Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Love Winter, well, sort of anyways...

Well, I wouldn't have been disappointed had it not snowed at all this winter but there is a saying that inspires me to make the best of a situation. It's a bit cheesy but here it goes .."Life isn't about waiting for the snow to melt, its about learning to chase in the snow." I don't remember where I heard this and it may not be an exact quote but it did the trick. In fact, I'm thinking about having it put on a poster to motivate me and anyone else who sees it. Alright, alright, so anyone who reads Sara's blog knows I am on the verge of plagiarism but what she says just rang so true to me in this situation. I am not trying to make fun, its good advice.
So with record snowfall here in Oliver and temperatures close to zero we spent the afternoon playing outside.
We chased and tackled.
We made snow angels.
Chester ate snow, only the white stuff. He may lick himself, but even he has his limits.
We had a snowball fight.
And we even made a Polly Pocket city using our beach toys.
It was the most fun I've had in the snow for as long as I can remember so I'm so glad that I didn't just sit inside waiting for the snow to melt. Today we'll do it all again. You never know how long the snow will be here so better make use of it while we can.
Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Now, we haven't lived here long. Not long enough to know the weather patterns yet but according to the locals, and the weather channel, this has been one of the worst years on record for Okanagan weather. We have set records for cold and precipitation throughout the year. Let December be no exception! It started on Saturday. With temperatures dipping to as low as -14 and snow falling, and falling, and falling....our desert has turned into a winter wonderland.

The view from my living room window.

The quail frantically trying to find food beneath our trees.

View from my bedroom window.

View of our lake. Earlier in the morning there was NO ice on the lake but the water was moving so slow that it looked like gel. It was really cool. By the time I picked Layla up from preschool it had small patches of ice, as seen above.
Every year at Christmas Sara does portraits of our kids and then we get an ornament made for our tree. Here are pictures of our tree and the ornaments from every year since Layla was born, starting in 2004.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Katrizzle Rocks Canada

In 2002, my younger sister Emily, participated in a student exchange program. My parents had a grade 12 student from Germany stay with them for 3 months, then Emily had the opportunity to spend time with her family abroad. Although I didn't live at home at the time, Greg and I still got to know her.

Greg and I have always loved the mountains and thought it would be such a shame for Katrin, the exchange student, to come all the way to Alberta and not see the Rockies. We invited Emily and Kat to come with us on a trip to Waterton Lakes National Park. Emily didn't take us up on the offer but Kat did so off we went. We stayed with Greg's parents in Magrath and spent a day in Waterton, did a small hike up Bear's Hump Mountain and showed her around.

We had lots of fun. We had to stop on the highway close to Mountainview to let a heard of cattle cross, unfortunately I didn't get my camera out quickly enough. Katrin was making us nervous as we felt she was getting to close to the deer. Good grief, we were afraid of deer. Sorry Kat.

For Greg's birthday he has always requested German Chocolate cake. Katrin couldn't believe what we considered to be "German Chocolate cake" and phoned her mom and got the "real" recipe. I wish I could have found the picture of the cake she made for him for his birthday. It was delicious.

We went out to dinner with Kat and even took her and Emily bowling. This was 2002 and up until then had not heard from her until now. Katrin is now an adult in the midst of studies in medical school. I was so excited to here from her as Greg and I had just been talking about her last week. What an opportunity to do such an exchange. I only wish I could have been so lucky to participate in one while I was young. Instead I will have to settle to spend my own hard earned money to travel and observe other cultures, instead of being immersed in them. Great to get to meet you Kat! ( I never did learn how to say Katrin properly, although I couldn't hear the difference) so Greg coined her Katrizzle.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More December Fun

Instead of making a full gingerbread house, this year Layla promised our neighbours that she would make some gingerbread men for them. So we made 4 cookies, two for us and two for them. I made 2, and Layla made 2.

Can you guess who made which?

Layla is done the first half of her skating lessons and is doing great. She can skate, stop and even do a full spin. The skating coach has her own daughter in the class and her and Layla have an unspoken rivalry.

Here is Abbie, the coach's daughter, and Layla.

At the end of every class, they have to skate around picking up balls and putting them away. Here is Layla picking up a ball.

Chester and Baron continue to bond. Here's some shots of me and my boys.

We still go on family walks although not as often as we did in the summer. The horses have gotten to know us, or so it seems, and come over when we get near.

Layla loves to feed them and they let her pet them. Chester is dissinterested in them. He prefers to be the "big dog" I guess.

Here is a picture of God shining down on Oliver, or as the people here call it "God's land"