Family News February 2019
Happy 2019! What just happened here? One minute you’re stealing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups out of your kids’ trick or treat bag, and the next minute you’re ushering in the New Year at some party your wife decided to have at your house. So, dear reader, here are my Top 10 “Christmas Season” memories:
10. RECYCLING PROGRAM.
As a family, we do our best to recycle. You know, paper, tin cans, cardboard, and this season, a washing machine and a Toyota Corolla. The washing machine was close to 10 years old, and has washed countless loads for our big family, so no worries there. However, the Toyota found itself in a fender bender that totally wrecked the front end to the point where ICBC declared the car a write off. I won’t mention which kid was driving . Yes, we do our part to recycle scrap metal, too!
9. RE/MAX CHRISTMAS DINNER.
Once again, Cindy and I got dressed up to attend the annual RE/MAX Treeland Realty Christmas Dinner. We enjoyed the evening out, and the food was terrific. It was nice to visit with the other Realtors and their spouses in an “out of the office” environment. I find it funny, though, that you look so forward to going out somewhere without the kids and then end up talking to the other people you’re having dinner with about your kids. I tried not to exaggerate my kids’ accomplishments, as often these things can become “good parent/smart kid competition”. And if my kids actually do end up becoming rocket scientists, brain surgeons, Olympic track athletes, and/or startup company CEOs, then I wasn’t really lying, right?
8. CHRISTMAS TEA.
Our youngest son Andy is in Grade 5 at the Langley Fundamental Elementary School and as is the custom, the Grade 5 kids serve the tables at the annual Christmas Tea. Cindy and I enjoyed the multiple tea choices, exquisite baked goods, and world class performances from the stage. Andy looked so handsome in his crisp white shirt and apron. Cindy said I was a bit too demanding of the Grade 5 waiters and servers at our table. But I had to reminder her that we were likely sitting at the “head table”, reserved for esteemed guests. You see, Andy was our 6th kid serving at the Christmas Tea, and Cindy and I have probably been to 16 elementary school Christmas Teas, dating back to when Jude was a young whipper snapper at the school. So yes, I want to get my share of shortbread cookies!
7. RE/MAX TREE DAY.
Once again, this event, held for the valued clients of RE/MAX Treeland Realty who have bought or sold a house with RE/MAX, was a success. Held at the Krause Berry Farm, the weather was terrific, and it was fun seeing 4 of my kids working the event. Jared was one of the “tree carriers,” and Adrianna, Mireya, and Nicole helped out in the food donation trailer, where RE/MAX clients generously donated for the local food bank. I enjoyed seeing a lot of my clients and catching up. Jared did well in tips; I think my advice of telling people, while he was carrying their selected tree to their car, about his desire to buy his mother a pair of red Christmas shoes struck a chord with fans of the Christmas Shoes movie.
6. CHRISTMAS WITH THE FAMILIES.
This year’s “rotation” meant spending Christmas Day with the Reimer extended family, and Boxing Day with the Klassen extended family. After 25 years of marriage, I still say the Klassens do a better stuffing, but poor Cindy has been brainwashed to believe it’s actually the Reimers who exceed in the production of that edible mixture of cut up bread, onion, salt, pepper, and other fine spices.
5. CONSECUTIVE BIRTHDAY CAKE!
Can you name a family that has consecutive kids’ birthdays on December 3rd, 4th, and 5th? Yes, the Klassens. Duohh! It’s busy enough celebrating Jesus’ birthday in December and busier yet when you add Jared, Andy, and Adrianna. That’s a lot of birthday cake hanging around the house, and lots of fire hazards with candles and the like.
4. CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE.
We love Christmas Eve service at our church, Cloverdale Baptist Church. Singing Christmas carols, hearing an uplifting message from Pastor Rob, and ending with a fun time of visiting and socializing with our church community. Just really getting focused on the true meaning of Christmas.
Because of #2 on this list, Cindy and I decided to celebrate by taking the kids to Mexico. Cindy and I and the 3 younger kids departed for Mexico December 8th, and Jared and Adrianna, both of whom had to finish up with university exams at TWU and SFU respectively, along with Jude and his wife Morgan, flew out a week later. What a great memory. We loved the food, the sun and surf, the pool, the evening shows, my Karaoke (just not sure why the kids’ faces were buried in their hands during that performance), and just hanging out with nowhere else to be. Going away in December is awesome because there are so many things at home that you can’t be at; you have an excuse to NOT bring cupcakes to the class party or bring appetizers to the sports team get together. One of the highlights was rappelling into a cenote (a natural underground reservoir of water formed by the collapse of surface limestone), and ziplining in the cenote itself. I’m especially proud of Cindy as she stepped up and showed me and the kids how it’s done! Now, if only Cindy could be so brave when it comes to airplane turbulence…
2. 25 YEARS.
On November 27th, Cindy and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary by going out for a nice lunch, knowing that we’d continue the celebration with the kids in Mexico. 1993 is a long time ago, and it’s interesting going back through the old photo albums to remember how much you’ve been through. 6 kids, 3 graduations, 1 wedding, 5 moves, lots of laughs, and some tears too. I’m not going to lie, marriage is hard work, and I’m still working to understand that my contribution to the marriage needs to be a focus on what I give, and not on what I get. I’m looking forward to the next 25!
1. CHRISTMAS MORNING.
It’s nice when the kids get a bit older and aren’t jumping in your bed at 6:30 in the morning. They’re usually up late the night before watching a Hallmark Christmas movie with Cindy while she puts the finishing touches on wrapping gifts and filling stockings. And Santa is still faithful; he doesn’t skip our house and our lame offering of gluten free animal cookies and almond milk. I love our traditions Christmas morning; reading the Christmas story from the Bible, baking scones, the fire log channel on the TV, my Terry’s Chocolate Orange, red Santa hats, cell phones on DND, and just enjoying time as a family, and for me to personally reflect on the blessings of a good wife, a quiver full of children, a warm house, and a great community, and just the simple things that make it a good life.
~ Steve Klassen
Want to catch up on previous editions of the Klassen Family News? Click on the links below.
June 2018 Family News
February 2018 Family News