Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh how I love children's books!

Now that I'm back to working with kids, my obsession with children's books has been re-born!!! I had a pretty kickin' collection in Canada (which Steve's Mom is kind enough to be sending me...yeah!!!) and I'm loving picking up a new book here or there again. Seriously, I just love kids' books...there are so many of them and it's endless what topics you can cover. Last weekend I bought this book at the fair trade's intense but I really like it! It teaches children The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It seemed to be a must have for my collection. The more unique the book, the more I love it:)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chase the Sun MTB Enduro Race

Sunday morning the wife (we'll call her Cari ) and I got up really early and headed to Lysterfield National Park so I could take part in race 3 of the Chase the Sun MTB series. It was a chilly morning, but the sun was out, making it a perfect day for a race.
The way this race works is that you do as many laps as you can in 6hrs. You can participate as a team of 4, 3, 2 or solo. I chose to go solo since I don't have any friends :(....
This is team Steve's headquarters location. Just behind me is part of the course.

This hottie started flirting with me, she stuck around to watch and cheer me on. Don't tell Cari!

There were tons of Roos in the park, and not the little dudes, these fellas were the big guys.

I strapped some gel's to the top tube of my bike for quick access. I think during the whole race I sucked back 15 of these things.....After the 5th hour they were getting a little hard to take, kind of like eating snot.

Cari got me a license plate for my bike.

So they had music playing before the race started, and Cari decided she wanted to dance.... I took this pic then left. She can be embarrassing sometimes.

Everyone gathered around to hear the race briefing.

Going by Cari during the race. She spent the day reading and doing some stuff for work.

So in the end I managed to do 6 laps. I was on the course for 6hrs and 11 minutes and only stopped for 20 minutes to get more water and gels. The bike worked great, not a single problem. The course was very hilly, it seemed like I just went from one major climb to another. Cari told me later that everyone around her was saying the same thing. Lysterfield park is an awesome place to ride. I used to love riding Dasiy Hill back in Brisbane but I think Lysterfield might just be a tad bit better. It's a popular biking park in Melbourne and is very well taken care of.

Next race is on the 16th of August. I'm doing my first duathlon and am looking forward to getting the new road bike out for a fast ride. Wish me luck...

Steve (6hrs in the saddle makes for a numb ass) Dickinson

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back to the land of the living...

It's been a rough few days. I came down with a nasty head cold, that I thought was getting better on Sunday, only to wake up feeling like I might just die yesterday. I called in sick to work and literally spent the entire day in bed. I feel much better today (not 100% but heaps better!) and much more inspired. I feel like I need to do something creative to our house. I just love blogs that inspire you to get off your butt and sew, thrift shop, whatever. Here's a couple of photos that inspired me yesterday as I lay snuggled in my cozy bed with Jesse...
Found here but I think it's originally from here.
Found here.

I think I'm finally figuring out my decorating style. Well, maybe not so much style but the feeling I like when I walk into someone's house. You know, that same kind of feeling you might have when you walk into your Grandmother's house...cozy and mismatched with really unique, random, colorful things about. I love that feeling and look, just perhaps in a more up-to-date way. I think it's really impressive when people can tie all sorts of random things they love together so that it creates a warm and beautiful space!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Special Memories...

: molasses cookies in an old ice cream container on the bottom shelf, just inside the kitchen door : standing on the heater with cold winter feet : swirling grape nut ice cream in a small dish with gold trim : homemade strawberry and raspberry jam on fresh white bread from the farm market : date squares in a scottish tin : the feeling of the upstairs front hall as I rummaged through old 'nancy drew' and 'hardy boys' books : exploring the 'el' with wonder : looking down the old well and thinking it was the most scariest thing ever : christmas eve gatherings : the 'good ham' and cheese : multi-colored christmas lights around the picture window and press on snowflakes all over the glass : round shortbread cookies with small pieces of red cherries : nanny's warm kitchen : the sound of the blue dishes rattling in the glass cabinet as i excitably hurried by : peppermints on the stereo : playing with nanny's yarn and knitting needles, determined to sew the perfect scarf : canadian living magazine : watching 'road to avonlea' on sunday evenings : the smell of the wood fire : the flower room : helping to set the dining room table, complete with pretty napkins sent from afar : peeking through the heater upstairs at the grown-ups down below : eating breakfast at the round table in the kitchen, nanny in her bathrobe, the birds at the feeder, just outside the window : picking raspberries in the warm sun, from nanny's raspberry bushes : playing badminton on the grass in my bare feet : swinging on the old red swing, across from nanny, pushing with our feet to keep us moving : all us kids piled on 'grandpa's swing' - you know the swing with the canopy - taking turns swinging us with the old smooth stick : snoozing on the couch with the blanket knit of brightly colored squares : watching from the living room window as family members' cars slow to turn into the 'century old farm' : the old barn : dad and the old outhouse : walks back through the field and old knoll - the cattle skulls in that one strange spot : warming my cold hands and mittens by the wood stove : nanny leaning against the wood stove chatting : piling wood : yummy chocolates at christmas : footstools : the wide stairs leading to the second floor : washing dishes with my sisters, nieces, cousins and aunts : the silver dish pan : cups of tea : doing homework on a sunday afternoon in the living room : nanny in her chair : the rocker in the kitchen and the calendar that hung behind it : the bottles of jam nanny would lay out for me to take home : the coins nanny would sneak us kids when grandpa wasn't looking : nanny's handwriting : nanny dressed for town - classy lady : that firm tone in nanny's voice when she would say 'ingram' : nanny sitting in the kitchen window when you pulled in the driveway : our wedding pictures : jesse singeing his tail from the heat of the wood stove :

Nanny may be gone but these sweet memories will live in my heart forever. I just hope that I can someday pass on some of this beautiful woman to my children, even if it just means making them their Great-grandmother's molasses cookies. I wish I could be at home with my family during this time. I miss you all and love you very much. xoxo

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I've been christened with my first kindergarten cold. It started Thursday night with a bit of sore throat and has only got worse from there. Why is it that the one thing you need to feel better when you're sick is sleep, yet the only thing that's pretty much impossible when you're sick is...sleep. Ugh. I'm so thankful it's the weekend. On my agenda today...a nice hot bath, lots of tea, and a bit of creating in front of the TV. Thank goodness it's the weekend and I can just veg! I have to say, I've officially worked at the centre for a month now and I'm only just getting sick. That's not too bad! Hopefully, I won't catch much more after this!

Friday, July 24, 2009

5 Things I Love!

1. Fridays!!!

2. My new Polaroid Instant much fun!!!

3. This Roots Canada sweater I just ordered online...

4. This razor. Best razor EVER!!! I got a free one in the mail and went out to buy them as soon as I tried it once!

5. Classroom stuff! I love pretty much everything found here. You can't get all this fun stuff at shops in Australia. There are no teacher stores! Imagine! You can order from catalogues if you are a business and have an account but I like to buy some of my own stuff to add to my collection. That's why I just had to order heaps of stuff online. Ah, gotta love online shopping!:)

What are you loving these days?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I no longer...

So, I kind of think of this blog as a journal. I've never been very good at keeping up with a journal, even though I've always had the very best of intentions. But, for some reason, I really like blogging and can't see myself not posting when I have a thought or picture to share. Therefore, you guys reading this are blessed (...would that be the word you'd use?) to hear the good, the bad and the sad, depending on what's happening in my world.

Which brings me to my post today...

I've always been a person who's obsessed (yes...I'd use the word obsessed) with personal growth. It's only got worse, as I've got older. I'm always on a quest to find the happiest, most zen me. I read the stupid books listed under "self-help" in the book shop, just cause I actually find a lot of them inspiring. I'm constantly setting goals for myself and making mental lists of things I'd like to work on or change, in hopes of staying on my path to my highest self.

Stay with me, I'm seriously not nuts!!!

Anyhoo...the other day I was reading an interesting article in a health magazine that suggested making a "I no longer" list. Basically a list of things you no longer do, rather than things you want to do or change. I like this idea because it makes you think about all you've accomplished. If you're anything like me, I'm so busy fussing over the big things I want to accomplish, I miss the small steps that are just as important. Or, I'm so busy worrying about the next thing on my mental checklist, I don't give myself credit for what I have done. Steve's always telling me that! So, here's my "I no longer" list...

I no longer...

...constantly tidy my house. I let it get messy and when it starts to stress me out, I remind myself that I've been too busy living to worry about cleaning!

...worry about things I can't change. Seriously! I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting (cough) older, but I really don't worry about silly things anymore! I've had lots of people tell me that you stop worrying so much as you get older...maybe it's true!

...get annoyed at Jesse when he walks over all my paper work and stuff I'm making and stands staring at me with a ball in his mouth. I love that dog and loooooove that he's healthy and happy enough to still want to play with me! I always make time for a "Jeddy pway":) if I think someone doesn't like me. Let's be honest, I don't want to be friends with every single person I meet, why would every single person that meets me want to be my friend? I figure as long as I like me, and I'm not doing anything I regret, then who cares what other people think?

...feel sick and tired all the time. Seriously! I didn't realize how amazing I feel until I started working in daycare again. Wow! What used to kill me and send me home to bed for a 3 hour nap three years ago, now is just a minor bump in the road of my day.

...raise my voice when I'm angry. I don't like it when people do it to me, I don't want to be the person who does it to others. Not that I yelled at many people...this one is more for Steve:)

...feel guilty when I eat something that I shouldn't. I'm doing my best and I deserve to cut myself a break.

I like my list, if I must say so myself! Lately, I've just really appreciated all that I have in my life. I have an amazing husband, a beautiful dog, a loving family, great friends and a job I really like. I feel really at peace and it feels really good! what's on your "I no longer" list?

In other news...

Speaking of great friends, I got this package in the mail today from a person who I couldn't have survived my job at the daycare in Montreal without! Mary Alice, who I like to call MAE, was my partner in crime when I worked at the daycare and good friend. I am so glad we met and got to work together! You're awesome Mae!:)

I'm not sure who gets more excited about parcels, me or Jes. I love, love, love that the tape is Canada flags!!! I smiled as soon as I saw it! blogging wishlist come true!!! Oh, the baking I will do!!!
Jesse was pretty eager to try the goods. Sorry Jes. I love ya but you don't get to try these goodies!

Thanks Mae! You made my day! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A walk in the park...

The weather was absolutely amazing over the weekend. I am really looking forward to summer here. Steve and I went downtown on Sunday to run errands and go to the market and on the way home on the tram, I couldn't help but notice how alive the city felt! There were people in the parks and everyone seemed very happy and energetic. So, Steve and I decided to join them. We went home long enough to drop off our stuff, grab Jes and head off to the Botanical Gardens for a stroll...
The gardens are only about a 7 minute walk from our house and they are really nice. We had a great time!
I like this pic of Steve and Snugs but I like that the couple in the background is snuggling even more! It was a warm, snuggly kind of day for everyone!

In other news...I made myself a to-do-list yesterday and it was reeeeeally long! Eeeek! I'm determined to get it all accomplished this week. I'm still searching for life's balance since starting work again. I'm slowly getting there...please be patient with me! At the top of my list is emailing. So, to the 12 people I owe emails...hopefully you'll be hearing from me this week! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A winter day at the beach...


Friday, July 17, 2009


I swear, sometimes I feel like the best teacher ever and other days, the absolute worst! I just want to know that I'm providing all the right things and experiences to help make these little people happy learners and ensure I'm giving them the best start in their journey of education. It's so easy to doubt yourself! I can't imagine how a parent must feel! Ah, the pressure!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Soulmate Friends

Do you have a soulmate friend?

You know, the kind of friend who you get along so well with that it couldn't possibly be a coincidence that you met, it had to be destiny?

You know the kind of friend that knew you when you looked like this...
That's me in the middle, the one with the ghostly white face. I'm wearing my banana bread sweater.

See, soulmate friends like you even when you wear sweaters that look like banana bread...

...and soulmate friends like you even though you nickname your sweater your "banana bread sweater"...for life.

Soulmate friends are the friends that you sat by in every single class, then rushed home to talk to on the phone about all the things you couldn't say in class.

Soulmate friends are the friends that sat beside you on your Minnie Mouse blanket, on your wee tiny residence bed when you first moved away from home, feeling as lonely as you did.

Soulmate friends made moving away not so scary after all.

Soulmate friends know you so well, they introduce you to your soulmate and later brag about it in a speech at your wedding.

Soulmate friends poke their head in your daycare classroom while you're working and say something silly like "you stink" at just the right moment. You know that moment when you think you might just burst into tears and run all the way home screaming. Instead, you just laugh.

When you think of your happiest memories...the kind that make you laugh out loud, a soulmate friend is always there.

When you think of some of your toughest times...the kind that make you a little sad, a soulmate friend is always there...just that this time they are listening, cheering you up and helping you move on.

Soulmate friends encourage you.

Soulmate friends inspire you.

Soulmate friends don't judge you, even when maybe, just maybe, they have the right to! They just help you get back on your path.

Soulmate friends have seen you at your worst, and like you anyway. They might even like you more.

Yes, I am very blessed to have many soulmate friends. Some I've known for decades, some I've known for only a short time. I hope to make more soulmate friends throughout my life...

But, this post is inspired by one particular soulmate friend...

Kristi and I became bestest buds in 9th grade math class, when she sat in front of me. She spent most of her time turning around in her seat chatting with me. Neither of us got very good grades in 9th grade math class.

But, it was wayyyy worth it:)

We've each gone our separate ways, and we don't get to talk as much as I'd like. But, that doesn't matter, when we do chat, it's just like we were back in 9th grade, giggling and bonding like nothing stands in our way.

I got this parcel yesterday from Kristi. A surprise-no-reason-just-'cause-parcel. It was full of Cari treasure. The kind of stuff a soulmate friend would know to send you...
It was the picture of Isaiah, Kristi's little turkey that made me smile the most. I've never met him, but I can tell I'd love hangin' out with him. After all, he's Kristi's son!

I interrupt this regularly scheduled post with a memory...

One of my favorite Kristi memories...driving around B'water in Kristi's Mom's car with Celine Dion turned up sooooo loud, us singing along at the top of our lungs! Ahhhhhhh:)

I now return you to your regularly scheduled post...

You know, soulmate friends don't just think of you, but your family too...

Jesse was pretty happy to get his gift...
This is not a joke...he wouldn't go out for a pee this morning unless I let him take it out with him!
He's been carrying it around ever since and won't sleep without it. I think he knows it's from Kristi. They bonded back in the day, when Kristi visited us in Montreal and Jesse ate her cookies:)

Thanks soulmate friend, Kristi! Life just wouldn't be the same without you in it! xo

PS. Steve also liked the Smarties but he ate them too quickly to be photographed! ;)

So, do you have a soulmate friend?

I hope so. I like to think that everyone has at least one. Life would be pretty darn lonely without them!

Monday, July 13, 2009

How to make yourself feel like a deep fried french fry...

First, take the tram to the American diner only a short walk from your house...Start with a triple thick milkshake, just like the kind you get in Canada...
Order chilli fries as an appetizer...
...and follow it up with a 10 inch American hotdog (note the American flag stuck in the end)...
Yup, follow these simple instructions and you'll feel deep fried in no time!
You may find it best to pop some coins in the jukebox and boogie off some of the fat!
If you're lucky, Elvis will show up and help get the party started!

Note: We skipped the tram ride on the way home and walked the 20 didn't help ease the disgusting feeling of overindulgence! Man, it sure was yummy though!:)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Love. Love. Love!

Life has been really good lately (not that it's ever bad!), so I thought I'd share a little of what I've been lovin'...

1. Working! Seriously, it's awesome being back at work. I sleep so well at night because I'm exhausted in a good way! My new job is challenging, I'm learning a lot about special needs and it's awesome planning and programming again. One of my favorite things to do for sure...I've missed creating for kids! It's shocking how different it is working in an early childcare centre this time around. Two of the biggest differences are my bosses are awesome and I really respect them. Also, my health is better, which makes such a difference. Getting back into a routine was tough, but I was already feeling in the groove by Friday (the end of my second week). I'm really appreciating the chance to create a program and design a classroom with the freedom to do it my way. It's been very motivating!

2. Our neighbor's car. How cool is this?

3. My laminator and new colored things EVER!

4. Cutting and gluing and making stuff for lesson plans. I spend pretty much all my spare time planning and making stuff for my classroom. It won't always be like this but I have so many ideas rolling around my head and I'm just so eager to make my classroom all it can be! That's why the items mentioned in #3 are so great! They help me create stuff like this...

I devoted this weekend to making interactive felt board stories. I love how they turned out and I had so much fun making them!

One of my favorite books (The Very Hungry Catepillar by Eric Carle) turned into a felt board'll help the kids learn the days of the week, numbers and the life cycle of a catepillar. Plus it'll make for great group time and conversation sharing!:)

I found the templates here if you want to make them too.

5. Steve in his shark pants. Just kidding. You all know how I feel about those things! I'm tired of seeing them! I just liked this picture. This is Steve analysing his training schedule for the next 19 weeks, leading up to the half iron man (or iron person, as I like to call it) he wants to do. I think it must be kind of what Santa thinks when he sits down with his wish list!;)

6. My hemp hand and lip protector from the Body Shop. I don't think I could survive without either! Especially now that I wash my hands about a zillion times a day!

Hope everyone is well!

Monday, July 06, 2009


...not so sure I like waking up when it's still dark (and cold!) to go to work! Don't get me wrong, I like my new job, I just think getting back into a work routine is really tough after almost 3 months of waking up without an alarm! I'm pooped! I'm looking into hiring a dog walker and cleaning lady as soon as possible. I figure if it helps make balancing life easier and leaves more time for enjoying the fun stuff, why not, right?