Sunday, September 28, 2008

Word...

...on the street that is!

We had a GREAT time today!

We headed out just before 10 a.m., which was a good thing, because as we approached downtown, we began to see traffic...lots and LOTS of traffic...and blocked exits...ALL the ones we could have taken to reach our destination.

So...here's what we did...

We had to go ALL THE WAY to the end of the Gardiner, turned left on Carlaw and then left on Eastern again. Eastern became Front Street at which point we followed it along to Yonge and turned right. We had to go up Yonge quite a way before we found a spot where we could actually CROSS Bay Street. Lo and behold, our chance appeared (coincidentally) at Elm. We turned on Elm so we could park at the Hospital for Sick Children. On Sundays the parking is CHEAP ($6.50) and all the money goes to research at the hospital...so it's a win-win situation. (edit: the money from the parking goes to research at the hospital every day...not just Sunday - OOPS!)

It took us about an hour and a quarter to get downtown...it didn't even take me that long when we went down for Jonathan's photo shoot on Thursday and we were driving in rush hour traffic - YIKES!

So, we parked the car and headed out of the hospital...all the while giving Lauren's friend Heather the equivalent of a "tour" as she had never been there before.

We walked up University Ave. from the hospital to Queen's Park, pointing out all the hospitals that were there: Mount Sinai (where Jonathan was born), Toronto General (where Lauren and Jonathan will go once they are 18) and Princess Margaret. We also pointed out where I went for my bi-weekly appointments with the high risk OB's near Mount Sinai. Scott remembered pushing me along the under ground tunnels between Mount Sinai and Sick Kids...there are a LOT of memories in downtown Toronto!

We all just love going to Word on the Street! Scott and I like to people watch and see which bargains there are to be had...the kids are all about trying to see how much money they can get us to spend.

The boys (Scott included) got some graphic novels, Lauren got herself some chick magazines and a book on Pirates and I got a new cookbook - WOOHOO! Heather picked up a couple of books too.

Just before we were done for the day, Scott and Colin stopped in one last time at a booth where Colin wanted a Star Wars Clone Wars graphic novel and Scott looked at some other things too.

As Scott was browsing, I snapped this:


I just LOVE that they all like to read!

Then we headed back towards the hospital. We wanted to get some coffee (Starbucks) and found one with a patio outside of Toronto General Hospital. So, we all enjoyed some drinks and snacks and on our way back to the car, I spied this:


and had to snap a pic!

Hope you all had a stellar day! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Did I tell you about Sing Star???

It's a game for the PS3 system that we have. The kids LOVE it! It's like a karaoke machine that plays on your TV - kinda cool!

The disc comes with songs on it and then you can go to the Sing Store and buy more. Scott and I quite like Billy Joel, so we bought some of those to play. Funny enough, the kids have really taken to his songs too. That's good, because if I have to listen to "Mr. Brightside" one more time...things might not be so "bright" - UGH!

One of Jonathan's favourite songs is "Uptown Girl". And this:


is Jonathan's "Uptown Girl".

Heather is Lauren's best friend/non-biological sister. If one of the girls isn't at the others house, then something is wrong.

Heather came to sleep over today as we are going to Word on the Street tomorrow. Jonathan was VERY excited to be seeing his "Uptown Girl" - so stinkin' cute!

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh So Lovely Thank You

YIKES! Can't believe I haven't posted a thing since Wednesday...how bad is THAT???

On Thursday over at SCS, the challenge is "Ways to Use It". I love this challenge, because more often than not, it sends me into my stash of goodies and I use up stuff I forgot I had (too much stuff maybe???).

This week the challenge was to use charms. I decided that a belt buckle counted and went to work with that...at which point DD reminded me that I used to put buckles on EVERYTHING at one point in my scrapbooking journey. She's right! People would ask me, "This needs something...but I don't quite know what." My answer was almost ALWAYS, "It needs a buckle!"

So, armed with my buckles, my "Oh So Lovely" and "Stem Silhouettes" sets, I set to work.


The base card is a Creative Cafe card from a set. The next layer is a 5" X 3 3/4" pieces of sponged and ticket punched Soft Sky cardstock. On top of that is a piece of Soft Sky DSP and Whisper White cardstock on which I stamped my main image. Both pieces were, of course, sponged and ticket punched.

I threaded the white ribbon with the buckle and used glue dots to adhere it and wrap it around the white cardstock.

The sentiment at the bottom (as well as one stamped inside) was stamped using the sentiment stamps from the "Stem Silhouettes" set coloured with a teal marker.

STAMPS: Oh So Lovely, Stem Silhouettes
CARDSTOCK: Soft Sky, Whisper White
DSP: Soft Sky
INK: Soft Sky
ACCESSORIES: Ribbon, Buckle

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Merry and Bright

First, a funny story (out of the mouths of babes)

Yesterday was Tuesday...Jonathan had cooking school...he takes cooking lessons at Loblaws, which means that we inevitably do some grocery shopping after class. I don't mind that...it works out, since the Loblaws that was near our house is now a "SUPERSTORE" and they don't carry the specials as Loblaws does - kind of annoying. But I digress...

Jonathan uses the flushable wipes when he goes to the bathroom. Over the weekend, he ran out, so we needed more of those. Over the weekend, I also ran out of baby wipes. No...we don't have any babies in the house, but I use baby wipes to clean my stamps when I'm done using them.

Before Jonathan was potty train (not long before) we had been to Costco to buy a MEGA box of wipes...I JUST used the last of them and he's been trained since just after he turned 3 years old. Yep! The box was THAT big!

All that to say that I needed more baby wipes...we're in the wipe aisle picking his flushable wipes and I say, "Oh wait! Mommy needs some wipes so I can stamp. I ran out and I need them because I WANT to stamp." Jonathan says (without missing a beat), "NO Mommy! You NEED to stamp!" I stopped the cart to give him a hug and a kiss right there! How much do I love that kid? SO CUTE!

So...today I stamped - WOOHOO!!! I missed it yesterday...

On Monday, our challenge was to create a book mark...but not just a regular rectangular bookmark...we were to create that would fit over the corner of a page. I started it, but didn't finish it.

Today, our challenge was a sketch. I LOVE the sketch challenges, because they always give you a great jumping off point...especially if your MOJO has left you hanging the day before - UGH!

I decided to incorporate my bookmark in with the card, so that you could give the card and a small "gift" at the same time.

This is what I came up with:


I think it would make a great Christmas card for someone who is an avid reader.

STAMPS: Merry and Bright
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Buckaroo Blue
PAPER: Four Seasons DSP
INK: Buckaroo Blue
ACCESSORIES: Ribbon

The base of the 5 X 7 card is Buckaroo Blue (in Colour '07) which I sponged in the same ink colour. The next layer is a 4 3/4" X 6 3/4" piece of Whisper White also sponged in Buckaroo Blue. The next three layers are 4" X 4" pieces of cardstock and DSP all sponged in Buckaroo Blue.

The images were stamped in Buckaroo Blue on Whisper White and then mounted on Buckaroo Blue mats.

The bookmark is tucked behind the piece of Whisper White so the whole card will fit in a 5 1/4" X 7 1/4" envelope.

My next goal is to work on yesterday's colour combination challenge...sort of...'cause I don't have the EXACT colours...

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's busy around here!

I started working on my bookmark yesterday and it's about 1/2 constructed - LOL!

I wanted to attach it to a card so that there would be a small "gift" with the card, but that is only 1/2 way done too - UGH!

Since I already had out my Buckaroo Blue and Four Seasons DSP out, I decided to use that...so far so good...just not done!

In other news, the school routine seems to be really sinking in, which is GOOD! I've even got Colin making his bed every day without having to bug him...too much. Jonathan springs out of bed in the morning and makes his bed before he even leaves the room.

So far, there hasn't been any rushing around in the morning...the kids know they have to be ready to walk out the door with teeth brushed, dressed to shoes, lunch made and back packs ready before they can have any electronic privileges. That seems to be working out well too!

That's about it for now...life is good...though a little hectic sometimes, but definitely GOOD!

I need to get some chores done and then just MAY have time to stamp a bit before it's time to pick Jonathan up at the bus stop and head off to cooking school. Hoping to have something to share with you later.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ready to Fly!

No...we're not going anywhere (POUT!)...I just made this card yesterday and decided that "Ready to Fly" was a good title for it.

Every Sunday at SCS, the challenge is "Featured Stamper". The challenge hostess picks a stamper and we get to go into her gallery, check out all her cool stuff and then pick a card to CASE (that's Copy and Steal Everything). The rules state that you have to change at least two things about the card. Our Featured Stamper this week is Shannon. I had SO much fun looking at her gallery!

Here's what I came up with:


I changed the main image and used a second image instead of an embellishment. I also used different DSP and different coloured cardstock. I REALLY liked the layout of the card, so I kept that...and can even see me making more with this same layout - SUPER easy!

The images were stamped on Whisper White and then cut out using my coluzzle. The mats for the images were also cut using my coluzzle. The small camera image was popped up on dimensionals. The card base is 4 3/4" square. The next layer is 4 1/2" square and the top layer of DSP is 4 1/4" square cut and then one piece was flipped - gotta love double sided DSP! Inside, I stamped "Are we There Yet?" I think this card would be just perfect for someone going away (especially in winter since I used the winter DSP from the four seasons pack).

I sponged all the elements with Buckaroo Blue...just 'cause I could...I've been on a sponging kick lately - LOL!

I have some 5" square envies, so the card which is 4 3/4" square will fit nicely in those.

STAMPS: Travel Time
DSP: Four Seasons
Cardstock: Whisper White, Buckaroo Blue
Ink: Buckaroo Blue

Today's Challenge is try a new technique and we're making a different kind of bookmark. Can't wait to play with that...but first, there are chores to do!

Hope you have a great day! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crisp Happy Holidays

I was looking for a project today (one I knew I had somewhere on my computer) and ended up over at Andrea Walford's blog and came across a neat little project for some Christmas tags.

I spent the afternoon creating and made 5 sets - WOOHOO! They'll make great gifts!


First I stamped the images on Whisper White cardstock then punched them out with my 1 3/8" punch. I then stamped off the "to and from" so it wouldn't be so strong and stamped it on top of the image. Then I used my Quickutz Revolution to cut out the mat for the image from Cranberry Crisp.

The package is a small cello bag stuck to True Thyme and topped with a scalloped piece of Cranberry Crisp and the "Happy Holidays" sentiment.

All the items were lined with a gold leaf pen.

Later on I hope to participate in the Featured Stamper challenge over at SCS. I have my sketch ready to go...so it'll probably be an "after the kids go to bed" project.

Hope everyone had a great day! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chocolate Sky Thank You

This one was done for the Inspiration Challenge and also for Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge. I took my inspiration from the colours in the "Mondo Dishes" photos.


Stamps: Oh So Lovely
Cardstock: Whisper White, Groovy Guava, Soft Sky, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Ribbon


Thanks for stopping by!

More stamping goodies!

I was having so much fun stamping yesterday, that I just kept going! Till after 11 p.m. - YIKES!

Then DH and I played Sing Star for a bit and since it was after midnight, I checked out the inspiration piece for today's Inspiration Challenge over at SCS.

So yesterday's challenge was the Limited Supply Challenge. You have to make a card using only the supplies the challenger decides upon. Yesterday's challenge was called "White Out" and we were meant to make a SIMPLE card using white as the main colour. Very Vanilla was an option too.

Well, I made Frankie, but when I re-read the instructions, I realized that I shouldn't have used orange to colour his shirt (we were only allowed ONE extra colour other than white and black or another neutral) and that I shouldn't have used green to sponge the white cardstock.

So...I went back to the drawing board after making the card that I did for Scott and came up with these:


The card base is 4 X 4 Very Vanilla, the next layer is 3 1/2 X 3 1/2 Chocolate Chip and the top layer is 3 X 3 ticket punched piece of Purely Pomegranate. The image is stamped in Purely Pomegranate on a 2 X 2 ticket punched piece of Very Vanilla. There is a sentiment inside that says, "from the bottom of my heart".

Stamps: A Light Heart
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Purely Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Brads



I made this using the Free Standing Pop Up tutorial that I used yesterday to make the pop up card for Scott.

The panel on the front of the pop up is a 1/2" piece of Very Vanilla stamped in Purely Pomegranate and matted on the same, then attached to the Chocolate Chip base.

The pop up part is the same Very Vanilla stamped with Purely Pomegranate and matted on the same and then matted again on Chocolate Chip.

I added an eyelet and ribbon at the top.

Stamps: A Light Heart
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Purely Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip
Accessories: Eyelet, Ribbon

Then, since I was on a roll and still enjoying using white, I made some of these:



They didn't qualify for the challenge (because of the yellow and red), but I had fun making them! The size of this card is 3 X 6 - a fun little size!

I stamped the main image on a piece of 2 1/4 X 5 1/4 piece of ticket punched Whisper White cardstock and then coloured in the star and balls on the tree using my Ident-a-Pen from American Crafts. The white was mounted on a piece of 2 1/2 X 5 1/2 piece of ticket punched Wild Wasabi before being mounted on the card face.

Stamps: Sidekick Sayings
Cardstock: Whisper White, Wild Wasabi
Accessories: Ribbon, Markers

I'm off to play a game of Dora the Explorer Candy Land with Jonathan, then I'm going to attempt the Inspiration Challenge which I'll like use with Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge and kill two birds with one stone.

Hope you have a great day/weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Purely Rose Love You

I'm not sure how long this stamping bug will last, but while it's here, I'm going to go with it!

I made this for DH, so while it's pink, I tried to keep it somewhat masculine by not over embellishing. He's crazy busy at work right now, so I know he won't see this before I get home.


I used colouring pencils and Gamsol to colour in Mr. Elephant and used my Tombo markers to colour in the flower hearts and grass. The image was stamped on Whisper White and was then mounted on Purely Pomegranate and the card base is also made from the same cardstock The ribbon tab and ribbon around the base is Regal Rose.

Stamps: Happy Heart Day
Cardstock: Whisper White and Purely Pomegranate
Ink: Going Grey
Technique: Free Standing Pop Up Card

Thanks for stopping by!

Jonathan's Journey Part II

At about 5:30 p.m., we were in Dr. Hornberger’s office getting the diagnosis. I thought my heart would break. She told us Jonathan had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome – a very serious heart condition where the left ventricle doesn't develop properly. We were given four options. The first was to terminate the pregnancy – something that we never even considered. The second was compassionate care – Jonathan would be born and made comfortable, but nothing would be done. The doctors would just make sure that he wasn't in any pain until he passed away. That thought just broke our hearts. Our third option was a three stage surgery – the first to be completed only days after Jonathan was born, the second when he was about 6 months old and the third at some point after second birthday. The final option was heart transplant. Because of the small number of infant hearts available, this option was not recommended.

We chose to go with the three stage surgery. Dr. Hornberger explained what would be done with each surgery and we were confident that Jonathan would be just fine (at least Scott was, I was just VERY worried!)

We were told that Jonathan would be delivered at Mount Sinai hospital so that he could be transferred to HSC (right across the street) shortly after he were born.


I began bi-weekly treks downtown to Mount Sinai for ultrasounds (I got to see Jonathan often!) and check ups with a pair of new obstetricians. Dr. Ryan and Dr. Seaward were very patient with me and answered all of my questions

Just before Christmas, Jonathan gave us a bit of a scare, and I thought for sure he would come early. We headed down to Mount Sinai so I could get checked out. They hooked me up to some monitors so they could check on Jonathan. It turns out that he just wanted to make sure we were paying attention and was letting us know that I needed to take a bit of a break and slow down.

Scott and I met with pediatricians, neonatologists and lots of other important people to ensure that Jonathan would be safe when he was born. We were told that we might not be able to see him right after his birth, because he might need to be ventilated in order to help him breathe.


After visiting the Special Pregnancy Clinic at Mount Sinai for four months, we found out when Jonathan's cardiologist would be on call and scheduled his birth for January 21st, 2003. I waited for a call from Dr. Seaward's nurse Christine and she said Jonathan would be born around 1 p.m. on that date.

"Frightening Frankie"

So I found these images from the Stampin' Up "Best Friends" collection that I stamped LAST YEAR while I was visiting with Crystal as I was sorting through some supplies last night (can you say "too much stuff"?) and decided to play around with my buddy "Frankie" since we're coming up on Halloween.

I was cackling to myself (yes, SERIOUSLY) as I was colouring him in, because I was having so much fun and he was just so darn cute!


I'll take Frankie to the hospital when we go for appointments at the end of October. I sell cards to the nurses and doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children and then donate the proceeds to the Sick Kids Foundation. It's one of the ways that I give back to the hospital.

Stamps: Best Friends (main image), Michael's $1 bin (sentiment)
Cardstock: Whisper White, Wild Wasabi, Bazzill/Chatterbox Dark Black
Accessories: Ribbon and Ric Rac
Punches: Ticket Corner Punch

I promise to have more of Jonathan's Journey up soon!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stamping Mojo is BACK!

I've been doing quite a bit of stamping lately and it's been WONDERFUL!

I did the challenge over at SplitCoast Stampers today which was to use a silhouette stamp. I also used the faux embossing technique which was another challenge.


Cardstock: Wild Wasabi and Whisper White
Stamps: Penny Black Image and Warmest Regards Sentiment
Ink: White Staz-On and Wild Wasabi
From my Stash: Ribbon

Thanks for stopping by!

Wild Wasabi Christmas

Yesterday was the Sketch Challenge over at SplitCoast Stampers. The sketch was GREAT for using up all those leftover scraps of paper - WOOHOO!

I already had some stamps out for the "Leaving on a Jet Plane" gift card holder that I made, but they didn't really fit with the size of the image panel, so I needed something different. I spied my 6 X 6 DSP pack and KNEW I had scraps in that, so off I went with it. When I saw the Rose Red, I decided to pair it with Wild Wasabi and use a Christmas stamp.

I really liked how it turned out!


Cardstock: Whisper White and Wild Wasabi
DSP: Rose Red
Ink: Rose Red and Wild Wasabi
Stamp Set: Season of Joy

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Jonathan and Colin's godmother is going over seas to visit her mom in Portugal.

As some of you may have gathered, I spend quite a bit of time in airports and I KNOW there is nothing more annoying than having to fish around for change to buy a coffee or a muffin. And it becomes even more annoying if your flight is delayed for whatever reason.

So, as a little pick me up for her (because she has done SO MUCH for us), I bought her a Starbucks Card and made her a little card holder in which to put it.


On the inside flap (the part that folds up to hold the card) I stamped "Are we there yet?"

I'm just rediscovering this set (Travel Time), so may have to play with it a little later on.

Cardstock: Bazzill (Chatterbox coordinate) and Whisper White
DSP: From a Simply Scrappin' Kit (I think birthday but can't remember for sure)
Ink: Old Olive
Ribbon: From my stash

I'll let you know what she thinks when I come back from picking up Jonathan at the bus...and I'll share some more of Jonathan's story too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jonathan's Story

It all started with a routine ultrasound on Sept. 12th, 2002. I was just past 18 weeks along and went for my ultrasound before hopping on a plane to Nova Scotia to help celebrate my uncle's retirement/birthday. I had a GREAT time while I was there.

On Monday, Sept. 16th, I got a call from my obstetrician while I was downstairs at the bus stop picking up Colin after school. By the time I got back upstairs, the office was closed.

On Tuesday morning, after dropping Colin off at the bus stop, I came back upstairs to call the OB office and before I had a chance to pick up the phone, they called me. I was told that the technician who did my ultrasound had been unable to get a clear picture of all four chambers and that I had an appointment at Sick Kids the following afternoon.

The first thought through my head was, "Not again." Jonathan's big sister Lauren has a heart condition too and we were told that the odds of having another child with a heart condition were pretty slim and that IF we did, it would likely be another girl. Right.

Nothing at Sick Kids moves as fast as we got our appointment unless it's serious, so I already knew we were in for a ride.

Scott and I arrived at the hospital for our 2:45 p.m. appt. on Sept. 18th. There were other fetal echos ahead of us so we weren't seen until almost 4 p.m. Having seen my fair share of echos with Lauren, I knew as soon as the technician made the first the pass over the heart that something was VERY wrong. Our fears were confirmed when the echo was done and we met with the cardiologist...

Monday, September 15, 2008

If Mom cries it has more impact, right?

Not that I planned it that way, but that's the way it went down.

Check out these two pictures:

Can you see something
missing here? What the heck happened?

True, I didn't write a speech...I was asked to tell Jonathan's story. And seriously, how many times have I done that? I didn't need a "speech", I know the story off by heart. The thing is, you would think after telling it hundreds of times, that I should be able to get through it without totally breaking down.

Apparently, that is not the case.

I got as far as, "Jonathan was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which means that his left ventricle wasn't developed. We found out when I was 19 weeks pregnant. I thank God every day for Sick Kids because just a few hours after he was born..."

I tried to keep going...couldn't do it. It's a good thing Scott was able to join us because he got pushed in front of the microphone to finish telling Jonathan's story. And he wasn't ready for it either because I was supposed to be doing all the talking!

I saw these things, these globes, in the airport when I took the kids to Nova Scotia before Scott and I went to Las Vegas at the end of July. The kids were the first ones to notice the Childrens Miracle Network logo at the base. I read what was written on the globe and we figured out that all the money collected would be donated to the Childrens Miracle Network to be used locally by childrens hospitals - in this case, the Hospital for Sick Children.

When Caroline called from the Sick Kids Foundation last week to ask if we would be interested in attending this event as the Sick Kids Family, I had to say yes. The Hospital for Sick Children has given us SO MUCH in the past almost 14 years since we became parents that every opportunity we have to give back is a blessing. We don't have thousands of dollars to donate so we donate our time and our stories.

Stories of the families we meet, stories of the friends we've made, stories of the amazing doctors and nurses who save lives on a daily basis. Today we gave back.

If you have children, granchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends who have children...if you work with children, see children in your neighbourhood, see children at your church...I can tell you with 100% certainty that your life WILL be affected at some point by a childrens hospital. It may not be today, tomorrow or even next week or next year, but it will happen.

And because of that, these hospitals need all the help they can get in doing research that will save lives. Did you know that it was a doctor at the hospital for Sick Children who discovered that a young child could receive a heart from someone with a different blood type because their immune system was so immature that it would be less likely to reject the heart?

Sick Kids is pioneering new medicine, new research and working towards cures every day. But they can't do it without our help.

So if you're flying somewhere, remember that "EVERY BIT COUNTS" and deposit your change into the coin globes at Terminal 1 in Toronto. When it's Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen, go have that Blizzard (the calories won't count). Keep on giving because they can't do it without us!

Tomorrow, I'll share Jonathan's story. Before I go, I'll leave you with this picture:


That's a cheque for over $5000 dollars. That amount was collected in just a few short weeks when there were only 6 globes at the airport. There are now 10 globes. Imagine the possibilities!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Sunflower

Back in May (or was it June? - I thought there was blog entry...but maybe not, oh well!), Jonathan planted a few sunflower seeds at Cooking School. We cooked something first, then because it was a spring theme, we planted sunflowers.

Only one of the little seeds grew, so it was a good thing we planted three in that little styrofoam cup. When the seed started to grow, it looked kinda pathetic (poor little thing) and started to bend over as it grew taller. I tried to straighten it out one day and and broke the stem (OOPS!) but the little plant wanted to live! So, we took it to Grandma and Poppa's house, and Poppa planted it in the garden and put some sticks next to the stem to help it stand up straight and see if it would grow bigger.

Lo and behold, it did!


And now, not only is it taller than Jonathan, it's even taller than Scott! How cool is that??? The head hasn't opened yet, so we didn't get to see the pretty sunflower colour. Scott's dad said that when it does, he'll take a pic for us to see. I can't wait!

Just to give you another idea of how big the plant is, here is Jonathan's little hand against one of the leaves:


While we were in Brantford, we celebrated MIL's birthday and I raided her cookbook collection for some new stuff to mess around with...so stay tuned for some possible baking posts this week.

As for tomorrow, Jonathan and I are off to the airport as Air Canada, the GTAA and Sick Kids launch a fund raising initiative. There should be lots of pics of that, so I can't wait!

My flip switch today was again our trip to Santa Monica...yes, I know I have a fixation problem - LOL!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don't make these...really, don't.

See these?

Don't make 'em! I found them here at Better Homes and Gardens. I was looking for Scrapbooking and Paper Crafting ideas and got lured into the food and recipes section by the shiny, shiny pictures. Shiny, shiny pictures that kept saying, "click me, click me", so I had to...and then this recipe popped up and said, "You know you want to...c'mon...just go into the kitchen and bake me. It won't take long. See, just look up at the top of the page. See that? Prep time is only 15 minutes. You'll be tasting them in just over a 1/2 hour." So I had to. But you don't...and really...you shouldn't. Because they're evil...and I'm sure they'll go right to your hips...or your thighs...or your behind...or wherever it is you tend to store muffins and such.

However, if you feel that you simply MUST enjoy the deliciousness, here is the recipe. Just don't call me when you need to buy a bigger pair of jeans.

French Breakfast Muffins

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted

Directions:
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, the 1/2 c. sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  2. In another bowl beat egg slightly; stir in milk and the 1/3 c. melted butter or margarine. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir until just moistened (the batter may be lumpy). Lightly grease muffin cups. Fill the cups about 2/3 full with batter. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins are golden.
  3. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl combine the 1/4 c. sugar with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Immediately dip tops of hot muffins in the melted butter or margarine and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture until coated. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Make Ahead Tip:

Bake muffins as directed. Cool completely. Place muffins in freezer container or bags and freeze for up to one month. To reheat, wrap frozen muffins in heavy foil. Heat in a 300 degree F over for 15 to 18 minutes.

Oh! And in case you're checking for a flip switch today, I've chosen the many trips we've taken to Disney World because how could you not just seriously be happy there!!! And yesterday, my flip switch was the trip DH and I took to Santa Monica in 2000. All I need to do is close my eyes and I am there.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

Have you heard that Alan Jackson song? If not, YouTube it. It's pretty powerful.

So, where were you when the world stopped turning?

I remember my upstairs neighbour calling me to tell me to turn on the TV. And then I watched, in horror, for HOURS as the whole thing unfolded.

I remember calling my DH and telling him and then having him telling me that it had to be a small plane that had flown of course because there must have been something wrong with the pilot. He was SURE there was no way anyone would deliberately fly into the WTC. Then the second plane hit...

I remember watching (because you just couldn't stop) as another plane hit the pentagon and while still a fourth crashed into the ground.

I remember sitting with my mouth hanging open as the WTC towers collapsed.

I remember not realizing that I was crying and somehow being unable to stop.

I remember the quiet eeriness outside in the days following as there were NO planes flying overhead.

I remember...and I will NEVER forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bad people SUCK!

Someone hacked into my PayPal account DAMN IT!!!!

Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to call PayPal right away as well as my bank. PayPal is looking in to the fraudulent charges and will of course get rid of them. When they're done that I can get the bank to reverse the NSF charges that were placed against my account.

Be vigilant!

Thanks for stopping by!

Law of Attracttion - 1; Cranky Teenaged Daughter - 0

Yesterday, Scott and I had appointments at two different places at the same time. He was a bit early for his, I was a little late for mine, but it all worked out.

We left DD in charge (something we do on a regular basis as she is old enough to handle the responsibility for a couple of hours) and off we went.

Yesterday, I was having a fabulous day - positive energy, happy thoughts, got lots done, the whole nine yards. DD - not so much. She was cranky because there are some kids in her academic math class that should really be in applied math, it was hot...a whole number things. She was just all around miserable.

Colin was having a GREAT day (coming off making cookies with mom) as he was chosen to be a bus patroller for his school. Today he goes for training at the Peel Childrens Safety Village.

So...back to yesterday. Scott and I are in the car on our way to our appointments and not 5 minutes into the drive (I kid you not!), Lauren is on the phone because Colin is freaking out that he can't call Scott if he sees a song he wants to buy in the Sing Store for the PS3 (we got Sing Star last week, but that's a whole other post).

Colin is cranky because he's feeding off Lauren's bossy/cranky mood, which makes Lauren more cranky and so it goes. YIKES!

When I was home and in my good/up mood, Colin was fine. Happy mom, happy kids and so on...except for Lauren who categorically REFUSED to have any kind of positive thought in her head. I even suggested one:

"You're upset because you can't learn in math class because there are kids there who should be in another class. Instead of thinking all the time about how much it sucks that these kids are there, why don't you start thinking that you would really like an environment in which you can learn."

Nope...she was having NONE OF IT! The teacher is supposed to be talking to the board in the next few days to see about moving the kids that are having trouble out of academic math into applied math. If Lauren starts and keeps thinking positive thoughts, I believe that it is more likely to happen (like attracts like). But if she keeps thinking that it sucks, she's just going to get more of the same - a sucky situation.

I've ALREADY seen the effects of the Law of Attraction in my behaviour and in those around me, so I KNOW it's true and that it works...but in her stubborn teenage ways, she refuses to pay attention.

Oh well...I'm just going to keep staying positive and not let her crankiness/negativity affect me...that'll teach her - LOL!

Oh! And if you're wondering what my flip switch is for today, it's the wonderful rainbow DH and I saw on our way home after our appointments yesterday. Too bad I didn't have the camera.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I am someone who...

This was our assignment over the weekend...sorry for the delay in posting the finished product!


Not much else to report on today...

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 8, 2008

As predicted...

...today's assignment was pretty much a bust because I had such trouble with yesterday's dump list.

On a happy note, my flip switch today was the kick butt dinner I made last night and I had a GREAT day!

I took some me time and walked to the library to drop off some books and then down to the grocery store to pick up dinner (salmon). Not sure if that qualifies as "me time" or not, but it felt great to go out for a walk!

After dinner (which was DELISH once again!), the boys and I made sugar cookies. Quite yummy! We used a recipe that Colin got a from a cooking summer camp class he took this year. We were in need of a different cookie as yesterday we made peanut butter cookies and Colin can't eat those. I think he was feeling left out.

On another happy note...there was NO shouting today. I'm proud of me...especially since having the kids in my kitchen while I'm cooking usually drives me NUTS. Tonight though...we had a GREAT time.

Now, I'm off to play Sing Star with Scott. I'm being serenaded as we speak. I think I need to download some Billy Joel.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Flip Switch # 3

Today's flip switch is the flowers that Scott brings home for "just because". They always make me happy when I get them and even make me happy just thinking of them!

Today our assignment was to write out a "dump list". It's a list that acknowledges that unpleasant things have happened in our lives, but that now it's time for us to let them go...

I had a little trouble with this one. I know what I need to let go but that dang "mama guilt" isn't letting me. So...for right now, the list is pretty short so I need to work on that. Our instructor said that if need be, we should let it sit for a bit. I'm O.K. with that...at least for a few days, then the perfectionist in me will want to get it done so I can keep up with the course. Without the dump list, tomorrow's exercise is going to be near impossible, so that will have to wait too...

I need to get around to scanning my "I am someone who..." layout so I can post it.

Maybe tomorrow...I'm such a procrastinator!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The journey continues...

...today our assignment was to fill out some pages that started with "I am someone who..."

PHEW! I had a LOT of trouble with that one...not in that I had trouble thinking of things to say (there was LOTS), but in that is was ALL negative - mostly centered around guilt - YIKES!

I need to work on that, because the guilt will eat me alive...I mean really. I think I must be the only person on the planet who feels guilty about buying store bought cookies because I know I can make them at home. Is that nuts? It must be...but there it is. There is guilt and lots of it. Wanna share some? No...I didn't think so.

Part two of the assignment is to make a layout that reflects the journaling that we did. I finished one half and will finish working on the other half tomorrow. Not sure if I will share it or not as it is more than a little personal...we'll see how I feel when it's done.

Sorry about the downer post today...

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Journey to Perpetual Happiness - Musings, some pics and my "to-do" list

Yesterday, I started on a Journey to Perpetual Happiness. I'm taking a class (as I mentioned) over at BPS. I identified my flip switch - a good face day - and it was a pretty good day. I started reading "Excuse me, Your Life is Waiting" and I'm quite enjoying it. It talks about the power of feelings and how much they can influence your life. I guess I always knew that, but I needed someone to put into words for me. The class at BPS is doing that. Our instructor, Lisa, has already been wonderful and yesterday was only day one.

For me, this journey is about being the best wife and mom that I can be. This is what I chose to do, my "profession", and I want to be happy doing what I chose to do. I don't want to wake up each morning dreading what the kids will get up to that will make me crazy. I want to get up each morning smiling and wondering what fun we can all create together. I want to go to bed each night knowing that I did the best I could with what I had, that I was the best mom and wife today.

I created my journal (got a sketch book and altered it) and my scrapbook album cover for the class. I've already started writing in the journal and the idea is to identify a flip switch for every day (something that you can think of that will create "happy thoughts" whenever you start feeling negative) and write about that and any other thoughts you have through out the day. I have never been a consistent journaler, but I'm hoping this class will be the push I need, because the little bit of writing I did today made me feel SO much better!

Here's a picture of the front of my journal/sketch book:

This is the front of the scrapbook album:

As for my to do list, I accomplished everything that I wanted to do yesterday afternoon: finished the cover to my scrapbook album, did the ironing, identified my flip switch for the day (albeit a little late in the day). I even managed to squeeze in cleaning the bathroom (thus eliminating it from my to do list today) and get dinner on the table before 6 p.m. So...ummm...yeah...GO ME!!!

So, my "to do" list for today is this:
  • Do a load of laundry – DONE! (washed, dried, folded AND put away)
  • Vacuum the dining room/living room/bedrooms (my kingdom for some hard wood/laminate floors!) – DONE! (Well, I did the living room/dining room/front hall – the bedrooms can wait, and I’m O.K. with that!)
  • Wash the kitchen floor
  • Make pizza dough for home made pizza dinner – DONE!
  • Pick up Jonathan from bus – DONE!

  • Beer Store to return bottles/buy Kilkenny for Scott – DONE!
  • Mall to pick up some pics - Skipped! Not enough time...and not like I don't have enough pics to scrap anyway - LOL!
  • Pick up Lauren at school – DONE!
  • Pick up friend (second daughter) Heather at her school – DONE!
  • Back home to make pizza (at least the dough will already be done) – DONE!
  • Have a "book covering party" with the girls
  • Collapse into bed
Hang out with me today and watch me cross things off with a smile on my face!



My flip switch for today is that I got everything done on my "to do" list from yesterday. That ought to motivate me to keep going on what I need to get done today. WOOHOO!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The "OFFICIAL" first day back.

So, here is my little man on his official first day back at school:

How cute is he???

And...if you thought I was going to lounge around the house eating bon-bons when I was finally child free today, you thought WRONG!

My to do list for today:
  • Do a load of laundry
  • Defrost dinner (we're having sausage)
  • Loblaws to get water
  • No Frills to get paper towels and cheese bricks
  • Friend Brigit to pick up something she picked up for (it's a Christmas gift for someone, so I can't tell you what it is)
  • Chapters to pick up "Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting" which is the companion book for "Journey to Perpetual Happiness" being offered over at BPS. (More on that later)
  • Future Shop to pick up "Sing Star" so the kids can Karaoke and drive all the neighbours batty
  • Oakville to return the stamps I borrowed from Crystal to complete the album I made for Scott (note to self: share some pics of that on blog)
  • Bus stop to pick up Jonathan
  • Library to pick up/drop off books
  • Post Office to pick up Lauren's school kilt (she wears a uniform now) so that she can wear it tomorrow and play "school girl" when we go pick up her friend Heather at her school tomorrow
  • Back home for lunch
PHEW! And that all happened before 1 p.m. - YIKES! And you thought I was just another pretty face. HAH!

This afternoon I need to alter the cover of a scrapbook album (gotta love American Crafts) and identify a "flip switch" to turn into a happy thought. I need to iron too...which isn't so happy, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do...and I can't send Scott to work in wrinkled clothes, because how bad would that look???

Tomorrow's list will be somewhat similar, though it will all be going on INSIDE the house. Join me as I:
  • Do a load of laundry
  • Vacuum the dining room/living room/bedrooms (my kingdom for some hard wood/laminate floors!)
  • Wash the kitchen floor
  • Clean the Bathroom (decided to be pro-active and do this today…you know…because I had a few minutes to spare – HAH!)
  • Make pizza dough for home made pizza dinner
  • Pick up Jonathan at bus stop
And then, we step out:
  • Beer Store to return bottles/buy Kilkenny for Scott
  • Mall to pick up some pics
  • Pick up Lauren at school
  • Pick up friend (second daughter) Heather at her school
  • Back home to make pizza (at least the dough will already be done)
  • Have a "book covering party" with the girls
  • Collapse into bed
What have YOU got on tap??? Betcha my crazy day beats yours - LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Teacher Survival Kit

Hmmm...and I think I have it bad when my THREE kids drive me nuts!

Jonathan's kindergarten teacher will be welcoming 25 children to her class room before the end of the week. That's 5 over the provincial limit, so there will be some re-organizing to do. Ultimately, she'll end up with 20 children to teach and nurture all year long.

To help her along a little bit, Jonathan will be taking this to school with him tomorrow:
The box is a 2-5-7-10 box from SplitCoastStampers and the idea for the survival kit was found on the internet. Do a search for Survival Kits and you'll find all SORTS of goodies! I found a few that I plan to use as Christmas gifts as well. Can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

They're going baaaaa-aaaaacccckkkkkk!

Sing it with me: "It's the MOST wonderful time of the year!" C'mon, you know darn well you want to sing along!

While I love summer vacation as much as the next person, by about the 2nd week of August it starts getting OLD! This year was no exception. We had a busy July, filled with traveling and visiting friends; but as July turned to August, the lack of routine started to get stale.

By late last week, I was counting seconds and wanting to throttle children (not really on the throttling), so today I was more than happy to pack them all off.

Of course, not quite all of them have been packed off...Jonathan is still home with me for today and tomorrow as he starts back on Thursday. They stagger the kindergarten starts at his school and his back to school day is Thursday. We did go into school today to drop off his "indoor shoes" as well as a complete change of clothes for...well...just in case; he is only 5, of course.

So, today I sent my girl off to high school - she's in grade 9 now...how did THAT happen! She's going to a Catholic school (we're not Catholic, but she can still attend that school) and looks darn cute in her uniform!

*Note* Yes, I know there's a shadow behind her...no time to set up a decent "shoot" at 7:45 a.m. as she's walking out the door.








Colin went off to grade 5 - again, how did THAT happen? He'll be ten next month...then I'll just have my little man in the single digits.
















Not one to be left out, Jonathan wanted a "first day of school" picture taken even though this isn't technically his first day...still stinkin' cute! (Yes, that's a scrape on his chin. See yesterday's post for the reason.)





Scott was showing off and generally being a smart ass, so I snapped his pic too and promptly informed him that it would make it to my blog. Let's see how long it takes him to figure it out and retaliate - BAHAHAHAHA!!! He says he has some pictures of my behind that he's going to put on his blog...uhhhh...he doesn't have one!


O.K., so with that lovely image...I'll "see" you all tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Summer's come and gone...

...and it was practically non-existent. We only had a very FEW really WARM days and then that was that. We live in high rise condo and usually, for most of the summer, I keep the air conditioning on high (we have western exposure) and all the blinds closed. This year, I was able to have the blinds open most of the time and leave the air conditioning off and the windows open for days at a time.

Lauren saw a squirrel on Saturday and remarked that his tail was not very fluffy. Hopefully this means that we will be getting more of the same kind of summer weather over the winter, with not too many storms and generally mild weather.

What did you do for the last long weekend of summer???

On Saturday, we hit the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition for my unfamiliar readers) and had a reasonably good time. I say reasonably good time because Scott and I REALLY enjoy the airshow that is put on over Labour Day weekend. The kids? Not so much. As such, it's usually a bit of a struggle. This is also usually when I pull the "I brought you into this world, I carried you for nine months, you get to do whatever you want for most of the summer, you want for NOTHING, we are WATCHING THE AIR SHOW and we're watching it from START TO FINISH!"

We started the day off at Ontario Place where the kids got to go on a couple of their favourite rides. Colin went with Scott and Lauren to ride Wilderness Adventure and I stuck with Jonathan so he could the cars at OP Driving School. Unfortunately, as he was running (yes, I've told him NOT to do that!) to get to a car, he took a tumble - scraped both his knees, both his arms and his chin. Of course, this didn't deter him from wanting to continue on with the ride - SUCH a boy!


After Colin was done his ride at Wilderness Adventure (he went on twice) and Jonathan was done at OP Driving School (three times) we headed over to Bob's Boatyard to ride the paddle boats. Normally, we all ride together (there is a little spot for Jonathan in between the two boat pedalers), but this time Colin went with his Dad and Lauren and I were Jonathan's slaves. Truth be told, I think Scott was just out to have a nap as it looks like he made Colin do all the work.

Then, it was time to head over to the CNE. Our first stop was to be Kid's World, because the good folks at Pizza Nova always have something for the kids to do. They let them mess around with pizza dough and show the kids how to throw it to make their own pizza. Most of it ends up on the floor, so they don't actually eat it. The best part is that when they are done with the dough they get a slice of pizza (free lunch!) and a goody bag that contains an activity book, the last page of which is a coupon for a free small, three topping pizza...and who doesn't love free???

Unfortunately, we were a little too late for the 11:45 a.m. "showing" and so had to wait around for the 1:15 p.m. demonstration, which cut into air show time.

Being the man that he is (my knight in shining armour), Scott stayed with the kids while I went and scoped out a seat for the airshow - he's just AWESOME that way. The kids got their pizza and came to join me to watch the airshow just before 2 p.m. Unfortunately, that meant Scott missed his favourite plane - the Spitfire - but I did get a picture of it along with the CF 18 doing its "Heritage Flight" which seems to have become a tradition since they celebrated a hundred years of flight at the CNE a few years ago.

The Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival is on now at Ontario Place, so that's why you see the "Eiffel Tower" on the right. It's really pretty at night when all the lights are on.

Following the airshow (where we had ribs for lunch - not as good as the ones we had during opening weekend), we headed off to check out some more of the Ex.

Lauren got herself some lip gloss and nail strengthener where they were selling off Sally Hansen products for cheap and we all got sweet treats (cotton candy for me, candy sticks for the boys and fudge for Lauren). We checked out the sights, had perogies (Lauren and me), hot dogs (Scott and Colin) and pasta (Jonathan) for dinner. We checked out the Arts and Crafts building and capped off the evening with "Jump Jet" (a pyrotechnic/acrobat show), that we really could have skipped.

Colin and Jonathan wanted to go on Crazy Mouse (a ride), but it would have cost $18 (yes, you read that right) for the boys and Scott to ride. Plus, there was a HUGE line!

The boys were bribed out of the ride with a promise of Playdium (picture over 100 arcade games all under one roof - yeah...I got a headache too!) which ended up costing more but resulted in almost 2 hours of fun versus the 30 seconds of Crazy Mouse fun.

Yesterday was Playdium and Scott and I went out for dinner (our 17th anniversary), but I'll save that for another day since this post is already well beyond WAY TOO LONG.

Thanks for stopping by!