Saturday, December 20, 2008

How silently. How silently....

How Silently...How Silently...

The Jesse Tree continued, even with our move. Yeah!

How silently the snow fell in the biggest and
earliest snowfall on record since the early seventies.

And, just to appease our sense of celebrating festive coloring for Christmas, I purchased ten of these red bows ahead of time and placed them up all around the home, both inside and out.

Wow, did it snow.
Wow, the sun did shine today.
Wow, how beautiful everything was!

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas everyone. God is good! We are so happy to have our pastor coming already tomorrow for dinner and to bless our home afterward. Yes! Life is good! All is well!

There is only so much I can accomplish on coffee shop time until we can secure an internet satelitte connection in our rural area, the only type of internet available. I'm having a hard time accepting the fee of 800.00 for installation, so please accept my apologies for the promised details of our move until another time.

God bless;

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We have arrived. All is well....

Further adventures in the east!

The road leading to our new home...
(Day 2 after arriving here)

Thank you to everyone for all your kind notes and prayers. We have arrived at our new home and our guardian angels were surely with us as we traveled the nightly trek with safe passage to arrive safe and sound.

Our moving week was slightly harrowing with several unexpected forks in the road, but we are here and that will something else for another day.

With only our older son and youngest daughter in tow, the dogs tagging along for the four hour plus duration of the drive here, I ended up with a scary icy windshield complete with visual loss while traveling through a doozy of a snow storm. What a white knuckler for sure, five hours of cold, scary driving. But, all is well now. All is definitely well....

More later....

Camping pics for you...

You didn't believe me did you? We spent three nights camping IN at our new home awaiting the moving truck to arrive. Yes, we did this. So nuts and yet so memorable...

Camping IN

We had to have a big chuckle over the bedding choice for the parents our one daughter decided upon. There we camped with Raggedy Ann and Andy. So fun!

Family entertainment

Hanging round the fireplace semi circle in our camping chairs while watching a DVD in the laptop.

I am still without internet abilities in our new home area for some time yet. I am currently sitting at a coffee shop to share this with you, and yet if you wish to contact me personally, I can get email on my cell phone by using the email abilities on the top left of this blog page.

God bless and if I don't get back again before next week, Merry Christmas to you all.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Be strong and courageous...

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified;
do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

~ Joshua 1:9-10

I just had to share my friend Trudy's lovely side buffet decor.
It's so pretty and peaceful looking.

Moving week has arrived!

Moving week has arrived!

It's just as I said; Advent is a time for preparing...and this Advent - we are preparing for another journey, a continued adventure here in the eastern regions of our country, during Advent yet.

The reality of the move has always been at the forefront with each of us at home, however little by little, the grand reality is taking its toll on everyone emotionally. God is so good. He has literally carried us all this way from the rest of our family, knowing in the grand scheme of life's plans, we would NEED to be here and in our new abode over time. The whole plan has been unfolding for the past few weeks quite literally in so many ways. I am keeping notes on each thing as it arrives via however it comes.

Last week our internet went down shortly after my last post, and I came down (hard) with a good sinus infection I dreaded having because I feared my hubby catching it from me and it was not so great for all that my calendar supported until the weekend. I have to admit, it was a hard week to overcome the obstacle of feeling lousy and the frustration that comes along with the package deal, mainly because I don't have time to feel bad! Grrrr.... It seems to be coming to an end now, thank goodness.

With a big move comes all those professional appointments to have those items due tended to with familiar faces before moving on. Thus is the reason why my calendar is so full lately. All the chiropractic appointments, the RMT appointments for percussion and therapeutic reasons, multiple ice hockey games both here and away out of town, and so many other events filled all the daily squares on my calendar. I've been running and putting the miles on the vehicle, so its a good thing gas prices are currently at great lows.

It feels good though to have taken the time out necessary to tend to my own personal needs with a visit to our family doctor for that overdue physical (don't you love those? wink). I knew ahead to fast because of the thorough nature of our doctor with the nod for blood work shortly after his exam. It was the surprise though when he also handed me a requisition form and gave his strong pointed-finger-order to get going and have a cardiogram test that same day after the blood work. I suppose with all the positive and negative stress being lassoed around me, my heart was doing some hefty flip-flopping and in the process take my breath away, so I guess I rather liked the idea in the end for a preventative measure towards optimal health. It's all behind me now, thank goodness again.

We've been emotionally overwhelmed with the support gathered here in our little country area in just two and a half short years. So many friendly faces have extended gracious invitations and uplifting notes to our family, tears are visiting uninvited frequently. Our motto for this whole venture into the "east" has been "No Regrets!", and I will confess right here and now, there are no regrets. It's just plain ole hard right now.

Friday night began the trek for our move with my husband arriving home permanently on the last commuter flight he will have to endure. We counted a total of 62 flights for him in the past eight months, and that isn't counting all of the other flying he's had to do for work to regions within his work territory.

After 62 commute flights, this weekend became the final Friday ritualistic night pickup of my hubby! Whew...well worth celebrating! Onward ho!

Overall, the children and I have known Friday evenings to be a time to fetch their daddy at the airport, and early Monday mornings were a time for mom to take dad for a coffee before he flew out once more. We are so happy to put this all behind us now. Three months initially turned into eight and now it's finally OVER! Yes! How difficult this all became on our family, his health and our emergency contingency plans if required.

Tomorrow morning begins a week with my husband at home until our move is complete, and a whole bunch of things are sending us into orbit with the speed in which they will take place. His last difficult percussion massage takes place tomorrow, a chiropractic visit and a visit to the Ophthalmologist to check his eyes for possible damage from the medical prescriptions he's required to take for his illness. In between all of those things for him, the rest of us also have appointments, a final horse riding lesson for the girls, and mom's massage (boy oh boy! Wish it was for relaxation but it's for an old injury that gives me migraines. I want relief!)

On Tuesday we head to the lawyers to sign all of the final papers on both houses, and tend to final items until the packers arrive the following day. We had to postpone them from arriving here Tuesday because we found out last week our new home will not be ready in time for the truck to arrive. The carpet had to be removed from the master bedroom and a wood flooring installed (medical reasons). The basement carpet was also needing installation, therefore without those items to be completed in time, unloading the truck would be near impossible by the end of the day without everyone tripping over one another.

We made a decision to stall the packers by one day and easily filled it with last minute things to do instead. Whew... Now the truck will leave here on Friday and we trek up to our new home. We are praying for clear passage all the way through as the drive is really a roadtrip of well over four hours (Plus) with animals who will need attention along the way. It will be dark no doubt, so no falling snow would be welcomed and no snow squalls would also make the drive less of a hazard for us. If we had had the choice, of course we would prefer a Spring time move, but this wasn't to be in this planning.

As each day unfolds, so many good things are coming to light and we see the hand of God clearly in almost every detail of this move. I'd like to say it's almost unbelievable, but nothing is impossible when God is involved. ;-)

What wasn't planned however was the need for my husband to travel ahead of me by one day with two of the children to fetch our keys to the new home and now deal with the carpet layers who called to say they can be there one day earlier than expected. They will now be gone when the truck arrives on Monday. And so it goes.

Surprises along the way....

With the truck arriving later, we will be partaking of a unique vacation as a family along the way.
  • Actually we will live in our new home, camp in the new home that is, and pump up our air mattresses for nightfall.
  • We will eat popcorn while sitting round the campfire (er fireplace) in our camping chairs, and watch a movie on my laptop.
  • I've received a few great hints and tips on other ideas to pass the time, including playing hide and seek in the dark because there is no furniture to bump in to.
  • We will have appliances in place already, hot showers and cooking facilities, however hubby has promised to bring in dinner at least or take us out (if we can look decent during our camping trip of course).
  • By the time the truck arrives, we will already be familiar with the creaks and sounds of the new house and know where to place all the furniture. What can't be good about all of this? Certainly I'll keep you posted over time to let you know how it goes. hee hee
Meanwhile, we are slowly but surely completing our "so longs..." here with our friends and neighbors, knowing our journey in the eastern regions is not yet complete.

A few of my "Newcomer friends" who welcomed me to the area. This was a fun 'spa party' where we indulged for an afternoon with the choice of manicure, pedicure or massage. Guess which one I chose? wink, wink

One of my homeschool support group mommy friends whose four children we adopted over here as pseudo-grandparents. Love them all, a sweet bunch.

My friend Ruth and I met through Creative Memories. Instantly the day we met we became support for each other, my hubby and her too, as she was on an oxygen tank therapy suffering from Pulmonary Fibrosis and has since become much better and kicked the oxygen. We are routing for you Ruth!

In the early decision process of moving over here, we thought maybe by this time, we might be moving back home to the westcoast. This possibility was not to be however, and so it is we are still here and all the medical issues are falling into place so wonderfully.

So many things await us in our new area including a fabulous doctor eight minutes away from our home, and one of the best surgeons in the country whom we see the second week of January. The Physiotherapist program will become a little intense and more aggressive for my hubby though with classes three times each week, however this time they will be six hours in duration each time instead of two. I have no idea how the time there will be filled nor what my husband will be performing like, but I can only imagine and know this is fairly serious stuff to take into consideration for rearranging the calendar. Actually I can't believe I just wrote that! What calendar! I won't know anyone up there hardly at all...laugh.

I will leave you with this family photo snapped last week when we dined with three other families. It was an emotional night, both uplifting and touching, yet overall it was so very special by night's end.

My friend's husband has been so very ill with complications from a suppressed immune system while being in remission from leukemia. When my husband battled pneumonia last February, he wasn't far behind, though he ended up on complete life support and not expected to recover. Even in his frail state, he moved about with his cane for support and hosted the evening in his home.

At the end of the evening when he became too tired to continue the visit (and my husband also), he asked all to gather round and offer prayer for my husband and our journey to come. It was greatly touching and I swear there wasn't a dry eye in the room from that moment on. What a beautiful man, a man who needs our prayers right back just as much! Even though emotions ran wild, we all smiled and found lots to giggle about afterward. We did. And the last photo below was a group photo snapped with all the families present (except one of my son's friends because he had to leave for another commitment). What a gift this night was! Such a pleasure.
An evening to remember, so special in every way.

If you don't hear from me for a while, I guess you'll know why, right? Bless you all my dear family and friends. The private emails have been keeping my days brighter than ever, and filling me with great joy and even laughter.

*I especially love the new group I've been invited in to, now a formal member of ;
SIC = Sisters in Chaos. I just love it! Thank you Diana for inviting me to join. (wink)

*Thank you to those who are keeping me focused, you all know who you are...wink,wink.

*Thank you for my prayer warriors pulling us through another topsy turvy time, you also know who you are, muah!

* Thank you always to my sisterchicks, kindred spirited friends = Denise and Justine for always making the sun shine directly on top of me.

* Thank you to all my blogging friends in cyberworld. You make my heart sing with all the fun you are to me, the ah-ha moments we share together and the giggles we collect along the way.

* Thank you to our grown children who keep us sane and keep offering to fly over here to help us out. Love you so much! Hugs our grandchildren for us...often!

* Thank you (always thankful!) to our parents who keep us grounded and constantly remind us of how much we are loved and cherished. No one could ask for a greater earthly love than the love these special folks of ours have given to us. Love you so much!

Viva la Vida!

* Thankful for feast days to have fun amidst the moving chaos....

I'm off to buy a pinata for December 12th tomorrow. This is our moving day, a day we will somehow end with great sighs of relief and the fabulous pelting of blows to break open that pinata with all of our pent up adrenalin being let loose. Oh to have something to end the day on a great note! Viva la Vida!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, please pray for us.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Exciting news!!!!

A surprise email appeared this morning, one for my bleary eyes to see and pop right open! Now I was wide awake! I received a note from Emma Williams, Managing Director for Schmap Guides (click to see website)

Here's part of the email below...
:: Schmap: Toronto Photo Short-list

Hi Renee,

I am writing to let you know that one of your photos has been short-listed for inclusion in the sixth edition of our Schmap Toronto Guide, to be published at the end of this month.

YES! I was so excited though I confess I had absolutely zero idea what it meant (laugh), nor any idea of the photo chosen for inclusion in the sixth edition of the Toronto Schmap Guide. A quick check was in order using the link provided to grant permission for my photo inclusion. There is no remuneration for my photo inclusion, just the pleasure of helping out tourists with the new edition. After I previewed the photo chosen, I realized it wasn't the best I'd ever taken, but nevertheless, I have to admit a big wide smile has not left my face today yet! HA! Just a nice warm fuzzy to bless me this day.

And just for the record, here's the photo I snapped, the one I took during the recent trip to Quebec with my girls in October. You can see parts of our trip both HERE and HERE. (...and yes, I never did upload my final part of this trip, a to-do on my list that keeps moving to the bottom, soon, soon....)

The FAIRMONT Royal York Hotel - Toronto, Canada