Sunday, August 24, 2008

One last week at the lake

Last week was spent doing a little of this.....

Enjoying scenery like this...

With these handsome guys....

And my parents, which for some reason, I never get a good picture of. My brother, Trevor, his wife, Nicole and their kiddos, Justin and Arianna also joined us.

This is the best picture I have ever taken of my he would say, he totally blew his onion on that one.

Okay, okay, here's his mug...
He's goofier than me, if you can even imagine. Trust me. And that is beer he's drinking but it's of the root variety. Liquor and boating don't mix.

We also did some of this....

There's my brother blowing his onion again. It's pretty fun to be the one driving the boat with your older brother at your mercy on the tube. Moohoohahahahaha! Actually I was getting my revenge for when he was driving while I was tubing. I just about hit the moon on that last one there Trev. Stop laughing you lip! (another Trevorism, he has many)

Clearly this shot was taken before the attempted lunar launching.

Jack and Daddy didn't last long. He didn't want to go alone and the weight of Jay in the tube created lots of splash. He made it farther than Kamden though. He stepped into the tube and immediately stepped out. My kids are not as adventurous as their parents. Justin and Arianna loved it though especially when I went over the bumps.

Another one of our favourite things to do is dock the boat on an island and build a fire on a rock. We were up in the Canadian shield which is beautiful. Unlike the southern part of our province as night is unlike day. There are lots of huge rock outcrops which make lovely safe fire spots. We have a couple favourite spots that we go back to every year.

We make bush pies for lunch in the fire. Now I know that bush has some strange connotations but here it means forest. As in head into the bush and find some firewood. Bush pies are made over an open flame in the forest or bush.

Making them requires a loaf of bread and some type of filling. The boys like cheese, we like pizza sauce, meat and cheese and for dessert, pie filling, chocolate and marshmallows. Mmmmmm...

Here Anna and Jack are helping Grams with the dessert ones. I think more marshmallows and chocolate may have ended up in their tummies than the wonder they wanted to "help".

Once you fill the pie, you place it between these metal plates and hold over the fire until the bread is nice and toasted and the filling is sufficiently melted.

Then enjoy. Try not to wear most it like Kamden did though...

Since all 10 of us cannot fit in the boat at once, Jay and I canoed out and met the rest of the crew at the lunch spot. We may have taken the long way. For exercise of course. Anna asked if we were lost...nope I know exactly where we are, I just have no idea where we need to go. NOT the same thing.

And we also spent lots of time at the beach.

Kamden tried to skim board on his boogie board. He may or may not have been copying me. Let's just say my attempt was far less gracefull and may have resulted in wipeout to end all wipeouts. Boogie Boards + skim boarding = disaster.

It was a lovely way to cap off summer. My parents own a cabin up there with my aunt and Uncle. They only took possession of it at the beginning of this summer and have just begun an addition to house all of us. We hope to spend some time there every summer repeating the above.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Our room

Teeni tagged me ages and ages ago to do a meme about my 5 favourite things in my bedroom. I have held off doing it only because we were working on redecorating it. It's finally done and in no particular order here are some of my favourite things about it...

When we lay in bed this is what we see. It's just about my favourite way to wake up, my favourite is with the real thing cuddling beside me! My boys are my alarm clock, every morning at 8am Jack goes and gets Kamden and they crawl in on either side of me, weekdays anyway. Weekends Jay gets in on the cuddle time too.

The walls are a blue, much like the blue you see around you on my template. The room is decorated in the exact same colours as they are my favourite colour combination right now.

On either side of the bed, above the nightstands are these arrangments of mirrors. I found them at Wal-Mart for $1.37 each. To hang them took much measuring and masking taping to square them up. But to hang them I used 3M picture hanging strips, I can't find a good link to them right now but they are awesome. The best I can describe them is like plastic velcro, one sticks to the picture and one to the wall. They remove like nothing with no marks to the wall. You velcro them together then stick one side to the picture. Next line up the picture and stick to the wall. You can easily remove the picture from the wall without removing the strip stuck to the wall for easy adjustment and alignment. Plus no figuring out where the hook is supposed to go so that the picture hangs were you want it! If that makes any sense at all... anyway that's how I got the mirrors in this arrangement and how I got the pictures above in a square... masking tape around the edge, lined up the pictures and peeled off the tape.

Blah, blah, blah.. long winded, if you are still with me, back to the pictures because the best is yet to come.

These were custom ordered from my friend, Anna. Some of you know Anna, others may not. We met on the internet, through blogging, and she has become a great friend. She is amazingly talented and when we started redecorating I asked her to paint some pictures for our room. I showed her pictures of the room and the mirror/picture arrangements and these are what she came up with.

I LOVE THEM to bits! The finish off the room fabulously and warm my heart whenever I see them. Anna, thank you from the bottom of my heart, they are exactly what I wanted!

I was having a day with the camera... manual settings had not enough light and the flash, well, it's industrial stregth so it reflectd nicely off the gloss in the paint. Just take my word for it, our room has never looked this good. EVER.

So that is three things that I love about our room and the other two are easy. The bed and my pillow. I adore my pillow so much that I often hug it when I've been away from home. There simply is no where like my own bed. No where. I might even shed a tear or two over leaving it when we go away. If I could load it up and take it with me, I seriously would.

Next up, the closet. We did a massive re-org there too and found we had lost a child in there.
You can imagine our surprise.... stay tuned!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Good bye

This sweet girl was a part of our family for the last 16 years. It was my first year of university when Mom and Dad brought her into the city from my Grandma's farm. The reason? To take her to the animal shelter. She'd been dropped off at the farm by who knows who and was unwanted.

She was just a pup and was scared and skinny and forlorn. She sat in a cardboard box in the back seat for the entire 3 hour trip.

The animal shelter was closed when they arrived so they brought her home with the intention of going back the next day.

She never left.

Until last week when my parents had to make the unfathomable decision to let her go.

Many people have expressed that having a pet is not worth the heartache when they go. I disagree, violently. Would we trade the last 16 years to avoid the heartache of saying goodbye?

Not in a nanosecond.

Her name was Kricket. We gave her the name because when she was a pup she would make this adorable squeaking sound when she yawned. It seem clever at the time and we certainly were not going to let my brother name her. His pet naming legacy is a cat named Kitty Kat. In my opinion, the fact that he was two years old at the time is irrelevant.

Her death also coincided with my son suddenly growing up about 7 years. When I told the boys that Kricket had died, Jack covered his eyes and then asked me to go away.

I did because I had to respect his need to grieve in his own way.

But it just about killed me that he didn't need me or want me in that moment.

Instead I answered the usual questions from Kamden about the fact that she wasn't ever coming back and we could only see her in pictures. There were no tears shed from this boy.

Jack, on the other hand, cried silently into a pillow for what seemed like an eternity. Then later in the day he asked to see pictures of her.

He's growing up way too fast.

Kricket was patient, loyal, obedient and had the sweetest heart.

She will live forever in our hearts and in my children's hearts for they loved her as much as she loved them.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jay and I, sitting in a tree....

Teeni tagged me for this a while back and I am finally getting around to it. Seeing as I marked 5 hour long accounting exams this weekend, my creativity is slacking. Accounting seems to do that to a person, or is it just me?

1. What is his name? That’s a loaded question… he goes by Jay, but his real name is Johan. As a kid he went by his initials, JJ. By the time I met him he had shortened it to Jay. I think some people think that I was the one who insisted it be shortened but that’s not true. He introduced himself to me as Jay. To this day, if someone calls him JJ, I just don’t know who they are talking about.

2. Who eats more? Me. Which is why I also exercise more.

3. Who said, “I love you” first? No idea. It was 15 years ago…we’re both aging… you get the idea

4. Who is taller? Jay is and he’s just the perfect amount taller.

5. This one got lost but Teeni came up with a new one - Who drives most when you are out together? He does. He practically does all the driving when we go anywhere together including on long trips. I am the navigator, we like it like this. I hate driving, he hates being a passenger. We were made for each other, no?

6. Who is more sensitive? I don’t know. This one might be a tie. We are both sensitive about certain things. We also know each other’s sensitivities and try to be respectful of them.

7. Who does the laundry? We both do. I also love that I don’t have to tell him to. He simply notices that the hampers are full and does it. Including putting it away. Hands off ladies, he’s mine!

8. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do. That’s the side the bathroom is closest too. Enough said.

9. Who pays the bills? I used to but somehow he has gotten shafted with that chore. Maybe because I hate that sort of thing?

10. Who cooks more? This is probably fairly equal too. I might cook a bit more but he likely does the laundry more often. It’s all even.

11. Who is more stubborn? Yeah, that would be me by a landslide. He’s not overly stubborn about anything. Well except one thing but one thing is not much!

12. Who is the first to admit they are wrong? I think we both own up to this one pretty well. It might take a bit of time but we come around.

13. Who has more siblings? He wins by one – one of each for him and I have a brother.

14. Who wears the pants in the relationship? Pants? We both wear pants Sometimes I wear skirts although I have never seen him in a skirt. We both wear shorts.

15. What do you like to do together? Hmmm, lots of things ;-)

16. Who eats more sweets? Yeah, that again would be me.

17. Guilty Pleasures? Hmm, trips to the spa, chocolate, eating out…not sure that we feel overly guilty about any of those things though…maybe this is more the response to what we like to do together.

18. How did you meet? Long story. It involves a bar, a hotel and the stretch and yawn move. We are lots of things but boring is not one of them.

19. Who asked whom out first? Jay asked me for my phone number the first night I met him. I was very tempted to not write the correct number as I didn’t know him well at all. I am glad I didn’t. VERY glad.

20. Who kissed who first? I cannot remember, it was 15 years ago. I do remember that I was driving his car (I was DD) and I reached down to make sure I had my wallet, instead of my wallet, I came up with his hand. I do think that was before the kiss though….

21. Who proposed? He did after much cajoling and harping from me.

22. His best features and qualities? I love his smile, it makes my day. And his laugh. If I can make him laugh that pretty much puts a skip in my step. He is also the most intuitive and observant man I have ever met. There is not need to nag him, ever. Well except about the getting married thing but that was 11 years ago, we’ll let it go know. No really, I hardly ever bring it up to remind him how right I was.

23. Tag some peeps. I tag the following people to do this meme: YOU!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Age 12

I was at camp.

I was barely 12.

It was too soon. I didn’t understand. I was alone.

I went to the bathroom and there it was. I knew what it was but I didn’t understand. I was embarrassed. I asked my friend to tell the counselor. My only knowledge was from a Judy Blume book. As far as I knew there were belts involved.

The worst part was that my mom wasn’t there. I needed her, wanted her. I am positive she never though it would happen so soon and that she would be there when it did.

I survived the week. I still went swimming, I didn’t know otherwise. I hid it from my tent mates. The counselor was discreet in delivering my supplies.

It was awful.

Finally camp was over and I returned home. “How was camp?” My mother asked. I dissolved into a puddle of tears, all that I had withheld for a week spilling over the moment I saw my mom.

“I got my period,” I sobbed.

“I’m sorry!” she exclaimed. She knew that I had needed her.

And just like that it was suddenly all okay.

I may submit this story to You are a woman now. This a book that is currently being compiled of period stories. Check out the site for how to submit. The limit is 3,000 words so I am thinking this is bit short


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Winnipeg Day 3

Day 3 began with a trip to the Royal Canadian Mint which, if you are not familiar with the place, is where our money is made. And apparently that of about 7 or 8 other countries. Who knew this type of thing was outsourced? And to Canada no less? Fascinating it was, fascinating.

And I don't know about you but $4.95 seems a bit steep for some chocolate mints. Now if they were made of gold....

We also got to hold a gold bar. Don't worry it was not only chained down but also had it's very own security guard. Apparently something worth $450,000 CAD is precious cargo.

Also, that will be the only time I ever touch that much real gold. Unless something unexpected happens. I'd be okay with that.

Next stop was Tinkertown to meet Cheryl and her boys. This place was amazing, if you are ever in Winnipeg with kids around 8 and under, it's your place. We spent around 3 hours there and the kids loved it.

Cole is Cheryl's little man (the one standing up and pumping his fist, he gets that from his dad), he shares her amazing blue eyes and is a miniature of her husband, Tim (the one in the shades, his future is so bright he's gotta wear shades).

I know all about that Cheryl, all I have heard for the last 7 years is how much my kids look like Jay. One time, just one time I am going to say, WHAT? Not the mailman? Gee, that's weird.

Check us out in the funny mirrors. We totally looked like little people. Don't ask about the flash. I don't really want to talk about it.

Clearly by this point, Jay had had enough. Don't worry Jay, I know how this ends and there is a Corona or two in it for you!

It was off to Cheryl and Tim's for melt in your mouth beef tenderloin, white sweet potatoes and wine. I always thought sweet potato and yams were the same but apparently the orange ones are yams and the white ones are sweet potatoes. All this and a new vegtable too, what a full day.

But there's still more. Remember how I mentioned skim boarding?

Jack thought we were nuts. He preferred to watch his mother make fool of herself. He's had a lot of practice, it's pretty much a daily occurrence.

Here's Cole showing us his spectacular form.

No fear Kamden trying it out. He fell on his butt right after I shot this.

Here's Tim showing me how it's done.

Show off!

Yes, I am jealous of his ridiculously good form, why do you ask?

My form? It's called Watermelon Hands. Give me two and I'll hold them while I board. I am THAT talented.

I need to get me one of this there skim boarding things. It's addictive let me tell you. I may or may not have body checked one or two of the kids out of the way.

And since we were smart and didn't take a photo of the two of us the day before when were all dressed up pretty for shopping, we did it today. And apparently it was quite funny.

Starting to lose it....Yup, we've lost it.

We are so funny, we can't contain ourselves...
And that's a wrap folks. Nothing to see here. Move along.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Winnipeg Day 2

Day two of our vacation will be done via photo journal. The laryngitis I had while we were away has morphed into a full blown summer cold. It is awesome.

We headed downtown to check out The Forks, or the place where the Red River and Assinboine River meet. It's been a meeting place for Aboriginals for thousands of years and there is lots of history. I am guessing that's why there are cobblestone streets in the area. I loved them, so full of charm.

There is also a fabulous skate park. Old meets new if you will.

I think this mantra probably would have served our ancestors, both white and Aboriginal, well and it also works well for the youth of today who frequent the park.

Hey dudes, don't you, like, need some wheels?

Jay could not be outdone, he had to show 'em how it's done.

This was a neat structure around the plaques to commemorate the history of the area.

The top of a bridge that you could see from the bank of the river.

And our intended destination, the Manitoba Children's Museum. It was fabulous and the hit was the locomotive and rail car.

Here they are, Jack is plugging his ears at the recorded engine sounds.

After the museum, we headed the The Forks Market, which reminds me of the markets in Vancouver at Granville Island and Longsdale Quay. Very quaint and the cinnamon buns we purchased were delish.

Next up, I left the boys water sliding at the hotel and hit the mall for some girl time with Cheryl, who doesn't have her own blog, though she SHOULD! I work with Cheryl and she and I exchange emails very frequently.

We shopped hard and we talked. non. stop. The laryngitis I mentioned? The result of a seven hour gab session with a great friend (not really, it's a virus but I am certain the talking didn't help). Don't worry we didn't shop for the entire seven hours, with my track record the house would have been repossessed after a shopping spree of that duration.

Turn out we both have hang ups, me with my abdomen and her with black. I was frequently heard saying, "Cheryl, not the black one, pick some colour" and she was frequently heard saying, "you don't have rolls!" after watching me sweep my hand over my abdomen asking, "Does this shirt show my rolls?"

For the record? I do have rolls, but if camoflauged by the right shirt, no one will ever know. Oh I guess you do now, given that I just posted it on the internet. Ah well, what good are secrets anyway.

After dinner and coffee, we called it a night. The only problem, we live too far away from each other to do that often enough for my liking.

Stay tuned for Day 3, it involves an amusement park, some funky mirrors and me on a skim board. Trust me, you'll want to come back for that.