Family Time – August 2018

August 13, 2018

The Grandkids – Katie, Nora, Jacob, Astrid, Tyler

My house is eerily quiet right now. For the last two weeks its been packed to the rafters with family. Our kids, Kerry, Christopher and Kelsey were here with their families. We had a fabulous time with them and, although I am enjoying the quiet, I miss them all.

Christopher and Astrid canoeing

Emily and Astrid

Christopher, Emily and Astrid were first to arrive on July 31. Astrid just turned 2. They stayed until August 11.





Kelsey, Jacob and Nora

Kelsey, Jacob and Nora arrived August 1. Unfortunately, Matt was unable to get holidays so was not able to join them. But ever so thankful Kelsey was able to brave the plane trip with two small children in tow. Jacob is almost 3 and Nora is 10 months. They stayed until August 12. For the first week, Nora stayed within sight of Momma, but she slowly got more comfortable with the rest of us. And if she did start to fuss, you could almost always calm her down by singing The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round. Baba got really good at that song.


Katie, Kerry, Megan and Tyler playing bocce ball

Kerry, Megan, Katie and Tyler arrived on August 2. Katie is 10 and Tyler is 9. Both were super great with the small ones but unfortunately were only able to stay a few days, and they left August 6.





double potties in the shop

Both Jacob and Astrid where in potty training so the Ponderosa was strictly ‘pants optional’, in case you are wondering why pants are missing in so many photos. There were plenty of hits as well as misses, but overall they did very well.



Astrid and Jacob having a serious discussion in the tent.

Over the two weeks we packed in a lot of excitement. They all enjoyed the great outdoors at the Ponderosa as well as all the little nooks and crannies in the house. Christopher and Emily set up the tent and slept one night in it with Astrid. For the next few days it served as an additional play area for Jacob and Astrid.

Weiner roast






Playroom fun


We converted the storage room off one of the dormers into a playroom. Along one wall, Ken installed shelves with chalk board doors. For now, while the kids are young, the shelves serve as a tunnel with a slide at one end. Later, we will remove the slide and just use them for toy storage. The other walls are lined with a huge assortment of hats and dress up clothes.

Playroom hat collection

Auntie Sophie’s hat collection from around the world is being put to good use. The playroom was a hit and kept them amused for long stretches.

Auntie Kelsey enjoys getting Astrid to play dress up






Tea Time for Astrid and Jacob




Tyler’s block tower









And of course the kids all loved driving the tractor with Gigi, as well as wagon rides. They urged Uncle Christopher to give them faster and faster rides, until the wagon tipped.





Nora enjoying the water


We enjoyed a day at the beach, but unfortunately I got injured while trying out a stand up paddle board. I spent much of their visit hobbling around but thankfully it is healing well.

Tyler on Stand Up Paddleboard









Injured Baba






Perogie makers

Everyone pitched in to make holopsti and perogies for a delicious Ukrainian meal.

Astrid rolling dough for perogies









Christopher and Astrid picking raspberries

And they all helped out with the chores, doing dishes, cleaning house, picking vegetables, making meals and watering the garden. This was greatly appreciated, especially since I was hobbling around most of the time. Meals were very simple. They ate an unbelievable amount of peanut butter and hummus.

Jacob hauling tree branches





Emily watering the garden





Ken built a kids helper stand for the kitchen so they could help cook and do dishes. it worked out pretty good and I am sure we will make use of it for a few more years.

Emily, Astrid (on kids helper stand) and Baba doing dishes







Jacob and Astrid making a Gigi sandwich

Gigi’s (Ken’s) highlights from the visit were the tractor rides and having the grandkids all pile on him for some wrestling.




Baba’s storytime with Astrid

Baba (me) on the other hand, enjoyed the quieter moments, reading stories and just watching the kids interact with each other.



Bath time







Jacob and Nora going for a walk

As a bonus, my brother Glenn and his wife Pat, and my sister Sheryl and her family were also out near the end of the kids’ visit.

Family at the farm

The next generation. My Mom’s Great Grandchildren – Penny, Astrid, Jacob and Nora

Can’t wait to see everyone again. Thanks for the great visit!


About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
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