Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Writings on the Eve of a New Year

Another year's end.
For two thousand, thirteen years now people have had this day to reflect on what the previous three hundred sixty four days have brought into their lives.
And I join them in that reflection along with thoughts, dreams, hopes and yes… resolutions for the upcoming year.

I looked back at what I wrote on this blog the beginning of this year. I wrote how I wanted to become more passionate for life, living and for what I believe. I did attain some of that passion, in some areas so much that it terrified me. But there is still so much out there yet to be had. And I know that I'll be looking for more in this coming year.
Tomorrow I'll be posting some new goals/resolutions that I have set for the new year.

Currently the clock is ticking down to the end of two thousand thirteen, and I'm reflecting on this year's events.
A few things that are standing out as my most favorite are:
My nephew Brendan being born.
(Eeeee!!! I love babies, especially when the baby is my lil' Nephew!)
Church camping trip.
(some favorite moments spent with some of my very favorite people!)
Running the half-marathon.
(I love running. Nuff said.)
Trip to the United States of America with the fam.
(reunited with old friends, meeting new friends.... and my first visit to the ocean!)

And that's it! The clock reads 12:00. A new year has dawned.
It is officially 2014!
And I'll leave the rest of what I want to say for later on this morning :)
Happy new year everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Christmas day.
The day that we celebrate the greatest gift ever given to man.
Jesus Christ, God manifested in flesh.

The days leading up to this most celebrated occasion I find myself lost in the busyness of preparation. Preparation for gatherings, for family togetherness, for full bellies.
We get ready for and participate in family traditions, all this giving me a huge sense of thankfulness for my family, and the amazing memories that we are able to make together every year.

But my favourite Christmas moment of all is the one that usually begins at a late hour christmas eve.
We all cozy up together in the living room and watch the story of Jesus' birth unfold in the movie "The Nativity Story". Even though we all practically have the movie memorized due to watching it every year, it still moves me to tears every time. It brings me to a place of really realizing the sacrifice that was made for us not just by our Saviour, but also by Mary, Joseph and others that were involved in the event of Christ's birth.
The movie usually comes to an end the early morning of Christmas day.
After we all wish each other a "Merry Christmas" and settle in bed for a short sleep before another full day of family fun, I will often lay awake in the silence that sleep brings and really reflect on the reason for the season. The "why" of all of this celebration.

Christ born to die for my sins.
Born to die for ALL of our sins.

As sleep overtakes me, and morning dawns to begin Christmas day, I remember.
I remember the sacrifice, the love and the hope that Jesus brought to us that day long ago.

Huge flakes of snow are falling outside, and inside, we are a happy family.
Dancing to Christmas music, remembering Christmas past, making memories of Christmas present, and enjoying the many, many gifts that God has given us.

As you celebrate Christmas today, don't forget to remember.
Don't forget to be thankful for the most precious gift that was given to us in the form of a babe born long ago.
Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Matthew 1:21
And she shall bring forth a son, 
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
 for He shall save His people from their sins.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Pauls Family Trip ~ Days 18 + 19 (November 19 + 20)

The beginning of day 18 we headed out of Sioux city and arrived in Fargo, North Dakota.
The drive was only around 4 hours (four hours seems minimal to us now!) so we spent the remaining time of our afternoon shopping. I didn't really feel like taking the camera into the stores, so the only pictures I have of that day are ones that I took of Eli...
 (no, I'm not playing favouritism, he is just the only baby we have in the family right now :) 

We found a campground in the dark and spent the night near the city.

Today (Day 19) we left the campground early and headed to Grand Forks, North Dakota to do some more shopping. Once again... no pictures of that :(
We went to Pizza Ranch for lunch (yummy!!), went to a couple more stores... then it was time for the Last.Trek.HOME!!!!

We were welcomed back into our country with not-so-good road conditions, and plenty of snow. I have to say folks that I love our Canadian winter. I can do no snow, no cold for a while... but I was so excited to be back in our cold country!

And so our journey comes to an end.
We are home.
The fire is going in the stove. 
Christmas music is being played on the piano.
The little ones are rediscovering and playing with all theirs toys that seem new again.
And we are excitedly being reunited with our greatly missed family members.
It was good to go away... but it is even better to come home.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Pauls Family Trip ~ Day 17 (November 18)

I did not take one single picture today.
Sadness eh?

We traveled 7 hours northward leaving Kansas, passing through Iowa and arriving in South Dakota early evening.
We are currently in a KOA Kampground close to Sioux City.

Nothing extremely exciting happened today.
(except for maybe when dad had to hit the breaks for a red light and some water jugs went flying off the counter across the RV, spilling water everywhere... ;)
Which is quite obviously reflected by the absence of pictures!
Other then stopping at Camping world in Council Bluff and later on Wal-mart... our day consisted of drive time.

We plan (Lord willing) to arrive home Wednesday, stopping in Fargo or Grand Forks for the night tomorrow before making the final trek home.

That's it... that's all!

The Pauls Family Trip ~ Day 16 (November 17)

Note: I wrote this last night... but it didn't publish. Instead of making changes... I thought I'd just let y'all know :)

It was decided this Sunday morning that we would travel on 4 or 5 hours closer to home, then spend another afternoon/evening at another campground.

Before we left the RV Park, we stopped to visit the buffalo that were penned up at the campground.

As we drove the land changed. 
We were finally able to see farther then the trees or hills that had previously almost always been beside the interstate or highway we were driving along. 
I fell in love with the rolling hills of Oklahoma, then later the flat plains of Kansas.
The farther north we travel, the more it feels like home. 

As we were driving we learned that my Great Grandma passed away. 
I didn't know her real well, but I was sad for those who are affected by the loss. 
My sweet Grandma who lost her mother. And my own mom who has lost her Grandma.

We drove on and on, making a stop once for groceries before arriving at KOA Kampground in Salina, Kansas.

We did some relaxing before the evening routine of making supper and getting kiddoes to bed. 
Right now the RV is silent except for the sound of little children's heavy breathing as they sleep.

As I sit here in the quiet I hear the call of home and the people that I love. 
The call that is becoming louder and louder in my heart as the days go by. 
We are all still having a great time, but we are also missing everything that is so familiar to us.

I'll leave you with pictures of the sweet face that is becoming regular on my blog.... 
but who can resist a face like this eh?!?

'night all!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Pauls Family Trip ~ Day 15 (November 16)

The morning of the 15th day the Klassens once again invited us into their home, this time for a scrumptious breakfast!

After breakfast, pictures and goodbyes... we were soon on our way.
We had such a great visit! 

Thank you Klassen family!

We left Texas and were soon in the state of Oklahoma.

As we drove we came upon Pauls Valley. We couldn't help but stop to take some pictures in "our valley"...

We arrived at Rockwell RV park in Oklahoma City late afternoon.
Some of us did some swimming (the lighting was horrible... so I barley took any pics)...

There was no campfire pit on which to cook our supper, so we had a late supper of barbecue chicken cooked on the oven :)
Aaaand that was the end of day 15!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Pauls Family Trip ~ Day 14 (November 15)

Went for a run along the trails at Mill creek ranch/rv park. I made sure to stay on the trail after reading the warning about the possibility of cobras and other deadly snakes hanging around. :)

The campground was really beautiful. There were little ponds and man made waterfalls all over the place, defiantly the best campground we have stayed at so far this trip!

After breakfast we let the kiddoes play...

Then we all played basketball.

First we warmed up...

Then we shot some hoops...

Then it was game time!!

We packed up and left the campground around noon.
We had some time to kill so we went shopping in Terrell, Texas at some outlet stores.

While we were waiting for other family members to come out of the store, Eli decided to be super cute, so naturally I was able to take some super cute photos....

We had to go through/around Dallas, Texas to get to Richardson, which is it's suburb.

Once in Richardson we went to visit Dad's childhood friend Kelly, his sweet wife Laurene and ADORABLE little babe Tejay.

Oh, and let's not forget to mention this gal! Cocoa was such a sweetheart!

Our hosts were brave enough to feed our HUGE family supper. 

SO yummy!!

Does this little face not just make your heart melt?!?!

The Klassens graciously allowed us to pull our beast (RV :) into their driveway.
And so we spent the last (and warmest!) night in Texas.