Saturday, August 29, 2009

To Saskatchewan we will go

Jonathan's family has started a new tradition of meeting in Saskatchewan (which is right in the middle for all of us) over August long weekend for a family get together. This year we stayed at a working ranch/bed and breakfast near Swift Current. What a lovely little set up! They had a renovated barn with 3 rooms in it (each with their own washroom) and a large meeting room upstairs for cooking, eating, playing games, etc.

Our room was just so charming...I loved it! And the breakfasts and hospitality were wonderful!

We had a good time catching up as a family as well! Jon's sister, Jen, is expecting in October so we had plenty of "pregnancy/baby" stuff to talk about! Oh how I look forward to not being the only "young parents" in the family... more than I can say! Poor Alia though... her schedule was COMPLETELY off and for all the changes going on around her I would say she did okay! She got to have some one on one time with Gramma and Grampa, enjoyed Uncle Matt's entertaining stacking cup sculptures, and fed the ducks on a daily basis! She still thinks she sees "gucks" everywhere!!

It has to go up from here...

Gracious, this has been a hard week for me. I'll just be honest. I have cried more, felt more stressed, and been more emotional than I have been in a long, long time!

The reality that I am back in Manitoba has sunk in. We've done TONS of traveling this summer... which is great... but now we're back. And I'm restless again. Once again I struggle with the fact that Manitoba has NEVER felt like home. Ever. I have been begging God to just tell me if I'm called here or not. Tell me what He wants me to do here. And just give me some sort of peace about where we are right now.

It's not even that I think moving back to Ohio would be the cure all... I'm not that naive, but I just want to feel like this is where I belong. That this is my home. The thing is, I love Manitoba - we're 5 minutes from the lake, 15 minutes from the valley, the people are friendly here, life is slower paced, yadi yadi yada. But people are what make a home, not geographical location. And yes... I have friends here, some pretty wonderful ones, but for some reason the lack of family seems to be a big deal to me.

Jon has been amazing. He's let me rest more (which I have definitely been needing... I've been WAY more tired with this babe!), let me vent, let me be crabby, and has been supportive in anyway he can. And I'm so thankful for him... but I still want to get down to the root of this issue and move on.

Can the end be near?!?!

I think so. I really think we might see the light at the end of the tunnel!!

Most of you know - we moved a 1 1/2 story farm house 20 miles, put it on a new basement, did basically everything you can think of, and then moved a garage (that Jon bought for $100 and moved himself) on to our property to also renovate!

The garage has been without siding for a year now, and next week it will get a whole new look! Jon has completed all the wiring (it had nothing in it previously) and is ready to start the outside makeover on Monday!

Here's my hubby hard at work... I think his secret dream is to be an electrician!

When it is 100% done I will be posting before and after pictures of both the house and the garage projects for your viewing pleasure!

Our first friend visit!

We had our first ever "Ohio-friend-visit" a few weeks ago and it was great!! Greg, Becky, and their little guy, Gavin, joined us for 4 days to see what summer in Manitoba was about! For those who think Canada is cool all year round, Greg and Becky can testify otherwise! It was BLAZING hot (95 - 100 degrees) the whole week they were here! We had tons of stuff planned to do, but with two 1 year olds on totally different schedules we found it a bit hard to leave the house!

I know, I'll get flack for this one, but being "little Miss. Photographer" that I am... I only snapped a handful of pictures the whole week - so here ya go!

We all went for a hike in the valley, for ice cream and a walk around town, to the kiddy pool, and Jon introduced Greg to "bagging". For those who haven't experienced this sport... you take an old car, drive it like it was never meant to be driven, and make lots of new friends (a.k.a. pushing buddies) in the process!

It was wonderful to reconnect, visit, and catch up a bit! We tried to convince them to stay another week but hopefully they will be up again someday soon!

Is it called a gravel box then?

After much research online I decided that instead of having a sandbox, we would fill a box with pea gravel for Alia to play in. But saying "Alia, let's go play in your gravel box!" sounds a bit odd. So... it's officially her "play box"... and she loves it!

Not only does she like filling cups, buckets, and her shoes with gravel.. she loves running over to the raspberry bushes for a quick snack when she's played too hard! This girl can spot a ripe red raspberry from an acre away!!

So far the neighbors cats have shown no interest in the new "play box" (which was the goal), Alia's clothes don't get stained from gross old sand, and she's learned that if she puts the gravel in her mouth it tastes really, really nasty. So we'll give this a whirl for another month and see if we'll keep it around for next summer or not!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Big Green Tractor

Me oh my... this girl loves being outside! Not only does she love being outdoors, she loves being with her daddy even more! Every time she gets a glimpse of our lawn mower she runs to daddy, gives him that grin, and starts going "vroom, vroom!!"

Of course, Jon can't say no, so he fires up the John Deere and takes his little girl for a cruise around the neighborhood!

We don't think it's safe for her to be on the tractor while we're actually mowing but Alia doesn't know the difference! She justs waves to neighbors and has no idea this isn't what "normal" people do!

And look at this... even at 1 year old she knows which lever makes it go faster. I have a feeling she's going to be a bit like her daddy!