Dear Family and Friends,
I meant to get out a lovely Christmas letter, but I didn’t manage. So….via the internet at it’s finest, here is our year in short (or at least bits and pieces of it).
January…We enjoyed our winter in Saskatoon, knowing that it would be soon time to pack up and move somewhere else. At the time, that place was a mystery to us, and we contemplated Whitehorse, Edson, and various other locations. We were busy trying to get the cottage on Coy Avenue ready to sell, and trying to pack in all the time we could with friends and family. We spent a lot of time jumping around at Saskatoon’s indoor gym with our homeschooling friends, and I drank a lot of tea with my dear friend Natasha. Mattea held us all in her grip with her amazing smile and laid-back way of being in the world.
February…brought more of the same. Sean did his colloquy exam (basically affirming that he could be a pastor once he graduated from seminary). This opened him up for a call from a church , and the call process began in earnest. This was a strange time, trying to wrap up things at the seminary and in Saskatoon, while at the same time trying to live our lives. The potential of living in a larger house started to gain appeal as we entered the long dark days of winter with three kids, two adults and two animals living in 700 square feet with no basement. The kids spent a lot of time dressing up and filling the space with their exuberance and joy. This is Elijah as the incredible hulk (in case you couldn’t tell).
March….Sean received a phone call from the Lutheran Church in Edson, Alberta, and ten days later we were on our way to visit the town and the church. From the very beginning they welcomed us mightily, feeding and housing us and allowing space for our entire family to explore the community that we would possibly end up living in. By the end of the call interview, Sean had a really good sense that this was a good place for us to be, and the church obviously felt the same, as we were sent home to Saskatoon with a “wink wink, nudge nudge….we’ll call you when it’s all official” This picture is of the kids in front of the hotel that we stayed in while visiting Edson.
April…we welcomed the coming of Spring with much joy and anticipation. As soon as the sun came out, the kids were out digging in the mud with much abandon. It was a wonderful space for them to play, and as we weren’t bothering to plant a garden, it became the source of much exploration and messy fun for the remainder of our time in Saskatoon. We always spend as much time outside as possible when spring returns, and this year was no exception. The kids continue to amaze us with how they learn and live with no hesitation or inhibition, grabbing onto life with every fiber of who they are. They are all a true inspiration in that way. Sean officially accepted the call to Grace Lutheran Church in Edson, Alberta.
May…our little cottage was FINALLY sold (after one sale fell through, and much stress was had trying to keep the house clean while packing and taking care of everyone’s day to day needs.) We were blessed by our community during this time, as they took care of our animals when we had a showing, helped us with the kids, and offered so much support during this time of change.) The kids LOVED the endless supply of boxes to play in, and it was with much relief that we bought a house in Edson and knew where we would be living come June 1st. The packing continued in earnest throughout the month and Sean was able to take vacation pay from nursing and just be home for most of the month to help with the move. We spent lots of time saying goodbyes to family and friends, and had many bbq’s and park dates.
June…said goodbye to all of our people and headed out on our great adventure. Had the help of many friends who helped pack the van, drive the van, unpack the van, organize the house, etc etc etc…..What an incredible thing to be surrounded by so many people who’s love is alive in action for us. It was really hard to say goodbye.
July…we spent July exploring our new stomping grounds. A trip to Hinton, a trip to Jasper, and a trip to Edmonton. Many beautiful days of soaking up the sun and breathing clean mountain-ish air. We love it here in Edson, for the pine trees, the birch trees, the fir trees, the friendly community, the welcoming congregation, and the smell of outside. We discovered many beautiful places close by and a little further away, and will continue to explore those places as our time here progresses. We love our new house, it has much spaciousness both indoors and out. The kids have a great shed with a loft to play in outside, Anno has a little garden to grow weeds in, and there is a deck for bbq’ing on. We have 6 birch trees and two pines in our back yard, with a great sandy spot under the pines for playing. A huge compost bin, apple trees and a gorgeous flower garden in the front yard, and enough room to run and play. We feel extremely lucky to have such a wonderful home, and would always welcome any of you to join us in enjoying it.
August…we took another trip to Jasper with some of our close friends and hiked up to Angel Glacier. Beautiful (even the stupid people who were playing on the ice which was floating on the glacial pond)…. We spent some time making inukshuk’s out of the rocks at the foot of the glacier. What a gift to be able to go the mountains and hike, have a fancy dinner out, and still be back at home in our own beds that very same night. Next summer I can’t wait to explore the sand dunes at the outer edge of Jasper with the kids and dogs. So many adventures to be had.
September…India turned four, and continues to be the vibrant, amazing, funny, kind, loving little spirit that she is. She loves to make us laugh, and as of late has begun to make herself laugh at her own jokes, which is often funnier than the jokes themselves. We also officially registered Elijah as a homeschooler, meaning that nothing at all changes because we continue to live and learn together as always. We spend our days reading, laughing, playing, building legos, drawing maps, making space mobiles, baking, and hanging out in the woods. I wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything.
October….we carved pumpkins, and continued to marvel at how quickly “baby” Mattea is becoming one of the kids. She is thrusting towards toddlerhood at an alarming rate, leaving us all in the dust as she races to be just like one of the big ones. She pushes chairs to the kitchen counter to get what she wants, stands at the sink for hours playing in the water, and just generally is thrilled to be anywhere that India and Elijah might think to lead her. We were also thrilled in October to welcome Ken and Carol (Sean’s parents) to their new home in Sylvan Lake, where they will be living for at least the next two years. It is wonderful to have family just a mere three hour drive away, and we look forward to dropping in for many visits in the years to come.
November…we celebrated the arrival of our newest member….Ani. He is bigger than this now, weighing in at 30 lbs at three months old. We’re thinking of renaming him Eeyore due to the donkey-like thumping that resonates through the house as he walks. He is funny and gentle, quick to learn and clumsy as all get out. He’s great!
December…we celebrated Christmas with my sister and her family (it was great to see them after 6 months…the kids are so much bigger now), and with Sean’s family as well. Wonderful to spend time chatting and doing lots of tobogganing. It is good to have the people we love in this place. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all, and best wishes for a 2010 filled with wonder and joy.