Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What I learned from learning

Concluding this project has been a great feat for me. As I explanined yesterday, I really only set out to do what I thought I could accomplish this month. And I did it. It was a neat journey to focus on the things that we can learn - from each other, from our environment, from ourselves. We can and should have a lifelong journey of learning - it's just a matter of making ourselves aware. This was a great step for me. And who knows, maybe next year I'll be ready to document it in a different (and more creative?) way. But regardless - here's to daily learning - may we all strive to do this!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Taking what you can handle

As we wind down the learning something new every day project, I think that one of the biggest things that I have learned is to not bite off more then you can chew. Set yourself realistic limits. Make a plan you can live with. I knew that I would not liekly make an entire album for this project. I knew that I might not even take relevant pictures each day. But I knew that I wanted to focus on looking for that "something" that is learned, or relearned. And I really liked that. I liked having a forum to document it - whether or not anything creative is ever made from it. So has it been a success? We'll see tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Growing up

Today I learned that Marlee is growing up. I am seeing such a change in her. Today it was raining and I didn't have any other kids to walk so I decided (gasp) to drive them. There was a lot of room in the parking lot but Marlee was quite content to go into the school with Matt all on her own. This is big!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Take a chance-chance-chance

Today's learning thought for the day (which I didn't read until later) was actually quite appropriate for today. It's reminding us that taking the opportunity to take a chance sometimes can take us to unexpected places - you never know what you might learn.

I had the opprotunity to take a few chances today and am thankful that I did. And I wish i had in another instance.

Let me start by saying I feel naked without my camera - and I learned that when I forget it I should "take the chance" and go back for it. Now that I am thoroughly involved in P365, I almost always have my camera with me. On the way to church I realized I had forgotten it. I wasn't that far from home but decided oh well - I'm sure someone at church would have one if something came up. I wasn't thinking of afterwards.

After church A&E invited us to meet up at the local pumpkin patch as they had been asked to do some videography for their website. In order to assure that the place was busy, they were invited to bring along some families for free. I am often not spontaneous in this way, but since Drew was away, we had no plans and it was involving our small group, I "took a chance" and decided why not? Of course there are always things to do at home but we had wanted to go to the pumpkin patch anyway and what better way then with friends?

On our way out (I decided we didn't have enough time to go home, have lunch and get my camera b/c I had to practice some flagging before leaving - but that is another story) we went to Wendy's for lunch - where low and behold we met up with A&E. We had a nice chat over lunch and even though it was starting to rain, we "took a chance" and decided to still go figuring it would probably be fine up the road. It was.

We had a great time. The kids played so well together, we got to try out all the areas of the farm, took part in a pie-eating contest (mmm pumpkin), picked some great pumpkins for home and had no photos to show for it. But there will be some lovely shots I'm sure on the website at some point.

So yes - today I learned - take a chance - you never know what it might lead to (and you might be able to have pictures of it too!)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weather is a big part of our lives.

Today's prompt discusses how we learn from our enviornment. The topic of weather and seasons came up at least 3 times today - from which you could also say I learned a few separate things.

1. You can't always go by the weather network. Case in point - at Matt's ball hockey game today it started to rain - not muc, just a few sprinkles. But the weather network said it wouldn't rain until 2 pm - and I actually said this to a few bystanders!
2. As much as I hate to say it, summer is coming to an end. Yes it is September 26th and we have determined to close the pool Thanksgiving weekend (becuase there is always a slight possiblity we can get one more swim in isn't there?), and yet I caved today and bought our first pumpkins and fall mums. We went ot the garden store looking for some black-eyed susans (of which there weren't any) and left with pumpkins. I had told myself no pumpkins until October 1st - fall comes soon enough - but the kids won out. I'm going to put tem into the planters this year instead of fall flowers - and we just got the one pot of mums for the ground.
3. I have said it beorfe and I said it again today - I love that we have the 4 distinct seasons here. We went to a baby shower today where the grandmother-to-be was up from Ohio. I'm not overly sure what the weather is like there but I did comment about living here and how much I enjoy the seasons. Again - one day I will scrpabook about this because obviously it is a theme in my life!

Another BTW - the mother-to-be (who is 34) - this was her first baby shower EVER! She had such a blast. It was a real pleasure watching her sheer enjoyment of the event. Their baby is due in November.

Friday, September 25, 2009

There's just something about Fridays!

It's true. As discussed in the prompt today, there's just something to look forward to about Fridays. I'm not even really sure why. For me, the day itself isn't that different from any other. In fact, today was an A-Day so it was my busiest (after school that is), with 9 kids. I was home all day, did get some things accomplished (like finishing my latest book - yey!) and got another run in. After school the kids wanted to play at the school even though it was Wii day so that was fine by me - there are going to be enough indoor days coming soon. We had a great walk home (boys deep in discussion). Drew was heading out on a retreat for the weekend so it was a quick dinner and then relaxation time. Oh how the kids like those nights. So all in all - nothing too special, but there really is just something about Fridays that I look forward to!

Oh - and another thing I learned? One person's impression of another does not necessarily live up to the truth - and that can be a good thing (a lesson better learned BEFORE one puts one's foot in their mouth!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Do it now!

On the topic of learning and procrastination... I am learning the "Do it now" principle. And it is working!

So often I look at something and think, Oh, I'll just do it later. I am now learning that it is much more to my advantage to just get it done. And more often then not, it doesn't take me nearly as long as I thought it would.

This is another of Flylady's principles. Perfectionsism, pracrastination, getting sidetracked - all of which I am definately guilty of. This new lesson is a good thing to learn!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Slow down, you move too fast

I want to make the moment last.

When you want things to go fast, life inevitably slows down. And I'm glad. Life has a way of teaching us that it has its own pace. For a reason.

I had a day at home today. How I love these. I didn't particularly accomplish much. I had a good run (10 and 1's!) and then puttered in the garden (finally trimmed the tree) and picked Cierra up for a doctor's appointment. I had a lot I wanted to accomplish today and really didn't get to any of it. Life has a way of doing that to me. It's almost like when my to do list is too long, I'll get into a good book. Or my run will be good I make it longer. Or alternately, I'll get sidetracked into surfing the net for too long. Either way, it's a reminder at the end of the day that these kind of days are okay. We need some days to just step back and enjoy. Take part in the day. For they pass so quickly.

On another note, it was meet the teacher barbq at school today. I hope the time so far this year is a good indication of how the year will go. The kids had a great time showing us around- and again I am reminded of what a nice community of families we have around here. I finally met the neighbours on the corner and Drew was reaquainted with a family in the court. We did talk about missing J and B though. They were our "Steadies" at these type of functions. I'll have to put their number in my cell phone.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What is it about boxes?

It doesn't take much to entertain kids (I think I already knew this but as many posts are showing, it is relearning - or rather remembering all that I have learned over the years).

We had a great day today - I am just so amazed at how well the kids are getting along. We quickly went to the grocery store where the kids of course picked up some boxes to play with. As soon as we got home they set about painting them. As they dried they moved on to other things. Later in the day as they watched tv, they sat in their boxes on the couches. It was quite the sight.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Learning curves

A little something every day. I hope that is how I can learn digital scrapbooking because today I learned again, that there is a huge learning curve to this new venture.

I'm trying to work on some digital layouts - simple (???) collage templates, but they are just not coming together that well. I did do a step-by-step one by Jessica Sprague which I quite like - now I am not sure exactly how to get it printed out. I know I saw somewhere how to transfer it to a 12x18 and then add 2 copies of 6x6's to fill the page. One of these days I hope to come across the instructions again.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sparkling waters...

Today I learned that... sometimes you just have to put one foot in front of the other and get going... and you never know what you will see.

I had a hard time getting into my run today. I could only get 5 and 1's going but at least I did get some exercise. It was beautiful though. I ran home from church today - well walked and ran! When I rounded the corner and started down the hill toward the lake I was just struck by the beauty. The sun was sparkling all over the water and the view over the fountains was breathtaking. I even talked with a young family who was taken by it as well. I do love this area!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Info to come soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

I learned that I have started a great tradition with the kids that is now rubbing off for me! I was treated to a wonderful breakfast in bed, followed by a scavenger hunt where I received itunes certificates, rogers certificates (to hopefully get an iphone) and ........ U2 tickets for tomorrow night's concert!!!

I wonder what I will learn tomorrow!

AND I also learned something TBD later....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

These feet were made for dancing...

Today I learned that as tired as my feet are, they are not too tired to dance to MW with my boy Matty! I LOVE that he has a great love for music and letting loose to the music! The River is Dancing!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stickers and time

Today I learned what a positive motivation some stickers and the promise of 1 on 1 time are. Marlee has already had a hard time getting into the going into school by herself this year. Having our new friend looks like it may help but I'd really like her to be independent because she may not always be there. So the bribery started today. Sorry - the motivation. She will get a special sticker - on the family calendar (so everyone can see) when she goes into school on her own without tears. After 3 stickers she and I will go by ourselves and get a barbie dress from the dollarstore. One day's success!

Keeping on top of it all

Today I learned that it is okay to work on things for me! I have to continuously work on this as there are always other things on my to do list. I'm recognizing how my little routines are helping me keep up with everything and be more productive - giving me more me time. I'm keeping up on my dumping and it isn't so out of control. My email box isn't so full. My piles aren't so high. My cleaning is evident. Even though I haven't spent any time in my office for several weeks, I was able to tidy up there effectively and spend some time on running, church tasks and scrapbooking for the few hours that I had to myself today. It feels so good to be productive and to do something for me. Happy me = happy family!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fall Kick-off

Learning for today - Sometimes it's okay to get out of your comfort zone and trust that everything will be okay.


I need to delegate more and pass the reigns over to someone else so that I can spend more time with the kids.

We had our Fall Kick-off today...

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Today's learning centers around sleep. I rarely take naps because I usually feel worse afterwards. I took 3 today! I think the holidays are catching up with me! We got at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep every day that we were away and now I'm back to 6 or less. Not good. Oh - and have I mentioned lately that I love my bed?

I learned that I need to listen to my body when it needs sleep and sometimes a nap is a VERY GOOD THING.

PS! Don't tell Drew but I signed up for the October LOAD! I promise I will be better organized and will do more during the day then at night! SHHHH

Friday, September 11, 2009

Do unto others - a lesson remembered.

What I learned are always affecting people with your actions and relationships even when you don't realize it.

I have had 3 instances within the last week where I received the utmost compliments. Such so that tears were brought to my eyes. They were over things that I have done just because it was the right thing to do or I guess are essentially in my nature, and I was commended for them. One was about a time over 6 years ago and involved accepting some people for who they were (and are), even though their actions at the time were perhaps not the best.

The other stemmed from some relationships formed a few years ago within a ministry to me (which they were). Through this ministry I too was able to assist and minister back in many ways. In both situations I feel I was just doing what ought to be done and I can see now that indeed they were. And I was shocked to hear how much my actions have meant in these cases.

In the 3rd case I was recommended to do some future work for a family from a person I am familiar with but don't know extremely well. We see each other daily but rarely talk extensively, but who I am and what I do is evident and again she noted this. WOW!

What an honour to be recognized in this way and I am so thankful to have learned this.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Our house, in the middle of our street...a lesson learned

Today's lesson prompt reminds us to look at all we learn from within the walls we live in. Our home has come to mean so much more to me over the years. Even within this last year as we spend more time here and in our neighbourhood I am learning how much our home has to offer us.

We are comfortable here. We have a great neighbourhood of friends. We have a great back yard. We are not the richest in our neighbourhood but we are blessed beyond measure. We are close to the beach, to great parks, to shopping, to the school, to our friends, to forests, to ponds. Our family and friends like to be here and that says a lot. It is the perfect size for us. At one time I wanted bigger - that just means more to clean. We are creating a lot of incredible memories. We are forming some wonderful new friendships and relationships here - especially with new school friends. Life can be crazy around here but that's half the fun. There may be little changes we want to make but I love where we are right here - right now.

I learned that I love our home and wouldn't want to live anywhere else right now.

Happy 09 09 09!

Well apparently (think about it) this doens't happen very often that a day like this occurs. And it happens to be my cousin Cameron's 9th birthday to boot! Cool!

I did take advantage of the 99 photos for 9.99 deal at Walmart online. I am waiting on 281 photos to be developed in the next day or so. And then maybe I'll be inspired to do some scrapbooking projects.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Thankfullness. Today we are reminded that sometimes it is the big things that we learn from and sometimes it is the little things.

It has become a pattern for me to thank God for various things at the end of the day. So often it is for the day we had - that we were able to appreciate it - that we were all safe and were healthy - that the things we did over the course of the day meant something. i started to write down something that I was thankful for each day over the last few months but I confess that I've slacked a little bit because it kept looking like it was redundant and therefore maybe not meaningful. As I reflected on today's prompt it hit me though - I learned that for me - it really is the little things that make my day. The little things that make me happy.

I've often told others and been told that I'm a fairly even-keeled person. I don't show a ton of emotion. I tend to be a bit of a "plateau". I'm not showy in my enthusiasm over gifts and things like that. Much to my husband's dismay because he is the exuberant one. And it is not that I'm not happy or thrilled and I have learned (can I use this for a future prompt?) that I need to work on this - to express my thanks to others more frequently - even after the time that I have received something.

Anyway, I learned today that the seemingly little things that make me happy are really big things - because they do make me happy, help our day go smoothly and make life comfortable and content. And that is a big thing! So thanks!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A little more learning...

On the eighth day... transient - not lasting, enduring or permanent. Temporary. Something that disappears simply by the passing of time.

Well today I learned that that feelings from the previous day don't last long.

Matt headed off to school today totally excited and I was at home with Marlee and 2 daycare kids for what turned out to be a very relaxing day - and fun. And while I love being at our cottage and on holidays, wherever our family is, it is worthwhile and pleasurable just to be together.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The return after the holiday.

Taking a few weeks off can feel like 10 - but then it hits you again overnight and yo ufeel like you never left. I need to learn to continue to take it easy for a bit when we get back. While I love putting everything away asap and not keeping the hallway cluttered, it certainly takes away that relaxing feeling!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Prompt 6 from the learning room...

Being prepared is a good thing.

Maybe its just that the kids are older. Maybe its that we have individual DVD players. I like to think that it is because I was prepared and organized. Both the ride up and back from the cottage were great this year - relatively uneventful. And that says a lot for a 16.5 hour car ride. Well - including meals. But hey - the kids aren't allowed tv until after lunch. They have their own bags with things they need. We had nutritious snacks packs (and some non-nutritious ones too), a few planned stops, stories on CD, and well - it just worked. And even better? We were out of places to eat for dinner when everyone got hungry but they were happy with bread and butter. Go figure.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lessons learned today...

Time is relative. It takes as long to do something as the time you want to spend on it - and if you concentrate on that one thing - it might actually get done relatively quickly.

Part of the flylady mentality is that as a SHE (sidetracked home executive) we strive to do too many things at once. That's me. I've always prided myself on multi-tasking. But she is right. I don't seem to be finishing all of those things. Oh don't get me wrong - I still can't watch tv without doing something else but all those other things on my to do list? Put on the timer and just concentrate on doing that one thing - and more often then not, it is getting done. (like the wood, like the floors, like the dishes...)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lessons learned about today...

Todays prompt is about the weather or specific events or things we have observed. (I'm a little confused). So I was going to write about the weather but instead (as I'm sure it will come up later) I will write about that another time.

So today I am going to write about the gorgeous day we had here at the cottage - probably the last for this year as tomorrow will be spent closing up the cottage for the most part. And what did I learn? That I am becoming a pool person - not so much a lake person. I love to sit by the water but the whole "not seeing where I'm swimming" thing kind of gets me. And that is a little dissappointing for the kids. I did venture into the water today - as it was really hot. I got wet - wen ton the lilly pad - but I didn't stay. I will work on that.

As for the weather... I talk about it a lot and it definately affects us regularly. Just check out my project 365 to see how often I talk about it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lessons learned from our feet...

Hmmm. Where to go with this one. I did take a lovely picture of my feet today and thought about all that I put them through. I believe I have to say this:

I have learned that my feet NEED pampering. They need cream and a loofah EVERY day and a little polish never hurt either. Otherwise in a few very short days they will crack and hurt. I'm also learning that wearing shoes (yes, maybe lace-up shoes) regularly does actually help - just like the Flylady says.

On another note - the kids played so well today together. I love it when that happens!

All in a day's work!

Today we tackled the last of the wood pile. We picked up all of the logs laying around and Drew and Matt cut them up with the hand saws and then Drew got the chain saw going (after he had a go at the picnic table). Either way, the boys did a great job working together and now we have another wood pile to dry out until we can split it next year. I think we have done more work this holiday then we have in the last several with the kids combined!

Learn Something New Every Day

I've just joined another scrapbooking challenge for the month. It is Shimelle's class called Learn Something New Every Day. I don't know that I will actually make an album but I will of course attempt - and get some journalling done!

Today's prompt is to consider what I've learned within my home. I thought about talking about the cottage since we are here right now so here goes: I love our cottage and the simple life that we have there. Relatively little responsibility and carefree days. I have learned that it is important to get away for a little bit and the cottage is the perfect place to do it. Iand I love it especially since it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles. (The internet hook-u pis nice though).

Yesterday's prompt (since it was the first day) was to think of something that we learned over the course of the day. Since I spent the day with Marlee I will attribute my learning to the importance of spending a little 1:1 time with each of the kids as often as we can. It doesn't take much to make them happy and it makes a world of difference in their lives.

I think I am going to like this one! Making a conscious effort to look at the world around me and making note of all that can be learned - each and every day!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today is the bestest day ever!!!

Ahh famous words. Had I only known how easy it was to easy it is to please my daughter. Actually I did know - I just don't take the opportunity very often to fulfil it.

We left for town at 1 pm on Tuesday. We stopped at the laundromat first and put in the 2 loads we had and then headed to the library beside it where we spent 40 minutes until the load finished. We then switched the loads and went through the mall to get to Zellers until the laundry dried. I think we stopped at every store on the way to "browse". She also got a few rides a long the way.
We finally made it to Zellers where we looked at bathing suits and toys for Marlee and found pajamas for Matthew on sale. Sadly I think the toy situation was a little overwhelming so we held off until the "next place". We did find a polly pocket DVD though.

We then went on to a store to get my mom the gifts she needed for work and then on to the other library where I got a dvd they had on hold for me. We'll have to go back to that location sometime as their children's section is much bigger and has a better selection. I found out that even though we only have a children's membership we can borrow movies up to PG-13. Yey! Next we found ourselves at Old Navy where I got a few more t-shirts, a sweater for me and a sweater for Drew. Next was Dollarama for a few dish cloths, a toy for Marlee - a simple polly pockets/ princess knock-off. I love this girl - it really doesn't take much to make her happy.

Our next stop was McDonad's - finally. It had been our plan to go for lunch but somehow that didn't happen - so here it is at 6pm and we make it for dinner. She chose to sit in a nice tall booth and we chatted. She politely declined to play with the 2 girls that were in the play area but went up and down the slides for 15 minutes.
I almost drove past the Sally Ann but remembered to drop off a few things for mom and then on the spur of the moment thought we'd check it out - on the off chance that there was a bike for the cottage. We were in luck! We got a LOVELY one for 6.99. It has one black wheel and one white one, a light pink fender and faded pick handlebars. The frame is white. I am so glad that our kids aren't picky!!! It will be perfect for the cottage for Matt to mess around on. And then of course Marlee can take it over. She has to get used to riding "Guppy" first though. We also got a naked barbie (why do people always give them away naked?) and a junior monopoly game.

We then hit Walmart - and tried on some more bathing suits - we did find one we liked. We also found a "lovely" strawberry shortcake mini doll that can go with her polly pockets sets. We also discussed barbies at length - and finally I convinced her that getting some clothes for the barbies she already has would be wiser then getting yet another barbie. We also found a few more DVD's for "the family". And we were off to our last stop - the Superstore. We gathered our groceries, a few more dvd's and made one final toy purchase - again a discussion over barbies and we ended up getting another Bratz doll to go with the one Aunt Marilyn got her.

By this time it was getting quite late and I still wanted to get the diving rings we'd forgotten at the cousins. Obviously they would be in bed but I tried to call and couldn't get through so I thought we'd stop by anyway. I thought Marlee fell asleep on the way so I chatted with Adena for a wee bit - we then came out when it was apparent she wasn't, so she showed off all her birthday gifts. What a girl. She tried on all the outfits for her barbie and commented on how "lovely " they all looked.

It was well after 11 when we pulled in and she was fast asleep. It really was a great day! She told her dad on the phone that it was the bestest day ever and later to me that she loves when she gets to spend the whole day with just her and me and not the rest of the family. She was energetic and funny and it was just a nice time to talk with her. One funny thing I noticed - when I hold her hand I often put my baby finger around her wrist and she ever so slightly removes it but holds on tightly. Such a sweet girl. We have to plan more of these times.

August 2009 Recap

Exercise - Aug 1, 7th, 8th, 9th; 10th; 11th; 12th; 24th; 26th; [9 times]

Books Read - The Prophet

Movies Seen
Blood Diamond;
Saving Sarah Cain;
Perfect Christmas;
Gulliver's Travels;
Memory Keeper's Daughter;
Angel's Falls;
Tristam Shandy;
Carolina Moon;
The Note;
27 Dresses;
One Week;
Sunday School Musical;
17 Again;
Yes Man;
License to Wed

Special Events
- Sarah home! (July 31 - August 2 for Beth's shower)
- Beth Wedding shower - August 1
- G cottage
- Matt to Aleks birthday party (3rd), Ethan (15th)
- Marlee birthday (26th - 5!)

Significant Purchases/ changes -
front yard landscaping - irrigation, steps fixed, tree circles;
Steps to lake at cottage;

Travel - Thunder Bay (Aug 22 - September 5)

Excursions - Putting Edge, RR, Splash Canyon, TBtB,