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March 21, 2017

My kids were being adorable with the umbrellas, what can I say? It's been super warm and the snow is melting fast. We have a lot of it so it'll take a few days yet...

   

March 18, 2017

We really wanted to go to a sugar bush with Rob and Jill and their kids but it was so cold Tuesday that we were scared off. Plus I didn't really want to spend a couple of hours in the car!

 

I suggested it as an activity to Karen on Saturday and she not only was keen to keep us company but she discovered a place that checked all our requirements only a fifteen minute drive away!

 

The Log Farm is new this year and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We brought neighbour Mila along with us which was pretty fun.

 

You pay a flat fee up front and then there's a little heritage house to visit, lots of animals and a tractor-pulled wagon ride up to a bonfire and maple syrup boiler. The sap had just started running the day we came and all the kids were excited to try a drop or two. Then we went for a little exploration in the woods before taking the wagon back where we bought some maple taffy.

 

The heritage house was quite interesting. I thought it was especially interesting to see a straw mattress close up (I would not want to sleep on one!) Eleven people crammed into three small bedrooms in the winter. In the summer time the boys slept in the barn. "Why would they do that?" wondered Elizabeth. Uncle Dave explained about chores, and about how the girls and boys had different tasks. "That's NOT FAIR!" said Elizabeth.

 

They were talking about having visitors collect their own sap when it started running properly; not sure if that's going to be a thing or not. The farm is an old NCC property and used to be operated as a sugar bush until Canada cut the NCC budget in the early 1990s. Then it became part of the Lone Star Ranch until they terminated the lease in 2015. Now a family has taken it over to run a sugar bush, operate a farmer's market and maybe do a pumpkin patch in the fall. It's a pretty amazing place and super close to the city so I'm sure we'll be back.

 

We were lucky to have gorgeous blue sky and the kids are talking about next time - they want to bring marshmallows to roast on the fire :)

 

Obviously we skipped the pancakes so I can't tell you whether they were any good, but I would highly recommend a visit.

   

March 17, 2017

I'll admit it. March Break was very busy. But it was really, really fun!

 

We began with a quick overnight visit Saturday with cousins Lindsay, Anna and David (and Lauren and Donna). Church on Sunday but otherwise a quiet day.

 

Monday: Double playdates at the agriculture museum with Ruici in the morning, at the nature museum with Olivia in the afternoon, followed by karate.

 

Tuesday: Playdate at Olivier's house in the morning for Matthew, followed by great excitement with the arrival of Andrew and Rachel from the cottage (and their parents Rob and Jill). We went to Olive and Chili's followed by parliament and got to oogle the dismantling of Crashed Ice on the way. Matthew got super cold and cried because he was so miserable. I got a parking ticket when some parking inspector didn't know how to check electronic payments (it was cancelled but I was unimpressed). Then we went to the Children's museum, where most had a lovely time. You'll notice a lack of pictures aside from our "in case we lose you" line up because I unfortunately somehow managed to poison myself at lunch and spent pretty much the whole time in the bathroom throwing up. This was made more challenging as I had brought Amelia with me. So I was stuck in a busy public toilet stall with a curious toddler to entertain. I eventually nursed her to sleep on that pristine bathroom floor. Luckily Jill came to rescue me and Rob was able to drive home but definitely a low point. Even better Auntie Janice made us a pie crust for Pi day and we were able to suitably geek out, even if I wasn't up to actually eating said pie.

 

Wednesday we went tobogganing followed by swimming at the wave pool. Elizabeth had extra tournament team practice ("awesome") in between then I braved eating out again and didn't regret it.

 

Thursday there might have been some crafting and sad fond farewells. Luckily Lorianne was there to distract the kids - they went to university again and had donuts and hot chocolate. I picked Elizabeth up for extra karate. After karate we went swimming at Grandma's. Elizabeth enjoyed her extra class so much she insisted on doing her regular class after swimming.

 

Friday: Everyone went out to play in the snow. Then the kids and I met up with friends Aidan, Caitlyn, Evelyn (and Dianne) at the museum of Nature. I had thought it was busy on Monday... Playing in the cave was a definite highlight. Aidan showed off his parkour skillz. Elizabeth demonstrated her favourite kata. There were many echoes. We've been reading the Wind in the Willows at home, so the kids were very excited to find Otter, Badger, Rat, Mole and the bad guy weasels. Matthew was a little concerned that they had been stuffed. We went down to the basement and discovered a whole new world of play, including shadow puppets and a giant turtle whose internal organs you could investigate by flashlight. We had to leave sooner than the kids wanted, but luckily the neighbours were out and ready to build bad guy traps with our makeshift swing in the snow. Godmother Rachel showed Elizabeth her new fancy Texan car and educated her as to what a tape deck is. Then just as Matthew and Amelia headed to bed, Elizabeth went back to the dojo for (you guessed it) more karate.

 

Saturday was buddy day at karate and Elizabeth invited Matthew. Afterwards we went to the sugar bush with Dave and Karen. Then they fed us supper!

 

We wrapped up the week with some snowshoeing with Grandma on the SJAM trail immediately after church.

 

 

   

March 12, 2017

In honour of our friend David's fortieth birthday, Brendan and I spent an afternoon flinging axes across the room.

 

After a number of practice throws each, we all got a chance to play three round robin games of five throws each. I won one of my games and came close with the other two. Okay, so one wasn't so close but it would have been if my axe hadn't first stuck and then fallen out, losing me all my points and rattling my composure...

 

In any case, I didn't make it on to the top eight, but Brendan started in the top three before getting eliminated by our friend John in an epic tie-breaking sudden death showdown with a double-sized axe.

 

It was a fun way to spend an afternoon.

   

March 11, 2017

Lauren, Donna and their three kids passed by Ottawa on their way skiing in Quebec, so they stopped for a quick overnight visit.

 

Elizabeth, Matthew and Amelia were delighted to play with Lindsay, Anna and David again. There were numerous games of hide n seek. David especially enjoyed the very large box we have cluttering up our living room at the moment.

 

My kids were very sorry to see them leave.

   

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