Digital scrapbook challenge #8

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Making a page about DH was fun. I had to look back over the last year to find enough photos for the page. I had more or less forgotten about the nice family photo we had taken at Christine's last fall. I'm glad I pulled that one 'out of the vault'.
I'm looking forward to the next layout challenge. I need a little inspiration!


Hanging out at the park

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Just a few photos from our trip to the park today. Mr. Boy is on a sleepover with Grammy today.

Precious tried the big-girl swing for the first time today. She said it made her 'happy'.

Editor's Note: Precious had tried the big swing with DH, which he told me after he read this post. So this wasn't the first time she tried the big-girl swing.


Distracted by a Book, Again...

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Aunt Jackie told me about the author Alexander McCall Smith. I ordered Tea Time for the Traditionally Built from the library, and picked up Espresso Tales right away, because it was available, not knowing that it was book 2 of the 44 Scotland Street series. I didn't care after about the first page, and I devoured the whole book pretty quickly. The author claimed to have no plans to continue the series, but I still had the first book to read. After that was done, I was thrilled to discover, via the author's website, that he had continued the series and there were two more novels to read! I am reading the third book, called Love Over Scotland, and have reserved The World According to Bertie.

I believe there is an inverse relationship between how much I am reading and how often I blog. Hmmm.

Other things that have occupied my attention lately:

  • two school field trips last week
  • Precious being sick for the better part of 6 weeks and not being able to go to school much
  • my summer hockey season starting
  • my hockey tournament coming up this weekend (I'm team manager)
  • booking an appointment for precious with the ear, nose, throat doctor
  • seeing my own doctor for my right knee, which is also bothering me
  • volunteering at the teacher appreciation lunch at the kids' school
  • going for a pedicure with Mindy
  • working
  • cooking
  • etc., etc., etc
It's been raining since Monday but the weekend promises to be nice. I'm looking forward to getting out on the bicycle, and weeding some more dandelions. DH put the veggie garden in on Monday night, and everything looks great. The rain has made the whole yard pretty lush. I filled my patio pots with herb seeds, and hopefully some of them will sprout. I especially love the basil and the cilantro. I love making my own pesto, and the cilantro tastes so good in homemade salsa. Yum.

I will hopefully get inspired to take some photos this weekend. It's been a while.


The Day All My Dreams Came True

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Precious is developmentally delayed. She currently gets therapy from a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and two infant development specialists. We also pay for a private therapist to come in and implement a subset of all of the other therapies, based on consult notes provided by the registered therapists.

She is supposed to start school this September, but she's more like a 2 year-old in her development. I just couldn't imagine her in a room with 19 other kids and only one teacher. She needs a program where she can get enough personal attention, but still be challenged to progress. She still needs some therapy, especially speech therapy. If we signed her up for a nursery school program, she wouldn't qualify for the free speech therapy she is getting now, with a therapist we really respect.

We were at a loss what to do, then we considered a private junior kindergarten. There are 8 kids per teacher, and only 8 kids in her class. The teachers are certified teachers, and they follow the provincial curriculum. She would be getting the benefits of going to school, but with a lower ratio. Since it wasn't with the school board, we had to ask permission to keep our speech therapist until September 2010. She called yesterday to give us the good news! We can send Precious to the private kindergarten and still receive speech services.

The logistics (no bussing) and cost of the private kindergarten are a bit of a pain, but it is just for one year. We are hoping that when Precious goes to see the developmental psychologist next year, he or she will assess Precious as being delayed and give us the medical note we need to enroll her for junior kindergarten in the school board in 2010. Then she could start in our local school, be bussed, and we'll just what happens when we get there.


Digital scrapbook challenge #7 and #8

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I was definitely challenged by this digital scrapbook challenge. I finished the page, but I think it's still a work in progress. I want to add some brushes to the page, I can't find the right ones. I'm not thrilled with the background paper, but I'll figure it out eventually. I may re-post this page once I re-do it.
Getting the self-portraits was the best part, and I'm really glad I did it.

In honour of my wedding anniversary this past week, this week's digital scrapbook challenge is to do something about your significant other. It doesn't have to be about your wedding or your anniversary. See you next Sunday!



Saturday, May 23, 2009

Even if everything in your life is good, every once in a while you have a day like this.


Friday Photo Challenge

Friday, May 22, 2009

I did Christine's Friday photo challenge and here are my photos, straight out of the camera. I would normally prefer to retouch them, but I think it's just better this way. It shows the real me, warts and all. Not that I have any warts. No really. I don't.

Self-portraits are hard, but not as hard as letting someone else take your photo. I guess that's why they call it a "challenge".

Before work yesterday, I had a few minutes before my bus, so I took a photo using the mirror in the front hall. The light was kind of cool, but getting the right angle, and the focus in a mirror were hard. This was the first shot I took.
A couple of minutes later, I took this photo using the mirrored doors in the mudroom. The light was horrendous and this photo shows how hard it was for me to figure out what angle to use to get myself in the mirror. And check out the coats. What was I thinking?
It turned into a really hot day, and I was really warm when I got home from work, so I changed in a tank top and got on some shorts. I played around with the tripod in the back yard while DH had the kids out shopping. The light was nice, but posing myself was tough. What I like about this shot is that it actually looks like what I think I look like. Some of the others weren't very flattering. This one isn't bad, but I like it because it has an easy feeling about it. And my smile looks nice.


Happy Anniversary DH!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009 marks nine years of marriage.
Happy anniversary to us!


Tiptoe through the Tulips

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We made it to the tulip festival again this year. The kids were excited to go downtown, but they just aren't used to the bustle and they kept running into people on the sidewalk, or they would get into someone's way. There were still some tulips in bloom and I got a picture of the three kids in front of the tulips, but it was at the end of the morning and my patience was running out.

DH made a picnic lunch and we headed out after picking up Mr. Boy and Sweet Pea from their sleepover.

At the festival, Precious walked the whole time and she had so much fun doing everything her brother and sister did, including getting ice cream cones, using the porta-potty, and going on the carousel. I love that she is mostly toilet trained now as it makes our life a lot easier. We still have a few kinks to work out, but I figure she'll be fine by the time she goes to summer camp this July.Precious was calm in the line-up for the ferris wheel, only to begin panicking when it was our turn to get into the car. She almost scratched my eyes out! DH and the older two went on the ride and seemed to have fun. I knew Sweet Pea's would because she's a bit of a daredevil but it hasn't really been Mr. Boy's 'thing'.
Next year we will be going back and we have promised that they will get a chance on the rock climbing wall.


Insanity Rules The Household

Monday, May 18, 2009

My husband tends to be 'thrifty'. Something else you might not know about him is that his desk is terribly messy. At work and at home. So what happened this past weekend will shock you.

First of all, he woke up Saturday morning (and let me sleep in) and started cleaning the heck out of our office. It took hours, but every last paper is filed, every surface is dusted, and every bill is paid. I can see more or less the entire work surface. It's utterly fantastic!

Later the same day, still on a roll and full of energy, DH went out shopping for TVs and beer (his words) and came home and uttered words I never thought I'd hear. "Go to the store and buy the floor model sectional I saw. Do it right now." When DH agrees to spend money, I don't hesitate! The floor model was a coffee colour (I wanted gray) and it wasn't the right configuration. I inquired about different configurations and different colours and didn't think we could work out a deal. The floor model was a good deal - about 25% off the regular price.

Here's the funny twist. I have been sectional shopping for about 4 months and had already seen the same sectional in this very same store, but in gray, and I had priced it out in the configuration I want. I did this during a big 25% off sale. She wrote down all the prices on a piece of paper and attached her business card. The very same salesperson was working last Saturday and she honoured my sales price. I'm not very good a bargaining but I managed to get the gray sectional, in the colour I want for the same price as the floor model.

I feel a bit like the cat that swallowed the canary. Two coups in one day. DH agreed to buy the sofa and I got us the one I wanted for about $1000 less than any of the other sectionals I liked. This sectional may not have been my ultimate favourite of the 6 'finalists', but it is microfibre, which is essential in our house, it is 8' 10" X 8' 10", which is the size we wanted, and it is Canadian-made, with a hardwood frame. The style is more transitional than modern, but that just means its more versatile!

That's not the end of the story.

I got home around 5:00 and DH was still hot on the idea of getting the TV that he had been out looking at earlier in the day. Sometimes I wonder how DH lives without a Blackberry. He's loathe to make a decision without checking the internet first. When we're discussing things, he'll jump up to check facts (read: prove me wrong) on the internet. After further research, and after discovering that the store was open until 6:00, DH headed out bought the TV, and we're getting it next week. We'll have a TV but nowhere to sit for 8 - 10 weeks (the downside of not getting the floor model sectional) but we do have a few chairs in the basement and we'll survive.

Now DH is telling me to go out and buy an area rug. Believe me, I will striking when the iron is hot. I don't know what's come over him. When he's sleeping, I'll be checking to see if he's an alien dressed up in DH's skin.


Brunchy morning

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My brother and his girlfriend, who we affectionately refer to as AMB, hosted a brunch this morning because her parents, as well as a distant relative doing geneology research, were in town. My brother's girlfriend is also the sister of some good friends of ours, so the whole thing was rather cozy, albeit confusing for the outside observer!

Here is my daughter Precious and my brother's girlfriend's brother, Bob.

Below is my brother's girlfriend speaking to her mother.
The brunch was delightful and the five kids had a good time. Our three were generally well-behaved, although Precious did pinch Duncan and also head butt him once. That's when we realized it was time to go home. The five kids are looking down from the loft at AMB's house.
The weather was a bit cool for our trip to the tulip festival, so we delayed that until tomorrow.

Below is AMB's niece Maia, and one of Sweet Pea's best friends.
Here are Duncan (AMB's nephew) and Mr. Boy.


Digital scrapbook challenge #7

The scrapbook challenge for this week was to use a photo as the background for the layout. I had done this before and blogged about this page, below, which I still love, 8 months later.This time, I wanted to try something with one of the kids' faces really big, basically taking up the whole page, but I just wasn't 'feeling it' and I couldn't seem to get it to work. Rather than plug away at that page in frustration, I asked Sweet Pea to oblige me with yet another photo shoot, and I took the photo below and used it as the background. She's standing in front of the beige garage door, and I layered a paper, which is at 23% opacity, giving it the look of vellum. The journaling is all about the process of completing the digital scrapbook challenge.

I got a page that I love and I was able to capture a little about scrapbooking and photography on the layout, too. I am so in love with Anna Aspnes' stuff right now. I can't get enough! Check her out over at Designer Digitals. The water drops and circular brushes are both from her. The titles are from Ali Edwards. The frame is from Katie Pertiet.


Moving Day

Friday, May 15, 2009

When can I move in to this house?



A Bit of a Setback

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I was so excited to start exercising again. I went to the gym on Monday and did a cross-country course on the elliptical for 45 minutes. I did my physio exercises after. I felt great! I was on the right course, heading in the right direction of getting my fitness back up.

Tuesday, I picked up a rental steam cleaner at the grocery store. I spent about an hour cleaning carpets during the day. I weeded the garden. I jumped on the trampoline with Sweet Pea. I was a little busier than usual. We also went to see a private kindergarten for Precious that morning, and she was sick and couldn't go to school, so I was dragging her everywhere with me.

I called DH in the afternoon, feeling kind of sorry for myself and warning him that we were getting takeout. I was too tired to cook. After I got off the phone, I went to get something in a hurry, pivoted on the carpet, and felt (and heard!) something pop in my bad knee. It hurt like heck and I am limping around again. It feels like something is poking out of my knee, from the inside. My knee is quite swollen. I can barely walk. My other knee and my hips hurt from limping so much over the last two months.

I'm still on the waiting list for an MRI. They estimated it would be August before I can get in. A private MRI clinic opened not far from here, and DH insists that we swallow the cost and I book an MRI next week. Even once I get the MRI results, I'll probably be on another waiting list with the orthopedic surgeon. Getting my MRI sooner might allow me to get to the ortho sooner.

Somethings gotta give. I can barely walk, let alone do my daily tasks.

So I guess I won't be burning a hole in my gym membership card just yet. But I will. Eventually.


Sunny, sunny day

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mr. Boy stayed home from school today with a sore stomach. Half of me says "It's just stress" and the other half thinks he has some life threatening illness and I need to take him to the doctor or I'm a bad mother. Either way, he wasn't going anywhere today, and he stayed in his pyjamas all day. Later in the afternoon, when his sisters were having popsicles, he asked for one and I noticed the sun lighting up his hair. It reminded me of Maggie Holmes' photography, which I love, so I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. Too bad about the trampoline in the background.

It is rarer and rarer to get pictures of Mr. Boy now that he is seven. I thanked him for his co-operation, even though he wouldn't take the popsicle out of his mouth. At least he was looking in my direction!


Weight Loss Update

Monday, May 11, 2009

Last time we talked about my weight, I admitted to needing to lose 18 pounds. Well, I lied, just the teensiest bit. My weight fluctuates up and down in a 4-5 pound range from day to day. When I said I needed to lose 18 pounds, I was actually weighing between 18 and 22 pounds over my preferred weight. I hurt my knee the night before I made my bold statement about losing weight, and I had no idea I would spend the better part of the next two months not exercising. Surprisingly, I have lost a few pounds despite my inactivity. I'm now weighing between 16 and 18 pounds over my preferred weight. Since I'm not exercising as much, I'm not as hungry so I'm eating less, and I have been trying to eat more veggies.

Now, I'm slowly increasing my activity level. I can't do too much of one thing for fear of hurting my knee again.

One or two pounds lost doesn't really make a difference in how my clothes fit, but at least it is in the right direction. I had a wake-up call on the weekend when I weeded the garden and my back muscles were sore for two days.

I'm back on my fitness routine, and not just on the weekends and at hockey. My gym membership card will get used for the first time in months, and I'm renewing my yoga membership, too. If I keep making sensible food choices, I'm sure my weight will continue moving in the right direction.


Digital scrapbook challenge #7

Sunday, May 10, 2009

This week's challenge is to use a photo (with a blending mode or not) as the background of the scrapbook page.


Digital scrapbook challenge #6

This week's challenge was to use photos exactly one year apart. I used photos from Mr. Boy's birthday parties when he turned 6 and 7.

What surprised me is how little change there was in him between last year and this. I was expecting him to look much different. It's true that he's changed in a million different ways developmentally, but what I'm finding is that the core of him, his personality, his essence, if you will, remains. It is an exciting time as he is his own person through and through, but scary too as I ponder the possibility that the time when I had the greatest impact on his life is over. Mr. Boy is being influenced by many sources now and my 'reign' is officially over. I'm one, albeit a very important, role model. This is a job I take VERY seriously. Sometimes I feel the sense of responsibility is crushing, but mostly it is such an honour to be a mother - his mother.
A couple of things I did notice about the photos being one year part is that the photography from this year's birthday party was so much better than last year's. My scrapbooking has improved too. I took Christine's advice and I 'borrowed' an idea from the ideas gallery at Designer Digitals and I just loved re-creating a look while giving it my own personal touch.

I'm 2 1/2 years into this digital scrapbooking thing and I still have so much to learn.


Happy Birthday to Me!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's my birthday. I had a fantastic day. DH got me a Jamocha Almond Fudge cake from Baskin-Robbins. We saw the Star Trek movie, went out for sushi and went shopping where I found the white a-line skirt I've been looking for for 4 weeks. My brother babysat.

This morning, I weeded the garden and then attended my kids' piano recital. And since tomorrow is Mother's Day, I'm anticipating another great day!
We couldn't find 38 candles, or a #3 or a #8 candle, so we put a #5, #4, #1, a few curly candles and a couple of standard birthday candles on the cake. Sweet Pea and Mr. Boy helped me blow them out.


Happy Anniversary to My Blog!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Today is the first anniversary of my blog. My original goal was to post every day and to include a picture every day. I didn't quite keep to either of those, but I did post 244 times and included pictures when I had some.

In honour of May 8th, 2008, I am including a picture taken one year ago today. From left to right is me, Precious, Evelyn and her daughter. The girls are going to preschool together right now but it is the last year as they are expected to start junior kindergarten in the fall and they won't be going to the same school.Blogging has been so much fun!



Thursday, May 7, 2009

One of my favourite things about shopping at the thrift store is the thrill of the hunt. Going to the store with a particular item in mind is always fun, but I like to browse too. I usually look at all of the kids clothes and the dishes and sports equipment. I also love looking at the furniture and the books. I went to the Salvation Army thrift store yesterday and scored some clothes for the kids - average price $3/item, as well as a few corelle bowls, a 1000 piece puzzle for me for the cottage this summer, and a ton of Berenstain Bear books for the kids (50 cents each). But my favourite find was three Bobbsey Twins books that I don't have and a different version of one I have already. I am slowly but surely building up my collection.

My other favourite thing about the thrift store is the other customers. I don't think I've ever passed another shopper without them taking a good, long, hard stare into my cart. I bought a small dresser yesterday and it was sticking out of my trunk and I caught one guy in the parking lot practically standing on his head to check out the price. No one wants to think that someone else scooped something they were looking for or got a better deal than they did. I'm curious about the other shoppers' choices too, but I think it's better not to see. If someone walked past me with a whole set of Bobbsey Twin books in their cart, I don't know what I'd do.

I really wish I had more time to thrift store shop, but once in a blue moon will have to do.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My brother's girlfriend is always entering contests and she even wins some. I've decided to try and get in on the action so I entered an on-line contest at Costco yesterday, one at Reitman's today, and then over at You Get What You Get, I saw a contest which is right up my alley, for two DVDs by the amazing Me Ra Koh. I hesitate to post this because I don't want anyone else to enter the contest!

I plan on entering and keep your fingers crossed for me!


Creativity Abounds

The layout challenge that Christine and I have been doing has been really inspiring for me. Last night, I sat down and started two new pages, and just finished them up today. At this rate, I'll run out of stuff to scrapbook (ha - what a joke!) I still have to tackle this week's challenge, but I will get to it soon.

I started out with a page from Christmas 2008. It's tough deciding which pictures to include. There are usually so many to choose from. Probably because we were hosting this year, I didn't get as many as usual. I didn't get one of my mom and stepfather or my grandma, either. The pics of me, my dad, brother, DH and kids will have to do.
I couldn't resist scraplifting Christine's amazing page from Sunday, using the same template she used. Of course, my interpretation leaves something to be desired, but it is still up there as far as my talent will take me. I'm being hard on myself because there are people like Christine who are just so GOOD at this stuff. I told DH that I'm just not that great at scrapbooking and he jokingly suggested I should quit scrapbooking altogether since there are others who are better at it than me. This helped bring things into perspective. Of course I am not scrapbooking to be the best scrapbooker ever, but to preserve my family's memories and to have a little fun doing it. My pages have come a LONG way, which you'll see when I dare to show you some of my first ever digital pages. *GASP* Look for them in an uncoming post.
Watch out everyone! I'm on a roll!


I'm Lost!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You'd think that with all the extra free time I have right now since my workout options are limited, I would be watching TV more. I still watch The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother on Monday nights, but with my hockey team out of the playoffs, there isn't much else to watch. The kids are still doing a weekday media fast, so I can only watch TV if there are no children present, and that only happens for an hour and fifteen minutes a day around here, there's nothing on at that time and we don't have a PVR.

DH and I have been watching Lost since about season 3. Lately, we've been downloading the episodes and watching them on our own schedule. Only problem is, we're getting behind because either I'm too tired, DH is too tired or working, or we have some other activity that conflicts.

I believe we are 5 episodes behind in Lost right now.

DH and will be making a date to watch Lost very soon. I really enjoy the show, and not just because of all of the beautiful people on the show. I'll leave you with a final question, who is hotter, Sawyer or Jack? Sawyer has his charms, but Jack is definitely more my type.


Seventh Heaven

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Our very busy month of May shows no signs of letting up. Last Sunday, DH had a concert to attend. Monday, my dad came to stay after his knee replacement. Tuesday was piano lessons for two of the kids. Wednesday, DH had yet another concert to attend! Thursday, we had a meeting with Precious' school, then hosted a playgroup supper at night. Friday, Precious started a special 8 week course to prepare her for school, Sweet Pea had her spring concert, and it was Mr. Boy's 7th birthday. We ordered in Chinese for our guests that night. Saturday, we all went to see my mom and aunt in their play at the local theatre. It was really entertaining. Today, I had a baby shower to attend, and there was a lot of catching up to do around the house after such a busy week.

I did manage to finish my digital scrapbook assignment. I was to use a mask, and I used the Art Inspired Foto Blenz freebie mask from Anna Aspnes from Designer Digitals' all day chat on April 25th. I used Katie Pertiet's Le Cirque Paper, and Jessica Sprague's Shadow Acrylic letters, and I'm happy with the final product.
My boy is growing up but he'll never be too big for a snuggle, not even when he's 17, 27, or 77.


Spring Has Sprung

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sweet Pea did great today in her spring concert. The class had practiced a lot and she knew the songs well. She's one of the smallest in her class, and she's the youngest. She ended up more or less dead centre at the concert, and she was super-committed to the performance. She decided to wear a green t-shirt even though I had suggested a dress. Little did I know that the teacher had asked them to wear green and she doesn't have a green dress.

If you'll note, she is in the middle, with the dark burgundy pants, and here, doing the motions with her arms, they are perfectly straight and symmetrical. I could even hear her because she was singing loudly, despite there being at least 200 adults and 120 kids in the gym. I was bursting with pride throughout.

Maybe she has a future as a cheerleader.


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