Thursday, October 27, 2011

class trips

I love going on class trips with the kids. It gives me a chance to see how they are interacting with their classmates and it is a lot of fun getting to know the other kids in the class. Liam's class went on a hike through the woods. It was great exercise for us moms!
Someone spotted a snake, but no one was daring enough to actually pick it up until this girl grabbed it and hung it high for everyone to see. Soon everyone wanted a chance to hold the snake. We actually ended up rescuing this traumatized snake from fighting hands!


I went with Nate & his class to a Pioneer Village. It was a fantastic day with the children dressed up as Pioneers. The teachers even instructed them to pack a pioneer's lunch. Out came the wicker baskets, mason jars, & tin cans.
I didn't tell Nate that I got a Pioneer outfit for myself. I woke up early & got all dressed up. Itchy stuff, but the bonnet can hide unruly hair. When the boys came down for breakfast and saw me, they kind of stopped in their tracks and with a funny grin they said, "Hi Ma!" Little House on the Prairie...

The Pioneer Village was most impressive with their hands-on teaching. Small groups were taken to different buildings. At the log house they baked,washed & hung laundry, in the wood shop they made a toy, in the store they learned how to barter & write in the store's ledger. I know that I enjoyed this class trip just as much as the school kids.

                      {For Mr. & Mrs. VG. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy of your family!}


A beautiful fall setting. I love the colours of fall.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

this & that

Going back to the first day of school.

My grandpa turned 87 at the end of September. Heather & I had tea with my grandparents & I just kept on thinking that here I was at 31 years old enjoying a visit with both of my grandparents. Most often they come over to our homes because their house if far from childproof!

We spent an afternoon at my cousins, Jake & Ally. They back onto the grand river so the guys went canoeing while Ally & I had a nice stroll through the neighbourhood. The boys loved visiting there & so did we!

DoorsOpen in Grimsby. These colourful homes along the lake where once a spot of a major spiritual revival. I am not sure of all of the history but there was a building built for boys of all ages. They received Biblical instruction and guidance. These colourful homes remain but I cannot not imagine choosing the paint and painting every little area of these homes.

Next stop. "Our Gate to your Plate Farm." How about that for a name! This was a great spot for the boys & it got my imagination running too. I am a want-to-be farmer & I envision our boys cheerfully running outside early in the morning to do their chores. Wearing colourful boots, even though there wouldn't be any mud in always bright sunny weather. The reality is that we are really good at growing weeds and some of the animals that we've had in the past have had tragic endings.

                     The laying hens live in a retro trailer out in the field. I love it!

The boys got to throw rotten apples to the pigs. The farmer said to throw about 10 apples but things got out of hand & before he could stay stop - everything was gone. The pigs had a feast.

 I had to post these pictures. I was standing in Erik & Rachel's driveway when Erik drove up. He turned off their "good"  van but the van kept on making a loud, strange noise. It sounded like something was about to blow.
It is one thing when you have a vehicle go bad, but in the meantime, Nate and Olivia were twirling in front of their other van. This van didn't look like it was going to go too far either. Talking about a bad day!

Erik explaining the van situation to Rachel. The fact was they would have to start biking around unless at least one van got fixed:)

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Adam & I spent four days in this lovely cottage located in Lancaster. When we drove up I clapped my hands. I was just that excited! This cottage was built in the 1700s & was restored recently by a Christian family who rents it out. There is a beautiful stream that runs along the property and the brilliant fall colours made our stay enchanting. There was no internet, tv, phone, not to mention four little boys to run after so it was just plain peaceful.

                                  These are the ruins of the servant's house, now home to the sheep.

The first sight of an Amish house was truly exciting. Most of the farms have homes that have been built on to for the grandparents to live in. The homes are large and spacious, not to mention very neat. The Amish are advid gardeners and hard workers. Sometimes they live in town and it is quite humorous to see a garage with a buggy parked in it and the horse tied to the picket fence out in the lawn. We hired a Mennonite lady to drive around with us for two hours to teach us more about the Amish way of living. They dress a certain way, part their hair in a particular way, and the list goes on.
They have made their inconveniences somehow convenient with the use of generators, propane, & the willingness to hire someone with big machines to get the job done.
They do not allow pictures of themselves because of the 2nd commandment so I had to be very discreet when I wanted pictures. I felt a little like a drive-by paparazzi, secretly taking pictures.

There are little one roomed school houses everywhere. They hold about 35 students and when they are finished grade 8 they are totally done school. At this time they are expected to work at home & help provide for the family.

The Amish do not believe that they should have bicycles so they have these scooter things that they are very quick at & they manage to get to some far places with these scooters.

Everyday there were loads of laundry hanging outside usually on a porch. Seeing the little children's clothes hanging out to dry was endearing! Little bonnets, suspender, and aprons.

The stores all have rails for the horses to be hitched up to. I just wondered who cleans up the aftermath.

                                                        On their way home from school.
Actually, as hard as they work, along with the numerous rules about how they should live; 4 teenagers out of 5 stay in their community. It is a loving, solid community full of security. Both Adam & I were inspired on how they conduct themselves. They seem truly content even though they live so simply.

Two other things that we toured and we would recommend was watching the play of "Joseph" at the Sight and sound theatre. They did a fantastic job producing it and it made Joseph's story very real. When you saw the 10 older, bigger brothers taunt, tease, and finally sell Joseph, you cannot help but realize how terrifying it must of been for Joseph. And the reunion and how God worked in their lives -  what joy!
          Another tourist attraction was a model of the tabernacle. A tour guide guided us through the different elements of the tablernacle and the symbolism. The tabernacle was made to size which was good for someone like me who is spaciously impaired unless it can fit into a measuring cup or a baby's bottle. God is a God of order and detail. That really came out during this tour. It was also moving to see the lamb and how an Israelite would place his hands on the lamb and speak of his sins. The transferring of sins is a true picture of Jesus Christ, the one true lamb.

We found the perfect present for the boys while we were antiquing. We asked the store keeper to wrap it up so that we wouldn't see these big deer eyes looking at us when we were driving around. She thought that this was so much fun & you can see her laughing in the back ground.

The deer head (is there another word for it?) is hanging in Nate and Liam's room. They immediately got their nerf guns and started shooting at it. To think that buying this thing was my idea. I cannot believe at how far I have come......
A very special thank you to Heather & Mark for moving into our home. I came home to the laundry all caught up, fresh sheets on the bed, & the house totally scrubbed. The boys had a great time with them & now have many fond memories. Also a big thank you to mom for helping with the bus stops & Heather when Heather was not feeling so well in the mornings(!)
We are very thankful to have had this trip & we are happy to be home again although reality hits very quickly!