Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome to the new me!

I needed a change around here again. What do you think? I had a hard time finding a template I liked, because you want to pick something that is YOU, and nothing quite measures up. I'd have to do it myself, but I don't have the skills to get what's in my head out onto paper or the screen. But this one will do. I browsed well over 1000 templates, and this one caught my eye more than most, so it will be the 'me' I present to the world. I guess my words say more than the design about who I am, but first impressions and what you communicate with your visuals say a lot, too. That's a big part of my new job - I'm enjoying it quite a bit, the managing of the visuals and words and output... Getting good feedback on the first couple of projects, too, which is nice. Nothing's released yet, but I'll send you over to the site to see when they are.

Have a great night! I'm off to sleep away the last hour of August.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Facelift (for the other blog)

I changed up my other blog now, too, to line up with my new role. Check it out if you'd like - I'm calling it the churchy blog. This will be the one that is linked to our website and that I'll use to write more churchy stuff. If it's good, I'll post it here too, so no need to follow both!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No. 175

By the numbers:

This is post # 175 on this blog, which I've been writing since November 11/05.

I wrote 5 posts in 05. 0 in 06. 16 in 07, 40 in 08 and 113 in 09.

There have been 3321 visits by you in the last 11 months - I started keeping track September 27, 2008, about the time I started writing a lot more.

My visitors (since May of this year when I started keeping track) have come from 13 different countries.

I have made lots of style changes, and had 3 (at least) different names for this.

There are 39 labels of things I write about.

The most comments I have had on a single post was 7. That was 6 posts ago.


Please leave me a comment with a number in it that has to do with your day today.

Also please leave a comment and let me know if you follow this blog in a reader of some sort (because if I follow YOUR blog, it's through Google Reader and you probably don't know I follow... so I'd like to know who you are that do!)

And thank you for reading. It's a little more motivation to write knowing you're checking in.

Bus Blues

First Day of School!

She said she had a great day, got the teacher she wanted, one friend she was hoping to be in the same class with isn't again this year, and one trouble making friend tattled to the teacher that she spoke English... back to the same old, same old.

This is our second year doing the bus thing - last year was pretty smooth for the most part. This year, off to a rocky start. The bus never showed up this morning, or was more than 18 minutes late, which is when I drove Madeline and the other boy she waits with to school, getting them there after the 9 o'clock start. She is supposed to get picked up at 8:41 this year, which is 8 minutes later than last year. We're ok with that. I pulled into the garage about 5 to 4 this afternoon, hoping I had beat her here - we've got the plan in place if she gets home before me, but I was hoping I wasn't late on her first day! No sign of her for the first while - there were a couple of buses, but not the right ones, I guess. I gave it some slack, knowing that if she gets picked up later, she might get dropped off later, too... I don't panic easily, but I was starting to wonder when it was 20 after and still no sign of her. No phone calls to say she was still at school, so I just kept watching for the bus. Finally at the 4th bus sighting, there she was - at 26 minutes after 4, almost a full hour after school let out - "He missed my stop, TWICE" she said. Ok, so we'll see what time she gets here tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last Day of Summer Vacation

M is back at school tomorrow. The good thing is that I won't be torn so much between getting my work hours in (and finding somewhere else for M to go) and spending time with her. I don't think she's suffered - she's spent time at Grandpa's, time at friend's homes, time with uncles and aunts and cousins... It's just me, I guess, wishing I could be supermom taking her to the pool, riding bikes, flying kites, and doing creative things together. We have done lots of fun family things together, though. It has been a good summer.

Yesterday we printed off a sheet of labels with her name to stick on all her school supplies. She's asked for another sheet because every marker is getting one, and we split the 50 pack... Washable markers, duotangs and paper (no binders on the list this year), pens (no pencils), glue sticks, round tip scissors, a flash drive... It seems a curious list between 'still a kid' and 'grown up'. That sums up grade 5 though, doesn't it? I watched her stretch out this morning, and she is LONG! Growing up. But yesterday she spent some birthday money on a skip-it. Still a kid. I like this stage, I think.

Leave me a message with your favorite school supplies. Mine are the pens and paper, by far.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I golfed 18 holes today. This has happened exactly once before in my life. That was 18 years ago. When I was 18.

The story then: Grade 12 phys ed. We each had to teach something to the class; I taught horseback riding. A couple of the guys took us to the driving range then golfing - I had to miss the golf day for some reason, so to make up the credit, I went with my dad and his golfing buddy Howard. We did the full 18, and I remember it being a cold miserable day. I was trying to think of excuses to get out of the back 9... Sorry, Dad, but that's not my favorite memory.

Since then: I went once in college, Melanie and I and Dale and Jerry, I think it was. We made it to the third hole then gave up and left to do something else.

Present day: I have gone to the driving range with Sean a few times, and have been open to going with him to a real course, but it's never happened till now. His friend Jeremy threw a tournament/party for his staff and some friends, and invited us. I knew there would be at least one friend I knew there that golfed as much as I did, and we were happily paired with Brandie and Steve. Plus it was a Texas Scramble which means you all shoot, then pick the closest ball and all shoot from there. So no pressure at all. We all ended up having some shots we played from, and didn't have to ride Sean's success for every one! There were a few holes that had extra prizes riding on them; Sean won the men's closest to the pin prize and I won the ladies farthest drive prize!!! I was pretty impressed with that!

Sean likes golfing with his wife. I wouldn't be surprised if I found a set of clubs under the tree this year.

Friday, August 21, 2009

what's in the water???

I plugged in the camera to show you a shot I took today, but saw these birthday party shots, so I thought I'd throw one in for you of the girls who came out on Sunday to wish M a happy birthday.

And this one... I had to get out the camera when I saw what Ana had in the pot. Madeline came in the living room and told me, "I just saw an octopus!" Right. And it's not - it's a Portuguese cousin of the octopus. Ana, also Portuguese, was simmering up some sea creatures for the stock. To flavor the rice. On the menu tonight at our house was sweet & sour meatballs, rice and corn. Much simpler fare.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to Leave a Comment

It has come to my attention that some of you don't know how to leave a comment on this here blog.

I know this since you comment - on facebook - about what I write here.

I enjoy your comments wherever they appear, but I thought today I'd offer a little tutorial on how to leave a comment.

Step one: Locate the 'comments' word at the bottom of the post.

Step two: Click on it.

Step three: Write all your comments in the box that automatically pops up.

Step four: If you have a google address or one of those other links looks familiar to you, go ahead and use that. Otherwise, mark the button that says "Name/URL."

Step five: Enter your name in the box that automatically pops up.

Step six: Click on the orange 'publish your comment' button at the bottom.

That's all there is to it!

Now, so you can go give it a try, leave me a comment with your favorite summer ice cream spot.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

School Lunches

I just heard a bit on the radio on the way home about what to send your child for lunch once school starts up again. Our school is a peanut free zone (are there any that aren't?), but she does have access to a microwave, so it's not as big of a problem as some people face.

Usually, I will send supper leftovers 2 or 3 times a week which cuts down on the need to be too creative.

Sandwiches are good (I remember I did NOT like sandwiches - sorry Mom!) - she likes canned meat (ham, chicken or turkey), so I keep a few of those on hand to mix up for a sandwich. I'll get lunch meat once in a while, if we're out for dinner and I know Sean will need a lunch too (he pretty much always takes leftovers). She also likes lettuce and cheese sandwiches - found that out one day trying to figure out a lunch:
me: "we've got everything for sandwiches except meat..."
her: "that's okay, I can take it without the meat."
me: "lettuce and cheese???"
her (after school): "it was great!"

Sometimes I'll send half a can of soup - we always have that around, and it'll still be warm if I heat it then stick it in a thermos.

I think I've sent a muffin with cheese as the main part before, and crackers and cheese, but she needs more filler then.

What are your kids favorites? Share some tips with the rest of us! Also, what extras do you put in? I do fresh veggies or fruit when we have them, canned fruit when we don't, applesauce, pudding, cookies, 'fruit snacks', granola bars... I'd love to hear some other suggestions to stock the pantry with.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

bikes and canoes, stings and buns: our week

Monday afternoon M and I headed up to the Evraz park with the family to see the buffalo and enjoy the hot day. After supper, the three of us went for a bike ride around the lake. The other half, by the University and Science Center, since there was no parking and too many people around the usual side. Madeline's getting the hang of shifting on the fly...

Tuesday we walked down to Brandee's corner store for Slush Shakes. The best in Regina. (It's on the corner of Dewdney and Lewvan if you want to see if I'm right!)

Wednesday M went out to the farm for a photoshoot (see two posts below) and in the evening we went to see Wall-E and Ghostbusters at the IMAX. It was a fundraiser for the Food Bank and was a good night. Wall-E is quite the commentary...

Thursday M and I drove out to KBK to hear Kallie (our summer youth intern) speak and visit our other friends on staff. It was warm, slightly muggy and still. Madeline and I took a canoe out while the teens had cabin hang time - the water was glass, and everything was so quiet. It was awesome. Not so awesome were the two wasp stings M got... Poor baby. They swelled up pretty good on Friday!

Yesterday and today were wonderfully full of nothing. It's been rare to have an empty weekend this summer, and we enjoyed relaxing. Still are. It's 5 to 7 and Sean is just about to start supper... That's partly because I baked cinnamon buns this afternoon. My mouth is watering again...

Tomorrow afternoon we are heading to a hotel with waterslides for M's birthday party with her school friends. She's been 10 for 3 weeks already, but like I said, the summer has had few open weekends...

That's our week. I feel like I should have got more tangible work done, but I guess I usually feel that way, so what's new? I really enjoyed all the stuff we did as family - it felt like summer is supposed to feel.

How many have you read?

My friend Deanna sent me a list of books on facebook, and I'd read 20 of the 100. I have a little brochure from the Regina Public Library - '100th Anniversary, 100 Books - RPL's Favorite Books of All Time!' and I've read 24 of those. So for your reading pleasure, I thought I'd compile those into what I've read, what I would like to read, and ones I might get to some day. Feel free to suggest some good authors or some good classics!

Books I've Read:
The Bible
Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - JRR Tolkien
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility - I went through a Austin phase and read more than this I think. Mansfield Park?
Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
The Karamazov Brothers - Fydor Dostoevsky
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - read this last week!
Anne of Green Gables Series - LM Montgomery
Little House of the Prairie Series - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
Charlotte’s Web - EB White
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Lots of Enid Blyton's kid's books
Lots of Gordon Korman's kid's books
Love You Forever - Robert Munsch
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
Macbeth - William Shakespeare
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
Roots - Alex Haley
The Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean M. Auel - this whole series
The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
Exodus - Leon Uris & most of his other stuff
Scarlet Feather - Maeve Binchy & pretty much everything else she's written
Pretty much everything Dick Francis has written

Books I Think I've Read, but Maybe I Just Saw the Movie:

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - I saw it live in London... so good

Books I Would Like to Read:
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - and it has been sitting on my shelf for years
A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - I read half of this for a book club I never went to. I should finish it.
More books by Jody Picoult - I just discovered her & think she's a great author.
The Red Tent - Anita Dianant

Books That Made the Lists, So They Might be Worth Getting Around to Someday:
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - I've read a few of them.
Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - this one is on my shelf
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo - I own this one too
Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Dracula - Bram Stoker
Ulysses - James Joyce
The Inferno – Dante
Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Watership Down - Richard Adams
Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

Friday, August 14, 2009

Family Photos

A couple of weeks ago my family was all together at a family camp for the weekend. It was so good to be all together. Here's a group shot:

So good. That's us with our girl, my brother Clayton and Jen and their girl, my sister Jess and Dave and their 3 boys, and Granny and Papa in front.

This is what always happens when the Schneiders get together. A pile on - the more bodies the better.

Here are the 5 cousins. I love love love all these kids.

Now a pyramid - a nice shot, not the one with Solly kicking Levi in the butt and Granny's finger pointing into the shot. Although that one is too funny... I should post it.

And, they are true Schneiders!
Thanks Jess for all those pics. I didn't have my camera with us for the big shoot, but I didn't think we needed 3 cameras going; two was plenty.
Finally, here's one I took of the cutest girl ever pointing out the dragonfly on the tent:

Check out this link to see pictures of our girl and her McCall cousins. The England branch is in town for 2 weeks, so Carla arranged for a photographer to take some shots out at the homestead. I'll post just a sample, then go check out some great shots at her site: Valley Portraits.

Hopefully someday soon we can get a shot of the Ward cousins all together - there are 8 of those, so a little harder to get everyone in the same place. That would make a nice grouping of photos somewhere in the house, hey? Three cousin shots? I'll have to get on that...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Links to Cool Things

Hey, friends!
Here are a few links that I've been collecting to share with you:

The Uniform Project - Something to watch that will inspire you.

Operation Nice - Something to read that will inspire you.

The Breathing Earth - Something to make you think about the world.

Bomomo - Something to play around with.

Stormtrooper a Day - Something just for laughs.

Have fun!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Techno Bloopers

Tonight I thought I'd submit some of my scrapbooking layouts to a magazine that had a call deadline tomorrow. It's been a long time since I submitted anything (except 2 specific ones last month), so I was on the computer for a while, sending 19 different layouts in.

The problem is that I usually use the desktop at home. It's just more comfortable than our laptop. But when we got the laptop, Sean was in the habit of using the computer in the evenings, and I would use the laptop sitting in the comfy chair in the office. So we started putting all our pictures on that one. Cause I used it more. And I do more with the pictures.

Then he discovered the couch. Couch + laptop = new evening routine. Which leaves me the desktop. Whenever I want it. So this evening I was on the computer (and Sean was in the garage doing car stuff) when I decided to submit some of my stuff. So I called up the site to refresh myself what they were looking for, opened up my email, and got stuck. Because my layouts are on the OTHER computer.

So I left this on with the page call list handy, and opened up the laptop on the desk, and got busy emailing and submitting, submitting and emailing. I think EVERY time I went to open a new email I grabbed the mouse - for the desktop. Does nothing on the laptop. Nevertheless, I continued grabbing it, right till the last email, which is about when Sean walked in and burst out laughing.

I turned to see what he was laughing at and yeah... I looked pretty funny sitting here at two computers at once. He said, "I'm going to clean up a bit and then... can I have a computer?"

Technology makes life so much easier. Yeah, right.

(And I don't have high hopes of getting published, but you can wish me luck anyway!)