Monday, November 26, 2007

I Can't Believe It...Actually I Can!

What an ordeal that was! This used to be where we had a sliding patio door. It was soo cold in the winter, we had to put plastic inside and outside because until then you could feel the cold air radiating through. We got it changed to an insulated garden door with brass grills to match the rest of the windows. Sounds easy enough, right. NOT! When the installers started removing the frame of the old door, part of the wall started cracking and falling! Needless to say, the guy inside yelled to the guy outside to "STOP" and said in a confused tone, "This isn't supposed to happen!?" When you build a door, you are supposed to have a header that holds the wall up and THEN the frame is inserted. There was no header so the door is all that was holding the wall up. So they just inserted it temporarily and came back with all the tools/items they needed two days later and constructed a header, put up new drywall and inserted the door correctly and sealed it. This picture doesn't actually make it look too bad, but you can see where the piece about 3'' high is above the door that was replaced. Sooner than later I'll have to get around to painting that part of the wall white like the rest. The guys kept apologizing but I more than understood. In fact, I just shook my head and told Cliff, "Now you have another (true) story of the peculiarities of this house." Honestly, we have come across so many goof-ups of when this place was built or renovated - windows, plumbing, structural just to name a few. On a positive note, we were lucky to get the door changed just before the snow came to stay.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ta - Da!

After checking several stores and not being able to find a microwave (who would have thought...), we finally went to Home Depot (one of my favorite stores:) ). The problem then wasn't IS there one, but rather WHICH one. Well, we finally decided and there it is on the left. It is a combination microwave/convection oven. I must admit I've never used a convection oven and so was a little hesitant at first but Hubby thought this would be easier as well as more energy efficient. I'm open to trying new things, especially if they make things easier for me in the long run! :) Have any of you ever used a convection oven? Are there certain things you prefer baking or cooking in it? I'll have to let you know how it goes.

In other news, my mother, my kids, and I went to attend a Saturday evening service at Church Of The Rock, yesterday evening. A boy who is in Wynn's grade 1 class and his family attend so it was nice to know someone there. The kids really enjoyed and so did both I and my mom. I enjoyed the music, the service, and the mood/environment. My 4 year old daughter and her friend were dancing in the aisle during Praise & Worship and all the kids enjoyed the kids ministry. I'm hoping to go back this coming Saturday and there is also a home-group near where we live that I would like to find out more about and hopefully attend. More than anything, I would really like to go as a family (moi, Hubby, & kids). I think DH would probably like it. He grew up in the Catholic church and now doesn't have much to do with church. He does not agree with the Catholic teaching but whenever he's gone to a more charasmatic church with me, he has been uncomfortable and for lack of better words, "freaked out". The pastor and the congregation are of a younger generation and I think he may feel more comfortable getting back into the church setting here. Last night's service was on Acts chapter 1 and us being "Transformers" It was very good and the pastor was very down to earth, real, and in his own way - funny. Here is a joke for you - (Q) What do you call a transformer's sister? (A) a transister :D.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Prayer Basket

Tamara at Training Hearts is having a giveaway for a prayer basket. It is such a creative idea and I know that my prayer life is lacking so thought maybe this would be a cute way to make it more fun. All you have to do is leave a comment with your email. Check it out!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Blog Giveaway

I just entered my first blog giveaway at Yes, They Are All Mine. All you have to do is visit the site and leave a comment by Nov.21.

On the homefront, my microwave "bit the dust" this afternoon. The saying "you never realize what you had until it is gone" is so true. Just the little things. I was getting supper ready for the kids and I kept hitting myself cause I kept "forgetting" I had no microwave. The kids were having tacos - no problem right? Wrong! I'll just defrost the ground beef in the microwave....NOT! I'll just warm up the tortillas in the microwave...Not! Even left overs aren't much good w/o a microwave. Speaking from experience - I had cold spaghetti for lunch - Blagh!! We'll be out picking up some Christmas gifts tomorrow, I don't think a microwave can wait that guess we'll be shopping for one of those too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm SOOOOO Excited!!!!!!

What started as a typical evening call from my mother ended up being the best news I've heard all day. Now when somebody asks me, "What's new?", I can tell them...........are you ready for this?.............I may very likely be going to New Zealand next summer!! :D Mom mentioned that she is going next June as it will be her oldest brother's 45th wedding anniversary and all the family are getting together. Apparently she didn't make it last year for his birthday so upon threat of death (just joking - just a little big brother/little sister lingo) she is going for this special occasion. My brother is going to accompany her and for some odd reason she had never thought I would want to go. Like DUH!!!! Mom!!! I'm sooo excited, I will get to meet my other half of the family, see the beautiful country of New Zealand, and get to see New Plymouth (the city I was born in). My mom is also looking forward to the trip even more now cause she gets to take both her kids back with her.
I still can hardly believe this is going to happen and not just a dream. Just the other day when I was talking to someone re the possibility of completing my 101 in 1001 list, I used the example of my goal "to visit New Zealand" to say "like that will ever happen in the next 2.75 years..." Well, guess what - it just may happen!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

First one completed!

I finally finished typing my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. And even posted it to my blog as well as the master list for this meme. I found the home for this meme at this website. Others who are participating in this meme and there lists can be found here.

For this meme, I would like to tag BJ and Andrea, if they have time and would like to participate. I'll send a message to those who have been tagged to let then know.

Just a note

Oops I just posted something now but it came up as dated Nov.11. Guess that's because that is when I started it but I thought it would have today's date as I was editing it today. *??Shrug??*

Just in case you read my list and wonder about the color coding...I'm not quite done yet. It is a work in process.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

42 Sleeps Left!

Normally around this time of year I can proudly say I'm almost done my Christmas shopping. Not this year... Instead, not counting somethings I ordered in the mail a couple months ago, I just started my shopping yesterday. I'm not sure why I'm so slow getting started and organized this year. Perhaps it is the lack of snow on the ground, perhaps I'm sidetracked with other things (like painting my house, perhaps I'm just procrastinating and that is all there is to it. Whatever the case (the latter is prob the closest), I need to get organized. How about you? Are you ready for Christmas to come in 42 sleeps?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The 101 Things To Do In 1001 Days Project

After figuring out what a meme is and viewing various ones via a Google search, I came along this meme and thought it would be a good motivator as well as fun. It comes from this website: Being a person who likes to make lists as I seem to remember things better and have a better chance of accomplishing them if I do, this seemed like a good meme for me to do and blog about. Also, it will help me get organized and hopefully accomplish some things I have been procrastinating about as well as some that will help me grow as a person in various dimensions. So here it goes...! P.S. I must say that upon viewing some other lists I am borrowing some others' ideas for grouping the "things" as well as charting my progress with various colors.

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.

2. Stay Focussed. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.

3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.

4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.

5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

Start Date: November 12, 2007
End Date: August 9, 2010

Purple Bold Text - finished with completion date
Yellow Bold Text - in progress

My 101 in 1001:

1. lose 5 pounds (Feb 4, 2008)
2. lose 10 pounds (June 13, 2008)
3. lose 15 pounds
4. lose 20 pounds
5. do aerobic exercise daily for 3 months (25/90)
6. get a gym membership (July 2008) -I actually had one through work but it is so far away I don't use it very often. I got one at the local YMCA and also am able to take my kids for swimming lessons too.)
7. drink 8 - 8oz. glasses of water a day for 3 months (35/90)
8. visit the gynecologist 2 times (0/2)
9. get my teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist (0/1)
10. never eat after 8pm (225/1001)
11. go to bed by 10:30 (95/500)

12. stop chewing my fingernails
13. get my Beginner's Driver Licence (Jan. 11, 2008)
14. get my Full Driver Licence (March 27, 2008)
15. pray daily (2/1001)
16. read my Bible everyday (20/1001)
17. attend a new church once a month for a year (9/12)
18. attend a parenting course with hubby to learn & practice better discipline
19. learn to control my anger, don't yell at the kids for 3 months (0/3)
20. take a trip (other than work) w/o hubby or kids (June '08 - New Zealand & Aug'08 - New Brunswick)
21. make a new friend (0/1)
22. say one nice thing to someone else daily (175/1001)
23. get a pedicure for the first time (0/1)
24. get a professional massage (0/1)

25. go on a getaway vacation with hubby (no kids) once a year (0/3)
26. go on a family vacation (with hubby & kids)(0/1)
27. sit down and read to the kids daily (205/1001)
28. have a devotional with the kids weekly (15/143)
29. tell the kids daily I love them (340/1001)
30. kiss Hubby goodnight (330/1001)
31. play 150 games with my kids (56/150)
32. paint Autumn's fingernails once a month (6/33)
33. get kids to school before 8:50am (55/300)
34. take kids the the library once a month (2/33)
35. teach Wynn how to tie his shoe laces
36. teach Autumn how to tie her shoe laces
37. potty train Liam
38. reply to each email received the day it was received for 3 weeks (15/21)
39. write and send one snail mail letter per month, just because (2/33)
40. to send 10 random friends anonymous gifts (0/10)
41. make a will

42. paint staircase (Dec.17/07 - Thanks B!) & stencil wall (me)
43. paint upstairs hallway (Dec.17/07 - Thanks B!)
44. paint main floor hallway (Dec.17/07 - Thanks B!)
45. organize and file loose recipes into a binder
46. organize and file unfiled documents (Jan.30/08)
47. keep things filed for 2 months (0/2)
48. organize my bedroom closet and get rid of anything we don't wear
49. organize the kitchen and get rid of anything we don't use
50. clean out and organize the coat closet getting rid of things we don't use or need
51. get the upstairs bathroom remodelled
52. grow and maintain a beautiful perennial garden for a whole year/growing season
53. more efficiently use the two compost bins I currently have, one only knows my kids waste enough food!
54. re-stain the deck
55. build a pergola over the deck
56. build a pond garden
57. create and stick to a weekly menu for 8 weeks (1/8)

58. keep bankbook balanced for three months (1/3)
59. write down all transactions for three months (1/3)
60. pay off all home-improvement related loans (0/5?)
61. pay off credit cards (0/3)
62. accumulate $1000 in our Savings account and keep it there for emergency fund
63. take a money management course
64. make & maintain a monthly budget
65. keep monthly grocery bill under $450 for a year (3/12)
66. save for & buy a vehicle for Cliff (& I) to commute to work

67. take a ballroom dancing course with hubby
68. dance (waltz) with hubby at a public function
69. do a fast dance with hubby at a public function
70. learn to skate on my rollerblades
71. finish books I've started including: Geisundtheit
72. ... My Sister's Keeper (March 4, 2008)
73. ... The Strong-Willed Child
74. ... Woman First, Family Always
75. ... Love & Logic Magic For Early Childhood
76. learn to play the piano
77. learn to sew
78. make a scrapbook of Wynn
79. make a scrapbook of Autumn
80. make a scrapbook of Liam
81. learn to swim
82. bike trails near my house yet unventured
83. figure out how to bike from my house to work
84. ride a roller-coaster
85. participate in Gimme Your Stuff:
86. learn to drive a stick-shift

87. visit Betty-Jo & Company in New Brunswick ( August 18 - 24 '08 !)
88. to visit New Zealand ( June 22 - July 4, 2008 :D !!!!)
89. to take kids somewhere on a plane trip
90. to travel on a train
91. stay at our timeshare cabin for the first time
92. go to British Columbia and see the West Coast I've yet unseen (June 22, 2008 - 8 hour layover going to NZ)
93. take the kids to DisneyWorld

94. take the Wound Care Workshop at work (Nov 22, 2007)
95. get my certification in Gerontological Nursing
96. update my CPR and be confident with same

97. blog several times a week for 6 months/24 weeks (7/24)
98. finish, type and post this list (Nov. 14, 2007)
99. blog about each of my 101 tasks as completed
100. get someone else to do this 101 in 1001 with me
101. near the end of the 1001 days, create a new list including those tasks left undone

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Picture Tour Of My Home

This is the view from the front door looking down the hallway.

If you look to the left you see the livingroom (we will go there after we come back downstairs.)

Turn to the right and you are looking up the first landing going upstairs.

Turn to the left and eight more stairs going up to the 2nd landing.

If you turn left again there are two more stairs and you are upstairs. Turn left and you are at Cliff's & my room. This pic is obviously taken from in our room facing outward.

Looking into our room from the door. The windows face the front.

The other end of our room.

Looking out our bedroom you see the boy's bedroom straight ahead. The stairs are directly to your right. Autumn's room is on the left side of the hall and the 2nd floor bathroom is opposite it on the right side of the hallway.

The boys room. That would be Autumn on the top bunk.

We will turn clockise and view the room. 1st turn right, the bunk beds.

1/4 turn right again, the shelving unit.

1/4 turn right again, the door is open against the wall with the closet.

Come out of the boys room and to your left is the bathroom. You can see where we had to cut part of the wall to make our new toilet fit and you can see the chipboard underneath. You can't really see from this picture, but there are three layers of flooring/tile.

The vanity we want to change.

The shower/tub.

Across the hall is Autumn's room.

Look inside and to the left you can see her closet.

Turn around and there is her dresser. To the left is the door and we will go back to the main floor now.

Looking out Autumn's room and heading downstairs.

Going downstairs. These are the walls I want to paint. I'm thinking of a peachy color. I have a friend who has offered to help as these walls are so high.

Look up and you see the window at the top of the stairs. I like the natural light.

You can see the stairs/landing we have just come down and we are going into the living room.

This is my bookcase along the "hallway wall".

And the other side of the living room facing the bookcase. This picture is taken from the dining room. The long wall behind the loveseat and shelves have the FibreWall (it is hard to see it in this picture) as well as the wall we are facing going to the dining room.

Now we are looking from the living room and walking into the dining room. You can also see the kitchen to the far right. Behind the table you can see part of our patio door that goes onto the deck in the backyard. We are getting this door changed to a french door on the right and a side vent on the left, sometime this month.

Standing in the same spot turn around 180degrees and you see the rest of the dining area. (Boy, does this pic every look cluttered!) Anyway...on the left side is my pantry and on the right is the computer. And my kids artwork plastering the wall in between.

Turn back around and voila my "one-bum" kitchen.

From the kitchen, you turn right and start down the hallway. Your first door on the left is the main floor bathroom.

Another view just inside to the left.

A couple more steps down the hall and the next door on your left leads here. You can go straight out to the attached garage or go down a couple steps and turn right and you are going downstairs to the basememt.

"Caution: Enter If You Dare" You are standing on the landing wondering if you should go down there!....

Here are the stairs you are walking down to the kids play area.

First we are going to detour to the right. Beyond the baby gate is the chest freezer, furnace, hot water tank and at the back the washer & dryer AKA my "laundry room".

At the right past the furnace and pipes is my washer & dryer and a soaker tub/sink.
Not a very good picture of the area but it is too small to get much in any other way.

Heading back out to the main area, it is an L-shape. You see the kids play area straight in front of you.

And to the right you see the family room/tv area. We tried to designate the difference in "rooms" by changing the color of the walls and the carpet.

This area actually used to be two seperate rooms but we took out the dividing wall to make the room bigger and more functional. This is where Cliff was rearranging things off of the two now empty shelves at the far wall and onto the cubie shelving unit. Where the empty shelves are is where Cliff would like a large (42") flat screen tv on the wall. As I said, he likes to dream. :) And below our Nursing Diplomas you can see my electric fireplace that I got last year for Christmas.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Winter Is Here

We had are first full-fledged snowstorm today. Just let me say that I was less than pleased. I guess I should face the facts that it IS the first week of November already and I am thankful that it waited until after Halloween for the kid's sake.
...Make that "yesterday's snowstorm!" I barely got started typing this yesterday and obviously never got around to finishing it. Old Man Winter has a very sick sense of humour. He apparently figured I needed to walk to & from school in a blizzard. When the kids and I left home at 3:00 to go get Wynn from school it wasn't snowing except for maybe a couple flakes blowing around. But after only a couple minutes into our 15-20 minute walk I felt like I was already in the middle of winter. The wind was so strong and there was so much snow coming down like crazy hitting us in the face that Autumn had trouble steering her bike, Liam was crying as he was in the stoller getting snow smacking him in the face, and I was doing eveything I could to stay warm and get us there. Then just as we reached Wynn's school it was like someone turned a switch off and the sky was blue. I don't know if it was just so Wynn would believe us or what but as we left the school after picking Wynn up, the snow had started again and the wind came up and it was the same senario on the way home. Except, thankfully, this time at least the wind was at our backs.

Part of the reason, besides procrastination, that I didn't get around to posting until so late that I couldn't even finish what I had started was that I was busy cleaning up my house. I want to post various pics of inside my house so you can understand what I'm saying when I speak of renovations. A dear friend of mine has been offering decorating advice with out even knowing very much about the rooms of which she's trying to "decorate". Hope this helps (once I actually get the pics posted). If nothing else, it gave me the motivation I need to get various housecleaning jobs done that I've been putting off for too long. For example, my daughter, Autumn's, room. Her floor was so cluttered with all her various toys on her floor, that she didn't have much of a floor to be seen. Autumn's room also has a good sized closet with shelves on one side and a bar for a clothes hanger on the other side and lots of room underneath. Until yesterday, that "room underneath" was basically a "catch all" for various things that we didn't know what to do with. I finally organized things so that there are blankets and clothes on the shelving side and the other side was emptied and now has many of Autumn's larger clunky toys (ie doll swing, highchair, & playpen) that she doesn't use much. Other things in the room were hung up, put away, straightened up and the end result is amazing. Her room looks so much bigger and roomy. I just like to stand there and admire the room except the kids see me and ask, "Mom, what are you staring at?" I also finished the family area downstairs that hubby started a few days ago but never finished. The before and after difference in it is also WOW!

Thank-you to those who participated in my survey, the results were tied for a family devotional time in the evening or at bedtime. And no votes for mealtime. We had our first devotional last night. Hubby was working until 11:30 pm so it was just the kids and me. We did it just before they went to bed. They really enjoyed it. I'm thinking maybe we will try to do it Thursday or Friday evening (just not M, T, or W as those evenings are so busy with the kids extra-curricular activites). Will let you know how it continues to go.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What Kind Of Blogger Are You?

Hmmm...does that mean my life is boring as I never seem to have much to say?? I'll have to work on that! :)

You Are a Life Blogger!

Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary.
If it happens, you blog it. And make it as entertaining as possible.

How Much Do You Know About Blogging?

I'm going to be gone for the weekend so thought I'd post a couple extra things for you to try. Hopefully you do better than me!

Well, You Know What a Blog Is...

You got 4/8 correct!

But, truthfully, most blogs probably bore you.

Don't Get Me Started :)

I was wondering what I should write about and sice I was having "writer's block" or a "brain cramp" I decided to read and comment on a friend's blog. After realizing how much I wrote, I thought maybe I should post that. Here's what she asked, "So what rooms are needing a re-do in your house, and how will you style them?" And here's what I said,

"hmmm. where do I start first? Well we had considered re-doing our bathroom upstairs this year but since we already did sooo much work on the exterior this past year, the bathroom had to wait. The bathroom upstairs has a toilet, vanity and bathtub/shower. And considering it is the main bathroom, it is relatively small (roughly 7 1/4 feet long x 5 feet wide) and also dark due to the poor lighting and wood (unsure what kind) on the walls and ceiling (I guess it is supposed to ressemble a sauna??). Once we do start redoing the bathroom it will be a big job that we want done ASAP as we will be out of a shower for the length of time it takes to complete the job, we will probably have to hire a contractor to do it. Since we were thinking about doing it earlier we’ve already learned a few more things that need to be corrected. Mainly, the person who put the wood on the walls, put it up over chipboard (not even drywall and no waterproofing barrier!) That is the first thing we have to correct. The walls will be painted a lighter color (haven’t yet decided what exactly). The linoleum floor that is there now is really ugly and will be changed also. The bathtub we want to change to a deeper tub (I saw a corner style with air jets that I REALLY liked - I can dream :)). The walls around the tub will have a one piece surround and splash guards at the corner cause I’m sure anyone who reads this and has kids can attest to, they love to splash in the bath! Right now, the surround is in three seperate pieces and you can pull them away from the wall and see mold growing on the wood behind (as I said before we need a waterproof barrier all around the room.) Storage is a big problem so we want a medecine cabinet with mirror recessed into the wall. And a different vanity as the current one is both ugly and poorly made. We are still deciding what style but we know a pedestal style would take less space and maybe one with cabinets beneath for storage. To make matters complicated this bathroom is on the second level of our two story home so to remove the bathtub we prob need to remove the wall that is at the top of the stairway.
As for things I can do, both of my hallways are still white and I need to paint them. I was thinking of doing them butter yellow and the trim a creamy color. The walls in the stairway going upstairs I want to paint with a sponging technigue (still deciding in the colors) but preferably something bright and looks good in the sunlight as their is a long window at the top of the stairs.
Cliff (DH) has recently been working rearranging things downstairs in the family room so they are more organized and less cluttered. And I think whether he admits it or not, he is discreetly trying to clear of the end wall so it is ready for “whenever” he is able to purchase a large flat screen tv and mount it on the wall. I don’t think that is something we really need but he seems to.
I however want to do something with our laundry/utility room. I’m not sure exactly what we should do to make it more functional. But first things first, I would really like to “finish” the room - the floor is bare concrete, I’ve seen some linoleum I reaaly like that ressembles ceramic tiles. And finish the walls so I can paint them once I decide on a color(s)
Then a long term project, probably for when we win the lottery (yeah right! :D) is the garage. The current one is a single attached garage and during the summer when all the kids bikes and toys are out there is now room for our vehicle. The minivan only gets to go inside once all the other stuff is packed in the shed for winter. Cliff was thinking he’d like to remove this one and build a new double detached garage - one side for the van and one side for kids stuff and his workshop area. In this senario, I’d like to extend our veranda, which is currently just at the front step, around the side of the house. OR Another option Cliff was toying with is building a new larger attached garage and extending the second floor of the house over the roof of the garage.
What can I say, we like to dream! And you asked, you should never get me started on home renovations/redecorating."

On the way to school this morning my oldest son Wynn, 6 years old, said something that made me smile and realize how much they do listen to us. Usually when we don't expect it. Wynn and Autumn, 4 years old, were riding their bikes to school and racing each other. On one particular "race" Autumn was beating Wynn and she made a comment wondering what was taking Wynn so long. His response?.....he said, "that's because you are younger than me and so you're full of energy still. I'm getting old."