Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and may you have a joyous and blessed 2008!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The origin of the GREAT Nanaimo Bar

Picture from here

It appears that there are those in the world who don't know the wondrous delight of sinking your teeth into the scrumptious Christmas time treat known as Nanaimo Bar.

This shocks me.

And I am so sad for you.

Really. You need to make it and then sit down and savour (yes, with a 'u'!) every crumb.

Apparently it hails from Canada, Nanaimo, BC to be exact. Here is the recipe (GET IT, MAKE IT). It also mentions something about "New York Slice". Whatever, if y'all want to mimic us Canadians go right ahead... but don't steal the name.

I kid, I kid! I have no idea where it came from but I have always called it Nanaimo Bar.

And don't fool yourself into believing that the bought stuff is just as good. As my family's self proclaimed Nanaimo tasting expert, I assure you, it's not EVEN close.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tricky McTrickster

This is my favourite Christmas treat. This one smells amazing but it's not edible. I found it at a local bath shop and had to get one for my cousin. She LOVES my mom's nanimo bar almost as much as I love it. For me, it just wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Maybe I'll even save a few peices of the real thing for her. Or not. With me around there isn't likley to be any left by the time I see her on the 29th!

And I just had to take a picture of this Candy Cane. Or is it a Candy Cane? Seems to me it's missing the very thing that makes it a Candy Cane. Jay came home with it from work. Seems his boss must be skimping... maybe the ones without stripes are cheaper?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bah Busybug!

Do you know what busy does?

It chews you up, spits you out, then dances on your head in stilettos.

Oh yes, busy is female, I assure you. No male would feel the need to try to balance 3,742 things at once. They have no need to “to do it all”. That’s a trait we females seem to wear with pride.

Not me though, I always prided myself on never taking on more than I could handle. In fact, I normally err on the side of caution in terms of scheduling myself.

Those days are but a distant memory for me right now. In fact, the time it is taking me to type out this post should most likely be spent on about 1000 other things. Some that earn me a living (read: support my shopping addiction) and some that just need to be done (read: clean the bathrooms, laundry, cook actual food for my family, spend time with said family….blah, blah, blah).

There are 17 on-line students requiring attention, there is a case exam that must be authored, there is a project with team members that must be managed…. Oh and it’s also Christmas in a week and half.

Right, so sleep? Not really necessary right? I am too stressed to relax and actually get a good sleep anyway so what’s the point. Although, I did get up at 6 this morning to get some work done before the kids woke up and discovered that my eyes don’t really focus before 8 am.

Good to know, good know.

And to top everything off we had to rush up to Toon town Monday because Jack had another appointment with the pediatric ophthalmologist on Tuesday morning. Really this turned out to be sweet because Bon Jovi was playing there. We had decided we really couldn’t pull Jack out of school to attend the concert but an appointment the next day? That’s a legitimate reason to be absent. So we enjoyed the fine specimen of Jon for a couple hours – the man? He’s hot with a capital H. It was fantastic. (PS love you hon, I only like to admire Jon from afar, YOU are my man!)

And Jack is scheduled to go for surgery sometime in March. Remember how I haven’t been getting much sleep? Yeah, this really helps. My baby is going to put under. I’ve never experienced this unless you could the valium induced awake coma courtesy of the anesthesiologist when Jack was delivered via C-section (that dude is on my hit list by the way). That translates into fear.

I know that this is the best thing to do if we ever want Jack to have binocular vision (ie focus with both eyes at once) but when it’s imminent, suddenly I am not so confident in our decision.

Throw in a b-day night with my best bud last night, two Christmas concerts and I am not even sure which way is up.

Anywho, enough about my ridiculous busyness. It’s my own fault so let’s not wallow in it. This too shall pass.

I do have to give a shout out to the best husband and Daddy I know. Jay, you are my backbone. You always quietly, with never a complaint, take over and handle all the mundane tasks that would otherwise get left undone. Our stomachs thank you from the bottom of their hearts because I can’t remember that last time I set foot in the grocery store or cooked a meal. And laundry, well, I think I may have forgotten how to use the washer. You rock and if I had custom ordered you from Heaven, I would have settled for mediocre compared to you.

I love you!

And my dear friend, Candace for taking my Kamden for more afternoons than I can count to play with Logan instead of standing by me and my laptop asking when I can play with him. I owe you big time!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Suspicious minds!

Teeni tagged me with this meme a couple of days ago. Here are the rules:

Write a list of things of which you are suspicious. Any number of them will do. Even the number 0 works. This is the first meme that can be done without even doing it. In fact, you’re doing it right now.

1)Include the list of rules, if you feel like it.
2) Link back to the person who tagged you. Or not.
3) Tag however many people you want to tag. You can skip this step.
4) If you acted on rule four, leave comments on their websites to let them know that they have been tagged. This step is also completely optional.
5) Feel fantastic.

So in no particular order, here are things that make me go Hmmmmm….

1) When my computer randomly locks up. Or my email quits working. Or when your comments from here don’t end up in my mail box, like for the last three days for example. My theory is there is some computer gnome who steals my comments and messes with my system. My message to the gnome is:

“DO you know what this does to me? Do you? Do you really understand how crazy it makes me?”

Right, so that’s probably why you do it then? Good, glad we got that cleared up but let me tell you, one day, I am gonna get you.

And get you good. Consider this your warning.

2) Crunchie bars. I mean, what is that stuff in the middle? Is it Styrofoam? The stuff you stick flower arrangements into? What?

All’s I know is that it ain’t food.

3) People who enjoy going to the dentist. What is it that you enjoy exactly? The swank paper bib that you have to wear like your 6 months old and you drool? The demeaning experience of having a piece of plastic draped over your mouth? The sharp tools in close proximity to your eyes?


Seriously, you need to go talk to someone about that. It’s just not normal.

4) Teletubbies . Need I say more?

5) When it’s quiet in the house and we are all home and the TV is NOT on. That’s just bad news, my friends, bad news.

And I am feeling fantastic! My work here is done.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It's that time again...

For another Mother Earth update. If you are new to the Khlopchyk madness, you may not know that I double as a tree hugger. At least a wannabe tree hugger. I am not green by any stretch but I try do a little here and there to protect our beautiful planet for my dudes....

One thing that I am NOT good at it buying second hand. But I gave it go.

I hit the local consignment store the other day since Kamden had outgrown his ski pants. His jacket still fits perfect but he needed the pants for sledding and well to keep from freezing to death on our daily treks back and forth to drop Jack off at school (we walk.. around the corner... driving would be ridiculous) in the Artic temperatures that we experience here regularly.

Guess what?

We found some in 2 minutes for a whopping price of $7.99. AND they were on sale! Who knew consignment stores had sales? So for $6.39 we got a perfectly good pair of pants that are like new.

And upon zipping them up, Kamden declared, "They are perfect!"

And of course, being the shopaholic that I am, I had to check out the rest of the clothing for the dudes. Alas, look what I scored for Jack for a grand total of $10 (for the pants and shirt!):

A nice GAP sweater and Please Mum pants. That fit. It's quite the challenge finding pants for the kid who resembles a fence post.

Oh, and also, 6 year olds do NOT stand still for photo ops. And if they do they smile like this:

Awesome. At least it shows his adorable toothless grin.

And look what my other two boys surprised me with:

I found this photo just last night while flippping through the pics on the camera.

Love you guys too!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

TAG - You're it

I was tagged by the uber talented Anna. She is an amazing artist, check her work here. I have my eye on these!

Now on to the meme. I must list 7 weird facts about myself. I did 7 random facts about myself here if you are interested.

Okay… on with the weird:

1. I have very wrinkly hands. They don’t look much different from a grandmother’s hands and they have always been this way. If I had a nickel every time someone said, “What’s wrong with your hands?!” I’d be rich. But they are the way they are.

2. I hate long nails. Not on other people but on me, they. Drive. Me crazy. What with the click clicky clicking on the keyboard. And how do they get so dirty underneath? I must be some kind of slob. Dirt, and guck and other lovely things reside under my nails when they are long. Hence, they get trimmed and often.

3. My eyesight is not that bad. But, you may have noticed that I wear my glasses all the time. My prescription is only -1.0 in my worst eye. But I do have astigmatism which makes my vision very peculiar without glasses. I could go without them but I can’t stand not to have perfect vision. I makes me crazy. I have contemplated laser surgery but I am afraid. What if my vision isn’t as perfect as it is now with my glasses?

4. I am practically tongue tied. Not that I can’t talk properly… well okay maybe that too but that’s another item altogether. My tongue is attached to the bottom of my mouth very close to the tip of my tongue which means that I cannot stick my tongue out very far. Who cares you might ask? Well I never did either until Jack was born. He inherited this same trait which resulted in lovely purple bruises on you know where during those first few weeks of learning to feed. Oh yeah, THAT was fun.

5. I am so afraid of public speaking that I do everything I can to avoid it. I am sure I’ve mentioned this before but it’s one of the characteristics that totally makes me so charming. I’m sure! Ha. Anyway, someday I do need to get over it but right now, forgetaboutit!

6. I am so sure no one remembers me that when I see someone I know in passing, I pretend I don’t see them until they notice me first. I know, what a loser eh…. I guess I was told I was a wallflower so much growing up, I believe it. I seem to remember everyone I meet but somehow I don’t think anyone else has that ability. As a result, I come off looking like a complete snob. How cool am I?

7. I like living here. Most people laugh at our province… it’s so flat, you an watch your dog run away for miles.. .etc. I’ve heard them all. But I like it. We don’t have traffic jams here, even in the largest cities. At least not in this one… the one to the north of us, well, they have infrastructure issues… It gets bloody cold here too and I am the first to complain but we will most likely live here for the rest of our lives. Now if that isn’t weird, I don’t know what is!

Now, who to tag… here goes nothing….Stacie, Tracey, Kaylee (only if you can though), Lizzy , Candace, Stacy and Kristin.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


This photo represents how I am feeling of late. My thoughts are all jumbled and I can’t seem to get them organized. I am really busy with work, more busy than I am used to. I am not one who thrives on being busy for this very reason. I feel jumbled and out of sorts.

But I enjoy my work and have gotten into the habit of having difficultly saying no. Not because I feel guilty or obligated because with this gig that I have, there is no obligation. It’s all done on contract which means if I don’t accept I don’t get paid. I have said no to things in the past and if anything else comes up in the next 3 months, the answer will have to be no. Either that or I give up sleep and any time with my family. That’s not an option and right now, it’s the family time that’s suffering.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining because this work at home thing, it’s sweet. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The only thing missing is more time but really, doesn't everyone feel like that?

What is getting me is that I am stressing. This is not normal for me. I am not a worry wart, basically because I find it requires far too much effort to worry about every little thing and frankly, I’m lazy. However, I am out of my element. I was asked to do something that I feel is WAY over my head. I accepted but with trepidation, because well, it requires “leading” people that are, in my opinion, much more experienced than me. Talk about overwhelming.

I can’t decide which is worse, NOT being asked to do it again or being asked to do it again. You see if they don’t ask me to do it again, that means I will have failed. If they do, that means I have to go through all this again.

See what I mean?

But I am also looking at it as a challenge, to succeed despite the odds against me and the fear of not being good enough. Because I have to.

Or become a stress pot.

That’s not appealing.

And these pictures, well they make feel calm when I look at them. I shot them the other day in between catching the kids sliding down the hill. It amazes me that something so stark and cold can be so beautiful.

Maybe there's a lesson in that for how I'm feeling?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Yesterday, we woke up to this:

So this morning we embraced winter...somewhat reluctantly I might add.... and headed down the street to do this:

And then this:

Okay, so winter isn't THAT bad.....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another one bites the dust....

Jack lost the other top tooth and now he looks a bit like I must have for several years. I knocked them both out by the time I was four. Yes, I am still clumsy although those would be my most serious injuries.

And we have been singing the song, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth" every chance we get. I had to suffer, why shouldn't he?

I went searching for a picture of myself with no front teeth but came up without one. I can't imagine how that is possible when I had no front teeth for years. Literally.

What I did find? Well, I laughed, I cried (from laughing so hard) and I laughed some more. I thought I would share because well, who doesn't love to share the fashion blunders of their youth?


This one isn't so bad. I was kinda cute in a holy cow there's a strange man trying to make me smile sort of way. Apparently didn't like to show off my toothless grin.

Oh no.

I waited until I HAD teeth.

Grade 2

And what pretty teeth they were. The better to eat you with my pretty! Moohoohahaha!

Right, so don't show off cute toothless grin but make sure to display hideous buck teeth.

Got it.

Or wait, maybe I did learn from my mistakes....

Grade 4
Yup, now we'll try dorky no teeth smile. Much better don't you think?

Fast forward through more bad hair and tacky outfits to this.


Grade 8

Yes, SOMEONE made me laugh so that my braces would be visible. I don't remember who but I am pretty sure they should be egged for that

Although, would it really matter, my pretty peach and green ensemble coupled with my mullet isn't really helping either. I can't even say, well at least I had good hair

Oh and yes those are bows on my earrings and the necklace was a bow too. I think the golf shirt under the sweater with a necklace was a hot look, no?

Grade 9

I didn't have my school picture from Grade 9 but I did have my skating photo from that year. In my search I found a report I did in Grade nine about myself. Here's an little bit of it:

I have brown hair, brown eyes and medium skin. My eyes are too small, my face and nose are too long and my skin is too dry. Oh sorry, I forgot to tell you that my lips are too pale. Well that pretty well describes me doesn’t it?! Now I will tell you what I like about appearance (this shouldn’t take too long!). I like my hair because it is naturally curly although at times I can get quite annoyed at it. You see it tends to have a mind of its own. Now I will tell you what I dislike about my appearance (um, didn’t I already do that?). I dislike my legs because they are too muscular.”

Boy it really sucked to be me, didn’t it? My lips were too pale and I had muscular legs. WOW. The troubles I had. I think the picture shows my bulging muscles quite well don't you? Arnold had nothing on me!

Thankfully by Grade 10 I was coming into my own.

Grade 10

We lost the mullet, can I get an HALLELUAH?

And just to show you how fast my locks replenish, this is one year later:

Grade 11

And actually I kinda still have the same 'do, minus the youthful face

That was fun... and I also found some seriously funny pictures of a couple of friends... in one hair simply defies gravity, it amazing really. I won't subject her to this but you can bet your bottom dollar I'm scanning that baby in and emailing it to her

Tell me, what was your most famous fashion or hair blunder? If you blogged it, go ahead and link it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The trip that almost was

It all started with my cousin telling me that flights to the Bahamas were half price. All four of them were flying there for $1,400.

We could do that I said.

I started planning. Looking up hotels. Pricing things out.

“We can do it”, I said as I got more and more excited.

We fill out passport forms, we get new pictures (after Jay shaved off the ‘stache).

We’re going to have ourselves a hot tropical holiday this January. We’ll escape the -800 temperatures to sip pina colada’s while the kids frolick in the pool.

Step #1 was to get new passports for all of us.

The passport office is crazy busy right now. You have to wait in line to get on the elevator to even get up to the floor the passport office is on. My cousin told me horror stories of people waiting all day only to not get in. Having to come back the next day to try it all again.

But we had a plan. Jay works right across the street from the office. He gets to work before dawn most mornings. He would go over when it opened and get a number. I would drop Jack off at school, stop by the bank and get the boys birth certificates from the safety deposit box and slide in shortly after 9:30 and we’d hardly have to wait.

Right. Like a bank opens before 9:30. Okay small hinge in plan. We have lots of time surely given the large number of people that were there when Jay got the number. I’ll slide by Java Express grab a latte – decaf, non-fat – and be back to hit the bank (not “hit” it in the criminal sense) grab the certificates and we’d be on our way.

Certificates are not in the safety deposit box. No, they are at home in the same drawer the old passports were in.

Right. Okay, after a quick trip home to find them, we’re on our way. (It may or may not have looked like someone “hit” our house when I was through. The bed held the contents of the drawer in a quite a haphazard manner.)

To the passport office! The first step in our exciting journey to the Caribbean.

Not looking good when we walk into the building as a couple who were behind Jay in the line earlier walk out. Sure enough, we’ve missed our number, it’s already been called. But we ask the nice lady handing out the numbers and she gave us a new on. Phew.

Almost two hours later we have handed in our forms and everything is good. We passed the scrutiny of the crazy passport officer dudes or dudettes, whatever.

I get home and start looking at some options and check out our finances. Right, wow, those windows really set us back, oh and right, I am self employed, there’s the tax man to worry about. I’ve had a good year, that I knew, I keep really good track of that!

I do some quick calculations and guess what? It’s the tax man or the Bahamas.

Guess who wins?

Damn this being responsible crap! But on the other hand, we will have up to date passports next year when we almost go on another trip... stay tuned!

I leave you with this. This is Kamden’s old passport photo. It was taken in August of 2004 when he was a mere month and half old. His Granddaddy nicknamed him Bubba at birth. It’s fitting, no?

Excuse the horrible quality, passports don't scan well, which I am thinking is a really good thing.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Living Sky

Our license plates say "Land of the Living Sky". I think it's appropriate.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

That 70's Post

You are wondering if we went back in time to that lovely decade when ugly was cool? No, we were trying to look like Sonny and Cher. I got you babe!

Do you like the 'stache? He was going for Sonny Bono, we all think he looks more like Dirk Diggler. Don't know who that is? That's good. That means you didn't watch a terrible movie called Boogie Nights. We only could stand about half of it about 10 years ago.
Ain't he hot?
I think so.

And I am particularly smokin' in this lovely black and neon ensemble circa 1974 or so. Thankfully it was only $5 at the second hand store. Like my wig?

We had a blast at the Halloween party hosted by Candace. We bobbed for apples - I was terrible at that.

Oh and the kids were there too, did I forget to mention that?

And we played pin the tail on the witch. My glasses were very helpful.

It was good food and good times with a little 6 year old attitude thrown it. Thanks for a great time Candace!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Okay, I need help!

It's become a boot obsession factory over here at the Khlopchyk house. I need your help. Are these boots too much alike to consider keeping both? The one on the left are the brand new ones that could go back since I have not yet worn them out of the house. The one on the right is the traded pair.

Here's the side view:

These are the ones I scored in Calgary that I love for my normal everyday Mom look (aka jeans and a t-shirt)

I am steppin out of the box or what?!

Help me out my wonderful blogging friends, all comments are welcome and appreciated!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I heart


The boys are getting all this for Christmas. I was like a kid in a candy store finding all this stuff. And it was on sale too. Hooray for the big city shopping my job enables!

And this shows the yellow paint that I finally decided on back when I was having one of my PMS days :-) The stickers were Jay's idea and they really finished off the rooms.