Sunday, August 28, 2016

Not the Same?

Last August, at the end of our year-long membership at Fort Langley, we took our kids camping there for the first time. 

They really loved it and wanted to go back and do it again.

This summer, though, I thought it might be nice to go somewhere different--try somewhere new.  Fort Langley is great, but we have been there many, many times--and there is also a very loud train that goes by the fort about every half hour all night long (I remembered this well, because last year it woke Eric--and, therefore, me--up EVERY TIME!).
The kids, though, begged and begged to go back.  Finally I gave in and booked us into the same cabin (O-tent-ic, to be more precise) on the same weekend as our last visit.
"Here we go again," I thought, "same old camping trip as last year" (you have to imagine this spoken in Eeyore's voice to get the full effect).
But, really, it was very fun--and hardly at all the same!
This year, after many hours of debate about who would get to sleep on the top bunk . . .
Last year

This year
Ben finally won out over Alaina.  (Janae had it last year.)
Janae and Alaina set up all the beds with PJs for everyone, finally deciding to put the argument aside and make the camping trip the "best vacation ever."
Last year the kids rode their bikes around the fort the entire evening and into the night, carrying their flashlights long after dark.
This year, they developed the "Bicycle Olympics," which was much more challenging, even if it didn't last as long.
Best of all, Eric actually rode his own bike!
We also had a lot more dressing up this year--with Eric, Alaina, Ben, and Jason joining in the fun.



  The girls insisted, though, on doing some things the same--like reading outside with Daddy . . . Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this year; whereas last year it was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire :)

So, as you can see--it was . . . really not that different.
 The kids even want to go back again next year, so pretty much exactly the same!  Stay tuned for more Fort Langley pictures from the summer of 2017, I guess :)  I'm sure everyone will be a little bit taller. . . .

Friday, August 26, 2016

It Was My Dad's Idea

A few weeks ago I took my kids to White Rock beach, and my Dad made the comment that if I go again, he'd like to come, too.
So, a few days ago I mentioned that I'd be going on Thursday if he'd like to come.
In his usual way, my Dad said maybe.
When we went to see him Thursday morning, my Dad was all ready to go--but not to White Rock.  He had another plan. . . .
He wanted to go to a place in Chilliwack where he liked to fish, and where he'd seen a couple of people--and a dog--swimming. 
It was also a place where people could pan for gold.
I was a little sceptical.  It was going to be a hot day--would it be cool enough there?  (The beach is nice and cool with the ocean breeze!)  Would I be able to watch all four kids?  (Dad helpfully volunteered to take care of Ben.)  Would it be okay for swimming?  (Two people and a dog?!)
Anyway, we got to the river, and climbed down a rocky hill, walked across a log,
and ended up in a BEAUTIFUL place. 
Janae, Alaina and Eric got into the water right away. 
And there was so much gold in the sand--it was everywhere!
Eric was happy to dig,
and Ben had fun exploring.
Of course there were good spots for pictures, too--just as my Dad had said. 
In the end, I had to admit, it was a good idea :) 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My First . . .

This summer has been one of firsts:
We ALL went to the Canada Day fireworks (Eric's first time seeing fireworks in person!),
and then--hiking on a trail where wild bears and cougars had been sited--Janae got stuck in the mud and my shoe broke beyond repair.
Alaina climbed halfway up a tree at the park,

and some of the cousins turned down a chance for ice cream (and missed being in the picture!).

My kids finally got a "bigger" pool for the backyard (replacing the tiny Princess one we got when Alaina was 3),

and all of us got to ride on the Stanley Park train together.

Alaina got her ears pierced,

and we celebrated BC Day at Fort Langley.

I took the kids to the fair on "toonie day" (I know--I am getting really brave!),

and Jason taught Ben to cut the grass.  Even more amazing, Ben also got a job cutting someone else's grass!
We took Jason to an outdoor pool,

held a jelly fish,

sent Ben off on a pioneer trek,

and I took all four kids swimming at the lake . . . on my own . . . twice in one week!

While floating on her boogie board, Janae actually said, "I wish summer would never end!"
 I actually felt like a good mom for a minute!
Then last weekend we went to the American Girl store to get the dolls' hair done and ears pierced, eating at the café there--all firsts for us!

So, you might think there was nothing left for us to do--no new or exciting thrills to seek, events to brave, or accomplishments to make.
But today we had two more firsts: Eric received his first summer reading club medal at the library,
 and I . . . I finished the adult summer reading club for the very first time :) 
(It was also the first time I'd ever enrolled.)
I know it looks like I actually got a medal, too, but it is just a key holder--which Janae has forbidden me to wear in public ever again.  But I thought it was worth a blog post :)
I guess it's a good thing summer is over, because we definitely couldn't top THAT--but I still wish it could keep going a little while longer.