Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Break Madness

So here it is at the end of March and the month has flown by. I had wanted to post about our March break so before the month completely passes us by, here goes:

It started out with a bang as we headed down to Toronto on Saturday to see Chris Tomlin in concert. We stopped at IKEA first to grab some baskets for our new shelving unit in the front hall. We had enough time to wander (quickly) through the showroom. The kids got sidetracked in the bed section and the upcoming room switch came up. We had a surprising negative reaction form Matt this time stating that he now no longer wants to share with Mitchell. Uh oh. It is still coming budd - and soon! Marlee saw a cool oft bed she would like however I think we will probably go with the traditional bunk bed style. We will have to see. As for me, I am just excited to have at least a few months of more full sleep. Yey!

We met friends for dinner and then headed on to the concert where we met up with most of our small group from church. The concert was such a blast and I am so glad we took the kids. We knew they would be familiar with most of the songs as we sing many at home and at church. This was such a pleasant surprise though! Chris Tomlin's albums tend to be more tame but in live concert he really rocks the place - worshipfully! Marlee loved the slide show (mainly just the words showing up in random, fun ways) and using my camera to snap some photos. Our favourite song was No Chains on Me (see alive version on You Tube here). We all had to grab hands, jump up and down and sing. It was so fun!

Beth came out with Michelle which was awesome. We had a big teary hug and I have to admit that depending on the song I was alternating praising and praying that it would minister to her in some way. She left quickly when it finished but I'm positive God was there - it was phenomenal.

We stopped at the Red roof on the way home and the kids got sucked into the gaming area where you could win an {awesome} toy, guaranteed. Just what we need. This is an ongoing issue regarding our money, how we use it, what is worth spending it on, being good stewards etc. Such a hard lesson to teach and learn!

The beginning of the week brought sleepovers in the basement - although there were several good intentions and very few follow throughs. It appears that as much as they like the idea, unless there are additional kids, they much prefer OUR bed in the end.

Sunday brought amazing weather and the ice that had collected was in full melt mode. It also meant that the backyard was full of muck and water. Mitchell was able to be contained on the deck which was great, although he is loving the trampoline as much as his older siblings.

With the muckiness of the backyard we went through lots of cleaning rags, lots of quick dog baths and the rubber boots came out. Welcome spring!

On Monday I had a few errands to do so we got those done first thing in the morning and on our way home the kids wanted to stop at the park. I promised 10 minutes which quickly turned into 30 as the kids raced from one spot to the next. We packed it up when they thought it would be cool to explore the icy shoreline. No thanks.

Tuesday brought daycare kids and the sudden request to have "Spring Break BINGO". I hadn't planned on that so Matt helped me make up a condensed version and they were off and running. It really did keep them all occupied for the day.

The weather again was awesome so they spent a lot of time on the trampoline (which counted as a square). What was really great was that since I didn't have prizes prepared, the fudgesicles we had on hand totally worked!

On Wednesday we finally got some purging done. It had been on my mind to go through the kids craft drawer. This was also one of my tasks for One Little Word this month. Check!

We called in a favour and dropped Mitchell at a neighbours and

went as a family to see The Lorax.
What a great movie! It is probably Drew's favourite Dr Suess book and he has read it to the kids multiple times. I think they did a good rendition. I was a little shocked at how much it costs for a family of 5 to attend a 3D afternoon matinee ($77.89 - I guess that is why we don't go very often)! I was also a little surprised that after seeing basically an environmental movie, that the theatre itself was left in such a mess. It always shocks me that people have such a hard time taking their garbage to the doorway where there is an actual garbage can! JSYK, we brought our own straws, napkins, popcorn seasoning and glasses. Although I did drop some glasses at our neighbours by mistake so I had to grab some more. Oops.

On Thursday our thought had been to take the Go train down to Toronto to spend the day and then return by train. We finally realized that we didn't want to be constrained by not having a car with all the whole family. So instead we slept in, took the van and drove to Casa Loma.

The kids loved hanging out!

It happened to be princess week and there were a few themed events taking place. We watched a "feud" between Prince Charming and an adversary who were both vying for Snow White's hand. There was drama, singing and even spark flying sword fights!

Matt got a lesson in archery and turned out to be pretty good!

I think the favourite area was the tunnels to the stables. All of the kids wanted to run of course and Mitchell was in awe at the echoing!

After Casa Loma we went to Wayne Gretzky's restaurant for a late lunch.

We then walked on to the CN tower.

This was the first time here for the kids and they really enjoyed looking down on the plexi glass. Drew wouldn't venture any where near it.

Afterwards we stopped at IKEA again for another bite to eat. Unfortunately the restaurant was closed so we had to have hot dogs. Marlee didn't want hot dogs so we had to promise to stop yet again at the red roof too.

Where again we had the same argument about the gaming (This time we won)

Friday was a low key, at-home day with nothing too exciting (other than the continuing amazing weather). The kids did spend the night with Nana and Poppa.

Saturday was small group and St Patrick's day!
We had a contest for who could wear the most green and Marlee won!

Sunday was another gorgeous day and the kids just wanted to play outside after church. After running around they stopped and took a break and had a cute Kodak moment! It is so nice when they get along!

I have to say that this has been one of the best March breaks in a long time. We had limited daycare, lots of free time, perhaps a little too much tech, amazing weather, lots of outdoor play and just good quality family time.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Memory Monday - You've Got Good Taste

I recently finished the LOAD212 Past Perfect Challenge in February. Most of the prompts dealt with reflecting into the past. They were great and generated a lot of ideas for layouts or at least for memory keeping. I wasn’t prepared to do a layout for all of them as I didn’t have photos, didn’t have the time or it didn’t interest me. Since I am moving more into the memory keeping aspect I thought I would follow up with the prompts in a Memory Monday type of post. I’m recognizing that my time for scrapping is limited and that I don’t necessarily want to have an actual layout for all of these memories. I do however, want to record the memories.

Hopefully this will be a good compromise.

Onto prompt number 1. “You’ve got good taste”. My take on this prompt is to discuss my favourite tastes and foods – favourite recipes, restaurants, unusual tastes and special meals. So let’s go through the food groups shall we?

Starting of course with dessert (that is a food group isn’t it?) – my favourite would have to be my mom’s pumpkin pie. Served cold. Preferably with whipped cream. Mmm yum.

I do need to get the recipe for this.

A close second would be my Nan’s brownie recipe. With walnuts. Yummy. And icing of course. Third would have to be my mom’s chocolate wacky cake. We always had this for our birthday celebrations. It is a good basic chocolate cake.

My favourite meal is beef stroganoff – again, the way my mom makes it and how I now know how to make it. It turns out quite pinky because of the tomato paste and sour cream and I like to have it with egg noodles. I also like to have it with peas because hey, the green is just a nice complimentary colour and it mixes well with the meal to make it a casserole-type meal (I like to mix everything together on my plate when I can).

My very close second favourite (and only second because it is expensive and limited) would be lamb. Of any sort. We usually have a roast lamb at Easter time. Soooo good. My mom used to make lamb chops a lot as I grew up and of course a lot of restaurants serve rack of lamb. All are great but I prefer them fairly simple – just rosemary seasoning and mint sauce to garnish. It is not a favourite with my family now so we don’t have it a lot and unfortunately I haven’t found a restaurant that serves it the way I like.

Veggies? I pretty much like them all. Fruits? I would love to just buy local but I don’t think I can go without my banana and orange each day. Unfortunately they just don’t grow here in the great white north. I’ll never forget the experience of going outside our “O’hana” in Hawaii and picking fresh oranges off the tree and eating them and there. Amazing! Apples, grapes, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries; you name it –awesome, especially when put into a fresh fruit salad.

Continuing on the topic of food, my favourite junk foods totally range. Some days it is chips or popcorn with salt & vinegar seasoning or it is chocolate of some sort.

Chocolate covered almonds, skor bars, dairy milk. All good. Sour soothers are always a favourite when the right ones can be found. Preferably a little stale. Wine gums are awesome – again if it is the right kind and if they are on the hard or stale side. I believe they are no name brand – not the ones with a logo stamped into the candy. No way. Hot tomales and mike and ikes are popular too. And you wonder where our kids get their sweet tooth from.

Moving on to drinks I would have to say that I reach for water the most. I used to prefer room temperature but now I don’t mind cold. I still prefer no ice though. I am not a lover of hot drinks so no coffee or tea for me. Occasionally I like to have a hot apple cider but that too is only a few each year. I have to admit that I love a cold coke. It would be my pop of choice but the odd time I like a cream soda or orange to mix it up. I used to love a little rye with my coke but not so much anymore. I don’t mind the odd Baileys irish cream – especially after skiing. Yum. A cold apple juice is great with breakfast but I am trying to cut down on the extra sugar. Usually it comes back to water.

Favourite restaurants? I would have to say I like the independent type of restaurants that serve up a variety of meals. If I can find a place that serves a good Greek salad you can bet I’ll be back. Casa Mia is one of those places. Their spaghetti is amazing and very reasonable so we will often get it for take out for the whole family. I would grab a Greek salad any day. Their souvlaki is definitely a favourite and they even do lamb pretty well. I like to try different things each time unless it is a regular place like Swiss Chalet.

No unusual tastes come to mind – nothing that people turn their noses up at me for (I think). Some people think my peanut butter and banana sandwiches are a little weird but I don’t think they are that extraordinary.

There you have it. All of my tastes and favourites when it comes to food.

In a nutshell. (albeit a big one).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 2012 Wrap up

It’s that time again! Another month has passed us by and it is time for a wrap-up. 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. Let's just say that I like to see my life all wrapped up, nice and tidy with a bow. Enough said.

Here's a look at our month:
Entertainment – what we’re looking at , listening to and going to!Books, Magazines, Blogs read:I Survived Hurricane Katrina by Lauren Tarshis ; I survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbour by Lauren Tarshis; Guardian Angel House by Kathy Clark; Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows; Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly L Smith
TV, Movies, Live Entertainment:
Bones; Modern Family
Daddy Daycare; Megamind; Soul Survivor; Pleasantville; Judy Moony & the Not Bummer Summer; The Vow (theatre); Courageous (rental) Despicable Me (rental); Rango (Netflix)
Daily Happenings & Special Events:
Dinner with friends - (1st); (9th)
Ladies dinner – church (4th)
Superbowl Party for church (5th)
Shower at church (12th)
Church “Beat the Blahs” (19th)
Family Day (20th) – skiing and then out to farm
Family Photos (23rd)
MOPS Girls night out (24th)
Travel (1 hr plus): n/a
Financial/ changes to the house etc.: (gifts, renos, big purchases, household purchases);
Kitchen cupboard doors back
New kitchen table and chairs set
2 rats from Cierra’s family – Lucas and Jonah
New dog – Harvey!
Health/Development/ Exercise/ Extra Curricular Activities:
Drew: basketball; moles removed
Alison: bloodwork; dentist (15th); Dr B; *
Cierra: bowling
Matt: hockey; difficulty getting along with DC child (vide0 games removed for month)
Marlee: eye doctor (6th); “adios amigos”
Mitchell: antibiotic, puffer for chest cold; (spoonful of sugar*); lots of gains sleep and EC wise; still limited speech; just FUN!; really wanting to be with the big kids; loving the dog
Accomplishments/ Disappointments: (Goals - Gotta Do’s, Wanna do’s; OLW, projects)
LOAD for February
All Around Us/ Other (News, Trends, Births, Deaths, World Events, City News Etc):Whitney Houston died (11th)