Thursday, July 03, 2014

3 months.....

Wow, the last three months have flown by! 

Football season has come and gone, with all three guys in my house involved it does sorta just take over our lives. 

Here is Caleb....

And Cameron is on the left side #21

This season saw Coach (Curt) with a major injury, he decided to play touch football with his team of 11-14yr olds and ended up tearing his hamstring....two + weeks later he is off crutches and awaiting an assessment to see if he will need surgery or not.

I've been stitching, but not as much as I would like.  A few needle fulls a weekend at the cottage is about all I've managed recently.

The rest of the summer is busy as usual - next weekend  (July 12th) my brother is getting married - I'm the matron of honour so I'm into dress fittings, nails and lots of girlie stuff - totally not me but happy to be included and happy to be standing up with them.

My friend is home from BC for a couple of weeks, so I will be making plans to spend at least a day with her and her "guys" at the cottage.

And of course, work is busy - lots happening in the fall - which makes for a very busy summer for me.

Well, cheers for now....hope to be back and update before another three months slides by.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A ADHD Mom....

My oldest struggles with Attention Deficit, he has been "labelled" but it has helped so much to understand how he thinks and how to help him structure his day so he can be successful.  This info graphic below has a lot of information laid out in a really easy to read way.  Any other Mom's out there that are dealing with the Inattentive portion of this "label"?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Being a Mom

We have lots happening in our home but right now the thing that is taking over our home is the addition of a washroom "en suite" to our bedroom as well as new everything in the bedroom....and because of this, lots of stuff is getting muddled through. 

I read the following online the other day: The Mom Confession

And I keep replaying this over in my head " Motherhood isn’t based on external markers of perfection" my kids have taken baloney sandwiches all week and no homework was completed with my help.

Next week will be the same, and the week after that as well, so just bear with me, please....they don't look too worse for wear....

Friday, February 21, 2014

A well deserved vacation....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A giveaway....not mine...

But I've followed the Pioneer Woman for ...a long time.  And today she is hosting a giveaway, pop on over and try to win yourself a POT!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

American Friends

I just couldn't resist this...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Crap. And some white sh!t too.

Crap, I was so close to getting a post in everyday this month, until yesterday.  No real excuse other than work was INSANE (my staff even commented at one point that they hadn't seen me at my desk all day) and once I got home, some warm supper in my tummy and The Voice on the TV - that was it, nothing else was accomplished.

Oh well, again this year, NaBloPoMo2013 proved that I do love to blog and I need to start making it happen at least a couple of times a week.  I just find with Facebook, twitter, Pinterest - everyone is looking for information NOW, not about yesterday.

Oh well, I will try my best to finish out the month.

Ah, here is the white sh!t:

This is the backyard - the snow even stuck to the clothesline.

And from my side door looking out towards the road.

Buses were cancelled today, which always makes for an interesting "snow" day with my boys at home.

Monday, November 25, 2013


My friend is home,  and baby Logan will follow within the week as long as the little munchkin starts eating and stops falling asleep when he is feed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Who turned down the thermostat?

I know, I live in Canada and it is the end of November but it was SO cold last night for the Santa Claus parade in Kingston - more so than any other year I've been involved (I've lost count, for sure the last 4 years).  On the way home, the thermometer in the truck was reading -9°C!  For those that use Fahrenheit that would be about 15°F.  And the wind was just whipping so with wind chill it was WAY colder.

My husband always works until he drops for about two weeks before the parade helping his company after his shift to get their "float" ready.  Most places grab a pickup truck...nope, they theme decorate a full sized transport and all 53 feet of flatbed truck!  Here are two pictures of just the flatbed part...

One of Santa's elves getting ready to go in the misfit toy castle...

Mommy the helper elf who walked as part of the "toe patrol", meaning that I went slightly ahead of the transport and moved "toes" back so they wouldn't get run over..

Cameron as Hermie the wannabe dentist elf, and my husband as Yukon Cornelius... there was the abominable snowman as well, you can see that character in both the shots above of the float...

And if someone thought the spirit of Christmas was lost, just look at this little face smiling down...

I can't say the parade kick started our Christmas spirit (it was too stinking cold) but it is always the kickoff to the holiday season.

Does your family have any traditions that put you into the spirit?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Insomnia sucks

Normally when I get to bed I'm asleep very quickly.  Tonight it just isn't happening.  Not sure if it is stress or excitement that Logan is here safe and sound...but it can go away and let me sleep anytime.  I'm going to stitch a bit and see if that helps.
Love the photo of my friends and their new little one...

Friday, November 22, 2013

UPDATE! Baby on the way

My friend will be having her babies today, super early (40 weeks would have been Jan 2nd) please keep her and the little boy in your thoughts and prayers for me today.


Logan Parker C****n, 5lbs 12oz at 11:15am has arrived safe and sound.  In the NICU for a small while but everyone is healthy and happy.  

And I'm relieved and can't wait to give my friend a nice gentle squeeze (C-section).  

November 22nd

Well, November 22nd.  Hard to believe that as a member of NaBloPoMo2013 I've almost made it to the end of the month!  I'll probably jinx myself now but let's hope not.

This weekend is a mish mash of events, a funeral and a Santa Claus parade thrown in for good measure. If anyone attends the parade, my family will be with the Novelis float again this year (that is where my husband works).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Disease of Cross Stitch

Someone posted this on a Facebook Group I belong to - but I thought it was worth sharing here as most started coming here to share my love of cross stitch.

Disease of Cross Stitch..

I have spent the better part of thirty years doing research and after thorough and exhaustive study I have finally gathered enough information to formulate and
prove my theory. It can no longer be denied or disputed by physicians, Federal
Government officials, or insurance companies. No, not even Blue Cross/Blue Shield!

Cross Stitching is a Disease!
Just as a drug user becomes addicted to his drugs so does the stitcher become addicted to her habit. Just as the drug addict requires more and more and specialized designer drugs so does the stitcher need more and more and specialized designs. And just as the drug addict will do anything for his next dose, a stitcher will indeed do anything for her next fix.

Point 1. When my research began, I started with Aida fabric and cotton floss. Simple basic x’s on simple basic designs. Then one day I was offered "evenweave" and then linen. Metallic thread was blended with the cotton threads and beads were added. Before I knew what was happening I was slipped "quarter stitches", "French knots", and the dreaded "lazy daisy". The progression was so slow that it was hardly noticeable until at present it is now hand-dyed fabric, silk threads, delica beads, specialty fibers, specialty stitches and quite challenging designs by ladies such as the Queen of the Blended Threads and the Chatelaine of the Gardens.

Point 2. When my research began, only those things were bought that were needed at the moment. But gradually things were purchased in advance of need. It was called "kitting" up a design. Then slowly one kit became two and three and more. Suddenly, without prior knowledge, the dresser filled and then the closet became full. Before long the spare bedroom became a stash room. Soon it became hiding packages from the spouse so he wouldn’t know just how much was spent. And now it is trying to see what can be sold to purchase more stash. My biggest concern is what will be next? Just like the drug addict, a stitcher must have her next fix!

Point 3. In order to relieve a stitcher from the burdens and stress of her addiction she must undergo extensive and exhaustive therapy. Usually this therapy is very expensive and not 100% effective. Like the drug addict, it is very easy to revert to old habits. And most stitchers feel that the treatment is worse than the problem.

1. I find that Cross Stitching is undeniably a disease and should be added to the Physicians Desk Reference as such.
2. There is no cure.
3. Although there is treatment for this disease, it is expensive and not often successful and therefore, most patients prefer to abstain.
4. Once diagnosed with this disease, employers, family members, and friends should be considerate of the stitcher’s needs and avoid confrontation and criticism.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Recipes I may need to try

As fall starts in full force, I'm always looking for new recipes my family will eat out of the slowcooker aka crockpot.  A friend posted this on Facebook and there were a few that looked like they would pass the test.
Particularly number 1 and 8.

I may continue to add to this post so I've changed the title and added another website.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Helping family

My cousin is looking for people to fill out a survey for her....if you are a reader and didn't follow the link when I posted it on Facebook, could you please take a few moments to fill it out now?


Monday, November 18, 2013


This pretty much sums up today...just know you have been warned.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Going to a baby shower!

I'm so excited to celebrate today with a group of very close friends.  There will only be 5 of us but we are kid free and that always equals trouble :-)  Of course we can't get into too much trouble as the one friend is almost 35 weeks pregnant.  And her pregnancy has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us, and I cannot even begin to imagine what it was like to be the one actually pregnant!  At 6 weeks, the wonderful news that it was TWINS!  And at 21 weeks, a boy and a exciting!  They have a daughter aged 2 already who we love she is one Saturday she came over to hang with "Becca".

And shortly after the 21 week mark, they found out that the little girl had heart issues and medically, there was nothing that could be done.  So, they made the decision to carry her as far as possible and enjoy what little time they had with her once she was born.  The little boy is growing and healthy as can be.  Last week (32weeks) they went for a routine ultrasound and it was determined that the little girl no longer had a heartbeat and had passed away in utero.  Talk about shocked!  If it wasn't for bad luck they don't seem to have had any at all.  So, my friend will continue to carry both babies as long as she can before we welcome a wonderful little baby boy!

So, this afternoon is a celebration of a life cut too short, and one just about to begin.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"the worst mom ever!"

I did not write this post - I read it online and thought to  myself - I could have written this as it is exactly what I've been trying to teach my boys.  So show a fellow blogger some love if you wish, this was written by Parenting With Faith

And here is the direct link to the post

Son, remember yesterday when you called me, "the worst mom ever!"? I wanted to thank you for that. Look, I know you were upset that I was making you do yard work... alongside me. I know that I was taking you away from video games. I know you were grumpy for not getting your own way, but baby, that's life. My job is to teach you about life and if that makes me the worst mom ever, I'll take it.

Credit: amothersheart.
As much as I want you to like me, it's more important for you to respect me. It's more important for you to know boundaries. You need to know the world does not revolve around you. I don't let you win at board games (usually), because there will be times when you'll lose for real and you need to handle disappointment like a champ. I know, I'm mean and you don't want to play with me anymore. Well no one will want to play with you if you're a sore loser. Get over it, my love.
You think I'm picking on you when I ask you to do work around the house. Yes, I know some of it's hard. But you won't live with me forever and you need to have skills that will allow you to not just survive, but thrive. Believe me, girls love a man who cleans his own bathroom. We are a family unit and we all have to work together. The sooner you learn cooperation, the better your life will be.
I know you can't see it now, but there will be a time when you'll thank me for taking TV away because homework came first. You'll thank me because I made you eat carrots and not candy for lunch. You'll thank me because I was always in your business. You'll thank me, not because I was super cool, or permissive or laid back, but because I cared. Because I cared enough to discipline you, and to teach you right from wrong.
Honestly, the names I hear you mutter under your breath sometimes hurt (and sometimes make me giggle: Stinky? Really? Come on, honey). You'll call me much worse as you get older, but you've called me "Mom" since the beginning and that name comes with a whole lot of responsibility.
My child, I love you. I love you too much to let you go off in the world unprepared. I love you enough to let you learn lessons even when they hurt. And I love you so much that I'm grounding you for lying to me...twice in one hour.

Again, this was not written by me - but it could have been.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Work, live and play

Where we have decided to raise our kids, work, live and play - this is a great guide to Kingston

We live out of town but this is the closest major city where both my husband and I work.  If you are ever in the area, make sure to get in touch!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Married to a hunter

When I signed up for NaBloPoMo2013, I started a quick list of "things I could write about" for a the day that came and I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head.  Well, today is one of those days.

I'm married to a moose hunter (deer, ducks, geese, partridge and fish are not safe either) and there are times that I get into heated debates with family but mostly very opinionated friends.  Comments like "how can you eat that" and "how could you eat something that your husband killed" come to mind.  Well, here is my take on "hunted" vs "bought" meat.

I prefer anything that my husband has "acquired" on one of his walks in nature (or boat on the lake) over the caged, over packaged meats in the store.  Think about it for a moment, yes it seems cruel for him to be out hunting something in the wild but our meat has been eating what nature provides for them.  As long as what they are eating is fresh and healthy, they are as well.  No "modified feed" or water that has been purified or chlorinated. We also try to buy as local as possible and raise chicken with my husbands family, as well as turkey's every couple of years.  We order a quarter of a beef from the local butchers once a year and then depend on what the hunter gets. 

This year, my husband got a moose.  I had forgotten how big they are and we had to do the freezer tetris to make it all fit.  But we will have enough to get through until fishing opens early summer.

Let the debate begin!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Favourite Fall Recipe - Cabbage Casserole

Cold dreary days always call for something warm and comforting.  This is one of my all time favourite dishes and was always what I asked for when my Mom asked me "what do you want for supper?" as a kid (and even now).  I just wish my kids liked it.  I still make it and they end up eating the meat mixture but they don't seem to have acquired a taste for cabbage.  Which just means there is more for me.

Cabbage Casserole

1 pound ground beef (I've used ground moose, turkey, chicken and they have all turned out good)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 can tomato soup (I use my own tomato sauce, 1 cup sauce plus 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp corn starch - whisk until thickened)
1 cup water
1/2 cup minute rice (or 3/4 cup cold cooked, or Minute brown rice works as well)
3 cups chopped cabbage

Brown ground meat and onion.  Drain off fat.  Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, soup (or sauce) and water.  Mix well.  Stir in rice and simmer 5 minutes.  Place chopped cabbage in bottom of a greased casserole dish and add meat mixture to top. Cover and bake for approximately 90 minutes at 325 degrees.

I stole the photo (well, it isn't really stealing if I tag it is it?) from Sheena at Hot Eats and Cool Reads.  Her recipe is here: Cabbage Roll Casserole which is slightly different but look really good!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Wonderful Christmas Gift

Each November my parents give me the gift of a weekend away at a stitching retreat.  My Mom comes with me and we have a great time.  This year was no exception.  Lots of stitching, laughing and eating was had by all.

I didn't take a lot of photos but I did take a few....mostly of the beautiful meal that Dan created for us at Knowledge & Needles - this is a shop run by my friend Ann, and she has organized these retreats for the last....many years.  Her husband cooks us all lunch, and then we are all "polite" in her shop buying fabric, thread and patterns.

This year Dan did a beautiful herb crusted chicken with mushroom sauce and roasted root vegetables on lovely warm red cabbage.

And desert was 5 kind apple pie with ice cream....yum.

I posted last week with a photo of the project I wanted to spend the most time on (here) and as of Sunday evening, this was the progress I had made...

And when the light got too dim, I pulled out my Welcome Home SAL from 2012.... I finished up the blue column and then stitched the little shelf, milk pitcher, cup, fence and the start of the tiny clothes line with quilts.  Not the best picture but I couldn't even find when I posted about this one last!

So day 12 of November and so far so good for NaBloPoMo2013!  See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembrance Day 2013

My grandfather turned 94 last week, and as a WWII veteran, I'm very proud of all he has done in his life.  Fought in a war, married my grandmother with whom he had six children, 12 grandchildren and lots of great grandchildren - and twin great grand babies due any day!

Today I will not forget.

This photo was taken a number of years ago but I still smile at it every time I walk by it.

Lest we forget.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weekend draws to a close - 2013 Ornament

Always a great time!  And I wanted to post a photo of the ornament I stitched for the exchange this year.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

A Saturday away...

As much as I love my time away (from both home and work)  there always comes a time that I start to thing the dreaded - I wonder what my boys are doing...oh well, they are with Poppy (my Dad) so I'm sure they are having fun.

Here is what I'm working on this weekend - and here is where I started, I took this photo on Wednesday night so we will see how far I get by the end of the weekend.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Annual Stitching Retreat

I'm not sure how many years we have been going...6 maybe?  But each November my Mom and I head off to a bed and breakfast with a great group of ladies for a weekend of eating, stitching and maybe just a little bitchin'.  Today we are off to The Timber House Country Inn Resort until Sunday afternoon.  I look forward to catching up with friends and I can usually put a large dent in one of my stitching projects in a weekend.  I'll update you on my progress of stitching on Sunday, or Monday.

Here is a link to the post about the retreat last year...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Pet Peeve

 So for those that don't really "know me", I take public transit to and from work everyday.  I drive my lovely Cadillac CTS from my home, into the local "mall" and then ride.  Lately I've noticed a lot of very rude people.  I ride Kingston Transit using a monthly pass that I buy as part of my wages as a City of Kingston employee.  Kingston Transit has a list of  "be nice to each other" recommendations posted all over the interior including who can sit in the seats closest to the front.  Increasingly, the younger generations (we have two colleges and a university here) have become ruder and ruder.  I'm not "old" but I still seem to be the first one out of my seat if I see anyone older than myself who does not look able to stand while the bus is in motion.  This morning I finally had enough and tapped a young lady on the shoulder, asked her to move her purse from the inside seat and put my fat butt in her face to sit in the seat.  She huffed and swore at me and I finally addressed her with "do you think you are so important that you get to use two seats while other have to stand?"  She informed me that she paid to get on, she could use all the seats she wanted.  At this time, the driver had pulled the bus over and was coming towards us to see what the problem was.  I let the other "girl" explain, and the bus driver stuck out his hand to shake mine and told me that he was so happy that someone had finally just did what everyone else wanted to do.  She was appalled, but not as much as when the driver asked her to leave his bus and find alternative transportation!  The funniest part was watching all the others that were doing the same thing as she had, gather their things and move into the inside seat so the rest of the passengers (it was a full bus) could take seats as well.  I had more than one person tell me that they have thought of doing that but never had the guts.

Do you have a pet peeve?

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Something I will have to try

I had a friend inform me that I was eating my apple "all wrong" the other day.  I thought she was losing her mind until another friend posted something on Facebook this morning.  Take a look at this Eating Apples All Wrong, and then report back if you are also a "waster".  I'll be the first to admit that I have never eaten an apple this way but I will for sure try it!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

401...what is so special about 401?

Well, today marks my 401th blog post!  Nothing really special about it other than I have a lot of recipes and stitching that I have shared as well as lots of photos' of my kids etc.  Maybe I should make 401 special....maybe I should have a giveaway!  I could do what to give away.  I'm not one to just dig in my stash and find a couple of things that I don't think I want or need anymore and I think I would like it to be a little more personal than that.  So, here is what I'm going to do.  If you comment on this post in the next week (so before midnight on the 11th of November - Remembrance Day) I will come visit your blog (or send you a quick email) and poke around to see what you like.  I will then personally stitch something for you ... and just you.  No promises on timeline etc, that will totally depend on your style and the size of project that I decide to tackle, I will promise you it will be worth your while.

So make sure to comment, and of course share this with anyone you think would be interested...and if I can figure out how to track the "shares" then I may just enter you in the draw twice.

See - 401 is special!

11/11/13 - Commenting is closed - and the winner is:  CHRISTINE

Monday, November 04, 2013

The world didn't come to an end....

So the power cable pooched on the modem, nothing earth shattering but we forget how dependent we have become on the World Wide Web (AKA WWW).  At our home both the DH and I have smartphones, the oldest has a tablet and we have a laptop.  I cannot count on both my hands the number of times we went to "just check on something" or "I'll just look that up", only to receive either really slow results (we have very limited service with our data at home, the #1 reason we got wireless to begin with) or an error message and to check our internet connection.

But we survived and the cable is coming by courier in "24 to 48 hours" which means if it is not there today, it will be there tomorrow.  Luckily, work still has a great connection :)

Today marks a special day in our house, 11 years ago we went from 2  to  3!  So I wanted to wish Cameron a wonderful 11th birthday - born 11 years ago on opening day deer hunting, which is happening today as well!

Here is one of my favourite pictures of him, with his cheeky little grin...

And I've posted about his birthday in the past, so if you want to see "baby" pictures...follow these two links to his 4th b-day and his  9th b-day.

Love you to the moon and back, but I won't tell anyone (or kiss you in-front of your friends)!

Love Mom.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Technical difficulties

The wireless is down...the world is coming to an end!  I'll post more tomorrow.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

We can do this...bear with me.

No promises that each and every post will have great content... I do live a very busy life. 

Last night we got derailed during the plans for Cameron's birthday as we were planning to go to Fort Fright but it was canceled due to high winds.  So, a movie was the rescue of the night, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 in the 3d with my oldest and his friend.  It was alright for a kids show and we were surprised that the boys didn't decide on something a little more mature.  Tonight was dinner with my in-laws and our British friends, tomorrow is dinner with my parents.

Night all, tomorrow is a new day.

Friday, November 01, 2013

November is NaBloPoMo

My friend Bonnie posted this earlier today and I decided "why not."  I've had lots of tragedy in 2013 but there has been some wonderful things and wonderful things to come, surely I can find something to write about for the next 30 days....  I've signed up, I'm 120 on the list!  WOW!  I just came back here (Nov 4th) and went to look at the list - it is now over 1000 blogs! nablopomo-soup-add-your-november-2013-posts

For the start, I'll just leave you with a couple of photos from our Halloween last night, I had two zombie football players, their coach and the coach's girlfriend :-)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rest in peace

Yesterday we laid my Grandma Leakey to rest with Grandpa.  My father in law built a beautiful box in which my husband burnt a beautiful picture.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


As much as 2013 has thrown our family more curve-balls than I've seen coming - I have to remember that I am truly blessed to have had all my grandparents with me until this year.  That is 36 more years than most get with their grandparents.  And my children have been blessed to have known and spent time with their great grandparents - a luxury not many have now that women are holding off having children until later and later in life. 
I have family and friends who are battling cancer, I have a friend who is having complications in their pregnancy and I am reminded that I have my health as well as two healthy children.

All in perspective.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Not my year....

My husband called me this morning at work, and when he starts the conversation with "I don't want to tell you this at work but you need to know" is never good.  My sweet, quiet, kind Grandma Leakey passed away suddenly.

That is three grandparents since the end of January.  The other two were expected, they had been ill and you could see them going downhill.  This one - she drove herself to the cottage on the weekend and spent the day with us - has taken us all by surprise.  Still no details, my Dad promised to call when he knew more....I'm home now, sitting here in shock.

RIP Grandma Hazel, may you find peace in Grandpa's arms as he was waiting for you - I'm sure of it.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

And it poured, and poured, and poured

So a quick update.  Caleb's surgery went fine, all healed and raring to go again.  My Dad is doing fine, slowly but surely making a full recovery.  What threw us all for a loop was that on the Friday (Dad was Wednesday, Caleb was Thursday) my Uncle Michael ended up on the table as well for a triple by-pass!  So three surgeries in three days...  but he is recovering well.

Other than that we spent a great (but rather cold temperature-wise) weekend at the cottage - my kids went with my brother and his girlfriend for this week and DH and I will go to their home on the weekend to collect them back.  Only took them 7.5 hours on Monday to get home, so cross your fingers we make it faster with it being a Saturday afternoon instead of a Monday of a long weekend.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One down, one to go....

Dad is out of surgery and recovering well (so far).  Thank you for all the prayers, kind thoughts and up is Caleb....tonsils come out tomorrow!

Monday, July 22, 2013

When it rains, it pours....

I've been lack in updating everyone.  2013 has been a year I do not care to repeat and things are not getting any better.  This week (July 21-27), sees two people I love very much undergoing surgery.  My Dad will be having his prostate removed due to cancer on Wednesday and Thursday my littlest man will be having his tonsils removed.  So, I will try my best to come and update everyone on what transpires, but if you don't hear from me, please assume no news is good news!

Friday, June 14, 2013


On Tuesday, my coworker and I traveled to the "big city" of Toronto for the OPTA AGM.  It was a long day with train rides at both ends of the day but I have been thinking a lot lately about the key note speaker's main point.  10-80-10   everything in life can be broken up into the top 10%....80% in the middle, and the bottom 10%.  Here is what he has on his website:

The 10-80-10 Principle®

The 10-80-10 Principle® is a framework that allows you to increase your performance and results by focusing your energy and efforts on highest yielding activities. The Principle was created by Sunjay Nath and it help individuals and teams operate at a dynamic level.
Every person or group already exhibits behaviors that are Top 10 (percent) – those behaviors that lead to high performance and achievement. What people lack is the knowledge to consistently operate at that dynamic Top 10 level. The 10-80-10 Principle® rewards and grows Top 10 behaviors and eliminates Bottom 10 actions. (He also has a book on this....)

What really struck me with this was his example of how he applied  the principle to his own life and by increasing his effort in his top 10% by walking more, and not focusing time, money or effort into his bottom 10% - eating out at McDonald's, he was about to slowly lose weight and get healthy.  Trying to get healthy is not hard work, stop focusing on the bottom and focus on the top.  And the example of those that decide they need to get healthy and spend more and more time on counting points/calorie etc really struck home.  When I'm not counting every calorie I eat, I stay the same or slowly lose.  As soon as I start keeping tracking and having a "calorie goal" each day I see the weight start creeping up.

So my point for my post today - I'm focusing on the top 10% and the other 90% can flounder on their own.  No more counting, calculating or more scales, just focusing on the top 10% (eating great tasting, fresh foods and being active as much as possible) and enjoying the summer.

Monday, June 03, 2013

We lost another Grandparent...

Thank you to my cousin Melanie for this great photo of Grandpa.  We have many amazing memories....playhouse made out of an old hay wagon, which he then used to start the bunk house at the cottage....water-skiing attempts every year until the last few and of course the cardinal rule of no ball-caps in the cottage or the peak gets cut off! 

May he be looking down and smiling on us as we worked at the cottage yesterday and the great grand-kids spent 2+ hours in the lake.

Grandpa's Obituary can be read here.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 the time is flying!

It never ceases to amaze me how fast time can go by, while we think the days are dragging along.  The start of 2013 (as I've said before) has not started out the best, and as much as we move on and forward, something keeps pulling me back.  This month I may find closure as we lay my grandmother to rest in her final resting place, in a beautiful country cemetery, beside her infant daughter that was a twin to my aunt which she lost when she was only days old.  We will do this, surrounded only by family before completing a celebration of her life in the local legion with our communities around us.

But, the weather has warmed up nicely here, and I'm enjoying the warmer weather which also brings FOOTBALL to our house - three times a week.  Curt is coaching the senior team this year, Cameron is playing for him.  And little mighty mouse Caleb is playing for the junior team.  Here are a couple of shots one of the other moms took at practice last week...

This one is Caleb tackling his friend Brady...

And to put mighty mouse in perspective, Caleb is number 49 on the left of the photo...

And both teams won their first games this past weekend so we are hoping for a great season.  I'm sure pictures of the senior team will be coming - the junior coach was snapping away as the seniors played after the juniors.

And the playground fundraising continues....two major things this month - it is the last month to order from Regal (Camden East Playground Fundraiser) and have a large percentage of the purchase amount come to us as a donation, this will end on the 31st.  And we have partnered with the Children's Ministries from the local church and will be hosting a Talent(less) Show, Silent Auction and BBQ on May 31st in the village of Camden East.  If you are looking for something to do that Friday night, come out and see what we have been up to!  And if you would like to come and lend your talent to the show, or have something you would like to donate to the silent auction, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.  Email us if you would like more details at:  curt underscore reb at hotmail dot com

Thursday, April 04, 2013

I so needed to read this...

 There are days when I'm home with my boys, that I wish I was at work - and days at work that I wish I was at home, with my boys.  Talk about conflicting emotions!  But, I have a friend who sent me a link and I totally understand where this Dad is coming from.  To read what I'm talking about visit this blog entry by a Dad - To the Parents of small children...

I have tried a number of times to "freeze time" in my  mind.  The last time my youngest was super sick and all he wanted to do was curl up with Mom and snuggle for hours, I at that time was more worried about what I was feeding everyone for supper or that the laundry was done in the dryer and had to be folded and put away RIGHT NOW.  I did sit, we ate grilled cheese for supper and I had to turn the dryer on again for a few minutes the next day to get the wrinkles out of everything.  Now that both my boys are older I try to find little pockets of time to do things with them...I know they won't remember the big things but I hope the little things hang in there.

And I'm not the only one today...I just spied this on my reader feed...Love Notes From the Littles so it must just be the time of year or the weather or something....

Monday, April 01, 2013

April Fool's...

Every year I'm "the fool"...literally.  I always think, this year will be different, this year my family will do something to make me feel special on my birthday....well, I need to learn to not expect anything. I also understand that at times, money is a factor and I completely understand that, my DH did make me dinner but I thought my boys might be at an age where they talked Daddy into helping make cupcakes or something.  But enough of a pity party, I'm a year older and I'm determined to enjoy this year as much as I can, taking time for myself as I see fit and needed.  The first step was booking holidays for a week in May, with nothing planned but time for me!  No work, the kids are in school and my husband is working a few days in the middle of that week as well.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

Other than the "Easter" mice eating the chocolate eggs I had stored in the basement, this morning was beautiful, the kids are having sugar for breakfast which should make church later an interesting adventure!

Enjoy your time with family and friends today.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Weekend


Just popping in to wish everyone a Hoppy Easter!  Today started with a lovely Good Friday walk with our local parish which was just what I needed, fresh air, beautiful scripture and a wonderful start to the long weekend.
Home to make a quiche for supper and some cupcakes for the potluck tomorrow.  Tomorrow is a potluck and dramatic performance at the church in the evening - Cameron is in the production so we will be headed there.  Sunday is morning worship and then supper at my in-laws.

I hope everyone gets to have a relaxing weekend as well...a stitching update is coming soon!  Working on a couple of gifts that once gifted can be shared.

And I've always believed in a higher being, but this year seems to be pulling me closer to Him.  So this Easter...

The sleepy colors of winter
Fade fast in the dawn of spring.
The joy of Easter's promise,
Delivers sweet reason to sing

Refreshed from her snowy slumber,
Mother Earth exalts her worth.
In a colorful burst of glory,
She blazons her wondrous rebirth

Renew your spirit, refresh your soul,
Rejoice with all humankind.
Celebrate life everlasting.
Peace and wonder are yours to find.

The blessing of the Lord
be upon you...
Psalms 129:8

* * * * *

May the glory
and the promise
of this joyous time of year
Bring peace
and happiness to you
and those you hold most dear,

And may Christ,
Our Risen Saviour,
always be there by your side
To bless you
most abundantly
and be your loving guide.

Monday, March 11, 2013

"The Best Ever Blueberry Muffins" as long as you like doing dishes!

I need to get back to my blog, little snippets of life for everyone to see.  

It has been a very hard year so kids have been sick with a variety of things but the hardest part was losing my beloved Grandma at the end of January.  She is the one who took the time to teach me how to sew, knit, cross stitch and bake.  I can remember going to her house after school and helping mix up batch after batch of cookie dough - and getting to sample both the dough and the final product.

On weekends I have been attempting to bake more.  I'm sure my waistline won't be impressed but it makes me feel closer to Grandma for even an hour while I'm stirring and baking.  Here is the one I tackled this weekend.  I have cut and pasted it below, but here is the direct link to the post I pulled it from:  A Cook's Quest

Best Ever Blueberry Muffins


Blueberry Muffins
Recipe Source: Modified slightly from my friend Anisha who got it originally from Cook's Illustrated

**Cook's note-These muffins can be flavored with any variety of fruits and toppings.  Using the muffin recipe as a base for any flavor you like!**

Edited 12/24/11--Add your butter gradually if you decide to do the streusel topping.  More or less may be needed depending on the humidity in your area to create a nice crumbly topping.  If you find it is too soft add more flour to achieve the consistency you need.

Sugar Topping

1/3 cup (21/3 ounces) sugar 
1½ teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon

Streusel Topping
3 T white sugar
3 T brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
5 T melted butter

2 cups (or less if you are me!) fresh blueberries, picked over
1 1/8 cups  plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 1/2 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

If topping with lemon sugar, stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.

  If topping the muffins with streusel, combine ingredients until it is the size of peas and set aside.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. If your oven cooks on the hot side normally, reduce the heat.  Some people have commented that 425 was too hot.  I would recommend getting a thermometer for your oven if you aren't sure.  

Prepare standard muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or liners. Bring 1 cup blueberries, water,  and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with your potato masher or fork several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced by about half.  This will take about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk remaining sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and well combined. Slowly mix in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not over mix.)

Using a cookie scoop or large spoon, divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar or streusel evenly over muffins.

Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.
All I have to say is they were amazing, but I'm not sure the number of dishes I needed to wash after the final product was done was worth it...glad I have a dishwasher for the majority of them! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bring it on

I've be lax in posting, only because I've always been told if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

My year hasn't gotten off to a great start.  My beloved Grandma Nash passed away the 27th of January, I spent most of that weekend in the hospital, holding her hand and making her as comfortable as possible.  I felt blessed to hear her say, "Goodbye, my love" one last time.  I was not with her when she passed but by myself in a hotel room, where I was spending the night before a flight out for a week away at a work conference the next morning.

The Wednesday of the week I was away, my Dad had a knee replacement, all went fine and he is slowly gaining mobility.  My boys were home with their Dad, but I felt bad that my husband had to deal with this while I was away.

I arrived home to a huge snowstorm, took me an hour to clear the rental off!  See the photo attached.

Caleb came down with strep throat two weeks ago and did a round of antibiotics...and today we were back at the doctors and now we are battling croup and bronchitis.

....things can only get better from here....