While attending the "Love the Church Conference" in North Carolina last December, the Lord allowed us to befriend a terrific like-minded family, the Hammonds of South Carolina.
Our friendship has blossomed beautifully, allowing us to enjoy sweet fellowship in their home both going and returning from Florida in March, and we've just wrapped up hosting them in our home for the past eight days. How sorry we were to see them leave!!
Wanting to expose our southern friends to a bit of Canadian culture, we happily acted as tour guides, beginning their visit with a trip to Parliament Hill, even sitting in on Question Period for a few moments to allow them to get a firsthand glimpse at our elected representatives in action.
Of course, no visit to Ottawa is complete without a taste of poutine!
Afterwards, we took a short cruise down the Ottawa River, boarding our boat where the Ottawa meets the Rideau Canal. Later that evening we attended a spectacular (albeit drizzly) paratrooper presentation by the Canadian Armed Forces Skyhawks, and wrapped up the day by enjoying the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's much lauded "Musical Ride". Unfortunately, we didn't get very many photos that day, we were too busy visiting!
The following day Caleb and Bethany took all of the children and young folk to a local indoor ice skating rink, providing them with the opportunity to do something they'd seldom done before. Our kiddos were not a little impressed with how well the Hammond children did!!
Those boards sure do come in handy, don't they Jordan and Savannah?
We see you found the boards a tad helpful too, Kelsey!
"If I go down, you're a comin' with me!"
Who's helping whom?
Look out Ottawa Senators, Donald's Destroyers are in town!
We tried to put a video of the children skating on the blog, but it wouldn't upload. Do take a moment to click on the link below ~ we think the Hammond kiddos are naturals!!
Newbie Skaters In Action! (Video)
After having our planned Wakefield Steam Train trip cancelled due to copious amounts of rain, the Hammonds introduced us to something we'd never done before, laser tag! Our two families had the place to ourselves where we chased each other through mazes in the dark, thoroughly enjoying shooting one another! Who'da thunk that'd be something I'd enjoy? Truth is, I think I've found my new favourite thing, and the rest of the family thinks likewise!! After that we introduced our guests to five-pin bowling.
We also visited Upper Canada Village, an authentic 1860's town situated on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, enjoying a beautiful sunny day strolling the lanes, exploring the buildings, and tormenting the pigs!
Prairie...umm... Well, not so sure "muffin" describes him best...
You'd think these dairy farming folk would enjoy a break from their daily chores. No sirree, they all pitched in at Upper Canada Village. You'll notice our fellas weren't so inclined, seems they figure they do enough milking right here on our farm and thoroughly enjoyed their night off!
Bringing in reinforcements! Ethan's met his match...er...more than his match!
In addition to all the sightseeing mentioned above, Caleb took the young folk on a boat ride on the nearby not-so-mighty Mississippi River, the Hammonds helped milk the cows - seeing firsthand how our dairy differs from their goat dairy, and we all just generally enjoyed sweet, sweet fellowship, had lots of good discussion and hymn and psalm singing, and were up late most nights playing games. I actually had a 3 hour nap after they left!
Sadly, what we suppose is the highlight of our summer has come and gone. When the Hammonds drove out the laneway this morning we all felt a pang of sadness, wishing they could stay much longer. Nevertheless, we're so thankful to the Lord for providing us with such good friends, and for allowing us to enjoy sweet like-minded fellowship, trusting that He will give us many more opportunities to spend with these dear, dear folk.
"A friend loveth at all times."