Friday, November 27, 2009

For Today - November 27, 2009

Outside my window...are the Christmas lights my husband put up last weekend. I thought it was a bit too early, but I've adjusted!

I am thinking...about the projects I want to contribute to the Inspired Scrapper.

I am thankful...that November is almost over and yet I've experienced NONE of my usual late fall/early winter dark, grey, rainy day blues!

From the kitchen...nothing right now, but it IS time to start my annual Christmas cookie bakefest!

I am typical at-home uniform - some type of sloppy old-school, non-trendy sweats (what would be called 'yoga pants' if they were new and I'd paid a lot of money for them!) and a hand-me-down fleece pullover from my father-in-law. There is no pretense of glamour here!

I am reading...assorted magazines passed on to me from my mom.

I am have an incredible surge of energy, starting when I rise tomorrow morning and lasting me through the weekend! Or, actually, forever would be preferable...

I am go to bed soon. Okay...soon-ish. Okay - hopefully before I sabotage my hopes of having the above-mentioned surge of energy by staying up until a stupid time for no good reason.

I am creating...order in my scrap space. Hopefully.

I am hearing...the damn Food Network! My husband loves this channel...and yet, as I look over at him I realize he is sleeping. What are the chances of me being able to turn the TV off without him waking up because of it?? Yep. Just what I thought. He's back, and so the TV natters on...

Around the house....small hints of Christmas, piles of laundry, a lot of assorted kid stuff. Seriously need to purge.

One of my favorite wine. Like the kind that I am sipping right now.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Soccer, hockey, various household-related conquests, and the actual completion of some creative projects!

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing with you...
This is a picture I came across tonight as I was looking through my photo files. What struck me about this photo is Cody's sweet, babyish hand...still kind of pudgy, short little cute, so sweet...he's almost past the age where any baby remains,so this picture is pulling at my momma heartstrings right now!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Still pinching myself...

I'm still surprised to be able to say this...I have been chosen to join a truly amazing group of women as part of the design team for The Inspired Scrapper. I'm beyond excited about this opportunity! These women are some of Canada's most creative talents - to be honest, I'm half convinced that I'm experiencing 'imposter syndrome' - I can't possibly belong among these people that I am now rubbing elbows with! Talk about motivation to 'step up my game'! Thank you, Sonja, for this wonderful invitation! I am so looking forward to getting to know the team better, and I can't wait to get started on my contributions!

Monday, November 23, 2009

And The Award Goes To...

Me! :) It was such a treat to open up my email this morning and find that my friend Kerry at Kerry'd Away Designs has named me for this Kreative Blogger award. So sweet! Thanks, Kerry! Once the award is accepted, the nominee has to do the following:

•Thank the sender for nominating you.

•make sure you link to the person who nominated you.

•Copy the logo onto your blog

•List seven interesting things about yourself.

•Nominate Seven Kreative Bloggers

•Post links to their Blog

•Leave a comment for each letting them know of their nomination.

So, here's the part where I list seven interesting things about me...('interesting' might be a bit of a stretch, goes!)

1. I write with my left hand, but my right hand is otherwise dominant.
2. I taught myself how to read when I was 3.
3. A photograph of me was part of an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery way back in the late 70's.
4. I got my first migraine headache when I was ten years old while on a bus with my class on our way to the Museum of Anthropology at UBC for a fieldtrip. I panicked because I thought I was going blind.
5. I started driving when I was 14 years old, thanks to an older boyfriend. I drove the streets of Vancouver for three years before I got my license at 17 (I think this tidbit qualifies as more of a 'secret' thing about me as opposed to an 'interesting' thing - so don't tell anybody!!)
6. I've never, ever tried smoking - cigarettes, or anything else, and I've never, ever done any other kind of illegal narcotic or street drug, etc.
7. I have a fear of heights and a fear of flying. I hope to conquer both!

Whew! That was tough - I wasn't sure for awhile if I'd make it to seven!

Now, it is my turn to nominate seven fellow bloggers.

1. Stacey at Pretty Crafty
2. The amazing Debby!
3. Erica at A Pod of Perkins
4. Eleonor's Stamping Blog
5. Tanya!
6. Joanne :)
7. Carla

Go check out these talented and inspiring blogs! Thanks again, Kerry - this was fun!

Friday, November 13, 2009

OWH Veterans Day Blog Hop...

Hello - and welcome to my blog! Maybe you found your way here from the Operation Write Home's Veterans Day Bloghop. If so - I'm glad to be one of the stops along the way! If you found your way to my blog through some other means, today I am participating in a blog hop, which, as mentioned, is hosted by Operation Write Home, through their Homefront Blog. Check them out!! OWH is an amazing, inspiring, grassroots organization that collects and ships handmade cards to men and women in the armed forces deployed overseas. The OWH mission statement is as follows:

To support our nation's armed forces by sending blank greeting cards to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to encourage them.

As soon as I heard about this group, I knew I wanted to be part of it! It feels good to know that, even in the smallest of ways, I can do something, from way over here in my little corner of the world, to give something in return for the dedication and sacrifice that our heroic servicemen and women provide us. OWH has a Hero Blog that shares letters from these heroes and their families, expressing their appreciation and gratitude for the cards that they receive. It's so rewarding to read these communications from the people our cards reach. It's what fuels my motivation to keep gathering cards together and sending them off, and it gives me an airtight reason to ensure that I make time for my creative indulgences - a definite bonus! I'm in the midst of making as many Valentines Day cards as I can in time for the January 8 mailing deadline. January sounds like a long way off, but the way time goes hurtling along, I know I'll be down to the wire on these! I'm also going to write as many AnyHero cards and letters as I can. Don't know what an AnyHero card/letter is? Click on any of the links above to find out!

I hope to edit this post at some point today with some images of some of my cards, but in the meantime, I'll share this picture of my Grandpa, who was a veteran of WWII.

Now, I'll send you along to the next stop on our bloghop - without further adieu, go visit participant #70 - Chris, at There's No Place Like Gnome. Don't forget to leave a comment! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For Today...

"The beauty of the everyday moments". I've been interested in what The Simple Woman has been doing on her blog for awhile now, and I've been seeing her idea adopted on a number of blogs that I visit so I'm going to start doing it here. Seems like a nice way to pause at any point during the day, take notice of the moment, and reflect on it. I'm already certain that I will enjoy looking back on these entries.


Outside my window. . . It's dark. It's late when I write this, but I can see what is outside clearly with my mind's eye - it's a view I have enjoyed for the last several years.

I am thankful . . . To be living in a country that has good medical amenities and accessibility.

I am thinking . . . .That I hope I am feeling a lot better tomorrow because I've got a lot to do around here!

I am celebrating . . . The amount of sunshine that we've been receiving in this little corner of the world!

From the kitchen . . . Homemade chicken soup, the way my Grandma used to make it!

I am wearing . . .Cozy fleece pants and a ratty old t-shirt. Hate to admit it, but it's what I usually slop around in while at home!

I am reading . . . A lot of blogs, and 'Breaking Dawn' by Stephanie Meyer.

I am hoping . . . That Casey is much better tomorrow, and that little Cody stays well.

I am hearing . . . The TV on in the living room. The TV is on way too much. Something to work on.

I am creating . . . All kinds of wonderful my mind! Need to start getting these ideas from imagination to realization!

Around the house. . .Lots and lots and lots of work to do!

One of my favourite things . . . Quiet time in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . .Rest. Recuperate. Get a date booked with a carpet cleaner.

A picture to share...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Halloween Retrospective...

So Halloween has come and gone, and oh my goodness, it's November! November 1st, and the clocks have turned back. We've already taken all our Halloween decorations down...Halloween is not one of those holidays that can linger. It's been fun looking through the photos I took yesterday though - a few things struck me...

1. Where is Chanel? My daughter is not in any of the photos because she wasn't there. She had made plans with her friends. She's fourteen so it's understandable, but the idea of letting my daughter go off with friends on Halloween was somewhat nervewracking. It's dark, it's cold, there are ghouls and ghosts and goblins about with firecrackers and no curfews! The reality is, she had a fun (and uneventful!) time trick-or-treating with friends, then went to a friend's house for movies and a sleepover. A nice night, and perfectly suitable, for a teenager. It was a bit strange for me to not have her involved in our family activities. I missed her. But, it's one of those inevitable changes that all parents go through. For all the stages that get left behind, new ones come to replace them. Besides, that's what photographs and scrapbooking is for - I've got lots of great memories to look back at!

2. Casey decided to be a zombie this year. I had to wonder - what the heck does my six year old even know about zombies?! I asked Casey what he thought zombies were and he said they were dead people who were still walking around. I asked him where he heard about zombies. Of course, like so many things, he says he heard about it from a friend. An older boy. A seven year old! Ah, those playground lessons. A child's version of the information highway. We've all been a part of these sharings of wisdom at one stage or another. I have to admit, one of the first thoughts I had about Casey being a zombie was, "Inexpensive/easy costume! Yes!!". He could wear his dobok and be a Tae Kwon Do zombie. He was very excited about this. He was even more excited when the makeup kit we bought included a tube of fake blood. I was less excited about this! The kids wore their costumes to school on Thursday and I painted his face, but I told him that we would have to stop short of wearing the fake blood at school. He couldn't wait until Halloween - it was all about the fake blood! I'm not prudish, but the whole idea made me cringe a bit. Fake blood?! My sweet angel baby Casey was over the moon about fake blood?! It was very hard for me to paint a zombie face onto my little boy, but I got through it and seeing Casey so excited and proud about his costume made me feel pretty good. It's another one of those little milestones in childhood - the changeover from cute, cuddly costumes to grotesque, gory, and macabe ones!

3. Cody, my cute little crocodile. When asked what he wanted to be for Halloween, he told me he wanted to be a crocodile. Well, what do you know?! I just happened to have a crocodile costume in our dress-up box from a Halloween a few years ago when Casey was a crocodile. Again, I breathed a little sigh of relief, thinking about our family's piggy bank. Another thrifty, economically sound option. Then, I had a little case of the guilts. Cody is the child that gets all the hand-me-downs. Clothes, books, toys, costumes...Maybe he should have his own, unique, never before worn or photographed costume. I realized, though, seeing his excitement at getting dressed up for his little daycare Halloween party, and again in the afternoon on Halloween - making his crocodile roars and getting excited about scaring people - this is the kind of stuff that matters. He's two and a half years old! He's not putting the same values or judgements on all kinds of 'other stuff' - he's just excited and having fun! So, I shrugged off all my silly worries and just enjoyed watching him enjoy himself!

It was a fun day overall. We got together with some extended family, had a delicious and creative dinner of 'witches brew' (stew) and 'bat wings' (chicken wings) cooked up by my super helpful and super talented mother-in-law, and the kids got their treat bags stuffed! Now, here is what is, for me, one of those classic parenting dilemnas*. Trick-or-treating is certainly about the fun of choosing a costume, getting dressed up, and having fun running about the neighbourhood at night, getting excited about seeing all the other little ghosts and goblins (or cool looking Star Wars characters!), pumpkins all lit up, and homes and yards being creatively decorated. Trick-or-treating is also very much about getting all that candy! When trick-or-treating wraps up, my kids do the same thing that my brother and sister and I used to do when we were kids - come home, dump their bags out on the floor, and sort through the astounding variety of candy and chocolates that they collected.

*Dilemna - Management of the candy. The sheer volume makes me cringe. Words like 'juvenile diabetes', 'tooth decay', and 'childhood obesity' float around in my brain...We've got a pretty manageable system, I suppose - the kids can choose one piece a day. Well, at least, the two youngest kids. The oldest kid, the teenager, well - she is at the age where she keeps her haul in her room and it's up to her what she does with it. The truth of it is, she tends to binge for a good two or three days, works her way down to the inevitable motley mix of less desirable specimens, and then trashes them. Although my brain twitches a bit thinking about what she's just put her young, growing body systems through for the last 48 hours or so, it's over and done with in a pretty short amount of time. The younger kids are pretty agreeable and cooperative about the doling it out one piece per day over a month or so...when - oh my goodness, can you believe it?! They've eaten it all! It's gone! (wink wink nudge nudge). The classic parental disappearing act. Please tell me I'm not the only mom who utilizes this technique!

My favorite quote of the night: Cody and Casey are sitting on the floor at their grandparents' house prior to heading out to canvas the neighbourhood, just after I've finished painting Casey's face. Cody leans up against his big brother and says, "You're my best Zombie buddy!". So cute! Love the special bond those boys share.

Weatherwise, Halloween was a gem! Not a hint of precipitation. A sunny, blue-skied day settling into a crisp, clear, starry night. Not to mention the full moon! If I'd been magically bestowed with the power to script a perfect setting for Halloween night, I wouldn't have changed a thing!

Now, perhaps a few quiet, calm weeks to just relax before the inevitably frenetic rush towards the next big holiday? One can wish!


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