Friday, July 11, 2014

Canada Day

I LOVE Canada Day. To me it official heralds the summer holidays! Even though my kids had already been home for a week, summer doesn't officially become summer until Canada Day. The day started out dark and it almost looked as if it would rain on our parade! :o)




However, after lunch the sun came out and we hit the beach. It was beautiful. Even the water was swimmable despite the prolonged cold temperatures this past winter and spring.





Then it was barbecue time. No pics of that however. Too busy eating. :o)

Around 8:30 or so, we set off to watch the fireworks. The sun was setting as we drove. Beautiful!



Last year we started going to a different location and we couldn't be happier. At this place it is almost all families. The "crazies" and "hoodlums" all go to the fireworks on the bay in the city. These would be considered hick town fireworks, but they're fantastic. You're so close, you can lay on your back and watch them.

Once the fireworks are over it was time to head home, sleep in the tent, and begin to enjoy the fullness of summer!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Knitting Bowl

I don't think my dad knew this when he made it for me, but I had been wanting a knitting bowl for quite some time. I was toying with buying one off of Etsy, but now I don't have to! I can't believe I didn't think of asking Dad to make one for me. Happily, I didn't have to!



I LOVE it!! Thank you again, Dad! Now all I need to do is find some time to do some knitting.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Another Graduate

Last Wednesday, we had another graduation. Bean's graduating class of eleven students is probably one of the sweetest classes you could ever meet. This class started with ten students. It grew and shrank temporarily by one or two students once or twice since they started in kindergarten, but the only one who topped it out at eleven and stayed was our Beans. Unfortunately her arrival changed the dynamics a bit for the girls and it was in those grade 5/6 years when girls can be well, a little hormonal, we'll say. Initially it was a bit of a struggle for her. She became the fifth wheel for the girls.

By grade 8, Beans had finally found her niche and she chose not to spend a lot of time with the grade 8 girls, but rather two of the grade 7 girls. (Fortunately split classes enable these sort of things.) Her other close girlfriends did not attend her school -- and well, there is this boy in her class, that has made her four years in school (reminder: we homeschooled before) all worth it. Yeah, she has a boy best friend at school. Much to her sorrow however, he is moving away. However, she WILL see him again as most of their family lives around here, but it will all depend on how much they are willing to share him. :o)


Yes. Both in cowboy boots and both in yellow, their favourite colour.

These two are country kids through and through. We can dress them up, but we can't take the country out of them. :o)


L-R: bestie from church, grade 7 classmate, Beans, and her bestie from our homeschooling years. One grade 7 bestie was missing.

Waaaaa hoooo!!

Love these girls!

Diploma time! Our school principal. Her teacher in the background.

Congratulations Beans, on a fantastic finish! From starting out battling Mom on writing to actually saving all your writing. We are proud of you and all that you have accomplished! We love you LOTS!

 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Grade 8 Class Trip

This is the second time we have had the privilege of attending as drivers and chaperones on the grade 8 class graduation trip. It is always a lot of fun and sometimes quite enlightening to see these kiddos outside a classroom setting.

Some of the kids in this group are not fond of being away from home, some are afraid of heights, and I'm sure there were some other fears that needed to be overcome as well. So this was a big thing for a lot of these kids.

Despite a bit of rain at times where it didn't really matter, it was a fantastic three days. I think all the kids had a fabulous time! The Engineer and I as their chaperones enjoyed it very much!

A few highlights:

 Canoeing through the locks.

 Our overnight campsite.

 Fishing. The boys were up at 5:20 am the next morning to fish.

 How not to do archery. ;o)

 High ropes instruction.

 Walking the cat walk.

 Doing the possom.

 Some pre-swimming discussion.

 A games night while it stormed outside.

Climbing Mt. Moriah.

Love these kids!! What a great three days!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

First High School Graduate


The four coloured sash is the combination of the two schools colours. Nathanael chose to wear it for several reasons.

The graduation of Nathanael's high school class of 2014 happened this past Sunday afternoon. It was a class of 260 students. There's a long story behind the size of the class, but it boils down to a very smooth, long in the works amalgamation of two local Catholic high schools. Thus it was also a commencement of historical proportions, as it was the first graduating class of the combined and yet still somewhat individual schools. According to Nathanael it was a great year and the amalgamating of the schools was nothing to be upset about despite him feeling that way in September. His only disappointment? Not being able to attend the newly renovated, largely expanded high school where he spent his first three years. This last year was spent in the rather outdated original catholic high school. However, it did have its perks too. Like a popular coffee shop very near by, right Bub?

If you look closely, you can see three sash styles. Two belonging to each of the original schools and one that represents the combination of the schools. MANY students chose to wear the four coloured sash. That was neat to see!

Even though it was over two hours long, it was a beautiful and very Christian service. It was encouraging -- and a blessing. Nathanael and two classmates played a song that one of the girls wrote that was dedicated to the graduating class. It was a lovely and special piece.

Nathanael accompanying the girls on his kajone that his grampa made for him.

Receiving his mock diploma. At this point they hadn't even started writing exams yet. Official diplomas will be sent out later this summer.

Pretending to be a Harry Potter character.

I can't believe my baby will be flying off to new things in the fall. He's excited and ready. In many ways I am looking forward to him starting this new stage in his life. He's going to have a LOT to learn not only academically, but about life. I know that with the grace of God, we gave him the best start we could, so now it's time to leave it up to prayer and God's strength and grace. Godspeed dear son! We love you very much!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

If You Have a Dog Do NOT have Xylitol in Your Home!

Maverick is a Labrador Retriever. This translates to mean that he is a food freak! In turn this means that he has no discretion whatsoever. If it smells edible, he will eat it. As I posted earlier, I am doing the THM program in the hope that it will at least reduce the severity of my migraines. (That's another post.) I had been using xylitol as a sugar substitute and I knew (know) it is poisonous to dogs. He managed to get into some and within an hour was deathly ill.

It was the scariest three days of our lives. The nightmare began late Saturday afternoon. When he started with severe seizures. We got him to the vet as quickly as we could. Dr. K started treatments immediately as we knew exactly what he had gotten into. She kept him over night and the next day. He had numerous glucose IV's and lots of blood drawn. Sunday evening we got the all clear to pick him up. That night was pretty uneventful. He was a little sore from all the poking and prodding, but seemed okay. On Monday Peach was home for a P.D. Day, and Bub was off haying. All of a sudden around 11:00 am, he had another seizure. We rushed him back to the vet. She checked his liver and blood sugar levels again and everything seemed normal. Our vet clinic out here by our home, is associated with the one in the City. The one in the City is where we took him because they have emergency hours. In the afternoon, we took him to our local vet. There he was going to get a full liver function test done because xylitol poisoning can seriously damage the liver.  While he was there, he has another seizure. They gave him valium and phenobarbital. The valium turned him into a complete spaz. We had never seen him like that and it was VERY scary. At that point (and I really HATE to admit this) we were almost thinking of putting him down. Dr. T even hesitantly asked if that was what we might be thinking. We had to admit we were, but at the same token we didn't want to rush into anything. In the end we brought him home. Eventually he settled.

 Sad and frightened children. 

He's now on phenobarbital twice a day as Dr. T and his associates feel that Mavy was actually predisposed to epilepsy and somehow the xylitol became the trigger. I'm not an animal doctor, so I don't know what to say. It's been just over a week now and I am thankful to report that Maverick is still alive and doing well. The pb makes him draggy, but he tends to forget that. I have to watch him on the stairs and keep his little pug brother in check because they will get fooling around and poor Maverick will trip over himself. The pug caused him to have a good wipeout this evening, but thankfully no injuries -- just an "oof" sound from the big guy as he hit the ground. In another week or so, he should have his coordination back.

As for him learning his lesson, that didn't happen. He's a professional thief and counter surfer! We are being very diligent about keeping the counters food free, but if you even turn your back for a second.... HOWEVER there is no xylitol in our home!! I can't stress enough that if you have dogs, do NOT use xylitol! By the way, in small dogs, even a piece of gum sweetened with xylitol can be enough to kill them, so just don't have it in the house! I have learned my lesson. It was a very hard way to do it, but some of just have to learn the hard way. :o( We're thankful that he's still with us -- even if he is thief.

For a concise list of other foods that are toxic to dogs, check out the ASPCA website or the Web MD site. Our story has a happy ending, but they don't always do, so help us get the word out!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rodney, our Roomba 565 (The Pet Roomba)

When Nathanael saw the box for the Roomba 565, he snorted, and informed me that it was a first world toy. I told him that I was aware of that, but six girls with loooong hair, and two dogs who want to be with their peoples all the time is a first world problem for me.


Rodney has become my sanity saver. If we were extremely wealthy first worlders, I would have Rodney, Rowena, and Rhoda, meaning I would have a Roomba on every floor.

Rodney does not do a perfect job, nor does it mean I never have to vacuum, but he certainly keeps the dust dragons away. Sometimes I even like to run him twice a day, but I do like to be home when he does his work because he occasionally gets stuck under the buffet and/or under the kitchen table. If you have furniture that does not have the awkward little quirks like mine does, you can totally put your Roomba on a timer and let him do the dirty work while you are not at home.


He's not annoying in the least -- just a large hum and the occasional bonking noise as he rotates himself around. Although, the kids like to think he is evil and follows them around. :o) I clean him after each run that he does because he only has a very little storage area for the thousand lbs of dog and people hair he collects in our house.



Cleaning him is easy peasy, and still takes waaaay less time than it does for me to sweep my main floor. I clean him every time he has completed a run, so that all I have to do is hit the start button the next time he needs to do some dirty work. :o)  I think he has to be my favourite first world toy!


Note: This review was not endorsed by anyone. It is just for my friends who are interested in whether or not I thought he was worth the $$.

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