10 June 2018

Caleb is two, good for a party!

My baby is officially two! Probably not so much a baby anymore!
Because Caleb is still pretty young, our birthday celebrations were low key. But fun! And his siblings loved preparing for it. Craig was the instigator behind putting up the birthday banners, and had a timeline for wrapping presents, too, including the "robot" made of megabloks that Craig made for Caleb. Calista picked out the cake flavor - chocolate - and drew a picture. On Caleb's actual birthday, Calista wore an outfit she said was, "good for a party!" and Craig woke up chanting, "Caleb is two, Caleb is two! Do you know why I woke up? Because I remembered Caleb is two!"
Since his birthday was on a regular Monday this year, Caleb got to do exciting things like... drop off Craig at preschool! Go grocery shopping! Have a nap! But once everyone got home, then the real celebrations began.
We had pizza for dinner, which is one of Caleb's favorite things. When he saw it, he started pointing at it and saying, "Pizza!" repeatedly, hoping that some would make its way to his plate. It did.
After dinner was time for presents, and wow!, was that a success. Not only was Caleb quick to figure out the unwrapping, but he absolutely adored everything he was given.
As did Calista and Craig, truth be told.
We had to pull them all away from the magnetic blocks and duplos to go play at the park together,
and Caleb wouldn't let spinosaurus go, so he came with.
 
The park was a lot of fun. Easy little paths I'd like to go back and have Calista (and maybe Craig) practice riding their bikes on, and a fantastic playground for many different ages that the kids could've stayed for much longer at...
however, various showers made it a necessity for us to go home before we got blown away.

Plus, at home, there was cake! A triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting,
which I made the day prior to Caleb's birthday and had in the fridge, ready to go.
When I opened the fridge after putting Caleb down for a nap, however, I found the cake looking like this:
I know I'll laugh about this someday (maybe even tomorrow), but in the moment I was mad. And all the more upset when the only other person in the house (that wasn't asleep and can actually open the fridge) wouldn't tell me the truth about what happened for a while. Oh well.
Despite the finger holes, we still had a candle to light, a song to sing, and a cake to eat!
And to top it all off, in celebration of Caleb's birthday, we headed to the science center as a family later in the week. They have recently opened an exhibit on dinosaurs, so naturally, we headed there, first. Caleb (and the other two) were fascinated.
He kept running around, pointing and putting his hands excitedly in the air. It was adorable.
Not carry-on baggage anymore!
Happy Birthday to my not-baby boy! I love you so much!

03 June 2018

A little wedding camping

In May, our oldest nephew (Big Cousin Carter to the kiddos) got married. Of course we headed down to celebrate! We also decided to stop along the way and camp at Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park. So it was a packed, and awesome weekend!

Thursday at noon, I picked Calista up at school, Kyler and the train station, and we took off on our adventure. Along the way, there was a bathroom break or two, a break for dinner, and of course, 6.5 hours of driving.
But we made it! Once we got to the campground, we were thrilled to discover lots of trees and shade in our spot, with the playground and bathrooms close by, too.
I assigned the kiddos to clear the tent spot of pinecones, and got the tent out of the car.
Once it was out and set up, we headed to the river to play for a bit. I took these pictures specifically for my mom.
There is a fence and gate between the river and the campground.
As this sign indicates, it is to keep the beavers by the river out of the campground so they don't go chewing up all those shade trees!
The river was beautiful in the evening, and we were so grateful for a nice warm day.
We were a little worried about camping at the end of May in Canada, but we didn't freeze at all!
Then we headed back to the campsite and attempted to make s'mores with our camp stove.
Not a great success, but fun all the same. Next up was pajamas and bed... eventually. First Kyler had to tell the kids spooky stories (at their request). My favorite was one was about a time-traveler back in the time of dinosaurs. The man got caught by a tyrannosaurus rex, who agreed to not eat the man if he would go back to the future and then bring the t-rex back some Tillamook Cheese. The man went to the future to get the cheese, but instead of taking it back to the dinosaur, he at it himself. One day he went to a museum and saw Black Beauty. The skeleton turned to face the man and said, "Where's my cheese?" When the man said he did not have any because he'd eaten it, the t-rex said, "Well, then, I'll eat you!" and gobbled him up in one bite.
After several such silly stories, and singing about 99 bottles of pop on the wall, kiddos were finally asleep. Whew. Kyler and I slept horribly, but that's beside the point.
The next morning, we headed into the hoodoos.
We went on a hike at let the kids scramble along,
gave great views of the river,
and ended in a pictograph called "The Battle Scene."
It was pretty impressive.
Caleb fell asleep in the carrier along the way,
Craig didn't think he could make it back to the campsite, and Calista got a little whiny. But then I asked Calista to try to be more positive, and she proceeded to be much more encouraging to Craig, even taking him by the hand and helping him finish the hike.
It was great.
We then played at the river for a while more, this time ready to get wet!
Kyler tested the depth and strength of the river by wading out into the middle,
and the kiddos enjoyed wading with him and playing in the sand.
Finally, lunch, taking down the campsite, and driving to Raymond.
Everyone was exhausted,
but we'd had a lot of camping fun. And the weekend had barely begun!

Friday night, Kyler and I had a little time to ourselves - to go to a (funeral) viewing and a rock concert in the cafeteria of the high school - and then it was off to a desperately needed sleep for everyone.

Saturday was wedding day! Kyler and I attended the ceremony and the dinner while the kiddos got to play with cousins and eat pizza next door.
It was wonderful. Carter bawled like a baby when his bride started walking down the aisle, and I was so happy for both of them. Plus the food was excellent.
Following the dinner
(and Craig falling asleep while eating pizza), it was time to get ready for the reception and dance!
Kyler took the kiddos back to his mom's house for a bit while I helped set up, and then came back with Calista to the dance - Caleb having fallen asleep and Craig electing to stay and watch a movie.
We rocked the casbah, got sufficiently sweaty, and then headed back to sleep.
Craig, when I asked him what we should get Big Cousin Carter for his wedding, told us, "A baseball bat. Because, when you get a new player on your team, you need a new baseball bat."
The new teammates
You better believe we bought Carter a (dollar store) baseball bat along with the other things, and wrote that message in the card!

Sunday morning we headed into Stirling to go to church with some friends we knew in Calgary, and they invited us to eat lunch with them, too.
It was great, and the kids got to play and have fun before the daunting 6 hour drive back home so everyone could do school/work Monday morning.

It was a long, exhausting weekend. We will definitely be going back to Writing-On-Stone, maybe even to stay a few more days. Calista said, "Wow! Why is nature is so much fun?" Because it definitely was fun. I love spending time with my family, and this was a weekend full of that!
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