Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Favorite Books of the Year...

I am an avid reader. This past year I read 62 books. My two absolutely favorite books were ones that I read just now over Christmas break. I highly recommend reading both, I could not put them down. They are both beautifully written and heartwrenching!



Sarah's Key takes place in Paris. Sarah is a 12 year old french jew who is rounded up along with thousands of other jews, mostly children, by the French Police and sent to a "camp" in 1942. She tried to save her four year old brother by locking him in a secret cupboard in their house, not knowing that she wouldn't be coming back to let him out. She escapes from the "camp" and makes her journey back to her brother. Meanwhile, in 2002, Anna is an american woman married to a french man. She gets the assignment to research the round up that occurred in 1942 and she is led to the story of Sarah and goes on a hunt to find out her story and if she survived. Also discovering that their lives are connected in an unexpected way.



This book is also about the jews escaping the nazi's in the 1940's. This time the story is about a young jewish doctor in Poland and his trek across Europe to escape capture and death. He finds himself in Calcutta, with the two woman he loves and is torn between.

I have a connection to these types of stories. A few generations back my ancestors were jewish and somewhere along the line converted to christianity. What if they hadn't? What if they had made different choices? What would our story be then? These seem to be depressing and heavy stories of something many of us don't like to think about. The author writes in her acknowledgments, "This book was written as a prayer for those people who could not live to tell their tales. It was written too, as a prayer for the future of our world, in the hope that stories like this have the power to save us."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas

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My FIVE beautiful children...

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Christmas day was seven months with Lilah. She is such a sweet and good girl. She rarely causes any problems or puts up a fuss and is such a little blessing to our family. We cannot imagine life without her here. We waited so long for her to come home and to even know who she was, but here she is spending Christmas with us at last!

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We opened most of our gifts tonight when we got home. It felt too early to open them before we went to Disneyland and so we thought it would be a good thing to come home to. There is a ton of snow this year and today we drove through a lot of fog. It is so beautiful in this beautiful and vast country of ours, that it takes my breath away at times!



This photo is of my beautiful Oma. She is having a really hard time remembering everything and everybody, but tries to put on a brave face. There is something about her... something about her face and all the memories it holds for everyone who ever knew and loved her. She was and still is an amazing person.

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Lilah's favorite gift was from Santa. A fisher price doll house complete with pets, furniture and even a baby!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Another great vacation

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We waited in line for TWO HOURS just to see three princesses! It was crazy... but it was also Lilah's highlight of our trip. Tim and the boys went on rides while we waited. Ariel wasn't there, but she didn't really notice. We would see one princess and Lilah would be pointing to the next one saying "Look! Look! Another princess!"



We got into Toontown early and were able to see Mickey and Minnie with no waiting.



Yesterday, we went to Universal Studios and the first person we saw was Dora. Lilah was so excited! Dora didn't seem to want to let her go, she kept hugging her and kissing her over and over and over. Very cute. Tim was off getting snacks at one point as well and Frankenstein was coming out to take pictures with people. He left his manager and came over to where we were sitting on a curb, knelt down, gave the boys five, but I could tell he was enthralled with Lilah. He kept talking to her and trying to get her to hold his hand and give her a hug. She wouldn't hug him! But at the end he grabbed my hand and squeezed and held it.

It is interesting to see people's reaction to Lilah. A lot of the time adults just stare without trying to look like they are staring. Kids will blatantly stare at her and come to stand in front of her to get a better look and then run to their parents and tell them about her. But some people, like Snow White, Dora and Frankenstein (and many other everyday people) seem to truly think she is adorable and beautiful and special. Which she most certainly is...



Tomorrow we head home exhausted, but ready for Christmas with family!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More fun times...



Disneyland is beautifully decorated for Christmas. It is really very magical and of course, crazy busy! They must have a huge warehouse to store all their Christmas decorations in!



Micah was thrilled to see Lightning McQueen. It is his favorite movie and they have been his favorite toys for years. He wouldn't need anything else, as long as he had his cars.



Lilah loves her princess sucker and it keeps her entertained for hours....



She is also very proud of her new Ariel shirt. The little mermaid seems to be her favorite princess.



Abby and Aly are having a blast here together. It was a great surprise when Aly snuck up behind Abby to surprise her that she was here as well.



Micah and Michael are hilarious together. They run and jump and never slow down. It is hard to keep track of them more than anybody because they don't sit still!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Disneyland once again....








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We are here and so far we are having a great time. The kids are exhausted after a VERY long day of go go go. Lilah was quite scared of some of the characters, but she loved the princesses!



We had one more surprise when we got here and that was that our friends from Edmonton met us here. They have kids the same ages and same sexes as ours and they are all great friends.





I am posting pictures and not a lot of explanation. Too tired!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sssshhhhh...



It is a surprise! Tonight we leave for Disneyland, but our kids don't know! Well, Abby knows, because she had assignments due so I had to tell her that we were leaving Tuesday night and they all needed to be handed in by then. She didn't know where we were going, until a friend that was over spilled the beans. But, nobody else knows. We will be driving to Calgary Tuesday night and leaving early Wednesday. The boys will have to figure it out.... which I imagine won't take too long once we are in the airport and the ticket person asks them if they are going to Disneyland. Lilah on the other hand, has no idea what is going on! She has no idea who Mickey and Minnie are, but she does know her princesses, so I am sure she will catch on to it all very quickly!

We are excited to leave our -40 and head for warmer weather! I hope to post throughout our trip.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Father's (and Mother's) joy...

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We named her Abigail because it meant "a father's joy". And she is exactly that. A mother's joy too!

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Her middle name is Jacinda, which means "beautiful". And she is that without a doubt. Inside and out!

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I love to see her smile and laugh and I love when these moments are captured in a picture. But this is her. She is smiling most of the time. She is full of life and energy. I love her deeply and unconditionally.

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These photos were taken by our youth leader at our church. She does a beautiful job capturing the true personalities of the girls and their friendships.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can I please please go outside?

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Lilah loves to be outside. She isn't too sure about this cold weather, but she is curious about the snow and says "snow is very pretty!" She loves to be out doing errands with me, she just doesn't like to be even a little bit cold.

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We have been having very cold temperatures this past week and have gotten a lot of snow. I have also had a cold and so we have stuck pretty close to home for a couple of days. Lilah loves anything new. Including her many toques and mittens.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Meaning of Christmas

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I have been trying to teach Lilah the true meaning of Christmas. I bought her a very simple board book of the Christmas story, that also explains why we give presents. It took a while. At first, she was always "I get presents at Christmas!" or "Santa brings presents!". Now she wanders around the house singing "Happy Birthday Jesus!".


I bought Lilah's first Christmas outfit long before we even knew who she was. I tried everything on to make sure it would fit and it is perfect. She looks like a little angel!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Sugar Cookies

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We had a little blizzard here this past weekend, which left a lot of snow. Today, we woke up to -30 degrees Celsius. Too cold to go out, but a great day to get some Christmas baking done. My sugar cookies may not look like any type of Christmasy shape, but they still taste good!

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I picked up this asian Raggedy Ann doll at our local farmer's market this weekend. There is a lady there that makes them in different races, and me, wanting her to have as many asian dolls possible, just had to go get one! Raggedy Ann is a classic and every little girl should have one!

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