Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 in Retrospect

December 31st. Where on earth has this year gone? I am still looking for my summer and here it is, end of the year. It has been a very busy year.. lots of roller coaster rides, literally and figuratively. There have been moments of joy and moments of great sadness. Our daughter had 2 miscarriages and our son in law very nearly lost his life. It was a very hair raising experience.

Our one son and his wife bought their first home in Lethbridge Alberta and we got to go visit them just shortly after they moved. One of our other sons and his family have moved to a new house only a 10 minute walk from our house. I started watching their 3 year old daughter in September and that has been a wonderful blessing! Our oldest son has a new love in his life and we are so thrilled for him! No one deserves to be alone so much. We got to go to Whistler with our daughter's family for an extended long weekend in May and of course everyone knows that is about my favorite place in the world!

We had a family camp this summer! We took our 3 year old granddaughter with us for the first time for the whole week and she was just thrilled as she and her cousin pushed their dollies around in their strollers all day long in the sand dunes (well sand dunes to little arms trying to push plastic wheeled strollers).

Our son Kim and his family came out in August for a week for a family wedding so got to spend some time with them and the grandchildren and that is always a good thing.We had Thanksgiving dinner at our youngest son's home this year for the first time. He was very excited to host his first official family dinner with most of the family there. It was weird though to sit there and not have done any cooking!

I got a new calling in November.. Director of the Stake Family History Centre. Completely took me off guard! I don't know what surprised me the most.. that someone thought I was that capable of doing the job or that I had said yes to it! But I love family history. I am very passionate about it and anything that helps me do that can only be deemed a bonus!

We just came back from 8 days of Christmas vacation in Alberta and that was very wonderful! We have only been there once before for Christmas and again that was weird being on the receiving end of a dinner that someone else labored so lovingly over. I was a 2 year old granddaughter's only thing on her Christmas wish list and how much more perfect of a life is that?

I got to spend a couple of weeks with my mom at her home this summer. What a treat that was! I have never done that. Being alone with her I mean. I have always at least had Keith with me or the kids etc. It was just mother and child/woman to woman/friend to friend and I left there a better person for it.

What have I learned over the past year? That nothing and I mean NOTHING can take the place of family. Although ours can be a tad dysfunctional at times (and I say that quite lovingly of course) we are a strong family. Nothing comes between any of us. We are there for each other in time of need no matter what that need is.

I have learned my faith is stronger then ever. My faith in God. My faith in mankind. My faith in others doing the right thing for the right reason. My spirituality has grown and that is a wonderful thing. My life has been richly blessed being able to share it with Keith by my side. I could not in a million years have found a better soul mate, a help mate, then he. He has unconditional loved me literally through thick and thin as I have struggled with my health and pain.

I have learned that if you have love in your life you can overcome all obstacles and mountains that can seem to be unsurmountable at times. I believe that God has a greater power then I do and that I need to turn my life to Him. When my dad was alive and going to AA I had done a needlepoint for him that had the Serenity Prayer on it and I still to this day believe in it!!

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

What do I want in my life this coming year? Sleepovers with my grandchildren; hugs from my children; I love you's from my family and friends; more time with my brothers; visits out here from ANYBODY in our extended family; walks with my daughter; phone calls that are for no reason other then just because; closer relationships with my daughters/son in laws; continued friendships with my "almost sisters"; to finish my history book on my father's family line and lastly I wish for a peaceful year in our family, a year of renewed love with God for all our children and to be able to do it all with Keith, my children and grandchildren by my side with their love and arms around me.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2007

What have you done today?

I heard this song the first time about 4 years ago and it became my "mentor" so to speak. I listened to it every day on my walks, when I was cleaning house, anything... I listened to it over and over again. It was what got me going to lose my weight, it was what got me through the rough periods as I came back to my faith after a period of idiocy and right now it has become my sidekick once again. If I knew how to post an actual song I would do that. If someone knows how please feel free to let me know and I will post it again as you lose the concept just reading the words but read anyway... :-)

"Proud" by Heather Small

I look into the window of my mind Reflections of the fears I know I've left behind
I step out of the ordinary I can feel my soul ascending
I am on my way Can't stop me now
And you can do the same

What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It's never too late to try What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Still so many answers I don't know Realise that to question is how we grow
So I step out of the ordinary I can feel my soul ascending
I am on my way Can't stop me now
And you can do the same What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It's never too late to try What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel proud?

We need a change Do it today
I can feel my spirit rising We need a change
So do it today 'Cause I can see a clear horizon

What have you done today to make you feel proud?
So what have you done today to make you feel proud?
'Cause you could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
So what have you done today to make you feel proud?
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
What have you done today
You could be so many people?
Just make that break for freedom
So what have you done today to make you feel proud?

Yep, you can call me an idealist, a dreamer and a sentimental fool. But hey, if I wasn't that, I wouldn't be such a Polyanna as my mom used to call me, probably... Now off you go, and do something good in this world while I am on holidays :)...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I forgot to add our Christmas preparation pictures in my last post.

Christmas Past

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks which isn't like me. I talk to much to not be posting on here but I have been writing in my regular journal so have no fear! I have just been dealing with demons and that is taking a lot out of me. We had our family Christmas dinner last Friday and we had decided this year to host it in the common room where we live.. way MORE space (which when you count how many people are here its a good thing=). At least in theory. There was more room. There was a pool table, sitting area for the kids to play their WII game, couches for moms to sit and visit and then of course huge tables to sit down. We actually for the first time ever in years all sat down at the BIG PEOPLE table.. everyone.. even the children.. they felt so grown up it was very cute,

But the downside was we had to be out at midnight which was ok as I was tired but we hadn't eaten till 8 and by the time we finished that and then opened presents it was getting close to the witching hour. After spending all day hauling things up a long flight of stairs I was dreading packing it all up to get it all home. Everyone did their part but Keith was still vaccuming at 1:30 am. I told him when we walked back into our place that we had to figure something else out as when we walked in the front door we were met with boxes and more boxes of things. Everything had been dropped in our front hall. GROAN

I made Keith go to bed as he had also been working at his job all day so was very tired. I put all the food away thinking I'll clean up the rest when I got up. But when Keith got up and started putting things away he came across a box that held the ham, mashed potatoes, all the salads I had worked so hard out, all the cheeses etc.... all gone cause they had been left out. I was so mad when I woke up!!! I sat down with Keith and said we need to figure some other way of having Christmas dinner with our children and grandchildren as this is NOT working for me. I worked very hard for days before making special dishes and decorating and it is just physically draining on me. I spent the next 3 days before I truly was able to climb into the shower by myself and get dressed. I just can't do that anymore. So I have a year to figure it out.

One of the things that has made me think these last couple of weeks have been our Christmases of past. I thought of our first Christmas where Keith had gotten laid off 2 days before Christmas. He said that we had to use his last cheque to pay our tithing to the Lord and he would provide. I was brand new in this new church and thought no way Heavenly Father would let our children go without Christmas but Keith was adamant. so He hurried the next morning to go drop off a cheque with the Bishop and then one to our mortgage company leaving with nothing to buy gifts with for our children.. I was heartbroken but the next day Christmas Eve I got a call from the school saying that every year they collect hampers for Christmas and then distribute them to needy families. They felt because we had 5 small children under the age of 6 and that our 2 5 year olds and our 6 year old went there that we might need things. I said YSSS!!! Are you kidding me?At this point pride goes out the window!. I mean what was I going to say? SO I told them after 1 would be good as they would all be down for naps by then. We literally filled our bedromm from top to bottom with things and the kitchen was wall to wall with boxes of food. I sat down and bawled my eyes out as I realized the true meaning of tithing. It wasn't just doing it when things were easy but rather when you should. We had been so blessed that very first Christmas together I will never forget that nor ever forget the importance of tithing ever again. It brought me literally in tears on my knees asking for forgiveness for my lack of faith that He would provide for us if we but did as we needed to. And He did. The children had a wonderful Christmas. I tried looking for a picture of all the gifts wrapped under the tree but couldn't find it. So instead I will post the ones of the children for our first Christmas and our tree this year. Keith always asks for a tree that has matching ornaments or all one color but I tell him we have a memory tree. Every ornament has a story behind it, the children have made them our grandchildren have made them . Each child and grandchild and their spouses have their own decoration that goes on. You can't have a perfect tree when you have a memory tree and that is why we celebrate Christmas. To remember whose birthday it really was and to celebrate his birth. Being together to do that is the greatest gift of all and I am truly blessed to have a family that loves me, grandchildren who call me Barbie pretty, and a husband who unconditionally loves me. What more could a girl ask for?

I went through our Christmas box that holds those pictures and came across a couple I was looking for. They were 2 that had been taken when we were still living on our own with our kids. It was so bizarre as we had taken the pictures at the same mall with the same Santa on the same day literally minutes apart as the numbers on the pictures are three apart! Then we have a picture of our first Santa picture as a new family. Do not ask me why I allowed my daughter out of the house wearing a pink shirt and summer polka dotted green skirt but she was very adamant about her choices of clothes. Ok but don't sit near me hehhe just kidding Lareta... I still love you!So you go from those very first family pictures and then one of them all grown up with their families and I look in awe as I see that Heaven;ly Father has truly sent me the very best family one could ever ask for.

This year we leave in 2 days to go to our one son's home for Christmas with them and I am like a kid in a candy store waiting to see them again. I miss them terribly and it will even be worse next year as we are determined not to spend a single penny that is not absolutely crucial so that next Feb 2009 we are planning a huge family trip to Hawaii with all the kids and grandkids with us. So we'll be saving every cent available to us which means no traveling anywhere or eating out or shopping needlessly. That is going to be tough!! Sorry Lareta! :( No more lunches out at Hearty Boys/ They are going to miss our smiling faces!!

It will be a hard Christmas...We have to go through some family things and it's important for me this year to "please everyone", make sure everyone is happy. I was up till after 4AM today and then got up 3 hours later so I am very tired. I have to be downtown Vancouver today and I am not looking forward to doing that in the pouring rain. I hurt and I am tired. I was working on the staff scheduling till 4 this morning and still found mistakes before I went to bed and now have to fill holes once again. Back to the drawing board :( Breathe in Breathe Out!

So as I close this probably last post before we leave I would like to wish those who post with me a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! And to those of you who just read I wish you as well a great Merry Christmas.. May next year be the year you share your thoughts with me :) Take care, be safe, and I sincerely wish for all of you to know the true meaning of Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Buh Humbug

Here I sit wondering why on earth I can't get into the Christmas spirit. I am just going through the motions and yet don't feel it inside. Our tree is up, most of my baking is done. But Keith is totally wrapped up with a huge project at work so hasn't had the time to put up the outside lights (I physically am not able to otherwise I just would do it myself), my angel that goes on top of the tree is still sitting on the dining room table as he has been too swamped to work on it to see what's wrong. He bought me that angel for our 1st Christmas together so it is 19 years old and it means a lot to me to have it ON our tree working.

We are having our family Christmas dinner this Friday as we leave next week for Alberta to be with our one son and his family so our dinner is 10 days early. The rest of our family aren't very happy with the situation as it means no dinner with family on the 25th. We haven't figured out what we are going to do with our stockings either as Santa always fills them and if we have them for the kids on the 14th then how did Santa fill them so we might just wait till we get back and have them open them there saying Santa came here while we were gone.

The littlest thing is such a struggle these days. I am over tired. My physio is not helping and I no longer can do it first thing in the morning before I got out of bed otherwise I could NOT get out of bed and that is just not acceptable.It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me. I haven't watched a single video that we normally watch like The Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life, the radios aren't even on to listen to music.

To top it off, Sudafed no longer manufactures the allergy medication that I have been taking for years. The pharmacist finally explained why I have not been able to locate it anywhere. They said it had been substituted for a different formula and it would work the same. Guess What? It does not. Thanks alot to you drug dealers and addicts out there that misused something that help the rest of us. Because of you now I have to go without and suffer with allergy induced migraines.

Could I possibly sound any crankier? I am just so sick and tired of being sick and tired. Literally.