Christmas Holidays

As hinted at in an earlier post, Christmas and concerts are something we need to journalize. The last day of school, and work for the year for Glen, was on Friday, December 21st (Susan had her last day of work on Thursday). The girls had a fun day at school with a pancake breakfast. Friday evening we went to a dinner party at Aunt Ruth’s. Deborah was home for the holidays with her new (to us) fiance Peter. A nice fellow. Welcome to the family Peter.

Saturday, we took our truck and headed to Glen’s parents in Kamloops where we would be spending Christmas. Although we weren’t going to be spending Christmas at our house, we did have a tree we enjoyed through early December and after coming back from Kamloops. We got away at about lunch time, and actually stopped at the McDonald’s by Cabela’s in Abbotsford for lunch. Honestly, this has got to be a McDonald’s on the bottom end of service in Canada. They were nice enough, but wow, mistakes and other misses galore. Three plus visits back to the counter to get our food order close to what we ordered (although never exactly). Thankfully we had fun looking around Cabela’s afterwards. We arrived in Kamloops in time for dinner.

Sunday morning we (including Glen’s parents) all got in our vehicle and drove out to St. David’s by the Lake, a church in Celista on the Shuswap, that we occasionally attend (although more often in the summer). After church and lunch (at the church), we continued on to our cabin and had a look around. We found out from the local churchgoers that snow had arrived on the night before, so the girls were lucky enough to be able to build a snowman. We drove back to Kamloops for dinner, and were lucky enough (for some of us) to have a Christmas eve tradition (on the eve of Christmas even), liver and onions. Yum!

For Christmas Eve day (Monday), we all went down to Petersen Creek and hiked the new Xget’tem Trail that is fully paved (wheelchair accessible) all the way from the bottom in Petersen Creek. Although it’s classified as “easy”, it is a serious uphill climb, so we all took the occasional break as we climbed up (to Sahali).

On Christmas itself we had a bit of snow arrive in town, and of course had a very nice visit from Santa Claus who delivered some nice gifts. We then went for an afternoon hike in Aberdeen on a trail called The Links. Oddly (no pun intended), early in the hike we saw a Lynx.

That night we saw some more snow arrive, but it didn’t stop us (primarily Susan) from getting out for some boxing day shopping. Late in the afternoon dad and the girls took a sled and went up to the dog park for some fun in the snow.

Thursday we all went downtown to visit Auntie Jen and Dale. The adults chatted while the girls kept themselves busy quietly amusing themselves at the dining room table. Jim and family (including Rebecca who had spent Christmas in the lower mainland) arrived at Glen’s parent’s just as we got back from our visiting. We then went out for a second annual dinner at the Moon Wok restaurant. Unlike last year where we all ate at the North Kamloops location, this year we ate at the one in Aberdeen.

Finally, on Friday the 28th we left Kamloops, gassed up the vehicle at Costco, and returned home. Immediately upon arriving at home the ladies went out to Debora’s bridal shower while dad unpacked and stayed at home (but did think about going skiing since it looked to be a good night for it — but instead stayed in for a quiet time).

On Saturday Glen and the girls went down to Metrotown and did the next best thing to getting a new phone, putting in a new battery. Since it took a while to get in to the Apple Store for service, we toured the mall quite thoroughly. In the afternoon as our Christmas present, Jen and Zac and family took us out to a play at the Surrey Arts Center, a presentation of Hansel and Gretel. Thanks guys! We enjoyed it!

Sunday saw our friends Pauline and Eddy and kids (some of who are now in University!) come over for the afternoon for a pleasant visit.

Monday, New Years Eve day, finally was free of schedule constraints, so dad and the girls went up for a day of skiing at Mount Seymour. It was a great day. We came home and after dinner played a very fun home version of an Escape Room. If you’ve never heard of an escape room, I’ll give you a quick overview. The last few years have saw them jump in popularity, and they traditionally are played in a business that sets up a set where you are (pretendingly) locked in some sort of a room, and you have to solve puzzle mysteries from findable clues in order to unlock the locks that will get you out of the room. Glen and Susan have played a few in the last few years, but for this evening’s fun we had a home version that saw us (pretending) try to decipher a treasure map, SCUBA dive down to find a sunken wreck (the Santa Maria), break into the wreck, find valuable sunken treasure (the name of the exact game we played), and break out of the wreck without drowning (pretend)! I’m not sure we were the best at being a TEAM, but we definitely were good problems solvers and after a few hours succeeded in solving all the mysteries (with the occasional help card where necessary). We all stayed up until midnight, spending the stroke itself watching the countdown and local fireworks on TV.

After having a slow start on New Years Day, we enjoyed the day by getting out for some running around (and drone flying) at the local school yard. On the Wednesday (the 2nd) dad and the girls again went up to Mount Seymour for some more skiing while Susan went back to work.

The next day we took the truck in for service. We had originally planned to go for a walk while it was being worked on, but it was a very rainy day and so instead we just toured the mall while it was in the shop. We had thought we would get up skiing again, but it was always rainy when we looked to go. The weekend saw us take all our Christmas decorations down, just in time for everyone to go back to school and work on Monday.

It was a very nice holiday, but like all such holidays, it went much too fast!

December 2018 Highlights

Every year December is always one of the busiest. This post gives some of our highlights from month of December.

The month started off strong, with December 1 being a Saturday. First thing Saturday morning Glen went mountain biking with a number of his coworkers. It was an annual tradition, the 8th year for this outing, but even though invited many times before, it was the first time Glen actually made it out. Some years the outing is cancelled due to weather, other years family responsibilities kept Glen away, but this year the stars aligned and he actually got a morning of biking on some North Shore trails.

Late November Kayla had taken a babysitting course, and on the afternoon of the 1st she had her first paying job, a couple of hours of looking after a girl in grade 1 from their school.

On Sunday (the 2nd), we hosted a number of old Toastmaster friends. The funny thing is we have been socializing with this Toastmaster group for years (maybe 15) even though we actually never attended a club with most of them. This year we enjoyed having them at our house, which also added incentive to put up a tree. So we put up our first tree.

The next weekend had us attending Glen’s work party on Saturday evening, a fancy shindig that happened at the Fairmont Water Hotel. We didn’t stay that late as Sunday morning was Glen’s company’s Santa breakfast. Auntie Shirley was over for Saturday evening with the girls, and then we were away on Sunday morning to have a great breakfast with Santa.

The next weekend had us taking out Susan’s parents, Shirley, and Aunt Fong for Dim Sum at Yan’s. For those of you who have been long time Western Canada residents, the answer is ‘Yes’. This is Yan’s Restaurant, from the show ‘Wok with Yan’, a chinese cooking show that was on I believe in the late 70s. In the afternoon the girls were out with their Girl Guide friends at the Aurora Winter Festival, happening downtown Vancouver where they went ice tubing and skating and had lots of fun. Sunday had an especially busy afternoon starting with Melissa playing soccer. This was an extra special game for Melissa as she scored her first game goal. The team they were playing was Melissa’s team from last year, a very good team. She held her position in front of the net, got passed the ball, pushed through two defenders while keeping control of the ball, and blasted it to the corner to get it past the goalie. Not only was it Melissa’s first game goal, but it was also the winning goal for Melissa’s team, as her team beat the other team with Melissa’s goal 1-0. It really was a good game.

Then an hour after her soccer game, with a quick stop at home for lunch, Melissa was out jamming/performing at a musical concert arranged by her accordion teacher. Melissa, along with about 10 other accordion players, were out playing accordion with each other for their musical concert.

Not enough music? An hour after Melissa’s accordion concert finished, she, along with Kayla, were out for another music recital where they both got to play a grand piano performing their piano pieces in a recital.

Coming up in later December? Christmas concerts and Kamloops for Christmas!

Burnaby Girls Remembrance Day Soccer Tournament

This weekend was a pleasant one, with Glen’s mom and dad in town to celebrate Melissa’s birthday (happening later this week), and a birthday dinner with Glen’s parents, Glen’s brother’s family (except for Zachary who was working), Susan’s parents, and Susan’s sister Shirley. Glen’s brother Jim was practicing his artistic photo skills in the basement before dinner while many others chatted upstairs. A happy birthday cake was accompanied by the Happy Birthday Song sung by the full family, finishing just in time for Melissa to go to bed early as she had a soccer tournament early on the Monday morning.

I would consider the soccer tournament to be a highlight of the weekend. Not only was there the tournament today, which I’ll describe in a moment, but we were also out with Melissa’s school friend Noemi, a soccer fanatic, practicing for a few hours over at the school yard.

Today’s tournament seemed to be a real leap forward in technique for Melissa, as she scored in 3 out of the 4 shootouts her team was in (each team member on each team gets to shoot once).

Unlike last year’s Remembrance Day tournament where it was a rainy day (with a few sunny spots), this year’s tournament was dry with clear blue sky for the whole day! It was cold though!

Glen helped out to setup at the tournament, meaning he drove over at 6:30 in teh morning. Glen’s dad and Melissa drove over about 7:20 for Melissa’s first game happening at 8:00am. Susan, Kayla, and Glen’s mom walked over to the tournament (which was happening at the Burnaby Lake West Soccer Fields (on Kensington near the arenas). Jim, Ellen, Rebecca, and Jessica all came and watched a few games as well. Glen’s parents (and Rebecca) left after lunch and headed back to Kamloops. Glen and Melissa drove home after the last game and shootout at about 3:30. Susan and Kayla walked home on the beautiful fall day.