End of Year

It’s stunning that this is my first post of the month, but hardly surprising on the other hand. The past six weeks or so have been a blur. Days have been full, nights have been short, and plates have been full. A number of items fell off the edges, and blogging was unfortunately, but unapologetically one of them.

Among the things receiving my attention, that might be worth your attention:

Christmas Wish List: Our church’s annual project was another significant success, raising awareness within our city of those living in poverty and blessing them in practical ways at Christmas time. Volunteers and media and givers — all were wonderful parts of the process!

Advent Blog: Our church’s annual blog efforts rolled into their fifth year this holiday season. Huge thanks to every writer and to all who tuned in to read along. I submitted a few posts there as well just to prove that my writing hadn’t completely dried up.

Beyond those, the month involved first music recitals for our girls, school concerts, Advent assemblies, Christmas Eve service, church hockey, men’s mentoring group, MOPS, along with all the usual Christmas preparations, an unusually full load in conjunction with our approved home residents, a couple rounds of various sicknesses, and a broken finger that continues to mend.

Desire to write? It’s still there.

Will to write? I’m rediscovering it.

May the next year be your best yet, friends! I’ll meet you here as faithfully as I can muster. 🙂

Happy New Year!

Happy-New-YearMy wife and I were chatting recently about how many wonderful things took place in our lives in 2013. In some ways, we wondered whether 2014 could possibly match up. But believing in a God who has already undertaken serious works within our lives, we are taking Him at His word that He is faithful (and interested) to take such undertakings to completion.

May your 2014 be a year of growth into the abundant life promised to those who bear the image of the Father, participate in the resurrection of the Son, and house the revealing Holy Spirit.


Phoenix With Children: Beyond One Day

Served well by The Children’s Museum of Phoenix, we set out to see how else we might entertain our two young children while enjoying ourselves in the process.

Phoenix, what else do you have for us?

A couple answers, at least.

1) Phoenix Zoo

The website claims that it’s been voted one of the nations Top 5 zoos for children.  Seeing as how Phoenix is the #5 or #6 city in the country for population, I’m going to believe the boast.  Situated right next door to the Desert Botanical Gardens, you know the landscape is special, particularly to a family from the Canadian prairies.  Pleasantly sized, this zoo is large enough to house a wide variety of animals (elephants to giraffes to lions to monkeys to tortoises to iguanas and more) without demanding serious miles to be logged, as is necessary in a place like the San Diego Zoo.  Throw in a petting zoo, a couple decent play areas, and a classic carousel, and you can keep a couple cute toddlers busy for part of day.

2) Arizona Mills Mall

Buying or browsing, we always enjoy looking around, when in a new city.  But how to do it while busying the tots?  A bright and busy mall doesn’t hurt.  A well-designed set-up with a handful of toy stores and a Disney store can only help.  Throw in a surprising aquarium (SeaLife Arizona) with a decent play area, and add a large food court surrounded by pumping arcade and a merry-go-round–that ought to keep them busy for a while.  This mall gave us enough enjoyment that we actually visited twice–the second time, we even bought a few things!

There are a host of other things a family might do in Phoenix, but let this post and my previous one at least get you started the next time you find yourself stranded in Arizona with some small ones needing attention.



Phoenix With Children

In a better-than-we-could-have-planned-it twist, we departed Regina on January 11, the first day all winter that felt like the type of winter weather we annually receive.

Destination: Phoenix, Arizona.

Trip-planning has changed its flavour since our children have been born.  It used to involve “Lonely Planet” guides and aggressive checklists to maximize time and opportunities in any given spot.  Both the pace and content are no longer the same.

For what it’s worth, here is the one place in Phoenix that you should not miss if you are traveling with children under the age of eight: The Children’s Museum of Phoenix.  Seriously, this is a fun place!  Initial material I read on it painted an image of a not-quite-Science-Center.  Now, I’m all for Science Centers, but they’re not quite the right cup of tea to serve my three-year-old and one-year-old.

The Children’s Museum, on the other hand, is just perfect.

We spent three hours in the morning and then revisited after a nap in the car.  Tonnes of smiles were flashed, interspersed by laughs, surprises, and adventure.  It was one of the most fun days I’ve had with my little girls.

On the tourist-o-meter, I give this place a perfect score for any families vacationing in the Valley of the Sun.