Friday, June 05, 2009

Check out Asil Designs Jewelry!

So I love jewelry, something that costs my hubby more than we'd care to admit sometimes, but last summer I stumbled across a former local artist who's relocated but still has her things available online. If you get a chance, check out some of her beautiful handmade jewelry for sale. Also, stop by her blog for updates on new pieces and contests!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Business Venture!

I survived my first year teaching! I marked my last exam on Friday and entered all the marks and comments in, and I transfer them first thing Monday morning! I have to be at school all next week however I'm not entirely sure why or what I'll be doing, but I'm pretty much done! Which leads me to summer ventures!

Rich and I have a few small things planned over the summer, but for the most part he's going to try to get a bunch of overtime. I thought about getting a regular job, but I'd like to have my first teacher summer as a real summer. I did want to do something though, so as of this week I am a Pampered Chef Consultant!

If you don't know about Pampered Chef they sell fabulous kitchen, baking and entertaining tools. I have been purchasing their stuff for years, and I even had a Pampered Chef Bridal shower when I was getting married.

In order to start up my business I may be specifically asking some of my friends and family to hold a party in their home to help me get started. It's like a Tupperware party, you just invite some friends, some snacky food, a few ingredients and I do the rest. I bring all the supplies to whip you up a fabulous dessert or snack to show some of the products, and then while you party I can take orders for anyone who wants to purchase.

If I don't ask you, but you do want to have a party, please let me know! I am available most days this summer to do shows, and will travel to shows as well! If you want to have a catalogue show where you get the discounts of a hostess without having a party in your home, that's doable too. And every host gets 10% off their purchases for an entire year! There are tons of other perks to having a show - free product and half price items, discounts and specials.

If you are interesting in checking out the product before you book a party, I will be having a debut party - my "coming out" party at my house probably on Friday, July 4th. Stay tuned for more details, but please email me at if you'd like any info about attending my show, hosting a show or becoming a consultant yourself!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

March Break

I wrote this March Break, but for some reason it didn't get posted....weird.

I love March Break! I have a stack of work to do for school, but I decided (after a lot of encouragement from Rich) to not do most of it. I have some marking to do, and I can put a lot of that off until after the break, but I have to do some prep for next week. Luckily, I have a meeting outside the school on Thursday, and Good Friday is Friday, so I'm only actually in the classroom for 3 days next week which is cool. It means I have to be a lot more prepared because of my day away, but then I should have a relaxing Easter I hope!

Most of the break has been spent with family, friends, and my cross stitch! I bought one in Disney when we were there for our honeymoon. We chose it together and wanted to make it into a pillow or something. It's Mickey and Minnie sitting on a bench looking at a sunset with Pluto at their feet and it's the backs of them. It's pretty intense actually - a kazillion types of red for shading and things like that. The last 3 days I've plopped myself in front of the tv, popped in some Family Ties (a much heavier sitcom than I remember) and I needlepointed it up! It's been lovely! Today I'm off to visit a friend, do some work and then off to band tonight. We had a death in the family last week, and as sad a time as it was, it was wonderful to reconnect with some family I haven't seen in years.

So I've learned to love teenagers and their quirky ways lately. Yes it's frustrating when they only listen to half of your lesson, but at other times it's hilarious. The week before the break I was hauled in to the VP's office and asked what I taught in Civics the previous day. I explained I'd covered the Canadian Constitution, the Rights and Responsibilities of citizens, examples of violations of that both within school and outside of school. There was one example of a student suspected of having drugs, and the Principal had asked the student to empty their pockets. We discussed how this could be a violation of certain rights - Freedom of unreasonable search and seizure. We also discussed how the education act sort of circumvents all that, and how any suspicion on behalf of the admin basically makes a fully legal search. School safety is above all. Anyway the kids seemed to understand, however when I was talking to the VP she expressed that someone did not.

Apparently, a student of mine was suspected of passing drugs in an earlier class. He wasn't, but they thought he was, so he was taken to the office. The VP told him to empty his pockets and he responded "no". He was almost suspended for refusing, but he stood there and said "Mrs. Robinson says I don't have's violating my rights and freedoms". I burst out laughing when she told me. I was half proud of him for remembering some of the lesson, but also found it funny he remembered the part that benefited him most.

I didn't get in trouble, but was asked to reiterate that part of the lesson just to be sure they all understood.

I love my job! For all those who gives teachers a hard time for all their time off, if you really add up the hours most of them work, most work the equivalent to a 40 hour work week all year long, with all the home work necessary - marking, prep, all that stuff. It definitely gets easier as you go, but in your first 5 years, you work far more than 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. Most weeks I put in 70 hours or so. I am not complaining at all - I truly love my job, and it's worth it. I do love the breaks though!

Hope everyone who is enjoying March Break is having as great a week as I am!

Back to prep!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Two funny stories....

Well, they made me giggle anyway.

For Christmas, my brother Ian got Rich a bluetooth headset to go with his cell phone. He works at Best Buy and gets them cheap, so after Christmas I went in and picked up one for myself. They are great - probably giving me cancer of some sort I'm sure, but keep my hands free nonetheless. So when the headset is turned on near the phone, you can't use the actual phone to talk into. So one day, Gary and I head over to where Rich's car is at work to switch cars (long story). Gary and I get there, and I call Rich to tell him I'm there. I flip open my phone and dial, and it connects but I can't hear anything. So I hang up and try again. Same thing. Then my phone rings, I answer it, and there's no one there. I try one more time to call Rich. As it's dialing, I see the little icon that says the bluetooth function is on, and my headset is close enough that it's connecting. I realize it's got to be in my purse or pocket. Gary and I start frantically searching, and I started yelling "wait....I'm looking for you!!" Finally Gary says "Stop!" and we stop. He listens. Then he opens my purse and says "Richard....if you are in here can you please say something?" We hear a tiny voice say "Hello?" We burst out laughing - I could barely talk when I finally found the headset I was laughing so hard. It sounds silly, but Gary and I had a great time looking for my missing husband in my purse.

Second fun story. Yesterday Rich came to school with me to teach a few classes. He talked to 2 careers classes about his job, and then taught my friend's safety/first aid portion of her foods class. This was during my prep so I got to watch the First Aid. Throughout the lesson he referred to elevating and dressing wounds, injuries, burns etc. After saying to dress the wound so many times, one student put up her hand and asked "Do you mean salad dressing?" To which I burst out laughing (not recommended to laugh at your students). She was totally serious. Rich said to her in a nice voice " don't dye your hair at all do you?" (she was blonde) to which she replied "What??"

So funny.

10 school days till March Break!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blogging and Bruxy, School and Friends

I wonder if blogging is finished? Out of the long list of blogs I used to check most haven't been updated in more than a year. There are a few who blog and I still read and enjoy them, but it seems the blogging world has moved into the Facebook world. I wonder what will be next?

Sunday after church we went to lunch and we were sitting there waiting to order and the big table right beside ours had a guy who looked a lot like Bruxy Cavey. Rich and I have been to the Meeting House and really enjoyed it, and have also listened to his podcasts (Rich more than me) and Rich has read his book. We both really enjoy his stuff. There was a little girl with him that looked about the right age for his daughter. So Rich is super excited, waits till he's done eating and then went over and asked if he was Bruxy. Sure enough it was. I went over then and we said how much we enjoyed his podcasts. Rich says to him "we're sort of fans". So he starts laughing and says how they were all giving him a hard time today about being "famous" and preaching to people who he's never met and on and on. The guy who'd been sitting with him he said, would have been sure he'd given us $20 to come up and say hi. So he was super nice, we left and went back to our meal. Before he left he came over to our table and shook our hands again and said he'd probably run into us again next time he has a Sunday off. Too funny.

School is winding down for the semester. Performance exams yesterday and today, EQAO testing in Math, culminating activities in English. I'm a bit behind in my marking again but this time it's not too bad - I have a few days to get caught up. I have to go for an ear test on Wednesday that the board pays for for it's music teachers. I'm actually looking forward to that and protecting my ears. I'm lucky they made it mandatory this year - the year I started, so hopefully the one semester of damage I've done won't be too bad! I still have my one section next semester, so we're praying something else opens up.

Friends. I've started to try to redefine my definition of friends. Unfortunately, this means that those I thought were friends I am often understanding now are acquaintances. The ones who called me for help with moving, or something like that, but are never available for dinner. The ones that said a ton of times, "we'd love to have you over" and never did. Sometimes we had them over, some never accepted the invitation, some we never asked. I don't think I know what a friend is. I think I know how to be one to someone else pretty well, but in many cases I'm not sure what it means to have one.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Can I just say that I love when Almanzo finally figures out he loves Laura?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Winding down, or up, for Christmas!

So I have almost survived first semester. I am incredibly drained, and yesterday it was finally showing. Other teachers kept asking me if I was ok. I have been looking for jobs for next semester as starting second semester most of you know I have no job. Teachers kept saying something would turn up, and I was hopeful, but had to start looking. The only way to get a new job is to have a recommendation from your Principal and Vice-Principal, so I asked this week if I could use them as references. They both said yes, and I told the Principal although I want to stay, I need to be realistic about my chances so I need to start looking. She said "yes definitely, look". I was hoping she'd hint that I didn't need to look so I was bummed, but looking.

Yesterday I was leaving school and I got paged to the office. The Principal had let me know she would probably call me down Thursday to set up my evaluation for January. I said sure no problem, so I wasn't surprised when I was called down. I sat down and she said she'd spoken to the board and they have allowed her to offer another section of music, which means they have an opening! I don't know whether it's contract or LTO, but it's work, and it's another music class! So starting Feb 2nd I'll be teaching grade 9 music. I don't know if anything else will open up, but it's more likely it will open up for me now that I'll be at the school. So I'm incredibly thankful and excited, and a bit rejuvenated to do my last day of school!!

Tonight Rich and I are off to see White Christmas in Toronto at the Hummingbird Centre or whatever it's called now. We got free tickets and I am pumped! Hope everyone is having a good last day of school before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Gary's blog

I don't know if anyone reads my blog but this is something I should have posted a long time ago and kept forgetting. My brother Gary has a new blog. He only posts videos he finds that are usually funny, sometimes just really interesting. Sometimes you have to watch it all to see what the funny part is, but usually they are very worth it. He has a funny sense of humour so if you are bored and need a laugh check out:

13 more school days till Christmas (I don't have school tomorrow - board meeting instead woohoo!)!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I'm siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick. I hate it. I've felt drained all week but Friday when I was driving home it hurt to swallow, my throat was burning, and I was feeling even more drained. I got home and napped, and then Rich and Gary and I went off to the movies. I felt lousy but I hoped it may perk me up. We saw Enchanted. Rich said if they had plucked a movie right out of my brain this would have been it. It was great. I highly recommend it to little kids and big kids. There is a dragon that is a big scary for little ones, but it was great other than that.

The opening and closing of the movie was narrated by Julie Andrews, who has to be my all time favorite actress. I knew as soon as she started speaking that I would love this movie. There was singing and dancing to the ultimate level of cheese, and it was great. I was pleasantly surprised with Amy Adam's voice too, and the fact she did her own singing. I was also thrilled when the door opened and the woman playing Patrick Demspey's girlfriend was none other than Idina Menzel (who interestingly did not sing). For those who don't know, she played Maureen in Rent, and Elphaba in Wicked. It was one of the most fun movies I've seen in a long time - definitely a buyer when it comes out.

Being sick Rich rented me some movies to make me feel better. We watched The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause last night, which was ok - better than the second one but still no where near the first. We also watched Shrek the Third, and right now I'm watching Ratatouille - I didn't make it through it last night with Gary and Rich. Next on the list while I plan out my day tomorrow (so not going in to school) is Hairspray, and then when Rich and Gary get home from church Amazing Grace.

On another note, we didn't have a tree this year. Ours finally died last year (after 28 years) and my parents had offered us ours starting next Christmas. I didn't see a lot of a point in buying one for one year only, so we were just going to go without. Also, we are off to Kingston for Christmas day this year, so we figured we'd do without. Rich knows how much I love Christmas and Christmas decorations so he decided to surprise me. Tuesday afternoon I came home from school to see Christmas lights everywhere, a little ceramic light up village complete with a giant music store, stocking holders, garland, stockings, Christmas candles, and best of all, a tree. It's one of those white ones that are only a spiral of lights. We can use it downstairs or outside next year, but for this year it's in the living room with garland and candy canes on it. He's fantastic.

So in the lovely light of my Christmas lights, with my stuffy nose, aches, pains and fevers, I settle in to rest. Hope everyone's start to their Christmas season has been as nice as ours.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Anniversary Weekend'O'Fun

This past weekend Rich and I went away. Other than our honeymoon, pretty much every vacation we've taken has been to my parent's place in Kingston, so this was a nice change of pace. As soon I got home from school on Friday we got packed up and ready to go. We left and drove to Port Perry, to the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at called The Sanctuary. It was a lovely little B&B and we got settled in and then went for dinner. After a leisurely, late dinner we went back and jumped into the hot tub to finish off the first day of our relaxing weekend.

Saturday we got up and had a great breakfast (well, I did, Rich had his smoothie as he's still on a very restricted diet). We then got on the road to head off to Rich's anniversary surprise I had planned. A few kms down the road Rich whips the car over to the side, jumps out and runs over to the other side of the road so he can take a picture of a cow that is reasonably close. We are such city people! We continue on our way and about 20 minutes later we are at the Salem Alpaca farm which is owned and operated by family members of mine. Rich has always thought Llamas and Alpacas were funny, so we thought we'd check them out. They are actually quite cute! Some of them were pretty friendly and we enjoyed our time with them. There was a store there that sold alpaca paraphernalia and it turns out their hair is hypoallergenic and is 8 times warmer than sheep's wool. We got a blanket and mitts and slippers and they are all so warm!

The rest of Saturday we toured around a few of the little towns and picked up some little things. Saturday evening we napped, read, watched a movie, did the hot tub, and then off to bed. Sunday was a leisurely breakfast and then we hit the road to head home. Once home, Rich went for a nap and I did some work. We went for dinner and rented a movie that evening. It was a wonderfully relaxing, and MUCH needed weekend - more for me and us than for Rich really, but he enjoyed it as well. We're hoping to make the B&B thing an annual event. I still can't decide if I like that or a hotel better.

Check out the Alpaca's!

This is Rich getting up close and personal with a male alpaca and a female alpaca just hanging out.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


So I have had a very busy weekend. Thursday I signed out of school early, drove home, changed, loaded the car, and headed off to Huntsville for my OMEA conference. I've never been up there and wasn't sure how lost I could get myself but the drive up there was uneventful. I checked into the hotel, and then went over to my room, which was in one of the condo like units. I couldn't get the door open because like a dork I was trying to open the wrong one so I went back to the front desk. As I'm driving up I see someone I think I know, that I used to work with at Bell, but I think, what are the odds? So I go in, find out I'm a dork, and go check into my room. I then head over to the conference and register, and then head off to bed.

Friday morning I went to the dining room for what turned out to be a ridiculously expensive breakfast, but when I walked in the girl asked if I was there for the Bell breakfast. Doesn't it turn out to be a bunch of managers I used to work with. So I spoke to a few and caught up, though by the time I left most hadn't arrived yet. So the guy I thought I saw, I did see. Too funny.

The conference started with the keynote address which was great. During that ceremony I received my award, and then it was off to workshops. I saw a few friends from last year and it was fantastic to catch up with them. The 3 workshops I went to were amazing. I loved all of them. I learned so much in such a short amount of time. They had a great vendor display too with all sorts of music and music education paraphernalia and I ran into a cousin of mine who works for Cosmo music which was cool - great to catch up. Friday evening a bunch of us went to Kelsey's for dinner, and then back to the hotel to sleep.

Due to the outrageously expensive breakfast the day before, Saturday morning I opted for a granola bar Rich had packed me in my little goodie bag he made me. I went right to my first workshop which surprisingly sucked. The guy had some good points but really logical. It should have been geared to non-music teachers teaching music. It wasn't even the content that disappointed me it was the delivery. The guy had a 4 page handout which he distributed, then he had the exact same points on powerpoint, which he then read. It only took 30 minutes instead of the full time which was about an hour and 45 minutes. The other three workshops were fabulous again like the 3 the day before. We wrapped up the day with 3 of us from OISE and a friend of one of the other girls who's in teacher's college now going out for dinner. Then it was back home.

I had a pretty bad headache most of the day but as I was driving staring at headlights it was getting worse. I finally pulled off the highway in Barrie and slept for a bit to try to alleviate the pain. I continued on my way and made it home sometime around 10 I think? I'm not quite sure what time it was. Today it was back to Toronto for my friend Karyn's engagement party. It was a nice morning, and then since I was in Toronto already and my parents were in Scarborough I zipped over to see them.

Now I am overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do, yet here I sit blogging.

Tomorrow is our 2nd wedding anniversary. This year it was my turn to plan it, and we are doing something uber cheesy. Rich really likes llamas, and I have a great aunt who owns an el packa farm so we are going to visit them and feed and pet them and stuff. Should be a giggle. For now, I have a ton of work to do as I'm away at a board meeting on Wednesday, so I have to plan for another supply teacher. Tomorrow is mini-report card day, so I'll be there bright and early. I have a feeling our big anniversary activity tomorrow will be napping. Luckily, I have the best hubby in the world, and he won't mind napping at all.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Work and Anniversary

Life just seems to get busier the closer we get to Christmas. I am having a hard time keeping up with the commitments I have let alone have time for new ones. Marking and prep is never ending. Prepping for supply teachers is so frustrating. It's hardly worth the hassle. I don't always have a choice though when it comes to missing days. Sometimes there are things at the board that are mandatory, so a supply is definitely needed.

This week is busy. I have to have my entire week prepared by Wednesday evening, as Thursday right after I'm done teaching (I have a 4th period prep so I'm done by 1:11, but normally can't leave then) I'm driving home, will dump the stuff in my car, reload, and I'm off to Huntsville for my conference. I'm looking forward to the conference, but not the 4 hour drive by myself. Then I'm there until Saturday around 4. Once I'm done, I drive home, and hopefully will have time to stop by Jen's housewarming party. Then Sunday it's back to Toronto (maybe with a stop in Welland before that to drop off Gary) for my friend's engagement party. Then Sunday evening there is a bit of a shindig happening at a friend's place. So because of the busy weekend I need to be ready for Monday as well before I go. So much to do!

On another note, our 2nd anniversary is 1 week today. My present arrived today and Rich said I could have it early. For those of you who don't know, I am a Friend's fanatic, and I love People magazines. For our anniversary Rich got me a 6 month subscription to People but the subscription name is under "Ms. Chanandler Bong". He rocks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Thanksgiving and updates

So the band has officially left for Florida and I am definitely not on the trip. I'm fine with that, but it meant a ton of work left for me here over Thanksgiving.

I'm still doing work almost every night - marking and prep and such, and then the weekends I try and catch up on anything I'm behind on and make a desperate attempt to get ahead on stuff. This hasn't worked so far, but I still but in my 12 - 14 hour days on the weekends trying. Eventually I'm sure I'll find a balance between work and life. I hope I figure it out soon!

My lovely husband volunteered us to make Thanksgiving dinner for his family. This was a major problem in that 1) I never have time to sit let alone entertain and 2) I've never made a turkey before. The latter was my biggest concern. After many, many calls to my Mom (who started answering the phone "gobble gobble!" after the 10th or so call) and with lots of help from Rich I survived. I made a sour cream apple pie and triple chocolate cake, along with cranberry sauce from scratch on Friday night. Saturday I stumbled through making stuffing from scratch, and getting the turkey into the oven. From then on, other than the gravy, it was pretty easy. It came out great (as I have proudly displayed below!) and it all went well. Sunday was off to church where I sang for the first time and then back home to do marking. By Monday night I was able to relax, so Rich and I went on a date which was great.

My weekends are already so booked I only have 1 weekend off between now and Christmas. Most things seemed to be falling on the first weekend of November. This is our anniversary weekend normally but we're going to try to celebrate the weekend after. One main reason is the OMEA conference. Every year there is the Ontario Music Educators Association conference where there are tons of workshops and presenters and I've really wanted to go the past few years, but it's a $300 conference plus accommodations. I figured in the next few years I would go but decided not to go this year because we couldn't really afford it. I received an email from my music associate teacher I worked with last year. He was emailing to let me know I won the OMEA pre-service (now new teacher) award and scholarship. I am super excited. It's a small scholarship with a plaque, free admission to the conference and some publicity things. I'm pretty excited about it, mostly so I can go to the conference. It's also a huge affirmation that I am in the right field, to receive an award from a committee of veteran music teachers. Doesn't look too shabby on a resume either so I'm excited.

So I'm thankful for many things this Thanksgiving, but mostly for the love and support of Rich. I'm also thankful for the healing that has taken place with him so far, but still praying for a full recovery soon.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and if you had half as much to be thankful for as I did, you are truly blessed.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


So I meant to blog last week and say that school was going well, and now I was going to Florida, along with Rich and Gary who were coming as chaperone's. We were looking forward to it but there was a bit of stress involved on all of our parts for different reasons. I found out Tuesday that I'm not going (and apparently that's for real this time). I don't really care anymore, I just want a definitive answer. There will be other trips, and I don't know if this one would have been the best one to make my "debut" on as a teacher.

I am sick. It sucks. I'm putting all my energy into fighting it off and so far it's working, but I'm exhausted. I'm in bed by 9:30 every night, often before, and my day usually includes a nap in the afternoon. To top it all off as of today I get a new class! This is great news, as it means at least for this semester I'm working full time. The third section is an LTO which means it's temporary, not permanent contract like my other two sections, but it's more work, more experience and more money, all of which are great. It's a grade 9 math, so now I'm teaching grade 10 music, grade 10 english, and grade 9 math, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd periods. It means during the 5 minute break between classes I am always running to another class. It's so busy. If I could change only one thing this year it would be to teach all my courses in one room. Oh well. I'm sure that will come.

Well off to school. Congratulations to all the babies and families with new babies! I wish I could visit but I don't want to get anyone sick!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I broke up my first fight today. I am very tired. That's not why, but I just am. I am still figuring out what the best way to organize all my marks and stuff is and even that seems tiring these days. Oh well, I love my job and love most of the weird stuff that comes along with it. Off to bed. I wish there were more hours in the night.

Oddly enough I had a hard time sleeping last night. I went to another bedroom to watch tv. I saw this morning on facebook that a bunch of my friends had the same problem last night. I hope that's not the case tonight!

Monday, September 10, 2007

First Week of School

For many people out there, parents and students alike, another school year has started. Many seem excited to go back, many are sad to go back. I was excited and nervous. The start of last week marked the first week of what I hope is a long teaching career.

The first week presented many challenges. There are some that I know are going to be ongoing. It's not the ideal situation, but really, what is? I'm sure I'll figure out what to do. I'm teaching 2 periods a day, and tomorrow I have an extra class that I'm supplying for which is great because it's extra cash.

So here is what happened last week in a nutshell:
First day of school - forgot my lunch. Got to Fruitland Rd, realized this, and then was so frazzled I turned back to get it and then was running a bit late. Got there just in time for the 8am staff meeting. School itself was great.
On the way home - car broke down in Grimsby. It just stopped. I was going 120 on the QEW in the left lane and it just completely stopped. Sat and cried and waited for a tow truck who $50 later (and what I discovered was a crappy roadside assistance package) took me to my mechanic. School is over at 2:30, I got home after 6. Had time to eat, change, check email, and head up to the church for nightly stuff.

Wednesday - walked out the door without my lunch, remembered before I got to the car, got it. It's because I've been making it at night I keep forgetting it in the morning. Was disgustingly sweaty on the way home because Rich's car doesn't have air conditioning.
Wednesday morning - Internet and phone went down at home. Rich tried to fix it, waited for me to get home.
Wednesday 4th period - Rich called to give me the diagnosis on the car. Timing belt snapped, took out the head and the head gasket (I didn't even know it had both of those), the battery, and many other important and several things on the top of the engine. Quote was massive. Again, I cried. Luckily, my wonderful husband had solutions ready for me to choose from when he called. We still had no internet or phone.
Wednesday after work - call Cogeco, they can't get a service guy out until MONDAY. I am dying without internet.

Thursday - forgot my lunch, realized in St. Catharine's. Getting exceedingly frustrated with a particular situation that could present itself all year and I have no idea how to fix it yet. If you want to know I'll gladly discuss it offline.
After school - drove ON TO a median on the way home from school because I went a new way home and wasn't paying nearly enough attention in the rental car that my lovely mechanic provided free of charge for us (with air conditioning). Picked up Gary in Welland, headed home.
Thursday night - Band practice. I played much better than I did at the read through session, but still not great. Oh well, I'll get better. Got invited out to Jack Astors with some of the bandie's. Couldn't go, but appreciated the invite nonetheless.
Still no internet or phone.

Friday - Did take my lunch - remembered before I left the house yaaaayy! Found out during the day I am not going to Florida after all. The reason is not a good one. Very frustrating. Still not sure if I should point out the lousy logic in it, or just ignore it. Might be too soon in my career to say anything. I'm bummed I'm not going, more bummed because of the reason. Again, willing to fill people in, but not on here.
Friday afternoon - left my lunch bag at the school in the fridge. Didn't realize till this morning. Again, no internet and phone.

Saturday was the church garage sale and picnic. Rich bought a Darth Vader mask. Him and Gary took turns wearing it. Still no internet and phone. Shocker.

Sunday was a long day. Rehearsal in the morning, church, lunch with new friends after church, home for a nap, drive Gary back to Welland, visit Rich's mom who isn't feeling well, went home, finished prep, went to bed. Still no internet.

Today we have internet and phone! Yaaaaaayyy! I also got my car back today yaaaaaaayyy! Rich is making me spaghetti dinner and then going back to resting. He's still off work but slowly getting better which is great.

So far, I love my job. It's hard. Lots of people don't realize how much work after school is done - especially when it comes to new teachers - I didn't realize how much even. That's not a complaint, I really do love it, and the option to leave school before 3 and do the work at home is great. I am looking forward to the coming year to see how it pans out! Hope everyone else had a first week of school!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Just a quick note to all that our internet and thus our home phone are out until Monday sometime. If you need us please call our respective cell phones.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Quick blog....

Quick first day of school blog....

So I am in my "drying phase" getting ready for school for the first day of school. Rich is TOTALLY stressing out that I'm blogging right now.

I just wanted to say I have the best hubby in the world. He got up this morning with me and made me breakfast to send me on my way.

I also have the best puppy in the world. Rich wanted to put a piece of banana in her breakfast and she kept sticking her nose in there, so he made her sit and stay and wait till he dropped it in. He dropped it in and went back to making his breakfast. She started whining a few minutes later and we couldn't really figure out why but both noticed about the same time. Rich hadn't told her it was ok to eat her breakfast again, so there she sat, waiting for the "ok" that releases her. She was so good! I was so proud of her.

Thanks for helping me today schnooks. Love you.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


You know what makes me mad? People who ride bicycles. Not all of course, but the ones who "share the road". I'll explain. If you are riding a bike on the road like you are supposed to, you are to follow the rules of the road right? Right. But unfortunately, I have seen very, very few people on bikes who actually do this. They don't stop at lights, stop signs, for pedestrians, anything. What drives me completely up the wall is the dude (be it a male or female dude) on the bike who at a red light will pass all the cars and make his way up to the front of the light, and sometimes even run the light. So now I've had to go around bike guy once, which I don't mind at all. If he's riding safely and I can pass him safely, great. If though, I pass him, stop at a light, and then he passes me because he doesn't feel like stopping for the light, and then I have to pass him again, then I'm mad. I've passed the same person on a bike 4 times on one stretch of road. So frustrating. So for those of you who ride bikes, especially for exercise or environmental reasons, more power to you. For those of you who I have to pass time and time again because you are picking and choosing which laws you follow and which you don't, to you I say grrrrrrrrrr. If you are one and the same, sorry, but grrrrrrrr will apply to you too.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

School approaches!

So I am officially done work! Yesterday was a reasonably relaxing day and my kid went home early which was nice. I didn't get to leave as early as she did but I did still make it home over an hour before I normally do which was nice. I had a pretty relaxing evening playing cards with Rich, but I was so tired I almost passed out at the table, and didn't kick his butt the way I normally do. I was in bed I think before 10, although I'm not sure what time it was really. As a result, I was up by 7am this morning. I didn't mind too much - I need to stay used to getting up early. It's nice to be done and get back to prepping. I've done a pretty good job at procrastinating from that all day today. Some days I am really into it - I sat for 10 hours one day last week and did prep. Some days, like today, I feel much less motivated, so I tried to do some other productive things on my computer - reorganizing things to make them more efficient to hopefully make my job easier in the fall. We'll see.

Rich and I are slowly getting our little home together. We have inherited some great furniture from friends and family lately which has helped. Each week we seem to make some sort of progress getting organized, largely thanks to Rich being off. He gets spurts of energy sometimes and reorganizes something. Today is a bad day for him. Some are better than others. Right now he's scheduled to go back to work on the 30th and sees the doctor again Monday. I don't see that happening to be honest. The meds he's on are really helping, but he can't really do his job on them, so I'm not sure what will happen. We'll see!

I was thinking I would need to be in the school every day next week but I wasn't exactly sure what I'd be doing. Being new, there is still so much I don't know. There is a fine line between asking questions that will help me, and looking like an idiot for asking too much. Luckily I do know one of the other new teachers so we can help each other out hopefully. Anyway I got a letter from the new Principal this week saying due to the asbestos removal being behind schedule we can only get into the school on Thursday next week. This solved my problem completely. I have Monday/Tuesday to prep, Wednesday I'm in Welland at the New Teacher Induction Orientation, Thursday at the school, and then the weekend to prep. I'm looking forward to the 4th but I'm also very nervous. I'm worrying about everything from getting stuck in traffic, to screwing something up, to wearing the wrong thing, to getting there and having someone say "oh we were wrong....we don't need you to teach this year". Silly irrational worries, yet I have them. Oh well. It will be an adventure!

Well I'm off to try to do something productive! Tomorrow is full of things so I won't get anything done. It's our last official Sunday at Freeway, and although I'm sure we'll still see people and be back there, it will be weird not to go every Sunday. Like I said though, on to new adventures!

Friday, August 17, 2007


This definitely seems to be the week of goodbyes. Lots of my friends have been at funerals this week to say goodbye to loved ones. It's odd that they say deaths usually come in threes but I think I've heard of 5 within the last 2 weeks. Rich and I just got home from a funeral. One of Rich's very good friends and former work partner's Mom passed away very suddenly on Monday, at the age of 58. She was healthy and spunky, a very sweet woman who although Rich and I didn't know her well, we both really liked her. It came as a shock and Darren was one of the medics who responded to the 911 call which would have been more difficult than I can imagine. Please keep their family in your prayers. The funeral was a good one as far as funerals go. The funeral home set up a nice power point presentation of Janet and her life. There was some singing, praying, reading, and then I was on to sing. I surprisingly made it through without crying, and I only choked up on one note which was nice. I didn't want my screw ups to take away from the hopefully comforting words of the song. Darren gave a great tribute to his Mom, and his sister Melissa wrote one that the pastor read. A friend gave another one, and finally Darren's mother in law also gave a great tribute. Darren sang O Danny Boy, and after a short word from the pastor it was all done. It was a pretty emotionally draining experience. I'm glad to be home for the evening spending some time with Rich.

On a funny side note, Darren's sister is named Melissa. Darren's wife is named Melissa. Darren's wife's brother is named Darren. Very confusing.

Another sad thing we had to do today was say goodbye to a good friend. Kevin has been living with us for the last 6 or 7 weeks and it's been a joy to have him in our home. I really feel like I am losing a brother. It's not always easy living with 2 boys, but it has been fun. We had a great evening with him and another good friend last night - Rich whipped up some meatloaf and mashed potatoes (because really, who needs vegetables when you have meat?) and garlic bread of course, and I made a lemon meringue pie and a sour cream apple pie for dessert which turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. We played a video game and then when it was just the three of us we played Phase 10 which Rich is now hooked on (thanks Kaelyn and Adrian). I of course kicked the boys butts and then we headed off to bed. Rich and Kevin had pie for breakfast this morning and then I had to say goodbye to Kevin again. I think every day I've seen him this past week I've cried. Needless to say Kev, you are loved and will be missed and are welcome here anytime. You may have to share the bed with Gary, but you are welcome just the same.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Summer Chops

So I haven't done a ton this week off but I had plans last night that the closer they got the more nervous I got. I was invited by a couple different people to attend the "Summer Chops" jam session at Meadowlands Corps. I figured this would be good to do for a few reasons:
1) I really love playing and have really missed it.
2) If I'm going to teach music I'd like to actually practice what I preach and encourage kids to play as much as possible.
3) I have to go to Kitchener in a couple weeks and do the same type of thing - a read through session - where I play through some new music from a music store and then I let the dept head know what I like and he buys that for the fall (which by the way is so cool to me - it actually feels like I have a grown up job!) and I wanted to be at least warmed up for that.

So I dropped of Rich at his Mom's for a visit and I headed over to the church to play. There were around 50 people there - it was one large band. I didn't realize in advance what kinds of people were going to be there. There were some great musicians that I was fully embarrassed would be hearing me after my ummm "break" from playing over the last while. It was on the way there Rich and I figured out my "break" lasted 4 years. I was completely out of shape. I did do a bit of practicing in the week leading up to it but nothing too heavy, just making sure I remembered how to play! They pulled out some crazy hard music. It was great. The worst part was lots of it was still in manuscript form (handwritten instead of computer generated - stuff scratched out all over the place - so hard to read at times) and that was challenging.

At every new section in a band piece there is often a letter. This makes it easier than saying "start at bar 45" and everyone counting - you can just say letter C for example. At one point we had a piece that went all the way up to section Z. We did at least one piece that was 5 pages long, and one piece that the recording is over 7 minutes long. The rehearsal went from 7:30pm till about 10:05 with a 5 minute break or so. I played pitifully but my lips actually held up until about 9:58 which wasn't too bad for my first night out.

I had a lot of fun. In band situations I'd rather be one of the worst people in the band than the best. If you are the best in the band it usually means you're bored, so I am fully ok with being the worst for now. Hopefully I'll end up improving with some much needed practice, but as long as I always enjoy playing that's what's important. It was a nice night to see some old friends and family and just enjoy the music that God has blessed us with...even the crappy sounds coming out of my cornet.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Long Weekend and Chewie

I have to say I really missed reading everyone's blogs over the weekend. I kept checking my little bloglines page to see what was new and there was almost nothing all weekend! I'm glad everyone is back and blogging again! I'm also glad there was such great weather for all of you who were away. We really missed everyone and hope to come another year.

Both of us are going a bit stir crazy now. I feel bad for Rich as I have been able to sneak out and see a few good friends who have helped my sanity some, but Rich is still going nuts. We have watched some of the weirdest movies lately. We did have company last night when my aunt and uncle came over which was super nice. They are incredibly generous and have given us some fabulous things over the years, books, meals, furniture they are replacing, but the most generous thing in my opinion is Chewie.

Most of you know I love my Chewie. She's nuts, but I love her. She turned two on Saturday and my aunt and uncle brought her a birthday present in the form of a squeaky toy with a rope in it. She promptly tore a hole in it within two minutes. Now she is a big dog, but she is sweet. She has her moments where she isn't and we are working on that, but for the most part she is a good dog.

She had one of these moments where she isn't so sweet a few weeks ago. Rich was sitting on the floor brushing her. I don't know if she enjoys that, but she lets us do it. She tries to bite the brush periodically but doesn't wiggle or go for our hands or anything. So she's on the floor, Rich is in on the floor, and I think Kevin was in the chair. Chewie was gazing out the sliding doors when she spotted it: a squirrel. She loves them. She does not love them in her yard. As she usually does when she sees one, she launches herself into the sliding doors and hits the door with her front paws while standing upright on her back legs. This time though, she launched herself OFF of Rich's leg. Below are two pictures. One is Chewie just as she woke up from sleeping in the hallway, legs in the air, sprawled out, looking totally sweet and vulnerable. The other is a picture of what she did to him a few days after it happened, with my hand so you can see how big it is.

Hope everyone is having a great summer. I'm off to prep for a while as I still have a TON to do before Sept and school starts in less than a month!

Friday, August 03, 2007

More Summer Fun....

I should be getting ready for work but there are way too many things to check online first. Thank you to everyone who has been so understanding about us pulling out of the camping trip this weekend. We are really bummed to not be going. This is the first year we've both had the weekend off, had someone to watch Chewie, weren't moving, etc. so this sucks! I'll hopefully make it up there for a bit on Sunday.

I am really looking forward to my time off this coming week! Rich was only supposed to be around the Wed/Thurs but because he's off sick I'll have company a lot more. We are both going a bit stir crazy looking at the walls all the time - him a lot more than me obviously.

This week work has been up and down. The kid I am working with is a good kid, but she's demanding. I am super helpful and accommodating, but I get so frustrated with the lack of manners and respect I see from a lot of the kids. We went to Wild Water Kingdom on Wednesday with them and it was pretty fun. I've never been there and I only went on one slide but I forgot how fun they were. The frustrating part of the day was my camper wanted to be carried everywhere. She's 16 and very small, and has had knee surgery I think several months ago, and wears braces normally. She had them off for the day and I knew carrying would be a possibility as her knees would get tired a lot faster. My frustration came in when she wanted to be carried the moment we got off the bus, for no other reason than she didn't like the feel of the grass on her feet. I had a lot of help from other counselors who know how bad my back is, but even carrying her the short time I did has made my back quite tight. Hopefully it'll loosen up in the pool today.

Rich gets bursts of energy in the morning and he cleans or reorganizes something and then he's exhausted and coughs more. Silly boy. On the upside, the kitchen looks great! Thanks schnooks!

Finally, Chewie will be 2 on Saturday. I have a couple pics of her I want to put up. Super cute. Also I want to put up a pic of something she did to Rich. Because of the heat it's a lot harder to walk her - both of us and her - so we try to find ways to exercise her in the house. I discovered a great one: Hide and Seek. She lies at the top of the stairs by our bedroom and I tel her to stay. Then I go hide, and yell "Chewie come!" She flies down the stairs and hunts around till she finds me, gives me a lick and jumps around all excited. If I hide in the basement that's two flights of stairs down and up. After about 4 or 5 "hides" the other night she was exhausted. It was great.

Off to get ready for work. Hope everyone has a fantastic time camping this weekend. If you aren't camping, let us know and come visit!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


So my summer is not turning out even remotely as planned. In May I was all geared up to work 20 between June and July from 9 - 4, and then spend the rest of my time doing prep for the fall and doing some little day trips with Rich - touring parts of Southern Ontario that are on my list to see.

This is not what happened at all. Instead of 9 - 4 with an hour lunch for 20 days, I am working anywhere from 8 to 5:30 pm, at least 7 hours a day (but usually more), with no breaks. NO BREAKS! How is that even legal? Anyway it's hard work, always having to be engaged and paying attention, no down time, and it's all for very little pay. That gets frustrating.

The upside of my job is I get to do some fun things - for example this week I got to go to the Jays game which was actually really good. So far this summer I've been to Ontario Place, African Lion Safari, the Jays game, Adventure Village at Confederation Park, and later this summer I'll be back at Ontario Place or the ROM, MarineLand and Wild Waterworks. So that has definitely helped break up my work weeks.

The worst part of the summer so far is Rich is still sick. After the fourth visit to the doctor they still don't know what is wrong. He coughs to the point of not breathing and is exhausted and in pain all the time. They think maybe whooping cough but because of a doc's mistake they can't test for it. So frustrating. He's off work until August 30th now. This is financially stressful for us which of course makes it harder for him to get better. We've had to back out of lots of fun things we had planned which is sad, and when we are off together Rich doesn't have the energy to do anything.

He's almost through all the movies we have here so if anyone has any they can lend us to help him with his stir craziness let us know! In the meantime, keep us in your thoughts and prayers, there are going to be some rough weeks ahead!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Different Abilities

So I finished my second week at work and this was my first week working with one of the campers I'll be with this summer. She was an 8 year old girl with cerebral palsy who is confined to a wheelchair pretty much all the time. Intellectually she is on par with or superior to her peers, but physically she needs a lot of assistance. She's incredibly independent so it was a pretty easy week for me other than bathroom times and getting ready for water games.

I had the opportunity to do a lot of observing this week. Kids really are good at heart I think. I discovered pretty early on that my kid was really good at explaining why she was in a wheelchair, and was willing to tell other kids. When kids would ask my why she was in a wheelchair I would say to go ask her. They would ask and she would explain. On the last day of camp one of the kids asked on the soccer field. She explained, and as she did, the group of kids grew, and the questions kept coming. The rest of the staff was trying to get the kids into the soccer game but I was thrilled to just let them talk. It's so encouraging to see the acceptance they had for one another, and the willingness to help and include.

Kids are afraid of people who are different. Adults can handle the fear in a few ways:
1) Show fear yourself and unknowingly continue prejudices.
2) Exclude those who are different - ignore the "problem" and teach kids to do the same.
3) Fear is dispelled by information. Teach why the person is different. So many kids think that disabilities or differences are "catching". When they are assured it's not, and they see adults treating all people with value and dignity, they in turn will follow suit. Actions really do speak louder than words. Remember that - always.

On a completely separate note, my sweet hubby is sick still. He seems to be getting worse instead of better, the cough is terrible, and I am getting increasingly worried. Hope he gets better soon! Love you schnooks.

Monday, July 02, 2007

One more Ivan story....

So I really like the fact that with blogging I have an online journal of things that have happened through our life. One more story Rich wanted me to post about Ivan - it's one of our favorites:

Rich and I had been dating about 2.5 months and I was up from Toronto visiting for the weekend. Rich had a cadet thing to do and so he was going to be gone a lot of the weekend but I saw him in the evenings. So on Saturday Rich is gone, and I'm in the shower. I heard what I thought was the phone ringing so I hurry and jump out of the shower. As soon as the water is off I realize it's not the phone, but the fire alarm. I grab a big housecoat, throw it on and run out of the bathroom. I've never lived in an apartment so I wasn't sure what to do, but I knew I had to do 2 things. One, get me out, two, get the cats out.

Rich had the cats before he had me, and I was pretty sure if I let them die in the raging fire he would break up with me. I grabbed my backpack and dumped it out all over the guest room bed. I ran and grabbed Sheba, and shoved her in the bag. Now Sheba loves everyone, and as long as she's with someone she's happy, and she loves to be in bags, boxes, etc. So she's happy in the backpack and I go to get Ivan. Ivan is backing into a closet with a look on his face that I'm sure is telling me "not a are NOT putting me in that bag". I can't reach him so I figure I'll get her out first. I run out of the building and throw Sheba in my car, lock it, and run back into the burning building to get Ivan. I'm crying by this time, worried about Ivan.

I've said before I don't like cats, but Ivan was different. He was so full of himself and so above everyone it was hilarious. I really wanted him to like me, and I knew shoving him in a bag was going to set us back in the whole liking me thing. I ran back into the apartment and I'm begging Ivan to come out of the closet to me. Then the alarm stops. It was a test. They forgot to put signs up warning people it was just a test of the system. I'm shaking because of the adrenaline and I go back to the car to get Sheba. We go back into the apartment, I put her down and start to cry again.

Rich chooses this moment to walk in the door. I'm in a housecoat still, my hair is dripping and partly frozen as it's December, Sheba is still in the backpack, and Ivan is looking thoroughly unimpressed with me. Rich gives me a hug and tries to find out what's wrong as I'm bawling. He finally gets the story out of me and starts to shake he's laughing so hard.

So that is my story about how I attempted to rescue Rich's cats from a "burning building". I think I was pretty courageous - I didn't know it was a test! Ivan and I did eventually become friends, and he's the only cat I really loved.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Most of you know before Rich had me he had two cats: Ivan and Sheba. Ivan he's had for quite a few years, Sheba for about 4. Before Ivan was with Rich he was a stray, and Rich took him home on a "trial run" from the vet. The woman he got Ivan from at the vet is still working there and has been a big help with advice over the years. When Ivan was on his trial, Rich was sleeping and he heard a flitting around in his bedroom. He woke to see a bat circling overhead in his room. Rich is petrified of bats. Ivan leaped to his rescue, and killed the bat. From then on, Ivan was his.

Ivan was given meds last week for a urinary tract infection and he seemed to be doing better. The vet called yesterday with more news from his test results. Ivan has cancer. We could spend a bunch of money putting him through uncomfortable testing to find out what kind it is, only to have to put him down, all the while he is in pain. We made the difficult decision last night to have Ivan put down asap to minimize his pain. We made this decision around 1am, and I called the vet this morning. On the way to work, I took Ivan up to the vet. He got out of his kitty carrier, and although he normally cries a lot in the car, he was quite calm as he got on my lap and lay down. This morning I saw Ivan and Chewie, lying reasonably close together, facing each other, not terrorizing each other. This has never happened. At 9:45 this morning Ivan was put down.

It was one of the hardest things I've done. A lot of you know I am a dog person all the way. I hated cats. I hated cats until I met Ivan. He had more personality than any cat I've seen and I really did love him. I know we did the best thing for him but we miss him.

Rich always said he would keep him forever. Some of you know we've been looking for a home for Ivan and Sheba as Rich's allergies have really been bothering him and we thought they could get more attention elsewhere. It seems God allowed Rich to keep his promise and we kept him right till the end. We love you Ivan and we'll miss you. I'm sure in kitty heaven you are being indignant and turning your nose up at the other cats.

Monday, June 25, 2007


So this past weekend was pretty busy for us. Friday I was at the high school I'll be at next year and picked up a whole stack of books and things to go through. Friday night I sat in a very boring First Aid/CPR training class with a bunch of kids who waited for their Mom's to pick them up at the end of the night. I felt SO old. Rich brought me in a chocolate milk and Timbits for the class which was super sweet.

Saturday was more First Aid/CPR. Rich visited for a while and intimidated the trainer which was fun. Saturday night we were off to my friend Karyn's hot tub ice cream birthday party. We look forward to it every year but last year we weren't able to go as I was sitting in the ER about the time they were cracking open the ice cream. The night was lots of fun, got to see lots of people who I hadn't seen in a while. On the way out we had just got in the car and Rich hadn't even put the key in when Karyn's 20 year old neighbor backed into out car quite fast. It scared me and we both tensed up and as a result our backs are both icky again. It was just one of those sucky things but it all seems to be working out ok. The kid was very apologetic.

Sunday was a really good day. Sunday morning we hit Meadowlands for church and scored a gift basket. Always fun getting presents at church. Then we went on a fabulous picnic in Gage Park with two fabulous people (thanks Jen and Natasha)! We had such a nice time and went home for a nice nap. In the evening we were off to Frwy and from there went up to Kelsey's with more fabulous people (thanks Nick, Melissa, Kevin and Miranda - that's tasty!) and then off to see Evan Almighty with Kevin and Miranda. It was such a fun evening.

Today has been exhausting and I officially start my new job tomorrow. I'm working a lot more than I had wanted to this summer but it's good we'll have some money coming in - it's been so long since I've had a paycheck this will be nice!

Off to go through school prep!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I did it!

As of today I am officially registered with the Ontario College of Teachers! I am searchable and everything! So exciting!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Past week...

So today has been a sad day. Many of you know we have been praying for a paramedic that Rich worked with named Georgia. Georgia died this morning. She was 25 and had stage 4 lung cancer and had never smoked a day in her life. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family today. I know this will make for a difficult Father's Day in the years to come for her family.

I feel sort of bad sharing happy news in the same post, but I had a couple pieces of good news on Friday. Some of you know I am working for an exchange company in June and July and I started this week. So far it has been awful - not at all what we were told. The fantastic Susan managed to get me an interview with the city to work one on one with some Special Needs students. I had the interview and was hired Friday and I start June 26th. This means I won't have to do the July session with the company I am doing the contract for now. It means a lot more work this summer, which is a double edged sword. On one hand, it's more money. On the other hand I have no summer anymore.

The best piece of news I got on Friday was from the Principal of the school I'll be teaching at next year. He called to offer me another section which means I'll be teaching English next year as well as music, and I'm 1/3 of the way to a full time contract!

So the week has had it's ups and downs, but I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have Rich, my family, the friends I have, and although I'm a borderline hypochondriac, my health.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bad Day

Ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right? That's today. I'm going back to bed. Hopefully when I wake up today will be done.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


So for those who don't know yet I am DONE SCHOOL!!!! I finished my Bachelor of Education on May 31st. I had a spectacular year, I haven't enjoyed school this much before. I also don't think I have grown as much in the past as I have this past year. I learned a lot about myself, about the way people learn, about the education system, and about relationships. It really has been my favorite year so far, but I was very eager to finish as it wrapped up. Thursday I got to have a final lunch with the class I spent the most time with (8 hours every Thursday, in the same classroom, with no windows) and the class I enjoyed the most. Yesterday I went back into Toronto to go to the ACI Musis Banquet - this was the first school I was placed at and the kids asked that the four student teachers return for the banquet. It was great to see them all.

Finding a job right now is hard, as very few people are hiring it seems. I was aggressively looking for jobs in 7 different boards, and every day was sending out resumes, cover letters, emails etc. I was already getting tired of it and a little anxious I wouldn't find anything. Most people start off supply teaching for a few years and although you are in a classroom with kids that way, unfortunately it usually turns into glorified babysitting.

In April I had an interview to be on the Eligible to Hire list for the Niagara Board, and although I didn't feel great about my interview I got on the list. All that meant was I could look at Niagara's postings and apply for jobs. The other frustrating thing about the process is the Principal's get so inundated with resumes they rarely respond unless they want you for an interview. Just before the long weekend on the advice of a teacher I was working with at OP I applied for a position teaching Music at a school in Niagara Falls. I was hesitant because it was only for one class, and I was worried about not being able to cover my gas. She explained that often once you have a job they fill you up pretty quickly, so it could turn into full time or almost full time. So I applied, and during the weekend the Principal contacted me to come in for an interview. The Principal turned out to be the man who was the V.P. at my high school the year I graduated. I don't think he remembered me but it was nice to be able to have that connection.

The interview went not too bad. Some questions I answered really well, some were ok, but there were a ton of people being interviewed for this job so I wasn't holding out a lot of hope. I got a call this Tuesday that I received the contract! It's super exciting, and contracts, even little ones are hard to come by. I am very blessed that not only did I get the contract I get to start in music! So far I am going to be teaching grade 10 instrumental music which is great as this year I've taught all high school grades a bit, but I've taught 5 grade 10 classes full time and I love grade 10.

Thanks to all who were hoping and praying for me. I am incredibly excited to start at the school next year. The drive isn't too bad, nice and relaxing as it's against traffic. This summer I am teaching ESL in June and July and looking forward to that as well.

On a completely separate note, can I just say that Friends is one of the best shows ever. It always makes me laugh, no matter how many times I've seen the show.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Air Conditioning

We now have air conditioning. I am so happy.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I am not good at waiting. By nature I am a pessimistic person. Most people don't believe that - they think I am pretty happy. I am happy, but I always think the worst case scenario is the most probable scenario. When I have to wait, I think about all the things that could go wrong. I wish I didn't do that. I'm going to try to stop.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Chewie loves the cats. The cats hate her. Yesterday we heard a clanging in the bathroom which we attributed to Chewie's collar hitting the tub. Upon investigation, this is what we found:

Despite the pictures, Ivan won.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Grad question - help!

So the job search is on. It's frustrating I have to admit. The odds in Hamilton are incredibly low. They seem to be hiring less than the boards who on their website say they aren't hiring this year. I would love to work here - I'm getting spoiled with my 2km drive to school right now. Because of what I am teaching I get there close to when school starts and leave shortly after. I've never done that before. Normally you're there quite a bit before and after school, but it's just the nature of my current placement. 2 weeks yesterday and I will be done.

I have a dilemma. Should I go to my grad? Here is my current pro and con list. I need advice!!
Reasons to not go to grad:
Costs money. Both to graduate, and just to get there and back.
I only get 2 tickets, and have to apply for extras.
To get the 1 extra I want so my parents can come, I have to go to U of T (more $$), stand in line for an entire day, and HOPE I'll get one.
It'll cost $$ for Mom and Dad to come down.
They are usually boring.
If I don't get extra tickets Rich will have to hang around alone in TO for the whole day.
I have to be there in the morning quite early, grad isn't till 2:30pm.
I went to my undergrad ceremony. I wonder if it's a been there done that kind of thing?
Not everyone is going.

Reasons to go to grad:
I feel like if I don't go I might regret it.
I worked much harder on this degree than the first one. Much more proud of this one.
That's all I can think of.

I know it seems like with all that I shouldn't go. I still don't know. Rich made a good point. He said if I go, I will probably wish I hadn't. If I don't go, I will probably wish I had.

On a completely separate note, I love Chewie. Not just because of the normal reasons. I love her because she doesn't wake us up to go outside in the middle of the night (unless we are in Kingston for some reason). I can sleep for 10 hours and she's good. She waits patiently till we get up, then crashes into the back door to let us know she has to go. Now sometimes she'll jump on Rich and lick him but I think that's more to drive him nuts than just because she has to pee. For all her craziness she's a good dog.

Off to school.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Phone call

I had a very encouraging phone call last night. I'm so bad at phone calls. I think it stems from the years of working on the phones talking to customers. I knew exactly what to say to them, and now in a regular conversation I sound like an idiot, so I stick to email usually.

Thank you for the call, it meant a lot to me. I know how busy you are and it means a lot you'd take time out of your schedule for that! It reminded me to get better at calling people and encouraging them.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Adventures in puppydom.

Today we bathed the dog. She did not enjoy it. Can't say it was a riot for us either, but it was definitely an adventure!

Week off and Job Searching

So Rich and I have been on vacation this week. I have another placement starting next week which runs until the end of May which will complete my program, but they give us a week off between classes and placement. Rich booked this week for vacation so we were hoping to have a fun week off. So far, other than a few people coming over, it's been pretty boring. Rich had a pretty painful MRI procedure on Tuesday which has prevented us from doing much, but we've relaxed a lot which is nice.

So now that school is almost done the job search begins. I had an interview on the 19th with the Niagara Board for their eligible to hire list. I got a letter Monday saying that I am on the list which is great. It doesn't mean I have a job, it just means as postings go up for that board I can apply to the principal's of the individual schools. I also should have an interview in Hamilton at some point at the last school I was at - the principal said he would sit down with me sometime in May, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed something works out!

I did get a job teaching ESL in June and July, but not sure what I'm doing from August on. There aren't a lot of jobs right now, keep hoping for me!

Friday, April 20, 2007

End of school

So today was my last official day of classes. I wasn't sure whether to go in or not but I'm very glad I did. I am registered to take an additional qualification course starting Tuesday and so I was able to pick up the text books for that. I also visited my favorite prof who made me feel a LOT better about my interview yesterday. I thought it went pretty pitifully, but after talking to Janet for a bit I feel like maybe it wasn't so bad. She has done a lot of hiring for different boards so she is familiar with the system and the way it works. We'll see!

So now other than a conference on Monday and starting my online course Rich and I are on vacation (which is quickly filling up!) and I am looking forward to watching some fun movies!

Oh and I blogged about the possibility of this happening a long time ago. It finally happened on's gone :-(

Monday, April 16, 2007

Are you too busy?

Although I hate getting up early to commute to Toronto for school one thing that brightens my morning are the buskers. There is a great violin player at Union who sometimes works with an accordion player. There is also a guy at Spadina Station quite often playing guitar and singing. They make me happy and I often wish I had more time to listen. We don't have a lot of $$ but I gave Mr. Violin some at Christmas and hope to at the end of school as well if I see him this week.

This article is a long read, but worth it. Are you too busy to stop and enjoy the music?

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I'm done homework. At least till the next course starts April 24. But for now, I'm done.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


It never seems to stop. I have had more homework over the last two weeks than I think I have all year. I am so sick of it. The most frustrating is the stuff that isn't overly useful (at least I don't see the use in it now) to my development as a teacher. Some I absolutely get, although ti doesn't make it less tedious.

I'm tired of the GoTrain too. 7 more days!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

More birthday surprises.

So in the past Rich has attempted to surprise me for my birthday and has not succeeded. He normally gives hints that he thinks are no big deal but I figure out the whole surprise. This time, he did REALLY well. Jen picked me up just after noon and we left for Toronto. We chatted on the way there and one of the things we talked about was Rich's surprise attempts in the past. We got to the theater, and were heading for our seats. There were two people on the end of the row and we were the next two seats. I looked down at them and did a double take. One was Rich. He had got up at 5:30 in the morning and gone to work or so I thought. He actually went to his Mom's, then took a bus, train, and subway to the theater. Rich hates Toronto I was so proud of him.

The musical was incredible. Rich's favorite so far, and it was right up there for me. We left after picking up some souvenirs and got on the highway. After a bit of an adventurous drive we headed towards Montana's in Ancaster for dinner and a movie. We got to the restaurant and I saw our friend Susan from church. I said hi, and then looked to her left, and there was Melissa, a friend of ours. Then Darren...I realized they were there to eat with us - Rich had pulled off another surprise! So it ended up that I had a birthday dinner with Susan, Melissa, Darren, Kaelyn, Adrian, Carolyn, Jen, Karyn, Brendan, Jen and Sarah. Kevin was there when we got there and was sweet enough to try and get us a table, and then went to his other commitment.

Thank you to everyone, it was a great night. Thank you most of all to Rich. I love you, and you are the best present I've ever had.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Back to school....

So today was my last day teaching. It's frustrating. It takes a few days to get comfortable with the kids and the staff, and once you settle into a pattern you are thinking ok this is what I want to do with my life this is great. Then after 4 weeks they yank it away! I have to go back to school for 3 more weeks and then I have another 4 week placement. I do like my time in my classes, but once you get to actually teach, you just want to keep doing that.

My evaluation went very well, and I got another great letter of recommendation, so to celebrate we rented a couple movies. While we were standing there waiting to check out, who should walk in but Fred Eisenberger, the mayor of Hamilton. He's quite nice. Turns out Rich coached both his kids in waterpolo, and he was there to pick up his son so they chatted a bit. Now we're snuggled in watching movies and in about 17 hours I will be waiting for the curtain to go up on We Will Rock You!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


So yesterday was my birthday. I had a fun day at school with the kids and teachers. A few of the teachers signed a card for me (one of them said death is immanent, carpe diem - depressing huh?), and then the kids sang to my in my fourth period class. School was pretty fun.

Before school Rich got up and made me pancakes and gave me my gift. He had got me tickets to see We Will Rock You on Saturday in Toronto! I am going with the fabulous Jen, and I am really looking forward to it. He always gets me the best gifts! Before I left he said there was one more surprise that would be waiting when I got home, and as he was working I had to call him before I went in the house so he could hear my reaction.

When I got home we were on the phone and he opened the door. Rich was able to get a vacation day which was great, and he had also gone out to Welland to pick up Gary to spend the evening with us! We had some steak, and then went back to Welland with Gary, and saw Wild Hogs while we were there. So funny. Loved it.

Dropped off Gary, and then came home the scenic route. We had banana strawberry milkshakes at home while watching the American Idol results show and an episode of House. All in all it was a really nice birthday.

Two sleeps till We Will Rock You!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

We survived!

Most of you who read this and who have known us for a while know that friends of ours, Darren and Melissa, had triplets in October. They also have a three year old, Liam. So yesterday, being St. Patrick's Day, Darren was playing in a band at a pub, and Melissa was going to try to join him, so she asked Rich and I to babysit. Rich was a bit worried that the two of us wouldn't be able to handle so many babies alone, so we recruited child care worker extraordinaire, Natasha, to help out.

We were just about to leave for their house after a roast beef dinner with Nick and Natasha, and Rich started "feeling sick". At least that's what he says. I think he chickened out!! He really wasn't doing well, so off Tash and I went. Melissa went to get ready in peace while we handled the munchkins. James was sleeping, and Paul, Jessica and Liam needed to sleep. Natasha left to get Liam ready for bed, and rescued me when two of the babies were crying at once and took one till I could get the other settled. I have to say I think we did pretty well. By 9pm , all four kids were sleeping. Around 10ish we woke up Jessica and James and fed them and changed them, then once Jessica was down I got Paul and fed him while Natasha finished up with James. Then we had a bit of a disaster.

We were out of diapers. Paul had his diaper off, and Natasha was standing with him while I was scouring the place for diapers. I found tons, all too small. Then Natasha took a turn, and again, came up empty handed. I took one more shot at it and found one diaper in a diaper bag. I handed it over to Natasha who was standing at the change table with a half naked Paul. She reached for the diaper, but not before Paul decided to pee on her. It was hilarious (largely because he didn't pee on me). Made my night.

Anyway we got Paul down, and again 4 kids were sleeping. Not bad! I don't know how Melissa does it day in and day out, so often on her own, I certainly couldn't. Such cuties though, and we had fun. Thanks Natasha, not many friends would be peed on for me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March Break

I love March Break! I'm in the middle of my second practicum at a school in Hamilton and it's been very interesting. I'm teaching a different subject, but also a completely different type of student than I did last time. It's been challenging, but fun. I have two more weeks to go - one of them is literacy week, getting the grade 10's ready to write the literacy test on the 29th.

As Rich stated on his blog we were in Kingston visiting my family for a few days. We celebrated Rich and my birthday's, along with Easter as all of us but Gary were together. Mom made an awesome birthday dessert that I can't wait to get my hands on, called Banoffee pie. So good. Anyway the really cool part of the week is I got to shadow my Mom for a day in court.

The first part of the day we spent in remand court, which was mostly a bunch of date setting. The rest of the day with the exception of a very brief stint in the video bail court we were in the guilty plea court. The judge is someone that goes to Rotary with my Dad, and they have a good relationship. He really likes Mom and has a lot of personality. I saw a few guys get fined, some get put on probation, some get taken to jail, some get let off and their record cleared (rare). I've never been in a court room before, it was definitely a new experience. You have to bow to the judge when you come in, and if you make eye contact he'll usually nod back.

Dad and Rich joined us at the very end of the day, and the court clerk asked if we wanted to meet the judge. Mom didn't want to disturb him but the rest of us said yes. He was very funny and kind. He let me ask a bunch of questions and said he'd love to visit a class some day when I was teaching Civics or something. He is one of the few judges in this court that use a laptop while he's on the bench. I asked if he played solitaire while he was up there. I totally would. It's surprising how many people had been there many, many times before, and how many seemed to know exactly where they were going.

Anyway it was eye opening and a great experience. The judge said I was welcome in his courtroom anytime (which was a kind thing to say, although it is a public court!). We are home now, and relaxing our vacation away. Hope everyone else is having a great March Break!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Life goes on....

So I am still sick. It has been hanging on longer than normal which is really frustrating considering all I have to get done. Today I'm having a reasonably relaxing day. It's my hubby's birthday so we're doing some vegging before heading off to church tonight.

One fun thing this week, I have discovered Facebook. So fun! I've been able to chat with bunches of people from high school which is fun.

The next week should be quite a busy one. Only four days of school before March Break (yaaaayy) but lots to cram in. The kids in the HWDSB had a half day on Friday and the staff had a PD Day in the afternoon, but Friday was a sort of a write off because so few kids show up on the half days apparently. Now in the next four days we have to fit in 6 days of teaching. Should be fun! I still love teaching, and I'm learning a lot teaching the level I am right now - very different than my last school. I'm glad I've been able to see the two ends of the spectrum.

Better go make up some Elf Punch for Rich and Gary. I can't have any cause it has pop in it. Lent. Grrrrrr.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I am sick. I feel lousy. My throat is sore and I'm all stuffy and my ears are plugged and I'm all achy. I am missing practicum today for the first time. We can miss up to three days off of the three months combined, and I know people who took all three days in the first one just for a vacation or something. I'm SO glad I didn't take any.

Tomorrow is the first day I'm really teaching whole classes (when they aren't watching a movie or something), so I'm glad it was today and not tomorrow.

I miss pop. Lent is too long. I'm thinking we shorten it to a week.

Back to bed.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I should be getting ready....

I am so tired. It's 5 after 6am, I've been up since 5:30 and I'm tired. The last couple days I've had less sleep than I am used to, just due to assignments. I started at my new school on Monday and I'm in Hamilton this time (yaaaaayy!) but it's not my strongest subject, so I actually felt physically ill I was so nervous - and it was just observation! No teaching! I was there Monday/Tuesday, and then back to U of T for the rest of this week. I start teaching in the Hammer almost full time (2/3rds of the teacher's classes at least) on Monday, and I don't stop till I leave. Rich has been great putting up with all my stress - thanks sweetie!

Wednesday was a heavy homework day, with the exception of a glasses shopping excursion with a fabulous lady who helped me pick out some nice one. I had a great time - you are the best - thank you!

Thursday was rough. I had very little sleep on Wednesday, up at 5:15am, and not back in bed till midnight. Bout 5 hours sleep last night which in undergrad I would have been thrilled with, but I'm needing more sleep these days. I CAN'T get sick and miss my placement. Had fun at pub night, but had to do more homework because of a disaster that occured with a group at school on Wednesday night.

This weekend the busyness continues. Driving to Welland to get Gary, back home, put packages together for the Independent School's conference in Toronto Saturday, do that, and then as soon as I get home Saturday I need to start prep for Monday. Sunday should be fun with Sarah's bday party, the baby shower for Aubrey and church, but still should be prepping all weekend so it'll be in the back of my mind.

I gave up pop for lent. It sucks.

So anyway I'm tired. Really physically tired today. I have to leave very soon for school and I'm still sitting here blogging........


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Response to Blogging Blog

Thank you for your responses everyone! I'll answer back since some of you asked:

Why I blog - I like to document what is going on in our lives and like some of you I would not really get down to journaling. I've tried a few times, but it's never lasted long - this has, so this works for me. I also like to get people's opinions on things sometimes and I find this should be a good way to do it.

Ok some pros and cons I've discovered so far to blogging:

1) It's helped me get to know people better - I can play catch up and it's like I've known them for longer.
2) I like that I can learn some basic info about people and it serves for a good ice breaker when I actually see them. I'm not good a starting conversations, but this way I have an opener.
3) Gives me a way to vent.
4) Gives me a way to journal with pictures.

1) Causes people to feel left out.
2) I wonder if people don't make the effort to contact each other because of the blogs, or if they contact people more because if there was no blogging, we just wouldn't have time.
3) To the blogger, lack of comments can translate to lack of readers.

I've been frustrated with blogging as of late. I find that some people comment on some blogs only, and seem to ignore others (and I have been guilty of most or all things I am mentioning at one time or another). Why is that? Are the people who you aren't commenting on not important to you? You disagree with what they have said? I have asked direct questions at times to try and get advice or people's opinion on things. I see comments on blogs around me, but not mine, so I wonder if it's even being read?

Anyway I haven't decided whether it's ultimately good or bad for a community. It has it's good points and bad, I haven't decided which weighs more at this point.

I check blogs almost obsessively, so I do read all of yours, thanks for checking out mine!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Why do people blog? What's the point? Is it to keep in touch? Keep updated? Show you care? Rant? Respond to people?

I've watched the comments on people's blogs, lack of comments on other people's blogs, watched who comments on who's and I wonder why? What prompts some people to comment on some blogs and not on others? Is it the topic? Is it a way to show your love or appreciation for someone? Do we think about how our comments or lack of comments impact other people? Does it impact us?

I think blogging can be great. I also think it can make us lazy. Instead of contacting someone to tell them you are thinking of them, or you miss them, we just comment on their blog. Even worse, we sometimes assume they somehow know you are reading their blog. How did we find out about each other before blogging? Did we care but it was too inconvenient to find out?

Why do you blog? Why do you comment? Is blogging good or bad for a community?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chewie's Snow Day (and ours too)

So stress is mounting while we trudge through February. I only have 16 days of classes left between now and June, but there is lots of placement time. Because we go on our next practicum soon all the profs want major assignment in by the end of next week. This is on top of all our readings and stuff, but the biggest stress is board applications. In order to apply for jobs we have to have all our stuff uploaded and ready to fire off to the boards. Not really a big deal but if there is one teeny, tiny grammar or spelling mistake or formatting mistake they throw out your application. So lots to think about, my time management skills are getting some refining. This lousy weather has turned out to be a good thing for me!

Chewie on the other hand, loves the snow. She's been romping around getting buried in it, trying to catch it when we toss it at her. She absolutely loves it. It's fun to watch and although a lot of the pics aren't perfect I posted them so you can see how much fun she has!

Hopefully everyone else is all cozy and inside, keep Rich in your prayers he's driving around in this mess all day helping other people crazy enough to be out.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Favorite Lady

Most of you will think this is a strange post but I just have to say how much I love this woman. She is one of my hero's, having done so many incredible things with her life and being such a supporter of children's literacy. She is one of the classiest and most humble human beings which is a novelty in today's entertainment world. She's being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actor's Guild tonight and I am looking forward to seeing it. I have to say if I could meet anyone, this is who I would choose.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Couple things I've wanted to blog about this week.
There was an article in the New York Times by Tom Moore a grade 10 history teacher in the Bronx talking about how teachers being portrayed in the movies as superhero's is damaging. A snippet from his article I found very interesting:

"While no one believes that hospitals are really like “ER” or that doctors are anything like “House,” no one blames doctors for the failure of the health care system. From No Child Left Behind to City Hall, teachers are accused of being incompetent and under qualified, while their appeals for better and safer workplaces are systematically ignored.
Every day teachers are blamed for what the system they’re just a part of doesn’t provide: safe, adequately staffed schools with the highest expectations for all students. But that’s not something one maverick teacher, no matter how idealistic, perky or self-sacrificing, can accomplish."

This is not to say teachers are blameless, but it's interesting to see the difference in how different careers are portrayed in the media. I'm a sucker for a good teaching movie (Dead Poets Society, Mr. Holland's Opus, To Sir With Love, and even Dangerous Minds on a slow day), but it can be damaging to both new teachers striving to be incredible, and to the public.
We still have cable! I'm not sure why, but we do! Yaaaaaaaayyy!
Because we still have cable, while I've been off this week I've watched more tv than I normally do during the school week. I watched Oprah and she did a show on working Mom's vs. stay at home Mom's and the whole thing was intriguing. There was one camp that worked because they wanted to, one camp that were completely against working mothers. There was a woman who'd raised her children as a working Mom and regretted the decision. There was a woman who'd raised her kids as a stay at home Mom who wished she worked.

The main question of the day was "Can women have it all?". I think this is assuming money is not an issue. Many families need to have two working parents to support their families, but what of the ones that could survive off one income? Can those women have it all? What does having it all mean? Does where you work make a difference? For example, I worked with women who worked because they had decided to - didn't necessarily need to, but we worked in a place that didn't understand the concept of being a parent, where if your child was sick you couldn't always come to work. They were not supportive of that. So can that woman ever have it all? What if she had a supportive boss?

Rich and I have talked about ideally what we would like to do when we have kids. Teaching is such a great profession for working parents - especially once your kids are in school full time, but what about the first 6 or 7 years of their life. We are in a unique situation where we may be able to swing both of us working in some capacity but always having a parent at home, but what if that changes. Rich has said he's perfectly happy to be a stay at home dad if that's what we decide to do, but I don't know if I would be ok with that. I may want to stay home.

Anyway the show really ended by saying having it all is still having a life of compromise, but some people don't consider that having it all. I have huge respect for good parents of all kinds - whether they both work, one of the works, or they have a ton of money and neither of them work. I've seen good kids come out of all those parenting situations, and bad kids come out of all of them as well. Interesting things to ponder.
So I still can't move too much. My back seems to be getting worse not better. I attempted to go back to school yesterday and had weird sensations radiating into my extremities which was a little concerning, so I went back to the doctor. She gave me some meds which I hope will help, but she doesn't want me doing anything for a few days which is both nice and frustrating. Nice to have the validation that I'm really in pain and doing the right thing, but frustrating every time I'm alone and need something, or the dog has to go out. Oh well.
From April 30 - May 30 I have to do a self selected Internship for the final component of my degree. I was a bit worried about finding one myself, but Wednesday I got mine all settled. I'm going to a Hamilton high school to work with the Special Education department which should be interesting. At the same time I'll be doing an online Additional Qualification course which will give my a bit of certification in SpecEd. Glad it's all settled - the teacher I will be working with seems cool.
Off to do some homework. Only 25 days of actual classes left! Can't wait!