Friday, October 29, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Sunshine) Hey! Where is everybody? I thought that I was extremely late in posting but this page is still empty. The week has been busy as usual. I am feeling much better. I turns out that I had an inflammation on my left side near my colon. I won't bore you with the medical term for what I have. It is what they call a self-limiting condition which in plain English means that it will take care of itself. It will just take some time. I have not spoken to anyone this week and I hope that everyone is doing well. Mr Sunshine is on his way back from Ottawa as I am blogging. Miss Teen Sunshine is at work. This is her second last shift of the season and Little Miss Sunshine is at home with me. The family room renovations have begun so my family room, dining room and part of the hall way are out of commission for now. I thought your family room and dining room were complete. What are you doing to them?Little Miss Sunshine has decided to go trick or treating with a few of her girlfriends and Miss Teen Sunshine is working until dinner time and I am not sure what she is doing next. My sister and possibly my dad (he is not sure yet) will be dropping in. Anyone who wishes to drop in and spend sometime with us or tick or treat with us is welcome to do so just be prepared for a cluttered house and a very simple evening. I hope to see you all on Sunday.
(Carolin) I am glad you are feeling better. We don't celebrate Halloween at the school nor do we do much at home so I have somewhat forgotten about it. The Husband is taking the little one and her friend to our church for a harvest party. I don't think we will be stopping by Sunshine, if it wasn't on a Sunday we would. But I don't want everyone up late as I have a busy week ahead of me.

As I type there are still two men in my house working on our new furnace and AC. Hopefully, it will be done today. The husband is gone for the day (I can't remember where he went but he is gone for the day) As I was on the phone with Cathy another man came to my house. I don't know who he is but of course I let him in and we went straight up to my room! Seems the husband made an appointment for this guy to give us a quote for attic insulation. Whatever!
(Cathy) Hubby thought it was the insulation guy as he and your Husband had already discussed it, lol! I know we are typing this on Saturday instead of Friday. I too had a busy week. Just dealing with the regular schedule. This weekend is my last weekend on this shift. I will enjoy Saturday night because as of next weekend I will have to be at work for six thirty am Sunday morning! The kids cooked a lot this past week. The younger one made a pasta dish (tortellini) with a tapanade sauce with green beans sauteed in lemon pepper and soy sauce. Sounds weird but really yummy! The older one made Thai chicken wraps with a peanut sauce. Deelish! He made the sauce with peanut butter and Catalina salad dressing! Ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chili sauce and lime juice were also added. He rolled them with lettuce, thin rice noodles and julienned carrots, cucumbers and red peppers. I acted as sous chef and while using our mandolin I sliced the end of my thumb almost off! What a lot of blood! It was a stupid move on my part and now I get to stumble around without the use of my right thumb. I have a renewed respect for the thumb. It's amazing the little things that cannot be done without it!

Now as for Halloween, this will be the first time that I will be working. It's a strange feeling. I really like Halloween, I dress up and play spooky music and have a lot of fun with all kids of all ages. Oh well, life goes on.
Have a wonderful weekend. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Review - The Senator's Wife

"The Senator's Wife", by Sue Miller was our second book club book.

We worked our book club differently this time. Carolin found that our library had enough copies for all four of us. We requested the book and had three weeks to read it. We decided to each read the complete book and then discuss it.

(Cathy) Firstly, I have to admit I enjoyed reading this book better than our first book. I prefer to just read the book rather than chop it into sections. It was an easy read. Good for the beach which is how Carolin found out about it. She did a search on her blackberry for good books to read on a vacation and this was one of them. This is probably where we should summarize the book but I'm no good at keeping it short so I'll let one of the other ladies have that pleasure.
(Carolin) This book was an easy, no think book. I have read allot of light fluff beach books and enjoyed some. This one I think was a book that was trying to be serious but didn't make it. Also the more I read the book the less I liked the main character. I totally agree. The main character had many bad qualities. She was selfish. About three chapters into the book she committed what I consider a crime and after that I found I didn't like her at all! This book centered around a young married couple settling into their first home in a nice neighbourhood. They befriend their neighbour who happens to be a retired senator's wife. The story centres on the young wife in the present and flashes back to the history of the senator's wife. It could have been a great story of friendship and growth; instead it was a story of betrayal.

A wonderful librarian once told me give a book 50 pages and after the 50 you still are not enjoying it then don't bother with it anymore there are too many great books out to waste your time on the not so great ones. We are not in school anymore where we have to read boring books (Catcher in the Rye, or remember The old man and the Sea. Oh how I hated that book) so don't waste your time on 'oh hum' books. "The Senator's Wife", is an 'Oh Hum' book. But that's just my opinion.

(Sunshine) I agree with Cathy and Carolin. Don't waste your time with this one. I really didn't like it at all. It could have been so much better and I really don't understand why the writer chose to take this book in the direction that she did. It could have been so much better. It was filled with broken hearts and broken promises and a dream that was just that, a dream, never to be a reality.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) I had a great week! My girlfriend, Carol, came to Toronto last week Friday to run in the Toronto Good Life Marathon. She went home yesterday. Carol ran a PB, (personal best) in the marathon. It's amazing to think people can train and psych themselves to run for five hours nonstop. I have so much respect for them. My cousin Chris, was scheduled to run the half marathon, however, he has a foot injury and could not make it. Get well soon, Chris! I learned so much about running marathons this past week. After picking Carol up from the airport we went to the Expo held at the Direct Energy Centre on the EX grounds to pick up her race kit. They had booths set up selling running clothes and energy foods and drinks (yuck!) and books. What's wrong with drinks? They are protein drinks and taste like cardboard or they are so thick and sweet, yuck! Carol kept blogging while she was here so to get the most info and to see pictures please click on the link and read her posts for the past week: Carol and I went to high school together when I was living in Calgary. We have continued to keep in touch over the years. We had such good times in high school and we both love to cook. Actually, this past week I think we spent most of it in grocery stores and the kitchen. I miss her and hope it won't be as many years until we see each other again. (Sunshine) I enjoyed meeting Carol very much and I also have so much admiration for what these runners can accomplish. I have finally finished our book and am ready to talk whenever you girls are ready. This week, well not so much fun for me. I have been in such pain the last few days. Why didn't you call? I sure hope it's starting to feel a little better. I finally got my period on Thursday but my pain in what I think may be my ovaries started on Wednesday, early morning and has not subsided as of yet. I can only function by taking Tylenol every four hours. I finally called the doctor on my way home from work today and the receptionist said if the pain worsens or stays the same go to Emerg. If it subsides, call on Monday and they will squeeze me in for an appointment. She suspects an ovarian cyst. So do the girls at work. I don't really know much about any of that but I have been looking it up since it was mentioned. I know too much information but this is our blog after all and nothing is off limits. (Carolin) The Teenager had a ovarian cyst two summers ago and there was not much that could be done till it burst. From what I understand it is a pimple on your ovary. It is very painful from what I have been told. Hopefully, it burst soon for you Sunshine. I am so glad Carol was able to beat her personal best. Way to go Carol! For me just another week cooking, cooking, cooking. The little one and I did some errands last night and then we stopped at Marble Slab Creamery for some ice cream I had the eggnog ice cream and the little one had chocolate swiss. Yes, they were very good and you were given a generous serving but.... You knew there was going to be a but, didn't you? $14.50 for two ice creams! I think that's a little crazy, so yes it was good but worth $15.00, No, I don't think so. Can't say I will be a regular customer, it's just a little to steep for me.
I have company coming over soon so I must be off. Have a great weekend everyone.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Can we talk about the book yet???

(Carolin) You can talk about anything you want Cathy. I have finished The Senator's Wife and thought it was OK. I liked the older neighbour wife but not so much the younger neighbour wife.

Sunshine have you read the book yet?(Sunshine) Sorry ladies I am in the process of reading the book. I am not quite half way yet but let's talk about it anyway. So far I agree with Carolin, I like Delia.

What a week, I had three hundred extra people to day as the school hosted a World Concerns Conference. I have two women I have hired, one works three days a week and the other two days a week. But for this week they both were in everyday as we prepped for today's conference. My mom has also been here all week helping get things done that I just don't seem to have time to do. She has been organizing the storage room, cupboards etc. It has been a busy but good week business wise. Congrats on being an employer. Busy is good but I know that it is a lot of work and that you must be very tired. Christmas vacation is around the corner (don't freak out Cathy). I have looked at the calandar a few times judging the time till Christmas vacation.

Its been a busy week around here too. Nothing unusual just the usual hustle and bustle. I did post last week and saved but when I looked at the blog later, my comments were not there. This has happened to me a few times in the past and I don't know why. Sorry for the mishap. Thanksgiving weekend was busy. We spent a day with each side of the family. Lots of people, lots of food and lots of work but it was a lot of fun. This short week feels like such a long week. Thursday dragged on forever and ever at work. The nights are too short and the work day is too long. I suppose it doesn't help that it is getting darker outside so much earlier lately. Cathy I am looking forward to seeing you all on Friday night. It will be nice to catch up. Thanks for having us over. I hope that the weather will be nice for Halloween as it is comming up fast. Are you girls planning on comming over? Miss Teen Sunshine may be working that evening but Little Miss Sunshine is raring to go. You are all invited over for some dinner and of course to trick or treat with us if you like. Feel free to drop in whenever you like. It was very noticable yesterday morning just how dark it is now, we left only 10 minutes earlier then normal but it felt like the middle of the night.

I am going to bed now. Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Slipping through the cracks

The little one was so excited today after school, she was hugging me and her dad with a big smile on her face! She said we had to keep September's spelling words list. Why you ask? For the first time in all her years of school (and she is now in the beginning of grade 5), she finally passed a (yes, I am saying first) spelling test!

Her happy little face almost brought tears to my eyes, even now typing about it I want to cry. She has been in the school system for 7 years and very rarely sees a test that isn't covered in red Xs. It scares me to think just what this is doing to her self esteem and her sense of self worth. Does she believe me when I tell her she is smart, and creative, wonderful or does she already think "well of course Mom would say that she has too"?

The husband and I meet with her teacher, resource teacher and department head for the elementary division this past Monday after school. We discussed the concerns they had about her. Which only frustrates me more as this is not new, I have been saying the same thing over and over and over till I am blue in the face! We had a educational assessment done back when she was in grade one. Which in my opinion was a waste of $1500.00 as all it said was exactly what I told the psychologist but just with bigger words. We were able to get some parts of her education modified but not everything and she has continued struggling.

So, here we go again, another assessment has been scheduled for this coming November at a cost to us of $1800.00. The husband will be taking her and he will be strongly suggesting that the psychologist in his testing consider recommending that she be exempt from French for the rest of her school life. I have been asking for her to be exempt since she was in grade three but all we got was a brick wall. The little one struggles with English and has very limited short term memory. French is a major frustration with her as the teacher has not been very accommodating and the little one can't remember anything said to her.

When I called for an appointment for the assessment I was told they were booking in January. I told them my husband would be layed off in the middle of November and can we be put on a waiting list in case of cancellations. The intake person sighed and then put me on hold. When she came back she said two days were available in November and we could have them. I said yes we will take it and said something along the lines of this being a God thing. She didn't get it and kept telling me how lucky we were. Well, whatever, I know God opened those days for the little one and it had nothing to do with luck. Please pray we get the recommendations we are looking for to best help the little one.

By the way the reason the little one passed her spelling test was as the rest of the class wrote out 25 words, the little one's test was 6 words!! Our hope is if she passes a few weeks of tests then maybe this will help her self confidence and the teacher can add more words till we reach the little one's memory limit.

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) TGIF!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to one and all! It promises to be a beautiful weekend, weather wise. I think I can only remember one Thanksgiving where the weather was grey. It always seems to be a perfect, blue sunny sky with warm temperatures. I wonder is this is our Indian Summer for this year? I hope not!

This week seemed to go on forever. This week was, "the teenagers try our patience" week. Nothing out of the ordinary, really. They are just doing what nature tells them to do at this age ...... rebel! We, as parents know NOTHING! I remember being this age myself, but it doesn't matter. There is no wisdom for dealing with teenage rebellion other than to practice patience. That's what my mom keeps telling us. They are good boys and our issues are nothing to do with drugs, sex, or crime. They are just becoming independent, young men. Isn't this what we as parents strive for? Only, we want them to achieve this OUR way! Hah! What are we thinking???

Besides patience, the next best advice we get is compromise. Our older one compromises easier than our younger one. The younger one is stubborn. As stubbornness runs on both sides of our family, he comes by this trait naturally.

We know nature will take it's course and we can close our bedroom door at night after pulling out our hair and laugh! They both have great friends and do very well in school. So, all in all, not a bad thing. As long as we keep life in perspective and realize we could be dealing with a LOT worse we are ok.

(Carolin) Ha, Ha, Ha, Yes I am laughing cause the only other option is to Kill them! I would type more but I am just too tired. But just so you all know I am now an employer, yes I have employees (more then one).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Apricot Oat Crunchies

Anonymous left a comment on one of our posts saying she was googling Apricot Crunch Cookies and our blog came up in her search. COOL! I don't know if this is the recipe you are looking for but these are a very, very good cookie. The first time I made them I was teaching 'the teenager' how to bake and we didn't have cornflakes cereal. We substituted a couple of muffits (like shredded wheat cereal). She got rave reviews about the cookies.

Hope this is what you are looking for and enjoy!

Apricot Oat Crunchies

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup margarine, softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
2/3 cup coconut
2/3 cup wheat germ
2 cups cornflakes cereal
heat oven 350F, grease cookie sheets. In large bowl, beat brown sugar & margarine till light and fluffy. Add vanilla, eggs blend well. Stir in rest of ingredients except cereal. Mix well. Stir in cereal. Bake for 8-10 minutes until light golden brown.

Happy Baking, Carolin

Friday, October 1, 2010

Catch Up Fridays

(Cathy) Well, how was my week? I was sick again with yet another cold. Or maybe it was the same cold from a month ago come back to haunt me. I did bid my new shift at work. It starts the first week of November. I will be working all am's five days a week. I need to stock up on sleep before the shift starts! (Carolin) I too, have a scratchy throat. Just started today :(.(Sunshine) I guess we can all join hands as we are all a part of the "I FEEL CRAPPY CLUB".

I have started and am about a third of the way through the book we have picked for our ladie's book club, "The Senator's Wife", by Sue Miller. So far I am enjoying this book better than our last pick. (see our label book club on our side bar). I have read Sue Miller's books before and I find them an easy read. What I am not enjoying is the constant reference to sex. I just got a call from the library this evening telling me that my book has finally arrived. I will pick it up tomorrow but your comment makes me look forward to reading the book.

What else have I done? I did bring in some pots of herbs and placed them under my lights in my potting room. I made a butternut squash soup with homemade chicken stock for dinner with homemade bread for dinner. Yummy! Friday night is pizza night. I make the pizza dough in my bread machine. It comes out perfect each and every time. I swear our kids could eat pizza every day! I hope the ladies had good weeks! Sounds nice, I too made a carrot leek soup for Fridays lunch, it is a favourite with some of the kids. I call it, "Harvest soup", because some kids won't even try because it says carrots and they don't know what leeks are! I also have made pizzas, 4 - 7 each and every day. I used to make pizza dough in my bread machine and yes it always turned out great. I use premade doughs for work. Nice and easy and the kids like it, if there was ever any left over pizza I might even try one. Well you all know how much I love pizza but everytime that I have attempted to make the dough in the bread machine, its one big flop. The texture is good but I don't like the taste so I always end up buying store bought dough. Maybe I'll call one of you girls for your recipe and give it another go.

I have had a good week, just very busy and I am tired. I have had a good problem with work. I am too busy for me and I think I am loosing money because I can't get everything done everyday that needs to be done. I don't think I can afford to hire full time help. So my compromise has been to look for someone for three days a week for 3 - 4 hours a day. And also be available for catered events and day long conferences. I have a friend from my small group who has been looking for work for awhile now. I asked her if she would be willing to help me out until she finds work in her field. Thankfully, she agreed. She is coming in tomorrow for some training and to get familiar with the operation. So I guess this means I am an employer! This is all freaking me out!!!!! Congratulations on being at the stage where you need more help. Your business is growing and that means that you are successful at what you are doing. I am sure that it is all very scary but you are a winner and you will always succeed at what ever you do.

For myself, it has been a busy week and I have been very tired. I am fighting a cold and a general feeling of unwell and I almost forgot that we were blogging today even though Caroline and I just talked about it only 12 short hours ago. I seemed to be able to get so much more done in one day but now a days the fatigue is really getting to me. I have my family over for my dad's 76th birthday on Saturday and then next week is Thanks Giving and I have a house full of people, both sides of the family will be over. I am tired just thinking about all of the work. I enjoy hosting, but it helps when I feel well and have more energy. It would be so nice to be invited over more often. My younger sister did tell me how much she loves when we were discussing my doing both events. It will be great!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!