Saturday, 30 October 2010

Rider Pride is World Wide

My sister and I went out for a quick trip to the liquor store before supper.  We were heading out to get a bottle of wine but we never expected to find the gem we discovered.  Walking to the back of the store where the white wines are kept in the cooler I saw a familiar symbol that made me take a second glance.  My jaw dropped, because I did not expect to see this symbol on a bottle of wine.  I called Courtney over and we both expressed our disbelief over this great find.  I convinced Courtney to buy a bottle and I am sure I will go back and buy a bottle.

So by the title of this post you can guess what symbol we saw on a bottle of wine.  It was the Rider S and you could even see a great picture of Mosaic Stadium.  The wine is from Chile, which further proves that Saskatchewan Roughrider Fans are found throughout the world.  Here are some pictures of this gem.

100% Rider Pride Product of Chile

It's been a fun day!!

Today was a fun day!! We celebrated with all kinds of friends and family the first birthday of Little Man!! He did not nap all day until after his party so it was a precarious situation not knowing how he would react as the day got later and later.

To start off the day, we had a family breakfast together. Just the four of us.  As much as I would have loved to have had everyone over it was nice to just have the four of us at home.  Mr. (Uncle) Noodles then came over and Uncle Ty with his family which is when we left to head out to the birthday party.

We all went out to the Jungle Farm out by Innisfail, Alberta.  It is a U-Pick farm that has some extra activities to participate with. After paying for our entrances we all got on the tractor to head back to the activities. 

Upon arriving in the activities area we took Little Man to the animal feeding area.  Little Man really seemed to enjoy feeding the animals.  Then Little Man played in the bouncy ball pit.  He and his friend bounced on the bouncy balls with help from Grandma and Grandpa Roberts.  After we went back to see the Extreme Pumpkin carving. Our friends the Scheyen's carved their own pumpkin using some interesting tools (a skill saw and a router ;))  Afterwards we watched Richard launch three pumpkins with the pumpkin cannon.  It was like a super powered potato gun, it launched the pumpkins so far it was pretty cool!!

Then we rounded everyone up and headed back to barn to open presents and have cupcakes.  The cupcakes were made from scratch and I decorated them after getting some quick lessons from my friend Karlee and with Karlee's help as well!!  Little Man made out quite well and the cupcakes were a hit.  We then headed back to our house to finish visiting and have some supper.  Little Man was very tired and finally had a nap after leaving the farm and slept until almost 5:30.  We had supper with my family and Adrian's family and then we got a chance to relax.

Tired little man

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Do you remember???

Well today is the 26th of October most of you are aware of this, but how many of you remember what you were doing on this day??  I remember, I remember every detail, every smell and every ache and poke I got on October 26th.  This year October 26th is a Tuesday, last year it was a Monday. 

Last year at 7:30 in the morning Adrian and I got Chan ready to head off to school on the bus for grade 6 and we headed to the hospital.  It was the day I was to be induced.  After checking in and getting all my wristbands AGAIN (on Friday I had been admitted because my blood pressure went through the roof) they took us to a room.  I had to share the room with another girl, we didn't talk to the girl, we actually had a good situation, I would be out of the room walking around and when I was in the room she would go out and walk around.

Yup this day last year started our final steps in the journey to having Little Man join our family.  No Little Man did not join us that day or the next and after two days in the hospital with nothing much to do I was sick and tired of being pregnant.  But it was interesting and now I have a great little addition to my family and I couldn't be happier!!!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Passions in Life

Do you ever take the road that easier, rather than taking the road that you know you will love??  I have been doing some self reflecting lately and trying to determine what it is that I love to do in life.  In some cases the answers were surprising in others, well they weren't necessarily surprising but more an affirmation.

I began selling Fifth Avenue Jewellery early this year.  I really do enjoy their jewellery and it seemed like an easy system for making some money.  In no way is having your own home based business easy, at least not in the beginning when you are getting started.  Home based businesses take work, they are work, but they can become work that is very beneficial to the person doing the business.  I do want to carry on with Fifth Avenue and I will get it going again, but I am now wondering why I didn't go with my first instinct in Home based businesses. It truly would have been a better choice for me, not for the money aspect, but simply because it lends itself to something that I thoroughly enjoy doing as a past time.  I do not find selling jewellery a fun past time. I love wearing jewellery but not as much as I love being creative.

For a long time I wanted to be an author when I grew up.  I am now grown up and I am not the author I had hoped to be, but I still have time and I am working towards that goal.  Again not as productively as I should be but it is there and it will be realized in the future. I enjoy creating worlds, and characters and creating visual displays for things.  It is something I am good at and it is something that I can quickly do when  I put my mind to it.

This is why I keep asking myself why didn't I become a Creative Memories Consultant instead.  I love scrapbooking and when I get going, man watch out the pages can't print fast enough to keep up with me.  Am I the best at it?  No maybe not yet but I have ideas and all the projects I have done with my Creative Memories digital programs have turned out better than I could have hoped for.  Even the traditional scrapbooks that I have created have turned out wonderfully, really come over and I will show you sometime.

The other thing that has clicked in with me is my love for creating videos with Windows Movie Maker.  It's a creative venture and I love it. Could I do something like that for money as a side job, most likely.  So now I am sitting here in a position of teaching with a Home Based Business on the sidelines waiting for me to start up again and what choices do I have to make.  I will continue to sell Fifth Avenue, but with my creative side wouldn't it be in my best interest to look into selling or becoming a Creative memories consultant??

Monday, 18 October 2010

Little Man video

So this is a new video I just completed of Little Man!!! I can't believe it's almost been a year since he was born!!

What are the makings of a good friend??

What are the makings of a good friend??  This has been a topic of discussion amongst some people with whom I am friends and there are some contradictory beliefs.  It has got me to think about it and really question what I do and what I would want my friends to do in order to consider them good friends.

I don't know if everyone will agree with me, and as this is my opinion I hope that if you don't agree with me you will at least respect that this is my opinion.  But after some careful consideration I have come to realize that my view of what makes a good friend has changed a bit since I was 17 years old. 

My view of what made a good friend at 17 was something like this; a friend that was always there for you, stood by you no matter what, that trusted in you and was honest with you, a good friend did not back stab you or talk behind your back.  A good friend was someone you could count on in the middle of the night to bail you out of trouble or who would at least offer sage advice on how to get out of the mess. A good friend at 17 was someone who I hung out with all the time and we did things together every weekend.  A good friend at 17 knew my secret crush, my not so secret crush and those people that irked me.  A good friend at 17 did not question my logic, they just agreed with me even if my thought process was a little wonky. A good friend at 17 was just as naive as I was about the world, or if they weren't they didn't try to take off my rose coloured glasses because they understood that I had to learn things on my own.  A good friend at 17 was a teenager just like me and had the maturity of a teenager, plain and simple.

Now with almost double my life since 17 my views on what makes a good friend a good friend have definitely changed.  I still believe good friends must be honest, trustworthy, loyal, a good listener, helpful and kind.  I do not believe though that I have to spend every weekend with my good friends or the friendship will lapse into oblivion.  Obviously, I don't live in the same city as many of my good friends, but I still consider them good friends and we do have open communication.  I do believe that a good friend will bail me out of a tough situation if the time comes that I ever need them for help.  I do not believe that good friends cannot vent about me in times of frustration to other friends or people.  I think it's actually healthy as long as the good friend is able to talk with me as well after they have vented.  I believe that good friends now should have open communication, the fear of rejection should not factor into conversations with good friends.  A good friend now will question my judgement about situations if the need is there, a good friend now will take off my rose coloured glasses so I can see the world for what it is.  A good friend now will not stand by me and let me ruin my life with my choices, but a good friend will let me know that when I decide to change my life they will be there for me.  For example, as a good friend if I have a friend that has an addiction and I feel that it is detrimental to their well being, I will tell my good friend that I cannot hang out with them until they have stopped their addiction.  But, as soon as they have stopped their addiction I will be there for them to support them through that phase of their development.  A good friend at this stage in my life knows my past, and accepts it, but only if they have seen that I have grown from my choices that I have made.  A good friend now shares my common interests and knows my goals for the future.

I have friends now that are maybe not making decisions I would make, they are in situations that give my gut a good twist.  I trust my gut it has never steered my wrong yet, but as of this moment I have no physical proof to stipulate to these friends that I can not support their decisions.  So that's where my problem lies, do I tell my friends my fears, because my gut is flip flopping when they tell me their new decisions??  Or do I keep my mouth shut and not rock the boat?  Or do I silently pull away until they decide to confront me on my passive aggressive behaviour?  They say past behaviour is the best indicator for future reactions is past behaviour enough to go on when making judgements?  Can people change so fundamentally that a past concern can be wiped out or are people always the same people they were at 17, 19, 21 and only their maturation has changed??  Oh well some more questions for another blog!!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Who is responsible for Education?

Some of you may find it funny that I ask this question.  You know that I am a teacher in my daily life, so the answer that maybe you think I would expect seems obvious.  However, is the answer I expect actually the truth??  That's what I wonder every day.  When I got my education degree I saw the education field with rose coloured glasses and I knew I was going to go out and make a huge difference.  Then I had a wake up call.... and realized that things are not what they should be?  or what I thought they were.

Teachers are an integral part of education for students.  They build on the foundation of learning that children come into the school with.  It can be minimal or advanced depending on the family.  Teachers play many roles throughout the day.  They are the teacher, the confidant, the coach, the disciplinarian, social worker, the parental role and many more!  So why are teachers required to do all this work, yet, YET when it comes to final say teachers are constantly undermined.

Society has changed since when I went through the education system.  I am now on the other side and I am very disillusioned with the state of the education system in Canada.  Canadians often sit in their homes and smirk because our education system is in a much better state then our American neighbours.  But here is a wake up call, if we don't do something NOW we will follow our American neighbours into the bottom of the education spectrum.

Here is where this stems from.  The new policies for schools are that we push students through the elementary and middle school grades and we do not fail them. Failing students would just be detrimental to them socially.  Failing students is not an option, so teachers have to modify their teaching and teach three different lessons in one class because you have three different groups of students in our class and we have to reach all them. We don't ask students to strive beyond their ability into their potential, we ask students to just do what they need to do to get by.  And this is the biggest failure in the Education system to date. Teachers can see where students are not able to keep up, the gap in their learning becomes larger and larger until it cannot be filled, so then that student falls into the cracks and gets forgotten. 

I remember in grade three my best friend was held back.  She was a group of three students that were all held back.  It was a very sad situation.  I am sure it was hard for her in the beginning but I know she adapted and had a good experience for the next 9 years of her schooling.  So yes it may have hurt her initially but she was resilient and was able to cope and is better for it.  All the students that were held back with her did well as well.  I think it is ridiculous to think that students that fail will never be able to adjust, because they do, and they get over it.  People say that if you fail a child you will show the other students that they are "stupid" and then that student will be teased and tormented.  I say, the students already know the ability level of the other students in their class. If a student is taken out to go to a resource room, the students know they are not as smart as they are so they already have the "stupid" label attached to them.  Hold them back and let them work out of resource, thus shedding the "stupid" level and they will be better off.

Today, I have come across many students that I have recommended not pass, they are either lazy or just not their yet and do not have the support they need to be successful in future grades.  I do not recommend students to be kept back because I am mean or think they are stupid.  But in all these cases I have been overruled by parents, parents say they want their child to proceed so the child proceeds.  So now who is responsible for education.

I as a teacher have done my job.  I have taught the student the curriculum and have offered as much help as possible, whether the student has taken it or not.  But now my professional recommendations are deemed unworthy and the student becomes the problem of one of my co-workers who has to work hard to try to bridge the gap.  Because a parent has decided they know better than the teacher.

How do we change this problem?  Is it a problem or am I just over sensitive?  I know those of you that read my blog are not in this category of parents.  At least I believe you to be.  I believe that you are active parents and you have control over your children.  Your children, whether they are in school yet or not, are being raised to respect adults and are having the value of education instilled in them.  So what would you suggest that teachers do?  How can we shift this world view so that teachers and parents truly understand their roles in Education.

This problem ends in high school by the way.  In high school if a student fails a course they FAIL the course and the parents cannot say anything.  So why can't parents see elementary and middle school teachers in the same way??

Topics of Discussion Today

I was thinking of the changing world that we are living in, and is it ever changing.  There are so many new rules, laws, expectations that did not exist in mass amounts when I was growing up.  I then started contemplating why these changes have been occurring.  What is society is moving the pendulum so far from what I used to know.  I could only come up with one answer, stupidity and laziness.  I know that's two words but for arguments sake I believe in this topic they are one in the same.

When I grew up we were lucky to be in car seats.  I definitely did not ride in one after I was a year and a half and neither did my brother six years later or my sister in between us.  Our car seats did not have expiration dates either, my mother used the same car seat for all us kids.  It was a car seat made with metal reinforcement poles and a plastic seat, brown in colour.  I remember when seat belts became the law and not just a safety suggestion. My sister and I used to play house in the back of my mother's car while we went on drives from Wakaw to Saskatoon or Prince Albert. I remember crying when she traded in her car for the big Ford LTD and we lost our play area.  I also remember cramming my family and the McStay family (that was a family of 4 boys and their parents) minus their dad into that Ford LTD to go to the lake or Saskatoon to shop for groceries once a month at the Superstore.  We didn't all have seat belts that's for sure.  Or we would go in the McStay's van and us kids would play in the back.  It wasn't one of those mini vans it was more like a camping van.

Now my children are not allowed to sit in the front seat until they are 12.  This I believe comes from the invention of airbags mostly, but it is also a safety consideration.  My youngest is in a rear facing car seat until his first birthday, a car seat that will expire in 2012.  He will then ride in a car seat that is front facing but anchored in three different spots so that it is more securely in the car.  My children do not know what it is to not have to wear a seat belt, it's always been part of their life.

Do you remember the 'lights on for life' campaign?  It ran in the late eighties so that people would start turning on their headlights during the daytime so they could be more easily seen.  Before that people only turned on their headlights at night when they couldn't see where they were driving because of the darkness. 

Now most cars come with Daytime running lights.  Or we have lights that come on automatically when a sensor is activated by the degree of light in the sky.  It's just another change we have made with our vehicles to be safe.

I am not saying that these changes aren't good, they have saved countless lives.  However, I am wondering how many more reckless people have come out because they have all these safety features keeping them from killing themselves.  We have airbags coming out because people were driving under stupid conditions; drunk, tired, recklessly.  We have seat belt laws for the same reason.  If all people did not act stupidly behind the wheel how many of these safety features would become obsolete.  What will happen when a car company develops a sensor on the car to detect the speed limit in an area because the government starts using radars to shoot out speed limits instead of reading the speed of cars?  Will we still need all the safety features or as people become accustomed to these changes what other changes will happen?

Do not even get me started on kids toys today.  I cannot even begin to count the types of toys I had so much fun playing with as a kid that are now deemed inappropriate or unsafe for children because of injuries.  Most of the injuries I have heard of from these toys are preventable if the parents of these children had not been stupid or too lazy to take precautions.  Many of the recent recalls are because toys pose a choking hazard but if you are not using your toys as babysitters you should be able to watch your children and prevent any danger.

This is mostly why I think these changes are coming about.... we are trying to protect stupidity.  Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that a baby walker does not give carte blanche safety to your child.  They can tip over, they are on wheels they can go down stairs so set up precautions so this does not happen.  Should I file a complaint with Jolly Jumper because I put my son in it one day and he was able to lean far enough forward to fall out of it?  I don't think so because it was my own fault I hadn't paid close enough attention when I put him in it and there were toys underneath that gave him leverage to get higher in order to lean far enough forward to fall out.  But because your child falls down the stairs in a walker doesn't mean there is something wrong with the walker, there is something wrong with your supervision.

Even with the issues today with child predators.  They are not a new phenomena they were around when we were growing up, but we had to watch for them on the street.  We had to learn to tell our parents about awkward situations not hide them from our parents.  Now we as parents have to teach our children to be cautious of the faceless stranger on the Internet that is pretending to be a child.  We as parents have to continue to take an active role in our children's lives and not fall under the false pretense that our children are safe because they are in our homes and are not 'meeting strangers'.  We as parents can't take a lazy stance we have to be involved.

I could go on and on, and I do have one more topic of discussion but it will take it's own blog because it's a topic I know a lot about.  Let me know if you have opposing views or agree... I just go through times when I need to vent about the status of society because by venting maybe I can find a solution in my ramblings or with my friends to help improve this world!!!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Just a recap of September

September freakin flew by!!! I am astounded that it is October already!!  But with September flying by I have a recap to give.
1) I got a job teaching up in Ponoka!!!  It's a half time position but I can still sub so I am working quite a bit right now, or enough for me!!!
2) Little man now has four teeth.  The last one finally broke through on the last day of September.  His teething made this month a very long month.
3) Little man began walking a bit.  He takes a few steps, but hasn't gone to that stage of walking by himself. Crawling is still easier for him so that's what he reverts to!

We have had some good times in the yard.  We have harvested my garden and now we are preparing for halloween and winter.  Oh yeah and Little Man's first birthday!!  Here are some of the more entertaining photos from September!!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Time is flying

Almost a year ago I was sitting in front of my computer contemplating what I was going to do with myself.  I had recently been engaged and knew I had a wedding to plan, but that was 23 months away.  I was 9 months pregnant and was going to have a little one to take care of but seriously what was I supposed to do to keep myself from going crazy.

I love to write so I thought I would start a blog.  Now with over 100 posts and a long break between my last posts I am sitting in front of a computer wondering where the hell all the time has gone.  I know friends have told me that the time would fly, yes Roxi you were right, and sometimes it did seem to fly but at other times t dragged on.  My expected baby is going to be one year old in less than a month.  My impending nuptials will take place in less than a year.  

I have started teaching again, leaving the social services field behind me.  I am enjoying my new job, and my new wage is much better than EI wages.  I am not broke for the first time in like a year.  It is so much nicer to be working.  I definitely need to get a permanent contract before the next baby comes or start working from home as soon as the baby is three weeks old because I can't afford to get broke like this again.

But I am in my thirties now, and I still have so much I wish to accomplish in my life.  I am seeing friends accomplish these things (Way to go Mireille on becoming published!!!) and I sit back and think why not me??  The simple answer to that is I often think of these things I want to accomplish but I don't but in a plan of action to work on them.  So for the next 12 months this is my promise to myself.  I will achieve one of my big bucket list items.  I will set up a plan of action that balances my life, between work, family and myself.  I will work on my blogs and my writing.  I will work on myself with my eating habits and exercise.  I will work on unifying my mixed family into a cohesive group.  I will set up goals and I will meet them because to be thirty now is to say I have a lot to offer to the world!!!

What is Beauty??

What constitutes beauty?  Is it the physical appearance? Is it the spirit within?  Is Mr. Personality really the most beautiful person or is it Miss Universe?  What makes a person beautiful what characteristics must a person possess in order to be considered beautiful? The desire to be beautiful in society is a desire that everyone works towards but who really attains it?

The other day while listening to Cosmo Radio and the Wake Up with Taylor morning show some interesting points were brought up about the topic of beauty.  Taylor Strecker, the main host of Wake Up, was discussing a study she had recently come across where more than half the population believed they were above average in the beauty department.  She was flabbergasted that on a rating of 1-10 where 5 is average how can the laws of average be broken so drastically where more than half the population considers themselves above a 5.  It really is an interesting question.  How can beauty be measured yet be so skewed that average is the new ugly?  By this scale it almost seems that people see average, above average and hot as the markers for beauty.  Are these realistic markers??  There was some conversation about what was beautiful and how often it is not attractiveness that measures beauty but it’s character and attitude that create a better model for beauty.

It definitely got me to think, which is also why I hate that I listen to Cosmo Radio in my car because I never have the opportunity to write down my thoughts at the time and I have to keep them in my head until I can get pen to paper. 

These are some of my observations of beauty:

1)   Beauty is different from attractiveness
a.     You may find someone of the opposite, or same, sex attractive but as you spend time with him or her you start to see his or her attractiveness for the fa├žade that it is.  By the time the glamour of the attraction wears off you are not even sure what made you attracted to that person in the first place.  This is definitely something that helps distinguish beauty from attractiveness.
2)   Beauty is the whole package not just one aspect of a person.
a.     It is hard to be a beautiful person if you have nothing to offer but looks, or brains or personality.  All of those things can be alluring but if that’s all you have, with possibly the exception of personality, they grow old and dull after a period of time.
3)   A physically attractive person does not automatically become beautiful
a.     In my experience, and it is limited, but if a person is blessed with physical beauty they often spend all their time on this trait and do not work to develop the other traits in their repertoire.  Those that have natural beauty in the physical realm are often told so often growing up that they can have whatever they want because of their “beauty” that they do not feel the need to have to worry about developing a personality, or brains or charisma.  This is not true of everyone, but it can be true of some leaning towards the majority.
4)   A beautiful person may not win a beauty pageant or a modeling search.
a.     Some of the most beautiful people I know do not fit Hollywood’s definition of “beauty.  And some of the Hollywood’s “Beautiful” do not fit with what I believe to be beautiful. 
5)   The scale of 1 – 10 for judging beauty is greatly influenced by the surroundings.
a.     In every small town or graduating class from a high school in a city there is one girl and one guy who stand out amongst the crowd and are considered the most beautiful of that place or that year.  However if you took that beautiful girl from small town middle America or Canada and dropped her into Toronto or New York, the beautiful people of Toronto or New York may dwarf her beauty.   
6)   Beauty is also subjective, it is based on the person who is judging what is and what isn’t beautiful.
a.     What I consider to be essential in the making up of a beautiful person will be different than what someone else thinks.  Even if the descriptive words we use the weight we give all the components of what we consider beautiful will change.
b.     When we rate people on a scale of one to ten, or even ourselves, we rate based on what is around us and what we consider to be beautiful making the business of beauty completely subjective which is why beauty is forever changing.

The other component to consider in beauty, especially for physical beauty is the biological factor.  Humans are wired to seek out faces that are similar to their own or faces that on a mathematical level resemble them.  It is why you will sometimes see couples that look similar.  It doesn’t hold true all the time, but if you break things down and look at your partner you may notice things in them that you see in the mirror.  Which explains why I may find one person attractive while my girlfriends cannot understand why I think that person is attractive.  It’s also why there are different factions of beauty in the world.  I know many people who believe Angelina Jolie is gorgeous, I don’t see the draw, but I find Jennifer Aniston very beautiful and often those people that like Jolie do not see what I find beautiful about Aniston. 

For me beauty is a combination of factors.  The drawing is often the physical attractiveness, but what keeps me interested in the person and really forms the person to be beautiful is intelligence, personality, humour, honesty, loyalty, forgiveness, and confidence.  I have met and even dated people who I was extremely attracted to at first who by the end of the night completely turned my stomach because their attitude and personality were so toxic I felt dirty for even being in the same room as they were.  

I do not envy people in the industry that revolves around beautiful people, or people society is to believe are beautiful.  However I do wish that campaigns like the Dove campaign were more widely accepted as I believe they are a more accurate portrayal of true beauty when opposed to Sports Illustrated or Victoria Secret Models.  It does leave one to think, what are your measures of a beautiful person?