Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rollkuchen fun

We decided today that since it's not only half-way to Christmas, but also the last official day of school we'd have Rollkuchen and Watermelon, a traditional Mennonite treat. (it's deep fried dough... some like it with salt (me) some like it with syrup (the rest of the family). I do it in the garage/outside because the deep frying is so stinky. I get out my Value Village electric pan and fry away.

Here's the outcome...

Close encounters of the Moose Kind

June 24, 2009

We had just left the house and I needed to get gas so we were heading to the gas station. All of a sudden Nikolai was screaming "a moose!! a moose!!" I totally thought he was joking and then there it was, playing in the ditch. I pulled into the gas station and the entire time I filled up it was running around on that side of the road, then it would eat a little and then run around some more. Then it trotted across the road and through the gas station and into the gully behind the station. I didn't have my camera, but Riley did!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What happens in Vegas...

Barton and I have been debating for quite some time on where we wanted to get away to this summer. Barton's parents are coming to visit and while we usually don't wanna leave when company is only here for 10 days or so, they're coming for a month, so we decided it was finally time to take off together, which has only happened once since we moved away.

We weighed so many different options; overseas, national, down south - it was all very hard and very tempting! We came to the decision that for just a week, it would be easier to keep the travel and time change fairly minimal (which from Newfoundland is still always very long anyway!) and that with the dollar being so good maybe we'd look to the States. I of course would be in New York in a heart beat or Chicago where I've never been. I love the idea of walking and looking at buildings and eating good food! Barton strays more towards the whitewater-rafting-in-the-Yukon type holiday. Now, I am not at all opposed to doing that sort of thing, but for some reason, that was not in my mind as the holiday I wanted for our 10th anni/graduation trip. I vito-ed the Yukon trip very quickly which I think made Barton reconsider all the reasons he married me in the first place!

Then we heavily leaned on New Orleans which we thought would be really fun. The flights were very cheap, time change reasonable and they have cute B&Bs and obviously an abundance of excellent food. It was also one of those places you don't think to take kids, which was our other problem, every time I thought of a great place, it was also somewhere I wanted to take the kids.

So, we finally came to a conclusion. One day Barton called and said he wanted to go to Utah! I was like, "Utah?!" I know that Salt Lake City is supposed to be really nice, and I knew that he would like to go biking around in Moab but when you think holiday, does Utah spring to mind?! Anyway, I started looking into it and feeling the guilt that I was ixnaying all his exciting ideas (after forcing him into an all inclusive! :. I discovered that Utah is quite close to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. So... I emailed our travel agent, the wonderful Lois Barbour, and she gave us a ridiculous package deal. For all the wonders of the Internet, there still isn't anything that replaces a travel agent. Sure, it's quick and easy to book your flights online and it's great for that, but when you want more, they KNOW stuff - they have insider tricks.

Our package includes the flights on West Jet with surprisingly only one stop, three nights at the MGM Grand, a car rental and 2 Cirque Du Soleil tickets. When she offered me this, I looked up the MGM Grand and discovered that that is, of course, where they hold some pretty major events. Thinking I might find some Holyfield fight or something (not that I'm a fan, but hey, just to say you did it?) I found... drum roll please... Aerosmith. Playing, in our hotel, right when we want to go. Is that fate? Yes it is. For those of you who have not known me long, I'll tell you that this is now my fourth attempt (but fourth is a charm right?) at seeing Aerosmith. They have a tendency to cancel Canadian shows or playing in Moncton when I'm too pregnant to fly. So, I figure they'll never cancel Vegas and as long as I don't get knocked up (insert nervous laugh here) it'll be fine! Any-who... this is our trip:

We leave on Friday July 24th and that night we see the Cirque show "Ka". On Saturday is the Concert and Sunday I made reservations at Emeril's restaurant which was recommended to me by a friend. We're not gamblers, so while in Vegas we will walk and look at all the hotels, shop a lot at the outlets and go hiking if it's not 41 degrees. On Monday morning we will drive out to the Grand Canyon via the Hoover Dam. We'll spend the day there and then move on to Moab either that night or Tuesday morning. We'll spend some time there and then be back in Vegas by Wednesday evening. We head out Thursday afternoon but unfortunately we have an overnight in Toronto so hopefully we'll be able to see some friends. We arrive back Friday morning. I'm hoping it all goes well, the older kids will be fine but I'm not sure about Mattea! The Thiessens will have been here a week by the time we go so hopefully she feels like she knows them by then.

So, how's that for a super long post about nothing? No, I don't give refunds on those 5 minutes of your life...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Iceberg - dead ahead!

This is probably our final iceberg visit of the year, but this one came in the other day. We saw it from the house like this (left) so we went out to hike down to it for a closer view.

The first view:

After it spun a bit:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Recent pics

They are digging up a lot in front of us and of course, it's an excuse for everyone (read "the boys") to get dirty!

Mattea at the park.

Blossoms around the yard:

Mattea playing with Bridger's drums.

Update Quicky

Last night we attended the year-end celebration for the local homeschooling group. It was a great night of awards, talent shows, slide shows and food. Good times! A full year come to an end, crazy how fast it goes. I have decided I will keep the boys home again next year, for sure until we know what we're doing or it doesn't work for us anymore or something better comes along... I'm reading a great book called "The Charlotte Mason Companion." It's a layman's overview of a homeschooling approach 'invented' by - you guessed it - Charlotte Mason. It's inspiring me for next year; new things to try, new hopes for us. I have enjoyed it but now I am looking forward to summer, without the constant "am I doing this right?" fear on my shoulders... I'll sweep that one under the rug until late September.

Riley's exams start on Monday and she's been studying up a storm, she's on track to do very well!
Mattea had a major crash this week. After bruising her right cheek last week, she fell head-first off of Bridger's bed into their open toy drawer, cutting and bruising the bridge of her nose and then the other cheek. She has a nice big swollen shiner and I'm very glad I had witnesses to the event as it looks rather awful. Does it stop her though? No, of course not. Seconds later she's at it again.
I think we've started the road to getting the kids all into bunk beds...

We're looking forward to a visit in one month from both Barton's parents and his two sisters. It'll be SO GOOD to have family around! Let's hope it's not still 6 degrees.
Speaking of 6 degrees, I've been meaning to post photos, but I planted a lot of veggies and herbs and fruit this spring. I did most of the transplants to the outdoors on the May long weekend and we had a good 2 weeks of heat after that. They were doing really well, though I am now worried with this chill. Hopefully we don't get snow... *wince*... I planted:
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Lettuce, Spinach, Beets, Radishes, Carrots, Peas, Tomatoes, Hot Peppers, Green Peppers, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Pickling Cucumbers, Pumpkins, Strawberries and Rhubarb.
I also did Cilantro, Basil, Oregano and Dill.

I don't have high hopes for the root veggies/carrots and my tomato plants look like they might be giving up. I'm tempted to replace them with a sprout from a local farm/nursery.

I know I've planted too many of the other veggies close together, but I grew most from seed so I wanted to see how they did after transplant and I couldn't bear to throw any out. I'll go Darwin on them soon and pluck some out, giving those that look the fittest the best chance at survival. I mean, how many brussel sprout plants do you really need? Actually, those are the ones I'm most excited about. We did a field trip last year to an organic farm and they told us they can trudge through 3 feet of snow in February and STILL pick brussel sprouts. We'll see about that...