Well here we are!

July 23, 2010

I feel like I’ve been planning a wedding over the past few months, but with fewer flowers and a much less expensive dress!

Here I am, up at 5:30, unable to sleep because of all the details running through my head.

Luckily, some of my peeps have started to arrive in town and are willing to help.  Sandy, Suzanne & Janelle have been here Wednesday and yesterday, and are coming by at 9ish this morning to set up for tonight’s wine & cheese.  Suzanne helped out with some ironing yesterday and Sandy is going to be put to work hanging things back up on the walls today!  They’ll also be on hand to give out tickets since people are coming by here to pick them up, and will allow me a chance to run out and get a few groceries.

We have the wine & cheese social here tonight which I’m really looking forward to.  The majority of attendees are people who I was good friends with in high school.  Later on tonight, my childhood sweetheart, Jeff – or “Joe” as Sarah calls him – arrives with his wife & daughter from Moscow and his mother who is home from UAE.  They will all be staying with us until Sunday morning.  Evan is very excited as he gets to “babysit” his siblings for the first time tonight.  We’ve moved the tv up into the boys’ room and the four kids will go up there and watch movies (and hopefully fall asleep!) while we have the party downstairs.  He’s taking his job very seriously!

Can’t drink too much wine tonight, because we’ve scheduled a 5k fun run for the morning, starting at 9:00 (what were we thinking?!), then we head over to the Park pool for a family swim from 11 – 1.  I’m thankful that the weather forecast is for sun because then we have an informal bring-your-own-picnic at the Park where hopefully families will stay and the kids can get to know one another.

The big reunion event is going to take place tomorrow night at the hotel across the street from our place.  I don’t remember the last time I stayed out partying until 1am, but organizing it, I won’t be leaving early!!  We’ve closed out the B&B until Monday, so we can always sleep on Sunday…

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Getting Organized

February 10, 2010

I have spent the past few days at the computer and boy are my back & shoulders feeling it!  My Inbox was up over 2500 old messages, so I’ve deleted & organized enough that I only have 725 left to go through.  An awful, tedious task – how long did I feel I needed to keep confirmations of those old reservations anyway?

In the meantime, I’m trying to develop a website for my high school reunion.  We’ve finally set up the bank account, a pay-pal account and most of the major pieces are in place.  I’m just trying to figure out how to set up an online registration form and hopefully we’ll be good to start taking registrations later this week.  It sounds like it’s really going to be  a fun event with a wine & cheese, a run, picnic in the park, family swim, reduced golf fees, topped of with a big party!  We’ll be closing out that weekend to regular guests, and we’ve already had friends put in requests for rooms.  I’m starting to get really excited to see everyone again!!

Being involved with the Marketing of the  Bed & Breakfast Association, I’ve been trying to figure out “Twitter”.  I understand and “get it” that it’s a conversation, but am still trying to figure out all the symbols of how it works…  I seem to be finally catching on because it is now taking up much less of my time, and I’ve seen traffic come to both the association’s website & our own website as a result!  This is a new world we’re living in!!

We have our big Valentine’s Dinner coming up this weekend so I’ve got to get the house organized for that.  Each year, Dan (a chef we used to work with), comes in and puts on a 5-course meal.  We’re offering it on two nights this year to spread it out.  Most of the other “date” restaurants in town are closed on Valentine’s Day this year – not really sure what they’re thinking,  but it works out well for us – we booked two more tables yesterday!   The kids are excited to go spend the weekend with their grandparents!

In organizing one of our bookcases, I found the two missing library books!!  Phew!  The “Maisie” valentine’s haven’t turned up yet, despite the fact we have bought and filled out “Dora” replacements.  I was sure that once we bought new ones, they would show up!

Bit by bit, everything is getting caught up.  I wonder if there will ever come a time when everything is caught up  and doesn’t get undone again right away?

Probably not until the kids move out…

Back to School

January 4, 2010

I always feel a sense of let down on the first day back to school after a break.  I’m one of those people who loves to have my flock around me, and this break was better than most.  I We didn’t over commit ourselves for a change, and with the kids all getting older and less dependent, life seemed to roll along smoothly.

We spent most of the two weeks off together as a family.  The boys each were able to have friends here for sleepovers on two different nights and Chloe had a sleepover with Sarah on New Year’s Eve.  One of the biggest treats for all of them was that all four slept in guest rooms on January 2nd – Evan in one, Alex in another, and Sarah & Olivia in the third.  They love to play “guest” and cart their keys around!

We were lucky to get in some visits with some of our very dearest friends, as well.  Sandy, Dave & Nate were home from NL; Kim, JC & boys were home from Montreal; Theresa, Jeff and the boys stopped in from NB; Cynthia, Ken & the boys made it here from the Valley; and we had visits with the cousins down the street.

Making Christmas ornaments

Finally - a photo with the four 5 year olds!

Rock & Roll - watch out in another few years!!

Olivia & Nate playing "spaceship" in Grammie's pantry - just like their mothers used to do!

The kids LOVE this train!

A half-hearted hug from Jacob for his godmother

BINGO!

All this entertaining wears a girl out!

First skate on the rink - New Year's Day

Olivia, with a little help from Dad

A couple of falls and they were done!

This year, we were lucky enough to be able to celebrate Nate’s 3rd birthday with him and his family.  Back when we found out what dates they would be here, I offered to bake his cake.  Sandy & Dave asked him what kind of cake he’d like and he replied, “my head”.

Okay.

As cakes go, it was actually not that difficult to accomplish and we were all pleased with the final result.  The whole family came down to our place for his party and Sandy & Dave ordered pizzas for all of us.  It was a wonderful afternoon!

"Nate"

Seeing his cake for the first time - I think he liked it!

"I'm Three!"

Beth & Clara

Sarah, drawing yet another picture for Dave

Sandy & Olivia

Aidan & Alex play Rock Band

Groupies?!

Olivia, Nate & Quinn - the three 3-year-olds!

Happy Birthday to You!

Make a wish!

Let's play wii "airplane crash"

Olivia gets pretty competitive!

Dave makes himself at home amid the chaos!

Now everyone has gone home, and we’re back to our regular routine.

I don’t like it one bit!

Happy Happy!!

January 1, 2010

We’ve been having a wonderful Christmas break, spending much quality time with friends & family.   We rang in the New Year with some of our closest friends and their families, even a phone call from Janelle in Tennessee.  We imposed naps on the kids in the afternoon, so everyone was still awake at midnight!  It was fun and when the last person leaves at noon the next day, you know it’s been a good party!

Nate, making a little fun on his own

Some of the kids had fun playing lego upstairs

Some did crafts...

while another group played board games

One in particular just floated around acting goofy...

And the grown-ups got caught up

With five minutes to go, we all gathered in the living room to ring in 2010 together

Sandy, Dave & Nate

Colin

Mira & Suzana

Martha, Stephane & Chloe

Kim & Jean Claude

At midnight, we passed around the bubbly

...and there was lots of kissing!!

Bring on the Rain(men)

December 22, 2009

D’Arcy and the boys started Christmas vacation on Friday night.  We were all exhausted, so I imposed an early-to-bed rule for everyone.  Well, almost everyone.  We ended up with drop-ins from Ottawa, so by the time I waited for them to come in from dinner so that I could turn off all the Christmas lights, it was close to midnight before I went to bed.

On Saturday, the whole family had haircuts and I dropped the girls off with my parents for a sleepover.  We picked up Joshua (Evan’s friend) and Nicholas (Alex’s friend) and went to Halifax to see the Halifax Rainmen play the Manchester Millrats.  Rogers had bought all kinds of tickets to give out to kids who play basketball, so Shannon and Kathryn made sure that Evan & Alex were able to go.  We sat with the Bedford team.

I’m not the least bit sporty and when I go to any type of game, I spend more time watching the people attending than the game.

I would just like to state for the record that watching professional basketball is much different than watching mini basketball.

(If you get my drift.)

I was extremely impressed with the professionalism of the players.  Not only were they obviously talented, but the sportsmanship was unlike what I had expected.  The teams were obviously enjoying playing one another, and from our seats (in the forth row!!) we could see the players joking with one another.  There were a couple of times we saw a member of one team give a member of the other team a hand up off the floor when they had fallen.  I was impressed!

I don’t think the boys had fun at all…

(This one was taken before the game started)

Even a visit with Santa!

We had a stop at Tim Horton’s on the way home, a huge treat since Olivia wouldn’t be around.  It was close to eleven when we got home and we told the boys to get ready for bed right away.  The next thing we knew, they had gotten the Lego out and were building!  We sent them to bed; Evan & Joshua in the boys’ room and Alex & Nicholas in the TV room in front of the Christmas tree.  By midnight, all was quiet so D’Arcy & I could go to bed.

We found out the next morning that Nicholas had called his parents both at midnight and again at 7am!  He and Alex were up fairly early, but Evan didn’t get up until about 8:30 and Joshua slept until the others woke him up at nine.  It was Fernando’s last morning with us, so we all joined him in the dining room for breakfast.  The boys ate fruit & yogurt, juice, waffles, pea meal bacon & egg-in-the-hole(s).  (Fernando’s request!)

The sleepover was a success and Christmas vacation is off to a great start!!

Number Three

November 2, 2009

Yesterday was Olivia’s third birthday.  There are no babies here anymore!

Olivia names all of her babies “Hot Chocolate”, except for one she has named “Marshmallow”.  She has been asking for a “mug” cake for weeks now, and has specified that it should be orange.  We’ve talked it over, trying to make sure she knew what she was asking for; she never wavered!  I, of course, acquiesced, and made her cake a mug of “hot chocolate”, complete with marshmallows!  I had made an egg-free vanilla cake which I frosted with a chambord butter-cream icing and topped with fondant.  I added some peanut/nut/egg/soy free cocoa to the butter cream to make the “hot chocolate”.  It was YUMMY!

We went to church in the morning to see Alex perform with his boys’ choir for the first time and they were wonderful!  We sat with Martha, her mom & Tom, in the balcony.  That was a bit nerve-wracking, to say the least!  Olivia was enjoying jumping off the step towards the railing; at one point I was wondering if she’d make it to her fourth birthday!  Eventually, when the boys’ choir started singing, she did sit nicely in my lap and then we looked at books through the rest of the service.  The sermon was pretty heavy for little ones and made me appreciate our own church(s).  (If you want to know more about the sermon, just as D’Arcy what I’ll do if something ever happens to him…)

Olivia & Evan went home with my parents and we stopped to get some veggies before coming home.  When we got here, we frantically cleaned & cooked until D’Arcy had to go to a “half-hour” cub meeting that lasted close to two hours.  I was in quite a state by the time he got home, just before our guests were supposed to arrive!

We celebrated Olivia’s big day by inviting my parents, Bert & Lugene & Fernando for supper.  (We invited Auntie Ruth too, but she’s sick with a cold and didn’t want to pass it along.)  We had a pork roast, roasted potatoes, squash, and broccoli & cauliflower.  I had also made rolls, and the pork was marinated in a cranberry balsamic vinegar with rosemary sauce.    I was thrilled when Theresa surprised us by showing  up at the door in time for cake! I tried to convince her to stay the night, but she had to continue on to the city.

Olivia ended up falling asleep in my lap after she’d had her cake and opened her gifts and the other three went up to bed while we were still sitting at the table.  Evan’s belly was sore and he was stressed out about the thought of going to school this week.  Many hands made light work and we ended up getting the food & dishes cleaned up in no time.

D’Arcy’s birthday is the end of this month and then birthday season will be over again until next summer – phew!

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The orange mug of hot chocolate...

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The birthday girl with Ginna

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Alex, playing host

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Three years old!

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D'Arcy & Fernando

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Cake Time!

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Olivia with her godparents

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Olivia with Theresa

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Presents!!

Clara

October 6, 2009

I’m trying to get caught up here…

A couple of Sundays ago, we were lucky enough to get to spend the whole afternoon with Clara, while her parents went house hunting.  Clara is Mike & Beth’s adorable daughter and we were thrilled they trusted us with her for the day.

We had a fun afternoon, although we soon realized that she wasn’t used to being put down to watch people make beds and clean bathrooms!  Thank you Clara, as this meant I got to sit and cuddle while D’Arcy cleaned!  After awhile, she appeared ready for a nap, so we put her in our stroller (one of many) and she soon fell asleep.  My mother came by and happily took her and our four kids to the playground while I finished up the rooms.

Apparently, there was enough going on that Clara only slept for a very short time, but was happy to watch the other kids play.

We took some photos to prove to her parents that she had fun with us.  They’re moving soon; maybe they’ll let us have her again sometime!

Proof that she slept!

Proof that she slept!

...even while Alex & Sarah "negotiated" the pump!

...even while Alex & Sarah "negotiated" the pump!

The girls

The girls

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When we learned that Olivia knows the phrase, "Oh Crap!"

When we learned that Olivia knows the phrase, "Oh Crap!"

Peach appetizers (found down her overalls later...)

Peach appetizers (found down her overalls later...)

Alex & Clara

Alex & Clara

Babysitting is tiring work!

Babysitting is tiring work!