dimanche 31 mai 2009

Procastinating ...

I am usually not procrastinating but today, I certainly did ! I had planned, among other things, on starting to write my students' report cards but ... I didn't. I felt too tired. DH and I went to bed past 1 a.m. last night - I haven't done that literally inYEARS ! - and I paid the price today. But, it was well worth it : last night was so much fun ! :) Anyway, the report cards will have to wait another day before I start them as well as the other stuff on my list to do ! Life goes on !

I mostly vegetated today. I stayed in my pjs the whole day, sent some emails, did very little housechores, had chats with DS, savored DH's lunch (steak and veal on the BBQ - can I just say YUM !), then went for a 2 hour long nap. Niiiiiiiiice ! :)

This afternoon, I was inspired by a lovely page done by Nathalie V. (see link to her blog on the side bar on the right) and I thought of going upstairs in my scraproom to lift her page but that's as far as it went (the thinking part) because I couldn't muster the drive to do it. Oh well, I'll lift her page one afternoon this week, that's one of the benefits of working half-time. Thanks Nathalie for the inspiration !

Today will end like I started it : slow and relaxing. DH is cooking some chicken breasts on the BBQ and fresh veggies are broiling. After dinner, we'll take out a boardgame to play with our family. That kind of thing. I have a busy week ahead so a relaxing weekend was good-timing : the school end is near, always more to do at this time of year plus a couple of appointments scheduled after work.

Hope your weekend was as you intended it to be ! Have a great week ! :)

samedi 30 mai 2009

Finally !

Yes, finally, the good weather is back ! It was hard having 3 days of rain in a row. That means, since I'm teaching in an elementary school, that all recesses are inside the school - which means some students being more active than usual in class (read disruptive and having difficulty concentrating on the lessons and the work) because they haven't had the opportunity to use up their energy playing outside. Sigh. But I understand them because I would find it hard to stay cooped up inside all day. I need my time outside, rain or sunshine !

My family and I went to get reacquainted with nature this morning after those 3 rainy days by stopping by at Petrie's Island just outside Orleans. The chirping of the birds, a Canada Goose family strolling on the river, a heron meditating quietly nearby were all very soothing to the senses. I also enjoyed watching the many people fishing nearby. There's this quality about fishing - tranquil, living the present moment, cultivating the virtue of patience - that appeals to me although I've never had the opportunity to fish in my lifetime.

Besides working at school (3 weeks left before the summer vacation !) and hiking in nature, I've been playing lately with colorful scrapbooking papers, and all I can say is YUM ! My circle and square punches have been very much loved also ! ;) More about that soon !

My entire family of 3 - LOL - took a lovely long nap this afternoon ! :) It felt sooooo good ! Right now, DH and DS are busy preparing our dinner and then I think that we'll be heading outside again. Gotta take advantage of the lovely weather !

I'm leaving you with this photo of an Oriole that we saw this morning, jumping from branch to branch, from tree to tree, in search of its food. These birds are really difficult to photograph as they move sooooooooo fast ! Hence, I didn't have the time to adjust my camera to shoot upwards towards the sky for this photograph so we can't truly see their lovely bright yellow-orange color that makes me happy - but one can see how these birds just sort of throw themselves in the air towards their next destination ! LOL

Thanks for stopping by and take care !

jeudi 28 mai 2009

Tooth Fairy money, rain and a cute little swamp sparrow !

This morning, Rafael showed me the 5$ bill that the Tooth Fairy left for him under his pillow ! He had a big smile on his face ! I asked him if he wanted to deposit it in his bank account.

"Huh-huh", he said, shaking his head.
" Are you storing it in your wallet ?" I pursued.
"No, I will be using it later on today to buy some batteries for my flashlight and other battery-operated objects that I have."

And that's what he did. After dinner DH and Rafael went out to do two very quick errands. Rafael came back with 5$ worth of batteries, saying that it was 1$ for 4 batteries so he got 20 batteries. I commented that he could have bought less batteries at a time and save the rest of the money for later. He said that his father told him (after telling him pretty much the same suggestions as me, about saving, letting the store shelve the products instead of it taking up space in our home, etc) that that's how he will learn the value of money : by making his own choices. So true ! I remember my parents doing the same thing, letting us figure out the best way to spend-save our money by trial and error. Perhaps Rafael will realize in the future that it might have been better to buy less batteries at a time and save the rest of his money. But knowing him, most likely, he will use ALL of those batteries without wasting any. Besides, like he pointed out, it's almost camping-season and he will be using his flashlight a lot besides his other battery-operated gadgets! LOL

After my morning's teaching, I stopped by Scrapbox to see the store owner about those Impressabilities that I bought for my school about 2-3 weeks ago. Without wanting to do any play on words here, I wasn't impressed at all at the embossed impressions I got with the Impressabilities (with the school Cuttlebug). The embossing was very faint, not a neat embossed result like with the Cuttlebug embossing folders. The store owner graciously offered me a store credit and I got some beautiful Basic Grey paper from the very vibrant Lime Rickey collection instead. Those will do just fine for my students Father's Day project - and I bought 5 sheets for myself. I will definitely be challenging myself to use these new pps VERY SOON as the big scrap stash that I already have is the main reason why I've cut down drastically on scrap purchases since last December. I am so happy about that ! :)

And we had more rain today ! As soon as I got out of the bus around 1:30 p.m., it started to pour. I was ready though, with my umbrella in hand. I enjoyed my ride in a double-decker city bus (OC Transpo) - it was my first time sitting on the second floor of this kind of bus. Very cool ! The only drawback about the rain these past two days was that I couldn't go and photograph birds. Yes, I'm THAT addicted to photography ! LOL

I'm leaving you with this lovely bird, a swamp sparrow, that I shot a few weeks ago in our backyard ! It reminds me of the penguins' babies, with all that softness and grey color. My son and nephew, who are both enamoured of penguins, have each this very soft and cuddly baby penguin stuffed toy - hence the comparison with the swamp sparrow !

Hopefully, I'll be posting some of my new layouts this weekend .... if I have the time to scan them in between writing my students' report cards !

Take care !

mercredi 27 mai 2009

Great Blue Heron and a lost tooth !

Yesterday evening, I drove down to Petrie Island in the hope that I would have the opportunity to photograph some birds - yeah, it's getting to be an obsession. ;) I was secretly hoping to see a heron, as herons are my favorite type of birds. A good example of how effective visualisation is, as I was driving over the bridge leading to the island, I spotted this heron standing in the water at the far end of a part of the island. :)

Keeping my enthusiasm in check in order not to be disappointed if the heron left before I would get to see and photograph him, I put on my boots to trudge into the woodsy muddy area to the end of this part of the island, and lo and behold, this beautiful heron was still standing there, quietly. Awww ! I snapped quite a bit of photos of this beautiful bird, in different light settings as well as a couple of beavers swimming in front of me. There is something so serene and peaceful about herons that I just love ! They have a contemplative quality to them, almost like they are meditating, which appeals to me. Here he is (click on the photo to view it bigger).

I almost missed the heron taking flight a few minutes later as I was busy snapping photos of one of the beavers swimming away. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the heron starting to move. So I turned my camera to the heron and although I didn't have time to change the settings on my camera to follow the heron in sharp focus while in flight, I am pretty impressed with this photo nevertheless. Slowly but surely, I am bettering my photographic abilities in regards to birds, which is my goal in photography for this year.

In a totally different world, Rafael lost another tooth this morning ! Here's his smile tonight, just before going to bed. He lost the tooth that was at the left of the two front teeth. I asked him tonight what he had done with his tooth and to my surprise, he had already put his tooth in a plastic container and placed it under his pillow ! He hadn't bothered to do that for the previous lost tooth so I thought that it was over for him, the Tooth Fairy thing ! Apparently not ! LOL I asked him how much he thought the Tooth Fairy gave for 9 year old boy's lost tooth ... he didn't know ! LOL

I'm still really tired, in spite of having napped 3 hours this afternoon so I'm going to bed in a few minutes ! I'm still itching to finish this layout sitting patiently on my scrap table but it will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon, when I am more alert than today. LOL I had much difficulty in staying awake on the way home in the bus this afternoon ! LOL Talk about being tired ! The rainy weather didn't help either as far as feeling lethargic !

Take care !

mardi 26 mai 2009

Nature lover ...

I've always been a nature lover - something about nature draws me very close to it. I feel in tune with nature. One could say that nature calls me. I alsonhave very fond memories of all the camping outings that I did as a child with my family.

Most of this past weekend was spent in nature with my family. On Friday night, we went to Andrew Haydon's Park in Nepean where we saw more sweet babies of Canada geese along with Orioles in flowering trees and some cute squirrels. Saturday morning, we went to Petrie's Island and I was so excited to spot a yellowlegs sandpiper (type of bird). I recognized the bird as a sandpiper because during the years pre-Rafael, I used to spent many many hours rubberstamping and my stamps of sandpiper were some of my favorites ! It's amazing all of the flowers' and animals' names that I learned through my rubberstamps ! I crouched on the side of the road near the sandpiper for quite a bit, taking many photos of it which got the attention of several photographers who stopped their car to come and join me in an impromptu photo session of the sandpiper ! Photography is very addicting !

On Sunday, we went ambling in the Arboretum and admired some little baby ducks and a cute baby squirrel high up in a tree. Photos to come during the next few days of all of those outings. Rafael has started to be interested in photography and was using our compact Canon to shoot his interests ! Fun !

This morning, I had 2 extra free periods as our grade 6 students (to whom I teach English and arts) were writing the provincial testing. So I took this free time to prepare the scrapbook that our school (adults and students) are making for our colleague who is retiring in just about 3 short weeks ! I was happy to have this project underway ! Now it's up to each class to decorate-draw-write a double-page in the album. I'll be putting everything together plus the finishing touches.

Then this afternoon, I had 3 free hours before an appointment on Montréal Road so I decided to spend it in Petrie's Island. It was just beautiful and serene with the sun shining and lots of birds chirping. Many turtles were sunning on a log on the river, some squirrels were running after each other, many red-winged blackbirds were calling to each other, some goldfinches were going from tree to tree and a gorgeous woodpecker was pecking at a tree. Did I mentioned how much I love nature ? Hum, yeah ! :)

I also admired this lovely fiddlehead which had grown amongst ferns ! I've been fond of fiddleheads ever since I ate some delicious cooked fiddleheads picked out by hand by my boyfriend's mother in my early twenties. Yum ! This lovely woman had thought it quite appropriate to have me taste fiddleheads back then since I was studying violin at Ottawa University ! :) To this day, I love to admire fiddleheads' lovely curls because they remind me of the love I had for the lively and fun mother of my first boyfriend. Here's a fiddlehead ...

My son's class started writing the Ontario provincial testing today. Rafael was somewhat anxious about it but all went well and he's looking forward to it tomorrow. Yay for Rafael ! :)

I went back to Petrie's Island tonight and photographed more of lovely nature ! More photos and layouts to come very soon !

This will conclude this post tonight as I'm starting a cold and I'm tired of hearing myself sniffling LOL. So I'm going straight to bed with some cold medicine and most likely, I'll be feeling better in the morning ! Thanks for dropping by and have a good night !

samedi 23 mai 2009

Some sweetness !

Last night, we were driving along Ottawa Parkway (Promenade des Outaouais) when I saw some Canada Goose along with lots of goslings. DH made a right turn in the closest parking lot along the river and off I went to see up close those cuties !

Isn't this gosling absolute sweetness !!! I was sitting inches away from the whole family which consisted of 4 adults and over 50 goslings, clicking away ! I took literally hundreds of photos of them, mostly of the goslings - more than 1000 actually but deleted at least 400 yesterday and more today. I also saw a beaver in the water and a couple of wood ducks - I had never seen those IRL before.

Here's a shot of the 4 adults and their kidlets ! They would take a LOT of place in a restaurant, were they to reserve a table for their whole family !!! LOL

I have a new LO almost completed ! So excited about that ! I would have finished it already were it not for my passion for photography and the lovely weather we're having ! We went out early this morning and got some great photo ops, then went out again tonight after dinner and got more photo ops ! So lots of photos to share in the coming days and weeks !

I can't wait for school to be over so that I can have more, MUCH more time to cycle, scrap and take loads of photos in nature spots !

Time to wrap up the day ! Have a great evening !

mardi 19 mai 2009

New camera.

So my husband came back home tonight with a new camera, a small compact one ! Since I always have to think about my neck (two damaged cervical vertebras) and what's best to minimize the pain- and sometimes I have so much pain that I can't handle our heavy Canon 30D with the stabilizer and with the long macro lens - I had been talking about us acquiring a smaller lighter camera since last summer.

Pierre did some research recently about these kinds of cameras. We went to FactoryDirect.ca shop on Saturday to look at the compact cameras and Pierre wrote down all of the different ones available there plus their prices. Back home, he did a research for each of them, made his choice based on his readings and went back today to purchase his choice !

So we have another Canon camera in the house ! LOL For a minimal cost, I must say, compared to the cost of our other 2 Canon. This one cost 120$ (instead of 160$ elsewhere- that's the beauty of FactoryDirect.ca : great prices. Last fall, we got a heating blanket for 50$, while the same thing at Wal-Mart was 125$ !). It evens films so Pierre had fun with that tonight !

Here's our new family member, huh ... family camera ! ;)

I'm off to bed ! I have had a pretty big headache most of today and I am just exhausted !
Have a great day tomorrow !

lundi 18 mai 2009

Wrapping up the long weekend.

This morning, we started up bright and early - 8h10ish - towards Dow's Lake to admire and photograph the lovely tulips before they desintegrate. Their time is almost up ! We wanted to take advantage of the morning light and to be able to take photos without crowds. Our timing was perfect : we arrived and there were 3-4 people there. We were able to take lots of photos. Here's a couple of them. You may click on them to see them bigger. I'll post more of them during the next few days.

Then we dropped by a market to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables ! Yum ! Back home, Rafael worked some more on his homework while I started a new layout. I'll be gluying it down tomorrow as well as a second one. We had lovely steak and salmon cooked on the barbecue for lunch while listening to the birds. I had the opportunity to take more photos of the goldfinches that visit us daily. I think that they are getting used to seeing my camera : they were not flying away today when they saw me approaching so I got several very close shots that are very good ! I'm leaving you with this one as I bid you good-night and wish you a great day back at work tomorrow !

dimanche 17 mai 2009

Productive Sunday !

After breakfast, I sat down and did 2 hours and a half of marking students' work. After lunch, I went and pulled out the weeds from the two flower beds on each side of our patio steps and some from our rose garden. Then I tried the new Stampin' Up stuff that I picked up yesterday. The 6 background plates that I got, which are compatible with the Cuttlebug, are just awesome : WOW ! I'll have students very eager to cuttlebug lots of background come Tuesday ! :) It is just soooo useful to have all kinds of backgrounds and borders prepared in advance for my students' arts-writing projects ! Every year, I always have a dozen or so students really eager to prepare art stuff during the lunchtime recesses and I am always SO happy to oblige ! LOL

We saw today, for the first time, a hummingbird eating in our hummingbird feeder. It was SO cool ! Man, these birds move their wings super duper fast ! They are like mini-rotators ! LOL I got a few pics but none that are in great focus. I'll need lots of practice and lots of photos to get decent ones, I'm sure of that ! :)

Rafael was testing limits big time today. Pierre and I were on the same page though and held strong. It's hard to parent in those moments - or days - but the end result in a few years will be way worth it ! At least, that's what were telling ourselves ! LOL

I spent some time in my scrapbook room this afternoon - I'm aiming to finish a page and start one or two tomorrow ... or perhaps tonight ! I just might lift some pages from different scrapbookers that I admire ! :) That would go faster ! ;)

Yesterday, while I was getting back into our car with our camera in hand after photographing some birds, I hit the side of my right eyebrow really hard with my camera and the skin bursted open. I was massaging it, saying that it was hurting a lot when Pierre said that it was bleeding quite a bit. I looked at my hand and lo and behold, it was bloody ! ACK ! Well maybe you don't want all of the gory details, but anyhow .... I have a really nice dark bruise and I confess that I haven't tried to remove the black part topping the bruise as it is still too painful. I'm expecting that within a week, most of it will have healed though. I now have a healthier respect for our camera's impact on my life ! LOL

Since I haven't posted a new LO in a while (I have some new ones unscanned so far - I'd rather scrap or make cards than scan), I'm leaving you with a layout that I don't think I've ever posted - one that I did sometimes last fall. Have a great evening !


samedi 16 mai 2009

What a wonderful day !

Indeed, we had such a wonderful day !

While having breakfast, Rafael and I had our friends the goldfinches eating their breakfast just outside our window ! See for yourself here ! I never get tired of looking at them, they are so gorgeous !
Around 10:30 a.m., I went out to the Galeries de Hull to meet Céline and her family, and I picked up the Stampin' Up butterfly die and the backgrounds (use-able with the Cuttlebug) that I ordered back in March I think. I can't wait to play with them tomorrow ! The butterfly die came just a little late, since I wanted it for my students' Mother's Day book, but we'll use it next year !

Then I returned home, picked up my husband and my son and we drove to Ottawa to do some errands. First stop was Rideau Centre - unfortunately, the hair product I wanted at Amalfi was out of stock so I will have to wait a couple of weeks for it. As we were about to step outside, we were shocked to see that it was pouring, really pouring ! So Pierre went to get the car while Rafael and I crossed over to the Bay via the tunnel to protect our camera that I had brought with me. It was strange to be walking in Rideau Centre as I hadn't been there in a very long while. Shopping malls and myself haven't been friends in several years !

We then went driving along the Rideau Canal (to drop off some more board games and books to Boomerang Consignment store on Bank St) and I had the opportunity to take some photos of the lovely daffodils, before they disappear until next year ...

... and take some photos of the rain-drenched tulips along the way ...

Then we went along the river in front of Billings Bridge Plaza to check out the birds there ...

... and also went briefly to Fletcher Gardens near the Experimental Farms and snapped this blackbird beauty !

Then it was on to Midway for Pierre and Rafael while I went to do the rest of the errands nearby. I picked them up around 4:30 and we had dinner downtown at Dunn's. Back home, I downloaded my photos while putting away our groceries and shampoo away. I believe that I will be heading back to some of those natural spots tomorrow to try some other experiments with my camera. I didn't quite get what I wanted out of my photography today. If you would like to see more photos from today, you might want to head out to my flickr account. Thanks for dropping by !

Take care !

jeudi 14 mai 2009

Some news from here ...

Already Thursday night ! Weeks are just going by so fast ! This past Monday, I took the day off because I was feeling dizzy (labyrinthite again) and then during noon time, Rafael's school teacher called to say that he had napped half of the morning on his desk. He is looking and feeling very very tired lately - he looks increasingly tired as the weeks go by. His epilepsy medication needed to be upped again this week. The epilepsy really tires him a great deal, it's hard on the brain and the system those episodes. He had a pretty big episode on Friday morning, in the car while going to school. Pierre went to see Rafael's neurologist on Tuesday morning, which is when the medication posology was upped again and the neurologist said that if Rafael keeps having epileptic episodes after this new posology, he will have to take a second medication in addition to the Tegretol he already takes ! Sigh... I really hope that one day, he won't be epilectic anymore ... which is a possibility with his type of epilepsis (complex partial seizures). Keep your fingers crossed for him, okay !

So after the teacher's phonecall, Pierre went to pick up Rafael from his school and brought him home. He napped for 2.5 hours and went to his usual bedtime at 7:30, and feel asleep right away. He stayed home on Tuesday and Wednesday, having naps every day and going to bed at the same time every night. He went back to school today, but was tired and napped a bit although not as much as on Monday. The upcoming 3 day weekend will do him good rest-wise.

I have tons of photos to post - tulips, other signs of springs, birds, etc. I need time to scan my new LOs - hoping to be able to do that this weekend.

That's it for tonight ! Take care everyone !

samedi 9 mai 2009

Gorgeous, gorgeous !

Yes the tulips are gorgeous ! Look at these :

DH and DS were busy concocting a scrappy surprise for me for Mother's Day so I chose between scrapping or going outside to take pics of birds and I opted for the latter. But as soon as I left home in the direction of bird spots, it started to rain pretty heavily so I opted to cross the bridge to Ottawa and visit Scrapbox instead, the only scrapbook store in town. I hadn't been in there for quite a long time, I actually hadn't bought anything scrappy for myself for the last 5 months, just about - so I picked up my membership card ! LOL I chose a few items for my students - I spent the remaining money from my arts budget - to do a Father's Day gift. Yes, gotta plan early as Father's Day will be upon us in no time !

Then I was deliberating going to a river where I was just told that there are lots of birds' nests filled with eggs where the rain started pouring even more. So I decided to go back home and while driving in downtown Ottawa, I saw clear skies and a bit of sun in Hull. I started to get hopeful that I might be able to photograph the tulips in Jacques-Cartier Park in Hull ... and that's what I did ! The tulips were just so gorgeous and in great numbers ! Here's a view of them with the Interprovincial Bridge and the Art Museum just behind :

You can click on the photos and you will be able to view them in a bigger format.

I love taking photos of nature treasures that have been sprinkled with rain ! The droplets just look like mini diamonds to me, all glistening and shining !

This tulip was among the 6 that we have in front of our home ! I love this warm mix of colors.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get outside again to photograph more tulips and birds with their nests filled with eggs !

Have a great evening and thanks for dropping by ! Happy Mother's day tomorrow !

À mes amies francophones, je vous souhaite une belle journée de fête des mères demain !

vendredi 8 mai 2009

Ahhh... the weekend's here !

The feeling of being free for 2 days is always exhilarating ! I am super super tired so I am looking forward to sleep longer than during the week, relaxing, taking pics of tulips at the Tulip Festival and perhaps even gluing down that layout that has been waiting patiently on my scrap desk !

I went to my chiro this morning and talked to him about "labyrinthite" - a condition I have sporadically but that I used to have almost steadily for 2 years. He gave me some exercices to do in the morning when I wake up having vertigo feelings in order to get rid of them faster. I am looking forward to see the results after having tried those exercices next time I wake up with vertigo.

On the school front, my grade 4, 5 and 6 students completed their Mother's Day butterfly chipboard books today and I am so thrilled about that ! They were just gorgeous and so very creative in the decorating and the written poems. But I saw SO many butterfly books, helped so many students with their books, attached so many ribbons to the books, punched so many holes in the pages - for the students that couldn't do it by themselves -, supervised the dolling out of the rhinestones (that the students so much loved that I had to keep an eagle eye on them if not many students would not have the pleasure of using some as some students were, ahem .... taking loads of them) that I was close to getting fed up with this project. Wow ! So happy that this project is over and done with and that regular English lessons programming is on for the next few weeks ! LOL I don't want to see another butterfly chipboard book in quite a while, thank you very much ... even though I wanted to make one with a different theme for myself ! That will be in the far far future I predict ! LOL

We went out for pizza tonight and it struck me again, while watching Rafael walk over to the counter to get our pizza slices, how he is growing ! He is walking in an assured manner and that is good to see. I think that in about a year, he will be as tall as me. I am not hard to beat though, at 5 feet 2 inches ! ;)

There's 6 weeks of school left and one can smell the end drawing near in the school. Tired teachers, educators and other school personnel have a little new spring in their step, looking forward to the end of the school year, counting the weeks or the days left. I do too ! It has been quite a difficult year, although a rewarding one.

I'm leaving you with one of my favorite photos of this lovely goldfinch (chardonneret in French), taken just outside my kitchen window. Have a great evening !

mardi 5 mai 2009

A delightful outing !

Yesterday afternoon, I met with my friend Hélène and we went pickniking in the Rockcliffe Park ! My first picnic of the season ! It was quite lovely ! We had great weather, the sun was shining brightly, albeit the wind was a bit cold. Nevertheless, we had a great time chatting while each eating half a wrap complemented by fresh vegetables and fruits ! Yum !

Then we drove to Ottawa's By Market and walked to the Major Hills Park, which is one of the Tulip Festival sites which incidentally started last weekend. Near the entrance, we stopped to admire this ship made up of empty fish cans : pretty impressive construction indeed !

This is one of the views that greeted us along our walk : we both love and never get tired of seeing the graceful architecture of the Civilization Museum across the river in Hull.

Hélène and I were trying to get a photo of both of us while stretching our arms for an auto-portrait when this nice young woman came up to us from behind her ice cream kiosk and offered to take photos of us with our cameras ! How kind of her !

This was one of my attempts at self-portraits before the ice cream lady came up to us ! LOL Still pretty cool though as a pic ! What do you think, Hélène ? ;)

Of course, we did get to admire the lovely tulips and photograph some of them. I definitely need to go back to Major Hill Park though because we didn't have enough time to see the whole display of tulips.

Hélène, it was wonderful spending time with you ! Time always go by so fast when we're together !

Have a great evening, everyone !

dimanche 3 mai 2009

What an awesome weekend !

A great weekend indeed ! The sun was shining, the birds were chirping away, I love these kinds of days !

Today, we went to visit my sister and nephew and Rafael had the chance to play with his cousin and also his best friend from school, Ashley, who lives 3 houses away from my sister's. Ashley told my sister, when she learned that we were coming over, that Rafael was her very best friend at school. It was my first time meeting Ashley and I loved it ! She is a very assured young girl, with great manners and a lively imagination. Seeing both she and my son playing and talking together, I could see why they connect so well !

We also had fun playing with one of my sister's birds, the lovely Wally below ! Isn't he gorgeous ? He can't fly so he keeps coming to land on us, it was just so sweet !

I have started taking pics of the lovely tulips that have made an appearance lately ! Many more pics of tulips will be taken in the next few weeks I am sure ! I just love tulips, there's something so simple and yet magical about them ! This photo and the bird photo below were taken with the rented lens 100-400 mm from Canon. You can click on the photo and see how clear and sharp they are !

Birds keep enchanting my life ! I love taking pics of them everyday from our dinette's windows and in nature ! Here's one I took yesterday ! Their bright yellow color just makes me feel so happy ! This pic was taken with the lovely lens 100-400 mm that we rented for the weekend. I feel a little sad that we're returning it tomorrow. Oh well, we'll rent them another time !

My favorite tv show "Tout le monde en parle" is on right now, so off I go ! Have a great Monday tomorrow !

samedi 2 mai 2009

En amour avec les oiseaux ! BIRD-LOVERS !

J'adore les matins de weekend ! Ils sont relaxes, très agréables ! Pierre a le temps de déguster son café en lisant La Presse, j'ai le temps de déguster mes fruits en lisant La Presse et Rafael déjeune et puis joue avec ses jouets ou il lit. Ouais, c'est une famille de grands lecteurs, ici !

Et puis, de notre dînette qui a 3 murs de grandes fenêtres, on a l'occasion et la grand plaisir d'observer les oiseaux ! C'est un vrai régal visuel ! On commençe à être bons à connaître les habitudes des cardinals, des chardonnerets, des rouge-gorges, et des autres espèces d'oiseaux qu'on voit régulièrement. Pierre et moi prenons photo après photo ! Des photos des oiseaux qui viennent manger dans nos mangeoires à oiseaux ! Et vu que ce weekend-ci, on a loué un objectif 100-400 mm, on s'en donne à coeur joie encore plus que d'habitude ! Pierre a même installé notre trépied devant une fenêtre pour prendre des photos plus stables. Personnellement, je trouve un meilleur équilibre à tenir la caméra moi-même, même si celle-ci est plus lourde avec le plus long objectif loué.

Rafael et moi sommes allés au Rona vers 10h pour aller chercher d'autres graines pour oiseaux et j'ai décidé de faire l'acquisition d'une petite mangeoire pour attirer les colibris : j'ai hâte des voir de plus proche ! En même temps, on a fait l'achat d'une autre pôle à 2 courbes pour y accrocher d'autres mangeoires à oiseaux, histoire de pouvoir observer et photographier de notre dînette davantage d'oiseaux.

As I was saying in French, we are book lovers here, and also DH and I have developed a passion for birds ! For our vantage position in our dining room which has 3 walls of large and long windows, we are fortunate to be able to take photos after photos, close-ups actually, of the birds visiting our birdfeeders ! Every day, we see finches, cardinals, and other types of birds and I'm getting quite good at figuring out their lifestyles. Like when the male cardinal gets food and then goes to the female cardinal to put the food in her beak ! It's just so cute ! They look like they are kissing ! LOL

THis morning, DS and I went to Rona to purchase more bird seeds and got by the same token, a birdfeeder for hummingbirds - I am SO looking forward to observing them up close - and we also got a new double pole to hang up more birdfeeders on it so that we'll have more opportunities to observe and photograph our friendly birds !

I'll be back later on today to add pics on this post ! Take care and have fun on this NSD ! I hope to be able to scrap later on today ...

vendredi 1 mai 2009

1st of May

Wow, it's already the first of May ! Time sure goes fast, especially when one is always busy !

At work lately, well at the school where I teach, so many activities all of the time ! It's one of the perks of my career and I just love it ! Let's see ... among other things ... In March I was asked to prepare something for the inauguration of our school's literacy library nicknamed affectionately Ali Baba's Cavern ! :) So I purchased a frame at Winners and filled three of the 4 picture slots with pictures of books and students reading and the fourth slot I filled with CS, rhinestones and rub-ons to write the name of our literacy library. My frame was a big hit during the inauguration ! I was so pleased but mostly I had such fun going around our school, taking pics of our students reading ! I also did a pretty big display of more photos on the bulletin board near the literacy library's door, photos of students reading, photos of hands turning book pages, etc. It was actually a collage of photos interspersed with punched shapes and punched borders. Very neat, actually ! People commented in great detail about it. Again, I had much fun creating this collage with 3 of my grade 6 students.

Lately, my grade 3, 4 and 6 students are passionately creating a chipboard book for Mother's Day. Such creativity is displayed ! They paid for the chipboard book and I supplied all of the patterned papers, the rhinestones, the stickers, the letter stickers, going through my scrap stash to let go of stuff I didn't think I was use finally - and my students had a field day with all of that stuff ! They created gorgeous pieces of artwork - I am sure that many mothers are going to be teary-eyed in two Sundays, when they see and read their children's Mother's Day's book. Such heartfelt poems and messages were written in these books also ! Most of all, I really really enjoyed watching the process of creativity unfolding in my classroom. Almost every lunchhour recess, I've been opening my classroom to my grade 3, 4, 5 and 6 students and it is just so so amazing to watch all of these different grade students working together, sharing tips and creative ideas, creating side by side, laughing, etc. I witnessed another wonderful noon hour today, gosh, my classroom must have had almost 40 students in it ! Lots of good noise and very tiring but very satisfying also ! A classroom filled with creativity, laughter. Such a joy to witness. Wish I had had the energy to take pics of it but I was too busy guiding, helping, explaining and watching ! :) But boy was I ever tired when I left school at 12:40.

Late this afternoon, my husband came back home with a surprise for me : he had finally rented (after me asking for it for the past several months) the Canon lens EF 100-400 mm Ultrasonic with the image stabilizer. I AM IN LOVE !!! We took photos of birds at our birdfeeders and boy, are the photos ever sharp and in such focus ! It bears repeating, I AM IN LOVE !!! LOL Such great lens ! I want to purchase them even more than before and I've been salivating for these lens for months now, over a year actually ! They are just awesome !!! Well, since I've not been spending any money on scrapbooking stuff for the past 5 months, I think that these lens just might make it into our home by the end of December. But it would be so great to have them for this summer to shoot all of these birds that I am so fond of. Yup, I've become a real bird-lover !

Anyhow, it's late enough : I am really tired and my bed is calling my name ! LOL Have a great evening and I promise to come back soon, sometimes this weekend, with pics ! Take care !