Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Settlers of Catan

A week or so ago at the dinner table, my dh announced that he had done something that he had probably never done before.

He had bought a board game. Those that know my dh know that he is NOT a board game kind of person...he might agree to play if he's cornered - but generally it's not his "thing".

He started telling us of this German made board game - The Settlers of Catan.

"...Settlers of Catan is a trading and building game set in the mythical world of Catan. Players roll dice to determine which resources are generated each round and then must strategically trade those resources with other players to get what they need to build their settlements, cities, and roads..."

Yesterday the game arrived.

We had planned on having company over for supper but they canceled due to an illness in the family - so we had the evening open to attempt this new game.

The kids were kind of jazzed about it - since they had talked with dh about it previously and they had watched a tutorial on-line. I was not jazzed about it.

I am not a board game kind of person - unless that game is Scrabble. When my dh started talking about the game and the rules, my thoughts were - this sounds totally boring and very complicated and how am I going to figure all this out - let alone the kids figure it out. Actually I should say how would the kids figure it out - let alone the mom figure it out.

Once we started playing - I began to enjoy the game and after a few rounds of the dice - the rules became second nature.

The game lasted about 2.5 hours (and much past the children's bedtime much to their delight I am sure) ....and I won!

After our first game - we are all hooked.

Supposedly the game can be played in one hour - and hopefully that will eventually be the case b/c we don't need another Monopoly game.

The game can be played with 3 or 4 players and is for ages 10+ (the boy is 7 and he had no problem playing at all - so don't be scared off by the age suggestions).

I'm counting this game as school hours - there is strategy involved, not just a roll of the dice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bribery Or Incentive??

I'm not above "bribing" my kids to do something they are afraid to do. Or maybe it's just an added incentive to go the "extra mile" and keep at something until they can do it.

Today the boy "made" $3.

I think his swim lessons this month have been a rip-off b/c he is in a class with kids of various skill (or lack thereof)...this is about his 3rd or 4th yr of lessons and they still have him sitting on the steps in the water kicking his feet...or they hold onto a kick board and he holds onto a kickboard and kicks.

He's been able to do all that for a long time. Before he began his lessons this month he could propel himself through the water for quite a distance - on his back or on his front (head above water) - but the technique was not proper. I was hoping the lessons would help him perfect his form etc.

Wasn't happening. I don't think they even had the kids putting their entire heads under the water and there are only 3 lessons left.

So during the open swim time today I took matters into my own hands. If the boy would swim under water without coming up for air - a short distance - without holding his nose with one hand - he would get $1.


This method was used and successful last yr in just getting him to put his whole head under water.

The money I used to pay for his swim lessons would be better used it seems, as an incentive for accomplishing new swim techniques.

Sometimes kids are too scared to try something new and need that extra "boost"...once they have done it a couple of times with the incentive - they realize that it's not so scary and they can do it without any prodding.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cornhusk Doll

After being sent outside to peel some sweet corn, the girl came in with this...a Foxfire book provided some instructions...

Monday, July 20, 2009


Lately the kids have become interested in marbles.

The girl and I went to a few stores looking for marbles and they did not have any - well except Walmart had some but they were not the "real"'s like the bag had maybe 20 marbles and they all looked the same (maybe one or two were different sizes) and they didn't look like traditional ones... they had names like Redbirds or Bluebirds or Bengal Tigers. Anywhoo - she was going to buy a couple of bags but for maybe 40 marbles it would be close to $6 so as we were walking to the counter to pay, she changed her mind.

Well that was about a week ago - and yesterday at a garage sale I found a bag of marbles - traditional ones - with mixed sizes for only a buck.

Does anyone remember the proper names for all the different sizes/designs?

This is what I remember...

Biggest ones -crocks
smallest ones - pinkies or peewees
silver metal ones - ballbarians (when I told my kids that, the boy said "you mean ball bearings?" and I said, "No. Ballbarians. Then I got to thinking - surely they were called ball bearings b/c that is what they are!)
common ones (most of them are these) - cat's eyes
creamy/swirly ones ????

Then as I was reading up on marbles I came across agates and allies but I don't know which are which.

Seeing the kids with the marbles makes me wish I still had all my old ones...I can see how they would be fun to collect. I think we used to play marbles even out in the snow.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

No matter how much of a jerk the guy on the other cell phone may be...

YOU screaming and cussing on a cell phone, in a park, full of children, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, for approximately 15 min (could have been longer but we left) - makes YOU look like the jerk.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What is it??

To some it may simply appear to be a trash can with a red basket attached to it with some blue rope. To others it is a 'coon catcher - courtesy of my girl.

The trash can lid doesn't close tightly anymore and a couple of times when I threw in another trash bag I noticed that the inside bags had been torn apart. My theory is a raccoon since we have seen them around late at night before.

The girl was excited to hear about the possible raccoon "raid" and decided she'd find a way to trap him (or her). Not sure how it works - but I'm sure my dh will get a bit of a surprise in the morning if he does find a raccoon inside the basket tomorrow as he takes down the trash.

In the past the kids have tried to figure out a rabbit trap...guess they are moving onto bigger and better things...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Minneapolis - Day 2

OK - finally on to the last day of our trip in Minneapolis - our busiest day.

We started out with a trip to the Mall of America. It's large - but wasn't as big as I thought it would be. The mall opened at 9:30 (but most stores don't open til 10) and we got there close to opening time. We first went to "the spectacle"...the inner mall with all the rides, the Lego Store and the American Girl Store. It was interesting to just wander around and thing how unbelievable it was that there were these rides inside a building.

We then headed on over to the Lego was fun to see the HUGE Lego creations...this store was no doubt the favorite of my boy...he enjoyed just wandering around looking at all the Lego (over-priced) kits. I was rather surprised that he came away without a purchase. At the front of the store is a play area where kids can build, race Lego cars they've made etc.

While the boy spent more time at the Lego Store - the girl and I headed on over to the American Girl Store. Being that the nearest AG Store to us is in Chicago - I was glad that the girl was able to visit the one in Minneapolis. It was fun for us both to look around at all the dolls and accessories and to see the doll hair salon and the Bistro. Though we both like the American Girl dolls - they are definitely over-priced, especially if you buy into the whole "experience". You can have your doll's ears pierced for $14 (includes earrings) or have her hair styled for $10-$20. An outfit for an AG doll costs (at least) as much as an outfit for my 9 yr old! I love the themes for each doll and all the fun accessories and furniture - I can see how it could add up very quickly.

After we hit the two main stores of interest to us all - the girl and dh, and the boy and I - went off on our separate ways until lunch. We had lunch at the food court (regular fast food prices) and by the end of the meal we had decided that we had had our fill of the mall and we were ready to go somewhere else. As we were leaving the mall via Sears - I spotted some jewelery on clearance and made our only non-food mall purchase :)

Next was a visit to Minnesota State Capital - an appropriate 4th of July place to visit. We went on a guided tour of the building, as well, looked around some on our own. We were actually able to go out on the roof of the building - probably a highlight of the visit (in spite of my fear of heights). On top of the building are some golden statues..."One of most enduring images of the Minnesota State Capitol and one that has come to symbolize St. Paul is the "Quadriga," the golden horses and chariot that sit atop the roof at the base of the Capitol's dome...The term quadriga refers to a chariot drawn by four horses. It features four figures - the male figure driving the chariot represents the state, two female figures portray Minnesota agriculture and industry and the four horses represent earth, fire, water and wind. The inspiration for the statue was the charioteer and four horses that French had modeled for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago."

View of Minneapolis from the roof of the State Capitol.

As we were leaving the capitol, we noticed some folks protesting. It would have been fun to join them - but it looked like rain was imminent and we had more things to do - like visit the historical St. Paul Cathedral.

As we parked our car - I remarked I asked my dh if he wanted his jacket in case it rained. He declined - but the kids and I took ours. We were crossing the street as a few rain drops hit us and seconds after entering the cathedral there was a TORRENTIAL downpour. We were thankful to be indoors and I comfort in knowing we were in a building that had been standing for many a year.

After about 1/2 hr the rain began to let up - and we were ready to be on our way - next stop was the Sculpture Garden. I love the whole concept of huge outdoor art. And though there were some fun pieces such as the giant spoon with a cherry - I think overall the St. Louis Laumauier sculpture park is more interesting.

Next stop was finding Bethlehem Baptist Church (John Piper's church). The church has services Saturday early evening, as well as a couple on Sunday. We found the church without too much trouble, so decided to drive around a bit and see what was in the general neighborhood foodwise as we knew we'd be hungry after church.

In driving around, can you believe that we saw only a few restaurants like The Old Spaghetti Factory and some bar-type places?! We finally found a Subway - took note of the location and headed back to church.

Piper wasn't preaching that evening (which we knew in advance) - two other men were taking the service (one did communion - one did the preaching).

When we left church around 7:00 PM, we were indeed hungry, and headed out to Subway. Only now - we couldn't find it. We went up and down and around the streets - both dh and I remembered the same street we thought it was on but it had "vanished". Well, we'll just somewhere else we thought - but we couldn't find anything that would work. We had no desire to hit The Old Spaghetti Factory at 7:00 PM and just wanted something fast and easy. It seemed like we drove around for nearly an hour before we came upon the "Fast Food District". We had never been in such a situation before - it was bizarre. Mental note to add to any future trip plans - a map of eateries in the area.

We ate at Burger King. The children were crowned, fed and ready for the next part of our adventure. Mom was tired and grouched and ready for bed...but it was to be a late night - because our next adventure was to see the fireworks out on the water.

It was too early yet for the fireworks (I wished our motel was closeby so we could have all taken a wee nap) - so we wandered around the Mill Ruins Park area - which was very interesting.

We decided to make a loop around the park while we waited for the fireworks to begin around 10:00 PM. We enjoyed this little side-show flame juggler...

Seems like the kids and dh were all enthused and had an enjoyable walk about - while mom, was a bit of a "wet blanket". I hate being in crowded places - worse when they are noisy as well. My mind was thinking ahead to approximately 10:30 - wondering how we'd find our way out of the park with the thousands of other fire-works-gazers. And once out of the park - imagined the way the traffic would be.

After our walk we found the perfect place to watch the spectacular fireworks display. My lame-o photo of course does not do it justice. The parents enjoyed the show as did the children. Especially the loud, bright final round. The boy who loves weaponry and wars - probably was imaging he was out on a battlefront.

As predicted, the throng of people was stifling as we made our way out of the park. There was a staircase that needed to be navigated...I held tightly to the hand of my son and hoped that my daughter and husband would not get separated from us as I'd never find my way back to the car (well at least not easily). I almost died when I saw the traffic jam, immediately outside of the park...never have I seen cars like that. I figured perhaps the kids could fall asleep in the car while we sat, and sat, and waited and waited to get moving.

But - my fears were not realized. We had picked a good enough parking location that we had barely any trouble getting moving.

We finally stumbled into bed around 11:30 - and it was nice to know that we could sleep in as late as we wanted the next morning and that the adventure of the past 9 days was (just about) over (except for the drive home the next day which was uneventful).

I'm relieved to have our trip journal completed! Now I just need to put it all together along with a huge stack of photos - into some scrapbook format.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Free 7.11 oz Slurpee at 7-11

Participating 7-11 stores will have free 7.11 oz slurpees today.

I wrote myself a note and almost forgot about going this morning. My dh mentioned that he was having a craving for a Cherry Coke and we were wondering if they sold diet Cherry Coke...I said I thought 7-11 might and then it hit me - free slurpee day!

I quickly gathered up the kids and we drove to 7-11. In the "good old days" there were about 3 7-11s within close driving range and we could hit them all - but now there's only one :( I got a cherry/coke mixture...frozen Cherry Coke as it were.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Girl's Garden

Looks like the girl's garden is thriving! We don't have much sunlight in the backyard so we were hoping this little patch would be bright enough and it appears to be.

Here is the garden when it was first planted.

Now here is something peculiar - this little reddish/white petunia is growing on the same plant as the pale pink petunias.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Minneapolis - Day 1...Minneapolis Institute of Arts & Ikea

I woke up around 5:30 AM and we got the family on the road by 6:30 AM...

It's about 2 hrs to the Canada/USA border. We were thankful to have not had any delays crossing into the of the questions we were asked at the border was how much money we were bringing into the USA. Don't recall ever being asked that question coming or going before - so not sure what they were trying to ascertain.

We arrived in Minneapolis around 2:30 PM and headed to the Minneapolis Art Museum (free admission). We especially enjoyed the Egyptian and ancient arts section and the Modern & Contemporary Galleries...Art Deco & Arts & Crafts eras (particularly the 1926 Frankfurt kitchen and the Prairie School collection ). The boy really liked any area that showcased weaponry and the African Arts.

I wish I had researched the exhibitions before we went because I would have liked to have seen: Play & Ceremony: Cherished Items for Children and Unspoken Messages : The Art of the Necklace.

Next on our list was a stop at Ikea - a first for us all. Being that we had driven for 7 hours and then walked around for about 2.5 hrs - it probably wasn't the best time for us to be heading to a store like Ikea. But our time was limited - so we went. We started off with supper in the restaurant/cafe on the 2nd floor. Having heard about cheap eats like 50 cent hotdogs - we were enthused. The food was relatively inexpensive but no hotdogs, 50 cents or otherwise, were seen on the menu.

The kids had Swedish meatballs, french fries and chocolate milk. The hub had Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes and lingonberries, I had a Greek salad. The food was delicious and calories aside, I wished I had had the Swedish meatball meal (I sampled some off my dh's plate).

Later we spotted the place with the 50 cent hodogs, $1 ice-cream cones and $1 large cinnamon buns (all sampled by us - though everyone just sampled one item).

We were overwhelmed by Ikea. It is not the place to see for the first time around 6 PM after all the aforementioned driving and walking and probably not the best place to look around with 2 young children and maybe not even the best place to look around with a spouse :) I think I would have enjoyed it more - starting out fresh and early in the morning - by myself.

Can you believe that the ONE item I specifically wanted from Ikea, and wanted it very much - they did NOT have. Well actually they did have it as a sample hanging inside the doors as you first walk in - giving me false hopes.

A simple item - some orange fabric with birds. The fabric can not be purchased via Ikea online and buying it elsewhere online costs about double the price. sigh. I was disappointed. We left Ikea empty-handed.

Canada Trip - Day 7...Dragon Fruit

Our last full day in Canada was a day for packing up and staying close to home.

Early in the morning my dad and I got in a tennis game. My dad has played tennis for probably close to 30 yrs - but I had never had a chance as an adult, to play a game with him (b/c I had no interest in it up until very recently).

My youngest sister and niece came over in the morning to visit and the afternoon consisted of a nap.

I stopped by the local grocery store to pick up a few things and was pleasantly surprised to see some dragon fruit in the produce department. We tried some dried dragon fruit 5 months ago and found it to be pretty tasteless...

This single fruit was rather pricey at $4.99 but worth it to finally see what it tasted like.

The brilliant colored outer skin hides the black and white interior. The inside reminded me of a kiwi with many, many little black seeds - kind of like poppy seeds. Unfortunately the fruit was pretty tasteless just like the dried variety. While we (including my parents) had a little taste of it - the girl wanted to eat the remainder. It was very easy to scoop out - like a soft melon.

I have never come across a fresh dragon fruit in the USA and lo and behold I find one in a small town in Canada. The fruit was a product of Vietnam.

Canada Trip - Day 6

Day 6 of our Canada Trip also happened to be Canada Day.

If you are like the boy (an aficionado of the American Revolution) who inquired, "When did Canada ever declare it's independence from someone?" - here is some background on Canada Day.

"Canada Day Canada's national day, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the 1 July 1867 enactment of the British North America Act, which united Canada as a single country, which was in turn composed of four provinces. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as internationally."

Canada Day is generally celebrated in a manner similar to the 4th of July, with family gatherings, BBQing and fireworks.

We gathered on the 1st at my eldest sister's home for a BBQ. The kids had a "treasure hunt" and the adults played a word game. I was rather peeved when I saw what the game was "Cities and Towns of Manitoba" on earth would I, having been out of the country for 14 years (with short annual visits) be able to even figure out one of the answers. Even having lived in Manitoba for 25+ years - we did very little traveling around the province. It was a clever game devised by my puzzle loving mother.

There were 15 cities to figure out and the hints were alternative names for the real names such as:

vii female relatives - Seven Sisters
aviator hill - Pilot Mound
lake with whitecaps - Lac du Bonnet
chef's stream - Cook's Creek

Can you believe I won! Guess all those school years with my ear to the radio listening to winter school cancellations paid off. Most of the cities and towns I have never been to and when I wrote down the answers some only sounded faintly familiar.

After lunch we headed to a nearby park and played volleyball (of a fashion).

When the festivities ended, we headed back to my parents' place. About 15 min from home I noticed a sign "River Road". For some reason it was familiar in my mind but I couldn't really remember what was down there except maybe some high end homes - so we made the decision to take the exit.

Turned out to be a great scenic byway. We stopped and visited a couple of historic sites along the way - including the oldest stone church in Western Canada - with an awesome cemetery to boot! Unfortunately the church was closed but we walked around the cemetery and rectory. It was sad to see so many of the tombstones broken, tipped over and weathered. Sad to think that there lay someone loved and perhaps no longer remembered - the rememberers themselves were long gone...

I liked this tombstone because of its simplicity "Daisy Wife of John Ruttledge 1917"

Further down the road we came to another great site - the St. Andrews Lock & Dam. It was fun to get out and walk across the bridge and to get close to the lock & dam and see pelicans flying around.

Canada Trip - Day 5

Tuesday we made a trip into Winnipeg (about 30 miles from homebase). We had originally planned on taking a walk along the river from the Forks. The Forks is "...truly Winnipeg's meeting place. Just steps away from the city's financial and downtown shopping districts, The Forks National Historic Site offers a tranquil respite from urban hustle and bustle. The pathways that weave around this quiet, historic green space are ideal for walking or cycling. The Red River walkway offers views of historic St. Boniface, downtown Winnipeg, and the dramatic L'Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge that connects the hub/centre of Winnipeg with the historic French-quarter of St. Boniface. The walkway extends through the nearby Forks Market area all the way to Manitoba's Legislature building grounds and the Osborne Village shopping and restaurant area."

Unfortunately due to all the rain, the walkway was under water :( and our plans were nixed.

As an alternative, two of my sisters and I went to my favorite thrift store - Value Village. I procured a set of 4 glass egg cups (b/c I cannot find the ones I already had and my kids love eating hardboiled eggs), a hinged tin with Canada pictures (might use it for storing tea bags), about 8 Trixie Belden mystery books for the girl (a favorite series of mine when I was a child) - the girl already had a few but in the USA they are hard to find so I was happy to come up with this stack. I also found an old western children's book for the boy.

Another great find - I couldn't believe it when I saw on the shelf, a book titled "The Wooden Horse". Only a few months ago, after researching the story behind the movie "The Great Escape" - I found out that another escape had taken place at the same prison camp and a book was written about it - "The Wooden Horse". Only a couple of men escaped - they dug a tunnel underneath a wooden vaulting horse. Even better is the fact that the edition of the book I found was for older children - and as both children loved "The Great Escape" - they were both clamoring to read it first.

After thrifting we went to my sister's house for lunch and then off to Kildonan Park. Kildonan Park, with the "Witch's Hut" in the summer and the sled runs in the winter - hold some memories I wanted to pass along to my kids. The Witch's Hut - supposedly the home of the evil witch in "Hansel & Gretel" is less scary than I remember and a lot smaller. I'm sure the name alone is a drawing card for children all around.

The most amazing thing happened as we were leaving the "Witch's Hut" we "bumped" into my Aunt D!! As our time in Canada is limited and mostly everyone lives at least 30 miles from my parents' place - we had not planned on visiting relatives other than our immediate family. So, it was a nice surprise to see her and get to chat with her for awhile. An added bonus was the fact that she had two of my cousin's sons with her and it was fun to see them - especially since the 5 yr old was the spitting image of his father.

Dragonfly caught by the girl

Canada Trip - Day 4

Monday was our "adventure" day. We visited a small historic Icelandic community about 30 miles from my parents' place. I had last visited there about 22 years ago.

Gimli is "located in the Interlake region of south-central Manitoba, Canada. Located on the western shore of Lake Winnipeg (the world's tenth largest freshwater lake), about 75 kilometers north of the provincial capital Winnipeg... This 'Icelandic Canadian' town ...and surrounding districts were once an Icelandic ethnic block settlement, and the area, known as New Iceland, is home to the largest concentration of people of Icelandic ancestry outside Iceland. The first town established in the settlement, Gimli has been called the "Capital of New Iceland." (from Wikipedia)

Gimli means “Home of the Gods”.

Walk along the Gimli harbour, look at the numerous historic murals painted along the seawall by local artists.

We walked around town, wandered along the beach (and in it) and had lunch in this small town. It was an interesting walk along the harbor - there were painted murals (depicting historic scenes) along the seawall and where the seawall ended - large rocks to sit on and gaze out upon the water. One of the favorite things the kids did, was to climb on the rocks and wait for a large wave to come crashing into the rocks and splash them. The lake is so vast and the waves were so powerful, that had we not known where we were - we could have been convinced that we were seeing the ocean.

Quite a bit of the time was spent looking for rocks, fossils and shells on the beach. As the day was cool, overcast and windy - we had not brought along swimming gear...but I was experienced enough around my children and water to know that I had better bring along a change of clothes "just in case".

The walk started out on the sand - with orders to "not get wet". There were a few "accidental" foot wettings to begin with. Somewhere along the way I said it was OK to get their feet wet if they took off their shoes and socks. From there it didn't take long before feet translated to legs and pretty soon they were getting very wet. I know they were just hoping they'd "fall in" and get soaked from head to foot. There was a raised platform with benches that mom and dad sat down on and we let the kids splash around to their hearts' desire - but no swimming. No full body under the water.

There were change rooms next to our benches so as pops watched the kids I trucked back to the car to get the change of clothes.

Here is a link to a map of a walking tour of Gimli - I just found it today and wished that we had this in hand on our little adventure.

We ate lunch at the Whitecaps Restaurant - chosen for the sole reason that advertised in their window was a "Fat Boy with Fries" for $3.25. Figure the price wouldn't be better anywhere else. I ordered some poutine (fries with gravy and cheese curds) at a local restaurant...poutine is something I only have in Canada so I was really looking forward to it. Though it tasted great there were no cheese curds in it - only grated cheese!!??

Though the portions were generous and the food tasty - I don't plan on returning there. The service was slow and the waitress practically encouraged us to leave ("There's only one person in the kitchen and I'm the only one on the floor so you might have a long wait....might want to go somewhere else"). As we were tired and hungry and the hour was growing late - we stayed.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Canada Trip - Day 3

Sunday morning we all took an early walk. Church didn't start until 11:00 AM and as we are all early risers, even when on vacation, we had time for a big walk around the neighborhood.

We first went to the high school to check out the tennis courts, ran around the track and then just wandered up and down the streets. It's always surprising to me how close everything in town seems my memories the 7-11 store is waaaaay south of my parents house - but now I can walk to it very easily.

The canker worms were out in full force so I was glad to be wearing a hat :0

We attended my parents' church (the church I grew up in and got married in many moons ago) and then went back home for lunch and my first "live" viewing of my 4.5 month old niece. She is adorable.

In the afternoon some more family came over - my oldest sister, her husband and daughter who is the same age as my girl.

Keeping with our 2 yr tradition, the kids and my sister and I walked to the Mac's Store to buy slurpees and candies and then the kids played on the playground at our old elementary school. While back in Missouri the folks were enjoying some beastly hot days - we were actually COLD out on the playground. The sky was overcast and it was very windy - but it felt great!

Canada Trip - Day 2

Since the mama was awake and couldn't fall back asleep - we all got an early start Saturday morning.

The motel served a continental breakfast and so we were looking forward to some waffles...until we realized that we got our motels mixed up and this was not the motel that served waffles :(

We had a long stretch of driving and it seemed to go slowly - but changing drivers, and listening to The Wizard of Oz on CD made the boredom bearable. A little nap helped too.

We had no problem at the border - though it's still always a little scary to anticipate it...just don't know if they'll decide to deny us entry or make us take everything out of the car and search it.

I knew the stretch of driving from the border to my hometown was relatively easy (and slow - the speed limit is dreadfully slow even though you are in the middle of nowhere) so I offered to drive. Well wouldn't you know the rain started soon thereafter. I don't like to drive during the best of conditions...and it seemed like it rained almost the whole way. When we were about 15 min from my parents' house we witnessed a car accident - first "on scene" accident I have ever witnessed.

The rain started letting up once we pulled into the driveway - we were thankful to have made it safely and for our long journey to be over.

Canada Trip - Day 1

Found these paper plates at Target and just had to buy them.

The first leg of our trip was a drive of about 7 hours - we left home around 2:45 PM.

The time consisted mostly of eating, reading, and listening to a book on tape, "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells. I wondered if it might be a bit frightening for the children but took heart in the fact that we'd all be sharing a room that night so the Morlocks would probably stay away from the kids :)

The hub pointed out that falling asleep in the car was a bit like "time travel"...(it would definitely be time travel if you were the driver that fell asleep)...

Nowadays the hub or I are more likely to nap in the car than the kids are. They both took only one nap throughout the many, many hours of riding in the car.

We ate supper in the car and I found a new good travel food - summer sausage. Everyone likes it (if we forget about how unhealthy it is), and it doesn't need to be refrigerated until opened (if you buy a small package it can easily be consumed in one sitting). We try to avoid bringing a large cooler with us b/c we don't have the space in our car - usually one of those small soft-sided coolers is all we bring.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Silas Marner

Before I forget, I want to mention a book on tape we listened to on our way home - "Silas Marner" by George Eliot. The version we have is a Focus on the Family Radio Theatre production.

I missed the first 1/3 of the story as I had fallen asleep - but the last 2/3 of the story I definitely enjoyed.

Home SWEET Home

Praise the Lord we made it home safely yesterday around 5:30 PM!

We drove about 2500 miles with no sickness, car problems, car accidents (at least not our own) or driving one another crazy.

We arrived home to find our garden thriving and our house still standing :)

The fridge was like Mother Hubbard's Cupboard so after the car was unpacked I remedied that by a quick trip to the grocery store.

The husband, after only 9 hours of driving - unpacked the car and then proceeded to work on a problem on my car (it didn't pass inspection lately due to what appears to be some questionable "problems" that were spotted by the inspector)...

Upon arriving home the girl pulled out her tooth that had been hanging by a thread...