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Kids…

My girls make me giggle sometimes with some of the things that they say and do.

The other night, we’re having dinner with my in-laws.  Bel was talking about males and females, but referring to them as boys and girls.  So she started talking about her male teacher (she has two teachers due to job sharing), and said that her “boy” teacher was really excited about the hockey game.  So my brother-in-law tried to teach her that she should use the word male instead of boy.  He says to Bel, “Are you sure he’s a boy?”  Bel looks at him and says “Yes, he’s a ‘boy’ just like you’re a ‘boy'” while using her fingers to show the quotation marks when she says “boy”.  LOL..reminds me of Joey from Friends who didn’t know how and when to use the quotation marks!

And then yesterday in the car, a driver cut us off and almost hit us.  Forgetting the kids were in the car, Wil yells “You Jackass!”.  Giggles come from the back, and Ori goes “Daddy, you said Jackass”.  Wil goes “Yes, I shouldn’t have said it…” and before he can finish his sentence, you hear a bit of a scuffle from the backseat and Ori says to Bel “Stop it you Jackass!”….sigh….let’s just say that two someones got a scolding…Wil told Ori to stop it, and I had to say something to Wil.  LOL…I still giggle when I think back to that little voice…

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I’ve been fairly inactive with scrapbooking for the past year and a half.  Unfortunately life has been crazy.  First with being a VERY active PAC member, spending all my free hours coordinating fundraising activities so that the school had enough money for a brand new playground structure (we did it!!).  Then with the ins and outs of a brand-new job.

Now that I finally have a little room to breathe, I’m finding that I’m getting the urge to scrapbook and create!  So during my lunch hours, I’ve been browsing websites to get those creative juices flowing.  In doing this, I found this site that you scrapbookers may be interested in.

Sketches in Thyme is a fabulous website that posts a different sketch every Thursday and offers challenges theirs readers to create and submit their layouts.  They are also currently looking for Design Team Members for May – August.  Click on the link to check it out!

http://sketchesinthyme.blogspot.com/2011/04/sketches-in-thyme-dt-call.html or posted below:

A Sketches in Thyme DT Call!!!

 
The 4 month term for our talented design team ends the end of April, and we are looking for new members to join our Sketches in Thyme design team! If you enjoy creating layouts from sketches, partipating in blogs and motivating others to take part in fantastic challenges, this might be your chance to be a part of our fantastic Design Team! Your term would run May-August, and you would be asked to complete 3 layouts per month. If you would like a chance to be considered, here’s what you need to do:
1-Create a new layout based on our sketch below.
2-Post about our DT call on your blog, along with your take on our sketch.
3-Leave a comment here telling us that you would like to be considered for the DT, along with a link to your blog post! 
The deadline for this call is April 22nd, and our new Design Team will be announced on April 28th! We look forward to seeing what you come up with!!
 

So their sketch inspired me to create a layout based on the above:

Sketches for Thyme – Design Team Layout

 I raided my stash for this particular project.  I find that pictures work better with different shades of colour, so though I had a recent purchase of Little Yellow Bicycle paper that is similar to the one above, the shade of blue just didn’t do the photo justice.   For the acrylic heart, it didn’t stand out enough on the page initially, so I painted it white with acrylic paint.  As I wanted the texture to stand out a bit, I used a stiff bristle brush to dab the paint on, rather than brush it (with strokes).  Then to really make it shine, I outlines with Stickles.

   

I wanted to emphasize the “cold” in the title so added snowflake punches layered together and then added a different colour Stickles for each layer.  

  

I also changed the sketch slightly so on the horizontal photo, I added snowflake rain drops to 3 corners of the picture instead of all to the side — mostly because when I added them to the side of the photo, it detracted from my daughter’s face, whereas doing it my way seemed to make it stand out more.

 

Here’s to more time for scrapbooking!

Spring Break

Whew…who knew that a week off at spring break would be so NOT relaxing. It’s been a week of playdates, dentist and eye appointments, a lot of shopping and 2 birthday dinners and a lunch. I think I need a week off to recover from having a week off!

Though it’s been crazy, I’ve really enjoyed some alone time with the kids. It’s been nice to spend time with them and just listening to the crazy things that they come up with.

Ori: “It doesn’t matter if we win or lose (the board game), as long as I win!”

Bel: “I’m NOT a girly girl” (as she wants a pair of BLACK Converse high-tops when I pointed out the pink ones)

Ori & Bel: “Awww…we never get to buy anything!” (coming right after the grandparents bought them each a teddy bear from Build-A-Bear)

Bel: “Grandpa will do anything I say if I ask him to…”

Yup…sometimes I truly wonder about them…

DISNEYLAND!!

Halloween, Disneyland, Mickey Mouse

2009 October Disneyland Trip

Yay! We took a family trip to Disneyland in October.  We didn’t tell the kids . . . they thought that I was going away with friends, and that they were just going to see me off at the airport.  Unfortunately, the agent that checked our tickets at security said “Going to Los Angeles . . .  so you must be going to see Mickey Mouse!”.  Oh well, so much for the surprise of just dragging them onto the plane with us!

We spent 6 days down in Anaheim.  Wil’s cousins, Nina and Mike, Nina’s sister Linda and friend Aileen met us down there for a few days.  We all had so much fun!  Though we didn’t go anywhere other than Disneyland, we still didn’t manage to see everything.  A lot of it was spent lining up to go on rides, or to take pictures with various characters. 

It’s funny how kids are though, and how different siblings can be.  Bel is quite timid and doesn’t want to do anything event remotely scary or thrilling in any way.  Ori on the hand loves anything fast and scary.  So it made going on rides quite a challenge.  In the end, I told Bel that she HAD to try everything at least ONCE!  So under much duress, she finally went on Space Mountain (which she hated, but Ori went on 4-5 times), the Haunted Mansion (which she liked), Pirates of the Caribbean (which she liked) and Splash Mountain (which she loved and made us ride 7-8 times!). 

We actually ended up paying an extra US$120 to attend the Mickey Mouse Trick or Treat party at California Park one night.  It was fantastic and so worth the money.  The kids got a great kick out of trick or treating in the park (and I can’t believe how much candy they gave out), meeting some characters that they hadn’t seen yet, and playing various games.  This is something that is a “must-do” if you head down in October!

Some of my tips if anyone is going down to Disney:

If there is a special event going on that costs the extra $$, it may be well worth it.  Think of it this way…”will this be something the kids will love?”  and “the next time we come back, will they still get the same excitement/sense of awe that they got at this age?”

Halloween, Disneyland, Trick or Treating

Ori Trick-or-Treating in Disneyland

If possible, stay at a hotel that offers full breakfast in the morning.  At the hotel we stayed at, this option was available for an extra $20 per day, making it a cost of $5 per person.  Since we made sure the kids filled up on their protein (i.e. eggs) in the morning, they actually didn’t need a big lunch so had little snacks throughout the day instead which helped to save money.

Booking through BCAA or AAA for tickets may give “added value” if you need those options.  My cousin booked our park passes through AAA (and was only $5 more than the best online pricing I could find) which worked out great for them as they they were able to get parking for every day that we had park passes for.  So that saved a ton of money there.

If you live in Canada, it may be well worth the time and energy to leave from Bellingham, Washington rather than from Vancouver, BC.  Originally I got a quote from a Travel Agent for the “Kids Fly Free” program through Alaska Airlines for 2 adults and 2 children leaving from Vancouver —  $3160.00 CAD for airfare and Best Western accommodations for 6 nights before transportation and park passes.  I managed to find 4 airline tickets for Allegiant Airlines leaving out of Bellingham.  Cost of  was in the area of $900.oo USD for 4 people.

If you have the time and patience, it can be less expensive for you to plan your trip on your own.  I spent a few days on the internet and managed to book our entire trip for $2900.00 USD for 2 adults and 2 children.  The total cost included airfare from Bellingham to LA return for 4 passengers, transportation from LAX to the hotel and return, 6 nights accommodation at the Sheraton Hotel including a full breakfast buffet for 5 mornings (since we didn’t need it for the 6th morning) and 6 day park passes for 2 adults and 2 children. 

If you plan ahead, you can buy bottled water from the hotel vending machine or a corner store before heading into the Park.  Bringing your own snacks will also save you money.  Food and drinks can be expensive in the park. 

In terms of food, you can also save money if you take a moment to observe what each restaurant is serving — sometimes the portions are so big that it can be shared amongst 2-3 people!  For instance, in the Plaza restaurant, the portions are HUGE!  We bought 2 meals only and drinks for less than $30.00 USD and managed to feed the 4 of us.  Originally we had planned to buy the 2 adult meals and 2 kids meals until we saw the size of the food on the plates.  So in the end, we saved about $15-20 for that meal.

Disneyland, Face Painting

Bel with small face painting sitting with Daddy in Ferris WheelOri with her face painted

If you have kids (or am a kid at heart), consider getting their faces painted.  Yes, it can get expensive (I believe it ended up costing around $12-25 per child depending on what is getting done), but it is well worth the money.  The people doing this are incredibly patient and they offer free touch-ups all day long at any of their kiosks!

Face Painting, Disneyland

Ori with her face painted

Consider doing a theme meal.  It gives you (and the kids) a chance to get their pictures taken with at least 4-5 characters without too much of a line-up.  We went to the Princess dinner and had a great time.  When we arrived, the kids got to take their picture with Ariel in a special area.  Then they received paper crowns that they could decorate and wear.  While we were enjoying our 3 course dinner (which was quite good by the way), 4 different princess stopped by our table to talk to the girls and take pictures.  It was a really nice way to ensure that our kids got to take pictures with their favourites and to enjoy some unrushed quality time with them.  Though next time, I want to have breakfast with Lilo and Stitch or maybe Winnie-the-Pooh!  

Disneyland, Winnie the Pooh

Me and my favourite Bear

I’m Back…

Sigh….I can’t believe my poor blog has been abandoned for the past 7 months. 

It’s been a crazy half-year for me.  First of all, you may remember that I’ve had issues with my workplace a while back due to a new partner/owner in the company.  Well, after almost a year of turmoil, stress and dealing with issues that didn’t really seem ethical, I am no longer with the company that I started with almost 10 years ago.  Sad in many ways, but yet I can’t work for a company that I no longer believe in, nor be happy at.

Then Wil’s maternal grandmother had a stroke but with all the family in town, she has somewhat recovered and is currently improving at a slow by steady pace.

Then we found out that my paternal grandmother was sick while on an extended vacation to Hong Kong —  it turned out to be lung cancer that was so advanced and aggressive that it was terminal.  I’m sad to say that she passed away in November.  She was finally laid to rest in January, along with my grandfather’s ashes that my cousin brought over from Hong Kong.    During this time, I learned so much more about the Chinese traditions and customs when it comes to death.  I’ve never realized there was such more to do…ceremonial meals and praying during the 7 weeks after her death, and all the other things associated with cremations and burial.  Interesting but sad to have to know and do.

I’ve stayed away from blogging for way too long . . . the last time I attempted to blog, I received a phone call from my dad telling me that my grandma had passed away . . . it has been too hard to come on and write about my life as it brings back the not so happy memories of the last time I was on here.  But now, we can think of her . . .  but hopeful that she’s in a place where she can play mah-jong all day long while eating her favorite chips, chocolate and Mug Root Beer!

Okay, so I’ve been to a ton of places to be fitted…every department store says that they are taught to be professional fitters (Sears, the Bay, Nordstroms and Macy’s) and specialty stores like La Senza, La Vie en Rose and Victoria’s Secret.  Do any of them know how to properly fit you?  My answer is NO!  Sure the ones that they give you might seem okay and after you spend a fortune, they very quickly don’t seem to fit right once you leave the store.

Recently I’ve been recommended to go to Diane’s Lingerie on Granville Street http://www.dianeslingerie.com/qs/page/7176/0/82.  Boy, do they ever know what they’re doing.  They spent about 45 minutes giving me various styles and then looking and touching (yes, they do touch) to see how it fits.  At first I thought they would push the most expensive bras on me, but I quickly found that wasn’t the case.  It turned out that one of the “cheaper” bras fit me better, and the saleslady was most adamant that I not purchase the $190 that I really loved as it didn’t quite fit me to her liking! 

Honestly, it was very expensive (I spent close over $400  for 3 bras), but it’s been a month and the fit is amazing.   I think this was probably the best money ever spent!  And the saleslady said that with proper care, they should last at least 2 years — crazy ain’t it?

The nice part is that they now have me “on file” so if I ever want to buy the same one, I can call ahead and have them wrap it up for me so that I can run in, pay and leave…virtually within minutes.  Talk about personalized shopping!

This is a warning to any boys/men who want to date or marry one of my daughters – BE AFRAID!! BE VERY, VERY AFRAID!  BAHAHAHAHAHA!

Why do you ask?  Well let me tell you…

A couple of weeks ago, Bel & Ori were playing Barbie dolls.  Then we see Barbie A going up to Eric (male doll) and screaming “I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU LOVED ME!!”.  Barbie A then proceeded to take her hand and physically slapped Eric back and forth across the face many times.  Then they threw Eric to the ground, ripped apart his legs and sent their dogs to bite, tear and rip at this groin!  Oh, did I mention that they had tied a black cloth around his head, and had his hands held behind his back by one of the Barbies?

A little while later, we then saw Barbie B (who Eric had cheated with) being strung up and hung with a noose-like rope around her neck.  Hmmmm….

Then this past weekend, they were once again playing Barbie dolls.  All of a sudden, I hear Eric saying “Come on baby, you know I love you!”. And then…yup, you guessed it, Eric got body-slammed a few times, and beaten up.  Let’s just say that if he was a real person, he definitely would’ve ended up in the morgue…in itty, bitty pieces!

So I’m guessing that I won’t have to worry about boys messing around with either one of my daughers in the VERY far future when they are finally interested in dating boys and then getting married.  And I guess this would also have to be a warning for any females who may be considering to start a relationship with one of my daughter’s significant other…no man is worth your life!

Hmmmmm….I have absolutely NO idea where this had come from.  They watch very limited TV (especially since we don’t own one..LOL).  And no one we know has had issues like this!  Hmmmm…maybe chidren’s imagination aren’t always a good thing…