Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Month-by-month run-through of 2012

For a number of years now, I have taken a few hours on Christmas or New Year's Eve to rehash the closing year, count our blessings and get myself all psyched up for the coming year. But it's not all about me, so I include my friends and family by voyeuristically exposing the facts and incidents for one and all.

It was a little over a year ago when I abandoned my blog. Little did I realize how much I depended on it to help me with the rehash and pysching up. So this year I rely solely on my memory, making up things as I go along since there is no blog for evidence against my fading memory.

Well, it appears the world did not end in 2012. But for us it changed. Really really changed. Here's a month-by-month run-through of the lives of Albert and Liana

January saw Albert and I celebrating 30 years of marriage. THIRTY years. The freaking number 30 looks so enormous to me. I know I was young when we married, but I really don't feel much older than 30 - how can we have been married that long? I credit him and God for miraculous patience and love, and offer up thanks for my lot in life.

In February, to celebrate Dad's 85th birthday we had a family dinner, Ziemer style.

Bernie, Stacie and Greg were missing, but the rest of the siblings managed to fit around the table.

In March, exactly three weeks after Xander turned 3 years old, our very beautiful baby granddaughter was born. While I kinda wondered how my heart could expand enough to hold the love necessary for two grandchildren, a miracle occurred on March 24, 2012. Maeve Liliana and I started our relationship in a more intimate and special way than I could ever have imagined possible.

I had the scary, yet precious, honour of delivering my granddaughter at home - on the floor in the hallway- at 4:30 in the morning. If you haven't yet, and are so inclined, you can read the details here.

We are so very proud of Ken and Jade and not only their great baby-making skills, but their parenting ability. We are thrilled as grandparents to be not only geographically close, but relationally close to our children so that Xander and Maeve can be such a huge part of our every day lives.

Maeve Liliana (sounds like Mave L'il Liana) 

April found us celebrating Baby Maeve's shower and  Easter  with Brandi and Kore and my parents.

They look pretty good with kids, don't ya think? 

In May our Pink Panter Relay For Life team once again raised funds and awareness for the Canadian Cancer Society. For me,  Relay weekend will always mark the milestone of cancer survivorship for Jed. 2012 marks 2 years. While half of Jed's left lung remains 'dead', it has not become necessary to remove it as he continues to manage to ward off pneumonia and infection. We count this a blessing from God.

Jed and I show our pinkness as we participate in the Victory Lap at Relay For Life. 
A significant portion of my fundraising came from a new little venture of mine that I call "Art Class with a Wine Glass". I never imagined I'd become that person who goes around to homes with her suitcase of wares trying to make money off people. But alas here I am.

I take art supplies into people's homes and help them host an art party. It's fun event where I raise money for a good cause and each guest turns out a work of art they can be proud of while enjoying a relaxed fun evening with a small group of friends. Check it out at Art Class with a Wine Glass

(Thanks Tineke for these photos - and for hosting a party) 

In June our daughter Brandi turned 30. This still seems surreal to me. She is still my little baby girl who has from birth brought joy and pride to our lives. For her birthday, Kore presented her with a diamond and a request for her to become his wife. We love Kore and are excited for this step in their lives. January 5, 2013 - just next week- we will witness an intimate ceremony up at Sun Peaks Ski Hill in Kamloops.

July arrived with impact. We were introduced to the Prince George Rotary Hospice House.

I always knew that Hospice House was where people went for end of life care, but knew little else about it. I learned a lot in the coming months.

The first week in July, Dad Ziemer was moved into Hospice for 2 weeks of respite care. (Who knew they offered respite care?)  He had recently been diagnosed with Mesothelioma and had a chest drain put in.

Later in July we had a DeBalinhard family reunion at Sheradon Lake to honour my parents on their 50th anniversary. Even Jen and Andy were able to make it up from Texas, so that was great.  And to think that in January I was feeling like 30 years was a long time to be married.

In August Dad Z was moved back to hospice, where he would live out his final days. Val spent a lot of time during the summer days with him but was returning to work when the school year went back in session. Since September is when things begin to slow down in the swimming pool/hot tub industry, I was able to get laid off from work to spend weekdays at hospice.

The three months I spent there were really a blessing and honour. One of the highlights was being able to do some watercolour painting with Dad. He had never done anything like that before and we were able to get 9 paintings finished while he still had strength.

Of course, being the fundraiser that I am, I turned the whole procedure into a successful project for Relay For Life while getting some great memorabilia for family members. I am so grateful for the overwhelming support I received for this project.

Our own private art party. 

A sampling of our hospice artworks that raised nearly five thousand dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society. 

So that was my life from September 1st to November 19 when my father-in-law received the crown of righteousness that he dedicated his entire life for.

During these months of my unemployment, Albert pretty much worked two jobs - his regular Canfor job as well as picking up a lot of electrical work with Davin. God truly does supply all our needs. (And most of our wants)

In September, Xander started attending preschool two days at week at Cedar's Preschool. It's great to see the social and spiritual development as a result. We just love him and he brings us such joy.

During October Jason, a former boarder of ours, who also had worked as one of Jed's life skills workers, returned to Prince George from Langley, bringing a friend, David, with him. They stayed with us for a month before getting their own place.

In November in a whirlwind of decisions and activity, Jed moved with Jason and David into a three bedroom townhouse on Central Street.

Only God knows how this will all play out over the long haul, but for now we are hopeful and excited about this opportunity for Jed to experience a little more independence. Lucy, who has been Jed's life skills worker for a year and a half, will continue to work with him in his new home. We thank God daily for her patience and love.

For now, our basement suite will remain unoccupied and we will make use of the extra space and enjoy our empty-nestness while we have it.

December has been a month of busyness with Christmas and wedding preparations at the forefront. But even in the busyness, we can't help but rest in the blessings we so richly receive each and every day. We truly have a lot to be thankful for starting with our incredible family and large circle of friends.

We look forward to 2013 with excited anticipation for all that it has in store.

Consider Yourself Reminded.

Ten years. It's been 10 years today since I was branded with that title that no-one ever wants to wear. That is until you receive it. ...