Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This Saint's For You!

I also posted this on my book review blog...but in case you don't read that's some interesting reading:

From kindergarden to grade 13, I went to a Catholic school. In school we had religion classes, and when we were being confirmed in grade 8, we had to pick out a saint in whose name we would be confirmed. So we spent the better part of a week poring over books of Catholic saints, looking for divine inspiration...then the girls in the class discovered that our teacher, Mrs. Kelly, was confirmed with a male saint's name, Saint Frederick.

After that, of course, all of the girls (or most of them anyway) leaned toward boy names, including myself. (Saint Robert). I had long-since forgotten what he was the saint of. I always told people that he was the patron saint of sarcasm...but for years I've been wanting to buy a book of saints. Today I found a great one! "This Saint's For You!" by Thomas J. Craughwell has detailed information on "300 heavenly allies for architects, athletes, brides, bachelors, babies, librarians, murderers, whales, widows and you". And St. Robert? Turns out he is the patron saint of catechism teachers. Hmm. Who knew?

Cruising through this book has given me some new saints to pray to though, geared especially to me:

St. Expeditus: The Patron Saint of Procrasination (Feast Day, April 19). In art, he is often depicted trampling on a raven that is labelled "cras", Latin for "tomorrow".

St. Martha: Patron Saint of Those Stressed by Guests. She is a good pick for this, as who would be more stressed than the woman who served dinner to the Son of God?

St. Bonaventure: Patron Saint of Bowel Disorders. As a sufferer of IBS, I now know who to pray to in times of abdominal distress.


St. Marculf: Patron Saint of Skin Rashes. I am also the queen of brutal eczema, so this is a good one to know as well.

Listen, there is a helpful saint out there for all of you...
Parents of Disappointing Children? Pray to St. Matilda
Physically Unattractive? Pray to St. Germaine Cousin
Sore Throat? Pray to St. Blaise
To Find a Husband? Pray to St. Andrew

There's hope for us all...

Looking for a saint? Drop me a line and I'll look it up for you...

It's Nice To Hear Something Good For a Change

I was volunteering at the boys' school this morning. On my way out, I ran into Keegan's kindergarden teacher. She stopped to tell me so many nice things about Keegan that I am sure my face lit up like a Christmas tree.

She told me that she is amazed at the difference in Keegan since September. She said that he is very attentive to his work, that he listens, and is so eager to learn. She said that he has learned to tune out the noise of the classroom to focus on his own tasks, that he helps the junior students with problem-solving, and is the first to volunteer at circle.

She told me that when she was working with him today, she was going through a list of "sight words" (which is the words SK students should know when entering Grade 1) and he read them all. He sounded out another list of words as well, and wrote them down without complaining. It seemed, I think, like a bit of a miracle to her, but I assured her that Keegan has been working very hard at home, and that a little positive reinforcement goes a heck of a long way with Keegs.

That is one of the greatest things about Keegan: if you show enthusiasm for something, he gets excited about it too. He is so eager to please, and beams with pride at all of his accomplishments. I am having a very proud Mommy moment... :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Flat Stanley!

Well, Phoenix had a great March break with Flat Stanley. Stanley was out in the blizzard with the snowblower, built towers with Lego, and measured his height in Lego bricks. He would have enjoyed the Starwars and 80s Toy Expo, but sadly, he was forgotten in the car...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lazy, Lazy,Lazy?

No, just busy, busy, busy...

This is my excuse for being lax in the way of blogging. In truth, I forget that not everyone I know is on Facebook, and therefore do not have minute to minute updates of my crazy schedule.

In case you were wondering, my trip was AWESOME! We truly could not have picked a better place to go. Weather was gorgeous, food was almost too good, and we went on three great tours.
The night before we left, I stayed at my friend Kristin's place, since she lives nearer the airport, and we had to be there 3 hours before (read: 4am!). We decided that there wasn't much point in going to sleep, so by the time we arrived in San Salvador, we were running on 48 hours of no sleep. But, as soon as our luggage hit the room, we were in our bathing suits and off for a swim, drink and snack. I think we took a nap before dinner. Needless to say, we went to bed early that night, but were raring to go the next day.

We went to the orientation deal, where they tell us about the resort, and about all of the different tours that they offer. After booking our tours and our a la carte dinners, we were going to go play in the ocean, only to discover that the tide was out, and daily remains so until about 3 pm. So we lounged by the pool, sipped our drinks and read our books. But when the tide came in? Woo hoo! 8 to 10 foot waves that knocked us onto our asses! It was a blast.

The next day, we went on our first tour, which was the Mayan route. We saw lots of Mayan pyramid ruins and a few museums with wonderful pottery finds and tools. Our next tour was the coffee tour, and this was by far my favourite. We went to the coffee plantation in the mountains, saw the coffee trees, and the greenhouse where they have the baby grafted coffee trees. We also saw 3 monoliths on the only private archeological site. Next we went to the factory where they process the coffee (that you drink at Starbucks!). It was like being in a 3 hour episode of "How It's Made". We saw production of coffee from berry to green bean. We also got to sample some, and it was sooooooo good. Bought some coffee there, as well as coffee bean jewellery which was pretty neat.

Our third tour was the Culture and Crafts tour. We saw a beautiful church, and lots of open-air craft markets where we spent the remainder of our spending money.

The rest of the time at the resort was spent relaxing, reading, eating, drinking, and dodging those huge waves! We were all reluctant to leave, especially since we came home to snow, snow and more snow. (Props to Kris, who saved my ass on the way home by packing light. I was 5 pounds over, and she was 5 pounds under, so I got to take her weight limit for my luggage. Thank GOD! Or else I was looking at a $50 overage fee.)

And speaking of snow, holy crap! I don't know what we are going to do if it snows again. Where to put it? Our yard already looks like Whistler. Some guys are coming tomorrow to install the chair lifts.

The good and bad of it: March Break. The good? I don't have to make lunches at 6:30 am. I don't have to harass the kids into their snowsuits for the school run. Homework is a leisurely thing. We get to hang out with Flat Stanley (more about that later). I get to do fun stuff with the kids, like LEGO land, Chapters craft afternoons, and playdates that include the moms.

The bad of it: It's March break. Which means that for 7 days, I have to keep 3 kidlets from killing each other for 14 hours a day instead of 5. I don't have any alone time. My living room floor is ALWAYS covered in both LEGO and Thomas the Tank Engine (and friends!).

But hey, you know me. Mrs. Optimism, right? Ha ha. Yeah, I know, my maiden name will always be Miss Sarcasm...

Tomorrow I'm going for session #2 of Ty's speech therapy block, while Oma minds the other two. Tuesday I am hopefully having a kid and mom playdate. Wednesday we are off to LEGO land. Thursday to Chapters...not sure about Friday...maybe Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday at either Bronte or Montsberg. And Sunday I'm taking Phoenix and Keegan to the 80's Toy Expo, so that should be fun.

Now. About Flat Stanley. Ever heard of this fellow? He is a book character created by Jeff Brown. To sum it up, Stanley Lambchop is a boy who is flattened when a bulletin board falls on him. He survives and makes the best of his condition. He is turned into a kite by his brother, nails some art thieves by posing on a museum wall, and can be mailed to his friends.

In 1995, Dale Hubert, a third-grade school teacher in London, Ontario, started the Flat Stanley project, where the kids involved make their own "Flat Stanley"s and document the things that they do with him. Phoenix has to do this with his Flat Stanley during March break, take pictures of F.S. doing different activities, and bring the pictures to school after the break and talk about their adventures. So far, Phoenix's F.S. has been snapped playing with LEGO, and snow-blowing the driveway. Will post pictures at the week's end.

In other news, it is once again Roll Up the Rim to Win time at Tim Hortons. My friend's husband won a GPS. I have won a coffee and a "donut". And, wait, let me roll up my rim here to see if I won anyting....and...hey! A coffee! Sweet. If I win the GPS, I plan to strap it to the stroller and take off to the wilds with Ty. Right now, I'd be happy to win a loaded Tim's card to pay for my nightly caffeine habit. Happy drinking everyone!

On that note, I am off to bed. Even though there's no school for Phoenix and Keegs, Ty still goes 3 mornings a week and tomorrow is one of them. Regardless, he is up at the crack of my crack so I have to be up with him, lest he should wander about the house, in seek and destroy mode. Hope you all have a good week, and I shall return with our photo essay of the adventures of Flat Stanley.