Saturday, August 31, 2013

Summer surprise ~ Shamrock Drive In Movie Theatre!

My hubby had a great idea to let our girls have a pretty cool summer time experience... remember those days when "going to a movie" meant the Drive In?    There are not many of them left in our province, just Killarney, Morden and perhaps Dauphin?
So we surprised the girls with a dinner out in Boissevain with Nana & Papa first.

 When we moved from BC, neighbors at "Pearl Meadow" gave us a gift certificate to eat out at Veva's Restaurant in Boissevain.  This would be a great time to make use of the thoughtful gift.
 Great food and the service was amazing!  (Thanks to our great hostess!)
 Then we were off to Killarney!  Gregg and I had been watching the Shamrock's Facebook page to see which movies were playing .  We had planned to take the girls to "Epic" but then we had the roll over.  So now "Despicable Me 2" was playing Sept. long weekend and off we went!

 Keeping a close eye on the clouds and the storm warning forecast!
 Girls still have no idea where we are going (except Kate) and they are curious why we packed lawn chairs, pillows, blankets, water bottles and some snack foods.
 Why are we stopped on the side of the road and Dad is using now as a good time to wash the windshield??
 Rock climbing doesn't seem right... oh wait ... the sign says a movie is playing!
 Ah ha!

 Gregg and I used to court/date at the Brandon Drive In and also the Killarney drive in.  We usually invited some friends and off we went for the whole experience.
 Remember these speakers?  How many people drove away with them still in their windows?  HA!
 Dad was remembering the gut ache he got from all the soda's and licorice he would eat at the Drive In.
There is something very different and unique about the Drive In ~ everyone is relaxed... there are no cell phones, etc or people pushing on your seats, etc.  You don't even mind if someone walks by, or if another vehicles antennae is in your line of view.  Families are having fun.  Those on dates are having fun.  
 Glad we brought the old Honda, girls decided to lay on the roof!

 Why is Dad always so weird?

 The movie is starting!  A nice breeze that kept the mosquitoes away and the rain stayed away until the closing credits!  Perfect timing and the lightening in the background just added to the experience.
 Very happy!
We had a wonderful chat with the new owners.. and yes, they know other Thiessen relatives!  Small world.  They've just welcomed their 8th child, they home educate and they are wonderful hosts!  Gregg even got to see the old projectors!
So if you get the chance... take the drive!  Getting home at 1 am is no big deal :0  This is their last weekend for the season and they have a family movie playing and then a more mature as well.  Find them on Facebook.  So nice to support a family as well and not just a big corporation. The prices are cheaper than Brandon too. Although with the 8 children, their corporation is growing !  Ha ha....
Until next summer...

Homeschooling in Manitoba

We have moved back to Manitoba after being in BC for 4 years ~ thus, we need to register as a home educating family in Manitoba.  We had previously home schooled in Manitoba before moving to BC, but I needed to see what had changed.  The answer ~ nothing.

I did a quick search on the Manitoba Government website and found this info.

Manitoba Government Education Site

A child needs to be registered in a public, private or home school the year that they turn 7 years old.  This is to be completed by Sept 1st or within 30 days of your decision to home educate.

You can print out your intent to home educate forms or get them to mail them to you.  I choose to have them mailed.  I emailed this address with how many children I was planning on educating at home.

They sent me the welcome package in the mail and this is what I filled out

I had been told to write a minimal amount of info on these forms ~ so I figured this should do.  They want to know what books/curriculum I would be using for Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. Then there was a spot for the "others".

This is very different from our experience in BC, where I had the most wonderful home teacher / support system ever and I received $1000/child/year for their textbooks, etc.

Manitoba offers no financial support, minimal educational support (unless I can find it myself somehow) but then I am only required to send in the above notification and 2 reports for the rest of the year.  Less time consuming for me. The reports look very similar to the above as well.

If you are looking for a bit more "support" in Manitoba, try the following:
Manitoba Association of Christian Home Schools (MACHS) (they have a conference in WPG each spring) Click here
Homeschool Canada Click Here
Manitoba Association of Schooling at Home (MASH) Click Here

There is a Yahoo Group and a few Facebook groups available as well ... try 
Westman Homeschoolers
Manitoba Association of Schooling at Home (MASH)

As far as mental/social/emotional support ~ I believe in finding a mentor and having someone to talk to and vent and bounce ideas off.  Find someone with children slightly older than yours, with similar family values and ideas and let them motivate you.  ( perhaps I should also say that you could be an encouragement to them in the process as well) 
The biggest hurdle I've found with educating our three girls at home is that I feel all alone sometimes.  The best thing for myself at those moments is getting together with another family or a Mom and just chatting and maybe getting that one little idea or that comment that can keep me going. 
 Don't be shy with your own compliments ~ let people have it !  Tell them that their children are "well behaved", " clever minded", "compassionate", "quick learners", etc etc.  Let them know the good qualities you've noticed in the children or their family, etc.

Encourage and be encouraged!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A little Roll Around

How to post about an event that took just seconds to happen?
 My two youngest daughters and I were traveling on a very familiar gravel road, heading to a family gathering, when I lost control of the van and we ended up in the ditch.  Yes, the conditions were extremely wet (2 inches of rain and counting) and there was a very soft spot on that road.  I was going 60 km/h and while I corrected one slide, I obviously did not correct the next.  There was probably some hydroplaning involved, seeing as the ruts were full of water and something also happened with the rear tire as we turned sideways.  In that one second that I had to decide what to do, all I thought was "don't roll on the road".  So.. we rolled into the ditch and I quickly said "Lord Jesus" out loud and told the girls "hold on girls" and in we went.  I honestly thought we would only tip over on our side or head bang on into the ditch.  I prayed silently for God to keep the roof off my girls heads and that the air bags wouldn't hurt us.

We flipped completely onto the roof and then right around onto our wheels again... facing North instead of South.  Vehicle still runs just fine :)

The girls had very interesting views while it was happening and had some slow motion experience.  Miss M saw a Tupperware bowl float by her, hit the window and then hit her in the head.  Miss R saw me whiplash in my seat.  I had my eyes tightly closed I guess, as all I experienced were sensations and then saw some cows when I opened my eyes.

I was very impressed at the calmness and maturity my girls had with the whole event.  Miss M's first words were "well, that was weird".  I told the girls calmly, to just sit and relax afterwards and let me look at them. Miss R had some dirt and debris on her face and  2 little spots of blood on her hand from some glass and I had the same amount on my neck from the seatbelt.  There was glass everywhere!  I didn't want them touching anything, but we had to get out.  After turning off the vehicle and deciding we were all okay and that no, that watermelon juice was not a body fluid, we all crawled out of the van.  Miss M's next words were "what can I do to help Mom?".  One proud Momma!  I was looking for my sweater that had been on my lap as I was thinking "it's raining and I am going to get soaked"... well, the sweater was already soaking in the ditch water.  Guess I wouldn't be wearing it.  SO thankful that all of us were buckled in properly, or we could have been soaking in the ditch as well.
Everything in the van was completely drenched with water

So I ended up gathering up a few things from the water and popped them into my bag and oh wait, there is the camera, maybe I should take some photos.  I poured some bottled water over our hands and we shook off some of the glass on our face, hair and clothes.
Lots of glass shards on our face and in our hair

 Then we started walking home and waiting for some passerby to stop and perhaps give us a ride home.  We saw one car heading our way and then they turned around and headed back :(  About 5 minutes later a big old motor home came and offered us a ride home.    Funny how they knew who we were once we told them "we live in the yellow house" and he brought us right home.  So we ended up going next door to our siblings and asked if they could drive us to the hospital once I made some phone calls and we had a quick shower.  We were certain that there was glass in our eyes and probably in our scalp as well.  So I made the phone call to my hubby (who was on his way home from Calgary) and told him "First of all, everyone is okay...."  Poor man, he couldn't get home fast enough.
Notice how the Town and Country van roof just buckled and took the impact

Passenger window completely gone, this is where all the glass came from

The nurses checked the girls a bit for neck injuries, etc and we all had glass removed from our eyes.  I am still dealing with some tiny shards in my scalp, but they are eventually coming out.  We were then told to go to our family Dr. the next week.  The girls seem pretty good, only Miss R needed some Tylenol for a bump on her head and general muscle aches.  I have finally received some muscle relaxants that help me sleep instead of being in constant pain.  Guess I've never had that kind of pain (well, except a migraine) that Advil or Tylenol couldn't fix for me.  Thankfully we had family living close by that could drop what they were doing and take us in and even treat us to supper afterwards.  I really think this helped us relax and especially take the girls mind off it.  I know Miss M was thinking about how her life could have changed in something had happened to any of us.
The roof collasped between the 2 front seats
The local auto shop came out ASAP and towed the vehicle back to their yard.  I also phoned the RCMP and they told me what I needed to do.
Girls noticing that the car turned around instead

So now we wait ~ for the adjuster to check out the van and tell us what compensation our insurance will give us ~ then we start the hunt for another vehicle.    We have learned first hand how important some safety features are!
We've also been shaken up and saw just how quickly our life could have changed by a few small details.  God is good and gave us more time together.  We are very thankful.  We're also very thankful for those who popped by to "see if you are okay" and asked how we were doing.  I'm thankful too that I had made a big pot of soup before hand and we had a few meals from it... especially nice when just making a quick pot of rice would wear me out.  We had some friends help with the little details of driving girls to their camp, etc and I had the privilege of just lying on the couch watching movies and sleeping.  Amazing how nothing else matters at that point.
We've all been reminded how life really is about relationships and interactions with people.  I will try to listen to that voice in my head more often ~ that one that tells me, "go ask how they are doing" or "you could bring them something"... just to acknowledge that they are important to you.
Thank you Lord Jesus for answering my prayers and keeping us all safe and sound in your hands.

UPDATE 1 year later:
Well, Mei suffers no after affects.  Ruth is still undergoing some chiropractic treatment and with exercise and treatment is actually starting to feel better than before !  Jolene is still having difficulties with her back.  There is one very sensitive area on her spine and she is going for further testing.  All in all, we've all come a long way since this roll over.  Learned new or different techniques to use in garden work with bending over etc.  Jolene still doesn't feel like she is up to her same capabilities as before, but is optimistic!  MPI has continued to pay for these treatments thus far, but we'll have to see what they continue to do.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Blu ~ Brandon's New Restaurant

Well, dear hubby and I went out for a date a few weeks ago... decided to do the practical thing and picked some strawberries at Grand Valley Strawberries first.  Then decided to go for a bite to eat.  We were good and hungry and it was somewhat chilly outside even though it was mid July.
We decided on trying the new restaurant (formerly Gullivers) called Blu.
The atmosphere is mainly black modern styling and seemed more of a lounge type, trying to be a higher end lounge.  We did get to sit in a crescent shape booth.
It was freezing cold in there.  I put on my sweater and the server promptly brought me my soup which was good!  I ordered the Chicken Curry soup and Gregg went with a Stuffed Chicken with fresh vegetables plate.
 That is a $24 or $28 plate of food at Blu .  It was bland, Gregg asked for butter and salt and pepper.  The peppers were the most flavorful.  The sprig of rosemary didn't add much flavor.
 This is my $6 bowl of soup.  Taste great, but a few spoonfuls and it was gone.
We were so cold that we didn't want to linger...we quickly paid for our meal and left to warm up.  Our review ~ service was good, but that was it.

So we finished off our date by going for groceries, etc.    At that point we were still pretty hungry, but by 10pm, there is not much available for dining options.  We were told to try Joe Beever's...which we knew was a sports bar, but we thought, "it shouldn't be busy and they said the food is really good".  It was Weds. Wing night after all~   we had a wonderful Saskatoon Spinach salad and wings!  Filled us up and it was good.
BUT ~ it was BUSY ~ why?  "KISS" was in town...

Yup... we got to sit by KISS and eat our wings!  Ha ha.   I didn't go for a picture with him, but we thought it a little funny how some girls went up for quick photo and then he just sat down, drank something and started to check his messages or text or surf online and visit with his wife???  Quite the night life we had that date.  Ha ha.

The summer of the Farmers Market

Farmer's Market this summer has basically fallen into our laps.  We did the first market just so there would be some vendors there and maybe others would come later.  We did so well and I had so much fun being able to bake again ~ so we continued!

 We have a new goal ~ get to the US and to PEI this fall ~ see friends in Pennsylvania and relatives in New Brunswick! In our family, any funds that Momma or babies can make is what we classify as "extra"...Daddy's money is for boring things (essential things) like food and housing.  Our money gets to be for the little fun things!  So we're working hard  ~ baking, harvesting in the garden (the money I can save us on the grocery bill also helps) and sewing up a holiday!  hee hee.
 Kate made some feather earrings
 Girl do a Lemonade stand each time.  The funds went at first to buy chickens for people in Asia, now it's going to Manitoba families who are adopting children.

 People were lined up to buy fresh produce from the Veggie Wagon

 Afterwards we enjoy a quick dip in the lake ...
...and sometimes a left over cinnamon bun
 Mini pies
 Peanut Brittle
 Parseman Garlic Sticks
 Weather has warmed up enough that we need umbrellas to shield the food.  Now to just get them to stick into the ground and not fall over!
 Girls selling their homemade clips and goodies
 Lots of fresh bread 

 Yup, I was crazy enough to do caramel and candy apples the one week.  Very time consuming, so I didn't actually get as many items made.  Less profits that week, but it was fun to do them.

 The most delicious Caramels ever!  Have to make another batch for this week!

 No eating the Farmer's Market food!
 The making of those delicious caramels ~ another learning curve of using a candy thermometer!
 I never make cinnamon buns in a small way, but this week I actually made some MINI's!

 The mini's sold really well,  but yup, more time consuming once again.

Girls help me with making things pretty.  They also help with all the bagging and tagging of the items we sell.  Still looking for more good ideas of what to make.  We're slowly getting closer to our holiday goal and also supporting some friends who are adopting older children.