Monday, February 28, 2011


I am about 1/3 of the way through The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I am finding it so enlightening. Why? This year I chose ‘JOY’ as my One little Word. How come? Primarily because often when I reflect on my day I see that I did not project a whole lot of joy. I have always been a “plateau” type person when it comes to emotions but recently I have been pondering the fact that as a Christian people are supposed to see a light in me. Are they? I doubt it. Not that I am a negative person per se – maybe around my family where I have a definite set of standards and am way too controlling. But the average person or my friends? I remember that when I worked at the bank, customers would remind me to smile…. I don’t think I am that way as much now – I do have people at the kids school that think I am always happy. That is cool. I just want to feel that way and be that way around my family – the people who count the most. IN reality I feel that I am content but am interested in how I might show it more. Soooo… I heard about this book and it is indeed very interesting because in most cases Happy = Joy.

One question that has come up (I am going to go back and pick put points that I have missed earlier but for now…) is to question what I do for fun. What do I find fun?

And it may seem unusual but I think is my list:
· Watching musicals and singing along
· Reading a good book
· Scrapbooking and recording memories
· Reading about other people’s lives – biographies, blogs
· Talking with other people about subjects I feel qualified about
· Organizing, checking things off my to-do list
· (Once I get out) – running, walking in nature, ‘enjoying God’

It is then suggested obviously that we provide time for doing these things. Doing our FUN things makes us happy. I have been finding that with myself. If I can get a little bit of me time each day (usually during Mitchell's nap) then I am a much happier person. And so far so good.

you light our world - LOAD211 Day 28

Finished! I can't say that this one followed the prompt (to do something we wouldn't have done a onth ago as a result of this challenge) but it was a quickie that has been hanging around for too long.

It is a scraplift but I can't find the source. Font: CK Twiggy

Journaling reads: When I look at this picture I see a side I rarely see. You look so introspective. So serious. So solemn.. You are frequently shy when in new situations or with other people and I know you like to stick close. I know I push you to try new things that aren’t always comfortable. This picture shows me that contemplative side. But you are so much more. You have such an inner beauty and sparkle that is waiting to explode. You shine baby and you light up our world. You mean so much to us.
Don’t ever forget it.

What meant from this layout is that too often I don't see this side because I am behind her pushing her to try new things. When I saw this photo it gave me an idea of how she is sometimes feeling.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I love my dog - LOAD211 Day 27

Today's prompt was a freebie - do as we wish. I left it down to the wire so I did a quick digi page.

The journaling reads:I swore that we would never get another dog. Berkeley had been gone for almost 5 months and we were asked to look after Diva for Kim and Kerry while they waited to find a new house. In the meantime they were living at Kim’s parents’ house in their basement. Umm... I guess so. I couldn’t have been more completely shocked. After getting over the fact that we could not leave ANY food out AT ALL we were hooked. Although I couldn’t walk her with the kids (too much pulling), she did get me out running on my own. At 6 years of age she was already trained and lost a lot of the puppy behaviour. She didn’t bark and she didn’t shed and she was so good around the kids! Let’s just say that I love this dog and would keep her in a minute if we had to. THAT is saying A LOT. She ended up staying with us for about 5 months and I was really sad to see her go. January 2009

Saturday, February 26, 2011

adidas - LOAD Day 26

adidas - LOAD Day 26
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
This one took WAY longer than it should have. The prompt was to be inspired by a wardrobe picture. When I saw the photo prompt I looked though my to do pile and thought this topic would go with the colours. That is what I was drawn to first. I tied in the red thread, the black and white pp and the blue back ground. I was going to add dark blue as well but left it with the tags.
BTW - my printer has run out of ink so all of the red photos will be replaced.

The journaling reads:
Melissa has been an employee at adidas for almost 10 years. With that has come some major perks. She is always generous with buying things for all of us with her employee discount – from clothing to footwear to golf equipment. We also get to go to the warehouse sales and be a part of the staff Christmas party and the annual Terry Fox Run. We really feel like we are a part of the adidas family. And hey – the clothing speaks for itself. It’s not only cute but totally functional AND inspiring. Thanks Melissa! IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING. 11.02.26

Happy 11 months Mitchell!

Why is it that every month I have to say to myself where has the time gone? Here we are already at 11 months - that means in one more month our bibiti will be 1 year old. ONE YEAR OLD! YIKES! His sister really wanted to have a party for him but I convinced her that next month will be enough.

But let's not jump the gun. At 11 months you are:
  • You are eating everything we are eating (although we avoid the obvious junk food). Carbs appear to be the favourite right now – especially muffins, breads, crackers etc. Applesauce, ground beef and gerber pickles get devoured more quickly as well. I thought you were going to like kiwi but after 2 days you started spitting it out. I have also started giving you the last of the rice cereal you had a while back and you are devouring that.
  • Clapping seems to be the hand signal of choice. It could mean 'eat', 'toilet' and 'all done'. We are figuring it out though! You hit my chest when you want to drink or snuggle. You wave hello and goodbye.
  • We are back to lots of cheesy grins and head throw backs. You are still happy a majority of the time. LOVE that.
  • You are still doing a lot of scooting on the potty all around the house, but more often than not, you let yourself up when you are done. You are faster on your knees.
  • You continue to pull yourself up to a stand around the furniture and are now starting to inch your way along.
  • Tooth #8 (Feb 22 – lower left) and again lots of drool
  • Sleep-wise we had another few late nights where once you were up you didn’t want to go back down. Daddy took you downstairs once and informed me in the morning that for some reason he didn’t sleep so well with you sleeping on him. Go figure! I’ve never experienced that lol!
  • You have continued EC successes, signaling, ~early~ mornings, and nakey butt time. We have significantly lessened your use of diapers this month. See your daily routine for more details. You surprised me the other day by staying dry for a few hours while we were out and then going potty in the washroom! I was so happy about that! We do laugh about the “little puppy” in the house but when we are paying attention it works so well. You are such a great kid and we are enjoying this adventure!

your daily routine this past month continues to start around 6am with you kicking me in bed, I get you up and potty you (wet diaper with liner). It is usually a success. We then go downstairs where I feed you and then give you some table food. We then get dressed and head off to school (new diaper) - driving or in the stroller this month.

You are getting a full nap in the stroller right now in the mornings so we are all happy. You have just not been able to transfer once you fall asleep. One afternoon I had some extra kids with us so I put you in the back pack. You fell asleep and somehow I was able to get you off my back still asleep. You stayed that way for another 45 minutes. You must have really been tired!

After you wake up (around 12-1 pm), you are pottied (consistently dry), fed and then we sit at the table for table food. Then we hang out doing chores, computer work or errands until Cierra gets home. We then help her with lunch prep and getting snack ready for all the kids. We then bundle up (which you don’t like) and head to the school to get the kids (fresh diaper). We hang out there for 40 minutes playing outside and then walk home. You are usually asleep at this time and stay that way until 5ish when the kids start going home. Once you wake up you are pottied (again usually dry) and then you are usually wanting up and/ or to be fed. I'll be trying to get dinner started and kitchen clean-up going. We sit down to eat around 6pm and you get more table food. You are such a messy eater! We will then clean you up and take you for a bath or to play with your siblings. You want to be everywhere they are – especially when it is tumble play or mini sticks.

Bedtime routine has gotten better again. Daddy will usually bath you (which you LOVE –especially with the other kids). You are then diapered (with a liner) and then we then brush your teeth, read a story, get the other kids in bed and then I sit down with you. After about ½ hour you are ready for bed and are going down awake but are asleep within seconds. This leaves us at about 9pm. It is such a blessing. You are still not taking a bottle from anyone but will settle for them a little later than usual but without many tears. This does allow daddy and I to go out if we want.

When you do go down I can usually be assured that you will sleep for at least 3 hours at which point I will feed you again (usually about the time daddy and I head to bed), hopefully put you in your own bed and if not ours and then go to bed ourselves. We will sometimes change you again but it’s hit or miss whether that will “wake” you up or not.

That my boy, is your routine this month in a nutshell. Always changing and yet staying the same. Go figure.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Summer Camp 2008 - LOAD Day 25

Today's prompt was 5 item Friday!

5 item Friday: I did it!
1. embroidery thread or floss
2. one piece patterned paper
3. one set letter stickers
4. one border
5. an acrylic shape of our choice.

Fun stuff! The journaling lists the places we went to, the scripture verse for the week and the bottom lines.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Family Day Fun - LOAD Day 24

Today's prompt was to use a checklist. Check.

Journaling reads:
Checklist for Family Day Fun:
Alison - walk across the lake a
Marlee - go skating a
Matthew - attend birthday party a
Drew - play hockey X
Cierra - eat at a restaurant a
Mitchell - go along for the ride a

Once we got organized we ended up having a great day. It usually takes us a while to get our plans sorted out and get ourselves moving. We really enjoy our down time sometimes more than anything else. This time we wanted to try to work around everyone’s goals rather then waste the day away. While all of the events but the birthday party were geared to involve the whole family it didn’t really end up that way. No one wanted to venture across the lake with me so I went by myself. The family that was coming over to play hockey ended up cancelling and the ice rink wasn’t really conducive to a full hockey game. Marlee and Cierra got their skating in and we ended up ordering Pizza Pizza in (Cierra’s pick) instead of going out. Mitchell did just come along for the ride but thoroughly enjoyed himself. In the end, it all began and ended with family and that is what counts. February 21, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Matter What ... there is joy - LOAD Day 23

No Matter What LOAD Day 23
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
Today's prompt was to find inspiration from an ad. Any ad. I chose instead to finish the idea I had from yesterday's prompt - to use punches in a new way. This is a fairly straight scraplift of Jennifer Larson I attempted to do this for the punches prompt but it was taking longer then I intended. I also intended to use her poem but changed it to use scripture verses that discuss 'joy' (my one little word) for the year. To me the upstretched arms brought to mind joy. Thank you Jennifer for your inspiration.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This I know... - LOAD Day 22

Today's prompt was to use punches creatively - I have a layout I want to scraplift but it was taking too long so I quickly finished off this one for the challenge. I documented a bit about it a few weeks ago.


Marlee's notable quotables at 6 yrs - LOAD Day 21

Follwoing today's prompt "sort of"... I have not really scrapped using only stickers as embellishments. I think I have always had something else and I rarely use stickers now as it is.

My daughter was so excited to get a new srapbook kit for a late Christmas present and wanted me to do a page using her supplies. I was only too happy to oblige.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

M3 pregnancy - LOAD Day 20

LOAD Day 20 - M3 pregnancy
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
The prompt today was to embrace imperfection. Couldn't really do it though - although I am likely to just leave some things if it does happen (for example see my layout with the cottage items? See if you can find the spelling error). Anyway, this layout is showing the progression of M3's pregnancy resulting in Mitchell.

It is a scraplift of a layout from Stacy Julian - a challenge that was presented on Scraphappy a few months ago. I've used this sketch a few times now. TFL!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The VW van - LOAD Day 19

LOAD 19 the VW van
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc

The prompt today was to find inspiration from the photo of an art journal that was provided. I thought it fit in with the whole hippy flower VW thing, it was red etc etc.

Journaling reads: The VW van. I don't remember the van but I certainly remember lots of stories about it! Hidden journaling has the stories.
Mom and dad bought the van in Snow Lake in the early 1970'2s (they had it when Sean joined our family).

Mom made red and white bold print curtains for it although they didn't use them much.

The heater never worked properly and they were forever trying to get it fixed. On one occasion after getting it fixed while in Thompson (150 miles/ 3 hours away) , mom and Aunt Pualine were excited to each buy a rubber tree from the local Woolworth's. Of course the heater broke again on the way home. They each had one leaf on the tree by the time they got home.

When mom and Aunt Pauline made the monthly trek to get groceries in Thompson we would either be in car seats or they would sometimes take out the middle seat and put in a playpen to keep us in. [Oh how times have changed! How I wish sometimes we could do this!]

After we moved to Barrie my mom took a picture of the van in our driveway with the snow up to the roof topand sent it to our friends back in Snow Lake. We used to think we had snow in Snow Lake! We were supposed to be moving south!

The van blew the drive shaft in Happy Landing on their way to or from Thunder Bay one year. We ended up spending a week at the home of dad's first girlfiend Sue and her family in North Bay while it got fixed.

The van was sold a year or so after that.

My dad has been known to refer to that time as their hippie days (imagine mom with her long straight hair, flowery clothes...).

While I don't remember having the van specifically I love having the pictures and personally I think it was quite cool to have had it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

You should know LOAD day 18

Today's prompt was five things for Friday so I was inspired to get my layout for Yesterday & Today Wk5 done. It's a great class but the layouts are requiring a bit more thinking so I have some catching up to do...

Journaling reads: 1. I went skydiving when I was in university but the thought of bungee jumping terrifies me 2. I travelled after university and visited 13 countries in 31 days 3. When I travel I like to discover someplace new 4. I believe in God and everlasting life and I have a daily relationship with Him but I am often afraid to evangelize 5. When I am mad I like to organize or clean 6. Sometimes I overextend myself 7. I love to read. I love to read. I love to read. 8.I would like to own a snake one day even though I run from the room when I see one on TV 9.I have had dogs, cats, geckos, squirrels, mice, fish, rats and fire-bellied toads for pets 10. I am more of a night owl 11.I find it hard to watch TV without doing something else 12. I have to see the end of the movie no matter how lame it is 13. I once stole gum from the neighbourhood store and my mom made me return it 14.I did a speech on how we moved our playhouse and won 15.My dad had cancer when I was in kindergarten 16.I won best girl award when I graduated from elementary school 17.I run from the room when I see sharks on TV 18. I didn`t learn to ski until after I was married and no I don`t just `trust` that easily 19.I was a very picky eater until I lived in Europe for 3 months in highschool 20.I deeply regret not learning more Spanish when I had the chance 21.My favourite meal is beef stroganoff and peas or roast lamb 22.My favourite candy is sour soothers - but they have to be the right kind 23. My family drove across the United States to California without air conditioning 24. I sometimes “spave” – spend money to save money 25. I like to be resourceful – to the extent that sometimes I hoard things I may not use 26. Finding LOST items makes me really happy. 27. My middle name is JOY but I sometimes have trouble showing it. 28. I got 100% in grade 9 typing class. 29. I dream of owning some chickens one day. 30. If I can’t get to sleep I will use an eye mask and it usually works like a charm 31. Love love love to document our history. 32 I have a terrible memory 33. I make very ambitious To Do lists 34. I wonder what life would have been like if I stayed in Europe longer after university 35. I was once engaged to someone else 36. I love to explore God’s beauty in nature 37. My husband is my best friend 38. I am so glad to be alive and have the life I do. Me at 38. 2011.2.18.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's the little things...cottage memories LOAD Day 17

Our prompt today was to use the given quote “It isn’t the great big pleasures that count the most; it’s making a great deal out of the little ones.” –Jean Webster, Daddy Long-Legs

Thoughts: The quote reminded me of this layout I've been wanting to do about all the little things at our cottage. I am wishing I had printed the pictures smaller though - there are so many more I could have added but I already had these printed. I need 2 copies so the 2nd one will be done digitally.

Journaling reads: I so get this. I LOVE going to the cottage. We only get there usually once a year because it is so far away. But we LOVE it. It holds so many memories. Not just of the things we do there as a family but also all the little things. The things that are “just the cottage”. Things that we only see when we are there. Many are discarded items that Nan and Gramps or Marilyn or mom and dad didn’t want at home anymore and now they have become part of the cottage. Things that now remind me of Nan and Gramps. As time goes on, we are learning to let go. I am so glad that we have the pictures to remind us of them. Because they are a big deal. They mean comfort. They mean home. They mean family. They mean the cottage. That is a big deal.

The bottom journaling lists the significance of each item:

1 Nan’s writing on the bathroom pipe 2 The homemade “guitar” 3 McKirdy’s black fly repellent – stinky but very effective 4 The library of books in the built in shelf 5 The peel ‘n stick flooring. 6 The collection of Archie and Family Circus comic books 7 The countertops 8 The Indian picture 9 The happy face garbage pail 10 Old sheets 11 The drawer full of twist ties, elastics and paper products no one can ever throw out 12Tthe drawer liners in the kitchen cupboards 13 The Nivea container with Nan’s writing that holds cotton balls 14 The key holder with dad’s writing 15 The sauna fire 16 An old tea pot that found a new home 17 The three legged stool that is too tippy to use 18 A knick knack that has always been here 19The old green chair 20 The kitchen cupboards 21 The sauna buckets 22 The red bedspreads 23 Another knick knack 24 A picture given to Gramps from his work 25 The fireplace tools we were never allowed to play with 26 The mirror 27Assorted glasses 28 The green floor 29 Another picture given to Gramps

There are so many more....Pheww! TFL!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 LOAD Day 16

Today's prompt was to scraplift a layout shown. I liked the way the photos were grouped and the text was in amongst them so here is my version.
Wishing I had a butterfly punch though! But no - I will not run out and get one Drew!

Journaling reads: We are so blessed to live near **********. We have such a blast every time we go. Sometimes we look for tadpoles, bullfrogs and butterflies. Sometimes it is to explore the creek. There are trails to follow and trees to climb. The residents have done an amazing job planting flowers and grooming the trails and keeping it tidy. This time we just wanted to get out for a walk. We investigated some knarly trees, tonnes of mushrooms and an inukshuk, (which Marlee accidentally knocked over – oops )! The kids never know what they will find next. It is a great time to spend some together time just experiencing nature – minutes from our door!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Family Photo Shoot 2007 LOAD DAY 15

The prompt today was to use ribbon in a new way. I do use ribbon a lot, and in a variety of ways but preferred to go with another layout from my to do list. This shows our family photo shoot at Zehrs in December 2007. Marlee was 3.5 years, Matt was 5 and Cierra was 17.

February Good Food Box

Just in...

Here's what I got:
  • 10 lb bag of red potatoes (still about a bag ahead - got to work on this!)
  • 2 lbs carrots
  • 1 broccoli
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 beets
  • 3 mac apples
  • 2 kiwi

They had a delicious sample of beet soup along with the recipe at pick-up. I'm just not sure I want to buy a whole 2lb bag of beets to make it myself though - especially since probably only Cierra and I will eat it.

Anyway - all of this is a steal for only $10 supporting our local farmers. Adios!

Monday, February 14, 2011

2010 Halloween album - LOAD Day 14

This is for our album inspired by Cathy Zielske. The prompt was to "go to the other side" so -to-speak but since I do both digital and paper I chose a hybrid layout!

Usually the type is orange instead of green however my printer is running out of ink.

Journaling reads: This year was switched up a bit. ***** decided not to do a Light the Night party so we got to go trick-or-treating instead. The kids were quite intrigued about going to more than 5 houses! They made plans to meet up with the Jones and go around their neighbour hood and then the plan was to drive to one friend each and all our relatives. Best made plans… First of all the idea of meeting at 5:30 was a little unrealistic. We felt we needed to say hi to the neighbours on our street so we ended up being their first customers. Early. It was rather chilly and getting late so it was decided that I would stay home with Mitchell rather then just leaving the house as we usually do. The kids went on their way and did have a blast. They ended up with FAR more candy then they needed but that‘s the point right?. We had a bout 30 people come by the house. In the end the kids had a late night and we let up the candy ban for a few weeks - letting them have it whenever they wanted. Does that mean breakfast too? I’d say the evening was a success although we all did miss the church event and hope it will be on next year (especially if I don’t have to run it lol!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A series of unfortunate events...

Finally got us to a great day of skiing...

Phew - what a day! Drew and Cierra and Matthew all headed off to church this morning leaving Mitchell and Marlee and I at home because of Marlee's chicken pox. I took Mitchell out for a quick run/ walk before they left so he ended up having a good nap. Marlee and I hung out doing odds and ends until the guys returned for lunch. We did up soup and grilled cheese and then started to get ready for skiing. Dad offered to come to our house to stay with Mitchell and Cierra since they couldn't go there (mom's medication advises specifically against chicken pox exposure!). He got here at 3 and we headed out at 3:22.
Marlee was upset by the time we rounded the corner because we forgot her little bag with snack and accessories. Oh well - we were on the move! She promptly fell asleep after a few tears anyway.
10 minutes later we realized that we didn't have Matt's ski boots. Back we go. And that led to the discussion about each of us being responsible for our own things and yet looking out for each other (I forgot my boots 2 weeks ago remember?). Not sure that we have this solved but we considered some alternatives.
We pulled in at 3:56 and raced the kids to their respective lessons. Made it! And left poor Darryl waiting as we went back for our stuff.
But we both had to go the washroom. Now or on our way back? On our way back. Got our stuff and stopped in (on our way would have been WAY easier - less stuff to take!!!). "7 minutes" later we joined Darryl to go up the hill.
And my boots don't fit. I forgot to get the bindings adjusted after the rentals last time. MANNN!! I sent the boys up ahead and finally 10 minutes later we were on the hill
It was beautiful. Mild weather, few skiers, good company.
After their lessons we got a few more runs in
(and we had a wipe out getting off the chair lift - thank goodness for helmets -
I put my pole in Marlee's way and down we went).
Then we headed home to a hungry boy and dinner waiting for us. Thanks dad!
And here's to (hopefully) some more days like today where YES we can get over some unfortunate events and move on to bigger and better things.

Summer camp 2009 LOAD Day 13

This was a "just do it" layout. It was inspired by Karen Grunberg's BPS layout This is Us right now. Lots of pictures and lots of memories.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

LOAD Day 12 Family Reunion

LOAD Day 12 Family Reunion
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
I followed the colour prompt today! I was able to quickly do up one of the pages from the CK KOTM from a few years back. I'm not 100 about the journaling but for now it reads:

Brenda and Greg hosted the latest --- family reunion It was held on July 10th, 2010 and just about everyone was able to make it. It had been a few years since out last one and of course there were lots of changes. We all enjoyed swimming, hot-tubbing and good food and fellowship. The kids had a piƱata and of course we had to get a family photo. I hope it won’t be so long before we all get together again.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Warning!!!! Graphic photo!

Don't say I didn't warn you.
These seem to be getting bigger and more and more foul
with the new foods we've been introducing.
And all I have to say is that I am filled with JOY that it is here in the potty
and not all over his behind (although I'll admit it was still a bit sticky to clean up Yecchhh!).

Christmas Photos to Friends and Family - LOAD day 11

Today's prompt was 5 item Friday (1 office supply; 2 PP; Letter stickers/ stamps/ etc; border punch). I started one but think I want more photos for it so I moved on to this one. This is a layout for our cards from family and friends album. I had an odd page and thought to fill it with some of our photos we sent out. TFL! I'[m adding another one for the end of teh album and our cards for 2006 onwards.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I hate hanging pictures!

What a frustrating job!

This was my first attempt - not impressed! Why is it that it takes so much work? Getting out the drill, the screws, the plugs, the drill bits, the broom, the level. And it still looks like this. I would love to use the tape stuff but I tried it downstairs on a picture with Plexiglas and it ended up falling down. Thank goodness it was carpeted! These are above hardwood and it wouldn't be a pretty picture if you know what I mean (pun intended lol!).

BTW these are the "year-end "pictures that I make for all of us and our family members. With the new addition this past year I needed to add another frame - but that only made 4 and you are always supposed to put these in odd numbers right? So I quickly made the 5th one a showcase for our latest family portrait with some paint and number stickers. I'm also attempting to take a family photo each month this year (harder then you would think) so that I can do them up in a similar way to the other ones.

After I figured out that it was just the wire that needed to be adjusted (still not that easy), I got the end result I wanted.

Not totally perfect but they never are around here. At least they are up.

But this is the best reward...

Family portrait 2011 - LOAD Day 10

I didn't follow the prompt but needed to do this anyway. This is about as easy as it gets. I needed a 5th layout for a wall display and this was the best way to match it. It goes along with our 2010 memories/ year end album layouts that I make every year.

Now that we have a 4th child I thought I'd add a family portrait layoute to even it out on the wall (or rather keep it at an odd number right?). This year I am working on a monthly family portrait to co-ordinate with the other layouts.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mitchell's 4 month photo shoot - LOAD Day 9

The prompt today was to use a Becky Higgins sketch provided by Lain. Here is my attempt... Just realizing there really isn't a title - may need to add one...

Journaling reads: We finally took Mitchell in for a professional photo shoot at Zehrs at 4 months. He did a great job and we love the results. We also got a one of the all the kids at the last minute but Cierra was away. Oh how we all love him! 10.7.28

The daily transportation dilemma

Living in the great white north presents some interesting challenges with an infant. 2 years ago when I walked my friend's school aged kids to school so she could stay with her baby, I had no idea what a favour I was providing!

So now that winter is coming to a close I'm going to walk you through my daily options and their pros and cons.

At first the sling was the primary way to go. He was little, compact and oh so cute. I'd walk to school, he'd then nurse when we got home and he'd go down for a nap. Depending on our afternoon plans this worked then as well. Often I'd walk with him in the stroller and take him out in the sling once we got to the park. Then winter came and the sling doesn't work so well over the heavy winter coat.

So we tried the wrap sling. Okay but he started to fall asleep and I couldn't get him out and then transferred. And he hated having a blanket over him so it was bad if it was windy (and it often is).

So I tried the back pack a few times. Another great option except for when he fell asleep. And then he wouldn't transfer and then we'd have a lousy morning...

So most days it became the 3-wheeled stroller. It is hard to push through the snow and many days we had to walk on the road because there was just too much on the sidewalks. Mitchell was usually in his car seat and the wind protector worked well. Some days he would transfer into the house in his seat, other days not.

When a friend offered his sled, I put it off but then finally decided to give it a try. I had a few plastic sleds but since he couldn't sit up right I didn't think it would work. I wasn't sure that the car seat would stay on one either as I had seen other people do it. Mitchell couldn't sit up in this one very well either but he did fall asleep after all. He didn't get a good sleep and since most of the roads we cross have no snow by the end of the day I wasn't all that happy with this option.
I think I need a convertable stroller/ sled.

I hate to admit but I resorted to the kiss and ride many more times then I would like to admit. It was just so much easier to put him in his car seat and drive and drop the kids off. I could then leave him in his seat for his nap. But I feel like such a hypocrite every time I do it.

And then just last week I had a few extra kids and we had to try something new. L is too little to walk on her own so I was going to use our double wide stroller. However the wheel was flat and I couldn't get it fixed in time. So Mitchell went on my back, L went in the blue stroller and L was able to stand on the back bar. You do what ya gotta do. Mitchell actually fell asleep, transferred off my back and stayed asleep like this for 45 minutes. He must have been really tired.

When I had L again the following week I decided to try yet another option. The wagon. This time Mitchell went in his car seat in the wagon and L sat beside him. It actually worked quite well.

I'm not too sure what I am going to do when Mitchell graduates out of his car seat. That day is coming quickly. But then again so is the snow. Finally. I usually love the winter but I admit that I am ready for it to be gone and to move on to perhaps a more easy season when it comes to transportation. Whatever happens I guess I know I have enough options don't I?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 8 Kidding Around...

LOAD211 Day 8
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
The prompt today was to do a layout using buttons - something I often do. However I opted for an easy peasy one today - didn't have time to make buttons work.

Journaling: The kids are all pumped about participating in Summer BINGO/ Kidding Around this summer. They decorated their binders and made their scrap buddies and have listed their summer goals. As for me I am excited to be organized and to actually have a plan for 8 weeks. If all goes accordingly it promises to be a full, fun, adventurous summer! Bring it on! 2010

Monday, February 7, 2011

What has been lost has been found!

Have you ever misplaced something and had it really bug you? Yes it happens to me all the time. But depending on the item, I actually pray about it and believe me, I have faith that many of these items will "come back to me". Case in point, last year I misplaced my church keys - huge inconvenience - but I found them! Silly place - they were in Mitchell's backpack which I was sure I had checked, but yes, after probably 4 months, they were found.

The last item I had misplaced was Mitchell's blue Flip diaper cover. It has been driving me nuts! I know we had it in September after his 4 months pictures but then.... Then this past week we seemed to all of a sudden only have 4 or 5 diaper covers. We normally have about 15? I asked Drew... no idea. Last night I was in the bathroom and mentioned it to the kids and Cierra atually showed me that they were in the bathroom drawer with all the bathing suits. Uhh huhh??? And no, I didn't put them there. I have NO idea why she would choose to put them there. But hey, I'm glad they were found.

Then I woke up this morning thinking, if she put them there this time then maybe.... and YES the blue cover was there along with another one! YEYYYY!!!!

So from this strange little story one can know that I get great JOY from simple answers of prayer. And yes, God does answer prayer - in His own sweet time. Either way Thanks!!!

Marlee mad! LOAD Day 7

Marlee mad! LOAD Day 7
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
Our prompt today was to use colour to evoke emotion. I 'sort of' used it to create this quickie. Black and red were the thoughts that came to mind with a splash of colour.

Journaling reads: Marlee this picture of you always makes me laugh! You were going through a phase where you were making this “mad face” and trying so hard to make it last. It was so cute though that we had a hard time taking it seriously. Which actually did make you a bit mad. Either way, I’m glad we captured it on film. “Marlee mad”! 07.03.19 age 2.5

Sunday, February 6, 2011

five Load Day 6

five Load Day 6
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
Take some inspiration from our stash of inspiration.... This was inspired by a sketch in a sketch book...

Journaling reads: Our baby girl is 5! She has been waiting for this day for several weeks - no actually a few months (I think she is learning that from Cierra!). She was so glad that her cousins would be able to join her at "her cottage" for her birthday.

We had an easy-peasy day - Nan and Ya-ya were still up and we opened a few presents from family (all cool clothes like a skirt, pants, vest and jacket made by Grandma and awesome boots from Ya-Ya) and then the cousins came in the afternoon. She helped decorate the cake she picked out from the Superstore with lollipops and candles. She and I plan on spending some 1:1 time shopping together for her gift from us later in the week.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 5 - When Marlee Gets a hold of the Camera...

We were given a photo to take inspiration from but I did one from my To Do list.

Journaling reads: ...You never know what you'll get - 41 pictures of her stuffed dog or 58 variations of herself. It's become quite a source of entertainment wherever we are. Thank goodness its a digital camera & we can just hit delete. Although some of these are actually quite photogenic.

When I said to Marlee, "You actually took some very good pictures" She replied "I know!"

Friday, February 4, 2011

Christmas Cards 2009 - Day 4

Christmas Cards 2009 Day4
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
We were encouraged to incorporate 5 things for Friday - 18"+ ribbon, 2 patterned papers and a little bling. It inspired me to finish another layout on my To-Do list. The names will be added later.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

LOAD Day 3 - Stuck Like Glue

Stuck Like Glue
Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
The LOAD topic was to use a song title as our own (and if we could, to use the song "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland). I had had the heart in mind for a while and these photos seemed to fit...

(click on photo to get credits, journaling etc)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I struggle - LOAD Day 2

Originally uploaded by Alijoyc

Day 2! We were to go to ebay and type in our name and then do a layout that was inspred by something we saw there. My inspiration from ebay (an Alison Moyet "essex" YAZ promo press kit photo) led me to complete my Y&T wk4 layout about scrapbooking challenges. It inspired me because of the black and white photo and the extensive writing (inspiration photo is below). click on the photo for the sources

I chose to write about how I struggle... (sorry - it's private though!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January 2011 Recap

Seeing how January has now come and gone it is time for my monthly recap. I really need to get something catchy to put here. Any ideas? That or change the name...

So why do I do this? First of all my memory is terrible and often find myself wondering when such and such happened. Second of all I love lists and information. Third of all I believe I am a type A personality. Enough said.

BUUUTTT, now hear me out. Just last week Marlee had to do a timeline of her life (yes all 6 years) for school and I was able to pull out my binder with my yearly recaps in it and boom - in 1 hour we were done. Thank you very much. And Yes, I did make Drew praise me for my organization in this instance. Thanks again dear.

Here's a look at our month:

Books, Magazines, Blogs read:

  • Her Daughter's Dream (on my new ipad I might add - sooo fun!) btw Great book. I laughed. I cried. I recommend.

  • pretty much just my top 10 blogs - it was a busy month
TV, Movies, Live Entertainment: We got rid of our cable and PVR box this month. We still have Netflix and a tonne of movies to watch though. We are seeing if we can get Rogers on Demand on the computer but have come up with some glitches.

  • Modern Family - finished Season 1 (rented)

  • Death do us part (Netflix)

  • Mother's and Babies (rented - do not recommend)

  • 500 Days of Summer (Netflix)

  • Black Swan (movie theatre - umm different!)

  • Nothing like the Holidays (library)

  • Best Christmas Pageant Ever (ILL library) do you remember this from elementary school? I still have a few copies of the book. Matt read it and watched it this past Christmas and I thought it would be fun to watch as a family.

  • Spit Fire Grill (borrowed from my parents)

Special Events: Not much out of the ordinary in this area.

  • Matt had his power skating,

  • We all had skiing

  • Cierra had a transition meeting at school

  • I had MOPS and a behaviour/ discipline training class at church and a shower for Charlotte (I gave her a scrapbook album, a mommy hook, some bowls, a receiving blanket and some baby cream).

Travel: nowhere this month

Financial/ changes to the house etc.:

  • shower gift to Charlotte (as above)

  • our kitchen cupboards were finished
Health/ Exercise:

Drew: running and basketball

Alison: 1 or 2 days exercise; cough/tickle/ cold for 2 1/2 weeks since New Years Eve Day

Cierra: all good

Matt: all good

Marlee: all good

Mitchell: Dr visit (20th) 20lbs 10 oz, 74 cm long, received inoculation

Accomplishments/ Disappointments (Goals):
I've been working away at One Little Word and Yesterday and Today - 2 classes from BPC. They have both been very inspirational and I'm looking forward to seeing what else they have in store. Y&T in particular has really inspired me to get into my older photos and organize them as well as to go back and chronicle my life archives (does that make sense?) As I mentioned in my opening discussion, I want to do the same type of listing for my elementary and highschool years. I'm also gearing up for LOAD for February.

All Around Us/ Other (News, Trends Etc): n/a


Originally uploaded by Alijoyc
Here it is! My layout for LOAD 211 Day 1. And now when I post it on Flickr it will come straight here. Woo hoo!!! I am doing a happy dance for cool technology right now! Can you see me?
Clicking on the picture will take you to the credits.

LOAD 211 and joy of LOVE

I'm starting 2 new projects for February. Yep call me crazy but that is how I roll.

I get LOAD "for free" this time around since I am a Scraphappy member but I doubt that I would be able to pass up the opportunity anyway. I probably won't follow too many of the prompts because I am still doing Yesteday and Today as well as One Little Word. I am really enjoying both of these classes and I want to stay on top of the lessons. I also have LOADS of unrelated pages on my to do list lol!.

The other project is Joy of Love - a mini online photography class. It is simply a daily email with a suggested photo and the option to upload it to a flickr group. I'm not guaranteeing that I will post the photos every day but I'd like to make an attempt to learn something and get off automatic. Day 1 though and I've already learned something new.

That being said - I'm off to work!