Thursday, December 29, 2011

Change is inevitable

2011 was a year filled with changes for our house!
I knew there would be many and knowing that I don't deal with change well, is the reason I chose the word, change, to be my one little word for the year.
The changes started off almost right at the beginning of the year. On the 3rd of January, Brian left for a job up North that would keep him there for 3 solid months. Now, I've been husbandless off and on for the past several years and survived...sometimes barely, but none the less, managed to do what needed to be done all be it as a single parent! However, 3 months is a very long time to work a full time job, raise 4 sons and somehow maintain a level of sanity! I'm not going to lie, some days were much easier than others and I discovered that workouts were a great stress reliever!!
I began a healthier lifestyle the day Brian left: eating better and exercising and am pleased with the results that I achieved in the time he was gone. More impressive was the fact that he noticed!!
February saw Zack and Reilly in full swing with club volleyball...between the 2 of the, we had 5 volleyball free weekends from the beginning of Feb till the end of May! Thanks goodness for Nintendo DS's and ipods that helped keep the younger 2 from becoming too bored while we sat in stinky gyms for hours on end!
In March, Reilly turned 14...old enough to get his learners did that happen!! The countdown also began to the day that Brian would be coming home. Just as exciting as his arrival, ok...maybe even more so, was the fact that he and I had secretly booked a family trip to Florida! Specifically, Disney World and Universal Studios. It was soooo exciting to be planning behind the boys backs. I was worried I wouldn't be able to sleep the night before...I was right! I woke them up by singing "Zipitdeedoodah, zipitdeeay, my oh my, what a wonderful day" Zack was the hardest to get outta a 17yr old on Spring break, the last thing he wanted was to be up and out of bed around! He kept telling me to get lost and leave him a was hilarious but only for me and only cause I knew what was waiting for him upstairs. I had secretly made Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes one day and served them up on Disney paper plates with matching cups and was all waiting on the table for them when they finally got to the kitchen. Brian had the video camera ready...

At first the boys thought we were going back to Disneyland and were not disappointed at all to here we were flying to Florida that morning...they had 2hrs to eat and pack so we could leave for the airport. I had made them packing lists to help with the rush and excitement. It was a wonderful trip...exactly what the 6 of us needed!!

April was busy with volleyball still and grad preparations were in full swing. I had the unfortunate pleasure of being on the decorating committee with a couple of moms who thought it was there way or not at all...I won't ever volunteer to do that again!! Zack picked out a fabulous looking tux...although tall skinny kids don't wear them! He was still a handsome and proud guy though!
May was the month in which the ceremony took place for high school grad. To my surprise, I was only teary eyed once during the ceremony! I was thrilled to have my mom and my grandma here for the weekend to witness the graduation of their first (great) grandson! It was a bittersweet day for sure!

Something else was also in the works for Zack this month. A deeper connection was made between he and his grad escort and they began dating. She is so awesome and I LOVE having another female in the house!!
In June, I was happy (and somewhat relieved) to be kept on at the school. Thrilled to hear that I was staying with the student I had worked with in grade one and moving with him to second grade! Another bitter sweet moment for me...Zack turned 18!

We celebrated by taking him and his GF to Red Lobster. He didn't even want a drink. He didn't want to make the GF he says...she is not yet drinking age and doesn't come from a drinking kinda house...the real reason I'm sure has something to do with his over indulgence in alcohol at his grad party. His "famous last words" of "I'm never doing that again" appear to be true...thus far! Lesson learned?
For most of July, it was just the 14yr old and I. Brian was working, Zack had gone up North to live/work with my brother and my mom had wanted to take the youngest two. Reilly spent parts of every day working at his new job, leaving me alone to rediscover my love of reading...I've read more books this last 5 or 6 months than I have in the last 10years that didn't star Franklin, Clifford or Dr. Seuss!!
(this is a small sampling of the books that have graced my beside table)

The month of August was busy. Enjoyed a day trip with the neighbour and her 2 sons to Calaway Park once Zack returned. Had a couple of days home with my 2 eldest sons and then we packed up our camping stuff and made the trip to my moms in SK. I couldn't wait to see the youngest had been almost a month. They squealed with delight when I walked through the door...only to be fighting with each other moments after...typical! Spent a few days relaxing there, and then made a little further drive to my grandpas cabin. It's been 20yrs since my last visit. Consequently, my sons had never been. It was awesome!! So peaceful and relaxing. Can't wait to return next summer...hopefully with Brian along with us!

Attended another wacky family reunion then made the long trip home to prepare for back to school. When we left home for a couple weeks was when I left behind my healthy eating and exercising :(
September brought about yet another big change for us. We moved Zack to his University residence. It was going to be a huge adjustment, not just for me, but for his younger brothers as well. Having him come home every weekend helped make the transition easier. The rest of us were also busy with the routine of being back in school, homework and extra curricular activities.
October and November were filled with lots of school volleyball. I was lucky enough to have 2 sons on the same team...for the first time ever!! Simplified things a little...which was nice! Once the school season was over, Reilly tried out and made the team for the Winter games. Now , we drive 2.5hrs one way for a practice once a week for that. Halloween was fun...too bad Brian wasn't home for his favorite holiday.

He also missed out on the "Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour by Cirque de Soleil" we had tickets for over a year for. It was phenomenal!!! (we have plans someday to see it in Vegas)
December was the usual hustle and bustle of Gavin's birthday and Christmas preparations. School is so busy at this time of year also. Add in tryouts for club volleyball and you have a very tired me! It all worked itself out, as it always does though. Reilly is happy with the club team he's on, Gavin had a pretty good birthday and Christmas was wonderful!

This last week of the month and year, has given me a chance to look back with a feeling of contentment. 2011 has , as with most years, been filled with ups and downs, good and bad but ya take it in stride and deal with it.

I'm pleased with the way I've learned to handle changes in my life..."If nothing changed, there'd be no butterflies"-Walt Disney

Friday, December 23, 2011

no time like the PRESENT

to get back into blogging!
Love is in the Details is featuring a creative project I worked on for the students in my grade 2 class. Pop on over and have a peek. It's my first time ever being "featured" somewhere and I was actually kinda nervous about it...not sure why but I was.

I've been attempting to get back here for what seems like ever....have had several thoughts of things that would make good blog topics...just didn't get them here :(
That is changing as of today...I will be back to regularly scheduled blogging...I had no idea I would miss it as much as I have.
There will be lots to catch up on but lets focus on the are you all doing with your Christmas preparations?
A couple weeks ago, I was in a bit of a panic thinking there is no way I would get everything done...seems I have that feeling pretty much every Christmas and as in years past, it somehow takes care of itself. Even if that means several long hours shopping and baking. As of yesterday, the shopping is complete. After 7hrs in the kitchen, the baking is done as well.

Tried to write a new Christmas carole based on my baking:
5 dozen sugarplums
4 dozen pb cup cookies
3 dozen pretzel rods
2 dozen gingersnap balls
and a pumpkin cheesecake
Alos made a regular and a dessert cheese ball but wasn't sure how to work them into the
(the home made Oreo's in the big jar were made last weekend...surprised they are still there
By the end of today, the gifts will be wrapped and home made Christmas crackers will be made. Then it's time to enjoy my family. I am thrilled to have my brother, SIL and 2yr old niece coming to spend a few days with us. We'll also be sharing the holidays with eldest sons girlfriend. They have been dating for about 7 months and it's actually been easier than I thought it would be to "share" my son. I LOVE having another female in the house that's for sure!!
Would love to hear how you are spending the holidays!
And in case I don't get back here before then, may you all take some time to enjoy the many little things that make this time of year so special. Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

True Patriot Love

Started our July 1st celebrations with a red and white breakfast...

*please click pictures to see full size and greater details*

I used the Maple Leaf pancake mold to "emboss" the pancakes this takes waaaay too long to make enough pancakes in the mold itself for a family of 6!

cover them with pureed strawberries and cool whip...yummo!

After breakfast, we headed off to the parade on main pics this year as I just wanted to sit and watch (besides, it's pretty much the same from year to year here)
Came home to put the finishing touches on the food and decorations for the gathering we were hosting (it's our turn once every 3 years as we rotate with 2 other families)
These are home made, I am not kidding...I made them from scratch! Did you know you could do that? I had no idea till last year. The lady of the house we were at only had rock hard ones to make s'mores with and commented that she had seen/read you could make them from scratch. I came home that night, googled and found a recipe..been saving it for a whole year so I could make them. They are soooo good! They don't taste anything like a store bought one...which according to all who ate them...that's a good thing!

These cute cupcakes were dessert...found this recipe on the Canadian Living website

I adapted mine a little as I couldn't find everything they listed. I still think they turned out pretty cute...and delicious!

Just some snap shots of the back yard...

this little guy is supposed to hold a picture but I thought he made a great napkin weight. Had a moose one on top of the beverage dispenser holding a "Raspberry Lemonade" sign so people knew what they were drinking

changed out the flowers on the table once it started getting dark for these...glow in the dark flags

and of Canada Day is complete without fireworks...

How'd you celebrate being Canadian?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

and another month goes by

without a blog!
How do you guys do it? Blog regularly?
I think about it a lot...but then something or someone seems to get in the way of my having the time and freedom to sit at the computer for anything longer than to check emails or facebook. Perhaps now that Brian is home for a bit and we are no longer planning a Spring break surprise trip things will slow down a bit for me.
In fact, they already have in a way.
With Brian not home, it's constant go go go for me but having him here allows myself to operate at a slightly slower pace...which isn't necessarily a good thing! He is taking care of the house work and laundry during the day so after a day at work, I just need to worry about supper really. He's even been doing a lot of the driving to volleyball so I can stay home in the evenings.
You'd think that with my new found freedom, I'd have all the time in the world to scrapbook, work on home reno's, workout, and blogging....but I don't! So, what am I doing instead? Some days, I'm not sure the answer to that question....seems I am busy doing a whole lot of! I'm sure some (or all) of you know what I mean by that.
I've got a mix of Spring fever (sure wish Mother Nature would get that feeling and end Winter already) blended with a sense of urgency to get some major projects outta the way with grad less than a month away. So any "spare" time I have in the next few weeks will be spent tying up those "to do's"
I will share pics of them when they are done.
I'll also share photos from our surprise family vacation to Disney World!
In an effort to get a few more things highlighted off the list, I'm outta here!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Whoa...perhaps I should give up this blogging thing...does anyone even still read it? It's been an awfully looong time since I posted anything.
Truth be told...I came to several times..thought I had some good topics to blog about but just can't seem to make the time to sit at the computer and get anything written.
Life is incredibly busy at our I'm sure it is for you too...seems to be the way for most. Brian has been gone since the 3rd of January! This leaves me to juggle the boys' schedules, the running of the house and my full time job...which is why I just can't seem to make the time to sit here long enough to get anything written. I haven't scrapped too much in the last couple of months either.
I am thrilled to share that in amongst all the busy, I have made myself more of a priority since the beginning of the year...eating healthier and working out has helped me to lose almost 15lbs so far. People are starting to notice which makes me want to keep at. I sure hope Brian notices as I've lost it all since he left.
The 2 older boy's club volleyball seasons have been in full swing for some time now. Between the 2 of them, we have 9 tournaments freeing up only 3 weekends from the end of January till after the May long!! See why I have no spare! As if that wasn't enough, I signed the 3rd son up for a weekly volleyball program with the hope he'll learn enough to make the Jr. High team in the fall. I guess maybe when the all leave home, I'll have time to scrap and blog! I did make time on a Monday we had no school to go to the spa with a friend and finally use the gift cards I got for Christmas in 2008 and 2009!
All of a sudden, graduation is just a couple of months away...and with hosting a houseful, any spare time I have had has been spent trying to finish up odds and ends of projects around here. The biggest right now is the kitchen cupboards.
Sometimes, I wonder why I start such! Guess I should take my son to get a suit too! I'll leave my outfit shopping until closer to the event in order to buy something another size or 2 smaller ;)
I hope you are well...staying safe and warm with this long cold winter we've been experienced (which by the way...I am so are you I'm

Saturday, January 22, 2011

can it be?

I have had some time to get reacquainted with my creative side and boy did it feel good! Like therapy...maybe not cheaper but way more fun!
this layout was for a "think inside the box" challenge

these were some street performers we saw on our 2nd trip to Vegas

a shot of some houses in "the Hills"...pic taken from Universal Studios

one of our fave hot spots on the Vegas strip...more so mine than Brian's as he's not into country music but he sure does enjoy his "Toadsuck Pond" and "deep fried snickers"

this was what I came up with for a "gift card holder"'s for out librarian at school who is also a great friend

this one is pretty special to me...we were at our family reunion last summer and the family members that organized it, had balloons, pencils/paper strips and helium for us to write a note to those loved ones no longer with us. Those of that wanted to sent our letters off towards heaven...

Monday, January 17, 2011


So far our 2011 has had a few...
The boys and I are transitioning into a new routine without Brian home on a regular basis. He is sub contracting waaaay up North and we likely will not see him til mid March at the earliest. There's still hope he can come home for a few days over the family day weekend. The boys and I have a day or two extra off from school then so the timing would be great. So far, the boys and I are adjusting well. However, the club volleyball season is just getting started and that will impact the routine we have gotten into!!
Personally, I've been making the transition to a new healthier way of living and it's gone better than I expected it might. Since the 3rd of January, I have only missed one day of exercise and have had one really bad day as far as staying withing my daily caloric intake. How do I know this, cause I joined a site called (I stumbled across while googling the calorie contents of something I had eaten and wanted to enter into this "lose it" app I had for my phone.) Turns out this website is pretty intensive and full of info...and they have an app too!! I also recently discovered that my friend Vanessa is a member and it has helped her to be very successful. :)
Looking forward to some successes of my own!
Another transition, directly related to the one above, is going from plus size clothes to regular sized clothes? I have no idea how to do this...I've googled size charts and that has given me some info but not enough to feel comfortable. The reason this is important and bugging me all at the same time is, I want to buy a really nice pair of jeans...goal a few sizes smaller (as incentive) but don't want to buy them and have them still be too small after I've lost 30-40 pounds...kwim? I would feel sooo bad about myself if they didn't fit. I've heard people say: 10 pounds between sizes but doesn't the size you wear depend on bone structure too? And if you are toning/building muscles? Awe man...I am so!
My role at work has changed slightly for the next month and it has not been the easiest transition. It's added some extra stress in my day...good thing I have my workouts I can use as stress release!
My year will have a few more "major" transitions whether I like it or not. I'll worry about those as the time comes!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Looking back

2010 would be comparable to what I would imagine being on a roller coaster would feel like...full of ups and downs, twists and turns... feeling like you are twisting into a knot...
bright spots for us included:
* a second trip to Vegas for Brian and I
* being asked to continue on at my job (after being let go)
* more camping...including a great time at the family reunion
* attending a cousins wedding
* getting some landscaping done
* lots of time just hanging with the boys
* everyone stayed quite healthy
* Zack getting his drivers lisence
* celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary
* watching the Olympics
dull moments included:
* Brian being forced to change jobs
* Reilly having 12 baby teeth pulled at once
* Zack getting his drivers license (LOL)
* being told there was no money in the budget to keep me on staff
* not getting as much done around the house/yard as I would have liked
* the boys being boys...they can be sooo mean to one another
* not enough scrappy/crafty time for me
All in all 2010 was decent...could have been way worse I guess!

I was kinda sorta successful with my 2010 one little word: Organize. Will be a constant work in progress I think! My word for 2011 is Change...I need to change the way I deal with change as this year is going to be full of them. Some totally out of my control so I better figure out how I am going to cope! A few are of my own doing...healthier lifestyle changes being at the top of the list!

I would love to hear what some of your highlights were last year and what you look forward too in 2011!