Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Budgies!

Meet Fili (blue) and Kili (green).

After Bert the Beautiful Blue Budgie Bird died a few weeks ago (sad, sad day) we discovered we missed having a bird in the house.

We found these two on Kijiji, from a lady in St Thomas.  Her daughters pet budgies had babies, and they were selling them.

These little guys are about 6 weeks old, and hand-raised, so used to being held.

Deanna named them after some dwarves in the Hobbit.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Last week for our Sandink Sinterklaas, I made some Christmas cut-out cookies (with cookie cutters) to share.  While they looked pretty, I found them pretty tasteless.  I was hoping for more of a shortbread type cookie...

I went on a search for a good shortbread recipe, and found this one in one of my Robin Hood Baking Festival magazines (I love those little books - we used to get them with the Readers Digest)

You should know this about me:  my rolling pin and I - well, we're not the best of friends.  Pizza dough - ok, that's pretty easy, but pie crust or cookie dough.... well, let's just say it's not a pretty sight.  It may or may not be true that Art has banned me from making my own pie crust - apparently I am not a pleasant person when I'm fighting with the rolling pin

This shortbread rolled out no problem, didn't stick (if it started to, I put it back in the fridge for a few minutes) and it is delicious!

Here's the recipe:

Grandma's Shortbread Cookies

1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened

Combine flour, cornstarch, icing sugar in large bowl.  With large spoon, blend in butter.  Work with hands until a soft, smooth dough forms, shape into a ball.  (Edit:  I just put everything into my food processor and pulsed it until I got a nice dough.  I doubled the recipe too...)
If necessary, refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle.  ROLL dough to 1/4" thickness.  CUT into shapes with cookie cutters.  Place on ungreased baking sheets.  Decorate as desired with colored sugars, sprinkles, etc...  BAKE at 300 F for 15-25 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned (20 minutes in my oven).  Remove and cool completely on wire rack.  Store in tightly covered container.
MAKES:  about 24 cookies, depending on size...
Aren't they pretty??  We got some neat sprinkles at Bulk Barn

I found these cute little cookie boxes at the Dollar store - I'm thinking teacher/neighbour gifts!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Niagara Falls Getaway...

Art and I were able to get away for a few days last week.  We went to Niagara Falls and were totally tourists - it was fun!
We did not brave the Black Friday sales in the U.S. of A., but did hop the border on Wednesday to check out the Outlet Mall (huge!) and have dinner at the Olive Garden.  I miss that restaurant!  Best part was, we waited forever for our food, and then Art's steak was way overdone, so we got his meal free plus a gift certificate.  We ended up paying $8 for our entire dinner, including drinks!  Now that's good customer service...

View of the American falls and Rainbow Bridge from our hotel room

The Canadian Falls

Here we are, at the Falls!  It was a gorgeous day

HAD to go into this store...

Yup, 5lb bar of chocolate.  Only $49

View from my chair as I read my book - bliss!
We couldn't have picked a better week - Wednesday was beautiful, and Thursday was better.  15 degrees and sunny - we walked everywhere!  Good thing, because we sure ate well too - dinner at Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse.  That was an experience!!
Friday was cloudy and rainy, which was fine, since it was time to drive home anyway.  It was nice and relaxing, but it sure feels like a long time ago already.... can we go back???  Ah.... it's good to be home too!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Esther Joanne Harsevoort

Welcome to the world, beautiful baby girl!
One more blessing for my brother and his wife, after 6 boy blessings - finally a pink one!! 
Her oldest sister is ecstatic..

Here are some pictures for her far-a-way Grandma...

Didn't have a picture with Bethany, but Deanna was pretty proud too!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This Happened Today...

Yes, that is Tim.  In the drivers seat.  Of a moving vehicle.  Legally.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Point Farms Provincial Park - Labour Day Weekend

So.. because 2 camping trips with our new (to us) trailer was obviously not enough, we went on one more trip!

Just for the long weekend (Thursday to Monday).  Also to show Danielle Dam (visiting from Holland) what Canadian camping is all about!  Apparently quite different from Dutch camping.  No campfires in Holland??  How in the world do they make smores then???

I'd forgotten I even took these pictures until I checked my camera tonight.... good memories!!  It was a busy week getting everything packed and all the school stuff ready, but the weather and the company totally made it worthwhile!  We would even do it again... right, Alicia????

Da beach!!!  We even got Piet to the beach for a day

The weather was perfect!

The water was warm!

Natalie made a sand village

Isaiah made... something.  But his smile is pretty cute!

Deanna and Olivia working on their tans

Absolutely gorgeous sunsets every night

Natalie looking quite grown up

Olivia - so pretty!

Tyson... being Tyson

Waking Deanna and Olivia up for breakfast...

...maybe that wasn't such a good idea??

Malachi getting pushed around..

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


So while the twins are at Campfire!  I decided it would be a good time to paint their room.  When we moved here, there was a lovely (not) cactus mural on the walls of this room.  We covered it up with a cheap mistint. It was okay, but time for a refresher...

Here are some before (or should I say during) pictures:

The Barbie house is for sale if you're interested....

Deanna needed to take a picture of the spider...

And here are some after pictures!  Deanna chose the paint colour.  It's called Margarita

It certainly is cheerful.. new white curtains make it feel summery

I need to replace the bookshelf with a taller white one.

Do you think they will like it??

Monday, July 9, 2012


Two very excited (and a little bit nervous) girls all ready to go for their first week at Campfire!  It will be very different (quiet?) here at home without them.  They have never been away for this long...

But I am sure they will have a wonderful time and be FULL of stories about their adventure..

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pool Days at Grandma's - 2012 Edition

This past Thursday was our first weekly Pool Day in Hamilton.  Even though Mom & Dad and John & Kim were gone, we still went and used their pool :)

On our way!

Natalie, Kylie, Allison enjoying the cool of the pool

"Hey, Mom, take our picture!"  and then they capsized.... (Amanda and Zachary)

Allison, Zach, Joshua in the tube, Amanda underwater.  Malachi wandering...

Zachary, Allison, Joshua, Amanda

Natalie peeking over the edge.  Some of Kathryn's family was there too, since M&K are house-sitting

Rick & Alicia, maybe you should get a dog???

Enjoying some Treehouse after a busy day of swimming!  Kylie was snuggling right up to Natalie

Kat in the Kitchen :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

They're Everywhere!

Kids with books, that is... not that I'm complaining.

Reading in the family room...

Reading in the living room...

Reading on the deck...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's all Greek to Me...

Today was the bi-annual Grade 5/6 Greek Day.  After a unit learning about the ancient Greeks, the class spends a day dressed up as Greeks, eating Greek food and participating in Olympic style games, such as javelin throwing.
I cheated and sent in Fig Newtons.  Hey, there are figs in them, right?  Greeks ate those.  And I'm sure if they'd had our technology, they would have made Newtons out of them...
I'm sure they also had Greek yogurt, and Tzatziki with pita bread today.

This is why I keep these old white bedsheets around.  One more Greek Day in a couple years for Natalie, and our togas can be retired