I Can't Believe It! We're Here!

We actually did it! We drove to Winnipeg today! I know its not really a serious feat or anything, but we haven’t taken rowan much further away than an hour or two, so we weren’t sure how the trip would go. Especially so soon after the lake trip! Despite the few expected challenges along the way, we arrived in the driveway of loving family with a van full of smiling children! Granted, the smiling children all REEKED of poop, but there was no shyness or apprehension whatsoever.

After a good hearty playtime, we put the conked out. I can’t be completely sure, but I would be surprised if they’ve moved since then. They were SO done, but so excited to be here 🙂 It bodes well for tomorrow.

Ro was overtired, and therefore, didn’t eat too much before falling asleep. So we put him down for bed too, and had an unbelievably perfect meal of rice with sweet and sour sausage for supper. We even brought it outside and ate around the fire. There is an enormous full moon in the sky tonight, it was still and beautiful, and just the perfect night for it.

After getting back inside, Ro is up for more milk, and the rest of us as ready to hit the sack. So ready!! I’m not sure what tomorrow holds yet, but today has proved to be a great day on the road, with a fabulous reception at our destination.

This trip was a great idea! Thanks for the invite, Caity!!!

Highlights of my 27th Birthday!

Straight up, we all pretty much forgot it was my birthday over here, myself included! There were still lots of funny and positive things about the day that I’m weirdly excited to tell you guys about, but first, pictures from beach day 🙂

First, breakfast.

Then, the beach!

Boogers and all

IMG_0258 IMG_0263 IMG_0268

Onto today! Behold, my list of highlights:

We drank all the milk.

We had to purchase some groceries when we got to the lake, including milk. We got a 2L of skim and a 2L of whole milk, and on the very last day, we finish off the end of both cartons. Win! Yes, a lame win, but Brady figured that since it warranted a high five, it deserved to be on the list of highlights.

Someone thought Brady was a girl.

Brady offered to change Rowan’s diaper in a Tim Hortons bathroom on the way home. He was in there, changing the poppy bum, when a man walked in, said “Oops, sorry” and walked out. A few seconds later, the man returned and said, rather gruffly, “This is the mens room.” Brady responded in his equally gruff voice “Ya?” Apparently Random Man #1 backpedalled, peed as fast as possible, and got out of there. Also, as a side note, apparently poop glows in those blue lit bathrooms.

A bird rode on our hood. 

We were briefly stalled in traffic thanks to come construction, when we noticed a silly little bird walk into the lane beside us, seemingly ready to stare down the cars. We both loudly rooted for this bird to find its way back to the safety of the shoulder, and when the cars started to move, he flew, fairly half heartedly, onto the hood of our van. He grabbed onto the windshield wiper for dear life. Brady shouted for me to take a picture, but of course, the little guy took off while my prehistoric phone took forever to open the camera app. So I have no proof, but the memory is there.

We found moms plates.

We stopped at Value Village in the city on the way home, and I found a few plates to go with my moms set. She’s had the same dish set forever, and all of us kids have brought home extra pieces for it at one time or another. Today I found some little dessert plates. Those things are hard to come by. Win!

Signs are up!!

When we were just about home, we started seeing our realtors signs. There are a few of them floating around town, to point people in the direction of our house. I’m so happy that we are not only listed again, but that the signs are up, and that she is ready to sell for us!!!


We broke into our house.

This is a very special thing I never expected to do on my birthday, haha! When I dropped the plates off at my moms, I brought a chunk of my keys in with me, as I carry one of her house keys. That chunk also carries my house key. And I left them there. So Brady broke into the house. I have some great pictures, but a concerned party suggested I maybe not put those on the internet 🙂 A very smart party, I should say. But if you want to see them, I’ll private message them out to friends. WAY too funny!!

We’re going to Winnipeg!

A fun new twist in our plans is that we’re adding another destination! We were hoping to get to Winnipeg this summer, but opted instead to go to the lake as a family, which is something we haven’t ever really done. Especially not with all five of us. But my sister sent me a text today saying that there was still time, if we wanted. And somehow, we decided to go for it! We asked Dekker if he wanted to see Auntie Caity and Uncle Stefan tomorrow, and he said “Today maybe?” We reiterated tomorrow, and he started whimpering and crying. That about settled it for us!!

So we’ve been unpacking, laundering, and repacking the last few hours, and we’re so excited 🙂 I’ve had a super funny day, and I’m expecting some more fun to come.


Though I always miss you, Waskesiu…..

Our Attempt at Beach Day

Yesterday was rainy and today was sunny, so we decided to beach it up today. We gathered up all of our toys and got the kids dressed in their swim stuff. We decided last minute to drive to the beach. It was such a short walk, but after the hamper full f beach stuff fell off the double stroller and spilled all of its contents, we changed our tune.

So I’m not going to sugarcoat. Today has been an incredibly difficult day, and I don’t care to go into detail about it, since this is our one and only holiday this year, and I’m hoping to remember the positives more than the negatives. But Dekker wouldn’t be on the sand, in the water, in our arms, or really he just wouldn’t have any of anything. So he sat and sulked on the blanket with Rowan in his car seat, while the rest of us had a lot of fun! I took a quick dip in the lake before Laela was brave enough to play in the sand. She had walked in it just fine but it took a bit of convincing to get her to really get into it.

We had purchased a huge sandcastle bucket at Dollarama, so Brady and I made a few runs back and forth to the water to get a really good patch of wet sand going. I can’t remember the last time I really dug in the sand but MAN was it fun!! No word of a lie, I had a blast. Brady and I dumped out bucket after bucket, making castle after castle, and Laela would take her shovel and scoop the tops off into her pink sparkly pail. (Just for the record, no, we don’t force her to be pink and girlie and like dolls and princesses. But she loves it all. She will get filthy on the beach, but she’ll do it with her pink pail in her floppy sun hat.) We pulled out snacks for lunch, but somehow, even after there was food, everything sort of crashed and burned. I didn’t know moods could get worse than they already were. So we packed up and hauled the kids back to our place. Dekker was crying, because he hadn’t really ever stopped, Laela was crying because she was sad to leave, and Rowan was crying because he was so overstimulated that he couldn’t drink his bottle. And let’s be honest, I was almost in tears, mourning my afternoon spent at the beach that I wanted so badly.

We put everyone down for naps, including ourselves, and we all felt relatively refreshed. We went out for supper, and we came out the other side, so thats an improvement. We fed Rowan back at our place, and decided to give one last wander around before we came in for the night. We grabbed a few of those rectangular wafer cookie things and two bubble swords before venturing out one last time.

Dekker chose the wooden dock to go run down. It was SO windy and the wind was biting, so we all huddled at the end together and ate our cookies. Within a minute or two, we were leaving the dock. As has been the theme this trip, Dekker and I started to move quicker, with the goal of beating out Brady and his double stroller full of children. He’s been gently letting Dekker win each and every time. But tonight, he gave her, and outran us. As it was happening, I realized in my head that Dekker hasn’t lost very many times in his life, and I wondered if we’d have to have a talk about being a sore loser, or how it would all end up. But at the end, Dekker was laughing and, completely out of breath, he shouted “That was awesome, Daddy! Give me a high five!” I was thrilled to see him handle it so well! I’m sure it will change with time, and with competition with different people – friends, siblings, older or younger kids – but this one was a win for sure.

Getting the kids to bed was sad. We came into this trip kind of throwing the schedule out the window, because frankly, we didn’t want to be holed up by 7:30 either!! They still have been in bed around that time each night, but the lack of routine is seeming to be killing these kids. We put them to bed wailing at 7:00 tonight. And now, we’re happy to be holed up. We’re tired. Its been a long day.

Tomorrow is the day we head home. While today was a challenge, I’m still sad to leave. I love it here. I always have. I hope one day all of my kids love it too.

Beautiful Lake Town and Beautiful Kids

Our kids are basically models today, so I’m just posting pictures this time around. It was a cool, rainy day, but we still went out to wander, eat supper, and play at the playground. dance Dance Revolution occupied us in between 🙂 Its been a good day. I keep thinking we’re leaving tomorrow, but we have another day!!! Yay!

My attempt at a Gap Kids commercial didn't go so well, but I'm thinking this is one of those photos they'll recreate twenty years down the road. I can hope!
My attempt at a Gap Kids commercial didn’t go so well, but I’m thinking this is one of those photos they’ll recreate twenty years down the road. I can hope!
This worked a bit better
This worked a bit better 🙂
Ok, the cheapie in me has to share about this breakfast! We left the bakery with three sticky buns and a danish, and two large coffees, and we paid less than $8. Say what you will about how expensive this lake town is, but that was a delicious and affordable breakfast for this family!!!
Ok, the cheapie in me has to share about this breakfast! We left the bakery with three sticky buns and a danish, and two large coffees, and we paid less than $8. Say what you will about how expensive this lake town is, but that was a delicious and affordable breakfast for this family!!!
I heart her.
I heart her. Even when she’s covered in boogers.
BOYS! Heartbreakers!
BOYS! Heartbreakers!
I love his goofy smile, with his little gummy gums!
His chevron car canopy made his eyes look crazy!!!
His chevron car seat canopy made his eyes look crazy!!!
Crazy beautiful, obviously.
Crazy beautiful, obviously.
Mischief in a restaurant
Me: Laela, make a funny face! Laela: *makes a funny sound*
Those eyes tho…
Still a hint of that dimple he had as a baby.
Also mischief.
Yup, thats pretty much how all of our selfies look.
Thank you for the ice cream, Grandma!! Its like you were there!


We’ll wrap this up with a funny face selfie by the water. Not only does this show that our kids don’t really grasp the concept yet, but it shows that Brady and I have been together for too long, lol!!!

Twas a good day. I’m hoping for another just like it tomorrow. Ok, a bit warmer would be nice 😉

We Made It!!

After an immensely full day of packing, repacking, driving, eating, and answering an unknown amount of questions, we are at the lake!!! We have filled our afternoon and evening with busyness, which actually isn’t usually our kids first choice. Knowing them, we had planned to just be cozy for today, and then venture out to the lake and the town tomorrow. But having really talked up todays trip, they were practically scratching at the door to get out.

After we unpacked ourselves and made a decent list of what we had forgotten to bring, we went for a walk to the grocery store. We bought milk and wipes. Yup, we forgot wipes. We figured the kids would be plenty hungry at that point, as it was past our usual supper time, but Dekker was requesting to see the actual lake that we had been telling him about. So just ducked across the street to see the beach. We moseyed back to our place a different way, so we could see new sights, when Dekker spotted some little animal statues in front of the gift shop. So he and Laela both got a brief ride on the little horse before continuing our walk back.

Once we got back home, we turned the over on to preheat to make some chicken fingers. It was then that we discovered that our little place here did not come equipped with everything we thought, including a cookie sheet. So we figured we’d quickly cook them up in the frying pan, but not having bargained for that, we hadn’t brought oil. So back to the store I ran to grab another few things. We did eventually sit down for chicken fingers, cucumbers, and pasta salad, and everyone ate really well! The pasta salad was SO much better this time, and the kids love it. Because its macaroni. And they would live off of macaroni if I let them.

After supper, Dekker began to ask to see the lake again! It was already past their bedtime, but we knew those rules would bend a little bit. Its a holiday!! Plus, Rowan was destroyed, and was napping. So all the timing was messed up anyway. We got Ro up and ventured out again. Laela was pretty much fading at that point so she hitched a ride in the stroller this time. We walked to the big concrete pier, all the way to the end and back, and then up and down the long wooden dock as well. Then we walked to the water and got a killer family photo.


And I don’t mean “killer” as in Laela looks deadly. But she does. In a good way.

We walked back to our place through a treed area, and now Dekker “loves forests.”

Tucking everyone in was a little sad, and Dekker was nervous to sleep somewhere unfamiliar. Luckily, I have a cuddler on my hands, so we spooned and chatted, and finally prayed together. Dekker prayed his usual prayer where he thanks Jesus for his family, and I prayed that Jesus would keep us safe and happy so we could have fun tomorrow, and he was so much happier after we prayed 🙂 It does my heart good that he can already find comfort in things that he cannot see. Way to go, Deks! Laela went down with no trouble, and everyone is already sleeping. Well, not Rowan yet, but I’m confident he’s not far behind.

Tomorrow hopefully holds an outside breakfast of cinnamon buns and cereal, and then lots of lake time!! I can’t wait!!!

I can, actually. I’m so tired. Sleep first.

Singing and Praying and Packing Up!

I really enjoyed church this morning. Like, a lot. To be completely honest, Sunday mornings are rarely easy for us. Its harder to rearrange schedules with the kids, and get everyone up early, and then have them sit relatively quietly through the service, and then being around a lot of people that they don’t know, and then there’s never time for a nap because of how it all lines up. Its a challenge. BUT!!, today was fabulous.

No no, the kids weren’t in a good mood. Nope, not even a little bit. We dropped their crabby butts off at my parents and raced to the church. We were running behind for our set practice time, being that we slept through our alarm and all. Sigh. Having not lead worship in around six months, we were not off the best start. I scrambled to find a few copies of the songs we were going to sing, but were going to print off at home that morning. It was a rocky start.

However, if I can be so bold, I thought the singing turned out great! We introduced a new song, which we almost never do. But I felt this one leaning on me, so we gave it a try. I sang it quietly at the front while some of the congregation filtered in, in an effort to get the melody into people’s heads, and then we asked everyone to join us. Often, it feels like we’re singing on our own with an unfamiliar song, but I felt like even from all the way at the front of the church, I could hear other voices singing!! I was so thrilled that it went so well, and that people seemed to be touched by it. Thank you, God!

After an incredibly heartfelt message that our speaker had clearly poured over, we lead a bit more singing, and then had our regular sharing time where people can stand up and ask for prayer or share with everyone really whatever they want. I finally stood up and told everyone about our plans to move. They’re obviously not private, but its not as though everyone in my church reads my blog, so I figured I’d fill everyone in. I asked for prayer, as the timeline we feel is right is seeming not to add up, and its SO hard to be vulnerable and hopeful when nothing is coming from it! I’m trying so hard to have faith, and its just getting more difficult. I’ve already had people reach out to me, and encourage me in ways I didn’t expect. One woman even approached my mom and said something like “I forgot!! I could have been praying all this time!!” I love that woman, and I know she’s a prayer warrior who will now be praying for us 😉

We had my parents over for lunch after church, where we whipped up some burgers, a ton of chopped veggies, and pasta salad gone wrong. See Kim?? Its totally possible to screw that thing up!! Either way though, I tried, and it was all pretty good. Then, the kids went down for a nap so we could get some things done. There will still be more to pack in the morning but we are well on our way to being ready for the lake!!! We did some stuff for Bradys work this afternoon, and got everyones clothes packed up ready to go. Tomorrow is mostly getting toiletries, electronics, and all the food together. So not much we could really do in advance anyway. We’ll pack all morning, then go grab lunch in PA and be at the lake in good time to still enjoy the day there!

Lake lake lake lake lake.

The BIG Shop

After a FULL nights sleep (Thanks Rowan!!!) we were all feeling fresh and good as we headed to the city for our big holiday shop. We were as organized as we could possibly be, which was probably about 80% of where I would have preferred to be. But 80% is good! So we rolled with it.

We had gone to Walmart yesterday and had little success, but I ducked back in to grab some picnic blankets. They have these 4’x6′ blankets that are fuzzy on one side, with a waterproof underside, and they were just $15. I grabbed two. We hit Dollarama for sand toys and a couple flashlights, just for the kids, that we thought they might like to play with at the lake.

The kids were pretty much at the end of their proverbial ropes, but we decided to power through Superstore before lunch. They actually did awesome, and were patient while we fussed through aisle after aisle, trying to get just the right things without getting too many things. The cookies at the end were a good payoff, because they were starving, and they were cookies, but thankfully everyone was still plenty hungry for lunch.

After lunch, we quickly ducked back into another Walmart location in search of the things we couldn’t seem to find at Superstore this time. There are so weirdly elusive groceries today! We could NOT find shell noodles to save out lives, and we could only find a few tiny little containers of strawberries. So silly.

After looking in way too many places, we FINALLY found a floaty thing to put Rowan in at the lake! I called to get it on hold, and we had to cross the city, but we got one! Just watch now, he won’t buy it and it’ll just sit unused. Oh well. Options are good. But it seems like we’re late to the summer game. Almost all of the summer goodies have been bought up and restocked with school supplies or Halloween stuff. INSANE!!

A quick stop at Costco and we were finally on our way home. Sadly, both Dekker and Laela have been in pretty rough shape the last few hours, and went down right away. Lots and lots of tears. But now the work begins! We have to get as organized as possible, and then practice our music for tomorrow, because we’re up to lead music and this week has just gotten away on us! But such is summer, am I right? We have all of tomorrow evening to get ready, and evening Monday morning, since the place we’re staying has a decently late check-in time. So I’m not worried about getting things in suitcases yet, but I’d love to have some lists put together so we don’t have to feel like we’re scrambling.

All in all, I enjoyed the feeling of today, getting ready to go on a holiday, all five of us. Lake life, here we come!

Brady's Holidays

Brady doesn’t often book holidays off. Last summer, I finally took the kids and my mom and we went to the lake for a few days. While he was in full support of it, I think it bugged him that he missed it, and it motivated him to book an actual week off this summer. Conveniently, he was able to get this Friday off as well, and this was before we realized that August 3rd was also a stat! So we accidentally have a week and a half together! Woot!

Needless to say, we took our time getting up this morning. It wasn’t the smoothest night for us. Dekker and Laela are both rocking colds, and Rowans is still pretty fresh, so he’s all nice and stuffed up. Laela just has the occasional drippy nose but she’s on the mend. Dekker hasn’t gotten sick yet but the likelihood of it coming is high. Anyway, we’re rolling with the punches.

We spent the morning with the kids, and planned to put them down for an early nap. Dekker wasn’t thrilled with the idea, and asked why he needed a nap. I told him it was because we had some plans later in the day and we wanted him to be all fresh and happy. He seemed to actually comprehend it very well. He said “ok” and put up no fight whatsoever. In looking through the monitor, it took a little while for him to actually fall asleep, but he lay still and calm until he did finally drift off. When everyone woke up, we were actually running a bit behind, so we speed dressed the kids and got out the door.

Thankfully, we made it to our chiropractors office on time! They have a whole new setup over there, and instead of just going in when a room is open, we were moved to the slightly more elitist waiting room, where Dr. Mike came to retrieve us when it was our turn. You guys know I always like Dr. Mike. He didn’t even hesitate, and grabbed Rowans car seat and carried him in for us. We were overdue for treatments and I’m confident we’ll feel quite a bit better now.

We grabbed the kids some supper and headed over to Jerilee’s place. She’s moving out, and Brady and I offered to come go a few loads with the van. Its so nice that he’s so willing to flex his muscles for our friends 😉 I sat on the couch with the kids while they had their food and watched Cars on the laptop. Jerilee pulled out a bowl of yogurt raisins, which they promptly devoured, and then Jerilee’s mom brought them the ultimate treat. Dekker and Laela had their first Fudgsicles today, and they were big fans. It was cute to see them running around the living room with chocolate beards, and chocolate dripping down their bellies. Good thing we scrapped their shirts before they begun!

We moved until they wanted to be done for the day, and then took the kids to Walmart. I’m in the process of putting together a list of things we need for the lake, and while its still pretty disorganized, we figured we’d give it a try. We came out probably an hour later with almost nothing :/ It wasn’t our best haul, thats for sure, but no joke, they had hardly any summer stuff left!!! I’m completely amazed at how little there is! We still have a solid month of hot weather left! *knocks on wood* Hopefully I’ll get a bit more organized tonight and tomorrows shop will be more successful. Then we lead music in church Sunday morning, pack in the evening, and we’re off to the lake on Monday!!! I’m SO looking forward to our trip 🙂 Cute kids in their bathing suits eating fruit and cinnamon buns and ice cream for three days. My utopia.

Trade Appreciation

Today was the third annual Daytona Homes golf day. Each year, the rent out a ton of the space for all of their trades, suppliers, realtors, mortgage brokers, and office staff to play 18 holes of golf. Then, there is a banquet room for everyone with a delicious steak dinner. Each business owner is invited to bring a plus one, usually their right hand man. Brady is the only guy who works for himself, so he likes to bring me 🙂 I couldn’t make it to the actual golf game this time around, but I got to attend the dinner. As with each year, I felt incredibly included and like, even though we all know I don’t actually work for Born Contracting, I fit in. Its a very welcoming bunch.

The food was good, the company was lovely, and Brady even won a door prize of some Daytona swag that mostly actually caters to me. Win!! We had a really nice time with his work friends, but everyone tends to head out pretty quick after supper, so we did the same.

The only bummer in the whole situation was that we had to drive separately, since we arrived at different times. I would so much rather drive together, but such is life, and it happens as often as it can. Before we went to pick the kids up from my parents, we ran a few errands. We picked up Dekkers birthday gift, which I’m super excited about! I’m not sure I’ve talked about what it is on here, but if I haven’t, I won’t, to save the surprise. I’m pretty sure he’ll be thrilled.

We also ducked in at a friends house and snagged their park pass for our holidays next week. I put out the request on Facebook a few days back, and a friend from back in high school offered hers up! We’ve talked so little in the last nine (gulp!) years, but I love getting back in touch with people I used to know.

Lastly, we got our water jugs refilled, since we are STILL on a water advisory out here, and then headed to retrieve our kids. It is SUCH a special feeling to enter a house that is already bursting with excitement over spending time with grandma and grandpa, and then to have the excitement shift, and have your kids be so happy to see you. They were all fading a little bit, but were very positive. We got them all dressed an diapered for bed, so we could put them straight to bed upon arriving home. Dekker was insistent on helping carry my bag that I had brought my dress and makeup in all the way to the van. They were all incredibly chipper and friendly. Laela’s cold seems better, and her mild bum rash is pretty much gone. Some grandparent time did them well.

The big ones fell asleep pretty much upon arrival home, and the little one soon after. Now, the real work begins, of getting our house back in usable order. It was SO empty today in order for pictures to look perfect, but that meant we needed to get some of our necessary stuff back. Like Rowans cradle, some electronics, and the few things that live on our counter, like the can of formula.

Thats all done now, and the bath is running. Yes, its late for a bath, but Bradys legs are achy from the day, and I don’t function without one, haha! Its just always the perfect way to end the day. And that includes today.

A Semblance of Relief

This morning, the kids Grandma Willa came for a visit. She came bearing toys, and clothes for everyone. Dekker and Rowan both got Lightening McQueen shirts, and Laela got a couple little dresses. Everything was the perfect size, which is always a big win. The toy she brought was for outside, so she hauled all of our kids outside to play and shooed me inside to get some much-needed hands free time. Our new realtor was coming in the evening to sort of “ok” the house before pictures happen in tomorrow morning. Believe it or not, its hard to maintain a flawlessly staged house with three children, even when they’re fairly docile and respectful. While they played, I tidied our bedroom, finished up the kitchen, and wiped every surface.

Willa couldn’t stay long, so when she left, I took the kids downstairs and gave them lunch. They were worn right now, and took a load off while they ate. I warned them that nap time was approaching, and Dekker was so sad. He usually is, but as I thought more about it, I figured that it might be better to have them in bed sooner in the night rather than they struggle to get to sleep when we have company over. So I asked Dekker if he could wear his happytude all afternoon and evening for me, even if he didn’t have a nap, and he was SO thrilled!

Best of all, he did! He maintained his good attitude until it was actually bedtime, but thats not uncommon. The kids were asleep within minutes, just shortly after 7:00. Brady and I then dug into our house and cleaned the heck out of it. When Jenn arrived around 8:30, we mostly had things under control.

I won’t go into super detail about everything, but she is fabulous! She made Brady and I both feel so at ease. Her personality matches mine very well, so that is always a treat. What I am the most impressed with is her ability to bring me back to earth. There are a few things she wants done on the house still. Not before pictures or anything, but soon. They are things I dread doing. Big jobs that I don’t want to do. I don’t want to put any more effort into this house. But the way she talked to us made those jobs seem easy. Not ominous at all! In fact, I’m not overwhelmed, and I’m excited to get those things done so we have the absolute best shot at selling this place! She was a giant help in setting up some of the rooms differently and making them work more fluidly, and I can really say this is the first time since deciding to list our house that we’ve felt so cared for, and like she really desires to sell our house in good time. She WANTS to help us. We can tell. And it feels good. We love you, Jenn!

On that note, we’re going to soak in the tub with some Baileys and coffee, and watch The Office. Because we deserve it. Its been a big day, but a good day. We’re on our way!!!