Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Mini Break!

Well we managed to get away for a few days... I can't recall the last time that happened for awhile! On Sunday morning we left to drive Ariel up to Camp Squeah for her mini camp of 2 nights. Meeko went to spend the weekend with Dad and Rita (thank you!). We loaded up the car and made our way up to Hope. I can't remember the last time I was up that way, its been awhile for sure.

We drove for an hour listening to Adventure in Odyssey cds, so glad the kids enjoy them as much as I do. Ken got his first listen to them and quite liked them too. In Abbotsford we stopped for lunch at Red Robins, so thing we don't have close to us so it was a fun treat. Ariel thought she died and went to heaven with the cheesy macaroni.  Another hour on the road and we made it to Hope and to the camp.

As we drove in we saw a huge painted sign saying 'Fellowship of the King' which of course caught my Lord of the Rings loving husband. Sure enough it was the theme of the camp that summer.

Registration was fast and Ariel was assigned to cabin 'Daisy'. We grabbed her gear and made our way over the the cute cabins. This was my first experience to Squeah, as I was always a camper/leader at Camp Tulahead which was up in Princeton. I was going in as blind as Ariel was, but there was something very warm and inviting about this camp. We then saw a familar face standing on the deck of the cabin, Sarah! Ariel smiled and ran up the stairs, as she knew Sarah from our church. She had told Ariel she was at Squeah this summer and I wonder if she got Ariel put into her cabin, but either way it was a fun surprise.

Ariel picked a top bunk, something she always wanted to try.

It was then time to say goodbye. She was fine, a bit reserved and goofy which is her way of being nervous. We drove away and I was misty, it was hitting me how big this was. Thankfully we didn't have far to drive to get to Chilliwack to where we were staying a few days. However it took longer than we thought as we hit a huge line of traffic. Ken checked his phone on twitter and discovered there had been a huge accident, and so we ended up waiting over an hour shuffling along. When we saw the car involved finally it didn't look good for whoever was driving it... very sad, praying they were ok.

I had a free hotel stay from doing work for a tourism fellow. He has said it was old fashioned and under most cases that would have been fun for me, but when traveling with a 3 year old that doesn't always work. Our room was super cute, but it was TINY. 2 small rooms connected but no floor space at all, and no tub but a very small shower, which Xander won't go near at all. It just wasn't going to work for the little guy, so Ken went down to see if we could get a different room. They had another that was better but didn't have any charm like the other room, so it was function over cute. It had 2 beds in the same room and more floor space and a tub. It felt really warm and we discovered over the course of the next 2 days the 'a/c' wasn't so good... it was cooler in the hallway. Sigh... oh well, it was free. We also were in a pretty old part of town, we actually didn't realize until the last night that going over the overpass would take you into the new part with what would have been some better options for us. Again, oh well.

The first night we found a small place for dinner, and it wasn't too bad. We had fun joking about snails as we tried escargot for the first time. If you have seen Steve Martin's the Jerk then you would get our humor. Haha. I got a great photo of Xander and Ken with the snails via my phone. Tee hee!

The next morning was the holiday Monday so most things were closed. I had managed to find online a cute farm not too far away doing a 'brunch' as a holiday special. So we headed down in hopes of some fun and adventure. Well when we arrived we were not disappointed! Simply, IT WAS AMAZING! 

They had cute tables set up under a tent with hay bales to sit on and cut flowers making it pretty and colorful. They had beautiful tea cups set out to pick from, oh had we found something perfect for me! Haha. They had another tent set up and when you walked through it was filled with farm grown goodness. 

This farm's specialty was cheese, and had lots of goats and cows, so they had so many wonderful cheeses, it was so so so good. Then lots of homemade bread, jams, honey, butter, yogurt, salads with feta and goat cheese, quiches, potato salad, ham, water buffalo, smokies, berries, whipping cream and shortcakes, pies and chocolate cupcakes. Everything was made by hand, on this farm. The ham was the most moist thing I have ever had. The cream for my tea was stunning. We ate ourselves silly... seriously we didn't eat again till dinner. Xander had lots too and he was free as he was under age 6, score!

After we finished we got to see the animals and that was probably Xander's favorite part. He cried when it was time to say goodbye to the kitty and the goats. Our little animal lover.

Next up was a trip to Minter Gardens. We hadn't been since Natalie and Peter's wedding so it was a treat to go again before it closes this October. It gave Xander a great opportunity to run, and Mommy to take photos. It was relaxing to shoot flowers and just stroll through the gardens. 

Some of my favs...

Xander found the outhouse for the dwarf... he claimed it his own, haha.

He even let me take a few shots of him, such a cute little man!

We were pretty tired after all our walking and headed back to the hotel and got a blizzard on the way, yum. By the time it was dinner time and we could think about eating again, we found out about other restaurants on the other side of the overpass. We made our way and Xander picked tacos. In typical fashion they handed Ken our order, only it wasn't our order but someone else's, so they gave us ours but told us to keep that order too... so we had a crazy amount of taco stuff now. We bagged most of it up and enjoyed taco treats through out the evening. 

The next morning we checked out and made our way to find pancakes, again Xander's choice. Then we got on the road to camp to pick up our girly. We got to watch the closing with some songs, a cute slide show and quick info on what had happened during their time there.  

Ariel then came over to find us and Xander hugged her like crazy. He really had missed her, even to the point where he carried his toy phone those few days in case she would call him. Too sweet! We picked up a t-shirt and started the journey home. Ariel telling us all about her adventures. She was sad, probably a mix of tired and things coming to an end. She is eager for next summer now, its amazing how much they can grow in such a short time... she felt older when we picked her up. Wow.

So that ends our mini vacation, hope you enjoyed getting a small insight to our trip, but now its time for bed, I have lots of cakes to make this week.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Last Month of Summer

Hello August, you came quickly! Before you know it will be September and back to school for the kids. This month is filled with wedding orders, birthdays and a few family visits. Should be a wonderful month of fun!

We survived the 4th summer of the Imagine That Arts Camp, and had a record number of kids come, 135 I believe was the final headcount. Its always tiring but so inspiring to live such an intense week of art. We had both Ariel and Xander take part as well. Xander in the preschool class and Ariel too mixed media and sewing. They loved their time there and it was great to see such a different Xander at camp this time, taking part and making stuff vs not making stuff, haha. We look forward to next year and enjoy our rest... ahh.

(you might have to watch the video via youtube)

The Saturday following the camp was Ariel's birthday party with her friends. Ariel had wanted a ballet themed party, and wanted Auntie Kara to come and teach her friends, so once we compared schedules the only weekend that worked for both of us was that one Saturday after camp. At the time I always forget how tired I am after camp, but we managed to pull it off.... although there were tears about 1130pm the Friday night following the Celebration Night for camp as I was trying to make Ariel's cake last minute. After a short moment of 'ack' things started falling into place and the cake was done and the scene set.

Ariel awoke the next morning and LOVED her cake.

Our theme was snowflake ballerinas, after I had seen a beautiful craft of making a ballerina with a snowflake skirt... it was the whole inspiration for the party theme....but I realized that I forgot to make it, so that stunk as it tied everything together, as its kinda odd to think snow with ballet, oh well. Something to laugh about.

I pulled out some stuff from my Christmas stuff and kept things simple and sweet. The ballerina with the snowflake skirt was to hang from the light... doh... maybe I can photoshop it in, haha.

Ariel was dressed in her favorite ballet dress up outfit and ready for her friends to arrive. 

The girls arrived, dressed in the blue tutus we had gotten for them to wear. I made little head pieces for them to add to the fun. Its amazing how much they have grown since last year. 

Auntie Kara brought her pointe shoes for the girls to try on, Ariel was thrilled!!!

A pretty special party indeed! Kara helped choreograph a cute dance for them to perform and tape, which I emailed to the parents following the party. A big thank you to Kara for making Ariel's 7th birthday so special!

Ariel got her present from us early, Saige, the new American Girl doll she was longing for. The girl loves her dolls.

Then on Sunday morning we had our Art's service. Kara had worked with a group of our church's girls for the past several Wednesday evenings for a dance presentation. Most of the girls don't have much dance background but they did such an amazing job, it was so awesome! Do watch the video, it will make you smile.

(you might have to watch the video via youtube)

This week I was back to my regular cake orders and helping order the Royalty jackets for National girls. Speaking of which, we got the photos from the pageant, these are a few of my favs!

Ariel in formal wear and personal introduction

Personal Fashion, love this outfit on her!


Speech Arts  

Crowning! See those directors chairs behind her, that is what she gets one with her name on it next summer when she finishes her service. She is very excited about it!

Royalty shot

Ariel is excited about her jacket, I'll post photos when it arrives. They are super cute! As for now, we are just packing her up for her 2 night mini camp experience. When did she get to be old enough to go to camp?!  

Ok, off to finish the laundry... whee!

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