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Thursday, August 20, 2015

No Bites While Off the Grid

Traditions are timeless regardless of the event, time or place. Whether there are years that go by not participating or faithful attenders, a tradition brings back memories of the past and creates new ones for the future. Hefley Lake, near Sun Peaks in Kamloops, BC, is one of those traditions that carries many memories for Tim along with the Vander Pol family. 
Last year Tim and Charlie, as well as Erik and Nolan, took a fishing trip to Hefley Lake stirring up a desire to take the entire family. So, in attempts to recreate the traditions of the past, we drove north to unplug and 
have some needed family time.
The Hitch and Rail Campsite is stripped down to the basics: picnic table, fire pit, power and water hook-ups and camp ground bathrooms with showers. There were 8-10 campsites total, a few cabins, a couple of docks to tie up too or jump from and boat rentals if you needed. The one hike we did find took about five minutes so we walked back and forth a few times with the girls. Most of the entertainment came from the old Snoopy fishing rod I used as a little girl or the adventurous boat rides trolling and exploring with lines down and wiggling worms attached. The Woodstock Rod has started to show it's years of use as the top fell off and the push button broke. What's left was enough to make a toddler happy with line tied to it with flashy "jewels." 
Addison learned to play Rummy and a mean game of Phase 10 after we cruised part of the lake in a paddle boat. Myriam learned most of the songs to Babes in Toyland and also made progress with her impossible task of wearing panties. You bet I used the empty campsite to have her sitting on the potty and run around in her undies everyday! I think my efforts have paid off but time will tell with that adventure. 
Charlie has taken on a new hobby of fishing even if he did take a few snoozes mid-troll. He gave Tim many earfuls of conversation including his perspective on Obama and where his heart was at.  The most entertainment came from the boys attempting to reel in a fish while the old men in the boat not far off from them caught their limit in a little over an hour. I guess we'll stick to other hobbies... or continue to perfect the art of fishing. 
The weather was beautiful along with the sounds of nature and surrounding lakeside views. The water was warm enough for the kids to jump in and have fun splashing around. Daddy even taught the older ones how to 
perfect the cannon ball. 
I helped the girls find some lake snails and hermit crabs which suffered a fatal death when Myriam lost her balance walking on the rocks and smashed the living collection. After one last try of catching trout, Tim returned the boat and we packed up to head home. 
We made sure to say goodbye to Dave, the owner of the campsite who calls you by first name and treats you like family, and thanked him for the few nights as a family. He treated the kids with candy necklaces and said, "see you soon's," until we see him again! It was a fantastic time of unplugging and being forced into chats with the kids and forced card games which mommy dominated. Here are some of the best moments from our fishing trip...

{ First trip out on the boat. }

{ Learning the skill of multitasking. }

{ Here fishy fishy...dinner is ready. }

{ Morning explorations around the lake. }

{ Dusk and rod...with no bobs. }

{ Faithful Snoopy stripped down to his bones. }

{ Deep in thought as we explored the lake. }

{ The "I SAID NO." face after Addi pushed her in! }

{ Clothes on. Why not! }

{ The set up. }
{ The jump. }
{ The splash. }

{ Our little blessings. }

{ Always a laugh with this one! }

{ Searching for collections of snails and hermit crabs. }

{ The Broersma Five. }

Summer in a Nutshell

This has been a recorded breaking warm summer as the skies have delivered us suntans, sweat stains and reasons to cool off. We have always been a family that would rather stay home, playing with our neighbor friends or intense board games, than driving a miserable 20 minutes to an off-site location. The kids despise long car rides; even those to Bellingham! Yes, we've had a few moments of "I'm bored," but, I'm quick to respond with a list of chores or activities to challenge them with in their state of way-ward wandering. We tossed our bigger pool from last year and replaced it with a foster-approved, non-fence needed, ankle deep pool. Not as much fun, but it did, and has, provided days of splashing and cooling off from the scorching heat 
we've had these past few months. 
Selling snow-cones helped as well in the mission to stay cool but unfortunately, no fortune was made!
There's also the nasty, iron-laced creek we have that runs through our back yard that brought on new adventures and swings of glee. Tom Sawyer would have enjoyed watching the boys explore through the water beds and creating new games to keep active. From building "dams" to race flip flops down stream to preventing the swing from crashing into black berries, the kids had fun and didn't seem to mind the lack of water flowing south. 
Then you have the excitement of flag football rounding the corner as one sport wraps up and the next starts. It's almost football season so the boys have been practicing lots and introducing Charlie to the details of the game. The kid has game and loves to hang with the neighbor boys especially his favorite, Brevin. Little Charlie may be the youngest, but he certainly doesn't fall to the shortest in the group!
Yes, I could flood the blog with more pictures and stories that had us rolling in laughter but, for now,  just these glimpses of memories. Now is crunch time as I pull together curriculum and prepare for school schedules. Student lesson plans are in the works, school supplies have been purchased as well as clothing that reaches past the ankles and shoes that fit the entire foot. Thank you to Auntie Traci for letting us crash your apartment as the kids swam and spent all our pennies in Portland. 
Thanks Summer for giving us warm hugs, bees a buzzing' and many drinks in hand!

{ Mickey, Addi and Myriam chillin' pink pool side. }

{ Addi Jean; Annie Jean }

{ Them there boys: Charlie, Drew, Brevin & Bailor. }

{ Keep the shoes on...can't see the bottom!}

{ Game is still in play...but it's a cute smile. }

{ Little Charlie, Big Charlie, Drew, Brevin & Bailor. }

{ Chill out. }

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bay Dazz

When the sweat is present the moment your feet touch the floor in the morning, you know you need a plan in place to keep everyone happy and cool before the real meltdowns take place. Last week we had two separate trips to Birch Bay making memories, keeping it cool and making matters sweet. Rather then chatting about our time there, here are some picture memories of the kids enjoying the gorgeous Northwest...

 { Our little beachie blessings. }

{ From little cute crabs to... }
{ Ones that hurt when pinched! }
 { Always finding ways to cool off and be carefree. }

 { Oh my heart can't take her growing up. }
 { Ladies in the house. }
{ How can you not? }

 { Sweet cheeks...what goes in blue...well, you get it! }

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Launching YWAM Into Action

There are few words to describe what happened 
Saturday night in the streets of Lynden. 
From local turmoil of crime and death, to the protests and violence across our nation; we need Jesus more than ever to be vividly present, extremely bold and our faith more steadfast.
This is what was witnessed as many launched YWAM Lynden into mission. 
When you looked across the street, you saw people of young and old, Reformed to Non-Denomination and those of no faith drawn into worship as the contagious joy was spread sidewalk to sidewalk. There were 2000 fed as the Make Jesus Famous worship team led the crowd, singing praises, followed by the founders of YWAM speaking truth about the progress in the mission field. 
There are countless stories of how this came to be, but also how the devil tried with all his might to shut this down. This was a divine event that had God's powerful Hand covering every detail as things fell perfectly into place. 
Tim and I caught ourselves many times wiping tears from our eyes being witness to the power of the Holy Spirit moving through Front Street. Emotions from seeing people allowing God to break the barriers between church names as we worshipped One King. It was incredibly moving to be there at this event and more blessed that we were asked to have 
our hands be apart of helping make it happen. 
Our home was used as a "home" to two girls all week adding three more over the weekend. Heidi J. originated from Finland which made it a must to have pulla, a Finnish coffee time treat, an absolute introducing her to our family which has it's own Finnish connections. Terhi thoroughly enjoyed entertaining Heidi with Finnish chocolates and sharing conversations in her native tongue. 
What a treat that was!
Myriam also enjoyed the early mornings with Jordan who stayed with a family around the corner. He would show up to have a cup of tea while the house would slowly wake up. Myriam was fascinated by his beard. Thankfully, Jordan was a patient guest making best friends with our youngest. Together they would eat breakfast, color, play games, decorate his beard and chat up the morning hours. 
Friday night our Salem friends made their way here as we kicked the kids out of their beds to make room for the guests. With the help from our neighbors at the Lynden Dutch Bakery, we were able to supply everyone with full tummies before heading downtown to hand out fliers, pick up garbage and assist in the mini golf that many took advantage of during the hot afternoons at the Raspberry Festival
Many hands made the day go by without glitches as they set up the stage, plugged power in and got the night going. 
Tim and I had the opportunity to privately meet and pray with Loren and Darlene Cunningham as we prepared for the evening. We should have prayed for sunscreen to magically appear on 
Tim's dome which has a nice glow about itself now!

I was personally touched by the entire day. It was contagious with the happenings at 7th and Front Street. No one person made this happen. No one person had this idea. This truly was a vision seen and heard by many who continued to pray until action was sought. If you go back many years, you can see God strategically putting this giant puzzle together and I myself, can't wait to see the bigger picture in years to come. Tim and I have gained new friends in this journey, found more motivation and passion for ministries and have had intimate moments of serving God together. We have no connection to YWAM personally besides Tim's sisters participating in a DTS in Maui and Australia, but we are thrilled to support and stand behind this new base right here in our very own berry-enthusiastic, dairy-loving Dutch hometown: 

YWAM Lynden...Welcome. 

{ Loren and Darlene Cunningham, founders of YWAM }

 { My date for the day. }

{ Moving the stage coach with NCCTK's worship warrior: Joel. }

 { Heidi J. was a HUGE help to Jeremy & Jen. We loved having her around! }

{ Thank you Lynden Door & Elements for providing food for the crowds. }

 { Giving a blessing and commissioning the YWAM Lynden base leaders:
Jeremy & Jen Dorrough }

{ Pastor Ryan Bajema sharing his YWAM experience. }
{ One God; One Voice. Freedom of worship in the streets. }

 { Hannah M. became family for the week with her
fiance', Jordan, a visitor by day. }

 { Our Salem, OR friends who joined us for the weekend:
Benjamin K. and Bennett & Tiffany C. }

{ Check out the video; start getting involved by sending a prayer of God's favor over this community and mission. }