Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Collage.

Good Morning, Christmas Day. Some of us thought you'd never come. Here's a little collage of our family festivities. If you click on the pictures you can see the enlarged version. And zoom in on the mess. Wouldn't want to miss that!

Miss KP, after weeks of being taunted by the sight of this BIG present under the
tree, finally defies the "no peeking" message on the wrapping and gets to it.

And she's thrilled. A horse for her Canadian Girl doll.
Don't you love it when they say, "Oh, I always wanted that!".
She says it. Even if she doesn't mean it. But I think she does.

What can I say.
We have some crazies in our family who sport their very own sense of humour.
And sport their very own monkey suits too. Stylin'.

Surrounded with new pressies. Totally spoiled, they are.

A few of the big kids, pictured moments after the terrible awakening.
Looking like they desperately need some coffee sent their way. El pronto.

Jammin' Cam with his new toy. Electronic drum set.
Temporarily set up in our basement.
Providing permanent housing facilities for drum sets is a thing of the past for me.
Been there, done that. Yep.

A few of the lovelies, enjoying one of the new DS games.
And (im)patiently awaiting the presentation of the roasted fowl.

Here we are. A tableful of food and family.
So delighted that we could all be together.

Miss Lannie in her cracker hat(s).

And Miss Kayleigh in her element.
Our resident spud lover. Mashed potatoes is definitely her thing.
Genetically predisposed, I'd say.

The group games pretty much alternated between Dutch Blitz and Twister.
I was the picture-taker, so not much participation from me.
Really, could you even imagine me on that Twister deck, all bent out of shape?
They'd be callin' 911.

Clearly, Jessica didn't participate much either.

Food and fun. And best of all, family. Good times and great memories. We are blessed.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Season of Giving and Getting.

Even though we might be reluctant to admit it, the season has consumed us. All this business of giving and getting. And if you're anything like me, you've maybe gotten such an overload of stuff that you've had a senior's moment and almost forgotten just who gave you what.

But as I sat this morning and remembered the Lord Jesus Who, more than two thousand years ago, died for my sins and rose again the third day, I regrouped my giving and getting thoughts.

I thought of my Heavenly Father, and what He gave.
He gave His Son.

His only begotten Son. Given to be born in the lowliest of earthly places. Given, to grow up in the despised town of Nazareth. Given, to be rejected by His own creation. Given, to suffer for the sins of mankind on the cross of Calvary.

I thought of my Saviour, and what He gave.
He gave His life.

He willingly suffered and gave His life, that I might receive eternal life.

What do I give Him? My time? My thoughts? My focuses? My energies?

By and by when I look on His face,
Beautiful face, thorn-shadowed face;
By and by when I look on His face,
I'll wish I had given Him more.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holidays. Aaaah.

No packed lunches. No schedules. No coffee on the run.
Holidays are the best.
Sleeping in. Playing games. Drinking coffee, from a china mug, with friends.

Holidays are the B.E.S.T.

Monday we hooked up with Pat (a member of our basement family) and walked to a newly renovated local coffee shop. Alana and Kayleigh downed their hot chocolates like nobody's business and then chatted up the waitresses, while we sipped our gingerbread lattes and nibbled on cake by the fire. Bliss.

Came home and baked all afternoon. Filled my freezer with some Christmas goodies. Hip-enhancing goodies that I probably don't even really NEED to have within a 5-mile radius, but you know, just in case.

Must be the Irish in me.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

School's Out!


The concert rehearsals, choir practices and class parties are finally done.

At least until next year.

So... we stayed up late Friday night to celebrate the beginning of Christmas break. And if you can believe it, the all-day-sugar-high kept the girls going until 12:30am, so no shortage of time to play a few rounds of Rummy-O, watch a Christmas movie, and even lose a tooth!

And just to clarify, Miss Kay lost the tooth, not me. Yeah, I know I've joined the ranks of the Middle Ages, but thankfully I'm not losing teeth just yet.

Then as if that wasn't enough, we had to make a huge mess and decorate our annual Gingerbread House.

 Haha, looks like Alana's wearing a halo. Trust me, she wears no halo.

This year's gingerbread house is lookin' a whole lot better than last year's attempt.

Great pains were taken to meticulously place all those little red balls.

And finally this past Tuesday, setting anticipation aside, we celebrated the arrival of Kyle and Ally from Nicaragua. I can't begin to describe the sheer delight when this brother and sister-in-law showed up on the doorstep. You MUST have heard Alana and Kayleigh disturbing the whole neighbourhood?!

The rest of the family came to visit too. Good times. We are blessed.

Definitely by all counts, he's one of the best looking missionaries I know.
I'm biased, you say.
Of course I'm biased, but you'd agree with me, wooden ya!?

Jessica. Ally. Me.
I've inherited a variety of names around here.
Sue. Mama Bear. Mother Teresa. MIL.
And a few others that we'll just say can go without mention.

The oldest and the youngest. Love them both.

And last but not least... Funny Face and the lovely Steph.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Return of the Blogger.

Hello. I'm back.

Five days of concentrated learning on the intriguing topic of ASD. Phew. I did it. Made it through a whole week of being a student in the classroom! But now I find I'm pschyo-analyzing myself. And thinking I may possess some borderline behavorial deficits.  Oh-oh. I guess I always knew I had something. Nice that I can finally define it with an abundance of technical and scientific terminology! Lol. An interesting week it was. But certainly a truckloadful of information for an old lady like me to process.

Unfortunately, I also had some sad news to process this week. On Tuesday, my mom was diagnosed with a terminal disease. Never the post-surgery update that one expects to hear, but this time, my family and I were the ones on the receiving end of such a report. So in a few words, it's been a difficult week... six thousand miles away, unable to physically embrace those loved ones so dear to my heart. Tough. I've been doing plenty of praying. Praying that, whether here or there, we each will rest in the promise of His immeasurable presence, as He walks with us through the days ahead. Whatever they may hold.

On the long drive to school this morning, I watched as the dawning colors of daylight gently displaced the darkness. The black sky metamorphosed through varying shades of blue, and the rising sun airbrushed the clouds with glowing hues of pink and gold. It was a stunning panorama of God's handiwork. Eyes back on the road, ahead there was nothing but the gray blur of another dull morning. As I made the visual switch back and forth, it hit me how it was so much more peaceful to look up, than to look straight ahead! And how infinitely better it is to depend on God, rather than man.

"My times are in Thy hand." Psalms 31:15

My times are in Thy hand - my God, I wish them there,
My life, my friends, my all - I leave entirely to Thy care.

My times are in Thy hand, whatever they may be,
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright, as best may seem to Thee.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


This week was busy, as usual, but more than usual. Here we are again, another new week.

Yesterday morning, Dave and Steph cooked us up a delicious breakfast. Delightful. Totally a great way to start the day. Amazing to wake up smelling fresh coffee, berry crepes and sizzling sausages. It was yum... and I didn't even have to clean up! Wish I'd taken some pictures, but I forgot. So you'll have to take my word for it. Thanks D and S.

Skyped the family, did some shopping. Prepped my Sunday School lesson. Made brandy sauce for the freshly baked plum pudding. Another yum. And a little whetting of the appetite for Christmas Day.

Tomorrow I'm taking a sabbatical from blogging... lots of things on the go this week, so I need to prioritize my focus.

But don't worry, I'll be back.