Friday, February 27, 2009

12 Months Ago

And if 6 months ago is good...then 12 months is better. (like that logic?)

1 year ago Isabelle still had the biggest blue eyes on the planet, now they are changing and turning to a soft green colour.

1 year ago Owen started eating green beans, they are now his most favourite vegetable.

1 year ago my nephew Tobin was born, and I finally got to meet him at the beginning of the month.

1 year ago Owen started reading, sounding out letters and reading whole words, now he can read entire Dr. Seuss books and Magic Tree house chapter books.

1 year ago Isabelle did not have enough hair to put a single clip in it, now she has wild blond locks, still not very long, but require clips every day.

1 year ago we planned our first trip to Great Wolf Lodge and have been back a few times since. Last night we booked our next trip in April.

1 year ago I read Time Traveller's Wife for the first time and just re-read it for my book club.

1 year ago Owen and Isabelle attended Blaisdale Montessori school, now Owen is in Senior Kindergarten at Cadarackque (across the screet from us) and Isabelle is at home with Nora.

1 year ago I had been back at work for 2 months and was attending night school, now I am back at work and am happy here.

1 year ago, Isabelle was sitting in a highchair for all her meals, now she sits on a big chair...truth be told, she rarely sits at all.

1 year ago, Owen was taking hip hop lessons at school and loved to pose for us.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

6 Months Ago

Working on Project 365 has made me think about the year that has just passed and I found myself re-looking at our summer photos...if it is interesting to me, then I will share it with you. This is especially fitting today because it feels like spring...for the first time in months we have temps above the freezing is +6C outside (which translates to 42F)...spring is in the air today and I am just drinking it in! Here is a little walk down memory lane...a look back at August 2008...

In August we went swimming in Nana's pool..
In August, the trampoline was still shiny & new & exciting

In August, neither Adrian or I did any travelling
In August, we spent one week at the cottage...

In August, we took family bike rides to the big park

In August we went to the zoo 4 times...

In August we visited my Grandma and felt the warmth of the sun on our faces...

In August, we had a great picnic with our friends in Barrie at the waterfront park...

In August, Isabelle wore lots of dresses and Owen caught lots of bugs...

In August we could head outdoors every day with nothing more than sunscreen and a boots, no coats, no snowpants, no scarves, no hats, no mittens, no hassle...only 6 months away...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Project 365

January 1st I started a new scrapbook project...Project 365. When I first read about Project 365 of Becky Higgin's blog, I wasn't sure I wanted to take on something so daunting. A picture every day doesn't sound like a lot, but multiply that by 365 days during the year, and it is pretty significant. I looked at my December Daily album (almost finished) and just love how it is turning out, such a great record of our family for one month. Finally, I decided to take the plunge and commit to Project 365. Although I don't expect it to be easy, I think at the end of the year, it will be wonderful to have a photograph and some notes for every day in our lives for a year. I expect it to be a mixture of the people, places and things that mean the most to us, make us laugh, and make us reflect and appreciate our everyday lives. I'm sure that some days it will be more challenging than others to take the 'right' photograph, but that will be part of the journey; looking a little more closely at what surrounds us to see what really defines our family. I hope that another side benefit will be a refinement in my photography skills. I have dabbled in photography for a while now and think this will be a great opportunity to hone those skills. So, even though it won't always be easy (and a lot of things worth doing are not easy) I know there is much to be gained by participating in this project. Ready, aim, shoot - 1,2,3,4,5,..365!
Week 1:
Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

Week 5:

Week 6:

Week 7:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

1 week ago today...Valentines Day

Saturday, February 14th...Valentine's Day

So much love in our lives right now, so much to be thankful for, so much to celebrate.
So much surprise at the wonderful roses Adrian sent to me on Friday...thanks sweetie!
So much fun baking cupcakes for Owen's class.

So much fun licking the beaters.

So many sprinkles.
I had this great idea to do mini valentines books for the kids for Valentines day. And like so many ideas...the idea was wonderful, the execution not so wonderful. The books are not yet done, but the photo shoot turned out great. We went to my friend Leslie's house and she took some great shots of me and the are my favourites:

I especially like this one she shot of me. Every photo of me looks the same, I have a "pose" that I learned and have perfected over the years...the head tilts slightly to the right, the neck sticks out to minimize any double-chins, the smile shows just enough teeth, the eyes are big and wide...I love they way I look in those photos...but this one is just different and that makes it great. Thanks Les for taking such wonderful pics and getting me out of my comfort zone.

Friday, February 20, 2009

photo wall

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That statement is no more true than when shopping for art. We have many unadorned walls in our home due to our individual interpretation of beauty...well, that and budget :) We have a lovely fireplace in the family room and the space above that spent many months empty while we searched for and tried out several different art pieces before finally deciding on a mirror. We have a king sized bed and spent over 3 years searching for artwork for above it before finding one we could agree on. This brings us to the 'other' wall in the bedroom, the one we lie in bed and look at first thing in the morning, the one we can peek at over our books as we lie in bed at night...the (until last week) big empty wall that was screaming for something to make it pretty.

Now it is glorius and adorned with our favourite photos. All converted to black and white. The shelf is from IKEA and comes in white, black and in many different lengths. The frames also came from IKEA and come in 9 different sizes from 4x6 all the way up to 20x27. I converted the photos to black & white using photoshop and printed them online at Costco. I think the entire project cost less than $50...certainly money well spent. Our shelf is 6" long and the frames range in size from 4x6 up to 15x20; we have 16 prints in total on display. Sorry for the crummy pictures - it is our bedroom light you see making the yellow spots on some of the photos.
I wake up in the morning and the first thing I see are the faces of my what could be better than that?
Here are some closeups:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Making muffins

Tuesday night we baked muffins. We spent Family Day Monday at our friend's home in Uxbridge and they had just baked the most wonderful muffins that the kids gobbled up. I have a recipe I have used over the years that used to be a hit...but for some reason it has fallen out of favour. Seeing them much on these muffins so happily got me in the baking mood again. Off to the grocery store to get the needed ingredients on the way home and we baked the yummiest muffins...thanks for the recipe Jarka. Even the batter was yummy as Isabelle proved here by licking every inch of the beaters:

Sneaky Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins
4 mashed bananas (the riper the better) (you can also substitute 4 eggs, but bananas are better)
1 can pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie filling (the pie filling has sugar adds a bit more sweetness and a little extra spice)
1 box Silken soft tofu
3/4 cup Blue Agave liquid sweetner (found in health food aisle or speciality health stores) (you could also use 1 1/2 cups of sugar...I was going for a healthier version here)
-cream in large bowl-
3 1/2 cups flour (I used Whole Spelt Flour)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
pinch cloves
1 cup chooclate chips
-sift together and add to wet-stir or mix-
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes
Makes 24 muffins or 18 regular and 12 minis.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Auntie Jen in Phoenix

At the beginning of this month I had a work conference to go to in San Antonio, Texas and I figured why not tack on a few days of vacation and visit my brother and his family in Arizona - it is almost right next door...right? (obviously geography is not my stong suit...but they are pretty close as it turns out).
I spent 4 days and 4 nights at my brother's home.
I finally met my youngest nephew Tobin for the first time, he turned 1 six days after I left.
I spent time playing baseball with my older nephews Justin & Isaac.
I read countless books to Kiah.
I was treated to a trip to the Phoenix Zoo which is a truly awesome place...hard to believe, but I think it is even better than our local Toronto Zoo.
I learned to play 3 new board games which were so much fun; Blokus, Sequence and Carcassonne.
I tripped playing backyard baseball and ran into a wall with my face ending up with a black eye, horribly bruised leg and scrapes on my arm from wrist to elbow.
I made the kids yummy Auntie Jen fruit fondue face dessert.
I had a wonderful trip and miss them all so very much.
Tobin: Kiah: