Thursday, June 16, 2011

Me Amo Mexico

A few days from now, I'm going to lather on some sunscreen, grab a novel and an armful of snacks and park myself right here...

That's right folks.
On Saturday Erik and I get to leave the kids with Granny & Grandpa and fly to Cancun :)

It turned out to be a partially paid-for trip, in fact, since Erik won free accommodations back in April. I let him go on a Men's Frisbee Golf weekend on Pender Island. Erik wanted to go simply for the love of the game and he didn't realize until they were about to play the final round that the grand prize was actually a week in a time-share in Cancun. He silently prayed for the Lord to give him favour in his frisbee throws (grin) and he won!

The great part is that this comes just in time to celebrate our 10-year anniversary (which is actually on July 15th). We weren't expecting to do anything "special" this year since we knew we'd be buying a house, but God provided us with a great opportunity that we just couldn't pass up.

So... Mexico, aqui vamos!

Monday, June 13, 2011

We've Arrived

The three full days of driving are a bit of a blur, but here's what I do remember:

~ Driving through tunnels. These are always a big highlight for the kids and even warrant the pausing of any DVDs that might be playing.

~ Animal sightings. The most exciting was a black bear and her 2 cubs (which makes 3 years in a row of spotting a bear! ... For anyone who cares.)

~ Tallying up the money spent on gas. (I believe the grand total was close to $500... yikes.)

~ Most frequent phrases from the backseat. "I'm hungry" (most commonly heard about 5 minutes after the last snack was eaten). "Make a bottle... Home!" (heard by the young Mr. Siley-Bear who is sorely in need of intervention for his bottle addiction) and "When are we gonna be there?" (Most commonly answered by "In a little while!!")

But all in all, I can't really complain about the drive. In fact, I read an entire novel on the trip - which seems to indicate that I wasn't doling out snacks, switching DVDs and pacifying Silas the entire time.

We made our customary stop in Revelstoke where we feasted on McDonald's and released some pent-up energy at the park.

It was also the scene of our very first injury. Nothing a band-aid wouldn't fix though.
(I'm really praying that we don't come home with any broken bones or head lacerations this year.)

After a stop in Alberta with some old friends and a stop in Saskatchewan to see Erik's grandparents, we arrived at the farm, ready to settle in for another Manitoba summer.

Sunday morning pancakes - in lieu of Saturday morning pancakes.
(This classic Corelle pattern totally brings me back to my childhood... Anyone else??)

Erik is slightly concerned about Silas' shoe and purse fetish.
I happen to think it's pretty cute.
For now.

Yesterday (Sunday), Erik figured it was as good a time as any to finally take Micah's training wheels off.

Micah caught on quite quickly, There were a few scrapes and a few tears but we're trying to keep him positive and excited about this new-found skill.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

On The Road Again

It's that time of year again. The van and trailer are loaded up and we will be setting the alarm for somewhere in the 5 o'clok hour for tomorrow morning. In less than 24 hours we hope to be settling in with our friends in High River, AB and then the following night with Erik's grandparents in Saskatchewan. If all goes well, we should be in Boissevain by Saturday evening!

This past week brought last days of school for the kids, including a Vancouver Aquarium field trip for Micah. Unfortunately, he'll miss the last 3 weeks of Kindergarten, and Keziah will miss her preschool graduation next week. She'll also miss her spring ballet recital, but thankfully Erik and I were able to watch her dress rehearsal this past week and snag a video of another adorable little routine - which, of course, I couldn't resist sharing :)

(Unfortunately one or two of the other girls were having a tough time during the performance :P)

Time to hit the hay...
Manitoba - here we come!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

A Wedding Day

We went to a wedding yesterday.

It was a beautiful day.
Sunny. Warm. Bright.
And we watched as Auntie Rosanna and "Uncle" James were married.

The boys were dressed in their matching Sunday best.

And Keziah was all dolled up for this very special day.

The nieces and nephews were so excited. Evident in the way they crowded around to stare at Auntie Rosanna through the glass doors as if she was some breakable treasure :)

They got married in a lovely big Anglican church in Vancouver - big enough to seat their 500 or so guests.

And the dress?

Afterwards we headed outside, accompanied by church bells, to the sunny courtyard for some family pictures.

The littlest nieces all wore matching dresses - Keziah and Emerson included.

I couldn't stop taking pictures of our pretty little princess yesterday...

An amazing and rare shot of Grandpa & Grandma with the 5 grandkids!

An equally amazing shot of all the Toews kids with the wedding couple - they all did so well yesterday despite the disruption to their ordinary schedules.

We didn't have great success with our own family picture, but with 3 kids, we'll take what we can get.

The "Toews" sisters.

Then it was off to the reception in the Sherbrook Church parking lot. Elissa, among others, was responsible for some beautiful decorations.

Crayons and craft paper to keep the kids busy.

Here come the newly married couple!

This was a 5-point harness that was "gifted" to James to keep him from mingling too much with his guests and abandoning his bride :)

The reception was very kid-friendly, complete with sidewalk chalk to keep them entertained during the program.

And ice cream sandwiches for dessert :)

It was such a beautiful day - full of joy and the evidence of God's faithfulness.
Yet, there was sadness mixed in with the sweetness.
Because we still wish for what used to be...
We wish it was Nathan filling this role.

But for Rosanna... we couldn't be happier.

James & Rosanna, we're so SO happy for you and we look forward to walking this next season of life with the both of you!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Too Sick to Blog

I'm going on day seven of what has turned out to be one of the nastier cold/flus of my lifetime. Most of us here in the extended Toews household have been suffering to one degree or another and Keziah and I seem to have been hit the worst.
At any point in time the 2 of us can be found amidst a pile of used tissues, breathing heavily through our mouths and speaking with a nasal accent. It's quite lovely.

The worst part for me is that I haven't been able to smell or taste anything for 3 loooong days. Really, for someone who finds a lot of joy in eating, it is........ depressing.
But I've been trying to look on the bright side. I also can't smell any offensive odours (i.e. dirty diapers - which can also be a slight problem when a certain 2 year old is walking around in one for almost an hour before I notice) and when I'm hungry I try to fill myself up on really healthy things because there is no satisfaction in eating anything that actually tastes good. I'm thinking I could patent plugged olefactory receptors as a very effective weight-loss tool...

I'm just hoping we can make a full recovery for our big weekend wedding coming up! And shortly after that (as in one week from today-ish) we are leaving on our 2nd annual summer-long stay in Manitoba!
Wow - is it just me, or did this year go by super fast?