Monday, March 31, 2008


As some of you know, I went up to Canada for the weekend to do a little Spring Cleaning with my Mum. It went very well and, though I did not get to everything I wanted to, the most important stuff is done.

I made a few observations on my trip.

1) Cops are wimps. They do not like to set up their usual speed traps when it is snowing.

2) The above is unfortunate because you can't really speed when it is snowing.

3) Have you ever been to a dump/Transfer Station? If not, let me tell you. It is the closest place to hell on earth. Especially when you don't plug your nose and close your eyes.

4) If you are a scrapbooker and decide to go to the dump, don't forget to take your camera with you so you can memorialize this event. Because you will hopefully never go back for the rest of your life.

5) If you decide to, say, cheat on your diet in Canada (hypothetically speaking of course), a great way to do it is with a full size jumbo bag of ketchup flavored potato chips.

6) If you do hypothetically eat an entire bag of ketchup chips on your own (including all of the salt, msg, and various other choice ingredients), expect to feel like your taste buds have been obliterated for about the next 47 1/2 hours.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Pictures

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Happy Easter to all of my family and friends!

One of the great things about making a life list is seeing it in print and actually starting to do things to work towards items you wish to accomplish. It also gets you thinking about what is truly important to you. My life list has really helped remind me of my word for this year, PRIORITIZE.

When I go through my list, I look at things that will take some time and then I make small steps towards that. I also look for things that are easy to do and that I have been procrastinating on. Those are some of the things I have attacked first. Some of the things I wonder if I will ever be able to do because they seem so daunting. I keep coming back to "small steps". Then there are some things on the list that I feel should be a priority and what am I waiting for?

One of those things that I have thought a lot about and just never did was to sponsor a child in a foreign country. In elementary school, we had a sponsored child that the whole school took part in helping. Her name was Mercedita, I still remember her face from the photos she would send. This experience left an impression on me. I still wonder where she is and what has become of her. She would be the same age as me.

Now that I can, I want to share this same experience with my kids and send our help and love to a child who is desperately in need. To get to know that child personally and contribute to their education, health, emotional wellbeing.

I did a fair amount of research on the various organizations that provide the chance to sponsor a child in a poverty stricken country. I ended up at the Compassion Intl website. 80% of what we give goes directly to 1 child, the child that we select. Compassion is ranked among the top 1 percent of the thousands of non-profit charitable organizations. They have a stellar reputation.

This brought me to Priscal.When I saw her picture and read her story, I knew she was the one I wanted to sponsor. I looked through hundreds of profiles but I kept coming back to Priscal. She lives in Tanzania in a small town name Spillway. It has a small population of 3000 people and most are unemployed. If work is available, they make about $16 a month.

Priscal is 7 and she is an orphan. Her parents have both passed away and she is cared for by her aunt. To help her family, she washes clothes, carries water and runs errands.

Through the sponsorship, Priscal will get healthy meals every day, medical care (especially important since she lives in an AIDS affected area), and an education.

I look forward to introducing the kids to Priscal and having them participate in caring about her. I need to work my business extra hard so I can continue to sponsor her for years to come.

I promise to update you as we receive letters and our relationship with Priscal develops.

Friday, March 21, 2008



We went to the UW a couple of days ago to see the blossoms. They were not quite at their height yet but still beautiful. It is always a great photo session, here are a few shots:

Look at these freckles:


We have done the blossom-on-the-forehead shot every year since they were born:

No more pictures, Mum!

Trying so hard to smile and co-operate!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

No More Baby Steps

Today is a big day in my running program. From here on out, there is no walking involved, just straight running in each session. I think I am prepared but mentally I am a little nervous. The walking was always a safety net for me and now it is not an option. I have stuck with the program completely thous far and have not let anything make me stray from it by even a second.

The 5k is just over a month out. It's time to really buckle down and get prepared.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Granola Child

Today, Lucas handed me a bright yellow pipe cleaner and asked me to make him a pendant.

Lucas: Mummy can you make me a pendant?
Me: Ok, what kind?
Lucas: Well, use this thing and I want that circle with sticks, you know?
Me: Hmmmm. Circle with sticks?
Lucas: Yeah. Look on your computer and look at the Mystery Machine from Scooby Do.
Me: ::perplexed look::

So I Google Image "Mystery Machine Scooby" and up come some pictures of it. He checks them out. Points to the flower emblem on the MM.

Lucas: I guess I made a mistake. I don't want a flower, I want that circle with sticks.
Me: ::thinking deeply:: Aha!

Google Image "Peace Symbol"

Lucas: YES!!!!!!

I proceeded to bend a pipe cleaner into a perfect peace symbol and strung it onto some dental floss. It gave me the chance to talk about Peace, what it means to me and what it means to the world. He asked me to tell him over and over as he held his new pendant in his little hands.

He is definitely my child.

Monday, March 17, 2008

This touched me.

I watched this. It inspired me. I wanted to share it with you.

Life List Revisted

I am very glad I took the time to write up my life list. It honestly has motivated me to actually get started on some of things I have always wanted to do. So here is my life list revisted, with progress reports on things I have started or accomplished:

1) Get a Master's degree (probably in Social Work)
2) Own a dog
3) Learn to play the harmonica really well
4) Travel to Italy
5) Take a photography class: I am signed up for one in April
6) Set up a table at a craft fair
7) Have my own business: Check!
8) Create my own website on my own domain: Done!
9) Be a Big Sister
10) Get published in a scrapbooking magazine
11) Travel to China
12) Take a pottery class
13) Have a psychic reading done by John Edwards
14) Eat a piece of fruit every day for the rest of my life: I am doing a lot better on this
15) Build a composite backyard deck of my dreams (well, HAVE it built, not build it myself!)
16) Plant a vegetable garden
17) Learn operate a sewing machine and then to sew clothing
18) Run a marathon (did I really just type that??): I am on my way, I have a 5 k race in April
19) Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans
20) Go on a cruise
21) Volunteer at a soup kitchen
22) Go away with 4 best friends for an entire week
23) Recycle everything I possibly can
24) Re-finish an old chest of drawers
25) Keep my recipe book up to date so I can pass it on to Ellie one day
26) Take a hip hop dance class with Lucas
27) Be an advocate for people in need
28) Make sure my friends and family know how much I love and appreciate them: I am trying harder to do this and I believe I have been a lot more open about my feelings especially when it comes to my friends.
29) Take my Mum on a trip, just her and I, to the place of her choice
30) Drive across the USA
31) Have a consistent family game night every week
32) Take a yoga class
33) Take an anger management class
34) Go to Iceland
35) Sponsor a child in a foreign country: More news on this soon but it requires a whole new blog post :)
36) Do the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk
37) Have a flower garden that I can make beautiful bouquets from (dahlias, small sunflowers, daisies)
38) Learn how to use Photoshop
39) Make a quilt
40) Get a tattoo with a friend
41) Go to an event/evening where I have to wear a ball gown
42) Make sure I never tell people I love that I didn't call or keep in touch because "I have been Sooooooo busy": This one is easy
43) To get to know my brother better
44) Have a "summer home" or cabin
45) Go to the Oprah Show
46) Take graphic art/design classes

I urge you to make your life list. You will see a difference in how you approach life and it will motivate you to start accomplishing what you want out of life rather than just living day to day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cooper Escape #2

This time, he dashed out and climbed a tree in the neighbor's yard. I had to actually climb the tree to get him down. As a true scrapbooker/blogger, I had my camera on hand and had to take a picture.
He actually got a lot higher than this, this was just at the start of his ascent.

Only for him would I climb a tree.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Running Report

Today was a big step up in my running program. It was really the first time I was able to time my mile and assess how fast I am going.

Mile 1 was 9 mins 45 seconds and felt pretty good.

Mile 2 was 9 mins 16 seconds and I was pretty much suffering at the end.

I don't think I would have mentally been able to do another mile but physically I think I would if my mind was prepared for it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm Your Biggest Fan!

That is what Lucas said to a police officer yesterday:
The cop was there for us. Some lady turned left directly in front of us (less that 6 feet) and we had no choice but to T-Bone her. If you want a car that is safe and can withstand such an accident, get an Odyssey! The side of her car was a crumpled mess and we have a small scratch on our bumper.

When we pulled into the parking lot after the accident, I said to the lady "What were you thinking?" and she said "WHAT DO YOU MEAN!!!!???". That was where our conversation ended and I called the police.

Thankfully, a witness also followed us into the parking lot and gave me all of her information and the police arrived within 3 minutes. He questioned the witness first, then came to us to confirm, then went to talk with the lady who had called all of her friends to the scene for some reason. As it turns out, she had NO driver's license. Not that she wasn't carrying it, she doesn't have one. Never took the test, never has had a license to drive.

That resulted in a big fat $800.00 ticket for her, on top of a ticket for Failure to Yield because she was 100% at fault. The car belongs to her brother and it is insured so we are good.

We are all fine, the kids are fine and Lucas was treated to a tour of the police car, including the chance to read his name up on the computer screen in the car as the police showed him the report.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Just Chatting

We had a great trip up to the homeland last week. I was very happy to be able to lend a hand to Mum, who had surgery not too long ago and is dealing with a sick, 120 pound bull mastiff who is now a full time job!

We got in some fun stuff, including swimming, Granville Island and Science World. Lucas is just amazing me with his swimming. He can now go down the big slide into the deep end (over MY head even), he comes up for air and then swims to the side and hauls himself out. This is without me even being in the water to help him at all. He can also do something that looks like front crawl for a few metres. He could go longer if he could breathe to the side.

I have a lot of fun stuff coming up. I have signed up for a digital photography class on SLR camera operation and photo composition. It is 3 full days long and I am very much looking forward to that and to being able to take better pictures. I have also registered for a 5k run at the end of April so I need to keep up with the running I have been doing.

Hope all is well with each of you!
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