Monday, September 27, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 11

Joining in again, thankfully, at ://

171. Energy. Not always having it, but always getting it back - if only for a short time!!

172. Lucking into the best neighbourhood in the hemisphere!!

173. My two youngest staying over at their Grandparents house - I so need a break!!

174. Community.

175. Being able to coach my son's soccer team again.

176. Only five more sleeps until a girl's weekend away!!

177. The love and affection my little boys give me!

178. Red wine.

179. The opportunity to catch up on sleep.

180. Balance.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 10

161. Wonderful neighbours and friends helping out by taking Cody out for a fun day while I'm home sick. I can't thank them enough!!

162. All the photos I've taken of my kids over the years...such treasures.

163. Being surrounded by people who have a zest for life, happy, positive attitudes, and who see things from the 'glass half full' perspective.

164. The perfect summer break...the kind you don't want to end!

165. Reconnecting with old friends and finding them happy and healthy...

166. Laughter as medicine

167. Sesame Street - just as good - in fact, better - after all these years!

168. My husband indulging my need for 'me' time by taking the kids out for a good chunk of the day and then taking care of them right up until bedtime, leaving me do 'do my thing'!

169. Music, music, and more music.

170. A really good stretch.

holy experience

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Casey says...

I was looking for something to write with in my bedroom this morning. I didn't find a pen or a pencil, but I did find a note I scribbled almost four years ago. It was dated August 17, 2006, and it was about a sweet moment with Casey when he had just turned three. The note reads, "Casey was sitting in his pj's at the table eating breakfast. All of a sudden he stood up on his chair and said, "I have to go pee!", so I said, "Okay!", lifted him down, took off his nighttime pull-up and followed him to the bathroom. That's when he said in his sweet, gentle way - "You're a helpful little mommy!"

Finding a note like this is like coming across treasure - Casey's words from when he had just turned three. He was younger then than Cody is now. In fact, I was newly pregnant with Cody. Such sweet memories!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

For Today - Saturday, July 17, 2010

Outside my yard, my garden - a perfect balance of kid-friendly and mom-friendly!

I am thinking...about what paint colours I need to pick up when I'm in Vancouver today. Is there a teacher's supply store out this way? I'll have to look into it.

I am thankful...for my husband, my hero - working hard to give me yet another special day for my birthday.

From the kitchen...Steve's BBQ menu - ribs, chicken wings, smokies, veggies and dip, chips and salsa, potato salad...the list goes on!

I am pajamas. It's been a loungy morning, but I've got to get cracking...

I am reading...stacks of magazines from the library - Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, House and Home, Canadian Gardening, Ladies Home Journal, etc.

I am hoping...for a cancellation to come up at with the Neurologist - I don't want to wait until October to start figuring out what the heck is going on with this chronic numbness and tingling in my arms!

I am finish this post, hit the shower, and head out to pick up some dirt, some mulch, some paint, and my mother!

I am creating...not much these days, and I am missing it.

I am hearing...Saturday morning in the summer sounds...neighbours talking outside, the back gate opening and closing, little boys at play.

Around the house...I've pulled a few areas together a pleasing way, but it's a work in progress. Thankfully, I feel satisfaction in the process instead of frustration. Slowly but surely...

One of my favorite own, homemade, better-than-Starbucks iced coffee.

A few plans for the rest of the week...a (hopefully) perfect combination of home time and park/beach time.

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing with you:
TWO pictures today - a couple of favorites from the week...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 9

151. Getting outside

152. Walking

153. Riding my bike with my kids

154. Coming across fun new arts and crafts ideas

155. A new composter

156. My rain barrel

157. Playing Scrabble with my husband out on our patio at night

158. An unplanned and very fun transit trip to S.F.U. with Casey and Cody

159. A husband who is easygoing and accommodating

160. A fun kids party for Casey

holy experience

Friday, June 25, 2010

{this moment}, Take 2...

Joining in..."{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 8

It has been quite awhile since I joined in on Multitude Mondays. I had been posting 20 things that I was grateful for every Monday, but then between one thing and another, I got away from it. It is interesting for me to note that, the less time I spent thinking about and acknowledging the little, everyday things I am thankful for, the harder it has been to think of them and even come up with 20 after all this time! I'm 'out of the habit', so to speak, and I think that this is a perfect example of why it is important to be mindful of the little things every day, because if you are not, you notice them less. And by 'you', I mean me! What do you think?

Today, I am listing ten things that I am thankful for. I hope to be able to get back to my weekly twenty (on my way to one thousand) by next Monday.

141. A night out with two good friends whom I've known since childhood

142. Wet, sloppy, unsolicited kisses from my sweet little boys

143. Being able to sit back and watch my little 3 y.o.'s imagination at play

144. A yard/garden that always has sunny spots

145. A great new neighbourhood where my kids have already made a ton of friends

146. An abundance of windows

147. Hosting family at OUR house for a change!

148. The first day of summer!

149. Getting perspective on my life by hearing about the lives of others

150. Feeling my body respond more easily now to walking 10 km.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Casey's snake...

Joining in..."{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Should Be Reading...

"I found your telephone number on an ID tag, buried with a dog. I was curious about the circumstances.", from U is for Undertow, by Sue Grafton.

"Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!"

Friday, June 11, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday - Round 6

1. Today at the Inspired Scrapper, two new designers have been announced and a great new Etsy inspired challenge is posted. If you are into scrapbooking/paper crafting, go have a look!

2. As a general rule/challenge to myself, I try to see the positive side of things. For example, when it's raining, raining, raining, and people are lamenting, complaining, boo-hooing, I have been known to say things like, "Think of how happy the trees are right now!", ,or - "Well, it's good to know my rain catcher is keeping full!". However, I am now officially done with the rain. It's June. Time for sun. Time for summer. Yes, I know it's not actually summer on the calendar, but frankly - I don't care. June rolls around, I expect sunshine - at least 90% of the time. I don't want to jinx myself into a drought situation (NOT that I'm superstitious or anything!) but...enough is enough. Please and thank you.

3. Casey has now been in his new school for three full weeks. He has been exhibiting all the signs of a little boy who has made the transition flawlessly - he comes bounding out of school at the end of each day with his big smile on, racing to the playground to play with new friends. He loves his new teacher, says she is really nice (and I wholeheartedly agree!), he's gotten his first 'new school' birthday party invitation, I hear kids calling, "Hi Casey!" and "Bye Casey!" whenever I pick him up and drop him all makes this Mommy's heart very happy. I never really doubted that he would transition well, but it is great to see such obvious signs. I spoke to his teacher after school today just to check in and hear from her how he is doing, and she said that you would think that Casey had been here from the very beginning of the school year the way he has assimilated into the classroom. This is pleasing to no end!

4. We've only been in our new house for three week. I can't believe it - it feels like we've been here for so much longer...this house feels so much like our home, I really never give thought to our old place at all. There are people in our old neighbourhood that I would like to keep in touch with (though not as many as you'd think after so many years there!), but I don't miss Champlain Heights or Vancouver at all! I really thought I would have a bit of a pang in my heart about it, but...nada! Our new neighbourhood really does feel like 'coming home'. One of our neighbours said, "We have an unusually close neighbourhood, and you fit right in!" - and I can feel that, and I'm loving it!

5. I am also loving my yard, my garden. It's so rewarding, so enjoyable. Between walking Casey to school and back every day (which, until the pedestrian overpass is completed, is 2.6 km. ONE way, meaning I am walking that distance 2 to 4 times a day, 5 days a week!)and doing some pretty heavy duty yard and garden work (hauling rocks and bricks, moving plants in and out, etc.) - I am ingesting a fair amount of Ibuprofen! BUT - I'm not complaining. It's a very gratifying kind of achey feeling at the end of the day! I'm really looking forward to seeing how the yard and garden change and evolve throughout the seasons and from year to year. Note to self - start a garden journal, complete with photos!!

6. I really want to get a composter. I have never had one before, but just thinking about composting gets me all silly with excitement! (Yes, this is the type of thing that excites me! Who would have thought?!) Google 'composting' and you will find that there is no end of titillating information about it at your fingertips! Why does it excite me so? I have been trying to find ways of articulating it, but I can't. I think there is just some primal satisfaction for me in it. I found a composting unit at Home Depot for forty bucks. Not a bad deal at all! I have a feeling that somebody in my life might be planning on buying me a composter for my birthday (does this not sound 'birthday present' worthy to you? To me, it is equal to a gift of jewellry. I am a such simple soul...) My dilemma is - do I wait for another month and find out if indeed my birthday hunch is right, or - do I go ahead and get myself one NOW because waiting is very difficult for me and I've wanted one for so long already...I suspect I will end up making a run back to Home Depot within a week's time! That's ok, though, because there are plenty of other gift ideas that can be provided to anybody who is thinking about my, a fancy hose reel, or a skookum nozzle for the hose, or an electric hedge trimmer, ...Can you pick up on a theme here? Anything yard or garden related, and I am one happy girl!

7. World Cup 2010 has kicked off in South Africa. I have to admit, with having had the TV tuned into the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics on an almost full-time basis for the entire length of the Games, and with the Canucks taking to the golfing greens so early (again!) this year, it's great to have such a huge and global sporting event to get excited about! I've always been a solid soccer fan, but mostly as a player(and most recently as a coach), at a local, grassroots level. I have never followed the international scene all that closely, but it is not hard at all to get swept up in the World Cup fever, especially in the Metro Vancouver area where we have such a diverse population of people. I can only imagine the scene on Commercial Drive right now! Having played soccer for several years, watching players compete at the very highest level is quite exhilarating and gets my nerve fibers twitching! Because I have a very basic familiarity and 'feel' for their movements, to see the amazing athleticism, prowess, and grace that these athletes exhibit is stunning and gives me such a breathtaking respect for their abilities...the level of performance that athletes can command their bodies to is absolutely awe inspiring! The World Cup is scheduled to conclude on July 11th...just one more sweet reason for loving summer this year!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

For Today - Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Outside my window...sunshine! A rarity recently. Blue sky with fluffy white clouds. A happy scene!

I am thinking...that I *should* eliminate the word 'should' from my vocabulary.

I am thankful...that the weekend has arrived.

From the kitchen...nuthin'! Since moving, I haven't quite picked up the pace. I'd *like* to make some chocolate chip banana muffins, but won't guarantee I get to it today!

I am wearing...Black capris. Black tshirt. Black fleece pullover. So predictable!

I am reading...'Ruby and Iris', by Rosie Thomas

I am get caught up on my R&R this weekend!

I am Ikea for three more dining room chairs.

I am creating...not much lately. Need a mojo boost!

I am hearing...birds chirping, dogs barking, lawnmowers whirring, cars passing...

Around the house...unpacked boxes. Still.

One of my favorite things...going to the library, and now that we've moved, I've got new library branches to explore!! Whee!!

A few plans for the rest of the week...I really don't want to think that far ahead at this point!

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing with you:
Cody with his new little neighbourhood buddy. Not only is she close to Cody's age, but she is as cute as a little button!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


It has been a loooong time since I've been able to say this, thankfully - but now...I think I've got a touch of the insomnia!! It's been creeping up on me for maybe two weeks - one night here, one night approximately 3 a.m. I wake up. And - I'm awake. Tired, but awake. And I can't get back to sleep. So, after lying in bed for awhile, trying to get back to sleep without thinking too hard about it, I get up because I know that I am not going to be successful this way - i.e. the whole 'trying not to think about going to sleep or about not going to sleep while being unable to sleep' thing. Ugh. So, I get up and come downstairs, and inevitably - end up on the computer. Funny thing about my insomnia (well, NOT funny, but you know what I mean...) is that I'm tired, but I can't sleep, but I'm too tired to do anything useful or productive, so although I'm no longer lying in bed, unable to sleep and frustrated, I'm lying on the couch, unable to sleep and frustrated. And, I already know that in the morning, and throughout the day, I will be tired and wanting to nap, and if given the opportunity, would be able to nap. So why can't I just 'nap' right now?! Argh!

This current bout of insomnia comes during an exciting/stressful/overwhelming/ time in our household, which may or may not be a factor in my sleeplessness. We have purchased our first home and have been packing/purging/preparing like maniacs for the big move, which officially happened this past Saturday. Another factor in my insomnia, which is also related to our big move, is that my handy dandy reading light that clips to my book and provides wonderful light for reading but doesn't disturb anybody else in a dark room in the middle of the night (i.e. my husband) has gone missing! While not in use, my clip-on light is clipped to the cord on my bedside lamp. What I should have done in preparation for moving is taken my clip-on light and stuck it in my purse for safekeeping/convenience. What I did do is wrap some packing tape around the lamp stand/cord/clip-on light so that it would all stay together and tidy for the movers. Problem is, when my bedside lamp arrived in our new house, my clip-on light did not! Ack! I don't know what happened to it, but it does not seem to have made the move after all. So now, one of my most sure-fire methods of getting myself back to sleep after having woken up in the middle of the night - reading - is no longer a convenient, easy, non-disturbing-to-husband, etc. option. what?! I think I'll try giving the old-fashioned and traditional method of falling asleep (you know the one - lying down and closing eyes?) another try. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 21, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday - Round 5

Another '7 Quick Takes Friday' brought to you with the help of The Conversion Diary...

1. Fridays mean new challenges at The Inspired Scrapper. This Friday features an 'All Things Animal' challenge - go have a visit!

2. Last week I took a drive out to our new city/neighbourhood to register my son for school. Since I was out that way, I decided to take a drive around to get 'the lay of the land'. I drove past a building with a mural painted on it and a sign announcing it as the 'Cloverdale Seniors Centre'. "Wow!", I thought, "That's great! A big gathering centre just for seniors! How nice!". There was an outdoor announcement sign beside the building that said, "Offers programs and services for seniors age 55 and over, including performing arts, visual arts, sports, games, fitness, crafts, special events, and more!". "Lovely", I thought, "Maybe I can find out if there is anything going on there that I can bring my mom out for". For whatever reason, I felt the need to verify in my head the age of my mother and that she would indeed qualify (she's 69). Then, from some strange and forbidden place inside my brain, a voice went on to announce that, not only did my mother qualify as a senior at the age of 69, but in 17 more years, I will qualify as a senior at age 55. Oh my goodness, I practically rear-ended the car stopped in front of me at a red light outside of the centre. In only 17 years, I will be a senior citizen?! That blew my mind!! How can that be?! I'm only 38! How can 17 more years make me an official old person?! 17 years just seems WAY too close for that kind of nonsense!! This whole aging process really is some kind of heavy trip!

3. I read recently in "The 24" that St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver plans to open a 24-hour drop-off room where women can abandon their newborn children anonymously. My initial reaction to reading this was shock - general shock, about the whole topic. I'm not an ostrich with my head in the sand, I know that things like mothers abandoning their babies happen - it just caught me off guard reading about such a...what's the word I'm searching for...blunt (?!maybe?!) solution. I went on to read that 'Safe Haven' policies exist in all US states as well as several other countries, like Britain and Japan. Now, having read that, it surprises me that Canada has not yet got anything like this in place; however, the anonymity of the St. Paul's service will be a first in North America. The article says that hospital officials do not think this service will be used very frequently, and that they hope that it won't be used at all. Wow. This really gets me thinking about a lot of things. Makes me want to hug my children. Makes me want to hug the next teenage mom I see (not to imply that it's only and always teenagers who go this route), and makes me very, very thankful that I have been lucky enough to be able to conceive and carry three pregnancies to term and have them result in three healthy children. Never mind the piles of laundry, the messy floors, the daunting utilities bills, the petty annoyances/grievances with your neighbours or your co-workers or your spouse, etc. - gotta find a reason to stop each day and be thankful. "There but for the grace of God go I".

4. I have been reminded once again of how horribly dependent I am on caffeine to get me going in the morning. I had to have some blood work done this week which required fasting and let me tell you, I was one irritable, groggy mama the morning of my test! I have quit caffeine in the past - mostly just to prove to myself that I can, and after the initial withdrawal (headaches, irritability, fatigue), I definitely notice that I am more 'even' throughout the day, in mood and in energy. Guilty confession? Even knowing this, I am not currently interested in or motivated to give up my caffeinated beverages right now. I enjoy my strong black tea with milk throughout the day, and - with warmer days upon us, I am also beginning to make my own homemade, better-than-Starbucks cafe con leche's - AKA iced coffee with milk. Yes, I know that I can opt for the decaf option but honestly - if tea or coffee doesn't come with caffeine, I'd rather just drink water. In fact, I would classify water as my favorite drink - but tea and coffee are tied for a close second!

5. I saw a person in a Smart Car driving stupid, and it made me think that if I sold a product called 'Smart' anything, I'd want to ensure that the interested consumer actually qualified as 'smart' first in order to maintain the integrity of my product once they were turned loose with it!

6. Upon his return from daycare one day this week, Cody came marching into the house with the strap of his lunchbox slung over his shoulder and announced, "Look, Mommy! I'm 'tarrying' my lunchbox like Daddy 'tarries' his purse!". Daddy prefers to call to his purse his briefcase.

7. Another cute Cody moment happened yesterday. Out of the blue (where so many cute kid things seem to come from!), Cody proclaimed - "Mama lucky!". I said, "Yes, I am lucky! Why do you think I'm lucky?", to which Cody replied, "Love!". Short, sweet, to the point, and very accurate. My Cody is one smart little guy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A New Tuesday Meme...

Hello, and Happy Tuesday! I've just come across a new-to-me meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Here is the description/explanation from the blog of how to join:

"Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!"

I thought it sounded pretty fun, so here's my "teaser", from So Much For That, by Lionel Shriver:

"So your answer is to make our children ashamed of themselves, which doesn't improve their math skills one bit."

Carol's whisk-whisk motions were her only giveaway that she was furious.

Are you intrigued? Do you want to run out and find this book? Will you add it to your 'Must Read' list? This is the first book I've ever read of Lionel Shriver's. I've only just started it - so far it seems promising, if perhaps a bit slow right now...

What have you read lately that you would recommend?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cards for The Inspired Scrapper's Colour Challenge...

Hello, and Happy Monday! I've got a couple of cards to share today, in response to this week's challenge over at The Inspired Scrapper. This is the inspiration piece:

and these are my cards:

I'm going to use these cards for Mother's Day - I'll stamp an appropriate sentiment inside.

The Inspired Scrapper challenge is open until 9 pm PST Thursday, May 6th and is good for any scrapbooking related project, not just cards. Don't keep your creativity under wraps - join in and share with us!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy National Scrapbooking Day!

Yay! A 'holiday' just for us scrappers!! How exciting is that?! Here in Vancouver, it's a damp, overcast day that could turn out brilliantly by the afternoon, or else it could be very, very wet. Either way, it's a perfect day for scrapbooking! It's a typical busy busy Saturday at our house - we've got packing to get through, a kids birthday party, and of course - Hockey Night In Canada tonight where the Canucks take on Chicago in the first game of the second round playoffs (Go Canucks Go!!!), but I know I'll be able to sneak in some scrap time! In fact, I'm in my scrap space right now. I've got my tea, my music, and my fabulous lighting - I'm good to go!

With National Scrapbooking Day comes The Inspired Scrapper's new Blogger-based blog launch. There are some opportunities to win some prizes,a Design Team Call, a colour challenge - lots of goodness!! Go have a look!!

Happy Crafting, Happy HNIC, and Happy Saturday to all my friends!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Great Outdoor Challenge

Have you heard of the Great Outdoor Challenge? It's hosted by Lisa over at 5 Orange Potatoes. Check it out and join in - it's super do-able!

This is Casey enjoying our favorite park. It's a perfect place to visit after school as it's on our way home. The first picture is of Casey standing on the root system of a toppled tree, stick in hand of course. The second picture is Casey pulling apart some rotting wood, looking for bugs - specifically, sow bugs. I've also heard them called potatoe bugs, wood bugs, and Casey calls them 'piddle bugs'. The third picture is of Casey's very grubby knees. This is how Casey usually looks at the end of any given day, which just affirms to me that it has been a day well spent! At about this time of the year, every year, Casey's pants are all becoming a wee bit short at the ankles, and/or worn through at the knee. It's perfect timing since we are well into spring - as Casey's pants wear out, he just moves into shorts and I don't spend any more money on long pants until back to school shopping.

Now here's Cody. This first picture is classic - this little boy loves peeing outside! If he needs to go, he'll find a spot and whip his little pants down so quickly I barely have time to protest, and then he's 'watering the plants'. Oh, the joy of being a boy! In the second picture, Cody is measuring how deep the pond is using a stick. This is something that he decided to do all on his own which I find interesting - the things children figure out all on their own, without prompting or input from adults. The third picture is Cody on his wonderful little wooden bike. This bike, without a doubt, is the single best thing I could have ever gotten this little boy. I plan on keeping this little bike forever - one day I hope to have grandchildren who can ride it!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Card Collections

Hello! Happy Tuesday! A quick post today - I created three collages of some cards that I've made recently. I'm in a card making frenzy, and it's a happy kind of frenzy! I plan on giving the moms in my family card sets as gifts for Mother's Day, which means that I'll need seven sets of cards, six cards per set. Also, I will be giving some sets as good-bye gifts - Casey's teacher, Cody's daycare providers, etc., plus - I will be giving thank you cards/good-bye cards/change of address cards to various people over the next few weeks. I've got my work cut out for me, although I've already got a lot done, plus - I sure don't mind carving time out each day to put a few together. It's one of my favorite ways of relaxing. There is also a Design Team call requiring a card submission - wish me luck! Cards, cards,'s all about the cards these days!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 7

121. Happy noise from my boys

122. A fridge and pantry full of good food

123. A glass of wine

124. Bird song outside my windows

125. Sunny spring days

126. Getting my sleeping patterns sorted out

127. A brand spankin' new library card

128. A house with open doors and windows to let the warm spring air flow through

129. A husband who knows pressure points for migraine relief

130. Casey sticking up for his little brother while outside playing

131. Decluttering

132. A long, middle of the night, lying in bed conversation with my husband about everything and nothing

133. Friday night movie nights with the kids

134. Homemade broccoli soup - can't get enough!!

135. Super helpful parents-in-law

136. Dental plan coverage

137. Having the opportunity to be a mom to three beautiful, amazing children

138. Good books on hand to choose from

139. My Grandpa's hostas thriving after I transplanted them

140. Our approaching moving day

holy experience

Friday, April 23, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday - Round 4

1. Challenge Day at The Inspired Scrapper - this week brings us an always excellent sketch by Becky Fleck at Page Maps along with two versions of the sketch by two oh-so-creative and delightful designers, Cari Locken and Virginia Wong - go take a look!

2. I have found another fun challenge blog to participate in - it's The Great Outdoor Challenge at 5 Orange Potatoes. Here is my photo for today:

Yet another photo of my child(ren) at Everett Crowley Park. We absolutely love it there!! I'm going to miss it so much when we move next month. Cody loves this creek - he becomes mesmerized. It is so satisfying to me to just watch him become so transfixed and peaceful...I feel like I can check "provide my children with a great day" off my daily list of things to do when we spend time like this somewhere.

3. GO CANUCKS GO!!! !.
We are huge hockey fans in this house! The Vancouver Canucks are playing against the L.A. Kings tonight, back on home ice, game 5 of the first-round playoffs, with the series tied at two apiece! There are all kinds of great factoids and statistics available in the world of sport, and my two favorites pertaining to the Canucks right now are: 1.) Two Canadian cities - Montreal and Toronto - hosted the Winter Olympics and then went on to win the Stanley Cup the same year. So, given that Vancouver just hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics...well, you know where I'm going with this! 2.) This year's Canucks team is the best team of Canucks we've ever had, meaning that our chances of going to the finals are, on paper at least, pretty good! I remember well both of the Canucks previous runs, first in 1982 and then again in 1994. It's 2010 now, and - it's time

4. While out at a park today with my two youngest, a patch of clover amid the grass brought back a wonderful memory of my Grandma. Every year on my birthday, my Grandma would mail me a birthday card. It always arrived on time, and it always contained a cheque for twenty dollars. The best part, though, is that every year, there would be a four-leaf clover taped to the inside of my card. My Grandma said that she just had a knack for spotting four-leaf clovers among the patches of clover in the grass in her yard. She said that she would just look down, and there one would be. She'd pick it, press it inside one of the big, heavy books on the bookcase in her front room sewing area, and save it for a select few special occasions, one of them being my birthday. I always saved the cards and letters from my Grandma, but not in an organized or deliberate way, and so over the years, they've become lost. Of course, now, as an adult, this saddens me and I would do things very differently if I was able to go back in time. There's a hopeful little part of me though that thinks that if I sort through the boxes of my poorly organized papers and pictures collected over the years, I might be lucky enough to come across at least one of these misplaced treasures. I may actually get around to digging in to some of those boxes this weekend while organizing for our upcoming move - one of my goals for preparing for this move is to finally sort and store keepsakes properly, so my fingers are crossed that I will come across some long-lost goodies. I have never in my life found a four-leaf clover, and I have spent a few idle moments trying (my Grandma's words, "I just looked down, and there it was!" going through my head). Maybe this weekend, I'll find one that has been found once before!

5. Today's Question of the Day at today is: Why is it called a flea market?

Answer: This is a jocular term for an open-air or street market for mainly secondhand merchandise, which would be the type of items that might be infested with fleas. The first flea markets were in Paris and they were called marché aux puces which translates to 'market with fleas'. Flea market first appeared in English in 1922 as a translation of the French market's name. Flea is of Germanic origin (fleah) and was not spelled flea until after 1550. A synonym is flea fair.

I think I could have made a fairly accurate guess as to the 'flea' part of the term, but nevertheless, it's interesting and fun to get the full explanation, don't you think?!

6. I love being a mom, and I am well aware of how quickly time passes and how precious simple, everyday moments are. I am thankful everyday for my three healthy, beautiful children. Now having said that, there are some things that I won't be sorry to see my children outgrow. I am looking forward to the day when there are no more little bums to wipe. I'll appreciate the day where we can all climb into our car/van, strap on our seatbelts, and take off, i.e. no more carseats. And, it has always been a happy day when one of my children has graduated from having me push them on the swings to them being able to pump for themselves, i.e. Mom can now sit on the park bench or the grass, write in her notebook or flip through a magazine, take a few pictures, and smile and wave.

7. "When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity." - Albert Einstein.

I feel like this quote applies to my life right now in relation to purchasing our first home and our upcoming move. The time we spend purging and packing doesn't seem to make much impact, passes quickly, and still leaves us wanting. Waiting for May 15th, however, the day we take possession and can start moving, is taking forever and the waiting is becoming harder and harder to bear!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

For Today, Sunday April 18th, 2010...

Outside my window...the green glow of enthusiastic sunshine filtering down through new leaves.

I am thinking...that life is good.

I am thankful...for sleep patterns that are finally settling down, and this time I'm not talking about the kids - I mean my own!

From the kitchen...Good old-fashioned Sunny Boy cereal, with lots of brown sugar. Mmmm mmmm...

I am wearing...if you've ever read my 'For Today' posts before, you'll know the answer to at-home 'sloppy slops' - yoga pants, oversized turquoise t-shirt, hoodie...

I am reading...'The Night Birds', by Thomas Maltman.

I am hoping...that my daughter feels better soon, and that I don't catch what she's got even though I can feel it starting in my nose and throat...

I am mega-dose on Vitamin C and my various other elixirs.

I am card sets as thank-you gifts to give to some wonderful people when we move.

I am hearing...'hee hoo...hee hoo...' - seemingly ever-present, persistent, and very welcome black-capped chickadees.

Around the house...Lots of boxes and rubbermaid containers - four weeks until we move into our new home!

One of my favorite things...having the doors and windows wide open to let in the fresh, warm spring air.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Mail a package of cards to Operation Write Home, complete some more gift sets of hand made cards, and more purging/packing around the house.

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing with you...Casey and Cody climbing an enbankment at Everett Crowley Park. Check out The Great Outdoor Challenge at - it's a really fun idea and this is my official first day of joining in!

Friday, April 16, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday - 3rd Edition

Another Friday, another opportunity to explore/discuss/consider seven things. 7 Quick Takes Friday is a meme hosted by The Conversion Diary and I love it because it gives me a reason to write about things that I could only otherwise call "7 Random Blips From My Brain', and I try to avoid using the word 'random' in association with anything I write at all costs, if only to give myself the (false) assurance that I am contributing something more significant than 'random' (read: irrelevant) thoughts. Oh, the lengths I'll go to prop myself up...But I digress. So, here are my important and oh-so-enthralling 7 Quick Takes!

1. Fridays are challenge days over at The Inspired Scrapper. Here is my 'Earth Day Challenge' contribution:

Thank you. Thank you very much (said in my best 'Elvis' voice). If you're a scrapper, go visit The Inspired Scrapper and play along. If you're not a scrapper, well - what are you waiting for?! It's a darn gratifying little hobby...

2. One of my favorite, and most useful, websites of all times is They feature a Word Of The Day, which I love, and they also have a Question Of The Day, which I find really interesting. For instance, some of the questions posed have been:

What is the difference between blatant and flagrant?
What is the difference between a monologue and a soliloquy?
What is the difference between affect and effect?

Oh, I just love it! It gets me all silly and excited...I'm a self-confessed (and proud!) word nerd. Sites like this just thrill me to no end.

3. Miracle hair product alert!! Ok...I really don't like to acknowledge this, but I was not blessed in the hair department. My hair is very fine, very thin...very disappointing. Always has been. Granted, I was born a redhead and that makes up for a LOT, but I truly believe in my heart of hearts that I was meant to be born with the kind of hair that bad girls in rock videos toss around and shake and tousle. Seriously. That is my true hair personality. But alas, this was not meant to be so for years and years and years, I have been trying to work magic with all kinds of hair products that promise to volumize and thicken and add bounce and shine...some do better than others. I have also invested a small fortune in hair tools - i.e. straighteners, curlers, crimpers, hot irons, cold steamers, various combs, picks, brushes...and again, some do help more than others, but there's just never been a day in my teen to adult life that I've ever just had a good hair day as a given, as a default setting, as something to take for granted, as some people I know do. And truly, if one more person says to me, "Well you know, having hair this thick is actually a real problem! It's just TOO much for me to do anything with!"...I'm going to knock their dumb and grinning front teeth out. Is that too harsh? So anyway, it comes in a tiny red plastic bottle - it's made by Schwarzkopf and I think it's proper name is 'OSIS+ Dust It Mattifying Powder'. This stuff is amazing, I'm telling you! Right off the bat, I have to say that less is more and if you overdo it, you will HATE it. It takes a bit of getting used to. Once your hair is dry, lift it at the roots and tap just a tiny bit of the powder out onto the very base of your roots. Then, put your hair down, work your fingertips in at the roots where you've placed the powder, and just give it a bit of a rub. It creates a lot of 'grip' and you can then work your hair up to amazing height/volume. You have to know when to quit, though. It's a bit of a tricky dance between application and then fiddling with it, but once you get the hang of it, KA-BAM!! Big hair. Volume. Height. The best part? It lasts!! Give a little shot of hairspray and girlfriend, you are good to go! Hair starts to settle down a little over the course of the day? Just get your fingertips in there and give another little bit of a rub! I am telling you - it is bloody revolutionary! I could weep, truly, I could. Finally...I can let my inner hair goddess out to take her righteous and deserved place in the sun. The downside of this though, is that I now live in fear of this product being discontinued or some such soon as I've got me a little bit of extra pocket money, I'm going back to that salon and I am stocking up!!

4. I've said this before, and I feel the need to say it again - I LOVE the library!! Hooray for the public library system! Nothing says happiness to me like a tall, diverse stack of reading material on the end table in my living room or my bedside table at night. In approximately one month, we are moving from my beloved hometown of Vancouver to a city 'next door' called Surrey. One of the first things this made me realize is - new library card! New library system! Numerous new library branches to explore! Be still my beating heart...I did mention I'm a word nerd, right? Confession time...I've already been to my new neighbourhood's local branch and signed myself up for a shiny new library card! Love it! Unfortunately, the policy for new Surrey Public Library patrons is that for the first three months, there is a limit of 10 items per card. TEN! That's it! I am telling you, it was SO hard to limit myself to just 10 books on that first visit...but - on the upside, I am officially three days into the first three months. It will go by quickly!

5. I talk to myself. All the time in my head, but also a lot outside of my head, as in 'out loud'. To myself, when I'm in the house or the car or alone, but also, I find myself doing it a lot of other times too. As in, when there are other people around. It was particularly worrisome when I'd catch myself doing it when I worked in a Geriatric Psychiatric ward. Think about it. I'm sure I resembled a patient more than an employee. The worst part was when I would realize I was talking out loud to myself and look up to make sure nobody had caught me, and inevitably, who would be standing there but one of the Department Psychiatrists. Oh joy. I found that with them, and in fact, with anybody, the best thing I could do was cheerfully acknowledge that I was doing it, via a perky "Oh hello! There I go getting caught talking to myself again!" The doctors would always smile and say something reassuring back, like, "Oh - I do it all the time myself!", but really, I was fully expecting any one of them at any time to slip in a subtle..."So...tell me about your childhood", or something equally shrink-like on me...It didn't help that I sat in an open, shared space area at a desk that faced the back wall so that I really didn't know who was standing behind me at any given time. I took to looking over my shoulder rather frequently...a habit that probably wasn't lost on all those psychiatrists milling about...I'm sure that, not only did they have me diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, but they'd probably already placed me on a short-list/short-cut track to the in-patient unit - never mind that I didn't really qualify as 'Geriatric'..."close enough!", they probably thought. Do I sound paranoid yet?! I'm not quite, I don't least, not all the time...but I do have to say that since leaving that position, I find I'm feeling much less self-conscious and hyper-vigilant...

6. What is up with all the yogurt commercials?! Print ads, radio ads, TV's all about the gosh-darn yogurt! Has anybody else noticed this? What is going on?!Whatever the big push/trend for yogurt is right now, what it is succeeding in doing is turning me OFF of yogurt! I'm so sick of hearing about it every ten seconds that in lieu of boycotting the TV and/or radio, I have decided to boycott yogurt. But not for the kids. Just for me. Heaven knows I wouldn't know what to do without yogurt as an option for the kids! Does this make me weak?! For myself though, I can sacrifice! It truly is driving me mad and making me cringe at any mention of yogurt. I complain to my husband about this and declare my newfound hate (yes, hate!!) for all things yogurt, and I declare that these ad campaigns have therefore failed miserably, and he says back to me (and I'm paraphrasing a bit...) - "Well, I would say that these ad campaigns have been successful because they've got you talking about it!". Aargh!! The nerve of that guy! Sure, he's got a degree in Marketing, but still...I know what I'm talking about by gosh, by golly!

7. This meme is called '7 Quick Takes Friday'. I often struggle with the quick part - so, having said that, I will end this post here! Besides, I've told my husband that I can't have a glass of wine until after I post this and we're both more than ready and done with waiting! Happy weekend to one and all!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Stealing...

Fellow bloggers, tell me - are you ever in the mood for blogging/writing but don't really have anything in particular in mind to write about? That's why I love memes! I Googled 'Sunday memes' and found 'Sunday Stealing' - love the name, love the concept! This is the 'Me Me Meme' - read on, and you'll know why...

1. Never in my life have I been: Outside of North America.

2. The one person who can drive me nuts is: My teenaged daughter.

3. High school was: Disappointing.

4. When I’m nervous I: Get anxious and irritable.

5. The last song I listened to was: Whatever the song was that Justin Bieber performed on SNL last night.

6. If I were to get married right now my best man/maid of honor: My sister.

7. My hair is: Red, chin-length inverted bob, and probably the best/most satisfying it's been in years./

8. When I was 5: My baby sister was born - I was so smitten! It was like having my own living, breathing dolly...

9. Last Christmas: Was the first time my hubby, children, and I have spent Christmas with my sister and her family, and it was so much fun! I'm hoping we do the same thing again this Christmas.

10. I should be..: Cleaning and purging in preparation for moving in a few weeks, but instead, well, obviously, I'm writing this and enjoying ever minute of it!

11. When I look down I see: A carpet that needs cleaning.

12. The happiest recent event was: My husband and I getting pre-approved for our very first mortgage!

13. If I were a character on 'Friends' I would be: Monica. I'm neurotic like that.

14. By this time next year: It would be nice to be about 50 pounds lighter...

15. My current gripe is: Oh, it's so hard to pick just one...but they all pretty much involve the purging/packing/moving situation.

16. I have a hard time understanding: Lots of things! Math, right off the top of my head...Then, of course, the bigger, more philosophical things in life...Also, how did they get the caramel inside the Caramilk bar?!

17. There’s this girl I know that: I have high hopes for and fear for all at the same time.

18. If I won an award, the first person I would tell would be: My husband.

19. Take my advice: Appreciate every day as if it were your last.

20. The thing I want to buy: New furniture/decor for my new house!

21. If you visited the place I was born: You'd be visiting the most beautiful, wonderful city in the world.

22. I plan to visit: Every province/territory in Canada.

23. If you spent the night at my house: You would probably have been up very late drinking wine, playing games, listening to music, and talking.

24. I’d stop my wedding if: How do I finish this sentence?...I've already married my best friend/soul mate, which means that he already qualified in every way all along the way, so I'll just take a pass on this one.

25. The world could do without: Men who prey on children and women.

26. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: Paint a house or pack and move a house - two things that I will be doing very soon. Don't get me wrong - I'm very grateful for the opportunity, but...I still can't help but fantasize about being rich enough to just hire somebody else to do it all for me. Moving really does encompass all the things I dislike most!!

27. Most recent thing I’ve bought myself: Nestabilities. If you're a scrapper/crafter/card maker, you'll know what I mean!

28. Most recent thing someone else bought me: Flowers, chocolates, and a card.

29. My favorite blonde is: Geez, I'm having a hard time with this that I think about it, I don't really know very many blonds!! How about, my favorite blond joke is: Naw, better not...

30. My favorite brunette is: A four-way tie between my husband, my daughter, and my two sons.

31. My favorite red head is: Me!

32. My middle name is: Charlene. I don't like the name at all, except that I was named after my grandpa, Charles - Charlene being the feminine of Charles, so I love the reason why I was named Charlene.

33. In the morning I: Rely heavily on caffeine to get me going. I wish I didn't, but I do. I accept this.

34. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: Humans. Specifically, me.

35. Once, at a bar: I met my soul mate.

36. Last night I was: Spending a low-key night at favorite way to spend any night.

37. There’s this guy I know who: Is the biggest ass ever! Well, actually, I don't know him personally, but I know of might too - Tiger Woods? He's this golfer who...well, if you don't know, you can always Google him - type in 'World's Biggest Ass' and it will lead you right to him!

38. If I was an animal I’d be: A female grizzly bear.

39. A better name for me would be: Your Highness.

40. Tomorrow I am: Back to the full-time Mommy gig. For now, my two boys are at their grandparents' house this weekend so that hubby and I can purge/pack unimpeded by little people who pop up at the most inopportune time and claim old McDonald's Happy Meal toys and broken trucks found in the playground as "their most favorite, special toy(s) ever!!" and then demand in the most screechy and intolerable way that these ridiculous little toy-things cannot be thrown out/given away ever, never, ever!!!

41. Tonight I am: Staying up too late, I'm sure - like always!

42. My birthday is: July 18th - I've always loved having a summer birthday!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Inspired Scrapper - Scraplift Challenge

Good morning! TGIF! Looking for some scrapbooking/creative mojo? Head over to The Inspired Scrapper - Debby Visser and Susan Tutt have both posted great layouts based on a scraplift of other people's layouts that have inspired them. Join in on the challenge too - the more, the merrier!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Top Ten...Things I'm Looking Forward To When We Move...

Today I am joining in on Amanda's 'Top 10 Tuesday' meme over at

After 8 years of marriage and three children, my husband and I have bought our first home. It's such a big step and it's so exciting! There was a time in my life when I thought that I would never own my own house. I've come a long way since then and am so thankful for this opportunity. My Top 10 list today is of things that I'm looking forward to about having a new home:

1. Not having to use the stove top as a counter top.

2. Closet doors that close properly.

3. A full size fridge for this family of 5.

4. Built-in light fixtures in the ceilings.

5. An entranceway that is wide enough to maneuver in, and bright enough, thanks to natural light via windows!

6. Not battling mold and mildew in the windows, closets, etc.

7. A main bathroom that you can just walk into, versus one where you have to inch your way in around the door as you open it because it opens right into the vanity.

8. More square footage.

9. Properly hung/affixed window coverings on all the windows.

10. All the benefits of owning vs. renting from a financial/investment standpoint.

We take possession on May 15th. Let the purging and packing begin!


Monday, April 5, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 6

101. Watching rain drops race down the window pane with Cody

102. Cody and I using our fingertips to 'race' raindrops down each other's backs.

103. Children who love to read - with me, and on their own.

104. Drawings from my children.

105. Starting a day feeling tired, run down, discouraged...and having it turn around within a couple of hours - leaving me feeling bouyant again.

106. Beautiful days that are the epitomy of spring - heavy, dark downpour, then the sun breaking through so powerfully, blue skies overtaking the grey, a rainbow appearing, the freshest scent imaginable in the air, and then a misty rain again, but this time with the sun remaining...glorious and perfect.

107. Realizing that overall, I have a 'cup half full' outlook - knowing that things will always come around to good again.

108. Smiles from strangers.

109. Instincts I trust.

110. A long weekend for extra time with my family.

111. A wild windstorm to watch from the safety and warmth of my living room - all natural entertainment!

112. Having a husband whose dependability is predictable.

113. Having a husband whose spontaneity can still surprise me.

114. Having the opportunity and means to buy our first home.

115. Flower baskets that my little boys made me for Easter.

116. A backyard full of numerous varieties of birds to watch and to listen to.

117. Deep breaths that calm and relax.

118. Strong network of extended family.

119. My children's health.

120. My husband's migraine-easing back and neck rubs.
holy experience

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Life In Song...

I've come across this game/meme a few times around the Internet and thought it would be fun to try out. Simple directions: use the shuffle function on your music player and see what you come up with in answer to the following questions.

How does the world see you?
Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol

Will I have a happy life?
Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
(This 'answer' is somewhat serendipitous because this is the first song that I danced to with my husband on the night that we met)

What do my friends really think of me?
Hot In The City – Billy Idol

Do people secretly lust after me?
Walk This Way – Aerosmith/Run DMC

How can I make myself happy?
Stand By Me – Ben E. King

What should I do with my life?
Home For A Rest – Great Big Sea

Will I ever have children?
Satisfaction – Rolling Stones

What is some good advice for me?
Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

How will I be remembered?
Let The Good Times Roll – The Cars

What is my signature dancing song?
Under My Thumb – Rolling Stones

What do I think my current theme song is?
Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Soul Man – Blues Brothers

This was pure fun and frivolity! Give it a try - I'd love to read your answers!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Beautiful Blogger? Who, me?!

What a fun perk on a Saturday night - Tracy from Tracy's Treasures emailed me to tell me that she awarded me a Beautiful Blogger award - so sweet! Thanks, Tracy!

Now, upon receiving this award, I have to do 2 things:

1. Share 10 things about me
2. Share this award with 10 other bloggers

Now, it is no longer Saturday night - it's already Tuesday morning, but it took me a while to come up with 10 Things. So, here I go:

1. I flip through magazines, newspapers, manuals, etc. from back to front. One day my 6 y.o. son noticed me doing this and asked me why I did this. I told him that I don't know - I've just always read magazines, etc. this way. He thought for a minute and then said, "Maybe it's because you're left handed". Ding! Lightbulb going on over my head! It made so much sense to me! Casey, my six year old son, cracked the mystery of why I read 'backwards'! I'm glad somebody in this family is smart like that! (And for the record, I don't read books/novels that way - it doesn't work. This much I do know!) I also just noticed that in the little notebooks that I have stashed everywhere (my purse, beside my bed, on my desk) where I jot down bits and pieces of the jetsam and flotsam in my brain, I will write in them from back to front. Hmm...perhaps this is more than just being left-handed...perhaps I'm just backwards! Better yet, I'll just add this to the list of things that I like to refer to as 'my lovable quirks'. That sounds much better than just being weird, doesn't it?!

2. I am freakily flexible. I always have been. It's not because I was in gymnastics as a child or anything like that. I think it's just 'in my blood' so to speak. My mom is also surprisingly flexible, and I remember that both my grandparents (my mom's parents) were as well. (I can't have inherited this from my dad's side - they are notoriously the opposite of flexible - short hamstrings, 'cankles', etc.) I am now a 'big girl', a 'woman of size' - you know, 'zaftig', 'plus-sized', 'generously proportioned', or as my husband volunteered - 'bodacious'. This, however, has not affected my flexibility, which makes it even more freaky - if I ever have occasion to bust out a yoga pose in public, people are suitably shocked and impressed. It's kind of a neat party trick...

3. I was a single mother with my daughter for six years. To quote Charles Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". It's not a path I would have chosen, and it's not a path I recommend, but I am grateful for what the experience taught me. It was a pivotal time in my life and it served to wipe away the worst of me and bring out the best in me, and I've carried it forward ever since.

4. I have such vivid dreams, it's like I watch a feature length movie in my sleep every night. Even more so than a movie, though, because the sounds, the smells, the sensations are all so intense - so much more multi-dimensional than a movie could ever be. I love it! Every night is an adventure. Very occasionally, I'll have a bad dream and then the intensity of my dreams is a liability, but this is so rare. Overall, it's a great trait to have!

5. If I ever win the lottery (I rarely ever buy tickets, which makes the odds of winning even MORE remote!), I've always said that the first two places I'd go are a book store and a garden centre. OH, the fun I would have!!

6. I have worn SPF 15 or higher sunscreen on my face every day of every year since I was 21 years old. I had read an article in a science journal stating that the majority of visible aging is due to low grade, long term, daily sun exposure. As a fair skinned, freckle faced redhead, that was all the motivation I needed. I'm 38 years old now - I wonder - has it helped? I don't look significantly younger than I am...Check back with me when I'm in my 50's. Or 80's, for that matter! I remain hopeful...

7. I can't watch that new TLC show, 'Hoarding: Buried Alive". It hits a little bit too close to home. I'm not nearly that bad, but I do recognize that I have tendencies toward hoarding behaviour. If I ever end up being an eccentric old lady (and so far I'm 65% sure that I will be one day), I think hoarding will be one of the ways my eccentricities manifest.

8. I've had my driver's licence since I was 17 years old. In the 21 years that I have been driving, I've never (knock on wood!) been at fault in an accident. In fact, (and again, knock on wood) I've only ever been in a few motor vehicle accidents, and they were all very minor.

9. We own a mini van, and I am so freakin' over it! When I was pregnant with our second child, we traded in our Ford Explorer for a Dodge Caravan. Made sense at the time. Then we had our third child, and the minvan still made sense. Factor in hockey gear, soccer gear, tae kwon do gear, bikes, etc. and a mini van still makes sense. But I'm over it. I don't like the mini van anymore. I don't want to be driving it. I would like to drive a car, or a truck. I feel like I am willing and able to make whatever changes, concessions, etc. necessary to forgo the need for a minivan. I'm not going to rush out and get rid of it, but make no mistake, when it does come time to purchase a new vehicle, it will not be another mini van!

10. I pretty much have music in my head all the time. Sometimes it's background music, and sometimes it's so prominent that it starts leaking out and I actually start singing out loud. Sometimes I'm alone, and sometimes I'm around other people, whom I may or may not know. I think that people sometimes think that because I sing out loud, in public, and often with exuberance and enthusiam, I must think that I'm a really good singer even though it's painfully obvious to the observer that I'm not. Newsflash - I KNOW I'm not a good singer, but that doesn't stop me. I can't help it. I got the music in me and sometimes it just wants to come out! And sometimes, I'll get a song stuck in my head. And, usually, it's a song that I know really well musically, but not so much lyrically. Often, it becomes a fixation, an obsession, and I can't stop it, or get it out of my head, or leave it alone until I exocise it. Thank goodness for the Internet - if it's convenient and I'm able, I get on the Google and search using the lyrics I do know, or by artist/band name. Once I can get ahold of the full and correct lyrics, I can get it all straight in my head and work it out. I think this might sound a bit OCD. Maybe it is...I have had times where I've tended to lean in a bit of an OCD direction. My daughter just finds it really embarrassing. If I start singing anywhere outside of the house, she will hiss at me, "Mom! People are going to think that there is something WRONG with you!!". I also pride myself on being able to come up with a song for any occasion, or to fit any theme, statement, or comment. These are the little ways I keep myself amused.

Whew! Coming up with 10 things was surprisingly hard!! BUT - coming up with 10 bloggers to nominate is easy!

1. Karla. Karla is delightful. She is an amazing designer - check out her digital products! She is so creative - so much eye candy on her blog! And, the icing on the cake, she's a supermom to 5 children. Yes, that's right - FIVE! She's gorgeous, her husband's gorgeous, and her five children are even more gorgeous! She's one of those women that you might be tempted to hate, except that she is so nice, and so real! Check out her blog - you'll see what I mean!

2. Kerry. Another great digi designer. And supermom to three. And all round super creative, super talented, super nice person. And there was a time when Kerry was actually my boss, and she was super at that too!

3. Sandy. Another Wonder Woman here! This is a woman I really admire, and she is one of those women who makes me wonder how she is able to do much more with her 24 hours a day than I do! Sandy is very inspiring. She is a driving force behind Operation Write Home, and as if that isn't enough, she also makes the nicest cards!!

4. Cari. Another amazingly creative woman! So talented, so creative, such a great her!

5. Karen. This woman is an amazing photographer - a true master of her craft! She amazes me! And, like Karla, Karen is a gorgeous woman with a gorgeous husband and gorgeous kids - but you can't hate her either because she is truly one of the nicest people I know, and a really great mom too!

6. Debby. One of my all-time favorite scrappers! Plus, she's a really nice person, super creative, and - another Supermom!

7. Erica. Supermom, super scrapper...I'm beginning to think I appreciate a specific type of blogger...Erica's blog is great looking too - check her out!

8. Ginnie. Ginnie isn't somebody who I know personally, but her blog speaks to me!! She is a beautifully real and wonderful human being and she writes about her daily life so eloquently. Plus, her blog is visually gorgeous - her photography is amazing!

9. Ann. Another woman whom I don't know personally, but her blog is so lovely...some of her posts have moved me to tears. She also hosts the meme Multitude Mondays, which I have begun participating in. So much good stuff on her blog - go see for yourself! It's uplifting!

10. Heather. The perspectives she shares on her blog and the way she writes about everyday things perks me up. Also - Great mom. So creative. Amazing photographer. All-round likeable human being. She also has a photo-a-day blog that is incredible.

So there you have it - a collection of blogs hosted by women who inspire me, and I'm so happy to share them with you.

Thanks again, Tracey, for the nod!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Multitude Monday - Round 5

81. Being able to tickle my daughter's grumpies away. It doesn't work every time, but it works enough of the time for me to be thankful!

82. Two little boys who are great buddies and are happy and busy playing together in our home

83. A weekend with NO outside obligations

84. A sweet husband who brings me flowers, a card, and chocolates for no reason

85. My three little nieces. THREE! Little girls! How cute is that?! Lucky me!

86. The wisdom that comes with age and experience. I'm not claiming to be wise (not yet!), and I don't think of myself as aged, but a little bit older, a little bit wiser - I can live with that!

87. Mascara. My own magic wand. I'm lucky to have thick enough, long enough lashes, but without mascara, you can't see them.

88. Extended medical benefits through my husband's employer

89. My mother sharing her car with us so generously

90. The quilt that my Grandma made me when I was a child. Butterflies and flowers made out of fabric scraps that I recognize from clothes that she made for me, for herself, and for others. Such a keepsake.

91. My cameras. Put me anywhere - if I've got my camera(s) with me, I'm happy.

92. Forsythia. While searching the Internet for gardening ideas for our new home, I came across a less-than-positive mention of forsythia, citing it's short-lived 'garish' yellow flowers, and it's transition to plain green leaves which contributed nothing attractive to a yard or garden. I was offended! I LOVE forsythia, and I always have. It is one of the earliest flowering plants in spring and in late February, early March, any forsythia sightings in Metro Vancouver make my heart soar - such a bold and joyous exclamation that spring is inarguably on it's way!

93. A neighbourhood with an ample supply of sticks of all types - long, short, flexible, breakable, rough, smooth - all eagerly sorted out, grabbed up, looked over, and claimed by my boys and their friends - tools for their imaginations.

94. Toys that do not require batteries.

95. Toys that are not noisy.

96. Turning the TV off. Keeping it off.

97. Art supplies.

98. Laughing and joking with friends.

99. Laughing and joking with my kids.

100. Good rain gear.

holy experience

Friday, March 26, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday - 2nd Edition

Hello! Happy Friday, TGIF, and all that! Coming at you with the great 7 Quick Takes Friday meme hosted by The Conversion Diary. Jumping right in...

1. Is there truly any such thing as a bra that fits well, is comfortable to wear, and makes the girls look great? Is there?! Really?! Because if there is, I haven't ever found one in my entire bra-wearin' life! Am I missing a really obvious/simple piece of the puzzle? What gives?! It's the 21st century for cryin' out loud! We've got space tourists visiting the International Space Station, the human genome has been mapped, and the United States has elected it's first black president. Could somebody please provide me with a comfortable and effective flopper stopper?!

2. Pearl Jam. Eddie Vedder. 'Just Breathe'. Enough said.

3. I love playing 'Lexulous' on Facebook. It's the online equivalent of Scrabble. It can be played against friends, or you can join a table or host a table with other users. It is not uncommon to have multiple games going at once, and some can be finished in one sitting while others last for days. There is one thing about Lexulous that perplexes me though, and it's this: Some people use it as a hot talk forum. I'm not a prude, but come on, people! Time and place! Is Lexulous really it?! Here are some real examples of requests:

"PLEASE READ THIS!!!! Fun girls only. ;) Say 'yes I'm naughty' when you start the game."
"Looking for sexy girls for sexy chat."
"Any other guys sitting at home in their underwear?"
"hot girls 18-30. cum and play - do not play if you don't want to talk dirty x"
"WOMEN ONLY..FLIRTY TYPES only..if you dont want to chat dont blank pics, pet pics, or fake pics..i want to see who im playing..chatting a must..NO GUYS"

Really?! This is an online SCRABBLE game!! Can you find no other forum for this? Does this actually WORK for you?! Is the Scrabble component necessary for your gratification? Forgive me for being judgemental, but I find it quite strange...

4. There are days with my children where I swing wildly between being so besotted with the cuteness of them, so powerfully captured by their sweetness and goodness that it's all I can do to keep from imploding with love - to finding myself catapulted instantaneously into raving irritation and annoyance with them - their whining, their fussing, their dawdling, their pickiness over food - I need to physically restrain myself from bolting from the house, raving like a lunatic, frantically fleeing my suburban home for the wildness of...wherever...anything else is a celebrated alternative and reprieve! Is this a common Mommy experience?! Please - provide me with perspective! I'm either a horrible monster for feeling this way, or in ample good company!

5. I fear that I am turning into my mother. Case in point #1 (and sadly, there are probably a total of TEN or more 'case in point's'...) - I think I am becoming a technological dinosaur. I have never sent a text message. I don't know what to do when I receive one. I know how to program contacts into my cell phone's directory, but I get easily frustrated with the process and ask my daughter to "just do it for me!", which reminds me of my mother's inability to program her own VCR to tape a program and her reliance on us to take care of it for her. It's comparisons like these that send a cold, creeping prickle of fear up my spine...

6. I love books. I especially have a thing for children's books. We are avid library users and always have stacks of library books in the house, but we also have a LOT of our own books too. Now that we've bought a house and are going to be moving in approximately six weeks, I'm looking around at all of our overflowing book shelves and dreading not only the boxing them all up, but the moving them! Boxes of books weigh a LOT! I'm crossing my fingers that we're going to end up hiring movers, but even so - we are going to have scores of boxes of books to deal with. I've always said that if I ever won the lottery, the bookstore would be on my list of Top 3 places I'd go to first...why does it look like that's already happened?! I've got the books, now where's all the leftover cash winnings?! Sigh...something's out of whack here!

7. Another great Friday challenge over at The Inspired Scrapper - mixing black and white photos with colour - check out Cari's and Virginia's awesome examples!


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