Wednesday, October 30, 2019

What's Up Wednesday: October 2019

Welcome to the What's Up Wednesday for October. I looked back to see what I had written about in previous Octobers and this is actually the first time I've done a WUW post for October. Huh.
image from here

What we're eating this week... Dave has been gone on a work trip since Monday so we're all about the easy suppers this week -- eggs on toast, tuna noodle casserole, and tacos. Tomorrow night we're eating out because Dave's work has trick or treating and I won't have time to cook before regular trick or treating. After tomorrow, we'll be eating candy for the rest of our lives. Ha!

What I'm reminiscing about... I've been reminiscing about past Hallowe'en costumes.
I was 37 when Sam was born and I'd always dreamed about dressing my baby up as a pod of peas. I have no idea why I was so fixated on that particular costume but I was so happy on Hallowe'en 2009 when my pod of peas dreams came true. And then we dressed Rachel up as a pod of peas for her first Hallowe'en in 2011 too!
In 2010, eighteen month old Sam dressed up as a lion. Tessa and Willem (good friends of ours) were Gryffindors. 
For Hallowe'en 2012, Rachel was the lion and Sam was Piglet. Then for Hallowe'en 2014, Rachel was Piglet and Sam was Tigger.
For Hallowe'en 2016, Rachel was Russel Martin and Sam was Kevin Pillar, both Toronto Blue Jays players. This Hallowe'en still makes me a little sad because Rachel said everyone made fun of her for "dressing up as a boy." Poo on them, she was an excellent Russel Martin.
I think my favourite costume ever of Sam's was 2017 when he was Harry Potter. I think he nailed it. And my favourite ever costume of Rachel's was last year when she was a moose! Hahaha!!!

Thanks for taking this walk down Hallowe'en memory lane with me :)

What I'm loving... I am loving our fall colours! I am also loving the fact that it was sunny (or at least, not raining) for the past two days so I got lots of laundry hung out. I squeeze every laundry hanging moment I can out of our weather.

What we've been up to... Our fall activities are definitely in full swing -- Rachel has four different dance classes and both kids have piano. Then Sam has signed up for two new activities -- once a week he plays basketball and once a week he attends a "sports night" at the school. We are basically on the go most of the time. It's busy but I also know it's just a season and it will be over before I know it.

What I'm dreading... I'm dreading November. Unlike, Americans, we Canadians have already celebrated Thanksgiving and there's just not a lot going on. Plus, I am dreading the time change. I already hate the dark and now it's going to get dark even earlier. WHY???
I'm sorry you
Canadians celebrate
Thanksgiving in
October, leaving you
with no days off
from work in
November. Sorry you lost an hour trying to figure out if we lost or gained an hour this weekend.
image from here * image from here

I grew up in a province where we didn't mess with our clocks ever so I still don't get this whole time change concept.

What I'm working on... I've been working on Hallowe'en costumes for this year and getting ready to worship lead at church on Sunday. Thankfully both of those things are almost done.

I've also been working on reading all the library books. Why are they always all due at once?!?!
My current stacks of library books.
What I'm excited about... Dave has been away for work training and hasn't been home since early Monday morning. He gets home tonight and I can't wait! Also, I'm excited about Rachel's Hallowe'en costume this year :)
And on Saturday, WE GOT TICKETS TO SEE HAMILTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We're not going to see it until May 2020 but I'm still excited about it.

What I'm watching/reading... This past weekend was Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon. You can read more about it here if you're interested. Anyways, you can read the reviews of the books I read in this post here.
As for watching, I've been watching World Series baseball and our leaves changing colours. Fun times :)

What I'm listening to... I've been listening to the sound of fall leaves rustling beneath my feet. I'm constantly looking down at all the leaves. I just love this time of year!

What I'm wearing... Slippers. Pictured below are my slippers and Sam's slippers. Do you know how hard it was to find slippers for a boy between sizes 1 and 6? I looked in about a dozen stores and finally got help from my Facebook friends. These are from LL Bean.
Sadly, my slippers have holes in them so I think I will soon be on another slipper hunt. These came from Costco and I LOVE them but I don't think Costco carries them any longer. Boo.

What I'm doing this weekend... This weekend I'm worship leading at church on Sunday and hosting my book club on Sunday night. Other than that, we'll probably just enjoy a quiet weekend. Yay!

What I'm looking forward to next month... Nothing. Ha! There is seriously not much going on in November so maybe I should just enjoy a chill month.
I'm reading the Harry Potter illustrated editions out loud to the kids so maybe I'll get lots of reading done with them. Maybe... Rachel and I are on Book 2 and Sam and I are about to start Book 4.

What else is new... I think that's about it. I can't think of anything new.

Last month I read almost every single WUW post on the link up and I hope to be able to do that this month too so I'm off to read now... Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Daily Photo: October 22 - 28, 2019

I didn't mean for this week to be so fall focused but that unintentionally happened :)

October 22, 2019 -- I made a sweet potato chickpea stew for supper. It was so pretty in the pot.

October 23, 2019 -- Our tree still had some green leaves but most of them were red this day.

October 24, 2019 -- Rachel was jumping for joy over Fall! It was also Fall colours day at school.

October 25, 2019 -- I spent most of this day at a funeral and then helping out with the luncheon afterwards. I just didn't feel like taking a picture this day.

October 26, 2019 -- I finished The Immortalists and Rachel helped me take a picture of it in our tree :)

October 27, 2019 -- These are all the books I read during the readathon. Yay!

October 28, 2019 -- It was a gorgeous fall day with sun for laundry hanging and bright colours. I don't think we'll have many of these left. And no, our grass still isn't mowed :(

Monday, October 28, 2019

A Harry Potter Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

If you've been reading here for any length of time, or if you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that about four times a year, I participate in a readathon. This past weekend was Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon where people read for as much as they can for 24 hours. The first time I ever participated in this readathon, I read for 23 and a half of the 24 hours. You can read my first post about that experience here. Since then, I participate as much as I can but life also happens. As does sleep.

So here's how the readathon played out for me this time.
I had my books ready to go. I like displaying my books in a clump rather than a stack because they're easier to see that way.
Ever since I started doing readathons, my family has been joining me more and more. They get really excited about the snacks. I was trying to tone things down this readathon but I'm not sure I succeeded. Ha!
I started with The Immortalists. One of the blog posts from the readathon encouraged people to sort their books into Harry Potter houses. You can read more about that here.

Here's a basic breakdown though (categories quoted from the website):

Slytherin – (my house!) values ambition, cunning and resourcefulness
books I would sort into it: The Winner’s Curse series, Ninth House, The Cruel Prince (and the whole series)

Ravenclaw – values intelligence, knowledge, and wit.
books I would sort into it: Strange The Dreamer, The Raven Cycle, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Hufflepuff – values hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fair play.
books I would sort into it: With the Fire On High, Anne of Green Gables, Since You’ve Been Gone

Gryffindor – values bravery, daring, nerve, and chivalry.
books I would sort into it: The Hunger Games, Graceling, The Hate U Give

I thought this was a very unique way to describe books so I'm putting The Immortalists into Slytherin. If you've read this book, let me know if you agree.
I was highly distracted during the first five hours of the readathon because I'd received notice earlier in the week of a Hamilton pre-sale happening the day of the readathon!!! I waited in a virtual waiting room (in which people were sorted in random order) from 10:00am on. I was 17,125th in line and I really didn't think I would get tickets. However, at 12:55pm, I got two tickets on my preferred date. I am sooooo excited!!!
Rachel read to Bluey (in "fish language") for a bit and both kids joined in, reading on the couch.

I was exhausted so I actually had a nap for an hour in the afternoon. I don't know that I've ever napped during a readathon before -- unless you count in the middle of the night! After that, I declared it was time to get outside for a bit.
We had a leaf fight and then read and walked around the block.
I started Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America. I would definitely put this book in Ravenclaw. It was very interesting but I had a hard time keeping all the facts straight. In retrospect, I don't know that this was the best book to read for a readathon. I really should have read it more slowly. Also, this book made me terrified for my kids. I'd like to think the prevalence of hard drugs is an American problem, but I know it's not.
Rachel really wanted me to read some Harry Potter out loud to her. We're currently reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I would put this book in Gryffindor :)
I started Case Histories as I crawled into bed. I was really tired but I hoped it would keep me going for a few more hours. And it did. I haven't finished this book but thus far, I would put it into Ravenclaw.
And this is my final readathon photo. I read two whole books and a good chunk of Case Histories.

And I've really enjoyed thinking about how I would sort my books. What have you read lately and what house would you put it in??? And if you've read any of these books, do you agree with my categories?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Day In The Life: October 24, 2019

I woke up yesterday morning and after reading one of my daily blogs, decided to do a "Day In The Life." Before I start, I should mention one thing I've been quiet about on the blog.

I lost my job at the end of August.

I had some warning but this was not my choice. I have been looking for work and one of the things Dave and I talked about early on is that I wanted to look at finding something with a bigger organization. My job is usually administrative assistant and/or bookkeeping based and I've mainly worked for small offices. When I get bored, or the workplace takes a different direction (as happened this last time), I'm out of work because there is nowhere else for me to go.

Given all that, I just found out on Wednesday, that I have moved to the next stage in a job interview process I am quite excited about. But bigger organizations move slower. Thus, I am in a waiting stage, and trying not to stress too much about it. I likely won't hear anything further until mid-November so prayers for patience and perseverance would be greatly appreciated.

And now on with an "I'm unemployed" Day In The Life :)

7:10am -- I came downstairs, and both kids were already awake. They were playing iPad and Sam had had breakfast already. I really do love this new, more independent stage.

7:30am -- Rachel was eating breakfast and practicing her French spelling words. Sam barely has to study for things but Rachel needs to put in a bit more effort. However, she is very self-motivated so it's more that Dave and I need to keep up with her! And sometimes that means practicing spelling words at breakfast. Ha!

7:45am -- Rachel and Sam were packing their lunches and Dave and I were having (mostly uninterrupted) adult conversation (YAY!). When I think back to just last year when mornings were chaotic, this feels like such a switch. The kids still need a little bit of help, but really, they are in charge of most of their own lunch.

8:15am -- I was doing Rachel's hair and trying to dry her sleeve so she could put her shirt back on. She spilled water on it and I was holding it over the still warm burner to try and use the heat. It sort of worked :)

8:30am -- I ALWAYS have to make my bed in the morning, so after we sent the kids off to school (they walk on their own most mornings), I got dressed and made my bed.

8:45am -- I hung out a load of laundry before I headed out for the morning. 

9:00am -- I headed off to volunteer. This is my second session of volunteering with either Kindergarten or Grade 1 students to help them work on letters and sounds. This session I am doing sounds. I arrived to find out my kids are on a field trip (this was not my normal volunteering day so I forgot to check the kids' schedule). I ended up having a great conversation with the librarian so it was all good. Oh, and I ate a banana muffin for breakfast on the drive to school. (I don't volunteer at the school where Sam and Rachel go -- I volunteer at a school where a friend is a teacher and needed people.)

9:45am -- I walked to the grocery store from the school. The fall colours in our area an INCREDIBLE right now. I LOVE them.

10:00am -- I walked back to my car with flowers and chip dip for the readathon tomorrow.

10:15am -- I got home to lots of good news -- HAMILTON tickets will be available soon!!! Figuring out how to fit ticket buying in meant rearranging my Saturday schedule. I also got some positive job news. I have a GREAT community of friends, and people who already work within the organization I'm hoping to work for, who are really supporting me through this job search so I had to send off some e-mails and texts updating them.

10:30am -- I got another load of laundry started, talked to Dave, replaced some really dead flowers with the fresh ones, and did some house tidying. Exciting times.

11:15am -- I started to write down the bones of this blog post and re-size pictures while drinking a third cup of coffee-hot chocolate.

12:00pm -- I hung out another load of laundry.

12:30pm -- I ate a partial lunch of Moroccan stew leftovers and read.

1:15pm -- I had the rest of my lunch -- leftover top a potato. This is one of Sam and Rachel's favourite suppers.

1:35pm -- Dave always needs to bring Hallowe'en candy to work for his in-office trick or treating and he really shouldn't have left the box at home. HA! I read some blogs, caught up on Facebook and Instagram, and did some other computer stuff.

And here is where I interrupt this blog post with a prayer request. This past weekend a man in our church was killed in an accident. Although he was just a year younger than me, I didn't know him very well. During this time I also read his obituary and watched a tribute video. Today I will be attending his funeral and helping serve/clean up his funeral luncheon. Please pray for his family, friends, and community.

2:55pm -- I did some dishes before going to pick the kids up from school.

3:10pm -- I picked the kids up from school. Rachel was excited about Fall; Sam was excited about running away from me as I took pictures. Ha!

3:50pm -- Really, this time period can best be described as "post-school madness." The kids unpacked their lunches and cleaned up their backpacks. Sam did garbage and recycling and we spent way too much time looking up stuffed animals on the internet to see if Sam's Squishy Turtle is a beanie boo -- it's not.

4:20pm -- I cooked supper. There are no pictures because I was too busy cooking. Rachel grated cheese for me.

5:00pm -- We ate supper (sort of). Thursdays are an early supper night because of Rachel's dance. I also did Rachel's bun for dance and brought in laundry. We eat supper together every night except for Thursdays. Dave ate his supper quickly between 5:15 and 5:30.

5:40pm -- We dropped Sam off at a neighbour's and then walked to the ION for parent viewing at dance. Normally I just take Rachel to dance but Dave came this time too.

6:20pm -- Rachel had a few minutes to practice cartwheels in the hallway before dance. I'm so impressed with her determination when she wants to learn something. She's been working on cartwheels for months.

6:30pm -- Rachel's dance class on Thursdays is an exam preparation class so she really has to concentrate. And work hard.

8:00pm -- I left dance a little early to grab the ION so I could pick Sam up from his sports program at the school. He does this on Thursday nights for an hour and a half.

8:15pm -- We were all home and the kids were having "second supper." They really wanted applesauce and marshmallows and  I really wanted them to eat more of their supper. We compromised somewhat.

8:50pm -- Because I am gone most of the day at the funeral, I made challah for today ahead of time. This is the first time I've left it to rise in the refrigerator overnight so we'll see how that goes.

9:20pm -- I spent some time resizing pictures for this post and eating grapes.

10:00pm -- There are no pictures but I basically went to bed. I was too tired to even read.

So there is a day in the life of unemployed me! Hopefully next time I do this, I will have a job but until then I will try to see this extra time as a gift.