Thursday, April 30, 2009

My little love!

This was so sweet. He watched his mom draw a picture for one of the daycare children on Monday, so we gave him a closed marker and he tried so hard to copy. The picture below makes him look like he is a very, very good artist!

Baby is growing up so fast. So bittersweet. When I facebooked his mom while I was in Jamaica, she commented on how much more babbling he is doing. The night that we left he showed us how he can say "apple" which is like "A-bmm" and now almost two weeks later, he can say it quite clearly. Every fruit is an apple, but it's pretty cute. He says 'Auntie' really well too and that is also very cute. He understands so much, and communicates really well, even without saying all the words.
I missed him way too much when we went away and I know that is something that I need to get over, but he is at that precious age of changing and learning new things every day. When I met him at the park yesterday, he smiled, waved hello and clapped his hands and that is just a wonderful reaction to receive. When he met us at the airport, he had just woken up and smiled very shyly but he was very happy when I reached out to give him a hug. I just love being his grandma.......and he still makes me smile every single day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Spirit of Reggae

"The legend of Bob Marley comes alive as you walk through the village of Nine Miles, his birth and final resting place. Feel the spirit of 'The King of Reggae Music' as you are expertly guided through the very house Bob lived in as a young boy. Gain first hand knowledge of the life and times of this great musician from people who lived there with him. Learn about his culture, his passion, and the unique religion of Rastafarianism that made him the man he was. The tour ends with a visit to his mausoleum where he is now entombed."

This is how the Bob Marley tour was advertised in the tour brochure, and it did not disappoint. The agent fore-warned us that there would be lots of 'ganja' smoking, but no one would force anything upon us. She was right, and it just goes to show that the longer that I am on this earth, the more I can be educated. $10 for a joint....$15 for a detoxifying tea......and $3 for a cookie seemed more than reasonable to to all of the people on our bus and they quickly made their way to see a shadow of a man in a little window in a cement wall the moment the bus parked. Hubby and I just watched, as it was entertaining to say the very least.

Now, I had never even heard of Bob Marley until a couple of weeks before we left on our trip, but everyone who had ever been to Jamaica told us that that was one of their most memorable visits to the island. I was really, really young when I became a wife and mother, and as much as I love music, I have really never paid much attention to who the artists are or what they sing. Well, according to our tour guide, Bob Marley helped put Jamaica on the map. And after my wonderful morning of listening to his music and learning about his life, I can certainly see why. I really do like his music now that I have heard it and I really enjoyed this entire tour. We ended up at a place called The Ultimate Jerk Center for a late lunch and it was a wonderful day!!


We just waited at the edge of the property and enjoyed the scenery as soon as we arrived, and we soaked in some rays and I took a lot of pictures.

I thought that this was very entertaining. Hubby actually paid attention to this entire transaction and claimed that these fellows spent over $50 on their souvenirs.

Stopping on the tour for a picture, just before we went to see where Bob Marley grew up. This is a gate to a hill to climb even farther up than we already were. The whole area is stairs and hills.

This is Bob's bed, and he sings of it in a song he wrote. Apparently, if you touch the bed it is very good luck for fertility.

This is his meditation rock, where he sat and wrote many of his songs. He also sings about his rock being his pillow and our guide was showing us how the hair actually makes it fairly soft.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sunset

Sunsets.......they are truly beautiful and part of God's wonder. I am always amazed at how He decided on the colours, as well as the majesty of them. These were taken mid-week, just before dinner one night. I noticed when we went outside to walk to the buffet that the sun was just about to set, and I had been taking note all week that it was around 6:30 every night. I never really have been able to call myself a romantic.......but sunsets cast a strange spell on me. And it never ceases to surprise me how fast a tropical sun can literally drop into the water. One minute it is there and then it is gone!! Runaway Bay is on the north side of the island so we actually didn't get to see the true "water drop" but that really was okay. It was still a lovely way to spend a half an hour before dinner........

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Caribbean Sea

I love the colours of the sea!!

This is the view from our room.....it wasn't really too hard to take!

This is the first beach walking down from the pool.

If you look really close, then you can see the wedding gazebo. This was taken at one end of our two kilometers of private beach, and the gazebo is almost at the other end. Every beach and little cove was different and had it's own appeal. I just love, love, love the Caribbean Sea!!! It is absolutely amazing!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jamaica

This was one of the beaches that belonged to our resort. There were several.......and I truly think I could stare at the Caribbean all day long

Our first evening at the Gran Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay

Heading into our room to watch the hockey game. We had CBC!!

The beach at Dunn's Falls

Here we are....at the Falls

Back from Paradise!

We are home. It has been a remarkable week and I feel truly blessed. We had such wonderful holiday!! It was everything that we expected plus more. I am disappointed that my batteries in my camera are dead and I can't share some of the pics, but there will be some posted soon......I promise. After all, we took over 500!!

Jamaica is beautiful!! The people, the places, the shopping.....everything about it......we would go back in a heartbeat! "Better than Hawaii" That is how Hubby described it after five days. I think we are comparing apples to oranges as they are just so different, but I am so glad that he had a great time. I do worry about him and obviously so do his children. #2 and DIL dropped us off at the airport and the last thing he said to me was, "Now, don't make Dad do anything he doesn't want to do!" When we booked our trip, #3 and SIL were concerned as "What was Dad gonna do?" He likes to be busy, he had food issues, he doesn't like to read and he sunburns in the shade. He is a typical,"I don't know how to relax sort of guy." And doesn't really ever go in the water. Maybe his feet, but that's about it.

Well, let it be known that Hubby loved Jamaica. He loved our all-inclusive resort which was everything it was advertised to be, plus more. The food was more than fabulous and the water is all filtered so he was able to drink tap water, if he chose. Our junior suite was fit for royalty, right down to the canopy over the bed. I kept telling him that I felt like a princess and we lived in a castle. The omelet guy called me 'my lady' every day that I saw him. The food was better than ANY cruise I have ever been on, and the ala carte restaurants were excellent too. Only the Italian was "not so good" and we ended up skipping it on the last day and that is second hand information. We just LOVED the buffet so much that we didn't want to miss their seafood night. And so many people had told us that the service was slow and the portions were small. It was the boiled beef comment that kinda got to me, as I am just not fussy. Any food that I don't have to cook is usually the best for me. As much as I really do like to cook, every else's cooking just tastes way better to me!!

I read four books.....and half of one on the plane ride home. I really enjoyed flying Air Transat.....it is the biggest plane I have been on in awhile and they still serve you food and drinks at no extra cost. Movies are still supplied at no extra cost either and that is just really nice. I didn't mind the red-eye flight but it sort of makes the first day a bit exhausting. Our room wasn't ready until almost 2:30 so that just made me re-think how I would pack a little differently next time. Bathing suits and flip-flops in the carry-on for sure!! Hubby had a harder time than me being homeless for 4 hours but he had to sit next to Drunk Don on the flight over and that was a experience all in itself. You will have to ask me about it some time as it it a long and funny story! Poor, patient Hubby........

But we went on two tours, one to Dunn's River Falls and Ocho Rios for shopping......and a Spirit of Raggae tour to see where Bob Marley grew up and where is buried. Jamaica reminded me a lot of Belize, as the people are just beautiful and the jungle is dense. All the little towns looked like Roaring Creek and San Ignacio, and the roads were just as bad. First time I have ever driven on the opposite side of the road and that is an experience to say the very least. Lots of firsts for me.....first time at an all-inclusive, first swim-up bar, first time seeing topless sunbathing, first time watching so many people smoke ganja (we were the only ones on the bus who never partook....is anyone surprised?) first time snorkeling with my husband, and I am sure the list is bigger than that. Loved our holiday.......I will post more later, or maybe tomorrow......depending on how busy today gets. There's shopping to do, and chores to complete. We are home and it's back to reality!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Blossoms

The cherry blossom tree in my front yard

The magnolia bush right across the street
Here they are, the reason I love Spring so much. The blossoms are very late this year because we had such a cold winter, but the children and I went for a walk yesterday and I couldn't resist taking pictures of the trees. Flowers have never really been my thing. I have always loved their beauty, but I never was as enthralled with their intricate design as I have been in the last few months. Even in Hawaii, I kept taking pictures of flowers. It still continues to amaze me how God thought of making our world and everything in it. Spring is just so beautiful and it smells so fresh! Yesterday was one of those perfect days.......perfect weather, almost perfect children and just a fun day all round.
We had a wonderful afternoon learning about ducks and goats, and we can hardly wait to book a farm tour in May so we can see the rest of the animals. After we went to the farm, we also walked to the park and my little ones never complained once. They loved the bugs, and running a race, and then collecting dandylions and leaves on the way home. I am sure we walked almost 3 km and their little legs did extremely well. They were tired and hungry when we arrived back home but everyone had lots of fun!
I am going to Jamaica tonight. I have packed everything except my toiletries, and I still have to get my hair cut, but then I think I am ready! And I am really, really excited and I know that we are going to have a fantastic week!!! See you all when we get back!!!!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Go Canucks Go!

Yay....we won!! One down, only 15 more to go! They didn't really even play that well, but the end result was a 2-1 score and Game 1 of Round 1 is history. I really liked how all the "tough guys" started the game......all of the fighters and grinders to send a message to the other team. There weren't really any good fights, just a really great crowd who were really into it. When it was over, you would have thought that we had just won the Stanley Cup, the way the crowd was acting. It was a really fun night and I am really glad that I got to be a part of it!!

We leave for Jamaica tomorrow! Boy, did that ever creep up quickly!! I am so excited and I still have a few appointments to finish up today and tomorrow......but I am leaving on a jet plane tomorrow at 10:30 pm. First red-eye I will ever do and I hope it goes well. I am asking for prayer again, for health and safety please. I can hardly wait, but with all traveling, there also comes a bit of stress and anxiety. It's somewhere we have never been before, so there is always that "unknown" factor.

My washing machine is finally fixed!! The repairman was here all of 15 minutes, he replaced the water pump and I am set to go again. I know that I am weird but I missed it sooooooo much. I love doing laundry. And I am so grateful for #3 who let me come over whenever I liked to do a few loads, but it just wasn't the same. It's back and hopefully good for another 7 or more years! We were one of the first people I know to get a front loader and I am sure one of the first to ever need a repair. Whirlpool was excellent about trouble-shooting for the first couple of days, but then along came Easter weekend and then I had to wait again. My own long time repairman doesn't even work on front loaders as they are so new, but the fellow that Whirlpool sent only charged $20 for labour and I really liked him. Now we just won't talk about the $160 part!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring and Hockey!

I do think that Spring has finally arrived......I have one lone daffodil blooming in my garden, the cherry blossoms are out on some of the trees and the the sun sometimes comes out to visit. Yesterday was one of those beautiful days in the Lower Mainland. It was a bit cool, but we had lots of fun in the sun. Baby's mommy gave him a ball and a hockey stick and he entertained himself for 45 minutes......dropping the ball, chasing the ball, hitting the ball. It was very cute to watch and now that he is walking so well, it is very fun to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. His mommy started to put a wagon together that we had bought for the daycare last Fall. When Hubby came home, Baby had to show his Grandpa his hockey skills and then he helped to get the wagon put together. We never did get a picture of the finished product but the new wagon is a very big hit with our little one year old!!!


Grandpa.....showing Baby how to stick-handle.

Just helping......

He is such a little boy. Loves the hammering and loud noise and is very intrigued with how things fit together. This was almost as entertaining as hockey. He lost interest when I took him to see the cat who lives next door, but he watched his mommy and grandpa for awhile. He followed the little black cat around for quite some time while the wagon was being put together. Neighbours came out to visit and he loved all the dogs as well. It felt like Spring yesterday and it is supposed to be just as nice today!
The Giants won their Game 7 of Overtime yesterday to go on to play the Kelowna Rockets in the third round and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup play-offs start tonight! I can hardly wait!! Vancouver is playing St. Louis and I get to go!!! It's going to be a fun day and a fun evening, as well!!!!



Tuesday, April 14, 2009

ROE and Turning 40

Chloe.....at 7 months old.

She sits very well by herself now....but this is just great advertising!!

Another picture for our scrapbook!

We celebrated twins on Saturday night. It was a surprise 40th BD party and we all had such a great time. Stacy was very surprised, as it was actually one month late. We got her good and that is always fun to get one over on Stace. She is Hubby's cousin and she is just a great person with a great personality and a huge heart! I met her when she was just a little girl.....of 10.......and I feel so blessed to have her in my life!!

Here is her beautiful twin with her beautiful mom. She is just as wonderful as her sister and I am blessed to have her in my life as well. We don't see her as much as she lives in Langley (although she is moving to Arizona with her family this summer) and I love her too!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cake!!

I know that it has been over a week, but Miracle #1 keeps asking about cake pictures. Baby actually had three cakes for his first birthday but only ate the one little cupcake that he had the day before his actual birthday. #3 bought cupcakes for him to celebrate with the daycare children on Friday afternoon and he thought that it was fabulous. Ate it all up!! I don't think he could actually believe that his mommy even gave it to him.......it was very, very cute!! And of course, the daycare children loved it too!! Stacy had brought Timbits in the morning so there were lots of sweets for everyone that day!!

With his friends!!!

This was on Saturday, his real birthday and auntie came to give him his present because she couldn't make it on Sunday as she had to work! He really liked his ball pit!!

Mesmerized by Cake #2. Auntie bought him a cake, but it was naptime and he didn't even get offered a piece until the next day!!! He sure loved it when everyone sang Happy Birthday to him........I think that was his favorite part!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!

Jesus said,"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will have life even if he dies. And he who lives and believes in me will never die." John 11:25

We managed to get to Easter service after all. We went late to Stacy and Pam's birthday party last night and snuck in a wonderful Easter message. #1 really wanted to go, and so #4 and Hubby and Baby and I joined her and went to a beautiful service with a poignant message. Baby was soooooo cute.....he even raised his hand at the appropriate times in the songs. My redeemer lives.......and up went the hand.......simply adorable!

Baby is sleeping over......his very first sleepover and has done extremely well! He practically fell asleep on the drive in from Port Coquitlam but managed to hold off until we got here at 9:30. I had a quick little cuddle and he slept until 1:40 am. I rocked him for a couple of minutes in the middle of the night and he went right back to sleep. As I write this, I am waiting for him to wake up. #4 is already at work at the golf course, Hubby and Baby are still sound asleep, and it is way too quiet. It's my 29th wedding anniversary today and I just looked at some wedding and honeymoon pictures. We were sooooooooo young.......and so blissfully unaware of what the future had to offer. It's been a wonderful, memorable, exciting 29 years!!! I can hardly wait for the next 29!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunday's a coming......

That was the message at Good Friday service and it was very powerful and very well done. Miracle #1 and I went and we had a wonderful morning of fellowship, coffee and pastry. When we came home I made lunch and then we watched a great chick flick.....The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants #2. I enjoyed it just as much as the first one!!

Hubby and I went to Midnight Madness at Zellers on Thursday night and it wasn't really very busy. And there were lots of specials still left......nothing was sold out except for the Olympus camera and it wasn't even a very big savings. I picked up quite a few DVD's and CD's for very good prices and this was one of the ones that I got for $9.97. I picked up a tankini for the same price and am really quite surprised at how well I actually liked it. Never thought I would ever wear a two-piece again, but I guess I was wrong. I now have six bathing suits for Jamaica.....who would have ever figured?!?

We just got back from the Giants game, which they lost in quadruple overtime. I have to admit that I nodded off more than once as exhaustion does eventually get to me.......but that is not reflective of the game. It was actually very, very good......just the end result was poor. Might be the last home game of the season, unless they can come from behind in Spokane. They have lost 2 and Spokane has now won 3........and they managed to do it on the road. Good value for our money......we saw 2 whole hockey games for the price of one!!! And now because I managed my little cat-naps (including falling asleep on the way home) I am now very wide awake!! It did occur to me today that I have been to two Canuck games and two Giants games in the last week. That's a lot of hockey!! And three out of four were extremely good games!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday 2009

"In my Father's house are many rooms.....I am going there to prepare a place for you." John 14:2

I love Easter weekend!! It is probably my favorite holiday of the year. Better than Christmas, Thanksgiving and birthdays all rolled into one. Not a whole lot of stress, mess or preparation, and the message is so beautiful. I am a Christian and I know that Jesus died for me.....and rose to Heaven for me......and is keeping my spot for me. All because He is my Lord and Savior!! He died on the cross for my sins and because I believe in Him, I will have everlasting life!! Beautiful, just beautiful!!!

I am teaching at church on Sunday, so I will actually miss the service but Miracle #1 has come to sleep over and we will go to Good Friday service this morning. It's usually very solemn, especially compared to Easter, but at least I will get to go. There is a family birthday tomorrow night, otherwise I would go to Saturday night service, but my family is very important too. Scheduling conflicts will always be part of life.....especially when I have this much family!! I am so blessed!!

I have had a super-fantastic week! The children have been so fun with all the Easter festivities. They were really into their easter egg hunt yesterday and we had so much fun together. I went to the Calgary/Canucks game on Tuesday night and it was soooooooo good. Hubby and I went and we also went shopping at Authentix so it was just a really fun night!! I finished up the Safety theme with my Roots of Empathy class and we all had such a great time. I have really bonded well with my Grade 2 class........Breanna came right up to me when I came in as she wanted me to sign her cast.......she fell off the monkey bars at school, and that worked really well into our playground safety discussion. They are such a great group of children......24 little people for me to love!! And the teacher had just gone to Jamaica for Spring Break so she was full of information for me about my trip. She and I have bonded well too.......not that I had any doubts. I love teachers!! I know that I would have been one if getting married and having babies weren't more important way back then!! I really am still a teacher......just not as my profession!!

And yesterday my wonderful friend Cynde came by for tea and brought me her snorkeling gear for me to use again. She even brought some for Hubby.......I just giggled. Although he did tell me last night that he thinks he might bring it and he might even use it!! So there......at 53, he is going to go out of his comfort zone!! Actually, just by going to Jamaica, he is doing that. He is doing this trip for me, just because he loves me!! I really do know we will have a great time......and I am still awestruck that we are actually going!!!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More Birthday Pictures

We had lots of food, and this is only some of it...all of it didn't fit onto the table. The miracles were very, very busy cutting and chopping! Big kudos to Miracle #2 and DIL who came early to help set up, took lots of pictures, put together the toys and then cleaned and cleaned and cleaned afterwards. Miracle #3 and SIL spent most of the weekend shopping and cleaning and getting ready for Baby's big day!

Here is the birthday boy, about halfway through the party.....quite fascinated with a closed bottle of water. He was sooooooooo good for his party......he seemed to really know that it was all about him!!

He sat with his mommy and opened presents for a full half hour or more. He was a typical baby and was quite intrigued with the tag that was attached to one of his new shirts!! LOL (Please note the beautiful letters that his auntie made him that are standing on the hearth of the fireplace)

He really liked looking at his cake and it took a little bit of encouragement for him to actually reach out and touch it!

His bountiful booty!! He says thank-you very, very much to all of the wonderful people who made his first birthday a very happy day and a very memorable one too!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

We are going to Jamaica!




So after much deliberation.......we have decided to head to Jamaica. Next week! In nine days, actually. The sell-off deals are absolutely amazing and I still can't believe that I am really going. Ended up at a one-day sale at Mico's on Saturday and I bought 2 new bathing suits for $9.99 each. They retailed at over $300. I was feeling very, very good about that. I got a couple of other things too and when we went to the Giants game on Saturday night our friends gave us a 25% off coupon for the store so I scored in there as well. I am feeling very, very spoiled and very, very loved. Hubby and I will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary in style!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A year ago.....and now!

Baby is not even one hour old here, and his proud uncle loved him immediately!
Still loving him 3 weeks later!
And one year later.....Baby saw Uncle drive up and immediately walked over to him and and gave him big kisses and hugs. The love that they share is so heartwarming!!
This is taken at his birthday party on Sunday. I just love him soooo much!!
He is learning new things every day and the mimicking is just so cute right now. He does this face a lot.....it used to mean "oh oh" but now he does it on command. Auntie taught him how to clap when asked now too, and he makes a real noise with it and is just so proud of himself!! He is mimicking a lot these days......it's very cute to watch and listen to. I still love watching him walk as he is still so new at it and yet so confident. I took him to the park yesterday and he really wasn't so sure of the bigness and the spaciousness of it all, but that is what is so great about his cautious personality. We went with 5 pre-schoolers so it was really nice that he liked to stick close to all his friends and especially his grandma. The sun was glorious yesterday and I hear that it is supposed to be back today. It really does feel like Spring!!