Tuesday, June 30, 2009


We're back home in Abbotsford now. After some long days of driving, we finally pulled into our garage just before 3 am on Sunday morning. Now we're trying to get back into routine and going through vacation "de-tox"! We already had one adventure yesterday which landed Keziah in the ER for about 5 hours. She had a really bad fall on her head while her and Micah were playing in the house and actually passed out for a few seconds. Erik took her into emergency where they monitored her for the rest of the afternoon. She turned out to be fine, but it sure scared us!! Hopefully today can be a bit more of a normal day.

Anyway, there are still so many pictures to share from our trip, so I decided to devote this post to the cousins. My parents now have 12 grandkids in total and 11 of them were together on the Father's Day weekend. It was a crazy house!! The other kids are all quite used to these chaotic get-togethers, but Micah and Keziah seemed a little bewildered by all the activity. Several times I found Micah off playing on his own. It bothered me a bit at first - I wanted him to make the most of his time with all of his cousins - but I had to remember that he doesn't really know these kids. Plus, if he's anything like me, he probably needs to retreat from the crowd when it gets too overwhelming.

I was surprised at how much my nieces and nephews have grown up. The last time I saw them all was over a year ago. Erik hadn't seen them in over 2 years.

Maddy (9) is the oldest:

Kailyn (also 9) is next. These older girls loved holding baby Silas :)

Josh & Aidan are both 7:

Olivia will be 7 in a few weeks:

Cassidy is 5:

Micah comes next and then Liam, who just turned 4:

Noah (3) is the next cousin and the only one we weren't able to see. Keziah is number 10, and then the 11th cousin is Judah (20 months):

(And, Silas, of course makes 12! )

It was so great to re-connect with all of these kids and get to know them a little bit better.

Keziah taught everyone how to drink from the slip-n-slide:

Smush-mallow roasting:

Aidan & Josh getting creative with Granny's craft supplies:

Micah, Josh and Aidan at the train museum in Boissevain:

Uncle Erik playing some baseball with the boys on the lawn:

Cassidy getting in some Silas time:

On Father's Day the older cousins had planned out a carnival complete with a fishing game, ball toss and even babysitting :) Very creative! They spent all day Saturday planning it out and creating little games and prizes. The 5 of us missed most of the carnival since we were busy getting family pictures taken by my sister before the church service (which was a bit of an adventure in itself!) Later in the day the kids had a "balloon release", except the balloons didn't really fly away like we all thought they would, so it turned into more of a balloon popping party...

And here are 11 of the 12 kids with Granny & Grandpa on Father's Day:

I already miss all the kids and I'm so glad that Micah and Keziah are starting to put faces to all of those names!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Manitoba Goodness

We finally arrived at my parents house last Wednesday after another hot day of driving. The last hour was the longest and Micah especially was getting restless. He kept yelling, "Stop the van!!"

But we made it! My mom had just come home from a few days in Winnipeg on the same day and had brought our nephew Liam home with her. The next morning the three kids helped Granny water her thirsty flowers:

Later while Keziah napped, we put some water on the trampoline for the boys. Liam is just 5 months younger than Micah and they had a lot of fun together.


Keziah loved the little ride-on tractor:

That evening we headed to my parents' cabin at Lake Metigoshe along with my brother Joel and his 3 kids (more pictures of them to come). We had hoped to take a ride on Grandpa's new pontoon boat, but it was a rainy evening with some lightning and thunder, so we stayed close to the cabin. We still had fun having a BBQ and "mush-mallow" roast :)

Stay tuned, more pictures to come!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day Off in Saskatchewan

At the end of our second day of driving, we arrived in Herbert, Saskatchewan to stay with Erik's Grandpa & Grandma Wiebe. We hadn't seen them since Micah was about 5 months old, so they were eager to see him again, as well as to meet Keziah and Silas. We decided to take a break from driving and spend 2 nights with them before we headed on to Manitoba.

Micah was up bright and early the next morning and surprised us by heading upstairs by himself to hang out with his Great-Grandma. When I came up I found her painstakingly setting up rows of dominos for Micah to knock down:

Erik's Grandpa is quite elderly and requires full-time care from Grandma. But even though he is fairly immobile and doesn't speak much, we could still see the sparkle in his eyes as he watched the kids play and as I showed him some recent pictures. He even surprised Keziah a couple of times by reaching out quickly to try and catch her as she ran past his chair :)

Breakfast time!

It was another beautiful (hot) day. The kids had lots of fun playing outside:

Silas enjoyed a day's break from his car seat and he gave his Great-Grandma some big smiles.

Micah got to talk with his Grandma Toews on the phone and let her know how much fun he was having.

Watering Great-Grandma's flowers:

Keziah enjoying Great-Grandpa's special bath-tub chair:

After our break in Herbert, it was back on the road to Manitoba. I snapped these shots as I fed Silas somewhere on the side of the road in Saskatchewan.

We love the prairies!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Photo Shoot

On Sunday morning my sister Erin did a photo shoot of the 5 of us here on the farm. The shoot itself was a bit of a gong show with the kids, but she still managed to get some great shots. She's already posted a few of them on her photo blog and you can click HERE to see them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Road Trip Days 1 & 2: Good-bye BC, Hello Alberta!

My camera is quickly filling up with pictures from our road trip and our vacation is only half done! I figured I would get started with putting some pictures on the blog before it became an overwhelming task...

Just over a week ago we packed up the van and left Abbotsford for our road trip to Manitoba. We expected to make a lot of stops for going potty and feeding Silas, and we did. But we had a pretty smooth system going after awhile: while I fed Silas in the van, Erik would take the kids to the bathroom and find somewhere to run around for 15 minutes. We made them go pee at every stop and we really restricted their liquids which helped!

Stopping at a park in Revelstoke:

Silas is young enough still that he slept for a lot of the trip and he really only had a few meltdowns (usually when he was hungry or trying to settle down to sleep). We had expected the worst and we were very pleasantly surprised at how smoothly everything went! I was especially worried about Keziah, but she did really well - though she discovered quite quickly that we would stop the van any time she said, "I has ta go pee re-wee bad!" She didn't fool us for long though!

Meeting some horses at Roger's Pass:

Our traveling days were all very warm - in fact we have had hot days this entire week so far. Thank goodness for A/C in the van!!

We spotted this bear somewhere around Lake Louise - by the time I got my camera out he was heading back into the trees, but I still had to post this as proof!

We spent the first night in Canmore. I got a really great deal booking through expedia.ca and we ended up with a big 2 bedroom chalet. And we got to enjoy the hot tub over-looking the mountains. Even though we see mountains every day in BC, they are just so BIG in Canmore! Beautiful.

Day 2 started a little rough when I pinched 3 of Keziah's fingers in the bathroom door (ouch!) but thankfully it wasn't as bad as her screams indicated and we packed up to head to Cochrane to see some friends for brunch.

We got to spend a couple of hours with Craig & Janelle and their 2 kids (and another due anytime!) We hadn't seen them since our camping trip to Radium last year and it was good for us and the kids to re-connect even if it was brief!

Keziah kept shoving her fingers up her nose while we were trying to take pictures, so we decided to just go with it and tell all the kids to pick their noses!

Then it was back in the car... Slurpees, DVDs and Scooby-Doo!

Mirror view...

Erik actually drove the ENTIRE way. This worked out best for both of us - I was the snack-provider, DVD-operater and baby-calmer while Erik just kept us going!

Beautiful Alberta skies.

Silas sure spent a lot of time in his car seat but didn't seem to mind too much. This was our last stop on Day 2 in Medicine Hat (SOOO hot there!)

Next stop: Herbert, Saskatchewan!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Call Us Crazy...

We're about to embark on a road trip of epic proportions - Abbotsford, BC to Boissevain, MB. It's not the first time we've made the trek, but it's the first time we've done it with three kids.

We alternate between excitement and dread.

I've explained to the kids that we're going to be sitting in the car for a long, long, LOOOONG time. Keziah has promised me she won't cry in her carseat.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Keziah doesn't exactly have the best track record for traveling. I can't help but recall last summer's road trip to Radium (which sounds like a leisurely drive across town compared to what we're about to do) and how much crying/whining we endured from her along the way. I'm praying that things will be different this time.

I'm sure Silas will get sick of endless hours in his car seat as well, but I expect he'll still sleep for much of the way. We're not in a rush to get to our destination and we'll have to stop frequently for feeding, potty breaks, etc. So, hopefully there will be enough distraction for everyone!

I'm looking forward to seeing my family (hopefully Nichole & Noah will make it back from Toronto before we have to come home!). I don't think we've been to my parents' farm in the summer since Micah was a baby. And Erik hasn't been back in Manitoba at all since Keziah was a newborn.

Going home to visit is sometimes a little overwhelming as there are so many friends and family to see in such a short time - but hopefully we'll be able to get in some good people-time as well as relaxation-time! And we'll try really hard to bring this nice summer weather back to Manitoba with us!!

And hopefully sleeping arrangements will work out OK on our trip- we've been having a bit of trouble with bedtime lately and Keziah often ends up passed out by her door.

Does anyone have any travel tips for us? We're going to bring a portable DVD player, lots of snacks and we've even been recommended to try kid's gravol :) But we're open to more suggestions!