Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thinking about a road trip...

It's been a while since we've driven across country. Dad's pounded into our heads that we don't drive when we visit family back in Canada- we fly. Driving takes too long- we fly. So with the exception three moves to and fro from Canada to North Carolina- we fly.

So when Dad proposed that we all go to the family reunion in August and drive... he was met with a most disapproving audience. "No, no no... we don't drive to Canada, we fly" was the almost unanimous decision. It was almost because that's what wives are supposed to do- "Yes, honey... that sounds nice."

But Saskatchewan isn't Alberta and we do have five drivers instead of the original two and we won't be driving flat out day and night. There are interesting things to see and do along the way. Arielle has already sent away for visitors guides to the cities that we will be passing through (assuming that we still do decide to do this... some still think that we should fly). The Creation Museum is along the way, Laura Ingle's House... isn't along the way, but while we're out of the house we might as well go.... That's what Emma said about the Grand Canyon.... but she got out voted. Too far.

Who knows... it might be kind of fun. It will be out first (and maybe our last) big road trip as a family. Grampa's 80th birthday is the occasion for the reunion and we haven't had a reunion since Emma was 3 or 4 years old... she's grown a little since then.

Still planning... we might just be driving back to Canada instead of flying.

The Lancaster Family

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Start of the Lancaster Family Blog

Dear Family and Friends,
2010 has been an eventful year filled mostly with travels and times that brought us all closer to the Lord. Though the trials were difficult at times, it reminded us of the poem, that most of you have read, called Footprints in the Sand. God never ceases to carry us when we can no longer walk on our own. We are thankful for the travels that God allowed us to take, both spiritually and physically. You will see through almost everyone’s paragraphs that these travels were definitely a highlight.

Beverly (51 years old)- It’s fun to think of you and to send a note to say that we are so thankful for you, our friends and relatives!
I pray for all of you often.
My memory throughout the year has really been about relationships.  What a rich topic with much to learn! So, as I tell you what I’ve doing this year, it makes me think about the people that I do them with. What a blessing! From taking up running and swimming, walking with my neighbour, teaching my kids, cooking meals, going on dates… whew! My heart is full! Thank you all for your love.

Arielle (19 years old) – This year has been full of exciting travels as well as a year of character building and refining times as well. Our family traveled to several interesting places this year. One of my favorite things that we did would have to be the time that the boys, Emma, Mom and I spent with friends in Georgia at a summer camp taking the camp youth tubing! The weather was great, water skiing a blast and… I guess basically it was one of those “all American” wonderful, clean, fun summer memories. I was also blessed to be able to make the trip to see a friend get married, as well as help with wedding preparations for 3 weeks in September in…. Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was a great experience to be able to get a taste for another culture, as well as participating in a very lovely wedding celebration that was steeped in meaning and their Christian faith. What a fabulous trip! In the end it was great to come back because the saying is true, “There is no place like home.”
My prayer for us all is that we would all learn to deeply understand the joy to be home- not ever dreading returning.

Arielle, Emma, Liam & Flynn
in Sterling, Scotland
            Liam (17 years old)- This year has been eventful. At the beginning of this year I joined a swim team and, while swimming with them I made some great friends that push me every practice to not give up and to race everyone in the water- including myself. Over the summer I have stretched myself, not as a contortionist would, but I guess you could say that I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the … twilight zone. Just kidding. I have started trying to open up and be more positive, I have also been able to stay off sugar and artificial flavors for14 months- in order to cure my acne problem! I have done lots of great things over the past year like getting the opportunity to travel to Scotland with the pipe band for the world championships in Glasgow- that was amazing. I have learned so much this year and I hope to learn twice as much next year. I wish that I could have spent more time with all of you but, alas… I don’t know half of you half as much as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

            Flynn (15 years old)- This year has pushed me spiritually, physically and mentally. I believe this has been a learning year for me (but I guess every year is a learning year). There have been new experiences with swimming and a more concentrated band competition year. The biggest experience for me (and I believe our whole family) was our trip to Scotland for the world pipe band championships. The experience there was something our family will never forget. My only disappointment was the fact that Dad was not able to come, having to stay home and work. It was sad to see those breathtaking estates and castles without him. But it was pretty much a very good trip. This year I was also pushed physically, by joining a swim team. As I am low on finesse it was a struggle, but a wonderful swim instructor who kept me persevering throughout the year blessed me tremendously. I pray that this year would provide me with more understanding, wisdom and knowledge.

Arielle and Emma with fellow drummers
from the bagpipe band
            Emma (13 years old)- The year seems too full to relate all of its highlights. Our band kept us busy all year in preparation for the world pipe band championships in which we placed 11th in the world out of 80 bands. Also some good friends of ours invited us to tag along with them as they ran the tubing activities at a youth camp down in Georgia. Being staff for campers my age was an interesting position to be in. The beautiful setting we were in was a wonderful testimony to the glory of God. When asked what my prayer for the next year is I would have to say that it is that we would have the opportunity to have more of you over to our home in the coming year. Hopefully, next year won’t be so involved and we will see more your lovely faces than last year.

Patrick (50 years old)- This is a different Christmas letter for me. Let me explain. As I look back on this year and the many blessings that our family enjoyed this year I realize with real sadness that to a great extent that I was not part of it. This year I worked. I worked long and I worked often. The greatest blessing I received this year was a word from some dear and faithful friends reminding me that my family is growing up at a breathtaking speed and that I need to give my strongest efforts to making the most of this time. My prayer for all of you is that you would learn this lesson quicker than I have. Good honest toil is a fine thing but it shouldn’t own us. So, hug your babies while you have them. If they’re already gone bring ‘em home and squeeze them like there’s no tomorrow.

          In closing we want to thank you all for your faithful friendship, prayers and the various kindnesses you’ve extended in this year and in the past. The Lancaster’s wish you all the merriest of Christmases and Gods best in the coming year.