Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Canadian Christmas

The Canadian Esky!!!!!
These are our dear friends Willie and Andy where we had coffee (imagine the Canadian accent) after Church on Christmas morning. What a beautiful photo. Kylie was feeling rather jet lagged at this point but we had a beautiful morning together.
At supper time we went to another beautiful family Bert and Hendrica. They provided us with a beautiful traditional supper which we shared with some of there family. Dave and Leanne have 5 children and it was such a pleasure to enjoy all there company and the children were just beautiful. What a lovely time we had. I made "traditional" pavlova which none of them had ever had, and ice cream, which we stored in the garage till it was time to eat. Bert had stored the turkey in the garage until it was time to thaw, how funny is that.

This is Kylie and Josh Christmas morning outside our Church, they had a beautiful ice sculpture done of baby Jesus in His manger and the Star of bethlehem, which is sort of in the background.

We had a lovely day together and were thrilled to share it with such beautiful people. Boxing day was spent in the Mall which was so busy it was hard to move.

Today we are having another Christmas night with Jim and Crystal, Erin and Carly. We are going ice skating on one of the outside dams then having supper together. Jane is working today but Josh is off. He brought himself a snow board and is keen to try it out. We are off to the Rocky mountains tomorrow for a few days before Phil has to go back to work. Oh no not the tour guide bit again!!! Guess I will have to suffer. It is snowing outside just a little as I write, how beautiful.

Enjoy the rest of the Christmas holidays and remember to take time to smell the roses.

Lots of love Tina

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thinking of you as you celebrate the birth of our Savour

Just thought I would throw in some more photos of the freezing Edmonton, while the Land Down Under is hot and wet, so we believe.
We went tobogganing for the first time on Sunday. We firstly had lunch and a game of cards with Jim, Crystal, Erin and Carly, then all of us ventured onto the slopes. Yes even I had several turns, but the hills seem much bigger here/or is it that I am getting older?
Josh and Jane also had some newly acquired friends come along so 11 of us enjoyed out doing each other, or getting as many to go down together as possible, races. Im sure weight has one advantage at this point because I reacon I go faster, or that is my story and Im sticking to it.

This photo is of Phil and Jim admiring the beautiful city of Edmonton. Phil went down the hill a few times head first and ended up with icicles hanging from his mo. Jim was the photographer and took some great shot of our adventures. I just have to learn now how to get them of the CD onto the blog page.
This is the city of Edmonton. For a city of nearly a million people there are not many high rise buildings. There are tunnels underground which you can walk to many places without getting out into the snow and that is fantastic as the weather gets down in the -20s during winter.

The Church we are attending puts on a nativity display for 3 nights this week. They display over 400 different scenes, and have different kinds of Christmas music ( choirs, pipe organ, recitals etc etc) playing. They offer free hot drinks and open the church up to the people of Edmonton. Folk from the Church welcome people in and are on hand to talk with the visitors. Thousands of people come to see the display each year. There is a street connected called "Candy Cane Lane" which has the biggest display of Christmas lights so people can park in the church car park and walk, then come in to see the display. Over the past years it has been a great outreach to families in Edmonton. Last year out of the 400 displayed there was only 1 with baby Jesus on his stomach. Interesting!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a great time with your families over the Holiday break. Take time to reflect on the Birth of Jesus and what He has done for us. Whilst opening presents and enjoying Christmas treats remember the greatest gift to us and remind each other and our children of the real reason for this Celebration.

Love to you all Phil and Tina

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!!!

Hi to "ye who is much warmer than thou". As you can see our -20 somethings have stayed most of the week. It is -22 this morning. Last night we went walking down town to the provincial building, which is a beautiful, old building where the city has put an amazing display of lights and ice sculputers. They also have choirs singing in the building for the next few weeks leading up to Christmas with free hot chocolate, with refills. The ice sculptures are just out the front and just amazing. I will have to learn ,when Phil gets home how to use the camera at night.
In Edmonton they have sleigh rides through out the city you can even take a sleigh ride to look at the street lights in different neighbour hoods. It is quite strange to be walking in the snow at Christmas time.

Josh is just sampling something "on the rocks". Josh and Jane both got work the first shops they walked into. Jane has been working in a costume jewelery/assessories shop since Wednesday. Josh starts work today in a Sports store selling skies, snow boards etc. Both are very happy and have easily ajusted to the jet lag.
We have Erin-May visiting till Tuesday, from Australia. She got stuck in Banff for a few days with a snow storm but has managed finally to get to us. What a great photo! The family who invited us to share the evening with them brought a snow mobile thingy???? yesterday, so that has created a fair bit of excitement in our household. We may get a go in the next few days before Erin-May goes. Phil will be home tonight (saturday) so that will also be fun to enjoy this beautiful weather with him.

I have finally finished all my Christmas sewing and card writing and now have to concentrate on packing, as we move next weekend. That also will be a first, moving in the snow. Once you get rugged up like the abominable snow man its not too bad out.

Have a great week, "and take time to smell the roses", maybe I need to change that to "take time to throw a snowball!"

Lots of love Tina

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The kids have arrived just in time for Winter

Hi to all in the warm part of the world. Also I believe some have had some lovely rain, awesome!!!
Josh and Jane arrived from Australia on Sunday morning (2.30am) it was around -20. We were so excited to see them. The Christmas tree and moose was a display at the airport. It does seem strange to be going into Christmas with a couple of inches of snow on the ground. They had a good but long trip but seem to have managed the jet lag well. As for the weather we are all still getting used to it. (is that possible)

This photo was taken after a walk to the mall. They look kind of strange with all the layers on but they look no dofferent to anyone else. After Church on Sunday we went to some friends place for lunch and they gave us a heap of winter coats, which is fantastic. It really isnt bad in the snow if you are dress right. Im going to buy a set of long johns today because you legs get so cold below the coat line. We are expecting Erin-May from Newcastle (a friend of Kylies from Uni )she is stuck in Banff because they got a foot and a half of snow and need to clear the highway from banff to Jasper.

Our little flat is feeling the effect of have lot of people, moreso all the coats, scarves, touques and gloves everywhere. We are moving in 10 days or so to a house someone at Church has rented out to us. So that will be fantastic. It is about 20 mins from the Mall but will but much better with all the family coming. So if anyone is sending a letter or a pressy let me know so I can give you our new address. Letters are taking a little of 2 weeks to reach us now.

Josh and Jane both got jobs yesterday. Both of them got an interview straight away and got the job on the spot. So they will be busy before Christmas. They will be doing at least 40 hours before Christmas but they are flexable after Christmas to give them time for some tourist things. How exciting is that for them. The Mall alone is looking for 500 people to work there. There is such a job shortage.

I am managing the icy, snowy roads quite well. I was really nervous about it but by everyones standards I have done good!!! Phil has had a few slides in the truck and has seen a few accidents on his travels. He may be going over the rockies later on today so that might be a little more challenging. He has seen lots more snow than us and has had to drive in a lot worse than me.

We are all well and just trying to finish Christmas gifts and post them all. I made Jane a Canadian flannel quilt which I will get some photos off. I was pleased with it but it is so difficult to stitch things without all my proper "stuff".

Have a great week, remember in this busy Christmas season to "take time to smell the roses".,and remember the Lords birth and all that means to us.