Tag Archives: Christmas

Be the Power of a Penny

This blog post was started in the summertime as I was playing a “healthy living” game with my friend Penny and an old neighbour and her friend T.  I had to add to the post after our ski vacation a few days ago… and finally introduce you to one wonderful human being and friend.  Formally know on my blog as Princess P and now just Penny.

Here is a photo of the people playing our summertime game: My teammate Penny and I on the right and our wonderful opponents on the left. 20140704-135917-50357437.jpg

Here are my boys sharing some after dinner books at Auntie Penny’s house. My boys cherish the wonderful books she had for her own children.  We love going over to their house for dinner!

20140704-135916-50356828.jpgPenny made a special point to celebrate our middle guy’s fifth birthday before she went on an European summer holiday. He was thrilled with the very special transformer and book she bought him.




And now while they were working hard to renovate their bathrooms and get ready for their own three wonderful children’s arrival, Penny and Bob came to spend a few wonderful hours with our family on the ski hill.

Penny knew my mom always made PJ’s for my boys at Christmastime and look what she got the boys:


One of the other gifts that my mom has always given me over the years is a knitted scarf and look what I pulled out of the Christmas bag from Penny:


A very lovely, hand-loving-made scarf!

The depth of gratitude I feel is incredible.

When you lose someone important in your life, there is a HUGE hole.


The greater the love, the deeper the hole.

But others will lean in and close the gap.

The hole won’t pull you in and down.

People are holding me up right now in prayer and physical presence and “knowing”.

Penny has brought us such joy through these beautiful, thoughtful, handmade gifts.

These were very important to our family.

Healing through fabric.

My mom is gone, but never forgotten.

She lives on through all of us who “knew” her.






And now the power of a Penny!


Be Snowball, Bumps & Jumps and Magic Carpet Rider

Merry Christmas from our boys:

Three Year Old Magic Carpet Rider


Seven Year Old Bumps & Jumps


Five Year Old Snowball


Laughter in the midst of tears.

Winter amidst the desert.

Rowing my boat of grief.

Riding my skis down the slopes.

Taking it ALL in.

Living it now!

Deal with it now rather than later.

I ain’t no sweeping it under the carpet kind of girl.

But I do love riding the magic carpet too!

God is gracious to give me these three amazing boys.

I love you Magic Carpet Rider, Bumps & Jumps and Snowball.

Be Going on a Ski Vacation

We had the great privilege to spend three days and two nights up at a ski resort.  Ski in/ski out, eat in/eat out, ride up/swoosh down, sunshine/snow.  It truly was a vacation for all of us, including Papa.

A break from routine.

A diversion from the upcoming one year anniversary of mom leaving us for heaven.

A snow-filled, sun-filled, winter-activity weekend.


Our great friends, Baron Bob and Princess P came and visited us for the evening.  The boys went tubing with them for the first time and even go to try the mini-snowmobiles (one day later, once the worker could get them started!)


Nordic skiing down the Bridal Path where we saw snowmobiles, horse-drawn carriages and a few other skiers. IMG_7661[1]

Playing some hockey on the pond with Papa.  Everyone got into the action this year!


Tubing… three year old OC looked a little small for the tube, but he was allowed.


The boys were very, very excited to go on the mini-snowmobiles.  JC ran into a snow fence, CC managed to zip around him and come back around the loop.


It was a wonderful pre-Christmas vacation!

May the Lord hold you close this Christmas where ever you are physically and within yourself.

What a wonderful season it is to celebrate Jesus’s birthday.  


Be a “Messy” Christian


Yup, that describes me.

I ain’t no one hour sitcom that figures it all out.

I don’t live in a magazine showhome.

Nope, not me.

Today, I bawled my eyes out twice talking to my friend in Germany and my cousin in PG.

Yup, crocodile tears rolling down my face.

Yup, that’s me.

I am the kind of girl that sometimes doesn’t even comb her hair.

And sometimes I even wear the same clothes TWO DAYS IN A ROW!

Had to admit it.

I don’t set aside specific “quiet” time to pray.

Not a lot of quiet time to be had.

This is what my morning quiet time looks like:


(Insert three wee boys at the end of the table running around, yelling eating breakfast.)

I do talk with our God throughout my day.

Please Lord, help me keep these boys alive!

I don’t attend church every weekend.

But I do worship and show gratitude to our Lord every day.

No, I am definitely not a nice and tidy Christian attending church every weekend, tithing my ten percent with my perfect “everything is just fine and dandy” smile on my face.

I am one “messy” believer in the Maker of the Universe, glory that God came for the imperfect, the ones that don’t have it all together, messy people like me!

Beautiful to know that God came as a baby, Jesus, and that we get to celebrate his birth next week!

And he was born in a stable.

Now if that ain’t messy, I don’t know what is!

Glory for imperfection.








My messy life.

With a beautiful birth.


Be Three Turtles by a Tree

Life is very simple around our house these days.

Little to no shopping.

Simple meals.

Family time.

Outside play.

Inside creativity.

Sexy Neck is very busy work. The boys have many ‘special’ events at school. I continue to row my boat of grief, remembering last December’s hospital and hospice journey with my mom and her leaving this earth on Boxing Day.

We are weary and tired!

Today, on this eleventh day of December, we had three turtle doves by our tree…

I wonder when the partridge will show up in her pear tree? Who wrote the twelves day of Christmas and how did turtles get involved? I bet that children in Tupperware bins inspired the song. (And maybe a bottle of wine?)

Simple days.

Family time.

Creative boys.


Inspired by a song.

And Tupperware bins.

May we all enjoy the little moments this Christmas season. Life’s BEST times are a series of little moments treasured as gifts.

What a gift we were given this evening to watch our three turtle doves!

Be an Across the Street Neighbour

I am walking upright.

In my comfy clothes.

Intentional about what I do.

Who’s paths I cross.

How much time I spend running around is limited.

I am quiet inside.

My grief is fatiguing.

Day after day, tears flow easily.

The depth of deep loss.

The beauty of great love.

Today, unexpectantly, I was ‘touched’ by two neighbours: L and J from Vtown and ‘Kind K’ from our new hood.

After school, I took the boys skating to the outdoor rink by the lake. It was
more like skate/swimming as it was ten degrees out. We had a great time. We were amazed when we saw these two faces stroll by:

IMG_7341.JPGProfessional pumpkin carvers.

Across the street neighbours.

Card sharks.

Wine lovers.

Great friends.

Dearly missed neighbours.

After skating, I walked in our front door and immediately heard a knock on the door behind me. It was our new neighbour from across the street. She brought me these:

IMG_7340.JPGShe lost her mom to cancer two years ago and she just wanted me to know she was thinking about us as we head into this Christmas season.

The power of neighbours.

The power of thought.

The power of being.

Being a neighbour, there is nothing like it!

I am grateful.

I am humbled.

I am hopeful.

Be Making and Doing

After my seminar on surviving the holidays while grieving, I feel free.

I live.


I have.


To choose.

My boys and I sat down. We talked about what we love to do and make over the Christmas season. We talked about many people as well as cookies, puzzles, decorating trees, Jesus’s birthday, sledding, skating, singing and advent calendars filled with chocolate. The most interesting thing is not once was a present or gift mentioned. Not once!

IMG_7330-4.JPGOur Christmas traditions have begun in our new home, one year later than planned but with freedom to choose what we want and my mom’s traditions to carry on.

Quilted tree skirt.

Advent calendars.

Christmas music.

Decorating gingerbread.

Personalized Christmas decorations.




Thanks mom. You live on through your amazing thoughtfulness, incredible creativity and pure love for us all.

Joy and grief.


Mixing together.

In all we make and do.

Be A Man – Part V

I love my man! We have ‘grown up’ together, and lived more than half our lives together.

For today, I will leave it at that because I have a Christmas ditty to share.

Last night at my grief seminar, they talked about family traditions and taking the time to re-evaluate what we do at Christmas time.

This afternoon I applied this by talking to the boys about what they really love to do at Christmas. Our youngest loved cookies, our five year old said stockings and our oldest said ‘tree’. I asked what he meant. He said that he would like to have a tree and decorate it.

In previous years, we would drive out of town to a family tree farm, have a play in the snow, some hot chocolate and cut down a tree. I ask the boys if they wanted to go to the tree farm and they emphatically yelled, “No!”. They just wanted a tree.

No commercial break here, as in steps our hero…. My man is driving home from work, we call him and ask him on speaker phone, “Dada, can you bring us a Christmas tree?” No questions asked he says, “I will do my best!”

Only thirty minutes later, Sexy Neck shows up like this:

And the does this:

IMG_7279.JPGAnd also this:

IMG_7282.JPGAll with his tie and work clothes still on.

Creating blessed family traditions.

One unexpected day at a time.

With my hardworking, flexible man.

And what a man he is!