• Set list : Gen’s birthday party

    No particular order.  Too bad I didn’t record it!  I would have but we weren’t planning to play with full gear until last minute so I forgot to bring along the recording unit.

    It was a pretty fantastic set considering we had only played together for the first time two days before.  It’s fabulous to play with great musicians.

    Electric set with JF and Mike

    Say It Ain’t So

    Otherside

    Heart of Gold

    The Way

    Last Dance with Mary Jane

    Karma Police

    Misirlou

    You Never Can Tell

    When I Come Around

    New Orleans Is Sinking

    Boots or Hearts

    Squeeze Box

    Blank Space/Stand By Me

    My Hero

    The Kids Aren’t Alright

    Sex on Fire

    Californication

    I Will Wait

    Mr. Brightside

    On A Plain

    Acoustic set:

    Just Breathe

    Something in the Way

    Nothing Else Matters

    All Apologies

    Shallow

  • Send him to the zoo

    This morning Ezra kept trying to wipe Sierra’s face with a facecloth while she was eating breakfast.

    Sierra: “No Ezra, no!  Go away!”

    Ezra proceeds to keep doing it.

    Me: “Ezra, you will go to your room if you keep bothering Sierra.”

    Ezra then throws something on the table which spills Sierra’s cup of water.

    After Ezra is sent to his bedroom I say

    Me: “Sierra, should we send your brother to the zoo?”

    Sierra (with a smile): “Dad, no, we can’t do that!  He doesn’t know how to take care of animals!”

  • Recipe: sausage and lentil soup

    Pressure-Cooker Lentil and Sausage Soup

    Based on this recipe for the instant pot.

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Small pack of sausages (5 or 6 in a pack I think?  I removed the meat from the casings)
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 medium carrot, chopped
    • 1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth
    • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 can  lentils, rinsed
    • 1 cup dry red wine or additional broth
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

    Directions

    1. Select saute or browning setting on a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker. Adjust for medium heat; add oil. When oil is hot, add sausage, onion, and carrot. Cook until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, 6-8 minutes, breaking meat into crumbles; drain. Press cancel. Return all to pressure cooker.
    2. Add broth, tomatoes, lentils, garlic, salt and pepper. Lock lid; close pressure-release valve. Adjust to pressure-cook on high for 15 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes; quick-release any remaining pressure.

    Original recipe asked for celery, beef broth and spinach.  I did not have any on hand.  Perhaps try next time?  Recipe also called for a cup of red wine.  I’m not convinced that the alcohol would burn off so I put an additional cup of broth in.  I’m not sure if that was needed either.  There was a already a lot of liquid.

    Everyone loved it so that’s why it’s here!

     

  • First day of school aftermath

    The scene: Sierra and I finishing up our game of Clue.

    Me: Well, time for bed.  You have to go to be earlier now because of school.

    Her: Aww man!  When is school done?  What about Halloween?  Will school be done by then so I can stay up later?

    Me: No, school definitely isn’t over by Halloween.

    Her: WHAT?! WHEN IS IT OVER?

    Me: Well, not until next summer.

    Her: How long is that?

    Me: Uhm…remember your birthday in the Spring?  Not until after that?

    Her: WHAT?!

    I’m pretty sure in that very moment I shattered all good thoughts that can had about going to school.

    We did let her know that she can stay up a little later if there is a Halloween.  That seemed to have cheered her up!

     

  • Dill pickle recipe

    Every year I scramble to find the dill pickle recipe from Mom and then I realize it’s out of date as she has taken away many of the items from the original recipe.

    Here is the recipe for reference and some quantities to determine what to buy next year.

    At the Navan Market we bought two small baskets ($6) of cucumbers.  They were small which was great as we didn’t slice them.  We also picked up three garlic…rods?  What are they called?  I guess we bought three garlic bulbs.  Two would have been enough.  Note: They are huge!  We also picked up a bundle of dill and that’s MORE than enough.  I am not sure if we can ask for half a bundle next time?

    Two small baskets filled eight large jars.

    Steps for my house.  If you’re reading this from some random internet search…good luck!

    1. Scrub the cucumbers and leave them in the bucket of cold water.  I did this for the entire day before.  4 hours before actually putting them in jars, I add some ice to the bucket.

    2. Sanitize the jars in the dishwasher.  Mom talked about how she doesn’t do much more than wash her jars for dill pickles.  It’s different when it comes to jams and you want to put those jars in the oven for 15 minutes at 200 degrees.

    3. Put two cloves of garlic and 1 head of dill.  We had a lot more so we added 3 cloves sometimes and a bunch of extra dill.

    4. Add as many cucumbers as you can.  You can also add some hot peppers if you want.  Note: If you are the only person eating the spicy dill pickles, don’t make as many jars.  This year I went with one spicy jar and seven non-spicy.

    We also had some pickling spice left over from a previous year so we decided to put it in.  The verdict is still out if it is really needed.  I don’t notice a difference so I don’t think I’ll buy any in the future.

    5. Bring a small pot to boil and put your lids in there.  Turn the burner off.  They just need to be warm to soften.

    6. Bring two pots to boil so you can speed up the process.  In these pots you want: 2 cups of white vinegar, 4 cups of water and 1/2 cup of coarse salt.  This filled approximately 2 large jars.  I had very little left after filling these jars.  Adjust if need be…if you just need to fill one last jar like I did, boil 1 cup of vinegar, 2 cups of water and 1/4 cup of coarse salt.

    7. After coming to a boil, pour it in (I didn’t need the funnel if I poured it fast enough) until there’s about a 1/2 inch from the top.  I made sure the brine covered the cucumbers.

    8.  Take the lid out of the hot water and place onto the jar.  Take a ring and tighten. I didn’t tighten a lot but enough that it kept the lid in place.  As I type this I’m going to wait 24 hours to hear a pop.  If I hear a pop, I’ll tighten the lid.

    That’s that!  I will be interesting to see if our family eats more than 8 jars in a year.

  • July (Sierra’s 62nd and Ezra’s 24th)

    La début de l’été!

    What to expect this summer?  We had Sierra enrolled in virtual Spanish classes for the month of July.  There was some government-subsidized program that cost us $10 for the entire month.  She spent the morning with Madame Ana and others who wanted to learn Spanish.

    Sierra seemed interested in the concept of learning a new language and it also gave her something to do in the mornings instead of hanging out with Ezra every day.  I’m sure we will look into camps in the future for her.

    In the end, I’m not sure she was entirely enthused to take Spanish lessons.  I always laugh when one morning she kept telling me she didn’t want to go and when she eventually showed up to class Vero heard the teacher ask her “Como esta?” and Sierra replied “PAS muy bien!”.  Hilarious.

    I think she was expecting something similar to the school she was in the year before and…it wasn’t.

    So we tried it out, and she stuck with it until the end but there was a little coercing near the end to keep it up.

    As for Ezra, I can’t believe how a few months ago I saw him crawl down up and down the steps on the deck and now I see him walking up without holding onto anything!  He is a brave boy.  He understands everything we say to him and we are learning his language.  He can’t say his S’s yet so Yes = Ye(ch)(ch) or Sierra is still “Ah ah”.  Milk and more milk are pretty easy to understand.  He’s pretty good at getting his own milk from the fridge now as well!  Soon enough he can pour his own cereal and we can sleep in again!

    Canada Day started out at the Petrie Island beach.  We didn’t bring anything for swimming but it was nice to play along the shore.  My soul needs the water!

    We are mastering the family selfie photo.  Mastering meaning at least the parents look at the camera.

    Canada Day bicycle ride

    I had a good laugh when Sierra asked why that guy had a really tall hat.

     I will always think of this joke when I watch A Christmas Story

    Comparing

    Wow, I’m not sure what I said to deserve this face!

    I can’t remember why I was out of Vars one evening, but I do remember the long stretch down Rockdale Road and seeing this incredible rainbow for the entire 15km stretch.  It was inspiring.

    Mmm…marshmallows.

    Can’t be easy setting up a tent while there is a water pistol on you!  We did find a leaky mattress which we couldn’t fix so we had to delay having fun in the tent this year.

    Making some hot dogs

    I believe we were watching the opening band for a Trews show at the Horseshoe Tavern.  Sierra was loving it.  I love her expression in this photo.  Sheer fear?

    We wanted to check out a trail near us that we had never been to.  It was a very big mistake.  The further we got in, the more mosquitoes attacked us.  At one point we just had to call it and run back.

    I wasn’t around for this, but I can only imagine Sierra told Maman that it was a drawing of her.

    When the guitar comes out, they like to give it a few strums when I first start out but then they move along and find other things to do.

    Muscles Palmer

    Ah, a proud moment.

    Not the action shots I was hoping for, but Sierra was excited about it.

    I made the decision earlier this year that I would not be bringing my empties to the Beer Store anymore, but I would find some kind of good cause to donate to them.  Ezra and I went out to Crysler, ON where they are collecting empties to improve their park equipment (I think?  I can’t remember specifically.)  While we were there we had fun in their park and it’s one of my favourites in the area because there aren’t a lot of people and there are a lot of fun things for Ezra.

    This turned out to be a neat purchase.  It’s a bunch of short stories involving characters you don’t really see in the film.  Think: the guy who reviewed the probe droid footage from Hoth.

    Getting out of the rain

    Sierra teaching her brother how to jump.  It’s funny to see Ezra try and jump.  It’s always a one foot lands and the other one lands after.  He hasn’t mastered the two feet at the same time (I’m talking about off the trampoline)

    Sierra and I building the R2-D2 outside one afternoon.  You can see the level of concentration it takes but I’m quite proud of how well she does.

    Fun in the hot tub – Ezra the Rocket!

    Saturday night is movie night and the kids run straight to the couch for it.  Sometimes the movie on TVA is a dud so we just watch a Disney movie.

    Check out what Mom made me!  This is way better than the Kap100 stuff they are putting out, in my opinion.  I just don’t like the Kap100 logo.

    Awhile ago we walked on a trail in Crysler, ON and wondered where the rest of the trail went to.  We found out later in the summer when we parked our car at the Home Hardware and biked to a fabulous trail which is lined with farmers fields and different plant life.  Sidenote: Crysler is pretty awesome.  I can see myself living there.

    I can only assume Thunderstruck was playing.  They never tire of that song!

    Sierra was pretty excited to try out this new rock climbing wall at Max’s place while we kept an eye on their house while they were away.

    I never knew how much fun it was to play ‘avoid the ball’ on a trampoline

    Haha!

    I don’t think I got to taste one mini tomato from our own garden this year!  But that’s ok.  Vero says that it’s fun to see them eat straight from the garden.

    Uh, yes Google, I definitely am mistaken for Eddie Vedder from time to time!

    Hanging out at the Castor River one morning

    Check out that first carrot of the year!

    Watermelon is something I don’t remember having as a kid but it’s great on a hot summer day

    Truth!

    I have to admit something.  With Sierra in the house with Ezra, I’ve really leaned on her to be with him and teach him things.  But the past year I’ve been on ‘Oh he’s a baby so we have to keep things away from him’ mode.  It wasn’t until Vero started talking about him turning two years old in a month’s time that I realized that there were things that Sierra got to play with that I haven’t bothered with.  Hence, the day the playdoh came out!  He quite likes it.

    Another bike trail that we tried out this summer.  This one is part of the cross Eastern Ontario trail and I’m pretty sure if I kept going on in for another forty kilometers I would have ended up at Beau’s Brewery!  Anyhow, this one was decent.  It was a hot day and there was adequate shade.  Nothing much to write home about…very straight.  Give me a river to bike next to!

    What better way to get Sierra to go faster than to have a race?!

    Sierra and I went on Max’s trampoline again one afternoon.  I have to tell you, my heels really hurt after!  I think that on a trampoline I should be trying to land on the balls of my feet and not the heel?

    Helping make a salad

    Excitement one morning

    Hanging with my girl

    Ezra helping out on grocery pickup day

    I had a good laugh when my beer order from Cowbell Brewery came and it was almost as tall as a two year old!

    Marshmallow treat after supper

    The Olympics started up and I had some activities to occupy Sierra’s time in the morning.  Thank you Tokyo!

    Grandmaman and Grandpapa paid us a visit and our first photo with them was the kids wanting to hop in their trunk!

    Sierra hunting fireflies

    Reading a story

    Hanging out at Cassandra park

     

    Always a fun way to ride

    We decided to get a new BBQ when the ‘end of season’ deals started.  We decided to build it on a very hot day!  I will say right away that there are two strange design flaws with this.  1) The temperature gauge fogs up after a rainstorm if the cover isn’t on.  I think I figured a way around that and it’s to put the cover back on a hot day and the condensation evaporates.  But still!  2) Every time it rains the water collects at the bottom of the doors and I can already see some rust!

    Either this a very intense staring contest or Sierra is explaining the rules to a game.  That usually takes about ten minutes.

    Having a snack at the Castor River

    Could this be my first live show of the year?  Perhaps!  Note the water pistol in their hands in case I mess up!

    After a lot of work by Vero to fortify the garden she came out to find our first tomato was already eaten by something!

    I’m not sure the call for a timeout worked on these two jokers!

    We decided to head to Petrie Island one morning.  Who is that in the distance?  Why that is Vero on her brand new kayak on its maiden voyage!  While Sierra and I swam around a bit she got to test it out.

    Ezra preferred playing on the shoreline with Grandmaman

    Everyone loved the kayak!

    Snack time

    A few of us took out Sierra for a ride.  She didn’t last too long with me and here she was in a race against me to get back 

    Beautiful day at the beach!

    I always love seeing decks like this.  It shows that folks are enjoying the summer.

    Preparing some corn

    Pretty sure Ezra ate the whole bowl of strawberries

    Having fun with Grandmaman

    The Limoges park was a hit other than the splash pad being closed when we showed up

    We pull out the bouncy castle for special events and this was definitely a special event!

    Ezra’s early birthday gift.  Sierra and Ezra were quite good at it!

    I remember before this game Sierra was putting up a fuss about wanting to play at the coffee table and we were trying to have her go on a regular table because it’s inconvenient to sit on the couch and play.  I said “Listen, your grandparents are old so we need to move to the table.”  “WHOA WHOA WHOA! WE ARE NOT OLD!” and that was the end of that.  Reminder: don’t call people old!

    We had never ventured into the park in the back of the school.  It was pretty eat!

     

     

     

  • June (Sierra’s 61st and Ezra’s 23rd)

    Sierra

    June 2021…the end of the school year!  This was a big deal for Sierra.  I’m not sure she really understood what was happening.  We didn’t bring it up too much but you can tell that the teachers must have been pretty excited for the summer and inherently Sierra was too!  “Trois semaines d’école Daddy!”

    Without knowing what we were getting into with virtual learning with a four year old, we are really happy with the results.  She surprised us with how attentive she was, or at the very least, how much she stayed in her bedroom while school was on.  I would say personally that she had a 90% attention span.  She didn’t pay a lot of attention in the early morning where it’s mostly the show and tell portion (everyone is asked to bring up to three items that match the sound of the week) which is understandable.  Unless a kid is showing you their awesome new Laser Tag toy, you’re not going to be that interested in them showing you a ball or an orange.

    But after snack time things really picked up and she would be excited about story time, or math problems or science experiments.  I think Maman took over the lion’s share of that work which was usually in the afternoon and required parental assistance.

    She made a few friends and I really enjoyed how they had ‘breakout rooms’ where kids could just play amongst four of them.  The first few months didn’t amount to anything as sometimes I would notice none of the kids talking to each other.  But with some coaxing Sierra must have started chatting to other kids because she was always talking about some friends in class and I also remember meeting some of them while preparing lunch one day!

    All in all it was an overall pleasant experience for Sierra.  I can’t speak for other kids and I know that the kids who had to flip flop between physical and virtual school a few times in the year did not have the same experience Sierra did.  We will see what happens in the Fall.  For the time being we have registered her for virtual class as they had a deadline to do so, but who knows what the future will bring with lower COVID cases and high vaccinations around?

    Ezra

    Ezra is a talking machine these days.  It’s still hard to figure out what he is saying!  Here are a few words that I’ve been picking up lately:

    Maman

    Daddy

    Ah-Ah = Sierra

    Bobin = open

    mado = tomato

    poon = spoon

    ork = fork

    He’s really good on his feet these days.  Last year I had the back deck all barriered up so he couldn’t crawl onto the lawn by himself.  This year I’m staring at how he has progressed from crawling up and down the stairs to actually walking up them with the help of the guardrail.  He has even started sitting at the kitchen table with us although he has had a few bad falls on his head so we try and limit him for the time being.

    The other day I let him play with some play-doh which he is really enjoying.  I think the next year will be starting to think about what activities are generally introduced in a daycare environment and introduce him to that.  I already play songs for him in the mornings sometimes and he loves helps making meals on his high tower bench.  He still has to learn now to eat some of the ingredients!  Ha ha.

    Must have been some Thunderstruck playing with these dance moves!

    Check out the fish Grandma caught!

    Virtual school has been neat as we had to photograph everything she did in the school year. 

    Ezra started to play with blocks a little more.  He understood when we asked him to build a high tower.  Pretty good!

    I bought this Besnard Lakes shirt one night and realized I need to keep a note of what all those symbols meant for when someone asks me!

    A day off of school during the week means that Sierra and Ezra get to go on an adventure together!  Here we are at Cassandra Park

    Snacktime!  Did I mention that Sierra biked alongside me all the way to the park?  She’s really good around town now.

    Where’s Ezra?

    There’s Ezra!!!

    It felt like a long wait but the day had finally arrived to get my first vaccine for COVID19.  I had an appointment out in Rockland.  Other than some road closures, it was easy to find and it was well set up.  They had people in the parking lot announcing when we could enter.  Then we all lined up (as you can see) and entered the building.  They lead you through a maze of checkpoints of people asking you if you have symptoms and checking your health card and finally you get seated next to the person who gives you the vaccine and then onto a waiting area in case you faint.  This particular vaccination clinic was in a hockey arena and reminded me of the one back home.  

    Big thumbs up for dessert

    Showing Ezra my bandaid

    Cool sky.  This was hilariously the morning where I declared that we would head to the beach.  Vero did comment that the skies looked quite black in the distance.  Sure enough there was a massive thunderstorm coming our way so we just took another route back home.

    But we did manage to stop and do something on the way back home.  A visit to the giant rooster!  It was so windy that Sierra had to hold onto her hat!

    The cool tub gang

    Look who snuck in the front seat!  Nice try.

    Determined to go near water, we went to Petrie Island on a Sunday morning when the temperature was already in the high 30s and it was jam packed.  My mind raced to think of a spot near water without people.  We ended up in Cumberland and walked down near the ferry and voila!  A great spot to hang out.  There was a few glass objects around that I had to move away but it was fun dipping our toes in and watching the ferry come back and forth.

    Watching the waves

    Hanging out on the shore

    Enjoying a snack

    These flamingo hats that Maman ordered are a hit!

    Here’s Ezra with his best friend in the Summer of 2021

    I’m pretty impressed that Ezra caught a photo this good of me!

    This is more his style when you look back through his photos

    This was a pretty cool gift that Vero and her sisters got her Dad.  He is a bricklayer and the person who made it took a silhouette of him from a photo and put it into the trowel.

    Flying into orbit!

    This is a typical spot for the kids to hang out when I’m preparing lunch…right at my feet!  Maman has the same issue for supper!

    This kid can’t stop dancing

    Weeeeeee!

    There are good adventures and then bad ones.  We wanted to check out a trail fairly close to us and got eaten alive even after using insect repellent!  We basically ran down this trail for a bit and decided to run back!

    Since the trail was a bust, we decided to go to a cemetery near town.  It turned out to be an extremely hot morning but was fun for the kids to run around in and there was a nice shady spot under a tree for a snack later on.

    Cemetery fun

    I can’t remember but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t even raining that morning and he just wanted to dress up like this!

    Behind the scenes of the Don’t Fret sessions.  There’s a lot of gear to be set up and I was going to tear it down for the first time in months since my parents and Nanny Sybil were going to visit.  Afterwards I streamlined my setup and it went pretty well with just using the camera audio!

    What a mess of wires!  I was not sad to see this get eliminated from my setup.  Originally I wanted it for two reasons…reverb, and a recording of the show.  But I started noticing that it wasn’t recording properly.  Then I realized that one night my ears were ringing after an evening with headphones so I decided not to do that again.  In the end, I’m not sure if anyone noticed the reverb but the first time I played without it, it didn’t sound like it made of a difference across the internet.

    Well well well.  Look who is getting back into LEGO.  Of course I bought this so the kids could play with it as well.

    Ezra was really interested in this video about firefighters

    One lovely afternoon on my walk, Sierra decided to join me and I brought along a treat.  Now when I ask if she wants to take a walk with me she asks if there is a special treat in it for her!

    The kids don’t look too sure about being on this ride

    Giving the garden some love

    The winds were fierce so we tried out our new kite!

    Ezra always loves playing with Maman’s sunglasses

    Checking out my father’s day card.  It’s cool that the kids are getting to an age to give me personalized gifts!

    Looking at a great photo book I received for Father’s Day

    Ready to hit the road!

    A walk in the woods

    The Castor River hit the mark for my wish to spend time with my family near some water on Father’s Day

    We were adventurous and I carried Sierra out to the middle of the river!

    She wanted to model herself out in the middle

    Harrrr

    Later on in the day we tried to go near the water in Casselman but there were a bunch of anglers there so we played in the park a bit before picking up some St Hubert

    A WITCH!

    Day 1 of the R2D2 build

    I love this photo.  He was enjoying using some chalk.

    Hanging out one morning

    The last day of school is something to be celebrated!  The number of professions she wants to undertake is impressive!

    There was a virtual Disney World parade to attend on the last day of school.  We all enjoyed seeing all the Disney characters go by and how excited the kdis were.

    A treat after supper on Sierra’s last day

    Sierra took this great photo

    I still have a good laugh when I see this image

    Hammocking

    Visitors!  Ezra hanging out with Nanny

    Look at all the smiles!

    Enjoying a snack

    Day 1 of Dad’s visit I ask him if the trailer is worth saving.  He says no.  I say ok.  Two days before leaving he says “I thought about it and we can rebuild it.”  And so started the adventure of rebuilding the trailer!

     A Kapuskasing 100th anniversary beer…supposedly only available in Timmins where it’s brewed unless you specially order it?  Not sure if that was a smart plan.  Also…talk about a light beer!

    Ezra showing Papa his iPad games

    Nanny mentioned that this was her favourite spot at my house

    Awhile ago I wanted to order this feeder for the kids but I decided to send it to my folks first to see if it was a success or not first.  I had a good laugh when they showed up at my house with it!  We were hoping for birds to go into it but we had some hungry chipmunks in there to watch instead.  

    Playing slinky

    Look who showed up the next day!

    Grandma playing pirates

    After a raccoon sauntered out from under a deck a month ago, Dad helped me patch up all the holes

    Enjoying some watermelon

    This might be my all-time favourite picture of Nanny!

    One day I was scrolling through Facebook and Sierra saw a photo of buttertarts and said “Oooh, what’s that?”  Then Grandma showed her how to make them.

    Eating cheerios with Poppa

    Giving this kid a haircut was quite the adventure!

    Happy Birthday Mike!  Mom helped make this creation come to life.  I thought it was a fun gift to give for his fortieth birthday.

    Pretty sure we were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes in this photo

    After this photoshoot I had to explain smiling and looking into a camera

    It was great seeing my folks and Nanny for a few days.  They hit the road and we started preparing for Canada Day

    Beautiful!

    R2D2 got put aside when Grandma brought a few of my old LEGOs down.

     

     

     

     

     

  • May (Sierra’s 60 and Ezra’s 22)

     

    While I have to work on my facial expressions while trying to take a selfie of all the family on bicycles, we had a good time going around the block!  Sierra is getting really good at keeping up and we can go further around Vars now.

    I’ve had my eye on some studio monitors for a few years now.  We shall see if they actually make a difference when it comes to recording.

    We have a regular Mike McCready in the house!

    The Tusken Raiders always get a good laugh in the house

    Kick off to Star Wars Day

    Seriously, how did these kids end up looking like Luke and Leia? It’s uncanny!

    At least this year I knew that you cannot put icing on a hot cake!  Poor Yoda from Year 1 of cake making.

    Super smart!

    Every single time Thunderstruck plays he dances!

    Ezra helping to stack some wood

    This mattress has become a pirate ship

    Who is having more fun?

    This was the photo that made me realize that Ezra is a little boy now.  No real need to keep an eye on him when he is on Sierra’s bed in fear of him falling off.  He was just sitting there having fun.

    Does every kid tell you how things are supposed to work?

    I’m pretty sure we asked the kids to do a play for us.  It was quite good for something with zero preparation!  Clearly Hallowe’en is on their mind in the month of May!

    The best Mother’s Day flower ever?  No doubt especially if you consider the vase.

    I had a good laugh at this one!

    Hanging out in the garage

    Pretty good at colouring inside the lines!

    Pretty impressive dinosaur!

    Not sure if Ezra wanted to get the hat or pull a prank on Maman.

    Bahaha, Qui Gon clearly didn’t see this one coming.

    Enjoying a freezie on the hammock

    I’m not why kids love showing their belly but they do!

    This might have been my favourite science experiment of the school year.  I had to freeze a dinosaur into a bowl and then we had to break the ice.  However, we had Ezra with us and it’s not like I wanted to give Sierra the hammer and a block of ice in her bedroom.  We brought her outside on the front porch and gave her some goggles and she spent quite a while trying to chip away at it.  Finally at the end I had to go outside and drop the thing over the ground to shatter.  She thought it was hilarious.

    A full week before the May long weekend here in Canada and here we are setting up the garden!  Vero had some big plans this year which involved taking any container we could find and using it.  Sierra and I drilled some holes in some pails.

    Each year it gets a little easier with our helpers!

    This is exactly how I’ve been feeling after seeing all the American tours starting up this spring and Canada had no movement at all.

    Hydration is key

    When I have days where spending time at home is getting to me, I smile when I think of this comic

    No mosquitoes yet in May so it’s a perfect spot to catch some Adam Baldwin on a Friday night!

    Vero wanted to try and hang up netting to help with the mosquitoes

    It was a multi-day project but I have to say that it made quite the difference at night!  I’m quite proud of Vero’s work on this.

    Nothing wrong with an ice cream cone after supper

    Har

    I’ve realized that science experiments most always involve food colouring

    Wow, talk about annoying!

    That’s Vero

    Strumming along on the uke

    Having fun after nap time

    Seriously, look at this fortress!  No mosquito can get in!  However, I have a hard time getting out for another beer without letting mosquitoes in.  Woops?  I need to bring out the kegerator onto the deck.

    A typical sight on grocery pickup day.  Ezra and I sit and wave at cars

    Checking out the garden after five days of growth.  Time must be extremely frustrating as a child.  I remember mailing away for a Mumm-Ra action figure and couldn’t understand the 4-6 week timeframe.  Pretty sure I went out to the mailbox every single day that summer wondering when the heck it would arrive.

    Vero found a tick in our backyard.  Doh!

    Mozart!

     

    Long weekend roar!

    We finally got around to making a sand area for the kids.  I’m not sure where I got the idea for a sand tent (maybe online somewhere?) but I like the thought of it being in the shade and not having critters coming in during the night.  Not sure if shade is an actual issue under our trees.

    First trip to the Castor River in 2021!  It’s always a fun time.

    Ezra figuring out how to play hide and seek.  He thinks if he can’t see us, we can’t see him!

    I love the one hand on his hood to keep him out of the water

    The water was fairly low so we could play near it

    Poor guy!

    We found a trail near Crysler and went to check it out.  It was a pretty great trail but we realized it would be better to come back with our bicycles the next time as it was quite long.

    Another angle

    Who doesn’t love a sprinkler on a hot day?  Maybe Ezra.  I don’t think he’s a fan of getting sprayed all day.  Time will tell.

    Hanging out with my love

    I’m not sure what she just ate but she was excited!

    Helping make some spaghetti

    Ezra loves just hanging out in the swing at the park

    Pretty cool to have a partner playing music with me

    Sierra’s birthday!!  Here is a beautiful dress she got from her grandparents

    Making the cake.  Hands off Ezra!

    She sure loves putting on the candy

    These sunshine balloons surprisingly stayed up considering we didn’t use helium

    A bouncy castle!!  Vero scored this off of Kijiji for $100.  Totally worth it.  We kept it up all weekend and will bring it out for special occasions.  It has a few tears in it but nothing major.

    Good spot to hang out!

    Sierra’s friends were thoughtful to drop by with a gift

    Sierra got a great cook outfit but clearly someone took it for himself!

    Happy Birthday Sierra!

    A helping hand to climb up the bouncy castle

    This must have been from our East Coast themed ‘Don’t Fret’ session.  I can tell by my Dad’s hat!  I had a great laugh and still do when I see this photo.  The Don’t Fret sessions are a good time and I enjoyed learning a bunch of East Coast tunes for this event.

    View from the bouncy castle

    The neighbours were very nice to Sierra and dropped this new toy off to her.  It took her a few minutes but she got the hang of it!  Ezra and her roam the backyard a lot looking for criminals.

    I may have caught the ‘action figure’ bug during the pandemic.  Here was a shipment that was sent from Big Bad Toy Store.  Too bad I got dinged with import fees!  I don’t know if I’ll order from them again as the price comes very close to what Canadian specialty stores offer.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Changes to how I divide up the kids’ posts

    I always had this grand vision of keeping Sierra and Ezra posts separate so that each of them can just look at their own lives by checking out their own posts.

    I think Vero always thought this was silly and I’m sure others did too.  Probably up there with my idea of taking a monthly photo of them with a chalkboard and how I’ve been missing the mark on that one for a few months now!

    I think being in the house during the pandemic for so long is just making simple tasks even harder.

    Also, after doing a post of photos of Sierra’s 59th month I’ve realized that there’s really not a whole lot of photos of just her and I usually leave the ones with both her and Ezra for the Ezra spotlight.  They are ALWAYS TOGETHER which is amazing.

    All that is leading to a change where I’ll spotlight each month of our lives together.  If one of them eventually lives in the backyard and sends photos of them living  in the wilderness, then I suppose I can do a spotlight of them again!

    For the time being, why divide up souvenirs of our lives together?

  • Sierra’s 59th month

    Poisson d’avril!

    The Easter bunny visited!

    Too nice to go to school indoors

    Ha!  I’ve been tempted to do this a few times in the past year

    Supper outside

    Showing off her beautiful shirt

    The Castor River has called us back home!

    We also checked out the park in Rockland along the water and Sierra had a fun time navigating this structure

    Sierra and Abbey have this game they play over Facetime where they have to look at the emoticon on the screen and then try and find it on the keyboard

    I built this this summer!  I’m not sure if it was a mega hit.  I found that the baking powder was stuck at the bottom and I had to shake it a lot.  But Maman has been with the kids a lot in the afternoons and they seem to enjoy it.  I’m just not sure if she would tell me that I should try it again.

    The purge has begun!  Some friends dropped by to grab a lot of stuff to help out with their newborn.  I was very excited to start getting all that stuff out of the house!

    Oh festivals, how I miss thee

    Truth

    Nice hat!

    I was pretty impressed with Sierra’s lego maze!

    Sierra imitating Dad’s fangs from apple slices