Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lil Punkins

Here's our kids and their cousins and all the pumpkins!  
I am in a flurry of Halloween costume creating right now.  
Stay tuned to cute pics early next week:)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vintage Tea Party Details Posted

I finally posted the party details over at Fig & Ruby.  HERE is the link!

If you want to see details about the treats, go HERE!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mailee Is 9!

My sweet little second born is 9 today.  I remember being 9, it wasn't THAT long ago:)

Mailee had a fun day today, I let the kids do school in their pajamas for the first time and I also let them sleep in.  She got to open a gift from Grandpa first thing in the morning(it was a big hit Dad- thank you!) I had the other kids help with Mailee's chores so her load was lightened.

We ate potato pancakes and croissant sandwiches for Mailee's "special meal".

Mailee has been a joy to have in our family.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and empathizes with others.  She is helpful and loving and creative and graceful.

I am so thankful for this girl!
Happy Birthday Mailers!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Party Portraits

Yesterday we celebrated Mailee's 9th birthday with a vintage tea party.  Mailee invited three friends, two sisters and her cousin.  The girls had a great time making vintage hats, painting wooden beads to make keychains, and lunching in grand tea party style.

I'l do a post over at Fig & Ruby with all those details but for now, here are a few photos of my girl and her friends having fun with a fancy backdrop, lovely outfits and some fun props!

school friends smiling

school friends serious

Cousins serious

Cousins smiling

Cousins serious again

The lovely tea party ladies witht heir fancy china.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

First Look ...A Little Video From Pailee's Tea Party

Mailee was so cute at her party today.  I want sleep more than I want to upload photos right now but I wanted to share a little peek.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Davidson Orchard Never Disappoints

The kids and I met the family out at Davidson Orchard.  I think this is the 3rd or 4th year that we have all gone as a big group.  I look forward to it every year.  Fall in Kelowna is so fun!  Mike is in Florida for a Maximized Living conference and Maddie didn't want to miss out on her friend's birthday party.  It was not the same without them but we managed to have a great time!

 Caramel apples freshly dipped are so delicious!

 Cait was happy to share with anyone who asked.

 We tried to get a picture like this without the fingers in the luck.  She is pretty attached to those fingers!
 Sisters are so fun!

 We let the 4 big kids ride the train by themselves this year.  They were happy with this.

We were happy too, we got some quality time to hang out.

 Loving that Grandma Crick.  Cait reaches up to be held every time she gets near!

My little family missing two key players.

 The family shot.  What an enjoyable, relaxing day.  The weather was gorgeous, everyone was happy, the samples were abundant..what more could a girl ask for??

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Looks Can Be Deceiving

I love this picture of Caiters.  I uploaded it to an album on Facebook and most people thought she was eating something sour.  She was actually eating a delicious grape and the gesture she was making was her I'm-so-excited-I'm-scrunching-up-my-face-and-my-shoulders-to-show-it look.  I guess I can see how it would look like she is tasting something unpleasant but I was there at the time and it was very much a happy moment for the small girl.

Anyways, I was just thinking about what to post after my last dramatic outburst.  It didn't seem right to plaster perfect photos of my happy family as if last week never happened.  {It was tempting though, ha ha.}  But this photo sort of depicts how I am feeling.  Last week was hard, I was DONE.  I wanted a free pass to step off the ride.  I felt like and blogged like Cait looks in this photo.  The cool part is that inside something else is happening; I am regaining the sweet taste of peace and placing my trust in my Father's hands.  What a relief!  I am certain I will feel like last week at some point again but I love how in the times that we are at our worst, God is bigger than our issues and His promises are stronger than the self-pitying messages that we give ourselves!!

Anyways, thanks for all the encouraging words and support!  I love having an outlet to share the fun times in our lives with the people that love us {and possibly a few that don't even know us} but it's great to be able to be honest and share the tough stuff too!

One the calendar for the next 10 days:

-trip to Davidson Orchards with the Stangs, Terri, hopefully Grandma and Grandpa...
-Soccer playoffs for Mikayla's soccer team
-Mailee's Birthday party and her "real day"

If you don't hear from me, it's birthday season at my house.  Pics to follow, you can count on that!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

An Honest Attempt at Thankfulness

Tomorrow we will celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada.

The cranberry sauce, the cranberry salad, the pumpkin chiffon pie are all prepared.  I am looking forward to enjoying the day with Mike's family.

Thanksgiving, for me, always includes these yummy side dishes and all the staples; turkey, gravy, etc. but it's also a great time to take a second and reflect on what I'm thankful for.  

Honestly, these days I have not been feeling thankful.  I have been feeling like a martyr.  I am tired and cranky from having Cait in my bed pulling my hair all night.  I am defeated from being met with opposition at any instructions that I give to the oldest two.  I am irritable from listening to Caleb's SERIOUSLY way too loud voice ALWAYS talking or making unnecessary noise.  I am ashamed of the times I just nod and say "um hm" while Maddie is following me around talking my ear off.  I am frustrated with the enormous amount that needs to be done to keep the house going on a regular day; three meals, two snacks, 5 kitchen and table clean ups, poopy diaper changing, the more than one load a day of laundry, the putting away of the toys as Cait and Caleb take them out and leave them everywhere.  I am discouraged with how hard it is to homeschool so many children at different ages and I am desperate to just be alone, not to go to the grocery store, but to just sit and have my brain to myself, or to spend a few hours just being me, whoever that may be, with no strings attached.

So there's the truth.  The not-so-perfect side of Banmanland.  Ha!

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

My heart is not broken, I have no big tragedy to be dramatic about but sometimes life just gets hard. It is so good to have hope and something eternal, someone bigger to fall back on!  Pick me up Lord and set me back on my feet!!

"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything.  Tell God your needs and don't forget to thank Him for all He has done" Philippians 4:6

This Thanksgiving I will be on my knees, asking for strength, for grace and for a renewed mind.  I have more than I ever thought I wanted and I am so thankful.  The whole thing kind of falls apart when the Mommy running the show starts to crumble.  I am so ready to turn this ship around and enjoy this life

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

School at "The Patch"

Today "Banman Academy" enjoyed a gorgeous sunny fall day at the Mcmillan Pumpkin Patch.

 Caiters is so happy her big sisters do school at home so she can enjoy every day with them:)
In the pen is a pot bellied pig.  The kids were fascinated with the pig.

 We teamed up with "Jay Stang Elementary" for this group outing.  It has been such fun experiencing this year of school at home with the cousins!

 Checking out a donkey in the field.

 Inspecting the many sizes and shapes of gourds.

And now, a few of my favourite photos of the 8 cousins!

Aren't they a sweet group?  I am so very thankful to be raising our kids in the same town as Tammy & Jason.  My kids adore their cousins and they have such a great time together.  Tonight Maddie is having a sleepover there and Jenaya is sleeping over here.  What fun!

Tammy & I are able to encourage one another in parenting, being a wife, a sister, a friend.  This year especially, with the interesting challenges that homeschooling brings, it has been so valuable to be able to  discuss, lament and celebrate together.  We talk each other off the ledge from time to time as well:)

It wouldn't seem right to end this post with anything else but a little Cait-Bear cuteness!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Exploration Day

Wednesdays are Exploration Days for Grade One.  I take the three little ones out to enjoy God's creations on Wednesday.  They love it.  Here is last Weds...

Caleb found a huge slingshot on our walk!

Todays assignment was to look for fall leaves and interesting wildflowers and grasses to press.

Cait is showing me a little flower in her hand.  What a funny girl, she wants to do exactly what the big kids do!

Oh- well, this has nothing to do with exploring but I just got a new lens so I couldn't help myself!  {Check out Cait's tummy!}

They were really enjoying the photo shoot.  Ha ha.

Maddie's favourite find of the day- a tall grass with these furry "tails" at the top.  She said "Mom, look, I'm a cat!!"
Preparing to press the finds.  So excited to open he big heavy book in a few days and see the treasures!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Nature Notebook

This week we went to Mission Creek Park with our nature notebooks (sketch books) to capture the beautiful fall leaves.  It wasn't quite fall at the park so we got the green and yellow beginnings of fall and have agreed we will go back in a week or two to observe the difference.

Caleb didn't have a sketch book like the big girls so I popped in to the Dollar Store and for $1.50, he was a happy camper!

Observing the bunnies.  Pretty amazing to see Caleb sitting still!

Contemplating her artistic efforts...

Working diligently...

Love this photo of Caleb.  Taken with my new lens {50mm 1.8}.  His eyes are so sharp and the background is nice and blurred!  Caleb fell of his bike last week, in case you were wondering what is going on with his face.

Working on a masterpiece!