Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekend Adventures

It was a dreary weekend for some reason - the weather and the moods of all of us. But, we made it through. Here are some of the things we did....

The Mary-Allen Studio Tour was happening so we went to see the artist who lives across the street. We bought some art for our living room.

Uncertainty by Jane Hamilton

Finally, the tomatoes are starting to ripen.

I took the kids to the Children's Museum.






We spent some time outside last night collecting leaves.












I guess it wasn't such a bad weekend after all!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

Here is another one of our favourite fall recipes. It is from Martha Stewart - Collected Recipes for Everyday.

Pumpkin Bread

12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter - room temp
3 tbsp molasses
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2/3 cup orange juice or water
2 cups pumpkin or squash puree
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 cup raisins or currants

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2 large loaf pans.

Cream the butter, molasses and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat until light and lemon-coloured. Add orange juice and pumpkin puree and mix well (will curdle, but OK).

Sift dry ingredients together into a large bowl and add the pumpkin mixture, stirring well with a wooden spoon to thoroughly combine all elements. Stir in raisins.

Spoon into prepared pans. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 mins, then turn out onto racks to cool.


Note: I usually bake the loaves for about 1 h and 10 mins.

I keep 1 of the loaves out and put the other one in the freezer (or give it away to a friend). We make this recipe a lot at this time of year. It is so nice to have with a cup of tea.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lawrence Hill

I went to see Lawrence Hill a few weeks ago. He is the author of my new favorite book, The Book of Negroes.

Introducing Lawrence Hill:

I am so glad that I got to hear him read from his book, talk about his book and meet him. I was so nervous when I was standing in line waiting to meet him. I kept wondering what I was going to say to him. When it was finally my turn, this is the exchange we had:

LH: Hello Tricia (my name was written on a post-it note in the front of the book). How are you?
Me: I am well, thank you.
LH: Thanks for coming out tonight.
Me: My pleasure.

That was it. Pretty riveting, hey? When I finally got to the front of the line, I just couldn't think of what to say. I mean really, what could I say that he hasn't already heard? "I love your book". Wow, that's impressive. Obviously, if I am at a book signing, I must love the book. I often wonder how difficult it is for an author in a situation like that. What can someone say to an author that they haven't already heard? They must hear the same comments over and over again.

I very happy that I got to meet Lawrence Hill and that he autographed my book. He has several other books that I am curious about but I will stick to my book list for now and wait before I buy something new.

A somewhat related note: My friend gave me her copy of Anne of Green Gables. Turns out, the version I have is an abridged version (although it doesn't say this anywhere on the book). So, I can't technically cross this book off of my list yet. Once I am finished The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time I will try Anne again.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mary Jane's Gingerbread Cookies

I don't know who Mary Jane is, but her gingerbread cookies are really easy to make and taste delicious! This recipe is even easier if you happen to have a Kitchen Aid mixer.

Mary Jane's Gingerbread Cookies

1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1/3 cup hot water (120 to 130 degrees F - I just use really hot tap water)
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup molasses
1 egg, slightly beaten
6 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in the hot water; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in molasses, egg, and baking soda mixture. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer (this is where the Kitchen Aid comes in very handy). Stir in any remaining flour. Divide the dough into four portions. Wrap and chill dough for 4 to 24 hours or until easy to handle.

This is all the dough. I divide the dough in two portions and use
one half immediately and freeze the other half for future use.

Always have someone to help you with the "clean-up".

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Using 3 1/2-inch cookie cutters, cut into desired shapes. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough portions.

3. Bake in preheated oven about 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 80.

To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

I like using this heart cookie cutter. It is just the right
size and the cookies fit nicely into the lunch bags.

Here they are, just waiting for the girls to get home from school.


A few notes:
As I already mentioned above, I like to divide the dough into 2 portions. Then I put a bunch of the baked cookies into a freezer bag and just pull them out for school lunches.

The recipe says to bake for 8 minutes but I find that 10 minutes seems better (at least with my ancient oven).

I had almost given up on making gingerbread cookies - I tried several different recipes and none were that great and I ended up throwing out the dough or the cookies were like rocks. This recipe really is fantastic and easy. The dough is easy to roll, the cookies have hard edges but are chewy on the inside. My kids devour them!

Thanks to Shannon for giving me the recipe in the first place.

Rectangles, I Can Handle

Tonight was night 2 of my sewing class. We met at a fabric store to choose our fabric and supplies. I have decided, based on my very limited sewing experience, to start off with a few simple projects. Both projects involve sewing rectangles and lots of 'em.

The first thing I am going to sew is a set of kitchen curtains. Jeff and I made some (okay, Jeff made them) when we first moved into this house. They were just very basic, cafe-style curtains that covered half of the kitchen windows. We got new windows last summer and since the windows are now smaller, the curtains need to be re-configured. The old material was getting a little worn out so it is a great time to sew some new curtains. This time, I will make them all myself. Two rectangles and I am done!

This is the material for the curtains:

The second project also involves sewing rectangles, but this time, lots of small rectangles. I am just about to purchase the girls 4 fairy tales from the Scholastic book order and one of the tales is The Princess and The Pea. I saw this sewing project on Soule Mama and loved it! The beautiful things that Soule Mama whips up for her kids is what prompted me to take a sewing class in the first place. Whenever I see something that Soule Mama makes, I always wish that I could sew so that I could make my own. Well, here is my chance. I am going to make two sets of little quilts from the story, Jeff is going to make little beds and voila, we have some presents for Christmas for the girls!

Here is the material for the quilts:

I am so excited to take on these projects. I am assuming that I can finish these within a few classes and then move onto some other projects after that.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Progress

I made some progress on the purging front last night. What a great feeling to get rid of stuff. Jeff was out for BBN (Boys Beer Night) so it gave me an opportunity to get to work in the basement. He was surprised to see me still up when he returned home after 11:00 but I was determined to get as much done as possible.

I took a bunch of baby toys to my favourite children's consignment shop. I then took a few bags of clothes, other toys and books to the thrift shop. There is still aways to go in the basement but it is looking much better.

Here is a question...why is it SOO hard for me to part with my stuffed animals from my childhood? That is a serious question. I feel kind of silly admitting this, but even as I type this now, my eyes are welling up. 3 times now, I have tried to get rid of these certain 5 stuffed animals and every time, I put them aside and think I will just deal with them later. I have watched enough of Peter Walsh (de-cluttering expert) on Oprah and Clean Sweep to know that the stuffed animals are just "stuff" and that I clearly have some emotional connection to them. Maybe they remind me of my childhood and my mom which is why I can't seem to get rid of them. Anyways, never thought stuffed animals would get the better of me!

One thing I have learned from watching Peter Walsh is that too much stuff can weigh you down. The stuff has been weighing me down. I really feel like a weight has been lifted already, just from the small amount of stuff that I purged today. I feel relieved.

It feels great!

Thanks to all those people who made comments on my first post about de-cluttering. It is nice to know that I am not alone!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bolt, zoom zoom!

Heather is obsessed with the movie "Bolt". She has seen the movie 3 times now and has memorized some of the lines already.

For our craft this afternoon we made masks. As the girls decorated their masks Heather randomly said quotes from "Bolt". She is not saying them to anyone in particular, just happy to be thinking of her favourite movie.

"Mindy Parker, from the network."
"I'll fire everyone in this room, starting with you. How is that for real?"
"Bolt, zoom zoom!"
"Let's put a pin in that."
"That's a keeper."

Heather has decided that she is going to be Penny for Halloween and that Addie will be Bolt. Addie is happy to agree to almost anything her big sister says. I am a little relieved because I think both costumes will be relatively easy to make.

Heather wants me to be the mom character and she wants Jeff to be Penny's dad who is a professor. Lauchlan will be Rhino the hamster and our cat Charlie will be the cat character Mittens. It should be fun.

It Has To Get Worse, Before It Can Get Better, Right?

My house is driving me crazy and it is stressing me out. I used to be such a neat, tidy and organized person. I guess deep down I still am all of those things, but if you saw my house lately, you would never know it. Which is why I feel stressed out. I love my home, I spend a lot of time here and I want it to be a clean, organized and restful place. But it is in such disarray right now that it is not very peaceful.

I have been in the process of cleaning and purging for a long time. The spare room in the basement has become a dumping ground for everything that I am getting rid of. There are piles of things to be donated, piles to be given away and piles to be taken to the shed.....but the piles never go away. What would make this whole process a lot easier is if I could spread my piles out and then leave them for several days or weeks. But with my own 3 kids plus the 1 that I look after, well, it just doesn't work. All the things that I want to give away the girls are suddenly interested in again and suddenly, my piles have spread out throughout the house again.

Anyways, I got a good start on some areas of the house this weekend. But it is still going to take me several more weeks. My mother-in-law is coming at the beginning of October so it is great for me to have a deadline. I will be busy over the next week or so trying to clean this place up.

I hope I can still manage to get my book finished!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

25 Random Things

I first did this in January of 2009 after someone sent it to me on Facebook. I thought it would be fun to post it here.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

I am not going to "tag" anyone, but maybe this will inspire some others to write their own 25 Random Things.

1. I was born in The Pas, MB and lived there until grade 4. My parents decided to move to BC to get away from their own parents and to give their children more opportunities.

2. I am the middle child in my family. I have an older brother and a younger sister. Both live in BC. If I had the chance, I would move back to BC. I miss it and my family.

3. My mom Heather died of lung cancer when she was 44 years old. I was 22 at the time and in the process of doing my Education degree. My mom had been a nurse for a number of years and was just getting her writing career up and running (her true passion) when she got the diagnosis. I miss her every day.

4. I met my husband Jeff in the UBC Triathlon Club but he also ended up being my math TA when I had to take "Math for Dummies". We started secretly dating when he was still my TA but he never marked my final exam or had anything to do with my final course mark. That's too bad because I didn't do that well in the course.

5. One of the first times Jeff and I went running with the Tri Club he told me that he was in Math and I said, "I hate math" and I told him I was in History and that I thought I had an ulcer. He thought I was "high-maintenance". We have been together for over 14 years and we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in July.

6. I have done about 13 half-marathons (I lost count somewhere along the way) and 5 marathons. I have been into running since grade 5. That means I have been running for 25 years!

7. I was also into triathlons long ago and one of my proudest moments was completing the Ironman Canada Triathlon. I would like to do it again one day when life slows down a little.

8. I have over 1,000 children's books in my house right now (yes, I counted them) and more stored in my shed. I have always been passionate about children and children's books and if I were to change my career I would become a children's librarian or open a children's book store. When I go back to work one day I would like to focus my career more on early literacy.

9. I have worked as a babysitter, cherry picker, apple picker, front-desk clerk and switch board operator. I have worked at a fruit stand and as a behavioural therapist for autistic children. I have worked with 7 different autistic children doing therapy, respite, and as an assistant at a summer day camp.

10. My son Lauchlan is named after Lauchlan McLean who was born in Scotland in 1810. He died in 1886 in PEI and he was the first McLean to come to Canada. My daughter Heather would have been named Lauchlan if she had been a boy. My daughter Adelaide would have been named Lauchlan if she had been a boy. All the kids are named after people from our family tree.

11. I have an excellent sense of direction.

12. I can remember people that I met years ago and it freaks them out. - "you were in my history class 12 years ago...."

13. I drink more coffee now then I ever used to.

14. I am a very shy person and sometimes have a hard time striking up a conversation. In high school I think people thought I was a snob but really, I was shy.

15. I spent a week in Cape Dorset when I was in high school. I tried raw caribou, raw arctic char and raw whale. I am usually not so adventurous when it comes to food.

16. I like to sing and dance although I am not that great at either one.

17. I love to play board games and am very competitive. I am also big on sticking to the rules. It bugs me when people don't listen when I read the rules.

18. My biggest pet peeve is when people litter. I hate it. Especially when I see people throwing their cigarette butts on the ground. I am getting riled up just thinking about it!

19. I first learned about littering after my poppa bought me a fudgesicle when I was a kid and I came out of the store and threw the wrapper on the ground. My poppa, who usually didn't get mad, was upset with me and told me to pick it up. I never littered again.

20. I used to go around my neighbourhood with my wagon and pick up litter.

21. I also used to sweep all the gravel off our street in the spring.

22. I am a neat and organized person (in case you hadn't gathered that from #20 and #21) but have had to relax my standards since having kids.

23. I love cats.

24. I was born on my dad's birthday although he was not at the birth. I don't know any of the details of my birth so I have made a point of recording all the details of my children's births in great detail. I hope they want to read about it one day.

25. I am interested in my family history and spend a lot of time dating and archiving the events of my life now. I try to imagine others looking at the photos, letters etc. of my life years from now.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Junior Kindergarten

It was Addie's first day of junior kindergarten today. She cried. And cried. And cried. Surprisingly, I did not cry, although I was very misty eyed. I know she will be fine, but I have been thinking about her all day.

This morning when Addie got up I had her backpack and lunch bag on the living room floor and she seemed very excited. She happily gave me her input into what she wanted in her lunch. I snuck in a gummy spider, some stickers and an "I heart U" note for her first day. I asked her if she was excited to go to school and she said "yes" enthusiastically. But then, it all went downhill. I asked the girls to come into the bathroom to brush their teeth and Heather went on the stool on the right. Addie was not pleased and kept screaming that Heather was on her stool. I told Addie she could wait until Heather was done or else go on the other stool. Addie was having none of it and started crying hard. All the while I was thinking that this was not how I wanted Addie's first day of school to go. Why must there be fights over, of all things, the stool!

As we went down the stairs I stopped to give Addie a hug and asked her if she was crying because she was scared to go to school. She said "yes" and that she didn't want to go to school. What does a parent do then? How do you tell your child that they better get used to it because this is the first day of a lot more schooling to come. Of course, I didn't say anything like that and just held her. She didn't want to pose in front of the tree for a photo so I just snapped a few along the way.

At the last minute Addie brought her blanket outside.

Addie can run all the way to school but today she
wanted to ride along with the babies in the stroller.

She decided to get out and hold my hand about half way there.

Uh-oh. Now, Heather is in tears. Addie is still brave.

This is how I left my little sweetie - clutching not just her blanket, but Phonsie too. Oh, I just now noticed that the little girl beside Addie is holding her hand. My heart is melting!

There was one more thing about this special day that I wanted to mention. I have always been proud of the fact that Heather and Addie have been independently choosing their own clothes and getting themselves dressed for quite some time now. They often come downstairs with some very interesting outfits but I am just happy that this is one task that they can do on their own. Addie decided this morning to wear her favorite pants, her pink leggings. I don't mind these pants except that they have a rather largish hole in the bottom. Addie also proudly told me that she was going to wear what she calls her "painting shirt", just in case she gets to paint today. The shirt is probably the most holey and stained shirt she owns. It is stained with white paint which is why she calls it her "painting shirt". I made a mental note to buy Addie some new, non-holey leggings on the weekend and we will keep the holey leggings for weekend wear.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Addie's Heart

Here is what Addie said to me the other day as she was lying on the living room floor:

Addie: Mom, I can feel my heart beeping.

Me: Really? What does it feel like?

Addie: It feels like bumping. It's in my lower chest.

She has also been saying "campaloupe" instead of "cantaloupe".

Kids are so cute!

I Won!

Okay, so it wasn't the lottery I won, but it was still something great!

I have mentioned before that I read a lot of other blogs. Many of these blogs have little contests or giveaways. Usually, all you have to do is write a comment and then hope that your name is chosen. SouleMama had a giveaway on the weekend which I entered. The giveaway was for a game and poster from a company called Feeleez. My comment was this:

"This is a great give-a-way and could not come at a better time. My husband and I were just talking about how we need to help out daughter express her feelings/emotions in a better, more constructive way. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed!"

Figures I would win something and my comment would be re-printed with typos - "out" and "give-a-way". I should always re-read my comment before posting! Anyways....

I was thrilled to get an e-mail from Amanda this morning saying that I had won! I was practically crying because I was so giddy from just winning something. At the same time, I was happy because my comment was very sincere and I really think this prize may help us with Heather. I had a really tough afternoon with Heather on Friday (I am still debating whether or not to blog about this) and one thing I realized is that Heather has a VERY tough time managing her emotions. She just can't seem to. Maybe a game or poster is something that could help us to help her.

That really made my day!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Heather's World II

A few days ago I posted some photos of what I found in Heather's room when I checked on her before I went to bed. Here are a collection of photos from the past several nights. Every night there is something different in her room. I love it!

Beds that she made for Seal & Tigee.

The Littlest Critters (is that what they are called?) sitting in a circle.

Notice the poor critter with the hair clip?

I wonder why the rocking chair is in the closet?

I think she used the chair to reach my shirts which are now hung here
(we don't have a rod in our own closet yet).

Another arrangement of critters and the hydrangea that she picked.

Why is one kitty wearing a pair of Heather's shorts?

New sets of PJ's given to us by a friend
which are now neatly folded on the floor.

Tired animals rest on the window sill.

This reminds me of a choir.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Book A Month - Book Three

Book Three:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon

I have a stack of books sitting beside me right now and I am trying to decide which book to read next. They are all books on the BBC Book List which I have mentioned a few times now. I e-mailed some neighbours the list and was a little embarrassed when I told them that I own at least 10-15 of the books (I think possibly more) but have not read most of them. I decided to search around the house and our shed today to see what I could dig up. Many of the books that I own are from my classroom library collection and are children's classics. The books featured in the photo are the books that I found today but I know I have more. It is just that our shed is full of boxes and in front of those boxes Jeff has set-up an area to work on staining the soon-to-be installed baseboards.


Since we moved into this house almost 6 years ago, we stored most of our things in our big shed (including my 60 plus boxes of teaching supplies). Our house was a duplex for the last 5.5 years and we lived on the bottom two floors while the tenants lived on the top two floors. We didn't have any closets in our unit and no where to store extra things. So, my beloved books have been in boxes for all of these years. Now that we have the whole house and much more space we are slowly starting to bring things back in. But that also means spending money for things like bookshelves etc. which is low on the priority list. So, most of my books remain in the shed.

I guess I will work on reading the books in the photo as well as the books I mentioned in another post. Geesh! Why do I acquire books but then never read them? I have always loved reading. I guess I just have not made it a priority over the past several years. I will admit that since setting a goal to read one book a month, other things in my life have suffered a little. I also made another goal to de-clutter and clean out my basement by mid-September, but since I was glued to The Book of Negroes for the past week or so, nothing else got done. Oh well, I guess the basement can wait. I was so pleased when Heather said this afternoon, "Mommy, why are you reading so much?" I loved hearing her say that!

I guess that was a small digression....the book that I am going to read next is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. My grandma Irene bought this book for me for Christmas a few years ago and it has just sat in our spare room since then. But not anymore. I can't wait to read this one!

A Book A Month - Book Two

Book Two:
Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Yay! I met my first book goal yesterday and finished The Book of Negroes. I absolutely loved this book and the main character Aminata. I am still thinking about her today and her journey. What an amazing woman. I am really looking forward to seeing the author, Lawrence Hill, on Tuesday night.

I was desperate to finish the book as I neared the end of it. Yesterday afternoon, Heather was away and the babies were sleeping so it was just me and Addie. I kept telling Addie that this was mommy's quiet time and that I wanted to finish my book. I even plied her with cookies. Addie said to me, "Mommy, why are you giving me two cookies today?" Just eat and leave me be, kid! Thankfully, Addie busied herself on the swing and I devoured the rest of the book. The ending did not disappoint me. After I finished I just sat on the Adirondack chair for a few minutes to soak in what I had just read. I would highly recommend this book.

I started reading Anne of Green Gables last night which is one of the books from the BBC Book List. This is such a fast read and I am almost done, much to Jeff's disbelief. But there is only text on every other page and the font is big.

Update: I started this post this morning but have not had a chance to get back to the computer all day. I just wanted to say that I finished Anne of Green Gables about an hour ago. What a fast read. I think it is safe to say that a book is usually better than a movie but in this case, I would say that the movie is much better than the book. Maybe I would feel differently if I had read the book before seeing the movie.

Hmmm... what to read next?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Senior Kindergarten

Today was Heather's first day of senior kindergarten. I was looking forward to this day (for reasons I mentioned in this post) but now that the day is here, I feel a little sad. I had all of these plans for the summer but feel like we hardly did anything. I always feel like I should have done more. I could have done more.

Anyways, I was so proud of my little beauty. Heather has been into wearing PJ's lately but today, she chose to wear this dress. I wouldn't have minded if she wore the PJ's, but the dress made her look like such a little girl. So sweet.

September 10, 2009



When Heather's teacher came out Heather started to cry. Her little friend/neighbour held her hand as they went to the line. I think I was more relieved than Heather was.


We will go through this "first day of school" business again in one week when Addie has her turn and starts junior kindergarten.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mama Mia Spaghetti Sauce - Crock Pot Edition

Here is what we are having for dinner tonight. This is another family favourite and another recipe from my friend Sheri.

Mama Mia Spaghetti Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups canned or fresh crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup dry red wine or beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups cooked spaghetti

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add mushrooms, carrots, garlic and shallot to skillet. Cook and stir 5 minutes.

2. Place vegetables in slow cooker. Stir in ground beef crumbling it with spoon. Stir in tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, salt, oregano, basil and pepper. Cover and cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours. Serve sauce with cooked spaghetti.

Makes 5 servings

I made this once with ground chicken and although it still tasted good, my family definitely prefers it with ground beef. I also wonder how necessary it is to cook the veggies in the skillet ahead of time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's On Your iPod?

I have been thinking about doing a post like this for awhile now and then I got an e-mail from a friend wondering what I listen to when I run. I also like listening to these songs when I mow the lawn or when I clean. Here they are:

Running 1
  • How To Save A Life - The Frey
  • Fallen Leaves - Billy Talent
  • I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic! At The Disco
  • Where Are We Runnin'? - Lenny Kravitz
  • Sunday Morning - K-Os
  • Trouble - Pink
  • Better Now - Collective Soul
  • Beautiful Day - U2
  • Fighter - Christina Aguilera
  • Walking In Memphis - Marc Cohn
  • Mari-Mac - Great Big Sea
  • Keep 'Em Separated - Offspring
  • Time Of Your Life - Green Day
  • A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton
  • When I'm Up I Can't Get Down - Great Big Sea
  • Footloose - Kenny Loggins
  • It's My Life - No Doubt
  • Peace Frog - Doors
  • The Anthem - Good Charlotte
  • Home For A Rest - Spirit of the West
  • Basket Case - Green Day
  • You Oughta Know - Alanis Morisette
  • It's The End of The World as We Know It - Great Big Sea
  • Why Don't You Get A Job - Offspring
  • Walk The Line - Johnny Cash
  • Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm
  • The Night Pat Murphy Died - Great Big Sea

Running 2

  • I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
  • Know Your Enemy - Green Day
  • Rusted From The Rain - Billy Talent
  • Waking Up In Vegas - Katy Perry
  • Burn It To The Ground - Nickelback
  • Sweet Dreams - Beyonce
  • All You Did Was Save My Life - Our Lady Peace
  • Poker Face - Lady GaGa
  • Notion - Kings of Leon
  • I Kissed A Girl - Katy Perry
  • All To Myself - Marianas Trench
  • Knock You Down - Keri Hilson, Kanye West, Ne-Yo
  • Got No Shorty - Sean Kingston
  • You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift
  • I Know You Want Me - Pitbull
  • Summer Girl - Stereos
  • Obsessed - Mariah Carey
  • Paparazzi - Lady GaGa
  • Hot N Cold - Katy Perry
  • Oh Yeah - Chickenfoot
  • Use Somebody - Kings ff Leon
The Running 2 songs are the most recent ones that my brother suggested to me. There is quite a mix with some songs that I would probably not listen to on a regular basis but that I like hearing when I run.

What do you like to listen to?

Heather's World

I would love to get into Heather's head and find out what she is thinking when she does some of the things she does. We always check on the kids before we go to bed and it is always so much fun checking on Heather. You never know what you will find in her room. Sometimes, she is fully clothed and there are other clothes arranged around the room. Other times, there are stuffed animals placed in various areas throughout her room. One time there was even wet toilet paper (wet from her water bottle) plastered on the walls around her room.

Here are some of the things that I came across in her room a few nights ago:

The Tea Party game was set for tea.

The stuffed animals were stuffed into a box.

The ponies and other critters were at a meeting.


I mentioned here that we took the train to St. Jacobs. While we were there we ate lunch at a restaurant. As we waited for our meals I used the back of the kids menu to show Heather and Addie an easy art activity that my grade 2/3 students did way back when I was teaching. All you do is divide a piece of paper into several sections and then doodle something different in each section. It looks very sharp if you use something like a Sharpie.

Here is an example:

I guess this art activity was something that Heather was interested in because this is what was beside her on her bed. It makes me realize that Heather and Addie take in more than I think they do. At the time, they seemed mildly interested. Clearly, Heather enjoyed the activity more than I realized.

Here is Heather's example:

What a sweetheart.

Sweet dreams.