Monday, April 30, 2007

Our Big Fossil Hunt

We hooked up with a geologist (and a astrophysicist!) the other day and went on a fabulous fossil hunt. It was so much fun and quite thrilling. The most amazing thing was smashing open a rock that just looked like an ordinary rock and finding a beautifully preserved (45 million year old - according to our geologist) plant fossil on both sides of the split rock. These fossils are from the Metozioc Period, so while not dinosour fossils, they're from the same time. There has been some excavation in the area and overturned earth that they knew was rich in fossils. Rich would be an understatement. We ened up with two bucket fulls! And that's just what we brought home with us. Samuel also found some quartz and other minerals, so we are now starting an impromtu unit on rocks, minerals and fossils since everyone is excited about it. Here's Samuel with map in hand, backpack with Rocks and Fossils book, magnifying glass, hammer and shovel, oh and don't forget the Tilley Hat!

Samuel and Will discovering fossils along the way before we even reach the main site.

My little scientist in all his glory.

Getting a closer look.

The boys on the mound. Teigan hunted off and on, but the flowers were really pretty!

I love this picture. It reminds me of pictures that you see of guys mountaineering in the 1930s or something. All he needs is an old fashioned canteen.

What a great day, and now exciting kick off to our new unit study. No wonder I never have a hard time figuring out what to study. The harder thing is what to put on the back burner... I love homeschooling!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Scientific One

So this afternoon we were playing at a friend's house. All five kids squealing and playing in the yard, their little guy is running around in his gitchies and decides he's going to whip it out and go right there. Mom calls out the window, "hey, keep your pee pee in your pants and come inside if you have to go!" She of course was competing with five screaming kids and had to say it a couple of times. Samuel, the ever technical, scientific six year old calls back, "it's not a pee pee. It's a penis." Ya, thanks for that clarification, buddy!

The Ever Optimist

So I finally took Liam into the doctor today. He's had this hacking cough that just won't leave, although it never seems to diminish his spirits or really bother him in any way. We get into one of the rooms (thankfully) when Liam looks up at me from the book we're reading and says, "I don't feeol so good, Mommy." The good thing about an ever positive kid, when something is wrong, you know it. I grab the garbage can and he unloads breakfast. Mmm. Splendid. Better there than the waiting room and all contained, so not a huge deal. A few minutes later the doctor comes in and says, "so you're not feeling very good, Liam?" Liam looks at him kind of funny, "No, I feeol good." He checks his ear and it's red, the start of an infection... "does your ear hurt?" "No." "How about your tummy? Is it hurting?" "No." "What about your throat, it must hurt." "No. I feeol good." He gives him some medicine for the ear (maybe help the cough - but it may be allergies - who knows). We came home and Liam opted for bed over lunch (not a usual Liam choice!) slept for 2 1/2 hours, and woke up ready to take on the world. I love the attitude. Thanks God for this beautiful kid.

I don't know why I'm suddenly moved to write about what happened with Liam, but I am, so I'll tell you if you don't know. I went into premature labour with Liam at 24 weeks. We were living in the Cayman Islands at the time and they couldn't handle a baby that early, so they actually had the helicopter on the roof of the hospital and Baptist Hospital in Miami (one of the big neo-natal units) notified that we might be on our way. That would have been if Liam had been born, because they couldn't take me in labour. I was in labour with him for 12 hours before they were able to stop it, which is actually funny, because that's longer than all three of my birth labours put together! The doctor emphasized just how important it was (obviously) to keep him where he was for at least another 4 weeks. Longer hopefully, but the 28 week mark is a big one. My eyes are burning with unfallen tears as I write this because I am always overwhelmed by the fact that Liam might never have been and I can't even begin to imagine our lives without this incredible blessing from God.

Taken completely out of context, but perfect for this moment, the scripture, "He who began a good work in you will carry it through to the day of completion", was the verse that came to me and that I held on to. God in his infinite mercy and grace, allowed Liam to continue through where he was, until the doctor so rudely interrupted him 3 1/2 weeks early because he was too big. When he came out, he weighed in at 9 lbs, 3 1/2 weeks early! Every one of our (yours and mine) kids is an amazing miracle of God's that we got to play a little part in the making of. I am awed and amazed that the God of all the universe loves me (and you) even more than the depth of love I have for my kids; more than we could ever imagine, certainly more than we could ever deserve. Too much to comprehend, but forever grateful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Samuel's letter to Bertuzzi

Samuel's favourite hockey player is still Bertuzzi, so he decided to write a letter to him. (By the way - great writing idea because he wanted it to be perfect!) He wrote a rough draft and then edited it and wrote it out in good copy. Here's Samuel and his bear, Bert, and his letter to Todd Bertuzzi. Oh, and GO Canucks GO!

The Best of Friends

On Sunday morning we woke up to a couple of cm of water throughout the basement. (Yes, lovely way to spend a Sunday!) We called my Mom and Dad who were already getting ready for church, they changed into their grubbies instead and came right over with the wet vac. After completely evacuating the basement of all of its contents, sucking up countless litres of water, ripping out the carpet, (it was hideous anyway!) we're still working on it all. Samuel really wanted to help with everything going on, but Liam and Teigan helped by staying out of the way. (Originally the water was fun to splash in, but we got them out of there!) Liam and Teigan are only 16 months apart in age and while their personalities are, of course, quite different, I can't believe the way these two play together. I went out to check on them at one point and found them in this big box together. They had transported numerous books and spent at least an hour, "reading" to each other, talking about the pictures and just hanging out. They didn't even realize that I took the picture or that we all came out to peek at them.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Celtic Festival

Today was Teigan's first Irish dance festival. Oh my goodness, so stinkin' cute! I had a hard time picking only a couple of pictures. After a slow start, the fire alarm in the building went off, then the firemen came... (all very exciting I assure you), it was a great little festival. Oh, and notice of course... the tongue!

The Penticton Pipe band did a few numbers which of course was a big treat. Samuel and Liam donned their kilts in full support of their little sister (any excuse to wear them is a good one for them - they wore them to church too). The boys were talking to some of the pipers afterwards and one of them asked if they'd like to hold the pipes - they were all over that! Samuel has already been talking about playing pipes for a few years now, but we're working on piano and fiddle for now! He of course has it all planned out, "when I'm good at the piano and fiddle then I'll start guitar and bagpipes, but I don't think my hands are big enough yet".

Note that the guy is still holding his pipes - would you trust this kid with your pipes?!
Liam FULLY enjoying the pipe band!

A Day at the Goat Farm

We went and visited the Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisans last week. What a great day. We all went through the whole goat cheese making process and tasted all different (and so delicious!) kinds of goat cheese. When I asked the kids what kinds we should buy, they all proclaimed "all of them!" These pictures are with the 3 day old baby goats. When you blow lightly on their nose they try to "kiss" or nibble on your nose/lips/chin... whatever happens to be close. It was so much fun.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hangin' with the boys

We spent a couple of hours this afternoon at the fabulous park in Kettle Valley (up past the Pyramid Winery in Kelowna). It is such a great park and the kids always enjoy it so much. I love this picture of the boys because Samuel (the freaky dare devil) was encouraging Liam to climb up the top of the tube slide (it's really long and goes down the side of the hill). Liam had climbed up to where Samuel was, and Samuel bent down and put his arm around him and told him that he was so proud of him. (I love having a telephoto lens so you can just get them being themselves.)

The Raggamuffin and the tongue!

Okay, I know that she doesn't look it on the outside, but I'm telling you this little girl is related to Michael Jordan! Don't laugh - just look at these pictures from an afternoon at the park and you'll see the resemblance! There it is, all pink and wet, hanging out for all the world to see - yes, it's true - the funny thing is that as I write this, I just remembered that her name was almost Jordan! Coincidence? Hmmm... I think not!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A stellar mom moment

While the weather is great outside and Spring has finally decided to grace us with her presence, the water is not up to it's summer temperatures yet. The other day we were playing down by the beach, the kids exploring on the rocks, me taking pictures of course... when Liam takes a tumble into the water. Knowing that it's not too deep (just cold) I offer my supportive mom comments like, "you're okay Buddy, climb on out" and "Oh, I bet that's cold, but we'll get you dried off and warm"... as I snap a few pictures of the event and walk around off the dock and over to the little jetty that the kids are on. Liam walking towards me now, pulls his hand down from the back of his head and yes, it's covered in blood. Well, if you've had a look at Chris' blog you'll see that Ben ended up with stiches the very same day. I stripped his wet clothes off of him and carried him in his gitchies and shirt (looking like a real hockey player, his jersey covered in blood) into the clinic - pressure on the back of his head, lots of blood, and carrying a crying kid - if you ever want to get into a room and not sit in the waiting room at all, this is the way to do it! I said "into a room", not have a doctor see you (you'll note the difference!) By the time the doctor came in, I'd stopped the bleeding and Liam was fine listening to a book. However when the doctor said something along the lines of "I think it could use three or four stiches", Liam started shaking and looked horrified at the idea. I asked if it really needed it since I didn't care if he had a scar (on the back of his head) and the bleeding was now under control, and I didn't really want to tramatize the poor little guy any more than necessary. So the doctor agreed that would be fine and we walked out without stitches... to make it just on time to Jason and my baseball game, where Liam ran around with the other kids and you'd never have known that there was any excitement any earlier that afternoon.

Easter Egg Hunt

After a beautiful Easter morning service, (and before Easter dinner for 15) we had a great Easter egg hunt with some friends and cousins. Teigan was so cute and absolutely loved the hunt - and her basket. The boys were hard core and kept going, insisting that there had to be more out there somewhere!

Looking forward to next season

These first two pictures are fogged because we came in from a cold mountain to the room where the awards ceremony were and the lense on my little camera was fogged! Samuel skied this year with the Apex Freestyle Club, and is now a card carrying (no kidding, he got his membership card a couple of weeks ago) member of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. (He thinks it's very cool to be a member of the same club as Christy Richards - Olympic freestyler). Liam was proud to get a ribbon from Samuel's coach as well. He and I tagged along with Samuel's group to the places that Liam could handle - that being said, Liam (who's 4) did a few black diamond runs this year! He absolutely loves skiing. Samuel got a medal and a 1st ribbon and actually got to ski on the World Cup mogul course this year. (Yes, he does moguls! I generally avoid those.) Freestyle was the perfect place for Samuel, he loves the bumps and jumps, the half pipe which he rides to the top rim, and the tree trails, as well as just general fun skiing! Liam just treks along right behind. Numerous times this year the three of us went skiing mid week (the perks of homeschooling) and had such incredible times together. I love hanging out with these guys!

Liam and Alissa, as always, having a great time together.

A weekend with our friends at BIG WHITE - the kids are already asking for a week next year!

Teigan loves skiing too, but at three she only makes it through the morning before she's done!