Sunday, May 29, 2005

More Signs

Oh yes, I passed one more sign. It was at a farm and it said, "Back off Government - this is our land". Now there is always a warm place in my heart for those who refuse to fall prey to the mindset that thinks the government has rights over the people, the government should solve all problems, the government knows best, etc. However I thought the signs would display more independence if they said, "Back off Government. This is Our Land. And you can keep your farm subsidy cheques." Not that I am anti-farmer. It seems like a tough way to make a living. But you can't have independence from the government and cash your cheques too.

Signs, Signs

I was in Winchester today. On the way out I passed the Howard Johnson’s just east of Kemptville. The name of their restaurant is “Vinegrette” and they bill themselves as “Fine Dining and Sports Bar”. A little odd perhaps, but I guess you can bill yourself any way you want if you’re the only restaurant within 50 miles.

This reminds me of a sign I saw south of town a couple of years ago. It read, “Rabbits for Sale. Pets/Meat” Now there’s value for your marketing dollar. One sign reaching out to two vastly different markets.

Hannah is in a fussy week. Last week was really good. This week she is really fussy and is sleeping poorly. She may be teething.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

She Speaks!

This morning I went to Hannah who was in her crib. When she saw me she started saying "Da Da Da...". While she has repeated some words in the past, this is the first time she's spoken a word associated with an object (or person in this case). She also said "ilow" when Joel gave her a pilow and said the word. It is also clear that she understands what the words "fruit" and "pasta" mean, even though she has not said these words yet.

Also, over the weekend, Hannah did some walking. She took about 15 steps, spurred on my much enthusiasm and encouragement from the rest of us. Walking is still a novelty for her; if she is serious about moving around it's still four wheel drive.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Long Weekend

It's great having a long weekend. I took the three kids out on Saturday morning. We did some shopping, got a haircut for Joel and went to the library. On Saturday night we had some friends over for a BBQ. We are getting lots of use out of the new BBQ, even if the weather has been rather rainy. Incidently, Bethany read a bunch of her books after we got home from the library, and says she read over 500 pages. I tend to believe her; she really whips through the books. The challenge for me is to encourage her to read some books that are a bit more challenging and contain more useful content.

On Sunday we went to church (as usual). Hannah was really fussy, so I took Karen and Hannah back home between the meetings. In the evening, our guest speaker couldn't make it so the homeschool coop did a repeat of their play on the life of Esther. I didn't have a chance to see it the first time. Bethany was the narrator. Joel (my shy guy) decided he preferred to enjoy the arts rather than participate in them.

Today Karen made some salsa, and ended up canning about 7 litres. Even buying the tomatos (rather than growing our own) still costs about half what the store bought costs, and IMHO tastes much better. Karen used the food processor which made it go much faster than the last time when I spent a couple of hours chopping vegetables by hand. I finished preparing a sermon, and plan to start another one today. Karen is also doing some organizing in the basement.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Passports, children, etc.

I took Thursday off work and went downtown to the Passport Office. It would have been better if I had dressed warmer because I took the bus and the wind chill was -8 degrees. I got to the Passport Office at about 7:45, which is 15 minutes after they opened. There were only 6 people in line ahead of me and all told it took about 20 minutes. Interestingly, the Passport Office is a special operating agency of the Canadian Government. It must fund all of its operations from the fees it collects, and is allowed to run a slight surplus or deficit in each operating year. Sounds good to me, except that it misses the element of competition. They have a product you need and you can't get from anyone else. So they operate a little bit like the government and little bit like a private company. I guess this is all OK.

I also used Thursday to take the children to the eye doctor. Bethany's prescription has changed, and Joel is still 20/20.

Today I took the children to the library. Joel wanted to take out an "A to Z Mystery" entitled "The Vampire's Vacation". At the checkout I saw what he wanted and said no. The librarian started talking about how some children are very sensitive to scary things, but I didn't tell her that some parents are sensitive to what their children see and do!

On a slightly different note, we are closing in on the end of "The Silver Chair" in the Chronicles of Narnia. Joel always says he doesn't want me to do read alouds with him, and then always begs me to read another chapter.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Minor Disappointment

Today I went downtown for 9:00am to the passport office. Interestingly enough, the Passport Office is open on Saturdays, which is incredibly convenient for those of us who live in the suburbs. Parking only cost me $5 and there is very little traffic. Unfortunately, as of May 1st, the Passport Office is no longer open on Saturdays. What a waste. Now I will have to go downtown on a weekday, battle traffic, and pay about $15 for an hour of parking.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

General Update

My Dad sent me an email a few minutes ago asking why there hasn’t been any updates on my blog. The simple answer is that I’ve been way too busy. Last night Karen went to a bridle shower and I put Hannah down to sleep. She cried for a while, fought me as I rocked her and then gave up and went to sleep. Then I read a couple of chapters from the Chronicles of Narnia to the older children.

Speaking of C.S. Lewis, I am now reading “The Abolition of Man”. It’s a thin book, but a deep read. I particularly like his line, “We laugh at honour, and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” To my way of thinking this describes a lot of situations in our modern society. We tend to embrace ideas and lifestyles, which if widely applied would result in the destruction of our civilization. Can this be healthy? Can it go on indefinitely?

On Saturday we had a big family birthday party for all the family members with April birthdays. Everyone was due to arrive at 1:30pm. At 1:20 pm I was looking after Hannah (or more accurately I was looking at the computer screen while Hannah played beside me). Anyway, she started making a spitting sound, which is unusual for her. I looked at her and it turns out she had dirtied her diaper, got both hands into it and then put her fingers in her mouth. And so Hannah learned that chocolate and poop look similar but have fundamental differences.

Bethany’s music lessons are coming to an end. In June she has her Grade One Conservatory Exam. After this I don’t know what she’ll do. I’d like her to continue with the piano (she’s getting quite good) but she is not self-motivated when it comes to practicing. She talked about learning guitar, but I don’t really want her to start all over.

The children are saving their money for our summer vacation. Bethany wanted to buy a GameBoy, but when I told her we would be stopping in Malone, New York, she changed her mind. Malone is the birth place of Almanzo Wilder, and Bethany is crazy about the Little House on the Prairie books and videos. Joel has a little less money, having spent a bunch on a Lego Star Wars Tie fighter. I bought a bigger memory chip for my digital camera so we can take lots of pictures on vacation.