Monday, June 30, 2008


My girl is leasing a horse for the summer. Basically ride him as much as possible, so he doesn't get fat and cranky. Have fun and get used to more riding. He's been doing great til this weekend when he wouldn't listen to her, so I got on and he tried to buck me off. Our "horsey person" who actually knows something about horses is coming up there tomorrow to help us,
and whip him into shape.

My boy getting in on the action.

Here's the bad boy!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Thrills and Spills

I love the different ideas people come up with to blog about!! So here's one I'm copying from Brie.

5 Thrills:

1. I have successfully ridden a cow backwards, this was right before ME greasing up a small piglet and chasing it around an arena with 75 screaming boys! This also happened to be the first time my in-laws saw me! Great first impressions!! We weren't dating yet, but Kevin's brother was also involved in the pigging. Good ol' Pioneer.

2. Taking my first helicopter ride over the cliffs and waterfalls of Hawaii.

3. Flying (well my hands on the "student steering wheel" while the pilot still had control) a 6 seater Cessna over the biggest flock of flamingos you could ever imagine in Zambia.

4. Holding each of my babies for the first time!

5. Walking down the aisle at my wedding.

5 Spills:

1. Standing on the edge of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. They aren't so up on safety or fencing there and I had a bit of a slip, any much more and I would have been OVER.

2. This one involved my 18 month old daughter. She was pushed by another 2 year old down the stairs from the top of a very steep (those in-fill type stairways) 15 or more stairs to a stone hearth of a fireplace at the bottom. I saw it from the corner of my eye and was across the room and caught her just as everyone else in the room noticed that she was falling. Call it mother's intuition, I call it a miracle!!

3. Pulling my boy around on skates when he was trying to learn, only to be pulled too hard by him from behind my waist and landing my whole weight right on his stomach and chest! I think I cried longer than he did.

4. Learning to waterski on a nice little inlet on the Pacific Ocean. Can you say enema?

5. Literally a spill, peeing my pants at high school youth group one night because we were laughing so hard. OK I made it half way to the bathroom. How embarrassing!

Tag you're it!

Friday, June 27, 2008

This week in the Garden

You can't smell how amazing this is!!

I think you'll see me doing this soon!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

HOORAY!! You can't hear how loudly I am shouting!

School is out! FINALLY!! The last weeks seemed to drag on forever! Report card day came. We weren't surprised with our girl's results because of last night, but to make it fair, my boy's best comment was that "he is a model student in his work habits and effort in achieving academic excellence". It's really neat to hear a teacher praising them. It is a good feeling and reaffirms your work in parenting. Now onto the GOOD stuff! Summer!!

He was supposed to sprint across the banner through the finish line, but speed walking was good enough :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Toot Toot

We had an unexpected phone call this morning inviting us to the Middle School awards night because our daughter would be receiving an award. I didn't even remember that this event was even taking place (because they don't really tell you what's going on half the time, but that's another issue). So off we dragged our girl, who didn't want to go, wondering what to expect and what she would get. They had a list of awards on the program and we tried to guess which one it might be. We were VERY pleased that she was one of only 4 grade 7's (out of 200 and some) to get the award for a 4.0 GPA. All A's on every report card all year! GREAT job sweet girl! She only turned a little pink when she had to go up. Good thing she didn't get a B in metal work or something to ruin her chances!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Great Day and Big Sigh

Our boy focused and taking the corner kick!
Also sporting a nice new buzz cut, not done BEFORE the attempted family photo.

The Attempted Family Photo

Some funny smiles and squinting into the sun, the dog looking the best really, well and my handsome husband. This on our way out for our anniversary dinner- all 4 of us- don't ask!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Did I really Sigh that Loudly?

I guess I have taken to sighing lately. Several times in the last while, I have been caught in a deep sigh. Today's was what to make for dinner that won't ensue complaining and that everyone might like a little bit and will be slightly nutritional. Honestly I don't put up with complaining about food, it is one of those things that really bother me. My kids have not yet heard the end of the poor starving children in Africa, but when you've seen them with your own eyes, the crusts pulled off the bread really become a bigger reality. So after another eye roll, here goes Mom talking about the starving children. I think I just want to take them there. Really they do understand. They remember our trip to Mexico to help people and feed homeless. But we are coming to the end of the school year and lunches are getting BORING for us all, and supper times not much better..

Another sigh ensued after a glance across the living room to see the piles of dust collecting across the top of the piano. It will never end. But, some days the work of a housewife just seems relentless. After scrubbing some near mold off the toilet bowl, which hadn't been cleaned since pre-my mother's visit in early June, it did feel good to accomplish a task. So I try to turn it around in my mind instead of doing that which I detest and complain. I am thankful. Thankful for the ability to work. Thankful for busy children that can run and get dirty and bring it in my house. Thankful that my hands work. Thankful that I can scratch my nose, something my own father could not do. Thankful that I can see the beauty in the little things around me. Thankful that I have choices.

Tomorrow will bring another big sigh, not just to me but Kevin too. At around 2:00, soccer season will be done until September. The coach has done well, his boys love him, think he's totally cool, and have learned and improved their skills amazingly well! And won most of their games! Good job love! We're all ready for a break, to turn off our brains and enjoy some sun! Love our friends, swim in our new pool and maybe read some light fiction... any suggestions? Mine is "The Shack"- a compelling story of grace and interestingly fresh theology.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This week in the Garden

Hello Blog, You're getting lots of photos today because I'm trying out the new camera without reading the manual first! I'm having some focusing issues, but had to post anyways!

Salvia- needs to get moved into a slightly more sunny location

Them big hostas are budding!

Lovin' the creeping thyme!

My funny peony that is half white and half fuschia on the actual bush!

Baby fuzzy peaches

Baby grapes!! heeheehee They're so cute!

I heard it through the grapevine!

Little green cherries

Just to prove to you that I am not the perfect gardener you all think I am, there are a few areas that need some work!! Divine intervention perhaps! This right in the front near the street!

Happy Anniversary to Me

How fast can 14 years go? I thought we just started this thing!! What happened?

After a stressful day with a lot of things thrown into it, with the phone not stopping ringing, and the kids exhausted and whiny from the late night camping trip, a soccer practise that we can't miss since Kevin's the coach, and decisions to make that I didn't want to deal with, and my girlfriends 40th birthday that I'm planning getting into high gear (there are now 51 adults and 39 kids coming and 90% of them are immediate family!!), we hadn't really planned anything for US! This is NOT like me the PLANNER. I thought we would wait until the weekend when the soccer tournament/season is over and we can relax! I didn't even get my husband a card let alone a gift! How awful am I? Isn't it the truth that sometimes the people we love most get the leftovers of our energy and attention? So after having a wonderful husband for 14 years, he deserves something of my attention and time. He's going to have to wait a few days, but I'll make it worth the wait :) and plan something fun!

Of course at the end of yesterday, and my ranting, he handed me a nice drink and gave me a wonderful totally unexpected surprise which you will be getting to enjoy along with me!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Heading out camping.... skipping school....

My girlfriend has never been camping before since she was a small child and doesn't remember it. Because our summers wouldn't mesh to find time together, we concocted a plan to skip school, and take the kids out camping overnight. She invited a bunch of girls she works with, some who I vaguely know from various other functions and we ended up with a bit of an eclectic group of people, 6 adults and 7 kids. It was a bit out of my comfort zone. People I don't know, smoking and drinking around the fire after midnight, a very interesting sort of cross dressing/ Goth looking, very chatty type of fellow who was brought along to our "girls" campout. I respect my friend who is just a part of these people lives and can just relate to them so easily. I have a little more difficulty because it's not among my usual places that I frequent, like schools and stores and my neighborhood. Even at work I do come across some very different people, but the relationship is different because it's professional, not social and I definitely have the control in the interaction.

I did a bit of a presentation on this during my nursing course, because I find it a very interesting topic. The power and control in relationships. When you are in a situation where one person has more of the "power" or initiative or whatever you want to call it, it shifts the relationship to one side and makes the interactions different. There is more expectation on one side than the other. As a professional, I need to interact with people on a different level and retain some sort of distance, yet there is an even more familiarity because of the roles, but don't want to put people into a position where they are the ones being "done to" or don't have any say in the way things take place. You see it in social settings too where one of the persons takes, or seems to have more of the control over how the relationship goes. Sometimes the other one can allow it on purpose, like passive-aggressive and that person is actually maintaining more of the control. Anyways, I am not explaining this very well at all, I think it is my tired brain.

All to say, that I find it interesting to watch how people interact with each other especially in new situations. Some are just more socially adept than others, and last night, I was the observer, plus the smoke from the fire was really bothering my lasered eyes.

The one with the purple pony tail is in her 50s!!! She's amazing!

5 boys under age 10, and fire.. hmmm...
no one was injured during the filming.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We are blessed to have such a great man living in our house. Kevin is a great Dad and spends tonnes of time with his kids. They know they can talk to him, trust him, and almost always get him to play sports with them. We spent the morning packing up the bikes and heading out for a 16 km ride down to the lake and back. It's so fun now that the kids are getting a bit older and all of a sudden we have to keep up with them. He's always behind the camera and we forgot it yesterday on our ride, but here's a few of the man!

Giving his girl flowers

Friday, June 13, 2008

Camping at Silver Lake

I was one of the lucky chosen parents (got my form in first) who got to attend the grade 4/5 camping overnighter. We had 12 parents, 2 teachers and about 60 kids. What a great time we had! It was so well organized which always impresses me, and left not a lot of time for craziness or unexpected incidents to happen. Don't get me wrong, I like craziness in good forms, but not wild and uncontrolled craziness with large groups of children. The kids rotated through different outdoorsy activities in their smaller groups. Our group did a pond study, looking at various bugs that live along the shore's edge, a crash course in canoeing before sending them off on the lake in partners, a forestry activity learning all about local trees, logger games which included using a long cross saw, hiking, and orienteering. I had lots of reminiscing moments of my months teaching Outdoor Ed. at Pioneer Lodge to school groups just like ours. Those were fun times! It was so similar and I was happy that Jacob could have the same experience.

Packed and ready to go!

Jacob's teacher gets intensely excited about bugs during the pond study

A little canoeing

Trying the cross cut logger's saw


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Birthday Party for Real

Friday night was the big party!
The girls came over and "hung out" for 6 hours. Unfortunately, it was too cool to pool.

We had a dinner of all my girl's favorites- turned out we had a lot of meat... hmmm.... garlic ribs, sweet and sour pork, and chicken kabobs. We gave the girls pedicures. If you ever want to try this, it feels so good!! After soaking your feet in a hot tub of sudsy water or whatever, convince someone to give you a foot massage, and then load up on your favorite lotion. Then put your feet in plastic bags and then into fuzzy socks, wait 20 min. and you'll have the softest feet ever! Then it's always good to run around the neighborhood barefoot in the rain :)

Since the weather was looking not so good in the morning, my girl and I decided to
prepare a craft for them to do. It's totally right out of the 70's!
You probably remember making these yarn octopuses.

(she hates this photo- just to let you know)

The patio was all decorated with candles and lanterns, but all my nighttime photos look dumb and Kevin didn't take any even though he probably knows how to make night time settings look cool.

It's so easy when the birthday girl picks out the recipe for her own cake. This one is stacked ice cream sandwiches with whipped cream in between. Took about 5 minutes and it was amazing!

OK where is the birthday girl?

OK now she's there to blow out the candles and everyone else is doing their own thing.

Every girl's first dozen roses should be from her Daddy.

We had a prayer of blessing for our girl as she enters into a new phase of life - being a teenager. She had lots of brilliant words and cards from friends and family and lots of encouragement for her life journey. We are so thankful for the people in her life that love,
pray and care about her besides us.

This week in the Garden

I had started this post because so much was blooming this week, but hadn't had a chance to get out and take the photos. This morning it is a little overcast, but I took them anyways. Last night we celebrated my girl's birthday for real, not like the bust it was last weekend on her real day. I think she had fun. It wasn't hot and sunny enough to go in the pool, but my prayers were answered and it didn't start pouring rain until about 9 pm. Thanks God. So, I was busy getting ready for the party most of yesterday. The patio lights looked so pretty once the sun went down.

Flowers make me happy! They are so amazing in such a small, little thing. But they are all so different, it can only be because our God is so amazing and so caring in every detail, even rain at birthday parties. They bring me joy to many a boring and mundane day.

My clematis is climbing, just wait until it blooms!! I love the arbor Kevin built for me!
Such a perfect frame for this perfect vine!

This blue thing that I can't remember the name and it's driving me crazy! I like knowing all the names of the plants and flowers! Cute little "hen with some chicks" beside it.

Soapwort. a hearty and profusely blooming rockcress.

Lupins! Love the lupins!

Hostas are looking amazing!

Apple tree got planted... no more life from the old tree

Columbine- not the high school shooting! These are so amazing but not until you look at them from underneath. They hang over like a bluebell.
Is this blurry? or is just my eyes?

Stop and smell some roses today, or other flowers :)
Maybe some sweet peas, they smell the best!