Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Emerging from the caos...

Wow.....what a whirlwind! This holiday season was a flurry of activity for us! Unfortunately I had to work this Christmas but it wasn't so bad. I managed to get most of the night off on Christmas by making a switch with one of the SO nice girls at work. We spent Christmas with the Backler family including Carole and Roy who made the trip over from England. It was so nice to catch up with the whole family again. The 27th brought Paige and Aiden's 4th a party at Sarah's house. We were back to Sarah's house on the 28th for our Klunder Christmas. On the 29th we fit a lunch in with the Backlers and Paul's Aunt Pat and cousin Lee. Carole and Roy then spent the night with us and managed to survive two overtired, overstimulated, cranky kids all day on the 30th. So sorry again guys if you happen to be reading this.

Grace was crying for over an hour last night because of Auntie Carole and Uncle Roy leaving for the UK. She is going to miss them as are we. It's too bad our visits are so few and far between. I feel like all we do is get caught up and it's time for them to jet off home. I promised Grace that she can send weekly emails to them and that seemed to calm her down enough to fall asleep at last.

We saw the movie, Bedtime Stories yesterday. I quite enjoyed it. If you have kids, I would highly recommend going. Funny and entertaining. I wasn't expecting much with Adam Sandler but was very pleasantly surprised. In a somewhat related thought, I do admit to loving his "Red Hooded Sweatshirt" song really cracks me up.

Today has been a sit around and rest day...we need it! I feel like I need a vacation from the holidays! :)

School starts on the 8th for me so I'm getting nervous. I have managed to be replaced at work for the shifts I wouldn't be able to make due to school until I start my new day job (::insert me jumping up and down here::) on February 2nd. Looking forward to spending more evening and weekend time with my family. No night shifts for at least 8 months!

Here is a digi layout I completed today...still stuck on the digi. All supplies can be found at Scrap Orchard. I used Ashalee Wall's kit "Dreamy" and and overlay and alpha from Pineapple Plantation Designs.

Monday, December 08, 2008

It's been stressful...

It's been a stressful week around these parts.

  • Paul still hasn't managed to find a job. We're hoping for early January now. Thank goodness for severance!

  • I still don't know the start date for my new job and I'm trying to balance my current position with the occasional shift in my new position. I also have weekly meetings to attend as well.

  • I had my last exam today for my Web Design Certificate. I'm taking a break now from that while I concentrate on the coming year.

  • I will be working full time while I attend school full time as well. ::clenching teeth with the stress of it all::

I hope it will all be worth it.

Happy notes:

  • Simon got discharged from the psychiatrist on the first visit (we thought he might have Selective Mutism last year but he came out of his shell over the summer).

  • Grace was discharged as well after only a couple of months for her Separation Anxiety. She is doing amazingly well. She goes to sleep without calling us back most nights now.

  • We saw Santa this weekend.

  • Coming up to 30lbs lost from my body forever!

  • I relaxed a bit this afternoon after my exam and did a quick digi layout. Loving the digi layouts lately.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A good day...

We had a nice day today. I managed to scrap a layout this morning. Good for me. Paul managed to sleep in. Good for Paul. The kids played nice together this morning. Good for all of us. :)

This afternoon we went to see "Oliver" at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton. My parents bought tickets for us and them as part of our Christmas presents. It was a lot of fun. Grace is walking around the house singing all the songs and calling Simon "Mr. Bumble". This was their first real theatre experience and I think it went really well. They both seemed to enjoy it although Simon lost a bit of interest towards the end.
I managed to finish a couple of layouts with my November kit from The Scrapping Nook. To be honest I was worried I wouldn't get them done in time. I'm hoping to get a mini book completed as well. Hopefully in the next week or so. I used the Basics line from Glitz design this month.

Karen T. offered up an unofficial challenge (I'm not really sure she knew she did) to see if a romantic style layout could be made with this paper. I tried. Not sure it's romantic...but I think it's pretty sweet. My "Be Merry" layout also features the new Holiday stamps from Gel-a-tins, Holly Jolly. I also used the Save the Date set as well. For the large holly, I stamped first with lime ink and heat embossed with the Christmas Pine scented Gelly Powder. I then stamped the berries in red and heat embossed with the Ruby Slippers Embossing Glitter. I coloured in the holly with a lime coloured crayon. The small holly leaves are double inked with lime ink and evergreen ink on one edge of each. I heat embossed with clear Gelly Powder. All the holly was cut out of white cardstock and matted onto black cardstock and re-cut.

I'm taking a self paced class on Jessica Sprague's site right now called Up and Running. It's a beginners digi scrapbooking class. To be honest I thought it would be a bit too beginner for me as I feel I'm at least intermediate in my Photoshop skills. I have to say I have learned quite a few tricks already and I'm only done week two! Here is a layout I completed last night after completing the week two assignment. I have a long way to go but I quite enjoy learning this new craft.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Card Sketch a Day

So...after seeing Jen Roach's post about contributing to the Card Sketch a Day blog, I decided to give it a try. It's a great blog with a different sketch each day and tons of contributers! Anyone can contribute a card and the blog owner lists new calls frequently.

My contribution was to make a card from the sketch of a United States Passport. This is the card I came up with.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I got it!

Just found out I got the day job I have been crossing all my fingers and toes for! I'm not sure of the start date yet but have been officially told I got the job and that I should start attending the weekly Tuesday morning meetings. The stars are aligning in my favour! :) It's been a good week.

Now...if only Paul could get some news on his career. Jobless as of Friday. :( At least I have some fingers and toes to cross now for him! :)

I have some photos to post...soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October DT layouts...

I had fun working with the Heidi Swapp World Traveler line for this month's DT kit at the Scrapping Nook. All of the stuff on the layouts can be purchased in their online store with the exception of the Fancy Pants felt (they are sold out) and the very old Rusty Pickle chipboard numbers from my stash.

I had fun making this layout of the 10 places I would like to visit in my lifetime. I could easily add to the list but I thought this would be a great jumping off point. I had fun pulling out my Dymo Labeller for this layout! I'm going to try to do more of these BOM type layouts. I need more documentation of what my life is like. If you have any ideas for layouts I should do let me know!

The photos for this Aiden layout have been printed out for over a year! This Heidi Swapp paper worked perfectly with the photos of my sweet nephew. I love how intent he was playing with that car! SO happy I managed to get these photos!

I seem to be doing a lot of hand stitching on my layouts now. I can no longer cross stitch...I think I have overuse syndrome in my right hand, so these small amounts of stitching are just the right amount!

P.S. I'm down 3.2 lbs this week! Yay me!! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not thankful for the Night Shift...

Here I sit at 0340 Monday morning. I am ti-r-ed!! Very tired tonight. As you can see, things have settled down at work and I have a bit of time to surf my favourite blogs. I missed out on a Thanksgiving dinner today with today with the inlaws. It's one of the hard things of being a shift worker. Most people are enjoying holidays and weekends while you are at work. Don't feel sorry for me though. I'm going to my Momma's tonight for some great turkey before heading back to work for another night shift.

Sad tonight that I didn't get to see the kids before coming in to work. It kind of sets me off on the wrong foot. It's funny because I SO enjoy my time to myself but I need my kid fix too! I miss not being able kiss them good-bye before I head into work and having them give me a great big hug. The words always follow, "I love you and I'm going to miss you".

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and gave their loved ones one extra kiss this year. We all have so much to be thankful for. I'm going to post a belated thankful post this week I think.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Man I'm sore!

As part of my weight loss journey, I have been trying to exercise a lot more. Really any exercise is a lot more but I digress. Some weeks are better than others. This week, so far, is a good one. Yesterday I completed one of my Pilates routines (I have a DVD) and rode the bike in the basement for 20 minutes (yes I know that only 20 minutes is pathetic). Today I logged 45 minutes on the Wii Fit doing mostly Step and Boxing to get my heart rate up. I finished with some strength exercises.

Love the Wii Fit! If you don't have one I would highly recommend it. I love the interactive competitive aspect of it. I'm always trying to beat my scores...I'm the only one playing it right now. I'm trying to get Paul into it so that I can have some friendly competition going.

I feel good that I'm doing something about my weight once and for all. I'm positive that this will be a lifestyle change for me. I'm determined that this will be the last time I have to go through this weight loss roller coaster. I'm looking forward to living a healthy and active life for the rest of my days. There. I wrote it down. Now I have to follow through. It would be nice if it didn't hurt so much to go up the stairs though! All in due time, all in due time. Now, where did I put that ice?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Afternoon Date

Paul and I managed to get a little date in yesterday afternoon. Unheard of for us! We went and saw Burn After Reading. I quite enjoyed the dark humour and I felt the movie was very well cast. Funny in parts and suspenseful in others. Although not my favourite movie of all time, I would recommend it to others who enjoy somewhat strange movies. I love Brad Pitt in these off beat rolls. One of my favourite movies of all time is 12 Monkeys. I think he is amazing in that movie.

On the home front, things are looking promising. Paul has had a couple of phone interviews for new jobs. He is very excited about one of them, and he feels that the interview went very well, so we are hoping to hear back from them soon. Fingers crossed that he lines something up by the end of the month.

We had Grace at the doctor's again on Monday. It looks like we are mostly dealing with Separation Anxiety and Oppositional Behaviour. The good news? They don't think she is going to need medication! They said that it was good that we sought help when we did as her anxiety could easily transfer to other areas of her life. Thankfully it hasn't yet. She loves school and her activities and thrives there. We are incorporating some behaviour modification techniques into our lives and I think she is doing amazing so far. She even went to her room on her own last week when she was annoyed with Simon! That was a first and she was, of course, praised highly for recognizing that she was angry and not acting on her impulses. She has always thrived on our praise so I'm hoping that this will work well for the future. It's so much easier now that we know what we are dealing with. It will be a long road but we are all learning as we go and growing together as a result.

Off to the dentist again today. I'm not sure if I mentioned this but I really dislike going to the dentist! They offered to let me use the Laughing Gas for my appointment today so I'm going to give it a try. I'm a bit nervous about that as well but I'm hoping it will ease my anxiety a bit. Gee...I wonder where Grace gets her anxiety from? :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Colour Challenge #2

There is a new colour challenge posted here over at the Scrapping Nook. You have until the 15th to complete the challenge and I will then draw a name for a little RAK from me. To win you just have to create a layout using the colours in the thread, post your layout to the gallery, and provide a link to your layout on the thread. Hope to see your layouts!

Here is the layout I created using challenge #2's colours:

I'm off to bed...I have to work nights tonight. Blech! Talk soon! Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dental therapy...

I went to the dentist today for an overdue check up. I never used to be nervous about fact, there was a time when I wanted to be a dentist myself. I even had extensive jaw surgery at the age of sixteen. That all changed when a dentist yelled at me once after causing me a great deal of pain at an appointment. Ever since that appointment, I have needed to push myself to keep my appointments and pretty much white knuckle it every time I go. Even for the cleanings! In all fairness, the dentists and hygenists I have had since switching dental offices have been wonderfully kind and friendly. That doesn't really seem to help.

Fast forward to today. My first appointment with a new dentist. I have some outstanding work that needs to be done from my previous dentist (see above and my fear of dentists). The very nice, young dentist and I talk about what needs to be done. I say okay. She then goes on to ask me how I feel at my appointments. I said I was very nervous and that I don't like them. She nodded like she understood...and...I get to use gas at my next appointment! I'm so excited that I might actually be relaxed!! I hope it works....I will keep you updated. My next appointment is next week. If I write something silly next week, you will understand why! ;)

I ordered some new glasses yesterday as well. They should be ready in about a week. Looking forward to a new look. Since we found out that Paul's work contract is not going to be renewed, we have been trying to use all the benefits we can before it runs out at the end of October.

Paul has applied to a bunch of positions but no word yet. I'm starting to get nervous. I'm happy that I work full time and we should be okay for a bit. Worse comes to worse I can pick up some overtime shifts at the hospital. One advantage of being a nurse! Yay me! <-- Did that sound slightly enthusiastic?

In my continued effort to lose weight I'm down another 0.4lbs this week. I was sick all last week and didn't exercise much so it was pretty much what I expected would happen. I'm telling myself that I'm happy whenever the scale moves in a downward direction. I had a good loss last week and hopefully a good one in the week to come.

With that thought I'm off to get myself a peach from the fridge! Maybe then I can get my scrap room/office organized once and for all! I'm almost there....

Monday, September 29, 2008

Time for a new layout...

I commited to participating in the "Lift the Pea Above you" thread over at Two Peas. I have never participated in one of these and it was fun! I really enjoy challenges like this. It's fun to see other people's takes on one design.

Here is my layout lifted from the super talented Judith Mara's "Motherhood" layout over at Two Peas.

I have previously scrapped this photo with the same title at an earlier date and it was published in Layout Blueprints 2. The only problem is that I don't have my layout or my copy of the publication despite numerous phone calls and emails. I have given up hope that they will be returning to me so I decided to scrap this photo again since I loved the photo so much. I apologize for the poor photo quality but my camera battery died after only three photos and clearly they were not of the best quality. If I get around to taking a better photo I will post a replacement shot. Don't hold your breath though! :)

I used Basic Grey rub ons for the flowers on white cardstock and coloured them in with my watercolour pencils. I really like how they turned out. The butterflies are rub ons as well. I cut them out and tried to make them appear like real butterflies.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lazy Weekends...

Love them. Although I did have to work a bit so far. My sister and I had three tables at a mom to mom sale this weekend. SO not worth the work! We have SO many clothes from our kids and we tried to sell some of them. We managed to make $280 total. I'm done with trying to sell my used clothes when there are so many in need. Lucky for us, Sarah knew a couple of people who just had babies and the remainder of the clothes (6 huge rubbermaid totes) were dropped off at each of their houses! I'm so happy to be done with them all. I'm sure Sarah is as well since they were stored at her house all of this time.

Not much else planned for this weekend. Maybe some scrapping - I have a couple of layouts I need to get done. I think a short visit to Grandma and Grandpa's is in order tomorrow afternoon.

The new Scrapbook and Cards Fall issue has been released. You can download the whole issue for free by following the link. I was honoured to be asked to try for the cover layout. Mine didn't get picked for the cover but it was shown on one of the inside pages. I used the new Gel-a-tins stamp set called "Sheltering Tree" for the cute little tree by the title (It's the same set I used for my blog header). This is my favourite new stamp set from Wendy's releases. I would also like to point out that the wall behind the layout is not bright orange in real life! I'm not sure why it is SO vibrant!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hitting the books!

I did it! I got into the program I applied for at George Brown College in Toronto. It's a one year full time post-graduate certificate program in Health Informatics. I will be going to school one weeknight as well as Friday and Saturday. The program runs for 3 terms and is supposed to be quite intensive. I looked at the book list for one of the term 3 classes and it had 5 required text books! Yikes! I will still be able to work almost full time while attending classes.

I'm hoping that this program will combine my nursing with my other current interest and part time studies in Web Design. I'm also hoping that completing this program will enable me to land a regular M-F 9-5 job. I'm missing being with the kids in the evenings and before school. I hate that I miss out on weekend functions because of my shifts. Mostly I miss not making the special holiday events like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween because of work.

It was a big decision to go back to school...and I'm sure it's going to be stressful for all of us. I feel in my heart that it's the right decision though. So...wish me luck! I think I'm going to need it!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some Summer pics

So I thought I would share some of the photos from our trips this summer. In the middle of July, we went to Rochester for an overnight trip. The first day was spent at the Strong Museum of Play. The kids loved it! I would highly recommend this outing for young kids. Here are a couple of photos of the kids having a blast at the Play museum. Grace delivering the mail at the Clifford exhibit. I swear she could have stayed there all day playing the mail game!

Here are Simon and Grace in one of the funny mirrors. They love these things!

Simon tracing a picture on one of the light boxes.
Simon trying to prove how strong he is and pure of spirit. :)

We spent the night in the hotel and the next day we were off to the Seabreeze Amusement Park. It is the fourth oldest amusement park in the United States. Great little park. For those of you that remember Crystal Beach, it was much like that. The rain held out all day for us and there were hardly any line ups for rides! They also have a water park with water slides, I don't have any pictures of that because I was enjoying them too! :) Paul fell out of his tube on the lazy river though...which had me in tears for weeks! I wish I had a photo of that.
This is the oldest part of the park - the carousel. I loved the architecture of it all and had to get a photo. They had a pipe organ that played the music. Fascinating to me...the kids couldn't care one bit. They just wanted to ride it!
This last picture was at the end of the day. Grace was on the roller coaster and Simon was tuckered out. He wanted me to take a photo of him with this straw in his mouth. You can tell how tired he is.
The following week we were on to Manitoulin island to spend a few days with Paul's Aunt Vi and Uncle Collin. We all had a great time and it was so nice to get away and spend long days on the beach!
Here are Grace and Simon on the Chi-Cheemaun Fairy on the way over to the island.

Grace and Simon having fun on the beach and in the waves - they loved riding the waves...once they got the hang of it!

Random shots around Manitoulin with Paul and the kids:
Manitoulin has a couple of wind turbines on it and you can drive right up to the base of them and read about wind energy. I had read that one of the criticisms of wind turbines is that there is a lot of noise emitted from them. Other than a slight sound of the turning blades they were pretty much silent. It was actually quite calming and I love the gentle look of them as they turn.
From Manitoulin it was on to Sudbury for a visit to Science North. We wanted to take the kids there because it has special meaning to the Backler family. Paul's Grandfather was one of the architects for Science North. How cool is that? Love this photo I was able to get of the architecture inside the building. The bones are from a whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling.
And finally, what's a visit to Sudbury without a visit to the giant Nickel? It was two seconds away from a complete downpour so I managed to snap this shot before the rain came pouring down. Love the look on Simon's face as he tries to hold up the Nickel. I would have liked to get a better composed shot but there wasn't enough time.
What a great summer! I had a ton of fun and I think the kids did too!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Let's try this again...

So I thought I would give it one more try...this blogging thing. I enjoy reading all of my friends blogs and keeping up to date with their lives, so I thought, "what the hey!" maybe they want to know about my life! I even updated my blog header as well! Thanks to Jen for the size instructions and inspiration! I used Gel-a-tins Stamps for the header. These are one of my favourite sets! I mixed the ink on the stamp to make it appear like leaves changing.

My life. Lately....stress is the word that describes it. Thanks to my family and friends though we will get through it all. I feel better knowing what we are dealing with and having some tools to help us on this journey. Sure there have been days with tears and filled with worry, but there are many great days in between as well.

We had a great summer this year. Outings included a trip to Manitoulin Island/Sudbury, Rochester to visit the Strong Museum and Seabreeze Amusement park and a trip to the African Lion Safari. The kids had a great time. They spent two weeks at Reptile Camp...what was I thinking comes to mind. Now they are always asking for a pet snake or lizard! Do you know what you have to feed those things?? Grace came home one day from camp to inform me that they tried to feed a baby pig to one of the giant snakes at camp named "Popcorn"! ::insert startled eyes here:: I guess I should have asked if cute baby animals would be fed to the reptiles in front of the kids before camp started. The thought didn't even cross my mind! They absolutely loved it all though and are already asking to go again next year.
Grace started gymnastics again. This year she is in Competitive Workshop so it will be more of a challenge for her. I like the discipline provided to her at gymnastics. We tried to sign Simon up for Karate...he said he wanted to go...but after the first free class he said, "it was too much work"! This from the kid who jumps up and down the whole time (and I mean the whole time) he plays video games!
I will sign off with a few new creations I made for The Scrapping Nook.

This last one is for a new colour challenge I'm hosting over at the Scrapping Nook. I have seen these challenges on other sites in the past and loved the idea. Here is the first layout I made with colour challenge #1. Click here to go to the challenge thread at the Nook! There is always something great posted there and Patti and Elia are just the greatest!