Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Donny and Marika's wedding

On Saturday, May 17, 2008, our good friends Donny and Marika got married! We are so happy for them. Here are some pictures of the lovely day. (Thanks to Marika for sharing all their pictures with us -- with Dave in the wedding party and Natasha performing various "groomette duties" neither of us were able to take pictures with our camera.)

Marika and Donny both looked radiant and happy all day!

Does this pose look familiar?
(Hint: see last blog post if it doesn't.)

Donny and his groomsmen:
Pat, Carlos, Dave and Dan

Joanna and Natasha were usherettes.

Dave walking into the ceremony with Melanie.

Donny and Marika after the ceremony.

Natasha read scripture during the ceremony.

Us with Donny and Marika. Congratulations you guys!

Us after the ceremony.

A little "post-ceremony/pre-reception" snack break :)
In honour of Donny, of course!

Joanna and Natasha were also the guest book attendants.
Donny had very specific instructions for us.

It turns out that Jodi (Marika's maid of honour)
and Natasha are third cousins!

A last picture of Donny and Marika. Once again,
Congratulations you guys! It was a beautiful, wonderful day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Donny and Marika's wedding week

After a few days of helping out in Saskatchewan we were on our way to Winnipeg for Donny and Marika's wedding. First of all we stopped for a visit with Natasha's Grandma Ewert in Drake. She served us raisin toast, cheese and coffee.

Natasha and her grandma have a visit in the garden planted for Natasha's grandma's 100th birthday by her children. It's a lovely spot to sit and visit. After leaving Drake we drove to Winnipeg. For the first few nights we stayed at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU). The highlight of that was finding a small local bakery a few blocks away where we could buy fresh baked goods for breakfast every day. Yum, yum :)

One day we spent at Marika's parents' house trying to be as helpful as we could. This meant that Natasha attempted to make bows for the ends of the pews and Dave worked on the wedding program. We enjoyed getting to know Marika's parents better and being able to spend some time with Donny and Marika before everyone else arrived.

Donny insisted that everyone eat at Chicken Delight for lunch one day. This is a restaurant which Donny really likes as they serve really good chicken. It might just be a Winnipeg thing. They also serve pizza. As you can see, we are really happy to be eating here!

Later that day Marika asked some of us to come to the parliament buildings so she could get some ideas for pictures there on the day of the wedding. We took advantage of the room in front of the fountain to practice some of the moves we learned in our wedding dance class!

After we got that out of our system we took direction from Marika as to some shots she wanted to try to see if they might work the day of the wedding.

Thursday night was Marika's bachelorette party. Marika's maid of honour, Jodi, and another one of her bridesmaids, Melanie, did most of the planning for it. It was the first bachelorette party Natasha had ever been to and, in her opinion, it rocked! We started off with drinks and desserts at Dessert Sinsations. Then we got to ride in a limo. Natasha recognizes that this is an awful picture but it is the only documentation of her in the limo so here it is:

The limo dropped us off at a dance studio where we got a bellydancing lesson. It was loads of fun. Then the instructor did a couple of professional dances for us. Don't we look like we're having fun?!

Once the bellydancing was over we headed to a martini bar. They served awesome martinis and we spent a couple of hours there... toasting Marika, of course!

The whole group of us (except for Marika's sister, Moni) who had an excellent evening of celebrating Marika and her upcoming marriage. We really need to do it again sometime, girls :)

Friday afternoon we headed out to Bridges Golf Course, where the reception was to be held to decorate. The place looked beautiful when we were done.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A different kind of work

Natasha's mom and dad are doing a major house renovation and we spent some time there in May (and June and August and...) helping out. Below are some pictures from our first chunk of time there in May.

At the beginning of the summer Mom and Dad were living in the trailer on the left. The one on the right, Natasha's brother lent to them so that Dave and Natasha had somewhere to sleep while visiting. It was cozy.

Mom and Dad cooked excellent meals, despite the size of their kitchen!

Looking from the kitchen in the trailer you can see the table set for supper, the couch for relaxing, and Mom and Dad's bedroom. Good thing it was a nice summer so Mom and Dad didn't have to spend too much time indoors :)

First on the list of work tasks: getting rid of the bay window.

While her dad and Dave worked, Natasha documented the lack of walls and pile of insulation inside the house. This is looking from "the kitchen" through the dining room to "the living room."

The house has most of the tar paper removed. And the holes have been dug for the geothermal. Thus the abundance of mud, instead of a driveway.

Dave and Natasha's dad finishing up removing the bay window. Natasha's mom kept the yard as tidy as she could this summer. You can see her with the wheelbarrow to the right in this picture.

Taking a break to celebrate Mother's Day with Natasha's brother and his family. This was the first Mother's Day Natasha was able to spend with her mother in years.

Dave takes on Darth Vader (aka Natasha's nephew, Liam)! Ironically we have no pictures of the two mothers present (Natasha's mom and sister-in-law Erin.).

We were on the roof looking for various internet and TV cables. It was an excellent view, but of course, we didn't have the camera!

After a week in Winnipeg celebrating Donny and Marika's wedding with them (see an upcoming blog post about that), we were back in Saskatchewan. And a few more things got done.

A different view of the outside of the house. The chimney and fireplace are gone. The Loraas disposal is getting full. More windows have been removed and Mom is still cleaning up stuff in the yard.

More stuff has also been cleaned out of the house. This is the former kitchen, looking towards the dining room and living room.

Mom and Dad wanted a deck for the summer so Dave and Natasha's dad removed the old one from the house. Here Dave is demonstrating his sawing skills! Can you tell he's excited???

It's always easier to remove a deck from a house if you can attach it to a tractor...

... and get the tractor to do the heavy work of moving it too!

Natasha's dad really wanted his recliner back. So he moved it onto the deck the first chance he could.

With a Guiness and his daily devotional, he was a happy camper. Seriously.

Mom was more excited about being able to put flowers out, such as the planter of petunias on the right and the planters waiting to be planted in front.

To top off an already exciting time, Dave got to try his hand at driving the tractor back to its home. He really enjoyed it!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday in Jasper...

To celebrate Natasha's birthday, we headed off to Jasper for a weekend vacation. On our way to Jasper, we enjoyed driving through the park, and got to see a bit of wildlife from our car.

We stayed at Whistler's Inn, a hotel which not only had a great view of the mountains, but also had an outdoor hot tub from which we could enjoy the view!

One of the main activities during our trip was climbing to the top of Mt. Whistler. We took the tram up most of the way, and got to enjoy some beautiful scenery.
Once we got to the top, we set off on an hour-long hike to the top of the mountain. We trekked through rocks and snow, but finally we reached the top!

After we returned to the town, we decided to take the "Discovery Trail", which goes around the town of Jasper. We got to see a bit of the forest surrounding the town, and walked for a bit along the railroad.