Monday, 25 December 2017

Ginther Greetings - Christmas 2017


Photo by Tamara Michelle Photography
I can't believe how quickly this year has flown by.

I don't know if the years speed up with age or if it's just been a busy one but this year I thought I'd throw together a bit of a photo-collage of the past 12 months as a documented reminder of all the fun we've had. 

Come on along!


We began 2017 in Winterpeg Winnipeg, Manitoba.  

Emily and her friend Karsten, skating at the Forks.
We loved the urban forest, accessibility to amenities and friendships we developed while in this vibrant and friendly prairie city. 

So maybe "skating" was too strong a verb...

Dear IKEA, we miss you.
We will remember the Peg (and the friendships made) fondly!

So. Many. Emotions.
The first few months of 2017, we experienced visits from Sask friends, lots of snow and skating, and lots of cold cold winter.  

Emily experienced her first full-blown crush, but she hid it very well.

Tobogganing at St. Vital Park

Visit from Auntie

In February, we welcomed a new four-legged family member: Lola, the Irish Doodle.

She is not a stuffed animal but she does like to eat stuffed animals.

Lola's added a new element of fun and excitement to our days. Every morning she races to wait for the girls to wake up.

Or helps them along a little.

With the exception of some hand-less Barbies, Lola wouldn't hurt a fly.


Lola just celebrated her first birthday at the beginning of December and is turning into a very nice pup. 
 
Babe.




At this point, Nathan said "too many photos of the dog" so that's his helpful contribution to this letter.

Back to our year! 

Spring 2017 brought many planned activities for Emily. She enjoyed soccer and swimming and I enjoyed a break from the string of winter viruses that hit us hard in a new province.
Enthusiasm also 100%

There was a lot of chatting and flower picking in this defensive line.


In May, I had the opportunity to fly to Nevada and then drive to Arizona for 6 days and 5 nights of back-country hiking in the Grand Canyon with some of my favourite girlfriends. It was an unbelievable experience and we only spotted one rattlesnake. 

Most of the photos below are captured by Ashlyn George of the Lost Girls' Guide or Joanna McIntyre... and apparently not by me because that's me with the red backpack.







 





If you're interested, we hiked the Escalante route. It was fairly warm (30-40 degrees Celsius) in May and might be a little more comfortable in March or April.

May was a month of travel. 

Nathan and I headed to Seattle to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary. He called it a conference but there weren't any children there, so it felt like a celebration. 
 
This sums up our personalities quite well...

Meeting Lana, my blog friend in person was another highlight in Seattle!!


June flew by and it was tough to leave the fantastic community we'd joined in Manitoba...

Emily's incredible teachers, Mme Mimi and Mme Debbie
Trouble squared!
Oh my heart.

Fun at the water park
... but with all the goodbyes said, the girls and I arrived back in Saskatchewan at the beginning of July and Nathan joined us a few weeks later.


Summer Casual

No rivalry between this royalty


A few of our summer highlights included:


Riding Auntie Jill's horse...




Time with friends and family...








A few nasty bugbites...



Plenty of weekends at Auntie and Uncle's Lake...





And a family road-trip out to Salmon Arm, B.C. to visit Granny and Grandpa.



The girls loved camping but Drumheller, Alberta (or 'Dinosaur Land' as Emily calls it) was a fan favourite. 


Despite the wildfire smoke, we had a fantastic visit in Salmon Arm and made good use of Granny and Grandpa babysitting services...
 



I don't think they minded too much...





Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park
Golden, B.C.


After a holiday-filled summer, the fall brought a few changes for our little family.

I (Abbie) headed back to work in the mornings, teaching French Immersion at Walter Murray Collegiate.


I've been loving the balance of work and time with the girls and am excited to be back on staff at such a fantastic high school.


One of our largest blessings this year is the time our girls spend at our caregiver, Mrs. Melissa's house! 

Melissa is an incredible early educator, auntie and role model to our girls and we are so so thankful to count her in our lives as a friend and support while we're away from the kids.





This September, after four years of med school, five years of residency and an additional year subspecializing, Nathan started his colorectal surgery practice in Saskatoon.



He's enjoying the diversity of work, challenging cases and excellent colleagues. We're enjoying him leaving the house at 7am instead of 5:30am! 

I've been working on fun slogans for his next business card but so far he hasn't been overly enthusiastic...


Emily Grace is now four and is a vivacious and thriving young lady full of questions and even more answers. 

Photo by Tamara Michelle Photography

She is loving her three mornings a week in preschool with her best friend Karsten... and probably some other kids too.


Career Day.
Or as we call it, every day.

Emily knows quite a bit about everything but tempers that knowledge with a big heart and a kindness to all around her.

Especially to kittens.

She is looking forward to kindergarten next fall and we're hoping she will be able to begin French Immersion kindergarten right here in Warman!


Gabrielle Anna turned two this last July.  


Recently, she's been talking up a storm.

Photo by Tamara Michelle Photography

While Gabby still occasionally resorts to communicating in screams and punches, her fiery personality makes her the life of the party. Those big blue eyes help too.



She can charm the most sullen grocery store shopper and always brings a rollicking good time wherever she prances.



She is fiercely independent, determined, and continues to burst through life with more energy than the rest of us combined.

Please pray for us.


Looking back on 2017, between moving home and celebrating our tenth year of wedded hard work bliss...


we've been powerfully impacted by the joy of community.



We've soaked up time with family...




and with friends who celebrate together, raise up children side by side, provide advice and laughter, and offer perspective and support. 

 




Thank YOU for being a part of our tribe (or letting us be a part of yours). We would love to hear about your year as well.



We're spending this next week of Christmas celebrating with family and I know that outside of our family bubble, the events worldwide in 2017 have been discouraging, disheartening and unfathomable. Maybe you're experiencing these feelings closer to home. 

My favourite Christmas carol contains this phrase:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining, 
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth. 
The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, 
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

This year, it's a weary world that rejoices but I know that the "thrill of hope" that we have is not just a feeling. It's a trusted reaction to a solid foundation. Despite external circumstances, we look forward to where God will lead us this year and pray that you have that same security as we brave 2018 together. 

Merry Merry Christmas!

Love, 

The Ginther Family

...

and Lola

Couldn't resist one last photo...

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