Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year Everyone

Happy 2008 Everyone!

It is so hard to believe that 2007 is almost a memory. The rolling year is tumbling to 2008 before our very eyes. For my beloved and I it has been touched with so many happy memories, the birth of a new grandaughter, our 40th anniversary and all the planning and partying that went with it. Laughing with grandchildren, and enjoying their antics. The wedding of a nephew. Conversing with other bloggers, sharing excitement, fears and tears and commiserating over the loss of loved ones. Happy and blessed with an abundance of riches-family, love, a warm home, lots of food (too much food!), and good health and best of all for me, retirement. We are blessed both of us, with our mothers, GG and Oma to the great-grandchildren. We don't know what 2008 has in store for us and that is probably just as well. My wish for you is that you find joy in the ordinary, have good health, and receive love, care and laughter at unexpected moments. From my Blog to yours, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My First Happy Thought of the Day

Sisters and cousins enjoying each other! Here try this finger it tastes like nanaimo bars.

At yesterday's gift opening. A little spice for the oatmeal.

I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought about was that four very hard working women in my life are home today. Amy who slept through part of Christmas Day because she worked both Christmas Eve night and into Boxing Day morning. April for the remainder of the week. Of course Cathy who is home but always work, work, working, and our dear friend Silvana took this part of the week off for the first time in countless years.
Silvana and Earl having a Christmas moment

Just thinking of them all at home today makes me very, very happy.

Silvana, April and Amy, I hope you stay in your cozy robes all day long, and Cathy, I hope your little Catie girl is feeling better and that all of the 6-pack keep themselves entertained so that you can have a tea! Have a great day!

These pictures are just a sampling of what went on at our house on Christmas Day and Cathy's house on Boxing Day. What fun!

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Joyous Christmas One and All

Wishing each and every one a Very Merry Christmas. May it be safe, may it bring love, peace and contentment. For those far away, or working at E-Comm or Vancouver Fire, we will shed a few tears because you won't be joining us at our table, but know that we love you and miss you very much. For those dear, sweet saints, I wish you fond memories of Christmas' past. Blessings one and All!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Nature's Ornaments

Christmas comes early to The Grove.

Saturday morning we awoke to a light snowfall and as we were preparing our morning tea, I looked out at our lilac tree and on it were some tiny little swallows. They reminded me of Christmas ornaments.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Coffee With My Wee Friend Ann

Today, finally, after several attempts to get together, my dear friend Ann and I finally achieved our goal and got together for coffee! (My beloved was there too!)
This dear lady befriended me over 15 years ago. She was the Childcare Supervisor and I was the "church lady"! With her thick "scotch" accent and wonderful sense of humour we spent many an hour laughing, espousing words of wisdom, and of course taking a keen interest in each other's lives. Ann retired last year and she and her husband moved to a wonderful spot in Maple Ridge close to her daughter, son-in-law and Grandson, and a wonderful pooch named Dexter!
We thought it was a done deal-Maple Ridge-Langley-so close. Visits were sure to come thick and fast. For one reason or another, that just hadn't happened until today. We met in Fort Langley so that she could hand over to me the cutest little "Abby Cadabby" doll, (shh, don't telly Abby!) she found on the way to Birch Bay, and true to her "scotch" heritage, she even managed a discount! Oh Annie, you are a wonder. We picked up where we left off, laughing and hugging. She told us a story so funny about a covert doctor's appointment so many years ago, that the tears were running down my face. Just like old times. At this time of year, with so much to do and so little time, it was probably the best pick-me-up for all the holiday cares and jobs waiting to be crossed off the list.
Seeing her again was an early Christmas present. Just wait until that new Golden Ears Bridge opens!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Claire and Pappa Build a Gingerbread House

Today was a special day in Claire's classroom. Each child invited one member of their family to help build a GingerBread House. Claire invited her Pappa!

Talk about visions of sugarplums. All of the children were so busily crafting the perfect house, the time just flew by!

Pappa told me Claire was outstanding at glueing the edges with the special icing!

Pappa and Claire with a work in progress. Looking good you two!
The finished product two stories high! Yea, Pappa, Yea Claire. Why is that Santa on the Chimney top and a window to look inside? I'm thinking Architect Claire! You two are good.

(Note: The house on the yellow wall behind them. The one on the extreme left was made by Claire too!) Don't you just love Christmas crafts?

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Monday Morning Walk

We found a cozy spot. See, people put cups back right by our table. No wonder we got smiles!
Note discarded socks and shoes under table!

This morning my beloved and I left the house before 6:15 am and it was pouring down rain. Cathy and Cliff and Courtney drove into Vancouver so that Cathy could be at an 8:15 doctor's appointment somewhere near V.G.H.

After feeding the children their breakfasts and supplying Daddy and Mommy with a few eats as well, off they went.

After a flurry of activity of getting coats, footwear, lunches and backpacks filled, kisses and wishes for a happy Monday, Pappa walked the three older children to school. The most amazing thing was that as the day was brightening, the rain subsided. How glorious.

We decided that even though we really weren't prepared for walking in the sense that Pappa didn't have the right shoes, and I didn't have my headband or gloves, we'd go out anyway.

Catie was such a trouper. We asked her if she wanted to go out. Did she! Well then let's go to the washroom first, wash our hands and put on our socks and shoes and coats. She had all of this done so quickly that it surprised us. Caroline too was so cooperative. She saw her coat and grabbed it, hats and mittens were found. But no shoes for Caroline, they must have been left in Mommy's van! So she decided to put on one of her sister's crocks-big, orange, crocks! We decided that was ok, because she wouldn't be walking around anyway. Now if I were younger, as in my mothering days of yore, well, I just would have freaked out. But not now, you just laugh!

Out we went. Two destinations in mind-a trip to the library to renew my book and perhaps a coffee. When we got to the library we discovered it was TOO EARLY! Yikes, when you get up at 5:00-something, any time after that is early. So we walked up to a local A&W for a coffee and toast. Now this A&W is definitely a spot where retirees go for a quiet cup of java, and our little band of troupers brought much life to the place. But as I say this, I don't mean to infer they were noisy and obnoxious, because they weren't. They were as good as gold, and lots of "grandfather's" smiled at us, and said hello. One even told us that he has 9 grandchildren and he told us that he taught all of them to make this certain noise, which he demonstrated. I know these little dollys brought smiles to many faces. I know pappa and nanny were doing a lot of smiling too.

After our snack we walked back to the library only to find I've had too many renewals so I have 35 pages to read before tomorrow. With an eye on the clock we decided that we still had time for more of a walk before we headed off to the elementary school to take care of Carly. Little by little our little beauties nodded off, first Caroline and then Catie. Mommy and Daddy somehow found us on one of the sidestreets and we told them we'd walk a little longer and then bring them home. By the time we got on their street, Catie woke up from her catnap, and then Caroline woke up in her driveway.

How lucky we are. Healthy grandchildren to love and care for. The sun came out. We brought some smiles to some faces. A beautiful day in the neighbourhood.

Two Sleeping Beauties. Note discarded orange crocks!

My beloved said I looked like a Rastafarian in his toque!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

And the Money Keeps Rolling In

In a previous post I know I wrote about how when my beloved and I walk we often find money. A nickel here, a penny there, an American one dollar bill (when it was worth way more than it does today), and the biggest so far, a Five dollar bill found on a very early morning walk. Whatever we find, we put it in a jar on our fridge. Waiting for the day it's filled to the top so that we can count it.

Last week we travelled into Richmond for our visit to the dentist and I proposed to my beloved that we walk our old route if the rains held off. Well held off they did and we headed out on the dykes along River Road, past the new Olympic Skating Oval (don't get me started on that subject! grrrr), they've wrecked the dyke walk, inching the fence right bang up against it to squeeze out every last puny inch for the construction site. Sadder still, they've removed a grove of huge, mighty oaks that someone planted probably a hundred years or more ago. Very sad.

We got off the dykes and walked over the Dinsmore Bridge, stopped at the Airport McDonalds (our old walking destination) for a coffee and headed back south over the 2 Road Bridge. On the walk back along the dykes we spotted a group of ducks some swimming and others sunning themselves on a log in the South Arm of the Fraser. I had forgotten how beautiful that sight was. As we were halfway along the dykes towards our return destination, I looked down and found this:

Twenty-Five dollars-almost. We took it to the bank but they said we would have to mail it to the Bank of Canada. They will determine based on the remainder of the bills, a percentage of the amount of money we submit, a refund.
We're guessing that someone pulled something out of their pocket, and this dropped out, and then the muni lawn cutting machine quite likely ate the rest. I just think that if this were still our regular route we might have found a little bit more or it.

The jar is filling up.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Melton the Warm-Hearted Snowman

Carly in the purple scarf. This was the best shot I could get, pathetic. Sorry about that Carly!

Our dancing Elf, Cameron.
He really enjoyed himself up there, you can tell.
Cameron at the microphone and Claire below him in the purple scarf. Glad I got them together in one shot.

Cameron peeking around his teacher's back! You've got to be fast.

Today I took a step back in time, of at least 29 years or so. I attended our grandchildren's school "Christmas" Programme. Three of our grandchildren were involved and it was wonderful. Pappa held down the fort at home with a sleeping Caroline and a playful Catie. Cathy, Courtney and I had pretty good seats in a school gym packed full of ultra-proud parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles.

This "Christmas" programme was far superiour to any our children were involved in because it meant that the entire body of primary K-3 classes were all involved and in the room at the same time. My hats go off to the teachers especially the teacher who put it all together. So many laughs, witty dialogue and children having such a great time. Watching all of the children sing and do actions was very special. This year also marked the first, but hopefully not the last year, that one of our grandchildren had a speaking part 3 lines, but 3 important lines. There was Cameron dancing around on the stage-priceless. Hopefully his Daddy will capture it on video tonight and Cathy will share it on her blog.

Before the programme began the Grade 7 band played 4 songs, including Ode to Joy. I love beginning bands don't you? I remember at one of our children's concerts, the audience has to guess what the song was, nobody did, too funny, but that wasn't the case today. What a wonderful experience. And I couldn't help but wonder how many of those children will keep on with their flutes, clarinets, drums and horns. They will be happy if they do.
Following the band, a choir of about 20 children sang the most beautiful of songs. The words when children sing them really tug at the old heartstrings.

I did manage to get a few pictures. I should have changed the setting had I thought about it ahead of time, and there was a man almost always blocking my view to Carly, but in my mind's eye, the pictures are there to be recalled. Here is a small and not great sampling of today.

Beautiful Claire singing so sweetly. Isn't she beautiful? Watching her enjoy herself almost made me cry. She's had a bit of a hard start at school, but is doing better and better as we all knew she would. So seeing her enjoy herself and being so involved made me feel so happy for her.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Twenty-Two Hours with Abby or The Many Faces of Abby

Momma said we should comb my hair, but Nanny said, no momma, look how beautifully it all shows up when I have the mustled look!

Abby was getting pretty sick of having the camera always pointed at her and I swear, she closed her eyes on purpose! These would have made great Christmas Cards if her eyes were open!

Abby's version of flipping nanny the bird????

Abby sure has great looking parents doesn't she!

Owing to a new baby, snow, new back to work routines, conferences, and life, it had been a very long time since our last visit to Abby's house. This past Saturday I finally reconnected with our little Copper-Top, Abby.

It makes a Nanny and a Pappa feel bad when one of their little rays of sunshine make strange. Not that she didn't smile at us, or give us things, it was just the holding she wasn't too sure of. But being as outgoing as she is, Abby soon decided that we were okay afterall, whew! Whew because one of the main reasons for visiting was to babysit while her mommy and daddy went out to a Christmas Party.

I got to feed her "bunnies" (organic noodles in the shape of), yoghurt and banana, gave her a bath, and got to read "Find the Duckie" to her several times over. She's a little bookworm, and find the duckie she did-too cute.

Daddy put her down, they got ready. I got secret passwords to get onto Facebook, mastered the high definition channels, ate junk food, had a nap even and then . . . . Abby work up about twenty to eleven. She was standing up in her crib crying. When she saw me, she cried even harder. Poor little lamb. I tried all the tricks that mommy and daddy had suggested, all to no avail. She asked for her Daadddy, tried looking around the dresser into the hall, said the sad words, buh bye and did her little hand wave. She was disconsolate. When I did manage to calm her down, she was doing that huge heavy, inward breathing sighing thing-that was enough to make me want to weep. There was only one thing to do, yup, I did it-I called her parents, went back upstairs, covered her in a blanket and took her downstairs. She was getting better by the minute. I put this show about JP Patches on and we waited for mommy and daddy to come home. And this is the part that made me almost laugh hysterically, that is, if I wanted to be ultra noisy, I would have. When Mommy and Daddy came in, talking away, saying hello, putting items on the kitchen counter and in the fridge, Abby didn't even notice them! Oh Abby, you are so funny. She snubbed them big time!

Daddy with his magic touch, put her down, and fast to sleep she went.
In the morning we had breakfast, we played, we read, we took pictures. I taught her to say her name and point to herself, we had lunch and a nap, and about 2:30 Pappa came and we said our goodbyes. I wished I had taken a picture of that goodbye-but I didn't, I was feeling too sad. Abby, you are adorable and clever and smiley and wonderful. I sure hope your mommy and daddy will let me come for another sleepover soon.

Mommy and Daddy's Christmas Elf

Pappa, take her home, and take that camera with you!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Let's Play!

While Pappa and Carly were picking up Claire and Cameron from school this afternoon, I traced Catie's elbow on the etch a sketch. Pappa decided it would be a funny picture if it looked like an extension of Nanny's arm! I think I need drawing lessons!

Carly's new eraser!

Claire sporting the Click-It headband she made.

Cameron with the first creation-how does that thing float like that?
Catie stringing her Click-its!

Today Cathy had three parent-teacher conferences with the kid's teachers. I brought along the Click- Its from home, and while Caroline was sleeping, we played! As this is a toy we keep at our house they really enjoyed playing with them. Ahh, peace and quiet, that is, until Catie broke Cameron's later project!

Why nibble on fattening cookies when you can nibble on your sweet little grandaughter's arm?

This picture doesn't totally capture our goodbye's but you get the picture!
Cameron was on the computer and Courtney precious little lamb was sleeping but you get a sense of what kind of goodbye pictures we drive off with in our heads.

Ah Caroline, we've got to teach you not to stick your head and later on her arm out the window to say goodbye!

Monday, December 03, 2007


Today would have been my dear father-in-law's 91st Birthday. Last year at this time the majority of the family gathered at his home to celebrate this momentous occasion. Great-Grandchildren hovered, Grandchildren laughed and chatted and Children admired this large room overflowing with love and a lifetime of experiences.

Remembering you Dad and missing you so much.