Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kevin's Farewell

I'm including some pictures I took about a week ago when we went to Salmon Arm for Kevin Smith's farewell. He is heading out for his mission to Minneapolis, Minnesota in October and he is so excited!! Melodie is excited for him too but at the same time it will be pretty tough on her, she will miss him so much. They really are best friends! While he is on his mission they can write to each other but there will be no visiting and no talking on the phone for 2 years! So it will be interesting to see if this friendship/love will pass the test of time...... knowing the two of them, I don't really have any doubts but it's kind of funny how many people ask: "Will she wait for him?"
I don't know about these two, I think it's a man thing!!!
Melodie will need Vanessa, Danielle and Rebecca more in the months to come! Thank goodness for sisters!
We love the Smith family! Here I am with Kevin's mother Mary and his aunt Roxane. They had a houseful of family all wishing him well. These are two of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet!
Melodie with the help of her sisters had lots of fun making this candy gram. It's one of her specialties.....

Rebecca, Melodie and Miranda Poitrie. The Smiths have the most wonderful tradition. After dinner we all gathered in their living room and shared stories and advice with Kevin and what we admired about him. It was so inspiring, fun and touching and I hope he carries all our best wishes in his heart for the next two years!

We couldn't have done it without Aunt Kathy, bless her heart! She picked up Melodie from Victoria Friday night, brought her over on the ferry and then drove her here. They were here Saturday and Sunday and then headed back early Monday morning (at around 4) so that Melodie could be back in class Monday afternoon! Kathy said that Melodie must have thanked her 12 times, so that's good!

Kevin with his sister Angela! I wish you could see them dance together, its just so fun to watch! Kevin is the youngest and last to serve a mission, he missed Angela and his brother Trevor who were gone at the same time something fierce...... so he will be missing them again! We will sure keep him in our thoughts and prayers. We know he will be an amazing missionary! He has an affinity for people that endears him to everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vanessa at Grad last spring

Realized that I hadn't posted these pictures from last spring! Vanessa was asked to go to Brocklehurst Grad with a friend of hers, David Armstrong. Of course she was thrilled to go, especially since it meant dress shopping! We found a beautiful dress, it had to be classy but not too pouffy because she was an escort not actually one of the grads.......(lol, I know "grad etiquette") and its not like you can use a dress you already have in your closet!!!

Here are Alyssa Lamb, Tamara Boyes and Vanessa who were all escorts to the Brock grads (Eric, Shelby and David) and they are all best friends so they had a blast that night. I think the boys were feeling pretty lucky, or they should have been!! lol
Almost all of these kids are members of our church which is a pretty big group! It made Grad fun because they had a great time hanging out together without having to go to any drinking parties. I hope Vanessa has just as much fun at her own Grad this year!! I think she's going to make her own dress!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sarah Kerner's Baby Shower

Sarah Kerner had her baby this summer. She looked so uncomfortable by the end, it brought back memories! Since she is one of Danielle's best friends, I couldn't resist posting some of the pictures, I know Danielle will love to see them...... Sarah had a 9lb 12oz baby boy, they called him Dax! Here is Melodie holding him as soon as she could! In fact my girls were all pretty happy to be there because there were several babies to pass around.
Isn't this the cutest cake! Some one has an imagination.......
I loved this picture of mother and aunt!! Little Leah helped her big sister, Sarah open her bridal shower gifts a couple of years ago and here she is helping with the baby presents!
Even Rebecca found the cutest little fellow around, (besides Dax) this is Tyler Quinton!
We were up in Aberdeen in Carol Jensen's backyard. It was a beautiful summer evening and it was fun to bring all three girls with me, we sure missed Danielle!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Camping in July

Thought I would mention how much fun we had in July camping in Kelowna compared to our experience in Vancouver. We almost didn't make the July one because on our way, 15 minutes driving on the Coquihalla our transmission went out and we weren't going anywhere! We had to get a tow truck and get it back to Jay (our super mechanic) who said it definitely needed a new transmission. Mitchell had an appointment with the ophthalmologist the next morning which is why we were going to Kelowna. We thought we would make it into a camping weekend........so that was the start but how could we go back home, Mitchell had given me a big hug the day before because he was sooo excited to be going camping!! So Don got a ride home where he picked up the truck, while we unloaded the completely full van (never mind that we were down 3 kids!!). We didn't get into Kelowna until that afternoon........... so no campsites anywhere, waiting lists 3 days long, I couldn't believe it.....you can't camp spontaneously here unless you reserve it the year before????
We managed to find a little open campground in Westbank that we decided to just try! It did have bathrooms, showers and we could tent so we ended up having a pretty good time there. We had a campfire with smores, made foil dinners, played bocce and cards and read Beverly Cleary books together (Wanted Mud Blossom). I loved watching Mitchell who was just thrilled to help his Dad build the fire and discuss the merits of teepee vs. cabin campfire starts! They were just happy chopping away at kindling.....

Kind of awful to admit but this is the first time my kids have ate cereal out of those little boxes!! We had to cut them open and show them how to put milk in ....... it was so funny, they were so enthused. I know, I'm a little frugal in the grocery department.......poor deprived kids!

Sloppy joes with VEGETABLES! It's a woman thing, food groups! Still tease Don because when he went to Scout Winter camp, he didn't want "no stinkin vegetables" just something you could hold in your hands and eat standing up around the fire!!

Don's boat! The kids loved it, even though it was a little tipsy in all those waves......

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Rebecca and Katie's Cookies

Thought I would mention how amazed I am with kids sometimes and their imaginations! Rebecca had her friend Katie Uhrig over a couple of weeks ago (the 3 Uhrig girls are usually only over for the summer and Rebecca loves to get together with them..... their grandmother Joan is the sweetest lady you'll ever meet). So they decided they would make cookies..........they scoured the cookbooks and decided they wanted to tackle sugar cookies (now me I pretty much do oatmeal chocolate chip and if I'm really ambitious peanut butter cookies except for Christmas when I get a little fancier but that's it the rest of the year.....my cookie repertoire, 2 kinds!!). They they hunted all through the cupboards til they found every cookie cutter I had, most of which I've never used (sad I know) and then spent time planning which ones to use. Then the batter had to be a cool colour, teal blue it is.........chilled the dough, rolled the dough, cut out the dough, cooked the dough, makes me tired thinking of it!!!
Honestly they happily spent almost 3 hours making these marvelous cookies that I would never attempt in a million years......... and they tasted wonderful!! Not only that, when Joan came to pick up Katie she had a mouth watering apple pie in her hands, how cool is that! So it was a bonus day, teal blue sugar cookies and apple pie!
Yeah girls.........

Friday, September 05, 2008

Camping in Vancouver and Science World

Well we wanted to camp in Vancouver so we could be close to Vanessa.... (who was working at the PNE) so we found this cool campground close by, problem was it was really more geared to RV's! So here we are with our trusty tent surrounded by huge RV's and it was kind of funny until it started raining and then poured all day Sunday! Don was starting to look at our neighbours in a "I want an RV!!!" kind of way and I knew I needed to get him out of there!How lovely......great big huge slugs everywhere, reminded us of Oregon!I was especially happy to bring the kids to Scienceworld! I went a few years ago with Melodie's high school class for Physics Olympics and found it soooo amazing, I've always wanted to bring the kids back. So we spent all day Saturday exploring, watching and being amazed.....it really was lots of fun.
There were so many exhibits and hands on things to do. One section had all kinds of info on animals with a beaver dam to explore and a live hive with honeybees.

We found this tiny box that you were supposed to try and squish into, Mitchell and Rebecca both tried to fit.......needless to say Don and I decided to skip it!!
And of course a visit to the PNE where Don and the kids rode the tornado! I was happy to stay on the ground and take pictures. We actually saw some pretty fun shows and were very excited to finally see Vanessa who was working at the Sunglass Market in the Market Place!

It was her 17th birthday on August 25th so we joined her for breakfast (the Lambs made her a cake!) and then took her out for supper for Greek food! She was very happy to be eating something besides cup of soup!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

23 Years!

Don and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary on August 16! I came home totally surprised to find a beautiful vase full of pink roses and carnations! I was so touched, Don doesn't do flowers very often so this was unusual. He also had my favourite chocolate, Bounty (chocolate and coconut an unbeatable combination), a scrapbook magazine and letter full of love quotes! He sure knows me after 23 years........ he's definitely a keeper!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Another First Day of School!! Two down, three to go!!

Can't believe the summer is gone but have sure loved it. For the first time I really enjoyed the long unstructured days, the not having to drive anywhere, the free afternoons that we could just hop in the pool! No weddings, no big trips, just hanging around the house having barbecues and trying to keep up with the lawns. I wasn't really looking forward to school for the first time in a long time....... but yesterday it was exciting again. The girls spent ages getting the right clothes, Mitchell threw on his pants and shirt just before he headed out the door ( I had to brush his hair as we were walking up the school sidewalk because he forgot!) Vanessa is starting Grade 12 and so excited to be a grad! She was still pretty tired since she just got back from the Vancouver (working at the PNE for 17 days for the Sunglass Market) at 5:00 that morning but she slept a bit and then was ready to go. Rebecca and Mitchell were constantly speculating what teacher they would get!
Then walking into Parkcrest, seeing all the excited faces, slicked back hair, shiny floors and the nervous little ones...... made me nostalgic for my first day back to school! I remember my brand new sneakers on the floor by my bed, not being able to sleep the night before and the butterflies in my stomach as I woke up and knew I was a year older and a Grade higher......it was such a wonderful feeling!
So HAPPY FIRST DAY............ Vanessa, Rebecca and Mitchell!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Musing on the news

I have to admit I am a news junkie..... I love to read the newspaper and it can be any paper, I'm not fussy. I not only deliver the Kamloops Daily News here in town every morning but can often be found reading it while I am walking. There is just so much to be discovered in the paper! Whether you are looking for recipes, crosswords, sports news, how to redecorate your house, what happened in the accident down the street, there is always something interesting in the paper!!
So I came up to bed and was supposed to be working on my picture storybook ( I have 23 pages almost done of our trip to Hawaii, yeah!!) but got sidetracked by the news!! and on the computer its fun too. I love to read about what is happening in other countries and how are they doing.
I have been reading glimpses of the story of courageous Ingrid Betancourt who survived years of captivity in the jungles of Columbia. She is an amazing woman and has been talking about how her faith got her through.......(she lost years of her children's lives!) I just can't imagine it, people really are so remarkable resilient and strong. So its these stories of faith and courage that get me through all the rest of the bad, the evil, the stupid that can be found in so many of the other stories.
But I better get sleeping, the news comes early in the morning!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Our Rebecca is 12!

It's almost hard to go back and get the old pictures out.....makes me miss my little ones. Here is Rebecca when she turned two with her older sisters........ and now here she is 12!
Loved this one of Rebecca taken by Maranda Schwarz about 4 years ago, looking so sweet and innocent.
We had her whole class over for a pool party 2 days before her birthday so I made a huge cake for it. She was thrilled to have them all sing Happy Birthday to her!
Hanging out with one of her best buds....Breann Frazier!

Rebecca with her older sisters........they look a little different here than the first picture! I am so lucky to have all these beautiful girls!
Happy Birthday Rebecca!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Melodie off to Victoria

Here's our Melodie heading out for her third year of respiratory therapy. Since its her last year she will be doing 2, 6 month practicums, one in Victoria and the other in Vancouver. We were hoping she could have one in Kamloops but it didn't work out. She has 2 roommates, Dani and Courtney that are both in her program as well so luckily they were able to find a place together (its so expensive in Victoria!). Don drove her down (in his new truck!) the last day of May so she could be there a week before she started. She is excited about finally working in the hospital and I think time is going to fly by for her, as opposed to sitting in the classroom!
We miss her already but it sounds like she is having lots of fun. She has already attended the Young Single Adult Church ward there and has been going to the activities. We also hear that she is trying to persuade the young men down there that she is really not in dating mode..... (since she has a young fellow up here that she talks to every day!)
We talk to her almost every day! Thank goodness for cell phones, when I went off to college I think I phoned home once a month because it was so expensive and I was sure homesick sometimes. We've already got a cute little letter from her with lots of stickers, trademark Melodie!

Her first little apartment......

Monday, April 28, 2008

Battle of the Books

Believe or not even though I have super reading kids, not one of them entered the Battle of the Books held every year here in Kamloops until Mitchell did this year. He has been reading the books with his class and then he was chosen to be one of the Grade 3/4 representatives. I was totally surprised when he came home and told me...... then when I talked to his teacher found out he really did have one of the higher scores (even though he hadn't read all of the books!). So we had a team from Grade 6/7 and Grade 5 and these 3 little Grade 3s, not a one in Grade 4 and it was all their first time. What was even funnier was that Mitchell was the only boy (not that he really appreciates that right now). So they went to the Zones where they won 2nd place and even won a medal..... they were so thrilled!
They had to answer 30 questions on quite a few books, Lafcadio, James and the Giant Peach, The War with Grandpa, Frindle, Leaving the Log House, The Seven Treasures, Because of Winn-Dixie, Bobby Baseball, Harriet's Hare and Invisible Harry. When they went to Districts a week later (top 7 teams out of the 23 in the city), they didn't do quite as well, but the questions were harder and I think they were up against more Grade 4's, but it was a great experience for him! Hoping he and Rebecca will both do it next year, only we are going to start reading earlier!
When I asked him how they did so well, he said: "Well Mom, the girls decided what book it was and then asked me if I agreed and I usually did!!" Can you tell he lives with a lot of women!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


So yes I'm insane but I actually agreed to take this group of yahoos to the Rascal Flats concert in Vancouver the first week of April. Of course they bought the $100 tickets months ago and then it came to the week before and I realized we had better make some plans. I had just come back from Europe a few weeks before and was so happy to be home but since Don was working the next day....... I was the chosen one!! We left right after work that day, the concert wasn't until 8 but I wanted plenty of time to get there, you never know what Vancouver traffic will be like!
So we drove down, the kids had an absolute blast... said it was the most fantastic concert they had ever been to (how many have they been to.......like 2!!) Anyway, I went to a cute little scrapbook store for a little more, then went to eat and then spent the rest of the time reading the second book in the Twilight Series.....
I was dreading the ride home with good reason, I knew it would be late and getting out of Vancouver in the dark..... I had too many navigators and too many trips as the passenger to feel very confident. We finally got out of there by midnight, had to drop a friend of Melodie's off (it was just off the highway I was told..... which was right but getting back on the highway was a nightmare!), I ended up back on the number 1 west back over the Port Mann bridge heading back to Vancouver at 1 in the morning. I couldn't even vent because I had all these impressionable teenagers behind me, I just had to grit my teeth and try to find a way to turn back around. The only thing that saved me that night was the Mel and Kevin both have their N's so they were able to drive part of the way, it made the world of difference.
So note to self......... make them take the bus if they buy out of town tickets!
Have to admit, they were very grateful......... lots of THANK YOU MOM!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kub Kar Rally

I realized that I haven't written anything about Mitchell's first kub kar rally! This is his first year in cub scouts and he just loves it! The leaders are wonderful and he eagerly heads out every Tuesday night. They are working on all kinds of badges right now and I think he has about 5 by now.
You can imagine his excitement for the kub kar rally, he was able to go and watch last year......but this year he was going to be making his own. You can also imagine Don's excitement, his only son's first kub kar rally. I think he was almost as happy as Mitchell! So the two of them worked on it, finding patterns, buying paint, heading over to a friends garage to saw it out......and then creating it. They really worked hard and it turned out to be a beautiful spiderman car (we think). The rally was in Clearwater, so I wasn't able to make it (too many other things scheduled that day!) but Don filled the van with Scouts and they headed to Clearwater on a Saturday a couple of weekends ago. They came back pretty happy because Mitchell's car had taken first place at least 6 times (apparently this was awesome!), so even though he hadn't won any of the big prizes, he was still pretty proud of his car and so was his DAD!!


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