Saturday, August 30, 2008

Home Alone

Mike took the kids to Vancouver for the weekend to watch his brother play basketball. I stayed behind because I had a few cake orders and a wedding set up (for Stage Right). Staying behind and having the house to myself turned out to be just what I needed to reestablish some order around here! I was so productive.

Along with all the normal "housekeeping" duties I *eh hem* do regularly, I moved around the living room furniture, I scrubbed the walls and baseboards, I switched up the decor and I printed out lovely chore charts for the new school year!

Right now I am enjoying a spotless house, listening to Chris Tomlin and, best of all, anxiously awaiting the return of my precious family!

Here is my happy kitchen, cupboards free of all fingerprints, counter tops clear of any miscellaneous items...ah, so lovely!!

I am off to organize Mikayla and Mailee's room so they have a fresh start for school! Mike just called, the troops will be home in 4 hours...gotta get hoppin'!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Caleb and Maddie

Apparently I take a lot of pictures of these 2 of my 4 children. Before you start coming to any conclusions, just let me attempt to explain myself! Caleb is the baby so everything he does I think "oh, I have to capture this before he grows out of this stage". Not to mention, he is our first boy so everything he does around here has been done before but not with the same gusto that Caleb seems to accomplish all tasks! I am constantly amused with how much of a little guy he is and when I am amused, my camera comes out! Maddie, on the other hand, well, she LOVES the attention. She hops in front of me whenever I even reach in the general direction of the camera. She turns her sunshine smile "on" at any opportunity to be captured! My last excuse, (are you convinced yet?) is that Mikayla and Mailee can't be bothered with me and the photo sessions most of the time. They have to be "in the mood" which apparently is something I will be hearing a lot of over the next say, 15 years as the emotions over everything seem to be running higher and higher the older the girls get!

So anyways....Next week I'll have lovely "back to school" photos to post of my two big girls! I can hardly wait! I love back to school! We've got all the supplies ready and the girls have their first day of school outfits chosen. In the flurry to get prepared for school, Caleb and Maddie have been dragged all over town looking for the right erasers and that one special pair of knee highs.(we found both, in case you are wondering!) Yesterday we were looking at shoes and both Maddie and Caleb found a pair that:
2)they liked
3)I liked!!

Well, finding shoes that fit all three of the essential criteria is not an everyday occurrence so I decided to get the little guys new shoes and they were both so thrilled!! Caleb could not wait to show his Daddy. He carried his shoes around the house waiting to hear that garage door open. Maddie was running all over the mall in her new kicks saying how fast she was!

Here they are in all their new-shoe glory!

Maddie said she could get to the top of the mountain (translation: mound of dirt) now that she was wearing her new shoes.

Seems I don't make it in front of the camera very often but here you go readers, a glimpse of me doing something other than checking email or decorating a cake! When I first put Caleb up on my shoulders, he held on by putting his little hands right over my eyes! NICE. I opted for the choke hold you see pictured above:)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Time Keeps On Tickin'

I came across this photo of me and Gretch the other day. I remember this day so clearly, like it was yesterday. We were off to Hume Lake summer camp for a week without our parents. (I got an awesome letter everyday written on stationary from Paper Fantasy and filled with glitter and confetti...thanks Mom, I still have those letters somewhere!) I think I also remember thinking that I had a pretty good handle on life. I think I liked boys at this point, too. This was the summer before 3rd grade (I think? correct me if I am wrong Gretch if it was not 3rd it was 2nd- oh boy!) It just hit me that my oldest daughter is this age!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Next Generation

Mikayla and I have been hard at work getting her blog up and ready! She is a very good writer and poet and together we decided it would be fun for her to have a place to share.

Come check out her cool background and hear in her own words whatever it is she might be thinking day to day.


A Place for Mikayla Grace

BUT PLEASE....if you stop by to visit, take a second to leave a comment, she is checking everyday!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Fun Times Keep Coming!

Last weekend we had a fun day at a friend's party. The kids love swimming so much! I am sorry my posts are not very meaty but I am a bit maxed with Fig & Ruby at the moment, my brain can't fit anything else!! The Fig & Ruby blog should be brimming with new cool stuff in the next few weeks if you are interested.

Mikayla and a friend from dance who will also be going to her school this year and they are in the same class.

My brave boy jumping off the rock.

Maddie is surfing! You have to click on this photo to make it bigger so you can really see her face, it is so cute, she is so surprised by what she is doing!!

Mailee has become a great little fishey this year. She is very cautious but she is gaining confidence.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Deck is Nearing Completion

The boys are working hard to get the deck done. Look how cute this is... Caleb waits all day for his daddy to get home and he wants to be with him every second when he is around! He loves going to the "tool store" and "ow-sigh" to work on the "det"!

Love the rain boots with the swim trunks!

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Alone Time" with Mikayla

Mikayla loves "alone time". She asks us frequently if she can have alone time with one of us. She is intense about it... (as she is with many things) So today it worked out for the two of us to sneak out for a few hours. In the van as we were driving she mentioned that she loved alone time even if we just do errands. She is such an exceptional little girl. I feel bad that her big girl ideas and needs are often pushed to the wayside because I am in the center of the business with the younger kids. I also feel sad cause we place so much responsibility on her little shoulders, we have such high expectations cause with her this parenting thing is a trial run. I believe God chose us to be her parents and He has equipped us to do the job. I pray that I can listen and be receptive to the best way to encourage her and nurture her into the loving, compassionate, patient woman I hope she will one day be. SO...(wiping away the tear:)...on to the events of the it is, as always, in pictures!!

Um Hm, that's right, it's a blended creme mocha frapachino with whip!
(and an oat fudge bar that had already been devoured!!)

Holding up the goods- a new reading light to clip to her books for night time- we'll be returning it tomorrow, it is too bright according to Mikayla!

We had a great time together and she is always so settled and content for a few hours after a little one on one time. It's like her love tank is full...hmm, perhaps I have discovered her love language!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Safety First!

Our deck railing was installed this morning! Now I don't have to worry about the kids falling off the side of the deck and down the cement stairs!

I am already envisioning the streamer potential on this railing for parties! Yahoo!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Deck Update

Here are the promised pictures of the deck in progress. It is coming along so quickly!!

This one is taken from the back porch. This portion of the deck was made a month ago to span the gap when the stairs were poured. The horizontal beams are all new, Mike added them yesterday. In the background you can see the retaining wall I posted yesterday.

Here is a view of the back of our home. The lot next door has broken ground so that is exciting. So where Maddie is standing and all the way to to that left hand window we will put grass. The double doors are to our master bedroom.

We have decided to put a fence along this side of the deck between our home and the neighbors. After putting so much work into our yard, that is all we want to be able to see :)

Stay tuned for more updates!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This Week In Banmanland

A smooshed together version of our week!!

The retaining wall in the back of our yard is half done, it will be 3 bricks taller when completed. For now it is done enough for Mike to begin working on the deck...or resume work actually as the side portion has been completed... This is very exciting!! A half done deck is tricky with 4 kiddos playing around it...can't wait to have a done deck and lots of room to hang out in the backyard sans dirt!!

Mike got a ton done this weekend, I'll have to snap a photo tomorrow of the progress. My husband is actually quite skilled in the world of deck-building. Eat your heart out ladies!! Cutest part is, Caleb is always out there with him using his "tools" and working away!!

Pabby and I got our business cards printed FINALLY after close to 6 months of humming and hawing over the perfect design and wording. We are so thrilled!! Let me know if you are interested in owning one of these dandy cards:)

This gigantic caterpillar caught our eye at City park the other day. It was huge and so lime green with orange dots. Very cool. I was proud of my girls, they all touched it and Mikayla carried it around a bit. The photo does not even do this little sucker justice. It was mammoth. We figured it was just about ready to curl up and turn into a butterfly!

Mailee sporting some "back to school" duds at church this morning. Cute as ever:) I like her in yellow. She is sleeping over at Grandma Linda's tonight with no siblings or cousins...very special!!

Sidenote: The shoes we 5 bucks at Marshalls. I LOVE shopping in the States. Seriously people, you have no idea how good you have it down there!!

Thanks Mom for being such a trooper as we took (more like dragged) 4 kids thru the amazing Southcenter Mall and Old Navy and Ross and Target and Marshalls and Target again... all in about 13 hours spanning two was fun in a crazy sort of way!!

Girl's night for my friend Denny's birthday. I am thankful for the friends i have in Kelowna!

This week is super busy cake order wise so excuse me absence...i should have some loveliness to post on the Fig and Ruby blog soon though!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Westport 2008

We had an awesome time in Westoprt. Click on the link to the right to see the whole album of photos! Here are a few of my favorite moments. I am still unpacking and answering emails and doing mountains of laundry at the moment but keep checking back cause I have lots more to share!!

The brothers...Mike, Jay, Matt and's up!

Yummy vacation treats!

Girl Cousins in matching dresses!

The whole group at the beach (minus a few for various reasons... )

One day it will be your turn son...