Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Remembering Begins. . .

Christmas 2009

As Christmas  approaches I find myself looking back on the year that is not quite over.  The older I get the more important it seems to be to take some time to remember the many moments that made up the year that is coming to a close.  We had a wonderful Christmas last year with the whole family making the trip to Chilliwack.  As always, Christmas is a little more Christmas-y when little children are around.  Lizzie spent some on Christmas eve on the computer with Auntie Kelly tracking Santa's progress on NORAD so we knew when it was time to head to bed.  Kai had his first experience with the "war" that always seems to happen (at least in our family) once the wrapping paper tubes are empty.  Our little children are so lucky to be born into a family where the big children still know how to play.  Marc's face covered with a fruit basket as he defended himself from the kids is only one of the great memories I will have from this Christmas past.  The stockings hung on the stair railing because there were too many for the fireplace is another great memory.  It seems Lisa has been the Christmas eve Rummoli champion more than once!  The many pictures of our amazing family playing games, eating, sharing Christmas morning, eating, taking walks by the river and eating reflect a family that loves spending time together - I believe this will be the biggest legacy Bob and I could ever  imagine leaving.

Kelly and Brady started the new year off with a dip in the oh-so-chilly waters during the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim.  While we thought they were nuts we were so proud of them for jumping (literally) into new experiences.  We were happy to be a  part of the audience while the rain poured down.

The Olympics were a big part of 2010.  Bob and I went to watch the torch relay through our home of 32 years (Agassiz).  We found more than one opportunity to go into the city and experience the immense pride and patriotism that Canadians so often keep under covers.  Jason wrote a wonderful tribute to the Olympics called, Paint the Town Red, inviting Canadians everywhere to bring out those flags and that Canadian spirit on a more regular basis.  While Kai was most amazed by the planes overhead, we were all impressed with the art, music and party atmosphere that was in the air in Vancouver throughout the two weeks of the Olympics.  The weather was so warm that many of our pictures show us in t-shirts at the venues.  Great for us, but a little more challenging for the ski hills and the media trying to capture the "winter" Olympics in Canada:)

A few years ago Christine participated in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.  Because of her experience and enthusiasm our family has now raised over $30 000.00 towards breast cancer research.  This year Carrie, Kelly and I walked the 60 km (well, I think I walked 55.6 km:) in the blistering heat.  I can't think of another thing in my life that was so physically and mentally challenging and I was so proud to have participated.  My biggest fundraiser for this walk was a photo shoot in our beautiful back yard at the end of May.  While my goal was to get 100 women who touch my life and the lives of others together for this day we ended up with 52 women (and girls) , including 3 survivors.  We have a wonderful photo to remember this day that we raised over $1500.00 towards our goal.

Bob and I headed for Maui at spring break with a plan for a totally relaxing vacation.  We did a lot of walking, watched a beautiful sunset from the top of Mount Haleakala, saw whales and spinning dolphins, did a zip line trek, snorkelled, walked through the rain forest, drove the road to Hanna and spent one morning on boogie boards in the big surf (well, for us).  I swallowed a LOT of water that day while Bob showed me how it was done!  It was a great holiday!

I made the decision shortly before spring break to open a craft store in Agassiz and reduced my teaching load to half time.  While the store didn't pan out we did renovate our basement to create a space for teaching statue classes.  I have made about 50 statues this year, taught several classes and took part in 7 craft/artisan shows.  I am absolutely LOVING the time I have to create and play in the basement and my time at school is also more enjoyable.  All in all I seem to have the best of both worlds at this point in my life.  I feel so fortunate to have a husband who supports each and every one of my zany ideas.

School, as always, played a big role in the lives of our family this year.  Kelly has taken a job at a middle school in Hope and has the perfect temperment for handling those energetic middle schoolers.  Jason will complete his teaching year at UBC early next spring and has spent much of this year in his own classroom.  He has done an admirable job of getting through the year while still being able to manage his family life, work life and student life.  Lizzie started Kindergarten this year and seems to be following in her daddy's footsteps.  She loves school, loves learning and LOVES knowing so much about so many things.  Derran took on the challenges of the firefighting course at the Justice Institute and came out of it with such great experiences and friendships.  None of us were surprised when he was voted class valedictorian.  Christine and Carrie continue with their studies as well and will both complete their Masters degrees early in 2011.  They have also managed the pressures that come with having demanding careers and busy families.  Kai is not to be outdone.  He came up with some amazing mathematical and scientific formulas - lucky mom and dad were there to capture the moment as he recorded these formulas on his chalkboard! 

It is wonderful to see all of our kids in such supportive and loving relationships.  Kelly and Brady got engaged this summer and it was clear that Brady knew his way to Kelly's heart.  He proposed with his gramma's engagement ring on the wharf at Papa's cabin.  It couldn't have been more perfect.   We are so looking forward to gathering the family in our backyard this summer for their wedding. 

Since I started writing this piece Christmas 2010 has come and gone.  I shed a few tears (okay, more than a few) when I knew that the kids would all be with their other families for Christmas this year.  Bob got on his white steed and saved the day by booking us into Manning Park Lodge for Christmas eve, Christmas day and Boxing day.  While it was not the same without the family around it was a special time for the two of us.  We took our little front porch tree with us and spread our presents and stockings around it in our room.  We spent Christmas eve on the ski hill with about 100 others watching a beautiful torchlight parade while the snow fell around us.  Christmas day was clear and sunny and after opening our gifts and having a late breakfast we rented some snowshoes and headed into the bush for a couple of hours.  With so much snow and a little sunshine there was a magical feel.  We stopped often to take pictures, listen to the silence and even made some snow angels.  We had a lazy afternoon reading and then headed to the restaurant for a turkey dinner buffet.  It was the first time in about 25 years I haven't made a turkey on Christmas day!  On Boxing day we headed out for a morning walk in the bright sunshine and talked about maybe trying to get the family together at Manning for a couple of days next winter break.  All in all, it was a good Christmas, not the same as with the family, but good just the same.  There are few times in life where you really stop to appreciate how good life truly is, today is one of those times!

1 comment:

  1. You are an inspiration Roxanne. Your cup is always far more than half full and the positive energy reaches out and touches those around you.