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January 13th 2016
Published: February 15th 2016
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Winter LandscapeWinter LandscapeWinter Landscape

The frost hanging from the trees makes for such pretty pictures, Linda rushed out to take a few pictures the day after we arrived to Saskatoon.
We left for Canada on Saturday morning, the 19th of December, and flew home to Canada via Seoul Korea and Vancouver. We arrived in Saskatoon on Saturday evening. Aaron met us and gave us a ride home. It was quite a treat to arrive in Saskatoon at 6:30PM instead of midnight like we usually do when we have to go through Hong Kong. We arrived home, unpacked, checked the mail and were in bed by 10PM. Maurice wasn't feeling well, and had a very rough trip home.

Sunday morning, we picked up Tai and Tucker and took them to Langham with us to attend church with Linda's mother. It turned out the service was cancelled so the congregation gathered for lunch instead. We had a nice visit with all, and we were very pleased to find Doris much stronger than when we had left in late November. We were back in the city for naptime. We had Lulubelle and Dwayne over in the evening for turkey soup and wine. We spent the next few days preparing for Christmas, last minute shopping, wrapping gifts and visiting with friends. Kristen was not feeling well and was experiencing severe stomach pain on the
Winter WonderlandWinter WonderlandWinter Wonderland

The clear air and cold temperatures cause frost to collect on everything outside a heated building, 12/20/2015
23rd when she was over. Christmas Eve, she went to emergency and was admitted to hospital with appendicitis. She had surgery around 10PM and was released the next morning, December 25th. She wasn't well enough to attend the Langham Tarasoff Christmas Dinner.

On Christmas Eve, Cory, Vicky and family as well as Kody and Janessa joined us for hors d'oeuvres in the late afternoon. We headed to the Catholic Cathedral for mass. Cory, Vicky and the boys joined us too. Most of Maurice's family was at the cathedral for the service. Then it was on to Colette and Luc's for the traditional "Revellion". Between our family and Luc's family and a few friends, there must have been over 30 people in attendance. Colette's friend was bringing the turkey, and unfortunately it showed up half cooked! Oh well, the girls remedied that and we all enjoyed a fantastic meal. We followed that up with our gift exchange, and made it home by 1:30AM.

Christmas morning, we were off to Langham for Linda's traditional family Christmas dinner. Again, it was a large group who gathered at Linda's mother's home. Everyone brought food items to create another wonderful turkey dinner. We
Tucker PopoffTucker PopoffTucker Popoff

The birthday boy, today, December 23rd, he turned a year old!
went downstairs afterwards, and exchanged gifts by "Chinese auction". We watched in amazement and a little concern as Doris made about 9 trips up and down the stairs. Oh well, she says that she has lots of living to do yet, and she intends to "live", not just hang around. We admire her tenacity and her will.

We left Langham around 3PM and headed to Christmas supper with Maurice's children. This year, Richard, Ken's father was hosting Christmas. We got directions to the farm and arrived just as the sun set. Tyler had his team of Belgian horses hitched to a wagon, and they were tied to the trailer. They had gone for a sleigh ride in the afternoon. We had yet another turkey meal, that would be the third turkey meal in 18 hours. After supper, we opened gifts amid another big crowd which tended to be a bit chaotic. Afterwards, Tyler suggested a night sleigh ride, and with the Christmas bells ringing on the harnesses, away they went for a moonlight ride. Shortly after, we packed up and headed to Marc's in Livelong to spend the night.

Next day, we rested and relaxed. Holly's sister and
Irene, Maurice's MotherIrene, Maurice's MotherIrene, Maurice's Mother

Mom has just turned 92 and is in very good health. She suffers from dementia and doesn't recognize us nor has the ability to speak. Note her Christmas barrettes.
other family members were visiting as well. We spent a quiet afternoon playing with Saydi and Patricia. We then had yet another turkey meal. This time it was deep fried turkey which turned out to be the tastiest of all.

On the 27th, we headed back to Saskatoon, stopping in Langham on our way. When Linda walked into her mother's house and took one look at her mother, it was obvious that Doris had NOT napped and was exhausted. So we simply said hello and goodbye and made our way home. We visited Kristen and Brett's. Kristen was feeling slightly better, though still weak, sore and moving slowly.

On the 28th we headed to Luc and Colette's for a visit because Luc was leaving the next day for work in Dubai. We visited and played Kaiser, our favorite card game. We visited with friends on the 30th, and then on the 31st, Colette joined us as we made our way to Table Mountain to snowboard with Leslie and her crew, and Marc and his girls. We had a glorious day, the weather was -5, the sun shining and no wind. Maurice was still not feeling well, so he
Christmas Mass at the CathedralChristmas Mass at the CathedralChristmas Mass at the Cathedral

Cory's family joined us at the 7PM service held at the Cathedral of the Holy Family. Most of Maurice's family was there as well. Annette and Lionel arrived from Calgary partway through the mass. Check out that Christmas tree!
sat in the chalet and looked after Hadley. The rest enjoyed the hill. Linda was a snowboard queen in her glory with the 'grands' in attendance. We left the hill at 5PM, stopped in Langham for a glass of wine with Doris and then on to Saskatoon. We went over to Gisele's to spend New Year's Eve and ring in 2016! We had a very laid back New Years Day.

After a big sleep-in and then headed to Cory's where we had brunch just hung out, enjoying the young boys in their home surroundings. It was amazing how fast the day flew by. We left around 5PM and visited Maurice's mom at St Anne's. Again we entertained as many of the residents as we could with chatter, stories and some dancing. Mom responded to the excitement. We hope we added some color and humor to their lives. When Mom isn't on the move, she spends her time fidgeting and folding either her sweater, the bib, or any other piece of cloth she can get her hands on. Lately she she's been enjoying a doll and carries it on her walker. It seems to keep her occupied.

On Saturday,
Luc and Colette Host the ReveillonLuc and Colette Host the ReveillonLuc and Colette Host the Reveillon

They host a house full after mass every year. We have a fantastic meal and visit with both our family and Luc's. And, as usual, their good friends join in as well.
January 2nd, we packed our swimming trunks and our snowboards and headed for North Battleford, stopping along the way in Langham for lunch with Doris. We arrived at the Tropical Inn for 2PM and checked into our suite. For the past 3 years, we have given Maurice's 4 children a poolside room at the hotel. This has established a wonderful tradition where all of the parents and grandchildren can gather and spend quality time with each other. Everyone was checked in to adjoining poolside rooms and in the hot tub or pool by 3PM. We had to wait for the lifeguard to arrive at 4 to be able to waterslide. Linda swore she made at least 30 trips up and down the slide before we ate supper. It was wonderful to watch everyone interacting. We enjoyed our 8 grandchildren immensely. We ordered in pizza for supper and everyone gathered in our large room to eat and visit. We followed that up with a bit more pool time and closed the pool by 10PM. After a bath in the Jacuzzi tub we all played games with the grandchildren till lights out at midnight. We ended up with the 5 oldest grandchildren
Tarasoff's Christmas DinnerTarasoff's Christmas DinnerTarasoff's Christmas Dinner

Most of Linda's family gathered for Christmas Dinner on the 25th. Everyone brought a dish so that Doris didn't have so much to prepare. Linda brought the turkey and gravy, perfectly done!
spending the night with us in our room. We had 2 fold out couches for them to sleep in. What a treat for us! Next morning Marc and Ryan had to pound on our door a little after 9AM to wake us up. The waterslide was already open but the kids were still sleeping. They quickly grabbed some fruit and headed into the pool for a bit more sliding. We checked out around 11AM because we had more plans for the day.

Tyler, Kim, Bennett and Briar; Ryan, Leslie, Gracie, Sawyer, Easton, and Hadley; as well as Marc, Saydi and Ally-Anna joined us at Table Mountain Ski Resort just a half hour west of Battleford. We had another glorious day of weather, about -13, no wind and lots of sunshine! Maurice's family spent a lot of time at Table Mountain growing up because it's just a half hour south of the farm. We were kept busy making sure we made a few runs with each of the 7 grandchildren, either on skis or snowboards. We were able to commandeer a corner of the chalet's lounge where we would gather and visit. Someone was always inside looking after our youngest
Table TwoTable TwoTable Two

We can't all fit at the big expanded table, so there is another one set up in the living room for the younger kids and their mothers.
grandchild, Hadley. At the end of the day, we said our farewells and everyone headed for home.

On Monday, Linda's back was bothering her. Snowboarding is hard on an olderish lady. Dr Simpson treated her 3 times before the flight back. This year, we had a 3 week break from school and so we flew back Friday morning, January 8th. It was wonderful to have those extra days to visit with friends in the city and get our business done.

We had a wonderful trip home for the Holiday season and were able to spend a lot of time with our families and visit some of our closest friends. We boarded our flight back to Kaohsiung with smiles on our faces, arriving at our apartment Saturday evening around 10PM. We had Sunday to rest and for Linda to prepare for school the next day! This will be the last time term for school.

Additional photos below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 28


Vicky's Gift to DorisVicky's Gift to Doris
Vicky's Gift to Doris

Vicky's an accomplished artist. She used three different images to create this gorgeous portrait of Alec and Doris. It brought tears to Linda's mother.
Santa DorisSanta Doris
Santa Doris

It took a bit of persuading to get Doris to don the hat for the gift exchange.
Tyler's Team of BelgiansTyler's Team of Belgians
Tyler's Team of Belgians

There is nothing better than going for a sleigh ride on Christmas Day. Tyler also had his team in Edam this December carrying Christmas carollers around town.
Opening GiftsOpening Gifts
Opening Gifts

Bennett was so proud of his having picked and wrapped the gift for Grandpa that he couldn't wait for grandpa to open it, he just had to help open it.
Saydi and the Christmas Tree in her homeSaydi and the Christmas Tree in her home
Saydi and the Christmas Tree in her home

We spent boxing day playing with Saydi and Patricia as well as visiting Marc and Holly. Holly had some of her family over as well. She prepared supper and Marc deep fried a turkey for this Christmas dinner.
Colette Boarding on Table MountainColette Boarding on Table Mountain
Colette Boarding on Table Mountain

Colette joined us at Table Mountain on December 31st. We had a great day with Marc, Saydi and AllyAnna. Leslie, Ryan and the 3 kids were there too. Grandpa tended to Hadley.
Grandma's Got the TouchGrandma's Got the Touch
Grandma's Got the Touch

There's nothing to putting the baby to sleep, and I still have a hand for beer.
Grandma's FavoritesGrandma's Favorites
Grandma's Favorites

What great fun way to spend the afternoon; on the ski hill with the grandchildren. We enjoyed light winds, nice temperatures and plenty of sunshine.
Packing UpPacking Up
Packing Up

The hill wasn't too busy so we were able to sit in the Chalet's lounge in front of the fire. It was delightful!
Tropical Inn Family DayTropical Inn Family Day
Tropical Inn Family Day

Every year, we rent 5 adjoining pool side rooms at the Tropical Inn in North Battleford. Maurice's family all come to swim, waterslide together, eat and visit.
Playing in the PoolPlaying in the Pool
Playing in the Pool

We were all checked in by 3PM and played in the pool and visited in the hot tub. The lifeguard started work and fired up the waterslide at 4PM.
What a Great TimeWhat a Great Time
What a Great Time

Grandma swears that she made at least 30 trips up the stairs and down the slide. We can't even guess at how many Sawyer and Ally-Anna made.
Hadley in the Hot TubHadley in the Hot Tub
Hadley in the Hot Tub

We had a great day in the pool. We were just about the only ones in the hotel and mostly had the slide and hot tub to ourselves.

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