Teach them to speak their minds and they do

We were hanign out in the kitchen, discussing the upcoming trip to get the groceries.

“Can we get chips?” said Emma.

“Well…” I said, “Daddy’s been trying to get us to buy less treats.”

“They are really not that good for you if you eat them all the time,” said Ron.

Emma took this all in.

“Besides,” I said grabbing ample portions of my posterior, “This is what happens if you eat too many chips.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “Wow, that’s a lot of chips.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Ten years ago I started writing about my life online. Yeah, you read that right – TEN years. Back then, there weren’t really blogs and people who did this had “online journals”. We hand-coded static HTML in flat files , uploaded via ftp.

And we did it under 3 feet of snow, walking uphill in our father’s pajamas. πŸ˜€

Back then, I was a rural mom of three (ages 7, 9 and 12), very active in the church, a Sunday School teacher, a Brownie/Sparks leader, a homeschooler with one kid in public school, a small business owner with a craft supplies store with a mail-order branch. I’m exhausted just reading about it. (and slightly embarrassed – thank God my writing has improved!)

I’m also barely resisting the urge to go back in time and smack myself upside the head. So many thing I could have done differently! Why on earth did I think it was a good idea to re-use our school-in-a-box curriculum? All the time spent erasing I could have researched better ways sooner. And running the craft business – oy. And living there – double-oy.

Anyway, I’m sensing a theme brought out in my first real entry, one that still runs through the blog today – and indeed my whole life:

Love is great, love is wonderful. Love is a VERB.

There is no ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ…β€œI love you butΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ‚Β¦ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ‚Β

Do I love my husband? You bet I do.
I also respect him.
And not only that, I actually like himΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ‚Β¦.

Yep, that pretty much still sums it up.

Just some schmuck from NB

While I’m over here hyperventilating, I thought I’d post a couple photos. See, in two fields now people think I’m some sort of expert. I just think I know stuff. I’m just some mom from New Brunswick, you know? I’m pretty sure I’ll do a good job, I kinda like public speaking. It’s just all the details involved with getting from here to there – the bits in the middle so I can show up and not once look at any notes and still deliver.

I have messy handwriting.
handwriting meme 2

But at least I was a cute kid.

Emma says I look a lot like her. I could write a blog post about each snapshot there, I think.

I think I look cute in old pictures, but there’s not a lot of recent pics of me. I tried to find high school pics of me and there’s not a lot either. I am generally unsatisfied with pictures of myself, I think. they look different than just me looking at me in a mirror. At least to me they do.

I also have to get a passport and get a picture taken for that. This will be my third passport, and I have a history of.. uh.. shall we say “unique” passport shots. So bad, I shall dig them out and post them on the internet for everyone to laugh at. Doesn’t help that I’m also unhappy with my hair. It’s so bad, Ron suggested I wear a hat. “Great,” I said, “Then I’ll look like a dork. In a HAT.” Long-term readers will remember I look really bad in hats. Really really bad.

I realize this is All About Me and all, but… this is my blog. πŸ˜€ Where else am I gonna talk about me? On Thursday, it will be the TENTH anniversary of my blog. I have been writing about my life for Ten. Whole. Years.

Astounding! And? I put it on the internet, where other people *read it*.

I also realized that my kids have some, most or all of their lives documented – which is good because their baby books are empty (I never even bought one for Meaghan, poor thing). So I thought that maybe occasionally I should also fill in the blanks.

For today, you can take away a few things: I take bad passport pics. I look terrible in hats. I start writing an entry about one thing and wind up at another.

The end.


After that last post I went on and on all day straight on through to 11:30pm, so it’s no wonder the next day I woke up with a crick in my neck and a headache. I puttered around a bit, and then we went visiting for the afternoon. That was refreshing.

It sucks though, because when I crash like that, it takes a while to get going – even after the one-day “recovery”. But the best part? Since I’ve been working out, it’s easier. Also, since I’ve been working out I’ve had these days of go-go-go where my metabolism is ramped up so high I can *feel* it. My brain won’t shut up.

The other interesting effect here is the need for less caffeine. I’m ADD, remember. Caffeine doesn’t ramp me up. I can drink a glass of Pepsi and fall asleep. So, lately it’s been an interesting sort of balance and awareness of the ADD-squirrel-brain jumps and trying to send me off in the right direction so I can hyperfocus on something I’m actually supposed to be doing.

And granted, when I can hyperfocus on a few things – man, can I ever get things done. Usually to the exclusion of everything else, but boy is there ever progress in that one area. πŸ˜€

I guess that’s the long-winded way of saying the elliptical machine is working out quite well overall. I went from huffing and puffin through 15 minutes on the default setting, to a half-hour on the “earth healthy” plan, or 30 to 45 minutes on medium with fast songs on my mp3 player. It took about four weeks of almost daily use, dragging my butt over to it, to get to the wonderful Zone. Yes, I am re-addicted to the workout high. πŸ˜€

Which is all good, because it’s really going to help when I go to Chicago on March 5 thru 7 to speak at the InHome Conference homeschooling convention.


I’ve been reorganzing, or at least working towards, changing my daily routine a bit, and sorting out my weekends, to make sure I get things done. On the weekdays, we’re both busy enough that simple things get forgotten. Like tossing in a load of laundry, or eating an actual meal.

Meaghan has been pretty good at reminding me of things like, my kettle boiled and shut off, so she made my tea for me and I better drink it soon, or it’s almost lunch time / supper time. I’ve been calling her our housekeeper since she helps steers things back on track.

One thing I’m trying this weekend, is to move house and family things to these two days. Don’t try to do the big huge client projects, but work on the smaller ones, my own stuff and more importantly – family and house things.

Like this morning – even if it is halfway through lunch and I should get down there – this morning I accomplished two important things. I got some cleaning done and I spent time with Emma. I swept the upstairs hall on the kid’s side, as well as the back stairs. Then I went into the sunporch (not quite so chilly now that Ron has banked it with snow), took all the kid’s books off the bookshelf and moved the book and shelf out to the dining room Then Emma and I sorted through the books.

After that, we took the mop and a sponge, and mopped the hall and stairs. She sponged down each step after I mopped it. When it’s dry, we’ll move the bookshelf and books up to the hall, right outside her door. There’s no room in her bedroom for another bookshelf, and this will giver her and Ron more available books to choose from at bedtime. Win/win all around.

And on top of that it’s clean.

Here’s hoping the rest of my weekend goes the same way. For now, I’m being paged to look after lunch. πŸ˜€

Hey there hiatus

I think almost every day in the past week or two, I have said I had to update my blog. You see how that worked out.

Christmas was fine, we managed to see pretty much everyone and eat too much. Funny stories abound everywhere, including this touching interchange between my mom and Emma.

I didn’t take too many pictures, I was relaxing and being “in” the moment instead of photographing the moment. I also spent some time just doing fun things, instead of work things or house things or mom things.

I’d like to say I caught up on things, but it seems I just had a lull. Server emergencies and last-minute things still happen over major holidays. But let’s hit the highlights shall we? Because we all know if I don’t get it down now, I never will. πŸ™‚

– there was a power outage Christmas morning. Meaghan & I noticed at 6am. By 6:30, the crew was outside and Ron was bringing them gingerbread men.

– we spoiled our kids and got them each a major present. Emma got a portable DVD player (which I gave her on her birthday by accident) as well as a stack of movies, and a couple stocking stuffers, Sarah got her own digital camera (plus stocking stuffers) and we got Meaghan a KitchenAid mixer – plus a few more stocking stuffers, just in case. πŸ˜‰

I know there were a lot of anti-consumerist posts before the holidays, and I had a little bit of a rant / explanation, and I should probably point out I’m not trying to be defensive here. But, you know, we had a couple of pretty lean years recently. The stuff we bought is still within our budget or under what a LOT of people usually spend at Christmas. I can justify each purchase quite a bit. πŸ™‚ Emma watches a lot of movies and hogs the tv, which is an issue, plus there are two dvd players we have that broke recently. Sarah takes amazing pictures, and is out way more than I am. And since I have killed two cheaper stand mixers and Meg cooks quite a bit, a pro one (on SALE even) is a smart choice.

– we got Mom & Carl a digital picture frame, which they were really happy with.

– when Addison and Kaytlyn got here, we gave them a night in a hotel, plus a donation to the Canadian Spinal Research Association. I thought Kaytlyn was going to cry. As a side note and follow-up, Addison says that Guitar Hero (which they brought with them) has really helped with the nerve damage in his arm. (For new readers: He broke his neck in 2004.)

– also, when your grown children come visit, you can clean out your freezer and send them home with two bags of food you don’t want. They get fed, you get a cleaner freezer.

– Ron got me an elliptical trainer a couple weeks before Christmas, so we exchanged smaller things on the actual day. He got me jammies, I got him a coffee grinder & beans.

Even still, this was nothing outside of what we can afford, since we tend to deny ourselves of frivolous things from about October on, what with all the birthdays and Christmas we save purchases for those occasions. Yes, even socks. πŸ˜‰

Also, a cleint sent me a present. I was telling her that the only exercise I got was going downstairs to refill my tea, so after she heard I got an elliptical, she sent me a glass tea pot with blooming tea, so I can relax in the office. πŸ™‚

Other news:

– Sarah got a second job. It’s at a renamed access center, now an Adult Learning Center, in the local school. The difference in attitude is huge. her boss there doesn’t feel threatened that Sarah is a “just” a teenager and might know more than she does. In fact, the boss is greatly relieved. πŸ˜€ Sarah gets to sit on the computer all day and do web stuff for them. Well, she will when they get their Internet back up, because the school is off on holidays.

– We finally got in a visit to Saint John. I haven’t been there in two years, and haven’t seen my grandfather in that time. I can’t remember if I mentioned it, but he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. the visit was okay. It’s just really sad to see him like this, he’s so tired and old. You have to know him really well to see the differences, but they are there. Even if he is in his 90’s. It’s a 500km round trip, and we did it in one day.

– On the up side, we had bought domains and starting building sites for my aunt and my father, for their professional lives. They were both pleased. *Phew*. I was a bit nervous about it, but I’m hoping it will give them both a career boost. Also, I had picked up a small stained glass suncatcher of Snoopy on his doghouse, for my aunt who is a long-time Snoopy fan. Even though it had obvious repairs and I paid ten whole cents for it, she loved it.

Since we’re packrats on that side of the family, and tend to clean out in batches and pass things around (see above with the freezer bit), we came home with a couple large boxes of things, and a fruitcake known as “the Brick”.

why the Rotarians thinks giving seniors, half of whom are probably diabetic, a large chemically-filled fruitcake doorstop is beyond me.

(Yes, I have been eating it. Tastes okay, except for theΓƒβ€šΓ‚Β  extra preservatives.)

– we’ve been doing crafty things. Meaghan has been re-covering notebooks, here’s one example and I’ll be posting the rest with instructions at some point. So on a couple of stops, we headed in to Micheal’s and picked up large gorgeous sheets of cardstock. Mom gave is a 50% off coupon and Ron picked up a large tub of melt & pour soap, which we have just started to play with.

– One of Emma’s stocking stuffers was a couple small Perler bead kits. We all got hooked and eventually picked up a huge bucket. on New Year;s Eve, we watched the food network and made melted bead creations becasue we party hard like that.

– Right before Christmas, our back doorknob came off. Not terribly surprising. So guests were greeted with needle-nosed vice grips to turn it. We did have a replacement knob, but somehow lost the deadbolt (so that’s what the piece of metal was that has been floating around the house), and by the time we got to the hardware store for a replacement, it was Christmas Eve and Ron was enjoying himself before working on the house. It’s fixed now though. πŸ˜€

– the stove has been picky, something to do with with the feed. of course, it acts up on the coldest days and nights. Last night, it went out shortly after the last of us had gone to bed. (Note: we have an electric heater at the other end of the house too) When I woke up, it was freezing and of course windy, which is hard to keep the house heated anyway. We put plastic over more windows downstairs. I accidentally put tape on a dry part of my lip and ripped off some skin. (Ow.) While we warmed up under the covers, we watched the food network (yes, AGAIN) and made perler bead creations.

So the overall theme of the holidays so far has been us being slighty chilly while in our flannel jammies, eating too much chocolate, tuned into the Food Network, playing on the Wii together now that we have a second remote, or troubleshooting someone’s server. including our own.

I’ve also been trying to work out every day. I did skip a couple here and there, but the benefits are starting to show. I sleep better, and I can feel my metabolism and brain ramping up. the down side is I want to do so much in the run of a day, I can’t do it all and get frustrated. I want to clean and organize every single room. RIGHT NOW. πŸ˜€

The tree is still up though. The boxes are in the sunporch, it’s cold out there since it’s unheated, and I want to wait for a warm day to cut down on heat loss. Such is my day.

Sorry this is disjointed – I also got called away and took a phone call in the middle. πŸ™‚