Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Surprise for Martha

My brother-in-law, Harvey, loves to plan special surprises for my sister. Next year Martha will turn 40 while we are traveling, so he made plans to fly me to Calgary for her 39th birthday, and therefore start her 40th year in a very special way! And was she ever surprised!!

We spent the night in Banff and had a fabulous meal in town. Then spent her birthday at Sunshine skiing on fresh snow! It was an extraordinary day - we both let out "yahoo's" and squeals of delight as we made our way down the runs. There might have been a few "ooh my legs are aching" and a quick stop to catch our breath in there too. The skiing was fantastic! It had been a couple years since I'd skied in the Rockies. There is no doubt that my favourite place in the whole entire world is on top of a mountain. And what a privilege to be there for the day celebrating the gift my sister is to me! Thanks Harvey - I definitely got spoiled in the process of helping Martha celebrate this birthday. It had been a long time since the two of us could spend an entire day together by ourselves catching up and offering encouragement about all sorts of things. And it might be awhile before we have an opportunity to do that again ... but we have a mountain full of memories to sustain for a little while.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bugs! S-W-E-E-T

The bug fun started at Danielle's birthday party a couple years ago. John loves inventing party games, and this particular year he made Danielle and her friends an Amazing Race in our backyard. One of the stops included eating dried, cheddar coated larvae. When Danielle's friend Madison told her mom about eating bugs at Danielle's birthday part she was incredulous. She still can't believe the girls did it! This past Christmas John gave Madison and her family another "buggy" treat. Madison said her brother really like it.

Today Madison came home from school with Danielle. After dinner she announced she had a surprise for the entire family. First she gave us a beautiful card that says "To the DeWilde Family, Have a Great Trip - From Madi" Then she gave us an "InsectNside" candy. In addition to sugar, corn syrup and the usual list of candy ingredients it lists: cricket, insect larva and asparagus fern. John cracked the candy into pieces. Danielle ate the cricket - Madi ate the larva - and Simon ate the fern.

When John and I were living in Niger we often hung out with some of the Peace Corps volunteers. We were visiting their training site one week in the fall, and went to the local market. It was grasshopper season and there were very large (dead) grasshoppers for sale in the market. We definitely could have used some corn syrup that day!

We'll have to make sure we send Madison and her family some photos of people (maybe us, maybe not!) eating non-candied bugs during our travels.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not an everyday thing

It's not everyday you get to stand on the roof of your Grandparents' house. "What are John and Danielle doing on the roof?" you ask - well, they are trying to find the tennis ball that Simon and Jack (from next door to Grandma and Poppa) were throwing from the front yard to the back yard over the house. It turned out to be in bushes, not on the roof. But Danielle enjoyed the adventure just the same.

We've been saying for a few weeks now that we need to update our blog. We will, we will! There are lots of things to post - March Break, Arianne's birthday party, a surprise visit to Calgary for Martha's birthday, and a few trip details to update you on. No vaccinations recently to report on. John and I were originally scheduled to have some in late March but there is a shortage of rabies vaccines and I was sick with a sinus infection gone mad! The rabies situation is a bit funny - well, to me it is. I still have enough "stuff' in my system from the vaccine we received way back in 1994 before we left for West Africa. John, the person who hates needles, needs a booster!

I think, if he had a choice, John might rather fall off the roof.