Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cool Clock

I was just doing a Google Image search, and came across this very cool clock. It must be pretty big, but I can't find the original post to get the details.

The picture is from Google Images, and was linked to this blog: Made By Girl

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Abbotsford Christian School Auction

I'm excited to be a part of the Abbotsford Christian School Garage Sale and Auction this year. Come on out for some good family fun, and a great auction and food. Games for the kids, vendor tables (I'll have a table of stamping stuff... come by and say hi!!) and so much more. Don't miss the fun on October 15th. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sept. 6th

It's Sept. 10th today, but Sept. 6 was a very special day in our house. It was Steve's birthday, and although I wished him a HB on Facebook, I didn't do it on here. Too many social outlets to remember to post on, I think!! At least I remembered to say it to him face-to-face!!

We had a good day that day, even though it was overshadowed by the first day of school. That was always a bit of a drag for Steve growing up... having his birthday in the first week back to school, and often (like this year) on the actual day that school starts.

But, we had fun. It was just a half day, so we took the kids to Boston Pizza to celebrate school, and to celebrate Steve.

Then, later, we took the kids to Steve's parents' place and we joined up with another couple for some delicious Mexican food.

Here are a few memories from our day.

All ready to go for the first day. How can I possibly have 3 kids in school already? That went by so fast!

Elise listening to her first story in Kindergarten. She was so excited to be there!

Lunch at BP's, I love father-daughter pictures!

Olé!! Dinner with friends at Del Pollo Restaurant.

The food was delicious... we love Mexican food!

Happy Birthday, Steve. Glad I got to spend the day with you :)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

More Norway

** To see all my Norway posts at once, click HERE.

For dessert, after dinner tonight, the kids got to dig into some chocolates from Ellen Randi, my cousin in Norway. Inside the wrapper was a Norwegian kids' story. There are different ones in each chocolate, but the story we read tonight was the story of the 3 Billy Goats and the troll under the bridge. It was in Norwegian, so I read it and then translated for the kids every couple of sentences. Of course, it helps that I already know the story!! I can't speak or read Norwegian, except for a very small amount, but knowing the story, and having the slight advantage that my kids and husband know even less Norwegian than I do, made me look pretty smart!

Hearing and seeing the Norwegian language tonight made me want to share a bit more from my trip last month.

I posted about Preikestolen, and now I want to share about our amazing cruise along the Lysefjord a couple days after the hike. My mom and aunt didn't hike with me, just my cousins and their kids did. While we were off hiking, my mom and aunt were spending time visiting their cousins. So, this cruise was very special because they got to see the wonders of the fjord that I had told them a bit about.

We are ready!

The view was spectacular, even before we set sail!

Rocks straight up to the sky, and below the water they go straight down. The boat got so close to the rocks that we could almost reach out and touch the wall.

Preikestolen from below! I cannot believe that I was up that high!!

Sisters... enjoying the peaceful scenery.

An old schoolhouse along the fjord that was in operation until the early 1900s.

Abandoned farms along the steep hills of the fjord. It is said that farmers used to tie ropes to their children when they would play outside so they didn't fall down the steep hills and into the deep chilly waters.

I don't know if I could get used to the isolation, especially in the wintertime, of living in a place like this. But, the gorgeous scenes you would wake up to every morning might just make it worthwhile! Most of these places are abandoned, except for some tourist activity in the summer months.

It took my breath away.

A few years ago, the government took this little village over and built a power station. Behind this white building is a wooden staircase that reaches up to the top of the mountain. It is 4,444 steps and is the longest wooden staircase in the world. Plus, it is open to the public! The brochure says that it is an ideal day trip... pack a picnic and head up to the top. Ok... after you!!

This is Kjerag, the highest peak along the Lysefjord. A popular place for base jumping. The captain stopped our boat for about 20 minutes so we could watch the jumpers. Amazing! I couldn't do it.... I get sick to my stomach just thinking about jumping off of that cliff. If you see the waterfall in the photo - that's where the jumpers were starting from on this day.

All the jumps we saw were safe ones - thank goodness! Over the course of 15 years, and 30,000 jumps, there have been 9 deaths. Even one is too many, however, it seems like for such an extreme sport, that is pretty low.

And, the famous Kjeragbolten... a huge bolder stuck between two walls of rock. My question is, "When will this fall?" But it's been there for ages, and people love to climb up to the top, and out onto the bolder. I Googled it to share some info and I came across this travel blog... Some great photos on this post, so check it out! Martin's Travel Blog. Perhaps on my next visit to Norway I will have a chance to tackle Kjerag, and if I am feeling brave on that day, I might even step out onto the bolder. But, don't hold your breath for a picture of me on this thing... I have issues with heights! Plus, the next time I go to Norway I will have my kids along, and there is not a chance that I am going to let them go out on that rock!

Once the boat docked, we traveled up this windy road. 27 hairpin turns, and random sheep all along the way, so watch out! My aunt did an amazing job of driving this scary road - some of the turns were inside tunnels, and the road is only wide enough for one car at a time, except for little pull outs, and fancy maneuvering.... She got us safely to the top, where we enjoyed some Daim ice-cream and a strong cup of Norwegian coffee. What a great day!

The view of Lysebotn from the top.

And finally, here are some very cooperative sheep. It still makes me laugh when I think of these 3 running toward us, and then stopping in perfect formation, almost begging for us to take their picture. Maybe you had to be there, but it was a memorable moment. My kids sure enjoyed seeing this picture when I got home, anyway!!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Victoria & Goodbye Summer

School starts in 4 days. I'm ready! The kids are ready, too! Elise can't wait to get started in Kindergarten, and the boys are eager to see their friends again.

So... we had one last hurrah before heading back to routine. We took a trip over to Victoria. Time with friends, a little touristy stuff, a visit with my Granny in the care home.... it was a great week! Plus, my parents have acreage, so there was always lots for the kids to do to keep busy!

Here are a few of the highlights from the week.

Family Time...

My kids with their Great Granny.

Some fun with different features on my camera... black and white and some blur.

Building Time...

The kids and Steve and I (mostly Steve and the kids :) have been working on a play fort in the back forty of my parents' place. I was on cougar and bear alert because there have been sightings of both in the area this summer.

Friend Time...

We got together with Tricia and the boys at a park in Sidney for a couple hours to play. Later in the weekend, we also hooked up with Todd's old school buddy that has moved over to the Island. That was a lot of fun, too. I don't have pics to share from that. (yes, of course I TOOK pictures, but I am not going to post them :)

Game Time...

So many games of Chinese Checkers and Battleship took place over the week that I lost count! The kids really loved playing these games, so I am going to have to add them to a shopping list at some point! We have lots of games, but these 2 games are not ones we own.

Scott took this black and white. I just love how he took it from a different perspective.

Fun Time...

After visiting Granny, we went to the Beacon Hill Drive-In for ice cream. Yikes! These bowls were HUGE... way too much for one kid. They didn't need to eat lunch that day :)

Farm Time...

I posted a few weeks ago about my dad's chickens. The kids had fun feeding them, and watching them... it was also an excuse to not finish their dinner, "But mommm, Papa said the chickens would really like to have some of my dinner!" Ok, whatever Papa says!

This was so cute. We were walking up the driveway with my dad and he was showing me his plum tree. Just as he was saying, "It didn't even give me one lousy plum..." We both spotted it! A beautiful, ripe, delicious yellow plum! Further searching yielded 2 more plums from this tree, and one from another tree. Enough plums for each of the kids and Papa!!

E is such a poser. This was take 5 of her standing beside this sunflower. I just wanted to show the height of the flower, and she had to show off a bit! Dad's sunflowers were a bit short this year because they were all volunteers. I love sunflowers.

Tractor driving lessons with Papa. Out of all the kids, Elise was the only one that wanted to steer the tractor. The boys just wanted to go along for the ride. After her turn was done, she said, "I am such a good driver, I didn't even hit any of the cars in the driveway." Well, I hope not!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to the Beacon Hill Petting Farm after church for a little bit. Elise has been there before, but it was the first time for the boys. They instantly fell in love with all the little pygmy goats!

Bed Time...

The sunsets in Victoria were just glorious. Night after night of beautiful skies. I couldn't believe how there was so much colour every night, but each night was different. Here are pics from 2 different nights.

Vivid pinks and purples one night...

And bright orange on another night that bounced off the water of the Bay and made a beautiful backdrop for the silhouettes.