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Showing posts from June, 2009

How to Make 74 Hours in a Car Fly By

There are lots of ideas around for how to pass time in the car on road trips. And believe me, we have tried them all.

We have played all of the different games like the alphabet game, license plate game, a question book, the "I am Going on Vacation and I am Taking..." memory game...I promise, we have done everything.

Then last year we discovered the joy of Audio Books. Never have 12 hours gone so fast then listening to a captivating story.

This year we listened to 2.5 books of the Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini. The first book, Eragon, is one that is fairly popular with my students and I like to be up on what they are reading. So, I read the first book this summer and thought to myself that this would be a great book to listen too. I told Wilbert about the basic plot line, and he thought it sounded good too. And the best part was I could get all of the audiobooks through interlibrary loan at our library.

There are two other books in the series so far, and they are lon…

What is This?

So we spent one night at a hotel on the west side of Montreal. We pulled in around 11 PM or so. The hotel we quite well lit and as I was sitting the car underneath one the bright lights waiting for my husband to come back with our room key. (We were in Quebec and I don't speak French, so my husband had to do a lot of talking with people at restaurants and things like that.) I begin to notice a swarm of these bugs descending down upon our car. I have never seen bugs like these before. We took these pictures the next morning because the bugs were still there.
What is it?

Looking up that the underside through the windshield of our car.
Here is a whole swarm of them covering the side of the hotel. I am telling you there were a lot of them everywhere.

We Like Big Things

We also like to explore and see new things. After traveling the same route a few times every year, we get a little board. We also get a little curious. My husband also likes to read signs along the road out loud. "The largest frying pan in Iowa?" What does that look like?

So, we stop and find out. In our previous trips we have seen the above mentioned frying pan, the Jolly Green Giant statue and the Little Brown Church in the Vale.

Well, this trip is was no exception. Meet the largest ax in the world, found in Nackawic, New Brunswick.

And the Big Nickel located in Sudbury, Ontario.
So, next time you are on the road, take a minute and enjoy a little side adventure. You never know what you will see.

Michigan and PEI 2009 in Numbers

1 Car and 1 New Windshield Needed - a rock was kicked up by a trunk in front of us in Chicago

2 Bridal Showers (Congratulations my sister!)

3 family game times - 1 Hill-Billy Horseshoes and 2 Speed Uno

4 different minsters - a different one for every service

4.5 Books - 2.5 read, 2 listened to while driving

5 States that we traveled through (not including Minnesota) - Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and 4 provinces - Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and PEI

6 interesting animals along the road - 1 bear, 1 coyote, 1 wild turkey and 3 turtles

7 days of lovely weather - even on PEI - it didn't rain until Sunday.

8 different kinds of seeds and other things that I planted in my in-laws garden - sweet corn, sweet peas, leek, kale, onion, potatoes, and oriental vegetables

9 different restaurants Boston Pizza, Royal Thai, Dairy Queen (twice), Red Robin, Culver's, Mc Donald's, Tim Horton's (a few times),Ikea (they have good, cheap food), and Cafe Protege featuring a fantasti…

I Can See

I have my new glasses and contacts now and as always, it is amazing to find out what you have been missing with the old prescription. Everything is just a little sharper. I am not sure if the fit of my right contact is correct, but I will see how it work during our vacation coming up and make a decision about that we we get back.

Another Book Recommendation

I don't read a lot of "Christian" books. I often find them to be very predictable and unrealistic. But, I have found one more exception to that rule with a book by an author that was recommended to me by a dear friend of mine.

A Can of Peas is by Tracy De Pree. It is set in rural Minnesota (probably one reason I liked it). The main characters are a young married couple taking over the family farm and trying to figure out what this whole marriage thing means. So, if you don't mind reading a bit about farming and the challenges a young Christian couple faces during the first years of marriage, this book is for you. I laughed out loud at a few parts and the end almost made me cry. It truly is a great book.

A Kindergardener Who Is Smarter Then Me

At VBS there are always certain kids you connect with more than others for whatever reason. This year one child that I made quite connection all started when the kids were saying where they were from and he said he was from Iowa.

Sometimes you are very surprised by what they know already. Here is a sample conversation i had with the child from Iowa.

Kid (speaking in his usual tone of excitement and wonder): I know a lot about the planets.

Me: Really?

K: Yeah. My friend had Venus and Uranus mixed up, but I told her how they should be.

M: Oh. Can you name all of the planets?

Kid does so without batting an eye. He of course stops at Neptune, so just to check out how smart he is, I ask about Pluto.

K: Pluto is not a planet. It is a dwarf planet. Did you know Mercury has a huge core that is full of iron?

M: Wow!

K: I can tell you all of the planets and their nicknames. (Which he does, explaining them all including the fact that Neptune's rings are sideways compared to the other Gas Giants that …

Just Call Me Suzie Homemaker

Most of you know that I do enjoy baking. So aside from doing VBS this week, I have been baking up a storm. Our church has people volunteer to sign up to bring cookies for our fellowship time after morning church. As soon as they started doing this, I told myself that sometime in the summer I would bring cookies. This coming Sunday is the one I volunteered for. They like to have about 16 dozen cookies which is a lot, but I decided I would make five different kids and make one every day this week. My husband has enjoyed the "mistakes" that he finds and I have been pretty pleased with the results. I have been having issues with my oven, and I finally determined it was a temperature thing. We bumped up the temperture in the oven about 10 degrees, and now things are turning out great.

Chocolate Chip - my personal favorite and the ones I have been having the most trouble getting to turn out right. The higher temp oven and more flour helped these turn out nice.

Oatmeal Raisin - For a…

Quote of the Day

Every year since we moved here, I have helped out with VBS. All of the local churches get together and put it on at one time. It is a pretty neat set up, and I figure that I am the perfect volunteer since I am available and I have no kids of my own. I always sign up to help with the little kids, the 4 year olds to 1st graders. It is a nice change of pace from high school students. They love you as a teacher and that is nice.

This year I am with the kindergardeners. They are the biggest class with 35 kids and probably the class with the most energy. Today for snack we had Tonka Truck Fruit Snacks. I just had to laugh when I heard one of the kids say to another, "This is the best food I have ever had in my life!"

Amazing what will change your life when you are six.


I don't really like thunderstorms. We had a pretty good one on Sunday night. I like to hunker down inside, away from the windows and try to take my mind off what is happening out side. My husband, on the other hand, likes to go outside and look at the clouds and see all of the lightening and stuff.

So, needless to say, we handle storms very differently. I wander around the house worried while Wilbert exclaims over and over again how cool it all is.

But on Sunday, we both had the same reaction to this (though the pictures really cannot do it justice):
A beautiful, full rainbow. Praise God.