Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Audit

I'm not exactly sure when this started - sometime in the fall. Steven came back to sit with us in sacrament meeting after doing the count and Chloe asked to see his paper. Not knowing what was in her head, Steven passed it along.
Well, Chloe checked his math, and then looked up at me with a mixture of pleasure and worry. She had found a mistake. Steven had quickly added up the numbers in his head, whereas Chloe had carefully worked out the addition on paper and she came up with a different answer. She re-checked it a couple of times to be sure before she pointed out his error.
Honestly, Steven was annoyed. He felt that she was a little too pleased with herself, and when she asked to see his paper the next time he didn't want to pass it to her. But he did. And now it has become a little tradition which amuses all of us, even Steve. Mostly their numbers agree. A few weeks ago Chloe's total was different than Steven's, but it turned out they'd both made a mistake on their first calculations.

A couple of weeks ago I documented the audit with my camera on my phone in Sacrament meeting. (Set to silent.) (Which was possibly still wrong to do.)

A funny brother-sister bond.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


I have this thing where I take a break from birthday parties during the jr. high years. It started out as the last birthday party being at 11 years old, which evolved into 12 years old (poor Jaclyn was cut off sooner than Carmen and Steven). Partly this came from my mom having no birthday parties past 10 years old, partly it came from having 4 children and getting tired. Actually, my mom having 5 children and getting tired is probably why she stopped the birthday parties at 10 years old.

However it happened, I stand by it.

Carmen was lucky enough again to have her birthday fall during a school break, so Carmen, Chloe and I drove up to Edmonton to visit Mark, Ortensia, Camille, and Monte and to go to the water park at West Edmonton Mall! There is really nothing like it in Calgary.

Chloe started off with Monte, who loved the splash park.

Then she warmed up on the Caribbean Cruiser.

Monte is hidden in the splash.

Meanwhile, Carmen found just the right big slide for Chloe.

It was a hit!

And here's Camille, who loved the slides.

What's this? No pictures of Ortensia or I in our swim suits? However did that happen?

The next day was Carmen's actual birthday, and we thought maybe that would be the day she would pass me in height. Ortensia found a book, and Mark pulled out a level . . . 

Oh, the bubble is creeping into the middle, but still solidly on my side. You will be taller than me soon enough, Carmen. 

We had crepes for breakfast, and then drove home to spend the rest of Carmen's birthday with Ken and Steven. We went out to Chianti's and came home for ice cream cake.

Happy Birthday Carmen! How can you be 13 already???

Friday, 17 February 2012

Five for Friday

1. I just need to get it down that I draw deep satisfaction from taking care of my family. Preparing food to meet Chloe's needs and taste good to everyone else, finding solutions to physical challenges, coming up with a helpful idea. It warms me from the inside out.

2. I've driven Steven and his friends to the movies a couple of times in the last month and each time I think, 'I won't be doing this much longer.'   I've been driving the same core group of boys around for more than 10 years!

3. A woman at work, another hygienist, has gone on stress leave - she's been away for more than a month. I've had a few people say to me jokingly about this that they'd like to take a stress leave, which is funny. But actually this woman is the sole provider for her family right now, her husband hasn't worked in 3 years, and so this is very real. And not making money has to be a stress of its own, I'm sure.

4. Because of #3 I've been working more. Filling in the gaps can't exactly fall to the people who are already there every day - so I've been picking up extra hours. I've been told I'll be rich, but my response is I'll just own more scarves from Winners. (Actually, I dropped my car off today to have a remote car starter installed. I find working more has forced me to be a better meal planner, and slightly more organized, but I have also found it to be inconvenient. The remote starter, however, will be very convenient.) (Let it be noted I've moved from working 1 day/week to 2 days/week and it is only temporary - as in 6 weeks at the longest. My full time working friends have no sympathy, and I don't complain about it to them.)

5. The Valentine's wrap up:

I made advance plans for my Valentine's Day with Ken. Not all of them pulled through, but we did go out to eat on Tuesday during Steven's football off-season training, which made me much luckier than the wives of those coaches!

For some reason I was not as on top of Valentine's Day for the kids. I did our traditional waffles with strawberries and whip cream thing, but let's just say that the evening of February 13th was a flurry of activity to have Carmen and Chloe ready for the next day:

Carmen prepared her first box lunch social. Thank heavens she was on top of things: she made two personal-sized homemade lasagnas on Saturday and stuck them in the freezer. But on Monday night she still had to shop with me for the *extras* and she also made two personal sized pineapple upside-down cakes. Carmen's lunch was bought by 2 boys who pooled their money together: it went for $85! They split the food up between the 3 of them fine, but I guess we should include an extra drink in the future just in case.

Chloe's Valentine's friendship bracelets were all done, but the night of the 13th still required putting them together with the Valentine printable (a la Pinterest):

We also made pink Rice Crispie Treats with marshmallow hearts on top for a class treat. I'm sure we would have contributed to the class party food anyway, but the no gluten/no dairy thing makes it a requirement.

Happy Valentine's Day!

(Steven gleaned the benefits of having younger sisters by getting a pineapple upside down cake of his own as well as a couple of Rice Crispie treats, and all the extra marshmallow hearts.)

(Jaclyn says she had the best Valentine's Day ever.)