Cousin camp was a little later today, so we went to the so-called car park around the corner from us for a picnic lunch.
Why was cousin camp delayed you ask? Well, when I asked the kids what they wanted to do for "cousin camp", the first thing they all said was "SLEEPOVER"
I can't remember who first suggested putting up a tent in the backyard, but I do know that I said it couldn't be at our house outside as we don't have an enclosed backyard and it's just not safe. (We get far too many visitors wandering up our driveway to check whether our car is available for petty larceny and neither the lights nor the fairly obvious security camera deter them.)
Dave and Karen bravely volunteered their house and even offered to take Amelia! So both Matthew and Amelia have now had their first sleepover away from mom and dad in someone else's house!
The kids slept by themselves outside!
Theo and Amelia knew they didn't get to sleep in the tent with the big kids but seemed okay until they had a chance to go inside the tent with the other kids to help them set up. Then Theo had floods of tears. So Karen setup two miniature tents inside for the littles. Amelia was so happy she could hardly wait to go to bed!
Monday was supposed to rain so we decided to go to the Science and Tech museum. It wasn't as busy as we feared what with being about five million degrees outside and a statutory holiday. Yukiko was surprised by how much the museum had changed since the renovations.
We went to the Art of the Brick exhibition which was super cool. I particularly enjoyed the artwork made out of legos. All the kids had a wonderful time building at the end and had to be dragged out of there. Dave and Karen and kids left afterwards but we decided to eat at the museum and check out some of the other exhibits.
-The crazy kitchen. Had to give the kids a limit on how many times they went through.
-Jumping up and down trying to get the "perfect" shot of everyone floating. Elizabeth was doing handstands too but I don't have a picture of that.
-The medical science display, especially the miniature axe used for surgery (compare ancient and "modern" tools!). Kids were grossed out by the spin the urine wheel.
-The room aimed at the under eights, especially the climbing wall.
I don't think we saw even a quarter of the exhibits so we'll have to go back...
The kids probably would have been happy to spend the rest of the day at the museum but Amelia was showing signs of fatigue and my friends had just texted me to invite us to their pool! So we headed out to Brian and Meghan's gorgeous pool to have a little swim.
Erika was holding Michael on the way out of the museum when she tripped and fell down the stairs. I looked back and she was sitting on the ground cradling the baby. She scraped herself pretty badly but mostly was in shock worried about Michael. He was completely fine - hurray for protective instincts.
After the pool we headed to Grandma J's for a post father's day father's day celebration with the traditional palatchinken and marillenknodel.
It was my birthday and we decided it would be fun to do a repeat of last year; namely go to the fair, have supper with family and see fireworks.
It was hot. The heat warning decided our morning plans - it was obviously not a good day to walk to church, sit in an unairconditioned church and walk home - Michael and probably Amelia would have overheated and going to the fair later would not have been possible. So we picked up Erika and Maria and went to Dave and Karen's church, followed by lunch at Dave and Karen's and then the fair!
It was hot. How hot? The temperature in the shade outside our garage hit 39.37C. It felt much hotter than that in the sun at the fair and it was extremely humid to boot. The official humidex was over 47C! Even holding ice packs to Michael, keeping him in the shade and dowsing him in the misters stationed throughout the fair wasn't enough to keep him from getting slightly overheated in just under an hour (our agreed time limit!).
We didn't have to wait much for any of the rides, but even so most of the kids were showing symptoms of heat exhaustion as we were leaving - especially Erika and Michael. We were super glad that our cars were only a short walk away and so thankful for working A/C!
The kids were happy to alternate play in the paddling pool and handing out in the cold basement, with a break to watch the most recent SpaceX launch. We put Amelia and Michael down at Dave and Karen's and took the others to watch the fireworks where we narrowly missed a mini riot. Apparently the youths of Barrhaven were tossing fireworks into the crowd, swarmed a policeman and ended up with arrests and pepper spray - we wondered at the police cars that suddenly showed up but didn't find out until the next day what was going on. It was so humid that all the smoke from the fireworks was trapped low to the ground so it was pretty smoky, but the actual fireworks were very pretty.
All in all a lovely day.
Chris and Yukiko are getting ready to move back to their own house on Sunnyside, to the great consternation of my children.
Elizabeth's June meal plan insisted we must mark the last day her cousins were officially at our house with a feast, so we went to the Works!
It's going to be awfully quiet around here.
Visiting Aunt Mary last summer was one of the highlights of our summer. Trains! Elephants! Water parks! So we were not surprised to find out that the kids wanted to do it all again this summer when we started figuring out activities.
Via Rail was doing their cheap summer fares for kids again and Michael is not the best car traveller so I booked tickets to Kitchener despite some misgivings over taking four kids on the train by myself at 5am. Rob and Val very generously lent out their van for the week (!) and Mary managed to find car seats for Matthew and Amelia.
I made the kids sleep in their clothes and we packed breakfast AND lunch for the train. That made getting to the train much easier as we just rolled the kids out of bed into the car. Eating breakfast also provided a good distraction. We were lucky to score four seats together with a table and a business class train car despite our economy tickets!
We had to change trains in Toronto but we didn't stop to see any friends or family because I was too worried about wrangling the kids! The first train was fine and we even had compliments on how well behaved my children were. Elizabeth especially was a big help. The train to Kitchener wasn't as fancy but we still had our table.
The second train featured an epic temper tantrum from Matthew - I don't recall why beyond being very tired and overexcited - but I do recall being profoundly grateful that Elizabeth was able to hold Michael and entertain Amelia throughout as Matthew needed all my attention until he was able to calm down. Strangely no one complimented us on our behaviour this train ride, though Matthew did sort himself out.
Amelia and Michael fell asleep in the car but we stopped at "Diggerland" anyway, which had come highly recommended. Next door to a truly amazing looking waterpark that wasn't yet open for the season, Diggerland had some construction vehicles you could operate. Matthew adored it; Elizabeth not so much. She didn't like that she wasn't very good at it (in retrospect she should have started with the easier machine) and she felt very insecure sitting in the seat (apparently it shook). In any case, she let Matthew use up all the tokens trying out the various machines. Then we decided to play miniature golf. Elizabeth enjoyed this but Matthew found it frustrating. It was a beautiful course though. Eventually we headed back to the van and made it all the way home to the Hippo House.
We went to African Lion Safari again - but this time we got smart and brought our own picnic. Elizabeth was thrilled to see the elephants (again) and Matthew was thrilled to see his favourite (the cheetahs). Amelia thought the monkeys were the funniest. We budgeted way more time for the water park this year by popular request.
We visited Auntie Val and Uncle Robert's house, Great Uncle Roy and Great Aunt Esther's house, Great Aunt Deborah and Great Uncle Joe's house and Uncle John and Aunt Joanne's house.
We went to the park and the splash pad. We made pancakes and cookies (despite no oven!). We counted many horses and buried them again. (We also went to visit Great Grandma and Grandpa)
The kids were thoroughly spoiled by their various relations, especially Auntie Mary. Matthew is making plans to have a boat down on the pond, where he will live when he's a grown-up, along with Mary and Joanne and a large menagerie of animals. Elizabeth isn't going to live with him because of the spiders, but they are going to be trained spiders so will only spin their webs on command and will definitely clean up after themselves.