Thursday, July 31, 2014

Beatles, Buggles and a little love

The girls and I were heading out to buy a few groceries this morning.  I'm not exactly sure how the topic came up - some sort of fight or disagreement - but Ginny said, 'all you need is love.'  

That's when I broke into song, singing the Beatles.  I asked the girls if they new the song, and Jorja said yes and asked excitedly if it was by Rixton (a fairly new group that we first heard on the TV show 'The Voice').  Their song says, 'all I need is a little love in my life.'  I said no, that was not the song I was talking about.  My song was by the Beatles.  Jorja immediately piped up, 'I don't like eighties music.'  I said that the Beatles weren't from the eighties, but from the sixties.  Jorja then replied, 'But they sing Video Killed the Radio Star.'  Close, but not quite.  I told her that the Buggles sang that song, not the Beatles.  She said, 'the Beagles?'  No, the Beatles, like the bug.  'Oh, I think the Beagles would have been a better name.'  This was getting more confusing by the minute.  Jorja then said that some of the Buggles were dead and one was shot.  This was news to me, so I asked her how she knew this.  A friend of her's had told her.  Then I realized she was now talking about the Beatles.  Sheesh, did I mention confusing yet?  I'm guessing that this was probably the first time the Buggles were mistaken for the Beetles.  

I suggested a music lesson when we got home, to which Jorja replied, 'I don't want to listen to a music lesson.'  And she put air quotes around music lesson.  I'm losing her.  She's heading into the great abyss of tween music and I only hope she remembers some of her upbringing on the other side.  I know my dad cringed at my music, but I grew up to appreciate Johnny Cash and Johnny Horton.  Let's hope Jorja does too.  Later.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Coffee in the park

When the girls were done breakfast this morning, they took off for the park, which is fairly normal.  It's usually pretty much empty first thing in the morning, so I thought I would take my cup of coffee and follow them.  Usually I just keep an eye on them from the kitchen, but it was nice (and a bit nerve wracking) to watch them close up.

I wanted to take a picture of all three of them together, and this turned out pretty good.

After they saw that I had my phone out, it was "Dad, take a picture of me!"  "Over here, Dad! Take a picure of this!"  You get the idea.  So I took some more shots.  


Almost a bat:



Don't forget about me:

In and on 'the cave':

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One month

Exactly one month ago, we woke up in our new house in our new city for the first time. It still seems a bit surreal. Sometimes it feels like yesterday, sometimes it feels like longer. 

We are mostly unpacked now and settled in. We've had company from India and from town here. Tomorrow, we will have our first overnight guest (from BC). Jorja had a birthday and turned 9. We found a preschool for CeCe, got her registered and met the teacher. We found a piano teacher for the girls. Our next door neighbor came over with a warm pan of brownies one day (they were so good). This morning God solidified our feeling of what we were thinking would be our new church home. We discovered that the Pizza Hut here still has a sit down restaurant and a lunch buffet. Hello 1995!  We've got some pictures up but still need to paint. When you work in health care like Julie does, you have too many things to compare color to. Our walls are bile. All in all it's been a good month. A lot has happened once you sit down and think about it. 

Here are some pics of our first month I haven't already posted. 

My two corn shuckers:

Dropping Julie off for her first day of work:

The girls testing out Julie's new 'nest' chair:

My own minion army:

With the help of YouTube I can braid:

Art time:

Being this close to Alberta, I thought I should become a cowboy:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Goodie Rings

After supper this evening, CeCe felt that she needed dessert.  She wanted ice cream, but we didn't have much and I just picked up an ice cream cake for Jorja's birthday tomorrow, so I went and looked in the cupboard.  I found a box of Goodie Rings that the girls had twisted my arm into buying the last time we were shopping.  Okay, maybe they didn't have to twist too hard.

I've always loved Goodie Rings.  I remember getting them for a treat as a kid.  The packaging was cool then - white cardboard folded up like an accordion so that no two cookies touched each other.  Once a row of cookies was gone, I would take the cardboard and use it to make little garages and tunnels for my matchbox cars.  Good times.  Over the years, the packaging has changed.  It came in plastic trays for the longest time, still in a bag that you could close up.  The cookies all touched each other though.  Recently, I've been seeing a new box in the stores.  It looks tiny, so I've been avoiding it.  I finally broke down once before today and bought it.  I thought maybe the packaging inside was somehow deceptively hiding more cookies than what seemed possible.  I thought wrong.  I opened it up and there were two rows in there.  Two!?  18 cookies in total!  What is that about?  The price didn't change.  I'm pretty sure I still paid $4 for that first box.  The only reason I bought them again was because they were on for $1.97.

Back to this evening.  CeCe was the first done her meal, so I gave her two cookies.  Julie and I each had a couple (who's counting but maybe my couple was four).  CeCe wanted another, so I gave her a third.  I looked in the box and there were six left.  The older two girls were farting around taking forever to finish their supper.  Julie, CeCe and I were all long finished and cleaned up.  I had had enough.  I gave them five minutes to finish what was on their plates and then I said I was eating one cookie every minute after that.  They thought I was kidding, but I assured them that I was not.  Unfortunately, my threat worked and they were done with time to spare.

So now we're out of Goodie Rings after one meal and I didn't get any extra (well maybe I did, but I'm not counting that closely).  Later.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cooking, Paul Simon, jam-in-the-hole and hair cut honesty

Julie and I recently saw some sort of write-up about age appropriate tasks kids should be doing. One thing we realized is that we have not promoted the kitchen as much as we should. The kids clear and set the table, but cooking had been mostly non-existent. Ginny likes to help bake every once in a while, but that's about it. 

So now that I'm home, Jorja has been stepping up and learning some things. Our first endeavor was pancakes. I realized she had never actually cracked and egg before. She tap-tap-tapped in gingerly on the side of a bowl. A bit harder, I told her. Tap tap tap. A bit harder yet. Bam! We had to use an extra egg. Oh well, no worries. I got that cleaned up and we were off. The frying pan was heated and sizzling nicely. She out the batter in and even flipped them. They all turned out. A successful first attempt!

Next up: chicken noodle soup. She put the water on and got bored waiting for it to boil. She walked away. Whoa whoa whoa, I said. You're doing this now, if it boils over, that's on you. She rolled her eyes and came back. She periodically tasted the noodles until they were just the right texture. She took the job very seriously. And the noodles were excellent. 

Today it was time for cookies.  The first step was to put on some music. May as well make this educational on several level. I had already unpacked the record player I received for Father's Day and today I had found the box of LPs. 

I selected Paul Simon's Graceland - one of my all time favorite albums. (I can see Julie rolling her eyes as she reads this.)  Jorja was a bit skeptical - she told me she couldn't trust my musical judgement. But, she didn't hate it, so we've got someplace to start. 

The cookie recipe I selected was 'jam-in-the-hole' cookies.  I'm sure these cookies had a real name at some point, but when we were kids, that was what we called them.  You roll the batter into balls, make a hole in the top and fill it with jam.  Voila! Jam-in-the-hole-cookies!  The name became more than just a childhood nickname when Mom's church women's group made a cookbook.  This was in the early eighties.  Pre-Microsoft word, pre-computer.  It was the typewriter age.  Mom got my sister Candace to type up some recipes, so Candace typed it up as we always said it.  So now, the name shall live on forever in the 'Koinonia Cookery' (greek for friendship or something like that if I recall correctly).  

Jorja did a good job.  There was one poof of flour to the face but other than that, there were no incidents.  Once we figured out how to read recipe abbreviations that is.  She said, 'where are the tablespoons? I need some salt.'  That got my attention.  You need how much?!  'A tablespoon.  It says right here - one slash two tsp.'  We went through the fractions and the abbreviations and we were set after that.  It would have taken a loving parent to choke down one of those with a smile I think.

Half way through, Ginny came in and wanted to make cookies too.  So she made a batch as well.  Then CeCe came in and wanted to make a batch.  She made peanut butter chocolate chip.  So now we have three batches of cookies in the house.  It's funny, but as the afternoon went on and we went from one child to the next, the amount of work I had to do kept going up.  I'm not usually a binge baker.  Usually one batch of cookies is all I do in a day.  By the time this was over, I was spent.  It was chicken fingers and fries for supper. 

After all that baking, I needed a shower.  But my hair was getting kind of shaggy (long enough to have bed-head) so I decided to buzz it off first.  Usually I get Julie to check the back and see if I missed anything.  Today she was still at work, so I asked Jorja to check for me.  I knelt down in front of her (with no shirt on) and asked her if she saw any long hairs.  I guess I should have specified on my head, because after surveying the situation, she said, 'Yup, right here,' and put both her hands on my back just below my shoulder blades.  'I meant on my head!' I replied.  ' you're all good there.'  Sheesh.  There's some honesty for you.  Later. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Trampoline fun

Today I thought I would take my phone out and get some shots of the girls jumping on the trampoline. After all, I did almost lose a nut putting it together. 

I took some while standing up on the deck:

And some from below: 

They turned out fairly well I thought. Crazy hair! Later. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Highlights of our first week in Lloyd...Nuts!

We've been in Lloydminster for just over a week now.  There are still quite a few boxes to unpack, but we are slowly getting there.  The girls are adjusting and making new friends in the park behind our house.  There is also an eight year old girl next door that the girls have been spending quite a bit of time with.  They were actually over in her backyard within an hour of us being in the city.  Jorja is finding it the toughest with missing her friends back in Saskatoon.  But we'll be ok.  We have managed to have some fun too.  Here are some of our highlights from the first week:

The girls enjoying their first breakfast on the island in the kitchen.

Canada Day fun at Bud Miller Park.

CeCe having a snack.

Out cruising in our new convertible getting ice cream.

Looking like tourists at the border.

I finally got around to setting up the trampoline a couple of days ago.  Naturally, I had three helpers for that.  They like to turn the wrench when they can.  Most of the screws just thread into the frame, except for the net that goes around it.  Each pole for it has two bolts with nuts that thread on.  As I was attaching the first pole, my helper was Ginny.  I held the pole upright in position and threaded the bolt through.  I then asked her to put the nut on the other side.  "What nut dad?  I don't see any nuts."  I said, "They were right there in the grass a minute ago.  Did you move them?"  She replied, "I didn't take the nuts.  I didn't see the nuts.  JORJA!  CECE!  Have you seen Dad's nuts?!"  Jorja replied, "You lost your nuts Dad?  Don't you have any more?"  I said that I didn't have any more.  Each pole needed two and they were all there when we started.  "You only have two nuts?  No extra?"  This was getting more and more awkward by the moment.  At least no one else was outside, because it was not a quiet conversation.  I asked CeCe if she had taken the nuts.  She had been collecting rocks and putting them in a hole.  I described them as small, silver and shiny.  "Did you take any shiny things?"  She said yes and went over to her hidey-hole and proudly brought back a shiny rock.  Why not?  In the end, we did find my missing nut and all nuts were accounted for.  If only they knew...Later.