Sarah Cooper
Seems I've been neglecting this blog...
*blowing the dust off*
Been toying with the idea of a "Picture a Day" just as a self-A$$-kicking measure to get me over here more often.
Well...
Today I'm starting,
AND
I'm cheating!
You can just slip on over to my other Blog to catch today's Picture.
Which isn't quite right either...
I'm lying now too.
We're off to a great start! lol
There are actually 11 pictures and you might get a better idea about ME from them.
But...
Don't take my word...
go on...
check it out yourself:
http://keepsakescrafts.blogspot.com/2009/11/bad-girl-me-lets-see.html
~Sarah~
Sarah Cooper

5 AM... our day starts at 5 AM. My fiancee drives a School Bus.
Yes, even at this time of year, it's still not light out.
I so look forward to the day my fiancee has a job that doesn't have us up so early and the usable portions of the day chopped into teeny little bits.
By 5:30... latest, the boyz are making their way down the stairs in typical zombie like fashion. Complete with foot dragging, tripping and groan-y, moan-y noises. By this time I've already laid out the clothes for the day, 1 kid per couch, breakfast is being poured, usually cereal or oatmeal, if I'm feeling energetic... Greg starts making lunches... I pass out Gummie-Bear vitamins...
6 AM Greg is outta here and I'm on my own.
Then the day really starts.
Usually at least 1 person has verbal objections to the food in front of them, then leading to a 2nd, usually younger child, who muuuuust agree 'cause they look up to said older sibling... This results in at least 1 or more children sneaking their food to a) the dog b) the bunny c) the trash d) another siblings bowl or e) behind a couch or some other hidden corner to be discovered days if not weeks later.
I can't have eyes on all 4 at all times.
There is a flurry of food, dishes going to the kitchen to be dumped in the sink (later loaded in dishwasher by yours truly), meds for 2 kids being doled out and recorded. Plus the requisite bumping, banging, swearing, 'he did this' & 'he did that' reports and general boy-ness that happens when you have 4 boys in such close quarters trying to get ready and out the door for the day.
Generally by 6:30 AM they're done eating and (hopefully) on to dressing...
Plus in this sliver of time we try to finish up any Homework, generally reading, that wasn't completed the night before.This is when I am in a constant battle with child #3: the child with major medical issues.
I get called 'bitch' and several other choice names more times than I can count before the sun is even fully in the sky. He's usually wrecked a toy or 2, ripped a book, started a fight or all of the above. Depends on the day.
All this while trying to keep the other 3 on schedule and from 'copying' his behaviour.
fun.
At 7AM my parents arrive to take 2 or 3 of the boys to school. Thank goodness, though I am unable to work, the daycare is still provided for. After the flurry of footwear finding(though funny they were all away when I picked up before bed myself...), coat searching, lunch bags & homework in bags, 'oops! I need this form I got a week ago & left in bag signed TODAY or else', 'he's pushing', 'so & so stepped on my bag', 'he looked at me funny', 'he's copying me! Make him stop' etc...-ing FINALLY a few of them are on their way to school with my parents.
*deep breathing*
I have #3 with me... still unmedicated, seeing as it takes at least 1/2 hour for the meds to kick in fully. (days I wonder if it's closer to an hour...)The vulgarities continue, the defiance continues... my ever decreasing Mommy self esteem plummets another few notches...
Oh yeah, fun times.
By 7:25AM my parents are back for round 2 of school deliveries... the chaos of the 1st trip ensues... (see above, add much more name calling and swearing, some directed at MY Mother by this point) and (hopefully) by 7:30 AM-ish (very ISH most days)...
I.
am.
finally.
alone.
Usually I just sit here stunned. Sometimes I cry, Sometimes I just stare, some days I seriously wonder if 7:30AM is to early to start drinking... I try really hard to remember to breathe.
Oh yeah... breathing's good.
I pull myself together and get some breakfast (for me this time) usually unload & reload the dishwasher while eating in the kitchen, wipe down counters, get sh-tuff out for dinner and a million & six other thing the 'men' in my life don't see, but yet... life in this house could not continue if I didn't do.
I might finish off breakfast playing on Neopets, Blog reading or posting my GiST. Let the bunny loose... get some much needed bunny lurving. Then I do a whirl wind of things in the precious, precious 'alone' time I have.
2 hours.
Fiancee returns at about 9:30 AM. We usually rush to get any 'out of house' stuff done before...
Child #3 returns home at 11AM.
The school sends him home in a board-provided-Taxi. The Mummy abuse re-commences...
We sometimes try to cram more 'out of house' stuff in but are limited as to where and what we can do with #3 along. Seems lots of people can't deal with all the stuff we do day-in & day-out... funny that.
My fiancee leaves again around 1:30 PM...
Then #3 and I are alone.
I do what I can the rest of the day...
#3 has to be constantly supervised. I pee with the door open... I take almost no PM phone calls and we get by for the day.
6 PM Fiancee returns with the rest of the crew after getting them at Daycare. (again, Thank Goodness for that...)
Evening is a BLUR.
Dinner, homework, Kinship Wednesdays, D&D for Fiancee every 2nd Friday... occasionally other plans, baths, showers, bed-time for kiddos, dishwasher on, laundry... maaayyybe if the night is good or I ignore a bunch of other sh-tuff, some TV... picking out clothes, picking up after the evening whirlwind... and eventually, blessedly... BED.
Then the 5 AM alarm goes off...
Sarah Cooper
Garden Center... oh, let me count the ways I love thee... *sigh of pure contentment*
Oh yeah.
Nothing makes me happier than green, growing, pretty things... fleurs especially. I seriously could waste more time in any 24 hr period in a garden center than I ever could scrapbooking. For those that know me that says a lot! lol
For 2 years we've been working on a total re-do of the backyard. This year... we will be DONE. For those that haven't seen it before this was Summer 2007:

By the end of Summer 2007 we had a shed up and were starting plans for a patio of some kind, as of yet undetermined. Then we saw this fantastical wonder: http://tiny.cc/vi2I8 on a friends blog. Perfect! We were low on funds and high on uh... 'child labour' with 4 willing (though grumbly) boys to help.
Like this:

Then we spent a weekend as a family making 1 BIG jigsaw puzzle in the yard with smashed patio stones, turned upside down:

Which led to this by end of Summer 2008:

But also left us with this, just outside the yard:

Since then we have enclosed the dirt pile in a box make of old railway ties we were FreeCycled. It's sat waiting all winter. Tomorrow we're going to put in 3 lilac trees and cover the rest with Washed River Stone (the same as in the Bunny Garden) and be done... yes, I said DONE.
I'll still have my many, many, many plant pots in the yard to fill to excess of overflowing from the pretty-pretty-perennials from the Garden Center, but all the annuals will be done.
So happy with how it all came together.
God, do I ever love Summer!
Sarah Cooper
To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Now that Spring has sprung we needed to finish our last bit of Winter business.
This past weekend we laid to rest a very important member of our family, whom we lost quite suddenly over the winter months.
Cleopatra ~Cleo~.
A very special bunny who came in and charmed the socks off every person who passed through our door. There were people who were not bunny people, some not even animal people who were bowled over by her sheer insistence that 'Yes, indeed, you did want to talk to the bunny. Of course, why would you not?'
We pulled up a portion of the 'faux' Cobblestone Patio we laid last year and made sure that she was laid down deep. Then we gave her some of the roses she was constantly trying to steal while she was alive. In the months ahead the 2 climbing rose bushes; one red & one yellow will burst with blooms and be a fitting tribute.
This is our 'Bunny Garden':
This is a close up of the Bunny Sculpture we bought a few days after Cleo died.
The pose was just so 'her'. We knew were it would go:

~RIP~
Cleopatra ~Cleo~
May 9th 2008 - February 12th 2009
In loving Memory of a Very Special Bunny.
Taken unexpectedly from us you left a big hole in this family...
May you be hopping free and whole near the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for us.







Sarah Cooper
(X-posted from my other blog: http://keepsakescrafts.blogspot.com/)
I went on a 'Retreat' in more ways that one this weekend:
It was a 'treat' for me for sure because over the past few months my life has been... umm, words can not, reeeally, do justice to the stress of dealing with the medical issues we're having with son #3. I have been up and down the roller coaster of emotions so many times I'm starting to get numb to the sensations, never a good thing.
So... getting a chance to 'Retreat' from this house and the problems with it and those inside it was needed. Very much.I got to 'Retreat' from cleaning, cooking and worrying about anyone's schedule but mine for 3 days and 2 nights. Nice. Really nice. I'm not a traveller; I can count on 1 hand the number of times I've stayed in a hotel and even then I was under the age of 8 when those happened. I've not travelled in my adult life to the extent of needing a hotel/motel room. So the little 'luxuries' of coming back to someone else having make the bed, fluffed the pillows and whisked away the dirty towels, replacing them with clean ones is not lost on me. *sigh of contentment*
This is a picture of ALL the sh-tuff I brought up with me:

This includes a case of water to share, a bag of 'goodies' that didn't come back with me *G* num-num, laptop, all my clothes/toiletries etc. and, but of course, the selection of scrapbooking sh-tuff I brought with me.

On the Friday it was mostly unpacking, settling in... We got the room around 10:30 AM, though it was set for Noon. Quite nice of them. So after a little tweaking (IE. moving of tables) to allow for electricity for the Cricuts that were en-route, it was set.
Unpacking, welcoming/introductions as people arrived and waiting for our bedrooms at 4PM started. You could feel the 'hum' in the air... it was palatable.
I LOVED having my own room. Clean WHITE (something I'd never dare at home) sheets, BIG fluffy pillows, CLEAN un-little-boyed toilet... lol. HEAVEN. Pure Heaven. I had a gorgeous view of the water front and some of the on-site gardens... not that I was in the room to enjoy it during daylight hours. lol. I could choose the room temperature, no arguing over open windows or closing curtains... and I could take a nice long bath (which I luxuriated in twice) with no knocks, scratching puppy claws or 'Mommy'ies at the door... *blissful* The food was served 'cafeteria style': There's a schedule up and the meal is between X and Y times... you show up, grab a tray and herd in like hungry cattle. The food was sustaining. No Cordon Bleu by any means but HEY!!! anything I don't have to make or clean up is fiiiiine by me. I love the conveyor belt system at the end, drop and go... all the dirty dishes, garbage and trays are whisked away in the blink of an eye. Fantastic! Then just walk away... WOW. I'd love to have one of those at home but really... I know I'd be that 'magic fairy' hard at work on the other side of that belt. lol.
No Thanks.
I got into my creative groove fairly fast. That means, though I brought my swim suit, I never did make my way to the swimming pool or the hot tubs. I don't feel I missed out though, not at all.Stopped for meals, a little shopping at the 2 scrapbook stores in the area and meals of course.
The only downer was the fact that there was NO STARBUCKS in Cornwall... *gasp* or Micheal's store or Chapters... *GASP* After the travels of one of the ladies we know they are 'well equipped' with Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and several other stores of that type. *tongue clucking* But No Starbucks. Very sad... very sad indeed.

This is some of the work I got done over the weekend:


This was one of those pictures I brought up 'Just in Case'. I started with a few things like Easter, April Fool's Day and an album I planned to make for Greg I wanted to get done 1st. Then I moved onto the things I didn't really have 'plans' for yet. This was brought upon by the 'Merry Christmas' sticker set I got on discount at the 1st scrapbook store. Oh it was an awesome store! In the Indian Reserve, on the island between the Canadian/USA border. Great prices to start, then NO Tax to follow... lots of markdowns and discounted items as well as a fantastic selection. A real Diamond in the Rough! The sticker sheet really 'made' this page... I added the Say it with Crystals flourish and that was it. Pretty Simple, Pretty-Pretty. :O)

This was another 'Just in Case' picture. I always have some of the pictures I've selected for my 'All About Me' albums at hand... They're good for filling in blanks between planned work. More Say it With Crystals and heaps of trim pulled in from all over... my flower stash, prize bag from my trip to NavCan back in October, new Bo-Bunny Brad kit I bought before going up, rub-ons off of 3 different sheets and stickers from a sheet I got as a birthday present. The title was a rub on I bought at the 2nd scrapbook store we went to. With it Inspiration Struck! I got to work on this page as soon as I got back, almost missed a meal! lol


Yet another 'Just in Case' Picture... what can I say; sometimes they sit there forever until inspiration hits. This is my favorite picture of Robert. It's just so FUN! This page was embellished mostly with rub-ons I bought on my warehouse 'fill'er up' trip before going up. The flourishes are leftover stickers and the orange SMILE is for a dollar store chipboard sticker set. Everything else is a rub-on... I used up 3 whole sheets, snipped up and re-arranged... I LOVE the way this page made itself. Like my fingers were being led by someone else.
To clarify:
In art (scrapbooking) this is a good thing and not as creepy as it could be made to seem! lol
I completed a 16 page 8 X 8 Album for Greg I'd been meaning to do for awhile. He's always here though so it was nice to get it all done away from prying eyes. Another 10 12 X 12 pages, I finished the Easter and April Fool's Day stuff, as planned, and a page for our bunny: Hope.
In total: 26 pages. Not to shabby...
I spent a lot of time 'chasing' my fiancee on the laptop via FaceBook. We kept missing each other, we were trying to use it for communication this weekend since I have no cellphone. I must say I MUCH prefer a good ol'phone call to typing away on chat with my sweetie. I missed hearing him and my kids... "I Love You" is just not the same on screen.
So... all in all it was a great weekend!
I got to relax, got fed, pampered at a level I was comfortable with and got lots & lots done.
Now: Back to reality... with a bang. :O)
Sarah Cooper
I always hate doing those 'tell us a bit about yourself' questions.
Yet... I suppose that would be the best way to start a fresh Blog.
So here goes:

Name: Sarah Elliott
Live: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Age: 30 *hand over mouth* mrrrfflllllppp years old
Presently I am 'technically' still a Single Parent though I am engaged to be married.
Mom to 4 boys who are my life and my life line... 11, 8, 6 and 4 years old.
Yes, that's 4... ALL boys.
I know my place in Heaven is reserved in that special placed for Mother's with only Sons.
Yes, I'm tired.
Yes, I'm stressed.
Yes, my house looks like a post war-zone most days...
BUT it is never boring.
No, I have no idea how I do it, I just do.
No, I wasn't planning a baseball, basketball or football team.
No, I have no frikken' clue what half the stuff is in their pockets at laundry time. Some questions are better unanswered, trust me.
I work from home, though at present I'm on sabbatical due to some medical problems with son #3. He's home with me for most of the day and needs constant supervision. I will be resuming the regularly scheduled work program as soon as the issues with him are settled. When I am working I am an 'artist' working with paper and recycled materials (old Cd's, books, boxes, tins etc...) making the world a better place by reducing, reusing and redecorating as much as I can.
I'm a Christian, part of a VineYard 'plant' (home group) we host here in our living room Wednesday evenings.
For fun I scrapbook, read and love baking. When the weather here in Ottawa allows I garden and get outside as much as I can.
Any other questions, please don't be shy... I don't bite... much. lol
The Bi-Line describes my life pretty well:
Life with 4 boys, a fiancee, a dog, a bunny, a home-business & an ex... etc... etc...
Some days the cup is 1/2 empty... Some days the cup is 1/2 full...
Look forward to Blogging at'cha!