Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Melissa has lost her first tooth!

Cheryl has all the particulars, but it's official. Tonight Melissa lost her first baby tooth. She has put her tooth in a dixie cup on the window sill in her room so as to not make it too much work for the Tooth Fairy to locate the discarded incisor and leave a loonie in its place.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Attack of the Easter Bunny

Easter baskets
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Easter baskets are all set up for tomorrow morning and the eggs have been hidden throughout the living room and dining room. Not real eggs this year - but plastic ones with jelly beans and foil covered chocolate eggs.

Now I think I had better hop off to bed pretty soon because they are going to walk up EARLY!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Michael's Easter Bunny

Easter bunny - Michael
Originally uploaded by SyntaxError.

Michael's Easter bunny is male and wears a blue dress shirt and a tie!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A year ago

5 m's 2005
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

more or less. This was taken around last spring at Granny's house by Granny. I found the twins mangling something and there were a couple of photos that Allan's mom took and gave us doubles of last year. This is the best of the lot. They all have really grown over the past year!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'm looking into going back to college

I'm probably crazy to even be thinking about this. But I never finished college. I did one year of a music major at AUC with NOTHING that can be accepted here in BC for credits. God knows - I sure tried back in 1995! So once here, I went to UCFV and have a 2 year business administration diploma that I finished in 1997. I'm only short one class towards having my accounting minor. I've done a few upper level business classes already.

I've been thinking about going back. Next year will be 10 years since I graduated. I was asked 3 times last weekend if I'm a college student and I'm taking that as a sign. While I feel my brain has turned to mush, I'm not dumb and it's not going to get less mushy staying afraid of going back.

Can we afford it? I think one class at a time will be manageable. If I decide to go for more than that we have a line of credit and I could get a student loan.

Since I'm not working, Allan can claim my educational expenses on his taxes. I can't count on being a SAHM forever. Not if we want to send OUR kids to SDA academy for high school and to ANY college. Not if Allan ever lost his job or become ill, disabled, or even die. I can't assume he will be around and able to support us all forever. A degree would at least be a starting point for getting a job, especially with being out of the work force for so long.

I know before Christmas I was talking about getting a part time job in the evenings. But I've run the numbers and it's not worth it for me to go back to work. It would end up costing us more. I ran tons of numbers.

Our housing charges here at the co-op are income indexed. We would lose the child tax benefit with me working part time. And if I worked, Allan couldn't claim my personal exemption on his taxes. So now I'm thinking my going back to school part-time would make more sense than going to work part time.

So today I e-mailed the UCFV business department asking if my Business Admininistration diploma from 1997 would still count towards a Bachelor of Business Administration. It's been almost 10 years since I graduated so I don't know if they will count anything anymore. I also was asking if it's possible to finish with night classes or part time. Then I filled out an online form at Kwantlen college for more information (I don't know how well my stuff would transfer though).

I know I must be certifiably insane. But I really feel like I should actually get a college degree now that the twins are finally sleeping through the night most of the time. Now that my kids are starting to be in school. I'll have three in school next year.

Oh and out of all the 3rd and 4th year business courses, I see Calculus. I got a C- in college math (the pre-requisite) 11 years ago the SECOND time through it ...... everything else doesn't look that bad.

But it depends on scheduling if it's going to be possible to go part time or not. Allan said if I do go ahead with this, it might make sense to move closer to the college. We'll see. I'm just in the info gathering stage now and not necessarily even looking for this coming September. It might not be for another year. But I need to know at least what will count and what won't. I don't want to live the rest of my life as a college drop-out.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tulip Time

I love tulips. They're my favourite flowers. And that's saying something considering I worked for a rose grower in my ill-spent youth.

Tulips are graceful and delicate, like all flowers. But they are so much easier to work when compared to roses. Their colours are bright and bold. They are fantastic subjects for drawing or photography.

Luckily for me, Madeleine shares my enjoyment of them. Enough so that she prevailed on her mother to buy her a couple of bunches last Friday. Cheryl called me at work to tell me that she was coming to pick me up and then she said not to sit on Madeleine's treats. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my daughter hadn't asked for candy or pop, but flowers.

When we got home, I put them into vases and then up on the credenza in front of the window for all of us to enjoy. I also shot some pictures over the weekend so that Madeleine and I could continue to enjoy them after they're gone.

If you love tulips, art, and photography, you should make a note of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, now in its 23rd year. It's held annually in Mount Vernon, Washington, about an hour south of here.

I first went there years ago on a weekend bike tour with my friend Richard. It's a good thing I was too broke to have a camera back then or I would have blown at least a half-dozen rolls of film on the one afternoon that we rode through the festival fields.

If you go to the festival web site you will get an idea of the scale of the event. There are miles of tulips, as far as the eye can see. The colours are so bright and bold, when you leave, you keep seeing spots of red and yellow like a flash went off.

The tulip festival is bittersweet for me too, in that it's one of the last big adventures we had with Richard and also our friends Jamie and Melissa, all those years ago. I still remember the rain, cramming into the gray Aerostar with everyone, walking around in the mud, and the amazing watercolour paintings we found at one of the art exhibits.

When Mom's Away

The M's will play. Cheryl had a concert in Abbotsford yesterday so I got to mess around with the kids at home. We got some stuff done, but nowhere near what Cheryl can accomplish when she's running the crew.

Aside from the green waffles already mentioned, the M's did some unsupervised "face painting". Thankfully I caught Melissa and Michael before they managed to get the youngest three made up like pixies or kittens or something.

After cleaning up that debacle, I put the twins down for a nap and set the older three to watching "Lion King". I sent the twins back to bed at least 10 times and then stood in their doorway until they got groggy enough to conk.

I managed about 30 minutes of uninterrupted clean-up in the kitchen before I heard the older 3 exclaim that Maribeth had come down to watch the movie. Oh well, might as well get Megan up too. At least they got a short nap in and will likely make it to bedtime and zonk on time for the night.

After the movie was over, I kicked all the kids outside into the backyard, while I finished up with the downstairs sweeping and vacuuming. They were pretty good. I only had to chase the twins back into the backyard twice and tell Michael to put down a stick once.

I really got some work done when Michael and Madeleine discovered a worm and everyone except Melissa crowded around. Their harassing of that poor worm must have eaten up a good 20 or 30 minutes. However I knew the party was over when Melissa came in and informed me that Michael was playing with the hose. Apparently the worm was "thirsty" and "dirty" so Micheal felt it needed a "drink / shower".

Too Late for Saint Paddy's ..

Sunday was waffle day again, but I thought I'd have some fun with the kids and made green waffles.

"Mmmm .. golden green waffles!"

"Yup, they're green through and through."

"Looks kinda like pistachio pudding, eh?"

Cheryl bought food colouring last week to make "blue" blueberry pancakes for the M's. The frozen blueberries wreaked havoc with the hotcakes - they came out kind of rubbery and more green than blue. Maybe fresh berries will work out better next time.