Sunday, October 19, 2014

say cheese

It's that time of year again! School pictures. They have been taken and the proofs returned, with mixed results. One loves them, the other one is kind of meh with a titch of "I don't like them" thrown in for good measure. As for me, I like them both just fine and we have all managed to come to an agreement on which pose to purchase, so now it's just what package do we buy?

The package I normally buy runs us about $70ish (for both kids) and it allows us to have an 8x10 for the living room wall and all the grandparents to have a 5x7 and then there are bunch of smaller sizes that barely get used. In fact, if I am being completely honest with you, the 8x10 from last year's pictures never actually made the switch into the frame. Bad Mommy, I know.

The more I looked at the packages the more annoyed I got. There is really no economical way around school pictures. If I was looking for one 8x10 and four 5x7's at the minimum, just that alone would cost me as much as buying the package where I end up with a bunch of unnecessary prints. The waste bothers me as much as the cost in case you're wondering. It's no secret that my kids are enjoying a well documented childhood. I have no less than 3,000 pictures on my phone right now and probably a good 75% of those are of their adorable faces and yet I feel this compulsion to spend a ridiculous amount of money on these pictures that are really just okay.

So I'm not doing it. I know! Bad Mommy, again. I am going to buy the $14 pack of magnets, one for us, the rest for the grandparents. Every Christmas brings them a calendar full of  beautiful pictures of the whole family which is where I'd rather spend my school pictures savings.I'm  moderately certain my kids won't be scarred for life if they reach adulthood without an overflowing envelope of unused school pictures (which I totally have somewhere in my closet).

How do you feel about school pictures?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

going to the chapel

Things got wee bit cray cray here the other night. It all started when both girls hollered for me to come upstairs. I found both standing in my room with their hands full of slowly yellowing white satin and huge grins on their face. "Look what we found!!!!"

My wedding dress.

 It's just been chilling in the back of my closet for the past eighteen years. They took turns trying it on, but wouldn't let me take pictures. Abby, being almost as tall as me, fit into it a little better than Maya, who was pretty much drowning in all that material. Of course they had a zillion questions..... Why are these shoulders so big. It's so heavy, how did you wear this all day? I'm already sweating, was it really hot when you got married? (FYI It was. So. Hot.) And then......


Hey Mom, you should try it on. Ummm. I stalled. This could be very good for the ole ego or really horrible. In the end I was kind of curious myself. In the past eighteen years I've had a couple of kids, gained some weight, lost some, gained, lost..... you get the idea.


All I can say is phew...... my ego was saved. On *and* zipped up.


You certainly don't see dresses like this on Say Yes to the Dress.

Monday, October 13, 2014

happy thanksgiving

We spent the weekend in the very best way, with family and turkey and dessert. There were walks on the trail with a drunken toddler. Gosh I forgot how long it takes you to walk even a short distance when the little ones have to check out every rock, stick and pebble along the way. Good thing the World's Cutest Nephew has me totally under his charm. There were multiple hands of Apples to Apples and even more hands of Cards Against Humanity once the little ones were safely tucked into bed. My sides are still hurting from the laughing. There were books to read to the World's Cutest Nephew..... and that may have been the only time he sat still all weekend. Little boys are busy, yo! There were stories and laughs to share, dogs to walk, a Gord Bamford concert to squeeze in, a barn to tour, sleepovers to have, breakfast to share, multiple cups of coffee to share, besties to catch up with and Seinfeld to watch. I am so thankful for weekends just like this. For the beautiful people who make up my life and fill my heart. For all of the parents who love us and our kids so very much. For brothers and sisters and friends who most certainly have become family. For days full of plans and jammie days. For good books and family nights. For volunteering and volunteering friends and bloggy friends I've never met. For chocolate cake and pumpkin pie.... oh wait.... not pumpkin pie because, blerg! I m thankful for all the little things that round out this lovely little life we've made here. I hope you all had a lovely weekend as well.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

ribbons for everyone

Another bit of fair fun... the whole family entered items to be judged at the fair. I'm not going to lie the night before the entry drop off was Ka Ray Zee! Abby was heavy into the baking this year, we turned the oven on as soon as we got home and I think I finally turned it off at about midnight because Michael was also into the baking this year.
On a whim he decided to try and bake a coffee cake and wouldn't you know it he won first place and $10 for his troubles. Mike also tried his hand at penmanship, folk art painting and antiques and walked away with a cool $18 over all. Maya entered some bits of artsy type things, like a Canada Day door decoration (first place!), a piece of her pottery, some paintings and she has a $24 pay day coming to her. Abby got to enter in both the School Fair and the Junior department this year! She baked up cookies, brownies, two kinds of biscuits, and rice krispie squares. As well she entered lots of photographs, some drawings, a very kick ass Canadian Adventure story (starring my girl TC that took 1st place!!) and some other artsy stuff and she came away with $40 Me, I was very happy and proud to take first place in a photo category that was in memory of a friend's father. I baked a tiny bit in amongst Mike and Abby hogging the oven and I kicked Mike's butt in penmanship! Well okay I only scored a 5th, but he didn't place at all, so I can totally do that.
The four of us had a lot of fun checking out how we all did with our projects. It was a little chaotic getting it all ready, but I'm really glad we took the time. Can't wait for next year. Have you ever entered something in a fair?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

seeing stars

In the midst of Abby's horse show during the fair the local news showed up to film some live, on location stuff for the news at noon. They interviewed some key fair related people as well as Jenna Rae and Stuart Walker, the brother and sister duo that make up The Reklaws a up and coming country music act that were performing at the fair.


Abby had some down time when they filmed The Reklaws' segment and before I knew it she was front and center at the rail watching them sing. Mom, they are so great can we go see them play? I promised her we could.


Saturday night found Abby and I down at the main stage for her first live music experience where we ran into one of my best cousin friends. Abby was absolutely beside her self with excitement. She kept telling everyone it was her first concert! True to Abby's word, The Reklaws were great! They played a lot of covers and really knocked them out of the park. Their original stuff was fantastic as well. Mike ended up joining us part way through the show and he was an instant fan as well. So the show as a live music experience was really great and that would have been enough. Abby got to clap and cheer and sing-a-long to a bunch of songs she knew, but then they took a short break and Abby asked me if she could buy a CD.

Now here's where it gets cool......

The day before I wasn't really paying attention to the lady who fell in love with Star at the horse show. She told Grandma Sandi how much her kids would love to ride him and so on.... her kids........ none other than The Reklaws. When Abby went to ask about CD's the very nice lady said, hey you're the girl from yesterday with the horse! So they had a little chat and Abby found out the CD's were $8. Mike took her back to buy one and this happened.....


With many thanks to our friend Michelle, The Abster got to meet these wonderfully talented folks who were happy to pose for a picture, sign a shirt and her CD. They took the time to tell her she was beautiful and that they needed more people like her in their lives. It goes without saying that she was over the moon for days.... still is over the moon. She sings Reklaw songs all the time and those few moments cemented the Revills as being Reklaw (and Michelle) fans for life.

Check them out on the itunes.

*hat tip to my pal TQ for the photo

Thursday, September 25, 2014

saddle up

When you commit to join a 4H club the outline is fairly simple, you take part in the meetings which usually work out to six, two hour meetings and you wrap up with your achievement day. In our photography club, for example, achievement day was judging day at the fair. The kids had to submit pictures on the chosen topics which we then had judged. For Glee Club the kids put on a performance for their invited guests. You get the general idea.

Abby recently completed her first 4H horse club and achievement day required her to participate in a horse show. Now if you know Abby you know that this caused much anxiety and almost kept her from signing up for the club at all. The week before the show, which was taking place the Friday morning of the fair, she was a bundle of nerves wondering just how she was going to pull it off and fairly certain that the whole experience was going to be the opposite of fun.


We had to scramble a bit to put together a suitable show outfit, many thanks to Grandma Sandi for the clothes and the alterations and Sarah for the loan of the jacket, but in the end we got her looking right spiffy. Of course none of it would be possible if not for one of the club leaders trailering the world's most fantastic pony Star over to the fairgrounds!


Abby remained uncertain through the show on the subject of whether or not she was having fun. Horse shows, I am quickly learning, are a lot of hurry up and wait. So there was much down time, which Abby spent practicing when she could and Star spent grazing on all that delicious grass right at his feet when he could.


By the end of the day Abby had racked up two fourths, a fifth and a sixth (and I scored a wicked sun/wind burn) and, despite her thinking to the contrary, had a fabulous time and is fairly certain she's going to join the club again next year. It goes without saying how proud we are that she was able to have fun despite the nerves. Abby's experience that day really cemented what I find so fantastic about 4H as an organization. She was in a group of her peers where she's making lasting friendships, where she was supported and encouraged to do her best by her leaders and her fellow club members, and she left with a true feeling of accomplishment and increased confidence in herself. Win, win, win.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014


If we're friends on facebook or you're following me on instagram and/or twitter... and really, why wouldn't you be?..... then you know that I spent last Thursday posting an hourly photo to document one of my biggest volunteer days of the year.... judging day at the fair. Well, truly, it was almost hourly. There were a couple hours in there where I kind of lost track of the time as we put the finishing touches on everything.

The pictures probably don't do the amount of work it is justice, but trust me when I say it is so so so much work. This I where I excel as a leader (I think, kinda, sorta), I surround myself with the very best people and I delegate, delegate, delegate. I am so lucky to have such an amazing committee at my disposal. Ladies that create beautiful displays out of the incredible art work the kids submit. Ladies that organize my paper work for me. Guys to lug the heavy stuff and work the power tools. Members who record hundreds of lines of data by hand and attach hundreds of ribbons. Fine folks who help me handle, literally, thousands of pieces of art work including that blasted lego which is so fun and lovely to look at, but gives me an anxiety attack when I have to move it. I may or may not have spent part of Thursday re-building lego projects. I pray to God I got it back together correctly, my apologies if I was off by a block or two. We tackled some big projects this year, new skirting and updating some cabinets with fresh paint and again I had lovely folks to help me get these done as well. I do this because I never get enough of seeing how excited the kids are to see their work up on the walls and out on the tables and I appreciate the team that enjoys it all with me. It's a lot of work, yes, but when you have such a fun group and share as many laughs as we do, well it hardly seems like work at all.

Outside of that work is the rest of my life that I need to keep going while I work on this and I cannot do that without family and friends. Grandmas who fold my towels and get my kids to and from school and riding lessons. Grandmas who let me drop my kiddos off on nights where there is another work bee. Kids who pitch it at work bees and put up with toast and eggs for dinner and laundry that never gets folded. My family (Mom, Linda, Dad, Linda, Mike, Abby & Maya) who are active committee members for months helping put this together. Many thanks go to Mike who's cooking more dinners, signing more agendas, making more lunches and trying to help out with more homework while I buried myself in pre-fair preparations and now post-fair paperwork. If you need me I'll be tied to my laptop for the foreseeable future.

There are my fair friends who help me out when they can and pop by and say hi or the building looks great. Ones who loan the use of their horse trailer so Abby gets her club achievement. Ones that borrow space and who are kind in ways I never expect just because they can be. Friends that work just as hard as I do on their committees getting their area of the fair ready, but are still ready with a smile and a joke. I spent this past weekend talking an interacting with these people in a way I never have before. I was happier, more relaxed and.... dare I say it.... even outgoing. It's something that strikes me after the moment has passed, just a second of wow, how did I get to be this person while knowing that all of them and all of this has played it's part. This whole gig just sort of worked it's way naturally into my lap and I am so grateful it did.