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Thursday, July 26, 2012

What's up?

Hey everyone! Did you think I'd fallen off the face of the planet? LOL! Almost but not quite. The last two weeks have flown by so fast I didn't even realize I'd forgotten to post anything last Friday. Does that make sense? So I know it's not Friday today but here is my Family Friday Update for you ... on Thursday.

When I last posted we were on our way to pick up the girls in Victoria from their week with Greg's parents. We ended up having a mini vacation too as we stayed a night in a hotel in downtown Victoria. Right next to the Parliament buildings actually!! Very nice! Here are a few pictures from that weekend.

This is the view from our balcony - looking over Victoria Harbour. The white building in the foreground is the old wax museum. Not sure what it is now. Off in the distance you can see the Empress Hotel - famous for it's ivy covered walls and High Tea. Greg booked our hotel with one of those sites that doesn't tell you which hotel you're getting until you commit so we thought maybe ... just maybe ... But no. Perhaps next time!! 

My little family. I think Paige was just too tired to want to be in any pictures. This was taken on our way back to our hotel after dinner. At 8:45PM!!! I know, right! Crazy!!
You can see the Parliament Buildings in the background.

Too tired for pictures but never too tired to climb!

Here is the fundamental difference between Marley and Paige. While they both are super happy to climb just about anything. Marley will leap fearlessly from the top while Paige carefully assesses the situation then decides on the best way down. This time the best way down for her was to climb, not jump. 

On Sunday we went for another wander before hooking up with a friend of Greg's after lunch. Here are a few more pictures.

The Parliament Buildings above and the Empress Hotel below in the early morning gloom.

This pond was in front of our hotel and there was a mother duck and 3 ducklings in residence. It was required that we stop and admire the ducks every time we walked past this pond!

After we'd checked out we left the van in the hotel parkade and wandered down to Fisherman's Wharf to check out all the boat houses and the resident seals.

The girls even got to feed them some fish (you can buy plates of fish from a local vendor - by the size of the seals, I think most people buy food for them!!)

Christine is always a going concern for us. As you can see, Greg has a firm grip on her hand so she doesn't accidentally fall in!!

On the ferry home Paige lost Tooth #2 - a tooth that had been threatening to fall out for so long! I really thought I'd get a call while they were at Granny Camp to ask how much the Tooth Fairy normally left!

As you can see, the adult tooth is already half way up!

Goofing around on deck.

Greg and Christine on the outer deck.

Life quite rapidly returned to normal once the girls were home. I'd registered them in the Vacation Bible School run by South Delta Baptist Church in Tsawwassen to which Marley eagerly went and Paige had to think about. She decided to go on the second day and enjoyed the rest of the week. After so much change in routine the week before, her need for a day at home to get her bearings was not a complete surprise. Very Paige!

Then it was the weekend again! Saturday started with a bang as I got a job!! I am now working for Pier1. Right now my position is temporary as I will be assisting the store staff in transitioning the store from Summer to Fall. This entails moving ALL the furniture and displays around in the store! It's only Sunday nights starting this Sunday and going through August, but I have every confidence that they will love me and ask me to stay on part-time during the Holiday season (September through January). It's a start and it's pretty exciting. Plus I get a staff discount of 25% so I'm sensing a whole lot of Pier1 Christmas presents this year!!

While I rested after my exciting morning, Greg took the girls to the races. Horse Races! I know, a bit out of left field but ... what the heck. Greg was 2 sips into his beer when Christine slipped on the concrete bleachers and split her chin wide open! Told you she was a going concern! The on-site medics deemed it necessary to take her to Children's for stitches so they ended up spending the afternoon there instead of watching horses run around in a circle (oval, whatever.) She is now sporting 4 stitches and a bandaid on her chin! 

According to Greg she was very brave and didn't cry or really move as the student doctor had to re-do a couple of his stitches!! Marley and Paige were also very brave and showed real maturity by keeping Christine entertained and distracted the entire time. So proud of my girls!! (BTW - Greg kept up his bloody streak on Tuesday. I had my first shift at Pier1 (paperwork and safety video) so he had to take the girls to Ultimate where Paige missed a disc and got hit in the nose. Just like in Maui!! More bloody shirts to wash out!!)

So that's what's new around here. Oh, I got my results back from my doctor and they are better than expected. Not only did they remove all the questionable cells, once tested, they were found to be not as dangerous as first thought. Phew!

Hope you are having a great summer so far. The weather down here is changeable at best. Today it looks like the sun will shine on us again so I think I'll get the girls outside to enjoy it while it's here! Have a great weekend everyone!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Family Friday Update

No pictures today. I have purposefully not taken my camera with me this week. I realize that documenting a week in the life without the girls is probably something most scrappers would do, but I have chosen to spend this week organizing the memories I've already documented rather than adding a bunch of new photos to the pile.

What does that look like, you ask? Well, do you remember my basket of random memories to scrap? Okay, maybe I'll show you one picture but you've seen it before so it doesn't really count!

It started out as a great idea but I found myself adding to it a lot and scrapping from it a little. What this led to was an overflowing basket and a frustrated scrapper who spent far too long trying to dig out a story to tell from the basket than was appropriate. Also, the photos and memorabilia weren't necessarily together so I'd often come across something I'd meant to add to a layout long after the layout had been created. 

Anyone else out there experience this?

With the girls away this week I decided to pull out a few projects that needed a bit of space to accomplish - leaving things out and knowing they wouldn't get "messed with" was a huge bonus! The first project was to get a head start on my Disneyland album. I had ordered a bunch of Disney related papers and products and an album so once the girls left this was the first thing I pulled out. I took a page out of Shimelle Lain's handbook and cut most of the patterned paper into boxes and strips and created starting point layouts. I've got about 18 of these ready to go now - how awesome is that? All they need are the pictures which I picked up from Costco a couple days ago. I WAS planning to get this album scrapped this week but when I started the "cleaning out the basket" task I realized it wasn't going to happen and I'm okay with that. I can easily work on these layouts when the girls are around now that a lot of the preplanning is done. They may even be able to help me with some of the story telling.

This basket is turning into a MUCH LARGER project than I'd anticipated. Perhaps it was naive of me to think that organizing 10 years of family memories (plus another 28+ years of pre-Greg memories) was achievable in a couple of days!! I have started with the pictures. I had put a whole pile into topic categories for Stacey Julien's Twelve class but I found my brain doesn't think categories so much as events and (gasp) chronology. So, I first had to un-do what I'd spent a fair bit of time doing at the beginning of Twelve before I could move forward. Moving forward looked like creating picture file tabs and sorting those loose photos into chronological order. As of this post I have sorted the ones from my Twelve file folder but the basket is still taunting me with its piles and piles of pictures left to sort. Sigh. And we have to go pick up the girls today. Double sigh. 

Don't get me wrong. I am more than ready to pick up my girls! I've missed them and am ready to take them back again. Plus I know Grandma Day is MORE than ready to pass them back to me so she can rest!! I can not say enough how awesome she and Grandpa Day have been this past week and a bit!! However, I know that means my ability to work uninterrupted goes *POOF!* and it also means I have to clear off the dining room table and move everything back into my tiny office so the girls don't "mess with my stuff!" 

Hopefully I have enough momentum to keep me going! Wish me luck.

Oh yeah, the other thing I've been doing this week ... handing out resumes in an attempt to find a part time job. Not something I'm embracing with wholehearted excitement but a necessary task at the moment. If only someone would pay me a ton of money to stay home and scrapbook all day!! LOL!!

Enjoy your weekend everyone. How do you keep your photos and memories organized? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Maybe glean some new ideas too!! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Off to Granny Camp

Well, Greg and I are staring down the barrel of a week without the kids. What ever are we to do?!

(Ha, ha, ha! Sorry, had to pick myself up off the floor just then as I was laughing so hard!!)

I think I won the jackpot when it comes to in-laws. They live in Victoria and since we are a hop, skip and jump from the ferry terminal, come over at least once a month to visit. They are REALLY good at looking after the girls if we need them too (even allowing Greg and I to take our little California Trip last year) and for the past several years have run a "Granny Camp" for our girls and our nephews (not at the same time!!) This year is a greatly extended version as I had to have a little "procedure" the other day and am not supposed to life anything over 30lbs for a week. Since LC is now over 30lbs that raised a bit of an issue. Grandma and Grandpa to the rescue! They have been here since Wednesday afternoon entertaining the kids and allowing me to rest and recover and just a few minutes ago rode off into the morning sunshine destined for Victoria.

Everybody in!

Bye Bye Mommy!!

Driving off.

Look closely at the little face in the rear window. That's my Paige with her mouth wide open and tongue hanging out. What a goof! Gonna miss that finny face!!

So, here I am, blogging. Shocking I know! I feel like I haven't been very good at keeping this blog updated lately. Life is busy, sure. But life is always busy! I've just not been very inspired to write about our daily lives lately I guess. But I promise, that is going to change. A few years ago I blogged every day for 15 days and even though those posts were totally random, it felt really good to spill something onto a page (virtual as it may be) every day. It is my intention to find my groove again with this blog and with life. Hope it's not too painful for you all!! To help me out, I've signed up for Shimelle Lain's Blogging for Scrapbookers class. It's full of great suggestions for post topics so ... wish me luck?

That's all for today. I've got a project due for Practical Scrappers that is causing me a tiny bit of grief. At least I should have peace and quiet today to work it out! Oh, and a word of advice for my female readers (that's basically all of you I know!) keep up those yearly appointments with your doctor! As icky as the physical exams are, catching something at a stage where it is treatable is worth every instance of putting your feet in the stirrups and "scootching your bum" down to end of the table!! I'm fine. Just had to have a LEEP done on Thursday. Look it up ladies, just be warned there is a high cringe factor involved!!

Have a great day everyone. Hope the sun is shining where you are as brightly as it is here. Finally!! Summer has decided to show up here in the Lower Mainland!! I was really getting worried there for a bit.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Practical Scrappers Feature - 10 Things to do With Chipboard

Over at Practical Scrappers we're talking chip board today. Head on over there for some great ideas of different ways to use that stash of chip board (you know you've got it!!)

I used my chip board letters as a mask when misting to give me this great, "cut out of the snow" look.  This picture was taken on a snow shoeing trip in a yucky slushy kind of snowfall evening. The flash just picked up and reflected all the falling sleet so the picture has this kind of awful hazy quality to it. Instead of trying to hide it I decided to emphasize it by mimicking it with mists.

It was incredibly easy. First apply a bit of repositionable adhesive on the back of your chip board letters (I used my Big Shot to cut these out of chipboard packaging.) Once you've decided exactly where you want your title to be, spray the back ground card stock liberally with a mist colour of your choice. I used Mister Huey's Calico White to give my layout the snowy look I wanted. Once I took off the letters and let the mist dry I outlined the letters with a white gel pen.

The group of us out that night used to play Ultimate Frisbee together and we were called the Apocalypse Cows so the whole title is "Apocalypse Cows in the Snow" but since we referred to ourselves as The Cows, I just made those two words the focus. I like the symmetry of them too! Almost a palindrome!!

As an added bonus, I used the sprayed O's as embellishments. Here I cut out the centre of the scalloped circle paper behind the O to show the tree on this piece of Studio Calico paper. The paper is all little white houses on a pale yellow background with one lone fir tree. I liked the fir tree. It reminded me of the woods on Cyprus Mountain so I wanted to feature it.

I also got out my snow flake border punch to punch just two strips of paper.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to go to the Practical Scrappers Blog for more great ideas from our oh, so talented designers.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day!

Canada is celebrating its 145th Birthday today! As normally subdued (despite being fiercely patriotic) people, today it was nice to see a sea of red and white at the annual Pancake Breakfast in  Ladner. I recently did a layout about this breakfast and what Canada Day means to me - see it here and here - so I though some updated images were in order. Here are some from earlier today.
We just picked up our breakfast tickets and are heading back to get in line for pancakes. Definitely fewer people today - scared off by the sprinkles and grey skies no doubt!

LC and I enjoying our pancakes.

Greg, Marley and Paige doing the same!

Greg vamping with Marley! Is he 42 or 12? Hmmm ....

The cake! Every year there is a cake that looks very similar to this one. They bring it un-decorated and place the fresh, local strawberries in it just before serving it. LOVE the local strawberries!!

I got a tattoo too!!

The girls enjoying their cake.

Well, Greg is now fully engrossed in the World Cup Final (soccer for those of you not in the know - I am sad to be IN the know!!) After the game, and assuming this tiny bit of sunshine holds, we are going to be checking out the Canada Day festivities in Surrey later. Maybe even stay for the fireworks! 
Have a great day everyone. Show your Canada pride!!

PS - in case you didn't click on the links above (and why didn't you, I ask?!) I have been chosen to be a contributing designer for Practical Scrappers!! I am super excited! I've been trying to increase my blog traffic as well as get my creations more widely recognized so this is awesome!! But no Greg, this will not fill the family coffers!! Purely for bragging rights! Hee, hee, hee!