Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Most Epic 100 Days Of School Project Ever!

Last week (yes, thanks so much for all the notice!), Sam's teacher sent home a note asking them to bring a project made up of 100 items to celebrate the 100th day of school. Now I know that the hundredth day of school is a big deal in The States but it basically goes unnoticed here. Except for last week...
So at first Sam decided he want to build a structure out of 100 pieces of Lego. Easy and done!
Then he changed his mind. Gah.
Then he wanted to glue 100 chocolate chips to a piece of paper for "dirt" and draw a worm. I'm still not convinced he didn't get this idea from someone else. Also, I didn't like the idea of wasting food, and we couldn't figure out how to glue the chocolate chips to the paper. I didn't think white glue would hold them and if I used my glue gun, we'd basically have chocolate fondue -- with glue mixed in. Awesome.
Then Sam decided he wanted to do something with baseball cards, Dave remembered this pin, we made a baseball diamond out of cardboard, and volia! The most epic 100 days of school project was complete.
Now we just have to transport it to school...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review: Birdie

My friend, Shirley, is awesome. She is awesome for many reasons but in terms of my reading this month, she is especially awesome :) Every year CBC (kind of like NPR) hosts a Canada Reads debate in early spring. In January, CBC announced the five books for this year and Shirley immediately put them on hold at the library. And then she said she'd share them with people who were interested. And I decided to try and read all five books because Shirley was making it really easy :)
image from here

The first book I read was Birdie by Tracey Lindberg. Birdie is the story of Bernice, a Cree Indian woman, who goes on an inner spiritual journey in an attempt to try healing from her past. It is hard to tell whether Bernice (who goes by "Birdie" sometimes) takes this journey willfully or not.

This is not a linear book. Nor are there a lot of clear answers. I still couldn't tell you quite how the story ended. I can tell you that Birdie had a rough life and a lot of hurtful things to overcome. I can't tell you whether she managed to do that by the end of the book, or not, but I think she did.

I will say that this is a very Canadian book. Nature plays a role. CBC television personalities play a role. Even Canadian food is brought in there. Birdie spends some time in Edmonton and those scenes made me a little homesick.

I also really liked some of the strong, quirky, women figures who surround Birdie as she journeys. While flawed, they had their funny moments and they loved Birdie fiercely.

I don't know if I liked this book or not. It was more of a stream of consciousness without a lot of explanation rather than a straight forward novel. But I think that, again, is somewhat Canadian. So if you're looking for a journey into one woman's mind, with a little Canadian culture thrown in, then pick up this book.

So once again, a shout out to Shirley who will be influencing my reading this month. It's good to get a little Canadian once in awhile!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Weekend What

Last Tuesday, Rachel and I checked out a new bakery which opened near our house recently. Rachel was excited to go back on Saturday morning and get our breakfast there.
We also picked up a baguette for our supper that night. I felt very French walking down the street carrying a baguette.
We went to a Kinderconcert next and Sam made this adorable Love Bug during the pre-concert activities. Then he set it in a hole near his arm rest so it could watch the concert and I just about died from the cuteness.
In the afternoon Rachel and I went to the birthday party of one of her friends from church. We had a great time at the Teddy Bear Picnic. Above you can see Rachel "Pinning the necktie on the Teddy Bear" and decorating her cupcake. And if you don't follow me on Instagram, you may not know that lately Rachel considers "three braids and three bows" the height of fashion. She's only going to be this age once so I don't fight her too much on it.
Sunday we finally made to a Siskins' game. We were so excited. We made a bit of a treat out of it and the kids got to participate in Chuck-A-Puck (the four pucks closest to the centre won hockey sticks) and we bought them a Siskins Sundae which they thoroughly enjoyed. It was so much fun.
And then we came home, had eaten supper by 5:30, and were wondering why we were so exhausted. Ha!

And that was our weekend.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Project 366: Days 30 Through 36

January 30, 2016 -- The kids really enjoyed their closet sleepover and can't wait to have another one!
January 31, 2016 -- Every Sunday after church we pick up pizza for lunch. And if we have lunch plans, like we did this day, we eat it for supper.
February 1, 2016 -- As you may or may not remember, two weeks ago, we went in the sled to pick up some last minute supper ingredients. This day we tricycled/scootered. We've had a very unusual winter.
February 2, 2016 -- I needed a lot of tea this day and this is one of my favourite mugs.
February 3, 2016 -- It's been a weird winter, as I mentioned above, and I had to capture the fact that, on February 3, there was hardly any snow in our backyard and I was wearing running shoes to go for a walk.
February 4, 2016 -- Cheetos and orange juice made for a good snack as I was reading this night. Also: Read this book; it's very good.
February 5, 2016 -- Dave was babysitting for friends of ours so it was the kids and I on our own this night. Rachel made a birthday card for her friend, Sam got all his Valentine's cards addressed, and I cleaned two rooms. It was a nice evening.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Tiptoe Through The Tulips

One of my January goals was to have tulips in the house all month. This was such a happy goal to follow through on. And since it was the coldest month we've had thus far this winter, I really enjoyed taking pictures of all the flowers. And now you get to enjoy them too :)
This bunch never really took off. They just drooped and didn't open.
I think they may have gotten slightly frozen the day I bought them.

I tried to have a variety of colours but I noticed, looking at these pictures all together, that I really like red tulips in my blue vase. That's three different (or not so different) bouquets of tulips.

And this goal has me counting down the days until my Flower CSA starts again. Only 127 days to go...

Thursday, February 04, 2016

February Goals

Here are my goals for February:

1) Go to a Siskins' game. This is a holdover goal from January.

2) Enjoy a stay-cation for the Family Day Weekend. Dave and I already have great plans for this and I'm so excited! We asked the kids what they wanted to do and Sam said, "bowling and mini golfing." Rachel said, "Make a Family Day cake, put a picture of it on Instagram, and then eat it." Hahahahaha!!!

3) Order an address stamp for us. After doing all our Christmas cards in January, I am completely convinced that this is a necessity :)

4) Make regular trips to the library with the kids and institute nightly reading times again. In the fall I started reading about three stories a night with the kids and we all really enjoyed it. I need to make time for that again.
5) Get out tobogganing as a family. We get to experience real winter; we should be taking advantage of this.
I don't think Rachel pulling Sam on the sled 
counts as "tobogganning with the family!" Ha!

6) Clean up the laundry area of the basement. It's just a wee bit of a disaster.
7) Start making definitive plans for our summer road trip. We've decided we're going to do one, now we need to start connecting with people to see if it will actually work to visit them. I'll tell you more about our trip once we've got some more details pinned down but it's going to be epic I tell you! Like "four provinces, seven states, 7,000km (4,500 miles)" epic :)

8) Enjoy some quality time in my new chair, wrapped up in my blanket, reading some great books. And then tell you about them. Almost all of my book recommendations lately come from reading your blogs or connecting with other readers on Instagram. I want to start paying back my debt to the reading community by throwing out some suggestions of my own.
9) Take advantage of the extra day of the year by cooking a new recipe. I tried to make one new recipe a month last year and I miss making the time to find new ideas.

10) Redeem the coupon I received from my in-laws for Channukah and get a pedicure. The one I gave myself at Christmas is getting a little worn.

So that's what I'm hoping will happen in February. We'll see how it goes...

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

January Goals Update

Before I share my February goals with you, I thought we should check in with January, so here goes...

1) Throw Dave a birthday party and work on getting his present arranged.
I did throw Dave a birthday party and I think he enjoyed it. There was beer and cheesecake so it counted as a win! Read more about Dave's birthday weekend here.

I got our piano fixed (the sustain pedal was broken) and tuned as a birthday present for Dave. Due to some timing issues, it didn't happen in time for his birthday but it is done. And now we can play beautiful music again. Yay!

2) Get our Christmas/holiday cards sent out. Dave did an awesome job and had his all sent out by the first week of January. It took me a little longer but I can finally say that, as of last week, I am done. Some of you may even have received them in the mail already. I hope they brighten up your January February. Ha ha ha!

3) Get our yearly calendars done, which also means I have to go through all of our photos from this past year so I might as well add... The calendars are ordered and on their way. This feels so good to have off my plate and pretty soon I can stop being wrong on all my dates because my wall calendar won't be stuck on December.

4) Print out pictures from the past year. This is also done. Whoo hoo!!! I went from 176 picture folders to 26. That felt really good. And the kids have enjoyed looking at the photo album.

5) Go though the playroom and our bedroom. Clean them up. Get rid of things. Even though we had already gone through the playroom when I posted it, I still count it as a January goal. The kids have really enjoyed playing in there this month. Sadly, I never really did get through our bedroom but honestly, it doesn't collect as much useless crap random stuff as the rest of the house does.
playroom, after

6) Cut back to one Coke every other day. I'm so proud of how I did on this goal. I had about eleven cans of Coke for all of January and only once did I have two in one day (the day of Dave's birthday when I had a cold and really needed some extra energy). And there was only once when I had a Coke two days in a row. Plus, my "lack of caffeine" headaches disappeared after about five days so that was a major bonus.

Now that I've managed to cut back a little on caffeine, I want to continue in a positive direction so we'll see how that goes.

7) Get a thank you card to our neighbour for the slippers she made all of us for Christmas.
8) Send out (really late) birthday and Christmas presents to our nieces and nephew. I'm lumping these two together because We. Got. Them. Done!!! And there was major rejoicing. Honestly, I may have done a little happy dance.

9) Have a really great, and relaxing, time at our church's winter retreat. We definitely did this and you can read about it here. And here :)
10) Go with the whole family to a Siskins' game. We haven't been to one in a few months and I'd like to go again soon. Sadly this goal did not happen. Church ends at noon (usually) and Siskins' games start at 1:30 so normally there's a ton of time to get to one. However, the one Sunday we could actually go, church went (extremely) long, and as Dave and I had both had parts in the service, people wanted to talk to us afterwards. So we were too late to get to the game. We were all really disappointed. However, this is going back on the list for February.

11) Have a fresh bouquet of tulips in the house all month. This was such a happy goal to have. I'm doing a whole separate blog post on Friday to highlight all my tulip bouquets from the month.

I felt really good about how things went in January. And it was fun to look back on my original post and remind myself of what I wanted to accomplish. I really like the idea of making monthly goals, rather than New Year's Resolutions, because it allows me to get a chunk of things done and then think about the next chunk.

So tune in tomorrow to read what's happening in February...

Are you a full year's resolutions kind of person or does the idea of monthly goals appeal to you too?