1

Merry Christmas You Three

IMG_3394

Tonight I lit a candle for each of my three little ones. I prayed for their health, the coming year, and thanked God for each one.

I am very fortunate to have these three.

Recently sharing with other mom’s about how we all cherish time away, time at work, and time to self differently – I had an awakening… I actually LIKE my children!! Not only do I love them, I just like being around them. Plain and simple.

And so, even though I love my own pursuits, there is nothing I’d rather than a day just like today.

A day that started with a live Nativity in our living room:

IMG_3378

Ended with attending an awesome service at St. Peter’s with fabulous Rev. Deb (ask my mom what she said about her!) and Daria as an angel in the Pageant.

IMG_3384 IMG_3391

And in between was filled with play time at my “work space”, a long walk and sand castle building on the river bank (in the SUN no less!), and making and decorating gingerbread men, a tradition my sister and I did every year growing up:

IMG_3381

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas “wherever you are, physically, and within yourself” (borrowed that from J’s post I loved today).

Today was simple. Beautiful. And I cherish sharing my days and my heart with my beautiful pj clad children, no matter how much they stretch me most days.

IMG_3403 IMG_3400 IMG_3399

0

Happy Winter Sports

IMG_3311 IMG_3310

Kurt and I are always happy to get on our skiis, snowshoes, and skates. Right now skates are the most accessible. The Christmas Skate our local arena in Shawnigan puts on is incredible.

IMG_3314 IMG_3315

Complete with FREE entry (limited number of tickets available), FREE hot chocolate for everyone, a visit from St. Nicholas complete with cherry flavored candycane (J’s favorite) and a beautifully decorated rink (ads are covered with white plastic) including decorated trees, dim lighting, igloo, and even the Grinch! It is a truly magical way to get in the Spirit of the Season for our family.

Janelle and Daria both LOVE sliding down the ramp on krazy carpets (the first sledding of the season!) and Stefan is nuts about the ride-in cars – this year he got to have the Police car (Fischer Price) for a good half hour once he was all done standing on his own 2 feet.

IMG_3308 IMG_3300

This is the first year we have spent over an hour on the ice. Magical moments. I can’t wait until the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th…. and 10th! Annual Christmas Skate!

Hope you and yours are enjoying some magical memory making in these few beautiful days before Christmas.

0

2nd Annual

IMG_3263

Here is the arrival of the first guests, our previous backyard neighbors, at our 2nd annual gingerbread house making parteeee! You can see the 1st annual here.

This year, we started at 3pm and added a savory potluck so everyone could stay through the dinner hour! Here’s lonely ol’ me sampling Alison’s awesome salad

IMG_3270

The enthusiasm with which our whole family prepared for this event was so heart warming. We realized, usually on Sunday we start with church and then we each have various projects on our mind… but this week we got to throw all of our hearts towards a collective project. And one that we were each so dedicated to!

IMG_3273

The Hamill family, our previous child care providers and now great family friends.

IMG_3275

Gabriel and Odran (Ruth and baby Iona not shown) who we met at Stefan’s parent and child class last year – Odran and Stefan ran and ran and ran around, making both of our families smile wide. Ruth had organized an AMAZIN women’s circle that I attended last summer solstice.

IMG_3266

Medina (bottom left), Onyx (top of head), Bowen (yellow toque) and their cousin Maia (standing next to Bowen) – all of the lovely children of Alison and Federico, who in Jan will be embarking on a 5-7 month stint (maybe longer!) to Bali. WOW!

We feel filled with your presence in our home this morning.

We feel grateful for the time shared together. We had so much fun.

We feel fantastic about pulling off a 2nd ANNUAL event in our 2nd year here! YAHOO!

0

Over joyed

I must say I am blessed. This week the hugest compliment Daria’s teacher could give – she was so impressed with how Daria rallied behind a project to make the Gr. 8 “buddies” a wreath as a gift. Her teacher who has known her 3 months was taken aback at all Daria’s energy for this project, all the enthusiasm, because it was a GIFT.

All heart this girl.

IMG_3177

IMG_3179

And this one.

There they both are, after going to a “home learners” craft sale, all the gifts made and sold by kids (lots their age!) – they each got $10 and set off to buy gifts for their siblings, grandparents, Dad… now they are busily wrapping them with love.

Beautiful.

Over joyed.

I am also rejoicing at the end of my first year as an entrepreneur that I have 11 regular clients, one contract with the Child and Youth Mental Health in town, 2 contracts with different Autism Service programs, 1 contract with an independent school, and now setting up to meet Jaime from this program.

I am starting to reach the point of saturation for the hours I had hoped to work, which was only 3 days per week. What a blessing to our family.

I am also looking forward to the hope in this birthday present from my beautiful husband… I’ll keep ya posted! ha ha.

Fun to be light with life. And have light in life.

IMG_3182 IMG_3181

(note the new engineered hardwood floor, the installation was my birthday gift! just $2/sq ft. used of course!). Also note the lotto tickets in the branches 😉

1

Advent Beginnings…

IMG_3124  IMG_3131

We started off the 2nd day of Advent right with a huge delivery of our fresh RANCHO goodies! These nuts, seeds, and dried fruit have been a part of our life for many years now. The company is based in Vernon so it feels like a taste of home.

We also got dusted with SNOW! Now coming from a place that is blanketed in white for 3 months of the year, having 3 days of sub zero temperatures (keeping the dusting of white stuff we got 3 days ago!!) might seem like a drop in the bucket.

The past three days I have learned many things…

IMG_3134 IMG_3133

How much it feeds my soul to hear the crunch under my boots and see the hillsides dusted in white!

IMG_3146

How its not so important how MUCH of something one receives, but how one enjoys it… And I have been soaking it in!! The look of the white from my living room window as I do my stretching, the cool crisp air on my face, the peaceful and BRIGHT look of everything around me. It is sooooo incredibly nourishing to my soul.

I know many people here believe the snow belongs elsewhere… up on the mountains, or in another part of our province… but I LOVE a yard and streetfull of snow like nothing else. Visiting a mountain is nice… but doesn’t really compare!

IMG_3130 IMG_3129

There is always lots in life to be disappointed about, like how the “Santa suit” you wore as a babe doesn’t fit any more (this one brings great sadness to our mid-stroke!). Does anyone have a 5 yr old size Santa Suit?!?

But some things, like “growing up” and our climate, we have no control over… so, I must learn to appreciate the piece of “real winter” I get each year here!! Glory for these 3 days!!

You can take the girl out of Montreal and the Interior, but you can never take the love of that crisp, cold climate out of the girl.

(just realized I have spent 9+10=19 years in snowy lands and 17+1.5 = 18.5 years on the Coast!)