Saturday, August 31, 2013

Raise the Roof

...or I should say Shingle the Roof. Today the kids and I (Conrad was working) headed out to my BIL and SIL's place to help them shingle their garage. I'm not much of a heights person but I've been up on our roof when my BIL helped us with our shingles a few years ago and I survived so I thought I could try it again.

The morning was super HOT, like dripping sweat and barely able to lift up the black shingles sweat. It was awesome-I love HOT. I especially love hot days when it is this close to September. It's like a little gift of Summer right before Fall's cooler temperatures arrive. It was hot.

These clouds are deceiving because they didn't really offer any relief from the sun and when the day started there wasn't much of a breeze. It was hot and sticky awesomeness. Kaden started out on the roof but quickly realized that keeping his cousins busy with Kiandra and Kezia was a much easier (and cooler!) way to help out.

We stripped off the old shingles all morning and then my BIL started laying the new shingles while the girls worked on the other side. We took a break for a yummy pizza lunch and then it was back to work.

Shortly after we were back to work...the clouds started to roll in which I think helped us to work a little quicker ;) The cloud cover helped make it a bit cooler too and a slight breeze was also helping too.

and then around 5:00, we were done! House completed the day before and garage today. Kiandra photo bombed Pam's after photo that she took just as it started spitting. Perfect timing.

We arrived home just in time for Kiandra to pack for her babysitting job....and I was glad to have the evening to veg out and recover from a day of squatting.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fortunately, Unfortunately

Fortunately, the girls have been racking up the babysitting hours this week.
Unfortunately, today's job was one where the Dad couldn't pick them up because he can't fit all the kids and the girls in his car (and the Mom had the van) and so I had to drive them there for just after 8:00am.

Fortunately, this meant I was out of the house and on my way to school to get things done.
Unfortunately, it means that 8:36 is the longest I slept in this entire summer.

Fortunately, McDonald's still has their "only a dollar, all summer" iced coffees available.
Unfortunately, just like summer, this is coming to an end.

Fortunately, I was able to stop at Dollarama to pick up the last of the items I needed
Unfortunately, after I got to school I realized I was still missing something and will have to make 1 more stop there before next week.

Fortunately, I work with good people and awesome families
Unfortunately, many of them were there today and stopped by to chat. This means I didn't accomplish as much as I wanted to.

Fortunately, it's a slow ease in week and with the kids away on a youth retreat next weekend, I should be able to get the rest done before the first official week.
Unfortunately, I hate feeling "behind" on the first day.

Fortunately, the new principal helped clarify things in my schedule for the coming year.
Unfortunately, despite many "ela" reminders, he keeps calling me Pam. Grr!

Fortunately, he doesn't seem to be offended when I remind him every time.
Unfortunately, we have a new teacher named Pamela starting in September and I don't want to be the one to have to go by "Pam". I think we can both be "Pamela"s since that is our name.

Fortunately, there are way worse inconveniences at work
Unfortunately, I am kind of petty in this area :)

Fortunately, I did get some stuff done in the 7 hours I was at school.
Unfortunately, it was all in the non-airconditioned school and it was a hot one today.

Fortunately, I had an air-conditioned ride home
Unfortunately, when I got home the girls had still not arrived.

Fortunately, we were invited for supper by my BIL and SIL
Unfortunately, they got home so late that we didn't make it.

Fortunately, my BIL and SIL did make progress on their shingling endeavour
Unfortunately, by the time we would have gone out there, the job would have basically been done.

Fortunately, the girls and I were able to head out to the mall because Kiandra still owed Kezia a pair of shoes for wearing Kezia's on set when she couldn't find hers.
Unfortunately, the nicest pair we found was not available in Kezia's size.

Fortunately, there was a pair at a different store and we got a $6 off coupon for our trouble to get there.
Unfortunately, we have to make an extra trip to get there.

Fortunately, we were home in time to head to bed at an early hour
Unfortunately, we all needed it!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Conrad's mom has been experiencing health issues for the last while. After many, many, many, tests they determined that it was her heart that was the issue. Mom did not want surgery. At. All. Even with one of the tests revealed that it was her one valve that was the issue and the cause of her tiredness and other concerns. It was decided that surgery was necessary and that the sooner the surgery was, the better it would be.

Conrad drove her to some pre-op tests about a week ago and then Mom and Dad waited for the call to come with the surgery date. It came. Surgery was scheduled for Tuesday, August 27. Calls were made, messages for church bulletins were delivered, Conrad's sister came out from Alberta, it would seem that everything was falling into place. Mom arrived as requested on Tuesday morning. Although her initial time was 9:30, she didn't go into surgery until almost 2:00.

From what I understand, it's standard procedure to redo a test before actually beginning the surgery just to be sure that things are the same. So they did. But things had changed. The new test  showed that things were not nearly as bad as the pervious test had indicated. The doctors couldn't believe it. The new results showed that surgery would not be necessary. Praise the Lord.

When we visited today, (they were keeping her to run a few more tests), I couldn't resist snapping this picture of the white board by her bed:

Surgery Aborted. 

Tests revealed no cause for the anomaly. What is so amazing is that it was so obvious that Mom did not want to have surgery and God found a way to make that happen.

They released Mom from the hospital late this afternoon without any new news besides the fact that the new round of tests revealed nothing that hinted of the damage that had shown up in the first test. Now the waiting begins for the next round of tests to determine what exactly IS causing the issues and what can be done to remedy it. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hair Today

The long "to-do" list of things I need to do before school starts got a little shorter today when I checked off "get hair done" from my list.




and done! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Love this boy

Hard-working, funny, kind, athletic, big heart, and makes his own breakfast. ;)

We've been spending lots of time together, me and my son. With the girls doing their camp thing or babysitting it's the two of us left behind. I love this boy.

Today, we hung out in the morning and then I drove him to play in his friend's pool for the afternoon and then when I picked him up, the friend came over for the night. I think Kaden is getting used to being the only child around the house...

Monday, August 26, 2013

on this leg of the race...

As we enter this final week before school starts, we are all entering new challenges and road blocks....

Kiandra and Kezia are gearing up for (and planning like crazy--they are their mother's daughters!!) for a three day and 2 night babysitting job for a 5 year old and a 1 year old. They have micro-planned each day (see the clip board!!) and have planned visits to the library, a park, ice cream shop, multiple playgrounds, a city bus ride to the zoo (??!!), wading pool, Tim Horton's, and craft and cooking experiences. They left at 8:00 this morning.

I was at school today for an all day inservice to learn about our school's new online program that will be used for attendance, report cards, and other amazing stuff. :) It appears like it will be a bit more work in the short term but worth it in the long term. I am less than thrilled with the new classroom pages but I'm hoping there's a way to keep the old least for now.

Kaden didn't have to spend the entire day by himself because he was invited to a birthday party at the new indoor trampoline park. After a few hours of bouncing, he accepted the challenge of downing a 5 guys meal.

In the evening, we watched our favourite Monday night show-Amazing Race- as a family. Conrad, Kaden, and I in our basement:

and Kiandra and Kezia instagramed their view from where they were babysitting. Kezia had run out after the kids were in bed to get slurpees--a perfect reward for completing day 1 :)

Conrad did leave half way through to visit with his Mom before she goes for heart surgery tomorrow.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Basement Rec Room

This is what our basement rec room looked like in October 2011:

2 smaller rooms with paper thin brown carpet, zero lighting (except that tiny fixture) and old wall paper (check out where it is coming off the walls between the love seat and tv).

View from the other side--notice the former built in shelves that we used for games and magazines:
We removed the door and frame:

Took down the wall:

and if you've been following our adventure for the last 2 years, you've seen some of the progress changes. Our most recent addition was a "new to us" couch, love seat, and chair that we bought on kijiji. It still isn't exactly the colour we had wanted but the price was perfect and it will serve the purpose. is what the same space from the photos above looks like right now:

It's a pretty amazing transformation. I can hardly believe the before photos because it looks so amazingly different than what it looked like before. We have just a few tiny things left before we can finally say that it is actually finished.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Let there be light Kiandra's room!

Kiandra wanted a chandelier in her room for her light fixture in her bedroom. A few weeks ago, we thought we had found the perfect fixture for Kiandra's room at Ikea. However, it was too low and we ended up returning it. Since I'd really like the basement to be complete before school starts I decided to look around for a different fixture yesterday. I had found a few online that might have worked but I wasn't wanting to spend a couple hundred dollars on a chandelier for a teen's bedroom. I thought I would look at a few thrift stores and maybe luck out on one I could paint. I also thought I'd check out our local restore where you can buy used and discounted items. Imagine my surprise to find a pallet of these:

and the price?? $25.00!

This evening Conrad replaced this fixture:

 that has been hanging like this for the past month and a half...
 with the new chandelier:
 Ta da!

I think Kiandra will be surprised when she gets home tomorrow!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Date Night

So, the kids were invited for a last minute-hope-you-can-make-it camping trip with their 3 very good friends. (Yes, this family has a girl Kiandra's age, a girl Kezia's age, and a boy Kaden's age--AND they are all friends!) Anyway, with some minor scheduling adjustments it was a go and so off they went on their camping adventure. Conrad and I found ourselves alone for the weekend. We decided to go out for dinner this evening-late this evening because Conrad worked until almost 7:30. I had found a coupon for the fondue restaurant that expires next month and so we went there. I left my camera and my phone at home so the only shots I have from last night are from Conrad's instagram:

Cheese fondue with french bread for an appetizer-yum!

and our main dish was breaded chicken and teriyaki beef cooked in oil and served with thai veggies and baked potato for Conrad and rice pilaf for me. The dips/sauces (my favourite thing!) were honey dill, steak sauce, and peanut.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Making a Racquet

We tried something new as a family today as we try and take full advantage of our fitness club membership. We booked an indoor tennis court and "played" tennis. Honestly, only Conrad knows how to play and the rest of us just tried our best to get it over the net but it was fun to try. Here are some pics of our afternoon:

Kiandra's instragram post:

Kezia's instagram post:

Then we made a different kind of racket when my nephew came over for supper and a sleepover. My cousin Lori and I made our own racket as we walked and talked and stopped for frozen yogurt along the way:

I'd say the 9.86 km was covered just about worked off our froyo treats! ;)

The last racket of the day was the grunting and groaning that Conrad and I did while trying to get this couch, love seat, and chair (that he got all in one load!!) out of his van and into the house. We bought the set for the basement on kijiji and although it's not exactly the colour we were hoping for, the price was right and it will be good to have the extra seating in the rec room.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Classroom to do list:

I spent the better part of today at school getting my classroom ready for a new year. Usually by this time I have spent a few full days there and so I am feeling a bit behind. I have so much to do in the next 2 weeks.

Today, I:
*Spent some time and organized my bookshelves (still a little bit to do)
*Brought all the supplies I have bought to school
*Wiped down my counters and tables
*Affixed new labels to my hooks
*Photocopied "September" morning routine books
*washed all my scissors (Grade 1s are so gross using them to cut open yogurt and then justputting them back in the basket-gross!)
*Put some books into the storage room
*Printed an "owl" about letter to include in these "welcome to Grade 1" cards
*Located the addresses to send out these cards
*Looked up the times for the start up conferences and realized ALL my parents had already signed up (that's a good sign that they are all on the ball this year!)
*Wrote out half of the cards and got them ready to mail.
*Visited with some of my amazing coworkers.
*Got roped into attending a full day inservice next week (but in exchange, I'll get a day off during the year)
*Let my room looking like this:

Still to do:

*finish and mail out cards
*Print, label, and laminate desk name tags (the lab was not available today to do this)
*Put markers, pencil, crayons, and erasers out
*Check to make sure the pencils I ordered came in (and scramble to order some if they didn't)
*Put up "Welcome to Grade 1" bulletin board
*Dollarama trip for-velcro to attach my name tags to desks, canvases for painting on the first day of school, magnets, and some prizes for my reading box
*When the labels that I asked for are done, I need to attach them to my hooks, journals, twas books, poetry books, and working on writing books.
*update classroom webpage
*Write birthdays on the birthday wall
*Sign up for library and computer times
*Finish organizing all the files I brought home and then bring back to school.
*Place a vista print order
*Organize math game bags to make sure pieces are back where they started
*Update smartboard calendar
*Photo copy notes to hand out at conferences (why you should read with your child, lunch ideas, and classroom routines)
*locate agendas and label them and binder clip them to the right spot
*assemble book orders to go home at the conferences

Phew! Lots to do yet....

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