Sunday, October 31, 2010


A hunter, Boba Fett, Supergirl, a plumber, a princess, and a cat
One of the top five most exciting days of the year is now over. It was a great night; the weather was very civilized, we saw lots of neighbours, and we had fun with friends. Oh, and we have enough candy to last for the next three years. It seems the kids got much more candy than usual, in less time. There are a lot of people on our street who hide in their basement on Halloween, but the ones that do give out candy are pretty generous because there aren't many trick-or-treaters (usually about 30 - but even less this year). I bought full sized chocolate bars; there are still 12 left. I wonder how much weight I'll put on this month. I might just eat all the leftovers tomorrow and get it over with.
Hope you all had a happy halloween - all treats and no tricks!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Sorry, this isn't as exciting as the title makes it sound. Unless you're Spencer, that is. For some reason, he was fascinated about the civic election from start to finish. Dale can get pretty passionate about provincial and federal politics, but Spencer's interest in this election was self-inflicted. He soaked up all the information he could about the candidates before the election and decided who he was cheering for all on his own. He wants to run for mayor someday, and says the first thing he'll do is allow children to vote. Since he was a lot more passionate about the election than I was, I let him fill out my ballot. He begged to miss swimming lessons tonight so that he could watch the results come in. (Don't feel obligated to watch these videos; the first one is 18 seconds long and the second one is a minute and a half.)

My posts have been rather Spencer-focused lately. I realize I do have other children. But one more thing - check out this cool program Stephen wrote based on Spencer's code.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Vote for sushi

I know I'm boarding the sushi-making train (not to be confused with the Sushi Train) a little late, but today I made sushi for the first time ever. It is the most loved food in our household, but it took me a while to admit that we were spending way too much money on it. I went to a friend's house today, and not only did she teach me how to make it, she sent me home with enough sushi to feed the whole family for dinner along with nori and a bottle of sushi seasoning so I can do it on my own next time. Everyone was pretty excited over here; I think we just might have sushi again tomorrow. I don't know if it's normal to take pictures of sushi, but I did. I had to sift through many photos for the best ones. I think I just exceeded the number of times a person is allowed to use the word sushi in a single paragraph.

While looking through photos, I remembered these from Neve's ballet class. It was parent observation week, and it was the cutest thing I've ever seen. I got a little carried away with the photoshopping. Neve's ribs and chest look a little eerie, but that's nothing compared to her headless teacher.
While I was photoshopping, I thought I may as well play around with one of the sushi pictures. And yes, as a matter of fact I do have better things to do. I'm caught in a procrastinating time warp.

For the local people, don't forget to GO VOTE on Wednesday (civic election). Even if you're like me and don’t feel strongly about any of the candidates, go exercise your right to vote. I'm hoping I will have an epiphany of who to vote for by then; the two people running for city councillor in our area have been referred to as Dumb & Dumber in the media, so I might close my eyes and pick. Dale says he’ll probably vote for Kowalson because whenever he sees the sign in people’s yards, it looks like Kornelsen at first glance. It’s as good a reason as any, I guess. But GO VOTE! Even if it is just to humour me.

Love, → ll → ↓ (is anyone's code name cooler than mine?!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I was going to surprise all of you and post every day since my last one. Good thing I didn't make any promises I wasn't capable of keeping.

Today's topic is Spencer. He still makes us laugh with the things he comes up with. I don't think his teachers are laughing as much. This is the top of his French test. I asked him what was up with his name. He was delighted that I'd asked. "Did you crack the code?!" he said. I guess the teacher did too, but she doesn't seem very appreciative of his coding abilities.

While I was scanning things, I scanned his Christmas list too. If you can get past his teacher's-nightmare printing, you'll see he's given this substantial thought. He's divided his list into categories and circled the things he most wants. He knows he will only get one or two things on this list, but it doesn't stop him from adding things daily. I'm not sure what he's saving the fourth column for.

At least he didn't write it in code.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This is for Siobhan and Darla

I'm going to try really hard to post more often. But it does make me feel special when I haven't blogged for a while and people actually notice. You're awesome.

We went on our annual Grand Forks fall exursion (GFFE) this past weekend with Teresa & Anthony and Doug & Lorie. It doesn't vary much from year to year: it always involves swimming, shopping, talking, eating, and drinking. We did mix it up a bit this year by exploring Grand Forks culture on Saturday afternoon. The adults went on an Art & Wine walk downtown. It was fun, even though some places had run out of wine by the time we got there. The water tower appears to be a favourite subject of many a Grand Forks photographer, so we were a little tired of seeing that after a while, but we went to a lot of neat places we'd never been before. This is the first year that we could leave the children at the hotel by themselves (legally), although Dale ended up staying and swimming with them.

The shopping didn't completely click for me this year, but I think it's because I get these crazy high expectations and start wanting everything I see, so it's always disappointing when reality sets in. Part of the reality is that I actually don't enjoy shopping. However, I am pleased with my new $20 jeans (which cost almost that much to hem, due to a mis-communication with my ESL tailor) and also with the winter coats I got for Spencer and Neve for $15 each at Sears. They seem warm and look reasonably attractive and they even came with a hat and scarf. Beat that, Please Mum.

On the other side of the cross-border shopping coin, here's a less positive experience. We bought three new kitchen bar stools at Target. I had already scoped these out online beforehand, but due completely to my own incompetence, I never bothered to take a measurement of the height we needed. At the store, Dale and I tried them out and were both 100% sure we needed the taller stools. We were wrong. Now we are stuck with three useless stools. We thought of cutting off the legs, but I don't know how precise we could be with our hack saw. I don't want to make it sound like I know everything about woodworking, but it seems like it would be important for all the legs to be exactly the same length. Oh well, it might be a good excuse for Dale & I to take a little Sunday drive one of these weekends.

One other unhappy turn of events happened when we went to the mall on Sunday. Neve's toy of the moment was Chloe's webkinz dog named Jessie. For the past week or two, Jessie had been loved and fed and cuddled and tucked in at night. Alas, Jessie was taken into the mall and never made her way out. We retraced our steps, checked all the stores we'd been in, and asked the employees if they'd seen her (him?). When we gave up, Neve cried and cried (more than she ever did for Ee-ee). "Jessie's going to be lonely! Who will feed her and take care of her?" We were all very sad for her, but she hadn't been attached to it very long. And as luck would have it, our next stop was Target, where Neve had some birthday money to spend. She bought a Zhu-zhu pet and Jessie was all but forgotten. It's a good lesson: money does buy happiness.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Ten Ten Ten!

Since today is the tenth day of the tenth month of the (two thousand and) tenth year, I thought I'd take ten photos to sum up our day. I had a tough time narrowing it down, and I also failed to get a completely accurate representation of the day: there are no pictures of anyone fighting or arguing or complaining that there was nothing good to eat.

Neve anxiously anticipating the clock on the microwave changing to 10:10.

Hour #20 of Chloe cleaning/organizing her room. The amount of stuff one girl can cling onto is staggering.

Raking leaves into a pile to jump into. Still hasn't rained, so the leaves still haven't been bagged.

Dale making sandwiches for a Thanksgiving picnic. I'm thankful for picnics in October.

The witch's hut in Kildonan Park (where we had our picnic). I checked the internet in advance for its operating hours. I didn't find the info I was looking for, but I did find a reference to the Witch's Hut being "one of Winnipeg's top cultural attractions." That may be overstating things JUST A LITTLE, but the kids were pretty delighted with it.

Swinging at the park. There is a huge new play structure under construction in Kildonan Park, but the swings were a hit in the meantime.

Neve eating a apple with her side teeth due to a loose bottom tooth.

A bridge over troubled duck-filled waters.

Gorgeous flowers in October. I am in love with 20+ degree weather in October.

End of a ten-filled day - watching TV in my bed.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


The kids have been having much fun with the annual leaf pile. They rake it up into a big pile, jump in it, and rake it back up. I’m not sure when those leaves will make their way into bags; probably after the first rain makes them soggy and dirty.

And if playing in the leaves wasn’t fun enough, while the kids were out there, the fire truck pulled up right in front of our house, firefighters jumped out and kicked in the door of the house across the street. They came out a few seconds later carrying a burning frying pan. The neighbour was out for a run when all of this happened, so she was quite startled by all the commotion around her house when she got home a little while later. Luckily the damage was minimal; thank goodness for monitored smoke detectors.

I keep saying I’m going to start a regular exercise routine “in fall.” I can no longer deny that we are well into fall. If I wait a little longer, it will be winter and I’ll just aim for the following fall. I actually did dig out my rollerblades yesterday and went out on a sorry little excursion with them. My shins hurt and it seemed like I was going against a hurricane wind no matter which way I went (it wasn’t even that windy). I had two very near-falls, in which I flailed around for ten seconds trying to balance myself before pretending nothing had happened and continuing on my way. I’m sure the drivers around me were laughing their heads off. I wouldn’t know because I tried very hard to avoid eye contact with anyone. The worst part is I didn’t even break a sweat because I was going so slow to avoid all the twigs and leaves in my path. So today I went for a run, which was a bit more successful. The last time I ran I found $70 on the ground so now I keep my eyes on the path and hope that the next time that happens, I won’t come across the rightful owner desperately searching and scanning the ground for his lost money. I had already spent that money ten different ways in my head. Here’s hoping for next time. How’s that for incentive? That, and fitting into my jeans.

It takes a lot for me to laugh at things I see or read if there’s no one else around. I might smile or laugh on the inside, but I’m not a LOLer when I’m by myself. If someone wants to analyze that, I’d appreciate it; in the meantime check out the link that caused an exception (you have to click on the beans) Analyze THAT.