Monday, July 27, 2009

Outdoor Swim Lessons

Last week was Zoo Camp for Mason, 8:30 - 4:30 Monday through Friday, and Princess Ballerina Camp for Madelyn, 9:00-12:00 Monday through Friday. The kids had a fantastic time, the weather for the zoo camp kids was phenomenal, and I got a taste of what preschool will be like in the fall.

Survey says: Monday/Wednesday/Friday, from 12:45 - 3:00 pm are going to be QUIET around here! I'm trying not to snicker, but I think I am. I'm wondering what on earth I'll do with my new found freedom. Do I cherish the QUIET time at home alone? Or do I cherish tackling Superstore and a cart full of groceries without anyone in tow? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

This week started out with a bang. We started swim lessons first thing this morning at a local outdoor pool. We woke up this morning to a brilliant blue sky, and glowing yellow sun. So far, so good. We've never done outdoor swim lessons. The kids had a blast, and it was really neat to see them outside. I've never had to lube them up with sunscreen, right before we got into the pool. Hoping that the rest of the week will be as pleasant weather-wise. That's one thing it's hard to count on here. We cherish our nice days.

After Mason's lesson was finished, he was bummed out I wouldn't let him buy anything from the little concession the pool had.

Poor Maddy waited so patiently for nearly an hour before her lesson started... Tomorrow I'll have to bring something to occupy her a little bit.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wow - I'm a digital Scrapbooker!

I am SO excited. I have finished taking Jessica Sprague's class, and it was invaluable to me. To make it even sweeter, the class was completely FREE! At the end of the class, I actually thought, I should be paying her! I've come away with a much better understanding of Photoshop Elements. I'm still in the elementary stages, but I have to say, I'm thrilled with the knowledge I have taken away. I would HIGHLY recommend taking a class from her. You can find her website here. Go. Now. Have a poke around. You might find yourself as pleased as I am. To the untrained eye, I even look like a digital master! (To my kids and family and friends, that's ALL I want!) And it's been so much fun.
I love the traditional process of scrapbooking. I love picking out paper, creating layouts, embellishing, but I also love the idea of being able to collage my pictures together. Right now, I feel quite confident, that I can do that and more! I'll post the last few assignments we did, and a couple I've worked on - ON MY OWN! With, GASP, my new found knowledge of PSE! Woohoo!

Adding text AND texture onto photograph, as well as a frame.
Selective spot coloring.
Storyboard (in real life this is 12"wide and 18" long)

This was one I whipped up on my own, from a template I'd saved eons ago from Scrapbooks Etc. I documented the first week of our Mara Lake trip. That's not a holiday I'm soon to forget.

This was the last assignment for Jessica's class. It was a 9 square collage. I think this turned out really neat. I just changed Madelyn's room into a big girl room. That's right, we just took her crib and change table out... Last night she slept in her big girl bed for the first time, and was ecstatic. But it's not easy when your 'baby' is leaving babyhood behind. I had to document it of course.

This is another template I found for free on the internet. Maybe bhgscrapbooks etc too... Not sure. But I'm THRILLED with how this turned out. Beyond thrilled actually.
Thanks Jessica Sprague!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For Today

FOR TODAY July 21st, 2009

Outside my's getting dark. The day was a hot one. I think we hit 29° (it's about time) Night time is a cool welcome relief. The owls are starting to stir, and as they do, they cause quite a ruckus. They don't play nice with the other birds.

I am thinking...I'd better go upstairs and get Mason's lunch packed for his camp tomorrow. If I do it in the evening, it takes my stress level down an entire notch in the morning...

I am thankful for... This weeks great weather for zoo camp. It just wouldn't be quite the same in a torrential downpour.

From the kitchen... I made home-made Vietnamese dinner tonight. Rice noodles, pork, carrots, bean sprouts, cucumbers, chives and peanuts drizzled with hoisin sauce. It's not very often both my children are excited about dinner.

I am wearing... A tank top and a comfy pair of old navy shorts. They look great from the front...

I am creating... Some canvasses for Madelyn's bedroom. I'm changing her room around this week, we have a mattress coming for her new 'big girl' bed on Thursday.

I am going... to meet my Mum for coffee in the morning, SANS kids. How lucky am I on a mid-summers morn?

I am reading... a book called Tomato Girl. It's great. An easy summer read. It's the type of story you wish went on and on, because you want it all to work out all right.

I am hoping... That the rest of summer will be as pleasant as this week has been.

I am hearing... Barry's watching a program on TV that is bleeping out constantly. You know the bleeps I'm talking about. The bad word bleeps. I don't know what he's watching, but I'm surprised he's hearing anything but the bleep'in bleeps.

Around the house...I'm just about caught up on the laundry. It's mind-boggling how much a family of four can muster. It's no sooner sorted away into the proper drawers, than back in the laundry basket again.

One of my favorite things... Lazy, sunny, drink my coffee on the back patio, kinds of mornings.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Sort out Madelyn's room. Get her bed put together. Register the kids for some swimming classes, and maybe for some fall classes. Decide what to have for a BBQ for friends on the weekend. Make some appointments, and enjoy my quiet mornings.

A picture to share...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More photoshop pictures to dazzle you with!

Still having a ball with this class! Feeling like a whiz.

Had a nice day today. It seemed so foreign to wake up and actually SEE the sun! Took the kids to the park. They had a great time. Mason even got to see a couple of his school friends there.

I'm hoping the next few days have pleasant weather. In the mean time, check out a few more altered pictures!

This was today's challenge, to open a picture, create a mask (rounded corners), add several different textures, add an overlay, then add text over that (two different fonts to be exact). It was to create an image from start to finish. I am having so much fun! I'm sorry the class will be done on Friday.

This is one I did of my dear Grama. It was taken on Christmas day, around 1994 I think... Any way, it's hand tinted, and has an overlay on top, it's supposed to look vintage-ish. I added the swirls because now I'm starting to show off a bit...

My oh my, who is this handsome couple? The picture looks 100's of years old, but alas, it's only nearly 11 years old! (Enough with the swirls already!)

This picture used a technique called Burnt Edges. Around the outside of the photo is dark and the subject of the photo is lightened quite considerably. You can really see the difference if you place the before and after photo together, but I can only put them in one photo at a time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vacation Photos

We're back in the groove, it's like we never left. How sad is that? It rained most of yesterday and has on and off today. Actually it POURED Monday, from noon until about 3:30 pm. And when I say poured, I mean it POURED. I thought we might see Noah's Ark float by. It's been so darn chilly. It's a bummer to come home from vacation with a decent sun tan, and then watch it fade away as the clouds fill the sky.

On the bright side though, what the rain does do, is eliminate any guilt I have about spending time on the computer. My kiddies play, or watch movies, or generally entertain themselves, thus leaving me time along to 'create'!

I say that, because with this digital course I'm doing, suddenly I feel like a digital diva. I'm having a blast manipulating pictures, and trying new things. I love that there are tutorials that I can watch over and over and over, until I wrap my head around what I'm supposed to be doing. I've always been intrigued with the picture part of digital scrapbooking. Not so much producing digital pages (though I have done a few and they're awesome and quick). I'm just having fun dabbling a bit, and I've sent a bunch of pictures to Costco, so I'm really eager to see what they'll look life in real life.

I put together a collage of our trip. Which was fun to do, because I feel like I'm getting better and better at using Photoshop Elements! There are even some decent pictures of Madelyn! One might not even know that she spent 6 days with her head in a bucket, puking.

Any way, here are a couple pics:

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Know I said my next post would be vacation pictures, but...

I just couldn't help myself. I'm taking a class from Jessica Sprague, she teaches digital scrap booking. It started last Monday, and of course, I was away on vacation. I waited until this morning to check my email (which shows great restraint, because we did get home last night). Of course, my daily class emails had arrived, and I couldn't help myself, I HAD to check out the website, and the things I'm missed. Can you say completely ADDICTED? Man alive! I did the majority of the stuff tonight. Immediately after supper, I scampered down to the computer to catch up. There was a 'task' for each day. I love taking online classes, because it makes me take the time I might not ordinarily take, to practice things I wouldn't practice.

I've been so frustrated with Photoshop Elements, I got it for Christmas, and found it terribly frustrating. Then one day, something clicked, and it started to make sense to me. And now, I'm taking this class, and playing with different elements of digi scrapping and LOVING it!

So, instead of my vacation pictures, check these out. Some of them are recent, but a few are 2 and 3 years old! It was SO fun to work with pictures when the kids were small again! I'm totally loving it!

I know this picture of Madelyn is blurry, but I still love it! This is using a frame, and also word art.

Happy 7th Birthday! This was using brushes as stamps.

This was a picture of Madelyn in a bassinet, she used it when we went to Arizona. She was only 10 months old here. This picture has been hand tinted, w/some special effects.

This was using a mask frame, this picture was taken just before Mason turned 4.

A walk in the park, the fall of 2007. This was concentrating on using 'texture'.
Tomorrow is the final week, it's only 2 wks long. I've learned so much today! I can't wait to see what's in store for the next week. I would highly recommend Jessica's classes. Once you take the class, you have access to it any time, so you can go back and watch tutorials over and over. It's the best on line class I've come across so far, and I've done several.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wrapping Up

Today is the last day of our holiday. The sun has come out and blessed us with it's presence. Since Monday, the weather hasn't been great. It poured on Monday, but we ended up taking the kids into Salmon Arm, BC to watch Ice Age 3-D. It was fantastic. We all had a blast. We then made out way to BP's with 6 adults and 7 kids in tow. Survey says: We were all surprised at how smoothly things went.
I certainly wished this past week would have cooperated a bit more weather-wise, since our first week was a right off with a sick kid. However, in between the rain, wind, and just plain chilliness, the kids have had a great time. There have been trees to climb, fish to catch at the dock in fish nets, a hammock to play in (where hours upon hours of time have been wasted). This year a big group of kids have gotten together and meshed really well. They've been playing really well together, so the kids could really care less about the inclement weather. Wednesday evening the skies cleared, and we were able to watch "a movie in the park" It was a lot of fun. Yesterday we were able to get out into the boat again, and today is looking hopeful too. It's the first day we've awakened up to blue sky since last Sunday. Part of me is looking forward to home of course. When you're staying in a wee little cabin (and I do mean wee) our house feels like a palace upon our arrival. Plus, I can't wait to upload my pictures on the computer, so I can get a really good look at them. Oh, not to mention how delightful it is to get back into your own bed after a couple of weeks. And, to have my own washer and dryer, to use at my disposal.
So my next post will be from home. For today we're going to enjoy our last day on the beach, our last day on the boat. I think Mason will go out and water ski, both kids will do a bit of tubing. We may take a ride up the lake, go to Turtle Bay for the last time of 2009. We're pleased indeed, to see the sun.

Monday, July 6, 2009


The title of my post says it all. She's back! She's her old self again! Maddy got up yesterday morning and announced: "I'm not sick anymore!" And that was that. She ate, she ran, she boated, she made sand castles, she drank, she swam, she tubed... Her little glitch is all sorted out. All day yesterday was euphoric, for all of us.
We're so pleased to carry on again. To go back to the beach. To leave the puke bucket behind us... Seriously, I don't want to lay eyes on that thing again in a LONG time.
Whatever hit her, knocked her flat, for 5 full days. I was beginning not to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Today unfortunately is windy and rainy. Not nice. And it seems when you're in the Okanogan, it doesn't just rain for a 'little bit'. It socks in and it rains, and rains, and rains, and rains... The forecast until Friday isn't great. So now, we look into rainy day activities. Not sure what we'll do first.
I'd love to be able to post some pictures, but not able to on this laptop.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

SPOILER - This is nothing but complaining....

Well...I'm not even sure where to begin. We've been at our beautiful sunny destination now for an entire week. Almost to the hour. The weather has been splendid. My hubby brought his computer for work, THANK GOODNESS, and being able to blog isn't one of the websites that's locked from his computer. (It is a work computer after all) The dreamy thing, is I've also been able to keep up on all my blogs. I love my blogs. I love a glimpse into the lives of those around me.
But that's where my accolades stop... Because my daughter is STILL sick. That's right. Still... I'm about ready to give up. I am at a total loss of what to do. Since Monday (June 29th) we've emptied the puke bucket so many times I've lost track. There have been too many instances of explosive diarrhea to count. We've been to the pharmacy almost every day. We've been to the Emergency, Shuswap Hospital once, and I've been to the laundromat 3 times, to do loads of bedsheets. (funny, because this year we brought all our own bedding so we wouldn't have to make a trip to the laundromat...) Each morning Barry and I have woken up, looked at each other, and thought, "Today is the day". But no. Today is not the day, nor was yesterday, or the day before. And the crumby thing is, it's become Africa hot, and NO ONE wants to feel this crummy when the weather is hot...
I'm not sure where to start. Our first day and a half out here, awesome. I don't have ANY pictures as of yet, of Maddy at the beach, or in the boat, or making sandcastles, or in the tube, or anything, but I have a lot of her laying down sleeping. She's been comatose for almost a week. In fact, she's slept the first week of our vacation away. Except for the times she's been away puking. (And that's happened more than I'd like to admit). Poor Mason has paid the price of his sister being sick. Thank goodness he's found some kids on the beach to befriend. Thank goodness my folks come in and spend the day with us, so when we rushed off to the hospital on Thursday, he wasn't affected at all. Thank goodness he's shown no signs of puking yet. (If he does I"ll be in the funny farm) Thank goodness Madelyn had a piece of toast and applesauce and it's been 5 hours. Thank goodness she hasn't puked yet... Maybe, just maybe we're on the mend.
Our Calgary friends showed up today... Mason has Austin and Tyler to play with. If you haven't had us in your prayers, please put us in now. If we head back to the hospital with this little girl, who hasn't eaten a thing in 5 days, we won't be leaving any time soon. I want to believe that we're on the mend, but I'm not optimistic. I'm afraid this week that I've become a 'glass half empty' kinda girl. I seriously think, if Mason comes down with this, I'll lay across the railroad tracks or jump out in front of a bus. I don't wish this on ANYONE...
So, our first week of vacation has been DREADFUL...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Day AFTER Canada Day

Hello! Happy Canada Day! Wooohoooo! We had a great one here at the beach. I've never experienced a Canada Day in a small little town, it was a bit reminiscent of Christmas. Everyone was so nice to one another, everyone wishing each other a Happy Canada Day!

When I'm on vacation, my special treat is to purchase magazines I wouldn't usually purchase... (it's like my form of 'golf' if you will. Even though a dozen magazines doesn't really compare to even a single round of golf) Any way, a few days ago I p/u this awesome Betty Crocker Appetizer Magazine. And YUM-O. I whipped up a few things in honor of Canada Day, and it was great. Last night we went and sat on the public beach (along w/3000 others) to get our place to watch the fireworks display. It was amazing, the people on the beach and in the park. I had no idea there ws THAT MANY people in Sicamous, but then I thought, wait a minute, usually all those people are in Askew's... (The little grocery store in town, that is usually bursting at the seams with people through the summer) The lake too, was littered with boats, which was neat, but we didn't feel up to boating down. Maybe next year. Any way, the display of fireworks was incredible. It rivaled the Stampede EASY-PEASY. Of course Mason still said, "We'll get to go watch the ones in Calgary right?" Well I suppose now he has something to compare to.

Our little sweet pea is still in puke mode... Nice... Not quite as frequently (the puking that is) but enough of the EXACT same symptoms as a little friend in Calgary, that I know when I googled the "Norwalk Virus" I was right, without a doubt. Enough said.

In happier news, our little Macy water skied again, successfully! He's a little natural! I just can't wait to post some pictures of that! In fact yesterday we got some video of it as well! Can't wait to figure out how to load that stuff!!