Sunday, November 30, 2008
Decorating the tree....
Yesterday we spent the morning with our Grandpa Hugh decorating the tree. The kids become so excited about placing their special ornaments on the tree, everything from Kindergarten crafts to their annual ornament from us. I call ours the 'Eclectic Christmas Tree', it is not designer, it is not matching but it is all from the heart, each ornament a special memory of a time not so long ago. This is my tree and I am proud.
As we spent time together as a family decorating our tree I was reminded that life isn't about me and what I can have and what I can get and what I can do to get someone else's approval, but it is about these moments- creating memories with my children, about growing closer in relationship with my hubby about reaching out to those around us and making them feel welcome in our lives.
I love this season and the special times with friends and family, I pray that I am reminded daily in my walk with God about the bigger picture, reaching out to others and making them feel welcome in my world.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
What a Dream Come True.....
So a few days back I shared that my friend got me a ticket to see Kenny Rogers Christmas/Hits Concert and I shared that it is so sentimental to me because we always listened to his Christmas album when I was growing up so I have so many memories tied into it. I listen to it now with my own family...WELL last night was the concert! It was amazing, I laughed he is such an entertainer and I cried, heave sobbed practically because I felt so humbled being able to listen to those songs live, I felt like a kid again. The most amazing moment of the evening for me was going on stage ,yup ON STAGE with Kenny to help sing the Twelve Days of Christmas, how I got this you might ask? Well I volunteered jumped up and down waving my hands like a crazed teenager, he looked at me and said 'have you been drinking?' I said 'nope no way' he said 'come on up but I swear if you have been drinking I will make this very difficult for you.' So I ran up there little did he know that what he thought was me being 'happy' was me just genuinely excited to be in his presence...lol....SO I started out at #10 but #2 couldn't sing she was so giggly so he walked her over to me then led me with his arm at my back to position number #2 Two Turtle Doves, what a funny, nervous experience my mouth went immediately dry and I was freaking a bit, but I got my act together and was able to fulfill my part. The man beside me (A Partridge in a Pear Tree) was amazing he had a great loud voice and flapped his arms, had the whole place in a fit of laughter including Kenny, so neat!! I had a few moments of direct eye contact with Kenny ( he was just probably making sure I hadn't had 'too' much) and at the end I thanked him SO much for this experience, it was a moment I will treasure forever, our little cards were autographed by him. The BEST part of it ALL, my mom and dad were in the audience to see it all happen, I couldn't have wished it any better myself I have tears just thinking about it!!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Okay so I mentioned something last week that I wasn't able to share till Sunday and I've had a couple people asking me so here it is, NO I am not pregnant...teehee
About 3 months ago I got an invite in the mail to for a surprise celebration for one of Conrad's aunts her 60th birthday celebration(she seriously doesn't look a day over 40) it was to be a ladies only event that included arriving at the Fort Gary Hotel at noon then proceeding to the spa for a day of treatment, then dinner out to a fine dining location then a night at the hotel with the huge buffet breakfast the next morning which included a chocolate fountain and the best part? all paid for by her husband who wanted her to feel like a princess and feel completely and utterly loved. How sweet is that?
WELL that took place this past weekend from Saturday to Sunday, I must admit I was a little worried because our spa experience (The Haman Treatment and a facial) involved all of us to be oh what should I say, half naked...yeah a little cloth type thing wrapped around your completely naked body, does that sound like a good time?and yeah I have never been the smallest in the bunch so this was a tad intimidating . I have never been really close with Conrad's extended family, his aunts(except one) and his cousins and well my sister in law for that matter but this weekend I can honestly say changed all that. I got to see a side of them all that isn't usually shown at family gatherings, it was a lot of fun. I managed to get over my fear of being seen half naked in front of all my 'model like family' and thoroughly enjoyed this time. The treatment was amazing, and I would recommend it to everyone supposedly there are only two of these facilities in North America and we are fortunate to have one right here. It involves rubbing yourself down in a really hot steam room with salt and then laying on a heated marble slab and receiving a head to toe wash from an attendant and foot and leg massage and then a mud treatment all in this large dimly lit, really hot room, man it does wonders for the skin!! My aunt the birthday girl laughed at me as I lay there moaning. It was amazing...
The rest of the weekend went so well, I had Lobster for dinner then we all gathered for cake and coffee in her suite and enjoyed a few hearty laughs, and yes I couldn't disappoint the family by being invited along as the 'unofficial' entertainment so I managed to get a few good laughs going and had to apologize on Conrad's behalf the next day for any behaviour that was out of line.....ah yes you see in my family there is really no topic that isn't talked about or discussed and in Conrad's family we talk mainly about politics and the weather so I tried to do my part to keep the atmosphere light, I managed to get a few jaws dropping but all in good fun.
My roommate was one of Conrad's aunts who I get along with so well (and is almost my age ), we giggled till all hours of the night and had so many good laughs and great chats it was a night I won't soon forget!
I was blessed to have this experience and so thankful for this family who I got to know in a whole new light!
(Pictures seen here are of me and Auntie Charlotte...teehee)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thank-you to everyone who participated in this... great questions!!
So get yourself a cup of coffee,tea or chocolate milk pull up a chair and enjoy, it is a long one...
Mama Geek asked -
What inspires you and where are you going on your next vacation?
Louise answered -Tough one to answer, so many different things inspire me at different times. When it comes to taking pictures it is seeing God's creation through the lens and trying as best as I can to capture a glimpse of it. In Marriage it is seeing people who have great marriages and learning from the secrets they share. In parenting it is following after a vision of my children being amazing adults who impact the world around them. That vision inspires me to discipline and spend the time and energy needed into my kids. But most of all it all boils down to my relationship with God and reading His Word, that inspires me to be a better person in all aspects of my life.
Next vacation is a Caribbean Cruise in January!! Very excited about that, just me and my hubby with some friends of ours, and then a Mediterannean Cruise in September.
Who takes all those darling pictures of you and Conrad....the kids?
Well I will let you in on a little secret, the picture in my header for example if you look closely at my hand you will see a little wireless remote, (this was before I realized I could set it on a 2 sec. delay so I would have time to hide it). So yeah the pictures of me and Conrad are all with remote or me just holding up the camera.
Rose asked (my sis-in-law) -
Who has me for a ticket name this Christmas?
Wouldn't you love it if I actually knew, I actually didn't rig it this year. I know hard to believe but I actually don't know who anyone has except us and Al and Beck, Oh and Sheldon because he showed me..sorry!! :)
How did you meet? and fall in love?
I will let Conrad answer this one......We met on the beach at Falcon Lake. I was on my way to do some rock climbing in the Minaki area but decided to stop at Falcon Lake to camp for the night. In the morning I thought I would hang out at the beach for just 1 hr. and ended up staying all day. Volleyball with this young and pretty girl replaced climbing with sweaty unnattractive boys. We're still falling in love. Louise says of course that is the 'Coles' notes version so I will give you mine too, my friend Gaby and I headed to Falcon for the day and as we lay there on our blanket on the beach I looked up and saw this guy walking alone in the water and I said to my friend...'Can you imagine if a guy like that came up to us and started talking to us?' as I wiped the drool from my mouth, she said 'Nah he isn't my type.'...well no sooner had I said that then he walked right up to us and asked us if we wanted to play volleyball...I said yes of course, my friend sat and watched us the whole day and got the worst sunburn ever (thanks dear) and then he invited us to meet up with him at a movie later that evening ,my friend politely said she was busy and I said yes, we ended up walking and walking and walking instead of going to a movie and the rest they say is history....he knew after 2 weeks he wanted to marry me, it took me a little longer than that :) and yes our loves grows everyday, we are blessed!
Where is your favorite place to take pictures?
I don't really have a favorite place I like exploring and finding new places to capture, I love traveling to new and exciting places so taking pictures there is a must, problem is sometimes you actually forget to enjoy the place without just seeing it through the lens. My favorite people to take pictures of are my kids and they indulge me very often in allowing me to do just that.
What are your love languages and in what ways do you bless each other with them?
Louise answered - Conrad's main love language is Touch and his Second is acts of service. So he really appreciates when we can sit close together when we go out to people's places or just at home, even now he is sitting beside me on the couch with his arm on my leg. I make sure I give him a hug as soon as he comes home from work and we hold hands a lot when we go out or drive etc. As for Acts of Service that is a work in progress for me, I try to have the house tidied when he comes home, cometing the sink in the kitchen is a thrill for him....if he sees me doing that he is beside himself...I know too funny.
Conrad answered - Louise's love language has been changing ( a sign of growth ). She used to be 100% gifts but now also enjoys words of encouragement. I think of her often and take the time to say so. Romantic cards on any occassion serve 2 purposes - it's a gift and tells her how much I love her. (I think I will commission Wanda to send me a box of her cards with romantic scenes. She does amazing watercolors)
Pam J asked-
1) Do you and Conrad do devotions together?
1) Louise answered - we both have our own devotion time he usually likes to do this in the evening reading his book and then reading the Bible, I do mine in the morning early before anyone else in the house is awake, this usually consists of spending time solely in the Word . What we do together is pray, we pray at night together and have found that this has brought incredible closeness in our marriage.
2) What do you plan on doing when you are 'retired'?
2) Conrad answered - Instead of 'retired' I want to get 'refired', never grow old mentally and spiritually and never become irrelevant. Continue pouring out of myself to others this I believe is something that doesn't start at retirement it begins now by having a constant look outward to see how I can be helpful to the world around me and it doesn't ever stop. It is tough to write the end of the story when you are still living the first chapter.
Louise answered - okay that was a tad serious...heehee...I do agree with him. I know that we will do a lot of traveling in our lives not just retirement and I hope to be able to help my kids out in any area they need help, like babysitting the grand kids(yikers that seems strange). I pray continually that our family will have great relationships and that we will always remain close. Who knows what the future holds all I know is that it will be exciting and I can always rely on the verse Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you.....
Jody asked -
1)If you could surprise your spouse with one thing - money no object - what would it be?
Louise answered - Oh this one is easy for me I know immediately what I would do, I would hire and expert mountaineer to train my hubby and set up an expedition to Mt.Everest. This would take many years of training but this would be the best surprise I think I could ever give my husband. Would it be tough to let him go? Absolutely but I know that I would be training alongside him just to be able to go to Everest Base Camp and wait for him there until he returned, and he WOULD return because I would be praying my face off....
Conrad answered - This too is easy. Louise loves people and travel. I would take a year or more and travel around the world with her. At special places I would arrange for friends and family (and Regis Philbin - yes she loves Regis, I hope you are reading this Reeg) to be flown in to join us for awhile. Some of our stops would be 5 star, others would be "mission" fields. All of it an adventure. At least 1 mountain on each continent.
2)What's your best piece of advice for newlyweds?
Conrad answered - I will read this question seriously because the answer will change someone's life.
Marriage is two complete individuals coming together to share of themselves, not half a person looking for the other half to be complete. Your mate will never fulfill that void in you which EVERY person naturally has. Just look at people searching for themsleves, running to this cause and that one, defining who they are by things and accomplishments. When that doesn't work we turn to our mates to complete the task. Something inside us is searching. We are built to seek out our creator. Our spirit is looking for Daddy, Father GOD! Many people mistake that inner longing as a need to be filled by our earthly companion. We end up placing so much pressure on a relationship to fill a void it can never fill. Don't misunderstand me now and think I'm against marriage. No, marriage is so beautiful and powerful for so many reasons, but it's not our ultimate fulfillment. Our marriage grows stronger and more powerful in direct proportion to the time we spend as individuals growing in God. Yes time togther is essential but not above time with God. When you approach marriage in this way you approach each other with hearts full and overflowing instead of looking to the other person with selfish expectations. It's the selfish needs that creep in to destroy a marriage when the hunnymoon is over. We begin to see the things that we don't like and if we're not careful we will blame our mate for the lack of "happiness" in our lives. Yes there are real and difficult issues and needs. They don't just vanish in some spiritual cloud because we call ourselves a Christian. How we approach those needs is the difference maker. It will either be a selfish approach, me me me, she/he doesn't do this for me anymore etc. Or we can approach our needs with a thankfulness and love that has been planted in our hearts which seeks others first. God so loved the world that He gave. His first thought is to give. Not ask or demand. No, His first action before we ever make a move toward Him is to give out of His abundance. This is a choice we can all make for our marriages. If we first fill ourselves up to overflowing with God's love, we will be free to share with our spouse out of our abundance.
Lili asked -
If you could only chose one quality about your spouse, what is the one thing you love/respect/admire the most?
Louise answered - wow great question, we have grown so much in our relationship even in the past month and seen our share of difficulties in our marriage but through it all I see so much good in him, he loves God and has a great desire to serve God in all areas of his life, he has such a love and compassion for people always looking to help someone out, he is an amazing dad and takes time for his kids by doing what is important to them, he is an amazing provider and husband he shows me everyday how much he cares for me but MOST of all he strives honestly each and every day to become a better person, I love/respect and admire him so very much it is really hard to choose just one quality I hope my answer was sufficient :)
Conrad answered - Boobs!...............mmmmmm...... What? That's a quality. OK, she has a big capacity too love. She feels life intensely. She has a soft heart. Her joy is contagious. Of course all of this flows out of her because she fills herself up with God first. Did you ask me for just one? I still like the first ;)
Thank-you for taking the time to take a look into our life, I hope that this has helped for you to get to know us a bit better :)
Hugs to you all!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I have something interesting to blog about but I can't do it till Sunday, just in case some people I know check my blog ...this will all make sense then. SO I thought I'd do something different...
I have seen this on a few blogs most recently on Dana's blog, I thought I'd give you all a chance to either ask me or Conrad some questions, you can ask more than one and we will answer them together ASAP!
So SHOOT, anything...really I am like that..
So here are the rules:
or my hubby CONRAD...
Looking forward to it :)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My heart is overflowing right now I have reason to smile. Well truth be told I have many reasons to smile but this one in particular is making me act like a silly school girl, all giddy and excited. Let me give you some background info before I tell you why.
Growing up Christmas was always my favorite time of year, not just cause it was my birthday 3 days before Christmas but because it was such a special time. I remember my mom baking and baking and baking some more but it was never just for our families she would always bless everyone around us with her baking including the staff at the elementary school me and my brothers attended...you see we weren't the most wealthy family but my mom gave what she had to give and that was her baking, every year for the teachers gifts she made a HUGE tray of goodies and brought it to the staff room and each year the teachers anticipated this tray asking us if our mom was busy baking again and if they would get it this year and my mom never disappointed every year till my youngest brother left that school , they got the tray. I have so many good memories of my parents going Christmas shopping and hiding our gifts in garbage bags when they came home. The lights on our tree, sleeping by the tree, getting up really early in the morning on Christmas day to open gifts. And through this all there was music playing ALL the time, my mom loved and still loves music and the two staple albums all of our Christmas memories at home were Kenny Rogers Christmas Album and BonnieM. Those two were played continuously and when I got married my first Christmas albums were those two. So you can imagine my joy when I heard the Kenny Rogers is coming to my local city to do a Christmas and Favorites concert but was soon disappointed because Christmas isn't the easiest time to blow $100 on a concert so I didn't purchase tickets. I shared this with my friend Lisa that he was coming and a few of my memories and this morning I got a text from her saying ' Guess who is going to see Kenny Rogers 5th row on the floor for her birthday...yes YOU' I started jumping up and down with tears in my eyes, I couldn't believe first of all that my friend would be so generous and buy them for me and also that I will be able to hear him live singing songs that bring me such joy....I have tears in my eyes just thinking of it...kleenex will be a must for me.
I found this video on You Tube this morning and started crying...yes lame I know....it is just so amazing how powerful positive memories can be, my hope now is that I am creating those same memories with my kids.
If you have a moment check out the video!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Spending time with the people you love...
There are so many different ways to spend time with someone and show someone you love them and yesterday I felt loved.
My dear brother who lives far away emailed me a link to a radio station that he was listening to, he asked if I would put it on at my house too so that we could spend some time together...as he put it 'I want to hang with my sis for a while, we can listen to the same music, kinda like looking at the same moon, but weirder.' This made my day, a simple gesture to some but to me it signified the love of a brother that I can't always feel when he is so far away.
Thanks Al for making my day....I was blessed!!
Miles Between Us
Though miles come between us,
And distance keeps us apart,
Nothing can ever change
The love inside my heart….
I may not be there with you,
Every minute of the day,
But you’re always here with me,
In at least a thousand ways,
Whether it be a thought,
Or a moment that we’ve shared,
It only takes a second
To get from here to there….
Though I cannot really feel
You here at my side,
It’s always nice to know
I’ve got these memories in my mind
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Today in Canada is a day set aside for us to remember all those who have fought for our country so that we can live in freedom.
We wear a red poppy on our clothing to remember and this poem is spoken at most ceremonies around the country.
In Flander's Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flander's fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, tho poppies grow
In Flander's fields.
Liet. -Col. John McCrae
Thank you to all those who have fought and lost their lives for our country and for those who are still fighting for our freedom, today I remember you!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Okay there is something that I must share, I have someone who lives in my house who loves to
*move the fridge and clean behind it
*clean some more
and it isn't me!!
This is not something that I can say that I truly enjoy, I know it needs to be done and I try to get it done but along comes Mr.Clean who likes things done his way( which is a GOOD thing) equipped with his headlamp(yes seriously not joking a headlamp just so he doesn't miss anything...I mean COME ON who does that?!) and vacuum in hand his goes on a rampage through the house cleaning every nook and cranny and what am I doing? ....standing back of course watching this with a smile on my face saying a quiet thank-you to God for pairing me with someone who makes up for all my shortcomings.
Let me introduce you to my Mr.Clean aka Conrad Hoeppner.
Women/Wives eat your heart out...he is ALL mine!! LOL although he did say if he needs another job sometime he would start his own Molly Maid cleaning service, so who knows he might be out for hire....LOL!!
Friday, November 07, 2008
click to enlarge)