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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fun, Not so fun, And then fun again!

Grace and I visited our cousins in Michigan this past weekend.  It started out fun, then became not so fun as we got through the worst storm I've ever experienced, then it became fun again.  Let me explain.

Grace and I started out early Saturday morning for our cousins' place in Michigan.  We were to meet some other cousins there and have a swim and a pot luck.  For the most part we had an uneventful trip to the US. Grace was great in the car most of the way, even though we had to make a few emergency potty stops.  She ate snacks and slept and watched her Barney DVDs.  When we got to the border it was quite backed up and as we finally got to the border guard, he asked us to move to the secondary investigation area.  Needless to say, we were there a while sorting out Grace's passport, even though she has a US travel visa.  I'm so glad I brought the correct documents!!!!

 Finally we arrived at Chris and Jill's.  Grace did not think much of all the dogs there but she warmed up a bit as the day went on.  We had a good swim and play in the water, ate well and then headed back to Tim and Sue's to stay overnight.  We weren't the only houseguests Sue had this past weekend.  Her sister and her four kids, as well as her niece and her sister's mom were all there too.  The house was full!!!  Sue, always the gracious host, took it all in stride.

Sunday, we spent time at the beach even though the weather was a little ominous in the far off.  Late afternoon we packed up, heading home for a BBQ dinner.

That was the fun part.

Once home, things were a little crazy, trying to get everything out of the car, kids cleaned up, dinner together for 15 or more people.  Everyone was busy.  We had set up a brand new canopy just in case it rained.  At least we would be able to still eat outside.  The clouds moved in a little darker and a little closer.  A few drops fell.  Sue and I cut the watermelon outside as the rain picked up.  Eventually it was pouring and we all headed inside, knowing that it was pretty unlikely we would be able to eat outside.

And then came the wind.  And the hail. Then more wind, more rain, more hail.  Trees bent over backward, leaves and branches flew around everywhere.  We decided it was a good idea to head to the basement for safety.  The hail was so large and the winds so strong they broke several windows in the house, dented our cars and broke windshields and back windows and in my case the side mirror.

Just as we came up stairs thinking things had settled down, the tornado sirens started and back down to the basement we went.  Thankfully I thought to bring the portable DVD player down to the basement with us and as you'll see in photos below, Grace was totally oblivious to what was going on around her thank goodness!

After the storm had moved on, we ventured outside to peruse the damage and damage there was.  Windows, lights, lawn furniture smashed, cars dented, the siding of their house looked like someone had used it as shooting practise.  Unbelievable.  Water had poured into the windows and basement. 

That was the not so fun part.

We were grateful however that everyone was OK, and once the shock of the damage has lessened, it was time to relax a little.  See below how Tim and Sue went about doing just that!

That's when it got fun again. 

The fun continued next day when Sue, Grace and I went to see her dad at his residence.  He had always been excited about my adoption and couldn't wait to meet Grace.  We took him out to dinner and he spent a good part of the time at the restaurant chatting with Grace, trying to get a high five. 

We spent a quiet night visiting and early Tuesday morning Grace and I headed out to make a brief stop at our friend Kim's farm before heading back to Canada.  I'll tell that story another day!

Our friendly host for Saturday's festivities, Jill

Tim and Suzanne, before the storm hit.  They look so relaxed and calm!!!  If only they knew what they would face 24 hours later!

This was a brand new shade structure

The street/river in front of their house

Now, that's big hail!!!!  This was even half an hour or more after the storm had ended

Down in the basement it was crowded with so many people.  Grace decided to stake out a spot for herself.  She totally enjoyed sitting in her box!

Notice the missing back window

Both Tim and Suzanne took the whole situation in stride.  They weren't happy I'm sure but still were able to manage a smile!

This may be the real reason Suzanne was smiling.....

Sue, joking around with the moonshine!  Once the storm passed, we all filled our glasses with a good stiff drink.  Then Tim got a good idea.  We all took our drinks outside and used the ice from the yard for our drinks.  Cheers to everyone ending up safe!

The kids sure know how to make lemonade out of lemons!

And in the midst of chaos, these young girls thought they would try out Sue's high heels!!!LOL
Meeting Papa Dick for the first time

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Soccer Fun!

My little girl is growing up so fast!  We started soccer a couple of weeks back.  It's a parent and tot program so I get to join in on the fun too!  Imagine a group of 20 two year olds watching as Coach Jason shows them how to chase a ball, stop the ball with their foot, etc.  It is so cute!  The coach has been great with the kids and we're having a blast! 
Of course afterwards just ask Grace where we have to go and she will instantly tell you:  Dairy Queen!!!  We share a mini blizzard and then head home for an early bedtime.  Mommy loves soccer night!!! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Grace's Park

Grace's park.  That's what she calls it.  I call it amazing!  Every time Grace visits her little friend L. they go out to her backyard and play on the equipment. L. has swings, a hammock, a trampoline and a climbing structure with a slide.  She calls it L's park.
Now Grace has her own park!
We are so lucky to have a fantastic Grandma and Grandpa who picked out a wonderful play structure for our backyard.  
We woke up early one morning to find several boxes had been dropped off in our backyard the night before.  That night, Grandpa and Grandma came by to help us choose the spot to build. 
Then Friday morning came:  building day!  We woke up early and took some pictures of Grandpa getting started before heading off to daycare and school.  All day at work I could hardly concentrate, thinking about Grace and her reaction when she first lays sight on her new "park."  I picked her up and told her we had a surprise at home.  When we got there and went around the back, she went crazy!!  She must have climbed the ladder and slid down the slide 10 times in a row!!!
What a lucky girl!!!
Helping Grandpa get started

Grace studying the plans..... in French!!!LOL

Resting after all the hard work!!

Here I go again Mommy!  Watch this!
Those are safety goggles she has on! Safety first!!
Hey Grandpa!  Come on up!


And this is how she ended her day with the new park!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oh Canada!

Canada Day 2014.  It was a hot day and Grace and I spent the day at a local Fun Farm.  It was free admission for the day and the crowds were big but we had a great time.  We met up with some friends and the kids enjoyed looking at the animals.  They tried out the climbing structures, the bikes, slides and of course Grace loved the live music.  She would have been happy to sit on those bleachers all day and listen to the band play cover songs of old country and western songs.  But then she saw the "trampoline"... Grace LOVED the huge air bag, she kept calling it the "trampoline"  and really I suppose it was a trampoline.  She bounced all over it and when her time was up, got back in line to do it all over again!! 
The best moment however on the cuteness factor?  We were walking across the field, Grace supposedly following me.  I turned around and she wasn't there.  She was a few feet behind me, helping herself to some strawberries!!  The problem was, these were someone's strawberries that they had picked on their own out in the field.  We all got a good laugh and they were very good natured about it.  What a monkey!

My girl who used to be very afraid of any animal is starting to warm up to them!!!!

These strawberries are good Mommy.  Why didn't we get some?  Because I didn't want to drag a two year old around an open field in 35 degree weather, that's why Grace!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Yeah for Summer!

Today:  hot summer weather, breakfast on the deck, swimming outdoors, eating snacks on the grass, playing at the park.  Ribfest for dinner, ice cream for dessert and driving home with the windows and the moon roof open.  Life just doesn't get much better than that!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Teddy Bear Clinic

Grace attended a Teddy Bear clinic at our local hospital recently.  The doctors volunteer their time to meet with children, give their favourite animals and dolls a check up and in the process help children feel less nervous about going to the doctor.  Grace brought Barney to get checked out by the doctor and he was amazing.  She started out her usual shy and apprehensive self but quickly warmed up to the doctor and the hospital room surroundings.  I hope we never need to experience a hospital stay for real but I'm glad she will have some understanding of what might go on.