30 May 2014

Maddy and bear anatomy

Just a short post today.

Maddy was a little sad this afternoon when she realized her favourite new bear had lost an ear.

She's working on the other ear now, so I expect it will be gone in the next day or so. Maddy likes to rip off appendages, eviscerate, and otherwise maim all her animal toys except for one. That one we call baby, and she has maintained its normal anatomy since she was a puppy. It can be seen carefully protected at the top right of the photo, beside her pink monkey and her dragon.

23 May 2014

Adam was the lucky recipient of a scholarship from Hamilton Health Sciences Board of Directors ($1,000 for college) and yesterday was the presentation ceremony.  This "leaders of tomorrow"  scholarship was available to dependents of HHS employees. 20 kids received the scholarship this year.

All the 2014 winners
Here is a short video of the presentation.

When Adam got home,  he actually consented to having a photo taken of him with the certificate (the cheque had already gone into his wallet).

As soon as we arrived home,  I made a quick dinner then took Parker to his on-field umpire training session. Here he is with the other freshly minted umpires!

The umpires of Dundas

For those following,  Wendy had surgery today and all went well! We arrived home about 7pm and she is resting comfortably.

20 May 2014

Quiet weekend for all

It was a nice and quiet long weekend, so Wendy and I did a couple of hikes with Maddy in the Dundas Trail system. I took one of my old cameras because my good camera was missing (more below). The shots below may be a little better than from my iPhone, but not drastically so.
Got to keep taking photos of these, while they last!
Just an interesting pattern
Dandelions look more delicate as they age
Parker survived another grass cutting episode without any visible damage to anything. He did get freaked out somewhat by the 'frickin wasps' (his emphasis...) that were flying through the back yard. They appeared to mostly be bees, but he wasn't believing the biologist on that one. He spent a lot of time bogging down the engine on the lawnmower. In fact, I think Parker had to restart the lawnmower at least a dozen times - it stalled every single time he plowed into the really tall grass.  And there was a lot of it! I did say to him to go slowly, but he decided the pain of mowing the lawn would go much faster if he went much faster. No such luck.

Adam was away at a cadet Field Training Exercise (FTX) from Friday afternoon until Monday after supper. Below is a picture of Adam on top of a shelter that he build this weekend.  Below that is just a photo of him working in the office at cadets. Apparently an FTX is considerably more dirty than office work - he had to change before he could eat dinner on his arrival at home.

I should note that it seems like Adam really likes to use my good Nikon SLR camera... now I know where it was all weekend...
Adam on a structure he built
WO2 Seidlitz
Stanley was away from Friday until Sunday morning, but on Monday he really enjoyed having a day off from school. He stayed in his PJ's the whole day!

Tonight we were asked to go at the last minute to a concert at Parker's school. He claims he didn't know that there was a concert (with him in it) tonight. Luckily, the grade 8 jazz band was the first act and we were able to exit from the back discretely.  The principal even held the door open for us as we left. I took a few photos of Parker on stage (with the old camera again...). Some of these have him focused on playing his trumpet, and some are with, ahem, a little less focus.
Parker playing trumpet (centre, back row)
Parker with focus
Getting ready to play

Waiting to play
Still waiting to play
Tired of waiting

If you are interested in seeing and hearing a 36 second excerpt from the concert, that video is pasted below.

12 May 2014

Lots of not much happening going on

I guess I have been a bit lax about blogging lately. For not much really happening, there were a lot of things that seemed to happen. Most of it this weekend.

We have been hiking a few times in the past week or so, and have been watching closely for changes that should prove to us that spring is really here. A few small flowers have come out to demonstrate that they indeed survived the winter.

Flowers along the trail
We even took a trail that we had never been on before (it is connected to the Dundas Main Loop, but we had never thought to take it). What we discovered was a nice little pond only a few hundred feet from the main trail! We had seen glimpses of it through the trees, but never ventured that direction. A bit marshy around this quaint little lake (it isn't named on the official maps that we have seen), but what can you expect? Sadly, no sandy beach was visible.

Unnamed lake/pond
On the way down the hill to the tiny lake, we found that the trail went directly through a fallen tree.  OK, I thought it was really cool (I don't get out much). Maddy didn't even bat an eyelash as they walked through the tree. Just a normal thing for her...

Maddy and Wendy walking through a tree
The huge moss covered rocks presented a nice view, so out came the cell phone camera again! Some day I will bring my real camera and take some better images. I promise.

Moss covered rocks
Adam finally took his Skid Control School course in Oakville.  He got this all day training course as a gift for Christmas and needed to wait until he had his full G licence. He apparently did very well (his report card looked better than when Wendy did the course a few years ago), and says he had a great time. Maybe our cars will feel less trepidation when he gets gets behind the wheel from now on.

Our gardens have been coming along nicely, with many flowers blooming from the bulbs planted last fall.

Pink tulip

White/pink ground cover

A few hyacinth came up in various colours
In the front yard. The deer don't like daffodils or hyacinth.
Fallen angel
Orange tulip

OK, I get it. Enough of the flower pictures.

This weekend our niece, her husband, and their 1 yr-old daughter came to visit.  It has been a long time since we had a toddler in the house - it took me quite a while to figure out how to set up the baby gate. Seems like the piano was a big hit!

Play time!
The lawn has needed cutting a few times last week - Parker has that job. While shopping, Parker texted me to say he was unable to cut the lawn because he needed me to "check the lawnmower". Not understanding exactly what was up with it, I expected that he just was unable to get it started.

On arriving home, I took a look to see what the problem was. Sure enough, he was right - I did need to look at it.  On getting ready to mow the lawn yesterday, he could easily have started it. That wasn't the issue. His problem was a little bigger.... it was attached. Really attached.

Apparently, Parker put the lawnmower away after using it earlier in the week, but he did not realize that the engine was somewhat hot. This normally would not pose a significant problem, except for the fact that the mower sits right beside the shop vac that we keep in the garage. You guessed it! The shop vac melted itself into the engine. It took me a few minutes and some considerable force to extricate the poor vacuum hose from the lawnmower. In the end, most of it came off (hey, what's the problem with a little extra smoke?). The vacuum hose itself, however, is toast...err... I mean melted...

Melted vacuum on the lawnmower
At long last, on our hike yesterday, we finally saw a few blooms from the long-awaited trillium. Summer is definitely not far away!

First trillium of the season!

2 May 2014

Parker's new career!

Parker is finally doing something new, so now we can have a post about him!

Parker "aged out" of the Dundas Little League last summer and wasn't interested in continuing to play baseball in the next league up. He decided in the fall that he wanted to try umpiring.

Parker with his new official Official hat.

Last night, Parker went to his first umpire training clinic, and has at least one more before the season opens and playing starts on a weekly basis.

He has nothing else to do this summer, so we are very happy to see that he has finally secured something to do. We don't expect that the extra spending money will present a problem for Parker...

Parker received a hat, a shirt, and a rule book to study