Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I've been MIA because we ended up camping for three nights over the weekend again. We had such a good time the weekend before, and we had our fingers crossed for sunny weather this time, plus, it was the first weekend after school let out, so we left Thursday night and headed to the park. I'll post some photos of that tomorrow.

My dad was in town yesterday and took the older two kids fishing. Mr. Boy saw kids fishing on our camping trip and he really wanted to try it. Dad came around lunchtime and picked up the older two and their booster seats, and took them to a local spot where there was a dock and they fished off of that. Mr. Boy was casting with his Scooby-Doo rod and he caught something, but it got away. Sweet Pea used my dad's fishing rod, but didn't get anything. This time.

My dad even remembered to bring his camera! I'm so glad I got to see photos of the first fishing trip.


Rounding the Corner

Monday, June 29, 2009

We recently renovated our basement. I realize I haven't posted any photos yet, due mainly to the fact that I only have a 50mm lens for my camera, and I have to stand about 6 city blocks away from something to get a picture of it. Another problem is that the basement is basically a drywall box right now, with two measly pictures on the wall, and not much more than a few Rubbermaid containers full of toys down there.

As you know, I love to peruse the real estate listings in my area. What shouldn't surprise me anymore, but does, repeatedly, is that people seem to think that because they are in their basement, they should put their fireplaces in the corner. I know that nowadays there are plenty of fireplaces that don't need chimneys, but somehow, it just seems more realistic if your fireplace looks like it could have a chimney. Have you ever seen a chimney coming up the outside corner of a house? Me neither. And how do you place furniture and decorate around a corner fireplace? It doesn't look easy and I'm not going to do it.


Digital scrapbook challenge #10

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Last night, I did some long-overdue pruning in the garden. I edged the lawn a bit. Today, I worked like crazy around the house. There was lots of yard work to do because we hadn't cut the grass before we went camping over the weekend. I had more pruning to do today, and I had to roll up the tents which were out in the yard drying out.

I whipped together this page for digital scrapbook challenge #10. I like the crispness of the photo, and the colour combination of the blue sky and the purple lilac. The lilac is already done blooming, and I need to prune that soon. More yard work!
I am enjoying the real summer weather. It was hot and sunny yesterday and today. We had the kiddie pool set up and the kids played in it for hours today. Only two more days of school. Life is good.



Sunday, June 21, 2009

We went camping on the weekend, so I haven't posted in a while, and I didn't complete this week's digital layout challenge.

We left around 2:30 on Friday and got home tonight around suppertime. Now I'm doing the second of four (or five) loads of laundry!

I couldn't wait to look at my photos. I took 197! It seemed that there were so many photo ops. It was a dreary weekend, weather-wise, which made for some great lighting conditions for taking pictures! Add in all the beach-y activities, campfires, and the like, and I just couldn't put down my camera!

We went with Ron and Mel, and their two kids, who are the same ages as our older two. I can't remember the last time we went camping together!
Precious playing on the beach at sundown. Before long, 4 of the 5 kids were naked, playing in the cold water, and we had no towels or extra clothes. We carried Precious naked, back to the campsite.
Kiera was the only one who kept her clothes on.
I picked up my camera to take a picture of Mr. Boy at the fire. I didn't look at the settings. I just pointed and pressed the shutter. I ended up with a happy face spark from the fire! The kids were really excited and Kiera wanted me to try and get one of her like that!
Camping means more junk food than usual. Mini Oreos. The kids loved them.
Good thing DH insisted on bringing rain boots and rain jackets for everyone. Even kitted out, we got wet. We went to the sand dunes, and walked all up and down them. If you look closely at this photo, you can make out raindrops.
When we got to the dunes, Sweet Pea insisted on carrying the big stick, and hunting for 'dune animals'. This was a special animal that has camouflage, is the size of a baby's foot, has big ears, and leaves distinctive prints. They never found one, but Mr. Boy did spot a rhinoceros print!This morning, the weather looked promising, so we headed down to the big beach with bathing suits, sunscreen and sand toys. It clouded over, but there was sunshine here and there. When we headed back to our site for lunch, there was a torrential downpour and all of our camping gear got soaked, just in time to pack it up. Now we have to unpack everything to let it dry, before we pack it up again.

We all agreed that a weekend just isn't long enough, especially when it is over 3 hours to get there. Next time, we will stay longer. And hopefully it won't rain 90% of the time we're there.


More Than You Knee-d to Know

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I paid for an MRI for my knee to fast track getting to the orthopedic surgeon. I was sure I had a meniscus tear and I would be getting surgery later this summer. Turns out there is no tear. I simply have arthritis. The pain in my knee is limiting and very painful at times. There isn't much the doctor can do for me. I will feel this much pain, or more, until I am old enough to get a knee replacement - in 15 years!!!

That really threw me for a loop. I'm supposed to take glucosamine. I suppose losing 20 pounds wouldn't hurt. I should continue doing my physio. I could consider getting injections into my knee. They are painful, expensive, and I need to get three in a row, once a year.

So, I'm going to have to suck it up. Get on with it. Move on.

The plan is still to do low and no impact activities, and start biking, swimming and using the elliptical more. It's too bad that squatting, sitting, crouching, lunging and walking hurt.

And by the way, I got the results back for the knee x-ray on my other knee, and I have arthritis in that one, too. Now I'm waiting for the MRI on the right knee. There's a possible 'floater' in there (bone fragment, probably), which will likely require surgery.


The Many Faces of Mr. Boy

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One of my favourite things is taking pictures of my son while he eats a banana and makes faces for various emotions.


Digital scrapbook challenge #10

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Yesterday, I washed all of the baseboards on the first floor of the house. Today, I spent most of the day painting all of the baseboards. Many of them were dinged and covered in black stuff from the rubber bumper of the vacuum cleaner head. We had some new trim put in when we changed the pocket door to the laundry room and we hadn't painted it yet. The mud room's baseboards were atrocious, as they get a lot of wear and they hadn't been painted since we moved here 6 years ago. It took an hour and a half to paint the mudroom alone. Not bad considering I had two pocket doors, the inside garage door and a small closet door to paint, as well as all of the door casings, and baseboards. It looks much less shabby now. Sometime this summer I'll paint the baseboards on the second floor.

Last night, DH and I had a date night and we went to a local music and food festival. We walked around for almost an hour and then headed downtown. We had a beer and a salad on a patio in the market and then went to a brew pub and had another beer and some chicken wings. I only had four small wings, so I was pleased with my restraint. Around 10:00, we headed back to the burbs and stopped in to see our friend who was supposed to come with us to the festival, but got called into work in the restaurant he sometimes manages. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, and finally called it a night around midnight, but we were 10 minutes late getting back to the babysitter. It seems we do that everytime we go out!

The digital scrapbook challenge for the week is to include some flora or fauna in your page. This could be anything from your garden, to your pet, or a wildlife sighting.

Edited to add: The photos should be of flora and fauna.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's been a really cool and wet spring this year. Only advantage is that the kids aren't distracted from school. The weather lately hasn't tempted them to get outside of the classroom.

Finally, yesterday was nice. It wasn't really hot, but it was warm. It got up to 25 degrees celsius (77 F) at 4 o'clock. Mr. Boy had Jason over and they put the sprinkler under the trampoline. The water squirts up through the netting of the trampoline and they have a lot of fun. They spent the better part of 2 hours playing on the trampoline, in the sprinkler in the yard, and blowing bubbles.
In this one, you can see Mr. Boy, Sweet Pea, and Jason looking down at the sprinkler water coming up through the trampoline.

After three hours at our house, Jason invited Mr. Boy to his house where they played for 2 1/2 more hours, until it was time for bed. I let the kids stay up and watch half an hour of the hockey game. They went to bed and were asleep in mere minutes. I watched the game and was very happy that Pittsburg won.

Now I have the whole weekend ahead of me!

Edited to add: I even turned off the furnace this morning! Hopefully I won't need it again until October!


Digital scrapbook challenge #9

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm posting my digital scrapbook challenge layout from this week because I've been having a mental block on blogging and I don't know what else to post. The challenge was to use a photo cluster. I had scrapped Sweet Pea's 5th birthday photo shoot (see left side of layout), but hadn't scrapped her birthday party at the cooking school above the grocery store. I used the same background paper as the original layout. I was so excited to use the cooking-themed cupcake png and the recipe card for journaling.
I'll issue challenge #10 on Sunday. Now I'm off to watch the Stanley Cup finals, game 7.


Go Pens Go

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I love hockey. In fact, I just got off the ice. We lost, again, but it was so much fun. I love the Senators, but since they have been playing golf for months already this year, I have to cheer for someone. I like to choose the underdog so I am cheering for Pittsburg in the finals. I also like the fact that the captain is Canadian, even if he is Sidney Crosby. And Mario Lemieux rules ever since that Olympic gold winning goal after coming out of retirement and beating cancer.
Go Pittsburg!!


Working It Out

Monday, June 8, 2009

I went to Costco to pick up my scrapbook pages. I printed 42. They are all straight. Yipee! I also picked up the pictures for the teacher's gifts. I have 50 photos for each teacher! Seems like a lot, but I'm going tomorrow to look for a little album at the photo store, and hopefully I'll find one with room for 50 photos. I can't even remember how many photos were on a roll of film. Was it 24? Maybe I'll find some albums with 24 slots, in which case I'll have to pare down the photos.

I made it to the 'private' gym (as opposed to my work gym) tonight after a long absence and did the Body Pump class. Definitely a step in the right direction towards getting fit again and losing a few pounds. I've been 'eating clean' for the last two weeks, and I really do feel better. I've cut out all added sugar, deep-fried foods, and fatty meats. I've doubled my veggie and fruit intake, and I've even started eating plain yogurt (with berries), quinoa, and bee pollen! I have more energy, my digestion is humming and hopefully my metabolism is improving too. Eating all of this healthy food can't be bad, even if I haven't lost a pound. Yet.


Fun Day on a Sunday

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Today was a day for re-grouping. Staying in. Running a few errands. Working around the house. DH trimmed our cedar hedge. We cleaned a bit. Sweet Pea was finally feeling better after the antibiotics for her ear infection kicked in.

I spent the better part of the morning, organizing photos and scrapbook pages for printing. I found a bunch of photos of Precious throughout the year. I re-touched the photos and made them more consistent for lighting, sharpness, etc. I'm making a small photo album for Precious' nursery school teachers. Usually, I give gift cards for Chapter's. I figure, how many apple-themed knickknacks do these teachers really need and one of them mentioned last year that they really enjoyed photo gifts they had received from other students. I'll give them a little album with 20 photos of Precious. That, and a Chapter's gift card.

Last June, which is the last time I printed any scrapbook pages, I printed out about 30 pages. You really can't beat the price at Costco. They charge $2.99 for a 12X12. Only problem is that some of the pages were slightly crooked from the last batch. I hesitated to go back, but couldn't see paying $7 US at Shutterfly. I approached the woman at the photo processing at Costco and she told me they are aware of the problem, and will re-print any that are crooked. I should check them when I pick them up.

I chose the scrapbook pages in the morning and checked them all. I re-read the journaling for grammar, spelling and punctuation. I fixed a few red eyes. I zoomed into the pages to look for mis-aligned elements. In a couple of cases, I added an element or two, or removed some. I re-organized the pages into folders to show that the page had been printed. I updated my index of pages. Between doing that and parenting the kids, it took me several hours. I put everything on my USB stick, in folders, by size of print desired. Little did I know that the computers at Costco don't 'do' folders. Live and learn.

I showed up at Costco around 3 p.m. and there was a line-up for the four photo machines. While I was waiting it seemed like everyone at the computers had their memory card from their camera in the computer and they were in groups, looking at the photos, deciding which ones to print. "Which one do you like? This one or that one? Well, in this one Suzie's eyes are closed a bit, but everyone else looks good." They would hum and haw over each photo, and be scrolling through hundreds of photos. Not me. No siree! I was prepared and I was angry at everyone who wasn't. I just don't have the patience for these kinds of things. When I showed up, I was the first person in line. By the time I waited for a computer to be free and submitted my job, there were about six people waiting. The other people were lollygagging. Lollygaggers.

For supper, we enjoyed pork ribs, which DH prepares to perfection. He uses a dry rub, which is unbelievably good, as well a BBQ sauce during the last few minutes. We had BBQ-baked potatoes and grilled zucchini with olive oil and salt and pepper. Yummy.

The best part of the evening was watching the season finale of Lost. It really messes with your mind, that show. When you're in the 'past', do you really have free will or are your decisions already made for you? If you try to change the future, are you actually doing the very thing that will create the future you were trying to change? I can't believe we have to wait until Feb 2010 to find out what happens!!!!!


Fun Day

Saturday, June 6, 2009

This morning, we went to the farmer's market and loaded up on veggies, mixed berry pie, local honey and bee pollen, and organic, grass-fed meats. After lunch, a few of us went for naps. I did some gardening, and then we had some guests.

My neighbour Tiana came over this afternoon, and brought her husband, kids and some friends of hers. We had a good time chatting all afternoon. We even convinced DH to play a song on the piano, and on the accordion. I got out my guitar for a bit, and we talked about hypotonia, fitness, music, camping, and photography. I showed them Christine's new blog because Tiana is also a photographer.

Sweet Pea's ear infection was getting worse. She has been flat on her back since Tuesday morning, but using the Ciprodex ear drops. By Friday, I thought she was better, but by lunch today, she was worse than ever, so DH brought her to the drop-in medical clinic near here and got her antibiotics. She seems better already and she's only taken one dose.

For supper, we had a T-bone and a quinoa salad I made from a recipe I got from the Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen. The salad tastes as delicious as it looks. I know, I know, fat-free vegan and a steak! Sounds funny! We aren't vegans, but Mel told me she liked the recipes from this site, so I subscribed and I've been waiting for a chance to use it.

We're watching Wall-E on our free preview of the movie channel. So cute!


Embarrassing Scrapbook Pages

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I promised I would post some horrible scrapbook pages I had made. I used the Photoshop Elements templates to make the page below. Ouch. I'm a little embarrassed by the whole thing.I had so little journaling on the page, that I had to go back to the photos and look up the details again. One of the photos is of my cousin's baby, but I mistook her for my friend's baby. Good thing I did some research!

I was inspired by Cathy Zielske's Design Do-Overs. I didn't change the number of photos much, although I did swap one photo for another and sharpened and lightened a few of the photos, too. I know a lot more about Photoshop now, but I just didn't have the energry to change these photos as much as I could have. I used Anna Aspnes' Multiphoto Template 27C from DD. I used the Spring Chicken papers and elements, a free kit over at 2 Peas in a Bucket. I am happy the pages are re-done and complete.

Tonight, I will be going through all my incomplete pages, and finishing them up, with the goal of printing a bunch out and putting them in albums. I can't wait!


Photography by Mr. Boy

Monday, June 1, 2009

For Mr. Boy's 6th birthday last year we got him one of those kids' cameras. The appeal was that he could take pictures with his own camera. We learned the hard way that he was a bit too young for a regular camera. I let him go at the farm with our point and shoot camera, and he came back with the zoom lens smashed up and that was the end of that camera.

We got him one of those cameras that's meant to be indestructible. He looks with both eyes through the viewfinder, and the camera has a flash. Only downside is the really low quality photos. I didn't resize these photos, and they are already so small.
I sure love Mr. Boy's photography. Unbeknownst to me, he took his camera to school and even captured some pictures of his friends there. I love seeing his perspective on things.

I guess he let someone else try the camera, because here's one of him at school.

He even did a series I would call "Stuffed Animal on a Pillow".


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