Tag Archive | Thomas

Waiting for Summer’s Return… a Book Review

I could not resist the combination of a free download AND a  recommendation on the front cover by the very first author I ever met in person as a teenager… Janette Oke. Waiting for Summer’s Return by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a historical Christian romance based in Kansas at the time of covered wagons and small towns.

Summer is a newly widowed woman from Boston who lost her family (husband and children) to illness on their way out west to find their own farming land. Feeling abandoned and having lost her faith in God and the people around her Summer is at a loss as to what to do. Return to Boston and her inlaws who disowned her husband when they chose to leave it all and head east or her brother and his wife who saw her as a burden or stay and try and make a life where she could visit the graves of her beloved children.

Peter and his son Thomas live with Peter’s deceased wife’s grandmother on their settlement just out of town. Alone but for the 3 of them, Thomas had fallen and injured himself badly enough that he could not make the ride to school. This leads to a change in Summer’s circumstances as this traditional Mennonite man is in need of a learned woman to teach his son until he can return to school.

Having dealt with his own questions in regards to faith and God’s will Peter and his family are the perfect catalyst for healing and restoring of faith and perhaps a little love along the way? The town’s own insecurities are examined as we learn more about how persecuted people were coming from Russia and Germany. German Mennonites came to the United States to find the freedom to express their faith, and in turn feared outsiders and persecution. With a mix of English and Low German this is a lovely romantic journey of faith and growth.

If you enjoy a sweet Christian message and characters you can truly fall in love with and care about Waiting for Summer’s Return is the book for you! As a fan of Janette Oke as a younger reader this brings me right back to my original faith based reading!

Waiting for Summer’s Return

Parades, Puppies and Playing Together

September 9

So, parades… REALLY not Ken and my cup of tea but one of those memories we all have of growing up, so when Steven mentioned that the town he lives in was having a parade and that as usual Saturday was his Quinn day… well we had to head out and join in. We dressed up and headed out relatively early and met up with the boys at their house.

From there we drove to a parking lot to park and walk to the street the parade was on. We chose the end of the parade so had a bit of a wait.  I am so glad that we purchased that blanket at the Tyrell Museum. It comes in handy and is so easy to take along!

Hanging out

The kids DID get bored as we had to wait well over 30 min for the parade to get to us but it was worth the wait.  The kids were much more interested in candy collection, once we explained to them what was  going on that is. They were very sure candy was only available during Halloween so this was all new to them.

Waiting on candy

Post parade and candy and even watching someone launch a t-shirt into the crowd (that REALLY can’t be safe!) we slipped off before the parade ended and got out of the parking lot with minimal issues.

A float

Then it was time for LUNCH! The daddies were in charge as yours truly is STILL trying to finish the dolly blanket and kept and eye on the baby while she trundled around in the garage. Steven’t parents have put up a large mosquito screen across  the one side of their garage and made a baseball themed seating area that is absolutely amazing! I could totally see homeschooling in there through out the warm months. They had a wall between the double garage section and a single car area so you could close doors and all that but it was a great idea! 

Hello puppy!

Steven’s backyard is a great place to be. They managed to get their hands on a rather amazing play set that is big enough for Quinn and our entire brood to enjoy! Add to that a lovely hill that the boys asked to come back and visit in the winter to sled down and some random toys and we had some VERY happy kids.

Fun in the sun

Lunch was hotdog and hamburgers with chips and grapes and juice pouches. I think everyone was full up when we were done!


Add to that a break in the basement with Thomas the trains and the Netflix version as well!

TV break

It was a great visit and a welcome break to being here at our house. After our visit we stopped in at a few stores… Jo-Ann’s of course finally! I am going to have to watch on sales and coupons as they do have some interesting bits and pieces… we picked up beads and plastic string this time. OH and Ken’s yarn for the scarf HE wants. I ran into the Dollar Tree at that location and was a little disappointed. I DID get my poster paper to create our Pen Pal display. We are going to make pockets for each of our correspondents. I also picked up google eyes and pom poms. What a difference from my usual Dollarama hauls, I am holding out hope that that was just a smaller store and that a bigger one (say like the one near Darcy) may hold more hope. Otherwise I am going to have to keep hunting sales and coupons. 

Totally enjoying the chance to keep my hands busy

I have started our craft bucket though, we are already saving our toilet rolls, collecting the crafty bits I DID bring down here and sourcing out options. I found some bags of bits and bobs a sweet friend and fellow homeschooling mom had sent to me when I was still in Alberta and had forgotten I saved (thank you BJ!!) so we have some sequins, glitter and random fun things to use… I am going to save my yarn bits as well as I remember using those for crafting as a child.  Now our end of the week was more of a play but there is so much merit in learning through play so I feel forgiven if not vindicated! We will just keep on going and trying over the next week and tweak what we are doing… oh and watch the mail, I have a few things of great importance coming in the post! So check back as I share how we get along!

Basically Birthday Buddies

Friends and Family

I figure one of the best pick me ups ever is time out with a good friend. Wednesday afternoon was my first chance in AGES to enjoy the company of a friend (FEMALE friend) without kids and outside the house. Bree met up with me here at the house in the middle of the afternoon and then off we went to Applebees. A first time in years for BOTH of us. With appetizers half price and a quiet restaurant we were in heaven! 

Gavin sneaking in some mommy time before I headed out

Well over an hour later we drove over to Target to do some shopping and wandering before heading back to the house to say good bye to Ken for his gaming with the guys. Bree stuck around to get to know Echo better and talk to the kids (and beat dinner time traffic). Quite the wonderful evening for us all! AND I was able to get her godmother’s gift we had saved before we drove down. 

Getting to know her American Godmommy

Which reminds me… we got our new Moo cards with this address and current information! So now every letter we send out, package, etc will go with one as well! We figure since we ARE going to be here a while and they had a major deal (no cost just ship which here was 5.00) getting them was not a horrible thing. I am not in any of the pictures and Ken is WAY in the background of one but there are 5 great and varied pictures of the kids. 

Now not to forget about the kids… today we had a nice chunk of our day filled up with HOMESCHOOLING! I am so pleased that we found our math books. Zander dove right in (somewhat willingly) while Gavin opted to work hard on his butterfly cross stitch. His plan is to finish this piece as soon as he can. I am not sure if that will lead him to moving back to the other unfinished piece or start a new one but I am so glad he is this interested in stitching. 

Hard at work

Add to that colouring, talking about Thomas trains and Daddy being in the thick of it and I consider our time a success… of course we topped that off with a family walk around the neighbourhood. It really is a lovely neighbourhood. Though we did find a few mosquitoes. And took a few pictures.

Start em young

The weather was beautiful for our walk and after that the kids went into the backyard to play with the neighbours, and apparently help them garden. Seriously this is a GREAT area. 

Gavin on left


I am still working on sorting through the last randoms of our stuff. I have found all the school supplies that survived the evil downsizing (seriously in need of UP sizing now… time to watch the sales and hand-me-downs) and my personal craft supplies. Now to make concrete wish lists to purchase once one of these companies pans out for Ken… two or 3 more companies have asked for further information from Ken! 

We ended our day with the adding of Gabriella and Zachary to our already active household.

All the cousins

This weekend is Joe’s birthday so the kids are here potentially until Sunday. Of course we have our own plans as well… Saturday afternoon we are joining the Novaks to celebrate Andrew’s 12th birthday and then Sunday… Sunday Ken and I are going SOLO to the Renaissance Fair. I am so excited about that one! Not much of a spending budget but we are dressing up AND I am taking my camera with!!

Learning something new every day