Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from the Berkans!

Tonight we went to our Christmas Eve service. It was wonderful, as usual and I really enjoyed the music. When I got home, I realized that the one song was actually in my play list and I hadn't even realized it. It is by a very talented musician named Paul Brandt and his wife, Liz. I love some of these newer Christmas songs, especially when they emphasize that Christmas is not JUST about the birth of Christ...that is the miracle we celebrate but without His death and resurrection, His birth would have been just another miracle. Instead, it is the reason we can truly be free! The song was called Hands and I will leave you with the lyrics.

It is the greatest story ever told
The prince leaves the palace and his noble throne
To fight a battle for his subject's soul
The fate of the world in his royal hands

And it was an unlikely battle ground
With the cows and the sheep and the shepherds gathered round
As Mary held him her heart began to pound
The weight of the world in her baby's hands

Betrayed by the very hearts he came to save
Father forgive them, someone heard him say
Then like a gift, he gave his life away
Held out to the world with his nail-pierced hands

The hands that put the stars in place
Bound by hands he made

When people ask what Christmas means to me
I think of the prince upon that Christmas tree
I tell them about how his love set me free
When he changed my life with a touch of his hands

With his hands
~Paul & Liz Brandt
Have a Merry Christmas!

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time flies...

Life with the Berkans seems to have stopped :). This month has been crazy. It seemed to hit so hard...especially last week...that all was crazy. I'm not usually overwhelmed by the Christmas season but it was really feeling that way this year...maybe because I really wanted to focus more on Jesus' birth and things kept coming!! They were all good but it was just too crazy!

I'll give you a run down on last week...

Monday (that was the 13th) - this was our only day that wasn't crazy during the week. Start it off with a breather, I guess.

Tuesday - This was Xander's "Winter Concert" (formerly known as the school Christmas Concert). They sang two songs - both in French. His class was grouped with the two other kindergarten classes so there were a lot of kids but I was so proud of Xander as he actually sang (I saw his lips move!) At the end, they got to blow noise makers so that was the exciting part. This was our very first concert and it was fun (Evan loved listening to it) but it meant Xander had to go to school in the p.m. The buses wouldn't adjust so I had to transport him...not bad since it's just a couple blocks but it was ugly and I had two other little ones with me. Then, when I went to go home, there was a detour and I couldn't (so I thought) get to my house (this also explained the guy driving the wrong way down our street as I backed out of the driveway). I ended up killing time at Jason's aunt's place (which meant I didn't get the supper prep done). I took a different route home, that I knew would be open. After parking at the school and hauling kids to the intersections to cross several times (the concert was across the street), my arms were so sore the next day. I guess the baby car seat and carrying a 3 year old at the same time might do that!

Wednesday - this was just regular Wednesday busy stuff. We had our last care group of the year, so it was a potluck. We had a lot of fun, but it was a late night. The car also had to go into the shop...not a big deal but just one more thing to add to the list. Also, I stayed up really late finishing our Christmas letter to take to the wedding on the weekend and I forgot to give them out!!

Thursday - We had tickets to the Wizard of Oz this evening, so I was going to drop the kids off at Jason's aunt's in the afternoon and leave them there all evening, too. I had some errands to do, the most important was to return a shirt. Do you think I could find said shirt? Of course not. So, I dropped the kids off and went home to methodically search. I finally found it wedged between our mattress and the footboard. So, out I went again to return that, take cans to SARCAN and buy my last Christmas gift. Oh yeah, I stopped at the grocery store and forgot about two of the five things I went in for. Then, we went out for supper...first restaurant - too long a wait...second one - empty - yay! Then the show. I was exhausted but managed to stay awake and even enjoy it some. It definitely wasn't the best stage show I've seen - I expect it to take me away...transport me in some way, whether with story or costumes or whatever - but this one just seemed to fall flat. It was good but definitely not great. It was really close to the movie, though. If I'd've known how busy our week was, I likely wouldn't have bought the tickets. Then, off to pick up the sleeping kids and get them to bed!

Friday - We left for Saskatoon on Friday for my cousin's wedding. I was very happy for her and quite excited for her wedding but now wish it was not near Christmas! I had to finish packing...all those fun things like baby food and gear etc. It hardly seems worth it to pack it all up for a weekend! Jason decided to leave work early so we could drive in the daylight. I just had to rush a bit more but it was all good. The kids were tired, though, and we didn't end up getting supper until 7 p.m. after a wait at the hotel and then a transfer to the mall food court! We went to bed early, or tried to. There was a VERY LOUD party next door. It even annoyed me and noise doesn't really bother me. If you know us, we're not really complainers, but we complained. They did get kicked out but didn't fully vacate until 4 a.m.

Saturday - The wedding was at 11 a.m., which was good. I like morning weddings and there was a brunch reception, which was different but was special to the couple. It was a nice wedding - my cousin was beautiful and it was a God-honouring ceremony. I also got to visit with another cousin from Calgary so that was awesome! The reception was at our hotel so Jason and the boys left partway through. It was good that way. After the reception, there was a quick turnaround and then Christmas with my Mom's family (obviously not planned by people with small children!). I was exhausted from the wedding but we went, anyway. The kids had fun playing with some cousins and second cousins, so that was good, and I saw some aunts and uncles a bit more (this was the same side as the wedding). We went back to the hotel and got the kids to bed. They went to sleep fairly quickly, which was a good thing, because the hockey team staying on that floor then proceeded to play ball hockey in the hall for an hour or more. (They were about 8 to 10 year olds, I'd say, so I lay the blame more on their chaperones than on the kids.) They were loud, and I believe our door was a goal, but it was all before "quiet time". Honestly, they were playing out there Friday night but I figured they'd be tired Saturday. If I'd've known they'd be out there again, I'd've switched rooms! Also, some kid named Jordy just needs to play with his friends so they stop yelling for him! My favourite part was when a chaperone walks out and asks them why they're not using their "inside voices"...dude, you sent them into the hall to play ball hockey, what do you expect? Duh. We were honestly never so glad to leave a hotel.

Sunday - Relaxing day!!! Yay - everything was done. We took the kids to the pool before check out since there hadn't been time the rest of the weekend. There was a waterslide and the boys both loved it!! We knew Evan would but Xander decided to go this time and decided it was great, too. My sister came swimming with us so I actually got to sit in the hot tub some (my back needed it since the hotel had sleep number beds...not so great when you have no idea what number to put them on - my back was killing me!!). Then, it was home sweet home. Luckily, we drove out of the worse part of the weather (though it wasn't too bad) so it was relaxing. We were home early afternoon and just got to hang out!

This week has been relaxed with nothing on the agenda but what we want to do...some cleaning, a bit of baking, some fun things. I even napped Monday and Tuesday so I got very little done! Now, I should go do a few dishes (I thought I'd update this, instead :) ). Hopefully, I can get a "December in Pictures" post done sometime soon, too. Maybe my New Year's resolution will be to do a month in pictures blog each month to keep up...not likely, since I don't make resolutions! :D

If I don't get back on here before Christmas, have a Merry Christmas and I hope you spend some time celebrating Jesus' birth - the miracle that lead to his death, resurrection and the forgiveness of sins for both you and me!

Until next time...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

November 30th

Ack! I'm so late on this. It's been a crazy couple of days. We cleaned on Tuesday so we wouldn't have to do it Wednesday so we could decorate the Christmas tree! I managed to get the tree done with (in spite of) my help! Then, today, was our first ever Parent-Teacher interview. It was awesome. Xander has such a lovely teacher. He is doing fabulous at school, too. There are always things to work on but nothing that we were surprised about so that's great! Then, with all the kids at Jason's Aunt's house...we did a crazy day of Christmas/house shopping. We got everything done that we could. Still need to order a couple things, though. I found some curtains for my bedroom and picture frames for my wall! I meant to do November 30th's post yesterday but just didn't get to it. I'm tired tonight but here we go...

November 30th - Today I am thankful for several things...Spirit 105.3 that plays Christmas music from American Thanksgiving to Christmas...Christmas trees getting put up (and taking less time to fluff than I thought)...but most of all for the coming Christmas season where we can remember the birth of Jesus Christ, leading up to his death and resurrection at Easter which allow us to have a personal relationship with Him! What better thing to celebrate!

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 28th and 29th

Well, it's been a quiet couple of days. Yesterday was church, watching the Grey Cup and today was nothing in particular! Yay!

November 28 - Today I am thankful that I got to watch the Grey Cup in the warmth of my basement, on my big screen TV (rather than freezing at the actual game - come to think of it, I'm thankful for this pretty much every game I watch!)

November 29 - Today I am thankful that my baby napped some, at least. He's been putting up a fight lately. I managed to get one bathroom cleaned and a couple other things done so that's awesome!

I don't really have much else to say...gotta get the Christmas letter written and printed so I can send it out!

Until next time...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 26th and 27th

November 26 - Today I am thankful for people who help out to get a task done. My parents purchased a display set of cabinets from Rona and forget their ladder and drill battery here when they left (at the store). They wanted us to pick it up for them...not a big deal except the ladder does not fit in our car. Jason's co-worker has a van and told Jason he'd take him to the store at lunch time to get the stuff. It turned out to be a wonderful thing as Jason's Dad's van was not working that day (that was our back up plan). I guess God provides even little things :)

November 27 - Today was another grumpy day...I really gotta quit having those. Attitude is a choice, after all. I should remind myself of that next time... Anyway, some of my grump had to do with my stubborn children so today I decided to be thankful for them. I really do love them and they do make me smile so often. I'm thankful that Jonathan is (usually-but not today) laid back and smiley...especially when he won't co-operate and I get annoyed and then he gives me that cute little grin - who can stay mad! I'm thankful that Evan loves to cuddle. He can be our toughest boy but he can also be the most charming. When he flashes that smile and crawls up next to you to cuddle, it just melts you. I'm thankful to see Xander becoming more comfortable in social situations. He is such a fun boy and loves to play games and give surprise hugs but he is really shy. Tonight, we went to a work kids' Christmas party and he had a blast and even made friends with another little boy. I guess I'm not grumpy anymore...who can be with all this stuff to be thankful for?

That kids' Christmas party, by the way, was so fun. It was held at Dino-bouncers and the kids had a blast. Evan loved the toddler one with balls and a little slide. I think he would have liked the bigger one but there were too many big kids in it. Xander loved the giant slide and went on it over and over again! It was a great place for a party! Anyway, it's late now so I should go.

Until next time...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

November 25th

Today, I am thankful for a quiet day at home. I skipped Mom's group this morning...bad me, but it was worth it just for the breather. In fact, the way the morning went, I don't think we would have made it on time, anyway. Jason had a work function that he had to be at (with yummy food...I got perogies and chicken strips :P) and the boys were really well behaved so that was awesome. Jonathan wasn't a good napper today, though, so that kinda sucked and I didn't get much done. All in all, it was a good day, though. Plus, I got my first set of shelves completed with my brand new screwdriver! Yay. We lost the appropriate bit for our old multi-bit screwdriver so I had to wait for the new one. Now I have one more to assemble then I can reorganize the play room! Not much else going on here today.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 21-24

I've been slacking...I've come up with things I'm thankful for, I just haven't blogged them. Also, I have some cute photos to edit and put up but they're still on my camera! It's been snowing and snowing here...again. Big surprise. The roads are getting yucky, though. I'm just glad they were decent for all my running around yesterday. So far, I count 4 big snow storms this year...mid October - about 12"...late October - about 8"...mid November (18th) - about 12"...yesterday/today - about 7"...seriously...I think that's enough snow for a winter. There's been a bit in between but not too much. Luckily, last winter had little snow after January so the city still has a budget to clear the roads!! Anyway, I think this calls for a stay in kind of day tomorrow...I have things I could go to but we've got so many things this week that I think a breather is in order! Now for the thankfulness...

Nov 21 - Today I'm thankful for the abundance that we have and that we can share some of that with a child through child sponsorship!

Nov 22 - Today I am thankful for modern medicine. It was immunization day for Jonathan and I think of all the nasty childhood diseases that have been essentially eradicated and I am thankful.

Nov 23 - Today I am thankful that the snow held off for the day so I could go out and do the errands I needed to before there were a couple more inches of snow on the ground (read: roads and I would have had to drive in it!)

Nov 24 - Today I am thankful for things that put a smile on my I particularly think of this YouTube video Cherpumple (I actually saw the photos of someone who made it!) and this adorable blog - Color Me Katie - I don't know her but she is so quirky and cute and there is pretty much always something there that makes me smile!

Until next time...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 20th

Today I was grumpy. Not too sure why, I just was. I don't like being grumpy. It sucks. So I was trying to think of what I was thankful for today. Days like's harder but far more important...cause attitude's a choice.

Today, I am thankful that I got one project mostly done. One of two shelves for the playroom is mostly assembled. I haven't gotten the final screws in since I don't have the right screwdriver. The proper size tip for our interchangeable one is lost. Good thing it's just the rails...the rest used an allan wrench.

Until next time...

Friday, November 19, 2010

November 18th and 19th

Well, I guess I missed yesterday. It was excusable because my Mom and Dad were here and we had an impromptu "birthday brownie" for my oldest boy. It was good, since they won't be able to make it down for his birthday and my boys really love their grandparents!

November 18th - I'm thankful for my Mom & Dad and that they give us so much of their time. They are very willing to drive 5 hours or more to visit as often as they can (though this time they were here for their house...but we'll take whatever brings them our way :) ).

November 19th - I'm thankful that I didn't have to go outside in the 12" or so of snow yesterday or the -31 C wind chill today (though I did walk to the bank this evening - I'm also thankful it was close enough for me to walk!)

It's been cold today and was snowy yesterday. Seriously, that was our 3rd winter storm with several inches of snow (twice about a foot and the other time must have been at least 6 or 8 inches). I think we've filled our quota of snow for the winter - and I've definitely had my fill of shovelling the driveway! (I'm sure I'll do it again, though)

I took some cute photos yesterday but they're still on my camera so maybe I'll post some tomorrow.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 17th

Today I am thankful for the Bible study group that we are a part of. We meet every Wednesday and it is always a great time of fellowship and learning. I love that!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 16th

Today I am thankful for the people who love my kids...people who are willing to take them for me and who my kids want to spend time with! These people make my life so much easier!

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15th

Well, today my youngest snuffly little man passed his snuffles on to me. Only I think I'm getting a full-blown, runny nose and eyes, with a headache type cold. What a pain. These are the kind I used to get rarely as a kid but they always came Friday night...I was miserable Saturday and Sunday but better on Monday! Hope I can still fight them that fast!

Anyway, amongst the snuffles, I decided that today I am thankful that I don't get sick very often. I'm not prone to colds or other general malaise and I'm very thankful for that!

Not much else new around here today. Going to go post some layouts on my other blog, I think.

Until next time...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 14th

Today, I am thankful for quiet Sundays.

We went to church this morning (and I quite enjoyed the parts of the sermon I got to hear...silly tired baby :D ) and then had little else to do but hang out, watch football, do a bit of internet surfing. It was a really lovely day.

Until next time...

Another Place to Procrastinate!

Hi there! Welcome to my BRAND NEW family blog! Here is another place for me to procrastinate...whether on work by posting here or actually posting here! I seem to procrastinate all over the place! I will be posting photos here...maybe chronologically, maybe not...depends on what I feel like doing. Also, I will be making musings here and notes and that kind of thing. In fact, along with many of my American scrap buddies, I am doing 30 days of thankfulness for this November (since it's American Thanksgiving). I think I'll post it here, too. Just one thing to be thankful for each day for the month. I love thinking of the little things!

So, I'll start with the thankfulness up to this point, then move on to the photos!

Nov 1 - I am very thankful that I got to have tea after my meeting with two wonderful and supportive ladies who I get to work with at Xander's school!
Nov 2 - I am thankful that the snow is almost melted and it feels more like spring!
Nov 3 - I am thankful that I have running water and don't have to haul it to the house!
Nov 4 - I am thankful for the Mom's group at our church. We meet every Thursday morning and today we had a wonderful discussion on Beth Moore's wisdom for parents seminar.
Nov 5 - I am thankful that Jason is so involved with the kids. He's taken care of them almost every night this week and is taking them shopping right now for the stuff for soccer tomorrow (which he will also take Xander to).
Nov 6 - I am thankful that I have been able to participate in the Digital Scrapbooking Day festivities and have had a really good time with some online friends.
Nov 7 - Today I am thankful for the gorgeous weather outside! My walk home from church was more like spring than fall!
Nov 8 - I am thankful for three healthy children. I've seen how much work and stress it can be caring for children with major health needs and I feel very blessed in that way.
Nov 9 - I'm thankful that it is so easy (and cheap) to pick up the phone and be able to talk to my family.
Nov 10 - After an inch or two of snow last night and a couple more predicted for today, I'm thankful that Jason can take the bus to work and I don't have to leave the house.
Nov 11 - Today I'm thankful for Canada and for all those who fought for our freedom.
Nov 12 - Today I am thankful for the sunshine just after lunch so that I could send my two older boys out to play in the yard full of snow!
Nov 13 - Today I am thankful that I once again have a door on my bedroom. It's all painted and everything!

I'll try to update this every day or two for the rest of the month, anyway. Now, on to some photos.

First, here is Evan's 3rd birthday! He is really into guitars at the moment and loves music and singing so that was kind of the theme for his party. His cake was a guitar and we invited Pastor Bernard and family to the party because Evan adores the guitar-playing Pastor Bernard! He even played his guitar when we sang Happy Birthday. Evan got a great kick out of it!

This was what Evan saw when he woke up. All he talked about all day was when was he going to get to eat his guitar cake. That's how I knew we picked the perfect cake for him!

The cake - fun filled guitar candy cake!

He tried to blow out the candles but can't really direct his breath so he really didn't get anything blown out. Auntie Jodi ended up doing it for him!

Here he is watching Pastor Enard (as he calls him) play guitar. He was kinda shy about the whole thing but did love it! They did a few other songs for him too (Auntie Jen helped sing). There was My God is So Big, Backyardigans theme and a few others.

Opening gifts - this one is from Xander.

He loved this card - it was Backyardigans and sang the theme song...this button got pushed over and over (and still sometimes does).

We got him a guitar for his gift and he really enjoys playing it. This is such a cute picture of him!

He had to serenade Jonathan after the party - they were so cute!

Jonathan thought Evan was hilarious...he just giggled and giggled. It was so cute!

It was a fun party and I think Evan loved it so that makes it a total success!!

Now (especially for you Jen) is Halloween.

I'm not really into Halloween but Jason wanted to make a Transformers Bumblebee costume for Xander so they ended up with costumes and going out trick-or-treating. Of course, then he had to make Evan something, too, so Evan got to be a Rubik's Cube.

Xander helping spray paint the Bumblebee costume...this didn't work so well and the costume turned out to be way too much work!!

Here is the cute little Rubik's cube. He didn't know what he was but was told that he was a know, like Candyland. To this day, he thinks he was Candyland.

Here is the finished Bumblebee and a VERY excited Xander to get to wear it!

Side view.

They went around to the neighbours' houses and got quite a haul for the few houses they went to. Now, they have finally finished the candy!

There we go...hopefully I'll keep this a little more up to date than I did before. Maybe I'll post more often :D. Yeah, I'm funny!

Until next time...