Thursday, December 31, 2009

goodbye 2009...

...hello 2010!

i don't like endings...it means things are done, finished, never again...maybe some underlying tension needing to be dealt with regarding my issues with "endings" but we'll save that for another post...or not!

so much has happened in the past year...not to mention the past decade! but, come to think of it, let's take a look back at the past 10 years...

~ started and finished my degree at SFU

~ met the man of my dreams...or so I thought!

~ met a class-A jokster who became the man of my dreams...unbeknownsed to me!!

~ cycled across the country and realized I had met the man of my dreams ;P

~ became a teacher

~ traveled across the world to teach some incredible little kids

~ got engaged, planned and carried out our wedding in a matter of 2 months!!

~ traveled through and taught in Haida Gwaii

~ lived in a barn, trailer, childhood bedroom, 100 Mile house...and our first home!

~ gave birth to our 2 beautiful girls

~ said goodbye to our beautiful #2 baby

~ started running

~ did my first 10 km race with Karleigh...and almost died!!

~ ran my first half marathon...also with Karleigh...also thought I would die! sense the pattern??

~ ran 2 other half marathons!

~ moved back to my home town

~ bought our first home

~ got my first (and second) contract in my local school district in the first 2 years of being here!

~ realized that I have absolutely no control over my life! God has His perfect plan for where/who He wants me to be and it's a lot easier to get there if/when I allow Him to have His way!

I look forward to seeing where this year will take us! I pray that God will continue to direct us along the path He has set before us. I pray His gentle guidance would steer us and His grace and mercy would lead us.

I look forward to this year - it's fresh start, it's promise, the hope of new beginnings and new challenges - knowing that through it all "I can do all things through Christ who give me strength" Phil. 4:13

I pray that you, too, can look forward to this new year and the promise it holds...may you know the hope He can provide! Blessings to you and yours in 2010...

and yes...i DO have resolutions! still revising them! stay tuned for tomorrows post!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

~ and the fog rolled in ~

Christmas morning sunrise

so, on top of an awesome morning with our girls enjoying the excitement of their new gifts, Christmas day gave us another memory to cherish. the sun was out in it's full glory...and the best part of mr. sun showing his face is that because we live on top of a steep hill, mr. sun was shining mainly on us!

in between our small family present-opening and the rest of our afternoon, we paid a visit to gram's house - where the fog had socked everyone in like an air-chilled sauna! my mum didn't even know the sun was shining anywhere!

well...it was shining, and we took some time in this blessed day to enjoy a walk in our back-yard paths...through the sunshine and fog!

and we're off



incredible fog-hugged frosted foliage



~foggy sisters~

~straggler...~

~clear discussion~

~light of hope~

~sun-kissed~

clearly, we've been busy savoring the moments of this Christmas season! so, i will try and get back on here before 2010 to update you with some festive family pictures...but i'm really enjoying this time with my clan! so...if i don't make it back here, know that i'm busy enjoying these last few days of 2009!

may you bring in this new year with friends and family, laughter and love! and may you be blessed in 2010!

{happy holidays}

2 words that basically sum up our past week and a bit! we've been home enjoying time with family and friends. working on the house and just relaxing!

on the 21st we (read: ME) decided that it would be nice to have an "open-house" for the Christmas season, but also to simply have some friends and family come out and see our new home!

so, although it was short notice, we had a great turn-out and enjoyed an incredible evening with great company and good food!

the kids had a great time too...



we're blessed to have great friends and live in a great neighborhood!




a great way to start the season of giving and reflecting on a year almost done!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

{gingerbread houses and potty-training}


they go hand-in-hand....right?!?

well, not really, but it's catchy! and they go together in this house! so, in further preparation of all things Christmasy and starting new family traditions, we decided to construct a gingerbread house for the second year in a row! and by construct, i mean just that! no "make-you-feel-good-like-Martha-Stewart-BAKE-your-house-before-you-decorate" kind of construction! just the real simple "pull-it-out-of-the-box-and-stick-together-with-all-provided-goodness" kind of construction!
the girls had a great time...wanting to get the perfect candy to stick in the perfect place! And sometimes...that was even on the house!

{preparing the icing}

{on-site contractor}

{candy-placement}



{family-fun!}

{final product...proud builders}

* * * * * *
as for the potty-training portion of today's post...here's a peek of the leaps and bound we may (or may not) be making...

video

our Bean is such a joy in so many ways, that's it's hard for us to be hard-nosed about this one little, tiny aspect of life...losing the diapers! So, given the success you've just has the joy of viewing, we're kinda taking a step back, being thankful that she's so bright and fun and loving - in a diaper - and hoping that little Miss may take the lead when she feels "ready." until then...we'll keep enjoying watching these moments of our attemps!

life around here is getting more festive and family-filled by the moment! we're having an open-house tomorrow and our first turkey dinner in the new house on Christmas eve, with the in-laws, followed by a promisingly oh-so-busy-yet-super-fun Christmas day which also involves another turkey dinner! so posts will be sparse, to say the least! but my family is SO worth it!

i wish for you: fun...love-filled moments...priceless family memories...laughter...an understanding of the true JOY this season holds...yummy treats...peaceful nights...a quiet mind...an at-this-moment acceptance of life and self...hope...goals for the New Year...anticipation of things to come...an unexpected present...the sense of Emmanuel - God with Us...comfort...and joy.

{Merry Christmas and blessings to you in 2010}

Sunday, December 20, 2009

{round...red...and shiny...}

so... 'tis the season to be talking about all things sparkly and festive. the time of year when you can go "all out" in decorations and not be look upon as excessive or freaky.

i'm not one to have too many decorations around my home, but that may be due to, in part, that fact that we've only ever been in "borrowed" homes up until this year!

so...this post could be in reference to the fact that i have taken it upon myself to go completely "all out" this year and decorate my house to the nth degree knowing full-well that people will "oohhh" and "aahhh" at all the festive trinkets placed in precisely the right place here and there all around our home. it could be about the fact that in preparation for our open house on wednesday, i have baked umpteen goodies, collected and displayed all things bright and sparkly, and hung my stockings with care....





or...







my post could be in reference to....











this.....











oh...my poor baby




need a closer look??





yup...it's round...and red...and shiny!
{suffice it to say, Avery won't be doing any more "diaper box car" driving anytime in the near future! poor Bean!}

here's hoping you've got some actual decorating to do...me, I've got a baby to doctor to! all the decorating and preparing for the open house will have to wait...

{my little ballerina}

before the end of the season, we had a chance to go into Karys' ballet class and watch her in action. she's in a beginners class with a lot, if not all, first-time ballerinas and she loves it! being only 30 minute classes, she's been able to get a little taste of what dance-classes are like and I think it's safe to say she's in love!

here's a little picture collage of our little ballerina...

(note: click on image to get a better view)

and what's a ballet-viewing day without a video recording? here ya go...enjoy!

video

Sunday, December 13, 2009

worms and dirt and painting...OH MY!!

Well, the time has come! My first baby has turned four and just finished celebrating with a true party!


But let's start at the beginning...

While leading up to this very special day, Karys and I did a lot of talking about what kind of birthday party she wanted and which friends she wanted to invite! We came to the decision that she would like a "garden" party and so we started on the invitations! Thankfully for her, only one good friend was unable to make it, but seeing as how Taeya lives far away, Karys understood!

Here's a look at the invitations...

a flowerpot with the details, and stem with their name,
and then a little tempting sampler...something hiding in the "dirt"

an invitation garden

my excited "big girl"

So, once the invitation were all delivered, all we could do was...wait! And that's not easy for an excited almost four year old:) But wait she did, and her birthday came...and she couldn't have been more happy!

traditional birthday cake pancake...almost ready

all set...sprinkles and syrup!

Let the party-prepping begin...

garden sammies...a real hit!

a first for me...but this stuff is GOOD!
{variation: I used Skor Bar}

all the goodies...

the flower pot...filled with mud, dirt and worms!!

I can't believe Karys is four! I can believe that we had a great time celebrating her and watching her thoroughly enjoy having her closest friends with her to play with.

It's hard to believe four.whole.years have passed since we brought our first little bundle home on that chilly December evening! She has taught me priceless life lessons. Lessons only a child can teach: Humility in times of regret...patience in times of frustration...true laughter in times of happiness...unconditional love. Karys has a mind of her own, and has had since day.one. And as much as this attribute has caused much frustration and a "battle of wills" on my part, my prayer for her is that God would be able to harness her confidence, instilling in her that virtue of self-confidence that can be so lacking in girls as they grow up. As much as I feel inadequate at times, I am confident of this: God gave Karys to Jim and I to raise because He saw us fit to raise her up into the women He desires her to be. It's a responsibility I don't take lightly. I am honoured by and proud of her fourth year with us...here's to a new year, new discoveries, new memoires.


{feel free to click on the collage to get a better look at all the pictures:)}

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

So, in preparation of this incredible season, we have made some attempts to start new family traditions.

{1} Christmas count-down

I found this idea online...

...there's a tag for every day...

...on the back there is "A time for..." for every day along with a bible reading...

...the final product...


{2} Acquiring a Christmas tree from a local grower

can you tell it was a TAD chilly that day?!

...BBbrrrrrrr...
...trying to find "the" tree...
...where's Affie??......us...

{3} Trimming the tree while listening to Christmas music and munching on food that one should never admit was in the house, let alone served as the days' final meal!


...wondering why they always want their decorations to be hung at the top of the tree...

{4} Christmas baking with family and friends - this year we spontaneously decided to decorate some cookies while Karys had a friend over...they had a blast, and the cookies were yummy too!

...rolling the dough...

...ready to bake! Note the ancient baking device?! yup...that's my oven!...
...all ready to decorate!...
gotta love those boys who have to look like they're not having fun!
...mmmm, icing...

...icing to sugar ratio - 10:1...

...100% concentration

...can't forget the sprinkles!!...
...READY...

...TO...

...EAT!!...


{5} Take in some festive community activities!

This year we went to a fundraiser put on by a family who helps women from the lower Eastside. It was phenomenal! Santa met us at the end of the driveway, where our girls flatly refused to even look at him, let alone sit on his lap and pose for a picture! While we were trying to figure out how to diffuse the anxiety we were met but some friendly faces and made some crafts. There were ponies, lamas, goat and bunnies to pet and cuddle, marshmellows to be toasted and a gorgeous home to wander through - taking in the lovely decorations, treats, apple cider and different trees in every room!

...geting there...

..."little angel" craft...

...toasting marshmellows...

...attempting to eat marshmellows, neatly...
...Karys, in her element! This little lady loves animals!...

...soaking in the moment...

...Avery in awe...

...cheese face...
note: see last post for further reference to this oh-so-familiar face
I think it's safe to say fun was had by all!

Whoa, that was a long one! And, if your nice enough to have stuck with me through this whole thing...it's your "lucky day"!! RIIIGHT! Nope, it's not really, but the least I can do for you is give you a laugh...get a load of this...

{6} Fit in workout videos wherever/whenever I can, and hope that hubby is FAR away from me AND the camera!

yup...he caught this one evening while the girls and I were "working out"

and he was supposedly "working" downstairs!

There ya have it...laugh away...and thanks for hangin' in there!