Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yay - Almost December!

Oh, how I love the Christmas season. The Christmas carols have begun already on all the radio stations, and that really puts me in a good mood. I'm almost finished my Christmas shopping and the Christmas cards are all sent! Now it's just time to enjoy the wonderful season.

The kids are doing wonderfully. They both like skating class though neither can quite stand on their own yet.....they'll get there soon hopefully! Josh is doing really well in swimming class and speech therapy. Kaia is enjoying ballet class and reminds me at least daily that she is a Ballerina. The problem is, this ballerina doesn't even know how to get off the ground though, so it makes it hard to do the ballet jumps. Mind you, she THINKS she is getting off the ground when indeed she is just getting onto her tiptoes. It's really cute.

Last night we had Tim's work Christmas party in Kitchener. It was great to finally meet some of Tim's coworkers and put faces to names. The food was yummy too! We had a nice time but we're a little tired today. It's not the best of ideas to have a party on a Tuesday night an hour away from home.

Little by little I'm getting more used to this working/Mom/wife thing. It's crazy how I am going continually from morning to night.....but I wouldn't change it. The kids just LOVE being at daycare with all the other kids and every morning they are eager to get there. My mornings start at 6am when I shower, get ready, get the kids ready and we're at daycare by 7:15am and I'm at work by 7:30am. I'm SOOOO lucky that Quyen feeds them breakfast......when Josh starts J/K in the fall I guess I won't be so lucky!

We have decided that we aren't sending Josh to the Christian school. There are various reasons, but it mainly comes down to how far away the school is from our place....also factor in cost and the fact that the public school by our house has a great reputation....we just feel it will be a good fit for him. He already has some social issues with his shyness, and so he will already know several kids at public school so that would make the transition easier for him. So, prayerfully, we have made that decision. He is enjoying Sunday school every week (as is Kaia!) so that is a blessing!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm such a BAD Blogger!

Well, since we've gotten back we have just been soooo stinking busy and I haven't updated our blog. When we got back from the cruise I fell a bit ill, it was a bit of vertigo I think. Then we fell into Halloween where the kids were Dora and boots. They were adorable and had such a blast!

Then we've had ballet, swimming, and skating classes to keep us busy, not to mention work, church, Christmas shopping and life!!! We just have so little free time right now. Josh also is starting speech therapy next week so we'll be juggling alot until the end of the year. Such is life I guess!

Work is going well for both Tim and I and the kids are continuing to do fabulously. They love being at their home daycare and I enjoy being at work. We still haven't completely adjusted, but we are getting there.

Right now we are looking into sending Josh to the Milton Christian School (which is a private school) for juniour's a big decision, so please pray for us that we will make the right decision. We just love that the teachings are Christ-centred and that the teacher/children ratio is really low.

Well, that's it for now. I'm in the process of working on our Christmas cards so watch your mailboxes :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cruise Vacation Day 7 - Cozumel, Mexico

This morning we woke up at 9am…..oh boy, am I ever going to pay for it when we get home and I have to wake up at 6am again! We woke up, ordered room service for breakfast and ate on our balcony as we watched the boat dock in Cozumel, another beautiful place! Last night as we were sleeping there was a major storm and the boat was a-rocking….so much so that our balcony door flew open! We could see the ocean water was very choppy which concerned as we would be snorkeling today. I quickly checked my e-mail, and it was a good thing I did as we got an email informing us that our excursion (privately booked – not through ship) was cancelled. I was pretty upset as I had done tons of research to find just the right excursion, and now it was cancelled……booo…..oh well, life goes on.

Shots of Cozumel from the ship

We got off the ship to figure out what we would do and we found some people who would bring us scuba diving again – score!! We were pretty excited about that, so off we went. First we again got all the safety instructions and signed our waivers. Then we were off. It was a rough, rough ride to the scuba spot, we were really crashing in those waves – yikes! We got all geared up and the scuba guy (I never did get his name) pushed us in backwards. This time we went 25-40 feet deep. Again, this was so amazing… be swimming around like you’re a fish in the ocean is unbelievable, how do you describe that? I kept floating up a bit, so the guy gave me extra weights to keep me near the bottom. Yesterday I was told that women are naturally more buoyant, LOL.

Some more scuba shots

We saw different fish than yesterday, but the most amazing thing we saw were the beautiful reefs, so colourful! This time there were no green eels attacking me, so I was happy about that as that is what I was most nervous about from the day before. We swam around and came up after 45 minutes again. It went by way too fast!! We got back on the boat and head back to shore, again, jumping and crashing through the waves which was nice and painful on the back and bum. Once ashore, we headed back to the ship to have lunch, shower and change, then headed back to land to do a bit of shopping. And then again headed back to the ship where we, yes you guessed it, napped. Later on we figured out that the motion sickness tablets we’ve been taking the last two days (for the small boats on the excursions) are what have been making us so sleepy – OOPS! I had no idea.

Us in front of the ship

After naps we headed up to the sports deck where we watched some flowriders, Tim played some basketball and then he did some wall climbing. He almost got to the top, but apparently he was too tired to make it to the top and he blamed the pills, who knows.

Tim climbing the wall

After that we headed back to our room to get ready and then proceeded to the Platinum Theatre for the show “In The Air”. It was basically singers and dancers swinging around and dancing and singing all over the place, in the air, the aisles, etc. It was pretty good and we enjoyed it. After the performance was dinner where we headed. The menu was our least favourite of the week, but we still managed to eat well. I had salad, talapia with shrimp, and crème brule and Tim had a fruit plate, steak and shrimp, and two pieces of banana crème pie. By the time dinner was over it was after 11pm and we were so knocked out still that we headed to bed. Looking forward to a relaxing day at sea tomorrow, but NOT the fact that it is our last day on the ship…..though we do miss our babies a lot!

In The Air show

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cruise Vacation Day 6 - Cayman Islands

We woke up to the alarm at 7:45am and waited for breakfast. For some reason it didn’t come this morning, so we called room service and it seems they lost our order. So, we didn’t have time to make a new order so we had to “rough it” and eat breakfast at the buffet restaurant upstairs. We had a nice breakfast and then came upstairs to get ready for our scuba in Cayman Islands. Around 9am we were ready and we were in the terminal on our way to George Town via tender boats.

Once ashore, we had instructions to walk a bit and meet our scuba instructor in front of a church beside the Blue Iguana store. So we walked a bit and enjoyed looking at the shops and when we came across the church we laughed our heads off when we saw it was a Gospel Hall!!! So I took a picture of course. It was just a little quaint, church but was funnily located right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the waterfront touristy area. Our tour guide was waiting for us and told us we were the only ones on the tour that day, so that was cool. He drove us to a marina where we were introduced to our diving instructor named Ivan whose nickname is Divin’ Ivan.

The Gospel Hall

After a quick safety briefing on how to use our equipment (it was our first time scuba diving!) and on how to handle stingrays we were off on the boat. The water in Cayman Islands is SO BLUE it is almost unbelievable! You can see right to the bottom of the ocean, just stunning. So, we were boating along and saw a bunch of fabulous homes on the water and HUGE lizards (like we’re talking 3-4 feet long) on people’s lawn. Once we got to the spot we were to dive, Ivan anchored the boat and then it was time to dive!

A couple beautiful homes we saw along the way

We sat on the end of the boat and Ivan attached a heavy weight belt around our waists, then put on our heavy vest with oxygen tank and our mask. Then we stood up and just stepped out into the water. There was some air in our vest so at first we were able to float and just bob around and practice our breathing with the oxygen. Once we were comfortable enough he asked us to let the air out of our vests (by pressing a button) and we literally just sank to the bottom! Once at the bottom we were to get onto our knees and enjoy the sites. WOW! There were beautiful fish and of course, sting rays. Cayman Islands is known for sting rays. The sting rays were like dogs and wanted to play with us, they would poke at us and go above us and below us, it was just an amazing experience. Ivan fed them squid to get them to come around us.

Some Scuba shots!

We were down for 45 minutes total and it went by so fast. I couldn’t believe I was underwater for that long. We were only about 10 ft below the surface as it was a “Discover Scuba” class so we couldn’t go lower than that. But Tim and I definitely now want to get certified at some point…..the experience is just incredible. While we were down there we also saw a big green SCARY eel that made me scream, a barracuda, hermit crabs, and a bunch of other things. SOOOO cool, I still can’t believe we did that! Once we were done, we came to the surface, Ivan helped us onto the boat and took our stuff off and we headed back to the marina, then back to the boat.

Tim with Divin' Ivan

Us after the dive

Once in town we did a bit of shopping, we found a USB cable for my underwater camera, so that was exciting. We also took a shot of our ship (Liberty of the Seas) from the waterfront. We then headed back to the ship via tenders for a shower and a late lunch. We were so hungry from our swim!

Liberty of The Seas - our ship

After lunch we had a couples massage and “float” booked. So we went to the spa where we both got a 25 minute massage and a 25 minute float. A float is a bed that engulfs you in water, but you don’t actually get wet! It’s like a big blanket of water……very cool and very relaxing. This masseuse told me the same thing as the last which is that I'm very "knoty" and that I should get regular massages. My back was literally crunching. It was wonderful, though, to be pampered like that! We were so relaxed after our spa visit we headed back to the room where I attempted to read but I was fading fast and fell asleep way too late in the day (it was about 5pm!) so now I’m worried about not falling asleep tonight. While I was reading/napping Tim went to do his usual sports thing on the basketball court. When he came back I woke up and we started getting ready for dinner. Tonight is another formal night, and after dinner we don’t have anything planned (dinner ends past 10pm anyway), so we’re just going to relax a bit, maybe do some late night mini-golf, and head to bed at a decent hour as we’ll be out in the sun all day tomorrow in Cozumel where we will be snorkeling various reefs!

Us before dinner - darn closed eyes!

Cruise Vacation - Day 5 Montego Bay, Jamaica

This morning we actually slept in a bit until 8:15am. We ordered room service breakfast again and ate it on our balcony as we watched the ship pull into Jamaica. We had a bit of time before our Jamaican excursion, so Tim went to participate in a golf driving contest (he got bronze) and I went and booked our next cruise – a Canada/New England cruise next October for 9 nights (this time we’ll bring the kids!)…..anyone want to join us?

Montego Bay, Jamaica (from our balcony)

The market already all set-up ready for tourists to shop

We then headed down to the gangway and stepped into Jamaica. It was chaos everywhere with all of these tour places and thousands of tourists, but somehow we found our tour guides who put us on an air conditioned bus. After everyone was on the bus, we started off, but it took about 40 minutes to just get out of the parking lot with all the madness going on. Crazy. Anyway, we drove about 45 mins through Jamaica and it was beautiful. We saw lots of houses, schools, jails, and farming land (mostly oranges!). Very pretty island! They drive on the left side of the road, so that was funny getting used to and a lot of the streets are really narrow and one vehicle going one way has to stop to let the other one going the other way get through. Finally we got to our destination - a forest in Montego Bay.

Once there, we signed a waiver and they fitted us with a helmet, gloves and a harness system and then we were on our way. We got a quick safety briefing on how the harness/pulley system worked and off we went to our first zipline. My stomach was in knots, but WOW, was it ever fun! I screeched the whole way across and it was only a little zipline. What a rush it was to be swinging through trees so high up! In between ziplines there were long hikes that definitely helped us to work off our breakfast….as well, our tour guides were hilarious (yeah, mon). There were about 6 or 7 ziplines total with the last one being REALLY long and REALLY high…..woooooo…… was great just zipping across and looking around at the beautiful surroundings. We then took a group picture and headed back to the ship.

Group Shot!

We did stop to do a bit of shopping in the terminal in front of the ship, but we didn’t get much…..just some coffee and a Jamaican Dora for Kaia to add to her vast Dora collection. When we got back on the ship, we were famished as it had been about 8 hours since our last meal….we got a quick snack as we didn’t want to ruin dinner. Then we headed to our cabins to shower and get ready for dinner. For dinner we went to the specialty steakhouse on board called Chops. It was fabulous and I watched Tim consume the biggest piece of steak and biggest baked potato ever! Mine was yummy too, but I was boring and just got scallops, no steak for me. It was funny because when we were ordering they brought out all the raw meat to show us the different cuts. I forgot to bring my camera or else I would have taken a picture. After dinner we walked around a bit and we found an empty nightclub called Catacombs where we found this girl hiding out:

Shortly after was the ice show called “Encore”… was AMAZING. You wouldn’t believe some of the movies these performers did. We thoroughly enjoyed the show, though Tim was stuck behind a pole and missed some of it….it was was a packed house. After the ice show we went to a game show called “Love and Marriage” which was hilarious. They got three couples from the audience to participate: Newlyweds, a couple married 20 years and a couple married over 50 years. They asked the men and women questions and their partners had to try to guess their answers, much like the Newlywed game. We enjoyed the good laugh! After that, it was after midnight, we were zonked (no naps today!!! LOL) and so we headed to bed excited for scuba diving in Grand Cayman tomorrow!

"Encore" - and Ice spectacular!

"Love and Marriage" Game Show

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cruise Vacation - Day 4

This morning I woke up way too early but I was too excited to sleep….I wanted to see the ship pull into Labadee, Haiti. So, I got up and headed outside onto the balcony in my pajamas and watched as we pulled into port. It was so beautiful! I watched the boats come out and help to anchor the boat. Tim was still sleeping, but he did finally decide to wake up, we ordered breakfast and ate it as we watched all the goings on happening on the island. We decided that we didn’t want to get off the ship today as we had already been to this island and we just wanted to enjoy more of the ship. We have three VERY busy days coming up, so we wanted one more relaxing day!

Haiti (from our balcony)

We went up to the sports deck again and Tim did some flowriding where I watched him wipe out again. I’m still contemplating doing this, we’ll see……We still need to try the rock climbing wall and ice skating as well. Just not enough hours in the day, especially when you’re reading as much as we are, LOL. Then we headed out for a swim. We had a fun, long swim in the solarium pool trying to work off our breakfast. We also went into the cantilevered hot tubs that were overlooking Haiti and that was very nice and relaxing. We then just lay out in the sun to dry off before lunch. For lunch we headed to Johnny Rockets where we were treated with a performance of Staying Alive by the waiters and cooks which was hilarious. For lunch I had a BLT, Tim had a chicken club with a chocolate shake and we shared a few onion rings.

Tim after yet another wipe-out

After lunch, we came up for some more reading and I had a nap again. I’m telling you, the sun just makes me so sleepy, I can’t help it. I feel like I’m 90 years old!! After my nap I was sooo excited to head down to the spa for my ocean massage. First I was covered in seaweed and wrapped in foil. While I was wrapped I got a lengthy scalp massage and foot massage. Then I washed the seaweed off and was given a deep tissue massage. The whole thing lasted 2 hours – heavenly! While I was in the spa Tim was playing volleyball and he competed in a “closest to the pin” golf simulator competition and won a silver medal, he was so proud!

Then it was time to go back to our cabin and shower and dress for dinner. Tonight we went to Portofino, which is an Italian specialty restaurant here on the ship. We had been there before the last cruise and it was everything we remembered it to be! It was 6 courses of the yummiest Italian food. I had way too much food to list, so I won’t bore you with my piggy details. Tim’s enjoyed his food as well.

Getting ready to eat our dessert – chocolate OVERLOAD!

After dinner we went for a stroll through the ship and stopped in the Promenade to check out the sites. After that we took in the musical comedy called “Ever After” which we enjoyed. Following that, we headed to bed REALLY excited about our day tomorrow in Montego Bay, Jamaica where we will be swinging through trees!

Us on the Promenade in front of a café

Looking down from the 11th floor

Pictures from the Musical tonight

Cruise Vacation - Day 3

This morning we woke up at 7 :30am feeling refreshed, excited and ready for the day. We checked out our cruise Compass (schedule for the day) and decided on what we would do for the day. As I showered, Tim ordered us room service for breakfast. Shortly afterwards, breakfast came and it was great. How wonderful it was to sit there and eat breakfast on our balcony watching the ocean, the Lord’s amazing creation, pass us by!

After breakfast, we lathered up in sunscreen and headed upstairs to the Sports deck. We made an attempt at mini-golf, but it was way too windy, so we gave up. Then Tim decided to be brave and try Flowrider. He made 3 attempts at surfing, he did better each time, but his surfing skills still need some major improvement. I’m still considering doing it myself, but I worry that it will bang up my already bad knees. After he was done surfing, we went to play some ping pong. Then we did some window shopping on the Royal Promenade.

Tim surfing on the flowrider


Me mini-putting

Then we had lunch in the dining room where Tim had Fajita’s and Turkey Parmigiana and I had a made-to-order shrimp bowtie pasta…..very yummy yet again. After lunch and with very full and bloated bellies we went to get ready to go to the pool where we swam for a bit, then read books by the pool. On our way back inside we watched a bit of the belly flop competition, which was pretty funny. Tim then went to his dodgeball and ping pong tournaments while I stayed on the balcony and ready my book while listening to the crashing waves. At some point I dozed off, and ended up napping for about 30 minutes.

Kids splash pad / pool

Family pool area

Adults Only Pool

Tim came back very sweaty from his tournaments. His team won the dodgeball tournament, so he got a gold medal, but he lost in the first round of ping pong so he was disappointed in that. After that ,we just decided to walk around the ship. We realized that I forgot to pack my USB cable for my little (waterproof) camera, so as much as I’d love to post video of Tim on the Flowrider and pictures of us swimming, it will have to wait until we return. We may go check out the stores when we are in port to see if we can find one.

It was then time to get showered and ready for dinner. It was formal night and I was so excited, oh how I love dressing up and getting Tim dressed up! We had sent Tim’s suit and shirt out to be dry cleaned and pressed and it came back in plenty of time. So, we got all gussied up and headed to the Promenade where there were tons of photographers waiting to take our picture. We got a few shots and we’re hoping one of them turned out nice. I realized that my face was a bit red from the sun, and I put blush over that, so I think I looked a bit tomato-like, but oh well!

All ready for formal night


While we were on the Promenade, the captain came down on this cool bridge that just appeared from the ceiling, very cool. He addressed the crowd, welcomed us on board, and introduced some of the main staff.

The Captain on the flying bridge

We then went to dinner which, once again, was fabulous. Tim had pear soup, sirloin steak, and for dessert this was a first for him, he had TWO FULL desserts – strawberry cheesecake and cherries jubilee. He was watching others eat their cherries jubilee and he asked for some as well. I had escargot and shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque, mushroom linguine, and a light soufflé. We were very impressed. We’ve been very good about not snacking between meals so we really build up a decent appetite. We are really enjoying our tablemates as well, it’s nice to have the same tablemates each night. We also loved meeting new people on the ship all day!

After dinner, all full and happy!

After dinner we headed back to our room to get into more casual attire. When we got into our room, our cabin steward, Sheldon, had made us a Stingray towel creature which was very cute. They make up your rooms in the morning AND in the evening here.

Our Stingray towel

Then we went to the singing/comedy show in the Platinum Theatre. It was this guy who did impressions of various singers, it was very funny, but Tim didn’t know who most of the people he was personating were, so I enjoyed it more than he did. My favourite was a Josh Groban impersonation, and also Louis Armstrong (So I think to myself, what a wonderful world!). By the time that show ended it was after midnight and we were really tired!! We headed off to bed. Another glorious day, how blessed are we???