Christmas Letter 2002

 

Over the past decades, I’ve always tried to write an annual Christmas letter to family and friends summarizing our family activities and highlighting our proudest moments. TODAY’S CHRISTMAS LETTER IS FROM DECEMBER 2002, word for word.

 
Merry Christmas!!
It’s been so long since I wrote a Christmas letter, I thought I’d better do one since my daughter began the tradition last year and put me to shame! What can I say – we’re all getting older and only some of us are getting better! Ha! Ha!

To start off the new year, we celebrated with our good friends and neighbours by hosting a New Year’s Eve Party in our ‘party room’ a.k.a. garage. A few years ago, Chris and Taylor put up drywall, some cupboards, added a woodstove for heat, and finished it with wall-to-wall indoor/outdoor carpeting. We use this space now for ‘overflow’, heating it whenever we have a gang for parties, Xmas, etc. but not usually for the poor Van.

Nellie turned 10 years old in January while Darin turned 25. Darin is the equipment manage of the Canadian Sledge Hockey team and traveled to Japan, Europe, and finally the Salt Lake City Olympics. I got to take the train to see my sisters, Faye and Betty, in Hamilton this month!!! Yeah – better than Europe to me!

In early February we held our annual skating party on the Rideau River in our backyard. As usual, we had a great time. On February 19th, Taylor turned 22 – he’s been living in Vancouver for a year and a half now and loves it. We REALLY miss him!

March began with a blast – Chris had a mini stroke which he’s mostly recovered from other than headaches which he never had, some memory loss, and slight loss of some small motor skills. However during the follow-up to find out what caused it, Dr.s discovered a hole in his heart! And he said he didn’t have a heart!! Not to be alarmed, though, since he’s probably had it his whole life and they’re just going to leave it for now. Poor guy – last year, after an ear infection (the only one he ever remembers having) he started to go deaf in his right ear. He’s mostly deaf in it now with some hearing loss in the other ear – he’s supposed to have an MRI, hopefully in 2003 (who knows with our health care system!).

We were distraught in April by the death of Grampa Bob Mellway. We will truly miss this wonderful Grampa, Dad, and friend. ūüė¶

In May, I turned 49! – weeeeee…. headed for the big 50! Of course, the country held a national holiday for me and some babe named ‘Victoria’, so we celebrated with a bonfire and fireworks! Melvin resumed his summer schedule of wasp venom injections to build up his immunity to stings since he has a life threatening allergy. He even carries an Epipen in a waist-pouch where ever he goes.

We opened the pool and added the solar cover to boost the heat – I even went in during the heat wave!! I was briefly in the hospital for a heart scare. Chris turned 42 – I told him that once you turn 40 you are over the hill and start to fall apart! Everyone passed and was glad school was over. Darin graduated from Carleton University with a degree in Computer Science. Marty got a job at a local store and still works there on weekends.

The summer was hot and dry again. Marty went to summer school to boost his Math mark for a couple weeks. And Faye came up again this year for a week at the end of July. We always have a great time mostly just relaxing.

Kristi turned 20 in August, Robin turned 27, his wife Natasha turned 28, and Marty turned 16 years old! Whew! We traveled to Hamilton to Faye and Joey and Betty’s at the end of August. We took Faye and went to Niagara Falls and had a great time on the Maid of the Mist and the Caves Beneath the Falls – a must for any Falls tourist!

The kids resumed school in September: Melvin in grade 3 – his favourite subject is Math. He just loves to figure things out. He also loves to draw and is an avid outdoors player. Nellie is in grade 5 at the same school. Her favourite subject is Art. She is a social ‘butterfly’ and has many friends, her most special being Alyssa ( the one year old neighbour I babysat last winter). Nellie is almost as tall as me now! Marty is in grade 10 now and presently loves playing Playstation2. He wants to attend University of Victoria to study Marine Biology when he’s done high school.

Kristi lives in Ottawa and is in her second year at Carleton University – she maintains an A average, receiving a scholarship every year. She also works at the Ottawa General Hospital as a bilingual ER intake clerk, in her ‘spare’ time! The love of her life is Mike, whom she’s known since high school and now a student at Carleton University too.

Taylor works as a bartender in Vancouver and also does DJing, ‘spinning’ records at clubs whenever he gets a gig. His girlfriend’s name is Mary. Robin and Natasha live in Victoria, B.C. where Rob goes to U Vic and Natasha works. They say they love it out there, but it’s VERY far away……

Darin and Amanda got married this October 6th in a beautiful outdoor wedding. The day was absolutely perfect and they were so awesome – they honeymooned in Hawaii. At the end of October, Amanda celebrated her quarter-of-a-century birthday.

Faye and Joey came up for Thanksgiving this year and as usual we had a real nice time. The biggest surprise of the month was that Kristi and Mike got engaged!! They plan on waiting a few years while they finish University before getting married. Mike’s a really nice guy and the two of them are just like two peas in a pod – except Kristi does most of the talking!!

Well, November’s been an interesting month – Chris had a possible gall bladder attack (Stones? = ultrasound in December) and during the bloodwork they turned up some abnormal results, so they’ve run some further tests. He’s feeling better now, but still has constant vague discomfort. This weekend we are going to have a Canadian Football League Grey Cup party to watch the championship game – well, we don’t stare at the TV, it’s just an excuse to get together for a pot luck supper and good discussion while the football game is on!

December 19th, Melvin turns 8. But before that, I have to get my B.C. parcels ready to mail – which means making the usual Christmas cookies, squares, candy, and special surprises in early December. Oh yes, I still have to finish my Christmas shopping/decorating/creating – with 7 children, 2 daughters-in-law, and one almost son-in-law (let me see 7+2+1= that’s 10!) plus Chris, other family and friends, I’d better close this letter and get busy!!! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year. And if you find yourself in our neck of the woods, we’d love to see you!

Merry Christmas!
Linda, Chris, Melvin, Nellie and Marty

Christmas Letter 1990

Over the past decades, I’ve always tried to write an annual Christmas letter to family and friends summarizing our family activities and highlighting our proudest moments. TODAY’S CHRISTMAS LETTER IS FROM DECEMBER 1990, word for word.

Dear Friends,
Many of you haven’t heard from us in a few years, so I’d like to bring you up-to-date on all the dramatic changes which have happened.

1988 was an unsettling year. First my Dad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in the spring, then died in October. Two weeks afterwards, Dean unexpectedly left me and the kids and filed for divorce. The kids and I were going to move back to Hamilton to be nearer family at this trying time, but a little voice inside me said ‘Kemptville is your home now – stay’ and the larger voice of the kids insisted ‘stay’! It became apparent that I was meant to be here when I met Chris last fall. We’ve shared our lives since then and were married June 9th in our back yard with family, friends, and children present.

The kids sure have grown: Robin (15) is in Grade 10 and enjoys Drafting. In his spare time, he paints Lead Figures and buddies with Geoff. Darin (14 soon) is a good athlete in grade 7 and enjoys racing Radio Controlled Cars. Taylor (almost 11) is in grade 5 and likes to play Nintendo. Kristi (8) is in grade 3 and loves to play school and house with Marty and Terri (her step-sister/Jason is their step-brother). Marty, alias Mards Bar, Benjamin, Batman, Ninja Turtle, is now going to Junior Kindergarten full time after a hesitant late start at the end of October. He’s an independent boy who loves all the attention from everyone.

I practice Midwifery whenever I can and still run my private Lactation Consulting practice at Winchester Hospital and homes. I’ve recently accepted the position of Welcome Wagon hostess for Kemptville, too.

It’ll take a few Christmas letters for you to get to know Chris (30), but briefly, he’s a painter by trade and a jack-of-all-trades who can do anything. Together we enjoy boating, skidooing, relaxing at home, even painting (when he needs extra help). He’s just getting into the Radio Controlled Car Club with Darin.
So that’s quite an update, isn’t it!! We hope that if you’re travelling our way, you will drop by to see us in 1991!

 

 

Chris

 

June 1960 – March 2, 2008

1960

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1990

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1995

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1999

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2002

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2003

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Chris

Chris

 

 

 

Tribute to Chris

On this day six years ago, Sunday March 2nd, 2008, our beloved Chris passed from this world.  This year, my tribute to Chris is in the form of photos over the years.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so please enjoy:

Our backyard wedding

Our backyard wedding

“I do” – our backyard wedding with friends and family.

vacation

vacation

Holidays at Perce Rock, Gaspe Quebec.

Newborn Nellie

Newborn Nellie

Chris was a gentle, loving soul.

Building the playhouse

Building the playhouse

Chris was able to build or fix anything.

Waterskiing in April

Water skiing in April

He was always happy to fulfill dreams like taking Robin water skiing as soon as the ice melted on the river in April…….. brrrr.

Teaching Melvin to skate

Teaching Melvin to skate

He had tons of patience.  He worked hard to make a skating rink on the river for everyone to enjoy.

Building our Garage

Building our Garage

Chris was always eager to teach the kids to build or renovate.

Playing pool in Garage

Playing pool in Garage

He even finished our garage into a play room for Saturday night hockey, pool, darts, and cards.

Chris and Kristi

Chris and Kristi

Even though he was big and strong, he never dismissed affection.

Collecting shells

Collecting shells

He would spend hours and hours doing the simple things like collecting shells and beach glass on long walks along the beach down home.

Fancy Restaurant

Fancy Restaurant

Always fun

Underwater

Underwater

and playful

"Santa"

“Santa”

and giving.

Grampie with Kalia & Livi

Grampie with Kalia & Livi

And he was proud to be a Grampie.

Chris and Yukon

Chris and Yukon

Chris loved his dog – the only one he ever had.

Chris

Chris

We will always remember Chris

Grammomsblog 2012 in Review

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I was going to give you a summary of Grammomsblog for this year but the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 Grammomsblog Annual Report!

Included in Grammomsblog 2012 Report are statistics for:   my most popular post (Home Grown Wedding), number of posts and pictures, most active day (53 views), most active Commenters, viewer Countries, etc.

I thought this was quite cleverly created, so I hope you will just click the link below and enjoy reading.

Click here to see the complete report.

See you all in 2013!

Grammom

Home Grown Wedding

I’ve been in the interior of British Columbia for six days now and I’m still wowed in amazement.¬† The drive here was incredible as we left the Rocky Mountain range and drove through the Purcell Mountains.¬† Until recently, I always thought that all the mountains on the west coast were the “Rocky Mountains” – I didn’t realize that the Rocky Mountains are only one of many mountain ranges.

I’m staying in the small town of Creston nestled between the Purcell Mountains and the Selkirk Mountains, at Pheasants Run¬† Bed and Breakfast¬† (¬†http://www.bbcanada.com/10806.htm. )¬†Our 2 bedroom suite also has a living room and kitchenette area and our ‘hosts’ have been SO accommodating to the various family members who have decided to stay here rather than camp on the farm.

Robin and Nici

And of course that brings me to the whole reason for this trip to the interior of British Columbia:¬† my son Robin’s wedding.¬† What a beautiful wedding it was too:¬†¬† in a meadow on the bride’s family farm up a winding mountain road¬† (just close your eyes and imagine the perfect scenerio and you’ll be there).¬†¬† After arriving at the farm on the warm and sunny wedding day,¬† family and friends walked¬† past the horses, ponies, and chickens,¬† over to the meadow,decorated with flowers, an arbour with local cedar boughs, and all surrounded by mountains and pine forest.¬† The bride Nici was dressed in her Mom’s lacey wedding dress and Nici’s hand-made white moccasins -it was perfection.

 

 

Bride & Groom’s Wedding Footwear

Their wedding rings were hand-forged on Granville Island, Vancouver, BC to their specifications.¬† They also wrote their own wedding vows to express their love and committment to each other – it was very touching.¬† During this brief ceremony, the wind rustled in the trees providing a welcome breeze, birds flittered and chirped, the shade positioned itself upon the guests, and an eagle soared overhead.¬† At the end, when everyone clapped for the newly joined couple, the horses pranced and whinnied their congratulations right on cue, while the rooster crowed in celebration.¬† Then the bride and groom joined hands and ‘jumped the broom’ for good luck (hand made by a local broom-maker ‘Harry Potter’ style¬†@ www.northwovenbroom.com in Crawford Bay, BC)……. followed by the family dog.

Jumping the Broom

View from the Wedding Ceremony

The official ceremony was followed by a huge feast!¬† The bride and groom toasted with a horn found on the property (and properly cleaned, polished, and trimmed with shiney metal by the newlyweds) filled with champagne or Rob’s home brew.¬† Myles and Cheryl (parents of the bride) did an incredible job feeding everyone with turkey, roast beef, salads from their own¬† garden produce, buns, home-made pickles, etc, etc.¬† The beautiful 3 tiered wedding cake was lovingly made by Cheryl and her Mom with a family fruitcake recipe and it was SO delicious.

A Wedding Toast

And of course, a family gathering wouldn’t be complete without a campfire.¬† Everyone had a fantastic time singing old folk songs by Gordon Lightfoots, Stan Rogers, Peter Paul and Mary, and other artists my sons were familiar with as well as old campfire favourites like¬† ‘Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road’.¬† It was a real joy to listen and sing along with all 7 of my children!¬† We had a blast!

Wedding Campfire

Robin and Nici’s wedding down on the family farm was truly a beautiful and unique event which will remain with all of us for many years to come.

For the next couple of days, we’ll be taking day trips with the newlyweds, ¬†to various locations around the area to walk the beaches of Mountain lakes or visit the wildlife sanctuary or drive up to one of the highest peaks of the Selkirk Mountains.¬†¬† I’ll keep you posted……..

 

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