Friday, July 29, 2011

A few Layouts from Easter

Dad and Madeline just left for Family Camp, and I'm left at home all alone, feeling sad. :(

They've wanted her to come out for a week or so this summer and we've been trying to figure out how to manage it with everybody's schedules. My dad is retired, so he got the short straw and drove all the way out here to pick her up. They're all going to family camp this weekend at Valley View, so she's going to join them there and then head back to Winnipeg for a visit. I'm glad she gets to go and sad I don't get to see everyone too, so I'm sitting her lonely in my house - for now. Sean will be home from work before I know it and we'll have the long weekend together. I'm going to work from home this afternoon, which should help pass the time quickly.


Here are a few layouts I've been fiddling away at for a while. As I was putting them in the book I realized that they're all from when we were in Winnipeg for Easter and birthdays. Always a rich source for photos.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Birthday # 12

Twelve years ago I became a Mom.  What a feeling - having a little one to love and care for... I should do it again.  Hmmm... maybe that will be another post.

This one is about Madeline.

We got home from picking her up at camp about mid-afternoon yesterday, and spent the rest of the day getting ready for today's festivities.  After church today we did some last minute prep, then sat back to wait for the girls.

I had decorated around her seat at the table last night so she'd have a nice surprise - this is her at lunch in her birthday outfit from Auntie Carla, and the bunting I sewed up last night.

When the girls arrived, we headed down the street to the park for a little photo shoot, and took the bunting along...

We headed home for a little water balloon fun in the front yard, then M opened her gifts.  Thoughtful friends...

From there I put them to work!  Here they are decorating cupcakes - they had a great time and came up with some real crazies.  This was a great activity with this age.  We had the family over for supper after, so they were decorating for both parties.

And finally one showing our happily full backyard - 26 people: the 3 of us, 2 grandpas, 4 aunts and 5 uncles, 8 cousins and one "almost family" family of four.

Note the bunting in the back... and there's some along the fence to the right as well.  It may have been my favorite part of the whole day!! (Besides the people of course...!)  Besides the cupcakes, the menu for supper was a yummy pulled beef on buns, marshmallow salad, bok choy salad, pasta salad, veggies and dip, and chips and pop.

Oh, and the one I almost forgot - Jello Slices.  This was a good one.  I saw a link that showed these great colorful treats (check it out quick and then come back so you'll know what I'm talking about).  I had a bunch of grapefruit to use up (the recipe called for oranges, but I figured these would work).  I made purple, orange and green, not all six, and they turned out looking so impressive!  I forgot them in the fridge till after a number of our guests (and the smaller kids that I actually made them for) had left, but all who were left were game to take one and try...

I played a good joke and didn't even know it - the grapefruit flavored the jello and the jello was STRONG and TART...!  It was awesome and funny and I might never live it down, but it was worth it.  I still have half in my fridge and am wondering who else might I get to try?

All in all, a good day.  M is downstairs watching a movie with the one we are letting sleep over, and we are just about ready to crash.

My baby is 12, and we celebrated well.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Date Week

With M off at camp this week, Sean and I are enjoying date week.  I'm not sure when 4 nights has been long enough to call a week, but it will have to do.  (For the record, I like when camp starts Sunday and ends Saturday.  Drop off at 5 on a Monday?  Hello?  He's working so I have to take them myself - what kind of a start to date week is that?)

Monday was a a great night for visiting at camp, but not so much for the dates...

Tuesday we went out for dessert with a couple from church that we have enjoyed getting to know there, but have never gone out with.  It was a great night.

Wednesday's plans changed when it was too windy to go kayaking.  : (  We went for coffee instead, and browsed at SportMart.  We were looking for running clothes for me, since I got a little overheated when I went Tuesday morning, but didn't find much (the overheating may have had more to do with the fact that it was already up in the 20's at 8 am than that I was wearing a cotton t-shirt...).  After checking out the whole store, I was back at the front and saw a rack with a "Spring Coat Sale" tag on it.  It didn't even register to me that in Jasper I found a jacket I really liked but couldn't afford and checked every store we saw for it until I saw that glimpse of green on the rack - IT WAS THERE!  And on sale at a half decent price!  Woo Hoo - I am grateful for the nice find.

Tonight we went golfing together.  Sean golfs pretty much every week.  This was my first time all year.  There's a group from church that goes every Thursday, so we joined them and ended up in a foursome with the church secretary and her husband and had a great time.  Nice to see Peggy outside work, too!  (Although she hosted us girls who work at the church for lunch on Tuesday and put on an amazing spread in her gorgeous yard... that was pretty awesome, too.)

Tomorrow night we're having a friend over for supper and then are going mini golfing together.  It should be a hoot.  A great date week.  Have I mentioned that I have a wonderful husband?

Date ideas, anyone??  Please share your everyday dates and the special ones - I always love to hear new ideas.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Camp Blanket

When M was four, we happened to be flying standby and ended up in first class.  "Mom, this is WAY better than the last plane we were on!"  she said, in our row right in front of coach.  She milked it, too; whenever a flight attendant walked by, she asked for more snacks or a drink - and as the grand finale, on our way out, she asked if she could keep the blanket.  She got a yes, and we now have an Air Canada blanket in our linen closet.  When she started getting badges in Sparks (the youngest Girl Guides) and for swimming lessons, I thought I would sew them on her blanket and it could be a camp blanket for her.

Eight years later, it has six Sparks badges (on the pink strip), a sash full of Brownie badges (lower right), a sash full of Girl Guides badges (on the left, added just before camp yesterday), and a whole assortment of badges and iron-ons from different Guiding activities..  The patch in the middle is off a pair of jeans she wore long ago, and the upper right holds her swimming badges.

It's been fun to see this develop over the last eight years; I wonder what will come in the next years to fill in the gaps?

Do you have any special way that you've kept your kid's special mementos?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Off to Camp!

Camp started today.  M's friend T has gone with her for the last number of years and this year was no exception.  I took the two of them early so we could geocache on the way, but alas, it has been a while and I forgot that I needed to upload the caches to my handheld gps, so that ended up not working out so well for us.  (I have all the ones around home in there, so haven't had to add specific ones for a while.)

So we got to the camp nice and early and I got some pictures to share with you instead.

 With the flooding and the altered beachfront, the swimming area is now between this new dock, and the old one, which is now over by where the slide was.  A decent sized area for them.  They wanted to dip their feet in (and at 40* out, I was wishing I had brought my suit for a jump in the lake, too!) and I was happy to pull out the camera and capture this.  There was a new water trampoline that had them excited, as well as four new double kayaks that I'd love to take out someday.

Trying to catch minnows.

Found a couple of dead crayfish on the beach which they carried around until they fell apart.

It was good to be out there and see a bunch of good friends.  A great day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Home Again

I started choosing photos to post and the list got way too long, so I posted them on facebook instead; follow this link to see them.

The pictures are all from Jasper, but we spend a day and a half in Edmonton on the way there, and came back via Banff so we could see more of the mountains.

We had a great time seeing awesome sights, and although slightly sunnier and dryer and warmer would have been nice, the weather didn't stop us from much.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Holiday-ing: Less Tech, More Book

As my friend Cara Luft just tweeted about taking time off and heading west for a break: "Closing up the laptop and reading books."

We are taking our holidays from Wednesday to Wednesday this year, which makes for two lovely two day work weeks. Add that to a short week for Canada Day, and July is a beautiful month.

You haven't heard from me in the last few days partly because we were on the road, and partly because I ended up with 3 massive books from the library - love road trips. I began World Without End by Ken Follet last Saturday heading out to Airdrie, and finally finished it today in Jasper. 1025 pages. Small writing. If you want my opinion of it, just click on the What I'm Reading link above. I started keeping track for you a month ago, so all of my June reads are there, and this will be #1 for July. One down, two to go.

Take a break and enjoy a good book. And a holiday, for that matter!

Monday, July 04, 2011

I Promised Pictures

Madeline had asked her Uncle Larry if he could take her up for a plane ride for her birthday. I got a message earlier last week from him saying he had a plane booked for Friday and Saturday mornings & would she like to go? Well, Happy Canada Day to M!

Mathew went along for his 2nd time up with Dad.
The Intrepid Three!
Flygirl. She loved it.
So that was Friday morning - Friday afternoon and evening were Jenn's wedding, and Saturday was Katie's.  I didn't take any photos at Jenn's - too many people and too far away.  At Katie's though, I pulled out the camera and played around with my manual settings, getting ready for the photography class I'm taking.  I have a lot to learn!  I got a few good ones, though.

Katie & Nick - and Nick's Grandfather officiated.
Blues & Greens - the decorating was fabulous.
Holly & David, our traveling buddies!
Dancing with Dad.
The girls we went to see!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Wild Wedding Whirlwind Weekend!

Just like last year, our only two weddings of the year fell on the same weekend.  Only this time, they were in two different provinces!

Jenn Brace (now Armstrong) married Craig on Friday in a beautiful (and purple!) extravaganza.  We ducked out of the reception at 10:30 along with Holly and David to hit the road to Alberta.  Making it to Medicine Hat in the middle of the night, we got about 4 hours sleep, then drove the rest of the way to Airdrie in the morning.  We got there in enough time for lunch and a change in BP's restrooms into our wedding duds.  Katie McIntyre (now Kadun) married Nick in another great day.

Tomorrow I'll have more for you, and pictures, but we need some sleep after all that driving!  Here's one to leave you with: