Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fall 2012 wrap up ... finally!

Hello friends - it's so good to have you drop by for a visit! It's been such a long long time since I posted anything here - I've almost forgotten how! We've had a lot going on, as usual! With Dreamer in grade 10 this year and Storyteller straddling 6th & 7th we've had a lot of school work each and every day.  I'm the first to admit that it's a lot, but I feel so blessed to have the privilege of homeschooling our children, and I know these busy seasons will pass quickly, so I am trying very hard to savor them!

Dreamer has decided to compete in both Federation and the Guild for piano this year, as well as the Regional Teen Talent contest with her Youth Group. It means lots of extra practice and even a lesson on Boxing Day! She has chosen to try for the Sonatina Award this year and is working really hard to learn and memorize 5 pieces - 16 movements in all.  She is still taking ballet on Monday and helping with a class on Thursday each week, as well as participating on our library's Teen Advisory Board. Both children enjoyed soccer this fall, though we kind of dropped out at the end when church activities and fall colds got the better of us. Storyteller played baseball all fall again with the Fall Hitting League and he really enjoyed that. At first we fried, then it got pleasant and then we froze in the stands so I was really glad when it all wrapped up! Though our Storyteller is not in Youth yet, both he and Dreamer have participated in Youth outreaches placing hundreds of door hangers inviting people in the community to visit our church this fall. They had so much fun with it, and our Storyteller holds the record for most door hangers hung.

Fall canning - salsa!

 I taught a few craft and sewing classes at our local community center this fall which I really enjoyed. I also had some of the ladies from church come to our home for a canning class.  We made spiced plum preserves and cranberry sauce and had a really good time!
Things were going along at a brisk pace all fall and we were keeping busy and active. My Dad and Mum came for Canadian Thanksgiving and a good visit which was lovely.  They also came for American Thanksgiving - Dad had some parts to pick up and got new tires for his truck and Mum got some Christmas shopping done, which was great. Dad also blessed us with his old laptop and found a great deal on a wireless router so after months of limping along with our half-working ancient laptop we were finally back in business. It was helpful to have Dad and Mum here while we faced a time of great uncertainty as I waited for an unexpected biopsy and the results of that. Thankfully the results were good, but the waiting was really hard.

Thanksgiving 2012 - we were hoping for a good picture for our Christmas letter!

We had a great time on December 5th at a homeschool ice skating event, visiting with friends and refreshing very rusty skating skills . The next day Storyteller suddenly developed a high fever and life slowed down considerably after that. Our Storyteller rarely does anything by half measures so scoring 7 out of 7 on the Flu Symptoms chart was no surprise.  Thankfully it was the respiratory flu and not a gastro-type. The down side was that it was terribly contagious and Dreamer and I both succumbed. We spent the better part of two weeks in the 'infirmary', formerly the family room - sleeping, listening to Christmas music and watching videos.  Our heads were too achy to even try to read. Our stocks of jello, apple sauce, juice popsicles, frozen juices, tissues, and fever medication were quickly depleted and we were thankful that the Historian stayed well and was able to run errands for us. He took Dreamer to the doctor when I felt that she wasn't improving - her diagnosis - bronchitis and and ear infection. Poor darling - her asthma always complicates things.

We missed out on many special Christmas events and didn't get to decorating the inside of our home or doing any shopping until just a few days before Christmas.  Thankfully we had purchased the items we needed for the stockings we had promised a children's street ministry and we were able to follow through with that commitment. We really had a lot of fun sewing stockings, wrapping little gifts and praying for the children who would receive them. We put aside our hopes to visit Mum and Dad and my sister's family over the break and settled in for a quiet Christmas at home.  All of my best intentions to actually write a family letter and get a few cards out this year went by the wayside as we slowly recovered from the flu. Just before Christmas we were blessed with a second 'new to us' computer and we were {are} so excited!  From one 'limping along' 12 year old laptop to two working computers that are up to date and move so quickly! Wow! We even let the kids connect our Wii - in a very limited way, but they are thrilled to be able to see the weather and read the news! We have a lot to learn about operating these two computers, but we're doing so much better with it than I thought!  Schoolwork will be much easier now that the kids can use the CD's and we don't have to wait to print out the things they need!

Dreamer took this picture of her 'little' brother on Christmas Day after we read Scripture and opened a few gifts. He has grown so much!  He looks so much like his oldest cousin Andrew in this picture which is fun because he really loves Andrew and admires his commitment to the Lord. All in all it was a very quiet, very different kind of Christmas for us.  We were so blessed to be well and symptom free the Sunday before Christmas, so we were able to keep our hearts and minds focused  on the Saviour.  I did a very tiny amount of Christmas baking after Christmas as we enjoyed time together at home with the Historian.  He had to take his vacation days or loose them, so we were blessed to have quiet times together with him, along with a day trip of browsing bookstores and finding bits and pieces for my new Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. I saved for months to purchase it and when it came I was far too sick to enjoy it, but Dreamer and I have been learning the ropes and I think it will be a terrific crafting tool in so many ways! We already used it to make some stencils to etch glassware for 'teacher' gifts for Christmas and it was so much fun! We forgot to take pictures of our work, but they turned out really well, so we were pleased!

I tried to keep this short, but since I've not kept you up to date for a couple of months there was a lot to tell! Thanks for reading this far and for caring about our little family!

Happy New Year!
May the Lord bless you richly in 2013!