Our Family is our Home

Welcome to our Family!  Welcome to our Home!

            Hello! We’re the Smeenk Family.

We’re pleased to meet you!  Let us introduce ourselves.

We are a Canadian family of 6 who sold our home to travel the world.  We love to learn and experience new places and cultures together.  The world is a magnificent place, and we want to celebrate it!  We realize that this nomadic lifestyle will only last for a season of our lives, so we want to make the most of it.  We invite you to share in our adventure!

Jenn and Brian were students at the U of A when   they met under curious circumstances, discovering that they were co-workers at St Joseph’s College at the University.  Within the first five minutes of meeting each other, he managed to call her a Jesus freak, leaving her with a shocking first impression of him.  She said to herself, “good luck to the one who gets that one!”  Little did she know then that he was destined to be her best friend and partner in life.  As co-workers, they struck up an unlikely friendship, which eventually blossomed into love.  After dating for one year and graduating from university together, they took a road trip on the Alaska Highway to drop Jenn off at her first nursing job as a grad nurse in the Yukon, stopping first to hike the 5 day Chilkoot trail (which started in Alaska and ended in the Yukon).  It was at the summit, on top of the Golden Staircase where Brian dropped down on one knee and proposed to Jenn in one of the most spectacular mountain views they have ever witnessed.  Now, after 10 years of marriage and 4 delightful children , they are ready to embark on another long-term journey as a family of 6.

 Children of the Magic Wardrobe

For safety reasons, and  just plain fun, we decided to give our children Pseudonyms.  Being fans of The Chronicles of Narnia, it was natural for us to dub our Fantastic Four with CS Lewis’ beloved central characters –our little Kings and Queens of Narnia. 

 Our 4 little ones keep our lives joyful and family centered. Our adventurous foursome keeps us continually growing and challenges us to become better people and parents. Their presence in our lives makes it necessary to travel safely, but at the same time, take the right kinds of necessary risks. We are not afraid of change. In fact, we believe that change is good for the brain by bringing on new challenges and is a vehicle to escape falsely-perceived comfort and complacency.

Susan of Wardrobe first travelled as a little fetus in her mother’s womb during her first gestational trimester throughout South East Asia.  In Singapore, she waved to her parents for the first time at 10 weeks old during her photo shoot with the ultrasound doppler.  Ever since then, she has had a proclivity for travel.  At nine ten years old, Susan is a voracious reader and a natural writer.  She is a quick learner and loves to learn new things.  Susan loves to make beaded jewelry and design clothes with her Harumika fashion set.  She is a friendly and compassionate little helper.  The country she would love to visit one day is Japan.

Peter of Wardrobe first travelled at 14 months to San Francisco, where his mother pushed him up and down the city’s hills in his stroller.  Like his father, he shares a love for airplanes, and wishes to fly a blackbird one day.  He has a tenacity for building things.  Whether it is spending hours creating things out of lego, paper, puzzles, or wood.  He has a budding mechanically inquisitive mind.  At the age of eight nine, Peter currently has a fascination for weapons and war (something he also shares with his dad).  He likes to read about Medieval Knights, Gladiators, and World War II battles, and often wonders what it would be like to be a soldier.   The country he would like to visit one day is France, particularly Paris and the beach of Normandy.

Lucy of Wardrobe was 9 months old when she first boarded a plane to Orlando Florida, USA to visit some famous mice and princesses living in Disney World.  At six seven years of age, Lucy is a quiet, contemplative creature, who has a surprisingly admirable tenacity for creativity.  She absolutely LOVES to draw and paint pictures.  Many mornings she is found asking for a piece of paper and something to draw and colour with instead of breakfast, which really puts a new meaning to the words “starving artist”!   At times, she would rather draw and create than eat.   Her natural melancholic traits are beautifully expressed through her heartfelt singing and dancing.  Lucy would like to revisit Mexico one day.

Edmund of Wardrobe first travelled at the age of 9 months to Mexico, where he ate copious amounts of white sand from the Mayan Riviera.  He is the irresistibly adorable sanguine in the family, once charming a waitress for free chocolate milk with his cutesy winks and eyebrow lifting looks, and clicking sounds (which substitutes for his yet unmastered skill of whistling).  At the active age of four five, Edmund is a very affectionate mama’s boy, who, very much like his sister Lucy, loves to put on the music and dance his heart out.  Presently, his interests lie in crafts and guns (nerf guns and water guns to be exact).   Occasionally he merges the two interests by creating paper ‘guys’ with guns.  The country he would like to revisit is Spain.



18 Responses to Our Family is our Home

  1. Julie says:

    I got excited when I saw one of your kids was Edmund (then sad when I found out that it’s just his online nickname). I call my little guy Bug online…but his real name is actually Edmund!! 😀

  2. Nicola and Dino says:

    Hi guys! It’s so uplifting to read about how well things are turning out for you. God Bless and keep safe on your adventures. We miss those four wee faces (some looking not so wee any more!) in our yard and outside our window.
    You may want to know that our new neighbours are just as wonderful neighbours as you were (if that’s possible) and together with them, in our less-nomadic lifestyle, we are enjoying your home theatre room, especially Dino since our new neighbour Sam is just as big an Oiler fan as Dino.
    I know you have moved away from accumulating “things” but, allow me to make one small suggestion-that you collect a small cross from every country you visit, and at the end of your journeys (if they ever end!) you will have a collage of precious, sacred objects that carry the wonderful memories of so many different places.
    Lots of love and best wishes,
    The DiNicola Family

    • It is so great to hear from you Nicola & Dino! We are so happy you are enjoying your new neighbours. When we met them they seemed like good down to earth folk. I think the cross idea is a great idea! I will suggest that to the kids and see what they think about it. Wishing you and your family lots of health and happiness. Keep in touch!
      Love from the Smeenk Family.

  3. I am in LOVE with your family! You’re JUST LIKE US… which is weird because we NEVER find folks who are just like us!!!

    We must MEET somewhere in this great big world!!

    You’re doing a GREAT thing for your kids! We hit the road full time when ours were 11, 9, 7, and 5… and haven’t looked back. This week, the 14 yo. is branching out and going backpacking in Belize for a week BY HERSELF (with her friends) and she would NOT be who she is without a global lifestyle.

    KEEP GOING!! Hope to see you on the road!

    • How amazing! We are absolutely thrilled to meet you! I’ve checked out your website and am so delighted to meet kindred spirits. I am so inspired by your passion and joy for your family, and your desire to share the world with your kids. We share the same dreams and truly hope we can meet somewhere in the big world one day. I am so impressed with your kids and think that your 14 year old is doing something so incredible for her age, which shows a lot of maturity and self-confidence for someone so young! Cheers and blessings to you and your family! Here’s to living the dream!
      :=) Jenn

  4. emma says:

    great ! you guys(not that the girls are boys) this was really fun to read and susan I like the picture of you!

  5. Love hearing your stories!! Miss you all, looking forward to hearing this weeks adventures! Have fun, God Bless, hugs and kisses to the little sleeping beauties!

  6. Painchaud says:

    Great blog! We are following you all and our hearts are travelling with you. Thank you for sharing your journey with those of us who not able to adapt to Nomadic life. We are looking forward to experiencing the world through your eyes. Blessings and prayers always.

  7. Auntie Beth says:

    Brian, Jen and kids,
    So proud of u all, for fulfilling u’r heart’s desire with gusto! Way to go, while u can, whenever/wherever u can, for as long as u can. So happy for u’r family. So excited to keep up reading u’r blogs, to know how u’re all doing, and to join u, even just via this site, to experience and see the world via the posting and pctures u kindly shares with us. Keep it up. Hugs to u all!

  8. Patrick Stewart says:

    I love you all!!!!!!!!! And it’s 4 below here in Combermere, so… I wish I was along! Really, I do love you, would love to be a fly on the wall watching you all have a blast and work through the blasts. Life with all its glory and gory is worth every ounce it has to offer. I begin my adventure in the cheese house next Monday. Great to be back here even with the weird thermometer. We are burying one of our Madonna House sisters, Diane Kunz, in a few hour. Despite the temp I’ll be wearing my kilt. Peace and love. Patrick

    • Hi Patrick!
      So great to hear from you. Thank you for the support and love. Wish you were along with us too. We are hoping to come see you sometime next summer there, staying at Cana. Diane’s name sounds familiar, but can’t remember her face….Been too long. Wishing you a peaceful day of love and comfort (with your kilt). We love you!!
      You are in our hearts,
      Brian and Jenn + Kids

  9. Lisa says:

    Great intros. Love your writing!

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