Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August

Another month has passed, and here we sit with no end of summer in sight as our schools are still negotiating contracts with the government. We've been told there may be a month yet of strikes or even longer. It makes what would have been the last week of summer feel rather weird. We haven't shopped for school supplies, and we aren't starting to get back into sleeping routines or taking those "final" trips to the beach. It is strange. We've had a lot of fun the last two weeks. We took our family vacation week in the middle of August. We hooked up the trailer and went down to Osoyoos for the first night. Then we drove over the border into the States for the first time with the kids. We drove to Coeur d'Alene where we had booked 4 nights at the Lake Coeur d'Alene Resort Campground. It was a long drive through some dry old Prairie looking towns. It was close to 40 degrees. We were happy to get to our campground which was set in the forest and stayed very cool and quiet. The next two days were spent at the Silverwood theme park, just half an hour from our campsite. We had heard about this great amusement park and figured the boys would enjoy it as much as Disneyland, so we had to check it out. The first day was spent at the waterpark side of the grounds. It was 38 degrees that day, and so we were thankful for the water. Unfortunately 50,000 other people had the same idea, and we were in lines for over an hour each time, so we hit the wave pool most of the time. The next day we went to the rides. We came early and got first in line for one of the largest wooden roller coasters! Shea (who is 7), was just tall enough, and this was his first roller coaster! Wowza, it was crazy fast! We nearly scared all of them with that first ride! So the three of them stood there in horror as "daddy" and I rode the next one, Aftershock. It was SO fun! I can't do the spinny rides anymore, but the coasters are a blast. The boys got their courage up again and tried a pile of other crazy rides. We loved it and would do it again for sure. The next two days were spent shopping in Spokane and wandering the beautiful city of Coeur d'Alene. It actually looks very similar to Salmon Arm, but the waterfront there is developed so nicely with great boardwalks, marinas, shops and beaches. Makes you wish our town could do the same! We have too many nature enthusiasts in our neck of the woods, who don't want to disturb the bird sanctuaries! Then we headed north, rather than heading back west, and crossed the border near Creston. We camped there one night and toured the Columbia Brewery the next day as our campground was right across the street. It was a fun little spontaneous adventure, and the boys felt like they were in a live episode of "How it's Made". They had lots of questions for our tour guide. It was really cool to see the cans being filled and sealed and pushed along crazy fast. Did you know that something like 98% of glass beer bottles are recycled and reused (after being sanitized) up to 15 times? We watched the part where they wash the bottles and remove the old labels with their fancy machines. Then we took two ferries and stopped in Crawford Bay on the way, to see the artisans there, such as North Woven Brooms, the place that made brooms for Harry Potter and the Bewitched movies. Also we watched glass blowing and the blacksmiths doing their amazing work. The kids were pretty impressed. We camped in downtown Nelson and wandered around the shops there for a bit. The weather was starting to get pretty wet and cold and the kids (and parents) were getting pretty tired. We decided to shorten our trip by a day and came straight home the next day through Revelstoke in the pouring rain. We didn't stop at the hotsprings as we had hoped, but aim to do it sometime in the fall when we're not so tired and wet! We came home to company as Greg's family was coming for the next week. We hosted his sister and her boys and did many fun family beach days and dinners together. We've now got 8 kids under 12 between us!
The two older girl cousins have stayed longer for an extra week with grandma, so the fun isn't over yet! Today we're hitting up the beach and the little 3 will do the waterslides tonight while the older 2 go to the movies with Greg and I. Riley and I have also decided to get in shape, so this August we started the Couch to 5K running plan. We are into our 4th week and are running about 16 min. of the half hour now. It works you up to running really gradually and we haven't hardly had any trouble. I used to do 5K's quite frequently, but Riley has never run much, so this has been great for him. We do lots of talking during the walking parts, and quite often Shea is following us on his bike or scooter. Riley and I even did one run in Creston, and one in Coeur d'Alene! It should take 9 weeks til the program is done, and you're running the 5K. So we are already over half way there! I have 60lbs of peaches sitting in my hallway, so I have my work cut out for me this weekend! I am also planning to do pickles and hopefully some salsa and corn! This morning I started my day doing the ice bucket challenge (to raise money for ALS)! Be sure to check out my video on Facebook! The boys were so happy to dump ice cold water on their mom and film it! I have photos to go with all these words, but most of them are on G's phone, so I will add them later!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I told my boys they had to write 5 sentences in a journal today. (What a slave driver, mean old mom they have, right?) Thankfully my two oldest got right down to business. They know! We've done this every summer, and though I hadn't made them do it yet this summer, they know that I'm not going to let them get out of it. So they did their duty. The youngest, however, maybe he thought it would go a whole lot faster if he cried over every letter he wrote. And he was writing about kittens and waterslides. Really sad topics. So then my mom bugged me by saying I didn't write my five sentences today...so here I am. In fact, I already just wrote over five sentences and didn't even cry, so there. So summer came early, and work/school came to an abrupt halt. I wasn't quite ready for it all to be over, and yet it was. We went down to meet that sweet new baby nephew of ours. Then when we came home, we camped out at my brothers new farm with my family. Even since the campout we've spent a lot of time out there as they nearly gutted their new house and have done lots of work since. This past weekend (almost a month later), we helped them move out of the basement and into their newly carpeted/painted/trimmed rooms. It looks like a whole new house. So beautiful. Luke and Pam are work horses who we wouldn't see if we didn't practically move in there and work with them! We do take lots of time to enjoy their yard/pool/cherries and animals too though! Anna (my sister) and her kids have been there for a month and she has done so many projects too. She also is my personal side-kick at the beach, pulling weeds, chewing Spitz, picking raspberries in the rain, bellyflopping into the pool, flying down the waterslides, grocery shopping, doing dishes, and we'll often be found wandering around with 9 or so kids! So glad to have her here and sad she's leaving soon. Our little family also did a 3 night stay in Osoyoos with our trailer and sweated it out in the 40 degree weather! We spent most of the time in the water and lived in our bathing suits! We are hoping to do a few more trips before this summer is over.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baby

Got to meet and photograph my newest (and possibly last??) little nephew. He's SO cute!!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

New developments

So another month has flown on by, and it has been full of action! We celebrated another birthday in our house. Shea had a Pikachu themed 7th birthday party at our house. We have always had his parties at our house with the family and a few friends. We did the annual water balloon volleyball game and many other fun Pikachu games like Bingo, and using squirt guns to knock the ping pong balls off of golf tees, air boarding over a fan etc. He had a great time and the weather cooperated! Then Greg and I took off to Florida for a week. Greg enjoyed the web developer conference and I enjoyed the resort. Need I say more! I met many great ladies, and it was so nice to not have to cook, pack lunches, nag at the kids or clean clean clean. My brother and his wife have been busy selling their house, moving out of it and waiting to close a deal on a house just out of town. It has 8.5 acres, with outbuildings, animals, an above-ground pool, space for the inlaws etc. It was a foreclosure and had to go to court. While waiting for the court date, their house sold and they had to move out and stay with her family. They just heard news that they got the house and can move in in two weeks time!! YAY! We're all so relieved and excited that we can be part of this new big adventure with them. Many reno/building plans are in the works. We have a campout booked in their yard already at the end of the month! The day after that good news, we heard yesterday that Heather and Christian had their second baby, another boy. He was a wee little 6lbs 6oz bundle who they named Magnus. Grandma and Grandpa are on their way down with Riley to meet him right now. We can't wait to meet their new baby and see their new first home. I will be taking baby pictures for them again, so you will see those eventually! I haven't been working as much lately as another position was filled at Bastion. For now I'm just covering sick days and holidays for people. I don't mind as I can spend hours in the yard right now, and school is coming to a close. We've had a few strike days and may have more to come :( So many new and exciting things are happening around us, and we're anticipating a busy summer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Upgrade

In our house, the dining table is a central important piece of furniture for our family as we eat around it together daily. We have had many birthday cakes and parties around that table, discussions and friends. When we first got married, we had been given a little round oak table with two matching chairs from my in laws. We still use it as our extra table. When we moved into our first house, we upgraded from that four seater round table to another used six seater rectangular table (that came with 5 chairs and two leafs). It was an old white painted thing with ugly blue vinyl seats. Ugly, but practical. Great for kids, and we've squeezed 8 people around it regularly (as seen below).
It has been great to us, and we don't worry about any scratches or stains.
Lately I've been looking for a new-to-us set as one of the 5 chairs had completely broken. I have been looking for a month, in town, on kijiji and craigslist. On Saturday morning I was scrolling the "dining sets" section again and found an add for 8 wooden chairs for a great price in Kamloops. Greg picked them up for us this morning and they look fabulous! They have tied in the brown countertops with our brown couch. They are solid wood, and made in Canada!
One day I might get a new table, but for now this one is doing fine. It has pen marks, stains and knicks, but it's holding up. I think I actually need a bigger house before I get a bigger/better table! As you can see in the picture, we have to drag the table out onto the carpet to fit if people are eating at the bar. (Or I guess we could get new flooring that would carry the dining area into the living room.) To offically break them in, on the day we got our chairs, we squeezed 9 of us around the table (and 3 at the bar) for dinner with Luke's family tonight, our fourth big meal with family in a row this Easter!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

Easter is always a special time of year. It is so exciting to have the sun start to shine again and have things spring out of the ground...but more specifically, we are reminded of the hope we have because Christ has risen! We had family visiting and have spent the last three suppers having big celebration meals together. Look how big these boys are getting!

Baby on the way!

Our family isn't done growing yet. Greg's sister is having another baby in June, so we did a little photoshoot while she was home for Easter.
What a cute little family. I have no guesses as to what she's having, but it's exciting no matter what!! Congratulations, Heather and Christian, can't wait to meet him/her!

Thursday, April 17, 2014