A Merry Christmas

A few scenes of the season from our house to yours.

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One of my favorite traditions is making our own Christmas cards. I grew up helping my Mom and sister do this every year and I have continued it for our family. This year I was happy to have a newborn footprint to use on our cards.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, rejoicing in the birth of our Savior!

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“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people.

“[He has come] to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
~Luke 1: 68, 74-75

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Fall Celebration at the Citadelle

A couple Sundays ago we headed to the Residence of the Governor General at the Citadelle of Québec for the afternoon* for a fall celebration. There were some acrobats, jugglers, a tour of the Governor’s residence, a brass quintet, samples of apple juice, face painting and general fun activities happening. We thought it would be much busier, but it turned out to be a rather laid back, easy going event.

*Do you sense a pattern here? We go out in the afternoons. It’s easier that way since the smallest person in our group, i.e. the baby, needs his morning nap. That’s one change with being a family of four and having a baby in tow. It is kind of nice since we get to eat lunch at home, tidy the kitchen and then go off adventuring.

Back to the fall festival. First off, a maple leaf was painted on Natasha’s cheek. I thought it quite appropriate, and glad she selected it.

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The face painting station was set up right outside of the main entrance for the residence tour. There was no way I was going to play tourist and go right up in front of the guards to snap a picture, but it was easy to do at a slight distance while the maple leaf was being applied. Had we been here earlier in September, we could have come to see the changing of the guard, but alas, it has ended for the season. Natasha kept asking why they have their hats on so far over their heads.

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One of the event staff members mentioned that the mascot of the Royal 22e Régiment here is a goat. That explains the painted goat hoof prints we saw leading up on the path to the citadelle, and the following picture. What a stern faced soldier and cheerful goat they have!

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A Caribbean Interruption

We interrupt this ongoing (and perhaps never ending) series of New Zealand updates, to bring you a few pictures of our most recent traveling adventure. Last month Daniel and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. Daniel planned a short get-away for just the two of us to and my only request was that it might be somewhere that didn’t require me to wear a coat. Puerto Rico has plenty of plantains and weather that doesn’t require multiple layers, so that’s where we landed.

It was a very good choice. We had anticipated it being a LOT more humid than it was, so when we weren’t sweating every moment outdoors it was a most pleasant surprise and relief. We enjoyed it immensely. Still, you’d think we would end up spending hours by the beach laying out, but that just isn’t our style. Old San Juan has a fort about 500 years old, and that’s where we ended up spending a fair amount of time. In the shade of course. I was not  going to return home with a sunburn, and I admit, I’m a little too proud that I was very successful in that resolution.

Our first hotel had an infinity pool, which we enjoyed by moonlight. (Better on my northern pale skin than sunlight…)

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During the day, we did a fair amount of walking (and waiting for buses when we didn’t feel like walking), sight-seeing in Old San Juan, exploring the shady old narrow streets, and sitting to read with the ocean waves crashing nearby.

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We also observed reptiles.

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We didn’t avoid the beach completely; I wasn’t going to return home without getting my feet wet with salty water at least once.

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The old streets were incredibly fun to walk along. Bright colors and fun doors…and all that.

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Just being able to sit and read without interruption until we felt like doing something else, or until we got hungry, seemed like a pure luxury.

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I tell you, it was beautiful.

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San Juan is a busy port for many cruise lines, and watching these giant ships was mesmerizing. IMG_3360