Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hockey Wife

I spent the weekend at the rink watching my husband play in his last hockey tournament of the year. This is the second year that he has played "Oldtimers" hockey and this is the first time I have been able to see him play. His games usually start at 9:30 on a Tuesday, so I am usually at home with the kids. :) It was great to see him doing something he loves. It was also nice to finally meet the guys on his team that I didn't know but that he is always talking about. The kids were able to come and watch a couple of games too. Cohen is the cutest little fan. He would scream "Go Daddy Go!" But only during the warmup. The rest of the time he didn't want to "distract" him....
It was also nice to be able to go out for the night to the cabaret. Even if we were at a cabaret.... We had lots of laughs, and it was good to have some adult conversation.
I am, however, very happy that hockey is over. It means that when Grant is home, I will get more time with him... not a lot more because he is getting ready for seeding, but we are getting a date out of all of this. We are going to the Flames game tomorrow night. I am hoping for one more win. Tomorrow. Just one.

Friday, March 23, 2012

In Defense of the Traditional Book

I love to read. Love it. When I was young I would spend hours at our local library scouring the shelves looking for the "perfect" read. Of course, when I was young, the perfect read started out at Ramona Quimby books, and The Babysitters Club, and progressed into good old Sweet Valley High. 
 As I have gotten older, my tastes have changed. (Thank God). I can't imagine still reading Sweet Valley High. Elizabeth and Jessica don't cut it anymore. I loved what Oprah did for reading. I bought just about EVERY book in her book club from the beginning to her last recommendation. And she knew what she was doing. There were not many books in that club that I didn't love. But that no longer exists, so I have had to find new ways to find books I love. One way is to read every biography that Tara reads. That is all she reads. Biographies. I never, ever thought to read those. I am a fiction lover. So, when she leant me the Theo Fleury bio, I was hooked. She has been a great source of titles, and I have a few of hers still to get through! (Including the above, "Lies Chelsea Handler Told Me").
 I am also looking forward to reading new books by authors I have loved in the past. You might remember James Frey as the controversial author who wrote "A Million Little Pieces" and had Oprah in a tailspin. I have three of his books waiting for me to crack them open. I am most looking forward to reading "The Final Testament of the Holy Bible". I think it will be as controversial in reading as the media storm was around "A Million Little Pieces".
Finally, I look for the awards. I would always tell my students to look for a book with an award on the cover. That way they knew they were getting something worth reading. "We Need to Talk About Kevin" is an award winner. And it has been made in to a movie (which I know does not guarantee it is a good book, or a good movie, for that matter, but I am looking forward to reading this one.)

As for the traditional book... I love the feel of a book in my hands. I like books with uneven pages, with an interesting cover, (yes, I judge a book by its cover), I like the smell of paper. I love the sound a book makes when you open it for the first time. I like the idea of e-readers. They certainly are convenient. But I can also see that I would send my family into bankruptcy if I owned one. March is the first month in a very long while that I haven't bought a book. (And March isn't over. And I am planning on going to the city today... so we will see....) I have about 25 or 30 books on my bookshelf waiting for that first crack. If I owned an e-reader I know I would spend most of my days looking for books, and downloading them. So, I am going to stay the traditional route. I know that the world is changing, and I am powerless to slow the technology down. As long as paper books are available to me, that is how I will read. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Green thumb

My friend Chris owns a greenhouse. She opened last year, and had a great year. She has already been hard at it with many of the seeds she planted already growing. She has over 600 hanging baskets waiting to bloom. It is so exciting to go in there. I can't wait for everything to be in full bloom. It is going to look amazing. Chris also has an interest in photography, and so she and I have been trading knowledge back and forth. A couple of weeks ago, she helped me with the figure skating pictures I was taking. She handled all of the orders, and also helped with lighting and metering. I told her I would trade her hours in her greenhouse for her hours there.
On Monday I went there to help her. I got to transplant a bunch of little annuals. It was so very therapeutic. I loved having my hands in the dirt. I loved knowing that I was giving these plants the chance to continue to grow and blossom into something that is going to give someone else joy. I loved the smell of the plants, the dirt,  even the fertilizer. About half way through the day Chris asked if I wanted to work for her. I gladly accepted. I like the idea of not paying for therapy, and getting paid for it! I go back again tomorrow. I planted close to 60 hanging baskets today, and I think I am going to do at least that much tomorrow. And I am excited.

Monday, March 19, 2012

the plan was awesome

just an update on how yummy supper was....
It will definitely be going on the supper rotation!
That is all.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

So, according to my plan

I looked back at this blog I have been neglecting and noticed that one part of my new year's resolution was to try new meals. I have been. Last week I made an Asian Pulled Beef and Cabbage, and both myself and the kids loved it. I am especially excited for tomorrow's meal. I have recently discovered asparagus. I know, I know.... but in my defense, I am a very picky eater, and to try new things, especially "weird" veggies is a huge step for me. In the last year, I have changed my eating habits considerably, but I still have far to go. So, we are having grilled asparagus and Sweet Chili Meatballs. 

Tomorrow is a crock pot day because I volunteer at the school in the morning, have a swimming pool board meeting in the afternoon, Avery has dance lessons after school, and I have a parent council meeting tomorrow night. 
So, these are the three ingredients that I need for my meatballs.... not counting the meatballs of course. I already have some premade and in the freezer, so yay me. The recipe calls for a bottle of chili sauce, a jar or grape jelly and half a bottle of A1. I think it might be spicy... and definitely too spicy for my kids, but Grant and I are excited. I don't remember the last time I was looking forward to making supper! I hope this one is a winner and that it will go into our meal rotation.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Clash of the Cultures

Thursday night was the 71st Irish Concert in Champion. It was a fundraiser for our local library, and there was a bunch of local talent. Avery, and six other girls from Champion danced their Highland last night. Yes, Highland Dance is Scottish. No, Scots aren't Irish. Yes, they have a history of dislike for each other.
 Regardless, the girls danced, and they all did an amazing job. We are so very fortunate to have an excellent, patient, and talented dance instructor so close by. Highland was one of the dances that I never learned when I did take dance as a kid, and I always wanted to. It is a pricey thing to do though! I just looked at getting Avery some hose to match her kiltie, and they were $199 a pair. I think we will stick with the white knee highs from WalMart for a while!
Avery just did her dance exams at the beginning of March, and she has now passed all of her Tiny Tot levels. I am so proud of the growth I have seen in her since last year, the confidence she has gained, and her enthusiasm for the dance itself. Curling is a big deal in our house, and for February and March we have watched quite a bit of it. Whenever the curlers come out on the ice, they are accompanied by bagpipes. Avery always takes this as her cue to dance. She also asked me to download her a bunch of bagpipe music to listen to on her Shuffle so she "can practice in her head".
love love love this kid!

liar, liar

     We have been dealing with my four year old son being creative with the truth lately. Just the other day he cut the slipcover on the couch, and then told me the dog chewed it. Creative, right? In talking with other parents of his classmates, I know he is not the only one, and that makes him "normal" I guess. I also know why kids lie. It isn't rocket science. He is trying to avoid getting in trouble, avoid disappointing his dad and I. What I don't understand is why adults lie. Good question, right? Kids don't fool us with their lying, so why do adults think they can?
     Is it so important to keep up with the Jones' that you spend money you don't have buying home decor, dishes, or expensive accessories? Do the people who worry more about how they LOOK to others, than how they TREAT others think they are fooling anyone? Is living on credit cards and lines of credit so worth it? Our lives changed last year when I stopped teaching. We are learning to live on less. Do I like it? No. It sucks. I miss just going to the mall to spend money. Not shop, but spend. But I don't. I have come to terms with the fact that I don't need a million pairs of shoes. That I can wear $25 dollar sunglasses. I don't need the $200 ones. I am okay with buying my kids clothes from consignment stores. I use coupons. And I don't hide it. I don't try to live a lie where money rules my life. Do you?
     What about the people who lie about others? The one thing I know about telling a lie is that it is so hard to keep track of that lie, who you told it to, and how to not slip up. It has come to my attention that a very good friend of mine, and I have been talked about to mutual friends. And the words that were said were unflattering, and untrue. I am amazed and appalled that this still goes on with people I know. Amazed. I am glad that I have gotten rid of that part of my life, but I am saddened that someone feels so badly about their own life that they feel the need to take my friend down with them.
     I think I feel the worst for the people who lie about who they are. I would like to believe that we live in a world that is more accepting than the one my parent's grew up in. I feel horrible for the people who have to hide who they really are because they can't be true to themselves because of their religious beliefs, or pressure from friends and family to be who the world characterizes as normal.
     So what is my lesson from all of this? I have learned that I need to focus on Cohen's truth telling. I need to praise his good behavior. I need to celebrate him when he breaks a rule and tells the truth about it. I have also learned that I can't destroy who I am by allowing people to lie about me, and about my friends who matter. I have to remain true to who I am, and be true to the people who are in my life.
     That is all.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

more pinterest inspiration

first let me apologize for the quality of the photo. it is a good old instagram one... i kinda love instagram, but it isn't the greatest for web stuff, you know, like on your blog.....
tomorrow is green day at school, and from what i understand, there is a sneaky little leprechaun running around avery's classroom. they have set their traps and hope to catch him tomorrow. i promised a rainbow to distract him. this is the rainbow. :) 
they have also just finished up their color unit in science, and were talking about roy g biv, and all the colors of the rainbow, so this is perfect. i was tempted to make upside down leprechaun cookies, but i for one don't like sugar cookies, two, i think icing a bunch of leprechauns would make me insane, and three, the kids in her class need more fruit. we all do, for that matter, but i thought rainbow fruit is much better than sugar cookies. 
tonight was also the irish concert in town. my little monkey danced like a highland pro.... i will post about that tomorrow.
look at me! back to blogging! who knew?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Last week was Cohen's last day of hockey for the year. It was quite a year. It started in October like this. Cohen cried every time we put him on the ice. He would throw his gloves off, or just lay there. He was frustrated because it was his first year skating and he was on the ice with a trainer. My hats are off to his coaches. There is no way I would have had the patience with a crying kid on the ice the way they did.

And it is because of that committment that Cohen, at the end of the year, was this guy. He can skate alone, get up by himself, and shoot a puck. In my opinion, he was the most improved player on his team. I know I am biased, but the growth he made in a few short months is amazing. 
That said, I don't want to grow up to be a hockey mom. Timbits is great because they don't have games, and they just work on skills, and then play some scrimmages amongst themselves. I am not looking forward to hours in an arena, driving to the ends of the province, (and other provinces for that matter), and the cost of new equipment every year. Hockey is a major committment from a family, and I only have a complete family half the year. I am certainly not going to discourage Cohen from playing, but he did tell me a couple of weeks ago that he is only going to play hockey until he is seven. Then he is going to start curling. (((SMILE)))

Saturday, March 3, 2012

More Pinterest Fun

I have two kids who absolutely love love love dinosaurs. Avery eats, sleeps and breathes them. She was so excited to hear about the dinosaur fossil discovery about an hour from our house. She is talking about dinosaurs constantly, and both her and Cohen love to play with their vast collection. So, when I saw an underbed storage tote converted to a dinosaur play area I was excited to make one of our own.
 The purpose of this is to stimulate the tactile senses, while also fostering imaginative play. My kids excel at imagination. And this just kicks their fun and imagination up a notch.
 All you need is an underbed storage tote, and a bunch of dried peas, beans and lentils. I went to Zellers yesterday and totes were on sale, so that was exciting... and then I went to Bulk Barn, and stocked up on $25 worth of tiger, kidney, mung, lima, and pinto beans. I also got some black eyed peas, yellow eyed peas, and yellow, red, and green lentils. 
 When I dumped all of the peas and beans in the tote, I had a hard time taking my hands out! It certainly kicks the fun up a notch... 
Now, what I should do is a make a pinboard of all the things from Pinterest that I have pinned and made....