Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Zoo Crew

Summer is ALMOST official around these here parts. The Canadians like to brag (mainly my husband!) that they are in school for 20 extra days than the Americans, therefore are smarter. While I'm not completely certain on that... I will say that being in school in June seems a little unfair!!!

But... our dear friends home school, and since they got their schooling done a little early, we were able to join them on a "field trip" to the Winnipeg zoo before summer break officially began for everybody else! All eight of us girls (EIGHT!!!) loaded in our Expedition, complete with stroller, coolers, snacks, eight water bottles, five purses, two cameras, and one car activity bag ... and got ready to walk for all we were worth!

Except for this little crew member... she had her fair share of pampering for the day! She just had to barely make a peep and she had several willing helpers at her side! :)

The penguins were featured at the zoo this month... so we were pumping that up for the kids... only to be a tad disappointed to see three little penguins behind a tiny little glass window, looking rather sleepy! Thankfully the polar bear was right next door and we could quickly adjust their attention to him!

He's just 18 months old (him and Caidrie were very close in age!) and was so cute! But given the whole double fence and barb wire thing... might not be as friendly as he looks? 

I'm going with the whole he just likes his own space thing, rather than believing he's not as soft and cuddly as we all imagined him to be! 

(Just kidding... for all of those that feel the urge to e-mail me polar bear disaster articles!)

Our snack break was "sponsored" by Quacker caramel rice cakes! They were a hit all around!

We stopped by this little pond to let Caidrie touch the water... and couldn't miss a photo op of these lovely ladies! An amazingly beautiful mama and her beautiful, beautiful girls... on the outside AND on the inside!

I told the girls we had like 4 seconds to take the picture, then I set Caidrie down, snapped away, and THIS is when Caidrie was making her way to the edge of the pond! She's quick... so we only got three pictures snapped before she had us all running!

The Chariot folds down incredibly well... which was great since we were tight on space... but somehow in the whole fitting it in the vehicle process... the handle got left at home! 

At first I thought we were going to have to simply carry on without a stroller... but given how much stuff we had... that was not a good option!

So we each took a turn driving it... and in all it's inconvenience... it turned out to be not so super bad. You see how much stuff is on the second seat beside Caidrie? That's in addition to the whole trunk being completely full! Eight girls, let me remind you... EIGHT girls! No more explanation needed! :)


So... an odd fact you probably don't know about me. I'm NOT a bird person. They kind of gross me out. Not all birds... some are cute and little... but some are well, just not!

So when we got to the flamingos... 

... and I saw their necks twisting around like this... I was almost gagging!!! Though the convenience of resting  ones head on ones back probably does come in handy at times! :)

And something neat about the Wpg zoo is that they have peacocks walking all around the place. 

They are GORGEOUS creatures... but these particular ones are fully aware of it and like to make us all aware of it as well! It's fair to say their beauty has gone to their heads!

Me, along with everyone else at the zoo, pointing a camera in their direction probably doesn't help the peacock pride issue. But most probably don't take pics of their back side! :)

I couldn't help it. The fluff just intrigued me!

Miss. C was bound and determined to touch one, and low and behold she did! :)

Wild animals about describes it!! :) Hardly... we had six very well behaved girls that day! It made it a lot more pleasant for the mama's... that's for sure!

 We had the opportunity to take a mother daughter pic of me and my girls... when someone in particular wouldn't cooperate. Only to take this pic like 3 minutes later. I shall never understand! :) 

But she is pretty darn adorable!

As is this one! 

She may not be my niece but she's about as close to one as she could be!! :)

Since we missed our photo op... here's the best of the day! Every time I look at Caidrie's face I can't help but laugh! 

And she did her fair share of that with Miss. J. These two were little BFF's!

Of all the animals in the zoo... the two biggest things of interest were the HORSES (which these girls have at home!) and the AIRPLANES flying over head!

It apparently doesn't take much to make our crew smile... and for that I am very thankful!

Here's Caid with her fashion duo!

All in all a VERY good day!

We topped it off with Costco and Starbuck's, then called it a wrap! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We've tried gardening... once. But the problem is that we travel so much during the summer. And for some reason the last time we tried, the garden didn't weed itself while we were in Alaska for 3 weeks and we came home to a jungle!! We decided that gardening wasn't going to quite work for us and our summer schedule!

Well this year it's a bit different! We are actually going to be in Manitoba for the majority of the summer rather than the other way around! It's good and bad, I guess! But we're only planning to travel for 2-3 weeks instead of 2-3 months! We planted 6 tomato plants and 6 pepper plants in the ground, and the rest of our "garden" is in containers.

I didn't have extremely high hopes... but wow, I am loving this!!!!

We just got our first ripe strawberry yesterday...

Which, as I'm sure you can imagine, intrigued the kids greatly!

And I've been picking fresh kale for weeks now!

And there's fresh cilantro, basil, parsley, chives, and a little pickling cucumber plant alongside the flowers!

If I would have known how fun this is, I think we would have tried this again years ago!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day Deere Daddy!

For Father's Day this year we did it a little different than in year's past! Typically I have picked out Jon's gift... and the girls have made him a card or something like that. But this year the girls wanted to pick out something for him! So we brain stormed about what he likes... and they came up with something from John Deere! He's always in need of more T-shirts (ha!) so off we went to the JD store for them to pick one out!

Since the gift wasn't very big (and his much bigger gift is coming on his birthday in two days!) we decided to send him on a hunt to look for it.

We made 10 clues that kept him going in and out of the house, around the yard, and down the street to the post box!

The first clue was delivered...

... and it took him to the fridge.

Now on to the four wheeler in the garage!

And back in the house, to look under our bed. And then to the shed.

Into the house again, and a trip to the mail box.

A couple other stops around the house... and he found the gift followed one of his favorite meals for supper!

A fun little way to remind Jon that we're so thankful for him and his desire to serve, love, and protect us!

My oh my... our girls are so SO blessed to have him as their daddy!

And seeing this video in church this morning reminded me of two things...

1 - I too have an absolute amazing daddy


2 - My husband has, and is doing wonderful at, a very important job in the lives of our little ladies!

So here's the video clip... both Jon and I had tears streaming down our cheeks when it was over!

Pinto goes to the Vet

No, no... we haven't gotten a real horse YET... but the kids sure take to this plastic one like it's real. 

They pick "hay" for it from the yard. They tie him up when they are done riding him so he won't run away. They give riding lessons on him, complete with bike helmets for all their students since he's "unpredictable." They cover him with a blanket to keep him warm at night, or to keep the flies off him. They clean his feet and give him cold water baths for his sore knees. You name it... they do it!

But... let's be honest. This horse is UG-LY! Really, I have no idea WHY I've let it stay around our place for the last couple of years. Well, I do know. Two words. One starts with an "A" and one starts with an "L!"

The other day I decided that I had had enough of this sickly horse! I loaded up the girls and we went to town to buy plastic paint... we came home, I put Caidrie down for her nap... and I got to work!

Here is Pinto before his "vet visit." 

(Because the girls told me they didn't want him to be painted, that would mean he was fake. They wanted him to go to the vet for surgery... since that would make him a real horse!)

And here he is after $15 in paint/supplies and a couple hours of painting!

Why oh why didn't I do this years ago?!?!

The vet has given Pinto a clean bill of health and he's now ready for many more years of loving attention from  his three biggest fans!

Surprise Visitor!

For weeks the girls new that a surprise visitor was coming to see us, but they had no idea who!

Oh I tell ya... what fun to know a secret, but how hard it is to keep it! :)

On the way down to the airport Alia guessed who it was... though I didn't let on that her guess was actually correct!!

We had some VERY VERY excited little ladies when they saw Gramma waving to them outside the airport doors!

This was by far the most relaxing visit (visitor!) we've had! I didn't plan things to do, I didn't plan meals, I didn't clean my house from top to bottom... we just simply enjoyed each other's company!

My mom came with activities that the girls could pick each day, and she managed to spend as much quality time with each girl as possible!

All of us girls got a date with Gramma/Mom and we each got to choose where we wanted to go! Alia chose Dairy Queen for ice cream and a walk at the research centre (a pretty garden type place in our area)... Larren chose an outdoor ice cream shop... Caidrie chose the park and an outdoor snack... and I chose to go a local coffee shop, that to our surprise had completely gluten free cheese cake!! It was fabulous... as was the conversation with my mama!

Mom also got to take in three of Alia's T ball games!



The base "squeaks" when the kids jump on it... so little sister was feeling the need to try it out as well!

Banana oatmeal muffins for breakfast... with chocolate chips added at Larren's request! Caidrie seemed to enjoy them quite well!

As I said, Mom had LOTS of fun activities planned for the girls each day! They couldn't wait to choose their popsicle stick when they woke up each morning!

One activity was a tea party with their favorite stuffed animal on the verandah!

Animal turned into animals rather quickly!

They enjoyed fresh squeezed lemonade... 

... and gluten free animal crackers!

Lots and lots of memories were made during the week Gramma was out. And I learned a thing or two about my mama as well!

She is a really, really good story "maker upper!" The girls have asked me to tell stories like Gramma did and I haven't been able to come close to her creativity!

And... her heart is so, so, big. I knew she was super loving before this... but again, this trip just made me realize it even more! 

We were all super duper blessed by her visit... 

... and again, just going to throw it out there... ya'll are welcome to come by any time! :)