Friday, 22 January 2021

Shopping Cart Sally

 I went shopping a few weeks ago at the thrift store.  I always look in the Tupperware aisle. I'm on the hunt for more canisters, I don't know if I'll ever have enough!



So I was in the Tupperware aisle, and there was a woman ahead of me who was looking at all the Salt & Pepper shakers.  She'd pick up a set, examine them, put them down, grab another set... She was taking her time, & I was ok with that. It's very important to have GOOD salt & pepper shakers!

There was another woman who came up behind me, and started looking as well.  We'll call her Sally. Sally was probably in her late 50s I'd guess.  Suddenly I felt a shopping cart nudge my bum.  At first I ignored it. I figured it was an accidental nudge, perhaps Lily had been so engrossed with what she was looking at on the shelf that she didn't notice she had pushed her cart into my bum.  But the cart started pressing harder!  I turned to look at Sally. She was now pushing her cart into me quite insistently. I figured if I made eye contact, she'd stop for sure. Instead, Sally looked at me, then craned her head to look around me at the Salt & pepper lady, and kept pushing me with the cart.



At this point I'd had enough. So, I looked Sally in the eye, and said, "You can see that this lady is in front of me and I have nowhere to go. You don't have to keep bashing me with your cart."  Sally replied, "oh, sorry." Then she backed up, and went down the small aisle beside her. Unbelievable!  Perhaps too much time being cooped up at home is making people forget their manners...

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Laundry Balls


A friend of mine suggested I share this handy laundry tip with you.  So, here goes.  If you have long haired people in your household, you know that you sometimes get hairballs stuck on your clothes when they come out of the dryer.

Ew!

Like this lovely example that was on my sock the other day! I have found an easy way to prevent this from happening.  All you need to do is put 2 or 3 clean tennis balls in your dryer with your clothes.  I also use a dryer sheet with every load to prevent static. Yes, it's a bit noisy, but the hair will stick to the tennis balls instead of your clothes!


 All you need to do is pulls the hair off the tennis balls after your load is done. Easy Peasy!

 

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Staying Home, Week 44

I've got a "counter" on my phone that has been counting the days since we first entered any kind of lockdown for Covid.  Today is day 310.  We have had many varieties of lockdown...

-Stay in if you can, kids doing home learning, working from home

-Small gatherings permitted inside, with distancing

-Only outdoor gatherings allowed, with masks

-Kids back to school, with masks

-Kids grade 7 & up stay home & do Zoom classes

-No indoor or outdoor gatherings

Now we are in the weirdest one for me.  The kids are back at school, but no indoor or outdoor gatherings have been permitted for the past week.  So I have lots of time to myself, which is really quite nice after 5 weeks of the kids being home from school, but I'm not supposed to go anywhere.  I've been shopping about once a week, which is my only outing.  Wearing a mask is almost second nature now, but with the weather being cold I've been wearing a toque when I go to town, so all that shows is my eyes.  I call it my "incognito" look.

Thankfully, we are still encouraged to go outside & exercise, and I've got a local friend who I've been going Cross-Country Skiing with.  We have lots of trails just past our backyard that go through the campground, so it's been fun being able to ski so close to home. Chancery comes with us sometimes, & she really enjoys it too.  I declined an invitation to go xc skiing this weekend, & Chancery was quite upset that she didn't get to go, thankfully we were asked again for Sunday afternoon, so it wasn't a total bust!

I've watched lots TV, read quite a few books, sent out Christmas cards, drank gallons of coffee, moved to a new house, unpacked (still haven't hung our pictures yet!)...  It hasn't been all bad, but I'm eager to see people again! And DO things together!

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

The Post-Christmas Post

 Merry mid-week what day is it? My family has asked this countless times in the past week. Last week Chad & I were trying to figure out what day of the week Boxing day was going to be, and it took us about 10 minutes to pin that one down.  With all the church services, and no school, every day feels like Sunday, or Saturday.... or is it Thursday? My Google now tells me both the date, and the day of the week in my morning routine!

We had a pretty good Christmas.  We are used to not seeing family over the holidays, although the last few years we were close enough to my parents that they'd usually come up for Christmas.  This year it felt weird since we are close enough to see Chad's family, but we weren't allowed to see them. We are doing lots of Zooms instead, which is better than nothing, but we can't wait to get together with family & friends... whenever that will be allowed again.

With Chad being busy with Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, & Sunday church we were still pretty busy.  Because of the tighter restrictions we have to sign up to attend church in person, and I did not remember to do so before all the Christmas services got filled, so we waved Chad off, & watched them from home.  That was definitely a weird feeling!

Then on Christmas day we opened our gifts.  Did I take any pictures? Nope, not a single one.  Asher's first gift was a WaterPik. He said, "This is a terrible present!" (Sums up 2020 pretty well though!)  I told him, "It can only get better from here!"  We got lots of new books to read which  everyone was happy about.

I bought myself some really nice bunny slippers, wrapped them up, and boy, was I delighted to open them! Unfortunately they were too small, so Chancery is happy, and I have cold feet!  Chad said that's what I deserve for buying myself a present.

The kids don't go back to school until Jan 11, so now we will have lots of time to bake, play games, & read.  We're borrowing skates so the kids can take advantage of the ice rink that is just beside our neighbourhood, and we have lots of ski-doing that can be done on the lake. I'm appointing myself the hot chocolate maker so I can stay in the warm house!



Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Halloween 2020

Are the children getting too old to Trick-or-Treat?  Not according to them!


We had a pair of Hot Dogs




And a pair of Black Cats (but the kitten stayed home)

We stayed in our little neighbourhood, and there were 7 houses handing out treats.  One neighbour told us we were the first trick-or-treaters they had had in 15 years!  When we got back the kids were looking through their loot, and did quite well despite the low number of houses we had gone to.  They were also excited that for the first time ever they got to keep all the candy they had gotten!  In the past we had let them keep a certain number of treats, and whatever they didn't keep we handed out to the kids who came by our place.  However, we had ZERO trick-or-treaters, and thankfully I hadn't bought very much candy.

We were even home in time to watch some TV before bedtime!
 








Thursday, 1 October 2020

Egg Roll in a Bowl

 

I have a binder full of recipes that I've found on various parts of the interwebs.  Some are things I've searched for, some are from Facebook, and some are from blogs I follow.  Most of the recipes in the binder have never been tried by me. The binder is like recipe purgatory.  Once I make the recipe it either gets thrown out because it wasn't our favourite, or it gets a star which means make it again!  If it's extra awesome it might even get rewritten on a notecard and make it to the recipe box!  Last night I made "Egg Roll in a Bowl", and I think it might be moving to the recipe box.  We all liked it, and it wasn't too difficult.  Without further ado, here's the recipe...




Egg Roll in a Bowl

1/2 an Onion, chopped

1 lb ground Turkey or Pork Sausage

1/2 Red Bell Pepper, chopped

1 pkg Coleslaw Mix


Sauce

3-4 Spring Onions, chopped fine

3oz Soy Sauce (6 T)

2T Honey

1/2 t Sriracha


Heat oil in wok on Med heat. Add Onion and Sausage. Cook 5-7 min breaking sausage into pieces.

Add Bell Pepper and Coleslaw mix, stir well, then cover for 5-6 min. (It will cook down)

For the sauce, mix the Soy Sauce, Honey & Sriracha well, then add the Spring Onions.

Pour into the wok & cook uncovered for a few minutes until evenly combined and cooked through.


Serve over rice & enjoy!


Friday, 24 April 2020

My Snack Hack

I have always had a issue with Munchies Snack Mix.


I don't think the pretzels belong. Munchies is a summer staple for us, we take a bag with us to the beach, but the kids also don't enjoy the pretzels, so they usually got tossed to the seagulls as we were leaving (don't feed the seagulls while you're there or you won't get a moment's peace!)

Chad brought a bag home from his office a few weeks ago, and I have been enjoying the occasional bowl in the evenings,  but what to do with the pretzels? There is a distinct lack of seagulls where we live!

I accidentally came upon a solution. I left the pretzels in a bowl overnight,  and the next morning at coffee time pretzels seemed like a reasonable snack! 


So, now I savour the cheezie goodness of Munchies in the evening, and keep a little bag out for the pretzels. Throughout the day I enjoy the pretzels!  I still don't believe that pretzels belong in Munchie Mix, but now I have 2 snacks in one bag!

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Home Schooling Week 5

This homeschooling thing is no joke, but we're doing it.  We just made it through the first 2 weeks of real school work (we did 3 weeks on our own before that) I am very thankful my kids are not in the French school anymore though, I wouldn't be able to read their textbooks or anything. They are pretty self sufficient, but I wouldn't be able to help them at all.

It makes me think of other families where the kids go to school, but the parents don't speak the language very well. We were very fortunate when we lived in PEI that I had quite a few friends who were French speaking and could help translate the school newsletters for me and tell me what I needed to do.  Even not understanding one subject can be difficult for a parent thrown into this, but to not be able to understand any of the school work would be overwhelming!

I want to encourage you if you know anyone who may be struggling with the language barrier to check in on them, ask if there's any way you can help. FaceTime their kid and ask if they need anything explained.  While you're at it, tell them something you've struggled with during this time. We're all failing at something, but there's also something we can give to others. Maybe it's homework help, maybe it's encouragement, or a laugh!

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Easter Egg Hunt

This year the kids really wanted to do an Easter Egg hunt.  There were a few factors that were going to make this difficult:
1. Chad gave away our Easter Eggs at the children's message last year
2. There is still about a foot of snow on the ground
3. We don't let the kids have much candy,  so I didn't want to fill a bunch of eggs with things they can't have.


So I decided instead to order some eggs from Amazon, & make a treasure hunt instead with a small prize at the end.  The eggs were all filled with the location of the next egg, but the kids had to take turns giving clues, and finding the egg.  The twist was that they were not allowed to say any of the words on the paper.  I had ordered a pack of 100 eggs, and ended up using about 75 of them.

I did have about 8 small items that I put into a few of the eggs, but as the kids found them, they'd say, "Here, mom, I don't want this." So I was glad I didn't fill every egg!  The kids really enjoyed it, and it was fun to see their wheels turning trying to think of ways to give the clue without saying the words.  I also noticed a few times they would look right at the spot as they were thinking of it.





It took about an hour for them to do the egg hunt, and since they enjoy making treasure hunts for each other I'm sure we'll get lots of use out of our new eggs.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Not Social Distancing


It's crazy times.  Who would have thought that we'd all be hunkering down at home not from a
natural disaster or some freak weather storm, but from an illness that came out of the blue.  I know
there are lots of people who are frightened about what the future holds, not just for during this time in
Quarantine, but after we come out of it. How many businesses will have to close?  How many jobs
won't exist anymore? How many of our loved ones will have become ill, or even died from the virus?

There's a lot of talk about physical health, but we need to also remember that our health is not just
based on if we have a fever or not. Health is a multi-faceted part of us.  We have to find a balance of
mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

I don't like the "Social Distancing" line that has been thrown around, because that makes it sound
like we should be antisocial. We should be Physically Distant, but now is the time to be there for
each other.  This is an unprecedented time, and everyone is struggling with it in some way or
another. There are lots of extroverts who may get depressed if they can't socialize with others,
which can also lead to health problems. There are many who are anxious with what the future will
hold, which leads to sleeplessness and burnout.  Hopefully this will lead to a new normal where
people are more in tune with their mental health and it won't be such a stigma to say "I'm struggling.
I need help.".

I have hope that this will lead to some positive changes in many ways. This could change the way
we interact in our communities. Maybe instead of driving into our garages and not talking to our
neighbours, we'll start to really care about one another and look after the needs around us.

I've seen on FaceBook quite a few homeschooling parents telling all the parents who have suddenly
been thrown into quarantine schooling, that this isn't even normal for homeschoolers.  It's new
territory for everyone (pulling together, reassuring). They have said not to expect 6 hours of work
from your kids, most students do between 2-3 depending on what they are working on. That's
COMMUNITY!

It's important to remember these guidelines for adults working from home as well.  There are many
parts of your normal workday that help break up the stress, that you are missing right now. It's
important to take into account the coffee breaks, drive time, etc. Locking yourself off from the world
to work for 8 hours isn't healthy in a stressful time like this. It's really important to take care of your
body and mind (emotional, physical, mental,& spiritual health). Maybe it means working until
lunchtime, eating with the family, playing some board games, and going for a walk in the afternoon.
I'm sure you know that you can't do your best work if you're stressed.  Two hours of good work is
better than 6 hours of stress an anxiety riddled work. Work yourself into more hours as you get used
to this new normal. Take care of yourself, take care of your family, take care of your friends.

Remember, don't cut yourself off from everyone.  Social Distancing doesn't mean Social Isolation!
Call your friends, Play virtual poker, FaceTime that friend you haven't had time to connect with, Send
a message to say, "I was thinking about you... Remember when we went on that epic adventure?"
Ask how they are REALLY doing.  Let them know they are not alone. We're all in this together.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Overgebleven

I've got a small whiteboard on the fridge where I put my dinner ideas for the week.  I don't usually assign the meals to days, but kind of play it by ear depending on how my day is going & how long some meals will take to prepare.

A few weeks ago I did a bit of research, and put my list on the board

- Hot Dogs, & Mac & Cheese 
- Make Your Own Pizza 
- Overgebleven

The kids were excited, Chancery loves Mac & Cheese, Asher loves Pizza, and what was the mysterious "Overgebleven"?

I told them, "You'll have to wait to find out, but it's Dutch, and I think you'll like it!

------------

The day came when the only thing left on the board was "Overgebleven".

"Tonight's the night!" they said to each other excitedly.

I called them to the kitchen at 5pm, and handed them each an empty plate.

"Where is it? What is Overgebleven?" they asked.

I pulled the leftover Mac & Cheese, Hot Dog, & Pizza out of the fridge and told them to load up their plates.

Kids: "What do you mean?  We're supposed to have Overgebleven!"

Me: "This is overgebleven. it's 'Leftover' in Dutch!"

And that was the night the children ate through tears, and I learned (once again) not to get the children's expectations too high, because apparently even though they liked the original food, having it again as a leftover when it was masquerading as something new and fun is MEAN!

Monday, 16 September 2019

Moving Onwards and Upwards (North)

Time for another update!  It seems like my posts are getting fewer & farther between, but I think I have a solution to that problem.  It must be time to move!

Our church has been going through some restructuring over the past year, & as part of that process, decided to reduce to one full-time pastor.  So, Chad has received a job offer at a church in Lacombe, Alberta, & we decided it sounded like a pretty good move for our family.  We are ready to give up the city life & try our hand at country living for awhile!


The kids are really excited to have more room to explore, & trees to climb. They are already trying to talk us into buying ATVs for them. We're moving farther away from my parents again, but they had 4 years, & they like to travel, so we're just giving them the opportunity to explore a new area!  We'll be about 4 hours from Chad's family, so it'll be nice for the kids to be closer to their cousins too.

Now comes the stressful part.  Getting the house ready to sell, going to look for a new house, getting the kids registered at the new school, getting moving quotes (I'll tell you what company we're NOT using!), & figuring out all the logistics!  Our goal is to be there by Christmas, but how we'll manage that is yet to be seen.  I foresee a busy few months ahead, but it will be worth it!  I really enjoy setting up our home when we move, it's just getting to that point that isn't always fun.  Especially once the house is for sale & you have to keep cleaning all the things!


Saturday, 31 August 2019

After School Schedule

As we gear up for the beginning of school, I thought I'd share our after school schedule that I keep on
the fridge. It started as a note for babysitters, so they would not be fooled by our innocent childrens'
penchant for bending the rules, but it has proved beneficial for the kids to also know the daily routine.
Feel free to copy, & let me know if you have any additions or other helpful tips!

----------------------------------------

When the kids get home from school:


-Empty lunch bags


-Have snack


-Practice Piano -20 min


-Read for 20 min


5:00 they may play video games or watch TV


Dinner around 5:30/6:00
After Dinner make lunches, if they can’t cooperate in the kitchen, only 1 at a time.


7:00 Reading Time:  (Shower if needed)
-Toilet
-Teeth
-PJs
-Book


8:00 Lights Out!

If the kids can’t agree on something, use common sense, & don’t be afraid to say NO!
The kids also have ‘days’, odd=Asher’s choice, even=Chancery’s


There’s a paper by the TV which tells you what channel the TV needs to be on
to watch TV/play video games

If you have any questions, Sherilyn’s cell 604-xxx-xxxx, Chad's cell 778-xxx-xxxx,
Home phone 778-xxx-xxxx


Wifi: "WiFi Name"

Password: "CleverPassword"