Monday, December 29, 2008
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.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
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).
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:
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
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.
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).
Sunday, December 14, 2008
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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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
Friday, November 21, 2008
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.
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
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.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
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
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.
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
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.