Saturday, June 30, 2012


THURSDAY NIGHT: Call from Grandad as we're sitting down to supper-"Are you in the driveway, I ask?" Not quite was his reply... Quickly eat supper and last minute pick up. The 7 pm arrival was moved up to 5:30. The kids were SO Excited! Nana soon declared that she couldn't stay away for 3 months anymore. The kids had so many hugs and kisses saved up and so much to tell her that she was going to have many bruises from all the little ones clamoring for her attention:).

FRIDY: The kids and I had fun surprising them with breakfast in the trailer. Scott, Adelaide and I had a relaxing breakfast inside:).

Scott started making chokecherry syrup. I got to help a bit, but mostly focused on getting the lunch together.

After lunch Scott lost a bit of wisdom. His first tooth ever pulled was a big one! He's doing great though and says it wasn't as bad as the root canal..

Naptime was next on the agenda. We definitely earned that one and we slept hard. Before we knew it, it was time for me to head our for my hair cut in town. I took Elyssia and Adelaide and it went well. It's nice to have some of the length taken off every once in awhile. I was also able to schedule an appt for the boys right before we leave for the wedding. It will be Caleb's first time having someone else cut it. Garrison had his done once when he was bout 18 months. I had a coupon for a free haircut and wanted to see what they would do with it. It'll probably get pretty thick in the next couple weeks, but I'm going to leave it alone so that there's more to work with when they go in.

We had a weiner roast for supper, but didn't stay out as long as usual. There was a bit of a rainstorm coming, so we ate and headed back inside to visit. Every 15 minutes or so the kids would ask, "Is it bedtime yet?" They were excited because Grandad and Nana were going to let Elyssia, Garrison and Caleb sleep in the trailer! Bedtime finally arrived and no one protested;). We got a good report about them this morning, which was very nice to hear. Sometimes they goof off at bedtime, but prayers for them to behave were answered and they had a really nice time.

SATURDAY: The kids started off the morning with cocoa in the trailer. Scott fixed pancakes for breakfast so that we could try the new syrup. It's fantastic! I think it's the new favorite around here and that's a good thing because we're going to have close to 2 dozen jars of it once we make up the next batch.

The morning was spent enjoying the last couple hours with Nana and Grandad, a short nap for the little one and prep for lunch. There always seems to be some kind of food prep going on around here.

Anyway, it's a hot one today, so I'm heading off to take a bit of a nap and stay cool.

Have a wonderful Canada Day tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


That pretty much describes the feeling I got while watching the storm that came through here last night and half of today! Someone told me the gusts were at least 100km. I believe that. I really should go take some pictures, but I'm pretty exhausted. I was awake before 5 and didn't get back to sleep. I didn't have a nap either, which makes me double tired. The Lord helped me through and I can honestly say it was a pretty good day:). Through it all we kept reminding the kids how much we had to be thankful for. Even if we lost everything we would still choose to be thankful for each other. There are at least 5 trees down around the property and some trees split. I'm not sure, but I kind of think one of the trees was split when the lightning hit. It was so close to the house and the thunder was so loud that I actually jumped when I heard it. I'm used to storms on the island and usually I just love to watch them. I know God is in control and they don't usually scare me. The closeness of this one startled me, so y'all know that it was close;). Overall, it was a pretty amazing thing to watch. The trampoline stayed in the yard and we're going to see if we can repair the safety net. The rest of it looks like it will be okay.

With the abundance of rain I haven't been weeding my flower garden as much lately. It took me about an hour to get it under control tonight. It's amazing how some of the flowers are able to withstand so much and still continue to grow. The wild rose bush is beautiful this year. I pulled some off to enjoy while doing dishes tonight. Scott wanted to get some chokecherry syrup and things taken care of, so there was plenty of time to enjoy the flowers while cleaning up:0.

Today was town day and we held off leaving until the last minute. Thankfully the wind had died down and it wasn't too bad. There was a bit of damage around town, but not as much as we expected. It looks like Scott will be given at least one job because of the storm though. We'll see when it starts...

We returned the 43 library books from last week and turned in some book reports. The kids were very excited about choosing their free ice cream! Elyssia chose raspberry sorbet with gummy bears, Garrison Oranges and Cream Ice Cream with Gummy Bears, Caleb chose Cotton Candy(Blue) with Gummy Bears and I picked Strawberry with Gummy Bears for Kiersten. She had fallen asleep in the car, but I knew she'd be disappointed if she woke up to find that she didn't get any! Scott chose a Cake n' Shake and I had a Cookie Dough mix. I'm pretty sure that's the thought behind offering the kids free ice cream. Of course, the parents will want something too:). I still have to say it's really good for us to get 6 items at Cold Stone Creamery for under $8. I don't think we, the parents, will get something every time, but it was a nice treat. We now have at least 43 more kids books that we brought home to read. The weather is very unpredictable and it's nice to have that as a distraction once our other chores are done.

I got to Skype with one of my sister in laws in Georgia this morning. Scott was actually on early this morning, but she thought it was me. I was feeding baby, but came over to chat for awhile. It's been way to long and it was awesome to talk with her while most of the kids were sleeping:) No competition to talk about what's going on, if ya know what I mean.

Well, I'd better go for now. I'm sorely in need of some sleep and shouldn't put it off any longer. Praying for those in the tornado and fire areas in the States and Canada.

Sleep well friends in Blogland;).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quiet on the posting front...

The rain has stopped and the sun has come to play. We're not spending that much time inside now, once our chores are done. There's a lot of yardwork to be done and I've been helping with lawnmowing-riding and the push one. My face is getting some color to it and it's nice to be helping Scott out a bit when he's so busy. He's finishing up a job at the PFRA during the week and trying to get ahead of the weeds in the garden. Elyssia is turning out to be a really big help this year. The growth of the plants is almost big enough for the kids to see, so it should be easier for the boys to do it, without mistaking the plant for a weed...

Elyssia has read about 30 books since Wednesday! There's no mistaking that she's my child:). Thankfully she's doing a lot of it at nap and bedtime. She's voluntarily writing book reports for the library summer reading program. I think I'll have her do it for the first 2 times, then let her enter as many as she wants. We've definitely earned our set of ice cream, so maybe I'll surprise the kids and stop there on Wednesday:). She's also asking if she can start her 3rd grade work... Hmmm. Guess it's time to start more extracurricular. I thought they'd enjoy having more free time, but they've really taken to the schedule and like to stay busy.

Garrison is coming along pretty good. When I stop in the book he fills in the words I leave out, but still doesn't want to really do it on his own much. We'll keep working on it. He mostly likes to build with LEGO and jump on the trampoline. We're adding memory verses and songs each week and it's exciting to see the kids walking around the house singing the songs or coming to us to let us know that they can say the verse all by themselves.

Caleb is "goose on the loose" with his new bike riding skills. I actually think he's nicer about it than Elyssia was and hasn't really hurt anyone. It's amazing how he can ride that old bike. I think the handlebars are backwards, etc, but he LOVES riding it. He's quick to help at the grocery store and also in unloading things at home. He tries to help in the garden, but we need to get things cleared a bit more so that he can see what to pick.

Kiersten is going through a bit of a fussy stage. We're trying to nip it in the bud, so to speak. She's generally cheerful, but perhaps she's growing and not getting quite enough sleep. She's hungry most of the day, no matter how big the meal. She's constantly asking for "wolk"-milk. We've practised pronunciation, but it always seems to come out that way:) Lately she's says, " I want wolk in a sippy tup!". Most of her speech is quite easy to understand, but she still has about a dozen words that come out funny. I forget that she's still 2 sometimes, due to her massive vocabulary and ability to express how she's feeling.

Adelaide can now crawl from the living room, all the way through the house and to the girls' room in the back of the house. She's quite pleased with herself when she peeks around the door and finds us. She's joined us at the table now and is VERY happy about that. She loves her baby cereal and crackers. She's chewing on whatever she can get her hands on and is growing out of her clothes a bit faster than the other two girls. Scott has taken to calling her Addie McGladdy or Addie McSaddy, depending on her mood. I think it's rather funny now, but I doubt that she will when she gets older:).

Well, there's a ham in the oven and a glaze to be made. I really should head out and tend to that. I'm thinking I'll be eating a bigger portion tonight:).

Happy Saturday!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Great Things HE Hath Done!

Looking back over the past 10 years it's amazing to see how far the Lord has brought me. Many people moan about getting to be 30, but I honestly can't thank the Lord enough for bringing me to this point. I lost several friends before they ever reached the age of 30 and realize I'm only here by the grace of God. HE is the one who gave me life, saved my life and continues to allow me to live from day to day. He doesn't have to, but HE does!

10 years ago today I had just received my first "snail mail" letter from a young man named Scott. My parents had met him, but I had not. Little did I know how he would change my life:).

At 21 I was engaged to marry him and packing up my room in preparation for moving to a new country!

At 22 I was expecting our first child and VERY sick. There was extreme nausea and weight loss, but the Lord spared my life and brought into this world our first little blessing, Elyssia Anne Holloway. A week late and weighing in at 6 and a half lbs. We moved to Gibsons, B.C. 2 weeks after she was born and spent the next 6 months there. God gave us that time with my dad and I'm VERY thankful for that! It was also the place that we drew closer to God and each other, as a couple. We found our marriage and our relationship with God strengthened in the time that we had away from all the expectations that others had of us. We found joy in serving the Lord because we wanted to and learned to truly love and serve others as Christ wanted us to.

At 23 we bought our first house in Montrose, B.C. We enjoyed picking fruit from the trees in our yard and canning it in preparation for long winters:).

At 24 we found that we were expecting our 2nd child and unexpectedly had to say Goodbye, here on earth, to my Dad. This year was full of rejoicing, sadness, travels to the island and so much more. I was still sick with this pregnancy, but once again the Lord brought me through. We named our second child Garrison Stuart Prisk Holloway, in honor of Dad-Gary Stuart Prisk. We look forward to seeing him again in Heaven. Garrison and Gideon Stuart, his cousin, were the first 2 grandchildren that Dad wasn't able to do the dedication service for. We chose to rejoice amidst the sadness of those times.

Shortly after my 25th birthday we discovered that God was blessing us with our 3rd child! He was born a couple weeks early in March and we named him Caleb Sterling Holloway. I can't imagine what life would be like without this little man or his siblings. They bring so much excitement and joy to our lives:).

The summer that I turned 26 the Lord showed us that he wanted us to move and start a church in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Busy times... We planned to move the following Spring, but due to my Father in Law's health, the Lord had us move in December.

In January of the year that I turned 27 the Lord gave us an acreage close to Kindersley. He provided a place to rent for church and a new chapter in our lives began. We found out we were expecting our 4th right before we held our first service:). The Lord blessed us with another safe delivery and provided for us through the long days of sickness and extra work with the church plant. We started our homeschool adventure with Elyssia and Kiersten Blythe Holloway arrived in October. She has been a great blessing to us.

The year I turned 28 the Lord gave us our own church building and we had the blessing of seeing him pay it off too! It's been a great blessing and we enjoy all the extra fellowship that we're able to have because of it.

The Spring before I turned 29 we made an epic journey. We hadn't seen most of my family in several years and the Lord allowed us to drive to Georgia and spend a couple weeks with them. He also kept us safe and helped the kids to be well behaved for the majority of the trip. I call those miracles:). We found out shortly after arriving home that we were expecting our 5th blessing. Adelaide Blythe Holloway was born about 5 months after my birthday and she's currently adored by all her siblings and parents:). Her smile lights up the room and cheers up those around her on a regular basis.

That brings us up to today. Today I am 30. It's a day that many dread because they think it means they're old;). I looked forward to it over the past year and thank the Lord that He allowed me to live each day and through all these years and experiences. Our family vacation a couple months ago was the main present, but honestly, the gifts of salvation, family, friends and life far outweigh any earthly gifts that I could ever receive.

Thank you Lord for this 30th year!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


So, for those who have been reading to see if I would finish my 30 x 30-Good news! Staying up til midnight tonight is the only item left on the list:). I really think it's made the countdown to 30 a lot more memorable. Elyssia asked me if I was going to paint my room next. I told her someday. She thought that I should put it on my 80 x 80 list! HaHa, funny kid... Another friend said that as I get older the list should get shorter. By then it will be 8 things by 80. Hopefully my memory will be good enough to remember those 8 thing;).

The BBQ with friends was really fun! I neglected to take pictures because I was talking too much. No surprise there:). A big thank you to Arlin, Laura and the Grahams for taking all the kids on a walk and chasing them around, jumping on the trampoline with them, etc... They were exhausted by bedtime and I really didn't hear any complaining when we said Bedtime. The weather was really nice and the rain held off until sometime later in the evening.

I have to admit that I procrastinated with painting the hallway, due to my cold and lack of motivation. I really didn't want to do it today, so I buckled down, put the tape around the door frames and got to work. Praise the Lord, it took less than 2 hours. It will need some touch up, but Scott thinks that it's due to the older part of the house probably having an oil based paint on the walls from previous owners. The color of paint was Belvedere. Another shade of blue. Just in case you haven't guessed-Blue is one of my favorite colors:).

Today went well. I was awake before 5 and wasn't really tired, so I headed out to have devotions and enjoy some quiet time. Scott was finishing up his sermon prep and I was able to make a coffee cake for Breakfast before the kids woke up. Surprisingly, Scott had to go and wake Caleb up at 8! That's very unusual for Caleb, the early riser. I think the activity from the night before really wore him out. We usually have cereal on Sunday morning, but thought it would be nice to have a fancier breakfast for Father's Day.

Thankfully we were all able to have a long nap this afternoon, a rare treat these days... This evening we headed back for the evening service and the 3 older ones sang "The Wordless Book" song and quoted Romans 6:23. Caleb's coming along and is able to keep up with the other kids quite well now. I think they enjoy it too, which is a bonus. Oh, before I forget. A friend gave me some flannelgraph that her Grandma had passed on to her. We used it for Sunday School and the kids LOVED it! They all wanted to help put pictures up and take them down. It's good motivation to sit quietly until they're called to come help:).

Scott ended up taking Caleb with him to Hymn sing tonight. We didn't think the rest of us should go over there, just in case we could still be passing something on. Overall I think that we're good, but you never know with the elderly...

I got to talk to my mom for a bit tonight. She had very exciting news!!! My nephew, Chandler, surrendered to be a missionary last week! I'm so excited for him!!! We'll be praying for him and look forward to seeing where the Lord wants him to go when he's a bit older.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Showers of Blessing???

I'd have to say it's all in how ya look at it:).

The culvert took some of it away:

We asked our friends to pray for sunshine and guess what! Out came the sun and dried up (most of the rain)...

I took these after supper tonight. Amazing, eh? Wonderful answer to prayer:).

Today was also baking day and we had lots of experiments. I don't think we'd ever made any of these things before.

We started off with Maple Long Johns. My mother in law sent me the recipe and it's risen to the top of the charts in popularity;)

We made homemade Wheat thins and Graham crackers. Both were very good, but I need to work on rolling them a bit flatter. I put the fork holes in them, but they were still a bit thick.

I had a recipe for "Chew Bars" from my bridal shower that I'd never attempted to make and it caught my eye when I was looking for something new to try. They are delicious! They are definitely going in the regular rotation.

We made Quick homemade root beer too! It doesn't have any caffeine and lacks the "burn" of storebought root beer. Very good taste.

No, she didn't get to drink any. I just thought she made the Root Beer look better:))).

We surprised Scott by making homemade French Fries and Gravy. The kids prefer it with Ketchup, but that's okay.

We finished off the meal with one more experiment. While visiting my brother in law I was given a Lemon Sorbet. Darlene found them at Costco and they were delicious. I thought they wouldn't be too hard to make and I was right! They are definitely worth the work and the wait time...

You'd think I'd be absolutely stuffed after all this, but I'm really not. We just tried a little bit of each thing throughout the day and I'm feeling quite good tonight. I took Addie for a little walk when I took the pictures. She LOVES to be outside and have the wind blowing through her hair. Little Prairie Girl...

I think that we've just about shaken the colds and coughs that attacked us last week. It's been a long road, but I'm enjoying having the ability to swallow without pain:).

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sickety, Sick, Sick...

Just in case anyone's been wondering where I went. I caught the cold from the others, but I'm still on the sore, dry throat, lose your voice part of it. I'm really hoping that I won't get the stuffy nose part, but choosing to be thankful that I wasn't sick when everyone else was. I've been taking it easy whenever possible and drinking tea with honey.

In other news, I've been working with Adelaide to get her to sleep through the night. So far she goes down around 8 and sleeps til 4, nurses for awhile and goes back to sleep til 7. I'm thanking the Lord because she's actually taken to it quite well. She fusses a couple times, but I usually only go in once and stroke her forehead, tell her she's okay, it's still sleepy time, then I walk out. I've also been working on putting her down for naps when she's still partially awake. She's doing great. She now has 2 solid naps instead of several catnaps. She's eating baby rice cereal 3 times a day now. Once at each meal time and nursing the rest of the day. She actually seems a lot happier. More content and has started saying Mum, quite a bit. Her smiles and giggles are priceless:).

The homeschool report, etc... is ready to send off tomorrow. It's quite a bit longer, including Garrison's info this year. It's looking good though and it's nice to have one more item off the to do list.

Hopefully I'll be feeling quite a bit better for town day tomorrow!

Friday, June 8, 2012

"Now we don't...

have to jump on our beds anymore!" This was Garrison's response when he saw that we'd gotten them a trampoline:). Scott and I tried it out last night and I have to say that there was a lot of laughter goin' on. We might have to make it part of our nightly schedule:). I jumped with the kids quite a bit today before the rain started. It's a pretty good workout! The only downside is the extra mosquito bites:( . We had to make up a couple rules that weren't included in the warning label. Kiersten-No jumping with your diaper falling off:). Caleb-Stop jumping when your pants fall down:). E and G-No laughing when the other two issues happen...

"The Discovery"

Pictures through the mesh are generally awful, but they give you more peace of mind:))).

Someone's almost too big to sit in the sink now!

Today was quite good. We didn't get started on the cleaning part til later in the day, but somehow we managed to get the front of the house done. I'm good with that. There's always tomorrow for straightening up the bedrooms.

I thought I'd include some things that Kiersten said while we were on vacation that made our trip quite memorable. On the first part of the trip she kept saying, "we're going to B.C.". For some reason she'd follow that with "We're all sinners". She was very sincere about it and Scott and I would agree with her. I'm not sure why those two thoughts were running through her head, but it seemed to be the theme with her for our "tacation" as she called it. One night when Elyssia and Caleb were being crabby Caleb told Elyssia, "I don't love you anymore!" Elyssia burst into tears and was devastated. Kiersten looked over at her and said, "God loves you". It's okay, it's okay. Then she turned to Caleb and said, "You're making God sad!". We might have said something similat to this in the past, but it was amazing how our 2 and a half year old was able to say this in the right context. She is very good at expressing herself and this was good for lightening up the mood in the car that night:).

Adelaide is rocking on her hands and knees now. She crawled backwards yesterday and got her back half stuck under the bed. No more books on the floor-She considers them edible:). I'm really hoping her tooth comes through soon, it seems to be causing her quite a bit of pain:(.

Looking around at the clean house gives me a more settled feeling tonight. I left it until today in order to maintain our schedule. There was plenty to keep us busy each day and it would have been overwhelming to push in more.

Our school year officially ended yesterday. Elyssia took her last 3 tests and got 2 hundreds and one 99%! Now we just need to type up the reports we've written for the school board and send them off. It's a wonderful feeling to know that we're done with the required part of the schooling. This summer we're working on cursive, art, and Spanish. Scott is in charge of the last one. Maybe some basic piano and a horseback riding(depending on the one lady's availability).

Less than two weeks til the BIG 30! One more item off the list. 3 left to go. The BBQ is scheduled for the 16th and it won't be hard to stay up til midnight on the 17th. That means I just need to find time to paint the hallway... Hopefully early next week:).

Oh, Scott, Caleb, Kiersten and Adelaide got colds from Elyssia and Garrison. Scott seems to have the worst of it, but he was able to shingle a shed today, so hopefully it'll improve from there. I think Addie's is mostly due to teething, but if it's not, she's been blessed to be well until she got past the 6 month stage.

Guess I'd better head off now. Most of the kids are sleeping and I should probably try to get a good sleep to start off the weekend. Til next time...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What's a girl to do...

The BIG 30 is rapidly approaching and there was one item that I was finding it difficult to accomplish. Caleb helped me out and here's the proof:

Yes, I rode a horse:). I did not specify in my 30 x 30 that it had to be a real horse, therefore this is as good as it's gonna get;). I have to say that Caleb's horse was very well behaved and smelled quite nice compared to the live variety:). I may be able to ride the real thing later on, but for now-I'm happy to have one less thing on my list. The last 4 should be completed on time. Hope you've enjoyed following the list as much as I've enjoyed completing the goals I set for myself. It has made for a VERY productive and exciting 29th year.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On the move...

This perfectly describes Adelaide these days. She's pulling herself along the floor, hoping to find some treasures to put in her mouth:). She also had another 1st today. Her first bloody nose:(. She was sitting up, but managed to fall and bonk her nose on the floor. Poor baby. Thankfully it didn't last long and she's off to the races again.

The rest of the kids are on the move as well. They're running full speed after their naps and today our house became a Pirate ship. All our names were changed, to protect our identities, of course;).

Captain Bott-Running the ship
First mate:Brisk
Navigator: Baleb
Cook: Beirsty
Barber: Beesie

I'm the cabin Girl, which I think probably gives me many of the same responsibilities as a stay at home mom;)

Happy Tuesday

Sunday, June 3, 2012

We're Home!!!

I actually have to say that I was just as excited to be going home as I was to be going on vacation 2 weeks ago. There were so many good things about this trip that I don't really think I could post them all. I'll write out our itinerary to give you an idea of how much we were able to do and a short comment about what we enjoyed each day. Hopefully it won't become an epic post;). I'm really not sure what I want to do picture-wise yet. I took just under 600 and it's going to be hard to pick my favorites. Without further ado...

Sunday, May 20th-we went to church, had a missionary visit, fed him lunch, then headed to Lethbridge. We went to the Bishop's church in Lethbridge, Alberta. ***They have 3 kids and we stayed up til 1am visiting with them after church! Soooo much fun...

Monday, May 21st-We woke up, let them kids play with the Bishop's boys and their little chicks. They brought in fresh eggs too! ***Their dog got sprayed by a skunk while we were there, but thankfully none of us smelled like it when we left:))).

The second half of the day was spent driving to Montrose B.C. We stopped at Frank Slide and the big truck in Sparwood, visited the Callaghans and ate supper with the Hawkins before heading to the Preacher's Conf... ***Caleb had delayed car sickness around 3-Thankfully it only got on his pillow case and he was great after that!

Tuesday, May 22nd-Breakfast at the church, Scott preached the first sermon of the day-I'm probably biased, but it was amazing and it gave me a lot to think about. I was reminded of it several times during our vacation and the Lord used it to encourage us to stay positive and thankful through it all... ***Afternoon visits to several friends and neighbors and more preaching that night. Sad goodbyes, but much thankfulness for our time spent there!

Wednesday, May 23rd-Breakfast with the Hawkins, late start, but it was okay. Weird vibration in van on drive through the mountains. Got to the Hoxie's church about 5 minutes late for Prayer meeting, good visit, very thankful for a place to stay that night. ***The kids LOVED playing with the toys in the nursery when they woke up.

Grocery store stop before boarding the ferry. Still a vibration when driving over 70 km per hour.Played at awesome park while waiting to board the ferry. ***Beautiful day for crossing, wonderful ice cream treat, relieved to be settled in the motel for the night:).***Funny memory: A lady with one child asked to shake my hand because she was amazed that we were at the grocery store early in the morning with 5 children. Note: We got LOTS of these comments, but not because the kids were misbehaving. They did awesome and people were just amazed to see a couple with 5 children. More of a rarity these days. We attribute their behaviour to much prayer and reminders before we got out of the car about how to behave and interact politely with others:).

Thursday, May 24th-LOOOONG walk to a great park, another sunny day!*** Taking the kids swimming for the first time. There was an indoor pool at the motel and no one seemed to be using it while we were there. We'd check before taking the kids and it made for more great memories.

Friday, May 25th-Scott took the van in, they worked it on a bit and we drove it that evening, thinking it was fixed. We didn't drive over 70 though, so ignorance was bliss that day. We went to the Fisherman's wharf and the kids saw the seals and an otter up close. There was another great park and a skateboarding pit bull that provided lots of laughter. Other parents bought fish to throw to the seals and a couple of them let our kids throw too:) We went to a free petting zoo and the kids favorite part was brushing the baby goats.***Great weather and watching the kids chase after the seagulls:).

Saturday, May 26th-More exploring, finding a beach that we could get down to fairly easily. Watching the kite surfers. The kids throwing rocks into the oceans and collecting so many of them that it made the stroller twice as heavy to get back up the stairs... ***Hearing the kids recite their memory verse and visiting China town...

Sunday, May 27th-We headed out to the Johnson's church-discovered that the car vibrated worse than the first time... Elyssia puked on the way to church... Great teaching and preaching. Really nice to meet all the cousins! We went to their house after church and visited for the rest of the day. ***The Sunday School teacher having so much fun with Garrison and Kiersten. Elyssia perked up a bit and was able to visit for awhile, we thought it might just be the gastritis again...

Monday, May 28th-Garrison woke up, acted fine, but threw up in the bathroom shortly after that... Scott took the van to the shop and got home around lunchtime. The problem was actually mud packed in from our roads and the pressure breaking the sway bar. Thankfully it was DEFINITELY fixed after this. Caleb was the next one to throw up, but then he was fine too. We went to Government house and walked around the gardens. Beautiful!!! We stopped at Craigdarroch castle, but it was too expensive. We tried to see the Fisgard Lightbouse, but it closed right as we got there. We found another nice beach that night and I was able to find a baby crab for the kids to see. We also had Elyssia's medicine prescription forwarded and she perked up after that ***One last swim...

Tuesday, May 29th-One last stop at the beach, picked up some shells and driftwood for mementos. Only 30 minutes to wait before boarding the ferry. We got to ride one of the newer ones this time. Super fancy! ***Staying at the Hoxie's church again and trying to teach the kids the game of foursquare. Trying a pommelo-I'm thinking we won't be buying another one:).

Wednesday, May 30th-The drive to Vernon was a bit rainy, but we drove on the Coquihala for the first time. It was WAY better than the Hope Princeton. We stopped in Kamloops to have lunch and play at the park. Unfortunately the park was taken over by unruly middle school kids:(. The Lord brought along a little squirrel to cheer the kids up though. They had fun following it around and I just might have to post that picture on here sometime:) We arrived in Vernon around 3 and ate supper at Richard and Crystal's. We were hoping to go camping that night, but they were kind enough to put us up for the night. The kids enjoyed playing together and surprisingly enough there weren't any disagreements between the 8 kids 7 and under:)***Visiting with our friends until sometime after 11.

Thursday, May 31st-Breakfast with Friends, starting the drive to Calgary. A bit of road construction, but Beautiful mountain scenery! We stopped at Golden to have lunch and play at the park. You'll probably notice a pattern of stopping to play at parks:) They were definitely a big part of our trip... I think we averaged 2 stops a day. 4 max, if you count 1 extra bathroom stop or a gas stop. Most days it was just 2 though. Addy was an awesome traveller and mostly needed to eat when we were stopped. I think we only made 2 additional stops in the two weeks just to feed her.***Getting to Kirk's house and having the kids mob him when he got home from work:))). It's been totally transformed with Darlene's help and the kids enjoyed the colors to draw with and the stuffies and books she had around for them to use. She also had special plates, cups, bowls and cutlery just for them. It made them feel very special! We were also able to meet one of their friends, Rachel, whom the kids took an immediate liking to:).

Friday, June 1st-LEGO DAY!!!:) That was the first thought the kids woke up with anyway. They LOVED playing in Uncle Kirk's G.I. Joe and Lego room and left Uncle Kirk with lots of playing and rearranging to do after we left. Hope he doesn't mind too much... Kirk and Darlene fixed us a fabulous breakfast of waffles and omelettes. We didn't actually get away from the house til after 10, but the Lego store wasn't too far away. The first place didn't have the mini figures that the kids had saved up for, but thankfully Kirk knew of another toy store that carried them in the same mall. He's VERY good at identifying them and the 3 older ones were able to spend the money they'd saved up to buy one each and had over a dollar left:). They were VERY excited about that. Darlene was able to find the dress pants that the groomsmen needed, which was also a blessing. It was well after lunch time when we left and they suggested that we head to IKEA. Most of us had a hot dog and the kids discovered IKEA for the first time. I hadn't been in over 6 years, so it was kind of nice to look around. We bought a roll of art paper and a water bottle ice cube tray. Big spenders, eh:) Scott was able to get Elyssia's Spanish course from the Homeschool store nearby, then we headed back for a nap. The kids all slept on the drive home though, so Scott and I took them for a walk while the other adults took a nap. We finished off the day with supper, a long walk to a park and some mostly tired kids. I gave them all a bath and 4 of them fell asleep pretty quickly. Elyssia stayed up to draw with Rachel and play a game with Scott. After the kids and Scott went to bed I visited with the others for another hour or so. Darlene offered us sorbets and although I don't normally eat that late, I'm glad I said yes! It was amazing! I chose the Lemon one. The sorbet was frozen inside half of a lemon. It was like the fruit was the bowl and I'm hoping to either replicate it at home or find a place to buy more:).

Saturday, June 2nd-We still needed to find shoes for the kids for the wedding, so we loaded up first thing and headed out right after breakfast. Thankfully the Lord helped us to find some quickly and we were able to play at another park for close to an hour. It was sad to say goodbye, but we'll see them again at the wedding next month, so telling the kids that helped them to not be so sad.
We headed to Three Hills to meet with our friend(adopted family:)at her Tea House in Three Hills. We arrived a little late, but it was wonderful to spend time with Karyn and her dad. Adelaide was a bit fussy, teething I think, but Bro. Ironside asked if he could hold her and she calmed down as soon as he took her. She gave him the biggest smiles and he rewarded her with kisses. It was very sweet and I'll treasure the memory forever. It was kind of like having my dad there to do the same. He somehow reminds me of my dad and it was very special to add this to our special times on vacation. The kids had a wonderful time and the food was delicious. We were too full to eat dessert, but Karyn was kind enough to put some with our take home box:).
Next stop-Gas station, then home...

We arrived back home around 6 and it was such a wonderful feeling to be home. To see the growth of everything while we were away, even though it means lots of mowing and weeding. The only thing I wasn't thankful for was the mosquitoes. I didn't miss them at all... We all helped to unload the van and then got ready for bed. I think we all slept quite well, enjoying the feeling of being HOME.***Scott called his parents and put a mouse trap in the van before we headed to bed.

Sunday, June 3rd-The Lord's Day! The mouse was in the trap and he was quite large. I'm pretty sure it's from eating all the crumbs we made on our drive to Victoria and back... Yet another thing to be thankful for:))). A good day in the Lord's House so far, looking forward to another service tonight and then an early bedtime. Sale day for groceries tomorrow, laundry and lots of catching up to do before we truly settle down.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about our travels and didn't get bored with the long details of the journey:).