overnight on cheam with ty

 ty's first overnight hike is as good a reason as any to awaken our quiescent blog.  he did so well, helping me pack, excitedly leading the way and chanting "i think i can, i think i can" when he was getting tired.

"wow, this is pretty.  please take a picture so mommy can see!"

snowball fight!

like, a lot of snowball fights.

 natural refrigeration!

 i was proud of ty summiting a small gendarme that he spotted and wanted to climb.  i thought it was too hard.  "no daddy, i think i can do it."  and he did.

collecting water.
 throwing rocks.

 our campsite under lady peak.

morning coffee!

the peak!

mountain dog!

a great 2 days!


Manning Park 2016

 for the second year in a row we packed up the family and drove 90 minutes to gorgeous Manning Park for a few days.
 ty fully engaged with skiing this year.  his lift ticket is still free, and i have access to free tickets as well, so he got out on the slopes 3 days in a row, lasting longer each time.

 we were blessed with a few cm of new snow every day.
 ty did so awesome on his first chairlift ride ever.  a clean exit and not at all scared of the height.  he was just wondering at the views of the mtns and skiers and trees all around him.

 right outside the resort are a multitude of snowshoe and xc ski trails.

 we have a german student kathe staying with us for a few weeks.  it was great to take her out and show her around our area, and also great to have another adult along so that kylie and i could get out for time by ourselves.

 there was so much snow up there!

 if ty's thing was skiing this trip, levi's was tottering along in the snow.  he was happy to fall on his face repeatedly and DID NOT want to be picked up.

 zeke's thing was def. toboganning.  a nice amount of excitement for him.  he enjoyed varying the rides from kathe to me to "by mySELF" and was shockingly fastest on his own.
a good time was had by all.  playing in the snow all day, pool and hottub in the evening, a home cooked meal and do it all again tomorrow.  this is our kind of tradition!


Walking in a winter wonderland

 we havent mentioned it much on our blog this year, but i have been spending a lot of time in the eastern hillsides above chilliwack in the community forest.  some have referred to it as my playground, and that is pretty accurate.

 with the help of the city of chilliwack, our church and many local community volunteers we have been able to transform a 130 acre forest into a community wilderness park.  its not officially open yet, but many people are using it and it is beautiful in the snow!

 today the vanderkwaaks surpised us up there, catching up to our family mid hike.
 they came at the perfect time.  having kassi and james around gave ty and zeke a burst of energy just as they were starting to fade.
a gorgeous spot, a four minutes drive from our church.  a lot more to be done there in the spring!  good exercise and great fun for the whole family.



We have had a very full and fun December.  This year we stayed in Chilliwack and quite enjoyed having family time over the Christmas break. My Granny (Dad's mom) also passed away this month.  She was 89.  Unfortunately I could not make it to the funeral (my brother and I went to Idaho in October for a final visit) but I did write the following for her funeral and wanted to share . . . 

My name is Kylie and I am Thelma's granddaughter. To me she was Granny.

I think this is my favourite picture of my Granny, so beautiful.

Growing up we traveled to several places to visit Granny and Gramps. The first I have a memory of was when they lived in Denver and we traveled there for Christmas when I was 4 and my brother Brad was 2. Granny did not have bed for us but when we arrived we found 2 large beautifully wrapped boxes with the tops and one side cut off and a mattress inside that we could sleep on. There was a felt angel on mine that Granny had made. I still remember the beautiful red wrapping that mine had, as a 4 year old it was the most wonderful bed I had ever seen!

 On this same trip, Denver experienced one of the worst blizzards in their history. On Christmas Eve in 1982 over 30 inches of snow fell overnight. We woke up on Christmas Day to a winter wonderland and the most snow I had ever seen! The snow was so high it came up to the second story windows. My most vivid memory of that day is Granny and Gramps throwing me out that second story window onto a heap of snow!

 On that trip I also remember decorating gingerbread cookies for the first time. Granny loved to make cookies! Her specialty was soft molasses cookies. I remember baking with Granny one year and we had run out of milk. She told me that there was powdered milk in the cupboard and we could just use that. I had never seen powdered milk before and opened it up and found it to be full of worms! Even now when I open powdered milk I expect there to be worms inside! Another specialty of Granny's was her black cap pie. Black cap pie was made with black raspberries that she grew in her garden.

 At my high school grad with both sets of grandparents
Idaho 2009
After Granny and Gramps moved to Idaho we made our annual trips in the summer rather than at Christmas and the food I looked forward to the most was black cap pie. There was something magical about this pie, it still to this day is the best pie I have ever tasted. My dad loved it too so Granny would often send them home with us to Canada. I remember a couple of times being very nervous that the border guard would steal our precious pie!!

Ty meeting Granny 2010

 This week after Granny passed away I was decorating for Christmas with my 3 young boys. Over the past few years Granny has given us many of her decorations that she has made. It was so special to get them all out and talk about Granny and recognize her amazing talent for sewing and knitting and creating. The beautiful stockings she knit are constantly commented on. The last stockings that she made were for her first great grandchilren - Maria and Ty. Grauntie Tammy has since volunteered to carry on her legacy and we thank her for it. This past Halloween Ty also wore a dinosaur costume that Granny for my brother Brad when he was 5. It is still in beautiful condition! We have so many wonderful memories of spending time with Granny and will miss her very much.

 Ty and Marc talking about all the ornament on the tree that Granny made.  The felt overlay behind them is also made by her. To the left is my favourite Halloween costume.  Hours and hours of work!!  The intricate pearl pattern on the dress is so detailed and amazing!
Showing off Granny's beautiful stockings. 

The final family picture taken this summer 2015.  All family members present! And Zeke making his presence known. ;)

(Thank you Auntie Tammy for scanning thousands of pictures so we could all have the wonderful memories!!!)

The rest of December has been spent enjoying family and friends and the Christmas season.  Our annual gingerbread house making at Mike and Patti's. This year for the first time we brought Ty and Zeke.  Needless to say, they loved it.  ;)  Ty was the judge at the end of the night and he very maturely did not pick his own house but the pentagon made by Lui and Rocky and Jamison and Paulina's "Home Alone" house as the winners. 

Ty had his kindergarten Christmas concert and belted out "Petit Papa Noel" 
Afterwards we went to Dairy Queen to celebrate.  Onion rings and ice cream.  Mmmmm 

In November and early December we had Lisa, a Swiss student stay with us through the workaway program.  She was lovely and helpful and the boys loved her!

Ty making a community forest house.  So cute!

We went to the Vancouver Aquarium with Lisa. All the boys loved it! And so nice to have extra help!

Ty's drawing skills have improved immensely in the last few months and he really enjoys using his chalkboard downstairs.
The boys made a blanket fort with Lisa.
Making sugar cookies with Lisa

Our friend Levi (Levi's namesake) made a film about highlining and slacklining and we attended the Vancouver premiere.  Such a good film!  Untethered on Vimeo!

Levi released the film online a few day after the premiere and Marc let the boys stay up late while I was at Book Club and watch it with him.  He thought they would be tired after staying up late but the exciting movie just made them crazy.

Oh Zekey

Ty spent a lot of time this month coloring Christmas cards for his classmates and then printing in them.  So proud of him!

I celebrated my birthday this month and this was the only picture we took.  Santa yogurt baby celebrating mommy . . .

We also had Zeke's Christmas concert.  And although he didn't know the songs he was happy to participate in the actions!

Oh this one . . . ;)

We have had an unprecedented amount of snow here this month.  Lots of snowmen and snowball fights and fun in the white stuff!

Caroling in the community forest!
Marc went skiing to Baker last week.  All fresh powder!  

On Christmas Eve it started snowing.  The boys were so excited!
And it kept snowing too!  

Christmas Eve service at church.  The impromptu nativity scene reenactment was awesome.  Zeke was a sheep and Ty a wiseman. 

After a great dinner at church we came home and changed into our new pajamas.  Oh how I love my little family.
The outtake. ;)  Levi's tongue cracks me up.  So casual yet being a ham.  He is a photographers dream.   Makes a face or smiles almost every time a camera comes out.  
Presents and stockings all under the tree.   

Christmas morning:

#bestchristmasever!  (In my head I yell that in a Valley girl voice and I say ever as eva!  Just so you know!) ;)

After present opening and my grandma's wifesaver we went to the Community Forest.  So much snow there!

We came home and went in the hot tub and then had pizzas and rasberries and cucumbers.  
Loved it!

 From our family to yours . . . Merry Christmas!  Wishing you love, joy and peace this upcoming year!  Keep in touch!