An update.

July 11, 2012

Ha- what a general title! Leaves my post to wander where’er the wind blows it I guess.

We had  a super busy month of June, being away for 14 days of it. Seriously, who does that? We do I guess. It was a whirlwind of craziness and fun.

Our first getaway was to celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary. In some ways it feels like just yesterday that we exchanged vows, and in others, I can’t imagine life pre Harold. We’ve been so blessed. We have two beautiful boys, a beautiful home, great jobs, and lots of family and friends. God has been so good.

To celebrate we left the kids with Grandpa and Grandma, and travelled south to Deception Pass for a weekend of camping with just the two of us. We had okay weather, we were thankful it was dry for the most part.

We were able to spend some great quality time with one another sans kiddies. We even splurged and bought ourselves some bikes. They have some super nice trails between the lake and ocean that are nice and simple, and the view is fantastic. We really enjoyed ourselves.

In the middle of June we made a trip to Edmonton to celebrate Harold’s 10 year grad reunion. We took the boys on their “first” (that they’ll remember!) plane trip. After some weather delays out of Abbotsford, (seriously!?), we finally arrived in Edmonton at 5AM, and crashed in the hotel for a few hours before embracing the day. Our first stop was, of course, West Edmonton Mall. We took advantage of tot time at the  Water park, and had a blast playing in the waves, and sliding!

Then, while the boys napped in the car, Harold drove around his ol’ stompin’ grounds. I’m not super familiar with Edmonton, all I know is that we covered quite a bit of ground, driving for more than 2 hours. Our last site of the day was Harold’s old home on Lombard Crescent. The boys were awake and thought it was neat to see where Daddy used to live. After this stop we were off to our hosts, Gord and Jenny Campbell. My stomach was churning, I was so nervous. I wanted our family to make a good first impression, but I also wanted to be comfortable to be myself and enjoy the weekend. Within minutes of walking through the door, and re-meeting this wonderful family, I think we were all in love. We all shared hugs, even though, technically we hardly knew one another. The kids shared shy glances while hiding behind our legs. Gord and Jenny were the most at ease, welcoming couple. Any nerves that were there, disappeared in an instant. Within 10 minutes the kids were happily playing outside, checking out the different toys, Jenny and I were chatting up a storm, Gord had steaks on the BBQ. We felt at home, it was like our families were life long friends. That evening we enjoyed a fabulous at home steak dinner, and chatted late into the evening over wine and drinks.

The next morning, after Gord amazingly tackled making pancakes with 3 kids all with their own spoons and bowls (can you say patience!) we headed to the Edmonton Science Center. The kids walked around holding hands, and were all fast friends. The kids’ favorite part was definitely the interactive play center at the end. Lucas LOVED the big play airplane, baggage security check station, etc. He was so focused and serious at his play.

That evening was the “formal” grad reunion. (Sadly, I have ZERO pictures) The class rented a side room to a nice restaurant in Edmonton. I had to chuckle when almost everything on the menu included Bison. I never even knew people ate bison. Harold was brave and tried the Bison lasagna and said it tasted just like beef. I think Harold had a nice time reconnecting with his classmates, and a good time was had by all. Saturday was a big family BBQ, which was nice too. For the most part all the kids played well together, and enjoyed the BBQ lunch. My kids’ favorite part followed the BBQ when we headed to the Glendale pool to cool off. Lucas had a hoot playing with his new friends. And Caleb was happy to sit by and watch with his new little girlfriend Ava.


Before we knew it, it was time to say good-bye to our new friends. I know the feeling is mutual, but this is only the beginning. Jenny and I have spent time chatting on the phone, messaging on Facebook, and are already making plans for a skiing trip in the winter. I thank God that he blessed us with such amazing hosts. Jenny and I were on the same page for so many things, and it was so easy to talk to one another. Jenny (and Gord!)- thank you thank you thank you, for opening your home and lives for our family to join you for a weekend. We had an amazing time!! Looking forward to the next time we connect!

Our flight home went great. The kids were so excited to be flying during the day! They got to see take off, and landing, and of course everything in between. Once we were home, it was almost straight to bed – the kids were EXHAUSTED! They behaved so so well during our weekend away. Heading into it I was nervous how they would respond to all the new places and people, and they did GREAT! Ask Mrs. Noot, after only a few minutes she was “Oma” to Lucas 🙂

Once home, it was clean up time, and straight back to planning for Vacation #3, camping at Cultas. At first the forecast was so so, high teens, cloudy. Then it was AMAZING, high 20’s, and lots of sunshine. However, in the end we had rain, rain, rain. Despite the terrible weather we still had a blast. A big thank you to Aunty Taylor for joining us for most of the weekend. The boys adore you and loved having you around 🙂 We also really enjoyed the couple of nights that Grandpa and Grandma joined us. The boys love QT with Grandpa and Grandma.


And now, we’re HOME, for an extended period of time. We have nowhere to go, and nowhere to be. It feels great. Along with the plan to stay put, we’ve been blessed with some AMAZING sunshine. We’ve been catching up with friends, and spending time at Grandpa and Grandma’s pool. It’s been nice to have some down time!

That’s a wrap for now…but check back soon, I hope to show you pictures of our refinished dining room table it went from this…

to this…dah dah dah…



We’ve been enjoying the humdrum of normal life these past few weeks. Thankfully, for the past month or so, we have all be relatively healthy despite all the many colds and flu’s going around.

Lucas is becoming such a big boy, so quickly. I blink and he’s learned something new. This past week, I even started looking into registering him for preschool. Seriously, how can my baby be almost ready for preschool?? What scares me even more is that in a year and a half, he’ll be head to school. Real school. On a bus. I think my heart is already breaking a tiny bit. He talks daily about when he’s older and gets to ride on a bus like Aunty Tay. Lucas loves learning and is really starting to grasp and enjoy Story hour on Tuesday mornings. Before he had very little to say about his morning there, besides how excited he was about the picture he coloured and the candy Mrs Mya and Mrs Grace gave him. Now, he is really starting to talk about what the Bible Story was, what new songs they learned, and of course, all his friends! I wish I could be a fly on the wall and see how interacts without Mommy around. He seems to really enjoy it. With his new love of his friends, comes constant requests to invite kids over, or to go to their house. I love seeing my sweet boy being so social, especially because he used to be so shy.

Caleb, oh Caleb. This kid is a serious handful. He has a zest for life that keeps me running in circles. I love love love this boy to pieces, but he sure does make me pull my hair out some days. Everyday his is learning new words, and finding was to communicate. Early this week he came running to me and said “Mama, help!” I followed him and found one of his toys stuck out of reach. I was so excited to see him communicating so well. He is also very stubborn. If he doesn’t get what he wants, how he wants, when he wants, he will throw himself on the floor and kick his legs and cry. As soon as I turn my back, he gets up and pretends like nothing had happened. Caleb loves books, especially the type of books with real life pictures of trucks, animals, objects. He loves it when we say “Where is the shark?”, his eyes quickly scan the page and he finds and points to the shark. As busy as this boy is, he is sure a softy. He still loves to cuddle on my shoulder at bedtime and gives the sweetest hugs and kisses. He is also becoming very aware of his surroundings and gets frightened quite easily. While taking a walk with Oma a few weeks ago, we stopped to watch a dump truck and digger. He LOVED it, until the dump truck starting moving. He freaked and clung to me. I think he realized how big a dump truck is, and how small he is. He is also not a fan of strangers, specifically gentleman. The other day while shopping, a sweet older gentlemen smiled at him, and he burst into tears “Mama, mama!” he cried. Poor boy!

The boys are getting really good at playing, which is freeing up some of my time to get back into the kitchen. My monthly meal plans are going great, and I have the chance to throw in a few new recipes to try. So far the results have been great. Annie’s Eats is still one of my favourite food blogs and I have yet to find a recipe on her site that we don’t LOVE. The latest one I tried was her Veggie Fried Rice with her Crispy Baked Chicken. Mmmm, so yummy!! Another huge hit was from a new blog I found through Pinterest, Lauren’s Latest. Caleb gobbled up these super easy, super yummy, No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. I will definitely be making them again.

I also found myself with 5 very ripe avocado’s on my hands. I received a salad dressing recipe from my sister, and I hunted down a very simple guacamole recipe that we devoured by the bowl full.

Avocado Dressing
1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Throw everything into your blender or magic bullet, blend until smooth. Voila, a delicious (and relatively healthy) dressing. I served this over a spinach salad with bacon, cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and croutons. And even my spinach hating husband LOVED it. I also love the idea of making my own dressings. My kids LOVE to dip things, and this was the perfect dipping consistency and would work well with carrots or cucumbers.

Simply Guacamole
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup medium salsa
1/4 tsp garlic salt/powder
1/4-1/2 tsp minced garlic
S&P to taste

Throw everything into a blender or magic bullet and blend until everything is incorporated. Or to use less dishes and a chunkier version, mash everything together with a fork. Serve with tortilla chips. We had this for lunch today, and Caleb was licking huge amounts straight off his chip! Yum!
Enjoy the rest of your weekends!

Happy V-Day!

February 14, 2012

This year Lucas and I made Valentines for his friends. Tuesday Morning Bible Study fell on Valentine’s this year, providing a great opportunity to hand them out. He is SUPER excited and keeps adding names to the list of friends he wants to give them to.

Since, I made the card on the computer, I wanted him to involved as well which provided an awesome opportunity to practice writing his name. He is showing quite a bit of interest in letters and numbers and loves practicing his letters. At first he filled the backs of the cards with “L”,  his number (as he says). Then I started writing his name in dashes, and he copied over them. He and I were thrilled with the results!

And then, happy v-day from my sweet loveable Caleb. We didn’t make him little valentine’s cards, so a few loveable photos will have to do.




January 19, 2012

We have had several miserable days in a row in the Louwerse household. It seems like one thing after another keeps crashing down, and we’re gasping at the surface for air. Our days have been spent couped up inside from the snow and freezing weather, the boys are sick and cranky, and by the time the evening rolls around Harold and I are so exhausted we can hardly get off the couch.

That being said, I hate complaining and whining, especially when I hear it coming from my own mouth.

At this very moment, I realized how blessed we are as family, colds and all. I have a moment of sanity. I’m enjoying a blissful cup of Chai tea which is soothing my sore throat and calming my cough. Caleb is PLAYING (Yes! He is finally learning how to play) in Lucas’ room, and Lucas is quietly playing behind me. Harold was able to drive safely to work today. We have a home to keep us warm from the freezing temperatures,  we have food in the cupboards, and medicine to keep our cold/flu symptoms manageable.


I’m especially thankful that I had this “ah-ha” moment, to realize that it is so easy to let daily circumstances get the best of you and ruin what could be a perfectly beautiful day. I also realize that I am not superhuman and that feeling down in the dumps is part of the process, and it’s even okay.

Here’s to remembering the many things, big and small, that I have to be thankful for.

Must get sleep!

November 23, 2011

The first thing that comes to mind when I recall the past few weeks in regards to the kiddies is the lack of sleep they (and in turn me) are getting. We are in TRANSITION mode right now for both of the boys, which makes it doubly tough.

Lucas is 3 years old and (almost) 3 months old. And he is starting to drop his nap. I am so very thankful that up until this point he has mostly napped everyday for 2-3 hours. He generally went to bed happy, and woke up happy (well after some snuggles, a snack, and sometimes some TV). However, over the past month or so, he has started resisting naps. He’s still pretty good about heading into his bed, but once the door is closed, he quietly sneaks books/toys into his bed and plays. This I don’t mind, as long as he is quiet, and resting. The last few days though, he is getting braver and will move stuff around in his room, come out frequently because he has to pee, he needs a drink, etc. Unfortunately, this is usually the cause of short naps for Caleb. Which is a lose lose situation for Mommy.

(Despite less sleep, he’s still a happy boy!)

Caleb is transitioning from two naps down to one nap. I have vague memories of how terrible this phase was with Lucas too. Constant crankiness, not enough day time sleep (he’s gone from 3 hours of napping during the day, down to 1 hour of napping), not enough night-time sleep (several night wakings, and early rising) and lots of snacking to avoid said crankiness. Thankfully I think I maybe seeing some improvement. He is increase the length of time he is napping each day! Yay!! It’s closer to the 1 1/2 hour mark now. He is also settling a bit better in the early morning, and going back to sleep, or at very least being quiet. This morning Harold sat with him for almost 1/2 hour and he went back to sleep until 8:15AM!! This is a record in Caleb’s books.

(One of Caleb’s favorite things to do – read books!)

Things are not all bad. I’m enjoying having my mornings free and not being tied down to a 9AM nap. I also now have some free afternoons, since Lucas is often not sleeping, and Caleb is usually done napping by 2:30, that gives us a couple of hours to do things in the afternoons. Plus, Lucas not napping = Lucas going to bed before 7AM which means SUPER quiet and long evenings to ourselves.

Trying to stay positive that my quiet afternoons to myself have become quiet afternoons to myself with several interruptions and way to short!

Our stay-cation!

November 14, 2011

Harold and I had a much overdue getaway without the kids this past weekend, although instead of getting away, we stayed in! It was glorious! 2 whole days sans kids. We were able to catch up on some much-needed rest, we could come and go as we pleased, we dined out at restaurants we would never dream of taking the kids, and we shopped! I hardly lifted a finger for 48 hours, no cleaning and no tending to others…I was selfish and enjoyed some me time (and of course some quality time with Harold)

On Thursday we took a day-trip to Seattle and enjoyed some shopping at the Seattle Premium Outlets, Pikes Market, Downtown Seattle, and then enjoyed a fabulous dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. It was a long, but fun day. We both were shocked at how quiet a car ride can be when there are no kids talking, demanding attention, or crying. We could just have pleasant conversation without being interrupted!

Believe it or not this is the first time we have left Caleb overnight! And it was much-needed. I love my boys to pieces, but a break from the hub-bub of life with two boys is BUSY! And never-ending. After 1 day with the boys, my Mom texted me saying she was in awe of all I did during the day, if it was only taking care of the boys. That made me smile and feel appreciated and needed.

It’s Monday, and it’s back to the grind. The boys are being very well-behaved after a few fights and rule breaking this morning. Caleb had a nice nap which allowed me to catch up on some cleaning.  Lucas quietly and happily played Lego.


A shitty night (literally)

November 9, 2011

Ahhh, night time wakings are so hard when you are used to staying in your bed. Most nights, the boys don’t usually make a peep until 6AM or so. Last night however, Lucas’ sore tummy took a turn for the worse and for several hours we were back and forth from bed to the bathroom. He was such a trooper though. Despite having a sore tummy, and needing to make frequent trips to the toilet, he would climb out of bed on his own, run to the toilet, and patiently wait for me to come to his rescue.

This morning, I checked out HealthLink BC which is a great website with symptom checker tools. It helps set any worries at ease, and gives you GREAT suggestions for home treatment: what they can have or not have, etc, when to see a doctor, signs of dehydration. Such a great resource! For instance this morning I offered Lucas apple juice, which is not a great way to replenish liquid in his drained system. Orange juice is a better alternative. I would have never guessed.

I’m praying that whatever is bugging him passes quickly, and that none of us catch it. Harold and I were hoping for a weekend away, but that won’t happen with a sick little boy.


UPDATE: Lucas seems to be feeling much better. He’s playing normal. And just ate an entire sandwich for lunch. Whew! I hope that was the worst of it.