Wednesday, 18 January 2017


The number sign, the pound symbol, the sharp sign. It had all these meanings before it's current incarnation. The #hashtag. I still use it as a number sign. Sasktel asks for the pound symbol after my password when I'm checking my messages on the phone. (The land line phone that is if you want to talk archaic.) And the sharp sign has always been in music. But the kids now know it as a hashtag. Don't get me wrong, #ilikeagoodhastagasmuchasthenextguy but there are other things in life. 

So the other day I was helping Littlest practice piano. This is her second year and it's getting to be festival season, so her teacher gave her a fairly difficult song which had some new stuff in it. 


She looked at it and said, 'Dad, why does the F have a hashtag in front of it?' It's a sharp sign honey, a sharp sign. Play the black key. 


Speaking of that, let me talk a bit of hockey. I've been watching a bit more this year, mostly because the Oilers are competing again. I've never stopped watching playoffs or big tournaments, but the regular season has been a bit depressing for the past few years. 

The girls could really care less about hockey. Littlest still likes spending time with me, so she will snuggle in next to me when I'm watching and feign interest. A couple of nights ago, Middlest came and sat down next to me as I was watching. This was just after I told her to get her teeth brushed and get ready for bed. She put her fine art of stalling to use and pretended to be interested. The Oilers were up 3-0 at that point. She said, 'So they're pretty much winning eh?'  I said that they were now, but there was still half a game left. Then she said, 'They could get one of those know...where the other team doesn't get any goals.'  You mean a shutout, I replied. She shrugged her shoulders, 'What?  I don't know hockey!'  I believe shutout is a fairly universal term. You don't know sports, not just hockey. 

The girls have also been trying to show some more interest in my hockey games. They ask me who we play and if we won and if I scored.  We played last night and got beat, mostly because we only had six players. I told this to Biggest and she asked, 'And how many players are on the field at once?' Five. And it's ice, not a field. 



Friday, 6 January 2017

Year end wrap up

It appears we are into a new year already so I guess I should wrap up the last one. We've had some ups and downs, highs and lows, but it's been a good year. 

Julie and I celebrated our fifteen wedding anniversary in November. It was a gorgeous day back then - nice enough for a few outdoor photos. Here we are, sitting outside the Bes. (On a side note, we were married so long ago that our pictures weren't digital.  Developed from film by our photographer in her dark room.) 

And 15 years later, we were able to return for a night alone when some great friends offered to take or girls (and dog!) for the night! Here is the view from our room. 


The weather was weird this fall. Even for Saskatchewan. We had a huge snowfall in October and then it left for most of November. There was a slight bit for most of December and I managed to get the house decorated for Christmas on the last nice weekend before the deep freeze set in. The kids has two straight weeks of indoor recess at school before the holidays. Those poor, poor teachers. 

December was filled with school Christmas concerts, a piano recital, two adult Christmas parties and one kids party. Julie's company puts on a party for all the kids and it's always a lot of fun. Santa makes an appearance as well. 

We went to church on Christmas Eve, sang songs by candlelight and then came home to open presents. The girls all wore their Christmas dresses. 


Just before Christmas, Rosie gave us quite a scare. She seemed a bit off one evening and then quite a bit worse by the morning. We took her in to the vet and she ended up spending three nights there on IV antibiotics fighting a nasty infection just under her skin on her belly. But we got her home on Christmas Eve - the best present we could ask for. 

She was still too sick to go to a kennel, so we loaded her up and headed south to Julie's parents place for a few days of fun, visiting and eating. Here is CeCe telling Poppa a story. Or is it the other way around? 


The older two girls read the Christmas story. I really treasure time with family. As I get older and now this being my second Christmas without my dad, I realize how special these times are. I like to sit back and take it all in and appreciate it. I think that's why my favourite verse from the Christmas story is 'But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.'  I just imagine the scene there - she just had a baby (our saviour no less!) in a stable, shepherds came and worshipped and had stories of angels. And Mary found a minute to just take it all in. 


Nanny had a special treat for us all too. She dug her accordion out a little while ago, did some practicing, and played some awesome Christmas carols for us. 

Every year we have a wiener roast too. It started being out in the hills after a day of sledding. But the past two years have not seen enough snow on the hills to slide down, so we had it in the yard and ate in the shop. There may not have been that much snow, but there was still a nasty wind chill. 


We still got the quad out for a bit and pulled the sleigh around the yard. The girls would have gone a lot longer but the driver got cold. 


Then we came home to enjoy a few more days at home before going back to work. My mom, my brother and his daughter came for a visit, so that was nice. 

Here is a picture of Julie wearing her Christmas scarf, Christmas socks and working on a Christmas puzzle. All next to the Christmas tree. 

I got a crokinole board for Christmas and the girls all enjoyed learning how to play. Some pretty intense aiming going on here. 


I guess that's about it. It has been a good year. Biggest was baptized. Middlest went to camp for the first time and had an amazing experience. Littlest accepted Jesus as her saviour. Julie and I celebrate 15 years of marriage. What an incredible gift from God. So as the sun sets in this year, I look forward to 2017 and all that God has in store for us. Happy new year!