Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Calendars

I have made family calendars for the past 8 years. I have hand made them and color copied them, I have tried Costco, a photo shop in a local mall, and an online photo shop that did 12x12" size. But I highly recommend if you decide to do one. Sign up with their website for their promotions and you'll get their coupons for between 20% and 35% off. If you order 5 or more of the same calendar, they are $9.99 each plus $3 S/H (before coupon). And they are super quality and you can choose a calendar with Canada dates. Here are the 2 that I made for gifts for this Christmas. LEAVE this post NOW if you are related to me! Just joking - no one related to me visits this blog. I made one for each side of the family. The first is for my husband's side. All of the pictures were taken at his niece's wedding. Fun to have such gorgeous photos to work with. The second is for my side of the family. My grandma sold her cottage this month and so I had to make a calendar full of lake memories. I didn't plan to make my mum cry on the first of every month of 2012, but I suspect that she will. I've printed some photos of the disgusting blue-green algae blooms for her to look at to remind her why it's not such a bad thing to try out some different vacation spots in the future.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Warning: Family Christmas Letter

Everett was added to a photo of our family at my niece's wedding (He wasn't able to attend the wedding).

I asked the family what they considered to be their highlight of 2011.

We had to prompt our 14 year old. Grayson agreed that he really did enjoy Scout Camp in the summer. That they always received mustard but no ketchup received much coverage as did the stop at Peter’s Drive-In in Calgary during the drive home.

Kepler responded with “my basketball game this morning. It was awesome!” His community league team had not led the whole game and with 17 seconds left, they were down by 1 point. Doug (the coach) called a T.O. After, Kep’s teammate passed the ball straight to the other team. [Groan!] Then Kepler intercepted the next pass [Yay!] and dribbled down but fumbled the ball [Oh, no!] but snatched it up just before it went out of bounds. He then made a basket [Hurrah!] and his team joyously mobbed him.

Everett quickly replied with “remember that time that I took money to get Skittles from the vending machine but punched the numbers in wrong and I got crackers and cheese instead? Chortle. Guffaw.” That was the highlight of your year, Everett? Funny kid.

After careful consideration, Sabine chose her first day of grade one. She was excited to load her backpack with her supplies, choose from her new clothes, and find her desk in her new classroom. Her best friend phoned to arrange that the two of them wear matching outfits: peacock shirts, cranberry jeggings and hot pink beanies for that first day. All of my babies are in school!

When Doug was in grade four he did a report on the Great Barrier Reef. It was the first time that he had even heard of a reef and he was fascinated. The highlight of this year was spending an afternoon snorkeling off the coast of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef, en route to a conference in Brisbane, Australia.

I’m going to choose the Bayly family reunion at my grandma’s cottage at Pigeon Lake. My youngest brother’s wife planned it and it was so fun! She recreated all of the holidays: the kids opened Christmas stockings the first morning, hunted for Easter eggs, visited a haunted house and trick-or-treated to the rooms in the cottage, and blew out candles on cupcakes that they decorated. Canada Day celebrations included a street hockey game and the most enjoyable water fight of all time. If every wife had the chance to pelt her in-laws with saturated sponge balls I can only imagine that the world would be a more satisfied place. Just kidding, In-laws.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Professional Health Care Worker

I only set professions for the first half of 2011 and it shows in my lack of posts and accomplishments. All of my children started full day school in September and I really have nothing to show for it... if you don't count reading a lot more books than I used to. Hmm... maybe I was a librarian for September! Tee hee. But it's important to me to look back with a positive attitude, so I have decided that I did work on health. I have improved my energy level, my attitude towards myself and life, and developed a peaceful way to deal with depression.
  1.  My energy level improved when I started fueling this body of mine. I started eating avocados (with salt and lime juice - YUM!) weekly and more fruit and veggies daily. I have been known to reach 4 pm wondering why I felt like having a nap and then realize that I hadn't had a meal yet that day. Silly me.
  2. Through conscious effort I have managed to curb the stream of negative thoughts in my head. I was waking up in the mornings to the thought "you are failing as a mother". Like, that thought was what woke me up from sleep. Not a nice way to start the day and I felt like I had no control over it because it came from my subconsciousness. But I do have control over it, as I learned from a very interesting book by Byron Katie. She has a very interesting philosophy about how to train our minds. I had to start telling myself positive things when I was conscious of it, and that gave my subconscious positive material to work with. Our minds are very powerful.
  3. In November I had about 1 week of depression. Nothing unusual for me but I was so pleased with how I handled it. I took control of it. Did you ever have that experience as a child where you realized that you were in charge of your dream and you were able to alter it? I did when I was four years old - I remember telling a big monster as he stormed down my street toward me that I knew he was just a dream and I didn't believe in him. His shoulders slumped and he turned around and trundled away. I felt so powerful! This November, instead of just drowning under the tide of depression, I managed to tread water. I accepted that I was sick and that it wasn't my fault. I indulged in watching funny shows and reading wonderful books. I focused on getting supper on the table each night which helped keep my spirits up unlike the guilt and negative speak that my mind would provide when I didn't even do that for my family. And then when I woke up one morning with an interest in life again, I just stepped back in where I had left off.
So, likely this was not an interesting read for you, but I needed to get it written down so that I could look back on it to remind myself of the truths that I have found. Now to plan my professions for 2012. I'm thinking of choosing a life skill to focus on each month so that by the end of 2012 I will have 12 new habits.