Monday, July 27, 2009

This one's for you Kitty Kat

July 25 & 26-- Katie was home again this weekend. That is the only way I know what day of the week it is. All the others blur together until Saturday when I make the trip out to KI-Wa-Y to pick Katie up. This weekend I took Katie's boyfriend out with me to get her. I really like Nate, he is a good guy. I must say we were both a little nervous at spending 40 minutes together in the car without Katie but it was actually a good trip. Nate has just come back from a mission trip to Montreal so we had lots of things to talk about. He got to do a lot of really interesting things while he was away, painting schools, cleaning parks, helping with children and just exploring the city and meeting new people- the car ride flew by. The smile on Katie's face when she saw him was well worth the trip. She was very happy to show him around the camp and introduce him to her camp friends. This is her home for the summer.
My girls are growing up. I know I tend to harp on this subject but sometimes it just seems to hit me right in the face. They don't need me the way they used to. I know they need me in different ways and I am so truly grateful that I have such a good relationship with both of the girls. Life is just different, I don't have to drive them around, I am not needed as much for the daily things. With Katie gone to camp and Nicole working my summers are very much changed from the summers of old. I have much more freedom to do things for myself with my friends but I do miss the girls.
Every week when I pick Katie up I am struck by how much she is growing and changing. She is so strong and confident, taking care of younger children, having to deal with responsibilities, superiors and co-workers has really matured her. Each week we gather Katie's laundry from her cabin, bring it home to wash then return it back to her bunk. As we were walking on the trail last week I realized that Katie's strides are now longer than mine, I was falling behind. I had such a strong impression of Katie as a little girl, running to catch up with me as we walked together, now it is me, dragging along behind her, trying to keep up and just so happy when she stops to let me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Reason's I Love Being off in the Summer

July 23--I love being off in the summer for a couple of reason. Number 1- you have the freedom to be spontaneous. On Wednesday Michelle told me about the big Lululemon warehouse sale that was happening in Hamilton starting on Thursday. Well Nicole was off and we had no plans so woot hoot- road trip! We got up bright and early ( 8:00) on Thursday morning and headed down to Hamilton. We knew the sale would be a big deal but we had no idea of how big exactly. When we got there the line up was up and down the block- the wait time was estimated to be 6 hours. We were not sure of how good the deals were going to be but they would have to be paying me to take the pants or at least giving them away for free in order to entice me to stand in line for 6 hours- so plans dashed but hey we are flexible. Nicole and I decided to head over the Brantford to check out the university site. We had been there in the Fall but now that Nicole is actually going there for sure we wanted to scope it out a bit more. Since Nicole is only on the waiting list for residence and may be commuting I wanted to have her drive the route to get an idea of how it may be in the fall. It takes about 45 minute and the drive is not bad so she will be ok, we will just have to buy another car :(
July 24th-- The 2nd reason to love being off for the summer is the week day matinee. There is something mildly decadent about sitting in a movie theatre when most other adults are at work. My girlfriends and I went to see The Ugly Truth. What a funny movie! We had a great time and some deep down belly laughs. It was a great way to spent the day and start the weekend.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Scrap class

July 22--I spent the day at 2 Friends again yesterday and I am happy to say that I am all caught up!! I am actually at the point where I am scrapbooking current events- it feels good. I still need to go back and finish my girls school books but now I have the time to do that. I like to scrap current events as they happen, you capture much more of the feelings, it is hard to work up the same enthusiasm for something that happened 6 months ago. I had a great day with Deb and Michelle made it out for a bit as well.
I was at the class last night that Karan taught. I don't take classes as often as I used too but it was fun to be with my friends, Kelly, Veronica and Sam as well as Karan. I learned a couple of new techniques and used some new products- got out of my regular old routine. I know I was a bit on the quiet side last night ladies but I didn't want to bring any homework home with me!!! We got to take part in a special celebration last night. It was Joanne's birthday and her family showed up at the class with a cake for her! We all sang Happy Birthday. It was a very touching moment and it brought a tear to some peoples eyes. I was happy to be apart of that.
Happy Birthday my friend!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Book Club Ladies

July 21st-- I had book club tonight. It was kirsten's turn to host. I decied to walk over to her place, it's not far, took me about 20 minutes and I felt good doing it since I had not made it to the gym.
Our book club is small, there are only 4 of us. It is my 4 closet girl friends, Kirsten, Michelle and Gen. We are all quite different but we seem to fill each others needs. The good thing about book club is that we read all sorts of different books. There are no rules, we can pick whatever book we want and then we have a month to read it. We take turns hosting and there are always great snacks. Sometimes we add a movie night if the book has been made into a film. I have read many books that I might not have otherwise tried. I don't always like the books but on the whole it is a good experience. I mainly enjoy being a part of the club because of the people who are in it. It is very important to have girlfriends in your life and it is important to make sure you make time for your friends. book club forces us to make that time. We all are busy with kids, sports, jobs, it is easy for us, as women, to put other's needs before our own. I am glad that I am friends with women who value our friendship as much as I do.

I love you guys!!!
July 19--cleaned the house
went to my mom's for dinner
watched Josh's baseball game
took Katie back to camp
July 20--slept in!!
ran errands
went to the gym
made spaghetti sauce

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

**spoiler Alert** Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

** spoiler alert** If you don't want to know about the movie, book or book #7 don't read below

July 18th
I love all things Harry Potter. I have devoured the novels hot off the presses. I have also enjoyed the movies very much- until now.
I read a lot of books and see a lot of movies so I am very used to things being left out or altered when a book becomes a movie. I realize the Harry Potter novels are very long and there is no way to get all the details of the book in the movie but to cut out as much as they did for this last movie is very upsetting. The fact that they not only cut out whole chunks of the book but actually added in new scenes is ridiculous. I personally was really looking forward to seeing the parts of the book that deal with Tom Riddle aka Voldermort as a young boy as well as his parents and all the details of his conception and birth. To me this information gives such insight into Tom and why he became the dark wizard that he is. If you never learn about his upbringing, his rejection as a child, then how can you understand how powerful Harry's mother's love is and why it saves Harry? If you want to cut out characters that may seem peripheral to the story then fine, don't put in the wedding story of Bill and Fluer, don't show the house elves or the ghosts ( although they do certainly play a part in the book) but you can't cut out huge fight scenes or all the details of the work the Order is doing with the giants and the werewolves. I think that the movie did a disservice to the ending of the novel. The fight that goes on in the school when Dumbledore is killed is important- it shows the students that they are now involved in a war, they are no longer safe at Hogwarts. We need to believe at the end of the movie that Snape is a bad guy- this is very strongly shown in the book but in the movie you know Snape is acting on Dumbledore's behalf when he kills him- it is either not well acted or not well directed --you choose. I am not sure how it is all going to play out in the next 2 movies. I hope by making the last book into 2 movies they will be able to stay true to the story, that we will get all the details we need to complete the story because JK Rowlings did an excellent job of wrapping the saga up- she answered every question I had and made the whole story tie in together and finish off properly.
Ok enough of my rant- the good thing is that we all got together and spent an evening at the movies. The Harry Potter movie releases have always been a big deal in my family. We have all read all of the books and we get together and see the movie as a group. At the most we have have 20 people all sitting together in the theatre. This time we were down to 9 but all the important players were there, my girl's, my parents, my brother and my niece as well as Josh and Katie's friend Paige. We had fun, most of us were disappointed in the movie, it was kinda slow and short on details as mentioned above but we were happy to be spending time together.

We are Exercising!!

July 17--I am trying to get in some kind of shape. I don't expect any drastic changes I just want to feel better and have more energy. I have been going to the gym a couple of times a week with Shawn, Nicole and Michelle. I usually do a yoga class but I am going to start and do some cardio work. I did try to go on the elliptical machine- it really did not work out very well but I hope to build up to a better level of endurance.
Exercising is so much better with a partner. I am lucky that I have so many people to chose from! My friend Michelle has joined the gym as well. We work at motivating each other to go. It would be easy to just stay sitting on my couch some days but with the obligation of plans with friends makes me get up and go out the door. Nicole is fun to go to the gym with. She is in much better shape than I am but she is great at motivating and encouraging me. Shawn has been going to the gym for years. He doesn't do classes but works out on the machines. We work at encouraging each other to get up and go, we drive over together do our own thing and then come home. I am hoping that I will eventually get to the point where I can keep up to Nicole and Shawn on the machines.
I have also started to walk. So simple yet I hardly ever do it. I have started to walk with my friend Deb. We both have dogs so we head out to Huron Natural area once a week and get them and ourselves an hour or so of exercise. I like walking because you are moving yet you can still chat.
I hope I keep it up. I am enjoying it and also how it makes me feel. I know it will get tougher when school starts up again but hopefully by then I will have a good routine in place.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wisdom Teeth

July 16th-- I had to take Nicole to get her wisdom teeth out today. I was very nervous. Nicole has never really been sick, never been in the hospital, had surgery or broken any bones ( yes I am knocking on wood as I type this) so this was going to be a new experience. She hadn't had anesthetic before so I didn't know how she would react.
Of course everything was fine. She was in and out of there in less that 40 minutes! I spent the day icing her up ( baggies of peas tied in a scarf worked very well), giving her pain pills and trying to get her to eat or at least drink something. She slept a lot. Josh came over and they started to watch the Harry Potter movies from the beginning- getting ready to see the new one on Saturday. Josh just had his teeth taken out 2 months ago by the same doctor so he knew how she was feeling. I was dispatched to get Frosties from Wendy's as these are apparently the best things for when you get your teeth out- she didn't eat it.

She is doing ok today- not a lot of swelling. We are moving on to heat now instead of ice, pain pills are being dispensed less often, there is not much swelling, she is rinsing with salt water but still wont really eat or drink. Grandma just brought over her favourite homemade soup so I am hoping that will do the trick.

It is never fun as a parent when your kids are hurting. Your impulse is to do whatever you can to take the pain away and make them feel better. I think we have come through this episode ok- we both survived- at least for today

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Scrapping again!

July 14 & 15-- I have been doing well with my commitment to scrapbook at least one day a week for the summer- this week I have gotten in 2 full days so far. I am almost all caught up with my pictures!!
On Tuesday my friend Deb and I spent the day at Two Scrapbook Friends. Both Carolyn and Joanne were there this week. It was great to catch up with Joanne and hear about her trip. Carolyn is soon going on holidays with her family so we got to hear about her plans. These to ladies are wonderful people. They make you feel so at ease and comfortable in their store- they treat you like a friend that is over for coffee. I feel as comfortable spending a day scrapbooking there as I do in my own house. I have been to other stores where this is not the case. Karan was there as well working on some new kits and classes. I had a really great day.

Yesterday I was at my friend Lynne's house with Gen. It was nice to spend the day together and catch up. These are two people I work with and I am used to seeing everyday. With school out for the summer it is nice to be able to keep in touch and enjoy our common hobby. You can learn
little tricks and techniques by seeing other people work and can also borrow their scrap toys!
Here are a couple of shots of some things I have been working on. I like to use lots of colour in my layouts and I have started to bling it up. I love the neat little touches that it adds to your pages.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Big News in the Wilson House!

July 13th-- Ever since she was a little girl Nicole has wanted to be a teacher. She has never wavered in that decision although what she wants to teach does change, from elementary to high school to special ed. She just knows that this is what she is meant to do. Well that dream is one step closer to becoming a reality- Nicole found out this past Thursday that she has been accepted into the Honour Arts program at Wilfrid Laurier's Brantford campus to do Contemporary Studies- Childhood Education and Development & Psychology. She is so thrilled!
It has been a long road for Nicole to get here. If you never remember anything else you ever read here on this blog this is my one life lesson for you- do not, I repeat, do not take your grade 12 child out of school for a family vacation before mid term marks are in!!!!! We took Nicole to Florida this winter for an extra week at March Break and then we came back and she had a bladder infection and the flu- she missed over 2 weeks of classes altogether so when it was time for her mid term marks to be sent into the university her teachers didn't have enough work from Nicole to accurately represent her mark. As a result Nicole did not get accepted into university in the Spring. She did contact the school and asked them to reassess her with her final marks when they came in. Well the university agreed, her marks were great and they sent Nicole an acceptance last week. She had resigned herself to going back to high school for a 5th year so this news was very welcome but also met with trepidation as now she was under the gun to get everything organized. She need to accept, get registered, apply for residence and pick her courses all by Monday afternoon! Thank god for wi-fi! We spent a lot of our weekend away reading all the Laurier sites and figuring it all out.
Well she pulled it off- it is all done. This is going to be a big change in Nicole's life. She is the first from my family to attend University. We are so proud of her, her grandparents are amazed and her boyfriend Josh is super supportive- she should do a great job and have a fantastic year!
Way to go Nicole !!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Katie's Update

July 12th--I have come to realize that with Katie gone to camp she is very absent from our home and also on my blog. I do get texts from her almost daily so I know what she is up to I just don't get to physically see her. You would think I would be used to this since she was gone on her exchange for 3 months but it is still hard- I miss her.

Katie was home from camp this weekend. She brought with her much laundry and many funny stories of her first week as a councillor. I am so proud of how much she has grown this past year. She is so much more self confident & outgoing- gone is my quiet, shy, hang out in the background daughter. Katie also had her 2 month anniversary with her boyfriend Nate. With her being gone to camp and him away on a mission trip they are not going to be able to see a lot of each other over the summer. Nate did an awesome thing and sent her a dozen red roses. She was so shocked and happy- a really nice thing to see.
On Sunday after dinner it was time to take Katie back to camp. It is always a hard trip to make, I am a little sad every time I drop her off. I do however laugh at the luggage that goes along with her. The plastic set of drawers from Zehrs that she used means she has a dresser in her cabin with her. A handy way to travel and keep organized- I just hate lugging them up and down to the cabins!
So she is gone for another week, learning, growing and sharing and I will just wait to hear what she has been up to next weekend.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Road Trip!!

July 8-11-- Nicole had a couple of days off from work, Katie was at camp, Shawn had a golf tourney and Josh was out of town playing ball - perfect time for Nicole and I to head out on a road trip. I have been away many times with the girls, from synchro competitions, to camping trips to girls weekends but I have never been away one on one with either of the girls.
Nicole had been saving up some money and needed a bunch of new clothes so we decided on a shopping trip. My friend Kirsten told me about a place she had been in the states with great deals and best of all no sales tax- Grove City Pennsylvania. Sounded like the perfect place for us!

Nicole found a bunch of really great deals. We spent a day at the Prime Outlet Mall then headed out the next morining down to Erie to the regular mall. My best deal of the weekend was Nike running shoes- I need them cause I go to the gym now don't you know.

We had such a good time. Laughed a lot and solved many, many issues. My favourite thing to do when I am away is to go to the movies. I find it interesting to to go to different theatres and see what is different there, for instance, in England you can actually book your seat in the theatre on line- your actual seat, you never need to show up an hour early to make sure your not in the front row. The theatre in Erie was neat in that it had the most comfortable seats I have ever been in in a cinema, they were padded, wide and reclined, you could also put up the arm rest if you wanted to snuggle- very cool.
We ate at Olive Garden one night and an English pub the other, we could do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. It was such a nice time together, really getting to talk and share. I am so proud of Nicole and the women she is becoming, I am glad to be able to call her my friend as well as my daughter. - now I can't wait to have the same kind of experience with Katie in the future.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A day Home Alone? Not!

July 7th-- So this is what my house looks like when I scrap at home. I spent all day Monday at 2 Scrapbook Friends scraping up a storm and I wanted to keep going. I tend to spread out all over the room at home. I love to scrap in front of the TV and thank goodness I have a PVR because occasionally I will realize that I have missed entire chunks of the show I am watching and I need to rewind. Shawn just stays out of my way and has learned not to touch or move anything because although it looks messy and disorganized I know exactly where everything I need is.
As I was busy I could smell something yummy coming from the garage. Shawn loves to cook and is always trying out new things. I hate to cook so we are well matched, having him around means that the girls and I don't starve. Shawn has all kinds of kitchen gadgets, things I have no idea what they do- nor do I want to learn. Last year he bought a smoker- smoked meat is not one of my favourite things but he keeps on trying out new cuts of meat and creating his own sauces. Last night we had BBQ ribs and a great Greek salad. Thanks Shawn!

July 8th-- So today I was supposed to have a peaceful, quiet day at home by myself. Shawn had meetings in Toronto all day and a dinner, Nicole was working a double shift and Katie is away at camp- I was so excited to be at home all by myself- it doesn't happen very often. I had grand plans of reading the day away, watching a movie and maybe even having a nap- I should have know it was never meant to be.
Katie suffers from ear issues, has for years. She has had blocked ears for the past month, we have been to the doctors 3 times, had prescriptions, cold and sinus pills, a spray for her nose and we were even putting nose drops in her ears (don't ask). There is fluid in there that will just not go away and is causing her a lot of pain- enough pain that she actually called me from camp (her favourite place on earth) and asked me to take her to the doctors. I knew it was serious because Katie would never leave camp if it wasn't. So by the time I drove out to the camp, picked her up, saw the doctor, took her back to camp and got home- 4 hours had gone by! It is worth it if she feels better and can make it through the rest of the summer- she may have to get tubes put in in the fall.
I had just gotten home and was contemplating a bath when Nicole called about going out for her dinner break. Well I couldn't say no to that- I love to spend time with Nicole and I am happy she likes to spend time with me. So after I got home from there, did my e-mails, tidied up a bit and empty the dishwasher it was now 7:00. So my day has gone by, I didn't get to read my book, watch a movie or have a nap but I did get to spend some quality time with the people I love the most in the world- so I didn't have a day alone but I certainly had a day well spent.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 1st to the 6th

Summer is going great. I have been sticking to my resolutions, I have been to the gym with Nicole & Michelle twice this week- and survived! I have also been taking a picture a day so I can remember all the things that I have been up to.

July 1st-- Today was Canada's birthday an important day to celebrate but the big deal in our house this year was taking Katie to camp. The girls have been going to camp Ki-Wa-Y for a few years now. Last year Katie went to the month long LIT program, this year Katie went to camp as a Counselor in training. She will be gone for the entire summer, only coming home on Saturday nights and returning on Sundays. We will miss having her around but she is so excited about camp and will have such a wonderful experience it wont be hard wish her well.

July 2nd-- Summer just hasn't started officially for me without a night at the movies. Nicole, Katie and I had all read My Sister's Keeper- great book- and were excited to see the movie. Unfortunately it didn't work out for us to get to the movies before Katie left for camp so it was just Nicole and I. We started off with dinner at Wild Wings- still love that places- I have tried 12 out the 101 flavours so far! Then it was off to meet Michelle, Gen and her daughter at the theatre. Gen's daughter Nicole is 4 years older then my Nicole but they used to swim synchro together so they get along well. There was a medical emergency during the movie so it was delayed for about 40 minutes but we got to see the whole thing and also got free passes to go back for another movie so it worked out well for us. The movie was good, the ending was changed a lot from the book but it still worked and I cried like a baby through most of it.

July 3rd-- After being gone camping for a week and getting Katie ready for camp it was time to spend the day cleaning the house. During the school year I have a cleaning lady- whom I love with all my heart!!!My favourite thing is coming home when everything is all done and just sitting there, alone, taking it all in. Since I am off in the summer she doesn't come as often so it is up to me. I don't actually mind cleaning the house when I have the time- now spending time in the kitchen is a completely different story.

July 4th-- Finally a nice sunny day. A couple of weeks ago Shawn installed a clothes line for me on the side of the house. I haven't had an opportunity to use it until today. I love the smell of fresh from the outdoors laundry. I feel like I am making a contribution to the environment when I don't use the dryer as well. We also had my parent's over for dinner. Shawn made pulled pork in his smoker, it was delicious. We had a wonderful dinner and then watched a DVD, all in all a great day.

July 5th--Shawn is still off work. It has been nice having him home with me this week. He is so used to being busy that we need to keep coming up with projects for him to do. He got the bathroom done, all the gardens and he hung up an awning over the deck last week. We were eating lunch outside on Sunday and looking at the garden. When we first moved into the house there were farmers fields behind us. Over the past few years construction has been going like gangbusters over the road. There are now thousands of homes behind us. When the building started I said to Shawn that we should plant some trees, we have a sound barrier wall but I wanted to block out the view to & from our bedroom window. Shawn didn't want to plant trees, doesn't like the leaves and how trees effect the lawn-so we did not get any -- until yesterday that is. It may take him a while but he usually comes around to my way of thinking. I wish we would have gotten them 5 years ago- they would be so much bigger now but I am happy to have them at last.

July 6th-- I spent the day at Two Scrapbooking friends today with my good friends Deb and Lori. It was Deb's birthday so it was nice to get together on her special day. We had a great time, a nice lunch and got lots of pages done. Carolyn, co-owner of the store, was working today, she works hard but always has a smile on her face and time for a chat. We are the same age, have been married for the same amount of time and have kids close in age so there's always some kind of story to share or experience to mull over. I stayed for the class and was pleasantly surprised when my new scrap friend Kelly showed up. I got to meet her friend ?Sarah?, got some new book titles to check out and we signed up to do another class together.

It has been a great week- stay tuned for more adventures next week!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Quest for the Perfect Cooler

I am not a big drinker. Ever since I had the girls my tolerance of alcohol has gone way, way down. After 2 drinks I can hardly form coherent sentences- it's ridiculous. Having said all that there are certain times that a you would like to have a nice drink. Hot summer nights with company, around the campfire, those kinds of times.

I would like to find a cooler that I would enjoy. Something easy to grab to take to friends or have in a cooler camping- no mixing, no pouring- easy. I am looking for suggestions- what do you like to drink? I have tried a few and other than my standard caesar have not been successful yet. I am picky mind you- I don't like wine, anything that tastes like alcohol or lemonade- I know, I'm hard to please. I tried banana Vex and Pink lemonade Vex- no good--

So if you have any ideas I would like to hear them.