Monday, June 30, 2008

Swimming Lessons!!

Today was our first day of swimming lessons. The big girls get lessons through school but other than that, these are our first lessons in Kelowna. Last time we did lessons we lived in Fresno and I took a 4 year old Mikayla and a 2 year old Mailee to Swim America. I had little newborn Maddie and I had to be IN the water for Mailee's class...Mailee screamed bloody murder the whole time, as did Maddie on the sidelines. I finally smartened up and asked Gretch and others to come and hold Maddie while I paraded around in a swimsuit in my squishy "just had a baby body" wading in the pool with my terrified un-swimmer.
That being our last experience, it's taken me a while to WANT to go down that path again! That swimming experience mixed with last fall when I literally had to dance with Maddie to get her to go to ballet class... let's just say I was not sure what to expect today!
Check out all these smiling faces! All three girls loved their classes, Maddie was thrilled and she can not wait to go back. Tonight before bed she reminded me that she knew what the day after tomorrow is...I asked "what?" and she said (with great enthusiasm) "swimming lessons for ME!!!" Perhaps we'll revisit that ballet lesson in the fall:)
Mailee went first

Mikayla met two new friends and said she enjoyed these lessons way more than the school ones

Look at my little Maddie- she was so proud of herself!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fun in Osoyoos

Today we drove to Osoyoos which is a little under 2 hours away from Kelowna. We met up with our friends Chad and Brenda and family here. This is becoming a tradition as they come up every year. One of these years we'll convince them to make the extra drive to our place!! It was our first time meeting thier little 8 week old boy Paxton...too cute!We spent hours in the pool!!

Mailee is getting to be a great little swimmer!

Caleb, oh Caleb...what a guy!

Caleb LOVES jumping!!

Maddie is good to go withher life jacket...she starts swimming lessons on Monday!!

Chiro Kids...Our kids with the Booth kids: Katirie and Tarryn

Brenda and her girls

Little Paxton, what a cutie! Don't worry guys, I got my baby fix today and I've moved on...I don't need another one:)

Flowers and Friends

The flowers Mike brought home with a few additions...the girls picked the white ones and the purple and we stuck them in with the amazing roses...cute!
I love the orange one!!

Here we are trying out a new place in town, Cabana....and also celebrating our friend/fellow chiro Tim's birthday.
Cabana's review: (even though no one asked me...)ya, not goin' back, not really our scene but it was a lovely evening just the same.

Me, Suzie and Stef in all our monochromatic-ness!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Anniversay!!

Well, our anniversary was actually yesterday but I didn't get this done in time!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We Have Stairs!!

The good guys finished our stairs and they look great! Here is a little set pf photos to document the stair completion...

The frame is in and ready for the cement to be poured....

We tried to smoosh our hands in the cement but it was too hard by the time we tried:(

Still lots of work to be done...all of this open space will be covered by a cedar deck that stretches from the small porch to where the photographer is standing and then around the back of the house.
Our stairs and our kids! The retaining wall will be going in next week (to the left of the stairs) We also now have to finish that post so that it looks presentable and figure out how to wall off the right side of the stairs...still with the end goal of getting grass in the front yard!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Goodbye Party at the Racetrack

Mike's parent have had a Korean student living with them all year. His name is Chan. This weekend we had a goodbye party for him as he is leaving to go home for the summer. I even made a cake:) The airplane was Mike's idea, I was kinda stumped as to what to do. That is the Korean flag on the tail.

The kids all love Chan and he is great with them.

Jay and Jesse at the racetrack.

Caleb was really excited to have his turn! His helmet was a little big, dontcha think?

My boys getting geared up to race!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Brother!!

Today is my brother Eric's 26th birthday. Sadly, I will not be making him a cake as he lives in Germany but I have gathered together a few pictures in honor of him today!
Here is one of his cars...he loves BMW's...this particular one got stolen and driven off a cliff a feww weeks after this photo was taken. So sad!

Uncle Eric is so fun!!

(this is Eric and Mikayla)

Eric bought Mikayla this book...We still have it:)

A few years ago, Eric joined the Air Force.

Here is my brother in Quatar

One of his photos of a sunset over Quatar

great smile!!

I love you little brother! I hope you have a great day and a blessed year!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday at 8:30am in BanmanLand

You'll find us at the Apple Bowl running around the track. Today I ran 5 laps and walked one. The kids just play around but we are hoping to create a good habit for their lives.

Mike's Dad and his sister Shelley are regulars at the Saturday morning run. A few patients come as well.

These pics were taken at the end of the run...I suppose this was our cool-down!

Friday, June 20, 2008

First Day of Summer Vacation

Today was our official first day of summer vacation. School was out on Wednesday but we had visitors on Thursday so that day didn't really count!

Today we slept in a bit (for my children that means 7am) and took our time getting ready. Our first stop was the library. The girls signed up for the summer reading club and checked out piles of books. Mikayla checked out 9 chapter books, two Ramona books that I am sure I read a dozen times when I was little, a handfull of books about horses, and some others I can't remember. I have no doubt she'll have them done in less than a week. Mailee checked out two beginning chapter books from a series called the Tiara Diaries (I think?)....they are right up her alley! She also got a few picture books. Maddie checked out a bunch of picture books. Mikayla checked out a Thomas Train book for Caleb which he seemed quite thrilled about! The big girls are stokked about the summer reading club and I must agree, it is an excellent way for them to stay busy over the summer- yay for free fun that is educational!!

Mailee reading to sweet!!

Mailee took Maddie by the hand and gave her a tour of the kid's section!

After the library, we met Mike at the park for lunch. The kids loved that!!

After this I shuffled the children to the craft store, the fabric store and Walmart. It is a challenge to take 4 children to a store!!

All in all I think the day went pretty well and I am thrilled to have a few months to spend with all the kids and focus on investing into their precious lives.

Romans 14:19

"So let us concentrate on the things that make for harmony, and on the growth of one another's character"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Spanos came to Town!

This post is not meant to make the rest of the out of town readers feel at all guilty but seriously, with the exception of my parents, we have had NO visitors from the States in the 3 1/2 years that we have lived here...GASP! Well all that changed this week. Here is a photo of our first non-parent visitors and for the record, this is my aunt and uncle once removed and my second cousins.

Aren't they a lovely family? We were so glad to have them here and feed them and show them the town. It was a great two days!!
The kids loved having big girls to play with. Hanna, the younger sister was especially fun and friendly with the girls, they played and played!!

All the ladies.

My son, scaling the fence at a construction site...yup, sounds about right!


(Check out Caleb in this one, I love his little hands on his knees!!)

We REALLY enjoyed having guests come to visit. We sure would love to have you all come up.

-It is beautiful here

-we are nice

-I can cook

I am really baffled why you haven't made your booking with us!?!? The spots are filling up quickly, act fast!!!

Princess and the Pea

I took this photo in the pitch dark- great flash, hey? Here is my little princess sleeping away, getting her necessary beauty rest no doubt thanks to the sleep mask!

The Story of the Side

It all began when we decided we should lay down some grass and throw in a few plants so we can get our landscaping deposit back. Simple enough...or so we thought. Here is the story of how our easy lawn job has escalated to structural work to the side of our home.... (in point form cause I have 4 kids and a busy life and it hurts my head to come up with full sentances)

-we wanted underground irrigation for the lawn, that had to happen first

-upon inspection, the landscaper informed us that the wall the neighbor had put up to retain his dirt was on our the exact spot that he wanted to lay the irrigation

-when asked, the neighbor politely declined the opportunity to split the cost of taking down his wall which retains his dirt and putting up a proper one, revealing 2 feet of our property that was at that point, under their wall...

-this brought feelings of frustration towards our brand new and quite nice neighbors...we dealt with that and moved on

-under deeper contemplation, Mike and his dad decided it would make sense to pour cement stairs on the side so that we can get from the front yard to the back(makes sense)

-once the new wall is done and a house is built on the other side, there will be no possible way to get a digger in the side where the stairs need to go so we decided that had to be done before the new wall.

-this brings us to the point of the photo I posted the other day...

-and from there, here is a photo diary of the events that unfolded....

The guys removed a few of the large boulders from the side of our yard which the builders (let's heretofor call them MVV which stands for Mid Valley Ventures) had placed there as a cheap alternative to the logical thing which would have been pouring stairs in the first place. It became clear to all of "the guys" (we'll call them "the good guys" from here on out) that the sonatube was not properly supporting the house and the cement steps off our back door(directly above the sonotube pictured above) and the cement slabs in the backyard sidewalk were all poured directly onto shifting, soft sand...placing tremendous weight on the improperly placed sonotube which holds up the back door porch...removing anymore large rocks could create a problem. The good guys came up with a solution and set to work bracing the deck and preparing to make a new, properly placed sonotube. In the meantime, various members of MVV continued to peek their heads around the corner to view the happenings. They are working on a new house 3 doors down. They appeared to me to be quite nervous....hmmm...

Apparently this is not what you want...that is an inch gap between the dirt and the cement sidewalk.

Again, not a good sign. At this point, the good guys had hooked the problematic cement walkway slabs to their digger and pulled them out revealing this dirt. Notice the of the good guys stuck this shovel in, with just one hand, to the dirt that had been supporting the cement walkway. Not good.

So where there once were steps and a sidewalk to the backyard off the back door, this was the new scene...a gaping hole and the deck being supported by wood braces the good guys put in. Today the good guys poured a new sonotube and as I understand it, once that is ready, they can continue with the stairs. Most likely we will be putting in that cedar deck right away instead of next summer due to the gaping hole:)

On a side note: this view is from our backyard, looking toward the front of the house. In a few days, from here you will be able to step down into the front yard!

Second side note: see the right hand edge of the sidewalk? Now do you see the higher bank of dirt further over to the right? That is the property line as it should be, now that the rock wall has been removed. Previous to the removal, the rock wall was touching the sidewalk.

back to the point....
Today the head hog from MVV duh-dum-tee-dumped over and got all in Mike's business telling him that we shouldn't change the structure of the house, that we had the nicest house on the block and that he would gladly buy it back from us for the price we paid and easily flip it for 100grand more. This comment made a whole lot of nonsense on more than one level but that is beside the point. My unsolicited completely unprofessional opinion: MVV is nervous because they know they did a crappy job and they really don't want to get stuck with higher insurance or whatever might become of them if we decide to do hold them accountable. Oh we'll be holding them accountable allright. check out all my incriminating photos above...I have a folder on my computer full of even more!!

So dear readers, don't feel sad for us, that is not the intention of this rant. Feel informed and up to date on the latest upgrades to Banmanland. This is a great place to live and the good guys are helping us make it even better!!