Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Day of November

Wow...It's the last day of November. Tomorrow is December 1st. With that comes many exciting things. Advent calendars, of which we have 2 this year. One is the Lego calendar... Mason is SO excited. The other is a matchbox calendar I saw last year. This year I made my advent calendar much less stressful than it needed to be. I'm quite pleased with myself actually... I'll share a little peak tomorrow. It's also the start of December Daily. I'm actually ready to go, again, quite pleased with myself. It's a ton of work to get it ready, but once you have it ready, you just need to keep up with daily notes and/or pictures from the month. I just love looking back at last years, and so do the kids.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It's cold. Really cold. Frigid cold... It's -35°C with the windchill... The supposed high today, was -21°. My thermometer didn't go past -25°. And this morning, upon entering the kitchen it read -32°C. If that doesn't make you start thinking about tropical destinations, I don't know what will...

It's so cold that the rear view mirror in Barry's truck fell off. But check it out. Good news in store...The temperatures are warming up. It looks as though we'll reach a balmy -6°c by Saturday! Whoop-whoop! That's a Calgary heat wave!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

For Today - November 20th, 2010

Outside my window... Snow. Lots of snow... Lots. But the sun is shining, and everything is kind of sparkling, and it makes me feel festive.

I am thinking... I need to get my lists going, so I know where I'm at for Christmas, which is right around the corner.

I am thankful for... a warm house.

I am wearing...Jeans, long sleeved tee and a hoodie.

I am remembering...how much work getting on and off snow pants/jackets/mitts/toques/scarves/boots etc, two little ones is.

I am going... to dinner with friends tonight. The old "Christmas Table Gang". Looking forward to it! Getting together once a year just doesn't cut it!

I am currently reading... The book of Negros, but I'm about 3 pages in, and have been for a week and a half. But I did read a book called Sh*t my Dad Says, and it was hilarious.

I am hoping... Everyone I know will be safe on these less than ideal road conditions right now.

On my mind...I'm going to attempt Oreo Truffle cookies...

Noticing that... There are so many things about Christmas that are so materialistic. We're going to try very hard this season, to do things for the right reason, and to let our kids know exactly why we're doing them.

Pondering these words... Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right and forget the ones that don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, then take it, if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it'd be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. ~ anonymous

From the kitchen...Going through my Christmas baking recipes, and trying to decide what I'll make this year. So many ideas as usual!

Around the house...It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Last night we had Friday night fun food and decorated the Christmas tree. Such fun.

One of my favorite things: Not having to leave the house except for kid drop off and pick up... I can begin to say how grateful I am that I'm not amongst the work force that has a 1-2 hour commute to and from work in this weather!

From my picture journal...

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Weather Outside is Frightful...

Just like that we're immersed into winter... After 4 days of frigid temperatures and lots of the white stuff, it already seems like winter has been around a lifetime. The kids have been hustled into school Wednesday, Thursday and today. The windchill makes it too darn cold to play on the playground. The roads are icy. Travel time anywhere takes an extra 20 minutes, MINIMUM. The house is cold. If I thought I was dressed warm before, that was a joke, now I've got 3 layers on at any given time. And it's dark by 5:15 pm...

Are you ready for the good news?

-Madelyn LOVES the snow. Each time she goes outside, she giggles.
-The kids have played in the snow after school for an HOUR, that's right, an HOUR every single day. They come in with crazy red cheeks and a healthy glow.
-We get to drink hot chocolate, and what's not to love about hot chocolate, ESPECIALLY with marshmallows.
-We've started singing Christmas carols. [Mad's favourite right now is Joy to the World]
-We get to stay in our warm cozy houses, with no where to be in the evenings.
-I have all the ingredients for ginger snaps out on the counter... Mmmmmmm.
-Tonight we're planning on putting up our Christmas tree.

So, the good news about the bad weather, it's getting us in the mood for Christmas!

This is how I spied Madelyn in the backyard yesterday, ON TOP of the compost bin...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Snow

Or should I say first substantial snow. Or better yet, the first snow that has stuck around... It was somewhat expected.

Yesterday morning, when I picked up Madelyn up from Kindergarten, I thought "What a beautiful day". The sun was shining, the sky was blue. It wasn't even too cold. One of the other Mum's said, "Have you heard about the winter storm warning?" At that point, it was news to me.

I picked Mason up from the bus at 3:30, it was still quite nice, though the wind had picked up, and seemed to be coming straight from the Arctic. Then Barry said, "Storm's on its way..." And I thought, Hmmmmmm...

Here's my theory on winter storms... When they're expected, the don't usually amount to much. But when they come out of left field, and no one KNEW they were coming, those are the ones we talk about for the next month.

Unfortunately, this morning we woke up to this:

Not an awful lot of snow, but enough. Boots, winter parkas, hats, mitts had to be sorted through this morning [thank goodness we had them all]. Sidewalks needed to be shoveled. Cars needed to be warmed up. Windshields needed to be scraped. Kids needed to be driven to school on icy roads. I can't say I'm surprised... 'Cause I'm not. I live in Canada for goodness sakes... But I hate knowing I've got a minimum of 5 more months of this...

I wonder how preparing for a blizzard or having a winter storm warning in effect, is worse than living somewhere tropical and battening down the hatches for a Hurricane or tropical storm... I'll probably never know...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

All my Banners

Can you believe it's nearly my 2nd Anniversary of this Blog? Freaky... But it's been fantastic. Last year I even created a 'blog book' so I have all my posts for the years 2008 [November] and throughout 2009 forever more. When I went back recently, and read through my posts of 2009, I realized that none of my blog banners are included. You know, the one thing I AGONIZE over. So I thought, perhaps I should create a blog, of all my past blog banners. [After all, now that I'm immersed into PSE and everything, that's the fun part of the process for me too!!] Without further adieu.... Here are my banners over the past 2 years!

November 2008:

December 2008:

January 2009:
February 2009:
March 2009:
April 2009:

May 2009:
Summer 2009:

September 2009:
October 2009:
Christmas 2009:
Winter/Spring 2010:

May 2010:
Summer 2010:
September 2010:
October 2010:
November 2010:

You can tell I start to get really excited around May 2010. I just LOVE the whole digital thing. Seriously, if I were 10 years younger and in my early 30's, I would TOTALLY be into graphic design. Don't get me wrong, I totally am, I'm just not ready to head back to University for it. Hind sight is 20/20!! Oh well!! LOL! Now I just putter around and LOVE Photoshop Elements!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

10 on the 10th - November 2010

  1. As soon as the weather turns a teensy bit cold, I want to hibernate. I’m not kidding. Because -5° is NOT what I’d call frigid temperatures, when we’re used to -35° [not including the wind-chill] Our poor furnace is on over-drive right now. And I’m cold 24/7.

2. I volunteered at the library this week [at the kid’s school] and I got to pull all the Christmas books off the shelves. What a great way to get into the Christmas season… And then yesterday at the mall, all those Christmas Carols singing… I enjoy Christmas, when it’s not stressful. I hope a month from now; I’m not totally stressed out!

3. My lent camera is going back to its rightful owner tomorrow. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity I was given. Thanks friend, for trusting me with your baby. I promise I’ve taken very good care of it.

4. Every. Single. Time. I utter the words; “she’s been a pleasure to be around lately” she morphs back into this child I’d like sell at an auction… Why does life work like this? Why?

5. Now that we’re into November, the Gingerbread and Eggnog Latte’s have become available at Starbuck’s. I do love the Pumpkin Spice Latte {extra hot, no whip, half sweet don’t you know} But I haven’t yet had a Gingerbread Latte, which is a close 2nd after the PSL, at this “most wonderful time of the year”. Starbucks has also got this great “Share your Stories” thing going on this year. It coincides perfectly with my story sharing and December Daily.

6. Lately, I’ve hardly watched any television. So when I’m prepared to watch a show I’m looking forward to, and then find out that the CMA Awards are on instead, I’m EXTREMLY disappointed. [I’m just thankful I didn’t go to the work of getting my popcorn made!]

7. I’m wondering if my house will EVER look clean and tidy for longer than a 5 hour period. My sweet mother pointed out that the show homes, don’t actually have people living in them, when I recently told her “this is what I envision” as we walked through some show homes. It does help a bit… But, not completely.

8. It’s November 10th. In case you need to know, that’s only 45 days before Christmas. The kids are finished school in 37 days [not including weekends of course] I need to get things sorted out and purchased. That will make our December relaxing and pleasant…

9. 2 weeks ago, I watched Private Practice. It’s ironic, because when there was about 25 minutes of the show left, I said to Barry: “I think I’m just about done with this show.” Then, the last 20 second snippet of the show was so shocking and violent [that I barely slept a wink that night] and then refused to watch the show the next week for fear of more NON-SLEEP. Now I’m torn. Do I watch, or no? I just don’t do well with visual images. Enough said.

10. When I dropped Madelyn off at Kindergarten the other day, she came back over to and said, “Can you believe some of the Mum’s just drop their kids off and leave, BEFORE the bell rings? Isn’t that sad?” I thought it was ironic, because she’s been going to school for 2 months. She’s been dropped off EVERY day by her Dad or I. And NOT ONCE has she looked back and waved at us, so how the heck would she know whether we’re there or not??

Monday, November 8, 2010

Short Days, Long Nights

We're into November... I'm thankful that the madness of Halloween is behind us for yet another year, but it also means that the Christmas season is quietly sneaking up on us... I think November is one of the months I dread the most... It starts to get cold. It's dark by supper, and in the mornings. And we KNOW we have 5 months of cold and dark ahead of us.

I know Thanksgiving is a big deal in the States. We don't have that on our plates either, we're done with thanksgiving celebrations by mid-October. [Though to be honest, it would be great to have October dedicated to Halloween, November dedicated to Thanksgiving and December dedicated to Christmas] But that's just not how it happens for us Canadians.

So, as we head into November, I feel like I can kind of coast a bit, until I realize... Oh my... Christmas is only 6 1/2 weeks away. And then I begin to think about my advent project, Christmas cards, decorating, tree putting up, baking, and packages sent in the mail. I start to think about crafts I want to do, and home made gifts I'd like to get together for people... And I realize, "Wow... I need to get this sorted out BIG TIME." Then it becomes clear, that my "sigh of relief" about having October behind me, is not a sigh of relief at all. It just indicates that now we're headed into the very busy holiday season.

So, while I begin to jot things down, and create lists, these few pictures are what we did this past weekend. Can you BELIEVE that the weather is still so mild? I can't believe it, but I'm very grateful for it indeed.

A trip to the park with light jackets on.

Can you believe this girls hair? She asked me this morning, on our way to school, if it was the "law" for girls to have their hair done. I told her no, it just looks nice when it's done. I perhaps should have gone with a fib and said "Why yes, it IS the LAW that girls do their hair before leaving the house." In all honesty, it doesn't matter. As nice as it looks when we leave the house, in what seems like a nano-second, it resembles a rats nest.

Sunday, Madelyn announced was pajama day. Which didn't stop her from playing in the backyard one bit. [Barry also took all the plants out of our flower bed, so lots of dirt to play with]

There was a war going on.

Some fared better than others I'm afraid.

Then there's her, whose REALLY mad at her lack of ability to say the word NO... I canvassed my neighborhood for the Canadian Diabetes Association this weekend... Seriously, can you think of a less likely candidate for that people-person job? I'm going to scrapbook this picture, then put it by my phone, so the next time someone calls, politely asking if I'll canvass, I can look at this picture and remember how I felt like throwing up for the hour and a half that my route took. [Not to mention clammy hands and the power sweat I had going on. Don't I paint a pretty picture?]

And now... our clocks are turned back. It gets dark early. We took full advantage of that last night, and tricked our kids into going to bed at 8:30 [which was actually 7:30 tee,hee,hee]. That's the only advantage to having it dark by 5:30 pm. And I can only get away with that until all the clocks are changed. Unfortunately, Mason can now tell time... Oh well, last night was great, AND QUIET by 7:40 pm. We relished in the silence.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nice Days

The simple things... It's November, and I have yet, to pull my garden out for the year. Yes, that's kind of sad. I went outside yesterday, and was looking at all the dead plants, and I saw this...

I planted dill this year. Yes, I used some in my cooking, and yes, it smelled lovely. [And that is completely dependent on whether or not you actually like the taste of dill, shockingly, some do not...] Any way, I saw this, and it still smelled of dill! Can you believe it? And it just looked so darn pretty, that I took a picture of it. [Borrowing a camera from a friend right now] So I've been doing some impromptu photo shoots. Trying a few different things, and trying to convince myself that I deserve a new camera.

The bummer is that right now, it gets dark earlier and earlier. The other night, we had to go down to the river to collect some rocks for Mason, his homework. By the time we got to the river, the sun was behind the hill, but that didn't stop us from collecting rocks, OR taking pictures!

This one never misses an opportunity to stop what he's doing and give me a smile!

This one, never stops what she's doing!! Too funny the difference between these two-rugrats. She's been carrying a balloon around in her pocket since Sunday. She loves to blow it up and let it go, and giggles like crazy as it takes off and the air comes out.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Come and Gone

Well, we've got another Halloween under our belt.

Fun was had by all, kids and adults. We had our adult party Saturday night, which if I do say so myself, was a smashing success. The kids party was on Sunday, and it too went off without a hitch. The kids all had a great time, and were so totally excited about getting out to do some trick or treating.

I summed up Halloween 2010:

I'll begin "de-halloweening" tomorrow. We're already talking about next year. Mason came in last night from candy collecting and the first thing he said was "Mum, I know what I'm gonna be next year!"

Such fun!