Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Vankemsekes come to town! August 24th-27th

Andrea, Billy and the kids rolled into town today, much to our excitement. It started off a bit rocky, though, as just an hour before they arrived John mentioned he was sick to his stomach. This had us scratching our heads as to what to do about exposing the entire family to what could possibly be the stomach flu. Before really deciding what to do, they were here, and as I began to explain, Andrea told me that on the way over she noticed Jake's nose running....So, what can you say other than BRING IT ON!!!

The kids had a lot of fun, and Thomas seemed to explore his newfound ability to bully someone smaller than him...Grace. He tried to be toddler sneaky about it, but you couldn't miss the little push here, the stomp here, and the pinch there. Jake didn't scare Thomas as much this time. I think Thomas is getting used to the roaring Lion. By day two, though, both boys were tiring of each other, and let the games begin! Of course, Drew was his usual sweet self, and Thomas couldn't get along with him better. Once John began to feel better, he was able to take Drew, Billy and Thomas tubbing, which I was very glad for, and Drew even got to go sailing. I really wanted Drew to have a great weekend before he had to head back to school. I'd like all the boys (and Grace) to be able to enjoy all the fun times they can together out on the lake. On Friday when I was at work they all headed down to Marine Park to play and then we mostly stayed around and played by the water. It was a lot of fun, all one happy family in the downstairs, and I think it was a big success.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Friday Night Adventures/Whistler Vacation

Well, Thomas held true to form-always get sick at Whistler! Except that this time he prepared for Whistler by getting hideously sick the night before we were to leave. But for his 1st trip to Whistler/Nature's Door at six weeks old, Thomas has gotten sick every time we've been there, so it should have not been such a surprise to us that he woke up Friday morning complaining of a tummy ache. By mid morning John reported the biggest blowout he's ever seen, and by 2 in the morning, I was bracing Thomas by his hips and arms as he learned the fine art of throwing up over and into a bucket or onto a white towel for aim practice. You see, up until this point Thomas has simply launched onto me. At least we have made some progress with him, but what a way to go, huh! By 5 am, Thomas' guts had given up and I hauled myself off the floor in his room and crashed into bed. We all slept until 9, trying to determine if the trip was still possible. What a decision! After lining the backseat with vomit-catching towels and keeping a bucket handy, we took off, hoping that the worst had passed. And the Lord did answer prayer. We had a fabulous trip and lots of sleep!

We stayed at the Pemberton Valley Lodge, which was in a beautiful canyon 20 min East of Whistler, and we enjoyed numerous trips into the Village for play and food, as well as drives through the town of Pemberton. I think the best part was the time to just hang out, listen to music and watch Dora, enjoy quiet drives back and forth, relax and play in the pool with no agenda. Thomas was a great traveler, although each night he asked to go home, saying, "Mommy, want my crib, want my home now!" I had to remind him each time that we had adventures waiting for us, and that all was well with our hotel room. He had a great time entertaining the folks in the pool area, and one particular gentleman seemed to get a kick out of him, calling him the "Blonde Bomber" on several occasions as Thomas launched himself time and again into the pool. While out for day two of McDonald's breakfast from the OK Corral-like themed building, John reported back that Thomas took a running jump into the pool-without his lifejacket. Thankfully John was not far behind to scoop him up, and remind him that he still can't float

Thursday, August 17, 2006

MercyMe in concert!

Lil and Bruce generously offered to watch Thomas so John and I could run away to another concert tonight. John's cousin, Scott Brickell, who manages MercyMe, wasn't in town with the band to meet up with, but we were still eager to listen to the group we've been following for several years now. The crowd was amazing, and it was really incredible to sit back and listen to the beautiful voices flooding out of the grandstands. It was quite amazing, actually, to know that so many people were singing, praising God, in such a beautiful way. Interpretive dance girl distracted during I Can Only Imagine, but if you blocked your hand just right or leaned a certain way, you could try to block her out of sight line. Bummer for John as that was the only song he was really interested in, but I was able to hide against his shoulder and block her out. What can you do when the Spirit moves someone, huh? Not a whole lot. Just got to hope God was smiling on her flowy body!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Family Visits

After several attempts to make it over, the family was finally able to come on over and hang out in the good weather. We didn't do much but have a blast out in the water. Drew wins the award for fish-of-the-weekend, as I think he spent about 90% of his time in the water, playing with Lily and the boys, or hanging out with Thomas. While here, Mark and Robin had a family of friends over, and the Lawrences came down to play as well. It was wonderful to hang out and cuddle with Grace and Jake and Thomas played well together, despite some meltdowns from a super sensitive Thomas who fell apart when Jake asserted his dominance with a loud roar! What that boy lacks in size he makes up for in volume and gusto! I'm so thankful that they were able to come over and hope that they enjoyed their time playing and hanging out with us.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Lynden Fair 2006 Thomas 2 Years Old Part 1

Today we decided to go up at the last minute, based on the weather and Thomas' sunny disposition. I had the bright idea to catch the "1st Annual Opening Parade" and what a STUPID idea that turned out to be. Now, before I totally trash myself, I have to point out that I was not the brilliant board that decided to shut down at least three key gates into the fair on the same day that they were trying out a new (and extremely slow) computer system, on the SAME day that they advertised for a fabulous grand opening parade!!!!! Thomas and I gave up waiting for the parade to start after waiting on a street corner for 20 minutes, and we headed for the main entrance, having found that the side entrance was blocked off. While we waited in the front entrance line that wrapped around the block, we were fortunate to catch the "amazing" parade...complete with approximately 6 wagon teams of Clydesdales and a handful of ponies! You've GOT to be kidding me? We waited in 80 degree temps for THAT??!!! In total, we waited 1 hour and 7 minutes to get through the gates, and by that time it was time for Thomas to take a nap. I pushed him through, bought a wristband for rides, and hurried him along to get in line yet again. Within minutes, ride by ride, the power went out at the kiddie section. Before I unloaded and embarrassed myself infront of my son, I pretended that waiting in lines was our outing for the day and we hustled out of the crowds, who were all milling around like cows waiting for their feed (aka-the power to go back and the rides to start up again). By the time we made it back to the car someone was exhausted, drenched in sweat, cranky, hungry and thoroughly annoyed, and it wasn't Thomas. Thomas just went along for the ride, content just to be my buddy for the morning.

Lynden Fair 2006 Thomas 2 Years Old Part 2

This evening, after John got home from work, we all headed back up to the fair to play some more and hopefully have better luck than the morning excursion. It was definitely a lot more fun, with time for rides, tractors, ice cream sandwiches and kettle corn. We didn't get tickets for the demolition derby, but Thomas was able to watch perched high on Grandpa's shoulders. Lots of oohs and aahhs as he watched all the action. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the evening together.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Trip to White Rock, B.C.

Today I wanted to head up to Pemberton, up near Whistler, to get away for a while, but the hotel I wanted to try out was booked up tight. Instead, while John headed down to a preseason game with his dad, Thomas and I headed up to White Rock to check out the beach. It was a beautiful evening for playing in the water, and I think Thomas enjoyed the warm waters to play in. I would have liked to try out one of the fish n' chips shacks that dot the boardwalk, but Thomas was eager to get back home. He's not used to having to dry with salt water on his skin instead of his usual hot water bath. The border trips were great and it was super easy to get up there. Hopefully we can take the family back up and enjoy the water together. Up there Thomas had O'donals and back down we had KFC and gelato. That was how "on vacation" I wanted to be.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Tommy tubbin'

John was playing with the camera tonight while I was out getting Thai takeout. It is amazing how the days continue to fly by and my baby turns into such a little man. This kid hasn't taken but a handful of baths in the inside tub this summer, and come winter, I wonder what we'll do about the outside tub time.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Saturday, August 05, 2006