Saturday, December 17, 2011

It Is Christmas

I have come to an unpleasant realization. Having a blog that one keeps up 'regularly' completely and utterly steals all the thunder from a yearly Christmas letter. I have done such a spectacular job at keeping everyone up to date with our goings-on that I have nothing for the grand finale. Dang it.

The last post was October and seriously, nothing much happened in November, so yeah, ummm....hmmmm.... I have been mulling this over for a week or so now, since the lights and trees and elf hats signal it is time to display my writing prowess, and nothing incredible has gone on in that number of days to give me anything to write about. Silly blog. Now what??

I guess I could tell you the obvious. Kael turned four in April, Calahn seven in July, Delaena nine in October and Brooke will be eleven in five days. Caitlind still lives here and we make her do all the housework, cook all the meals and babysit Kael. It is great. We all really like it, well, except for maybe Caitlind, but she's too busy for us to ask, so we just assume she likes it too.

We started the summer with six small goldfish in the pond in the backyard and we now have five fat goldfish in a tank in our TV room. We still have both tree frogs that we 'rescued' way back in October 2010 at Aunty Berta and Uncle Dale's. No one is quite sure how they are still surviving. In January 2011 we had an old, decrepit cat and an old, decrepit dog. We now have an old decrepit dog and a spastic, garbage-eating, shoe-chewing, door-escaping pup.

This Christmas season we've enjoyed so far, Calahn's voice and Brooke's piano recital. We still have Koos and Delaena's guitar recital coming up, and we just enjoyed the DCS Christmas performance. Kael proudly told us that he is not "just an angel" for his performance, but "an angel with a star". Makes me think of the new DQ ads.

The church hosted a potluck last Sunday which we guess about 200 people attended. A significant number were our friends from Boys Road. Koos was the MC and did an outstanding job. He directed people through food lines and kept them from rushing the dessert tables with pizzazz.

Koos is working four days a week for Lakeshore Auto Parts in Lake Cowichan. I have been working quite a few hours as an EA at the kids' school. That has actually been quite a bit of fun. I don't know that I've ever said that about a 'job' before.

Some highlights of the year that I may not have blogged about:

Tara, my Hay River soul mate and her husband Kelly had to make a trip to Vancouver, so Koos and I ditched the kids with Aunty Berta and Uncle Dale, hopped the ferry and spent a great day at the Body Worlds exhibition, enjoying fine cuisine and taking a death defying race-car style trip back to the ferry. Put Kelly behind the wheel of a fancy car and all kinds of craziness ensues. At several points in the journey I honestly thought I'd be meeting my Maker. "We have lots of people in here, we can use the bus lane!" But his skill won the day and he got us there just in time to catch what turned out to be the last Saturday ferry!

Koos and I went to a Brian Doerksen concert which time warped us back to our Vineyard days. They even performed our 'second wedding' song, which we probably hadn't listened to since our 'second wedding'!

We had a surprise visit from Paul and Debbie, some more amazing friends from Hay River. Literally, we walked into church one Sunday and they were sitting there. It was incredible! There was crying, laughing, hugs; great entertainment for our new church family who were watching the whole thing! Paul and Deb hung out for a week or so and played with the kids and we even made them work when Koos was offered a job doing some landscaping!

Caitlind's sister and our dear friend Paula, also from Hay River, and her two sons spent a week with us. We toured some kid friendly hot spots on the Island and ate a lot of yummy food and got her hooked on Facebook scrabble. The kids spent a few nights in the tent in the backyard. Our lazy way of dealing with the 'we want to go camping' bug.

Nana and Papa came all the way from Hines Creek to take us to Victoria to the Butterfly Garden and Bug World. Up to that point we had not ventured to Victoria because I was not prepared to deal with the dreaded "Malahat". Thanks to Nana and Papa, I'm over that now! We got a quick visit at the beach with Koos' brother Kevin and his family.

Our brave friend Elissa from Hay River drove down with her four kids to see their grandparents in Port Alberni, so we reunited with them for a day in Nanoose Bay for a blackberry picking, sea-creature trapping, adventuresome day. Her grandparents served us a delicious steak dinner, camp style. Such generous people considering we had never met them before.

The six of us and the annoying new puppy boarded a plane at Th
anksgiving break to meet the newest member on my side of the family, in Calgary. We spent five fantastic days cuddling the new baby, playing with his big brother and reminiscing with Mama and Uncle Aaron over old 'slides' of our childhood days. I estimate Kael went down the water slide at the hotel at least 67 times. We counted, there were 50 stairs to the top. 3350 stairs in five days, no wonder he basically slept for a week after we got home. Aaron and Terra and Foster had also been on the Island to visit us in June.

We got to bless a whole bunch of little kids (and some bigger ones) on Boys Road with a shipment of sock monkeys from Caitlind's aunt and our incredibly talented cohort from Hay River, Jess.

So yeah, Kael is still pretty much a cute, extremely energetic and perhaps precocious, four year old. We think it may be retribution, but can't prove anything, that Caitlind has him obsessed with old video games. Mario Kart 64 and such. He's getting pretty good, but it has brought out an extremely competitive side in him, "Yoshi, you are evil. Princess Peach, stop being a little freak." Hmmmm....

Calahn is the class clown in the 1/2 room. A friend of ours brought us some 'dried meal worms' for a snack, as a joke. Calahn thought they tasted just like cheese flavored popcorn so she took them to school and convinced the teacher to try one along with some of her classmates. They ate the whole box! She was nervous for her voice recital, but when it was her turn, she was up on stage so fast introducing herself and ready to sing that the lady playing the piano hadn't even had time to find her music. Now Calahn is looking for every opportunity she can to perform. I think a monster has been created.

Here is a recent conversation between my oldest daughters which should give you an idea of how cheeky they are becoming:

Me, after having been up and down the stairs seventeen times for last minute items before leaving for school, and then discovering my glasses were up there, "Which one of you is my favorite daughter?"

Delaena, rolling her eyes and walking out the door to the truck,

"Brooke is."

Brooke, grabbing her backpack and following her sister out the door,

"Nope, not today Delaena."

So off I trudged up the stairs, for the eighteenth time, to get my own glasses, because that old trick doesn't work on them anymore, they've got me figured out.

And now I have come to a second unpleasant realization. I think I took the last year and all the blessings it held for granted. Friends and family who will travel here to see us. Fantastic, albeit flippant, children and low cost maid service and catering. Friends and family here who will put up with our every day insanity. Not to mention our new friends at Boys Road and fun, fantabulous Fridays at Teen Challenge. And a made-in-heaven family of fellow believers from Alberta, the Northwest Territories and now here on Vancouver Island. There are a lot of things I didn't write about.
Okay, no more complaining. Just looking back with gratitude and forward with expectation.

May this revelation be yours as well this holiday season.

With much love,

The Reintjes Family

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