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...