Monday, May 24, 2010

Not Done

Well I seem to have taken a little break in my catching up. I'm not done yet, although I'm getting much closer. I just haven't had time to sit at my computer and right now my computer has no more room for me to load any more pictures into it ... so before I carry on I have some computer cleanup work to do :( Add that to the ever-growing To-Do List! :( But life would be boring if there wasn't always things to be done! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010


When we decided to move to the country we told that kids that part of living in the country is having a dog ... an outdoor dog, no indoor dogs for this family!! And so, as soon as the weather began to warm up it was time to make true to this promise.

We managed to find our dog off of Kijiji ... and surprisingly quickly too, considering the majority of dogs on there are indoor dogs. We also had to find a dog house and did very well in this area also finding something right along the lines of what we wanted - insulated (didn't realize this would be hard to find, I just assumed all dog houses would be insulated) and with good protection from incoming wind and weather elements ... this one has two rooms, the second room being well protected and warm.

Muddy was originally named Buddy, but we found this a bit ackward since we (especially me) call Matthew Buddy. After some thought it was decided to keep the name similiar but call him Muddy because of the brown that shows up on his legs and face (the german shepherd in him). Muddy was about six months old when we got him. He is a mix of a black labrador retriever and a german shepherd. Since Muddy is only six months old (seven now) that means Muddy is a puppy ... and Muddy sure acts like a puppy. Muddy loves to jump and don't you dare leave your socks or shoes by the trampoline because they will be gone in a second. The puppy aspect of Muddy is frustrating, but with some proper training hopefully will get better. We have already seen much improvement in the month that we have had Muddy. For the time being Muddy has to be tied up unless Rob is out there with him in order to get proper training and to make sure he does not go wandering. He is extremely hyper and jumpy on his chain and when first let off the chain, but has gotten much better now when he's been off his chain for a bit. We really hope that time will come when he does not have to be on a chain but can wander about freely. Unfortunately he listens best to Rob (well it is fortunate he does) and so that means that often when the kids let him off the chain he doesn't last long and he has to go back on because he's not listening.

Picture when Muddy first arrived.

I couldn't get a good picture of him because he wouldn't sit still long enough for us to take a picture, and if he was sitting he was looking up at me and all you get to see if his drooly tongue (and if I crouch to his level all I get to feel is his drooly tongue)

While Muddy is the family dog, it is mainly Rob that trains him and cares for him ... but Marietta is right in there doing all she can. She loves the dog and loves to take care of the dog. She tries to let him lose to run and train him, but she's not always strong enough to keep him in line. She is often seen outside with him. Matthew also loves to spend time with Muddy, but has to have someone close by in case Muddy gets too excited and starts jumping and bowling him down.

This lovely grin is not her new way of smiling. Muddy has jumped himself around her a few times and has her legs nicely wrapped up ... she can't move and the more excited Muddy gets the tighter it gets around her legs.

While I'm not a huge animal lover, I do like having a dog ... I just really hope he will mature and lose the puppy habits quickly. And I really hope we can train the jumping habit out of him because jumpy dogs are really annoying!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


With the balmy weather the kids kept asking to have the trampoline set up ... and the pool but we draw the line there. So on Good Friday Rob set up the trampoline, that had been sitting in the garage since December with the kids name written on it.

While Matthew may not like Fair rides, he most certainly enjoys the trampoline.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Beautiful Balmy Good Friday

Good Friday was the first weekend of April this year ... but you would never have guest it was relatively early in spring by the weather.

It was a gorgeous day and we were all out in our shorts and tees and still warm. We decided to take advantage of the gorgeous whether and go for a walk with friends down the railtrail. Knowing the kids would get bored (and annoying) walking we took the bikes along and the older kids could bike while the adults could walk and socialize, pushing the strollers with the little ones in it.

Having bikes meant the kids could go much faster then us ... getting much further then us rather quickly. We forgot to specify that when they go to the next road they could come back and meet us. We didn't really know how far the next road was, but the kids knew they were not allowed to cross the roadways. Well we walked and walked, but didn't come to a road ... or the kids, and we walked and walked ... and finally found the kids. It was a nice walk and didn't seem that far until we read the road sign and realized how far we had gone. We couldn't believe we had walked that far. Our walk one way was 3.2 km.

Thankfully we took a snack along because by this time it was getting closer to supper time and we were getting hungry. We filled up on water and snack and headed back at a faster pace. We were rather hot and hungry by time we got back (not always a good combination) and headed home for a bbq and lazy evening together.

Water and snack break

Matthew rotated between riding the stroller and walking ... lugging his big cast along with him (totally not hindered by the fact)

Time to head back ... Matthew wanted to walk but we wanted to go faster. We encouraged him to run.
"Run, run, run ... Daddy's going to catch you" "Gotcha"

Time to enjoy the scenery from up high

The guys were getting a bit hot and decided to put the air conditioning on full blast. Ange and I commented on how cute Matthew and Vivian looked riding beside each other and talking back and forth. We decided to take a picture .... fun how self-conscious those guys became when the cameras came out.

Quick put the shirts back on

Okay, all presentable and ready for a nice picture.

There's the van ... we made it back. We looked at the map after as we couldn't believe how far we had walked ... it didn't seem that far while we were walking and chatting. It was 3.2 km one way. A good brisk 6.4kms for that day!

Friday, May 14, 2010


So since I didn't go on the snowmobiling trip I don't really know what most of these pictures are about ... that makes for an easy blog as I don't have to talk about it all ... if Rob want to remember more detail he'll have to get around to adding the comments some day.

What I do know is that Rob had an excellent time and thoroughly enjoyed himself. They managed to find an area in Quebec that still had decent trails, but with the warm weather the trails were quickly melting away.

In order to find enough snow to actually snowmobile the guys drove 10 hours and found themselves in Riviere du Loup, Quebec. From there they snowmobiled to Mont-Joli,(where they stayed overnight) then down to Degelis, back up to Cabano (where they stayed the night) then back to Riviere du Loup. ( map: Trip from Riviere Du Loup, QC to Riviere-Du-Loup, QC). Mapquest shows this as 214miles (342 km) by car. And then the 10 hour drive home again. They had fun!

Never hard to get a picture of dad taking pictures ... altho I think Rob had his camera out just as much this time around.

Trail Groomer (smooths and packs the trails)

Along the trails

Suspension Bridge

Along the St. Lawerence Rive. Typical french town with it's steeple church

Calling home at the end of the day

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fantasy Fair

Wow March Break sure seems like a long time ago, a quick reminder of how fast time flies by as it's already two months later.

As previous blogs talk about, our March Break did not start off on the right foot, or should I say arm. With Matthew breaking his arm and needing a cast put on it put a slight change on our plans. Originally we had hoped to go away with my parents for part of the week. The original plan was to go up north snowmobiling ... or at least the guys would go snowmobiling and we would enjoy some relaxing time at the hotel with the kids, some shopping time, and a few kids length snowmobile rides. As time got closer the snow got further away ... melting in most areas and that meant in order to find snow we had to do a lot more driving, which didn't seem all that appealing for a three day trip. The Friday before the March Break I did some calling around and basically found that we had to go to Quebec to find snow, further research suggested it would be about a 10 hour drive to find decent enough snow for snowmobiling. The idea of snowmobiling was put away. Really it's Rob and my Dad that want to snowmobile, altho I don't mind going for a few shorter trip (as in a few hours versus there sun-up to sun-down trips), I would be quite content just to get away from home, from the cooking and cleaning and relax away from things for a bit. The kids would enjoy some swimming, playing int he snow (which we didn't get any of this year) and just carefree fun. Driving ten hours to do this didn't seem worth it. So after some thinking we moved on to Plan B, while not settled, it likely consisted of spending some touristy time in Toronto.

Well with a broken arm Matthew wouldn't be doing any swimming, making the idea of a hotel less appealing and relaxing if we had to avoid the pool and only let the girls go when he didn't know about it ... not very family-like time. We had hoped to leave on Monday, but with Matthew scheduled to have his cast put on that day we could no longer do that ... then we didn't really know how he would feel afterwards so we didn't think it was fair to go away right away.

Meanwhile Dad and Rob both still had snowmobiling stuck in their heads ... they were just waiting for the wives to okay them to go on a trip by themselves. Realizing that we weren't going to have much fun with Matthew's current state and that this would likely be Rob's last opportunity in a long time to take off snowmobiling ... we gave the okay. The smiles spread on their faces and away they went to their planning.

So our March Break was a bit more mellow, but still relaxing. Matthew did fine once his cast was on and so on the Wednesday we headed off to Etobicoke to check out the Fantasy Fair - an indoor fairground.. Well ... we knew it would be busy during the break, but we didn't think it would be quite so bad. In the end it took pretty much all day for us to ride all the rides once and a few of them more then once. While the kids still enjoyed themselves it would only be worthwhile to go to such a place on a day when most kids are in school. It definitely wasn't worth it that day ... but we made the best of it.

Matthew is not a rides kind of boy. There was only one ride he liked and he basically refused to go on the rest of them. All he wanted to do was go on the train ride, which was a little train that drove around the park. He slowly began to understand the concept of waiting in line, and while his patience wasn't the greatest he did get better as the day went on.

The kids on the train:

We went on the train first and then carried on to the next ride. Matthew went on this one also, but this one was not his style and resulted in tears. After that he pretty much had no interest in anymore of the rides.,

This was more his style ... something that doesn't move (because I refuse to pay $1 - or was it $2 - to make a car move for a minute)!

Besides the train Matthew loved the giant playground. His broken arm didn't slow him down in the least as he climb all around and ran back and forth throughout the place. The best part was the bridge where you can see the park from, because from there he could stand above the train and watch it. His little ears would pick out the sound of the train coming and he would make sure he was on the bridge to watch it.

Since the Fair is in the mall my mom went off shopping for a while after lunch and I took all the kids. After standing in line for over half an hour waiting for a ride on the ferris wheel, Matthew took one look at the "car" we had to sit in and threw a fit, refusing to get on it. The girls went by themselves and we went downstairs in the mall to watch them come around on the bottom floor.

The girls wanted to go on the bumper cars so we stood in line for another half hour and then I got three rides in a row out of the deal since the kids could not go on by themselves but had to have an adult with them. Matthew went first and much to my surprise he loved it. "Go faster mom". Marietta took lots of pictures but they were all blurry (as are many indoor pictures on my camera, I can't figure out how to get good indoor pics).

We tried the Carousel, at least one ride didn't have a long line-up. But Matthew again freaked out and refused to go on it.

So in the end we were either on the train or at the playground with Matthew. The girls spent part of the day on their own and my mom and I rotated between watching them or watching Matthew.
Given that Matthew had a broken arm, had just been sedated the day before and his body was out of sorts he did really well. By the end of the day he was getting miserable and less patient and we had him in the stroller more so he didn't have to stand and could rest. All considering he was really good for the day ... if only he had been willing to go on a few more rides.

The rest of the March Break was pretty mellow we had a couple movie nights where we watched Anne of Green Gables. We had just finished reading the book together and it's always fun to watch the movie afterwards. The girls took the lack of trip quite well and didn't complain because they still had lots of fun . They enjoyed Fantasy Fair but even better yet Aunt Val and Aunt Jess took them to an indoor carnival that was in Hamilton for the March Break. I guess the March Break wasn't so mellow afterall ... it just was for me because they were gone. They had a sleepover at Aunt Val's and then the next day went to the carnival. They said the lines were much better there. I had thought it would be much busier being a temporary thing and during the March Break, but sounds like it was all reasonable and the kids had tons of fun. They enjoyed the carnival better then Fantasy Fair ... I'm not sure if that's because of the rides, or because they spent less time in lines and more time on the rides.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fun in the Mud

This is one of those times when I wonder why I thought it so appealing to live in the country again. We didn't have mud in the city ... not unless we dug up the garden and poured lots of water on it ... and even then it wasn't the same kind of mud.

Thankfully we're past the worse of the mud season. It's rainy and cool again lately, but not (so far) not as wet and muddy as it is in the spring.

But while I hate cleaning up the mud and the mess it makes of their coats, clothes and most of all my house ... I do love to watch them playing and see how much fun kids can have with a bit of water.

First he discovers the watering can

Trying it out

"Hmmm ... kinda hard to scoop up much water with this thing

"Forget the water can ... there's more mud over here

Oh what fun!

And he's not the only one who likes the water and mud ... his sisters could be found out there too, especially Rebecca, although both of them had lots of fun making mud pies.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rebecca's 8th Birthday

So we'll start off with our "baby girls" birthday back on March 6th. We like to call her our baby girl just for fun seeing as she's really our biggest kid, being just a tad bit taller then Marietta and a stockier build then her. Rebecca had been counting down the days to this birthday, just like most kids do, but especially because she could finally stop using her car seat. It did seem rather ridiculous that Marietta did not need a carseat but Rebecca, who is the same size/bigger still had to use one. I'd quite gladly had let her go without, but that doesn't teach the kids much on respecting the laws :)

Our kids usually have a list that they can pick from regarding what they would like to do on their birthday. This year Rebecca had a hard time deciding between a birthday party (something she hasn't done yet) or a sleepover (also something she hasn't done for her birthday yet). In the end I decided they were getting old enough and responsible enough that combining two options, a small sleepover and a "party" (small but at least resulting in less fights) with those kids, would still be a fair choice (kinda had to seeing as we let Marietta do similar for her birthday last summer when we were living at my parents and she couldn't decide whether she wanted her party with her school friends or the local friends).

Rebecca was quite happy with this arrangement as there were really only two people she wanted over anyways. So they came over on Friday and did their own thing for the evening. Rob and I had to go to Dine 'n Dash for the evening so we ended up leaving the kids with a babysitter for the evening ... but we designated that time for movie time and then off to bed. The kids were determined to stay up until midnight so they could sing Happy Birthday to Rebecca. At 11:30 when we got home they were still energetic, at 11:45 it was getting a bit quieter, at 11:59 I was upstairs and they could hardly stay awake. At 12am they were too tired to sing and I had to do it for them ... 12:01 am they were sound asleep! :)

Birthday day was busy and fun ... Rebecca survived the day even on the lack of sleep.

Pancakes for breakfast and she opened a present from Dad and Mom - her own set of the Little House on the Prairie series.

Playing with her gift from Marietta - the game Tumble. Marbles sit in the top part of the "container" and you slowly pull sticks out hoping you won't make any marbles fall. Whoever ends up with the most marbles loses.

Rebecca still has a love for colouring eggs (see her 5th birthday). The other kids had never done this before so it was quite the hit.

Birthday balloons (I love it when they pick easy cake ideas :)

Adding decorations to the cupcakes before they ate them. I think Matthew enjoyed his :)

Balloon Toss came. The kids had to blow up their balloon and then let it go and see if they could get it on the 10 points circle (in the sunlight), 5 pts was given to whoever got the closest. I thought there wouldn't be a chance that they would actually get it on the circle and that I should have made a bigger target ... but one of them actually got it right on the target the one time.
Matthew also wanted to give this game a try.

And what's a party without musical chairs.

Last, but not least ... hot potato (we toss a present that has been wrapped multiple times, instead of being out when the music stops you get to unwrap one layer of the present, this continues on until someone unwraps the last layer and then gets to keep the present).

After I brought the kids home Rebecca was exhausted and couldn't stay awake in the van. When we got home she crawled into bed to sleep ... but I guess further excitement kept her from sleeping as she came down a while later upset because she couldn't get to sleep.

In the afternoon some of my family came down for a bit. As you can see the game Tumble was a big hit!

More presents, some of which were: a bath towel that's big enough to fully wrap her up (she had slightly outgrown her old one). A thermos so that her and Marietta no longer need to take turns taking warm lunches to school.

Another game - Operation and a scrapbooking kit.

She was also very excited to receive the first Season of the Road to Avonlea series.
After supper with Grandpa and Grandma it was straight off to bed for two very exhausted girls. Another birthday gone by ... only 365 days until the next one :)