Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This week two different Mom-friends tattled on my little Charlotte.

I couldn't be prouder.

Tattle #1:

Sunday afternoon....the family is home from Church and we are trying to decide what to do with our afternoon when the phone rings.  It is my friend T--.  She has recently started attending Richard's church with her husband and two boys.  Charlotte is friends with her oldest.  T-- called me to tell me how sweet Charlotte was to her boy.  Apparently she introduced him to her Sunday School classmates and then took him under her wing during the class.  She was very sweet to him and very helpful to his Mom.

Tattle #2:
My friend C-- emailed me to let me know how courteous Charlotte was to her while she was volunteering at her school.

I love getting calls like this and it makes me feel good that the lessons I am teaching Charlotte about manners and respect are sinking in.

I just wish she would save some of that good behaviour for home sometimes!

Have you tattled on someone lately? 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Special Night.

Last night was Sparks enrollment night.

The girls worked very hard on the decorations .
No party is complete without some yummy snacks!

Each girl got a certificate, enrollment pin and their first badges (we call them Keepers) My partner also made personalized friendship bracelets for each girl.

Here is Charlotte when I enrolled her.  She had to make the Sparks sign and say the Promise to me.  (I promise to share and be a friend.)

A new member of Guides Canada with her proud Mom/Guider.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What happened to me?

It happened very slowly.  A dishcloth here and there. Then, a book showed up in my home out of the blue.  Now I am hardcore.  I even did it in public yesterday and defended myself against the ridicule of a friend.

What happened?

I turned into a crocheter.  Yep.  Me.  Knitwit.  A hooker.

You know what?  I think I like it!

For some reason,  crocheting doesn't tire my hands out as quickly as knitting does.  I can use fibers that used to cause me pain when knitted.

And dude, why didn't anyone tell me how fast crochet grows??  I can make a dishcloth in a couple of hours.  A scarf doesn't seem as daunting now.  Yes, there is a time and a place for knitting.  I am not abandoning my first love just yet, but I am definitely going to swing to the other side now.

Can I say it?

I think I am hooked.

Forgive the extreme close up.  The item is a Christmas gift so I can't reveal what it is right now.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We are on a journey.

I am participating in the Quaker Journey to Wellness program by Mom Central on behalf of Pepsi Co. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

My journey to wellness has been a very long one. There have been many stops and starts.  I guess the best thing I can say is that I continue to move forward.  Last Spring I jump started my journey again by joining a learn-to-run group headed by a good friend of mine who loves running.  She got me off of my couch, and with baby steps, to the finish line of my first 5K.  I faithfully ran all summer and into the fall.  Now that winter has reared it's ugly head in my neck of the woods my runs are done in the comfort of my basement on a treadmill I have affectionately named "Jillian".  I love that I have several indoor playgroups to take my little Matthew to over the winter so he can still get time to run around when it is too cold outside to play.

In addition to making time for regular workouts, I try very hard to make sure my family eats well. I like to try out new recipes and foods with my family.  I have a one bite rule at the table.  You can't reject a food unless you try one bite of it.  This is how I found out Emmett's favourite vegetable is Brussel Sprouts!  Since my Charlotte is much more of a meat eater I sneak extra veggies in wherever I can.  I know that even if she picks the mushrooms and zucchini off the top of the pizza, she will still be getting the carrot I sneakily grated over the sauce before adding toppings.   When I pack lunches for school, I try very hard to avoid pre-packaged snacks.  One box of granola bars is one snack time in this house, so it gets very costly after a while!  On the weekend it is very easy for me to make a big pan of granola bars that lasts all week for my kids.  (It is a great way to use Quaker Oats besides cooking them in a bowl or baking them into cookies as well!)  This is the recipe I use.  As a bonus, it is nut-free which is important as so many schools are nut-free now.  I substitute all sorts of things for the cranberries and raisins in the recipe to switch up the flavours.  Right now my kids have coconut cranberry bars, but other times I have chopped in dried apples, added chocolate chips, and crispy rice cereal as well.

I am not the only one on a Wellness journey.  Fellow Mom Blogger Lynn is documenting her story at quakerjourney.ca.  If you join her there you can find out what she is doing to make her life a little healthier as well as have the opportunity to win some prizes on the way.  You can find her on Facebook at Quaker Journey to Wellness as well.

Today at Lynn's blog she talked about her favourite way to eat her Quaker Oats.  I would like to share with you mine.  It is something I came up with a couple of years ago and makes an extra-special treat on a cold snowy morning.

Blueberry Streusel Oatmeal

Streusel topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened.

Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

1 cup oats, regular or quick cooking
2 cups water
dash salt
2/3 cup frozen blueberries*
prepared Streusel
milk or evaporated milk

In a large microwave bowl combine oats with water. Add a dash of salt, if desired. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, then 60% power for 5 minutes if using quick cooking oats or 7 minutes if using regular oats.

Immediately divide cooked oatmeal between two large bowls. Top hot cereal with approx 2 tablespoons streusel each and and divide berries between the bowls. Mix well. Top with milk or evaporated milk to taste.

*You can thaw the berries beforehand if you want, but it helps the cereal cool down faster, which is great if you have hungry impatient kids waiting for breakfast!

You will have steusel left over, but just put it in a plastic container and store in a cool place.

Serves two

Friday, November 19, 2010

Share a smile.

Disclosure - I am participating in the Snack Pack program by Mom Central on behalf of Conagra Foods Canada. I received a gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

It really is the little things that make me smile.  Last week, I went to my usual spot to buy groceries. The carts at this store are locked together and in order to get one you have to unlock it from it's partner with a $1 coin (or a similarly-sized token you can purchase in the store and reuse).  On this particular day I found a couple of carts not locked together so I didn't have to mess with my token and wrestle carts apart to get groceries.  It was a teeny thing that made my day better.  It got even better when passed the cart on to a person walking past me as I loaded my car.  I waved off her offer of a loonie (don't click on the link if you are Canadian) and she grinned.  I wonder how many smiles were spread with that free cart?

Other little things make me smile.  Eavesdropping on kids playing nicely together in the next room.  Having the laundry folded without asking.  Sliding into a bed made with sheets that have been hung on the clothesline.  Teaching silly songs to my Sparks.

While I was cooking dinner (and steaming up the windows) Charlotte took some time to spread some smiles.
Snack Pack Canada likes to spread smiles too.  If you would like to help them out, it is so easy to do.
Here’s how it works. Log onto Facebook, look up Snack Pack Canada, Like the page, Share a Smile and:
• A $1 donation will be made on your behalf to, Food Banks Canada. You can also opt to Share a
Smile and Snack Pack will make the donation on behalf of one of your Facebook friends.
• You’ll receive a ballot into their weekly prize draw (for those who have registered for the contest)
• PLUS You’ll earn a point towards one of the fun Smile badges!
Remember, the more often you smile, the more donations, ballots and badge points you’ll collect. It’s
no surprise that Smiling everyday would have its perks.

And really, you are on Facebook every day anyway, aren't you??

Monday, November 15, 2010

Something new at my food blog

Good Morning!

I have started a new project over at my Food Blog.....want to see what I am up to??

Click Here

Recipe 1

Recipe 2

I have tried two dishes so far with success.

I have no reason to post this picture other than I think it is cute . (and I like that I am NOT vacuuming for a moment!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Super Girl

A couple of Mother's Days ago Richard gave me a lovely diamond pendant on a delicate silver chain..  I lost it yesterday.  I panicked and searched, even picking open the vacuum cleaner bag with no luck.  With a sick feeling in my stomach I realized I had noticed it missing after my shower so I thought it slipped off and down the drain to be lost forever.  I moped around, dreading telling Richard I lost his gift.

Out of the blue at lunchtime Charlotte comes up to me with my necklace in her hand!  I don't know how she found it, but I hugged her very very hard and made sure she knew how incredible it was that she found it.

My Super Girl.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


We had our first snowfall of the year last night.  Charlotte woke up at OhMyGoodnessItsStillDarkOut-thirty and gleefully informed us of that fact.  She then spent the next two hours asking me if she could go outside.  As soon as it was light enough everyone bundled up for their first play in the snow.

The pictures are a bit on the dark side because the sun was still rubbing it's eyes and pouring it's coffee when I shot them.  The first snowfall of the year is Very Exciting!

Oh, and I hope you have all set aside time today to remember the hard work of the people in our Armed Forces who have sacrificed so much so we could have the right to stand on our decks in our pyjamas and shoot pictures of our kids frolicking without a care in freshly fallen snow.  I am so very fortunate to live where I live in a time where I didn't have to worry about half of my block getting conscripted and how I will feed my family out of my Victory Garden and with rationing coupons.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Random thoughts from my brain to yours

Hello again!  How would you like some random thoughts that have been rattling around in my brain recently?

The Good:
  • This year's time change was the least painful in my years as a mother.  The kids are getting old enough to do more for themselves so we left a movie on pause in the DVR and some food out where they could reach it.  This bought me an extra hour of sleep!!  Sweet!  (This is getting added to my list of Why I Don't Want to Have Another Baby)
  • I ran 5.5 K last week after taking three weeks off.  I felt amazing afterward.
  • I am having a lot of fun with my Sparks and am loving getting to know the girls better each week.
  • Charlotte is positively blossoming at her French Immersion school and is coming home singing some adorable songs in French and is eager to learn as many words as she can.  She is taxing my brain and my ancient knowledge as I struggle to remember the words she asks me. 
  • My kids ate stir fry last night.  They usually cry when I make it.  (this is small, but still makes me happy)
  • My parents are looking at some big, happy changes in their life.   These changes will benefit the whole family.  They could use some positive thoughts sent their way if you are so inclined.
The Bad:
  • Emmett is struggling again.  He is having setbacks in a few places in his life and I am frustrated and upset by it.  We are trying our best to help him.
  • Matthew is three.  Matthew has turned into a demon of sorts and nothing is safe in this house anymore.  I know This Too Shall Pass, but man it sucks to be in the thick of it!
  • The Cleaning Genes have been woken up in my soul.  This could be a good thing, except for the previous bullet point.  I WANT to be in a tidy house, but unless I cage Matthew I have to settle for a mess and feeling stressed and frustrated all the time.
Well there you go.  The contents of my brain.  What is on your mind right now?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Getting back on track

I think things are settling down around here.  I am on some new inhalers, my back is feeling better and I even managed to go for a run with my friends yesterday.  My energy is coming back, which is good.  Things were falling apart around here!

I feel some new blog posts rattling around in my head and when they are ready, I will get back to writing.  I am not going to make myself do the "Blog every day of November" thing that is popular now.  I believe in quality over quantity.  If I make myself blog every single day, you will end up with a lot of posts listing what I had for breakfast or my "to do" list for the day.  Bo-ring!

Yesterday was Halloween, of course.  Matthew got right into the spirit of things this year and practiced saying "Trick or Treat" all day.  Do you want to see their costumes?

I am so proud of the face painting skills I didn't know I had!

I love how Emmett looks in glasses!  (It's a good thing--he will need them soon.)
Matthew wanted me to paint his face red after watching Charlotte get done.