Saturday, December 31, 2011

Necessary Beginnings!

I've been thinking through the past few days...
What message do I really want to convey to all my friends?
The other day I shared with a friend that I was reading a book called,
"Necessary Endings" by Dr. Henry Cloud.
And my friend responded by saying,
"It's time you think about  'Necessary Beginnings'."


I remember the time we needed to quit dairying...
I remember the time when we changed churches...
I remember the time when I retired from my work world....
I remember the time the kids left home...
I remember the time when relationships changed and ended...
I remember the time when my mom passed away...
I remember watching the final Olympic closing....


And so when I look back over my years, I've realized that 
endings are necessary and often can become strategic steps to something better.
If we cannot recognize endings in a positive light and end well,
the "better" will never be able help us develop New Beginnings.

Somehow I always find it difficult to accept the ending of an old year, 
and almost stressful to think of the beginning of a new year.
It's like we want to "tidy up" all those loose ends as the year closes.
We want to get our entire year caught up before the new year starts,
and there's something about us which makes us determined to do it.
Then there is the temptation to set up an elaborate set of resolutions 
for the coming year so we can get it right, right off the bat.
We get down right hard on ourselves and beat ourselves up.
So let's quit beating ourselves up and when things are not making sense,
lets look how we can begin to see the changes that come our way,
with a positive light and assert that something better will come our way.
I hope for the willingness to live this year in a way that will be gentle to myself...
one day at a time and to know how to enter into the "battlefield of life,"
 continuing to meditate on Jesus and his powerful message of love.
My goals will be to reflect on newness and progress in the New Year!

Life is a journey and you get to chart your very own fresh tracks for the New Year!

I wish all my readers an insightful and peaceful New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Missing Skis!

You could not of asked for a better day.
Sunshine and dry roads made for a quick trip up the mountain.

Snowcapped peaks of Whistler.
Who would of guessed it actually rained most of the time.
But meanwhile, we made the best of everything.

We packed and we unpacked all the stuff.
Honestly, we kept piling it on....
But the story goes on to say....

"Who's got my skis?"

I got to the room and organized all the stuff...the way it made sense to me.
I put all the skis in a blue plastic recycling bin....
Isn't that the natural thing to do with skis with melting snow?

So after a few days...we were about to try out the new skis.
Where were they?
We searched underneath every bed, closet, every nook and cranny.
Who could of removed them?
~~~~~
Suddenly it dawned on me.
I had put the skis in the recycling bin.
In the what????
Sure enough the chamber maids had removed them.
I quickly phoned housekeeping.
They reported that all recyling goes straight into a large bin.
They could not be retrieved.
~~~
I was beginning to smile...and asked myself?
Why didn't I clue in?
But why on earth would the chamber maids take down perfectly new equipment?
Anyways, it was truly my fault.
~~~~~
I took a walk downstairs and chatted to the manager, and confessed my cardinal sin.
He saw my apologetic face, yet noticed that I was smiling sheepishly.
To make a long story short,
the manager followed up on the report of the missing skis,
and they were returned to our room on Christmas morning.

I don't think they'll let me live this one down!

 We strolled through the village in the rain to the Gondola.

 A ride up the Gondola would take us to the Tube Park!

 But one little fellow became disturbed....
He did not quite measure up!
He had a few limitations.

 Soon he realized that tubing by himself was way more fun than with me.

But one thing for sure, I could still wrestle him down.
His laughter could be heard for miles.

 This fellow went for the big ones....
 But not without contemplation.....

And at the end of the day he was of course the first to say,
"I want to go back to the HOTEL!"
Their stocking were filled and and the anticipation was rising.

 And of course, Auntie Mikki kept them entertained.
A good evening cannot end without a good hand of Rook!
The competition rages in this group.
And guess who claimed the big King-size bed?
He thought this bed was way to big for his Oma & Opa!

 
I enjoyed a  quiet stroll through the village and heard voices singing carols.
New memories were built for all this year.
I could not resist one last glimpse of the Olympic Rings, reminding me of 2010!

"All is Well" 



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let It Snow, Let it Snow!

This year's Christmas has taken on a new twist for us.
We've had our Christmas Eve with the family on Saturday, Dec.17th.
But this week we have all been dreaming about snow.
I love the snow...you can bring it to me any time.
 Let it Snow, Let it Snow! This melody is ringing in my mind.
The weather predictions do not forecast snow.

I want to share my best Christmas memory ever.
Many bloggers have shared about early childhood Christmas memories,
but mine happened four years ago.
It snowed and snowed and snowed  on Dec. 24th, 2008.
It was beginning to accumulate and it was truly beginning to look like a real white Christmas.
 Church programs were cancelled.

We skipped church, as we had no choice, forgot about all schedules that evening,
 pulled on our toques and snow gear...and away we went.
There was nothing like having a Snow Day on Christmas Eve.

Tractor, toboggans, tire tubes, and CANOES!


Yes, that's a canoe...being pulled by a tractor!

video

This was a memory that they still all talk about and would love to relive.


We watched the children open their gifts last week and watched the mounting anticipation on their faces.
Mario and friends dominated the show and tell that night.

What?  Personalized Taekwondo Belt Brackets, from Auntie Suzie.

And then came their personalized capes that are truly needed for identification purposes.

Who knows what to expect with demonstrations from this ski instructor.

Auntie Mikki made sure the boys had the right equipment for skiing.
They are ready to go, skis, poles, goggles and capes.
They are heading out the door.
There will not be an identity crisis with these boys.

But this little guy barely got through his gifts and  fell asleep...was out for the night.
I wish I could fall asleep that quick!

Meanwhile, freshly baked gingersnaps, are packed away with many other goodies.


The vehicles are packed and we're heading off to the mountains.
Young and old!
Skis, toboggans, Christmas music, candles, stockings, plenty of grub, and a Christmas spirit.
And we will once more try to relive the spirit of Christmas.

May you all have a Merry Christmas,
and make some lasting memories!

Let is snow, let it snow!


Monday, December 19, 2011

My Version!

Just a quick impromptu moment.
As I was browsing this morning...
I saw a photo...
Judy sent me the link.
We like exchanging ideas...

My place cards took on a version of their own!
After hours of tying ribbons and glue not sticking...
I grabbed the glue gun and things happened quickly.
Out came the Popsicle sticks, toques and scarves.
Each person had to identify a skier that represented their style.
Lots of laughs and smiles as they stopped, posed and identified there style.
How can two bloggers come up with two completely different versions?
But the outcome was the same!

Have a good day as the real countdown begins.



Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

If you were to drop in today...
you'd be greeted by a fleet of lights stapled by those little hands of the grands,
into our wooden fence bordering our driveway.


 Sparkling wreathes would welcome you to our front door.


And as you turned the knob, these little trees would welcome you bringing warmth.

And my timeless Carolers are placed carefully on the mantle and 
you would hear them singing, those old Christmas carols,  from every room in the house.


Garland would be hanging  from window sills and mantles just giving that peaceful ambiance.


You would detect the Christmas tree which has finally made it's way into our family room,
awaiting the cheerful chatter of those little boys.
"How many more sleeps?"

The bulbs are placed, layered and sparkling in the tree...
but something is missing....
Who took my Monkey Ladder, another timeless children's ornament?
And I can't find my fondue pot?????


Smells of freshly baked cookies would greet you,
ready and packaged with hugs and prayers  for some special deliveries.

And you would spot an early gift...
Someone knew that my hand beater was shot.
He knew the perfect moment, as always.

And so today...he will have one or two or maybe three of his favorites.
I remember my Grandmother making these cookies many years ago.
Thanks Ellen for posting this Russian Tea Cookie.

The evening candles are lit...
and I think you'd find me wrapping a few gifts tonight,
praying quietly over each gift.
Praying that each one will find Peace, Joy, Hope, and Love.
Our family will be celebrating this weekend,
as others will be travelling abroad next week and celebrating with more families.
Am I feeling ready?
There is always a tinge of anxiousness.

Dear Father, amid all the intoxicating smells of this season,
remind me that love is the sweetest scent of all...
and it is both costly and precious.
Write your signature on my heart, 
so that others may breathe in the scent of Your love in my life.



Thursday, December 8, 2011

When Can We Decorate?

"Oma, when can we pull out the stable?" 
the voices echoed of those little ones.
And today we brought out the Stable, and
  the wooden collection of stable toys
that were used by my children.
And today...we read the same book,
the same story..
and set up the nativity scene.

I love savoring the memories with my little boys of Christmas past
and rediscovering the true meaning of the birth of Christ,
the Light of the World.



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Anticipation

The image of wonder and awe...
tiny children standing on tip toes,
or jumping up and down waiting for Christmas.
Somehow they can't figure out how long it takes to the big day,
but we all  know they just can't wait.
Somehow as we grow older, we loose a lot of that eager impatience.
For me, my waiting on tiptoes turns into trying to survive the season.
And so it is that once more I too want to wait for the right attitude.
The right attitude for Advent is a child's attitude;
eyes wide open,
watching for the wonder,
watching for the opportunities
waiting on tiptoe- just like a little kid waiting for Christmas.