Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beach Day and Campfire

So after too many months of being frustrated because my pictures just wouldn't load when I did actually sit down to write a post, I decided to try again.  I had to resize all the pics I am using first, but that extra step did the trick.  Hope you enjoy a little glimpse into our crazy life with two very imaginative little girls.
Oh, and as you will notice, about a month after my last post (Maya's haircut) Katie decided she needed a change too.  She grabbed a fistfull of hair on the side of her head and CHOP CHOP she made herself a duster.  So she is now sporting a pixie cut.


So the girls every once in a while decide to go to the beach...aka our bedroom.  They flip the blankets on the floor and voila - a beach.  Two days ago the girls played nicely together "at the beach" literally all day!!
 First it was just bouncing on the bed, and jumping into the water.  Crawling - I mean swimming- on the floor (water) and doing it again and again.
 Then of course they had to have the proper attire.  Maya got her swiming suit on (and we don't have our temparature in our house set high - she is just always warm) and Katie went out to the van to get mommy and daddy's sunglasses.
 They also asked for an umbrella, but I nixed that idea, so back to bouncing they went.
 My cute little girl showing off her shades.
 Then on to prepare a picnic for the Wiggles (apparently they were coming to our house to have a beach picnic with the girls).  Notice all the red and brown pieces on the checker board - that's the fire.  Katie spend a long time taping blue, green, and white game pieces to pick-up-sticks (as fish, apples and marshmallows) to roast over the fire

Then mid morning the snack shop opened and the girls had some fruit & cookies from mommy's kitchen

  All the while I was still catching up on 15 loads of laundry after the volunteer retreat at the mission so after I got back from putting some of the clean laundry back over to the mission center I came back and found that the girls had gotten into the storage room under the stairs, found flip flops for Maya and sandals for Katie as well as their camping chairs.  They had the chairs set up around the "campfire" and were munching on something. 
After closer investigation I discovered that they had climbed onto the counter in the kitchen, found social tea cookies and from the top shelf of my top cupboards they snatched a bag of marshmallows.  Since "they couldn't find chocolate that was flat" they decided to make their smores without the chocolate.  They were so creative, imaginative and cooperating with each other that I just couldn't give them trouble for getting into my goodie cupboard.
 After lunch the girls went back to the beach, but got dressed up as princesses first.  Again they played for most of the afternoon there.  (They had Jeff's alarm radio blaring most of the time to set the mood - I guess)
Next time I checked on them they took the princess diva another step further by getting inot my jewellery and MAKE UP.  this picture doesn't show it very well, but they both used lipstick, eye shadow and Katie used lipliner to paint her fingernails.  They grow up so fast.  I told them next time they want make up they have to ask and I can either do their make up, or I give them some that they can use.  No more helping themselves!!
And then cleaning up!  They totally trashed our bedroom, but it was a day of entertainment to them and I needed to change our bedding anyway.  So I'm not at all complaining, I'm just shaking my head still at my girls.


 On Saturday we had another beautiful late winter/early early spring day so we made good on our promise and had a campfire with the girls.  We packed homemade bread, Speck (bacon) from Mueti, hotdogs, fixings for smores and some veggies.
Katie and Maya took turns helping me gather firewood and just sitting on their camping chairs munching some fishy crackers.  (Most of them they ended up "feeding to the foxes" by laying down trails for the wildlife.


Jeff started the fire with just a flint and some grasses, etc he found around the bush (and a small pc of papertowel).  I am so proud to have such a handy and fire savy hubby.  (Those who know me, know that I'm a bit of a pyro - so anything fire is fun for me:)

 And on we move to bigger pieces of wood
 ... and a perfect little campfire in the middle of a snow covered bush.  Brings back many memories of cookouts while I was growing up.  We all had so much fun and we definitely want to keep on making special memories like that with our girls.

Nothing tastes like home smoked Speck cooked over an open fire.  Thank you again Mueti for your work in getting the bacon cured/salted and smoked.  Next time you'll have to come along.  Maybe we can have a cookout at the Waldkafi next week??? 
And of course you have to have a face to prove that we ate fire-cooked food.  Nothing like a little burnt hotdog, ashes and sticky smores on a kid's face to say "What a great supper!"
We wish you all a wonderful week, and now that I've figured out how to get the pictures to load better there's hoping there will be a post again before too long.
Many blessings to all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Birthday and Haircut

This post is almost 2 weeks overdue, but I thought I'll share the "old" news anyway.

Katie's 5th Birthday!

A couple of days early the "local" family gathered to celebrate Katie's birthday.  Katie asked for a chocolate and strawberry cake, but she had to make due with raspberries and strawberry filling.  What can you do with a December birthday??
 Katie got all dressed up for her party.  She was not only the birthday girl, she was the birthday PRINCESS!
 2 sets of grandparents and the only uncle that regularly visits our house came for cake and ice cream in the afternoon and a light supper after.
 Opening presents was of course the best part, and Katie sure loved the gifts she got!!  Thank you to all who blessed her!

Birthday Party # 2

On her actual birthday we had Katie's (and mine as host) first party with school friends.  Since it was close to Christmas I though we could do a Cookie Baking party.  It was more work than I thought, but I loved it and I think it was an all around success.
 First the 6 girls were split into 2 groups.  One group helped make Choc Chip cookies (everything measured and ready like a cooking show, they got to help me dump and mix) 
 The other 3 girls got to roll drop sugar cookie dough in coloured sugars and sprinkles.  Thank you Jeff for manning the making of the balls.  (I made the dough the day before so it had time to chill)
After about 15 min we switched and the second group of girls helped me make coconut/cranberry oatmeal cookies.
 Then while I got caught up with the baking, and Jeff cleaned up the sugared and sprinkled table and floor, the girls went and played for a while.
 For the second round we had some previously baked sugar cookies and a gingerbread man that the girls could decorate
meanwhile some of the girls helped with the chocolate cut out cookies (dough was made the day before and chilled).
For the loot "bag" they all got to take home a tin of freshly baked cookies as well as an apron (which they got at the BEGINNING of the party:)
 My best idea about the whole party was going out for supper after.  Katie loved the attention she got at East Side Marios.

The Haircut

 As you can see Maya's hair was getting quite long, half way down her back.  Even though brushing and doing her hair in the morning was getting to be a bit of a chore, she looked so nice and angelic with her long blond hair that I just didn't have the heart to cut it.
 Well, Maya made the choice for me when she took the scissors to her mane.  She took chunks out all around her head leaving the cut sections about chin length.  (And yes, I was over at the mission feeding 20+ Germans when this happened so I can blame no one but myself)
I though the "end"result looked so cute!  I just kind of evened things out around the back and left her lopsided bangs as is.  After about a week though I decided I should take to a hairdresser anyway, just to polish things up.  That was on a Friday.

On Saturday...

...our little Miss Maya decided to give it another try and cut her hair AGAIN!!  I was getting ready for Katie's family B-day party and when I want to check on her in the bathroom she was busy cutting her hair.  She chopped the side of it at about the middle of her ear.
 So, thankfully there was a 7 day guarantee from the hair salon so I took her back on the Tuesday to see what they can do.  He first tried to just round things out, but in the end there was just too big of a chunk of hair missing.  So the end result:
A short, LAYERED cut that still looks cute, but doesn't give the illusion of "angelic" anymore :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Maya's surgery

After Maya's surgery got post-poned last minute, we finally headed to McMaster Hospital in Hamilton on November 14th.
Maya was excited to see the Dr. who will remove her "ball" above her eye.
 All ready with her hospital gown and pj bottoms.  Vitals were taken and off we went for some more waiting.
 You can see the little bump just at the end of her left eyebrow.  A dermoid cyst, which is totally benign, but they will send it for testing just to make sure.
 Maya was very patient as we were waiting for her turn.
 I got to go into the OR with her until she was asleep.  The full body suit will come in handy for painting in the future.
 Maya got to take her blankie with her until she was out.  She did soooo well, no fussing or being scared or nervous with all the strange people and weird surrounding.
 At this point I was probably more nervous that maya was.
 Ready for "the mask that will put the medicine in my tummy to make me sleep"
And back home after a successful operation.  Maya didn't wake up very well from the general anesthetic, but she settled down once we got to the van, she slept most of the way home, and we spend the rest of the day snuggling on the couch and watching TV.
She is really a trooper,  she never complained about pain, and she leaves her eye and her bandage alone.  On Tuesday we go back to the doc to get her stitches removed.  We're glad that everything went so smoothly.  Thank you God for your peace!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Us in a nutshell

Hydro - or NOT!!!

So on Wednesday Oct 31st at about 8 a.m. we heard a huge BANG outside and our power went out.  We didn't think much of it, figured we just blew the switch on our transformer and called our local Hydro company to come and fix it.  Well, it turned out that we had an underground short in the main line supplying power to the house side of the Liebenzell Center.  All Hydro did was disconnect the line and told us to call an elecrical contractor to deal with the problem.  Easier said than done.  Seems like the electicians in the area are super busy so we were without any hydro or water until Friday afternoon.  It was like camping - in our own home.  See the breakfast picture below.
 So, now we have running COLD water on our side and partial hydro (no lights in the bathrooms, master bedroom, office, no stove, some light and 2 recepticals in the kitchen that work, no heat (baseboard heaters).  We have the fridge and freezer plugged into an extention cord running from the mission side (it's a newer addition to the building and has its own power supply).  We can have showers over there too, but the girls had their bath at a friends house.  We have a fireplace in the apartment downstairs so we've been keeping a fire going 24/7 so that our house is at least at about 16 degrees.  Still, I'm wearing a longsleved shirt and 2 sweaters to keep comfortable.
We are now waiting for locates, our neighbour agreed to dig a trench for us and then the electrician will run a new line.  Estimated time until we are restored to full power - 2 more weeks.  Fun fun fun.  At least this didn't happen in the dead of winter.  The girls don't seem to be bothered much by it and still insist on running around barefoot and it's a fight to get them to wear a sweater.  I have to be a little more creative with my cooking without a stove or oven, but I can use the one at the mission when I run out of ideas.  It's amazing how much we take for granted!  We are blessed to have all we have here and are trying to make the best of our situation.  We've spent many an evening just chilling in front of the fireplace.  No lights downstairs.  The TV and lights in the living room work, but it gets cold in the evening when we just sit.

Afternoon Walk with Grosi and Grosvati

Early November, my parents came for a visit, despite the lack of hydro.  They ended up taking Maya to the farm with them for a few days. 
 While they were here we all bundled up and went for a nice walk.  The girls had a lot of fun with Grosi and Grosvati.
 Katie in full swing rolling down the hill.  We played there for a little while until the girls were starting to get worn out from going up and down the hill.  Then off we went to hike around the pond.  The idea of wearing the girls out worked!  We all had a lot of fun together too.
 Grosvati was the Train engine and the two girls were getting pulled.  This reminded me a lot of the Sunday afternoon walks we did growing up in Switzerland.


 Our church was hosting a Trunk-or-Treat event.  The idea was to decorate your vehicle and then the kids could go from one car to the next in the safety of the church parking lot.  I think the idea was awesome and was quite disappointed when we got there and were  informed that because of the rain everything was moved inside.  Oh well, the kids still had a lot of fun and collected their treats with minimal effort and no frozen toes.
 Maya was a Mommy Jaguar (same as Katie was last year)
 Katie dressed up as a "baby unicorn that can fly".  Value village find that will do us for a couple of halloweens anyway.
In the church gym they had many games set up for the kids.  One of Katie's favorite was the dangling donut.  It was fun watching her trying to get a bite.  Maya didn't want to play, she just chewed on the rack they used to hang the donut on.  Silly girl.

So this is us.  Hanging in there and keeping busy.  Please pray with us that we would be plesantly surprised and the hydro issue will be resolved sooner and cheaper than expected.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Afternoon Hike

So it seems like I have better luck downloading the pics, but still have no say about where the pictures go.  Oh well. 
 A couple of weeks ago we took advantage of a beautiful afternoon to go for a family hike in a park down the road.  The girls had a lot of fun exploring the bush and we just enjoyed watching them.  It is so nice to not have to drag a wagon or stroller along.
Daddy and his girls (and Gordie).
Life is still hectic and feels a little unsettled, but we're hanging in there, trusting that God is in control and well lead and guide us even through turbulent waters.  He does promise to lead us to quiet/calm waters so I'm sure we'll get there eventually. 

Last weekend we were at my parents farm celebrating 20 years in Canada!  Amazing how the time goes by.  Life sure has changed in those 20 years, our family grew but also moved further away, so only half of the family was actually there to enjoy our traditional fonue.  Chris and Rudy and their families were missed.  Maybe we can try for a full family meal next summer.

Anyway, I gotta go and take Maya to her pre-op appointment.  Her dermoid cyst by her eye is getting removed next Wed.  Please pray that all will go well.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.