Monday, March 23, 2009

Hannah and Jessica

While we were bowling yesterday, Hannah was just passed around the entire time to many different people's arms. I finally lost track of her as there were about 50 people from our church there (it was a "small group challenge"). Finally, my friend Heather, our pastor's wife who had her own baby girl Jessica 3 days after I had Hannah, brought her back to me with a funny story. Apparently, someone had put Hannah in a lady's arms, but the lady thought she was getting Jessica. As she stood there enjoying "Jessica", she said to herself, "Why does this baby look SO much like David Jenkins?"

Isn't that crazy? I don't see it, but everyone is constantly exclaiming, "She looks just like her daddy!" But that's the clincher when someone who doesn't even know it's David's daughter thinks she looks like David.

Here are the two girls together, the toast of Dunbar Heights Baptist Church:

Another funny story about these two is that back in June, Heather and I were having a play date and Heather told me she was pregnant. I was jumping up and down in excitement for her, and then told her we might not be too far behind her, maybe 6 months or so, since we thought we might start trying for a second one in November. Little did I know, I was already expecting and would actually have a baby first!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

For Grammie and Nana

One of the BIG blessings of grandmothers is the beautiful clothes in which they keep their granddaughters! I had to post pictures of Hannah's sweet outfit from Nana, and Cora's beautiful dress from Grammie. We were all in our blue today to match the bright blue sky which seems a rarity around here. Everyone at church couldn't stop complimenting both girls--thanks Moms!

Running around after church.

Postscript: We went bowling today with people from church. Imagine our surprise to find that Canada has a very distinctive form of bowling: 5 smaller pins and lightweight hand-sized balls. I'm sure it was created in a need to be different from Americans. :-)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Perfect Day...

...well, at least as good as it can get in March in Vancouver. It's been a tough work week for David, so today finally was a family day. I woke up to Dave's hot coffee and huevos rancheros after the third straight night that Hannah slept like a dream--from 9:30 to 5:00 and again after a feeding until 8:30. The morning was spent lazily playing games with Cora: fishing off the couch and then cooking up and eating our catch, going to school, and a random assortment of imaginings that had me chuckling all morning at her. In the afternoon, we walked to the nearby beach, climbing down the 300 + stairs, Cora on Dave's back and Hannah on my chest, that lead down through the dense woods to the rugged shoreline. The isolated beach is clothing optional, but that's not a concern this time of year! An old man nearby made stunning music with a steel drum, music that blended with the waves as Cora and Dave danced and made footprints in the wet sand. The trek back up the steep stairs and the walk home had me huffing, but we stopped for a well-deserved hot chocolate at a Starbucks, just one of the many we have to choose from here on campus. It's getting to be that tough time of the semester, when the stress and information overload can begin to encroach on the quality of family life. But days like this, outside enjoying exercise and the sun and fresh air and gorgeous Vancouver, make such a difference to our minds and spirits.

The shockingly icy water got Dave moving--while Cora just chills unconcerned.

My view was particularly beautiful!

Sharing a hot chocolate.

Walking home.
The backdrop of mountains to our campus home takes my breath away on clear days!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The best laid plans go awry...and thank goodness

I thought Scotland weather was crazy and unpredictable. Vancouver is ridiculous! Saturday it was mild and rained all day. Sunday we walked out of church to an absolute blizzard. Today I spent the day with friends at the sunny beach without even a jacket. We never know what to expect and I love it.

So, the three of us friends had originally planned to take our 5 kids to the aquarium. We had no idea. We spent the first 30 minutes just getting 5 car seats into the minivan; then I sat on the floor in the midst of them all. The things we do to save on petrol and parking. Arriving at the aquarium, the parking lot clued us in, but the line wrapping around the corner before we could even see the aquarium was the end of it. Spring break. Way too many kids. Not when we can have the place practically to ourselves any 'ole school day. How to tell the kids though? With lots of fake enthusiasm about the nearby park!!! It didn't work. There were some tears, and sweet Cora kept trying to be the peacemaker. I certainly gained new insight into her personality today. The park on a windy bluff got us all chilled to the bone. Hmm...perfect time for ice cream! So we tromped to the gelato place where we spread out with our packed lunches before agonizingly making our choice. Cora and I split two scoops, one of "the pink one" (rasberry) and one of pistachio. Very pretty together.

So far, so good. We were making this day fun for the kiddos despite the change in plans, and we moms were way more relaxed and having a blast along with them. Next on the agenda: the rabbits. We drove to a different beach and trampled through blackberry bushes to a hidden warren, with huge sleek wild rabbits, happy rabbits who know people bring treats. Cora was braver than usual, running to me and saying "Up, please" only once. Suddenly, Cora and her best friend Charlotte were bored of the rabbits and running off giggling to the beach. There, they and Clay climbed over rocks, hid in the hollow log, and throwing wet sand into the waves. Cora again surprised me with her courage, pulling off her socks and shoes and venturing into the freezing cold sea. She picked her way over the rocky shore and the gravelly path to the car without a complaint.

We came home wet, sandy, poopy (not me, but both girls!), exhausted, pink-cheeked and wind-blown, and so happy. Amazing what Vancouver scenes and vitamin D can do for a mood. Cora and I took a hot shower together and settled down for some quiet reading time. I put Cora in bed with some books and encouraged her to just read alone for a bit. I peaked in there 15 minutes later and she had turned her lamp off and was fast asleep. Since it was 4:30, I had to wake the poor thing up after only 20 minutes of sleep so she would sleep tonight. Then we made portobello pizzas with sausage and goat cheese, and got ready for our Tuesday night Bible study that meets here. It was one of those days where between my best friends and beautiful girls and breathtaking creation, I feel God's blessing and presence so manifest.