Friday, November 25, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

What a week! The last few days have been very 'memorable' to say the least... Yesterday was American Thanksgiving and I had this wonderful excitement to cook up our annual 'mini' meal of cornish game hens with a bunch of fixings. Ken ended up working from home as he was still sick with a cough and cold. Ariel was at school and I decided to cook up some grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Then half way done, poof, out goes the power. Usually its out briefly and comes back but it didn't. Doh!

It wasn't long afterwards that I heard the sirens in the distance, uh oh. Not a good sign. Some investigating on the iphone and a call to the hydro outage line revealed power lines down, and most likely no power till after 6pm. Well so much for my fancy dinner. It knocked out most of the village, including Ariel's school. When we picked her up she wasn't too phased, even though they had to have library time in the dark and couldn't see the pictures in the book, haha.

Ariel had an eye doctor appointment after school so I got the boys home and went out again in the miserable day. Ugh. Took forever to get to the office that is only 5 minute drive away from us. Good thing I left early. Another fantastic visit, Ariel's eyes are great. She was slightly disappointed she didn't need glasses but the doctor said it was for the best! Silly girl.

I brought home pizza so we could have a warm meal. We ate in the candle light but were starting to feel the cold as our place gets chilly fast. Got the kids in layers of clothes and thought a bath could warm them up but there was no hot water, doh. Thank heavens the power came back when it did, we were all getting a tad cranky and the rest of the evening was spent playing games.

The next morning we all slept in, trying to rest up as much as we could for the big day ahead. Ariel had a day off from school and we had our afternoon planned for seeing Santa and going to the Muppet movie! Yay! We got the mall at noon, did some shopping for Ken's family. Then Santa arrived and the kids were excited. I LOVE this Santa, he is so sweet and kind with the kids. Even Xander made his way and gave him a high five. We are big on Christ for Christmas, so Santa visits happen in November (as the best time to avoid line ups), leading into St Nicholas day in early December and talking about the real person. Ariel much like me loves the magic of believing, its fun and we enjoy it, end of story.

We made our way from the mall to the theater and got our tickets. We were excited for this movie, as its been a long wait for us hard core Muppet fans to wait. The buzz was so great for this film we were eager to see for ourselves. However, Xander had different ideas.

Our wonderful son FLIPPED OUT! Following the trailers and Toy Story mini cartoon he lost it. He loves Kermit but since the green guy wasn't on the screen for a good chunk of time he was beside himself. In a fit of frustration that we were disturbing people, I got him out of there. Outside he wasn't much better. He was inconsolable, and I was on the verge of tears, as I have NEVER seen him like this. The teens working the theater kept trying to help, giving him 3D glasses, toys from the snack stand and NOTHING helped. Finally I pulled out my phone and downloaded a Cars game and he seemed to calm down, so we went back, of course I was lost with the chunk of the movie I missed and I was upset of course as a trip to the movies isn't cheap!

Then he started again, this time Ken took him and I stayed with Ariel who had eaten too much popcorn and was bloated and uncomfortable. She wanted to sit on my lap and she isn't short anymore so she blocked my view, oh well. What I saw I loved, but I felt bad for Ken, especially when Rainbow Connection came on and our little girl sang along. It made me cry, and those who know the significance of the song to us and my Mom's memorial, understand the emotion. It was pure magic to see her sing a song that was one of our youth, a true sign of the Muppets returning for the next generation, yay!

We came out to find Ken doing a survey, which earned him a free ticket! Yay, so it was decided we would come again, minus kids to see the film together. I found an old gift card in my purse and it had enough for another ticket, so I am so so so THANKFUL for us not to have to purchase another ticket, and that Xander was free as well, otherwise it would have hurt that much more. So Dad is coming to watch the kids tomorrow and we are going out, yay.

Earlier in the week I got our tree up. May very well be the last Christmas we have here, kinda sad, and I hope our tree will fit in our new place. I will miss our high vaulted ceilings. Xander enjoyed sitting in the glow, and has been fantastic not touching ornaments. He does like to point to them, the boy knows not to mess with my tree, haha. I did something different this year and only did white, silver, gold and glass ornaments on the main tree. Its sooo pretty, I love it. Then our upstairs hallway mini tree is our cartoon one with character ornaments.

Got a new tree at the thrift store this year, a perfect addition for the kitchen and shows off the food ornaments so well. Hee.

Also this week Ariel offically had her ceremony and became a Spark! She proudly got her first year pin and first badge. Yay, so proud of her, especially saying her promise for the room filled with adults - 'I promise to share and be a friend'. Way to go Ariel!

Also got the exciting news that Ariel's school concert will be happening!!! Yay, so happy, as is she. Can't wait to see it.

Well I have a busy 2 weeks coming up, several orders through out the weeks so it will be busy but good. The designs will be lots of fun so I am looking forward to them. Hope to check in, briefly, but we will see. Until then, happy trails!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


When we first got married we were broke kids in our early 20's. When we tied the knot we got some money which we then used towards our immigration costs. Once those were done we spent a long time paying back every cent we could towards Ken's American student loan. Not sure if anyone remembers back when our dollar was at 50% par level with the US dollar, but we sure do, as that is when we were paying back the loan. In one word, it SUCKED! Our big cash amounts would only work out to half and it left us very defeated.

Our friends started buying homes and we were in a tiny little one bedroom trying to save and pay as much as we could. No way to save a down payment in those conditions. Ken and I were both working full time and able to make some extra money to which we kept putting towards the loan and started contributing to RRSPs. When we moved into our place we are in now, 3 bedroom townhouse style apartment we felt good. It was room to move and we wanted a family to share it with.

I started doing work from home, now pregnant with Ariel and of course our income changed. Making those larger payments to the loan were trickier. We then were blessed with some money to finish paying off the last of the student loan from Ken's Dad, when Grandpa passed away. Of course now we were dealing with new costs of having an older car that needed repairs, kids and life on a single income as I wasn't doing as much having 2 young kids to chase after.

Our dream as always been to have our own place. We both decided early on that we wanted a down payment to do it. I know not everyone does that, but for my own personal issues (worry wart) I wanted to do the down payment. Plus my Dad has always been the voice of reason and wisdom on the subject, and advised us the same thing. Our investment lady asked us yearly if we wanted to use our RRSPs towards a down payment, but we just didn't have enough for our area.

With me working at home with my business, I started to generate a bit more income for us, which I hope grows as I can take on more once both kids are in school full time. Now 10 years later, both in our 30's, we saw the dream we had coming closer... our patience and waiting would pay off... more than we knew.

I woke up one morning to an email from my Uncle, who was handing everything estate-wise when Papa passed away. Basically, in a nutshell, we have our long awaited down-payment. It didn't sink in right away, in fact we kept looking at the email, sure we had misread something. Then the panic set it. Haha.

Talked to Dad, who started right away talking about mortgages, rates and stuff that was somewhat overwhelming. I knew some stuff, but I soon dove into learning as much as I could, watching everything on first time homebuying on HGTV and reading online. Tonight I finally posted a question on facebook putting it out there, as they say, its real once its been on facebook. Haha.

Soooooo, finally we talked at dinner with the kids, of course Xander had no clue but Ariel was old enough to understand our question of: 'what if we moved to a new home?' No joke, the girl burst out in tears. We both freaked, comforting her, answering her questions of what moving would be like. Yes we would take her toys etc. She soon got excited, talking about a new room and asked:

'Can it be pink?'
'Your room? Of course'
'No, our new house?'
'Um, no... sorry' haha.

So that week she drew me this picture, and see she got past the 'pink' idea... although the sidewalk is pink and purple, lol.

I can't wait to start looking for a townhouse, pretty much our best bet if we stay in this area, you trade size for community, something we are totally willing to live with. We love our place we are in now, if we could get something with rooms a tad bigger for the kids, and a slightly bigger kitchen for my work and a deck we can actually have a bbq on, we would be thrilled. I will keep you posted on our new adventure as things move along, but I was finally ready to share this with you all, after coming to grips with the fact it was reality.

First up, talking to mortgage brokers and banks for rates... I think this scares me the most. Once that is done I think I will be much better, I just have this fear of them laughing at us shouting NO Money for you! Eek... pray they like us.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


In the midst of me doing a HUGE junk purge for ourselves, I came home after picking up Ariel to see the 'junk' truck outside our place yesterday. When we came upstairs the smell hit us. Ariel's hand went right to her nose and I gagged. I saw the apartment door that is just slightly down the hall from us open and as we walked by 2 men SHOVELING junk out. Seriously it was like one of those homes out of hoarders... just across the hall from us.

I knew the guy who lived there, nice, quiet, single fellow who was young but walked with a cane. When I asked where he was, I was stunned when the junk guy said he was dead. Apparently, he had cancer, and I guess things just got to be too much and he let things go in his place... but looking at the piles of garbage makes me wonder how long it went on for. They removed the stove and fridge today, they were unrecognizable.

Ariel was sad to hear the man died, as was I. Its unclear if he died in the apartment, part of me is hoping he didn't as it just seems sadder that he was alone. The junk guys were talking that its going to be at least one more day... which is crazy since its just a bachelor apartment, and yet soooooooo much junk.

I came home and cleared much more stuff out than I planned. Even Ariel joined in and we loaded a full garbage bag of toys to give to the thrift shop. So now I have several large bags to be taken out of the house, and some stuff I want to try and sell. Just a daunting task at times, sigh.

Well Ken got home and we are going to watch Parenthood on our DVR... which I won! I totally forgot to mention it. I won it back when Ariel and I went to that customer appreciation day event when we saw Charlotte Diamond. Yeah so we won 3rd place, and a free dvr which has been so much FUN, although I had to get filmed getting my prize which aired over and over on Delta Cable... awesome *sarcasm* Ok, good night.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I am looking at my calendar this week and I actually have 'time'... thus meaning I have a moment to blog about the craziness around here. Since my last blog I had a photo shoot and 5 cakes on the calendar. I still need to edit the photos, so I think I will be doing that with my extra time this week.

Friday was a day off as it was Remembrance Day, and I was out with Ariel at the parade and ceremony at the park as she was marching with her Spark troop. It was pouring when we woke up and yet the moment we stepped outside it stopped! Made the morning far more enjoyable. Ariel did well and her leaders said that all the girls stood so well for the long ceremony. I am sure it was nice to be up close to see everything as usually we are further back.

Following the cookies and hot chocolate, we went back to the cenotaph to leave our poppies. Ariel left hers on the wreath representing her elementary school.

Got a picture of her with the Girl Guide wreath.

Thank you!

Saturday was Papa's celebration of life in the afternoon. It was well attended and the even really captured Papa I think. Little touches of cow print and a older hall that really felt like something he would have liked. It was nice to see family and friends that I haven't seen in years, and have never met our kids. It was hard at times for the kids but they did well, and Ken was great helping to keep them entertained.

Love ya Papa...

Then Sunday was a full day at church. First off we started the 'Christmas program' activity. Filming kids, starting the music, assigning readings etc. I am thankful for my amazing team and those who agreed to help fill in areas at the last minute when I was panicking about not having a musician to accompany the kids, lol, kinda important. Looking forward to seeing things come together, so yay.

Following the service was setting up for a baby shower! It was fun doing a little boy shower with a clothes line theme (as she is doing cloth diapers, woot!).

The party was well attended and everyone had a good time and ate well, yummy food!

Ken is very excited about the new Muppet movie coming out soon and has already booked a date for us all to go see it, haha. What can I say, Kermit is a big deal in our home, hee.

We also got our family pictures back and I am so happy with them. This by far is my fav thou, and is the one I am getting as a large print. Beautiful, love love love it!

Ok, Ken is home from his meeting, have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Yikes its November!

I am in a bit of a funk tonight, I somehow forgot that the first weekend in November is the date the annual Christmas bazaar happens. Since we were all preoccupied with our nephew's first birthday party, it totally slipped my mind. Doh. Not to mention I have been pulling LOTS of late nights getting my latest project done... and its done. Done, done, DONE! I was getting pretty tired of going to bed at 2am nightly and having Ariel have to drag me out of bed in the morning to get her to school. So I will have to wait another year for those wonderful tea sandwiches (I will buy extra plates next year to make up for it).

The hard part is feeling like I broke a huge tradition. I cannot tell you the last time I missed it... was long before my Mom died, so its been awhile. Honestly, I cried when I realized what I had done. I know its stupid, but its just that little memory I enjoy holding on to of when Nana, Mom and I went together. Sigh...

We had a fun Halloween with the kids. Xander was far more into it this year, understanding that he seemed to get candy at the doors, and eventually through out the night would say 'trick or treat' (or his version of it) and when Ariel said 'happy Halloween' he would yell 'Halloween!' We went out with my Dad for about an house and a half, collecting a full recycle bag of treats.

Xander upon seeing the treats he helped gather, plopped down on top of them in pure joy. Ariel just howled with laughter, so funny.

Prior to Halloween we all got the stomach flu. It started with Ariel on Thursday, throwing up in the night, thus missing her class trip to the pumpkin patch. That day sucked, she wasn't too happy. She seemed fine the following morning, it was so odd. I actually thought maybe she had eaten too much and just got a stomach ache... that is until Friday night, when Xander started puking... and then me. Saturday morning Ken started, but everything went away within 24 hours. Crazy! Glad its gone, but boy that really was a lame few days.

Next weekend we are having my Papa's celebration of life event, so trying to get things done, as well as keep on top of my already full week of orders. Things are really picking up these days, which of course is great but the balance at times is tricky.

Today I met with the kids in the Sunday School classes to discuss the Christmas concert. I stepped up to organize it and although its a tad scary I feel a real spiritual nudge to do it. I am looking forward to working with the kids and presenting something special... I just need to get my ideas down on paper. Ha!

I have other stuff to share, but its going to have to wait, cuz I have cakes to decorate. Whee.
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