Monday, 16 July 2012

A few holiday snaps . . .

Sorry I was missing yesterday, after having posted the day before . . . the jet lag just really hammered me and I found myself, quite . . . quite . . . exhausted! I don't think I've ever experienced it that badly in the past. I am feeling much more like myself today though . . . so here I am!!

I spent several hours yesterday going through about 400 photos from the trip, sorting . . . editing . . . and well . . . feeling somewhat disappointed in a lot of them. The best ones are the ones I took myself. Any that I had other people take, so that I could be in them, turned out quite blurry . . . so there are not a lot with me in them.

We had wall to wall sunshine the whole time we were there. The first week was horribly humid . . . but that is July in the Maritimes. The second week wasn't too bad. It was all good. The best part was that it was a wonderful time to connect with family and friends, and I truly feel that there was healing, which was a real answer to my prayers.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

My ex was so very kind as to have given us his car to use whilst we were there. It was a manual and I did manage to back it up one day . . . it's been ever so long since I have driven a manual car. Todd became the designated driver and he did ever so well driving on the "Right" side of the road for the first time in his life! It was really nice to be a bit more mobile instead of having to walk everywhere, and while we did not travel very far from my mother's house on our own, we did make very good use of it going back and forth into town. I really appreciated his and his wife's kindnesses to us. I feel like great in-roads towards family healing were accomplished and that was really pretty special, indeed.

It was so nice to get to spend this special time with my mother and with my daughter. I do love my mother so very much. I hated to have to say goodbye at the end of the two weeks. I wish that I could see her every week . . .

Our first few days were spent in finding our landlegs and sorting out plans for the two weeks we would be there. We took my mom out for dinner on the Sunday, down to the Lawrencetown Fire Dept. Restaurant. We always like to take her there at least once when we are home. She loves their fish and chips and it is a real treat for her. Lawrencetown is the town she grew up in and we all have very happy memories of it's streets and family times spent there.

My lovely daughter in law Anne arrived on Monday with the two boys and my son Douglas, who had very kindly driven her over to us, and then my brother David and his two youngest girls arrived on Tuesday. It was all go from then on!

Anne was staying at a cottage down in Middleton and so we drove back and forth to spend some time with her each day that we could. Gabriel and Luke are such delightful little boys and it was so nice to have this extra special time with them. They especially love their Grand-Todd and he . . . them.

There was plenty of playing on swings . . .

Exploring the lay of the land . . . boy can that little one move!! And rather quickly too!!!

Bubble blowing . . . or was it Bubble eating????

More bubble blowing . . . I just love that t-shirt . . .

And much carrying on of rather tall tales. I so enjoyed this special time with these two very special little boys. I know now why our Anne is so thin!!! Whew!! One cannot beat the Gabriel and Luke weight loss diet however . . . it is a most delightful way to burn off some calories!!!

I got to spend some extra special moments with our Bruce as well . . . he is so grown up now. Gone is my baby boy. He's a man and I was ever so impressed with his maturity and handsome good looks. He will always be my baby boy, of course . . . but it is also nice to know that he is capable and mature and a lovely man. Now, if I could only find him a nice girl to settle down with! We did enjoy several nice visits together and one night I got to cook him his favourite stew and dumplings. He showed me some new tricks on the i-pad too! Another thing which really impressed me was the way he has finally learned to keep his bedroom tidy! Everything was as neat as a pin and even his dresser drawers were organized, with a place for everything and everything in it's place. Good times!

(Waiting for the party to begin and the guests to arrive.)

One of the first "Events" was the shower I had planned for Eileen. This was an extra special evening as it was just for her. NO men allowed. They were all banished down to the cabin to take care of the Grand-kiddies so that us gals could enjoy ourselves with abandon, and so we did . . . enjoy with abandon that is!

What a fun evening we had together. Because it was a party just for "her", a lot of the gifts were personal ones . . . lingerie and such. We shared a lot of laughs, especially when she opened one gift, which was a black thong. "I'm not wearing that!" she declared and everyone laughed! She got some really nice things though, and I was ever so pleased with the turnout. It was a time to laugh and visit with family we had not seen in a while . . . a time to re-acquaint ourselves with friends we had not seen in forever . . . and a time to make new friends. Timmy's mom came and it was a nice opportunity for me to spend time with her as well. My brother's two girls did a great job of organizing the games, and keeping the gifts sorted. My sister-in-law, who could not make it to the wedding as her father was in hospital, did a great job of arranging them and then tutoring the girls on how to do them. Thanks Chris!

One game which was especially fun was one with clothespins. Each guest was given two clothespins when they arrived. After everyone was there, a list of "Forbidden Words" was announced and from then on, every time someone said one of the forbidden words, another guest was allowed to take one of the clothespins! As you can see, my cousin Ginny was very good at this game and clearly the winner! She likes her coffee and the aerolatte milk frother she won will be very much enjoyed!

On the Friday night there was a dress rehearsal for the wedding at the town park where the wedding was to be held.

It was nice to see Doug again. He had driven Anne over, earlier in the week, then had to go back to work. He and Kayla, his wife, drove over again on the Friday, just in time for the rehearsal. They were also staying at the same cabins in town as Anne and the boys.

Unfortunately, they weren't able to bring their three boys over with them. They don't all fit safely in the car. I was sad that I would not get to see them this time . . . but, I understood why they couldn't come. I would rather they be safe . . .

I did finally get to meet the lovely little Maryn though (with her mom Amanda) and I was ever so pleased. She is such a sweet little girl and just the most beautiful granddaughter ever! Yes, I know I am biased, but as the grandma it's my right to be so!! She sure loves her kitty cats and now I know what kind of doll I am going to make her!

There were lots of people and kiddos at the rehearsal and it kind of twanged my heart to know that I miss a lot of these family times, filled with kids and grandkids . . . laughter and love . . .

There was a huge barbeque out at Timmy's parents afterwards, for everyone involved, and for friends as well. The firepit was very popular with the kiddos . . . who doesn't love a hotdog roasted over an open fire???

Eileen and Timmy were clearly enjoying themselves! There was so much good food too . . . every salad you can imagine under the sun . . . deviled eggs . . . steak, burgers, hotdogs, etc. It was all so yummy and everyone had a fabulous time!

Family times are the best of times. That's my cousin Geralyn and her husband Dave in the background there. They picked us up at the airport and took us back when we had to leave as well. Dave so very generously took Todd out a couple of times for some sight seeing. They are good people. You will probably remember them from when they came to see us down in Brenchley on their honeymoon about 7 years ago now. They is "good" people!

That's enough for today now . . . I'll be doing my daybook tomorrow, but on Wednesday I'll continue on with the wedding etc. so stay tuned and be prepared for lots and lots of picture fun!

Each day there are showers of blessings
Sent from the Father above,
For God is a great, lavish giver
And there is no end to His love.
~Helen Steiner Rice

"Thou art the God who workest wonders, who has manifested thy might among the peoples."
~Psalm 77:14

Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Strawberry Shortcakes with Black Pepper and Elderflower Cream.

Until tomorrow . . .

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