113562303891247280 Monday, Dec 26 2005 

Today is Boxing Day and is “lounge around” day. We have had an amazing Christmas and it has been absolutely wonderful to spend it with our family together and Jesika’s parents as well.

On arriving on December 23rd, my sister, Doris, and her family, with the exception of David and Jocelyn, came over and we exchanged the gifts we had for one another. It was a great evening with much laughter and fun. Family is so important and it was great to be able to spend some time with one of my siblings and her family. We are heading out to Langley, B.C. on December 30th where we will connect with my sister and brother’s families. Looking forward to that as well.

Christmas Eve was great as all of us went to the Christmas Eve Service at to Westspring Free Methodist Church (once known as Calgary FMC) where Rob Van Norman is the pastor…it was a wonderful service with lots of singing Christmas carols and a good talk by Rob. They had a Christmas Quizz on the screen before the service and it is amazing to see how we have put so many extras into the Christmas Story and which events are actually recorded in the Scriptures. Jesika and I laughed as we sang the Christmas Carols as so much of what we sang was all added on to the Christmas Story. Nothing wrong with embellishing the surroundings of the story…we can all use our imagination to fill in the blanks…a tradition we had in our family as our kids grew up was that we could each pick our favorite food and that would be our menu for Christmas Eve…so that’s what we did this year…Matt and Tamara stayed home from the Christmas Eve service and Matt put together this amazing dinner…enchiladas, cabbage rolls, pergoies, greek salad, farmer sausage and lots of baking for dessert. We then opened one gift which, of course, were new pyjamas, to be worn on Christmas morning to open our stockings and then our gifts…we ended up playing Trivial Pursuit (which we received from Jordon and Wendy Cooper for Christmas) until the early hours of the morning…it was funny as the game was based on all USA information so alot of it we didn’t know…Tamara, Daniel, Jesika, Matt and I played and Jerry and Kathie sat out…but in the end they were our friends and knew more of the answers than those of us who were playing…isn’t that always the way it works!!!

Christmas Day was awesome…we didn’t get up early but finally around 9 we began to open our stockings. It was great fun as we all took turns going through our stockings. Daniel, Kathie and Jesika made each of us a stocking which connected the who we are as people…it was so funny…mine was in the shape of a high heeled boot with fur on the top…Matt was made from his old hockey quilt…Tamara’s was made into a high fashion boot with a ankle bracelet…it was great! We then took the rest of the mornig to open our gifts…my goodness there were gifts under the tree…lots of great gifts…lots of new books to read…a new purse from Tamara…gym membership for Jerry for the year…ipod for Matt and Jesika from Tamara…new cell phone for Jerry from Tamara…even Niko and Griffin received gifts…treats for when they listen and obey Matt…and much much more. I am really excited about the books I received from Matt and Jesika, Daniel, Jordon and Wendy, and Jerry…some of them are “The Lions of Al-Rassan” by Guy Gavriel (a great novel from Matt and Jesika); “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova from Daniel; “The World is Flat” by Thomas L. Friedman from Jerry; “Germs, Guns and Steel” by Jared Diamond from Jordon and Wendy. I am reading “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson, received for my birthday from Alyson Hamm; Jerry and I also got slippers from Dwight and Joanne and Jerry received a huge calculator so he can see the numbers to calculate what he will need for retirement…I also got another “Matilda” plant ornament…

We had an outstanding Christmas dinner…Daniel put the turkey together…literally. Jerry and I brought a 20 pound turkey from Saskatoon…well when it came to carving the turkey…Jesika called and said…come and see what is inside the turkey…well what Daniel had done for stuffing was…inside the cavity of the turkey he put in a duck…and inside the duck he put a cornish hen…and inside the cornish hen…he put cranberry stuffing…everything turned out just succulent…all the meat was so tender you could cut it with a fork…Daniel had read about someone doing this and said if the turkey we brought was large enough he would give it a try…it was amazing…Jesika did a great job of carving all three birds…we also had mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, creamed corn, carrots, dressing, and of course, cornish hen, duck and turkey…together with some awesome wine…it was great!

Anyway, this afternoon we are going to see “The lion, the witch and the wardrobe” matinee and then off for dinner at Chianti’s to celebrate Kathie’s birthday that happens tomorrow. Daniel and Kathie leave for home early tomorrow morning…

We are hoping to celebrate my niece Heather’s birthday on the 28th and then head out to Edmonton to see Christa and Rod for the day…so far the holiday has been great…no asthma or allergies from the dogs…Matt and Jesika purchased an air filter which has really helped…

I have come across some words in the book “Gilead” which I have never seen before…one of them is “crepusular”…another one was “susurrus”…fun finding out what they mean…learning something new every day! That’s what life is all about isn’t it…learning!!!


113523390423015962 Thursday, Dec 22 2005 

Tamara is home! She arrived today at 4:30 pm from Vancouver. I was already crying when the plane was landing…and when she finally came through the doors, her first words were….Oh Mom, stop it…but I hugged her and said I had started crying when the plane landed. You never stop being a mom and your kids are always your kids. Jerry and I were laughing because after being home for 4 hours Jerry said “Well, things haven’t changed much, have they?” There was stuff all over the place…Jerry had taken Tamara to the mall to do some shopping…the phone kept ringing to see if she had arrived…and we are so happy to have her home. She looks great and is now sleeping under her new electric blanket given as an early Christmas gift! I didn’t think she would be able to handle the cold weather…however the weather has been good to her so far. Tomorrow is a busy day and in the evening some of her friends will drop over to say “hi”…it will be good!

We celebrated Christmas with the Coopers and Kristy on Monday evening. The Coopers have been part of our Christmas for quite a few years and this year we are heading to Calgary over the Christmas holidays. We ate lots…laughed…visited…exchanged gifts…and Jordon finally got his finished gift from last Christmas…which made for some laughs…it was a great time. Jerry and I both received great books which we can read over the Christmas break. Should make for some good conversations over the Christmas holidays.

113451234724367364 Tuesday, Dec 13 2005 

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. ”
Albert Einstein

Great quote! Now how do I change my thinking?

113417723735434932 Friday, Dec 9 2005 

Today is my birthday! I don’t discuss age anymore because I am 35 for the rest of my life! I woke up with a bad cold, so after drinking down some NiQuill I felt much better. My awesome cousin Sharon phoned me at 9:30 am to sing Happy Birthday to me! We grew up together and are 6 months apart in age. We have many hilarious experiences that we shared over the years…we always have a great connection when we talk to each other. Both Matt and Tamara phoned this morning…it was so great to hear their voices! I can hardly wait until Christmas when we will be together as a family. I had an awesome lunch at McNally’s with Kelly, Krista, Alyson and Ella. I enjoyed my time with Ella…it felt so good being a “grandma”! Then time to browse through the books…came home with some new books and also received a book from Alyson and Ella for my birthday. Jerry got me “some of my favorite things” and a great card that made me laugh so hard! He said he found it at Sobey’s! We are spending the evening at home with Kristy…Jerry is busy making supper and Kristy should be home soon. She is picking up a movie for us to watch tonight! Joanne just phoned to wish me happy birthday! We will be seeing them over New Years when Tamara is home! It’s been a great year…hopefully more to come!

113392273730925971 Tuesday, Dec 6 2005 

My Christmas decorating is done! Yeh!! Decorating is like torture in this house and to finally have it completed is amazing. We even put up a tree and it looks lovely with all the lights on in the evening. Daylight…well it doesn’t look too bad, but I lirk the green part, or I guess the branches, showing and not all covered with decorations. It’s done!!

Life is always interesting! We our Sacred Gathering with our Women’s Collective on Sunday evening and I truly experienced a wonderful evening. Doing the Advent Liturgy together was amazing and the music and prayers were just awesome! We broke off into smaller groups to talk about our experience and it was very interesting to hear what other women had or had not experienced. What a learning time as we talked about how we each experience God differently and for some have never experienced God in any way. I love the honesty or sharing and not being afraid to say the truth of how they were really feeling. It will be interesting as our leadership team debriefs on Thursday night to hear what happened in the other groups.

We talked to Tamara this morning. She is ready to head home for Christmas. It will be so awesome to have her home and just hang out together. I hope the weather isn’t toooooo cold for her and that she will find enough warm clothes to keep her warm.

Christmas is at Matt and Jesika’s this year…I can hardly wait!!