Wednesday, 8 January 2014

December in a nutshell...then a bit of January

As per usual I am behind on blogging.  I sometimes think about throwing in the towel on blogging, but since we have family and friends all over the world, it just seems like a good way to keep in touch.  Not to mention my husband has a colleague that reminds him when we are behind on updating our blog :)

So here goes.  Hang on for the ride.  I should mention, that in November our beautiful daughter Rykauna turned 14!  Hard to believe, but the numbers don't lie.  We are looking forward to what God has in store for our eldest.  It is fun watching her grow and mature.

December rolled in with a wicked flu for Steph and I.  Unfortunately we shared it with my mother-in-law as well.  I was a good ten days of feeling under the weather.  I was shocked to get so sick seeing as I got the flu shot.

On the 9th of December, I turned 38.  A birthday I have been sort of dreading for many years.  Most people dread the big 4-0 but not me.  My mom was diagnosed with cancer around the time of her 38th birthday and died a few months later.  I know that the type of cancer she had was not considered to be one with a genetic link, but...  Yeah, let's not go there. It is also difficult to realize/think about how young she truly was at the time of her transfer to heaven.  It also makes me realize what a privilege it is to grow old.  Many of us dread it, but it truly is a privilege not offered to all.

Two days after my monumental birthday, Logan turned 12.  Yup, our second born is one year away from being a teenager!  He is presently growing like a weed and threatening to catch up height-wise to Rykauna.   His reliability and willingness to help Steph and I with work around the house is such a blessing to us.  May God continually bless him too!

Mid December, Steph and I were given tickets to Les Miserables .  Our generous friends joined us for the event and a great time was had by all!  The story of grace is so strong in this musical...beautiful.

The kids got out of school on the 19th of December and on the evening of the 21st we were hit with the  longest power outage I can honestly remember ever experiencing.  Around  7:30pm we heard on the news that due to freezing rain causing damage to wires and transformers, power outages were likely to occur.  One hour later our house was plunged into blackness.  We dug around for flashlights and candles, moved our meat and a few other perishables from the fridge to the porch, and found some more blankets to pile on the beds.  We had  been told the power could be out  for as long as 72 hours so we were not surprised to find the floors cold in the morning.  Church services had to be cancelled due to the lack of electricity, and the treacherous road conditions.  Actually the walk to the car was probably the most dangerous.  Our entire yard, and our cars, were covered in an inch of ice.  Many trees were creaking eerily and groaning under the  added weight of the ice on all the branches.  Many tree branches were falling to the ground, large limbs were snapping off and several trees either fell over or snapped in two.  Our neighbourhood looked like a frozen tornado whirled through it.  Thankfully my mother-in-law's apartment, which is at the back of our house, has a gas fireplace.  She was able to turn it on as it has a remote battery starter and we were able to stay warm in her little space.  The rest of the house was very chilly.  By Sunday night it was down to 11C.  We bundled the kids even warmer in heavy pyjamas, socks and sweaters and bunked down for a second night sans heat.  The next morning, the 23rd, I was scheduled to work day shift.  I can honestly say I have never looked forward to working like I did that day.  I knew I was heading to a hospital that, although running on back-up power, was warm!  After over 36 hours of being semi-chilled most of the time I got to work and started to sweat profusely.  The hospital was quite warm and the swing in temps was proving to be a lot for my not-so- temperature- adaptable system.  I changed into fresh scrubs and set to work.  I ended my shift with a nice long hot shower before heading home again.  Steph ended up spending most of the day at the mall then at some friends of ours' place (who had power) doing laundry in view of our next day departure to the north.  Thankfully, five minutes after I arrived home Monday night, the power was restored.  The house temp was 8.3C and we had decided that we would stay over at our friends' home if the power did not return.  I was able to put on my winter coat and finish up the packing while our furnace worked overtime to try to reheat the place.

On Christmas Eve we traveled up to Northern Ontario  with all our presents, a cousin and her dog for a very traditional white Christmas.  We spent our time surrounded by friends and family and the children were able to make some great memories.  On Christmas Day, fifty-five of my relatives gathered at my cousin's lakefront home.  An area of the lake had been cleared off and made into a good ol' fashioned ice rink, fit with hay bales and a fire for warming up around.  Li Lin just loved skating... so much so that after nearly three hours she had to be talked into coming back into the house.

On Boxing Day, Steph, my brother, my brother's father-in-law, my neice, and our two youngest, headed out for an afternoon of ice fishing.
Some kind strangers power -augered some holes for them to fish through, but Hudson wanted to try the hand auger.  He showed some amazing determination as he hand- augered through about twenty inches of thick ice.  After nearly a half-hour of hard work he hit water! Li Lin just loved being out in the snow again.  I stayed home with my sister-in-law and the rest of the kids... in the warmth! :)
Hudson hamming it up!
On the 27th we spent a lovely lunch at my Aunt and Uncle's place.  The kids had fun swimming in their hot tub before we went back to my brother's to enjoy a visit with another cousin's family.  At supper time we met at the local college, where a group of nearly one hundred relatives gathered for a pizza supper and a time of visiting and enjoying the gym facilities. Lots of fun was had by all... not to mention how great it was to catch up with some relatives I had not seen in a while.

On the 28th, my parents had to head back home.  It was nice spending time with them and my two little siblings.  In the late morning we then bundled up and headed to the local ski hill.  We met up with more cousins at the hill and enjoyed a great day of downhill skiing.  It was both Hudson and Li Lin's first time on skis.  They both caught on well and loved it.  I had forgotten my ski jacket, and since my skiing skills are such that I am not a strong skier, I hung out in the chalet with my cousin while my bro and hubby taught Hudson and Li Lin how to ski.  Later on in the day, I took Li Lin to the bunny hill, and let her ski without anyone holding on to her.  I ran along down the gently sloping hill beside her ready to dive in front of her if she started to ski out of control.  She was so proud of herself!

On the 29th we went to church, left immediately after (with a lovely bag lunch made by an aunt and cousin) and started the long drive south.  Along the way home we had a lovely supper and visit with one of the families we went to China with.  It was such a pleasure to meet up with them again.  Next, we dropped Rykauna off at a three-day, church youth New Year's event, and continued on home.

I spent the 31st and 1st nights working night shift :(    My father-in-law arrived on the 31st and joined Steph and the kids for a New Year's Eve get-together at a friend's place.

On the second of January, the kids were thrilled with the news that as part of their Christmas present, Grandpapa had purchased all of us tickets to the  Disney, musical, Aladdin.  Needless to say, the kids loved it!  (The big kids enjoyed it too!)

Over the next few days, we spent some time doing much needed housework and little handyman jobs that have been sitting around.  Rykauna and I were blessed to hear a challenging, thought-provoking missionary report by a friend working in Zambia.

We are now back to some semblance of routine.  After battling two rebounds of the flu (or else three different bugs) Steph and I finally seem to be in the clear.  My mother-in-law is still battling the third round of illness.  Hopefully she will be in the clear soon too.  It seemed we were really struggling to get over these colds so... I broke down and bought it.

Bought what?  Stay tuned for the next post.


  1. Hey Sarah! So nice to read about your family and browse pictures too. Kids are beautiful. Awesome to see Li Lin settling into Canadian life and even loving the cold events Winter can bring! Glad to hear you survived the crazy ice storm... and will be checking back to find out just what it is you bought!

  2. Yea! Another post!! We've been checking and it was nice to see the new pics. Interesting that you bought a cold?! Huh? We'll stay tuned for sure! Glad you had some fun family times during the holidays and that you're feeling better, too. Hopefully you stay that way! Love ya, Pam xx