our canadian vacation

This August, I packed up the kids and took them on a two week vacation to British Columbia. Not a fan of flying, I chose to instead drive the 4000 km (round trip). We spent the first eleven days driving there and then venturing across the province. We stayed with family in various parts and went to at least one attraction everyday. A lot of the time, we did two things. Naps were skipped and we were wiped out by the end of each day, but in the best way possible. Geoffrey then flew out to meet us on the twelfth day, and drove back with us over the next three days.

Before leaving, I prayed that it would go well and that we would make it back safely. So many things could have gone wrong, but they didn’t. God certainly kept us out of harm’s way, and we had the trip of a lifetime. Here are the highlights taken from the day Geoff joined us until we made it home.

August 28:

Early that morning my brother, Wilder, and I picked up Geoff from the airport and we met Remy, her cousins, and my sister-in-law at a nearby park and lake. We visited for less than 1 hour then sadly said goodbye. Thus began our trip as a family of four.

We made it to 3 Valley Gap around noon. We had already stopped at the ghost town on our way through about two weeks prior. We loved it so much that we decided to visit it again, this time bringing dada.

We explored old buildings, rode a train, played, ate, and ran around. It is such a fun place to visit, and spending a couple hours there is almost not enough time. Revelstoke is definitely a city of immense possibilities for families, from the Enchanted Forest to the Locomotive Museum. It is one that I look forward to visiting again and again.

After leaving 3 Valley Gap, we drove for a few more hours and made it to Golden, BC that evening. I had already stayed the night in Golden with the kids, and knew that there weren’t any attractions in the small but beautiful town. That said, we still needed something to do that evening as well as the next morning before hitting the road. I therefore asked Geoff to book us a room at the Kicking Horse mountain resort, hoping that there would be trails and/or parks within walking distance.

Located just outside of Golden, it is one of the most picturesque places that I have ever been to. We acquired a room at Winston Lodge and given that the busy season was just ending, a room turned out to be the same price as one at a lower-rate hotel within Golden.

The lodge reminded me of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. It was huge, beautiful, homey, full of history, had amazing food, and so much more. Guys, if you need to stay the night in Golden, please stay at the lodge or anywhere else in the Kicking Horse resort. What a gorgeous end to an overall fun and fulfilling day.

August 29:

The next morning we ate our complimentary breakfast. Then we went back to our room, packed up, and headed to a park before returning to the road once again. I didn’t want to leave, and wished that we could have stayed another night. Being in the mountains and in a secluded resort felt so freeing! I would have loved to explore the trails and ride the gondola for one more day. Alas, we had to go.

Our next stop was in Banff, AB. We drove through the Rocky Mountains and made it there within two hours.

Once in Banff we parked downtown and went to Central Park so Remy and Wilder could run around and work up an appetite. Then we walked the main street until we settled on a restaurant. After we ate, we went shopping. Afterwards, we returned to our vehicle and loaded everyone up.

Our final destination that day was Drumheller, AB. We arrived around supper time and went straight to the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Remy is in love with dinosaurs, and so naturally she had a blast. We chased her around the museum, going from exhibit to exhibit, naming all of the dinosaurs. Wilder sat content in his stroller.

At the end of the museum visit, she and Geoff climbed the large hill outside, and Wilder and I took photos of them from below. What an amazing place for children!

August 30:

The next day was dedicated to the long drive back home. Although our time with Geoff was short, it became our favourite family vacation to date.

Emory

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ten months old

Our Wilder is now 10 months old! This was a month of many, many new things for him.

Wilder saw the ocean! And mountains! Plus two new provinces! We got out of our prairie routine and took a 2-week vacation to BC where we mostly stayed with family. There, Wilder saw landscapes that he has never seen before. I will be very excited to share that with him when he is old enough to understand.

He now points to objects. He also gives high fives. It’s the cutest dang thing.

He says “mama” on repeat. I swear he also says “hey dad” sometimes as well.

He is constantly standing with support and walks along furniture.

He is still breastfed but is beginning to not want it as much. He now only wakes once or twice during the night, and nurses for just a few minutes. He is growing up too quickly!

Only 2 more months until he is a toddler. My mama heart just isn’t ready.

Emory

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wilder’s baptism

Two Sundays ago, Wilder was baptized into the Roman Catholic church.

We spent the morning getting ready at home. I set out the food that I had spent weeks preparing. I made an appetizer tray, bread, macaroni salad for the adults, slow cooker mac and cheese for the kids, banana bread, cookies, and strawberry crumb muffins (TBA).

Remy and I had also created origami crosses the day before. After she painted them, I hung them on the wall.

The decorations- which included a tablecloth, dinner plates, utensils, religious garland, and cups- were all purchased from Party City in Saskatoon, SK. I did what I could to show our faith and love for our son!

We drove into the city and met my husband’s family for mass. Afterwards, my sister and her family and my step-dad showed up. I fed and changed Wilder into his outfit, and he, along with nine other babies, were baptized. It only took 30 minutes!

The baptism went very quickly and very smoothly as well. We had a reading a few words from our kind and humorous priest. Wilder was entertained by everything around him. He got oil on his chest and the most beautiful smelling oil on his head. He didn’t cry. Remy was her usual bratty self and hopped around entertaining everyone. She even tried blowing out the baptismal candles as they were being lit and made everyone crack up.

Geoff’s parents served as Wilder’s godparents. Afterwards, we were given a candle, certificate, and scarf. Then we left and everyone came out to our new home on our acreage. We had an early supper and the kids ran around inside and outside. It was just a lovely, lovely day. Most importantly, Wilder is now a child of God. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Emory

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acreage video tour

Hello! Today I am publishing a video tour of our new acreage. We have neither had the time nor money to make any real improvements to the interior yet, so I thought that it would be a great idea to document it now before we do! That way, I can see the changes over the years to come. It will also allow you guys to have a better understanding of our latest home. :-)))

I will add that received a few messages with my previous post regarding everything going wrong. What I failed to mention was that our home was actually a foreclosure, which means that we bought it in “as is” condition. This made us very nervous, but at the same time we would not have been able to get it as quickly as we did or for the price that we did. So, it was a gamble (but one that paid off in the end).

Enjoy the video, lovely people!

Emory

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our 1st month on the acreage

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways submit to him,
And he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Welcome April. It has been one month since we moved into our new home, and almost every alarm bell has gone off. Literally, not figuratively. 

Early in the evening on the first day of moving, my husband called me on his last trip to the house. He was driving on the highway and he said that something was seriously wrong with his truck. His dashboard was lit up and his truck kept dying. He said that I was probably going to have to bring the kids and rescue him. It turns out that he blew the engine pulling too heavy of a load. Thankfully, he did end up making it to the house. After he unloaded everything, we went and picked him up late that night.

On the second night in our home, we woke up to a “beep beep beep beep.” Our fire alarm was going off in the hallway between our bedrooms. Geoffrey jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to get the step stool. He determined that it was just a faulty battery, and went to remove it from the ceiling. Suddenly we hear “fire! fire!” coming from the alarm. Geoff took it down and shut it off, but both of us were rattled. We have woken up in the middle of the night to a house fire in the past, and it had brought back those memories for me. I didn’t sleep for the rest the night.

We were scheduled to get our water delivered the next day. The truck came that afternoon as I was putting the kids down for a nap. Geoffrey went down into the basement to keep an eye on our water tank as it was getting filled. All of a sudden, I hear “BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.” It went on and on for a few minutes until it finally stopped. Apparently, the delivery guy couldn’t tell when to stop filling the tank, and it nearly overflowed. Geoff had to grab the stool once again and unplug the alarm on the ceiling in order to silence it. At that point, I had hoped that we heard the last of alarms going off. I was wrong.

We hired a plumber to come out and take a look at our furnace and water on demand system. He showed up the following day. The furnace was making a loud squealing noise to which the plumber ended up fixing. However, he had no idea how to get our in floor heating or our hot water to turn on. He ended up leaving without solving the problem. Fast-forward to the end of the day, I had tracked down the serviceman who had originally installed everything. It turns out that our water on demand system was corroded and discontinued. So we went without hot water and heat in the basement until the end of the week when he returned with a new hot water heater. This meant that yet more money was spent, but at least we could now bathe, wash dishes, and wash our clothes.

Moving upstairs, so far the fridge and stove seemed to work just fine. Geoffrey told me to hold off on using the dishwasher because he was quite literally frightened at this point about something else breaking down. It turns out that he had reason to be. We finally tried running it after about two weeks. It worked for a few minutes then suddenly stopped and filled with smoke. If the dishwasher had an alarm, I’m sure that it would have gone off. After pulling it out and taking it apart, Geoff found the root of the problem. He fixed it that evening, put it back together, and it has worked fine ever since. Thankfully we did not have to buy a new one!

Nearer the end of the month, my brother and his family came to visit us. The day of their first trip out to see our home was the most chaotic. Geoffrey was gone and so it was up to me to host and feed them that morning, then head into town for immunizations that afternoon, come back, put the kids down for a nap, and go back into town that evening for a baptism prep course. The day was long and I was so exhausted by the end of it. Upon returning home after 8 pm with two tired children, I heard an alarm going off in the house. I quickly ran inside and left Remy and Wilder in the doorway. I threw open the basement door and our cat and dog ran out, terrified. Descending the steps, I thought that it was a fire alarm and our home was going to burn down. I went into the mechanical room, and after not seeing a fire, dismantled the fire alarm to stop the noise. The beeping was insanely loud, and was still going. Panicking, I looked around the room until I thought I heard where it was coming from. I hit the silence button and finally there was peace at last.

Worried, but too exhausted to investigate, I texted my husband (who was on a train and wouldn’t see it until the following morning) that another alarm was going off. The next day we discovered that it was for our septic tank. A very long story short, we were able to get someone to come out, unfreeze our septic tank, explain everything to Geoff for a few hours, and remedy the problem. Yet, this was not the end.

I had reached my breaking point last week upon getting a letter in the mail from Information Services Corporation. Having never in my life missed a mortgage or bill payment before, it stated that we had a tax lien on the home that we had just moved from. I quickly Googled what that meant, and nearly lost it. I became so ill. Given that it was a Sunday evening, I couldn’t call anyone until the following morning. (It turns out that it was due to our water lines getting replaced the previous year, and us going on a long-term repayment plan. Everything turned out to be fine in the end.) Laying in bed that night, I pulled up the internet on my phone and saw that Remy had typed a bunch of random letters into YouTube. Worried, I scrolled through the videos to make sure that she hadn’t seen anything bad. The last video on that page was titled “Trust God First.” Curious, and very unlike what I would normally do, I clicked on it. 

I didn’t get very far into the video before I broke down. I just started crying. Up until then (and much like after my miscarriage), I had felt like God was punishing me for some unknown reason. Was I wrong in wanting a quieter and better life for my children? Did I do something in my past that I needed to be chastised for? But then I realized that no, God was permitting these things to happen in order to test me. To test us. He is allowing them to happen, just as He will be beside me every step of the way. Much like it took us five years and having faith in Him to find this acreage, I need to have patience and cast my worries aside. That will be difficult, given that it is my nature to rush through life and worry about EVERYTHING. Yet, I want to fully start trusting in the Lord. From now on, each time I start to feel anxious about something, I will remind myself that it is His will. I will get through it when I am supposed to, and He will help me.

Here’s hoping and praying that our second month goes much smoother than our first. Thanks for following along, friends! Have a beautiful week.

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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