Monday, June 30, 2008

Peonies, Glorious Peonies!

Peonies are one of my favourite flowers. We probably have at least 6 bushes and 4 varieties in our garden. They're what I love about spring (minus the ants they bring). I just wished they lasted longer!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Missing Person

So we had an interesting evening tonight. Thanks to a post on our homeschool forum, I found out about an elderly woman who went missing last night from a nearby retirement home. Her name is Audrey and she has Alzheimer's Disease. She somehow left her residence (which has tight security) last night and hasn't been seen since. I believe in community and believe that no matter how large the community everyone has to do their part. I really wanted to help out with the search. When a person goes missing, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack and we shouldn't depend solely on police and fire personnel. They just don't have the resources. So many bodies are needed in this type of effort.

I debated (for a short time) if I should discuss this with the kids. Audrey went missing so close to our home that we could easily do some looking ourselves. Anyhow, I decided to tell the kids. They were amazing. I explained a little about Alzheimer's and about how she wandered away from her home and forget how to get back. I explained how the search effort worked and asked if they would like to help out. We went to a secret trail near our place that Audrey could very well have accessed by accident. The kids were thrilled. We discussed what we should bring on our search and what she would need if we found her. Mickey was very cute calling her name as we walked. I knew that there was very little chance that we would find her but it was still a great experience for the kids to participate in something like this.

After we went on our little search we came across the police search team which consisted of three forces and numerous special units (incl. canine and air). Since their dad is a police officer is was great for the kids to see police officers trying to find a "good guy" and not just the "bad guy". They witnessed them working as a team. We had great discussions. I was able to explain grid searches, how each person plays a role, the type of residence she lives in, how she might be feeling, and what to do if they got lost. Before we left the house we watched the news coverage of the story. I didn't realize how much Mason had been paying attention until we did a little drive around and he spotted her photo posted in a really out-of-the-way location. I totally missed it!

I didn't want them to worry or be scared so one thing I really highlighted was that Audrey has memory problems and that she may not even realize that she is lost. Therefore, she's probably not scared! Or, at least that's the story I spun.

We have high hopes that Audrey will be found tonight. If not, we will try to do our part tomorrow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tip, Toes, and Taps

Dance class is over for the season. Mickey liked it! Wouldn't say she loved it but she says she wants to do it again. We'll wait and see.

Me and My Dog

Here is Mickey with one of our dogs. Her name is Emma and yes, she is a Rottweiler. Before anyone freaks out, I want to make it clear that in my opinion no child should EVER be left unattended with ANY dog. Emma is wonderful, soulful, soft, cuddly, gentle, attentive, and one of my best friends, but she is a dog. While I do trust her, I don't think anyone should ever trust a dog enough to leave their children alone with them, even for a minute. Children can do horrible things to pets. I remember dressing my cat in dolls clothes when I was a child and I truly saw how angry my mom could get!

The bond between a child and their pet is like no other. Our kids have learned so much from having pets. Mason loves to let them out and feed them (supervised of course) and he can't wait for the day when he can walk them. I love watching Mickey and the dogs and how they maneuver around each other. Both dogs are big and it's amazing how they can get around the kids without a scratch. Mickey is not so gentle and usually bulldozes her way through them and they give her a lick and on she goes.

Having a pet teaches a child how to care for another being. They learn to share their space. Best of all they learn how to protect their belongings, which usually means putting them away so the crazy lab doesn't eat them! They learned about death, through the loss of our young cat last year. Pets are a lot of work but well worth every minute of it!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Heinrich had a great Father's Day. He was thrilled. It started with the kids jumping into bed which isn't much different than any other weekend morning! Mason had made a card earlier in the week and presented it to Daddy. He was so excited. Mickey went to the kitchen and quickly drew one up! I bought Heinrich a Jamie Oliver cookbook....I know...weird! He's been wanting one for a while and thought that this might be a good occasion. While I don't enjoy cooking during the week, I see food and cooking as an event. That's why I love having company. It gives me an excuse to try dishes and make a big deal out of eating. Our friend Candace goes all out when she cooks. It's a whole experience. It helps that her kitchen, house and surroundings are beautiful and that she's Italian and LOVES to cook. I think I've only once seen her use a cookbook. Visits to her place always have us in the kitchen around her island. I'm scared to pitch in for fear of doing something wrong!! Although she's vegetarian and eats better than anyone I know or have read about, her food tastes good! Anyhow, Heinrich is always raving about her cooking and always says that he wants to cook more...hence the gift of a cookbook. I thought that over the summer we could work our way through some recipes and create many memorable family and friend moments!

After a big breakfast we hopped in the car and headed up to Collingwood. Heinrich wanted to check out a bed that he's going to have his Dad replicate. After discovering that the store was closed (oops, should have called first), we walked around Blue Mountain Village and then headed over to Wasaga. Luckily we had the kids bathing suits with us and they were able to go swimming. Not much of the day was planned but it turned out great. The kids didn't mind the hours in the car and we really had some great family bonding. That's what Father's Day should be all about.