Saturday, June 28, 2008

A pancake, Swedish Furniture, Bullseye and Simple Fresh Dining

Tina and I decided to take advantage of having Bev in town to head over the border to do some shopping and enjoy some good food in Detroit without the boys. Jeremy was at Lorelie's, so Bev got to spend some time with Corbin.

We headed out of the house around 8:30. The bridge was full but we didn't have to wait too long when two more booths opened. I asked the bridge personnel if I could scoot over and she said yes. So what could have been a 45 minute wait turned out to be a 15 minute wait. Welcome to America.

Fifteen minutes later were pulled into to the IHOP at Middlebelt and I-96. The parking lot had lots of vehicles so we were expecting to wait. But we were fooled - we had a table in no time. Tina ordered the carrot cake pancake, scrambled eggs, hash brown and bacon combo. I ordered the same save for blueberry pancakes. The breakfast was fresh and hot. And the coffee carafe meant that we had a good supply of hot coffee.

Back on I-96 then I-275, we arrived at the already busy IKEA Canton at Haggerty and Ford. The store opens at 10:00 AM. We arrived at 10:15 and people were already loading their vehicles with furniture. Aye carumba.

We browsed, made some mental notes for the future and noted the location of the furniture we wanted to buy. In the Marketplace, we picked up some hangars, a magnet board for Jeremy and few other odds and ends.

In the warehouse, we picked up three pieces of furniture: A MALM 4-drawer chest (medium brown, $99US vs $129CDN) for Jeremy´s room, a Stockholm coffee table (golden-brown $179US vs $279 CDN) for the living room and a bookcase, Expedit (birch effect, $89US vs $99CDN), to be used on its side, for the front door.

Tina was not sure if we should buy the furniture, but I said it is cheaper in the US and we will still be ahead after paying GST and PST. So we headed to the checkout, handed over the credit card and loaded up the van.

We drove down to the new Target in South Canton. There we bought shirts and shorts for the boys, a DVD and a few other things. At Old Navy, Tina bought a few things for the boys. We were done shopping. It was time to eat, again. Our choice was Ruby Tuesdays, just down the road from the Target. Tina and I ordered burgers. They were hot and tasty.

It was time to make our way back to Canada, but first we had to fill the van with some duty-free gasoline. Both sides of the bridge were busy. It took us about 20 minutes to get through Canadian Customs. We declared our purchases in full and, much to our surprise, we were free to go. Tina was shocked.

On our way back home, we stopped at Tim Hortons to get a coffee for Bev. It was a ´thank you´ for watching Corbin. It was a good day for all.

Posted by Adam

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Last Day of School 2008

Today was Corbin's and Jeremy's last day of school.

Both boys had a successful school year. Corbin made great progress in math, music, reading and french. In fact, the school year seemed 'ordinary' - save for a few episodes. Tina and I tend to agree that that is a good thing. Awesome job Corbin - who is already talking about Grade 5 (a new teacher, a new EA and in a new wing of the school - should be fun in September).

Jeremy learnt most of the alphabet, number between 1 and 10, colours, shapes, months and the days of the week. He had some rough patches, but managed to work through them. Jeremy made lots of new friends and looks forward to SK in September. Another change in September is switching from morning to afternoon.

Thanks to Ms. Mayea, Ms. Coolen, Ms. Johnston, Mr. Carter, Ms. Thompson, Mr. Bradacs, Mrs. Marshall and Ms. Ouellette.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

She's Back

Tina and Corbin travelled to London today to accomplish two things: to attend a consultation at CPRI and to pick up Beverly.

The drive up was uneventful, as was the drive back. Corbin had an excellent session at CPRI and he didn't have any major transition issues. Tina even managed to pick up Jeremy, enabling me to get a much needed hair cut.

Posted by Adam

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fries With That?

Williams left a message that our Waring Pro deep fryer was ready to picked up. We chose this model because it is simple to use. It's not a fancy cool-touch fryer with a charcoal filter. It's a deep fryer. This thing even comes with an on-off toggle switch. When was the last time an appliance came with a toggle switch?

Since Tina had to take Corbin for a session at Regional Children's Centre, I decided that we all should head over to the west side. While Tina and Corbin were are RCC, Jeremy and I would pick up the deep fryer.

I dropped Corbin and Tina and headed over to Williams which was a few blocks away. At Williams, Jeremy first had to to go pee and then get some popcorn and lemonade. While we waited for the purchase to processed, Jeremy chatted it up with one of the employees. He told the lady that he had been at the store before and that he likes the popcorn.

After getting back in the van, we headed over to Malden Park to kill some time on the playground. Jeremy tried every piece of equipment, reminding me that he is older and bigger and "can do it". We had fun and headed back to pick up Tina and Corbin.

Next, we headed over to the Columbia outlet store where Tina and Corbin looked for a new raincoat for Corbin to take to Camp Winston. Seems he has a habit of growing just before going to camp. Fortunately, Tina got a deal on the raincoat - it was under $20. An awesome deal.

We headed home along Riverside Drive to make some french fries.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wild Weather

Well that was interesting. The torrential downpour included hail, lots of it. Some hail was an inch in diameter.

Corbin and Jeremy stood by the front window in awe of the power of the storm. Then I told them there is hail. Jeremy had no idea what I was talking about. I opened the door and grabbed a ball of ice and gave it to Jeremy. He was in awe. About 15 or 20 minutes later, the storm was over. The sun was out and it was warm.

I went to outside to survey the damage and the lawn was littered with hail. I decided to get the hose and wash all the gunk of our driveway. Part way through, the boys put on their bathing suits and decided that they would have me spray them with the hose. I obliged.

They were soaking wet. But they had fun. And my driveway was clean.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Shopping Anyone?

Tina and I decided that it was time to do some shopping. After a quick breakfast and showers, we headed out just past 10:00 am.

Our first stop was Shoppers Drug Mart. It was 20x points day and the place was packed. I had to look for a parking space. That has never happened. Inside the store we stocked up and proceeded to the cashier. Naturally, we ended up in the line with two people checking each price - eventually they paid and the line moved quickly.

We dropped off the stuff at home and headed out to Canadian Tire on Walker Road. There we looked in the patio furniture section and bought two Zero Gravity lounge chairs. We also picked up a tee ball stand and a bat for Jeremy and some other things. We headed across the street where Tina exchanged a pillow she bought.

After a slow lunch at Boston Pizza, we headed to a different Canadian Tire to look for a replacement gun for my pressure washer. For some reason there is a 'shortage' of replacement guns. I really don't want to buy a new pressure washer. But it may come to that.

Our final stop was Williams Food Equipment to look for a deep fryer and a griddle. We found both, but only the griddle (a Cuisinart model with a reversible grill/griddle) was in stock. Tina purchased that and put in an order for the deep fryer (not a fancy 'cool touch' model but a tried and true model that is easy to use and clean). Should be getting a call soon about it.

The boys were happy that we were heading back home. A quick stop at Tim Horton's for a coffee for Tina. Given that we were out for 5 hours, the boys did well.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lucky 13

It was our 13th wedding anniversary today.

Tina was unable to arrange babysitting for the boys, so we all went out to Boston Pizza for a celebratory dinner. Tina, Corbin and I shared a large pizza - Corbin chose and ordered the pizza. Jeremy had a grilled cheese sandwich.

We even ordered desert. It was an excellent meal and time well spent.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekend Away: Brantford

This weekend, Tina and I went our separate ways.

I travelled down the 401 and 403 in the Wave to Brantford to help my mom with whatever help she needed. Tina had the van and headed up to Goderich with the boys and Bev.

The drive on the 401 and 403 was uneventful. I arrived in Brantford around 5:00 PM. Because of Alex's surgery, the vegetable garden and flowerbeds had yet to be planted.

So we headed out to buy plants. I said lets go to Lowe's - my mom had never been. She bought plenty of plants and some soil - enough to fill the back of the wave. We also stopped at Canadian Tire.

The next day the real work began. After an excellent breakfast, my mom and I attacked the great outdoors.

The vegetable garden had to be rototilled. While my mom picked out weeds, I got the rototiller down and filled it with a mixture of gas and oil. It took a few pulls but eventually the tiller started up and I began tilling away.

My mom's vegetable garden has about 30 or so years of work. The soil broke up very easily. Not like the clay soil here in Windsor. In about an hour or so, the garden was tilled. Good thing because it was getting hot.

Later we headed out to a few stores for some more plants. We stopped by the cemetery to plant some flowers at my father's grave. Then we had supper at Red Lobster (I had the arctic char and my mom had the salmon).

I relaxed by reading the newspaper and playing my Nintendo DS.

After yet another good breakfast, I loaded the car with my stuff and the rototiller, and headed back to Windsor. I stopped in London to checkout some things at the local Canadian Tire. The drive was uneventful. There seemed to be fewer vehicles on the 401. Looks like gas prices are having an effect.

Posted by Adam

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's Been A Few Weeks

It's becoming hectic around the house. All of us have been sick - some worse than others - over the past few weeks. I got beat good and had to take three days off from work. Tina has an ear infection that is finally improving.

Tina's mom, Bev, is down for two weeks. That meant moving Guinea, the Guinea Pig, from the living room to Corbin's room. Tina sat down with Corbin and laid down the ground rules. So far, it seems to be working out, though Guinea has become more vocal and more demanding with all the traffic walking by in the hallway.

Jeremy is settled in his 'new' room, which also doubles as our 'office'. The room needs a good spring cleaning and I have to move Jeremy's stuff from Corbin's room into Jeremy's room. He doesn't seem to be touching anything he shouldn't be, but I'm sure that will change in time.

I finally got around to planting some more perennials in the Rivard corner flower bed. Tina provided much needed assistance since I also bought four flats of annuals to fill in the blank areas - hoping to stop people from cutting through the bed. She has a good green thumb. Eventually, I want the entire bed filled with perennials. I'm looking at a three to four year time frame.

I also got more mulch and topped off the Rivard bed, hopefully locking in the moisture and soften up the soil some. There were some deep and long cracks in the soil last year - yes it gets that dry here and the clay soil does not help. My next project is to relocate the sand box and have some concrete poured beside the garage to

Having a couple of flats of annuals leftover, I asked Tina if she could plant them in the vegetable garden flowerbed. She said yes and she did an awesome job. But she was achy for a few days. Even Jeremy helped her out by watering each plant with his small watering can. Tina tells me that he wants a bigger watering can, but not as big as Daddy's because that would be too heavy.

Jeremy and Corbin are both in gymnastics - on different days - and doing well. Corbin has a few more horseback riding and tennis lessons.

At school, Corbin received a Student of the Month award for Determination. He was very proud of this achievement. Corbin is doing well. He does times tables in the games room and does very well. Jeremy is, well, Jeremy. He knows more of his letters and his attention span has improved since the surgery and glasses. But boys will be boys.

Recently, Tina accompanied Jeremy as a chaperon for a class trip to the Lazee G Ranch. The kids got to see horse and other animals. I'll have to post some pictures from that outing.

Posted by Adam