Daily: Dec. 22 - I love the MCC store :)

My MCC finds of the day - a Tim Hortons teapot (for my Dad if he wants it) and a snowman hot chocolate pot - so much cuter than the pyrex measuring cup I've been using :)

And a couple of these. I used to call them tracing wheels - my Mom used to use them to mark patterns when she used to sew clothes and stuff. More recently, in the scrapbooking world, you can buy these and variations of these as "pounce wheels" and they make the cutest little marks on your paper :) The pink one looks like a toy but it's really, really strong.
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Daily: Dec 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 Ooops.

OK, so.....I missed a few days. I forgot how busy the end of the school year usually is and add to that a Christmas banquet for DH's work and the Christmas gathering for my family over the weekend...well, ooops. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it but I forgot to pull out my camera at all this weekend at my parents house. So, a few days of my December daily album will be journaling only - but I knew that starting out :)

Dec. 17.
Thursday: second last day of school; quickly wrapping teacher gifts; friend over for coffee; MCC trip with my Dad (from whom I got my love of treasure-hunting by the way); supper (I made teriaki meatballs so I'm the hero around here!) with Mom, Dad & my brother (who hasn't been to our house in years), and then I stayed up till 2am helping proofread some projects for Clear Scraps.

Dec. 18.
Last day of school. I took these truffles to school with the note attached. I heard from more than one staff member that possibly they should have read the sign BEFORE eating what looked like simple chocolate truffles. This recipe is awesome. The first few moments all you taste is rich, dark, smooth chocolate. And then a few seconds in, the cayenne hits, right in the back of your throat. Not so burning hot that you need water, just an "Oh-yeah....there-it-is" kinda kick. Mmmmmm.
My day was fun today too - my student was away so in the morning I got to make help with Gingerbread houses in Kindergarten and at lunch, I helped out with a nacho/quessadilla/taco meal in the Grade 3 class. Yummy day! Tonight was also the Goldenwest Christmas banquet. Mom & Dad picked up the kids from us and DH & I went to his banquet. He had asked a few on-air people from Mix & CHVN to sit with us - a very good mix of people apparently because we laughed the entire time. It has been a long, long time since I've laughed so hard my stomach hurt.

Dec. 19
Saturday at my parents. No pictures to show. A very low-key day but fun to be with family. The kids all did their Christmas piano pieces for Grandma & Grandpa and they also took turns reading from the Christmas story (our tradition before gifts). I love that they all know how to, and love to read. They make me proud on a very regular basis. I also love that they insisted on this tradition - even to the point of wanting MORE of the Christmas story - we often stop before the wisemen come but they wanted to read the entire thing. ***mental note: right now at this moment in time, they are sponges....take advantage of that!!!!!

Dec. 20
Sunday. Church was so full this morning. On Christmas we do one service instead of 2 and so when we got there (just on time, not any too early), there were no seats downstairs, and definitely none on the balcony...but from the balcony I could see that the front 2 pews were still sparse, so we went all the way back down, and during a video, we snuck all the way to the front. In fact, I sat with the boys and DH sat with DD in front of us. During lunch at home later, we voted and decided that today was going to be Christmas for us. That is turning out to be our "Tradition" - that we don't have one and that anyday we can be together before Christmas is a good day to do presents and spend the time together. So, we napped, DH took the kids snowboarding/tobaganning and after a Christmas supper of take-out Chinese food (mmmmmmm), we did gifts in the evening and played :) This picture is the kids in their new Christmas PJ's - a tradition that usually happens Christmas Eve but in this case, happened just before supper.

And today, Dec. 21.
No school. Kids' friends over for the morning and plans to go to another friends for the afternoon. Coffee on and nothing on my agenda except some scrapbooking projects for Clear Scraps for CHA. It's already shaping up to be an awesome day!!
Plus, my blog's caught up :)

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Daily: Dec. 16 E, the shepherd

Today was the school's Christmas concert. Only the grades 2 & 3's participate because we don't have the room for everyone's parents (the alternative is the Grade 5 & 6 Spring concert, and the grades 1 & 4's have a year off). Egan was a shepherd, which, you'd think would be a front-and-center kinda roll, but apparently the sheep they gave him was much bigger, and a much bigger "ham" than him so he was kinda hidden. During the very last song, he was looking around for us and I did manage to get a couple shots of his head. So cute in his beard :)

And, what concert evening would be complete without Grandma & Grandpa buying treats. It never fails, no matter which set of Grandparents are out for the show, the night usually ends up with either treats brought home, or a trip to Dairy Queen, or tonight: Tim Hortons.

Daily: Dec. 15 I won, I won!

I won! After 10 years of trying, I finally got my son (my 10-year-old) to like broccoli. Tonight for supper I made this:

Garlic & Broccoli Penne.

It was awesome (toot toot), and my middle son, after only a couple of bites, said, "in this, broccoli tastes yummy" (what sound does a jaw make when it hits the floor?). I guess it should not come as too much of a surprise. This is the kid who, when he was young, didn't like jell-o, or grapes and then one day, around 5 years old, he said, "I think I like Jell-o now." And, a few months later, "I like grapes now." Hmmmmm...? It should give me hope that someday he'll like other veggies and someday he'll like cleaning his room :)
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Daily: Dec 14 I'd rather be...

It's cold here today - windchill in the minus 30's. I didn't take this picture today obviously but I thought I'd share it today. I'd rather be here....on the west coast of Florida (Gulf side)....with my toes on a beach made entirely of shells. It was glorious.
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Daily: Dec. 13 E, the clown

Instead of the regular, traditional evening Christmas concert program that we used to have in church, our church has started spreading the kids' performances out over all the Advent Sundays. 1st Sunday of Advent, the Grade 1 & 2's did their play; 2nd Sunday, the Preschool & Kindergartens did theirs; today, Egan performed with the Grade 3 & 4 classes.

He was "Clown #4" - you know, from the Christmas story....the 4 clowns?? Anyone? OK...not the nativity story, obviously. 4 clowns walk into a church (this is starting to sound like a joke) and notice candles burning thinking they're at a birthday party...yadayada...they talk about Who's birthday it really is, end of skit, enter the carollers.

I got a pretty good shot of Egan in his clown get-up but once he joined the singers and took off his clown wig it was a different story. They stuck him behind bigger kids and a teacher. Seriously, when is this kid going to hit his growth spurt....for crying out loud, his mother is 6 ft. tall and he's the shrimpiest kid in class so far. I'm a little worried that it's going to happen all in one summer. That'll be painful (for him, and for the clothing budget).

Sorry about the blurriness...I should have had my camera on a sports mode or something with all the bopping around they did during the Christmas carols.

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Daily: Dec. 10, 11 & 12 Aaaaaahhh

I knew this would eventually get away on me. I was hoping to at least make it to the 2 week mark but here we are. I've been getting home too late to post and then forgetting until it's too late again the next night :(

Dec. 10:A piece of artwork I found online that totally fits my song-du-jour (several posts ago) I added some of the lyrics in Picasa.

Dec. 11: The kids had their picture taken at Canadian Tire during Mix 96.7's Toy Mountain Toy Drive this week - the pictures are in colour but I turned them Sepia because they were all wearing mis-matched jackets. Their hair is all wet because we just came from swimming lessons.

and Dec. 12

Some mini-Christmas cards I made today for a call. Simple, but fun!

Scrapbook News and Review, baby!

I just got asked to be a "Staffer" at Scrapbook News and Review Magazine.
If there's a sound of a jaw dropping on the floor - now would be the time to insert that wav.file right here. I'm stunned. I've been published by them several times and love working with them absolutely but hadn't even thought about a position with the magazine before - this invitation came completely out of the blue for me. I am honoured and flattered and all that embarrassing stuff...but mostly excited to dive into this amazing E-zine and see where I will fit in.
Come check them out!!

Daily: Dec 9 The boys' birthdays

Both the boys have birthdays this week. This, from the couple, who actually had the conversation, "Let's not have any babies in December so we don't have to deal with the whole birthday-too-close-to-Christmas Thing." Yeah....guess you can't plan everything. Or in our case, we can barely plan anything, apparently. So, here we are. 2 birthdays a couple weeks before Christmas. Fortunately for us - these guys are the best of friends and so easy-going that they just roll with it when people combine their gifts or forget altogether. I love these guys. Can't believe they're 8 and 10.
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Daily: Dec 8 Caramilk cookies

I'm not a big Christmas baker...usually I just rely on my Mom & Mother-in-law to do it all for me (I know...lazy bum). BUT...a friend made these for me last year and I couldn't resist trying them - they're chocolate cookies with pieces of Caramilk bar in the middle that melts into yumminess when they bake. Not too festive, but delicious all the same. Here's the recipe if you want it: Peek-A-Boo Caramilk Cookies.
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Daily: Dec. 7 Mica curling

Mica's discovered a new love - the sport of curling.
This picture is a bit fuzzy....taken through a plexiglass window, sorry.
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Daily: Dec. 6 Love my Ipod

I love my Ipod. I've been using it pretty consistently for the last couple of months when I walk on my treadmill....which has an Ipod dock on it :) I'm by no means loving the exercise....but several times a week it becomes a little bit of therapy for me - physical (speedwalk), mental (I can't hear/see anything else going on in my life) and spiritual (I'm accompanied on my walk by Remedy Drive, Reliant K, Nevertheless, Mercy Me, Matt Maher, Lincoln Brewster, Laura Story & Francesca Battistelli). I haven't done it yet but I really need to move a few of these songs into a separate playlist on my Ipod so I have don't have to scroll through while I'm walking - I've been trying to figure out which songs are aproximately 4 mph. Wish me luck on keeping it up - that is not one of my strong points.
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Daily: Dec. 5 - Christmas tree day

The kids have been after us for awhile now to get the tree up. Personally, I'm not crazy about a tree....we don't have a huge living room, we don't have tons of gifts this year for the kids and honestly, it's more mess than it's worth sometimes....and this year, who ends up putting up the lights and decorating it? ME. The one person in the house who could care less about a tree. I sound all "bah-humbug" Sorry about that. I love Christmas....just don't love giving myself more work - that's all. But, the lights and silver balls are up....the kids have their own tree in the basement that has every available ornament on it that's not silver or white....I've gotta take a picture of that one for ya!! Maybe tomorrow. And everyone's happy. Even me :)
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Teaching with Making Memories

I taught 2 Christmas Card classes at my LSS - The Scrapbook Cottage - this year. Both, as it turned out, were with Making Memories Mistletoe line. The first class I used acrylic shapes from Clear Scraps and taught inking, glittering and a few other things you can do to dress up acrylic and use it as a card embellishment. The second class we did some punching, grid work, and heat embossing. I'm loving the muted greens and reds in this line!!

Daily: Dec. 4 Boys' b-days at Montanas

These crazy boys....when asked where they'd like to go to eat to celebrate their birthdays, they both immediately chose Montanas, and purely because they get to wear these ridiculous hats and have the staff sing Happy Birthday to them. We had so much fun! Laughed lots. Shopped a little (we gave the boys a shopping spree at Toys-r-Us). And saw the movie The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I laughed out loud several times....I love George Clooney to begin with but this character was So Him....so funny.
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Daily: Dec. 3 - Happy B-day everyone

My parents came out tonight and bought us Pizza Hut pizza and ice cream cake from Dairy Queen to celebrate my birthday (a month ago) and the boys birthdays which are coming up in the next week or so. Yummmmmy. Thanks Mom & Dad :)
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DD: Dec. 2

I feel this December Daily attempt also turning into a Thankful album because the pictures I've taken so far (granted, it's only Dec.2) remind me of something I'm thankful for. I found these cute glasses at MCC (my local thrift store) here in town today. I found a couple other sets too - white & yellow flowers, and a teal & gold set that I gave my friend Maria for her Gorgeous Teal Kitchen. Anyway....Firost of all, these cups make me thankful for the treasure-trove of my MCC store - I have, over the years bought books, clothes, craft supplies, dishes, appliances, furniture, musical instruments, toys, music, man...you name it. All for really cheap - I never could have afforded to buy these things all NEW, and all the money I spend at MCC goes to Mennonite Central Committee to help with their relief efforts worldwide so I'm all for that! Secondly, these cups remind me that my kids are growing up fast and it's time that they didn't have to drink out of the plastic tupperware tumblers that I've had since their birth. Especially at big grown-up meals when we're eating steak and caesar salad or manicotti with spinach.....the plastic tumblers lend themselves much better to hot dogs and mac & cheese, don't you think? These simple 50 cent cups will totally make them feel (and hopefully act) grown up :)

Happy Dec. 2.
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December Daily Album: Dec. 1

I'm going to try a December Daily album.....inspired by Ali Edwards

Ali's 2008 album

Ali's 2009 album

Basically it's a small album...a photo or journaling or both if you're so inspired for each day of December (either the whole month, or the days leading up to Christmas). I did a photo-a-day album last January and it was so much fun. In the next day or two I'm going to put the whole album together and then just pop in photos and journaling when the mood strikes....but for today, here's my photo and the reason I took it:

This is my driveway leading up to my house...on Dec. 1...the first snowfall that amounted to anything and the first time I had to shovel my driveway this year. You may think that shoveling would make me complain but in fact....shoveling my driveway always makes me pray. It may be the monotony of the actual shoveling but more likely it's the fact that having a concrete driveway at all reminds me of how blessed I am. I spent years shoveling off a gravel driveway (yuck) so I'm thankful for that reason, but it also reminds me how blessed I've been to have been able to be a stay-at-home-Mom to my kids when they were little and how much this driveway came to mean to me when I needed "another room" in my house for the noise of daycare kids and my own 3 busy little ones. This driveway has been the scene of many a picnic, hockey game, skateboarding championship, tie-dye party, chalk-outline who-dunnit, and neighbourhood chitchat. I am truly blessed.

Scrap Within Reach

I'm so excited to have been chosen to be on the 2010 Scrap Within Reach DT! I got to meet Heidi (owner) at CHA last summer and she was so very, very nice.....I'm looking forward to playing with their awesome papers and being inspired by this great team. Some of these names I am very familiar with from other teams - so glad to be back together with you!

2010 Scrap Within Reach DESIGN TEAM!

Angella Peardon
Claude Campeau
Nancy Burke
Renee Dowling
Elisa Kammerdiener
Cathy Schellenberg <<<<<-----yahooo :)
Jenny Svensson
Julie Bonner
Jamie Lane
Tracey Taylor
Delaina Burns

Scrap Within Reach Blog post

Vintage Doilies for sale

I live in this great community here in Southern Manitoba that was founded by Mennonites. It's such a rich heritage, that, among other things, carries with it a tradition of fine crafting. Today at my local thrift store I stumbled upon a shelf full of vintage doilies...and since doilies are all the rage in scrapbooking right now - I decided to snap some up and see if I could sell a few.

You can see what I have to offer here on my Flikr album of doilies. Email me if you're interested in any of them. I've got them listed on a 2peas thread for $2 each and shipping $1.50 to Canada or US - add $.25 each for additional ones.

Flikr Album of Doilies for sale

Thanks for looking :)

My yard....my beautiful yard :(

This is what my front yard looks like AS WE SPEAK. I came home from work to this today. Earlier in summer our "curb stop" pipe had a leak (rusted right through). Sadly, the leak was about 1" onto our side of the junction so guess who had to pay for the digging up of my finally-the-way-I-like-it front yard. US. That's who. So now this fall, every once and awhile there'd be water in the front yard again around the pile of dirt slowly settling back down from summer-trauma (it still looked like we buried someone/something there). Today, they dug it up again and replaced the "new" pipe from summer which had a hole in it and from my understanding, replaced the City's side of the pipe as well just for safe measures. I have water again. And no leak. But I have a disastrous mess on my front yard - mud everywhere and a raking job that I am not very excited about - anyone know an ameteur landscaper who'd like a challenge??

On the up side: It's November 24th today - one month till Christmas EVE and our grass (the parts that aren't under mud) is still green-ish.....and there's no snow and I carried my jacket home from school today b/c it's 6 degrees outside today - unbelievable.

I'm letting go

This leaping photo of my son that I took 2 summers ago, coupled with this song I've been treadmilling to by Francesca Battistelli, completely captures how I feel right now. The lyrics are below. Just thought I'd share :)

Create a playlist at MixPod.com

My heart beats, standing on the edge
But my feet have finally left the ledge

Like an acrobat
There’s no turning back

I’m letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I’m losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
So I’m letting go

This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace
The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone


Giving in to your gravity
Knowing You are holding me
I’m not afraid


Feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
Feels like I’m falling and this is the life for me

Album: My Paper Heart
Artist: Francesca Battistelli