Thursday, January 28, 2010

Photo of the Day January 28th


Over the past week I've thrown myself head-first into the designing of wedding invitations for my cousin Heather. She and her fiance Shawn will be getting married in the fall and I've offered to make their wedding stationary... such a fun project, with so many minute details to be decided upon! After pouring over my Stampin' Up catalogues and looking at traditional wedding invitations, I've made lots of little samples (like the heat embossing experiment shown above) which have been approved, discarded, revised, discussed and recreated. After several conversations with Heather and a couple trips to the post office with samples to check sizes and weights, I think we've almost got the design worked out. Next step: figure out how many invitations they need and what that translates into in terms of supplies. I've only got three more days as a Stampin' Up demonstrator, so I want to be sure to put in that supply order while I still get a discount!
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Photo of the Day January 27th


Sophie's sitting in the middle of her "train" in today's picture - it's what we call the lineup of winter clothing she has to wear this time of year. I lay them out on the floor in the order she needs to put them on... snow pants first, coat next, and boots for the caboose. It's a fun way to make her interested in getting dressed for school, since most of the time she'd just rather be playing! I often wish I had a snowsuit like Sophie's when we're walking to and from Tecumseh in the mornings... parts of me keep warm, but without my own pair of snow pants the wind just cuts right through me. It's a good thing we're usually in a hurry in the morning - the brisk pace helps keep me at least a little bit warmer.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photo of the Day January 26th

Happy Birthday Gerry!
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Chris is hard at work in the kitchen today, making a few "ahead of time" meals for the rest of the week before we head out for dinner to celebrate his Dad's birthday. On the agenda: goulash and lasagna, for which Chris is making his own pasta. We've had a little mishap though, as George left evidence of having checked out one of the lasagna noodles as it lay drying on the dining room table. With the cats now safely locked away in the bedroom, the rest of the noodles should actually be able to be used in the lasagna instead of being tossed in the garbage!
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Photo of the Day January 25th


Before writing up and sending out my "Going Out of Business" notices last night, I spent the evening in the company of my Book Club discussing the novel Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. It was a fascinating read: a modern day Gothic-style ghost story that was at once compelling and slightly creepy... it certainly made for good conversation. My reading group has been getting together for seven or eight years now, with some fluctuation in members as new people join and others move away. There's an unchanging core to the group though: three or four members (myself included) who've been there since the beginning and who bring in new members on occasion - in fact our hostess last night was our newest member Lara, who did a great job making us feel welcome and providing discussion questions. Thanks for another night of excellent conversation ladies, and I look forward to seeing you all next month!
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photo of the Day January 24th

A peek into some of my many drawers full of stamping supplies...
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I made it official today: I've announced to my customers that I will no longer be a Stampin' Up Demonstrator as of the end of this month (which is shockingly just a week away.) I've been thinking seriously about giving up my Demonstratorship for about 6 months now, and with the end of the quarter having just passed it seems like the appropriate time. I love the company and I sure do enjoy the product, but I don't seem to be able to prioritize the time to schedule workshops regularly, and with sales quotas to meet I'm making my goals by being my own best customer - which heaven knows is no way to run a business. So, in fairness to my budget I'm going to return to being a customer for now, and will continue updating Summer's Creative Corner (my crafting blog) with all manner of creative projects as I take them on. Although I've been planning this for a while I can't help but feel sad this evening... I truly enjoyed being part of the Stampin' Up! family and will miss the sense of fellowship that being part of the local group of Demonstrators offered - they're a fantastic bunch of women who always made me feel welcome, shared their ideas and passion, and made me laugh each time we met. Good memories...
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If you're interested, I'm sharing my 20% Demonstrator Discount on any orders placed between now and the end of January, so please let me know if you'd like to get your hands on some card stock, scrapbooking supplies, or rubber stamps at a discount over the next week!
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Photo of the Day January 23rd

After taking a two-hour nap yesterday afternoon (which is seriously unheard of in Sophie-world), my little girl is feeling much beter today. That darned cough is still there, but the fever is gone and her attitude and energy level has improved dramatically, so we decided to let her go to dance and gymnastics class today. Sophie was thrilled, especailly because “show week” is coming up at The Little Gym and this will be her last chance to practice her routine before performing for family and friends next Saturday. For the next semester of classes we’ve decided to switch to Wednesday nights instead of Saturdays to take some of the craziness out of our weekend, so this is also one of her last opportunities to see some of her Saturday Little Gym friends... I’m so glad she was well enough to enjoy it.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Photo of the Day January 22nd


Well, it appears I spoke too soon with yesterday's post about no one laying on the couch under a blanket all day due to illness. After being up many times with a frustrated and coughing Sophie throughout the night, she is now surrounded by kleenex, a cup of water, a blanket and Nunu Kitty while watching cartoons. No school again today, and we've cancelled our Speech therapy appointment as well... I'll have to give some serious thought to whether she'll be well enough to attend dance class tomorrow afternoon. On a school-related note, I must give Tecumseh credit for their very thorough investigative process when Sophie didn't show up today. I was so tired after our long night last night that I forgot to call the school to let them know Sophie wouldn't be in, and by 10am they had called the house (I couldn't get to the phone), left a message on the cell phone, and called both Chris's mom Shirley and his sister Mary. It's good to know a student's absence doesn't go unnoticed, but I feel horrible that the secretary had to make all those phone calls and bad that both Shirley and Mary got a bit of a fright when the school called them. Good lesson for next time: no matter how tired and incoherent I am I'll take a few moments to call the school before they send out the bloodhounds!
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Photo of the Day January 21st


The littlest folks in my house are in serious need of some cough suppressant right now... both Sophie and Rowan have coughs that sound like sandpaper, neither of them are much interested in eating, and Rowan in particular seems out of breath a lot. What's remarkable about it is their complete disregard for being under the weather... Sophie was disappointed when I kept her home from school today, and aside from being a bit grumpier than normal you'd never know she wasn't well. Rowan was such a ball of energy that I would have thought he'd never felt better, and despite not napping he was still racing around the house on the Winnie-the-Pooh car when it was time to head home. So it was a busy afternoon full of games, toys, and playtime in the tub despite the house echoing with both their coughs. No sitting on the couch all day under a blanket, watching TV for these guys!
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Photo of the Day January 20th


Well here's something I never thought I'd be doing... I spent part of my morning painting the fingernails of my young friend Rowan. He'd asked me to clip his nails (he had a catch on one, which drives him crazy), and when I pulled out the clippers from my big bag of manicure stuff he was intrigued by all the polish colours. I put a couple on my nails to show him what they looked like and he immediately lined up the colours he liked and showed me which nails he wanted them on. He got a big kick out of the darker colours in particular, although about five minutes after the last nail was painted he decided he'd had enough and wanted the polish taken off again. Turns out he's not so much of a nail polish guy after all - it was just a phase!
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On a completely different note, I'm sending much love and healing thoughts to my cousin Lisa today... she's going in for gall bladder surgery in the morning. Once her recovery is complete I know she's going to feel so much better than she has been - it's a good thing, even though there's the painful hurdle of surgery to get over first. Good luck Lisa... I love you!
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Photo of the Day January 19th

Home-made vegetable broth simmers on my stove

I'm thrilled to say that the Soup Making class went incredibly well tonight! Despite a couple of "what have I gotten myself into?" moments during the planning stages, the class itself went off without a hitch and 7 happy participants went home with pots of Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup with Beef and Curried Squash and Coconut Soup. I need to think about how to change the required preparation for this class if Tecumseh Community School would like to run it again though... with a limited budget and so many needed supplies it was a real challenge to make it work. One of the biggest cost-saving (but time-consuming) measures I put in place was making vegetable broth for the soups instead of buying ready-made. We needed 28 cups of vegetable broth between the two recipes, so I think buying the cartons would have eaten up my entire budget and then some! Thanks to Chris (who offered to cut all the veggies and strain the broth at the end) the majority of my time was invested in the 6+ hours it took to stir, taste and re-season the broth as it was cooking. There's nothing like a home made version over store-bought though, in the sodium content alone if nothing else!
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Photo of the Day January 18th

My School Council Co-Chair Mary Jane and I at the morning Coffee-Drop-in... why aren't I holding a coffee?

One more busy day checked off my list... This morning I helped run the first of what is intended to be a new regular event at Tecumseh Public School, a Coffee Drop-in. It's a parent involvement initiative that gives people the opportunity to meet informally with the Principal, members of school staff and parent volunteers to learn about current events, ask questions and have informal conversations over coffee and snacks. Sadly it was poorly attended, but we're hoping that all the work we've put in will pay off in future sessions and that word of this monthly event will start to spread. Certainly those who attended had some great conversations about everything from school safety to the process for giving out student awards, so it was worthwhile. After the Coffee Drop-in wrapped up I spent some time volunteering in Sophie's classroom, and then I Co-Chaired our monthly School Council meeting in the evening... which left me feeling like I spent almost my entire day at Tecumseh. With teaching that soup making class at the school tomorrow night, I'm thinking of setting up a cot!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Photo of the Day January 17th

The display board I created for tomorrow morning's Coffee Drop-in
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Between continuing prep for my soup class and working on two School Council events (a Coffee Drop-in Session for parents that's running first thing tomorrow morning, and our monthly Council meeting which happens tomorrow night) my day was once again spent nose-to-the-grindstone. I'm not going to take the time to look it up, but I just bet that a "grindstone" is some sort of old fashioned tool that one uses to dull edges on something sharp - to literally grind things down. That sounds an awful lot like what my current schedule is doing to me: grinding me down. Clearly I like to volunteer, but I think I may just overdo it sometimes... and with four large events and a few meetings all happening within the space of less than 10 days, I'm beat. Too beat to write any more actually!
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Photo of the Day January 16th


Knowing that I'm in the middle of an extremely busy stretch of time led me to do one of the worst and yet most needed things this weekend... I slept in. Sophie's been just amazing on our non-school mornings lately - getting herself up, coming in for a cuddle with mom & dad, and then going to the computer to play games while we catch some more shut-eye. She's clearly a child comfortable with computer skills - I'm not sure if every four year old could turn on the monitor, pull up the appropriate web browser, and go through our favourites folder to find a game she wants to play. I enjoyed the luxury of the sleep-in before getting out of bed and facing the reality of some pretty heavy planning for the soup making class I'm teaching on Tuesday. I won't spell it all out here, but suffice it to say that trying to research appropriate recipes, quadrupedal them, create handouts and teaching notes, and buy enough supplies to make 24 Quarts* of soup for a budget of $60 (really, think about that for a minute) was challenging and very stressful. I owe a big thank you to a few people for making it possible: my mom for her just-at-the-right-time encouraging phone call when I was feeling overwhelmed, and two vendors at the Western Fair Farmer's Market who agreed to give me amazing discounts in exchange for credit during the class. When you're at the Western Fair Farmer's Market please give some of your business to Sherri Turner of Turner's Farm Market and Anthony Ferras of The Butcher's Blend - two great people from great businesses who really helped me out. By the end of the day I had enough carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions, squash, turnip, garlic, ginger, celery, beef, herbs and canned goods to complete the class I had envisioned - and I spent exactly $60.10. Unbelievable!
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* 64 Quarts = 96 Cups of soup
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Photo of the Day January 15th


I'm one very excited lady today... first thing this morning I took advantage of a presale opportunity and picked up two very good tickets to see James Taylor and Carole King at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. While I don't have much to say on the subject of Carole King, I have a lot to say about James Taylor, one of my musical heroes since I was a child. My first JT memory was his appearance as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live in 1979, when I was around six years old... the sound of him singing "Up On The Roof" at what must have been around midnight brought me downstairs, and my parents let me sit up and watch his performance before sending me back to bed. After two aborted attempts to see him in concert (one a sell-out before I got my hands on tickets, and the other cancelled because of a strike), I saw my first James Taylor concert at the Molson Amphetheatre about ten years ago, and was so excited and moved and... well, enveloped by "fandom" that I wept through his first two and a half songs. I've seen him in concert twice since then so this show will be my fourth - and I'm excited that my partner for it will by my mother. Her love of folksy singer-songwriters (Rickie Lee Jones, Joan Armatrading, etc) as I was growing up was part of what fed my love of James Taylor's style, so the fact that we can share this concert experience is pretty special. I'm counting down to May 28th already!
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Photo(s) of the Day January 14th


Sophie watches Rhys take his turn during our pre-lunch game
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My favourite trio, pretending to be bats hanging upside down in a tree...
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I love, love, love the relationship these two have...
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Rhys and Rowan came over today, injecting a high-energy jolt of fun into the house as always. I love having the boys over, and Sophie in particular loves having Rhys here... my heart gets very full watching them play together, especially when they take quiet moments to snuggle and hug. It may be exhausting some times, but never let it be said that I don't have the best, most heart-warming job in the world.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Photo of the Day January 13th


When my good friend Valeeta left for her 5-week vacation in Australia, she presented me with a wonderful babysitting job: to look after her Cricut while she was gone. For those of you who may not be into paper crafts, the Cricut (pronounced "cricket", like the bug) is a very high-tech electronic cutter... you type words or phrases using the keyboard, slide card stock into the machine and hit a button - it instantly cuts your words out using an array of great fonts. Perfect for doing titles on a scrapbook page, or quickly creating raised elements and messages to use in hand made cards - I've had "Cricut envy" for a very long time. Naturally I jumped at the chance to hold onto it while Valeeta was away, thinking I would take the time to pre-make a bunch of flowers, scrapbook page titles, and whatever else popped into my head. Of course, Christmas came and between my holiday preparation and being away for a week I didn't have a chance to use it. Then, with the arrival of the new year and Sophie's return to school my schedule of volunteer responsibilities suddenly increased, and I've been lucky to fit in even six hours of sleep a night... more often it's been five. Not much time for crafting there. So I used it a total of once - to create a display board title for a project I'm working on for School Council... and now Valeeta is back from her vacation and I need to return the much-lusted-after Cricut to her without having done a darned thing for myself with it. So much for my dreams of spending hours playing with this lovely toy - sigh!
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Photo of the Day January 12th


Today Sophie's the "VIP", which is a program run in her kindergarten class where one child a day gets to be the centre of attention... they sit in a special chair, get to be the line leader for trips outside the classroom, do special jobs for the teacher and bring something to share with the other children - a "show and tell". The theme of this month is Winter, so parents were asked to send something wintery for show and tell on their child's VIP day - Sophie chose a page from my scrapbook that featured pictures we took on a sleigh ride at Storybook Gardens last year, and one of her newer stuffed animals, a dog wearing a scarf. She practiced what she was going to say the night before as well as in the morning before school, and was very proud to display both her show & tell items and her public speaking skills today. Great job Sophie!
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Photo of the Day January 11th


Today started out so well - I read a bit of my book over coffee and cereal, spent the rest of morning getting caught up on emails that I had pushed to the back burner while working (and working, and working, and working) on school-related stuff this weekend, and then took Sophie to Goodlife after I picked her up from school. When I was done working out (including 30 minutes on the elliptical - the longest I've been able to hold out yet!) I surprised Sophie by taking her swimming, which made her day. She loves swimming, and was practically glowing with excitement when I told her we were getting our bathing suits on and hitting the water. After a nice swim we headed for home so I could get dinner started before a busy evening of taking Chris to work, Sophie to my friend Julie's house for a play-date with her daughter Kenzie, and myself to a meeting I was running at the school. Busy, but under control... as long as nothing went wrong that is. But while I was cooking dinner I heard a giant crash/splash sound from Sophie's room, and when I bolted in there I found exactly what I've been fearing for weeks - George the cat had pushed Sophie's fish tank off her dresser and broken it. There was water and gravel from the now-empty tank everywhere, and her fish "Red" was nowhere to be found. I panicked... I knew George hadn't had time to eat the fish between when I heard the crash and raced into the room, so it had to be somewhere in there. I flipped the now-soaked covers on her bed, moved one of her dressers and her desk and looked in the (also wet) laundry basket, but that fish was nowhere to be found. By this point I was in tears, because I was picturing not only Sophie's reaction to the death of her fish (which had been a Christmas present from Courtney) but what on earth was going to happen if I couldn't find its body... I won't bother outlining my thoughts on that. Thank God for Chris, who responded to my panicked calls and crawled around in the fish tank water on the floor until he found Red on the floor underneath one of the other dressers in Sophie's room - the little guy had really flown. We tossed him into some water quickly and I was flabbergasted when he started to swim around... it took him a while to stop releasing air bubbles and for all of his fins to start moving again, but I think he'll actually survive. I was tense and upset so I spent the next half an hour trying to get myself calmer and in a "run a meeting" state of mind while I sopped up all the fish tank water from around Sophie's room and threw away a couple of books that got soaked. The drama's done for now, and the rest of our well-planned evening went off without a hitch... but I'm keeping an eye on Red and shooting many dirty looks in George's direction.
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Photo of the Day January 10th


Sophie opened what I anticipate will be her last Christmas present of the year today. As mentioned in a previous post we do tend to draw things out a bit at Christmas time, but opening a present this far into January is odd even for us. The gift in question was a wonderful Dr. Seuss book from Uncle Al, and it had been tucked away in Chris's book bag, which in turn was nestled in the trunk of his mother's car - we finally picked it up and revealed Sophie's long-awaited gift today. She was thrilled, and took lots of time pointing out all the words she recognized and could read... I know we'll enjoy many bedtime stories from this book in the weeks to come.
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Photo of the Day January 9th


My name is Summer, and I'm an addict. My vice of choice? Books... and I'm in deep right now. I've always been a veracious reader, but occasionally something comes along that will really suck me in (oh, I made an unintentional pun there - you'll understand it later) and at the moment that "something" is my new set of Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. They fall under the category of Mystery novels, which usually isn't a go-to genre for me, but they also feature a favourite theme of mine: vampires. I've been hooked on vampire stories since my teen years, and can clearly (and rather embarrassingly now) recall spending endless hours listening to the soundtrack from The Lost Boys because it was the best movie of all time (bear in mind, this is 15-year-old me talking okay, cut me some slack.) The ironic thing about my appreciation for vampires is that I can't stand horror movies, and stay away from horror writing at all costs - you won't ever find me pouring over a Stephan King novel. Perhaps "vampire lite" better describes my genre of choice, and the Sookie Stackhouse novels nicely fit the bill... fun, sexy, dramatic and terribly, terribly addicting. I've already torn my way through the first four books, and I do believe that my friendly mail carrier dropped them off (yay for free shipping at Chapters.ca!) roughly five days ago. I've sacrificed sleep... I've read my way through breakfast... and when I leave the house the book goes in my purse, just in case I find myself with a few spare minutes in what would otherwise be a busy day. Sadly there are only eight in the set, so despite being insanely busy with the school newsletter which is due in two days and a significant project for Tecumseh's School Council, I just bet I've burned through them by the end of the week. Not looking forward to the withdrawal symptoms...
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Photo of the Day January 8th

Our salmon, nestled on a bed of leeks and basil and waiting to be steamed.
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I decided to serve some kind of fish for dinner this evening, along with a nice long grain and wild rice with mushrooms, and a few fresh veggies. I like to involve Sophie not only in the cooking process, but also give her some say in what we serve for dinner in the hopes that she'll be more likely to eat it if she's part of the decision making. It usually works, but to keep her from suggesting macaroni and cheese or peanut butter every night I need to be very specific about what part of the meal she has control over - I let her pick out which vegetables we'll eat, or decide what sort of sauce to put on our pasta, that sort of thing. Today she got to pick out which fish we were going to have, and after wandering up and down the fish counter at Metro looking through the glass she chose "the pink one" (the Atlantic Salmon fillets shown above) before turning her attention to the always entertaining lobsters in their tank at the end of the counter. Sophie and I have had quite a few conversations lately about the foods we eat - specifically meats and where they come from/what they actually are. She's starting to draw the line between the chicken nuggets she loves and the actual bird, the turkey we served at Christmas and its feathered counterpart, and that the fish we eat that was once swimming around in the ocean... these are not always easy conversations for me (the vegetarian mommy). I've maintained a fairly "just the facts ma'am" style of communicating these things with her, and I was waiting with rather baited breath for her to start asking me about the lobsters in their tank, but I think she hasn't made the leap from them being entertaining creatures to look at whenever we're at the grocery store to being food. I'll be interested to gauge her reaction when she realizes that a potential dinner is staring at her from the other side of the glass...
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Photo of the Day January 7th


Today's photo-of-the-Day is an update on my little green thumbs latest project... the Amaryllis that our landlady gave us for Christmas. About three weeks ago it wasn't much more than a bulb, but with Sophie's loving care, water and the odd day of sunlight, it's really coming along. Not being a plant person, I'm not sure what one does with an amaryllis... is this something that we should expect to keep in its little pot, or would it be better replanted in the garden once the snow melts? Advice from my green-thumbed friends and family would certainly be welcome!
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Photo(s) of the Day January 6th


Chris refills his wine glass
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It was a wonder we didn't wake Sophie up with our laughter
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His not-so-subtle hint to call off the paparazzi
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Chris and I enjoyed a simple pleasure tonight - something we haven't done in ages... we spent most of the evening sitting around the dining room table enjoying a bottle of wine and talking. It may not sound like an exciting "date" to most, but with our often different schedules, the proliferation of distractions in our lives (work, phone calls, volunteer responsibilities, time spent at the television and computer, etc) and so much of our attention focused on Sophie, we don't actually spend much uninterrupted "us" time. After Sophie went to bed this evening we opened a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape that we were given by our friend Ryan about five years ago, and enjoyed not only the well-aged wine but each others company... and quite a few laughs as well. A fun night in indeed!
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Photo of the Day January 5th


You know the old saying about buying children expensive toys only to find that they prefer playing with the box the toy came in? I've been amused by how much attention this particular non-toy item has gotten for a couple of years now... it may look like a sculpture here, but it's actually a series of hand carved wooden items that Chris and I picked up at a market in Roatan (an island just off the coast of Honduras). A set of five wine-style glasses with carrying tray, a set of six shot glasses also with its own tray, and a small bowl with its matching lid seem to hold endless stacking possibilities for Sophie, and I'm always amazed when I come across her latest tower of creativity. Perhaps we have a future architect on our hands?
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Photo of the Day January 4th

Sophie wades through the snow on her first day back at school...
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Today is the first day back to school after Christmas vacation, a day that is either celebrated or dreaded depending on who you are (or what grade you're in I suppose). Sophie was very excited to return to school - she's been asking each morning for the past three or four days "do I go to school today?", and has been disappointed when we reminded her that school didn't start again until Monday. Despite her excitement we still struggled to keep her focused on the task at hand while getting ready for school - something that's common with all four-year-olds I suspect. Eventually we herded her out the door and walked through the mountains of snow to get to Tecumseh, where she and her friends played for a few frosty minutes before the teaches started calling them inside. There's something very comforting about the return to our routines after Christmas break - we're getting back in the swing of not only school but my volunteer work and our time at the gym as well... I think by the end of two weeks off everyone in our home was looking forward to getting back to "normal" just as much as Sophie was.
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Video of the Day January 3rd

video

We don't post videos very often, but I know that a picture of the mountains of snow that have been falling on us wouldn't photograph very well, so this video recorded by Chris out our bedroom window seems like a good alternative. We went all the way from autumn through Christmas without having any good old Canadian winter weather, and boy are we paying for it now! The wind is blowing, the snow is falling (well, not so much "falling" as whipping past on an almost horizontal trajectory) and we're reminded once again that we live in the great white north. I spent a good part of my morning shoveling, and I must say it went well... well enough that after shoveling both the front and back walks and stairs as well as the driveway I still had the energy to shovel the foot of one neighbour's driveway and the staircase of another. I felt like I really earned the hot chocolate (with kaluha) that Chris suggested I have as a reward when I came inside all rosey-cheeked and frozen!
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Photo of the Day January 2nd


Something I neglected to mention about our anniversary two days ago were the gifts we exchanged - double-duty gifts actually, as we decided to do our Christmas and anniversary gift exchange on December 31st instead of on the 25th. Christmas is already so eventful without throwing a wedding anniversary into the mix, and we find Sophie gets a bit overwhelmed with the get togethers and gift exchanges - we've always spread her Christmas gifts from mom & dad out over at least several days after Christmas so each present has meaning because it doesn't get lost in the Christmas chaos. This year we enjoyed a smaller just-the-three-of-us Christmas gift exchange on New Year's Eve day, a nice perk of which was that we could combine those two gifts into a single larger one if desired - which Chris did (and I'm oh-so-glad he did!) I gave Chris a home-made gift certificate for the software that he's been wanting for his portable GPS unit along with a boxed set of the first three seasons of an old favourite show, Northern Exposure. And me? I'm currently sitting in bed typing this blog entry on my new anniversary/Christmas present: the lovely Acer Aspire One Netbook shown above. We've been talking about the benefits of having a netbook for quite some time now - as a single PC family with three avid computer users, competition for monitor time can be fierce, and our upcoming family vacation has inspired lots of conversation about emailing and blogging from "on the road". A netbook is the perfect solution for us - smaller and less expensive than a regular laptop, easily portable and quickly networked with our desktop PC for access to all our files, pictures and music. I'm thrilled with my gift - and the icing on the cake was that Chris was even able to get it in red, my favourite colour. I've been playing with it for a couple of days and love my new toy - thanks honey!
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Photo of the Day January 1st

Happy Anniversary from the snowy, patriotic Burton family...
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Happy Anniversary... and this time I'm not referring to yesterday's wedding anniversary! It was a year ago today that I began this blog, along with an introduction that reads in part: "Each photo represents something happening in our home or lives the day it's published - not necessarily a remarkable event, just a snapshot of what's happening with the Burtons today. We hope you enjoy it!"
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I do hope you've enjoyed it - one of my goals for starting this blog was to share our lives with the friends and family we don't have the opportunity to be with as often as we'd like. We have family from coast to coast here in Canada, and friends as far away as Australia - and with everyone's busy, busy schedules we don't speak to them (even those right here in London!) as often as we'd like. One of my other goals was to focus on appreciating the day-to-day joys in my life - to "stop and smell the roses" as it were. We're sometimes so busy that we let a million special little moments (like a hug between friends, a visit with family, or another kitchen project) slip by unnoticed or under appreciated - but that's pretty hard to do when you stop and take a photo of those moments!
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I think the project has been a success... so much so that I plan to continue it for the foreseeable future. Thank you for coming by, for checking up on us, and for letting us share part of our lives with you - please continue to visit, leave comments when you can, and know that we're glad you came! Here's to the year ahead...
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Photo of the Day December 31st

Happy New Year!
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Here we are on the last day of 2009... the end of one decade and the cusp of the next, saying some wistful (and not so wistful) goodbyes to the past and celebrating our yearly clean slate, the beginning of who-knows-what, the opening of possibilities. New Year's Eve marks not only the global celebration that we all know and love, but also our wedding anniversary... we've often said that it feels like the whole world celebrates with us when we toast our marriage! Unfortunately Chris has to work from 7pm to 7am today, which means we'll be spending our anniversary evening and the "big countdown" apart, but we made the most of our special day before Chris had to head off to be responsible. We picked up our niece Courtney and dropped both her and Sophie off at Masonville Place for a few hours, where they went for lunch at McDonald's and settled in to watch The Princess and The Frog. Chris and I headed out to do some shopping before sharing a wonderful lunch at one of our favourite restaurants, Waldo's on King. It's become a bit of a tradition for us to have lunch there on our anniversary - not only because it can be challenging to find a sitter on one of the most popular "going out" nights of the year, but because I think we're both a bit past the "party 'till you puke" stage at this point. I'm not saying we're getting old, I'm just saying we've matured! We enjoyed our lunch, exchanged cards and gifts, and reminded one another how much we love and appreciate each other... something we do not only on our anniversary, but often. We're both very lucky to have found one another, and we know it - happy anniversary sweetheart!
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