Holy bubbles

I’ve been searching for a preschool for Laurelin for a couple of mornings a week. I think it’ll be good for her, and it will help the two older girls and me get a bit more done in school. It’s either that or a very part-time nanny, but I’ve just started looking so we’ll see.

Anyway, in my search, I came across a preschool that uses a church’s facilities (but they’re not affiliated with them at all). Ben and I scrolled through the church’s page and photos to get an idea of what they believe, etc. out of interest and came across this one. No, I don’t know the context, and each to his own, but…?!


Visit to New Zealand, part 1

How do you describe a place? I can tell you about beautiful green rolling hills, changeable weather, children walking barefoot down the road without anyone scowling at them. I can tell you about the lilt of an accent, of driving on the left side of the road, of great coffee — both instant and barista made. I can tell you of the joy of the familiar, of being able to drive without a GPS because I’ve driven on these roads since I legally could, of going up the hill and looking out over the city. I could mention the high cost of living, the ridiculous house prices, the economy, yet the great quality of life. But I can’t capture the essence of the place, its personality, in words. And even then, maybe it’s relative.

I’ve lived in a few places in my life, never in one place for very long. When people talk about their “family farm” or “family house” that has been in the family for generations, I can’t quite relate. There’s a sense in which I’m envious and a sense in which I’m just confused that anyone can stay in one place so long. Out of my short 30 years, I have lived in 5 different countries, 10 different cities, 16 different houses (20 if you count the temporary ones too). Out of those, Christchurch has been the city I’ve lived in the most, on and off, which is probably why it’s the place I’d most likely call home. (That opens a whole other discussion: what/where is home?) But even then, it only really feels like home because we have so much family there. Parents, brothers and sisters-in-law, and a troop of nieces and nephews. It was for them, so much more than the place, that we headed back to Christchurch for Christmas — Ben for 2 weeks, the girls and I for 5 — and it was marvelous.

I’ll share some more photos next week, but for now here’s a taste.

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To those of you who hosted us to stay (thanks, Pappa & Mamma!) or for meals and coffee and playdates; thank you. We miss you big time.

Merry Christmas!

To all the lovely readers of our blog, we wish you a very Merry Christmas! May you be blessed today and in the year to come.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy.

We’re still here…

I’m just taking a break from blogging to enjoy the summer, and spend time with visitors, the kids and to do all those fun activities that only happen in the summer. I hope to resume a regular blogging schedule again in late August. Until then, if you want to contact us, please email us! We’d love to hear from you. :-)

A peek at spring

April seems like a long time ago… spring seems like a bit of a blur filled with the house buying process and then packing and getting ready to move. But it wasn’t all crazy — we made some time to go enjoy the nice weather outside too. One day we packed a lunch and went and had a picnic at a nearby park.

Laurelin turned 2 in May. She’s growing up so fast, and providing us with many laughs every day. It’s been fun to see her learn and start to make sense of the world around her. She’s a real character — you can’t push her around! — I guess that’s what comes of having two older sisters. We didn’t really have a party for her, but I made her a cake with lots of M ‘n M’s on, which she loved, and we shared it with friends we usually have lunch with after our homeschool gymnastics class.

And of course, in May we moved to our new house. We were so blessed to have lots of strong friends helping, and were able to do it all in one day, with only one trip in the huge rented U-Haul truck (which Ben was able to drive without a special licence!).

Joyous December

December is probably my favourite month of the year. I love the anticipation of Christmas, celebrating Advent, and all that it means: the King of the Universe becoming man to reconcile and restore us to Himself. Mind-blowing, yet so easy a story to become used to and complacent about.

December included many of the usual traditions like

decorating… This was the first year we had a real tree! The kids and I went and picked it out in the pouring rain, but it was worth it.

(A reminder about photos: if you want to view them larger, click on one of them below, and you’ll get a slideshow with bigger photos!)

a Christmas service at church which the the whole family had part in, except Laurelin! I played violin, Ben sang in the choir, and the kids were part of a presentation,

and baking… (though I cheated, and bought kits for the gingerbread houses). Here (and in the painting photos above) we are with our little mini co-op group (our family and my friend Damaris’ kids who get together once a week for piano lessons, Spanish, Social Studies and Art). For the houses we were helped by our Christmas guests, James and Laura and Laura’s friend Ella.

For Advent, I worked through an Advent devotional that I found to be a big blessing, called The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. I highly recommend it. I think I’ll be reading it every Advent from now on!

This year we had the added blessing of having my parents here for a visit over part of December and January. We spent most of the time with them relaxing at home, or doing activities that were close-by, but we did manage to fit in a 3-night stint up to the Adirondacks. It’s the same place we stayed when they visited us in 2011. This time there was snow everywhere and it was cold. Thankfully our cottage was nice and cozy!

We spent most of our time reading, playing games and eating yummy food inside; and sledding and playing in the snow outside. It was a really great relaxing few days right before the busyness of Christmas week.

I could carry on and tell you about Christmas, but I think that would make this post way too long, so I’ll save that for next week!