Friday, July 29, 2011

girl-friend night

Last weekend three of my sweet friends and I had a little girl time.  Veronica surprised us by taking us to her parents' place to spend the night.  They have a beautiful home in a beautiful, serene location.
To top it all off, Vron bought Buckhorn tri-tip salads.  So good.
It is a fabulous salad with candied walnuts, blue cheese, tri tip, "roadhouse" onions (kind of like onion rings only 300 times better) and yummy dressing.  Pair that with a ice cold 2011 Diet Dr. Pepper and you've got yourself a meal to beat all.
Mojitos were made, and I must say it is now one of my favorite drinks.
Virgin, naturally.
This, of course, was only a great beginning to a great time.
Because Rachel "Photographer Extraordinaire" was present, I managed to finagle some really great pictures of the whole event.
And because Rachel "Photographer Extraordinaire" was present, we had a little girlfriend photo shoot, with Veronica's mom shooting the pictures.
Me, Val, Veronica and Rachel
Their whole area - house, land, garden - is practically begging to be photographed.
I fell in love with this old, very weathered adirondack chair.  Rach got a good shot of it.

The rest of the evening was filled with soaking in the hot tub while soaking up the joy of being with great friends.
Yes, it is really cheesy, but oh-so-true.
Rachel was the only smart one and had cozy Uggs to wear to and from the hot tub.  It was a charming fashion statement.

We slept up in the "barn" loft - a beautifully furnished room with antiques, quilts and big breezy windows.
After a little late night giggling (do "women" still giggle?) it was off to sleep.
We all decided the next morning that the combination of cool breeze, warm blankets, cozy beds, good smells and cool sunshine in the windows to wake you up made for a pretty close to perfect sleeping environment.  We all slept wonderfully.

A beautiful morning requires a great time with God.
 It seems that it would be impossible to wake up, walk out into the freshness of the day, and not be filled with gratitude for all that He blesses us with.

And the blessings kept coming.
In perfect bed-and-breakfast style, Veronica's mom made us eggs benedict.
Exceedingly tasty.
Unfortunately we had to cut out time shorter than desired as we all had agendas for the day.  Mine included traveling to Lodi (about an hour) to share at a ladies missions tea.
Regardless of the brevity, I'm sure we were all refreshed and so thankful for an incredible time.
Veronica's mom did so much for us, as did Veronica.
We had great talks, good laughs and some interesting photo shoot memories.
Very interesting.

I am a blessed person having these three as my dearest friends.

our boxes and indoor garden hoses

Last Friday morning felt like another Christmas.
I dug to the back of my brother and sister-in-law's garage to find our boxes of stuff.  This is the last of the stuff we want to have in Ecuador with us.  Not much was left, but what was there was good!
After not having it for two years, it felt like it was all new again.
Maybe that would be a good thing to do on a regular basis - pack stuff up for a while and then you'll appreciate it so much more when you have it again.
Mia was more than thrilled to have some of her books back, especially her drawing book.
She has been wanting those for a long time.
I was happy to find the journals that I've written out for the kids for their Christian birthdays.  There was also the lists of the kids' Christmas ornaments... when I bought which ornament for whom and for what reason.  
There were some I just couldn't remember so it was a very welcome site.
There was also a few more clothes for Lucy and Cade.  Lucy decided to model each piece.

This was the biggest blessing - especially the clothes for Cade.  Since there aren't any hand-me-downs for him, we need to do a whole lot of shopping.  This will cut down a bit on what we've got to spend.  That made me very very happy!
More crap craft stuff makes me happy too!
I think I was grinning about as big as possible when opening each box.

While I was delighting in my boxes, the kids were delighting in the trampoline.
More so, they were delighting in the water spraying up under the trampoline.
I'm still not too clear on the reason for what the pictures show, but sometimes it is best not to ask questions.  Let me just say this:  Blake set up the sprinkler under the trampoline.
Spigot in the front yard:

Trampoline in the back yard.
Yes, he did in fact run the garden hose through the house.
Let's just be clear - there is a spigot in the back yard.  My suspicion is that the hose was in the front yard, therefore it needed to remain there, in part, in order for the hose to be used in the back yard.
Yes, very sensible.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the last day

While not even as close to monumental at the Last Supper, it was still rather important in our minds.
The morning started with a brief (and free - we like that) trip to the splash park....  We splishy-splashed for an hour or two (or 45 minutes, as the case was).

If I zoomed in on the girls (boys did not participate), you might notice blue lips, photo blur on the knees and goose bumps all over.  It was rather chilly.  Pretty sure that is why the thing is free until 11:00.

After a great amount of debate over what to do in the afternoon, we wise and decisive adults decided (okay, women adults - we basically told the men what they were doing) to split the kids up and bring them to three different venues.
Maddy, Mia, Brooklyn and Timaya with Eric:  Steinbach Aquatic Centre
(Alex and Lauren were already off to camp)
Jesse, Cole and Cade with Brent: Grand Prix race tracks
Shandy, Riley and Lucy with Kim and I: Tinker Town (or stinker town, when are kids are present)
Now, because I am especially skilled, I was able to be at two places at once.  Most humans can only manage one.  Not me.
I have proof:  While Tinker Town and Grand Prix are two separate venues at two separate locations, I - me, myself, managed to take pictures at both places.

Okay - the two places are just a few minutes away from each other so I hopped into the van and took some at Grand Prix as well.
Sorry Aquatic Centre-goers.... too far away, so you were not featured.

Many cars were driven.
Riley was pretty hilarious as she took a Sunday stroll in her convertible:  One arm casually around the back of the passenger, the other steering, while relaxing back in her seat.  Cuteness.

It looks like Cade is more focused on keeping his helmet on than driving.

These guys are pumped!  Yeah!
Tinker Town from the ferris wheel.
Yes, there are trees on the prairies.

Looks like Lucy might be having a good time.

After all the shenanigans, we regrouped at B and G’s for dinner.  Auntie Irm purchased an over-abundance of pizza that we all stuffed our faces on.  Regardless, we ended up with about 5 full pizzas left over! 
Kim and Maddy quickly hurried out though.  They were off for some horseback riding.  Maddy has never been (none of our underprivileged kids have) and Kim thought it horrendous.  It was her personal mission to fix this tragedy.  I wanted to join but thought it better to do some finally bonding and allow them some time as well.

Maddy was quite taken by horses as well as the little bunnies and immediately begged for both upon her return.
Partly it was a conspiracy against me thought up by the two of them, but I’m pretty sure a good portion of it was reality!

Now that was a lot of fun activity in one day.