Saturday, December 24, 2016

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas....

 It's Christmas time in December.
By now you all know that I love snow...
And we've had plenty.
I still have fond memories as a small child when the snow drifted on the Sumas flats.
I loved was the time that my dad took the tractor, tubes and toboggans
and we flew through the fields and we did not have goggles or balaclavas.
We got cold...but we knew there was hot chocolate waiting in the house.

This month's weather warnings showed red alerts...I stayed close to the weather channel.

The snow was falling and drifting and there's nothing more 
satisfying than a ride out into the country checking out the drifts.

 The next morning, December 11, 2016 we had a snowfall...that cancelled schools and churches.

 Sunday morning all the farmers were cleaning up the yards on our street.
Meanwhile I was drumming up ways of playing in the snow.

We picked up some hot chocolates and drove out to Rosedale
to find this family having fun in the snow.
They are still wondering why there Opa never came to clean their driveway?

At first Joy was wondering who I was with this big winter hat....
but quickly Ivy and Joy jumped in the sled while I got my exercise.

It did not take long and before you knew it, we were all sledding.
Screams of Joy could be heard everywhere.

"Of course Oma's can make snow angels, Ivy. "  

How could I not resist coming home and starting up the fire pit and enjoying a 
hot steaming cup of coffee?
Guess who dug the narrow pathway just to give me that pleasure?

In the back forty, their were drifts...solid as could be.
Shovels and spades and before you knew it...
there was a tunnel built right through the snow 15 feet long.
Some lasting memories for some young boys who now know 'about the good old days.'
"This is like a 'Mini Fun Park at Manning Park,' hollered one of the boys.

The day could not be long enough...the tractor pulled, till sun down.
and yes, hot chocolate was simmering in the house.

Meanwhile these 'two' also took advantage of the snowfall in Lake Tahoe.
What's in your back pack, Joe?

 There he goes....
Little Cannon has no choice but to go....
Never mind what Oma thinks.

This year's Christmas card sums it up best.

We've Got All the JOY we can Handle!

From our house to yours...we want to wish all of you a 
Blessed Christmas time with family and friends.
My dreams came true for this year.
(I just's snowing again)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Giving Thanks

The beauty of autumn surrounds our home inside and outside.
The harvest is completed and it's always wonderful to gather as family.

You know how it is....trying to get everyone together to say grace?
So we just bowed our heads right there where the children were playing.

In everything give thanks; 
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
It's hard to set the table knowing one family is missing.
But texts and photos keep us smiling.
Cannon, we love you!

Following the meal, with full tummies, we made our annual walk to the pumpkin patch.
Some walked....

While Ivy found Opa's tractor and insisted on  a ride.

 The boys jumped on the loader and hollered.
"Higher Opa Higher"

Lots of laughter about the 'obnoxious pumpkin'!
Ivy was puzzled.
Who was the culprit?

The evening had us sitting around the fire pit eating our pie,
drinking coffee and sharing our thoughts on Thanksgiving.
The tradition of dropping a kernel of corn into the fire pit
continued as everyone shared a word of Thanks.
Ivy expressed herself saying, "I'm thankful for Cousins."

As the sun goes down below the horizon, I have much to be thankful for.
Happy hearts, children on your lap, full tummies. a day full of thanks.
We are a family....blended, balanced, growing, changing, never static,
moving with a breath of wind....
babies, children, mother's, father's, grandparents, aunts and uncles:
held together by loving memories and a framework of invisible threads.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Still Young at Heart!

Yes, I've been absent from blogger,
but spending time with family makes it worthwhile.

We are celebrating our 43rd  anniversary this week.
And yes, our life is filled with family.
Who would of known how our lives could change over so many years.
 Years ago I read a book by Edith Schaeffer, "What is a Family?"

Today I look back over the years and see how our lives resonate with so many of her ideas.
She explained that a family is like a mobile.
But that it is very different than the mobiles one can see of animals or cars and trucks.
Imagine yourself looking at a mobile of your own family tree starting with yourself and your spouse.
It started with a man and woman, (John & Marg)
The family is an intricate mobile made up of human personalities.
The family is a moving changing collection of human forms dangling on strings.

Then we had three children, who are effecting each other 
intellectually, emotionally, spirituality, physically and psychologically. 

Now each child has grown and has a partner, which again sends the pendulum swinging.
Each individual is moving and growing and changing in many different ways.
And now each couple is having children.
There's no two years, or two months or two days that are exactly the same anymore.
Even when mobiles are smashed and torn, sagging and destroyed,
so can families have their struggles and challenges.
Meanwhile we continue to value human relationships and give support where needed.
Hopefully we can continue to offer hope and encouragement,
 for those who treasure the values of family life.
Our life has changed this past year as we welcomed the birth of 
Joy Anna on Feb.13, 2016 a sister to Ivy. 

Suzanne and Christopher have been busy, not only having two babies in two years,
but both of them completed their degrees of Master's of Education this past June.

Watching her smile is total JOY!
 Then came another birth, Cannon Jacob, March 22, 2016 to Joe and Mikki.
He came several weeks early so we reorganized our lives and drove to Truckee
spending five weeks enjoying and supporting the new family.
Cooking, laundering, cleaning.......

I must admit, I fell in love with the snow-covered Sierra Mountains.
We visited every ski resort, a total of fourteen.
The Olympic Village at Squaw Valley, was our favorite place.
A short walk of 2 km and we were seated outside with a Starbucks coffee.

 We enjoyed our daily visits, and walks, and many hours
were spent cooking, cleaning and laundering.

This past summer Mikki took a maternity leave and lived in Seattle, 
 while Joe continued guiding his clients up and down Mount Ranier.

And this little man has been introduced to sleeping in a tent.
Just like his Mama and Papa!!!

Our two little newborns know how to capture our hearts.

A quick trip to Europe in May, which had been planned prior to the new additions
was another highlight as we visited family. 
A gondola lift up the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitz,
was just perfect as the skies cleared to give us a perfect view.
We waited four days for clearing signals.

Summer time came and past quickly.
Many wonderful days camping with the family at Manning.
Levi and Silas both enjoyed their first canoe trip up Lightning Lake.

This year both boys were gifted a Swiss Army knife.
Their Opa carefully showed them how to use them.
Camping in the woods without a knife just doesn't work.

A drive up to the Alpine Meadows is a must with Jeremy and Tara and the boys.
The beauty of mountain tops, trails and alpine meadows was stunning.
Our search for  marmots was in vain. 

An idle day of fishing and canoeing brought back many memories.

Spending time together and reflecting on memories of 
skiing and camping trips which have become family traditions for many years.

I love watching John farm....he loves it and finds himself 
feeling satisfied once again after renovations are complete.
Occasionally I love to ride my bike to the farm and give him a hand.

With this kind of view, working and riding become truly pleasurable.

This years' combine and harvesting crop was another day more than
 rewarding in the life of country living.
If you ask John when he will retire?  He says, "Then what should I do?"

Every once in awhile we love to get into the Olympic Spirit.
We enjoyed watching a qualifying match for FIFA  World Cup 2018.
What does it take for Canada to make the finals?

We may be active and busy,
but these little faces make it worth it all.

"What is a family?
A family is a mobile.  A family is an art form.
A family is an exciting art career, because an art form needs work."

We value family in it's ever changing state.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Surprise

It's Mother's Day!
My best gift ever...having all my grandchildren together.
We planned this day in advance.
As you see, my absence from my blog tells you I'm busy.
Busy with new grands!

There were screams and hollers as they arrived.
Nobody knew that Mikki was arriving with Baby Cannon.
He was born March 22, 2016.
Five weeks after Baby Joy, Feb.13, 2016
We spent five weeks in CA helping them along their journey.

Great Oma, Tanta Trudy, Alan and Sherie.
A pleasant surprise for all.

 And you know who got all the attention..from young and old.

 Tanta Trudy hand stitched a quilt full of color and beauty for each new grandchild.
Of course Ivy owned it very quickly.
I think Joy will need to wait awhile.

And of course we took time to enjoy a table full of prepared foods.
It was a bit chaotic as you know...
just when i'st time to eat, the baby's alarms started ringing.
those poor nursing girls....
I guess we've all been there.

Truly this was a special day to  honor the women in our home.
We gathered together, from all generations.
Except for one little photogenic man.

You can guess who really stole the show...

Joy Anna, Feb.13, 2016 
(Suzanne & Christopher)

Cannon Jacob, March 22, 2016
(Mikki & Joe) 

 Yes, this is our first time gathering all five grands around us.
Lots of laughter.

The best Mother's Day ever!