Monday, April 30, 2012

Two-Wheelin'

Would you believe that all three of our kids have learned to ride on 2 wheels in the same month?

It's true.  

Let's recap:  
- Micah finally let us take off his training wheels for good about a month ago.  
- Silas has completely mastered his 2-wheeled Strider bike since his birthday at the end of March.  

And our newest Toewsie on 2 wheels is little Miss Keziah...



Within a few minutes of her training wheels coming off, she was doing this:

video


And because Silas is just so darn cute on his little Strider...

video


So, needless to say, biking has become one of our new favourite things around here!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Table Time

A few months ago, some good friends of ours handed down their train table to us.  Even though we're not really in a place to be accepting large items of furniture with our limited house space, I still felt like it would be a good thing for the kids' bedroom - especially with the storage drawers underneath.


At first I set up the train set which had been sitting unused for months, and sure enough, they had a blast playing with it.  But after a few weeks, it sat there once again, lonely and un-played with.  So, I decided one morning to set up all our Little People sets on the table (which had been gathering dust on our toy shelf for many moons).  As soon as they were on that table, it was like we had brand new toys.  The kids spent several hours playing there once again.


And, right on schedule a week or 2 later, everyone seemed to stop caring about the Little People.  So, yesterday I decided it was time to switch it up again.  All those amazing Playmobil sets were packed away in the closet - totally forgotten.  After I swapped those for the Little People yesterday the kids have been having a hard time tearing themselves away from the table.


So, lesson learned - we definitely have more than enough toys, that's not the issue - but I have to remember that putting old toys in new locations will work wonders for these little imaginative minds.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Paradise

Erik and I went to see Coldplay in Vancouver on Saturday night, which was... a.m.a.z.i.n.g.  Except for the fact that during the opening acts I felt overwhelmed by how LOUD the night was going to be.  

I guess I haven't been to too many concerts.

Thankfully I had some kleenex in the bottom of my purse which I rolled up and stuffed in both ears.  It totally saved the night.  But, it kind of made me feel... old.  And it was a bit awkward when we ran into people between acts and I couldn't hear them and had to reach into my ears to remove the little kleenex balls.  Ah well.  Guess who was laughing when her ears weren't ringing after the night was over...  
Me, that's who.

A highlight of the concert was the super-cool bracelets that we were given when we came through the doors.  They totally added a whole new dimension to the light show.  Very very cool.

We took a video of the song "Paradise" - our kids have already watched it about a dozen times - which shows the full effect of the light-up bracelets, especially towards the end of the clip.  (Unfortunately the video is showing up in "teeny-tiny" mode on blogger and can be viewed in a larger frame HERE.)


Monday, April 23, 2012

New Calves & Other Fun

I'm sorry if you're sick of reading about cows.  I know I would be if I were you.  If I'm being honest here, I have to admit I've taken more pictures of cattle in the last few weeks than I have of my own children.
It's a bit of a problem.

But with that said, I have to post a few more.  We have two new calves since I last posted and now our little herd is complete.  The second two came with very little fanfare - they just kind of popped up overnight.

Calf #1 (Russell) & Calf #2 with their Mamas. Both are males.


Cousin Caleb named Calf #2 "Willy".  Russell and Willy spent some time getting acquainted last week.


Then yesterday morning we woke up to find Calf #3 - a female.  We're thinking of naming her "Buttercup", though this morning Keziah was also considering the name "Mikayla":)


When we're not watching our new baby calves we're busy playing on our yard.  Erik is amazing at going out with the kids almost every day (even after a long day of work) and playing with them - giving me a chance to clean up dinner and just have a few moments of peace!  Some days they play hockey on the street, other days it's crazy daddy-games on the trampoline, but the current favourite has been baseball.  The kids impressed me with their batting skills on Friday night.


Keziah has fun doing sports with the boys, but she can often be found discovering and nurturing creatures that she finds on the yard - snails, caterpillars and ladybugs.

Not to mention the cats, of course.



And even though we have a lot of space on our new yard, we don't really have much for playground equipment.  The other days the kids found a patch of sand on the edge of the driveway and dubbed it "The Sandbox".  I'm thinking with a handy husband like Erik we could probably build something a little bit more legit...




As for me, I'm really enjoying the first spring on our new farm - watching everything coming to life and feeling the warm sunshine after some long rainy months.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Russell

Our little calf is a week old and he is a he.

We named him Russell.


Russell was the name the kids came up with after we brainstormed all the movie characters we could think of. 10 points if you can think of which Disney movie "Russell" comes from before you finish reading this post...


The cows provide constant entertainment for us: watching Russell prancing around the pasture -- running circles around all the bigger cows -- and then stopping for a drink and a quick bath from his Mama. Plus, we are still watching and waiting for 2 more calves to join the herd, so we're always keeping an eye on the other Mamas-to-be.


The little guy let me get close enough to take these pictures the other day -- I think he was just as fascinated with us as we were with him, but he is still obedient to Mama Cow's cautionary "moos" to keep his distance.

That's alright Russell. We will just admire you from afar.


{Now for the answer to the Disney animation skill-testing question. "Russell" is the little boy scout on the movie "Up" who casts away on the balloon-floating house with Mr. Frederickson :) }

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Flu: A True Personality Test

It's interesting for me to observe how sickness can bring out the unique personality traits of my kids and expose how different these three really are from each other.

On Wednesday night Micah started throwing up. As it's happening you can envision ear-piercing screams, flailing body parts and sheer panic at what is happening to him. In between episodes you hear phrases like "I'm NEVER going to stop throwing up!" or "I'm going to DIE!!!"

Keziah woke me up at 4:30 am that same night and calmly told me she had just thrown up. I made her a bed on the floor and equipped her with a bowl to get sick in. For the next day she did not make a peep. She would silently throw up into her bowl (never missing the target, by the way), carry it to the bathroom to clean it up and then climb back into her bed. And later when I helped her a few times, she instructed me, "I usually dump it in the toilet and then rinse it out in the sink." Thanks for the pointers Keziah.

Seriously, she is the easiest sick child. Ever.

Then last night it was Silas' turn to get sick. I heard him yelling at me from his bed at about one in the morning, "M-O-O-M-M-Y!! I'M GONNA FROW UP!!" I figured he was bluffing. For the last few days of watching big brother and sister get the "sick" treatment, he kept trying to tell me how sick he was too. But I got him a puke bowl - just to humour him - and then climbed back into bed. After dozing off I heard more yelling, "M-O-O-M-M-Y!! I FROWED UP!!" Sure enough he had started throwing up and thankfully that puke bowl was handy - because he wasn't finished. That first throw-up is always the biggest. And grossest. And as he watched me rinse out the bowl in the bathroom I couldn't stop gagging.

And what did Silas do?
He laughed.
Thought my gagging was hilarious in the middle of the night.

I could go on to analyze their different reactions and predict what kind of people these kids of mine will grow up to be... But for now it's simply insightful.
And entertaining.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter


Easter weekend was sunny and beautiful. The first one that I can remember where we've been able to do our Easter-ish festivities outdoors.


In the days leading up to Easter, we opened the Resurrection Eggs that I made a few years ago. This was a highlight for the kids every day, and Micah and Keziah especially are starting to grasp the Easter story and the significance of Jesus' death and resurrection.

(Micah thought a "cross" pose was appropriate for an Easter picture...)


One afternoon Grandma set up a egg-decorating station in the backyard.



Silas joined the action straight from bike-riding. (And has some eye-liner "whiskers" on his face from playing kitty earlier that day...)



On Sunday after church we hunted for Easter eggs...




Silas sinking his teeth into his big white choc-wat bunny...


Then the kids got to do another Easter egg hunt when their cousins arrived later that afternoon...


Another chocolate bunny?
Score!


Now we have a bit of chocolate overload happening around here. And paska that still needs to be eaten... But it's all good :)


"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead"
1 Peter 1:3

Monday, April 09, 2012

Calf Birth Day

It was a pretty exciting Easter Monday at our house. I left this morning to bring Keziah to a playdate and when I returned, big mama Cocoa was in labour. The boys and I watched her with Grandpa for a little while - meanwhile Micah asked questions like, how long was she going to walk around with that balloon sticking out of her? Haha :)

Farm life will definitely be educational for these kids.

We figured it could be awhile yet so I went inside to make lunch and then I heard Grandpa calling. I quickly went outside and there was Cocoa licking off her brand new baby calf.



We watched her for awhile as baby tried standing and eventually had success.


It was the perfect spring day for a calf to be born - about 20 degrees and sunny. We enjoyed keeping our eye on the new little family throughout the day.

Mom & baby watching me while grazing with the other cows.


I'm not sure yet if the calf's gender has been confirmed. So we haven't come up with a name for the little one yet.


It's hard to believe that a year ago Erik and I were still living in our little townhouse. If we could've known that one year later we would be living on a farm, not to mention watching baby calves being born, I think we would've been baffled! As I sit here with the fresh breeze coming through my open window - the only sounds being the chorus of frogs in the pasture and Erik whistling while he cleans up in the shop - I can't help but feel totally blessed to be exactly where we are.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Pussy Willows & Cow Pies

Well, there are no cow babies yet. But we keep watching and waiting, knowing that they will be here soon!

In the meantime, we went for a pussy willow hunt in the pasture.


Judging by the yellowish tips on these pussy willows, perhaps we were a little late in picking?? Or maybe they're a different variety?

No matter... We picked some anyway to add some spring into the house.



On the way back, we also discovered some nice deep puddles.




And we made another discovery - one that was new for the kids - when we found a fresh cow pie. Micah spent some time poking his stick into the soft mushy pile and getting thoroughly grossed out.

I guess it's just another "perk" of living on the farm.

Monday, April 02, 2012

How Now Brown Cow


About a week ago, three large and lovely ladies were delivered to our pasture. Now it feels like this whole "farm" operation is really legit.

Meet Cocoa, Brownie & Daisy - all mamas-to-be in the next week or so, which makes the whole thing even more exciting.
Our herd of 3 will soon be 6.



Despite my farm background, we never, ever had farm animals other than chickens (and cats and dogs of course) so this is all new to me.


Erik's dad, on the other hand, has some cattle farming experience from his pre-ministry days and is right at home with our new resident cows. He's already versing us on the signs of impending labour and we have all predicted that this lucky Mama (aka Cocoa) will be the first to go... I watched her waddle through the pasture this morning and I couldn't help but feel her pain.


Stay tuned for some super cute baby calf pictures to come in the near future...