Erik has another invention!

We actually started Erik’s blog a while ago, but after 2 inventions things kinda dried up.  But he’s back!  Check out his latest at

eriksinventions.wordpress.com

As well, we are leaving for the cottage so I won’t be posting till the end of August, I’m excited to go on vacation!

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Our first butterfly!

Our first butterfly emerged yesterday from its chrysalis.  I noticed that the chrysalis was getting dark on Sunday, so Sunday night I moved it from the bug box to a piece of wood overtop of a plastic container so it would be easier to see.  Monday morning I forgot to check it, but then when Erik went over around 10:00 am he noticed the butterfly had already come out!

In a few hours she (I’m pretty sure it was a female) was flapping her wings and a pool of moisture started to collect underneath it as the wings were drying. 

Erik got a little concerned that it would take flight and be flying around our house, so we made a quick call to Mrs. McCaw, our butterfly advisor and she suggested moving it outside to finish drying.  Plus, she pointed out that it was a perfect day for butterflies, sunny and warm.   So I took it outside, it got a little agitated from the move, so as soon as it got out the front porch it made a quick flight to this bush, where it spent a few more hours drying off and then left.

It really seems like a miracle, that this beautiful butterfly can come from such a tiny egg, fit into that tiny chrysalis and all within a month!   God is amazing and his creativity just astounds me!  

Well, we have four more chrysalis’ and three more caterpillars, so there is more excitement to come!

No cheese pizza and rained out soccer

For the past month I’ve had some digestive problems that have resulted in 8 lbs on weight loss (the bright side I guess) so guess what I had for dinner tonight… you guessed it, cheeseless pizza, which actually wasn’t too bad.   I’ve had some tests done and will be seeing my doctor again this week, but for now, no dairy and not a lot else actually.  It’s BORING, but it is helping so I won’t complain.

And William had his final soccer game on Saturday, but they only played for about 10 minutes before they stopped the game because of heavy rain.  Watching William play soccer is kinda fun, first because he’s in the under 5 league which means the kids are all huddled in a mass around the ball and secondly because we didn’t realize just how fast William was… he always seems to start from behind, but just seems to easily lope to the front of the pack.  He and another little boy that looks just like him ended up scoring most of the goals for the team, and it was neat to watch them play together.  The best part is, this little boy Josh goes to the school that William will be attending in the fall, so now William today was saying he was excited to go to this new school, AWESOME!

You can see how everyone is quite soaked, but the kids didn’t seem to mind as they played, but thankfully the game was cut short.   So that’s soccer for this year,  it should be just as exciting next time around!

Kinda a strange day…

You know those days that so unusual, they just end up seeming kinda strange, well today was one of them.   It was just a day where I did nothing that I normally do and everything that I don’t.    And even though I love the break (especially the mental break) of not having the kids around, it also makes my day seem unusually strange and quiet.  But I’m happy to say that I took full advantage of it and actually read the complete Pioneer Woman’s love story – you can find it on her website…   Black heels to Tractor wheels… http://thepioneerwoman.com

I really enjoyed the romance and it’s even nicer when you’re reading a story you know is real!  Although I warn you, you might start looking around for your own cow-boy!

And we have our first monarch chrysalis here!   The biggest caterpillar started hanging upside down this morning and when I checked next, he had shed his skin and he was a chrysalis!  So now in 10-14 days we will have our first butterfly!  It`s very exciting.

And Erik finished up his Engineering camp today.  He really liked it and said he would attend next year.  But we missed the closing presentation. Apparently even though the brochure says to come between 3 & 4 for a parent’s day open house, it REALLY meant,  come right at 3:00 for a presentation that will be over before you arrive at 3:25.  Oh well, Erik didn’t seem to mind.   And he brought all the things that he made home, so I hope we didn’t miss too much.   We’re glad to be done camp (I felt like I was in the van driving all week) but he had a great time and said he would go again next year.   Thank-you Grandma and Grandpa for sending him!

And poor Soph has a fever.  It started yesterday, but was so low-grade that I just assumed was her eye-teeth that are coming in.  But then when she still had it today, I thought it was maybe the shots she had on Monday, but I called the dr and she called back and said it could be the shots, but more than likely just another virus.  Poor Soph, she was so patient today as I dragged her all over creation.  First to Grandma’s to get Erik (he spent the night) then Erik’s camp, then a friend’s house for tea, then to the bank and finally to the market.  Then home for morning nap.  Then later on back to Erik’s camp.  After supper the drug store (for more Tylenol) and finally the grocery store.  Poor monkey, I hope she sleeps tonight!  Poor crazy haired baby…

But things get back to normal tomorrow when the kids come home and they are all here again and probably exhausted and no Jason for most of the day and a street BBQ to attend in the evening.   I have a feeling I’ll be wishing myself back in my strange day!

A full pool and a quiet house…

Another beautiful hot July day!  And this is what our pool looked like a few hours ago…

Full of people!  My brother Jason and his 5 kids were in there along with my dad and my kids.  I was in there too with Sophia, but of course I cropped me out of the picture.   Of course I did, I’m the one who maintains this blog and I have rights!

But now the house is quiet and will be REALLY quiet tomorrow because Will and Sarah are off Oma and Opa’s for a few days, hurrah!    Thanks Oma and Opa!  

And they were happy to go, but Sarah took her smile off for my pic of course.   Just like this pic I took earlier of her and cousin Rachel… 

What a peach!   Anyway,  with 2 of the kids away combined with Erik being gone all day to day-camp this week means 2 days at home with just Sophia!   And she naps so it’s like a  mini-vacation.    I’m am so excited to be able to do what I want  to do… WOW, it’s amazing!   Probably some sewing and gardening and maybe just a little novel reading and chocolate eating.   It’s sounds heavenly. 🙂

Gotta love summer!

Butterfly Garden Part 2

The kids and I  saw a Monarch butterfly flitting around our new butterfly garden today!  It was flying around and I’m not sure what it was doing, but it touched every milk-weed plant in the garden.   Then it went behind the fence, there are milkweed there too, so I need to do a good check to see if it had a chance to lay some eggs.  It’s so amazing the connection between the butterflies and the milkweed, things like that always make me marvel at God’s creation.  Now I didn’t get a picture, first off because we still haven’t replaced our camera that broke and our old camera would never catch a buttefly in flight!  Too bad.

But the garden is coming along.  I had pulled everything out that didn’t belong and I’ve planted a butterfly bush,  a new little purple daylily (Little grapette) and some zinneas, which are all flowers that adult butterflies love. 

My next goal is to transplant some other flowers that I have in other gardens, but it’s been way to hot to garden.  Hopefully I’ll get a chance this coming week.

And our caterpillars are growing like crazy.   We had the three hatch last week and one is already over an inch long!  Then we found 2 more tiny baby caterpillars on a milkweed that had accidentally been pulled up, so we had five.  One didn’t make it (he died) and when I check with our Monarch expert, Mrs. McCaw, she said this was normal.   So we had four.  Then I found yet another caterpillar outside so we were up to five again, but then today I noticed that another one was missing.  It was our tinest baby, I think he must have crawled out of his cage.  I should have had netting on the cage, so we’ll be careful next time…   but we found 2 more eggs today, so we’ll just keep going!

Here’s another little something I found growing in my garden…  I can’t believe my baby is getting so big!

But my baby caterpillars seem to be filling up my need for babies… maybe that’s why I’m enjoying them so much?  I do feel like their parent, but thankfully I’ve never lost one of my own children… haha.    Babies and caterpillars, what a great combination!

Things I’m thankful for…

This has been one hot week.  I had read that environment Canada was predicting a hot and dry summer, but that was earlier in June when all it seemed to do was rain and I really didn’t believe them.  But now I do!   With another day of over 30 degree temps,  we have spent more time inside than I thought we would, but I’m really thankful to be able to cool down in the pool, and these little guys like it too…

And it’s hard to get this little froggy out of the pool she loves it so much.   Sophia… she’ll come in if she has too, but it’s not her favourite.  It probably doesn’t help that every time she comes in, someone manages to splash water in her face!

But what I’m really thankful for is that after visiting Sarah’s asthma specialist yesterday,  he decided that Sarah can come off her daily steriod maintance puffer for now.    We will now just wait and see what happens when she gets her next cold, and if she manages it OK, she won’t have to go back on it.  I’m not against using medication when needed, but it’s nice not to be on it if we don’t have to be.  

So I’m glad to find some things to be thankful for in this extreme heat… and I think it’s time for another swim!

Summer Bible reading…

I just love this when this happens… my daily devotions, so my daily Bible reading and prayer time has grown a little stale, and I was wondering what book of the Bible to read next, or if I should start a devotional, or what I should do.  So I’ve been praying about and asking God for some direction.

Well yesterday morning in church,  Norm, our pastor asked how everyone was doing with the Bible reading program they had talked about last week!!!!!   How cool is that?   They set up a reading program just for me.  haha 

Now we were away last week, but I was eager to find out what it was all about, so this morning I logged onto Harvest Bible Chapel’s Website found here….

http://www.harvestlondon.ca

Found the info for the reading program and it’s so cool!    The Bible has been divided up into 10 sections, groupings that make sense and seem very do-able.    So I’m eager to get started but  I’m not going to start at the top, I think that reading Job, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon this summer will be just right – plus that’s 62 chapters.. perfect!

I’m so thankful for a fresh way to read the Bible,  courtesy of Harvest, and leading from the Lord.

Butterfly Garden – Part 1

Thanks to Erik’s wonderful Grade 1 teacher, Mrs.  McCaw, we are very excited about butterflies here.  It all started in September when Erik started school and Mrs. McCaw had so many Monarch butterfly caterpillars in all different stages of life set up in the classroom.  The children would observe them and after the butterflies had formed their chrysalis and then later emerged as butterflies, the children were able to go and set them free (usually with the butterflies landing on their noses first for a drink of sugar-water). 

So now it’s summer-time again and the Monarch’s are busy laying their eggs.  But not just anywhere!  They only lay their eggs on milk-week and low and behold, we actually have milk-week growing here in one of our flower gardens!   I’ve pulled it out every other year (I’m not sure I even knew what it was) but this year, knowing that it’s on the ONLY host plant for Monarch’s, we’re keeping ours.    And that led to Mrs. McCaw coming to our house this week to show us how to look for Monarch eggs and we have some!     Now we just learned from the guide at the butterfly conservatory that out of the 200 eggs a monarch lays, only 2 of those will end up as mature butterflies, so the odds aren’t that great, but it’s easy to take them inside and raise them, so we’re going to try!   Monarch’s are not endangered, but they are being watched, so it’s nice to lend mother-nature a hand, and what a science lesson!

Here is an egg and 2 tiny tiny caterpillars that just hatched today!  See how tiny they are?  Too bad I didn’t put anything in the pic to compare, but that egg isn’t much bigger than the period at the end of this sentence.  Sorry – I know they are hard to see, my old camera just doesn’t want to zoom in closer and focus.

They are the little things with the black heads.  It’s hard to believe that in two weeks they will be huge caterpillars! 

So, back to the butterfly garden part.  I’ve had a flower garden here that I’ve never liked, but just wasn’t sure what to do with it.  And it’s the one that has always had milk-week trying to grow in it.  So then it came to me… I would dig it all up and plant flowers and plants with butterflies in mind and make our very own buttefly garden.   This is what the flower garden looked like before…

all over-grown and full of plants that aren’t meant to be in full sun all day.   So yesterday, I dug most of it out.   There were a lot of hostas… A TON.  But now it’s ready for its new plants, I’ll keep you posted!

Good-bye school…

Well school is out for the summer and Tuesday, being our last day should have been happy, but it wasn’t.  I cried.  Our  school has closed it’s doors for good and we had to say good-bye to teachers and friends.   Small schools like ours are apparently not cost-effective, so it’s time to make way for BIGGER and BETTER!   But we loved our small school, only one class of each grade, where the teachers knew EVERY student’s name, and everyone looked out for each other’s kids.

Now thankfully the boys weren’t really sad (hello –  summer vacation!) but they will probably miss the school more in the fall when they are bussed to a larger school further away.  I’m so glad kids are resilient and everyone says that school is great too.  I hope so!

So this is definitely one good thing that came to and end.   Here’s Erik as I dropped him off in the morning of his last day at our school…

And William hanging his back-pack on his hook for the last time….

 

On the bright side, it is summer vacation and it is WONDERFUL not having to get 4 little people fed and dressed and out the door before 9 every morning.  And so for a few months we can forget that it’s over and hopefully we’ll be more reconciled to the change in the fall.

I am very thankful that the boys were able to attend here for the 3 years that we did.  And we’ll see what the Lord has in store for us next year.  But for now, it’s good-bye dear school and thank-you for all the wonderful memories!