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Graduation Day!!

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Today was a day of mixed emotions…..the youngest of my four kids graduated from High School today.



Before the ceremony

Before the ceremony

It’s been a long road since my oldest started grade one 22 years ago so while it was a big day for Erika it was an even bigger one for me. Today marked the end of an era. The days of making lunches every morning….because I didn’t feel like making them at night, are long gone…..HAPPY :). Each of my kids liked something different in their sandwich, and of course they were in love with peanut butter but because of nut allergies in the schools I had to get creative and come up with something else they might eat. Creativity first thing in the morning did not always turn out so well, but they all lived. 🙂

Buying school supplies every fall, always was and still is one of my favorite things to do. It gets expensive for four kids but I have always loved looking through all the new accessories, especially when I went to school (a million years ago). Picking out that perfect pencil-case and buying all the pens, pencils and erasers that right after the first day of school were never again seen inside that pencil-case or were anywhere else to be found when needed for homework. Buying the math set every year that also never had all the pieces in it by the time they came to that section in their math classes (which is why I needed to buy a new one for them each year….I have never figured out where all those pieces go). And of course the greatest purchase ever…..the mandatory agenda that the schools insisted every child needed in order to stay organized all year and to be used for communication between teacher and parent…..which never had a single piece of information written in it and by the end of the year if they even still knew where it was still looked brand new. No more shopping for the indoor and outdoor shoes that was necessary for elementary school. Ahhhhh, what will I do with all that money that I will no longer be spending on school supplies?

I know every parent loves getting that phone call from the school in the middle of the day saying that your child doesn’t feel good and maybe you should come and pick him/her up. Ok so what I want to know is if they are projectile vomiting? or do they have a headache? or do they have a test in the afternoon that they just don’t want to write so they want to go home? I think I know my kids pretty well so if I could see them I would know if they were really sick or not but once I got permission to take the afternoon off from work to go pick up said sick child and I got to the school, even if they weren’t really sick I take them home anyway because it’s just not worth the effort of explaining to the teacher that my kid is not that sick and should just stick it out and maybe write the test they didn’t study for. Once I was away from work why not just enjoy the rest of the day.

Filling out the endless forms on the first day of school was also one of my favorite things to do…..not. Every year the school sent the same “personal information” form to be filled out for each kid in the family, claiming that the information in it would be kept on file. If that was the case then why did I have to rewrite the exact same information each year?  Their names and birth dates and heath card numbers didn’t change from year to year, granted other information might have changed, address, phone number….parents’ names etc. Oh those pages of forms, such a delight.

There are some things I will miss about my kids going to school…..I can’t actually think of a single solitary one right at the moment but come September I’m sure I will think of something.

This day also marks the end of minor sports and school sports. Again there is a huge financial saving to be had, but what will my husband and I do with all that spare time? The days when all four kids were playing sports and had to be at four different fields at the same time and trying to juggle drop offs and pick-ups with only one car to do it in took some ingenious planning and every once in a while it meant a child was forgotten at a soccer field….on purpose? No of course not. And do you really feel all that bad about it when you finally remember that you still have a child sitting in the dark waiting for you when you get there only to find she is sitting with a teammate whose parent’s also forgot to pick her up? No of course not, that’s when you tell your child that at least we didn’t forget you for as long as “her” parent’s did. 🙂

Today’s Graduation Ceremony was a happy but sad occasion. This is the first of my parent’s grandchildren, and the only one of my children to graduate that my Dad was not here for. My mom is here to see her granddaughter graduate and we are delighted that she could be here but I for one am noticing the empty place in the photos. When we moved from New Brunswick to Ontario, Erika had just turned 5 and whenever she talked to her Papa on the phone he would tell her how nice the bow/ribbon was that she had in her hair. It would always make her laugh because she didn’t actually have anything in her hair (it probably wasn’t even brushed) but it was one of those silly things that remain a memory years later. I like to think that if he was here today to see her graduate he would comment on the non-existent bow in her hair.


Erika with her Nan

As I said today was a day of mixed emotions…..pride, joy, and happiness, watching my baby girl graduate but sadness that my dad was not here to take part in the day with us and to give Erika the words of wisdom that he gave to the rest of his grand-kids on their Graduation Day.


So proud of our girl

Congratulations to my baby girl on her big day, so proud of you!!! Well done E! Well done!


The High School Grad!!

Time to say Good-Bye

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I woke up early this morning, even before my husband who was planning to get up for the very early World Juniors Canada vs US game, (unfortunately the outcome of the game wasn’t so great). So I laid there trying not to go back to sleep waiting for Chris to get up….just in case he didn’t get up in time, and managed to miss the big game. He finally got up and was joined by the boys who came bearing coffee. I then woke Erika to see if she was getting up to join her brothers to watch the game and she did but that didn’t last too long before she went back to bed to watch it on her laptop.  By this time I was pretty wide awake so I turned the game on and started watching it from bed. I only managed to get the first period in and the next thing I knew Chris and the dogs came busting into the bedroom to get me up. It seems I did manage to fall back to sleep for a bit. Apparently after the game Mom got up to say good-bye to the boys since she was going home today.

I took Chris to work so I could have the car today to drive Erika to Kitchener for her soccer teams secret Santa party which is a sleepover. Erika gave Nan her big hugs good-bye when we dropped her off since she would be gone when she gets home tomorrow.

I took some more pictures today while we were all sitting around….waiting for time to go.

Emma and Mom both watching something on TV

Emma and Mom both watching something on TV

We decided pizza would be a good idea for dinner since I didn’t really feel like cooking anything and we would need to leave for the airport shortly after 6:30 pm. I ordered the pizza and then went to pick up Chris from work. Shana was here when we got back so she could say her good-bye to her Nan once again, but she left before the pizza arrived. Once we finished eating Ryan and Whitney came by for another quick visit to say good-bye one more time before Nan left. Shortly before 7:00 pm we were headed to the airport once again. On December 22nd there were a few tears shed but they were happy tears to see my mom again, this time they were sad tears, from both of us (because we are criers) and I hate saying good-bye.

We saw Mom safely through security, gave a last wave good-bye, watched her walk over to her boarding gate, grabbed a Tim Horton’s for the drive and headed home.

We have had a great 13 days, most of which I managed to have off from work so I could spend as much time as possible with my Mom who, by the way, I don’t get to see nearly often enough.

It’s been kind of a long day with the early morning start and it will be an even longer one for Mom by the time she gets to the Moncton airport around midnight, and then has an hours drive home after that.  Hopefully her flight goes well and she gets home safe and sound, and has a chance to sleep in tomorrow. I on the other hand will be going back to work tomorrow. 🙂




A Trip To The Market

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I have lived in Guelph for nearly 12 years and today was my first trip to The Guelph Farmer’s Market…..


My husband and I got up and went for breakfast this morning and then had to run a couple of errands and then stopped in at The Market. We have often said we were going to go but something has always come up when we have thought about it….like bad weather, kid crisis’ and any number of other life happenings.

It was a beautiful day for a stroll through the Market. We checked out all the vendor’s inside the building and I bought a tiny $5.00 bottle of homemade Raspberry jam. The jam is good but now I think I want to learn how to make my own jam…..could be fun.




When we stepped outside of the building the first vendor we saw was selling apples, they looked fantastic but I only like one kind of apple…..Gala…..I don’t actually recognize a Gala when I see it so I told my husband the apples looked good and I asked the vendor what kind they were and he told me they were a Gala, imagine that, just the kind I like. I asked if they are a hard, kind of tart apple and right before my eyes dude snapped the apple in half with his bare hands and gave us each a half to sample. Maybe you have all seen that done before but I was suitably impressed by his skills….so impressed that I bought a bag of them… I have more apples than I can eat. Maybe I can make something out of them?

We then checked out some of the other outdoor vendors and decided that we wanted to purchase a basket of potatoes. Everything seemed to be $5.00 so I walk up to the guy behind the table and said I would like to purchase a basket of potatoes and he looked at me like I had insulted him and said I needed to talk to the lady beside him….sheesh…..I’m sorry…..the table was right up against your little fruit tables so I assumed they were your potatoes… sorry for disturbing you. Then I got my potatoes and we took our Market purchases and left.

I must say all in all I did enjoy my visit to the Farmers Market and will probably do it again sometime.

Oh, and on the way out there was an older gentleman playing some tunes on his guitar…..we dropped a $5 bill into his little bucket…..because, as I said…..everything seemed to be 5 bucks.

Get All Your Ducks In A Row

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I was out walking this morning with my dogs and took some pictures of ducks in the pond…..mostly. Now that we have had some rain the ducks seem much more plentiful. The only other thing I saw of interest was the ugly little grasshopper. That`s not totally true….I also saw a couple of deer but did not manage to get any good pictures of them.


Vacation …..Day 3

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Well vacation day 3 got off to a great start. At 4:00am the dog barked, the kind of bark you think you might hear if someone is trying to break into your house in the middle of the night…..then the bathroom light snapped on, and then……the puking began.

It would seem that whatever Erika put into her system at the wedding last night was not agreeing with her. So being the good mom I am, I lay in bed listening for the throwing up to end, thinking to myself how glad I am that she made it to the bathroom in time. After a while I heard her go downstairs and start rummaging around so I figured she was getting herself a puke bucket to take back to bed with her. Ahhhh, I have trained my kids well, they are rarely sick to their stomach’s but when they are they know enough to get themselves a bucket in case they can’t make it to the bathroom in time for the next onslaught of vomiting. It was a proud moment for me….but short lived.

So now the light is on in the spare room….I was still lying in bed and I asked Erika what she was looking for in the spare room. She told me she wasn’t looking for anything; she was going to sleep in there. Now I was thinking why would she need to sleep in there? It is closer to the bathroom but only by a couple of steps. This room wouldn’t be cooler than hers since both rooms face the back of the house, so I doubt the spare room window would be getting more breeze than hers would. So I asked her why she was now sleeping in there. Her answer?…….So matter of factly? I can’t sleep in my room; there is puke all over in there. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I’m out of bed now!! In my head I’m thinking, “You are 17 years old, you don’t just throw up and then just leave it there and go sleep somewhere else and expect the puke fairy to arrive overnight and clean up the mess for you.” I guess I shouldn’t feel so smug after all about having trained my kids so well to know what to do when they are sick.

Just to make it clear, I am not a cleaner upper of puke and never have been. I’m grateful that I had 4 kids that rarely got sick and needed my help with the clean-up. However when they were I was next to useless.

When I was pregnant with my daughter Shana, my son Ryan was 3 years old. He was sleeping in my bed one night and in the morning he sat up in bed and threw up the baked beans he had eaten at my parents house the night before. Ok, so not to be gross (not true, I am totally being gross here) but baked beans look the same coming up as going down. I was never a fan of baked beans but became even less of a fan after this episode. I remember trying to get my poor little boy out of his little jammies and cleaned up but honestly, every time I touched him to try to get his shirt unbuttoned I had to run to the bathroom myself. I finally had to call my mom (shameful, I know) to come and help me get him cleaned up so I could get myself ready for work.  The other sick time that stands out in my mind (another shameful experience for me) was when our 16-year-old niece Amanda was babysitting for us, Ryan would have been about 8 years old at the time. When we got home Amanda told me that Ryan had been sick but he seemed fine and was back in bed. I apologized to her that she had to deal with that but she said it was fine, no big deal. I of course couldn’t imagine anyone thinking that dealing with a sick kid was no big deal. Well sure enough as we were sitting there talking Ryan came running out of his room to the bathroom to be sick again. Amanda asked me if I wanted her to go in there with him to make sure he was ok and of course I told her no, not to be silly, I’m his mother of course I can take care of him while he is sick. I walked into that bathroom, took one look at him throwing up and practically body checked him out of the way so I could have the toilet to throw up in. What a great mom… embarrassing. Now I had to tell Amanda I changed my mind, I couldn’t deal with it and I needed the 16-year-old kid to take care of it. I think I won Mom of The Year Award that night too (I have won Mom of The Year Award a few times over the years.) So that is a small glimpse into the history of me dealing with pukers…..not so good.

So there I was last night, attempting to clean up the puke from Erika’s floor. It really didn’t go so well and when my husband heard me gagging he asked if I was going to be ok and I assured him that I was not. Have I mentioned how much I love my husband? When he got up to take over the clean- up he was definitely my knight in shining armour. 🙂 Once everything was cleaned up and we were talking about it he told me he was going to let me do it but once he heard me gagging he decided that if he had to clean up after both of us that would have been even worse.

We finally got to bed around 5:00am only to have to let the dogs out about an hour later. I wasn’t ready to stay up at that hour so I sent them back to bed and didn’t get up again until after 9:00am.

Day 3 has certainly started out as a good one.  I’m hoping to spend the better part of this day sitting out on my back deck reading my book….maybe even sneaking a nap in there somewhere too.


Happy Father’s Day

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Well 3 out of 4 is not bad……today we had 3 of our 4 children home for Father’s Day dinner. Now that they are not little kids it’s really hard to get them all in one place at the same time so if I get some of them together I call it success. 🙂

First thing this morning I took the dogs out for a walk. We did the regular loop but I wasn’t happy with how many calories my Endomondo said I burned so I dropped the dogs off at home and went for a jog to burn some more calories…then it started to rain so I cut my jog short and went home.

After I showered I woke Erika…even though I had already done that before I left with the dogs……to get up and get ready for work. I dropped her off at work and then waited for Shana to get ready to hit the Mall to get Chris’ Fathers Day gift.

We were getting him a new cell phone and considering we knew exactly what phone we wanted to get him it took us forever to actually get the phone and leave the store……we got there at 11:15am and got out of there by 12:30pm. We asked the sales guys at one point if they were going to take us for lunch since it was taking so long. Once we finally got home we gave Chris his gift and he was very excited to get a new gadget……guy thing. He loves his new Samsung Galaxy phone, very cool.

This afternoon my son Nick wanted me to cut his hair for him…..too cheap to get a real hair cut so he dropped by for a buzz cut, and stayed for dinner.

I had tried to call my dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day but the best I could do was leave a message with my brother to let him know I had called, so while dinner was cooking my brother called me back to let me know my parents were at their place so I did get an opportunity to speak to my dad, and my mom as well (more like yell though, my dad is a little hard of hearing).

Dinner was great…..barbequed steaks and fries…..too bad it was raining a bit while Chris was trying to barbecue, at least he didn’t have to stand out in the sun and melt like usual. We enjoyed family time over dinner and after Shana and Nick left Chris and I spent the evening watching old Gilmore Girls episodes on DVD.

Chris barbecuing in the rain….shower.

Erika and Shana….hungry much?

Finally dinner is ready…..almost.

These two kill me when they are together……

Happy Dad with 3 of his kids…..and his new phone in hand.

All in all it was a great day!! 🙂 HAPPY FATHER’S DAY CHRIS!! 🙂

Happy Father’s Day!!

A Beautiful Sunday Morning for a Walk

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Lately I have been a little lazy on the weekends about taking the dogs out walking. This morning I woke up at 6:00 am to the lovely sound of Emma trying to convince us it was time to go out. I took her to the backyard and fully intended to go right back to bed but the air was so nice and cool and they were calling for high temperatures of near 30 degrees today so I decided not to be so lazy and take the dogs for a proper walk while it was still fairly cool out.

It started out a little bit foggy in places but that didn’t last for long.

I thought it was kind of cool to see the rays of sun streaming through the trees.

We had a little friend sneaking up behind us…..I noticed the dogs kept looking back as we were walking along the path so I took a look myself and was fortunate enough to get a couple of pictures before our friend headed back into the woods.

The pond had some new babies this morning.

The pond may not look like much but I love listening the sounds that come from it early in the morning….the frogs, ducks, and birds…..makes me think of home. 🙂

Charlotte’s Web

I am glad I convinced myself to go out this morning. 🙂