This and That...

We are alive and survived the birthday party this weekend.  I spent most of Sunday in bed with a migraine and sadly really couldn't take much for it.  I think my body was really tired as well from all the activities last week so it just needed to recharge itself.

The party was fun and the magician was great.  He definitely entertained the kids for the hour that he was here.  It was our first year with the kids being dropped off and no parents staying.  While most of the kids were well behaved we had a few that I would say require a few more lessons in manners.  Hayden ended up getting sick half way through the party so he wasn't feeling great for the last party.  I was happy to see 3:30 come and the parent arrive to pick everyone up.

Well I did yet another thing I said I never would.  We bought Hayden a DSi for his birthday !  I remember saying that I would never let my kids have video games because they were mindless and served no real purpose other then to waste time.  But he has been on us for almost a year to get one of these little game consoles and he has played with his friends many times.  So we caved and bought it for him.  We have put some restrictions on the use of it though and he seems to be quite happy to conform to them (so far).  Secretly, I have played it a few times and actually find them quite fun (but we won't be telling the kids that).  :}

We are on day 2 of summer vacation and I have only heard "I'm bored" twice.  Mommy needs to get the craft supplies out and get a few things organized for activities while we are house bound in the afternoons.

Daddy is out of town until Friday so it will prove to be a little long for mama but some very dear friends of ours have relocated to Calgary (actually right here in Royal Oak) have offered to take one or both of the kids for me if I need a little break.  Hayden knows them well so would be more then happy to escape from his little sister for a break.  It's a bonus that they don't have kids yet so he has their undivided attention and they tend to spoil him a bit.  Thanks guys for the offer and I might just take you up on it.

I have lots of pictures to post from Hayden's final T-Ball game and his birthday party but will need to actually download them from my camera but it will have to wait until another time.

Sad Day

Oh man....I can remember growing up listening to Michael Jackson - Thriller was a staple at every school dance I attended.  Whatever the problems he has had in past years he was a fabulous artist that had a great talent.

I have a ton of his songs downloaded and we love to dance to them !  

He will live on in his music and will hopefully now find the peace I believe he has been searching for during the last decade.

~~~ Rest in Peace Michael ~~~ 

Show us where you live Friday - "Master Bedroom" Edition

"Show us where you live Friday - Master Bedroom Edition"
Hosted by Kelly @ Kelly's Korner

When we looked at this home a few years back I fell in love with the Master bedroom.  The builder modify our home to only have 3 instead of 4 bedrooms upstairs.  What we got from this is a huge master suite and a 2nd floor laundry room.

I appreciate the space that I have in our master bedroom.  It is a place to escape for a few hours in the evening to either watch a bit of TV or lounge in my chaise to read a favorite book.    We have four large windows that provide lots of light during the day.

Our Master bedroom is at the top of landing and it has double doors for the entrance.

With such a large room our king size bed fits perfectly with lots of room left over.   (Please excuse the missing bed skirt I have to pick it up at the dry cleaners.)

For years I wouldn't buy wood furniture but we have a company in Canada called "Old Hippy Wood".  They make beautifully hand crafted furniture and when I discovered them I couldn't resist buying a bedroom suite.

We have a lovely sitting area adjacent to our sleeping area.  I searched for a long time to find just the right chaise for the area.  I spend many hours relaxing with a good book or surfing on my laptop. 

 It worked great as well when we had our daughter as we set up her crib in there for the first few weeks (& we will do it again when #3 arrives in January).

Lastly, here is a view from the sitting area out to the 2nd floor landing area.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my little piece of paradise...I can't wait to view everyone's master bedrooms.  Thanks for stopping by !!

If you want to view more master bedrooms
 head over to Kelly's Korner !

Off to see the wizard....

Can I just say I love having a little girl and dressing her in everything "girly".....when I found these little shoes I just couldn't resist them. They totally reminded me of the shoes Dorothy wore in the Wizard of Oz.

Sorry for the picture...she wasn't being very cooperative so had to pick the best of the worst.

Hip Hip Hooray....Summer Break is here !!

Well it has finally arrived...the last day of school is here !  Truth be told I think the teachers started their break last week as there has been very little done in the classrooms with regards to work.  Lots of fun activities and playing outside which suits my kid (& probably all the others)  fine.

It has been a great year for Hayden !  We are so impressed with what he has done academically and how he is developing his social skills.  The shy boy we dropped off almost 10 months ago has really matured and come into his own.  While still quiet he is definitely not afraid of standing up for himself with his classmates.

His reading ability is what we are most impressed with while he knew his alphabet he was always resistant to actually learn to read.  I'm not sure what they did but whatever it was he is now reading at a grade one level and is devouring any books he can get his hands on.  We are going to incorporate a weekly trip to the library to ensure that he always has new titles on hand to keep him going.

Funny the only thing on his report card was that he constantly needed to be reminded to focus on what he was doing and could get easily distracted during individual work times.  Well my belief is that this might have something to with having 23 other kids in the classroom.  I have volunteered many times in the classroom and would have to say most times it was "organized" chaos in the room.  I'm not sure there are many 5 year olds that could could stay on track with that much going on around them.

Having said that we do know that Hayden does have a issue with either being "to focused"  or "losing focus" on things.   But we have been working with him at home and had asked that the teachers remind him when they see him "day dreaming".

I really believe that a disservice is being committed next year to the kids going into grade 1 and are being placed in a classes with 36 other kids.  While there is 2 teachers assigned to the room there are still 36 other little bodies in the room.  They had 24 this year and IMO that was too may.

I'm thankful that we have the means to send Hayden to the private school and hope that the class size of 8 will only benefit him further with his learning.  We have had to make some sacrifices but both felt that we couldn't afford not to do it for him.  I'm excited for what next will bring for him and school but also very sad for the students that are returning to Brentwood Elementary.

"First Day of Kindergarten - Sept'08"

~~~~ Congratulations Hayden ~~~~ 
We love you and are very proud of what you have done this past year !!!

Wordless Wednesday -June 24th

"Laila's New Love - Cotton Candy"
~~~  True Heaven ~~~~

June 20th - Family Sport Wind-up Day

Happy Father's Day Faruq !!!

We had a wonderful day yesterday !!  Laid back and quiet just the way it should be.

The kids slept until 10 this morning which gave me lots of time to get up and cook a big breakfast for daddy.  We had all his favorites and I have to say it was pretty yummy !!!

We gave him the gifts we bought and I think he loved them (honestly he would never say if didn't anyway). We took Hayden to an afternoon showing of "UP" and then home for a tasty BBQ dinner.

I hope that everyone had a great day with their fathers yesterday !

What a nice surprise !!

Well after all these years my beloved still remembered our anniversary...I'm a spoiled mama tonight and couldn't have asked for anymore.

We didn't do anything special today but that's okay !  Hubby grabbed some Olive Garden take-out for us.  Totally yummy but I'm once again nursing a bad headache...too much salt (but it's worth it).

He and Hayden then presented me with the following beautiful cake made a company called "Cakeworks" who are located here in Calgary.

I have joked for years that I would love to have the "Tiffany's Blue Box" for a cake but never thought he heard me or would remember.  Surprise he does listen once in awhile.

He gave me two little "real" Tiffany's boxes as well that contained a lovely necklace and bracelet.  We have a bit of running joke with jewellery....He buys it and I return it.  Over the years he has bought me many great pieces but I have only kept a few.  God love him for continuing to try to chose things he thinks I would like.

Of course, I kept to our previous agreement of not buying gifts for each other so I  don't have anything for him (yet).  I did pick up a few things for Father's Day this Sunday so we will spoil him on his special day !!!

I hope you all have a great weekend...must run and have a piece of the lovely cake !!

Chow for now !

Happy Anniversary !!!

16 years ago today I married my best friend and it has been quite a ride so far.

~ June 19, 1993 ~

We have had our ups and downs like most married couples but have managed to work as a team to maintain a strong and loving relationship with each other.  It's actually hard to believe that it has been 16 years.

The last six have flown by with the arrival of Hayden and Laila.  I truly believe that if a marriage can survive raising kids it's probably a keeper for life.  

Faruq is a kind soft spoken man with qualities that I hope that both my kids have inherited.  He is a wonderful provider for his family and truly loves to spend time with us.  He rarely ever says "no" to anything I suggest (and I have had some real dousies).  He shows patience with our kids even after he has had a long stressful day at work.

He really hasn't changed much after all these years although he is thinner around both the waist and hairline.  I can't wait to spend the next 16 years with you !!

Thank you for being you and loving me !!!

I love you Faruq !!

Wordless Wednesday -June 17th

~~ Summer crusin' in the Jeep ~~

Well it's a done deal...

Hayden will started at Delta West Academy come next September.  He did awesome in the interview with the admissions coordinator and they offered him (or us really) the last spot in grade 1.

We toured the school with Hayden and while he was reserved (like he normally is) he was excited (so was his mama) !   They have a kitchen lab where the kids will do a food preparation course, Spanish, french, science lab and the classrooms looks great.  His classroom is big and bright with everyone having  lots of workspace.

The bonus is there are 16 grade 1 students enrolled for next year so they are splitting the classes into two classes of 8.  Compared to the 24 this year that was music to my ears.

It's a very comfortable school where everyone is on a first name basis and they truly are committed to providing a solid educational experience for your child.

She said because of the small class sizes they have ample time for course content delivery and in most cases do more then what is actually required.  We met the grade one teacher and she was just lovely.

The only problem Hayden will have is actually getting up and there for the start of school at 8:15 in the morning.  He doesn't usually get up until after 9 (yikes could be interesting).  I predict he will be in bed by 7 in the evening !!

I'm excited for him and what next year holds.

Ups, Downs and Decisions !!!

I had a wonderful day on my own last Saturday. Daddy took the kids to the pool for swimming lessons at 9:00am and didn't return until after dinnertime that night.  My day started with a leisurely breakfast and I colored my hair which was in desperate need of attention.  Then I  ventured to the mall for a few hours of shopping.  We have both our anniversary and Father's Day this weekend so I needed to pick up a few things for Faruq.

But.......I knew there was something up when Faruq came in and was all lovey dovey to me....I guess he had a small altercation with my van in a parking garage. He misjudged the clearance with a wall at the exit to the garage and totally dented/scratched the passenger side of the van. I know it was an accident but man I was steamed for awhile. I tried not to be because when I had the small fender bender a few years back he didn't get mad at all. (that's the kind of guy he is but I tend to like to scream !!)  

He has already booked the body shop and my van will be fixed shortly but it still bums me out that it will probably cost us upwards of $1500 to get it fixed.

We are now finally in the last few weeks of school -  7 days and counting !  Hayden and I have already started to plan some fun activities while he is off.  I think we will hit the playground in the morning after everyone is up and fed.  Home for lunch then while Laila is napping I will be able to spend a few hours with him.  

I believe we have finally made the decision to send Hayden to a private school next year.  It really wasn't that tough of a decision....the school is great (small with only 120 students total) and the location is perfect (tucked away from the main traffic flow).  The course curriculum is wonderful and it is fully packed with lots of variety.  They learn both Spanish and French through to grade 12.  As well, there is art and theater classes.

The classes sizes are in most cases 10 but will only go to 12 which will give him a lot of quality time with the teachers.  We just had to figure out if we could swing it financially and came to the conclusion that we would make it work.   We don't take a lot of big vacations and we drive older cars so we have decided to invest in our kid's education.   

We were happy with the progress that Hayden has made in Kindergarten through the Public Education system but were always bothered by the large class sizes.  We chose an alternative program called The Traditional Learning Centre and found the program challenged Hayden academically but always felt he could be easily distracted by the daily commotion in the classroom.  There were 24 total in his class with a full-time teacher and 1/2 time teacher. 

I had the chance to volunteer many times this year and was able to observe times where Hayden would just get so distracted with what was going on around him he wouldn't get his work completed.  It always appeared that the "squeaky wheel" would get the attention from the teachers. We don't blame the them it's just the circumstances with having that many kids in one room.

We have the final interview tomorrow but Faruq and I both feel content with our decision for Hayden's future.  So unless he totally blows it tomorrow Hayden will embark in September on what we hope is the adventure of his life starting next year.

Well I think that's all the news from the last few days...I have a few thoughts a couple of shows I have been watching lately but will save that for another day !!

Enjoy the nice warm weather we have been getting because god knows how long it will last !!

Chow for now !

Happy Friday !!!

Friday is here again...honestly these weeks just seem to be blowing by.  10 more school days then we are free to plan lots of fun filled days at the park, zoo or pool !! It's hard to believe that Hayden's first year in Elementary school is coming to an end and that in less then 3 weeks we will be celebrating his 6th birthday.

I actually manage to snap a few great shots of Hayden when he arrive home from school yesterday which is rare because he usually runs now when I take the camera out !

Laila loves bubbles but honestly gets bored with me blowing with a single little wand so the last time I was at Wal-Mart I found the ideal thing for her. An automatic bubble blower that blows hundreds of bubble in the span of a few seconds. The only thing I'm not fond of is the noise the thing makes but hey if it entertains Ladybug for at least 5 minutes then I can live with it.

We have no real plans for the weekend (just the way I like it).  I'm going to try to do a little  shopping for a few upcoming occasions. (Hayden's birthday party, our anniversary (it's our 17th on the 19th of June) and finally Father's Day !

We hope to see some friends that are visiting from Edmonton and maybe do a little yard work.  

I hope you all have a lovely weekends with your families !!

Chow for now !

Blueberry Muffins

The other day I was in a baking mood and  I had a quart of blueberries sitting in my fridge that needed to be used.  My family are not big blueberry eaters but do like them on ice cream or in muffins.  

I couldn't find my regular recipe so I just went to my friend "Google" Oh how I love thee Google !!  I picked the first recipe and have to say I think I like it better then my usual one.   Judging by the fact there is only 4 left from the 12 I baked I would say they were a hit with the family as well !

"To Die for Blueberry Muffins"

This recipe comes from

What you will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
How to make them:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease muffin tins if not using muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup.  Mix this with the flour mixture.  Fold in blueberries.  Fill muffin cups right to the top and sprinkle with topping mixture.
  3. To make crumb topping.  Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.  Mix with fork and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven.
Note:  The original recipe says it makes 8 but I actually got 12 out of the recipe.

I hope you enjoy them !!!

Show us where you live Friday - "Bathroom" Edition

"Show us where you live Friday - Bathroom Edition"
Hosted by Kelly @   Kelly's Korner 

I didn't participate last week even though we do have a home office.  Our office is the one room that we really haven't done anything to it yet.  We spend the least amount of time in there and honestly it's just not an inviting space to be in.  One day when our kids are little older and I start working from home again I will redo.  For now it's  just a place that my hubby and Hayden can do some work in the evening !!

Onto our bathrooms.....we have a total of four.  

There are two on the 2nd floor, 1/2 on the main and a guest bathroom in the basement.  I think my favorites are our master bath or guest bathroom in the basement.  I love the master bathroom because of it's size and that it has become more like the family bathroom. 

The tub is nice and big for the kid's nightly baths.  I love that both hubby and I have our own vanities.  (He can be a little messy ! :}) 

 We have a great shower, walk-in closet and a separate toilet area.

The only real complaint I have with this bathroom is that it is off our master bedroom and doesn't have a door.  I will never have another design like this especially when you have a hubby that gets up at 5 every morning and I don't get up until around 8 !  He has gotten really good at shaving in almost total darkness !!  :}

The other bathroom on the 2nd floor is designated as the kid's bathroom but really the only thing that happens there is teeth brushing at night.  I'm sure they will use it when they get older.

The bathroom on our main level is a smaller 1/2 bath that is used by guests.   It's pretty plain but I would love to put a splash of red in there but just haven't found the right color yet.  (Any suggestions?)
My other favorite bathroom is the one we created in the basement for guests.  I love the colors we picked and all the the little extras we added.  

We put an extra large shower with a 9 foot ceiling.  I hate that feeling of being cramped in a shower.  We selected the full glass door instead of the framed one again making it look larger.  

We weren't able to find the granite that was used upstairs so we needed to select something as nice.  After searching a few thousands samples I found this granite that actually looks like leather.  The top coat has been stripped off to give it the leather feeling.   I love it !!

We did custom cabinets to match exactly what was upstairs so were able to get a nice size cabinet built for towels/toiletries.  

Lastly, we added a heated slate floor to the bathroom and wetbar area.

Well that's our bathrooms - I hope you enjoyed the tour....I can't wait to get some decorating ideas from everyone !!

If you want to see more great bathrooms stop by Kelly's Korner !!!


For the past few months I have been reading a blog written by a women who was (allegedly) pregnant with a baby that was not expected to live after being born.  Well today, it all seems to be playing out as a fraudulent scam.  I'm speechless that someone could actually mastermind this and play on peoples emotions.

I really wanted to believe that the people making accusations that this is all fake were wrong but there just seems to be do many things proofing that they are right.

I pray that this individual(s) receives the help that is apparently desperately needed.  I'm not mad but more sad that she would create this scheme for only reasons she knows.

I guess I will ask "why" for awhile.

Brown Sugar Chicken

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs - A Year of Crockpotting .   We eat a lot of chicken but honestly I'm sometimes at a lose on how to mix it up a bit.  I came across this one and thought it would be a hit with all of us.

Update:  Verdict is was a hit with the kids but daddy thought it was a little too sweet !

(Pictured borrowed from A year of Crockpotting)

What you need:
  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 6 boneless skinless breast halves. (I used the breast as we don't usually eat thighs.)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda
  • 2/3 cup of vinegar (I just used regular white - author used white wine vinegar)
  • 3 cloves of smashed and chopped garlic
  • 2 T soy sauce 
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
How it's made:
  1. Use a 5-6 quart crockpot for this recipe.
  2. Plop the chicken in the crockpot - cover with brown sugar, pepper, chopped garlic and soy sauce.  Add vinegar and pour in soda.  It will bubble ! (mine only did a little bit)
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-9 hours or high for 4-5.  The chicken is done when cooked through and reached the desired consistency.  The longer you cook it the more tender it will be.
  4. Serve over a bowl of white rice with a ladle full of the broth.
It smells really good and I'm hoping that it tastes the same !

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

Wait a minute I thought it was June but this is what we woke to this morning....

How's the weather in your neck of the woods today...I hope better then ours !!

Quiet weekend planned...

Well the weather is crappy here in Calgary today (I just watched some snowflakes hit my back deck)  and it is not looking much better for tomorrow so I think we will probably just hang around the house.  I have a stack of books just waiting to be read.

After taking Hayden to the bus Laila and I dropped into Blockbuster to pick up a few movies for the family.  I managed to snag "He's Just Not That Into You" and "Revolutionary Road" for me.

As well, I have 4 or 5 new recipes I want to try and hopefully be able to freeze a few for future meals.  The last few weeks have been a bit of bust with me and cooking.  I haven't been in the mood to cook so the family tends to suffer with quick fix meals.

Hayden has swimming in the morning then the boys usually stop into Tim's for a doughnut so I might have to just get them to do the Safeway and Costco run while they are out.  Maybe I can actually figure out how to stay home the whole weekend.

Laila is still adorable and has started to say a few more phrases....the latest ones are "Here you go" and my favorite "no".   

Have a good weekend everyone and stay warm if you are in Cowtown !!

Chow for now !

We are all alive !

But just busy with summer activities and honestly I haven't really got anything interesting to blog about.

Counting the days until Hayden is out of school for the summer - I think we all can use the break !

Trying to decide where we are going to venture this summer for holidays...I think we will stay around Alberta  and see what our beautiful province has to offer.  We had been planning a trip to Disneyworld this fall but sadly that may have to be postponed now so we plan on taking a little more time this summer for vacation time.

Enjoy the nice weather and I will be back when I have something  worthy of chatting about !

Chow !