Friday, November 8, 2013

Shifting to Facebook

As any of my readers would know, I am not a faithful blogger! I always have good intentions of writing more but don’t do it. So…I am going to try something new! I will save my blog in case I start writing again or if we go on a trip that I want to blog but otherwise I am going to use Facebook.  I have started a Close To MyHeart with Laurie Facebook page that I would love for you to check out and Like. I will be posting links to videos, scrapbook, card and project ideas, highlighting specials and great deals and advertising any classes or retreats that I offer in the future.  Come check it out and if you have any feedback or suggestions I would love to hear it!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Settling In

We’ve now been in Olds, AB a week and have our trailer unloaded and boxes moved into the house or our seacan container for storage. The kids have also been settling into life on the farm. Here are some snapshots of their time so far:

These battery powered vehicles get a lot use around the farm!

Ewes and their lambs in the pasture

Nathan and Noelle at work - removing eyes from eating last years potato crop

Jeremy checking on for eggs in the chicken house

Fishing on Father's Day at the trout stocked pond

Drover - the sheep dog

Daniel supervising the cousins on the playset last May

What a blessing it is for us to be able to live here for the near future - and for the kids to have so many opportunities for play and work!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tunnels, icecream and home

Our last day of sightseeing came on Sunday, June 2 in Moose Jaw, SK – a city that we really enjoy visiting. After listening to the second of Tim Challies sermons on Jonah while we drove and eating our lunch at our new “favourite” picnic spot – our van - we arrived in Moose Jaw. We went back to the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, this time on the Passages of Fortune tour. It is about early Chinese immigration in Canada and the difficult time that they had. It was a sobering tour but very well done and reminds us again to be thankful for the freedoms we have and to make sure that others in our country experience the same freedoms we have.

We followed it with Gelato icecream at the Chocolate Fudge Factory  - yum! They have delicious and interesting flavours and yummy fudge too!

We arrived home (well to one of our homes anywaysJ) in Vauxhall with my Mom Monday afternoon and have unpacked a little and settled in for the week. I hope to continue to blog through the summer and next year  - hopefully more scrapbooking posts as well as our adventures in life!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Kalahari!

We arrived at the Kalahari Waterpark Resort within minutes of the Nickerson family for our rendezvous with them! They had driven west to Alberta, dropped our trailer off at the farm and then continued on their holiday to the mountains and down through the States to meet up with us.

We have loved our last two visits at the Kalahari and it is even more enjoyable when we could share it with good friends! We started with the waterslides, wave pool, and lazy river Thursday afternoon and then in the evening the older kids and Dads went to the Indoor Amusement Park and had a blast with the go-carts, laser tag, ropes course, mini-golf and a climbing wall! Friday morning saw most of us back at the waterpark  - including the outdoor part (it was a little cool but we enjoyed the sun when it shone). Another go-cart and laser tag run Thursday afternoon ended our time together as we said good-bye.

The Nickerson’s headed east on their way to Toronto and we headed west to Alberta stopping in St. Cloud, MN for the night (a four hour drive). A seven hour drive on Saturday to Minot, ND and we are now in a different landscape -  from the east coast of densely wooded land to wooded rolling hills and farmland to the flat prairies! Two more days and we’ll be in Alberta!

 Everyone loaded up and ready to go!

The four girls and their Maplelea dolls!

Nathan learning to surf on the "Flowrider"

Daniel got to his knees on his second attempt!

Daniel and Jeremy at the end of their race against Nathan and some of the Nickerson clan

If you have been wondering where we've been travelling since the last map, here is our route! (If you click on the "-" sign on the map it will zoom out and you will see New York to Minot, ND)

View Larger Map

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chocolate, buggies and truth

Our first real warm day and without rain! We wore shorts and sandals for the first time on our trip. It was also Memorial Day in the US so everywhere we went there were line-ups! Our day started with a visit to the Hershey Chocolate World. We enjoyed the Disney-like ride where we sat in a car and rode through a sample Hershey chocolate factory – so much that we went through twice! We also enjoyed the 4-D movie with the characters Reese, Hershey and Kiss. The gift shop was amazing – they have gone a great job marketing themselves J

Seeing how Hershey kisses are made

Wearing our 3-D glasses

"Look at this chocolate bar!"

In the afternoon we went into Mennonite and Amish country around Lancaster, PA. We enjoyed an Amish feast meal at the “Plain and Fancy” restaurant (seen on Man vs Food Nation!) and then took a buggy ride around the countryside.

On our buggy ride. Jeremy especially loved it.

Horses and buggies waiting for tourists

The kids swimming in a very cold outdoor pool! 
They had trouble understanding why I wouldn't swim with them!

Tuesday morning (another rainy day!) we drove back to Lancaster and visited the Mennonite Information Center and Biblical Tabernacle. With my Mennonite heritage it was especially interesting to learn about the Mennonite and Amish history. The tabernacle is a full size tabernacle with the different components explained by our guide – including how the curtain to the Holy of Holies was torn top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross and now we can approach God directly.

A mural on the wall depicting the Tabernacle amongst the Hebrew tents

Lifesize figures in the outer courtyard depicting a man giving a lamb as a sin offering and a priest sprinkling blood on the altar.

After the museum we needed to hit the road again – 7 ½ hours of driving to go to get to our hotel in Toledo, OH! We didn't arrive until 10:30 pm which made a late night for the kids. Only a few more long days and we'll be home in Alberta.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New York!

Thanks to Daniel, we were spontaneous on Sunday (which if you know me very well, doesn’t happen often!) and changed our plans in the morning and drove from Vernon, CT to New York, NY to go to church and see the Statue of Liberty! 

We attended the west campus of Redeemer Presbyterian Church which is Tim Keller's ministry. We enjoyed worshipping with them and appreciated the beautiful music and sermon by Rev. David Bisgrove.

Parking was a new experience for us - parking garages with valets and elevators! And expensive  - we parked across from the church (the parking garage with an elevator) and because we were extra-long with our rear car carrier on the back of the van it was an extra $10, so $35 total! Then to the harbour where the valets parked vehicles three deep - again we were considered extra long so it was $45 for two hours this time!

We were just going to take pictures from the shore line but a harbour cruise ticket agent sold us on a cruise so we bought our tickets and boarded an hour long harbour cruise! The boat was packed because it was Memorial weekend but it was a great way to see New York and learn some history through the onboard audio recording.

One World Trade Center - almost finished

Empire State Building

The Statue of Liberty

If you have been wondering where we are in the United States here is a map that shows our route on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Now to head west into Pennsylvania!

View Larger Map

Monday, May 27, 2013

Water, water, everywhere

St. Andrews, NB
After leaving Pier 21 on Thursday, we drove to St. Andrews, NB on the Bay of Fundy and it was still foggy and rainy! We drove out of it a couple of times but it always reappeared. We are not used to fog that lasts all day. Otherwise it was a good drive. We started our next book in the Chronicles of Narnia and also started listening to the stories of Stuart McLean’s “Vinyl Café” with Dave and Morley. Nathan said his cheeks hurt from laughing so hard. Growing up we often listened to McLean’s stories on CBC Sunday afternoons and when I saw these CDs at Costco at Christmas I immediately thought of Dad.

Fundy Discovery Aquarium  - The kids had never been to an aquarium before and they were thrilled with the “touch pools” and seeing the seals being fed. Highlights of our time there included: holding crabs and stroking skates, asking questions of the marine biologist feeding the seals, and watching short movies on plankton, cold water reefs, seaweed and the Bay of Fundy’s high tides.

Since it poured ALL day and we weren’t able to play on the neat playground, walk the wharf, go to the beach, or take a boat tour we had a quiet afternoon. Daniel took the kids to the library while Mom and I napped and then Mom and I took our laptops to a café and enjoyed a coffee and checking our email and the kids watched TV at the motel. The internet connection didn't work well at our motel so checking email has been spotty.

Watching the seals being fed (in the rain)

Having a "picnic" lunch in our motel room! Actually we have only managed one true picnic lunch so far and even that was cold and windy!

Next day – cross the border and start our trip west!