Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Wishes

"for to you is born this day in the city of Davids a Savior, who is Christ the Lord..." Luke 2:11

We have had a wonderful week preparing for Christmas. As usual, we spend much time with friends and family to celebrate Jesus' birth. It's been wonderful to have some "down time" from our regular routines and being able to spend more time together. We are truly blessed.
I came across this poem again tonight and found it appropriate to post it here. We are so grateful for all the blessings and joy we continue to receive. We do, however, continue to miss our Annette and Mom, at Christmas as we do each day. What beautiful words to remind us of the true joy they now live.... as someday we will, too!
Wishing you and yours all the peace and joy of the season. Blessed Christmas!!

I see the countless CHRISTMAS TREES around the world below
with tiny lights like HEAVEN’S STARS reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so SPECTACULAR please wipe away that tear
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I hear the many CHRISTMAS SONGS that people hold so dear
but the SOUND OF MUSIC can't compare with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here
I see the countless CHRISTMAS TREES around the world below
with tiny lights like HEAVEN’S STARS reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so SPECTACULAR please wipe away that tear
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.
I hear the many CHRISTMAS SONGS that people hold so dear
but the SOUND OF MUSIC can't compare with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.

I have no words to tell you of the JOY their voices bring
for it is beyond description to HEAR THE ANGELS SING.
I know HOW MUCH YOU MISS ME, I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I can't tell you of the SPLENDOR or the PEACE here in this place
Can you just imagine CHRISTMAS WITH OUR SAVIOR face to face
I'll ask him to LIFT YOUR SPIRIT as I tell him of your love
so then PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER as you lift your eyes above.

Please let your HEARTS BE JOYFUL and let your SPIRIT SING
for I am spending CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN and I’m walking WITH THE KING.

~ by Wanda Bencke© Copyright 1999.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow!

Sara has been growing her hair out for the last two years. About a year ago, she decided to continue growing it until she had enough to cut it to donate it for cancer.

We researched the various places and discovered that she needed 10 inches in order to donate. She finally had enough! So on Monday, she took the plunge and had it cut! For many places you can mail the hair in an envelope. However, we found a place right in our city that makes wigs for kids right here! It is called Wigs For Kids They provide wigs for children who have hair loss from illness, burn or other issues.

Sara decided to "cut my hair for Aunt Annette because she had cancer." We think she looks beautiful with short hair, and even more so for the reason behind the short hair.

We love you, Sara, and are proud of you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

November 2, 1966 - December 16 2007

Gone are the days we used to share
But in our hearts you are always there.
The gates of memory never close,
We miss you more than anyone knows,
With tender love and deep regret,
We who love you will never forget.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Little Cadet

Here's my little cadet. I can't believe he is old enough to be going to cadets at church. He is so snapping cute in his little shirt and kerchief. He earned the kerchief by being able to recite his landmarks (don't ask me... ;) I especially love the part about promising to obey his parents. Can I get that in writing for him in ten years?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Sara and Connor were busy after school... creating! Sara came up with an idea for making her own boardgame on some paper. They made Ya! cards. These were the challenges that had to be completed. There were music and dancing challenges, mad libs, carnival cards to buy things with (kisses and hugs), and acting challenges. They made a BIN which was a grab bin that contained many little mini prizes. After supper, we had to play it all together. It was quite a fun game!

Trying it out for the first time...

A "Mad Lib" Ya! card...

The inventive creators...

The board...

Thanks, Sara and Connor for entertaining us again this evening! Maybe we should contact Hasbro and see if they're looking for a new game for their line-up!

PS: They named it "Sonnor". Can you figure out why?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

For the Beauty of the Earth...

Don't you love fall??

Don't you love fall even more when the kids are old enough to help with the job of leaves??

Ahhh... this is what we've been waiting for!!

Monday, November 02, 2009

November 2

November 2 will always be a special day for our family. 43 years ago Annette Grace was joyfully welcomed by her parents after a long wait. Each year thereafter, the second of November was met with great celebration and joy. While this family only got to celebrate 41 of these milestones with her here on this earth, we will continue to mark this special day. Our celebrations will be much more quiet, if not silent. But we will celebrate with joy. Joy for the years we had. Joy for the person she was. Joy because she helped make the people we are today. Joy because she now celebrates her new life eternally. Joy because we have the hope of being together again. Our joy may be shadowed with a longing and missing, and yes, even sadness. But we will have joy.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mom ~ In Loving Memory ~ October 31, 2006

The message is the same as last year, and missing her is the same, too.


A Mother's love is something that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle we cannot understand
And another wondrous evidenceof God's tender guiding hand.
~Helen Steiner Rice~

Three years ago we said our "good-bye for now's.

Missing Mom today, as every day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fantastic Day at Fantasy Island!

Where have we been for the last month and a half, you ask?

Well, we've been a little, ummmm, tied up...

...doing all kinds of fun summer stuff. We've had a great summer together at the cottage, playing soccer, resting and relaxing.

Now, it's back to reality. However, today we took another day to play!

We've been very busy this summer! But we'd promised the kids that if they wanted to use their birthday money for some day trips, we could go places they'd like to go. (We're trying to teach them that we're not the bottomless pit of denaro that they like to think we are. Ha!) So, today was the first chance we had to get to a theme park. We'd never been to this particular park and we had so much fun! There was no one there, which made it that much more fun (don't take that the wrong way, that almost sounds anti-social! What I meant was no crowds, no lines etc.) We could ride the rides over and over and over again. And we did. Sara and I did the roller coaster 5 times in a row without getting off. Whew!

It was great to steal another day with our family "while the gettin' is good". What a gorgeous day of weather we were blessed with today!

We did a round of mini-golf (Connor's favourite...)

Another of Connor's favourite... driving the antique cars! Maybe when Opa gets his '32 Chrysler finished, Connor can take it out for a spin!

I made Sara pose with me as I am in NO pictures for the last, oh, 7 years.

Sara and Connor on the slide...

Racing down together:

Bumper Cars!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hey, Guess what????


Really, what??

It's raining!
No, I'm not kidding.

I think we might start building an ark.
The kids decided that if you can't have sun to play in, rain isn't so bad either.
Huh. (anyone watch Canadian TV?)

Oh, and here is what happens when they find some washable markers to entertain themselves in the rain.
Except that is stopped raining. Har-dee-har-har.
Now they're waiting for Daddy to get home to turn on the sprinkler.
Ah, youth.

Monday, July 20, 2009

We're Hitting Double Digits Today!

Ten years ago today, Sara Justine graced us with her presence at 8:25 am. It was a Tuesday morning (ten days later than expected, but hey, who's keeping track of that now anymore??).

It's been such a blessing to watch her grow from baby to toddler to oung girl to *gulp* pre-teen. Sara has a wonderful, caring, fun-loving, compassionate personality. She keeps our lives spicy. We like that. We pray for many more birthdays to celebrate together.

Happy birthday, Bear!

We love you to the moon and back!!

Love, Mommy, Daddy and Connor

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Blogging World

I'll admit that I've become addicted to the blogging world. I have several "bookmarked" blogs that I follow regularly. These are people I have never met, nor do I know them. But I read about their lives. Everyday.

Most of the blogs I became aware of by another blog I follow. People put links on their blogs to other blogs and ask you to think of or pray for this family because of the needs they have. So I click and follow the link and before you know it, I am involved in the stories that make up their lives. People I have never met and don't know.

Why are we so interested in those we don't know? Why such voyeuristic intentions? Do we love drama? Maybe. Like a real-life soap opera of sorts? Perhaps. But for me, I think it's just seeing how we are all the same, no matter where in Canada or the US you may live. We laugh, live, love, lose. No one is exempt from joy and pain, life and death, good times and stuggles. It really brings into perspective that in everyone's life "a little rain must fall". Sometimes it's more than rain. More like monsoons.

So I continue to be a voyeur into the lives of others. And, I feel for these people I don't know.

One family I have been reading about had a son name Ryan. He had cancer for the last 5 years. Then, saddly, his mother developed breast cancer about a year and a half ago. She passed away on Wednesday. And sadly, their son died yesterday at the age of 9, 2 days after his mom. Can you even imagine? Say a prayer for this broken family and one of thanks for the blessings you do have in your life. You can read from his blog here.

So I'm sure I will continue to peek into the lives of others. I will be encouraged by their expressions of faith through struggles, the cute photos and the day to day ramblings.

Because we are all the same.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Annette and Michael

The death and subsequent media frenzy of Michael Jackson has left me with feelings of melancholy.

Sara and I had this conversation today:

"Mom, was Michael Jackson a Christian?"

"I don't know, honey. I know his family was Christian when he was younger, but I'm not sure if he still was now."

'Cause I was just thinking that maybe Aunt Annette got to meet him finally in heaven".

"You know, I had the exact same thoughts the day that he died. I wondered, too, if they met up in heaven".

Then we proceded to talk about ALL the people in heaven. Quite a mix. Abraham. Noah. Aunt Annette. Oma. Maybe Elvis and Michael? One day we'll find out I guess.

Annette really liked Michael Jackson when she was a teenager. (She would probably not like me sharing this-ha!) She had the posters (I think) and the Thriller album. (I need to dig that out album from Dad's house!). We even went to see the Jackson 5 in Toronto when they were on tour. Michael was just breaking out on his own, but still touring with his brothers (hmm... I wonder if there's still a concert souvenir guide somewhere in her or Dad's stuff...).

He was a talented artist, entertainer, and dancer, no matter what you thought of him. But his death this week leaves me feeling melancholic because it brings back so many great memories of us dancing in the living room. Listening to the music. Seeing the concert. Teasing Annette for her love of Michael. Good and happy memories. Memories now tinged with sadness for a longing to share those memories with Annette first hand.

And this is exactly why there is such a communal interest and mourning when a young celebrity dies. We care so much because these people are intertwined with our lives, for better or worse. They are connected to our memories. They are a bridge to our past. We all know the phrase, "Where were you when...?". For that reason, I have felt sadness this week.

And I don't know if Michael was a Christian, but I still can't help but wonder if they met up in heaven.

An Afternoon at the Petting Zoo...

Friday, July 03, 2009

"Show Us Where You Live Friday"

One of the blogs I frequent has a feature called "Show Us Where You Live Friday" because, let's face it, we're all nosy interested in everyone's decorating ideas. Today we are looking at yards.

We love our yard. It was one of the things that we fell in love with when looking at our house last summer. We can't take much credit for it because it was all here and already done last year when we moved in. But we're doing our best to keep it up!

The front yard.
The garden is full of interesting greenery and perennials that bloom at different times. I use baskets for "pops" of colour.

Our backyard. Look at that mulch! Steve spent most of Tuesday and all day Wednesday adding mulch to the back gardens. (He still has to finish the small garden in the foreground). We love mulch. It keeps the weeds in check and helps retain the moisture in the ground. Plus, it looks nice!

Another backyard view.

The pergola came with the house and we are loving spending time outside this year. This is our first summer year, so it's nice to see what's coming up in the garden and being able to enjoy it. The weather has also been a little lot cooler so far this summer, but it makes for easy sitting outside.

Why don't you show us where you live? You know, because we're nosy interested in your decorating flair!