June was a huge month for us, in many ways. First of all, we were able to make an attempt to mend many broken hearts by finding dogs that needed a home--two 8-week-old females we named Vimy and Juno--border collie/shepherd/lab cross pups that quickly helped in the healing process after losing our dog Pepper. They made their way into our hearts and family very quickly, and I'm also happy to report that they get along marvelously with our other Bichon Frise dog, Alaska. Alaska and Pepper were always at odds with each other, so it's been a huge blessing to have 3 dogs that can all tolerate each other and not be constantly fighting.
Here are some pictures of our pups . . .
(Oh, to clarify something--when we went to pick up the puppies, there were cats present, and for reasons unknown to us, one of the cats attacked Ty and clawed his face. He was taken to see a doctor and given medication to prevent negative effects of a potential infection, and fortunately, the wound has healed quite remarkably. However, Ty hates cats even more now than ever before, and we are baffled as to why this cat acted the way it did towards our son . . . some of these pictures were taken the day after the cat attack, so his eye looks quite nasty--be warned).
Ty with Vimy Ember
Mitchell with Juno Benelli
Me with Juno and Vimy
Here are the boys with the puppies mid-summer.
June was also the end of the boys' first year with their new online school. They both did very well in their grades (gr. 9 for Mitchell; gr. 7 for Ty) so we decided to continue on with this school for their next school year.
June was also the month we got to celebrate Tyrone turning 13 years old! He loves skateboarding, so we gave him a Penny skateboard for his birthday. Here he is posing with it for the camera:
13 years old!
One of the biggest highlights from the year was Mitchell's baptism. I've already written about it extensively in a previous post, but here are some photo highlights of this very special day:
Mitchell sharing his testimony.
One of our pastors praying for Mitchell.
JULY - AUGUST
July and August are two of my favourite months of the year . . . and they are also two of my least favourite months of the year. I love these months because I get to spend more time with my family rather than being at work; however, due to the fact that I'm not working, our finances suffer. That being said, God has always taken care of us for the three months of financial drought that we face due to my occupation. I wouldn't change my job for this reason--I enjoy my summer with the boys too much to entertain that thought!
So, in light of us not having my income to help us along during the summer, we tend to do as many activities close to home as we can so that we don't break-the-bank. Some of our summertime activities included helping with Vacation Bible School at our church; summer camp for the boys (which meant a week for Wayne and to have couple-time, even though he had to still work during the day, it was fun to have our evenings together for that week); watching stock car races; visiting Fort Battleford, a National Historic Site; fishing at a place called The Spillway, which is close to where we live; and visiting friends and family. We also enjoyed spending time outdoors on our acreage, and I've included some pictures of my flowers from the summer of 2014. And finally, I turned 42 years old in August and of course that was celebrated with family and a cheesecake.
Having fun in the water at The Spillway
The boys at Fort Battleford.
Ty at the Stock Car Races.
Mitchell at the Stock Car Races
Bumblebee enjoying the flowers.
Petunias and Lobelia.
Celebrating 42 years of life!
SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER
September was a busy month for us all as I transitioned back into my work as an Educational Associate at a Hutterite Colony, and the boys returned to their online school. School was different for Mitchell this year, since Grade 10 requires credit courses in order to graduate, and he worked on a semester system rather than a 10-month school year. We were unsure of how this was going to work out, but he did exceptionally well and ended his first semester with an average of 98%. In addition to his high school credit courses, he was also enrolled in Driver's Education. He was officially allowed to drive in mid-October and caught on to the process quite quickly. He now drives whenever we allow him to, and I'm sure he's already devising a plan in order to obtain his driver's license the moment he turns 16.
Mitchell turned 15 in September, and we were able to celebrate with our family on two occasions--once just the four of us, and the second time with extended family. Both times he enjoyed pie as an alternative to a cake. He really likes pie!
and More Pie (Pumpkin)!
(celebrating Wayne's birthday jointly with Mitchell's)
In October we got to attend the wedding of one of the boys' youth leaders, and the family picture below was taken the day of that wedding. Other highlights included Wayne's birthday (see above), my Sisters Weekend (with my wonderful sisters) and my ability to attend a 2-day conference for educators of Hutterite students.
I must say, September and October were crazy months because of two things: 1. They were just super-busy with the return to "Regular Programming" in our home and we had a lot of extra stuff going on; and 2. High School online was intense at the beginning, and with the inclusion of driver's education in the mix of our schedule, I wasn't sure if we were going to make it to Christmas. But we did! Hallelujah!!!!
Crazy sisters! I love these women!
My husband, kids and I - Thanksgiving Weekend 2014
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER
So, as far as I can tell or remember, November didn't offer much by way of excitement in our household . . . I'm sure we were juggling schedules, trying to make it through to Christmas, battling snow, ice and cold . . . like any other November. I've included some updated pictures of our puppies, which we took in November, shortly after a huge snowfall.
Of course when December arrives my heart is always set on Christmas, my favourite season of the year! I love Christmas decorations, the Christmas tree, Christmas baking, Christmas gatherings, Christmas celebrations . . . and Christmas break. School for me was on hold for a whole two weeks; Ty also had two weeks off and Wayne had about 10 days, but unfortunately for Mitchell, he had to return to his schoolwork on December 30th in order to finish his semester well. He didn't seem to mind, though.
We ended off the year with abnormally warm temperatures and celebrated on our outdoor rink with friends who came to join us to say good-bye to 2014 and helped us welcome the year 2015!
Reflecting on 2014, I can say that it was a year of ups and downs, just like any other year. Yet I am reminded once again of God's faithfulness and provision for us in so many ways. Not only does He continue to provide for our needs, He has blessed us with many wants as well. We have been provided with material goods, but the most beautiful blessings come by way of time spent with family and friends, strength to carry on when we felt like giving up, and continued spiritual growth and the longing for our eternal home. These things combined have made 2014 a memorable year and I thank God for every moment He provides, and for every breath He grants us.
Following some photos from this part of the year, I will leave you with a you-tube video of one of my favourite songs . . . I love the lyrics of the song, Great Are You Lord, by All Sons and Daughters. Enjoy!
What I saw out of my kitchen window . . .
after a November snowstorm.
Tyrone with Vimy.
Mitchell with Juno.
Mitchell and Juno playing in the snow.
Ty and Vimy playing in the snow.
Merry Christmas with Mitchell!
Merry Christmas with Tyrone!
VERY THANKFUL FOR THE BREATH IN OUR LUNGS AS WE POUR OUT OUR PRAISE TO GOD IN 2015 . . .