Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Into the new year!

I wanted to get a good piccie of the boys and the weighted blanket to send to the mama who sent it for us. But under the circumstances that they use it, it is actually pretty invasive that I am taking a pic at all! lol ( post screaming tantrum pic anyone?... how insensitive!)

Or it captures us all too well... Zoning out with a headlamp on?( santa found these LED headlamps for $5 this Christmas... exactly what the boys asked for!)Pretty much captures us perfectly!

What I really want to say though... is that the blanket is fabulous!!! What a great addition to the household!,

Quick pic of our youngest little guys favourite creation for breakfast. He created this recipe and loves to make it for himself... and usually one for his brother as well. He calls it " yogourt cake" and it consists of plain yogourt, home made wild blackberry jam, raisins and pecans. Yummy!

I bought a turkey with the last of my Christmas grocery gift certificates the other day. The turkeys all go on sale after Christmas day and they sure are a great value for how much meat you get. We had our very own Christmas dinner ( with our favourites) mid week. Ready for leftovers today! We are one family that doesn't seem to get " turkey-ed out"!
How is that for a random scattered post?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post holiday catch up!

Well! Christmas is over! We made it down island after all. We left the decision until the very last minute and even though it was snowing , we decided to go for it. Our fridge was empty ( knowing that there was a full fridge and lots of food down at the folks! And using those days of grocery money on the gas to get down there was the plan) the house undecorated... all of us a little tense wondering if we should go and buy a turkey on the night of Christmas eve to make sure we at least had a nice meal!

The drive was CRAZY! We borrowed chains from the neighbours on the way out the door.I had a barf bucket on my lap for the entire last hour of the drive. There were rows and rows of cars on the side of the road through the mountain pass and the snowflakes were coming down the size of golfballs. I really shouldn't have had coffee before the ride! Our youngest son slept for most of the drive and my oldest watched a video ( the inlaws gave us a portable dvd player last year and I kind of sighed inside because it seemed like an impractical useless gift for us.... but let me tell you.... this instance made it all worth it!) Unfortunately the movie ended right at the top of the mountain pass and oldest son was really stressed out. He was saying things like." oh my god!!!! it looks like an avalanche is going to come right down on us!!!" and exclaiming looking terrified. We were going about 10 km an hour and slipping and tense ourselves. Thank goodness the video had distracted him for most of it! When we finally got there we kept on sighing involuntarily. We didn't realise what a toll it had taken on our bodies/ minds! We pulled out our brand new weighted blanket that was gifted to us by a MDC helper! The boys were so excited and joyfully describing how the blanket " pinned them down"! Perfect timing.

The Christmas dinner was so awesome. My mom made a stuffing out of cornflakes and chestnuts for us gluten free folks and it was delicious. My grandpa came and however grumpy he can be, it was so nice to see him.It was peaceful ( other than thier humping dog) and warm and so wonderful! My hubby and I even got a chance to go for a walk by ourselves. My mom accidentally fed oldest son gluten.... but it was worth it! ( I think!) My mom and dad slipped me enough money for the trip which was so nice since the weekends all line up in a way which the paycheques will be teeny and we really couldn't afford the trip in the first place. The boys got 20 dollars each from great grandpa.... which is huge. Youngest guy bought himself a playmobile forest set at the teachers store on the way home and oldest son bought himself a variety of test tubes/ beakers and safety goggles. He made home made bear spray today with it. Even found a recipe online. Living with a 7 year old science nut can be pretty interesting, especially when he has the skills to find accurate instructions/ experiments himself. His purchases were wise I think!
I had wanted to get one thing while we were down island but was planning to buy it the next trip. There are a few things that we wait until we go to the city to purchase... usually food items like special spices and goodies like that. There is not as much availability up here for certain things or if you can get them they are 4 times the price. I have been wanting a cast iron griddle for a while though. I happened to mention it when my aunt was around and she happened to have on in her garage. She had bought it when the cast iron store had a flood sale, for only a couple of bucks. So she gave it to us!! I was so super excited ( cause I get like that about kitchen stuff!) and seasoned it at my folks place. I literally put it on the stove and cooked with it while we were unpacking! We made pancakes for the boys and it makes 8 pancakes at a time!!! Almost triple what we were able to make before! Anyways... a griddle that covers two burners.... it is definitely as cool and as useful as I thought it would be!
So the rest of the weekend has been filled with catch up. Trying to get the house in order, the kids school reporting in order and sort of re-set for the new year. Hubby is back to work in the morning... things are back to business.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New book by Littlest one!

Was gifted a book by my littlest guy today. He writes many books a day. This is my favourite so far! ( he is 5)Usually they are all about boy stuff like blood and farts and stuff. I was a little worried when I saw the cover... cause this kid has a fratboy sense of humour!

The book is called " Big Boobs"

" Boobs help adult girls feed babies" ( picture of woman giving birth to baby)

" Thats a nipple"

" This is about vaginas. The next page is about boobs. Even though this doesn't look like a vagina, it is."

" Big Boobs. This is not about sexy boobs"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Still snowing!!

Went out last night for the solstice fire dancing show. It was about -8 and really windy out so it felt much colder. We were there at 8 when it was supposed to start but it was running really late. Our littlest started to get cold and cry and the oldest had to pee and there was nowhere to go... so we came home. Tonight was our small town light up and Santa visit which is a big deal around here. The trucks come all lit up and have a mini parade. Well... we got down there and the fire cheif told us that is was cancelled because it was too much of a liability. So the kids were crushed again. The bummer is that the weather report is calling for snow all the way until Christmas day, and although I LOVE snow the roads are horrible around here and we are planning to go down island to my folks for Christmas. Our tires arent great and I am just not sure if we will be able to go. My hubby and I can roll with the punches and make the best of it all, but the kids not so much. They are NOT having an easy time of it! Because we don't do up the holidays gift wise, we really rely on these free community events to make it feel like Christmas.Oh well. I think I will try to get a backup turkey so we can at least have a good meal for the day if it comes to that. Our kind neighbour said that we could join thier big family fray... I still need to cook my own gluten free meal whatever we do though cause that makes it impossible to just join someone elses meal!! That is what I love about going to my folks dad needs it all to be gluten free too!

Here is a piccie of our back roof ( I should send this to the landlord as a reminder of how much work the house needs! Eeep! It looks like it is going to fall apart! Oh well, many of these 120 year old houses look a lot worse for wear) and our epic deadly icicles. We all fear being impaled when we go into the basement below! They are about 4 or five feet long and bigger than our arm at the top... you can't really tell from the pic.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Latest creations...

Had to get down in the shop this weekend to do a commission piece for a friend in time for Christmas. Hadn't been down there in a while because it isn't heated and we hadn't had the funds or time for piddling away ! Fun to do a commission piece though... had some wood left over from the project so I made myself something!!! So excited! This was my great grandmothers ring but I never wore it because it is a little blingy. It has white gold on the top but yellow gold on the bottom which isn't my personal favourite. I am also not dainty and love big jewellery, so it was put away in a safe place for a while. You know... those awesome vintage family pieces that are pretty but not really your style. So I modified it today and made a cocobolo setting for it. I think it worked out awesome and am considering it to be my 0$ Christmas present to myself!!!

Bracing for another big snowstorm. Might check out a solstice fire show and labyrinth tonight... but it is getting windy and the windchill doesn't make it inviting. Happy Solstice All!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Brr! It is -17

That is pretty much as cold as I have EVER seen it on the coast in my entire life! There is ice on the inside of the windows, the pipes are frozen( an all morning ordeal of trying to slowly bring them back to temperature), vehicles that wont start. Brr!!!
*** updated that we have a burst pipe... dang!***

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So much snow!

Spending days and late into the evenings playing in the snow all week! So rare that we get it here. We got about 9 inches today alone. Quite the workout to tow both of the boys around on the GT and to shovel a huge parking spot/ turnaround in the frontyard today! I am beat! I will be back to update later... but heres something fun!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kindergarten in a day?

My littlest guy got a new workbook with his school funding on the weekend... A book full of Canadian kindergarten curriculum ment to satisfy the ministry guidelines. He woke up yesterday morning determined to " finish kindergarten in a day". He worked all day ( minus a walk to the post office and dinner and lunch!) until bleary eyed he excitedly came into our bedroom late last night to declare that he had indeed " finished kindergarten"! All 120 pages finished to perfection.... this is one little determined kiddo! I pulled out a Grade 1 book that I had in the cupboard ( because my oldest guy never touched worksheets. He is more of a " discussion " type of guy!) and he quickly did 25 pages of that. Thank goodness this one is over 400 pages long. He states that he would like me to bake a cake to celebrate his acheivement! lol Silly monkey! I think that I have underestimated him all of this time. His brother is gifted and extremely verbal... in a little bit of an in your face kind of way. It is a little bit hard to ignore and garners him a lot of attention. His little brother is mischevious, a little rude but has a wicked sense of humour and a talent for building just about anything. People don't tend to notice his abilities at all and instead focus on the negative things... The overtly obvious sensory difficulties and aspie qualities( people don't take kindly to a kid that constantly runs in circles or hides under things growling at everyone in busy public situations.... or " hates babies" and says mean things that hurt feelings. sigh) that people " forgive" his brother for or just chalk it up to him just being smart and eccentric. For my little guy, I think that I was beginning to fall prey to that way of thinking after hearing people say it over and over. I love those guys!

To the topic of yesterdays rant... I am feeling a little embarrassed or ashamed for even complaining!( for some reason my blog is coming up when people search " payday loans" lol now I feel a little exposed.) I was reading on a message board this morning that some people in the States are paying up to 1200$ a month for thier medical. We live in such a privileged area of the world. I think I have entitlement issues or something!lol I am humbled by how many kind people there are out there and reminded how much of the positive that I have in my life....

Thank you for your sweet offer Meli. I really appreciate your comment. I noticed that you are an Island mama too... are you local?

Monday, December 8, 2008

You have 1 new message...

I have been living in anxiety for the past few weeks every time I see that darn blinking light! Our 500$ that we owe for medical has gone to collections and they are calling every couple of days. A kind of long story but Ill tell it anyhow!
Last year my hubby worked for another company and was making a couple of dollars more per hour which put us into a different tax bracket entirely.... that weird threshhold where you aren't considered low income anymore. The boss seemed promising and the wage put us in a much more comfy position... you know, not needing to worry if you eat an apple for a snack without doing the mental math of how many you have left until payday and if the kids will have a balance d diet if you eat that last carrot! The boss turned out to be very abusive to the people around him and put my partner into illegal positions. I could see him just fading away feeling so crappy every day. He ended up quitting and going to another company which is awesome but pays less... still makes more than most apprentaces without more schooling( we can't afford to get more right now). So the year goes by and we get a bill from med services for 70$ a month for our family. We have always been low income and have been covered previously. 70$ was a huge jump from 0$!! The thing is, we are making around $2,000 a month which is just borderline for us with the gluten free grocery budget and all. We lost most all of our child tax benefit being in the larger tax bracket last year as well as losing our 100$ daycare subsidy when my oldest turned 7. So in all we bring in around 550$ less a month than we did last year. eep!
I applied for a low income temporary assistance program . I sent in ouor budget and paystubs and everything showing that we have about 30 $ left after the basics( thinking that they wouldn't take my last 30$ right?!!! what if I needed a perscription or socks for one of the kids or something. Or maybe I could save that 30 $ all year and get half of the tires we need for the van right now!!!.... but a year from now!) I got back a letter in the mail saying that we were denied coverage... because we have a 270$ car loan a month. Any debt is considered to be an unacceptable expense. My hubby NEEDS a vehicle for work daily and a reliable one. This is not a new vehicle or anything close to that. This was a small loan for a used reliable vehicle. so loans aren't and acceptable expense right?... but guess what is? Insurance and gas costs for a second vehicle ( which we don't have) and CABLE!!!( which we dont have) etc etc etc. We don't go out or have any crazy vices or live beyond our means. We sacrifice those things that they consider to be acceptable expenses in order to have a reliable vehicle so my hubby can WORK!!!! I was pretty bummed and in tears the whole way from the post office. Technically our wage puts us into the low income bracket but we have to spend that wage in ways that they say are acceptable... like cable!
So now they are calling and I want to send it to arbitration or something. I am just praying that they dont freeze our account or garnish our wages this month. we rely on everything we have coming in now. We can re apply for assistance again as soon as we get our tax stubs in the new year. I pray they wait to take anyhthing that we have coming for tax returns or something!

Good news... someone on my hubbys jobsite is packing up his older sons lego set for the kiddos for Christmas!!! The older guys on the jobsites are all shaking thier heads these days watching the younger guys with families struggle. It used to be that one income would have been enough to support a family..... especially if you were somewhat frugal! You might even be able to save some money! It is a bummer to watch someone who is responsible and a really hard worker head into work every day and not be able to have the basics for thier family. I am so touched by those offers of kindness from the people around us... a toy here and a bag of hand me downs there. It helps so much.

Some days I just need a little rant.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I will be back! busy week!

Guests and pre holiday prep has been keeping me busy lately!

Realised that I have that nice box of candle making supplies that I picked up at a garge sale over a year ago. Along with the beeswax sheet candles( thought that the kids could make a set for the grandparents maybe?) I am also planning to make some small batches of home made paper with the kids this week. I have my own plans on the go as well... realising that I have some walnut and cherry wood in the basement I am going to tuck away in the basement tomorrow and try to make a couple of wooden cooking utensils. I am hoping that it works out so that I at least have a gift for the Christmas dinner host!. I get all creative when I am PMSy!lol
Hopefully I will have something to show for it at the end of the week!