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,

Monday, December 7, 2015

Simply Tuesday

 I've been reading Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman. The idea of practicing "Small-Moment Living in a Fast Paced World" is put into bite sized sections that I've pondered this last month.  I was reminded again that if I focus only on the next "stage of life" I could be missing "stairwells" of life where seemingly insignificant moments create memories and lessons are learned. Learning to be content where I am at instead of competing for bigger and better and embracing what comes my way today instead of waiting for the big moments on the calendar leaves my soul more at peace.

The chapter on Vision and Contentment touched my heart because I have often said, that I wouldn't have wasted so many days of my life in fear if I had known it would all be okay.  Those are times I can never redeem but I have a loving God who can.

"We can't prevent storms from coming, but I can decide not to invent my own."  ~ Emily Freeman, Simply Tuesday

How often have I invented the scenarios unfolding with outcomes that are unsolvable? When I look back on my life I can see that it was in those moments where I had no choice but to trust God, where I could begin to understand that God came near to my soul and revealed who he was where I was, not where I thought I wanted to be. Time has taught me that I know God is with me instead of just depending on  feeling his presence.  Spending time in the Bible gives me roots for for those days when fear robs my soul of peace.  When I confess my fear and my creation of calamity to God he is there listening to me.  I want to walk my faith in a way that no matter where my journey will go, it will be okay because the one that loves me most is along the journey with me. 

"Fear moves through like a tornado unable to discern between the delicate dreams for the future or the purposeful moments of now. God speaks in the still, small whisper. He is careful not to trample on the dreams he places within us.  Instead, he waters them, walks with us toward them, and continues to give us the glimpses we need to keep on going." Emily Freeman, Simply Tuesday

I want to live my ordinary days in such a way that when they are all strung together, I will know that the days God gave me were for my good and for his glory. 

Since it is Giving Tuesday, I will be donating $1 for each comment here and on Facebook to MCC helping the refugees who will be settling in Canada. 

This post was inspired by a book club, "Ellen's Picks".  Ellen Graf-Martin is a great Canadian leader helping to resource other leaders.  For more thoughts inspired by Simply Tuesday, visit Ellen's Picks.
I am part of Ellen's Picks

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November 2015

We picked these early risers up one morning before school and took them out for a breakfast that kept them going and then some...
until snack time.

I was wide awake by the time we dropped them at the curb. 

There was the day that the girls came over on Sunday afternoon to make cinnamon buns.
they know how pretty good already.  My guess is that they won't have to call for instructions by the time they have their own kitchens.

We had lots of crisp cold mornings in November.

It was a bit of a novelty for us west coast dwellers.

I walk in the mornings around the perimeter of the farm.

Kobe always walks with me for as many laps as she feels is necessary and then lets me lap her a few times because she knows I need the exercise more than she does.
One morning someone's big scary dog came towards us.
Kobe went into crouch mode ready for the attack.

The big scary dog was running from something and didn't take the time to stop and bite but just kept running right past us into the next field.

There was one big rain storm forecasted and so the lawns got one more mowing to get the leaves cleaned up.

The eaves troughs were cleaned out and we were ready.

It was a bit of a non event and rather disappointing for a weather event lover.

The sky was beautiful when it was all said and done.

Have I talked about our over wintering hummingbirds?

I was wondering how long to keep the feeders filled and all the information I found said to keep feeding, the hummingbirds will not stay for the food.

They seem to have gotten quite bushy.. 
or chubby...
or both.

Then this happened!

One morning we woke up to icy sugar water.

The farmer began a routine of thawing the water every morning and then added a bulb to the base of the feeder to keep it from freezing.

Since last week's chill, we are down to only a few hummingbirds.  =(

One afternoon I took a turn driving to ballet.

I stood at the window awhile and watched the practice.

One Sunday after family brunch we went for a walk to do our annual Christmas picture.

It's always just the littles, my beloved and I.

It takes the rest of them to take the picture and keep everyone corralled and focused for the moment when the shutter closes.

My Mom and her sister Mary were always very close.  I was touched by how often my dear Aunt would tell me that she missed my Mom.  

After twenty years they are reunited in heaven. 

On preschool bowling night,  this dapper lad invited his "crampa" to come with him.
He came home in a bit of a sugar frenzy holding quite firmly to the last bit of slurpee he wanted to put in the refrigerator overnight for safe keeping.

As the story goes, there was one grandpa that bought a slurpee and soon after all grandpa's followed suit.

Anneliese, Judy and I represented Mennonite Girls Can Cook one evening at Lepp Farm Market at their Taste of Christmas evening.   We appreciated the invitation giving us opportunity to raise a bit of money for local needs.

We were invited by this family to meet them at a tree farm.
They discovered an amazing farm and so we dropped what we were doing to join in the tree hunting fun.

We found the trees and had them cut down just as the sun was setting.

Short tree = bungalow
Tall tree = vaulted ceiling home

I am always amazed at the time it takes to decorate the tree.
The boughs need to be lighted and carefully decorated so they don't droop and the spaces need to be filled just right. 

With the house decorated for first advent we went into Vancouver to do a bit of Christmas shopping.

We take our lists very seriously and enjoy sending query texts to the kids to see if we are on the right track. 

"Is this the plain black jacket you were hoping for" ?  

Can you believe this is real and very expensive in a designer department?

We decided to stay the night as a gift to us and crossed the Lion's gate bridge as the sun was setting.

Sutton Place was decorated so beautifully.

I appreciate beautiful flowers.

We walked the streets lit with mini lights and stopped for a relaxing long drawn out dinner. 

This last weekend we celebrated sweet girls 8th birthday.

She had a cake in mind and called me a few times in the weeks leading up to her birthday to discuss her cake.

I loved watching her read the recipe and work her way through.

I helped a bit but the cake was her idea and it tasted great!

I started blogging before she was born.

I have loved watching her grow and become a sweet little girl.

She is spunky, cheerful and creative.

Every year she sits in front of their Christmas tree and opens her presents. 


That is the way November was in my world!

It's always so good to review and see how I am blessed far beyond what I deserve.

I'll be back in a few days with this month's book club link up.

Have a blessed December my friends! 

all for now..
with love,