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Morning in Calgary

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We had a particularly beautiful sunrise this morning that we wanted to share — this photo was taken from our back patio. Normally, we only get red over the mountains at night but then they are all back-lit and don’t photograph well. We were lucky this morning that the entire sky was red.


Do You Need Cleaners?

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We’re hiring the kids out.

Connie is an expert on floors


She can even vacuum


We thinking of moving her into a supervisory role.


They’ll work for cookies!

The Christmas Tree

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In Dallas, we have lots of special ornaments that go on the tree each year. There are several I made in Grade 1 (including a very pathetic looking popcorn and cranberry string). We haven’t let Dougie get too involved in decorating because he has played with the various things and broken several of them. We didn’t bring any of our special ornaments out to Calgary though so we had to get something new. Since the new ornaments have no sentimental value at all – enter Dougie, the decorator.

We started off by letting Dougie have full creative control of where the balls went. But he put them too low.


Too low is defined as anywhere that Connie can reach. So, we asked him to put them higher.


Better, but we weren’t going to get a lot on that way. So, in stepped Dad to help.


That was better, but apparently, Dougie felt his creativity was being stifled. So, he dragged his learning tower over to the tree and took matters into his own hands.


There we go, high enough to be away from Connie but still allowing for that “Dougie Flair.”


We would move the tower occasionally to give him access to another area but it worked out perfectly. Here is Dougie showing off his end result.


The whole tree


Hang on, let’s get a better look at those branches.


Hmm, that’s certainly some ornament density. On the average branch, there were at least 5 balls. We’re not even sure how he managed to fit them all on there.

After Dougie went to bed, we made a few modifications – purely for structural and safety reasons – honest. :)

Christmas Cookies 2010 — Two Junior Chefs Are Better Than One

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Time for a classic Sharabura family tradition… making Christmas cookies! By this time, Dougie is an old pro at making cookies (heck, he has his own apron!), but this was Connie’s first shot at it. We’re happy to report that the cookies were delicious, nothing burned, and we only had a couple of over-sprinkling incidents (see below). First, we make the dough:

Measuring the lemon extract requires a steady hand:

“How does this thing work anyway?”

Salt — another tricky ingredient:

“Making snow” (also called sifting flour for those not used to baking with Dougie)

“I’m going to eat FIVE cookies!”
“Man, this is hard work…”

“Oh, gee, I’m not sure Daddy… let me taste one more!”

“Umm…. Daddy, I’m not so sure about this stuff…”

“Wait… you mean I can eat this??”

“That’s more like it!”

Then, we put the dough in the fridge for a couple of days (hence the costume changes for those who are paying attention!) Onward to cookie-making!

“I can make just one big cookie, right?”

Making cookies for the Cutie Pie Ranch

“I’ve got seven teeth… I can eat all KINDS of cookies!”

“What, these aren’t toys?”

“We can TOTALLY fit more sprinkles on here….”

If it’s Christmas, we need lots of green, right?

Once the cameras stopped rolling, Dad applied a little bit of sprinkle equalization. The things we do to uphold a family tradition…

The Christmas Season is Here!

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We’ve been a bit slow to get into the Christmas mood around here. We moved, we travelled, we unpacked… In truth, though there are lights on the tree, there are still no ornaments (this is more due to our lack of finding hooks). Anyway, the real sign that the season is here is that the stockings are up.


Connie has her official stocking so she’s is officially a Sharabura now. We’re a bit light on the “Woof” stockings – it’s been a hard year for us in that department. We forge on though.

Happy Holidays!

PS – for parents or pet owners – those stocking holders came from Rona and are THE BEST! They are totally stuffed. We had a stocking holder hit Dougie in the head last year and were thrilled to bits to find something that would hold the stockings and not cause bruising if they were pulled down.

Baba Would Be Proud

Connie No Comments


Connie would like to share with you her latest favourite food.




She loves their potato/cheesy goodness.


Clearly, Connie got more from her great-grandmother than her middle name.

Dougie’s 4th Birthday

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It is almost impossible to believe that Dougie is already four. I can remember holding him in the hospital when he was just a little tiny thing. He’s still pretty tiny but he sure is a lot bigger!

This year, we kept Dougie’s birthday pretty low key. We’ve only met a few people here and didn’t want to plan a party like last year for just a handful of kids. So, we decided to just invite family and keep things calm.

The day started like most of our days do. I tried to get a picture of Dougie holding up 4 fingers but he wasn’t quite into it – so we settled for a sweet smile instead.


We spent the morning playing and hanging out. Dougie inspected the gifts that were out. This one in particular caught his attention. He was convinced it was a cake.


He hasn’t learned the skills involved in present guessing. I assure you, it wasn’t a cake.

Dougie selected his own clothes for the day. His fashion sense is really developing.


Then, he counted the minutes until Auntie Lou arrived.

A small aside here, we told Dougie that he couldn’t open presents until Auntie Lou got here. Somehow, that got her associated with Santa Claus. We’re going to have to work on clearing that up.

Anyway, once Auntie Lou got here we had some hors d’oeuvres and then had some cake. Shockingly, we opted for a Thomas theme.


Connie hung out with Auntie Lou while Dougie blew out the candles.


Even Connie got into the cake experience.


Then it was on to presents. Dougie is a lot more into opening gifts now that he’s a bit older.


Connie and Auntie Lou helped a bit too. Dougie was so excited with every gift. He wanted everything removed from the packaging immediately.


It was a great birthday! We’re so excited to see what the next year holds.

Almost Four

Dougie No Comments

Tomorrow, Dougie is four years old. The future is so bright, he has to wear shades.


Almost One

Connie 1 Comment

Today is Connie’s last day as a baby. Tomorrow, she toddles her way into her second year.

Connie spent the day taking a few last minutes calls from her public.


Should we be concerned that she is trying to text this early?


Connie just discovered these chairs today and insists on climbing on them.


It’s strange, I can’t believe it’s been a year already and yet at the same time, it seems like Connie has been with us forever. We all excited to see what the next year will hold.

Happy Halloween!

Connie, Dougie No Comments

What an exciting Halloween! Our neighbourhood was the perfect place for trick-or-treating! A combination of lots of houses that are close together makes a perfect place for little legs to go to get treats.

For the first year, in a while, Dougie was not Clifford. He didn’t express any opinion on what he should wear so it was perfect when Auntie Lou offered to loan us one of Molly’s old costumes. Dougie fell in love with it. He wanted to wear it to the grocery store in the middle of the month. He decided he was a bumble bee (“bungle bee”). Now, those entomologists in the reading audience may recognize this costume is not a bumble bee – but sometimes, those arguments are just not worth having.

Connie’s costume lends itself to less debate. She clearly is an elephant. Oh wait, no – a flower. :)


Dougie inspecting Connie before they leave

Okay, let’s go!

One more picture with Dad before heading out the door.

This year went really well for Dougie. He didn’t try to go into anyone’s house and he actually selected candies that he liked if he was given that option. He said thank you at almost everyone house too. It went perfectly until the second to last house. That house had someone who was trying to scare the kids as they came up. Clearly, not realizing that Dougie was 3, he jumped out and yelled as Dougie waited at the door. Scott said Dougie’s screamed so loudly that the neighbour came out to see what was wrong. The next house had some scary sounds and lights so Dougie decided they were done. In fact, they were so done that Scott had to carry him home.

Overall, a great day though and the kids both had a great time!

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