A pretty sunrise is always uplifting for me. :) (CY365 prompt)
Crazy day: papers (N/K), supervision at PSS (N), training course all day (K), track try-outs before school (S/M), school (S/M/G), Grocery Freedom run (N), Kingdom Kids captains' practice (M), city badminton tournament (S), confirmation class (all), dance class (M).
To mark the occasion, I present...
A Venn diagram of this season (or decade) of my life - which I've come to realize, accept, and even embrace (I may as well!):
And, nine things I would be finished right now if I had a magic wand:
Trying not to let these things weigh me down!
Although ringette season has ended, I'm neck deep in homework for my 8-week Dale Carnegie Course on Effective Communications and Human Relations (which involves practicing and reading three books and other materials).
One day at a time...
...which may explain why this is my only blog post in February. (I just couldn't let a whole calendar month pass by without a single post!)
Here's my one layout. More to come, I hope!
I think I did pretty well: 12 YES, 3 NO, and 4 Yes&No (partial success) -- about 75%. That's fine; I used the other 25% for accomplishments such as keeping our family calendar up to date, doing yard work, learning set dancing, learning about food, and doing my December Daily photo project! In any case, looking back at my plans for 2012 helps me see what works for me and what doesn't.
What about 2013? I'm working on setting goals for this year, but I'm not finished yet. This month has been crazy!
This happens every day about 5:15 am, except Sundays (and stat holidays). It wasn't much fun the first week when we didn't know the ropes, but now it's quick and easy to deliver the Leader-Post. (We started October 31.) I quite like doing it, actually! (Which is rather surprising because I would not go for a daily walk otherwise!) We don't even need our address lists any more. Neil and I split the route -- 24 for him and 22 for me, plus 2 more that we drop off on our way home. It only takes about 20-25 minutes for the actual walking delivery part -- and about the same amount of time to get up, get dressed, count the papers, fill our bags, gear up (iPods are essential), and get to our starting point.
We're deep in the throes of cleaning our overstuffed basement. And we just decided on Monday to have a yard sale this Saturday. So much to do before (and after) the sale! Good thing I'm off tomorrow. I'll be preparing for the sale tonight, too, but first, I wanted to pop in and write something; otherwise, there may be no blog post at all this month.
We're planning to sell children's clothing at our sale, which is something we've never done before. Up to now, we've given everything (up to size 5) away. But the massive pile of clothes (and shoes) we have to get rid of right now is just too much to handle the same way we have in the past. (Plus, we could use the money for school supplies.) We're only selling for six hours, and I'm sure we'll have lots of clothes left to send to Texas.
I don't know when I'll be able to do my monthly photo tasks or roundup for July, and this bothers me! Oh, how I loathe getting behind on these things. But I'm determined to get our house in order before ringette starts (October). (My hope was to do it before school starts, but I can see there's more to do than we have time for before September 4.) We've made some good progress and we can't stop now. Moving is not an option and continuing to live in this mess is not an option, either!
I'm still learning about food during the times when I'm not with other people or working (at work or at home): podcasts while driving; videos during work breaks; reading for a few minutes before bed. I've:
Aside from simply being interested in nutrition (which I've always been; although I didn't always have correct information), I've been fascinated, astonished, and saddened by what I've been learning lately. We now have access to "new" (in some cases, old, but forgotten) information about food's enormous impact on our health, and this information should be turning our world upside down, but I'm afraid mass acceptance is still a long way off.
I'll be reading Wheat Belly soon. Thanks to Neil for buying it for me at Costco today, unrequested, even though I know he has some reservations about me reading it. :) But I don't need to read the entire book to start making a change. All it took was one 42-minute radio show (see link above) to make me seriously consider giving up wheat -- with the possible exceptions of homemade pie (rare treat), homemade turkey dressing (rare treat), and spelt bread* (occasionally) -- and it's not even an issue of weight for me; the other health implications are enough.
*I think the jury is out on spelt; I can't be sure it's not as bad as modern wheat, but I'd like to keep it as an option for my family -- at least as another delivery vehicle for butter. Lucky for us, our friends at Orange Boot Bakery make an excellent 100% spelt bread (bonus: it's fermented/sourdough).
P.S. And, of course, we've been taking in as much of the Olympics as we can! These days are full.
In January, I posted My plans for 2012. I'm keeping track of my progress using a spreadsheet in Google Documents. I enjoy my rainbow of colours!
Here's how I'm doing so far...
Overall, I think I'm doing pretty well. The next two months will likely challenge my goals even further as I participate in Picture Black & White. At least I'll be blogging more often!
Ringette ended on March 25 for both Sophia and Madeline. Both girls enjoyed the season even though their teams were at the bottom of the standings (in both divisions, Petite and Novice). Now they're looking forward to wind-ups with their teams. Madeline's team is going to make bath products at Bath Goddess, while Sophia's team is going to use the rock-climbing wall at the Science Centre. We parents enjoy ringette, too, so we weren't particularily anxious for the season to end, but will appreciate the free time on our calendar!
Sophia started playing badminton this week. Both Neil and I liked badminton very much when we were young.
The girls brought their report cards home on Tuesday. They're all doing very well. (Sophia just needs to put a little more work into long division. I found this game for her to practice, and she likes it: Snork's Long Division.)
I've been doing some scrapbooking. Hooray! This morning, I completed my ninth layout of 2012 (4 digital and 5 paper). Now I need to produce another one by Saturday night to reach my goal of six layouts in March.
I'm planning to file our income taxes tomorrow, start to finish. I hope I can do it in under 5 hours. I know it's taken longer in the past, but I'm counting on TurboTax to have saved a bunch of my data from last year.
I can't believe we have NO snow left at the end of March. At this time last year -- after a winter of unusually high snowfall -- we still had a huge amount of snow (see a photo from March 29, 2011). I like this year much better!
I registered all three girls for the QCM Mini Marathon in September. Madeline and I have already walked the 3 km route, and we're planning to walk it as a family on a weekly basis over the next five months.
I registered all three girls for swimming lessons at the university during the last two weeks of July. They'll be in levels 1, 4, and 6.
My current Irish set-dancing class concludes this Saturday, March 31. I was able to attend seven of the eight classes. I really enjoy it and have decided to participate in the next 8-week session -- Thursday evenings beginning April 12 at the Polish Club, I think. Who would like to join me?! (I have also agreed to do some set-dancing on stage at Mosaic!)
I'm fascinated by these genealogy indexing projects. I had no idea that anyone could help index data from old records. Digital images of the 1940 U.S. Census will be released to the public on April 2, 2012. Cool!
Taken last Sunday (Jan 15). It was 4:30 pm, I was losing daylight fast, and just wanted to get "something" for this prompt. I went outside to look in at my girls (through the front window) and ended up with a picture I LOVE. :)
Our days over the past week have been FULL. Full of various commitments and fun stuff; too full for blogging -- or any other hobby. But I'm still recording some details on a daily basis and I'll share highlights in my monthly roundup. I'm so glad to have that plan in place, as I can't do more than that these days. Okay, off to bed now. Another full week ahead!
This month, I've been doing a great deal of preparing, planning, cleaning, and catching up. I needed to do these things before I could mentally dive into 2012. Now I'm ready. And I have big plans for this year!
Here are my plans for 2012. Some are new, some are things I'll continue doing, and some are things I plan to do more consistently. I don't think I've created such a detailed list before, but this feels right for me, right now. I tried to be realistic, but also push myself to accomplish some things I really want to do -- such as scrapbooking, cleaning, reorganizing, and staying on top of things.
*I'm aiming for 3 layouts in January since I haven't started yet, and my schedule is very full for the next two weeks.
**Affiliate link. I really enjoy the content Jennifer delivers every month as well as the private community on Facebook. Check it out!
***I've already donated about 1/3 of my own clothing this year.
****I'm taking a week off work in February.
It know it won't be easy for me to stay on top of this list, but I also know I'll be very happy if I can get these things done! I've set up a couple of tools to help me stay on track with my plans: Google Calendar and a spreadsheet in Google Docs. I may also look at Mindbloom as a way to stay motivated for certain projects. (It looks cool!)
This picture came to mind when I received last week's prompt. I took it in 2006 at my paternal grandmother's apartment. The baby in the framed picture is me, photographed by my uncle in 1971. Grandma gave this picture to me when we visited in 2010. It now sits in my scrapbooking area.
I think my youngest daughter (soon-to-be 6) resembles my maternal grandmother, so I had her pose with a picture of Grandma, taken when she was about 2 or 3 years old. I almost managed to capture the same expression. After this, Georgia gave me some great smiles to photograph, but I thought this worked better with the picture she was holding.
I've had this blog post in draft for a week, but couldn't find time to finish it. The past week was a doozy -- perhaps my least favourite week of 2011. Glad it's behind me!
And Picture the Holidays? I've missed six days now. Momentum. Lost. :( I will try to start again tomorrow (I was enjoying it!), but I won't even try to do the missed prompts until I'm off work. Just four more work days (and much to do in the evenings) and then I have 11 days off! Oh, how I need it.
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.
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!
This week, Tracey challenged us to feature the pumpkin in a new light or create a story. Our pumpkins wanted to play. :)
I seem to be having a problem getting any blogging done! Last week and weekend were full with a 5-day work week and several activities -- three ringette practices, three ringette games, and four dance classes since I last wrote. Neil also took the girls to see a Rams game on Saturday night.
P.S. Sunday morning, I machine-sewed name patches on four ringette jerseys and it went amazingly well! Both Sophia and Madeline had games in the afternoon.
Since we're having hard frosts night after night now, Sophia was collecting all of the remaining tomatoes from their vines (so we won't have to cover the plants with sheets any longer). I love it when I can capture something real (not staged) for the weekly prompt.
What else is happening around here these days?
P.S. Neil called Delta about our kitchen faucet on Friday morning, and on Monday, we received a new hose in the mail, completely free. He installed it that day and there's no more leaking. We've had a bucket under the sink for months! Why do we wait so long?
P.P.S. Also in the past couple of weeks, the girls had some appointments. On Oct 7, Neil took all three to have their eyes checked. They all have good vision and healthy eyes. On Oct 14, I took Sophia to her orthodontist. We were very happy to hear she won't be starting treatment any time soon. He feels he can correct everything with braces after she has grown some more. She'll have another checkup in one year. Sophia learned that she has lost all of her baby teeth. The last one just came out 3 or 4 days before her appointment.
Ten things I wish I could do all in one day -- today! (Today is Thanksgiving, a stat holiday.)
Hmmm, what will I actually be able to do today? Just a small fraction of this list, and right now I'm leaning toward some items on the second half of my list. Decisions, decisions.
For a listing of this month's participants, see 10 Things at Shimelle.com.