Monday, June 29, 2009

The Last Day of School

The boys are heading off to their last day of school this morning.

This is how the little guy came home from school last week. Used to be just the girls wore paint on their face. Heh.

On Thursday, I picked up Jessie after her final exam and drove her out to the Circle Square Ranch where she's counselling for most of the summer.

And so today is my last day of quiet until July 26th when they all head off on different adventures. That's a month away!

If I want quiet there's always the RV out there under the apple trees. It's just that we've been having problems with our riding lawn mower and the grass is high between the house and the RV. Not over the knee high, but anything higher than the ankles could be hiding ticks. And if you've read my earlier posts, you know ticks freak me out.

But this year, I can go into our converted garage . . . er . . . Rec Centre and get away from all the electronic noise in the house. I tried it out last night when Nelson and the boys were watching a movie and I had homework to do. The Rec Centre was dark but Nelson had set up the old computer desk near the west window and with the sun setting, I had plenty of light streaming in through the trees. With just one window open to catch a breeze, the room was cool instead of stifling. And it was quiet if I didn't count the birds chattering away. I was out there for the length of the movie and was able to complete my homework assignment from the Roses Plotting Bootcamp I'm taking this month.

So today, when the boys get off the bus for the last time until Sept, after a reasonable social interlude - say 30 mins tops - I'm going out to the Rec Centre to continue working and the boys can make all the noise they want in the house.

Hmmm . . . this'll be a good time for Nick to learn how to cook, eh. Heh.

And how about you . . . is there a major change in your house at this time of year? How do you or will you cope?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Family Reunion 2009

My long anticipated Family Reunion weekend is over. Everyone left. The house is quiet. Time to reflect…

Friday afternoon, soon after the kids came home from school, a strange car came down the driveway with Ontario license plates. My dad, whom I hadn’t seen in about 15 yrs, and his new wife had arrived. Strong, emotional hugs. Good hugs. Hubby led the way to our partially renovated garage, now christened the Rec Centre, which he’d cleaned and furnished. Fabric covered the windows, a radio sat on a small dinette table. Even a rug beside the bed. I was quite impressed. Grandpa and Grandma (G&G) deemed it suitable and moved right in. Since they are avid golfers, we enjoyed a round of Golf later on that evening as we introduced them to the Wii game system.

Saturday dawned hot and muggy. Two more vehicles arrived in time for lunch: my sister and her hubby in the one with Manitoba plates, and their daughter from 2 hrs west of us, in the other. Everyone was now here. The kids went to work putting up the dome tent and filling it with sleeping bags and their electronic games. Meanwhile, the adults were bowling in the living room.

After supper, we all moved into the Rec Centre for a game of Pictionary. Two teams with 5 people each, 1 white board, lots of colored markers. Perfect. Thirty minutes into the game, a thunderstorm moved in but we were cozy so we played on. Not long after, the power went out and plunged us into darkness. Within minutes, with an oil lamp shining on the game board, and a flashlight aimed at the white board, we pressed on. Someone noticed the tent had collapsed so it was carried into the sunroom away from the elements. Lightening flashed through the windows, thunder reverberated through the building, the little guy trembled in fright and still we played on. And it was fun! More noise than substance, the storm ended before our game did. As we laughed our way back to the house, 2 of the kids decided to sleep in the tent after all, so it was dragged back out and set up with their stuff still inside.

Another storm with lots of rain passed over the farm during the night. Sunday morning, the little guy awoke at 0530 and ran to see if the tent was still there. I found out later, when he saw the collapsed tent, he ran back in for his camera and took photos of it before rescuing the occupants who were soaking wet but still asleep.

When we all got back from church, we took family photos in the yard – in a light drizzle. Since everyone wanted to play the Wii, we did. Bowling, tennis, baseball and even boxing. I couldn’t decide if I had more fun playing or watching others play, but it sure was fun. During this time, my niece made home-made whole wheat pitas for supper but as another storm system rolled in, she said her goodbyes and left before eating with us. Good thing because it poured soon after and that gravel road to the highway was mucky enough. After supper, the Wii games continued.

Early this morning, hubby drove older son to school where his class was heading out on a 3 day camping trip. Shortly after, the school bus came along and picked up the little guy. (Jessie stayed home to study for afternoon exams.) Within a couple hours, G&G were headed east to Ontario/Michigan followed by my sister and her hubby going back to Northern Manitoba. Hubby, on his last day off, and I waved at the departing cars. A cool breeze blew through the quiet, empty house. The 2009 Family Reunion was over.

I'm so thankful I had this chance to see my dad again after all these years, and it was truly a blessing to meet his gracious wife. It will take them 4 days to get back home and I'm praying they arrive safely. I miss them already…

And how was your weekend?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Jessie's Graduation

Last Saturday, my 2nd child graduated from high school. This was her special night.

Here she is in our van as she waits for her escort to meet us.

Jessie and her friend and escort, Nick Yoner enjoying their meal.

From left to right: Nick Draper, Jessica Draper, Nick Yoner, Grandma Draper, Anita Mae Draper with JJ in front, Nelson Draper.

Jessie dancing with her Dad

Noelle Bonk took this photo at Tim Horton's where they all went in the wee hours of the morning. That's a long way for coffee!
My poor baby had such a long day.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jessie's Grad is Today

Today is my daughter's graduation. Jessica is wearing a princess dress only a doting father would buy for his daughter. I'll post pictures when I have them.

And I'd love to tell you more but I have a very big day starting with going into the city to pick my mother-in-law.

So have a good weekend and I'll talk to you soon.