Thursday, May 27, 2010

Time of Your Life

"So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind. Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time. It's something unpredictable and in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life."
~Green Day

I haven't listened to Green Day since high school but but the lyrics to the chorus of "time of your life" so appropriately fit the season of life that we are in, I couldn't resist.

First, let me start off by sharing the excitement behind Ryder's smile. He now has his second tooth, claps when he's happy, and crawls everywhere. He loves keeping up with his sister and is able to defend himself if need be. What a busy week for the little guy!

Maddie's photos require a little more story telling. If you've been to Malibu Club in more recent years then you might know about Sven's House of Style. It's a store room for Tableau costumes, 'the opening' apparel, and a lot of random funky wigs, hats, and instruments.

In the weeks leading up to our departure Maddie would go into her closet and take all of her dresses out and leaving them on their hangers she would line them all up on her arm. Then she would come into our room and ask us if she could take all of her dresses to Malibu with her. She was so cute everytime she did this that of course our response was an enthusiastic, Yes!

For whatever reason the dresses did not make it up with us. Tragic for a little girl with a big heart for dress up. On our hunt for materials to make a toy boat, we stumbled across Sven's House of Style. Maddie lit up like the ball drop at New Years in Time Square. She tried on sequin hats, bandanas, played bugles, rode the stick pony, and wanted to twirl in princess dresses. We had a blast!

After our time of dress-up we finished our original plan of searching for materials to build a toy boat like the one we read about in a favorite book. We found a pencil, string, cushion, pop can and brown paper bag for our project. Together we built our little toy boat. We had a great time being resourceful and practical in choosing items to work with. It's amazing how little you need to construct a great project!

Maddie is having a grand time rock climbing, riding her bike, helping out in the dining hall and traveling by tractor or boat to whatever destination we are off to. I think I had a little "ah, ha" moment today when we were walking back to our 'treehouse' after helping a friend deadhead rhodies. Maddie was walking along and I asked her if she wanted to go in the boat and make s'mores tonight with friends. She started leaping through the air exclaiming "Oh, yes! I love riding in the boat!" With joyful exuberance she danced all the way home.

I remember not so long ago leaping everywhere I went. I loved my years in dance and it just came naturally to leap, twirl, or chasse to whatever destination awaited me. My Grandma recently sent me an e-mail encouraging me to enjoy looking at life through the lens of a 3 year old. I am finally getting there. So, on our way to dinner we left 40 minutes early. I followed behind her the entire way as we walked on 'balance beams' came across Hairy and Jerry - cousin slugs that come out only after the rain, blasted off of her favorite rock and went down to the beach to throw rocks into the water. After dinner we got our boat ride in and a lot of yummy s'mores to fill our tummies.

I have a feeling that this summer is going to fly by - like trying to catch the wind. But I've determined in my heart to make the most of the time I have, in this beautiful place, with my incredible family, to love and serve a gracious God.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Adventure's in Malibuland

"I'll teach you to jump on the winds back, and away we go!"
~Peter Pan

Yesterday the kids made headdresses to welcome the leadership camp. Aren't they adorable? Maddie helped unload freight down at the inner dock, set tables in Malibu fashion, and welcome guests. She is making herself quite at home. Ryder rode in his Sherpani - the Cadillac of baby backpacks; Julie loves it!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Our house is appropriately called 'Treehouse.' The photo on the left is our view looking out into the Jervis Inlet. The photo in the center is our view looking into Young Life's Malibu Club. Directly in front of us is a small piece of land called 'Forbidden Island' and a bald eagle makes it's nest there. Maddie likes to look out at the herons, sea pups, and the many boats that pass through. We feel blessed to be surrounded by so much beauty all of the time.

The photo on the bottom is my darling family. Ryder is enjoying eating big boy food daily. He has successfully ate chicken kabobs with rice and shepherd's pie. He gets his love for food from his mom. While we enjoyed our shepherds pie at dinner last night Matt and Maddie ate cheerios.

Daddy and daughter do share a common love for dessert and hot cocoa and both of them have more than had their share while away from home. I'm pretty convinced that our family has ate more dessert in the last four weeks than we did in the last year combined. Yowzers! It's pretty hard to turn down homemade ice cream and Nanaimo bars.

Madeline can't wait to have friends and family visit our 'treehouse.' So if your coming up be prepared to get a tour and bring Toy Story 3 in 3d...she invited the movie to come for an overnight too. We'll treat you to s'mores and warm hospitality.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Make Believe

Where to even start? I feel as though everyday is a new adventure up here at Malibu. There is a great quote I ran into a couple weeks back from Amelia Earhardt and it reads "Adventure in itself is worthwhile." It seems to go that when you take yourself out of the comfortable predictability of the everyday and plant yourself somewhere new and unfamiliar life takes on new meaning.

As a little girl, one of my favorite make believe games to play with my brother and sisters was Boxcar children. We modeled the game after the book series and kept ourselves entertained for hours on-end replicating and engaging in pretend play. To this day I feel nostalgic about the affair. Yesterday, Maddie and I began a real game of pretend. Up to this point she would sometimes call me "Miss Kerbel" aka Miss Clavel, the nun, from the Madeline series. She, of course, was Madeline. Jack, our dog was Genevieve, and Ryder somehow escaped the whole charade. As we ate our picnic snack out on Hamburger Point, she began to make believe. We had her dollies dance to "Once Upon a Dream" and become friends. They shared and played together. It was all so sweet. After our pretend play we laid down side by side and found shapes in the clouds. She pointed out an alligator and marshmallow while I saw a pirate ship and trumpet. Ryder slept through the whole thing, which made me grateful to get some great quality time in with my girl.

If your curious, we did get around to making the banana bread and secretly delivered it to our favorite interns. They're incredible. We couldn't ask for a more positive and energetic group of people to share life with in this season. What another great day we had.

This morning started off with pancake breakfast. Emily and I dished out some chocolate chip, mixed berry, and eggs in a pancake - which is fabulous if you have never had it. Bacon and fresh fruit rounded out the meal and we all walked away with full tummies and smiles on our faces.

Addie, the office intern showed Mads how to make buttons or "medals" as she likes to call them. One day she may be wearing an Olympic medal around her neck, but for now the buttons suite her just fine.

We wore our rain jackets and boots everywhere we went and jumped in every puddle along the way. It's a pretty neat thing to not care one aiota about getting wet or dirty!

Matt let us help him out for a little while this morning and I got to belay him on the rock wall so he could get measurements and Maddie played basketball in the gym. What a great day on the job!

I'm learning so much about the beauty of simplicity. It's one thing to preach it back at home and it's quite another thing to live it up here. There is no corner store or Starbucks to meet our every whim. We work with what we have and support one another along the way. It reminds me so much of my grandparents and how simplicity and love for family have always guided everything they have done in their lives up to this point. I'm so thankful for their model and hope to pass on truths that have spoke louder than words ever could.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Today was a great day. Together our family found so much joy in both big and little milestones.

Our morning started off with the rains coming in. Suprisingly, it is really refreshing when we have rainy days here at Malibu. The air is more crisp and fresh and we get rainbows that make you want to go hunt for treasure. Sometimes, we even get doubles rainbows. A sight not too be missed!

Trading our sunblock and shovels for rainjackets and boots we set out to get some major puddle jumping in. And that is just what we did. Ryder stayed in the backpack of course, while Maddie let loose and enjoyed a wet adventure. We found a slug she named Hairy and gathered leaves to take home to make an art collage. Our afternoon brownie baking didn't turn out so hot but that didn't change our sweet moments from earlier in the day.

Ryder hit a few milestone's of his own. His first tooth officially cut through this morning. It's on the bottom and he's chomping everything in site. Matt's convinced his first word is "mommy" as he has been saying it ALL day long! Mommy of course likes this. :) At dinner he ate meatloaf, mashed potatoes and cooked carrots like a real man. He's growing up so fast!

We have a few more quiet days before another camp comes in this weekend. If the rains keep up, which it appears they will, we will make Great Grandma's banana bread tomorrow for the interns who are putting in long hours and working hard. Our begonia's need planting and Ciscoe is ready for a walk to check out his surroundings.

Singing in the rain...
The Cyr's

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Birthday Blessings

Yesterday I had the blessing of celebrating my birthday at Malibu. If you got a chance to read my Facebook post you would know that a darling little girl made me a special sign that read "it's my birthday, please buy me a latte or ice cream." I was surprised by how many people told me to get a latte and put it on their tab. Or I could have got a Frankenstein (really large ice cream sundae) with all of the cash people gave to me. Wow!! The kitchen cook and intern, Sharon and Stephen, went all out and made me an ice cream cake with oreo crust and fruit topping. It was delicious! I felt blessed.

Matt arranged for our new friend Emily to hang-out and watch movies with Madeline. Another dear friend and Kenmore Air pilot, Karen took Ryder in his first seaplane so that we could go on a date. We went and grabbed coffee at Hamilton's (more coffee!) and sat on the inner dock to unwind. It's hand's down one of my favorite places to be. The water is so still in the inlet. After our downtime we hiked up to Kanata Lodge and played two rounds of chess. With each of us having a win under our belt we rescued our helpers and put the kiddos to bed.

The Princess (Malibu Yacht) has whisked the men's campers away and we have a quiet week ahead of us. Looking forward to planting our hanging tomato plants, herb garden, and raised beds just in time for the summer growing season.

Wishing my sister, Jillian, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

She sells seashells...

Yesterday was Maddie's big day as an entrepreneur. She made good friends with two darling sisters from Vancouver, Jessica and Alicia. She calls them "her girls!" Together they spent the morning collecting shells on the beach and making beaded bracelets. The "girls" Aunt Jan encouraged the little ladies to sell the shells they collected to raise money for children in Ethiopia. They made over $30 to purchase clean water for two children! Matt's suggestion of selling Otter Pops on boat day is starting to win me over.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Baring it all

I was wondering when it was going to happen. Maddie taking all of her clothes off that is. Well it happened today. After breakfast the kids and I set out for our morning work. We were given the task of planting some impatients - appropriately titled I thought! I taught Maddie how to break up the roots and dig with a trowel. She learned that the flowers need water, sun, and love to grow; just like we need those things to grow too. Ryder thought he would help water the flowers and spilled the watering can all over himself. As I washed up and cleaned the spill Maddie found herself in the outside shower rinsing off by the volleyball court. Of course she drenched herself and because it's sunny and warm outside she took the liberty to take it all off - all off!! This wouldn't be a problem in the privacy of our home but there were 20+ staff members watching her do this. This all coming off the heels of our friend Terri talking to the ladies about modesty during our morning meeting as 250 men are scheduled to arrive this afternoon for the weekend. What a hoot!!

Our morning left Maddie tired and wanting to go to the library and get the "Chipmunk" movie. Since there is no library on this remote location I said "well maybe we can find the chipmunks." Praise God that we actually get a bizillion channels on satellite here and low and behold we found the chipmunks - old school style that I'm use too. Who knew?!

We are headed out to lunch and a nap before the first camp comes this afternoon. The sun is shining down making the water look like a sea of diamonds, the mountains are snow capped and clear, and the rapids are quiet. A few yachts have come through to visit Chatterbox Falls and Sea planes are flying overhead. It's a great day and were looking forward to playing in the water and collecting shells this afternoon.

Thinking of you...
The Cyr's

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Canucks Lose

Wow! What a great time we are having so far at Malibu Club. All of us are learning a lot and developing patience with one another as we go.

Matt has been hard at work getting the property ready for Men's Camp which arrives tomorrow. He accompanies us to breakfast and lunch and spends the rest of the day running around and working with property staff and summer interns to get the job done. There is a lot to do and everyone works around the clock to get it done. What a great group of people we get to serve with!

Julie is learning how to be more spontaneous and flexible with Maddie's natural curiosity and Ryder's love of structure. The two children couldn't be more opposite, but somehow it works. Yesterday it took 40 minutes to get from the dining hall back to our house (a 5 minute trek) because Maddie wanted to walk on every rock individually. She currently likes to "lead the way" and stops to talk with every person she sees. Ryder is now crawling and moving around. He likes to eat the sand (a big no-no!) and gets really excited about being in the high chair to eat new big boy foods. It's hard to believe he is 9 months already.

Ciscoe, our friendly feline, likes to think he is King of the house. He snuggles with us on the couch and especially favors sleeping on pillows. So far he has adjusted well to being a new member of our family. Thanks Nana for letting us keep him for the summer.

Last night we watched the Canucks loose - a disappointing blow to hockey fans up here. But the weather was incredible and we enjoyed time together as family going for a walk, playing on the playground, and watching Maddie ride "lightning" her new bicycle around the gym.

This morning the kids helped pick-up pinecones and pull weeds in the volleyball court - a task that earned Maddie an Otter Pop, a new favorite treat for her. We play on the beach, collect seashells, help where we can be of help, climb big rocks, and build sandcastles.

The water up here is smooth as glass and with sunny warm weather we are itching to get some early morning ski sessions in. Tonight we'll have fresh snapper that was caught yesterday. A little deck garden could be coming soon. Hoping to have pics soon.

The Cyr's

Monday, May 10, 2010

We made it!!

After a 4 am wake-up call, 8 hour car drive, 40 minute ferry boat, and 1 hr boat drive the Cyr family arrived at Malibu Club in beautiful British Columbia this evening. Phew!

In the last two weeks we have had the flu, colds, injury, last days of preschool, the Eugene marathon, packed up everything we own, said "goodbye" to Jackson our dog and friends and family and yet somehow our eyelids are still open. We aren't exactly sure how, but by the grace God gives us everyday to tackle life with zeal and verve.

Today marks the first day of our new adventure and we are so excited. Not only is it the first day of our time here at Malibu for summer 2010, but it was the first time it only took a minute and a half to cross the Canadian border - with a cat and a trailer attached we couldn't believe it! It was also a first day to try something new in the kitchen as our friend Sharon served us some dragon fruit - so tasty. Our kiddos were superstars through it all and we are so proud of them.

Much love to everyone following us in our adventure. We can't wait to share it with you!

The Cyr's

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Adventures

Mother's Day marks the beginning of a new adventure for our family. On Sunday we depart for a five month faith journey to support Matt as Guest Services Director at Young Life's premier resort camp located in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

We look forward to a summer filled with early morning ski sessions, hikes up to Inspiration Point, and waking up every morning to wonderful waterfront views in our new home; TreeHouse. Follow us along in our new journey and check back regularly for posts, pictures, and updates. Pray for us as we navigate new waters with our children and represent Christ to both Student and Adult campers throughout the season.

We love our friends and family and thank you in advance for your support and encouragement!!!

Matt, Julie, Maddie, and Ryder Cyr