Through the Years

We’ve gone camping at the property in Summerland every year since we’ve been married in 2004. Jon has gone every year since he was born and I think his mom has gone almost every year since she was a kid too! The pictures I took started in 2007 though. SO many happy memories.
I thought this was a quick and fun little time line of pics to share 🙂
July 2007 
We were there with his parents then went back in August with our 4 best friends!
July 2008 we went camping just for the weekend because I was 8 months pregnant! We slept on a mattress in the back of a minivan. No picture though. It was also the year that Dad died at the property from a massive heart attack, three weeks after we were there. The property was his place of peace. I remember him being so jovial and relaxed when he was there.  
August 2009 
We didn’t camp that year because Livi was just 1 and it was the first time back since Dad had died there. We stayed in a hotel in Penticton but spent a day there. It was a quiet and healing trip. I felt like I was introducing Livi to her Grampa. 
August 2010
We had spent a few cold nights there with the BK’s!
June 2011 
We got word, while at the property, that we were legally a family of 4 and would get to pick up Sofie in a few weeks! This is our first family picture as a family of 4!
July 2012
Sofie’s first time camping! Lisa and Tony came with us this time!

July 2013
Since Evelyn was only 6 months old we thought it best to do the hotel thing again! Spent the day at the property though with Jon’s Mom!

July 2014
First time camping with all three littles! The BK’s came with us this year again!
SO. MUCH. FUN.
Can’t wait for next year!

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Summerland 2014!

Summerland 2014! 
Seriously, so much fun! Children got dirty. We ate junk food. The kids played hard and stayed up late. Memories were made. Children where in their element!

We invited these guys this year… Mostly because they are awesome, and partly because an extra set of adults and playmates for each of the kids was really appealing for our first camping trip as a family of 5! We’ve known each other since college, nearly 14 years! That makes us sound really old. The husbands were roommates. We got married 8 months apart, had our first babies 3 months apart, our seconds 8 months apart and our babies 2 months apart. It’s kind of awesome having friends you’ve known for so long, who you’ve walked through so many milestones together, and who has similar and complimentary challenging views on things like parenting, religion, and life in general.

Jude and Livi play so well together. 
It is such a privilege to watch them. They are amazing. 
Evie is not the biggest fan of getting dirty but she enjoyed camping too! 
Outside is her happy place and she was outside and happy!

One hot afternoon we went to Summerland Sweets to cool off with some ice-cream! Sofie, who rarely gets sugar really enjoyed that 🙂

Along with Down Syndrome usually goes a certain amount of a Sensory Processing Disorder.  Out in the elements, with no walls, wind on our bodies and in our ears, grass noises and birds and insects and boats all buzzing around makes me a little crazy sometimes. I can’t imagine what Sofie’s little body and brain were going through. She did so good though! I was amazed by how hard she was trying and able to self regulate. Falling asleep was really difficult for her, since it was hot, still bright out and the wind on the tent was moving everything. During the first two days she did amazing. She started losing it on the third day. Her eyes got permanently big and darting while her body stayed still…. like she was folding in on herself. She started whining a lot more too. The third night she was up until 11:30pm, so we decided not to stay a fourth night. She made it to our goal though and we didn’t have to come home early so I’m counting the trip as super successful!

Bundled up from the wind while everyone else was in swimsuits. 

Daddy’s girl!

Livi adored everything about camping, except getting hurt. She got a few scrapes and bruises 🙂 She is  a water baby. She was in the lake as much as we’d let her and swam from the point to the dock by herself! (with a floaty… though she probably didn’t need it!)
Her favourite thing about camping was the s’mores. On the last morning, we let the kids have s’mores for breakfast!… because we are awesome parents who make adult choices 🙂

 All 6 kids together! Love them all!

I love these babies. Evelyn is actually the younger of the two.
They are growing up too fast!

 Childhood unplugged.
(I secretly hope, just a little, that these two get married someday 
and I get to show all these pictures at their wedding!)

These two are a little bit of forced friends for now but they 
are both developmentally 2-3ish and still learning. 

The crazy parents who survived 4 days camping with 6 littles under 6! And this is real camping, by the way. In a tent. No running water. No electricity. None of this posh living for us!

An incredibly lovely and successful camping trip done!
This spot in Summerland is our happy place. 
I can’t wait for next year!

18 Months Old

My dearest Evelyn is 18 months old. That seems so big too me! Her baby year just flew by and now she is almost 2!

Oh how I am going to miss these baby years of my life. They are almost done. That is both exciting and devastating. My last baby almost isn’t a baby. More sleep but no more sweet baby smells.

Evelyn has such a little personality and fits her role as the baby of the family well. I say that a bit facetiously… she fits the baby sister who cries to Mamma a lot role well. But, I also say that with pride… She lives for her big sisters. They delight her and she wants to play with them always. Her sisters adore her. They must kiss her goodnight every night, love teaching her things, bossing her around and sharing things with her. I love seeing how much Evelyn looks up to both of her sisters.

Evie has not been the easiest toddler to parent so far but she makes me so happy. She is very attached to me and likes to play it close and safe most of the time. This proves very difficult to deal with when I’m cooking or cleaning or needing to go out. She does not have many words yet, though they are coming, and her frustration comes out as a shrill squeak or cry. Not the best noise I’ve ever heard. She has to compete for attention with two older siblings and some how the whining works for her. We are working on it though and as her words have been coming, the whines are lessening.

She is such a different kid than Livi and Sofie. It’s so amazing to me how different they all are. Evie is friendly but shy. She has NO FEAR when it comes to climbing things. She climbs up and down from the trampoline by herself, up on to the chairs and counter, walks stairs like a big kid with holding on to the rail, and she climbs up her sister’s bunk bed that just has the straight up and down ladder. Her gross motor and fine motor skills are way more advanced at this age than Livi was but she doesn’t talk. Livi was saying full sentences. Evelyn’s language is coming. She understands everything we say and can follow simple instructions. She is starting to say a few two syllable words now too, like “okay,” “thank-you” and “soother” which comes out ‘soo soo.’

She weighs 27 lbs and seems really tall to me. She is loosing a lot of her baby chub which I am going to miss dearly. I can still get a good squish of ticklish thigh though. She has all her teeth except her two year molars… those are coming.

Her favourite toys are balls, mega blocks, putting things in and out of bowls, her water table, and baby dolls. She adores the outside. She is at peace out there. Even as an infant, when she was upset, I would step on the patio with her and she’d calm down. She hates it when Mommy leaves and doesn’t like not getting her way 🙂 Who does?! She is a pretty good eater. She LOVES fruit and would eat it all day, every day if I let her. Not the biggest fan of meat though. I guess that makes her vegetarian Marmee happy! 
I’m so thankful for this bundle of joy. She is a little smarty pants and I can’t wait to see where the rest of her toddler years take her. I love watching her learn and explore. She is growing up and I get the privilege of being her Mommy!