Monday, July 28, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Last Saturday, Art had to ref a soccer game (his summer hobby) in St. Marys, where we lived when I was a teenager. Since his game was at 5:00, I packed up a picnic supper and the kids and I went along, so I could show them the sights!
Like most small towns, not much has changed over the years. A few stores have changed names, but the major sights are still the same. St. Marys is a beautiful old town, with lots of old stone buildings, the Thames river, lovely parks etc., so the kids and I had lots to see. We drove past our old house, the church Art and I were married in, the Falls, the old site of Vanderpol Eggs, etc...
Then we picked Art up after his game and finished the tour with ice cream at Hearn's Dairy. A very enjoyable family outing!
We HAD to stop in at the Chocolate Factory for some Mint Smoothies!
Then we checked out the river. We had wedding pictures taken on that green bridge and by the Falls.
We had our supper at this park, with a picnic pavilion and a playground. We were the only ones there!
Checking out the footbridge over the river..
This one took a few shots (don't you love digital cameras?) but I managed to catch her mid-jump.
Tim brought his book (big surprise there...) and found a quiet spot to read.
This is what keeps Art out of trouble in the summer. And it's a hobby that pays money, instead of having to spend it!

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's Summertime....

....and the living is easy.....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Amanda's Accomplishment

While we were camping, Amanda learned to ride a 2-wheeler! It was quite funny, actually. We hadn't brought bikes for Allison and Amanda, since they couldn't ride them anyway. One day, Zachary got off his bike to do something else and told Amanda "Here, you ride my bike now". She promptly got on his bike and took off! I don't think she even realized what she had done until later.
She was so proud of herself, we knew we'd have to get her a bike when we got home. I was prepared to check out Kijiji, etc. on Monday, after the trailer was unpacked and laundry was done.
Sunday night, our next-door-neighbour knocked on our door to ask if any of our kids needed a bike. He had one from his son (who is Tim's age) that was hardly used. So, Amanda got a new bike with hardly any effort on our part! I just had to get her a new helmet...

TA-DA! It's a nice size, should fit her for a couple of years anyway.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

HarseCamp 2008

We spent the last week camping at Killbear Provincial Park just north of Parry Sound. We haven't been there for eight (I think?) years. I'd forgotten just how beautiful a park it is. Our campsite was very close to the beach, although we spent most of our beach time at the boat launch, since there was a concrete pad that Pieter could use to get onto the beach too. And it was close to the boat, in case we had a sudden urge for an ice cream run! Thanks, Uncle Harpert, you're the best!
We had pretty good weather, with the exception of the first night, when it poured rain for HOURS!! Everything was flooded, but our trailer and tent stayed dry, even without tarps! Friday we put up tarps...
We had planned to stay until Friday the 18th, but Wednesday night Allison got sick (luckily we had a bucket handy, and fortunately she made it to the bucket before throwing up!) so we came home Thursday instead. I would much rather deal with sick kids at home than in a tent trailer! This year, we were joined at HarseCamp by Mom and Dad, Pieter, Mike and Kathryn, Harpert and Marg, Brian and Barbara and kids, and BenHanna.
And now some pictures:
Not a good start to the vacation! A blowout just south of Parry Sound. The kids played on the rocks while Art changed the tire. cream! Uncle Harpert was always willing to toodle to the marina for some pralines 'n' cream!
The beach!


This is the beach closest to our campsite. It was so calm in the evenings, just beautiful! Don't those trees on the island remind you of a Group of Seven painting?

Aww...Natalie and Joshua being friends.

Hmmm... this is becoming a habit, Mom!

Smores around the campfire! And Brian in his camping hat. He was going to burn it on the last night, but we left before they did...

Our regular morning visitor. They were pretty tame, see how close Natalie is?
Everybody got to go tubing, even the little ones! Thumbs up means "faster!"

And, to finish, some shots of the (almost) full moon over the lake at night. Just gorgeous!
Coming to join us next year?

Monday, July 7, 2008


Grandma Pieterman had her surgery yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. They removed her leg (sounds so awful as I type that...) about midway up her thigh. The surgeon tried to remove only the lower part of her leg, but had to go higher.
Grandma came through the operation very well. She is 86, so anaesthetic is always a worry, and her MS doesn't help either. When Dad, Grandpa & some aunts and uncles came here last night for dinner, they said Grandma was alert and in good spirits. She was already experiencing some phantom pains.
Please continue to pray for a good recovery, as I am sure there will be a long road ahead for both her and Grandpa. We are thankful to God for bringing Grandma this far.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Prayer Request

You may (or may not) know that Art's grandmother (Pieterman) has been having some health difficulties. A few months ago she fell and broke her hip. This healed rather well, however, a few weeks ago she fell again and this time broke her ankle (on the other leg). Grandma has Multiple Sclerosis, which does not help her healing process at all. The ankle required surgery to insert a plate and a pin. While they were operating on this ankle, they also debrided a stubborn bedsore that had developed while she was hospitalized after breaking her hip. The bedsore would not heal, despite everything they tried at the hospital in Chatham. When her ankle began to change color, they realized that she must have a blockage somewhere that is restricting circulation to that foot.
Last night she was transferred to London Victoria Hospital, where she was to have an angiogram today to try to find where the blockage is. However, the doctor called Mom & Dad this morning to ask for a family meeting later today. He feels it is too late for an angiogram, and that he will likely have to amputate her foot.
Grandma is quite accepting of whatever will happen, she will accept what God's will is for her. I think Grandpa is having a more difficult time with all this. Please pray for both of them, and for the rest of the family.
**** UPDATE***** SATURDAY, JULY 5*******
After meeting with the doctor yesterday, the latest update is that Grandma will lose her leg, the only question is above or below the knee. The surgeon will decide what is best once the operation begins. Grandma does not want to go through this surgery twice, so she is leaving the decision to the doctor. They are going to operate as soon as an OR and a bed are available, hopefully today or tomorrow. Right now she is in the burn unit, as that was the only available bed.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

What beautiful weather we had today! Perfect for a holiday, and far too nice to spend indoors. So we loaded up the GPS and headed out to do some geocaching with the whole family! We did 5 caches in all, and found a pleasant surprise at our last stop. It was in a beautiful park with a playground and a splash pad (in Lambeth). So after we found the cache, the kids cooled off in the splash pad and played in the park before we headed home for supper. And the best part was that they got to go in the water with their clothes on!!!
Now they are outside playing and having watermelon while we wait for it to get dark enough to head out for fireworks!!
Coming back from the first geocache. Natalie and I stayed in the van, it was too overgrown for her - we would have lost her!!

Trying to figure out where to cross the creek at Cache #2

Deanna found #3 inside the guard rail!
Cache #4 inside a "hollow elephants nose"
#5 was just off this boardwalk.

And finally, the park and splash pad!

Natalie always has to try to drink the water :o)