Monday, October 20, 2014

A Muddy But Fun Affair

On a fairly regular basis I hear, "Can we ride the quad?"  And most of the time the answer is, "not right now, later".  I hear these come out of my mouth and Jeremy's so often.  Most often something else is more important or less of an inconvenience at the time.

As I have been working through the four quadrants of importance and urgency, I have been assessing where I have putting my priorities. Both in my business life and my personal life.  So,  yesterday when asked once again by my ever persistant children, I finally made the right decision first.  Putting aside my want to do's, need to do's and just simply saying, 'Yes we can'.

And what a blast it was.  We didn't even have to spend a bunch of time preparing for an afternoon away which was the best part.  We have enough mud and mountains to climb just across the street right now to provide a whole bunch of fun and mud.

Silke got her first atv'ing experience and couldn't get enough of it.  Mud didn't keep her away.  Neither did the bulldozer she managed to nearly crash into:)  Watching the joy of all the kiddos again reminded me that many things in life can wait.  This time in our life is quickly passing and moments like this are always worth the effort.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thankful For Family And Memories Of The Past

The weather of Thanksgiving weekend certainly wasn't looking too promising.  The outlook was actually quite depressing sounding.  But, I had made a decision a few weeks earlier that we were going to go on our final camping trip of the season rain or shine.

So, Saturday morning we loaded up the essentials.  Many clothes, food, rain gear, muddy buddies and boots and off we drove to Camperland for what we were hoping would be a great time hanging out with our whole extended family.

Much of the weekend was spent building memories to treasure.  As well, much of the weekend was spent remembering about people and times past. We had many a conversation, reminder and laugh about 'Grandpa-isms'.  Those crazy things my Grandpa would say and do.  He had passed away almost five years ago already but he certainly will never be forgotten.

We also spent so much time reminiscing and sharing stories, love and laughter about Beth.  She has been our families most recent loss.  And camping together and cooking a huge Turkey dinner was all in her memory.  She had a great passion for her family.  She also had a love of camping.  And big meals, that was her specialty.   So, we did it all.  For her memory and for her families healing.  And it was great!

Fifty-six people made it for Thanksgiving dinner.  And wow was it ever fantastic.  Babies got passed around.  Children hung out together on the playground.  Young adults proved there skills drifting a 3 wheel bike.  Grandparents sat with grandchildren.  Some energetic adults even took part in a post dinner hike and a game of manhunter.  We all have so much to be thankful for and it was nice to share together some of those things all weekend long. 


Monday, October 6, 2014

A Hair Raising Moment

It's fall clean up time around here. Or at least the start of it.  No better time of year to clean out a pond top to bottom, getting rid of all that green slime that has accumulated because of all our glorious sunshine that we got to enjoy this summer.  

I was at it for a few afternoons.  With rubber gloves to my elbows and rubber boots up to my knees  I got to it.  With a whole bunch of patience with dealing with  green slime, leaping frogs and avoiding getting this dirty water all over me, I finally got it done.   I got to sit back and watch my shimmering little fish swimming around in perfectly clear water and feel good about a completed task.

Only one problem.  My pump just wouldn't work.  After a few moments I figured out that it wasn't the pump, but an issue with the electrical outlet.  So, off to the panel I went.  Found nothing wrong with the panel in my garage, so I moved on to the one in the office.

Aha!  I found a few switches in the off position and snapped them back on.  I did consider for a moment that maybe they were purposefully turned off due to the office renovation going on.  But... proceeded to click them on anyways, thinking to myself that a good electrician would double check the power supply before getting back to work. 

Monday, mid-day rolls around.  I was in the office at work and we heard a slight ZZZT and a slight flicker of power.  Hmm.  Coincidence, I thought.

A short while later, the electrician working on the office renovation comes downstairs.  I thought I would be really helpful and said, "Hey, I turned on some breakers on the weekend 'cause my pond pump wasn't working.  I hope that wasn't a problem."

Yikes.  Did I ever get the look!  He proceeded to lift a very black index finger in the air.  And says, 'Yep,  I just found out'.  Then he pulled out his pliers, which now has a strange hole through the medal and he said, "and now these are wrecked".  He walked over to the panel.  Flicked a few switches and went back to work upstairs.

And then... with a whole lot of feeling relief that only a plier got hurt, I could only fall over laughing!  Sorry Jeremy, I didn't mean it:)

Phew, I am feeling a lot lucky that no one got hurt.  But I can't help to chuckle a little every time I have a vision of Jeremy raising his black finger and saying, "I just found out".

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tennis Ball Adventure

It was such a beautiful evening and I couldn't think of a better way to spend it.  Learning the newer to me sport of tennis.  But of course when looking for some tennis balls, none were to be found.  With kids around it's seems like an impossible task.  No matter how hard I try to hide them, the kids still manage to make them disappear.

So, it was off to the store.  Now, I typically like to be efficient and well as keeping costs down, so I figured a stop at the nearest Dollar Store made good sense.  Voila.  A buck for 3 balls.  So, I picked up a couple packages and felt like I had scored.

Silke and I loaded up the kids, rackets and balls and headed off to a nearby court.  Excited to get out and exercise and improve my game.  Silke loves to play tennis so I was pretty happy to have someone who could actually return a serve to play against.

I got my self into serving position.  Did my thing which is to bounce the ball a few times before I make my serve.  Only... the ball didn't bounce back up more than 4 inches.  I tried it again.  Same result.  Then I thought, "maybe it's just this one ball," and tried the next one.  Only another 4 inches.

Wow, was I ever disappointed!   But, we decided not to let the nice evening go to waste and gave it a try with our un-bouncy balls.  It was a rather interesting evening of tennis. Another interesting thing was that not only did the balls barely bounce, after a few strong serves, the balls would also split in half!  Yikes.  Lesson learned on the purchase of tennis balls and the time to and not to shop at a Dollar Store.   Sometimes it simply does not pay to be efficient and cheap:)

Regardless of the terrible game of tennis it was still nice to be outside on these soon to be rare evenings.  And the kids loved to get out too.  So, making the best of playing with faulty tennis balls was still worth it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Carrying On With Tradition

Every year as we pass into and out of our favorite camping spot, we pass by this beautiful little landscaped hillside.  From the very first year 'Nkmeep Resorts beautified this little spot I started the tradition of taking 'remember when' pictures of our kids.

This year, we had a few more bodies to fill the frame.  And wow, do these guys ever look good!  I finally got some family pictures I am proud of to put on our picture wall to show off our new additions of Jonah and Ava.  

 Unfortunately they are still on my computer and not on my wall:(  It's on my list of many things to do, and nearly at the top.  

2013- Cayden at 8 years and Peyton at 2 1/2 years.

2012- Cayden 7 years and Peyton 1 1/2 years

2011- Cayden 6 years and Peyton 8 months

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dinner Party At The Kruliki's

As always, our yearly day trip to visit Michael and Shirley Kruliki was absolutely wonderful. They are such a joy and such gracious hosts to our family.  Even with 2 more kids in our family, they weren't scared away from inviting us for an afternoon of socializing and dinner. 

Michael and Shirley are long time family friends of Jeremy's parents and Grandparents.  The are so full of energy and fun. We always look forward to taking an afternoon away from our campground in Osooyoos and make the drive up to their condo in Pentiction.  Of course our kids also enjoy taking a break from swimming in the lake to swimming in their nice, clear and clean pool:)

The kids were overjoyed to be served 'special drinks', including their own mustache straws.  As well as being served monster-sized meatballs and pasta.  They even were gifted really nice matching shirts, which of course I really liked as well. 

Facebook has definitely been a part of keeping us connected through the year, even though we only meet once a year.  I am able to keep up with Shirley's 1/2 marathon races, which makes me envious of her energy and drive!  I even get to keep up with her kids and grand kids through Facebook which also keeps our connections. Her daughter has a little Peyton as well.  They are only a few weeks apart, which makes comparing notes alot of fun.

Jeremy and I really treasure our visits with the Kruliki's.  Hopefully we didn't wear them out too much, and we get another invite next year, 2015 :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wine and Dine or Tent Dilemna

It was not the simplest of decisions to make.  My choice was to hotel, wine and dine with a group of lovely ladies in the Okanagan or tent and eat campfire food with friends in the BC Interior with my kids and without Jeremy.    I did go back and forth for a few weeks before finally making the right choice and continue the camping at Kentucky Lake yearly tradition.  

Early in the morning I got myself up and loaded up the Acadia with all our gear.  There was barely an any room for my four kids and myself!  Yes, we are all here in amongst all the stuff:)  I was in machine mode and we got out on the road within one hour of getting up.  All the kids had enough to keep them amused for the ride and off we were on our great adventure.

Two hours later, we arrived at one of the most beautiful campgrounds in BC, and made quick work to set up camp.  My little helpers Peyton and Ava were wonderful little tent building helpers while Cayden and Jonah were out the door and quickly and on the trails.

The weather was amazing and so was the company.  I spent a little time relaxing, but mostly was on the go keeping up the the energy and spirit of the littles.  Travelling the beautiful trails, biking the loop, swimming in the beautiful blue waters, fishing and so much more. 

The kids slept great, I did not.  Sharing a double airbed with Jonah was not so wonderful.  Thankfully we brought an extra air bed cause the other two went flat!   I would have not only not slept well, but ended up crippled.  One thing for certain is that with age, a comfortable bed becomes even more important. 

One of my favorite moments was taking the three youngest fishing.  We took our borrowed fishing rod that was both bait-less and weight-less and hung around at the kids fishing lake.  Yes, I intended to not catch any fish, hence no weights or bait.  But the kids never figured it out.  My secret:)  After seeing the diligence and patience of Jonah and Peyton, I will need to change my strategy next time so that they have a chance at actually reeling something in other that a stray weed.

While I was fishing, Cayden, Ben, Tim, Josh and Sheldon all went on a 'man' walk with Jess.  They went on an adventure to learn how to use their pocket knives safely, rock jump into the lake and other stuff that guys do.  It was great to see them all come back, hours later, with walking sticks in hand ready for some carving.  

So, the choice was most definitely difficult, but my kids are grateful that Kentucky Lake won.  Looking forward to next year already, and with Jeremy, and our trailer!  Tenting was fun.  A great adventure.  But now it's "been there, done that".