Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dutch Creek - one last time

We'd spent a bit of time this summer camping wit Rita and Randy in campgrounds. We kept telling them how awesome this back country stuff was...and they decided to give it a go. We packed up nice and late on a Friday night, loaded our trailers with quads and headed out. Half way there we realized it was going to be LATE when we pulled in. So we decided to try for somewhere closer, but once we got THERE it just didn't seem right. If we wanted to show someone the true beauty of back country camping we NEEDED to take them farther in! So we headed back on the road again and I'm so glad we did. We found this perfect little spot away from anyone else. Our kids could play and roam freely and we could relax. We went on a million quad rides and introduced Rita and Randy to this way of life. And I think they loved it...based on the fact that they went home and bough themselves a Maverick too. I think there will be a TON more camping trips like this in our future!! I hope so at least!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Family Weekend in Edmonton

Ben's sister Ashley and her hubby moved up to Edmonton last year for dental school. We have not yet ONCE visited them! How sad is that? Well Ashley finally took care of business and invited the whole family up for a weekend. We all agreed on the First weekend of September (the weekend AFTER school started). life got very very busy that week. First of all, having Hailey back in school was hard enough, but then a friend from the ward (who's dayhome I covered in June) called me desperately looking for someone to take on her dayhome again. Her son had been in a very serious accident and she needed to be there by his side. So I took those three kids into my home and tried to find a way to get the school aged ones to and from school (which involved me driving to school to pick up their kindergarten aged daughter and then rushing back to get Hailey from the bus stop. Why this craziness? Well there were not enough seats in the van to fit all the we had to get creative. Anyway, by the time the weekend rolled around I was exhausted. But we still loaded the van and made our way to Edmonton. We got there so late that we pretty much put the kids right to one room...the same room Ben and I slept in. We've only every done that once and that was the first night in Mexico last year, and that worked because after so many delays and a long flight we were too tired to care. But this time it was much harder. Cait was struggling with the idea that there were people in the room she could talk to and play with.

So after a sleepless night we woke up, ate breakfast and all headed to West Ed for some Waterpark fun! It had been a few years since I'd been there and things have changes a bit. But still so fun. When we got home later that night I was starting to feel sick. I wasn't sure if it was the dogs that Nancy brought or a cold or exhaustion. So while Ashley did crafts with the kids and the guys watched tv I just tried to stay awake.

Sunday morning was rainy and gloomy and I was still so tired and sick. But we all got dolled up and went to church. After church we went to their community lake for a yummy picnic. The kids played at the park and the sun came out for a beautiful sunny afternoon. After a few hours of fresh air I thought I was better...until we loaded into the van to head home. And then it hit me. The exhaustion, the allergies, the cold. I hate colds...and this one was brutal. I honestly cried for a good 15 minutes because I was just so physically spent.

BUT the weekend was fun. I want to do it again when I'm feeling better!! But being with family is always fun and Ashley is such a great and fun host!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back to School

Back to school for the girls...well the 'back' part just applies to Hailey. This is Paigey's first year of school. So first of all...I've been dreading this day basically since I graduated from High school. I am NOT a morning person! Nope not at all. Anything before 9AM hurts...really really bad. Back when I finished seminary and high school I realized that if I wanted to accomplish my big dreams of marrying and having children, I'd have to eventually wake up early again. I tried my hardest to delay the inevitable. I managed all through university to not have a class before 10:30 am. Then there was about 5 years there where I worked full time Downtown...and those years were full of ponytails and yesterday's makeup. I had a really hard time getting up and ready. And then a glorious thing happened...I had Hailey... AND she was a great sleeper. An amazing sleeper. Sleeping passed 9am was normal. And then Paige. Same story. Even Cait...she's a great sleeper too!! When Hailey started kindergarten this morning business was bearable because she only went twice a week. BUT I knew those days would end once she started full time in grade one...and they did. I now have at least another 15 years of early waking!!! I'm going to have to change my ways!

So anyway...waking up early isn't that bad. I think it would be better if I could guarantee winter would never show up. Right now the days start at 7:30am, we eat breakfast, get dressed and hop on bikes and scooters and enjoy our short journey to the bus stop. The weather is beautiful, and I'm seriously thinking I could do this happily for the next 15+ years. That is if I could keep this kind of perfect summer weather. Unfortunately, I know winter's on its way and I will have to figure out a way to enjoy trudging through the snow in below freezing weather. are the girls on their first day of school. They go to different schools...which makes things a little hectic at pick up time. But it's going to be a great year full of learning and lost library books!

Hailey and her best bud Denver...classic girl/boy pose

Friday, September 06, 2013

Hayden Lake ID

All summer we had been waiting and looking forward to our Holiday with Nate and Tan and their kids. We rented out a cabin on Hayden Lake in Idaho. It was a really great week. Nate had just bought a new Sea-doo and they rented out a huge Pontoon boat. It was perfect. The Pontoon was awesome because we could all fit onto the boat at the same time, plus it had walls around the entire thing so the babies couldn't climb out. We spent the first four days of our trip boating. The kids went for tube ride after tube ride after tube ride. The bigger kids knee boarded and wake-boarded and skied I think. Gosh I can't even remember now! One day we happened upon a little sand bar to park our boat. As we were parking we realized there was going to be a big wake-boarding event that day. So we stuck around. The kids played on the sand and we made sure we had prime parking. The Sandbar was right beside a 7th Day Adventist camp and they seriously had so many fun water activities (fun playground stuff for the kids, a bouncy blob thing for the adults). It was probably the best day of the trip for me. We also spent a day at Silverwood Park - went on rides all afternoon and played in the water park. And then we spent one unfortunate day shopping. Looking back on it now we probably didn't need to shop at all. We have lots of great opportunities to shop the rest of the time...I don't want to waste anymore holidays shopping! But at least we got some back to school shipping done!

Some of my favourite things about the trip were:
1. boating every day
2.The 7th Day Adventist Camp
3. The big Roller coasters at Silverwood
4. The huge room the kids all slept in
5. Sunset rides
6. Boating to the restaurant on the lake and grabbing dessert
7. Giving Alexander his Birthday Presents (Lego of course)
8. Dutch Blitz games at night
9. Being so exhausted everyday from having sooo much fun
10. Canon ball contests in the middle of the lake at sunset

 Paige on the kneeboard - she only tried once and vowed to never do it again
Hailey on the knee Board - she gave it a few tries
holding the rope for the skiiers
Hailey, Paige and Hondro

On our way home we stopped in Sparwood for some classic pictures in the wheels of the huge mining truck

And some rolling down the hill - lol

And the very best part of the trip? The company!!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Montana - one last time

We made a quick long weekend trip down to Kalispell with Becc and Jar and the kids. It was so fun. The Weather was perfect. The kids played in the water, Cait forgot to pack swim diapers and overfilled her regular diaper, Cait Chased Paige around, we shopped, ate yummy food and had some great times. Then on our way home we stopped at Chain lakes for some fishing, playing at the park and enjoyed that hot Alberta Sun. I even joined in the park fun...there was a swing just my size and Ben buckled me in and gave me a push - or two - or ten!! It was a great trip and I'm so happy we made it!