Thursday, December 25, 2008

Almost a shocking Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!!
Christmas here passed relatively quietly and peacefully. Our kids are getting over the stomach flu mixed with bad cough/cold so they have been a bit extra tired and cranky and to be honest, so have we. We decided to open a few gifts on Monday because we had a snowstorm and couldn't get outside to play and Michael couldn't get to work. This made today less hectic; we made it on time to church after having french toast for breakfast, showers and some more gifts!! Maetia doesn't really believe in Santa and was wondering what all the fuss was about but I think she gets it now. Jesus birthday=presents for Maetia and Eli.
We tried not to over do the gifts and she is actually really happy with the few things we did get her. Eli doesn't care but loves the paper and boxes.
We had a nice day together and then went to my parents to have a big meal with the whole family. Almost all 10 grandchildren running around and playing gets pretty loud but is wonderful all the same.
Our lives flashed before our eyes on the way to church this morning, as we both realized we were driving over a downed power line at the same time as we were going over it. My heart didn't stop pounding (out of my chest) until we arrived at church about 15 minutes later. Maybe this isn't dangerous at all, but the thought of all of us dying in the car right then was almost too much for me. It reminded me that we have to figure out our will and decide who will care for our children if we both passed on at the same time. It also made the service about Peace and Reassurance in Jesus all the more real and precious. The singing during church on Christmas is always beautiful and the dutch songs we sang sounded even sweeter today.
We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus a few times today too and had some cake for him. Thanks for coming Jesus.

Christmas here always reminds us of our Christmas year in Australia. Last week Michael and I were able to go on an actual date which we haven't really done in long time. So long in fact that while we were at the movies ('Australia'), we were trying to remember when we had been to a movie together. I had seen 'Mama Mia', he had seen 'Dark Knight', not together. We decided it was when the 'Lord of the Rings' came out (the third one we think) and we waited in line on Boxing day in the hot sun in Australia. This was in 2004, four years ago!!! Seems like yesterday... well the trip there maybe not the date.
Enjoy our photos, more to come and hopefully some movies since we got a video recorder to Christmas!! Thanks Mum, Dad, Mom and Dad!! love you all

True Love

Same size, hard to hold!

Maetia and Eli helping Daddy with our tree

Eli and cousin Erik

Maetia in her 'fort'

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First Snow

We just lost all the snow we had from 2 weeks ago. A really nice big snowfall gave us snow to play in but now the rain has taken it away. Considering it is only the beginning of December, I am counting on getting more in the future and buying Eli and Maetia a larger sled for Christmas.

Our front door. Maetia helped Daddy shovel us out. Eli helped mummy dig out the winter boots and mittens!

Maetia loving the snow for the first time. There was running, stomping, jumping and no crying!!

Eli feels indifferent about it. Seems like he is wondering what keeps touching his face.

Maetia pulling Eli in the sled. Good sharing Maetia!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Land Preservation

Yesterday I was able to attend a conference about preserving agricultural land in my (Kings)County. We had 3 different speakers who each spoke about the Land Trusts that they work with in their areas. Two were from Ontario and one was from Massachusetts. All of them had different perspectives and it was very informative.
Thinking about solutions for our area and talking about preservation reminded me of a Land Trust that I worked with during my time at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Ontario. A close friend and I worked extensively on a project making maps with a (ArcView) program to identify areas of significant interest. The trust we worked with was the Kwartha Heritage Conservancy. This is the only Land Trust in Canada that currently works to protect both natural and agricultural lands together. In Nova Scotia we have the Nature Trust and a pioneer has just begun what is called the Heliotrust (for agricultural land) but nothing significant working together. While in Ontario, I learned a lot about preserving land and I decided that I would like to eventually get a job with a land trust. Four years later, I am doing something different than that but being there yesterday reminded me that I have other interests (although similar) and it encouraged me to be involved in all, not just one of these passions.

Here are pictures of our kids because I know that is why you read this blog.

Maetia's new face

Maetia and I reading

Eli is learning to pull up and sit on his knees

Grandma on Skype

Eli in Drake's bed.

Halloween Grinch?

I might be the grinch of Halloween because although I didn't steal it, I did make it a little less fun for some people. I passed out healthy treats. Kind of funny considering I remember the exact people that did that to me when I was young (and didn't like it), but I did it. I really don't like a holiday that celebrates something that we at all other times of the year forbid. Is candy really necessary? Does it not cause cavities on Halloween? I also don't like the 'scary' aspect of it. I tried to get Maetia excited about dressing up in a costume but everytime we went somewhere she kept seeing a witch or ghost and was perplexed by them and started to be afraid of them too. I told her they were just silly people with green faces or googly eyes but she was scared. We did carve pumpkins together which was fun. Maetia requested one with it's tongue sticking out and one with the first letters of her and Eli's name. In the end she saw her cousins all dressed up and she wanted to do it too. It was great to have my sister from PEI and her kids there for the fun too. At one point, there were 4 princesses, Maetia being one of them. This is not what I would have chosen for my daughter's costume considering I am sort of anti princess but I digress.... she had a lot of fun. Eli was good sport, kind of wondering what the fuss was all about. So it wasn't so bad, I dressed up in a long embroidered dress and we didn't see too many witches that night. Maetia didn't really even notice when we took her candy away after a few days.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest we forget

Today in Canada, it is Rememberance Day. It is on this day in 1918 that World War I ended. We have services to remember the fallen and those who have served to keep our country safe. I don't agree with the war in Afghanistan where many Canadians have died, but I do remember them, pray for them and pray for an end to the violence in that country. On Saturday our Government did something good for my community. As a part of celebrating 250 of democracy in our country, grants were given out to create monuments to commemorate this. Our little village of Woodville has about 300 community members and on Saturday we unveiled and dedicated a monument to remember 88 soldiers from this place who fought for our democracy. There are times when I can be negative about government officials, jobs, handouts, lack of support, etc etc...
I honestly don't know what bothers me more, an election campaign that lasts 2 years and wastes alot of money or one that starts and ends in just 5 weeks almost as if it never happened. Well today (and Saturday because people had to come from very far away), I was very proud to say I am a Nova Scotian, a Canadian and I will always remember what other people have done for me, my children and my country.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Maetia turned 2 1/2 this month which was really strange for me because in some ways she seems much older but then in other ways, I can remember her birth, her first attempt at scooting and walking. Now she is a chatterbox that is busy all the time. She loves to play and has a great imagination. She has fun with her play kitchen and she pretends to do a lot of gymnastics. She is good big sister to Eli, and likes to try and hold him (and carry him if I am not looking)! She has a few dolls that she loves and for some reason, one of them gets 'breastmilk' and one of them gets a bottle. She is growing well and eating better. She is off all her medication and although we have to be careful when she gets a chest cold, her breathing and reflux are almost gone.

Maetia has a bit of an attitude and because she is so observant she knows when I am making something up to satisfy her questions. She will ask me things like "Where does the vegetable live?" and I explain. Then she asks me "What makes the carrots orange?" and I explain. Then she will say "No mommy you are wrong." So I say fine, whatever and she demands a new explaination. It is tiring when I am busy or at 7pm but also really funny. Every night we pray for our family and friends and lately she is asking "where is God and why doesn't He sleep in my room? Ask Him to come down from Heaven." I did tell her that He is everywhere and even in her room but then she started looking around and that got confusing.
Yesterday she had a splinter and I took it out for her and she kept telling everyone she had a blister. When she would look to her foot to show people, she couldnt' find it and told me to put it back!
She says sweet things like, "Mamma, where is Daddy?" I say he is at work. "Why is he there?" That is his job, I say. "What is my job Mamma?" To be a little girl and have fun and learn. "What is your job Mamma?" To be a good mamma to you and Eli and sometimes I am a farmer. "I like your job, you are good job mamma." Awww, we love her so much!!

Feeding Tido in the tub

Dress up time. She says I am a woooman at the groocy stowa.

Helping daddy with the Timber.


Her new haircut makes her look so much older but so sweet too

At rest

Two weeks ago I ended my CSA season. It was really nice to be done and yet kind of sad too. I stayed at my sister's house in PEI after Thanksgiving for an extra 4 days which I couldn't have done if I was delivering. Then I cleaned and organized my house which is already a disaster but it felt nice for a few days. We are getting accustomed to the new routine of Mama not leaving and although I like being in the garden, I also like to be in my pajamas until almost noon. We have been heading out for walks or bike rides while the weather holds up. Fall in Nova Scotia is amazing and this year our colours were spectacular again! My father helped me deliver on our last week because I doubled up the baskets (to be finished by THanksgiving)and my truck wasn't big enough. It was nice to have him help me bring the heavy, squash filled baskets up into some of the buildings and introduce him to everyone. It makes you realize that not all buildings are handicapp accessible. Ramps and automatic doors should be madatory!
For the last week, I let customers choose what items they wanted for storage. I had apples, pears, potatoes, carrots, squash, and turnips. I did this to see if next season, it could work to let them choose each week what they want in their box. Some CSA's do this and I commend them. Some people put in their order right away but others waited until the day before and some didnt' even get back to me. It was a nightmare and way too much to keep track of (for me) each week. I was going to go to a conference in Ontario about starting a new CSA but now I think we are going to New Brunswick to visit two different CSA's there and pick those farmer's brains to see how I can improve. I will take any and all advice. But for now, the garlic is planted, the plants are composting and I am really looking forward to spending more time at home as the garden is at rest.

Here is Drake and I before we loaded the squash and pumpkins on the truck

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We can't get enough of him

Eli turned 6 months this month. He is already a half year old. Time flies when you are busy growing. He is an amazing little boy and we love him so much. He has already mastered crawling, sitting and much to Michael's delight, saying "Dada". He is a very rough and tumbly boy with lots of smiles and shrieks. I first had to mourn the sweet smelling poopy diapers because he started some solid foods but now he is completely weaned and his diapers are no fun, not even with cloth.
Eli has been a beautiful blessing in our lives and although we are busier, we couldn't be happier.

Outside with a hat

Bathtub fun

Together at the cottage for a party to celebrate his baptism

Inside with a hat (cold in our house!)



Michael has been working hard at fixing up our place. He recently put in a timber frame in between the kitchen and living room. While preparing the wall for the timber, he found shavings for insulation (not so fire retardant!), a sardines can and some papers from the Sunday School teacher in 1952. It looks great, way to go Michael!!


We thought we would back up a bit since we haven't blogged in a while. We were able to get away for a few days and go camping as a family. Well, we will call it camping although not much time was spent at the 'camp'. We had a great walk-in tent site with lots of good food and toys/activities galore. We were prepared for rain, sun, wind and no sleep. We were not prepared for the layer of mosquitoes that covered our children within minutes of arriving. We spent most of the time in the tent with the kids while the other person made the food or went to the bathroom. We made up for it by spending two whole days outside on the beach and went on some really good hikes. When the forecast was 'rain and then a damp day following', we decided to pack it in. We left early in the morning and made it home before lunch. We went up to the cottage and unpacked and cleaned up and put cream on the children's swollen heads. That night we had a bugfree fire on the beach and a restful (as restful as you get with two little ones) sleep.

Waking up in the tent

Silly Maetia at the cottage

Eli and I snuggling on the beach with the Mobywrap

Maetia playing in the sand

Eli loves his jolly jumper so much. He gets a lot of height!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Not exactly Buddha

Compared to his sister he is a heavy weight but Eli isn't too far off the growth charts. He started out so big but is more like an average five month old now. He has been showing a strong interest in our food and what we eat. He also nurses ALOT so we decided to try him on some rice cereal. Two days and no reactions except delight. We will take it as a good sign to keep going. Eli loves Maetia so much and when he can't get a hold of her hair or her face, he is content to stare and smile at her. We had a weekend with the VanHattem family and Eli got to spend some quality time with his cousin Erik (born only two days apart!) which he loved. It is so neat to watch babies recognize other babies. It is like they are so happy they see someone their size.
He is sitting up on his own with help but will fall over slowly. We put him in the bumbo chair to hold him in a sitting position so he can play with Maetia but stay safe. He is getting very strong and can jump very high in the jolly jumper. It is a little nerve racking. We also predict he will go to the Olympics as a swimmer because when you get him in the water, he moves like he was born in water, oh wait he was! He does this crazy kick with his legs and flaps his arms. It is all we can do to keep his face out of the water. Luckily for us and his training we have a pool close by so we can keep him focused. We planted a tree for Eli and put his placenta under it as we did for Maetia. As you can see in the photo, it was a magical family event. Maetia was crying about the grass on her toes, Eli was tired and hungry, Michael was hot and tired and I was too dirty to be in the photo. Either way, we planted a special tree for him on our land.
We have been taking many walks with our new stroller (Thank you so much John, Anne, Grandma and Grandpa!!) and also biking with our double kiddie trailer. Both kids love to be outdoors and we are taking advantage of the long summer days.

birds and the bees

We haven't really adopted a parenting method for our kids yet but we have a strategy that has come naturally to both of us and we go with it. When time allows, we explain things that she asks about in full detail to Maetia and make it a bit simpler for her but not too much. We will give her the facts and hope that she learns to love exploring and asking questions. This has caused a few laughs so far but we have to keep serious faces because she is so sincere.
We told her about birds and bees; literally and figuratively. I told her about owls and how much I like them and we made the hoot hoot sound. I told her that we couldn't see them because they are nocturnal and are awake at night. Now whenever we hear the mourning dove outside our window (she thinks it is an owl) she tells me that it is an owl, it's mommy's favourite bird, and did I know they are nocturnal?
We also told her about the difference between boys and girls. She noticed during her first bath with Eli so we just told her matter of factly. Tonight in the tub she told me that she isn't allowed to touch Eli's peanut and that she has a gaayiina and that she will have babies in her tummy when she gets big. Then she asked me to take off my breasts and come in the tub too. Too cute
She has started to use her imagination alot lately. She used to make us pretend food in her toy kitchen and drink pretend tea but recently she has started talking about her little creature. She points to it and holds it in her hand and she tells us "awww, it is so cute". We agree because we aren't sure what else to say!

Michael's handiwork

Here are some photos from a recent house raising. Michael has had 2 raisings so far this summer and will have 1 or 2 more before the weather changes. If you want to check out more pictures from the company he works for or find out what 'Timber Framing' is check out the website