Monday, February 1, 2016

January 2016

To be truthful...

there is nothing in this post except for the ten days of January that we spent in Maui. 

I took my girls with me when I went to get a pedicure.
It was a very small attempt of giving them a taste of vacation preparations. 
It's always more fun when others share your excitement.  Isn't it?

I had a few special friends stop by before we left with gifts for us to enjoy on our trip!

The morning we left the sun rose in spectacular fashion. 
We crowded with others at the boarding gate window to watch it. 

This is where we stayed in Kaanapali. 
We hadn't been to Maui for 8 years and this was the third place we have stayed.

Do you all make comparisons of the places you have stayed?
What you like more...what you liked more.. and what you would do different?

We do.
We paid for a mountain view this time because of the lousy exchange rate.
This location was better than where we stayed in Napili Bay.
Next time we would look at our room and make sure there was no loading bay right below us.

beep beep beep beep...
need I say more?

However ....
we had a fantastic time.

I am a light sleeper so when the beeping would start at 5 in the morning I would grab my kindle and begin reading.  

If I nodded off on the beach later no one judged me. 

The beach!

We stayed at the far end of this stretch.  

On the first morning we, in our eagerness to feel the sand between our toes, walked from our hotel to this point here in the sand and then I put my flip flops on to continue walking around black rock and gave myself a few good blisters from the sand rubbing against my straps on wet feet within a half hour.  =(

After that morning we walked all along the boardwalk to the end of Whalers Village  and then did our sand walk once we passed black rock on our way back to our resort.  

Previous visits I spent a lot of time taking pictures of flowers.
This time I loved them, enjoyed them but took only a few photos. 

Before our vacation we realized that our cousins would be at the same hotel on the night we arrived.
We left our luggage in our room and joined them for dinner in Lahaina at Honu. 

It was such a great way to begin our vacation.  

The next morning after our walk we walked in the other direction with our carry bags to get some groceries. We didn't bother to get a rental car on this trip since we didn't plan to go see the sights and this worked out perfectly well for us.

It was fun connecting with these friends Richard and Brenda who moved to Alberta about twenty years ago.
They picked us up in their VW convertible and we to to Hula Grill in Whalers Village.  We got there in time for happy hour and somehow stayed through the dinner hour. 

This was our view from our lanai. 
I sure loved having our yogurt, granola, fruit, bagels and cream cheese out there....
even with the beep beep beep.

OK.. to be fair it only did that a few times a day but it became a bit of a joke with us.

The pool.  We really didn't sit here much because we love the beach but the pools at this hotel are really beautiful. 

I had been watching the weather for Maui a few weeks before going and it sounded okay.  We have been there before in January and had a bit of rain.  Our farm schedule dictated that our vacation needed to happen in January so we decided we were okay with a bit of rain but it only rained on the very last evening and we were really thankful for that.

When the clouds came in, it was beautiful.  

Ok.. I have to tell you about this ice cream in case you ever go to Maui.

Last time we were in Mexico they had coconut ice cream that I just loved.  I thought maybe we could find something similar and found this brand and it was so delicious.  

I might 

go back just for that. 

Of course the ice cream was balanced with lots of walking in the morning and a bit later in the day. 

After our walk we would go up and get our kindles and grab a few towel and head down to the hotel grounds.  We would spend an hour or so there before lunch and then head up to have lunch before our afternoon at the beach.  

On our second day there I bought a $20 beach chair. Lounges were available to rent on the beach but there were a lot of them stacked up so you can imagine how dear they were to rent.

 Terry was happy to dig himself a lounge in the sand. At the end of the vacation we gave my chair away.  Win win!

I read to my heart's content.  I loved this quote from Secrets by Cathy Gohlke.  
A few other notable books were A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor, The Downstairs Maid by Rosie Clark, The Distant Land of my Father by Bo Caldwell, 
and a few Jack Reacher books tossed in for some action.

On our flight we spotted these friends (and sister and brother in law to and aunt and uncle..does that make any sense?) Bob and Bev.
We lost sight of them at the airport but caught them on one of our morning walks.  We stood and chatted for an hour and went on our way.
On another morning they called out to us from their breakfast spot and so we stopped and enjoyed a proper visit. 

But then there was a lot of time on our own which was pretty much wonderful.

This spot we grabbed right at our hotel one late afternoon to watch the sun go down. 

There were lots of selfies.

We didn't really do that when we were here 8 years ago.

One afternoon we went into Lahaina to enjoy walking through the streets and taste a bit here and there.

We got a great table at Bubba Gumps. 
We enjoyed a special gift here that was tucked into our suitcase to open up on the plane. 

While we were walking later that evening I spotted this BC News personality.
I called out... Bill Good!  
He was a kind gentleman and graciously stopped to chat.

Oh those beach walks!  

You just can't do this everywhere.  

View from my beach chair.  =)

We sometimes brought down a picnic. 

The whales were frolicing out there.
I only had my phone with me to take photos so I couldn't get a proper zoom but that didn't stop me from trying.

They were marvellous to watch.

You can't do that everywhere either.

Speaking of frolicing in the water...

we did nearly everyday....

because you just can't do this everywhere.  

If you are not going to play in the ocean you may as well go to a landlocked paradise in the dessert.

Usually, it is a good idea to face the ocean so you can see the surf sneaking up. 

But for the purpose of blogging something other than my behind...
I threw caution to the wind.

People are funny.  
When it was cloudy, they clearly didn't think it was a beach day.

This was our last morning.

It had rained the evening before and during the night.

It was so beautiful.

I have no idea how many pictures I took and it just kept getting more beautiful.

We slowly made our way back to the hotel to get showered and packed for our afternoon flight.

Marriage has changes over the years.

The important thing to remember is to move together through those changes and relish the bond that takes time and happens because of journey's we have faced together. 

And that was Maui 2016.

all for now... 
with love,

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bathsheba ~ Book Club Reflections

Over the Christmas holidays I took a mini vacation and reclined to read between Christmas dinner preparations and visits with those we love.   During the read, I became eager to share the book and purchased an additional copy to pass on as a gift.

Reading fiction is my guilty pleasure so this months book club Ellen's pick Bathsheba by Angela Hunt was a gift  in itself.  Biblical fiction can be a wonderful way to imagine what might have been in regards to  culture of that time and and as I have found, it motivates me back to the Bible to read the true account with a fresh perspective.

The book covers a large passage of scripture from the time King David spies on Bathsheba  as she bathes in her courtyard to the time when Solomon is crowned king.

The story is told from a first person perspective by both Bathsheba and Nathan the prophet.  There is a good deal of fiction written into the relationship between Nathan and Bathsheba which added in enough tension to the novel to keep me wondering what would happen or what I hoped would not happen.

I've often marvelled at King David's sins and the relationship he had with God.  If anyone could think the Bible is boring to read they just need to tuck into Samuel 1 and 2 and read this account of the man after God's own heart who did some despicable things in his life. This story includes among other things, broken relationships,  lust, rape, jealousy, pride, murder, regret, repentance, humilty and forgiveness.

There was much for me to ponder while I read this narrative.  I thought how there is nothing as sweet as reconciliation with God and though David's sins were great, he embraced humility and found forgiveness.    There is much to learn from Nathan's character in the book too as he waits for God's timing to confront David's sin. I wondered then how should we confront sin when it affects us through others.  As the story unfolds, Nathan clearly puts some thought into how to approach David. I can see where taking time to confront unrepentant sin should be led by God.

I saw again anew, how when God who always knows more than we do of any circumstance is left to deal with sin, instead of our own try at revenge, the outcome will always be preferable.

Besides the heart wrenching sin of the story, I think of Bathsheba and appreciate how she was woven into the fictional account of the story with grace, dignity and a heart of faithfulness. I loved her in her loneliness and in her pain and conflictions of love between two men.

I was left with the amazing wonder of the truth that God uses the most unlikely people to accomplish his purpose.

I've linked up with Ellen's Picks and look forward to reading what others have learned through their reflections of this great drama taken from God's word.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 2015

It's the last day of the year and I wanted to share some glimpses into the month that was.

I hope you all have had a wonderful time with family and friends during the Christmas season. 

We had the youngest with us at a memorial for my sister in law's sister.  
He was happily entertained on our devices and I thought he was in another world until we were invited to bow for prayer.

The device dropped into his lap and he squeezed his eyes shut and folded his hands.

I on the other hand took the device and kept one eye open to capture the moment.

This is the season in the grands lives where their Grandpa is the best.  

At. Every. Thing.  !!!

We took a walk one Sunday afternoon and Bea captured some photos for us for our annual Christmas card.

It's hard to choose so I'll just share them all.

The west coast Mennonite Girls enjoyed a wonderful party at Harv and Bev's.

We had raclette which was new to most of us.  It was delicious and I think there may have been a few raclette pans purchased in our group.

We had just a pinch of snow in December.
It was beautiful.

The little hummingbirds watched from the safety of our clothes line.

I got the annual Christmas nighties done for my three little angels.

We went and rang the bells for Salvation Army Christmas kettle on the last day of school before Christmas vacation.

After school let out, the reinforcements came to help us greet and bring cheer to all that passed through.

They were happy to make the installments for those that wished to donate.

We attended the ballet concert for these two darlings.

We found an evening to have my siblings over for dinner.

I wrapped gifts the easy way this year.
One box per person with gifts wrapped into tissue and carefully tucked inside.

There is one who comes ...
with her gifts always beautifully wrapped.
It inspires me to do something more creative next year but the reality is...
I will buy more of those boxes to wrap again in the years to come.

I do love getting my table ready for the family. 

We were together on Boxing Day this year.  

We had the turkey dinner around 2.  It was supposed to be around 12:30 but the turkey was taking it's sweet time so we just went with the flow. 

Help in the kitchen is a good thing.  
One of our daughter in laws was nursing and we missed her until later when we enjoyed appy's and opened gifts together. 

Our littlest had seen monster trucks in Co*scto early in fall and was terribly concerned each time he visited to see the supply decreasing. 

We made sure his dream came true!

More dolls.

My theory is that as long as they love playing with dolls, I'll keep buying them and let them be little girls as long as possible. 

Did everyone enjoy the adult coloring books that have become so popular?
I am not artsy at all...
but I may have potential to produce something pleasing to the eye with these lovely books.

The gift from the kids that replaces the photo above our love seat.   

It's a wonderful thing to have a gifted daughter in law.

The sun has been shining these past few days.
The mountains surrounding our valley are purely beautiful.

And that's the way it has been here in December.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

all for now..
with love,