Monday, December 12, 2011

Brag Moment

For those of you following Erin's volleyball "career", she had try outs this past week for the Kelowna club team.  She was awesome and she's still worrying that she won't make the team.  She's too cute :)  They go down to only 1 team in the city for this age group, and she's been asked to play up on the U18 grade 12 team instead.  Pretty awesome opportunity!  Most of the team are from the school that won the provincial gold medal last weekend, so she'll be among some amazing players.  She's nervous and excited, doesn't know anyone on the team, so huge learning curve in lots of areas.  Looks like we/she'll be heading to Edmonton for a University/club team tournie the first week of January.  It sounds like an amazing group of girls, there is actually a deaf player on the team and last year 3 of the girls learned sign language so they could communicate better with her.  I find it amazing that this girl is such a gifted athlete in a sport that requires a lot of team communication!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Beautiful "Legs" and feet

 I had the joy... and sorrow... of attending a celebration of the finished life of an amazing woman, who has an amazing daughter that I am privileged to call friend.  Though I didn't know "Legs" well, it was obvious how many lives she had touched.
The event was gorgeous in spirit and beauty, surrounded by one of her loves, flowers and the garden. Everything was decorated in white, with white roses, hydrangeas and babies breath, with just a pop of red.  It was a celebration of life well lived and looking to a future of heaven.

I happen to have a daughter with the same size feet as Legs, and was honored to bring home a BIG surprise in checked baggage for her.  Here's for you Auntie Tawa:
"I am in shoe heaven"

Fortunately, or unfortunately, she seems to have the same GREAT taste in footwear, as the 2 favorites first out of the box were the patent leather high boots bought in Paris, and the Joseph Siebel red leather shoes from San Francisco!  There will be lots of Mrs. Whittaker days around here, and probably the need for a new shoe rack.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I spent last weekend baking 12 dozen butter tarts.  I love how they changed magically into 12 dozen of something else with a little visit to a friend's and 11 other ladies doing the same thing.  It's my first ever real cookie exchange and I think I like it.  One day, all baking done.  The only problem was it was too early!  About half of it is gone already, into lunch boxes or after school snacks.  Oh well, I have 12 more recipes to add to my favorites (Ok maybe there was 1 or 2 that aren't my favorites, but nonetheless still fun.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I love Christmas.  I love December and our family has a few birthdays, like 3.  I love the feeling of pulling out the lights and decorations and settling in for evenings of sledding and drinking hot chocolate.  And I love Advent, the preparing in our hearts for the coming King, our Savior.  It happened already, 2000 years ago, and we get the joy and knowledge of knowing that Jesus already came, we can re-celebrate every year!  Not like the B.C. believers, who were waiting for their Messiah, wondering how much longer.... waiting in a different way. We don't have to wait anymore for His coming to bring life;  we do get to wait for His coming again, the final fulfillment of promise... to bring judgment, make all wrongs right... to bring the era of true Kingship, peace on earth forever. 

And I can see in my imagination how the little baby came and made the world start spinning, new thoughts, new discoveries for so many, Gentiles added to the faith, just a wee baby.  I pray for new discoveries for this Christmas, for someone, for a friend who needs to find Him, for a neighbor lost in the wrong cycle, for the empty needing to feel full and not alone.

We're doing Advent Days of service this year.  Instead of just a waxy chocolate treat and another day closer, we're giving something of ourselves each day.  So for 15 days, we are focusing on someone else...

Yesterday was our HOPE day... we packed a bag of "hope" to take to the Food Bank.

Today is our day called BELIEVE...  we're up to our elbows in cookie dough for Living Nativity, our church's gift to the community, which sees many come to "believe" every year, we hope lemon sugar cookies help.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cozy up for Winter

We've had a big dump of snow already this year, which seems to early for us.  But today it's melting. We did get out sledding once on the weekend.  We're getting so excited about Christmas, all the joy of the season, and our upcoming trip to Cancun with the Op't Land crew!! I'll be on a plane on my birthday! Then Christmas in Calgary with the Drew side.

Ditto is sporting his new winter sweater these days and loving every minute of it.  Erin has been knitting it on and off all for awhile, but we made a last push to get it done for winter and just in time. He's handsome!

 And he's got a new girl friend to impress.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Apologize

.... to the 550 or so people I've stuck with a flu shot in the past 2 weeks.  I did get my photo taken with this lovely RCMP community officer on the Westside, to go on their website, promoting getting your shot :)  I don't have mine.  I got the thumbs up from this guy.  Can't say I want this job for too much longer, talk about repetition, but many wonderful 3 minute conversations with all kinds of people.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I Know, I Know...'ve just been waiting forever for some volleyball footage.  Well I'll give you a few tidbits from the Halloween Bash tournament this past weekend in Penticton.  Erin played 23 straight sets without a sub. And she wasn't sore the next day.  Oh to be young and fit!  I wonder how many calories that is.  Probably about how much candy I've eaten today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ribbit Ribbit

 I love everything about this photo.  The boyish charm of catching frogs and bringing them in the house, the close examination of frog skin, the fact that my girl took the photo of her brother, the way he's lounging across the table always relaxed, and the hands.  So much about hands tells a story. Like an old grandmothers' hands that have rocked countless babies, and the chubby hands of toddlers grabbing Cheerios, the working hands of men providing for their families.  And these boy hands getting so strong and agile, less like a boy, more like a young man. 

And what frog doesn't need a little CPR to brighten its day?

The biggest picture of hands I have etched in my mind are my Dad's, once strong and able, then turned motionless, unable to provide, work, feed, scratch, love, teach, garden!  Loss of ability, a part of who you are.  They became soft and unknown.  Yet he could still make a joke and request hands for Christmas... for which my brother bought a plastic pair, the kind the you set up on your TV to hold a remote control.  And we could all laugh, a bit.

One of my favorite people is going through something similar, where her Mom isn't the same as she was, just weeks ago.  The awful word.. cancer has wedged its way into her brain.  And so we pray for a miracle.  We have faith, we hope. And God talked to me in my study of Daniel's friends in the furnace yesterday - about facing fiery trials. We are either delivered FROM the fire, delivered THROUGH the fire, or delivered BY the fire.  We all want to be delivered FROM it, but it's not our choice, we have to trust Him to decide.  We can pray and believe that He will choose deliverance from it, He can do that.  But through each one, our faith is refined, built up, perfected.  I don't want to hear it, I don't want fire for them, I want for her to be well.  It seems the choice between sickness and stronger faith isn't really a choice I want to make.  They are as close as any mother and daughter can be and it doesn't seem fair, not now.  And they cling to Jesus.

When I read through that Living Word, 1 Peter 1:6-7
"in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
there is some biting comfort in the words, but I noticed verse 5 that jumps out like a beacon:
"who through faith are SHIELDED by God's power".
I pray a shield of power over you! 
A shield in the dark night, in the lonely morning, and the long day!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Love Biology

When I was in grade 11, we went to Expo '86 and then to Bamfield Marine Sciences Center on Vancouver Island to explore marine life.  I'm so lucky I got to go again with my daughter's class, and that she let me.  I didn't make her share a bunk with me though, I'm a pretty cool Mom that way.  I let her stay with her friends, imagine the teenage eye roll now.
Our 5 days were filled with no mornings sleeping past 6:30,  if you know me.. that's a serious uggghhh....and and being busy until 9:30 at night, then trying to settle 28 girls (the 10 boys were left to the principal), so we could do it all again the next day.  What an amazing group of teenagers!  They were keen, loved all the learning, even in pouring rain one day.  We were totally blessed upon by an awesome God with an orca whale sighting the last day, then a brief shower, followed by an amazing rainbow.  I think HE just wanted to give His blessing on us.  From discovering the tiniest of sea creatures.. plankton.. spawning and fertilizing sand dollar babies.. hands on experiments with invertebrates.. to seeing the grandest creature!  Totally cool!

How cute are they in their safety goggles?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"A Wiener is Meat?"

What do you think?  I think I should totally make this, well for one family member maybe.


Occasionally we turn off the TV and do something weird to entertain each other, like last night.  Snood has become a word in our family vocabulary this year due to recent news stories in regards to FIFA rulings. But we're not really sure what to call it when the Snuggie, which we all mock but everyone fights over, turns into a snood for 2.  Don't ask me how the Snuggie sleeves got around someone's head!
Siamese grim reapers?


It's definitely going in the laundry now!

Monday, October 10, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving!  We had a quiet day today at home, listening to the rain outside most of the day and smelling turkey as it roasted  and pumpkin pie, yet to be savored. We were our quiet, OK maybe not so quiet, 4 since our usual family guests are in Vancouver this weekend.  We were happy with that today.  I'm in a bit of an anti-cooking mood lately anyways, wishing dinner would just appear on the table some evenings of late...  wouldn't that be amazing?

The kids are boycotting my annual Thanksgiving tradition of writing our gratitudes on a paper leaf.  We have done it the last 6 or 7 years, we can't stop now! Can we?  Maybe it was me telling Jacob he couldn't write "food, water, Ditto" this year again.  I'm only trying to expand their thinking.  I guess the house is just full of math/science geeks and I should embrace it, my own self included.  :)  Maybe they could all write a math equation instead of words.

Well... sharing our thanks on a Monday with others :

308. Kevin working, it's been almost a year since he's been back at it after the 18 month "break", and we're more grateful everyday for a great job that he enjoys, and provides for us and more.
309. Sunny, fall days
310. New friends, that we feel like we've known forever, and should have. I think the boys/men are somehow each others' missing twin, or triplet? 
311. My ladies ~ can't wait to start Tuesdays with you tomorrow morning, been missing it so much! Will be missing 1 of you though even more.
312. Pumpkin anything!
313. 4 weeks into Boot camp, not loving the during, but the after feels good
314. A new house for my sister in law, can't wait to see it and spend Christmas there!
315. Flannel sheets
316. Picking grapes at the orchard yesterday from our old friend Bert
317. Free apples from my neighbor orchardist
318. All the wonderful people in our life!  Thank you for being one of them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Have a Friend...

... that in itself is a huge joy and wonder!  To have someone that shares a part of your soul.  I have someone I can tell anything to, who still loves me.  Who can pick up in a moment, months gone by and say, "that's not who you are", "this is why you do that", because they know you, or "what I see is...".  That is a gift!  I don't have a sister who has seen everything about me from birth to now, but my life is full of sister friends who take that place.  I realize today how much we need to encourage each other, that we need each other so desperately much, to know we're on the right road, to pick us up when we're stumbling around.  To give wisdom from something we've already learned and pass it onto someone else who needs it.  To give our hearts to our daughters.

I have been restless, so restless for months now.  Stumbling around, not really knowing where this life is headed.  Wanting a cause, a purpose outside of myself.  I don't want to just fill a day with things to keep busy, or interested, or heaven forbid to stave off boredom.  There needs to be more, more purpose filling the moments, more life giving interactions.  But I feel so ill equipped to do that. And it seems so hard to find right now.

The thing about turning 40, is realizing how little I really have, how much I need a Savior.  In my 20s, I had the world by the tail, was confident, directed, a leader, led a campus ministry, and didn't doubt so often.  But probably stepped on a few more toes and hearts.  Didn't know the bits of silence that God gives to draw us.  He knows we can handle Him turning His back for moment, a blip of time that feels like way too long, but to Him is a way to test our faithfulness.

If God never spoke, would you still trust Him?  If you never again heard His voice, would you still love Him, want Him?  There was that 400 years of silence where no one heard from Him, what was He doing all that time?  Preparing a gift, a breakthrough, spending time with the Son He was going to give away?  Ignoring our pleas, or in some way drawing us out of ourselves?

It's easy to see how I need Him when I've had the lack of Him.  So I am thankful:

298.  Depth of friendships over the years, sharing, confessing, laughing
299.  Skies that look a lot like Alberta
300.  Oh I wish I had my camera.. the rich navy/black storm clouds gathering over the dark, Emerald  green of Kalamalka Lake with golden grasses dancing in the foreground
301.  Jacob's big schedule change and class shuffle ending up to be a good thing in the end, and his friend joining him there at the end of last week.
302.  A new window that KD has been working so hard to get installed
303.  Tomatoes overflowing their vines
304.  Mom and Dad going to Romania to visit missionary friends
305.  Feeling appreciated and good at my job
306.  Love this acoustic feel

307.  A delivery of books

Sharing Gratitude with Others


Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm going to lose all my readers if I keep up this blogging pace.  All 10 of you :)  September gets little busy, you know how it goes.  We've had a pretty smooth adjustment to fall, except for the fact that after 2 1/2 weeks of school Jacob had his entire schedule, classes, teachers, everything changed. He seems to be flowing with it right now, which is very mature of him.  He makes me proud and makes me laugh, his one liners lately have been really good!

Finally got my peaches canned!

 Had a couple birthdays that sort of flew by with not enough recognition.  
Maybe we should re-birthday, is that allowed?

 Erin saw this awesome shirt online and ordered it!  It came, it's awesome she wore it to school and got comments, good ones.
The Pregnancy Care Center, of which I'm an avid supporter, is celebrating 5 years today.  I need to run and pick up some big cakes!   Hope fully I won't drop them.  That would probably about top off the kind of week I've been having!  Chat to you later with much more love and depth!