Saturday, May 3, 2008

Life in a Community House

I was just going through some old videos and was laughing over these. This is just a tiny glimpse into our crazy and rowdy household of six...

Head butting Jay:

Lot's of happiness going around:

Gymanstics lessons:

The backflip off the couch was on purpose: she is a little gymnast and loves to crawl behind the couch onto the window ledge and then flip over backward, though she doesn't usually go all the way over onto the floor like that. The screaming noise is Jay in the kitchen, not Cora. But at the end you can hear her say "Oh no."

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Blessed friends

Last weekend we were off on another adventure with our housemate Alesha and her boyfriend Kurt to her parent's home in Summerland, BC. It's about 5 hours east, nestled on a massive lake in the mountains and the heart of Canada's wine country. Their home is perfectly situated out on a point out in the lake, with gorgeous views no matter which way you look. The house is beautiful and huge; actually it's 3 buildings. David and Cora and I had our own private suite complete with kitchen, living room, and balcony overlooking the lake and mountains. It was the kind of place people would pay a lot of money to stay in. And we were simply their guests and the object of their incredibly gracious hospitality.

We visited a couple wineries, and then had a Friday night dinner out by the lake soaking up the warm weather and sunset. That was followed by hottubbing after Cora went to sleep. Saturday morning, as Alesha made us a breakfast of omelets, oatmeal, and fruit, we sat enjoying our coffee and watching cartoons with her 3 brothers and sisters (all in their 20s!) The four of us went outside afterward and prayed and worshipped together, surrounded by beauty and feeling the sun beat down us like God's glory and love. Then we headed to her ranch 20 minutes away where we spent the afternoon riding horses. Cora loved the horses and dogs. She had her first ride with her daddy, and loved it. After some impressive riding lessons for Kurt and I from Alesha, the three of us and her dad did a 3 hour ride out in the mountains. Cora and David came for a little while in the ATV, but then headed back to the house for Cora's nap. He's been having back trouble and so didn't want to do any hardcore riding. We rode to some magnificent views, and then turned into the woods and forged our own trail. Only one tense moment, when A.'s dad on his horse in front of me was picking the way through a snowy bank and his horse slid on ice onto his side and down into a ravine. I had to quickly rein in and do a tight turn in the middle of the trees to get down the bank another way. His experience helped him to bail quickly off his horse, so the two were okay, although he walked the poor horse for quite a while after that.
We came back tired and HUNGRY after all that exercise (yes, it's hard work not just for the horses!) A.'s mom had brought in a load of food to the ranch for a dinner party with a lot of Alesha's family and friends. We ate Baron of Beef which seems to be the Canadian version of a French Dip sandwich, and all kinds of sides. Some more hottubbing that night and we were zombies. Sunday we went out to breakfast at a cute bakery cafe and then hit the scenic journey home.

The amount of laughing and bantering and eating and drinking and praying and singing and nature-loving that went on this weekend brought so much life and joy to us all. Cora too had such fun, especially with A.'s whole family with whom she loved on and played with so well in response to their constant attention, which in turn gave David and I a complete break. We barely had to think about her. Alesha was feeding her and then her sister was walking with her and then her mom was playing a game with her. We just got to sit back and enjoy the laughing without a care in the world.