Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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Yesterday marked 30 weeks of being pregnant! I am ecstatic to have made it this far! Only 10 weeks left until we meet our little one. We are starting to get antsy to meet our beautiful baby... we've got a crib and a car seat ready, so baby can come any time (... or just wait a few weeks until fully brewed)!

starting to feel like a house...

We are hoping the next few weeks will fly by... I mean, we've got 8 family birthdays, Christmas and New Years all in the next two months before Baby G arrives... time should fly, I'm thinking. We continue to be thankful for all the blessings in our lives.

And speaking of being thankful, this past Sunday and Monday I had the chance to spend some time with friends in Hamilton. My one and only disappointment was that a few of my old co-workers and one of my students that I went to see were not at school on Monday. Hopefully I will see them next time! But thinking positively, here are some things I am thankful for:

- $2 packs of diapers
- comfy couches to sleep on
- Grey Cup parties (even if Hamilton didn't win)
- smiley babies and precocious toddlers
-breakfasts and dinners out with friends
- really loud whispers in Gr. 6 classrooms (yes, I'm pregnant, guys)
- care packages from friends (thanks Jim and Marcia!)
-co-workers who welcome me back with open arms

So much to be thankful for! And I wish all of you a "Happy-rest-of-November-let's-get-ready-for-Christmas" time!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe Christmas Tour

Yesterday evening James and I had the chance to get out and celebrate our birthdays and Christmas together. With a baby on the way and both our birthdays and Christmas in a couple of weeks, we decided to lump everything together and celebrate with one big event. And what an event it was!

We started the evening off at Hot Belly Mama's, a Cajun restaurant located deep in the heart of... Peterborough. Although not a very Cajun city, the restaurant did a great job of preparing some awesome Cajun food! James ended up having Cajun pulled pork and I had a Deep-fried Cajun shrimp Po'boy... deee-licious! It was a break from pub food or fast food, so we thoroughly enjoyed it!

After dinner we escaped to the Showplace Academy Theatre and were treated to an evening of stories and music from Stuart McLean and the Good Lovelies. Stuart had us on the edges of our seats laughing right out of the gate! His style and body language when telling stories is just so entertaining! We heard stories of turkey gravy falling off lightbulbs, defibrillator mishaps, non-offensive Christmas pageants and so much more. Unfortunately the lighting was not great for pictures, and my camera batteries decided to bail on me at the last moment.

The way that Mr. McLean could command the audience with a pause or a hand gesture will never cease to amaze me! James and I have always loved listening to the Vinyl Cafe on CBC, and seeing Stuart live gave even great meaning to the stories we've already heard. I definitely recommend going to a show, even if you haven't listened to (or even heard of) The Vinyl Cafe. If you can't go to the show, tune in on Saturday mornings at 9 on your local CBC Radio 2 station (for most of you that's 94.1), and have a listen. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

A Very Special Remembrance Day

"Attitudes towards the Jews during the Holocaust mostly ranged from indifference to hostility. The mainstream watched as their former neighbors were rounded up and killed; some collaborated with the perpetrators; many benefited from the expropriation of the Jews' property. 
In a world of total moral collapse there was a small minority who mustered extraordinary courage to uphold human values. These were the Righteous Among the Nations. They stand in stark contrast to the mainstream of indifference and hostility that prevailed during the Holocaust. Contrary to the general trend, these rescuers regarded the Jews as fellow human beings who came within the bounds of their universe of obligation."-

This past summer I learned that my Grandpa (Kottelenberg) was to be honoured by the Israeli government and a Jewish organization called Yad Vashem for his work hiding Jews during the Second World War.

I was immediately overwhelmed by a sense of awe and pride in my Grandpa. This award is given to men and women who put their own lives at risk to save Jewish people from the Nazis. He did something about the evil he saw in the world. He believed these people who were so different from himself were still worth saving. He acted on his faith.

What an example.

I have prayed so many times since I learned about this that God would work that kind of faith in me. I am so thankful to have grown up in a peaceful country where my life is not threatened by war daily. But I pray that if war came to me, that I would be able to stand for the truth and fight for what is right. I pray that I would be able to humble myself and sacrifice my own comfort and wellbeing for someone else.

And to think, we already have the greatest example of sacrifice and love to live by! It was by this example that my grandpa lived and made his decisions. Without knowing the grace and love of God, he may not have sacrificed himself and his wellbeing for another. He believed that Jesus had already made the ultimate sacrifice for him, and therefore decided to put his own life at risk to fight for what was good and true.

This Remembrance Day, I will be remembering more than just strangers who fought for a cause that was so distant from myself. I've always felt respect for soldiers who fought for what was right. But this Remembrance Day, I know that in at least one instance, the sacrifice that was made impacted whole families, one of them being mine. I know the names and faces of people who lived the truth and were victorious in the face of evil.

Oh, that I may live up to this legacy! I hope and pray that my life may reflect not only the faith of my fathers, but also reflect the One who paid the ultimate sacrifice for me.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. - Ephesians 3: 14-21

Thursday, 7 November 2013

November, November

It's generally safe to say that November is not one of my favourite months. It usually brings drizzly, cold, nasty pre-winter and less light.

What I can say, however, is that so far, November is turning out to be pretty alright. A week in, and I've already enjoyed company for 3 of the 7 days, and done some pretty awesome things.

Last weekend, Nate and Amber came up for Friday night and Saturday. Since we hadn't seen them since we moved, we were going through withdrawal and were pretty excited. We ended up celebrating Nate's birthday with pumpkin cake (sooo... good. ask for the recipe!), and a day spent in downtown Lindsay and at the Loggersports competition at Fleming. I wish I had remembered to take pictures! We watched people climb telephone poles in 4 seconds, chop logs in seconds and generally exhibit crazy skills in all things wood and axe related. It was pretty awesome.

On Saturday afternoon, we bought a puzzle and have been working on that since... with a hiatus for Erin and the kiddos on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I let James pick the puzzle. We ended up with "Canoe Lake". Any surprises there?

Erin came with Hayden and Colsen on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. Again, less pictures were taken than I wished, but that's because my time was monopolized by a three year old girl asking me to read the same book 50 times and "dance to the drums". A worthy distraction, I admit. It was nice to have one-on-one time with my sister to hang out enjoy each others' company.

Hayden "helping" Colsen with his banana... it kept slipping
out of his hand, so she would poke it and feed it to him
"Mom" and Hayden saying "cheese" while eating grilled cheese

Lastly, I thought I'd put in a quick "update" picture of Baby Groenwold. I'm officially leaving the first 2/3 of pregnancy behind and heading into the home stretch!  Not much to report on. I love watching the ocean that is my belly when I lay down. We definitely can tell Baby G is alive and well! So thankful.

27 weeks