Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sibbald Creek

This last weekend, we may have gone camping for the final time this year.  Even if we make it for one more trip, we are pretty sure it will be the last time camping in the mountains for the year, seeing as how I am convinced there was snow mixed in with the rain on Saturday evening.  We had a great time at this annual camping trip that our friend, Tannis, organizes every year for late August.  We arrived Friday evening around dinner time and enjoyed a quick dinner, then some visiting around the camp fire.  Sean allowed us all to become a part of his "Team Awesome" and branded us with some camouflaged duct tape.  I got to practice being a mom as Gabby fell asleep in my arms for a few hours.  I took her to bed with me afterwards until her mom and dad were ready for bed.  I apparently can't make it to adult bedtimes anymore! 

The next day was filled with activities.  Ryan and I took a walk and tried to take some artistic pictures with our new camera.  

There were card games, some hacky sack and lots more visiting with friends. 

Unfortunately, that evening, the weather deciced to turn and so we moved our picnic tables into the cook house and spent the evening in there by the fire.  It continued to rain through the night and into the next morning, so Sunday, we packed up quickly and headed for home.  As usual, we enjoyed our camping trip and had a great time visiting with our friends. 

For all our pictures, look here.

Baby's first blanket

My mom always had great intentions and bought patterns of beautiful things to sew me when I was young.  Unfortunately, she never was able to find the time to take on those challenges, busy with raising a family and working when we we got a bit older, and the patterns were put away for a later date.  One project we continue to joke about to this day is the pair of jeans she promised me but I never saw.  However, my mom surprised me with something far more beautiful and special for our baby.

She picked the perfect colours without my help and crocheted this blanket without me knowing.  It will go perfectly with the colors of the nursery and I am sure it will be treasured by little Scooter forever.

                           Thank you Mom!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Heck Ya!

So Nicole made cinnamon buns for the first time today and here is a picture.

I think Van Orman's have a special cinnamon bun eating gene!

July Long Weekend in Vancouver

I've been slowly trying to catch up on what's going on, or really what went on. So this one is a bit older.

For the August long weekend this year we had the good luck to be able to fly out to Vancouver and visit our friends Jim and Laura.

I've know Jim and Laura for a number of years now, but we've not had many chances to visit with them over the last couple years as they moved out to Vancouver.

There were numerous talks of us coming out to visit and we almost made it there last March during spring break. Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to cancel that trip and so rescheduled for the July long.

It was a great trip, we had great company and Laura made sure that we were never bored. In fact I almost needed a vacation from my vacation.

Jim and Laura live right in Yale Town so there was never any real issue getting around and never any lack to things to see, do, or eat. The Canada Line train from the airport practically dropped us off at their door step. And what a door step it was. Not right on the water, but as close as we were, there really isn't any need to split hairs.
As you can see, the view was spectacular. In the one picture you can even see Granville Island.
So how did Laura keep us busy?
The first day we rented bikes and rode along the seawall through Kitsilano to Hadden Park. Here we had a great lunch, people watching along English Bay. From there, a ride home, followed by getting ready, then dinner out in Yaletown. Again we got to walk and it was easy to see why people might choose this lifestyle. Restaurants, markets, stores all withing walking distance.

Granville Island was one of our afternoon outings. We took the Sea Taxi from the dock just across the street and within a couple minutes we were right on Granville. Laura and Nicole drug me through the market and it was easy to see that we needed to split up. So after lunch, Jim and I sat and discussed the finer points of owning a sailboat while Nicole and Laura shopped it up.

We also did Stanley Park and the Aquarium. So first, off to the bike rental store, then along the seawall in the other direction. First stop was a picnic lunch in Stanley Park. It wasn't hard to find a great spot for lunch.
From there it was into the Vancouver Aquarium. I haven't been here since I was 13 and so can't suggest I know if it's changed or not. My one thought is, for the space, it was a pretty amazing place. It was far and away better than the Seattle Aquarium and my only regret was we didn't spend enough time there. We did get to see both the dolphin and whale shows, so even though we were short on time, we did get the most out of the visit.

After the shows we spent some time wondering the exhibits, again pretty impressive. The 4D section was pretty cool as it was pretty interactive. I think they suggested it may have been designed for kids, but I'm pretty sure they meant adults!
I know this is getting long, but we're pretty much done. The last event was the International Fireworks Finale. It was a tribute to China, the winners from last year. I guess that was alright, the music wasn't my first choice, but then I was there for the fireworks alone. Laura arranged for seats for the show. I think they said the price tag was down this year from last? I still say the show was amazing.
Here is a little video that Nicole did of the finale. I know, amazing right!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Camping with the French

We just got home from the second annual Constantin Camping trip. It was a little different format this year, as it was only Momma and Poppa Constantin and us.

Julien showed up for a couple hours on Sunday so we also got to visit with him.

I have to admit it was a treat to get to spend the weekend with just the parents. Our visits are usually filled with the whole family and so this was some good quality time for us to spend together.

The weather always seemed like it was just bordering on turning to rain, but we made the entire weekend without getting wet, and there was even some sun. There was also a lot of smoke in the air from the forest fires in BC, but that just helped mask the smell of the campfire.

It was a pretty standard trip with cards (I almost won at wizard, I scored 190 in the POSITIVE, that never happens!)

Boccie (team Van Orman beat team Constantin/Once a Constantin)


Bike rides through the trees (Denis' bum held up nicely as we weaved through the trees) and staying up late watching wood burn (both Denis and Martine stayed up till about 11pm on Friday...I know we were shocked too.)

All in all it was a great trip. It is also our second last planned trip for this year. Not to say we won't go some more but it does seem as though our camping days are numbered for this year.

Check out the entire photo set from the camping trip here

8000 Hours of Work

It's a good thing Nicole started this blog so that she can keep everyone up to date on what's going on.

This past weekend we FINALLY finished painting the trim on the house. It was old and once we started we realized that some of the wood was not in very good shape. But we pushed on.

I think it was five different days with probably five hours a day which I think works out to about 8000 hours of work.

But I do have to admit, once it was done, it looked good. But not good enough that I'd want to do it again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back Tracking

Okay, okay!  Ryan insists that we must back track and write about all we have done this summer.  I guess I should be thankful that he doesn't think we should recapture our entire year!  So I am here to tell of our trip to Dawson Creek which was taken mid-July for a friend of mine's wedding.  Dawson Creek is about nine hours north-west from Calgary.  We made several stops along the way, one in a quaint town called Beaver Lodge.  That is a picture of us in Beaver Lodge, in case you hadn't guessed.  The drive up was beautiful.
While in Dawson Creek, we wanted to make sure we did all the touristy things there is to do there.  So we went to a historical park, similar to that of Heritage Park in Calgary.  There were old farm houses, school houses, a firehall and lots and lots of tractors.  After spending some time there, we headed to Kiskiwana Bridge.  It is the largest curved trestle bridge in North America.  Our last stop of the day was at "Mile O,"  which is considered the beginning of the Alaskan highway.  All in all, I think we did quite well as far as sight-seeing in Dawson Creek goes.

Now let's not forget the reason we went to this exciting, sight-seeing town to begin with.  It was Clark and Tova's wedding.  We had a wonderful time watching Clark and Tova get married and visiting with friends. 

So out of order

So there are a couple other posts we'd like to get out, but they are bigger than this one, so I'm sticking with the easy stuff first.

Mom and Dad were up to visit on Friday while picking Hunter up for his trip to their house. While they were here, the discussion was spent on cameras. Nicole is looking for a new camera that will take amazing pictures. I suggested she should just be a better photographer. Her response was that we need a new camera (there may have been other words to express her delight in my opinion but they aren't important here).

That said, Dad left us one of his cameras to play with. Of course which camera we purchase is totally up to Nicole and I support her decision 100%. I can't help but think maybe a better camera does make you a better photographer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Time To Check The Rules

Dan and I had the chance to golf the Kananaskis Golf Course while we were camping in Bow Valley. Of course it was a beautiful day and that course has some amazing views but we had an extra special treat that day. As we drove up to the #3 tee box Dan points to what he thinks is an Elk walking away from us into the bush. As we look a little closer we realize it's not an Elk but a Bear! That's right a Bear no farther away than from me to you. Upon further investigation, which included us quickly turning the cart around and having the Bear turn and stare directly at us, we realized it wasn't actually a Black Bear like I thought, but a GRIZZLY BEAR. This was apparent by the golden colored fur and the HUGE head. So after a quick consultation with the other two in our group, this was done as we drove the carts away hoping that Grizzle Bears can't out run golf carts, we decided, lacking the current PGA rule book, we should get a free drop at the 150 marker without penalty.

After the game we bumped into the group behind us who not only saw the same bear but also it's buddy. That's right, two Grizzly Bears. One distracting us while the other was most definitely sneaking up behind us to steal our clubs.

Another wonderful camping trip

This afternoon, we came home from our week in Bow Valley with Dan and Tina.  The weather was fairly good; there were a few showers here and there but overall, the rain held out until this morning...that is, with the exception of a hailstorm yesterday in which Tina and I found ourselves stuck in a restaurant in Canmore without jackets or umbrellas.  We decided to wait it out and have desert.  A double fudge brownie, best decision of the week! 
The time went by quickly.  We had a quiet and relaxing week enjoying each other's company and taking it easy.  The guys had a fantastic time riding bikes and taking frequent walks to supervise the coming and goings of the many trailers in the campground.  Tough job but someone has to it.  Dan got back on a bike for the first time since 1984, or so he claims, and I think he realized just how much he missed it, all except for the bike seat.  Tina and I took a few leisurely walks (she appreciated having someone to walk beside her instead of ten feet in front of her...take a hint, Dan!), sat around and read, took a few naps and had a princess day in Canmore on Thursday.  Just what the doctor ordered for the two pregnant ladies! 
Last night, Dan, Tina, Ryan, Hunter and I checked out the show at the amphitheatre and it was a hit.  We all seem to have great luck with having our loved ones shine on stage.  Dan was chosen for a part in the show...and we thought Julien was the actor in the family!

As usual, we enjoyed the show, then headed back for our final campfire.  We had such a terrific time that we started planning our trip for next year!  Thanks for the wonderful week, Dan and Tina!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Great Balance

In going through our pictures I found this video of Baron trying on his new Christmas booties. You can kind of see his new swagger. He makes his family PROUD!

You'll also be glad to know that he did learn how to properly walk in these boots.

Catching Up

When Nicole started this blog, it didn't seem as romantic as a good old fashioned written journal. But it really struck me when my Dad talks about reading his journal and all the things he doesn't remember. Unlike him I have a great memory but .... what am I doing again?

So I wanted to catch this up a bit. Nicole figures we should only have this blog chronologically moving forward, but we all know I'm the boss.

I'll make it short and sweet. Ok it's neither short nor sweet, but you can take a break. Also I've linked out to our photo album so you can see more pictures.

Like each summer since Nicole and I have been together, it's always busy. By the beginning of August, we've camped 12 days, which we all know I LOVE, and there has also been all the projects around the house. Nicole's dressers, our new garden boxes and we're still trying to get the house trim done.

Some of the trips that we actually took pictures of were the Van Orman Reunion in Drumheller. It's always a good time. This year Jordan and Cyd couldn't make it but they were busy with their new little boy Augustus. So we can forgive them that. Like always this trip is about food and Mom making sure that we have enough to do (we did a couple day hikes, golfed, visited the reptile museum and played a lot of blongo ball).

Nicole, Hunter and I also attented the Canada Day celebrations down on Prince's Island Park. We got to sit on the grass and enjoy a lot of Canadian talent on the stage. Hunter also took pictures of the ducks. I only put one up, but he probably came back with 10.

Then there was our long weekend camping trip to Lac Des Arcs. That's as french as I get. We got to enjoy this long weekend with 3 other families. Scott, Lori, and Nixon. Tim, Tannis, and Gabby. Rick, Darlene and their two dogs. The weather was pretty good and I finally got to walk the Heart Creek Trail. It wasn't challenging at all, but was a great couple hour walk.

How about Westward Ho? Every year we try to camp with my brother Warren and his family. We usually get in a couple, but this year I think we'll have to settle for one. This year we did Westward Ho which I've always enjoyed, and we hadn't been there in a while. The weather was hot and we had the added benefit of a family next to us that was from our neighbourhood, Hawkwood, as well. They had three kids and they were of similar age to Hunter and Ally. So for the entire weekend we barely saw those two kids except when they needed someone to float down the river with them. Ok I guess Hunter didn't need us to float the river with him, but as the always worrying father, I timed his trips and was pretty sure he had drowned each time.

With this campground it always makes me start thinking about what it'd be like to have an annual campsite. The ability to just pack the car with what's needed for the weekend and never need to worry about reserving or filling the truck with gas. Nicole could go out during the week and I could join up after work. Anyway, wondering and reality are a bit closer now. We are on the waiting list for a spot next year. So we'll see how that goes.

We still want to show off our trip to Dawson Creek as well as Vancouver, but Nicole is yelling at me that this isn't a novel. So I guess we will save that for next time.