This year we introduced Elspeth to another family tradition – the C.N.E.  We have been taking Katrine since she was little and she loves going.  2011 Elspeth had been home for a little over two weeks so a visit was definetely out and last year she still wasn’t quite ready as she would have been too overwhelmed by the crowds to enjoy any of it.  This year was a different story.  She did so well on our trip and at Santa’s Village that we decided to give it a go.  Fun was had by all and to top it off, I even got to eat!

Let me begin with this cuteness.  “I wear my hat like Baba at the CNE”

Elspeth was a half an inch too short to go on most of the rides by herself.  It breaks my heart that kids a year or more younger are able to go on these rides by themselves and here she is almost four and she has to ride with one of us.  Her favourite rides were the merry go round and the motorcycles.  Katrine was able to do rides in both the kiddie zone and the midway.  Boy did she have some fun.

She rode well into the night with her Baba.  This was her last ride of the day.  If you look carefully you can see the larger figure with a green shirt.  That is Glenn.  He hates spinning rides yet here he is being a trooper for his daughter.  What a dad.

The girls both loved the farm building.  They did all of the kid’s activities with the fishing zone being a particular highlight.  After our late dinner, Glenn and Katrine went to enjoy the midway while Elspeth and I cycled back to the farm building where she redid everything.

Her Aleigh had to come with us, of course.  Apparently Aleigh quite enjoyed seeing extended family from the farm.

Looks like Elspeth raced her pony to a ribbon!

Elspeth practiced casting for these plastic fish.

Katrine tried to catch the real thing but settled for a softer fish.

There were also the necessary fair games where the girls selected twin frogs as prizes.  I tried to convince them that different was better but as you can see I failed.

Here is one of my favourite displays, the sand sculptures.  I also enjoyed the butter sculptures but the photos didn’t work because of the flash and glass.

Some shows, a parade, dinner and then it was time to break into two groups.  Once we finished at the farm building it was off to the Arts & Crafts building for some more crafts.  I think that this was one of our most crafty CNE visits.  We created with playdough, coloured, made masks and finally, art trading cards.  I think that Elspeth did a great job for 9:30 at night.

Promptly there after she fell asleep as we were going to meet the other pair for the final CNE tradition – mini donuts.

Okay, now for the gluten free food!  Lunch was nachos.  I only got meat and cheese as I was sharing with Elspeth but I could have had beans, lettuce, salsa.  They were yummy despite their simplicity.  Dinner was fries from Chicago Fries stall.  It was too bad that I didn’t pay closer attention or I could have opted for the sweet potatoe fries.


First Swimming Badge & a Seminar

I recently took advantage of the sunny weather to introduce our youngest to the joys of washing a car.  Once that car was cleanish (I am too short to wash the roof), she insisted on washing the bikes and scooters.  What a girl!

Tonight she got her first swimming badge!! She was beyond excited.  “I listened and tried hard.  I got my badge.”  A great way to end her summer on a high note.

This past weekend Katrine was lucky to have the opportunity to attend a seminar put on by Skate Ontario.  She learned alot and had a great time doing so.  The seminar was ended with a dinner for the skaters, coaches and parents.  As you can see, she had a wonderful time at the dinner inspite of being quite tired from 8 hours of working out.  What a girl.


Cottage Time – a photo essay

Ahh.  Candy bags and the lake…okay, we relaxed after the car ride so now let’s swim!

Mmm, free range and organic blueberries.  The perfect snack to balance out all of that sugar.

Fishing!  Elspeth did much better this year because she was rushing to reel it back in.  Katrine still didn’t touch the worms but she was very encouraging to the fish she caught that help was on its way.

Sparklers while waiting for the fire.

Look at the giant marshmallows.

Aftermath of toasting giant marshmallows.

This year we did not really go searching for mushrooms.  Instead it was frogs and acorns.

A stop in Haliburton

While up at the cottage we went for a visit to Haliburton and while there spotted this sign infront of a restaurant:

Both from scratch AND gluten free….hmmm, girls I think I know where we will be eating lunch.

They had a nice children’s menu and both girls enjoyed their mac and cheese (plus, our server even asked if either wanted gluten free!).  There were quite a few gluten free options available.  I could have had pizza, pasta or most of their burgers and sandwiches on gluten free buns.  What made it even better was how knowledgable our server was.  They had this delicious sounding bacon and leek macarooni and cheese listed on the menu.  Right away she knew that they could not make that exact pasta gluten free as it was done with a roux.  As yummy as that sounded it was really easy to settle on my second choice – a thick cut peameal bacon sandwich with hand cut french fries.  Heavenly.

Our two girls

Katrine had a visit with the eye doctor earlier this week and much to her disappointment she was told that she would benefit from glasses.   We agreed that she should have them for school and that we would take the rest as we go.  Thank you to everyone who was able to help me find skaters, musicians and actors who wear glasses.  I can’t say that she is excited but perhaps a little less scared.  All of that aside, I think that she looks right cute in her glasses.

Elspeth has been taking swimming lessons twice a week for the past month and tonight was photo night.  She is having a blast and doing ever so much better than we had expected. 😀   Here is just some cuteness from tonight’s lesson.

Too much excitement for a competition

The best part of the weekend was watching Katrine skate at Summer sizzle.  She landed her axels, met her goal of finishing ontime and walked off the ice with a smile on her face.  To make that better, my parents and brother and his family were there to watch her.  I must say that the dress also looked okay.  To top it off she placed 6th (had a slip up in the final seconds of her performance on the loop jump).  Not bad considering the morning we had had before making it to the arena.

Glenn and I decided that we should stay over night at a hotel to avoid leaving home early.  That way Katrine could have maximum sleep as well as time for a hot breakfast.  Help her to be at her best.  Sounds like a great plan.  Unfortunately it didn’t work that way.

At 5 am we were awoken to a ponding on the door…well it was actually the door of the hotel room that ajoined out room.  “Police, open the door.”  In my groggy state I am like what the hell.  So I go to open the door where I saw a police officer standing shaking her head at me like “Nope lady, wrong door.”  Pounding continues as I close the door.  “Come out now with your hands up.” (The actual dialogue might be off due to tiredness)  I am walking back to the bed when it dawns on me that there are cops outside our room with guns and a guy refusing to open a door next to us as well as a set of doors between our two rooms.  Elspeth is scooped up from her sleeping bag at the foot of our bed near said door and into bed with Glenn she goes while I head to Katrine.

By this point the canine unit is joining in.  Now that was cool to hear.  I mean, the dog was sooo well trained.  He barked on a simple command and it had Katrine shaking in her bed.  Anyways, more yelling, call for back up, some guys voice next door.  Aparrently, he had to put his pants on before he could open the door.  Door opening.  More calls for lady to exit room.  Yelling between lady and guy in hall over who had called the cops.  We hear robbery, drugs, adbudtion and are left wondering who the hell we had been sleeping beside all night.

Anyways, it was all over between 5:30 and 6:00.  The yelling stopped.  Barking stopped.  Then we had one girl confused as to where the dog had gone and why she had to go back to sleep when the sun was coming up to play while the other one was working on stopping crying in the other bed.  Glenn was trying to convince Elspeth that it was most certainly not time to sleep while I was trying to neither cry nor laugh.  No one was truly rested when we headed down for breakfast at 7:00 am.  On our way back from breakfast the cops were still there carrying bags from the room.

We were suppose to spend the day with the family but not one of us has the energy.  So, we packed up the car after lunch and headed home.  And that was the excitement of Katrine’s first competition of the season.

A Gotchaversary and Summer Fun

Two years ago today our little sweetie met us in the lobby of a hotel and began to cry.  Those cries were a wonderful sound to us.  Two years later here is how she has spent the last three days.





Science experiment with slime.


Science experiment with water.  “Hey mom, it makes ice!”  Yes Elspeth it certainly does.

My favourite – homemade waterslide!!!  Girls thought this one up themselves.

The Next Skating Dress

It is done.  My back is aching.  Neck sore.  Almost cried a few times but eventually got the hang of it…more or less.  But before I show you the dress, let me tantilize you with photos of the blinged up jean jackets I also did for the girls with the extra crystals which came in the muli colour packets.

Elspeth’s.  I wonder if I should add more?  But my back is really sore from bending over.

Katrine’s is sufficiently sparkly I think.


Okay, do you recall what Katrine’s dress looked like before?  No?  Here is a reminder.


Here is the process.  Plan out design.  Buy crystals.  Curse self for not buying enough.  Buy more (as well as dinosaur feet for Elspeth which are like buckets you walk on).  Set up workspace.  Cut out design to ensure accuracy for gluing.  Throw out design once it begins to fall apart and recreate design.  Sigh, why did we opt for me to do this?  Oh ya, a cross between saving money and making a contribution to Katrine’s skating.

What is was suppose to look like.

Now for the After.  After two nights of work, countless crystals going flinging across the floor in various stages of gluiness, multiple swear words and a great big headache. Voila!


And let me finish with some random skating cuteness.