Friday, September 16, 2011

Are You Missing Posts?

Dear Friends, Many are still checking this URL for updates on my grandchildren; you will not find them here. Grampa has insisted, for security reasons, the blog become private. If you would like access to the continuing blog, please email me at for access. Don't miss the fun stories of Karin's and Greg's children!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One Impressive Kid!

I am making an exception on my security block-out to publish this post on this unsecure blog so that all my Facebook friends can read it. It will be removed by August 12. If you would like access to the secure blog, please write to me at for access. Enjoy!!!

Kevin attended Sunday School at the Children's School while I was blessed with a phenomenal Morning Worship experience. He was playing on the playground when I arrived for him.

On the way home, we saw some art students working on Chautauqua scenes. As we watched the first one, his canvases blew over in the wind and his palette blew upside down. ugh! This smart girl had hers anchored with a heavy backpack. Her sky is particularly expressive!

We passed a white birch tree. I was sure Kevin had never seen one before and pointed it out. He heard about white birch at the Iroquois Indian village a couple of weeks ago. The Indians used white birch bark which they peeled off the trees to start their fires because it never is too wet to burn.

He asked on the way back to our condo if we could cut some Queen Anne's Lace so that he could make an arrangement. He has such a natural flare! I could not have done as well.

We snuggled on the sofa watching the movie "Fly Away Home" this afternoon. It is the true story of a young Canadian girl who rescued 16 Canada Goose eggs, hatched them, and raised the birds who viewed her as their mother. The mother must lead the chicks south for the winter. Her inventor father helped her to be successful. As the babies were pecking their way out of their eggs and they had wet, sticky feathers, Kevin said, "The baby geese have sticky feathers like a nametag," as he pulled his Sunday School nametag off his shirt.

At 4:00, there was to be an "Opera Surprise Box" for children. We arrived along with about 20 other children plus parents, but the instructor never came. So disappointing! The kids found a piano and were playing their well-learned pieces. In a little while, I heard Kevin's "CDE" piece!
Our next venue was an organ tour at 5:00. We went to Bestor Plaza to pass the hour and maybe have ice cream. BTW, Kevin is doing just fine getting around on his bike! He is pointing at the fountain asking if he can go play.

He wasn't even interested in ice cream, so I got some for myself, then found him at the fountain. Since he had no coins to throw in, he was harvesting them from the fountain for himself and another boy to throw back in. It was fairly hysterical!

While Kevin was head first into the pool, a photographer from "The Daily Chautauquan" came along and snapped several pictures of Kevin without him being aware. I hope one will be published!!!! Either way, I will have to go to the office to purchase at least one shot!

The other boy's mother was bemoaning she had no camera. So I emailed a couple shots to her from my iPhone.
Next was the organ tour -- of the largest outdoor organ in the world with 5460 pipes!!! These are the only visible pipes seen by an audience, and the trumpet-style "pipes" at the top are decoration; they are not pipes at all.

The organ was a gift of the Massey Family of Toronto. It would cost many millions of dollars to replicate the organ today!

An organ builder whose company keeps the organ in tune and in repair was the leader. During his talk, Kevin asked how they "tune the bottom of the organ?" The man was impressed with his question and explained about the bottom notes and that the very lowest note cannot be heard by human ears; we only hear the harmonic of the note. Then the man said to Kevin, "I am going to let you play the pipe with the lowest note when we go downstairs to see the pipes."
Here are some of the pipes we saw on the tour:

The organ is even computerized!

Then we came to the largest pipes with the deepest tones. They sit horizontally as they are so long.

And Kevin had his chance to press the button playing the lowest note which rattles the rafters in the back of the Amphitheater.

The last portion of our tour was of the console to the organ. I pointed out to Kevin that it has FOUR keyboards PLUS the pedals which are a keyboard played by feet!

When question time came during this portion, Kevin asked to hear the middle pipe (of the ones which were in front of us). As the talk progressed, and he talked about what "pulling all the stops" means, the man chose Kevin AGAIN to come up to the organ bench!!!! WHAT???!!!! How does HE get to do that when Grandma will NEVER touch that organ!!!! He placed Kevin's fingers on three notes

and told him the exact moment to play those three notes.

All of us jumped out of our skin, it was SOOOO LOUD!!!!! When Kevin turned around and got off the bench, his face was pale and drawn! :-0 None of us had any idea that what happened was going to happen!!!!
Before the tour was over, there was another question session. This time, Kevin asked, "Do the pipes have to be gold?" The answer is no, and he told us about another organ on campus which has pipes with decorative pictures painted on them. We will have to visit!

As we left the tour, an elderly gentleman said to me, "I wish my students had been like him!" Kevin obviously was very interested in the tour and did come up with some amazing, thoughtful questions!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Due to privacy and security concerns, I need to move my blog of grandchildren to another address which can be accessed only by requesting permission. Please write to me at to receive access to the new blog address. Thanks!!!!

VBS Redux

A friend mailed photos to me that were taken of Kevin at VBS earlier this summer.

Holding a craft.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Niagara Day

I needed to go to Niagara Falls, NY, today to mail Gabe's birthday presents. He will be TWO August 6! Kevin was not thrilled with the expectation of a trip in the car. Of course, I brought along activity books to keep him busy, though his most favorite thing in the car right now is listening to the CD of "My Fair Lady" music -- particularly song #3 -- "All I want is a room somewhere..." He has it memorized!

Kevin was hungry, so we stopped at a Tim Horton's for a coffee for Grandma and a treat for him. I asked what sprinkle donuts they have. Canadian maple leaf sprinkles!

Last Sunday, I promised Kevin we would return to Niagara-on-the-Lake and told him that is what we are doing today. He was not happy... He didn't want to ride anymore. Because of the high volume of border crossings today, we had to use the less-used Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge. I told him we were going to travel along the Niagara River. Before we were there, he began complaining saying, "I'm bored." We saw the Falls coming and going over that bridge, then turned away from the Falls. He began to be interested in the gorge saying, "I've never seen a canyon before!" He wanted to stop, but I told him we had to wait for a place to pull off. The first place we came to was the Whirlpool where there is an aerial ride across the whirlpool area.

He wanted to ride the Aero Car, but I had to explain it was a long wait and we would spend our whole afternoon there. He couldn't comprehend there was yet a lot more to see along the river.

Our next stop was a museum/gift shop. Here we found a woodworking artist! Kevin could have spent the whole afternoon watching the man who was very patient with Kevin.

Kevin didn't beg for any of the carver's pieces, but he certainly would have liked one! Yet I couldn't imagine his Mommy wanting to decorate his room with an Indian wall-hanging or animal statue.

From this stop was a nice view of the river gorge back to the whirlpool area.

Next was a power plant. You could take a tour, but we just looked at it with Grandma feebly trying to explain electricity was produced from the water power and spread throughout Ontario and New York State and beyond.

Beyond the power plant is the Floral Clock.

Kevin was motor mouth! Here he is asking, "How deep is the water? Do the fish go potty in the water? What does it look like? How do they clean it out?"

The questions were endless!!!!
How do the lily pads grow?
How do they get the money out?
How do they get up there?
How do they plant the flowers?
How do they cut the grass?
What is a weed eater?
Is this all there is to the clock?
Why don't they have a second clock? A smaller one?
Why do they grow grass instead of flowers? (around the back of the clock)
Look at all the weeds! We need to go in and pull them out.
Is there a clock bigger than this one?
He had already asked a hundred questions before I started writing them down!!!! He had ME in hysterics! LOL

Next stop: Brock's Monument.

General Brock led the British troops against the invading Americans at Queenston in the War of 1812. As we approached this soldier, I announced, "We are Americans! Are you going to shoot us?"

The 185 foot monument has 235 steps in a tight corkscrew to the top. We didn't check how many steps there were before starting, so we had no way of knowing how close we were getting to the top. But we counted them on our way down.

A view from the top of the river flowing into Lake Ontario.

Another view from the top.

Kevin at the top. At the bottom of the photo, you can get a bit of an idea of how tight and narrow the steps are.

Back on the ground, another soldier told Kevin that mulberries are tasty to eat. We have a tree in our backyard, but we have never tried them, though the wildlife loves them! He helped Kevin pick some berries.

A major reason for returning to Niagara-On-The-Lake was to go through the Trish Romance Gallery. We arrived in town at 5:30. It closed at 5:00! But the fountain across the street never closes and it was full of kids. Kevin changed into his bathing suit and had a blast.

When he had had enough of swimming, he went to the playground nearby.

Then it was time to go home, yet he insisted he was not hungry. We arrived home at 7:11 and went to the club for fish and chips. He LOVED it, but insisted the fries were fries, not chips!
He declared this to be the best day yet!!! And he started out the day by saying he was bored... Life is NEVER boring with Grandma!!! ;-)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Day with Aliyah

Aliyah returned yesterday after being away for several days, and she is going away again next week. So today, they played together most of the day. They watched movies at her house this morning. They had a picnic lunch together in the backyard. We took her with us to a conservation area nearby which has an Iroquoian village.

After visiting the Seneca Indian Museum (the Senecas were part of the Iroquois Nation) a couple of weeks ago, we have read some books about the Iroquois, so this was a treat to see a village and have some of Kevin's questions answered which I could not answer. From the books, we did not know how they entered their village through the palisades fence. They developed a maze! You entered the village in single file, thus a band of enemies could not rush into the village easily.

Through excavation, we know that a village with longhouses stood in the exact positions where they have reconstructed this village.

The guide demonstrated how to light a fire without a match. Aliyah's Dad is a naturalist, so she already knew many things about surviving without the conveniences we have today.

Aliyah declared she learned much from this experience! Kevin and I did too!

The guide did not know the real name of this weed, but said it smells and tastes like pineapple. The kids had to try it! A bouquet of it came home with Kevin.

We found a cute butterfly mood ring in the gift shop for Aliyah, but could find nothing worthwhile for Kevin. He insisted he wanted a mood ring too, but I insisted they were for girls. I told him I had his Mommy Karin's mood ring at home, and he could have that one.

We arrived home in time for Kevin's swim lesson. He did back floating today

as well as practicing the crawl stroke, AND he began learning to dive!

Today was the first day his hands entered the water before the rest of his body!!!

Once home, he and Aliyah continued to play until bedtime -- mainly riding their bike and scooter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Reading Completed!

This morning we took Guinness for his much-needed walk to doggie park. Kevin rode his bike, drew a picture of Mommy Karin in the soft soil of the baseball diamond,

went into his tree "den" where he found another exoskeleton of a cicada, not a locust... as MLE pointed out to me! :) (can be seen in front of his forehead)

and climbed his favorite tree.

We returned some materials to the library and turned in another list of books read for the summer reading program. He has now read enough to count for having completed their program! He was given a fish on which to write his name and tape to the window. YAY, Kevin!!!

In recent days, Kevin mentioned that he likes Wendy's, mainly because of their milkshakes. So we went to Wendy's for lunch. Do all boys do this, or only ones with Monkey for a middle name??

Besides, Wendy's is on the way to the Botanical Gardens where he will be in an art day camp next week. I wanted him to see what the Gardens are like so that he will look forward to it. He was very impressed, and I was too. There have been a lot of improvements since I was there last. He had fun chasing the Canada Geese!

Tonight is our skating night, plus Melanie came with us again! There was some "snow" outside the arena, so Kevin did some summer snow sliding.

Melanie was delighted with his improved skating ability! He skated around the big rink, not at the end where beginners practice, most of the evening! He is doing very well, though an adult still needs to hold a hand around the rink for his safety with so many fast skaters there.
Grampa called while we were on our way home wanting a peach Blizzard from DQ. Kevin was in tears that Melanie couldn't go to DQ with us. He couldn't understand -- if she went, and we took her home again, Grampa's Blizzard would be mush by the time he got it. But they did not have peach. So we bought two Hawaiians -- for Kevin and Grampa, forgetting that Grampa does not like coconut. Oh, well...