Wednesday, April 27

Mat Leave

Okay, so I thought I'd clear up some stuff with my mat leave, because a friend, (hi Melissa!), pointed out that I talked about mat leave in my first post, but then mentioned my shift finally being done in my last post. Confusing, right? 

So basically, EI lasts 52 weeks. The first 2 are a waiting period (unpaid),  and then the next 15 are called maternity leave. The last 35 are called parental leave, and that's when Canada allows you to earn 40% of your EI cheque without losing any of your benefits. It goes by a per week basis, even though EI pays you every two weeks. SO if you were receiving $200 every two weeks (just a random number), then that means every week you're getting $100, so you can earn $40/week on top of your full EI cheque. Awesome, right? Every little bit helps! And most are making more than $200 bi-weekly from EI, since it maxes out at around $900/bi-weekly, so you could potentially earn a lot more. It sure makes being on maternity leave easier on the finances, since even if you were maxed out, $1800/month isn't enough to pay the bills, right? And you just fill out on online EI report every two weeks, so they can track what you are working. Easy peasy...though I still manage to forget now and then!

So there's your explanation! And now here's your promised pictures! :) I had to dig to find some new ones that hadn't been on fb yet or anything, so they are kind of random! 

Baker gets so excited when we undress him for his baths at's the best.
I can't remember what number game they are's weird how you forget stuff so fast, because when I took the picture I remember thinking their game was funny!
Baker giving Paco the packhorse some love! 
Van wanted me to take a picture of him on his tummy like this because I was taking pictures of Baker and making a big deal of him being on his tummy. :) Funny kid.
He's showing me his muscles...if you couldn't tell. :o)

Monday, April 25

Happy Easter everyone! I meant to split this baby up into two posts, buuuut that didn't happen, so it's a big one! And for the google reader followers, I know, you all ready got a peek at some of the pics...I accidentally published a post early when I was testing how the pics were loading...not a big deal, but my heart still jumped into my throat for some funny reason! Lol! 

So I had to work tonight, which was a GIANT bummer since it was pretty much the nicest day of the year thus far! But Van did manage to put a huge smile on my face still. We were coming home from church, and I asked him what he learned, and I couldn't believe what he babbled off to me. It went like this. "There were some bad guys that were mean to Jesus, and they put nails in his feet and his hands and they beat him." (Who knew he was such a graphic storyteller?) "Then they put him in a stone for this many days (he held up three cute little barely 4 year-old fingers). Then someone moved the stone, and he came out and was alive." 
I was speechless! It just wasn't like Van to go on like that and actually remember so much stuff! He always answers, "I don't know" to things we KNOW he knows...I couldn't believe it. I wanted to turn around and go back to church and give his teachers a hug! (Who are obviously the best.teachers.ever).

So this year I was really excited to try this tutorial and plant some grass in some eggshells with the kids. I'm pretty sure everyone else uses wheat grass because it's stronger? But we had normal grass seed on hand, so that's what we used! The kids were in heaven..playing with dirt inside the house...we saved the eggshells up for a few days before. We eat a lot of eggs in this house!
I was really impressed with how quickly and easily the grass grew!! The kids loved watching it come in...if only we could grow it that good in your yard. Van tried his hand at leveling things off, but Derick had to step in and finish the job. I loved the result!! They were the best little photo subjects ever! :) Pretty sure we'll do this every year in some shape or form because it was so cheap and easy. You could even say they were EGGcellent.
I got these little egg cups at Winners a week or so ago for a few bucks and I was so EGGcited!  Ha ha...
I also got this cake stand for $5. And then I found this glass topper thing at Thrift Village for $2. I was EGGstatic! Just can't help myself.
We also paper mached foam eggs from the dollar store with yellow tissue paper, but it turned out to be a bit too sticky for Van to handle, and I quit after only four eggs...ha ha, but they were still cute! 
And then of course we did the usual egg dying...big whoop, right? The kids were in heaven...they sat there forever dumping the eggs in and out of each cup...
And don't mind the leather Harley Davidson-looking vest van is wearing (which is EGGactly what he is wearing), we also got it at Thrift Village for fun (since Derick has one), and he pretty much hasn't taken it off since. Like really, he slept in it the last two nights. He "pretend" rides his motorbike all over the house...and I love it.
And a couple shots of the kids this morning. Boston needs a tan, eh? I'm in love with that picture of Baker though...I love it EGGstra lots! Sorry for the picture overload...but I promised pictures, right??? So that's EGGactly what you're going to get! :o) And now my shift is finally over, so good night!

Tuesday, April 19

Okay, so I had a friend send out a fb plea for some affordable but cute centerpiece help for her brother's wedding, and since about this time last year I was arm pits-deep in everything weddings (I had a bro-in-law and a sis-in-law get married a month apart), I emailed her some photos I still had on hand from scouting wedding blogs (that I have since deleted from my google reader, they were just clogging things up!). Anyway, and then I thought, hey, I have a blog now, so I can SHARE things just like this! Lol! So here's what I came up with! :) 
I would just like to say that I feel TERRIBLE that I have no idea whose weddings these photos came from, and no idea what photographer took them. I use Evernote now to keep track of things like this, and their sources, because I'm all about giving props, so anyway, sorry about that! I can link up the blogs I used to look at though...Style Me Pretty and Utah Bride Blog. Okay, here we go!

How cute is this chalk placemat? I love the idea of brown paper tablecloths, and you could do so much more with the chalk than just draw the place for the plate too!

LOVE these paper doilies from the dollar store...soo many places to use them.

This is by far my favourite one....such a simple thing, everyone has these jars too, and what an easy free way to display pictures of the happy couple. 

I liked the use of the log as something to change up the heights of stuff, so you can stagger heights of two or three things at a table. 

I LOVE the use of the tin cans below in this picture...just save your tin cans and you've got a free way to display so much cute stuff! 

Another super cute thing to do with the logs...both cut up in smaller slices and as a way to display a picture. Again, free!!

And I always love me some sticks....because, again, they are free! Noticing a theme anyone? :) And I thought it would be cute to spraypaint the sticks too to match the colors of the wedding...though left natural is a great way to work in those tones too!

 Love the messages carved into the wood here...or maybe it was burned? I can't tell from the pic, but that's what I would do....bend some wire into cute words, heat 'er up, and sizzle away! Again, free!!! 

 Another doily present. One of my favourite things from Tina's wedding was when we folded the paper doilies in half (so they were a semicircle), folded them over a string of twine, and stapled them on, and strung them up across the ceiling. SOOOO cute. 

Pinwheels in anything are so cute! (Like in tin cans or mason jars with pictures inside them!) ;)

There you have it! Hopefully you enjoyed it! I'm excited to see what Lyndsey and her mom come up with for her bro's big day! 

Saturday, April 16

Yep, it's true! Van man is 4. It's pretty great having him grow up and be a bigger help all the time! I've never been one of those moms who wants to stop my children from growing! Lol! Maybe it's because our house is sort of overrun with little boys right now, so  I don't mind having Van grow up a bit! Lol!
So I thought I'd do a little post on some of the stuff I made for his birthday (with all of my spare maternity leave time of course). And no, I'm not talking about his hat that looked like a leftover craft drawer threw up on it! Lol! (Because that's pretty much what happened), but I'm talking about those sponge pom pom things in the back of the cake picture. Sorry for the bad pic, but here's a much prettier link of where I first saw them on Nicole Hill's blog, A Little Sussy (scroll down a bit). They were just made out of dollar store sponges, and I'm kind of hooked now! The only other thing I did was cut his streamers so that they zig zagged when I hung them up. It was fun for him to help, and turned out pretty cute I thought. Here's the blog that I saw that on (Jordan Ferney's Oh Happy Day).

And my Happy Birthday banner I made three years ago or something now? (Which is also how old those pictures are as my curtains that have since been replaced will show). I'm a HUGE SUCKER for making things and reusing them every single year in hopes that when my kids are grown up, they'll feel some sort of sentimental value for it...but really, with all boys so far, not so sure that plan is going to pan out...but one can hope, right?
Oh, and I tried my hand at my first fondant cake too! It was pretty easy...if you're looking at it from a distance that is! I really had no idea all you basically did was roll out the fondant and slap it on the cake! If you have bought the pre-made stuff, that is. The kids loved it though...they were popping those little balls in their mouths like popcorn...sick!
I actually made a yummy cake inside it too...funny actually, I was making the cake (a chocolate cake with a mixture of whipped cream and cookies and cream pudding inside), and talking on the phone to my sister Jolene, and she said, "isn't Derick home?". And I say, "yes, why?". And then I got it...she was wondering why on earth I was baking when Derick was home. That's right, that's how little I cook...sad, I know. I'm not proud of it! (In my defense, I'm usually working during dinner time!) I'm telling you people, mat leave changes lives!! Lol!
And yes, I realize it looks like it's Boston's birthday by the way he's perched himself in front of Van's cake...we got some with just Van, but then he let Boss share his chair and help with the candles since they're best friends and all! What a good big bro. Van is!

Monday, April 11

Wow, I still can't believe I finally have a blog! Lol! I've probably changed my mind 8,000 times over the last few years about starting one, but really, I just wanted a place where I could share a bunch of stuff, so here I am! Sharing is fun, right? And I finally have a little extra time in my life (weird, since I just had my third kid six months ago), but I'm actually getting maternity leave for the first time! Wahoo!! Can I get an "O Canada!"

Anyway, and plus my little sister Leah has been bugging me to start a blog for the longest time, and it's also her birthday Saturday, soooo early Happy Birthday Leah! :o) What? Me calling you constantly for a whole day while I made my blog with Blogger questions doesn't count as a birthday present? Hmmmm...back to the drawing board I guess. Seriously though, hallelujah for Blogger finally figuring out how to make things EASY(er)!!

And why Pamela Pumpkin Pie you might ask? mom used to call me that growing up, and thinking up a blog name is HARD, so I just used that! I actually don't even like pumpkin pie. (Or my name much, but OH WELL!) And my other nickname was Pammy Packrat...hmmmm, not as cute? :)

Oh, and if I happen to be lucky enough and you choose to subscribe to my blog through Google Reader, please ignore the first two posts that will pop up...that was just me messing around when I was getting the blog put together, testing things and stuff...but apparently deleting them in blogger is not good enough! They will be in Google Reader forevvvvvvver! Oh, and my blog header makes me laugh actually...ever seen that video by the SNL people "put a bird on it"? It's it, and that's basically what I did. Made my header, decided it needed something else, so I "put a bird on it". Ha ha...I've actually got something else in mind for my header, but it's gonna be awhile before I can get it put together!

And of course, some pictures to start things off right. Actually, I vow to NEVER post without a picture...sound good? Look at the level our friendship has all ready reached...making pinky-swear promises and stuff! So here's the newest edition Baker learning to roll over. Exciting, right!! And then Van and Boston sharing a moment...a quiet moment for once!