Sunday, March 27, 2011

Birthday Weekend

Well for another week any way, I have access to the internet... We had someone come over Sunday afternoon, he is coming back next week, to do a 'wipe-out'... I don't know about you, but that particular sentence sends a shiver up my spine... I'm under the impression that everything will be taken off, then re-loaded back on... Let's face it, nothing ever goes as it should, so I'm expecting the worst. Perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised... We'll cross that bridge next week.

So, it turned out to be a good idea that I made my own cake after all. Of course, at 7:30 pm on Friday night Barry acted all hurt-feeling like, when he said something about stopping to pick up a cake [we went to Boston Pizza with the kids] and I told him, there was no need to, I'd made one. He accused me of not having any faith in him, which is ridiculous, of course I have faith in him. [He'd be CRAZY not to acknowledge my birthday] The thing was, I suddenly realized maybe I should make a cake, and then I decided that the cake I wanted was a Lazy Daisy Cake [out of Best of Bridge, of course] So I made the cake I wanted. Enough said. It has the most amazing icing [a sweet, broiled, coconut icing] which is what I wanted, and after having a conversation in Winner's a few weeks ago, with a lady in line, about using SHORTENING in the icing, rather than butter, the idea of a store bought cake kind of grosses me out a bit... You know that shortening is basically the same thing as lard right? Eeks... Pastry is one thing, but icing... Just didn't sit well with me.

So here I am, with my birthday cake. A lovely 8x8 size, quite manageable for a family of 4.

Mmmmm, check it out. Doesn't that look delish? [It was lovely]

Speaking of lovely, check out these foxy gals. We went out on the town for a Girl's Night Out. We've been getting together to do Girl's Night In, which has been fantastic as well, but going out to a restaurant was a nice treat. Barry snapped this picture of us on our way out the door. We all looked so dang fancy. The weather was DREADFUL. It snowed, and snowed and snowed. Thank you Nicole, for being our designated driver, and for not letting blind/crossed eyes deter you! [We revert back to teenagers on a fairly regular basis] I'm not kidding about the snow... I'll bet it snowed 5 inches in 3 hours... Gross...

And then Sunday afternoon, we had this:

All day. It snowed on and off... It's been 9 days since we saw the sun. I'm starting to feel more than a bit depressed.

On another note, for my birthday I got this:

This nifty little thing is a wireless remote, so I can take pictures with my camera and NOT have to be looking through the viewfinder to focus and press the button!!

My first test picture using my new device:

Totally excited about using this remote for so many reasons. I'll be able to get in a lot more pictures, and they'll actually be in focus!! It works like a gem!

And I ordered this... Can't wait to get it! LOVE the color... Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The First Anniversary of my 40th Year

Isn't that a much better way to say "today is my 41st Birthday?" I think so. We've had an unfortunate event at our house. The computer is unwell. There are error messages about worms and viruses that were concerning enough to Barry that he actually called the Geek Squad [aka computer fixers] They'll be here Sunday.

I have had no contact with the virtual world... It's scary. It makes you realize how much you depend on your internet connection. How much you take it for granted when things are up and running.

I've had to hijack Barry's work computer [shhhh, don't tell!] I don't have much time. I have no pictures to post, and really nothing new to report. When I blow out my candles [at least I hope there'll be candles to blow out, or cake to eat at the very least... I wonder if I was supposed to make my own cake...] My wish will be to have our computer fixed, and have it not be too costly, not to lose anything relevant, files and/or pictures, and most importantly I'm going to wish for... Spring to come. Please spring... If you can hear me. This birthday girl is tired of shoveling and scraping car windows... And being cold... Yeah. I'm tired of being cold and seeing gray skies.

Oh, while I'm at it, [on Barry's computer that is] I'm going to treat myself to one of these... Happy Birthday to me! I'm leaning toward the moss or teal color...

I just re-read my post and gasped. How could I possibly be 41? When did THAT happen? How shocking. But nonetheless, how true. I better go make a cake... The kids would be so upset with no birthday cake. I'm doing it for the kids...

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Day of Spring

This is the view of our downtown skyline... Can you see the buildings? Nah... me either, but you should be able to. This is the corner of 32nd Ave and Deerfoot.

I took this picture on the way to Madelyn's last gymnastic class. Yet another dreary day. It's snowing, it's cold, it's wet. At least the snow isn't accumulating too much. We're certainly lucky to have dodged the 25 cm snowfall warning over the weekend. I think I can speak for just about everyone when I say, I'm done with the snow. Go. Now. Bugger off. See you again next winter. [Only if you insist however...]

Little Miss had her last gymnastic class today. She showed off of course, and hammed it up. She loved gymnastics. Hoping to re-register for the spring session.

Received a package in the mail late last week, it came from sunny Arizona. There were postcards, stickers and most importantly, SillyBandz. And not just any kind of SillyBandz, Star Wars SillyBandz. Someone was excited... He couldn't wait to get into them. Then he put them on. Every last one of them.

I'm disappointed because we didn't get our bottles returned this past weekend. I knew it would be busy on the weekend, I just didn't know it would be THAT busy... Lesson learned. I suppose that's why Barry looked at me cross-eyed when I told him that's what our plans were.

This week is hectic. Barely a free moment from now until Friday. It's funny how some weeks are dull and others are so busy. We were thrilled to hear over the weekend that 9 days after the disaster in Japan a Grandmother and her Grandson were pulled out of the debris. Read about it here, it's such a miracle.

Also, Ali posted another thankful thought template here: I think I'm going to make a little mini-album with the pictures and the templates she offers.

It's so important to spend a little time thinking about what it is we are thankful for.

Friday, March 18, 2011

One Week.

It's been one week since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
It's been one week since thousands of people's lives have changed forever.
It's been one week since devastation beyond our wildest dreams.
Devastation that we can't even imagine.
Over the past week, there have been so many images... So many surreal images, and these are the ones that have stuck with me the most:

Vehicles sitting on top of 2 and 3 story buildings... A diesel bus, on top of a building... Up there like they're some sort of Hot wheels car. Only they're so not Hot wheels cars. I can't imagine how terrifying this experience must have been for the people of this city.

This disaster is now one week old. It's no longer 'breaking news' on local TV stations. Every night there is less and less information. We simply can not forget that the people of Japan not only have to deal with the aftermath of this natural disaster, but they are getting closer every moment to a nuclear meltdown. Thousands and thousands [and by that I mean more like hundreds of thousands] of homes are without electricity and water. It's still winter there. It's cold. These people are displaced and have no where to turn.

At this moment, there are 6,406 confirmed dead and about 10, 259 still not accounted for.

My prayers and thoughts are with the people of Japan constantly. It's hard to help, from the other side of the world. All we can do is help financially [and, if I'm being completely honest, even if I could go there to help, in-person, I don't think I'm brave enough to do it. Perhaps I would be braver, if there wasn't the risk of being exposed to radiation]

This weekend, we're going to take our bottles back to the bottle depot and donate the money to the Red Cross. Mason really wanted to do something to help the people of Japan. [Of course during the past week at school, he's learned a lot more about this disaster than either myself or Barry would have shared with him, including images and pictures] I guess that's a part of him getting older... We want to keep him sheltered, but he's going to find out that bad things happen.

Please keep the people of Japan in the forefront of your mind.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Paddy's Day

I love any reason to do something out of the ordinary. Today just happened to be an "out of the ordinary" day, St. Patrick's Day. Here is a peak at our day in pictures:

I loved the idea of 'over the rainbow' licorice. I searched and SEARCHED for those darn coins twoonies... But thankfully my neighbor put me on the right track. I'll be honest about the licorice though... I put these little bags together for the kids last night, and tried a piece of it... It just didn't taste great... I'm a normal red licorice kinda gal. These tutti-fruity flavors are just not quite right. [Even the kids didn't gobble it up the way I thought they might] But the colors are vibrant and lovely and to me, scream SPRING!

Girl and I made green chocolate chip cookies this afternoon. They are tasty.

Hubsy and I had a green beer with our dinner... Seemed appropriate. Same amount of food coloring, 2 different types of beer, 2 different shades of green. Fun and festive.

Both kids dressed in green today, at supper they were greeted with green milk, green veggies, green veggie dip and the bread on wiener wraps dyed green. I'll be honest... Mason scrunched up his nose; I actually thought he might cry when he came to the table. He did plow through, he, ate and drank everything, even had a second wrap. [Remember when you could buy green ketchup? Can't any more, but that would have been AWESOME] I made pistachio pudding for dessert. NOT a success, it's still in the fridge. Oh well. [Madelyn has taken to doing place cards for meals. She also included a festive shamrock for tonight's meal!]

Monday, March 14, 2011

We had a great weekend around here. Don't get me wrong, it was L -O-N-G... Barry was home late on Friday night, then was in a First Aid class all day Saturday and Sunday, had a work function Saturday night, and a Cub Meeting Sunday night. I appreciate VERY MUCH, that I'm NOT a single Mum...

Temperatures warmed up, snow began to melt. Saturday I took the kids to the zoo. We got to see the new baby Giraffe. [Talk about cute!] It wasn't very busy, which was a real bonus. I took the kids to Denny's for dinner, a treat for everyone [including me, the chef] Sunday we went to hockey, and spent the day at home. It was a long weekend, but a good one.

Today, Ali had this on her blog. [She has it available as a free download]

I am thankful for you two kids. I am thankful for your willingness to pose for pictures. Of course with this picture, I only had to say, "Let's take your picture with the giraffes". Mad's smile in this picture makes me laugh... She never gives me a closed mouth smile. I didn't notice until we'd got home. Love you two.

Friday, March 11, 2011

11 on the 11th, March 2011

  • Today is Friday. I LOVE Friday's. They are my favourite day of the week. I love knowing that I have 2 days of "not-usual" in front of me. This means I don't have to get kids up early for school. I don't have to pack lunches. I don't have to rush kids out the door. We CAN wear jammies if we want to [believe me, Miss Madelyn puts this to the test EVERY chance she gets] Of course this Friday I'm a bit bummed out, because Barry is on a first aid course this weekend. Ugh...
  • Tonight for dinner, I tried something new. We had Friday Night Fun food. I tried these little gems , and they were met with approval. At first they were skeptical, but once they were brave enough to try them, they realized, it wasn't so bad after all. [I also made a mango salsa, which was yummy, but the onion taste was actually too strong... And I think it's what's given me a belly ache] I like to include pictures on my 11 on the 11th, however the battery on my camera died. So no pics of Pizza Rolls tonight.
  • Today there was a devastating earthquake in Japan. I think we're all in shock as we watch the footage come in. We heard about it this morning on the radio. Mason got somber, and then began to think about what we can do for the people of Japan. It's hard to help when you're a world away. The people in Japan are definitely in our prayers.
  • We had planned to have a family movie night tonight. [This is a big deal for me, because I don't usually care to watch kid movies] But I got cozy on the couch and we put this on:
And it went super until Madelyn went into the UGLY CRY... I'm not kidding. [Towards the end, when Gaston and Beast are fighting, she was SOBBING. Hysterically...] As if she'll ever be ready for anything more than a cartoon.

[On a related note, we tried to watch Elf at Christmas, but the ugly cry started and we finally had to turn it off]

  • Same sobbing girl is begging us for a lizard or she'll even make do with a tarantula... Right. Like that's gonna happen any time soon.
  • I'm totally bummed out, because Maddy and I picked up Kernal's popcorn today for Movie Night, and then we forgot all about it until I snuggled them both into bed! Guess what we'll be snacking on tomorrow...
  • I know everyone is tired of listening to us complain about the weather. And believe me, I'm tired of talking about weather. But Thursday was incredible. Tropical really. I think we got up to 5°. And we woke up to snow flurries this morning, a wind chill and cold temps. We are SO ready for spring; and deserving of it too I think.
  • We're trying to come up with the 'theme' to Madelyn's upcoming birthday. She informed me, that it would be okay with her if we wanted to go with Justin Beaver... Eeks... Not ready for the Bieber Fever! [Especially not from a 5 year old]
  • Madelyn and I went shopping this afternoon [at her request] and even though it doesn't feel like spring, it's certainly wonderful to see the spring color and clothes. Do you s'pose I could get away with capri pants and Uggs? It's a look...
  • I think the thing that scares me the most, is natural disasters. I remember the Indonesia Tsunami of '04, being glued to the TV, watching the images over and over and over again. Now, it's the same with the Japan earthquake and tsunami. The powerful force of mother nature absolutely takes your breath away... It scares me. It makes me realize how vulnerable the human race is. It makes me wonder what's in store.I suppose that's what scares me the most. I'm supposed to trust that this is a part of God's plan, but it's really hard to do that. It just makes me question too much.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

94 Years Young

Today Madelyn and I went over to visit Gigi [she's my Grandma, my Dad's Mum, and the kids Great Grandma, hence Gigi...] Actually, Mason started calling her Gigi, when he was just a little guy, and now 5 little great grand kids later, the name just sorta stuck. We ALL call her that.

Gigi just turned 94. [She's also the same Gigi of the famous Gigi Buns in case you're wondering] Mason also started calling her rolls Gigi Buns, because it was she of course, that made them. That name too, just stuck. She used to make them and send them home for us, and the kids always loved them. Seriously, what's NOT to love about fresh dinner rolls?

So Mad and I went over this afternoon, to celebrate her birthday. Her actual birthday was last week, but getting over for a visit just wasn't in the cards last week. So we picked up some TimBits [Madelyn's idea of course] and headed over. She was thrilled to continue celebrating her birthday, more than a week later. I said "When you're 94, you have to celebrate every chance you get!"

Aside from the fact that she doesn't hear very well, and moves a little slower these days, she does fabulous. She has 5 children, 12 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. She never misses a phone call to myself or my kids on their birthdays. She's sharp as a tack, and remembers everything. It's insane the stuff she remembers. It also makes for some wonderful conversations.

So here is our birthday celebration this afternoon:

I brought candles. Madelyn was so excited about that, she couldn't wait to surprise Gigi.

Mad is completely enamored with the loose 'skin' on Gigi's arms. In fact, most of the little ones are. We always have such a laugh when Miss Maddy jiggles it around. [I'm certainly glad Gigi has a good sense of humor about it]

Us three girls. Doesn't she look great? You'd never know she just turned 94! Pretty good self-timer shot if I do say so myself!

Happy 94th Birthday Gigi!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Small Blogging Break

After a little hiatus, I'm back! A post nearly every day for the month of February, really tuckered me out.

Now we're into March, which definitely came in like a lion, no question. Last week the kids had Friday off school, which seemed fitting, after they'd been off the week before for Teacher's Convention and Family day.... Sheesh... So we did what we often do on Prof days, we booked a hair cut. This little boys hair grows SO quickly, that he should actually have it cut every 4 weeks, but I'm afraid it doesn't get cut every 4 weeks.

Friday we went for a hair cut, and he let the hairdresser put gel in it, which I LOVE, but he hates... Every once and awhile he agrees to gel, it surprises both me and his hair dresser [she asks him every time, because she knows I love it] This time, the gel looked great all day. We then went to the library, and picked up books. [He's reading a new book from the library in the picture above] I then gave them the choice of going to McDonald's for lunch [a break for Mum] or Cheese Biscuits for lunch. They both simultaneously yelled "CHEESE BISCUITS" So we went home, where I made them cheese biscuits for lunch. Here they are:

My Grama, or Wonga as we used to call her, made these for me and my brother. And now I make them for my kids. And EVERY TIME I bite into one, it reminds me of her, because they taste just the same. They're just such a comfort food for me, and now for my kids. We made a double batch, and the kids ate until their stomachs were uncomfortably full. [And believe me, watching Madelyn eat until her stomach is uncomfortably full, is a novelty indeed, it doesn't happen very often]

I also stumbled upon some hair websites, completely by accident. With video tutorials on HOW TO DO different hairstyles. I am SO excited. Saturday morning, Madelyn reluctantly agreed to sit for me, while I did one of the styles. It looked so cute [of course I'll have to practice a bit] she was pleased with the positive feed back she got. Her and Mason were playing in the basement, and I stopped short the next time I saw her... Check out her Before and After...

I am going to keep trying... To make her look lady-like. But she keeps playing rough, and messing up all that hair! Too funny. On another positive note, she asked me to 're-do' her hair before we went out on Saturday night, so she was happy with the before too! I'm so excited to try some different things on her hair!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

February Favourites

1. Mason humoring me. He's tired of always seeing my camera. 2. Gigi buns [my Grandma's recipe for buns, the kids love them, and they taste just like Gigi's] 3. My kids and their stuffies.
4. Wedding rings, LOVE this picture so much. 5. We've been dressing up like a princess a lot lately. It's such fun. 6. Barry fixing the cord on our kettle. We got it as a wedding present, I couldn't just toss it!! [update** the kettle has been repaired, and the way I see it, good for another 12 1/2 years] 7. Another favourite photo of the month. Barry and I. 8. Madelyn's artwork on the wall at school. It's a chalk picture of her and her brother. 9. Skit at Cubs. He totally loves the skits, and on the right hand side of the picture, his sister is taking it all in. 10. Close up of a Christmas decoration my Mum has. LOVE the detail in her veil. 11. Hubsy sweet talking me... 12. We've been bundled up like this for so long now... So tired of the extreme cold temps.