Saturday, December 31, 2011

My friends the Shepherds

I love reading this story freshly each year. This year I also borrowed a whole collection of illustrated childrens Christmas books from the local library. The lady serving me asked if I had a child. I shook my head and sheepishly asked "Am I still allowed to borrow this many?" Thank goodness she answered yes. My favourite people in the story are the Shepherds.

As always, my plans for hand made cards to be posted a month in advance and extraordinary-recycled-home-made-and-baked-ingeneous-gifts never seem to work out quite as (or anywhere near how) I hope or envision in the months preceding. I had also (theoretically) planned to take a break from technology over Advent but that was easier said than done. Until our internet connection failed that is, and our landlord went on vacation to Fiji for a month. Not having internet over Christmas made us feel really disconnected from family and friends in Australia but really wasn't the end of the world. Here are a few photos of Christmas in our home.

Looking back through photographs of the year it truly has been an incredible time of exploring Vancouver and Canada beyond. Making new friends, starting a new job, a new college for Josh, a new church, moving home a few times... There have been lots of firsts. I have had the 4 seasons I so hoped to find, and I have learnt about many other seasons of life. We've also missed out on many births back home and the joy and pain of ordinary life. We think and dream about Brisbane often.We look forward to returning. But for now, we love our home here.

We're grateful to so many people who allowed us to leave, welcomed us, befriended us, taught us, lead us, made us laugh and cry and prayed with and for us. We're learning more about each other and growing in commitment to our wonderful Saviour. Goodbye 2011. Hello 2012.

The photos above in order:
(housemate) Matthew with our Christmas tree and advent candles with a wreath made from herbs
the view driving home from school on my last day
stained glass cookies - also Matt's handiwork
bare trees outside
all 5 advent candles alight on Christmas eve (project for 2012 - make beeswax candles...)
frosty rooftops
local quinces from which I made quince paste... which was a lot of effort and not that impressive :(
making real egg-nog - delish!
evergreen boughs above the windows
our real tree - a Grand Fir
and our full house after morning prayer one December morning NB: not all these people live here all the time but all have at some point over the last month.