Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

While all our Australian family and friends are well into the first of January we're still enjoying 2010 here in the land of bears, mooses and squirrels. We're sending it off in style with cheese fondu and mulled wine while we play 'Rock Band' on playstation. I'm not too proud to boast that I scored 97% singing a Killers song!

I want to get back in and join the fun so I'll try and do this quickly. I've briefly gone through all the photos I've taken this year - all 33395 of them(!!!), and have chosen one for each month of the year. (Impossible task!) So much has happened this year. So many wonderful things, a few sad and difficult things, but overwhelmingly Josh and I feel like we're abundantly blessed and forever grateful. Here are 12 pictures of the year. Thankyou for sharing it with us. They are but a (tiny, random) glimpse.

January: summer skies in Brisbane
2010 January
February: kitchen table come screen printing lab
2010 Feb screen printing
March: church working bee. Painting the toilets.
2010 March working bee
April: Mr Newington's beard is starting to get serious
2010 April Josh beard
May: Chris and Charlie get hitched
2010 May Charlie and Chris Blue
June: kitchen table
2010 June birthday table
July: one of the locals
2010 July Kookaburra
August: the photographer and her man on holidays in Bangalow
2010 July Showie Bangalow
September: tea party with cute 4 year-old twins Reuben and Katie
2010 September picnic with Katie and Reuben
October: I fell in love with these fellas
2010 October kangaroos
November: packing up our lives
2010 November jars
December: Enjoying our newphews
2010 December Lachlan and Jo

Monday, December 27, 2010

My new favourite Carol

O come Emmanuel text
On Christmas Eve we went to the Varty's church and sungs some beautiful carols. After the service we drove up to Mt Seymour. As we drove higher and higher we started to see patches of snow on the side of the road. At the top we had a snow ball fight in the carpark in the dark and then home to warm up. We didn't have a white Christmas so this was a great way to get some white!

I think mum is the one who instilled in my sister Kirsty and I an appreciation for Carols. I especially think of her when singing Joy to the World. Here are some great carol inspired crafts Kirsty made this year and last (they're on her blog here and here.)
weary world


Some more on my new favourite carole: The words to O come, O come Emmanuel were originally written in latin in the 12th century (over 800 years ago - wowsers!). It was called Ve­ni, ve­ni Eman­u­el at the time. In 1851 it was trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale.

The text was added to music: Veni Em­man­u­el, from a 15th Cen­tu­ry pro­cess­ion­al of French Fran­cis­can nuns (the set­ting for the fu­ner­al hymn Libera me); ar­ranged by Thom­as Hel­more (no wonder it sounds sad).

I love the bible and am particularly fascinated by finding truth and prophetic meaning in the Old Testament. The website listed below pointed out that the lyrics echo a num­ber of pro­phet­ic themes:

* The ti­tle comes from the well known Isai­ah 7:14: “Be­hold, a vir­gin shall con­ceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Im­man­u­el.” Im­man­u­el is He­brew for “God with us.”
* The “Rod of Jesse” refers to Isai­ah 11:1: “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jes­se”; Jesse was the fa­ther of Da­vid, se­cond king of Is­ra­el.
* “Day-Spring” comes from Za­cha­ri­as, fa­ther of John the Bap­tist, in Luke 1:78: “The day­spring from on high has vis­it­ed us.”
* “Thou Key of Da­vid” is in Isai­ah 22:22: “The key of the house of Da­vid will I lay up­on his shoul­der,” which in turn re­fers to Isai­ah 9:6 “The gov­ern­ment shall be up­on His shoul­der.”

Information from here. You mightn't be as interested in this as me, but just incase, here is the full version with some extra verses I haven't heard before. Such amazing poetry.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.


Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.


O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.


O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.


(PS I know the drawing doesn't come out super well but all of the bits in the picture are things I picked up on my walk home from the grocery shop on Christmas Eve.)

Friday, December 24, 2010


The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
John 1:14
The Message

Thursday, December 23, 2010


The Varty's Street
Fairway Dr cropMossy roof crop
Marc & Teresa house sign crop
Smoke chimney
Plant crop
squirrel in trea crop
This suburb is called Deep Cove and is right at the base of snow capped mountains, not far from the harbour(cove I guess). Alongside the usual suburban characters there are delightful excesses of moss, red berries and squirrels. Deep Cove is also (in)famous for it's honey doughnuts. The greyness makes the red berries and green moss all the richer and I can't help but think of the 'bad colour' from M. Night Shyamalan's the Village. Jeremy also told us J-Lo has a house here so I'm hoping to bump into her.
squirrel crop
red berry
Woods crop
dripping moss 625
Honey doughnuts
Deep cove 1 crop
deep cove 2 crop
We've spent a few days this week riding into town with Teresa and exploring the city on foot. We've done Main St, Broadway, Commercial & Hastings and various back streets together. Josh has done more on his own.
beefy noodles
paper shop crop
urban source crop
steet with trees
red berry street
bird house crop
golden decoration

Christmas lights

Last night the Varty's gave us a tour of Vancouver's pretty Christmas lights. Unfortunately for them, taking me through a crowded place when I have my camera is like taking a little kid who is prone to wandering off obliviously...
Family B,S,J
lights vertical
light in tree
lights and tinsel
lights in muddy puddle
lights behind tree
lights lots
lights in puddle
family everyone

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Keeping warm

Yesterday Josh and I went in to town early (in the dark at 7.15am) with Teresa. This is what I wore to keep warm, all 5 layers. Purple Gap soccer socks, Australian flag singlet and all.
What I'm wearing 625
I like the cool sting of the wind on my cheeks and I was mostly warm until the afternoon when the cool soaked into my toes and fingers. It's cold all day here too. It doesn't really warm up. The rain makes it damp all of the time but it's soft a lot of the time and you don't necessarily need an umbrella. (Please note I'm not complaining about the weather - I like it, just telling it how it is :). It doesn't look like we are getting snow here anytime soon after all but that's ok, we'll just have to go up the mountains to it. Staying inside in my pj's with S & R today. Snuggly inside.(Funny how drawings always get squished to the right).
*Was looking at this picture today (Wednesday) and thinking I must have had cold legs. Then I remembered I also wore jeans!*

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hello Vancouver

Bear sightings small

Went on a big adventure yesterday to buy a new cord to connect my camera to the computer so I can share pictures. I thought I was looking for an electrical store at 'Cat' Mall, and that's what I kept asking everyone, but turns out it was called 'Cap' as in Capilano. I made it there no thanks to some unhelpful bus drivers and weird bus routes (ok maybe it was not their fault...) but I am appreciative of some other helpful drivers and citizens. I also bought a big map of Vancouver. I am trying to get my head around this big new place and seeing where things are in relation to each other really helps.

PS Lots of pretty scenery and quirky Canadian things to share but for starters I thought this sticker on a street sign was great. Apparently the bears do come down from the mountains in Spring and Fall looking for easy food in peoples rubbish, so it's not uncommon to see them... something to look forward too :)

Bircher Muesli

mango cut up
My mum makes a delicous bircher muesli which inspired me to make this one in our last few days at Orchid St. It's a summer version of porridge and you can really add whatever you like. I used mangoes here - I think it's worth buying them just for their air freshening qualities. Such a de-licious kitchen smell to come home to!
*1/2 cup oats per person - soaked overnight beforehand (this sight has some easy to read articles about the great health benefits of soaking too)
*grated apple
*yoghurt (I prefer natural sweetened with a little raw honey)
*chopped hazelnuts or almonds for sprinkling on top
Pile it all on top of the oats and enjoy!
For other inspiring visual breakfasts have a look at Jen Causeys mouth watering pictures or Natalies amazing recipe blog Tea For Six.
josh breakfast