bear creek

 last week we took the family camping at bear creek on the east side of harrison lake.  big bessie handled the forest service roads with ease and aplomb.  the full size truck tires make a big difference.
zeke was already a camping pro at less than a week old.  eat, sleep and hang out on the beach.  he had it all nailed.
 we hadn't been to the beach at bear creek before, but it is beautiful.  the north edge ends in cliffs while the south is bounded by a rushing creek.  the eponymous bear creek in fact.  just east of the camp it cascades down a lovely waterfall.
 the sky was clear and the beach was a veritable solar oven, with the expanse of harrison lake throwing double sunshine at us on the sand.  we fried up the leftover chicken enchilada that melissa made just for us (extra cheese!) on the stove in our portable kitchen and ate it with salsa and carrots.  nice to bring a premade dinner along that was still homemade and not processed.  and so nice to have a fridge to keep the beer cold.
 i neglected to take any pictures of our campsite, but here is the view from ty's bed.  bear creek is a small rec site less than an hour drive from our house.  its proximity allowed kylie to spend the entire day on the beach with us and then duck home to sleep in her own bed (next time maybe she'll stay the first night).

  in the morning (ty slept til 8, which never happens at home) ty and i made coffee and ate miniwheats, scrambled eggs and fruit, then set out on a hike to a nearby beach.
 here we wiled away the hours throwing rocks in the water, doing interesting stretches and taking pictures.

 its easy to take great pictures of this guy.

 the morning started off cool, but warmed up soon.  a leisurely second day on the beach sped past far too quickly.  look at all those rocks just begging to be thrown in the water.  next time we'll stay longer.


And now actually introducing the newest member of our family . . .

Ezekiel Thomas born on May 7 at 3:30 pm.  He is a week old today and the past 7 days have flown by!  Just like Zeke's birth!!  I went into labour on Monday morning at 3am and the contractions were not very strong and far apart.  They stopped for a while in the morning and we went for a walk and then I made pancakes for lunch.  While catching up on the Amazing Race at 1:30 while Ty napped, the contractions all of a sudden got very strong and not far apart at all!  At about 3 we decided we should really get going to the hospital and between waking Ty up from his nap and finding clothes for me to wear, we left the house at 3:10.   By this time I was pushing in the car (and holding on to the holy ^%!@ handles for dear life).  Marc got to drive his Subaru to it's full capability, although I'm sure he didn't have as much fun doing it as he would have liked.  We basically threw Ty at our friend Launa (who thankfully lives on the way to the hospital) and Marc screeched down the road to the hospital.  He grabbed a wheelchair and rushed me up to maternity.  The nurses started asking us for our registration information when they realized things were a bit too urgent for that.  They wheeled me into the delivery room, I laid on the table and Zeke was born a minute later!!  This kid does things fast! 

We spent the rest of the day enjoying him, eating great snacks our friends brought and of course having fun with our visitors. 

Super cute hat made by Auntie Shareen

Ty quite likes his new baby brother and is happy to kiss and hug him and help me out.  He has had the occasional bought of jealousy but overall is very happy with baby "Neke."

I really felt that I would deliver on May 7, as I felt that I would also have Ty on March 17.  My grandpa died 2 years ago on May 7 and I felt it was fitting to have a new baby on the same day to complete the circle of life.  (There was an interesting article in the Globe and Mail this week about women "choosing" their due dates.
Zeke's first bath
While we were in the hospital our friends Brad and Launa and Quinton graciously kept Ty overnight.  This was Ty and Quinton's first sleepover and they thoroughly enjoyed it.  They stayed up until 9 pm(!!) talking and had a great time playing together. 

Welcome baby Zeke!  We love you so much already!


big bessie's night out

 introducing the newest member of our family...
 big bessie!

ever since our 2009 foray into bed over cab freedom, purchasing gus with julie, lowell and my parents in new zealand, we have been on the lookout for a cheap and reliable motorhome to facilitate free camping in our own neck of the woods.  not only was big bessie for sale in chilliwack, but she's based on the same full size '88 chevy van that i grew up with.  my dad sold our van at 380k, so at 180k, bessie's got some spin in her duellies yet.
big bessie was certainly cheap.  it remains to be seen whether she is reliable.  she did prove herself strong and functional on her first voyage to a beach on the fraser river, 15 minutes drive from our house.  road trippin!
having an indoor kitchen and table while camping was every bit as enjoyable as it appears in the exotic pamphlets.  beach sand was kept on the beach by the simple expedient of removing ty's pants indoors.

 entertainment came in the form of throwing rocks in the water.  for hours.  when that got boring, it was an easy transition to an alternate form of entertainment involving throwing SAND in the water.  seriously... that's all we did.  well, in all honesty, i drank beer in the sunshine while ty shouldered the responsibility of actually heaving the physical rocks in the aforementioned water.
 ty loves his bed in big bessie.  our first night camping was also ty's first night sleeping outside of a cage.  he did his parole officer proud by not escaping once.

i guess not ALL the entertainment involved depositing concatenated mineral grains in aqueous solutions.  big bessie came equipped with an iphone compatible aftermarket pioneer deck allowing us to rock out in the morning after breakfast.  a speaker upgrade is planned shortly.

yay for camping!  here's to a great summer.


Nana Papa and Reen Visit

Last weekend, Nana, Papa and Auntie Reen (or Shareen as us older folk like to call her) came to the Valley for a visit. Ty loves having visitors (as do we! Especially these ones of the laundry doing and lawn mowing variety) and we packed a lot into 3 days!
Ty spent a lot of time reading with Shareen and Papa.  He really LOVES our window seat!!!
He has also developed a fondness for goggles and sunglasses:

Marc and his parents took the dogs for a walk on Saturday.  What a beautiful weekend it turned out to be!!

Saturday evening we headed to Abbotsford.  We first stopped in at Dave and Andrea's for a tour of their new place. 

Afterwards we went to the reception for Marc's cousin Ryan and his new wife Kristy who recently got married in Mexico.  With the groom and his family:

Marc's cousins John and Renee:

The food and company were both excellent!!

On Sunday after church, Marc and his dad drove up to Vedder Mountain for Trail Day.  With all the volunteers and their various tools a new trail was formed in no time! (Picture on the right)

A great weekend was had by all!

I will sign off with some miscellaneous pictures and stories:

Ty in the desk that Bette and I refinished for him last year.  He looks so big and ready for school!  AHHHHH! (Well until you actually look at his drawings) ;)

Ty loves backhoes! (And most other forms of transportation -  trains, planes, helicopters, vans, trucks . . .you know the standard little boy fare) He however particularly loves backhoes.  There is some house construction happening on the backside of our Little Mountain and there has been a back hoe there maybe two or three times.  He calls this walk the back hoe walk and if the back hoe is not there he asks to turn around and go back home.  I went to Vancouver the other day to visit my friend Grace and we were stalled for quite a while in bridge construction.  Thankfully because of all the bridge construction there were MANY backhoes and Ty had quite the time pointing them all out.  And just when I thought there wouldn't be anymore we would round a curve and lo and behold there would be another one!!  I have never taken notice of so many back hoes in my life!!

And lastly a cautionary tale for those who live in rainy climates . . . Marc took Ty to the park by our house on this particularly rainy day and put him in his rain suit.  Ty has recently learned how to climb the ladder on the slide and asked Marc if he could go up. Ty climbed up and headed down slide, only to be airborne on the first bump and then again at the end where he landed on the grass and not the wood chips.  Note to parents:  Rain suit and wet slides don't mix!  hee hee

Next post might be a baby post!  This weekend is my due date!!