Sunday, August 29, 2010

one of the highlights of our the canada trip was catching up with old friends the Gualdieris. Monica (center) and Lara went to preschool together, so even though don't see each other hardly ever, it's still wonderful when we do! also notable was the banana nutella crepe i had for breakfast in this picture. unbelievable! Nita's on the right, and Alex is the youngest. He's starting college this year. Makes me feel so old. I remember when he was born!

you got to love how i somehow pawned the double stroller off on lar!

My dad bought all the ladies a necklace at the Byward Market to commemorate the occasion.

my son can put away the peaches! and the watermelon. often Hannah declines my offer of a snack, then just steals it off of charlie's tray. swiper!

sleepy face.

smiley face!

so, hannah's bday cake. (now, before i talk about this, i know lots of regular old sahm's make amazing amazing cakes. i am not one of them. so, it may not be that impressive, but it sure was an accomplishment in this house.) it was kind of an afterthought, I know how much work (and $$$) these things can be. i guess i just did it to say i'd done it. i started 4 days beforehand. made 3 layers, then used the pampered chef batter bowl for the top. i made chocolate ganache for 2 layer fillings, then raspberry jam for the other one. then we did regular buttercream on the outside. patrick made a hole to put the doll in. then together we decorated it.

the flowers were all patrick. i have to say, we were pretty happy!

and it was GOOOOOOOOOD. (well, kind of rich. and a little too much ganache. but hey, hannah and i like chocolate! nobody else could finish their piece :-)

Aunt Jeana, Grandma Jan, and Aunt Dixie were among our distinguished party guests.

my big birthday girl

this is my last batch of baby food. I just thought it looked so nice and colourful, i love colourful food! green kale, orange carrots, yellow summer squash, purple cabbage, and rice. Yum!

now for my little birthday boy. this is the picture from his party invitations. it's a farm theme!

so, our front yard has been a little busy these days. the basement wall is rebuilt! the yard still looks disastrous, but it's fixed. we'll get the porch put back on soon, and then get around to redoing the inside of the wall.

what is this, you might say? well, glad you asked. it's my new dining room table! patricks building it himself. i'm so excited. he's talked about it for awhile, but to be honest I didn't actually think he'd do it. but now he's almost done. it's going to be beautiful!

my anorexic tomato plants. so sad. and to think of all the time i've spent watering them.
alright, this post may also be somewhat anorexic, but now i can cross it off my list!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

we interrup your regularly scheduled programming. . .

although i'm doing a million things today, i wanted to stop and share a moment right away, before it got away from me. our laundry is in the basement, and i try to not bring charlie down there because what with the ongoing construction there's so much to put in his mouth, which he does. anyways, the kids were with me and charlie kept climbing up the stairs. he can get up, but not down, which is not a good system! so i kept grabbing him and putting him somewhere else. I overheard Hannah talking to him: "charlie, you can't climb up the stairs, because you will fall, and crack your head, and you will bleed, and you will die, and you will go to heaven to see Jesus, but we don't want you to be with Jesus we want you to be here in this house, to stay here with us in this house until we die and go to heaven too." and she said it just like that, in one big run on sentence.

the other day, i lost my temper and yelled at her. (i know it's no excuse, but sometimes the whining, aggghhhh!). a few minutes later i apologized, and said i had made the wrong decision. Even though I was frustrated, i should have communicated differently but instead I chose to yell, and that was wrong because I was disobeying God. She was quiet, then said, "Jesus can help you obey. You can ask Jesus to help you obey and make the right choice." so we decided to help each other remember that, and regularly ask Jesus to help us obey. we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

canada, part 2

i know alot has happened in our lives since our canada trip, but we had so many memories i wanted it up there. this was our last night at the cottage on Stony Lake, which is a few hours from Toronto. My dad and bunny both grew up close to here, and my family went to see my Dad's family there when i was younger, so it was neat to go back with my kids, even just the general area. that's my aunt and uncle and grandma down at the end. Hannah is at the table even though it's very late; one or the other of my children were up late every night. with charlie it was 11 pm a few nights! contrary to popular perception, it does get hot in canada, and it sure did. every day was in the 90's, and there was no air conditioning.

so, of course we spent as much time as we could in the water. now i know lakes are not for everyone, but i'm pretty partial to them. as long as they're clean and relatively clear, so that probably rules out most of the lakes in the southern half of the US :-). i've been swimming in lakes since i was old enough to walk, even before, and it doesn't really matter which lake i'm on, i love being there. this particular property was on a point, so surrounded by water and it had a little trail through the whole thing, which was heavily wooded, as it all is up there. there were small benches at different places, and two little bridges. at night, hot though it was, i put charlie in the carrier and went on walks to try to get him to sleep. alot of musquitoes, but i still loved it! water and trees, i do miss them in KS! Kennedy was wonderful playing with Charlie (above).

and then there's boats. it really doesn't matter what kind of boat i'm on, i love them all. my kids, not so much! or maybe it was the uncomfortable lifejackets all kids wear as a rule. boats have always been a part of my dad's family, in one way or another, owning a marina or mechanics or something, so i got my love of boats from him. (i used to live on a boat, for those of you who don't know. fun random fact)

hannah does love her tomatoes, but i think it was just coincidence sitting here. there were 4 adults and 7 children (ages 5 and under) at this cottage, so it was more than a little crazy. we rarely ever sat down and ate at the same time, and everybody has a little different nap and bedtime schedule, but we made it work. despite what people say, i am more flexible than i was 2 yrs ago. we didn't get much sleep, though. neither the adults or the kids!

once again, lookin like she's ready for the papparazzi.

alot of birthdays fell in July, so Bunny had a giant birthday party. the kids had fun with a pinata.

these are bunny's daughter's twins, a few months older than charlie. it was blueberry season, every few miles on the 4 hr drive between ottawa and peterborough there's another blueberry stand. so charlie ate his weight in blueberries! actually, the local foodshed in that area is just wonderful! they put out a booklet with all the local food producers, fruits/vegetables, meat/dairy, baking, honey, etc. It was a really neat idea.

everybody agreed that charlie's just about the most mellow baby ever. even he had his moments, though!

while i do love lakes, there are drawbacks: often no beach unless it's manmade, and alot of rocks and seaweed. so, floatie things are important for those who don't like their legs to touch the seaweed :-).

the cottage. this isnt' in the family, dad and bunny just rented it for a month.

even surrounded by countless beautiful lakes, sometimes the baby pool is just the way to go!

i cannot underestimate the importance of french fries to canadians. (at least the part of canada that i'm familiar with.) my sisters and i have realized that most americans are not familiar with the concept of a "chip truck", so here is an example. this is hardly representative, though, most aren't nearly this nice. some have only french fries, many have brats, maybe hamburgers, and then, of course, poutine (pooh teen). pretty sure it's a french canadian thing: french fries with cheese curds and gravy. sounds gross, but's somewhat of a regional delicacy. anyways, there was a poutinerie right by our hotel in ottawa, that served 20 different kinds of poutine. that's how seriously these people (or we, i guess. i am still canadian :-) take their poutine. and of course, almost all french fries, or chips, are liberally doused with white vinegar!

there's no way to capture with words or pictures how much i enjoyed the byward market in downtown ottawa. Ottawa, the capital of my great country, is in the province of Ontario but also borders Quebec, the french part of canada. The market is in the English half of the city, technically, but there was so much french spoken in the market it seemed like you were there. not just french, actually, all kinds of languages. I ate and ate. French, Thai, Indian, Greek, Moroccan, all right next to each other. and endless stalls of produce, flowers, honey and maple syrup, everything. then artisans. and all kinds of wonderful amazing bakeries. i'm not talkin doughnut shops, but fresh bread, pastries, and big bowls of cafe au lait. also whole stores devoted to cheeses or meats. oh, it was so wonderful. i was so distracted, i set a carton of raspberries right down in front of charlie, on the stroller tray. only i forgot he was wearing a white shirt. it was a disaster. but i digress. anyways, i wish patrick had been with me, with no children, and we could have gone every day for coffee and breakfast.

my cousin and his fiance (i guess it's wife now) had a barbeque at their house, and the shoes at the door made me so nostalgic.

we didnt' get around to participating in as much of the canada day celebrations as we wanted, but it was still fun.

we are in front of the parliament buildings here, which is where all the government is. the streets were literally packed with people, so trying to navigate a wheelchair, 2 double strollers, and 7 adults was a challenge.

we did get to see the queen!

my poor hannah, not quite sure where she comes from, much less where her mommy comes from! so, it was really neat to be able to share this with my kids and everybody else. it took an awful lot for everybody to be there, but it was worth it.