Monday, August 25, 2008

Thomas Day

Sir Stephen Hatt waiting for the track to be cleared.
Train sandwiches for lunch.

The sheds for Gordon (Timothy), James (Justin), Thomas (Stephen) and Molly (Andrea).

The amazing tracks in the backyard.

The engines filling up their tanks at the station (with the vacuum hose).

Yesterday the boys were invited to Andrea and Justin's house for Thomas Day. Andrea and Justin's mom is a very creative woman! They were met at the door with their train's faces(cardboard with elastic to fit around their waists), and little Baby T. was wearing Sir Topham Hatt's black hat because, as she said, he's the one that would be controlling the day's activities anyway!
The backyard was covered with spray painted tracks for the engines to travel on. They even had a shed with their names on it! There was a filling station with an old vacuum hose hanging down for the engines to stop and fill up. The tracks strategically went up to the steps of the playset and forced the engines to come down the slide on the other side!
In the afternoon, the children made a cute train craft. They had had their pictures taken first thing in the morning, their pictures were printed off, and then they made train magnets with each of their faces in the windows.
It was a long, but fun day for them. Stephen was so tired by the time we left for home that he had announced that he didn't enjoy any of the day, but guess who talked about the whole day non-stop at the supper table, telling Daddy detail for detail what they had done?!
The boys were thrilled to have been invited to such a special day at their friends' house and I was thrilled to have a few hours of peace and quiet! The boys are wondering what Aunt L. is going to plan next, though, and they hope that they'll be invited again for another fun day! It's hard to measure up to Aunt L's creativity, but today we're going to try to have some olympics in our back yard. We are filling our days with fun because school starts next week!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Corny Supper

We had a corny supper this week. We had mini corn dogs, corn on the cob and corn chips. Stephen wanted to make corn juice, but I talked him into lemonade instead. The boys were so excited about our meal that would be served in Grandma Pavkov's old corn dish that they made a welcome sign for Daddy and put it on the garage door where he'd be sure to see it. We had a great time at our corny meal! Next time we'll invite you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Henry and Joanna's Wedding

Well, it's been a month and a half now that Henry and Jo have been married, but I'm finally able to post a picture of this beautiful couple! (Thank you, Honey, for downloading the pictures for me since I don't know how to do it!) Their wedding was beautiful, even though it was a rainy day for the most part. We were honored to be able to celebrate with them on their special day!

(Sorry, I wanted to post their pictures first before the whole Weinhardt family minus five grandchildren, but I can't get it to post in the order I want!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Guilt of Scrapbooking

I apologize in advance to all of you who are avid scrapbookers, but I do believe that all scrapbooks are good for is to create guilt in those of us who are not artistic, not creative, and not scrappers ourselves! I've heard that some people actually ENJOY creating scrapbooks of their kids, their vacations, their whatevers, but for me, all scrapbooks do is create GUILT!

Guilt? Why guilt? Because I have a ton of empty scrapbooks, tons of high quality supplies to create my memories, photos galore, and NO desire to do anything with them! I have a nice Creative Memories album of our wedding that I created back in the day when I was a newbie to this town and had nothing else to fill my time with. I also have a scrapbook of the annual Christmas pictures that come every year from our friends and family (although I'm behind a few years now). I even have Stephen's baby album started. I think I have two pages done. I have blank albums for the other boys, but they are still nicely wrapped in their original plastic, untouched.

Oh, I enjoy looking at other people's scrapbooks, especially the ones that are done with such beautiful simplicity that you can't help but oooo and ahhhh over them, but you know, I don't know who I was trying to kid. Scrapbooking just isn't for me and I need to quit feeling guilty because I'm about 8 years behind in my scrapbooking!

I don't scrapbook ... but I blog! I release this self-imposed guilt from not scrapping!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer Fun!

I have no idea what Fred and I were talking about, but neither one of us was paying any attention to our kids! Good thing this photo shows that everything was ok while we were preoccupied!
Timothy and Christopher LOVED the splashpad at the African Lion Safari!

This was one of Christopher's less active moments at the splashpad. There's a fascination with water in every little child!

Brave Timothy enjoyed running through all the sprinklers.

Brave Stephen loved zipping down the water slide! (Now why did he throw such a fit the next day at swimming lessons when he had to go down a shorter slide?!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Snacks at the Park

The boys and I went to the park this afternoon because it was such beautiful weather out there! They packed along all their diggers and trucks and scoopers ... and their imaginations! Even though we have enough dirt in our backyard for them to play in, they LOVE to dig at the park.

Here's what we had for our "snack" today at the park, compliments of Stephen and Timothy:

Strawberry Mushroom Soup
Sandal Cream Lemonade (But Mommy, it's sandal CREAM! You'll love it!)
Mushroom Marshmallow Ice Cream
Lemonade Coffee
Peach and Chicken Soup
Chocolate and Mushroom Muffins

Anyone want to join us for tomorrow's treats? I can't guarantee the quality of them, but I'm sure they'll be something you've never had before!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I've made a new friend the past few weeks. Her name is Jo, and she is my new sister-in-law. She is a blessing from the Lord and is becoming very dear to me. Today we spent the afternoon cooking together, and let me tell you, you can cover a lot of ground while cooking with someone and STILL run out of time for talking! We were deeply involved in making a Weinhardt family favorite of chicken schnitzel and spaetzle with gurken salat (cucumber salad) as a side, but we stopped often to catch our breath from laughing or paused to stand in amazement at the way God has personally touched our lives. It was a tremendous afternoon of non-stop chatter, and we left feeling as if we hadn't even gotten started yet!

Jo is from British Columbia, but she has spent most of her adult life serving the Lord around the world. She's taught school in Hungary and South Korea as well as Canada. She's served on mission trips in Rwanda, South Korea, Mongolia, and Thailand. She believes that God has called her to teach children, and I can attest that her relationship with children comes naturally and is a high priority in her life. She has allowed God to touch her life and heal hurts, and in turn, God is using her humble character to bless the lives of others.

Our family relationship has just begun, and our friendship and sisterhood is already forming strong ties. Peace and joy follow Jo, and I am drawn to spend time with her. In just the few occassions that we have shared together, I feel as if I am blessed and changed and loved. I'm thankful for her friendship and pray that God will continue to use her in the mighty ways that He already has! I love you, Jo, and I thank God for you!

(And she's got a great method of getting people to shiver and grow goosebumps with a silly little action game! The boys can't get enough of her and her games!)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Times Sure Have Changed

Mom and Dad are here visiting for the weekend and Mom brought up a box that is fascinating me. The contents prove how much times sure have changed since 1966 when I was born. This vintage shoe box that she brought to me is full of baby cards, newspaper clippings and other general printed material that she collected around the time of my birth. It's interesting to see how all the baby cards look exactly alike, yet so different. The greeting card companies must have all used the same baby template for each of their pictures. They also had glitter-happy people working for them. The fonts on all these cards are so similar as well. It's hilarious.

Get this! There's a sheet here from Akron General Hospital Instructions for Mothers on Breastfeeding. (Pardon the openness of this content, but if you have ever breastfed, you will find this a bit humorous.)
I. Initial Breast Care:
A. The first day a nurse will shave under your arms and remove any hair around the nipple.
B. She will then cleanse the breast.
C. A breast binder or bra should be worn after this.
D. You will be given a crib sheet to be used when the baby is with you.
1. Place the baby on the crib sheet.
2. Never place the baby on your sheet. Always use a crib sheet.
3. After baby has left, fold the sheet - clean side in and place in paper bag.
IV. Nursing Your Baby
A. The baby will come to breast the first time after 24 hours.
B. The nurse will give you some solution (Aq. Zephiran) to rinse your hands after you have placed the crib sheet - clean side out - on the bed.
C. Then she will cleanse your nipple with a sterile cotton ball.
D. She will then assist the baby in starting to nurse.
E. Be sure you are in a comfortable and relaxed position before the nurse leaves the room.
F. We have set up a nursing schedule for you to use. The routine is as follows:
1. 1st and 2nd day - 5 minutes at breast
2. 3rd and 4th day - 7 minutes at breast
3. 5th and 6th day - 10 minutes at breast
4. 7th and 8th day - 12 minutes at breast
5. 9th and 10th day - 15 minutes at breast
6. 11th and 12th day - 20 minutes at breast
Try to follow this schedule and you will have a happier breastfeeding experience.

VII The first night the baby is rarely brought to you at 2:00a.m. so you can get some extra rest; and since the baby does not get any milk, he won't mind!

Ok, that was probably too much information for some of you, but I was laughing so hard at this! There were also a few points in there where they encouraged you not to touch your belt while holding your baby. Those of you who were ever fortunate enough (choke!) to wear a "belt", you know what I mean.

Then, Mom also has a whole stack of menu slips that she kept from the hospital. She got to choose from things like Cream of Asparagus Soup and Corn Fritters with Maple Syrup to Baby Beef Liver or Creamed Chicken on Biscuit. One day she had Beef Croquettes with Mushroom Gravy and Molded Bing Cherry Salad with Mayonnaise and a Baked Custard for dessert! Hmmm. I think I remember having canned chicken soup one day with some saltine crackers. Another day I had a piece of "meat" that had some paste, or maybe it was gravy, on top. AND on top of all that delicious sounding food that she had, Mom was encouraged to stay as many days as she needed before she decided she was ready to go home!

Here's another laugh! A brochure that says on the front: 3 Important "How To's" for Hospital Patients. Inside it says: 1.) How to get a room with a view: WATCH TV! 2.) How to surround yourself with stars: WATCH TV! 3.) How to put interest in every minute: WATCH TV! to turn four walls into a world of entertainment: It's easy, with TV in your room! $1.90 per day plus sales tax!

Boy! Did they have it made back then! Time sure have changed! Thanks for sharing what it was like to have a baby back in 1966, Mom. It was enlightening for me.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cherries From the Farmer's Market

We went to the Farmer's Market in St Jacobs on Thursday. My new sister-in-law, Jo, wanted to go to a place that sold fresh produce. I took her to the best of the best! Aunt Heidi and Allyson, if you want a fabulous new farmer's market to experience, come on up and I'll take you to St. Jacobs! The nice thing about the market in St. Jacobs is that there are two wonderful markets to choose from. The St Jacobs market is quite commercialized compared to the Waterloo Market across the street. The Waterloo Market is full of many old order Mennonites that pull their buggies up to the building and sell their wares out of the back. Both have tantilizing produce and meat and cheese stands, flea market style vendors, etc. On a busy summer Saturday, both are packed with shoppers, but oh, so worth the time there! It is THE place to go if you are looking for a farmer's market! (Sorry, Mom. D-town's doesn't even come close in comparison!)

So Thursday Jo and I went crazy buying local produce: peaches, tomatoes, corn, beets, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries (that said Product of USA), and cherries! The cherries were the hit! We couldn't wait to pop those lucious things in our mouths! One problem: the boys expected me to pit each and every one that they ate! They didn't know how to eat a cherry!

I wish I could have taken a video of Timothy to share. He wanted to learn sooo badly how to eat a cherry by himself so he picked one up by the stem and said, "Now what do I do, Mommy?" I told him to put it in his mouth and bite down, but be careful of the seed. Now chew carefully until you feel the hard seed. Suck off the fruit. Now spit the seed out. "How do I spit it, Mommy? How?! Like this? Did I do it right?" He got all excited with the success of that first one that he went nuts-o eating handfuls after that! Yes, you all may be laughing at this, but how would YOU try to explain to a three year old how to eat a cherry?!

Our five pound basket of cherries is almost finished. Now that the boys have learned how to eat cherries themselves, this is the fruit of choice for every snack this week. I'm not complaining there! I love them, too. Especially when they are so big and sweet and juicy! Mmmmmm! Cherries anyone, before they disappear?