Wednesday, September 27, 2006


The lego bricks are once again pulled out, ready for creative constructions after many of the intricate and incredibly detailed buildings, castles, and many other artistry, had to become dismantled for our move out east.

If someone were to ask me what sort of creative play items to gather as their children grow older, I would tell them what has been successful here. We've collected items over the years in our home, which I would venture to say are still to this date, the best investment possible for all ages, even the adults fiddle with them. These have been; Duplo bricks, people and animals for younger children, Lego bricks and lego building palettes for older children which can also be used in conjunction with the duplo bricks, wooden blocks of varying sizes and shapes, playmobil historical figures, a set of dishes not too small for using with real drink/food, things to use outdoors such as sand toys, water toys for the bath and kitchen sink while mom's busy making dinner, puzzles and logic games/toys for building minds and books of course for fueling the imaginations.

With our selection of lego, duplo and wooden blocks however, these three seem to be the hottest among many, over the years, which we've accumulated through gift giving, garage sales and browsing thrift stores. Load up the lingerie bags and toss in the dishwasher to clean, but never leave them laying around to step on in the dark of night when wandering around the house!

My motto has always been; "You can never own too many of these on hand..." Our rubbermaid storage units are filled to the brim though as painstaking as it is for them to sit and sort the bricks by color or size, still in the end, they all get tossed about when serious imaginations are ebbing with budding architect lego artistry at work, for building yet another Lego artsy piece. Also, we haven't enough colors they tell me, and so these are still on "wish lists" for the future.

Inspired once again by this Lego site, copious amounts of time are being configured and slotted around schooling to configure moments for the creative juices overflow around here at present. Our youngest son became enamored with the creation of lego animals, many of them, whether or not we had the proper colored bricks, so below you'll have to understand they are what they are labelled as, just perhaps, not the most appropriate colorings.

On another note, take a look at this site to view a very immense lego church, built complete with amazing building, and even lego people sitting in the many pews inside. Click to view each picture thumbnail and be amazed at some people's imagination (and brick load supply!!!).





Many of the creations together with photo courtesy of our very own; Legoboy!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Blowing out candles...

An early morning greeting for you....

Though we were able to sing the birthday melody earlier this month while visiting out west, we also caught the glimpse of candles being blown out with a gentle puff, plates passed with the cake and ice cream offerings, and all feeling quite festive about your special occasion this year. Though able to be present for such a function, we also wanted you to know we were thinking of you tonight Dad, and desired to present you with a very early birthday greeting, waiting here for you to discover, in the wee hours of your natural morning wake up hours.

Sending you warm and loving hugs, best wishes and prayers this day. Have a great one!

Happy Birthday Dad!
We love you!

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count.

It's the life in your years.

~ Abraham Lincoln

Speaking of Autumn....


Autumn is that very lovely time of year when we begin to bunker down and settle in for winter. Yes, preserving canners are on stoves hot and bubbling, glass mason jars being ladeled with gifts of the season in kitchens everywhere; those might be near you or near me of course.

Our neighbor's pear trees are weighted down with ripe fruits having arrived at their peak season. We have three large buckets filled by a young eager picker here, when we were invited to partake of the harvest bounty.

Many small communities surrounding us are announcing their fall fair agendas, entire families participating in some form or another and eager for the special day. One poster announced its traditional pumpkin pie eating contest, which sure peaked up a few ears around here. Then, there's the horse shows being announced as well. Golly, guess what we'll be doing for the next few weekends around here?

I've been out gathering photos to participate in a photo contest locally, and have a few good shots I'm mulling over. Meanwhile, with autumn in mind of course, here's a picture taken from our back balcony by the previous owners, about this same time last year.

Our backyard as seen from the back balcony

Isn't it just gorgeous and literally breathtaking?

Aren't those colors remarkable?

As the colors continue to slowly unfold at this present time on the trees and shrubs everywhere, may we all invite autumn into our lives with the promise it carries for a gentler, possibly less harried lifestyle as we prepare for the shorter days ahead.

As the trees continue to change into subdued hues of the fall color palette, harvest on the horizon mounting up to its peak, the fields neighboring us are being prepared for a crop cash and sheering combine cutting any time soon.

And I'll leave you and end this writing with my personal "thoughts of autumn"....mostly to inspire you to seek out tender moments in your busy day to be thankful for your many blessings, those including family, friends and of course - health! Never take it for granted, for just like a carpet being yanked away from under your feet, some day it may not be as great as you once thought it was, or hoped for while passing through from season to season.

Thoughts of autumn...

- The grand return of a routine after summer's gift of relaxation.

- Having the beaches all to ourselves while out for a stroll.

- The grand return of calendar squares filling up, routined schedules, teaching school, cuddling with a good book by the fire, playing mommy taxi for kid's activities, and being ruled by deadlines.

- Opening up the windows on a fresh, crisp autumn morning like I did today, enjoying the cold breeze filling up the house, while everyone runs for warmer sweaters to endure mom's "airing out the house activity".

- Rising from a night's slumber to a cold crisp morning, and climbing out of bed shivering momentarily from cool tootsies.

- Airing out those winter blankets stored away during the warmer seasons, now necessary for evening's comfort.

- Tending to the furnace with a brand new filter, a servicing to ensure winter warmth, and that not so lovely smell the first season's heating permeates the home with.

- Taking a yearly visit to the apple orchard and the pumpkin farm.

- Watching dozens of squirrels scurry about, running here and there, taking flying leaps as they prepare eagerly for their big sleep ahead.

- Playing in the leaves falling on the ground, and then having to partake in some serious exercise to rake them all up when necessary.

- The return of big hot casseroles, hot homemade soups, and freshly baked crusty rolls filling the air with their heavenly scent.

- Catching the scent of a wood burning fireplace, or someone tending to a private burning in their backyard.

- Playing board games by the fire or taking out that big puzzle to make as a family on a table in the family room.

- Washing and preparing the bird feeders for winter. This week we enjoyed a wee visit with a black cap chickadee, a black junco, four northern cardinals at one time, two blue jays and one mourning dove. They all sang lovely tunes to us, giving thanks to us for their daily fare; as they cracked open the oiled sunflower seeds and bird goodies to eat.

- Sorting out of season clothing from drawers and closets, and ensuring the winter coats and boots still fit everyone.

- Taking down the stash of summer sun hats and replacing the basket with warm mitts, gloves and woolen hats.

- Repacking mandatory outing knapsacks and ensuring colder weather survival items are now packed inside, with a package of kleenex for the sniffles, a lip seal for chapped lips, and a water bottle always ready to fill up.

- Planting the bulbs, in our case, the bulbs mom removed from the soil in the front beds, now needing to be replanted to ensure a spring beautiful tulip burst of color for all to enjoy.

- Greeting the moon earlier and having the children allow it to guide us home from outdoor events.

- Stocking up the pantry, the barn, and the household goods. Necessary items to check out are those outdoor lighting bulbs, with the darker days soon to be upon us.

- Cleaning out eaves troughs, preparing for the rainy season.

- Standing next to the stove stirring up huge vats of fresh homemade applesauce, salsa, jams, or other delightful preserves after a visit to a farmer's stand or country fair.

- Celebrating great feast days ahead, many dear favorites with one being "Michealmas" next week and the excitement of the possibility of an All Saint's party here this year to dress up for.

- Collecting a few gourds to display fall harvest thoughts in a basket, or large sunflowers with a neighboring bird community in mind for chirpy visits at the feeders.

- Finding the perfect fall leaves for our nature notebooks, artsy creations, or pressing for future ideas.

- Gathering up a supply of nature's gifts. Today one son went on a walk in the back of the property in search of the "perfect" walking stick and had complete success finding one. We discovered we have chestnuts; one fell on the younger son's head as he lingered on the swing underneath.

- Thoughts of Thanksgiving are a given when seeing the harvest pull in the fields. Certainly we all have much to be thankful for. And we must not forget about those thoughts of turkey, pumpkin pie, brussel sprouts naturally attached to the season.

- A huge pot of homemade turkey soup simmering on the stove filling the air with a delightful scent.

- Thinking thoughts of Christmas, three months away from today exactly, and gathering gift ideas for things to make.

- Making oatmeal in the crock-pot again, placing it on low heat for the night and waking up to a no nonsense hot meal in a jiffy (like today and we were so pleased to have that meal upon us again!). Our porridge offers variety, depending on our mood. Today's had a drop of maple syrup to sweeten it, and a wee bit of milk for a creamy texture. Sometimes we add raisins, currants, coconut (Delicious!), nuts, applesauce, chopped apples or other fruits, leftover whipping cream, dry powder milk, a drop of honey, a flavorful drop of extract (root beer we figure is not recommended anymore though!) . How about a bit of ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick overnight? Apple pie spice ground blend is simply wonderful with those chopped apples, and truly the sky's the limit on this one.

- Fall cleaning creating a buzz of activity in the home, a noticeable detail when the windows begin to close. We will begin with vacuuming those dirty window screens first this year, though today the entire upper hard wood floors were dry mopped, vacuumed and wet mopped to a shine, with window sills wiped and buffed up, venetian blinds wiped down, and three bathroom floors accomplished as well. Once the sheets were all changed, the windows were flung open to greet the gutsy winds of the crisp blowing morning breezes outside.

- Getting a few more minutes of sleep while darkness takes its time to greet the morning, rather than have the summer sun lighting up the bedroom earlier than the alarm clock timing.

- Wearing socks again and trying to keep feet warm.

- Washing off outdoor furniture and packing it up for winter season to come.

- Hanging a different wreath up for fall, and decorating with other assorted autumn treasures outside.

- Smiling whenever the lawn cutting is once again accomplished (remember, it takes us almost four hours to do this duty!), knowing any time soon with the first frost, this weekly chore will be taking a sabbatical from our calendars until Springtime draws nearer.

- Ensuring time outdoors even if it can only be a twenty minute block of time, to bundle up on the back deck with a hot cup of tea, a brisk dash for the mail or daily newspaper thrown at the end of the driveway, or perhaps taking a quick and refreshing walk around the neighborhood and listening to the crunch, crackle, crunch sound of dry leaves under your feet while strolling over the colorful blanket of fallen colorful leaves from an overhead tree.

The Gleaners by Francois Millet

Friday, September 22, 2006

Knock, knock; Order is here

Organic food delivery service

Over the summer, we were lucky enough to encounter an organic produce/organic grocery delivery service here, completely by fluke, as I waved over the driver in his truck out doing his deliveries. It was the very thing I was missing from back home and certainly the freshness of the produce is something to behold.

Today when our order arrived, and while everyone stooped to unload the bins holding our produce, I thought a "harvest" picture, with thoughts of fall on the horizon, was in due order.

Yes sir!

We will have our wonderful "creamy leek and cauliflower" soup this week, fresh beans with fresh garlic slices on the Barbeque, my special garlicky ceasar salad, freshly squeezed carrot juice, mango and fruit smoothies, and all sorts of delicious, bountiful produce abilities with this new load apres vacation away.

Yummy yum!

Bunny Love

Floppy and Moppy

My how Floppy has grown!

Sweet fluffy little bunnies to love, many times a day the parade hoots and hollers towards the barn to play with the babies out there.

Bunny love...

I like my box house for now until I get a wooden one some day

Fall Leaves, Fall

The first official day of autumn is tomorrow, September 21st. Arriving home from our trip away, we noticed one of our trees was in an early autumn leave changing state, so pretty to view out the window. It's remains quite warm during the day here with some humidity lingering upon occasion, however it's beginning to be quite nippy in the evening and especially in the wee hours of the morning when hubby departs for work. We've been told to be prepared for breathtaking color changes here in the east, having four very specific seasons to enjoy here as well. As we rearrange the barn, the rakes will be placed out ready for use, and handy for what comes next....fall leaves, falling...

Fall Leaves, falling...

Fall leaves, fall; die, flowers, away:
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.

I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossoms where the rose should grow
I shall sing when night's decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

~ Emile Bronte

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thoughts on flying

Like great thinkers of the western world, I give you my thoughts on flying, my great thoughts, however silly....laugh.

There was a time not too long ago I was scared to bits to fly, a white rattled knuckler they called me. Well, hitting air pockets and dropping suddenly like on a huge roller coaster drop, the memory stayed with me for years. Not a seasoned flyer anyway, how was I supposed to lose this fear? I know, I know, all of our days have already been ordained for us, that I believe, though still it was difficult to just let go and enjoy the ride.

This past two years I've been privy to "enjoy" many flights, some smooth as can be, some bumpy and crazy. Gathering experiences makes one wise, or at least able to tolerate and control fears. With my experiences this past while, I discovered I don't enjoy to take off, but love to land, complete opposite to hubby's way of thinking. Once in/out of the lower clouds and the boom boom toss and limited view out the window, I'm fine. Two years ago I boarded a small propellered aircraft for a short flight from Vancouver to Kamloops on a Dash 8. It was the first time I had boarded an aircraft in over ten years. I was alone, heading up to a meeting event with some other women. As I entered the doorway, the flight attendant placed the wrath of fear in my heart as she announced; "It's VERY bumpy up there, you're in for a very rough ride today!". YIKES!!!

I prefer an aisle seat, quick and easy access in and out of the seat and the aircraft sights are then enhanced with more ability and less obstructive items for viewing my surroundings. I like to pray before taking off as we taxi down the runway, offering up myself for whatever is to be of the trip ahead.

And just when I'm happy to be on Terra ferma once more, eventually I get filled with wanderlust again to fly out somewhere geographically.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New arrival in the barn...

Our husky pup decided his collar was fair game, and slowly over a little bit of time, he bit through it, then tugged and played with it long enough, to shred it to bits, leaving the steel dog tags laying on the barn floor.

New harness in place, ready to have the evening walk

While out driving to an activity yesterday, I made the mistake (laugh) of visiting the pet supply store to purchase new (steel) collars for both pups, as well as harnesses to afford more comfort while out walking daily. That's what I browsed the store for, but with other children in tow, somehow a new vision came into their minds, and mom here was not only smitten, but gently coerced beyond the ability to deny the sense of the good and humble idea presented by them.

Of the children remaining in our home these days, three of them troddle out to the barn early each morning, afternoon and evening, to check their pets and tend to all their needs or chores in there. One of the children joins daily in the parade to the barn, though he has been disappointed about the territorial issues revolving around the animals, and that of not being given a fair chance to help out. Particularly he's mentioned several times, he doesn't have his own reason to venture out too, eager to greet the animals each new day, with the rest of the gang. His little hamster is fairly independant, sleeps all day long, and can't be walked or played with like a larger animal.
What can I say?

I smell something new in here...but I'm only a bird hunter

To the right side of the entry door of the pet supply store, a new litter of fluffy and oh so cute bunnies was on display. These were the mini lop bunnies, like the one we already have named "Floppy". They don't mind cold weather and only need protection from any cold wind, making them a perfect pet for the barn. Also, we've had a wonderful experience with our other gentle and cuddly bunny thus far, to the point where everyone marvels over just how sweet it is, even the original store owners when having its nails cut not long ago.

So, there they were, in their sweet baby bunny splendor, twinkly eyes mesmorizing the customers, certainly ready to have a new home await them all by whomever they could entice to have them. Everyone near the animal section stood over the large cage just oozing and gushing over them, mainly though a little black and white patch one had spellbound my children, such a sweet little thing of course. ("Mommy you just have to come and see this one!"), So sweet! I wasn't going to look. I knew what "could happen" if I did. But, I became weak, too weak. Pure mush!

Call it a truce I suppose. Our younger son could assist in its care, but had to be educated and must read up in the bunny manual, and for clarity purposes, it was going to be MINE, or the family's new animal if I agree, therefore no fighting over the "sweet" baby bunny dear. (sucker me)

Save me!

Another bunny?

"But mom! We already have everything we need for it, AND, we already do the work for one, so another is hardly an additional problem for us!"

Introducing our new arrival;

It's a Girl!

"Moppy bunny"

I came home with two new collars and two harnesses for the dogs. I also came home with a new bunny and cage. The cage had a ladder for the bunny to visit the upper flooring and a steel hay attachment for holding its timothy hay. Also on wheels, there we were, rolling out a new cage, a bunny in a box, and a bag of goodies for the dogs. Call me a sucker, but I couldn't think of one excuse NOT to say no this time around, mostly as the children really do all the work, the barn is large and suitable for another arrival to join the menagerie, AND, this does make educational science awareness. Not only are we pursuing earth sciences, but biology comes into play naturally as the evening clerk wasn't aware of what we just purchase, a female or male, leaving us to determine that once at home all snug in the barn later. No idea if we had a Bobby bunny or a Betsy bunny at that moment!

Checking out what we had - Boy or Girl?

Hubby was home when we arrived, and naturally as you might imagine, all the children so eloquently introduced him to the new addition (scurrying into the house to fetch him screaming at the top of their lungs), much to dad's surprise of course.

Someone else is so excited to meet this new baby

The mission of the moment was to create the new home for the wee bunny, tend to the chores of dinner for the animals, then walk the dogs. As the older children placed the new harnesses on and were preparing their pups for their evening walk, the husky was sensing something already, so while being led through the barn to the doorway, she noticed the new cage and spotted the bunny. She bolted in a different direction from where she was heading, and was immediately next to the new cage, excited with tail wagging in full speed, sniffing, placing her nose up against the cage with the bunny leaning against the cage steel wall, and try as our son wanted to, his dog not wanting to depart from it, almost scaring the bunny to bits. These bunnies are "dinner" for this kind of pup, though she's now used to "Floppy" and hardly sniffs or bothers him anymore. Perhaps it helps growing up together in the same surroundings, but the reaction of the new arrival sent her into orbit.

So sweet and fluffy

After an evening in her new home, Floppy was bounding crazy all over his cage wanting to meet this lovely gal. Today while out of his cage bouncing about on the barn floor play area, then out in the dog's pen when they were locked inside for a bit, both bunnies were getting familiar with one another on the floor, eyeball to eyeball. Did I say this was great biology? But, of course, when the younger daughter comes in announcing the boy really, really liked the girl because of a peculiar way he was reacting while around her. Apparently they danced the bunny dance, jumping over each other and happy as can be. Perhaps this was a mating thing....but then she said; "Mommy he just had to go to the bathroom is all.(??)"

Need I say more? No worries though, there won't be too many more moments together socializing, or we'll have a bunny population problem!

Floppy, please meet and be nice to baby Moppy

That's it!

As of today, all my shopping from this day forward will be done alone, or online! *snicker, snicker*

Monday, September 18, 2006

Spirit Bears In The City

Okay, maybe we’ve been out of the loop for plenty of months now, and admittedly we sure had great fun adventuring around areas of the city spotting "bears" all over (!) in various popular locations, people mingling around, likely as we were, wondering what the heck they were there for!

Once we were actually able to walk about and catch a glimpse at the information for their purpose on the plaques mounted in between their big burly feet, we began pointing them out, those “Spirit Bears in the city”, conversation fixtures all about town.

Of the 114 bears lovingly named, created and enhanced by local artists, these will all be placed up for a grand auction fundraiser (see below), with all proceeds deposited into the “Lion’s Children’s Charities”. This was exciting news to us, as we have a nephew and niece who have greatly benefited by the Easter Seal housings in both Vancouver and Edmonton!

This is hardly a paid endorsement, but as sightseeing people, it was most enjoyable seeing those bears we did, then we noted the online web address to view the rest.

All the information for the auction itself, the artists involved et al, is detailed and noted on this website HERE!

A photo index of all the bears are HERE!

In front of the hotel – Nazzy Bear!!!

We invite you to browse the site and perhaps get involved in this special cause for children. Here are more details below;

Spirit Bears in the City -


We are very excited to announce 'The Great Spirit Bear Auction & Gala'. Mark your calendars now for Tuesday, October 10th, 2006 and get ready to come to the greatest party of the year and raise your 'paws' to bid on some amazing Kermode Spirit Bears. This will be your chance to own one of these majestic pieces of artwork so truly unique to the British Columbia's northern forests.

The Great Spirit Bear Auction & Gala will take place at The Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina. Approximately 30 'Spirit Bears' from the Greater Vancouver and Whistler areas will be auctioned live by Barry Scott of Maynards Auctioneer House. The remainder of the Bears will be auctioned at other gala events across the province and online. Proceeds raised from the Vancouver auction will benefit the BC Lions Society's Easter Seal Services and the Canucks For Kids Fund.

We're giving you lots of time to gather together your colleagues, friends, and sponsored artist(s) and book your table for what is sure to be a sold-out event. Tickets may be purchased for:

Individual Tickets @ $150 each
Table (10) people @ $1500/table

How can I tell thee ?

How is it possible to share our great week’s “working vacation” out west within this blog, without first making mention of the excitement churning deep in our bellies in the weeks prior to our arrival. Once “the eagle landed” though, other emotions began to surface, sometimes an absolute sinking feeling, as we fell into a deep emotional abyss within the core of our souls, while spending our limited time with family and friends. The range of emotions were seemingly endless, the memories though, always grand!

Our week began with a full day of travel, reaching our destination in time for the curtain of darkness falling gently over us three hours after we were used to our usual sunset timing. The sun shone the whole way while soaring high above the clouds, so what could be more terrific, than having three extra hours to be thankful for it?

Having planned the trip around some particulars booked on our calendars to get back west for, details, gatherings, activities, must do lists, all mounted up to the point of having to type it out as a ready-refernce each and every day while there.

Our first day of travel began at 5am Eastern time, with a release of speed for a major flight delay in the air, while circling south around a major thunder storm. We almost missed our connecting flight boarding immediately, then realized our time departing was ridiculous with 32 aircrafts ahead of us in line, and 22 behind us waiting like we were. Amazing traffic jam really!

After arriving to our final destination, our driving began, then the lousy luck of finding out someone’s luggage next to ours had something explode in it, filling its scent into one of our suitcases with such a toxic smell, everything was almost ruined and needed immediate attention after arriving at our resting point for the evening. Unanticipated timing for a much longer evening occurred to air everything out, place the nasty smelling suitcase on the outside porch overnight, then hoping all would dissipate by early the next morning. Crashing the night at one of the older daughter’s home, once settled our sleep came easy. What was it, 2:00am our time? Not bad huh? Up for 21 hours? Yikes!

Admittedly, the first two mornings after our arrival, our eyeball sockets were beginning to feel the discomfort never experienced before. Amazingly, we somehow made it through a Sunday sermon the day after arriving and though our eastern time however had us all awake at a rather early hour on Pacific time; it felt as though our noon hour had crept in surely somewhere around 7am, therefore we sneaked away for a glorious cup of coffee (or hot chocolate), with a relaxing newspaper reading perusal, at the local Starbucks, thoroughly enjoyed by all. The sun was shining; the air crisp, and already we’d circled past the old neighborhood. It was already proving to be the beginning of a great week! Contentment filled our hearts as we anticipated many reunions ahead.

The week’s scheduling roared by, fast and furious, visits were sometimes all too short and sweet with our limited timing, however they remain very memorable, and so very precious to us. Our family and special friends were able to remain at the top of our super insane long list, and we’re all so very pleased to have had our time with all of you. To those we missed seeing, we send our heartfelt apologies, but please let me assure you; there was just no way to add anything else in the schedule this time around. But we have plans for you; just you wait until Canada post comes around very soon. *wink*

Highlights of our trip were many!

How can I ever list them all here?

I’ll just go ahead and try…

  • Seeing the old neighborhood and all the construction progress surrounding it
  • Overdue family times together with the older three and their families
  • Hugging with our adorable grandbabes when they finally warmed back up to us all again
  • Dinners with both sets of our parents, two separate occasions, in two different cities.
    • Meeting our daughter’s boyfriend and having a lovely breakfast with his family. Our daughter is the first girlfriend brought home, this was a new experience for his family, great people, such a fun time. Hubby even fit in having his “man to man” traditional talk with him too one evening, so surely this guy has had his initiation into our family now, from both father, and brothers...*wink*
  • Birthday cake and singing for my father’s 75th birthday, a milestone celebration we were happy to be there for.
  • Shopping at Costco and filling cupboards up. Kids thrilled to have simple breakfast on the run, things like Cherrios before flying in ziplock bags, and occasionally before moving out quickly for our day's events and activities. Poor kids, mom hardly buys Cheerios at home, so this was a real treat. Not sure who loved them more, kids or dad?
  • Snacking with my two best buddies, the two with whom I've shared many, many years of birthday celebrations with, our traditional "sister chicks" times together. We yearn for these occasions, simple but sometimes complex, whatever time we can steel away from our homes. It was a pleasure to be together, however short and sweet, the hugs were warm and always special. Thanks you two, love to you both!

  • Dinner with the older ones alone, the younger ones babysitting to make this all possible. Sushi never looked so very wonderful!

  • The grand “new tire” adventure, totally unexpected, but it had to fit in our scheduling

  • The difficult task of finding tire information and the man rescuing the damsel in distress by saving the day...
  • Shopping for shoes and getting the family discount from “M”
  • Dinner with fun and fabulous out of town guests at one of our big kid’s place.
  • Hanging around with “the boys”, the two dogs! Seeing another daughter finally able to remain near the silly pups.
  • Watching the kids play soccer with buddies in the front yard at a friend’s house, rose bushes a bit harried with ball smashings though.
  • Seeing two rolled up towels with our kid’s names noted on name tags sitting nicely on top
  • Seeing familiar faces at church on Sunday
  • Breakfast after mass where we were useless help and our eyeballs began to fall closed for a wee minute or five
  • Attending a late night baseball game and whistling at the home runs
  • Meeting “R’s” mommy and freezing on the stands with her (laugh)
  • Watching the younger ones cuddle with the grandbabes
  • Watching little baby begin to walk and spin in her walker
  • Taking pictures of kids at their work
  • Tasting those sweet “Cinnabons” again! Yummy yum!
  • Seeing our own “Winona Ryder’s” new haircut (snicker)
  • Taking pictures and videos for future sharing
  • Lunching with dear former neighbors, noting the old neighborhood, and missing the great people living there. Sorry we missed some of you on our visit!
  • Meeting however briefly with dearest friends for a meal or a snack on the run
  • Driving all over racking up miles and miles running kids around to babysit, visit or overnight with a relative or dear friend
  • Squeezing in hugs whenever possible
  • Sharing future plans together with family
  • Waiting four patient hours for dental appointments to be completed
  • Racing to many other assorted preplanned and important appointments, accomplishing much while doing so
  • Watching young and old kids run around playing ball, football, dog pile and definite wrestling movements
  • Watching the serious "Survivor Boathouse" DVD from last summer and watching our now famous son, host the episode to the grand finale winner - Larry!
  • Experiencing life in an apartment and the noisy neighbors having a party, disciplining children in odd ways below us while trying to have a quick shut eye, listening to sirens blaring all night long, hearing bus after bus zoom by, remembering this is the sound of the city we left behind, then the older kids remarked on yearning for quiet at times. *laugh*
  • Staying in various hotels in three different cities, one of them we'd never stay at again! *snicker*
  • Sightseeing fast and furious in downtown Vancouver and on the harbor. Admiring Stanley Park, noting the construction on the future site of the large convention center, watching the busyness surrounding the cruise ships docked on the pier at the Pan Pacific Hotel/World Trade Center, and sucking back the fresh sea air. Hubby likes to feel the salt on his lips, and that he did.
  • Experiencing that horrible traffic again, both to and from Vancouver and into the valley!
  • Smiling while passing various locations during our travels where fond memories stood out
  • Observing things people make at work when business is slow. How many elastics make up this ball?
  • Having our ice cream cone ritual taken care of at our favorite dairy on a rainy day, the ONLY rainy day!


All too soon, the time out west was complete – and over

It was time to depart just six days after arrival, with another full day of travel ahead of us.

Whoosh! Our time flew by!

There are no goodbyes, simply “Until we meet again” lines only.

Love to all, thanks to all, until we meet again!