Monday, November 30, 2009


I had a meeting at church last Monday, and Caleb went with me. He was playing fairly nicely while I was discussing all things Awana nearby. We were meeting in a big room that we use for lots of children's functions, and it afforded plenty of room for Caleb to run around and play.

There is a small stage at the front of the room with a ramp coming down either side of the stage. I told Caleb he was not allowed on the stage, but I guess it proved too tempting for him. He went up on the stage while pushing a toy grocery cart. He came down the ramp from the stage...and tripped, toppling over the cart and smashing his face into the carpet. I saw it happen, and I ran over to help him. He was crying hard, and his biggest injury seemed to be a bloody, busted lip. But over the next few hours, I saw the big, red carpet burn start to appear on his nose.

It actually looks better in the picture than it did in person. It was horrible looking! Everywhere he went, people would stare at him and ask him what happened. Scott kept calling him "Rudolph." Now, a week later, it is still red but much smaller. Poor thing. Could have been worse, though! He just looked a little funny for his birthday pictures.

Caleb's Preschool Thanksgiving Party

We went up to Caleb's school last week for his class Thanksgiving party. His teachers are SO creative and craftsy, it is unbelievable. Caleb comes home every week with some incredibly imaginative art project. For this party, the teachers had things set up for the kids to make turkeys...out of apples, marshmallows, and raisins. Who'd a thunk it?

Here is Scott helping Caleb with his "turkey."

Here's the finished product. I thought we had a better picture of it, but evidently the only one we got was one that Caleb took while Scott was teaching him how to use the camera. :)

That poor turkey lost his left eye shortly after this picture was taken. Little brother got hungry for that raisin, I suppose!

Here is Caleb eating...very little. Most of the food on his plate went untouched.

Isaac ended up sitting up at the table with the "big" kids and joining right in at the meal!

When we left the church (that's where Caleb's school is), Isaac started running in the little courtyard out front and was having such a good time that I decided to snap a few pictures.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Caleb's Pony Ride

Caleb went to his friend Wyatt's birthday party last week. Wyatt is a cute little cowboy in the making, so it was appropriate for his party to be at a local horse park. Caleb and Isaac had so much fun! There were pony rides, 2 bounce houses, a campfire for s'mores, a barn tour, and lots of goats, sheep, dogs, and cats running around.

Here is Caleb's pony ride:

And I had to get a picture of this goat. I! She was slowly lumbering around the park.

Poor mama goat!

Isaac's Tower

Isaac started building a tower of blocks the other day. Here's what it looked like after a minute or two:

He kept going. Before it fell down, it looked like this:

Yea, Isaac! It was almost as tall as he is!

Bedtime with the Boys

Okay, someday I'll get back to blogging about my vacation. Maybe. But time has been so limited lately--I am realizing I have too much on my plate--that I don't have time to sit down to think about what we did over a month ago now!

So, here's something non-vacation-y. ;) A couple of weeks ago, Isaac climbed right in bed with Caleb. Caleb tucked Isaac in beside him, and I read them their bedtime Bible stories together. Aren't they adorable?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Seattle/Victoria Trip: Day Three

We woke up in Victoria, BC in our lovely hotel room overlooking the Inner Harbour (you have to spell it that way when you're writing about Canada, you know). :)

We wanted to walk around Victoria a little more, but it was raining steadily that morning. So we decided to go to the Royal BC Museum for a little indoor entertainment and education. They have a fabulous "First Peoples" exhibit that has artifacts and stories about the "Indians" who lived in the lands before the Europeans settled there. (This first pic is from the BC Museum website. You can't use flash photography in the museum, so our pics are a little dark.)

This was an example of a pit house that the first people lived in. They would climb in and out through the smoke hole at the top. (I guess they had to wait until someone put out the fire, huh?)

The museum also had a neat modern history exhibit, with replicas of what buildings looked like in the early 1900's. Here are pics of the "town" courtesy of the BC Museum website:

I enjoyed the exhibit of the turn-of-the-century home, and the kitchen in particular. It was fun to imagine myself cooking in that kitchen, but it would have been a lot of work!

After a long morning in the museum, we headed for The Sticky Wicket for lunch. The food was incredibly good, especially for a pub! Scott had fish and chips, and I had hot crab and artichoke dip served with warm flatbread. Yummmmmmmmmm.... The service was lousy, but the pub itself was really inviting and the perfect escape from the wet weather outside.

The rain had let up by the time we finished lunch, so we walked around and shopped for awhile. We went into a cozy local bookstore, and then we stopped in at LUSH. Have you ever been there? I'd been wanting to try their solid shampoo (pictured here), so I convinced Scott to go in the store with me. Oh, what an experience! I guess I am just a good little Southern girl at heart, but I am not used to salespeople using foul language while trying to get me to buy products. There was a sales guy there who repeatedly dropped the f-bomb like it was absolutely normal to cuss at customers. Wha?!? I guess that's what we get for going to the "left" coast. ;)

We walked back to our hotel and had about an hour to kill before we had to go catch our clipper back to Seattle. So we each decided to settle in one of the plush armchairs in the hotel's comfy lobby and read our books in front of the fire. I always like to choose a book based on the place I'm traveling, and for this trip I chose Timothy Egan's novel The Winemaker's Daughter. I'll talk more about the book in a later post, but for now I'll just say I was happy to curl up and read for a little while after all the walking we'd done that day.

After about 30 minutes, we heard bagpipes coming from the patio outside overlooking the water. Soon, we saw a beautiful Scottish wedding party enter the lobby, complete with a kilted groom. Awww....

We left for the clipper and had an uneventful ride back to Seattle. The boat wasn't nearly as crowded this time, so we shared a set of 6 seats with just one other couple. Scott got a few pics from the back of the boat as we were heading toward Seattle.

Gorgeous, eh?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Seattle/Victoria Trip: Day Two (Butchart and Swans)

When we booked our clipper ride to get to Victoria, we found out that the cheapest way to get to the Butchart Gardens (which is the most popular tourist attraction in the Victoria area) was to take a bus tour offered by the Victoria clipper people. We are not usually "bus tour" type of people, but this worked out well. The bus driver was appropriately funny and informative. I learned a few fun facts about Canada:
  • Lots of people have hobby farms. Canadians get a big tax break if they make a certain amount of money each year by selling their own produce. So Canadians will put out little tables at the ends of their drives with their produce laid out. They put up a sign showing how much the food costs, and buyers simply put the requested amount in a jar. No one mans the booths. Do you think that would work here in the US? Seems like Canadians are more trusting than we are!
  • When I saw my first gas station in Canada, I was shocked. The price was just $.97! That was a fabulous price! Why would the price be lower in Canada than in Texas, I wondered? But then the bus driver cleared it up for us. Of course, those prices are per liter. Duh. So, that wonderful price ended up being about $4 per gallon.
  • In 2004, Canadians voted Tommy Douglas as the "Greatest Canadian" in a nationwide contest. Douglas was a socialist and founder of the country's universal Medicare program. (Alexander Graham Bell and Wayne Gretzsky were in the top 10.)
  • Canadian elementary children go to school for 10 months out of the year. High school and college kids have an 8-month school year (mid-September to April).
Okay, enough useless Canada facts. On to The Butchart Gardens! We went to the gardens because....well, as tourists, I suppose we were expected to go. Flowers aren't really our thing (I tend to kill them, unless you count all the beautiful little white flowers that cover our lawn) but we wanted to go anyway. In the end, I'm glad we went. It really was beautiful, in spite of the light rain while we were there.

There was no shortage of photo opportunities.

For those of you who don't know my husband, yes, he is always this goofy.

I want this tree in my backyard. LOVE it. Of course, it's probably bigger than my backyard, but whatever.

I hear the gardens are really special at Christmas. They put lights everywhere and they have a twelve days of Christmas theme. You can round a corner and find "nine ladies dancing" or "ten lords of leaping."

We had about 2 hours at the gardens, which was plenty of time for us. Afterward, the bus drove us back into Victoria proper and even dropped us off right at our hotel. We stayed at the Delta Ocean Pointe right on the Inner Harbour. I would recommend it highly. Here is a view of our room:

The room had windows that opened and offered great views of the Inner Harbour. In the harbour, you saw everything from cargo ships to sea planes. It's impressive how all that was orchestrated.

That night we headed out on foot to walk around Victoria. Most of the shops were closed, but it was a nice night (the rain had stopped for awhile, and it was just nice and cool) and we enjoyed our walk. We settled on a pub called Swans for dinner.

We ate on a covered patio area, which was cozy and full of locals. There was a couple behind us who played cards while they drank some in-house brew, and a couple of elderly ladies at another table who split a pitcher of ale. I had shepherd's pie (with lamb braised in oatmeal stout). It was so good, I don't even remember what Scott had. Anything smothered in mashed potatoes is my kind of meal. Ha!

Here's a goofy pic of me before we ate.

Next post (hopefully it won't take me 2 more weeks to write): wrapping up Victoria and heading back to Seattle!