Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Hockey Tournament Photos

Just like Santa coming every Christmas, we have a hockey tournament every Christmas too! Jason is a goalie and I took my camera to one of his games and took some shots. Unlike other players, Jason doesn't move around the ice, so it is a little harder to get photos of him. I managed to get a few using my super zoom lens.

This is my favourite stance!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My New Blog Header!

How do you like my new blog header! I love it. My best blogger friend designed it for me tonight. I sent her a photo that I took of the marshmallow snowmen in our Christmas tree. My daughter made them for a project at school and then shoved them in the tree. I turned out so well that I thought it would make a great photo form my header.

My blogger friend worked her magic and voila! She makes it seem so easy, but I know that a lot of work is involved. I am truly grateful for her help. I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Have Been Tagged!

My blog buddy, Karan, tagged me on her blog. That means that I have to list 7 random facts about myself. This is going to be tricky!
  1. I am a people person. I know this may come as a surprise, but I really love talking to people. Having the store and teaching classes really allows me to meet and talk to all sorts of people.
  2. There are a lot of things about life that I don't get and I am not afraid to admit it. When I am talking to people (which I do often) and I don't understand something I openly say 'I don't get it' or 'what does that mean'. I figure rather than pretending that I understand I may as well ask.
  3. I absolutely love hockey. I am not really sure when this started. I always went to my high school hockey games but I am not sure, at that time, it was the hockey I was watching. I think I was more interested in who was playing on the team. I went to a Leaf game with my hubby and I remember really liking how fast the game was and the loud music. I really think I was hooked when my son, Jason, started being a goalie. I couldn't miss a game. Now he is 14 yrs old and I make him call me if I couldn't make it to his game and tell me all about it.
  4. I struggle with organization. Certain areas of my life are very organized, and others are a complete mess. Where my work is concerned, I feel very organized. My personal life is a bit messy these days. I seem to have a million things on the go at one time and I leave a very long trail behind me. I think I try to do too many things at once.
  5. I love to take pictures, especially of my kids. I am thankful for this digital age because if I had to develop all the photos that I took we would be broke.
  6. I am addicted to blogs. I hate to read books, but I love to read blogs. I think it is because they are about people and their personal lives. I especially like crafty blogs with lots of photos but more recently I enjoy blogs with recipes. The first time I posted a recipe on my blog my family thought I was crazy for taking photos of food. What do they know.
  7. I am excited to be taking my son, Jason, to California with me this year. This will be his first time flying. I am looking forward to spending lots of time with him and having him all to myself. I will miss my family, my bff and my store while I am gone.

Christmas Cookie Exchange

On Saturday night Joanne, Janet, Karan and I all did a Christmas cookie exchange. Part of the requirement was to photograph the baking of the cookies and blog them. This was so fun to do! My friends have already posted alot of their photos (which makes me very unhappy that I wasn't the first) so I thought that I should get some of my photos up on my blog.

This is just a really quick post and I will follow with the recipe and the rest of my photos when I have more time.

In the meantime you should check out these blogs: Karan's, Joanne's, and Janet's!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kitchener Rangers Teddy Bear Night!

This past Wednesday I attended the Ranger game and participated in my 3rd Teddy Bear Night! This is quite an experience. When the Rangers score their first goal we (the spectators) throw teddy bears on the ice that they give to charities to hand out for Christmas.

I purchased this very sweet bear from Zehrs. It is a charity bear and $2 from the price of the bear goes to a charity and then the bear itself will go to someone in need. I thought that was like a double whammy! I was also drawn to him because of his cute knitted sweater. I have recently taken up knitting again and it just sort of sucked me in.

How can you resist these cute little bear paws. Hopefully someone gets to snuggle him tightly every night.

It wasn't until the 2nd period that we finally scored a goal and then it was raining teddy bears. I had my camera out and a bear that was thrown from behind us almost knocked it right out of my hands. They have volunteer kids from Kitchener and Waterloo hockey teams come out to help pick up all the bears from the ice. One year the goalies from each team actually took cover in their nets. It is quite an experience. This year they collected 6528 bears.

I did manage to get a photo of Amanda and her friend Carly before we had to throw the bears on to the ice. This was the first time they had come to Teddy Bear Night. Aren't they cute with their matching bears?

I did take a video of the collection process. I tried to upload it, but I had technical difficulties (that means that I don't know what I am doing). As soon as I figure it out, I will post it for you to view.

Just Call Me Martha!

Well, I had the weekend off so in between hockey games I thought that I should cook a real meal for a change. I am always so busy with the store and running the kids here and there that we don't have meals like we used to. Don't get me wrong, we do eat healthy, but I just don't feel like I put as much effort into it as I used to.

I have been craving chicken pot pie and my neighbour gave me a recipe that I have made a few times and it is great. It does require a little work, which is why I don't make it often, but it is worth it. It is also great for leftovers, which I plan to have a few times this week.

So while I was still in my jammies (I am just showing you a shot of the jammies, not the whole me) I began cooking so all I would have to do is pop it in the oven closer to dinner and fill the house with the smell of home cooking!

To start, I peeled some potatoes and some carrots. The recipe calls for 3 medium sized potatoes and 3 carrots. I love both of these veggies, so I put in extra!

The recipe also calls for chopped up onion, celery, mushrooms and chicken. On Friday night Amanda cooked up some chicken breasts and nobody showed up for dinner. I just cut up the cooked chicken and it worked out perfectly!

Next I simmered the veggies in some butter until they were tender. I coated the veggies in flour and spices and added chicken stock. I simmered the mixture some more until it was slightly thickened.

Once it was thickened I poured it into a baking dish and topped it with Bisquick biscuits and baked it until they were golden brown and the mixture was bubbling.

My family was so anxious to eat it, I didn't even get my final photo before some was missing.

So, I challenge you to try this recipe. Make it in your jammies! I think it tastes better.

Old-Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

4 cups of chicken stock
3 chicken breasts-cooked and cubed
3-4 carrots, chopped
3 medium potatoes, chopped
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 celery stocks, chopped
1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Bisquick (follow the package directions for the topping)

In an electric frying pan, melt butter or margarine. On medium-high heat simmer the carrots, potatoes, onion, celery and mushrooms until tender. Add the flour, thyme, salt and pepper to coat the veggies. Add the chicken stock and simmer until slightly thickened. Pour into baking dish and top with Bisquick biscuits and bake at 350 degrees until biscuits are golden brown and mixture is bubbling.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Childhood Memories!

Ok, so I was surfing to the internet tonight, just visiting all my favourite blogs, websites and forums. I came across this image and it reminded me of my youth.

When I was little I loved it when it snowed outside and we would be all cozy inside watching Christmas shows/movies on TV. Tonight we are sitting here, all cozy inside with the Christmas lights on and it is snowing like crazy outside.....guess what we are watching? Yes, we just finished watching some family Christmas movie. I just love it.

So this got me thinking about all the favourite shows I used to watch when I was a kid. Year after year I tuned in to watch Roudolph. We would have our bath and be in our jammies with a snack so we could tune in at 8pm to watch Roudolph fly Santa's sleigh in the fog to deliver presents all over the world.

Immediately following Roudolph was Frosty the Snowman. I remember sobbing at the end of this show when Frosty melted into just a puddle of water. As I matured I wasn't quite as dramatic and managed to get through this 1/2 hour classic without shedding tears.

The Grinch was another one of my favourites. I always loved how little Cindy Lou Who got the Grinch to see the magic of Christmas.

Once I was all grown up and had a family of my own, the traditions continued. My 3 kids also love these three classics. I loved sitting with them, watching these shows year after year.

Now that they are a little older, we tune in to watch different Christmas classics. Amanda seems to be the one that enjoys this the most (like mother, like daughter). Home Alone is one of our favourites. She also loves to watch the Hallmark channel because they seem to have some really good family shows. We watched one the other night where a family had lost the spirit of Christmas and Santa's daughter, Christine, made it her mission to show it to them again. It was kind of corny, but cute.

My favourite year was when they released the 'real life' version of The Grinch. On December 23rd we packed up the family and headed off to the movies to watch it on the big screen. I thought it was amazing. My youngest son Matt, who was about 3 or 4 at the time, was terrified of the Grinch and ended up sitting on my knee for half of the movie. It was still a fun filled night and we are happy to say that we own the DVD and watch it every year.

The final one I want to share is The Santa Clause starring Tim Allen. I really love this one. Tim Allen is the father to this adorable little boy and he actually turns into Santa. It is just a very heartwarming story with a bit of humor too.

Hopefully you have some family favourites that you like to watch year after year. I thank the person who posted the cute little reindeer icon on the forum and allowed me this trip down memory lane. It was fun to share it with everyone. I think I will go and surf the channels on the TV to see what is on.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Knocking them pin at a time!

Saturday was my youngest sister's birthday and she wanted to go bowling. After dinner we headed over to the Frederick Bowling Lanes to knock over a few pins with my family. My sister and her boyfriend Kevin, my mom and dad, my other sister Tracy and her daughter Payton, Amanda, Jason, Matt and myself made up the team! (my hubby was unable to attend due to his knee issues. We encouraged him to come along, but he decided to stay home and watch the Leaf game on TV).

So when we first arrived we all decided on which ball we wanted. I went with a 10lb orange one, Jason had a hard time finding one that would fit his fingers, so he decided to share mine and Matt had and 8lb blue one. The first photos I took were of the balls in the rack......they look good, eh?

Payton, who is only 7, wanted to take some photos with my camera and she got this shot of me just before my first turn. Not bad for a little person.

This is a photo of Matt in action. He was struggling a bit, but he still enjoyed himself. You will notice he is also using my lucky 10lb orange ball.

And here is Jason. He probably had the most fun out of everyone in attendance. It didn't matter if the ball when in the gutter or he got a strike, he was happy. Funny enough, he lives his life the same way. Lucky guy!

Because there was a large group of us, we were always fighting for a seat when it wasn't our turn. Jason took my mom's seat when she went up to bowl and when she returned she made him give it up, so he just sat on her lap. That doesn't happen too often, so I was sure to grab a photo. Later in the evening Matt was sitting on her knee as well, but I didn't have my camera handy, so I missed it.

Amanda was coming down with a cold and didn't actually bowl. She was present, but I didn't seem to get any good shots of her. Oh well, maybe next time.

Happy 30th birthday Marie! I hope you had a great time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Our Weekend Away....

was so much fun. I am not going to post photos of the retreat because you can see them on the blog and on the photo gallery (soon). Before all the craziness of the retreat started, Joanne, Amanda and I went down to the beach to see if there was a sunset. I can't say that I have ever been to a beach in November. It was a perfect day. The water was so still and the sun was setting behind some far away clouds. It wasn't the same as it is in the summer, but still beautiful.

Amanda always writes her name in the sand. It didn't matter that it was the beginning of November and that we were the only people to be seen. I couldn't resist snapping a photo of her!

Here is the photo of the sunset. There is a small lighthouse off in the distance and the water was barely moving.

This is a shot in the opposite direction. The sun was reflecting off the sand and the dunes. If you closed your eyes, you wouldn't know that it was November.....

This is me trying to be a photographer. Not too bad eh!

The leaves on the trees all turn colour in the fall, even on the beach!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Getting Ready For A Halloween Party!

Halloween is quickly approaching and my youngest son, Matthew, has always enjoyed the festivities. Don't get me wrong, Amanda and Jason also enjoy it, but Matthew has always put a lot of thought into what he was going to dress up as.

Amanda has always been more interested in shopping for Halloween.....for decorations, candy, baking and making crafts. Even as a little girl she would get out her craft supplies and have the boys making ghosts and pumpkins to stick to the front window of the house. This year she showed the boys how to make a special 'goop' that she learned to make at school. She is also planning to make spooky cupcakes to take to one of her classes this week. She is going to make a great mom someday!

Jason has always gone along with everything, but I don't think he cares much. His plan this year was to head over to a friends house and watch scary movies. Considering he can't even sit through CSI or our new favourite show 'The Fringe', I don't know how he expects to get through something like Friday the 13th or The Saw. Today the plans changed and now he is going out and needed to dress up like Batman. A bunch of them are going out as superheros! We headed out to the mall and he is set to go!

Now, back to Matthew! He went through many different ideas and finally came up with Mario from the video game. I am not sure where that came from, but who am I to question this. I happened to be driving by a costume store on Thursday so I stopped in to see what they had. I found a hat and mustache that I thought would work. I didn't dare buy it without checking with Matt first, and he thought it would be better to come with me and see for himself.

On Friday I met up with Matt and Monty (my hubby) and as soon as he entered the store he didn't want to be Mario anymore. There were lots of costumes to choose from and after what seemed like hours he finally chose one. He wanted to be a clown. They have these new costumes that have a fan inside and when you turn it on, they inflate. I was a little hesitant, but we took the plunge. He was thrilled.

On Saturday he gathered up a few things from home to add the finishing touches. He had a big Halloween party at a friends that night. His sister helped him with his makeup and he looked great. The past few years he has won the prize for best costume and we thought he had a great shot at it again.

Here are a few shots of him getting ready. I am so glad that he has so much fun with this.

He was a little late arriving to the party so I thought I should take him up to the door. I just happened to have my camera in my hand and invited myself in to see if I could get a photo or two. Matt gave me 'the look' and I just ignored him. We were greeted by the hosts (very scary looking couple) and they took me downstairs to the party. The kids were very excited to see Matt and myself. They gladly posed for a group shot. I also got a shot of the punch with the frozen hands for ice. Gross!

Matt ended up winning the 'cutest' costume and arrived home with a very large tub of Double Bubble. He was thrilled. I am so glad that he enjoys this season. Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

3 Years Ago.....

Three years ago, my life as I knew it changed. That was when Joanne and I opened the doors to our new retail store. It seems like just yesterday, but yet we have come so far and it has changed so many parts of my life, that it feels like so long ago! Don't get me wrong, all the changes have been very positive and the rewards have been many.

Through all the bumpy roads, growing pains and learning curves my friendship with Joanne has grown too. We have had ups and downs, happy times and very sad times, but through it all we have had each other. Without her, I would be one lonely scrapbook friend.

We have also been blessed with many, many new friendships along the way. When Joanne and I chose the name 'Two Scrapbook Friends' for our business, I don't think we realized the emphasis on 'friends'. The scrapbooking community is a very friendly one. On a daily basis our friends come into our store and we have had the pleasure of getting to know them well. Along with that comes moments of joy and also moments of sadness. Our lives become intertwined with theirs and they become family.

My family has been very supportive through this adventure. Before the store, I was a mom to my 3 kids, a wife to my husband, and I had a little part-time job at TD Canada Trust. When the doors to the store opened there were big changes taking place in my house. Now they had to share my time with all my new friends. Everyone's rolls had to change and they all pitched in and helped out.

Family has become really important to me. They are the people that I lean on for support. They give me energy. I have always been very close with my mom and dad and they have always been there to support me as well. My mom comes into the store twice a week (or more) and helps us put together the 1000's of kits that we make. She never complains and always does a great job. She also looks after the store so that Joanne and I can get away once in a while, just to be friends. That is a wonderful gift. I hope she knows how much I appreciate everything she does. My dad is always available when I have questions about the financial side of our business. He has also given me the gift of my outgoing personality. I also hang out with him at the Kitchener Auditorium on Friday nights to watch the Rangers play. That is another great thing I got from him. Thanks dad!

On Thanksgiving we always go for a family walk in the woods near my mom and dad's house. It is a great way for the kids to burn off energy and take some fall photos.

Growing up, I didn't really get to know my grandparents because we always lived so far away from them. I only saw them a few times a year. I love that my kids see their grandparents often. Family is a very important part of my life. Whether is is my immediate family, Joanne and her family (my second family), or my scrapbook friends.....they all play an important role in who I am. I love you all!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Welcome To My Blog!

I have been wanting my own blog for quite some time. I love the store blog, but I wanted something that I could be a little more personal with. I hope to inspire, reflect, create and maybe even make you laugh from time to time. I hope you visit often, and let me know you were here by commenting.

A very big THANK YOU to Karan for creating this perfect spot for me. You are really amazing and I am so lucky to have you as my friend.