movies yet. So back to the books we went. I can't tell you how many times I read the same 10 books I brought. We went over our body parts - nose, eyes, ears, chin. I repeated it so many times that I thought by the end of our day he would be repeating it as well, but I was out of luck, he's still not saying it, can you believe it!?! :)

After a stop at Subway and another nap later in the afternoon we were arriving into Canada and our family was anxiously waiting to greet us. By 8 pm we were sitting and sharing stories about our drive to seem them.

Stay tuned for the next 9 days!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

10 exhausting days, 2 - 24 hour car rides, and 24 new friends and family to love!

Over 300 pictures and many stories later, we are getting back into the groove of things after a 10 day trip to Canada. For the next week I will post a diary of our trip! We are exhausted and ready to get back on a schedule. Cutter is an amazing travler and everyone fell in love with him. We are so excited that we got to take him along to meet family and friends that were just as anxious to meet him. He was a total hit and just as good as I expected him to be.

Be on the look out for a day to day diary of our trip to Canada!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001

Yesterday as Greg and I were getting ready for today, September 11, we reflected upon how fast the past 7 years have gone by. I remember where I was (in Utah), what I was doing (getting ready for flight attendant training) and who I was (a merely 20 years old, with no direction in life).

I could still, to this day, tell you exactly how I felt when those terrorist attacks happened. I was numb, scared, I felt insecure, and was unsure of how my career choice was going to work out.

I had been contact by "my airline of choice" weeks before September 11 and had chose to attend training starting Oct 15. I was excited, scared, and looking forward to starting a new beginning. Then Tuesday, September 11 happened and by Friday they were calling me to tell me that training had been canceled and they were unsure how long it would be before they started training classes up again. Me being me, I told them I was still looking forward to going to training and to please let me know when they started again. About a week later they were calling to let me know they decided to keep going with the training and that my class would still start October 11, needless to say I was super excited. Deep down I was scared. I went on to complete training and became an official flight attendant on November 16, 2001.

Two months after September 11 I was up in the skies flying, I wasn't going to let those people (if that is what you want to call them), ruin what I wanted to do with my life. Initially I was scared, fearful that it would happen again, but now I feel safer than ever flying in the friendly skies.

In the last 7 years I have met, loved and married the man of my dreams. We have had a beautiful son, whom will never know the true feelings of such a terrible attack, but will know why his Uncle James is fighting for our freedom.

Life has gone on, but this day will never be forgotten! I will always reflect on where I was and how I felt, as I do not want to forget how uncertain I felt that day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Anyone in there??

Cutter loves hearing himself as he talks into this empty bucket. He continually goes for this toy when put down to play. I am assuming that he likes hearing the echo that comes along with hearing his voice. It is actually a bucket that has a top with the square, rectangle and triangle on top and then you place the coordinating block into that hole, but since Cutter isn't quite into placing the blocks in there yet, (I mean, I know my kid is a genius but hey I have to be realistic here), we took the top off. One day here soon, I will start teaching him that the blocks go into the top accordingly. Until then, he can enjoy the thrill that comes along with hearing his echo.