Thursday, October 28, 2010

Almost There

Seriously, how'd that happen? It seems like the weeks just fly by one after the other. The days just melting into one another. I had no idea I would be this busy, but it seems that now that Madelyn is in school half time, I am running around more than I ever thought possible!

Tomorrow is the last day of school in October. It also happens to be the Friday before Halloween. I'm thrilled this year, because the kids are both able to, and encouraged to dress up for Halloween tomorrow.

I've been working on a few things, first I thought I'd share this picture I did for our 'vampire wall'. What's the matter with this picture? I'm looking evil, while Barry just looks jolly. I kept redoing the picture, over and over saying "Ok, this time hiss at the camera"

This is what I got:

Considering he rarely smiles such a lovely smile in pictures, it's a bit ironic actually. I just went with this picture. Me looking evil ["or just like yourself", as Barry pointed out] and him looking like a jolly vampire.

These made their way into the kids lunch boxes this week. Spooky finger cheese sticks, with delightful red pepper nails.

These are the things I whipped up to send to school with Mason tomorrow. He was quite pleased. He helped me put them together.

This is a little something for the kids teachers. Just a small hand sanitizer and a box of tic tacs decorated with a strip of paper and ribbon.

Then I packaged them up like this. Darn cute if I say so myself.

Only a couple more sleeps...

Last Week's Full Moon

One day in September, I looked outside and realized, hey... that moon looks full, and it was. But we had too much on the go, and we weren't able to co-ordinate a moonlight walk. This month, I was sure to jot it down on the calendar, so we wouldn't miss it again. My new calendar, doesn't keep track of the moon cycle... Can you believe it? [So it's not really my fault we missed the full moon in September, it's the calendar people's fault.]

We went for our full moon walk [only it wasn't much of a walk] last Friday night. The day ended up being cloudy and cool. The days that led up to it were SO nice and warm, but full moon walk day was chilly. We decided to try a different location. After some brainstorming at breakfast, we decided to head to the airport. There's a viewing area there, to watch planes land and take off. Since the clouds were hanging on the horizon, we knew we might not see the moon, and had to see something. So off we went.

We had a fun time. The kids really look forward to our outings. They do their drawings, and write down what they see. They were both quite content sitting in the backseat of the car, sketching and watching. They only got out for a few moments, the arctic wind was just too cold. One of the highlights for them, is the snack that is offered. And it hasn't really been a big deal. First time we had licorice. Then we've had granola bars, dry cereal. It's not like it's something extra special like say a Crave Cupcake.... Mmmmm... But they LOVE the idea of a snack, and they love it when the snack gets to be eaten in the car. That's not the norm around here. NO FOOD - NO DRINK is our motto. [And when Daddy realized a chocolate chip had melted on his seat, and as a result, on his work pants... I didn't say it to the kids, but it' pretty much guaranteed, that they just consumed their very last snack IN the car...]

Saturday, October 23, 2010

December Daily and other Halloween Stuff

I've decided to follow the idea of the December Daily, like Ali Edwards does. You can check hers out here. It's a lot of work to begin with, but if you start early enough, and plug away at it, all you have to do is take the pictures and collect the mementos for the actual month of December.

I did it last year. I won't lie, getting it together was a lot of work. And yes, you have to be dedicated to take the pictures and and do the documenting, but once the month is over [the whirlwind that the month of December typically is] you have these wonderful images and pictures to cherish. Seriously... This couldn't have already been a year ago could it have?

Last year I tried to make every page unique and different. This year, it's going to be a lot more simplistic. I created my own 5x7 template, and the book will be that size. I'm anticipating it being very awesome upon completion.

Speaking of anticipation... This little girl is getting very excited about Halloween. I made her this lunch last week. She refused to eat the clementine... Too cute she said. [I had no problem eating it]

These are the cookies the girl and I did last week. I decorated them over the wknd. I'm afraid I won't be going into business any time soon. Next time, I think I would do one type of cookie at a time. It gets a bit time consuming to change colors. Plus you need a thicker icing to pipe around the edges, then you need to thin it a little to flood the cookie... I haven't perfected it, to say the least. But they ARE dang cute. I love the cauldron...

I picked Mad up from Kindergarten to today and we had to 'fly' to art class. I packed her a little lunch to eat there. I found the ideas for brown paper lunch bags here. [I also sent the skull and cross bone bag to school with Mason] Last night, as I was putting the labels on the juice boxes, Barry shook his head at me, and said "I sure hope the kids realize how lucky they are".
Well, to be honest, me too. But I know if they don't realize it now, they will eventually.

Every year for Mason's class, I've always sent in a little class treat of some sort. This year, his class size went from 18 to 29. So I had kind of decided that maybe I wouldn't do anything for his class this year...[Now that I have one in Kindergarten AND one in Grade 3] That's close to 45 treats... Eeks. Any way, he came home from school today, and informed me, that he told his teacher today "My Mum likes to send in treats for the kids..." Good thing I have an idea up my sleeve. Better get it going!

Last but not least. I made this over the weekend. I took an old frame, the glass had broken on it, mounted some halloween paper on cardboard, and hot glued some spiders onto the paper. Super cute!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Apple Pie

The anticipation around here is mounting!! Yesterday Madelyn and I made our first batch of sugar cookies! Mmmmmm...

Speaking of yummy things, I made an apple pie!! This apple pie right here! It's not going to win any awards on appearance, but in taste... It was phenomenal. I bought the crust, I just wasn't quite ready to get into pastry yet... I may never be. And that's just fine with me. [After all, you can buy it ready to go] simple-schmimple... I made the filling from scratch. That's right, real apples, cinnamon, sugar, flour, a little bake in the oven and voila... Pure goodness. This pie was eyes rolling into the back of your head good... Next time, I'm going to add some caramel... Sweet Mother of Pearl... Just when you thought it couldn't taste any better, I'm going to make it taste even better. I'll have to keep you posted about the Caramel Apple Pie. It's going to have to hold on a while, I've reached my maximum dessert quota for October already!

The recipe I used for the pie is this:

5 apples, peeled and thinly sliced [I used MacIntosh]
2/3 cup white sugar
3 tbsp floor
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 375°
Put bought pie crust into a pie plate.
Place apples in a large bowl, add lemon juice and toss apples. Add sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Toss until all apples are mixed well and thoroughly coated.
Spoon into crust.
Top with remaining bought crust. Seal edges [important if edges are seals, there will be leakage]. Cut steam vents and brush the top of the crust with milk.
Cover pie with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 25 mins. Remove foil from pie and bake for another 20 - 25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Serve warm with vanilla icecream.

This cute little fella went to school in Mason's lunch yesterday. Guess what, it came home in Mason's school lunch without cranberry eyes... That's all he ate, the cranberry eyes. The kid likes cheese, and he likes bread, he even likes a grilled cheese, but a Cheese Sandwich... Well, he wasn't even going to entertain that idea. I'm always hopeful!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

For Today - October 20th, 2010

Outside my window... Bright and sunny. October has been absolutely GLORIOUS.

I am thinking... I only have a week and a bit left, to get all the 'baking' of sugar cookies done in time for Halloween.

I am thankful for... my husband, who let's me live the life I've become accustomed to [thanks Hun]

I am wearing...Jeans, long sleeved turtle neck and a my new grey sweater.

I am remembering... The days when the kids were little, and every day wasn't a mad house around here, with getting up, and getting sorted out, getting fed, getting lunches ready and getting to school on time. Sheesh, it's a lot of work first thing in the morning.

I am going... to have a quiet morning at home alone tomorrow. First time this week. It's been hectic to say the least.

I am currently reading... A book I picked up on a whim at the library, called Leopard Rock. I read the back cover [I usually go by the title] and realized it's a 'romance novel'. Too funny.

I am hoping... The weather will stay amazing for Halloween. It's so nice when the kids don't need to be bundled up when they head out to Trick and Treat.

On my mind...I'm making a delicious smelling concoction, it's in the crock-pot right now. The house smells WONDERFUL. I hope it tastes that good. It's a recipe called Asian Peanut Butter Pork.

Noticing that... As the kids get older, it's getting to be more and more fun spending fun, silly moments together. It's so cool to watch these personalities come into their own a bit.

Pondering these words... All I know for sure is today.

From the kitchen...It smells so good in hear, I've already mentioned the food!! We'll be having salad and new potatoes with it. Mmmmm....

Around the house...My house smells clean, and looks clean. Rose was here today. I can enjoy this until Mason gets home at 3:45 pm.

One of my favorite things: The sun is still hot. In another month it won't be. It feels so good, and I'm just enjoying it so much. I feel so thankful for October, I just wish we still had our leaves.

From my picture journal...

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Whose excited already?

Printed off some fun jokes to put in Mason's lunch tomorrow. Have such great plans, to spook up lunches and food etc. Got some GREAT recipes to make over the next couple of weeks. I don't know who has more fun, me or the kids.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Actual Conversation with Madelyn...

We took the kids to BP's last night for dinner. It's the celebration of both the end of the week, and my not having to cook dinner. Our young waitress took our order. Madelyn couldn't take her eyes off her... Once she walked away, we had this dialogue:

Mad: "Why did she have a pin sticking in her mouth?"
Me: "I don't know, looks like it hurts"
Mad: "Yeah, I bet it hurts" [the next sentence was my biggest mistake, rather than just stopping right here, I added]
Me: "I think it looks kinda awful"
Mad: "Well, I think it looks pretty"

We will never be able to say, that anything she does surprises us... God help me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Getting our Spooky On...

I've attempted to make our house spookier this year. That was my kids request. Last year Mason told me my decorations were to "cute". His words, not mine. So I've rummaged around, I've hit a few thrift shops, I'm doing my best to get our spooky on. This is what we've got so far:

I wish I had a before and after picture of my mantle, because we've truly transformed this from cute pumpkin perch, to totally spooky.

Picture shelf in the living room has been transformed with spooky pictures too. From vampire kids, to changing portraits. I guess I'll have to do update a 'spooky' picture of Barry and I, to update the frame in the middle. [Funny how the mind sees only what it wants, I didn't really notice that until I saw a picture of it]

This was the cheese from a 'muffin tin lunch' I did this week. I sent them along with Mason, packed in his lunch box too. Come to think of it, he never said anything about it...

The kids milk glasses, and yes, I'm 100% sure there will be spills. But they're loving drinking out of these glasses at dinner... [Pumpkins came home from the patch]

Yesterday, the weather was so glorious. Madelyn and I spent the afternoon at the park. Much to her horror, I made her pose for pictures. I can't get over how messy this child's hair can get in a nanosecond... I'm dreading hat season. The static cling will be a nightmare.

Last night, a little boy had his investiture, and became an official Cub. Much to his horror, I took him aside and made him pose for me.

After the investiture, we had a campfire, and the moon was rising... It was a wonderful evening. A perfect way to end off a perfect day. [It is October right?] It cooled off quite a bit after the sun went down, but it was much better than sitting in a gym.

Then we got up this morning... And this is the view out the kitchen window... Yup. That's snow. Which answers my previous question. Yes, it is indeed October. The difference a day can make here is crazy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Miner's Rescued

I watched the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile on and off the last day and a half. When I was watching it, I was scared I would jinx something, so I'd watch someone emerge [with tears streaming down my cheeks] and then quickly shut the TV off.

Every time some one came up, I watched family members embrace. I thought how I would have felt in that situation. Let's face it, most mining disasters do not have happy endings. Imagine giving your husband a kiss, as he heads out the door to work, and not seeing him again for 69 days. The first 17 of those, sure that he has perished. [I think it was 17 days before they realized they were all still alive] Then finding out that yes, he is alive, but it will be at least Christmas before they see the surface of the earth.

So many emotions just watching this unfold. I can't imagine living it.

How amazing that they were alive, that they got out 2 months earlier than the original plan, and that they all came up looking so spiffy. God definitely had a hand in this miracle.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10 on the 10th - October 2010

Look at that, it's 10/10/10... Would have been a nifty day to get married. Or have a baby... A date like this won't come around again for a long time...

1. It's over-cast today, but delightfully warm. How lucky are we? Last Thanksgiving weekend it was bitterly cold. I specifically remember because we were supposed to have outdoor family pictures taken, and ended up needing to find something inside. The result, wonderful family pictures taken in the Plus 15's downtown. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how they turned out!!

2.Getting ready to go to Ama's house for Thanksgiving dinner. Mmmmmm... Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. Turkey, dressing and cranberries oh my...

3. I began Halloweening my house on Thursday. But I've still got boxes scattered all over. My kids want to help, and I want to do it by myself. I'm kinda stalling until Tuesday. Does that make me bad? Some things just need to be done a certain way.

4. I've gone through a cookbook I got from the library. It's all Crock-Pot recipes. I've got a list of 60 or so I'd like to try. Too bad my kids turn their nose up at everything. I'm just going to try some recipes, and see what's good.

5. We've sold some furniture on Kijiji. It's so easy, and people have come and taken stuff right out of our house, after they pay for it. Loving this new way to 'de-clutter' bigger items.

6. Out of a family of 4, we've only got one persons Halloween Costume figured out and hanging in the closet. That would be Madelyn, who has decided to be Little Red Riding Hood. Be still my beating heart... [You have to remember, she's been a pumpkin 2 years running, a spider and a chicken].

7. I am surprised that it's already heading toward the middle of October. I kind of forgot how hectic Kindergarten is, with all the drop-offs and pick ups. It seems like I'm in a rush all the time. I rush to get to school, I rush to pick up groceries, I rush to get back home and put them away, I rush to get the girl before the office calls me... [So far so good, but only just]

8. I am now writing this 8 hours later. My belly is full of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, brussel sprouts [my personal favourite] green beans and sweet potatoes... I couldn't be any more satisfied.

9. I'm kind of bored of tv these days. Don't get me wrong, there are a few shows I look forward to. But the whole reality TV thing, it just doesn't float my boat any more. Not that it ever did. Can you believe I've never watched Survivor or American Idol? Sheesh...

10. I feel like I need to make the transition to the 'digital age'. I feel like I need to get caught up and stay connected. Soon my kids are going to know more than I did. [Just like I learned right away how to use a VCR to it's full potential and my Mum was lost {sorry Mum}]. Maybe it won't be so bad... Maybe I'll be able to blog even more... The part I'm worried about, is I'll be able to blog surf even more.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

We are having a lovely October [which after our spring/summer and fall, we totally deserve] Ama read something in some paper about a Pumpkin and Scarecrow Festival near Okotoks, so this afternoon, we decided spur of the moment to check it out. [Spur of the moment, because that's kind of how we roll around here]

I've never been to a pumpkin patch. EVER. I've always thought it would be so neat, [besides the obvious great picture-taking opportunities] and so much fun to pick out our very own pumpkins. I'm thrilled to blog, that as of October 9th, 2010 we've seen a real pumpkin patch! A sparse pumpkin patch, because the pumpkins were pretty well picked over, but a pumpkin patch never the less! There were definitely picture taking opportunities. The only thing was the darn sunlight was so harsh and overhead. It cast shadows on every picture I took. But you take what you can get. [Isn't it funny, that I'm complaining about the harsh sun overhead, rather than the rain and dreary skies]

The girl, totally dis-interested, and already tired of looking at the camera.

See what I mean about the sunlight being so harsh? It casts too many darn shadows!

Looking for itty-bitty pumpkins. The girl was in her glory.

The boy very eager to find his own itty-bitty pumpkin after he realized his sister had found one for herself.
The corn maze. Though we tried, it was hard to get lost.

It was a fantastic way to spend the Saturday of our Thanksgiving weekend. I think the truck's thermostat ready 25°. We are loving every moment of these above seasonal temperatures.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Already?

I'm not sure what happened to the past week.

I know I woke up on Monday morning... I vaguely remember getting the kids to school on time...
And now it's Friday afternoon. Just like that. The week has simply vanished.

I thought having Madelyn in Kindergarten would afford me slightly more 'me' time. But surprisingly, it doesn't. Right now I feel like I should be getting paid by the school board, with all the time I've spent there. This week alone, I've been to the first Parent Council meeting of 2010 [and just as I remembered, they're slightly dry, and we did run over our alloted time] I've been to a Volunteer Coordinator meeting, and contacted all my 26 parent volunteers... That's right, 26 [which doesn't include myself or Barry] Gulp. And today I spent the day at the Glenbow Museum with two of the grade 3 classes... Next week library volunteering starts up again. Wowser, and I thought things would get quieter once the kids were back in school! Silly me!

I thought I'd have time for morning work outs. I think I've managed to get two in since school started. I thought there'd be more time for coffees. I've gotten together ONCE with ONE friend. [Thanks Nicole!] And you others... You know who you are, we need to get on top of this immediately. I thought there'd be lots of time for groceries and errands that could be run with out kids. But I've nearly been late for pick-up twice...

Is it just because we get older, that time seems to go faster? Looking forward to a couple of turkey dinners this weekend. Mmmmmmmm..... Looking forward to a quiet weekend. I'm in the midst of decorating for Halloween. Can't wait to see the final results.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Check it Out

Paislee Press is offering a give away, for a 2011 do it yourself calendar. Check it out here and enter to win! The calendars are so lovely and simple... I can see a few being made for 2011... Enough said!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Favorite Month...

Ok - how do you like the new banner on top? I'm loving it! I've decided that I have just as much fun creating a new banner as anything else, so I'm going to try and do a new one each month. Fun!

As you know, we've entered my favorite month... October. And it's not because of the crunchy leaves underfoot. It's not because of the warm days and chilly nights. It's not because of the Harvest moon. Nope. It's because of Halloween. I just LOVE Halloween. I decorate the house up every year [is it bad that I enjoy decorating for Halloween even more than Christmas?] Last year I had this conversation with Mason.

Mace: "Mum, I like our Halloween decorations, but they're too cute-sy"
Me: "Pardon?"
Mace: "Don't get me wrong, I like the decorations, but they need to be scarier".
Me: "Oh..."

So, this year, I'm attempting to get scarier... Wish me luck. First of all, here is a photo of the 2 of them, this ought to freak them out a little bit... [Have I mentioned how much I'm loving Photoshop??]

Vamp Boy

Vamp Girl

Pretty creepy huh? But awesomely creepy if you ask me. What with how popular vampires are and all. So, the last few weeks, I've been looking for super creepy/spooky stuff. I'll try to keep you updated with how that goes.

Here's a layout I finished, of our walk up on Nose Hill last week. Love how it turned out.

There's no doubt about it, I'm loving the digital side of things these days. I wouldn't say it's any faster for me. I still spend as long, per page, but I lay in bed with visions of layouts floating through my dreams.

If I knew then, what I knew now, I might have gone a whole different route in school. Graphic design TOTALLY appeals to me. How lucky that I can fiddle with it, create my own cards, invites and scrapbook layouts.