Wednesday, May 26, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 21

I was so proud of myself for photographing this week's list Monday afternoon. I had every intention of posting it when I returned from my book club meeting Monday night. We started early, so finished early. And when I opened the file to do some quick edits, this is what I found:

No 'V'!!

I searched all over the floor, inside and out, since I photograph them outside. I looked all over the dining room table, where I usually create. Nothing.

So I took a 'W' and with a couple of quick snips, turned it ito a 'V'. But waited til daylight Tuesday to photograph it. I also glued down all of the letters. They were self adhesive, but also on clearance, so I think they were past their prime as far as stickiness.

I spent Tuesday packing and cleaning. We overnighted at the airport hotel to get on an early flight this morning to Canada. Winnipeg, where we're from. For my stepdaughter's wedding this Friday.

I figured we'd check in early and after the kids had their swim, I'd still have some productive computer time before turning in.

Should have known we'd leave later than planned. We always do! And internet access wasn't free. That happens a lot too!

So it's Wednesday, we're here, at my parents', free internet, and I'm finally able to share this week's list.

List of my favourite books.

With a 'V'!

My list, with room for more.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Week That Was

Started with a field trip for Gaby's class, to Robbins Park. They recently completed their Native American unit, so this visit tied into that. They reviewed how important fire was. Then tried to start one themselves . . .

Not as easy as it looks!

Wednesday was the orchestras' spring concert. Can you spot Gaby in this picture?

How about this one?

No luck? You can't miss her in this one!

My willing and trusty photographer!

Early dismissal for Gaby. Her wish was to go shopping and locate some desired and elusive silly bandz. She did, and I think she's reached her limit!

Friday was a full day. Starting with the Race for Education, at Gaby's school. Thanks to all of our family and friends for your support. The kids had fun and the school will be able to outfit the remainder of its classrooms with interwrite boards. Last year's first race supplied most of the first half, I believe.

Book club after school. Gaby's book club that is. Harriet the Spy was this month's selection.

Gaby prefers this photo, with all of the girls in their identical poses.

I like this one.


The weekend following Nick's birthday was busy with his Rush shows, Friday and Saturday night. We had decided that this weekend would be best to celebrate with his friends. He chose to take his friends to The Lucky Dog, for sliders. Back home for a movie. Then the boys would spend the night.

Gaby and I headed home from book club to round up those teenagers waiting for us. The Flyers were playing Boston in game 7 of the Stanley Cup quarter finals, so the place was packed. Once we got a table, it was fun to be a part of the excitement!

Even though Gaby and I got our own table, she couldn't stay away from Nick and his friends. I should have brought a book!

We made sure the boys left with full bellies in the morning.

Then, a full day of work ahead of us. It was finally time to assemble the hot tub. The hot tub package was delivered at the end of January 2009. Two thousand nine! Sixteen months ago.

Too long a story to bore folks with here. Just typical us. The cabinets in the office have needed staining and hardware going on 2 years now. We were relieved that we hadn't refinished our floors before getting Roxi, over 2 years ago. But she's been housebroken for a while now. And the fence. Don't get me started on the fence!

But today was the day of the hot tub. And, as it turned out, the gazebo! It's a shame that we picked a day with such a high pollen count, because it really limited Nick's ability to pitch in. He helped with assembling and sealing the tub itself, and sanded the top. But that probably wasn't a good idea, as he's got a number of tree allergies. Maybe it wasn't sanding the cedar, so much as working under the black walnut tree, which he IS allergic to! He used every medicine at his disposal, and had to throw in the towel when they started assembling the benches. So I gave up my feeble attempt at weeding and worked on the tub instead. And once that was done, we assembled the gazebo. Gaby and Marc took on the sealing of the hot tub itself. That was Saturday.

Sunday was busy with Sunday school, church and travel soccer, so we didn't get much more done outside. The weather turned cooler for the week, so this is where we've left it. The benches still have to be finished before the tub can be filled. And then there's the matter of heating it. Wood fired. Yup. Gotta build a fire.

At that, I'm hopeless. Marc has dreams of heating the house with wood, or at least supplementing our oil heat. He'll get a nice roaring fire going, leave me to tend to it, and I'll kill it. Without meaning to. I'm missing the fire building gene, obviously!

He's promised that he can get a gas hook up for the hot tub, so I'll have a way to use it when he's not around, or to get it started before he gets home. Because he won't be able to rely on me if he wants to come home to a 'hot' hot tub!

When I was a little girl, I wasn't afraid of a Daddy long legs (or Dandy long legs) but I certainly wouldn't pick one up and let it crawl all over me. Still won't. We're alike in many ways, but not that one!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 20

Getting back on track -- only posting a day later than I should be this week!

List 20 is my list of ways I have changed since my teens. 

I just picked up a set of TH impression folders by Sizzix. Love them! They seem to offer more detail and definition than those by Cuttlebug. I inked the big tag and sanded the small one.

Typically, the things that I thought were important back then, aren't now. But the one thing I've realized is how much I need my girlfriends. Not in the cliquey, hanging with the right crowd kind of way, but in how we lift up and support each other. I truly believe it's women who make the world go round! But of course, I ran out of room before I could add this observation. There's been a lot going on lately that reinforces this realization.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mother's Day

At Sunday School

At home.

At Sunday School, we invited the Moms back early to enjoy 'tea' with their kids. Our students are Pre-K and K, so they loved setting up the table with lovely flowered plates and napkins and special cups for the (iced) tea. We scrambled to finish up special cards for the Moms before they came back. It was fun.

At home, we took it easy. We decided to go to an afternoon showing of Iron Man 2 and grab an early dinner out when the show was over. We dined at Bertucci's and took home doggie bags full enough for dinner for Monday. A double Mother's Day bonus for me!


Last weekend, Nick performed in the Rush show at the School of Rock. The students are divided into 5 groups, and each group is assigned to a particular show. This season, they did The Clash vs The Sex Pistols, Rush, Women That Rock, King Diamond and David Bowie. If Nick couldn't get King Diamond, Rush was his second choice, so he was happy. They rehearse for for almost 3 months and each show is performed twice over its own weekend. Last Friday and Saturday was Rush. And the kids were great!

When I think of Rush, there're probably only a handful of songs that come to mind. To fill an evening with 25 or so songs, I knew there would be many that weren't familiar to me. Didn't matter. They were all fabulous!

I marvel at these shows. They're so professionally presented. The musicians are amazing and they have amazing poise and confidence. On stage, they're all business. You forget they're the same kid who at home has to be reminded three times to clean up his room.

I asked Nick on the way to the show on Friday night if he was nervous at all. He said no. Just excited to finally be performing. He was confident and he was ready. And it showed.

And the rest of last week

Yes, that's Nick playing out front of the Shop 'n Bag grocery store. Wednesday the 5th of May was Upper Dublin Education Day. The store donated a portion of the days' proceeds, as they do every year, all levels of students provide entertainment, there's grilled burgers and dogs available for purchase and prizes for shoppers as well. The parking lot is the place to be. All day.

Nick wasn't required to be there til 3:30, so I dropped him off and picked up Gaby at school, so she could enjoy Nick's performance. Since Marc was still out of town and we had to hurry out that evening for Open House at Gaby's school, I opted for dinner there too. Great burgers!!

Who'd have thought we could have much fun in a grocery store parking lot? So much, that no one wanted to leave!

But Open House was next on the agenda. As the kids get older, there're not as many opportunities for parents to participate in classroom activities. Open House is a way for parents to get a glimpse into what's been going on at school.

Gaby love love loves her teacher this year! Me too!!

Back to school bright and early Thursday morning for Muffins with Mom. This is an event held over the course of three days. Two grades/day are invited to enjoy muffins with their Moms or other important female, at 8:00. While Gaby loves to go on our day, we usually volunteer to help on one or both of the other days. So this was our third earlier than usual morning, after having gotten up early for Nick's birthday on Tuesday, and muffin 'set up' on Wednesday and Thursday.

Nary came over one morning and wouldn't let me photograph her. So this is what we ate. Sitting outside. It was a beautiful day. Unlike this week, that started out with us building fires. But that's another post!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One year til he's Behind the Wheel!

That's one year from May 4th! Playing catch up again!

When you have to be out the door at 6:40 in the morning to get the bus, the party's gotta start pretty early! Now Gaby was fully prepared to get up at 6 so we could sing to Nick and watch him open his gifts. Nick, on the other hand, wasn't too sure he didn't want to do the same as every other morning: hit the snooze and/or wait til Mom got him up at 6:20. But with Gaby so willing to get up an hour early, Nick figured he wouldn't ignore his alarm this time.

So he got up, let us serenade him, and snuffed all of the candles with one blow.

He's not looking too awake when the lights go up!

He got everything he wanted, including a custom cookie cake and sign, by Gab.

Nick gobbled down his breakfast so he could play a quick round of Dragonball Z, the new game Gaby gave him for his birthday.

We had dinner at OOKA. Hibachi and sushi for the birthday boy. Marc was away, and Nick's friend Jess joined us.

After the perfect sushi dinner, fried bananas and another round of Happy Birthday!

Art for List 19

It's just been one of those weeks. As a matter of fact, I can honestly say that I've never had a week like this before in my whole life.

Here's what I did for List 19, my list of acts of kindness.

I found this great stencil book that came with 28 stencils. I used one of those stencils, and a few different shades of blue ink pads, the tsukineko tear drop ones. The outlines are with mostly silver and a bit of gold uniball pens. Some gems, a felt flower, and the blue tassel trim to finish up the bottom. Done and fun!

I'm still working on this list. I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of them. And I can't come up with short answers for this list. They all seem to require a bit more of an explanation.  That's all for now folks!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 19

Crazy busy this week -- still don't have my own done, but here's the list for this week.

List your acts of kindness.

My listography book, which I've used every week so far, suggests a list for your biggest acts of kindness. I don't consider any of my acts of kindness as very big, so I took the big part out!

And I apologize for the delay. I should be able to get back on track for next week. We had a lot going on last week and up til tonight. Which I should also get around to sharing here, but haven't yet. Maybe it's a good thing that the weather is dreary, cold and rainy -- I'll get to my list of inside things, which is no shorter than the outside list!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 18

For this week, a list of my favourite movie stars. Hmmmm. I cheated and googled both fave actors and actresses. I was drawing a blank on my own. This is another one of those lists that I think I'll come up a few more for, the more I think on it.

More fun with recycling. All of the stars were punched from saved scraps of boxes, packaging, paint chips and old art projects. Except for the star on the top left, which was punched from a DSW mailing that came today. It's a shoe! I thought it was pretty cool. You know, one of those 'guess what I am' things! Ahh, can you tell I've been home alot and haven't had many grown up conversations in the last couple of days.

I'd say my list is favourite movie stars I like to watch, not necessarily all, always, for their acting. Sometimes, what gets you through a movie is just who's trying to pull it off. Escape!


Last Saturday, is now history. Planning, anxiety and a lot of effort from many hands, and Julie and Nick pulled off a lovely evening. Transforming our parish hall from that to a coffeehouse seemed like it would be a bit of a stretch, but with the proper lighting, including candles in the tables, and heavy Family stages equipment shares, three sofas hauled from upstairs, some comfy chairs, and a variety of tables, the room looked great. Sean the barista provided fancy coffees, and the mission trip team baked up a variety of cookies and cakes. Talent performers, most from our high school surprised and entertained.

The opening act, first of a string of greats

All ages enjoyed the evening.

Nick and Julie, drawing for a pair of U2 concert tickets at the end of the evening.

I didn't recognize the winners' name, but Julie obviously did!

365 bits of the past fortnight

I can't think of a better way to start a week than with dinner delivered by wonderful friends and neighbors. Elise and Julie brought over chicken enchiladas, salads, and yummy triple chocolate mocha cookies. Filled our bellies for a couple of days, and filled our hearts for much longer.

Elusive, reclusive and just not really in our presence enough. As Mom, I like to balance the number of photos between son and daughter, but as the photographer, it's nearly impossible. Just a fact of life with a teenager. This is the way I see Nick a lot these days: coming and going, loading and unloading his guitar. Rehearsals, lessons, practicing with friends. That guitar is in and out of our car as much as Nick is!

It may not be their favourite way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but sometimes, it's the only chance we have to be together. And if there's work to be done, that's what we're doing!

Gaby was in a cleaning mood, shining up my car inside and out. Saturday was spent on outside work and Sunday was the day to take care of things inside.

This is why:

The last Sunday in April, we were bundled in blankets and winter jackets, huddles against the cold, wind and drizzle.

Playing soccer on a wet field leads to soggy tootsies!

A week later, the first Sunday in May:

They had to work to stay hydrated and rotate in and out of the game frequently.

Spring in PA -- you never know what you'll get.

In 4th grade, next year, band is introduced. I think we've finally got Gaby convinced that the sax should be her intrument, especially since we have one.

Marc shows her how its done.

If you can't figure out where a new piece of electronics should go, maybe there's really no room and need for it! (Of course Marc would say the same witnessing my squeezing in more art and scrapbook supplies!)

The Allied Arts show at the high school, with a soccer practice scrunched in between. The show encompasses all grade levels. By the time they reach the high school level, the standard of work these kids are putting together is mind boggling. I could spend the whole evening there it wouldn't be enough. Amazing!

We thought an evening out would be fun last Thursday. Not only was Marc leaving on Friday for almost a week, but he's gone for Nick's birthday as well. Again. Sucks, but such is the nature of his work.

Squeezing in some Dad-help Friday morning. Math is definitely his area of expertise.

There's just not enough room for the 3 of us (thank goodness), though Marc would rather sleep with Roxi. Her breath's better!

Please explain why, with a perfectly good DOUBLE bed in the room, they choose to camp out on the floor?! Didn't last though. They both ended up settling in on the bed for the night.

Up early and somewhat bright for bring a friend to Sunday school pajama day. Breakfast first!

Mmmmmm. French toast and sausages.

Another favourite last photo. Picking up a coffee after dropping Nick at his Sunday evening rehearsal, I noticed all of the geese families everywhere. They are NOT popular here! They, and their poop, are everywhere. Their droppings aren't pleasant to step in, and are slippery when wet. Really! They hold up traffic during their many forays to 'the other side of the road'. And they're fierce in their protection of their young. But who wouldn't be? I mean, look at these adorable fluffballs. This family was out for a stroll near the Starbucks. I kept my distance, snapping this from the parking lot. In another couple of weeks they'll be bigguns, losing their fluff and cuteness, and in a little while longer, they'll look like the grown ups. But for now, we forget our disdain for them and ooh and awe at their cuteness!