Let’s go camping…again

While cleaning the trailer out late Saturday afternoon, Daddy and I had a great idea…let’s go camping!  Sometimes I like to do crazy spontaneous things and it just happens I married a wonderful man who is willing to indulge me.  So…we packed up the trailer for another week long trip.

We are camping close enough to home that Daddy can still go to work during the day and we brought all the “technology” so I can work from the campsite.

After arriving at the campground, we set ourselves up and headed out for a day trip down to Plimoth Plantation.  It was Little Miss Fancy’s first time and she had a blast.  One of the 17th Century women put the girls to work watering the garden and beating the bedding with a stick.   They also spent some time feeding a bull…this was not a recognized chore and is possibly frowned upon by the establishment.  We were given a private tour to the chicken coup where the Princess announced it smelled like chicken poop and spent a lot of time asking many questions about life in a new colony, during the 17th century.  During all this we periodically gazed out to the ocean and breathed in the warm, salty air.  I can’t imagine being anything but truly relaxed there!

   

When we returned back to our campsite we roasted hot dogs and Smores over a roaring fire.  The kids all found their own sticks and Daddy whittled the ends for them.  Everyone was exhausted and super giddy…there were lots of giggles and silly jokes.  Halfway during the meal we were visited by a very odd looking Caterpillar.  Someone tried to feed it leaves, some of us took pictures, we all got a really close look.  Once we were all finished studying him, I gently tossed him onto a bush and was met by screams from all three kids doing a voice over for the Caterpillar falling to the ground.  What a bunch of cheeky monkey’s I’m living with and I love them all!  I’m just so blessed!

   

 

 Before and After pictures of the backseat crew…

  

Now that’s a good day!

Trophies…

   

We have two new trophies to add to our fireplace mantle.

It was the first thing the kids did when we got home.

They were so excited to go to their Soccer Trophy Ceremony that they didn’t even mind the cool, damp rain.  They didn’t notice the puddles or the mud and they didn’t even care that the “ceremony”, which we were told would hopefully be finished within the hour, was only 10 minutes long.  Their focus was on the solid little trophy that represented their “hard work” for the past two months.

They were all smiles as they showed off their trophies to each other and anyone else who would listen.  It didn’t matter that everyone had one and they were all the same.  To my little children, and all the children around them, their own trophy was super special.

The Little Professor received his first trophy last year and all year he’s shown it off to anyone who has come to our house for a visit.  His little sister always wishing she had her own.  Now my little Princess does and she’s so proud of herself!

I’m so proud of both of them!

I’m not much of a sports person at all but I do enjoy watching my children play.

I have to admit, I wasn’t quite as excited for the Trophy Ceremony.  I grumbled the whole way there.  I was less excited about the rain and the muddy puddles but I soon forgot about all of it when I saw the smiles on my children’s faces.

However, that being said…I’m so glad the season is short and I’m even more glad it’s over!

Don’t judge me – we can’t all be model soccer mums!

Now we can go back to having our Saturdays free to do family time and go places.  We can plan camping excursions without worrying about the children missing a game.

We can look at the fireplace mantle and enjoy the trophies because

…we will definitely be talking about them for weeks and probably even months to come!

Dr. Jones, Dr. Jones, Calling Dr. Jones…

The great thing about having two children with birthdays 10 days apart is that we can schedule a dual wellness visit in one trip.  Today we all piled into the small doctors office – Daddy, Mummy, Little Professor, Mighty Princess, Milk Monkey and Little Miss Fancy – all of our voices reverberating off the the cheap paneled walls.

Some of our voices louder than others!

Dr. Jones was amazing as usual and took it all in stride, not the least bit fazed that there were 7 of us in the tiny exam room.  She was brilliant examining my two sweet children while answering the non stop questions from the Little Professor and Little Miss Fancy.  She makes the 25min drive well worth it!

The Princess and the Monkey both grew big and strong over the past year, extremely healthy and super cute!

What more could a mother ask for – I’m so thankful!

When we got home from the doctors the kids played out back by themselves for the very first time.  I was inside with the Milk Monkey while the kids exercised their little bodies along with their independence.  Little did they know I spent the whole time standing by the window watching their every move.  

It was fun watching their little personalities shine!

  

Some how Little Miss Fancy managed to fit herself into one of the Princess’s size 4-5 costume dresses!  Maybe she was able to do it because she’s model thin.  She’s also very tall so instead of having it reach her ankles, it barely made it to her knees.  The two girls had me in stitches with their posing, so we just had to take some pictures!

What goofy girls we have living with us!

I just love them both!!

Bronte Creek Provincial Park….

Today we left Bronte Creek Provincial Park and headed off to the next campground on our agenda.  It was kind of nostalgic camping at Bronte after all the years I spent going there as a child.  Our visits were always day trip ones because way back then wasn’t a campground.

  

I’m so glad they added the camping!  I’m hoping we get to go back soon.  The kids had so much fun and the views were so beautiful.  I wish we could have spent more time there but I’m also excited to continue on with our adventure.  The days at Bronte went by quick because we spent so much time running around with all the celebrations going on.  We did manage to hop over to the “day use” side of Bronte and the kids had a chance to experience the “play barn”.  Being there brought back so many great childhood memories.

Yesterday my little cousin officially joined our family for the following month – cute name for her to follow!  I’m surprised at how well she has fit in to our family.   I thought for sure our gang would have driven her crazy by now, making her regret her decision to spend the next 4 weeks with us but she’s already very comfortable and thoroughly enjoying herself!  She’s super helpful and I’m already beginning to wish she’d never leave!!!

Something exciting we saw today…a turtle getting ready to lay eggs.  We never actually saw her lay the eggs.  She was getting scared with so many people watching her.  We took a few pictures and waited, then decided to give her some privacy.  All the kids really thought it was cool to be able to be so close to the turtle.

   

The Night Before Canada…

I’m exhausted!

If you ever want a good work out, spend the day packing a trailer!!  My body hurts all over…especially my legs!  That first step up to the trailer is so high, it’s like a lunge every time.

We had most of the trailer packed and ready to go, but there’s always the last few things…which turn into a few more things and even a few more.

Now, we are packed!

Since we’re leaving in the middle of the night, we decided to sleep the first part of the night in the trailer, that way we don’t have to bring all our bedding out at 2am.  We really, really need to get bedding and pillows just for the trailer!!  At the moment everyone is asleep except me.  Daddy went to sleep at 8, so that he’ll be rested while driving through the night.  On a long trip like this – 9 to 10 hours – we try to do a good portion of it during the night so the kids can sleep.  That way we don’t have to stop as often.

I really enjoy long trips in the car, especially with my wonderful husband.  We talk and laugh – it’s usually the gasping for breath with tears rolling down my cheeks kind of laughing.  We eat sandwiches and snacks and drink coffee.  While the kids are sleeping we quietly listen to music, usually something that my amazingly patient husband has to suffer through – this time it’ll be songs from the show Smash…yay!!  I usually end up playing a game or two on my laptop, read my kindle and I always, always spend time texting my friend Superwomen!!! She’s the best!  

What I do not do is drive.  That’s better left to Daddy.  He prefers to do it, I prefer to let him – especially now with the trailer.

I look forward to the long drives, especially the ones to Canada!  It’s always a nice feeling knowing that I’m heading home to see my friends and family.  This time is even more special because we are having the Milk Monkey’s baby dedication.  I have family travelling from all over so they can attend.  It’ll be so nice to see everyone.  I’m so excited!!!

I guess I should try to get a little sleep before we leave!

Soccer Pics and Solar Panels…

Our weekend went like this…

Saturday morning the kids had soccer pictures so they had to be at the field half an hour earlier than usual looking their best.  The Little Professor and I had been talking about cutting his hair, it had grown too long and he doesn’t like it when I style it for him.

He says I make it stick up too high.

I say it sticks up because it’s too long.

We both agree keeping it short is the way to go.

We decided to cut it last minute, so that put us behind in our schedule.  With a lot of rushing we were able to make it to the field on time.  I gave strict warnings not to get dirty.

No running around and no digging in the dirt…just stay clean until the pictures are taken!

That didn’t last long…the Princess was all over the place, rolling around in the grass and digging in the dirt.  When I reminded her of the no dirt rule she responded…”It’s not dirt Mummy, it’s sand!”  Then the Professor came running over with pieces of grass all over him, all sweaty and flushed and something on his shirt.  Apparently, one of the other boys was throwing grass and a blade landed in his mouth which made him throw up…on his shirt.   I guess all those times I told him not to put grass in his mouth because dogs pee on it really made an impression on him.  Thank goodness for baby wipes!!!

I managed to get both of them clean and you can’t even tell in the pictures.

    

The rest of Saturday and most of Sunday was spent shopping and packing for our first big vacation with the trailer.  We’ll be driving all the way to Canada (10 hours) for the Milk Monkey’s baby dedication.  There was a lot of eye rolling and sighing going on at the stores.  It makes for a very distracting shopping trip and as a result we ended up going to 3 different Walmarts in one weekend.  Not fun!  One of those times we came across a travel trailer in the parking lot.  The owners had unhooked it and were off somewhere.  It had what looked like a solar panel propped up on the ground charging the battery.  Super cool!!!  It left us full of questions.  Did Walmart mind that they had unhooked and left it unattended?  I wonder why they did that?  Where did they get the cool solar panel?

I needed to know!

So I found a scrap of paper and left them a little note and put my email address on it.  We tucked it into the door handle to their trailer.  I don’t know if they’ll get it, they should, and if they do I’m not sure if they’ll email us back but it was worth a try!  If they do, I’ll let you know!

Later…back at the trailer…

    

We started packing our things.  I also put down some of that rubbery shelf lining to try to keep things from moving while the trailer is on the move.  Meanwhile, Daddy un-boxed his new smoker/bbq –it was a late birthday gift– for travelling.  It turns out it’s too big to fit in the storage compartment of the trailer.  That won’t stop him!  He’ll find a place for it.  He’s pretty excited to smoke something…I think it’ll be ribs first!

School Begins Again…

Today was the first day of Grade 1 and Grade 3 in our house.

No, the Professor and the Princess didn’t get dolled up in new outfits, they didn’t have new school supplies and they didn’t pose for pictures.

It was actually rather uneventful.

Aside from the amazing little Milk Monkey trying so hard to participate from the side lines!

School took place in our living room and we were all super comfy in our pj’s.

I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee as I began the journey of teaching my Princess to read and write.

The Professor easily fell back into his normal school routine.

It all feels so natural now.

Of course, there were the usual moments of holding back my frustration, especially while the Princess learned to write the letter “A a”.

Her tiny little fingers gripped the pencil as she tried to form the curved part and then connect the “stick” just right.

I wanted so badly to be able to help her do it perfect but instead I encouraged her gently “That’s it, you almost have it!  You’ll get it on the next  one!  Keep trying!  Remember it’s a lower case ‘a’ keep it between the lines.”

She was trying so hard her forehead had little wrinkles and her nose was scrunched,

her little freckles displaced – I love those freckles!

She blew through the math, at times losing patience with me “Mummy, I get it!” and she did get it!

She’s so smart!

The Professor and I came to an agreement, he’s now on summer work load.  It just made more sense.

He’s still 6 years old and he blew through Grade 2 in less than 8 months!

It’s time to slow down a bit.  We’ll supplement with lots of reading and some fun projects!

Today I added up his grade average for last year – 99.2%!

His response was “That’s it?!  I’ll have to try harder this year!”

I reassured him he did awesome this past year, he definitely doesn’t need to worry, just keep up the excellent work!

I’m a big fan of my Little Professor!!!

We made a pact – this year I’ll try to be more patient and he’ll keep on working as hard as usual!!

Just in case I haven’t mentioned it enough…

I absolutely adore my children!!!!

Mother’s Day Extravaganza….

Ok, maybe in reality it wasn’t that over the top but in my mind it was!

We woke in the trailer – we backyard camped – to homemade cards and beautiful flowers!

I also woke up to snuggles, kisses and giggles – my favourite!

Then there was some Lego Creativity time with my boys!

    

And more snuggling and jokes with my Princess – we do a lot of “pillow chatting”.

She always wants to me whisper secrets in her ear, so I do, secrets of  love and adoration and rainbows and anything pink.

Then I tickled her for a while and listened to her deep, heart filled laughter!

Later I sat on the floor with the Milk Monkey and we danced and practiced standing on his own.

Daddy cooked a yummy dinner and we all decided we needed to backyard camp one more time.

We just weren’t ready to end the magical day!

Actually now that I look back on it….extravaganza fits perfectly for me!

Fare Thee Well…

I love it when I can give my children the opportunity for some hands-on learning.  To say we had that chance this weekend is an understatement.  We took a visit to my favourite place – Plymouth.  I just love it there, it’s so beautiful by the ocean with it’s relaxed atmosphere and it’s significance in history.  Usually when we spend the day there it’s all about the scenery but this time we were there to visit Plimoth Plantation.  What an awesome place!

We started the day learning about the Wompanoag people.  We were warmly greeted at their homesite and they willingly answered all the questions the kids threw at them.  They explained how their people use to live back in the 1600’s.  All the information was so interesting and it was amazing to see my children eagerly learning the history of their country.

 

 

We learned about their Wetu’s, the Wompanoag homes and were invited in to experience what it was like.  The Princess wanted to know how the beds were made…she was fascinated by the animal furs spread out everywhere and wanted to feel each one.

We tried to guess which animal each fur belonged to.

The Little Professor was impressed by the process in which the mishoons (the Wompanoag word for boat) were made.  They used fire to hollow out a tree.  They would light a fire and let it burn then dig out the burnt wood and coals, then they’d restart the process over and over again.  We were told that if they were to work on the mishoon 24 hours a day, without stopping, they could have one completed in a week however it takes them about 3 months to complete one at the plantation.

                                    

The thing I found the most interesting at the Wompanoag homesite were their dolls.  They were made without faces for a few different reasons.   One being that the beauty in the doll was in the craftsmanship, the Wompanoag people did not feel they needed faces to be beautiful.  The other reason – the one I really loved – was that since the dolls did not have faces they couldn’t say that one doll was more beautiful than the other, they were all pretty because of what they were and not because of their faces.  The lesson to the children being that everyone is beautiful and not because of how they look but because of who they are.  It’s not our faces that make us special.  What a wonderful and important lesson for children to learn – so many adults need to learn that lesson too!!

 

We eventually made our way to the 17th-Century English Village to learn about the lives of the Plymouth Colonists.  This area was a lot of fun because it’s a re-creation of the small pilgrim community.  We were able to wander about the village, enter the houses and touch everything.  The kids really liked being able to sit in the chairs and handle different items while they talked to the various Pilgrims who responded to all their questions as though they really were the Colonists from 1627.  It helped the kids get lost in the history and really become a part of it.

                     

They asked many questions like:

What responsibilities would I have if I was part of the Colony?

How do you wash your clothes?

Do you make your own clothes?

Do you have a pet cat? – that one was the Princess of course!

Where do the children sleep?

What are you growing in your garden?

Can you read and does the average woman know how to read?

…and many, many others.  I was amazed the “Pilgrims” never broke character once, even with all the questions!

 

On our way out we stopped by the Patuxet Cafe and bought some uniquely prepared dishes from the 17th-century to try.  We shared Succotash, Indian Pudding, 17th-Century cheesecake and Stewed Pompion between us.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the meat in the Succotash was that of the rabbit we saw cooking over the fire at the Wampatoag Homesite.  Trying the foods made us want to try cooking some of the recipes found on their website.  Completely unrelated – it made me want to cook over the open fire next time we go camping!  It won’t be freshly caught rabbit!! 

It was amazing to watch the children thoroughly enjoying history.  It lit a fire in me to make a bigger effort towards the hands-on learning we wanted the kids to experience with their homeschooling.  We will be returning to the Plantation soon – we bought a membership for the year.  The Princess and the Professor have already thought up more questions they want to ask!

We need this pile of wood for camping!!

A picture to add to my Brave Birds of Plymouth collection!