Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas is over

Well, it was officially a crazy Christmas season for me. I got sick in the beginning of December, and as a result my big paper was done two weeks after the semester ended (instead of two weeks before) -- by God's grace I was able to drag myself out of bed and finish my other two courses on time! Just before I got sick (while I was working like crazy on that paper), someone wonderful gave us some very nice bunkbeds for the girls. So now Bethany and Carrie Ann are sharing a room, and I have my own bedroom instead of a cot in the living room! (Matthias still has his own room, but the smallest one instead of the biggest one.) So after I finally finished my paper (on the 20th or so), I started work on re-arranging the toys to go with the new beds (thanks to the volunteers who helped move shelves, desks and the extra bed!). The holidays were quiet -- many of our friends and relatives were out of town, but we had a nice Christmas with Kathleen and Alec and went to a movie on Christmas Eve with my friend Marilyn. Other than that, the kids and I went to Van Dusen to see the lights, to a Magic show benefiting the burn centre at Children's, and to Science World (thanks to Grandma's Christmas money). I spent a lot of time sleeping, trying to get over my cold. After Christmas I used some of our Christmas money to buy storage containers for the girls' room, and we worked on sorting toys. Today, finally, we put the last toys away and I vacuumed everywhere so I can now officially say that the chaos (begun by the gift of bunkbeds) is now over. You can come visit if you want!
The kids are back to school. Carrie Ann is still loving kindergarten -- a couple days after they started back, she came over and gave me a big hug as I dropped her off and thanked me for letting her come to such a wonderful place! Two of the staff at the school commented on how happy Matthias is now, and how great his laugh and quirky sense of humour are. Bethany did a wonderful job in her choir concert, and is now trying out for a part in the school play!
I realized on my first day back to school that if I take two courses in the summer (as I was planning), I can finish next December instead of April 2013. This could save me a lot in student loans, so I'm going to go for it. Because two of the remaining courses I wanted to take are only offered in the spring, I decided to take a third course this spring. I'll be busy, taking three courses and working as a teaching assistant for Principles of Translation. (I loved that class, and I'm very excited to be TA'ing it, especially since I haven't had to do any grading yet -- that's always the hardest part of the job!) I was dreading the beginning of this semester, not feeling like I was really recovered from my last cold (the last one came with dizzy spells, weird) -- but once classes started I got so caught up in the subject matter, I'm excited about them now. It's amazing to be in a program that I love so much it's a privilege rather than a chore to do the homework! I just hope that that enthusiasm lasts long enough to carry me through to the end of the semester!
Well, we packed away the Christmas tree this evening. I did take pictures of it, but I'm short a monitor at the moment, and the working computer is not the one with the camera card reader. I'll post the pictures when I have a moment (hopefully sometime before July!) Thanks to everyone who helped make our Christmas this year special.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Birthday Party!

We had Carrie Ann's fifth birthday party a month early -- since many people are out of town (or partied out) during the holidays. I sent invitations to her whole class, and we had 10 five year olds (plus one big sister) come over.
Wow, five year olds have a lot of energy! They were great -- they all played really well together. When the boys were finished in our little apartment, they asked if they could go outside to play, so we went downstairs to the playground out back and they ran off their energy for at least half an hour. It was so fun watching them! Carrie Ann loved all the gifts she got -- and she let her friends play with them for the rest of the party. She did such a good job sharing, even the mom who stayed with her kid was impressed :-).
My kids even decorated the apartment themselves (after helping me clean it). I left to do some grocery shopping, and gave them scissors, tape and streamers left over from one of Bethany's parties. The whole house looked celebratory when I got back!
Sorry, I didn't even think of taking pictures... maybe next time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Well, Carrie Ann decided to cut her hair while I was out tonight... Bethany helped even it out, and this is what I came home to:

For a bit of perspective, at least they didn't fight over the scissors and hurt someone ... hair grows out! And I won't be arguing with Carrie Ann about cutting her bangs off (she's wanted to do it for some time) again for a long long time.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Carrie Ann's pictures

Carrie Ann took some nice pictures recently:

And she was working on her selca:

I also found another tulip picture which I missed earlier:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It went well!

The dancing went well! The shoes I was planning to dance in actually broke on Thursday, so I headed in early on Saturday to see if I could replace them with real dance slippers. When I got there, the saleslady didn't think they had any ballet slippers, but lo and behold there was one single pair in my size and the colour I wanted (God knew ;-) ). I managed to fake not being nervous, and knowing what I was doing, and enjoying myself well enough that I think I fooled everyone... maybe even myself ;-). It went well over all, and we got quite a few positive comments. Wow!

Today I also taught my first class. I'm a teaching assistant this semester for Syntax and Semantics (advanced grammar, kind of). In the summer I was a teaching assistant for Field Methods, and I did a number of 20 minute presentations, but I was never responsible for a whole class. Today, I taught two 75 minute classes (the same material at the undergraduate and then the graduate level). I used the professor's (excellent) materials, but I had to present it (and answer all the questions) myself. When I asked for questions at the end of the graduate class, about half a dozen hands went up! But that didn't mean it wasn't presented well, the questions reflected that the class was thinking about the topic and digging deeper into it. So it was fun, and went well, and I thank God for that! One of the students even asked if I wanted to be a teacher when I'm done my degree -- and another said the class was a "life-changing experience" -- but I'm pretty sure he was just teasing me!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Israeli Folk Dance!

Well, since moving back to Langley I've had the opportunity to pick up an old hobby I enjoyed last time I was in school -- dancing! Specifically, Israeli Folk Dance. My teacher asked a group of her students to perform at the Abbotsford Multicultural Festival on behalf of Israel (at 12 noon, if you can make it), so I will actually be dancing on stage tomorrow -- exciting and terrifying! Here are some of the dances we will be doing:
Tzadik Katamar -- my all-time favourite

Nigun Atik

Mayim Mayim

Hine Ma Tov -- not my favourite, because it's a line dance rather than a circle.

This is more what it usually looks like:
Ma Na'avu -- our group is about this size, but a little more energetic.

Ki Eshmera -- we dance like this, but don't have so many people or such a large space.

I hope you enjoyed the links, even though you can't all come to the performance! Pray that it goes well, everyone stays safe, and the audience is moved by it :-) .

Friday, September 9, 2011

Strong Enough by Matthew West

I just came across this song on Praise 106.5, and I love the words.

It includes Philippians 4;13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," one of my all time favourite verses.