Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I have been keeping a secret since April. My in laws decided last year that they wanted to come spend Christmas with us and they didn't want to tell the boys. We (and when I say "we" I mean me) suggested to also keep Rob in the dark about this also. There has been many phone calls back and forth as the time got closer, trying to keep Rob in the dark. It ALMOST worked. I had to tell Rob the night before they got here that they were coming. I had made up a lie to convince him to take an extra day off work, as this would have been the last day his parents were here. HE decided to take my lie (that I wanted to take the boys out of town for the night) and turn it into a work trip and bring back supplies for his store. He was actually quite proud of this and was going to confirm with a distribution centre that we would be in the city at the beginning of the week to bring an order back for the store. Of course, I couldn't let him make this confirmation as in fact were NOT going out of town. We did keep the secret from the boys, and boy were they surprised to see their grandparents pull in the driveway! The only thing I regret (and I know you will be shocked by this) is that I didnt have my camera ready to catch their reactions.

Unfortunately these next pictures are backwards, but frankly I'm tired and I don't want to change the order.

A typical Schwartz Family picture. People in this community are very generous. We received ALL these trays of goodies from people in town. I LOVE it here. My mother in law was just astonished by it all. It seemed every 10 minutes someone was coming to the door with a tray for us. My christmas coffee.
We bought Colby and Ipod Touch. He has wanted one for the past few years but we felt he was now responsible enough for one.
Waiting impatiently for me to put the camera away so they could open presents.
Throwing colored reindeer food so the reindeers would know where we live.
The traditional Christmas eve "Twas the Night Before Christmas". Jean started this in 2001 when Colby was just a month old. Since we have lived in the north this tradition has been kept alive via webcam. It's the first time the boys have been on THIS side of the webcam.
Christmas eve seafood chowder. Our friends from across the street came over to share it with us. There was just one small bowlful left when we were done.
Reading stories on the Ipad.
Walking outside with Puppa. For some reason Joey kept falling over into the snowbank.
Baking with Gramma. We were making Maids of Honour, which is a cookie that Rob's grandmother always made and I love them. I have never been able to make them right so I asked Jean to make them so I could see how they were done. Unfortunately somehow between us talking and Joey "helping" we quadripuled the butter (it called for 1/2 cup and we put 2 cups) so they ended up as Maids of Honor Crumble instead of individual cookies. It only took a couple of hours of soaking the mini muffins tins to get them to come clean. Although my new clean oven it's so clean anymore!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The best book E.V.E.R

If you have children, or know someone who has small children, buy them this book. This is BY FAR the best book I have ever read. Joey and I have read this book many times, and Joey has read it many times on his own. It is an amazing idea for a book. It promotes imagination and it's a truly magical book. I can't wait to sneak it to work on Monday to share it with my preschoolers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I can't do it

I just can't go private. I have taken a lot of time over the last 24 hours (more than I should have honestly) to think about this. I have had many comments on how this blog has helped people, whether it be dealing with the death of a parent or just looking for information on where I live. I've decided I'm not going to restrict the blog. I really do appreciate all the comments that I have received from each and every one of you who reads this. It really means a lot. And like Tammy said, I'm not going to let "a blip on the radar" restrict what I do. If you don't like what you see, there is a red X in the top right corner. Press it. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Going private

It has come to my attention that some negative comments have been made about the blog. In order to keep blogging, I now want to control who is reading it. It honestly upsets me that I have to do this, but I REFUSE to have people insulting the content found here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

One proud momma

I am amazed how well my kids are doing. Colby is on the volleyball team and they are playing in a tournament today. Joey was awarded star student of the term yesterday. It was all I could do not to cry.

Monday, November 07, 2011

New blog to follow!

I love that more friends are getting into blogging. One of my closest friends (and certainly the friend I've had longer than any other) has started a blog. I now have it in my feed but you can check it out HERE.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Happy 10th birthday

Happy birthday Colby. I can't believe you're 10. You are turning into quite the little man. We love you very much.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

4 years

If you knew my dad, you would totally get this. If you didn't, I will enlighten you. Dad always had mints in the ashtray of his car. Specifically these pink mints. We called them "car mints" and still do to this very day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finally, a college graduate

Looks like I'm 9 months pregnant here. Horrible shadows and a a gown that was miles to big. Luckily everyone looked like they were pregnant, including the woman who was sitting next to me who was in fact 8 months pregnant.
My partner in crime. Anna works with me at the preschool and honestly I was more proud of her graduating than of myself.

I finally graduated on Saturday from Lakeland College. For the past 2 years I have been completing my Early Childhood Education Certificate by correspondance. I graduated with Distinctions (which is a GPA of 4.0 or higher). The highest you could. And so did Anna. I will admit, I did get a little welled up looking out in the audience seeing Rob and the boys watching me. There's just something special about watching your husband and children watching you graduate. Life is good.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Seen today

It's not the best quality picture I've ever taken, but I couldn't delete it. I just happened to look out the window and saw this guy playing in the wind (it's very windy here today). I quickly grabbed my camera and telezoom lens. This was taken from my doorstep, no tripod and I didn't want to miss it. I felt like it was watching me the entire time, and when I cropped this picture to take out some of the background (it's all sky), this is what I saw.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year

For a photographer that is. This is the scenery all around me, and tonight after Joey's bath we went outside on our front deck and watched the Northern Lights dance above our heads.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My preschool classroom

I sit here, knowing that I SHOULD blog, but I don't know what to blog about. Well, that's not true. There are many things that I want to write about, but because of the nature of this public forum and the fact that anyone can read this stops me. I am having a personal moral dilemna right now. I am, for the first time in a VERY long time, alienated from members of my family. It bothers me, but because of the details around it there is no easy solution for this, and I fear that this is something that can never be resolved. Sitting in church this morning, the priest talked about forgiveness, and the importance of letting anger and hurt go and to forgive those who have wronged you and asking for forgivess of those you have wronged. It really got me thinking about my current situation. But again, I'm not one to air my "dirty laundry" on the blog, this is not why I started it in the first place. At times I am soo tempted to start another "anonymous" blog, so I can really write what I want without fear of making a very bad situation worse.

With that being said, I promised you a post about my classroom. I have changed my classroom this year, with the emphasis of making it as homey and comfortable as possible. Take a look.

The desk that Rob built for me with plugs. Initially it was for computers but since I am teaching 3 year olds I switched them out for light brights and puzzles.

Our quiet reading / circle time / fine motor skills area. Yes, that is a FULL size couch. This is a work in progress. The bare walls behind the couch will be filled with framed pictures of the kids. I have a whole basket of frames that I have been collecting that I will be filling as the year goes.
Our latest addition, thanks to the school division. A light table!
Our loft. The bottom is a walk in area that I have set up with cars / blocks/ ramps and the upstairs is a mini living room with books. On top of the little shelf are puppets. I put the shelf on an angle hoping they would use it for a puppet stage and they do!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Joe's first letter

As you know from the past, when I get a call from a teacher about something that happened in school, I have always made Colby write an apology letter to his teacher. Well today, I got a call from Joe's teacher (who happens to be a colleague of mine). She said that Joe took off on her after school without waiting for his brother. Normally he has to wait for his brother after school and they walk across the street to meet me at the preschool to head home. I always get Joe to wait for Colby to cross the street with him because it is very busy at that time of the day with parents picking up their kids, buses coming and going, etc. So, in true form after Joe and I talked about the importance of waiting for Colby, we wrote an apology note. As much as I want to ask her for it back, I'm sure as a teacher she's going to want to keep it herself.

Very seriously writing his letter. I wrote the letters and he copied it.

Translation (and if you look closely you can see it). I'm sorry. From Joe.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Just cause i am a geek, and if you are laughing this is for you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Joey's first day of school

Drawing pictures of KITT.
No, he's not excited or anything.
Look at that grin!
He was soo excited he ran all the way in.
In the truck on the way. He was soo excited to go, and you should all be proud of me. I didn't cry. Now, when he gets on the school bus for the first time will be a totally different story.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Taken today

Where did August go?

Who the hell stole the month of August? I CANNOT believe it's August 21st. August celebrated our 13th anniversary and Colby's first fish. I have been super super busy with portraits lately and I feel like time is just flying by. I go back to work this Wednesday teaching 3 year olds. I will admit, that scares me. I've never taught kids this young.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A letter to my younger self

Dear 13 year old me,

A friend of mine inspired me to write this to you, and I have been thinking long and hard on what to say. The biggest thing i want to tell you is that although you will make some serious mistakes in the next few years of your life, you turn out fine.

I want you to do something for me right now. Stop listening to people when they tell you that in order to succeed in life you need to be thin. There are people in your life right now that have a bad habit of comparing you to others. Even though you are not as tall as some people, you are not as thin as some people, you ARE just as pretty. Stop listening to them. Right now. This harmful information will soon put you in a very dangerous downhill spiral, and because of this you are going to stop eating. Your weight is going to drop to 78lbs which is dangerously low on your 5'1 frame. Your parents are going to try everything, including threatening to hospitalize you. Now, I am not saying it is solely because of this comparison, because lets face it that comparison started years and years before now and you are really good at ignoring it. If she is not there yet, you will have an aunt come to live with you for a while who will also unbeknownst to her also add pressure about you losing weight. She will honestly think she is helping you by encouraging you to exercise regularly with you, but you are so eager to please that you will take this to an extreme. Stop obsesing about your weight. Trust me you are on the verge of your final growth spurt and these 3 inches in height are going to make a huge difference. In 2 years you will be heading into high school, and boy does your life change for the better. You develop this amazing self confidence that truly makes you beautiful. People, and yes when I say people I mean guys, really start to notice you. You obsess about one guy per year of high school, and follow him around like a silly puppy. In grade 11 it is a guy named Joey, which is really funny because you will end up naming one of your boys Joey for a totally different reason. You will be completly madly in love with this guy, even doing something silly as makinng a Joey box, but I wont ruin the surprise by telling you what is in it. You will also get involved with a few not so nice guys, one in particular that will turn your world upside down and inside out before you find your way again. Just remember younger self, your friends and parents are only trying to protect you. Thry can see what you can't. The relationship that you are searching for, you will find. Believe me when I say that it will seem like in the beginning his mother hates you, she really doesn't. I now believe that she was able to see, even back then, that her son and I were meant to be together and she knew that I would eventually take him away. You will also become quite the traveller. Don't believe me? At your point in life I wouldn't either. Let me just tell you that you will spend many nights staring up at the Northern Lights on the frozen tundra of NWT, and you will be able to say you have been in every province with the exception of 3. Hopefully by the the time you reach MY age, you will have suceeded in making it to those final few provinces. You will grow confident, independant and will build an amazing life for yourself with your family.

You will also go through some horrible, horrible times where it feels like the world just isn't fair. You will watch a loved one get sick, but at the time you won't realize that they are fatally sick. No, I won't tell you who it is, because that's not fair. But I will tell you this. Stop sweating the small stuff and spend as much time as you can with your loved ones. You never know when they will be gone. You will leave one day, assuming that they will be there when you get back, but they're not. It will leave a hole in your heart that never truly heals.

But enough about the sad stuff. You know that love of taking pictures that you are just starting to have? Don't lose that. Trust me, you will find one day that people will want you to photograph them, and will pay very good money for them to do so. You'll also drive over frozen lakes, develop a LOVE of the outdoors and have a new appreciation for wild meat. You will learn what it feels like first hand to be the victim of racism, and for people to judge you soley on the color of your skin. And you know what? It makes you a better person for it. You will LOVE to drive a quad, and will quickly become the girl who trades in a car for a full size Ford truck. And you'll LOVE it.

In closing, what I want you to take away from this letter is learn to love yourself for who you are, and accept what you look like. The true man of your dreams, the one you fantasize about when you think about that dream wedding in Newfoundland (spoiler -- IT HAPPENS!) will love you for who you are, both inside and out. I wish I could visit you back there, just to take a peek at the life that I nearly forgot about, until I started writing this. Hug yourself, and then go hug your dad. Give him one for me too.

Thanks Jody for this idea. It was very therapeutic. I encourage everyone to do this. You'll be amazed what comes out when you start typing.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I'm re-hired!

Yep, I finally got the call I have been anxiously waiting for yesterday. I have again been offered the position of pre-k teacher. The only difference this year is that I will be teaching 3 year olds, where as for the last 3 years I have been teaching 4 year olds. Time to start planning another year of fun!

13 years

Rob and I celebrated our 13th anniversary a few days ago. I still can't believe we've been married 13 years. We've had our bumps along the way, as all couples have, but I wouldn't change anything. Everything we have gone through has only strengthened our relationship that much more. We spent our anniversary here at home, just hanging out. We rearranged furniture in ours and Colby's room, and then ended the day with a supper of pan fried Nova Scotia scallops. It was perfect.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The rest of vacation... in pictures

I have been very disheartened lately due to some private family issues. Nothing in my immediate family for those of you who may be worried, but enough to make me want to stay away from the computer. It just solidifies my choice to stay away from Faceb00k and put more here. I promised you the rest of my vacation pictures, because frankly I just got back from a great weekend of camping and have more pictures to share, so I need to get my ass in gear and put the rest of these up! So get comfy, here we go. :)

The menu at Jack Aster's in Dartmouth. I was going to order the Dueling Sausages Pizza but couldn't say it with a straight face.

Rob's ride to the hospital. He was playing volleyball and broke his rib when he dived. It didn't bother him until a day later when we were camping and my brother made him laugh. First trip to the ER told him he had torn ligaments. Next night had him waking me at 4Am telling me he couldn't breathe. We made it about 2kms down the road by car and I had to pull over and call an ambulance to take him the rest of the way. The ER in the QE2 hospital is beautifully renovated.
We took the boys to visit Great Nannie. She passed away a few months ago.
Joe decided he couldn't walk anymore.
My mommy.
These two were best buds. One of my new favorite pictures.
Crazy kids.
Nanny and all her boys.
My brother's family.
All of us.
Classic. I wouldn't expect anything less.