Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Thomas and Mikayla Having Fun

Thomas and Mikayla having fun in the garage on their scooters.

The kids enjoyed the scooters Grandma had waiting for them at her house. Their wheels light up as they go. Thomas liked doing stunts on his whereas Mikayla opted for acrobatics. They even put on two performances for us over the weekend. They especially enjoyed "scootering" in the dark so the flashing lights in the wheels would show up more.

Thomas and Mikayla having fun on "Firestorm."

Here they are buckled into their seats ready to rock and roll atop "Firestorm." The truck ride was but the beginning of the fun at "Monster Madness."

Thomas and Mikayla having fun with Grandpa at "Monster Madness."

Before the show we got to walk around and get up close and personal with all the monster trucks (and the motorbikes too). Here we are in front of "Bigfoot." The kids thoroughly enjoyed the show and Grandpa thoroughly enjoyed the kids.

Thomas and Mikayla having fun with Uncle Ron.

After the show we took the kids over to Uncle Ron's house, just a few blocks away. There they met up with Grandma, Mom, brother Roger, and of course Uncle Ron!. They just adore their Uncle. And as you can see here, Uncle Ron enjoys having fun with them. They especially liked Uncle Ron's remote control helicopter.

It was truly an enjoyable weekend with family. A taste oh heaven!

Monday, October 29, 2007


More Monsters

We had "Pit Passes" which allowed us to go down into the arena ahead of time and see the Monster Trucks up close and personal. Here are Mikayla, Brian, and Thomas in front of Big Foot. (This is actually "Big Foot #11".)

At half- time three moto-cross bikers came out and did their jumps. As you can see from this picture the riders were quite acrobatic in mid air.
Even Monster Trucks have their "Achilles heals!" "Outlaw" landed a little too hard and got a flat tire. A two hour repair job, the driver told us. And "Bigfoot" blew his transmission. He had to limp of the floor in low gear.

And the winner is: "Bounty Hunter!" I was impressed with this truck when we were up close and personal with them. If you look closely, you can see that the blue rim has a dent in it. "Jurassic Attack," the dinosaur truck driven by a lady, came in third.
The best part of the show? Thomas and Mikayla each giving me a hug afterwards for taking them. Priceless!


Monsters, Big and Small

It's a Monster! It's a bull! It's a Dinosaur! It's a Halloween character! It's , it's, it's a Monster Truck!

Brian, Suzanne, and family came up for a visit this last weekend. When they were making their plans I suddenly realized: "Hey, the Monster Trucks will be here that weekend." So, Saturday afternoon, Brian, Thomas , Mikayla, and I headed off to Grande Prairie to see the monsters perform. This was the first truck we saw. Quite impressive, and driven by a lady (er "redneck woman") too!

We went for a ride on "Firestorm." The kids were quite impressed! Yes, we were all up in those seats.

The performances, or races as they call them, were quite spectacular. Here you can see that the trucks literally fly over the cars as they crush some of them. I'll post some more truck pictures later.

The greatest monster of all was the smallest one. Smallest? He's not so small any more. This little "monster" now weighs in at 21 pounds and four ounces, and growing. When I was carrying him around, I was sure he was gaining about half a pound per second! We had a great weekend together. They were here from midnight Friday night to 7:00 O' clock Monday morning. The time together was nice. Had lots of fun as a family. Ron and Jen joined us for the evening Sunday. Wish Jon could have joined us.

"Thank you LORD for our family!"
More family pictures coming too!

Saturday, October 20, 2007



(Warning: Pics below)
Completed! "Tout Fini!" All done! Finished! After two years, six months, 15 days, one small fire, one huge smoke damage as a result, one normal winter, one long winter, Suzanne and Brian's wedding, Roger's arrival, Mom's homegoing, three summer camps with the Sutera Twins, and about ten speaking engagements, in between many long Saturdays and late nights, our home renovations are now complete. Praise the Lord!

It came in several stages. Stage one, patching and painting the upstairs was interrupted by the fire-smoke damage which resulted in the full renovation of the upstairs. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Thank You Lord! Stage two was the biggest. We rebuilt the basement that first winter. Stage three was the lawn and landscaping last summer. Stage four was the basement washroom/laundry room last winter.

The fifth and final stage was finishing the garage. The garage was unaffected by the smoke damage. Thus it's face lift came last. In mid August of this year we got started on this project. I had help from Ron, our Pastor, a friend, and a couple of PRBI students (about a day each) The job was completed last night at 12:05 p.m.

Now here are some "before" and "after" pictures of the garage.

The walls were insulated but, if you look carefully, you can see that the ceiling was open. In winter the heat escaped and in summer the heat came in.

This picture is dark because it is of the wall between the house and garage. When the attached garage was built some years ago, the siding was removed, exposing the tar paper. (You can also see the open ceiling.) The open door goes into the house. This is what we "inherited" when we bought the home.

The back entry area as it is today. The door to the right is the one into the house. Note the steel ceiling.

Looking the other way. The workbench and shelves were made from leftover material from work. Now, as you can see, I need to do some cleanup. That's today's project, if I can get it all done.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Father and Son Construction

Labor Day Weekend was "Father and Son Construction" weekend, or should I say: "Son and Father?" The "deal" was that Ron had some friends coming to help him build a new porch on the back of his house. He "just" needed me to come supervise and give advice. Do you see any "friends" in these pictures?
The old (very) makeshift porch had to be torn down (insurance requirement) so Ron did that before I came. Our first chore was to move out the old concrete step. That cost me a trip to the chiropractor! Then on with the construction. We built a floor that would be half porch floor and half deck. That was Saturday. Then on Monday we built rafters (all seven of them), framed up the walls, and continued on with the roof.
Ron is a diligent worker. He is a "make things happen" kind of guy.

Here you can see the little deck on the side of the porch as well as the little gable end to go atop the porch.
Before nightfall we had the roof sheeted and even installed an old door and window.
I came back another day and put the old siding back on the house.
Ron and since shingled, wired and insulated the porch.
This is but one of several improvements Ron has made to his house since he bought it back in the spring. Let me see, painting upstairs (Oh, that's right, Jen did that!), new flooring in the living room and a completely renovated basement: bathroom, bedrooms, kitchen, and more. (Ron's even laid quite a bit of ceramic tile; did a good job.) And a lattice covered patio in the back yard. Jen has been a big help, especially by adding feminine touches to the place: flowers, candles, pictures, etc.
Except for the porch, and hauling sod one night, I have truly just been a consultant. Good work Ron!

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