December 2007

Today was a great Sunday. The kids did a wonderful job with the Christmas drama. Sometimes, the preparation for something is chaotic and difficult, but then the result of the effort makes it worth while. Colton was an awesome Doc; he got a lot of laughs. Carter did a great job as a shepherd, although he insisted up until the end that he wanted to be an angel. I think the fact that the angels got to stand up on the edge of the baptistry had something to do with his enthusiasm for the role. But I didn’t have a white dress that would fit him, so… he was a shepherd. Although Tyson doesn’t like performing the way his brothers do, he sang with the Cowboy Choir.

This was our last Sunday before we leave for Mexico. The church had us go to the front of the building and then the elders prayed for us. It was very encouraging. Lyndon said a few things about why we wanted to take this trip. He always avoids any kind of public speaking, but when he does it, he does a good job. He talked about how we have wanted to share the experience of another culture with the boys, and especially for them to see how people live in a less affluent society. He also talked about our desire to serve others in some small way, although I have a feeling we will come away from the experience just as blessed an enriched as those we are trying to help. He also emphasized the blessing of travelling and working with good friends.

Tomorrow we pick up dad at the airport in Regina. I’m not sure if we will all go, or if just Lyndon will. I guess it will depend on how much I get done tomorrow morning. The trip is starting to feel like a reality!

I have spent the morning getting ready for our church’s Christmas party this afternoon. The cake is baked, the presents are wrapped, and the kids are excited. Lyndon is selling his furs today, so I am not sure when he will make it to the party. Furs are apparently not worth as much this year, due to the strong Canadian dollar. It is amazing to me that I am a person who considers the price of coyote furs in light of the Canadian economy. This is one of the many surprising things that have been a part of my life since marrying Lyndon, and raising three boys.

I have also become aware of the difference between guy humour and girl humour. Lyndon insists I have no sense of humour, based on the fact that I don’t find such things as body noises or the movie Dumb and Dumber funny. I have been influenced, though…

I was shopping with my sister-in-law in Estevan last weekend. We were in the pharmacy section of WalMart (I was trying to find children’s Gravol), and I came across a tube of something called Crack Cream. You will have to forgive me, but I thought that was hilarious. I called Sandra over and she too almost fell over laughing. Although she has raised only girls, she is married to a Ross, so there you go. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of Sandra’s friends gets a tube of Crack Cream in their stocking this year!

Yes, I am afraid living in a house full of men has had its effect on me. For the better, I’m sure!

There is something so wonderful about the first day of holidays. It reminds me of that “released from the classroom” feeling that I remember from childhood. We had a good day, relaxing and semi-productive. At the moment Tyson is sitting on the couch beside me watching “The Lucy Show” on dvd. He loves the old shows: Andy Griffith, The Waltons, Bonanza, Red Skelton. The little boys are building a house in the basement. I’m not sure what is involved in that enterprise but it involves a lot of blankets and chairs. I have promised them hot chocolate and a Christmas movie in a little while.

Lyndon is supposed to get home tonight. He is having supper with his mom and dad.

Carter wanted a stretchy sandwich for lunch today. I needed clarification, and was informed that it was a jam sandwich made with the soft bread that I have been buying lately. Apparently, it squiches nicely to make a flat, pancake-like sandwich.

Colton, Carter, and I had to go to the doctor’s office this afternoon for our Hepatitis A and B shots. The doctor was running late so we went to “Toes’s place” for a snack. This is our local coffee shop, run by Toes but actually called Cafe Paris. The boys had hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies and I had a latte. Yum. Carter is so comfortable there. Before I knew it he was in the kitchen asking for an ice cube to cool down his hot chocolate.

Back at the doctor’s office we all bravely endured our shots. Carter asked Dr. Pillay if he could please have the kind of needle that doesn’t hurt. Colton just squeezed his eyes closed and was surprised that it didn’t hurt as much as he was expecting.

Tomorrow is going to be a baking day. I am trying to use up the food we have in the house before we leave, so the boys are feeling a little deprived. I’ll make some muffins, and maybe we’ll have pancakes for breakfast.

Today is the last day we are going to do “school”, although I don’t really like the labelling, because my philosophy of homeschooling is that everything that happens in a day is “school”. Its all about learning, experiencing, living. So in the days to come we will be cleaning, packing, baking, reading, drawing, talking…

A week from now we should be settling into our seats on the train. Goodness.

I have been wanting to make a little book to take with us with maps, journalling pages, etc. Well, we’ll see how that goes. I feel like I am running out of time. I did get travel insurance yesterday. I chose to get the extra “accidental death or dismemberment” insurance, thinking that would be wise since we will be using power tools in Mexico. Then the insurance agent informed me that we would only be covered if we were accidentally killed or dismembered while embarking or disembarking during the actual travelling experience. In other words, if someone fell onto the train tracks and got run over by a train, or got a hand caught in door, or something like that. Power tools don’t count. It was only $20.00 more, so I went with the extra insurance anyway. You never know.

I’m listening to Elvis crooning Christmas carols in the background. The kids are doing their things calmly and, dare I say, JOYFULLY! Tis the season.

It’s Tuesday, but since we just got home yesterday afternoon, it feels like Monday. The boys are finishing some school work and I am procrastinating.

The boys and I and the two dogs headed out Thursday morning for Estevan. We stopped in Weyburn for Hannah Bell’s funeral. We picked up Lyndon that evening and went on to Estevan, where we had a great weekend at Darren and Sandra’s. A little shopping, some good visits, lots of laughing. Thanks to them for keeping our dogs while we go to Mexico.

We enjoyed going to church in Estevan on Sunday. The class that Colton was in was getting ready to do a Christmas drama, and Colton was willing to take a role for someone who was absent. Mary Muirhead was teaching the class, and the children did a Reader’s Theatre presentation of the birth of Jesus, which they performed during potluck that afternoon. Colton did an awesome job. He read his part with enthusiasm and confidence, and I couldn’t help but think that a year ago he struggled to get through The Cat in the Hat! I had to say a little prayer of thanksgiving to God for helping us overcome Colton’s learning struggles!

Sunday night we said goodbye to Bella and Betsie, and went back to Weyburn to spend the night at Lowell and Darla’s. More visiting, and a little more shopping, and then home again on Monday. Whew… I have a lot to do now as it is only a week until my dad arrives, and then we head for Mexico on the 26th. Well, we head for Montana on the 26th. I am looking forward to stepping onto the train, setting down my bags, and settling in for the ride.

Today, however, I am still in preparation mode. I need to go to town to get travel insurance, order the next round of immunizations (we get poked on Thursday), pay bills, buy groceries, and visit a friend who recently had a baby. The weather is mild, and it will be nice to be out and about for a while this afternoon.

We are now officially Canadian citizens, as our passports came on Friday. Of course, our passport pictures are horrid. We look like a family of hillbillies that just crawled out of the bush. I guess that is what we will likely look like when we get off the train in San Diego at midnight. Someone told me that when you are travelling and you start to look like your passport photo, its time to come home! Anyway, I am glad they arrived. That is one more thing I can strike off my list. It is just over two weeks till we leave. My goodness, that is not very much time to do all the things I need to do.

This afternoon we had a little Christmas party for the kids. We practiced the play that they will perform in church on the 23rd. They were all so cute. Colton has a speaking part. He is a cowboy named Doc, and he was hamming it up like a pro, Western accent and everything. Carter is a shepherd. He is supposed to just stand by Mary and Joseph, but if you know Carter you know it is hard for him to stand still for long. I hope he will be able to make it through the performance. Tyson did not want to be in the play at all, but he agreed to be one of the singers. It was a typical rehersal, lots of chaos and mayhem, but I am sure it will be fine on the big day.

Lyndon left tonight for Weyburn. Usually he leaves Monday morning around 4:00, but he is getting a little worn out, so decided to go tonight. I am planning on going to Weyburn on Thursday with the boys and the two dogs, to attend Hannah Bell’s funeral. Then on to Estevan, where we are leaving the dogs for the holidays. I need to be in Regina on Friday for an eye appointment. I’m not quite sure how I am going to work this all out yet. Anyway, we will spend the rest of the weekend in Estevan at Darren and Sandra’s, which will be lovely. We put up our tree yesterday, which is late for us. I feel a little behind in general this year. The holidays have sneaked up on me!

It’s good to be home, but we had such a great time in Weyburn. It was wonderful to spend some time with Lowell and Darla, and the girls. Goodness, they are growing up. Also nice to spend some time with Doug Goud, who is boarding with the Petersons. We were able to get in on his birthday celebration one night while we were there. How encouraging to see a young man with a strong faith and a commitment to serving the Lord like he has.

Besides visiting the aunties and the Olsons, we were able to see some old friends at Bible class on Wednesday night. So good to reconnect, but saddened by the loss of others, especially Hannah Bell, who passed away while we were there. I remember well her devilled eggs at potlucks!

The boys and I went skating at the North Weyburn Skating Rink, which is faithfully maintained by Mr. Olson. It brought back memories for me of skating as a child with my friends. We would rush to the rink a couple of nights a week for the skating time that was reserved for the “staff brats”. I think it was Swiss Family Robinson that was on television that night, so it was always a dilema. Should I wait for the end of the show and miss the first few minutes of skating, or sacrifice the ending in order to get the full hour with my friends?

The boys and I also spent a lovely lunch at McDonald’s with Roger and Helen Peterson. I so love and appreciate these “giants” from my youth.

Today I am off to the church to help plan and prepare for the children’s Christmas party. It is another cold day in Saskatchewan, but not windy. The boys are watching Saturday morning cartoons, and Lyndon is getting ready to go out coyote calling. I wish him luck, as coyotes are helping to pay for our trip to Mexico!

Yesterday, as I was trying to get Carter into his socks and boots so that we could go to town, I vented my frustration with him… “Carter, what am I going to do with you?” He replied, “Love me, feed me, never leave me!” I think that is a quote from Garfield, but it made me laugh, which, of course, is the response he was going for.

Have a blessed day!

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