This is what happens when you don't blog for awhile . . .

I have lots of pictures to upload and you have lots to look at and read.

Marc and I have been enjoying summer in all its glory recently visiting with friends and doing a bit of traveling.

I think this post is going to very picture and text intensive so I need some categories. How about some bolding while we're at it.

1. Idaho, here I come!
I spent the fourth of July weekend in Idaho with my grandparents, aunt, cousin and dad. We had a grand old time re-connecting, playing lots of squeak (and Kylie losing lots and lots of squeak, it was my goal just to win one round but I didn't even accomplish that) and eating the best and easiest brownies ever!! Try them with marshmallows and chocolate chips and marachino cherries. mmmmm

At the 4th of July BBQ with my dad, cousin Erin and Aunt Tammy.

Every year my dad's cousins and their families play a volleyball match of July 4th. I am proud to say that I was the cause of my team losing 4 of the 5 matches and the direct cause of three of those losses. Volleyball is not my forte!!!
My lovely great Aunt Annette who still lives alone and has a HUGE garden!

I wonder if the higher ups at Chevron are aware of this shady business going on. We could also support a local Performing Arts School by purchasing fireworks. I'm sure they put on an explosive performance!!
Enjoying dinner on the patio.
The lovely view from said patio.
We had the neighbours over one night.

With my Granny and Gramps on the last morning of my visit.
2. Our anniversary

Marc and I celebrated our seventh anniversary last week. Time sure flies when you are having fun! Marc surprised me with a trip to the Sunshine Coast and we stayed at a beautiful B and B right on the ocean. We enjoyed lazy days, some hiking, swimming for Marc and eating a lot of fish and gelato. Those sound a bit odd together but my tummy (and hips!) sure liked them.

We took a hike up Soames Hill the first night we were there.

Niko practicing his cute face. People on the coast sure love him! He was absolutely fawned over in Gibsons (and no I am not exaggerating, he got enough pets and compliments to last him a year) and gained a fan club in Vancouver as well.

The view from our bed.

Marc taking an early morning dip.

On our way back from the coast we picked up Josh at Horseshoe Bay.

3. Joshua Visits and turns 30!
Our friend Josh who visited us a couple of times in Kenya and we traveled with in Egypt is back in Canada (albeit briefly) and made the journey from the island to come out and visit. He also happened to turn 30 while he was here.
We headed to Stanley Park and saw the devastation that a long ago wind storm wreaked. We had not been back since and were amazed at all the downed trees!
Today we had a picnic lunch at a local beaver dam before Josh's send off.

4. Climbing Elk (Not once but twice)
We climbed Elk Mountain (which we can see out our kitchen window) last Saturday with our friends Dan and Catherine and then again with Josh yesterday and we had two amazing days to do it!

Niko with flower juice all over his face. He also had more on his nose in bright yellow and some more on the other side of his face. He also looks very guilty about it here.
I love this picture!
The most mature 30 year old I know!Beautiful wild flowers

5. All this hiking and traveling reminded me of this . . .
had clipped this article from the Globe and Mail on Canada Day with the intent to post it but did not get around to it but as a way to tie up my post (in true teacher fashion) I am posting this excerpt from an article by Margaret Wente entitled "We are the Lucky Country." So true...

"Like everyone else, Canadians love to complain. Our taxes are too high and our social services are too low. Our winters are too long and our politicians are pathetic. We have no sense of national unity. Our neighbour to the south has gone temporarily berserk. Gas prices are going through the roof, and global warming is melting the Arctic ice.

But where else would we rather be? Canada is the lucky country, blessed with more beauty and abundance than any other place on earth. We have the spectacular good fortune to dwell in a scenic backwater, far from the crossroads of history - an insignificant suburb, really, where nothing ever happens but the quality of life is great. As neighbours of the richest, most powerful country in the world, we reap all the benefits of empire and bear hardly any of the costs. We have energy, water, food and tractors - everything the world wants. We're the place where entrepreneurial people from 200 other countries want to come make a life. We've won the lottery and, sometimes, we're even smart enough to know it.....Our country! Not bad eh?"

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