Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Best Buy of 2010

You never know when you buy something if you are really ever going to get your money's worth, here's my very best buy, dare I say it, of the decade!

A dear family friend, Kara is such a talent, she sews skating costumes, ballet tutus, the most wonderful clothing for children, incredible hair accessories for a little girl's hair, ties for little boys and on and on.  Her items of clothing get sold right out of the boxes from Children's Place in Coquitlam.  

One day I noticed that she was making these little plastic lined bags with Velcro tops for kid's snack items.  The  coincidental  thing was, only the evening before I was babysitting our Murraville grands.  As I was making their lunches and recess snacks, I was really aware of how many little plastic baggies I was going through and thought, there must be a better way!  And voila, my friend Kara has the solution.

I opened an account on Etsy and placed an order immediately!  After some picking of fabric even, the order was shipped and distributed to all of the Grands! 

This is where my story comes in.  If you know anything about me, then you know my beloved and I are walkers.  Since retirement and discovering the free Province in McDonalds or A&W, I was never without a pen for the crossword. Of course we also needed a bit of change. I needed a place to tuck my cell into on wet walks.  I needed to tuck my library card into something.  I needed a place for the covertly ripped out items from the newspaper.  I needed it all in one place, not just randomly shoved into a pocket. 

I was always on the lookout for a cloth bag, or a heavy plastic little change purse, but they were never the right size.  My solution up to this point was a plastic baggie, which after a while the bottom would split and I'd transfer the necessities into a new one. They didn't last long. When I saw those cloth baggies, well I knew right then and there that this was my answer!

It works like a dream.  I've used it each and every time we've walked which is on average 4 times a week.  Our tally in the 500 Mile Challenge to date is over 952 miles, that adds up to alot of walks. A lot of opening and closing and tucking and it still looks like new. 

Here are some pictures of my best and favourite buy of 2010. 

There's the little beauty tucked inside my purse!  I love the fabric.

A sampling of what all goes in there.  I'm feeling embarrassed to show you how many article I rip from the newspaper!

I encourage you to drop by her site, you will be blown away!

Thank you for this awesome solution Kara, you're the best!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The "Snowflakes" were hung in the window with care!

Today I had the pleasure of delivering the snowflakes to April!  We had fun figuring how how to hang them and when the paperclips, from Australia, from their Wedding Day no less, seemed too limiting, we decided to try taping them to the venetian blinds.  That worked the best. 

Their large kitchen window now looks so festive.  It was so much fun making them for her and then setting them in place.  A lovely thing to do on the first day of December with my beloved daughter. 

Here are the results:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Snowflakes, Real vs Paper

There's no disputing it, Winter is in the air even though not officially. 

Last week we had our second snowfall, and while it was beautiful, it made for a horrible commute for my sons, and  beautiful nieces.  Only a few stray mounds remain which the pouring rain is making short work of.

Here's a picture of our back desk as it looked last week.

Last year while my son-in-law Nick went to Gray Cup, I stayed at our daughter April's house and among other things we made paper snowflakes for her bright kitchen window, so it was only fitting that she have more this year.

Can't wait to hang them up with you April!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Show Me the Mommy, errr, Grandmommy, errr, Nanny!

Doing what I love best, having lunch with my beloved on a Friday.  Although, to be technical, at this point it is simply coffee!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Show Me the Mommy, errr, Grandmommy, errr, Nanny!

This nanny believes you can't beat a box full of books for Christmas!  I had so much fun picking them all out for our Grandchildren.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Show Me the Mommy, errr, Grandmommy, errr, Nanny!

My beloved and I paid a visit to our beautiful daughter Cathy in The Wack today and she asked the kids to sit down with us on the couch so we could have a picture.  This is just one of the many she took of us.  A Mommy, err Grandmommy, err, Nanny loves days like this!  

Friday, October 29, 2010

Show Me the Mommy, errr, Grandmommy, errr, Nanny!

Son Number 3, aka Tyler lent us this TomTom for an up-and-coming trip we will be taking.  Figuring it out, even after his awesome lesson is challenging, but I'm doing it!  I need all the brain power I can muster to figure it out!  "Hello Seattle?"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Fricassee

With the scent of turkey soup simmering on the stove, I thought I'd add my two cent's worth of pictures and tales out of school about our Thanksgiving Get-together.  Aww, forget the two cents, I'll give you Loony's worth. 

We were lucky enough to somehow snag all of our children for Thanksgiving which is no minor feat no matter how far in advance plans are made.  For a while it looked as if perhaps Amy and Tyler, and Kayla and Colby holidaying in Maui and returning on the "red eye" that very morning--that their attendance was very much in question, but our darling Colby gave them 3 hours of shut-eye after they landed.  And that folks, makes me very thankful!  In addition to our immediate family, we were lucky to have my mom and sister join us at our table as well. 

Grand Total including 2 little baby boys in arms:  19!

The sweet deal of the day was that it was also our darling Granddaughter Abby's 4th Birthday as well.  Could a person be anymore thankful for family and love and laughter and celebration? Well, just a wee bit more as Cathy and Amy and their Dad, my beloved, celebrated their mutual Birthday only 3 days earlier, so party on Garth! 

On my beloved's Birthday we went to Denny's for his "free breakfast" and while walking home found these beautiful autum leaves.  We decided that if it was good enough for Chihuly at the Bellagio in the Garden Shop in Las Vegas, then we too would hang our leaves in the "children's dining room".

The stage was set for the table which included a wooden tree on which I hung thanksgiving stickers, name tags for each child and Silly Bands for their wrists.

The adult table was a little less-fun, more formal.  I just have to say, that the adults did not live up to the formal portion of the evening-tee hee!   Between wine glasses being tipped over, as well as a knocked over tea light almost catching the table cloth on fire, but not before covering my beautiful little birds with wax, and I want to conclude my rant by telling you dear reader, that the children's white linen table cloth was much, much cleaner at the end of the night -- well let's say it was a rip roaring Thanksgiving on all counts.  The girls each  contributed to the dinner, much wine was consumed and the love and laughter at the table was awesome!

Innocent little bird before wax treatment!

Momma arrives all ready to decorate our Sweet Abby's Cake! (The cake was a hit, and was delish!)

The Three Amigos, Hudson, Dick and Nick looking mighty handsome with his new hair cut, sans curls!  (Note also our new kitchen floor!)

Ta Da! Our Birthday Girl Abby!

Mr. & Mrs. Besth taking a moment to pose!

How old are you today sweet thing?  4, count 'em for yourself!

Uncle Cliff getting sized up by Hudson, Carly probably telling me that "look he's not afraid of my daddy!"

Uncle Nick and Cameron trying to figure out a 4 year old's puzzle.  How are you doing guys?  I see someone does the straight edge first just like me!

My Value Village find-the turkey candle holders for $2.00!

Somebody loves my Birthday Boy!  The sentiments in the cards were so lovely and, true!

Uncle Cliff with delightful arms full, Colby and Hudson

Hudson ate mashed potatoes and gravy for his first Thanksgiving dinner in the same chair his mommy sat in for her first!

Cameron informed us that he should come early next time so that he could do "this" with the napkins!  We all agreed that he should do just that!  Isn't he a great looking young dude?

It was quite the rigamarole getting the kids plated up and fed, by the time I sat down, they were ready for seconds!  Note, not a Crazy Band in sight on tables, only on their wrists!  They were a hit!

My mom and my sis, Madeleine matching in blue!  Looking good ladies!

Destruction of table "almost complete" a kleenex box??, the linen is missing from bread basket, sopping up spilled wine, gravy pitcher looking somewhat worse for the wear!  Oh the humanity!!!  G.G. and Catie looking very happy, aren't they sweet together?

 Time out for a Dogpile, a cuddle and playtime before the cake!

 Hudson surrounded by cousins, cousins and more cousins!

 Carly's commentary on being photographed!

G.G. and Colby along with Amy and Catie the seamstress!

 A brother-in-law having fun with another!  Tyler is holding up a picture of Cliff when he was in the "Mafia"

Happy Birthday Dear Abby!  She adores Thomas the Train and it shows on her face!

 Happiness pure and simple.  Pride and Joy so apparent! 
(Note lump under table cloth where wine was spilled!)

 Coco, Caroline and Catie patiently waiting for cake and icecream.

All the while April was trying to light the candles with some "antique matches" we had lying around, she was giving us the gears about them.  After using up I don't know how many of the ones I had, the Dad went off to find some.  The writing on the matchbook:  Piza 222.  This set them off on a volley of laughter, that place hasn't been around since the '80s! It was a tough go but finally all of the candles were lit!

 Happy Birthday D A C, to which Cathy asked"  "Who's that?"  More laughter!

 Tyler caught it on "video" I think!

And as if one Chocolate Cake weren't quite enough to go with the chocolate icecream and delish chocolates from Maui, another Chocolate Birthday cake that said Happy Birthday, You, You & You! which Cathy brought, made for a chocolate feast!  Not a piece of pumpkin pie in the house, sorry everyone!  Next year.
Lighting up cake two and the match thing gets to them all over again!

Colby just doesn't get the match, singing thing yet, but with parents like his, just you wait little man, just you wait!

 Make a Wish!

 Now let's get to the presents!  Abby surrounded by her cousins and her momma!

The Aftermath as captured by Cathy-a wax laden bird and a stray green bean!

Chocolate Cake leftovers and......

A broken Crazy Band that didn't make it through dinner, a chocolate wrapper, and who knows what all!

Chocolate stainage, note my finger pointing to my sister's contribution!  She owned up and wanted this picture taken!

What happened to "D"  AC?

While Cathy and I laughed at the disarray in the dining room, my wonderful Sons, Cliff and Tyler and Nick where in the kitchen loading up the dishwasher, washing out the pots and pans, putting things in the fridge-wow what an awesome bunch of men we have added to our family.  Thank you SO MUCH!

And the laughter continues as April in her new stylin' jacket (which is so sweet and sophisticated on her but the picture doesn't do justice to) hugs her Daddy goodbye!

All that remains of a wonderful day were the dishes waiting to be put back in the buffet!

 My bounty grows:   a beautiful lily from my son-in-law Nick, added to the festive decor.

THE Tea Towel from April which I love, covered with turkeys and pumpkins!

 The beautiful purple chrysanthimum from my mom and which now sits outside by our front door!  That banner could say: Happy - Thanks!

The day before Thanksgiving I came up with a brainwave and decided to add a note on the back of each person's placecard.  I won't tell you what I wrote on them, they were all personal and written just for them.  Except for the little kids, everyone thanked me for what I wrote to them.

Later on that night as my beloved and I were doing a bit of clean up and straightening up before we dropped into bed,  the telephone rang and it was my newest son, lovingly referred to as Son Number 3 - it was Tyler and he phoned to thank me for what I had written to him.  I was touched by that call.

I share with you what I wrote on the back of mine:

Allyson, have a glass of vino!
Look around and feel the love of family.
How did I get so lucky?

I already knew, I have SO VERY MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR, I just didn't anticpate how much the love and laughter and family can fill you up, believe me, it's even more than stuffing in a turkey!