Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Pics

This summer is almost over.  I picked a few of my favorite pictures to share with you (sadly our camping pictures aren't up; I uploaded them from the camera but for some reason, it didn't work.  Will keep trying!).  Fun in the sun, fun with friends, and the PARK were major themes for our summer.  The boys had some great times!

         The boys with their buddy!  Little monkeys, the three of them.

The boys were so excited to find a fire hydrant at the spray park, being as how they love all things firefighter!!

This next picture is one of my favorites of the three rugrats, who have been together and photographed since they were babies.

These pictures are on facebook, and if you have seen them sorry for the repetition.  That is our summer wrap-up!  We kept it pretty close to home;  next summer I hope to amp it up with cook-outs, day trips, and more time with extended family!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Simple Things

         I was reading in the Nov. 2010 issue of Shape that in order to be happier we need to 'Savor the Simple Things' (pg. 31 - Shape Your Life section cover page).  Instead of only celebrating the big things (i.e. promotions, reaching weight goals, etc) we need to enjoy little moments that count as well. 

        Of course there was a study done, one of those pointless studies that confirm for scientists what us common folk already know.  This particular study (in Psychological Science) found that the more a person earned, the less they savor the small things (such as a piece of chocolate).  This is believed to be because with more money to enjoy, the little things just aren't as important. 

That said, here is my list of some of the Simple Things I Savor....

*a brand new box (or jug) of Tide - I enjoy doing laundry for my family (it's dishes I hate to do) and opening a new box is thrilling

*a fresh, clean notebook.  Pens.  Pencils.  Pretty much all school supplies. 

*fireplaces.  I don't currently live in a home with a fireplace, but that's my favorite place to be on a winter evening, with hot chocolate and a book.

*driving through the mountains

*the evening of the last day 'on' for my husband - it's usually a movie rental night, w/popcorn and staying up late since he's off the next few days

*the smell of a bakery (this is from my childhood, my mom & I walking past the bakery to go to the Merc - to this day when I smell a bakery I am suddenly a little girl again walking with my mom)

*autumn leaves

*the feeling of elation when a party I've planned goes off without a hitch and is enjoyed by all

*MUSIC!!!!!  All kinds, from my kids' lullaby CD to a piano protege to Green Day's latest

*Christmas Eve, my favorite day of the year

*dancing and singing in the kitchen while I make supper (I am a rock star and nobody knows!)

Now I have my list, so according to scientists... should I come into a pile of money I will still be happy, since I savor the little things.  How about you?  What makes your list?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kindness Spree

In our neighborhood there has been a serious rash of toy giveaways.  I'm not sure what happened; this used to be such a quiet neighborhood, very safe.  Now this recent toy-dropping leads me to suspect we have some pretty great neighbors. 

For some reason my boys have been the 'victims' in this spree.  First a small quad was given, then two large (albeit broken, but the boys don't care) remote-control quads.  I started to worry then, what was going on?  Do we look like a needy family?  I know my wardrobe is in desperate need of an updating, but come on. 

The most recent toy to suddenly appear in my yard was a big ride-on loader, like those jeeps at Toys R Us.  Pedal-powered and awesome, my boys couldn't believe their eyes.  I asked their friends why it was dropped off and they named a family down the street... this family has 5 kids, the youngest being twin girls about 9 months old.  As I saw the oldest boy in this family return to our yard, a.k.a. scene of the crime, I pulled him aside and asked what the deal was.  He told me they had been trying to sell the loader on Kijiji for quite awhile with no luck, and that they decided to just give it to the boys.  I asked how much they wanted for it, and this young man said "oh, nothing at all".  I couldn't believe my ears.  I suspect this family will be hit with a sudden rash of baking! 

What is this world coming to?  Just when you think no one gives a damn about anyone else, something like this happens. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

See Yah Summer

Ahhhh summer is nearly over.  Thank goodness!  I know most everyone loves summer,  the endless days filled with friends, food and activities.  Me.... I love the two or three weeks of vacation when we escape the city and spend time in the mountains of BC.  I don't mind the hot weather when we are camping, boating, fishing, etc.  But back in the city baking in the heat and the snacking mosquitoes is not my cup of tea.  I prefer autumn, which is no secret to those who know me. 

This summer we did in fact escape to BC.  My sons went fishing for the first time as we stayed in a cabin my father-in-law rented for the fam.  I gave my arms a workout in a rowboat for the first time since girls camp.  My husband took me for an amazingly private quad ride on a beautiful mountainside trail (not private like THAT, you sicko es!).  I was able to spend some great time with my husbands' family.  It was awesome.  Then we had to come home. 

And now, waiting for autumn.  In a few weeks the boys will be starting preschool - can hardly believe it!  PRESCHOOL already.  I may or may not cry when I drop them off the first time... I promise to try and reign it in.  After a talk with JD about preschool and all the fun they will have, all they will learn, and the friends they can make, JD looked at me with big eyes and said "will you be there?".  Awwwww!   I explained that mommies don't get to go to preschool and he was upset, but only until I mentioned the fun and toys again. 

Also in a few weeks the twins turn 4.  I am having a great time planning the party (let's face it - in a few short years this fun job will be taken out of my hands).  They have decided on a Superhero theme - awesome!  After a detailed drawing of the cakes they wanted, much humming and hawing, and a cost estimate of the whole party... I have decided to instead purchase a single ice cream cake with the faces of both Spider Man and Iron Man on it.  Grrrrr!!!  Creating cake masterpieces is a skill I want to develop, and I enjoy it immensely, but I think this is the best way to go this year.  I can almost hear some of you thinking "geez, it's only a preschoolers birthday party, not a state dinner!". 

At some point this fall I would love to make it down south to see my family.  I haven't seen them since spring.  It saddens me that if I want to see my family I have to be the one to do the traveling.  Or the phoning.  Or the emailing.  I SO wish we were closer!  Not just geographically but ... just closer.  The pick-up-the-phone-just-to-chat kind of closer.  And more than once every few months.  Man, am I complaining, or what?!?!  Sorry guys.  The blog is called 'Thoughts and Stuff'... 

Yes, I can't wait for the heat to go.  When the temp hovers around 12 degrees Celsius, I'll be happier than a hippo in a muddy wallow!!  Who's with me? ?  And what did you do this summer?