Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's the End of School as we Know it!

And we feel great!! [this is the little diddy that I've heard non-stop over the past day and a half] These kids are so excited to be off for summer holidays, as is their mother...

Here are a few last day things I have to share:

You don't think they change, as much as they do. Until you take a picture of the first day of school, and put it side by side with the last day of school. They've both gained a couple of inches since they started in September. Mason is looking more like a big boy and less like a little boy... Does that make sense? Madelyn went from being super shy, the first day, to being totally comfortable and excited about school. Hard to believe I'll have a child in division one AND two next year.

I didn't do class gifts this year. I have in the past. But I had to stop, because between the two kids, there was over 70 kids... Eeks. But I did do teacher's presents. For the teachers, I found this printable here, and just basically made my own version using photoshop. I used an actual Starbucks coffee sleeve, cut it down, glued it on [making sure a gift card would fit] The kids each drew their own picture for the front of the card, I placed this inside the card. I had also found these apple soap filled dispensers on sale around Christmas. [They'd been selling them last September for back to school, so I scored big!]

Mason's teacher got one little extra. I found this printable here. I fixed it up a bit in photoshop, added a few embellishments, the date, and popped it into a frame. Mason had a great teacher this year. I was pretty sure this would be right up here alley, something she could keep on her desk at school. [I hope any way]

This is where things get tricky... There are 2 ladies who work in the office, and the librarian. They do SO much, and to me kind of get over-looked. So for them I made up these:

They are double insulated for the cold, I picked the drink containers up at Superstore, and filled them with these Tetley Infusions. All 3 were genuinely pleased to get these. It makes me feel good to let them know that all their 'behind the scenes' work, is very appreciated.

These few things were waiting for the kids upon their arrival home.

They were beyond excited to receive these journals. My only concern is that the disposable camera has only 27 pictures, and they have no idea what that really means. All they know are digital cameras! So it's been a challenge just since yesterday, to keep the picture taking down to a minimum. Madelyn has already filled in the first page of her summer journal. If I can get them to keep up with it, it will be a great keepsake for the years to come. I found the idea for this summer journal on a blog, that for the life of me I can not link to... Don't know what the problem is.

This cool dude got an award yesterday, in front of the whole school, for perfect attendance. We're pretty darn proud of you buddy!

And last but not least, the I'm bored jar, is sitting on the counter ready to go. I don't think we'll have a chance to use it before we come back from our summer holiday [which is a good thing] But it's there and visible and ready to go.

Monday, June 27, 2011

He's Nine...

I look at this little man, and I can't help but wonder where the years have gone. We just celebrated Mason's 9th birthday. Finally, the celebrations are over... [He had 3 parties and a dinner out for heaven's sake!]

This is the last of the single digit numbers. Sigh... I still look at him and see my baby.

Happy Birthday my sweet nine year old boy! I love you so very much.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Week in the Life is Coming!

Ali Edwards is going to be documenting a Week in the Life, July 25th to 31st. Find out more information here. I'm planning on participating again this year!

Echo Park Layouts and Father's Day Goodies

I don't very often share my scrapbook pages one my blog. The main reason, is because at the end of the year I print my blog into a book, and it seems redundant to have all my layouts in the book and in a separate album. Plus it would take up a lot more space, and make my blog book that much more costly.

Having said that, I'm including these layouts, because I'm submitting them to Echo Park's Fresh Face Campaign.

I can't imagine how dreamy it would be, to work on something you adore... [You know, for me, that would include scrapbooking] If I were to win, I would be the recipient of the latest Echo Park Collection Kit and be able to pick another kit of my choice! Be still my beating heart...

I love Echo Parks lines of paper and embellishments. I've been scrapbooking for 13+ years, and I have loved every stage. I have to admit, I cringe a little when I look at my wedding album... That was when fancy scissors were all the rage. Eeks... When I first went digital a couple of years ago, I have to be honest and say I was a bit skeptical... Now, I love, love, LOVE it. I can't imagine not scrapbooking this way.

I do still enjoy working with actual paper. I love to craft and glue and paint and stick things down. I love to take pictures. I love creating layouts. I just enjoy the entire process. So, here are my few things to submit to Echo Park. I'm super excited.

[supplies: from Echo Park's Walk in the Park collection; papers and alphabet/number/flag; Staples used from Michelle Underwood_That was Yesterday; stitching and ric rac from Splendid Fiins_ Feed Sack Stitches; Lucida Bright, font used; software: PSE 7; size 12x12 ]

The main color theme for Madelyn's birthday party was orange/pink and turquoise. I love how I was able to accentuate those colours with this particular line of papers. I wanted to include a mixture of birthday decor as well as the party festivities, so I chose to create a multi picture collage. I also chose to desaturate the colour in a few of the photos, so the colours weren't fighting with one another.

[supplies: from Echo Park's For the Record collection; papers and alphabet and embellishments; Amelie, Century Gothic, fonts used; software: PSE 7; size 8.5x11 ]

My kids love to play on their 'borrowed' Nintendo DS. I am a bit of a stick in the mud, when it comes to how much time is spent on them. This particular rainy day, the house was alarmingly quiet, and I went to find out why. I wanted to focus a layout on this one photo [that they didn't even know I'd taken] I love the simplicity of this layout, with only one picture. I like how the scalloped border perfectly finishes off the layout.

And finally, here is a little craft I did for the men in our life for Father's Day. They were very simple to make. I bought the golf tee's at the dollar store, measured the top cardboard part of the tee's and printed off paper to cover it. All 3 packages had the same base color, then all are slightly different using co-ordinating papers. The wording simply says: Recipient, We think you're TEE-rific! Happy Father's Day!
I wrapped some twine around them, and adhered an embellishment with a dob of glue from a glue gun.

The fellas were pleased to get them, and I found out, they hate to waste money buying golf tees! I didn't have the heart to say I got them for one dollar!

[supplies: from Echo Park's For the Record collection; papers and embellishments; Century Gothic, fonts used; software: PSE 7; twine and tee's from the dollar store]

Blackberry Test... A miss....

Last night, I sat at the kitchen table with Barry's blackberry. And I thought, How does this thing work?

So I just started pressing buttons [Mason told me once, just keep pressing buttons until it works Mummy] and voila, got into my blog! Mind you, he was talking about a remote control for the TV/receiver/stereo/dvd/vcr player... That's right, with one MASTER remote control that controls multiple devices. Which I can't for the life of me, figure out... And yes, I curse every time I need to help them with it... Because it seems more confusing, than just using what we had previously... Any way, that's another topic all together. Back to my discovery last night.

Once into my blog, all I was able to do was post a title. I couldn't get into the body [which is a good thing, or my thumbs may have cramped up from thumb typing on something 2x3 inches] But I had a realization last night... I realized, that if I had technology at my finger tips, like a bazillion people seem to... Would I be just the same as them? Would I go to swim lessons and surf the net. Would I go on field trips and surf the net. Would I wait at gymnastics and do a blog entry...

Well, would I?

Initially I think yes. Because even last night, sitting at the kitchen table, there was a thrill that I was able to access something that I normally need a computer to do... And then I started to think about it... [Because I'm in negotiations right now, with my boss, to upgrade to an iphone]

Last week, at the pool, watching the kids in their swim lessons, there were 9 adults sitting there, and out of those 9, there were 3 of us who actually watched the kids. The rest were plugged into their little technology devices... One even appeared to be watching a tv show/movie with head phones on... Like, seriously? How can we teach our kids, that part of life is being a bit bored, when the truth is, part of life is about being a bit bored?

Are the kids of this generation, just going to be plugged in all the time? The last time I was at the mall, I saw Mum's pushing kids in strollers with portable dvd movies on... If you go for groceries, there are kids in the carts watching tv shows playing on iphones/itouches...

Am I the only one who thinks this is bad? A recipe for disaster? Is it not important to teach kids that there is a lot of idle times during life, and how to get through those times?

So I think I can honestly answer with a no. No. I don't want to get caught up in the technology of being available for texts/emails/web surfing where ever I go. I want to be plugged in to my kids. Is it boring, yes, sometimes it is. At my last field trip, I watched one child continually look over to see if her Mum was watching her... She wasn't. She was watching the screen on her iphone. I think it's important for my kids to know I'm watching them... They are what matters. What they're doing counts. I love the smile I get, when I give them the thumbs up sign after they've tried something. Because of COURSE they look over to see if I've watched them do it.

After spending time thinking about this... Maybe I'll shut down the negotiations for the iphone. I do have a cell phone. Seriously, what more do I need?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day Barry. We hope you know how much you're loved and appreciated.

I had the kids each fill out a Father's Day survey. It asked questions and they each had to put in their own answers. They were both thrilled to give him their survey. It's a special keepsake for him to keep as well. [For example, it asked how much does your Daddy Weigh and how tall is he? Madelyn answered 50 pounds and 100 feet tall.]

They both had so much fun as Barry read through the questions and answers.

I ordered a book from Shutterfly, and it turned out awesome. I think Bar loves it, and really, that's the goal right? To get something that he's not expecting, and hope that he loves it. It's got pictures of mostly him and the kids, a few of him and I, and some family shots. Love these books. This is the 3rd one we've got now. They are a cherished keepsake for sure.

Daddy spent most of the day working in his office. [The closer a deadline looms, the busier work gets right?] Late this afternoon, we went and played mini golf, between rain showers. We lucked out, because while we were there, it was lovely. There was a bit of a wind, thank goodness, or the mosquito's would have actually carried us away.

I made burgers [which Bar did have to BBQ] and a delish brownie, that we all happily gobbled down. Then there were a few gifties. He got the surveys, the photo book. Madelyn did a picture for him at school. I bought him a new alarm clock docking station that he can use with his ipod. [You see how I luck out with this purchase too? After all, we do share a room! ] He was pleasantly surprised.

Happy Father's Day to the best Daddy and husband!

And Happy Father's Day to my Dad too of course! Thanks Dad, for always being there for me, and for being the best Dad a girl could have. This year at the lake, I'm totally gonna take some pictures of us... When I went to post a picture of us, I had a hard time finding one...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mason's Lego Birthday

Perhaps I was a bit optimistic thinking I'd blog about Mason's party last night. The party came and went, and fun was had by all. This morning I asked Mason if he had a good birthday party and he said "Mum, it wasn't a good party, it was a great party" Then he hugged me and thanked me. And that one moment, is what makes all the work I go to, worthwhile.

Here is a look at his birthday invitation, and some of the decorations. For the invites, Mason selected 9 of his favourite guys, and we had a photo shoot with them. I made Lego head cookies, and I was thrilled with how they turned out. I made my own template, and was a bit skeptical when I first started. The cookies went home with loot bags.

I had seen the idea for drinking out of Mason jars when I had done Madelyn's party. Such a great way to keep every one's glasses straight. I copied the idea again [and will probably continue to do so]. Once everyone arrived, we had a 'Lego creation challenge'. All the kids had to create a Lego 'something' and then the kids voted, Survivor-style. [They weren't allowed to vote for their own creation, they had to vote for someone else's] I had intended this to be a 20-30 minute time slot, but they spent over an hour on them. Everyone had fun [so it seemed] playing with Lego!

Mason requested BBQ-ed hot dogs and nachos and cheese for his meal. Had to get a picture of 24 dogs on the BBQ, I think they ALL got eaten! I was amazed at how many hot dogs some of these kids could eat!

I had these two movies playing throughout the evening. I thought the first one, the Adventures of Clutch Powers was maybe a little bit young for the group, but they wouldn't let me turn it off! So I'm assuming they didn't think it was too young. Then, afterwards I put on the Hero Factory movie, which was met with great excitement.
Ahhhh, the birthday cake. Mason isn't a fan of birthday cake, but he loves donuts. I'd seen the idea to make a donut cake, and he was thrilled with the idea. Again, he picked out some of his favourite Lego guys, and they decorated the 'cake'. I drizzled some green icing over the donuts and long johns, just to tie in the Lego colours. I used plain glazed donuts, chocolate and maple iced long johns.

Was it loud in my house? Indeed it was... But these guys all had a great time. For the most part everyone was very well behaved. There was the burping contest at one point... Who could burp the loudest... But I guess that is something that can be expected with a bunch of 8 and 9 year olds. The running and jumping was kept to a minimum. [The movies definitely helped in that department] I had planned to do give everyone a Lego kit, and have a contest to see who could build it the fastest, before putting them in the loot bags. However, we ended up sticking the kits into the loot bags, un-opened. The kids were having too much fun just doing their own 'free building' with the bins of Lego we had out.

Mason got a lot of.... Lego for his birthday! He was thrilled of course. Him and his Dad have a similar opinion, it's you can never have too much Lego! I on the other hand, just came from my family room... There is Lego scattered everywhere... I think there can be too much Lego!

Below are some of the blogs I got ideas from:

Lego bunting:

Lego Printable Freebie:


Friday, June 17, 2011

Birthday Party Countdown...

I'm a little less than 3 hours away from Mason's birthday party. I will have 10 little boys ranging from 8 to 9 years old. [I will also have a 6 year old sister, who is bound to get her feelings hurt] Because seriously, who wants their little sister lurking around at their birthday party? Having said that, he lurked around her birthday party, so it's all fair. They get along great, but there is a bit of drama associated with her... I hope no feelings will get hurt. Wish us luck!

Decorating, done. Meal plan, done. Snacks, done. Games, in place. Cake finished... I can't wait to share pictures later on, after the guests have come and gone. [I will likely be doing so with a large glass of wine... wink, wink]

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Texture Tuesday - June 14th

Right now our city is in the middle of a battle. An epic battle. We're at war with nature. It's us against them. I'm sad to say, we're losing the battle. Dandelions are taking over the city. It's such an eye sore. I guess the blooms look nice against the green grass [until there's over 100,000 of them] And then what comes next... the seed stage. And both my kids go berserk over blowing the seeds of these little pesky weeds, which doesn't help matters any...

The only good thing that can come from all these weeds, is a picture... Here is the little park by our house, FULL of dandelions [and mosquito's] Isn't that a pity? It's just little white puffs as far as the eye can see...

But here, for just one moment, it actually looks beautiful...

[picture altered using silence texture]

I'm linking to Kim's Texture Tuesday, for more information, click the link below.


Monday, June 13, 2011

11 on the 13th of June [a tad tardy this month]

Since last month was Madelyn's birthday, and I asked her 11 questions, this month I thought it would be fair to ask Mason the same questions. Of course, it's his birthday later this month.

1. If you could have any Super power, what would it be? Shape Shifting
2. What's your favourite song? Stereo Love by Edward Maya
3. How do you get to school? By a car
4. What your favourite lunch? Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
5. Where do you want to go on vacation? Legoland
6. What's your favourite fruit? Apples
7. What's your favourite TV show? Amazing Spies
8. What's your favourite day of the week? Saturday
9. Name two things you can't live without: Air and water
10. What's the best age to be and why? 8. Because I'm having a really nice time being 8.
11. What do you and your sister fight about? What to play.

I would also like to wish my Mother, a very Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday Mum!! Her actual birthday is today, however we celebrated last night. I made the most delish cake, I combined the cake of one recipe, and the icing of another, it was yummy!

We pulled out the sparklers. Why should the kids have all the fun?

Speaking of kids, here are the gruesome-twosome, with their Ama. Madelyn as usual, looks like a ragamuffin. Her hair looks great for the first 5 minutes on any given day! Mum, I hope you have a great year!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Today was glorious. We got to spend the majority of it outside. It actually felt like spring. I even let the kids put their bathing suits on. [Trust me, they couldn't believe I said yes either...] I'm one of those Mum's who ALWAYS has extra clothes on their kid. They're not allowed to take jackets off at the park. They can't wear sandals until it's a certain temperature outside. I'm kind of militant about it. So when they complained this afternoon of being SOOOOO HOOOOOT, I told them to head inside and put their suits on. The first water balloon fight of the season commenced, it was great fun.

I on the other hand, got all my plants put into the dirt. Feels great. Looks great too. This little girl, pretends to be girlie [check out her pink nails] But she likes worms... In fact, if she had her own car, she'd have a bumper sticker that said I brake for worms! Ewwww...

Madelyn: "Isn't he so cute Mummy? I'm going to call him Wormy" [she's very original with names] By the way, No Madelyn, I don't think he's cute. I think he's creepy...

Yesterday we had Madelyn's year end dance recital. A HUGE sigh of relief... I have been dragging this girl to tap dancing since the beginning of September. She has hated every minute of it. We definitely will not be signing up for dance lessons next year. But did she look cute? Well, we certainly think so.

There is something a bit unsettling about dressing your 6 year old daughter up, applying more make up than you, yourself wear, and sending her out of the house... It's surreal to look at her and see her 16 year old self...

This was make up the second time around... Why on earth would there have to be two applications you ask? Because the first time around I had to remove a tattoo off her arm and got this reaction:

What's there to say about this photo? She started to get sad about the tattoo coming off her arm, and I told her not to cry or she'd risk smudging her makeup. My mistake after all, I should know by now that she does the exact opposite of what I ask. A few minutes later she came down the hall and said, "I think I smudged my make up." Ummmmm, do ya think? So I had a few choice sentences for her, which is why she's out right crying in this picture... Then I did what all good Mum's do, I got my camera. [I can laugh at this right now... But in the moment, I was less than pleased]

Once we got that teeny, tiny little glitch worked out, things went smoothly. Here's a picture with her fancy hair:

Seriously, these Mum's go nuts about this stuff... I was told where to find curly hair for pete's sake... Another indication perhaps, that maybe dancing isn't for us.

Here's a not great picture of the finale, when all the dancers came on stage; lucky for us, she was in the first row right up in front!

And then of course, proud family shots:

When we went into the recital, it was over cast and grey, when we came out, it was bright and sunny, though the wind was chilly.

She got flowers from us, Ama & Baba and Auntie Pat. She'd asked me earlier that week, if I thought she'd get flowers this time. [Last year, being rookies, I was totally surprised to see 5 and 6 year old dancers receive flowers. Who knew?] So I said you bet you'll get flowers. Was she pleased with the flowers? Who knows. She didn't even look at them. But they do look lovely in a vase on our kitchen table.

It's certainly a relief to having dancing over for the year forever.