Friday, May 31, 2013

Ahhhhh Mexico

The boys and I headed south of the border to meet up with Grammy and hang out on the beach for a little over a month.  Having just come back from England (after living in the Caribbean for almost 2 years) we have been in dire need of some sunshine, warmth and beautiful Caribbean Ocean.  We missed the warmth on our skin, the soft sand between our toes, and swimming in the clear blue water.  It has been years since we have visited this little fishing village but it feels like it was just yesterday, as comfortable as if it were home of sorts.  We are enjoying lazy days with bits of spanish discussion, school work, snorkeling, swimming, eating, reading and the first day was a homeschool lesson of how to tackle a home improvement project in a foreign country (picking tile when the store does not carry most of the ones on display, converting pesos to dollars and understanding the metric system).

a new wilson

fresh coconut juice

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Amsterdam - the first day

Back in March we took a trip to Amsterdam.  This was a trip that we were really looking forward to - for several reasons.  My father was born in Amsterdam and immigrated to Canada when he was a young boy.  His family has a lot of history in the city of Amsterdam and I have been looking forward to exploring the city with Michael, the boys, and my sister.  We would have a week to experience the city that was a part of our families history.

we settled into our house boat for the week in a quiet part of the city on a beautiful canal - it also came with some furry friends

the boys found the all important cubbies to read in

although the weather was cold, wet and dismal our temporary home was cozy and warm - almost so much that we did not venture out to see the city.

the first day we stopped by the Noordermarket and had delicious Apple Pie

the boys were unbelievably happy to play on some swings in the rain

I think papa had some of these as a kid

we were excited to pick up some of our favorite raisin buns (not sure what they are really called) - we always had these at Grandma's house

oh the cheese, the best cheese in the world

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

South of the Border Bound

It is hard to believe the boys and I have just spent a month at the farm.  We have had a wonderful time and enjoyed a good long visit with Oma and Papa!!!!!

I have at least a handful of farm posts that need to be completed.  Hopefully there will at least be some sketchy internet in Mexico and I can work on them - otherwise it will be a little quiet here and I will have mucho, mucho work when we return.

Thank you so very much to Oma and Papa for having us - lots of fun was had all around.  See you in July when we return!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


This mothers day was the the first time in years I was able to spend Mothers Day with my mom, so thankful for that - we had a wonderful day.  It was also the first time I was able to visit my Grandma's grave since she died.  She played a major role in my child hood and was the first family member that I was close to that died.

She was a strong Dutch woman that survived the war
she was a Montessori teacher
she immigrated to Canada
she raised 5 children

I remember her voice
I remember her smell
I remember her curly silver hair
I remember her cats - most chubby and skittish
I remember her pots of tea and the tea cozy
I remember having tea at the kitchen table with Grandma and allowed a little bit of sugar
I remember dutch cookies, dutch cheese and all those yummy treats
I remember her stories

I remember celebrating St. Nicholas at Grandma's house (the one my father grew up in when he also immigrated to Canada)
I remember a nock at the door and a white sack on the door step
I remember our shoes full with special treats
I remember paper noches flying through the air
I remember chocolate letters - one for each - the first letter of your name

I remember her shelf full of National Geographic Magazines
I remember her knitting basket
I remember her black and white television and watching Love Boat when we stayed late
I remember her dinning room table (that is now at the farm in my parents dining room)
I remember her buffet that had a drawer with the silver and her asking me to put out what was needed on the table
I remember family gatherings at holidays - we all found a way to fit around the table
I remember Grandma's chair at the head of the table
I remember Grandma's piano and the orange cloth that laid across the keys
I remember the steep stairs that led to the one small bathroom upstairs
I remember her paintings
I remember her crown of thorns in the window in the dining room
I remember her bedroom with a tray of perfume bottles and her jewelry
I remember her spoon collection, hundreds from all over the world

I remember the beautiful cards she would always send (still have some)
I remember her phone calls
I remember traveling with her

I remember her backyard
I remember her flowers
I remember her old shed
I remember her tree that we cut the top off
I remember her pond
I remember the back porch - we would hide in the shade in the hot summer months

I remember her hallway with her shoes
I remember her various canes
I remember her gong at the front door
I remember her hugs
I remember her smile
I remember her wave good bye

I miss you like it was just yesterday that we said good bye
Thank you for all the love, warmth, and wonderful memories
Thank you for being Grandma

The Zoo

We spent Dillon's Birthday weekend and Mothers Day in Hamilton with family.  For some reason in all these years we have not made it to the Toronto Zoo with the boys.  Carith was visiting and it was one of Dillons Birthday requests - a perfect opportunity.

with all of our traveling we make an effort to keep our birthday tradition of waking to a little surprise - where ever we may be

the Toronto Zoo is on the outside of the city and is hundreds of acres in size

Carith jokingly told the boys there was an Orangutan under the tarp - joke was on her when one popped out!!!!!

because the zoo is so big we new we cold only see a part of it - Dillon, the sweet brother he is made sure to include many turtles for Ronan in his list of must sees 

I spy a tiger napping

Papa's favorites

the Polar Bears have over 5 acres to roam



just had to

and another turtle

thank you Carith for capturing a wonderful day at the zoo.