Sunshine

It’s a cold, exceptionally rainy day today and my thoughts are drifting back to last week when we ventured out to Champion Lakes because of the delightful warmer weather. The kids went for a dip in the water, and we watched an osprey coast and look for food down below. It never dived, though.

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Summer 2017

May Days

I’ve got a bit of catching up to do on the blog!

In April, our family joined the Catholic Church! I’ve been working on a separate blog post about that, but it’s taking a while to write. (If you have any questions you’d love answered in that blog post, feel free to leave a comment below, or send me an email… I’d love to have a bit more direction!) Anyways, Jon, Renae and Brian came up and joined us for the Easter weekend, and we had a lovely time together. But… unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos all weekend.

So, when Josh, Tanya and Everly came a few weekends later, I made sure to pop out the camera from time to time! You can see that Everly did not suffer any lack of attention.

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The kids were very excited to spend time with their newest, littlest cousin!

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Working on some GeoPuzzles.

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We went for a little walk through the forest after church on Sunday.

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And spent a bit of time at the playground, too.

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Last month, we dropped off the kids at my mom and dad’s and spent a kid-free May Long weekend at Mabel Lake with Jeremy’s family, celebrating his mom and dad’s 35th wedding anniversary. It was wonderful! Good food and laughs, as well as some time with just the two of us.

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Mabel Lake was so lovely! It’s surrounded by mountains and the surface of the lake was smooth and serene the whole weekend. We spent some time on the dock, just gazing at the water, wondering how a place could be so beautiful.

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My mom invited all the kids and grandkids over for dinner when we returned home. The weather was just perfect, and the kids enjoyed some time outside under the sprinkler.

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Little buddies. 🙂

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The weekend after we returned home, we discovered that Fruitvale always celebrates May Days with a three-day celebration. May Days included a parade that started downtown and went right past our house! The kids had never been to a parade before and were quite fascinated (except Alice, who was nervous).

(Have you read the book Wee Gillis to your kids? James was tickled to see and hear a bagpipe in real life!)

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Atrocious beaver float.

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There was so much candy tossed to the kids! They collected a huge bucket full of candy – it was like Halloween in May!

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The kids one slow morning, making music on their pretend instruments:

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The last few days have been gloriously warm and sunny! The kids have been having lots of fun dipping in some water. (James forgot his swim shorts at mom and dad’s, June couldn’t find her bathing suit.)

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Dreaming about being big enough to move on that bike!

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I love how June’s hair gets curly as soon as it’s wet!

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Mom found us a free trampoline on Craigslist and the kids have been bouncing away ever since we got back home! The rope you see tied down the middle is the “Rope of Peace” James instituted the other day.

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June has such a great laugh, and when she’s on the tramp with James, she is constantly laughing. It’s good medicine just being close enough to hear her. 🙂

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She’s been saying the funniest sentences lately: “That would be sensible!” or “I just couldn’t resist!”

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Playing pass with papa. Aren’t throwing photos the worst? You always end up with flailing limbs and hilarious facial expressions. This is the least gimpy of the photos I took…

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Just finding a little hideout:

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Alice now prefers the big kid swings to her little baby swing. Any chance she has to pop on one of these swings, she takes! She’s fallen off of it so many times already – she seems to forget she needs to hold on – but then dusts herself off and hops back on.

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The trees and bushes in our yard are bursting into bloom! These are some of the most beautiful blossoms I’ve ever seen… you know those flower poms that were really popular at weddings a couple years ago? These are like real life poms! Any idea what they are?

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Our little horse chestnut tree is in bloom and it looks so pretty!

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James, after we’d been chatting for a while, related some hilarious little tidbit from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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That’s all for today! Have a lovely weekend!

Beach Day in May

The weather today was glorious and we were outside all day. It really felt like the first day of summer, one of those promising days that makes you anticipate the long days to come this season.

The kids have been playing on the play set a lot lately.

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June figured out how to pump on the swings, and now she’ll regularly pop outside to swing for a bit, even if everyone else is inside. She just loves it!

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And Alice figured out how to climb up the climbing wall! She is also very proud of herself. 🙂

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The kids have also been climbing all the trees they can climb.

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Today there were some arborists working across the road, so James and June ate their lunch in the tree while they observed them at work.

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The flowers are in bloom! We’ve got tulips blooming in front of the house, as well as some little grape hyacinths spangling the yard.

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James in his battle regalia.

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Today was so warm (26 degrees) we decided to drive up to Champion Lake. We thought it might be quite a bit cooler up there, so we took pants and sweaters along, but it was very balmy there, too. The kids happily explored, played in the water, and built a dam.

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That’s a patch of snow back there against the edge of the forest! (Far left)

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Alice practising her mermaid pose. 🙂

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I can’t wait for more lovely days like today!

 

 

 

Piles of Fun

It has been a mild and rainy week so far, and the snow is slowly but surely melting away. We caught our first glimpse of grass for the first time in months! Heavenly!

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James and June have been spending lots of time on the big snow piles around our house. They slide and tumble and get absolutely sopping wet and have a delicious time.

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Some sort of warfare was happening here . . .

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When she can’t join the kids outside, Alice likes to watch James and June from the kitchen window. 🙂

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Teetotalers & Other Fun

Hello, hello world! We are still alive and well up here! The sky has still been spitting more snow onto our village, but there are little signs of spring around. Birds chirping. Buds on the trees. Wee tastes of spring to shore up our hearts and give us hope.

The days have been warming up slightly, too (5 degrees in the afternoon), and the kids are really rolling with it. Today James ran around outside in a t-shirt and said, hopefully, “Mom, maybe it would be warm enough outside to go for a dip in a bucket of water?” Ha ha! My summer-loving boy!

In February, I rummaged around in some drawers and came across my old iPod. I put a couple audiobooks on it and gave it to James who has taken to the audiobooks like a fish to water. He has listened to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at least six times since then, and is now listening to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for the third or fourth time. It got to the point where Jeremy had to take the iPod away for a weekend. I find it amazing how he soaks in the story; he’ll recite lines word for word. “Mom, there’s this really funny part in the beginning of TLTWATW where it says that . . .” And it’s led to some really random questions; for example, while we were driving to the library today, James asked me, “Mom, what’s a teetotaler?”

In January, James and I started adding in a bit of math to his school days. He loves it! We’re using RightStart math and it has a lot of neat ways of teaching concepts. We use the abacus almost every day, sometimes we use the balance you see in the picture below, and there are lots of math card games, too.

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James’s favourite is one called Go to the Dump, which is basically a mathematical version of Go Fish. (You have to find pairs that add up to 10. So if you have a 7, you ask the other player for a 3.)

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June has been James’s shadow lately. They play together all the time. They jump around in the snow outside, they bounce around on an extra mattress in the back room, they read stories together, etc. When James is doing school, she wants to be sitting on my lap, listening to our conversation. She insists on doing things just the way that he does them. If he goes outside wearing a sweater and no jacket, she must do the same. His favourite Bible book right now is Revelation, and so it’s hers, too. 🙂

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“June, let’s be penguins and huddle together for warmth!”

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Alice is growing up quite a bit right now. She’s talking a little more, she loves it when you understand what she’s trying to say, and she likes to insist on having things her way. She loves going for walks outside, enjoys swinging on the swing and loves dancing to music.

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Alice joining in the fun (whether she wants to or not).

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That’s a little peek into life at our home!

Jeremy and I have also been wrestling a fair bit with what to do next. If you have a few minutes, I would really appreciate it if you would pray for us. Please pray for a job for Jeremy and for clarity about what sort of work he should do. And for peace for us as we wait. The uncertainty of what is ahead for us has been difficult and exhausting. Thank you! 🙂

There and Back Again

Several weeks ago I had a miscarriage. I’d been eleven weeks pregnant and it was a terribly disappointing realization that the little baby I’d been carrying inside me had died. I’d been  quite smitten with this little babe as I’d already felt him/her moving at nine weeks. This child seemed to be a lively little soul and in that respect reminded me of James, and I looked forward to August with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Excitement over having another child to love, and trepidation over having a baby right when we could be moving . . .

After the miscarriage I took some time off of work, and as I also had a bit of vacation time lined up, we decided to go the Fraser Valley for a little respite. I thought to myself, “It’d be lovely to see the first signs of spring in Abbotsford, and to go for a walk or two along the dike.” Well, Abbotsford was hit with a snowstorm shortly after we arrived, and so our visit was more “hunker down and rest” than “spring-time walks.” Which was probably just as well, as I felt rather poorly for the first week anyhow.

Here are a few photos from around my parents’ home. The snowdrifts form so quickly; their driveway from the house to the barn was soon covered in 6-8 feet of snow.

 

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We thought this mini drift looked a bit like a dragon prowling about outside.

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James and June relished every moment they spent in the tractor with Grandpa!

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Once the rains returned and the snows receded, we popped outside for some exercise along the driveway. Alice was sooooo excited to be outside! She’s been cooped up for ages this winter, poor thing.

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June was so excited to see Emerson at Opa and Oma’s house. She gave Emerson a bear hug when she walked in the door and couldn’t quite believe her good luck when she and Emerson got to go to sleep in the same bed at night. Seeing her fondness for and admiration of her older cousin was so charming!

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James was totally in the mood for board games during our stay. We played many, many rounds of Shut the Box, then moved on to Dominoes, Guess Who and Battle-Ship. I think he’d play games all day long if there was a willing and capable partner available. 🙂

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Happy travellers!

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We were wondering what our place would look like when we returned . . . well, the snow definitely hadn’t receded here! In fact, the piles had multiplied.

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Wowzers! Such a sea of snow! I love how it’s all ripply in this photo and looks like waves of snow!

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Such a nice view of the snow pile from that window, hey?

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James came into the house today upset because his snow boot had gotten left behind in a pile of snow. A three-foot pile of snow! In the middle of the yard! We went on a rescue mission and now the dear little boot is recuperating inside.

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My dear little boots are also recuperating.

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Uno! Alice loves to be part of whatever James and June are up to. 🙂

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And little Junie after her bath. 🙂 Love that little girl!

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