Thursday, March 08, 2012

One final push

Today is our final day here before a 16-day vacation. My excitement is paralleled only by the dozens (I was going to say hundreds but then realized that was an exaggeration) of things I need to do, to prepare, to pack, to tidy, etc. Don worked last night, so he will be sleeping for the first part of the day, but I think he will be helping me later this afternoon and evening. Also, I have dinner all prepared (thank you, OAMC) so I only need to make rice tonight.

My plan is to leave tomorrow at 4 a.m., or earlier. We'll cross the border in Abbotsford so I can stop at my sister's and pick up the cell phone she's lending me. Then we'll head south on I-5, hopefully making it through Seattle by 6:00ish, before traffic gets insane. In my dreams, the Littles are sleeping soundly all this time : ). I get to meet an online friend in Woodburn, OR, of all places! And we'll just continue driving all day long until we reach Richmond, where Lee has graciously offered to take BART. We'll pick up our "fresh" driver and Lee will pilot us home, kind of like the cruise ships do.

I will be taking lots of pictures and keeping up my blog as we go, so it doesn't become an overwhelming task.

Mom, Lee, Dad, Edith, Nathan, Heather et al, we will see you soon!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sean's new ride, new smile

Yesterday Sean got his braces off, right in time for our California vacation! And here is his new truck, which he bought from Nathan last year. He's enjoying his new-found freedom in having his own wheels (Don and I are also enjoying our new-found freedom in not having to provide chauffeur services!).

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The great blog update

This morning I used the "empty my camera onto my blog" method of blogging. Forgive the lack of cohesive thought or even chronological order. Or even text. Mea culpa.

I'll give you a little re-cap of life here in the fullhouse.

Don is still working for Telus. In November they made him permanent and in December they let him start working from his home office, saving oodles of time and money by not having to commute to Burnaby 5 days/week. The only downside is that he is now working nights, so it's difficult for his sleeping patterns to go back and forth. He's filling his days off with overtime from Telus and projects around here.

Nathan is approaching his 1-year mark in California, and still loves it! He's been taking university classes on base, and is hoping to get a BA in English while he's stationed in Long Beach. He's still enjoying the Ducks' games, but has decided to not be a season ticket holder next year. He attends a great church with a large college/career group and has enjoyed being part of their service projects and bible studies. He got baptized in September and is basically doing great in every area of his life. He's in the process right now of getting "coxswain qualified" which is a large exam that he needs to pass in order to get his next promotion. For reasons he doesn't know, his boss gave him what seems like an unrealistic deadline of when he had to pass this exam...12 days. So he's really out of his comfort zone in trying to study so much information in such a short timeframe. We're praying for him!

Dylan is working 4 days/week at his Freybe job, and taking 4 courses at UFV in the accounting program. So far he really likes accounting and is doing a great job in his courses (no surprise there). He's decided to apply for a supervisory position at Freybe, which will bring more hours and more money, should he get the job. Haley has finished her paralegal assistant program at UFV (with flying colors) and is still working at Shopper's Drug Mart, waiting for fall to begin the Forensics program at UFV.

Sean is rocking grade 11. He took Math, Chemistry, French, English, and Socials in the first semester and managed to pull straight A's. He's still trying to decide if he wants to join the program where the military pays for your college education in exchange for 4 years of service afterward. He thinks he wants to go to UBC for an engineering degree. He's been dating Bailey for almost 6 months now! He got his driver's license in February, which of course has opened up a whole new world for him/them. And he is getting his braces off TOMORROW!

Mark Qi is our new international student from China. He's a great fit in our family, and has settled into "large family" living easily. He's very tall and likes to play basketball. He is also in grade 11 at Poppy and his English is very good. We're not sure how long he will be here....he says it depends on how his studies go : ).

Tony is still here and doing well in grade 9. His trip to Europe, which he was going to take during spring break, got canceled so now he'll be hanging out here with Mark and Don.

Patience is loving grade 2. She has an excellent teacher, Mrs. Hawley. Jordyn is in Ms. Chang's kindergarten class and has lots of fun there. The all-day kindergarten seems to be fine...Jordyn gets many experiences/activities each day like library time, music class, gym, etc. because she's there for 6 hours/day. The nice thing is that there is only 15 kids in her class.

Nick. He's now 3 and a half and is talking so much, even in his sleep! He enjoys going to Strong Start, the parent-participation preschool at the girls' school. He enjoys trucks, tractors, cars, and trains. It's amazing how "all boy" he is.

The BC teachers are on strike for the next three days, so we have an unexpected break coming up here. Then after the strike, the kids will go back to school on Thursday, and then we'll leave Friday morning for our California trek! I'm so excited about seeing my parents, Nathan, and Heather and her family.

And now I will try to be more dilligent in blogging. : )

Happy birthday, Jordyn!

Our family celebration, including Mark Qi, who I have yet to introduce : )

Don brought home this very fun DQ blizzard cake for Jordyn!

And this is Jordyn's "Valentine's" birthday party. Only slightly hectic because there were only 7 girls. This is their craft project.

These are all the girls in Ms. Chang's kindergarten class.

The hula skirt

Jordyn got this hula skirt and lei at a birthday party, and when she got home Nick wanted to wear it.

Celebrating Christmas break!

Here we are at Earl's, where Don and I took my parents and all the Bigs, to celebrate the arrival of the Grandparents and the departure of school! Let the celebrations commence!
Lucas Motta and Tony Vu

Pioneer Girlz Christmas Party 2011

Patience and Paige, friends since Kindergarten, at the Pioneer Girlz Christmas Party.

Patience, Paige, and Alexia.

And this is why you should have sympathy for the Grade 2 teacher : )

Kids ready for church!

Nick napping wherever, on whomever

Studying brother Dylan makes a great pillow.

Yes, this is an ipad that he was playing with when he fell asleep :D

Remembrance Day 2011

This might very well be the last time that Sean will guard the cenotaph, as he's decided to quit cadets : (

Sean and Bailey

Sean and Bailey have been dating since September. These are 2 photoshoots, and I'm sure there will be a 3rd since Sean gets his braces off on Monday!