Wednesday, August 29, 2012

word verification on blogs

I would like to be a better follower of blogs, but I have to admit I am not.
There are a handful of blogs I follow faithfully and I try to comment on them as often as they post but I only take time once a week or so to make sure I have posted.
My spouse on the other hand, when she was blogging, commented faithfully and had quite a following of her blog.
I have come to realize that one of the reasons I don't comment more is word verification.
I just tried to post a comment on a blog and it took me FOUR TIMES to understand what the word verification was. I am not a spammer. I am not a computer, I have no reason to post spam to someones blog, but having to try and decipher what a word is on that word verification thing is becoming impossible.
Unless I can understand the letters the first time I am likely not going to stick around and try to guess it again. So if you are one of the three or four places I comment and all of a sudden you notice I am not commenting anymore it is because I am not a cryptologist and I have not one clue what that mess of letters is I am supposed to interpret before posting something to your blog.
By the way - I think I just took my word verification off. I guess I will soon find out how many spammers are out there waiting with baited breath to inundate my blog with pointless comments.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunday Stealing

This meme was stolen from a blogger named ChibiNatsumi21 from the blog The Unfulfiller of Expectation.
1. What type questions do you hate on a meme?

Um - questions that say , what kind of questions do you hate in a meme.

2. If you married the last person you texted, what would your last name be?

The last person I texted was my spouse so my last name would be the same as it already is!

3. Were you happy when you woke up today?

Nope, I was not. Max had nightmares all night last night and kept waking up screaming. He wanted me to sleep by him which is extremely uncomfortable. I finally moved to our bed but he woke screaming again and woke his little brother so they both came to sleep in our bed. I was tired, had no blanket, and was cramped with my butt hanging off the edge of the bed whenI work up. I have hope for better sleep tonight.

4. When were you on the phone last? And with who?

I was last on the phone about five minutes ago with the printer calling to see if the material I ordered was ready for pick up before the students arrive this weekend. It is. He forgot to call ( He NEVER calls when work is ready to pick up) and I will go and get it today.

5. Who are you excited for?

I am excited for my sons to start school this week. It will be CJ's first experience at school and he has been looking forward to it forEVER.

7. Honestly, who was the last person to tell you they love you?

My spouse on the phone when I talked to her at lunch time.

8. What's the last thing you put in your mouth?

I am drinking Crystal Light Rasperry Ice. I believe in Crystal Lite cause I believe in me.

9. Have a best friend?

I would say I have three (not including my spouse).

10. Were you ever or are you scared to fall in love?

Nope. I am scared to love foster kids, but it is hard not to.

11. Do you think teenagers can be in love?

I think so

12. Last person you wanted to punch in the face?

I would have to say it was Dr. A for his treatment of Shel and I when she was in emergency because her nose would not stop bleeding. He was a jerk of epic proportion.

13. What time is it right this second?

2:30 pm

14. What do you want right now?

For it to be bedtime.

15. Who was the last person you took a picture with?

My sons while we were camping this weekend.

16. Are you single/taken/heartbroken/or confused?

Married with Children

17. When was the last time you cried?

In June when I took my mom to the airport and she flew home.

18. Do you have a good relationship with your parents?

I have an exceptional relationship with my mom. I love my dad but our relationship right now is complicated.

19. Do you find it hard to trust others?

I usually trust people until I am given a reason not to.

20. How fast does your mind change?

Depends on what the topic is. I don't change my mind on topics related to politics or religion or how to raise my family, but I change my mind on what I want to do on the weekend or in the evening regularly.

21. I bet you miss somebody right now. Who is it?

My mom.

22. Can you honestly say you're okay right now?

I am.


We have been promising the boys all year that we would take them camping. We have never gone camping with them and they are old enough that they are really interested in it. An opportunity came up for me through work to go to a divisional retreat and camp with the family. Our original plan was to take everyone and stay in a tent. As it worked out Shel and the little one were not able to join us and I decided to go ahead and take the boys. When we arrived our hostess had set up a camper for us to use. The nights were cold and so we were very grateful to be in a camper and not in a tent!
We stayed for two nights and we had a most amazing time. Friends took quads and gave the boys quad rides galore. Hanging out with everyone was a ball. I can't wait to do it again.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Art Banner

This week at work is "PD week". 
Usually I endure this week with a pasted on smile and my teeth grinding. With students arriving in just a few short weeks we are knees to the wall with insane last minute work that needs to be done and when PD week rolls around it seems like everyone is busy doing sessions and no-one is in their respective offices and I cannot reach anyone to get any work done if it requires support form other departments.
Sessions in the past have usually been on topics like planning for retirement, First Aid, and other BORING topics which I have avoided like the plague.
THIS year there were some AWESOME sessions planned and I have unclenched my teeth and joined in!
One session was art banners. I missed the first day so I took my banner home to get started on it and joined in on the second day. I haven't finished it yet but I am loving every single solitary minute of it. Here is my progress.
 Of course as soon as I cleaned off the kitchen table and laid out my paper I had company.

 This is the first time I have ever painted a banner. WE used acrylic paint and according to the instructor I have very nice line work, but I am too slow and my paint is drying on the palette before I can get it onto the banner. It is very hard for me to move faster. I tried!

 I wanted to leave the roots of the tree blank, but learned the entire banner has to be painted. I don't know why I didn't paint just straight white - I just thought of that now?

This is as far as I was able to get done in the time that I had. I have the banner with me now to complete, and I am going to get some colors from the dollar store that they didn't have in the session.
I will keep you posted on my progress!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Big Foot

This week a monster truck made a stop in our town. We took the boys in to check it out.
They were fascinated and we spent a good deal of time watching the man work on it, but the show was not until late in the afternoon. We were keeners and we got there RIGHT on time for what was advertised, but the advertisement was a little confusing about the times of the show.
I think the boys were thrilled with what they saw but I was disappointed because they didn't get t-shirts or see the truck in action.
There's power in advertising correctly people!

The truck was not the only big foot on location.


Outside my Window : August

Outside my window...

I am thankful for... warm sunny days that we can spend in the yard.
From the kitchen... we have been drinking lots of iced tea and lemonade on these hot days. Summertime is made for lemonade!
I am wearing... what a shocker - BIRKENSTOCKS! I need a new pair
I am creating...a menu for the month of September with my spousal unit tonight. I am looking forward to it.
I am reading... Why Men Lie by a Canadian author for a Canadian book challenge. I am not loving it and DRAGGING through it. It takes too long for me to read books I don't enjoy.
I am hoping... that camping this weekend is a success.

I am hearing... the sound of the mini fridge I just put back into my office for yet ANOTHER attempt to eat healthier at work and quit eating from the vending machines.
Around the house... we are getting used to granny being gone. It is quiet.
One of my favorite things... summer bar b que

Here is a picture I am sharing... 

A photo of my boys on the hay bales. We take a picture like this every year at harvest time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sunday Stealing

Interested in participating in Sunday Stealing? Check it out HERE

This was stolen from Fond of Snape 

1. You have been awarded the time off from work and an all-expenses paid week anywhere in the United States. The catch is it must be somewhere you have never been before. I would go with my spouse to Texas or to Providence Rhode Island.

2. Name three of your guilty pleasures. A guilty pleasure is something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. I have to admit, I don't really feel guilty for indulging in "pleasurable" things! Does that make me terrible? Here are some things I enjoy but I don't like to share with anyone ... Biltong, Peanut M and M's from the USA, Pepperridge Farms Mint Milano cookies.

3. The best kind of Girl Scout Cookie is: Samosa

4. What do you value most in other people? Kindness  - I used to say honesty but I think it is easy to be honest and unkind. I have decided that kindness is more valuable.

5. Be honest. Do you sneak some raw cookie dough when you’re baking cookies? Absolutely.

6. Have you ever looked back at your life and realized that something you thought was a bad thing was actually a blessing in disguise? Not specifically and not off the top of my head. When bad things happen I try to see a lesson that I can learn from it, but I don't actually recall ever thinking that something was a blessing in disguise.

7. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited?
I would say Zimbabwe but I didn't really visit there, I was born and raised there, so I would say the most beautiful place I have visited is Singapore.

8. Are you more of a thinker or a feeler? Thinker almost exclusively.

9. Name three things you are thankful for right now.

My sons
My spouse
The fact that I am employed in an unstable economy.

10. Have you ever participated in a three-legged race? II have and I think I will be again this weekend at our camping trip!

11. When you are at an event that plays the National Anthem, do you place your hand over your heart? Sometimes, but not always.
Second meme: This one was stolen from NerdBliss

12. What kind of work do you do? I manage a residence facility at a college.

13. During the course of your lifetime, which job or career has been your favorite or most fulfilling? Working in Youth corrections was my favorite because of the people I worked with and the friendships I made. It was probably the most fulfilling because I believe I actually made a difference in at least one child's life.

14. Do you think it’s necessary in your life to have a day-to-day “career” that is meaningful and service-oriented or do you function better in “just a job” with a steady paycheck? I have to be doing something that serves a purpose or I would get bored.

15. Was there ever a time in your life when you wanted to stay home with your children instead of working, even if it meant less money in the household? I have thought about staying at home with the kids at various times but never seriously considered it for multiple reasons.

16. Tell us your worst boss story. I have had two bosses that I didn't particularly like, but I don't have a worst boss story. Aren't I boring? STOP THE PRESSES! I was just reminded of a terrible supervisor. I was in college and I worked for UPS loading the semi trucks at the end of the day. I was the only girl in my end of the building and I had a supervisor that was a COMPLETE douche canoe. He would put me alone loading two trucks and double up guys who were friends to work together and stuff like that. He passed me over CONSTANTLY for promotions and better positions on the line that I had earned by working hard and seniority. One day I quit on him right at the beginning of a shift and I hope it really messed up his day. Idiot.

17. Have your ever been the boss? I am currently what could be considered a supervisor. I report to a boss who reports to a boss who reports to a president, but I am responsible for a number of staff, a budget, etc.
18. What is your dream occupation? I have always wanted to do two things: 1. Teach at a University, and 2. Run a Bed a Breakfast with my spouse.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday Stealing

Check out more people who participate in this by linking HERE.
1. How long have you been blogging?
On this blog since 2007 but I blogged elsewhere before coming here.

2. Did you go to college?
Yes, Yes I did. OH right. Until my thesis is complete I STILL DO.

3. Where have you traveled?
Parts of the USA. Parts of Canada. England. Zimbabwe.
4. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
I USED to get mistaken for Stefi Graf back when I was thinner and she was still playing tennis.

5. What are your three biggest pet peeves?
1. Grocery store baggers who put heavy things on top of my bread.
2. Walmart employees.
3. Homophobes. 


6. What is your favorite movie?
Nottinghill or Memento or Crash.

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
I don't drink liquor. Soda is my first choice of the others.

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Cross Stitch.

9. What is your biggest phobia?
I don't think I have a phobia.

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past?
I wore my blouse to work inside out recently. ALL DAY. No-one noticed or if they did they didn't say anything to me.
11. What day would you love to relive again? Why?
My wedding day. I would kick the ass of my "friend" who was playing music but editing out the songs that reminded her of her and her ex. I would have lived more in the moment and done more for Shel and I.

12. If your life was turned into a movie… what actor would your best friend think should play you?
Gosh. My best friend is a bit twisted. I don't know who she would choose......probably someone obnoxious like Roseann Barr.

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
I delivered newspapers and I worked in an architecture firm for a summer when I was in high school.

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.

That's me in high school - second from the left.

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
My spouse and I would go to Africa.
16. Where do you see your life 6 and 1/2 years from now?
My oldest son will be 12. I hope we have a lawntractor, a new roof on the house, and a fence around our property.

17. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be and why?
I would have to say 28 or 29, but with all the experience I have and the family that I have now. I would have liked to start parenting younger.

18. What 5 songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? (You can pick "Middle School", "High School", "College", "Post College" or any format you like.)
So high school... Here are five songs....
1. Cindy Lauper - True Colors
2.INXS - Need You Tonight
3. Roxette - The Look
4. B-52's - Love Shack
5. Information Society - Pure Energy

19. Romney picked Paul Ryan to run as his veep. Any thoughts?

Romney who?20. Your chance: Pick a meme you've done for us to steal. Bud and Judd will visit EVERY post today. Feel free to say, "Bugger off", or anything like that. 
You mean I have to go looking through my archives? ..... 

Canadian Book Challenge: The Orphan King

The Orphan King (Merlin's Immortals, #1)

I wish I would check before I read a "book one" of a series to determine if any other books in the series are published or if I am going to have to wait many years for installment number two to be published. You would think I had learned SOMETHING from J.K Rowling!
This is book one (obviously) and Book 2 is not due out for another year or so, by which time I am certain to have forgotten what this book was about or that I was even mildly interested in reading more.

I say "mildly" because I feel in a way as though I was tricked by this book. I believe all books with a religious slant should come with a warning - the way music comes with an "explicit lyric" warning for consumers. Unfortunately there was no such warning on this book and of course I was more than 100 pages in before the whole "why would a loving God allow this to happen" conversation and "preaching" took place.

On one hand I am glad I picked the book up because it turns out the author is a Canadian and I am committed to reviewing  some books by Canadians in the next year, but had I know Brouwer was a well known author of evangelical books I would have passed on this one.

Thomas was raised in a monastery where he was ill treated. His mother (who he was taught never to reveal ans anything but his nursemaid) has taught him to read and write in French and Latin and he has continued to read and learn past her death. Without knowing his full role in fulfilling prophesy and unaware of his allies and enemies he leaves the monastery and begins to follow a path laid out for him by his mother prior to her death.

He is joined in his journey by a pickpocket, a knight and a beautiful deaf and mute girl. One is an ally, one is a spy and Thomas knows nothing about any of them, nor of their role in his life.

All in all the book is a quick read, I finished it in a few hours. People who are less sensitive than I about religion and being preached to may not be offended at all by the religious undertones of the story, but unless you want to wait another year for the second part of this tale I would recommend waiting before picking this book up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

making tracks

We have been taking advantage of sunny days. Max is most happy when he is workiing on a project. He started out by attaching a snowshovel to the back of his bike so he could make tracks and dust as he rode. Yesterday he added a snow sled and put the trike onto it so he could pull the two little ones behind him as he rode.

He knows the names of all the tools and he has a tool box he fills with what he needs. It is rare to see him idle.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

And then we were six

We got a call a few weeks ago saying some children were likely coming into care and would be placed with us. Then we got another call saying it was happening within a few days. The way things usually work with foster care is that they call to see if you are open for a placement and sometimes the placement never happens. We have learned not to get too excited or too prepared because until they show up at your door the placement is not guaranteed. In one instance they even showed up at the door and within 24 hours were back to remove the child again.
In this instance they called Friday to say it would likely happen within the week, and on Monday they called to say they were on their way.
As quickly as that we have increased our numbers from two kids to four, all under the age of five! Needless to say bedtime was interesting.
We were not quite ready. It has been so long since we have had babies that we thought we were done with cribs and with strollers and high chairs. I'm a lot less stressed than I would have been when we started fostering that all these things are not in place right this second. It's been a long time since I have put a crib together.

CJ decided that he did not want to be a big boy anymore. I was holding one little kid, Shel another, Max wanted his back scratched ( a bedtime ritual) and CJ wanted to be in my lap! Everytime we tried to lay one child down they would start to cry and when one cried the other joined in. ONe little one has attatched itself to Shel and she can't leave the room to go to the bathroom and a fit of crying ensues.
I am sure things will settle down but I had to laugh at the comedy of errors that has been bedtime in our house this week.