Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Another highlight of our camping trip was tubing.  Cam and Jess came up with their boat and we were able to get out on the water a couple times.  The girls went with Rob on Saturday and then we all went together on Monday before we headed home. 

Can you pick out the two who are NOT enjoying the ride?

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Tubing was not Rebecca or Jess’s thing and so they decided to enjoy the boat ride instead and let the others do the tubing.


Marietta was pretty good at it and had a good time.  The first time they went they just used one tube, so two tubes was something new but she enjoyed that as well.  She’s determined and when the tube flipped sideways Rob had to yell at her to let go and not try to stay on longer.


Matthew did not like the boat ride and was asking only minutes after we left if we could go back.  I suspected he wasn’t going to like it, but he was terrified enough to justify going back because that would mean one of us would have to stay on land with him.  He was more relaxed if he was sitting on someones lap.


I had hoped to find an excuse to stay on the boat, but none of them were good enough and so I had to get out and take my turn also.  It’s been a good number of years since I’ve been tubing … back in our dating years.  While it isn’t something I’d be asking to do all the time, it was still fun and I was smart enough to call it quits before my arms were so tired/sore that I wouldn’t be able to move them the next day.


Unfortunately nobody else on the boat had their boating license so Cam was not able to get out on the water but had to stay behind the wheel.


Once we arrived back on land and Rob had found his keys back … phew … we headed home.  Matthew should have slept the whole way home, but instead decided to be a pest a good part of the way and finally dosed off very shortly before we arrived at our supper destination.  


A quick unloading of the van, prep for soccer coaching (Rob and I are coaching separate teams) and off to soccer we went.  I don’t recall, but I’m sure we all slept good that night! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sibbald Point

After three years I finally decided to give camping a try again (our last time was when we went to Pinery’s in 2008).   Camping is not exactly my idea of a holiday.  We have gone at least once a year since we got married up until James became ill and we started spending the summers in the hospital, so we missed out in 2006 and 2007 (although the girls still went with my parents/siblings).  After we went over the “bill” for our trip to Grand Rapid and the Pinery’s we decided that pulling a big fifth wheel trailer with a gas guzzling truck at the price of gas now-a-days was not exactly a cheap holiday (I am proud to say we managed to do our holidays last year for $90 less and this year for $2 cheaper then our simple basic  trip in 2008 … but more on that later).  Since I don’t do the tent camping that would reduce the cost of moving a trailer around, thing that meant camping was out.  Actually we did talk about just doing overnight trips … sort of like extended day trips … to some of the local campgrounds, allowing the kids to get a bit of taste of camping while enjoying some swimming and hiking and such.  That never happened as that same year we ended up going for the day to Chippewa and sleeping at my parents at night.   The kids got their camping fill that way and the mosquitoes were so bad that year that when we talked about going to Bying overnight they were quite in agreement that they had had enough of mosquitoes and rather just for during the day.

I have to also point out that we had never been on a trip where we have not been rained on!!  And I’m not talking sprinkles, or showers, I’m talking poured upon.  Every camping trip we have been poured upon.  When we go camping the splash pants and rubber boots come with, there are bound to be big mud puddles of water on our campsite at some point during our trip.  And while we don’t completely tent it, we do sometimes go with my parents and sleep in a tent on their site, while enjoying the other luxuries of their camper when needed.  So we’ve had the wet, moist tenting experience, along with the pouring rain while in the camper experience (and even one year when the roof leaked and poured rain onto our bed all night).  And then after this so-called holiday we get to come home and do loads of laundry because everything is either filthy dirty or stinks of smoke

Nope, camping has never really been my thing.   But I decided to give it a try again this year.   There were a few factors that made me decide it would be worth trying again.  One simply being the kids.  While I may not like camping, the kids do enjoy it … of course the kids enjoy day trips as well, or most any sort of holidays or time away from home.  But most kids have fun memories of camping so since the opportunity was their it seemed worthwhile to give them the experience.  Another reason was the fact that the kids are older.  We no longer have a baby, no longer a child in diapers, no little one crawling in the dirt, no longer a child that has to have a nap everyday (although Matthew still does, he can manage without).  And let me say, this factor made a huge difference on the trip.  The other factor was the fact that we weren’t paying for the site.  Since you are allowed two tents on a site, my parents generously allow us to pitch our tent on their site.  Since we’re not paying if the forcast is rain, rain, rain … we go home without feeling like we spent money on nothing.  (Thanks Dad and Mom!)

You’ll be happy to know the trip went well enough that we’re planning to go camping again on the Labour Day weekend … same deal, tent on my parents site.  Enough said, on to the pictures.

So after school let out and the kids had a few days to unwind we packed up the van and headed off to Sibbald Point (bottom of Lake Simcoe) to go camping for the July long weekend.  We left later on Wednesday afternoon, stopped for supper in Orangeville and arrived around 8:30pm

mmmmm …. breakfast cooked over the fire.


This became Rob and Marietta’s department.  Rob enjoys cooking over the fire on the hot plate … really I think it’s the only time he eagerly offers to cook.  Marietta seemed to take to the idea also and each morning she would be out there helping Rob.


Here is Matthew, nearly 4 years old and still riding a tricycle (Rebecca was riding a two-wheeler without training wheels at 3, doing a good job of it at 4).  He finally really got the concept of pedalling this year.  He just didn’t seem to have the desire last year and would just use his feet to push himself along (or wait for someone to push him).  I guess here is where living in the country makes a difference.  The girls learned to ride on nice paved roads whereas he only had the sidewalk and the rest is gravel, a bit harder for someone just learning.   Well Matthew really took off on his tricycle during our camping trip, man did those little legs ever fly.  When it was time to go home we opted to leave the tryke behind for my parents to bring back (we had it strapped to the roof on the way up and the straps would blow in the winding … a bit annoying).  Part of the reason we left it behind was also so when he got home he wouldn’t have it as an option and would give his two wheeler with training wheels a try (we’ve tried to get him to ride it but he had no interest).  This decision seemed to work, as the tricycle is still at my parents and he’s now using the two wheeler (with training wheels).



This blow-up boat has been with us for three summers now … it’s done us good and it’s still floating.  The kids love using it and it creates lots of fun for them.  We forgot the paddles this time, so they ended up using sand shovels – worked pretty good until the one cracked.


Mom bought the kids some blow up toys to pay with.  Even though one of the toys had Lightning McQueen on it, Matthew fell in love with this alligator.  He would spent his time playing and talking to his alligator friend.  Matthew didn’t like to go far into the water, he would just splash and play along the edge, that kept him quite content.



Skipping along the slippery stones.  Watching them made me a bit nervous and when Rob came back and said next time the kids should be wearing shoes because it’s really slippery didn’t make me feel much better.  The kids loved it and the rocks were usually full of lots of people, making me like it even less as they would have to manoeuvre around other people



July 1st fell on a Friday this year, making it truly a long weekend  … and what a zoo it was at the campground.  I’m sure that the long weekend had something to do with it being so busy, but I would have to say the worst part about Sibbald Point was how busy it got.    You would think by the size of the beaching parking lot that there would be no lack of parking, but indeed there was.  People had to walk into the park because it was so full.  Cam and Jess arrived on Friday and spent over an hour waiting in line just to get off the road onto the parks road … nevermind getting through registration.  We enjoyed the park and liked it’s setup, especially that the beach was within walking distance, but it being only 45 minutes from Toronto means that it’s a very popular beach get-away for the city. 

We decided to enjoy some fireworks for July 1st.    We left Matthew with Dad and Mom and took the girls.  We weren’t really sure where to find them since the ad in the paper was rather vague … guess you gotta know the area to know where to go … so we figured we’d just go for a ride and find the crowds.  We took a ride along the lake and it didn’t take us long to find the crowds.  Everyone was parking along the side of the road and watching from the road.  As we staked our spot Rob looked down below the fence and seen a bench at the waters edge.  Rather an odd spot, kinda in the water, hard to access, almost like it was meant to be up by the road but someone had dropped it down there.  Regardless we found our way down the rocks and took a seat … front row seating and we didn’t have to stand the whole time.  It was a beautiful night to be sitting by the lake!

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The following day the beach area was still busy but a bit more reasonable.  Later in the afternoon their was a snake show which Matthew, Marietta and Rob attended.  Rebecca wanted nothing to do with the show, apparently she has a bigger phobia of snakes then I do, she wasn’t even going to go near the area of the show.  So Rebecca and I stayed at the beach while Rob took Marietta and Matthew.

Marietta says that as far as she can remember this is a corn snake


  and this is a water snake

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EW!!  YUK!!  is all I have to say


One of the best parts of camping is relaxing around the fire in the evenings.  And for the kids it`s eating roasted marshmallows and wiener spiders.  Marietta is our roasting expert … Rebecca and Matthew are the eating experts  ;)

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Matthew was asleep within minutes each night.  Since he still naps daily at home I did try a few days to have him nap since he was up late, but he wasn`t interested.  There was one night where he actually just said he was tired and we put him to bed before it got dark, but for the rest he was in bed late and he actually slept in until 7:30-8am each morning … wow!


And here`s one of Marietta`s funny sleeping positions.  Every now and then we find her in the weirdest position


Yes, we had a good time.  The kids were old enough that they could go walking and biking on their own (as long as they took the walkie talkie with … and didn`t leave it in the bathroom).   The little park wasn`t far from our campsite so the girls (with walkie talkies) could take Matthew there and we did not need to go with him all the time.  Our kids are at a nice camping age.

Well I can almost say we FINALLY had a camping trip without rain I would be lying.  We did get rain!  It was only a very small amount, a sprinkling, a short little nice rainfall with a loud energetic thunderstorm at night, which thankfully Matthew was only awake for a short bit and went right back to sleep.  We were fortunate as the next day on our way to church we seen that not far from the campground their were small lakes in the fields … the dumping just missed us.  So this is our FIRST camping trip where we DID NOT get POURED (key word) upon.  What a difference that makes!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shorter II

After I buzzed Matthew’s hair the first time he excitedly went to the mirror and looked at it.  But then disappointedly said “That’s not like Greg’s”

Greg had been over for lunch on Sunday and when the conversation of haircuts came up and that Matthew was going to get his buzzed off Greg told Matthew he should get it cut just like his … Greg has his right down to the wood … bald and shiny.  Matthew thought this was a great idea, but quickly noticed that his hair was not as short as Greg’s

He continued to ask for his hair like Greg’s, but unfortunately his mother (and father) were not in support of this idea.  Seeing as I had started his first buzz at a 1/2” I still had some room to go shorter, so next time it was down to 3/8”, but a week or so later I decided to go down to 1/4”.  This still was not good enough for Matthew and he continued to ask for his hair like Greg’s.  Finally I went down to 1/8”.

Upon looking in the mirror Matthew was very excited …”Just like Greg” … ah, but then he decided to run his hand over his hair and discovered there was still some hair there, it’s just so blonde he could hardly see it.  But he was happy with this result … and funny thing is, Rob decided he liked it that way better then when it was buzzed at 1/2”.  So 1/8” it is from not on … not that I’ve had to cut it since, maybe I should do that soon again it’s probably more like 3/4” long now.

Here’s Matthew proudly sporting his new hair-do … and his sisters glasses, which actually look good on him.  Hopefully we have a few more years to wait before we have to get him some of those (I figure it’s inevitable with the rest of the family wearing them).

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Saturday, August 6, 2011


For the past year I’ve been tired of my hair and wanting something new.  I played around with it for a bit, trying to keep it to a type of style where I only had to get it caught every other month … I really didn’t want to have to start going for a haircut every 4 weeks, seems like every 2 months already comes up way too quickly.  But I finally broke down and decided to just go get what I wanted … something shorter.  I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted, but I had a bit of an idea, so I sent a variety of pictures to my hairdresser and told her to be creative and do what she thought would work well with my hair.

It took a bit to find a picture of how my hair used to be … I really rather be behind the camera then in front of it, but here is one taken on my 33rd birthday.


In the spring I tried to get it cut more on an angle, with the back a bit shorter.  This is where I run into problems as the my hair at the nape of my neck likes to gather together into these lovely points, so very short hair works (but requires a haircut every 3 weeks) or I have to go longer.  I went to a different hairdresser for this cut as mine was unable to cut mine this time.  She was unfamiliar with my hair and too cautious about cutting the back . Below is the end result … it is still quite long at the back.  I tried it for a few days but it just bugged me, so I got it cut and layers a bit shorter … no pics of that .  So anyways, that was my last attempt, but I was stil not happy … sorry no pictures from the front, except the ones from Medieval Times, where I’m wearing a crown so you really can’t tell.

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So I broke down and got a haircut, with highlights even … not sure what I think of that idea since that means I have to maintain them, and having short hair that will be rather regularly, along with the regular haircuts.

Here is the end result.  I wasn’t sure at first, but now I really like it … not sure if that’s because I’ve gotten used to it or because Rob keeps saying how he likes my haircut.  Either way I’m happy with how it turned out, still working on training the hair to cooperate and stay away from my face, but it’s getting there (not used to using so much hairspray anymore).  Regardless it’s out of my face now, I don’t constantly have hair around my face like before.  I also like it because it’s a versatile style.  I can wear it the way it was meant to be cut, one side tucked behind the ear gives a new look and both sides makes it look like my hair is cut short.  I can part it different to give it a different look and I’ve even managed to get away with hardly doing it and it still has some style.  As long as I can get it cut the same way each time (seems a challenge at times, why is it that even when you go for the same haircut it always seems to come back different each time?) I think I can handle this haircut for awhile.

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Side view … still have a bit of an issue with those nape area hairs, but mostly workable with a bit of hairspray to keep them down and in place.


One side tucked


Both sides tucked


It doesn’t really show up on the picture, but here’s a “fluffier” view, when I parted it on an angle.  It took Rob a bit to decide which way he liked better, but after an hour or so he said he liked the above way better.  So I haven’t really worn it that way again, but if I do it’s going to need a bit of training because the second picture shoes that same hairdo a few hours later (factor in hot humid weather)


So there you have it … a actual blog with pictures of myself … now that doesn’t happen all too often!

Summer Holidays Begin

The last day of school arrived.  The kids only had half a day, or less, seeing as part of that half was taken up by the closing assembly.  It is tradition that we go out for ice cream on the last day of school.  Since that evening we were going to be babysitting a few extra rugrats it was decided to go out for lunch and ice cream.  So we headed off to the Grand Island BBQ.  It was a bit cold yet to be eating outside since that had not been our original plan and so we were not dressed accordingly, (hard to believe now that we’ve had such a hot summer, but for a time there we thought summer was never going to come since spring was so wet and cold … wet and cold enough that the farmers in the area did not get on the fields for planting until the middle of June), but we snuggled up close and gobbled up our lunch and then took our ice cream to go as we were running out of time.

The first weekend of the summer holidays was spent at Dave and Ange’s babysitting their kids (and ours).  Dave and Ange got to enjoy a weekend away and we took over the troops.  At this time Brent was still in a wheelchair, unable to put any pressure on his leg.  He had just been told that he no longer needed the sling for his broken collarbone, so this meant he was able to wheel the wheelchair on his own now.  It also gave him more balance to hop around so that he could go to the bathroom himself, or do short hopping trips here and there.  By this time he no longer needed a nap since he couldn’t sleep then, he was no longer getting headaches and his nerve pain medication had the nerve pain in his foot under control.  So really it wasn’t a very difficult weekend, we got to enjoy a nice spacious house with a newly finished basement, a deck (Rob loved that part) and lots of water (a luxury for us).  The kids got to enjoy lots of TV (since Brent’s activities and energy level were limited TV was used a lot more) and lots of Wii, as well as having lots of fun together.

The kids played so nicely together that it was really easy.  They were mostly busy playing Little House on the Prairie all together, including Matthew and Vivian, and then they became busy with writing their own play.  So a good part of the time they were quietly entertaining themselves and I didn’t hear boo or baa from them, which is usually the case when they get together.  The kids had figured out how to master Brent’s wheelchair and I didn’t even have to help with that.  One minute they would be inside, the next they would be outside.

Matthew with his best friend, Vivian.  Showing Vivian how to play on the computer … something he’s quite the master at


Wheelchair fun.  They would take turns pushing each other around.


Wii time


A rare moment where the girls are actually getting along and doing something together … had to get a picture of that, just to remind myself that it is possible


Dave and Ange were back Sunday evening … the house was still standing and the kids were still alive … and even still getting along. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I take turns each year going with the girls for their school trips.  This year it was Rebecca’s turn.  But as Marietta has moved up into the “older grades” that meant that she would be going to a different place on a different day.  Due to bussing they are unable to have the whole school go on the same day.  When the Newsmaker came home saying they still needed parents for the older grades trips I volunteered since I really do like to go along on these trips. 

Sooooo … after spending a day walking around Marineland it was off to Bingemans the next day.  Bingemans is a waterpark – waterslides and wave pool but they also have go-karts and  indoor entertainment such as rock climbing, rope course, mini-golf  and play structure.  Upon arrival it was looking like we would be spending most of the day indoors, but thankfully the weather held off, and although it wasn’t sunny or the warmest, the kids were still able to enjoy swimming.

The internet advertised some new waterslides … but upon arrival we discovered that some weren’t even finished being built yet (Full Throttle) , and the others weren’t open yet as they were still testing and figuring it out (Boomerango).  That was a bit disappointing, but there were still enough other waterslides to keep busy on.  And yes, I did go down the slides and I even went on the Cyclone, which wasn’t really that bad.  And I even come home without an earache.  I do not go under water as the tiniest bit of water in my ears and they hurt.  I do not find that earplugs work, water still gets in them.  But I used the ear plugs and managed to make it through the day without getting too much water in the ears and surprisingly no sore ears and no headache from the echoy noises from wearing earplugs.


Rock Climbing.  Marietta did fine on the easier level ones, but wasn’t able to get the hard level … it was fun regardlessP1050294P1050300  

Made it to the top of the dark/inside wall one    P1050302P1050303











The Rope Course.  There was too big of a line-up to try the rock climbing, but I did want to give the Rope Course a try.  I decided to skip Karen’s advise about just walking across with your arms to balance … seeing as you have your safety harness on to stop you from falling.  Karen discovered it was a bit harder then she thought and using the rope of your harness might be a good idea until you’re a bit more experienced at type rope walking.


Some crosses were easier then others but on my way back I figured I’d give a try at a few harder ones.  This one wasn’t too bad, but the next one got a bit harder because the hand ropes went really low, meaning you couldn’t use them to steady yourself.  But I made it back in one piece without any stumbles or falls.


Mini Golf was glow in the dark.  We didn’t have a lot of time left so the kids just went through the course and played the ones that they thought looked fun. 

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It was nice that the extended the days for the school trips since the drive was an hour and a half each direction.  This meant the kids still had decent time to play before we had to head back.  Only two more days of school after that!