Wednesday, September 29, 2010

They say.

There have been lots of posts recently, in the blogs I read, that talk about not giving too much personal information on your blog.  About not being negative.  About not sharing too much of who you really are. 

While I agree with the idea that no one wants to read a perpetually negative blog, sometimes things happen.  Real life things.  And they aren't always good. 

Yesterday, I said my heart was sad.  There are 2 reasons for that.  One of the reasons, is because my Grandpa is dying.  I haven't mentioned it in great depth here, because I don't want to discourage people, but, the time has come.   Yesterday, my Grandpa found out there is more cancer inside him.  And the stuff that's in his "stomach" is growing. 

It's sad.  I'm sad. And that is something that I should be able to share with my readers (all 5 of you :) )

I grew up with my grandparents living in Winnipeg.  They moved to Toronto when I was a teenager, but I had them here all of my childhood. 

One Halloween, we dressed up in costumes, and went up to the door to Trick-or-Treat; while my parents stood around the side of the house, to see if they would recognize us.  Grandpa answered the door, gave us candy, and said bye.  He was in the middle of closing the door, when my Grandma yelled, "Ralph! That's the children!!!!"  He re-opened the door and let us in.

We used to go over to their house almost every week, at least once, for dinner.  We had 2 tables, the kids table and the grown-ups table.  It was a HUGE deal to be able to sit at the grown up's table. 

Their Christmas tree had electronic ornaments.  A carousel that spun around was my favourite. 

They had mustard colored throw pillows on their couch, that had butterflies on them. 

My Grandma always had at least 3 shades of red nail polish on her dresser and high heeled shoes in the entrance from the garage.

I can still remember the smell in their house.

These are memories that I will have of them forever.  It makes me sad to think I will lose him.

When we went to Toronto to visit them in June, Grandpa made a little speech one night.  He dedicated the evening to Grandma, gave each of his children his favourite photo of her, and then he took out pieces of paper, and passed them around.  He had saved every card we'd ever given him.  The ones from when we were kids, and we cut up other cards to make new ones.  The ones when we couldn't spell properly.  All. Of. Them.  I will remember that forever. 

I love my Grandpa.  He is a strong, stubborn, beautiful man of God, and I will miss him when he is gone. 

So, forgive me, if I am too real for you.  Pardon me, if this is too much information.  But, this is me. And from now on, this blog will be a truly Open Book.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Helmut and I have a "Bucket List", you know, things we want to do before we die.  One of the items on the list, is to get tattoos together.  Not necessarily matching tattoos, but tattoos that are linked in some way, and that have meaning to each of us. 

I've been wanting a tattoo for quite awhile now, but I don't know what to get, and I have no idea where on my body I'd like it to go. 

My sister-in-law suggested that we get anchors, because of our boat, and I really like that idea.  I LOVE Kate Moss' anchor tattoo:

It's delicate, feminine and totally understated.  I love it. 

I'm also into feathers and birds lately.   Don't know if I'll still like it in 10 years though.  And that is probably why it will take me another 10 years to decide what to get. 

And, where it should go.

Any suggestions?

Friday, September 24, 2010

"...I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address..."

Granted, that is NOT what Tom Hanks is saying to Meg Ryan in this particular still of the movie "You've Got Mail", but that sentiment is one I remember each and every September 22nd.  The first day (or is it the second?) of my favourite season.  Fall.  And though my mis-guided sister recently dissed this beautiful season, my heart remains unchanged. 

I love the falling leaves.  I love the "bite" in the air.  I love sipping tea on my couch while blogging, with the window open just enough to keep me comfortable under a blanket or in a cozy sweater.  I love sweaters.  I love writing letters.  Somehow, letter writing and fall seem to go hand in hand, in my head.  Maybe it's the idea of new school supplies that makes that correlation for me. (And, just for the record, I write my Grandma letters...real often as I can.) I love being able to have soup for supper.  I. Love. Fall.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

10 books I want to write.

1. I am, by no Means, an Expert on Anything, but...
2. Things My Six Year Old Says
3. Things You Shouldn't Say or Do (because your 2 year old will copy you)
4. Translating Teenager Talk (A Mother's Guide to Deciphering it All)
5. They Can't Jump Out of a Moving Car (so take the long way and have the sex talk with them)
6. If I had a Million Dollars.
7. Healthy Recipes for Picky Eaters
8. How I Want You To Be My Friend. 
9. What To Do When Your Kids Do ALL of Your Pet Peeves.
10. The Art Of Domesticity (and finding the time to practice it)

oh, and just for fun...

11.  I Can't Find My Keys - A Husband's Guide to Actually Being Helpful in a Crisis.
12.  My Sister Is Grouchy and Lives With Me - An Early Morning Guide to Communication Before Coffee.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Great Pie Shortage of 2010

photo has been POLADROIDed

I love being domestic.  Yes, perhaps I was born into the wrong generation.  Or, perhaps I was born in the right generation, and I'm just odd.  Either way, I love being domestic. 
The problem, is that I work full time, we have 5 kids, I have a husband and somehow, the hours in the day just seem to disappear, leaving little time for domestic pursuits. 

I recently decided to put an end to what I have affectionately named, "The Great Pie Shortage of 2010".  For those of you who have never heard of this particular disaster, allow me to elaborate.  I used to bake pies ALL. THE. TIME.  They are one of my favourite things to bake and a favourite in my family...particularly with my husband. (I have often gone to sleep with a WHOLE freshly baked pie sitting on the counter, only to wake up to half a pie.  Yes. He ate half a pie in the middle of the night.) Suffice it to say, this crisis was greatly affecting not only our dessert budget, but I was also missing this particular domestic activity. 

So, I had a pie baking party.  I invited a few friends (and my friends' daughter Kailyn) over, and we baked pies for 6 hours straight (with a mini break for chips and dip and ice cream cake) and made a grand total of 21 pies.  I made the pastry, my friends chopped/peeled apples, and brought any other fillings they wanted and we had sort of an assembly line going.  We made apple pie, cherry pie, raspberry pie, blueberry pie, apple-blueberry pie and pumpkin pie.  Kailyn took the scraps of crust left over, and little bits of filling and made her own little pie creations.  She said her dad tried to eat them all.  (And, may I add, they were completely adorable and entirely her idea!)

We have already scheduled a day to do our Christmas baking and I'm hoping to do this every couple of months.  We've also talked about making meals together to stick in our freezers. It's a fantastic way to make sure home baked/cooked goods get on our tables, and in our children's tummies. 

Anyone want to join us next time?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kelsey Rae

***I've tried to post this three times now! Hopefully it works this time!***

Kelsey Rae Marie Schuster turned 21 on September18th, 2010.  I have celebrated 4 birthdays with Kelsey now, and each year, I find myself more and more amazed.  Amazed that I have got to spend four years of my life with this beautiful (inside and out) young woman.  Amazed that we have been able to have *real* conversations, about life and love and everything inbetween.  Amazed that I have had the privilege of being her step mother, and *quite* jealous that I don't get to be more. 

Kelsey, you have been a joy to get to know and to continue to know.  I love you so much, and I couldn't ask for a better daughter. You have become an independent woman, who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go for it.  You care how other people feel and you do your best to not hurt others with both your actions and your words.  You have matured, from a sweet young lady to a lovely, strong woman.  I am proud of you.

I hope that today, on your 21st birthday, you will remember how much you are loved, and that in the year to come, you will be reminded of that every day.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


My day got considerably better after a visit from my sister and her husband.  They recently went on a trip to NY city and came by with gifts for the kids!

Thanks guys, for making my day end on a good note!

Today Sucked.

photo by Marcy Penner

Okay Wednesday. You win.  But just so you know, I plan on kicking Thursday's ass.

Friday, September 10, 2010


My two year old walked out of his bedroom this morning, looked at me dressed for work, pointed to my dress and said, (and I quote) " no yike dat mummy". 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

First day.

We had a lot of "firsts" at our house today. 

Brett had his first day of Grade 8.  It was also his first day of his last year at this school.  It was the first time I've seen him NOT dreading his first day.  It was *NOT* the first time I've wanted to hug him and tell him I love him. 

Khai had his first day of Grade 1.  It was also his first day of full days at school.  It was the first time he went through the front doors at school.  It was *NOT* the first time my heart strings were tugged as I watched him walk through the door. 

Today was Justin and Magda's first day of second year of University.  It was *NOT* the first time I've been terribly proud of both of them.

Today was my first day back at work.  
I still don't know how I feel about that.

This, is what it felt like on my drive to work today. I'm not kidding. The leaves were falling like they were in a Mazda "zoom zoom" commercial and the car had just driven by quickly enough to just leave falling leaves behind.  It was surreal.

I love fall.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It all seems to happen at once, doesn't it?

Tomorrow, I head back to work.  Tomorrow, the kids go back to school. Tomorrow is Justin's first day back at university.  Last Thursday, our basement flooded.  Last weekend, Helmut was so sick, he actually stayed in bed for most of 2 days.  Last week was VBS at church.  The weather has changed.  The leaves are falling.  Declan is in daycare.  We've taken down our pool.

It's been a crazy last couple of week since I posted.  Things haven't stopped moving and happening around here.  I feel as though I've had no time to prepare for going back to work.  There were so many things I wanted to do before then. 

But, tomorrow is upon me, and I feel excited, nervous and sad all at the same time. 
I don't think I even really shared how this whole going back to work thing is going to work, did I?

Well, this is how it will work.  Helmut will leave to get Declan to daycare by 7:30.  I will stay at home and walk/drive Khai and Brett to school.  When they go into the school, I will go to work.  In the afternoon, depending on who is busier or whether Helmut is needed at the office, one of us will leave at 2:30 (most likely Helmut) to go get the boys from school, and I will stay til 4:30 and pick up Declan and head home. 

It works out so nicely in theory...the true test will be tomorrow when we actually try it!

I promise to blog first day of school pictures tomorrow and a first day back at work report!