Monday, May 31, 2010

Quadding to Swim Lakes

On Saturday morning we quadded into Swim Lakes. We did this ride last year when Cavan was just a month old. Last year I wrote that it was a 30km trip forgetting that my quad odometer is in miles, so it is actually a 50km ride.

Hunter was getting tired on the way out, so I think that is still the longest we can ride with the kids. We had planned on quadding the 70km Dena Cho trail to Ross River with them this year, but we might have to ditch them for that ride.

I tried some fishing from shore with no luck. We had a picnic lunch and enjoyed the warm weather.
Cavan found a full can of beer that someone had left behind and he toted it everywhere with him.

Handsome boys:

And the handsome husband:

Teaching the boys how to fish:

Squirrel had to travel with us:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dandelion Syrup

The dandelions are in fully bloom and we are taking full advantage of this so-called weed. The kids and I picked enough to make a double batch of syrup that is boiling down on my stove right now. I have had a few requests for the recipe (this is for you Trish and Tina!).

Pick approximately 250 dandelion heads and then sit down with a bowl and a pair of scissors. While holding the nice yellow flower, cut off as much of the green stem as possible. Then drop the yellow fluff into the bowl. You need about 4 cups of the flower.

Dump the flowers into a pot with 4 cups of water and the juice of one lemon. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat, put the lid on and leave overnight or all day if you are ambitious like me and pick them early in the morning.

Lay cheese cloth in your strainer with a bowl underneath. Pour all the water and flowers into the strainer and then squeeze all of the water out of the flowers using the cheesecloth. Pour water back into the pot (clean the pot first). Add four cups of white sugar, bring to a boil and then boil on a medium heat for at least an hour and a half. Dribble some in a bowl at that time to see if it is a nice syrupy consistency. If not, keep on boiling.

Store in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge. I actually pour it into small canning jars, seal them and then give a water bath to make sure they are completely sealed. Then it can be stored at room temperature.

The dandelion syrup is fabulous on pancakes, icecream or even in your tea! Happy picking!

Can you wave down that wagon for me?

Cause I am trying to get back on!

While the family was visiting, I fell off the wagon. And not just off the wagon... I think I fell down the steep embankment the wagon was passing at the time. I am pulling myself up through prickle bushes and am nearly back on that wagon!

I was eight pounds up from my fantastic thirty-five pound loss. It could have something to do with the 1/2lb of fudge, heaps of homemade chocolate cookies, restaurant food and this damn heat that is making me retain water something fierce. I am really hoping a lot of that extra eight pounds in water and it will leave soon!

Today is my third day back on track and I am already down two of those extra pounds. I find I am craving sugar and salt right now. I have got to figure out a better plan for when I have company over and when I travel.

My next big goal is to hit 50lbs for July 26th. That is when we will be down visiting my family and my treat to myself for when I hit 50lbs is $250 of new clothing. I would love to hit that goal when I am actually near some stores!

Please let the butt kicking commence- I am going to need it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Things Kids Say

We went to a garage sale this evening and as I picked up a book out of a rubbermaid bin Hunter had this to say to me:

"Mom, put that book back. It doesn't belong to you."

I agreed and put it right back. Now if only he would do the same thing when the roles are reversed!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Taking the Train

Having the in-laws out for a visit was a perfect excuse for us to take the train trip over to Skagway. We had been wanting to do this trip for a while, and now that we have done it, I think we will try to do it every couple of years! It was such a fantastic time and the boys loved it.

We took the White Pass Yukon Route train from Carcross, YT to Skagway, AK. To make our trip even easier, we took a bus from Whitehorse to Carcross and a bus from Skagway right the way back to Whitehorse. We spent one night in Skagway. And even though the trip is a bit on the pricey side (about $280 per adult which includes one meal and the bus sections) it was completely worth it. I am pretty sure this was the highlight of the visit for the in-laws.

Getting ready to leave from Carcross.
At any time during the trip, you can stand on the end of the train
to look around and take pictures.

There really aren't the words to describe the scenery:

Our short train!
Hunter repeatedly informed me that it was made up of one engine,
one freight car, and two coaches.

The weather cooperated perfectly for the duration of our adventure:

Even Cavan was excited with the train:

Until the rocking motion put him to sleep:

And asleep again. Poor kid couldn't keep his eyes open!

The train comes mighty close to some rock walls and over many sheer drop offs. The in-laws nearly had heart attacks and refused to come to our side of the train to look over the edge for the entire ride.

The in-laws enjoying the ride:

There was still lots of snow over the summit:

What a difference in the ecology from Yukon to Alaska.
The coastal forests are so lush!

We played tourist in Skagway. When we arrived Hunter saw the horse and buggy and begged for a ride. We told him maybe tomorrow in hopes he would forget. Nope. He was up at 5:30am and the first words out of his mouth were to inquire about the horse ride.

A rather excited boy telling me about the horse that is behind us:
I was overwhelmed by the amount of people in Skagway since I had read that it only has about 800 residents in the summer. The reason for the jam-packed streets were the cruise ships. There were four docked which we were told would amount to at least 9000 people. We had a riot talking to people off of the ships. One couple from Los Angeles talked to us for quite a while and sure seemed shocked at how we lived. While every tourist we talked to was friendly, I never heard anyone on the streets use expressions such as, "Excuse please" or "Can I come through here please?" and we were looked at a little oddly when we used them!

The ships were enormous!

Waiting to take our bus home.

This crazy kid has his tongue out all the time. Yes, sometimes it is for licking things like chairs, floors and people, but most of the time I think it is just out to help with his concentration.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Birthday at the Lake

With the in-laws here visiting, we decided to celebrate the boy's birthdays together. I am a big fan of simple so we invited everyone out to the lake close to town for a big weenie roast. The only non-simple part was the damn cakes. My mother-in-law convinced me to make some fancy ones and they were so time consuming, but Hunter loved them, Cavan ate them, so everyone was happy.

The weather was perfect for a day at the lake with a high of +18 or so. I am bad mother and forgot sunscreen. All of us came home with sunburns and I had to slather both kids up with aloe vera lotion tonight. It was a fantastic day of celebrating with family and friends- all 27 of us!!

*warning- about a gazillion photos to follow....

The Lightening McQueen cake right after I finished it:

Delphine and Lilou enjoying the day:

Hunter and his Poppy attempting to find fish:

Peter and Monica playing ball:

Cavan enjoying the tasty food:

Everyone roasting their weenies:

The love of Hunter's life, babysitter Dana, taking a plunge into the lake.
The ice just came off a few days ago!

No pants, socks or boots, but yet he refused to take off his rain coat.

The cakes!!
That train one was a super pain in the butt to decorate,
but it turned out not too shabby!

The boys loved the cakes:

There is nothing quite like the joy of climbing playground equipment
with no pants.

Playing in the sand after I finally convinced him to take off his coat:

Now put the cake right here! I said here! Now!

My what cute underwear my kid has:

Ohhhhh.... water!!

I think I am going to have a lot of pictures like this throughout the summer:

I had to go in the water to keep Cavan close to shore!
It was damn cold.

We had to remove his pants, boots and socks after the inevitable fall in the lake. Then he was pissed off when he put his feet in the water and discovered how cold it was.

For some reason, my kids were the only ones there without pants on...

Discovering the joys of throwing and eating mud:


Diggin' too:

Funniest moment out there- Hunter had filled his boots with water and had removed them and his socks. Our friend told him to put his socks beside the fire so they would dry out. Hunter walked over to the fire and threw his socks right on top of the grill!! They got a little scorched before I could rescue them!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bye, Bye Booby

The end has come! The boobs have completed their usefulness and can now go back to being completely useless (well other than being something Matt seems to find entertaining).

I took it quite slowly weaning Cavan since learning the hard way with Hunter that quitting cold booby is very painful. It started with taking out the night feedings and then going strictly to three boobies a day. Then I made the jump to just one booby a day and was feeling like my boobs were going to explode! Once they adjusted to that (about four days), I went to once every other evening and did that for about a week and a half. Then that was it! Cavan seemed fine with the gradual loss of his favorite item and now seems to content to blow raspberries on my chest.

While I am happy to have that over with, I definitely have a new-found respect for my body. I grew two little humans and nourished them completely from my own body. Pretty darn amazing- hurray for boobies!

Boobing Hunter on the tundra while leaning up against my quad (August 2007)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Conquering the Slide

I am continually forgetting that Cavan is just 13 months old. Hunter wasn't even walking at this age, much less running and climbing like a monkey! This baby is on the go, all the time! He has been watching his big brother go down the big slide in the playground behind our house and he decided it was his turn to give it a go. Matt went up behind him, but that little monkey did most of it on his own!
Let's go dad!

The tongue of concentration!

Here I come mom!

There is that little tongue again!
Yeehawww!! At the top!

Not as coordinated on the way down, but happy nonetheless:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tazer him! He's resisting arrest!!

Is what I was yelling from the window as the RCMP showed up to haul my husband away to the slammer. That was the best $20 I have spent in a long time!!

A cop shows up to haul Matt away:

Hey Officer. How can I help you?
Matt figured it out pretty quick that it was just a fund raiser for the high school grads, but my visiting father-in-law was a little confused and concerned!
Away he goes!

Hunter was so upset that the cop took daddy away! He bawled hysterically the whole drive down and even into the station. Poor kid!

Doing hard time in Faro:

Our friends kids were locked up too. I sure wish they had cuffed Matt for the full effect. These boys had a hair pin and were trying to break out:

Putting on his best "break me outta here" grin: