Sunday, February 24, 2013

My First Blog Award!

I don't know if that's exciting or not.  Flattering it is though!

So, one of my new readers (Angela from Northern Hills) nominated me for a Liebster Award.
The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
Isn`t that sweet?  Getting nominated is not just an honour.  It's a lot of work too!  I'll list the rules at the bottom of the page, but it reminds me a bit of a chain letter.  If everyone follows the rules, all lesser-known bloggers will be nominated eventually.  I'll play along as well as I can though.

The first thing I have to do is answer Angela's 11 questions.

1-  What is your favorite hobby?
Most definitely it is reading.  There are not enough hours in the day to read everything on my lists.

2- What is your favorite vacation spot?
Tough one.  I'd love to go back to Port Fairy in Australia though.  

3_ Your favorite author?
There are WAY too many to choose.  I've read a lot of Jodi Picoult lately.  It's easy to get really involved in her novels.  Not too deep, not to slow, not over too quickly.

4_ Is there a movie you have seen recently that you just loved it?
Last night I watched "Romantics Anonymous" which was very cute.  It's a subtitled French movie.

5- What moves you?
People who cry.  Unfortunately it moves me to tears too.

6-What is your favorite scent?
As in perfume?  I prefer none at all.  But if you could capture the smell of peonies I might make my house smell that way.

7- What do you usually do on the weekends or day off ?
I like to sleep in, but usually the kids have to be somewhere and I have to get them there.  On Sundays I love to get together with friends over a meal and a game of Settlers of Catan if we can.

8- What is your favorite piece of clothing?
Jeans and a soft, warm sweater, but I don't actually own a perfect sweater right now.  I really need to shop for myself one of these days.

9- Do you have a favorite song?
Maybe "Be", by Joan Townend.  I sang with her years ago and this is just a simple meaningful song that often goes through my head.

10-Do you believe in miracles?

11- What personality trait do you love about your best friend?
The ability to totally open up and express her spirituality in words.

Now, I'm supposed to tag 11 bloggers I love who have fewer than 200 followers.  Here's a few I'll nominate that I follow. 

1.  Rosa at The Diary of a Middle-Aged Gardener.  My very good friend and gardener extraordinaire.  She constantly inspires me.

2.  Coralee at The Angry Turtle. In a round-about way, she's my niece and I love how she parents, and her creativity.  She has also introduced me to other good blogs, like this one:   

3.  Patty Jean at Little Quiver.  I don't know her, but she does sound so lovely in her posts, as the Liebster award says a nominee must be.  Great photos, very back-to-nature and sort of homespun. 

4.  Lonna at Apple Jack Creek.  A very honest blogger about life, and a local for me as well.  Although she talks way over my head about knitting, weaving and spinning, she does amazing things with fiber.  

5.  Tamara at The Greenhouse Diaries.  She's always up to a lot of fun gardening activities (not actually gardening, mind you) and has some inspiring photos. 

6. ikat bag.  If you ever want to make a bag (any bag, any style), check out her recent series.  I love it and hope she never takes it off-line.  I love making bags.  Oh, I just looked at her followers.  Way too many to qualify. 

7. Julie at Dinner with Julie.  I couldn't see how many followers she has and it's bound to be more than 200, but I love her blog and included it anyway.  I love the mix of good food and honesty about her life, as told with good humour and modesty. 

8. Kevin Kossowan.  He doesn't seem to have a "Follow Me" button, so I don't know what his follower numbers are.  I love how he thinks about local food (and that his local is the same as my local).  He seems to have turned his interests in foraging and food into more than just a hobby and unfortunately doesn't blog as much as I'd like.  He seems to be very busy getting on with life.

I don't really have 11 to nominate because I don't read that many small blogs (or blogs of small readership?).  I think that I'll only tell the top 5 about their nomination because the others don't really qualify.  I'll just leave them on the list for you to peruse if you're looking for reading material.

That was a lot of work because I had to catch up on some of my blog reading while I compiled this list.  And now I still have to tell them I've nominated them.  Phew!  Time for bed for me.

Thanks, Angela, for the nomination! 

The rules:
    Say 11 things about yourself.
    Answer 11 questions that the nominator gives you. 
    Nominate 11 more blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
    Let them know you've nominated them.  
    No tag-backs.  

My 11 questions for you are:
1-  What inspires you to be creative?

2- What is your favorite vacation spot?

3_ Your favorite author?
4_ What are the last 3 books that you read?

5_ Is there a movie you have seen recently that you just loved it?
6_How would you describe your home style?
7- What do you usually do on the weekends or day off ? 8- What would you like to learn before you turn 65?

9- Do you have a favorite song?
10-Do you believe in miracles?
11- What personality trait do you love about your best friend?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Birthday apology

Dear daughters of mine,

I've been told that I write negatively about birthdays every year, making at least one of you have feelings of guilt about wanting a party, wanting to celebrate.

I admit that I do really dislike preparing for parties, and having young, insistent, demanding children in my home is stressful for me.  They criticize my home and my space and question what I do.  They don't mean to be rude or mean, but that's not fun for me.

BUT I like seeing you with your friends.   I like the chance to get to know them all a bit better and to watch you in a peer setting.  As you get older, I love that you do more of the hosting yourselves and I get to sit back more and watch.  

I love to celebrate with all three of you.  Every year, when we cuddle on the bed and I tell you about your birth stories, I relive the joy in that retelling.  It's amazing to me that my girls are now so big when it really doesn't feel like that long ago that you were crawling or needing me for everything.  How can you grow and learn so much in such a short time?  What have I managed to learn in the last 10 years?  Not much in comparison.  You make me very proud in all that you do.

Because we have multiple children, we tend to not spend much time with you on your own.  Your similar interests make it way easier to lump swimming lessons together, piano lessons, Guides.  We bring you to school together and arrange to pick you up together.  How often are we really alone with you in the car?  We don't ski or swim unless more than one can go because everything is just more fun that way.

And that's why I love having our birthday lunches together.  It's a time when we try to focus on you and let  you  pick a restaurant, to know that you are special to us.  It's about us though too.  We get to listen to just one girl, to your thoughts or how your day is going.  It's special for your dad and I too.

So no, don't feel guilty about having birthdays!  We all benefit from remembering and celebrating with you.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Birthdays - every year!!

Why?  Why do they have to have birthdays every year?  They get older and it takes time to celebrate and I really don't like all the little kids in my house.  It's tiring.

However, in January we did celebrate two birthdays and are still not quite done celebrating.

Traditionally, the girls are each taken out for lunch to a restaurant of their choice with Yvon and I.  They are pulled out of school, get to return to school late (rarely can we drive, eat, and drive back in one hour) and they feel good and special.

That night I cook something of their choosing and we eat cake together. This part of the tradition is getting harder and harder.  So many days we have to rush out of the house right after supper, or we have lessons just before supper and I can't make what they want and we just can't do it on the exact birthday date.  

For Laura, her lunch date means choosing a restaurant with no consideration for peanut or soy allergies.  She can eat anything.  Yvon and I took her to a nice little Italian restaurant that was really quite grown up.  Alice chose her favourite all-day breakfast place.  Both were great and they like their special lunches.

The family dinner, on the other hand, was hard for both of them.  They both want veal cutlets, but the butcher we like coats his veal with wheat-y, soy-y breading.  We can't eat it.  Once I bought beef sliced thin that he swore the kids wouldn't notice was not actually veal and I breaded it myself.  They could tell.  I probably liked it better than the prebreaded stuff, but they like that soft texture of the tenderized veal.

Laura's birthday was so long ago that I can't remember what we ate now.  Alice chose meatloaf.  Really?  That's her special meal?  Oh well.  Who am I to complain about the easiness of that.  But we couldn't have it on her birthday.  We had it the night before because our friend was throwing a theme party right on Alice's big day and they didn't want to miss that.

The part I dread about birthdays are the actual parties though.  They are hard to schedule, hard to plan, and I don't like strange children that need my attention in my house.  Alice finally had her party on Friday night. 

Mugshots of the 4 detectives

She wanted a sleepover with a detective/spy theme.  Only three girls were invited and luckily only two could sleep over.  Beth did an awesome job creating a detective game, including clues hidden around the house, a book of suspect fingerprints and matching fingerprints on objects, footprints in the snow and the matching boots placed strategically, fake hair caught in a bush, etc. and messages and images sent to an ipod that the detectives carried around during their search.

Laura took their mugshots and was the official photographer during the party.

Kids are strange.  And when not normally, socially adjusted (like my children are, of course!), they say strange things.  Like:

Detectives get silly

"I love your house!  Want to know why I love your house?  It's big!"

Really?  At just over 1000 square feet, hardly big.

"And it's messy!  I hate my house.  It's too clean."

Thanks.  I just cleaned it for the party, although to be honest, I only cleaned the top level and they promptly ran to the basement to play.

"Alice, your room is gross!  Can I clean it?"  (same girl who hates her clean house and loves my messy one and then tries to make mine clean) 
"I touched my butt!  I have to wash my hands!"  
She washed her hands about 10 times in a few hours.  OCD?  But I am glad she washed her hands after touching her butt, if she did indeed touch her butt.  I doubt it.
"Do you have any towels?  I need to wash my hands."  
I had three towels in the bathroom.  Did she need a clean one after each time she went in there?  I don't know, but I was not catering to that.

And when she left, she HAD to show her mom Alice's room, saying she loved it, and sighed loudly as if to say "I wish I had a room like this".  And this was after declaring Alice's room was gross.  I don't get it. 

She made me exhausted just trying to keep her entertained and maybe trying to figure her out.   Alice, on the other hand, had a great time and was happy to have her friends there.  I'm glad there will never be another pre-10-year-old party in this house.

And now we have Laura's party to deal with.  May it be easier.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Job update

I just quickly want to say that I didn't get that job I interviewed for.  Although I wasn't sure I wanted the job going in, by the end of the interview I could totally see myself working there and wanted to spend my days with these people.  I know that it would have been tough to go back to work fulltime, but there was a lot that was appealing about it too. 

The odd thing was, once I knew that there was someone they liked better (better than me!!), it felt like a contest and I didn't want to lose.  It doesn't feel good to lose. 

Oh well.  Life goes on, and I've got a part-time temporary job for the next six weeks.  It's about 4 hours every day, typing notes for a deaf student.  I'm learning a lot about painting vehicles, which is not a class I would have ever chosen to take.  What I'm really learning is that painting vehicles is almost the same as painting rooms.  Primer, seal, top coat, reducers/thinners, drying times, etc.  I do wish it was a math class or something. 

And just because I don't like pictureless posts, I leave you with these pictures of the Ice on Whyte festival that we went to on the weekend.