Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our little dancing queen

Kira is in her second year of ballet, and her first year of tap class. At her recent open house, I noticed how careful she was about her technique. Some of the girls in the class knew the dances by heart and would announce the next step before they had even gotten to that point. Kira very quietly follows the class, paying special attention to using her "yes yes" toes, following through with the WHOLE movement and in tap she is very careful about whether it was toe-heel, or heel-toe.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Very scary!

We had about a dozen decent sized pumpkins that we had kept for fall and halloween decoration, but we were all sick and tired, so in the end, only the 3 youngest carved a pumpkin each and the older 2 boys fell asleep instead. We even had a giant pumpkin that I had planned to carve "HAPPY HALLOWEEN" into. So we didn't bother, and I guess it doesn't matter anyway, nobody can see our house from the road and last year we didn't get ANY trick-or-treaters.

The 4 younger kids went out trick or treating in town this year. Patrick, being too old to be seen with his family, and too shy to go out with the group of boys and girls from school, stayed home and gave out candy. We had a whopping ONE clown at our door.

Hanna was the cutest butterfly ever. I need to get her to wear her costume again with the hood on, she got a lot of attention and was absolutely adorable. Kira was an "EVIL" witch complete with black nails, lipstick and a big ugly black wart on her face. I wish that Matt had taken a better photo of her make up job. Campbell wore the good old twice-handed-down zombie costume and got a lot of feedback on how good his costume was. Damon was Zorro, the masked avenger. All we got was a quick photo as they came out of the house to get into the van.

I wore my halloween shirt (it has a witch design on the front), black stretchy maternity pants and my black fur coat. Matt said that my orange belly sticking out the front of the black outfit looked freakishly huge. So we had to document it.


Next year I want to have a Halloween party for Damon and Patrick's friends. Seriously, we have a graveyard. Manhunt in the halloween decorated graveyard! How cool would that be!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thursday, on the way to take Damon to the family doctor.

Kira: Mommy, I think that I want to be a family doctor when I grow up.
Me: That's great Kira, I'm sure you would be a great family doctor, and we sure do need more of them.
Kira: Then nobody in my family would need to worry, I could take care of everybody.

The following Tuesday, after picking up a post-hockey game snack for Patrick at McDonald's drive-thru.

Kira: Mommy, maybe I DON'T want to be a family doctor. Do you know what I want to be instead?
Me: No, what do you want to be then?
Kira: I think I'll work at McDonald's in the drive thru! It's fun.
Me: Hmm Kira, that would be fun!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pregnancy update.

I got my amnio results back last week and I'm thrilled that our baby boy has a perfect set of chromosomes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Eggs-ellent news!

After months of waiting, we have eggs! 2 eggs in our first day! Both of them were laid by pretty little Buff Catalana hens like the one in front in this photo. Now I'm eager to start seeing some blue and brown eggs too.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Ultrasound...It's a....

Look at those cute little feet.
Here's a profile, I think this baby might look a bit like Campbell and Hanna.
Baby #6
Here's a face.
Baby #6

After trying unsuccessfully for 6 hours to upload a video in which the kids unwrap baby items that reveal the baby's gender to them, I'll let the girls... you how delighted they were... discover...

...that little baby....

boys are fun to play with too!
Delighted about the news of a baby brother!
At first Kira shed a few tears of disappointment, but once she saw the baby items on the doll, she couldn't resist the cuteness. Hanna is just delighted with all babies. She has spent many hours dressing and undressing this doll in the new boy things and snuggling with it.
Just delighted with any baby.

And while I don't think they really care one way or another, the boys are very happy with the news. And now the tough part is agreeing on a boy name!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cottage trip 2008 pt. 1

A nice afternoon spent at Driftwood Beach


Then back to the cottage for a game of beach bocce

First bikini


Blueberry picking at the "fumekill"(yes, Hanna picks hand-to-mouth), we picked 18 quarts during our trip! If it weren't for all of the complaining I heard from my helpers, I would have picked 18 more quarts. I love freezing blueberries!


Relaxing afterwards at Government Beach (aka Pebble Beach)



Saturday, August 23, 2008

For Kent

As promised, here's the recipe. Please pass it along to your mom, I think I messsed up some of the amounts when I tried to give it to her from memory. I double or quadruple the recipe, so I had things mixed up in my head.

Grilled German Potato Salad

  • 5 unpared medium potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 8 slices bacon, crisply fried and crumbled
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 green onions (with tops), finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
Cook potatoes in boiling salted water just until tender. Peel and cube (I slice mine). In a large bowl combine potatoes, bacon, celery and onions. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over potatoes; toss thoroughly. Place in mixture on 18X13 inch piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil; wrap securely. Place packet on grill and cook 20 minutes, turning once. 4 to 6 servings

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In case you haven't already heard...

Baby #6 is due in mid-January. We are 12 weeks pregnant, and realized that we still hadn't told anybody. Time flies when you have a house full of kids, dogs and chickens!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


She's here. Last Thursday, I picked up the new puppy. Her registered name is Nuthatch's Abracadabra, but for now her call name is "Bella". Because of her Australian family tree, I was pushing for Bindi (plus I knew that name would go over well with her big cousin Boston), and to go along with her registered name, I thought Bunny would be cute. But I got no support from anybody on either name. No matter what her name, she is terribly cute!
Maybe I have forgotten how much work puppies can be. I don't have a great memory, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Puck just wasn't as much work as the average puppy. I don't remember dragging him out from behind the TV, or having him try to chew me so much. I'm pretty sure that Bella thinks that her new call name is "BellaNO". She seems to be very smart and very determined, she's already full of character.
I will admit that I am a little bit disappointed in Puck's reaction to the new puppy. Don't get me wrong, he is a perfect gentleman with her. But I had this romantic vision that he would take her under his wing, playing with her when she is playful and then falling asleep with her on his big bed. Or at least maybe he would be busy enough with her that he could end his obsession with the birds at the feeder. Instead he politely greets her, then runs off to stare at the birds through the window. (In the meantime, she bats at his head, and nips at his feet) At night, I tried putting her crate at the foot of my bed, next to his bed. But instead of each of them being comforted by each other's presence, Bella can cry for upwards of 2 hours, causing Puck to REFUSE to sleep in his bed, he'll pace the house until I order him to lie down and sleep, then he'll sleep on the cold hard floor before he'll go near that yelping cage. Finally we moved her out to the hallway so that we could all sleep a bit better. Subsequent nights were much better, but my visions of a pile of German Shorthaired Pointers at the foot of my bed doesn't is still a long way off. Here they are in the chicken yard before the chickens were there. Puck is chasing robins and barn swallows oblivious to Bella who is right behind him.
I know that I'm in serious need of some updates about the state of our garden, our chickens and our children. I promise to tend to that soon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Nice and Broody on Mother's day

I had a lovely Mother's Day this year. My mother slept over last night and when we got up and Matt and the kids made us a breakfast of farm fresh eggs from a friend's flock, bacon, toast and homemade hashbrowns. Then we all got ready for church.

Today was Campbell's First Communion! It was a very special day at the church. Campbell took the sacrament very seriously, but was so nervous he lost his voice during the service. Afterwards we went to a really good italian restaurant to celebrate.

Then we came home and Matt, Kira, Bob and I went to pick up our new chicks! We brought home 12 Buff Catalana pullets, 5 Buff Chantecler pullets, 4 Barnevelder pullets, 5 Ameraucana mixed gender, 6 Buff-Laced Polish mixed gender and 1 Buff Brahma cockerel. Patrick is very excited about having the Polish, as he says that they will grow to look just like him. Damon has been sitting with the chicks for hours making sure they are doing okay. Campbell is very wisely waiting for the chickens to grow up before he decides which one is his favourite. He was also thrilled that now we could really call ourselves "Hobbit Farmers", when asked what that meant, he said, "Oh yeah, Hobby Farmers." Kira and Hanna love to watch them and occasionally pet a chick that Damon or I hold for them. The Buff Brahma cockerel was very quickly named "Rodney" by the boys, but Kira told my mom that he was called "Rotten-y" because he was a rotten boy. Here he poses for the camera in front of his "peeps". Rotteny

I had the lovely chore of wiping sweet little Rodney's hind end with a dampened paper towel so that he doesn't "paste up". I never would have guessed that I would spend my Mother's Day willingly wiping a chicken's bum. But with all of the human bums I have wiped over the years, I was just the mom for the job. So far Rodney is very easy to handle, docile and gentle. With all of this special attention his toilet habits seem to be getting him, we hope that he will develop into a very friendly and docile rooster, not a "rotten-y" one.

Patrick is very excited about the Polish chickens. He wants to name them after himself (a hen named "Patrick Junior") . They are already amazingly calm and friendly with us. Here is one in Patrick's hands.Photobucket

Damon has chosen one of the Buff Catalanas as his favourite. He calls her "Sissy" and holds her a lot. She seems to enjoy it.

The kids had a hard time falling asleep tonight. They couldn't stop talking about the chicks. Damon wanted to know if he could bring "his" chick to school, and if not school, could he show it at the fall fair. Then I kept getting questions about how many days until the fall fair. Campbell commented that it must be hard for the chicks to walk on their "backwards knees", but that they probably get used to it.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Blessed with new life!

I'm absolutely giddy with excitement. I couldn't hold back anymore, so I finally did it. I ordered chicks from my neighbour. WOOHOO! They should be ready by June 1st. I ordered 4 different breeds, 7 females of each. I ordered Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks because they are part of the pastoral scene I have in my head. I also ordered Ameraucanas because they lay green/blue eggs and Chantecler because they are Canadian and so am I. I can't tell you how hard it was for me to narrow it down to 4 breeds! I wasn't sure that I didn't want Buff Orpingtons, or maybe some Silver-laced Wyandottes. Or a handsome Brahma. I was doubting myself as I emailed my order and even told the hatchery that I'm a newbie, so feel free to change my order if they want! I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever they send me, and if not, I'll order different ones next spring.

"Hey, it smells like a grow-op in here!" Every southern facing window in our house has a shelving unit in it filled up with seedlings. We have hundreds of tomato plants 4 varieties), peppers (7 varieties), eggplant, squash (3 varieties), cucumber, watermelon, pumpkins, and several flowers. I've planted a perennial garden with perennial onions, garlic, rhubarb and some gladiolas. I will be adding some herbs to it once it gets warmer out. We have lots of seeds, potatoes, and strawberry plants to plant, but we are waiting for our garden to be dry enough to be ploughed. For now, as one of the kids once said, all of the seagulls in our field must mean that we are seagull farmers.

In other news, our family is growing in another way,...

...drumroll please...

...we are...

getting a PUPPY!!!!!! Hee hee. She will be coming home in mid-June! We had hoped to adopt an adult German Shorthaired Pointer, but because we have young children, there are not as many available that are suitable for a family like ours. So instead the kids have been collecting money to donate to the local shelter and we are doing a foster program where we get a puppy from the breeder that Puck came from. Let's take a moment to remember how adorable Puck was when we first brought him home.
The breeder will borrow her for a few weeks every year to show her to her championship and breed her once or twice. During this time, we are welcome to come to her shows and even handle her if we are interested. Once that is finished ownership will be signed over to us. I would love to show my dogs, but with 5 kids, that's not going to happen for a few years, so in the meantime, this can be my introduction. On her website, the breeder writes "It's an interesting way to become involved in dog shows and gives the family a chance to own a show dog and experience puppies without all the work involved. And it means that the dog gets all the benefits of being an only dog rather than one of many here."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Campbell turned 8. My sweet baby boy is not a baby boy anymore. He's a big, smart, hockey-playing boy! He's got a great sense of humour, but he also like order in his life.

He chose Boston Pizza for his birthday dinner after Kira's ballet and Patrick's track practice.

When asked what he wanted for his birthday, this quirky little man said, "Money, and food. Maybe a gift certificate for a grocery store so I can buy food." Despite what his slender build and constant requests for food might indicate, we do feed him, honestly! So food he got. He got money, candy, dried fruit, and boxes of cake mix and icing. He was thrilled! For his kid party next weekend, he's going to ask for food again, but this time he wants cans of Campbell's soup to donate to the food bank.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Damon turned 10! He is a beautiful boy, ready to develop into a handsome man, much too quickly.

I can't believe that he is already in the double digits. Damon is really starting to mature. The teachers have been telling me that he has made great improvements at school, and he even won most improved player on his hockey team this year. He is really enjoying our new location. His favourite place in the whole world is the frog pond behind us. We often have "guest frogs" who come and live in the aquarium that he has set up for them. He always wants to keep them, but he does understand that it wouldn't be fair to the frogs.

Damon is a fun big brother. He is really good at keeping the girls entertained, although he occasionally finds it entertaining to tease Kira and watch her throw a fit. But lots of us are guilty of that.

For his birthday, Damon wanted to try the new chinese buffet (not the one Kira went to). He wanted to have a football game in our backyard for his birthday, but when I explained that the 3 feet of snow in our backyard might not make that possible, he opted for the birthday buyout. (Where they get a more expensive gift instead of a party with their friends) He got a PSP.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Princess Kira!

Back in January, Kira Jane turned 4. What a beautiful and intelligent girl she is turning out to be.

For her birthday dinner she wanted to go to "the japanese restaurant where you get your own food" which is the CHINESE buffet. The boys rejoiced and piled their plates full.
I signed Kira up for ballet and bought her ballet uniform for her. She LOVES her ballet class. And we have received many compliments on her PERFECT ballet bun. I always let them know that I feel a lot of pressure to get it just right, because it is the only time all week that Kira will actually let me touch her hair with a brush. I don't think they will let me get away with that excuse for much longer.
Kira is registered to begin school in September. She is more than ready for junior kindergarten. She is already beginning to read and write. And more importantly she WANTS to do it, chooses to do it. After 3 reading resistant pre-school boys, I think it will be a nice feeling to finally send a kid off to school already reading!

She is trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up. She has moved past her plans of being a ballerina, and now it's a toss up between being a "doctor for everything" and a kindergarten teacher. If she teacher kindergarten, she will ask the kids, "What is your name sweet little miss?" and all of the kids will respond, "My name is junior." My mom had a good suggestion for her though, she should wait until she has at least started kindergarten before she makes her final decision.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Here's another tale of woe

Hanna is a slight toddler. She is 75th percentile for height and only 3rd percentile for weight, so her proportions are much like those of a spider monkey. Add to that her adventuresome spirit and she learned very quickly how to break out of seatbelts. Her stroller had to be replaced by one with shoulder straps, which gave her a bit more of a challenge but even still did not keep her confined. At least it gave me a chance to grab her before she was tossed head first onto the shopping mall floor. Her high chair only has a lap belt, which worked just fine for it's previous 4 users. Hanna grinned at me as I tightened the belt around her hips. But on occasion, by the time I sat down to eat my own food, she would try to climb out and would strain her hips against the belt until she was able to slip out. This was an ongoing struggle.

So here is the scene. It is lunchtime. Damon has a hockey game, and so he, Matt and Patrick eat quickly and start getting ready to go to the hockey game. Campbell, Kira, Hanna and myself are left in the dining room. Kira spilled her bowl of hot soup down the front of her shirt, leading to lots of dramatic tears and requests (aka demands) for me to get her a shirt immediately. Hanna and Campbell were still busy eating their soup and so I left them in the dining room while I dashed to Kira's room to get a dry shirt. As I returned to the dining room, Campbell was lifting Hanna up off of the floor as she held her breath (she's a breath holder, often turning blue before she lets out that first scream). I held her and tried to calm her. I offered to nurse her and she refused! Then I knew that there was something wrong. First I was worried about the way she was breathing. And as I watched her breathing, I also noticed that she was favouring her hand. There was no bruising or swelling anywhere though.

Clearly something was wrong and she needed to go to the E.R.. Matt and Damon had to leave for the game, so Patrick stayed behind to watch Campbell and Kira until Grandpa arrived.

In triage, it became obvious that it was her arm that was hurt and she was only holding her breath from pain. But then we were sent back to the waiting room to wait. The doctor saw her and sent us to radiology, where we waited some more. Then we went back to E.R. and waited for another hour to be told that we needed to go back to radiology to get another view. *sigh* Hanna was not impressed with any of this. I'm not sure who she hated more, the E.R. doctor or the x-ray tech. Finally the E.R. doctor called me into the hallway to tell me that she did have a break in her wrist and possibly her elbow too. He had called the orthopedic surgeon on call and he would see us as soon as he got there. He didn't take very long.

He confirmed that the wrist had a "greenstick" fracture, and he doubted that there was a break in the elbow, but said that in a baby he didn't want to take a chance and casted her for both. She got some "happy drugs" and after a bit of fussing she was giggling while I held her down as the doctor and the nurse built her a cast. Some of the other nurses came to peek in on her as they passed the doorway. I took her home with the tiniest hot pink cast where she very quickly went to sleep.

Hanna adjusted for her cast very quickly. The first morning, she decided that if she couldn't eat with her right hand, then she would just have to starve. Or eat only cookies. She's no fool. She regained her balance quickly and learned that if she needed to she could wield her cast as a weapon too. One of our hockey mom friends signed her cast. And we got some teasing everywhere we went. Everybody said, "Oh they must have questioned you about it." But the hospital didn't. Perhaps because she was a tiny thing who was already running around, or maybe because she didn't have any bruises on her body. I'm not sure which it is, but I was thankful because I was already beating myself up about it.

Two weeks later the x-rays showed that she was completely healed. Her cast was cut off and it was as if it never happened. Except for the cute little pink cast that I kept to remind me of how fragile she is/was.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Christmas 2007

Christmas came and went much too fast for me. Even though I did make all of us (yes, Matt made it clear that he thought I was insane to ask him to wear resulting girly pants) matching flannel pajamas and we managed to stay in them almost the whole day, we never found a chance to take that group photo. We were too busy celebrating, which I guess is important too.

We awoke to a tortured whine,"Can we go down now? Please?"

After a satisfactory amount of suffering by the boys, I poked the girls.
As you can see, my poking was not entirely successful.

Campbell is thrilled with his new safe. He only had 2 things on his list. A safe and a survival kit (which my brother gave him).Damon opens his waist-high stocking, my kids have ridiculously large stockings.
Patrick loves his flannel pants!
Kira, delighted with her new baby.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Waiting for Christmas

Put down the camera or I'll put this glass ornament in my mouth. Hanna toys with me.
Waiting for Christmas cookies.
Ta-da the gingerbread house.
Waiting for things to heal.
Snowy view of the orchard, back when I was amused by my first "winter in the country".
Enjoying some winter sun.

Kira's Wishlist

Another baby doll (so I can have twins)
Some new maple syrup for Hanna
A dog bone for Puck