Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Kayla’s Christmas Concert at St. Saviour’s Preschool: December, 2010

January 6, 2011

Here’s footage of Kayla’s Christmas Concert at St. Saviour’s Preschool in December 2010.  Pressed into the limelight as a one week-old baby in our Canucks video “Kayla Marie:  The Ultimate Canucks Newborn” from December 2007, you’ll see she’s a natural on stage.

Not only does she put her whole heart and soul into all of the songs, she also hams it up between songs making faces at the audience and repeatedly pretending to fall over.

We’ll see how long this lasts…but in the meantime you can sure tell she’s an Imoo!


Imoo Family Christmas Letter for 2010

December 22, 2010

Hello and Merry Christmas! This is our 9th annual Christmas letter, and this year we’re changing things up a bit. We’re not mailing out any hard copies, rather we’re emailing everyone along with a pictorial “Year at a Glance” that Gail prepared. As well, similar to last year, each family member has prepared his or her own paragraph. Thus, what you will read is unedited and un-censored!

2010 was another busy year for our family, full of firsts: Kayla started pre-school, Jake made his First Confession, and Sean became an “intermediate” student. We were able to make the most of the 2010 Winter Olympics as we were blessed to attend a few events and ceremonies. As well, we returned to California for the 3rd time in 4 years, this time driving (as we did in 2007). It was there that Gail and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary… by going to watch Toy Story 3 with the kids!

It wasn’t all rosy however. Jacob received 5 stitches in his forehead after an intense game of “Hide and Go Tag” at school, and Kayla fractured her elbow after falling off a kitchen stool. Thankfully, Sean, Gail and I remained relatively unscathed.

Kayla: I liked Mickey Mouse because he’s my friend. I also liked It’s a Small Word because it’s my favourite and it makes me so happy. I love my brothers because they are my friends. I also love Mommy and Daddy and I love Kayla. I like my pre-school because I get to see my cousin Joshua and all my friends.

Jacob: My favourite time of the year was Valentine’s Day because I got to make cards for my friends. I loved our family trip to California because we got to sleep in hotels and go to Disneyland. I liked seeing Mickey Mouse and my favourite ride was Space Mountain. I also made my First Confession: I went face-to-face with Father Luterbach and I felt like angels were running around my body! Next year I’ll be receiving my First Communion and I can’t wait. This year my mom is my teacher and it’s weird: sometimes in the classroom I call her Mrs. Imoo and other times I call her Mom.

Sean: I have a bunch of highlights from 2010. I started grade 4 and now I’m upstairs in the school. I’m doing well in school and I’m one of the leaders in my class. I played organized floor hockey for the first time and my team The Raiders only lost one game in the regular season. We made it to the Provincials representing Richmond and South Delta and finished fourth in the entire province! I played forward: it was really fun to play and I made a lot of new friends. I admit that I’m obsessed with Disneyland and I can’t wait to go back. I even looked up rides on YouTube and read blogs to prepare for the trip. I can’t even pick a favourite thing about Disneyland as I loved everything!

Gail: I went to LA twice this year…once in March for the Religious Educators’ Congress and again in July with the family. I also went to New York in June with Kayla to visit family. I did Zumba for the first time: it was quite funny because I did it with my mom and sister. We couldn’t stand next to each other or else we’d start laughing uncontrollably. I’m teaching grade 2 at St. Paul School once again, and this year Jacob is in my class. He tries to get away with stuff and with being the class clown. Then at home I have 3 other clowns to take care of, the biggest being Clay.

Clay: Thanks for that wonderful segue. I love you too. It was an extremely busy year for me at work, as our office (formerly the Youth Ministry Office) expanded to become the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry in June. Prior to that, we moved our office from the 2nd floor to the ground floor of the building, just in time for the Winter Olympics: we helped staff our Olympic Hospitality Centre at the building. I traveled to PEI and New Orleans for work, and I spoke at a youth ministry conferences in Toronto and Halifax. I’ve been blogging and video-blogging regularly, including doing regular Olympics and Canucks blogs on my website

Thanks for taking the time to read this Christmas letter. We’re looking forward to another great year in 2011. We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year! We hope that the New Year brings you joy, happiness and good health! Our family will be praying for you!

God Bless and Be God’s,
Clay, Gail, Sean, Jacob and Kayla

Merry Christmas from the Imoo Family

December 22, 2010
Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Scrapbook created with Smilebox

Happy Birthday Kayla: 3 Blogs and 3 Videos of Our Little Princess

December 21, 2010

To celebrate Kayla’s 3rd birthday today (December 21), enjoy 3 of my favourite blogs and videos featuring our little princess:

November 25, 2010:  Following in her Brother’s Footsteps: Kayla’s Fractured ElbowKayla does her best Jacob impression and busts up her arm.

September 18, 2010:  Miss Independent.  Chronicling Kayla’s first 2 weeks at pre-school.

December 30, 2007:  The Best Christmas Blessing Ever.  Detailing Kayla’s brith and Gail’s tough labour.

June 25, 2010:  Kayla Singing Jesus Loves Me.  A great example of child-like faith.

April 3, 2010:  Kayla Knows Her Kitchen.  As a 2 year-old, Kayla knows her way around the kitchen better than I do.

December 29, 2007:  Kayla Marie…The Ultimate Canucks Newborn.  This video helped us win Ultimate Canucks Family for the 2nd consecutive year.

Following in her Brother’s Footsteps: Kayla’s Fractured Elbow

November 25, 2010

Well, it was bound to happen. 

In February 2008, I wrote a blog called “You Should See the Other Guy” describing just how accident-prone Jacob is.  I compared Jake’s penchant for getting injured to that of the Canucks’ blueliners, which sadly is still an appropriate analogy.  In the blog, I detailed a few of Jake’s unfortunate accidents including falling on his face, bonking his head on a church pew, and fracturing his right arm from a fall in our kitchen just before he turned 3 years old. 

In ending the blog, I remarked how relatively accident-free Sean has been before concluding with this beauty:  “And what about our newborn Kayla Marie? I think she’s safe for now. I don’t think you can really get hurt when all you do is eat, sleep, dirty your diaper, and be carried around.”

So guess what happened this past Saturday?

In a classic example of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, Kayla suffered a fall in our kitchen fracturing her right elbow in the process.  It started off innocently enough:  Kayla was enjoying her lunch while sitting on one of our kitchen stools.  We had just come in from playing in the snow, and were looking forward to a relatively quiet day playing together while Gail worked on her report cards.

Our pleasant meal was interrupted by a loud bang and then some moderately-loud crying.  Sure enough, Kayla had somehow managed to slip off the stool and was now lying on her back.  We carefully picked her up and ascertained from the way she was crying that she thankfully didn’t hit her head.  Also, the fact that she was rubbing her right elbow saying “My arm hurts” helped us turn our attention there.  So we sat with her for the next hour or so, monitoring her arm and her cries.

Although the crying subsided, Kayla wasn’t moving her arm.  So we decided to take Kayla to the hospital.  Gail stayed with her in the emergency area while I came home to do homework with the boys.  Finally after 3 hours, Gail called for us to pick them up; Kayla had fractured her elbow and was wearing a splint.

With Gail having lost the afternoon, I decided to forego going to the Canucks game that night so she could get some work done.  Probably turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I likely would have suffered my own injury if I had gone to the game, either to my lungs (from screaming), my eyes (from watching such a debacle) or to my heart (for another lopsided loss to the Blackhawks).

We made it through Sunday and then I took Kayla back to the cast clinic at the hospital first thing Monday morning.  At first she was very hesitant to go, saying “I don’t want to go back to the doctor…he did this to me” as she pointed at her wrapped arm.  I tried to reason with her that the doctor was going to help her get better and not hurt her further.  Then I remembered she’s two years old.

Thankfully, she was tended to relatively quickly, and the doctor diligently removed the wrap and splint before fitting her arm with a bright pink fibreglass cast.  Kayla was remarkably good during the entire process, largely in part to the yummy orange popsicle given to her by the nurse.  Now that’s good parenting: a popsicle at 8:30am!  Even I have some standards…I won’t drink pop before 10am!  But I digress.

Kayla was happy as a bird as we strolled out of the hospital and towards the parking lot.  Meanwhile, I immediately started calling her “Cowboy” Bob Orton.  She didn’t get it.

The cast hasn’t really hampered her or slowed her down, although she has to do the majority of things with her left hand now.  We’re hoping to get the cast removed in mid-December, just before her 3rd birthday.

Although there are a couple of subtle differences between Kayla’s injury and Jake’s 5 years ago (Kayla’s elbow vs. Jake’s arm, and falling from a stool vs. falling from the island), the similarities are quite striking:  where in the house the injury took place (within 3 feet of each other), the body part that got injured (right arm) and the timing of the incidents (right before their respective 3rd birthdays).

I just pray that going forward Kayla will escape the scraped chin, scratched face, busted nose cartilage, and stitches to the forehead. 

And that Sami Salo returns soon…without hurting himself again.

Miss Independent

September 18, 2010

“‘Cause she walk like a boss, talk like a boss…”

These lyrics from Ne-Yo’s popular song “Miss Independent” rang true for me recently as I watched Kayla in her first two weeks of pre-school.  Things started off as expected last Tuesday night at the Orientation Meeting, as Kayla was quite shy.  Jake, on the other hand, treated it like a high school reunion, catching up and laughing with all of the teachers he hadn’t seen since 2008.

I brought Kayla back the next morning for her first day of pre-school ever.  She was understandably quite timid as she made sense of her new surroundings.  We flipped through a book as we waited for class to start.  After the morning prayer and song, the kids were split into two groups; Kayla grabbed my hand and asked me to stay with her for a while.  I sat down with her and 4 other kids and made play-dough structures for a few minutes before excusing myself to go to work.  So far so good.

On our next visit on Friday, we sat down to read before class and she casually made her way to another kid and his parent.  I lovingly dragged Kayla back to me, saying “Read with Daddy” and she complied.   After the prayer and song, I accompanied Kayla to the playroom but only had to stay a couple of minutes before she said I could go.  I walked out, proud that Kayla seemed to be getting quite comfortable quite quickly.  Little did I know just how comfortable she would become!

“She got her own thing…”

We returned the next Tuesday and during the pre-class reading time she spent the whole time with another kid and his parent.  My lovely daughter ignored my repeated pleas to re-join me on the other side of the rug.  So there I was, the only parent there without a kid to read with.  On the bright side, I learned a lot about butterflies.  I sheepishly said good-bye to her as she left the main room for the playroom.

Wednesday was even worse (or better…depending on your perspective).  While she stayed in my relative proximity during reading time and the opening prayer, she didn’t even say bye before leaving for the playroom.

And then Friday came along.

As we arrived, she ran straight to Julie, one of the teachers for the pre-class reading time.  As small consolation, a couple of other kids also gathered around the teacher…but with one big difference: their parents weren’t still in the room!  As I sat there contemplating my next move, Kayla made my decision for me, exclaiming:  “Daddy, you go to work…NOW!”

“Don’t you want me to stay for the prayer?” was my humble reply.

“No thank you.”

“Fine, “ I replied, “I love you, sweetie.  Come give me a kiss.”

Thankfully, she obliged.

This early dismissal actually turned out to be a small blessing as I was able to arrive early to a Funeral Mass that I was attending that morning.  Going forward, I’d like to make it through at least the prayer time with Kayla, as it’s a nice way to offer up the day together as Father and Daughter.

Unless I’m ordered otherwise.

“That’s why I love her…Miss Independent.”

Kayla Singing Jesus Loves Me

June 25, 2010

First it was Jacob singing this song as a 4 year–old (, and now it’s Kayla doing her rendition as a 2 and a half-year old.

Gotta love child-like faith! “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15

Kayla Knows her Kitchen

April 3, 2010

Despite keeping her tea kettle in the microwave and her cell phone in the oven, Kayla still knows her way around the kitchen better than I do. Even if she tries to fry up ketchup, corn and bananas in the same pan.

Kayla also sneaks in her current favourite thing to say: “What you doing?”

Check out this fun footage we took after Gail and the boys went to bed. When all else fails…MAKE A MOVIE!

Imoo Family Christmas Letter for 2009

December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

Hello and Merry Christmas! This year, instead of having one of the kids write (or pretend to write) the letter, we’re writing this letter together and each family member will write their own section (we’ll help Kayla out though). We hope you enjoy reading this year’s Christmas letter (our family’s 8th annual note). Here goes!

2009 was a great year for our family, full of change. Sean received his First Communion, Jacob started full-time school, Gail returned to full-time teaching, Clay took on more speaking engagements, and Kayla continued to mature remarkably quickly. We didn’t get away on a family vacation this year, as we’re saving up for a trip next July to celebrate Clay and Gail’s 10-year wedding anniversary (they celebrated 20 years of dating earlier this month). However, we were able to spend a nice weekend in Victoria in November and we’ve taken a few day trips to the States.

Kayla: I’m very active now, keeping the rest of the family on its toes. I’m quite the climber, and I’m always getting into cupboards, drawers and closets. I’m not afraid to stand up for myself with my brothers, but we generally get along very well and love to play with each other. Each week, I spend a day with each of my grandmas and the rest of the week at daycare. I have adopted traits from both of my brothers, both good and bad: I’m talkative like Sean and stubborn and messy like Jacob! I try to help Mommy and Daddy as much as I can. They know that I’m up to something when I become extremely quiet and they can’t find me. I love watching videos on Youtube: especially Hi-5, the Wiggles, and videos of me and my brothers.

Jacob: This year I got to be a ring-bearer for Mom and Dad’s friend Melissa’s wedding: it was my 2nd-time ever as a ring-bearer. It was a lot of fun taking pictures and holding the pillow with the rings. I smiled the entire walk down the aisle to the altar! I started grade one in September and it’s super fun because there are toys, a big playground, and all my friends. My favourite subjects are PE and computers. I can’t wait for Mommy to teach me in September in grade 2 because she’s my Mom! For fun I like to play piano, play video games and make people laugh. By the way, I have 10 girlfriends right now.

Sean: Merry Christmas everybody and God bless you during this special season. During this year I made my First Reconciliation and I received my First Communion. For First Reconciliation I was a bit scared, and for First Communion I was very proud to receive Jesus for the first time. For school, my class and I went to Victoria for a school field trip, and my Dad came as a parent helper. I loved learning about pioneers at the museum and I liked the “wind tunnel” on the ferry. You can find me playing Xbox at home; my favourite game is NHL 10. I can beat teams at the All-Star level, now I need to work on Superstar. I also like watching TV and playing hockey outside.

Gail: This year I returned to full-time teaching grade 2 at St. Paul School; my class has 20 boys and 10 girls. In the summer, Kayla and I went with my mom and sister to New Jersey for 2 weeks; it was nice to surprise my Tita Tina for her 50th birthday. We got to stay at the Waldorf-Astoria and we stayed in the same suite that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had stayed in. When I’m not taking care of my 4 kids, I enjoy watching tv and dressing Kayla up!

Clay: It was a busy year for me because of work and travel. I’m starting my 8th year as the Director of the Youth Ministry Office for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver. This year, I spoke at conferences and/or youth events in Victoria, Edmonton, Prince Albert (Saskatchewan), and Winnipeg. Also, I attended conferences at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and Kansas City. I’m trying to do more speaking and writing, and I like to tinker with my website ( by adding blogs, pictures, and videos. I also played on a roller hockey team this year…it was a humbling yet rewarding experience for me. I didn’t think I’d make it through the first few games.

Thanks for taking the time to read this Christmas letter. We’re looking forward to another great year in 2010. We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year! We hope that the New Year brings you joy, happiness and good health! Our family will be praying for you!

God Bless and Be God’s,

Clay, Gail, Sean, Jacob and Kayla

The Centre of Attention (and loving every minute)

December 16, 2009
Firstly, this blog is not about me…despite the title. Just needed to clear that up right away…haha.

Rather, this blog is about Kayla Marie. As many of you know, when Kayla was born on December 21, 2007, she was the first Imoo girl in 75 years, breaking a streak of 12 straight boys starting with my late Father’s 2 older brothers. We try not to spoil her (well at least I try not to…my lovely wife Gail may be a different story), but she is often the centre of attention nonetheless. Given her recent advancements in speech and comprehension, she is at a really neat stage in her development right now, and we’re having so much fun with her.

Today we spent the entire day together, as I took the day off work to take Jake to see an allergy specialist before seeing the school Christmas play in the afternoon. I had to wake Kayla from an apparent deep sleep at 9:30am (she usually gets up at 7:30am or so) to get her ready to leave. As per usual on Daddy days, her hair was an absolute disaster, as I haven’t mastered pigtails, ponytails, or basic tying techniques (there’s a reason why I shave my head).

We went to the allergy specialist and spent close to 2 hours there, most of it in the waiting room. It was a much-needed visit for Jake, as his legs resemble the surface of Mars. After a quick lunch at the golden arches, we made our way to St. Paul School for the Christmas concert.

After Jake bolted out of the car to join his classmates, I took Kayla to Gail’s class for a quick visit before going to the gym. As soon as I walked in the classroom, I was swarmed by Gail’s grade 2 students. As I smiled smugly reflecting on my popularity, I realized that the 30 kids were actually swarming Kayla (who just happened to be carried by me). At least Gail said hi to me…I think…haha.

As Gail salvaged Kayla’s hair-do, the kids peppered Kayla with hi-fives, handshakes, and hugs. I happily played the role of observer and marveled at the scene: Kayla was soaking up the attention while laughing, babbling, and clapping with the kids.

Kayla being the centre of attention in Gail’s grade 2 class.
After a few moments I excused myself to wait outside the classroom for what I thought would be a couple of minutes. Two minutes turned into 5 and then to 10. I went back into the classroom to see what was taking so long and I cracked up at the sight: there Kayla was sitting on Gail’s lap with all of the kids on the carpet below her watching her every move. I guess it was show and tell, with Gail showing Kayla and telling about her.

I snuck a quick picture and then snuck myself back out of the classroom and to the gym. When Gail finally brought Kayla to me a few minutes later, she told me that Kayla was playing with an ink stamp at Gail’s desk and all of the kids wanted to watch her in action. So Gail brought her up to the front of the class so the kids could get a better view.

Seems like Kayla sure knows how to leave an imprint wherever she goes!