Monday, August 29, 2011

celebrating 10 years of marriage!

We are so thankful to God for these past 10 years of marriage.
He has been our rock in times of much joy & during the times that we have
experienced sadness.

"Come let us bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker."  Psalm 95:6
Little did we know that the vineyard where we took most of the pictures would some day be grapes that we see everyday. If you look behind the big grape post on the left of the picture you can see the roof of our house & the barn.

                                            My sweet cousin Alysha is now our babysitter!


On our anniversary Adam made a delicious breakfast for all of us, complete with orange juice in wine glasses, & strawberries & whipping cream to put on top of the waffles.
I was daring enough to try on my wedding dress. The boys thought that it was great fun & they wanted to dress up too! I have heard that after having children, your rib cage expands (?) - ( I could not do one clasp up on the wedding dress): YIKES

Monday, August 22, 2011

up north

    Look at all of these boys! Nine boys & one girl from two families.

Fishing in Candy Bay. This place is simply amazing. Instead of catching fish you catch candy. You can even catch candy that looks like worms! Our boys think that fishing in Candy Bay is a pure wonder.
Have you ever caught candy?!

          Tubing. Boat rides. Skiing. Fishing. Wake boarding. The boats never rested.

      Olivia & Andrew were inseparable. Every morning they would get so excited to see each other as if they hadn't seen each other in days.

Every year Mr. V treats us all to a huge batch of dutch pancakes. They are delicious & we devour them down in no time.

Off to the island to sleep there for the night.

Tyler soaked in lots of the attention. Between the cousins & aunts & uncles he did not lack. He is learning lots of new things & it is a delight to see him interacting with everyone.

Liam gave it everything he had to get up on those water skis. At one point he almost had it. I love the facial expressions!

Nate did make it up for a little bit. He looked extremely worried the whole time:)

Grandpa & Adam & the boys going fishing.

Nate & I went fishing with my dad for an evening, but he hardly had anytime to fish. We kept him busy with tangled lines, fish eating our worms, but we managed to catch some keepers for the fish fry!

We love up north. It gets you away from the phones & the business of life.  It seems like the fastest week of the year. No sooner have you unpacked that you feel like you are packing up to go home again. My younger cousins have grown up & they were a lot of fun up there. We were so thankful for them. They organized scavenger hunts for the little kids, encouraged them with water sports, pushed them on the swings,  and made it a lot of fun for everyone.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

rathfon inn

The Rathfon Inn is an old, quaint inn surrounded by stone walls and it is situated on lake Erie.
We enjoyed spending some time there with Adam's family.
It is the perfect place to have family get-togthers and it is nice & close to home so Adam would work during the day & come & join us in the evening.

                                            The grandchildren love Oma's craft time!

Megan is going to be a teacher at our school this September & the kids adore her. They could hardly wait until she came over after work each day. She had them entertained for hours.

 Planking. Have you ever heard of it? It had everyone's creative juices flowing trying to come up with unusual spots to plank.  Kids & adults got in on the action.

What great times! Thank you uncle Ben & aunt Rini for arranging this!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

yps camp!!

Balance. The balance between being fed & challenged spiritually & having a whole lot of fun made this year's camp so enjoyable.
Adam and I were camp counsellors (a long with many other couples) at the FRC youth camp over the long weekend.
I wish that my pictures could have captured the energetic atmosphere but a lot of them turned out blurry. I think that it was because I was laughing so hard at times. Another problem is that I am not the type of person that likes to be in front of everyone so there was no way that I was going to get in front of a crowd to snap pictures.
Dr. Jerry Bilkes, our main speaker,  spoke with enthusiasm about the five points of Calvinism. He is a kind, honest, & humble man. He let it be known throughout the weekend that he was available to the youth if they wanted to talk to him or ask him questions & he  made himself approachable by  interacting among everyone. He was very personable & you could sense that he enjoyed being with the young peoples. He was passionate for these young peoples & showed much concern for their eternal well-being.  

After the speech on Friday night, the men counselors came barging into the hall, squirting everyone with water. After soaking the crowd, they attacked Kim (the head leader) with water:)
Here was a great idea - all of us counselors were given a story book a few weeks ago. We needed to get a prop that everyone on our team could wear & enough stuff to make a mascot that related to that story book.
On Friday night, as the ice breaker, the yps were given a page from one of the story books & as quickly as they could, they needed to find what group they were in by putting together the story.

Each group presented their team to the crowd & our judges were Pastor VanEssen & Dr. Bilkes.
We had some good laughs over the costumes and the presentations.
Jake & Ally were able to provide enough cat&the hat  hats for their whole group. So much fun.
Adam & I had "Bob the builder" so everyone wore a hard had & one of the guys dressed up as Bob.

On Saturday morning it was time for sports, the thing that I dreaded most. It brought back horrible memories of highschool gym class that were borderline traumatizing. I positioned myself between two tall guys & they took care of me.
Bob the Builder went to every event; volley ball, frisbee, soccer, toilet-brush hockey(!) & soccer-baseball.

We met together in groups after lunch for some time in prayer. This time is spent praising God for His goodness, confessing our sins, & making our requests known to Him. This is one of my favourite times.

Pastor & Mrs. VanEssen stayed in their camper & interacted among the young people. He is 80 years old & is on fire. He is known for quoting some major news event in each of his sermons. The bets were on. Would it be the famine, or perhaps the Norwegian shooter? But we were all shocked when he talked about Justin Bieber crashing a wedding in California. Unbelievable.

Counselors relaxing during free time...

Teenage boys scheming during free time...

This patriarch counselor, Eric, had the right idea. Catching up on sleep far from everyone else.

Some girls went to work on Owen's hair & straightened it. This picture looks so Hollywoodish to me!

Not only were the girls in my group amazing, they also provided hand-massages. Loved it!

                                                                 Delightful Daniel.

The talent show had me laughing hysterically. The judges, the presenters, the daring stunts, & solos were a riot. Ryan made up a camp song, accompanied by a pig squeal (you had to be there.)

These strong and muscular guys showed their stuff by lifting up eight girls on a bench.

Owen's hair went curly again after a major water fight & he sang "How do you solve a problem like Maria" in a high voice.
The guy on the piano played "the flight of the bumble bee" simply amazing. His page turner claimed to be the world's best. He had us all in stitches by elaborately turning imaginary pages.

This is what it all came down to. We are all sinners in need of Christ's atonement & through out the speeches, God's amazing grace was declared. Because of the speeches I understood the doctrine of election in a way that I can now explain it & defend it & thank God for it.
We just pray that as the teenagers go home that the challenging & comforting words spoken will stay with them.