Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sleeping cuteness

I went into the Littles' room last night to check them before I went to sleep and I found this:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spring concert

Tonight Sean, Bailey, Dylan, Haley, and I went to Sean's spring concert. Don elected to stay home with the Littles, but he gets to go to the next one!  Here are some pictures I took after the concert.

Justin Furse, Sean, Mr. Abblit, Haley, and Dylan

Sean and Bailey...I think Bailey looks especially beautiful in this must be the Mona Lisa smile!

And the awesome foursome, complete with a genuine smile on Dylan!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Menu Plan 5/27

Sunday-Kraft Dinner (Dylan cooked while I worked in the garden!)

Monday-Ham and pineapple pizza

Tuesday-Butter chicken

Wednesday-Salmon burgers


Friday-Homemade mac-n-cheese with ham and broccoli

Saturday-Breakfast sandwiches

I'm linking up over at along with hundreds of other cooks!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Patience's pool party

Last night we spent 2 fun hours at the pool celebrating Patience's 8th birthday. I think all the kids had a great time, and Don and I were so thankful for Sean, Bailey, and Dylan coming and helping out with our kids. Don and I didn't have to even get in the water. (Yay, big kids!)

Our awesome Nick-sitters
Yes, she caught him

Patience and Morgan
Patience and Ethan (apparently there's a crush going on here)
Patience and Scarlett
Patience and Tomas
Patience and Darwin
Patience and Taylor
Patience and Carmen
Patience and Charlotte
Paige and Patience
Patience and Anaya
Patience and Miranda
Patience and Marlena
Patience and Sarah
Patience and Alexandra
Patience trying to blow out her sparkler : )
The first hour of the party was spent with two rec leaders who played games with the kids in the pool. Then the hungry hoard of soaking children came into the poolside party area and had some snacks (fruit, veggies, chips) and drinks. Patience opened her presents, we had cupcakes, and then they all went back into the pool until their parents came to fish them out. It was a very easy party! And all the kids had a great time. Don and I had fun visiting with the parents who chose to stay...thanks to our big kids we really didn't have a care in the world!

Happy birthday, Patience! We love you more than you'll ever know.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Who needs training wheels?

Apparently, not Nick!

This morning Don and I went to a local thrift store because they were having a clearance sale. We found this bike marked down to 22.50 and Don said to get it because it was a Schwinn and it would be a great bike for Nick to grow into. Well, this afternoon Patience went out to look at Nick's new bike and in 5 minutes he was riding it around the driveway! No training wheels, and it's even a bit too big for him, but he loves it.

Don then took his trainign wheels off of his little CARS bike, and he tore around on that thing for awhile, but in the end his new bike won out. Good job, Nick!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Academic Excellence Award Ceremony

What a wonderful evening we had tonight at Sean's award ceremony! It was at a beautiful venue and there were thousands of yummy desserts for us. We sat with 4 other grade 11 students from Poppy and their parents and had a nice visit. Then we got to hear a little bio on each of the 87 students who got the award. Let me tell you, we were in a room full of geniuses. And well-rounded geniuses. Amazing children.

Here is Sean receiving his award. The speaker is our Superintendent of Schools. Also on stage is the Education Board president and three principals from Sean's school.

And here is Shelby Blankstein! If anyone remembers Sean's first couple of years of swimming, Shelby was Sean's female counterpart. They swam in the same division, attended that swanky swim coaching at SFU, and even medaled at the same Provincials. I wish I had a digital picture from way back then so we could see the difference 10 years makes!

Congratulations, Sean! You have made Dad and me very proud. Thanks for a wonderful evening.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Langley Children's Choir

Patience will be auditioning for a spot in this choir on June 5! Generally they don't take children until they reach Grade 4, but they will occasionally take a very talented Grade 3 student. Our fingers are crossed...she'd love to sing on a weekly basis! If she doesn't make it this year, she'll try again next year.
Her audition piece is O Canada and Dylan said he would help her prepare.

Weekly menu plan 5/20-5/26

Sunday- BBQ beef sandwiches with homemade sandwich rolls

Monday- Chicken fajitas

Tuesday- Chow mein

Wednesday- BBQ smokies and hot dogs

Thursday- Baked pizza casserole

Friday- Clam chowder

Saturday- Submarine sandwiches (with homemade sandwich rolls again)

I'm linking this up at Hundreds of mamas share their menu ideas there if you need some menu ideas.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Swimming with Daddy

Today after weed-eating, mowing, and blowing the yard, Don took the kids to the wave pool to go swimming. Patience is taking her new snorkle and mask, one of the many things she bought with her birthday Toys R Us giftcard, and Nick is sporting his new "floatie" Cars swimsuit. Very happy children. Very nice daddy. Very lucky mommy.

A new home for Nathan

Yesterday Nathan called us from Virginia to let us know that in his absence his 3 future-roommate buddies found a place for them to move into! That means that when Nathan returns to Long Beach on May 26 he won't be homeless...for this I am very thankful.

The apartment/condo is in a very nice neighborhood, smack in the middle of the triangle made up of Nathan's church, Nathan's work, and Nathan's hockey rink. So basically the location couldn't be better. It's in the Signal Hill area of Long Beach.

It's also a huge place, 1900 square feet, so 4 guys should have no problem living there together, especially considering their work schedules, which will probably prevent them from all 4 being home at the same time save for 2 weekends/month. Then it will be party on : )

And for all this great space and location, the rent for Nathan will be less than half of what he's paying for his current place. Yes, I think he'll miss the sand at his doorstep, but the beach will be a short drive away so he can still visit it when he wants to.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Farming on a small scale

This is the area to the right of our gate as you're looking onto 248 Street. Several weeks ago we cleared it and then we got 2 loads of great compost delivered for free! (Actually, it was in trade for the "kissing booth" shed.) And then yesterday the blueberry farmers behind us gave Don about 20 extra blueberry plants from the final acre of the old tree farm that they're converting. We can't expect any bounty this year as we're supposed to nip all the buds and let the plants focus their energy on the root system, but in the future we hope to get ENOUGH blueberries for fresh eating and for the freezer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Outstanding Grade 11 student

Yesterday we received an invitation from the Langley School District to come to an awards ceremony for the top five Grade 11 and Grade 12 students from each of the secondary schools in Langley.
Sean is getting recognized for his outstanding academic achievement. We're so proud of him and happy for him.

The great thing is that the awards ceremony falls on Don's birthday so he had a great excuse to call in "unavailable" for that night, and we'll be able to go to dinner to celebrate both of them. And Dylan is kindly babysitting the remaining children.

Quadra Staff!

At Cadets last night Sean found out that he is indeed going to be a staff cadet at Quadra this summer! We don't have any paperwork yet for dates, but he does know that he will be in the PERI (physical education) department, which is most likely the obstacle course. Life was very good for Sean yesterday!
Annual Ceremonial Review, June 2011, Sean leading the Guard

Sean with proud parents

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Menu plan 5/13-5/19

There will be more good eating at Mama's cafe this week!

Sunday-Homemade pizza (Hawaiian and pepperoni), tropical fruit salad

Monday-Taco salad

Tuesday-Teriyaki chicken stir-fry

Wednesday-BBQ hamburgers (the weather has finally warmed up here in the PNW!)

Thursday-Spaghetti with meatballs and Caesar salad

Friday-Beef kabobs with peppers and onions, over rice

If you need menu inspiration, head over to the, where dozens of mamas share their plan!

Padawan Nick

Here you go, Nathan!

Mother's Day

Lately I've been frustrated with my kitchen. Specifically how unorganized it is. I am blessed to have 2 kitchens, but lately I've found myself going downstairs frequently to get something I need. It's only in the downstairs kitchen because my upstairs cabinets are full of things that I really don't use that often. Obviously, it'd be a big job to reorganize my kitchen. Too big for one person. So this year I asked Dylan and Sean if they would help my with this daunting task.

First Dylan and Mark emptied every drawer and cabinet while the rest of us were at church. Except the pantry. I organized that yesterday and was satisfied with it. They vacuumed and wiped them all out with cleaner. When we got home from church, this was the condition of my kitchen:

Don took the Littles to McDonald's and then to Toys R Us so Patience could spend her gift card, and the boys and I spent the next two hours putting this back together in an organized, streamlined way. Much was sent to the downstairs kitchen, some was recycled, and some was thrown away. The boys were ruthless very helpful in keeping me on task and in getting me to part with things I don't use.

I'm so excited and thankful to have a much better kitchen to work in...this is going to be the gift that keeps on giving! Thanks, boys!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

North Otter Family Fun Day

Today the girls' school was hosting a "Family Fun Day" fundraiser for new playground equipment. I took the kids to school to enjoy the day. The weather was gorgeous, bordering on HOT, as you can see by our outfits!

Nick in the firetruck! He was right at home!

Patience in the fire truck...

and Jordyn in the fire truck!

Nick loving life in front of the fire truck!

The kids got to ride in the "hamster balls," and they loved them! Even Nick was able to make it go! You can see Jordyn in this ball.

And here's the back of Nick in this ball.

Here's Patience.

And here are all three of them, having a "ball." : )