Thursday, July 31, 2008

Centreville Amusement Park

We continue with catching up on stuff.

My parents decided to take the girls and I to Centreville Amusement Park on Toronto Island for a day. As kids we went there almost yearly and so I guess they wanted to carry on this tradition and make sure our kids had a glimpse of the fun their mom used to have. My sister-in-law, Jess also decided to join us for the day. Unfortunately my dad was delayed on his trip (truck driver) and did not make it back on time to come with us (or maybe it was just an excuse to get out of being surrounded by girls all day ;)

So mom, Jess, the girls and I headed off for Toronto for the day a couple weeks ago. I had not driven this trip myself since James passed away as I’ve only once returned to SickKids and Rob was driving that time. The trip up wasn’t too bad as we were busy talking, the trip home was quiet and dark … so like the trips home that I remember … and so my mind would wander back to those days. What a different life we have now compared to then. This is the first time we’ve actually had summer holidays. Before James was sick none of the kids were in school, and so summer was not considered “holidays” but just a carrying on of the everyday routine ... just with warmer weather. And then the past two summers were spent mostly in the hospital or homebound … so all this “freedom” to just pick up and do what we want when we want still feels foreign and just “wrong”. It’s a “freedom” I don’t take for granted and at the same time it’s a “freedom” I’d be happy to give up if it meant things could be different now. But alas, this is how life now is and we are enjoying what God has given us … and I know our girls are most definitely enjoying this "casual" lifestyle.

And so I was talking about our trip to Centreville Amusement Park. We had a lovely day. The weather was perfect, slightly hot, but plenty endurable. This is the first time the kids have ever been to an amusement park (besides any rides they may have gone on for school trips) and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Rebecca says the Scrambler was her favourite (this Scrambler is indoors, in the dark with lights and music … far better then the typical local fair kind), with the Log Ride coming in second. Marietta has a hard time picking between the Log Ride and the Ferris Wheel … let’s just say we went on both plenty of times.

Picture overload to follow:

Marietta's toss-up ... Log Ride or Ferris Wheel

Rebecca's favourite, the Scramble (but Marietta in this picture)
The Rockin' Ferry Ride ... instead of the typical back and forth this one slide all over the place

Leapin Lily Pad ... a VERY miniture Drop Tower ... cept it doesn't just drop, it hops up and down instead.

The car in the first picture takes no talent to drive ... just imagination :)
The car in the second picture however was pretty neat and Marietta loved it. The kids have to actually push the gas pedal to make it go and they have to streer. The track in the middle keeps them from wandering off, but they have to be able to control the wheel enough to try and prevent themselves from bumping the middle guideline. Marietta loved this one, Rebecca on the other hand couldn't keep the gas pedal down and would get frustrated, making her driving abilities not exactly top shape.

Barrel's of Fun ... like the Teacup ride ... lots of spinning ... definitely not for me!!
The ferry ride home after a long and fun day ... two very tired girls arrived home.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Someone asked me today if these milestones (Matthew’s birthday) are hard because it reminds me of James. I would have to say that every day there are reminders of James. Some days more then others, but he’s never far from my mind. Birthdays and such don’t really have any more difficulties then an average day can. The mind has it’s own way of working and you just never know what’s going to set it off or trigger it. Although James isn’t here, he’s still part of my daily life. I don’t think so much on what he would be doing or what he is missing because he’s not missing anything, we are. It’s more just little memories triggered by sayings or things I see or the kids do. Matthew brings back a lot of these memories as more character starts to shine through and we are reminded of a little boy who did the similar things not long ago.

Rebecca has been struggling through her grief this past week. I have a photo album of James’ 2007 pictures downstairs in the living room. Every other day it is her turn to spend Quiet Time downstairs and twice this week I heard a crying girl down there. She misses her brother and it’s so hard to know what to say to her. I asked her if she rather I take the photo album away so that she wouldn’t be tempted to look at it and start crying, but she wanted it left there. She also knows that it’s okay to look at them, to remember and to cry. She has developed a bond with her little brother Matthew over the past half year, but yet her bond for James has not been broken by this, she still misses him.

Matthew has a great love for the pig in this picture. The pigs name is “Babe”. We receive “Babe” as a gift while James was in ICU and thought it so appropriate (not that it was given for this reason, it just came at the right time) to receive a singing pig at a time when James had fallen in love with the movie “Babe” and would watch it for endless hours. James actually did not like the pig, it scared him, but for the rest of us it reminds us of that precious movie. Babe the pig sat in our room on our dresser for some time. Mostly he sat quietly but occasionally somewhat tapped the button to let him sing. We slowly began to realize that no matter what Rebecca was doing at that time (even if she was in a deep sleep), if the pig sang, Rebecca cried. This was reinforced when Matthew fell in love with the singing pig and liked to play with it. Upon too many tearful mornings for Rebecca we hid Babe so Matthew would no longer play with it. He looked for Babe whenever he came into our room, but Babe was hiding in our armoire …. until one day Rob left the armoire open just a little too long and Matthew discovered where his dear piggy friend was hiding. And now he will stand by the cupboard and point and ask for the pig. We turn it off and he plays with it and quickly loses interest because it doesn’t sing. Rebecca is fine to see Babe, as long as he is not singing.

We will have many milestones to work our way through yet. Often I find that when I think something is going to be difficult or bother me it ends up going okay and it's the sudden reminders and strong memories that are more difficult to deal with. Sometimes this can bring me down, but most of the time it is short term and then I don't mind so much, for I enjoy remembering my boy, even if the memories make me sad ... I don't want to forget him and sometimes I feel like he's fading away already. I am so thankful for the hours of homevideos and 100's of pictures we have to keep the memory strong. We miss him, but we have such joy in knowing he is at rest and comfortable now.

My Baby's 1!

It seems whenever a birthday goes by we reflect on how fast the year went by, especially when it is a first birthday. I have to admit that I don’t really feel the past year went by fast, I just can’t get over the changes that happened in the past year.

A year ago our baby boy entered this world and our family and what a different family life it was then. I remember very little about his first two months of life, except the few things that pictures and his sporadic journal help me to remember. It’s hard to believe he then spent 9 weeks away from home with only occasional visits. Looking back I remember that guilty feeling at the time that I didn’t truly miss my boy like a mother should when she’s away from her baby for an extended time, that I didn’t worry all day about how he was fairing, how he in some ways just got forgotten, how when I did see him it didn’t even feel like he was mine, I just felt like a babysitter. It was sad, it hurt, but it was true. And then the time it took to rebond with a child who I had never had extensive time to spend with before. And now I look at my special little boy and the bond I feel for him and realize that although I missed the first part of his life, you would never know it now.

Today we took some time out to celebrate our little man’s first birthday. He of course had no idea what was going on but we still had a nice day of cake, presents and relaxation with a few friends this afternoon.

I made sure the icing was Matthew-proof, as he's not allowed to eat the actual cake ... not that he would want to anyways. I was actually surprise to see him try take a bit out of the icing/cake. I gave him a bit of icing to taste afterwards, but typcial Matthew-style, he promptly threw that on the ground, guess it just looked better on the actual cake

I'm suppose to do what with this??
The kids having fun with the pool ... always more fun when there's others to play with.

You all know how Matthew gave us a run for our money over the past year with all his little peculiarities that just didn’t add up to anything specific. I am happy to report that we have now gone for one month without any vomits … yaaaaahhh!!! At the same time he’s also gone for one month without any sickness … yaaaaahhhh!!! Seeing a connection here? Again guess work but we wonder how much he just has a crappy system that can’t handle being down and begins to vomit easily … for a prolonged time (usually a couple weeks). This would explain the continual intermittent vomiting over the winter as he was continuously sick with one thing or another. I didn’t hear anything back on the immune blood work we did, so I’m assuming all is good there. We have no idea where the ears are at right now, I gave up on running back and forth to the doctor when last time she said they were looking pretty good even though he was extremely cranky still. We’ve had a couple good streaks where he’s quite happy and content and plays so well I wonder if I have the right child. We’re just going through one of those stages and I just can’t get over how much of a difference in makes in the house to have a happy boy. I’m less stressed and irritated and I notice it on the kids too and we all get along so much better. Since I don’t have confidence yet that he’s made it thru his crankiness I remind myself to just enjoy it while it lasts. For now he appears healthy and growing and so we focus on that instead of his eating habits and keep praying for less crankiness all the time.

The eating battle hasn’t changed, excepted maybe that I’ve just relaxed more and attempt to keep the “not stressed” attitude. Mostly I’ve accept this, I offer him food, give him options and don’t stress about it. Every now and then I just get so frustrated with him when I know he’s starving but he refuses to eat. I got fed up with his restricted diet one day and reintroduced rice. We did have some down time where we wondered how bright that was when he started having painful cries and diarrhea … but I didn’t give up too quickly and a week later he seemed to settle and ever since then all has been good and he seems to tolerate the rice fine. I did this so that we’d be able to introduce more finger foods as the only thing that met his diet restrictions before that was potato chips …rather unhealthy, but considering how much he eats at once not too concerning. I thought this would open up the door to Gluten Free Products (which we have in the house for Rebecca anyways) but quickly realized that it wasn’t that simple since many of them have either milk, soy or corn … but we have found a few things.

But to look at our boy you would never guess he’s the slightest bit different then the average kid. He’s got thick and chunky legs and lots of flab on that bum. He’s as energetic as can be and it’s not uncommon to hear a remark of surprise at the speed at which he can crawl. It scares me to watch him play and so I mostly try to turn my head the other way so as not to stunt his playing style. He can climb up the slide in our backyard at a remarkable speed, but often forgets that there’s a ledge there and he has to watch where he sits or he falls. He doesn’t catch on very quickly to these things and has to make the same mistakes repeatedly without making any progress in the correct direction. I got the rocking horse out the other day for him to learn to ride. His idea of riding it is to sit on his knees and the less holding on the better. I’m reminded that he’s a true boy, not the laid-back energy conserving boy James was. It is a joy to see him so active, I just wish he could learn how to sit still long enough to actually play with a toy or two.

I will never forget how proud James was of his little brother Matthew. He only had a short time with his baby brother but he definitely developed a strong bond to watch over and protect this little baby.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mareitta's 8th Birthday

I can’t believe it’s already been eight years since our first child was born … although if I listen to her talked I guess I’d start thinking, “is she only eight? … maybe it’s been ten, or twelve years??”:) Ah yes, our dear first-born, the mother-hen who knows-it-all! She is mature for her age though and overall a very responsible and mostly well-behaved child. In the past months we’ve seen her faithfulness for being helpful go downhill somewhat, replaced by a child who has to be constantly reminded of everything and always complaining that her life is so rough and unfair and that we expect waaaayyyy to much of her. We’re hoping this is a short faze as it’s a bit discouraging. What makes it more discouraging is the fact that Rebecca has also changed lately, become the more responsible and dependable child. Quick to do her chores without complaining, always there to take care of Matthew (she loves kids and is good with them), does things without asking. For almost eight years she had hard shoes to fill in order to keep up with her well-orderly, neat, helpful sister; but much to our surprise she’s come around drastically lately and I don’t miss her pouting, stomping, door-slamming fits that’s for sure.

Ah yes, but this was about Marietta’s birthday. Marietta received her birthday present already a month before her actual birthday. We manage to be a indoor pet-free home for over nine years (we did have an outdoor dog until we moved to the city), but I finally had to give in. We had always said that the kids could get pets when they were actually responsible enough to take care of the pet completely on their own. This way they could understand the work that comes with having a pet. I refuse to be the petcarer while they just play with the animal occasionally.

After much thought and reading Marietta decided she would like a dwarf rabbit. And so she began to hound me to look for a rabbit for her, as well as a cage … so very afraid that she would not actually have a rabbit by time her birthday rolled around. Well we found a rabbit, although you will have a hard time convincing me that it is a dwarf rabbit. Marietta fell in love with Thumper as soon as she saw her and wanted her (lesson learned – don’t take your child with to pick out the animal unless you’re sure it’s exactly what you want). She might be a cross-bred, but definitely not a true dwarf as she does not have the classical short ears or large head. Thumper is now 11 weeks and if she’s actually part dwarf she’s a good size dwarf. But dwarf or not Marietta loves her rabbit and is working hard to try make her litter-trained. This has been unsuccessful until the last few days where Marietta is quite excited that Thumper finally went in the litter box. I’ll be surprised if she ever becomes fully trained, even though it is claimed that rabbits are easily train (then why is it you hardly ever see trained rabbits?), but these past couple days has been uplifting for Marietta making her more dedicated to the process as she was become quite discourage, although still determined.

Since Marietta already received her present a month ago her birthday was rather quiet in the way of presents. This year she chose cupcakes for her birthday cake and wanted to decorate them herself and then arrange them to make a number 8. So I didn’t have to do any shopping as she already had her present, and all I had to do was quickly whip up some cupcakes and she did the rest … sort of made for an easy day, almost didn’t feel like a birthday.

Marietta wanted to go swimming and for a picnic on her birthday, so we did that late afternoon. We just went to Inch Park near our house. We had the entire pool to ourselves. The kids were quite thrilled about this but I was not all that impressed. Good thing my mom decided to come along, she was able to help with Matthew as the lifeguard, being oh-so-busy and all, were like hawks on the under 9 years of age must be “within arms reach” rule … and Matthew loved to kick his feet in the water but it was far to cold to submerge him. The water was cold and so the girls didn’t last all that long before they decided they were ready to play at the park and have their picnic. Marietta also developed a very sudden and bad headache and just wanted to go lay down for a bit (you know they’re not lying when it happened on their birthday). Some Advil and a short rest helped spruce her up again.

After our picnic we headed home for a family party. With Matthew’s birthday next week and him only being one and not caring much about birthdays or cake we decided to have a combined party. Unfortunately Matthew decided he was way too tired to last until everyone arrived and so I put him down for a “nap” until we were all ready. Matthew has never been one to wake all that pleasantly if woken from his sleep and most certainly not at night when he’s ready for a good long sleep. Needless to say he was even less impressed with the cake and present thing then the average 1-year old and was quickly back in his cozy bed.

All and all Marietta had a nice day and was thoroughly excited that she received a total of $35 cash for her birthday. Her wish had been for money to help her take care of her bunny and she was quite concerned on how she was going to be able to keep paying for everything long-term. This relieved some of her anxieties as it will tie her over for a bit, by the time the money runs out we will be able to tell how dedicated she is to her rabbit to better determine how to assist her with the responsibilities. (How does an eight year old make money?)

Marietta was kind enough to spare a few cupcakes so we could have a #1 for Matthew as well and even kinder in that she allowed Rebecca to decorate these ones.
This is the intelligent look you get when you drag a one year old out of bed to sing happy birthday to him over a cake that he's not even allowed to eat due to "allergies"

Matthew did perk up a little bit to open his present, but his perkiness quickly died and he was wisked off to bed.
And thanks Val for the entertaining chair act!! :)


On July 2nd, bright and early the girls left for a short stay at Campfire! They participated in the Sprouts week, which is a three day, two night stay. I was glad that they were able to get a ride up to camp with Joyce (James' nurse who was a nurses assistant for check-in) and so they had someone they knew with them when they arrived.

From looking at the pictures and hearing the girls stories I think it’s safe to say that they had an enjoyable time. I decided to pick them up myself on Friday so that I could see the actual camp since I had never been before. I had a chance to watch the closing ceremony and look around the camp and I took two very tired girls home.

The girls with their cabin pack

Marietta was excited to find someone from her class there - Annelies

Rebecca receiving her certificate at the Closing Ceremony

Walking up to the cabins, with the main lodge in the background.

Some of you have already expressed your surprise that we sent the girls to Campfire! as we have been questioners of this program more so than supporters. Evangelism has been a big topic recently in the area, with various speeches discussing our roll in evangelism. This is always a difficult topic as we so often have different views on how this should be done. I, for one, struggle greatly with this. How do we get the Word out there without watering it done or worse, distorting it? How do we actively demonstrate our love for God and so win our neighbours for Christ??

This may be an untrue statement, but growing up in the country I think I noticed that as country folks we would live strongly on the “we live in the world but are not of the world” and how we should not mix with the children of unbelievers. We’re friendly to our neighbours but we live our separate lives and don’t bother each other. Then I moved to the city and it took me time to realize that I could no longer live on this concept. When the neighbour kid knocks on my door I can’t turn her away because I don’t want my kids to be “of the world”. Am I or my children any better then my neighbour?? It is only by the grace of God that we have been chosen. We so often hear that we can show our neighbour by how we live and that is good enough. Is it really? Many people have good morals. We have neighbours that demonstrate good morals but they do not go to church. Yes, my neighbours see and know that we go to church, but have I spoken to them about our love for God? Have I tried to explain to them why we desire to go to church not once, but twice each Sunday? I’m afraid I’ve failed greatly in that area.

These issues never much bothered me enough to think further on what I should be doing until these past couple years with James. There we countless times where the opportunity arose to speak about God and how he functions in our lives. But being raised Canadian Reformed we just don’t know how to openly pour out our love, our feelings, and our joy over having such a wonderful God and Father (okay that might be a general statement, but not completely false) … and I failed so many times. I failed miserably as I’m not an open and talkative person when it comes to speaking to people I do not know and all the proper things to say would come pouring into my head after the person has left, and when they came again I still don’t say them. And I can look back and say “but they knew”, for they did. It seemed that everyone picked up that there was something different about us. I remember having great conversations with several nurses in the ICU who picked out immediately that we were Christian (our mannerism or the Bible at the end of the bed?), but I was ashamed at how she had so many text memorize that could just pour out of her mouth and how she could speak so freely. I remember after that most awful night of battling with nurses standing out in the hallway during rounds and the mom from the child next to us asked how James was doing. I just starting crying for it was becoming apparent he was not going to make it. She had great words of wisdom and asked to pray with/for us. She spoke so openly and freely (although I don’t agree with all she said for they are things that cannot really be said to a complete stranger when you have no idea what they believe, even if you are trying to offer comfort). Why can I not do that???

And so this ongoing struggle of how to properly evangelize continues in my mind. If there’s one thing I hope my children are able to learn as they grow up is how to speak more openly and freely about how the Lord works in their lives. When it comes to Campfire! I no longer have an issue of mixing my children with those who are not of the covenant for I feel that they need to be exposed, under supervision, to learn about what is “out there” and how to speak up about what they believe and why. At their age they may not really see this yet, but these things take time. The kids learn in school how to talk about God, but Campfire! approaches this from a different manner again, a less formal setting, giving them a chance to speak more freely I suppose.

I struggle with the fact that I don’t necessarily know what the girls are being taught when they are there, for I see Campfire! as a “home and school” situation. We need to build on what they learn there, just as it should be an extension of what they learned here. But when the kids come home I don’t get to hear about what they learn, I get to hear about the fun games and stuff they did. I think the biggest struggle we see in this situation is the fact that these children, covenant and non-covenant children, are being taught, lead and guided by mostly inexperienced young individuals who have a great love for God, but may not have been properly trained and taught how to teach this to others. As individuals we have a responsibilty to our neighbours and those around us, but as an organization qualified training and guidance is needed, which can not be done in a weekend (think of the amount of school our ministers, missionaries and misson aid workers must go through before they can do this). The covenant is often forgotten and the love of God is instead impressed upon all and everyone … so like the evangelical churches around us. They mean so well, but do they realize how much their words are impressed upon these children. A remark at the closing ceremony brought this concern close to heart again when the individual closed off by saying good-bye and stating that if he did not see them again in this life he would see them in heaven. I’m afraid these are remarks that cannot be made on their own in such a manner. They sound wonderful for we would all love to go to heaven, but even being covenant children does not guarantee us a place in heaven, and if there were children there that are not from the covenant … what about them?? Such a statement cannot be said on it’s own but has to be reinforced with what is required to get to heaven. With this left unqualified, a child is only going to remember that he’s going to see this leader again in heaven. And that leads me to wonder … what else did my children hear those few days?? Is it any worse then what they might hear closer to home? Does that make it okay? When kids get something stuck in their head (and adults too sometimes :) it’s mighty hard to get them to understand that they may not have been taught right, or the full truth, etc. (It comes already with school when you hear but Mrs/Mr. So-and-So said … so therefore it’s fact)

As I said, the girls enjoyed themselves and I continue to struggle with how we can properly evangelize. We need to simplify things in order for our children and outsiders to understand, but we can never water-down the Word or give false information. Where is the line between simplifying and watering-down? And the entire fact of watering the seed after it is planted is also an issue when it comes to evangelizing tools such as VBS or Campfire! If we were presented with the opportunity to send our kids again, would we? … I’m undecided at this point. There is much good to be said about the organization, but there are still things that I continue to struggle with. Nothing is ever cut and dry in this life!

Catchin' Up

Wow, it’s been a bit since I’ve sat down to do the blog thing. Not that there’s nothing to write about, quite the opposite, just no time to write. Suffice to say that we are enjoying the summer holidays … and with summers holidays comes lack of routine. I guess lack of routine includes lack of computer time, for it seems I’m not behind here much lately (can you believe that?)

So the general run-down is that we’ve been busy with this and that. A few bigger things, some smaller things. Some trips to the library and various parks, a few visits, just those little types of things that help to fill the day and make life a little more interesting for the girls. I haven’t been to faithful with the camera for the little things, so not really much pictures to go along with it. Thursday mornings a group of us try to get together for an Outting each week – checking out a different free park/beach each time. I say try, because I’ve only actually made it half the time, and each time I was on a full-schedule already so I didn’t stay long. I do look forward to next year where Matthew’s nap will be a bit easier to work around, but since his napping schedule isn’t all the most predicable we try to work around him as he’s not always the happiest character with sleep … nevermind without sleep!!

To make it easier I think I’ll just run down a few of the bigger highlights with separate posts and lots of pictures :) We’ll see how long it takes me to get caught up :)

Dundas Driving Park - our first Thursday Outting that we attended shortly before picking up a pile of freecycle stuff down the road from there and then heading home to get ready for our Port Burwell camping trip.

The kids love to drive their bikes through the sprinkler when there are no other kids there.
Rebecca sitting back, relaxing and soaking her feet after a hard day at play! :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Port Burwell

Summer holidays have arrived … supposedly summer has too, although you’ll have to look at the calendar to confirm that one as the weather definitely does not always support that theory. I’m quite content if the weather would stay this temperature all summer, and I even don’t mind the rain … just not on wash day :) And most definitely not while we’re camping!!

I am not a fan of camping. We do go camping, but we go “my style”. We borrow my parents 5th wheel trailer and live in relative comfort, with all the necessary conveniences. Under these conditions we will go camping, even though it’s still not my idea of a holiday … but yes well … money does dictate a few things in this area. I have yet to understand why people actually enjoy camping and consider this a holiday. Lots of packing, lots of unpacking and setting up, lots of mess, you still have to cook and clean, stay up late then get a crappy sleep … nope not my idea of fun. This weekend supported my dislike for camping. But yet, I really can’t complain, for I did get a chance to relax as my mom did all the cooking and cleaning, I just had to chase after a filthy dirty boy and make sure he didn’t eat everything he got his hands on (and to think we have feeding problems with this kid). But did I mention the rain? And that we were sleeping in a tent this time? Of all the times we have gone camping only once have we made it through a whole trip without any rain, and it seems usually we get poured on when we do get rain. Nope, camping is not my idea of a holiday … but we did still manage to have some fun.

So this past weekend (Friday evening to Monday night) we packed up and went off to Port Burwell for a few days. This is sort of a tradition. I say sort of because this is only the second time we’ve made it. Each July long weekend my parents go camping here and the children are welcome to camp out, hang out, veg out, with them. It was three years ago that we last made it on this trip. We bought a tent to support this new tradition, but until now we have not had a chance to use the tent again (not that I’m complaining. I dislike camping remember :)

During our ride up we had talked about the significance of this weekend. June 28 a year ago seen James admitted to SickKids for the first time. We spent the July long weekend in Toronto, while the girls went camping. We were finally released from the hospital on July 4, after 44 days in hospital. It was on this weekend that I can so clearly remember the doctor coming and sitting with me and explaining that our son was terminally ill and without treatment he only had a year left. I heard it all, I took it to heart, but my mind and heart had no idea what this all truly meant. Although I thought these memories would make it a hard weekend I hardly thought about this for camping instead brought back various other memories. I was not prepared for the memories this would bring back. We had only been there for a short time and as we set up the bedding inside the tent the exact same way we did last time it hit rather hard once again that someone was missing. Although there were little memories of a little six months old boy who went on a similar trip, the weekend was still good (minus the rain … did I mention the rain? :)

So let it suffice to say that it rained a good part of the weekend. We did manage to get a few minutes at the beach. The one evening we just went for a walk since it was rather cool, but the sun was shining at the beach and it wasn’t as bad there so we let the kids swim in their clothes. Matthew absolutely loved the water, but was shivering like crazy so we had to pack up. The only other chance we got at the beach was Monday afternoon for a couple hours. We packed up when we seen some really dark clouds heading into the area and zipped back to camp to try get everything packed into the van before the rain arrived …we just made it, everything was in the van and it the rain came. Needless to say it was a damp and cool weekend, nothing could dry because it was either raining or extremely damp out. Everything in the tent was damp from all the moisture and I’m just thankful that Matthew faired through it without picking up some new and wonderful bug. But the evenings were nice and we were able to sit around the fire each night, which is one of the best things about camping.

But hey it was lovely weather on Tuesday when we were home again and I could actually get everything wash, dried and cleaned up in one day … thanks to Rob’s help (so glad he had the day off). And then I packed the girls stuff back into suitcases for them to take off to Campfire! They left yesterday morning and I’m curious to know how they’re doing. Guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow when they come home again.

On to the pictures. I made sure I charged up all my batteries for my camera and video camera, had enough memory cards, etc … only to arrive and find out I forgot my camera bag at home. Thankfully I had our cheapo camera in my purse (with the charged batteries at home, thanks dad for the spares). So I still got pictures, although not always the greatest and the colour is totally wacko on some.
Memory Lane
Port Burwell 2005

Marietta - almost 5; Rebecca - 3; James - 6 months

James spending quality time with Grandma and Grandpa

Port Burwell 2008

Marietta - almost 8; Rebecca - 6; Matthew - 11 months

Beach Time. The water was freezing but the kids insisted on swimming. Matthew loved it but was shaking like a leaf becau
se it was so cold.

Fire Time. The kids love fire time and now that they're older they get to stay up later and enjoy it much longer.
Matthew also loved it, and did very well at not getting too close.

Matthew absolutely loved the slide. And I think he was watching pretty closely as I caught him climbing up our slide yesterday. He managed to get half-way up before he fell and slide down. He thought it was just great ... our little monkey.

Cleaning up. Wow what a mess he was, with everything so wet there was not a chance we were going to be able to keep him even slightly clean.