more snow

 The snow has been gone for a while now – two days ago the above picture was taken.  Then yesterday morning it started raining – then it turned to snow – and it continued all day.  By the end of the day there actually was some accumulation on the ground.  Not much- but enough for our kids to head outside as soon as they could.  The snow was nice and sticky – perfect for snowmen.    Unfortunately (in this case) we live on the side of a mountain – and on more than one occasion there have been out-of-control snow-balls tumbling down the hill.  Jonah had one the other day that he tried to stop – but had to abandon as it rolled past him and snapped off a fence post on its way to smashing into the trunk of a fruit tree about 20m down. Between potentially sledding into blackberry bushes, and self-inflicted avalanches – there are some new winter-time dangers that our kids need to adapt to.  However they no longer have to worry about freezing to death in their own yard – so that’s nice.  It is noon and it has been raining ever since early this morning – so the snow won’t last much longer at this point.  It did ice up the roads nicely though – and I had to (once again) put chains on my car just to get up to our house yesterday evening.

Alma in the snow

Here are a few more pictures of Alma from the snow we had last week.  Actually the snow is back. The rain turned to snow early this morning – and all day it has been switching back and forth from wet snow to cold rain.  It accumulates on the ground – then the rain melts it a bit- then more rain.  The roads should be nice!

10 years ago today.

Hard to believe it – but it was ten years ago that Jonah was born.  I thought I would put up a few pictures that highlight some of the last decade with him.

First ever family photo – in the delivery room
some of his first steps – on the beach in Morocco

Obviously moving to Canada was a fairly big change for a 18 month old.  It’s hard to believe that we are now back here – when we left I must say that I didn’t think we would be back.  We bought our first house, moved closer to family and a while later – Jonah became a big brother.
Then he became a big brother again.  He has always been so proud of his little brother and sister.  

Since we did some fairly significant renovations to that house – and the next one- Jonah was always around to help me.  He always was very interested in what needed to be done  -how it worked – why things were done that way – and of course – if he could try.  By the time he was 4 he had probably done more renovation work than I had in the first 30 years of my life

  

at Pigeon Lake

Camping in Jasper Alberta
books can distract him from much


Jonah started reading quite early – and has never turned back. I think it is not an exaggeration to say that he reads more pages of fiction for fun in a week than I probably did in my entire childhood.  He blows through entire series of books – and takes on works (like the 4000 or so pages of the Harry Potter series)  that – quite ironically – make my PhD look like child’s play

first day ever on skis – on his 9th birthday

He loves to gather any broken mechanical or electronic device – will completely disassemble them, try to understand them, then attempt to build something new out of them.  He built a electronic car that was made out of lego and motors from a disassembled non-functional CD-changer from our Renault mini-van. 

Disneyland Paris – this summer
Christmas Day this year


   

It has been an amazing 10 years.  It has been an great privilege to watch him grow and mature, to watch his strengths build and to watch him take on new challenges.  He makes me a better person – possibly because in so many ways he reminds me of myself when I was little and sometimes I see my own faults reflected back in his behavior.
It has been great to watch his faith mature, to see him understand what is really important in life- even when that means him convicting us on something.

10 years. 
I can’t imagine what he’ll do in the next 10.

Christmas vacation – so far

The kids have been off school since Dec 17 – so we’ve already had a full week of holidays.

Here’s what the past seven days have looked like in our corner of the world.

Early Saturday morning – as les vacances de Noel officially began – the snow started falling at our place. And it continued.  The flowers that were on the table the evening before were fully covered by the morning with close to 20cm of snow.


The temperature stayed close to or below freezing for a few days so it continued to snow for a few days -and stayed around for 4 days – and our kids took full advantage of it.


 

Last Sunday was a Christmas Festival put on by our English-speaking church, and the French church that we partner with.

not sure why the sheep is throwing up a gang sign
cookie decorating

There were tonnes of people there from both our communities – as well as many others who just came to check it out. The kids had around 10 different craft stations, there was a nativity photo shoot, music playing, and everyone had lots of fun


card making

This past week I took our two older kids skiing twice this past week. They learned to ski last year in two outings, so with two more days they have really improved.   

It really is a pretty spectacular place to live fo us to go skiing.  We drive up the hill from our village about – less than 20km probably from our house to the ski station.

last run of the day
tired – but still excited

  Both days we went skiing were beautiful. No lines for the lifts. Cheap tickets. Clear blue skies.  On Friday it was +8 when we started skiing just before 11:00- and it was still 6 when we finished when the sun went down just before 5:00. They both are loving it – are doing great – and it’s great to watch them learn something new together.

We’ve also enjoyed just having time at home as a family – hanging out and doing stuff together.
Christmas cookie baking sweatshop

 Jonah giving Alma her first bottle 

Family Movie Night

Marché de Noel in Grenoble