Saturday, August 28, 2010


It's been many years since I've been around to see the farming season go from seeding to harvest. (And the last time I was around for it I was probably too young to really care.) But, after being away from the world of grain farming for so long, Erik and I enjoyed "being a part" of the farming activities. Especially now that we're seeing it through our kids' eyes.

Dad swathing while Mom follows behind with the combine.

Micah getting ready for his first combine ride.

Keziah's turn!

Discovering some spilled grain.

Taking a peek in Grandpa's grain truck.

Granny emptying the hopper into the truck.

Hmmm... Future farmer?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Winnipeg Days

Erik and I just got back yesterday from 2 weeks in the Winnipeg area - technically in La Salle which is south-west-ish of the city and is the town where my sister Nichole and her family call home. Brad & Nichole had some work for Erik to do on their house, but despite Erik keeping pretty busy during the days, there was lots of time for visiting late into the evenings; the guys playing NHL on x-box while Nichole and I drank cherry coke zero and searched for travel deals online (seriously, she could make a business out of finding online deals!)

Anyway - a quick disclaimer - I realized as I wrote this post was that I'm pretty good at taking pictures of kids... but I'm awful at taking pictures of grown-ups. (I think I need to remedy that...)

Face-painting by Kailyn. I especially love Micah's french Robin-Hood impression...

There were some HOT days while we were there. So, out came the sprinkler.... and out came the plastic bags to cover Keziah's cast.

Bag Girl strikes again at the splash park in St. Norbert.


Then, almost overnight, the weather went from blistering hot to October-like cool. Which meant it was time for some inside activities. So, off we went to the Children's Museum.

The kids took turns stamping their pretend train tickets...

"Tickets, please, tickets!"

"Driving" the train was Micah's favourite part. He kept wanting to go back and do it over and over and over...

Operating the excavator...

Unfortunately, Silas hated almost every second of the museum. It is confirmed that he hates crowds and lots of noise. He's been this way ever since he was a tiny baby.
How do I know?
He screams.
At the top of his lungs.
For a really long time.
People were starting to look at me like something was seriously wrong. Finally Nichole and I took turns taking him outside in his stroller. There are some nice walking paths around the Forks and he was way more content outside.
Until it started to rain.

We stuck it out at the museum for as long as we could, since the other 4 kids were having such a blast, but I was glad when we finally started the drive home and Silas fell into a deep, scream-induced sleep.

Our time in Winnipeg was a chance to pack in some visiting with friends and family who live in the area, like my childhood best friend, Erin, and her 2 kids. I forgot to bring out the camera that day - I think that just means we were having a really good visit :)

We spent one evening in Rosenort visiting Amber and Erik and their 3 girls. I met Amber through blogging before Keziah was born. And now we both have 3 kids! We got to see the new house they're building and Micah got his very first ride in the back of a pick-up truck - a highlight of his summer! Funny how the simple things stand out the most for kids :)

We spent an evening catching up with our Bethany Bible School friends, Rod & Janelle, in their new house in Winnipeg. We commented how it feels like our friendship can just pick up where it left off despite the years that have passed. It's just that way with Bible school friends I think. And Kamryn and the kids had a great time playing together.

Hungry Hippo, anyone?

Another evening was spent with Erik's Uncle James & Aunt Glenda and their family. Erik enjoyed catching up with his younger cousins and our kids enjoyed the abundance of apples in the backyard (Glenda - we ate all the ones you sent home and the kids loved them. We should've taken more!)

Heading out on a family walk with Charlie, the dog.

La Salle is a really pretty little town - the river, walking trails, and nice trees...

Little girls + puppies = cute :)

Keziah transferred her pet-smothering to Charlie over the last couple of weeks. Her affection is well-intentioned - just lacking in the gentleness department :)

As for Silas, he really does like to scream when he's upset. Mostly to get our attention I think. My theory is that, being the 3rd child, he has decided that we will not tend to him unless he is screaming. And he's partially right :P I think there's been some teething factoring in as well. And while other teething kids would maybe cry or be whiny and cranky, Silas just flat-out screams. Well, first he screams, then he bangs his head on the floor (yes, on purpose) and then screams some more. I recognize the part I play in all of this - picking him up as soon as he screams or plugging him with a soother. Limiting soother and blankie time is something I'm going to commit some energy to in September.

Silas seems happiest when he's outside. So, after listening to him scream in the house for awhile, Erik and I were fully willing to let him walk/crawl, fully clothed, through dirty puddles on the driveway one afternoon. A messy kid who's happy is much preferred to a screaming clean one.

Getting some outside time (and, hey - free advertising for my brother-in-law :)

Silas finally took off walking during our time in La Salle. About time! Here he is at the zoo, trying to make an escape to the playground...

All that walking tuckered him out, I guess.

Now we're back in Boissevain for one last week. The plan is to leave here on Sunday and head to Saskatoon for a couple of days to visit the Toews relatives. Then we're off to West Ed for 2 nights - a little waterpark action, a little shopping... We hope to be back in Abbotsford on September 2nd. Unfortunately Erik is planning to come back on his own to Manitoba for a few weeks in September. There's just so much that needs to be done on my parents' cabin before winter. And I want to be back in Abby for Micah's first days of school. So, as we always say when things don't go as planned, "It is what it is!" We will make do. I think I will enjoy being back in my own space even if it does mean I have to single-parent it for awhile (though I will un-ashamedly welcome and accept any offers of babysitting that come my way! :)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Photo Shoot

My sister took some time yesterday morning to take some family pictures of us before church. You can click HERE to see a sample on her website. So far they look fantastic! Thanks Erin!!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Fracture, Friends & the Farm

An x-ray at the clinic on Tuesday morning confirmed our suspicions: Keziah's wrist was suffering a small fracture. The doctor gave her a short-arm cast and Keziah was very brave throughout - not making a peep! But I could see the fear in her eyes as the cast got bigger and heavier on her arm. Then when the doctor used water to set the cast at the end, and drips were falling all over Keziah's clothes, she nearly lost it! That's why her eyes look so sad :( The cast will have to stay on for 3 weeks - which means no swimming, hot-tubbing, etc. for a little while.

My sister, Erin and her youngest, Liam, are here for the week. Liam had fun writing on Keziah's cast.

Liam and Micah have been enjoying water on the tramp this week. Reminds me of a similar picture I took of these 2 last year. They look so much more grown up! (And I finally convinced Micah to let me buzz his head yesterday :)

Silas watching from the enclosed deck:

We've had some good visits with friends over the last week. Craig & Jen came from Regina and stayed with us for 2 nights. It was so great to connect with them! We attended Bethany Bible School together and Erik and Craig were roommates, as well as each other's best man.

Bonfire on the yard...

Picture taken by my niece Kailyn after church on Sunday... (Silas was sleeping)

Then we had a short visit with Chad & Rachel the other night in Killarney. Rachel was a good friend of mine from Bethany as well. Here they are minus their sweet baby girl, Olivia:

And we got them to snap a picture of us too just b/c we never have pictures of all of us together!

Last week my mom and I took the kids to the "Fraser Farm" to see some animals and go horse-back riding. They had such a great time!

"Princess" the goat snacking on some tree leaves:

Silas meeting the turkeys:

Keziah and a dwarf pony:

Micah waiting for his chance to ride:

Time to ride!

Micah's turn... (this picture was taken pre-buzz cut!)

Micah learned how to "steer" the horse on his own and managed to weave through these barrels.

Kailyn and Keziah meeting the BIG horses:

Saying good-bye... We'll be back again horsies!

Monday, August 02, 2010

A Day At The Beach & Other Happenings

There have been lots of coming and going of the Harder cousins these days. Last week when my mom and I had 7 kids in our care, we ventured to Lake William. It wasn't the warmest day we've had, but the kids still braved the water!

Keziah loves her older girl cousins and is doted on by them. Here she is with Kailyn & Maddy:

Silas loved exploring at the beach and getting in some walking practice with Granny.

After this picture, he got his hands covered in wet sand and put one in his mouth. He kept trying to take the sand out of his mouth, but of course each attempt only made matters worse...

Micah has been having such a blast with his cousins this year. Last year he was a little reclusive when all the kids were around, usually finding a quiet corner to play by himself. But this year he's a totally different kid - very social and outgoing. He's soaking up all of the cousin time. He's quite chatty - even with the grown-ups. A few weeks ago some of my aunts and uncles were visiting and Micah made himself right at home with them. He especially loved playing crokinole with them :)

Olivia & Micah hunting for bugs in Granny's garden:

Keziah telling me something very important (as usual):

The kids seem to all love the task of shelling peas - especially when Uncle Erik promised them a toonie each :)

Silas is getting braver with his walking and standing, but he's still not convinced that it should be his primary mode of transportation.

Keziah and Lazarus the cat have an interesting relationship. She pursues him almost constantly and smothers him like crazy. The cat tolerates it surprisingly well. It's funny though - Erik and I have noticed that when Keziah loses interest in the cat and walks away, he will often get up and follow her. So, we think he actually likes her more than he lets on :)

There has been other excitement on the home-front this week:
- Micah & Keziah horseback-riding for the first time (pictures will be posted hopefully later this week)
- Micah getting his first loose tooth
- Silas getting his fingers slammed in a door (thought he might lose one of his nails at first but I think it'll be OK)
- And the biggest "excitement" was Keziah hurting her arm while playing with Daddy and some of the kids on Sunday night. We brought her to Killarney emergency but since it was a long weekend in a small town, there was no one to take an x-ray. They sent her home because at that point she was calm and they didn't think there was a break. However, today she hasn't used her arm at all, it's swollen and a couple of times when she's put weight on it, she's screamed inconsolably. So, first thing tomorrow we'll be getting it checked out!