Tug Fest, Wasaga and a Playdate

And come they did.  Katrine enjoyed this so much when it was up at my parents three years ago that she begged to go back when she heard that it was coming back.  The highlight of Tug Fest for Elspeth was the tug parade on the Friday night.  Everytime a boat passed she would wave, clap and bounce up and down.  I think that for Katrine it was getting to visit each of the tugs.  One family had build their tug from scratch and documented the whole process in a photo album.  I think that Katrine would have spent much more time going over the album and asking questions if there had not been two rather large dogs on board.  Her other favourite was the huge tug.  I mean, she insisted on waiting at least half an hour to get on the boat even though it was swelteringly hot.

Sunday we head to Wasaga for some family relaxation and fresh air.  We spend so much time indoors at arenas or driving to and from them that we just need to get outdoors sometimes.  The day was a success capped off with even more ice cream (seems to be a theme this summer).

The family castle


Kattine, "Mom, look! The bucket ate too much sand and threw up."

Just to bring you up to speed, we also drove up to Orillia for a playdate with one of Elspeth’s China sisters.  To be able to arrange for the pair of girls to speed time together, while also being able to ensure that Katrine wasn’t bored was certainly provided by the renovated park and beach at Couchiching Park.  We went there for a few reunion playdates when Katrine was younger and it was getting warn but still fine.  Now, WOW!!! Fancy.  Definetely had something for all ages.  I regret that Elspeth hasn’t been able to spend as much time with her China family as Katrine.  They are more spread out geographically (both across Ontario and into the US)which presents a few more challenges.  Plus, for us at least, school schedules, a child who only stopped crying and screaming in a car within the last 4 months (thank you Dora CD and electronic gaming devices) and of course weekend skating add to the obstacles.  Glenn and I are continuing to look for possible solutions that will allow Elspeth to continue to stregthen these bonds.

Gotta have more ice cream!



Elspeth's 'Aie' was brave enough to let our little one "use" her camera. That was a happy girl.

Archeology Dig

Last week we spent the day at a local lake with some friends.  After splashing, boating, snacking and having fun it was time to pack up for home.  While taking a load of stuff to her car, my friend noticed people diggin in the woods behind an orange fence and went for a closer look.  Turns out they were archeologists.  While starting construction on new houses in the area, evidence of a Huron village was found and they were in the woods searching for artifacts.  Unfortunately by the time we managed to corral all of the children and get to the woods, the experts had gone for lunch.  The older kids were disappointed that we wouldn’t just let them go snooping around to see what they could find while the younger ones were simply done.

Although I can’t share any particulars about the process (perhaps one of you can offer some insight), I have never seen a real live dig only mock ups in books, museums and my classroom sandtable whenever we study dinosaurs. I thought it might be a nice change of pace to post this and share the photos with you.  I was suppose to do it last week but life got away with me.  Enjoy.

Back to Nature

We were thrilled to be invited back up to Glenn’s sister’s cottage this weekend.  With better weather we not only managed to stay dry but had a few more adventures.

1. A butterfly hunt.  As you can see below, not only did the girls go and find butterflies that their aunt had hung from trees around the cottage but they also had a blast decorating themselves with them too.  Gotta love a game which can be enjoyed in multiple forms.

2.  Frog hunting. Our original plan last weekend (which got rained out) was to not only go to the cottage but attend the local fair.  At said fair, the girls were going to enter the frog contest – biggest frog, ugliest frog, longest jump; before re-releasing said frogs.  You’d think that with all of the moisture it would have been easy to find two frogs.  Nope.  They were smart and stayed hidden.  So here we were with two decorated bug catchers and nothing inside (hey, two girls, we decorate everthing).  As you can see, only one litte frog (toad actually) was found.  After a brief stay in her plastic home, Toad-ette was freed.  Elspeth had a more eclectic display in her catcher.  It captures the essence of her many walks in the woods.  The only thing that fascinated her which was not included were mushrooms.

3. Mushrooms. Of course, Katrine had to go on her traditional mushroom hunt thereby introducing her sister to the fascinating world of fungus.  With a two year old the hunt goes like this:  “Mama, mushroom!”  “No, sweetie fern.”  “Mushroom!”  “No darling, dirty stone.”  “Mushroom! Mushroom!”  “Yes, that is a gill mushroom.”  Maybe it is time to show her Katrine’s mushroom photo album.

4. Haliburton County Fair. To make up for having missed the fair last weekend on account of pouring rain, we drove over to the fair in Minden on Saturday.  It was alot like the fair that we will be going to in September for my nephew’s birthday – FUN!  The handicraft and children’s exhibits were excellent.  I am always amaxed at the obvious time and effort put into the various entries.  Then you look at the children’s entries and are blown away by the creativity.  Katrine was really interested in the vegetable entries; particularly the huge zucchinnis while Elspeth really enjoyed looking at the sheep.  There was a display put on by the army and both girls climbed up onto the tank.  Katrine was blown away by all of the technology inside (gadget girl).  Elspeth got up and got scared but didn’t want to come down.  So, of course when Glenn lifted her down there was a kicking, screaming tantrum much to the soldiers amusement.  Of course, as with any fair, you have to top it off with some ice cream.

5. Fishing. Okay, if you read last week’s post, you will know that Elspeth is a speed fisher.  Mama baits hook, Baba casts, Elspeth reels like it is a race and is then confused that there is no fish on the hook.  Well, this week her aunt and Grammy found the perfect rod for her which might just allow her to final catch something…if she can manage to stand still while holding it.  She got a few nibbles but Katrine landed the catch of the day.  I will let the photo tell the tale but she was thrilled.


Cottage Get-away

We were so excited to get away this weekend up to visit Glenn’s sister at her cottage.  We were also excited to introduce Elspeth to cottage fun.  She was a bit nervous when we were driving in on Friday night but when we announced that we would be going back next weekend she broke into a big smile.

A large portion of the weekend was spent either inside or walking in the rain.


Went frog hunting in the drizzle but didn't find anything. Guess it was too wet for the little guys...or maybe we didn't look hard enough. Instead we threw stones into the lake.

Then we broke out the Lincoln Logs.  Of course, once the town was done we had to play in it.  Saw all of those Little House books at work as an array of finger puppets went shopping in the general store and had to trade in their furs for goods or when the whole town came out for a pig roast.  “Do you have the pig in your freezer in the store?” asks Puppet 1.  “Of course not.  It is in my barn.  Just wait while I kill it and then we can cook it.” answers Puppet 2.  Yep, think someone is going to kick butt in Social Studies this year at school.

Drizzle has become a down pour.  Kids bored…time to head to town for some ice cream.

This store knows cottagers. They even have a toddler sized scoop. Happy kids.

Look!  The rain has stopped!  Yippee!  Off we go to the lake for a dip.  Of course, along the way we met a little amphibian who had escaped notice on our earlier outing.

Went to bed hoping that this morning would be a better sunnier day.  No luck.  Rain.  Okay, lazy around.  As you can see, the girls broke out the popcorn and older sister decided to teach younger how to make an innovative sort of table.

Okay, rain ends.  Skies grey.  Time to fish.  Katrine still needs to learn to put a worm on her own hook but she knows what to do otherwise.  In fact, she caught the only fish.  Elspeth loves her fishing pole,  She loves to put it in the water and take it out.  She loves reeling it in.  She seems to think that the faster you reel the better it is – almost like it is a race.  No surprise, there were no fast swimming fish in the lake this morning.  Perhaps they will spruce up their fins for next weekend (although to get her worms they will need to upgrade to the Nascar of fins).  Alot of fun though.  Fingers crossed that it will be nice and clear next weekend.

Superhero Day

Katrine has really been enjoying skating camp.  One of the things the do is have Feature Fridays.  Last week it was Wacky Tacky day.  When Elspeth saw Katrine’s funky hair, well she just had to have some.  This week it is Superhero Day.  When trying to get Katrine to pick a superhero I knew that I would also have to create something for Elspeth.

I tried hard to get Katrine to pick Jubilee from Xmen.  I mean, her costume would have been jean shorts, a t-shirt and sunglasses – simple.  Apparently having the ability to shot fireworks from your fingertips is “not cool enough”.  Okay, Jubilee is out.  X-23 (also easy as she dresses in all black) out.  “She can only fight.”  Okay, next.  “How about the White White moms?”  Hmmm, NO.  If you have ever seen a picture of the White Witch you will understand why she was out.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Marvel Superhero Universe I will explain it this way.  Most female superheros, and villians for that matter, dress a certain way which would appeal to the primary audience of young males. (In all fairness, a number of characters designed with young females are also scantily clothed).  Anyways, no White Witch.

Keep looking.  Finally she settles on Polaris who controls the power of magnetism because then she will be able to control what everyone’s blades are doing on the ice…oh and fly.  I will still have to modify the outfit to make it more conservative but it is duable.  The original has green hair and wears a green body suit with cut-outs along with green tights.  Here is my version.

For Elspeth, we went with Super Toddler or Super EB.  Super Toddler is Polaris’ new sidekick.  She has the power of distraction – she can make a mess in under two second flat and her power tantrums have been know to drive villians to run away screaming.  When using her powers, she cries “POWWWEEERRRR!”  They make quite a team.


One Year Ago

A year ago today we waited in the lobby of the Gloria Hotel in Nanchang for the arrival of a little girl in a onsie, stockings and sandals.  We anxiously watched for incoming cars looking to see if she might just be in that one.  Then there she was, our little girl.  Next came the tears.

How much can change in a year.  She woke up all smiles this morning.  Helped to pick out her clothes, told us what she wanted for breakfast.  We have played Duplos for over an hour.  Ran around at the park and mostly just been happy.  What a change.


Happy first Gotchaversary Elspeth!