Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not My Fault

Just because I have an awesome family who chose to pay attention to my favourite things and, therefore, decided to graciously give me the gifts of FIVE purses...

Two from the hubster - the patent red and burgundy saddle bag
One from Granny - the orange, my fav!
One from my sister, Tracey - the "obnoxious purple", as she called it.
One from my mom - the metallic pewter she knew I had been admiring in the Avon book.

...and so I am simply doing my duty as the recipient to kindly accept and enjoy! You just can't imagine the burden of pure delight I "carry"! (ok, that was a bad joke, I apologize for that one)

The hubster, however, has warned me of our imminent divorce should I decide to look upon EVEN ONE purse in 2009...he thinks he, like, knows me or something...ha!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Audrey Caroline

Last year for Christmas the hubster gave me a gift that keeps on giving...a 2year subscription for "Memory Makers", a scrapbooking magazine.

November/December 2008, issue 84, I received another gift besides the usual amazing ideas for layouts.

On Page 56, the "He Will Carry You" layout is the story of Todd and Angie Smith and their baby girl, Audrey Caroline. I swear, I have been crying over this story for the last 2 days, every time I look at the magazine while I'm trying to get some scrapbooking done.

I cannot even begin to explain how deeply the story of their lives has affected me. Please go to Angie's "Bring the Rain" blog at and click on the link for January that will begin the journey. This is an incredibly sad, heartfelt, honest blog about Angie's family, pregnancy, birth, and death of sweet baby Audrey. If you click on April (the month of Audrey's passing) there are song lyrics written by Angie and the "rough-draft" soundtrack and video....amazing!!!

I feel so blessed to have found this blog. Through the Christmas season, it seems we have a tendency to focus on those we have lost and struggles we have to endure, emotionally, physically, financially. I am not trying AT ALL to make you depressed. Rather the opposite, Angie is an absolute inspiration! I consider what she has gone through in her life the absolute most difficult thing life could ever bring upon a mother. She has, through it all, maintained the highest level of faith. She is a magnificent writer and God has given her Amazing Grace to endure and share her experience with all of us.

I am completely ashamed, a terrible Christian...God has enriched my life with blessings, great and small. For my lack of thankfulness, I am so undeserving. Angie has lost a part of herself that if I were to lose, I am sure I would die. Yet she is full of praise and adoration for her heavenly father who chose her to be the mom for a baby she knew she would lose, a baby she carried for 34 weeks of pregnancy and held with the breath of life for little more than 2 hours.

All I could do after reading Angie's blog was hug my baby girl and say, "Thank you Jesus, please forgive me". What else is there to do, really? I am just so happy that even tho' I fail severely, I have a heavenly father who forgives.

Like Job of old, when faced when adversity, IF ONLY I could be the type of person who could say, "yet though he slay me, still will I praise him".

Now go get your box of tissues and prepare to shed tears of sorrow and thankfulness.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Hope you all have a great one! Don't forget the real reason for the season!

Thanks to Christa and Tara for making my Christmas cards for me! (um, sorry my cards are late,as usual, everyone;0)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Bluenotes

Of some of the commercials I like this season, the Bluenotes one kinda caught my attention today. It's the one with everyone talking about what they've done and where they've been in their jeans.

And since I really do love my Bluenotes, here's the story of my jeans:

My jeans have :
been covered in snow up to the knees,
been "held up" with various coloured belts to compliment a particular outfit,
been used to wipe my hands when I couldn't find a towel,
traveled to the city to shop,
hurriedly ended up in a pile on the floor (wink wink!),
been coated in flour and sugar after baking cookies,
helped hold up a 30lb toddler attached to my hip,
stretched and bent to sit on the floor to play with said toddler,
mysteriously "shrunk" an entire size after coming out of the dryer,
held pocket change, notes to self, and gas receipts,
made the hubster take a second look at my butt (hehe!),
stood on stage to sing "8 bottles of moose meat" for the Newfie 12 days of Christmas,
paced back and forth,
been spilled and splashed upon,
sat and sat and sat while I finished that awesome book,
frayed at the bottom,
taken a plane ride,
anxiously sat through a tense conversation with an old friend,
worked and played,
held a napping baby on their lap,
been worn with heels or hiking boots, as relating to the occasion,
knelt to pray,
never rode a motorcycle,
endured endless hours of wear and tear for my comfort.

I love my jeans! Isn't it great when you find a good pair?!

So where has your denim taken you? (perhaps yours have been farther this fall/winter than mine...?)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lessons from My Baby

I've been watching Sarah intently. Actually I would say I've been more than just watching her. I've been kind of studying her in my weird analytical/ECE-minded/dorky mom way. I'm amazed by her every day but when I really stop to think about it, being a baby must be very challenging with everything you do being for the first time.

Sarah is now just over 21 months old, she'll be two in March. She is running and jumping and learning new words and tiny sentences; she is trying to adjust to mommy taking her "bubby" away for her daytime naps; she is figuring out "potty" things; she is rambunctious; she tries hard to do big girl things in her awkward little girl way and then gets spitey when things don't go her way. Yes, being a baby means tough times indeed.

Often, if Sarah has a bad day, I say to her in a joking way, "Yes mommy knows life is tough for babies". But, just imagine needing to learn how to speak and form words again or falling down quite often because you're still figuring out how to be agile on your feet. Imagine the scary world of not knowing exactly what's going on and needing to follow those "big people" (better known as parents, grandparents, etc.) and trusting them with your very life every single second not realizing that they don't always know what they're doing either.

And then imagine, through all the frustration of learning about life, doing all of that with the absolute joy and wonder of a toddler! What if we ran with enthusiasm into the arms of someone we love? What if we actually didn't WALK anywhere but skipped with delight no matter how many times we fell down and skinned our knee? What if we danced and sang as loud as we could, even if we didn't know the words, but simply because we loved the melody? What if we shouted "Wow" and clapped our hands because we helped with the laundry or was allowed to splash in the dishwater? What if? Absolute joy and wonder....hmmm? Do we adults ever really allow ourselves to experience absolute joy and wonder? I'm not sure we'd even know where to start.

Maybe, especially at this time of year, it would be good for us to take a life lesson from a baby. No matter what your day brings, through all of the trials of trying to be "normal", why don't we just stop being so miserable and serious. Even when the weather is bad (I'm FAMOUS for that complaint), even when our house is a mess (Oops, famous for that one too!), or even when we just got yelled at by our spouse or best friend or boss (cause Ouch! that hurts, but don't babies get told "NO!" all the time?).

So how about putting some spring in our steps (I'm picturing Phoebe from "Friends" running the park...tho' I'm not sure I'd go to THAT extreme. haha!), putting a song in our hearts, looking at the world through the eyes of a child, and having a Happy Christmas season?! What say you to that?!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I am currently on hold...and I am so UPSET I just had to post.

Back at the end of November I ordered the hubsters Christmas present online at Futureshop. GREAT! That meant I didn't have to go to Corner Brook to do my shopping.

Then I got an email saying that my order was on hold because my shipping information didn't match what my credit card company had on file. This ALWAYS happens lately with "General Delivery" addresses. I don't technically have a street address or a post office box. On the website you MUST put in a street address because "GD" is not an acceptable address. So I got a message saying I had to call and verify my address. I called and took care of that.

And I just went to check my order status and my order was CANCELLED! What?! So I called customer service and they said I was sent an email about my address again (which I DID NOT receive) and when I didn't respond they cancelled my order.

And then after me getting very angry, the solution the supervisor of the customer service desk gave me was to re-order. "HELLO??", I said, "Why would I ever order from you again. This is a Christmas present and how can I be sure the same thing isn't going to happen again?" And when I couldn't be reassured of that, I reassured him that I would be officially filing a complaint.

Seriously, this stuff makes me so angry. And when I get really angry I start to almost cry. Here I thought I was saving myself shopping woes and taking the easy route for the gift my husband wanted and it's caused nothing but a hassle. Ugh!

Christmas, Christmas...Hip Hooray!

Now I'm off to call Sears to see if I can get some electronics shipped in time for Santa to appear.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I Saw it! Caution: Long post with SPOILERS!

Yesterday the hubster and I went to Corner Brook for a date night to see my much anticipated movie, "Twilight". Yay! I was so excited!

The movie started at 6:45 and accustomed to Ontario theatres with the crowds and lines, Jamie and I arrived at 6:20, eager for a good seat. HA! What a laugh! The flashing "Now Playing" lights on the brick exterior of the "Majestic" were not even on! We were the ONLY people there.

We were greeted at the door with a "I'm not going to check you in because we need 4 people to start the movie." There was one ticket window just inside the door which reminded me more of the coat check at a trashy bar.

I was devestated! "Well, I'll pay for 4 tickets," I said, "I just drove over an hour to see this movie."

"No way!", was her response, "you're not the first one who's tried that. I told my manager that if 4 people didn't show I was lockin' up." "But you've still got lots of time," she injected thoughtfully, "I'm sure someone else will come."

And then we waited for 20 minutes in the grand foyer with a total of two chairs and a food counter the size of the computer desk at which I now sit and consisting of regular sized bars, small popcorn, and CANS of pop. What?! No giant fountain drinks or meal deals with nachos and twizzlers and more popcorn than anyone could possibly consume in 2 hours?! Chatting with the 60-something lady and her husband we found out they used to live in Ontario, they had a son, couldn't get "into" this movie, made 99 cents and $2 an hour, respectively, when they first worked in Corner Brook, and that they had visitors from ALL over the island drive for hours to see "Titanic".

And then through the glass doors I could see another car pulling in across the street and a couple emerging, making their way to the theater. What a relief! I told them how happy I was to see them and they laughed, they had also driven for an hour to see "Twilight".

Eventually about 8 customers showed and the husband clunked his way upstairs, turned the lights on the screen, and rolled the film. And roll the film did, we heard it the entire time. And much to my annoyance, it skipped in a couple of places as well. Jamie said the theatre reminded him of the old one that used to be in Norris Point 20 years ago. We laughed and made the best of it.

My thoughts?: I enjoyed it. I tried to go in with an open mind after reading the book, knowing full well the difficulty in translating a novel to the big screen. The book was fantastic. The movie left out a lot of parts I thought were fantastic. The movie was good but not fantastic, they could have made it a smidge longer maybe. Jamie liked it well enough, despite some definite moments of cheesiness which left me giggling in a couple of parts not meant to be funny. Overall, Edward was dreamy and, I thought, well acted out as the vampire tortured over his humanistic love for Bella knowing full-well his monstrous desire to taste her blood and thus, kill her. Bella was clumsy and stumbled over her words, as did her character in the book. But the book left you with more of an understanding of why, as it is written from Bella's perspective. I thought the movie could have added a little more narration from Bella to explain some of the finer details. Jamie was confused about a couple of parts (i.e. why Edwards eyes change colour. They noted it in the movie but didn't explain why it happens. If you read the book you know Edward's eyes become black when he is most hungry and, therefore, then has a hard time being close to Bella. This becomes one of the pieces of the puzzle for Bella when she figures out Edward is a vampire.)

Some of the things they changed or eliminated from the movie:
The way Bella meets Jacob, not at the beach like in the book, but at the beginning when Bella gets her truck from Jacob's dad.
The accident: I believe it was snowy and icey in the book with Mike talking about a snowball fight. It was more rainy in the movie.
They added a character, a friend of Bella's dad, and had him killed off by the visiting vampires. This is not in the book.
The bus/field trip: Not in the book
They excluded the girl-ask-boy dance and made it all about the prom, which Bella hated in the book, but was okay with in the movie.
Eating at the local Diner all the time: not in the book. In the book, Bella likes to cook and makes supper for her dad at home nearly every night.
Edwards family using their kitchen for the first time and making Bella dinner to welcome her on her visit.
Rosalie doesn't speak in the book but does in the movie, which I think was probably necessary.
There is no mention of Jasper's "gift" and the movie doesn't explain very well why he is so stiff and withdrawn.
No airport scene in the movie.
....LOTS more changes, I couldn't possibly name them all.

And those changes were all fine, really. The changes I didn't like AT ALL:
1. They left out a lot of the intimate romantic parts and a lot of the comedic lighter parts, focusing more on the negative tortured emotions. This left the movie not accurately portraying the extreme roller coaster of emotions in the book. (i.e. The scene near the end in the hospital. It was all about Edward being angry and guilt-ridden. That's true, he is, but it's got more of a pleading & loving undertone in the book).
2. Leaving out the part of the visit to Edwards home where they spoke with Carlisle about his history, I thought it would be important for the accurate continuation of the series.
3. The scene where Edward and Bella spend the day together in the woods. This, I felt, was a pivotal point in the book, and extremely important in Edward and Bella's relationship. It is where Edward decides he IS strong enough to be with Bella and not hurt her. It is where they first kiss, (in the book but not in the movie), and where Edward expresses his love. Edward explains why he can't be in the sunlight (a little cheesy but important in the book). Edward and Bella then spend the night together at her house (no sex since Edward is afraid of losing control and hurting Bella), and Edward admits he comes to watch Bella sleep all the time. This scene in the MOVIE was chopped up, split up the middle with them separating for a scene where the other vampires kill Bella's dads friend. I didn't like that. It took away from the importance of that day on their relationship.

And there you have it...I've nearly just written that essay I was talking about in my "geek post". lol :) And don't get me wrong, it's sounding now like I didn't like the movie. I really did, I'd love to see it again and I can't wait to read the next books and watch the next movies. I'm still officially HOOKED!

Did you see the movie? Read the book? What did you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cricut vs. Silhouette

Okay scrapbooking people out there...I need your help please!!

I have asked the hubster for a die cutting system for Christmas. At first I thought I'd love the Quikutz Silhouette that I saw at a scrapbook store in Ontario. Approx $299 but on sale right now for $249

Here are the features I was attracted to:
Can use any of the fonts you have existing on your computer. This means FREE unlimited fonts! Yay!
It's used with your computer or carried with you to print from your laptop, therefore it is lightweight and small in size.
Comes with lots of diecut shapes.
Can cut any "hand-made" shapes making the possibilities endless really.

Here are the downsides I've discovered:
The manual is difficult to understand making initial setup of the printer frustrating.
Replacement blades are expensive at approx. $50 a pop!
May or may not be compatible with Vista (which is the operating system I have on my laptop)

And then I've seen the Cricut at Walmart and researched it a bit as well. There is the original Cricut or the Cricut Expressions (i think it's called?) Approx. $269 at Walmart

The new printer can cut 12 x 12 papers
It's very easy to use and the manual is simple to follow
There is software that can be purchased to go with the printer to make it use additional fonts from your computer. I don't know how much this software costs.
Doesn't have to be plugged in to your computer and can be just used on its own.

Comes with only one font template/cartridge thingy I think. Additional cartridges have to be purchased and cost anywhere from $55 to $110 EACH!
I'm confused about the cartridge thingies and I'm not even really sure what that means or how much I'm limited by only having one.
A little on the clunky side weighing about 20 lbs.

This is a very hard decision for me. Mostly I want a diecut machine because I want to cut my own titles instead of always sketching them out and cutting them by hand with my exacto knife.
And I want a good variety of fonts, I get extremely bored of the same ones on every page.

PLEASE, if you have ANY idea and have an opinion on which is better or can enlighten me at all with the details, I would greatly appreciate your help.


Monday, December 01, 2008

All About the Girl

I realized this morning it's been a long time since I've talked to you about Sarah. So, I'd like to introduce my little toddler to all of you.

Miss Sarah Lillian Hynes:
21 months old
A whopping 30 lbs!
Wears 24 months
Is obsessed with her "beaks" (that's books)
Usually eats very well but for some reason has difficulty with breakfast foods and meats
Favourite meals consist of: tomotoes, cheese, pasta, peaches, and yogurt
Has one nap a day, about 2 hours in the afternoon
Loves her daycare provider "Maggie" and asks for her almost every day
Is quiet in church but loud at home
Is a good but light sleeper
Loves clipping and unclipping, zipping and unzipping, emptying and putting things back
Says "Mine" so much she reminds me of the seagulls in "Finding Nemo"
Doesn't fight with getting her hair washed in the tub
Sings in the car
Loves Elmo and "Eener" (that's Ernie)
Carries her brown bear (yes, his name is actually what he is) almost everywhere
Fell off the side of the couch and the ottoman but still insists on standing on both
Loves her bottle but is starting to get used to using a cup for her naps in the daytime
Is a bit of a bully if other kids get in her personal space

Is a very chatty girl and has so many words in her vocab, it's hilarious listening to her repeat everything. Her newest words are:
Calling daddy "Jeemie" instead of daddy
I-no-wann-it (I don't want it - she says it fast like it's all one word)
counting "two, free" (she only says those two numbers) when we're walking the stairs
Poppa Shruck (she knows Poppa is driving his big TRUCK)
Monkey (exactly what it is...started on the Subway commerical I think)
Duck (which is not actually "duck", it's "STUCK" as in can't get off my rocking horse, mommy!)
Nap (asking for, immediately followed by "bobby" and "bee-er". That is, "Bottle" and "bear")
Peam egg (meaning she wants "cream" on her "legs" which are very dry)

She has a very lucky mommy and daddy cause...

She's just awesome!!

Because she loves tomatoes so much I thought this cool variety pack would be great!! She seemed to like the one with the cool green stripes the best.

I Second the Motion

I just visited Christa's blog to play catchup and say THIS POST and it's SO funny cause I was going to write almost the exact same thing!

So here goes:

I would also consider myself to be a geek.

Well, maybe just part-geek. I wasn't the most popular girl in highschool but I'd say I was fairly popular. I had lots of friends, hung out a lot, played sports, almost always had a boy toy to play with. That doesn't sound very geeky, does it?

However, I barely ever wore makeup. My hair was totally out of control. I was a bit of a prude, some might say, and NEVER smoked, drank, had sex, did any drugs AT ALL! Not even a smidge. I got kicked out of academic math (not for anything bad, of course) because I was too good at it and had to continue without a teacher via Distance education. I had no idea about the most popular music. I never went to school dances.

And here's what I believe to be one of the main reasons why I was a bit of a dork and why I STILL am:
I loved literature class. Was fascinated by Mr. Elgar and his ability to read the acts from Shakespeare very nearly from memory. I enjoyed writing those essays that everyone else despised.
So, when I read the book "Twilight" I noticed in the back of the novel some questions, as though the publishers were preparing for it to be added to the list of highschool novels. I wanted SO badly, you wouldn't even imagine, to sit down and write a response in essay format to one of those questions. I went through the details in my mind and read the book TWICE more to confirm my opinions choosing quotes for my reasoning. HA! I managed to stop myself from ACTUALLY writing the essay (mostly because the hubster is such a bully and wouldn't stop mocking me & my twilight obsession). I'm such a loser!

Take that Miss Quirky Christa and your meal plans! HA! Actually, I usually do a meal plan for us too...but you knew that already cause we geeks, we totally stick together!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


On October 27th, 2005 I wrote THIS POST

And then I went over to Steph's blog today and saw THIS POST

So I thought I'd do THIS post:

The Updated 10 Random Things About Me

1. I brought my Granny to Corner Brook today to do her Christmas shopping. We spend 4 hours at Zellers. We did the same thing last year this time.

2. I eat Subway almost every time I go to Deer Lake for about the past 6 months. I always order the same thing - 6" Chicken Bacon on Whole Wheat toasted with Cheese/no veggies/TONS of Southwest Chipotle Sauce.

3. I love the show "The Big Bang Theory". It appeals to my nerdy side.

4. I realized when I unpacked clothes I had in storage for over a year that I don't need nearly as much as I have especially since I had forgotten some of the things I had.

5. The new 9 pc cookware set I bought today is missing 4 pcs.

6. I still have keys to the building I used to work at in Ontario.

7. I used to be able to recite the books of the Bible frontwards and backwards...not anymore.

8. A part of me would love to be like Brad and Angelina and have tons of adopted and biological children.

9. I would love to have a Nintendo Wii because I think getting a fighting game and "pretending" to kick the hubsters butt would be wicked awesome fun!

10. I told my dad the reason why I wanted a Nintendo Wii after he asked "What's a Nintendo Wii?" and he warned me not to use it for the above reason in front of Sarah. VERY good point!

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A couple of new obsessions to speak about.

#1. My blog has been looking so BLAH!! next to everyone else who has all these customized skins and title bars, etc. It all looks so pretty. So I asked Christa, "Hey what's up girl? How the heck do I do that?" (well, not exactly in those words). And then she told me. And then I checked it out. And then I TOTALLY messed everything up. And then I thought it was certain "death" for my current blog because I had somehow messed things up so badly. And then I started to cry (well, almost). But then I got my head on straight ahead. And here I am. I decided I needed some colour. What do you think?

#2. I went to Deer Lake the other day. Went into Lawtons Drug Store. I sometimes look at the book/magazine rack just to browse, read the back of the covers, flip through to check out the latest gossip in celeb world. I never buy any of them. The store clerks hate me, I'm certain. But I saw a book that immediately caught my eye. "Twilight". Read the back. Said to Jamie, "I'm getting this!' and he looked at me, "Like when did you start actually buying books?". And then I read the whole thing in less than 24 hours. Loved it! For those of you who started out with me in the "Buffy" years, you know I have this weird vampire obsession thing. I know, I know...but don't we all have some kind of strange psychotic tendencies sometimes?

And that all leads me into my next obsession...

#3. I found out "Twilight" has been made into a movie and is coming to theatres this month!!! Can we all say "YAY!!!!" I'm so excited! (Now if only I had a theatre closer than over an hour away!)

Here's the trailer from YouTube

And here's the book review from Chapters/Indigo.


#4. Since Christa mentioned me on her blog, I am now obsessed with trying to come up with some good posts to make up for my lack of decent storytelling. Sorry, my brain is muddled so please have some patience with me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Creative Memories

You must all know by now how much I LOVE scrapbooking. So, I decided a couple of weeks ago to sign up to become a Creative Memories consultant.

I went to my first Creative Memories party way back when, probably 8 years ago, at my friend Darla's house. I was immediately hooked! My first purchases were an album for my niece, Erykah, a corner rounder, and a photo pencil (for marking the back of your pics instead of using ink that can bleed through). I've since attended quite a few other CM events and purchased many of their products.

I figure since I'm having classes now on my own, I'm going to be buying the products for myself anyways, that I may as well sign up.

For those of you who don't know anything about it, you can visit It's kinda the same as Home & Gift or Tupperware or Partylite. Your consultant has a catalog you can order from at any time or you can host a party in your own home and receive FREE rewards depending on how much your guests spend, etc.

So, just to let you know I'm here if you need anything. If you live far away from me you can always go online and order for yourself using my CM ID# 41319996 or send me an email at or call me (at my new house #) 709-453-2974.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Photo Cards for Missions!

My friend Tara is doing an awesome amazing thing...she's going on a Missions Trip!!

If you are interested in supporting her (I hope you will), she has an offer for photo cards on her blog. Great deal! Check it out by clicking her name above.

So proud of you Tara! I should be going with you! We all should be doing more but I hope this little bit helps.

Bragging Rights

Yes, I do believe I have bragging the husband department, that is. At least for now.

I was just away in Ontario for a week with my mom. My husband was very supportive and agreed that it would make it easier for me to get things done if Sarah stayed home. And so, even tho' he was nervous, he became a "single" dad for a whole 7 days!

And as I knew he would be, he did an amazing job. Sarah is still in one healthy and happy piece and I believe she seems to appreciate her daddy even more now....he can do things almost as good as mommy can.

We have to admit that guys are not naturally as nurturing as women, in most cases. My husband has moments when he doesn't seem to clue in to things that seem common sense to me. So here are the few things we did to make my days away successful:

- I wrote lists for daddy. Lists of what to pack for lunch, what to pack for a day away, what to pack for overnight in case he wanted to go visit Nanny and Poppy Hynes in Norris Point.
- I explained our nighttime routine (Jamie usually closes up the store for me to stay home with Sarah for bedtime). I wanted him to be successful - If Sarah got a good nights sleep then so would he.
- I tried to encourage Jamie through his nervousness. When he was anxious about me leaving, I told him I knew he would do a great job.
- I called...every morning and every night to check in. And I left my phone on at all times in case daddy needed me for anything. He didn't call EVEN ONCE in a panic. I was so proud of him for not needing me constantly.

Going away for a week was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I missed Sarah a TON but I knew she was in good hands. Often we, as moms, are so paranoid and feel that things need to be absolutely OUR WAY ONLY that we don't even give our husbands a chance to become their full dad potential. Again, they may not do things the way we do, maybe not even close, but they do love our children in their own way and they do have their best interests in mind. My husband may not excitedly change his voice for each character in a story book but he does read to Sarah. He may not arrange her snacks to look like a happy face on her plate but he does make sure she has a good lunch. He may not kiss her a million times at bedtime and tuck her in so tight she can't move but he does give her lots of love and ensures that she is safe and protected.

Note to self: Try not to be a big nag when he doesn't do things perfectly. I'm so guilty!

So this is a big thanks to my husband. Not every husband would have done this, I know that! But if your husband is cautiously willing to participate in you taking a few hours or a few days to yourself, let him show you how wonderful a job he can do. It'll make you both feel so much better about yourselves as individuals, as a couple, and as parents.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Choice is Made

I was reminded today by Christa that I really needed to add a post regarding my decision to purchase a house.

And Jamie and I have chosen....

Drumroll please...

Option #4
This was the teachers house. The typical kinda newfie house with the really nice landscaping, swing set, basketball net, and 2-storey shed.

We are VERY excited!

We close on the 30th of this month. We are actually going to spend the first few days painting and laying carpet on the bedrooms before we move our furniture.

Sorry to leave you hangin' like that....and now you know!

P.S. I'm in Ontario right now and am so excited about getting to see Vicki and Christa today...thanks girls for an awesome lunch! I SO needed the girl time and the good chat!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wedding Blues

BIG CONGRATS to Melanie and Ryan on their beautiful wedding day this past Saturday. It turned out to be gorgeous and sunny and everything went off without a hitch...Well everything, that is, except the cake....

Back a few years ago I did a cake decorating class. I've had people ask me to do cakes since moving home and even though I'm very out of practice, I've done a couple. Birthday cakes, no problem. Melanie's wedding cake, BIG problems!

Mel asked me a while back to do her cake and I did agree. Ryan's aunt had already made the 3 layers of fruit cake and all I would have to do was decorate. They wanted something very simple and I thought it would be a great challenge and experience in the cake-decorating business.

OMG! What a (near) disaster! I spent a VERY late night on Friday trying to perfectly smooth-out the icing on the cake. I put a little bit of ribbon around the edge. Looked pretty good, I must say. We packed up the cake to bring to the hall. Got to the hall and had to wait about an hour for someone to come and unlock the building and it was getting close to the time for the reception. We then got the cake out of the back of the truck and the middle layer was nearly completely destroyed. Our bumpy and hilly journey from Birchy Head to Trout River had resulted in the cake rubbing up against the glass dish it was in and the icing was half off. The top layer was smudged. I brought extra icing with me but I wasn't expecting THAT! Then we went to put the cake together after the icing repairs and the cake table and the cake holder thingy was so high up I couldn't get the pillars in between each layer to properly line-up. I was seriously almost ready to burst into tears, I thought for sure I had ruined Melanie's wedding. Anyways, Mom and I got it pretty much together and added the Gerbera daisies to the cake. Those were very nice and more importantly, hid a LOT of the flaws of the cake.

So it appeared we had saved the day. I apologized profusely to Melanie and warned her to be careful with the cutting of the cake because it wasn't the most sturdy. And then, to top things off, part way through the reception, after people continuously nudging up against the cake table to fit into their chairs, the top layer of the cake actually started to slide!!!! Yes!!! Slide!!! I was SO embarrassed and mortified. I tried desperately to fix that too but the cake still ended up looking slightly crooked in the pictures.

Needless to say I think this was my FIRST and my LAST wedding cake! (as if anyone would ever ask me after that fiasco).

Heading to Ontario later this evening. I promise to post a picture of the cake when I return for all to see.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Scrappin' Again

I'm so happy! Tonight I start "teaching" some scrapbooking classes. I'm certainly no pro but I'm desperate for some new scrapbook friends (since I left mine behind in Ontario).

In case any of you readers out there are here in Bonne Bay and want to start scrappin, here are the details:

When: Every 2nd Wednedsay night, starting Oct 8th, with a total of 10 classes.
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Where: At The Chocolate Moose Cafe (upstairs at the store)
How Much: NOTHING for the class!! However, there are supplies to purchase if you want.

Other details:
Every week I will design a page layout for everyone to follow. This layout and the supplies to complete it will be FREE!! If you wish to buy other elements to complete a layout of your own design, that's totally up to you! OR, you can bring your own stuff and work away!

This week:
All you need to bring is scissors, a cutting mat, and your photos!

At the end of 10 sessions you will have completed a 20 page album...yay!

Can't wait to start scrappin'!

Monday, October 06, 2008

On the Rise

The hubster recently informed me of an exciting article he read. Apparantly, the population of Newfoundland rose this year for the first time in 16 years! Good news, yes?

And to think we, as a family, were able to contribute to this increase is very exciting! Now if only I could get the rest of my friends and family to come home too.

Here's an article I found on

Population uptick 'really significant': researcher
Last Updated: Thursday,
October 2, 2008 3:26 PM NT
CBC News
Rob Greenwood says
newly released demographic figures hold promise for Newfoundland and Labrador.
A small rise in Newfoundland and Labrador's population is significant
enough to suggest an improvement in the province's demographic outlook, a
researcher says.
Statistics Canada reported this week that Newfoundland and
Labrador's population as of July 1 was 507,895, or 1,436 more people than at the
same point in 2007.
The provincial government trumpeted the report for
showing the first year-over-year increase in 16 years.
Rob Greenwood,
executive director of Memorial University's Leslie Harris Centre of Regional
Policy and Development, said the change represents only a third of a percentage
point in population, but suggests that a trend is emerging.
"It's still quite
small … but really significant," Greenwood told CBC News on Wednesday.
now, it's pretty clear it's based on net 'in-migration,' so there [are] more
people coming back to the province now than leaving the province, which is new
for the past 16 years."
"Out-migration" is a household word in Newfoundland
and Labrador, describing an astonishing decline in population that was sparked
with the 1992 closure of the northern cod fishery.
Thousands lost jobs
fisheries moratorium, which put about 20,000 fishermen and plant workers out of
work, has been called the largest single industrial layoff in Canadian
The 1991 census put the province's population at 568,474, an
all-time high.
Soon after, a demographic free fall kicked into gear, driven
by two main factors: a birth rate that went from one of the highest in the
country to one of the lowest; and thousands of families — including young
adults, some of whom became parents in other provinces — seeking work
In 2006, Newfoundland and Labrador set a dubious record in
Canadian demographics, becoming the first province to record more deaths than
"The natural increase, births minus deaths, is still not in our
favour," said Greenwood, who believes that workers returning to the province may
at least compensate for that demographic loss.
"It'd be really interesting to
know who these people are, their education level, skill levels, age levels [and]
where they're coming from. My guess is that the bulk of these folks are
Newfoundlanders coming back from Alberta, from Ontario," said Greenwood, who
also credited the provincial government's immigration strategy.
said additional data should be available in November that will better explain
the population increase.
To help address the population decline, the
Newfoundland and Labrador government earlier this year introduced a "baby bonus"
of $1,000 per child, as well as $100 a month for the first 12 months of a
child's life.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Important and EXCITING!! Announcement!!

Small town Newfoundland is now connected with the rest of the world...yeehaw!!

P.S. This means I can finally post pics of Sarah for all to see :0

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

About a Boy

I'm standing at the counter in the store, arranging and rearranging, and in he walks. That boy, I just can't help myself, he makes me do a double-take. He's the boy who makes me remember what it felt like to be an awkward teenager in the presence of a beautiful member of the opposite sex. The boy...well, he really is just a boy. I should be ashamed of myself.

He's speaking, smiling that broad gleaming smile, dark eyes with a mischevious glint. There's an air of confidence about him suggesting he knows more than I did at his age. I point him in the direction of the items he's requested in the hardware section. I watch him out of the corner of my eye. He's tall and lean, stuck upon the precipice of manhood, and I imagine not yet his full height.

He's found that thing he was looking for and is in front of me again at the counter. He's chatty in that "Nice day out there" sorta way. I'm like a giddy schoolgirl, in daydream mode, wondering how my hair looks.

And then it all comes to the screeching halt I SO deserve.

Boy: "Uh, can I mark this down on my mom's account book?"

Whoa! I can hear the sound effects going off inside my head like in the movies....the sound of tires laying rubber on the pavement and then the crash. I picture a truck pummeling through the front door of my store.

How's that for a quick SNAP back to thirty-something reality, girl? That's what you get!

I shake my head and chuckle out loud at my ridiculous self. He's probably wondering what the heck just happened.

"Yeah sure," I say, "Have a good day!"

The door slams in his wake. Look out girls, you could be in trouble! Or maybe you`re all smarter than me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Search is on

Actually there are not many search options available when it comes to the housing market here in the sprawling metropolis of Birchy Head, NL.

Here are our current choices:
1. Live in the upstairs of the store. The previous owners did it about 30 years ago. The apartment would have to be completely gutted out and renovated to make it liveable again.
-The space is already there and it's ours.
-Would be the least expensive of our options right now.
-We would be working and living in the same building, never getting a break, and that, to me, means heading in the direction of insanity.

So I believe it's safe to say Jamie and I have decided that living in the store would be the LAST option we would take.

Let's look at the houses for sale:
1. Jack's house next door to the store.
-Next door to the store = convenient hop, skip, and a jump over the little brook away.
-Old house = lots of charming potential
-Nice lawn for Sarah to run around on.
-Price not bad.
-Seller keeps putting us off because his granddaughter is thinking of buying the house as a summer home.
-Next door to the store = people assuming that because you live next door they can call you at all hours to accomodate them and the fact that they forgot to buy milk during the 12 hours we are open during the day.
-Old house = LOTS of renovations and potential for things to start falling apart.
-Renovations means lots of additional cost on top of the mortgage.

House #2: House in the beach.
Haven't even looked at it because Jamie doesn't like it.
Pros: Cheap
Cons: It's old, it's run-down.

House #3: Old School house
I actually attended this school. Beautifully re-done if my memory serves me correct although it's been a long time since I was inside.
Pros: Beautiful!
Cons: Way too EXPENSIVE!

House #4: The teachers house
Went to look at this one on the weekend.
-Jamie LOVES it!
-Beautifully landscaped with a nice lawn, trees, patio, firepit out back, small basketball court, wooden swing set, and a shed with a loft/balcony for sitting out on warm summer nights.
-Newly renovated kitchen
-Partially finished basement
-More than we wanted to spend (tho' it seems to be the going rate of houses here now, unfortunately).
-Typical "newfie" house (some of you know what I mean): 3 bedroom bungalow, small bathroom, small closets, front door, big picture living-room window on the left side with the bedrooms down the hall on the right.

House #5: No house at all
Wait to find a piece of land although I feel we've exhausted all efforts to find anything. That is, with the exception of living halfway up the mountainside behind my parents house.

And there you have our options. We are currently leaning toward choice #4. Wish us luck.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Triple Blade Action

Ashamedly, I suddenly realize it has obviously been a very long time since I shaved my legs. It's been so long I think I'll need to take care of this matter in three shaving steps.
1. Serious shaving cream lather to soften things up to take off the top layer of overgrowth.
2. Shave again to take off the stubbies (like when one NORMALLY shaves)
3. Triple action to touch up those hard-to-reach spots I missed the first TWO times around.
It's no wonder I'm not gettin' any...
or maybe it's the squeakiest bed in history located immediately next to my parents room. Yeah, that could be a part of it.

The moral of this story: WE NEED A HOUSE!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beware of Fire

Another tale from the adventures of my sister and her family. This tale, however, not such a nice one at all.

On labour day, my sister and Richard decided to take the girls camping. My sister hates camping. The kids love it and so it's kinda become a bit of a tradition to take them.

Here's how it all went down:
They had just arrived and were unpacking, just struck up the fire, starting to get dark, and they discovered the batteries in the flashlight had died. The girls were all running about and enjoying themselves. Richard went to the camp store for batteries. As the girls were playing at the picnic table, my sister turned her back for a moment to light a citronella candle. And then she heard the scream!

I can almost hear you gasping as you imagine what happened!

Tracey said she knows she was there in a flash but at the time it seemed like it took forever, like she was frozen in time. Olivia had fallen in the fire!! Tracey grabbed Olivia up and just started opening the bottles of water and pouring it all over her and started screaming for help. There was a nurse in the next site who came running to help and called 9-1-1. During the panic, Richard got back and didn't know what the heck was going on. Poor little Isabella, Tracey said, cried more than Olivia did because she's scared to death of fire and had constantly been warning Olivia to be careful "HOT". All she could do was run round and round in circles.

And off to the hospital they all went. They had to give Olivia several shots of morphine to basically "knock her out" and ease the pain. Gladly, the burns were superficial, although 1st degree burns are the most painful. The doctor said she would heal very well and would probably not even scar. Sadly, these accidents happen ALL THE TIME, the doctor said. Often the children are not as fortunate as Olivia and burn much worse.

So here's what Tracey thinks may have happened although she didn't see. Olivia went BACKWARDS into the fire. If she was running and tripped then she would have went face-first. Another reason to THANK GOD...face-first would have been MUCH worse. Livi must have thought she could sit down on the edge of the fire pit, not realizing how hot it was. She had actually not gone right backwards into the fire, her hair was not singed, her clothes were not burned. She was wearing shorts and the backs of her legs were all burned and the palm of her hand was burned where she had obviously tried to catch herself and get up.

She was treated with lots of burn cream, her entire legs bandaged, and her whole hand bandaged making it look like a big giant paw. The skin had come off her legs, her hand was one big blister. And she was released from the hospital with lots of pain meds. Tracey, understandably, did not want to go back and stay at the site of the accident and then they couldn't find a hotel within 50 miles, everything was all booked up! They eventually did find something very late and then had to get up early again to go back to the hospital to have the bandages re-wrapped and checked.

And for a few days, poor Olivia, didn't want to get picked up because her legs hurt too much. She didn't want to go to the bathroom because she couldn't very easily sit. Olivia kept waking up at night saying she got burned in the fire, obviously having dreams about it. My sister was a mess because she felt so guilty about the whole incident. We tried to reassure her that it was an accident but I imagine I would feel the same way if that had happened to my baby.

And now, Livi, is doing much better. Her legs have healed very well and new skin is growing back already. There are a couple of "bad" spots taking a little longer. Her hand is the main concern as it's not healing as quickly but is still doing okay.

I debated sharing this story - it's all so terrible! But then I thought it might help someone to just take those extra precautions and watch your children LIKE A HAWK when you're in a new environment, whether at the cottage on the lake, or having a campfire, whatever. Yes, accidents do happen and sometimes it's completely unavoidable, as in my sisters case. But if telling you about Olivia's accident can help prevent another child from being burned then that makes a bad situation a smidge better.

Take care!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Miss Myself

Although that sounds incredibly egotistical, it's true. I mean it. But mostly I'm referring to my blog, my writing, my readers (tho' they were few and far between, I still miss them). My life has changed so much in the past few months and I've had NO time to spend on this, one of my favourite pasttimes. I love to write and I never do it anymore.

So here's to trying to get back on track. My creative juices need to start flowing again to get some interest stories down in true "Chocoholic" fashion. And have I mentioned that since having a baby, well, half the time I can't even TALK properly let alone articulate for reading enjoyment? Bear with me, it may be a rocky start.

And I've been thinking for a long time about starting a new blog about the store...with some funny stories from our customers and experiences. Planning to keep it anonymous, I think, just in case I were, perhaps, to step on a few toes or manage to wedge my own toes very deeply into my mouth. Keep me in your search thoughts in the near future.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Paper Shredder

Yesterday, as usual, Sarah went down for her afternoon nap. After she had been to sleep for a couple of hours I thought I'd go have another look in at her to make sure she was fine. I looked in and she was sitting up in her crib playing. This is also "the norm" and I just let her be to occupy herself until she decides she wants out.

Finally, I hear her cry out and I go in to get her....OH MY GOODNESS!

When I reached down to pick Sarah up I noticed little white bits all over her crib sheet.

Before I go further with my story, I have to explain that while we are living with mom and dad Sarah is sharing a room with our old desk, the home of mom and dad's fax machine.

The little white bits? Sarah had reached through her crib and grabbed a transmission report from a fax that had been sent (a page about 4" x 8.5") She had obviously chewed the page to bits, eaten most of it (eeeekkkk!!) and there were just a few tiny bits of paper left over as evidence of what had happened. She had chewed little bits off the corners of her cardboard baby books before (Yeah, she`s a little scoundrel) but fax paper! THAT MUCH fax paper! Oh my!

While I`m in the room saying, `Oh NO! Sarah!`my mom comes in and all she could do was laugh. And in the excitement of trying to figure out if there were any remains in her mouth and cleaning up, I forgot to take a photo :(

I knew that Sarah was a good eater and loves everything but...
guess that`ll teach me to keep a closer eye during `naptimes`from now on!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What's Happening

Just wanted to FINALLY add a post to fill you all in on some of the details of my life in the last little while.

Newfoundland is awesome! I love being home. I love working in the store. I love the fresh air and living by the ocean again. I love being near my family. Even living with my parents again has been working out surprisingly well. Of course it would be wonderful to have our own house again but since that doesn't seem to be in the near future, thank GOD my parents are so supportive and good to us.

The store is undergoing MANY renovations. The upstairs is in the process of being turned into a bakery and cafe. We've had a lot of snags during the process...such as finding out we had to put in a whole new upgraded electricial system, a new water line, new flooring, etc. etc....the list of money items goes on and on...but it's all very excited and I can't wait for the finished product to be up and running. Hopefully it'll happen by spring.

Speaking of which...I still need a bakery!!??

And I'm also excited to announce that I've gotten in quite a lot of new 100% cotton fabrics into the store. There's nowhere in the immediate area to get this type of stuff for our resident quilters and I'm really excited to be providing them this service. I swear,...ordering all these fabrics and getting to open all the boxes when they arrive by's just like Christmas!!

Jamie is doing well. I think he's coping okay for the most part being home, although I think he'd prefer if we'd had the same opportunity on "his side of the bay". He gets stressed sometimes about being home all day with the baby but we've been doing our best to take turns at the store for him to have some outside "work" time. In March, after Sarah's birthday, he'll be heading back to Ontario to work for a few weeks at his old work. I was expecting him to be away for only about 4 weeks but it looks now like it'll be more like 10 weeks. I was okay with 4 weeks but really strugging with the fact that my husband will be away for much longer than we had originally thought. Being a "single" parent for those weeks, not something I'm looking forward to. It's so hard! Hopefully it'll all be worth it in the end.

Baby Sarah, as some of you know, was in the hospital a couple weeks ago with a nasty urinary tract infection. The pediatrician ordered a test called a VCUG for last Monday. The test involved Sarah getting a catheter and dye inserted into the bladder to check for reflux. I was SO scared for her. I wouldn't have even wanted to have that test done myself. And I was told to prepare for the worse, that it wasn't a pleasant test for her to undergo. However, after lots of prayers, I'm happy to tell that Sarah went through the test AMAZING...she didn't cry even once and the nurse and xray tech said she was the best little patient they'd ever had. Unfortunately, the VCUG did reveal Sarah to have reflux in the left kidney. We are now waiting on the pediatrician to find out what it all means and what the next step will be. Vicki's (Anderson, that is) nephew has the same thing and has to stay on low level antibiotics to prevent him from getting infections. Not sure if we will have to do the same or not. I'll have to keep you posted on that. In the meantime, Sarah is growing like crazy and being busy busy busy. She's walking along now while holding onto things and will let go and stand for a brief few seconds. She says a few words - mommy, dada, pwee (pretty), and kee (kitty). She loves books but usually has to have them taken from her unless we want them to all be destroyed as she's quite "rough" to say the least. She points adamantly at whatever she wants and is quite a persistent little thing in her asking. And it seems she's got quite the little temper and doesn't hesitate to scream and swing her arms at whomever's in her way whenever she's upset. Little we are enjoying her so much! It's amazing to watch her grow and to see how much she's learned already.

And now I must go and try to post this...dial up is torture for me and most of the time I'd rather not even bother. And with that I'll also apologize for not posting any pics lately because it takes WAY TOO LONG to download, it's ridiculous. Anyways, hope to see you on facebook if I'm not able to post many blogs in the near future.

Bye for now,