Monday, June 29, 2009

Mountains and Rivers and Bears, Oh My

I wish I could capture the feeling of being on vacation spray it liberally the rest of the year. The first couple of days we are winding down and getting into a slower rhythm and then we really start to relax and enjoy ourselves. There is just something about sunshine and water and trees and tiny wild strawberries and riding bikes and throwing rocks and finding frogs and eating popsicles and birthday cake and family and new friends that is good for the soul! We just never get enough...

View From My Laptop

No one wanted to come home...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Thank Goodness for Dads who build things and fix things and love the outdoors and make us laugh and teach us to ride bikes, and worry about us (no matter how old we are), and take us camping and make a mean steak, and take us for rides in kayaks, and love music, and tell their kids (and grand kids) they love them.
We love you too!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Berry And Some Ice Cream

Meet Berry. I know he's a fruit but he seems more like a pet. For the first several weeks of his life we gently carried him indoors overnight when it was freezing and then lovingly set him outside in the daytime to soak up any sunlight that came his way. We watched Berry blossom from his sweet white flower to a hard green bullet to the red beauty you see before you.
And then we ate him! And yes, I made the kids take tiny bites and share. Luckily there seems to be more where he came from.

And speaking of eating your friends/pets...the kids have really been enjoying Charlotte's Web lately. An older animated version, not the fancy new one. We like our talking pigs/spiders/rats as cartoons.
(I totally want to see the new one. Hey, 2006 is new to me!)

And while we're talking let me add that it's not that I don't have a zillion pictures to put up. In fact I DO have a zillion pictures. We're just too busy being outside and getting dirty and eating ice cream...
(and doing laundry and getting kids to sleep when it's light outside)

My favorite Ice Cream combinations so far:

Coconut milk, soy milk to top it up, 2 bananas, handful of frozen mango

Julie's chocolate sorbet with about a cup of buttermilk (creamy), a ripe banana - I'm going to add peanut butter next time

Buttermilk, fresh pinapple, 2 bananas, tablespoon of orange juice concentrate

I KNOW that some of these are not technically considered ice cream. But you don't have to cook anything and maybe it's slightly less fat than the custardy kind. But ALL GOOD!

I generally make about 4 cups of anything for my ice cream machine. I give the fruity stuff a quick whiz in the blender but leave some chunks.

Buttermilk is creamy with a wonderful tart kick that I love - it's not gross (or buttery) and goes deliciously well with fruit - try it and you'll be happy you did!

I don't normally add much sugar if I'm using a lot of fruit (just ripe bananas). If you like your ice cream a bit sweeter, try brown sugar for a little more depth of flavor. Half a cup is usually plenty.

I'm going to give this a try.

This works too!

And my next combination is going to be rhubarb/strawberry/apple (cooked up together) with a yogurt base. I expect it's going to be delightful.
Or I'm just going to have to chew on these yummy baby (toddler) cheeks!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


One of our favorite things to do the past few weeks is go for bike rides. Me and the kids. Babe rides in the chariot behind me and the boys on their bikes. We've had a fairly good system where one kid tends to be a bit slower with his training wheels and the other one rides a bit faster but I have managed to straddle between them and we always wait and catch up every few minutes. It's been a nice bit of freedom for all of us.
So we were off for a great ride on Saturday morning down a beautiful bike path...on our way home one little boy got separated from the rest of us. I kept expecting to see him around the next bend, as he has been very good at not getting too far ahead. But with all the trees and the small pathway, I lost sight of him.
I will spare you all the gritty details, but I ended up circling around and around for about an hour looking for him. I did not find him.

I am not a person who panics easily. This little boy is adventurous and curious and I figured he'd just wondered off a bit. But it doesn't take too long before that little wiggle of fear starts to grow and you don't want to think those thoughts, but you can't help it.
In the end we called the police.

My first tip of the day. The Police will help you find your lost kid. I was somewhat hesitant fearing the big hoopla of sirens and all the commotion you imagine when you call 911. But they take a description and send out a car to help you look. And apparently they had already had several calls that day (before noon) from frantic parents. I had no idea you could do that so quickly.

Within minutes we heard from some helpful strangers on the path that my lost boy had been found, further away than we can expected him to be, but completely safe and sound. And he was with a police officer on his way back.

SOOOOOOOOO...what did I learn from this experience...???
Yes, of course, don't lose your kid for starters. But as often with these sorts of life events there are many lessons.
As the kind police woman pointed out, The Lost Boy didn't know any of his personal information. He didn't know our first or last names. Or our phone number. Or address. We're thinking of having something tattooed or gps implants...

Right at the moment I realized I couldn't do any more on my own, help was there. Our neighbours literally came out in droves. On bicycles and in cars they came. Concerned and kind they came. Supportive and caring they came.
I relied on the kindness of strangers as well. One woman in particular rode around with me from the beginning.
Someone I had talked to on the path actually saw The Lost Boy and got him to the police.
Thank you all.

And oddly enough I learned I am thankful for the Loud Boy. The one who constantly lets me know where he is and what he needs.

So prayers were answered and we are thankful and grateful and relieved. The Lost Boy himself seems untraumatized. I don't want him to feel fear the way I do, but I wish he had just a little... we'll continue talking about it.

At the end of the day, my heart breaks for those parents. I can barely breath when I think about it. I'm not going to dwell on all the fear. But my heart breaks.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


The sun is out and so are we! See ya soon...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Hello June...???

It's been SO COLD.
We are ignoring the real weather and imagining it's this day again. Which sadly is a lot less fun than actually having this day.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Summer Lychee

I think lychee fruit are wonderfully beautiful. Yep, I'm crazy for the fruits. I love the color, the texture, and of course the taste! And it turns out they are a great summer snack. Juicy and sweet the kids love to peel them and are even learning not to eat the large seed inside. A perfect treat.

Happy Bee

This kid used to be a natural in front of the camera. Now he does those weird fake smiles. Or just doesn't sit still long enough. So I was quite happy to see his handsome baby blues looking back at me. Although looking quite shockingly grown up...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Bug's Best Day

I really do think this was his favorite day. A couple of weeks back he requested his training wheels be taken off his bike. He spent a few wobbly minutes and was soon riding around on his own two wheels! He had a few sketchy patches, but for the most part he's a natural. Great balance that kid, and it didn't take much work at all.
His brother had to give it a shot, but it didn't last long before the training wheels were right back on. A little more time.
The Bug is more than happy to give tips on learning to ride your bike...
1. Keep your head up.
2. Just keep practicing and you can do it!
3. Go fast!
He has been so excited and gets up every day wanting to ride his bike.
Life as a bike rider is not without peril. But it is always worth it!