Friday, August 5, 2016

Canada 2016

We spent a week in Canada last week on a mission trip through our church.  It was an amazing and very full week.  Here's a lot of pictures of our time there....

on the plane....

The boys of course went straight to the front of the plane and got to spend a little time with the pilot!

We got into Canada late Friday night and basically crashed.  We were very tired!!  The next morning we got up and got going and headed to Country Fest.  This was a 2 day festival/carnival type event for Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.  Wade & Amanda & Tate went with us this year.  It was so fun having another family there to serve with us!  Church on the Rock had a face painting booth at the fair.  Here's the boys with their face paint :)

So something Church on the Rock is big on is just serving their community.  So they told Country Fest they would be willing to do anything they might need.  So part of our task was picking up trash.  This is very different than picking up trash here in Texas because people in Canada are SO clean!!!  They hardly throw anything on the ground!!!

Another thing we helped with was the petting barn.  We got to water the animals and clean the stalls :).  Logan and Wade had a great time doing this :).

The first day was pretty long and exhausting.  This is what happened to Caleb when he got back to the HUB which is where we were staying.  We couldn't even wake him up to eat dinner!  That was one tired boy.

Sunday morning we woke up and headed back to Country Fest but this morning they had a community worship service.  It was awesome to see all the churches come together for this.  One church led worship, another provided the testimony time, and Josh Arrington got to preach.  It was outdoors and probably around 200 people came.  While this sounds amazing it was also crazy to see such a small crowd representing 2 large cities.  The 2 cities together have a combined population of 100,000 people yet only 200 people were there.  I guess I was just struck with the great work that is still ahead for reaching these towns for the Lord.

After the service we went back to helping and serving at the festival.  The kids were allowed to go to the barn and go in the pins with the animals.  Our boys loved the baby ducks and wanted to stay with them!

For most of the day we would just hang out near the booth and talk to anyone that might walk up.  Most people aren't open to church or even talking about the Lord but a few are.  We had several really neat conversations with people.  It all is such a slow slow steps in seeing the Lord work in people's lives.

One challenging thing with our boys was trying to explain to them that we were there to serve yet all they see is carnival rides and yummy food!!  So we did let them do a ride or two and yet some yummy stuff :)

A huge science place in Vancouver had a booth set up and they did a show.  We all got to watch it and participate.  The kids loved it.

So starting Monday morning we helped with their Kids Rock camp.  This is a 6 week long camp that they are putting on this summer.  When we were there they were on week 4.  It's for kinder-grade 6 kids.  It was amazing.  They had it planned out so well and basically we just jumped right in and helped where we were needed.  There was big rally time, game time, small group classes where we did Bible stories & games, craft time, lunch, recreation time, and lots of dancing :).  
After camp, we all went and did a hike together in Maple ridge.  It was beautiful and just fun to all be together!!

The girls!!!

Here's my sweet Canadian friend Lisa.  We actually have only known each other know for a year now....which is SO hard to believe!!!  We connected last year when we were there helping.  She's a jewel.  I loved my time with her and could've taken a lot more of it.   We've been able to stay in touch a lot and see each other every few months when they've come in town for visits.  

Here's Wade leading the devotional one morning....

Tuesday of camp one of the campers dad came and taught everyone's a Brazilian marital arts type dance thing.  It took the place of recreation on the second day and was quite amusing and very challenging to learn!!!  We were all very sore in interesting places :) 

Our crew went on another hike Tuesday afternoon to see a waterfall.  It was beautiful and fun to have a little family time.

Wade dared Logan to stay in the freezing cold river for 10 of course he just had to do it. Boys and their bets :)

After our hike we went straight over to the Lynch's house for Kids Rock.  This is different than Kids Camp.  Kids Rock happens all year long one night a week.  The Lynch's, who live in Maple Ridge, host it behind their house each week.  The kids around their street come out and play and then listen to stories and sing songs.  It's amazing and an awesome way the gospel is getting into this kids lives.  As they kids are out there the parents are sitting back in their lawn chairs listening to everything.  It was probably my most favorite thing of all we did.  I was amazed at what an easy thing this is to do but the great impact it's having!!  These kids then go home and tell the stories they are learning to their parents....hence the Word goes out :).  To watch the Lynch's and their enthusiasm after a LONG day of kids camp was amazing to me!!!  They are ALL in with ALL of their lives!!  They are the family that we got to spend the week with last summer.  They were about to move to Canada and were there visiting and showing their kids their new house.  So it was so great to be back with them and seeing what all the Lord has done in ONE year!!!

Wade and Logan trying to fix the refrigerator :)
Amanda and I cooked dinner for everyone each night....we all ate in the backyard.  It was SO fun!!

Landon and his team cheer!

Autumn the intern that has been working with COR all summer.  She was also there last fall.  She's a jewel too and I can see the Lord's hand working on her heart and life.  She's got a gift with those kids!!

This is Shawn-e-Shawn....DJ Shawn.  He was the MC emcee everyday at camp and amazed me once again with his energy level and excitement!!

This is the class I was able to work with.....2nd and 3rd graders

Wednesday for recreation time they got to spend it at the splash pad which was very close to the building where camp was held.  It was a fun break for the kids and they loved it!

LOTS of dancing.......

Texas + Canada Crew

saying goodbye the last day :(  

We left late Wednesday and headed back towards Washington.  We had a pizza stop on the way :)

We boarded the ferry the next morning in Washington and went over to the San Juan islands. 

The boys loved the ferry and thought it was super cool!

This is where we were....i thought it was cool :) 

We watched the movie Free Willy several months ago and ever since Caleb has been fascinated with whales.  He was super pumped about hopefully seeing them.  We went to Orcas island, which is one of the islands in the San Juan islands.

We first drove into Moran state park and drove to the top of Mt. Constitution.  The views were could see Washington, Canada, and several mountains!

Then we came into town and got some lunch and then went back to check into our "tent".  

It was called "galloping".....basically it was a tent that stays up year long.  It was awesome.  We wished we would've had longer to stay there.  We had a bed, fire pit, table, and basically everything we needed.  It was an awesome idea!!!

We booked a whale watching tour for that afternoon.  It was a lot of fun.  We saw orca whales pretty quickly and were able to follow this one group of 4 for a very long time.  The boys loved the boat and loved seeing the whales.

Almost everyone on the boat knew Caleb and Weston rather quickly.  We learned our children do not know strangers and will talk to anyone.  They quickly were best friends with the captain and before long helping him drive the boat!!!

I could've sat there and watched the whales for a long time.  They are so huge yet so graceful.  Amazing to see!!!

The next morning we woke up (best night of sleep in a tent EVER) and got to just relax for the first time the entire trip :).  The boys played cards and I went on a run on a trail in the state park.  It was amazing and so beautiful.  I took some wrong turns and ended up seeing waterfalls and an incredible view of a lake.  It was indeed my happy alone time for the week :).

Another amazing thing about this morning was that we paid an extra few dollars and they brought a container of hot coffee right to our table!!!  It was sitting there when we woke up that morning.  So yes, walking out of a tent in the morning to hot, delicious coffee definitely made the morning quite grand in my book!

This boy got super tired.....he probably could've slept till noon that day :)

We packed up and headed to hike for awhile before we had to head back on the ferry.  It was fun and so beautiful!

When we got back to Washington we headed back down to Seattle.  We met up with Grant and Brittany and their boys.  They moved for Grant's work about a month ago.  It was SO fun seeing her!!!  We met downtown at the Seattle center.  They had an amazing playground down there that the boys loved!

We ate dinner together and then just played in the grass by the fountains.  It was a gorgeous night!!

Then we headed to the motel and crashed.  Our flight was early the next morning so it was pretty much a whirlwind for the rest of the trip. 

We got home to Tyson and so so good to see them.  They kept running back and forth between me and Logan and saying "mommy!"...."daddy!" cute and loved every minute of it!  We had a serious dance party that night.....teaching them all the dances we had learned at kids camp :).

and a HUGE thank you to my sister and mom/dad for taking care of our younger 2 while we were gone. They did great and got spoiled too :).  Here's a few pics of them.....