Sunday, July 27, 2014

Birthdays and a special boy

It was about time.  Roger's siblings hadn't been altogether for 9 years until this week when everyone gathered in Calgary for their mom's 80th birthday celebration.  There had been a marriage, graduations, and a baby born in the span of time when distances and life's busy-ness kept them apart.  For two days we feasted, caught up on news and did a lot of laughing.

The celebration started off with the immediate family having dinner in the private dining room at Caesar's restaurant.  As Madalene said, "the family has grown from four to seventeen", and we could see by the constant smile on her face she was very happy to have everyone at the table with her.
I offered to make a photo book of the weekend celebration for her keepsake gift.  Fortunately Colin and Karen's son, Cooper, is an excellent photographer so he was kept busy taking pictures.
The four siblings:  Rhonda, Colin, Roger and Jack with their mom, Madalane

Our family

Four generations!

Rhonda and her family

Jack and his family

Colin and his family
Madalene and her husband, Herb

On Saturday, family and friends gathered for a BBQ and to celebrate several milestone birthdays in the family:  Madalene turned 80,  Jack turned 60, Rhonda turned 50, and Kathy (Jack's daughter) turned 30.

Roger's beautiful Aunt Vi

Kathy, Chris and Siu entertained everyone by singing several songs including one that Jack wrote to honour his mom.  Kleenex's were in high demand.
My brother, Russ, was also on the verge of his 60th birthday, so we celebrated early and were glad Brad, Anette, Magnus and Auntie Elaine could join us.  We had the waitress take a picture of the group...but it appears to have disappeared from my camera!!!

Guess if we can't find a picture in the present, this is the next best thing!  A favorite photo of us in the 60's on the front porch of our house in Montreal.
Brad flew back to Seattle to work, and we brought Anette and Magnus to Idaho.  Anette is working on her final research paper for her Masters in Community and Equity Studies, so Roger and I happily looked after Magnus so she could have some quiet time.  Brad surprised us by coming a couple of days earlier than planned, which made everything even better. 

I can't remember a week when I had so much fun and the feeling of such joy that I thought my heart would burst.

Magnus is such an easy going, happy toddler who is interested in everything, understands lots what is being said, and is beginning to say a few words.  During an epic Idaho storm, Magnus just laughed at the sound of the thunder and pounding rain and wind.  I could go on and on...but see for yourself.
When Roger and I toured the Coopers Brewery in Adelaide, we bought a gift pack of swag.  I thought I was blowing up a beach ball for Magnus, but it turned out to be a beer stein. Magnus doesn't seem to mind.

Magnus and Anette enjoyed swinging on the deck

I know I'm very biased --- but really --- isn't he a handsome fellow?

Magnus called Roger "Ra Ra" and they had the best of times together.  Roger even took him to the local stores to show him off.  As the cashier at Ace Hardware said, "You can tell that little boy has Roger wrapped around his little finger." 

Magnus watching Sesame Street on the outdoor TV

Magnus getting his boating orientation

All bathed and ready for bed -- but first some giggles with Ra Ra

Cooling off in the sprinkler

Is there something genetic about boys and machines?  Magnus loved the new tractor!

We boated into Sandpoint to have lunch at Spuds

Hanging out with Ra Ra
It was a hectic, glorious week.

As I write this blog post, Roger is in Calgary and will fly to Australia tomorrow for a few days, and Magnus, Brad, Anette and Obi are back on the coast.  Laundry has been done, the mashed vegetables have been hosed off Magnus' booster seat, and the toys and playpen are put away.  Things are pretty quiet.

I'll be counting the sleeps until everyone returns.

"Children make your life important."
                                            ~Erma Bombeck

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