Sunday, March 30, 2008

Easter was fun!!

Easter went off without a hitch, mostly because my sister-in-law and I had already decided the weater would suck and we'd have to have the event indoors AND because I forgot to actually count how many were coming until the day before giving me very little time to panic.

Would you like to know the number? 34!! YES you read the right!

Here are most of the kids ...
Easter Egg hunters
Braving the wind and rain in search of their sugar and chocolate. These kids are die hard candy freaks!!!
Just to make the day even more complicated and fun to navigate, my oldest had a soccer tourney! YUP. FUN!

The dads hid the candy so it was harder than usual to find.
Emilee hunts

We poo-pooed the usual turkey or ham and went for chili. You read our numbers right? It was a sheer logistics thing. Everyone brought a salad or buns or dessert and a feast was had by all.

We had cousins, brothers, aunts, grandmas, babies, preggos, teens (and preggo teens) and everyone else in between.

It was wonderful! Crazy but wonderful. I'm so glad we took that wall out!

Hey and check this out. I used to babysit this guy when he was a baby...

He just happens to be hubby's Cuz. How small a world do we live in?! And he'll be a father himself in May. This is a sure way to make oneself feel old. VERY OLD!

Oh and Amelia, my four year old, was again our intrepid photographer, just to explain some of the odd angles.

Dawn and Joel announced that they too will become parents this year! Congrats guys!
Joel, Dawn & diane

And it's not a celebration without the dogs. How did we go so long without dogs? We are officially "those weird dog people now". I promise not to show you my dog pictures when you whip out your baby pics though, I'm not quite that far gone!

Cousin Molly...
.... our and Bree, who rarely gets any personal space....
Maddy and Bree

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

I hope you are surrounded by love this weekend. We have been very busy but again, for good reasons, full of company and love. We've just said good bye to good friends who spent a quick but good two days with us. There's something about old friends isn't there?

... and I should be prepping the house for our second annual Friends/Family Easter bash, instead here I am.

...priorities and anything to avoid actual house work!

Here are some pictures from last year....

The kids getting ready for the big candy hunt and the adults roasting smokies on the bonfire in our front yard....

This year we're sticking to our non-traditional food theme and going with chili (we were cold last week when we were planning it).

Levi is playing in a soccer tourney this weekend too just to add to the fun and complicate the day tomorrow. I think we've managed the logistics but time will only tell!

What are your Easter plans? I would love to say we are attending our church's Easter pancake breakfast and service BUT it looks like, again, we will be celebrating quietly at home as a family. A calm before the company starts to pour in. Sometimes I find this quiet family time more refreshing to the spirit than a crowd at church but I'd still like to take part.
...maybe next year.

I took this picture last week. I was amazed that despite the cooler than normal weather the trees are budding. This one is in full bloom now.

This is a big weekend for those of us who proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Is this the "superbowl for Christians" as someone jokingly asked our pastor? I guess it is actually. Only much more than that! Without Jesus death and resurrection we would have no hope for a future, no forgiveness for our sins and no relationship with the Lord of heaven. There is much to celebrate this weekend. So we hold a big bash and include anyone who wants to join us but mostly family and friends. Some who share our faith and some who don't but all are welcome:)

I'm looking forward to it actually. Last year was a blast. The kids hunted for candy and the adults ate, drank and enjoyed each other. What's better than that?! We are truly blessed!

The daffodils are blooming now too. Just in time for Easter!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rain, rain go away....

I seem to start my posts out with a "long time no write" more often than not these days. It's partly because as we approach spring and the days become longer and rainier, they also seem to get fuller; full of things I love though which is good. We usually get more company as the days get longer. It's also because I am trying to make some sense of all the thoughts buzzing around in my head. It does help to write them down so here I am.

We are still involved in the school saga although we both (Kev and I) feel closer to an answer. We are always open to new ideas and directions though so we won't say we've decided for sure until he's actually sitting in a desk or at my kitchen table in September.
We went into our meeting with the principal feeling we would most likely register Levi as a home schooler with the school and only participate in their field trips etc. We left the meeting feeling we would most likely send him to school next year. This is a huge deal for us but it feels like an answer to prayer. The school is super flexible. The kids only attend 4 days a week and he wants our input into the kind of courses etc the Levi takes. We're pretty excited! Stay tuned...

Oh and I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement in all our questions and indecision surrounding Levi's school. I've been so touched by the personal emails some of you have sent me. I'm humbled by your vulnerability and it's really helped to know I'm not alone. Thanks!

In other news.... My mom and dad were here for a week. My little brother turned 33, now how did that happen I wonder?!

Here we all are after taking him out for a dinner meal. Happy birthday little bro!

It was wonderful as always. My mom and dad give so much time and energy to the kids it's amazing. My mom coloured and did crafts until I felt a bit crazy for her.

here are some play-doh people they made....

She also helped me clean my house which I can not say enough about. I'm in a bit of shock now that my kitchen no longer self cleans. It's a bit hard to get used to!

Here's my mom and my girls enjoying a tea and a dolphin show at the Vancouver Aquarium on Friday....

And my dad drove the boys around to Warhammar stores and skate board shops. YAY dad!

and here's dad, being his goofy self at the restaurant...

We finished the weekend off celebrating my oldest nephew turning 15. Happy Birthday Josh! We love you....

Monday, March 10, 2008

About the race and other things....

Thanks so much everyone for all your encouragement about our schooling choices. We are meeting with a small Christian School tomorrow and may register with them so that Levi can still participate in their field trips etc and some of their school events. We'll see how we feel after tomorrow. Stay tuned....

And about the race:
It was great! Honestly I was a bit worried as I really didn't enjoy the last one. I felt sick for days after it which I think now was partly a bug that was going around, but still. It kind of scared me. I was glad we'd preregistered for this series of trail runs because I'm not sure I would have raced the next one.

It was in our regular running spot but not our regular route (they made us loop twice over a nasty hill - meanies!) so we were all pretty comfortable with the course.

Angela finished first of course. I managed to stay with her for about half the race but she out paced me after a while.
Ange running
She's a tough one! I think her time was 53 something...we'll have to check the final times.
Ange finishing

Here comes the next one...ME!!! Check out the guy behind me. I did beat him!!;-)
Shay coming inShay racing

...with a time of 55 something (again VERY hard to remember when you're panting and sweating and gasping for air!)
Shay done

And following close behind me with a time of 58 something, was Moranda...

Moranda finishing

She had her whole family there to cheer her on, even the dog! But especially her hubby!
Getting an after race cuddle

We'd have more pictures of our largest cheering section to date: my girls, Moranda's hubby, my hubby, and both the dogs but of course, the camera died! Perfect.

But here we are....
Runner girls finished
the intrepid runners. This is the final race in the trail series and it was a fun positive note to end on.

Next we're running the Vancouver Sun Run. It should be a completely different experience as it's one of the largest 10 k's in Canada. The close down a good portion of downtown and people come from all over.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

We are still here!

I attended a weekend women's retreat on Friday and Saturday in Vancouver. It was encouraging inspiring and and bit of a kick in the pants quite frankly.

We're doing quite a bit of soul searching/praying about what to do with our kids schooling next year. (For those of you who don't know, we have always homeschooled our kids.) My oldest is going into grade 8 in September and I've been feeling slightly uninspired and was thinking maybe this would be the year to give up my responsibility, to hand to ball to someone else so to speak. My nephew has been attending and loving a small private school not far from our house. It seemed perfect for me. Not a huge school, a safe place to put our toes into the school pool so to speak.

We're still talking and praying about it but it's becoming more and more clear to me that taking the safe and easy route of sending him to school (keep in mind this is something for ME not a comment on anyone else's schooling choices!) would sort of work against our desires for him as a person and for us as a family. We want to encourage him in the areas he's showing proficiency in (computer programming) and have the flexibility to travel as a family.

It feels a bit like jumping off the cliff and hoping my parachute will open in time to me. I feel God challenging me to put my money where my mouth is and trust Him in this.

Stay tuned as I seem to change my mind daily but as of today we will be homeschooling next year but in a somewhat different way. So here goes...wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee........

Oh and if anyone knows of programming courses for kids. I'm on the hunt:)

In other news, my bff's and I are running another 10 K on Sunday but this one I feel completely unprepared for. I'm not sure why but I seem to struggle with balance in my life. If I feel sort of centered and settled spiritually than physically I'm struggling to find time to exercise and if I'm all fit and trim ... well you get the idea:) If I could only get it together all at the same time, imagine the damage I could do?!