Saturday, January 3, 2015

Welcome to 2015

A new year is now upon us and our family sure ended 2014 in a great way. I have no idea how to condense a super fun week into a blog post but I'll try.

On December 25, our friends from Birmingham, Alabama flew up to see us for a week. Our time was spent introducing them to our family and friends as well as all the wonderful things that a snowy province has in store. On the 26th, we went sledding at a friend's acreage and they were amazed that they were walking on a frozen lake. The kids spent a lot of time with Arianna in the various yards enjoying the cold, the snow and the activities that we do here. 

The girls after church

One of our excursions included a trip to West Edmonton Mall which at 5.3 million square feet, the Mall is the size of a small city and is accredited as a zoo.
West Edmonton Mall is home to more than 800 stores and services including nine world-class attractions, two hotels, over 100 dining venues, the widest variety of one-of-a-kind retailers, and entertainment for all ages. It also holds the record for the world's largest indoor amusement park and wave pool. The waterpark was the main event of our day in addition to tackling some shopping during the busiest week of the year. We hung out there for a few hours and yet barely scratched the surface of what we could see.  I found out that it would take nearly 72 hours to check out every single store in the mall. This was also the evening that us adults took the time to have a childless dinner at one of mine and Doug's favorite food places. 

 James. Loved. Joshua.

The next day we loaded up into a 15 passenger van and headed for Jasper, home of our Rocky Mountains.  The day was clear and we were treated to a spectacular view of the snow covered caps of these magnificent rocks. We walked around the town of Jasper for a while, ensuring that our souther guests had a true experience of walking around in the cold. With a bone chilling wind to boot. Our hotel for the evening faced Pyramid Lake and was a spectacular view to wake up to. Doug was a wonderful tour guide as he took us down the Icefield Parkway with our main destination being the Columbian Icefield. The mountains did not disappoint us as Scott and Lelia experienced the greatness of walking on a mountain while seeing a glacier in the distance. 

 This lake was unbelievably beautiful - pictures don't do it justice

 Waterfalls freeze too

 This was the lake off our hotel

 Just about on top of the world!

 The Athabasca Falls

 The Columbian Icefield. It was getting cold and windy!

 Tourists? I think so! :)

One final group shot as we prepared to say good-bye.

Their flight was to take off at 6:00 on New Year's morning so our final evening was spent gathering up their belongings, doing a final load of laundry and helping pack their stuff. This was our fourth time since 2007 that we've gotten together and each time has been a lot of fun. We've made a lifetime of memories and I can't wait until we meet again!

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