Monday, October 31, 2011

You KNOW you really like him when...

You pop into the grocery store [after a quick coffee with your Mum] heading directly to the milk aisle. As you have your head stuck in the fridge scanning expiry dates [because you have to pick the date furthest away, even though a 4 litre jug of milk may last for 3 days in our house] some guy smiles nicely at you after nearly ramming you with his cart and your first reaction is "He's cute and has a nice smile" and then you realize it's your husband... And it gives you those butterfly feelings in your belly... Well, that's how you know after 4 years of dating, and 13 years of marriage, that you still really like him...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rocked Out

Bar and I went to the Foo Fighter concert last night. We went with no expectations. We went with a friend of Barry's, who spontaneously bought online tickets for us back in August. We happened to be sitting outside on our deck, enjoying a beautiful evening. [perhaps having an adult beverage or two...] Apparently this was Mike's most favourite band in the world... He assured us we wouldn't be disappointed. Barry's always after me to see more live music, so we thought, why not?

We started off our 'night out' with dinner at Lounge Burger. Because of the concert, we could only choose options off their 'event menu' so that was a bit disappointing, but the burger was still de-lish. Here's a terrible picture of us, thanks to Bar's Crackberry. [I call it this, because the moment someone gets a hand held device they can check email on, they become a different person... And believe me, it's not always pretty] But last night I was glad for the picture taking [albeit crummy ones] capabilities. Here we are at Lounge Burger. [Proof that we were at a restaurant other than Denny's or Boston Pizza]

Once we got to the Dome, we were greeted with this sign:
I have to admit,whilst receiving my 'full body pat down' I was a wondering what we'd gotten ourselves into. I mean the video/audio devices and outside food, that's kind of a no-brainer. What alarmed me was the need to post the Non-Permitted items:knives, tasers, mace, weapon-like devices and fireworks... Seriously? You need to post that? Eeks. My comfort level plummeted slightly...

They had two bands open for them. We missed the first one, and the second was, in my opinion, crap. That being said, they got the crowd revved up, so someone must have liked them.

Foo Fighters started at 9 pm sharp. It was loud, bright and exactly what you expect a rock and roll concert to be. They played until 11:45 pm. Nearly 3 hours... Wowser. The Calgary Herald summed it up nicely: Dave Grohl and his band Foo Fighters put on, simply, one of the best, most exhilarating, most entertaining, most memorable straight-up rock shows the Saddledome has seen in recent years.

We got home after midnight, on a school night...

It was indeed entertaining. They put on a good show. Mike was right, we weren't disappointed.

We are ever so thankful to my Mum and Dad who not only ferried kids around to the extracurricular activities they had to be at, but gave them dinner before hand, put them to bed after wards, and stayed up well past their bedtime too. [Not to mention it would have been a $60 dollar babysitter bill]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Slightly Crazed...

I'm gearing up for the end of October in a slightly crazed fashion... This week has been really busy, and as the weekend rolls closer, it doesn't seem to get any less busy.

Tomorrow, Hubsy and I are taking in a concert... I'm not sure how I got roped into it, but I did, and I'm going. We're going to see the Foo Fighters. [It was dangerously close to being Judas Priest] I think we might even try to fit a bite to eat in before hand. How exciting. I'm going to wear my new boots and jeggings... Yup, you read right. Jeggings... [I hope I'm not delusional, I want it to look great] I always warm up to something, when it's beginning to go out of fashion. Any way, it's a big night out for us. We've got grand-parental back-up taking over... My Dad will get Mason to Cubs and Ama will get Miss Madelyn to gymnastics. We're so darn lucky. Thanks Ama & Baba.

Friday, the kids are off at noon. I have to get Mason in for a haircut, I just can't believe how fast his hair grows and how thick it is. Friday evening, we've got the Halloween Hop. A dance for elementary kids is crazy, but the kids have so much fun.

Saturday carries on with a birthday party in the morning for Mason. A luncheon to celebrate October birthday's and meet the newest addition to our family, Miss Isabella. [Can't wait to get my hands on that baby...] Then Saturday night we have a retirement party to attend.

Sunday the boys are selling poppies with cubs [last weekend they did a bottle drive and the weekend before that they were at camp] Then, finally late Sunday afternoon, we're having a little Pumpkin Carving get together... I'm not having a kids halloween party this year, so this is my way of not feeling too guilty about that fact. [Though I do still feel a bit guilty about that fact]

So we head into Monday with pumpkins carved, kids go to school. I am helping out with Pizza lunch at school. After school Mason swims, we'll have to race home, gobble down dinner and the kids will go out trick or treating...

Sometimes weeks at a time, just don't seem to get any slower...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Busy Week

I've been busy this week... I've been to the eye doctor, I've volunteered in the school, I've stuck to this weeks menu plan [which included a roast, a lasagna, pulled pork sandwiches, and beef dip with left over roast beef] I've taken kids to extra curricular activities, and I've baked. I baked mainly because I spent far too much time this week on Pinterest... [I think I might have a problem] Halloween is around the corner, and so I get to see all these fabulous Halloween-type things. And by things, I mostly mean delicious sweet, yummy type things...

I made these:

I found the recipe here, and I'll be completely honest, I haven't tried a cookie yet... But Madelyn who is always eager to be my 'cookie tester' gave me the two thumbs up as she scarfed one down. Both kids have come home from school since Tuesday and gone straight to the cookie jar, so that's encouraging. The cookies are ginormous. The recipe called to use 1/4 cup for each cookie, and mine are not far from that... They are a decadent treat.

Speaking of decadent, next I made these:

Sweet Mother of Pearl... I changed the recipe slightly [because I could] and added Reece's Peanut Butter Bar instead of plain chocolate... Mmmmm.... Found the recipe here. And this one I did try... And my word, it's good. I under estimated the richness of it though, because I made 2 for everyone. Believe it or not, Madelyn didn't even get half way through hers. I soldiered on, and ate one of mine. Barry, like a trooper, ate both of his, but told me later he thought he was going into diabetic shock. [No offense to anyone diabetic, I know it's not a laughing matter]

Here's my little girl, who has been sporting the new t-shirt I bought her last week. While we were in Disneyland, who was it that she become absolutely enamored with? Not Mickey Mouse, not Minnie. Not Chip or Dale... Not Ariel or Cinderella, even though we got to meet them both. She has a special place in her heart for Jack Skellington...

The Jack stuffie is one of the special things that she spent her money on. I have never seen the movie Jack stars in, The Nightmare Before Christmas, so I really have no idea what kind of person Jack is [although I have my suspicion that perhaps he's not very nice] I do know that we were first introduced to him in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, and to be honest, their first meeting wasn't great... She was genuinely scared of him. But she woke up the next morning, told us she realized it was just pretend and from that moment on it was Jack this and Jack that. Jack, Jack, Jack... I even held her off buying 'Jack' until Wednesday night, hoping someone else might tickle her fancy. But no one did.

Here's Jack during the day. It's true, the Haunted Mansion is not nearly as spooky during day time...
Beloved Giraffe has definitely fallen down a notch. Though apparently the two of them have become the best of friends. Jack has been a fixture in her arms ever since he came home from the Disney store. [A fixture in her thoughts as well... here are a few pictures I found last week]

The picture on the right, is what she drew for Ama. Her words were "So Ama can make a blanket for me".

And because it's been kind of fun, this is what the clementines in her lunch looked like this week. And guess what? I'm not saying that the only reason she ate them were because they had his face penned on with sharpie, but that certainly didn't hurt matters.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I hate it when you go through little phases like this... The phase of being utterly un-inspired...

Back in September, on the very first day of school, I rushed home, scrapbooked the first day of school pictures and sent them off to be printed. As of then, I was completely caught up with my scrapbooking. Right now I feel completely un-inspired to scrapbook.

I have over 500 pictures of our trip to Disneyland, and I'm still un-inspired.

We're 2 weeks away from Halloween [my MOST favourite time of the year] and I'm un-inspired. I'm trying to thwart that a bit though... For the sake of the kids. Starting this week I'm adding a few little extras into their lunches. Some jokes, some spooky things, I picked up Halloween hand sanitizers at Bath & Bodyworks. The anticipation of the countdown makes them giddy. On Sunday night Madelyn actually couldn't sleep because she's so excited about Halloween! Yesterday, for their lunch boxes, I made them individual english muffin pizzas, with strips of mozza and olive eyes peering out... Mason ate his, Madelyn ate hers at 4 pm, after school when she realized what it was. I mean why would you open up the your lunch box and check at lunch time? Seeing as how I often send chicken gizzards and fish eggs to school....NOT. Today I sent them each an orange, with a jack 'o lantern face on it. [Or in Madelyn's case, a Jack Skellington face on it] But will they eat them? I highly doubt it... But at least it gets them revved up for Halloween.

I made these on Sunday night:
They turned out super cute, using Pillsbury crescent rolls, but would Madelyn even try it? Nope... So it kind of takes away some of the joy of WANTING to do these types of things for the kids.

I did try something new this year, I have coveted Martha Stewart's black witch curtains, made out of plastic bags for a couple of years now. And as much as I'd love a house with a giant front veranda, that's not what I have at the moment. So here's my take.

With a light on in the garage, it's going to be spook-ta-cular!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thankful Thought No. 6

There are older cousins too, but these 4 get a long like a house on fire.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

11 on the 11th of October, 2011

1. I am sadly watching the leaves fall off the trees and onto the ground. I hate this time of year. Not because it's so beautiful, visually it's lovely, but because I KNOW the next season lurks around the corner. The longest season of all... winter.

2. I have noticed that when the alarm goes off at 7 am, it's now DARK. I know there'll be a week or so that it might seem light-ish, once we switch the clocks back... But along with the leaves falling, and old man winter lurking around the corner, it's yet another sign that the next season is the longest of all for us. Cold and dark, what an unpleasant combination.

3. I have decorated the mantle for Halloween. I didn't put up as many of my decorations this year, but I do think it looks just right. The kids disagree... I think I could dismember a body in the kitchen, and they'd tell me 'still not scary enough'.

4. The crock pot has made it's way back onto the counter again. Our schedule is quite busy we're on the go 4 nights a week; I'd like to utilize the crock pot maybe 2 times a week this year. Last year, when we had Crock Pot Tuesday, Mason told me that because of the crock pot, he now hated Tuesdays. [Of course when it's Peanut Butter Pork night, he suddenly loves the crock pot] I'm going to find some new awesome recipes.

[picture from Stephanie O'Dea - A year of crockpotting]

5. My kids have picked out what they're going to be for Halloween this year. Madelyn is planning on being Little Red Riding Hood. Mason has decided he'd like to be a pirate this year. I'm looking forward to putting his costume together. Madelyn's costume was bought last year, and then she changed her mind at the last minute and was Jessie from Toy Story.

6. We're into the routine of school now, full time days for both kids. I have to tell you, that the days go by so quickly, it seems unfair. I'm shocked actually. I've also discovered something else, in the past when I've been in the school and I've walked by the Lost 'n Found, I've always thought to myself "Seriously? WHO forgets their jacket?" [Enter Madelyn] who on a daily basis forgets to change into her outside shoes, therefore wearing home the indoor shoes. She forgets her jacket, her vest, her hat and mittens, and yesterday came home without her lunch box... Ey-yi-yi... In the 5 years Mason has been going to school, I checked the lost 'n found once, now I go bi-weekly... I was under the impression that girls were supposed to be more responsible.

7. It's barely the middle of October, and we're knee deep in fund-raisers for school, gymnastics and Cubs... It just never ends. So far we've doled money out to the school for scholastic book orders. For gymnastic we've bought frozen cookie dough [I hope it's yummy, we're taking a chance with this one, but how can frozen cookie dough be bad?] We're in the midst of our fresh fruit fund raiser for school and Scout Popcorn is for sale! The scout popcorn is SO worth it. We love it around our place!

8. I have had my first pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin scone from Starbucks. Both did not disappoint. [I've also made my own batch of SB Pumpkin Scones, they didn't disappoint either]

9. If you decide to take just the weekend off of doing laundry, it piles up in an alarming fashion.

10. My sweet hubby signed me up for a photography class, it's in November. I'm super excited. Wasn't that nice of him? I think so.

11. It's the time of year that I see so many decorating ideas, and I begin my wish list. Here's number one on my wish list, a front porch like this:

Sadly, I don't even care what the rest of the house looks like, I'm just smitten with this snippet! Dream on!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Month in Photos - August & September 2011

1. First day of school. 2. Madelyn's name tag and shoes at school. 3. Watching the Cochrane Labour Day Parade 4. Playing in the backyard, oblivious to any one else. 5. My expecting niece and her husband. 6. The kids with Pluto. 7. Madelyn's first ever face paint 8. Family photo at Disney California Adventure 9. Signs I made to get the kids picked to be a part of the Jedi Training Program at Disneyland. [They worked!] 10. Two little kids dead tired at the end of the busy day. [They looked like this most nights] 11. Mason and Barry, on our first Disney ride, It's a Small World. 12. Spooky decor outside the Haunted Mansion.

1. My mantra. 2. Little Miss riding her bike without training wheels. 3. Mason at the end of the day of his Tour de Calgary bike camp. 4. Birthday Boy Baba, and the kids. 5. Bench at Nose Hill. 6. Family Self-Portrait at Johnston's Canyon in Banff. 7. Madelyn getting splashed with ice cold mountain lake water in Kananaskis. 8. What the floor looked like under our seats at our first Viper's Baseball game. 9. Little wind-blown girl. 10. Mason on the slip 'n slide in the backyard. 11. Barry and the kids in the canoe at Kananaskis.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Home from the Happiest Place on Earth

It's true, Disneyland is one of the happiest places on earth. They are really happy there. I was astounded by their attention to detail. Everyone we ran into, no matter what position they held, were polite and kind. I have to tell you one thing, right off the bat, I could NEVER work at Disneyland. I simply could not be that nice, all the time. [Seriously, ask the people I live with, they'll vouch for me for sure]

But for my sake, and my kids sake, I'm really glad that there are that many people, willing to smile and be kind to everyone they encounter. In fact, I'm pretty sure Madelyn came back with a bit of a swelled head. Everyone smiled nicely at her and called her a princess... [Upon our return, that came to an abrupt stop] We had a great time. The weather was great. The park [although busy as an ant hill] was great. The rides were great. We met characters, took lots of pictures, went on lots of rides. We figured out Fast Passes. We were finally able to visualize what it looked like to have 2 parks across from one another. We saw how the Downtown Disney area fit into the equation. We saw the laser show and the fireworks. We watched the parades. We re-went on our favourite rides. All in all, we couldn't have had more fun.

One thing I'd researched and knew about ahead of time was the Disney Photopass. There are dozens of photographers around the park, at any given time, and you can have your picture taken by them. They take your picture, scan a credit card type thing, and return it to you. This allowed me to be in numerous photographs [in fact,these photos will prove that I was on vacation with my family!] This was a no brainer for me, and we have lots of pictures to show for it, so fun. It also took a lot of the pressure off taking pictures all the time, though my camera was never very far from reach.

Disneyland had been transformed for Halloween. It was neat to see. Some of the rides were catered specifically for Halloween [the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain] there were meet and greet with villains [we met 3!] There was the Main Street Pumpkin Festival [over 300 different carved pumpkins] Here are just a few pictures:

Look at that, even I'm in the pictures this trip! And imagine running into Tinkerbell there! How lucky were we?

This was the Jedi Training Academy, we tried this 3 times, until the kids were chosen to participate... The battle against good and evil. Mason got to battle Darth Vader, while Madelyn was up against Darth Maul. Both won't forget this experience for a long time.

Here we are with vacation Mickey. Madelyn's most favourite mascots are Chip 'n Dale. We luckily found them, and got a picture! And then there's Woody... He's much taller than I thought he'd be!

The kids were at the perfect age for this trip. I couldn't imagine them being any younger. We went hard for a whole week. I'm not kidding, we did 12 hour days. We walked and walked and walked. There was no complaining. Little girl had to be carried on Barry's shoulders a couple of times, but both of them did great. We did nearly EVERY ride in both parks. It was awesome. I was suitably impressed by both kids.

Having said that, the next vacay, will be just the Mummy and Daddy... :-)

I'm happy to be home, and I can't wait to put a little scrapbook together of our Disney Adventure.