Monday, 31 December 2012


I just finished making my first pair of longies.
I'm using cloth diapers and have been tweaking my diapering system. We have the easy cute picket diapers and also prefolds. The pocket diapers are the easiest but leak more often. I bought some better inserts for them (since it turns out I was using far less absorbent doublers) and we will see how they turn out. The prefolds work the best but cause such a huuuge bum. Until I got these wool diaper covers on her. They not only are the Cadillac of cloth diapering, they also take away the need for pants on TOP of the diaper and are therefor more trim. I got an awesome pattern online (Katrina's Sew Quick Soaker) and easily made the soaker and the longies. Love them! Yes, they are a bit long but she's a long baby and this gives a bit of room for growth. Plus, if I find they are reaaallly too long I can always hem them again.

Friday, 28 December 2012

The next few weeks, months etc.

I'm mixed with lots of different feelings about the future right now. Really, I should just stick with not thinking about the future and have fun right now.
Dan and I are moving out next week. This should be an exciting thing but except for the part where we get to set up a brand new house and unpack all our things, I'm not really looking forward to it at all. I'll be living in a quiet clean new house with no one around when Dan is gone (which has been a lot this summer). I'll cook for myself and Dan (who appreciates it but isn't near as verbal about that as mom and dad are) and that's it. I'll have to walk the dog everyday, which is a good thing, but won't have the reassurance that Caleb is out playing with her everyday too. I'll really miss the company and humor of this place and just thinking about it is putting me down so I'm going to switch directions now.
I'll have my own computer set up with my favorites, I'll have neighbors, I'll have lots of time available to get on the phone with my long lost sisters and friends. I'll get into more of a routine and schedule with housework and cleaning. I'll have a new house to set up with my own things and own styles.
Two weeks later I'm going to B.C. This is the best thing coming up in my schedule. Sarah and Peter are getting married and my sisters and I are going out there for 2 weeks of straight celebrating... hilo style! The guys are coming a week after us (the day before the wedding) and we're all going to travel around for the next week touring the island and wherever else we want.
I'm hoping that Frank and Alisha will be coming out with Gavin soon so that will be something else in the schedule and before you know it, it'll be Christmas.
I'm looking forward to some changes at work. If the posting ever comes up I'm looking to jump on that job advancement and my second job is looking promising in terms of career development.
I'm going to a seminar on Sat. (the first of five) on Horticulture Therapy. This is a big step for me in developing myself academically that I have wanted to do for a while now so that's pretty exciting for me too.
I have my own car now. Dan bought a truck so there's none of the carpooling juggling that we had to do last winter.
So, except for this moving business, life seems pretty exciting for the next little while.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

For a person who has internet access everyday I sure haven't been posting much... or so dad W. says. :) I figure I'm just having too much fun hanging out with everyone. I know my cooking has failed in this department too. It could also be that I was reading a book though. For those of you who are on facebook this book list will be a repeat but here it is: Jamie at home, The Glass Castle, and Water for Elephants. I just finished reading Water for Elephants. It was a good suck-you-in type book but isn't on my top 10 list. The Glass Castle is on my top 10 list though, so I bought it and the Jamie at Home cookbook with my $50 gift certificate that mom gave me. I love those dates!
I don't think I like facebook even though I'm spending more and more of my time there. It's a good connecting tool but it really isn't as good as reading peoples blogs. I don't really like snooping through peoples pages. It makes me feel sneaky.
Tonight we had BBQ'd sausages with a side of fried up bacon/onion/perogies. mmm mmm mmm Now is that the best meal you've ever thought of or what?! what... potatoes are vegetables, right? and the cheese and sour cream hit the dairy food category. I don't feel guilty at all. In fact, I might go have a pop or something. gurgle gurgle...
Here is an attempt at my top 10 books:
The Brothers K - David James Duncan
The River Why - David James Duncan (I haven't read his 3rd and last book yet)
The Glass Castle
How I spent my summer vacation - W. O. Mitchel
Watership Down
Fifth Business - Robertson Davies
The curious incident of a dog in the night time - Mark Haddon
Jane Eyre
Lullabies for little criminals

I know there's more here that I forget so remind me if you know there's one that I love.
And one more thing... I have to say that I hate having the links bring you to a chapters or amazon site... I don't want to advertise for them but I want you all to be able to read up on whatever book it is that I'm talking about. If there's a better site that shows and reviews books that I could advertise, let me now.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Design help..

What do I do with this dresser? I got it from Oma and Opa Wikks when they moved. I don't now what attracted me to it since I'm not normally a vintage mid-century styler but still.... and now I don't know what to do with it. Any suggestions? Do I paint it? Move it to a kids room? Design our master room around it? Make it a TV stand in the living room? Here are some pictures of similar dressers and their uses. Help.... suggestions?

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

I don't really feel like posting much right now but I have to write a bit about where I am. Dan and I moved in with his parents yesterday. I was a really quick move even though our stuff(!!) was going to three different locations. I guess it really helps when you don't have any of your own appliances. We had enough people out to help us but at times I wasn't sure if we would have enough. Good friends and family are always around though. Most of our stuff went into James and Larissa's loft and the rest of it came here. I've already got a mental note started of all the stuff that I want to get from the loft (Sunday shoes, CDs) We'll have an interesting summer for sure. I think I'll enjoy having more people around all the time... more people to cook for... more people to talk with... and definately more internet. MIL (mom in law) already got me started on her favorite past time... Scrabulous. I hate it already. I love crossword puzzles and other puzzle type games but I suck at coming up with good words that make lots of points.
Pretty much, this short post is just to tell you that I'm here, living with the in-laws so now you all know how to get a hold of me. Expect more online and most of you should know my #.

Monday, 17 December 2012


Tonight I work from 3:30-9:30. While it's too bad that I have to miss our first halloween in our new house and I'll miss out on dinner and movies with good friends (I'll make it for drinks after), I really do LOVE having the morning at home.
I slept in till I felt that it must be noon (it was really 9:00) and then read my book till the dog started whining. Chloe and I went for a walk into town so I could by a long over due frying pan and scrub brush. We kept walking to the post office (no mail!) and then came home. Now I'm sitting here with an amazing breakfast and coffee. I can spend some time online, unpack my bags (still) and see my husband for a few hours before I have to start work.
I looovvve mornings at home!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Apex Xepa Solar-Powered LED Light with Motion Detection

Apex Xepa Solar-Powered LED Light with Motion Detection

Apex Xepa Solar-Powered LED Light with Motion Detection
Use in and around your house, apartment, courtyard, garage, shed, boat, RV, barn and other areas where an AC outlet is not accessible
Detaches from its wall plate for portable use
Solar Floodlight/Spotlight
Includes Rechargeable Battery
Made of Polycarbonate
LED Light
15 yr. Life Span, Motion-Activated Design, Solar Panels Charge by Day, Turn on Automatically at Night
Weather Resistant Construction
No Wiring Required
Solar Light: 7.3Wx4Dx15.5H; Solar Panel: 7Wx2.3Dx7.5H "

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Tuesday, 11 December 2012


We went to the second Sunday of Advent today. It was a really good service, especially because my mom and dad came and met us there. After church they came to see our new house. It was really nice to show it off and feel comfortable sitting around in our place. We ate cheese and almonds and sausage while drinking coffee and wine. We went through Sarah's wedding pictures and talked the whole time. For lunch, Dad had brought the leftovers of Sarah's Red Lentil Coconut Curry so we tried it with all sorts of different toppings (pears, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and tortillas) and rice. Eventually, probably too late, we left to go find a Christmas tree. Mom and probably should have left much earlier but this was the only time I could get it. They graciously drove all over creationg to find me a place that was open and sold them. We drove some neat roads and saw a deer watching us up close and finally ....ta da!!!
And now our place looks really festive.
It was such a good day. Thank you soooooo much, mom and dad. I'm so happy you came!

Monday, 10 December 2012


For the last couple of weeks we've been noticing a lot of dog poop accumulating on our lawn and the one next to ours. Even though I've noticed that no one else in the neighbourhood walks their dog, Dan and I religiously do and so we KNOW it isn't Chloe's poop. I've talked to other neighbours and ensured them that it isn't our dogs poop. I've had my suspicions about a big black dog that lives a couple of doors down but didn't want to accuse anyone if it wasn't. Sure enough, last night I caught the dog pooping on our lawn. It is so gross. Really. There's about 20 spots on the lawn next to ours (it borders our driveway) and about 10 now on our lawn. Big black dog poop too so it's not such a small little pile. This dog is an old dog and doesn't move much (Chloe wagged her tail right in his face while she was in the middle of heat and he didn't do a thing).
So my question is, what do we do about it? There's no way I'm going to pick it up myself although I've been tempted to since there's one right where you would step getting out of the car. Dan, of course, wants to throw it on the guy's doorstep and yell at him. I just want to keep the peace. Besides, the people are kind of sketchy. I'm actually a bit afraid of them so I don't want to start a feud.
What would you do? I really don't want to just leave it.
If I don't get some good responses soon I'm going to post some pictures with this post. :)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

What I'm up to:

Yesterday Dan said his nose was raw already from just one day with the cold. I picked up some Kleenex (with lotion!) on my way home from work yesterday and figured he would call in sick today. Sure enough, here he is, miserable and filling up the garbage with used kleenexes. Poor guy. Oh, and on top of that, Chloe is sick. I think she might have gotten into something at mom and dad w's because she's got diarrhea and she puked yesterday twice. She hasn't crapped in the house but every time she whines at the door I come running. Really, I'm not doing much though. I've got a book and don't have to leave for work till 2:30. Hopefully the snow plow comes by then.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Living with a lazy eye

This afternoon when I was driving home from work the sun happened to be in that right spot where it was shining directly into my eyes. Instead of putting down the visor I decided to live a bit dangerously and soak up the sun (it wasn't the bright white but rather the deep yellow kind of sun). It was nice until I hit a shady part of the road and suddenly I had spots all over my vision so, I automatically shut my one eye that I usually use and used my lazy eye instead. The lazy eye wasn't looking directly into the sun so it wasn't as spotty. I did this naturally since I've always had this until suddenly I thought about how wierd that was.

I have a little bit of a lazy eye that normally isn't that noticeable unless I'm tired. I'm not really embarrassed about it but more annoyed when it's obvious that people can see it. When I was working retail (yeah for not working retail anymore!) and I would the next person in line what they wanted they would usually turn around to see who I was talking to. So annoying. Actually, I kind of think it's neat. I remember when I was a kid it really intrigued me.

I don't know if I actually use my lazy eye. When I close my lazy eye my vision stays the same (except for a little bit of peripheral). When I close my good eye, my vision shifts (about an inch or so perspective, right?). Is the visual input from my lazy eye actually going to my brain? Because it's not being integrated into the final product that my brain sees. If I close my good eye, forcing my brain to see from my lazy one, and then slllloooowwwwllllyyy open my good eye, I see from both eyes but seperately so it's like I have double vision. I remember telling my dad this when I was a kid. He didn't really understand so I looked at the table (the guys had just finished work on a Friday) and I said, "I can see two beer bottles. One here, and one there." Of course I saw two tables and two kitchens too but that's just how I explained it.

They tried to fix it when I was super young (beyond my memory). I had a patch on my good eye that was kind of like a big band-aid. There's a few good pictures of me with that eye. Mom says that she would rip it off at night when I was sleeping. Maybe that's why I don't remember. Dad nicknamed me cyclops. I thought it was great to have my own nickname. When I learned about Greek mythology I thought it was a great coincidence that they had a character also named cyclops. Until I realized that dad named me after a one-eyed monster. They also said I was a great chicken-catcher because of that one eye. I have no idea what having only one eye has to do with being able to catch a chicken. I was just quicker than the rest of them.

I also had the pleasure of testing out a theory from my optomotrist that bi-focals would fix a lazy eye. Do you know what it's like to go to grade 4 with thick bi-focals?!! You who are just trying to get used to them now when they are all chic and seemless have no idea. What a pain in the but! No wonder why I lost 3 or 4 pairs till we finally decided that it wasn't going to make a difference.

There are some differences. The eye that I use (the left one) is a teensy bit near (or is it far?) sighted. The lazy eye (the right one) has 20/20 vision. The lazy eye sees colours juuuusst a little bit bolder and brighter. Probably from less use. I can't really read that well from my lazy eye. That's a super wierd point. I can see everything just fine but I don't think I recognize words as fast or something. It's hard to explain. It's like the letters are all jumbled. Does the vision from each eye go to a different part of the brain?

I don't know if these are things that are normal with everyone's eyes or if it's just mine but I think I'll be a little disappointed if it is. I don't mind having a lazy eye. I still kind of have soft spot in my heart for cyclops.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Books I would love to love

I used to read every book I picked up cover to cover. It almost felt like I was killing something if I didn't read the whole thing. I still usually read the whole book but in the last couple of years I have put down books that really weren't keeping my attention. The thing is, usually, they are great books! Here's my list of books I would love to love:
The polished hoe - Austin Clarke : Mom gives us Chapters gift certificates every year for Christmas and for some reason, I picked up this book. I could NOT finish it. It was a mix between the type of writing and how slllloooooowwww the book went. I just could not follow it. I agonized over it so much that mom finally picked it up. It's almost a family joke now.
The memory keepers daughter - Kim Edwards : This book even came with so many recommendations. I was told it was suuuch a good book. I might have been a little too concerned with what was going to happen so I will admit that peeked ahead to see what was going to happen. Once I did that, I was disappointed and I didn't want to read it anymore
Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi : There's no good reason for me not to like this book. I've just never gotten very far in it. I've started reading it a few times and usually another book comes along that I'd rather read. So sad.
The brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky : For years, my favourite book was "The Brothers K" by David James Duncan. It still might be my favourite book but I haven't read it in years. Of course it refers to the former book and I'm intereseted in reading it for this reason. It is about 4 brothers and one of the gets very involved in Russian literature. I'd like to know what the other allusions are... why else is it "The brothers K"? The only thing is, it's been sitting on my book shelf for years now and I still haven't picked it up. I just haven't worked up the ... the what? I don't know.
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky : When I was in Honduras I gobbled up anything that I could get my hands on that was written in English. I loved reading and read a lot. I read anything. I read harloquin's and mystery novels. I read the Chronicles of Narnia and the most whacked out book about a German midget. At the bottom of all the books that I could find and were sent to me was "Crime and Punishment". Eventually, after everything else was read, I pulled out this book. I even got pretty far. I think I only had a few more chapters to get through. Why didn't I finish it? I came home.

I don't know why I want to love these books. Maybe because I wish I could say I love Russian literature (all that intellectual posh). Maybe it's because I don't want to waste a good dollar I spent on a book. For some of the books, I know it's not the book... everyone loves that book. It's not you... it's me. Sorry. It's almost a relationship.

Thursday, 29 November 2012


So we're here! Really, I am happy that I'm here but I WAS NOT looking forward to travelling. It's not that I get sick or anything. I just hate waiting. And all you do when you travel is wait First, you wait for the day of travel to get here. Then, you wait till it's time to go to the airport. Then, when you're there, you wait and wait and wait FINALLY get on the plane. But once you get on the plane you sit down and wait till you finally get to your destination. Then, just to top it all off, you wait to get your luggage. AAARRGHHH! Anyway, we're here... I'm good now. At least until we start driving back.... for 24 HOURS!! 
We all travelled out to Winnipeg to visit with family. Nicholas is getting married on Saturday so that is the technical reason that we're out here but really, any excuse is good to come and visit. We don't really have any plans to go out and do anything for the next day but I like just hanging around and visiting. There's lots of baby time for everyone because if Jaela is unavailable, Gavin's here too... and vice versa. It's really neat to see Gavin in person. What a character. He's got sooo much personality. I'll have to post some pictures. There's definately tons of them since he's very photogenic. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

I hate vacuum cleaners

That's not true... i like vacuum cleaners. I just like them when they work!!! Grr!! We've been living in a tiny apartment with a DOG for 10 days!!! WITHOUT A VACUUM! Can you understand how yuck it is getting around here?
We do own a vacuum cleaner but since at our old place we had central vac., we had lent it out after it had been sitting around for too long. I don't know if it is the 2 years of inactivity or the fact the bag wasn't changed properly or on time but now, it doesn't work. I spent an hour or so this morning walking all over town trying to find a store that sold vacuum bags. Not many do. And the ones that do, probably don't carry my brand of vacuum bags. I had to guess on the type of bag because, of course, the vacuum model and the bag model ISN'T the same thing, of course. I get home, it's the wrong bag. I try it anyway? It just about blows up the whole vacuum cleaner. I spend almost another hour trying to find my vacuum cleaner online so i figure out what bag # i DO need... and guess what?.... My vacuum cleaner doesn't exist! That's right. The model # engraved on my cleaner does not exist!! No kidding!
I'm so frustrated with my vacuum cleaner, the dog hair, the dog that is in heat and the washer/dryer problems that I haven't even started on, that I'm ready to go and just buy everything new.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Good or Gross?

What do you think? Since my breakfast was at lunch time and my typical breakfast ingredients were gone I made dippy eggs on....STUFFING! Next time I will fry the egg in the stuffing, like egg in the hole.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Q-See QSVRG200 Shielded Video & Power 200 Feet BNC Male Cable with 2 Female Connectors

Q-See QSVRG200 Shielded Video & Power 200 Feet BNC Male Cable with 2 Female Connectors

Q-See QSVRG200 Shielded Video & Power 200 Feet BNC Male Cable with 2 Female Connectors
This 200ft RG59 cable with BNC video connectors and 2.1mm power connectors is perfect for installations were you need a strong, shielded, UL listed cable. Q-See provides cables for all your surveillance needs. For Product Questions contact Q-SEE at (877) 998-3440 or Read More >>

List Price: $ 68.99

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  • High Quality Connectors
  • Use Indoor or Outdoor - Can Be Installed In-Wall
  • RG-59U - UL Approved Cable

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Monday, 19 November 2012

Just Arrived 4 PCs Atrix Day Night Vision 700TVL 1/3" Sony Effio CCTV Home Video Infrared Dome Security Camera 36 IR LEDs Vandal Proof 2.8~12mm Vari-focal Wide View Angle Lens for DVR Surveillance System with Power Supply

4 PCs Atrix Day Night Vision 700TVL 1/3" Sony Effio CCTV Home Video Infrared Dome Security Camera 36 IR LEDs Vandal Proof 2.8~12mm Vari-focal Wide View Angle Lens for DVR Surveillance System with Power Supply

4 PCs Atrix Day Night Vision 700TVL 1/3
Atrix vandal-proof dome camera uses SONY Effio DSP technology, has 700 TV lines high resolution picture quality, better S/N ratio, and sharper color reproduction. Crystal clear video image quality is obtained with Full D1 digital video recorder. The video program in this Falcons series camera is a State-of-the-Art technology by Atrix. Its auto white balance suits wide environmental change, for example, sun light, shaded, tungsten, and fluorescent light. Whether this camera is installed indoo Read More >>

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  • Powered by 1/3'' Sony Effio technology, 700TVL
  • 2.8-12mm Vari-focal Lens
  • Built-in 36 Infrared lights for night vision, up to 70ft
  • Weatherproof aluminum housing for indoor and outdoor application
  • Packge includes: 4x Dome Camera, 4x Power Supply

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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Evening shifts

This week I have a lot of hours but most of my shifts are closing shifts. That's a good thing and a bad thing. I like having my mornings and not having to get up so early. On the other hand, I won't get home before 9:00 any night this week.... these are my prime cooking hours. I love cooking in the evening and it's rarely too late to start a project. I definitely wasn't planning that when I went shopping this weekend. I bought sooo many fun ingredients that I hoped would inspire some fun cooking projects. I bought a block of Parmesan cheese, prosciutto, leek, 2 whole chickens (they were on sale), fresh parsley, 2 different types of pasta, savoy cabbage.... the list goes on. Now what am I going to do? I don't want to freeze those chickens but I don't know when I'm going to get the chance to cook them. Besides, who feels like cooking a supper in the morning?! And even if I do, I'll have to throw it into the fridge for Dan to reheat when he comes home. Maybe I can do some slow cooker meals this week. We rarely eat a real dinner anyways and the whole point of the meal is to make something good to take for lunch the next day.
Besides all of this, I did cook this morning. I spent some time researching a good recipe and then.... ta da!! Browned bread crumbs and pasta!

oh, so anticlimactic!!! I can't upload my pictures!! so sad. Well, briefly, it was shell pasta, browned bread crumbs, prosciutto and Parmesan cheese all tossed together and topped with some parsley. The next picture was of my empty bowl. It wasn't bad for the mid morning. It wasn't a really fulfilling meal to make. I wasn't really inspired, hungry or filled up. Oh well, it was good.

Monday, 12 November 2012

SVAT Electronics 4CH Smart Security DVR with 4 Hi-Res Outdoor 75' Night Vision Cameras, 500GB HDD & Smartphone Compatibility

SVAT Electronics 4CH Smart Security DVR with 4 Hi-Res Outdoor 75' Night Vision Cameras, 500GB HDD & Smartphone Compatibility

SVAT Electronics 4CH Smart Security DVR with 4 Hi-Res Outdoor 75' Night Vision Cameras, 500GB HDD & Smartphone Compatibility
Extremely Easy to Set Up and Use
This SVAT system functions just like a computer, with a mouse for pointing and clicking and an intuitive icon-based menu that provides prompts and coaching to assist you in navigating the system. It's even so simple to use it will begin recording as soon as it's plugged in.

View Your Camera Footage From Anywhere In The World
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  • Anti-vandal mount; Easily connect to DVR with 65ft cables
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  • Receive email alerts, with photo, when motion is detected on your property; Record over 2 years' worth of footage on the included 500 GB hard drive
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Saturday, 10 November 2012

aakk, monopoly

Yesterday I probably spent 5 hours playing monopoly. Considering that it's monopoly and I actually played 2 games that's not too bad but it was bad enough to make me dream about it. What an awful experience! Have you ever played so much solitaire that when you close your eyes at night all you can see are different solitaire plays? Well, that's what happened with Monopoly. The first game I played against Caleb and James. I won, of course. :) But Dad couldn't stand seeing me win and insisted that we play again and I would get to see a real challenge. I didn't want to hurt his ego so I lost the second game for him. :) Mom didn't like the way we were playing (trading and loaning) so I think she just wants her chance to try to beat me. Even though this first night sleep was terrible after so many hours of Monopoly I think I'll challenge them all again (but maybe play in spurts) especially since I'll be a single woman for the rest of the week.
Dan is going to his training for his new job that he's got for the summer. He'll be working as a park warden all summer. I'm really looking forward to it since it means a lot of camping for the both of us and a job that will make him happy and excited to do. It will be a different schedule for us though. He'll be working evenings from 6-2 but only 5 days a week. That means I've got lots of day time with him. It really opens up my schedule at work though so we'll see how busy we both get this summer.
I haven't planted anything yet but I might get my hands in the dirt this week a bit. I want to plant at least a couple of herbs, some different tomatoes, zucchini, ... any suggestions? oh, peppers!
Living here has been very busy. I guess this is just life as normal but I'm not used to having so many people around. The days are just wizzing by. There's usually someone around for me to do something with. Lots of friends live close by and there's baseball games to watch at least twice a week.
Well, my husband is packing up and getting ready to leave so I'm going to hang out with him a bit before we're both too ferfalent (?) (I think this is a Wikk word meaning a mixture of anxious, bored, pesty and just plain not unhappy) to get any visiting in.

Monday, 5 November 2012

The shower was a hit. We all had fun and 2/3 games were almost completely original. Here's a few pics.
I always forget to upload the larger version of the pictures so take out your magnifying glasses for these:

This cupcake was the winning cupcake from our competition. Larissa said the unibrow reminded her of James. ha ha ha

I'm trying to get a good pic of the expanded version of Larissa. She looked even bigger tonight in her hoody at the baseball game.

Here's Brenda decorating her cupcake.
And here's Oma W. smelling the diaper to see if she knows which chocolate bar was melted into it. Supposedly that was a new one for lots of people and really grossed them out. I didn't even see how they turned out but there were lots of extra chocolate bars to eat afterwards.
That's it for now!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Advent calendar

Does anyone have any good ideas for an advent calendar. I'd really like to have one but have been avoiding those plastic/cardboard Nestle cheapies that you can buy at the grocery store. I'd like to have something more real and something that I don't think Dan will pillage before Christmas actually gets here. I don't mind making something but I'm not a really crafty person. It has to be worth it to make too. I want something that I will probably wrap up to use next year and think fondly of... not one that I'd rather just toss. So far its either this one:

.... since it seems to be one that I could easily do and would probably appreciate...


... since it looks the nicest and I could probably get it done.

This might be too far out of my abilities but I like the look of this one and figure I would probably save it (whereas the paper would just end in the garbage)

I don't know. I'd love some suggestions though. If I want a traditional, special one that would be used every year I might as well just buy a fancy one.... but i hate buying stuff. Who knows.... i might be the beer case one after all.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I'm at Hilo!! Sarah and Peter flew in on Tues. evening so after work I met up with mom and dad for some visiting time while we waited for the plane to land. I was in the area so it was a good opportunity to see my parents and to welcome Sarah and Peter. Thursday morning Dan and I raced over here to start my long weekend. It's very relaxed here. People are coming and going and things are happening but there's no rush and no stress to do anything.
So you might be wondering why we just all spontaneously decided to come home to Hilo.... it's folk festival time!! That's right... we love the folk festival. This festival started 9 years ago and our family has been involved right from the begining. It's like a great big family reunion every year. Even though our town seems small and dinky and really kind of sketchy sometimes this festival seems to bring out the best in everyone. It really doesn't start until later tonight but last night the park was already a bustle of activity and when I woke up this morning, half our household was already at the park. There are pigs on spits just starting their day of roasting, tents are going up, stages are going up and the organizers are getting ready for all the vendors to roll in later today. Years back Dad wired the park up specifically for this festival so for the last couple of days Dad and his guys have been wiring up all these stages and tents. When I woke up this morning everyone had already left except for Sarah, who then crawled into bed with me and we chatted for the next couple of hours. Cass and Dan came home with a coffee for me and a report on the progress of the park. Sarah and I made an AWESOME frittata for breakfast (on rye toast!) and since then we've been getting ready for the day. I've got to do up my hair and brush my teeth and then we're off to the park... probably for the whole day. I'm not going to wear jewelry today with the hopes that I'll find something folksy to buy from one of the vendors.
I know this festival doesn't compare with festivals like the Winnipeg Folk Festival (!!!) and some people will argue that point forever but I think that festivals (free ones) like this have their own class. They don't compare.
In other news.. I have seen baby Grace again! There have been some pictures but I don't have my memory stick here. I'll add them later. We even had a few fashion shows with her already. She's totally a different kid from Gavin and Jaela. I love that kid!
More news later...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

War Wounds!!

This weekend I worked for the second time at my new camp job. I really don't remember what I've told you all about the camp. It is set up to run 1 weekend a month (or so) as a getaway for kids who are just having a tough life. I don't know if it is more to give the parents a break or to give the kids a good time once in a while. Either way, there's a big variety of the type of kids there. Some of them have behavioural problems, some are quite mentally handicapped and others are just kids who've had a tough life. This past weekend I worked both a Sat. and a Sun 8-4 shift. What a weekend to go to camp. It was soooo stinkin hot! I couldn't believe how hot it was. Even the shade was unbearable. But nooooo... the activities planners decided it was still nice enough weather to go rock climbing and hiking and play capture the flag. YUCK! Sat. actually was a pretty good day. We had a 3 hour water fight and everyone got completely drenched. Sun. was a different story. By this time everyone is so hot and tired that tempers flare up. Mean kids got meaner and snobby kids got snobbier. The laid back kids got more laid back though. Either way, I had a bit of an incident. They all swear that "this never happens" but still, i think I need some training. Even though I've been hired I'm not signed up for the company training, including PMAB (Prevention and Managemenet of Aggresive Behaviour), until September. One of the much more handicapped kids flipped out. We were walking to another building that was just a bit too far for him and he just got angry. I was with another support worker so I wasn't alone. He started screaming and turned on me. He grabbed the first limb he could reach, my arm, and just dug in his fingers as hard as he could. I had NO idea what to do. I'm a big wimp and it hurt like heck (I was sunburned, of course) but I was afraid to hurt him. He was also reaching in with his head to bite me, which scared the heck out of me. We ended up tackling him to the ground and sitting on him till he calmed down but he flared up a few more times and got my arm and my leg, again. Really, the war wounds aren't that spectacular, but if you ask Dan he'll tell you how much I like to show off my scrapes and bruises. So.... here they are:

Just passed my wrist there's a pretty good bruise but closer to the elbow is where he took some good chunks of skin out. Behind my knee there are some bruises and a few scratches too. I know it doesn't look like much but I'll blame that on the "bad lighting". :)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Jaela and I

I had the day off today. That's twice in one week! I love it... the bank account doesn't but who needs a bank account. :) I had lots of ambitious feeling good type plans. I wanted to give the car a deep clean (that's a scrubing inside and out), go see Oma and Opa W, rototill and plant the garden and also clean our rooms. Yah right. Instead, I hung out with Larissa and Jaela all day. Larissa had to do some dress fitting so I went along for the heck of it. By the time she was done, which wasn't really that long, I didn't feel like doing anything anymore. We went to the mall, bought some essentials (cute baby outfits are essential right?) and then headed back to her place. She's got to get some more dress fitting done so I'm probably going to hang out here with Jaela while she goes with her mom and sister-in-law. That means that I get to babysit!!! Woo hooo! Larissa will come back and I'll have her dressed up in a million different outfits and probably have her diaper on the wrong way. There was a camera sitting here so here's a good one for the picture frames:

Monday, 22 October 2012

Nicole's day so far....

Good morning Family!!

I only have 3 minutes to post before I have to run off to my first job. I just got back from a quick walk with the dog where I believe I met our first grouchy neighbour. I wasn't prepared for that so I might have taken it a bit personally and would be more upset if there wasn't some more neighbors around to defend me. It's muddy and gross out and I think the mice are out like crazy because Chloe has been digging and sniffing through the ditches like mad. Well, I started to turn a corner and saw 2 dog owners talking to eachother and another one coming towards us walking her dog. So, I put Chloe back on leash and kept walking. The single lady and her dog passed me but both her and her dog hissed a bit and the dog barred his teeth... whatever. Then, as I passed the 2 ladies she turns around and comes half way back to yell about how she's been living here for 15 years and if you guys don't live here you should go away. The one lady called back that we all do and even pointed to where we all lived. Then the grouchy lady pointed at me and yelled something about calling someone on us!! What?!!?!?!! She walked away and the other ladies just told me to forget about her since she's just a grouchy lady. We should make sure we buy her dog tags now. oops.

So, now I'm off to Job #1 and then I have 3-4 hours to kill before Job #2 so I think I'm going to bring some laundry and find a landromat. And a mall so I can find some jeans. I have a dumb story to tell about that one but I'll do that tonight with pictures on my other blog (after I shave my legs).

I hope you all have a GRRREEEAATTT day. Especially those of you who will be in tropical places!


PS. Mom wants us all to post a lot so she doesn't waste her $5 for 15 min. internet time. It'll be fun to try to post everyday anyways.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

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Monday, 15 October 2012

Two and a half years later....

And here I am. For the last few months I've been saying to myself that once I have my new iPhone I'll post. So, to start it all off I'll do a quick summary of the news since then:
•we moved. Wait, that's where I left off.
•I got pregnant again. And miscarried again. It was a much simpler and less traumatic miscarriage than the first time but still not easy.
•Sarah and Peter are still gone traveling.
•Opa (dad's dad) passed away. He had been ill for a while and the family had been expecting it for a while. I am sad for his children and the affects on them but I myself didn't have much of a relationship with him.
•Got pregnant again. This time we enjoyed a full 9 month pregnancy. Despite loads of vomiting, low iron (and the accompanying tiredness), and the heartburn, I LOVED it. Yes, I was one of those annoying pregnant women who talk about how wonderful it is to be preggers.
•Sarah and Peter are still gone traveling.
Had our baby girl: Jordyn Mackenzie She is such a beautiful awesome baby. Dan is such an awesome dad. Both of those things make being a mom so fun. I love being home and indulging in wholesome soul-filling fun. Like knitting and coffee with Larissa+girls.
•Dan got the job of his lifetime. What a huge blessing. We are overwhelmed by the relief of knowing he can settle down into a permanent job that he loves and that will be able to provide for our family.
•Opa (mom's dad) passed away. I am so happy for him. At his funeral we heard again how excited he was to go to heaven. The thought of this relief and joy makes me so happy for him. Yet I will miss him. I had just missed bringing Jordyn to see him. Thinking about what she will miss reminded me of the fact that she still has four great-grandmothers. FOUR. Beautiful. I love the maternal strength she's got behind her.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The American Chestnut Tree

I've found a new hobby/love of mine. I've been talking about it with my family for quite a while and I seem to be pretty passionate about it so I'm surprised I haven't written anything about it on my blog yet.
Part of my Horticulture Therapy course for this saturday is to bring a project. Since the chestnut is what I'm excited about I wrote up a blurb about it. Since most of it isn't really important for this post I just copy and pasted the part that might seem interested. If you click on the link and follow it to other links, you might get excited about it too. check it out.

History of the American Chestnut
Seventy years ago the American Chestnut made up 25% of our trees in our woods and forests from south Georgia up to southern Ontario. The wood was used for furniture and the nuts were used as food. The American Chestnut has a sweeter taste than the chestnuts we know today and the nut harvest could be depended on since the tree was quite drought resistant.
A blight believed to be introduced by the Chinese chestnut tree was introduced in the 1940's and rapidly ran through our forests destroying almost all of the trees. VERY few trees are left standing and because of the nature of cross pollination, these trees are left standing alone with little capability of producing further nuts for more trees. Some tree roots are left from fallen chestnut trees and these send up shoots once in a while but the shoots generally are killed off by the blight. In 1986 the World Wildlife Fund declared the tree a threatened species.
There is research and teams of people interested in ensuring the trees survival. The research involves attempts at cross pollinating with the Chinese Chestnut to produce a version of the American Chestnut that is blight resistance. Other research includes using a virus to kill the bacteria that causes the chestnut blight.
Most people of my generation do not even know what an American Chestnut looks like. People are needed to go out in their own neighborhoods, back yards and woods to find chestnut trees, help the pollination so that we can collect the precious few nuts, plant them, and then, if they die keep planting more.
More information on the American Chestnut can be found at:

Monday, 8 October 2012

A long weekend and a long day.

I feel like I've had an extreme weekend. I worked 27 hours this weekend, drove 5.5 hours and slept about 7 hours a night (too little for me). The weather was super crappy; everything from rain to sleet and snow. Yuck. I worked at the kids camp job on Sat. and Sun. and we ended up spending quite a bit of time outside in that crappy weather but it sure makes me appreciate my bed and duvet. I went to my parents place to get Chloe bred (done and done!!) and really am happy I did (besides the puppy thing). It was hectic but it was so nice to come home at the end of the day, smell the wood smoke outside, come inside and smell freshly baked bred and have good music playing throughout the house. Mom and Dad got a Wii so there was lots of entertaining there too. At 6ish in the morning mom and dad would wake me up and then go downstairs to make me tea and porridge before sending me out for the day. Isn't that great?! And they sent plenty of scarves (thank you Oma) and mitts and hats for the kids too. Dad felt bad for Chloe and let her in the house so she was so spoiled all weekend too. After her traumatic day (or really good day?) she was pretty soaked so she got to lay by the fire place and dry off, even though she was really dirty and stinky. So, thanks mom and dad. It was definately worth it.
Today Dan and I both had the day off so we went over to a friends place who is putting a HUGE addition on his house. Dan is wiring it up and needed to finish the roughing in part. I didn't really think I'd be useful so I wasn't looking forward to standing around in the cold all day but Dan was awesome and taught me how to do really helpful things so I ended up being busy and working hard all day. My finger tips HURT! I tied the wires into the boxes for the plugs switches and lights. Dan is super picky about all the wires being straight and neat so I took quite a while and I'm sure that it wasn't as nice as he wouldv'e done it but I was busy all day and they said it was helpful. Actualy, I feel pretty good about it all... kind of proud. I'm happy that I could do it and not whine about how cold it was or about cutting myself (I did cut myself).
And now, I'm beat! The dog still had to be walked, but the house is neat (Dan did that this weekend!). I can hardly sit here to type this out now so this is it. I'm going to bed, sleeping in tomorrow (a day off!!) and then relaxing tomorrow... maybe I'll do some cooking.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

OH Oma

I called my Oma today (my mom's mom). What a hoot. She is such a funny lady. I LOVE her. Well, in our conversation she mentioned she got a fwd. from someone about "you know you're dutch when..." I could name a bunch of them before she even told me about it. So here's the list:
You Know You're Dutch When..
  • The temperature is so low in your house that 2 sweaters is a bare minimum if you want to be remotely warm.
  • During the winter it's warmer outside than it is inside. You open the freezer and are excited to find a container of ice-cream, only to open it and discover it's full of homemade soup or stamppot.
  • When looking in the fridge, you never trust that the yogurt or margarine containers contain what the label says.
  • You were green before it was popular. Why recycle when you can just reuse!
  • You have a pair a wooden shoes in your house.
  • Your china cabinet is filled with Delft.
  • You like pickled herring.
  • You've eaten oliebollen at New Years.
  • You enjoy chocolate sprinkle (hagelslag) sandwiches.
  • You have cousins who wear size 14 shoes and are over 6'4"
  • You wash and reuse plastic cups and plastic cutlery.
  • You have soup and open-faced sandwiches for Sunday lunch.
  • The most frequent phrase uttered growing up was "Turn off the lights!"
  • You get a chocolate letter every year for Christmas.
  • All the tables in your house are covered in tablecloths.
  • You like krokets.
  • You know that Vla is better than regular old pudding.(Vla is a runny custard pudding.)
  • You drink tea with breakfast, coffee at 10 am, tea at 3 pm, and coffee again at 8 pm (with cookies or biscuits of course!)
  • You have an afghan knitted by your Oma.
  • You collect coupons like they're going out of style.
  • Your Oma had a calendar with everyone's birthdays & anniversaries spelled out in capital letters (bonus points if it hung in the bathroom!)
  • You've been known to recycle aluminum foil. And ziploc bags.
  • You own a special utensil that is only used for cutting cheese.
  • You know that Gouda is the best cheese ever.
  • You have at least 5 relatives with the same name (and somehow you always know which one is being talked about).
  • You reuse teabags.
  • When you hear all the "new ways to save energy" you yawn and say "I've been doing that all my life!"
  • You eat your sandwiches open-faced. "What? You want another slice of bread? I'll make you another sandwich."
  • You rarely have both meat and cheese on the same sandwich.
  • You have never met half the relatives at your family reunion
  • You have 100 rolls of toilet paper in your house because they were on sale.
  • You put a little water into the jar of tomato sauce and shake it to make sure you got it all out.
  • You have trouble shopping for hats. There should be at least two sizes:'one size fits all' and 'dutch'.
  • You wipe the last of the butter out of the container with your bun.
  • All your cookies taste like almonds.
  • You make the bed in your hotel room.
  • You have lace on your windows but not on your underwear.
  • You like dubbel zout drops, and have occasionally tricked a friend into trying one.
  • You've put mayonnaise on your french fries.
  • Your kitchen is filled with milk bags drying, waiting to be reused in the freezer.
  • You drink Heineken out of pride.
  • You have a front room but nobody sits in it (or it's only used for special occasions).
  • You have a spoon collection.
  • Your favourite mustard comes in jars that can be reused as drinking glasses.
  • You leave a window open year round to get fresh air.
  • You eat stroop waffles.
  • You love the colour orange.
  • You have a vegetable garden because there's no way you're paying that much for veggies at the grocery store.
  • Your fridge is always stocked with leftovers. Throw out food? Never!
  • You go to the "Dutch Store" because the smell brings back so many childhood memories.
  • You have pictures of windmills around your house.
  • Everything is Do-It-Yourself - it's cheaper than hiring someone.
  • You use "washandjes" (facecloths that you can put your hand into).
  • You have to explain what 'om' and 'tante' means when you're discussing your relatives with non-Dutch people.
  • You own tea towels and oven mitts patterned with windmills and dancing women in clogs.
  • You call it "MELK" not "milk".
  • All your cousins have the same names as your brothers and sisters, because everyone is named after Oma and Opa.
  • And finally, you know you're Dutch when..You're laughing along with this list because you can relate to most of it!

I know it's a long list. I laughed at most of it.... the others I didn't understand. Maybe I'm getting a little weak in my dutch genes.