For The Record

Today 3 separate people I know were celebrating the life of a loved one. In all 3 cases, they chose a church service, praise music, and a wake (classic goodies) to follow. There’s nothing wrong with that sort of setup, but here’s what I’d rather have:

A big, loud party. Outside, in a park. Involving BBQs and fast, fun music. Sunflowers. Local craft beer. And bury my ashes below a tree. You can choose where.
No eulogies. No slow music.
Pray together.
Get someone who’s good at public speaking to get up and say (in 2 minutes or less): “God is good. God is just.”
Then get back to partying loudly.
Go through my stuff and lay out all the stuff that just doesn’t matter, like yarn, clothes, and teaching stuff, so people can redistribute at will. Don’t make my family sort through random crap, wondering if they can get rid of it. Get rid of it.
NO DISPOSABLE PLATES, CUPS, OR CUTLERY. Paper napkins are fine.

Here’s a sample party music playlist: Radiohead, Spirit of the West, the Barenaked Ladies, Tab Benoit, Mavis Staples. If you wanted to be all “meta” then play ” It’s the End of the World As We Know It” (Great Big Sea’s version) but only if you promise to laugh and dance and sing “I feel fine” loudly.

It’s sad to lose someone we love. I get that. So if you end up waiting to plan the party, that’s your choice, I wouldn’t wait too long though.

Ok?

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Not Exactly Midnight Sun, But Close

In no particular order, here are some highlights from our time in Yellowknife.

We flew kites in a city park.

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We tried to distract Xavier in Old Town at this photo op site. He wasn’t buying it. On the way down (we ate at Bullock’s), Xavier and Warren had a spectacular fall while doing nothing. Xavier bore the brunt of it by cushioning his brother’s fall. He was a mess and cried hard for about an hour, no joke. Anyways, here’s something that didn’t work to distract him.

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We hiked in to Cascade Falls. Here is Andre, doing what he does so well. 🙂
The lookout space was a couple of benches along the path at the side of a major drop off. Dad would have had a fit. Of course, my nightmare lt week involved a cliff, so I was not much better, and just sort of edged us away from there as soon as I thought it was reasonable.

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This is our pre-hike tailgate party.

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We went out – all of us – at 1am to see the Aurora Borealis. Hopefully you can see that even at 1am, it’s not actually totally dark. Andre used photo-taking magic (NOT photo-editing magic!) to get these great photos. In fact, it was a bit dimmer but still totally amazing. The kids looked up and admired the green stuff in the sky, but quickly asked to get back in the car. The mosquitoes were pretty insane.
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More pictures here.

This bridge was very close to the aforementioned waterfalls.
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The visit with Kim and John has been spectacular.

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Yellowknife

We’ve a arrived at Kim’s! She and John put a lot of thought into preparing for this Baron invasion. Let me give you a few examples:
She went overboard finding things for the kids — all Cars themed, of course. Cars sheets and pillows on the pull-out bed. Bubble bath. A potty ring. (Even though they’re too big for it, Xavier keeps trying because it is just that cool). A cars ball. Puzzle. Floor mat map with – you guessed it – Lightning McQueen and Mater to drive on it.
But her smartest move of all was already here — she pulled out her little exercise trampoline.

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I think we may repeat this idea at home, if our floor doesn’t bounce too much. VERY HANDY.

Xavier was my plane buddy.

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We’re LOVING our visit with Kim and John. Restful and full of joy.

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Fort St. John

Ok so getting pictures here is another step I haven’t done yet, but here we are on our last day in Fort St. John. We’ve been staying with Andre’s aunt and it been awesome.

Saturday, went to Grace’s wedding, hosted at Uncle Martin’s farm.

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The ceremony was a fairly standard totally lovely event, with beautiful bridesmaids (and Man of Honour) and all the things that need to happen, but the ring bearer stole the show. Katreena’s 2 1/2 year old son drove down the aisle (we were in the yard) in a toy tractor. He hopped off and passed a gift bag with the rings in to the bridal party, and then got wrangled off to the side. He was in a full suit. Totally adorable.

Warren took this next picture. Actually he took about a million like this, and it’s not the beautiful bridal party he was interested in — it’s the tractor.

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He and Xavier got their chance a little later in the day:

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Today we visited all of Andre’s aunts and uncles here. Breakfast (AMAZING, like I knew it would be) was at Aunty Bernadette’s, followed by a tour of the property. We fed the rabbits. Collected eggs from the henhouse, and picked carrots, peas and beans in the garden.

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Her 4 kids (now adults) were all there and they played and played with the kids.

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We drove into town for lunch and an errand, then it was back to the farms to see Uncle Andy’s dog boarding business. He just left his day job last Thursday to work the business full time, because it is booming.

Then we dropped in at Martin’s farm again for one last little visit and ended up staying for dinner. Back home here to Julie’s for more bonding and fun conversation.

The kids have been ridiculous with their sleeping. Xavier has been awake until 10 pm at least 3 of our nights, with lots of naked stalking and creeping about when he knows he should be in bed. Silly boy. They have been really enjoying all of the different visits, though. They take their time to warm up. And then they dig in and play with wild abandon.

Tomorrow, we have a gigantic drive ahead of us, from here to Calgary. 900 km. 9 hours. The day will end with a dinner at Aunty Kirsten’s though, so YAHOOOOOO!!!!!

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Road Trip

We’re two days into our Road Trip Across BC but if you follow andre on Facebook, you get the gist. I’ll put my version and a few pictures here.

We set out Thursday morning, not early, and with a few detours in Vancouver. The silliness started after Andre loaded the car and found that our stereo no longer worked. We fiddled with it all the way to Kevin and Pamela’s place (package pick-up) and decided to stop at the car stereo place on Main St. Halfway THERE, we got it fixed (though temporarily only, sadly). That tricked us into skipping a stop at Ralph’s and I took a few wrong turns to get us towards the Lions Gate Bridge. I for some reason decided I wanted to enter Stanley Park from English Bay’ turned the wrong way, and in the end, drove TWICE around the park before getting on to the bridge.

Beautiful drive, adorable children.

Our hotel in Williams Lake was well-stocked with DiGuistinis — a glorious fact. We had dinner with Lara and Tyler and there was a beautiful thunder and lightning storm. And a power outage (very short). My only technique for getting the kids to sleep in a hotel room is a Cone of Silence (and darkness) so we were all asleep pretty early. (Early for adults. Pathetically late for kids).

Now we’re in Fort St John. Another beautiful drive, adorable kids, thunder and lightning storms. We’re staying with one of Andre’s Aunts and she is of course awesome, as is her son. The brilliant boy set up this amazing toy for the boys before he left today and Warren and Xavier played quietly, productively, and peacefully with it ALL MORNING. Happy action. I’ve been knitting, reading a knitting blog, drinking tea, and enjoying the peace.

Wedding this afternoon!!

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