Monday, July 31, 2006

Vancouver Island

It was so fun being able to take a spontaneous vacation with my sister's family last week to the Island. Erik and I joined them from Wednesday to Friday and we were able to find camping spots near their hotels both nights. We spent Wednesday at Rathtrevor Beach near Parksville. When the tide goes out you literally have to walk about a mile to get to the water and even then, it's very shallow. The best part was that the water was incredibly warm - just like a tropical beach! It was fun when the tide started coming in and we slowly made our way back to our cars. Here's a few pictures of us enjoying the warm water.

On Thursday we drove to the other side of the Island to Pacific Rim National Park near Tofino. The weather was instantly cooler once we got to the open ocean and the fog kept us from seeing some of the scenery, but we enjoyed watching the big waves and playing in the nice sandy beaches. Here are some shots from Long Beach. Micah is LOVING having some cousins around to play with!

Here's a family shot taken at the Wikanninish Interpretative Centre. The sun finally came out in the afternoon but it didn't warm up quite enough to jump into that frigid ocean water!
Posted by Picasa Here are Micah and Kailyn posing beside a big truck tire - Micah's finally starting to "smile" for the camera!

Micah has already learned the names of all his vistors: "Bad" for Uncle Brad, "Co" for Auntie Nichole, "Yosh" for Josh & Kailyn (they are the same person apparently) and "Baby" for Noah. He LOVES having a baby around and showers Noah with kisses, but he will have to learn to be a little more gentle in the months to come or we might have some issues!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Good-bye Uncle Chris!

We were all sad to say good-bye to Erik's cousin Chris who had been living here for the past 2 months. Erik and I both had the chance to be at Bible School with Chris back in the day, but it was fun to reconnect with him after all of his travels and spend a bit more time together. Chris works for Samaritan's Purse and has done a lot of relief work in Africa over the past couple of years. He was planning to head to Nairobi at the end of summer but received a call a week or two ago asking him to head to Cyprus right away and help coordinate the relief effort for Lebanese refugees.
Chris will definitely be missed around here! Micah grew used to having him around even though he never did say "Chris" - sorry about that Chris, we'll keep working on him! We hope to get some good updates about your life in Cyprus and we STRONGLY encourage you to think about investing in a blog ;)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

To the Island on a Whim...

Brad & Nichole and the kids made it to Abbotsford yesterday and then headed off on the Tsawassen ferry this morning to the Island. Erik and I hadn't planned on joining them since we figured Erik would have to work, but it turns out he's got a few days off so we're going to leave tomorrow from Horseshoe Bay and meet them in Nanaimo. It should be fun! We'll all be back in Abbotsford by Friday and the Loewen's will still be here for another 5 days with us.
Hope you all have a great week!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Keeping Cool

We've had a heat wave since about the middle of last week and this weekend our main focus was cooling off! On Saturday morning, the Toews boys (including Cousin Chris) had a job chicken-catching in Aldergrove (yes, as in Napoleon Dynamite and no, these chickens did not have large talons). Elissa came over for the morning and joined Micah and I in the "cold tub" (the hot tub filled with cold water). It was a lot of fun, but when the boys came home at lunch we knew we needed to find someplace bigger to cool off :)

We ended up at Cultus Lake which was pretty packed, but great fun nonetheless. All of my memories of swimming at Cultus include freezing to death in the mountain lake, but the water was actually quite bearable and very refreshing! Micah was happy to find a beach full of rocks and spent the afternoon throwing them into the water.
Sleepy Micah at the beach.

On Sunday Erik and I decided to have a family day and go someplace new, so we packed up the car and headed into the States. We ended up at Deception Pass State Park (Whidby Island) in Washington. I think we only got to the beach around 4 pm - once we finally got out of the house and made the necessary stops at Target in Bellingham and Krispy Kreme in Burlington, the day was pretty much over. But, the sun was still blazing hot and the beach was a welcome sight. We had never been to Deception Pass before and didn't know where the nice spots were so we stopped at one of the first beaches we saw. It was PACKED! I could understand the appeal since there was a nice warm lake and then a thin strip of land separating the lake from the ocean. But there wasn't a great beach area and we kept trying to run after Micah, so after we cooled off in the lake we packed up and drove a little further. That's when we found North Beach - a long strip of nice sandy ocean beach that had less than half the people. The ocean was FREEZING and far to cold for Micah and I (though Erik braved the water twice!) but by that time the heat was starting to subside. Micah was completely content playing in the sand while Erik and I relaxed. The only challenge was changing Micah's dirty diaper on the beach and dealing with all that sand on his little naked body!

Our little family with the Deception Pass bridge in the background.

Now we're looking forward to having a visit from family. My sister Nichole and her husband Brad are coming from Winnipeg with their three kids, Kailyn, Josh & Noah. We're all looking forward to seeing them and I'm glad Micah will have a chance to get to know his cousins a little bit better.

Early Morning at Mill Lake

One of the luxuries of having my own car has been to expand our repertoire of places to go walking. My favourite is Mill Lake - a nice paved walking path all the way around a man-made lake in central Abbotsford with three different kid's parks. Usually it's a bustling place, but on Friday we went early to beat the heat and found things fairly quiet. I decided to capture some of God's creation on camera on such a beautiful morning.

Water lilies beside the bridge.

Mrs. duck (or as Micah would say: "kak, kak, kak..." )

A sea of lily pads.

And of course, the grand finale is always the park (a.k.a the "wheee!!")

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pool Party #2!

Last night we got to enjoy another (full-sized) pool for a church care group social event. This time we welcomed the cool water as the temp yesterday was about 30 degrees. Micah was a fan of the water but not of this life jacket! We kept it on long enough to take a picture and then let him swim free.

Micah enjoying the swing after a nice swim.

And I had to add these pictures from this morning. Micah is turning into quite the breakfast entertainer.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pool Party

Today Micah and I went to our play group for a pool party. We frequent two "Mom's" groups - this one for first-time moms and also another group of moms made up mostly from our new church care group. Today we drove out to a cattle farm in Aldergrove and enjoyed being on a big farmyard complete with a great swing-set, an inflatable pool and a pasture full of cows in the background...

It wasn't a very hot day today and the water was definitely chilly, so Micah was quite hesitant at first. He was content just to sit on the edge and splash his feet in the water. But when his friend Logan jumped right in and started having fun, Micah eventually joined in the party and stayed in the water for over an hour! He went under once and came up coughing, sputtering and crying, but he was ready to get back in a few minutes later!

Even Mommy braved the cold water. Here we are - Micah is as stoic as ever.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

5 Years

Yesterday (July 15), Erik & I celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe we've hit this milestone! Our wedding day doesn't seem that long ago...

Wow, everyone looks so young - especially Doug & Nathan!

To celebrate the occasion, we went into Vancouver (sans Micah) and enjoyed dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory (the same restaurant we went to in Banff the night we got engaged). Afterwards, we walked along the ocean in Stanley Park and got to watch a huge cruise ship leaving the harbour. We enjoyed exploring some beaches we hadn't really been to before. We live in such an amazing place and have seen so little of it so we were inspired to do more outings - with and without Micah!

Mmmm, what a great dinner - I must've been really hungry because I ate EVERYTHING - bread, salad, dinner and dessert... I'll just blame it on the baby :)

A little taste of home - and the province we were married in!

Enjoying a warm evening in Gastown after supper.

What a great day with you Erik! These last 5 years have been so full - a ton of great things and some not-so-great things, but all a part in leading us closer together in our journey of marriage. I'm so thankful for where we are at and the future is full of nothing but excitement! I hope we have MANY more years to come!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Baby's First Pictures!

Today I finally got the pictures from my ultrasound! I had the appointment over a month ago, but it wasn't until today that I finally got back into Langley to pick the pictures up.

Here is the first profile shot - not super clear, but you can kind of see the face and the hand.

This is definitely the best shot! The profile looks so detailed and you can even see the spinal cord. So, what do you think? Does that face look like it belongs to a boy or a girl?

This looks to be the back of the head. You can see the left ear as well as the left shoulder and arm coming over the head.

I think this is the top of the head with the one arm crossing over the face, but it's hard to tell.

Thanks Rosanna & Kirsten for accompanying me to Langley today :) We had a great afternoon that included Wendy's, Old Navy (75% off sale!!) and Costco. Check out Kirsten and Rosanna's blogs (just click on their names) for some fun pictures!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Beast

Yesterday Erik took the plunge and purchased this '90 GMC Suburban. It's huge! For those of you who don't know, Erik and a good friend in Abbotsford are planning to build a house in the next 6 months or so. Our friend is only interested in building one, but Erik would like to continue in this line of work and eventually become a residential contractor. Buying this truck was just one more step closer to making all the plans come together, so that's pretty exciting! The best part (for me) is that the Honda Civic is all mine! No more being stuck at home while Erik is at work. Micah and I can get out to the park or the grocery store whenever we want!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ode to my Digital Camera...

I'm so glad to have my camera back and I've been a little "camera-happy" over the last couple of days :)

Here is our car in various states of being re-painted... You gotta love Erik's "Vanna" poses :)

My burgeoning belly.

A photo for the next scrapbook - my pregnancy at 21 weeks.

A cool July evening. Can't you see the next Tiger Woods in the making?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Good News & Bad News

The good news is Erik and I got our camera back yesterday! What a pleasant surprise. I think it was only in the shop for 2 weeks. The problem was fixed plus they did some extra tuning-up - all for free thanks to the expensive warranty we bought 2 years ago with the camera! Thankfully I didn't suffer too much with my camera being gone - thanks to the pictures from other peoples' cameras. Ironically I still don't have any of my own pictures to post right now since Erik took the camera for the afternoon. We're getting our car re-painted and he wanted some good "before and after" shots. So, here is another pic from Chris' camera.

The bad news is our beloved Greg was cut from Canadian Idol last night :( We were shocked and heart-broken by the news! Even the judges told him after the show that they were shocked. They had pegged him to be in the top 3 so it's sad to see he didn't get enough votes to even make it to top 10! It's frustrating to see other competitors who are much less talented still sticking around just because they had someone who voted 100 more times than we did or something silly like that.
It confirms that Canadian Idol (or any of these shows) aren't really much about talent at all. If some kid from Nova Scotia has the whole province voting for him as opposed to Greg having the city of Abbotsford voting - who's going to win?
Sigh - I guess we'll just have to let this one go and hope for the best for Greg. Canadian Idol will not be the end of him!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Canada Day Weekend - Sunday Night & Erik's Birthday!!

On Sunday, July 2, Erik celebrated his 26th birthday!

We spent Sunday evening with the Toews family. After a yummy BBQ, the boys went across the street to play some ball (as per usual) while us girls stayed back and chatted.

Erik posing with my masterpiece :) - fruit pizza specially requested by him.

Canada Day Weekend - Saturday Night

Saturday night we left Micah at home with his Grandma while we ventured down to Rotary Stadium to watch the fireworks. It was a lot of fun. We enjoyed a McDonald's drive-thru treat after the festivities. Erik and I both agreed that it felt like we weren't parents for an evening. Here are some random pictures that were taken during the pre-fireworks show.

Canada Day Weekend - Friday Night

We had another fun-filled weekend. Friday night we hung out at Mill Lake with Erik's cousin, Chris and our friend, Lori (we all went to Bethany together back in the day). Chris went nuts taking pictures and I had a tough time choosing which ones I would blog...

Going for a stroll to see all the geese down at the water. There were tons of them!

The baby belly is definitely getting more prominent these days...

Daddy time.

Micah's adventures at the park.