Friday, January 5, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018


With Christmas joys wrapped up into warm memories it was time to ring in the New Year. Time to escape the busy city, to drive that all familiar hour and a half, and enter the silence of winter at Gardom Lake Bible Camp. 


Gardom Lake, where the snow covered landscape of winter quietly sings its song of 
Peace on Earth






Gardom Lake lies frozen in time far below the lodge, all cozy with a blazing wood fire.


The lodge roof drips silently with long shards of ice.
Inside the lodge our family with some of the extended Peters clan warmed up with hot chocolate, coffee, and then mountains of delicious food consumed over five meals and non-stop snacking in between. Shepherds pie, lasagna, a soup buffet and yummy breakfasts served with love.


Good conversations in the kitchen while preparing meals,

Coffee cups made novel soup bowls when there were 5 temping soups to savour.
And of course after each meal the dish pit became a good learning experience for the youngest generation.

There were so many people in the hustle and bustle of our retreat that I could only capture some of them in my photos. What I have is just a snapshot into our 48 hours.




Loads of fun on the infamous sledding hill 


And more fun shaking trees with raining snow.


Three sister in laws returning from this magical walk took a moment to become like their children creating snow angels. And then as all modern mothers do, 
they had to take 'selfies'


Between snowsuits drying out for another round of snow fun there was time for puzzles, games, visiting, reading, snacking, napping, ping pong, and a lot of noisy children chasing up and down stairs and running down a long hallway. So much laughter till the wee hours of the morning and then before the sandman had completed his night rounds it was time to open those sleepy eyes for another day of more food and snow fun.



The ice cream party. 



And all to soon it was time to round up scattered toques and mittens, tidy up the lodge, cram everything back into our vehicles and say our goodbyes with lots of hugs.









Some very happy moments for me as we were leaving the camp was to stop and capture these breathtaking winter wonderland photos.












The New Year opens most beautifully to me with all my dear ones in good health, & each busy & happy in their own peculiar way.
 ~Anna Alcott Pratt, January 1861, quoted from louisamayalcott.org



Sunday, December 31, 2017

ALL OF DECEMBER 2017


December:  A month that was so full of joy, so busy, so satisfying in experiences, and so rich in my own spiritual journey.

It was also the month with the least daylight, gloomy days with cloud inversions in our valley, lots of snow for someone else to shovel, too much delicious food with its ramifications to the body, and saddest of all, the news of the murder of a mother and her two beautiful children in our own city together with all the other acts of hate and violence around the globe which hardly resounded with "Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all Men."

December with the celebration of Advent and Christmas was a call to action;  a time to show small kindnesses, to sing in a small choral group at 12 care homes, a seniors drop in centre and Hospice. There was quality time to appreciate and love on family like there may not be a tomorrow, and to celebrate with a church community the truth of "Joy to the World, the Lord has Come."


To kick off December I treated myself to a coconut latte and a butter tart.


Winter art went up.


Advent is my favourite spiritual season when I surround myself with poetry and prose to be enriched with the theme of God's incarnation. Enjoyed a new devotional book by Henri Nouwen and a daily on line multimedia  devotional created by Biola University .


Baking is a tradition with dozens of cookies for our church's 27 annual Living Nativity. Then there were Zwiebach and Pfeffernuesse and a huge pot of Plumi Moos to prepare for the family.



Decorations went up for the first week of December

Several old ornaments on the tree.



Kyla and Avery came over to create 21 place cards for the family dinner.

Boxing Day is our family day starting with yummy baked oatmeal at Ray and Melody's house and a game called 'Family'
Mark had to put in a shift at work so we dropped by for a hot chocolate and to say Hi. He joined us after 3.

Then on to Karl and Lisa's house where a warm wood fire was blazing, 
cousin gifts opened and a few carols sung.







Look a like dolls for cousins are a surprise each year, but almost expected from our talented Shellbell doll creator. 



Cousins still enjoy drawing names for their gift exchange.


A reminder of the Reason for the Season
Lots of love for a resident Santa
Fazl socks to remind us of our friends in India


The Dinner table set at our house, or I should say three tables set for 21.

A short nap before the doorbell announces the arrival of the tribe.



Lots of yummy food 





A rare moment to gather ten wonderful grandchildren around us.



And that was Christmas and then the snow fell softly 

And on this last day of 2017
 a fun time making popcorn balls with Kaden for our New Years celebration
at Gardom Lake starting tomorrow.


A walk in our neighbourhood forest at the end of the year


The frozen creek in darkness lies
like covers closing on pages of the year,
Look beyond to brighter skies
of opportunity, adventure
as chapters in a New Year will arrive.



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

NOVEMBER HAPPENED

Maybe it is a good thing that November kind of slid under the radar, came and went and only now in mid December am I revisiting and posting a few snapshots. Why would I infer that it is not a favourite month? Maybe this quote helps to define that a little.


That soft autumnal time...
The woodland foliage now

Is gathered by the wild November blast...
~John Howard Bryant (1807-1902), "The Indian Summer"

And then there are these two photos taken a day apart.




During that short winter blast of snow the grandkids did their best to frolic in the moment.

Four granddaughters - four angels!

Olaf, the creepy snowman with cucumber eyes.
Olaf being amended by a boy cousin.

The snow had but all been scraped together to create Olaf the little snowman when another grandson came with winter gear and begged us to play outdoors. I reluctantly bundled up and walked to the park where there was still a field of untrodden white. The day turned to joy watching grandson and Grampa playing together while I stood back capturing the fun on my camera.








A small family dinner turned into a work of art when I asked 12 year old Kyla to set the table.
The napkins took on personality plus!




Between seasons Beauty







And then there were these two cousin/buddies ..... don't let this calmness under the Christmas tree fool you. They were up in a flash when they heard that cookies and milk were being served. Full of vim and vinegar!























When dark December glooms the day,
And takes our autumn joys away...
~Walter Scott




And now that December is half over and we have had dreary, dark days , I look back on the colours of November and realize it was good.