Monday, December 17, 2007

Andy took the close up shot. I think she must have something in her mouth. We found the tobaggan and it works WAY better than the orange sled.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

“For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made us understand that this light is the brightness of the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ…but this precious treasure – this light and power that now shine within us – is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God is not our own.”

~Paul, in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, New Living Translation

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I wrote this on Wed. before supper:

When they asked who is a grinch at church a few Sunday's ago I raised my hand. I have started, in the last few years, to dislike Christmas, or at least some of what

leads up to it. I think it is the increase of things that seemingly have to be done. When getting through each day can be a struggle adding to that can be overwhelming.

I didn't want to get a tree this year, but post verses about Jesus everywhere. We did decide to get a tree. Andy did bring in a tree from our forest and we decided only ornaments that relate to the Christmas story and people ornaments would go on our 3 foot tree.

We also made Cmas cards in early Nov. (yet to be written in) and have stayed on our program of not buying gifts in the traditional sense of ‘buying gifts’.

I wrote this big letter to our families on Nov.1st, about gifts and accumulation etc., but Andy wanted to add to it and found it such a big issue in his head etc. that he didn't have energy to put towards it to add his two bits. He has had to put a lot of energy towards

working things out with work details since his boss, Carol, has been off since early Oct. Anyway, I'll include some of my letter for those of those who care to read it (below).

I had a Tupperware fundraising party for camp on Tues. night. It was fun to have all these people to the house (6) which is so unique for us. Andy helped make yummy food - we served quiche and stuffed potatoes, beet cabbage carrot salad and pasta salad and mini poppy seed muffins and mini shape sugar cookies with mint-choc.icing. We raised about $150 for camp so far!

Today we went to town and had tea with the pastor's wife and to the Family Place for lunch. We didn't get there last week, so it was nice to be there again.

Ya, with my grinchiness, I think it mainly comes from lack of energy and maybe all the commercial hoop-la that comes. Living out here, though, is a good place to be to avoid it.

I did attend the main Christmas 'production' that our town holds on Dec.5. It is called 'Songfest' and any group can come and perform a song, from the community. My favorite was a cowboy and a lady who shared a poem and song about what a cowboy Christmas would be like. Here are some things I remember from the poem “…his (the cowboy) Cmas trees are the snow covered trees around him. In the morning he tosses some snow and coffee grounds into a pot for coffee and spends the day chopping holes in the ice so the cattle have something to drink. He watches for early calves being born so they don't freeze before they get to stand. He wouldn't trade it for anything and he feels closest to God there in the wilderness.”

The other night a week ago, I said to Andy, "Maybe we should just do what everyone else does - just give into it all and go along with everything - spend a ton of money of everyone...blah blah blah." I guess it can sometimes feel we are swimming so much against the flow.

I was quite depressed there for awhile and have been feeling much better ever since that ladies nite at our church (tonight I’m having another down time). I played a song I wrote, Mom, that doesn't really have a title, but it could be called, ‘Jesus’.

I have noticed that it has been hard on me living here with being so far out of town. We try to make it into town 2 times a week for social-ness for Sarah and I. I don't have much to say re: that - I'm tired.

I miss going to the rec. centre and exercising with others.

Sometimes when Sarah is having her bedtime snack (read meal, it is large these days) I sing her a song about her day. She loves it. I'm trying to keep my calluses on my fingers since early Dec.

Excerpts from the letter I referred to earlier:

This year...I ...yet again, been thinking about Christmas and the amount of purchasing that happens at this time of year. We love celebrating Jesus' birth and we recognize that

part of that celebrating, here in Canada, North America, is giving gifts....

When I think of my house and what it contains, I think of the vast amount of resources with which to make, create, re-gift (:), and bake...

...we are not too excited about the impact (on the environment, on people's time, energy usage) of other's buying gifts for us.

I have been extremely encouraged by the website. We actually know (have met, talked with) many of the people who created this website - some Canadian Mennonites no less. There is a great host of ideas for giving out of what you have.

... want to challenge one to think of the impact of that action - environmentally (did you know wrapping paper cannot be recycled due to the high ink content? This was shocking to me, what kind of impact was made when the item was produced/manufactured), and where the money could have been given too instead....

So, part of the reason in bringing this up, is to address that question and perhaps free people up of spending money to release more relationship/connection through homemade gifts or even simply something they have written.

Here are some gift ideas I came up with:

-a picture and words about what you appreciate about the other person

-a spiritual discovery you had one day along with a scripture

-a family scrapbook into which everyone contributed a page about God’s role in their life/something encouraging he taught them…(could be compiled as a family activity)

-a funny story about something that happened to you

-a 'devotion' you wrote yourself

-an explanation of what you did with the time that would have been spent at the mall looking for a gift for us (I laid down and listened to music, I slept, I read an advent book, I prayed for...)

-Give a little treat to an employee at the mall (edible perhaps, but probably store bought so they wouldn't not be suspicious).

-wrap gifts using Christmas advertising paper/flyers. They are very colorful, seasonally themed  and recyclable.

Some say 'homemade' Christmas' take more time. They can, but they don't have to. I would be THRILLED if someone, in my name for Christmas, took the time they would have at the mall and reflected, spent some of it writing even a note to me. That would be encouraging....


I think that’s it for now. I am feeling (feelings – those crazy things) lonely, very tired (I think maybe I shouldn’t mention that - like say if I don’t mention energy levels you can assume I’m tired.) like not wanting to clean the kitchen, like I cannot stop, like I have no motivation to exercise, like I am avoiding God and delving into my going going goingness…kind of. Last night was nice in that we had invited some people over for supper and they forgot to come, so we had a relaxing evening in our clean house.) I’ve typed too long now and ‘wrecked’ my arm.

I don’t want to write in my Christmas cards – and we are giving them just to immediate family. Sarah needs a sweater on, the fire needs wood, Raffi is singing, Andy is coming home soon.

This I wrote this on Thurs. or Fri..:


I wrote that yesterday and now reading it I can see I must have been bitter and not feeling that great. Today I feel like my head is back on my shoulders and I can see things more clearly. Sarah was a little sick (hacky cough) and I cleared the ice on the lake again (Andy did first time) for skating this evening and had a bit of skating time before supper. Most of my 1.5 hrs. outside was shoveling. It was nice.

Yah, feeling much better today. Sarah napped for almost 2 hours this afternoon. Probably cause she is sick and was up at 6:30 am this morn.

I don’t feel so much like a grinch this evening. Still enjoying the clean house and the little lights on our Christmas tree. They are the second set, as the first set burnt out. Sarah and I have been enjoying reading a book the talks about how other people around the world celebrate Christmas.

Have you people taken a look at my camp posts I did a while back? I don’t really know if people read that blog, as I get little to no comments but I try to stick with it semi-regularly.

~Contemplated not posting all that, but hey, you all experience real raw not-everything- is-great life, so there is a slice of mine :)

Written today (Sat.):

Ya, just thought I’d share some writings from a ‘blah’ time. Today (Sat.) I went skating again and we were all down at the lake. We did a parade (walking in a line) on the lake too.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

here's the snow pics

All these pictures were from last week, except the snowman (Mr. Dottie) we built TODAY. The one of Sarah by our garage is her looking at the first deeper snow and trying it out slowly. One day off Andy had, we went down to the lake for ice skating. He is carrying the skates etc.

This is me coming back after getting produce from our root cellar (the old pump/well area underground at camp). This picture also is not recent (no snow), but from mid-Nov.

nov. birthday

This is my birthday party at home, after our Abbotsford trip.
Andy made homemade chicken burgers with our chicken! The pickles Andy and Sarah canned are on the burger as well, also our his homemade ketchup and some fried leeks we grew. It was good. Sarah and Andy also made a chocolate cake and homemade sherbet with our egg whites and frozen fruit from summer.

Monday, December 03, 2007

This is going to be our Christmas tree. Andy cut it down today and it's becoming more dry in the laundry room currently.
We've had a dump of snow and today Andy was using the snow blower in order for us to make it out the driveway and into town. The tractor's tire is being replaced.
I sang a song at our church's ladies night on Friday. That was a nice night. We had a silent auction to raise money for sending a gift to missionaries our church supports.
Also, we got a new 'secret sister' whom we are to encourage and pray for this year.
I was given a poinsetta for helping out and that was cool cause I was thinking it'd be neat to have one this year.
A lot of our Christmas preparations are done, which is really nice. We've started some advent things - candle, reading through a book, pulled out our 2 nativity scenes - the stuffed one I made to play with and our breakable one. Mary was upstairs last night in Sarah's room.
I don't think I mentioned on here that Sarah's sleeping in our walk-in closet. We closed off her big room in early Oct. to save on heating costs and the what heating costs our environment as well. We hung a curtain in the doorway and she sleeps under our hanging clothes and her boxes of clothes are at her feet. It's been working out very well - it's kind of cozy all being so close together. She woke up the night Andy babysat wet (we've been trying a few nights sleeping in underwear). She'd had lots of tea before bed and not much to eat he said. Then we were up at 6 am. "I'm hungry" she says, so we eat and go back to sleep again.
Oh yes. I'm feeling better in spirit. The bright snow is nice.
"One day I would like to make sausage." is the quote of the evening from Andy.
Sarah has been enjoying dancing and hanging things and reading book outloud that we've read in the past. Today we had wraps - we hadn't had those in a while. That was nice.

Mark and Jack grinding grains for pancakes and Jack and Sarah mixing cookie dough.
Jack is Mark's nephew.
They visited with Anne, Mark's sister, in Oct. as well.


On our way home from Abb. in Oct., we stopped at the most beautiful pull-out, getting closer to the top of the hill before coming down into Princeton.

Visit with Shannon

A few photos from my Oct. visit with Shannon. The view from their condo balcony - the Three Sisters, Canmore, AB.