Settled on the Hobby Farm

The kids have been voluteering every day that the petting farm is open (6 days a week), so camping here made sense.  We set up our largest tent and the Hamilton’s are letting us use their spare 5th wheel for a more comfy home base.

5th wheel permanently settled here.

5th wheel permanently settled here.

Keeping things to a minimum, keeping life simplified….it’s not always easy but I find that it keeps my whole life simple.  I spend more time outside…we all do.  Housework is almost none existent when camping.  Sweeping takes 1 minute.  Dishes aren’t always used; hands work well for a lot of things.  At the end of the day we often sit around a campfire, talking.

Mitchell

Mitchell

Supper with Shelly and Chris

Supper with Shelly and Chris

Silkies

Silkies

It's not a farm without hay bales, is it?

It’s not a farm without hay bales, is it?

Kids have learned to care for horses/donkeys, goats, chickens & other fowl, pigs and rabbits.  Mitch is driving the Rhino, a quad and Ray’s stick-shift pickup truck.  Chores are done in the morning and evening and when the farm is open the kids work to keep things running smoothly.  Maret has learned to run the till.  All of them are involved in Customer Service.  We clean up messes, keep the bathroom in running order, blow up balloons and decorate for parties.  Whatever needs to be done we do….and hopefully with a good attitude.

Canada, Eh!

We’ve been back in Canada seven weeks now, and several of the kids have said, “I didn’t realize how much I missed/love Canada!”

So it’s not surprising that a few of them were disappointed to not watch the Parksville Parade in town, or see the fireworks.  But Shelly just put up video of it here.

Not many people had signed up to volunteer here at the farm so Johnson’s were the committed ones. Don arrived with cowboy hats for the sunny day and doled them out. Not perfect fits but fun nonetheless.

 

Mama Cowboy

Mama Cowboy

Anders Dude

Anders Dude

Laars is under there.

Laars is under there.

I could totally see Mitchell being a farmer.  He's taken to this farm life like a duck to water.  It ALL looks good on him, not just the hat.

I could totally see Mitchell being a farmer. He’s taken to this farm life like a duck to water. It ALL looks good on him, not just the hat.

Chores were done and families where already waiting at the gate when I walked up there to Open up. I thought it was going to be a crazy busy day. But like so many other places of business, it ebbs and wanes.

Kids kept nicely busy all day, throwing back some red and white treats I had purchased and consuming freezies from the Hamiltons. It was a scorcher, walking ponies around baking rings. Making sure everything and everyone had enough water and shade.

Pizzas were ordered for supper while kids and Shelly tacked up horses for instructional riding. Dust flew as horses and ponies circled the ring and weaved between barrels.

We walked horses down the shaded trail boxed in with forest greens and secret bird houses. And when the horses were finally relieved of tack, the sweaty horses rolled in the sand, marking the now-vacant saddle-spot with mud.

As evening fell and the night sky moved in Mitchell sat by his campfire with empty marshmallow bag. We arrived with a bag of sticks of some sort somebody had found, claiming them as sparklers. But some were just incense on steroids to add to the camp smoke. Fortunately, some were really sparklers so we got them lit, twirling and dancing while Ray shot off flares from the driveway.

Laars-ipan

Laars-ipan

So very low keyed, this Canada Day. Everette and Danaka in Puerto Rico, the teens exhausted from sun and work, and Mom too blurry-eyed to drive younger ones in to see the sky light up.

They may be disappointed about the Canada Day Celebrations (or lack of them) but they are certainly happy to be in Canada!!

Week in Review 22/6/14 & Summer Solstice

I haven’t posted much at all this week…just because.

Mitchell looks like he was doing something silly as usual.

Mitchell looks like he was doing something silly as usual.

Layne showing off her Doctor Who shirt...TARDIS and British flag

Layne showing off her Doctor Who shirt…TARDIS and British flag

Layne with Laars who's turning 7 later this week.

Layne with Laars who’s turning 7 later this week.

 

I was hanging out with my family (& extended family), doing plenty of hair do’s, celebrating Laars’ birthday early with Layne before  Everette and Danaka left town, and cleaning/moving yet again.

Wondering where Everette and Danaka are off to? Stay tuned and we’ll announce more about our new adventure once some pictures come in!! But I’m sure they are a heck of a lot warmer than the kids and I are.

My friend Shelley where we stayed for 5 weeks was putting her house on the market For Sale, and we all know how stressful that can be, keeping it clean and tidy for showings. Well, add an extra 9 people and it’s that much more difficult to show well so yesterday we moved.

The kids have been volunteering fulltime at Hamilton Hobby Farm. Well, now we are ‘living’ here where they have the space and animals for us to fit right in. Animal population just went up!!

I’ll show you around our new camping spot…later this week. For today

Welcome to SUMMER!

Once we got the tent up and everybody settled we celebrated with some yummy layered cakes and a campfire with Chris Hamilton and his daughter, S. Couldn’t go to bed too early on the longest day of the year.

Did you celebrate summer solstice yesterday?

Group High Five (from The Stick with Andrew)

Group High Five (from The Stick with Andrew)

Week in Review 1/6/14

Since arriving on Vancouver Island the kids have had a busy time volunteering at the Hamilton Hobby Farm where they’ve been learning and giving so much. Shelly and Chris H are incredibly giving people, and great encouragers and teachers.  All of our kids love hanging out with them.   I’m proud of the kids hard work, their helpful attitudes and their keenness to learn new tasks. And thankful for Danaka who looked after the littles at home…though now Anders has joined the ranks of the Volunteers.

We swung by Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, stopped by Coombs market a few times, and revisited the green space and Englishmen River that we used to enjoy frequently when Layne and Rauchelle were little girls.

We’re bumped into old acquaintances and had coffee with friends.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Layne and the opportunity to meet her bf.  It’s been a great week.

A little ‘housecleaning’ resulted in updating Family Reading, Current Location, and  I published a page on Making Java.

Our friend Annalee came to the petting farm with us yesterday to help out and get back into the presence of horses (her love).

Our friend Annalee came to the petting farm with us yesterday to help out and get back into the presence of horses (her love).

Annalee and Maret were paired up to do the Pony Rides together.  It was a quiet part of the day so Anders got a ride.

Annalee and Maret were paired up to do the Pony Rides together. It was a quiet part of the day so Anders got a ride.