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!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
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!
Posted by Joanne at 5:47 PM
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!
Posted by Joanne at 8:33 AM
Monday, December 30, 2013
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!
Posted by Joanne at 11:45 AM
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.|
Posted by Joanne at 9:44 AM
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!
Posted by Joanne at 8:16 AM
Sunday, December 29, 2013
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!
Posted by Joanne at 4:01 PM
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!
Posted by Joanne at 9:02 AM
Sunday, December 22nd, was a happy/sad day!
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
Posted by Joanne at 12:13 AM
Saturday, December 28, 2013
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....
Posted by Joanne at 8:23 AM
Friday, December 27, 2013
Posted by Joanne at 4:17 PM
Jade was the angel Gabriel for her pre-school concert!
Posted by Joanne at 4:15 PM
It was a Winter Wonderland last Friday!
Posted by Joanne at 4:06 PM
Thursday, December 26, 2013
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!
Posted by Joanne at 9:08 PM
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!
Posted by Joanne at 6:03 AM
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
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!
Posted by Joanne at 7:01 PM
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!|
Posted by Joanne at 3:06 PM
Monday, December 23, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
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?
Posted by Joanne at 9:26 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2013
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!
Posted by Joanne at 7:06 AM