Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

Inspired by Tasha to share my own guilty pleasures, here they are (in no particular order):

  • Licorice. Since Chris and I are doing a 21 day sugar cleanse right now, that tops my list. I miss licorice....18 more days and counting.

  • Books. Not just reading, but I'm a total book hoarder. I love to have them. To own them. To browse the book store for hours. I have so many books I may never read each and every one of them. And new, great books come out all the time!

  • Pinterest. Such a time suck but I love it!

  • Going to bed early. Seriously, when  my kids are tucked in, my jammies go on and I climb into bed to read, watch tv or play on my tablet.

  • Coffee.

  • A hot bubble bath

What are your guilty pleasures?

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Sorry girls.....

    .....but he's all mine!

    Not only do I have a good looking, hard working, kind and loving husband, but he's also very handy! He can fix almost anything and is getting very crafty at building things too.

    As promised, here are the overdue photos of the pantry makeover.

    Our mudroom used to be kind of a "catch-all" for anything that didn't really have a home. Apart from being overflowing with jackets and footwear, we also stored pop and other random things in there.

    Because the pantry in the kitchen is uber small, we had been storing any food that didn't fit in the kitchen in the closet at the bottom of the basement stairs. Not a terrible place for it, but having to run up and down the stairs every time we needed something got to be a real pain.

     One day, I had a brain wave to relocate the pantry to the mudroom and to move all of our off season outerwear to the closet at the bottom of the stairs. Brilliant, right? Except that my great idea meant a  fair bit of work for my handy husband.

    One weekend, he got down to it. Out came the old shelving. I didn't think to get a good before photo, so here is one from before we actually moved in and another part way through the dismantle.



    Then he set to work measuring and cutting to install shelving along the back wall and a small coat rack and shoe shelves along the side wall.


    The shelves are going up!

    In one weekend, Chris got the pantry shelves up. The side wall would wait until the following weekend. The boys thought that the shelves were a fantastic fort and had quite a bit of fun playing in there.  At least we are certain teh shelves can hold some weight!


    (Blogger won't let me flip this picture. There's always got to be 1, right? Grrrr.)

    The next weekend, the rest of the shelving went up, including some smaller shelves and some drawers for mitts and toques, etc.  We've got shoe shelves now and a smaller coat hanging space for just the "in season" jackets.

    Its absolutely perfect and I am so proud and thankful to have such a great husband!



    Ugh. Super annoying that the pictures won't load the proper way. Oh well, just turn your head. ;)

    Pretty awesome, eh?

    But wait! There's more!

    The boys have been really into Playmobil lately and recently got some knights. They were very creative and did use a rock structure to stage some battles, but Daddy thought they should have something better.



    Daddy suggested they build a castle together! It took nearly all day Saturday and yesterday, but build a castle, they did!


    The boys were so excited this morning to find it completed and waiting for them in the living room!  Chris wants to add a few finishing touches to the draw bridge and I need to make some flags to go on the flag poles, but its pretty well done.





    Yep, we're pretty lucky to call this guy Daddy and husband!

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Friday Night Leftovers

    • What a busy week! I worked 2 full days and 2 half days this week, so today is my first day at home. Sure makes the week fly by when its busy like that!

    • My boys LOVE Playmobil. They got some about a year and  a half ago and have been building their collection since. They got a bunch for Christmas this past year and have played with it at least once a day since. This morning they were up early to play and have been at it all morning. Its so nice when they play together nicely and use their imaginations! Last I checked, they were staging a battle between knights and pirates!

    • I'm quite surprised that my last post, which was a bit controversial for me, didn't get more comments. I got 3 comments on here and only 2 on facebook. I anticipated more from that post. I have noticed a lot more traffic from all sorts of places though....

    • There is no school next week for kids here, so the boys and I are packing up and heading South to Lethbridge for a few days to spend time with my wonderful friend Tasha. We can't wait to see each other, eat junk, drink wine and visit!  The boys are very excited to go see her girls as well.

    • The weather has been so amazing here. Last weekend when we were in Canmore, we saw pussy willows starting to bud! How crazy is that for the middle of February?!

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Traditional Values

    I don't usually post about controversial topics. The main reason for this is that I believe that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and that what one person believes should not matter to another person unless it brings about hate or hurt.  My beliefs are just that- mine. I don't usually share them publicly because I don't feel that I should have to defend my personal choices to others. They are mine and they are what work for me and I don't change them based on what others think. My beliefs contribute to who I am as a person.

    However, I've decided to take a bit of a public stand on this issue because it truly does have me shaking my head in disgust.  Directly, it doesn't affect me. I'm not American and I don't shop at JC Penny. But it definitely affects my view on our society.

    I was reading the other day about the controversy involving Ellen and One Million Moms regarding JC Penny's decision to have Ellen as a spokesperson.

    I'm not going to try to debate the merits of the (as I see it) bullying campaign put out by One Million Moms and the stance JC Penny takes when there are so many other good articles out there doing just that, such as this one, this one and this one.  Yes, I know that all of those articles are opinion based and somewhat one sided. However, I have linked to them because I share the same opinion for the most part.

    Basically, the root of it is that the "Christian" group One Million Moms was calling for JC Penny to drop Ellen as spokesperson because she was gay.  I use "Christian" loosely there because I consider myself a Christian but do not align myself with the same values that that group does.

    One Million Moms claims that "traditional families" make up the majority of JC Penny shoppers and that the chain will lose customers because they have hired a gay person.

    One Million Moms stated:

    "Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families. DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there."

    I'm not really sure what, in this day and age, a "traditional family" consists of. Once upon a time, a traditional family was a mother and father and their children. It seems to me that this type of family is no longer the vast majority making up North American households and may in fact, actually be the minority.

    So, tell me. What does traditional mean, anyway?  What are "traditional values" and who is to say that one's sexual orientation dictates their values?

    To me, Christian values include loving your neighbor, helping those that are in need, being kind and honest, not intentionally hurting others (physically and emotionally).....and more. I believe that a Christian should act as Jesus did. Did he openly condemn those that were different and cast off by society? No, in fact, he approached and showed compassion and love to lepers and prostitutes- some of the most hated and feared of society at that time.

    Interestingly enough, in the following video clip in which Ellen addresses the controversy, she states the following:

    "Here are the values I stand for. I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me those are traditional values. That's what I stand for." 

     

    I find it interesting because those are the same values that I hold to be important and things that I want to pass along to my children. Does that make me a lesbian? No. No more than if Ellen was African American and my belief in what she says would make me black.  

    This is what I find ridiculous. What makes Ellen less of a person because of who she chooses to spend her life with? What about that makes her an unworthy candidate to sell clothing to American citizens?
    One major problem I have right now with mainstream Christianity is the undercurrent of judgement passed upon those that don't "fit the mold".  I find this to be against the model that Jesus laid out for us to follow and to be hugely hypocritical. How is "love thy neighbor" to be demonstrated and modelled for our children if we condemn those that are different from us?  We are perpetually stuck in a cycle of hate where history repeats itself, just with a different scapegoat.

    This particular case, involving a popular and very famous person is getting lots of exposure because she is famous and popular but there are many average people that go through the same struggle- the struggle to be accepted for who they are regardless of what society sees as "normal".

    Its interesting to me that the current target of the demise of society is homosexuals. I wasn't around, but does the civil rights movement of the 60s come to mind at all?  Then the targets were African Americans. In the 60s, it was taboo for "whites" and "blacks" to fraternize at all, let alone marry and create (gasp!) interracial children.  Here we are now in a society and culture that doesn't even bat an eye at mixed race couples and their children. What would our grandparents and great grandparents say? (I hope you can sense the sarcasm here)

    I have friends that are mixed race, and I have family members that are mixed race and never once have I thought anything of it. I know people of almost every race and religion imaginable. Never once have I thought they were less of a person because they believed or looked different than I.

    After 9/11 the main target was Muslims. I'd like to think that nearly 11 years after the devastation of that day caused by a SMALL GROUP of Muslims, not the religion as a whole, people have come to realize that it is not fair to lump every person that aligns themselves with the Muslim faith as a terrorist.

    The Eugenics movement of the early 20th century in which individuals with any sort of mental disability (most commonly Down Syndrome) were forcibly sterilized is now looked up on as barbaric and should a group now suggest re instituting this practice, they would never come out of the argument alive.

    I'd like to think that this targeting and bullying of homosexuals is one day going to be something that our children or grandchildren look back on and shake their heads at in disbelief that we as a culture could be so closed minded.  Just like we do when we think about sterilization of those with disabilities and the distinct separation between Caucasians and African Americans.

    What would our world be without diversity? 

    I identify myself as a heterosexual Christian woman, but that being said, I don't promote or agree with any of the hate and negativity that some heterosexual Christian women's groups display.

    I welcome your comments and opinions, however please refrain from inserting your beliefs on whether homosexuality is "right or wrong". This post is not a debate on homosexuality and is not a debate I care to get into. This post is about equality in people and not judging a person for one of the characteristics that make them up as a whole.

     

    Thursday, February 02, 2012

    Skating

    Luca's class started skating this week and he was beyond excited to go, which meant that Levi was so excited to go and then devestated when he found out he couldn't skate with Luca and the kindergarten class (liability issues).

    So I promised them that I would take them to public skating on Wednesday afternoon. I was a bit nervous since Luca had been on skates a grand total of twice before that and Levi had never skated. Being the afternoon, Chris was at work, so it was up to me to try to take two very beginner skaters on the ice. Thankfully they had the trainer bars out (after I had supported them a bit, the rink manager finally saw us and remembered to bring them out, that is).

    It went way better than I could have predicted and we had so much fun! I think we're going to try to make it a regular thing. Once the schools are done doing their scheduled ice time, there is a Mom and Tots skate time from 10-12 am so I might try to take Levi then as well. Some fun one on one time for him and I.


    Here the boys are ready to hit the ice. They are anxiously waiting for me to finish tying my skates.


    Levi was so proud of himself!


    Here's a few clips of them skating. I sound like a tool and I realize that when I say "watch out for your brother", there is someone skating by that is clearly not my child. I didn't mean him. LOL

    video
    I've been going with Luca's class to the rink and volunteering during skating. His class goes two more times next week and I plan to go then as well. Its fun to watch him learn how to do it and to see the other kids improve as well.

    Here are Luca and Adelynn skating wtih their class on Wednesday.