Archive for February 7th, 2016

February 7, 2016

Christmas in my New Home


The weeks before Christmas were very busy but wonderful. Everyday on my walk from work I would pass this intensely decorated house, complete with a blow-up Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer! The week before Christmas Susan and I hosted our first couch surfer, a girl named Ashley from Taiwan. I think the favourite part of her stay was that she got to sleep in the same room as our beautiful Christmas tree! This year was the first time that I had my own Christmas tree! I had it easy because Susan already had a tree base and a whole collection of decorations. I think the most interesting decorations she had were these miniature people dressed in costume called Mummers. Apparently “Mummering” is a Newfoundland tradition of making door to door visits in disguise! Susan also had these fantastic outdoor colourful LED lights and i decided to surprise her by wrapping them around the stair banister from the entry all the way up to our bedrooms.

IMG_20151206_211803IMG_20151211_004422On December 16th I went and saw Handel’s Messiah with a large group from Grace Toronto at the Roy Thomson Hall. Then the following evening I had my office Christmas party that was hosted by Philip and Anne. Although I was coming and going a lot, I still found a bit of time to hang out with Ashley and talk about things she should see and do in the city. On the final night of her stay I invited her to come with me to Adam House to make gingerbread houses with the residents. In only a few days she had experienced several new Christmas traditions!



February 7, 2016

December Baptisms

On December 13th I went with my parents to visit the Lam fam. The occasion was that the two newest additions to the family, Riddick and Charli, were being baptised. We arrived on Friday night and the first cousin who we saw was Joni who had come with little Jerek from Alberta to surprise the whole family! It was refreshing to spend time with all of the kids. Uncle Dick showed me the video that Alison had made when she told him and Aunt Marie Ann over Skype that she was going to be having twins! On Saturday my Aunt and my mom took me thrift shopping because they knew I was looking for a coffee table. We walked into a Bibles For Missions and instantly came across a beautiful antique trunk!


Uncle Dick with Jerek


Alissa and Rianne

On Sunday morning we went early to church so that we could rehearse two songs the family would sing for the baptisms. They were special because they were two of the songs that we sung at our Grandma’s funeral. There was a another special part to the baptism because Riddick was wearing a baptismal gown that has a wonderful story behind it that goes back to the second world war. My great grandfather Om Jan was a leader in the resistance and his whole family participated in hiding Jews in their home. A British plane was shot down outside of Aalten in June of 1944. One man survived and had landed with his parachute into a tree, injuring himself so that he had trouble walking. My great Aunt, Tante Jo, and my grandpa Geert (her future brother in law) brought him by bike to the next town as the first step to getting him to safety. They found out later through a coded message that the escape had succeeded! The parachute was divided and later sewn into a wedding dress that my Grandma Jannie would wear at her wedding to Geert. Later it became upholstry for a cradle, and finally a baptismal gown that many grandchildren and great grandchildren have worn over the years. This was the first time the gown was brought to Canada for a baptism and is likely the last time it will be worn because it is getting so delicate. Geertien, daughter of Tante Jo, brought it in her personal luggage from the museum in Aalten. It is quite a story and an amazing heritage to be apart of! It is hard to imagine what it must have been like living during WWII. I hope that if I was in a similar situation, that I would also have the same courage!


Tante Ina with Charli