Monday, November 29, 2010

The apple doesn't fall far from either tree!

We've heard a lot of the following comments in Katie's short life:

Boy, is she ever a VanMepp!

Oh, she looks just like you, Heather!

She definitely looks like Ben!

She's totally a VMS baby!

She looks so much like her cousins!

Definitely a teBokkel!


While we believe all of the above, we'd like you to decide for yourself :-)

Does Katie look like her Mama?

Goofy like her Dad?

Contemplative like her Mom?

Adorable like her Dad?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For all you non-facebook users :-)

Check out this video!

My sister, Angelina, sings in this choir so we went up to Welland to see her and we just "happened" to be at the mall when they sang :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nine Months

So nine months eh? Is it weird that I think about the fact that Katie has still not been outside of me longer than she was inside of me?  Inside count: 42 weeks. Outside count: 39 weeks.  It is kind of cool to think that she's twice as old as she was when she was born though.  Do you know that in some Asian countries, they celebrate the baby's "birthday" three months after they're born, so they're celebrating life since it actually began: at conception.  I would totally be in favour of that if we started doing that. In that case, Katie would be 1 and a half.  No, wait, nevermind would be,  Katie IS a year and a half!

So at the nine month mark, you usually hear about babies starting to crawl and pull themselves up from sitting, or at least getting to a sitting position from their stomach. Well not this babe! She is so content to just sit and play.  She is getting stronger on her stomach and makes some moves towards crawling and pulling herself up, but she's not going anywhere fast.  But even though she's starting off slow on the crawling front, she's got lots of other tricks up her sleeve!  She's a pro at clapping her hands, playing peek-a-boo, and "How big is Katie?!?!"  She can also wave and she's pretty close to hugging.  It's so fun to get her up from her naps. I slowly open her door, peek my head in and she's lying in her crib grinning away.  As soon as I pick her up, I get a little bounce and a lunge towards me with her arms outstretched around my neck.  So, even if you don't, I still quailify that as hugging!

Katie is still a big snuggler. She loves to be held and snuggled especially right before bed.  She has a little stuffed puppy that she only gets when she's going down for a nap or to bed. (If she's really fussy at the church nursery then she sometimes gets it too.)   It's a really good cue for her and she knows when she gets it, she's headed for bed.  She reaches out for the puppy, grabs his ear and pops her thumb in her mouth.

Usually the dog is just called "Puppy," but it's official name is Pavlov.  In case you're not aware, Pavlov was a Russian scientist who did a whole bunch of stuff, but the thing he's most famous for is teaching dogs to salivate on command.  He was doing a study on digestion on dogs, and was particularly interested in the connection between digestion and saliva. He started out by ringing a metronome everytime he gave the dog something to eat. After a while, the dogs, which previously would only salivate at the sight of food, would now salivate upon hearing the metronome.  Pavlov called this "conditioned reflex."  So the reflex to salivate was conditioned by hearing the metronome.   I'm sure by now you've put two and two together.   Everytime Katie sees the puppy, we've "conditioned" her to know it's bedtime(is it cruel that we've "trained" her?).  We said right from the beginning that this stuffed animal would be her "special" one and that we didn't want her to drag it all over the house, but just have it for bed. The fact that she sucks her thumb is merely coincidental(well we did help a bit).  So in honour of Igor Pavlov, we (and that would be my crazy family!) decided the puppy's name should be Pavlov.  Around here however, it's still just called Puppy.

Ok, so that was your mini history/science lesson for today.

Katie had a middle ear infection last week and ended up with a ruptured eardrum. She's been fighting cold after cold and this time she just got so plugged up, that the fluid just needed to get out.  Tuesday night she was just miserable and Wednesday I noticed that she had all this waxy liquid dried on her ear so I call my local nurse (Mom!) and she confirmed my suspisions.  So off to the walk-in clinic we went and sure enough, my baby was sick.  I got antibiotics and eardrops for her and by the next day she was already feeling tons better!  Ear infections are no fun and I hope this is her first and her last!

Other than that, there's not too much to say.  Katie is still growing like a weed and she's starting to get heavier. All that food is finally catching up on her! I'm still nursing her three times a day, and we're trying to get the bottle going again. Remind me next time to keep up the bottle habit (that worked so well at five months), so I don't have to go through this battle again! Katie loves nursing so I'm thinking it'll be hard for her to give it up, but I'm not planning on nursing her for more than a year, so we're going to have to face the battle whether we like it or not!

Well, this was a longer post than I anticipated. And here, I thought I didn't have much to say.... please try to keep your gufaws to yourself regarding that last comment.

Since you probably are only really looking for pictures of my sweetie and not my ramblings... here they are!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pantry Reno

Our basement consisted of six rooms all so designated by concrete walls. I guess the folks that had the house before us could get concrete at a big discount and decided instead of 2x4 walls, they'd just pour concrete... lovely.  We have one big room at the back of the house that was made by taking out two of those walls. That was fun hard work and very dusty. Anyways, we're now working on making that into a big workshop for Ben. Well we were doing some cleanup a few days, weeks, make that months ago, and decided to empty out the room beside it so we could "quickly" paint the walls and floors and set up proper shelving and storage for all our canning goods and other miscellanous items. Well that "quick" job wasn't done for a while, but when my dear hubby did get working on it, it was done lickaty split! Ya, I know... he's the best!

So over the course of four nights and half a  Saturday Ben:

  • Tore out all the 2x2 wall frames

  • Parged the outside block wall to fill any cracks letting in cold and letting out heat.

  • Rebuilt and insulated the outside wall

  • Wired an electrical plug

  • Rebuilt the window

  • Wash and painted the walls

  • Vacuumed, washed and painted the flour, twice

  • Rebuild shelving,which we bought on sale and turned out to be very crooked

So here are some before and after pictures. I am so thrilled with room and pretty much look at it everytime I go downstairs to check my laundry. I know, I 'm a geek, but I just can't help it!


I couldn't even get in the room far enough to take a proper picture of this end of the mess!


We have some leftover countertop that we're Ben is going to build into a counter/workspace under the window.

All our hard work this summer looks so nice on the shelves!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Proud to be Canadian

Remembering all those who have lost their lives while serving Canada.

Remembering all those who have lost family members serving Canada.

Remembering all those who have gone through the war horrors and survived with those memories.

Remembering the peace we continue to enjoy.

Remembering it is God who keeps our land Glorious and Free!


Monday, November 08, 2010


Katie and her cousin Charity were born exactly a month apart.  Amanda and I were due five days apart, but Charity was born on January 22nd two weeks early and Katie on February 22nd two weeks late.  They're pretty on par with most things, eating, sleeping etc.  But Charity is a wiggly little go-getter, crawling around and pulling herself up on furniture. Katie isn't quite sure what to make of her buzzing around!  Katie's pretty content to just sit and play or watch other kids play.  She's starting to make some effort to  move, but not much. For now I'm just enjoying not having to put up gates!

It's so fun that they're both the same gender.  I'm looking forward to sleepovers and hope they can be the best of friends!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Since I have an applesauce monster who eats close to a cup and half per day(that's dessert for lunch and supper!), it was in my best interest to make applesauce this year.  I went to my parents yesterday and we made a total of 50 and 1/2 quarts of applesauce! That's two and a half bushels worth! By the time I got there at 9:30, they had already peeled *EDIT* cubed and cooked a bushel and a half and had most of it through the Victoria Strainer. My mom said when they bought the Victoria Strainer years and years ago, they hemmed and hawed for so long because it cost so much and they really didn't have any extra money. But they bought it anyways and it's been worth it's weight in gold! We were done putting the last of the apples through by 12:30 and by 2:30 the last jars came out of the canner.  My mom kept 15 half-quart jars and I took home the 43 quart jars! It sounds like a lot of applesauce, but I just hope it lasts us until next year!

My dad turned the crank(Thanks Dad!) and put all the apples through the Victoria Strainer. The stainless steel bowl at the top, right-hand corner is all the "gunk" left from the 2 and 1/2 bushels of apples!

We bought the last bushel of Ida Reds (We had half a bushel left from making pies), half a bushel of Macs and half a bushel of JonaGolds. We did a taste test and decided to mix the Macs with a pail of the Ida Reds. The JonaGolds were the sweetest, the Macs the blandest and the Ida Reds the tartest. Such a difference in colours too!

We had both our pressure canners going at the same time. And since the weather was nice, we could do everything outside!  The applesauce is very yummy and so much better than storebought(which I've been buying since I've used up the last of my mom's from a few years ago!)  So cost(which I know you're all expecting to read here) is less than $.50 per quart.  So my 43 quarts cost me just over $20. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all!