It is June 14 as I write, and it certainly has been a while since the last update, half a year! We are currently driving back from spending the weekend at the lake. Susan is driving and we are just getting close to Merritt. We're sitting here chatting and having a tough time remembering what we did do in the first couple months of this year. Making it tough is that we didn't take a lot of pictures for those couple of months. We do have one picture from mid January where we went to Sumas Park which is a park relatively close to our home. We're also pretty sure we spent a couple of weekends hiking around Rice Lake with Richard and Ben and Josh and Grace. Susan and I went skiing at Mount Seymour one evening, and I went to Cypress for another full day of skiing. Kayla was registered in music class, which we went to generally ever Saturday morning. We also went to Eileen Daily pool for some swimming with Grace, Ben, and Josh.

In March our memory starts to get a little better, as it has more pictures to use as memory aid. The first week of March we went to Sun Peaks with Richard and Grace. Susan and Grace took a full day of skiing while Richard and I did some snowshoeing and looked after the kids. Richard and I then took a full day of skiing while Susan and Grace looked after the kids. Then on a third day we all spent some time wandering around the village. We all certainly enjoyed ourselves, for myself, I was pleased to spend the day skiing with Richard as although it had been a while since he last skied, he was very good, and so we spent our day doing a wide range of runs all the way up to and including a couple of runs down black and double black diamond runs.

Second week of March Glen's parents showed up for a weekend on their way back their winter down South. While they were in town, Susan, Kayla, myself, Jessica, and Ellen all went to a Carousel Theatre presentation of Robert Munsch's plays. Technically your supposed to be 2 years old to gain admission, and Kayla was only 18 months at this time, but since she is quite big and mature for her age, she passed reasonably well for being 2. She really enjoyed the plays.

Mid March we went and celebrated Jennifer and Zach's daughter Jazmine's birthday. They held Jazmine's second birthday in a community centre, where there were crafts and games. Certainly a big birthday party, what will we do for Kayla who is turning two this year, still under discussion...

Also mid March Susan's parents turned up for a month long visit, on their way back to their home in Calgary after spending some time in the East with Susan's brother's Richard's family, and cruising in the Caribbean. While staying with us for the following month, Kayla enjoyed spending time with her maternal grandmonther who she generally doesn't get to see as often as her paternal grandmother. She also really enjoyed each night when she had her snack and grandfather cut her oranges.

For Easter in April we went to Glen's parent's place, and of course had easter egg hunting with a chocolate bunny for Kayla. Also in April we started to look for a new, bigger, car. We are expecting another baby in mid November of this year, and were finding that car trips lately were becoming a little bit tight in the Jetta with the three of us and our gear, and the thought of a fourth, baby with all the standard baby gear might landlock us to our house. So we spent a couple of weekends car shopping. We were looking at mini-vans and cross-over SUVs primarily. Obviously we wanted something with a bit more size, and as we looked at things, we realized in order to avoid tearing up the driveway of our cabin, we should probably have 4 wheel drive. Also to not be so dependant on Glen's parents' truck, we should look for something that could tow a reasonable weight (our boat isn't heavy, but it's certainly not light). Maybe twice a year we're at the cabin and Glen's parents are away, and that usually stops us from launching the boat (unless we can arrange with some nice neighbour such as the Miller's to launch the boat for us with their truck). For size, we realized we would like, if possible, to be able to carry 6 or 7 people. Gas mileage of course is something to look at, with the way prices have gone the last few years. It would also be nice to keep the heated seats, as that's Susan's favourite feature of our car. A nicety to get would be to have auto adjusting (memory) seats, as Susan and I are over a foot apart in height, and when we switch drivers, it's quite the adjustment to be done. Another obvious criteria would be something with good value, price not so outrageous that we'll be car poor for years after. We looked at Toyota's, Honda's, Kia's, Ford's, Hyundai's, Mitsubishi's, and Mazda's. We avoided Chrysler/GM as they seemed to be heading to bankrupcty (and they now have entered bankruptcy protection in the States). After much car sitting and some test drives in the final candidates, we arrived at (to our own surprise):



The Kia Borrego

The Borrego is a full size (body on frame) SUV, much like the Ford Explorder. It by far matched our criteria best. There are of course a number of potential vehicles that *could* fill the criteria, if we were to ignore price, but taking price into it, the Borrego was the run away winner. I say it was a winner to our surprise, because of a (outdated I now realize) impression of Kia. Ten years ago when Kia entered the Canadian market, they were known for *cheap* cars. Cheap in cost, as well as quality. In the last few years, they have really moved up the quality line, and thankfully due to public perception still, their prices haven't quite yet matched Honda and Toyota. Reviews of recent Kia vehicles seems to definitely indicate they are quality competitive with Honda and Toyota on a good number of their vehicles. The Borrego was a new step for them, as it was new in the 2009 vehicle line-up, and it was their first vehicle that comes with a V8 option (we just got it with the V6). The Borrego is in some circles talked about as a luxury vehicle, and so although 90% of the reviewers love the value and quality of the vehicle, it occasionally gets a short review when the reviewer is comparing it to other luxury SUVs such as Lexus and BMW, which cost 2 or 3 times as much. For us it fits our criteria perfectly. It can seat 7, or fold down back seats for lots of storage room. It gets pretty good gas mileage (at least as good as is possible with a V6 gas engine). It tows up to 5000 pounds (can tow 7500 if you take the V8), which is more than enough for our boat. It has 4 wheel drive. Even the base model has heated seats. The memory seats are available as an option, but we ultimately decided it just wouldn't be worth the cost to add this feature on. Being Kia whose public perception hasn't yet caught up with the recent quality of their vehicles, thankfully the price fit within our budget desires.

We ultimately ended up dealing with Applewood Kia in Surrey, an excellent Kia dealer! We told them we were in no rush when we signed on the dotted line in May, as we really don't need it until the baby arrives in November, and really have no great reason at all except for our planned drive to Saskatchewan which happens the first week in August. So we put in our order for the exact exterior colour and interior that we wanted. We got a call this past Thursday evening saying our car was in. Due to our plans to go to the lake this weekend we decided we would pick up the vehicle *next* weekend.

In mid May the three of us went to Whistler for the long weekend and attended the Toastmasters district conference. We had a great time doing that, and alternated between Susan and myself as to who was attending the educational sessions and contest speeches. We got a great deal with great value and thouroughly enjoyed our time at the Mountainside Lodge. Due to our registration at the conference we got a couple of tickets for sightseeing at Whistler, including a ride on the great new Peak 2 Peak gondola, and didn't get to use the tickets. After the long weekend Susan was away on business visiting a few interior cities for her work. Kayla and I spent our time at home when not at daycare/work.

First week in June we had Kayla's bedroom floor ripped up replaced with new subfloor and hardwood, as it had been very squeaky as you walked around her room. The job seems to have gone very well, and is now good and solid. The driver of course for this is that once the baby arrives in November, a few months after that Kayla and the new baby will be sharing this room, and we don't want to wake one up when we have to enter the room for the other.

The first weekend in June Glen's parents came to town and we enjoyed the Saturday at the Burnaby Height's famous Hats Off Day. We had some great seats for the parade. On Sunday Susan, Kayla, and myself, along with Glen's parents in their own truck, drove to Whistler. We had the sightseeing tickets we needed to use. Glen's parents took their own truck as they wanted to continue on home directly over the Duffy Lake road, which is the opposite direction from our own trip back to our home. We took the enjoyable Whistler gondola up the hill, then had an enjoyable lunch on the top of Whistler at the Roundhouse. After lunch we took the Peak 2 Peak gondola across between the mountains. The hill wasn't busy so we almost had the gondola to ourself (there was one other person on the gondola, who by chatting to my mom, helped her undoubtedly deal with her fear of heights). The sights are very impressive. The gondola supposedly holds three world records. First is longest span between towers, second is highest off the ground, and the third I'm not sure what... For the ride back to Whistler, we waited a few minutes to get in one of the two gondola's that has a section of the floor that is glass. If you are there on a busy day, I would say it's not that worthwhile to get one of the two gondola's with the glass floor, as you get almost as good of a view with the regular gondola, and the regular gondola has better seats, but still it was a neat effect to be able to look straight down.

We're just now coming into Chilliwack which is where we will have our supper. I hope the next update isn't as long of a delay as this one was. All for now!



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