Sunday, October 31, 2010


As per usual, the kids drew on the pumpkins and I cut them out.  The fun part this year is that BOTH look like faces!  It's a miracle!  I think Adam's, with the big eyes and the skinny little mouth, is adorable.  And the eyebrows on Julia's make my face hurt.

I didn't even bother doing one of my own this year.  These ones would have shown mine up!!

Happy Halloween, everyone!!!

(BTW, these were the pumpkins that the kids chose out of the pumpkin patch yesterday.  (o:  )

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween 'n stuff

Lots of dibs and dabs in this post.  Got back from Canada late Tuesday night and shrieked, "EEEEEK!!!  Halloween party on Friday, trick-or-treating on Thursday!  No costumes done!!!  No pumpkins purchased, let alone carved.  EEEEK-EEEEEEK! 

At which point I curled up in the fetal position and moaned.

Then grabbed the glue gun.  The glue gun is truly inspired.  So Wednesday afternoon I put Julia's costume together.  Then Thursday we went trick-or-treating.  Not in our neighbourhood.  We neighbourhood hopped (tsk tsk) because ours is on the sabbath.  So we found a quiet neighbourhood in the area doing the trick-or-treat thing on Thursday, and everyone was happy to have people come to their door. 

For the record, it was frizzing.  Frizzing, I tell you.  I had to check for fingers afterwards.  All were still miraculously attached.

I'm afraid Adam's did NOT involve a glue gun.  Originally, he wanted to be a pumpkin, but his costume from two years ago was too small.  So off to the store.  On sale.  Pirate.  AAARRR!!

Julia's school party.  Do you think they had a good time? 

Here's a clue:

(Julia's feet, btw.  She was a scarecrow)

Here's a couple other clues:

(Here's my girl.  Surprisingly quiet.  hehe)

Obviously, yes.

Did the teacher have fun?  Well, yeeeeeeesss....and nooooo...

But she was so very upbeat about the whole thing, that I don't think it was until everyone left that day that she had a breakdown (kidding, Lori!  You're awesome!!!)


Brought the kids to Weakland Farms for our annual trip.  Wasn't sure about going this year, because it has been so cold.  But today was quite lovely, so away we went!

Did we have a good time?


...with friend.

Hay in her hair.  Stayed there pretty much the whole time.

Got some pumpkins from the patch here.  Beautiful punkins at a fraction of the cost of anywhere else.  So fun!  The kids drew on them (and I carved) this evening.  Too cute. 

We didn't do the corn maze this year, which we usually do and enjoy, because it was getting late, and I didn't have my cell phone on me in case we got lost.  Which was highly likely, seeing as how the maze from the air looks like THIS this year:

I could just see us in there.  All dark.  "Anybody here?  Anybody?  Anybody?

So instead we came home.  Safer that way.


Thursday, October 28, 2010


A friend of mine brought this to my attention today, and I've spent good portions of the day doubled over ever since.  It doesn't look like much, but if you look at the consumer images you'll understand.  The BEST part though is reading the consumer reviews.  Not only the initial reviews, which are hysterical enough, but the pseudo-serious comments to the initial reviews.  I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time.  Oh my goodness. 

So I'm sharing the joy. Check out the AutoExec Wheelmate Steering Wheel Desk Tray on Amazon.  You will for sure be putting it on your Christmas wish list!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

quickie shots

Freezing cold photos, done without much in the way of thought, of the cousins and mine today, in the Cabo Verde shirts mom's mission president had sent.  Still having focus issues.  But aren't those cousins the cutest?  Wish I were closer to be a better auntie, that's for sure.  So fun to be here.

Long day tomorrow and Tuesday, so will see you again with bells on in a couple of days.



Friday, October 22, 2010


Mom was at the store the other day and found, in the cookie aisle...

Life certainly can't get any better than this.

And my ozzie friends can stop feeling sorry for me, at least for a little while.  They've been crying tears of pity ever since they went to the post office and were told they could no longer ship Tim-Tams into the States due to new postal regulations prohibiting foreign food products being mailed into the country.  That was a sad, sad, day.  But now, rainbows and sunshine, sweet and fluffy kittens, glitter and fairy dust--I get to have a Tim-Tam fix!  So goood, chocolatey, wafery...mmnf...crunch...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Leaf Disposal Units

Rake leaves onto a tarp and pile on two children:

Accompanied by the dog, Grandma hauls the leaves and the kids to the bank:

Then dump everyone overboard:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Boy treed: News at 11.

"Hey Lynn, you're OK that Adam's up in the trees, right?  He's getting quite high."

I look out the window.  Yes, he IS quite high in Grandma Jing-Jing's willow tree, and I'd really not have any broken bones while out of the country.  But first one must take a photo:

Afterwhich, the boyo realizes that he's quite far from the ground after all, and that he can't get down by himself.  Scared cries ensue, but Uncle Les races to the rescue, and soon those little feet are planted once again on terra firma, to the relief of both himself AND his mother!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Some of Krista's senior photos.  She's such a sweetheart that we had a great afternoon together.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Dad passed away quietly early last Tuesday morning.  Both Lisa and I were there.  Lisa has been amazing as she has taken care of him over the last eight months in the hospital.  I arrived Sunday evening, and although Dad was unable to speak very well, he knew who I was and conveyed all the love in the world to me through his clear, intent, blue eyes.  I'll never forget being next to him on Sunday night, when he woke up and clearly told me that he loved me. 

Dad is known for people able to joke and laugh even under the most challenging circumstances.  On Monday morning, the doctor came in for his usual rounds, and dad perked right up enough to share a wisecrack.  When he passed away on Tuesday morning, the nurses thought he was joking, which dad would have found more than amusing.  He also would have laughed at the fact that it took awhile for the nurses to figure out that he wasn't here.  "Can't you even figure out if a man's dead?" he would have said.  And he would have forever teased them about it.

I wish I could have known him better.  I miss him already, even though we didn't spend much time together.  I already miss his voice and his slightly off color jokes.  And I miss the twinkle in his eye when he had a good quip ready to play or when he found something funny.

At the memorial service yesterday, our branch president said that he had never been to a funeral with so many cheerful faces.  Dad would have liked that.  He had said that he didn't like long, serious, preachy funerals.  His brother gave the eulogy, and it was full of funny dad moments.  My niece, Emma, sang "Give, Said the Little Stream," which Dad insisted we sing whenever he was with us for family night  It was nice that president knew dad, and he gave a beautiful, not solemn or preachy, talk.  Then we all got together to eat, look at pictures, listen to dad's goofy music collection, and laugh.

My sister, Lisa, had put together a list of "Mike Lessons," and she was gracious enough to let me share them with her at the service.  A few years ago, I was asked to give a talk about things I learned from dad, and the things that I came up with then are similar.  Lisa has a gift for expressing them, though, and you could almost hear dad say these things.  He never really gave advice or counsel, but these are things that he taught us through his example.  For those of you that know dad, I'm going  to print them below.  They capture dad to the essence.  If we can do anything to honour dad, it would be to find the joy in life, laugh off challenges, and live life to the fullest.

(lessons lived…and a few one liners)
Collected by Lisa M.

Don’t complain. While “Nobody will listen anyway” is a smarty pants reason why, complaining makes people unhappy.

If you feel disappointed, get to work to make something good happen.

Don’t let people tell you that something is too hard. What do they know anyway?

There eventually comes a time when it is better to be smart than stubborn – but don’t let on that you know that.

Talking about yesterday’s good times strengthens you for today’s hard times.

There’s a song for absolutely every situation. If you can’t think of one make one up.

If you learn something well enough it never goes away…such as Robert Service poems and Ford Parts Numbers

If you want cows to go south, chase them north.

When the going is tough, do something hard. That way you know you will be able to do it on easier days.

There is only one thing you need to know about plumbing…

True friendships never sour with absence, but there’s a comfortable-ness in friends you see often.

Everybody is basically good. If you don’t think so you just haven’t looked hard enough.

I can make your life miserable if you bad mouth someone I love.

If you haven’t got a sense of humour you’re in pretty bad shape.

Top sheets should never be tucked in. Ever!

Multitasking is rarely the best plan – one should never trim toenails and watch TV at the same time.

If you drop it…pick it up.

It’s good to take risks, but if you smear wasabi on your first ever sushi, be prepared for the consequences.

It might look like a mess to you but that is a piece of good organization.

Gas is better out than in.

Sarcasm can cut like a knife but carefully applied can smooth out rough spots in life.

Brakes are optional.

It’s a real relief to know that God understands everything about us.

If your food doesn’t make you sweat or sneeze, add more pepper.

When you are breaking a habit give yourself a chance to be happy with your progress.

There are small and large spoons for good reason. Use them both.

Roses are beautiful but pansies are the friendliest flowers around.

The more dog-eared a book, the better it feels in your hands.

There is something satisfying about an egg salad sandwich.

Needles are overrated. So is macaroni and cheese.

Being grateful makes everyone happy.

If you drink too much water it will rust out your insides.

Holding a grudge is a complete waste of energy.

Keep your favourite foods handy. The anticipation of eating will make you happy.

If something is important enough you’ll figure out a way of doing it.

Add more sugar to your cereal on bad days.

Tell your family you love them – even when you are sitting with your manly friends.

Take good care of your neighbours.

When you have friends you are rich.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Think Serene Thoughts. And say it thrice.

Hey, everyone.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm going to be a bit hit or miss in Blog World for the next couple of weeks, since dad has taken a turn for the worse and we'll be going up north to see him asap.  What with trying to organize kids' passport fast and getting first and last minute details done all at the last minute, I won't have much time to wander around photo taking and blog posting.  And I'm not sure what is going to be happening when I'm there, and blogging may not be part of the order of things.

Hopefully I'll be popping by to post occasionally, just so as not to get out of the habit, and I will certainly be back again full bore when I return.

Here's a photo I took in August.  So serene and calm.  The polar opposite of what I'm feeling right now!  I need to imprint it on my brain, along with the caption:  "oooooohhhhmmmmm....."

Monday, October 4, 2010

An apple a day brings the tooth fairy to play.

Julia has a very, very loose front tooth.  But can we wait until it falls out on it's own? Noooo.  It drives her nuts enough that she wants it out as soon as it feels extremely loose.  So today we tried the floss trick, which is a great trick and usually works.

Not this time.  Mother of the Year got the floss stuck way up under the tooth, and I had to cut it up by the gum.  It's driving her CRAZY. 

So tomorrow I'm going to convince her that, even though she doesn't want to eat anything except soup and applesauce right now, she really, really needs to take a big bite into a big, crunchy...

But I don't think she's going to go for it. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Katie Continued

I really like this photo of Katie, so had to show it off   share.

While Katie's mom was in the hospital waiting room the other day, she was looking at the online photo album.  A lady watched over her shoulder, liked the photos, and asked her for my number so she could ask me to take her daughter's senior photos.  I'm not sure if I really feel ready to take photos of people I don't know, yet, but I guess eventually it was going to happen.  So this Friday's the day!  Cross your fingers for me!  I'm afraid I'm a little...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Busy, busy Autumn day

It was sa ready, set, CHARGE type of day.

I think there may be something with my camera, though.  Almost every shot I take is out of focus, even when the auto focus is on.  It's really disturbing, especially since there isn't a place nearby to bring my camera for a look see. 

It can't possibly be me!  *snort*

Anyway, I need to do something about it, because it's driving me CRAZY!

But here's a shot from the hay maze at the Fall Family Fun Walk this morning at Julia's school.

It's out of focus.  So is every other shot that would have otherwise been halfway decent.

I'm going to bed now!  Maybe things will look better in the morning.