Saturday, January 25, 2014

A look back at September

Warning: LONG post ahead. 

This past September was a beautiful month in our lives. 

Time at home. Time abroad. Time at the farm. Time at home with guests. 

That pretty much sums it up. 

Much of our summer was cool and rainy. Hardly ever did we get several warm days in a row. So, when this popped up on my forecast in the beginning of September, I was so happy, I took a picture of it!!! A week of sunshine!!! And you know what that means - gardening!!! And picnics!!! And walks in the stroller! 

 It was kinda cool one evening, but I still took the kids out for some fresh air while Daddy worked late one weeknight.

Last snuggle with Daddy for a bit.
Josh had the privilege of spending 9 days in Ireland with a bunch of folks from our church in September. When he came back it was so precious to hear of the relationship deepening that went on between various ones. That's really what this Christian life is - relationship with the Lord, relationship with others.

As he was gone two extra days on top of the Ireland time, the children and I escaped to the farm, for some time with my family before my sister's wedding.
My Dad bought Philip these cute Carhart overalls for Christmas, and I dressed him in them a lot at the farm. They were too big on him, but oh well. It looked cute!
My Cote grandparents also came to visit at the farm while we were there, as did Luke's girl, Pilar. Reid came down once, and we got to see Great-Grandma Collin a few times too. Words cannot say how blessed we were to be with all those special people, all at once to boot!

Time for fellowship with other friends I grew up with was also had while we were at the farm. Jesse and Heidi Jost and their children came over for supper one evening, and we had such a great time together.

My children and I also spent part of a day over at Rebecca Fehr's. It was so good to fellowship and encourage each other in our busy Mommy roles.

Have to say... she's pretty much the cutest thing ever. I loved seeing her staring out the window, watching Papa on the tractor in the yard.
Avery was so good with Philip. He was the pair of guy hands that were needed with Josh across the ocean, and my Dad out in the field.

And boy - did my girls ever make some memories with their Great-Granny Cote! You name it, they did it. They tired her out just like my sisters and I used to, playing dress up, reading stories, painting nails... all that good stuff you do when you're a kid on vacation with your Granny.

The guys graciously hauled the trampoline across a good bit of the back yard so it could be closer to the house and allow the girls to jump on it more without needing an adult to be out watching them.

Great-Granny spent many hours playing on the floor with the little Philip-man too. That was really special to watch. Wow! God has just blessed me so much! And my Grandparents blessed my little ones each with a special present. The kids were thrilled! 

And lots of combine rides were had for the girls... they talked about it every day for at least a month before our trip. And they weren't disappointed. I didn't actually get a shot of Joy in the combine, but here's one of Hope, and a few of Philip's first John Deere experience. :o)

Curls. They come in many colours. :o) Joy and Pilar have a special friendship. So sweet to see.

Sorry Chloe, you can get on my case about this picture when you see it.
This was at her bridal shower in Foremost. The dear bride-to-be was subjected to a game of many questions about Reid. If she got the answer wrong, she had to stick a piece of bubblegum in her mouth. If she got the answer right, she was awarded a chocolate, which were collected in a separate spot, to be enjoyed after the bubblegum wore off. Let's just say, she got way more incorrect than I thought she would, but Chloe put on a good show, and had the room roaring with laughter at her epic expressions as she got questions right/wrong.

It was so very special to be there for her hometown bridal shower. Many of the same ladies who came to mine five years previous were there at hers too. And it was just so great to be together as sisters!

Nope. We did not plan our wardrobe ahead of time. That's the truth. We all just happened to be in black and white.
Chloe's mother-in-law-to-be, Bev, was able to make it down from Calgary for the shower.

This was another thing that was so special about our time at the farm - Grampi Cote fed Philip his oatmeal each morning (the wee chap still loves the stuff) while I fixed breakfast for myself and my girls. Once it was discovered that this experience was mutually enjoyed by all, it was a regular occurrence.

We have this one Winnie the Pooh book here at home that is bilingual. Hope asked me if I could read it to her "both ways." I told her I didn't know how to read French (at least not pronounce French...I sorta understand the general idea of what is written with my "cereal box French.") BUT - I told Hope, we were about to spend some time with Great-Grampi Cote, and he speaks French, so I told her to make sure and pack the book when we went to the farm so she could finally hear it "both ways." What a delight that was for both of them!!! I made Hope so content she fell right asleep on the couch afterwards, and no loud noise could wake her up!

The recently finished basement at the farm was a wonderful place to play!!!

We only did this once, and I gave myself a hard time about failing to do it more often after re-remembering how wonderful walks at sunset are on the prairie. However, we did tuck the kids in to the wagon/stroller and watched the sun set over the prairie one special evening. "Be still and know that I am God," comes to mind. It has such practical and vivid meaning out in the country.

I also got to attend Chloe's Lethbridge bridal shower, which Lydia and another friend put on for Chloe. Hope stayed behind at the farm that night, so I just had the two little ones with me. Joy-Belle soaked up every second of Auntie time, I tell ya!

The talented and beautiful sister-of the-groom, Leanne, was able to make it down from Calgary for that shower.
My sweet, hard-working sis! She did an amazing job on putting together that bridal shower, I tell ya!
Mom with her classy iPhone.
And Granny, with her, uh "classy" flowered pants! I just lover her spunk!
This was a game of "draw a bride while holding a paper plate on top of your head."

Some of the pictures needed explanation!
Besides her Daddy, her Auntie Chloe, Miss Pilar, her Papa's combine, and all her other Aunt's/Uncle's, the next favourite thing in Joy's world is red high-heels. Oh yes. You'd better believe it. :o) Good thing Auntie Lydia didn't really want to wear her red shoes that night anyways. :o) Joy kinda stole the show for a while, walking around in them.

And then it was time to take my little ones home again. We took off on a late night adventure, picking up Josh from the Calgary airport around 11:00 pm, on his return home from Ireland. :o) Sweet reunion!
 While there was still sunshine and a bit of warmth, we put our borrowed stroller to use, and went for a few walks at home before regurning it. See Joy?

Never let a fall in the sand stop you!
And she didn't!

Oh yeah - that's Uncle Andrew and Steve. They were up in Canada for work, awaiting us upon our arrival back from Foremost/Ireland. It's always a great time with those guys!