Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Tenth Anniversary

We've reached ten years of marriage! Thursday through Saturday we spent time in Victoria Canada together. My mom came up to take care of the kids. We borrowed a car which also happened to be a Mustang Convertible... The weather was great on the way there so we had the top down for some of the trip. I think this was my record shortest and easiest border crossing. He didn't even get his hands on our IDs, asked where we were going and why. When Ben said it was our tenth anniversary he said, "Did you marry her when she was five?" and waved us on through. We laughed for a while! We accidentally let our car die and had to get it jumped before we boarded the ferry. We stayed in a fantastic Bed and Breakfast Inn in the Penthouse suite. The Innkeepers were very kind and were always going out of their way to do things for us and told us any information we wanted to know and more. We went out to eat Thursday evening. Friday we were served an amazing breakfast. I felt like I was living in Food Network land! The plating was lovely and the taste, delightful! During the morning we walked across the street to the Government House which sits on 16ish acres of beautiful gardens and groves of trees. Since our breakfast was so big we snacked and had a meal at about 4:00 at a very nice seafood restaurant. At 7 we went and saw Indiana Jones. It was a lot of fun! Saturday we started with another fabulous breakfast and then headed to the Butchart Gardens. I hadn't been ever so I was glad to finally get there. We had reservations for high tea around noon. It was fabulous. WE headed for the ferry in our convertible and absorbed some more sun before boarding the ferry one last time. I couldn't have asked for a better Anniversary! I am so thankful to have my husband. I feel so blessed that he chose me to spend the rest of his life with. We have had a great and very eventful ten years of marriage. Thanks to all of you who have been involved in our life and have loved us. We are surrounded by so many wonderful people!

This is the bedroom part of our suite with a view of Victoria at our feet.

This is at the Government House.
The Innkeepers had this waiting for us when we came back from our movie.
This is the sunken garden at the Butchart Gardens.

All the rest are also at the Butchart Gardens.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ahhh... Refreshment

(Here's a glimpse of my little babies right now. There are others but they're still so young.)

The birds are singing, the sun is shining and the heat is alive and well. No sixty degree weather this weekend! Yesterday was beautiful, too. I spent the second half of the day going through our outdoor storage area and it is fabulous now. You can walk in, find what you need and not have to move and unpile boxes to find it. I've been wanting to go through it for so long but it's been so darn cold, I couldn't bear to get out there. Now I've got stuff for the consignment store and stuff for... some other store. there's only one "office" box that needs some going through. Easy peasy. Ben did the dishes yesterday but the kids' rooms have acquired "stuff" on the floor again. The laundry needs to be worked on and the living room vacuumed but all I can do is stand in the sun and look at my plants. I only have a little bit of dirt left so I potted one plant. I haven't been able to find any dirt yet without buying it "new" but I did go to Starbucks this morning and pick up three bags of grounds for my garden.
This morning was walk/ride to school day and wasn't it the perfect day? We live a little too far for my kids to walk the whole way without dieing on me and I don't trust them yet with their road safety to ride bikes, nor is Aiden capable without training wheels now. So we drove halfway and parked and walked the rest of the way. It was fun. They had a table at the bike racks and they gave the kids a healthy morning snack and they entered their name into a raffle for a few "bike" prizes. Then Izzy and I stayed and ate breakfast with the kids. It was a little silly that we chose this day because we didn't actually eat with them at all. They have been serving breakfast at school a few days a week for the last few months. They are really proud of themselves and so am I. It was great to be able to watch them work in the kitchen and get people their cinnamon rolls.

Have a fabulous day today. Soak up the sun!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day!

I had a great Mother's Day yesterday! I was given many, many hints that many special things were going to happen. First, I was asked what I would want to eat for lunch. Nothing specific came to mind so they came up with their own idea. Then, I had children telling me they were preparing secret things for me at school. Aiden made sure I could pick him up from school so he didn't have to take his special thing on the bus. He couldn't wait 'til Mother's Day so he gave it to me in the car. Then, one child would slip and mention something about their secret with the big mouth cover afterwards and I just pretended not to notice. Then, another would slip and do the big mouth cover. Then, they would ask me if I knew what we were eating and ask me to guess. Then, another child would panic at all the guessing and say, "No more guessing! You're gonna know what we're doing!" So in the end, before I experienced any of it, I knew they were making me soup in a bread bowl, that we were going to a movie, and that we were doing another special thing that was still a secret. Then, in the midst of the day, I learned it was corn chowder for lunch, that we were seeing Horton Hears a Who and was asked by my husband where the closest Applebees was without him thinking about what he was asking. Aiden was the first to wake up and tried to put his special card he made under my pillow. Then Emma brought me in her book of poems she made at school. Izzy brought me hers as soon as she made it on Saturday! I felt very thought of and very loved and am very thankful for my wonderful husband and children. I am so blessed.

I did get to end Mother's Day with the Survivor Finale which was also very awesome. I kind of wish Amanda would have won, though. Good times!

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Compact

Some of you may have heard of it. Some of you may be participating. Some of you don't know what I'm referring to. The Compact is a commitment to not purchase anything new for a year. It excludes necessities like food, cleaning supplies, toiletries and underwear/socks. There may be a few other exceptions... The reason for it is to help eliminate waste and keep things out of the landfills. Also to encourage local business and agriculture. Well, my brother, Ryan, and his wife, Jessica, have made the commitment. Since they began Ben and I have thought about it, weighed the cost and decided to take the plunge. From the moment we made the commitment things pop up in my head and I realize I can't purchase them. Seconds after we agreed on it Ben demanded I get some keys made... "Would those be new keys?" I said. "Crap," was his response. We decided that it was a safety issue and I made myself some keys. But, after I had the keys made, I had a handful of keys in my hand and no ring to put them on! That won't work, I thought. So I went home and scavenged through my kids' toys. I found a key ring that they wouldn't miss and grabbed a little chain off a little craft. then I found another pair of finger nail clippers and stuck the chain through it! I always have clippers on my keys because then they don't get lost! Unless you lose your keys... I mean unless your daughter loses your keys... Then I found an army knife in the junk drawer and, voila, I'm set to go! It's kind of fun to be creative. I expect a little anxiety when there's more difficult issues to figure out. We've got a store here called The RE-Store and there is all sorts of materials and building-type stuff there. I thought it would be great for finding the rest of the garden boxes I need for my deck garden. As soon as I'm ready I'll have to find dirt and compost without buying it from the store... Craig's List will hopefully serve me well.
We're also venturing to clean up our home by not using chemicals anymore. I'm not willing to waste for the sake of transition but, for instance, my Windex is almost gone and, then, I won't need to purchase a squirt bottle for my Vinegar and water solution. One problem solved. It will so much safer and healthier for our family and the earth and it will hopefully make the air in our home not so polluted. I'm not sure when I'll transition out of paper towels. I can't handle the stink and nastiness issue of washcloths/rags for reuse... We have resolved not to but anymore napkins. We have cloth napkins that we pulled out. When we have lots of people over I just don't have enough dishes for a large crowd so, to eliminate the desire to buy paper plates,I 'm going to check out Goodwill and Value Village for a good stack of lightweight plastic plates or something... Not sure what to do about enough cloth napkins. Good thing I have someone's sewing machine at my house!
It's a never ending issue. The desire to buy. I think this will be a good year for us with lots of room to learn!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Do Not Pass GO. Do Not Collect $200.

Remember Monopoly? I never finished a game but it sure is a good one. Wouldn't it be great if life were predictable? I know the game of Monopoly is full of chance but it's a game. Games are suppose to be unpredictable. If we actually knew all the things life might throw at us, would we live differently and prepare accordingly? How differently would I have lived these last few months if I knew Aiden was going to have three teeth pulled out yesterday. Or in a few weeks have a couple hundred dollars worth of work done? Oh, then there's my teeth. Not a good history there. And a few more minor things will need to be done soon. But how much does an oral surgeon cost? Haven't made that appointment yet? Then, there's those things that are predictable. School teachers, the postman/woman, and those that go without professional dental care for 15 years and have beautiful, cavity-free teeth... That would be my husband! It's so thoughtful to be such a giver and not a taker! "No, no let's not spend money on my teeth. We need so much just to repair yours." Well, guess what, Benny, you may enjoy those pearly whites but your going to have to deal with my dentures for the rest of your life!

Then there's the tooth fairy bill... Talk about debt!