Saturday, June 26, 2010

Road Trip 2010

After scrambling like crazy to get everything done that we needed to (and I do mean scrambling!) we were able to leave on schedule last Wednesday from Abbotsford. The van and trailer were loaded up and we started off!

I spent quite a bit of the trip sitting in the back between the boys - it was surprisingly comfortable and SO handy when Silas was fussy/hungry/thirsty.

Playing at the park in Revelstoke - a road trip tradition.
(Click here to see a similar shot from last year.)

Silas' meeting with an oreo cookie...

Our first day of driving was the longest and we pulled in quite late to our friends house in Cochrane, AB. We spent the night and the next morning with Craig & Janelle's family of 5 that is pretty much a mirror image of ours (boy, girl, boy - all around the same age as ours).

Micah & Nathan:

Keziah & India:

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a picture of Silas and his little friend, Jax :(

Our 2nd day of travel was C-O-L-D. Last year southern Alberta was the hot spot on our trip. This time it was as cool as 6 degrees and windy and rainy all day. Erik and I agreed that, with the wind, it felt colder than winter in BC. Brrr. So, because of the nasty weather, our stops that day were very brief. We were almost to the 7 hour point of our day when I realized that we hadn't taken Silas out of his car seat once! And he was so content - I figured we'd better just let him be :)

Apparently we passed through the AB/SK border just hours before the rain washed out that section of the Trans-Canada. Crazy! And we made it to Herbert in time for a late supper at Erik's grandparents' house.

We stayed 2 nights in Herbert and spent part of our "day off" exploring Erik's grandparents' old farmyard near Hodgeville, SK.

The farm house.

Old siding (I thought it looked kinda neat :)

Micah took this one:

Erik was feeling nostalgic:

Water pump in the barn:

One of our "finds". We considered taking it with us but, in the end, decided to leave it.

As we climbed into the van the last morning in Herbert, we got our first taste of the prairie mosquitos. A few of them managed to find their way into our van as we left - causing a panic attack by the older 2 kids. At this point we figured we'd better prepare them for the bugs that would be waiting for us in Manitoba...

All in all, travel went amazingly well! Now that we've got some experience with driving across the country we've come up with a good list of helpful hints for road-tripping with kids:
- be sure to pack lots of snacks, lots of movies, and lots of wet-wipes (having several packages of wet-wipes strategically placed around the van is even better!)
- make the kids try to go to the bathroom EVERY time you stop (even if they say they don't have to)
- if there is a baby/toddler who needs entertaining/feeding along the way, and you have an extra seat in the back... use it!
- and if you have to stay up in the front seat, put kids snacks into little zip-loc bags that can be tossed back to them (I promise, your aim will improve with time and practice!)

Stay tuned for the "Summer in Manitoba" edition of my blog. I hope to blog a little bit more frequently now that we're settled in :)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Summer Plans

Life continues to move at a startling pace. Is it really June already?

Maybe it just hasn't felt like June because it's been raining here for about a month. I'm ready for some summer!

And speaking of summer, it has come to my attention that I neglected to mention the fact that we are spending the entire summer in Manitoba with my family. I was SO sure that I had mentioned it in this post, but apparently I didn't! So, yes - for those of you who don't know - we're leaving next week to spend the rest of June and all of July & August on my parents' farm. Erik is going to be doing some renovations on my parents' cabin as well as some other random jobs (we've been assured that there will not be any lack of work for him!). And the kids and I will enjoy the wide open space of a HUGE yard and a wide open schedule to connect with family and friends.

After last year's trip, we knew we wanted to make another road-trip through the prairies this summer. At Christmas, my parents started talking about us coming for an extended time so Erik could do some work there. And eventually it has evolved into us spending our entire summer there. We thought originally that we might sell our house before the summer so we could avoid mortgage payments on a house that we're not using! But selling just isn't feasible right now (a couple of mortgage payments are way cheaper than those realtor fees!) so we found ourselves wishing we would've planned ahead to find some renters.

But, apparently God can work with last-minute time frames :)

We made a connection last week with a fantastic missionary family who needs a place to rent until sometime in August when they leave on their next term. Um, could it have worked out any more perfectly??

So, now we're trying to tie up all sorts of loose ends here. Plus, we have to make our house "live-able" for another family, which means packing some things away and creating a bit of space in closets and cabinets for their things. It feels good, though, to know that our house won't be sitting empty.

Anyway, besides that, I have pictures to post! It's been much too long...

The days that the sun has happened to peek through those persistent clouds, we have maximized it! Keziah was enjoying her lunch outdoors the other day:

Silas is a professional crawler and I don't believe he aspires to do anything else at this point (i.e. standing up on 2 feet and walking). I've never had a crawler in the summer before and I'm being introduced to the dirty hands and calloused knees that come with this combination.

I'm not sure what elicited this look from Micah, but it is definitely consistent with his personality :)

Fun times with Daddy!

I dressed the boys in matching shirts for the first time a couple of weeks ago :)

We hung a swing in the garage last week for Silas to enjoy (for lack of a better place to hang it!). Swings are his absolute favourite thing these days and he will squeal and screech even if we just drive past the park! It's been great to have a place to stick him when the kids are riding their bikes outside or Erik is working. As you can see, it's also handy for getting baby boys to sleep when nothing else seems to be working...

This is Silas's special blankie. It was a baby gift for Micah several years ago and I brought it out of storage for Silas. It has quickly become his favourite. I bought him a different one in hopes that we could make a transition (since the current one is already thread-bare and see-through!), but I'm afraid the old, thin blanket still holds the key to his heart :)