Friday, December 30, 2011

Year in Review ~ 2011

The south coast of British Columbia  was treated to a  snow fall early in the new year.
Freshly fallen snow is so beautiful and it seems symbolic of a clean start.

We always have my side of the extended family over for New Years Cookies in the shop and that was how we began the new year in 2011.

When the email came to invite some of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook to come into Global BCTV for an interview I could hardly believe it.
I said yes of course . .  and invited Kathy to come with me.
We brought them some Paska and Platz and . . .
felt very grateful for the opportunity to share about our soon to be released book.
We went out with our husbands for lunch as soon as it was over to celebrate.

Though still winter . .  February is secretly when I begin to think of spring.
Pussywillows continue to be my favorite late winter memory since my Dad never failed to bring home a bouquet to my Mom as soon as they appeared in ditches.

Another first for MGCC was an invitation to come to Lepp's  Farm Market and teach a cooking class.
We had such a great time!  It is wonderful how fun it is to work shoulder to shoulder with the women who I work alongside of in the land of blogging.

In looking through the photos . . .
I smiled at how much the grands have all grown.
I am most grateful for healthy grandchildren.
They have energy to spare and I just thank God that I run out of steam before they do.
That is how it should be!

I was also so surprised that is was February when we began to put up our fence.
The reason we put it up was that we knew that soon we would have not four grands running amuck on the farm but five and we wanted to coral them.
That is the story . .simple and true and it has worked.
They are most alarmed if we do not shut the gate while they are playing outside.
Children need boundaries to feel safe.

Don't you just love those first signs of Spring?
March came and the plum blossoms began to open and blue skies were welcomed.

Still in March . . . the cherry tree opened it's tender pink blooms and I ran willy-nilly around the farm documenting Springs arrival.

Another first for me was attending a Feed Company Ladies outing.
It was extra special sitting in the bus alongside my sister in law Mary and my dear friend Judy and her beautiful girl Broni.

I might not love living on the Wet Coast every day of the year but I concede that the rain and the seasons are the part of what living in British Columbia makes it beautiful.
I'll take having four seasons over the pull of the tropics any day.
I do however dream of the tropics...often during the rain.

My beloved graciously called 2011 the year of the book.
We stayed home from our Spring trip away not knowing exactly when the delivery of books would arrive.
Such support of a good husband matters more to me than I can say.
Having him there with me when the truck arrived ...
was truly priceless.

The book arrived late in April.  Our hope was that  it would arrive in time for Mother's Day in May knowing that it could potentially be gifted not only by us for our mothers but for our sisters and daughters and as it turns out. . 
a few others gave it to their Mothers as well.

In time for Easter . . .
we again visited Lepp Farm Market and taught a class on making Paska.

Ellen came from Seattle to teach with us and she brought some of her beautiful Paska spread to share with the class.  Soup also was on the menu.

With Easter around the corner I had another one of my sewing brainwaves and thought it would really fun to sew Easter dresses for my three little girls.

I  enlisted the help of blogging friend Heather to knit some matching sweater vests and they arrived in time for that chilly Easter day.

I am remembering now that this was also the year of reseeding and fixing the lawn.
Are you not a blogger?  I bet you are wondering by now what your year looked like.
I love how Kanneloni Macaroni thought being barefoot was a good idea to look for her Easter eggs.

I love this photo.
Anneliese gifted each one of the MGCC with this photo in this frame.
If you can read the matting  ...
you can see how much we have come to care for one another.

We met together in May to celebrate the book being published.

May was the beginning of book signing.
We had no idea how often we would be invited to sit and sign books and we had no idea how many wonderful people we would be blessed to speak with.

While I was finishing up the book...
my beloved was finishing up the interior of the truck.
Both accomplishments were once in a lifetime events!
I love that truck and the one who sits behind the wheel.
If I hear the engine start . ..
I know a date is soon to begin.

June found me in the garden.
I loved picking those early summer vegetables and was always amazed how it remained weed free.

In June we had our annual family weekend away to Harrison Hot Springs.
The little ones love the warm water and it provides us with some uninterrupted time away from the farm with our grown up kids who appreciate a weekend away as well.

The first weekend in July we went to Princeton for a family reunion on my beloved's side.
It was a first for us to do this and it was considered a great success.

We left there late Sunday morning to go to Manning Park.
We were holding our annual Summer Cousin Camp and didn't want to miss one second of it.
Oh such fun we've had.

I came home just in time to visit Lepp's once more.
This class was all about summer pies.

The most special event of the year was the birth of our second grandson.
He was born on my beloved's birthday and he was greeted by . . 
 his brother the Lil' Farm Hand and . . 
 his sister Kanneloni Macaroni.
Though he is named after a great grandfather he never had a chance to know . .
his blog name is Little Oh!

In July we celebrated Little Miss Muffet's 1st birthday and Kanneloni Macaroni's 2nd birthday and so we have three grands born in July.

I love reasons to celebrate.

I was so thankful that Little Oh arrived on time since I had tickets book for early August for a book tour.
Anneliese and I and our husbands travelled to Waterloo Ontario and then crossed the border to head towards Harrisonburg Virginia where our publishers office is.

One of the highlights of that trip was to meet our blogging friend Kathy.
Again I was reminded what beautiful people live not only in my town but all around the globe.
It is just a joy to be able to share life with so many dear people.
I met a few other dear ladies from blog land on that trip and the memory of it still makes me smile.

Towards the end of August a few of us from the valley in British Columbia travelled to Winnipeg in Manitoba to visit Charlotte and Betty.
It was such a delightful time.  We stayed at Betty and John's home and were treated so royally . ..
I was a touch sad when it was over all too soon.

In September . .. 
I needed a bit of time away from the computer and so I followed my menfolk on their annual Quad trip to the Coquihalla forestry area.
Everyone came home safely.
I had not worried about them before on previous trips but now I likely will...every year.
I might have to go along again just to yell warnings at them as they spin out of camp.

In October we Thanked God for everything he gives us.
I began to wonder about how God blesses people.
It gave me pause to wonder how much I am responsible for  when I have much more than I need.

In October I had a lull with less things pressing for my time and so . ..
I had another sewing brain wave.
I sewed little coats for the little girls.

Later in October we were invited by Winks to join them at the West Coast Women's Show.
How exactly we ended up on the Cooking stage for that large event still is amazing to me.
We are such normal cooks  . ..with only home experience to share . . .
and yet they came and we shared what we know . .
and enjoyed ourselves immensely.

The colors of Autumn were slow arriving this year.
It was a beautiful fall  with so many sunny days.
It's good to say that now since we forget sunshine here all too quickly.

The end of November and the beginning of December we celebrated more birthdays.
We now have five healthy grandchildren who are four years old and under.

Global BCTV invited us to return and this time we took to the cooking stage and showed all of British Columbia how to make a Hazelnut Roll for their Christmas dessert.
Anneliese joined me on this one.
We went out to lunch afterwards with our husbands to celebrate.

A highlight in December that was completely unexpected was attending a local Christmas concert and finding that they were including MGCC for part of the script.
How they presented our book to the Baby Jesus ...
made me weep.
The joy of giving the royalties to feed hungry children has blessed me incredibly.

Just before Christmas we held our annual Christmas cousin camp.
Four were attending this year.
I had another one of my sewing brainwaves a week or two before and sewed up matching nighties and pajamas for the grands.

I love that they can have fun together and am so grateful that we live close enough together to allow this to happen.

The littlest ones change the fastest.
Little Oh also enjoyed Christmas celebrations.
He didn't eat any turkey but sure was looking at it and drooling and visited every available lap.
Four generations together to celebrate the birth of Jesus

And so this was my year.

My year might not have been as miraculous as Mary's was but like her I have pondered all the events over and over in my heart.
I am mindful of the fact that it is a joy and privilege to offer the simple gifts  I have to share with my precious family and further to the community around me and Globally in places I have never been.

It continues to be my prayer  that my life and this blog will be honoring to God.

Thank you for sharing the journey with me.

Lord,  I pray that you would go with us into the new year.
We pray that You would give us joy in each day,
peace to fill our lives regardless of circumstances,
and love to fill our lives that we might show your love to those we meet this coming year.

Happy New Year!

all for now . .

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

the family christmas 2011

We had the family for the noon meal yesterday.
With a bungalow full of little ones...
it seems that having the meal ready when they are walking in the door is the way to go.
It is hard to platter the turkey holding the little ones at the same time.
Just sayin'.
So ...the more that can be done ahead of time the happier this grammie is.

We celebrated Jesus's birthday in style.
We use our best dishes.

We started the meal with salad.
While the salad was eaten . ..
turns were taken to read part of the story.
This was the first time we did it like this and it will definitely become part of our tradition.
The little ones had a part to read too. .
and they held their part of the story with interest while their mommy or daddy read.

I have learned that children. . .
don't throw china on the floor . .
so all of us eat on our best dishes...
for Jesus's birthday.

After we ate . .
we opened up some presents.

I didn't manage to get photos of all the little ones opening their gifts.
If you have seen little ones open gifts..
you get why this did not happen.

The gifts were put away to take home after a bit and the cousins put some serious play time to good use.
There was a bit of napping by the youngest  ones . .
and a bit of yawning by the oldest ones.

At the end of the day....
I'd say the party was quite a success.
I think that if Jesus had come to the door . . .
he would have enjoyed the laughter . . .
the stories . .
and the children.

That is what I thought when I waved goodbye at the end of the day.

all for now . ..