We attended the Irish Club's annual Christmas party. Great time! And Santa had an excellent gift for every child there (up to age 13) - about 40 of them! Here's my 8-year old - the only time she's ever had her picture taken with Santa. (Thanks to S for getting the shot; I couldn't get a clear view.)
We went to Weyburn to celebrate my grandma's 95th birthday. She's doing so well! Just now in the process of moving into a building where she won't have to cook for herself. Her birthday party was in the dining room at her new place.
I went for lunch and visited the Regina Floral Conservatory with my mom, her 5 sisters, and my grandma who will turn 95 in October. Wonderful time! (I took pictures of everyone, too, but chose this one to represent the event and post on my blog. I also shared a picture of the mouse we saw on Instagram.)
Today, our daughters were Confirmed, and M and G received First Communion (S received it 5 years ago). I have a good picture of them, but decided to go with this one, which was just a test shot, because it shows the alter and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit - a good reminder of what this day was about.
We all attended a Pure Witness retreat on Saturday which was full of music and skits. Since then, the girls have been singing, along with actions:
"Wisdom, Understanding, Right Judgement, Courage, and Knowledge; Reverence; The spirit of Wonder and Awe in the presence of God; These are the Spirit's gifts."
Also today, G played a solo (Autumn), duet (The Mulberry Bush, with her teacher), and rhythm ensemble with her class in her final MYC recital. It was nice of her teacher to rearrange the recital schedule on the fly so G could play and then leave on time for Confirmation.
With this, I'm breathing a sigh of relief! Preparation for Confirmation and First Communion was quite a time commitment with 4 long meetings for Neil (which made those busy Saturdays challenging for me), 5 evenings for all of us (for which G missed 5 dance classes and she wasn't happy about it), and a half-day retreat for all of us, in addition to several masses - which, I must admit, we weren't accustomed to attending (our attitudes are improving, though!).
Plus, G's piano has been a struggle. She has resisted practicing for months and I've had trouble finding time to sit down with her. Obviously, our schedule was too full for this. I knew it would be, but wanted to get her 2nd year of piano done. Now, just 4 classes left. Then Mosaic. Then freedom! Yes.
What's left on the trampoline after the girls are finished playing with water balloons.
3. EVENTS & OUTINGS
Neil, the girls, and my manager attended my final Dale Carnegie class/graduation
birthday parties: Georgia went to a home-salon party and a bowling party at Nortown Lanes; Madeline went to a party at Bath Goddess
sleepovers with: Alissa (S) - 4 times
playdates with: Elise, Keira, Victoria (G); Alex, Mattea (M)
the girls went to K4J - last time for Sophia as a Captain
Sophia attended a regular EDGE evening and a "lock-in" (sleepover) at Holy Cross parish - she loves going to EDGE
the girls participated in a video for Greg Johnson, Tornado Hunter - they had to chase him like a scene in Rocky: Tornado Hunter Pre-season Training (they're on at 2:40, but hard to spot; Sophia's wearing pink) - the girls also enjoyed exploring the shore of Wascana Lake after the video shoot
Georgia went shopping with her Auntie Laurel during the older girls' Saturday dance class
Sophia and her friend Alissa went to Africa Day at Laval (in the evening); their classmates Angie and Alvin had invited them - it looked like a fantastic event with lots of food and entertainment
on Mother's Day, we visited three greenhouses: West 25th, Cherry Lane, and Doorn's
we had a potluck lunch at my work place - I was in charge of the theme and I asked everyone to bring a dish (or main ingredient) that starts with the first letter of their last name - I took Blackberry Lemon Salad
we returned Rob's Jeep to YG and had lunch with Mom and Dad - the girls played with two of their cousins for a little while, too
we went to the GAA Quiz Night Fundraiser (for the Gaelic football team, Prairie Gaels) - Neil and I teamed up with our friends Corey and Emma - we enjoyed the quizzes and did pretty well at 7th out of 13 teams; the kids had fun with games and crafts, and Neil won the big raffle prize: a night in the executive suite at the Travelodge (which we haven't used yet)
Kids running after the Tornado Hunter for his pre-season training video.
MUSIC & DANCE
I attended a set-dancing workshop at St. Luke's Hall - learned the Corofin Plain Set; also, one evening at The Pump to practice the Antrim Square for Mosaic; first time dancing as a "lady" and I was totally disoriented!
the girls danced in the Prairie Gael recital at the Leboldus theatre - a full hour of dancing - good show! the older girls had fun doing a couple dances to pop songs, including Firework (Katy Perry) and Inner Ninja (Classified); Georgia's group did the Fairy Reel very well! Laurel, Donna, Lou, Mom, Bev, Colleen, Grandma Mantay, and Sophia's friend Alissa were there, too
the girls danced at the Save the Children Strawberry Social - Donna, Lou, Laurel, and Mattea (M's friend) were there, too - the older girls wore their new curly dance wigs for the first time; the girls brought home too much stuff from the flea market tables
we enjoyed Georgia's Music for Young Children recital where she played two piano pieces very well: 1-2-3 Dance with Me and Piano Polka - duet with Mrs. Young. She also played in the Sunbeam 1 bell ensemble and sang the MYC Theme Song
we enjoyed Sophia's spring band concert at LeBoldus - an impressive concert performed by band students from grades 6 to 12
Sophia is the closest trombone player on the far right.
Sophia and Meghan bought some items to wear for "twin day" at school; Madeline twinned with Mattea; Georgia with Victoria
Sophia went out for lunch to Thai Garden with Meghan and their teacher (a treat Meghan had earned)
the girls enjoyed a Subway lunch day, Smoothie day, and Record-breaking day at school
Sophia spent a whole school day at a liturgical retreat
Sophia went to the school's grade 7/8 drama, Mystery at Shady Acres, with Laurel (Bronwyn was there with her class)
Sophia participated in a band tour to three elementary schools
Madeline went with her class on a field trip to a classmate's beautiful farm (which we've all visited before) - they were lucky to have great weather for it
Neil talked to all three grade one classes (separately) about bison
Bronwyn and Sophia before their first performance. / Neil trying the new leprechaun cut out.
MOSAIC (May 30-June 1)
Thursday: Madeline, Sophia, and Bronwyn danced twice; Madeline's friend Mattea spent the whole evening with us; after the Irish pavilion, we visited the Kyiv Ukrainian, Brazilian, and Italian pavilions; the girls saw several friends dancing at the Kyiv; we met Donna, Lou, Laurel, and Chris at the Brazilian pavilion and saw a great show on the stage at the Orr Centre; home about 10:30
Friday: I curled Georgia's hair with the hot rag rollers and lots of Redken Hot Sets 22 spray - it actually worked well, but the hour-long process was unpleasant for both of us; Georgia danced twice - Beginner Reel and Fairy Reel; I danced the Antrim Square; after the Irish pavilion, we visited the Korean, Hungarian, and Scottish pavilions; the girls tried on traditional Korean dresses and learned a traditional Hungarian dance; home about 10:30, except Neil who worked at the Irish pavilion until 1:00 am
Saturday: I washed and curled Georgia's hair, and got myself and the girls ready for dancing (thank goodness the older girls wear wigs!); Donna and Lou picked up Dash in the morning (big thank you!); we were at the Irish pavilion for almost 12 hours... Neil ran the Children's Program (bracelet craft and leprechaun scavenger hunt) with help from Laurel and Tammy (dance mom); the girls and I each danced twice (six times between us); Rob, Robyn, Ethan, Jordyn, and Kacy came to see the girls dance (first time!); after their performances, Laurel took the girls to stay overnight in Avonlea; Neil worked behind the bar all evening; I enjoyed a one-hour break between the girls leaving and my last dance performance, and then worked at bar ticket sales from 8:30 to 11:15; the Dust Rhinos from Winnipeg were playing; Neil and I helped clean up for 30 minutes and then went home - exhausted!
Food: I enjoyed a few bowls of Brewster's beef stew with potato cakes from the Irish pavilion; loved the Bulgogi (spicy pork, rice, and cabbage with Ranch dressing) at the Korean pavilion; and the girls ate a bunch of Tipperary Chips and TCBY frozen yogurt all weekend
Neil's Pasta Sauce - this is my favourite! I enjoy it on spaghetti squash or gluten-free pasta
Homemade "Holy Crap" or "Qi'a" cereal - my variation: 1/2 cup (+2T) hemp instead of 3/4 cup (+2T), 1 tsp cinnamon instead of 1/2 tsp, and no dried apples - excellent! I mix 3 Tbsp of cereal with 5 Tbsp almond milk and let sit for five minutes
Chicago Dog salad - my invention: everything but the bun, sliced or chopped and mixed together
Our mini walk-in greenhouse (purchased last year on clearance).
birthday gifts for two of Georgia's classmates and one of Madeline's
Georgia received a fancy hairband from Auntie Laurel (which she wore at her piano recital)
for Mother's Day, I received a card and artwork from Georgia, a card and watercolour painting from Madeline, and a fancy card with a Chai tea bag from Sophia; plus, a book about flowers and a kitchen tool rack (from the Strawberry Social flea market)
we gave R&R a Canadian Tire gift card to thank them for lending their Jeep to us
Neil received a LazyBoy recliner from a friend - the timing was perfect because his favourite chair broke the day before
Neil and Georgia planting seeds.
6. SPECIAL PURCHASES
for the girls: soccer shoes for Gaelic football; plastic cord to make scoubidou crafts a.k.a. boondoggle - who knew?! (thanks to Google and Pinterest for the names); good skipping ropes; sketch books; balloons (to fill with water)
for me: cute red shoes for summer, tennis elbow brace
new curly dance wigs for Sophia and Madeline
annuals, perennials, peat moss, two large pots, and three extra large tomato cages
2004 Toyota Sienna - found on UsedRegina.com - fantastic condition! much better than our old one and quite a difference between the '01 and '04 - the private sale process went very smoothly and we were able to pick up the van the next day - hooray!
lidded garbage containers for each of the girls to have near their seats in the van - we're committed to keeping it clean
500 ml jars to make smaller mason-jar salads for the girls
11 new songs for my iPod - good to have a music update for walking in the morning
spring school portraits - I ordered some to give away this time; it's been a few years since I last did that
Our "new" van.
my right arm started hurting so badly, it became a useless appendage - I couldn't lift, grip, or squeeze anything! - saw my doctor on May 10; she referred me to physiotherapy and suggested I start using a brace which I wore often for at least a month
I went to physio at CBI four times, iced my arm several times a day for awhile, and did some of my computer mousing with my left hand - and my arm started feeling better
Georgia and Madeline had a cough and sniffles
Georgia had a fever and vomiting one morning (and just in the morning, as usual)
I developed sinusitis and it was pretty bad for a couple days
Neil went to the chiropractor for his back and hip
Sophia stayed home one afternoon with a stomach ache
Georgia vomited several times on the Saturday morning of Mosaic - of all days! thank goodness she was fine the rest of the day, as usual - seriously, what's up with this???
Some of our plant purchases. / Icing my tennis elbow.
I earned my certificate in the Dale Carnegie Course, Skills for Success - hooray! much effort, but well worth it
I created and delivered a presentation about the knowledge base (sasktel.com/support) to my department and it went well
cleaned up the front and back yards, and planted the garden
conquered the kitchen 100% - it needed some extra attention (to say the least!)
finally moved the old couch and chair out of the house
Sophia received two rewards at school: lunch out for being good (most checkmarks and no Xs over the past month), and a Slurpee for cleaning up (which is a tad surprising to those who live with her!)
more housework than usual because I took a week off work
I made 17 mason jar salads on the Sunday before Mosaic and they were a life saver that week! just under 3 hours to make them
prepared 101 bracelet kits for the Children's Program at Mosaic (supplies from Oriental Trading Company) - Madeline and Georgia were a big help
we hate the fridge we bought last September - too small! (and yet it's the same cubic feet as our old one) - if I had money to spare, I would replace it immediately
Dash ran out the door, past me, and bit a man (hopefully just his jeans) who was merely walking past our house - he cannot be trusted with strangers :(
we picked up supper from DQ in a moment of desperation - after preparing a bunch of food for the following week and then having no time to make dinner before a 3-hour concert! (also ate at Subway between two events - another "no time"/unprepared situation - boo)
SGI didn't hear from the tire shop after asking them to pay the deductible on our van insurance
Our old van's windshield after the hood incident. / Cleaning out the van in the SGI compound.
cleared the collection basket - twice!
completed March photos
completed April photos
completed March roundup
backed up the computer
took our monthly family photo
Madeline was thrilled to be chosen to compete in the 200m race at the first track meet
Sophia participated in track throughout the month - she won first place in several events at the quad meets, and then at the city track meet: 5th in triple jump, 5th in relay, 7th in 100m, and 8th in high jump - she wasn't thrilled but truly did well for being in the younger half of the age group (and many kids go home with no ribbons!)
our friends, Steve and Maren, picked up the girls for their 8:00 am track practices - nice!
the girls went to the first two youth practices of Gaelic football - more than 20 children were there and all but five are from Ireland - it's free (for now) and all ages (3-12) practice together - they enjoyed it and want to keep playing
One of the first youth practices of Gaelic football. Neil always goes to help.
while I was driving on the Ring Road during rush hour, after having the van's tires changed and engine light checked, the van's hood flew up, smashing the windshield, denting the roof, and more - it was shocking, to say the least. I'm extremely grateful no one was hurt!
my brother lent his Jeep Grand Cherokee to us while our van was out of commission - many thanks to him and to Mom for driving the Jeep to Regina for us - huge help!
our 2001 Toyota Sienna van was deemed a total loss by SGI - surprise! suddenly had to shop for another vehicle which sucked up a bunch of spare time I didn't have (on top of dealing with SGI, cleaning out the old van, etc.)
my Dale Carnegie trainer said I'd make a good coach - excellent opportunity for me! I agreed to coach in the fall
the girls had school photos taken and they turned out well! - first time for spring portraits
Georgia is very creative in making birthday cards for her friends - and she makes them entirely on her own :)
getting Georgia to practice piano became extra challenging - but she still wants to take it next year; I registered her for Sunbeam 2 in MYC (Sophia and Madeline each had two years of lessons, and I'd like Georgia to have two years, as well)
thanks to the slowest spring melt of all time, we didn't get water in our basement
when the weather finally turned nice, the girls played outside at every opportunity - skipping, biking, trampolining... Sophia even chose the outdoors over Minecraft!
I didn't have to wear ski pants to deliver papers and plants started growing outside! (not normally noteworthy, but after this winter...)
Neil subbed at Prairie Sky School twice - on one occasion, he made vegan gingersnap cookies with the students :)
the city replaced the sidewalk in front of our house
I discovered the awesomeness of PicFrame for making photo collages on my computer (and iPad)
we sold our bison cows and calves to Mom and Dad (we bought our original three calves in 1999)
the girls started their 2013 obsession with water balloons - and their new favourite thing to do is to put the filled balloons on the trampoline and jump around them so they bounce and pop
when my department director saw that our new van has only three hub caps, he made a bunch of calls trying to find one for me - he didn't find one, but it was nice of him to try!
I took a week off work (the week of Victoria Day) - I've done this for a few years now and I love it! I planned out the whole week with my top 3 priorities for each day, and accomplished quite a bit
I started Finding Your Photo Style at BPC - really enjoyed this class with six teachers (one per week) - this class renewed my interest in taking photos more deliberately :)
Sophia earned 10/10 for a presentation on paleontology as a career - she has always said she wants to be a paleontologist and remains committed to it
the girls attended their final dance and piano lessons until fall - hooray! by this time, we're all so ready for a break
Sophia dip-dyed her hair in blue Kool-Aid - with guidance from Bronwyn over Facetime
after asking for her cooperation, Sophia wrote, "I will co-operate after May 24th 2013," and signed it - how can I enforce this?!
Today was turkey day at our house. Along with our roast turkey, we enjoyed dressing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry-orange sauce, cabbage rolls (made by my brother - thanks for sharing!), mashed rutabaga, coleslaw, and raw veggies. For dessert, we were lucky to have apple pie and saskatoon pie - both made by Neil's mom and kept in our freezer (unbaked) since they left for Texas in November. Thanks Donna! The girls, who ate less pie than the adults, also had a little more of Neil's homemade chocolate ice cream. We're glad Laurel was able to join us for dinner (unfortunately, B is still in TO) and a few games of Bananagrams. Also, Sophia played four Christmas songs on the trombone for Laurel -- because she was required to perform for someone over the holidays.
Sophia's ringette team had a Christmas potluck at 5:30 this evening. Before the party, a few families met at Mount Pleasant for tobogganing. Strangely, I have never taken the kids tobogganing before! And Neil has only taken them once -- to the ditch near Chapters, along with neighbours who were going. I guess we've always had other things to do. (We're much more likely to go outdoor skating, for example.) Perhaps we'll go sledding again sometime! It would be nice, though, for three children to have more than one toboggan/saucer on the hill. We do have two others, but one is broken and the other was nowhere to be found before we had to leave. (Sophia is in the picture.)
We celebrated Neil's 43rd birthday today. He enjoyed watching some Junior Hockey and reading The 4-Hour Chef, a book he received for Christmas. For his birthday cake, I made Super-Moist Chocolate Spelt Cake which turned out well. Instead of frosting it, we put chunks of cake into bowls and drizzled it with Chocolate Glaze and vanilla whipped cream. It was decadent!
Neil, Madeline, and I were up for awhile before Sophia and Georgia woke up, so I took the opportunity to photograph the girls' gifts from Santa. Sophia received a $25 iTunes gift card; Madeline received a Kobo Touch e-reader; and Georgia received a Magna Color set. All were thrilled! (I'm so glad because Sophia had asked for an iPhone.) Amazingly, Santa's elves have been wrapping their gifts in the same gold paper for six years straight! (see Daily pic: 25 Dec 07) :)
We all went to see Phineas and Ferb Live at the Brandt Centre this evening. Our seats were great and the girls loved it! I liked seeing all the dance moves and hearing the songs I've come to know quite well over the past three years. The girls' favourite character is Perry, so this had to be the chosen picture. Georgia even has a Perry winter hat. Everywhere we go, she hears, "Cool hat!" Of course, she wore it during the show tonight.
I spent an hour painting Madeline's nails one evening. She has lovely nails!
2. WATCHED & LISTENED
The Killing (N/K) - end of series
Top Chef Canada (N/K) - end of season
Master Chef (N/K) - I watched the first episode, but decided not to watch again until much later in the season (if at all)
The Next Food Network Star (N)
NHL Stanley Cup Finals (N)
Strictly Irish Dancing - a documentary on the 2011 World Irish Dancing Championships (girls)
Moneyball (N/K) - great movie!
Madagascar 3 - the girls saw it with L&B at the Southland
The Digi Show
Set dancing at Mosaic. I'm on the far right with my back to the camera.
3. EVENTS & OUTINGS
Mosaic - see below
Avonlea Centennial Celebration - see below
Georgia attended two birthday parties, and an all-day playdate and sleepover with a friend (her first non-family sleepover)
Madeline attended one birthday party, and went to a friend's house for a playdate and supper
Sophia had a friend over one afternoon
I attended four set-dancing classes; we learned the Clare Lancers set - very fun! revisited the Connemara and Kilfenora, and a variety of two-hand dances; I really enjoy set dancing and will continue in September
we all attended the Irish Club and Prairie Gael's year-end windup/Mosaic volunteer appreciation BBQ at the Seniors' Centre on Elphinstone
the girls and I went for a walk in Wascana and then to DQ for ice cream sandwiches
I went to the CS Ops Annual Appreciation BBQ at work
the girls invited me to attend their circus/amusement park which included a welcome song performance, bubble blowing, batting game, sword fighting with wet short pool noodles, shoulder massage, and lemonade :)
we all attended a come and go tea (the girls called it a "stay and go" tea) at the Royal Regina Golf Club for Uncle Mike's Mom's 90th birthday
Neil went to the first Rider home game
we all attended the 2nd annual outdoor mass and BBQ - great weather and lunch (lots of homemade salads); the girls enjoyed a bunch of activities
I enjoyed visiting with a friend/former coworker at the 13th Avenue Coffee House one evening
I took the girls to the splash pad a couple times
Georgia's class went to the splash pad and another park in our area
Madeline's class went to the splash pad and bowling at Golden Mile
Sophia's class played in a grades 4-6 softball tournament, and her team won
Sophia and Madeline's classes did their annual walk around Wascana; Neil transported the lunch coolers, as usual
Sophia and Madeline's classes went swimming at the Sandra Schmirler on the last day of school
12 activities with Mom in 2012:
Georgia chose to paint plant pots; we each painted two 4" terracotta pots (purchased at Dollarama, then primed with white spray paint)
Madeline chose to make a teddy bear out of denim from Neil's old jeans - it turned out well (but it took a long time, and then I ruled out sewing projects for future activities)
Sophia chose to go to the Wascana Waterfowl Park (behind the Centre of the Arts)
Mosaic, May 31-June 2 (and more):
Sophia danced St. Patrick's Day (hard shoe) twice on Thursday, Hornpipe (hard shoe) twice on Friday and Saturday (with Bronwyn);
our niece, Bronwyn, danced the Hornpipe (hard shoe) and Sprig of Shillelagh (hard shoe) twice on Friday and Saturday;
Madeline danced in an 8-person Reel choreography (soft shoe) and Treble Jig (hard shoe) twice on Thursday and Saturday;
Georgia danced in a 5-person Reel choreography (soft shoe) twice on Friday and Saturday; it was her first performance -- super cute!
I performed set dancing (8 people) - Antrim Square once on Thursday and twice on Friday, and Kilfenora three times on Saturday;
we visited other pavilions: Scottish, Latin American, and Austrian on Thursday; German, Indian, and Caribbean on Friday;
we ran the Children's Program at the Irish pavilion from 2:00 to 4:00 on Saturday - it's a good thing I did my share of the work (preparing bookmark kits) ahead of time because I had little time to help during the program itself;
Neil worked at the bar from 5:00 pm to midnight on Saturday (plus, various jobs all three days); I did a little table cleaning and mopping late on Saturday; we also helped with tear-down from midnight to 1:30 am; and Neil helped with tear-down for eight straight hours on Sunday;
Many thanks to: Laurel and Shauna for helping with the Children's Program; my parents for taking Dash for a walk Saturday afternoon; and Donna and Lou for taking the children to L&B's to stay overnight on Saturday. We appreciate all of your help so much!
Avonlea Centennial Celebration, June 29-July 1:
we spent three days in Avonlea with Donna and Lou, Laurel and Bronwyn, and Shauna, Wayne, Cole, and Rian
it was hot, sunny, and humid the whole weekend
we saw the 15 Wing Moose Jaw Fly By to kick off the Centennial
we attended the Riderville hospitality evening at the rink where the Rider game was shown on a big screen; Scott Schultz was there and the Riders beat Hamilton 43-16
we celebrated Bronwyn's 12th birthday and Cole's 8th birthday
thanks to Uncle Ron, we were FTF (first to find) a new cache called Dr. Henry Dunnet
we enjoyed watching the parade with a big group of relatives, including cousins Gabe and Avery; the kids received a ton of candy and Grandma Louise (almost 97 years old) was on a float!
the kids enjoyed the children's entertainment - inflated slide, face fainting, and petting zoo
Shauna and Laurel took the kids for a quick tour of the school
the older girls performed in the talent show in their Prairie Gael dresses: Sophia and Bronwyn did their soft-shoe Reel, Madeline did her Treble Jig (hard shoe), and then Sophia and Madeline did St. Patrick's Day (hard shoe)
Saturday evening, we enjoyed the banquet, cabaret with Brad Johner, and an excellent show of fireworks - so close!
we went to pancake breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday; both were nicely done
Sunday afternoon, we had a big gathering of relatives at Donna and Lou's for a BBQ/potluck meal; the new babies of the family, Gracie and Luca, were there
the four girls, Cole, and I (plus Glenys and Lee) went to the Jeffries' ranch to see Appaloosa and miniature horses - well worth the trip!
we took the kids swimming at the pool at Dunnet
Donna, Lou, Neil and I took the kids over to Ron and Carol's for a short visit Sunday evening
Friday, the girls and Cole slept in a tent in Donna and Lou's back yard - for the first time without parents! Saturday, I slept in the tent with our three girls; and Sunday, we pulled the tent down just before a major thunderstorm hit - phew!
Cousins watching the Avonlea Centennial Parade.
4. RECIPES TO REMEMBER
sliced avocados tossed with lime juice and S&P - best condiment/side dish ever - goes with everything!
My bison burger one day. We all laughed at how tall it was (about 4.5 inches) - impossible to bite!
from our neighbour, five fruit syrups from BC for watching her plants and watering as needed
from Auntie Shauna:
Sophia received two books (The Cupcake Queen and My Life in Pink & Green),
Madeline received a notebook and Shake It Up t-shirt, and
Georgia received owl-themed stationery and a Hannah Montana tattoo
for Father's Day, Neil received:
from Madeline, a little wooden bird house she painted at school, bird seed, and coupons (for things like walking on his back)
from Georgia, a picture she coloured at school
from all three girls, a Father's Day fill-in-the blanks sheet they each completed (e.g., If he could go on a trip, he would go *to a space station.* My favourite thing about my dad is *his cooking.*) Idea from Pinterest; unfortunately, the original source appears to be lost; feel free to download the one I created: fathers-day.pdf
when school ended, Neil received:
from a teacher, a $10 Canadian Tire gift card for distributing the milk every day at school
from a parent, a 4-pack of Kilkenney Irish Cream Ale for doing lunch supervision every day
Sophia's "Tiny Dino" lily and Meadow Sage.
6. SPECIAL PURCHASES
I bought some materials for Sophia's Halloween costume (only available in summer!)
two new tires for my bike
we hired College Pro Painters to paint all of the window and door trim on our house and garage (plus the garage people door and fascia) - it needed to be done so badly and we were never going to get around to it! All of the trim is chocolate brown now; some was off white before
Our back yard after a weekend of hard work.
I had a terrible cramp on the right side of my right lower leg - unbelievably painful; it subsided after I found the right crouching position and drank some pickle juice (thanks to the Internet)
The girls enjoyed collecting caterpillars and keeping them (briefly) in containers. I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch holes in the lid.
I registered the girls for K4J VBS in August, ringette (Sophia and Madeline), and MYC piano (Georgia)
we did a bunch of yard work and it's looking good! I cleared all of the weeds from the paths and we added more crusher dust; we moved the whole pile of wood chips (from last year's broken spruce tree) into our yard and spread it all over the east side of our back yard; we also weeded the garden beds, trimmed our large lilac bushes, and cleaned up all the toys, sticks, etc.
I sold a few things on UsedRegina.com - the Sizzix Big Shot and bag I won last year (never used), fleece fabric, and 75-300mm Canon lens (total: $265!)
Neil made a feast of ribs and wings for Father's Day - shared with his parents and L&B at Laurel's house: blue ribbon barbecued pork ribs with classic red barbecue sauce, and chicken wings 4 ways: grilled hot wings, chile-lime wings with cilantro dipping sauce, dry-rubbed wings with PB&J sauce, and dry-rubbed wings with ranch dressing (Joy of Cooking) - all (but the ranch) from cookbook, Ribs, Chops, Steaks & Wings
Georgia, Madeline, and Sophia completed kindergarten, grade 3, and grade 5 - all report cards were good!
Ducks at the Wascana Waterfowl Park.
seeing evidence that our iMac's hard drive is failing - again (second one in this computer); started thinking about buying a new computer this year (now... looking forward to a faster processor and Mountain Lion!)
I did no scrapbooking (layouts), except to finish a digital page I started in May
Fascinating mammatus clouds on June 26.
processed May photos
backed up my computer
cleared my collection basket 1/4 weeks - boo
worked on my email inbox and computer 1/4 weeks - tough month
made no layouts (my goal was 6) - I don't think this is working out
took our monthly family photo - thanks to Laurel for taking our picture in Avonlea on June 30!
Yep, we were in our PJs (except Neil).
we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary on June 5 - Neil made a delicious supper for all five of us: grilled pork chops, crispy potato wedges, corn on the cob, and Greek salad; later, we watched the Top Chef Canada finale together
our computer gave me a big scare when it wouldn't turn on again after a power outage; then I learned that it might start after being unplugged completely for several minutes. It worked -- phew!
vandals spray-painted words on the side of our van in the middle of the night, and were caught within hours - thanks to our neighbour seeing them do it and calling police right away; we were able to remove the paint immediately with a Magic Eraser
online classes: completed Picture Black & White with Tracey Clark at BPC; enjoyed Got Glue? a free class from Tami Taylor at Creative Passion Classes; continued reading and watching class content in Twelve at BPC
I attended the band meeting for Grade 5 parents and learned Sophia will play trombone next year! We've reserved a used rental instrument from St. John's Music
we had some tornado watches and warnings during the last week of June - just as the city was commemorating the 100th anniverasary of the Regina Cyclone, the deadliest tornado in Canadian history
after one thunder storm, we saw beautiful and rare mammatus clouds over Regina
we had no home phone, Internet, or TV service for six days - fortunately, we did have access to the Internet via cellular data on my iPad -- and we were away for three of those days
I enjoyed talking about writing and editing with author, Alan Smith, at the Avonlea Centennial. He wrote Saskatchewan Birds, which we've owned for years - I wish I had known this when talking to him!
The girls enjoyed decorating Easter eggs yesterday using Kool-Aid, a permanent marker, and elastic bands. Thanks to Shauna for getting us a variety of Kool-Aid flavours in Texas! We didn't follow these instructions close enough to get a rainbow of colours. Perhaps we'll try that next year as we have another full set of Kool-Aid packages. I'd also love to try natural dyes (see my Easter board for three sources).
This magic moment: I didn't take this picture for the prompt, and it certainly isn't "off the beaten path" (it's just the first photo I snapped Christmas morning, and the colour was terrible, hence the B&W), so I debated whether to use it or not. But, this moment -- opening their gifts from Santa -- is still full of magic for my children, so it fits perfectly.
The day after: Our stockings and some gift-wrapping items we'll use again. I enjoy putting away the remnants of Christmas. Our tree is still up, but I'll have it down before January 1! I won't start a new year with this task unfinished.
A breath of fresh air: When I noticed the sun came out this afternoon, I immediately ran out to the park to take some pictures. I was quite surprised to see it today as the sky was completely overcast this morning. It seems like we haven't seen the sun very much this month.
For last week's prompt, I'm glad I was able to step out and take some pictures while the sun was shining. It makes all the difference in a picture like this.
No posts for 10 days. Yeesh. It just wasn't possible, though. We've been extra busy and I've been sleeping more thanks to a very nasty cold. Here's a brief recap of the non-ordinary happenings over the past week and a half.
Georgia went to a friend's birthday party at the Science Centre where they watched Cinderella. She wore Madeline's fancy princess dress from Mexico.
Sophia went to Laser Quest and Boston Pizza with her ringette team. Neil, Madeline, and I also went to BP to visit with other parents (M sat with the team).
Sophia scored a hat trick in one of her ringette games. She has a great shot and has scored every time she's played forward this year (all but the first two games).
Sophia enjoyed going to Robin Hood at The Globe Theatre with her school class.
Madeline's ringette team earned their first win of the season (their 8th game). They were very excited. Madeline and Georgia's teachers came to this game.
We all went to the CCA Finals Rodeo. Always fun to watch the girls have a new experience. Barrel racing and dogs herding sheep were the highlights for us.
I took the van to Toyota to get the back door handle fixed. Rather essential for us. And not cheap. Boo.
Madeline enjoyed spending an entire school day at Agribition with her school class.
Neil and I attended parent-teacher meetings with all three teachers. (The girls are doing well.)
We all went to Sophia's ringette tournament in Brandon. We stayed at the brand new Best Western which was nice. The Ice Angelz won 2 of their 3 games (only defeated by Chaos, our niece's team!). In the second game (vs. Winnipeg), Sophia was voted Player of the Game by the opposing team's coaches. She received a nice medal for her efforts. It was very exciting for her and a proud moment for us parents.
October 29: This year's Halloween festivities included a party at Madeline's friend Lauren's farm on Saturday night. (The same farm where the girls and I attended a Halloween party last year.) All three girls were invited, so after a bottle drive for Sophia's ringette team, the home Rider game (Neil attended), Sophia's ringette practice, and Madeline's ringette game (Madeline is playing very well!), we all returned to our house briefly so the girls could put on costumes for the party. (I should mention that Georgia and Dash were in Laurel and Bronwyn's care for the whole afternoon.) Sophia dressed as a fashionable shadow (more on that later), Madeline as a gypsy (a costume from my childhood), and Georgia as a cowgirl (pink hat, plaid shirt, jeans, boots, and a rope). Arriving about 7:30, we had missed most of the party, but we stayed for a couple of hours and had a good time.
October 30: Sunday evening, Neil spent a few hours carving pumpkins with some help from the girls. We were lucky to get three big pumpkins for free this year. They were grown by a family friend at Avonlea. Meanwhile, I washed and cut fruit for Madeline's classroom Halloween party, and Sophia (with a little help from me) made cookies for her class: Monster's Toes. The recipe was on the back of the Maynard's candy box. I don't think they're great tasting cookies, but they did look neat and Sophia enjoyed making them and sharing them with her class.
October 31: The girls' school is one of very few that still allow costumes at school, so they had their annual costume parade at 1:00 pm. I'm glad Neil and Georgia were able to go and take some pictures as I wasn't able to go this year. Madeline dressed as a veterinarian. She wore a very old (and much too large) lab coat, her real stethoscope, and carried some stuffed animals that she had bandaged up.
The girls had a great evening of trick or treating. They were out for about 90 minutes and brought home a ridiculous amount of candy, of course. As usual, Neil stayed home to hand out treats (and try to keep Dash calm), while I went out with the girls. Sophia's friend, Meghan, and Madeline's friend, Mattea, joined us. Mattea's dad also supervised with me. The weather was great -- about 4 or 5 C, and best of all, no snow! For trick or treating, Madeline dressed as a skeleton pirate (a great costume I purchased on discount at The Children's Place several years ago). The girls ran from house to house, with the older two and Georgia in the lead (G had no problem keeping up with Sophia and Meghan, even with cowboy boots on!), and Madeline and Mattea trailing by one or two houses.
Madeline only decided to be a pirate about an hour before trick or treating. Mostly, she had wanted to be a zombie ringette player this year, but we weren't in favour of her wearing her ringette equipment for Halloween (and, besides, she IS a ringette player). Georgia had wanted to be a vampire until Saturday when she came up with the cowgirl idea. Sophia, too, had had some costume plan changes. Originally, she wanted to be a glass of water but we didn't do anything about it soon enough. On Tuesday, I asked her to think of a plan B. After some thought and negotiating, she agreed to be Cleopatra using a costume I made years ago. We bought a black wig for her to wear with it. A couple days later, she came up with the idea of a fashionable shadow which I thought was cute and clever. She wore all black clothes, black wig, black cap, and carried a black cat (Webkinz) in a black purse.
November 1: The kids had no school today, and Neil had another four children in his care (Bronwyn, Ainsley, Henry, and Jimmy). After Jimmy went home mid-afternoon, Neil took the remaining kids to the Science Centre to see the Titanic Exhibit. (He can't transport more than 6.) Our girls had already been there but they wanted to see it again. Our family membership for the Science Centre really helps!
This evening, Neil and Madeline took Georgia to her dance class, while I took Sophia to her ringette game. Sophia scored the first goal and had a nice assist for her team, but they lost 10-5 (vs BP White). She was extra happy tonight because I finally broke down and bought her ringette pants on the weekend. She was the only one left on her team wearing hockey pants and socks (which were full of holes), so I couldn't hold out any longer. Immediately after the game, Neil and all three girls went to the Pats game because they received four free tickets today. And I was able to go home alone, which is what made this blog post possible!
I found this prompt a little more difficult than I thought I would, but I like how this picture of echinacea turned out. The blue tones in the background were a pleasant surprise when I looked at the picture on my computer; I don't even know how that happened! The next photo is the top of a corn stalk. The third one I shot pretty tight, but cropped it even further on the computer.
I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted. Where has the past week gone? It sure went fast, anyway. Let's see:
ringette camp. Ended on Thursday. It was my birthday and Madeline had dance after ringette, so we ate supper quickly at home and then went to DQ for treats before camp.
work work. We're in a major crunch time, so I don't have time to blog (or anything else) over my lunch break like I used to. And I worked Friday, so my weekend was shorter than usual.
BSS work. I prepared the next two weeks of content, and made a big decision (more on that later), and started making those changes (it's now free if you're interested!).
Rider game. Not for me, but for the whole rest of my family. It was the first time Neil was able to take all three girls to the game. Too bad it was so terrible! "Not even one high five."
Aunt Bev. Saturday afternoon, I visited my aunt who's recovering from surgery. It was a nice coincidence that my mom was there at the same time.
iPad 2. I bought an iPad on Saturday (using an interest- free personal technology loan from work) and spent some time loading apps, etc. LOVE! Especially instagram!
yard work. I worked in the back yard on Sunday for three hours and it was very hot out (30C ish). It looks so much better now. :)
Now, I'm off to work... and looking forward to Georgia's kindergarten welcome program/liturgy tomorrow morning, The Art of Composition starting tomorrow, and Crop & Create Saskatoon this weekend. Very fun stuff! (Less fun: packing and a dental appointment for me between now and then.)
We have much going on these days: work (intensely busy right now), housework, BSS work, school forms and fundraising, childcare (as in, Neil providing it), dog sitting, kids' activities (ringette camp, dance, piano, cross country), monthly photo tasks, Rams and Rider games, appointments, gathering supplies for Crop & Create Saskatoon... It's all good, but yes, rather tiring! And many things don't get done. C'est la vie.
I need an escape from the flurry once in awhile. Over the past week, Neil and I have watched the finale of Hell's Kitchen and a few videos from the Food & Culture Photography course we purchased. Love it!
PLUS, I received a Smash Book and accessories for my birthday! I'm so excited to use it! I was very surprised when I received it in the mail. Thanks again, Shauna, Laurel and families! I will start smashing things in it tomorrow. :)
I've been wanting to write this post for weeks now. At this point, it's now or never! I hate to miss recording some things as I feel like my blog/record book would be incomplete.
The last third of August was so very busy. Honestly, much busier than I would have liked.
At work, I was wrapping up my old job and packing to go to a new office location. On the 24th, I went out for lunch with a large group of coworkers to the Rooftop Grill. It was a farewell lunch for our co-op student which turned into a farewell for me, too (which is totally fine!). They gave me a nice card and a gift card for The Keg. Also, on my last day of work at head office (August 25), Neil packed lunches so he and the girls could have lunch with me in Victoria Park. My mom happened to be in the city that day, so she met us downtown as well. Unfortunately, my last day was so full of meetings, my lunch break was rushed and shorter than usual.
At home, I was spending quite a bit of time preparing BSS Bundle #1 as a free gift for subscribers and for sale.
And there were school preparations. I spent hours updating our family wall calendar for the upcoming school year with all the information I had received and could find. Labeling a gazillion school supplies took a few hours as well. All three girls were very excited about their supplies and insisted on helping. I miss the days when I could label school supplies in front of the TV after they went to bed!
The weekend before school started, I decided I had better decorate a shirt for Georgia's kindergarten paint smock -- after all, I had done the same for both Sophia and Madeline! For all three, I used an old black t-shirt from my closet and some glitter fabric paint. Designs were done on the fly, with the child's input, and they're all different but all have their name front and centre. (This is what the paint looks like when wet; it's more translucent and glittery when dry.)
On the 19th, we went to a farewell barbecue for Neil's cousin, Rhonda, who was moving to Ottawa for a new job, on very short notice. I'm glad we could see her before she left town! The party was at Darren and Ali's. We hadn't seen them for quite awhile (at least I hadn't) and the girls enjoyed playing with their little second cousins, Gabe and Avery.
On the 20th, we went to Yellow Grass to see my Great Grandma Byrns (visiting from Saskatoon), Aunt Chris and Uncle Tim (visiting from Idaho), and family who live in YG. First, we went out to Mom and Dad's farm to see the bison. I wrote a bit about this excursion on my layout about Madeline and the bull. The girls were also thrilled to ride on the Rhino with their grandpa. Sophia even drove it for a little while! (Madeline isn't quite tall enough yet.) On the way back to town with Mom, we enjoyed seeing many different birds in the marshes and flooded farmland along the road.
Back in town, my sister-in-law, Robyn, brought her children, Ethan, Jordyn, and Kacy, over to Mom and Dad's for a visit. (Unfortunately, my brother was working and couldn't be there.) Great Grandma, Chris, and Tim left before supper as they wanted to get back to Saskatoon before dark. The kids hadn't seen their cousins for months. They really enjoyed playing together, and going for walks and to the park. The younger four also painted some pictures. Painting at Grandma's house has become a tradition! We had a nice dinner at Mom and Dad's and went back to Regina in the evening.
On the 21st, we attended a thank-you barbecue for those who helped with the K4J Vacation Bible Camp earlier in the month. All three girls attended the camp (Sophia as a captain), and Neil had helped with props and clean up.
On the 26th, Madeline had her first appointment with an orthodontist because her top teeth are very crowded. He recommended that she get a couple baby teeth (top eye teeth) pulled right away to give the permanent teeth a little more room. She'll definitely need braces in a couple years, too. (She had those teeth pulled after school on September 6. Her mouth was frozen for a long time, but she still participated in her ringette camp that evening.)
On the 27th, we went to Weyburn for a welcome party for my cousin's baby, Lexington. (We had helped them out with their daughter, Bailey, while Lex was born on June 14.) It was nice to see them again, as well as Mom, Grandma Mantay, Aunt Colleen, Robyn, Jordyn, and Kacy. (Ethan was with his dad.)
On the 28th, we enjoyed having dinner with our friends, the Eleys, at their house. The food was delicious and it was a very nice evening. I'm still thinking about the fresh fruit salad of peaches, nectarines, raspberries, and blueberries, with citrus pound cake on the side. :) Thanks MJ and R! You're great hosts!
And with that, we were off to the start of a new school year, new job, and new activities in our schedule. I think I've covered everything from here on!
Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart - Unknown
Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. - Anton Chekhov
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - Wayne Gretzky
You are getting your wants confused with your needs. - Stacy Julian's dad
We are weaving character every day, and the way to weave the best character is to be kind and to be useful. Think right, act right; it is what we think and do that makes us who we are. - Elbert Hubbard
I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter. - Blaise Pascal
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
- Cyril Connolly
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of
to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
to leave the world a little better;
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is the meaning of success.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson