Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Girls Weekend Get Away

I had the most fabulous weekend, with the most fantastic girls. We had so much fun! It turned out better than any of us could have imagined, under the circumstances. A little background information... Every spring, a group of us do a scrapbooking retreat, there's usually quite a few of us, between 10 - 14. This year, our group slowly dwindled down to 6. There are too many unforeseen circumstances that can come up when you're a Mom to little ones! Four nights before we were to leave, I got the phone call, that the place we were heading to, had been double booked... That she was terribly sorry, but wasn't able to accommodate our group of 6. Talk about disappointing. We were even planning to go an extra day this year, something we'd never done in the past. With a few phone calls, and a scurry of activity, one of my BFF's booked this place. I'm still not sure how we managed to score so great on such short notice, but we did, and it was FABULOUS! In the end, 5 of us ended going. We ate, we joked, we laughed, we scrapped, we cried, we watched movies, we laughed more, we ate more. It couldn't have been more fun. There is NOTHING like the feeling of going to bed with a sore belly from laughing as hard as we did. We even managed to sneak an hour massage into the equation, all 5 of us! Talk about dreamy.

I am sorry to report however, that even with our extra added day, time STILL went by too quickly. Now we're thinking Fairmont might be our yearly outing, and who knows, maybe we could swing a week next time? LOL! I don't imagine too many of our hubby's would go for that one! But maybe we'll try and sneak even one extra day next time!

I just can't believe how unbelievably lucky I am, to have these women in my life. I can't imagine not having people like this to share my life with. I am very blessed indeed.

Aren't we all so fancy in our jeans and black tops, almost as though we co-ordinated this! The picture also indicates the weather was pleasant, and it was, but as we drove back to Calgary, we drove through rain, snow, sleet, hail... The conditions just got worse and worse, and at times we were driving in almost white-out conditions. I'm happy to say we made it back safely, and big glass of red wine was consumed once I got home.

I HAD to take this picture yesterday. Madelyn picked some dandelions, and how these little buggers grow, I don't know, since there is STILL snow on the ground. But she came across them, picked them and insisted they be put in a little vase. When I came back into the kitchen, she'd lined up these toys in front of the sink, because as she said, "they're all gathered to look at the most beautiful flowers". To have the army guys AND her MLP (my little ponies) is exactly who she is! Priceless!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Can you believe we spent Earth Day in a blizzard?

Well, not a blizzard actually, because I think the temperature has to be below a certain number before it's called an actual blizzard. Let me put today's weather in perspective for you. Today, the arctic wind was howling from the north, snow was (and still is at 10 pm) blowing sideways, road conditions are dreadful, and we heard the word windchill on the radio. If you'd heard THAT on the news anytime during November, December, January, February and even March, you'd have yourself a blizzard. You'd be snuggled up at home, not going out, maybe even enjoying yourself a 'snow day'. You might have a cup of tea or make cookies, or even light a fire in the fireplace and listen to the crackling wood. But when you have these conditions on April 22nd, and it's not cold enough to be called a blizzard, and the day before the lawn got raked and sweet pea seeds got planted.... Well, by the end of April, and within hours we've got 1/2 a foot of snow accumulated I have to tell you, I'm choked. I knew it would happen. Let's face it, Canadians don't put their snow shovels away. Ever. But I thought maybe we were done w/the snow gear. Not to mention I'm driving through the mountains tomorrow, where it should be even more lovely on gross roads. So, wish me luck. And hopefully the white stuff won't stick around too long.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Easter and Such

I’ve kind of been a roll with the blogging, and then all of a sudden, fell off the wagon. Why? I don’t know… Sometimes it seems a little bit monotonous to keep up to date the on-goings that are so very every day at our house.

It’s now the middle of April, and I don’t know where the time has gone. Easter came and left, and the kids were delighted to have a decent weekend. Good Friday was nice, and we went to Butterfield Acres to do an Egg Hunt. It was our first time visiting the farm, and the kids LOVED IT! It was great to see them and gather Easter Eggs, (they had to collect as many eggs as how old they were) and then put them down chutes into the Easter Bunnies workshop in the ground. The had so much fun. They got to plant some seeds, that are actually on my counter beginning to grow! There were things to play on, there were all the animals to interact with. I think we expected to be in and out fairly quickly, and 2 and a ½ hours later we were looking at our watches, saying, “Gee, guys I think it’s time to head out”. The kids want to go back again, our opinion is that it would be a wonderful place to take their grandparents for the afternoon! Tee,hee,hee!
My very favorite picture in this collage, is the one Barry took while he was standing in the 'pig pen' with the piglets, looking down... They were SO cute, and no one was in visiting them... So he went in to visit, and in an instant they were all over him! Needless to say, he was covered in mud from the knees down...

Sunday morning was exciting of course, because there was a lot of debating as to whether the bunny would leave treats or not... He didn’t disappoint. (The bunny just doesn't have the same clout Santa does) At our house the chocolate high began around 7:30 am, with a trail of chocolates from their bedrooms to the family room. To be honest, the candy consumption was a bit on the "down low" this year, but they got some great treats. New books, a new spring coat each and a new game each for their Leapster. They spent a lot of time on the couch, together of course, each playing their new games.

I cooked dinner for my family, my parents and brother. It was yummy. We had ham with raisin sauce. I made a delish white and sweet scalloped potato dish. We had Broccoli salad, which I love; though Bar doesn’t share quite the same zest for it. It's one of those salads you make when there's more than 2 of you eating it, because it makes a lot, but only lasts a day. Sweet Ama arrived with a veggie dish and dessert. Check out this cake…

Do you think the kids were excited? Having said that, both were dismayed to see the jelly beans on the cake. Mace announced that jelly beans made him puke, and Mad said she was allergic to them… I'm not sure when this all happened, but for some reason they're both off jelly beans. News to me! They did however, very much enjoy the pieces of cake with licorice on them.
This past week was busy. We’ve got one more week of swim lessons and 1 more week of skating lessons. The weather is trying to warm up, but the arctic wind just doesn't help. Having said that; I’ve brought Capri pants out (even though I’m shivering) my intention is to let Mother Nature know I’m ready for spring to begin. I have sweet pea seeds soaking and ready to be planted… I’m ready for the new cycle of life to begin…
Yesterday I took this picture of the kids on the couch. Mason came home from school and read her 3 of his Magic School Bus books. His reading is so amazing, and she'll sit and listen, as long as he's willing to sit and read. So sweet to watch. Love these two.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Luckiest Girl

You know, I'm such a lucky girl. I threw my own birthday party this past weekend, and my friends came, and we had so much fun, and yes, I put on a rather impressive eating display. (To any of you familiar with Weight Watchers, I called it my points free night, but I'm pretty sure the scale will indicate my night of gorging when it comes to next weeks weigh in. My stomach actually hurt, at the end of the evening. I had to take pills to try to alleviate the discomfort.) The food was FANTASTIC. I hired a caterer... This is her, and I would TOTALLY recommend her. She usually caters much larger groups, but was able to accommodate my little group very nicely. Everything I've ever had of hers, has been amazing. In fact, I wish I knew a little bit more what my food is lacking or could use... If I cooked as well as her, I'd have some serious weight issues. I wonder though... If I cooked as well as her, would my children be eaters? I'm very much a recipe follower, when it comes to cooking. I ain't no Rachel Ray, I don't 'guess-ti-mate' with a palm full here, and an eyeball there... A 2 mississippi count of pouring EVOO, nope, I tend to follow the instructions, to the T. (why do we say to a t?)

This is my sad attempt at collaging a group of pictures together using Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0. I can't BEGIN to tell you how frustrating I have found this. But after about 75 hours, I actually did get pics to group together. Not the way I wanted them to, but it's a start. I just don't know if I have the will to learn this program. I thought it would be awesome, to print pics off on templates, but I just don't know...

But my party night was a bit of a test. Instead of have a "Girls Night Out" we did a "Girls Night In". Instead of being noisy, loud, and expensive, it was more intimate, comfortable and personal. I have to say I wasn't disappointed, and I certainly hope no one else was. And my dear friend made me this birthday cake... Isn't she awesome? Well both Steph and Barbie... It's hard to believe that I've celebrated 39 birthdays and not had myself a cake like this. And now, I have! How lucky am I?!?!

So alas, 39 has come and gone. I don't know what will transpire next year. Do I just quit celebrating birthdays all together, do 39 & holding? Thankfully I have a year to think about it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's April 1st, I think the joke is on us...

I know, it’s boring, it’s tiring, it’s redundant, it’s complaining, and it’s getting really old… But let’s talk about the weather.

Out of the 4 weekends in March, there were snow storms during 3 of them. We have more snow, at the end of March, than we have had all winter long. I have 2 kids that love, and I mean LOVE playing out in the snow, and Madelyn actually said to me this morning, “I’m tired of winter Mummy”. Amen to that sister! Who ever says that they AREN'T tired of winter is lying… Heck, I’m sure even the skiers are looking forward to the season wrap up.

What is that in like a lion out like a lamb thing any way? Don’t they say that? And April showers bring May flowers? Yeah right… I don’t know where they’re talking about, but I think I might like to move to that mystery place.

We woke up to yet more snow today, and it’s April 1st. It was only 5 centimeters or so, big deal some might say… But, it IS a big deal. A mean joke played on us all! And the poor little migratory birds that are heading back and literally freezing to death. Poor little robin red breasts, wondering I’m sure, why they call Calgary home. (As they should be) It just shouldn’t be this cold at the beginning of April. And that arctic wind… Sheesh, don’t even get me started about the arctic wind. I seriously wonder if the news channel weather guys ever fear for their lives. I realize they can't control it, but they do predict it...

In past years I have actually begun to wear Capri pants starting April 1st. Not this year… My Sorels are at the front of the closet, and they’re still getting regular use! Maybe this year would have been a good year for Ugg boots after all. Guess what, that’s officially the FIRST ITEM ON MY 2009 Christmas wish list. Yay for me. I’m tired of being cold all the time. My furnace is tired of me being cold all the time. I think I've actually worn out sweat pants and slippers. I’ve drank my weight in tea, in the month of March alone. I want to feel the hot sun on my face, and start to shed outer layers. I want this desperately.

I’m so ready for spring to be here. The very thought of Mason’s soccer schedule beginning within the next 3 wks, w/all the snow we have outside… Well, it makes me wonder if I haven't made a very big mistake this year. (It was nicer in February, when I registered him for soccer, than it is now) I'm trying to be optimistic. I would LOVE to sit outside in a lawn chair with a gentle breeze blowing, while the kids run around in shorts and tee-shirts. A realistic version of it however is parkas, mitts, toques, sweatpants, wind pants, long sleeves, hoodies, blankets... Indeed... I HAVE made a mistake this year. Wonder if I can get a refund?

Check out the snowbanks, that are taller than my children, and the snow fort in our back yard. What a great dad he is… And I’m pretty sure he feels the same way about the weather I do. After all, the quicker it warms up, the quicker he’ll be playing golf!

They are leaning on the snow, but even when they weren't, the snow is much taller than they are!

The 3 of 'em, all cozy in their snow fort.

Believe it or not, holds 1 adult and 2 children!