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New Year, but not much new…

2 Jan

It seems to me that whenever I physically cannot blog, I have inspiration coming out my ears.  However, on days like today, when I am home and alone and my house is tidy and no tv is worth watching and my husband is off cutting a cow into teeny tiny 1 lb pieces, I find myself bereft of creative thought.  Go figure.

I could regale you with tales of my holidays and new years resolutions and how great our new Zipfys are, but to paraphrase my friend Joan, “I just want to move on”.

But!  A slight recap:  we had a few friends over on Christmas Eve and spent the evening eating, drinking “Moose milk” and laughing hysterically over small children trying to play Pictionary.

Holly's wreath- pretty good eh?

That’s my king behind it which Bruce later used to draw “Good King Wenceslas”.  True story.

Next morning we woke up, opened gifts…

Giggly over stockings

… and drove 5 hours to visit Bruce’s mom.  We then left early in the morning to have Christmas morning with the extended family (as per usual).  We entertained the girls in the car on the way there with a lengthy and informative dissertation on the differences between towns, counties, cities and metropolises.  I am married to a Planner.  We also learned interesting words like “arch”.  As in, that bridge has a beautiful arch.  And where the Raptors and Leafs “live”.  And any viewing of the CN Tower must ALWAYS be accompanied by trivia pertaining to how many stairs it has (1776) and why there are no buildings between the Rogers Center and the Lake.  Ah… good times.

Christmas was wonderful with delicious food, good company, and well-behaved children.  It was hard even noticing them, since they spent the better part of 4 hours playing quietly with their new Playmobil sets!

We asked Holly to take a picture of us... sorry Uncle John!

Bruce with his Uncle and Bronwyn. One of my favourite pics.

Grandpa with Josselyn- an unlikely pair... but inseparable nonetheless!

Joss chillaxing with Uncle Eric... or is that Clark Kent?

Joss' other newest best buddy, Penny

They were curious about what was going on in the basement, but not quite brave enough to go down and find out...

Joss and Penny wouldn’t venture downstairs.  But there were others who seemed brave enough… to handle THIS:


I know.  Scary.  But it is a tradition as carved in stone as Butternut Squash soup for supper.  Taken seriously by all those whose last name is Howarth, or was Howarth at any time…

For the record, this is the first year that I haven’t been allowed to play HIPPOPOTAMUS.  Last year they shortened it to HIPPO.  And now I am considered (if not quite good enough, at least not bad enough) adequate to play without handicap.  Although Bruce is still considerate enough to allow me to follow him so at least I get a good paddle drop KAROLYN!

There is always a lot of laughter:

And a lot of blame…

PIG is important to Witherses too

But only one winner:

Eric! Get out of the picture!

Winner Christmas 2011: Karolyn Howarth-Withers!

This “recap” took more time and space than I expected.  Christmas Part 2 to follow…



11 May

Well, we are 11 days in to May.  May is running month, so you don’t have to go check.  It is clearly not blogging month…


I have decided to go a little easier on myself this time and aim not for running daily (you know, to avoid all that rain etc) but running a certain distance.  I gave myself a goal of 125 km at the beginning of the month.  Want to know how far I’ve come so far?  12km.  Yep.  Sad right?  But let me explain!  You see first Bruce was gone and I couldn’t very well run and leave the kids home alone and then I went to Sudbury for an extended weekend and I brought all my running gear and stuff but somehow we just never made it outside after the kids were down and I couldn’t leave during the day and make Ryan watch all 6 kids while Elaine and I ran and even if I could we were at church and Emily’s shower and doing stuff like not running…

See?  Where could I fit a run in?  I want to exercise.  I want to avoid sugary and calorie-laden foods.  I do.  But I also want to not run, and eat lots of desserts.  I am afraid in my world, pie always beats no pie.

And it always will.


31 Mar

So I missed 8 days of blogging this month.  That is more than I thought actually.  But I don’t feel bad.  All the other self-improvements I have been aiming for this year deal with me, and my will-power.  This is the first month where the thing I have to do requires creativity, and where other people see the fruit of my labour.  And, it is easy to be motivated for me, but when I tried to push to please others, it didn’t work.  Even this post feels contrived.  My blogs became boring, and tedious.  So, lesson learned.  I will never strive to blog-a-day again.  I MAY blog every day, but never because I have to.

But today is the last day of March and I need to update you on next month’s resolution.  It was supposed to be Dental Hygiene month.  And although I want to try to instill better dental hygiene habits in the kids, and even myself, I feel it isn’t really enough for a whole month.  So, I am also adding a “making all the beds every day” clause, as well as another 30-Day exercise regime.  There are several people I know who are making April “Exercise Month”, so if you want to join us, let me know and I will do my best to be encouraging!!  For the record I am doing Jillian Michael’s “Ripped in 30” video.  I am anxious to start a more regular exercise routine after slacking off for the last 2 months!

So, I am going to brush twice a day, rinse with mouthwash daily and floss daily- NO EXCUSES!  And the kids will all brush twice a day and floss daily- WISH ME LUCK!

Julie and Julie and Julia

6 Mar

I watched Julie & Julia last night.  It had been recommended to me before, and although Bruce is pretty good about watching his fair share of chick flicks, this one hadn’t appealed to him.  At.  All.

So, since he was gone this weekend, I rented it (and Tinker Bell: the Great Fairy Rescue).

I was soon caught up in the plot(s).  For those of you not in the know, it is based on two true stories.  The first is Julia Child‘s foray into cooking, and the writing of her first book; and, the second is Julie Powell‘s 2002 blogging challenge to cook through that same cookbook in one year.

Although neither heroine appealed to me, personally, I loved the idea of what they were doing.  Especially Julie.  It resonated with me as I attempt to blog daily for a measly month, while she signed on for a whole year!  Plus, her subject matter was refreshed daily as she wrote about her successes and failures cooking french cuisine.  My subject matter also changes daily, but not always in ways you care to read about!

I have no desire (or time) to take on such an ambitious undertaking, but I enjoyed watching her struggle with the temptation to succumb to narcissism.  A blog, is, by definition, a platform for someone to talk about themselves.  Even if it isn’t about them, it is still from the author’s point of view and that gives a personal edge to everything they write.

I hope I don’t fall to the depths that she did: melting down over every failed dish!  But I admire her passion and steadfast commitment to the project.  And the same goes for Julia who rose above her male counterparts in the predominately male field of culinary arts.

That being said, thank you to everyone who left a comment saying that they read and enjoy this blog.  It means a lot to know that someone is reading.

Reason I Love My Husband #761

14 Dec

… he makes a mean snowman!

Make that a snow fort!!

Good work guys!

I am living with a bunch of managers!  Only Holly is working- the others are “supervising”!

Girls ONLY Snow Fort: No Parents, Babies or Dogs ALLOWED!

Reason I Love My Husband #312

14 Dec

… he volunteers to dispose of the very dead, very frozen cat that the dogs dragged home…!


13 Dec

Dear Three,

Well, well.  We meet again.  What do you have in store for me this time, I wonder?  I noticed that since you arrived a few days ago, you’ve upped your bag of tricks.  You even brought along a sidekick.  That’s right, you thought I wouldn’t notice Adventure?  He was pretty hard to miss the other day at the pool:  insisting on sliding down the 2 storey waterslide by himself; and not following the rules either.

There are lots of things I like about you, Three.  Your compassion, and compliance.  Not always, but usually.  Your sunny disposition.  Your ability to make friends.  Your love of puzzles.  Whether that is an actual puzzle, or just the puzzle of phonemes doesn’t matter.

You’re getting smarter too, Three.  This time around you have an unquenchable desire to read.  Not to be read to.  You have to do it on your own.  You know what all the letters say, and you can recognize all 26 in upper and lower case.  You know your numbers to 20.  You recognize patterns.  You sing louder than anyone I know.  But you do it in key, and with all the right words.

You display your independence, not by throwing fits, but by showing me how helpful you can be.  You are the family’s new official salad maker (and eater!).  You sort socks faster than your mother!  You are always willing and able to show me what new thing you can do; whether it is hopping on one foot, or getting yourself dressed, or carrying your sister.

You are deferential to Four (as is deserving of her rank and title, apparently!), and yet you can still stick up for yourself when needed.

You put yourself down for naps when you think you need them (usually at 4:45pm!).  You leave Lamby at home more often than not.  You are learning to keep your thumb out of your mouth unless you are really tired!  You never have accidents in the day, and rarely at night either.

I was a little worried when I knew you’d be coming, but I am happy with you, Three.  You are everything I hoped for, and nothing I was worried about.  You are welcome to stay for the next 356 days… as long as you don’t invite Tantrum and Defiance to visit!




Holly and her lamb friends!