Friday, December 31, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blog much?

Obviously not since it's been 2 months since the last post!!
Wish that meant I had lots of exciting things to blog about now though...sadly, most of what's been keeping me busy! It's busy but good!! I do complain now and then about it all but the truth of the matter is, I really do love it, so I guess I need to close my mouth and carry!
So,what is it exactly that we've been busy with? Volleyball mostly...both Zack and Reilly played for their school teams this fall with Zack helping to coach Reilly's team. That kept us busy at least 4 days a week plus tournaments on weekends...sometimes they both played so it meant running back and forth to both...if possible. Thankfully, Brian was home most weekends so we would divide and conquer. Both boys finished in the top two of their school leagues, which meant they went on the Regionals and Zones respectively. Each of them brought home bronze medals...the best thing about that was there was no way one cold bug the other as they finished their seasons on an even keel. Once the school season ended, club tryouts began. Zack wants to play on a club team so bad this year as it's his last year so rather than putting all his eggs in one basket and maybe not making the team he payed for last year, he wanted to try out for 3 different teams!! This was a lot of driving to the 3 different cities and some late nights but that's's what moms do right. He has a spot on his team from last year and has one last tryout for the team he really wants to play on...fingers crossed!! Reilly is trying out too but the age group is U16. He is really only U14 but since they have no team at the age, he is giving it a shot. He can hold his own on the court but we'll see if he makes it. He's happy just to have gone to the tryout for the experience.
Carsyn is waiting till January to start a weekly volleyball skills program in the hopes of making the junior boys team next year. Gavin would love too also but is a bit too young still.
Halloween was awesome this you may know, it's Brian's favorite holiday. We found a new store called Spirit had the most amazing costumes and decorations! I was actually really surprised how many Halloween stores opened up this year. Here are some pics....

the older 2 stayed home to hand out candy and scare

In school news, graduation prep has started for Zack...I am sure I was just at Kindergarten is is possible he is graduating? Having a bit of a hard time with that. Last week, he brought home a book full of grad rings...he has designed one that suits him to a tee. He has also changed his thoughts on taking a year off of school to work. He wants to go straight to college and pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in either Bio or Chem. It's very exciting and sad all at the same time...definitely bittersweet!! The other boys are all doing well academically as well. My job is going great...any reservations I had at the start of the year regarding my assignment quickly vanished once we got going. I will be very sad if they don't ask me to continue with him though grade 2, 3 and 4.
Brian had switched jobs this summer to one that had him home more...loved that! However, he was not enjoying the work at all. So, we've gone back into business for ourselves. He is much happier and although it means he's gone again, I would rather have him come home happy on his days off. Besides, we've lived like this for a long time so it's not been that much of an adjustment.

In other exciting news (I, Zack passed his road test and is now a licensed driver!

Christmas is fast approaching and I am hosting this year...lots to get done between now and then. Thank goodness we have some time off the week before cause I am going to need a few full days!! Might not have been too bad but I started redoing the kitchen cupboards a couple of weeks ago and have had no time to get them finished...they look better than they did but primer white wasn't what I had in! Need to get that done on top of all the usual holiday stuff.

No time like the present, so I guess I'll go and tackle something.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I am celebrating all the wonderful things I am thankful for...
* my 4 healthy sons
* my loving, supportive husband who has the best sense of humor ever
* my family and friends...I truly am grateful for the part each and every one of you plays in my life
* my health and what I've been doing to improve on it
* our home
* my job
* living in Canada
It's days like today that I need to have more often in my life...need to remember these things on the days when things aren't going so well and I feel like having a pity party. I have a lot to be thankful for each and every day...we all do!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

don't knock it till you try it

I'm talking about camping!
Up until the last year, camping was one of those things I did with my parents a few times and it was alright but I was also at an age where I wanted to be at home with friends on weekends and not packed into the back seat of the truck, with my brothers, heading off to who knows where just so I could camp. Once I was able to stay home for the weekend alone instead of going camping...I did!!
It was never really anything Brian and I discussed either as our lives blended together. Until last year that is...
You may or may not remember that I blogged about attending a family reunion last year and how it was a camping thing etc. Overall, it wasn't the greatest outdoor experience as the mosquitoes were really bad, the noise from the Trans Canada highway and those dam "Darth Vader" bugs. However, there was something about it that made me want to do it again (Brian not so much lol).
Fast forward to this summer...Zack was going to go stay with my brother for most of the summer and said brother had just bought a trailer so he suggests we meet part way and camp for the weekend. Sounds we load up and go camping for the weekend. It was great fun...sitting by the fire, poker night in the screen house, just hanging with my family away from all the distractions of doing things around the house/yard and the techno world. I come home and start talking and looking at I enjoyed it so much! Brian decides he'd like camping more if we had a boat...I know the boys would love that so I'm good with the tenting and getting a boat instead.
Recently, the boys and I took a 6 day camping trip with my friend and her 2 was awesome! We went to this campground a couple hours from home...small, clean and quiet. There is a lake there and the boys spent hours floating in inner tubes, building sand castles and playing beach volleyball. We sat and played full card yahtzee while watching the kids play, had picnic lunches and laughed...A LOT!! It was incredibly relaxing and almost therapeutic for me. My boys had a blast too and now...we are hooked! I came home, started looking at trailers again as it would be nice to have a space always set up...especially the kitchen area. And having a place to go when the weather takes a turn for the worse is an added bonus. Brian's big reason for not liking camping is the poor sleep he gets on the air mattress so having a bed for him might get him to come along. Either way, the boys and I will be camping a whole lot more...with or without a trailer or my husband!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

leaving Las Vegas

Vegas day 6 (sort of)
We had a late flight back so it was kinda like an extra day...
We went for breakfast, back to the room to check out, left our bags at the hotel and then walked around doing some last minute things and some things one last time. Gambled a bit at Bills, walked over to the Bellagio and splurged on these...

it was a tough choice but finally we settled on Key Lime Pie for Brian and Carrot Cake for me

seriously, I have never tasted anything sooooo delicious in all my life!
Took the Tram to the Monte Carlo where Brian played some blackjack and I hit a few slots. Once our luck (and our was running low we walked back to catch the Bellagio Fountain show one more time...

Wandered our way back towards Margaritaville late in the afternoon for one last plate of nachos...these are the yummiest nachos on the planet I swear...

It was time to walk back to Bally's, get our luggage and grab a cab to the airport..both of us a little sad but also feeling that it was time to go.
We arrived way early, not sure what to expect as far as line ups at security etc...turns out they aren't near as thorough when you leave their country as they are letting you in. Needless to say, we had lots of time to kill...I pulled out my ipod touch taking advantage of the free WiFi and hit facebook, blogs and forums while Brian put the last of his cash here...

In looking back, I see our last day (and a fair bit of our trip this time was bout food and drinks...thankfully I only gained 5 pounds!)
In discussion on the ride home, we realized we should have done 5 days the first trip and 3 this time. We jammed so much into last years time there that there were times this year we weren't sure what to do. We could have spread out all we did last year over a longer period of time. Oh well...ya know what they say about
Not sure if we'll make it back next Spring break as we would like to take a family holiday before Zack graduates and maybe leaves home next June...we'll see!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a good time was had by us

Vegas day 5
A bit of a sleep in for me, early morning blackjack with coffee and Bailey's for Brian is a great way to start the day where we had nothing set in stone!
Enjoyed some breakfast then a walk across the street to the Bellagio to catch the Tram on our way to Mandalay Bay (had to get off and back on at Monte Carlo and Excalibur but still saved walking all the way). Stopped and snapped some pics of the Botanical Gardens inside the Bellagio first...

Our actual destination was here...

since we didn't make it to get our pic taken here on last years trip, it was a must for us this time. It wasn't that far of a walk either (which is somewhat deceiving when looking at things on the
We head back on the Tram (which is free to ride by the case you plan a trip...too bad we didn't learn about it last year)
Stopped in at the Miracle Mile shops in Planet Hollywood and purchased an aqua colored Vittorio leather purse I had eyed up earlier in the week...I love it!
Saw some street performers as we were making our way back to the room...

Had a snack of gourmet M&M's while we freshened up them headed back out to grab the bus for Freemont Street...soooo happy they changed the bus system back as we were there in no time. Went for a bite to eat at the El Cortez, which is a local casino that Brian had read good things about. It sure is no Vegas strip casino that's for sure but the food was good and cheap (compared to the strip restaurants). Gambled a bit here then headed off to the Golden Nugget...tried my hand at the exact same Happy Days machine I won on last wasn't as good to me this time around. Went and hung out at Mermaids for awhile...Brian wanted to try the deep fried Oreo's this trip

While he was waiting in line and dining on his treat, I played some slots...won a bit so we ended up staying there for awhile. Watched the light show then crossed the street and went into Fitzgeralds...Brian knew they had cheap blackjack there and wanted to play. I sat at an old style nickel machine, plunked in about 60 cents and ended up sitting there for bout an hour and a half...was doing pretty good making some money, chatting it up with the 2 guys on either side of me and had the waitress bringing me Malibu and sprites quite was sooo much fun! Brian didn't have as much luck with the blackjack so he came and sat with me for a bit...was bored so he took off to play some slots too...came back a few times with winnings, then was off to play some more. It might have been the most fun for the fewest dollars gambling we've had in Vegas! Caught the light show again a little later then headed back to the strip to catch the Volcano show at Mirage (it was being repaired on last years trip so we wanted to catch it this time).

When that was done we went inside the Mirage to BLT Burger and had milkshakes with liquor in them...I had a Malibu Barbie and Brian had The Knight Rider...who knew alcoholic milkshakes would be so yummy! Took our time wondering back to Bally's, checking things out and dodging the crowds...Vegas sure was busier this time around! Not sure what time we called it a day but it was a good one!

all dressed up

Vegas day 4
I for one was definitely looking forward to today...we were hitting the outlet mall as soon as we finished breakfast...couldn't wait to get my hands on some good deals!! however, the nightmare of it all began when we tried to catch the the beginning of the week they changed the bus routes a bit thinking it would be an easier, faster, more convenient system (it ended up being the exact opposite and they changed it back to the way it was last year). So anyway, it takes us about an hour or so to get to the mall on a jam packed bus...barely even standing room only. I, am in and clothes stores galore! Brian on the other hand is not such a happy camper...he thought there would be other stores more up his alley there (computers/electronics) he came to that conclusion I have no idea as he was even online printing off coupons to some of the stores listed in the mall directory and they were all shoes and clothes! So, after only 3 hours of shopping, Brian was so done that we grabbed a cab and headed back to the hotel. Now that I know how to ride the bus there, I'll leave him to gamble and I'll go by myself on the next trip.
Back at the hotel, we grab a bite to eat, change into our dress clothes and head off to the Venetian where we have tickets to see......

This show is indescribable...I have yet, after 3 months been able to find the words that would give it justice. If you EVER get the chance to see it...DO IT!!
Played a few slot machines at the Venetian after then headed back to our room to call it a day.

Monday, July 12, 2010

been there...done that (for the most part)

Vegas 2010 day 3

I wanted to sleep in sooo bad today after coming back from the Grand Canyon exhausted. However, Brian was up and raring to go at 7:30....this is where our compromising skills come in...he went to play blackjack for a couple hours leaving me to sleep in. Upon his return, I was enjoying that big in floor soaker tub!
So, we head off to brunch and then roam the strip for a bit...checking out some things we saw last year and really liked. Stopped in at Toby Keith's for a the Georgia Peach!! Ended up on Freemont street for a bit. We were kinda bored *gasp* I can you be bored in Vegas? So, we watched the light show, checked out a couple casino's we didn't go in last year then headed back to the strip. Had some supper and were off to see 'Jubilee'

Now, I had no idea what to expect...all I knew was the show was a topless, old style Vegas show. This was something Brian wanted to see ( and being it's held at our hotel and we got 2 for 1 I thought what the heck. The performance in general was actually pretty good and the costumes were really cool. However, I could have done without the boobies. Brian said after awhile he hardly noticed (ya right!) Gambled a bit at the Paris then called it a night.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

a Grand Adventure

Vegas 2010 day 2

On about 5 hours of sleep we get up and get ready ...we are going to spend the day at the Grand Canyon!!! In reality we spent only about 4 hours there out of the 15 we were gone from the hotel as it's quite a drive from Vegas. We made a few stops along the way....snapped some pics of Lake Mead (which I didn't upload cause they weren't that good) and some other random places along the way there.

One of the other highlights of our tour, was a stop at Hoover Dam. We didn't tour it (which you can do actually) just snapped some photos of the dam and the scenery around it...

After what feels like half the day, we finally arrive...

I think I took at least 300 pics of the Canyon hoping for one good one I could enlarge and frame to hang above the tv...I think this might be the one...

Our tour guide was great...he shared lots of info and interesting facts along the way and especially of the Canyon itself (just don't ask us any of them cause it was a lot to take in and He was really good at making sure us Canadians had the distances he was talking about in meters and kilometers too.

After arriving back at the hotel, tired and hungry, we stumbled upon JJ's Boulangerie in the Paris and ate the yummiest sandwiches. Made our way back to the room and crashed for the night!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ready for take off...

Vegas 2010- day 1

suitcases packed...Zack and Reilly off to my brothers...Carsyn and Gavin ready for Grandmas...passports and plane tickets...American to the kennel...everything checked and double checked...good to go...right?

Wrong...we board the plane (but not till after we were both felt up by the kind folks at security), get all buckled in, go through the procedure of the emergency row responsibility with the flight attendant (this is where we like to sit so Brian has lots of leg room) and are thinking that in a few short moments, we'll be up and on our way. A few minutes pass and the flight attendant comes on to tell us that maintenance is just checking on something and we'll be on our way shortly. About 10 minutes later, the pilot comes on..."Ladies and Gentleman, this is your Captain speaking...this plane is broken!" WTF? Seriously? So, we all deplane and are told that they will have a new plane here in about 15 minutes from the hangar and we'll re-board and get on our way. That 15 minutes turned into 2 hours...meanwhile it's supper time and all the food places once you pass security are closed so there is nowhere for us to grab a bite to eat... I am a nervous flier as it is...add in some light headedness from needing to eat and I was just asking for trouble. So, we sat and waited...what else were we to do right. Finally, we get to board the new plane...go through the emergency exit row procedures again and this time we taxi to the run way and are up and away!!
The flight was pretty uneventful...unless you count me barely making it to the bathroom to throw! I am grateful though that if you are ever going to hear those words come out of your pilots mouth, that they are while you are still grounded!! (turns out that one of the cargo doors wouldn't close)

We were a tad disappointed that the plane landed on a different runway than last years trip...we landed right next to the Strip last year and were hoping for that again as we flew in at night this time and wanted to see it all lit up. Oh well....we're and sound!!

Grab our bags, a cab and off to Bally's we go. Didn't take too long to get there, which made me happy cause we were already 2 hours later than we were supposed to be...tired and hungry.

Upon checking in, Brian tried something he had read about on the net...slipping the clerk a $20 bill and asking for complimentary upgrades...totally worked. She upgraded us to a Junior Suite!!

The room decor is a tad outdated but whatever...we weren't entertaining guests in our! I made good use of that soaker tub though!

As tired as we were from a full day of travel and knowing we had to get up at 5 AM the next day to prepare for our Grand Canyon tour, we still headed to Margaritaville for nachos!! They were just as good as we remembered them to be. Finally, at 12:30 AM we hit the hay...exhausted and oh so happy to be there!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

living in Sin (City)

We leave tomorrow for our 5 day fun filled trip to Sin City!!!
What happens in Vegas....will be posted on the blog when we return!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

tick tock

wow...time is sure flying by...haven't posted here in over a month...that's kinda embarrassing actually. The truth is though, I just haven't had a lot of free time since the new year began.
Zack making the club volleyball team keeps us very busy, hockey 4 days a week and music lessons twice each week makes me think we should install a revolving door and set up the kitchen with those warmer trays you see at buffets...would make it easier with all the coming and going around here. Things *should* start to slow a little now that hockey is finished...well at least until the younger two start soccer!
I had such a great start to the year with my 2010 word "organize" and that too has faded off. This is a must for me to get re focused on as I do not want to spend my summer vacation doing tings around here this year. Hoping that with this first weekend free coming up to tackle a good chunk of the garage and getting Casryn's room repainted. Would love to find time to scrapbook too as the Wednesday night thing has kinda fallen to the side as well. Watching 2 straight weeks of the Olympics at night sure didn't help anything around here either. I couldn't help myself....we watched more of these Olympics than any others...must be partly cause they were on home soil! Was hard not to feel all that Canadian pride hey!!
In just over a week, Reilly officially hits the teens! He seems pretty excited about being a teenager. I guess I'll take some comfort in that too and blame his hormones for the changes in his!
Lastly, it's all of a sudden only 17 more days till Brian and I leave for Vegas!!
I'd say we are just as excited this time as we were last year. We have tickets to see Phantom and booked a tour of the Grand Canyon. Hoping to see the Beatles Love by Cirque de Solei as well. Will hit a few of our favs from last year aaaannnnd, I get to go shopping at the outlets this time!!!
Now I gotta run or I'll be late for work.
Miss you all, take care!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

once in a blue moon

it seems is how often I have time to update my blog!
I am embarrassed that it's been almost a month but at the same time can't believe it's been that long! Where does the time go?
Well, 2010 has gotten off to a pretty good start for us...I love having Brian home everyday and even more so that he cleans the house and does laundry so after I get home from work I can relax...even scrapbook! He even does most of the running around with the boys to music lessons and sports. It'll be really hard when he goes back to work but for now I am going to enjoy every minute of it!
With so much help from him, I have been scrapbooking at least once a week. We have nothing Wednesday nights so that's usually a scrappy night and the last couple of Saturday's have been scrappy days too. Here is some of what I've created lately...
this was for a no photo challenge..played with Maya Mist for the first time...

this was a happy to have the camera handy that

still working on the trip to Vegas...

(the teal-ish scallopy thing is packaging from some Prima flowers)

a little hockey inspiration from Wayne Gretzky for Reilly...

(my new camera takes the most amazing pics...I am in love!)

had to get proof of Reilly being the one to come out on least

There are a few more but I'll save them for another post.

For those of you that haven't heard, I found out last week I am getting glasses. I ordered them on Monday and will have them by the end of the week at the latest. I'll share a pic or two when I have them. Just in time to try them out for night driving as Zack and I head off to a volleyball tournament for his club team. It's in our old neck of the woods so we both plan to visit with friends in between all the games he'll play. Wonder how said friends feel about coming to us at the gym?

I have one other bit of news I am so excited to share...does anyone remember where Brian and I spent last Spring break?

Hope you all are well...take care