Friday, August 27, 2010

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

Cody, Maddie and Emma hanging out at the sound booth

Ryder cruising around

Christian and Maddie

Ryder with his cheddar bunnies

"Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer
You'll wish that summer could always be here"
~Nat King Cole

August came and went without so much as a wink. It's hard to believe that September is fast approaching. Two more camps have come and gone and we look forward to the final stretch of the camping season and new friends we will meet.

Night is coming faster and the kids are back in their normal sleeping routine. Matt and I have been able to get some much desired reading in and even some time together hiking up Inspiration Point and swimming off the outer dock. It's fun to dream again of climbs we want to do together and passions we want to fulfill that were previously shelved during the sleepless nights of diapers and night feedings.

Maddie continues to be the "belle of the ball" everywhere she goes and at the same time likes to hike up the steepest rock face in her Cinderella light-up princess heels. She constantly reminds us of an old Garth Brooks song called "Fire and Ice." She's a whole lot of spirit, spunk, and sweetness.

Ryder likes to crawl everywhere. He hasn't quite had the desire to walk early like his sister. Taking his time is alright by Dad and Mom who continue to ooh and ahhh over his charming personality and even tempered disposition. However he will put up a fight with his sister favoring the football to the pink tutus she tries to dress him up in!

Matt continues to work hard both at Malibu and on dreams back at home. It's fun to see so much life come back into a man who thrives on working hard, being a man of his word, and completes every task with finesse and humility. These words by Dwight Eisenhower describe Matt well: "The qualities of a great man are "vision, integrity, courage, understanding, the power of articulation, and profundity of character."

I've been challenged these past few days in my own desire to see dreams achieved both here and upon our return to the States. Time passes so differently here and the ebb and flow of life back home is going to come as a culture shock to our simplistic view of living. Not only that, raising children has completely changed my view of what is important in life and what really constitutes a priority. If training is the opposite of hoping then I want to be actively pursuing dreams, implementing the changes I want to see, and resting in the trust that comes from knowing and believing that God is good and loves me.

Sending prayers for Indian Summer,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Always Sunny at Malibu!

Harbor Regatta

Ryder and Julie

"Cool Girl!"

Fancy Dinner

This post is appropriately titled "Always Sunny at Malibu" not because the sun always shines here, but because the joy in serving others and the pristine beauty that surrounds us constantly brings a comforting warmth and smile to our hearts.

The last two weeks have been quite a whirlwind for our family. The summer camper season has officially wrapped up and we have said our "goodbye's" to treasured interns who are off to their respective schools.

Due to a break in the schedule we had a short window to take a quick trip down to Gig Harbor to visit with family and friends and squeeze some shopping in. We visited our favorite pizzeria Fondi's and enjoyed ice cream at Ben & Jerry's.

Because our quick jaunt was during the Northwests heat wave, albeit short-lived, we fired up the grill for some BBQ and spent some time learning how to paddle board and hang around outside with friends. Julie had the opportunity to meet beautiful Audrey Windham, Ben and Annamarie's newest blessing while Maddie played with all her little buddies. We made it to the spray park for a couple of outings and played catch-up on life tales. Our next trip home will be in late September, just in time for Maddie to start her second year at Skyline Presbyterian Preschool and before the weather turns up here in BC.

Although the season continues with specialty groups like the Military, Washington Leadership, Women's Camp, and other private groups we have found time to dive into a new climbing book. Together we take turns reading aloud and dream of Himalayan quests upon our return. Ok...maybe more reasonable ascents like Rainier, Baker, and Adams! If you haven't done so already, check out No Shortcuts to the Top, by Ed Viestures. It's a great companion book to Jon Krakauers Into Thin Air.

We hope you enjoy a few of our more recent photos. Our internet connection has been down for almost 3 weeks due to a thick smoke haze created by neighboring forest fires and cloud coverage from rain so our previous posts didn't go through. Keep checking in as we have our final adventures here at Malibu Club!

And last but not least, a special Congratulations to Tyler, Julie, and Kiley Pigott on the arrival of baby Emmy Faith on August 22nd. A beautiful new addition to an extraordinary family!

The Cyr's

Thursday, August 5, 2010

These are good times!

It's another first!

Bedtime stories

Living room dance party! Flash Mob style.

Wow! What a fun few days we have been having around here. Maddie has taken a fond liking to playing board games, skipping rocks with dad by the beach, and dancing with mom in the living room. Ryder is cruising around and starting to get into mischief. To his advantage he appears completely innocent when we catch him in the cat food or unraveling the toilet paper. He turns one in a couple of days and we will officially be entering a new phase of life! Check back in for birthday phots - in Malibu fashion, of course!

The Cyr's

Monday, August 2, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Ryder's ready for the Annual Green Jacket Tournament!

"My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams," Mr. Plumbean said.

~The Big Orange Splot, by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

I'm learning a lot about what the phrase "there's no place like home" means to me. It's easy to believe that home is the place where we grew up. Whether it's a specific town, house, or familiar room inside that house. But it's more than that. It's about the atmosphere and feel of the places that we currently reside in. For our family we currently live in an old wooden home that has musty carpets, a rolling dishwasher, and frisbee golfers patrolling our back windows for lost discs. If we want to go somewhere we walk, take a boat, or on the rare occasion a sea plane. We love it. I wouldn't change our experience here at Malibu for anything. My kids are richer for having made new friends from all over the world. I have personally grown to love the freedom of taking walks along the beach with my daughter to look for treasure and run up and down the boardwalks saying hello to new friends we meet.

It doesn't mean that at times I don't want to click my heels three times and be back in Gig Harbor at Matt's parents house leaving peanut shells on the tree for squirrels or giving the horses licorice sticks. Or be sitting around the table at my grandparents house eating berry cobbler and the World's Best potato salad with my family. Not to mention sharing in the company of the friends we love and miss back in Tacoma.

So, it now appears to me that the responsibility to create a loving, warm, hospitable environment that others want to share in is up to Matt and I. The freedom we feel to call Treehouse our home for a short season in life is a wonderful feeling. Our quaint home that offers us the best of the Canadian wilderness at our fingertips, rest and comfort from a busy world, is a place where our children can take their first steps and partake in some incredible adventures. What a true gift.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Love never fails

Moon Rising

Emily's Hummingbird

Ryder and Emily

Crawling around Big Squawka

We are well into the first week of third session for campers. It's hard to believe we've made it this far and at the same time it feels like we've only just begun. Many of our interns will be leaving in two weeks and some will stay on until the end of September. It's been such a blessing to get to know such fantastic people from all over the states. We consider them to be a part of our family and are grateful for the way they have embraced both Maddie and Ryder will full hearts.

I find myself humming the tune of a favorite song inspired by a popular passage found in the book of Corinthians. Love does not fail. When my energetic daughter who has such fervor for life makes even the most active mother weary, love does not fail. As my son spends more nights crying due to teething and encounters more falls and bonks because he's learning how to walk, love does not fail. When my husband's demanding schedule requires more effort on my part to take care of the kids, love does not fail.

As a mom it's hard to not have someone come wrap their arms around you and give you a big hug and tell you "your doing a good job." I had a moment like that today when I just wanted my own mom to come give me a hug and tell me everything's going to be ok. It will. Love has never failed me yet nor will it ever fail in the future. I am surrounded by love that I receive from my children, husband, Malibu community and my sweet Savior.

Enjoy the pics of our recent fun adventures. We remain encouraged and grateful for the wonderful opportunity that we have been given to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by so many amazing friends.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bathtime at Treehouse

Julie and Katie share a love for Blizzards and dancing

Maddie's friend Tavita Pritchard

Frisbee Golf Course

Chopper landing at Hamburger Point

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
~Turn! Turn! Turn! by, The Byrds

Wow! What a crazy week we have had. So much has happened that it's challenging to know where to even start. So, I will begin with the chopper...

Moments after I stepped out of the shower and picked up the hair dryer a thunderous noise rattled our house. The pilot of a chopper decided to make Hamburger Point his landing pad. I'm sure you can imagine our amazement considering this isn't an everyday experience. Matt greeted our visitor and toured him around the camp. Graham was an excellent sport and even promised rides to property staff.

Some of you may know that my favorite Aunt Kristi isn't really my aunt at all. Through a longstanding friendship with my mom since their ninth grade year back at Hillsboro Mid-High the Goemmel/Larsen clan has just considered themselves related. Matt and I feel the same way about our friends Morrie and Linda Pigott. The former Julie Cyr (Matt's youngest sister) married Tyler Pigott and got some really cool in-laws. They just happened to fly on up to stay at Malibu Lodge with our friends the Goff's for a brief trip. We shared a meal family style together and many laughs. We miss them already and are so thankful for time well spent.

As the Pigott's flew out we welcomed old friends Emily and Brandon. Emily Russell is Nick's younger sister and has been helping me out with the kiddos. Whew! She is amazing with Maddie and Ryder and I feel incredibly blessed to have such a kind and caring girl singing songs over my children, slathering them with SPF 50 and sharing her bed with Ciscoe our cat.

Brandon is an old friend of Matt's and we cherish every minute we get to spend with him. A man of many talents not the least of them an overwhelming capacity to love without limits. Matt and B have been playing catch-up and hopefully scheming up some cool double date ideas!

So, besides getting to hang-out with really cool friends we've also had a lot of fun adventures. Of course! I experienced my first 18 holes of frisbee golf out on the infamous Malibu Frisbee Golf Course which included wading chest deep into the inlet to retrieve my frisbee and hitting some outstanding puts despite my lacklustre attempt to stay at or under par for my long drives.

Our day off consisted of an early morning ski session with Cody Payne. Matt and I soaked in the excitement of being in pristine salt water and incredible mountain views. After the ski sess we ventured off to the Goff's for some slacklining, a round of chess some great food and an opportunity to sport some high school marching band outfits and instruments to celebrate friends. I still remember hearing Maddie exclaim with glee "Mommy, you look so beautiful!!"

Today marks the first day of third session and we are looking forward to making new friends and our week out. Today I had the opportunity to teach a flash mob dance to some really excited work crew and summer staff and had a blast. Look forward to future pics of our moves...check us out Oprah! Matt drove the welcome ski boat and Maddie, Ryder, and Emily rode along too. After watching Hunter our skiier make his final lap Maddie turned to me and said "Mom, I would like to learn how to ski someday." Good times are being had by all.

Enjoy our pictures and feel free to send care packages!!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shine On

Ryder in the boat

Flowers in bloom at Flag Point

More Sprinkler Fun!

Helping with the tent

Planting a Maddie tree

July has been a month of refreshing sunshine and fun times. Although the fourth of July was a bit anti-climatic as would be expected in Canada we have continued to celebrate the little things in life through fun adventures and new discoveries. Both of the children faced 104* fevers and spent time in the kitchen sink with otter pops to reduce the "stingy's" as Maddie called them. Neither Matt or I slept much for that week but we came through stronger than we went in and gained new perspective on what it means to have patient endurance in comforting our children. Our momentary trial pales in comparison to a mother who spends years reducing fever in a child with cancer. We are blessed and thankful for our children's health and God's sweet mercy on our little family.

Since then we have successfully had our first family camp-out at hole #6 on the Malibu Frisbee Golf Course. We started off the evening with a scoop of ice cream from the Totem Inn and then trekked on over to set up the tent and sleeping bags. Maddie and Ryder both loved it. We slept until the sun came up at 5:30 and then went back to sleep only to wake again at 7:30 when the kayak breakfast campers came walking by. You can imagine their surprise to see us all in our jammies waving good morning! They thought it was a hoot!!

After our fun morning we helped welcome our friends Morrie and Linda to Malibu Lodge and spent a wonderful afternoon with wonderful friends and shared a delicious meal together.

Maddie continues to meet new friends and enjoys watching Cinderella, playing at the pool and in the sand volleyball court. Ryder is climbing all over the place and really wants to walk...he's almost there!

If we could pull all of our friends and family into this fun adventure we are having we would in a heartbeat!! We wish Nana a "Happy Birthday" and send kisses to the arrival of Princess Audrey Joy and blessings to the entire Windham family. Looking forward to our time in the states around August 12th...

"Somewhere between the end and the point we began...Shine on."
~ Need to Breathe

Matt, Julie, Maddie, and Ryder

Monday, July 5, 2010

Do you have your Exit Buddy?

Maddie Goes Slacklining
Slacklining is a balance sport that uses nylon webbing stretched tight between two anchor points

Squirt: Whoa! That was so cool! Hey dad! Did you see that? Did you see me? Did you see what I did?
Crush: You so totally rock, Squirt! So gimme some fin.
Crush: Noggin'
Crush, Squirt: Dude!

Future Harbormaster?
Crush: Okay. Squirt here will now give you a rundown of proper exiting technique.
Squirt: Good afternoon. We're gonna have a great jump today. Okay, first crank a hard cutback as you hit the wall. There's a screaming bottom curve, so watch out. Remember: rip it, roll it, and punch it!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Painting with Queen Anne's Lace

Celebrating Canada Day on Mainstreet

Maddie and Terri on the Outer Dock

Maddie and Cody playing in Big Squawka

So, we have had some beautiful weather and great moments up here at Malibu. We said "goodbye" to dear friends and "hello" to new friends.
Maddie has loved the many new adventures we have gone on which includes traversing the Canadian wilderness in a Rhino and riding along in the speedboat to welcome the Princess which she thinks is so cool. She thinks mommy is pretty cool too when she jumps into the inlet or off the diving board and thinks her daddy is pretty cool when he rockclimbs.
Ryder loves playing motorboat in the swimming pool and splashing around with his big sister. He turns 1 year old next month and it's hard to believe that he is growing up so fast.
We continue to find fun new craft projects to get our hands on like making a hummingbird feeder, a tin can phone, or painting canvas with Queen Anne's Lace.
Although we are going to miss our favorite 4th of July traditions this year joining friends at the Tacoma Freedom Fair or Great Grandma's potato salad and Hillsboro's parade we hope to make the most of what we have here in this special place with our friends.
Let Freedom Ring!
The Cyr's

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wonder Years

What would you think if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ear and I'll sing you a song, and I'll try not to sing out of key.
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.
With a Little Help from my Friends by, The Beatles

Tea Party

One little bird sitting high in a tree
Turning his head, he was looking at me
I said, "Birdie, oh, birdie just what do you see?"
He said, "A sweet little girl having a tea party."
The blanket's spread wide for your guests
The saucers and cups are laid out to impress
Tea Party if you please
Yes Please!

Tea Party by Frances England

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In the Summertime

"In the summer time when the weather is high, you can chase right up and touch the sky"

~In the Summertime by, Mungo Jerry

Monday, June 14, 2010


In the Christian tradition the Greek translation of Hosanna is a cry of praise or adoration shouted in recognition of the Messiahship of Jesus entry into Jerusalem. As a little girl sitting in a pew at St. Matthew's church in Hillsboro, OR I recall many times reciting Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. At the time I didn't grasp the fullness of what the word truly meant or how it applied to my life.

Fast-forward 15 years to my college days at PLU. A fiery bible loving roommate of mine had a revelation of Hosanna in her life. She would walk around declaring without fear this beautiful word. At first I thought it was a peculiar exclamation to use outside of a Sunday morning Catholic church service. But the way that she lived out Hosanna made a lasting impression in my mind. Now, here in this beautiful place I am reminded again of the word Hosanna.

The word has gained in popularity in recent years with the release of the song "Hosanna" off of Hillsong United's Saviour King label. If you haven't heard the song I suggest you take a moment to listen to it. It's a beautiful song but more importantly it is a cry of praise and adoration.

When I was selecting which pictures to post this week I couldn't help but think, Hosanna! over the one of my daughter in her swimsuit standing out at Hamburger Point. It was taken on Matt's day off. We left Ryder with a sitter and set out to have a Maddie only date. It was fantastic. She wore her princess flip flops and frilly suit. We put flowers in her pigtails and walked around camp without a care in the world and set out to go kayaking. Matt navigated us through a harem of seals and pristine beauty before we arrived at Helena Creek and falls. After a quick look around we headed back to get Ryder. Maddie alternated between rowing, eating her bunny fruit snacks, and putting her feet in the water. Matt and I were completely soaked which made it all the more fun and carefree. We arrived back around noon and ran into some dear friends who shared a fun idea with us that they used with their children called "backwards meal". So we headed straight for the ice cream shop and got a scoop of Mango Marble ice cream and walked backwards to get lunch and ate our vegetables last. It was a hoot and Maddie thought it was the best! Later on that evening Matt and I were able to hike up to Inspiration Point with the summer interns to share in a time of reflection and prayer while the sun set. It was magnificent.

The photo of Ryder was taken when I found him hiding-out in-between the refrigerator and dishwasher. I had been frantically searching our house for him. When I finally spotted him I exclaimed "Ryder James!" He giggled hysterically like he had been found in a game hide-and-seek and we both had a good laugh! He just loves to hear his name and loves to laugh out loud. I cannot help but think thoughts of praise and adoration for my wonderful children. Maddie is a fun-loving spitfire and Ryder is a sweet and mellow snuggle-bug and they both make their mommy and daddy so proud.

The picture of Kara and I was taken the day she headed back to the states. It was a gorgeous morning with the air crisp and the sun shining. The smell of cinnamon buns surrounded us, which is enough to make Matt cry out Hosanna! We were so blessed as a family to have her here with us before her next journey to Alaska. We LOVE you, Kara!!

So, when you come across moments of selfless love, mercy, beauty or justice think of the word Hosanna. Let it be a declaration of praise and adoration for the One who loves you, gave his life for you, has poured out abundant blessings and set the heavens and earth in motion. "You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise." Psalm 8:1-2


Monday, June 7, 2010

Thin Places

During our time here at Malibu Club, I've been able to return to a passion that I so dearly enjoy, and that is pleasure reading. As a little girl, I would hide-away in the playroom and read hours on end. It was so easy to become immersed in the lives of the characters in the books, that it was hard to pull away.

Since the theme of this summer for our family has been adventure, I've decided to read books that fall in line with this genre. Treasure Island was polished off in no time at all and now I'm on to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis.

During my quiet hour yesterday, I came across a verse that connected with a talk I heard later in the evening on "Thin Places." In the Celtic tradition a thin place is described as a location where two worlds meet. In Walking Through Thin Places, Mindie Burgoyne offers this interpretation: "Thin Places are ports in the storm of life, where the pilgrims can move closer to the God they seek, where one leaves that which is familiar and journeys into the Divine Presence. They are stopping places where men and women are given pause to wonder about what lies beyond the mundane rituals, the grief, trials and boredom of our day-to-day life. They probe to the core of the human heart and open the pathway that leads to satisfying the familiar hungers and yearnings common to all people on earth, the hunger to be connected, to be a part of something greater, to be loved, to find peace."

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I came across a verse that a Dryad woman spoke over Reepicheep, who is a valiant mouse and self-appointed humble servant to Prince Caspian: "Where sky and water meet, Where the waves grow sweet, Doubt not, Reepicheep, To find all you seek, There is the utter East" (pp.22).

C.S. Lewis no doubt penned these words to articulate that the object he longs for is not this world but another world. To find unity with Aslan in his country, is his hearts desire (p.179). He describes briefly in Mere Christianity: "Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, ...I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same" (p.120).

In this adventure, where my faith is sure and my commitment is total, I find joy! Sharing this period in life with special friends, exercising childlike faith, and living at the threshold of a thin place is more than I could ever asked for or imagined.



Thursday, June 3, 2010


"Friendship" said pooh, "is a very comforting sort of thing." ~ Winnie the Pooh

This last weekend our family had the joy of welcoming some very dear friends to Malibu. Ryan Buskirk and Nick Russell were up for the weekend and Kara Meier has stayed on to help out with the Julie and kiddos through the coming weekend. It's a real treasure to get to spend time with people that you respect, admire, and feel completely comfortable around.

Nick is graduating from high school in a few weeks and we are sad to miss such a big milestone in his life. However, we are grateful that he will be joining us again at the end of June for some quality time together. Madeline adores Nick as an older brother of sorts and was happy to spend time with him. Matt and Julie also appreciate the opportunity to spend time with Nick in such a busy season of his life.

Kara is a former cheerleader from Julie's coaching days at Life Christian and member of a mentor group she led. She is home from APU and helping out with the kiddos for a few weeks. It has been very refreshing having her around as Matt's work demands a lot of his time and attention. Julie and Kara are enjoying working out together, helping out the interns with tasks that still need to be completed before session camps begin and just spending time together.

Madeline Grace Cyr meet Madeline Grace Powell. Yes! Both of these darlings have the same name and are only a few months apart in age. Maddie and Maddie are looking forward to many more dress up days, hours of pretend, and coloring when Maddie P returns for a month in July. What a fun weekend we had with people we have run into over the years. We look forward to developing stronger relationships and ties this summer.

We've had a couple of requests to hear an update on the cat. As some of you know we trekked Julie's parents Siamese cat, Ciscoe up to the Canadian wilderness to hunt mice. He has not failed us yet. Our first run in with a mouse left Julie on the phone at 11:00 pm trying to hunt down Matt to come help out with the 'squeaker' that was scurrying through the house. Ciscoe grabbed the mouse from the children's room but the mouse got away when he set it down to play with it. Two days later the mouse was left outside of Matt and Julie's room as gift. Almost as Ciscoe's way of saying that he has earned his keep. We aren't exactly sure what he brought in last night, nor do we care to know. He is now in his element and doing what he does best.

And finally, we had the opportunity to spend an evening at Chatterbox Falls in the beautiful sanctuary of the Princess Louisa Inlet. The spray coming out from the falls showered both Maddie and Matt while we made the most of every photo opportunity. It truly is a great place to come visit if ever you get the chance. Julie's grandparents have yachted up here in the past which was special to her to share in that connection. Many other dignitaries, celebrities, and adventure seeking persons have sought to make this a destination visit in their travel itineraries for good reason.

Sending our love and well wishes to everyone back home. Please send letters, photos, or drawings if you think about it. We love to receive mail and think of our friends and family often.

"I knew when I met you, an adventure was going to happen!" ~Winnie the Pooh

The Cyr's