Monday, March 31, 2014

22 Months

Oh boy, almost two weeks behind.  I do these monthly updates until they are two and she's almost there!! So excited to do her two year old photos and to set up her big girl room...all in May.  

So, what has the last month brought?  Fewer naps.  More `WHAT?!  Why?!' `All right' `Oh tay' .  More trying to do everything on her own.  

She has started really loving the stereotypical girl things.  We have always had strollers, shopping cars and dolls in our home but the boys rarely played with them. Nya does all the time.  She has grown very attached to her baby (who must wear a hat) and one of receiving blankets that she, like the boys, calls her Bubi.  She has started singing a lot more and her favourites are `Happy Birthday' and `Jesus Loves Me'.  She often likes to pray about 4 times during dinner and it sounds like this; `God. Georgie. Amen!'.

It was about 17 C while I took these photos but she refused to wear a sun hat and I thought a toque would at least protect the top of her head when we were playing outside.  You can see the massive bruise on her cheek from falling off the kitchen chair a few days ago.

{Her special blankie and very important baby named `Baby'}
{Reading to her baby}

And to make note of...this is a terrible photo but this girl really enjoys her `hot-tee' and has a pretty sweet shot already.  In this case, I will compare.  Way ahead of where her brothers were at this age... 

We love you so much Miss Nya!  You brighten our days and we are so thankful for you.

Love, Louise (Mommy)


Sunday at church it was a family service with a parent dedication.  Growing up, we were baptized (water on forehead) when we were babies.  This was signifying that our parents were dedicating us to God.  When I was a teenager, I did Public Profession of Faith which is where I went in front of the church and well, publicly professed my faith.  Why do that? It's not only a way to make that commitment but to have support and accountability from the community (church).

Now being part of the Baptist church, things are a bit different.  It's actually sort of reversed. Parents dedicate their kids when they are little and the kids/parents/any person is baptized  (full immersion) when they make that decision to commit their lives to Him.

To be honest, now that I've been part of two different denominations, it doesn't really matter to me when any of it happens.  Baptize, dedicate, profess, whatever.  I think we often get caught up in the `rules' and ideals and forget what the overall importance is.  I am actually not a member of our current church (I've been there for 9 years!) because I haven't been baptized as an adult.  Not sure I ever will.  
Sunday, we, along with three other families, made a commitment publicly and this is what it was;

As parents, we love God and we have chosen to live in accordance with God’s commandments.  We understand and accept the responsibility for teaching our child how to love God and live a God honoring life.  We believe that our child is a gift from God to us and we are committing to love our child with a Christ-like love and pray that one day our children will come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Jackie was in charge of taking the group photo so obviously there were a lot of photos like the one above as well :)  Thank you to friends and family who joined us.  I know a 9 am service isn't the easiest to attend!   Although it was just a few minutes in the service, it's a lifetime commitment that we have made and we appreciate the support of our family (whether it be the family we were born to or the family of supporters that we have).
Then we had our families over for lunch.  The big kids played in the basement and the little kids ran wild all over the house.  I think the only time I wish our house was a tad bigger is when we have family gatherings but it could be that we just have large families!
Nice to have both sets of grandparents here!  Special thanks to Joanne, Jackie and Tyler for making soup.  
Kai said `I bet the dedication will make your Thankful Thursday'!  It might, but I wanted it to have a post of it's own.
I hope you had a wonderful  weekend. We did!

Love, Louise

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Green Lake Getaway

As we have done for the past few years, we went up to Green Lake with my sister Maria and her family.  The days leading up to their departure were filled with the flu for the Thompsons :(  It was decided that we would go up first, they would come the next day and stay in the downstairs suite, and the kids could play together outside that afternoon/evening and the next morning.  We figured in full winter gear outside the kids would be all good :)  I don't love being paranoid of germs but Maria and I both totally get flu prevention comes first, especially with 7 kids between us!!
On the way up, Miss Nya fell asleep.  This does require mention as she is not gifted in this area.  I would say the one downfall of having a potty trained toddler is that we made multiple stops for her to use the bathroom.  I had put her in a diaper in case and just said `Pee in your diaper!' but she would not.  As a side note, she says she has to `Peet'.  It's cute.

The first afternoon up there, I not only had laryngitis still (4 days!) but I felt very ill.  I had no energy.  I just laid on the couch.  This was my view.  Nya and Koey (yes, Koey) playing connect four and Gary cooking up dinner in the kitchen.

The next morning I was feeling better and we went outside in the sunshine!!  We went geoaching and sledding.  Around 2 pm, my dad flew by.  I should know by now that as long as the weather is decent, I can expect a visit from him up there.  You can see him waving in the window.  I have to say, sort of jokingly, I'm glad Gary and I are married.  Imagine if we were dating and my dad kept flying by wherever we were hiking or hanging out?!
Maria, Kris and the kids came and we did some more sledding.
Such a great age as they can do everything themselves (well, the older 4 anyway).


Nya did not love the sled.

Then, my dad landed in 100 mile house and was able to join us for a couple of hours.  He was super fun Opi and gave them all rides on the snowmobile.

I'm totally the fun police (as Gary says) but I do get nervous about it tipping or the kids getting hurt.  I try to relax a bit because I don't want my kids to live their lives afraid to take any risks.
I did go on too but I took Nya. I knew my dad wouldn't go fast if I had her with me.  When did I turn into an old lady?!
Gary loved it.  I have to say that I like it too.  Very fun toy.  Growing up, we did not have these fun toys to play with, although my dad did have a tractor and he would lift us up in the bucket to get the biggest and juiciest blackberries.
Then, we roasted hotdogs and marshmallows and my dad flew back home (you can see him in the photo).
Koey loves his food.
It was a great trip.  I'm so thankful for safe travels and good travelling buddies.  The kids are totally fine without their DVD players and DS in the van, I love it.  I may have taught Koen the `I'm going on a trip and I'm taking an...' game.  He loved it a bit too much and I realized I don't love playing it more than once.

Another great year at Green Lake!! Let's hope next year doesn't involve the flu so that the kids can actually play together inside the house:)  Poor Nya kept asking about Georgie all day.  She was so confused why Georgia was in the basement and they couldn't play together.  I really cannot do the flu again.

Well, another great Spring Break.  I'm so thankful that we could to to Ucluelet with Gary's parents, Fort McNeill with our friends Brent and Melissa, and then Green Lake with the Thompsons.   That's a lot of road trips in 2 weeks but it was so great.

Hope you are well.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful for...
1. Spring break
2. My larynx.  Having laryngitis this week has shown me how hard it is to help the kids and discipline them without my voice.
3. A new jean jacket from Costco.  My old one was a medium and there's no way I'll fit in it again.
4.  Nya's hair. It's growing!
5. Safe travels
6. Orthotics
7. A love for reading
8. My silver hoop earrings that I can just leave in 24/7
9. PVR
10. Dental floss

Monday, March 24, 2014

Port McNeill

We left Ucluelet around 10 am and arrived in Port McNeill at 5 pm. We didn't have a map so didn't really know what we would pass along the way.  It's about 1.5 hours past Campbell River on the north east side of Vancouver Island.   
I've been up there once before to hike the Cape Scott Trail but that was about 11 years ago!  The weather on the way up was wild; sun, rain, hail, snow, repeat. We were so excited to reach Port McNeill!  Our friends, the Voses, live there.  They moved there last summer so it was fun to see where their new home is.  Port McNeill has less than 3,000 people and there are islands around them with different communities and ferries connecting them all.
We arrived in time for dinner. Brent and Melissa spoiled us with yummy food the whole time.  So great!  Look at all those kids.  Our kids combined makes for 5 boys and 2 girls.  I was a little nervous how everyone would get along but it went wonderfully!
The view below is from their kitchen window in the morning.  So nice, hey?

Amarys and Nya, although 1.5 years apart, got along so well!
We went on a little hike to the beach.  I LOVE hiking and miss it so much.  The kids did a great job and our kids had to learn how to stick together a bit more due to the cougars and bears.
The beach was awesome.  So many varieties of seaweed!   Tons of crab, sea stars, mussels, clams, barnacles and chitins.
Chitin below (they have 8 bony plates which is how you can recognize them).
I should point out that it was sooooo sunny!!! So great.  Seriously.  The vitamin D was aplenty.
The boys played on the fort for a good hour.  Koen may have fallen through the roof.
My little assistant.  `Cheese'.
I'm so thankful that Nya did so well!  She didn't nap, was struggling with digestive issues, and was still pretty chill about everything.
Below is Team Vose.  Those guys can smile :)
And us.
I love the outdoors.  I always have.  I love the ocean (Kai's name means `ocean'), I love the rainforest, I love the sun.  I love BC.
The view below is also from their kitchen window.  Two bald eagles and a BC Ferry.  Beautiful, ya?
After lunch, we went for a walk down to the marina.  
The kids threw rocks in the water and we went to their fishing spot and then we went to Mugz for smoothies and hot chocolate.

It is so interesting to hear about how things work in a small town.  The hours, churches, ferries, schools, programs, resources, doctors etc.
The next morning, Nya and Amarys had a tea party and continued to play well together.  I was sort of surprised because they are both pretty strong willed girls.  So great.
It was then time to head home!  The trip back went so well.  Just a short 4 hour drive (I say short because the highway is such easy driving!) and then the ferry and another hour.  The kids did wonderfully.  I think in another year or so I'll actually be able to read a book on the ferry :)

I love visiting people in places I've never been too.  It allows you to get to know a place so much better!  Thank you to Team Vose for having us, we had a wonderful time.

Yay for Spring Break, friends, family and sunshine.

Love, Louise