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Father’s Day 2011

28 Jun

Last weekend-ish (I know I am behind on my blogging) we decided to take the older two girls whitewater canoeing.  We were going with a fairly large group (8 adults and 3 kids), so we had lots of help.  And we enlisted the Grandmothering services of my MIL to watch Josselyn while we were away.

Uncle John with the girls waiting at the put-in spot in Aumond Bay.

Bronwyn was feeling under the weather for most of the trip, unfortunately, so she didn’t have quite as good of a time as Holly.  But, looking back, I’m not sure anyone had as good of a time as Holly!

Bruce working on his solo skilz!

On our first rapid (the same rapid that Bruce took B down solo 2 years ago and she got splashed so badly that she screamed every time she went down fast water after that!) Bronwyn clung tightly to the yolk (Rule #3- don’t touch the gunnels) and held on for dear life, while Holly knelt in the bottom of the boat like a pro and yelled, “WHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”.

On scouting breaks, Bronwyn slunk around my legs like a shadow, while Holly and Daddy checked out the rapids and whined, “when can I go swimming?”.


There were two rapids that Bruce and I portaged the gear and he paddled solo while I watched the girls at the bottom, and we didn’t dump once.  We did get pretty wet, and there was one rapid where the wave crashed over my head (in the bow) and soaked the girls kneeling behind me.  After that Holly declared that she loved the rapids, but only the little big ones.  And Bronwyn admitted that she loved the rapids too, but only if we didn’t get wet.  Well, I don’t much like getting soaked either, but at least the water was warm.

Watching the grown-ups navigate High Falls, only moments before discovering a huge turtle!

While waiting for the rest of the group (and the hundreds of other day paddlers on the river that weekend) navigate some of the tougher Class IV falls, I kept the girls occupied by showing them how we could jump into the moving water and get carried downstream by the current.  Then we slid off big rocks in the middle of swifts and I grabbed the girls as they went rushing by on the tops of waves, and we started all over again.  We drew our names in the sand with sticks, and roasted marshmallows on sticks, and ate meat off of sticks…

Enjoying our standard camping fare: Meat-on-a-stick

Holly spent all her free time jumping from rock to rock next to the river and giving all the adults mini heart attacks.

She learned how to wash dishes in the river, and the girls spent hours filling water bottles with purified water.

Gravity pump?! Whatever happened to the old-fashioned hand pump?!?

Feeling better, and eager to be useful

Holly stared at a tiny pool of water in a rock for nearly 20 minutes because, “I just know there are fairies in there”.

The girls slept great (although probably not as good as Uncle John in his new Monarch hammock tent- so-cool-I-WANT-one!!!), but Bronwyn woke me up at some point after dawn wanting to know if I could hear, “the most beautiful bird song I have ever heard in my life”.

I think the only thing that would have made this trip better, was if Josselyn could have been with us, and we could start making memories as a full family of five.  Next year, Joss.  Next year!

Pretending to be asleep!

Making faces!

Madawaska 2011


Howarths’ Got Talent

23 Mar

I’m meelllttttiiinnnggggg…

20 Mar

I wish I were melting.  We arrived home last night in the dark.  Imagine my surprise when I get up this morning and find all the snow still on the ground.  After being in Cambridge and playing at the park in our sweaters, this was kind of a shock.  The Weather Network doesn’t sound promising either.  Below average temperatures for another week?  What kind of Spring is this?!

So, while I am still in a snowy mood, I will share some pictures from our trip to Galilean:

Snow Pig

Bronwyn and my mom built this snow pig, but it was Bronwyn who designed the face.  I am not 100% sure she intended it to be a pig when she started, but it sure looked like one when she finished!

Kissing her Pig

Holly wanted to get in on the action:

Posing with Pig

And then I caught her doing this:

Yes, she is licking the Snow Pig.  What a ham*!

*Pun fully intended…


19 Mar

I know that this is a poor excuse for a blog posting, and some might have noticed that I went 2 days in a row without posting.  Thank you for not inundating my inbox with complaints.  I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to keep this blog-a-day thing going while on vacation.  So… I’m sorry.

But today is our final day.  We are going to stop in Oakville to visit Aunt Jan, Uncle John, and this place.  We are also going to visit quickly with Joan and then HOME!

So, this is a cop-out blog because I am busy packing, and eating crepes.  But there is a finale!!

The Big reveal from this post!

That is a picture of Bronwyn, taken March 2008.  And to all of you who made the comment that you can tell by the eyes are absolutely right.  I almost didn’t post the picture because I thought the eyes were a dead give-away.  But there you have it, TWINS!


18 Mar

Tonight we decided to use up some leftovers to make supper.  We are still at the Whitman’s, and to make things easier, I suggested we make my favourite “leftovers” recipe.  Ingredients?  Stovetop stuffing (cornbread), leftover meat, leftover vegetables, milk, cheese, and eggs.

“Do you have the recipe?” asks Nicole.

“Check the back of the box.”

We mix everything together, place it in the oven, and take the kids to the pond.  We see two ducks, zero swans, one earthworm, and a whole lot of dirt.

When we return, supper is ready and so are the kids.  Holly inhales her first plate and asks for seconds.  Claire eats with no complaints.  Anna declares she doesn’t know what she likes… “what do I like?!”  Josselyn eats her plate of ham, broccoli and peaches.  And Bronwyn stalls.  Like usual.  Everyone was almost finished when she finally put a piece in her mouth:

“This is AMAZING!  Mom, you have to make this at home!”

“I have made this at home.”

“Nicole, can you give my mom this recipe, she needs to make this for us at our house.”


“Nicole, maybe you could email it to her so she doesn’t leave without it, could you do that?  Because this is so delicious that I ate the whole thing and maybe if she made food like this at home I would eat more often.”


Never going to be invited back…

17 Mar

We arrived at Nicole‘s mid-afternoon yesterday, and between hauling the kids to the park, forcing them into the bathtub, and coercing them to sleep (sense a pattern?), there wasn’t a moment to jump in the shower.  So this morning, it was first on my list of priorities.  Nicole graciously allowed me to go first (guest and all) and Josselyn and I wasted no time getting into the shower (in case she changed her mind).

Hair washed?  Check.  Hair conditioned?  Check.  Josselyn soaped?  Check.  Face washed?  Just let me adjust the nozzle…

That’s when I found myself staring stupidly at the shower head in my hand, while streams of hot water sprayed erratically around the bathtub, soaking the toilet, vanity and floor.  I came to my senses and turned off the water.

When I was younger, I would sometimes sleep over at my cousin, Derek’s house.  I loved hanging out with this cousin, and my Aunt Linda was one of my favourite people when I was a child (still is, still is…!).  I remember staying there one weekend and needing a shower.  I was still at an age where I was transitioning from having baths to showers, and when the choice was offered, I boldly declared that I would prefer a shower.  Aunt Linda got everything ready, setting up the temperature, pulling out a towel, and showing me where the shampoo was kept.  I was ready.

And then…

The shower curtain fell down.

It was a nightmare.  I was alone, and naked, and in a strange place.  The door was locked, and I needed to get out of the shower to unlock the door to allow in my rescuers, screaming at them to NOT.COME.IN until I was safely back in the shower, with the shower curtain wrapped around me… and the water still on… and…       you get the picture…

Fast forward 20 plus years…

As I stared at the broken shower, I resisted the urge to call for help (I should be able to handle this, you know?!).  In the end, I unhooked the hose and used it to rinse off me and Joss, then I calmly stepped out of the shower and explained why we were all going to have to go to Canadian Tire, and why Nicole would have to go with dirty hair.

March Break

11 Mar

Friday morning and March Break has begun!  I packed the van last night and have packed and re-packed the cooler 3 times to make sure everything is going to fit.  We are heading to Sudbury to pick up my parents and will continue on to Blind River, ON for a weekend of fun and fellowship!

Family Camp is a tradition at my parent’s church that goes back to when I was a kid (well, maybe a teenager).  Since being married and having kids, I have only made it back once.  But now that the girls are getting older, and more independent, and less, oh, what’s the word I’m looking for…


That’ll do.

Winter camp holds such good memories for me: the bunkbeds… the TUBE HILL… the Ping-Pong tables… the basement showers…  All you GBCers- know what I’m sayin’?!

It is obviously different when you go as a camper, but Family Camp has its own unique benefits.  Namely, no one to stop you squeezing through the triangle ALL FOUR WAYS!

Do I sound excited?

I am.

I want my girls to experience all the fun that I had at camp.  And I know that they’ll be there with their Mommy.  And that part of the sparkle of Camp can only be experienced when you are on your own, and away from your parents, and with all your best friends that you only see once or twice a year at camp.  But I hope I can lay a foundation that will drive them to forge the types of friendships that can only be made at Camp.

So, here’s to all my GBC friends: thanks for everything.  And, Erin?  I challenge you to the Triangle!  Bring it on- and bring your camera!

I’m curious, what are YOUR plans for March Break?

Bronwyn and Nate playing ball. GBC 2008.

Wade and Holly

Heading for the Triangle!

Know any of these people?