Friday, July 27, 2012

To Vancouver with us, Vacation Part 3

Monday morning we drove to Vancouver to visit some very special people and "vacation" for a few days as a family. 
 We visited Josh's Opa in the afternoon and evening. The girls enjoyed doing puzzles and playing a game on his coffee table while he and Josh visited outside and down in his shop. And then after an adventuresome dinner (thanks, Joy!) we went for a walk, in which the said overworked 18 month old fell asleep. :o)
 But I woke her up to play at the park, since it had mostly stopped raining, and so she would sleep on our drive back to Surrey, where we were staying.
 Watching Hope and Daddy on the other part of the playground. Joy was short enough to walk right through the tunnel standing up. :o) Made me laugh.
 Opa watching his Great-Granddaughter come down the short little slide.
 See what I mean?
 Then Hope thought she should play on the same slide as Joy. They attempted to go down side by side, but I put a stop to that rather quickly, lest it should have ended undesirably.
 "Come on Joy, you can do it."
 "Here, I'll help you."
 The next day we went to the Telus Science center, and found lots of fun things for the girls to do. Hopey and I built a couple puzzles with the triangle shapes provided.
 The music room enchanted them for a long time.
 Yes, Joy - that would be the music book. :o)
 Joy was all about this - a ball on a moving circular thing (like a slow-motion merry-go-round without rails.)
 Hope mostly just sat still and took it all in, but Joy loved that ball and rolled it to the other kids with great delight.
 But you know Joy, she doesn't stay sitting for very long, and soon utilized her an amazing ability to stay balanced on her feet, despite the object moving beneath her. :o)
 The center of attention - literally. :o)
 Reaching up to be like the big kids.
 This was a cool station, exploring wind and motion. You put these little balls in holes where they got sucked up by air and went through the various arms of the maze, depending on how the arrows were arranged.
 Once the balls reached the top they were propelled out and landed on the ground, to be promptly picked up by scurrying, delighted children.
 Hopey and some sparkly purple rock, purple being her favourite colour.
 This exhibit could have entertained Hope for hours on end. Water channels, and boats to float down it from one end to the other.
 Hope didn't really understand the concept of how to build channels herself, but she knew where the water moved fast and put her boats there so they would float to the other end. Wisely, waterproof aprons were provided for the children. :o)
 The little yellow ones were her favourite.
 While Josh arranged where we should meet his cousin for dinner, the girls and I built this fun structure out of some well-played-with pieces of plastic.
 Joy ended up finding it more fun to put the pieces we weren't using in the huge tub beside us, while Hopey and Mommy found the right colours connectors and pieces to build our creation.
 The cousins and their children, after a filling dinner at Red Robin. It was so good to finally meet Michael Schroeder, one Josh's cousins. Sadly, his wife Tracy was under the weather and couldn't join us that night, but I had a great time visiting with their son, Caleb, between helping Hope eat and participating a little bit in Josh and Michael's conversation.
Caleb's Mom, Tracy, is Taiwanese, and his Dad speaks Cantonese and English, so Caleb knows three languages and converses very well. He and Hope even carried on some conversation on their own. :o)
 Joy was all for the frolicking after. Not so much about sitting still or eating anything at the table. We were grateful for the time we could spend with them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Canada Day in Kamloops, Vacation Part 2

After going to church with Dave and Amy on Sunday morning, we headed for a park in downtown Kamloops to take in the crazy crowds and some Canada Day festivities, including the international cuisine that was being served all across the park.
 The kids were hardly interested in food - they just wanted to go to the playground.
 Funny - Joy often crosses her legs when she's relaxing on the swing.
 Love the love of adventure she has. :o)
 Hmmm.... maybe I pushed her a bit too high perhaps?
 Hope had her eyes on the slide, and she quickly learned how to take her turn in the constant line up of children climbing up the stairs and gliding down the slide.
Up for another turn she goes...
Eventually, Joy tired of the swing and so I brought her over to the slide, and she quickly wanted to join in.
She liked the climbing up part better than the sliding down though. :o)
Once back at Dave and Amy's, the girls had their much needed naps, Josh rested too, and I walked over to my Aunt and Unlces to visit with cousins and such still gathered from the wedding the day before. Dave and Amy graciously welcomed my Grandma to join us for dinner in the evening so the little girls could be around her a bit.
Hope and Great-Grandma had a fun time doing all sorts of adorning to Mr. Potato Head. :o)
Joy was her quirky self, so this was all I could get as far as a smile from her.
And Hope was too busy trying on Mr. Potato Head's eyeballs to smile much herself.
Oh well. At least it's pictures of Hope and Great-Grandma together. :o)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

And the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down...

As goes the good old song from the tale of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. :o)

I'm just on here to say why I likely won't be on here very consistently for a bit and that is that our basement flooded this past weekend while Josh was away. We are thankful that insurance is able to cover some of the cost of the damage, and they already have their people in here tearing out drywall, insulation and the remaining carpet. We are thankful Josh's home office space was spared, as we have a whole room in the basement to move things into while renovation and restoration takes over the rest of the basement. :o) I am very thankful to have increased motivation to get rid of green carpet, pink wallpaper, and to sort through a few things that had been piling up. :o) Thankfully, not too much was lost due to water damage, at least not high-use items.

Also, Joe (Josh's brother) comes this weekend to carry out his plan to demolish our current deck which is rotting and replace it with a new one. He will be with us for a couple weeks. We are looking forward to having Mom Langemann here with us for part of that time as well.

I'll keep taking pictures, and will post as I can. :o)

Thank you for your patience.

"For I know what 'ere befall me, Jesus doeth all things well."

Friday, July 13, 2012

300 and counting! Vacation Pt 1

I saw on my blogger dashboard the other day that I had 299 posts. So, I thought #300 deserved honourable mention. :o) Haha! So glad I have this way of sharing little bits of our life with those we love. 

Following is the first installment of pictures from our family vacation to BC. We spent a weekend in Kamloops for a cousin's wedding, then traveled to Vancouver to visit family and see a few sights. We left before breakfast on a Friday morning, and returned the following Thursday evening, just before pm turned to am. :o) The girls did soooo good with all the driving, (thank You, Lord!) Joy had one litttle melt down 90 minutes into our trip (yikes - it did have me a bit concerned for the many hours of travel that would follow) and then one more little meltdown 1 hr before we were home the last day. Other than that, she did really good, and Hopey, of course, loves travelling, so she was no problem! The funny thing was, I was so happily exhausted from all the travel myself, that I actually fell asleep while trying to calm Joy down as we neared Spruce Grove. I remember putting my chair back so I could rub her feet and hold her hand (which usually soothe her) and then I remember waking up and she was still crying. Soon thereafter I saw a sign that said "Spruce Grove, 6km." I asked Josh if what I thought I saw was true, and right after that Joy fell fast asleep for the night. What a little squirt!!! Thankfully, she made a quick and easy transfer to her bed and slept soundly till I woke her up at 9:15 the following morning!

Okay. Pictures!

 First picnic lunch of our vacation, just into Mount Robson Park. Bibs sure look dumb over hoodies, but boy - do they ever help when the girls are feeding themselves yogurt!
 Hello, cutie pie.
 Hopey talked and talked about throwing rocks in some water, and though there was a shortage of rocks around, they both enjoyed walking down to the water with Daddy and tossing debris in while I cleaned up the picnic.
Right after this we got in the van, planning to stop at the Visitors Center which was about 20 minutes ahead, to use the facilites. Well, what we didn't know was that we were driving right into a construction zone - two culverts being replaced, and landed in stopped traffic for 2 whole hours!!! Joy fell asleep for her afternoon nap just before I saw the backed up traffic on the road, and I immediately thought "good!" She napped for an hour, then was up. Eventually, I took turns walking the girls up and down the side of the road, counting cars, naming vehicles, talking to others out stretching, etc.
It being Canada Day long weekend made for a very long line of cars headed for the mountains, just like we were. I counted the cars heading the other way once we were finally through, and it only number around 135. Josh thought our side was probably at least double that! Needless to say, the 20 minute drive to the Visitor Center seemed very long to me, and I "bumped" into another pregnant Momma at the restrooms who commented "I've never been so glad to see a restroom in all my life!" Yep. Gotta love it. :o) (Sorry if that's too much detail for some of you readers. I had to choose to laugh about the situation, so thought I might as well share it!)
 We stayed at Dave and Amy Peters place in Kamloops (Dave is Josh's cousin.) Hope had no trouble at all playing with their three boys and their toys, though I think she kinda liked Keefer, the 5 year old, the best. :o) She had one set of frightened tears over a duck that walked on a push-stick, but other than that she was good.
 She loved the car track, and was quite concerned when one piece of track popped out of place when she was playing with it on her own once.
 So great to see my cousin, Cassandra, marry the man she waited almost 30 years for - Jordan. This was the first wedding of a cousin I was able to attend, and I enjoyed the family occasion to the full.
 As did Joy. I think she noticed the table had a table cloth on it, and that Mommy and Daddy weren't being so picky about her banging her utensils on it as they are at home.
 So she had fun, made some noise, and we breathed grateful sighs to be seated at the back of the dining hall!
 Now, it is possible they had a little too much juice that night, but with Granny and Papa and Daddy to fetch it for them, it was of course the only thing they wanted to drink. Oh yeah - but Hope did want tea when Mom and I went for a hot drink later.
 So special to hang out with my folks there. :o)
 Josh was such a sweetie, and watched after the busy Joy-Belle almost all evening so I could visit with my parents and brothers.
 Hope, and her second cousin, Alex, playing with Uncle Luke's iphone, under Uncle Avery's supervision! Hope told me "Mommy - I want to go over there and play wiff Uncle Avery and the boy with the orange shirt!" (she just couldn't remember his name!)
 Haha. What's so funny, eh Joy?
 Papa was glad for some Hopey-time too.
 Papa reaching out his hand to "dance with Hope."
 I think she was enjoying the frilly dress from Mom.
She likes "twirly" things. :o)