Happy Birthday Elijah

Yesterday was Elijah’s 12th birthday.  As I sit here trying to write something about it, the usual thoughts of how fast time has past or how big he is now, pass through my mind, but what really stands out is how mature he has become. This sweet, young man who is always willing to help where ever he can, who opens the car door for me every single time, who takes it upon himself to get his school work completed while helping his younger siblings with theirs, has grown up over the past few months in ways beyond his 12 years.  We are tremendously proud of him.

Birthdays are a big deal in our family, we like to celebrate how important each person is to our family and the blessing that they are.  This year, Elijah’s birthday was very quiet, with a pancake breakfast, steak and poutine for dinner, and a family movie.

I was (pleasantly) surprised when he chose poutine for dinner, it’s not something we normally eat, who doesn’t enjoy french fries and cheese curds smothered in gravy? Elijah made the poutine gravy from scratch (it was delicious!), and we found the cheese curds at Publix.  They weren’t as squeaky as we would have liked but they worked. The fries were just oven baked fries.  The options were limited in the trailer but like the curds they worked out ok.

We let each child choose how they want to celebrate their birthday and this year Elijah chose to spend his birthday celebration with a friend at Disney in lieu of gifts. He also wanted to camp at Fort Wilderness with his Nana and Uncle Tim.  So while his actual birthday was quiet, there’s still plenty of fun and celebrating to do.

On a completely different topic, we have found a house and are under contract.  We have the inspection coming up.  We’re very excited to begin our life in our new home!

Blizzard Beach is Our Favourite Beach

I guess you could say we officially started the process of getting our new home today. We met with a real estate agent, and we’ve started the loan process, so things are moving along.  We went to a couple open houses on Saturday and it got us excited for the possibilities and being able to picture ourselves in a home.

On our way back from the meeting this morning we picked up this guy….

I have no idea where he came from, one minute there’s just a windshield and the next minute…there he is!  It was a little freaky. He hung on for quite a while, but eventually jumped off on to a grassy area by the road.  We’re still getting use to all the little critters around here, and remarkably, he was not the first one to catch a ride with us. One time we drove a lizard all the way to BJ’s in our vehicle. There are so many frogs and lizards everywhere, thankfully that’s about the worse we’ve had.  I’ve yet to see a snake (and I’d like it to continue that way), and I’ve only seen two alligators since we got here, one bathing along the side of a retention pond and a tiny baby one in a lake.  I was far from both, so it was kind of interesting. We don’t go very close to water that isn’t in a pool. I guess that probably shows we aren’t from around here, but that’s fine by me.

That’s why our favourite beach around here is Blizzard Beach.  No alligators there!  Lately we’ve been spending Sunday afternoons at the water park. Yesterday was no different but first we had a few things to do at home. After church Bella made everyone lunch, this is something she enjoys doing lately.  She’s really good at it. Elijah likes to do it too, but he’s been letting Bella have her turn.  Sometimes they’ll work together and make a big breakfast for everyone.

When lunch was finished, the kids helped Dan with some chores outside.  They all had the pleasure of helping clean out the black and gray tanks…yuck!  Nobody likes that job, but it’s good for them to learn how to do it, especially since we live in a trailer.  The kids have all expressed interest in owning their own RV when they get older, so now is as good of time as any to learn how to take care of one.  We’re big on teaching independence!

Once all the chores were finished we headed out to the water park and floated around the lazy river for a while and cooled off.  The kids really enjoy the Ski Patrol section there, and of course we all love Team Boat Springs.  By the time we got to the wave pool we were all pretty tired.

Bella was happy to try out her new bathing suit.  She has been on the hunt for the perfect bathing suit for water parks, and I guess for swimming in general.  We’ve gone through many different styles, her latest being boy swim trunks, because she prefers the texture to them and they don’t sag, along with a rash guard for more protection from the sun. The shorts were a hit, but she found the rash guard too bothersome around the neck.  She did like the sleeves though, so when we get into the house, I’m going to try and fix the neck a little.  Hopefully that will help.  I’m trying to find fabric like the shorts so that I can make some for her exactly the way she wants them.  There are so many sewing projects I plan on tackling once I get my machines set up again!  Very, very soon!