Monday, December 19, 2011

Short & Sweet

Those two words sum up a few things!

There was very little waiting this time around, probably about an hour start to finish, so that was good!

Short also describes Nate's disposition:  oh yes, he was not a happy camper!  He had been doing so well leading up to this appointment, even with the role playing we'd been doing at home, but once we were inside the clinic he was a different boy again.  While we were trying to settle him for the echo he even gave me a verbal:  "You are bad!" several times!  But, like usual, in the end we were able to get the tests done.

So where does the "sweet" come in?  Well, of course, when we're putting our jackets on and saying goodbye, Nate was just the sweetest little guy waving and talking to the staff.

And the report was very similar to the last one.  The gradient remains the same, or maybe slightly higher, which shows the band is starting to do some work.  Liver remain normal, leakage is still the same.
She considered coming off the Lasix completely, but given the 'sick' season we are entering, it would be best to have the Lasix to help in case he does come down with every virus this time around!
All will be re-evalutated in April.

Thanks again for thinking of us and for praying!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December, so far!

Does anyone else feel like December brings with it a complete whirlwind of activity?  The Hiebert household has certainly felt that way!  We've been party central for the last couple of weeks and up to our ears in birthday cakes and snacks, Christmas concerts and functions, parties and activities!  I have been greatly outnumbered by a houseful of grade one boys - at a ratio of 14:1....oh yes!  And there also may  have been an event with some very ugly Christmas sweaters involved!!  In all, it's been full of great memories!  And it's been so much fun to enjoy the many traditions and special events of this Christmas season with our boys.

We've been counting down to the celebration of our Savior's birth with our Advent calendar.  Everyday has brought with it some sweet treats and a note, describing that days special activity.  The excitement and anticipation of opening the Advent Calendar each morning has been so fun to watch!

But of course, life's realities still appear in this busy month, so tomorrow Nate gets to take a trip to see his cardiologist.  I am prayerfully anticipating an excellent appointment, with a cute and adorable and cooperative Nate to accompany me!  Your prayers for tomorrow are always appreciated!

Did I happen to mention my ridiculously talented niece took her first solo flight last week?

And my handsome Brady chillin' with his cool cousin after the school concert!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

11 in '11

December is a great month full of celebrations for us!  The first day of December we get to celebrate 11 years of marriage!  Some time ago, we planned that we'd head out for supper to celebrate 'sans kids'!
Last night, I was just reminding Don of our plans, and here is how the rest of our conversation played out.

C:  "Can you remember the last time we went out on a date?"

D:  "Ummmm."

C:  "Hmmmm."

D:  "Well, remember that last time we went to Mulligan's for a late supper?"

C:  "Oh, yes.  Hmm....that wasn't our anniversary last year, it must have been the year before that?"

D:  "Yeah, you're right."

C:  "Well, do you remember that one day I needed to run in to Winnipeg to pick up a lens, and you came along, the boys stayed at my parents,  and we had supper at the Keg?"

D:  "Right, but that wasn't this last summer, that was the summer before."

C:  "Hah.  You're right."

Oy.  Now, I don't say this to complain, but rather to challenge/motivate/nudge you to go on a date!!  If you can't remember the last time you and your spouse went out, or, if you clearly remember - and it was in a year other than 2011, I say just do it!

Now, let's have fun:  We all need some 'me time'/'we time' once in a while.  Leave a comment with what you did on your last date or what you did for some 'me time' OR what you would love to do on your next one!  Don't be shy!

And since a post is way more fun with a picture, here are my boys enjoying some 'brother time'!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero. 
                                                                                                       ~Marc Brown

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Well, there weren't a lot of tricks - but certainly a lot of treats!!  Spiderman and Mr. Fireman enjoyed ringing a few doorbells and collecting a bit of loot!  

And if you check the date, you'll know it's November 1.  Don's official "You may now begin to decorate for Christmas, Carole!"

And he let me know without even knowing.... or saying it.  After dumping a large box of Smarties, he ate a bunch and while we were chatting in the kitchen I noticed him absent-mindedly arranging the rest.  He left the room and I captured the design he had made.

Even though today is my go-ahead day, you won't find anything festive in the house just yet.  I seem to be getting later each year!  All in good time!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Don says that I say that a lot.  And I just said it again.  Has it really been over a month since my last post?


What have I been doing?!?

Well, apparently the last month has been a flurry of activity - both big and small!  We've been very busy celebrating some big birthdays - and some younger ones, too!  We finished up soccer, started up story time at the library, bought a residential lot to build on in spring, enjoyed Thanksgiving with our families, got into party planning mode for an awesome 70th party for my dad, welcomed my brother and his awesome family back to Winkler for a week, tried to keep up with laundry (sort of), and began spending our late nights 'house designing' with graph paper and our thinking caps on.  That's a start.

And here's one thing I never thought I'd do...

Yup, my first ever cattle drive!  I was feeling a little bit 'pioneer-ish'!  Thanks, Bonnie, for the awesome rear shot and Kristy for the fun off-roading!!

Hope to be getting back to some more blogging now - daylight hours are dwindling, and 'inside the house' hours are increasing!

Happy Saturday to each one of you!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

*Insert 'fist pump' here!*

Woo hoo!  Do you know how much fun it is to share good news?!

Nate was a stellar patient......until it was his turn!!  Oh man, even if Nate wasn't seen - he was certainly heard!  But we got the job done.

And the report?  His gradient number (the amount of squeeze the band is applying to the artery) jumped from 35 - where we've been sitting at for the last year - to 60!!  That's pretty awesome!  That means the band is finally starting to do some work!  Nate isn't showing any signs of heart failure.  His heart has not enlarged further since our last appointment.  His liver is normal.  How's that for news?

She did a little switch up with one of his meds, decreasing the frequency of his lasix to only once per day. We'll watch and see how he copes with that.

I had done some baking the night before, and brought a platter of some yummies for the staff.  Apparently it was good timing.  When she came in to see us this afternoon, she commented that she hadn't eaten since last night, and it had been a crazy day so far.  So the  cream cheese brownies, indeed, were just what the doctor ordered! Another neat connection - her daughter is at Winkler Bible Camp right now with her school for an outdoor ed retreat.  Kinda neat!

So, I left the appointment feeling pretty pumped up!  Only when I could know with certainty that surgery wasn't imminent, did I realize all the emotions I was holding at bay....not wanting to go there.  We celebrated prairie style....a quick Costco trip with my sister, and a quick supper at Roxy's on the way home.

I'm so thankful for the prayers of so many of you - and I'm so glad I can share this awesome news with you.  It's a good reminder to continue to praise God, even when He is silent...even while we are waiting.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's that time again!

Alright - it's time to rally the troops!  Nate's army of prayer warriors, that is!

The last three months have gone by quickly and it's time to see his cardiologist tomorrow.  He's had a really good summer!  He's been active and happy, growing in height - and slightly in weight.
We are prayerfully optimistic about tomorrow's results.  If you remember back to our last appointment... well, how about I just give a quick recap.

Nate's surgery (pulmonary artery banding) was well over a year ago.  At our last appointment in June, there were still no positive improvements as a result of the surgery.  So, she basically said enough is enough!  We've waited it out long enough, and if the results of his next appointment show no improvement, it's time for surgery.  She felt that it was more than likely that we'd be doing surgery in fall, but would wait until September and then make the call.

So here we are!  Ready to take a peek into Nate's heart, and see what's been happening in the last few months!  Praying for a HAPPY, cooperative and charming patient.....why not, right?

Thank you - to each one of you praying!!!

And some pics - just for fun!

Brady's "Station"

VHS tapes are good for one thing....destroying!
 How "fortunate" to find a lovely mud hole across from our campsite on September long.
Yes, how fortunate!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Take a Smile break!

Here's a little something if you need a reprieve in your day.

It's a great video, capturing a senior couple trying to remember all the steps their granddaughter gave them, to use their webcam.  I love the interaction with each's just plain cute!

Hope it makes you smile!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In His Arms

Praying for the Pauls family.

I Couldn’t Love You More
In the night
He is with you
At morning light 
He is with You
Do not fear 
For He is with you
When I'm not here 
He is with you
I couldn’t love you more
I couldn’t love you more
No, I couldn’t love you more
But somebody does
Rest your eyes
He is with you
I pray you find
He is with you
When I let go
He is with you
And I can know
That He is with you
I couldn't love you more
No, I couldn’t love you more
No, I couldn’t love you more
But somebody does
You are mine for a moment
But you are His
Forever His
And in this life
I am holding You
But in His arms you live
I couldn't love you more
No, I couldn’t love you more
No, I couldn’t love you more
Oh, but somebody does
Written by Matt Hammitt and Jason Ingram 
© 2011 Birdwing Music / Toledo Tomorrow Music (Admin. at (ASCAP) / Sony/ATV Timber Publishing / West Main Music / Windsor Hill Music (SESAC)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Before & After: The Bathroom

Who doesn't love bathroom renos?!?!? Well, I can tell you honestly that I don't! Plumbing has not been our forte in the past. Luckily we didn't have to do any kind of complete gut here!

No great 'before' pics, but this one, taken on our walk-through of the house, gives an idea!
Using melamine paint, I updated the counter tops. We changed the sinks and faucets, put up a real mirror (the original was small and centered over the countertop, ie. not above the sinks where you need it!)

We also replaced the toilet and window, freshened the walls and cabinets up with paint.

The Before:

The After:

Maybe it's a 70's thing. The sink area is separated from the toilet/bathtub area by a door, which has actually turned out to be pretty handy. There is also a door from the master bedroom to the toilet/tub area, so it feels like an ensuite, but it's really the main bathroom.

Here, you can see the 'sneak door' into the bathroom from the bedroom.

And here it is now!

I won't go into more detail about the bedroom; the headboard and carpet was a whole other post a while back! And did I mention the next-to-new window that I got on PVOL for a fraction of what a new one would have cost? And that it was the right size?!? So good!

It really is pretty amazing how even just changing up the 70's baseboards and trims can totally update a home!

I don't have any good before pics of the sunroom; but just imagine with me....updated the brown panelling with some paint and changed out the blah grey commercial (thin) carpeting.

Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me! It's been fun and nostalgic looking back at all of the old photos!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Before & After: The Basement

We'll head downstairs now! The basement was pretty standard. A bit of panelling, white paint, no defined activity areas, good carpet but not my color choice.

There were some things I wanted to change (carpet), but couldn't justify it. Other things were definitely in my scope to do.



Biggest change was paint! Typically, in a basement, you want to brighten things up, keep them light and airy. Well, I didn't do that! I went for impact, drama, and a bit of cozy!

Dark brown paint from floor to ceiling, covering up the panelling, and taking attention away from the 'not as current' carpet. The photo makes it look like 2 browns, but it must just be the lighting, as it's all the same color!

Do you want in on a secret? Here goes: I wanted to create a cozy living room/TV watching area, but needed something to frame it all in. My solution? Bamboo blinds and full length side panels on a black iron rod. But the secret?? There are NO windows behind those blinds!!!!

The other side of the basement is Toy Central! In other words, no pictures! I tell you, it takes about 38 seconds for that room to go from tidy and organized to chaos!

On to another little basement project. Behind the rec area, there was a small room with some nasty carpet, interesting doorway, but the room had no purpose.

So, if you know me, you know I enjoy a bit of sewing (I come by it genetically if you look at my family!). I thought this would be the perfect little spot to set up!

I painted out the panelling, bought a carpet remnant from a flooring store, and installed some cabinetry that was getting taken out of my dad's business (ie. free for me!).

I love having my sewing machine set up all the time. Also, having a place for storing crafty stuff, wrapping supplies etc. My butterfly table sits in the adjoining bedroom which can be pulled out for a bigger work surface.

I've still got some 'good' (ie. hilarious) before pictures....I'll be back with another room soon!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Before & After: The Kitchen

Well, you can't get much more of a change than going from white to black! And that's what we did in the kitchen. Looking at the 'before' pictures shows a kitchen that I really don't recognize! I can hardly remember it looking like that!

So, with out further adieu, here is our kitchen...


White cabinets, brass hardware, green countertops. There was a lot of work to do, but good bones to work with! As you can see above, Don is removing the trim that closed off the space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling so we can continue the cove moulding through the kitchen.

We kept the original doors, but applied beadboard and trim around each door. Then, painted them BLACK! I love it when Don gives me carte blanche and goes along with new ideas!

And our little cutie - Brady - at about 8 months old!

A better look at the trim/beadboard

The next major improvement was the countertop. We replaced and extended the countertop into a peninsula/eating bar. If the truth be told, we eat all of our meals there, and only use our dining table when company comes! We needed to add some lighting over the counter, and had two junction boxes installed.

Wow - this trip down memory lane is going to do one of two things for me. It will either motivate me to find another home that needs a little TLC; or, it will make me want to just stay here and just live a little without any projects on the go!

Hmmm.....I think I need a project!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Before & After: The Living Room

First, I apologize for the zero quality of the before pics....they are pictures of prints that were apparently printed without full ink tanks. But, I suppose the lack of clarity helps protect the original home owner's belongings from being identified!

The Waaay Before:

The After:

Oh, just ignore the functional - but no so pleasing to the eye - recliner in the corner. I'm still working on Don....trying to convince him that the Eames is what we need. After all, how could you go wrong with a piece that's rightfully made it's way into the MoMA in New York!?!?

The biggest improvement is definitely the fireplace. The original brick had already been painted white, but I wasn't going for that look in this particular room.

First, I painted the (nasty) brass surround with a black high heat paint. Almost could have stopped there...(almost!).

Next we built up and covered up the brick (thank you MDF!) and beefed up the mantle with trim. The hearth was green tile, which I painted again with the high heat black paint, and again built up the lower part of the hearth with MDF and trimmed it up with baseboard.

More to come!

Seven Years

It was exactly 7 years ago that we signed the deal for our Maple Drive house. Maybe it's just me getting nostalgic - or the focus on getting the house ready to 'show' - that made me peek into the old folder with all of the paperwork from the deal. In there, I also found the pictures I'd taken when the realtor showed us the house, before the 'for sale' sign had been put up (yes, I'm a keener that way!).

Looking at those pics showed me how far we'd come with this house. Many, many hours of sweat equity, but also some pretty fun (not always in the moment, I suppose) adventures along the way.

I thought it would be fun to do a Before & After party and show some pictures.

The first one isn't the most complex or dramat
ic, but it completely changed the feel of the house (in my humble opinion!). We got rid of all the white! Painted the window trims, pillars, garage and entrance doors and removed some lattice

Oooh! Here's a good one that really 'shows off' the white!!

And the After:

More Before & After's of the inside to come....gotta get some pictures taken!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Work Holidays!

Well, the Hiebert boys are having a camp-out in the trailer on the driveway..... that leaves me alone in a very quiet house! And it gives me a moment to do this!

We've been going non-stop this week. Don took a week of holidays - but we haven't been doing too much relaxing! It's been a work week. We picked the 2 hottest and humid days of the year to tackle a shingling project on the house. We worked HARD! And I developed a new respect for roofers! Which reminds me - I should submit my hours to Don....wonder how well he pays! We've been finishing up a few other projects, and purging a lot of 'stuff'..... a load of 'donations' to MCC, a load to the e-waste drop-off bin (really....that 486 isn't going to come in handy any time soon!), and another post-renovation load (ie. toilet!) to get taken to the dump. Feels good to do one of these clean sweeps, and is necessary too, as we ready our house for sale (SURPRISE!).

No details to share yet....simply because we don't know them yet, ourselves! But I will say that I'm excited about where this adventure called life will take us....(although I'm pretty sure we'll stay in Winkler.....I think!). And even though right now, we don't know what the next step is, God is so faithful. That's just how he leads us. One step at a time. Through all of our circumstances, I've come to trust and rely on Him like never before. He has been showing us how He clearly cares about this big things, and yet we fully see how He is just as concerned with the little stuff, too. It is SO incredible to have this sense of peace and assurance. When we are quiet, and wait for Him to lead us, He will show us the way we should go. And guaranteed, his plans are so much more beautiful than anything we would have arranged!

And since no post is complete without a picture, here's one to remind me about the other kind of holidays we like to take!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Brady's Day of Adventure

We surprised Brady yesterday with some news that was super thrilling for him! It involved a day away from the campground, a few hours of driving, a train ride to Minneapolis - and most importantly - a very exciting baseball game!

His first words when he woke up this morning were: "I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so excited!"

What an unforgettable experience for Brady to enjoy with his dad, uncle, cousin and "buddy".

He also took my old camera along and got some pics of this day of fun.

This pic isn't so much a picture of Don, but a really fun reflection of my photographer extraordinaire!

Apologies to all of the random dudes that got their picture taken and were part of Brady's train videography!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's a Mini!

Those were Brady's words when he saw Don pulling up on the driveway with our 'new-to-us' camper. It did make me laugh....this boy is used to camping in Grandma and Grandpa's not-so-mini motorhome!

And we're excited about the fun family trips and memories to come, as we become campers! We took it out for our very first 'test' weekend on Friday. I'd like to say we were super adventurous....but I won't lie. We parked at the Winkler Campground. Yup, a whopping 1.4km from our driveway! It's alright, I agree that's a little pathetic - but we needed to get a little trial run in before heading out on holidays.

The boys loved it. The nights were short - and the mornings were much too early, but fun was had! We even weathered a nice thunderstorm on Saturday night!

Pure joy!

Doing 'blackies' and trying to make each one longer than the last!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Let's Play Ball!

Today we wrapped up our first ever season of baseball.

Apparently you get more power this way!

Brady is pretty serious about the whole thing! He's SO into it and loves playing with the team and at home.

He informed us yesterday (and confirmed it again today with his Grandma) that he wants to be a professional ball player. That came after explaining what 'professional' meant. As in, it's your job AND you get paid!