A lovely day, although the threat of a major winter storm was in the air.
Jim spent the service with Hezekiah in his arms again. Seth and Chawezi sat with us as well.
This is the first Sunday of Advent - an occasion I have not celebrated since I was a child in the Lutheran church. Vinjelu spoke this morning about anticipating the coming of Christ........the anticipation felt by the Jews as they waited for their Messiah and the anticipation of us - his bride - waiting for His return for us.
The message was very good and inspired me to find an Advent Devotional for this month - in order to focus on Jesus even while engaging in all the 'preparations'.
The fact that Vinj had been studying almost non stop for his Hermeneutics class over the weekend meant that he'd had 3 hours sleep before getting up at 4 to prepare for the sermon. Kathryn said she was SO proud of him while he was preaching - no one would think he'd only had a couple hours preparation and even less sleep over the past 72 hours.
We were even more proud of him when he checked his email after everyone had gone home to find that he'd recieved at 78% on the course! Considering all that has gone on during the time he has been working on the material (since before Hezekiah's birth) and the fact that he didn't actually finish all the work, 78% is an amazing mark!
We'd been invited to Mike's this afternoon AND to Robert's.......but the winter storm warnings kept us close to home and we had lunch instead with Vinjelu and Kathryn (and Hezekiah). The 3 bigger kids had gone to their friend's house for the afternoon. We went to BP's for appetizers/soup.....
(a good day for soup)
When we left town, visibility was getting pretty bad due to heavy fog.
Candice posted these two photos today:
Such a pretty girl....
And such a cute little guy......
MONDAY, Dec 2....
Well, the storm has arrived. Not as much snow as predicted in our neck of the woods as it was south of us, but the wind was blowing pretty hard and steady all day, resulting in drifts - which means 'snowed in'.
Of course, we did not venture out to confirm this expectation, but experience is a pretty good teacher.
Instead, we stayed inside and enjoyed the cozy warmth of our house and our own company while the wind rattled the panes in our old windows and whistled around the ill-fitting doors. LOL.
And, I made soup.
I realized, when I tasted it, that I should have written down what I did so I could replicate it some day. So, while I could still (hopefully) remember and while eating it, to help me remember the ingredients, I wrote down the 'recipe'. I just now remembered that I missed an ingredient.
Kathryn posted photos on facebook today......
Vinj took the kids outside to play in the snow! This is the first year he has been here that he has owned warm boots or snow pants so he is just now learning to 'enjoy' the winter.
Chawezi looks so grown up in this photo!
Taliah has been wearing this scarf in everyway for the past several days.....
Notice that today she is using it as both a hair and a neck ornament. LOL.
And, exciting news!
Victoria texted us with the announcement that Kaden has 'cracked the code'. He read a whole 'book' to his mom today - sounding out the words all by himself!
He was pretty pleased with himself. (And rightly so.)
He went on from the one word per page book to read one with simple sentences....
It's always exciting when a child reaches this milestone.
TUESDAY Dec 3
I made a decision yesterday to cancel the Ladies' Bible Study for this morning due to the probable road conditions. So, no rushing around to get to town this morning. Instead, more of the same quiet discussion and reading with my hubby as the snow continued to fall/blow outside.
Jim commented last night that it seems like it has been a VERY long time since he's been at work. This is not a feeling he normally has when his shift is about to start. (He would normally be leaving today for work but because of Christmas coming up, the rotation has been adjusted slightly.) We are sure that the low key, super quiet aspect of this time at home has been just what he needed after several months in a row of hyper activity while on days off - especially considering that his next days off will include Christmas.
We did venture out once today - to get the mail. As we expected, the East/West road was drifted in several places. By the time we went out in the late afternoon, the drifts had been beaten down by other drivers.
A view of the sky as we pulled into the yard....
This is the only photo I took from facebook today - the condition of Hwy 1 at around midnight.
Such a cool photo!
The conditions, however, are not so cool.
WEDNESDAY, Dec 4
Only 2 more days till Jim goes back to work and we haven't done any Christmas shopping yet!
But....we planned to change that today.
The sun was shining and the snow was no longer drifting down, but the minute I stepped outside I remembered what COLD feels like.
We plowed through some drifts to get out to the highway so when Jim slowed down to turn left and there was a strange sound coming from the front axel, we assumed there was snow or ice caught in the brake.
However, the sound did not get better. In fact, it got worse.
So, we turned around and went back to Wetaskiwin - to the dealership - where I had called ahead to reserve a 4X4 loaner.
They will not be able to get my truck in until next Tuesday, but in the meantime, I have a brand, spanking new 4X4 half ton to drive.
We did go on to Red Deer - 2 hours behind schedule. We only managed Costco, though and by the time we were through there, we did not have time for the originally planned stop at Mom and Dad's. Christmas shopping for us requires more than one afternoon. Normally, I leave around 8 a.m. for Red Deer and get everything done there that cannot be done in Camrose. But that doesn't work when we don't arrive in town until 2 pm.
All in all, we did get some things accomplished - and I'm glad it was my hubby that heard the sound and decided what needed to be done about it.
I did not take any photos, although there were opportunities to do so. Just didn't think of it at the right time.
However, my 'other' source provided me with these -
My friend (and Lana's mom), Adele....all dressed up for a Christmas party....
And Candice, Gus, and Bear - cuddling on the couch.....
I lied back there....I did take some photos - of the temperature readout on the dash of the truck....
There was one spot on the highway where the temp was -30C - a foretaste of what will come later in the week.
THURSDAY, Dec 5
Jim's last day home until Christmas.
The snow and frost are so beautiful....
Too bad we've hit a deep freeze to go with the beauty. But, at least the sun is shining! There is always some kind of compensation in the winter. If it's cold, the sun shines. If it snows, the temperatures rise. In general, I'll take the cold without the snow.
Jim's truck would not start yesterday so he spent the morning working to get it going. He'd plugged it in last night and then added the trickle charger. Then, when it was running, we took it in to town to have the batteries checked. No point going to work if his batteries were going to fail!
The test showed that they should be good so he didn't buy new batteries. He did, however, put the charger into the back of the truck - just in case.
While in town, we also went to Work Wearhouse to get him some new work shirts then we checked out the new store in town....
I'm kind of excited about this place! I didn't buy anything, just walked the aisles, checking out all the things they sell. It's awesome!
On the way home, we were astonished at the gigantic sundogs on either side of the sun - these 'rainbows' reached all the way down to the horizon and then stretched way above the sun into the sky.
The photo doesn't do it justice, unfortunately.
After supper, I moved furniture around and then Jim brought our tree upstairs and set it up so I can decorate it before he gets home.
I received several phone calls today (and a text) from the Muyaba house. The children miss us and want to come for a sleepover. Seth was very unhappy when I told him that was not going to happen tonight.
Adele posted this photo of her and Lana making Lefse!
FRIDAY, Dec 6
I watched my hubby drive away into the deep freeze of our morning. At least -35C when he left. He started my truck for me so that it would be warm when I went out to get my nails done.
After my visit with Melanie, I had a few errands in town - including picking up Jim's Christmas gift which had been sitting at the Purolator pick up point since just after Jim got home. Only one person knows what it is (besides me) and he (they) aren't telling!
I also stopped at WalMart for some craft supplies and some grandkid friendly groceries before coming home to empty the truck, pick up a carseat, and then go into Wetaskiwin to pick up my overnight guests, as per my promise of the day before.
Kathryn texted these photos of Seth's spelling lesson today.......Spelling with PlayDo....
Victoria posted this one of Judah after he helped himself to his mommy's Starbucks.....
LOL. He looks so innocent.
And, the big news today.....
Elizabeth got glasses!
She says that now she sees in HD and can't believe the difference they make! Trust Liz to find just the right words to describe the experience!
Back to my overnight guests.....
I picked the Muyaba munchkins up at a friend's house where they were waiting for me after an afternoon of fun festivities at the church with all their friends. (Mommy and Daddy were shopping in Edmonton). The first thing Seth said was "Where did you get this new truck, Gramma?" The first thing Wezi said as I put him into his seat was "Where is Papa?"
I took no photos this evening - we had a quiet time of supper and movie before bed.
SATURDAY, Dec 7
Chawezi ended up in bed with me last night so I fell asleep to his little hand on my cheek and woke to his bright face looking over me saying "Wake up, Gramma".
Unfortunately, I had a pressing assignment to complete before I could 'play' with the kids this morning but they played pretty well alone without whining for the things I had prepared for them.
At least, not too much.
But, I was free by noon - which is also when I received a phone call saying my truck was ready to be picked up at the dealership! (The U joints on the front axle were falling apart - literally) The truck will have to wait until Monday, though, I guess.
Now the fun begins.
First, decorating Gingerbread men.....
Here, Chawezi is reaching for one of the little candies - not to add it to his decorating, but to eat it.
Seth tried very hard to make his gingerbread men LOOK like boys, copying the pictures on the box.
Wezi pauses to say 'Cheese'....
Taliah's main concern was getting enough icing on the cookie to make it 'yummy'....
Her end result.....
Wezi decided to add a candy or two.....
Of course, the best part.....eating them!
Wezi's final product....
(The bites were taken out of the gingerbread man BEFORE the icing began to be applied. Then, before showing off his cookie, the icing was licked off.)
After eating the cookies, Wezi had a nap (partly because he could not participate in the next planned activity)
But before the next project, the three of us organized the craft box and then sorted toys into the proper bins. For some reason, they've gotten all mixed up - a condition that drives both me and Seth a little nuts.
Our reward - making 'stained glass' Christmas ornaments.
Taliah thought the mix of colors in her star were 'beautiful'. I was a little concerned that the mix would turn into a yucky 'non color' but she found it nearly impossible not to mix them. Seth did pretty well - even using a tweezer to correct mistakes.
While the ornaments 'baked', we played Sorry.
Taliah lost interest after only a few turns and removed her 'men' from the board, choosing instead to play with them (and the unused ones) on the table.
I neglected to take photos of our finished product but I must say they actually turned out quite nicely. The one I made will be Chawezi's. Taliah's 'beautiful' colors remained beautiful, in spite of my concern.
Wezi came out from his nap just as we were finishing up our Sorry game, taking a turn a counting the squares. Good thing we were at the end!
Next..... I brought out the leftovers from the kit Jim and I used to make ornaments last year - wooden ornaments, paints, and brushes. Sadly, most of the paints were dried to chunks of color but a few were salvagable with a bit of water. They were still VERY thick though. The new package of paints I'd bought to supplement the colors included in the kit was still in good shape, though.
Seth and Taliah were given the new paint and Wezi had the thick stuff because he kept forgetting to clean his brush between colors.
Wezi was pretty proud of his art work.....
After Wezi wiped his hands on his shirt once, I took his shirt off him and then did the same with Taliah's fancy dress.... (so no photos on here of Taliah without a top on)
Notice Wezi's tummy - good thing I took his shirt off him.
A close look at Wezi's masterpieces....
Seth was fascinated with the way the paint 'looks like ice cream' as it goes on to the wood.
This was a very messy undertaking. I only hope Wezi's jeans clean up better than my table cloth. :/
And finally, the activity Taliah had been asking for since they arrived last night - face painting.
I have no idea where the package of face paints came from, but they've been in my 'junk basket' on the wood stove fore at least a couple years. Taliah discovered them last night.
Disclaimer: facepainting is not a skill I naturally possess, obviously.
Taliah wanted a rainbow on her whole face.....
Wezi wanted the same and Taliah wanted to give it to him......
Seth wanted to be a white tiger but since there was no black paint, he chose red stripes.....
You HAVE to have chips when you are at Gramma's house. (At least that is what these kids think)
So, no running around with chips......get the chairs out and find something to watch on Netflix while you eat the chips. And NO chip bags or crushed chips left on the floor! LOL
While the little ones were thus occupied, I took a breather and began to research for a new Bible Study to use for our Ladies' Group at church (beginning in January). This actually took quite alot of time - including several interruptions.
As soon as his chips were gone, Seth came asking for supper. A little early, but not much, so I took a pizza out of the freezer and set the oven to preheat. When the buzzer went off that the oven was hot, Seth thought the pizza was done. His disappointment at seeing it was just going IN the oven proved that he was (finally) hungry today. LOL.
Seth ate well at supper time, but Taliah just picked at her pizza and Wezi didn't even touch his. After being 'encouraged' to eat a couple times, Wezi told me "my tummy hurts". So, I let him out of his
About 15 min later, he was laying face down on the blanket his siblings had spread on the floor to accomodate their 'picnic' of plastic food and he was crying - not screaming or throwing a fit - crying.
I picked him up and cuddled him which stopped the crying and then sat him on my lap while I continued my research.
Can you guess what happened next?
All over me, him, and the floor.
After he was 'finished', had his mouth wiped and a sip of water offered, I stripped him down then left him in Taliah's care (who had been rubbing his back, offering comforting words, and generally getting in my way the whole time) while I changed my own soiled clothing.
Next up......a quick bath for him. But not before another bout of puke - this time caught in a bucket.
Then, while I drained the water which Taliah refused to bathe in, I diapered him and put a shirt on him.
While Taliah was in the tub, he sat on my lap. Suddenly, he sat up saying "Gramma, I sick" then threw up again - into the bucket. This time, it was all water.
Seth praised him lavishly for telling me ahead of time that he was going to throw up. But the physical abuse the body takes when expelling the stomach contents confuses and scares a 2 year old and he did not much care that he was being a 'big boy'.
Seth and I made him a bed on the couch near the fire and I laid him down with the bucket nearby while I got Taliah out of the tub and into her pj's and Seth got himself into the tub.
Wezi actually seemed to feel quite alot better. He laid on the couch and sang songs to himself, leaving me free to give Taliah some time before kissing her goodnight and turning on the Mozart CD that they listen to as they fall asleep.
Seth and I played a couple games of Sorry while Wezi sang himself to sleep and it seemed maybe he was 'over' it when I tucked Seth in.
But.....by 12:30 there had been 2 more 'episodes', although there was nothing left in his tummy and all that happened was the trauma of heaving and the disgusting bile that comes up. By this time, he'd gone through 3 shirts and was now falling back to sleep in Seth's dirty shirt. Everything else was in the washer.
I dragged a couch near his and made myself a bed in the living room so I'd hear him if he woke again in the night.
Don't think we're going to church in the morning.