Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trying to Stay Ahead

I thought I should work on layouts of baby Hannah before Tate is born in June and Quinn in July. It's so hard to stay ahead, or even caught up, in my scrapbooking.

When we were in Lethbridge a couple weeks ago to see Hannah and her family, I was unable to get on the internet. So to fill in time while Mickey was on the internet (could never figure out how she could get on and I couldn't), I used a digital scrapbooking program to create 8 digital pages in an hour - unlike the 8 days it usually takes me to make one page the 'real' way! Those digital pages were 8.5 x 11. Since I usually work with 12 x 12 pages, I decided to incorporate my digital pages into 'real' 12 x 12 pages by printing the digital pages and adding them to 12 x 12 pages. I know this is fascinating information for you non-scrapbookers. The following four hybrid pages are the results of that exercise. The final page is one I did from scratch. Have a look-see.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Birthday Cards

I love birthday cards. I love getting them. I love sending them. I love making them (although once made, I hate sending them away). I love searching for them.

A number of years ago (who's counting...I've had many birthdays, after all), while looking for a birthday card to send my sister I couldn't decide between a funny one or a sentimental I sent her both. That started a new tradition. I now spend the year buying funny birthday cards to send to Wendy, trying not to duplicate the ones she sends to me. It's not unusual for us to receive 7 or 8 birthday cards from one another. Already, two weeks before my birthday, I've already received 5 very funny cards from Wendy, and have a stockpile of cards to start sending her next week (our birthdays are 8 days apart, with mine coming before hers). This giving and receiving of birthday cards is something I look forward to each year.

The whole family seems to enjoy this tradition of ours. The other day when a particularly funny card arrived, Lloyd took it and showed it to our daughters who were upstairs visiting Amy. Yesterday when 7-year old Kenzie brought my mail down, (did I ever mention that Lloyd and I live in Amy's basement suite?) she said "Here's your mail Grammie. Two of them look like they're from Wendy" and she had to watch me open them so she could read them too and laugh about them.

It's a challenge to find cards that Wendy hasn't found. To that end, I avoid Hallmark and Carleton stores, unless absolutely necessary. I've found great cards, different cards, in interesting places...Bubbles Car Wash has racks of unusual cards, as does the truck stop in Vulcan. A couple of stores in the artsy-fartsy university area of Edmonton have an even better selection of non-Hallmark cards. Not that I have anything against Hallmark cards, but everyone has them and I'm looking for the unusual. Indigo and Coles book stores also have a different variety to choose from.

I've had such fun doing this with Wendy that a couple years ago I included my sister in-law, Cath, in my birthday-card-a-rama. She loved it. And this year I 'graduated' my oldest daughter, Jenny, to the multiple card birthday. She got a big kick out of it and called me a couple of times to remark about the cards she was receiving. What the heck! I figured when you turn 37 you're old enough to get funny "ha ha you're old" cards. What else can you do if you can't laugh at the ravages of father time!!! Welcome to the club JLQ. I hope your birthday today is a great one.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Story Writer

I love this picture of 6-year old Charlie that Sara took at Easter. She looks so serious sitting on a rock by the lake at her Grandma's place writing in her new notebook. She is excited to be learning to read and write and loves to practice her reading and writing.
In case you can't make it out, the story she wrote goes like this:
"Charlie is the most specialist girl in the whole wide world. I know why I even think that she is the most goodest cause I am Charlie. The End."
I love it. Fearing that I'll forget what her original spelling is supposed to say, I wrote the story in more traditional spelling and tucked it behind her story on the scrapbook layout. The small ribbon attached is for pulling the translation out so it can be read.
I enjoyed using bling on this page. It looks better in real life.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Visit With Hannah

The highlight of the trip Mickey and I made last weekend was visiting my new granddaughter, Hannah Rose MacKenzie. She was 12 days old when she finally met her Grammie and she was on her best behaviour. Her mom, Avril, was doing well and the whole family seemed to have adjusted well to the arrival of their daughter/sister.

Alex, Mike, Kenny kissing Hannah, Avril

Snuggling with Grammie


Mutual Admiration Society - at least I hope it's mutual

Peaceful Hannah

Mickey gets a turn with her.

Me with Mike's family

Lloyd finally met his newest granddaughter this morning. I'm waiting for the pictures Mike took of them together. I don't think it'll be too long before Lloyd and I head down to Lethbridge for another visit with Hannah and the boys.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mickey and I travelled to Lethbridge on Friday via Vulcan – home of the legendary Mr. Spock. It was an exciting trek through the back roads of the universe, which is Alberta when it can’t make up it’s mind what the weather in April is supposed to be like.

We heard dire tales of 34-car pile-ups on the intergalactic nightmare called the Queen Elizabeth II highway so like the clever space travelers that we are, we darted around on the more scenic, and practically empty, secondary space lanes.

The sky around us was particularly tumultuous, filled with beautiful mists and billowing waves of vapor. Yet we escaped without a drop of precipitation falling on us, and nothing but clear roadways, although we could see evidence of the previous night’s deluge of snow and rain.

And finally a safe landing at Vulcan where we disguised the noble Enterprise as a tourist attraction and drove the last hour to Lethbridge.

A lovely space trek on an interesting meteorological day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

For the first time in several years Lloyd and I stayed home at Easter and were able to share it with some of the kids and grands. It was a beautiful day - sunny and dry and the snow melted just in time to make egg hunts workable.

Sara hosted the Easter dinner and it was a huge success - so much fun. The kids played on their own on the trampoline, in the back yard, and on the Wii, leaving just the two 2-year olds needing our attention. There were four of our kids with their spouses and 8 children so it was a nice little gathering. Everyone brought something - ham, baked beans, scalloped potatoes, corn, taco salad, vegetable tray, and Sara made Death by Chocolate for dessert.

Rob's wife, Cindy, told us of this conversation she had this morning with 6-year old Brooklyn:

B: Is there really a magic rabbit who brings all this candy to us or do you do it?
C: What do you think?
B: I think you do it.
C: That's right.
B: I thought so. Does Daddy know?
C: I'm not sure. Should we ask him?
B: No. I don't want to tell him.

So it appears that 38-year old Rob is the only Easter bunny believer in their family! What a sweet little girl for not wanting to spoil her father's fun.

Here's some shots from this evening. The little Holland lop-eared bunny is a pet of Charlie, Max and Elly. Their mom, Sara, featured her in her bunny portraits event at her photo studio last week. She's a sweet little thing who seems to love all the attention.

Aidan and Elly feeding the bunny

Aidan caught red-handed with his hand in the jelly bean dish.

Granddaughters Kenzie, Brooklyn, Charlie and Sydney enjoying Easter candy.

Elly and Aidan emptying their basket

Max and the bunny

Elly sharing her candy with cousin Anson

Aidan showing us his egg hunt loot.

Sure hope the rest of you had a great Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lloyd's Lucky Day

My husband is a golfer. He loves all things golf - except international scandals involving some of the game's very best players. Over the years (he's been golfing since 1998) he has shared his passion with anyone who would listen to him. He wanted to create his own private group of golfers who would almost always be available to play with him. To that end he made sure his sons and sons-in-law all had golf clubs and, with the exception of Quincey who already was a golfer, he taught, coached, and played with them until he never needed to worry about golfing alone.

He tried to teach me too but I just can't seem to get the hang of estimating yardage, judging which club to use where, or hitting the ball. I have accompanied him in the golf cart and have played the occasional 9-hole course with him, but I was so bad that he just considered those nice walks in good company and didn't worry about scores :) .

After having all the sons, and a couple of the daughters/daughters-in-law fans of golf, he then looked to the younger generation and began teaching his grandsons who were old enough to swing a club and one granddaughter who showed an interest, and coached them as well.

Lloyd and Sam

Lloyd and Layla

Then, he had the brilliant idea to have an annual MacKenzie Family Golf Tournament, complete with a very nice trophy onto which were engraved the names of each year's winners. As his friends heard about this tournament, some of them who were good friends of the family also joined in. It was getting a bit out of hand so last year we limited it to family only again, and still managed to field three teams. There were prizes for longest drive, closest to the pin, etc. and everyone contributed something to the participants table so no one went away empty handed, or empty stomached either as we combined the tournament with a family barbeque.

2008 Participants - back row: Art (friend), middle row: Lloyd, SIL Curtis, Cory (friend), Mark (nephew), Darin (friend), Bottom row: SIL Quincey, son Michael

(In other years we've had daughter Emily, SIL Allan, son Rob, DIL Cindy join the family team.)

And then when we discovered Arizona...woo hoo! here was a way for Lloyd to golf year round, instead of just from April to October. It's amazing how many excuses one man can come up with to go to the sunny south! He now has a set of clubs down there permanently and one up here in the north so he doesn't have to transport them across the border everytime he goes down.

So...why did I title this entry 'Lloyd's Lucky Day'? Well, you can imagine how hard it is for him to pass by a golf store and not go in (sort of like me and scrapbooking stores). Yesterday he saw a sale at his favorite golf store - one where he's a member of their Leader Board, whatever that means. The one obscure club that he hadn't added to his collection yet was on sale, so he bought it at a great price...for clubs, that is. Do you realize how expensive golf clubs are?? Never mind - it makes him happy and he can't complain about my scrapbook expenses as long as he's buying golf stuff. Anyway, he also found a box of his favorite golf balls - Bridgestone Tour B330-RX - they go farther and better than others I guess. He took them to the check-out and the manager on duty recognized him (that shows you how often he's there!) and was standing with the cashier. The box of balls wouldn't scan. The manager said "Well, we'll just have to give them to you for free". And he did!

I can't tell you how many times yesterday Lloyd came to me holding two boxes of Bridgestone Tour B330-RX golf balls and said, holding first one box and then the other out, "Box of golf balls - $46.99. Box of golf balls - Free!" It was indeed his lucky day!