Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Photo Of The Day -- April 20 - 30, 2018

I haven't been very consistent with posting my photo a day pictures but I have been consistent about taking them. I will do another of these posts later this week and then I will be caught up again. At least until the next time life intervenes and I don't blog for two weeks :)

April 20, 2018 -- Knowing Crazy Hair Day was coming up at school, I started looking on Pinterest for ideas. Rachel loved this one so much, she didn't want to save it!

April 21, 2018 -- I had to miss a family social event to get some work done so I consoled myself with pizza. Pizza makes everything better in my opinion :)

April 22, 2018 -- We walked to a nieghbourhood park this evening. It was the first time we'd spent a lot of time outside after supper and reminded me why I love these longer spring evenings.

April 23, 2018 -- It was nice enough for popsicles after school! Yay!!! I love how Rachel is intently telling Sam something and Sam is just enjoying his popsicle!

April 24, 2018 -- After piano lessons, the kids grabbed their cameras to capture a picture of the rabbit in our backyard. I think at this point they had stalked it into our neighbour's yard. They made me laugh!

April 25, 2018 -- Some days the only picture I get is Rachel being stubborn in a box.

April 26, 2018 -- I had my stack of books ready to go for the Readathon!

April 27, 2018 -- It was officially Crazy Hair Day at school featuring a Minecraft Creeper and an octopus at the bottom of the sea. I couldn't pick just one picture this day.

April 28, 2018 -- It was finally Readathon Day!!! Also known as The Best Day Ever!!! Bluey enjoyed getting into Obsidio as much as I did. Hahahaha!!!

April 29, 2018 -- A picture of all the books I read during the Readathon, including a few chapters out loud to Rachel from The Secret Garden.

April 30, 2018 -- Family ice cream selfie.

Monday, May 07, 2018

I Loved It So Much I'm Doing It Again

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the books I'd been reading, rather than just documenting them on Instagram. You can see that post here. I really enjoyed having a bigger space to talk about the books I'd read rather than limiting myself to an Instagram post. So I'm doing it again. I read these book from April 21 - May 4 which is only two weeks but a) I read quickly and b) there was a readathon in there :)
I got into the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich last summer. She is my go-to light read. These books are what I turn to when I'm too exhausted to read anything and are a nice "palate cleanse," as it were, between some of the heavier reads below. We all need books like these.
This is not the greatest picture but I really wanted to document that I was READING OUTSIDE!!! Whoo hooo! This book is called They Both Die at the End and the premise is that we now know the day we are going to die. So on your day, you get a phone call and you get to choose how to spend your last day. This book was surprisingly good, knowing that the title was coming true. It also made me really glad that we don't yet have foreknowledge of death because I really just want to spend my last day living life, not dreading death.
I followed that up with this book. I think Emily recommended it. This is a true story and a love story. It was beautiful and made me cry. It's also pretty liberally sprinkled with swear words which I was able to move beyond but that's a warning for any of you who might be sensitive to that kind of thing.
These three books are grouped together because I read them all during the readathon. Obsidio is the third in a science fiction trilogy. It's written in many different formats and I really enjoyed both the way the story was presented as well as the whole trilogy. I loved how this one told a new part of the story and still included characters from the original two books.

My Instagram friend Meg has been recommending The Brontes Went to Woolworths for a few years now. It was a cute novel about a family. If you like Jane Austen, you should read this book.

The Woman in the Window is in the same vein as The Girl on the Train and many books like that. I feel like it is its own genre now, do you know what I mean? Unreliable narrator, bit of a mystery going on, big twist near the end... I feel like these are becoming a bit like WWII novels to me -- each one has just a slightly different perspective which introduces me to something new. This one ventured into the realm of agoraphobia which really opened my eyes to the way in which some people suffer.
 After an intense weekend of reading. I needed a "palate cleanse" again!
These next two recommendations came from Allena. You should read them too! The Chilbury Ladies' Choir is one of those WWII novels which introduced me to a whole new aspect of the war -- living on the English coast and fearing an imminent Nazi invasion. I guess because we know it didn't happen, I haven't thought a lot about what it was like to have lived with that hanging over your head. I also enjoyed reading about the different women in the village, all with different stories.
This book is Columbine by Dave Cullen. It is one journalist's well written book about the events leading up to the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, the shooting itself, and some of the aftermath. I learned a lot reading this book. The main points which stuck with me were 1) the negative role the media played in the telling of the story (and how much of that narrative is what the public remembers today) and 2) how much worse the killers planned for the whole incident it to be. While they ended up killing thirteen people, their plan was to murder thousands.

So whether it's a book to make you think, a book to cleanse your palate, or a book which gives you a new perspective, I think I've read something for everyone these past two weeks!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Photo Of The Day -- April 10 - 19, 2018

It's time for another Photo Of The Day project post.

April 10, 2018 -- I went to hear a girl I used to nanny for, who is now twenty-one (yeeks), speak with two youth she has mentored on human trafficking in our area. It shocked me, saddened me, and made me want to find out more about this difficult subject. So I read this sobering book.

April 11, 2018 -- I've been wanting a new summer wreath for a couple of years now. I'm pretty happy with this one, a Pinterest find, of course!

April 12, 2018 -- Dave and I double dated with good friends of ours. Good food, good company -- what more could you ask for?

April 13, 2018 -- It was a PD Day and the kids spent most of the day with my parents while I worked. Then we went to small group at church and then it was home to bed. And I didn't get a picture of any of it.

April 14, 2018 -- We got a late season ice storm this day. I decided to document my day on Insta-stories. Now that I've had some nice weather I don't hate those of you who have worn shorts already :)

April 15, 2018 -- After a day of ice pellets we had freezing rain which was lovely to look at but treacherous to be out in, so it was another day of being stuck at home.

April 16, 2018 -- I had to bake an Earl Grey Tea cake for a thank you gathering earlier this week so I made another one for us to have at home. Yum!!!

April 17, 2018 -- The futon in our office was fifteen years old and falling apart so we ordered a bright new couch from IKEA. We also ordered shelves for Dave to use as a place to keep all his stuff on the main floor. Our office looks pretty different now.

April 18, 2018 -- I don't like this new trend of some MLB games being aired solely on Facebook. What the what?!?!? However, not much stops us from watching our Jays.

April 19, 2018 -- I almost forgot to get a picture this day so you get this exciting one of our supper leftovers. It's a sweet potato-chickpea-peanut butter stew which is delicious!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What's Up Wednesday: April 2018

It's What's Up Wednesday time again. I haven't done one of these in awhile but it's a fun way to fill you in on some of life's recent happenings.

image from here

What we're eating this week... About a month ago I posted about how I've been menu planning for at least seven years and how I still do it by hand. (You can read more of that post here.) Well I've been using my new menu planning pad for two months now and I'm still not used to it. However, this week we've been good about following the plan, although last night we had grilled cheese and tomato soup instead of eggs on toast. Oh well.
And while I usually plan a month at a time, it looks like I ran out of energy halfway through. Oops.

What I'm reminiscing about... Summer. We haven't really had Spring yet and I'm already ready for afternoons of reading by the pool and wearing shorts. Also, I'm ready for a break from the school routine.

What I'm loving... I LOVED having two days of warm sunny weather earlier this week. I read a couple of books outside, the kids played, laundry hung on the line -- it was completely glorious!

Basking in the sun and reading -- perfection!

What we've been up to... Just the usual -- school, work, getting ready for Rachel's dance performance, practicing ball with Sam, laundry, cooking, dishes, reading - ha! It's really not been all that exciting around here.
You can't tell it's the usual by looking at our calendar though, which looks pretty full.

What I'm dreading... Bluey hasn't been very active lately. He's mostly been hanging out at the bottom of his bowl and I'm very worried that he's going to die. I know he's "just a fish" but I've been a little stressed about this lately. I've also been Googling "Do beta fish get depressed?" If any of you know of a fish psychologist, I might be interested...
Don't die Bluey :(

What I'm working on... I'm not working on much of anything right now. Ha! I finished our travel photo books for Kenya and our Disney Cruise. Laundry is caught up. I feel pretty on top of life right now. (And now that I've written that, everything will fall apart around here!)

What I'm excited about... Sam is signed up for Junior 3 Pitch this spring and out of thirteen kids on his team, SEVEN of them are from his school. I'm just excited to watch Sam and all his friends play ball together!
 Sam during his first season of t-ball when he knew absolutely no one on his team.

What I'm watching/reading... Thanks to our local radio station playing a lot of hockey games lately (our local team made the playoffs - yay?!), we've been watching a lot of Blue Jays baseball. I've also been watching a lot of Sam playing/practicing baseball.

In the past four days I've read three very different books featuring death -- They Both Die At the End, Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies, and Columbine. They are all very good books but I've been thinking a lot about death in different forms lately.
They Both Die at the End Spoiler Alert: The Hero DiesColumbine
images from here, here, and here

What I'm listening to... As I'm writing this I'm listening to the Blue Jays beating Boston on the radio. It's the top of the sixth and the Jays are winning 3-0. I hope they can hold on! The Jays have been playing so well this season; it's been so exciting!

What I'm wearing... NOT MY WINTER JACKET!!! Whoooo hoooo!!! I'm trying to figure out if it's too early to wash all the winter gear and put the snow boots away...

What I'm doing this weekend... Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon! Whooo hoooo!!! I participated in my first ever Readathon in April 2015 and now I have found two which each happen twice a year so now I participate in a readathon every three months which is the best!!! (For me, that is, Dave might not agree! Ha!)
Me reading during my first ever Dewey's.

What I'm looking forward to next month... My birthday is happening! We're going to a Jays game to celebrate Mother's Day! And our friends are having a fun dinner to celebrate ten years of marriage so the kids are staying with Dave's parents overnight and Dave and I are having a night out. Yay!

What else is new... Rachel is starting soccer at the school through our neighbourhood association in May and Dave is coaching Sam's Junior 3-pitch team so we're going to be a family divided by sports over the next few months. It should be interesting...

Thursday, April 19, 2018

#tbt: Jays Home Game In Detroit

So way back in July, we road tripped with some friends to a Jays game in Detroit. We left on Saturday morning and got home late Sunday night. We had no idea what we were going to do in Detroit, but after we got to our hotel, we realized we were a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Detroit river front. And that there was an amazing riverfront walk.
If we had known the river walk had built in fountains, we would have brought bathing suits. However it was hot enough that we dried off fairly quickly and the cold water felt soooo good!
It was fun to do this trip with Jen and Will. Two other friends joined us but they were shopping while the rest of us explored the riverfront.
I love posing with all of us on oversized chairs! Although I really need to learn how to sit on these things in a skirt :)
Sam, Will, and Rachel on the big chair.
It was so fun to look across the Detroit River and see Canada, Windsor, specifically. Can you tell Rachel was hot?!
I wish we had had more time to explore Detroit. They have a cool transit system called The People Mover which ran a circuit of Downtown Detroit. We rode it once for fun as there was a stop near our hotel.
The next morning we had breakfast at a local Starbucks and then meandered slowly over to the stadium. We found some neat places to get pictures.
The QLine is another of Detroit's transit systems.
We entered the stadium quite early and Rachel and I rushed to the field to get autographs. Rachel was right in front and Danny Barnes patiently signed all the things our group handed over -- three hats, my autograph book, and a baseball card.
We enjoyed riding the Tiger Carousel.
And Sam showed off his pitching skills.
We got a family picture with this tiger.

The game was good but it went into extra innings which sadly, the Jays lost in the 11th. Sigh. However we had a really good time and would love to head to Detroit again. With all the Jays fans coming across the border, it was hard to tell if we were playing at the Skydome or in Detroit -- the cheering was just as loud for both teams!