Monday, December 31, 2012

Random Memorable Moments at Christmas

It's a sweet thing to post photos directly after they happen, and the excitement of the recently passed events make hitting that "publish" button carry on the joy. However, as I upload and post these photos weeks later, it causes the memories of big and small moments with our family (and friends whom we've come to call family), to be so much dearer.
Mom V.'s surprise 70th birthday party in the greenhouse (November).
Love you, Mom!
Our fun-loving, Jules, whom we've adopted as part of our family.
My sweet step-mom, Iris
In keeping with the tradition of reading the Night Before Christmas at the family reunion, Aunt Carol captures the attention of our little ones.
A few aunts and uncles (my dad in centre).
Our scrumptious Christmas guests.
Christmas Eve photo
Meg helps Ashanti open her first stocking.
Christmas morning with their "Great-Mama knitted stockings".
Meg and a few cousins.
Martin opens Kevin's yearly trickster gift which takes approximately 45 minutes to unwrap :)
Christmas dinner
Yearly pyjama pic with Grandma and Grandpa.
Piano performances for Mama and Papa. Ben holds a flashlight for Oliver :)
Everyone loves Ashanti.
"Besties"--Meg and Brooke
Four of my favourite people.
My "cousin", Jamie and Melissa's wedding. 
A quick photo of us at the wedding.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bring The Box

Molly smiled and breathed in deeply. She whispered to me, "Bring the box."

I grinned at her satisfied expression and asked what she meant. She nonchalantly bent down and picked up a small stone. "When I really like a place and its smell, I want to catch it all in a box." She held up the stone and examined it. I pondered that one for a moment. Yes, there are many places where I'd like to "box up" the deliciousness my senses are taking in. In a way, my camera does that for me, and it was delightful to hear my quiet girl absorbing her surroundings with appreciation.

A few days later, as we strolled the aisles of our favourite thrift store, Molly grabbed the cart, leaned over and whispered again, "Leave the box." as she covered her nose and scowled. I laughed out loud and I understood this time.

"Okay," I replied, "let's not box up this smell, but perhaps we'll box up a few items to take home?"
We chuckled together and I knew we had a new inside joke between us for future sensational experiences.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Gospel According To Scrooge

It was the night the Humbug "got right with God" and found himself turned "generous man". Ebenezer Scrooge and a myriad of other characters graced the stage and sang about how wrong Scrooge's attitude was about Christmas and God's purpose in it. Once again, my husband stood among them. Yes, it's been a busy season! Albeit, a very rewarding one.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Neighbours In Heaven

She stepped through the front door of her home with expectation and trepidation mingled as another group of loved ones exclaimed, "Surprise!" Tara couldn't believe her husband had pulled it off without her knowing... and after agreeing he wouldn't. However, just as I did for my 40th, she opened her arms again and again, embracing people who had traveled far and wide to honour her that night. Lastly, she came upon another surprise standing at the back of the crowd--singer, Sara Groves!
The shock.
Friend and singer/songwriter, Dan Macaulay performed a couple of his songs and led us in Christmas carols first.
Now, if you know Tara, she's been a fan of the sweet musician, Sara, for a long time and can sing every one of her songs backwards. In fact, Tara has said she and Sara might be neighbours in heaven as they understand each another so much. Of course they'd never spent time together until this night, but Sara had felt like a friend anyway.
Sara sang  several songs for us after a lovely catered dinner. She allowed one request at the end for Tara and she chose "He's Always Been Faithful". Much to Sara's surprise, it was the last song she had already written on her repertoire for the evening. How fun!
Tara's amazing sister-in-law, Karen, who organized much of the evening with Tara's husband, Andrew.
Me, Sara Groves and Tara
Sara explained that she doesn't really do this kind of thing, she mainly sticks to performing in concert. However, when the email from Andrew had come through, Sara's husband's heart went out to him. On September 10th, 2012, he had just thrown a surprise 40th for her and he said, "I know how this guy feels! You HAVE to go!"
So, here are three 40 year old women in a row... possibly, neighbours in heaven :)
Personally, I think it's pretty spectacular that Sara Groves has finally hung out with the precious and godly, Tara Root... just sayin'.

Andrew and Terry
Terry and I thought we'd make a weekend of the trip so the next day we walked through NYC. We came upon this zealous Salvation Army man. He was dancing vigorously and ringing his bell to Christmas music that blasted from his CD player. He was attracting so many people who were happy to give money to someone who seemed to be thrilled it was Christmas :)

I just love that there are still shoe-shiners in the world :)

Times Square--excellent costume!

And... the real thing... as we whipped by on the highway!
Praise God for freedom!