Monday, October 31, 2011

Jada – Day 8

Day 8 of Jada’s stay was a “Hamilton Day” as they are called in our house.  Hamilton Days involved going to appointments (in this case chiro and dentist) and running errands (Wal-Mart, groceries, bank, etc).  Hamilton Days usually are done while Rob is in school … drop him off at school, run errands, pick him up when he’s done and return home. 

On this particular day we skipped the errands part and just went to appointments and inbetween that had some fun seeing and doing some things in Hamilton.  There are a few things we miss about living in Hamilton and one of them is the easy access to trails for walking and beautiful scenery and waterfalls that we loved to go out too and were only minutes away.  While it’s a city it is still full of these neat little places you can go to get “away from the city”.  We would go for walks along the escarpment and feel like we were miles out in nature when truly we were surround by city above and below us.  We miss those quick spontaneous “let’s go for a walk” walks!

After we dropped off Rob we were off to the chiropractor and then we had some time to kill until the dentist appointment, so we first went to Sam Lawrence Park, which is on the mountain brow giving a nice view of the city below and usually is really a lovely park with it’s flower beds and green space.  We were a bit disappointed this year as the weeds were overgrown and it did not look as well maintained … although there was a crew there that day doing some weeding.  But it always provides a good opportunity for photos.

Anytime spent at Sam Lawrence is always a reminder of the first time we went there (see here). While the kids are learning to remember the name of the park, it is mostly still referred to as James’ park in our house

P1070118 P1070120 P1070127

Love this picture!


Jada was having a grumpy moment and refused to smile for the picture.  Thankfully she snapped out of it a short time later.  Mostly we had a good experience during her week long stay, but there were a few grumpy times that we had to deal with … this was a short one, one of them lasted all day shortly after she came and we were a bit concerned about what we had gotten ourselves into … but it all ended fine!

P1070134 P1070135 P1070141 P1070147



Our little guy really isn’t so little anymore

  P1070158 P1070159 P1070166 P1070169 P1070171


It was a warm day, so after our walk the kids were ready for some cool down fun.  We headed off to a play park this time for snack time and water fun.


P1070175 P1070176 P1070177 P1070190

After a visit to the dentist it was time to pick up Rob from school and go have some lunch.  We just chose the closest park to the school, which turned out a good pick because it also had a wading pool (free) and Soupies program (a city employee “entertains” the kids with various games and interactive such things to teach kids how to use their leisure time in a positive manor).  So Rob and I took our turns snoozing (okay, mostly Rob snoozed) while the kids played with the Soupies group (which was basically our girls plus one other kid a bit later on) until the wading pool reopened after lunch and then they had cool down time in the pool.

 P1070193 P1070202 P1070205

The kids were having fun, but it was time to move on if we wanted to spend some time at our next stop, and I knew our girls would want to as our next stop was Albion Falls and they love climbing and “playing” in the waterfalls.


 P1070219  P1070221 P1070226


Rob and the girls decided to venture to higher levels of the falls

  P1070250 P1070249

Since Matthew and I were hanging out at the bottom we decided to go for a walk of our own along the creek … and take some pictures

P1070253 P1070256

Matthew felt it was necessary to take some picture of mom as well


Can you tell he’s getting tired of this picture taking thing??  He’s acting like Jack the monkey


After a busy day we decided to relax by the fire in the evening.  Once Matthew was tucked nicely in bed the girls and Rob set up the tent and got it organized for a campout.  Then we started up a fire and had some relax time  with hot chocolate, wiener spiders and marshmallows

P1070286 P1070291 P1070297

Rob has always had a love for laying outside watching the stars and moon and listening to the night sounds.  Having spent five years in the city he has an even greater appreciation for this then he used to.  While I can appreciate that we can now see the stars more clearly, I’m not one for hanging outdoors at night.  Seeing stars in the city is not a regular occurrence as the city lights take away the visibility of most stars, but out in the country it is truly beautiful on a clear night.  We lay down for a little bit to do some star gazing, unfortunately it wasn’t a truly clear night, so we couldn’t get the true effect of a country sky.


To end off the night the kids ran off some energy playing with sparklers and we gave them some glow bracelets which they put on their ankles and then ran around in the dark (looked really neat but I couldn’t get a good picture of it)

P1070309 P1070312

Lighting sparklers




Jada wanted to take a picture of us … too bad Matthew wasn’t there.


By this time it was getting late and the kids were quite ready for bed … but I’m sure some chattering went on in the tent before they actually went off to sleep.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jada – Day 5 and 7

Day 5 was a Saturday and that meant house cleaning.  After a late start to the day we tidied up the house and gave it a good cleaning.  The kids spent some time playing and reading also and then after lunch they decided they wanted to go play in the muddle puddle again.  I will say I did not expect them to get quite so seriously dirty, but even so, I did expect a mess.  I had a flashback of our days living in the city and realized that mud is not something one finds in the city.  I remember how I loved that spring and fall in the city did not mean dealing with mud, mud and mud and a messy entrance way all the time … because it was either grass or pavement.  If one wanted mud in the city one would have to dig up a hole and play in that … and so I agreed that they could go play. 

Oh what a stinky (yes they put manure on the fields and yes you can smell it when you play in the water and mud … oh yuk! disgusting!) mess came back when they were done.  Take note of the smart child who thought better of getting so disgustingly dirty.



Needless to say it was no easy task to get that mud off … I must say I wasn`t all to impressed and the kids learned a lesson about playing in the mud … really it isn`t advisable to swim in it


But after a good hosing and scrubbing and then a further shower and scrubbing they were clean again.

P1060905 P1060908

After supper Rob tried to fly a kite, but did not have much luck


Since the camera was out Marietta decided to take pictures … never leave a camera in Marietta’s hands, it’s bound to come back with the memory card full!!  Honestly though, she gets some pretty good pictures and has a knack for it … or just the time to take a million pictures so that she had a few good ones to pick from.








Sheba (this is not our dog but a dog that we were petsitting for a month during the summer)



Day 7 was Monday and the morning started with just hanging out a home … with the camera again

 P1060990 P1060995 P1060998 P1070025  P1070037 P1070047 

After lunch it was off to the farm, this time a dairy farm … with a variety of other animals.

Once again Jada was not the least bit afraid of any of the animals.  She was determined that she wanted to milk a cow and so they found a cow that she could give a try … and she managed to get a bit of milk from it.

IMG_3068 IMG_3069

After exploring the actual dairy part of the barn the kids went off to explore the rest of the barn.  Upstairs were turkeys and chickens

IMG_3070 IMG_3072



And what’s a dairy farm without the hay and straw.  And so the kids had some time running and jumping in the hay mow.  Once again this showed signs that Jada has allergies as for the rest of the day she was coughing quite a bit.

 IMG_3075 IMG_3076

Most of the pictures are of Jada since I put a photobook together for her to remember her trip, but our kids enjoyed the time at the farm also.  They were too young when my dad sold his dairy quota and so they do not remember being in his barn and around the cows then.

IMG_3083 IMG_3086

After exploring the dairy barn and the calf huts and checking out the tractors we wandered next door to see what they had there.  We found bunnies and a miniture horse as well as goats and sheep (and they also have a pig barn but we had already seen piggies so we skipped that part)

IMG_3088 IMG_3090 IMG_3094 IMG_3096

The kids were able to feed the sheep and goats some corn. 


Actually they fed the goats, it would appear that the goats are the bullies of the crowd since they were all at the front getting food and the sheep were at the back wishing they could have some.  Feeling sorry for the sheep Jada tried to feed them by throwing corn to them … but they didn’t seem all that bright in this aspect of finding it on the ground either … guess they’re just “outta luck”!

IMG_3100 IMG_3102  

As I mentioned, Jada had no fear of any of the animals … except one animal which sent her screaming and running while in the process of feeding the goats … a spider.  Okay, it’s an insect, but let remember she wasn’t the least bit afraid of the cows yet a spider sends in her into a panic.  Throughout her stay she had a obvious dislike for insects and quite a fear of some of them too.  She hated flies and was obsessed with having us kill the ones in the house.  For those of you who live in the city I’m sure you’re shaking your head in agreement that any fly in the house should be killed.  I sure enjoyed that aspect of living in the city … killing a couple flies a summer, leaving the screen door open partway so the little ones could get the door open without hurting their fingers, not having to yell “close the door before all the flies get in” all the time … yup, I can understand that Jada was not used to seeing flies in the house.  But the reality is that when you live in the country you get flies in the house, and while you can try to kill them and keep on top of them, when you live in an old house full of cracks and olds windows … you’re bound to have an abundance of flies and at some point you just have to accept them and move on.  Insects were not Jada’s thing … but all and all, for a city girls she adjusted pretty good to the country and all it’s insects and animals.

After supper it was off to Summer Soccer.  This is a soccer program put together by some volunteers for the school kids during the summer months.  The kids really enjoy this and it’s nice also for the parents who can socialize while the kids are playing as well as have their kids play soccer for a minimal fee ($4 per child to cover the cost of the medal they get at the end of the season).

Jada joined Rebecca’s team (and mine, since I coached the team) for the evening.  She said she had not played soccer before, but she seemed to catch on to the drills pretty quickly.  She played well and also played goalie for a bit.   Her interest did wane a bit at the end when she started picking flowers instead of playing ball.

P1070081   P1070100

The sunset when we arrived home.