Sunday, May 31, 2009

Relay For Life

On Friday night the girl's high school held their first ever Relay for Life. Relay for Life is a 12 hour relay used to raise money for cancer research. You get together teams of 10 - each team member is responsible for raising $100.
Huron's relay ran from Friday at 7pm until Saturday at 7am. Shawn and I went to the school for the opening ceremonies. It was so inspiring to see the survivors in their yellow shirts.

Katie's grade 4 teacher developed breast cancer the year Katie was in her class. Mrs. Lip was there on Friday to share her story and also to celebrate her official survivor status- she has been cancer free for 5 years now. She was a big influence in Katie's life and it was great to see her. Different classes in the school and in the community raised money for the walk. One of Mrs Lip's students donated her hair for wigs for cancer patients- she raised over $1700.00 herself.After some speech's and dance numbers we headed out to the track for the survivors lap. We stood on the sideline and cheered on as these courageous people walked around the track.

As the night progressed we were able to buy luminary bags to remember ways cancer has touched those in our lives. As it got darker the bags are lit up and placed around the track- it is a very emotional sight to see the bags all glowing, lighting the way for the walkers. You need to have at least one team member walking the track all night long- the school had all sorts of activities and entertainment for the people who were not walking, from games and movies in the gym, to bands in the cafe, all the tents set up in the field for kids to hang out in. What a wonderful experience to be involved in.

We are very lucky in the fact that cancer has not really been involved in our lives ( knock on wood for that). Both of my grandmothers died from cancer but they were older and in England so I wasn't involved in the care. Shawn's grandmother and Grandfather both died from cancer when Shawn was very young so he doesn't remember anything about it. I know we are blessed with good health in our families and I don't take that for granted.I was glad to be apart of an event that provides hope for the future- we can find a way to beat this disease!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Animazing Pet Baths

I love my dog Tucker but at this time of the year he sheds so much all my clothes and furniture are now blond. My friend Kirsten also had a yellow lab. She told me about a place she found to take the dogs to get washed. It is called Animazing Pet Baths and it truly is amazing.

They use the same kind of technology as a steam carpet cleaner. They actually vacuum the dog with water.
After the washing process they blow dry the dog also with a vacuum type apparatus.
Then they brush the dog out with about 4 different types of brushes. The amount of fur that came off of Tucker was phenomenal.
He must weigh 10 pounds lighter now! They clipped his nails and cleaned his ears and we were done. We were in and out of there in about 15 minutes. Tucker looks and smells terrific and there is no hair flying around the living room tonight.
I will definitely be visiting there again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jon & Kate

So I watched the season 5 premire of Jon and Katie with the family tonight. It is Katie's favourite show. She went through withdrawl when she was in Luxembourg and couldn't get it on the TV. Katie's friends even made her a build-a-bear of little Aaden to take with her on her trip!

We had been reading about the struggles the family has been going through in the tabloids and we were interested in seeing what they would say on the show. I love seeing the kids. They crack me up. I can't imagine having that life. I know how overwhelmed I felt at points in my life when the girls were small and I only had the two of them! I do believe that when families sign up for these types of shows they set themselves up for scrutiny. You are always going to have detractors, you are going to lose your freedom and your family will pay.

It seems to me that Katie is thriving in this atmosphere and Jon is lost. I think he loves his family but has lost himself and his purpose. I think he is rebelling against his loss of freedom. I think he would be a much happier person if he could get a job outside of the home, have something that is his and does not belong to the public. Kate can still do all her appearances and trips- they have help- they love their kids- hopefully they can weather this storm. I will be watching to see what happens.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The bathroom

The bathroom is finished -yay!!!
Here is what it looked like before:

I am so impressed by the work Shawn did. He had never installed a sunken in tub before or tiled an entire floor and wall. I love the new colours, it looks so rich and warm. The tub is fantastic- I am covered with water and bubbles up to my neck now. We are all very happy to be back to 2 functioning washrooms.

Thank you Shawn for all your hard work.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let's play ball!

I really like baseball. I used to play on a team when I was younger and Shawn and I played co-ed ball for a couple of tournaments. It was a lot of fun. My girls' played t-ball when they were small, then they moved on to soccer for their summer activity.

Nicole's BF Josh is a very good ball player. He plays for the Kitchener A's. It is fun to watch them play. They make it seem so effortless. I am sure I never made it look that easy when I was playing.

Josh had been encouraging Nicole to grab a glove and play some catch- well she got hooked. She tried out for the slo-pitch team at her school and made it! So now I get to watch her playing ball. For the past couple of years Nicole played rugby. It was fun to watch her team but I never really understood the rules or what was going on. At least now with ball I know the scoop. This week she had 2 tourney's- one for the girls team and one that is with a co-ed team so she gets to play with Josh. That certainly brings back memories for me.

The weather this week has been fantastic. It certainly feels like summer sitting out there at the ball diamond.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I love to camp- have ever since I was little. One of my favourite things about camping is the campfire. We have spent many hours with family sitting around the fire, singing, sharing stories, roasting marshmallows.
I am so glad that now we can have fires in the backyard. When we expanded our deck last summer we added a concrete patio- specifically for a campfire pit. I wasn't sure how much we would use it but I wanted it just in case.

Well no fear- it got used- a lot. There is nothing better than sitting out around a fire on a summer evening. It just relaxes me. We have had 3 fires so far this spring. Nicole, Katie and the high school slo-pitch team are out there right now ( yes it's a school night but they have a tourney tomorrow so they are all staying here) they are making s'mores and sharing stories, creating new memories.

I am so glad we added the patio

Monday, May 18, 2009


Do any of you out there get migraines?

I do. Not very often and I usually can control them if I catch them quickly enough. This weekend I had worst migraine I have ever had since my very first one. With my first migraine, about 12 years ago, I had no idea what was going on. I thought I was dying, I was throwing up, my vision was going and my head felt like it was going to explode. Luckily my mother-in-law was a nurse as well as a migraine sufferer so she knew what do to.

Since then I have been to see the doctor as well as the ophthalmologist to get some information. I suffer from ocular migraines, which is why my eyesight can be impacted. I don't have a trigger for my migraines except for the weather. Spring and Fall are when they happen for me- when there are wild fluctuations in the barometric pressure. I have read articles saying that there is no proof that barometric pressure causes migraines but I disagree strongly. I can usually tell when they are coming, I start to feel sick. I take Advil migraine and Gravol and head to bed. I usually can sleep it off. The one I had this weekend was bad- I was in bed for 24 hours straight. My mother -in -law had to come over with her magic little pills.

I am curious to hear from anyone else who has migraines- what triggers them? What do you do when you have one? I am interested to hear from you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I have a love -hate relationship with The Oprah Show. I have watched Oprah on and off for many, many years. I usually enjoy her celebrity interviews, I used to follow her book club selections religiously.

I became very disillusioned with Oprah a couple of years ago when she publicly denounced James Frey on her show. I had read his novel A Million Little Pieces. I enjoyed the book. The novel had been touted as a memoir- turns out that parts of it had not been exactly truthful. Unfortunately Oprah's people did not do their fact checking and when it came out the Oprah had been "duped" by the author she was livid. She publicly humiliated James Frey on her show. I have never seen anything like it. I truly thought that he might go home after the show and harm himself- she called him a liar and laid him open in front of millions of viewers. It was in my opinion a blatant display of a power crazed woman who had been embarrassed in front of her viewers.

Lately I have given Oprah another chance and I have been impressed. She recently did a couple of shows on talking about sex with your daughters. Nicole and I watched these together ( Katie was still in Luxembourg). Nicole and I have a very open and close relationship-we talk about pretty much everything, but Oprah hit on topics that even we had not talked about yet. It was a very well done show, she took a lot of flack from her viewers for things that had been said on the show but I applaud her for her honesty and integrity. I also read today that Oprah has called James Frey and apologized for what happened on her show. It takes a big person to admit when they are wrong.

I guess I will keep on watching... for now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I joined a gym...What???

Okay- so I have gone and done it- I joined the gym! I haven't belonged to a gym since the girls were little. I am tired of being a couch potato. I made a pack with myself to lose 40 pounds before I turned 40. Well I did it-I lost the 40 pounds. Now here I am almost 2 years later and most of the weight is back on. I felt good with out that extra weight. For me it is not really about how I look it is more to do with how I feel and being healthy. Nicole and I were talking about it and she wanted to join as well. Now Nicole is a very active person, she plays on school teams and still has gym class but she wants to get into a routine that will last her once school is over. We decided to join Good Life together.

This is what I want to get back too. I will let you know how it goes!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I wish every mom out there a Happy Mother's Day! Isn't is nice to have a day to celebrate moms?

I had a great day. The girls my mom and I all went out for lunch because Nicole was working all day. We went to Boston Pizza- it was yummy!

Then the girls gave me the best present ever- a bath in my new tub! I got all the fixings I needed, every vanilla smelling bath product that was out there. It was so nice in the new tub- the water came right up to my neck. I can't wait until the bathroom is finished but it was nice to spend an hour in there relaxing and reading my newest novel.

I hope everyone had a great day and said thanks to the important women in their lives.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Marley & Me

Katie and I are having a mother daughter movie night. We decided to watch Marley & Me. We already saw the movie in December in the theatre but now we have it on DVD.

I ready the book a couple of years ago. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw the cover because the picture reminded me so much of our dog Tucker, when he was a puppy. I loved the story, so much of it was our life, I could relate totally to Marley's owners.

The book got passed around the family, Nicole then Katie read it, my parents, some friends and then SHAWN read it. Notice the Shawn is all in capitals? Well that is because he reads about 1 novel a year so this was a big deal. This was the first book that all 4 of us had read. It was great to be able to talk about it as a group. The girls and I all cried when we read the book, Shawn did not but he was emotional.

I loved the book- I did not love the movie. I am never usually happy with how they change the story. I thought the movie was a good film on it's own but as a representaion of the novel it left a lot to be desired. I can't stand it when they add characters or plot lines to make things happen. I know you can't get characters thoughts and feeling across on film like you can in a book- don't even get me started on Twilight, but they should be able to make the movie more like the book.
Books , for me, will always be the better choice

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Katie's coming home!!

Two years ago my youngest daughter came home from school one day and announced that she wanted to go on an exchange. At the time Katie was a 14 year old grade nine student. She had gotten the idea from a friend of hers in drama class who was here from France. I told Katie that I thought it was a wonderful idea- she would have to look into it and find out all the information and she would have to pay for the entire trip herself. I don't believe that I actually thought at the time that she would go through with it.- I was wrong.

Katie went to school and researched the whole thing, she spoke to guidance councilors, teachers and previous exchange students. We got all the info and we were off and running. Katie had a 10 page application to fill out, we had a home visit, there were organizational meetings. The cost of Katie's trip was $2200.00. Katie did manage to raise all the money herself, she got a part time job on Saturdays, she picked eggs at her uncle's farm, she coached synchro at summer camp, she organized a garage sale at our house. All Katie asked for for her birthday and Christmas was money for her exchange. She raised the cost of her trip and had spending money to boot!

Now the waiting began. We sent of f Katie's application in December and had to see who she would be matched with. Katie's top 2 countries were Italy and Luxembourg. We got word back in May that Katie had made a match in Italy. Her partner was a couple years older than Katie but was very excited to come to Canada, they lived on the coast in Italy, near the sea. It sounded wonderful.

The girls communicated back and forth, we sent pictures and got to know each other families. Katie left for the month of July to do LIT training at summer camp. While Katie was gone I received word that her exchange partner had pulled out, she was too afraid to come and stay here but they would still be willing to host Katie. To say we were devastated would be correct. All Katie's hard work and her planning was falling apart. I contacted to association to see if any other matches could be made- Katie was willing to go anywhere but all the matching had been completed. Katie now had 3 choices, she could do half an exchange and go to Italy for her 3 months, she could wait and do the exchange the following year or she could skip the whole thing and save her money. Katie decided she would go to Italy like she had planned. It wouldn't be the same, she would not have an exchange student here for 3 months to show around and get to know but she would have the experience of being there at least. It was an unfortunate situation but the best we could do.

The first day of school in September was hard for Katie, she had been so excited about bring her exchange partner to school. I went off to my school in the morning after dropping the girl's off at their high school. At lunch I received a phone call. There was an exchange student from Luxembourg , living in Toronto who needed to be removed from the home she was in- would we be interested in taking her? After asking a few questions, finding out that the house was not safe for Jill, that she was the same age as Katie and talking to both her mother and Katie, we said yes- we would be happy to take her.

So Jill came and lived with us for 3 months. We had a great time. She was very happy to get away from the family inn Toronto and we were happy that Katie was now going to have the full exchange experience. We went to Ottawa, Niagara Falls, apple picking and paint balling, We had a wedding, Thanksgiving, Halloween and school dances for Jill to experience. Anything she had heard of and wanted to try we did. We went to Great wolf lodge, she got to have PJ day at school, we went to Toronto, it was a crazy, exhausting, wonderful time. Jill fit in great with our family. She had an older sister like Katie, liked school and made friends. We were sad to see her go in November.

Our family regrouped in December with a trip to Mexico, we had Christmas , Katie wrote her exams and then on February 10th Katie left for Luxembourg. It was hard to see her go through the gate at the airport. I was so excited and proud of her but still that was my baby, leaving for 12 weeks!

Well the 12 weeks are up, Katie is coming home tomorrow. She has done some amazing things, skiing in Italy, shopping in Germany, a weekend in Paris followed by a week in Avignon. She has gone to school, learned to understand Luxembourgish, made a bunch of new friends. She went to visit a concentration camp site, she has been to The Louve, many churches and museums. So many things I can only imagine, she has done.

I am sure that my little girl has done a lot of growing up. She has had to handle situations and experiences that someone her age normally would not. I am so proud of her and I am looking forward to seeing the maturity that has occurred while she has been away but I know deep down inside there- she is still my baby and all she wants from me tomorrow is a huge hug!

Monday, May 4, 2009

First Ever Scrap Page

So I received my first tag yesterday. My friend Joanne tagged me in the first ever scrap page game.

The rules are simple:

1. Show us your first scrapbook page

2. Write a couple of lines about the page - associated with your feelings, your thoughts and when you did it

3. Pass the game on to 5 people

So here is my first ever scrap book page.

My girlfriend Kirsten was hosting a Creative Memories home party about 9 years ago. I had always known that I wanted to do something special with my girls school photos, I just wasn't sure what it was. When I went to the party and saw what could be accomplished I knew I had found my answer. I was instantly hooked. For the first time in my life I actually spent a big chunk of money without discussing it with my hubby. I bought the whole kit and caboodle, every tool, sticker, blade that they had. I am happy to say that Shawn was glad I had actually spent money on myself and I have used those same tools ever since. Of course I have added to my stash along the way, I have gotten used to cutting photos- I had such a hard time doing that the first time. I have become much more creative but I still have the same passion every time I see a blank page.

I am supposed to tag 5 people but I only have 2 blog friends that have not been tagged- Kelly and Sam- I tag you!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friday Night Crops

I love Friday night crops at Two Scrapbook Friends. It is as time for me to get some scrapping done while I catch up with my friends, there is always good food and I usually get to meet new people.
Last night's crop was probably the funnest one I have ever been to. I don't know if there was something in the air or what but I haven't laughed as loud or for as long in a very, very long time. My tummy still hurts today. I had tears rolling down my face and I was actually snorting at times!
My table mates were great- we definitely were the "loud" table. I had 3 of my regular gang there and 4 new friends who I had seen before but never really talked to- I am happy to say they are friends now.
It all started with the Chinese food- the Wok Wagon was there- the food was great but there were comments about "sum young guy" and it went down hill from there. Nicole told me about a friends tradition of saying "in bed" after you read your fortune cookie- you should try it, there are some good laughs that can happen right there. Last night we had: You will attend an unusual party.. in bed and You are sensitive to all that is going on around bed.
Most of what was funny to us does not bear repeating, you would have had to be there but let's just say we hit on our top 5 celebrity lists- even the ones we just like as friends, top songs from the 80's and special events that occur on birthday and anniversaries. I didn't win a prize ( again) and I didn't get much scrapping done but I did have a wonderful evening- One I hope will be repeated in the future with my new found friends.