Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wild Fires

There have been so many wildfires in BC and Montana that the smoke in the air has been horrible for weeks and weeks.  Things got a 'little' more complicated than just smoke, when the BC fire crossed the border in to Alberta and Waterton suddenly became at high risk.  They put in a lot of preventative measures to prepare for the worst.  Then, they had a voluntary evacuation put in place and before long it was a mandatory evacuation.  We have all held our breath and prayed that something would happen to save our Park.  When I woke up this morning, I was saddened to see pictures of Bears Hump in flames.

Even worse than that, was when I read my parents Facebook status saying that the mandatory evacuation zone had been enlarged last night to everyone past the Hillspring turnoff.  That means my Uncle Barry's farm and so many of our friends were told they had to leave their homes.  My parents were up helping Sister Neville get out and said that it's something they never want to experience again.  Mom and Dad gathered up their 'important' things from the sea can up on the farm and then got things from their house and went to the hangar for the night.  They don't have any power at home and they are only 2 km's from the mandatory evacuation zone.

All morning I wondered if I needed to be gathering things up.  Lennard kept calling and giving me updates and before lunch they were able to see that the winds had changed direction.  For now, we are safe... but there are so many others that aren't.  Garner's have lost their house and everything in it. Many others are being evacuated as I write this.  It has been a time of discovering what our priorities are and what is truly important.  I've looked around our house and realized how much 'stuff' we have and that as long as the four of us are safe that is what really matters.  We need moisture so badly.  We have a regional fast happening this Sunday for rain.  I've spent way too much time on Facebook and news sites looking for updates to the situation today.  It's been difficult seeing Emma and Ben cry and worry about the fires.  It's been a long day.

Ash on our sidewalk

The ash on our driveway.  No wonder it's so hard to breathe.

This was what the skies looked like this morning.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bathroom Renos

Our main bathroom has needed updating for a long time, but we've put it off and worked on other, more pressing, things around the house.  Finally, about 3-4 months ago, the taps quit turning off completely.  We've had a constant drip... so we haven't used the tub.  We've bathed the kids downstairs and tried to ignore the issue.  It was just getting worse though, so we finally bit the bullet and just decided to rip it out and then we could work on fixing it as the budget will allow.  

I found a brand new tub on the Buy and Sell page for a really good deal, so that's sitting in the hangar waiting to be installed.  We bought a new vanity and faucet at IKEA when we were in Calgary last month.  Now we'll need to find a tub surround for a good deal and we'll be on our way.  We'll still have to figure out flooring, lighting, a mirror, a toilet, etc... and drywall and painting... gag... the list goes on and on.  We hope we can have it all put back together by Christmas, but we'll have to see what kind of deals we can find!
This is what it looked like (usually minus the tools that Lennard had already brought in)

 We were very happy to see that there wasn't any mold at all behind the leaky faucet.
 After a lot of work, we got the tub and surround ripped out.
 Emma had fun helping!  Ben was off at a play date, so he missed out (lol).  I can't wait to get rid of the three globes we had for lighting!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Happy Birthday, Ben!

With it being the first day of school, Ben's birthday, martial arts starting and our ward temple night all happening today, we decided to have an early birthday dinner with Grandma & Grandpa yesterday evening.  Ben picked meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner.  He was more concerned about getting to open presents though!  He got a cute little stuffed puppy dog, a fun slingshot airplane, some bouncy balls and a whole bag of "cheezy dibbles" to himself!

 Thanks Grandpa and Grandma!

 Ben had a great first day of school and got a chocolate bar from the office and a book and card from Miss Sykes.  We had lasagna for dinner outside on the deck.  Grandpa Nichols called just before dinner and Ben was able to talk with him for a few minutes.  Thanks for calling, Grandpa!
 It was all we could do to get him to eat.  He was so excited to open his presents!
 It was a perfect night to be outside!  We are enjoying our 'new-to-us' patio set.  It works so great for our family.
 Ben requested a vanilla cake with a Bat-man symbol on it... so I tried!  He loved it, so that's all that matters.

We sang happy birthday, he got to blow out the candles... and then he didn't want any cake.  He only wanted to open gifts. ha! ha!
 Emma gave him a Spiderman figurine and some Kinder surprises.
 He was VERY excited to open Grandpa Nichols gift and discover a Star Wars Lego set!  He wanted to build it immediately!
 He wasn't sure what could possibly be in such a long box, but he was pretty happy to find his own gun!

 He can hardly wait to go shoot targets with his dad!
We had to hurry and get everything cleaned up so that we could get him to his martial arts class on time.  Lennard got ready and went to the temple while I took the kids to the lesson.  We are definitely getting back in to schedules and routines!

First Day of School

To say that the kids were excited for this day to come would be an understatement!  They were dressed and ready to go before 7:00am!  Since it is also Benny's birthday today, we had a big waffle breakfast with whipped cream and berries!  Yum!  Lennard took a couple hours off this morning from work so that he could be with us.  Before we walked the kids to school, we took the usual pictures.  

 It's hard to believe they are both in full-time school now!  Grade 1 and Grade 2.
 They both wanted to hold hands while they walked to school, but the sidewalk is only so wide!  Lennard and I held hands and we made them walk ahead!  ha! ha!
 Ben is in Miss Sykes class in Grade 1.  He found his hook for his backpack and then found his desk.  He was happy and had no problems with us leaving!
 Emma is with a brand new teacher, Mrs. Vornbrock for Grade 2.  She was a little nervous about us leaving, but as soon as she was told she got to decorate her name card, she was good to go.
I really hope that they both have wonderful experiences again this year.  It was very strange leaving the school with Lennard and walking home to an empty house knowing that they both wouldn't be back until 3:00!

Lennard headed off to work and I took the chance to go to the temple with my parents.  It was the perfect way to spend the morning.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fun Day with Friends

Everyone has been so busy this summer that when Shannon invited a bunch of us to go hiking in Waterton this week, I jumped at the chance!  We all met at Dina's house and convoyed in to Red Rock Canyon in Waterton.  Between, Shannon, Dina, Megan and me we had 16 kids with us!
 We hiked up to Blakiston Falls.  The kids had so much fun with so many of their friends that they ran ahead of us most of the time in a big group.  The moms had fun visiting as we were walking so we took a bit longer to get there.
 The water level is so low this year.  We need rain so much.
 We all stopped at the falls and had snacks and took a few pictures.

 We definitely filled the trail with our group!  We had a few people stop and ask us if all these kids were ours. lol
 It was such a perfect day to be out.  There were no bugs, no wind and the perfect temperature to be out enjoying the park.
 It was still pretty smoky from all the wildfires in BC and Montana, but we managed.
 When we got back from Blakiston, the kids all climbed down to play in the river.  The water was so low, that we didn't worry about them and a bunch of the kids got soaked.
 Shannon had been saying earlier that every visit to Waterton this summer she's seen a bear, so she didn't want to break her record... and she didn't!  This guy was on the road when we were coming out of the canyon.
 We stopped by Linnet Lake and had a picnic there for lunch.  The kids were more interested in gathering drift wood and playing in the water than eating.  The picnic ended rather abruptly when a bear decided to come visit.  We had everything gathered up and headed up to the vehicles in record time!
 We had to get back so Lennard could take the van to Lethbridge for physio, but the rest of them decided to go down to Big Scoop for ice cream.  As we were pulling out, I noticed Dina still there and noticed that she had a flat tire.  I pulled back in and waited with her in case I needed to take them home with us. Thankfully, a good Samaritan stopped and switched the tire out for her!  We never would have figured out how to get the spare off, let alone get it changed.  What a blessing.
She followed me home... although we did make a quick stop in Mountain View for ice cream!  Even if the day ended differently than planned, it was a great day with friends.  I feel so blessed to have such wonderful friends and a national park in our backyard to play in!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Good News

Happy 18th Anniversary to us today!  We are officially 'adults' now!  Lennard had another specialist appointment in Calgary with Dr. White, so we all loaded up bright and early.  We stopped in Fort Macleod to get breakfast at Tim Horton's.  The kids did pretty well on the drive and thankfully we didn't have to wait long to get in this time!

Dr. White looked at the x-rays and said that he thinks Lennard is finally 'healed'.  It's not completely filled in with bone yet, but it's heading that way.  He cleared him to work at 100% instead of modified duties.  After almost a year since his accident, we were both very happy to hear that.  Lennard is still going to be doing physiotherapy until the end of September to get some better movement, but we're glad to have good news and that he hadn't injured it at all when he fell in Omaha in July.

We stopped at IKEA afterwards and bought a new bathroom vanity and faucet for our main bathroom that needs to be redone, had a quick lunch at Edo's and headed home.  Such a fun anniversary! 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Ward Campout

Once Lennard got home from work, we loaded up and headed out to the Spring Glen Campground for our Ward Campout.  We got there in good time and the kids were off and running before we even found a campsite!  We were all supposed to do our own dinner that night.  The kids weren't interested in eating, so we let them play for quite a while.  We ended up having quite the group congregate around our site, so when it was time to eat, we ended up eating in front of everyone!  ha! ha!  
There was a great talent show at about 7:00pm and everyone had lots of fun... especially since Brother Leavitt handed out candy to whoever participated!
Brother Boehmer recited the poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee".  It made us think about Lennard's mom.
The Bishop got a bunch of the little girls involved in his number... Emma was thrilled - since she then got candy!  ha! ha!
Ben got to go up to and do the haka with a bunch of the dad's and sons.  Lennard had gone to help Emma right then so he missed out, but Ben had a blast.

After the talent show, we ended up with a big group gathered at our trailer again.  We set up the propane fire pit and had a nice visit.  The kids were so excited to just run and play that we decided to just let them stay up.  It was after 10:00 by the time we finally got them into the trailer to sleep.  They had so much fun running around in the dark with flashlights and 'exploring'!

This morning we had a pancake breakfast for everyone and a few games for the kids.  They had water balloons that they were supposed to toss back and forth, but kids went wild and just chucked them at each other.  They also attempted to play a game of baseball with them.

Most of the adults just hung out, watched the kids and visited.  I was enjoying talking with everyone when I looked over and here was Lennard driving up with the truck and trailer!  He'd gone and packed everything up by himself.  Guess he was ready to head home!  It was a fun way to spend the weekend.