Tuesday, April 27, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 17

Bad habits! That's this week's list. This could be a mighty long one for me. I'm just getting started on it!

Except for the buttons, I used recycled stuff. The corrugated flower was an insert used in packaging a mug I purchased last week. It came just like that. I layered it over a paper that was packaging for some sort of fancy soap. The journalling piece, flower centre and butterflies are all from tags made during a demo at our scrapbooking fundraiser.

Just thought of another one. I'm always/often 5 minutes late! When time isn't critical that is. If I have to get my kids somewhere at a certain time, I usually do. Lessons, games, practices, we're fine. But playdates, coffee with friends, that sort of thing, I'm always 5 minutes later than I want to be. That's a bad habit!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Last Saturday, our neighborhood hosted the 3rd annual EONA (East Oreland Neighborhood Association) 5K. Check it out here It was initially just started as a neighborhood activity, with a designated charity for the profits (can't remember who) But last year, it was decided that the Histiocytosis Association would be the sole beneficiary of the charitable effort. Histiocytosis is an orphan disease, and one of our neighbors, a first grade boy named Aidan, has been fighting it for most of his life. I don't know much about the disease. Because it's an orphan disease that afflicts about 500 Americans, there is little funding for research to find a cure. And because of that, there will be more EONA 5Ks.

I am not a runner, but have been able to make my contribution as the official event photographer. Nothing fancy. Every year, I just snap a few hundred photos and they're posted on the race website. The first year, I turned over all of my photos thinking someone would surely thin them out a bit and post a few. But no, they all appeared on the website! They're not perfect, but the idea behind it is to preserve some of the memories of the day, and give people the chance to find themselves among those photos. Knowing that all of the photos will be posted, I still seem to forget to remove the extra pictures of my kids before I turn them over. I did it again this year -- burned 6 DVDs with the almost 700 race photos on them, extras of Pelletier kids included more.

Here's a few photos from the day. Nick chose to take advantage of the Saturday and sleep in. They can only do that once a week ya know! So this year's race day photos are sans Nick. Many of Gaby.

First, the 5K start. Don't strain your eyes trying to find her in these photos -- she did the kids' 1/2 mile.

Following the 5K, there was a one mile walk, and then the kids' 1/2 mile. Gaby was initially upset that I hadn't signed her up for the 5K. Not having trained at all, she participated in the kids' 1/2 mile.

The start for the kids' 5K.

Ready. Set. Go!

And they're off!!

Once you realize where Gaby is in this picture (front, right) you'll be able to spot her in the previous ones!

Here she is, crossing the finish line, the second girl, in the medals!

Way to go Gaby girl! Now, my Dad was a marathoner in his day, but if her running ability comes from my side, it's from him, and it certainly skipped a generation! Great effort Gab!

THE medal!

These two always seem to hang out during the 5K.

And one last photo, my favourite.

This is the front corner of our yard. The race comes by our house every year, though I'm never home to see it. Every year, under the cover of darkness on the eve of the race, committee members are out with their floodlights, marking the course. We always seem to be out ourselves the night before, and run into them in one place or another. Just one of those memories that puts a smile on my face.

 I love my neighborhood!

Monday, April 19, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 16

For this week, list your favourite teachers. I used October Afternoon paper and stickers, a school line. Easy to throw it together.

For my list, I still need to dig out yearbooks, to jog my memory. I don't understand how I remember elementary school teachers, all of them, some junior high, and almost no one for high school and beyond. I know elementary school was simpler, with mostly one teacher for everything. But more time has passed, so you'd think it would be more difficult to recall. Not so! So I'll be adding to this list.

A Message to Nick

Nick, you're a teenager, and as such, like to spend time with your friends. Or in your room. Playing guitar. Playing music. Doing homework. You prefer your space to our space. I get it. That's why I like times like Monday nights when House is on, so we can share that time in front of the TV. Now, with your weekly allergy shots, I get that time with you too. Not your first choice, I know. Not mine either. But it's an hour and some that I can count on.

I also love when you join me to drive Gaby somewhere, or come along to kill time while she's at a practice. Hanging out at Barnes and Noble with you is fun.

But these moments with you don't add up to as much time as I spend with Gaby. That's just the nature of your ages. And so, I don't post as many photos of you here. Or stories. I don't share as many moments or stories with you now as I did when you were nine. You grow older and more independent. It's what you're supposed to do.

I need you to know this, for the times that you visit here. I don't want you thinking I love her more! She's my favourite daughter, and you're my favourite son. Always have been and always will be. That's the way it is.

(photo April 2009 -- we really do have to get more photos together!)

Bits of the week

Just bits. Not every photo I took, and not even each daily photo. Some are worth sharing here. Others. Not so much. Monday's photo was dinner. Mexican pizza. Yummy enough, and someday, if I ever put together a recipe scrapbook, which I'd like to do for Nick and Gab, I'll use that photo.

I've actually taken quite a few food photos since starting this Project Life/ picture a day thing. There are two trains of thought behind this: I can use them for my photo that day if I don't like anything else I've taken, or if that ends up being the only photo I take. And, I can start a folder for recipe scrapbook photos and save them there too. I'll be ahead of the game.

Last Christmas, Marc presented us with tickets for the Lion King, which at the time, seemed so so far away. But finally, this week, it was time. Rainy and cold. Gaby with sniffles and a fever. I felt bad dragging her into Philly when she was feeling this way, but she was a trooper. As always. We paid a bit more for parking, in order to be closer to the theatre (the hotel right across the street) and we found an Italian restaurant for dinner, also across the street.

Mmmmmmmussels for the boys!

Showtime. No photography of any kind allowed during the show. We were threatened with camera confiscation, so I couldn't capture an image of Gaby snoozing during the entire second act, poor thing!  She missed an amazing show, that I could easily see again. It was fabulous.

Girl home sick, Thursday and Friday. She really shouldn't have gone to school Tuesday and Wednesday, but she didn't want to miss the PSSAs, which they had been writing daily since the Wednesday prior.  The testing wrapped up Wednesday, and so did Gab! When the tylenol would kick in, she felt well enough to be bored, so resorted to things like balancing soda cans (we finally saw Minute to Win It the other night and that's where we learned about this trick, among others)


When the tylenol would wear off, it was back to being all about relaxing and cuddling. Me or Roxi.


By Friday evening Gaby was feeling well enough to join Nick in some hoops.  Even in the rain. And it was a good thing they were outside, as the police were out, looking for some individuals posing as magazine subscription folks fundraising for Haiti relief, and asked that we call if we saw people fitting given descriptions. The kids were out before supper, which is when the police came by. They went out again after supper and weren't out there 10 minutes when Nick spotted a fellow who looked like someone the police had described. The short version is that the police rounded up several people who were part of this group. Gaby was a bit freaked out by this happening in our quiet Sleepy Hollow of a neighborhood, but Nick thought it was exciting. It was a bit more excitement than we're used to around here, and a testiment to the vigilence and unity of the good people of our great neighborhood!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Variation on 365

Project 365, that is.

The concept has been around awhile. Taking a photo a day. Photographers, scrapbookers and those who fancy themselves a bit of both. For a person like me, well, I need a place to put it all together. Becky Higgins came up with the concept of a scrapbook and everything you need to keep a year's worth of photos all in one place. I didn't bite the first year. Hesitated when she came out with another version at the end of last year. But when her Project Life became available through Amazon, I thought I'd give it a try. I hadn't started with a photo a day on January 1st, but I figured I'd have enough photos to fill in the first few weeks of the year, and didn't really start making that daily effort til March. To that end, I've succeeded. And I've almost 'caught up' -- most of the photos for 2010 are in their designated pocket and appropriately documented. Sort of !

But I like what Jasmine is doing. She started a couple of weeks ago and has been successful in posting a photo to her blog, on a daily basis. Check out what she's done so far. Heck, check out her blog. She's chock full of talent and you can see it there, in it's many forms. Great stuff!

I'd like to do the same -- post my daily photo right here. But all of a sudden, it's Thursday or Friday. I realize the week's almost done, and I've not been back to my blog since my Monday 52 Lists post.

So once again, here is our week. With it, my hopes and dreams to one day post more regularly. More often.

This is life with a big dog. BIG dog. Easter goodies up high. Freshly baked cookies, up high. I should have photographed the top of the fridge, where all of the breads, rolls, muffins and the like, can be found. When we had Abby, our golden retriever, the counter top was sufficient. Bread was in a  basket pushed back into the corner. But since Roxi the Bernese Mountain dog joined our family, the height at which you can find all of the breads and baked goods in our kitchen, has doubled.

Monday evening, the mission trip kids got together at church, under the guidance of Mrs. S, to make dinner for their Tuesday soup kitchen service at UniLu, in University City, in Philly. They made dinner for 100 -- chicken enchiladas, glazed carrots, and salad for dinner, with brownies and other baked goods for dessert. Mrs. S whipped up Spanish rice Tuesday afternoon, and it was a good thing: all but 1/2 of the 120 enchiladas were consumed. All of the rice, all of the carrots. There was salad left, but we had overestimated on that. Many people went for seconds, and it was sad to see folks slipping desserts into their bags, trying to conceal it from the kids serving, so that they could get more.

After dinner was cleaned up, we were invited to stay for a short service, then given a tour of the place, including their chapel, of which they're obviously proud. We were told that's there's only a short time of the year where the light is just right, beautifully illuminating the stained  glass windows. Lower sun and leafless trees allow maximum light, and we were treated to this wondrous sight. I obviously couldn't do it justice.
We had hoped to dine on leftover enchiladas, but instead opted for a stop at Jack Frost on the way home, for burgers and shakes. And an early night when we got home -- we were more tired than we realized!

Nick started his allergy shots this week -- knocked him right out!

I like to believe that our home and family are full of moments like this. Not so, but I can pretend when I capture brief moments like this. They were actually trying to come up with something they could both play, but ended up doing their own thing, and then became frustrated with the distraction the other was creating!

Nick had requested a Guitar Center trip. Gaby and Nick's friend Kevin came along. It's like a playland for big kids: guitars and amps everywhere, a drum room, a keyboard room, an acoustic room, a, for lack of a better word, dj room! They could spend hours there, trying out everything, and the staff encourage it.

Gaby's first travel soccer game was Sunday. Soccer is a fall sport here. The girls participate in a different league in the spring, mostly for training. We were told not to get discouraged with the games' outcomes, as many of the teams they would play had been playing together longer. We saw evidence of that alright! The first half of the game, the other team was leading by 7 goals. However, the girls rallied and scored 1 goal in the second half, while holding their opposition. So they really did improve quite a bit. And most importantly, Gaby had fun!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 15

This week's list, for me, was short and sweet. List the famous people you've encountered. A whopping one for me! Yup! That's it! So I'm really hoping to see much more interesting lists from other folks! Come see what we've been up to here

My pathetic list:

The art was fun. I don't use my 10Second Studio stuff enough. Easy. Their metal, their molds, and some copics for colour.

Spring Break

Me thinks I should schedule blogging days. I'm very good at reading everyone else's blogs on a regular basis, but still haven't figured out how to keep up my own!

Just a few photos from Spring Break Week, including Easter, keeping in mind that Nick didn't participate in egg painting this year, wasn't interested in joining us to see The Diary of A Wimpy Kid (can you blame him?!) and then left us for a few days at the shore with friends, on Wednesday. I don't love him less -- he's just absent from the camera, and our activities, more often!!

Because Nick knew he was going to the shore on Wednesday, he insisted we schedule his allergy skin testing as early as possible in the week. Monday morning. I meant to bring my camera to capture the moment as it happened, but alas, the best I could do was a quick shot of his arms when we got home. They looked a lot worse at the doctor's office, with several of the spots red and swollen. Not surprisingly, he's allergic to grasses, trees, pollens, showed a bit of a reaction to ragweed, mold and dogs. No dust! The negative dust made me especially happy, as it blew a hole in the theory that Nick's allergies could be caused or worsened by my housekeeping skills, or lack thereof!

Not too bad by the time I took the photo!

We rushed home from the allergist to paint eggs with the Blankemeyers and Smiths. Lunch and time to hang out, inside. It was wet and yucky outside.

Gaby's beautiful speckled dozen!

Tuesday was unexpectly worse, weather-wise. Rainy, windy, cold. We caught an early showing of Diary of A Wimpy Kid with the Blankemeyers. The kids loved it -- wasn't too bad for the grown ups either. Then we ducked into Ruby Tuesday's for lunch.

Gab's Book Club Wednesday, at Lexi's. Also the day that Nick left for the shore. The weather also did a dramatic about face, after the miserable start to the week.  The girls spent most of their time together outside.

Thursday, Gaby invited her friend Ashton to spend the day and sleepover. Emma Kate joined us for an afternoon at the Doylestown castle park. I packed iced water for the girls, but it was soooooo hot, and remember there's no leaves at this time of the year for shade, so a stop for water ice on the way home, was very necessary, and very welcome!

Gaby took a short break for her evening soccer practice, and Ashton rejoined us to spend the night. And no sleepover is complete without heavy snacking in bed, in front of the television, of course!!

Gaby started feeling a bit yucky that night, and they didn't stay up as late as they usually would. After a pancake breakfast Friday morning, Ashton went home, and Gaby and I spent the afternoon cuddling on the couch, watching New Moon. Some parents might be raising their eyebrows at this, but she's fine with the storyline and the visuals. I'd seen the movie first, and I think she's better off seeing the movies than reading the books, at this age. The books go deeper into the emotions and conflicts the characters experience, and these just don't translate fully to the big screen. Watching with her I can gauge where she's at with the story. She grew up watching Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter movies, so the concept of characters like vampires and werewolves isn't foreign to her. No hiding her eyes, no nightmares, no problem.

She also had a special request for hummus -- doesn't everyone, when they're feeling a bit under the weather?!

Saturday morning, Gab and I headed down to the creek for her to take photos for the Bing Earth Day Photo Contest. Students at her school were encouraged to participate. There are prizes for both students and their schools, and, being Gaby, she's in! I didn't touch the camera, except to carry it when in dangerous proximity to the water. I did download them to her computer and help her upload them to Bing, but they're truly her photos. Check it out if you have time. There's thousands of photos and it's interesting to read some of the kids' descriptions attached!

We were getting anxious for Nick to get home. Gaby insisted on waiting up for him. He didn't show up til after 10, so the poor Easter bunny had to wait til they were sleeping before he showed up too! I'll bet he was very very tired!!

Gaby got up fairly early Sunday morning, checked in with Nick, who confirmed she could hunt for eggs alone, and she was off. And quite excited that the Easter Bunny left more eggs outside this year!

We tried to go to church, but not anticipating the extra people (oh who am I kidding -- we were our usual on time/bordering on late, selves!) there was standing room only, the AC wasn't on, and I thought I was going to pass out about 10 minutes into the service. So  we left before the service ended. Well before it ended.  The good in that was that we could then get to brunch at LuLu at bit earlier. So we did.

Nick's happy to be anywhere in a collared shirt! He does wear it well though!

Me and my girl, seriously difficult to get into any semblance of a picture pose!

Gaby adds her creative touch to every occasion, every holiday. XO

Monday, April 5, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 14

List your hobbies, past and present. Made my list, but I reserve the right to add to it!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool

Just call me an April fool! I figured that with Nick down the shore for a few days, I could let my guard down this morning. Silly me! Never underestimate the will of a 9 year old armed with a netbook and determination!

She was up late last night searching for ideas, grabbed a Trader Joe's shopping bag to fill with the items she would need to carry out her tasks, and set her alarm for the middle of the night, so she could set her traps while we were sleeping.

When I found out she had overslept and didn't hear her alarm last night, I figured I was safe. Dealing with insomnia last night, I was up til after 4, tossing and turning on the couch downstairs. I heard Marc walk into the first trap: plastic wrap at face level, across the bedroom door! She had seen that one on AFV last Sunday and loved it! The only thing missing was a video camera to capture Marc's reaction.

I couldn't see how she could have done much more in the short time she had been awake, so I was feeling pretty confident that this was the end of the April Fool shenanigans. Wrong! As the first person to turn on the kitchen sink, I got SOAKED!! Check it out!

I didn't even notice the purple rubber band. Water sprayed all over my bathrobe, the newspaper that Gaby was reading behind me, and on the island and the floor. I haven't laughed that hard in a while, especially not first thing in the morning! What a great way to start the day! But she wasn't done.

Dressing for the day, Gaby was hanging around. Not unusual for her, but nonetheless I was on my guard. For good reason. When I opened the armoire, a balloon deflated, freaking me out! She had blown up a balloon but left it untied, and pinched the neck of it between the doors, so that when they were opened, the balloon released it's air! Clever girl.

And she still wasn't finished. I ran a couple of quick errands to the hardware store, dry cleaner and post office -- had to mail that census you know -- and when I returned, unbeknownst to me, she had set up the sprayer in the kitchen sink. Again. And I fell for it. Again.

The 'Kick Me' sign didn't work well, and calling my cell phone from the house phone is something she does year round, but the other tricks that I fell victim to, the sprayer and the balloon, were priceless.

As I said, a fun way to wake up, but I'm a bit worried for next year. If this is what she's capable of now, as a solo 9 year old, what might 2011 bring?!