Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding Fever

I'm having the dreamiest of weekends so far [and it's only Saturday morning!] I'm home in my quiet house, and it's wonderful.

Do you find, that sometimes your kids surprise you by saying the darnedest things? Yesterday I had the kids in the car with me, and I had the following conversation with Mason.

Him: "A few of the kids in school today, got up early to watch the Royal Wedding"

Me: "Oh really" [thinking to myself, does he even KNOW about the Royal Wedding, have we talked at all about the upcoming Royal Wedding, does he know who it is that's getting married?]

Him: "Yeah, we even watched a few clips of it at school today." [My first couple of questions answered] "Kate looked very handsome and Will.... I mean, Kate looked very beautiful and William was very handsome." [Answer confirmed... He does know who's getting married]

Me: "I didn't watch it, but I taped it on the PVR, I'm planning to watch it tonight, when every one's gone"

Him: "Really?"

Me: "Yeah, if you're interested, I won't delete it and you can watch it"

Him: "Mum, I'm very interested..."

So there you have it. I taped and watched over 6 hours of coverage last night [thank you PVR, you have redefined how I watch television] And now I get to watch again on the couch with Mason! [I'm sure he'll tire of it, because it was a little long] But maybe he'll remember it always. Perhaps one day Mason will look back and think "William and Kate got married when I was 8. I remember watching it with my Mum" [After all, Charles and Diana got married when I was 11, and I remember watching it, in our living room, with my Mum and Grama]

The only thing I'm totally bummed out about is this: I didn't have a Royal Wedding Party. And it's me... The party girl. It wasn't something that occurred to me. At all. Can you believe it? My Mum was lucky enough to get to a party, she got picked up by some girlfriends at 12:00 am, and didn't arrive home until 7:00 am. [By the way Mum, you're hat is FAB-U-LOUS] They all made hats! I just wish I'd have thought of it before hand. Such fun could have been had.

That being said, my friends are not exactly night owls... [Yes, I'm talking to YOU] 11:00 pm, to my crew is a LATE NIGHT OUT. [Although at our last girls get together, we stuck it out to 1:00 am. Highly unusual.] I don't suppose any of us would have been that pleasant getting kids up and out the door Friday morning for school. So it's just as well.

Here are a few of my favourite pictures from the Royal Wedding.

I loved how through out the ceremony, and afterwards they shared so many smiles together.

Another one of those smiles... Don't they look happy?

When they emerged onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace, you could see Kate mouth "Wow..." Can you imagine how that must have felt? It would be neat to see a picture of the crowd from their perspective.

I hope this fairytale story lasts forever.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hello Snow...[Said like Hello Newman.... you know, from Seinfeld]

After a very long time away, my Mum & Dad are home from sunny Arizona. They arrived home Monday, a day which around these here parts, was down right tropical. There was a certain happiness in the air [after all, we'd seen the sun for 4 days IN A ROW!] Tuesday was not bad, Wednesday a little overcast, some wind, and we woke up to the grey this morning.

It's not like we couldn't use the moisture.... Teeheehee... Man, I crack myself up. I sent the kids out the door to school this morning, after a very short argument about wearing a hoodie vs. the winter jacket. Winter jacket won, because Mason actually admitted to me yesterday afternoon, he was a bit chilly in just his hoodie... [Hmmmm, you think? With that arctic wind and all?] Don't worry, I know it's only going to get worse. One day my kids will be TEENAGERS... And after all, what do Mum & Dad know? [Sorry Mum & Dad... My Mum and Dad, that is. Sorry I didn't think you knew stuff...]

Back to my story. I did some work around the house, sent some emails, tried to gather volunteers for a field trip, came back to the kitchen for a refill of coffee and saw this...

Gosh, what a lovely tulip. How nice, with the natural light, that you were able to get such a lovely picture. What's that? Wait, you weren't trying to focus on the tulip? Then what ever were you trying to focus on? Oh... Now I see it.

The snow...

Welcome home Mum & Dad! Ordered this up special for you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Texture Tuesday

I thought I'd give this challenge a whirl. My sweetheart brought home flowers last Thursday. After so many grey days, colorful flowers were just what we needed to brighten the day.

Here is the before and after using the Serendipity texture.

Before texture:

After Texture:

You can find out more about Texture Tuesdays here.


Could it Be?

Could this possibly be, dare I say it.... Spring? The poplar tree looks ready to burst open. We should be so lucky. After a horrendous winter, the city came alive this weekend with temperatures on the plus side of 10°. I haven't seen that many people out and about for months. It was wonderful. A whole lot of us are in better moods. Hello Spring! We've been patiently waiting for you!

Easter was very nice. [Of course, the temperatures and the sunshine helped immensely] We got to spend 3 days together, relaxing and hanging out. It was nice. A picture of Madelyn and Daddy on Good Friday at Grandma's house.

Saturday we dyed Easter Eggs. We used a white crayon first, then dipped them into the color. We got some great shapes and designs. Here are a couple, Mason's Happy Easter, and Madelyn's butterfly.

The Easter bunny came on Sunday. We came downstairs, we saw, we....

Got a new Star Wars book and the world came to a screeching halt.

Not chocolate, not gum, not a thing mattered until the book was read from front to back. This year, there were some lake toys, silly straws, clothes, books, gum, gummi candies and new toothbrushes in the kids baskets, no chocolate at all. It was actually kind of refreshing.
[Though we did do an egg hunt, and there was chocolate to be had, no worries there] The kids weren't as bonkers about it as in the past [and by kids I mean Madelyn] She asked us at 10:30 am, well over 2 hours past the egg hunt, "May I have a piece of chocolate?" We said of course. In past years, she's the one I'd vote most likely to barf due to chocolate consumption.

We ended up going for a walk around the block and to the park on Sunday. On our way to the park I was able to capture this picture. [Of course I had my camera with me] Every once and awhile, these two are so affectionate with each other. Don't get me wrong. All is not bliss, I don't want to pretend that there is no fighting. There is fighting, believe me. These two can also go at it like crazy. But when they're being sweet/kind to one another, it definitely pulls at the heart strings and is touching to watch.

Sorry Mum. And yes, I do indeed know how darn lucky I am. You can find the template above here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

Am I a sketcher? Nope. Do I draw? Only stick people thank you very much. Am I a painter? Seriously, I wouldn't know what to do with a palette of paint and canvass in front of me. An Artist? I say no, but then almost reluctantly, I say yes. Because I do 'create' and that's part of being an artist right? So here are my earth day cookies. They were fun to do, and the kids are very impressed with my 'artistic ability'. [I could totally tell, because Mason said, "Mum, those look JUST like earth"] Well, maybe not just like, but at least he knew what I was going for!

Happy Earth day, do something special for the earth today! [Easiest way, go to Starbucks with your own travel mug, and save the paper cup for the next guy in line!!]

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Surprise Day Off

Unbeknownst to me, initially, my kids have today off. I suppose I just kind of scanned April's newsletter home from school, or I would have picked up on that a lot sooner. [Don't worry, I didn't get up and send them to school this morning, they're home and in jammies] But I did have a few things planned to do this morning. A few things that would have been nice to do on my own [wink, wink]. Now, I'll have to plan a quick evening out... All by myself... Too bad... [Not]

Thankfully I found out at noon on Tuesday, that Wednesday would be the last day before Easter break. So I switched into high gear and made these.

Just a little chocolate sum'thin, sum'thin for the teachers. For the first time, I didn't do something for the kids classmates [Mason was disappointed] But there's just too many kids now. He has 29-30 in his class, and now she has 18... 50 treats... Just gets way too timely [not to mention a bit costly] And long gone are the days of class room parties and rice krispie treats. [Well, we did do that for Halloween in Kindergarten, but that was a rarity]

But, the disappointment was momentarily forgotten, with the arrival of yet another package in the mail. Talk about excitement when they find this sitting on the kitchen table.

Full of all sorts of goodies. Funnies as mason and Ama call them [also referred to as comics] stickers, silly bandz, a book, more stickers and this time, some fun face masks. I'm sure the masks were meant for the reverse, for him to have the spider, and her to have the ladybug, but nope. She flat out refused the ladybug. She "loves spiders"... [her words, not mine] And sweet Mason, being as good-natured as he is, just went with it. Thank you sweet boy, for being so kind.

We're eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ama & Baba. Travel safely, we can't wait to see you!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In a Rut

It's been gloomy here.

I'm tired of complaining about our crummy winter. [That's right, still talking about winter] It snowed all weekend long, though at least we didn't get the heavy snow dump they'd predicted. I guess that's a blessing. [I'm saying that kind of tongue-in-cheek]

I still feel like hibernating, and I should be getting out poking around my garden a little bit...

Have I planted any seeds? Not yet, too much snow! I don't know if the prognosis is too good for any little seedlings for 2011...

On a happier note, I've signed up for this free class through Big Picture Classes... It's free. I'm up for something creative. I'm also up for something springy.

Big Picture Classes

I bought two sweaters and two blouses today. And no, they are NOT black or grey. They are colorful. They scream spring... I'm waiting so patiently, because I want to scream spring myself!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Right Again...

We kind of have a standing joke about our weather forecasts. In the past, they haven't been quite as accurate as they seem to have been this winter in particular.

In the past we get a snow fall warning, and we all chuckle and wake up to a skiff of snow. On occasion, we get no warning, and wake up to a big dump of snow, and the forecasters are busy saying "Don't know where that came from!"

I don't know if the technology is just that much better or what. This winter [and yes, I'm still considering today winter] it seems like every snow storm prediction has come true. And then some.

We got such a warning yesterday [I even shared it on my blog] went to bed last night, around 11:30, looked out the window on my way upstairs and thought to myself, "Yeah, right..." Because it really wasn't doing much. I woke up this morning, looked out the window, and to my surprise, it did snow. A lot. We got between 8-12 inches just around our house... It's always so impressive to see that much snow [keep in mind, that yesterday there was only a few spots here and there of snowy patches] Now we're back into the winter wonderland. Again. I played with the idea of decorating for Christmas. But too much work, just for a little joke. Though I suppose I could have made some Christmas cookies. I can do that next time... Because, we all know there will be a next time. It's just a matter of when.

Here is our winter wonderland.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pat on the Back

It's been over a week since I made dessert. [That's where the pat on the back comes in] During the past few days, I came across an awesome brownie recipe somewhere in blogland. Today I went to make it and do you think I could find the recipe? Not a chance. So I improvised. I could remember the visual, and I went ahead and re-created it. Brownie, marshmallows and Easter coloured M&M's. Easy-peasy.

It was good. Tasted like a little bit of heaven all right. Thick dark chocolate, chewy marshmallow and the token chocolate treat. Mmmmmm...

And as I settle down for the night, we're watching the weather roll in. This is what we're in store for: [check out the info between the arrows]


I mean, it's been at least a week since our last big dump of snow. No wait, 11 days actually. I guess we're about due.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll get started on my spring cleaning...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thankful Thought No. 3

The color isn't great. The white is almost too light to see. Black blended into the table. The journaling reads: I am honestly so thankful that I only have to fight with one of you about eating breakfast. Apr11/11

Monday, April 11, 2011

11 on the 11th April, 2011

1. We are very fortunate, because we have people around us, family actually, that love our kids. And we are also very fortunate to be in the same city as said family members. And we love that they love our kids as much as we do... Now having said that, when my children go for a sleep over, they stay up WAY TOO LATE, eat WAY TOO MUCH JUNK, and wake up the next morning WAY TO EARLY. And then they come home... And we're seriously trying to decide whether it's worth it to have a night off, to have the next day be an absolute NIGHTMARE... [And no, we're not exaggerating...] Check out this face that only a mother can love...

2. We woke up this morning to a glorious blue sky. There was not a breath of wind, the birds were chirping, I sat and had my morning coffee [after the kids left for school of course] in the sun. Unfortunately, it never lasts. Now the skies are grey, there's a kind of snow/hail/rain mixture falling. **Update** the clouds did end up clearing up again, but the wind didn't stop.

3. I am getting much better at not feeling so intimidated by the teachers at the kids school. [This has taken me 4 years]

4. In the past 12 days, I've watched 3 different friends anticipate the arrival of an 'all-inclusive' vacation. I'm very much wanting to get away. This winter has been killer.

5. YouTube is awesome. You can figure out just about anything these days. I've taken up crocheting recently, and it's actually been successful. That's because rather than read the instructions, I can watch the instructions. [over and over and over, if I have to]

6. Speaking of YouTube, check out this video here. It's a 'flash-mob' in Toronto's Eaton Centre. See if you can watch it without tears streaming down your cheeks. [It was organized by a gal who'd lost a close friend to cancer at age 31, it was a tribute to her]

7. My Mum & Dad are itching to head back to home... They've been without their grand kids [and kids] for long enough. The kids were thrilled to Skype the first few times, and now they can't be bothered to stop what they're doing and come to the computer. What this means for Barry especially, is all the good old fashioned home-style cooking will come to a screeching halt [as I try to make it home from Winner's in time to pick up the boy from the bus!]

8. I have decided that this year is going to be about me. You read right. Me. I've been a full-time SAHM for 6 years. And in the past 6 years, it's been all about everyone else. I know it sounds kind of petty... [Or hopefully it doesn't?] Any way, you should have seen the look on every one's face a couple of weeks ago when we had Broccoli soup for dinner [rather than tomato soup, the usual that everyone else always wants] Broccoli soup was what I wanted for a change... [I'm not saying there won't be a coup]

9. I had planned to do a 4x11 segment this year... A family picture of the 4 of us, each month. Well, I called it 4x11 because I forgot about it in January. I did it in February, and forgot again in march. So much for the idea this year.

10. I tend to have so many more pictures of Miss Maddy. That is because she's home with me so much. I wonder what next year is going to bring, while they're both at school all day [aside from pure joy] P.S. I could never home school.

11. Sad little buddy... We've all had an off couple of days. Hoping all our moods get better, perhaps with more spring-like weather!

I know I've spent many a blogs, complaining concerned about Madelyn. Well, we've had a good run. It's been like 6 weeks of good. And yesterday evil reared it's ugly head again. Fitting that I was at the library on Saturday and picked up this book. [it had been on hold for quite some time] I remember thinking to myself, maybe I don't need this book... Today, I'm glad I picked it up.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Crazy Busy Week

Every now and then, I have a week that is ridiculously busy. This happens to be one of those weeks. Each day this week, my calendar has been packed full, and my feet haven't quit moving. I was looking forward to having a slow day tomorrow, but then got asked to help out at school. I know these days of helping out won't last forever, so I kind of take them when I can. Also, after a grueling 4 1/2 days back to school, Mason gets off at noon tomorrow. Phew.

Lots has happened over the past few days. We had our computer fixed, and it's working slick, though there are a few things missing. I have to download all my fonts again, which is a bummer, but at least they were backed up this time! [Last time I lost all those] A few things have been moved around and don't look 'usual' to me. I'm sure I'll get it all figured out again over time. I'm grateful for extra memory, a new and improved back up internal hard drive, and my re-vamped external hard drive. I'm also grateful for computer guys, who though their cost is high, know exactly how to speak computer. I am qualified to re-boot a computer with the power switch, and that's about it.

In the package we received from Ama last week, was this comic [she sends comics to the kids, who absolutely love to get them]

Sunday morning, after our ginormous dump of snow, I saw this little guy out our kitchen window. Too funny huh?

Year after year they come back way too soon. Why don't they learn?

Sunday evening, I tried a new recipe. It was called Sausage Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes. I got the recipe here. And they were as good as they looked.

Both my brother and Barry ooh-ed and ahh-ed over them. So they were indeed a hit. But let me tell you one thing, they were tedious. I mean after all, Martha I am not. Would I make them again? Initially I said no, but once everyone raved so much about them, it changed my perspective slightly. Next time I would either bake the potatoes the day before [you can even do this in the crock pot, it's super easy] Then work with the cold potatoes and reheat them. Or I'd make a mashed potato casserole, just make mashed potatoes the regular way, then doctor them up, put into a casserole dish and pop them in the oven. One change I'd make to the recipe,I would add the Herb and Garlic Cream Cheese to the mashing process. It would make them that much creamier. I didn't do this on Sunday, because Chris was watching me. I think he'd have headed for the hills if he saw me add cream cheese into his beloved 'mashies'. He'd probably say, "Some things are meant to be the way they are, end of story"

Then for dessert, we had these, but wait it gets better:

A little surprise of peanut butter goodness hidden inside. Everyone else is hiding things inside baked goods. I decided to get in on it too! Yummy Reece's Peanut Butter Cups.

Again, these were very well received. I have a confession... I seem to have lost all will-power when it comes to sweets again... I can tell you exactly when it happened. Go back and read this post. It's so easy to get back into old habits again.

The doorbell rang on Monday morning. It was kind of a simultaneous doorbell ring and banging on the door. And I said to myself, that can only mean one thing...

Canada Post had a special delivery for moi... A very special delivery indeed... My new camera bag came home. It's as lovely in real life, as it is on the website. I'll post a picture once I get it all filled up! Happy Birthday to me...

And with all that snow, comes the mega melt. I took my camera with me to pick Mason up from the bus a couple of days ago, and water was running down the street like crazy. Some days the sun shines and water streams and you can feel the warmth of the sun. Then today, it's cold and the air feels like snow yet again. We're waiting so patiently for spring.