Wednesday, December 31, 2014

the year that was...

As the sun sets on 2014...
let me gather a few memories of the 'year that was'.

 

We had springlike January...
one that had us hiking the local trails rather than shoveling snow!


Valentine's Day was celebrated with a grand chocolate fondue!

 

March found us in our favorite oasis in the desert. 


April ~ Easter.
Eggs, treasure hunts, paska, daffodils.

And above all...
a risen Savior.


The merry, merry month of May...
was mostly about making 'hay' and planting the crops.


June brought showers, flowers, rainbows...
and a trip to Barkerville with friends. 

 

Highlights of July included ...
picnics, bike rides,  camping trips with the grands, and a family reunion in Manitoba.


We began August at Halcyon Hot Springs in BC's Kootenay Rockies...
and spent the rest of the month close to home...
taking care of business.


We celebrated his milestone birthday on September 11th by hiking the Grouse Grind.

We also enjoyed a wonderful little RV getaway to Vancouver Island's west coast...
early in the month.

And on the farm...
the bumper crop of corn came off the fields.


October ~ a quick trip to Whistler gave us our fix of fall colour.


November...
we watched the sun set and the moon rise over the palm trees of  Palm Springs.


 December.
It began with picture perfect winter weather..


...and left us with memories of Christmas
...and family gathered together.


It ended with frigid temperatures...
creating beautiful snow-capped peaks all around.

2014.
A year of the good and the bad...
the everyday and the extra-ordinary...
the easy and the difficult...
the beautiful and the ugly...
the peaks and the valleys.
That is life!


As the year comes to a close...
I thank God for His faithfulness.
His mercies are new every morning.
Though I know not what tomorrow may hold...
I know He holds tomorrow!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'twas the month before Christmas...

'Twas the month before Christmas...a month that seem to slip by far too quickly!  
With December...
winter arrived in this part of the country.  
It never stayed for long...
but we sure enjoyed the cold, sunny days at the beginning of the month. 


Maybe it was the red barn with snow-capped peaks for a backdrop that inspired me...



...to add a splash to colour to our bedroom for the Christmas season. 


Paper whites bloomed indoors throughout the month.
A gift from a friend...
much enjoyed! 




Early in the month we took a trip across the mountain pass and on to Kelowna...
to visit family...
celebrate a milestone birthday...
and enjoy our first Christmas dinner of the year.


We stopped by our BIL's apple orchard...
and decided the few remaining apples of the season looked quite festive hanging on the boughs.


And that is what an apple orchard looks like in December!

Mid-month we headed south to the Seattle area one Sunday...


...for the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Christmas party 2014 at the home of our friend Ellen.
There were seven of us from the Fraser Valley...
along with our spouses.
Though we chat often in our 'google group'...
we rarely all meet face to face.
And what a special time it was!


Rather than drive home that night...
we decided to spend the night in nearby Edmonds.
Our hotel was right on the water...
where the fishermen fished...
the ferries came and went...
and Santa-look-alikes strolled the beach.
A good place to stay!

December has been busy with school concerts...
community concerts...
and other Christmas activities.


We have always taken our pre-school grands on a daytime outing to Dicken's Christmas Village. 
Lucy is our only pre-schooler now...
so she got to go on her own this year.
She quite liked it!


Last night we took the oldest grands for a drive to see the Christmas lights in our neighbourhood...
something we do most every year.

We saw a lot of Santas...and elves...and reindeer...
but it was so good to see that most of the larger displays pointed to the meaning of the season.  

A Savior...who is Christ the Lord.
And they fell down...
and worshiped Him.

Tonight it is Christmas...almost.  
Christmas Eve!  
Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a joyous Christmas.

And just for fun...
let me add a snapshot taken 30 years ago today in our living room.



Christmas Eve...1984 
Oh dear!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

november remembered...

 We spent the first part of the month where the sun always shines...
the palm trees sway...


...and our favorite resort in the desert beckons.


My sister and BIL (Dot and Terry) were there when we arrived...
and we spent some time catching up with them.
Why is that so much easier to do when on vacation?
We live in the same neighbourhood and don't see each other often enough.

Then we had some friends join us for a week...
and shared some fun times!

We found more friends...
and drove out to Nuevo for a Sunday morning church service.


Olive Grove Church  is a friendly place...


...in a rural community of Riverside County.
Their Pastor Steve happens to be the brother of our good friend, Ellen.
He made us feel most welcome...
and gave us some 'food for thought' from the pulpit.

After church, we headed up the mountains to Idyllwild for lunch. 
We were dressed for Palm Springs...
not for Idyllwild.
42°F (that's 6°C) was a bit of a shock!
But the restaurant had the fire going...
and some wonderful baked French onion soup on the menu...
and by the time we left we were almost warm!


We also were not dressed for collecting pine cones up in the mountains...
but couldn't resist!



On another day we visited the Coachella Valley Preserve...also called Thousand Palm Oasis.
It is a 20,000 acre sanctuary for endangered desert species...
located on the San Andreas fault-line.
How strange to see pools of water  in the middle of the desert...
the result of underground springs along the San Andreas fault.
We took a wee hike and wandered among the fan palms...
which grow up to 45 feet tall and are well over a hundred years old.


Back at the resort...
we made the most of our stay.


We floated down the lazy river...
and read one book after another.
We even managed to keep them dry...
for the most part!


We enjoyed poolside lunches...
and good company!

 
Some of  'the poolside company' we  could have done without...
but with guests continuing to feed them...
the ducks are in no hurry to take up residence elsewhere.

Back at home...
we had November birthdays to celebrate.


Sweet Micah.
Five years old...already!
Where do the years go?
Why it seems just yesterday that these two arrived!
And now they are teenagers.
Did I ever tell you that being a grandparent is a lot of fun?
So blessed to call them my grands...
and have them all living nearby.


One Sunday afternoon we had some surprise visitors show up at the door.
Emme and Spencer had a lot of puppies to look after this past while...
and decided to bring a few for a Sunday afternoon walk across the fields to our house.
They all look the same to me...
but the girls knew each one by name.
They were not anxious for them to be adopted out...
and it seems they have persuaded their dad that one should stay.
Forever.
Now there is just one.
And Mamma Indy...of course.


Why is it always so hard to find a nice day to hang the Christmas lights on the house?
We had barely lugged out the ladders and the lights when the skies opened up...
and the rain poured down on us.
We packed everything up...
to be continued later.
A few hours later...
the sun was shining and we tried again.
Once more we got drenched.
 
 It wasn't a great day for hanging lights...
but it was the perfect day for photographing rainbows!
Inside it is also beginning to look a bit like Christmas.
We are ready to count down the days... 

...with an 'advent calendar' that my DIL made for me last year.
Wee canisters with glitter numbers on top and a magnet on the back...
attached to a vintage metal tray.
I'm sure I'll have help in 'opening up' the days!
Wishing you all a blessed advent season...
and a Christmas filled with joy.

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