Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy 100th Birthday, Opa!

Meet Opa - Joshua's paternal grandfather. On Saturday he turned 100 years old and we were honoured to be guests at his birthday party! Opa immigrated from Germany when he was 45 years old with his wife and two young sons. His youngest son, Uve, is Joshua's father. Oma, his devoted wife of over 70 years, passed away about 3 years ago. Five of Opa's relatives travelled all the way from Germany to be at the birthday party! The party was at a local German restaurant where we enjoyed some very scrumptious, authentic German food! We definitely did not leave hungry! Opa with Sara and Sky, two out of his five (soon to be 6) great-grandchildren.
Hugs from Grandma, Joshua's mom.
Singing "Happy Birthday" - the 100th time he's heard that sung to him!!
It was really amazing to be part of such a momentous occasion! I've never known anyone else who lived to be 100! It was a fun-filled celebration! Opa was honoured in speeches from his two sons, Uve and Peter, and his two grandsons, Tyson and Joshua. Joshua ended his tribute with these words. "We respect you for what you have accomplished. We honour you for what you have taught us. We love you for who you are."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tough Week

After the excitement and busyness of the weekend, I'm feeling tired and cranky. The unpacking is down to the detailed stuff like decorating, organizing books and office things, hanging pictures, etc. My emotions are up and down and my energy is pretty low. Things are moving slowly and that has caused some tension in the home. (I don't think I need to be more specific!) I started some homeschooling this week, which cut into unpack time, but we really needed to get going. And of course, there's still laundry, meals to cook, dishes to wash, children to spend time with, grocery shopping and all those other things that just never end. I can't just leave all that and devote my time to unpacking and organizing. But, somebody, wouldn't like that either... Anyway, you get the idea... It's just been a tough week and we could use some extra prayer around here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Farmer's Market

Saturday was a beautiful day. We had heard about the amazing farmer's market here in St. Albert, so we decided to check it out. It was indeed amazing! They claim it's the largest farmer's market in western Canada and I believe it! They close off the roads downtown for this event! There were so many vendors with everything imaginable. We spent quite awhile there and spent way too much money! Among the loot we brought home was homemade, double chocolate fudge, blackberries, peaches and cream corn on the cob, yellow and orange tomatoes, homemade spring rolls, potatoes, purple onions - well, you get the idea! We stood in line for a looong time so Sara and Sky could get a balloon creation from the balloon lady. Sky became the proud owner of a belt and sword (that nice lady was making lots of these!).
Sara loved her heart-shaped fairy wings!
For lunch we stopped for bratwurst, hot dogs and cheeseburgers.
And ice cold lemonade!

My favourite purchase were these wooden signs. Aren't they adorable?! The pink one is for Sara's room. We're going to hang the goodnight kiss one above our bed.Don't miss the previous two posts - there's lots more pictures in those!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Welcome To The Neighbourhood

On Friday, when Joshua came home from work, we decided to take a family bike ride to explore our new neighbourhood. I wanted to share some pictures I took along the way. Fall has come to this part of the world. The changing leaves are just brilliant right now, and the air is cool and crisp. There are some beautiful trails running through this neighbourhood and I am feeling blessed to be able to enjoy them on a regular basis! First, we visited the nearest playground and the kids worked out some serious energy! I love this shot of them pushing Daddy on the tire swing!

This is looking down the street from the playground.As we biked along, we went around this pond and fountain.The path even took us over a small wooden bridge where we saw this pretty little waterfall!And on the way home again, this row of golden trees...Later, I want to take a nice leisurely walk, so I can stop and take lots more pictures. It's supposed to be a nice, warm week, so that should be easy! This is the month we try to take as many walks or bike rides as possible before temperatures go below the freezing mark and the snow begins to fall. I hope you enjoyed the tour of our neighbourhood!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's Beginning To Look Like Home

We are finally able to see more furniture than boxes these days! The walls and shelves are not decorated yet, but I thought you would like to see the progress so far. First up is the family room. The fireplace is a real, wood-burning one, so we're looking forward to cozy winter evenings by the crackling fire! To the right of this room is the dining nook and kitchen. I love having the family around while I'm fixing and cleaning up meals!
This is the dining room, with a beautiful view of the backyard. We were able to purchase the table with the house, which is stained to match the kitchen cupboards. The chair upholstery matches the window valances.
This is the stairway which you see when you walk in the front door. To the left is the main floor half bath and the office/schoolroom, where I am now typing this! To the right is the kitchen area.
From the stairway landing, this is the view of the front living room. The arched window looks out to the front yard, and the front door is just to the right. This is only half the room -it's really big! The other half is where we put the piano, but there are still boxes piled around it right now.

After a few more days I should be ready to show you the bedrooms, basement and schoolroom. Now that Joshua is home for the weekend, things will move a lot faster! We already got a lot done last night after the kids went to bed. The basement is a huge space (fully finished) and is a huge job! Sky's room is also in the basement. But, right now there is baked oatmeal in the oven and then we're going to head downtown to check out the local farmer's market. Then, some shopping for a few odds and ends that we need. I'm excited to be out and about and away from boxes for awhile!

September 11, 2001

This is one of those dates that we will never forget. One that you always remember where you were and exactly what you were doing when you heard the news. We were living in our first little home in Ohio. We rented a basement suite and Joshua was music pastor at Victory Baptist Church. Sara was 6 1/2 months old. I was going through my normal morning routine, when I got the phone call from Joshua at the church, "Turn on the T.V.!" I remember the horror, the confusion. Who? Why? What? I remember standing there, holding my baby girl, trying to take it all in. And then, right before my eyes, the first tower began to crumble to the ground. As I realized what was happening, I sank to the couch in tears, hugging Sara tight. A moment I will never forget. Life stood still that day and the nation grieved together. I saw the movie "Flight 93" a few days ago for the first time. It brought back so many emotions and I cried through much of it. Those people were amazing. And they were real people just like you and me. May we never forget what happened that day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

One Room At A Time...

My main goal yesterday was to completely finish organizing the kitchen and get all the counter tops cleared off. This was what it looked like in the morning....

And this is the picture I took after the kids went to bed!
Hopefully tomorrow there will be at least one more room to show you! Oh, and I thought you might like to know that the train waited until 9:30 a.m. to come through instead of 3 a.m.!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's A Mess!

My house is a mess. My emotions are a mess. I really don't like change. It's not exciting for me - or an adventure. It makes me sad. It's hard. It even makes me a bit angry. I don't want to have to find new places for everything in the kitchen, and the rest of the house. I don't like that I have to read the instruction manual just so I can figure out how to wash my piles of laundry. I don't like the train that comes through town at 3 in the morning, blowing it's whistle at every intersection. (We didn't know this when we bought the house!) I was sad that no one even acknowledged our existence at the new church we visited yesterday morning. (Except for Sara and Sky's teachers in their classes.) I don't like how everything is so quiet. The phone doesn't ring anymore. We have not seen or heard ANY neighbourhood children.

I know, this too shall pass. I know I'll get to know people and that the phone will ring again. I know we'll finally get unpacked and everything will find a place. I know the house will eventually feel like home. I know the Lord will lead us to the right church family in time. So, don't tell me all that - please! I just need some support and love and prayers until the storm passes.

Sara and Sky are actually doing very well with all this "newness." They love their new rooms! They each unpacked their own boxes and put all their things away by themselves! I was proud of them. I'll have to do some organizing and sorting later... :-) They got to spend Saturday afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa (Joshua's parents), so that was fun for them. They even had fun at church yesterday, so I was grateful for that. This morning they are doing well playing with each other. It's certainly different not having the playground right outside our front door or neighbourhood kids in and out of the house. Neither one of my sweet children have complained a bit. I can learn from them. In a few days I will attempt to have a bit of schooltime and that will help to curb any boredom that may erupt.

Well, I'm off to unpack some more boxes... Once I find my cable for the camera, I can post a few pictures.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Last Day

Today is the day we move. My heart is full of many things. The tears have come often the past two days. We've said goodbye to a lot of close friends. Yesterday the packers came and boxed up my whole house in only 5 hours! I wasn't sure whether to be excited or worried about that! The moving truck will be here in an hour to load everything up and take it to our new home. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. Visiting the places we'll miss the most. Heritage Park, the zoo, our favourite mall, Daddy's work. Lots of visiting and eating with friends. LOTS of eating! We had a garage sale somewhere in there too, and it turned out to be the biggest flop ever. Then, I spent a week trying to get rid of stuff any other way I could. This morning I'll make a trip to the consignment store and be done with it. Anyway, there are a few odds and ends I need to pack up, so I'll check in with news and pictures in a few days.