Spring has sprung

 My dad came for a whirlwind Easter weekend visit and the weather did not disappoint!  My dad has visited us in Chilliwack MANY times but right before this trip he informed me that it has never been sunny for an extended period of time that he has been here.  The most of the yellow orb in the sky he has seen here has been a couple of hours.  Well Mr. Sunshine heard this complaint loud and clear!  We had the most beautiful weekend in recent memory.

Grandpa arrived and we immediately head out the door for an Easter Egg Hunt.  Or chocolate walk as Ty affectionately calls it.

We ate Easter dinner on the deck that night and then the next day headed to this beautiful beach on the Fraser.  (Marc went kayaking here just a couple of days ago and this beach is gone.  The water has risen 3 or 4 feet this past week.)  Thankfully the last weekend it was around was BEAUTIFUL!

Both boys needed a bath after taking in all that sand.  Ty posing for Grandpa.  Zeke doing his best Zeke impersonation for Grandpa.  He's pretty good at it. ;)

Zeke tried spaghetti when Grandpa was here and loved it.  He didn't get nearly as dirty as I was expecting!

Last day of Grandpa's visit.  Zeke looks suitably impressed . . .

Happy (very belated!) Easter everyone.

I also wanted to add some recent pictures of another beautiful day in Vancouver that we had with our friends Shawn and Karyn and their little boy Lukas. 
Ty ans Lukas got along very well, evidenced by their goodbye kiss. ;)
After we said good bye to Shawn and Karyn we headed to Science World.  Ty loved it and there was even toys for Zeke.

Ty's favourite toy at Science World was this tube.  The tube pictured here was a vacuum and when you put a ball into it the ball is sucked up, flies through the air to the platform above which is filled with water.  It then goes down a water slide and ends up in a pool at the bottom.  The kids can pull the balls out of the bottom pool then put them in the tube.  Ty loved this!!  He spent a good 30 minutes doing it before we had to pull him away.  It was so cute to watch him earnestly wait his turn with his ball clutched eagerly in his hand waiting to put it in to the tube and watch as it shot up in to the sky.  I was enthralled with watching him!!

And I wanted to end with this picture as an addendum to Marc's above post.  When my Dad was here we were going through pictures that my aunt Tammy had made into a book for my Granny and Gramp's 60th anniversary. We came across this little gem of my Dad's Great Uncle Henry failed river crossing.  Marc can relate! ;)  What follows is the poem that was written to commemorate the occasion!  Love it.  Enjoy!


fraser river beaches

when one thinks of chilliwack, beaches are not the first thing that comes to mind.  mountains, cows, 80s rock maybe... but in addition to harrison lake and cultus lake, we have the beaches of the fraser river spanning the length of the city.
we have explored the beaches on the fraser a lot more since moving to the northern edge of town, with all the above pictured beaches available by driving down various beautiful farm roads extending from our house.  our current favourite is approximately in the middle of the picture, a huge chunk of no mans' land known as green island, or more commonly "jesperson".
in the early spring, before the snow starts coming off the mountains of the interior, the fraser river runs extremely low, exposing kilometers of sand and river rock, available to anyone with high clearance and the desire to explore.  the packed sand makes a great bike park for learners.

even on cloudy days, we have enjoyed the vast space available to ride bikes, throw rocks, dig sand, and eat picnics out of the back of our truck, all by ourselves.  speaking of our truck, observant blog readers may have noticed that we have a new one, and it is this very beach that occasioned its purchase:

last fall i was venturing to this same beach with ty in his carseat and niko in the back.  we had done the necessary water crossing 2 days earlier.  it was thrilling but fairly straightforward and the 4runner plowed through the river with panache.  as i eyed the water that fateful morning, i noted that the river had risen but thought (and i remember this very specifically) "how much can it really rise in just over 24 hours?"

turns out it can rise substantially.
believe it or not, we had already made it through the deepest section of the crossing when our beloved 4runner stalled out, never to turn over again.  as the water rose around my feet i calmly unbuckled ty, opened the tailgate for niko, slung my son over my shoulder and waded to shore.  i ventured out again to collect our possessions and attach our tow rope to the hitch so a kind farmer could pull us out.

we let the engine dry out, replaced the spark plugs and towed it around trying to get it to turn over, but to no avail.  water had invaded the cylinders, exerted its normally useful quality of incompressibility and bent the rods producing the well known and dreaded state known as hydrostatic lock.

a sad day, and one that i am only willing to contemplate publicly only now after a season of mourning and self recrimination.

after drying out, our beloved truck was sold to a local apprentice mechanic to be turned into a diesel monster truck, with the condition that we receive pictures of the finished product.  i'll keep you posted.
the upshot of this adventure is a third row of seating, sweet sound system and seemingly free satellite radio for life in our new-to-us vehicle, a chariot still equipped with the necessary features to get us to the places we like to go.  i am now much more reserved in my water crossing zeal, and even though our new truck is bigger than the 4runner we get better gas mileage.

ty also needs to learn to respect water crossings.

overall zeke seems to enjoy the river, but apparently he does not enjoy small islands on the river.
every year as the fraser rises and recedes the riverbed changes, with new islands being created even as others are washed away.  i explore these channels with my kayak regularly, but there is a limited window when we can take the entire family out to hop from island to island.

last week we found the best beach yet, featuring fine smooth sand and a slope behind providing shelter from the river breeze.

the small inlet is on the south side of the beach, making a wonderful solar reflector as well as a warm pool with no current.

the beautiful easter sun, reflecting off the river and into the sandy bank created a tropical oasis and gave us a taste of summer to come.  perfect for wading and for playing in the mud!  getting muddy has its consequences though...  witness ty's first involuntary bath of the year.  he did well; tolerating, if not enjoying it.  he did however enjoy watching the quads, dirtbikes and dune buggies tackling the sand hills on the long weekend.  they were endemic, but gave us our space.

the fraser is rising already, so this perfect spot may soon disappear under the runoff of prince george and the rest of the fraser river basin, but rest assured that our family will enjoy it while it lasts!