Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July in Review

June 30th - Letters to Eachother

July 1st - Letters to Eachother

July 2nd - Letters to Eachother

July 3rd - Letters to Eachother

July 4th - Letters to Eachother

July 5th - Letters to Eachother

July 6th - Letters to Eachother

July 7th - HOME!

July 8th - Friday Chill Day

July 9th - Saturday Painting

July 10th - Moving Day

July 11th (Monday) to July 15th (Friday)

July 16th (Saturday) and July 17th (Sunday)

Soccer Camp Day #1 - Sunday

Soccer Camp Day #2 - Monday

Soccer Camp Day #3 - Tuesday

Soccer Camp Day #4 - Wednesday

Soccer Camp Day #5 - Thursday

Soccer Camp Day #6 - Friday - Last Day at Church

July 23rd - Saturday - Inbetween Day

Camp Heslop 2011 Day 1 (Sunday) and Day 2 (Monday)

Camp Heslop 2011 Day 3 (Tuesday)

THERE! Dude I'm all caught up! I'm so happy! Hopefully I can keep it up as we move into August!

Camp Heslop 2011 Day #3 - Tuesday

We got an fast start to the day, a quick breakfast and then right into the pool. Miranda got an early start back to Toronto via Cambridge to drop Lisa off at her mom and dad's. Lisa had such a good time and we were glad to have her with us for a couple of days. Can that little girl ever talk away. Give her a few minutes of one on one time and she just starts to talk non stop.

After we got out of the pool, we helped Papa do some yard work and get the pool clean. Then we all headed inside to get started on our race gear. We made flags for our races, checkered flags, green flags, yellow flags and red flags. We also coloured a picture of all the things we are going to race. Today is bike races, so we had three things to do. Wash our bikes, decorate the bikes and race the bikes. A trip to the mall was needed to get things to decorate the bikes. We got streamers and spoke covers, ribbon and funny sponges. We also stopped at Canadian Tire to get some more things for the pool. At home we got buckets of soapy water and everyone washed their bikes. Kyler was our official bike washing expert and he told us what we should wash and what we shouldn't touch. After each bike was rinsed and placed into the sun to dry the campers changed into their bathing suits and it was into the pool to cool off. Nana had to exercise so we used a stop watch. The campers could swim but the couldn't ask Nana to do anything until the timer went off. Quinton was in a real singing mood and he used his super loud voice to sing to everyone in hearing distance. Kyler was experimenting with things that could go down the slide and Amber tried to catch me each time I ran by her man is she getting fast in the water.

The sun finally got the best of me so we got out of the pool for lunch and to decorate our bikes. Papa was a big help getting those spoke covers on. Kyler used a lot of ribbon on his bike so it looked very festive. Quinton was very independent thinking about how to decorate his bike, and I believe he only wanted blue spoke covers on this wheels. Amber was most happy with her barbie streamers and she make sure that Papa put the spoke covers on in a specific pattern. We went inside and played in the toy room for a couple of hours. I found a site that gave you ideas on how to make interesting brio track arrangements so we tried two of them. We got the trains going in every direction, over bridges, through tunnels and around tight bends. Later in the afternoon we went to the park with the bikes and had races on the tennis court. Everyone had fun. Kyler is so fast. Quinton knows how to shorten the track by turning around half way and following his brother back to the starting line. Amber is really working hard to get her bike going and keeping her head up. She wants to be good like her cousin and is upset that she isn't better. Her training wheels broke so we called the races to and end and went home. I picked up another set of wheels for her and we will work on biking more tomorrow.

The lego Wii game was the highlight of the evening. Quinton and I headed to the toy room to play. We worked on trains and played with the little people in the playhouse. Papa joined us and we got the trains racing around the track. After the campers got into their pj's we watched Handy Manny the big race dvd and then it was off to brush their teeth and take their vitamins. We had story time and everyone one fell asleep almost immediately.

Camp Heslop 2011 Day #1 - Sunday and Day #2 - Monday

Now comes a week of "Relaxing". Mom blogs for me!


We were up and on the road by 9 am to get to the Pinery. The campers were really excited about going camping and going to the beach. We headed out to get gas and during the drive to the gas station we realized that we forgot a few important things like sparklers. Quinton was quite put out that we could forget something that important. Miranda offered to go back to the house and pick up the sparklers and some non frozen juice boxes. We being in the slower vehicle headed off to the pinery. Our campers, Quinton and Lisa were talking away about the beach and camping and suddenly it got very quiet, we were hardly at Mandaumin side road when they fell asleep. We met up with Miranda, Kyler and Amber where Lakeshore turns into 21. There was hardly any air movement because the windmills were only moving slowly. We should have realized that that meant a very hot and muggy day ahead.

Arriving at the Pinery we were not able to get our site because it was too early, but we had planned that already and so hauled all kinds of stuff to the beach to hang out until we got bored and then were planning on going back up to see if the campsite was empty so we could set up. Papa got his fill of the beach and he went up early, when the site was empty he got everything all set up for us. Our site had small set of stairs that lead to a sandy landing that was probably meant for a tent, but it ended up being a perfect big sandbox for the campers to play in. The RV was so cool inside because of the air conditioner and as fate would have it the condensation from the air conditioner ran down the awning and dripped off one corner. The kids were so funny catching drips in their mouths or standing under it and letting the water soak their hair. The walkie talkies were the biggest hit with the kids making a game of tag using them. "I am coming to get you, I know where you are." sounded almost sinister through those things.

We had a camp fire supper, fun coloured flames; and sparklers before bed time. The campers slept four in the bed, probably not something they will be able to do much longer as they are getting older and papa and I slept in the small bed at the front. Miranda slept in a tent outside. There was a big storm in the middle of the night, but none of the campers woke up at all.

Lisa - she loves the water and would just walk out and meet who ever was out their and would hold her. She did have a bit of problems getting back in because there was a small step in the sand to pebbles that she couldn't navegate, so she would crawl over them and then stand up on the shore line. She was so proud of her self for being independent.

Amber really likes the beach. She was really into the goggles and shorkel. She is getting to be a little fish in the water.

Quinton is not so much a water guy, but he is very content on the beach. He dug holes and made all kinds of things out of sand. He has a great imagination and the ability to make fun no matter where he is.

Kyler is another fish. He is also turning into a very caring big cousin. He was always the one who would meet Lisa and walk with her into the deeper water or take her to the shore. He would fetch anything she wanted. He has a real caring nature.


We started our day with breakfast and then a got everything ready for another day on the beach. The weather was really different, not as not, but really windy. We offered the campers two choices, time on the beach or going to the river for a paddle boat ride. After walking with papa to the beach to see the wave they decided they wanted to go back to the beach. Once again we packed up all the supplies and headed down to the beach. We are real traffic stoppers on the board walk through the dunes. It was really windy and so we had to use the umbrella as a wind breaker. The older kids loved jumping the waves. Lisa was not impressed and cried because she couldn't get in the water and every time she did the waves knocked her over. It took a great deal of convincing to get her to play in the sand and give up on the water. We stayed until after lunch and then packed up to head back to the site about oneish. Papa came down to meet us and he already had the camp site knocked down. Everyone got cleaned up and we were off to Sarnia. Once again the little campers were sound asleep minutes down the road.

We all worked really hard when we got home and the trailer and van were unpacked and most everything was put away. The laundry was started and papa had the rv vacuumed out. Amber needed a break from the activities so she crawled into her bed and had a big sleep. She didn't get up until supper was ready. The rest of the campers headed to the pool for a cool off swim. It is funny but the most loved pool toys, besides the flippers and goggles is a baby boat. Even Kyler forces his legs through the little leg holes and paddles around in it. The slide is getting a work out with Kyler being the most inventive when it comes to things to take down the slide with him. Quinton is spending more time in the water, but he still loves just sitting on a little chair on the deck being a sort of lifeguard for the group. They boy can start a mean waterfight, with even little Lisa figuring out how to use the water guns.

We had pizza for supper and lots of play time. They were in bed asleep before ten which is doing really great for us.

July 23rd - Saturday - inbetween day

Saturday morning was busy here! We made bacon and eggs for breakfast and then it was alot of prepping around here. I had the 3 kids packing their bags and one in my arms (ahhh baby love *heart* ) While our 3 were doing that Jenn and Jason were packing themselves up and getting showered and ready to go. All of us had our cars packed and were on the road by 10am or so (maybe even earlier?)

I had to do a quick come back because I forgot Kyler and Quinton's bikes and helmets!

We had the kids with their MP3 players on their head and off we went! We didn't stop until we got to Sarnia. As soon as we did the kids got in the pool and didn't get out until almost supper time. It was so fun.

Dad made burgers for supper and we got out in time to have supper in the gazzebo and then back in the pool for a bit. Out for a bath (since they didn't have one all week) and PJ's and bed time.

Soccer Camp Day #6 - Friday - Last day at church!

Today was the last day of soccer camp. When the kids got up we tried to be super quiet. In fact it cooled down enough that we all had breakfast outside on the deck. It was so nice! We came in and got ready for soccer camp. Our guests were up around 8am and the kids all got to say hi to eachother for a bit.

I sent my 3 outside and Mya followed with her Daddy shortly after. About 8:15am we got ready to go. Sam showed up and we headed out to soccer camp. I did our last registration with our 3 kiddos and headed out.

I stopped at the grocery store to get a few things for that night and a Timmy’s visit to get a coffee, tea, and timbit for our guests! I got home and got to visit all day. We had leftover pizza for lunch. Around 2pm I headed to the car rental place with Jason for him to get his car.

I got to the church just as the kids were practicing and I did a phone video of them. It was so cute. Then we listened to another lesson with Pastor John and then out to have hotdogs and hamburgers with chips! The kids loved it! That and getting their balls and certificates and such. We headed home and got them all into swimming suits again and out on the lawn to play.

Arnold came home around 5:30pm and stayed with the kids. He BBQ’ed steak and potatoes and carrots with meat on a stick for the kids. And Jenn and I (and Alyssa) went out for dinner and dress shopping. It was so much fun!
We got home around 8:30pm and the kids were still up. I had them in bed by 9:30pm.

Soccer Camp Day #5 - Thursday

The kids were up around 7am. We had breakfast and started to get dressed for soccer camp. The kids are getting really good at getting everything on. I’m impressed. We found all our clothes from the dryer and got dressed. After brushing our teeth and getting Ambers hair done everyone grabbed their booster seats and headed over to Mary D’s house. The kids got into the van and off they went. I got home and finished cleaning and getting the house ready.

I’m so blessed to have Mary behind us! She drove the kids in and picked them up for me today. Arnold took the car to work. He was going to pick up Jenn and Jason and family.

It was *SO* hot today that I actually cooked an egg (well 2) on the driveway! 1 was in a frying pan and one was on a spray painted square. Gross but cool!

The kids came home and everyone checked out the egg and then we got them in their bathing suits and into the backyard for the sprinkler fun!
I got the BBQ started once Arnold told me he was almost home with everyone. I got to say hi to Jenn and Jason and hold Alyssa! She is *SO* sweet! I love babies!

We had burgers and hotdogs for supper and the after the kids got to visit with Mya and show her all the duplo and play around we finally got our 3 to bed. Not that they wanted too but we did.

Arnold and I stayed up and visited with our guests and around 10:30pm Arnold went to bed. I followed around 11pm. Around then Mya finally fell asleep so everyone in our house was in bed by midnight!

It was so fun to see the kids interact with each other and to see Jenn and Jason.

Soccer Camp Day #4 - Wednesday

We were all a bit sluggish today. My alarm actually woke me up this morning. Quinton and Arnold were eating breakfast so I joined them after giving the other 2 a wake up call. Shortly we had everyone up, used the washroom and sitting down for some cereal.
Once you were done eating your job was to put your dishes away, go potty and brush teeth, get shorts on, come claim your clean shirt and clean socks and get dressed.

It didn’t take long to get off track but we did it! And were out the door by 8am. We got our car seats and headed over to our friends house. They are driving the kids in to soccer camp today. I’m going to pick them up cause she has to leave early today anyway.
While we were waiting for the “Big kids” (Anna and Sam) to come out Amber asked me why they still live at home. I explained that they are “that” big and that they still lived at home. Here’s the best part (and watch out Becca) I asked when she was going to leave home. She said when she was the same age as her mom, 31 years old. Oh baby! I can’t wait to see that one pan out!

I also informed the kids that today is PIZZA DAY! We are having pizza for supper tonight (it’s customer appreation day and the pizzas are SO cheap!). Amber was telling us every Tuesday her daddy calls in the order and she gets to have pizza. What a lucky girl. Now the boys want to start that tradition! Hummm we are going to have to think about that one.

I’m about to start my busy day of running all over town and getting some things done. Now that I have to pick the kids up from soccer camp tonight I’m going to leave the grocery part of the day until this afternoon 

I picked up the kids around 4:30pm. We came right home and got into the sprinkler. I made a call to the pizza store. Amber was super lucky today and had pizza 2 times today! Lunch was pizza for the kids group and supper was pizza too! We ordered 3 of their specials (3 toping large for 7.99) and a small cheese pizza for Amber. We have so many leftovers they were moved to the downstairs fridge!! A bonus of having 2 fridges!!
After supper everyone got changed into our pjs and we finished a movie and had dessert then it was time for bed. What a great night. Its just about 8pm now and the kids are in bed almost sleeping. Today was rough on everyone!

Soccer Camp Day #3 - Tuesday

This morning we didn’t have anyone wake us up but you could hear little feet! At least ones that belonged to our early riser! Q was up when Daddy got upstairs. They had breakfast together and I came upstairs. Slowly Q was able to get Kyler and Amber up. It was around 7:20am or so by the time we had breakfast. Then it was brush your teeth and get your shorts and shirt on. I did laundry last night and washed everyones socks, shirts and clothes they wore yesterday. Except Quintons! He put his shirt in the laundry basket and not in the washing machine  Oh well. It’s ok for today. I’ll wash their shirts again tonight.
We did read a book and call a 1-800 number and got to listen to a new story today. I’m thinking every morning we will call in for a new story.

Now the older kids are getting their soccer stuff on and I’m going to get ready to go and do some more painting! Hopefully I can finish up today!

Today I got LOTS of photos of soccer camp and even got the rest of the painting done in the nursery! I love it!

We drove home Miss Susan today from church. Q fell asleep in the car. Even my “tell a story” trick didn’t work. So he had a short nap. We got home and got into our swimming suits and the kids headed out the back door. I washed their clothes from today and then started on supper.
When Arnold came home from work we gave the kids a 5 minute warning. They came in and got changed into “daytime clothes” and I washed their bathing suits. The kids all went for a ride around the block with Arnold and then got to bike on their own. I finished up supper, got each plate ready and waited. Eventually we called the kids in. It was a *super* late supper but it’s ok.

It’s now 7:15pm and the kids are still eating, seconds and thirds for some of them. We were just having a conversation about what they wanted to do when they got bigger. Quinton didn’t answer, Kyler wants to be a police man and Amber wants to be a baker! How cute!

The kids finished eating and got changed into PJ’s and went outside just for a few minutes. They all came back in and had their dessert. They love bulk barn candy but we are starting to get down in it! After that it was time to brush their teeth, read a book and off to bed. They were all in bed by 7:45pm. Sleeping didn’t happen until about 9 but that’s better than before!

Soccer Camp Day #2 - Monday

What a morning and it’s only 8am!

The kids were up early this morning so excited to go to soccer camp. Arnold fed them breakfast around 6:30am and I came up at 7am and they were just finishing up their food. All the dishes went away and then it was time to brush their teeth. So off the 3 went to brush their teeth.
Once that was completed and we explained to Amber that Soccer Camp is 5 days long, not just one, we got the kids dressed. Each was responsible for wearing shorts and shirts. Something they could run around in. Hopefully they all picked out the perfect clothes for themselves.
Then came the “line up” We got out their socks, shin pads, and shoes (for Q) and set them all up. Once we said goodbye to Uncle A/Daddy and got Ambers hair done we got on the couch and everyone put on their own shin pads. It took a bit of explaining on how it went but we got them on. Then the socks… that was fun. Each of the older kids said they could do it themselves but shortly after trying they all gave up.
While I got Q’s on Amber and Kyler got their sandals and hats into K’s backpack. Then I did Kylers socks and Q got his stuff in the bag. We got Ambers on and then the kids complained the pads were too tight! So everyone needed their pads adjusted and were ready to go. It didn’t take long after getting their runners on to head out the back door and get in some “practice” before going to camp.
We are going to be heading out shortly for camp. I’ll take some more photos of the kids before getting in the car and we should be set for now!
We got the kids to church and registered them in. I had to sign in the children and get their name tags, as well as shirts (we have a S, M, L so we can tell them apart!) as well as their water bottles! The kids LOVE that. They have handles on the outside to hold them and are able to keep it cool that way. Then we went down to the gym and got them in. I was ready to get kisses and hugs and no one wanted to give me any! Not fair! Obviously soccer camp is WAY cooler than mom!
I went home to work out and while I was there the kids walked down to a park not far from the church and did some soccer playing. They had a blast. When they came back they had lunch. About this time I arrived there again to do some painting in the nursery. The kids had lunch and their first “session” of Bible stories and such. The guys doing it are great! Then the kids split up. The older ones went to play outside while the younger ones went to arts and crafts and made …. Get this…. Pet rocks! Then they all went back into the gym for snack and switched (youngers outside olders arts and crafts). Once that was finished one more time in the gym for the VBS style. They had a lot of fun. We picked them up there.
Not only do I get my kids from a day of being away but I got 2 doz eggs (a donation to the church for the food bank but we don’t have one this week!) and 2 bottles of “fruit smoothie drinks”. Random but VERY nice!

We got home and the kids went inside and (their new favourite word) “stripped” in front of the washing machine and put their clothes in. They got into their bathing suits and headed out doors to cool off. I made supper and Uncle A showed up not too long afterwards. We had supper and the kids went back out the door again, dressed in PJ’s and hats!
The kids were in around 7:50pm and we got them to have their snacks and into bed. We even had time to read a book! Now it’s time to get them to sleep. I’m hoping they get to sleep quickly tonight because *I* need to sleep!

Hopefully they will be out by 8:30!

Soccer Camp Day #1 - Sunday

Our first day started today, Sunday. It was a fun day. Amber and Aunt B showed up around 6pm and the fun started right away! Amber came in the house and was off like a shot to play with the boys. I gave Aunt B a tour of the “new house” and then we headed outside to get the last things I needed. We had a lot of fun visiting. The boys played inside and then headed out to the back of the house and played on the playground out back. Slowly they made their way forward. We were still visiting with Aunt B and Uncle A got the sprinkler started on the neighbours yard. It is *so* dead! I’m getting worried if someone put a smoke butt on it that the lawn would just light up! So we gave it some water for a bit. The kids took their shoes off and RAN THROUGH! They had a lot of fun. The boys and Amber really enjoyed it so that’s a good thing. They played in the yard for about 1 hour or so and then we came inside. The girls across the road got home from the cabin and even got to visit for a bit!

We brought the kids inside and took off their soaking wet clothes. They are currently sitting in the tub. I’ll be washing those tonight and getting them ready for later in the week. The kids all got on their PJ’s and sat down on the couch. 3 bowls and 3 cups later and we had our snack tables ready. The kids are sitting down having their snacks from the Bulk Barn container and having something to drink. We put on Chuggington for 2 episodes. Then it’s time to settle into bed. Arnold and I are betting no actual sleeping until WAY later so we might as well start them now.

Update: The kids are all in bed by 8pm. Teeth brushed and ready for bed, talking a bunch and Arnold just went into stop their fun after we heard the words “PILLOW FIGHT!” Yeah… not today!Our goal is in bed by 8:30pm! Who knows!

July 16th - Saturday, July 17th - Sunday

Arnold and I had a GREAT date! We went to IKEA and put the kids in the play area. We only got a half hour but it was so much fun! We had a great time. Then we picked up the kids and did lunch at IKEA, did another walk through IKEA and went home.

We picked up a few thing and I got changed into my painting clothes. Claudia needed help painting posters for soccer camp. We went to church and dropped me off. I painted from about 1pm until about 4:30pm. While I was there the kids went to a local splash pad. They had so much fun.

We got home, had supper and started putting some IKEA stuff together. It was so much fun.

The kiddos went to bed and we did shortly after as well.

Sunday -

We went to church in the morning (after doing some touch ups around the house). I got the nursery set up a bit more and made sure it was going alright. Arnold did the sound for church and I got to listen to a service. It was alot of fun. Sometimes it's so hard after missing church so much during the summer.

We went home and had lunch and did some more cleaning and a nap. Amber came around 6pm and we visited with Aunt B for a bit and then she went home. We finally had everyone in beds by 8:00pm! They talked forever... more to come.

July 11th - Monday to July 15th - Friday

It was our only "typical week" this summer.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, Anna came to babysit from 8am until 9:30/10am. It was so nice! I loved being able to swim and work out without worrying about the kids. Our day generally went like this:

8am - anna over
9:30/10am - Mom home and making sure the kids are ok, I had a shower and they watched a movie or played. (remember this is during the hot and humid streak)
noon - Lunch time!
2pm - nap
5pm - supper

Monday night we went to church and helped set up some IKEA stuff for the nursery
Tuesday night we stayed home
Wednesday - we went to the zoo almost all day! It was so much fun
Thursday - got ready for our crazy week
Friday night - watched a movie outside with the boys. SO much fun!!

July 10th - moving day!

We got up early and got our moving day started. We took apart our bed and moved it to the basement. Once it was all down there we got the boys room ready to move over and cleaned up. We moved their bunk beds over and got them ready to go. The boys loved helping out and they love their "new" room.

We moved down a projector from church (one of the new ones Arnold was testing) and my computer and the boys had some lunch (left over pizza) and watched a movie while Arnold and I put a few more things up around the house and cleaned things up. It was nice to have time to clean up without the boys bothering us.

We finished decorating the boys room in the afternoon and they had their first nap in there. They loved it! Esp their new bedding and decorations!

I'll post pictures later!

July 9th - Saturday - Painting!

Q and I were up early. We hit up McDonald's and got some breakfast and then went to the church. We let Arnold and Kyler sleep a bit longer. Q and I had breakfast and painted some more! I can't wait for this to get done! We ran out of paint... again :(

Kyler and Arnold showed up later (like 10am) and checked out the electronic stuff and made sure it was all working just fine. We finished up painting together at 4pm and headed home. Arnold and I worked on the basement.... again. And we stopped at RONA again... We picked up the carpet cleaner and a few other things. It was perfect!! We had alot of fun cleaning the carpet it looks GREAT now! I'm so happy with it and how it all turned out, painting the walls and cleaning the carpets and such.

We ordered pizza for supper at night. I was just too tired and it was too hot to cook!

Q and K helped me water the gardens before it got too dark and we got a few more things ready to clean up and ready to go for the next day!

July 8th - Friday - Chill Day!

Something I forgot to say was about these serious storms we had on Saturday night (the week before). Some people from the church were worried that something had happen to the equipment there so we made plans to go and check it out.

Arnold went to work a bit later than normal but he did get there :) It was a short day for him. He was in a bit late and then he got to "leave early" to go to the company party. What a "hard" day at work, esp after a vacation1

The boys and I chilled at home. After hearing that K was having a rough day we figured it would be good to do nothing so we did just that... nothing! We stayed home and chilled out.

Grandma had sent home some new Lego sets so the boys spent the morning doing that while we chilled out! I began moving things to the basement during the day and doing some gardening.

Once Arnold did get home we went to RONA and got more paint for the nursery and a few things at the house. Then we headed back home. The boys and Arnold did some more work in the basement and I mowed the back lawn for a while.

Arnold and I were up working on the basement until about 11pm or so then off to bed.

July 7th ~ Home!

No letters today!

Arnold and Kyler visited some friends in Calgary and then got on the airplane and headed our direction!

Quinton and I got up early and headed off to the church. We had breakfast and painted until the can was gone! Then it was home time. We were there from about 9am until about 4pm or so.

Q and I got cleaned up and ready to go and get Daddy and Kyler. I was so happy to see them both. I missed them alot and so did Quinton.

We got home and had them get into bed. Arnold had to be at work the next day so we weren't up too late!

July 6th - Letters To Eachother

Arnold's email - July 6th:

We left the house today around 7:15 and drove to Edmonton, straight to Capilano mall. We found Alberts and sat down. Jesse and Kaylee arrived a little while later and we chatted and had a nice little breakfast. We took the kids to the bathroom and then we walked down the mall to Walmart where we parted ways. Kyler got along pretty good with Kaylee but she was struggling with a bit of a selfish streak, They played on some of the coin-op toys in the mall and Jesse even threw a loonie in one.

We went and walked through Walmart, they have changed it to a super center, so that was interesting. I saw about 8 people I knew and said hi. Doesn't sound like much has changed, same complaints around the building.

After Walmart we drove past the old house and I pointed out Kyler's old window. He was pretty excited. Nothing in the rental park has really changed, but the shopping center next door has really been developed and looks really good.

then we Drove over to Kings. We talked to the caretaker right away, he was out on the lawn mower and I had worked with him for a while. He let us into the rez tower and I was able to show Kyler the rooms that we lived in when we met. Then we went downstairs and looked at the cafeteria and a classroom or two, basically we walked the whole of the old building. then we went through the SAC for a minute and then went to the registry where Glen Keeler is still working, he taught intro computing and we had a good long chat. We walked around a little more and then we were ready to go. I called Mrs Shen and asked if the school was open, she said it was not but if I called when I was close she'd drive over and open it for us, she also told me Alisa was at work and that I should go and say hello.

So we drove to St. Albert, not alot has changed, but if you remember the open field between Edmonton and St. Abert... they are building a ring road highway through that corridor now. Alisa is working in the Pharmacy at the Safeway on the edge of St. Albert closest to Morninville, so we stopped there for a few minutes, but Alisa was not very social, it's her last day of work before she leaves on a missions trip to Uganda.

So we drove the rest of the way to Morinville and I called Mrs. Shen to get the school open, we arrived at nearly the same time. She gave me the tour, They completely redid the school a couple of years back. Then she and I chatted for a bit while Kyler played with one of those sit-on-bouncy-balls. She caught me up on a few of the people I remember and told me about some of the plans for the school.

Kyler had been good all morning and I had not been able to get ahold of the Verhulsts, so we went around back of the school and there is a city splash park. we changed him into his pajamas that he wore to the car in the morning and he went splashing commando and got totally soaked. He had a great time playing with some other kids and splashing around. We left after probably 30-45 minutes of play (I lay down for a bit nearby) then we took K and got him dry and back into some dry cloths.

We drove across the road and pulled up just as Mr. Verhulst climbed out of his truck, he invited us in. Mrs. Verhulst turned on chuggington and gave kyler some gummies, and then the two of them and I sat down for a chat, we talked probably for nearly an hour together, it was really good. Then Kyler started bugging me asking to go to the playground he had seen next to the splash park.we were starting to run short on time, but I agreed if it was a short visit. So we crossed the road again and went to the park. We spent maybe ten minutes there and then I said it was time to go.

On the way out of Morinville I decided to go look at the old honey farm. When we pulled onto the yard, my two second cousins were there so we talked for a bit, and I took Kyer and showed him how the honey extractor works and they had a live hive that we went and looked at from a distance.

We were running late for the Havemans, so I gave them a call to let them know our ETA. We drove for a bit and suddenly I noticed K had fallen asleep, so I left him alone while we drove. When we arrived at the Haveman's house Kyler responded with "this isn't Grandma's house" I guess he understood that we were going to go back to grandma's for supper. This was a big problem and he broke down in tears, poor guy is getting tired. I calmed him a bit and went to the door with him still sobbing a little. He sat with me in a chair and pouted while Micah rambled on about everything he could (I think he could out talk Quinton) eventually he mentioned that he had just received a gift of a new kitchen... This perked K's ears right up and we encouraged Micah to take Kyler to the play room to show him the kitchen. From that point the boys struck it off pretty good. after a bit we sat down for some fajitas. Kyler only wanted the corn chips and salsa with cheese, and I had no problem with that. Then we helped clear the table and K and Micah got back into the toys for a while and I visited with Brad and Jana for a while. Jana eventually served us some ice cream and then we realized it was already 9:00 so we said our farewells and hopped back in the car. I told Kyler if he slept the way home, he could play some games when we got to grandmas, so that's what he's doing now, he slept a good hour in the car, and I figure he'll be dead when we are on the plane and will watch take off (we have window seats this time) and then sleep and then watch landing.

Miranda's email - July 6th:

hehe! I didn't write one! July 6th we headed out from mom and dad's house. We got home had a quick lunch and then went to Rona. We picked up paint, brushes, ect and went to the church. We started painting the nursery and did that until about 5:30pm. Then home and chilled out!

July 5th - Letters To Eachother

Arnold's email - July 5th:

We got up at around 6:30 and went up to find Grandma, we told her we were going to the mountains, so she started packing up some snacks, and we had some breakfast and off we went. It was another long drive, but K held up well, he got really excited as we moved into the mountains. We stopped a couple times to throw rocks in the lake or walk a little bit.

Eventually we reached Banff and soon thereafter we got to Sulfur Mountain, with it's gondola. Kyler and I wandered around a bit and found a bathroom, Grandma lined up for tickets. Soon we were shooting up the mountain on the wire, K was really interested in how the whole thing worked. When we got to the top, Kyler was a little disappointed that we were at the top already and he didn't get to climb to the top. Then he saw the walkways and stairs to the cosmic ray station, and we were off, Grandma stayed at the chalet, but Kyler wanted to climb the path and stairs to the top of the other peak. I was more then happy to go walk with him, so we headed across. As we went we saw chipmunks and birds and climbed up a rock face or two near the trail. eventually we made it to the top and took a picture that we decided we should 'share with the whole world'. So I posted it on facebook.

After some Looking around, we walked all the way back to grandma, then she showed us the goats she had found, even a baby goat or two. Then we went to the top of the building and looked out from there. Then down again and wandered around the building and into the woods a little. after a while Kyler said he was hungry, we proposed lunch at the bottom, but Kyler asked that we eat up top, so we decided we could. So we had some food, a hot dog, a beef dip and a grilled ham and cheese. After we ate, Grandma and I expected K to be ready to go down, but not so, he decided he wanted to go up the other side again, so off we went. We got about 3/4 of the way and K said he was done and that we should go back, which was fine. We returned to the main building and got grandma and we headed back down the mountain to our car.

We headed onto the road again for the trip home, we stopped at a couple roadside stops, and Kyler wadded through a bit of a lake and generally had a good easy trip for a while, then I took the wheel and drove for grandma and we just cruised for a while. We ran into some bad traffic at a construction zone and had to stop for nearly 30 minutes, which really bothered Kyler. When that cleared Kyler was pretty happy, and we taught him about lines on the highway as I passed some of the cars that had built up in front of us. After a bit more Kyler fell asleep and we drove nearly 2 hours without hearing from him. eventually we got home, and went and got Mcdonalds and brought it home and ate, then a little bit of wii, and it was off to bed already. Going to be another early one tomorrow.

Miranda's email - July 5th:

This morning Q didn't wake up until about 7:45am! I was shocked, completely shocked!! But it was nice. We played in bed for a bit then did a bathroom break and came home. We got out everything for breakfast (fruit, cereal, milk, bowls, spoons, cups, ect) and had a wonderful sugar filled breakfast. For example Q had cornflakes, fruitloops in chocolate milk and a glass of chocolate milk! This boy is crazy.

Once breakfast was over we cleaned up a bit and Q and I went a bit into "piro mode" and made a fire from the last piece of wood! we burned an old macleans mag and some old paper from something else and the cereal boxes from breakfast. Then we got ready for the beach. We packed the sand toys, towels, got into our bathing suits, packed something to drink, some koolaid packs and some goldfish and we were off. Oh and our phones and mom's waterproof camera.

We walked down to the beach with everything we would need (and the big umbrella and our blankets) and found it to be SO super windy. On our way up there Q was complaining his finger hurt. I told him I would look at it as soon as we got there. Sure enough he had a VERY long sliver. Think from the top of your pinky to your first knuckle. It wouldn't move if you pushed the bottom and I couldn't get enough at the top so I opened the umbrella, started a blankets down and Q said he wanted it out so off I went. I went back to the trailer and tried the "spare keys" on top of the overhang where mom had left them in case we lost the other ones at the beach. I tired every key right way and upside down, in every door. Nothing worked and I was sweating SO bad. I went back and got the keys from mom and went back again. Tried all the first aid kids and came up with an exacto knife, 6 band aids, a long piece of metal, tweezers and some alcohol swabs. And down I went again. I also brought along the Zen so Q would have something to watch while he got the sliver out.

I did my best to distract him and it didn't seem to work. I played the movie we talked about things on the movie, talked about things on the band aids (we found some with Dino's on them) and a few other things.It took 3 tries and finally mom got it out. Some serious squirming but it was out! Immediate relief. We moved the umbrella one more time, put some sand around the outside edges and got the blankets "semi" clean from the sand. Q wanted to watch more of his movie so we put it on and he laid back with is head on the life jacket. We had fun! Then he slowly moved to the sand (at the end of the blanket so sort of on it as well) and hung out there. He did go a bit in the water but not too much. Mom got in a few walks and we hung around. We dug a hole to water, sunk Q in it and built a water slide, foot bath and eventually we made a rock garden. We packed up around 12:30pm or so. We got to the trailer and got everything ready for lunch. Had lunch and cleaned up. We were going to do a trip to the bathroom but halfway of getting changed out of his bathing suit into his clothes Q had to pee so buck naked (except 1 shoe) he came outside and peed in the middle of the campsite, haha!

We cleaned everything up, packed up the trailer and everything we needed and we were off. We went to the garbage area first and I tossed our garbage and our recycling and off to the visitors centre. We got to look at a few of the animals and hang out there for a bit. Mom got us both t-shirts and then to the washroom. We we to the bathrooms and then into the bus again. On the way there Q fell but didn't cry! I'm so proud of him!!

We got him in the bus, buckled in and we were off. We weren't 2 roads from the pinery and he was out. We just chilled for the hour ride back. We arrived at home around 3pm or so. Q was still sleeping so mom did a few laps in the pool to get the sand feeling out and I unloaded a few things right at the door of the trailer. Then I went in the pool and mom unloaded a few more things from the trailer and then I joined in. Eventually Q woke up and went inside to watch chuggington on DVD for a bit. WE got everything out and I started a load of laundry and went in the pool for another 5 minutes or so. I eventually headed upstairs while he watched a DVD and had a shower and got into some clean non-stinky clothes.

I came down and went over to grandma and grandpas to visit. Dad called around 5pm and told me he was coming to get me. We sped over to get the car from the place that closes at 5pm! It was 10 after when we got there. Dad gave me his CC and I went to get some gas... 75.75 later!!! I got home and could hear a weird sound. So dad came out to look at it, Q came out to hear it and Mom came out cause she had to go and get Sarah from work. It ended up being the spare tire was a little lose so dad fixed that for us before we left. I went with mom to get Sarah and when I came home I loaded up the van (after having the 5.00 pizza for supper). And you know how most of that went... loss of keys, issues, random things...

We finished loading the car and the bike and now it all sits there waiting. I'm excited to be ready to go. I just have to add in the new clock, my clothes up here and a few in the dryer and the computer and phone and camera and we are set to go. Dad said to bring home the chocolate milk and I might with some diet coke but who knows.

Q watched a bit of rio on the zen then said he was tired and off to bed. It didn't take long for him to fall asleep!

July 4th - Letters To Eachother

Arnold's email - July 4th:

On Monday we got up around 7:00 Grandpa had already left for the farm. We played Lego and Wii for a while as Grandma went shopping for some food. Then around 11:00 We went up for some lunch then drove to Grandpa's farm. We started in the milking barns back end where Grandpa was getting the floors clean and making the beds. We watched for a bit, then Grandpa told us to wait for a few minutes, and he came back with a tractor. He called Kyler up onto it and then they started filling up the sawdust. As they went Kyler watched and learned all about how the tractor worked. After some more sawdust work and pop scrapping, Grandpa took us to the calf barn and he mixed the calves some milk formula. Then Kyler helped load the bottles into the holsters and I took one new calf and Grandpa another and we hand fed them. Kyler collected all the empties and it was time to feed grain to some calfs, so Kyler pushed the hand cart with the grain and I measured out the grain for the calves and we fed them all their food.

After this, Grandpa had to go help in the back, so Kyler and Grandma and I all went to watch the milking for a while. When Grandpa got back he showed us around the vacuum lines and told us how everything works. Grandpa had to go do some more stuff so we wandered off and watched the farmer making a load of feed for the cows. Then we walked to the straw bales, and Kyler climbed all over them. We looked at the ATV's that were in the shed and just wandered around the farm. Then it was back to the barn and watched some more milking. At this point Grandpa said there was not much more to show, so we decided to go off to Rehoboth Camp and see the changes and see if we knew anyone there.

When we arrived Kyler saw the massive play structure that has been setup and beelined it there, Grandma and I couldn't see anyone around, so we said he could play there till we returned. we walked around the new buildings and the updated yard, it's changed so much.everyone was at swimming except the cook and we looked at the list and didn't see anyone we recognized so we went to find Kyler. He was having a great time on the playground, so we let him play for another 15 minutes or so. After he was done, we went for a drive past Grandpa's old Farm and past their church.

Grandpa beat us home. Grandma finished up the houtspot she had been making and we sat down for supper. Kyler was a little hesitant about the houtspot, but once I showed him to make bowls out of it and pour the butter inside, he had three servings.

In the evening, Kyler played some more video games and I chatted with grandma and grandpa while building Lego and worked on making plans for the next two days. After they had gone to bed, Kyler and I hung out a little longer and turned in too.

Miranda's email - July 4th:

In the morning Q and I were up around 7:30am. I'm pretty sure Q was up earlier but to be honest I don't remember. Jack and Dad left uber early (read 6am) but it's ok. Anyway we got up and had some breakfast and around 9am I had a shower and we headed out. We went to the bike shop. We found a the 8 speed chain you wanted and 2 front tires (in the back). One was HORRIBLY broken, the other one was ok. We brought them both home and stopped at Mom's store. We visited there for a bit and made sure we had everything we needed. Then I called up Joel to make sure. He said 40 minutes to 1 hour and we would meet up... note to self next time find out WHERE! Not just assuming.

I figured that it would be at the school so Q and I went there. We hung out for a while then I called Joel to find out where he was. He was running around town and would be at the HOUSE in 20 minutes so Q and I headed home. We hung out and watched some TV and waited for Joel. He showed up and took the van and Q and I got excited about heading out.

We were ready to go by 12:30pm and I got a text from mom saying that Sally wasn't at Kathryns yet (to babysit the kids) so they were late. Mom arrived home around 1:30pm and we went for our last bathroom break and headed out! I got Q's chair in and buckled him up and we were off! The drive there was about 1 hour or so, maybe a bit longer. Things have really changed since I remember driving out there the last time. When we got there there was a HUGE lineup to get into the park. We found out because we had "pre-registered" we could get in and get into a different line up. so we did.

When we got closer mom said she wanted to make it faster so she got everything figure out and written down, our names, ages (well the fact that Q was 4) and our plate name. Then we went in and got through in a matter of minutes :)

We headed to the site. Come to find out the back of the bus had some poison ivy around it so a rule was made that Q couldn't go to the back of the bus. We got everything leveled out and we were good to go! We put up the top and the fake grass and got some chairs out and had a break. We just sat there and did NOTHING! I love those times. We hung around a bit and then unloaded everything and went for a bike ride.

Mom forgot her helmet so we had to "ride slow". We ended up pushing/pulling Q up more than we did anything. We went up a hill to the bathrooms and then down to where the beach is. We even left our bikes that the bottom and took the little "trail" out to the beach. It wasn't too busy but we went out there and got to see it then went back. Our plan was to get a few more things and go to the beach for a few hours but Q had other ideas. We *really* had to start a fire. We made a deal. A walk around to a different washroom and to see what was around there and a walk and THEN a camp fire. We went around and had fun. We checked out tents. So far our favourites were the Columbia tent and the broadstone tents.

We came back and started up our "log cabin" fire pit. Dad had brought home a few pieces before and used his wood splitter to make great starter wood. We had to open the box of s'mores to get some cardboard but it worked out really really well! We got the fire started and I made myself a hot dog (we forgot everything to go with it) and then I made up 3 foil containers for the pulled pork. We put those on the "grill" part that you can pop overtop. Mom went for a walk and Q was playing with his sand toys right infront/on the edge of the green carpet. We hung around and had marshmallows and such for a while then we went for a walk to the beach.

We got there in time to see the sun to begin to set. Q all the sudden said "I have to poop" so we BOLTED up the stairs, boardwalk thingy and to the bathrooms. I got him there and he goes "nope, I just had to pee" so we went back to the campsite. Mom stayed and watched the sun set. She said it was the first time she had heard anyone clap at the sunset, and one man said "the end!". Too funny. We had our own little thing. On the way back from the bathrooms Q yelled out "Good night Jesus". When I asked why, he told me that it was because Jesus was the light and the light was going to bed so Jesus was going to bed and he wanted to say goodnight. That boy is SMART sometimes.

We eventually got Q a bit more cleaned up and into some pjs and watching a DVD on the little computer there and had the other area all set up into a couch and chairs so that we could get working on some scrapbooking stuff. It took a while but we got it moving. I put a few more things on Nana's ZEN and she worked on some of my photos for me to print off. We got all of Jan done but nothing else. I went through Feb to August and downsized photos. I'm going to have to do that on my own I guess. It should be alright.

It was after midnight when we called it a night. (oh yes and before we actually had Q fall asleep we went outside and did sparklers :) ) We got the bed ready and I went had Q into bed with me and we went to sleep around 1am or so. We slept until 7:45am! Crazy hey?

July 3rd - Letters To Eachother

Arnold's email:

Sunday is where we are at now, Last we left Kyler and I in the tent sleeping. Well we woke up around 8:00 in the morning to the pitter patter of rain. We rolled around for a bit then went into the house where there were only a few people awake. So the kids played together for a bit. Everyone slowly made it into the house. At some point in the morning we started a movie for the kids and when everyone was awake and dressed we said it was time to go to town for breakfast.

Kyler and Matea and I all got to ride in Jason's truck one last time. We went to the Horizon inn for a good breakfast. When we were all done, Grandma, Grandpa, Kyler and I all got into the car and started the long trip home. We slept and drove and played games on my phone and generally occupied ourselves all the way, when we got home, we went downstairs and played some Lego. We had some pizza after a bit.

Then after supper Grandpa took out one of his computers and hooked it up to the TV and Kyler worked on learning to Fly an airplane for nearly 2 hours. After Grandpa was long gone to bed K decided to try out an Indiana Jones game for the WII. He loved it, and played it for a half hour or so before bed time. Then it was bed

Miranda's email:

What a day! This morning I got to sleep in a bit. Q got up sometime and went right to Nana and Papa's room for some play time. Somewhere he got downstairs picked up his new toys and brought them upstairs again. Papa eventually got up to play with "ACTION CHUGGA!"

I slept until about 8:45am when I got told by Q it was time for breakfast. I got down there and asked where breakfast was, he informed me it wasn't ready yet! WHAT! what on earth was he thinking bringing us down before it was on the table. We had bacon and eggs for breakfast and then outside I went. I spray painted the canvas(and some of the black pieces. Back inside to get ready for church. Q and I got our teeth brushed changed our clothes and were back downstairs shortly before 10am. We were out the door and in the car by 10am and on the road.

we went to church. Q did great. Even though he is 4 and can go with the 2-5 group he stayed with Nana and her bag of tricks. He played with some new playmobil things (fireman and police man), coloured in her book, read his chuggington books and then the service part was over. Q and I went for a "bathroom break" while they did communion. We visited with a friend of mine Sarah, whose family moved to Fort McMurry a few years ago. Her and her hubby (and family) must have passed you in the air! They came in on Thursday and go out on Thursday. They have 3 kids! I was shocked. I got to visit with Jody as well and her new baby girl. Then it was time to head out. We went home.

Jack had some friends he was going to visit in the park so he went out after church on the bike from the basement and using Q's bike lock (which he had to get special permission to use!). We fed Q and ourselves and I put Q down for a nap. He was *SO* tried he was crying and crying and crying. Mom and I went out after he went down. We did Canadian tire and got a bike chain, break wire and a clock. I picked up some shin guards for K and some socks (BTW did I tell you Amber is coming for soccer camp?).

Then out to Zellers to find some sheets to make the bike sheets and we found the best duvet sets ever! We got those along with some grey pillowcases that mom will put the bike stuff on. I'm excited for moving them over.

When we got home we figure out where the things were going on the canvas and we went through the layouts. Mom and I made a deal. She scrapbooks everything we do "together" so family reunions, camp heslops, christmas, thanksgiving, ect. And I do everything on our own. No more sharing photos. So today I went through all the layouts she had done from 2000 to 2010 and pulled some I liked. Some needed to have photos taken so she could "redo" them for the girls or Jack. And some were fine to go. I did get a HUGE box of layouts that aren't filled yet. Mom and I are going to fill some the next few days of printing off photos at camping and just getting them to work out ok. I'm excited for it. At least I will have ALOT of photos done!

When Q got up from his nap we went in the pool. He is getting to be a great water baby! he can jump off my legs and do a cannon ball. It's so cool! I'm very proud of him! Now if he would just remember to stop wearing his underwear under his bathing suit it would be better!

We came inside to relax and get Q warm. He watched Jane and the dragon and then we had supper outside. Q went and helped nana pack the RV. I swear he put everything in there, including the kitchen sink!!

Around 9pm we got Q off to bed. He is sleeping in his own room tonight. I'm excited for that. I'm enjoying closing the bedroom door!

Anyway I've done some more layout checking, pulling boxes up from the basement and just general cleaning. We leave tomorrow at 12:30pm and we are gone until Tuesday around 5pm. We haven't planned on a supper tomorrow since Q has So many things he wants to cook on the BBQ.

July 2nd - Letters To Eachother

Arnold's email - July 2nd:

We started the day bright and early Kyler was up for 6:00 ish, we went upstairs to see if anyone else was up, no one was, so we started trying to get their Wii working, while we did that Kasmira came up and we got everything figured out, so Kyler and Kasimra played some Wii Playground until a few more people woke up. When everyone was up around 7 or 8 we started breakfast, pancakes with fruit.

Then it was outside to start getting things ready, Us boys got the garage doors open and pulled out the equipment and figured out who would drive which vehicle. Kyler chose to ride the orange quad (surprise) And I was quite familiar with the workings of that unit so we all agreed. Chris had his speed machine and Grandma and Grandpa got a rhino each. Jason changed the oil in his smaller quad so that he could ride that one. With everyone assigned, Grandma and Jason finished arranging the picnic food. hot dogs and chips and loaded it all into one of the rhinos. The other rhino was setup with a blanket in the back and two of the girls started out there.

Around 9:00 we all loaded up and rolled out, we started by cruising down the gravel road for about 15 minutes before we got to the cut line we were going to follow. The gravel road was pretty dusty and we had to keep nearly 300 meters of space between vehicles to be able to see. When we got to the cut line, Chris told us to have fun and promptly dove his quad into a puddle. Kyler was a little nervous but more excited, hey was sitting behind me on the quad at this point. We started to drive down the cut line for a bit, kinda bumpy terrain, but mostly easy stuff, we stopped after about 15 minutes and took a look around and talked for a bit about how the machines worked and stuff. Kyler asked to go ride with grandma and the girls for a bit. I got an empty quad at that point so I took the opportunity to push the machine a little and learn more about it's handling. After a bit we got to our first of many gulley's or narrow ditches, depends on what you want to call them. Mom was pretty worried about going down, but Jason and Grandpa just told her to go for it. We cruised for a while watching Chris go jumping into different puddles getting stuck. When Kyler was on my quad, we went to winch Chris out, he LOVED it. after that Kyler was very disappointed if a 'rescue' was done by a vehicle he was not in. after about 2 hours of playing around, dropping into puddles and the like, we arrived at Rod's Log Cabin in the bush, we all looked around, it was a pretty rotten/rundown place, but you could see Rod and the boys had been working on it. The kids found a toad near the creek and caught a butterfly or two while Jason started a fire and Grandma got out the food. We cooked up our hot dogs and realized we had forgotten condiments, but oh well.

After Lunch Chris, Kyler and Kasmira each grabbed a tree and up they all went, Chris went nearly 4 or 5 stories up, Kyler went up 2 or 3 up and Kasmira 1ish. Kasmira asked Kyler and Chris if they could see her house (they could not) Then it was time to pack up and move on, Kyler followed Jason to the creek to get a bucket of water for the fire.

We headed out again, this time Kyler rode with me again, this time between my legs, I guess he had left my quad because he couldn't see. Soon after we left he started telling me how I was controlling the quad and asked if he could drive. From that point on, he controlled our speed and I held the end of the handlebars and "helped" him steer (I also did the shifting). He loved doing that. We pushed deeper down, Jason and Chris wanted to show us the big beaver dam. After about another half hour to an hour we got to a huge "puddle"/"lake" that looked deep and went from one side of the cut line to the other. Jason drove his quad around the edge of it, it looked like he was trying to float it, but he got stuck with water up to the fenders, he stood on the seat and called for someone to come 'rescue' him. I was told my machine was the best equipment to try that section, so I gave K to Grandma and off I went, I got through with a bit of splashing and pushing the machine through, even though it felt like I was going to sink the machine all the way down. Then I turned around, tossed J a winch line and tugged him the rest of the way. Chris decided it was his turn to have a go, and he took off going nearly straight into the puddle... and stopped dead, and sank... down to the seat, his engine died and Chris jumped off in belly button deep water. He pulled his quad back to dry ground and tried to start it but couldn't. He decided to work on it while everyone else crossed. Next, Jason said it was Mom's turn, so with all the kids on board, Grandma followed the track the Jason and I had followed, but she got her rhino stuck, we fought with it for a while and tried pulling out with a tree and with my quad, but nothing was heavy enough. The kids started freaking out in the back so Jason tossed them all to me and I put them on solid ground, and Jason took over driving from mom, then it was back and forth and splashing and thrashing. Finally Jason and Chris sent Grandpa in with his Rhino to push the first one out. He did just that, and got stuck right where mom had, so we turned mom's around and pulled Grandpa out. At this point Chris called over and said his cylinder was dry but he couldn't start it, he'd been having battery trouble all day. So they decided to float his quad straight over and then try to pull start it on our side. Chris waded into the pond to get close enough to the winch line that Jason threw to him and they pulled his machine through the water. Then Jason and Chris spend nearly 30 minutes working on Chris' quad and pulling it to get it going. In that time we fed the kids a snack and did a little exploring of the space nearby.

Chris and Jason decided that while they could get Chris' quad to start, too much water had gotten into the oil and it was not a good idea for him to drive it. so they said we had to tow it home. between Grandpa and Jason they decided to skip the beaver dam and head back to the house. So, back around the pond we went, first me, then Jason, then Grandma with three of the kids, we all got over rather easily this time as we had flattened out the deep ruts and knew our lines. Then it was time for Grandpa and Chris with the last rhino and the quad in tow. Chris rode in the rhino for the first 10 feet, then his quad tipped over and he basically swam back to it to flip it, then Georgie started to get upset so Jason waded in and sent Grandpa out with Georgie. Jason and Chris fought with the two machines for a bit and finally got them both to the homeward side. We all did a check and arranged our kids where they wanted to be, Kyler driving my quad again, and away we went.

Since we had covered the ground earlier the going was quick, Our quad burned a little oil and stank so Kyler and I took up the rear, and with him driving we slowly fell behind, but we were having fun and Kyler liked the pace, so we stuck with it, whenever the others hit a ditch or gully, we caught up to them pretty easy so it wasn't bad. I got to drive for a bit when K said his thumb got tired. We eventually got to the gravel road with hardly anything more then a push or two on Jason's bumper to get him out of a puddle (he had the only 2 wheel drive).

When we got home, we rolled up to the garage and parked everything then sat around outside and talked about the trip for a while. Then it was inside, and Jason started the steak dinner and we all went through the shower, K and I shared the shower stall. Dinner was good and The kids all ate well. They even went out and played on the trampoline for a while. Then Kasmira reminded Jason that he promised to setup the tent if it was not raining, so he went and got the tent, and we all helped get it setup for the kids to sleep in, Kyler had asked to join them, and was told he could. So Georgie, Kasmira and Kyler were put to bed in the tent and us adults sat outside nearby with drinks and listened to them, scolding as needed. Eventually Georgie asked to sleep with Matea in the trailer and Kasmira was disciplined and sent to her bed in the house, leaving Kyler, asleep alone in the tent. We decided that I ought to sleep with Kyler out in the tent, so that's exactly what I did, I got some bedding and headed out there when everyone else headed for bed. That'd be around 10 local time I figure.

Kyler had had an awesome day and really enjoyed everything and had been very well behaved.

Miranda's email - July 2nd:

Today is Saturday so it started with our typical "Saturday morning breakfast" with dad and his group. Smitty's is under construction but it worked out well. We had breakfast (with one pee break in the middle) and then came home. On the way out of the parking lot Q announced that he saw a "hooker". Which we all started to laugh. I was looking for scantly clad women, Jack for a tow truck and Q turned out to be talking about the anchors that are on decoration on the light posts :)

We went home and happen to meet mom as she was ready to go. Q was so sad she was leaving for work and said he wanted to go too. Took nana's hand and off they went! Q put on his shoes and went to work. He worked with mom for about an hour and a half or so then J and I picked him up.

While he was gone J and I went to the mall. Jack got 2 new pairs of shorts, 2 new shirts and 2 wicking shirts as a "swim shirt" for the pool. As well as 4 new books (buy 3 get the 4th free!). I stopped at Reitmans and got new pants and 2 new tank tops. Both Jack and I managed to get in with Simone to get our hair cut. We hit up the dollar store (long sparklers, a lighter, and a travel deodorant and razors for mom's house for me) and then Canadian Tire (for black spray for the kids bike decorations).

Then we went to the paint supply place and checked out some colours and found some nice ones. We had Mom look at them and basically between 3 different people and 5 colours everyone picked the same colour! So that's the one. They did suggest that we buy it in Toronto so I think Q and I will go and pick it up on Wednesday night instead.

We picked up Q and J and Q went to Williams and then we headed home. Q had cookies and licrious for lunch and J and I went back to the mall for our hair cuts. Then over to the dutch shop and then to the bank.

After we got home Q took Dad outside to play on the swings and I went upstairs to check my email for a bit and fell asleep! I woke up at 5pm when mom got home! Opps!!

I went for a swim with Q, Nana and Jack while Dad BBQ'ed some burgers and hotdogs for us to eat and we had supper in the gazebo! When supper was over we all got changed and Q told Nana she had no "good toys" so off to Toys R Us we went! We got some new playmobile stuff, some chuggington toy and a race car track for hot wheel cars!

After there we went to Canadian Tire and picked up some tissues, mean green and a new beach umbrella. We paid and on the way out noticed how dark it looked outside. We walked to the other side of the mall to get some popcorn and then we saw it... insane rain! We had to google to see the radar and such and mom called dad about it. WE found out the wind was so bad it blew the gazebo over and Jack and Dad even went out and put it back'ish. There was hail and crazy stuff. We watched at one of the doors and it looked like a tornado was going through the parking lot! We waited it out in the mall. We got some ice cream, waited some more, went to the bookstore and found some chunggington books and waited some more, played in the kids are and... then left! We packed everything up and headed out to the car. We went home and along the way we saw trees down, some serious damage to some signs and such. It was crazy!

Then Mom and I started to work on the bike stuff while Dad, Jack and Q played with the new toys. Mom got all the gears cleaned up but we can't get that one off the other wheel! It's driving me bonkers! Anyway we went to Walmart around 9:45pm or so to find a chain and they had nothing :( So on Monday I think I'm going to go to the bike store and see if they have an old one I can have for free.

When we got home I found out Q passed out on Jack lap so he was up in bed. I cleaned up the kitchen, got the grease off my hands and then went to bed.

I"m just heading off to bed. I hope you guys had a great day!

July 1st - Letters to eachother

July 1st

Arnold's email - July 1st:

Friday we got up pretty early and went upstairs and watched some old Inspector gadget episodes, we hung out until Grandpa and Grandma came out of their room, we had a waffle breakfast then went downstairs to play with Lego for a bit. I helped Mom and Dad pack the car a bit and we were on our way to Jason and Sasha's.

We started out around 9:00 and headed for Edmonton, then went around to a service station not far from the old Archery place in Spruce Grove. There we stopped for Gas and Kyler got a snack. We talked about what we wanted to do and decided to head to the old farm in Busby for a while to see what it looked like, we figured that it would only add an extra 30 minutes to the drive.

When we got to the farm it looked like nothing had changed, all the buildings are still there, most of the old equipment is still on the yard. But under closer inspection you notice that everything has aged and that some stuff is not the same anymore. We rolled onto the yard and talked with the owner, introduced ourselves, she offered us a tour, so we accepted. She told us that they have converted the place to a horse riding arena. They have 9 horses, we saw two of them. Van Goghs sold out the milking parlour, so everything in there had been ripped out and that building was a mess, then the back building where the cows used to stay has had sand poured over the floor and is the main arena now. All the small pastures for the cows up the hill were empty and green. the old calf barn has been turned into a Equine medical area, she had a 1 year old Painted Pony in there with a hoof problem and a Tennesse walker with a sun/skin irritation. Any way we talked a bit about the Van Gogh's and the farm and then left, we'd spent 30-45 minutes there, which was a nice stretch of the legs, and K got to see horses and goats (they use goats to mow the lawn, they had maybe 30 of them).

We headed to WhiteCourt next, Kyler and I played some tic tac toe, and slept, then when we got closer I read him the email you sent us, then we started talking about lunch, Kyler said he wanted a McDonald's toy just like his brother, and Grandma said that would not be a problem, so we went to Lunch at MCD in Whitecourt. Then it was on the road again, some more games and reading and sleeping. As we got close to ValleyView, we called Jason to find out where they were, they had gone to the town's Canada Day party, so we met them there. When we arrived Kasmira noticed Mom and Dad's HHR right away and came sprinting up to us, we had a quick introduction and we sent her back to the play area to show Kyler around. They ran past Jason and Chris as they came to see us. Kyler and Kasmira went to one of the three bouncy castles they had setup at no charge, and we followed to watch as Kyler learned who his cousins were in the crowd of kids. After a little while on the castles, Kyler asked to go to the face painting, where he got a green Maple leaf on his cheek. Then he wanted to try the park for a while. He was not engaging his cousins alot at this point, but he had met them and seemed to like them.

After the visit to the park he and I returned to the rest of the family and we were told that Jason and Chris needed to go to the shop to get some things for the next days' activities, so we all packed into our cars, and we headed to the shop. When we arrived, we went for a tour of the shop, the kids played on a forklift and oogled at the massive tools around the place. Then we went outside, first stop was a big green articulating tractor that kids climbed into to look at. Then one truck with a sleeper and one without. While the kids were in the trucks, Chris was setting up one of the picker trucks, and when the kids were through their second truck Chris was ready for them with the crane. Kyler was invited up and Chris taught Kyler how to operate it, Grandpa held the hook and Kyler pulled him a few feet from the ground. The girls took turns on the crane as well.

Chris put away the Crane and the kids went into one of the sleeper cabs, they convinced Jason to take them for a spin around the yard in the truck. Chris finished putting the Crane away and we all met up in front of the line of trucks. Kyler asked Chris if he could go for a drive in the big green tractor from before, and Chris agreed, so all 4 kids climbed up into the cab and Chris took them around the yard. On their spin around the yard, they noticed the scissor lift, so they had to try that next, Jason took everyone except mom and Chris up the scissor lift to nearly 4 stories high, Kyler didn't even bat an eye at the height, we had to scold him for trying to climb the railing.

From there, it was over to the rino and the bobcat, Mom and Chris were driving the rino and brought it over to his trailer for loading. I took K onto the bobcat and taught him how to control that machine, he picked up on it right away and was driving around in no time. At this point Jason hitched up the trailer to a truck and Chris had rolled the rino up onto the bed in prep for transport. We arranged that K and I would go with Jason and Kasmira to town to get Jason's other bobcat and Mom and Dad would take one girl and Chris would take the last. this meant that Kyler got to ride in a pickup truck pulling a loaded trailer which he thought was cool.

When we got home, we mostly chilled, had some drinks, and the kids played for a while, mainly on the trampoline and out on the lawn. The girls went to bed around 8 but K showed no sign of being tired, so we let him stay up for a while. Chris and Jason took out their big Lego sets from legoland and let Kyler play with them. He really enjoyed that, especially one of the big cranes. He played nicely for nearly 45 minutes, then I was ready for bed, so I took him down with me and made him go to bed.

Miranda's email - July 1st:

Shortly after Q came to visit (think 3am?). His "tummy couldn't sleep alone". So he snuggled right in beside me and just about killed me!! I was/am so tired this morning. I got up at 5am and drugged myself and went back to bed. Q was still there and wouldn't leave. So I told him tonight he is sleeping alone in his room. I can't do this! I'm getting no sleep, I feel like my whole sinus cold is back on my right side of my face and I'm so grumpy.

Thankfully Q played ok by himself (after waking up the whole family) finally Papa went downstairs with him around 7am or so and Jack around 7:30am. I was up around 8:45 am and went downstairs. I had some breakfast and responded to you.

We all got on our red clothing and headed out the the parade. It was fun. Q was ready to go home quick and we didn't get the good spot we had last year (we were in the sun) but fun. Next year we are going to go early and put our chairs out along the side of the road :)

The parade was a blast then we went right home. Dad did some fancy driving with the car to get us out of our spot! We got home and had a swim! What a good thing it was SO hot. I had sweat dripping down my back.

After our swim Papa brought out Q's lunch order and he ate while I "worked out" in the pool. When he was done we went upstairs and had a nap.

Our nap finished around 4pm and we went downstairs and got the last few things ready for the party and Q wanted to go swimming again. I refused to wear my "family only" bathing suit so I borrowed one from Nana.

We swam for a bit then got out when everyone arrived. Q and I got changed and visited with everyone. We had supper and then dessert and everyone left. It was such a good meal, steak, chicken, potato salad, normal salad, cheese and tomatoes, yummy yummy yummy!

Once everyone left Jess came over and we went for a swim in the pool (2 hours) and then had dessert and headed out for the fireworks. We got there in time to have some fun before.

Mom and I had found small sparklers the day before and some glow stick wrist bands so we played with those. It took a bit to get Q to want to play with one but he did eventually. Thankgoodness! We got some cute photos of him! And Jess and I got to feel like kids again! I did burn my fingers, my pants have a hole in them and my leg is burnt. It hurts alot!

Anyway we are home now after a snack and drink and moving Q's bed in here. He couldn't sleep alone and instead of dealing with another crappy night I'm having him in here on a mattress and me in my own bed. I'm not 100% happy but hopefully it works. Mom agreed to take him tomorrow night so I can get a full nights sleep ALONE!

June 30th - Letters to each other

While everyone was apart we wrote letters/emails to each other. Here's the e'mails:

Arnold's e'mail June 30th:

We've been having a good day, we started at the airport pretty good, we waited maybe 15 minutes in line to check our bags and get our tickets. Tickets were easy to get, just showed my license and it was all good. Kyler was quite interested in the conveyor belt that the bags left on. After we got our tickets, we went and sat down in a cafe near the windows and watched the planes while I sent some last minute texts and emails.

We moved to security screening and didn't have to wait at all, Kyler was able to see the x-rays of some bags going through, which he thought was pretty cool. Then it was a walk to the gate. we got to the gate around 8:00 and brought our tickets to the agent to get them adjusted to get us seated together.

Next we went to the bathroom and changed, then did a short walk around the gate area and back to our gate to take some pictures of our plane and then pre-boarding. Boarded the plane, and found our seats, Kyler settled down pretty quick, a couple pictures with his camera and getting his headphones and we were good.

Once we got underway everything was good, K and I watched "Rango", then had beverage service, then Kyler watched 'diary of a wimpy kid' he took alot of pictures of the inside of the plane for you and Quinton. Neither of us could really sleep. We arrived nicely in Calgary, and waited a little as we disembarked. As we left the plane we talked to a stewardess and asked to see the cockpit, She asked the pilots and they agreed, so K stepped into the cockpit and looked around. Then we made our way to the baggage claim, where we saw grandma right away. our bags were the 3rd and 4th off the plane, so we were under way pretty quick, we headed to Airdrie and got some lunch at Tim Hortons.

Once we got to Grandma's house she gave us the tour, Kyler noticed the electric Lego train set, so once we were done the tour we went back to the lego and we setup the train set. I started to work on building one of my old favorite sets of Lego, Mom and Dad told me to take a couple sets home if I want.

Later Grandpa came home and we talked for a bit and then had supper, Ginger Beef and Sweet and sour Pork and rice. After dinner we got vanilla pudding (K's choice). We went out to the garage and hung out for a bit, K noticed some tennis rackets, so he was playing with them in the garage, Grandpa asked if he wanted to take them to the park. So we went to the park nearby, Played there for a while, K found a cool monkey bars that are X shaped, he had a blast on that then he and Dad took one racket up a hill and hit the ball down the hill to me, which I returned.

From the Park we followed a trail down to a nearby lake walking and talking. Ended up being nearly an hour walk. When we got back, we went down for some more lego, then upstairs and played some games, tic tac toe on my phone, and then memory and "go fish" with Grandma. Just now we've finished a couple of episodes of "inspector gadget" and we're getting ready for bed.

I hope you guys have had a good day as well.

Miranda's e'mail June 30th:

After we dropped you off we got back on the highway and headed out of the city. It was kinda busy for a bit then slowed to nothing and no-one on the highway. We enjoyed that stretch. We stopped at McDonalds and had a bathroom break and picked up something to eat and got back in the car. Q had a "hotcake" and with his breakfast we got a toy as well. He has been loving this little ball toy. It expands to be a "dragon". I managed to get all of our breakfast for $4.00 :) I love coupons!

We didn't stop again until Sarnia. When we got here around 10am or so we went to Canadian Tire, used the washroom and looked for a new pool thermometer for Dad and had *no* luck. I called the house and no one was home so I called Mom's cell. She was at Zellers. We went right there and met up with here. Did some more shopping (Q got a new towel, hat and some bubble blowers) and found a non-cool thermometer for the pool. Then we went to addition elle and got mom a new red shirt, and I got 2 new sun dresses :) Mom is going to wear one today and I'm going to wear the other. The coupons I had (2 of the 25.00 off ones) worked great, the other 2 (buy 100.00 get 50.00) expired on the 21st :( But that's alright. Mom ended up buying that as well. Then we went next door to Bonnie Togs and got some new shorts and T-shirts for Q. I was going for just shorts (they had a 2 for 10 thing going on) but nothing out there really "fit" him. Then I forgot to look for the elastics inside the pants so I got suck with 2 pairs of shorts that don't fit him (size 5s). But that's alright. A safety pin and we are set to go!

We went right home and had a "break". I got the car, generally, unloaded and in the house. Q entertained mom for a bit. Then dad came home (was running around town) and we visited for a while. You wouldn't guess this but he bought 4 new chairs :) With our 2 they have a complete "set" now.

We had some cookies and went in the pool with Sarah who came to visit. Mom brought out some cookies and raspberries and water and we found the orange and black boat for Q and blew it up and Q went inside and floated around the pool. We hung out for an hour or so doing that then we went out. Q stayed home with Dad and Mom and I went to the stores to buy a few more things. We got home and started cooking. We made cupcakes, a reduction sauce, jello (just the first few rounds) and then took another break. Well I did. Mom sent me upstairs cause I was yawning so much.

Then back down to do another jello mix and make supper (a variation of our asparagus meal from last week). After supper we went to Grandma and Grandpas house for a quick visit and home again.

We came home and Dad cleaned up the kitchen and mom and I went for another swim with Q to try and wear that poor boy out! No such luck, however he did do a better swim this time around!

When we got out we got everyone into pjs and Q played with the wii and Mom and I did some more work in the kitchen and decorating and got some of the last of the jello done. I went and picked up Jack at the train station around 10pm and then home and finished the last layer of jello and then off to bed. Well sort of. I was in bed when you called and checked my e'mail and went to sleep.

So behind!

I can't believe it! I looked at the date today and realized an entire month has gone by! I'm so sad I haven't kept you updated.

To give you an overview our June/July/soon-to-be August went like this:

June 30th to July 7th Arnold and Kyler were in Alberta. During this time (June 30th to July 5th) Quinton and I were in Sarnia hanging out with Nana and Papa.

July 8th to July 17th we all hung out at home. Arnold worked but we just chilled as a family.

July 17th to July 23rd Amber, my niece, was visiting. All the kids went to soccer camp at Forward Baptist Church.

July 21st to July 23rd Jenn, Jason and family came to visit for a few days before heading off to visit with Jason's family.

July 23rd to July 26th I was in Sarnia with all the kids. In that time we got them settled for Camp Heslop as well as 2 beach days and an over-nighter at the Pinery!

And now I'm home. Doing some serious yard work and catching up on everything going on. Hopefully I can update the blog today!

So here we go!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vacation #1-2 out of the way!

Well we are done our "end of the school year" vacation! At least Q and I are done. I've been e'mailing the boys and they have been e'mailing us every day so I can update when they get home (complete with pictures!)

For now we are just chilling out today. I promise I will get more done on Friday so maybe an update by monday? :)