Saturday, April 30, 2011

Aiden turns 9 Years Old!

Pin It Happy birthday Aiden!! We love you!

( this is what Aiden looked like just before opening his present this morning)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ups and Downs

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Awhile ago I told you all that my husband was laid off and that his job at the church would be ending the end of June. In case you missed that- it is a good situation, our church is just too small to pay for a full time pastor. Nothing sinister, nothing traumatic... sad... but not traumatic.

Doug's resume is all over the place but as of yet we have nothing even remotely concrete as far as a future job goes.

Today our landlord called and told us they sold the house we are renting. Which is actually a really great thing for them- they are a sweet family and have been trying to sell it for ages and they need the money.

Of course that means that we have to move SOMEWHERE at the end of June whether we have a job to go to or not.

There is a whole heck of a lot of uncertainty in our life right now.

And my firstborn child turns NINE tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday- Easter Overload LINKY

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Add Your Wordless Wednesday post to this linky...

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Bunny Food

Pin It Hey Olivia- what would you like for breakfast this morning?

I want a carrot for breakfast...

...because that is what the Easter Bunny eats for breakfast!

Ah yes, I see.
Of course you want a carrot for breakfast.
It makes perfect sense.
Enjoy! :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dirty Pile of Snow or Lost Jungle Cat?

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The kids and I decided that this pile of snow and dirt looks a lot like a jungle cat so we have named the pile "snow cat"... until it melts anyway :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

And the Children Jumped With Joy...

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The beloved trampoline has once again been rescued from storage... and there was much rejoicing!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Filtrete Water Station: Reduce Bottled Water Waste!

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In honour of Earth Day here is a great way to reduce your bottled water waste at home and on the go (and save you some money) with the Filtrete Water Station from 3M:
  • Provides the convenience of bottled water without the cost and waste 
  • Filters water directly from the tap into four, BPA-free reusable water bottles (they're dishwasher safe!)
  • Saves individuals/families up to $4,000 per year in bottled water costs
  • Helps reduce chlorine taste and odor and sediment 
  • Allows you to filter one, two, three or four bottles at the same time 
  • Saves up to 3,000 plastic bottles per year from ending up in landfills 

Here is a video I took of the Filtrete Water Station in action:

cool eh?

The Filtrete Water Station is super easy to use and very convienient. I wasn't sure if the lids would really stay closed while on the go but so far the only "leak" we've had is when my son put one of the FULL bottles in our bag... without closing the lid first. So not really a leak as much as a pouring out all over everything sort of scenario. My daughter finds the lids a bit tricky but my sons can open and close them with no problems.

I love that I can fill the bottles and keep them in my fridge. Super handy. I have actually found it helps me to drink more water in the day which is ideal.

Overall this is a great product!

I was sent a free product to review. My opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge

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Nancy Drew®:
Shadow at the Waters Edge

Confront Terrifying Secrets in a Haunted Japanese Inn!

Traditional Japanese family ryokans (inns) are charming places, but a vengeful ghost is terrifying you and other unsuspecting guests. Is there a shadowy specter haunting the placid inn or is something far more sinister driving away business?

Learn more about the hauntings at Ryokan Hiei and become a certified Ghost Hunter at .

Meet Yumi Shimizu, the eldest girl in the family who has gone to the city to start a more modern life, as she blogs her way through fashion, food, and cuteness.

  • Immerse yourself in Japanese culture by learning about origami, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy
  • Create custom anime-style characters for your in-game phone
  • Play fun mini-games such as pachinko and Sudoku
  • Choose from Junior or Senior Detective difficulty levels

 GUEST REVIEW by Ruth from Mom's Musings!

I grew up reading Nancy Drew books, I think my mom still has the whole set. The yellow, hardcover collection. I loved Nancy Drew and how I would get totally sucked into the mystery. I had a hard time putting the book down, until I figured out the ending. I loved that time in my life, the imagination, the excitement of a new book, the reality I would feel while reading the book.

So, when my friend Tara asked if I would review one of these video games, I was on it!! I have girls that age and I thought it would be fun to introduce them to something from my childhood.

The week of March Break we had my 12 year old niece over. They were bored, they had already played outside, cleaned, played Kinect I set them up with the Nancy Drew game to see what they thought of it. My niece was GLUED to it!! She has figured out how to get further in the game and has finished certain tasks.

She says "It is good so far. It is very, very interesting and it teaches you a little bit about Japan that I didn't know before. Like what it is like in Japan. It is sometimes easy and sometimes hard to figure out, when it is hard I just keep trying or I skip that part and look for more mysteries to solve."

My niece says she would give it 4 thumbs up. She really likes the game.

(Now I know what to get her for her birthday, but don't tell her that;-)

Grace (9), had a turn at playing the game too. She enjoyed it and sat at the computer trying to figure it out. It was a bit harder for her to get through the different areas, but she said that she really did enjoy the game. I think in another year or so, she will love it even more!!

Grace said "I like how you can solve mysteries, it was hard and maybe I will figure it out better another time. But it was cool to see Japan and that the mystery was in Japan."

I would definitely recommend this game for 11/12 year olds and up. It is a game that my kids are going to enjoy playing for a while. I like that they will be learning, thinking, and problem solving while playing this game, not just sitting their aimlessly.

4 thumbs up from us!!

* You can read more from Ruth on her blog- Mom's Musings. You can also find her on twitter and facebook

Thanks so much to HER Interactive for sending us this game to review. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday in black and white LINKY

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All 3 of these pictures were taken by my fabulously talented husband :)

Link up your Wordless Wednesday posts here!!

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The Brick Makes It Right! Customer Service #WIN

Pin It Last week I wrote this post about our truly horrendous experience with The Brick.

Well guess what?

A delightful lady from their corporate office read my blog post and called us today to make it right!!

She can't exchange our living room set because they don't make it anymore (good call on that by the way since it was clearly sucky) so she is giving us a voucher for the full amount we paid and we can choose a new set!

We are very pleased. We wish it had not taken so long and we wish it hadn't taken a blog post for someone to listen to us- but we are thrilled that they finally did. The moral of the story? Never underestimate the power of social media my friends!

SO a big huge thank-you to The Brick for making it right!!

Now to figure out a way to get our current set back to them (the nearest store is 4.5 hours away from where we live) so we can trade it in for a new one! And I have to figure out what we want to replace it with!

I am thinking maybe this sectional...

with maybe these chairs as accents?

or maybe the sectional in two-tone?

Maybe the lighter microsuede would get dirty too fast?

This set is similar to the one we already have... sort of... except it is brown and in microsuede instead of cheap leather...

but I'm kind of scared to get anything even remotely similar to our current set.

Those sectionals sure do look comfy. We are going to try and stay away from leather or leather-like material because all the kids just hate the feel of it and I am not a huge fan either. I love the expensive leather but anything we can afford is not so soft feeling.

I tend to like the brown/ beige stuff more than the black/white motifs too.

What do you think? Microsuede yay or nay? Sectional or a set? I am really hoping we don't choose a dud this time!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Seagulls in the Snow

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I don't think they are too terribly pleased with all the snow we've had here this weekend either!! Come on SPRING!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Weekend Review LINKY

Pin It If you post reviews on your blog this is your chance to link them up!

I will post The Weekend Review on Sundays. If you link up than please visit one or two of the other reviews and leave a comment. We all know that companies love to see our reviews getting noticed :)

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the post in which I beg for votes...

Pin It I entered the Carhartt Superfan contest and I am trying to win the Grand Prize trip to Chicago and $1000 shopping spree! The contest ends April 20 so there are only a few more days left to vote. Every time you vote you are entered to win prizes as well. So pretty please vote for me?

This is the video I used as my entry...


My entry is titled "Celebrating Spring with Carhartt" and I am currently in 6th place. The Grand Prize winner will be chosen by the judges from the top bunch of entries so I hope to stay in the top 10!

Thanks everyone :)

Need votes? Just let me know in a comment and I am happy to vote for you too!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why You Should NEVER Buy ANYTHING From the Brick... Customer Service #FAIL

Pin It *Please note that just after I wrote this post I was contacted by The Brick customer service so they could make it right. You can read about that HERE.*

A couple months after Olivia was born we purchased our very first sofa set. We didn't have a lot of money so we went to The Brick store in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan which was just over an hour away from where we lived.

They had a "manager's special" going on where we could get a couch, loveseat and chair for about $1200. We had saved our income tax return for the purchase and were very excited to get our very first set of matching furniture.

The salesman told us all about the extended warranty we could purchase. He told us it covered absolutely everything. Actually he said "you could dance on the couch in spiked heels and put holes all over it and that would be covered. You could leave it out in the snow and let your cat scratch the h*ll out of it and that would be covered. Your kids could take permanent marker to it and that would be covered. Everything is covered."

Now at this point you can blame our naivete for even remotely believing the guy. Clearly he was lying his patootie off to get a sale. But we were excited to have matching furniture and he convinced us. We spent the extra HUNDREDS of dollars for the 5 year extended warranty.

We were very excited! This is what it looked like when we first got it...

(look how young my boys were!)

About 5 months later we noticed that the couch was discoloured in really odd ways- it would be a different colour on one side of a seam than it was on the other side. Just weird. We called The Brick. We sent them pictures and they agreed that the set was faulty and replaced it with a brand new set. We were thrilled. Yay! The extended warranty paid off!

But we still hoped for the sofa set to last us for awhile. In our world $1200 is big bucks.

Unfortunately the sofa set did the same stupid discolouring thing less than a year later but we decided there was clearly no point in getting it replaced since it was obviously just the way the set was.

As of today we have had the sofa set for 4 years and 2 months and it really has been nothing but a headache for us.

In January 2009 we started noticing more and more and more problems with the set. I called The Brick and told them what was going on and they told me I could bring the set in and LEAVE it with them for "several weeks" while they assessed whether or not they would fix it. Never mind the fact that I had 3 young children and no other furniture ... we were moving in less than a month and so I declined and said I would contact them from our new location.

We moved. I called within a month. They ignored me. I called again. They ignored me some more. I called over a dozen times over several months. Nada.

By January 2010 I had attempted to contact The Brick more times than I can count and was always given the runaround. At this point the sofa was in really bad shape.

The seams of the sofa were coming apart. Every. Single. Seam.

The leather was cracking horribly in between every cushion...

and the leather was just looking really nasty in a lot of places...

We realize some of this is normal wear and tear... but EVERY SINGLE SEAM coming apart? That is just ridiculous. Poor quality.

Finally I resorted to emailing all the contacts they had listed on The Brick Canada website.

I received a rather rude email back from the customer service lady saying that the last they had heard from me was before we moved. Apparently no one had given her the dozens of phone messages I had left over the past year.

I mentioned that I had phoned several times but thanked her for replying to my email and told her the problems we were having.

She had me email her pictures.

Then she referred us to someone else.

Who ignored us. For months. We sent a lot of emails. We called a lot of times. We were told many times someone would get back to us. They never did.

So a few more months go by.

By this time I am beyond frustrated and I hand the whole thing over to my husband. I figure someone might listen more to a man. Say what you will but you know that it is true. Uncool. But true.

He does get a response and is told they have no pictures. He sends them again. Then they ignore us some more.

Finally someone tells us that the person we were talking to has actually been away (on maternity leave or something) and can we send the pictures again.

This was last week.

They got back to us today with an answer.

And guess what it was?

After your photos of your set have been reviewed by both Winnipeg and Prince Albert, it has been decided that warranty work will not be possible as it appears that the damage is by customer neglect.
I apologize for the delay in this decision.

Operations Supervisor
The Brick
Prince Albert


Doug replied asking what neglect we could do that would cause all the seams to come apart. Wonder what they will respond with?

I am so sick of it. Terrible horrible horrendously awful customer service.

I am appalled.

I am not an idiot. I know a $1200 sofa set is no big deal to a lot of people but it was a huge investment for us. We have been nothing but polite up until this point but this last brush off is just beyond infuriating.

Moral of the story?

Don't shop at The Brick and definitely do NOT purchase the extended warranty since they clearly will not honour it. 


The Voyage of The Dawn Treader

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(Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Features)



Disc 1 – Blu-ray
·         The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader in High Definition
·         “The Untold Adventures of The Dawn Treader” Animated Short
·         King Caspian’s Guide to the Dawn Treader: Legends and Lore of the Great Ship
·         4 Deleted Scenes
·         5 Islands Explorations
·         Narnian Discoveries: Friends and Foes of Narnia (7 featurettes)
·         3 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes including Battle on the Sea
·         Sword Game
·         4 Fox Movie Channel Presents Behind The Scenes Featurettes
·         Audio Commentary by Director Michael Apted and Producer Mark Johnson

Disc 2 - DVD
·         The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader in Standard Definition
·         Deleted Scenes
·         Audio Commentary by Director Michael Apted and Producer Mark Johnson

Disc 3
·         The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader Digital Copy


My whole family was very excited when The Voyage of the Dawn Treader showed up at our house. I adore the Narnia books.  We have watched the other movies in the Chronicles of Narnia series already and the boys had been asking to get the new one. We did not see it in the theater so this was the first time any of us had seen it.

My husband said he enjoyed it greatly. He had not read the book so everything was new to him. He really liked the development of Eustace- from the annoying little kid to hero.

Olivia likes that Eustace turns into a dragon and then from a dragon back into a boy. She says he looks awesome as a dragon. She likes Reepicheep too. She likes the part where Lucy turns into Susan in the mirror.

Owen said it was awesome. Aiden said it was really cool too :).

I think they did an amazing job turning the book into a movie. The graphics are gorgeous and the actors did a fabulous job of bringing their characters to life. I love the positive message of the movie. It really is beautiful.

The Blu-ray combo pack has a ton of extra features. We LOVE being able to download the digital copy- it makes the movie so portable! I put it on my iPod for the boys to watch. The DVD copy is perfect for the van.

We have watched a bunch of the special features but there are so many that we are nowhere near finishing them! We liked the Untold Adventures of The Dawn Treader animated short and King Caspian's Guide to the Dawn Treader was really cool.

We have watched the movie no less than 10 times since it arrived last week so it is definitely a hit in our household. And just in case you are not sold on the Blu-ray disc idea- did you know that they are scratch resistant? True story. Scratches have destroyed many a DVD for us so we are thrilled with this new technology.

It is definitely worth picking up a copy!

( I was sent a free copy of this movie to review)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Signs of Spring: Birds and Buds!

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There is nothing better than the first signs of Spring after a long cold winter.

I love the hope and promise of new life that Spring brings each year. Trees that look dead and lifeless for 6 months suddenly start to bloom with just the tiniest bit of warmth and sunshine.

When the birds finally return from their winters down South it is beautiful to hear their songs. And my cat is especially thrilled with their return... but don't worry birdies, he is out of shape from the long winter inside.

These birds are so tiny- smaller than my hand. So tiny and so perfect. And there are literally dozens of them in my yard right now :) .

Spring is God's way of reminding us that even the coldest, darkest night has a dawn!

Hope is a very good thing :)

(now if only it would WARM UP outside it would be perfect!)

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