Tuesday, June 28, 2011

visiting laura secord & queenston heights

Laura Secord's Homestead
A few weeks ago we read that you could visit the Laura Secord Homestead with a donation. Our Dutch ears perked up.  That was a deal compared to the almost $10.00 that they normally charge per adult.
In 1812 Laura's home was invaded by American soldiers and one night she overheard them talking about a planned assault on one of the British forts. Late that night she left her five children, a wounded husband and walked 32 km. through the forest amongst Indians and wild animals to warn the British of the American's plans.

It was really neat visiting there and the scenery along Niagara-on-the-Lake is stunning, but it is definitely not worth the amount of money that they normally charge.

There was a display table with some of the wooden games children would play during that time period. Our boys loved playing with them and the two pioneer women were great with explaining how the games worked and letting the boys try them out.
I could not help but think - no batteries, you could make the pieces and replace missing pieces (but maybe you don't have that problem at your house:) easy to store, very sturdy, and I have a feeling that the children back in those days never fought during the games!

This game looked easy enough to make and this was one of the favourites. The goal was to try to catch the wooden circle with two sticks.

I lost track of Andrew, and there he was. He had found some wool to rub under his nose and he was sucking his thumb. This is his favourite thing to do.

We went for a picnic at Queenston Heights at supper time. That is such a nice park with lots of room to roam. I think that we have never picniced with just our family before and we had so much fun that we are going to make more of an effort to do it again. It was relaxing and it was good for us just to sit back and watch the boys play. Their imaginations are very entertaining!

                                                              ~   beautiful memories  ~

Responsible brother Nate making sure that Tyler does not fall off of the bench. How precious.

Adam does not stroll, he power walks. Its good for me because it is good exercise keeping up with him:)
Andrew looking way up high at the Brock monument. Thankfully it was closed. I am not a big fan of heights and I am even more afraid when there are wiggly, daring boys around me.

They all had to go to the bathroom at the same time so Adam directed them away from public eyes and told them to do their job behind the wall.  All was well until we noticed that they were standing on the edge of the cliff; they had moved far along the wall. My hands got shaky and my heart started to pound. The problem was that if we yelled for them to come back they probably would do something goofy and loose their footing. Just another one of those heart stopping moments.

I kind of like this picture. It shows that I can have peaceful moments with our baby admist much activity!
And that was our day!

Friday, June 24, 2011

strawberries, socials, & school's out!

This is our first year eating our very own strawberries and are they ever scrumptious!
It is delightful going outside late in the evening and just eating strawberries.

Don't you think that Andrew looks kind of "monkeyish" in this picture?

After church last Sunday we had a strawberry & icecream social. It was beautiful weather and just so enjoyable. If you don't have a fruit farmer in your church you should get one:)

Here is Erik with Tyler and Kentin. I have to laugh at this picture. Erik looks like he is trying to pon off these little guys so that he can dig into the dessert.

Nate's grade 2 class threw a surprise baby shower for their teacher. They did a great job of keeping it quiet all day and they were excited to shower their teacher with gifts.

Today is the last day of school! Nate loves his teacher and he is going to miss her. She encouraged him and embraced his zest for life. At the beginning of the year whenever there was a problem (big or small) Nate would simply shut down & refuse to get ready for school, but now Nate is able to see through his problems and he has learned how to problem solve. He loves recess time and I love hearing his stories about his friends and his forts. The leaders of the forts are forever changing, some are good, some are bad. There have been horrible days when the girls managed to take over the forts, and days when he quit the fort because the boss made the fort into a "worm nursery!"  In September we will have a grade 3er. I can't believe how fast time is going and I have a feeling that this summer is going to fly  by too!

Friday, June 17, 2011

good times & not so good times:)

Nate wrote this poem for grandparents day and we got a chuckle from it!

Liam has become a big help around here, almost always doing his jobs cheerfully and right away.
            After much rain we were finally able to plant our vegetable garden. I was thrilled to see my celery, peppers, and tomatoes taking off. One day I was horrified to see that all of the plants were stripped bear. The leaves were gone and just a shaky, thin little stem remained. I asked Adam if he had seen any rabbits or other animals sneaking food from our garden, but he hadn't. The next day there were NO plants. I started to investigate and there were just holes in the ground where our plants had been. I started to do process of elimination. The two older boys had their own garden and were growing their own plants by seed. That left Andrew. When I approached him, I could tell that he was tempted to lie, but he didn't. Lets just say that I was a little on the upset side.

Liam had grown a sunflower for me for mother's day and it was taking off nicely but someone snapped that in half...
    Liam has always had an active imagination. However, this time it went too far. We had a beautiful robin's nest by our house. Yes notice the word "had." It had three little eggs in there and you know the amount of work the robin goes through just to make a nest.  You can picture the mother anticipating her three young ones; feeding them and teaching them how to fly. Liam took the nest down and pretended that he was the mother sitting on the nest....and you can figure out the rest of the story.

Tyler spends his time outdoors watching the chickens!

Andrew has begun to ride a bike and spends hours on it making sharp turns on the patio and almost falling off of the patio.

Believe it or not, Andrew got into trouble and I sent him into the laundry room for time out. (I never know if it is time out for me or him!) I closed the door and when I opened it (I did not forget about him in there), this is what I found. He was in such a deep sleep that it was actually hard to awaken him.
This is what Tyler got for his birthday. I was beyond thrilled when I found this vintage toy at a garage sale. It brought back many memories of playing at my grandparents house.

I made these treats instead of a cake and it was a hit. I love celebrating a birthday in the summer instead of the winter.

My grandma playing with Kentin, Tyler, and James. I hope that I am like her when I am in my eighties!

Oma snuggling with Tyler

Adam was trying to mow the area that turned into a swamp with all of the rain. He got terribly stuck and was not moving anywhere in all of the mud. It was a good thing that Harry was over plowing our fields so he pulled Adam out with his tractor.  We have many tractor stories from around here.  Apparently we have a tipy tractor:)

The boys are watching the show with their usual enthusiasm.

Back to work again!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

tyler turns one!

Last week our little boy turned one! The other boys were as excited as could be and what a year this past one has been!

During a prenatal check up with the dr. he told me that I was not allowed to go home but that we was going to admit me into the hospital with high blood pressure. I cried. I had five weeks to go and my boys needed me. After a few days I was allowed to go home with strict orders to stay off my feet. I spent a lot of time in our screened porch watching the kids play. We were so thankful for help from our family and friends who came and cleaned, brought meals, picked up our children, and were so encouraging.
With my other pregnancies I got sick, so before this pregnancy I read that if you are super healthy you might not get sick. That sounded very appealing to me so I took hundreds of vitamins, I did a liver cleanse, I ate healthy and looked at ingredients. You name it, I did it.  This was totally not me since food is very important to me, especially the sweeter the better. But I have to say that it worked and I felt a lot better during this pregnancy. I just want to say that if you see me go through this phase again, it might not be what you think it is:) During that time I felt beyond great, and loved the abundance of energy I got from being healthy.

A proud dad holding Tyler soon after he was born!  When I had my 20 week ultrasound I told the tech. not to tell me what the baby was. I got home and looked at the picture of the ultrasound and ta-da, we were having another boy! We were happy and prayed that the pregnancy would continue to go well.
I was induced three weeks early because of high blood pressure. At three o'clock in the afternoon I was 4cm dilated and the dr. decided to break my water. Tyler was born 35 minutes later!

Soon after Tyler was born, he began to look waxy and had trouble breathing. The grandparents and our boys were able to see him for a quick minute before he was transported to Mac. I stayed at the hospital but we could see the ambulance leaving with our little son in there. That was a hard night thinking that this little baby that you carried for 9 months was so far away from you. Early the next morning we left for Mac and that became our home for the next week. I was thankful that I made such a good recovery after the baby was born and got my strength back almost right away, but Tyler was a lot worse than they originally thought.

On his second night there, Tyler was really struggling and he had to be intubated. He was at 6.8 pounds the biggest baby in the NICU but he was requiring the most care. Besides the quick moment that I held after he was born, this was my first time holding him three days later. It was pure joy to be able to hold him and I just treasured it! The funny thing about babies is that they can get sick fast but they can get better quick too. As soon as the dr. s figured out what to do for him, the crisis was past and Tyler made a lot of improvement each day.  A week later we were able to take him home. Rachel was so thoughtful and made a beautiful sign for him.  Adam and I were just so thankful. We saw many sick babies in the hospital. Some were the size of our hands, and we knew that they would be in there for months. How terribly tiring it was for the parents.

Our boys were thrilled to meet their little brother and be able to hold him.

Father's day!

A month later we had baptism for the three boy cousins. Heather just had her baby three days before. Who would of thought that we all of us sisters would of had a boy? To tell you the truth it still amazes me.

This was our first time together with all of the newborn boys. What an assortment of strollers, carseats, soothers, diapers. It was unbelievable. For a long time I was the only one with children and in a short while we were altogether, in the same stage of life and I loved it.

Kentin, Tyler, James, and Josh

As wonderful as it was to have a baby in the house, it was not all rosey. We had a lot of crying for the first 9 months. A lot of it. Up North everyone was taking "Tyler turns"  to give me a break from the fussiness. We found out that our little guy had acid reflux and after a few weeks of medication he became a new baby. Finally I was sleeping through the night instead of getting up 3-4 times:)

Josh and Tyler

Tyler is a small little guy but he is getting around. He is a wiggle worm and is able to hold his own against his three older brothers. He smirks at us. In a way it kind of scares me because he has a look that says "I know more than I am letting on." We are all in love with Tyler. We pray that he will love the Lord and want to serve Him with much zeal!