Winter

I try my best to savor and enjoy each season as it comes. There are things I love about each.

However, all the things I love about winter are frankly getting old.

I love the beauty of the pristine snow after it snows. I love the opportunity to get a little exercise first thing in the morning shoveling the sidewalk on my way to my van to get my bus. I love the way the snow settles on the tree branches and sparkles in the light. I love sledding and snow shoeing and skating and skiing. I love using my “smitten” and taking a walk with my husband hand-in-hand warm inside our mitten for two. I love watching my kids zoom down the hill on sleds in our front yard. I love to see my kids building their snow families and snow forts.

bush-under-snow

However, winter has been long enough. I’m ready for Spring. I’m ready for flowers and budding trees. I’m ready for mud. Yes. I said it. And I’m ready to put my warm socks and boots and mitts and hats and coats away for awhile. I’m ready to be warm all day long.

So, winter, your turn is over. Let Spring have it’s turn now!

Chuck E Cheese

Today, being the last REAL day of spring break, I decided to take my kids to Chuck E Cheese. My oldest daughter was supposed to babysit in the middle of the afternoon, so we called and brought them along with us.

kianna-with-winnings

My kids have got the hang of Chuck E Cheese. They know that I get the food and tokens, divide the tokens equally and then they can do whatever they want, until the tokens run out. They know which games give more tickets and which games they are best at so can win the most tickets. This is always a day run by greed, really. They look at the prizes and determine how many tickets they need to acquire to get the coveted prize. Often there are negotiations, trying to attain tickets when one is short. Occasionally wisdom reigns and no tickets are redeemed for penny prizes, but rather the tickets are saved for another day when their mother needs a break and brings them here.

keilan-with-winnings

The trips to Chuck E Cheese are waning in frequency. Years ago we came here about 4x a year, now it’s maybe twice a year. Interestingly enough the attraction of the place hasn’t waned for the kids. It is just as enticing now as when we first came 12 years ago.

katie-at-ticket-muncher

Today, my children introduced this fun to their 2 friends. At first their friends didn’t understand the tokens and the games. They had no interest in spending their tokens. They just wanted to play on the giant climbing playground and slide, which didn’t cost any tokens at all.

kids-eating-pizza

My children however, “educated” them. They showed them the “prizes” and opened their eyes to the fun and greed. Now all 6 kids are enjoying playing the games and spending their tokens. They all have their eyes on their “prize.”

And, as my children all know well…there’s plenty of time later for the jungle gym and slide, after all your tokens are gone. And in between waiting on the real, live Chuck E Cheese to make his twice hourly appearance (so they can clean the floors) where he gives out free tickets. So just because you’re out of tokens doesn’t mean you can’t get more tickets. ;).

keilan-air-hockey

My kids know that as long as they aren’t fighting and are not complaining I’m happy to spend upwards of three hours in this loud kid crazy place, enjoying the peace.

Price of fuel

The price of fuel in Canada keeps going up and up. The last price I saw was $1.22.9 a liter. Frankly that’s crazy!

When I immediately crossed the border into Sweetgrass the price of gasoline was $4.18 per gallon. However, as I made my way south it immediately dropped. By Shelby it was $3.16 a gallon.

Of course I fueled up. I also fueled up on my way back home.

That difference in fuel saved me a significant amount of money.

I wish I could say that the shopping and deals south of the border were excellent. But, sadly they weren’t. It seems that most things are pretty well the same price American as we pay Canadian, or the cheap things are perishable.

However, we did manage to find some good clearance sales at JC Penny’s.

Leniency

Sometimes my kids are disobeying me, but I just have to let it go.

Right now is one of those times.

Our 5 year old rarely gets to use his computer time, because the older 4 siblings use up all the time and it’s bedtime. Tonight however, after the kids had been read their Bible story and prayed with and sent to bed he asked if he could play on the computer.

I had sympathy for him and said “yes.” Somehow his 2 sisters came to “help” him. Although I DID notice (it is hard not to notice when I’m sitting in the kitchen canning and they are in the breakfast nook across from me on the kids’ computer) they did this, I chose to allow it. The 3 are playing so nicely together. Besides, it’s Spring Break. It won’t hurt them to stay up a bit late tonight.

karyssa-kianna-and-keilan-at-computer

So, the lenient mom has come out for a few minutes. I do love it when my kids get along, play together, help each other, and are happy….

Interesting Train sightings

The other day when we were near Milk River we saw a train work “car.” Then we saw another one. Then another 2. Then continued to see a steady stream of these various track vehicles.

CPR-men-and-equipment-1

It was quite interesting really. We started keeping count of the number of train track vehicles we’d seen. In the end the count was 19. There were 19 various track vehicles of all makes and types.

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When we were returning today we got to see these same track vehicles again. This time they were at work.

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Luckliy for us, there was a little road across from where they were working. So, I pulled off the road and we parked. We took 5 short minutes to watch the men at work. They were replacing the ties and tracks. It was neat to see the track vehicles at work. The cranes and lifts and trucks. My 5 year old especially enjoyed watching the men and trucks at work.

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So, I took a few pictures, pointed out a few cool things, and took a couple minutes to stop and show my kids something neat. Best spent 5 short minutes of the drive home!