Saturday, July 18, 2009

My summer baby.

I've had a baby in every season but our first born. Our son was born in the hottest middlest swealteringest (I know, but I like to just make stuff up) Okanagan summer. July 14, 1995.
I was sure there had never been a better, cuter, boyisher baby ever born! Man we adored him! I think we just couldn't believe he was ours. I mean would you trust these two kids with this baby? I'm not sure I would! It's still amazing to me the faith God shows in us when he entrusts these precious vulnerable people to us!

It's been a joy so far to raise Levi Peter Jay, to watch him become a man. We're so excited to see what God has for him next week, next month, next year! He's fun and smart, a good friend and brother (and he's kind of annoying but comes by that honestly too).
Happy Fourteenth Birthday oldest son of ours! It's been a joy to watch you go from this....

to this....

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dance-o-rama day....

It's here. It's here! The much anticipated, much practised for , many dollars spent in anticipation of Year End Dance Recital. And yes I do believe these words deserve both italics and capitols. This is A BIG Deal in our teeny tiny world folks! I can't wait! The kids are very excited. I'm going to cry, I just know it!
My boy, my creative, wonderful second born son, has a major role in the ballet. This is pretty amazing to me as he just started. Last year he sat in the audience and thought, "yah, maybe I'd like to try that."

Here are Isaac and Olivia, so excited to get a SYTYCD dude's autograph at the last competition....

Amelia, (youngest and still in the Rec program which = less time and money, thank goodness for small mercies) is a "gangsta bunny" - her words. I have no idea what this is but I'm excited to find out. I'm pretty sure it's a lot of standing around on stage staring into the lights because that's pretty much what 5 year olds do on stage for the first time. She's also in a ballet class which means a crazy mad dash costume change for her. Next year it's only one class for my dance crazy youngest!

Here she is at the park while we wait for her bro. and cousin to finish their dance class....

Please anyone reading this, hold me too this!
And Madeline? My beautiful Maddy. She is a different kid this year, happy, confident and looks like a dancer. I cannot wait to see her ballet piece. They dance to The Colours of the Wind this year and just watching the practice made all the moms tear up. It's a lovely lovely dance. (and yes, we recognize we are very bias - it's our job!)

Here's a bunch of them at the last competition. She's the first girl on the right....

So what would normal moms do before this huge day. Should I get a couple extra hours sleep? get the dinner ready? How about stress about all the things there are to do?
I went for an 18.5 km run!!!! YAY. I can run again. The injury seems to have healed and although I'm feeling a tad stiff and will probablly not walk normally tommorow, I FEEL GREAT!!! You have no idea how happy this makes me.

Oh and I got to look after Kev's cousin's little man this week. She owns the dance studio and needed a hand. We were more than happy to hang out with him.
How cute is he?! I WANT one!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another Beautiful Day and other things....

I'm sitting here quietly thinking about how thankful I am for this life I lead, not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but still pretty wonderful.
I'm listening to my girls in the shower, instructing each other on the fine art of conditioning your hair while singing random song lyrics...opps someone just got soap in her eye....

...aaaaaaand I'm back. they have a way of resolving things for themselves before I can even get there to help them!

I got up fairly early this morning (not living on a farm early, but early enough) and Isaac surprised me by being awake as well. He was so hungry he couldn't sleep so I fried him up an egg before I headed to the pool and he informed me that this was his favourite time of day to do his math. He's not awake yet you see, and it's over before he's even aware it started. Youngest Son is VERY good at math. I need all my faculties about me to tackle even the most basic of tasks in the math world.

By the time I got home, he was in my bed fast asleep...still is actually. The beauty of homeschooling!

Hey take a peek into a random ordinary day at the Speilschool house.....
The kids found my rag bag and asked if they could sew.

Notice my poor sad inadequate machine in the background? Well it gave up the ghost this day so...I need to get a decent one! Silly thing!
Hey. See if you can guess where we're spending our vacation money this year???
If you guessed in Isaac's mouth, you'd be close but we're also dedicating a bit to this child (we wouldn't want to be unfair at all!)

This one is up next if she doesn't quit with the nighttime thumb sucking....(sigh)
I really could be worse though right?! And look how happy they are as they cut things up into ity bity bits :)

And if you're thinking, but doesn't she have 4 kids? Why don't we ever see the oldest one? I do actually. Thanks for asking. It's because he's going to school this year for the first time. He loves it! Or tolerates it as much as can be expected (he is an almost 14 year old boy so...)
...Oh look, I found one. Here he is about a month ago heading off to Vancouver Island on a ball hockey tourney. He really does have a great life too!

It can be about my perspective on things. I could look around the house today and notice the dirty floor and the stacks of unfolded, clean laundry and think about the supper that needs to go into the crockpot and the shopping that needs to be done and feel overwhelmed OR...
I could hear the joy in my girl's voices and they sing and play, and the peace that surrounds our home as we learn to just rest in His promise that He never gives us more than we can handle. This is the life I'm privileged to lead. I'll try to remember that as I stand in the checkout line at Superstore explaining to my girls why I will NOT be buying them gum today.

" Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world girves. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14.:27)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

more than a month this time...

I go at this so erratically I'm not sure if any of you are still hanging in there. If you still check to see if I'm alive, thanks! I am. Life is...well it's good actually. In fact here's an updated "Speil-photo". In our defence we were in play clothes....

I'm sure you're alive and not living in a deep dark cave so you know there's a recession going on but despite all this, we're good.
God is using this time to teach me something I was not willing or able to learn at any other time. Bad times can in fact lead to good things. That was the Big Revelation from our bible study a few weeks back.

Hard does not equal bad.

Here's one you won't see too often on a bookmark or coffee cup. It's true of everything worth doing. I'm finding this even in my running!

7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Heb 12:7-11

Hmmmmm....I would say that we've all had it so easy and good for so long we've come to take our lives for granted. (I'm speaking to North Americans here. Those people living in the third world who've been paying for our excess, I'm deeply sorry.)
I have to let you know that we in fact are not going bankrupt or making any crazy changes to our lives (well I am growing a garden and for those of you who knew the old me - it's crazy). My hubby owns and operates his own company. It's small but we do have a couple of guys that work for us whose families depend on our company for their income. That is some serious responsibility!

I'm finally after years of my spreadsheet loving husband lovingly emailing them to me, following the budget! AND I'm growing a garden. Guess what? I LOVE IT!
It's truly amazing and I can take no credit. Kev and the boys built it all for me, put the dirt into it and surrounded my raised beds with (hopefully) slug killing rocks. I just put the seeds and tiny plants into it's waiting beds. It's an addiction!

Obviously I didn't line these up perfectly but hopefully you can get the idea of what the view from my deck is...

And I'm growing herbs in boxes hanging from my deck again. I'm so excited about this!
I do have some pretty things growing too but it's all about the food this year.

Speaking of addictions, I'm still running. Or I was running. Today was my first day back after a bout or siatica that chased me to the pool to do this:
Deep water running

(Only without the funky shoes. And I got the pic at this cool blog.)
....With these guys, well not these specific folks but you get my drift....

It's been good for me actually. I was freaking out because I had to drop bootcamp and running and go exclusively for the deep water running. I read some articles that said it would keep me in running shape but I wasn't exactly sure. It seems to have!
I've signed up to do another half marathon in the fall which should be fun. We start training for it in July. I'm in the process of changing up my work out schedule. This is all very exciting for me but not so much for anyone else. I'm going to write more about it though cuz ... hey, this is my blog.

I'm off to check on the kidlets. My niece just turned 10 and they have been enjoying an afternoon of uninterrupted play.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I've meant to sit down so many times but how to write of all the fun, craziness and well craziness that is our life? Do I go back and try to fill in the blanks?

No. I don't think I will. There's really no way I can.

I'll just pick up from today, or from this weekend anyway.

We're just heading out of a busy Easter weekend. Normally I host a candy hunt/dinner for Kevin's family but this year I wanted to include some friends as well. That's when the madness really began.....
Each time I heard that someone didn't have a place to go on Easter...I invited them! And then it rained and rained and rained. We had 24 kids for our Candy Hunt and it was rain forest type rain.... I can't even describe it. Here are the pictures:

Kev and Terry waited as long as they could to hide everything and still the rain did NOT let up!..and no, I have no idea why my husband felt he should dress like that or make that face. I also don't know why Terry even bothered with that umbrella!

So out they went....

and what goes out, must come back in.....this is my entry way after the hunt!

and this is my very wet nephew, who will officially do anything for candy...

and the play room, full of kids and people...

Now let move upstairs shall we? We fed everyone Chili because, what would you feed 50 people at Easter?
The living room view:

at the table:

and in the kitchen...

We had a wonderful time! I think that's pretty much capacity for our house but what a blessing to be able to have so many great friends and family over to celebrate the resurrection
of our Lord!
Happy (late) Easter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Enjoying the winter....

*****warning. Post is super heavy on the picture content******

We took last year off so this year the kids are back on the slopes. Excitement!!

Especially from our first time skier. She loved it. I spent that whole first day, after her one hour lesson (aka: my coffee break), running up and down the bunny hill. She's get to the top of the toe lift and fall down or get half way up and fall down. It was a good day of hill training for me. Ha. And warm! We all had our shirt sleeves on. Amazing!

Jan 16th all suited up and ready to start....

The next time we went (Jan 23rd) she barely even needed a hand! Which is kind of nice because it was considerably colder! She still wanted me out there with her though;) No sitting in the lodge with a book and a coffee for me!

...and these two remembered like they'd never taken a year break from the slopes....Maddy and Emilee took a lesson that first day...

and hopped right onto the chair the next Friday...

Isaac decided he's done with skiing forever. One day of boarding and "that was the best day ever! When can we go again?!" was all I heard.

Isaac and Wylan on day 1

Isaac and Wylan on Friday #2:

It was so amazingly warm that first Friday, Grandma and Auntie Randa could sit outside on the deck in the lodge, watch, tan and chat. VERY NICE!

Levi and Amelia after their second Friday of mount Baker. This is my fav photo because, check out the poor guy in the background!!!!

Amelia needs to be in every shot. Here she is with biggest cousin Josh after a long hard day of boarding for him....

We even brought friends. Dom and Danny came both days...

Dom's brother Clayton came the second Friday (and Grandma didn't boo hoo)
Here is is goofing with Emilee after their last run!

And here's what the madness looks like inside the lodge. We are able to bring our own food and use their hot water at the ski hill so it really cuts down on the cost. Can you imagine buying food for all these hungry hyenas?!?!? No? Me either! We'd only be able to go once rather than every Friday until the season is over. (yes. We know they have a very nice life!)

And my nephews enjoying their post-snowboard snack....

Here's what my sister-in-law got to do while I was hoofing it up and down the bunny hill

Gives me hope I tell you! :)

If you made it this far in my post, thanks! You must be related to us! We are truley blessed to be able to do this for our kids and to have such a wonderful affordable ski hill accross the boarder from us.