Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 248: End in Sight

We originally planned our stay in Canada to last about 1095 days. I joyfully announce that our stay (sentence?) has been reduced to just short of 500 days, 248 of which have already been served.

Yes, we are coming home after the kids finish school at the end of June. Please note the countdown clock below my followers :)

Things I am excited to see again:
Lake Powell (You guys, we totally need to plan a trip. Nick might die if we don't)
My cute neighborhood
The ward 

Things I'll be sad to leave:
New friends
The gym, my second home (I told Nick that I demand a gym membership when we get back)
The ward

Don't be sad, Canadian friends! This gives you an excuse to visit Utah!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 244: Qu'avez-vous appris?

At the end of the yoga class I attend, the teacher guides us through a short relaxation/meditation exercise. The other day she suggested a simple way to keep our thoughts and attitudes positive. Think of something that immediately brings a smile to your face. Or better, something that instantly makes you laugh out loud - a child, a dog, husband, your best friend or something funny that you heard or saw.
When you face a negative thought or situation, think of this person, thing, or time.
In other words, go to your happy place!

This is a silly thing that I thought of  (and probably not funny to anyone but me) but it makes me laugh.
Christa, Emma and Ethan were sitting at the kitchen table and I came in and announced loudly "C'est moi!!"
In perfect sync they shouted back "MOI!"
Then looked puzzled when I burst out laughing.
"What's so funny?" They asked.

Haven't they learned anything in French class?

(Here is the Google Translation if the hilarity is escaping you as well. Use the "listen" button)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 243: I Smell a...

When Deven came back from visiting Utah over the summer, one of the first things he did was buy a pet rat. Without asking us. Whatever. It's your pet, you feed it and take care of it. And it lives in your room. Yuck.

Well this little guy has grown on me. On all of us, in fact. Even Nick, who usually hates critters of all kinds.
Introducing: The Rat, aka Ratsky von Ratterson, Ratrick J. Rattstien, sometimes called Clark, but mostly he goes by Lil Guy.

I never knew that rats were such social critters. He really is sweet and  has such a cute personality. His cage has been moved upstairs so he can have some social interaction. He spends most evenings running free, merrily prancing from lap to lap while we watch TV. If you make a 'kiss kiss' sound, he'll jump up and give you a kiss :)

We've decided he's the perfect pet. No barking, he doesn't need to be walked or put outside, and when we're done playing with him, we just put him back in his cage. No fuss, no noise.

 Don't you judge me!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 239: Stratford

What a beautiful day! Deven went to Muskoka for the day with some friends to help close up their cottage, so with one less body crowding our small car, we decided to go for a drive. We ended up in the lovely town of Stratford.

From Wikipedia-
Stratford is a city on the Avon River in Perth County, Southwestern Ontario.
When the area was first settled in 1832, the townsite and the river were named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England, of Shakespearean fame. The swan has become a symbol of the city. Each year twenty-four white swans and two black swans are released into the Avon River.

It really is a charming little town, and the Victorian architecture is gorgeous. Stratford hosts the yearly world-renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and the Stratford Summer Music Festival. Here is a nice website.

Strolling through the garden

Mr.Shakespeare. Fun for Christa, since she's been a bit obsessed with "The Bard" lately. Her English class is reading Romeo and Juliet, and she's in Drama club working on a medley of Shakespeare's plays.


Emma and Daddy :)
Gaol. This is a terrible picture taken from the car as we drove by.
According to my research, this is still an operating jail. It seems to be undergoing some construction around the back, and there is razor wire strung everywhere!
I also read that this jail is haunted by a man hanged here in 1895. Verrry interesting.

Oh and by the way? Stratford  is Justin Bieber's hometown (preteen shriek!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 238: Loving the Leaves

I borrowed this photo from this website because none of my crappy photos did the trees justice. And I was a little late getting out to take any good ones :)
I am still riding my bike in the mornings. Some days it's quite chilly, but it's lovely to ride through the crunchy leaves. It's gorgeous when the sun is shining and the leaves are blowing through the air.
Something that is unusual here (and sometimes frustrating) is that there are no mountains to block the sun in the mornings. The sun just comes right up. Hello sunshine! Good bright shiny morning! It can be frustrating because there are certain times of the morning and evening where the sun-visor in the car just can't block out the sun.
Those are times when I very much miss the lovely mountains.

Mount Timpanogos photo courtesy

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 235: Give Thanks

From Wikipedia:

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, occurring on the second Monday in October, is an annual Canadian holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season.
Although the original act of Parliament references God and the holiday is celebrated in churches, the holiday is now mostly celebrated in a secular manner.
On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:
A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.
Canadian Thanksgiving coincides with Columbus Day in the United States and the Dia de la Raza in most of Latin America.

This was a very anti-climactic holiday for me. We went through the motions - made the proper foods in excessive amounts, but my heart wasn't in it. It just didn't feel "Thanksgiving-y."
Was it the lack of extended family around us, no four day weekend? Maybe it was the lack of football games - on TV or in the yard,  no commando early morning shopping trip, or maybe it was because there were no children with Pilgrim hats and Indian headdresses.

Image courtesy of Google
I did attempt to make my mom's signature holiday Jello dish. I almost got it right, but not quite!

Don't think I'm not thankful, though. I am. Quite. I'm thankful that we were able to spend the day with our little family around us, thankful that we even have food on our table, and thankful that we get to do it again.
In November like it should be.