Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our tree tradition

Our family came to be on January 11th, 2001. Keisha & Anthony were 3 yrs & 41 days old. Over the years we have formed many Christmas traditions. Some families open gifts, some families all get new p.j's, we read a new Christmas book and take pictures in front of our tree before heading to bed on Christmas eve.....

(K & A 4yrs 26 days - our first Christmas together)

(Ana's first Christmas 2002 - 9 months old)

( Liams' first Christmas 2004 - 7 months old)

(Our first Christmas in Alberta - 2005)

(My beauties - 2009)

Merry Christmas !!


The Shepley's

She's here !

We're so happy you came to spend Christmas with us Grandma!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The giving spirit

Our Grandma Chris is over flowing with it !!!!

Cold mornings

Here we are at the end of our first year of living in Pt. McNeill. I think we have settled in quite well. However there is still one thing we're adjusting too.....this whole heating our house with a wood stove thing ! Some days I have better luck than other at keeping it burning well. The last few days have not gone so well. Our kettle is getting lots of use these days.

Our current favorites are Cranberry & Mint with a little...

....local Honey !!!

There is something to be said for having a furnace.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 12 days Northern Days of Christmas

Keisha & Anthony's Grade six class rewrote the words to " 12 Days of Christmas" for their schools Christmas show. ( Sorry I wasn't able to get any pictures) Keisha was one of the skater's skating & Anthony was a logger. They did really well. Neither had any stage anxiety this year and they both actually were singing !!

1 eagle in a cedar tree
2 seagulls soaring
3 big bucks
4 feet of snow
5 Canadian geese
6 blue jays hatching
7 ducks a swimming
8 skaters skating
9 building beavers
10 swimming salmon
11 lonely loons
12 loggers logging

Guess what we found in our post office box yesterday?

....a letter addressed to Liam Shepley....with a return address from the North Pole !!!

in search.....

For sometime now the girls having been asking about " Gods" and their importance.

I was raised in the Catholic Church as a child. However I was blessed with a father who was very open minded and inclusive. As a child I was encouraged to take part in our friends & neighbors religious ceremonies. Something I cherish now as an adult & mother.

I have struggled with how to provide the answers and opportunites for my children. There are so many things that factor in:

How do I balance their desire for knowledge and be respectful to Keisha & Anthony's anciestry?

How do I protect my children from being taught to think badly of people for are "not straight" ?

How do I protect my children's open minds and hearts?

Today we attended mass at our local Utherian/Anglican Church. I have heard that they are quite open minded and tolerant. There are a couple of families that we know that attend. It is a small perish. They offer what appears to be an acceptable Sunday school program. I guess only time will tell.

I have been very honest with the members I know. About my concerns and desires.

Today we were welcomed graciously...the kids enjoyed going....and I let my guard down just a little.....

Saturday, December 19, 2009


This past Friday Ana & Liam's school had planned many fun activities. Ana's class was able to take an 45minute Salsa lesson in the morning ( I wasn't able to get any pics). After lunch the whole school headed down to our local ice rink. One of our grade 5 students ( Randy) offered to give Ana a hand. Ana was feeling a little rusty. Randy said that she would teach her not need a skating frame. With in 20 minutes the frame was gone and she was on her own.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just another ordinary day......

Well so I thought. Our day started as expected, dressed, breaky, kids to school, me off to the school kitchen to prep classes and then off to run some quick errands on my own. Just an ordinary day....until....

Liam realized he has his first loose tooth !

Our little school was having it's Christmas potluck and I was helping with the prep during the afternoon. Liam went off to hang with the grade 1/2's as he often does when I'm teaching. This time he was given his own desk & his own printing book so that he could work along. He was delighted. While setting up the gym Liam had the good fortune to be the only little boy he was able to keep all the long cardboard tubes....some taller than himself !!! If you have a little boy I'm sure you understand how thrilling this is. We headed home to get changed. My boy is the kind of person who has strong ideas about how thing are supposed to go. So the fact that all his desired dressed clothes were clean & fit just added to the bounce in his step that had started earlier on. So off we went for our first Cheslakees Potluck Dinner.......

There was 4 banquet tables loaded with amazing food. To top it all off there was also 2 large tables loaded down with desserts !!!
Liam and Ms. Janveau sharing a story.

Several of the older kids performed a few musical numbers, which was followed by a very enthusiastic sing along. And then it happened.....

My little boy decided he wasn't to shy after all. He went over to Mr. Burroughs ( our principle) & asked for the microphone.....and was told "sure". He climbed up onto his chair and started to SING "Rudolph the red nose reindeer". Here's the wonderful part....170 people stopped their conversations and gave my sweet boy their absolute full attention. As he ended with " and he went down in HISTORY..." he bowed and they stood up and clapped and hooted and hollered showering his with love. He smiled and said " Thank you" and stood there smiling at me.

Most certainly not an ordinary day !!!

........10 days to go!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Santa

As a mom I've made the choice to play down the whole " Santa" thing. We visit Santa only if they ask. I never hold the "naughty or nice list" over their heads. We have very few decorations with his likeness on them. I would rather focus on the " Family" aspect of the Christmas season.

Writing to Santa is a very rare accurance in our house. It's usually brought on by an outside influence. This is Liam's first time. He came home the other day absolutely certain that he just had to do this or he'd have no presents to open come Christmas morning. My attempts to reassure him that that would not be the case fell on def ears.

Some times as a mom you just have to roll with the mood/obsession of the moment. So...this year my little boy chose to " Write a letter to Santa just in case"

..........11 days to go

Sunday, December 13, 2009

just a little baking

We love baking. I really enjoy baking with my kids, maybe not all at the same time however ! Last year at this time we were in the throws of moving. Our tree wasn't up until the 23rd and we were tripping over all the boxes. Having Christmas dinner at our place was not even an option. This year however.....

we are making all kinds of fun messes .....

and continuing on with our special traditions....

filling our home with the aromas of the holiday...

and our tummies with all kinds of yummy goodness !

....12 more days....

Mood lighting

....a little late night pizza snack by candle light

Monday, December 7, 2009

a sneak peek....

I wish you all could come and visit at our place with us !

Liam's spot on the tree

We have decorated almost every possible surface this year !

I love how if you add a few lights, some garland & a few bobbles ( well maybe more than a few- Hehehe) any room can feel warm...even when your blasted fire won't stay lit !!!

.....18days to go !!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


....I LOVE Christmas.......I LOVE decorating......I LOVE the lights....
the paper.....the ribbons.....I LOVE the whole process !!!

.....until tomorrow.....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Our Brownie

Ana's Brownie troop had an enrollment ceremony for the new girls. She was almost too excited. Each girl recited their pledge. Then they received their new badges & sash. She has been longing for that part for weeks !!! She also received her OWN copy of the "Brownie Book". It has been read several times now & she has all kinds of plans about what badges she's going to works for. If she had her way she'd have them all by this summer...good luck to that!

Celebrating 12

This past weekend we traveled down island to celebrate Keisha & Anthony's 12 birthday. When we were planning this trip the kids had one first priority visit with Nana Val! They had many other minor request. We were able to sneak in a couple. We started our visiting at the Annual Santa Clause Parade.

The parade was really nice. The weather co-operated and the kids did really well with all the excitement & crowds. After the parade I made a pit stop at " Edible Island" for the supplies for a very special treat in our house....$22.00 worth of dye/gluten/dairy free candy !!!

We powered up with some home made soup at Nana's and then headed off to the pool. After 2 hrs of playing & racing with Grandpa on the water slides it was back to Nana's for B-Day dinner !!!

....and what would a celebration be without homemade gluten free pie from Nana !!!

We spent the night at our favorite motel Saturday night. After a good nights sleep. Some breakfast and a stroll through Superstore we headed over to the Lewis Center. The Adoption Association of B.C. was having it's local Christmas party for adopted families. We snacked, visited and played in the gym. It sure was nice to reconnect with so many "like" families. I'm looking forward to attending one of the many family camps coming up. It was a great weekend !!!