Friday, October 4, 2013

And Now, Stay Tuned, for the Second Instalment of....Our Summer!

Well, the weather is chilly and it's definitely a long time since summer.  I spent one day (before we turned the furnace on) just cold and, frankly, I missed summer.  Fall has its charms, I suppose, but I wasn't ready for the chill in the air.

Well, school has been in full swing.  There have been BBQs and meet the teachers, early mornings and lunches, spelling tests and recesses.  Speaking of recesses, there was also a black eye...poor Evan fell on the steps of the play structure.  It didn't look too bad when he came home but the next day (picture day) he woke up with a black eye - I've never really truly seen one, I don't think.  He wasn't too happy about it but he has gotten over it.

We also started a new venture about a week ago...a paper route!  Jason has done most of it so far, but technically it is my paper route.  We split it with a neighbourhood boy because it was a LONG route (think 2 hours of walking every day).  It's more manageable now and I've even kind of enjoyed my morning forays into the neighbourhood.  Our house is kind of in the middle of the route so it'll be great for the kids to help out when they're a bit older.  It's good exercise and fresh air but -30 may not be so fun.  Hopefully we have a little less snow than last year but I'm sure we'll deal!

I also got my camera back from the repair shop today.  They phoned a couple weeks ago (then sent it to the wrong store so it ended up in Saskatoon) to give me the quote.  It was truly absurd as the repair was quoted to be as much as the new camera I would get.  So, as much as I didn't really want to spend that much money, it looks like I'll be getting a new camera.  Not sure what exactly was wrong, the report just said impact damage.  Guess I shouldn't drop my camera on the concrete.  It does take its toll over time.

Anyway (you must say all this in the voice of a '50s TV announcer-it sounds way cooler that way), now for the part you've all tuned in for...Our Summer.  This instalment will see the Berkan family travelling north.  Where to you say?  Why, Turtleford, of course.  Let's see what happens...

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed.
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed.
Then one day.....oh, what's that?  Oh, oh wrong show...sorry.

Back to the Travelling Berkans.

The new, the improved, the very first road trip in the new van!  Plenty of space, plenty of seats...must be the lap of luxury.

Even a picture box!  Funnily enough, the 6 1/2 month old had to twist around in his car seat to try to get a better view.  Kids.

This is the life...fresh air, sunshine, fresh strawberries from Granma's garden...could anything scream summer more loudly!?

How could I not show you this cutie?

Camping in our home away from home.  Not really.  Grandma & Grandpa had the old tent trailer set up so the older two boys and myself slept one night in it.  This was a staple of our travelling days when I was a child.  My bed was the wooden frame you can see in the very bottom right hand corner of the picture.  However, I don't remember the mattresses being quite that hard.

What's a trip to Grandma's without baking some treats?

The wild is calling...all the way from Alaska.  These are the shirts Grandma & Grandpa brought back for the boys.

Alexander really likes to hang out with Grandpa and learn all about his solitaire games.

Lively games of whatever these kids were playing would break out when the cousins came over.

Then, it happened.  The fly in the sugar dish, if you will, the lowlight in a week of highlights...poor little Jonathan got stung.  I think it was a wasp.  As much as we thought maybe he was trying to catch one (again), I think it was just on the patio chair where he grabbed to pull himself up.  It swelled up a bit but ended up not being too bad.

Not only did they make the regular treats, but Uncle Jay & Aunt Alli sold spudnuts at their garage sale.  These delicacies were popular in the far north, having paid for much education throughout the years.

They are nearly as big as a head, after all.

This girl has the touch!  She can put this baby to sleep anytime.  He won't fall asleep on my lap anymore!

Food can be hard to find (yeah, right, well, only if you can't see it because it's covered in dirt).  Potato pickin' fun.

More milestones to be the first lost tooth.  We're not really sure how loose it was, because its exit from the mouth was aided by LEGO.  Guess it wasn't strong enough to remove the piece!

Ah, and now we arrive at the meat of our story...the real reason for the trip.  The cowboy spirit that is alive and well at the Oil & Ag CPCA Turtleford Derby.  We had to make special arrangements this year to ensure we could also attend the finals.  It was an exciting three days with BJ Carey coming out as the aggregate winner and also setting a track record of 57.64 seconds on Day 3 - talk about exciting!  Ray Mitsuing and Wayne Knight both came up just short on the aggregate, placing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Even Bradley loved the wagons.  He would crank his head around anytime he heard them coming into the infield.  If he ends up a cowboy, I guess we blame Grandpa :)

And Jason got into the cowboy spirit for a day...

So lonely, so prairie...the buffalo poses on a hill behind the race track.

After all that excitement, there was still more to go.  The fun never ends when there are so many people around.  There are grandparents to relax with...

...lizards to watch (safely, from the stroller but they were getting braver by the end) courtesy of my sister...

...birthday parties to attend - so stylin' in her fancy new hat! ...

...trampolines to figure out (at least for my kids - but they did love it!)...

...and bottle rockets to shoot off (they went high and came down hard!  So much fun!)

The kids figured it would go higher if they ALL pulled the release string.

Hey, there was even some scruffy hobo there :)  But the kids seemed to like him.

If you can't count on Grandma to make a crazy dessert she once saw to celebrate a couple of birthdays, then who could you count on?  This is Timbits, covered in ice cream, whipped cream and any kind of sundae/candy toppings you can think of.  I ate a bowl of ice cream and some chocolate covered raisins.  The kids had a blast, though.


Now, it is time for our story to come to a close.  What better way to leave the Travelling Berkans than making ice cream the morning before they leave for home.  Gotta fit it in sometime!

Now, we will sign off until next time, when we return with the third instalment of Our Summer!

Until next time...