Thursday, December 30, 2010

Peake Family Christmas

Hardly seems necessary to document PFC when Gillian's already done it so well.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rocking Horse

In my grandparents basement is a rocking horse that is been around for a long time.  My Dad and his siblings and cousins played on it when they were kids.  My brother and I, and our cousins, played on it when we were kids.

When we went to Saskatchewan last summer, Maklin sat on the rocking horse for the first time.

At Christmas, he was a bit more stable and this time rode it on his own.  I wish I would have had the video camera with me.  As soon as he sat on it, he started rocking like crazy.  He loved it.

And it doesn't even have batteries ...

Christmas Break

We had a very relaxing Holiday -- even with travelling.

Christmas Day with Justin's parents ... mmmm turkey.

Chillin' with Grandpa

Mak still doesn't really 'get' presents, but he enjoyed digging through his stocking!

After Christmas Dinner, we packed up and drove as far as Calgary, spending the night in a hotel.  Boxing Day morning we had breakfast in bed - as was requested by the birthday boy.
Happy Birthday Daddy!
Christmas in Saskatchewan great.  Lots of visiting with family, lots of walking in the gorgeous winter weather, and lots of games.  Maklin had a rough transition the first night, but settled in nicely (thanks Grandma Annette for putting us up!!).

Maklin opened more presents - still not getting it.  Opening this box took forever as he took the paper off all the way through in these teeny-tiny pieces.  But then was very excited that under all that paper was a BOX to sit on!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kitchen Aid

Maklin endeavors to 'help out' in the kitchen in any way possible, like ...


and Cleaning:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus ...

Today my Mom's group met at WEM (for those of you out-of-towners, that's West Edmonton Mall) so that we could get the kids' pictures taken with Santa.

For most - it went better than expected:  confused looks followed by big smiles for the jingling teddy bear the photographer was shaking.

For Maklin - yikes.  It may have been because Maklin and I were the last to go and he was just getting ansy with waiting in line ... I was having to distract him pretty actively by the time it was our turn.  Or, it may have just been Santa-anxiety.  As we walked toward him he started stiffening up.  When I went to sit him down in Santa's lap - he LOST it.  Stiff as a board, fighting to get away, screaming, big tears.  It wasn't going to happen.

Hence, the Santa, Mama, Maklin picture (Santa offered for me to sit on his lap, but I respectfully declined!)

They DO understand more than you think.  Justin doesn't want us to actively lead Maklin to believing in Santa.  Poor kid is traumatized already!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

For the better part of this week, Maklin had the pleasure of a visit from his Grandma and Grandpa Simmons.

There was much playing, giggling, laughing, teasing, and peek-a-boo-ing! 

Grandpa's teasing didn't always get the result he was looking for ...
But he knew how to make it better!

Thanks for the visit!!  It was great to spend time with you ... plus it was nice for Mama to get a little work done.  Love you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

50 Years of Listening

50 years.  That's how long The Support Network has been providing crisis support and/or community information to people in our community.  The agency has grown and morphed and taken on new projects along the way, but the foundation remains the same.

I have had the honor of being a part of this organization since September of 1997, starting as a volunteer on the Distress Line.  At the time I was looking for some experience and professional development.  I found much more than that.  Giving my time and energy in order to help others in their time of need was extremely rewarding.  In addition, the other staff and volunteers quickly became a second family to me.  A family that has been with me as I have grown up - personally and professionally.

My current role is Director, Client Services.  As a senior manager, I rarely have direct client contact these days, but my commitment to the agency and the work we do is grounded in my listening experiences.

I am extremely proud of all the staff and volunteers for all they do to ensure those in need have a listening ear, and have access to the supports they need.  I'm thankful that so many people have learned how to cope, and have had the opportunity to find hope.  70, 000 people access our services on an annual basis.

If you are in the Edmonton area, I encourage you to keep 780-482-HELP (4357) and 211 top of mind.  You never know when you or someone you love may be faced with a challenging situation and need to access such supports.  If that time comes, be prepared.

If you are inclined to share some of your time or money, your donations are more than welcome to help us meet the needs of our community.

The Support Network: Here to Listen When Life Hurts.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Taiko Dojo

"Dates" have been few and far between for Justin and I this past year ... not that we're complaining.  Today, we left Maki with Gramma & Grampa (he had a blast of course!) and went to a Japanese Drumming Workshop facilitated by members of Kita No Taiko.  So. Much. Fun.

We are by no means experts after three hours, but we did successfully learn to play a few songs!  It was inspiring and rejuvenating ... we literally felt the music.  We will most definitely have sore aching muscles in our arms tomorrow as a reminder of how much fun we had (I also have blisters on my hands!).

[Mei-chan, we have much respect for you little one! Drumming is hard work!]

We finished the afternoon with a delicious supper at one of our favorite restaurants: Mikado.  Yum.


Sunday, November 7, 2010


OK - so I really need to blog from here on in ... I can't catch up on the past.  Much.

This little clip I can watch over and over and still can't stop myself from laughing out loud.  Yes - I know I'm biased.  But I still bet you'll at least have the urge to chuckle the first time you watch it. This is a few months back before Maklin could crawl:

(My apologies for the film quality ... I was manning the camera and the laser pointer ... and trying not to laugh!!!)


Grandpa Simmons, this one's for you.  I've been practicing* ...

*this video represents only a small sample of the noises produced by Maklin.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Side Out

Fall is an exceptionally crazy time of year for us.

Both of our rental properties currently renew their leases.

Justin goes back to teaching after having the summer off - and jumps in with both feet (or possible head first?) into coaching Senior Boys Volleyball.

Last fall in the midst of this, Maklin was born.  This year, I'm back to work.

We're doing our best to keep our heads above water and keep Maklin's world as stable as possible ... despite the chaos and transition.

Hallowe'en was quiet ... except for the Puppy:

Bring it on world.  The ball's in our court.  :)