Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A new header...finally!

So, now that it's finally winter and the weather matches the blog header I've had for over a year, I'm sick of it.  I commissioned Laura to design one for me and this is what she came up with.  She pretty much covered everything I write about.  Sewing projects, family, gardening and cooking.

I love it.  Thanks, Laura!

Monday, January 23, 2012

And the other party

Eleven.  I'm already seeing signs that this may be an odd age.  An age where some teenage activities are desired and some childish ones as well.  Example:  A purple cow birthday cake, an elegant lunch at The Creperie followed by a spa birthday party.  Who is this middle child of mine? 


This was a great party and she's still young enough to not mind if I tag along and hang out with her friends. 

The mood was set with candles and smelly incense. 

We started out with foot baths with a selection of oils and salts for them to choose from.  While their feet soaked, they ate orange cupcakes in martini glasses with vanilla pudding and whipping cream.  It all looked very grown up until they licked out their glasses! 

Then they all submitted to foot massages, even the ticklish girls.   Alice is a great masseuse and gave a few back massages as well.  There were different creams for that too. 

I liked the facials the best.  I mixed up some avocado, yoghurt and honey and it felt great on our faces.  The cucumbers were good too and they were in no rush to clean off the goop.  One girl kept saying "I feel like a million bucks!" so I'm thinking that was a good thing. 

After cleaning it off, they were spritzed with Witch Hazel toner and smeared with a moisturizer.  They did each other's toenails with all sorts of colors and I had my toes very prettily done as well. 

Fruit kabobs and then the evening ended with a late showing of "Sense and Sensibilities".  It was a really fun night and nice to feel a bit pampered.  They crashed around midnight and I was allowed to sleep in the next morning while Yvon made them all waffles. 

My birthday is next, but I think I'll keep it much simpler!  I'd like to not have to cook all day and maybe go to a play.  I'll probably have to plan that myself but that's easier.

Birthday week

It was a fun week, but I'm still kind of glad it's over.   Birthday week.  Two birthdays in one week and unless we schedule their parties close to each other, it can feel like the whole month of January is focused on those two special days.

I'll just tell you about Alice's birthday today. 

The tradition is for us to take the birthday girl out for lunch to their restaurant of choice.  Sometimes it's just me, but if Yvon has time he meets us as well which is nice.  I find that the girls on their own with the adults are different people.  Capable of conversation and good company.

Alice's choice:  Hap's Hungry House, an all-day breakfast place near home (and therefore near school).  It was a cold, cold day and the van refused to start.  One of the teachers from the school gave us a ride, otherwise frostbite may have played a part in our birthday celebration. Whew! 

Alice initially wanted a music theme for her birthday and Laura wanted to contribute by decorating the cake. 

I see birthdays getting easier in my future if the kids start doing the time-consuming work.  I love the cake.

Her party changed themes somewhat when I mentioned maybe showing a movie.  The music theme was dropped (because I couldn't think of anything to do with it) and we brought on the movie idea.  It turned out great, actually.  Thanks go to my sister for some of the ideas. 

Using Alice's new camera, three big girls directed and filmed a movie that ended with the discovery of a treasure.  The treasure was a popcorn box for each child, and inside was a bag with coins for the movie concession (Halloween sized chocolate bars, fruit kabobs, and popcorn), the movie ticket and a couple of items that were useful for the "interaction" part of the movie. 

We borrowed a projector and created a theatre in the basement for an interactive viewing of "The Princess Bride".  I can't find my pictures of  theatre, but it was quite cute with little Christmas lights around the screen and chairs for the kids.  While they watched the movie, Beth and I edited their own treasure movie so that it could be viewed on the big screen before they went home. 

As moviestars themselves, they were all given prints of themselves and they gathered autographs on the back from each other.  I'm not big on treat bags (I've never done them really), but it's still nice for them to go home with something.

A fun party with some hectic moments and some downtime for playing too.  And everyone gone at 4:30 so I could do something about cleanup and supper.  One down, one to go!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Another bag

Before Christmas I made another fairly quick bag.  I loved the fabric that I used.  I almost always use stash fabrics from past projects, planned-but-never-finished projects or donations from others who know I'll eventually find a use for it. 

 It was nice to sew with new fabric for a change.

The idea was to create a knitting bag.  The request was for "something to carry projects in that looks better than the current grocery bag that I'm using".  It wasn't tough to improve on a grocery bag, but I'm not a knitter.

Every bag needs a zippered pocket somewhere.  In this case, I thought maybe she would carry those little knitting counter thingy-s, or cable thingy-s or circular needles.  I don't really know. 

I do know that knitters occasionally use those pointy sticks.  On the inside I made long sleeves to store some of those pointy sticks.  It's hard to see, but they had to be angled in order to make the bag a smaller size.  I didn't want the bag as deep as the needles.  

This is the only thing that makes this bag different than a regular book bag or messenger bag.  It's silly to be proud of my knitting needle pockets, but there you have it.  I'm silly. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Last Haircut

The last of us finally got her hair cut.  It's not a huge change because she is growing her hair.  She's had short hair since she cut the back herself when she was 3.  She's the lucky one.  Barbie will never again have long hair. 

But that was more than half a lifetime away, so I can understand why she might want a change. 

I've always loved her hair when it was cut really short.  Oh well.  She's a big girl and is allowed a bit of say now.

And I had my hair fixed on Sunday in the washroom of the church.  The first person I ran into was a hairdresser who grabbed some dull office scissors and did what I didn't quite have the guts to do - remove the assymetrical look that I've never really liked. 

It's better now.   

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

11 Years Ago

11 years ago today I dropped little Beth off at the neighbour's house.  I'd just had my 8th month pre-natal checkup and had no reason to think that these were anything more than Braxton Hicks, but it was best to check into the hospital and see.  My doctor had only hours before told me that all was well and we had a few weeks to wait.  Laura was due on Feb. 9, possession day of our new house, and I was hoping for a slightly late baby so that we would no longer be living in one room of our friend's house.

It was not to be.  Laura had her own plan.  Three hours after driving myself to the hospital, Laura was in my arms.  Sweet, squirmy, restless, Laura.  The earliest of my babies and the largest of my babies.  I'm glad now that she didn't wait until we were alone in our house.  Those first weeks were wonderful.  With 8 other people in the house, I was allowed to rest more than the usual new mom and I was able to share new baby cuddles, naps and smells with our friends and their children. 

And now she's 11.  I don't know if that's good or bad.  It just "is" and it surprises me.  All mothers say that.  How did we get here so fast?

I was going to make her an elegant cake with layers and shavings of chocolate, but she had another idea. 

That's a purple cow.  As in "I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one. But I can tell you anyhow, I'd rather see than be one".   They all grow up at their own speed, and in some ways she's' still the childish little girl we've always loved. 

Happy Birthday, Laura!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Beauties

Today the hairdresser had time for two more of us. 



I think the biggest difference in Beth is the natural light.  It makes our skin look better, but Beth couldn't keep a normal face while squinting into the bright sun. 

I'm not actually sure about my cut.  It's assymetrical and not really me, but because I'm virtually blind while getting the cut, I wasn't able to see what was going on.  I love that it's short again, but I may take a swipe at the length by my right ear.  I'll give it a few days trial before I make any changes myself though. 

Alice is next, but I'm not sure when we'll make time for her.  She's a lower priority because she doesn't even comb her hair on a regular basis. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

By the title of my blog and the frequency of my posts lately, you'd be tempted to think that Ev has no life, no times and no thoughts.  It's not true.  I have so much life, so little time, and tons of thoughts that I don't make time to record them for you. 

Actually I do have time, but I'm not using it by blogging.  We're happily playing with a borrowed Wii today and because of our basic lack of pop culture technology, I'm letting the girls play all day if they want to.  I don't feel like nagging (much) during these last days of school holiday.

December was very busy, but because of many of our concerts, recitals, plays, and craft sales were fairly early in the month, we all had the week before Christmas to think about Christmas.  Winterfest was a great time with a large attendance (unlike last year) and it was nice to sit and craft, play games and visit with friends without feeling like I was supposed to be somewhere else, doing something else, to get ready for Christmas.  All day I was thinking about my parents' celebrating their 50th Anniversary, but happily it was without guilt that I wasn't there.  It's the only thing I really had to make any tough decisions about while prioritizing my pre-Christmas activities.

Some of the lead-up to Christmas included:

Singing with my girls at our church choir concert

Watching my girls in their Sunday School musical (the little cutey in the front isn't one of mine)
Attending the city's sing-along carolling in the Winspear Centre
Listening to Handel's Messiah, as performed by one of the city's church choirs

Going to the elementary school and junior high band concerts
Listening to Alice's first ever piano recital

Sold crafts (art?) at two sales
Spent the day at Winterfest with the community league

The rest of life was filled with getting ready for all of those events, baking loads of cookies, sewing and making gifts, continuing to exercise with a friend a few times each week, cook, feed and clean my family.  I don't think I really felt stressed this Christmas at all and I also don't think I entered a mall once.  Maybe that's why I wasn't stressed?

We managed a trip to Kimberly to see my brothers and parents, and also to the farm twice to see Yvon's family.  The last trip was terrible.  Not the visit, but the trip itself.  6 miles of sheer ice rink roads leading to their farm, and speeds never above 30 km/hr.  Had we known, we wouldn't have gone out there.  THAT was stressful. 

And before the kids go back to school, we're working on increasing our prettiness.  This is our progress so far:

Pretty enough.  I've always thought so.

But way prettier now.  Tomorrow it's my turn.  I haven't had a cut since August, so it should be easy to up my prettiness factor.  Tune in for an update.