Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Questions

I went to the most amazing church service on Sunday, and I emailed my pastor to tell him how much I enjoyed it.  I also asked him to send me the questions that he asked all of us to think about.  I think that these are questions that we should all be asking ourselves....and thought I should leave everyone with something to think about.  A lot of people stood up and shared Question #4 with the rest of the congregation, and I really enjoyed the entire experience.  God is alive and well and living here in Maple Ridge.....and I love going to church and hearing about Him!  Happiest of New Year to you all!  2014 is already looking to be an amazing and eventful year!  Especially for me and mine!

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Happy New Year!

Excitement!

We went to a wedding in August, they announced that they were pregnant a few weeks ago, and she is already 20 weeks along.  Half-way!  I know a lot of pregnant people right now, and I am so very excited for everyone!  There are lots of babies coming in 2014! 

People

I really do have some of the very best friends.  I spent last night at the hockey game with Corinna.  It was a really good game, but Philadelphia beat us in a shoot-out.  We had such a great evening, starting with a little bit of shopping and an excellent pasta dinner at Marcello's on Commercial Drive.  I think I have a new favourite store....it is called Exposure and they had an awesome half-price sale.  I may have bought myself a new coat and new boots.  I could have spent a lot of money there, but I really didn't have any to spend so it is a good thing that I didn't.  But I could have.

I went to the Dr this morning to find out that I am still slightly hyper-thyroid and I am now down to .100 in my synthroid dosage.  Not surprising.  It is Christmastime, after all.  But it is a really low dosage for me. My weight keeps fluctuating, but it isn't going that far down. At least, not enough to warrant the third dosage change in less than a year.  The pharmacist seems to think it is because of my estrogen levels....because of menopause.  All I know is that I must be starting to level out....as I don't have the hot flashes or the night sweats any more.....but it would be nice to get everything back to 'normal.'

Cynde picked up Thai food and we met here for lunch.  Had a wonderful visit and a delicious meal together before I went out and did my very, very first appliance purchase without Hubby.  He was working and my washing machine wasn't.  After I paid a repairman $80 to tell me that my washing machine was going to cost over $600 to repair, it made sense to go today, buy one and have it delivered on Thursday rather than wait any longer to wash clothes.  The starter button stopped working on Saturday and I really did think it would be an easy fix.  Not so.  The whole computer board was gone, and now I get a new Maytag washer.  Wasn't really thinking that is what I wanted to spend $1000 on today, but that is what I did.  Miracle #3 came along to keep me company, and we stopped off at the grocery store too.  I had very fun day....I didn't really want to buy a new appliance, but it had to be done.   We don't have any plans for New Years Eve and you know, that is okay with me.  I am spending a quiet evening at home with my best friend....hopefully we can keep our eyes open until midnight.  But even if we don't, that is okay too!  Happy New Year to all my friends and family!  I love you all so very, very much and you help to make my life complete!

Because if you do.....

.....it will!

Sisters!

Did you know that the longest relationships with people that you will have here on Earth are with your siblings?  I think that cousins also qualify in there too, because if you lived in my family when my miracles were young, then their cousins were also a very integral part of their lives.  My sisters and I didn't have that luxury while we were growing up because all of our extended family lived far away.  So a lot of the times, it was just the six of us.  Our family occasions were so different from my own children's. It was my Mom, my Dad and the four of us.  That's it.  Really, not much different than any other dinner except my mom made a turkey, and we ate in the dining room.  When I was a teenager, I remember setting the table with the good china and silverware as we made it into a special occasion. Very, very different from what my own children and my nieces and nephews have grown up knowing.

Here is a picture of me and my sisters.  It was taken in August at my niece's house.  We all look a little bit different now.....some of us are a little bit thinner, and our hair is longer or shorter, but this is us. In birth order.....My oldest sister is a month shy of turning 55, I am 53 and the twins are 49.  I love you all to the moon and back again!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Adventure

This is my oldest friend.  She likes to call me her longest friend.  We banter all the time about the right terminology. She and I have known each other for almost 52 years.  That is a long time!  And we are still very good friends!

She is a true inspiration and I live my dreams through her reality.  She and her husband of almost 32 years are always up for a challenge. They are bikers, dirt-bike racers, runners and triathletes.  They both did the Tough Mudder in Whistler this past summer and as you see, they look like they are having the time of their lives.  Because it is Christmastime, we were able to connect up last week and have a cup of coffee and a great visit!  I love this couple so much, and also their children who are now adults! We share a lot of history, and it was so wonderful to get together and make some more memories!

Another cousin

My cousin's son Lance is playing hockey in Denmark this year.  He is 29 and has played hockey for most of his life.  I remember meeting him in the early 90's, when he was just 8 years old and he told me that when he grew up he was going to play in the NHL.  Well, he was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2002.  He stayed with the Brandon Wheat Kings for three years before playing ECHL, CHL and AHL for another three years.  When his entry level contract expired, he headed off to Europe.  I loved it when he played for Stockton and San Antonio, because he would play in our area and we would go out to see him play.  I really enjoyed going to Chilliwack and Victoria and cheering him on.  Well, since he went to Europe, we haven't been able to watch him play.  We often talk about going to Europe and coordinating with Lance's hockey schedule, but it hasn't ever happened.  I love seeing all the pictures though and it is great that we are Facebook friends.  He and his wife Lindsay are living in a little city in Denmark this year, and it looks like they are having a great season!


I took this from Wikipedia.  I like facts and stats.

The Queen

Nicole is a dancer.  She has always loved to dance.  When she was little, she used to ask her Mommy to play the radio station with the songs with no words.  She meant the classical station.  I have been very blessed to be a part of her life since 1989, since she was only 4 years old.  She graduated with Miracle #4, but their life paths have taken them in very different directions. She went off to the University of Calgary when she was only 17 years old and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts when she was 21.  And she ended up staying and living in Calgary because of work opportunities and because that is where her friends are.  A few years ago, she appeared in a dance production called The Queen, The Bear and the Bumblebee.  She played the lead, and was the Queen. I have seen her twice over the holidays and we were reminiscing about some of her productions. I didn't attend this particular one, but I think that I would have enjoyed it a lot.  I think that my blessings would LOVE it!


Romance

I met someone almost 35 years ago, and can honestly say, "I got this!"

Sunday, December 29, 2013

You Say...God Says

Do you think I have enough?

I am happy to report that I am always cold again.  Which means that I am feeling somewhat normal, which means that my hormones must be somewhat balanced.  Whatever that means.  Me being normal is almost humorous.....but I don't sweat any more, unless I am working out or at yoga.  Hallelujah, Praise The Lord!  I know that I started taking HRT on November 3rd, and it took until almost Christmas to work, but it really is a miracle. I like being cold, because it is an easy fix to get warm.  Turn on the fireplace, grab a blanket or a sweater, or get a scarf and/or a hat.  I have lots of scarves and I got three new ones for Christmas.  I love them, and I wear them all the time!

Our Weekend

Our weekend started on Friday night, when we met my cousin in Burnaby at his colleague's family's home.  They invited us for dessert, which was Indian pudding and spicy tea. It was delicious and they were very gracious hosts.  We then went to see my Dad and #1 in Coquitlam, before taking Doug back to his fancy hotel in Vancouver around midnight.  I am ashamed to admit that no one took a camera out all evening, and so I just took these pictures of my cousin off of the Internet.  He is my very intelligent cousin with 5 degrees and a very important job, so it is really easy to find pictures of him.  His PhD is in International Relations and his Masters is in Medicine, and he is one of the most fascinating men that I have ever met.  I love listening to him, about his worklife and his travels.  We also love to discuss our past....wonderful memories which helped form us into the people who we have become.  Our mutual respect for one another is growing more and more evident as the years pass.

And as hard as I tried to sleep in yesterday, it was to no avail. Four hours is four hours no matter which way you look at it, so 2 to 6 was as good as it gets.  I had a nice quiet morning, started the last of the turkey bones in the crockpot and threw together a Shepherds pie for dinner last night.  I went to yoga with my friends, came home, did some laundry and had a short nap before dinner.  We went see the Kelowna Rockets beat the Vancouver Giants before heading to a surprise 30th birthday party.  My friend's daughter is home for Christmas from New York, so it was 2 weeks early and very unexpected, so she was totally surprised.  Lots of fun, but that was 2 late nights in a row, and I'm not used to this.  I love the social time, but I am really looking very forward to a quieter Sunday than last week......just church this morning, grocery shopping this afternoon and yoga tonight.   Hmmmm.  Deep, Stretch and Relax, my favourite!

Last Sunday

Sunday, December 22nd, was a happy/sad day!  


We started off in the morning with my cousin at the airport.  After we left her around 11:30 am, we headed into New Westminster for a Celebration of Life.  We knew we were going to be early, but there wasn't really any time to go home and head back.  I had already called the church on Friday to find out if we could help set up, and my offer was accepted graciously.  Because you see, this was at our old church.....the one that I had attended as a child and had taken my own family back to in the 80's and 90's.  And this was for someone we had known since she was born.  Mary and Dave were one of the first couples we had met way back in 1983, and we celebrated with them each time they had another baby.  Kristina was a toddler when we met them, and Robyn and Erin were born in 1986 and 1989.  Because this family lived in Port Coquitlam, we spent a lot of time with them.....both in and outside the church walls.  My Mom loved Mary and the girls and she would often come with them to my house so that they could play with my children.  They called me Auntie Oh-Jan.  Many years have passed since we left Olivet in 2003, but Mary and I have always kept in touch through cards, Facebook and pictures.  Because they lived so close, we would often run into them when we were out and about....Costco, Coquitlam Centre and most recently, Walmart.

Well, we were absolutely shocked when we found out that Erin had passed away last week.  We didn't know that she suffered from depression.....Mental health issues still carry such a stigma about them.  And you know, even when you think you know someone, you still don't know.  This is a senseless tragedy.  She committed suicide and her illness was not sugar-coated, even at her Memorial.  Mary and Dave wanted everyone to know what happened, and that there is help out there for anyone that asks.  Erin asked, she even committed herself to the hospital in September.  But this time, God called her home.  Way too soon.  Very, very sad, but the words spoken by Rev. Fox were extremely comforting.  Fear not!  For this is greater than all of us!  Erin is in Heaven, free from all her pain and suffering.  My heart aches for this family, and if you feel led to pray for them, please do.  I will go to visit them in the New Year.....but for now, my prayers will have to suffice....

Erin, with her mom in April 2013
After we headed home from New Westminster, we were able to come home for a very short time before heading to our annual Dinner with Santa at Pitt Meadows Golf Course.  We were able to freshen up, and then we went and stuffed ourselves at the buffet table.  As usual, they outdid themselves...and sticky toffee pudding is still my favourite!  The salmon, halibut, crab legs and sushi were pretty darn great as well, but it really is the company of our family and friends who make it the most memorable.  We headed home shortly after 8, and I am pretty sure that I was in bed before 10.  What a day!
                                         
          Miracle #4, me and Hubby, with Hubby's uncle and aunt

Saturday, December 28, 2013

More greetings!

Okay, I promise that this will be the last of the Christmas greetings....but I just love hearing from all my friends and family from across the land.  Some of my people live locally and others live far away, but that doesn't mean that I care any more or less about any of them.  Many of them, I hear from on a daily or weekly basis, others are just once or twice a year.  With Facebook, Instagram, email and texting, our great big world isn't as big as it used to be....


Friday, December 27, 2013

My cousin and me

Last Sunday was one of those days that started early and ended late.  It started off really happy and exciting as we met my cousin from Churchill at the airport.  She had a five hour layover in Vancouver on her way to Whitehorse to be with her son, his wife and her granddaughters.  So we left home at just before 7am, found Deb just before 8 at Carousel #6, and wandered off to find a restaurant. We had thought about leaving the airport, but she has an AOL injury to her knee and we didn't want to risk it.  She did just get a knee brace, and is managing, but still in a lot of pain.  So we sat at The White Spot in the domestic terminal for over three hours, had a tremendous visit, before our Good-byes came way too soon, and she had to get back through security and on her way.

I love my cousin....we are both born on the exact same day, five years apart.  Our third children are both born on the same day too, but they are only two years apart!  Funny, hey?

Concert

Jade was the angel Gabriel for her pre-school concert!

She performed magnificently, and was so pleased that we all braved the snowstorm to come and see her.....I walked, it was only 14 houses away, lol.....but her Mama and Yaya were unable to make it and that was disappointing.  

Sweetness!

Only a week ago.....

It was a Winter Wonderland last Friday!

I ended up with no children that day, so I offered to take Grandson to school.  We had lots of fun in the snow, and it was so untypical of the Lower Mainland.  Everyone really wanted it to last until Christmas, but it didn't.

Lining up to go into his classroom.  He loves Kindergarten!

Thank-you for being part of my life


Thursday, December 26, 2013

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

I had a really busy day yesterday, but whenever I took a break....from cleaning and tidying....and going over for breakfast at #3 and #4's house, and making sure that two turkeys, potatoes and rice were being cooked, I would sit on my iPad and check emails, Facebook and Instagram.  And I love, love, love all the pictures and Merry Christmases that were being shared.  Here are some of my friends, and friends of friends, and cousins of friends.  I hope that you enjoy their virtual Christmas greetings as much as I do!


Some Christmas Memories!

My Dad, 2 of his daughters, and 4 of his grandchildren❤
My niece, nephew and their cousins❤
Our tree and some presents

Boxing Day

Happy day after Christmas, Merry rest of the year.  Even when Christmas is over, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD IS STILL HERE.
Matthew West


Christmas 2013

Santa Baby
Christmas was wonderful!  And as usual, it was over too quickly.  I was up early, as sleeping doesn't seem all that important right now.  I am looking forward to staying home all day today.......maybe even staying in my jammies......but Hubby has other plans.  He wants to hit the Mall.  #3 has expressed an interest in going as well, so we will see.  I seem to have managed to fight off an annoying sore throat and cough for the last two days, but I am not sure where it is going to go now.  It isn't getting any worse, but it isn't getting any better either.  I am sure that if I could sleep more than two hours in a row, then that would help.  And more than four hours in total would probably help too....

Hubby and hosted Christmas dinner this year....first time in four years.  It was great!  I delegated, so even the young ones participated.  Hubby and I cooked the two turkeys that #3 and her family supplied from SIL's work, and everyone else brought something.  #1 bought corn, #2 and family made a roasted veggie dish, #3 made cherry berries on a cloud, #4 made candied yams, my niece and nephew brought pickles and buns, their mom and dad supplied the Christmas crackers, and my SIL and BIL made bean casserole and pumpkin cheesecake roll.  Everything was absolutely delicious, and the bones are cooking right now for turkey soup.  I think that I will make it for lunch or dinner.....or maybe I will just freeze the stock for another day.  It turned out that #1 left for dinner at my sister's and my BIL and SIL were sick, so there were only 19 people here for our meal.....didn't really seem like a lot except when we were all in the living room....but everything was delicious and a good time was has by all.  Christmas 2013 was very, very fun!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Look at what my sister did!

My sister goes to my Mom's gravesite quite frequently.  She put this picture on Facebook, and I feel that it is God's way of telling me that she is smiling down from Heaven tonight.  She loved Christmas, and I know she is sharing it with all of us......oh, how she loved us all so very, very much!  I know that she was extremely pleased an hour ago as Hubby and I, all of the miracles and DIL, and all of the blessings went to our 5:30 candlelight service.  First candlelight service at this church since we have been attending since 2004.......and it brought back wonderful Olivet memories of when we attended on Christmas Eve since the 80's.   I love Christmas!  Thanks Mom, for being here with us this evening, and showing us the true meaning of the reason for our season!  Only one more sleep!


Cousins

I love it when people send me pictures at Christmastime.....and I really love it when they come through my newsfeed on Facebook too.  These are some of my cousins, and Hubby's too!

Hubby's cousin and her family who live in Phoenix, Arizona.
My cousin's grand-daughters who live in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories.
My mom's cousin and her son, wife, and children.  They live in Davis, California, and Portland,Oregon.  I love that my mom taught me about the true meaning of Christmas and the love for our family!  

Always Believe

Monday, December 23, 2013

This is awesome!

One of my past clients sent this to me yesterday.  This is one of my most favourite times of year, as I hear from a lot of people.....past and present....and this picture made me smile!  It is no secret to anyone that I love pictures!

Thank-you


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pretty as a princess


We went to our annual Dinner with Santa tonight and a great time was had by all. #3 texted me this picture just before she left for the Golf Club, and I just love it.  Sweetheart let her Mommy curl her hair, and I think she looks beautiful.  Such a girly girl, this one, which is so opposite of her Mom.  She likes to wear dresses and asked for make-up the other day.  She is fascinated by my necklace that I always wear, and likes to touch it.  She would sit and have her fingers and toes painted every day if she could.  Yes, she's a princess.....and really, shouldn't every two year old be a princess?  Or at least feel like one every day?

Something nice

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Three years old!

Great-nephew was three on October 14th, and it feels so long ago already. A lot has happened.  He became a big brother and is enjoying it very much.  He is so kind and gentle, but that doesn't really surprise me as he is kind, gentle boy.  He is cautious, and yet more than happy to jump into any situation once he feels comfortable.  I just love these two recent pictures that his Mom sent to me because they are so genuine.  He has a funny little smile-on-command right now that we all laugh about, but that's a 3 year old for you!  These ones are so natural and true!

He is 38 months old, 36.5 pounds and 36 inches tall.