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Sunday, September 14, 2014

sbc and penner pumpkins

I'm back at work  - started back on August 20th.  Sigh, the summer is over.
On the 28th we had an all college (all staff and faculty) BBQ at this local place called Penner Pumpkins.  It is one of these farms that does the whole fall pumpkin, corn maze, hay bale structure type stuff.  I love places like that and all those fun tallish activities, but this place charges quite a bit, so I haven't been that keen on going.  But now we got to go for freeeeee (say that like they do in Bedtime Stories).
It was kind of a tough one because my darling cousins Dale and Kristi were here visiting from Ottawa and San Antonio, respectively, and that was the day for all the cousins/uncles and aunts to get together with them.  I felt it was important to make some connections with work people, so I kind of made everyone go to this instead.
Four certain children were not happy about it.  Not one little bit.  And so the whole thing started off a little shaky for the Ackermanns.  But eventually everyone warmed up, got talking to my coworkers and their families, and we had a great time.  Even Maddy, after her little date with her iPhone, had some fun.


They have this tennis ball compressor gun that the kids started shooting.  We ended up drawing a crowd (it was pretty loud, so people came to investigate) and a bunch of people lined up to give it a whirl. 
Everyone, for some reason, was trying to hit the frying pan on the bottom left.  Eric was the first to succeed and he got a grand roar for his efforts.  I attributed it to his CHP sharp-shooter training.  A block and a tennis ball compressor gun are closely related, as everyone knows.




We were about to leave when people were loading up for a "train" ride….. a few little carts pulled behind a tractor.  It was super fun in a adults-being-ridiculous-and-corny-way.

Lucy now refers to my coworker (I was going to put her picture on here but I didn't know if she would appreciate it!) as the "crazy lady" because she was screaming and raising her hands as if she was on a roller coaster.



At the end of the ride they announced that they were going to have pig races, so of course we had to watch the pigs race!
They had a fenced-in track where they basically had the pigs corralled at the start.  Then they put some slop at the end of the "track" and pulled the gate.  The pigs raced around the track to get to the food.  Pretty simple and dumbish, but not if you are already in a weird and giddy mood.  Then it is great!  
And great it was!

i made pickles!

Another post way overdue.  Sheesh - I uploaded these photos a month ago at least.  Oh well, just a quick bit, then.
Yes.  So I made pickles.  I saw on add that a lady was selling some pickling cucumbers, so Eric headed out for me and bought some.  Apparently it was from a very talkative older German lady with whom he had a delightful conversation.
I was expecting nice little cucumbers, but they turned out to be rather fat old suckers.  Oh well.  Pickles can still be made.
Eric helped me slice them up and I brewed up two batches.  One Bread 'n' Butter:
And one Dill.
I was a little concerned because a) I had never made pickles before and b) they didn't seem like they would be so great being that they were from such fat cucumbers, therefore having a rather large fleshy seedy area.
Apparently they turned out great (I can't stand pickles, so I wasn't about to try them…. I wouldn't have a clue if they were any good anyway, since to me, any pickle is a nasty pickle!).  Both batches.  Hurrah!!  It was actually rather fun to make them.  I seem to like making anything that I can stick into a jar - always have.  But these stinky things are a new one for me.

Friday, August 29, 2014

monsoon?

Don't think it could really be considered one, but we sure got dumped on!  We got almost two inches of rain in about 20 minutes.  Apparently the most intense it got was 12.8 inches of rain per hour.  And there was some hail.   And 60 kilometres per hour winds.  I stole some photos off the internet - although I will give the photo credits as they were given...
 Photo by Spencer Kauenhofen
 Photo by Kimberly Doerksen
 Photo by Brian Harder
Photo by Sheila Riediger
It was pretty crazy, but thankfully I was snug in my library office.  Unfortunately Eric and Lucy had just run her backpack over to her classroom (she gets the same teacher as Cade did last year - yahoo!! - and she let us bring in Lucy's stuff early so we wouldn't have to worry about it for the move) when the rain came.  They were pretty much stuck there for 20 minutes and then had to drive through crazy deep rain to get back home.
Nutty.
Tomorrow we start moving!  We get possession of the house in 17 hours and 11 minutes.  Good times.
Just praying it won't rain like that while we are moving!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

all at the cabin

A photo-ladened post…. beware!!

This past weekend/early bit of the week we got to spend at a cabin that my dad and Rose rented.  To sum up our time there: heavenly.  Now I know why people buy cabins and spend every possible moment there in summer.  It seems worth the cash and headache - something I didn't understand until moving back here.  You see, you have to take advantage of every single second of summer because it is far too short.  So yes, the investment is only for a few months (although I personally would adore going in winter as much as in summer), but it is a worthy investment!  
(of course this is coming from someone who will more than likely never ever own a cabin so it is pretty safe for me to say these things…. if we were ever in the financial position to purchase one, I'd like to think I'd still be singing the same tune)
One of the highlights of each day was tubing (except of course for the not-so-high experience of hitting a rock someone out in the middle of the lake and breaking the propeller of the boat that isn't ours and having to shell out fat cash to fix it.  not a highlight.  definitely not.).  
On Saturday it was just dad, Rose, and our family (minus Maddy).  We picked Cade up straight from camp and headed off - much to Cade's chagrin.  Can you say "not-a-happy-camper-in-any-teeny-tiny-bit-of-a-way"?  The boy was unhappy, to put it in the most mild form I know of.  He spent some time alone (in the car - his choice) to get a grip, while the rest of us partied like it was the summer of 2014.  Which is was - in case you were wondering.  Anyhoo, the only two takers on tubing were Lucy and Mia, so off we went.  They had a dandy time and at one point caught some serious air but unfortunately I had put the camera down to give my arms a rest at that point.  Not my brightest idea.  I missed a fabulous shot of my children's limbs flailing through the air with the greatest of ease and the least amount of grace.  Hilarious.



The best pictures (besides those I missed, of course - which are therefore non-exisitant - which are therefore not even pictures…. so forget what I said about besides those I missed….) are the wipe-outs.  I love seeing just the remained of Mia's leg sticking out of the water.
They had the brilliant idea of going backwards.  This lasted approximately 3.67 seconds.  Although that may be generous.

Being the bold, courageous and fun-loving mom that I am (read: stupid, sucker, etc.), I joined the girls for a swim in the frigid water.  Okay, it wasn't really frigid but it was fairly numbing.  But perhaps I'm a bit o' a wimp.


On Sunday Kim and the kids arrived.  More playmates, more noise, more fun.


Timaya and Riley didn't quite get the knack of looking at me while jumping in.  Take two:


The Loewen cousins introduced our family to the joys of crayfish fishing.  Or is that crayfishing?  Or maybe crayfish-ing, or even crayfish-ishing?  Fishing for crawdads!


Then there were also more partners for tubing.  And by now Cade also joined the world of the living.  Amazing what a good bit of sleep can do!


I like this one because it looks like it is snowing.





Timaya had some of the best facial expressions.  I needed to zoom in on some of those.
So at one point in the whole tubing extravaganza, we were out in the middle of the lake and we heard a loud "Thunk" and felt a lurch.  Then the motor started to work not-so-well.  After we took the boat back to the dock, Eric did a little investigating.  Well, after that investigation, we decided that we had better buy a new propeller since we thoroughly broke theirs on some random rock we should be extremely kind and generous and buy the cabin/boat owners a new propeller - 'cause that's that kind of people we are.  Generous like that.  I know.  We're super nice.


























Rose spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking ALL the means for us.  Yes, all of them.  And she wasn't fond of us doing dishes, either.  We did them anyway 'cause it was fun to watch her squirm!











Jesse bought a bag of Doritos call "roulette" - every seventh or so chip is super spicy.  It was pretty fun watching the reaction of everyone once they hit upon the spicy one.  They were all running for glasses of milk to cool down their mouths!







One afternoon a duck hopped up on the dock with us, like he was our pet or something.  My rotten son scared him away but Shandy did what she could to lure him back - offering a crayfish (although I'm not convinced they are fond of those critters).  Eventually he did come back for a brief visit.  Shandy - the duck whisperer.








Want a few more crash and burn pics?  I knew you did…..











Riley and Lucy were in full effect.  The bring out the worst best in each other - those two little peas in a  pod (when they aren't ready to rip each others' hair out).  There was a lot of attacking of people on Monday afternoon.  Attacking Uncle Brent, Auntie Kim attacking Lucy and chasing the two of them, Grandpa taking over for Auntie Kim, and then Lucy and Grandpa attacking each other (those two segments later….).





While that was going on I turned to take a picture of this foursome.  I caught dad mid-yawn.  
Naturally I took the opportunity to throw out a little mockery.  This was the result:
I kept the picture small because I still am so shocked by his belligerent, immature behavior.  Of course I would never behave in such a foul manner!  And then I got this!!!!!!!
(Its a little larger because I don't want you to miss the unbridled passion with which these horrid people are unleashing their furry on me).  Let this be the only image that remains in your memory - I'm trying to save you from the horrific dreams you may have tonight as a result of that shocking behavior.
What a lovely group of people.

Cade had some weird cousin crush for a day - he kept wanting to snuggle with Timaya (I think that was code for I-really-want-to-snuggle-with-mom-because-she-is-the-best-ever).  They had a little paddle boat ride instead.  Although that didn't keep him from expressing his deep love for me through his requests to snuggle with Timaya (yes, I am delusional, and I like it that way!).











































That last time that Lucy and Riley went tubing Lucy fell off three times…. she hadn't ever fallen off before.  We are pretty sure the first two times were fakes.  She needed to get in on the action!






Taking pictures while Eric is driving and trying his best to whip the kids around and give them a wild ride is no easy task!  I sat with my legs bracing as hard as I could, trying to keep the camera up and if possible, keep the kids in the center to focus - and of course a lot of the good action is when there is the most bouncing around.  Some shots didn't work out so well - as determined as I was to keep my "eye on the prize", so to speak:


But most of the time I got lucky and ended up with the good shot.  Here I missed Riley falling off but managed to get Lucy during spill #3.  I think this one is for real - it even looks a little more "messy" - like she really got thrown around!





More trouble….











The full spread-eagle:
It took some convincing and a few days, but finally just before they were ready to leave, Shandy decided to give it a whirl.  She asked Uncle Eric to take it easy, and he did at first….. but she did so well that he livened it up a little at the end.











Tuesday was Grandma Rose's birthday.  The Giesbrecht's brought gifts, we bought cupcakes and we had a (very) little party.  Yes, she still cooked on her birthday!





It really would have been hard to have had a better time.  It was great time as a family, nice weather, lots of time for play and for relaxing - so good.  And even with all the tubing, no one came away wearing a neck brace!