Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008 !

I know. I'm way overdue in blogging. But one thing lead to another and one function became another and there you go. Our Christmas season was varied and busy as usual. The kids had their musical production at GT and both of them did us proud with large speaking roles (Zachary making a VERY convincing cowboy with his Texas drawl). The school also had its concert. I never like it quite as much but mostly because its individual pieces and I love the theatrics of a full musical. Nevertheless, all the kids did a great job.
The rest of December has been very full. We had a gala dinner at the church that Rayael somehow persuaded me to play the part of Joey Fatone in an N'Sync lipsync that we did. Apparently my 'costume' was so man-like my husband ended up quite disturbed after it was finished!!
Then there was a shower at the church for Kendal Jones whose wedding to Evan Alnutt we attended just last week. As it chucked down snow I might add. It added to the magic of the day.
The next day (last Sunday) was our choir's concert with Leon.
We had Leon, Alison & Aria over with some of our friends on the Friday but also ended up having them stay the night with us Sunday night to save the trek to Sidney after the concert. They arrived Sunday afternoon to put precious Aria down for a nap and while Alison got her all tucked in, Leon and Darrell had to get Leon's rental car into our driveway. No easy feat as you will see from the photo.
The snow didn't stop falling! To save any further snowploughing by other vehicles Darrell then drove Leon and I in to the church and returned home to pick up Alison, Aria, our two kids and Sherisse who also couldn't get her car out for the concert. After the concert (which was FANTASTIC!) Darrell then did the shifts in reverse! Because the snow continued to fall this entire time I actually stopped at the shops on the way home and bought a turkey. Just in case we all ended up snowed in at the Richmonds for Christmas! Not what was planned, but still would have been a fun Christmas had it come to that.

After we were all back from the concert, Darrell, Leon & I had to shovel the road out to Haliburton to make sure Leon could return his rental car out at the airport. It was decided it would be best to return it that night and have Darrell drive them to the airport in the morning as the rental car could get buried in our road otherwise. Needless to say, the 3 of us were out there on a brilliantly white snowy night with an eerie but beautiful silence. In a strange way I kind of enjoyed it. We all cracked jokes to keep the time from lagging (burnt toast anyone?) and there was something a bit therapeutic about being out at midnight, shovelling in silence. My muscles did not agree however, but exercise was had nonetheless. And for us, the change in sleeping location meant that we all got a lovely extended visit on Sunday that was not originally on the books. The kids loved playing with Aria (her cute little voice is a bit hard NOT to get attached to) and we got some hang-out, tea-time with Leon & Alison catching up.

Despite being told the next morning that all the flights were cancelled, the Leontaridis' did finally manage to get home that night via a nightmarish combination of ferries, taxis and airplane rides.

Then on the 23rd we had a party to go to but at the end of it I felt a bit under the weather. That night it hit me. COLD ! I've been pretty much sick ever since and am even now writing this in my housecoat. But I do have to count my blessings and be glad it's just a cold and not the stomach flu. That I could NOT handle getting at Christmas. We had a mellow day here at the house (I slept for a few hours in the middle) and then headed over to Darrell's sister at 4pm for a lovely turkey dinner. At least I think it was lovely. I couldn't taste it as well as normal but what I did taste seemed delicious.

So now it's Boxing Day and Darrell has just taken our kids to the Boxing Day Skate. It's something we go to every year and I look forward to it as much as anyone but I just couldn't do it today. Too run down and congested. So, hopefully they will all have a good time and I can catch some zzzz's while they're gone.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Lately I've been very concerned and preoccupied with trying to cultivate mission-mindedness with my two children. I really felt after I returned from Mexico that every Christian should try and do at least one mission trip in their lifetime. After seeing the people, especially children, living in that level of poverty I was crushed in the realization of what we have here.

Because, as North Americans, we really don't get it. We really don't truly understand the suffering that is going on elsewhere in the world, and I suppose we really can't until we've seen it with our own eyes. Sure, television and visiting missionaries with their slideshows give us a small indication of what it is like in troubled areas, but until you have seen it for yourself it isn't enough to really settle into your psyche.

Couple this with the fact that my two children, as I'm sure many other parents are feeling these days, are spoiled. Not in a 'we will give you anything because we're loaded (! haha)' kind of way, but in the way that they've never had to sacrifice anything or go without life's necessities. And they've had plenty of extras on top of the necessities.

So, when I heard that the Life: Just Add Water tour was coming to Victoria I had a talk with Zachary & Brooklyn. I told them what it was all about, that they were raising money to build water wells in places where children are without water and that anyone who paid for a concert ticket (Vicky Beeching and Bluetree) would be helping fund that cause. I emailed their teachers and told them my thoughts, and that if the kids wanted to go, could they please be allowed to come in a little late on Friday morning. Both teachers were fully behind the idea but the crux of it was, if Zachary & Brooklyn wanted to come, they needed to pay for it with their own money. The tickets were $10. Well, I was very pleased that they were both interested and wanted to pay for their own ticket (even Brooklyn, who really doesn't have much to start with). So we went to the bank, withdrew the cash, and then I drove them down to the church where they both handed Becky their $10 bill.

The concert was great, although poor Vicky Beeching lost power 3 times in her set. And yet, her response to it and her testament that Satan would not stop us worshipping no matter what, was very inspiring and led to some sweet worship time. Bluetree were electric! They had a great rock sound with some added computer sounds too. And the funniest part, being that they were the loudest band, was that Zachary fell asleep half way through their set!! I guess that proves what level I play my music here at home, it's rock and loud and it makes him the most comfortable.

This of course was only a small part towards trying to keep their eyes open to the plight of others and how God has called us to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and stand up for those without a voice. I pray that he will work in their hearts to really feel a burden for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall so far....

Well, things are well underway with school, jazz, musical theatre, football and church activities. We are finding the fall 'groove' so to speak. So far so good.

We may have to move Zachary's football to another district though. Unfortunately this year things are completely chaotic and two weeks of only finding out Friday night the schedule for Saturday, have left us feeling pretty frustrated. We will see how this pans out but he may be wearing a new jersey sooner than you think.

Both kids love their teachers although Brooklyn's is pregnant and she will get her replacement in January. But Zachary is especially thrilled as he has his first male teacher, and it's the same guy who taught him Art last year and who with he struck up a special 'artistic bond'. So that's a blessing.

I finished another wedding cake - for Derek & Crystal Fonk. It turned out well I think; exactly the same as the picture she gave me, but with flowers in colours that matched her wedding. The decor at the reception was beautiful, all in deep reds and at Olympic View facing the golf course. Beautiful Location.

Well, Happy Thanksgiving to all, enjoy your long weekends before we all head back to the grind on Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The finished forest/mushroom wedding cake

Here is what the end result looked like:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer So far.........

Well today the sun is out but we're in between rain showers according to the forecast.

Summer so far has been great! We've had 3 weekend trips to Kelowna to visit with the sibs & kids and our usual week at teen camp in Nanoose Bay. The kids have been great but I have noticed them getting a little bit bored the last week or two. Obviously time to go back to school is upon us!

I've made another couple of cakes since the last post - one for Sherisse's Mum's vacation bible school - a Mexican fiesta party - and one for my boss' daughter's wedding. That cake just got picked up this morning. They will be adding figurines of a bride fishing her husband out of the pond I put on the wedding cake! Very whimsical, the wedding is on Salspring Island and they wanted a forest floor, a tree stump, a pond and meringue mushrooms. My boss told me I'm promised a copy of the professional photographer's cake picture once the final assembly is complete.

So now I'm just relaxing with a cup of tea and contemplating what's ahead. School supplies are already purchased - early this year to avoid the rush - HOORAY!, and church programs and sports etc. will soon be underway. As my friend Vicki, a lover of Fall will tell you, I'm not too good at accepting summer might be drawing to a close. Which is why I won't mention it and instead will tell you I'm still planning several rip-roaring barbeques. After next week's forecast rain of course ;)

So I'll leave you with a few photos of our last few weeks - one of my favourite pictures, a photo of all of the cousins on my side, together on my sister's couch in Kelowna.

Monday, July 14, 2008

July Update......

So the sun has finally shown up in Victoria and we've managed to cram lots in since it's first arrival. Darrell had a baseball tournament scheduled one weekend so I took the kids to Kelowna so I could be at Anna's baby shower for little Caleb. It was so great to meet the little guy. At just a month old he pretty much slept the entire time we were there. He looks like Jack's baby picture quite a bit. And Jack - what a little charmer! He has cute little dimples and smiles and hugs bundles (Auntie Rachel like!)

Then this weekend was a whirlwind of activity - the kids were at kids camp for the first time (& loved it!) so that gave me some free time to bake. I made 30 cupcakes for a surprise ENGAGEMENT PARTY! for Oliver (complete with chocolate O's and H's (fiancee's name is Hannah, a sweet girl from Wales). He took Hannah out on a jetski up at his parents cabin on the lake and when they returned they had got engaged, and returned to see 25 of us sitting on the dock. They didn't know we would be there and all of us (except me I think....) didn't know we were coming up for an engagement party! That Florenda, she's so sneaky........

Last but not least, I had to make a wedding cake for Megan & Rommy's wedding up at Bear Mountain. Which, by the way, I had never been to before. BEAUTIFUL! If you're not yet married, you may want to scope it out for a location. Seriously gorgeous. Anyway, the wedding was amazing and the cake, well....let's just say the intense heat of my house after I returned from the cabin was so bad that everything took a little longer than it should have. But Vicki was a lovely cake assistant (!) and helped me drive it up there as I sat on the back floor of my van with the cake box between my legs so it wouldn't slide!

And now I'm tired......but happy.....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Colds Suck

I'm not a good sick person. Don't get me wrong, I'm nothing like my husband, my Dad or my brother. (How could any girl be?) But I am such an A-type personality that colds shut me right down and leave me completely frustrated. So, here I am at 12:28pm, having moved from my bed to the couch yet again in an attempt not to disrupt anyone else's sleep (read: Darrell) upon realizing I can't stop coughing.

I've always been such a fan of Ny-Quil because my theory is that colds don't get better because we can't sleep when we have them. If we could just 'sleep it off' they wouldn't last half as long. This is where the Ny-Quil comes in. It knocks you out so you are at least catching zzzz's through the night, thus leaving you feeling more 'healed' by morning. Now, granted, it does also leave you with that 'hungover' feeling. Which is why, at the time of this writing and upon realizing I was out of Ny-Quil, I am now updating my blog sipping on a hot brandy.

Heck, if the meds won't do it surely the alcohol will.

Nighty nite.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It's Another Boy!

We are pleased to announce that my sister and husband, Anna & Mike have welcomed a precious baby brother for Jack into their family. Caleb Joel Mason was born at 7lb., 6oz. and apparently had the longest umbilical chord the doctor had ever seen! And in the style of myself and my siblings, the middle name is yet again named after a family member - my brother Joel. Joel's son Roman is only a few months younger than Caleb so I'm sure the cousins will become great friends.

Well done Mason Family! Can't wait to meet him.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Wedding Weekend

Last week was very busy but ended with the lovely wedding of Jacquelyn and Craig, friends from Calgary who chose to get married in Victoria. Unfortunately the sun did not make much of an appearance but the drizzle did not take away from the beauty of the day. The ceremony was outside under a tent at the Ocean Pointe Hotel and overlooked the water. Little Aria made a perfect little flower girl and Alison once again went above and beyond by doing all of the flowers for the weeding and much more planning to boot. Leon of course sang at the ceremony and the reception as well as serenaded Jacquelyn along with Joey of Destino.
I was very pleased with the final result of the wedding cake although there were the usual baking for a deadline stresses along the way. But two days of baking, icing and decorating paid off and the bride seemed very pleased. Dinner was delicious and 68 of us dined as we overlooked the water and the evening lights of the city.

And without a DOUBT the Green table was the most enjoyable! All of the tables were colour coded by placecards, centrepieces (done by Alison) and accents. The whole theme of the wedding was monochromatic black and white with the flowers providing the colour.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Calgary Weekend

This past weekend was most enjoyable for me. A couple of months ago my friend Alison invited me to her sister's bridal shower in Calgary. How could I NOT want to be at sweet Jacquelyn's shower? The timing was actually perfect. I had planned to visit Calgary after the birth of my new nephew anyway, and although I probably would have waited a couple of months so he was a little bit bigger (and awake!), it meant I could do both in the same weekend.ROMAN
It also meant I could see my brother & sister-in-law's new house as well as be in town for my niece - Tatum's - birthday party. WOW! What a great way to cram so many things in to a weekend.
I arrived in Calgary on Friday afternoon and Joel & Tania treated me to a lovely Greek meal at Van Gogh (thanks bro!). Let me first say that my nieces are a complete crack-up! Chloe is convinced her prayer life raises dogs from the dead. You will have to ask me for further details, the story is a riot and let me say - that kid has faith that can move mountains. This became a running joke.....driving on that highway will kill ya but at least Chloe's close by....... If you ask I'll give you the full story. Her language is very advanced and she was such a source of enjoyment, pretending she is Moses and chasing Tatum around the house "I love you Sapporah, I love you".

Saturday morning was Tatum's 2nd birthday party with a Veggietales theme. What a little doll she is. Tania had baked a yummy cake and we got to decorate Bob, Larry & Jr. Asparagus. I would say it was a success!
Then at lunchtime Joel kindly drove me to the South West where Jacquelyn's shower was being held. Ever since the invite, it was kept a secret by Alison (and everyone else involved I guess) that I was coming. When I walked in she looked at me a bit confusedly and then her eyes grew as she realized it was really me. It was a lot of fun - I love surprises.Alison had done her usual fantastic job of taking care of the food and the decor and I got to meet Alison and Jacquelyn's lovely friends who until this time I'd only heard about through blogger and facebook! Look forward to seeing some of you again at the wedding! Jac's Mum was very sweet and gave me a gift for making the trip out. Then after the shower I got a visit with Craig who popped in to pick up all the loot and a lovely visit with Alison and Aria as Alison kindly drove me back 'up north'. It was so great to see you two again! I can't wait to hang out again in a few weeks.Three cute friends!
Aria - still a little doll!
Sunday had me at Joel's church for a wonderful morning service, lunch home with the fam. and a delayed but uneventful flight home in the evening. A wonderful time spent with wonderful people who I love very much.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Teddy Bear Picnic!

(Blogger is being stupid and won't let me load all of the photos - stay tuned for more in the next day or so!)
Well, Brooklyn is now 7. The sad part for me is that she is no longer a little girl, but 'a girl'. I always thought that up to 5 or 6 years old girls were 'little girls' and from 7 onwards they were 'girls'. Which means, that my baby is growing up. I will adjust, but it's a strange concept.

So, with the ENORMOUS popularity of Build-A-Bear we had a Teddy Bear's Picnic at our house. All the girls had to bring a bear with them (although we also had 3 rabbits, a cat and a cheetah!) and Brooklyn specifically asked that they be clothed and not arrive naked. Quite funny I thought. So I of course had to make a bear cake - now you need to understand that I am NO artist, and have no concept of proportions. But, I did manage to copy the swing jacket that Brooklyn's bear has and put it onto the cake. After the party games the girls all ate food on our teddy bear blankets and received Teddy Bear gifts as their goodie bags. What pleased me the most, however, was that Brooklyn decided instead of presents she would like to ask everyone to bring $5, and she would keep half of it for her present, and give the other half away to charity. I was a very pleased mother - I want to foster those sentiments in my children as much as possible and for her to decided she wanted to do that was very special to me.

Enjoy the pictures - this exhausted mama has to go to bed - on top of the party my sister, brother-in-law and nephew also surprised us at our front door for the weekend - they live in Kelowna! So as you can imagine we are laughing and crying (with laughter!) til the wee hours of the morning.

G'nite all.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Another late night

I think I am a secret bat. Not the scary, dark part (Although the hair colour does work for that) but the nocturnal part. For years friends have told me I was nuts, staying up all hours but in fact, I think my body doesn't know any other way to live. I tried lying down for a 'nap' at 8pm tonight, just for a half hour because I felt kind of knackered (Mentally knackered actually, not so much sleepy) and I just couldn't sleep. It was far too early.

This is rather a strange pattern I've noticed as of late. I can nap when I lay down on the couch for a short while, but as soon as I go to bed for a nap the brain yet again goes into overdrive and I start thinking about a million different things I've got on the go. Of course this is a problem because I work at 8:45am and I'm not a morning person. I really would be better suited in France or perhaps Spain where I could have a short 3pm siesta, then be good to go until 1am. And I have always said I do my best work at night (no comments please). I will start baking at 10pm, start laundry at 11pm and scrapbook until past midnight. All very productive things really. Add to the list last Thursday hey Kelly? Bathtime phone calls at 1:30am!!! Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

Anyways, not really sure what this post is about. Just rambling thoughts of sleep - or the lack of it - and putting it on the web. Doesn't everyone do that?

As a sidebar - an unrelated one - Larry Norman also passed away this past week. Most of any Christian rock you may have enjoyed, is probably because of Larry Norman.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sad to say Goodbye....

We just got news this evening that Darrell's Uncle Glen passed away a couple of hours ago. He was a great man of God who had a huge passion for young people and seeing youth come to know Christ. Please pray for the Richmond family if you think of it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I am very excited to announce that my brother and sister-in-law, Joel and Tania, welcomed little Roman Michael Joel Turner into their family yesterday. He was 7 lbs 2 oz, MUCH tinier than either of my two babies and Mum and son are both doing well. Good thing too since they move house NEXT WEEK! Accckkkk.......

And to make the day even cuter - he was born on his Grandma Jean's birthday! Can't wait to meet him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


As Jeni pointed out, the note was actually left at the Indiana Jones ride and yes, that was where I was looking. NOT the Pirates of the Caribbean. My mistake (in typing, not in looking at the wrong ride).

I just felt that needed to be cleared up. :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mexican Riviera Cruise

Hello! We're back! The Richmonds just got back from a wonderful sunny holiday spent on the Mexican Riviera. We cruised on the Vision of the Seas for a week after a day spent in Disneyland. The Disneyland day was overcast but thankfully dry. Unfortunately however, I never found the note that my gorgeous friend Jeni left me at the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean! Although I started to giggle as I lifted crates and barrels to look for it while onlookers gazed at me with a look that said "that girl should be committed!".

Last Sunday we boarded the ship on a windy L.A. day which did require us all buying wristbands (just to be safe, waves against the ship were 8-12 feet high!)and the pampering began!To summarize, the food was fantastic, the cabin was the roomiest one we've ever had (kids had bunks above our bed and we had our own couch), and the entertainment left my stomach hurting from laughter. I made a pact with the kids that they had to order at least one new food every day. Ok, they didn't quite keep completely to the pact, but they did both try chilled Strawberry soup and Zachary had a Chicken Marsala which he quite enjoyed. Brooklyn tried several new things.

The kids program was awesome, the kids thoroughly enjoyed it and Brooklyn even ended up singing and dancing to a song from the musical "Wicked" in front of 500 people in the Masquerade Theater. And we all tried the rock climbing wall, with Zachary and Darrell regularly ringing the bell at the top!Our first port day was Cabo San Lucas where Zachary got to hold an iguana (in a sombrero) and two guitar players serenaded us at lunch. The second port was Mazatlan and we chose to take a shore excursion to Stone Island where we did a 4 mile kayak trip around goat island followed by tropical fruit and drinks served under the palapa on the beach. This might have been my favourite day - we had a boys vs. girl sandcastle contest (just Darrell & Zachary against Brooklyn & I!) and enjoyed dancing in the waves. Puerto Vallarta was beautiful and after walking through the downtown area and taking photos of the beautiful buildings, we went to a private hotel and got a deal on a cabana on the beach. Such service and beautiful surroundings are hard to beat. There we got to use the 3 pools at the hotel and relax in the sun while watching parasailers float by us. And Darrell even got a free massage on the beach!A couple of other perks of the ship - the kids preferred the kids program to the shows so Darrell and I had date night in the Theater each evening before picking them up again at 10pm. For my birthday Darrell bought me a spa session and so after our kayak trip, I got to receive a back massage, facial, foot/ankle massage and deep scalp treatment. Divine! On the second day on the ship there were flowers delivered to my cabin by my wonderful husband. Could it get any better? Oh - I almost forgot - it COULD get better - we saw 4 pods of dolphins off the back of the ship, jumping for 10 minutes right in front of us!So, although we are glad to be back in our beds and drinking GOOD tea, I have to say that coming back to the rain is a bit of a 'downer'. But that is why we have digital cameras, to live off of the memories. ADIOS AMIGOS!