Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Playing at the Sheep River (June 30)

My wonderful cousin Heather is doing us the favour of living in her parents' house with her family of seven for the second year in a row simply to make us feel better about living in Andrew's parents' house with our family of seven for a second year in a row (or it could be she's doing it because the economy sucks and even though her husband has a full-time job (as an airline pilot) their family can't yet afford to buy a house (let alone import their vehicle from the states (they moved up to Alberta from Texas last summer)). 

Anyway, her parents have a sizable house (large enough to squeeze in a family of seven at least) that backs onto the Sheep River, so she and her children spend a lot of time exploring in the woods and playing on the river bank. We followed them to one of their favourite spots and then watched in sheer panic as Sadie led Miriam to us along the bank (they'd decided to take a different way to get to the river, which was quite high and swift due to spring runoff). They made it without falling in (which would have been perilous), thank goodness.

Where we were, the river was a little lazier, or at least shallower.

Anna, Taya, Zoë, and Cecily

Andrew gave the kids some rock skipping lessons.

Rachel got pretty good at it and managed to skip several rocks.

All Zoë wanted to do was collect pet rocks:

All Benjamin wanted to do was hurl huge rocks:

And all Alexander wanted to do was to eat rocks:

So clearly the lessons were only so-so.

Here are a few pictures I took of the kids playing in the river while we were biting our nails, waiting for Miriam and Sadie to show up:

Rachel and Anna were incredibly brave in the river, considering how freezing cold it was!

Here Miley has joined them in taking a little plunge...

And here's Rachel sticking her head in the water at the urging of her father (and great surprise to everyone present):

Here's Zoë getting in on the river action:

Even Alexander tried wading in the river (he wasn't a huge fan, which you can't really tell from this picture because of his huge smile, but trust me...that didn't last long):

And look who finally decided to show up!

Sadie and Miriam
They're a little soggy, muddy, and tired, but also exhilarated from their journey. Oh, and they found a snake (which Heather's kids all fought over until she demanded they let it go for fear of its life, while my kids were like, "Cool, a snake. Put it back."):

Here's a series of photographs of Benjamin splashing in the river. His face is just so expressive that I couldn't post just one:

Here's Andrew testing the water:

And here's a billion pictures of my sweet baby boy playing with rocks on the river bank (and having the time of his life from the looks of it):

Is there anything more exciting in this world than rocks? I think not!

Heather and I had a nice little chat by the river (in between yelling at our kids to "Get back here! That's deep enough!" or to "Look around before throwing rocks! You almost hit your sister!" and things like that) and when the kids were good and wet and cold we decided to head back to the house.

The kids had fun playing in the backyard while they dried off a bit. Here's Taya with Alexander (she adores babies and keeps asking her mom for a baby brother, to which Heather responds, "That ship has sailed!" (she has five girls)):

And here's Miriam helping Zoë swing in this little...contraption...they've got going on here:

All too soon it was time to say goodbye, which was sad. But it was so fun for all these little cousins to get to know each other better. We took a series of pictures as we were leaving.

Here are the older girls:

Anna (11), Sadie (9), Rachel (10), Miriam (8)

Miley (7), Miriam (8)

Here are the three year olds (except Juliette might be four...because look how tall she is compared to the other two (Juliette and Anna both belong to Sara Beth):

Cecily, Juliette, and Zoë
 Here's the group altogether:

Back row: Rachel holding Baby Ander, Anna, Sadie; Middle row: Taya, Benjamin, Miley, Miriam; Front row: Elayna, Cecily, Juliette, and Zoë

Here are our sweet babies, both the youngest of five:

Elayna and Alexander

And here's me with Heather:

After we'd said goodbye we headed back to Abra's house in High River where we had some dinner and then left the older girls to play games with Abra, David, and Ruth while Andrew and I went to the store with the younger three. They played some version of clue together:

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