Friday, July 31, 2009

William's Big News!!

Sorry about that first photo, folks. I guess I should have warned you - If you are over the age of 12 years old, this photo may turn your stomach... This was a big week for William - his first lost tooth!! And another one to follow shortly, I think. It amazes me how much kids love to play with a wiggly tooth, and how much it makes my skin crawl. Still, it is cause for celebration. My first baby (sigh) is growing up. He is thrilled. He found a Twonie ready and waiting for him in the morning, and the tooth fairy even listened to his prayer and left the tooth so that he can show it to all his friends. Cool.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mapleton's Organic

Today was the first fully sunny day in a very long time, so we decided to celebrate with a trip to the ice cream farm!!! Not its real name, of course, but that is what William and Charlie call Mapletons Organic. I can't imagine a better place to enjoy being outside with the kids. Of course William is happy anywhere there are animals, especially dogs...

A corn bin to play in is always a hit...

A cedar maze with a giant play ship in the centre...

My little climbing goat...

And the goats that live there...

A beautiful calf with deep eyes...

And the crowning glory...premium organic ice cream!!

Even chai flavored Ice cream for Mommy to try!

Happy summer everyone!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Charlie, on swimming

Charlie, while swimming in Pop's pool yesterday...

Mommy, I'm swimming!! Swimming like a chihuahua!!!!

Really, I have no idea.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Crawford Lake Hike

Crawford Lake is a beautiful little lake not too far from where we live, and is always a great place for a visit. Here are a few shots of our latest visit.

The boys love this park, although William admittedly gets a little peeved that he needs to stay on the boardwalk that runs around the lake. It is a meromictic lake, and because of the low oxygen levels at the bottom of the lake, organic matter does not break down and stays there virtually forever. The park authorities are very strict about keeping things out of the lake so as to avoid a build-up. To William, this is akin to torture. As I was taking this picture above, William declared in the most obnoxious voice "Mom, see how beautiful it is? I could be exploring there if it wasn't for the dumb rules." Appreciation of nature expresses itself in many ways, doesn't it?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Waterloo Region Children's Museum!

Yesterday saw us off to the Waterloo Region Children's Museum with some friends. Not our favourite museum, but still a great day, with lots of hands on exhibits for the kids to explore.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I have to start this post by emphasizing how much I love my boys. They are rough and tough, full of energy, sweet as maple syrup, and the light of my life. But every so often, just for a minute or two, I get a little bit of girl envy. I think of how nice it would be to have a little girl who would like to go to the Saturday market with me, like pretty things, and maybe, just maybe, be a little bit crafty.... Well, I may not have a little girl of my own, but I have the next best thing. A wonderful 6 year old neighbour named Madeline (Maddie) who is absolutely adorable. She and her brother Ben are good friends with William and Charlie, and they are over to visit often. And, when I am lucky, Maddie gets tired of playing blasters and comes to find me to ask if we can do something crafty. So here is Maddie, making book marks and note cards with pressed flowers with me the other day. My heart sings!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Fort

Have you ever had one of those days when somehow, in spite of all of your best efforts, this whole parenting thing just gets a little bit beyond you? Like the other day, when William and Charlie had 3 of the neighbourhood kids over to play, and I was trying to sneak a few minutes with a great book it had been taking me far too long to finish, while they played. William idles up beside me and asks, in the quietest and sweetest voice that he could manage, if they could "please build a little fort in your bedroom, Mommy?" Well, I am ashamed to admit that I missed it. In any of my better moments I would have recognized this as the sign of impending disaster that it surely was. But somehow, instead I said "Mmmmmmm" and went back to my book. About 15 minutes later, I finally roused myself to go and see what all of the giggling was about. Here is what I saw.......

Yup. My children, ladies and gentlemen. My bedroom. My price to be paid for a few minutes with a good book.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Mother

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
–Washington Irving

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Super Hero Camp!!!

This week, the boys are at day camp. Yup, camp. A friend up the street had been telling them about the super hero week at the camp in town, and well, I lost the battle. In fact, I had been thinking about having them try out day camp this year, but somehow never got around to planning it, so this was perfect. Close to home, a small group with lots of staff, reasonable price, friends that the boys know already going, and, of course, a whole week about Super Heroes!!!! (The real ones like fire fighters and paramedics, as well as the perennial favourites like Spiderman and Batman)

So yesterday, when Dad went to drop them off, I was a little sad, and a little excited. A whole day without kids - whatever shall I do? Well, I tidied up (I know, I know - what a silly thing to do when the kids are away!!). Then, I actually read a book. I watched a movie. I started to cut up fabric for a rag rug I have been planning since last summer. I ate a bowl of ice cream at 10 o'clock in the morning. It was a lovely day, and it was even that much sweeter snuggling up with William and Charlie last night for not having seen them during the day. But today, I missed them a little more. They were really tired when they came home, and wanted to head right up the street to play with friends before dinner rather than visit with Mommy. And tomorrow, they go back again. And the next day. And the next.

I myself have to be out of town later this week, so it will be good for them to have something fun to do during the day while Daddy is busy. But it all got me to thinking about school. Quelle surprise?!?! Our society has a really warped way of making you think that it is somehow something to be embarrassed about, but you know what? I actually like my kids. I certainly love them too, as I think all parents do, but I like them, too. I enjoy their company. I like to talk to them, to explore with them, to learn along side of them, and to just be with them. I miss them when they are gone. Now, that is not to say that they don't drive me crazy at times, that I don't yell at them all too frequently or believe that sometimes they intentionally chose to irritate the hell out of me. But really, those times are a very small part of our time together. What it all comes down to is that I miss them when they are gone. That, for our family, is reason enough to homeschool.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Archeology Day

Today was archeology day at one of the local conservation areas that features a reproduction of an Iroquois village. The boys love exploring this site even on a regular day, and they had so much fun with all of the extra activities today. They learned so much about the village, and also got to speak to a 'real' archaeologist, who was a wealth of information and was involved in discovering the actual village that the site is based on. It was wonderful to speak to someone who was so passionate about their work, and a great lesson for the boys on finding a career that allows you to do what you love. Definitely a real teacher in our midst.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Marsh vs. River

We started out for the Luther Marsh this morning to explore the wetlands, and to talk a little bit about their role in the environment. Unfortunately, before too long the black flies got the better of us, and we were chased away. Still all was not lost...we spotted someinteresting frogs and William found this super-cool 1.5 foot snake skin that we brought home for our nature box.

Not to be discouraged that easily, we decided that since we were all decked out with buckets and nets, a stop along the Grand River was in order. What a great idea!! What followed was a wonderful completely un-planned discussion on the difference between wet lands and river banks. It is amazing how much learning follows the words "isn't it interesting that...".

If you click on the picture above to enlarge it you might catch a glimpse of the Great Blue Heron just taking off from the river.

Ever seen one of these cool critters before? This one I will definitely have to look up.

No frogs by the river bank, but we found lots of cray fish. The big ones were too fast for us, but we did manage to net a few of the little ones that we enjoyed watching for a while and then released.

Man, do I love these days!