Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Star Wars, Mario Kart & Hot Wheels

This Christmas was one of the first that we've really noticed Gavin's interest at a peak. He wanted everything and asked lots of questions this year about Santa. It was really fun to see how excited and interested he was in the whole production.
He was so easy to buy for.... he wanted it all! He was mostly interested in anything Star Wars, Transformers, or Hot Wheels. However, Santa surprised him and brought our whole family a Wii! He didn't really know what a Wii was until he saw Mario Kart! He'd seen this game on a friend's DS and was super thrilled when he realized he had it now too! Needless to say, he's been loving that game ever since. I'm letting him video game binge while it's still the holidays. I figure next week, it's back to school and Sue's. So for this week, he plays Star Wars on his Leapster, Mario on the Wii and takes breaks to race a few Hot Wheels cars. It's a good life for a four year old boy!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Today I nest...

That's right. I am puttering and cleaning and getting organized.

I have cleaned the kitchen cupboards and reorganized the drawers. I purged many unused and unwanted items (about a gazillion sippy cups)! I organized all the small appliances into one area. I decided not to continue with "good" silverware and I've merged the good with the everyday! What's the point of "good"? If it's that good let's use it everyday too!

I puttered in the scrapping room. I'm feeling quite inspired these days but the mess of the room has held me back. Hopefully this new organized space will bring me a few good layouts one day soon!

I sorted through Gavin's playroom and compiled a bag of garbage, a bag to "share" and a bag to store...just in case. Some of those baby/toddler toys are too damn cute to share just yet!

I washed the slipcover for the couch downstairs and started a holiday puzzle, while doing so! (I love a good puzzle!)

I've organized some recipes in the hopes that I will get moving and actually bake something...ha!

I have croissants rising in the kitchen... ready to be baked for Christmas morning- a tradition!

And now... how about another coffee, a gingerbread white chocolate biscotti and a little puzzling!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh what a day...

So here's a little update about the kind of day I'm having today"
  • Gavin set the alarm off in Winners...not the beep beep beep one but the really loud like something bad is happening one!
  • Gavin pounded on the baby powder bottle with a back scratcher(what?) until it was everywhere in the bedroom and all over him!
  • The squirrel "proof" bird feeder has a squirrel sitting IN the feeder eating seed. Nice.

Ugh... it must be cocktail hour!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Prayer for Delaney


This link will connect you to a Facebook group called Prayer For Delaney. Delaney has leukemia. Her mom is a wonderful friend. This news has devastated anyone who knows her. It has crushed me. It breaks my heart. Let the power of our collective prayers pull them through this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Girlfriends on the Go" to the rescue!

So, recently I read about this book. It's a great idea! Basically, girls get together and decide on a meal that they will each prepare in bulk for all the members of the group. Then we get together again, with drinks and snacks, to exchange our meals!
A couple of weeks ago, we got together and I came home with 2 chicken pot pies, broccoli & cheese soup, cheesy macaroni and chicken bake, ham & potato casserole, and brownies and cookies! It was fantastic! Best of all.... last night we had pot pie and tonight mac and cheese!
Lovin' it!

Friday, November 7, 2008

In honour of beautiful fall weather...

Just thinkin'...
It's been a beautiful fall! These last few days have been marvelous for my mood! I love a nice warm sun on my face!
I thought I would post some photos from our Cranberry tradition. Thanks Susanne! That was a great weekend! Lots of sun and fun. Not quite as warm, but wonderful.
But here's the real thing... I would take a wet, rainy and cold weekend with those girls than a warm sunny day without them! Missing you girls.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A prayer to the scrappin' gods...

Please allow me the time and inspiration to get creative.
Please allow me to finish the tasks that need be so that I may scrap without guilt or as a means of procrastination.
Let me use up the materials I have so that I may shop excessively for more paper! Oh how I'd love some new pretty papers!

He's the VIP!

Wednesday night Gavin and I prepared for what was the most exciting happening at school so far.... he was the next day's VIP! He had a special sharing bag in his backpack containing the special instructions. Bring something to share that begins with the letter i... seriously. Every other kid is bringing transformers and we had to find something that begins with i and something that is meaningful to Gavin.

After much consultation with colleagues at work, I decided to send the insect book and some plastic insects, as well as a book all about the letter i. This book is quite special. We keep it in the trailer so that any bugs found can be recorded, checked and marked with the place and time of finding. Gavin loves this book! It was special to him.

That night, Gavin couldn't get to sleep. He continually sang the VIP song. "He's the V-I-P. He's the V-I-P. He's a very important person. He's a very important person. That's me!" It was too cute.

To kick it off... he had to wear a costume for the school's Halloween parade that day as well. I knew it was too much... a recipe for disaster.

He came home. He was happy but reported that Mrs. R had actually forgotten about the VIP until just before the bus. Really. It broke our hearts but he seemed okay. We still made a huge deal of it all!

As a teacher, I knew those moments were special to kids but I had no idea how much. Being a parent gives a whole new perspecive to education. That day, being the VIP, was the most important thing to him. He couldn't tell me one other thing about that day. It may have been shorter lived than normal and a little more rushed but that sharing was the highlight of his little four year old life. It's a lesson learned. Take time. Slow down. Enjoy the little moments.

Roasted Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds

My favourite (& only) recipe for pumpkin seeds:

1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
5 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons oil

First, take all those seeds and spread them out on a baking pan lined with parchment. Dry them in the oven at 250 degrees for about one hour. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the oil to a fry pan and add seeds. Carmelize. Remove seeds and add to remaining ingredients. Coat seeds thoroughly. Enjoy! Mmmmm good.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall with the Fillmore's!

Well this one goes down in history for being the sunniest weekend at the Cranberry Festival ever! That's right... we just got home from here http://www.balacranberryfestival.on.ca/! We had a wonderful weekend with good friends (Antunes Family & Fillmore Family), good food (peameal bacon & cranberry chutney sandwiches), lots of yummy drinks (fireside tea, hot cranberry cocktail, wine & coffee)! We camped out at the Gravenhurst KOA and the kids had so much fun! Today they created a whole bunch of games for the grown-ups to play. We went for a nice hike on the trails and naturally, we went to the cranberry marsh for some of our favourite cranberry treats. This is such a great fall tradition, made even better by the wonderful people we get to spend our time with. Now, time to snuggle in and get warm with some sunday night tv!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


"Do you know how much easier life would be if we could just love lotion?"
Seriously... after two BIG glasses of red wine, Shawn and I are thoroughly enjoying Grey's Anatomy. This is one of the first episodes that I have laughed out loud in for a very long time. I'm loving it, finally! Maybe it's the wine but I don't know, it just seems really good tonight. I haven't felt like it was that great for a while now. Still sick of Meredith but otherwise... loving it!
Do I love Brothers & Sisters more? Still... kind of.
But Grey's is on the up and up. Have you listened to the soundtrack? LOVE that! Three different seasons on my IPOD. Love it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

King sized Kung Fu

Just finished watching Kung Fu Panda in the hotel's king size bed! Oh how I love a king size bed. What were we thinking when we bought a queen?
Gavin is snuggled in his bed. Shawn has gone down to his poker tournament and I am loving relaxing and watching Amazing Race with a big glass of vino. This is my kind of long weekend! I love to stay home but boy, do I love this weekend. We have totally relaxed, shopped and today we visited two different zoos! Gavin had a blast! The weather has been fantastic!
Shawn bought a new GPS. It is so great to search for fun places to visit and to sit back and let the GPS do the navigating! Shawn says it saved our marriage! I loved using it to find places like TARGET! Too cool.
Gavin has been such a good boy. We got him 4 little action figures from Star Wars. We watched that movie, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, on Saturday night. He is loving everything Star Wars these days. Those 4 little action figures have kept him more than entertained. Love that.
And so, "the great escape" this weekend was well worth it! We have loved every minute!
We are grateful for this time together!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Great Escape....

The weekend is quickly approaching and both Shawn and I felt it would be a great weekend to getaway! I've been putting work first for many days/nights and our weekends are important to us. We want to take advantage of the beautiful fall colours and the LONG weekend!
Sure, we're thankful and all. We'd love to have a big Thanksgiving dinner but... our oven is broken and we really want to go away. Greg says we're always "running". So, for this weekend we decided to go here! http://turningstone.com/
You got it! It's a resort and casino! I know what you're thinking. Gavin is far too young to gamble. True but never too young to shop, swim and lots of outdoor fun!
I've learned that our getaways are so much more fun if we take into account everyone's "needs". So, poker for Shawn. Shopping for me! And all the other stuff for Gavin! It's a good balance.
Monday... we will be thankful with my family. We will eat turkey and give thanks. And... could it get any better?? The weather looks fantastic!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Just another day...

Woke up with the sound of Scooby-Doo.
Discussed plans for the day.
Debated about a visit to the zoo... not Shawn's favourite.
Decided on go-karts!
Played monster trucks in our bed with Gavin.
Read Wiley Goes to School.
Had oatmeal for breakfast.
Gavin played in uncle greg's dirt pile with Speedracer.
Visited with uncle greg... while he was building our new shed.
Gavin cried because his clothes "weren't cool enough".... honestly.
Had grande vanilla latte.
Drove to Kingston Family Fun World.
Raced in the go-carts.... let Shawn and Gavin win!
Played a round of mini-putt... let Shawn and Gavin win.
Ate lunch at McDonald's.
Shopped at COSTCO!
Gavin slept the whole way home... bliss.
Rocked out to ACDC.
Played Curious George games on pbs.org.
Did laundry... again.
Had wings and beer for supper:)
Ate leftover birthday carrot cake for dessert... thanks again Rob!
Received handmade card from Gavin with his version of the words...."love you mommy and thanks for taking me to ole' McDonalds"
Snuggled on couch with cozy warm fire.
Read blogs.
Gavin went to bed... reluctantly.
Gavin peeked around corner.
Told Gavin to get back into bed.
Gavin stomped back up the stairs.
I told him I love him.
I search for a good movie to watch.
Shawn joins me on the couch... poker game already in session!
Just another Saturday.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Never thought it would happen to me....

I think I've said it before but...
I never thought it would happen to me!
I am a lover of summer! Really... the hotter the better! I long for the sun and wilt at the thought of cooler days and eventual snow. Or at least, I used to.
Lately, I've noticed the change. I enjoy a cooler, sometimes even wet, day when I don't have the "too nice to be inside" pressure of "doing something". I like to stay in. Do nothing. Putter.
I long to wear my new JCrew, apple green, cashmere sweater! What's not to love about that?? I enjoy the cool air while I sleep. I LOVE having the fire on down in front of the tv. And... I am loving Fall FOOD. What's better than a fall stew, roast or warm autumn veggies. Mmmmm...
I like that I've learned to appreciate the other seasons. I will miss my summertime love but am glad to not have the black cloud of fall hanging over me too!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I read books about change all the time. I write about change. I work with some people who are resistant to change. I know change. I actually like change. But not this kind. That is... I enjoy and thrive on professional readings about change strategies and research. I do not enjoy my little boy changing. Seriously.

Everyone keeps telling me how much he's changed. Like it's a good thing? Sheesh...
I just want him to stay the same. No, not forever but a least until I can get used to this school stuff. But he just keeps changing on me. He's calmer. He's more independent. He's going down the BIG slide at school! He's interested in Pokemon... pure torture!

A good friend reminded me that our children seem all grown up and then you see them asleep and they look all little again. So, I cuddle him while he's sleeping. I turn the light on and look at him. I let him crawl into bed with me. I just love his sweet little face when he's sleeping.

Tonight I watched him play, chat and pick out new books at his school's Cornroast. There were kids everywhere! A great turn-out. And I wondered... does everyone feel like this? I saw a whole new "school" side to him and I admit, I liked it. He was so very proud of himself.
Even the principal knew him! Not so sure if that's a good thing or not!

So for now, I will attempt to accept and maybe even nurture this change I see. What choice do I have?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And ... more retail therapy....

Just got home from a weekend away with my dear friend Shelley! It was fabulous! We've been friends since kindergarten and we rarely spend any real time together. But when we do it's like no time has passed. We always pick up where we left off and reconnect! It's just so easy to be around her. I am so grateful for her friendship!
So, we decided to get going and get shopping. We went to the outlets in Waterloo, NY and then back to Watertown. We stayed at the Holiday Inn... with no kids and no husbands. We had a wonderful dinner (heineken light too!) and snuggled in for some good ole fashioned chick flicks!
We did A LOT of shopping! Mostly, we bought stuff for our boys but it was delightful. Gavin got 6 new shirts and 3 pairs of pants.... not to mention a few monster trucks! ME? I refilled my stock of vitamin water and some cute things for work! Oh... and some really cute rain boots!
It's not that I was needing more retail therapy but the time away was bliss. Really, it was just the time with Shelley not even the shopping. But the shopping was a bonus!
Now, I am so happy to be home. Just loving my boys and loving my home.
Bring it on Monday!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Day

So we did it! We got Gavin off to school on Tuesday. It tore my heart out. I thought maybe I could watch him get on the bus at Sue's. No such luck. He was so emotional that morning. By the time we got to Sue's I was a wreck... couldn't do it. I quickly kissed him and drove off. I parked further down the road trying to convince myself that it was okay and everything would be fine. Then, I decided to go to his school. I parked across the road, where I could watch him get off the bus. Funny thing... I saw a Hydro truck in the parking lot. I called Shawn.
Me: Hi. Where are you?
Shawn: At work, why?
Me: Are you in the parking lot?
Shawn: Yeah, where are you?
There we both were watching our boy. Me, sobbing. Shawn, a little misty. Either way, there were a sea of yellow raincoats floating around. Finally, the moment I needed... I saw him. He was lined up on the wall. So sweet. But still, it broke my heart.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Retail Therapy

So, thank you for the thoughtful comments girls! I know... I know... he'll be fine. I'll be fine. Friday was great! His teacher is a wonderfully calm and sweet lady. He loved her from the start.
Then we were off to Gramma & Poppa's. He snuggled in for the night with a new XBox game (Lego Star Wars) and we went downtown to The KEG for supper! Mmmm.... nothing beats a steak and red wine to ease my nerves and settle my belly. We had a nice dinner on the patio. It was warm. The food was great! We were happy.
Saturday we woke up, at Gramma & Pop's, and went out shopping... bright and early! We hit Costco, Starbucks, LuLulemon, The Gap, Heel Boy, Urban Trade, Home Sense, and Kiddie Kobbler. We met Gavin to try on new shoes for school! He was so proud of his new stride-rite Slimers! Too cute! Shawn was in a shopping mood. He got lots of new clothes... finally. He looked so handsome in his new digs!
Lastly, we booked our second Disney cruise! It was a little more than we wanted to spend but who can resist after last year's fabulous time! We splurged! We were on such a retail high! It was fantastic!
And today. We filled a starship shopping cart with tons of food for back to school lunches. We puttered around the house. I cleaned out cupboards in the kitchen and the bathroom. We had birthday cake! Yes... it is Shawn's 45th birthday. I can't believe it! He is such a handsome man. I love him more with every new wrinkle... ha ha! But seriously, he looks great! It's been a wonderful weekend. Am I ready for Tuesday??? Probably not but it sure was great to take my mind of it for awhile and just eat, drink and shop!

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's a bittersweet kind of day...

Today I am struggling.
I am home.
I slept in.
What could the problem be?
I am anxious.
I am sad.
I am happy.
I am worried.
Gavin goes to JK today. No, not for the whole day but for one hour. But still... it's starting. Once he starts, then that's it.... he's in school. Breaks my heart (totally selfish) but I am so relieved that he is excited and sooooo ready.
Ah, my one and only. How can it be? I am prepared for my totally distraught self. Poor Shawn. Like it isn't hard enough and then I have to cry.
Oh I know he'll be fine. That's not it. It's just the growing up thing. I just want more time. More time with him little. Sure, I won't miss the tantrums (when he finally grows out of them) but just the little chubby hand in mine, sippy cups in the cupboard, songs and snuggles at night, and the cute little way he calls hamburgers " hangaburner".
I've spent all week watching parents say goodbye to clingy, crying four year olds at my school. It's hard. I could barely watch. I cried with them. It seems so silly. But it's also so real. My emotions are right at the surface. But this too shall pass.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Best email of the day...

Gavin is spending some quality time with Gramma & Pop this week while mommy goes back to work! I got a lot of emails today but this was by far my favourite!
Today gramma and I went to Napanee. Gramma didn't have the right Kraft Dinner. While we were there Gramma talked me into a haircut. She was really nice and I told her all about Faith and Dad and camping and before I knew it she was done.

Love Gavin
p.s. hope you like the cut, if not it'll grow back
Thanks Mom. I really needed some help this week and the haircut was a bonus! He's one handsome boy. After this, he called. It was too funny. He wanted to tell us all about his haircut and the highly anticipated sleepover with Payton!
As for us.... boy is it ever quiet around here!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just when I thought he had it all....

It's funny. I've always thought that I would NEVER spoil my child with unnecessaries. Whenever we have playdates with other kids I realize he doesn't have it "all" but still... he's a lucky boy. Sure, he has some fun stuff that are definitely not "must-haves" but just fun to have ( like the 5000 hot wheel cars)!

It's not really about the stuff but the life experiences that we really want him to have. You know, we want him to be able to hold his own. If someone wants him to play a game of road hockey... I want him to be able to hold the stick properly. If his class is going skating... please god let hime be able to skate. That kind of thing.

So, this week Gavin is at Golf camp. Yep, there are crazy young men out there willing to take 16 four year olds golfing. Scary. Yesterday was his first day. Shawn & I both went to drop him off and what do we see? Every stinking little golfer had his own clubs! Seriously! Naturally Gavin was horrified that he did not. He felt so out of place. Really. We were horrified too. So, (you know where this is going) we picked Gavin up. He had a great time and yes, we bought him his own clubs. Crazy. Spoiled. Wrong but we did it anyway.

We played a bit at home yesterday afternoon. It's quite something to see. We're hoping he'll like it enough that he & Shawn can go down to Murray Hills one day. We'll see but for now, he knows the tee, club and how to get wet in the golf course sprinklers! Lucky boy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Surviving Havelock!

We did it again. We survived to tell the tales. Laying low today. Pictures to come.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Goin' here today...

Edited on Saturday, August 2nd : What fun! Gavin had a fantastic time splish splashing at the splash pad. I loved capturing all his funny little expressions. So there summer.... we did it! We avoided a raindate! HA!
So... this is where we are today. Wanna come along?
(note: couldn't find a better picture... it so does not look like this in real life)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

kids (aka Gavin) say the darndest things!

gavin kicks nice, decorative pillows off the couch repeatedly
Mom: "Please don't do that."
Gavin: "okay, okay I won't do it again.....(long pause) not on Saturday or on Monday (another long pause) or on Christmas"
Mom thinks..... What? who is this kid?
Still loving him... even though he pushes me to the limit of insanity some days. Or is it just the summer holidays?

My boy~ Wordle style

Have you seen this yet?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

handbag obsession

Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE a cute handbag/ or wallet. I know people who have their shoe thing but for me, a cute handbag makes my day. I am pleasantly suprised when I browse through Winners and find a Mat & Nat bag.
Also, Carrie, if you're reading this- you make the sweetest bags. I have two very adorable bags to show for your amazing talent. While browsing bags today, I found this little ditty.... check out the fantastic fabrics! Wowsers! I am so very tempted!
What better way to spend a gray day... than looking at some fun little handbags!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's almost over....

So, we put Gavin into a soccer/t-ball combo this summer! We thought..."what a fantastic way for him to get a chance to learn 2 games!". Here's the thing, Gavin is kinda demanding. You can say what you want about "only child syndrome". It exists, it doesn't. Whatever. The fact remains that no matter how hard we try to remind him that he is not the centre of the universe, he still thinks he is. Really? He is the only one. Even if we ignore his demands... there is still no one else demanding alongside him.
So, when it comes to team sports... issues- BIG time. He cannot grasp that the ball is not HIS alone to play with. He considers it unfair or cheating when the ball isn't given to him. So, we persevere. Each week we take him to the field and try to teach him good sportsmanship, teamwork and some skills. It's kinda funny but when the all out tantrum occurs it's embarrassing!
Last week, he tried really hard because Gramma & Pop were coming to watch. He tried so hard that he got a goal..in his own net! Too funny. Poor little toad. What will become of him and his father's wish for an athlete. Maybe he's more of an individual sport guy? We'll see. He starts golf camp in August!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Domestic Bliss

Yesterday was my first full day home since the summer holidays began! I made coffee in the grind-n-brew and began cleaning & organizing! It may not sound as exciting to you but I was in the mood and ready for some domestic bliss!

It's been quite a while since I felt like I could devote that much time to my house. I always had something else taking priority... courses, work stuff etc. But yesterday was all mine!

Gavin hunkered down for the long haul. What a trooper! He played cars, watched movies, created with his craft stuff, puzzled... you name it! The weather even cooperated with an extremely rainy day! What more could you ask for?!

Anyhoo... it may not seem like much but I completed the following tasks off my list:
1. clean & organize my closet/ remove unworn or unwanted items
2. clean & organize Shawn's closet
3. organize all games into family room bookshelf
4. sort linens into proper baskets
5. eliminate clutter from the tops of the washer & dryer
6. clean & organize both hall closets
7. wash and store winter wear
8. clean & organize Gavin's closet- remove items that are too small!
9. clean & organize spare room

Today, #10- clean & organize my crafty space (aka...get all scrapbooking materials off the floor and bed!)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Our Yard Takes Shape

Those of you who know me well, know that I'm not much of a green thumb. I guess I could be but I don't really have the ambition... sadly. I really like the 'idea' of having a beautiful garden but can't really manage to maintain this. I love a good vegetable garden but again, Shawn does all of this too.
So, we enlisted the help of Shawn's brother Greg. Thankfully, our yard is starting to look somewhat normal again.
The pictures aren't true "befores" as they were taking once the old walkway was already ripped up. But you get the idea. Still not done but well on it's way to beautiful. We also purchased new outdoor lighting, which has made a huge difference from our chintzy little white ones. The interlock walkway and stairs probably make the biggest difference. I LOVE this front stairway area! The plants are lovely but I must say I am a little concerned about the amount and size of the new beds. Yikes.. seems like a lot of work to me. Greg assures me that it's low maintenance. Gosh.. I sure hope so. Can't wait for it to be done and to show it off! For those of you who love to laugh at our brown grass.... we are in the works for our new irrigation system! Green grass is in our future!

Up North and Lovin' It~

I know I said I'd blog way more often but seriously... we have barely been home since the last day of school. Where have we been exactly? NORTH! You got it~! We left for Massey, Ont. to the Chutes Provincial Park for a few days and then on to Sault Ste. Marie and then Lake Superior Provincial Park. It was a trip to remember!
I changed my profile to highlight what a fantastic time we had with everyone but especially with the Fillmore's!

We met up with Erin and Paula (& the gang) at the Chutes. We had a great time just hanging out and sitting around the campfire. I must say, we also did a GI-normous hike up the "cup & saucer" on Manitoulin Island. It was quite an adventure and I will save the details for the photos at a later date. Really, my description probably wouldn't do it justice! It was crazy BIG and DEEP! But we did it!

After leaving the Chutes we headed to "the Soo" with the Fillmore family. Paula and I got groceries for like 5 hours and still managed to have very little when the trip was said and done. Gavin managed to smash his finger between a rock and a dinky car in that time.... traumatic, as you can imagine, if you know Gavin. We had a great time hanging out on the pontoon boat, touring Goulais River, the bay and eating fresh fish! We celebrated Canada Day there with wonderful fireworks, good food and some sweet drinks! Shawn and I agreed, it was easy to fall in love with their little neighbourhood and the life they lead. Good times.

After a couple days and much "dialing in" we headed to Agawa Bay in Lake Superior Park. What a beautiful drive! The lake is a spectacular sight! The Montreal River Hill is something to see and quite an adventure with a trailer! We stayed here for a week. I was a little concerned when we arrived. Not only did Gavin wake up with a screaming ear ache but it was like 7 degrees and raining. We were double hooded and really dialed in for a couple days. Sheesh... who knew July in the north could be soooooo chilly! However, it did get warmer and sunny! We dipped our toes in the lake... way too cold for swimming. We played on the beach- family baseball games, washer toss ( which I LOVE) and lots of cars and reading.

There are far too many wonderfully funny stories to tell. But really, the bottom line is... it left me longing to live closer to Paula. What a great time we had. Not to mention, the kids had a fantastic time together and DJ and Shawn had a canoe trip, fishing and lots of other entertainment!

Here's hoping they send us some great photos...my camera battery was dead and honestly, there isn't even a store with bread around! No camera was hard to take. I'm counting on you P!

Thanks for the great memories Fillmore family!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Finally breathing....

Seriously... can you believe it is the final week of school???? I am finally breathing with my head somewhat above water. It has been one CRAZY spring!!! I feel so relieved that my course is done, the interview is over, and I got the job that I worked so hard for. However, now the fun begins! I am so busy and my mind is racing with ideas, new insights and things to do. It's hard to imagine that I can accomplish everything I need to do before the start up of September!

I have been a terrible blogger and likely... many of you are not even reading this anymore. Sorry. It has been very hard for me to take the time to do this. I have really felt like I needed to put my time and energy into getting this job.

I am soooo excited about the possibilities of this fall. I am thoroughly looking forward to working with a new principal and learning as much as I can. This is going to be a busy but great year.

In the meantime... I want to enjoy all the camping excursions with my family, scrapbook again, and just chill at home! I have many new books to read and lots to do to keep me busy around the house. I am looking forward to being a homebody again!

I will be a better blogger. I have a lot to share... photos and stuff. I will be back soon! We are heading north until July 9th. Camping with friends in Lake Superior provincial park and Chutes provincial park should be a blast!!! I can hardly wait to set up camp with a mojito in hand!!!

Take care friends. And let's get reaquainted this summer! Ciao!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

lovin' a long weekend!

Okay so here it is.. the official kick-off to summer! I can hardly wait! No, the weather looks drab but really, I cannot wait to put on some comfy clothes and just chill. I've got plenty of Bailey's for the coffee and a lasagna for the oven! I just want to relax and enjoy doing very little. I've got lots of fun crafty things for Gavin... some rain gear for some outside fun and fresh batteries for the Leapster... if all else fails. Of course, he will have Toria and Alisha to entertain him. This will be our first camping trip with the Vanslyke's new trailer.
Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday! Happy Birthday Dad! Gavin can hardly wait to give Poppa his gift! It's also Tracy's birthday! I have a little surprise for her too!
Anyhoo.. slowly, my head is beginning to surface. I've been crazy busy for so long that I don't know what I will do when my course is over, school is done and I actually have time to sleep. Oh how I need sleep. I'm sure once I do slow down that I will get sick or something. Well... it's Grey's for me and then off to bed!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

No Worries...

I know. I know. Some of you have been all worried about my neglectful behaviour toward my blog. No worries. I am still alive... just extremely busy. I used to think I was busy but now I really am busy. I go away to Peterborough every other weekend for my course and the off weekends are booked like crazy. Having a good time but seriously? This is crazy!
This weekend I went to Dirty Dancing with some girls! We shopped, we danced and we ate! What more could you ask for!? It was soooo fun! We had a great time and I got some really cute new clothes!
Today was Gavin's birthday party! It was great! We rented a bouncy tiger and the kids loved it! They had so much fun just running around outside playing! Gavin is in LOVE with CARS and boy did he score! He got tons of CARS stuff for his birthday. He was soooo exhausted that he went into his bedroom to play his new CARS leapster game and he fell asleep at 5:30! Poor guy. He looked so cute up there!
So...now I sit.. sipping a beer and relaxing! Ahhhhh...
Things are only to get busier but I sure do love these moments of sitting, sipping and relaxing!

Friday, March 21, 2008

longing for the next time....

Seriously? It is soooo hard to imagine that we were there last week! I miss the hot sun and the downtime but I am so looking forward to spring here.

This was a fantastic trip! I highly recommend this to all my friends with kids! What a great way to do so much but also have the time to just chill. I can't think of a better time with Gavin. The pirate party, the characters, dolphins.... really! This is the "fantasy life"!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Disney Magic

A few quick highlights... sorry no photos yet. This is the best I can do with soooo much to do!

~ Swimming with dolphins
~ Laying in the HOT sun
~ Swimming in the OCEAN
~ Eating all day long
~ Drinking all day long
~ The Oceaneer's Club- Gavin's Favourite!
~ Fabulous Entertainment/ Shows!
~ Disney Characters everywhere!
~ Pirate Party!
~ Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman
~ Snorkeling

Oh so sad to be home with all this snow. Seriously. When will it be SPRING?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

One week today....

We will be on our way... one week from today!
We will be heading to Montreal, with our bags packed, ready for sunshine and warmth!
I CANNOT wait. I am in serious need of a holiday- away with nothing to do but have fun and relax. I am so excited to swim and play with my boys in the ocean!!!!! There is sooo much to think about- things coming up, deadlines, presentations etc... that all I want to do is put it all aside and just BE. Tonight, I want to dream about the beach and the yummy food we will eat... not about work. Tonight I will begin to unwind and get into my vacation mode. I guess I better think about packing huh?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

HIP Happy

I know I haven't posted in a while but can I just say how "HIP" happy I am today!!!!
That's right.. recovering from the HIP concert last night in KTown! OH how I love a good concert! It was amazing! Photos and details to come soon!
For now.... just trying to come back down and get ready for Monday...ugh!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Growing in favour

Not that it's a competition BUT.. I have noticed that a certain little someone is starting to "like" me a little more these days. He's been asking for me to take him to bed, me to snuggle him, me to give him kisses! Such a sweetie! I know Shawn appreciates the "break" as he starts to rely on me a little more. I have to say... it makes me feel soooo good that he is "needing" me just a little more.
I hold to it.. one day he will pick me up and swing me around, all happy to be home with mama and her wonderful home-cooking! Well.. it could be just a fantasy but I'm holding on to it just a little longer.

Note to self: Last night, when told it was time for bed, he stomped his little foot and told me that I ruined his life! Oh the drama! If that's all he has for me... then I'll take it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy Hearts Day!

Today Gavin and I are home.... icky weather again! We are just hanging out. Playing.
He's been such a little crafter lately. Whenever I go into my scraproom he follows close behind wanting all my scraps. He's been making a ton of valentines! He LOVES valentine's day. Anyhoo.... today he wanted to give me a valentine. I told him that today is not Valentine's Day and that he should save it for next week. Clever as he is, he said "No Mom. Today is Happy Hearts Day! Not Valentine's Day!" So smart! LOVE that he is so smart... makes up for all the sassiness!

Yesterday Gavin was up beside me in the bathroom. I was trying to get ready and he was wanting to shave, floss, brush... anything out of the top drawer. Suddenly he says to me, "Did you drop your ipod?" I repeated what he had said and questioned why he was asking this at this time. He was getting so frustrated and proceeded to point to his eye while saying, "You know. Your eye pod!" Suddenly, it became very clear.
"Do you mean my contact?"
"Yah! Your contact!" (thinking hard)
"What's an ipod?"
So I told him all about the ipod. He's probably heard Shawn and I talking. We both LOVE our ipods and use them daily for listening to music, podcasts, news, anything really. Anyhooo... I love this story. He is just too smart for his own good.
LOVE that!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

"Is Forever Enough...?"

Remember yesterday? I told you to watch for it. That song just gets me all worked up. Love it! Lullaby. What a great way to bring me back down to reality. Forces me to think about what's really imporatant.
So here it is. My layout... inspired by Lullaby.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sentimental Saturday

I'm having one of those days. You know... the kind where almost anything moves you to tears. Lots of happiness but just sentimental. I'm watching my boys outside on the four-wheeler, playing in the snow... just loving them to the brim. Music does this to me. I'm listening to Dixie Chicks and that song Lullaby....gets me everytime. I think it is so beautiful. Ahh... the inspiration for yet another layout.... "Is forever enough?" Wait for it! Maybe not today but soon.
I'm never ever giving you up.

Friday, February 1, 2008


I did this layout in response to the One Little Word Challenge.
Thanks for the inspiration baby Evan!


I love the way this picture of Faith turned out! I'm loving the contrast of her blackness and all that white space around her...snow!

yep... still scrappin'

happy day

Snow Stash

Snow Day Scrappin'

Ahhh.. don't ya just love the feeling of being home with nowhere to go and nothing to do? I LOVE a good snow day. Not just a little skiff of snow that you could still go out but a big whopping snow fall... mixed with ice doesn't hurt! This kind of snow day forces us to stay in all snug and warm. Gavin naps. I scrap! Gotta love it!

Monday, January 28, 2008

My Little Superhero

I've said it a hundred times but this kid totally cracks me up!
Sue.. our most wonderful caregiver... asked him one day what he most loved doing with me. His reply.... crafts! Too cute. He has a subscription to a Disney magazine and he loves cutting and pasting and colouring all the fun activities inside. He will pull up a spot next to me in my scraproom and work away. On this particular day he cut out a mask and daddy fixed a nice piece of string on it so he could wear it around. This provided hours of entertainment and some pretty cute photos!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fresh Air & Exercise... Just What the Doctor Ordered!

I'm so tired of being sick. This cold has been hanging on forever! I never really seem to feel 100%. Today I knew that I couldn't sit around and hope to feel better but that I actually needed to get out and do what I know to be healthy and good for us. We packed up Faith... she was so excited! We packed up Gavin.... he was so excited! We headed out to Goodrich Loomis conservation area... about 10 minutes from home.

It's so beautiful there. I just love the kind of weather we had today. Fresh. Crisp. Still. Light snow falling. It's the perfect kind of day for a hike. We just walked along in a nice quiet way... well, as quiet as possible with Gavin yelling at me..."Hey Mom. Watch this. Do you think this is funny?", every two seconds!

That kind of quiet is the kind where you can really take some time and just think about stuff. Shawn walked ahead pulling Gavin in the toboggan and I walked close behind with Faith. I took a lot of deep breaths, hoping at some point that all the fresh air would free me from this cough. It may not have cured my cough but it did force to take some time for me and relax my mind. I just felt so calm and peaceful walking through the woods. I needed that.

Now we're home. Shawn's napping on the couch. Gavin's watching Ratatouille... again and I am getting ready to prepare a yummy supper. We are having salmon with lemon & herb spinach salad and green beans. Delicious! Now for a glass of wine and a toast to a healthy day.... in hopes of a healthy body!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cashmere Mafia... the new Sex and the City?

Everyone who knows me knows that I do love my shows! Over the past few years it seems that many of my faves have ended. It was hard to lose "friends", "Will & Grace", "Sopranos" & "Sex and the City". Devastating.. if I'm being honest. But.... I think I've found a few goodies this year. I hope they last.

Anyone else watching "Cashmere Mafia"? I love this new show! It's from the same writers of "Sex & the City", with many similarities but different. I love the all girl cast... struggling to manage career and life at home. This sounds vaguely familiar... to just about everyone! We may not be big city executives but really, working full-time and coming home to even one child is hard work. It's a challenge to fit everything in and deal with the guilt of it all. I don't know if it's an only child thing but Gavin requires a great deal of attention. Usually, he wants Dad but still.... he wants non-stop! I still make dinner, do laundry, read stories, clean etc. etc. and on top of it all... I have a take-home job. Don't get me wrong... loving life and all but just thinking... it can be pretty hard on me at times. I think that's why I'm sick, again... just plain run-down.

Anyhooo.... I love this show.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Did I happen to mention....

that we will soon be aboard something called....hmmmmm.... THE MAGIC!!!!!

Gentlemen....Start your engines!

This racetrack was a favourite growing up in my house. The track was big and I can still picture my Dad and Derek, on the floor, racing! The cars would whizzz and hum around the track... sparks flying! Sometimes the cars would bump and fly off the track.
Gavin is car crazy! This track was a gift from Uncle Derek and boy does he love it! He especially loves "the chase". He gets a certain thrill from chasing the other car and hoping they collide and crash!
This racetrack... a definite classic!
Thanks Uncle Derek & Payton... for the memories of long ago and the memories we are bound to create!

Monday, January 14, 2008

This is what I deal with daily....

Seriously! I ask you. Can you believe this kid?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Christmas in Wooler

Yeah.. I'm still talking Christmas. Trying to get all caught up.
Christmas is Wooler usually takes place in December but this year we waited until the new year. Change is good and this year I really noticed the change. Normally, we eat, drink and play a game or two. This year we ate, drank and managed our crazy kids. Don't get me wrong... I love the craziness that these kids have brought to our gathering. Really.... who doesn't love the tractors roaring, the yelling, the revving of car engines and so on? We still managed a low key game of scrabble... once the kids were sleeping.

But truthfully, it leaves me longing. Wishing that they lived closer. Wishing that we could gather for coffee and let the kids run amuck on a Saturday morning. Wishing that when I need a girlfriend to talk to that they were only minutes away. Instead, we wait until the catch-up day.

Highlights of the evening:
*Gavin stabbing Susanne's face with a fondue fork (not my favourite and not his)
*holding that sweet baby Evan
*watching Erin dominate Scrabble... she's the ultimate gamer!
*watching poker...ha ha NOT!
*eating yummy treats
*drinking full glasses of red wine
*having a chocolate fondue
*hearing Lloyd remark how torturous the drive to Wooler is... again:)
*watching all of our children play and create memories for us!
*Susanne getting Gavin's Lightning McQueen car caught in her hair (blurry but still worth the laugh)

It's a great tradition!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Boxing Day

Greg and Allan were the hosts of the Windsor Family Christmas. Their home is so full of character. It has a warmth that could only come from their hardwork and unique taste. Having said that, the evening was far from holding a serious note! Kids ran amuck, yelling and chasing each other... until Allan showed his best "teacher voice". Rhiana blasted through the speakers. Gavin conducted the best ever photo shoot. And we just got to be together one more year. How lucky we are.