Thursday, October 22, 2009

To say we've had some strange weather around here the last couple of weeks would be an understatement. The day of Kaden's Birthday party (October 2) the weather was beautiful. It was really a blessing, because otherwise I may have just gone crazy with all those rambunctious kids running around inside my house all afternoon. Thankfully the day of the party was sunny and plus 20 degrees, so the kids played in the backyard for at least 30 minutes. It was fantastic!

Just 6 days later we had this:

It was so cold! and quite a shock to the system. It didn't stick around for long, but once again a week later, we got another dump of snow. The City (or whoever is in charge of the sanding trucks) seemed to be in denial about it all, and didn't sand or anything in the morning, so it took me 20 minutes to drive Kaden to school in the morning because traffic was so backed up. Normally it is a 10 minute walk or 2 minute drive. Crazy!

The kids sure seemed to enjoy it though, and when I went to pick Kaden up from school, the school yard was littered with snow forts and half assembled snowmen. That really made my day. Honestly, I almost cried. And made me wish I had a camera with me. It made me really happy to see that in this age of video games, computers, and electronic entertainment the kids would and could still have some good ol' fashioned fun in the snow. It also made me reminisce about when I was in elementary school, and how much fun it was when it snowed. When I didn't care that snow meant the need to shovel the sidewalk and driveway. The hassle of needing to leave extra early to get places because traffic would be slow. The extra heating costs. The wet front entrance from everyone's boots, mitts, toques and snow-pants. When life's "little" pleasures were enjoyed as the monumental events that they really are. If only we could see things through the eyes of our children more often. I think we would all be a lot happier with ourselves and the world.

Besides frolicking in the snow, my other favorite thing to do when it's cold and snowy is to bake! I had some bananas that were in serious need of attention, but I didn't want to make banana bread AGAIN. I always make that with old bananas, and while it's absolutely delicious, I wanted to try something different. So I headed to my favorite recipe site Here I found a good recipe for banana oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips. They were really quick and easy to make, and quite tasty. You can find the recipe Here if you are interested. I substituted the walnuts for chocolate chips, and I think next time I will make them smaller, so it's more like a mini bite-sized banana bread instead of a monstrous cookie. After being outside in the cold the kids couldn't wait to dive into the warm cookies!

Yesterday, we got yet another dose of crazy weather. This time in the form of fog. It was insanely thick. You can't see the end of the driveway thick. It was a bit scary driving Kaden to school, because you really couldn't see the houses we were driving passed very well. When I dropped him off, he wanted me to just stay in the van so he could walk to the school by himself. That was hard to do because from the parking lot I couldn't even see the playground 50 meters away, let alone the school. But being the brave Mom I am, I let him walk himself across the foggy abyss and watched him totally and completely disappear from view. I had to push the panic down. It's one thing to sit in the van and watch him make it safely to the school, but it's another for him to be totally lost from view in the fog, and just sit there hoping he made it ok. Anise on the other hand kept yelling from the back "Let's go Mommy! Why are we still here" I guess she couldn't see him any more either, so figured it was time to go. By the time we got home, the fog had lifted quite a bit, but I realized it was still pretty foggy out, so I took a picture from our front steps. Normally I can see all the way down the street and over to the next block from here. When I had first gotten up I could barely make out the bush and rock in our front yard!

So a while ago, some of you may remember that I declared my new found love for making quilts, and that I was going to be needing some people to give all these quilts to. So, that may have been a bit premature. I do love making quilts, but I have really only finished the one for Anise. I've started on Kaden's, but it's not all pieced together yet. And I haven't decided what I'm making next or for who. I'm sure I can go through my fabric stash and find plenty of suitable specimens, but I have yet to take that plunge.

So what I really should have said is that I love making quilts, and I would like to keep trying out different patterns, so I may eventually end up with more quilts than I know what to do with. Eventually. Right now I though I do have this to show off:

Isn't it cute?! I LOVE it! But don't let the picture fool you. Anise hates it. I finished it on October 13, and 10 days later, this was the first time she actually let the quilt be on her bed. Or anywhere near it. The fact she is under it is nothing short of a miracle, and I'm glad to get the picture to document this monumental occasion. Right now it's at the foot of her bed as far away from her as she could possibly get it. At least it's on the bed now. I keep telling myself that someday she'll warm up to it, and want to actually use it. But maybe it's just destined to be forever folded neatly at the foot of her bed. Oh, well. It was fun to make, and I got to spend a lot of time visiting with Grandma while I did it. And now I'm on to the next one. This one's for Kaden. I'm not doing a rag quilt for him. I'm trying out a quilt made from 20 fat quarters. So far so good. I would have gotten more done on Kaden's, but I ran out of thread - silly me.

So where on earth am I going to find the time to make all these quilts for everyone under the sun? Every Tuesday, I have what I call a Grandma Day. Anise and I drop Kaden off at school, and then we go over to my Grandma Frache's house. My Grandma is the typical sweet Grandma, who loves to cook and bake and has to feed you the moment you walk in the door, and if you don't eat, wonders what is wrong with her baking/cooking that you don't want to eat it. I spent the majority of my childhood here, while my parents were at work, so I totally get this from her. It's where I learned how to make cookies, bread, buns, homemade noodles, pies; you name it, we baked it together - and often on cold days to warm up the house - yup I got that from her too. So ever since we've been back in Lethbridge, I badly wanted Anise to get the same tutoring in the kitchen, and I know how lonely Grandma is since Grandpa died a year and a half ago, but she really isn't up for babysitting anymore. Don't tell her I said that - she would be furious - She's almost 80 years old, but thinks she's still 50! Anyway, I decided that a great arrangement would be for both of us to go over (because I want to see her too!) and I would have some sort of project to work on, and she could "watch" Anise for me while I was there. We've been there every Tuesday for 2 months now, and it's perfect! I get to spend the day with my Grandma, working on quilts (which she also taught me how to do), Anise gets the same spoiling and teaching that I did when I was her age, and Grandma gets to have a house full of people for the day. Most days Anise will ask her to watch Beauty and the Beast with her, and they'll snuggle on the couch. Every so often throughout the movie Anise will ask for some kind of snack, which of course Grandma will willingly provide. Then they watch Aristocats next. Usually by that time it's about time to pick Kaden up from school, and Anise never wants to leave. I love Tuesdays.

A picture of Grandma and Anise from about 3 years ago: