Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's Not Over Until The Fat Guy Rides Down Broadway

I made it! 30 days, 30 posts! I'm so excited there was nothing to do, but throw a parade.


Did I say throw? I meant go.

I love the Santa Claus parade here in Dorkton. We haven't missed it in years. It's one of our favourite Christmas traditions, and it doesn't feel right to put up the Christmas tree till we've been to the parade. It's small-town-terrific. The floats aren't fancy, but they're full of people we know, and even Santa calls out people's names as he's pulled down Broadway. Tonight Hannah and Sam (and Daddy) rode on the nursery school float dressed as presents because "Every Child is a Gift." They sure are.


Anyways, it was a great day, and a perfect end to a pretty good month. Bring on December! Merry Christmas IS my favourite time of year.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sidetrack

I've had this post in my head for months. I figured I should save it for NaBloPoMo and a day when I had nothing else to say. It was bound to happen at least once.

There's one problem with that plan. I usually have nothing to say when I'm really tired and don't feel like writing.

Like tonight.

And now Fritti is stalking (there's really no better word for it) and pouncing Sam. So I'm tired AND distracted. I love it when he hunts the children.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cousins


I miss this little bum.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Bit of a Book Snob

I called myself "a bit of a book snob" on facebook yesterday. And then someone else said she's a MAJOR book snob, and then proceeded to say something that no true book snob would ever say...

"I actually agree - and I'm a MAJOR book snob. If you watch the movie first, you're not disappointed because it doesn't live up to the book."

Wait. What? She was agreeing with some advice a friend of mine was given, which was that you should always watch the movie before you read a book because otherwise, the movie could be ruined. But if you watch the movie first, usually the book will be better, so you're all good right?


Sure. If you don't love books. Do what you like. But if you love books the way book snobs love books, you would never EVER do this.

Never.

Ever.

For a number of reasons. I'm going to list them here. Mostly, because I barely restrained myself from being a know-it-all jackass on facebook. I have no reason to do that here. It's my place to come and be a know-it-all jackass. My happy jackass place.

So let's do this. Let's talk about why that is the worst, most appalling thing, a "book snob" would ever agree with.

  1. First, let's get this out of the way. Who gives a froink if a movie gets ruined? It's a movie. Compared to A BOOK. Enough said.
  2. A movie is almost never as good as a book. It can never take you into a character's mind the way a book can. It can never let you step into a world and be someone else. Why not? Because the character is right there on the screen in front of you, and unless you're Elijah Wood, it's not you. You aren't Frodo standing on the edge of Mordor, with faithful Samwise at your side and the ring of power heavy around your neck. And there's no coming back from that. Once you've seen Elijah, he's Frodo.
  3. When you watch a movie before you read the book the casting director is now more important than your own imagination. Even if the cast the character perfectly, that is not okay. Never mind if they do it imperfectly. I would never ever have fallen in love with Edward and Jacob if I'd thought of them the way they were in the movies. (And I would have HATED Bella.) The actors become the characters in your mind, and you can't change it. Not unless you've met the characters for the first time in your imagination. Then they will always be who they were supposed to be when they were written. They're safe from Hollywood.
  4. A book is so much more than a movie. It's sacred. Magic. If you love books, you know what I am saying. It makes a story come alive the way a movie never can. Movies never fully capture a story the way a book does. The movie is always a bit of a jip in some way. And that's okay, if you read the book first you can watch the movie and fill in the blanks for the movie-makers. You can make the movie better because you know the story. You know all the reasons Catniss is compelled to align with Rue. Oh sure, the people who just watched the movie get some of it. It's obvious. Rue is so young, and so sweet, how could anyone not want to protect her? But that's not all of it. So when Catniss sings her to death, and covers her body with flowers, book readers know what's in her heart the way people who haven't read the books just really can't. How could anyone think it's better to watch the movie without knowing those things?
  5. And then, finally, how could anyone think reading the book after the movie could possibly be as good once you've basically been given an outline? How could you possibly enjoy reading the moment Mr. Darcy confesses his love to Lizzy in the same fullness of incredulity and joy? It would be crazy to go on wikipedia before you read a book and read the plot summary before you turn the first page. But that's what you're doing when you watch the movie first. Only worse in my mind. At least with wikipedia your imagination would still have a chance to do it's thing. So instead of an amazing experience with a book, and a pretty great movie experience watching Mr. Darcie and Elizabeth find each other, you're left with a pretty great movie experience (but not as good as it could have been if you'd read the book first) and a CRAP book reading experience. You've ruined the book. I have no words for what the thought of ruining the first time I read Pride and Prejudice does to me.
  6. It's just wrong. So very very wrong.
Of course, even if you're just a bit of a book snob, like me, I don't have to explain any of this to you. You would never advocate watching a movie before you read the book it's based on. (Unless it's Les Miserables.) You get what she doesn't... Which is why it took every experience I've ever had arguing with someone on the internet to keep me from telling that dumb girl she's no book snob, or she would get it too.

I'm saying it here though. She doesn't know what she's talking about, and I bet her favourite books are Confessions of a Shopaholic. Yeah, I went there.

(I love Confessions of a Shopaholic.) (That's one of the reasons I'm only a bit of a book snob.)


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BFF BD

It's one of my bestie's birthdays today. If there is anywhere I could be in the world today, with anyone at all... I'd pick Fiji. With my dad.

BUT ...


My second choice would be here. With her. Doing what I'm doing in this photo. The weather would need to be like it is in the picture too, obviously. Oh, Shirley. I just went through all my pictures of all our beach days, and the longing is painful really. I miss you. I hope your day was as FABULOUS as this one was.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Waiting

Oh, Christmas vacation. I can hardly wait till you get here. I can't believe I still have a whole month to wait.


Because of seeing my family and celebrating Jesus' birthday and stuff. Obviously.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Green is the Colour: UPDATED

Don't get me wrong, we want the Riders to win. Anyone who lives in Saskatchewan does. It's the law. I think you could actually get fined if you didn't.


So if the school has a Rider Pride day, we're in. But when the game comes on, we'd rather be doing this:


Green may be the colour, but football's not the game. Not at our house anyways. We're going to move this party up to my bed after supper. I promised the boys I'd read two or three chapters of Searching For Dragons, and then we're all going to snuggle down with our blankets and our own books while we wait to find out who won the big game. Because we are interested, just not enough to watch.

I know. Nerdy. I don't know how I got so lucky.

UPDATE:

It turns out we are interested enough to watch. I don't know how it happened. I just turned it on for a minute to see the stands all green and glorious.


Halfway through the game Ben showed himself to be his mother's son. He felt bad for the other team. That brings back memories of being ridiculed the last time the Riders took it all the way for pointing out how sad the other team looked when it was all over but the crying. Poor little football guys with big dreams mowed down by the green machine.


I'm glad we turned it on. Usually these things kind of make me sick with anxiety, but this was mostly just fun with only a few tense moments. And the boys loved it. Grampa would be proud of both his teams.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ahhhhhhh!

It's almost midnight and I almost forgot to post. I blame Seinfeld.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Living Room

It's time for the last room! Cue the depressing before shots: 


The fireplace and lamp by the window were especially hideous, in my opinion.


And here's the after!


This room was probably the most work. After I gave up on spray painting and switched to folk art paint, the rest of the furniture came together pretty quickly. The couches, on the other hand, took a lot of fussing to get them looking nice. It is surprisingly REALLY difficult to sew tiny couch cushions, and when I ripped off the old "upholstery" I discovered that they were falling apart, so I had to cut some new pieces. In the end, I could have just made them from scratch easier, but on the upside I know how to make Barbie couches now. 


I know I said earlier that the hutch in the kitchen is my favourite piece of furniture, and it is, but I love how everything turned out in this room. The furniture and lamp look so much better than they did when I got them, and I was really happy with the fireplace transformation. Ben and Sam helped by "painting" this artwork for Hannah last Christmas, so I guess there were property brothers involved after all. 


So there it is! From dismal and dreary, to bright and cheery. Hannah loves it, and plays with it all the time. There's nothing cuter than her setting up a tea party in the kitchen for her Barbies, and usually a stuffy or two, or her tucking in Ariel for a nap in the bedroom. I still can't believe I got this whole house, and all it's furniture for only $90.00 plus the $20.00 or so I spent on remodeling/redecorating supplies. It was worth every penny, and all the work, ten times over.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Kitchen

Here is the sad before of the kitchen:


I struggled a bit with this room. I tried really hard to come up with something creative for the floor, but in the end I went with the "hardwood" like the rest of the house. What made that decision for me was remembering when I was a little girl, and how I liked to rearrange my Barbie house. I figured if all the floors were the same Hannah could move the rooms around however she liked.

Speaking of all the rooms being the same, now might be a good time to talk about the walls. Originally, my intention was to "wallpaper" some of the rooms with scrapbooking paper, but once I put all the furniture in I ended up really liking it white. I still might paint some of the walls, or wallpaper them. What do you think? Yes? No? Maybe so?

Anyways, here is the after shot of the new kitchen:


My favourite part of the kitchen is this hutch. Actually, I think this is my favourite thing in the whole house. It looks so pretty with the white porcelyn dishes. I'd actually like it somewhere in my real house, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford it.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Bathroom

The depressing before shot: 


All of the fabric that came with this house had a weird smell to it, I think from being out in the previous owner's garage maybe. I'm pretty sure I would have changed it anyways, since Hannah isn't really into blue, which is shocking, I know.

Here is the after:


This room still needs something else in it. What I'd really like is some kind of dresser, or wardrobe. A full length mirror would be great too. (Uh, check THIS out! Should I???) And it obviously needs some curtains for the window just like the bedroom, but even without that stuff it's better than it was. The bathtub was mine when I was a little girl. I "made" it (painted it pink) back when my mom was into ceramics. And can we just talk about the floors? I think they look so much better than the carpet that was originally in here. I used drawer liner on a roll that I bought at Walmart for super cheap. All I needed to do was make a pattern with some newspaper, cut out the shape from the drawer liner, peel, and stick! Fab right?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This Counts

... Because I have a migraine, complete with nausea and vertigo.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Boudoir


So here it is. The first room I'm going to show you is the bedroom. I think it may be my favourite room, mostly because of the ceiling. Hannah loves it because it's pink. She picked the fairy fabric herself, and I was really happy with how it tured out... Sweet and whimsical. I want to snuggle into the bed with a book. All it needs is some pictures, some soft sheers for the window, and a teeny tiny Fritti asleep by the pillows...


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hannah's Extreme Home Makeover


I know it's been a lot of Hannah lately, but this post isn't really about Hannah. It's about her dollhouse...

Last year I promised that I would show you guys befores and afters of all of the renos I did on the house I bought her before we gave it to her for Christmas, and all I ever showed you was a before, and then a few pictures of my struggles on facebook.

Well, the time has come... But I'm not doing it tonight. Her dollhouse is nice and clean, but our real house is a mess, and while ordinarily that doesn't stop me from being unproductive, we have a busy week ahead and I need the house to be clean so that I don't go crazy.

So what's the point of this post then?

I just wanted to tell you that next week is going to be devoted to befores and afters of all the rooms in Hannah's dollhouse. Partly because I think it turned out awesome, and partly because I am really struggling to come up with posts. So get ready! It's going to be like Property Brothers. We'll take a fixer upper and turn it into your dream home... Only, without two adorable brothers. We DO have those, but they didn't help me buy and then renovate this thing. So. Um. I'm totally rambling now. Probably because after I post this I have to clean the kitchen.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Too Early

Why are there FOUR pictures of Christmas trees up in people's livingrooms on my FB newsfeed? I don't get it. I love Christmas. I really love Christmas trees. But November 16th? Really?

Really.

Dear Hannah,


You're beautiful. Your face is so sweet. I love everything about it, smiling or sad. When I look at you, it breaks my heart, how beautiful you are. I hope that you never look in the mirror and hate what you see. I hope you always love your freckles, your pointy little chin, your bright red hair. Because you are so beautiful.

You're beautiful on the inside too. I know that it is hard to have emotions that roll over you in waves, but there is beauty in that my little love. Your heart has so much room for compassion and kindness and generosity. You have so much to give. Because you feel things so deeply, no one who you love will ever have to wonder what's in your heart, and that's an amazing gift. I hope you embrace this part of you, that came from me, that came from your Grampa. I hope you learn to use it to bring others comfort and joy, and I hope you find ways to ride the crests of the waves and not let them swamp you.

You love God. I don't know how it is that you have things figured out that your mommy is still working on...  I don't feel up to the task of tending to your precious soul. You're constantly searching and questioning, and I hope you never grow out of that. I hope you can trust that God is big enough for all of your questions, and I hope that you always rest in His love the way you do now. I hope you dream big dreams for Him... And I hope they all come true.
 
You're mind is beautiful. You are so clever and creative. I hope you never lose your wonder and passion for the world around you. I hope you never stop making up stories and songs. I hope you always read, and dream, and dance. I love the fantasy world you live in. I have one too, and in it I never could have dreamed of a little girl as sensational as you are. You are in every way more; you're more than I ever wished for. 

I want you to know that I love ALL of you. Every freckle, every giggle, every catastrophe. I hope your heart never questions that. I hope I can be the mom you deserve, and that you always know that I look at you and see so much beauty and goodness. I see you, heart, mind and soul, and you are a masterpiece. I hope that someday you are blessed with a daughter just like you who makes you as happy as you make me, so that you can truly understand what a gift you are.

I love you Hannah. Always.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

DOGGONE IT HANNAH!!!


This room was totally clean this morning when she woke up. I took the picture as my excuse for another lame post today. Then, when I loaded it up on here, I noticed something in the picture that makes this post not lame at all, but AWESOME. Because I took like five of them before I was satisfied that I'd come close to capturing the devastation. And I never noticed the room was occupied till just now. Oh man. I laughed my head off when I saw him. What is he doing just sitting there like that?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

No Yelling?

You may have noticed my no yelling counter has been set back a few times without any explanation. That's probably because it's really hard to not yell if you don't focus on it. I'm resetting it to zero again today. I didn't yell at anyone, but I know it hasn't been the 37 days it is saying right now.

So let's reset. And I'll try and focus on it again.

A friend offered to hook me up with a counsellor, and I've been thinking about it. I wish it was as easy to reset my heart as it is to reset my counter. Maybe I could use a little help...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Well, it's this kind of a day here:


And so, since it's part of the reason I'm so tired today, and to bring a little pure and perfect joy into an otherwise barfy day...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You


There aren't enough words to say how thankful I feel today.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Yesterday

Yesterday's post was so nice, I think it should count for two. So, if you're here looking for something new today, I'm directing you back to yesterday's post to look at the nice pictures and think about what things from your past are so beautiful you want to carry them forward with you into your present.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Memory Lane


I walk down memory lane,
because I love running into you. 
There's a place inside of me, 
where your hand still rests.
I hear your laughter echo, 
and feel safe in your smile again.
And so I have a place,
where I walk and feel you near.
And down wandering paths of new memories
I take you along with me.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Teddy The Porcupine

Yes. This is happening.


Thursday, November 07, 2013

Can't Talk, Becca's Here


I 'm super busy buying her hats and Smarties. Tomorrow we're all going to colour a giant picture together and make a tent. Then we might have a weiner roast and make s'mores. On Sunday we're going to make a belated Thanksgivingdinner complete with candle-light and sparkling cider, and sometime in there we want to fit a trip to the swimming pool.

I'll try and post pictures, but if it comes to a choice between Becca and NaBloPoMo, it's likely I'm going to end up slapping up a link to a funny porcupine video on youtube.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

My Cat Plays Fetch

And it's awesome. He only does it with his very favourite toy, feathers on a stick, and he only does it with me. I always play fetch with him at night, once the kids are in bed. It's jsut the two of us, and a few years ago I would have thought you were crazy if you'd told me how happy it would make me.

video

Seriously. I love it.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Legend of The Vomit Chain

Let me preface this post by making a request: If your child's teacher phones you and says they think your child should be picked up from school because they are too sick to be there... Listen to them. If they say something like, "He says he doesn't feel well, he really doesn't look good to me, and the stomach flu has been going through the class," listen to them.

That happened today. And the parent didn't listen. And it was EPIC. Legendary even.

When it came, the vomit was a soft pink, probably due in part to the candy the french teacher had passed out earlier. And it launched out of the child in a torrent splattering in a huge puddle at his feet. In a panic, he jumped out of his desk, ran through the puke, and desperately tried to reach the garbage can. (I can only assume the janitor emptied it and moved it at recess, because I had put it by his desk after his dad figured he'd be fine at school at least till lunchtime.) He didn't make it. Instead, I watched in horrified slow motion as yet another torrent of vomit spewed forth.

As I hurried towards him, into the battlezone, I called out orders. "Back up! Don't walk in it!!!" Just as I was trying to get around the first puddle to reach the poor kid, now covered in barf, I heard gagging behind me and called out, "Everyone, in the hall, now!" Too late.

By the time the janitor arrived, there were four seperate puddles. She said at first she thought it was me who'd gotten sick all over the classroom. I was gagging now too, eyes watering, FIGHTING to hold it together. "Becky, don't you dare. Don't you do it. HOLD. IT. TOGETHER."

And it occurred to me later, not right away of course, I remember a few things in grade four. Funny moments, and nicknames, and a grade six airband. And if something like this had happened in my classroom, I would have remembered it forever. My friends and I would have told, and retold the story of the barf chain-reacion to our friends, our families, and someday our spouses and children and coworkers, and the story would be embellished and exaggerated, and eventually ten kids would have puked, and the sub cried, and...

Today I was part of the beginning of a legend. I saw it in their eyes as they ran from the classroom. I heard it in their voices as they screamed, "Trent puked too! TRENT PUKED TOO!" Oh man, somedays it is really easy to remember why I always wanted to be a teacher. I wouldn't have thought a barfy day like today turned out to be would have been one of them, but it was.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Uh Oh

What is this? Day four? I've already got nothing. This is not a good sign.

And I don't feel like writing a thoughtful, emotional post.


So you get this:


Look what came in the mail today! Now I have to quickly re-read the first two, because that's how I roll. I'm pretty excited. (Also. I Amazon.) (And books. I love books.)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

New Fandangled Gadget

We've been stubbornly refusing to buy Ben a Ninendo DS for years now. All of his friends have one. Some have two, an old one and a newer 3DS. It's not that we don't approve of video games, well... we don't actually. My kids are so much nicer when they know the video games are off-limits. This is why they are only allowed to play on weekends, and why I'm not worried about a DS sucking his brain out. He'd still only be allowed to use it on weekends.

No, that's not my reason. My reason is the cranky old mennonite woman in my head who likes to say things like "kids these days" and "no respect for their elders." I know that respect thing she said doesn't have anything to do with what we're talking about, but she shouts things out at random, and most of it doesn't make any sense. In her day, kids didn't walk around with fancy name-brand slacks and new fandangled gadgets. And if it was good enough for her, then oh baaaaah, it's good enough for Ben.

She's such a mean old hag. 

I remember the Christmas Mom and Dad got us our Nintendo. They must not have had their own menno Jiminy Cricket sitting on their shoulders, whispering advice in their ears, because we got that thing the year it came out. It was the newest, coolest thing, and we had it in our living room. Granted, it belonged to the family. And it probably cost less than Ben's fancy new DS is costing us, but we got it.

And yes, I said "is costing." I ordered it tonight. The newest, coolest, Pokemon limited edition 3DS XL... yet already.

He thinks that he's not getting one, and that if he is we're buying the oldest, cheapest, (possibly used) model. And he's pretty excited that that's even a possibilty. I think there's an outside chance that his brain might actually explode Christmas morning. (Don't worry. I'll video it and put it up on the you tube.)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

The Little Cat (UPDATED)

Yes, I admit it. I haven't blogged for (almost) a month because even though I had things I wanted to write about, I knew NaBloPoMo was coming.

And today I'm going to keep on with that. I think it's a good plan. Even though I have better ideas, and things to say, I could write a post about this lost cat we're taking care of and keep saving the good posts till I totally can't think of anything to say.

Actually, that pretty much sums up the whole post. There's this lost cat living in our house. The SPCA is full to capacity. The animal rescue organization here in Yorkton is full to capacity. And I can't make myself throw this little guy out into the cold.


Fritti is NOT happy with this little act of compassion.

Hannah named it "Hannah Grace" and the boys named it "George" after Curious George and George Mallory. I call it "The Little Cat" because we ARE NOT KEEPING IT. Oh, I hope we aren't keeping it.

UPDATE: You won't believe this, but we found its family! After calling the SPCA, and putting up its picture all over facebook, I decided to put up a sign in our front yard. Worked like a charm! Not even an hour later there was a knock on our door.


Poor Hannah wasn't very happy. First, to find out "Hannah Grace" is a boy, and then to have to let him go. This is why we could never be fosters for our local pet rescue.

But, YAY! No new cat for us. What a relief.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Today is the Day

Today I read my book and got paid for it.
Today I let an old lady talk me into taking in a lost kitty cat.
Today I bought 7 costumes at Walmart for around 40 dollars.
Today I ate approximately 20 tiny Butterfingers.
Today I watched Sam kick a styrofoam board in half on the first try.
Today I started NaBloPoMo for the 7th straight year.


It was a good day. You know how I can tell? I would only change one of those things. And the only reason I'd change it is the heart burn. (I wonder if you can guess which one...)