Monday, February 28, 2011

Music for Tommy

A few weeks ago Marietta participated in a Music Talent Evening Fundraiser for Tommy and his family. Tommy is a little four year old boy from our church who has spent the last year going through chemo, radiation, stem cell transplant and many tests, scans, appointments, hospital stays, etc for a rare and aggressive form of neuroblastoma cancer.

As soon as Marietta seen the flyer regarding the fundraiser she right away asked if she could play. She enjoys playing the piano and is not afraid to perform.

Before the concert there was a little debate about whether she needed to take her books with or not. She had the pieces well memorized and played them very confidently. In the end she took the books with and decided to use them ... even though she didn't need them ... a sense of security.

We sat three rows back and the church was full ... overflowing and ran out of seating ... so we had a good spot to enjoy everything but even from our spot I really couldn't see Marietta the greatest ... this would also be because Matthew was sleeping on my lap. So when I heard a mistake I felt so bad for her, knowing she would be so disappointed and frustrated with herself.

Turns out it wasn't really a mistake ... her books fell off the paino ledge and onto the piano. Guess maybe she should have just left the books behind, she didn't need them anyways as once they fell off they stayed off.

It was a beautiful night and we heard a great variety of musical talent. Our prayers continue to be with Tommy and his family. While the major treatments are done, we pray that Tommy may regain his strength and if it is the Lord's will may be free from cancer and be able to enjoy life with his family and friends.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Couple Firsts

On January 24th Matthew got to enjoy a couple firsts ... an exciting day for this little boy.

The Grade 3/4 class was going skating and I was able to go along this time, and decided I would take Matthew with to give skating a try. He was absolutely thrilled that he would be able to go skating just like Jack. Jack is a chimpanzee in the movie MVP (Most Valuable Primate) which Matthew had recently watch and ever since then he had walked around the house imitating Jack and pretending to skate and play hockey. I must say Matthew does a pretty good job of acting like Jack, he gets the chimpanzee noises just right and he does not talk and is expressive by his signing and facial expressions ... unfortunately what was cute at first got a little carried away when Matthew would have a hard time converting back to Matthew and insisted on playing Jack at all times ... which as I mentioned involves no talking and hand motions and basic signing. The movie ended up having to be banded until Matthew could learn when it was appropriate to play Jack and when he must be Matthew.

We went to the school so that we could take the bus to the arena. Another big thrill for Matthew who had never been on a school bus before. He kept saying to me "I'm big now!?!" for I previously told him that when he was big he would go on the bus to school just like the girls. I had to work on the fact that he was big enough to go on the bus with Mommy, but not big enough to go on the bus by himself to school yet. He was okay with that idea ... especially considering on the way there he had to sit on my lap and refused to sit on the seat by himself. On the way home he was a bit more relaxed and sat with Rebecca.

Patiently waiting for mom to get her skates on.

Matthew had a grin on his face the minute he stepped on the ice and it never left his face. I had thought I'd have a boy clinging to me wanting help ... how wrong I was. This boy was a natural. He took the pilon and away he went, zooming all over the ice.

And here's a picture with Rebecca in it ... just to prove that it was her class that we went with :)

We went again with the class a few weeks later. Matthew absolutely loves skating and wanted to try without a pilon this time. He quickly learned that the pilon was very helpful for getting up once he fell and so he decided to stick to using it. An hour of skating time isn't enough for him, he could just keeping going and going. He's out of luck at home since the girls do not really like to skate so they never go on the creek. We also had so much snow the last few weeks that skating wasn't possible anymore since it was just too much to clean the creek. It's too bad we don't have a good small patch closer by the house.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Still Needs Naps

During the Christmas Holidays we were pretty busy each day and that meant that a certain little boy did not get him naps most days. By the end of the two week break we had a little boy who suddenly decided that he no longer needed naps

Considering this little boy only recently dropped his two to three hour daily nap down to one to two hours each afternoon this was quite a change to suddenly go to no naps. A change he really wasn't ready for, but even when put in his room to nap, he discovered that he was not in trouble if he got out of his bed ... as long as he stayed in his room

And so, even when placed in his room again on a regular basis after the holidays were over he still would not nap most of the time. It was fun to play instead. While learning to stay in his room the full hour has been a bit of a problem, eventually a lock on the door got the hint across ... "you do not have to sleep, but you must have quiet time"

After a few weeks of "quiet time" instead of "nap time" his little body began to tell him (and the rest of the house) that he really wasn't ready for no naps and he really still needed to have his naps. Yes, he is three and a half, and yes many kids are done napping by this age ... but this little boys body still needs that daily rest.

Even though his mother made special effort to make sure he was home each day for his nap in order to get him back into routine, the pull to play instead of sleep was still there ... and play often won. But slowly sleep began to win also. As the weeks ticked by sleep would win half of the time over play. Often play would win for a short while, and then sleep would take over.

It's always cute to see the various place that they suddenly doze off to sleep ... altho he hasn't been as creative as his sister, Rebecca, who we several times thought had gone missing, until we took a good look in the corners under her bed to find a girl curled up underneath there sound asleep. Most of the this little boy is smart enough to crawl back onto his bed, or the lazy boy in his room ... it's only been a couple times we've found him sprawled out on the floor.

It's another step to reality ... we no longer have a baby in our house. Our little boy is growing up. Life is easier when you don't have to worry about naps all the time. It definitely has it's advantages ... I can get used to this ... but it's still difficult to let that reality sink in.

Sleeping babies are so adorable ... but sleeping toddlers are pretty cute also .
And so I couldn't resist to taking just a few pictures of "my baby" sleeping. ... who really still needs his naps

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Since we're on a winter/snow theme I guess I'll just add one more along that line.

The kids love to go GTing (having a GT sled pulled behind the four wheeler - or when I grew up it was behind the snowmobile) and think that every time they go to Brent and Mitchell when there is snow that it is necessary to go out GTing. Unfortunate for them this is not always the case, but they have gotten to do it a few times this winter.

Marietta took the camera out and caught some pictures and Matthew and Vivian having their turn.

Matthew (and I think Vivian too) love it!!

Apparently the four wheeler is a jungle gym or something of that assort when it is not running.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


More winter fun!

As usual winter didn't really come until January and this year once it arrived it's stayed, adding smaller and larger amounts of snow every few days. While I hate the cold, I love the look of a snowy winter from the inside of my house. I don't mind it all too much outside when I'm bundled up and dressed for the weather (which I must say doesn't happen often enough now that the kids are old enough to sled and stuff on their own), but when it comes to the regular daily running around or being outdoors without all those cosy clothes, then I can't say I'm all too fond of this time of year. But on the other hand ... if it's going to be cold then we might as well have snow to go with it. And we really wouldn't appreciate spring, summer and fall without the cold winters.

Since the snow has arrived the kids have been faithfully playing outdoors each afternoon. There is lots for them to do out there, whether they play down by their creek fort, or their other fort, slide on the ice patches or the creek, and with the snow there's been lots of sledding, some snowman making and digging of forts in the snowpiles. I love seeing them so active outside and being creative.

Earlier on before the snow came we could see the ice patches and the kids could play on this patch which ws in view of the house. It was nice to be able to see what they were doing. Matthew especially loved the ice. Unfortunately this piece had pieces of grass and such that would stick up so it wasn't good enough to skate on. Our girls do not like skating so when it comes to having to go all the way down to the creek (and clear it off) to skate there isn't much desire.

Matthew on the other hand would love to skate but without the girls doing it he's out of luck. He has to be content with sliding on his boots.

There is a creek at the back of the property and along the creek are some bushes and shrubs. The girls have finally got the hang of "country" living and have gotten out more to explore and build forts and enjoy the nature they have surrounding them. Rob went out a couple times and helped them with their fort, making a sort of teepee fort. They also found some netting that they lined along the edge of the creek in the one area that is easier to fall into so that Matthew would be a bit safer. When the ice is frozen I'm fine with them being back there, but I am a bit more leary having Matthew back there when the creek is thawed, especially at this time of year when it swells up with thawing time ... they may have to stick to their other fort for a while until spring is over.

After a few snowfalls the pile our handy-dandy snowplower made when clearing the driveway became large enough that the kids didn't have to go tramping to the back of the property to go sledding. Of course it wasn't quite that big, but big enough for Matthew to have fun, while the girls would dig tunnels in the pile.

The girls would each dig on an opposite so they could meet in the middle (if there aim was right). They had just about got all the way through and another snowfall would come ... meaning the handy-dandy snowplow would come by again ... and fill in the tunnel.

Marietta loves to take the camera out and capture some of the beautiful scenes that come with this weather. Below are some of the pictures she took.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Late the next morning (as in after our Christmas Get-Together) we piled into my Dad's truck, with the trailer hooked up behind it and the snowmobiles loaded on the trailer ... and headed up to Midland for some snowmobiling ... at least that was the plan!

It has been a good number of years since I have gone on any snowmobiling trips .... 10 years to be exact ... when Marietta was six months old. During that trip I believe I never did make it on the snowmobile (although my memory could be wrong on that one) because Marietta was nursing and then she came down with a stomach bug, so she was vomitting and nursing frequently. So the last time I actually got out on the trails for one of those longer trips was back in my high school years.

Back then I didn't have a drivers license yet, and if I did I didn't like driving anyways, and I didn't enjoy driving a snowmobile either. So I thought that this trip it would be neat to get on a snowmobile again as well as actually drive one.

Our internet search told us that Midland was pretty much the only area with open trails. Other areas either had nothing open or were spotty in what they did have open. So off to Midland we headed. We headed up on Tuesday and my parents joined us the next day.

Marietta and Rebecca hanging out on the sleds waiting for Rob to come back from getting the permits so they could go out for a ride. It ended up taking a bit longer then expected and it was dark by time he got back, by then the girls had come in and they decided to wait until the next morning and go when it was light. Rob went out for a short run to see what the trails were like.

Rob took each of the kids out for about half an hour the next morning. Marietta went out first and came back to tell us her experience of falling off the snowmobile when it tipped over onto the road when attempting to drive along the embankment at the side of the road.

I guess her story didn't scare of the other kids because they still went out for a ride. Matthew thought Zoomer was great ... love his grin!

Rebecca's turn

I think actually the kids enjoyed the pool more then snowmobiling. Snowmobiling is just a small sidetrack from the fun of staying in a hotel, swimming and watching TV for a day or so

The kids love to go in the hottub and then jump in the pool ... crazy!!

Matthew started off the first day by clinging to whoever was watching him at the moment and by the end of our trip he was swimming around freely and having a grand old time ... can't believe how long he can keep going without tiring out.

Oh and here's a picture just to show that my parents/dad was actually there :)

The trip ended up being cut short for a couple reasons.

The biggest reason being a breakdown :( Rob and my dad went out for a run to Wasaga Beach Wednesday afternoon and I received a phone call about 5pm asking if I could please come and pick one of them up so they could get the truck and trailer and pick of the snowmobiles. The part needed was not available so it wasn't going to be fixed during this trip.

The other reason was lack of snow. There was snow, but due to the fact that this was pretty much the only area in Ontario that was open everyone had flocked there and the trails had become extremely rough and worn down. Warmer weather meant the snow was melting and lots of rain was on it's way.

So our three night trip was shorten to two nights. On Thursday the kids spent the morning swimming and we headed for home during the afternoon. Being home a day early meant we were well rested and ready to party for New Years Eve!! :)

And in the end, I still didn't get on a snowmobile again ... guess we'll just have to try again sometime :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Christmas Get-Together

It's always nice to get together with Rob's family. We only do this a couple times a year and it's amazing to see how fast the kids all grow and how much they change inbetween these times. Since Rob's family is a bit spread out we do not always see each other a whole lot throughout the year ... I think sometimes the closer we live the less we see of each other ... is that suppose to mean something Ingrid?? :)

Our girls especially love the time to get together with their cousins as according to them we don't do it often enough ... which is true, but life has a way of being busy and with us all having families that we are busy with, some more so then others :) Well, there just isn't time to go driving off every other weekend or so ... besides, last time I checked Rob's busy studying all the time.

Supper preparations

I think between the three of them they manage to figure it out :)

The afternoon is usually spent with some outdoor play for the kids and doing various games or puzzles

whether it's something like Twister

or a requiring a bit more concentration like Chess

or just some good fun like Apples to Apples

Since we now use the school we also have a gym which is quite handy.
They had a good game of volleyball going on for quite sometime. I was not able to get any decent pictures ... gotta work on that, but here's one of Marietta serving. She wanted to play for a bit, but didn't dare since she had only just learned the basics of how to play a few weeks earlier. She finally decided to give it a try and had fun learning.

Ike and Heather being the cheering squad

Matthew practicing his basketball skills

Family Dinner

After some clean-up, coffee and dessert, it's time to head home with our full bellies. Another gathering behind us ... until next summer ... maybe we'll see each other inbetween there too from time to time.