I Love Spring

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” -Robin Williams

I really, really love spring. I love the smell in the air, I love the mud, I love the puddles.

Although I grew up on a farm, it would be a fairly inaccurate description to call me a “farm girl” at heart. My sisters were out on the tractors and combines, but I just wasn’t into that.

But I still loved growing up on the farm. I loved being outside, and living in the country. Whatever “farmish-ness” was not passed on to me from my dad, he definitely made up for in teaching me how to appreciate nature.

I feel like spring is the season that brings out all things natural in me. It makes me feel like those years spent growing up on the farm are not very long ago. We would explore every puddle, flood every boot, dirty every article of clothing.

And my favorite part? I don’t remember my mom ever saying one negative word about it. She kept a very clean house, but I never felt like getting dirty was looked down on. And my dad downright encouraged it.

I want my girls to experience spring in that environment. It is time to party. It’s time to get dirty. Oh, the sights, the sounds, the smells! Everything is new and fresh and exciting!

Have fun getting dirty!

Last Day

Anika asked if we could please have a very fun day today so that it could go by very quickly, so that we could go home sooner, because she is homesick.

I wanted the day to feel as long as possible!


We had a picnic in the park, and it was the most beautiful day ever.

After lunch, we played on the play structure for a little while.

Then my mom took Kaylia home for a nap while the rest of us went for a walk. It worked out well, because the stroller would never have fit on the little bridges we walked over, and if we would have let her loose, Kaylia would have run right into the water with the supposed alligators, which we did not see. Safe in a playpen, fast asleep, was the best place for her!

But the rest of us had a great time. We toured a swamp. We saw what Florida used to look like before people moved in and made it more liveable.

I’ve always loved these little bridges and paths.




After the park, we made a couple of trips to the pool, and packed up. Tomorrow we fly home. I’m sad, but I miss my house. And I’m ready for Christmas, and Christmas must have snow. So back to the snow we go!

Vacation Activities

We’re having lots of fun! And I don’t say that to try to rub it in – I was actually kind of sorry to leave the snow. I wasn’t tired of it yet. And it does NOT feel like it’s anywhere near Christmas out here, so I will definitely enjoy that when we get home.

But I’m not going to lie, it was quite nice to wake up to bright sunshine, green grass, and palm trees this morning… 

And breakfast is so much nicer when eaten in this setting:

Anika went swimming in the afternoon with a little friend that she’s met out here.

 Kaylia wanted to go too. Maybe tomorrow.

 My mom bought Kaylia a new doll today, and she’s already carried it around for hours:

 And she spent some time bonding with my dad. So she had a good day, even if she didn’t go in the pool.

Pictures From Our Weekend

We had such a fun time with family this weekend. We didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving last weekend, so we headed out to my parents’ on Friday.  My family tends to just meet at my parents’ cabin here in the Whiteshell all summer, so it was nice to go back “home” for a change. We also haven’t been to my sister and brother-in-law’s in forever, so we spent the day with them on Saturday, which was so much fun.

All the girls went out for lunch (but we left Kaylia at the house, because I was worried about all of her energy in a dainty tea house.) Anika was so excited about the experience that she barely ate.

Amber is a regular customer, so she calmly took in the whole experience, and ate everything on her plate:

Then Wally gave us a tour of his workplace. Just recently, I was explaining to Anika how Uncle Wally makes books, which pretty much amazed her. She asked if she could see for herself how it was done, because that would be, in her words, “a wonder!!” It was a wonder…

I loved spending time with my sister, and the guys went golfing, and it was just a really nice, very full day!

On Sunday, we were at my parents’, and had our Thanksgiving meal with some birthday cake for desert! Anika turns seven this week:

So it was fun and relaxing, and just great to be with family. I love bringing our little girls to the place where I was a little girl.


Some of you know about my new-found love for making floral arrangements. I’ve actually always loved doing it, but I used to only use real flowers – I’d hack off huge branches of apple blossoms or lilacs from my parents’ trees and make wonderful creations. I remember my dad commenting on how many branches I’d cut off his trees, but he’d always be very encouraging about my way of enjoying the beauty of nature…

Anyway, now I’ve discovered fake flowers, and I’m loving it. Here’s my latest creation:

I’ve been told that I should take this whole thing to a new level, and start my own business, but that idea is kind of amusing to me, seeing as I have no training whatsoever. I just have a lot of experience with apple blossoms and lilacs.

So now I’m stuck, loving a really expensive hobby, and living in a really small house – really, how many arrangements can I fit in it? (How many do I actually want to fit in it? Things could get kind of excessive…)




Every fall since we moved to camp, our family goes to Look-Out. It’s the most beautiful place around here in the fall. I love it. And every year we take a family picture at Look-Out.

The view is so amazing. It makes you feel really proud of flat little Manitoba for coming up with something that good.

My dad came with us, which was fun. I always like to bring people along who have never been to Look-Out before.

It was crazy windy yesterday. Anika was seriously concerned that she would get blown away.

Slightly Socially Awkward

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not really into small talk. Most of the time, I like to just skip the small talk part of the conversation – cut to the chase, and get to the stuff that really matters.

Sometimes that gets socially awkward. Sometimes all people really want is small talk. Sometimes when they ask, “How are you doing?” they don’t actually want all the details on how I’m really doing. They just want the response to be, “Fine, how are you?”

I’m not really into “Fine, how are you?” When I ask someone how they are doing, I actually want to know. I like all the details. And if someone doesn’t voluntarily give them, I’ll keep asking questions until we finally get somewhere.

That’s why I feel socially awkward in large group settings. Sometimes I don’t really know what to do with myself until I can corner somebody, and dive into the deeper stuff.

I think it’s because I’m a combination of my mom and my dad. If I were one or the other, I wouldn’t feel the confusion that comes with being a little bit of both…

My mom is totally a behind-the-scenes kind of person, and my dad is a find-a-best-friend-everywhere-he-goes kind of person.

I witnessed it happening again just the other day. I was having lunch here at camp with my parents, and there was a staff member sitting by herself, so I invited her to join us, and introduced her to my parents. My dad asked a few intro-type of questions, and then jumped right in with, “So what is your vision for your future?” She looked slightly taken aback, and then they were off on a meaningful conversation about her dreams and the calling on her life.

My mom and I finally left the lodge without him, and he joined us back at home 45 minutes later, when the conversation was finally over!

I’m not as outgoing as my dad, a little more behind-the-scenes like my mom, but I get that “taken aback” expression fairly often. And I find out really quickly if someone “gets” it and we’ll be lifelong friends, or if this is just someone who isn’t into baring their soul on a regular basis, and will therefore probably not want to be around me much. I like baring the soul.

So, the point of all that…

While a blog with a ton of pictures of my girls and our everyday lives might be fun, there is this deep desire in me for something more – that this could also be a place where I can share thoughts I have and the stuff I’m learning.That maybe God could somehow use my ramblings to bless you in some way, or remind you all over again about the things that really matter. That we could move past “small talk” and fun pictures.

Maybe we could have some “baring of the soul” around here too, sometimes.

Hopefully that won’t be too weird for any of you.

Don’t worry, we’ll still have fun pictures. Here’s one to reassure you: