Monday, June 28, 2010

Last Day of School (10 days ago)

It's my blog, and I can post any way I want to. Forwards, backwards, sideways. Right now, I'm going backwards!

I would love to be like some of my favourite bloggers, who post regularly, some daily, with photos and everything! In my ideal world, that's what I would do.

Things aren't always ideal, and posts aren't created on the day they occur. In my world.

I want to write about the last day of school. Here it is!

Our district always has the kids attend for almost 2 hours on the last day. The elementary students receive their report cards that day and do little else. The older students all receive theirs in the mail anyway. This year, Nick's first year of high school, he didn't attend the last two days on the calendar. They had exams the last week, with the last couple of days for rewrites. He wrote two exams on the Monday, and one each on Tuesday and Wednesday Those days, he was home before 10, and was able to sleep in on Thursday and Friday. So the last day of high school doesn't come with the drama that an elementary school's last day holds.

I've always tried to pick up Nick and Gaby at school on their last day and snap one last photo of them with their outgoing teacher. Some years are easier than others, depending on what else is going on at the school. If the fifth grade promotion ceremony has been rained out/delayed til that last day, there's people everyone and no one minds another parent drifting in.

But this year, the halls were pretty quiet. One of the math teachers gave me the OK to proceed to Gab's classroom. Talk about taking me back to my childhood. Those wide grins I was walking against on my way to find Gaby put an equally wide grin on my face. They were ecstatic and I recalled that same feeling of spilling out of the school one last time, all papers and books in hand, not returning for 2 months. That's 2 months, not 10 weeks. In Canada, we always went to the very end of June.

But we were lucky enough to leave with our teacher assignment for the next year, and supply list, in hand. I so wish they did that at Jarr, but in all the years that I've had kids there, it's never happened. Letters are sent out within two weeks of school starting up in September, indicating the teacher for the coming year. At least, in the past few years, the teaching teams have come up with a combined generic supply list to get us started. For people like me, who like to hit Target as soon as they're clearing out the red, white and blue of the 4th, this is great. The prices offered in July are 25% of what you'd pay any other time of year, especially if you shop the sales through the summer. Markers that are $4 any other time, can be had for less than $1 on sale.

Getting back on track and off of my little nostalgic stroll, I caught Gaby and her favourite teacher of all time, Mrs. F. I agree with Gaby, Mrs. F is one heckuva teacher. Nick didn't have her, but she's been in that school as long as he was. And she has a son Nick's age, so we'll always be parents of Class of 2019 students. I'm glad for that, because not only is she an amazing teacher, she's an all around great person too.

Got my picture!

Another last day of school tradition has been lunch at the place of their, Nick and Gab's, choice. There were a few years of McD's when Nick was in elementary school, a BK in there somewhere, and a couple of Olive Gardens I think. They also opted for Coldstone one year -- straight to dessert! This year, though Nick chose Oliver Garden, Gaby convinced him that KFC was a better choice. Well, not really. He just decided to be a nice guy and go with her choice.

Nick couldn't wait til we got home to eat his snackers.

Finger lickin' good.

It was our turn to host Gaby's book club meeting, and we ended up holding it that afternoon. The girls munched and nibbled, played outside, running through the sprinkler, blew some bubbles, and did have a brief discussion about the selection, Matilda, by Roald Dahl. They also watched a bit, but not all, of the movie version. Just ran out of time.

Wrapped up the day with smores outside.

We cheated and used the smore maker. Just light the little sterno, adjust the flame, and instant fire for roasting those marshmallows. It's great for year round smores, but we've come to use anytime we're at home and a craving for smores hits. Faster than building a fire and waiting for those coals to burn down.

Nick takes his time and slow roasts his marshmallows to warm and gooey perfection, inside and out. Gaby just plunges in and lets them flame up and char. I prefer method number one, or at least I did in the days when I would roast and eat a marshmallow.

And lastly, a few sparklers to further celebrate the beginning of summer break!

52 Lists for 2010 - List 26

Halfway already!! I cannot believe the year is half over, as is this challenge. I'll have to photograph my lists so far. The whole pile is getting pretty fat and chunky and interesting looking!

This week's list, is the list of hangouts from my past.

My dear flickr friend and partner in crime in this challenge, Stacy, sent me an awesome RAK last week. Not one, but two packages stuffed with fabulous goodies! Everything I used this week was from her, and I didn't even make a dent in all of that stuff. Actually, I used my ink to colour the grungeboard, a bit of gesso to cover up a redo, one of my markers, and my own adhesive. But everything else came from her. Lucky girl, aren't I?!

I guess I didn't really have many hangouts. My Winnipeg friends would recognize these. I suppose I stopped 'hanging out' when I became a Mom and moved away. The list IS supposed to be hangouts from my past. Though I could have included some parks and playgrounds from when my kids were toddlers, like the EPI, the castle playground in Doylestown, even the McD's on 309 with the outdoor playland. That was a good place for Jen and I to meet with our preschool girls when she moved a bit north. Those are really the only hangouts I've had since moving here. Scrapbook, art and craft stores too, but those aren't in my past!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Manon Was Here

We had the pleasure of Manon's company for a brief three days last week. Her graduating class celebrated by embarking on a Carribbean cruise out of Miami. Instead of heading back to Winnipeg, she stopped here for a quick visit. Her timing was perfect -- she arrived Sunday evening, Father's Day, and returned to Winnipeg the day after Marc's birthday. Sweet and much too short!

Straight to Manyunk from the airport, for Father's Day dinner at a restaurant called Cooper's. Everything was really good. REALLY good!

So happy she's here!

The perfect end to Father's Day.

Swim lessons in the neighbour's pool.

Sleeping Beauty

Dinner . . .

. . . and a movie in the backyard. FINALLY got to see Avatar! But watching a long movie on the longest day of the year made for a late night!

Dinner at Tequila Joe's.

Marc LOVED his birthday gifts and the kids loved giving them!

The course Marc golfs at, has started a birthday dinner celebration each month to celebrate those born that month. They had the June dinner on Marc's actual birthday. His friend Avi, who's birthday is also the 23rd, joined us. There was even a birthday cake!

Before we knew it, Manon was jetting back to Winnipeg on an early morning flight. Glad you came sweetie, but sorry it couldn't be longer! Miss you big big big!!

Off to West VA

Nick left this morning for our church's annual youth mission trip. This year's destination is West VA.  While the kids aren't excited about leaving behind their electronics -- mp3 players and cell phones -- they're looking forward to wrapping up the week with a white water rafting trip.

The whole group, kids and adult leaders. The Jacobys once again created fabulous shirts for the team.

Just the kids.

The adult leaders/chaperones. THEY'RE allowed to carry their cell phones!

Pastor Hy offered a send off blessing.

Some of the boys.

Final farewell at the airport. Can you spot Nick waving?

We got our phone chain call early this evening that they had arrived safe and sound. Four full days of mission work, a day of fun and a day to get home. God bless them all and keep them safe.

Now, if Nick were home, he'd probably be in his room. I don't see much of him when he is around, but that doesn't stop me from missing him! Can't WAIT for his return.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 25

Lots going on in between posting lists, but so much, that I haven't found the time to write about it. But I must soon! Manon's here right now, so that's one of the reasons -- we're just having too much fun with her!

On time again, because I started this before midnight even though it will show posted Tuesday!

For this week, my list of the best days of my life.

I did the words with copics and cut them out, but was really more concerned with the shaping rather than the shading. And it shows. Would have been fine to use regular markers! But I do like the background, which was a scrap from several years back that I just rediscovered last week.

I had been making thank you cards and this was a leftover bit of bleach on black, with the image stamped again in ink over the dried bleach image. Love this effect on dark cardstock -- black, brown, navy. Gotta do more of that.

I keep thinking of more days, like my birthday beach day in Rehoboth DE, in, I think, 2004. And the first weekend Marc and I spent together. Both days were perfect -- Canadian Thanksgiving 1992. Must add a second page!

Monday, June 14, 2010

52 Lists for 2010 - List 24

Two weeks in a row -- it's still Monday!!

This week's list is the list of jobs you've had.

Used a whole bunch of 7gypsies tape on this, to cover up a piece of cardboard that was to have been the base on a previous list. I messed up so saved the piece for a day just like today! The Canada charm is one I picked up in the clearance jewellry findings at AC Moore, the letters are some velvety black ones from MM, hard to place because they keep losing their shape. A few stickers, and done.

Not a terribly exciting work history. But it's mine! I decided to clarify that this is my paid work history. I like to think my list would be much longer if I simply listed all of the jobs I've held (hold!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Honeymoon in Vegas!

Winnipeg's airport's international gates (meaning to the US) are back to back, and our flight back to Philly departed within minutes of Pier and Nathan's flight to Vegas for their short honeymoon getaway, so we got to see them one more time. Yeah, it was 6:30 in the morning, but it's nice to see them anytime. One more time is a bonus!

Love you and miss you Mr. and Mrs.!! XO

A Birthday Celebration

Sometimes, the photos say it all!

Some mood music by Nick and company!

In case you were wondering, there were 2 full size Jeanne's Bakery Cakes for us to enjoy. One banana, one red velvet. For Marc and I, growing up in Winnipeg, you can't have a birthday without a Jeanne's cake. Linda even picked one up for us when we had dinner at her place the night before. Marc's parents bring them when they come to visit. They're only available in Winnipeg, but they do make heavy duty carrying boxes for transporting long distances. And they freeze well!

Day Last

I may or may not have taken this photo on Sunday morning. Most mornings in Winnipeg looked like this while we were there. As a matter of fact, we've been home for over a week, and it's still raining there. To the point where it's a grave concern. Crops are in serious jeopardy and when the rain finally lets up, in 3 or 4 days they forecast, there will be a grace period of about a week before the skeeters come out in full force. With all of that standing water in all of those ditches and flat prairies, they'll be deadly.

But while that was going on outside, we were happy to get more family time inside. Linda dropped by for a quick coffee.

And some hugs!

And hugs from Manon too!  She and Pier and the bubs and Nathan and Maddie all came for a quick visit before we headed back to their end of town for a birthday party!

So nice to get a few more hours with them!

I have this same picture taken 9 months ago. It's funny how much more excited I get about photos of these sweethearts when the opportunities are few and far between.

Marc and I didn't plan our matchy matchy outfits. They do make a great backdrop for the bubs, don't they?

The more kids you add to a picture, and the more pictures you take, the greater your chances of getting a bad picture. And once it increased to five, I couldn't get a good photo!

This is the first time I had the opportunity to photograph Maddie, as it was the first time we met her. She looks so much like Nathan it's uncanny. I'll have to find some good toddler pictures of him. We have a badge on the bulletin board in the kitchen, with a photo of Nathan from his baseball years. He couldn't have been much more than 5 or 6 in that picture, and it shows so clearly the resemblance between the two of them. In the chaos of the day and with just meeting her for the first time, I wasn't able to get a photo of just the two of them. I'll have to see if Nathan can send me one. I'd love to post it and share the story of the two of them. He's grown up to be a  fine young man and we're so very proud of him.

Another Day in The Peg

After our lunch, we made a quick trip to Polo Park. Why, you ask? So that Marc could buy an espresso machine to haul back on the plane. Why not? He already had his clubs. We had 3 computers and 2 cameras. Why not an espresso machine?

Apparently it was a better price. Or, with the US dollar gaining strength, it was a better deal after converting CDN to US. Though when you factor in the taxes that we forgot to collectg on our way out of the country, maybe not such a great deal. But Marc's happy with the coffee and that's what matters, right?!

We were then off to sister Linda's for dinner and Kulbaba family time. And to check out their house that was under construction when we visited last, Christmas 2008. The house that is sold and they'll be out of when next we visit on August. They're building again, on a lot a couple of doors down, and that is where they plan to stay. We'll see about that!!

That's Auntie Verna checking out the wedding pictures on my computer. Derrick, who's voice has deepened and body has lengthened, is munching beside her, and Dustin and Nick are just hanging. Derrick came to my Mom and Dad's on Wednesday, the day we arrived, and it took Marc awhile to realize that it was actually Derrick and not big bro Dustin!

Marc and Auntie Judy. She never takes a bad picture.

Cousin Jo and her beau. She never takes a bad picture either!

Those who weren't interested in watching the first Stanley Cup play off game played games of our own. First a round of Things, then a couple of games of Apples to Apples. I can't recall who won, but I know it wasn't me. I think Derrick won one. Any input would be greatly appreciated, so credit can be given where properly due. I do remember we had FUN!!