Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Productive Storm Day!

Spring has NOT sprung here in Moncton! Yesterday saw our second snowstorm in less than a week for a total snowfall between the two storms that almost passed the amounts of snow we got ALL WINTER! Of course my 3 kids (Erin, Bethany and the big kid I married) LOVED having a snow day, as did Mum and John who are here for a visit. That gave them a whole extra day of fun and frolic with the kids. Nick went into work for several hours in the morning before the roads got so miserable that I called him to come home so that I could get the plastic organizers that I desperately needed to finish my Storm Day project.

What project? With an impending rummage sale at church and that warped urge known as Spring Cleaning rattling around in my life and too much play and excitement underfoot to do much serious work, I decided to tackle our family craft cupboard (I have my own extra supplies that they are NOT allowed to play with). For the past 6 months, the contents of this cupboard had grown and began to take on a life of their own. Contents had begun to leap out and attack anyone who so much as peeked inside the doors let alone actually needed to FIND something in there. The minute I opened the cupboard to begin, no less than 8 things fell out at once. In my enthusiasm to get started I forgot the number one rule of bragging about completed projects... I never took a BEFORE picture! You’ll have to trust me that when the contents of the cupboard were removed, I had very little kitchen floor left.

Now, the cupboard is all set up with craft supplies that the kids can grab easily. One of the ladies who solved the nightmare that was our Sunday School cupboard at church told me how easy it was if you just gave everything a home with a label on it. As you can see, I took her words to heart. Instead of 6 or 7 boxes of coloured pencils to choose from, there is one drawer to paw through. Same for crayons, markers, glue sticks & brushes, etc. The drawer marked “misc. craft supplies” now has little plastic bags full of leftover pompoms, foam stickies, glitter, beads etc. each sorted by kind. The fabric in the cupboard is the collection of tablecloths that always seemed to get stuffed back in instead of folded properly. What a sense of accomplishment!!! Here is my proud AFTER photo...

Nick left mid-afternoon on still snowy roads with his team for a tournament in Fredericton. He’s been playing on a 35+ basketball league this year and having fun, even though he comes home limping or bruised most of the time. Once, it was even a bite mark on his elbow... but I’m told the other fellow’s teeth felt wobbly afterwards. He called when they made it safely to Fredericton so that we could all relax and stop worrying.

Supper was a fun belated birthday celebration with a SMALL cake for both of them to share and some ice cream. Sigh! I had hoped to avoid the cake temptation... but at least it was only a small devouring. Now it is time to head to the gym for their swim lessons & sportfit programs. I’m going to walk some of the sugar off on the treadmill!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Surviving The Birthday Gauntlet... and the Snowstorm!

I can’t believe that it has been over a week without blogging! Life happens in all its chaos sometimes and you just have to ride the wave until you can paddle again.

Of course the excitement really began with Nick’s birthday back on the 21st of March. He was a bit surprised that we actually fit all the candles on his carrot cake!

But most of the adventures took place between April 4th and 9th in this house, especially since it was a long Easter break from school. Report cards had just come out so there was NO school from April 4th until they returned April 10th. No wonder local radio stations were calling it “Spring Break Part 2”!

Erin celebrated her day off by having her best friend over for the entire day and a sleep over. They decided to make lasagna from scratch for supper (with a bit of help from Mom), rent some video games, make macramé belts and paint heart shapes as a craft. Of course I bought one for Bethany and one for myself as well. I just can’t sit around and watch if crafts are involved. I have to get right in there and get messy! Once we’d painted things, we added some 3-D craft paint for a lot of fun and whimsy. Mine is now going to sit in my office to keep me company!

For supper, along with the lasagna, Erin decided to forget about birthday cake and concentrate on ice cream with a make-your-own-sundae bonanza. Thanks to bulk barn, there were almost more toppings that the bowls could safely handle. I was good and just had a few gummy bears and mini marshmallows freeze on top of my ice cream.

You know your daughter’s tastes are shifting when she gets more excited about all the books she got as presents than any toys in the pile. I think I have successfully raised a reader!

The first part of the Easter weekend was spent enjoying family time, although some temperamental issues with our modem and internet line did add a bit of frustration I’d rather have avoided. The services we attended Thursday night and Friday morning were meaningful, especially amid the increasingly secular orgy of gifts and chocolate that seem to be evolving around this holiday. I need the dark of Good Friday to truly appreciate the joy of Easter Sunday.

Of course, waking up Easter Sunday here in Moncton brought quite a surprise... and I don’t just mean the treats (yes, the Easter Bunny brings more dimes that chocolate in our house... because then the parents don’t nibble) !!!

After a green Christmas Eve where I wore dress shoes to church instead of boots, helping Nick shovel and snowblow (I shovel, he snowblows. I like my fingers too much to touch the beast!) the drive was a shock! Even the poor robins in our tree looked puzzled as the wind buffeted them around.

We got to church early with our fruit tray for the fellowship breakfast before the service... only to discover no other footprints! I had my key to the side door as CD chairperson, so we stomped our way in to discover that they were just in the process of canceling the service! We called a few people that weren’t on the voicemail system and a few brave souls showed up so we made tea and hot chocolate, raided the last of the hot cross buns and devoured our fruit tray before we all headed home to wait out the storm. Our service was rescheduled for that evening, but only 30 or so of us made it back out.

Bethany enjoyed the snow the following day on her birthday. We had a lazy morning in our jammies while Nick made his famous blueberry pancakes. He can get very creative with shapes and Bethany ended up with “B8” while Erin devoured her “E12” (battleship anyone?) One of the little stuffed animals ended up with slightly stained paws from getting too close for the picture, but Bethany insists that gives it more character. She chose a new kitkat blizzard from Dairy Queen as her birthday treat instead of cake, so we made sure that while they were each spending $20.00 in mad money from their birthdays, we got one for her. She chose penne pasta and salad for her birthday supper before opening her presents. One of the highlights was a special pottery “bunny bowl” sent from BobDoc and Barbara in Tulsa. She fell in love with the painted hopping rabbits around the rim and has put it in a place of honour on the living room shelves because “it would be safer there than in my room for now”.

Mum and John arrived late yesterday for a week and I am trying to get laundry on the line this morning. Today is going to be warm enough to melt the last of the snow from Sunday, but guess what... overnight a huge storm is supposed to hit for tomorrow.

I’m not putting away my boots or the shovel just yet!