Monday, December 29, 2008

Finally, a lazy day to just take it easy and sleep until noon. Yes, I slept in big-time today, but that's because last night I decided to scrap when I got home, and then look through all my scrapbooks, and then read... so I went to bed at 3:30 am! I figure it's okay since I have a whole entire week off, so I can do what I want. I can stay in my pj's all day if so desired. I have lots of new scrap goodies, good books, a good TV series to watch online, and good music, so I'm all set!

We had nice Christmas, and Santa was very, very good to me, and to the whole family. I'm almost embarrassed to list what I got because my mom went way overboard, as she normally does. Patrick was like "um, she does realize that you're 24 now, and not 5?". I told her she shouldn't have bought so much, but she insists that she wants to do it while she still can, because you just never now what will happen, which we know all too well. So now I am the proud owner of novelty pots and pans, dishes, mac makeup, and a lot of new scrapbooking supplies, among many other little beauty products and such. My mom's big gift this year was a laptop that Patrick set-up - I think she's going to become an Internet junkie as she has been browsing every night from the comfort of her bed. I also made her a mini-book about all the things that I'm thankful for, which made her cry of course. I think it's those little special gifts that end up meaning the most, like the ornament that she got me, which is a tradition every year.

What was also very nice about this Christmas is that Patrick came over for supper on Christmas eve, then we went to church, and everyone came back here to "eat, drink and be merry" (as Dave Matthews would put it - love that song). Patrick even agreed to sleep over, and I gave him his Grinch pj pants, which he loved! So we were together for the first time opening gifts and I think it's something that we'll now continue every year. We also had a super amazing brunch at my place before rushing out to Pat's to open gifts with his family. That went well and everyone got really nice things. We hung out with his family for a few hours before coming back home for dinner, which was delicious as usual.

We started a new tradition, which was a huge hit, surprisingly! I made everyone write 3 nice things about each person around the table, and then we folded up the papers and put them in a bowl, and we took turns reading what each person wrote, and had to guess who wrote what, and about which person. It went so well, and it was really fun, and it made everyone feel good to hear nice things about themselves, and learn how others felt about them. The idea was from an Oprah episode that I saw, but my uncle added in the part where we had to guess to make it more entertaining.

Afterwards, we went back to Patrick's to the party with all this aunts, uncles, and cousins. They were playing pool, drinking of course, and singing karaoke. It was pretty tame compared to previous years, and also because one of his cousin's brought his 8 month old adorable baby. It actually didn't last for too long - I think people were gone by midnight, and then we just relaxed after a very eventful day.

On boxing day, I hit the stores. Well, mostly the scrapbooking store, which was having a 30% discount, so I stocked up on paper, cardstock and adhesive. I also went to the mall and got a few shirts, a hat, and some mini-albums at Winners for a super good price.

Other than that, what has been going on? Our team worked at the library this past weekend, and on Saturday the system was completely down, so we had to do everything manually, which was insanity! It's at times like those that you realize just how much we've come to depend on technology for everything, and how dysfunctional we are without it! Thankfully the problem was fixed before the end of the day, but it took us quite a while to enter everything - we didn't stop for a second that day.

Last night Julie and Ken had us over for Monopoly (the new electronic version) and after a crap start, I managed to cream everyone real good (I had the car you see in the last photo). Thanks for the fun time guys.

I have taken a ton of photos but am behind in editing them, so I'll only post the ones from Christmas Eve so far and then come back and add them in later.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Only a few days until Christmas, my oh my... so here's what's going on with me, in list form, because it's way easier.

1. Darla and Pat's party on Saturday night - that was really fun. We ended up dancing and laughing and taking tons of incriminating photos and got home at 3 am. I wasn't expecting that, but it had been a long time since we saw that gang and really had a good time, so it's all good. Pat also bonded with the guys, so it was all good! Here are some pictures from that event, mostly non-edited, because at this point, I just can't be bother much.
2. Sunday I woke up at noon, can you believe it?! And sadly, I felt hung-over, even though I'd only had 2 or 3 glasses of wine. What's that about? Talk about a cheap drunk... anyways, my mom decided that we were going to bake Christmas logs for all the people who brought us food and stuff while my dad was in the hospital. So that amounted to 9 cakes, which was insanity, but somehow we pulled through and delivered most of them later that night. Everyone was all surprised and very appreciative, which was nice and really put us in the Christmas spirit.

3. Yesterday was the day that I had no choice but to finish up my Christmas shopping. Yah, I wasn't really prepared for the -30 degree blowing winds... I had on only a t-shirt and my short fall jacket, thinking I would get too hot in the stores. Except, some really special thinker came up with the concept of the dix30, what with all its outlets that one must walk to, outside in the blistering cold - genius! Anyways, whilst I was rolling my cart filled with bags to the very end of the Walmart parking lot, I really thought for a few moments that my fingers would fall off (as I had opted to not bring in my mitts, since I had a small purse with me). I could not move them to open to unlock my car door... Not a lot of logical thinking was going on yesterday. But I did manage to buy all the needed gifts, so yay for me.

4. Rested by Pat's fire for a good hour in the late afternoon, which was nice, and then came home later on and watched the Tudors. Did I mention we get obsessed with shows once we start a new series? Can't wait to see what happens to Catherine of Aragon... it's some intense stuff going on!

5. I'm wrapping gifts today. Well, I haven't started that yet because I'm still blogging and surfing the Internet. But I will be wrapping and cleaning and working out, and just maybe, baking some shortbread cookies.

6. I am all inspired to make jewelry with some letter stampers that I've found on eBay. They are sooooo cool. It's like scrapbooking on metal, I love it. We haven't ordered them yet but I really want them.

7. I've gotta start my day now, it's getting a bit ridiculous. So cheers!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Well, it's been another very busy week. Here are some pictures from Wednesday. I went to Patrick's for a bit, and then we went shopping for gifts. Here's a picture of his mom's cat, and another pic of the road that I've travelled thousands of times, to get to his house.

I wrote an exam on Thursday, which was so-so, but at least I got to go out with my friends for supper afterwards, at Boccachino's, which was really fun. We had the chance to catch up and get all the scoop on each others' stages. Thanks for a fun time, if you're reading - we'll have to do it again soon. Here's a pic of me with Tania, Mallory and Kristin.

I was also playing around with the camera that night and got a shot of myself snuggled in bed with "Patrick". When I can't have the real thing, I settle for the next best.

Friday, I went to help out at the school where I did my stage, since it was the Christmas concert. They sang really well and it was fun, but I found the concert to be WAY too long for them - they were getting very restless, noisy and hungry, and to make matters worse, the parents and guests were seated at the front of the gym, blocking the view of all the students who had to sit at the back! Anyways, it was good to see everyone again, and when I arrived, they were just getting ready for recess in the hallway, so they swarmed around me and gave me a giant group hug while screaming "Miss Ashley" as if I were a celebrity or something. I felt very loved indeed. I guess it felt to them that I had been gone for ages instead of just a week... I hope I am able to go visit nest semester, but they'll be getting a new student teacher in their class, so I'm sure they're forget me soon (sniff, sniff).

On Friday night, I went to a supper at my boss's place - she was having a little get-together for the girls who work at the daycare. It was really cozy and nice, as it always is, and feels more like a family gathering rather than a work gathering. I bought her a box full of imported teas, and decided that I would alter the box. I used some Making Memories papers and went all out... it was pretty fun to do and she loved it. She's really into antiques, so she loved the vintage style papers. Here's what it looked like.

And here's a picture of the dream team together (Me, June and Zarina).

Patrick slept over on Friday night and we watched our latest obsession:

Really, there's a lot of sex in the show, but overall, its well done, and we're learning history whilst being entertained. Henry is quite bothersome, but oddly lovable at the same time. Pat keeps pretending that he doesn't like it and is only watching because of me, but I think he's hooked.

Last night we went to Darla and Pat's for a crazy fun party! I have tons of pictures to upload, but I think I'm already maxed out in the picture department. I'll have to save them for tomorrow, along with all the photos of the mad baking session that went down this afternoon in my kitchen, which involved preparing 9 log cakes to be distributed to friends who were kind to us when my dad was in the hospital. More on that next blog post - I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I worked in daycare today for the first time in over 2 months! It was nice to see the little kiddies again - they have really grown in such a short time. I was worried they would have forgotten me, but most of them (besides the baby) didn't, which made me feel oh so loved. It was also nice to make some money for a change.

Patrick has a new free recording up on his website - it's a sort of meditation that you can listen to when you have a few minutes to yourself to relax. I just did it and it was really nice (and normally it's really hard for me to get into it, but I just switched off the part of my brain that says "no, no..." and went with the nice feelings). So I suggest that you try it here! Click on the little bar with the play button.

Also, I have some new photos for the challenge - various Christmas decorations throughout the house. The lighting has been really crappy but it hasn't stopped me from taking pictures. My mom made this angel several years ago when she was going through the "crafts" phase. Well I think this is still very nice, but there were other things that got out of date pretty fast (like the potpourri and stenciling and such).

Then there's Rudolph who sings and moves his head, while his nose lights up. Yes, I just had to buy this from Hallmark a few years back (after Christmas, mind you, so I got a 50% discount).

And finally, here's our banister all decorated...

Okay, well I'm off to Patrick's to watch The Tudors... I finally convinced Patrick to watch this series with me, and we're starting it tonight.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm so, so behind on everything! This past week just flew by in a blur, between crafting gifts, the bad weather, teaching, staff parties galore, and everything else... it's been crazy and the days are bleeding together. On Monday I couldn't start my car, so my brother ended up pushing me out of the drive way and on to the street, so I could take my mom's car that was behind mine. What fun that was! It was a good thing it was a ped-day and it didn't matter what time I got there. We had a welcome-back breakfast for the principal, and it was a pretty laid-back day. That also happened to be the lovely day that it was -30, ick! Later that day, I found out that my car's battery was completely finished. My dad called the tow-truck to bring it to the garage...

On Tuesday, Patrick and I went to Le Chateau with our 50% off coupons (from Julie's mom) and got some nice shirts. When we left, though, we barely made it out of the parking lot, there was so much snow... we made it back, thankfully, and watched the hockey game together. Then Pat had the idea of making origami birds for all the kiddies in my class, so he taught me how to do it, and we did a LOT of folding, but it was worth it!

Then on Wednesday was the giant ice/snow storm, and I was so sure that school would be cancelled, but they made us go in. It took a good 45 minutes of shoveling and scraping to get out of the driveway. We couldn't even open our doors at first because of all the ice - we had to use wall-paper applicators because the scrappers were, of course, inside of our cars... gotta love winter in Canada! Wednesday night was the staff party for the library at Villa Bella. We did a fun gift exchange and our boss was nice enough to get us all gifts. I really wasn't impressed with the food, the prices, or the service at the restaurant though, and I will definitely NOT be going back there ever again.

Thursday... nothing much to document about that day except frantically trying to finish up my gifts, card-making and wrapping for my students and teachers.

Friday was my last day of stage and it was really hard to leave. The kids caught on that I wouldn't be back anymore and they were getting a little clingy and emotional right from the start of the day. A few kids even brought me some gifts (chocolate, some soaps and such, and pjs). I gave them their presents in the afternoon and they really liked them. Actually, I think the boys liked them more than the girls did, but Pat was like "duh" because he had tapped into his inner six-year old to think of something he would have loved at that age. I also personalized all the birdies and made them into ornaments so they could hang them on their trees, and I gave them some stickers too. I managed to get a good group shot, which makes me very happy, but I can't post it here. That day at lunch, my teacher organized a meal for all the student teachers, which was really nice of her. In the end, I had a really positive experience at that school, and my CT gave me a great evaluation! I will be going back to help out with the Christmas concert next Friday, so I will see them all again soon.

Friday evening I went to get highlights in my hair... and after that Pat and I had a very relaxed evening - we made soup and sandwiches and watched a movie. And totally predictably, I passed out half-way through it... I am tired just from writing everything that happened this week, so no wonder I was so worn out. Oh and I also worked this weekend. So I am very low on energy at the moment.

Oh and I must not forget that my wonderful, thoughtful boyfriend got me a gift for finishing stage. It's actually a kind of early Christmas present, since he knows I will use it (them) a lot. He got me a wide-angle lens and a zoom lens!! Score! They are the kind that attach on to my already existing lens. I've had a little fun with them already but I will have to wait to go somewhere with good light before I can use them in their full glory. And before he gave them to me, he told me how hard I've worked, and how he knows I'm going to be an amazing teacher... sniffy, sniff... isn't he great?!

Okay, so this was WAY too much rambling. But I have been doing the photo-a-day challenge. And here is the proof.

The things that keep my feet nice and cozy.

Here's a gift-basket that my mom prepared for friends. It has a bottle of Vodka, some martini glasses, a blueberry mix, and some cocktail recipe cards that I made.

This is from the sushi dinner that Patrick and I had not last Friday but the one before. The photo kinda sucks but you get the idea.

Here's a photo of our upstairs Christmas tree that sits in the bay window.

A photo of my car about to be towed to the garage (but in the end, the guy was able to start it, so my dad just drove it there).

A few from my front door after the day of the storm.

The new mug I got from the library gift-exchange --- love it!

One of the origami birds we made... there were 20 more...

The card that I made for my cooperating teacher.

A view of our back deck.

Me, decorating the tree.

Okay so this is officially the longest blog post ever. But I had to get everything down before it's forgotten. Cheers, and have a great week everyone! Hopefully I'll be able to document on a day to day basis now that I have more time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I've been pretty crappy at blogging this past week! I was really busy with a 10-page paper due and my final evaluation with my supervisor (both went well, so I can breathe again). The kids have been very difficult as well - their attention spans are shrinking while the silliness factor keeps multiplying. My patience threshold has been low, as you could probably guess. So I'm very happy that I've had two whole days off in a row, it's so wonderful. Tomorrow is a ped day too, so I will have lots of time to plan for my last week of stage.

Today I am going to scrapbook at Julie's which makes me ver, ver happy. If you are wondering why I didn't include the "y" on very, you should know that I am in the process of reading a Georgia book, as you may have noticed on the side of my blog. It will only make sense to those of you who have ventured into that world. Yes, I know the books are fluff, but they are so addictive, and did I mention, British? You know me and all things British.

Yoga or cardio this morning? That is the question du jour. Also, I must clean my disgusting scrapbooking mess and pack and plan before leaving for Julie's in just a few hours. I better get on that right away.

We (aka my mother) started unpacking a bunch of Christmas decorations. I helped take out the tree, and we will probably decorate tonight, yay! I also have to bake something for tomorrow because the principal is coming back and they're having a little breakfast party.

Enough rambling for now because it's taking me forever to type this thanks to my demented keyboard... I haven't bought a new one because I think I wrote that as a gift idea and I'm afraid someone has already bought it for me. I must suffer until then...

Here is a recent layout I made.

And here are the first pictures I've taken for the December photo challenge. The first is of a swarovski crystal that my cooperating teacher gave me. The next of a Christmas decoration - we have several of these snowmen along the stairway to the basement.

Alright, well I'm off to exercise. Cheers!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last weekend, Patrick modelled for his friend April-Anna, who is an amazing multi-talented person. She is an artist, specializing in body painting, but she's also the person who taught Patrick his Reiki level 1. Anyways, just look what she came up with, pretty cool eh? No, he's not wearing a shirt; it's actually blue paint! If you're interested in more of her work, check out her site

And to continue on the "blue" theme, here's my new haircut. I was playing around on picnik, which shows how much I'm procrastinating....
Last night we played cards, sang some karaoke and played DDR (dance dance), which we haven't done in literally years! More photos to come soon of the evening, and the cards and layouts that I've made recently.

Oh, one more thing! Nathalie "awarded" me with a blog prize if you will... I am honored! It's nice to know that people take interest in my little life and artistic endeavors. I'm glad that we can all be connected through the wonderful world of blogging and scrapbooking.

So it's my turn to pass it on... to Jessica, Ruth and a long-distance pal Katherine . Take it away girls!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I have short hair and bangs now! gasp! I would have got a photo last night when it was nice and purty but Pat's camera died before I got a decent shot. Now I have bed-head, which will need to be fixed before I show a picture... and I'm not sure how I will reproduce what my hairdresser did, but I will try my best.

I am presently procrastinating from writing a paper (can one procrastinate from? not sure if that's a correct expression, but you get the gist). I am not in paper-writing mode; I am in lesson-planning mode. Making the switch is not very easy. But I will need to do it by 5 pm on Tuesday, because that's when it's due.

The kids were adorable yesterday (for the most part). They were helping each other practice their power words (high frequency words) and they were all into it and being really supportive. I was actually getting teary-eyed to watch (I know, I'm such a sap...). We also started this project where they write a letter to their parents every Thursday afternoon, and then the parents have to write back to them as part of what we've called "parents homework", which is a kick for them. It was really touching to read the exchanges. I think it's a great idea, and of course being a scrapbooker makes me more aware of how important little gems of writing like that really are. It's arranged in a writing workbook, so we'll be able to see the progress over time. All in all, a really nice activity all-around that I will definitely use in the future.

Alright, paper, here I come. Wish me luck. I will post photos later. Cheers!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So here's the first thing we did yesterday, the Titanic exhibition at the Eaton's center. It was very interesting as you could see a lot of artifacts from the actual ship, and the recreated some of the rooms from first and third class. Also, they give you a ticket with a real passenger's name and info right at the beginning, and then at the end, there' s a huge memorial wall with all the names of those who survived and those who perished, and you can find "your" name, so it makes it more personal. We noticed that there was a David Gregory and a William Cross among the service men who died, so we wondered if it was anyone of relation (both names from my dad's side of the family). Since we don't have much info from my dad's side, it could very well be that they were distant relatives. What wasn't so great about the exhibition was how disgustingly packed it was. They are really milking it for the money and let it WAY too many people at once - it felt like we were lining up for a ride at Disney World and I was getting overheated and claustrophobic. So I definitely wouldn't recommend going on the weekend.

Next, we walked through the irritating crowds of people in the dreadful cold to go see the display in the Ogilvy's window. My mom had this fantastical vision of it in her head since she used to walk by it every day when she worked downtown, and she loved looking at it before Christmas. It is really cute! She said she remembered it being a lot bigger than it actually is. Anyways, I wasn't going to pull out the camera because of the huge crowd, but finally forced myself to. Somebody was nice enough to take the picture for us. For a brief few seconds, I was worried they would make a break with it, but I guess I was being too paranoid. After the trip downtown we came back to the shore to eat at Regal which was good, and then we headed off to experience the best part of the day...

We went to Sky Spa at the dix30! It was so many shades of wonderful! We went in the outdoor hot-tubs on the roof of the building, and even gathered up the courage to take a cold plunge a few times (only for a few seconds). We also went in the different types of saunas and relaxation rooms. We were there for over three hours, and it was so serene... I will definitely be going back there. Next time I think I will rent a room at the hotel it's attached to and then spend the evening at the spa, for a romantic getaway.

Alright well I've gotta go because Patrick has started the movie, Tropic Thunder. Cheers!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So now that I have a bit more time, I'll finally respond to the tag that Katherine sent my way... 7 random facts about myself:

1. I'm into older men. Just take my boyfriend for example, who is almost 9 years older than me, and my life-long celebrity crush, you all know who, who is is 12 years older than me.

2. I want to teach in England for a year, next year, but I don't know if I have the guts to go through with it. It would be a great experience I think, but I'm not sure if Patrick would be able to come (not sure if he could get a visa), and I don't know if I could do a whole year apart. Plus, it's a very daunting task to go to a new place you've never been and just adjust to everything. I've never traveled on my own and I'm a little overwhelmed by the whole idea. But I know people who are doing it now, so if they can do it, so can I.

3. I have a very persistent upper back/shoulder injury that keeps me from training at the level I would like to. My posture doesn't help. I use a foam roller and heating pad almost every day.

4. I've never been published in a scrapbooking magazine, although I've submitted a few layouts here and there. I have decided that I don't care one way or the other. I am scrapping for myself, not for others. I should be less caught up in the hype of it all, the thrill of new products and such, and just focus on the memories.

5. I am a very indecisive person, but I'm working on it. Even just while writing that sentence, I had trouble asserting that statement. So annoying!!!

6. I tend to appear more negative than positive, but inside I feel more positive than negative. In other words, I vent too much, but at the end of the day, I love life. I need to work on expressing that more.

7. I waste too much time on the Internet, but I love browsing around, finding creative ideas and inspiration.

Okay, well I've gotta go get ready for a busy but fun day. So I'll leave you with a layout I made recently. I actually used my Silhouette for the letters. I really need to use that machine more, it's great, just a lot of work to set it up, so I tend to take the easy route of letter stickers more often. But the end result is so worth the extra effort.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Last night and today was the teacher's convention - it was interesting. Lots of people were there and I felt a little claustrophobic. But I did get a free stapler and calculator from the Bureau en Gros booth, so that was nice. I didn't buy anything because I wasn't too sure what to get, especially since I don't know what grade I'll be teaching...

My keyboard is still broken and I really do have to go buy a new one ASAP. It's exasperating to type like this.

I can't wait for tomorrow! My mom and I are doing a girl's day: shopping, exhibitions downtown (maybe the one about the Titanic), eating out, and going to Sky Spa at the Dix30. Some much needed pampering will be taking place. Meanwhile, Patrick will be giving an EFT workshop at Spa ZaZen in Old Montreal. I'm very excited for him!!

I scanned this old photo of my mom recently (for a purpose I cannot yet reveal incase she is lurking on my blog, which I highly doubt, but you never know...). She is 17 here I think. My dad took her on a trip across the US that summer for 2 months and so they camped out and slept in the car the whole time. I think they had a really good time and visited a lot of famous spots. I'm not sure where the photo was taken exactly. I had to touch it up a bit because there were yellow spots on it for some reason. The quality is still crap, but you get the idea.

So, some fellow bloggers have been answering this, so I thought I'd partake in the fun. I still have another one to answer since I was tagged by Katherine from the UK!! I will get to it soon, I promise ;) But for now, I'll leave you with this.

100 Questions

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (my first job ever and the woman was a bitch)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a new car (well, it was new to me)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (when I was a kid, my family and I were photographed on Christmas Eve walking in the street, but it might have only been a local paper, not sure).
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (semi-famous - the guys from Treble Charger... also, does Jon Lajoie count, I guess not yet, eh? soon enough. Oh, and Alicia Cuthbert, I went to school with her)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

I still have a lot left to do! The next thing I hope will be visiting the birthplace of my ancestors...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday mornings are so wonderful, especially on days that I don't have to work. Love the feeling of having the whole day spread out in front of me. Today is rainy and cold, so I'm still in my PJ's and slippers, sipping coffee and browsing the Internet to get my inspiration. I love scrapbooking. I love looking through all my older layouts and feeling accomplished about all the memories I've captured.

Last night we went to a surprise party (which was really dinner at Roma Antiqua) for my friend Darla's 25th birthday. We actually managed to surprise her, which is pretty impressive, since she is the type to investigate and control details, lol. She seemed to have a clue about it, but wasn't sure if it would actually happen. I'm glad we went - we don't often hang out with them, but it's always really good to catch up. There were a few different crowds there and all of them super nice. My Pat and Darla's Pat really like each other, which is good - whenever they hang out they're joking together and having fun. Hopefully we will see each other more often.

Stage is going well, "my" students melt my heart sometimes, and other times, exasperate me, but it's normal. I just have to remember that they're only six years old and still learning a lot of things, and I'm there to facilitate that process. It's mostly the "miss" cries that throw me off, when they all come at me at once. They can be so needy, but also so mature at times. Normal fluctuations I suppose. The thing that I find tricky too is maneuvering around someone else's classroom, keeping their structure and everything in place. There are plenty of things that I love that are being done, like SoundPrints and Daily 5, things that I, without a doubt, will incorporate in my future classroom. But there are other things that I'm not sure I will do the same, but I must respect the way they are being done now, and accept that I have my own choices to make in the future. I think everyone is experiencing the same thing on stage. It's nice to be able to talk to the other student teachers at the school I'm at, as well as Tania, which always reassures me. I'm so grateful for that friendship! Next week is the teacher's convention, which I am really looking forward to, along with the 2 ped days. I've been feeling run-down, so those will be a huge help. Of course I will still have lots of work to do, but having no students present will let me catch a breath.

I've been trying to think of a Christmas list for my mom, who keeps asking what I want, and for my boyfriend's family, since we are doing a gift exchange. It's hard for me to come up with things this year, but here are some ideas:

1. Mac makeup (or other good quality makeup).
2. Plates
3. Pots and pans
4. Books (for my future classroom)
5. Headphones
6. New camera lens
7. Oasis DVD "Lord Don't Slow Me Down"
8. Scrapbooking store gift certificates

Anyhow, I was supposed to be finished lesson planning by now, but alas, blogging seems to have been top priority. I will leave you with a digi layout that I made the other day. I think I'm starting to get the hang of Photoshop, finally. It's a start, at least. Sometimes I am really tempted by the ease with which you can scrapbook digitally, but then you have to factor in printing the layout, and I think it would be a hassle. Anyways, here's the layout. Have a great day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I made a mosaic for the photos I took during the month of October. I kinda slipped up towards the end of the month, but since I took a lot of photos each day before that, it evened out. It's fun to look at them side by side.

I got my snow tires taken care of this afternoon, so that's one more thing to check off the to-do list. I had some time to scrapbook this evening while Patrick watched hockey (that's the deal we've got going). I seem to be more inspired when I have him in my presence. I will hope for a sunny day tomorrow so I can take photos of my new layouts and post them.

I still need to buy a new keyboard since the enter key is still stiff, and it's getting super annoying!

Also, I'm sick again - first it was a soar throat, now sniffles, sneezing, and raspy voice. I'm hoping to take it easy this weekend and fight it off. Why hasn't my immune system built itself up yet? I've been exposed to kids and germs for long enough, you'd think it'd be a lot better by now...

Alright, time to go read under the covers.
This totally made my day.

Oasis - I'm Outta Time

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Life in a grade one classroom is fun. A good handful of students are challenging and still need to be constantly reminded about appropriate behavior and school skills (being polite, raising your hand, not calling out, not talking while the teacher is talking, etc). Aside from that, which I think is quite normal, they're great. They are little sponges and it is so rewarding to see how much they're learning. They are always coming out with hilarious things. Today for instance, one boy told me that I had a tomato on my nose (since he had spotted a huge zit). Gotta love those little gems. They really notice all the little (albeit unflattering) details. It's also rewarding that some of them wrote really beautiful poetry in their journals after I had read them a poem about feelings and asked them to write how they felt today. They are really starting to understand how to write; even if they don't know how to spell a word properly, they sound it out, and it's adorable to see what they come up with.

Tomorrow is a ped-day, and I have been invited to attend parent-teacher interviews. I think it should be a very interesting/educational opportunity. I am also pretty low-energy right now, so it will be nice to have a day without the kids who demand a lot of resources!

I am so glad that I don't have to work at the library this weekend. Two whole days off in a row, wow, heaven! I don't have plans yet, but we'll see...

I haven't written much about the home front lately, mostly because when you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all. My father's behavior towards us has been less than stellar, to say the least. It's to the point where my mom and I just avoid being around him, because anything can set him off. It's really heartbreaking, and I do think his meds are playing some part in this, but he insists that he is fine, refuses to let us go to the doctor with him, and so forth. Last time my mom went with him, anyways, the doctor told her that he was perfectly fine (although the doctor is an idiot, from personal experience, and the experiences of friends close to me)... so what can be done? The breaking point seems to have come and gone, so now we just live in numbness and avoidance. Sad to say, that's the reality. So, sorry for the grim bit of info. I am not letting it effect me because I am busy with my own life. Such is the case with Patrick's family situation as well. No wonder we were meant to be together...

Well, on a happier note, here are some layouts that I made within the past few months. Have a nice evening, cheers!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gaining one hour of time this weekend is a beautiful thing. I was up and doing cardio at 8:30 this morning, and now I'm all ready for the day way before schedule, which means that I have time to update my blog and take some photos of layouts and cards. Here's a quick layout I made quite a while ago now, about when Patrick and I went to New York over six years ago. I never scrapped anything about this trip before because I thought the pictures were all crap. But finally I decided to crop some down and I actually really like the way it came out.

Here's another older layout about the Oasis concert. I can't seem to photograph it well because the photos themselves are quite dark and the color is off. But you get the idea. I have so much crammed onto this page that I actually had to do some journaling on the back as well. The writing is only in pencil at the moment, and I wish I could just leave it like that because I actually like the effect, but it won't last over time. It's going to be a lot of work going over all that writing in pen and I'm dreading it, but I should eventually get to it. I adore the first picture of Liam - it melts my heart. I didn't take it myself - it's from a photographer who was at the show, but unfortunately I can't remember the name at the moment.

I have to work at the library today, but I'm hoping that everyone will be out enjoying the great weather, and not concerning themselves with borrowing or returning books. Quiet, peaceful afternoon with no obnoxious customers, please. That is what I'm envisioning right now.

Halloween was pretty fun in a grade one classroom. We dressed up after lunch and the kids were super excited. We danced, played games, and ate cupcakes, cookies, chips and popcorn. My CT wasn't there, but the substitute was pretty on top of things, so it turned out fine. After that party, I went to visit the daycare because it's already been two weeks and I miss them immensely. Thankfully they all still remembered me. It is so rewarding to be greeted with "A-ley" or "Lee" from two year-olds. Apparently, all the parents really appreciated the scrapbook that I put together with the kids, about things they did on their summer vacation. Some parents were touched and impressed that I wrote down exactly what the kids told me, cute mistakes and all. I guess it's not something that comes naturally to everyone, so hopefully it will encourage parents to record their children's quirky sayings and document all the little moments. It's very fulfilling to know that you have made a small impact on peoples' lives like that.

So I promised I would post a few Halloween pics from the party. Truth be told, they are all crap quality - dark and grainy. But whatever! I'll post some, but I haven't finished editing all of them. I really hope Julie's came out better so we can swap. Here's the "d**k in a box" duo. Pat super-sized it a little. Ryan has the "official" box, don't ask where he bought that from, I'm really not sure, probably some weird Internet site.

Yesterday I took a trip to the scrapbooking store to stock up on some goodies. The discount side was 70% off, so I was able to get some MM stamps and a heart-shaped chipboard album. I even got some free stuff because of the sale, which happened to be some older Basic Grey paper, score! Anyways, I'm gonna go play with that right now before work. Cheers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Surprise, surprise! Since my man is watching the game as we speak, I had the chance to take a few photos of what's going on in our world. The first is a new book that I checked out from the library last week - it's sooo delightful. It's called Sweater Renewal - click on the link to see it in more detail. It has all kinds of fun projects you can make by recycling your old sweaters. I hope to have the chance to do one soon. I love, love, love getting the chance to go through new books. It's one of my most favorite things about working at a library. Every second Saturday, I bring home a new pile of goodies that keeps me entertained and inspired throughout the week. The best is late Saturday afternoon, when I can play my favourite music and just browse through all the print... ah, heaven...

This next photo just represents the highlight of my weeknights: quality snuggle time with Patrick while we watch TV or movies, or play xbox (when said item is not broken!). Love kissing those cheeks. a;beit they are rather prickly.

I have some Halloween party photos to post soon, but I haven't had the chance to edit them yet. Ken had his annual birthday/Halloween bash on Saturday night, and it was pretty fun. There were some original costumes this year. Patrick and Ryan actually ended up being the same thing, and it was a huge hit with everyone. If you're curious, I'll give you a hint by clicking here... you've gotta be up for a (18+) laugh though!