Wednesday, September 30, 2020

What's Up Wednesday: September 2020

Welcome to What's Up Wednesday for September. I'm linking up with Shay at Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer at Sheaffer Told Me To to talk about what we've been up to lately. This feels like the most normal What's Up Wednesday I've written in awhile so that's exciting! Welcome to 2020, where "normal" becomes "exciting"!

image from here

What we're eating this week... Muffins, muffins, and more muffins. September has been all about muffin baking around here -- lemon blueberry, banana chocolate chip, peach with a hint of ginger, orange chocolate chip, zucchini butterscotch chip -- we've been eating them all!

What I'm reminiscing about... I'm remembering back to when Sam was in Junior Kindergarten. He's in his last year of elementary school (Grade 6) and I just keep thinking about him in JK. How did he get so big?!?!?
Sam starting Junior Kindergarten, Sept 2013, and earlier this month, starting Grade 6.

What I'm loving... Rachel is back at dance and Sam is back playing baseball and I just LOVE watching my kids getting to do their things again! I mean, I don't get to watch Rachel dance because parents aren't allowed in the studio, but I do get to do her hair in a bun again and drop her off so it's practically the same :)
What we've been up to... School, dance, baseball, work -- it's the regular September craziness around here and we're up for it!!! Plus we've had a couple of back yard visits with friends which have been so great.
Rachel enjoyed some night climbing in our friends' backyard.

What I'm dreading... Right now, nothing. I'm just appreciating all the normal we're experiencing and trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

What I'm working on... Staying on top of the mask laundry. Does anyone else struggle with this? I feel like I'm constantly doing laundry trying to keep masks clean so the kids can wear them to school and dance and the library and, well, everywhere they go...
This is our mask organizer and Rachel, for some reason, 
seems to never have enough clean masks.

What I'm excited about... The kids are back in school full-time!!! I'm sooooo excited about that, I can't even tell you. It looks different this year but you know who is no longer teaching them (ie managing their schoolwork) -- ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know I've posted these pictures on the blog about three times already, 
but I'm so excited my kids got a first day of school AT school!!!
Have I mentioned 2020, the year where "normal" is "really exciting"?!?!? 

What I'm watching/reading... As I was finishing this post last night, I was watching my beloved Blue Jays playing playoff baseball!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm fairly excited about this and I will be watching baseball from now until the end of October when the World Series ends.

I finally gave up on my delusions that I was going to read my nine million library books and returned them to the library. Below is my much more manageable stack. I recently finished The Royal Holiday, and Such A Fun Age.
What I'm listening to... My alarm going off way too early every weekday morning. I'm so happy to be back at work, after six months of not working, but I wish I didn't have to leave the house so early.  
What I'm wearing... Work clothes. I got a temporary full-time position for a few weeks so I had to (got to!) buy some new work clothes. I added a couple of pairs of pants and a couple of shirts and I love them all!!!
What I'm doing this weekend... Hopefully we'll be helping our friend celebrate her 50th birthday, if it doesn't rain. She's had to re-imagine her birthday celebration a number of times these past few months and I really want to celebrate her. I'm also hoping we'll be able to enjoy a family movie night, although watching baseball might take priority if the Jays make it past the Wild Card round! I also would like to find the time to bake buns so that might be what I do on Sunday.

What I'm looking forward to next month... I'm looking forward to my full-time work ending. Honestly, it's been quite exhausting (it's a lot of emotional stress as I'm meeting (virtually) with parents about school all day, every day) and I'm looking forward to getting some energy back.

What else is new... Sam has decided that jeans are evil so I've been trying to find sweats and other "comfy pants" which he can wear to school. Also, he's 11 so size 10 pants are sometimes too short but size 12 pants are often too big in the waist. I'm thankful my best friend has handed down a lot of her son's clothes for Sam to wear which saves me a ton of time and energy having to shop. However, I just wanted to put this out there in case other moms of 11 year olds are reading and can commiserate :)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Monthly Musings: Fall And Hallowe'en

As I've done for the past few months, today I'm linking up with Holly and Patty for their Monthly Musings. The official link up day was this past Thursday, but as with all things this month, I'm behind :) (Also, I'm not officially linking up because I missed the party but I'm still posting my post!)


1) Favourite Fall tradition?

Around the third weekend in October, our neighbourhood has an Art Walk where local artists open their doors and showcase their work. We often find a few holiday presents from this walk and it's usually a beautiful way to get a good walk in. I just checked, and much as I expected, it's cancelled for this year. :( I'm going to miss it.

Our family also loves "Open Doors" where you get to go into buildings you wouldn't normally have access to (police station headquarters, mosques, apple farms, etc) and Lumen. Lumen is a festival of lights which happens in our uptown around this time of year and it is so much fun to explore. As with everything else, it was moved online this year which just isn't the same.

me playing a violin with a special light bow at Lumen in 2018

Another fall tradition our family loves is when our church small group attends a fundraiser for Haiti where we each get a unique pottery bowl and eat lots of soup together. I saw that the event is still running but instead of gathering in a central location, we go to the restaurants to get take out soup and eat at home. Again, I understand why all these events can't happen as regularly scheduled but it still makes me sad :(

a selection of bowls from last year's event

2) Favourite Hallowe'en tradition?

Can I call it a tradition even though it's only happened twice thus far? If so, it's trick or treating with friends and carrying a mug of my my friend's Bourbon Apple Cider. Trick or treating is way more tolerable with friends and alcohol!

I also love being able to trick or treat with the kids at Dave's work. They go from cubicle area to cubicle area and it's a great way to cut down on neighbourhood trick or treating if the weather's not great.


I loved the cider so much, I asked my friend for the recipe and now I make a batch (or two!) around Christmastime. Yuuuummmm!!!

3) What will Hallowe'en look like this year for you and your family?

I don't know. We're trying to keep expectations low around here. I don't think trick or treating will be able to happen so we've told the kids at the very least, we'll buy a box of candy and eat it, while watching a (not scary) Hallowe'en movie.

4) Share your favourite Fall recipe.

I would have to choose between my aunt's "Really Good Carrot-Dill Soup" (for which I don't have the recipe online) or Cream of Carrot-Cheddar soup. Click here for the recipe for the carrot-cheddar soup. If you love carrots and soup, I highly recommend you try it. It's soooooo good!

5) Favourite Fall fashion staples?

Normally, I would say "jeans" but I've hardly worn them this year. For work, it's been my cardigans (easy to throw on in the morning when it's cold and take off in the afternoon when it's hot). For at home, it's my slippers but I haven't transitioned to them yet.

6) Favourite Hallowe'en costume?

I don't know what mine was but I've loved the years my kids dressed up as Harry Potter characters. And I just LOVE the year Rachel was a moose :)

7) Favourite Hallowe'en candy?

Coffee Crisp!!! It's a Canadian chocolate bar and basically the most delicious chocolate ever (except for Lindt balls). 

8) Favourite family Hallowe'en movie?

We don't actually have one. Now that we have Disney+, maybe we'll find one this year? Also, if you have any recommendations, see my answer below about "scary movies" below and then, send me ideas please.

9) Scary movies? Yes or NO

Absolutely not. In Grade 5, our teachers showed us Poltergeist as "a Hallowe'en treat" and I was scarred for life. Welcome to being a kid in the 80s!

10) Favourite Fall beverage?

Hot black decaf tea with a little milk and a little more sugar. And hot apple cider -- I LOVE hot apple cider.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

10 On The 10th: Rachel's Point Of View

Remember how in my "10 on the 10th" post, I said that Rachel's version would be coming soon? Well, here it is. Enjoy!

Shortly into our walk, I discovered this cute (and silly!) little rock. I thought it would be a good way to kick off my "10 on the 10th" post. (Not literally "kick"!)

After we had been on the path for a bit, I saw this and it reminded me of the palm trees we saw in San Juan when we went on our Disney cruise. (The thing beside the palm tree looks like a fox.)

Taking selfies is fun but you need to have a good arm, the right angle, and a good time to get a good picture.
See what I said above about taking selfies!

Again, see what I said about selfies above :) I really like nature (and selfies!) so the two mix perfectly in this pic.
Flowers are red
My name is not Dave
This makes no sense
Selfie time!
Bonus picture of the original poem:

Sunflowers are beautiful and so are you!
Scarecrows scare the birds out of their feathers but this one 
I think is actually quite cute! Don't you?
Our feet look nice together!
Nature is good for selfies!

Thank you for reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it. (PS. Minecraft is fun!)


Rachel :)

Monday, September 21, 2020

Hearing From The Kids

Allena posted a "back to school" survey a few weeks ago (about a month ago now). In honour of the first full week of school happening this week, I thought you might enjoy hearing from the kids. You can read Allena's post here. I also interspersed some back to school pictures throughout the years for your enjoyment as not every first day of school picture made it onto the blog :)

Favorite Color
Rachel: Any shade of blue
Sam: Transparent orange-ish-yellow (Sam is turning into a weird pre-teen. Hahaha!)

Sam's first day of JK, Sept 2013  
Favorite TV Show 
Rachel: "What's a TV show? Like Garfield...?" (Me: Yes!) Simpsons and Garfield
Sam: The Garfield Show and Simpsons

Sam's first day of SK, Sept 2014

Favorite Movie
Rachel: Frozen 2
Sam: Anything except for the Frozen movies (Me: Hahahahaha!!!)

Sam, Gr 1; Rachel, JK; Sept 2015 

Favorite Toy
Rachel: Funny Bunny
Sam: My Kobo

Favorite Book
Rachel: The Unicorn Diaries or the Famous Five
Sam: All of them!

Sam, Gr 2; Rachel, SK; Sept 2016

Favorite Food
Rachel: Marshmallows
Sam: Tacos

Favorite Place
Rachel: Friends' houses
Sam: My bed


Sam, Gr 3; Rachel, Gr 1; Sept 2017

Favorite Part of School
Rachel: Science
Sam: Recess

Favorite Part of Summer
Rachel: Swimming
Sam: Normally it would be baseball but this summer it was having more time to read.


Sam, Gr 4; Rachel, Gr 2; Sept 2018

Favorite Holiday
Rachel: Channukah and Christmas
Sam: Channukah and Christmas and my birthday and Easter and... all of them!

Favorite Thing to do with Mom
Rachel: Watch Disney Fairy Tale Weddings and answer blog post questions
Sam: Readathons

Favorite Thing to do with Dad
Rachel: Sing Stan Rogers' songs
Sam: Play baseball

Favorite Thing About Sam
Rachel: He plays with me.

Favourite Thing About Rachel:
Sam: She leaves me alone most of the time so I can read. I like to play with her, I guess.

Sam, Gr 5; Rachel, Gr 3; Sept 2019

What Are You Going to be When You Grow Up
Rachel: A vet
Sam: A baseball player. Or a YouTuber.

Who Are You Going to Marry
Rachel: How am I supposed to know?!?!?
am: I have absolutely no idea. I can't predict the future.


Rachel, Gr 4; Sept 2020

How Many Kids Will You Have
Rachel: How am I supposed to know?!?! Don't you decide that once you're married? Are you supposed to decide these things when you're nine??
Sam: See previous answer. (This is a direct quote by the way!)

Sam, Gr 6; Sept 2020