December 2007

Christmas Day —

Glory Hallelujah, the kids let us sleep in until 8!  Kenan had no clue it was Christmas so he just came in our room to cuddle as is his wont.  Shana was just a few minutes behind and you could tell by the glow that followed her in that she knew what day it was!  We let them go discover their stockings without us, and followed them down a few minutes later.

They were very impressed with the loot, the new stocking for Kenan that magically appeared (there’s still much hot debate over how it got there–did Grandma and Kipper come down the chimney with it?–but the favoured theory among the children is that Grandma gave it to Santa Claus out East and asked him to deliver it). 

(Interesting aside:  we’ve never told the kids Santa Claus is for real, in fact quite the opposite, only this year for the first time Shana has stopped believing us and started believing in him.)

Here are Shana and Kenan opening the books from Grandma and Grandpa.  (Shana requested the water hole as a bedtime story tonight.)


The moment Kenan unwrapped these PJs from G&G he started stripping.


But the moment he unwrapped the hockey outfit from Tony, he was stripping again!


Tony’s gifts of Ottawa Senators jersey, pants, gloves, hat and bus were definitely the highlight of Kenan’s Christmas.  In fact he’s sleeping with the bus right now.  Thank you Tony!

Shana is thoroughly enjoying her Madeline doll and while the rest of us napped she listened to the CD of grandma reading Madeline’s Christmas.  She was especially excited to hear Nikki on the CD, who said “hmm!”.


In the afternoon we painted the covered wagon Shana got from Jordan.  Shana was so excited that the instructions said to paint it first, because that’s her favourite part (and her neat-freak parents’ least favourite).  The copious globs of paint are drying overnight and we’ll glue it together tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone, and to all a good night.


It’s Christmas Eve and all through the house
every kid is bursting with excitement, like water from a spout.



Okay, enough with the attempt at poetry.  I’ll stick with pictures.

To keep our minds off of gifts we made candles in the afternoon.


In the evening we opened just the gifts we gave each other.

Kenan got “The Giving Tree” (but we had to assure Shana several times that we’d read it to her too).


I got a big surprise, an iPod!  I think I’m saying “Woah, dude!”


Shana got a set of Boxcar Children books, which she recently got on CD so now she can read along.


Helen chose not to have her picture taken in the thermal underwear I got her but was happy with the gift nonetheless.  Note that the gift was not the underwear, the gift was the buying of it, because when can Helen get the time to go to MEC with two kids?! 

Helen’s Love Language is service.  But to me a gift of service just seemed too cheap so I got her a Starbucks card to go with it.

The kids were still not asleep by 10pm but Helen and I were tired so we risked it and filled their stockings anyway, and hung Kenan’s new stocking from Grandma that he hadn’t seen yet.


We made a thermometer out of cardboard, and every day we check the weather online and Shana adjusts our red construction paper mercury to reflect the correct temperature.  We do it in Celcius.  We’ve been having lots of discussions about it being ‘Above 0’ or ‘Below 0’, and trying to teach her the concept of negative numbers.  Minus 16 your fingers crack and bleed from the cold, Plus 16 is hot and you wear shorts. 

 Today we were looking out the window and discussing the temperature, which was right at 0 today, nice and balmy for a winter day!  (About 32 F) And no longer below 0, since it was right at 0. 

Kenan looked outside and said with conviction,

I still see the trees blowing so it’s BLOW ZERO!

This one’s from Nate: 

If you see me looking like a toilet, flush me, OK?

Flush me! Flush me!

We had a kite-themed birthday for Nate this weekend.  I was very proud ofimg_8917.jpg myself for this cake!  One for actually decorating something and Two for a good idea out of a SQUARE cake!  I know my limits, and this time worked within them.   


Nate’s parents bought him a nice delta-shaped stunt kite, that’s one with two strings, but you can see from his blog it was hard to get up today.  The kids also got him a very colorful dragon kite with a very long tail that they are in love with. 


 Shana is always making kite shaped things and this was her card for Daddy.  She wrote Happy Birthday Daddy on both sides, all the way down the ‘tail’ because she pictured the card hanging and spinning, so that everyone could read it from any side. 


Happy Birthday to Ben as well! 

With a nice chinook wind blowing through Calgary this weekend it looked like a great time to try out the two-lined stunt kite Mom and Dad bought me for my birthday.  So after church we all went to Nose Hill to try it out.

Flying high

Can you see it?  No, look down!  Further, further, yeah, there it is, in the grass.

Looks like I’ve got some more theory to read up on.

The wind was pretty sporadic, so at this point I’m laying most of the blame on it.  The temperature hovering around zero and it being 1pm and the kids hadn’t had lunch yet, well, they were amazingly great about it all but that certainly added some pressure to the beginning kitist.

We did have better luck with the dragon kite the kids bought me, though even it wouldn’t stay up for more than a minute before the wind would suddenly choose to die down completely.

Flying the dragon

A few more weekends–maybe some without kids–and I’ll post some videos of a successful loop!

Phyllis recommended Ushpizin last April, and Helen and I finally got to watch it.  We loved it!  Highly recommended.

Ushpizin is the story of a Jewish couple in modern-day Israel during Succot, the “feast of booths”.  They are at a tough time in life, with no money and without the essentials needed to properly celebrate Succot, so they pray for a miracle.  But when God grants them their prayer, it’s more than they bargained for!

Like Phyllis I was struck with and challenged by the sincerity of their prayers and their faith.  The movie reminded me of what James wrote long ago:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverence must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.

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