July 30, 2007
It's Jennifer's Sweet 16 today!We started celebrating on Saturday by going away for the weekend. And today we are still partying on!!! Birthdays are pretty special around here as we don't do many gifts at Christmas, we save them for birthdays. So one gift per person makes 10 (Mark & I make one!) gifts! That's quite a celebration for us! Also the birthday candidate gets the day off from the daily grind. For our kids that is huge because every day has lots to do. This is their one day of the year to sit back and RELAX Some of the gifts Jennifer got: Watercolors, paint brushes and paper Art pencils Book on Training Horses Jean Jacket Key Chain that says 'Sisters Make the Best Friends' Smarties Horse Birthday Reminder Calender Pig Candies (just to remind her of her job!) Gel Pens If I were to describe Jennifer I would say: God fearing, fun loving, content, joy to be around, not a care in the world, girl. It's actually a rarity to see her in a bad mood. When she is it takes me back because I don't know what to do! She always has time to hug her siblings & her parents. She like to spend time riding horse, reading, art work, caring for animals, playing piano & singing. Dear God, Thank you for choosing Jennifer to be a part of our family. I thank you for the beautiful young woman she is growing up to be. Let her never take her eyes off of you. May she always know the calling that you have placed on her life and be willing to follow you wherever you will lead her. Bless her as she blesses others. Give her one passion, to love you with all her heart, soul, mind and strength. AMEN
July 27, 2007
Travelling was a lot of fun. Jennifer wrote up a scavenger before we left. There were things on there like purple house, white horse, 860 Massey combine, dead skunk, bear, semi that honks, person wearing a winter jacket, someone talking on a cell phone......and the list went on and on. Joshua was the winner and his prize is still pending. We were dissappointed we could not cross off a bear.
We didn't travel very many hours at a time, our longest stretch was 8 hours. We had along lots of books, colorings (as the boys call them) and such, but really they only played with cars.
The older kids and Mark ate a few bags of 'spits'.
We played the alphabet game a couple of times, listened to some story tapes, teaching tapes and lots o' praise and worship.
We sometimes ate our lunch in the van but usually for meals we would park beside a playground, pull out our awning and made our meal right there. The boys loved all the different playgrounds we visited!
One thing you have to know about me is I hate reading maps. In fact I am very bad at reading maps and giving instructions! And Mark is quite the opposite. He can look at a map once, instantly get perspective of where he wants to go and how to get there. I think it is because of the first initials of his name Mark Alan Pauls. There you have it MAP. I was not blessed with such initials, I can RAP though!!!! So needless to say there were a couple of 'tense, dense' moments along the way.
So in Calgary we replaced my bad map skills with a GPS. We had fun with that on the way home. But even that had it's challenges. I thought GPS would do all the work for me and I could just sit back and repeat what it said and we would get to our destination by the shortest quickest route. But I found out the hard way that this was simply not true! As we left the campground at Drumheller we typed in Moose Jaw as our destination. As we got to the main road we GPS hadn't quite told us which way to turn so Mark turned left and waited for further instruction. So as we drove and GPS finally got his act together and said in so and so kms turn right. We came up to the road and it was gravel, Mark figured that was strange, but maybe this was the shortest route. Then GPS said the next turn was a mile, turn right, still on a gravel road, Mark was now getting unimpressed, the next mile turn...... right. Mark is saying, "this is not right (meaning it was wrong), we are going in circles!" I said, "Just trust the GPS!" So he did and we ended up right back on the highway where we started. We had went around the block on country roads! But the GPS had succeeded in one very important thing, it turned us around! And I learned a very important lesson about not totally putting my trust in GPS and actually looking at the route he wanted to take us and make sure I understood what it wants to do! Mark figured he could have turned around in a much simpler way, go figure :) You see our very first turn out of the campground should have been a right, but we turned left before it told us so! So the moral of the story is GPS is great, but you still can't turn your brain off! Too bad for me!
So this concludes the chapter of our Family Vacation 2007. I hope you have enjoyed the little tidbits that we have shared!
Have a great day, stay cool and.....read a map!
July 24, 2007
On our way home we stopped at Drumheller, AB over night and visited Reptile World and the Tyrell Museum. At reptile world the highlight was holding 'Brittney' the boa constrictor. What a big snake she is!
At the museum we saw lots of dinasaur bones that had been found in the area. It was interesting but also too bad to see all the evolution statements and to think of all the people visiting who were believing those false statements. But it really made me wonder again, What did the dinasaurs look like when they were on the earth? I guess we will never know for sure until we ask God in heaven! Drumheller was the only place that had decent admission rates for families. Most places consider a family 2 adults, 2 kids, doesn't quite cut it for us. But at Drumheller they had 2 adults and all dependent children in the rates, so that was nice! We also went on a hike after touring the musuem and saw the badlands and it's beauty up close. Again it amazed me how God was so creative when He made everything, badlands included, even though it was named so by the natives because it was hard to travel and pretty useless to them! I also learned that sage grows in abundance there and the natives used it for many purposes, including to quench thirst. I thought this was very interesting! Some of the kids had fun on the trail running ahead of us (which wasn't too hard at my weary pace!) and hiding behind hills, and charging out at us 'roaring' like dinasaurs when we got close. I guess whatever it takes to make a hike exciting! Until next time!
July 23, 2007
After visting we went to the mountains and camped there for 3 nights.
Our campsite was basically camper to camper beside pavement, but the view of the mountains was beautiful, and since we basically just ate and slept there it was all good.
Some things we did in the mountains:
Cave & Basin
Columbia Ice Fields
And a few Hiking Trails
Some of our highlights in the mountains.
Having ground squirrels as our buddies in the campground. One time we left Brooke's sippy cup on the picnic table and came back to find it almost down one of their holes. Good thing it was as big as it was or we may have never seen it again. Who knows what else we lost down there!
We went on the "monster bus" as the boys affectionately called it. This was the Brewster that brought us up on the ice fields. It went very slow and we climbed a very steep hill. At the restaurant there we had the most expensive hot dog meal ever. It cost us over $50.00. What a rip off!!
The gondola was fun, as long as you didn't look down (my opinion only!) When we climbed up the rest of the mountain we were disappointed to find that mosquitoes are even on mountain tops. How many of those things are in the world anyway?
The weather was hot and the hot springs were hot. We went as early as we could in the morning so that it wouldn't be unbearable! Even then we had to sit in the shade. But the water felt good.
One thing that got me about the mountains was the majesty of God. He made all of these with just a spoken word. WOW, WOW, WOW, did I say WOW? Absolutely breathtaking, beautiful.
My pet peave: How much money people make so that we can see the amazing things that God created. Somehow it just doesn't seem right!
So that's this leg of our journey, maybe more tomorrow.
Today I have to decide whether it's better to go out in the garden when it is cooler and get eaten by mosquitos, or wait until it's hot and fry in the sun? What would you do?
July 21, 2007
We spent the first week of our trip visiting friends and family in Marquis, SK, Lac La Bische, Sherwood Park, near Barrhead, Caroline, & Calgary, AB.
The last time we made this treck was seven years ago, so it had been a long time since we had seen some of these friends and it was great to catch up again.
We did lots of things: horseback riding, badminton, ping-pong, wind-surfing, swimming, mountain climbing, eating & eating, baseball, football, frisbee, soccer, wow that sounds exhausting! But it was a lot of fun. We only got a camera in Edmonton, so it's too bad that we only have pics from then on. Anyway, here is a glimpse into our first week.
July 19, 2007
We had a great time visiting, seeing the mountains, sight seeing and camping. We got home last night. The kids did great travelling, despite very hot conditions since our air conditioning quit working on the van! We finally figured enough was enough and got it fixed on the way home. It was just tooooooo hot! The weather was absolutely beautiful. A little hot at times, but no rain to speak of and no snow (that's happened the last time we visited Banff in July). So we will be trying to catch up on the work here at home. Came home to a hay field that used to be our lawn:), and peas to pick, raspberries to pick, garden to weed, wasps to destroy (that's another whole story!), and much to unpack. So I will try to tell you more about our time away and post some pictures later. So until then.....
July 6, 2007
Hi, We are in Alberta and having a great time. We have done lots of visiting with friends and family. Some with friends we have not seen for years. So it's been good to catch up. The kids are doing amazingly well. Mikaya seems to be doing fine, just going with the flow of things. Somedays she is fine with her carseat, others not! We hope to do some sight seeing a little yet, but today we are off to see some more friends. So have a great summer day. Do something fun today, summer is too short! ps the weather has been amazing except for the first leg of the journey in which we ran into a hail storm. But since then its been balmy. Bye for now.
July 2, 2007
You probably won't be hearing from us for a couple of weeks as we are going on VACATION!!!!!!!!!!! Lord willing we are heading to AB to do lots of visiting with family and friends. Everyone has been looking forward to this for a long, long time. So, bon voyage....Ta, Ta for now.