Sunday, August 21, 2016

August ~ the early edition

We are heading out on a road trip this week...on a 'roads less traveled' adventure in northern British Columbia.  I'm sure there will be stories to tell and photos to share once we are back...but for now let me share a few snapshots from August 'to this point'.

I'll start with a sunset over the corn field...and God's handi-work in the sky! 

The new MGCC Bread for the Journey book is just off the press...and we had a book launch night at the Mennonite Heritage Museum.   It was a wonderful evening from start to finish, with stories shared and Zwieback demo'd, baked and sampled.  We were overwhelmed and blessed by the support that evening...from family and friends who came out as well as those who sent flowers and their best wishes.

Would you not be beyond delighted if you stopped by someone's place to drop something off and discovered you were 'the guest of honour' at a table set beautifully for afternoon tea?  I had a few quick errands to run before leaving on our family camping weekend and let my aunt know that I would be dropping off a few things for her that afternoon.  What a surprise when I arrived to see the lovely table ready and waiting...and then to discover it was for me.  And what a disappointment that I had to rush on and could not stay to enjoy a lovely visit around that table.  I hope there is a next time.  Love you, Aunt Maggie and Uncle Jake!

We decided that instead of taking all the grands camping two-at-a-time this year, we would do a family camping weekend instead.  We found a lovely spot at Brae Island in Fort Langley...with all our campsites together. 

With the Olympics in Rio opening that same weekend...we decided to host our own 'family Olympics'.  From hoop a lot of games that involved water was a fun time for all skill levels. :)

Emme and Spencer found the perfect game for the finale...Bean Boozled Jelly Beans.  Oh boy!  If anyone ever suggests you! As you can tell, Lucy did not find it all amusing to eat jelly beans that tasted like 'skunk'.  Most of us dropped out after a few rounds.  Micah...age 6...was the gold-medal winner.  He either has an iron stomach or an iron will!

Lucy will not be eating jelly beans again any time soon!


Here was another first for us...camping with puppies.  Sweet Chester just arrived at his new home...and they weren't about to leave him 'home alone' for the weekend.  I'm wondering if he will still be such a cuddle bear when he weighs 200 pounds.

The following week...I joined Heidi and the girls at Bridal Falls for a few more days of camping.

We played games, hiked to the falls, went to the pool, watched Veggie Tales before bedtime...

...and rode the horse that does not buck.

There were so many more things that happened these past few weeks...we celebrated Kris's birthday with him (can it really be 43 years since we became parents?), attended a luncheon at which he was the guest speaker, were at two funerals of men who had lived their lives well (dads to good friends), and met up with old friends from East Chilliwack in the '60's.  And on the farm...all the fourth cut grass was harvested.

I'll leave you with one last photo-memory of August 2016...that of my granddaughters swinging into the sunset.

Did I mention that it has been VERY warm here this past while?  Fall may be around the corner, but we are experiencing summer weather at it's finest.  Enjoy these last days of August!

Monday, August 1, 2016 it happened

Let's go back to the beginning of the month.

We celebrated our country's 149th birthday in the south Okanagan this a family reunion in Oliver.  Just 25 miles north of the American border...Oliver is situated in Canada's only desert area.

For four decades we have been meeting every three years...cousins on my husband's side.  Originally his aunts and uncles were all there as well...but they are all gone.  Many of the cousins have passed on as well.  It was decided that this would be our final  'Wiebe Reunion'.  Bittersweet.  We will miss those Sunday morning 'church services'...singing and sharing and worshiping together.

The food is always camping fare at its finest!  Sweet.

As always...we cycled the paved trail along the Okanagan River.

The river now flows through a man-made channel to control flooding...and the trail runs for 10 kms. along the banks. 

Vineyards and wineries abound!  It looks to me like they will have a bumper grape harvest this year.

The trip home on the Monday of a long weekend was a little say the least.

Earlier this month...I took in the local Rotary Garden Tour. 

It's always fun and inspirational to wander through some of the lovely gardens in our community.

Miss Lucy turned five this month and had all kinds of celebrations! 

The one at our place included a 'pink purse cake'...and the pink purse that she 'really, really' wanted was inside her gift bag. I'm a little sad to know that our youngest grand will no longer be a 'pre-schooler' come fall.  But I know she will always be our youngest...always have that big smile...always know how to wrap her Grammy around her little finger. :)

We knew our friend Charlotte from MGCC would be visiting from Manitoba mid-month...and so we planned a get-together.  It turned out that the first shipment of our 'Bread For the Journey' books arrived just before planned event...and so it became a book launch party! 

We met at Marg's...had a fabulous feast...opened the box of books and had a peek...and then gathered in her wheat field for some photos. 

(Wenda, Aunt Norma, Janice)
My two cousins and my aunt from California (along with three of their teenagers) came for a visit. We had a lovely time...and did a lot of walking 'down memory lane'.  They also did a farm tour...and I think they may have been taking that 'country air' smell back home with them on their clothing.

My niece Kathryn (and Ritchie) was visiting from Australia this month and so Dot and Terry hosted a family get-together at Bridal Falls Resort.  It was a 'meet-and-greet'...and eat, of course!

And the grands had a fine time in the pool.

My grand-nephews (almost three years old) opted to do some excavating instead of swimming.  They look the same, act the same, dress the same...and always can be found together!  Their favorite toys?...tractors, trucks and diggers!  Twins are just so fun to watch.

And we finished off the month in Victoria...celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary at the same place where we were on our honeymoon so many years ago.  What a great city...and especially beautiful in the summer!

We stayed right on the inner harbour...rode the water taxi here and there...and walked for miles.

And we did something we had never done in Victoria before...we took the 'hop'on-hop'off' city tour and learned a little Victorian history and saw the city in a new way.  We met tourists from eastern Canada, from Europe, from North Carolina...and who knows where.  And then we met friends from our hometown who were staying at the same hotel...and landed up sharing a breakfast table with them.

And then there was the visit with a friend who lives on the 'big pond' and just minutes from the inner harbour. We met her well behaved and good-looking grandsons,  had a delightful afternoon teatime coffeetime around the table with Pondside and her hubby...had a tour of their lovely new/old home.

And we visited the lovely Butchart Gardens. Of course!  I was there just a few months ago...but the colours and the blooms are always new.  Such a beautiful spot...whatever the season!  Once we had walked the gardens...we found a nice table in the shade and watched people until it was time to catch the ferry home.  We had a reservation on the 5 o'clock sailing aboard The Spirit of British Columbia. As soon as we were on-board we made our way to the Pacific dining room to find a window seat and enjoy elegant ocean-view dining for our anniversary dinner.  The sun was shining, the view was fabulous, the meal was felt like we were on a cruise.  We stayed at our window seat for the entire trip!  Apparently folks travel on the Spirit of BC, the Spirit of Vancouver or the Coastal Celebration as foot passengers (with a round trip ticket) just for the Pacific Buffet dining room experience and the amazing view on a beautiful day on the west coast!  Why not?

And that was the month of July through my lens.