Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Snow Day!

So this morning my mother-in-law called to say the buses aren't running and the girls don't have to go to school. We only live a block or so away and we could have walked or whatever - but we were already kind of running late, and they never do much at school when the buses don't run and less than half the kids would be there. So, the girls stayed home with me today.

Playing in the driveway

Hot chocolate and cookies - see the new table and chairs?

Painting ornaments for the Christmas tree

Dad's turn to play in the driveway

Thursday, November 22, 2007

the title I forgot

I had something truly fascinating to discuss in my next blog post, but its been so long, I forgot what it was.

Things are rolling along in our household, I'm trying to figure out how I can still be just as busy as I was when I was working three days a week. When did I do all this other stuff?? I finally have it figured out that the difference is - there is a whirlwind of activity in my house all day when I am home, her name is Annique, and she makes a mess. When I was working, she was at daycare. We won't get into the discussion about how the daycare provider could have Annique and at least a dozen other kids in her house all day, and it was always cleaner than mine when I came to pick her up.

Today was the annual Christmas Card Photo Shoot - a.k.a. 'hell' - finally the older girls are used to mom and her camera and they sit still and smile pretty. They're easy. But enter the whirlwind, and its suddenly impossible to get anything at all. I have a bunch of pictures of different parts of her as she tries to escape, and many blurred action shots that were supposed to be portraits. I tried candy, I tried putting her on a rocking horse - I bribed her with toys, I made a fool of myself. It was no use. We might try again tomorrow, if I manage to get any sleep tonight. I wonder if tying her up with Christmas lights would be festive, yet effective?

On the bright side, I did get some pictures of the Cutest Niece Ever. I only have one niece so I can get away with that.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Tricks and treats

We had the best weather ever for Halloween - just a beautiful autumn day without even a chill in the air. I remember going through huge snowbanks on more than one occasion on Halloween - so it was nice for once to just put a sweater on under the kids' costumes and they could actually wear them without a winter jacket and be comfortable. Its not often you get to SEE the kids' costumes on Halloween! We weren't sure about Annique trick-or-treating but she got the general idea when all the kids were coming to our door for candy, as you can see here, she's pretty wired and she's not even in her costume yet:

So, when it was time to take the girls out she was happy to get into her costume and come too. She insisted on carrying her own bag, even when it got really full and hard to carry - heaven help you if you tried to lighten her load. She knew EXACTLY what to do and often led the way for her older sisters. She's not shy at all when there's candy at stake.

If you feel like throwing rotten tomatoes at me, I don't care, but I'd like to announce that I am FINISHED MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING as of last weekend. I had a little bit of help with shopping as you can see in this video:

It was so great to be able to just walk out of our hotel and into the mall like that - we're just passing the waterpark in that video, where the kids spent a lot of time. When we were young my parents would take us to a hotel with a waterslide for the weekend while the grown-ups did all their Christmas shopping - so the family tradition continues!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rant ON!

Today some woman came in to see me at work and she brought an ENGLISH TEXTBOOK with her, and she had a page selected and a paragraph circled. A month or so ago I typed up a story she had written about her trip to Scotland, and if I had gone through it like I'd go through a student's "What I did this summer" essay - it would have been full of red. But whatever. When people bring stuff in and its not perfect, we correct the glaring errors and maybe re-word a little if its necessary for clarity - but if they're telling the story, we let them tell it.

ANYWAY, she proceeded to teach me (myself?) a lesson on the use of the words 'me', 'myself'' and 'I' and she even shared the handy tip she'd looked up to make it easier for me to know when to use one or the other, and isn't it curious how people use 'myself' so often when actually, its wrong to do so! My jaw was on the floor. She said that her daughter (an English teacher, apparently!) thought the article was well written, but she couldn't believe that a newspaper would leave in such a glaring grammatical error.

First, I don't recall typing every sentence of the very, very long story I typed over a month ago, second, I would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS correct her copy if it said "My husband and I" to read "My husband and myself" - so what the heck is she doing in here? Finally, it dawned on me. She wrote it that way (my husband and myself) and she was coming in to take ME to task for not correcting it when we published HER story. WTF?!

Anyway, it was actually kind of funny, the way she laid it on so thick that her daughter is an English teacher. So am I, but we (or at least I, or should I say, I, myself...) don't go around correcting everyone else's random English unless its really, really awful. She also informed me that the Rec. director constantly makes the same mistake in his weekly report (don't I know it?!? How many 'myselfs' do you think I take out in a week?!?) and *gasp* the editor himself sometimes uses 'myself' in his writing.

My goodness. I'll be the first to admit that my English has been backsliding severely in the past 7 years or so, since I'm not teaching anymore, and I'm living in a French-speaking town with a husband who has a lot of his own quirks and adjustments to the language. I've adopted a lot of those quirks, and I don't mind. Because as much as I like English and grammar, I can get pretty flexible with the rules, myself. (heee.) I think its okay to write like you speak, especially if you're telling a story. How expressive can we be if we don't break the rules now and then? Yes, we have an editor, but that doesn't mean we re-work everything until it would get an A+ in English class. The paper would be pretty dry reading if we made sure all the rules were followed.

Maybe she's just getting back at me for phoning her to clarify a few details before I typed it up. She wasn't impressed when I pointed out (very politely!) that the ship she visited was not the 'sister ship' of the Titanic as her story claimed. I used to teach history as well -- I know where the Titanic's sister ships ended up, and this lady wasn't touring either of them. I might let a pile of grammatical errors slide, there'll be NO messing with the historical facts. ;) For the record, I also changed 'the eighth wonder of the world' to 'CLAIMING TO BE the eighth wonder of the world' - accuracy is important, you know. ;) If you didn't visit the actual eighth wonder of the world, you'd better make that clear.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Plz suggest caption

I was looking through my photos tonight at full-screen size and was absolutely terrified when I ran across this one:

Now, if its not frightening enough for you, I dare you to click on it and see it at full size. Can you believe we let this animal in our house? He clearly wants to rip my face off!

Anyway, it reminded me of this site: icanhazcheezburger which never fails to crack me up. Something about the combination of hilarious cat (and other animal photos) and the horrible spelling/grammar in the captions. Of course I found the captions hard to take at first WHY CAN'T THEY JUST SPELL IT RIGHT?!?!? WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?! but the more I see of these, the more I realize that's a part of the humor, and now I firmly believe that all cats talk like that. I love it. However, I cannot DO it, so, plz suggest caption. So far all I can come up with is:

Friday, October 19, 2007


If I'm not posting anything here, you can be sure that I am posting at least one photo a day on my other blog:

Yes, I said other blog. I decided to start a 365 project, where I take a picture of SOMETHING every day, and post it. I didn't want this blog to get cluttered up with that - and of course, I don't trust myself not to just abandon the whole thing around day 34 or something, so I didn't do it here. That way if I wander away from it I can just delete that blog and it will be like it never happened. And I'll still blog here, I promise.

So, if you want to visit it, here it is: Cheri's 3-6-5

Monday, October 08, 2007

Pictures as promised

We ended up with 34 people at Thanksgiving - at least we think so, it was impossible to get everyone to sit still for a head-count. But there were lots of us, and I took a lot of pictures. None of them are especially good, but it was kind of crazy and busy, and so are the pictures.

The weekend was nice - weather was perfect for a last weekend at the lake - if its too warm, you feel like you're shutting things down and leaving too soon. It was kind of cloudy and cool but still nice enough for the kids to be outside most of the time (thank goodness! There were 19 of them, I think!) but cool enough that my dad could have the wood stove fired up and nobody passed out from the heat in the livingroom.

The morning was quiet - we had a volunteer to do dishes

meanwhile, I made the sugar pie (see recipe/results in the previous post)

people started arriving in the afternoon, the ladies kept busy in the kitchen
the kids played outside most of the day - this is 'flag tag'

when they all came in, the living room got pretty crowded
and the other half:
(***my mom reads this blog, so if you think the carpet is ugly, PLEASE don't hesitate to comment on it)

Its not Thanksgiving without a kids' table - in this case we moved them all next door.
That's about it! We had a great supper and a good visit with everyone. We look forward to seeing some/all/most of the family again sometime around Christmas.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Giving thanks

Its Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend - we're going to a wedding and then to the lake for what will likely be our last lake weekend. I always think I'll be down a few more times at the end of the season because I really enjoy being there in the cooler weather - dad always has a fire going in the stove and I love to curl up with an afghan and a book and just stare out the window at the wind and the waves all day. It doesn't have to be nice out to enjoy being at the cabin. There's always good company there, too - and the kids don't care at all about the weather - they'll hide out in the loft upstairs and play all day or if its not raining or too cold they run outside and in and out of the three cabins - we just see them at lunch and supper and bedtime. If this is our last weekend, they're going to miss it. And for the next six months there won't be a day that goes by without one or the other of them asking when we're going back to grandpa's cabin. Annique's learning to talk so I am sure she'll be joining the chorus.

In celebration of Thanksgiving, I'll share my contribution to the dessert lineup - I make a sugar pie every year, mostly because I don't like pumpkin pie and there's no guarantee that someone else will bring saskatoon or apple pie (which *I* certainly won't be making - those take WORK!) - but Sugar pie is almost as easy to make as toast, so I can do that. I love this recipe because there's nothing in it that I don't need (ie/ just enough flour and milk to hold the sugar together, and crust to hold it all in) - its so rich that just a small slice is enough for most people and so one pie goes a long way.

Sugar Pie
1 1/2 cups - Brown sugar or maple sugar, packed
1/4 cup - flour
1 1/2 cups milk or whipping cream
unbaked 9 inch pie shell

Mix brown sugar and flour in a bowl, stir in milk.
Pour into a pie shell, bake on bottom shelf in a 350 degree oven about 60 minutes, check with a toothpick which should come out fairly clean but not completely.

Its great with real whipped cream on top. Because, if its not rich enough for you - a little bit of whipped cream will fix that!

I'll put up some pictures later - I am sure I'll take a lot over the long weekend. I've started a 365 project and I made another blog just for all the pictures - so I am trying to take a picture every day for a year. That shouldn't be hard for me since I take pictures every day, anyway - but the tough thing is going to be to remember to pick one and get it posted every day.

One year from now I'm hoping to be having another little getaway with my friends - this time in Denver or somewhere around there. I think the time will pass a lot more quickly if I count down the days with this 365 project - a lot can happen in a year!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

To fall, or not to fall?

At the beginning of September, the weather really did get chilly - I swear I had every right to think it was all over for summer, and after about 10 days of long pants and long sleeves, I finally accepted that fall is here, and I packed away the summer clothes. We went for a long quad ride and the bite in the air was really harsh - after the first few miles, I really regretted not wearing long underwear! The scenery is always really nice at this time of year, even if the weather isn't.

Two weekends ago - the valley was starting to turn

We had rain, and then a rainbow on Sunday - this is actually a double rainbow, if you look you can see another rainbow above the really bright one.

touques, long pants, sweaters and layers - it was COLD!

So, that was the beginning of September. I'd post first day of school pics, but they are sideways and I am too lazy to turn them. I am sure everyone's wondering if we have TV yet. Yes we do. Its crappy and half the channels still don't work. But its ours, and we love it. We're watching The Deadliest Catch right now. How did we ever survive without it?

Mornings are going a lot better than I thought - actually, its not as rushed as it is on my days off! I started packing lunches and getting clothes ready the night before, and getting up 15 minutes earlier and all that seems to work well - usually the kids are still sleeping when I get out of the shower so I wake M. up first, get her cereal ready and her clothes and toothbrush, and when she's done eating, I get C. up and do the same thing. They've been really good with that, and most mornings the baby sleeps until its time to bring the big girls to school - so I take her out of the crib and right into the van, drop them off, and I come back and get her breakfast and dressed, hair done, etc. and leave for work. We usually have a pleasant drive except that I've had to give up my morning talk radio for Fred Penner. I drop her off at the sitter's and she's been okay with that - a little whiny but I think its all a show and she's probably fine as soon as I'm out of sight. Then, off to work and if all is right in the world, they'll have coffee ready when I get there.

Its getting darker, earlier and its so much harder to drag my ass out of bed when the sun is barely up. Somebody tell me when the time is going to change because that will complicate matters in a HUGE way. This darkness in the a.m. thing has me thinking - its probably going to be soon, right?

The baby is starting to talk a lot more, and really - she's not a baby anymore, she's a two year old. Or, almost. I am wondering about her language development. Its so interesting that she only bothers learning words that she thinks she needs. And I wonder - how does she learn a word like 'mine' that she rarely hears (how often to parents say 'mine' in conversation with a baby?) - but words that I use one million times every day like 'WAIT!' or 'STOP!', or yes, no, milk, eat, drink, sleep, shoes, etc. - I've never heard her say any of those. She calls shoes, socks. Even though we've just been through summer and we haven't really talked about socks in months. And we talk about shoes every day. But shoes are socks.

And, she knows the cat's names. Her older sisters have been around the cats for 5 and 6 years, respectively. And I don't think either of them can tell you which cat is which, either or both of them is Casey, or maybe Percy. Never mind that the two cats look completely different - but the big girls have never bothered to really know which is which. But the baby knows. And with her pronunciation, I really, really would prefer her to just call them both Casey. Just so you know.

Due to the fact that I packed away 99.9% of our summer clothes the week before --- we had a BEAUTIFUL weekend. You all can thank me later for bringing summer back. I accept cash and gifts.

Anyway, even though the weekend before was freezing cold - last weekend was certainly hot enough to wear shorts, and a tank top. There wasn't even a chill in the air - it was gloriously warm and we and another wonderful weekend out on the quad. The kids joined us in the evenings for bonfires and hot dogs.

She'll only go near the quad if its not running. If its running, she screams.

Beautiful day! - here we're parked on the sandy riverbed.

Short sleeves! Capri pants! Bare toes in the sand!

And to think all week before they had been saying it would be so cold and miserable, and might even snow. Now, for this coming weekend they're actually predicting warm weather - so I'd better get out my mittens. We're going to the lake and I'm planning to make a few batches of salsa - it will probably be one of our last weekends out there this season so we'll make the most of it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Almost 100 days without TV

If you think its been a long time since I last posted anything on my blog, just imagine how much LONGER it would seem if you had no TV. Then multiply that by three. That is our life. No TV. The silence is deafening. I thought I'd go crazy the first week, the first month was insanity - but now, we're used to it. Every once in awhile I get Star-choice on the phone again, and after an hour or so on hold, I discuss with some 'service representative' how much I'd really like to have some TV. And they assure me they'll get something done right away. And then its back to the waiting. Now they're saying if its not done by Monday, it will probably never get done. At least they're honest. Then I can phone cable. *shudder* Please, anything but cable. Well, anything except NO TV. I miss my boyfriend Jon Stewart. I need my TV back.

August is over, in case nobody noticed, so its fall now. It happened almost instantly. If the calendar says September, you might as well just put msot of your shorts and tank tops away - because you're lucky if you get a handful of days to wear them. It just happens like that. Almost overnight the trees started turning, and now most of them are yellow. We might get some more nice days, and it might not snow for months - but summer is over. Period.

The kids are back to school - C. had her first day of Kindergarten ( a.k.a. maternelle) today, and M. started two days earlier. I'm still working three days a week so starting next week I'll be taking A. to daycare, which is new for her but I think she'd be bored out of her mind if she had to stay home with me 5 days a week so its probably good for all of us. The morning routine is hectic for someone like me who thinks it should be illegal to get out of bed before 8 am. I have to get the two older girls dressed and off to school (with lunches packed!!!) and the baby out of bed, dressed and ready for daycare. Its probably a good idea to get myself showered and dressed as well. That's a lot of activity to pack into one hour, but we'll manage it somehow.

Last night I actually found a few minutes to scrap something, I think having no TV has been bad for my scrapbooking because its too quiet and I get restless without some background noise - and I can't get anything done. But my friend Chris started designing digital, and I had to play with her new kit - so here's my layout:

I think another reason I can't scrapbook lately is that I can't be bothered to fuss with the details as much as I usually like to - drop shadows and what is layered over what, etc. For this one I just gave myself permission to put stuff wherever I want and not worry about any of that. It felt good to get something started, even better to just decide that its done. For now. ;)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

No, I did not fall off the earth, but thank you for asking!

It happens every year. July is like opening the floodgates on summer. You wait and wait for summer, June drags on forever and ever - and then there is the July long weekend and all of the sudden you're drowning in it, and by the time you break the surface and get a chance to look around - you can't believe how much of it has rushed by in such a short time.

I won't talk about what happens next - too soon for that. July is July. The first week of August is a whole other feeling. But we're not there yet so I won't say a thing about it.

Anyway, I just came up for air and here we are in the very late teens of July. The girls have had a week of swimming lessons and they stayed at the lake with my parents and drove them crazy, I am sure. I was there for all but two days of the swimming lessons and the poor kids didn't have one day of decent weather - it poured rain all day Monday, and then Tuesday and Wednesday it was cloudy with a cool breeze and whitecaps on the lake - finally by Thursday the sun was shining again but the wind was still pretty strong so the kids weren't as cold but they got smacked in the face by the waves quite a bit. The parents all huddle on shore and say "You go back in there, now! You finish your lesson!" and try not to let on that we wouldn't switch places with them for ANYTHING in the WORLD because it doesn't matter if they're singing Wheels on the Bus, its sure doesn't look like fun to be so cold and wet and at the mercy of the wind and waves. Nope, no fun at all.

"Mom says its not as cold if you stay in up to your neck!"

Swimming lessons were worthwhile - by the first day the kids were not only learning to tolerate unfavorable weather with a smile through chattering teeth - they were also putting their faces in the water, blowing bubbles through their noses and floating on their backs. They even jumped off the dock! I couldn't believe they were the same little girls who refused (with tears and screaming) to do all of those things for their mother two days before.

Happily jumping off the dock - the first day

Warming up on the sunny side of the cabin

When the kids were settled in at the cabin and taking lessons, I went home for two days to start my new job. I am working 3 days a week at a local newspaper and I am enjoying it very much. Newspapers are all about things I love very much - news, photos, graphics, layout, reading, writing. Its fun for me to be around when all of that is going on and help out where they need me. I also get to do lots of different things, including working on content for a website and a video billboard type thing that isn't up and running yet but should be pretty soon. One lady I used to work with always said its not a good day unless you learn something new - and by that standard I've had some exceptionally good days at my new job so far. The best part is that I get to work with some really creative and talented people so there is always the hope that some of that will rub off on me eventually.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Things you can do in a community pasture

Last weekend we were invited to a 'barbecue' at my brother in law's fiancee's sister's house. Got that? Anyway, we figured it might be an important barbecue so we made a point of showing up. As it turned out the 'barbecue' wasn't at the sister's house, or even in her yard. It was in a pasture. There was a white tent set up in the middle of the pasture, within walking distance from the road. We had our suspicions at that point that this wasn't going to be any ordinary barbecue.

It had poured rain for a few days before - and that morning, so the pasture was very boggy and just so we knew we shouldn't attempt to drive in - there was a 4x4 stuck up to its axle about halfway between the road and the tent. By the time we got there it was very hot and sunny so we just walked in from the road carrying some salads and the kids and whatever. I was glad I didn't bring a fancy pair of shoes. If I owned a fancy pair of shoes - which I don't.

Arriving at the tent, it looks like Martha Stewart might have dropped by to do some decorating inside. There's a table set with wine glasses and an interesting centerpiece of field grasses, paper lanterns, etc. I strongly suspect that this isn't going to be a barbecue, but since I am not one to argue I begin washing lettuce for the caesar salad I was supposed to contribute. My lettuce-washing was interrupted when a big truck decided to risk the mud and flew through the soggy pasture to park by the door of the tent. And, inside:

Careful! Don't get mud on that dress!!!

Next thing I know, there's a bunch of pretty bouquets being handed out to her sisters, and his sister - and the lady I thought must be from her side of the family is actually a JP or something, and she's getting a picnic table hauled over to the middle of the pasture and we're all moving over there to watch my brother in law and his fiancee getting MARRIED.

instant bridesmaids, just add flowers!
We are gathered today to witness....

Exchanging rings

So, there you have it. I have a new sister-in-law!! It was such a perfect way to have a wedding and we really enjoyed the day there. We had a nice supper, the kids ran and played, the bride and groom had their pictures taken - the rest of us sat in lawnchairs and drank wine and enjoyed the evening. Just as it was getting dark we were all chased inside the tent by a torrential downpour which made getting back to the road VERY interesting in the dark. Did I mention the kids caught a snake earlier in the day and let it go somewhere between the tent and the road? And that this is a pasture? You know, where COWS graze? Yeah - so the walk back was pretty scary. But the rest of the day was perfect.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Just for Stacey

We've spent the last few Saturday evenings out on the quad:

Looking down at our house (the last one) from the top of the hill

ie/ from where my children went when they ran away from home 2 weeks ago.

From the top of one of the sand hills

Taking a break at the quad shack
Heading across the PFRA pasture, along the top of the valley

Where the train tracks go over the culverts

I'm not impressed about the mud.

(I know, there's still skin showing. I'm not nearly muddy enough!!!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

All the pretty horses

Since we have one night this week without anything to do - and it happens to be the same night that the Musical Ride is in the community where my sister lives - I decided to take the girls. I still remember the first (and last) time I saw the Musical ride - I was about six years old and completely enthralled. So I couldn't wait to take the girls to see it.

They absolutely loved it - we were outside waiting when they rode past my sister's house and A. loved the sound of the horses' hooves on the pavement. If you ever ask any of my kids what sound a horse makes, its never 'neigh' - always "pitty-cupitty-cupitty-cup"

So A. was saying "pitty-cupittycup" all the way to the fairgrounds and through the parts of the show where she wasn't jumping and bouncing and singing. She liked it, to say the least. I fear that it was one of my children who said "its a big line of BUTTS!!!" very loudly at the very beginning when all of the horses lined up to get permission to begin the ride- and well, we *were* seated on the butt-side. Something a 6 year old couldn't help but point out.

There. Now everyone gets to see their butts.

The weather was beautiful - sunny and warm and amazingly, NO BUGS. Its been raining so much the last few weeks, everything is shockingly green - I regret not bringing my good camera to take pictures, but it just didn't make sense to juggle that along with everything else. The crappy Nikon did get a few shots - and I will upload some video tomorrow if I can figure out how.

The girls meeting "Leanne"
I didn't get very good pictures of the kids with the horses, mostly because I had A. in the sling and she wasn't letting me get close enough to take pictures - she kept bailing out the front because if we got close enough, she wanted to touch the horse TOO. She has no fear, that little one. I just gave up, put the camera away, and took her right up there so she could touch the horse. My nephews, on the other hand, were having none of that. Horses are good from far, but far from good.

Here, Christy - this is why the ride is musical. ;)

Just for Heather, the "Music Box Dancer" part:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

No time to blog!

If you're counting (and I am!) this is the end of week 7 out of 8 weeks without DH at home. He is home every weekend, thank goodness. But its a hectic time of the year to start with, and I will be SO GLAD when its over. One more day, then one more week. I think we'll make it.

Last week was absolute hell. The DVD player self-destructed earlier in the week but we barely missed it, until we had no TV. The night the TV went down, I took the DVD player apart with a screwdriver, held a flashlight under my chin, and tried in vain to locate the laser-eye thing that I was supposed to clean with a Q-tip to get it working again. After about 20 minutes of swearing, I realized that the problem is much more likely the fact that the thing doesn't spin anymore. So I told my husband not to come home unless he was carrying a new DVD player. Then, I called the satellite company over the weekend - they couldn't do anything since we live in a rural area so I had to make my own arrangements to get it fixed - the guys did come out here but they took one look and got back in their van. They can't fix my dish - the problem is the trees grew or something (in a week??) and they need to be cut or we need to cement a pole in the ground in a particular spot and make some kind of bracket to attach a dish to, and THEN call them and they'll get it working again.

Seriously, now. Do you not see me here, alone with THREE KIDS in the house. No husband. No TV. We will certainly not survive until whenever this pole is constructed and cemented and hooked up to a sattelite dish. You know what's going to happen. Don't be surprised if one of these mornings you see me climbing those trees, barefoot in my pink spongebob PJ's, with a wild look in my eye and chainsaw in hand. Its getting close, I tell you. Its been RAINING for three days straight. Pouring rain. Don't think I can't use a chainsaw. I don't even have to climb the trees, I can take them out at the base.

Of the 7 weeks we've been without a dad/husband in this house - we have also been three weeks without the Good Brush. You know, the one that keeps the children from screaming (as much) when I brush their hair. We did manage to find the brush that comes apart whenever it encounters a knot. So, every morning has been a total joy. To add to the misery, the tangle spray went missing on Tuesday and has not been seen again.

At the end of last week I thought I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown of sorts. My kids ran away on me Thursday at suppertime, they aren't supposed to leave the YARD, but somehow while I was getting supper for the baby, the older two got out of the house, across the street, and climbed the hills across the street. It was a very windy day so they couldn't hear me yelling and just kept on climbing, and I watched them reach the top, thinking they'd turn around and come back down. But they disappeared over the top of the hill and didn't come back. I had no idea what to do - I actually had to phone my husband who is 5 hours away and ask him what to do. He said to phone my in-laws and send his dad to go find my girls. I felt like the worst mother on earth - they were gone, there are bears and cougars and lord knows what else up there - who knows where they went? My father in law found them - the kids could see the school yard from the top of the hill so they ran down the other side and were playing there when he found them. But that's when I started to think maybe I can't handle this anymore. My kids ran away and I didn't even know what to do - I must be losing it.

However, this week is much, much better. I've had a little help and it goes a long way. I'm so much more relaxed, I don't feel so alone - I have more patience with the kids and I am no longer overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. Its been a long seven weeks but we just have a few more days, and its going to be over.

Even with all the chaos, we're getting a lot done. I've kept my flowerbed weeded, and the lawn and dandelions somewhat under control. The there are baskets of clean, folded laundry in among the piles of dirty laundry. The dishwasher runs daily and the house isn't quite ready to be condemned. The kids eat three times a day and M. gets to school every morning. We wrapped up preschool and t-ball. We've ripped apart the deck on the house, and I've done a lot of paint scraping and a little staining so hopefully it will be done this weekend. I have been going to one bazillion meetings and I even arrived on time for some of them. There is so much happening right now and a lot to do - I can't put it all on hold just because my husband is away. We have a library opening in the next couple of weeks, where there was no library before. We had a successful used book sale last weekend, and the shelving went in last week, the books should be arriving next week - we have a librarian training and some last -minute details to iron out - but it is REALLY HAPPENING, and I am so excited. Its all going to be worth it in the end - I just need to hang on for one more week.

Somehow in all that, the scrapping fell by the wayside - but I did find enough time to do a couple things this week.

layout for my friend for her daughter's first communion

coffee cup insert for Father's day

that goes in a travel mug like this:

I am also thinking I'll get him a pair of crocs for Father's day - but he's going to have to pick them up himself since he's the one living in the city. Oh well, saves me agonizing over colors. I told him to get a pair for my father in law, too!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Weekend at the lake

A. is going to be a water baby. She soaked three outfits before we finally gave up and put her in a swimsuit - then she just sat in the water and played.

Oh, we needed this SO BADLY. An absolutely beautiful weekend at the lake - the water was like glass most of the time, the sunshine was warm but not too hot - and we just relaxed and had a good time. We had our first campfire, and the water was warm enough that the kids could play in and around it for hours and not turn purple.

C. playing in the water for hours, and hours
There were cousins at the lake for the girls to play with - boy cousins, but they would do just fine. We barely heard a whine or whimper out of any of the kids, they played so well together.
Within the first hour M. was already changing her usual mealtime conversation to include blood and gore to impress her audience.

M's mealtime dissertation on what the cat dragged in...

Boys are different. Fun, but different.

But, now we're back - its back to real life and school and meetings and babysitters and a pile of dandelions and long grass to mow. I don't mow, but its looking like I'm going to HAVE to - when I find the time - not sure when that will be. Three more weeks of school for DH - this can't be over fast enough for me.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

They say its like crack.

I knew about this Facebook thing a few months ago. Everyone said it was SOOOOOO addictive and the last thing I need is another internet addiction. So I avoided it for a few weeks and then finally went to check it out. I am proud to say, I was in and out in about 20 minutes - I found a few kids I used to teach and that was that. Back to regularly scheduled internet browsing.

Well, yesterday both my sister and my sister in law told me that they are on facebook and finding so many people they know - so I gave it another shot. Made a profile for myself, figured out how to do the searches right - and WOW. It *is* like crack. I got one reply from a friend request, and suddenly I'm hooked. One night browsing around and I've found about - fifty people, I guess? Maybe more?

I started a group for digiscrappers, since there doesn't seem to be one yet. If anyone's interested, its here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2441301769

So, yes. I know you don't have any more time to spend on the internet. But you will FIND time, I promise.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shutterfly book is HERE!

I finally got my first Shutterfly album in the mail today - so exciting to see all these pages printed and bound in a nice little album! It reminded me of getting high school yearbooks - I just kept going through it over and over again and looking at every little detail on the pages. I already have a little list of things I'll do a bit differently next time - I am just so glad I finally have one done! Its going to motivate me to do a lot more now that I can actually hold a book in my hands and turn the pages! Its worth it!

I have that two page layout to upload - what a pain! Next time I am thinking of doing a two page layout, somebody smack me around really good until I come to my senses. They drive me crazy from beginning to end! I started this one weeks and weeks ago, and just couldn't get it finished. I was never happy with it and to tell the truth - I am still not 100% happy with it but I am *very* happy to finally have it all saved and done with. Anyway, here it is:

Well, that's small. Add that to the reasons I *must* remember not to do 2 page layouts anymore. They're a pain to upload and then they're too small. I will upload the individual pages to my gallery, but they will also look stupid when they are cut apart so - whatever!! Its done! YAY!!!
Its a drippy Tuesday after a drippy, wet and cold May long weekend. Which is how it is for every May long weekend for as long as I can remember, so its not like I am surprised. It could be bikini weather on Thursday before May long, and it will always ALWAYS be miserable for the weekend. Always. It is a rule.

The sun did peek out for about an hour and a half on Saturday, and the kids went nuts. All down the lake you could hear doors slamming as people came OUTSIDE after peering out at the dripping cold misery for days. The sun! It was OUT! The wind - there was none! The lake was calm!

Within minutes, we were bombarded with pleas from the children to GO TUBING. That is right, the same weekend where you pack your long underwear because its twice as likely to snow as to be sunny - the kids wanted to strip down to their swimsuits, go in the icy lake and get dragged behind a boat in a tube. We held them off for about an hour or so, saying that the lake was cold, saying that it would rain again soon - whatever to appease them. Finally we said - look, if you can get into your swimsuit and stand outside and not freeze, then ask us about tubing.

So, they did. And we said - Look, if you can go into the lake and you can stand the cold, then talk to us about tubing. But it was too late because Uncle Craig was itching to get his sea-doo running and the children had blocked off all of their pain/cold receptors and were running for their life jackets. Before I even had time to run to get my camera, they were flying around the lake on this massive three-seater thing. Let summer begin!!

M. finally asked to come in - not because she was cold, but because her LEGS were sore. Uh-huh.

I think I have some more work to do on that layout - so I won't post it in the gallery yet and you'll have to wait for the credits. I think its mostly Angela Spangler stuff and a Kimberly Geswein template.

True to form, it clouded over again and was cold and wet and rainy for the rest of the weekend - and it still is today. I got a LOT of scrapping done this weekend because it was perfect to just sit in the cabin and stare out the window at the rain. Not much else to do, except relax and do a few pages.

We also had a birthday party for M. - she wanted a 'surprise' birthday and though she did have her party at the pool last weekend, she was pouting that she didn't get to have a 'lake birthday' like she always does. So we didn't tell her she'd be getting a party this weekend, and she was surprised. It was just a little party with her cousins and our neighbor - and the girls decorated baseball caps with glitter fabric paint. They had a lot of fun!

Birthday girls!
As always, you can see nou-nou somewhere in the picture. He was a gift for her first birthday party at the lake - and here he his hanging out at her sixth birthday. She isn't the type to make a big dea about dragging her nou-nou with her everywhere so I don't notice him around until I see the pictures - he's always in the background somewhere.

Baseball caps hanging on the 'art' line:

I also finished a 2-page layout this weekend but I have to go through all the bother of splitting it in half to upload - so if you don't see it in a few days, bug me about it and I'll try to get it posted.