Friday, June 29, 2007

New Layout

Yes, you are at the right place. I have been thinking about a big change like this for a while. Finally with the help of grandma and aunt's help, I've had enough time to play guess-until-it-works with the new blogger layout.

Karla was a little reluctant to move away from the original look of our blog, but I liked the idea of adding a few new features to the blog. Besides she's taking a nap right now.

Across the top, there is a pretty photo that I plan to change from time to time. This one is Fernie, in honor of that being our new home. Above the photo are two sets of tabs. These are links to take you to pages that might be of interest to you. Immediately above the photo is a set of links related to our family. Higher up, on the right, are a few websites that are of general interest.

So, what do you think? Comments are welcome.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Picnic at the Park

Here are a few pictures from our picnic at Prince's Island with Uncle Jeff

Aysha Helps Her Brother

Jeff, Aysha, Duck

Aysha Loves Apples

Tanning Slide?


Cohen Rides

Aysha on Horseback

Thursday, June 21, 2007

We're Back

After one very long day of travel, we are back in Canada. The trip was mostly good. Both little ones were well behaved. Aysha slept most of the last legm but Cohen got a little upset with being confined to yet another plane seat for hours. The trip went off without any major disasters - one torn bag (little, if anything appears to be missing) and lots of waiting.

Our expert packing got us as far as New York without problem, where we had to shift two pounds out of a 52 pound bag into the 48 pound bag. When I asked if I really had to move the weight, the check in agent told me that the overall balance of the plane might be affected if I left it.

Today we are opening and reorganizing the bags to see us through our three week Tour de Germaines before heading down to Fernie when we can finally unpack everything once and for all.

I rode Jeff's winter bike out the the Canadian Border Security office today to do the paperwork to clear our shipment. It took me 45 minutes each way. It was great to be back on the bike, to be whistling through the cool morning air appreciating the little floating cottony seeds in the sunlight. Karla told me it was completely impractical to ride when I could have taken Jeff's truck, but it was just too marvelous to resist. The ride home was not quite as marvelous owing to the fact that my behind was aching by the end of the ride and my legs were feeling the two years of tropical lifestyle.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Really Going

Yesterday, after almost 20 hours of work over three days by Karla and a few by myself, we sent 13 boxes, including the treadmill, Aysha's bed and my bike to Canada. It was unbelievable how difficult it was. Rules needed to be bent all over just so we could get our stuff out. The final step was a three and a half hour inspection of everything. The police opened up all our boxes and emptied them onto the table and looked through each item while the box was flattened and reconstructed inside out. After that we got to repack the bag and then it was banded and wrapped in cellophane. So finally, at 5:30, we got home.

Now it all feels like we are really going. The past few days have been so focused on getting the shipment sent that we haven't had much time to think about other things. Now the house is empty - almost. It's painted white like it was after we arrived, and all the original ugly decorations have been replaced.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Getting There

It's Sunday afternoon and we're done the first phase of packing. It's really time to leave now. We've painted the apartment back to all white and re-hung the ugly paintings that were here when we arrived. It only slightly resembles home now.

Aside from the treadmill and Aysha's bed, all the boxes are packed to send by cargo to Canada. We think that we have left about what we can take on the plane with us. Tuesday we will start with the red tape that we need to clear before we can send the cargo.

Yesterday was my birthday and this message

in the shower greeted me when I woke up. We had a meal out with friends and a game of settlers before Aysha got overtired and cried until everyone went home.

For those of you with a bit of time to kill, I discovered this very funny British comedian called Robert Newman who presents a 45 minute long "History of Oil"(the link is to the Google Video of the whole performance). Not only is it very funny, but he makes some very thought provoking points. He's pretty radical, but seems to walk-the-walk. His show is run on bicycle powered lights. He's a new favourite of mine.

In other family news, our first Kiva loan has been all paid off and we have re-lent the money to another person. Benita, our taco seller, paid off her loan, and so we have begun funding Ramon, who wants to take his grocery business on the road. Both are in Mexico. Our Asian (Cambodia) and African (Kenya), are being paid back more slowly over 12 and 18 month terms instead of the 6 months term in Mexico.

Only four days of school left - we'll be home soon!