Thursday, December 20, 2012

England - Day 3

From the moment we arrived in England Evan was so excited to meet his cousins.  He kept asking is today "Cousin Day"?
The long awaited moment finally arrived.  One of the sad things about our families living so far from each other is that moments like this happen so seldom.  In fact, this was the first time either of our boys were able to meet a part of our family that they had only heard about.  Even for me... It has been almost 17 years since I saw the faces of those who were once so familiar to me.  But as we walked along the parking lot with anticipation looming I was thrilled to see those familiar faces.  Rob's brother Alan and sister-in-law Julie looked just the same as when we left them.  However, time had turned their handsome boys into grown men. 
We wandered the cobblestone streets catching up as best we could of the years that have past by.  We had a beautiful lunch in this quaint pub.  The food was amazing.  My stomach was full and so was my heart.  It was so nice for all our family to pick up where we left off.  One of the things I've learned in my travels is life is life whatever side of the globe you live on.  There are ups and downs, busyness and rest, but when you get down to the minute details our lives are all similar.  That is what spoke to me as I watched the cousins meeting each other for the first time. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

England- Day 2

 Day 2 started in the wee hours of the morning thanks to jetlag.  After a typical English breakfast we were ready to start exploring.  Rob had plans to accompany his good friend to his father's funeral. So the boys and I were on our own to see the sights of Looe.  We walked along the seawall taking in all the cute cottages that clustered the hill.  I could seriously live in anyone of these quaint character filled homes and pointed out several on our walk to town.  We had lots of time on our hands so we went into almost each and every shop.  We met with Rob's Dad, Keith for lunch and enjoyed a pasty in one of the shops.  After lunch we walked back home, but not before exploring a footpath leading along the countryside.  The countryside in England is so different from where we live.  It is so beautiful where ever you look and it was the perfect ending to a perfect day. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

England Bound

We all know the saying, "Time Flies."  But as I pen the details of our trip to England I can hardly believe it has been 15 years since I was last in England. 
15 years ago I was a young newlywed returning to our life back in Canada.  Who would have known where life's years would have taken me?  So on our return to the land where I was married, we now take our family with us.  This time to show them where the other side of their family is from. 

When we boarded our plane, we had a surprise for the boys.  With the huge amount of flying that Rob does, he has accumulated quite a few air miles.  We were able to upgrade all 4 of our seats to business class with his points.  This was a huge treat that we thoroughly enjoyed! 

Upon arrival to England we picked up our rental car and drove the 4 hours to Looe, Cornwall where my In-laws were waiting with open arms.  There is such a huge distance between us, but it is always amazing to see them.  We chatted and brought them up to speed with all we have been up to.  Then we went to our most charming rental cottage behind my in-laws house to eleviate some of the jet lag.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

::Gingerbread Weekend::

Every year our family gets together prior to Christmas for what has become known as "Gingerbread Weekend."  Each family is assigned a gingerbread house and in the spirit of friendly competition, puts their own decorative flare using only edible ingredients.  This year there were 9 families competing for the most original house.

I won't bore you with the details of who's who.  But there are at least 4 generations who gather for fun and festivities.  It really is the one time of the year where you can catch up with most everyone. 

The houses whose ingredients are all the same differed with each creative artist behind them. It is a time for fun, a time for family, and a time we all look forward to each year! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

So Special...

Over the years I've had many "made with love" gifts from my boys.  Many of them I still have and will treasure forever.  While others like a beautiful hand painted macaroni necklace hold more memories than they did completing an outfit. This year my smile was a genuine one.  Kieran made me the most beautiful wooden cutting board in his woodworking class.  It is absolutely beautiful, almost too beautiful... I can't bear myself to use it! It does sit in a place of honor in my kitchen but like a new car, the first scratch is the hardest to bear.  This is one gift that I will hold close, knowing the time and love it took to make! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Class Field Trip

This past October, Evan's class went on a field trip to McNabb's Corn Maze.  It was a cccoooold day.  In fact, at this point I hadn't yet acclimated to the Canadian weather.  So despite my body telling me to go inside, I put a smile on as we boarded the wagon for our hayride to the maze.  We had a quick tour of the farm before we were let loose to find our way out of the maze.  Now let me tell you what I was in for.  I was in charge of 5 kids from grade 5.  That would have been fun!  But each of the kids from grade 5 also had a "little buddy" from kindergarten who they were in charge of.  If I've painted this picture well, you would know who was really in charge of keeping this group together in the endless rows of corn.  You guessed it... Me.  Needless to say there were kids running in all directions and if I felt the cold at the beginning of the tour, I was now running a hot sweat trying to salvage the remains of my nerves. Finally after accounting for every child we finished of the trip warming up around the fire.  I try not to be permanently scarred from raising my hand to volunteer.  But mostly I do love seeing my boy interacting with his friends and I know there will come a time when he won't want his Mom to come.  So for now... I'll enjoy this moment! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Sun is Still Shining...

An Indian Summer....
What does it really mean??
An Indian summer is a heat wave that occurs in the autumn. It refers to a period of considerably above-normal temperatures, accompanied by dry and hazy conditions, usually after there has been a killing frost.
Why Indian? Well, no one knows but, as is commonplace when no one knows, many people have guessed. Here are a few of the more commonly repeated guesses:
  • When European settlers first came across the phenomenon in America it became known as the Indian's Summer.
  • The haziness of the Indian Summer weather was caused by prairie fires deliberately set by Native American tribes.
  • It was the period when First Nations/Native American peoples harvested their crops.
Regardless to differing opinions, I think we can all agree that we love it!  This particular October day we took advantage of the glorious day.  We headed to Skutz Falls on the the way to Lake Cowichan. With walking stick in hand we set out exploring while taking in the beautiful summer like rays.  The day was so warm that Rob and Evan actually ventured into the water.  Now I'm not allowed to post pictures of boys in their boxers, but let me assure you it would bring a smile to your face.  As warm as the air felt, I don't think the water was the same. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Just for the Fun of It!

Now that we were back enjoying our life back in Canada we headed to one of our favorite spots for a hike.  Jack Point Park is near the Duke point ferry terminal.  It is about a 5km hike that winds along the ocean.  The views are amazing and at times you can see Sea Lions basking in the sun.  After winding through the trails in the forest you come to a place where the water has eroded away the rock.  The boys explored each carved out space.  When the boys were younger we use to do these hikes most weekends.  But as with their age, their interest has waned.  It was great to see they could still enjoy the great outdoors and that family time was still wasn't all that bad!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Granny's Birthday

This year for my mom's birthday, her and I spent the day together while Grandpa watched the boys.  Upon our arrival home the boys had a huge surprise waiting my Mom.  While we were enjoying a girls day out, the boys had been busy in the workshop.  Both of the boys made my Mom the cutest birdhouses for her birthday.  They were so proud of their work.  But seeing Grandma's reaction was the best.  I think she even shed a tear or two!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day of School...

It had been a busy summer.  We physically moved from one side of the globe to the other.  We reconnected with lots of family and friends and we also enjoyed a few lazy days of summer.  Finally, a Mom's favorite day of the year arrived.... Back to school.  Evan was thrilled to finally be of age and also proximity to the school where he could ride himself without Mom bringing him to school.  I must say, this is the first time in many years that I didn't walk my kids to their first day of school.  I actually missed it, but only momentarily!  Kieran on the other hand had his best friends to walk him to his first day to high school.  Both boys enjoyed their first day back to Canadian school.  I'm sure the novelty will soon wear off!