Wednesday, December 23, 2015

12 JOYS of Christmas, 2015 (PART 1)

This Christmas I have my work cut out for me and lately I catch myself feeling like Mrs. Grinch instead of enjoying, and helping my family to enjoy such a very special time of the year. So this morning, as I was scrubbing my bathtub I was struck with the inspiration to write this post. Maybe it will be a one time thing or it might just become an annual tradition. Its amazing how much more joy we experience when we stop to focus on the good.

1. Rebekah is 3 this Christmas and besides her growing anticipation of opening presents she has noticed Christmas Music on a new level this year. Her favourite song is "Little Drummer Boy" and she will boldly announce that "Rubber Bum Bum" is playing whenever she hears the tune. SO CUTE! She also does an absolutely adorable rendition of "Go tell it on the Mountain."

2. Joshua opening presents. I had a preview of this while I was wrapping gifts. He got hold of one and I was happy to have him play with it while I finished up but I didn't anticipate how quickly he would figure out how to rip the paper off. There is something so joyful about kids ripping into their gifts. I remember how exciting it was (and sometimes still is) to unwrap a surprise.

3. Samara memorizing her lines for the church preschool pageant. She STILL likes to rehearse them for us even though the pageant performance was on the 13th. We are planning a bit of an encore on Christmas day. This was a huge accomplishment for her and rightfully so she is proud of herself.

4. The joy of lights. David mentioned this year that one of his favourite parts of Christmas time is when the lights are off and the Christmas tree is lit up. He even made furniture rearranging suggestions for maximum viewing. Driving around to see Christmas lights is always a highlight.

5. C A N D Y. Tomorrow we are decorating our homemade Sugar Cookie Ginger Bread Houses. We assembled them today and the kids can't wait to get their hands on the candies to decorate. Angeline made one already at a friends birthday party and was so proud of her candy covered mound. She also took the liberty if decorating the plate and concluded that next time the roof should go on afterwards so that you could fill the entire house with candy.

6. Family Portraits. This is definitely one of MY favourites. If it wasn't for me the rest of my family would be happy never to pose for a group picture. It means a lot to me to have us all together in one picture. It's a lot of work to get everyone looking at the camera let alone smiling but it's worth it.

I plan on posting a part 2 with an additional 6 Joys after Christmas.
Wishing You much Joy as you reflect on the many blessings this season brings.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Letter 2015

Dear Friends and Family,
I thought I would be smart this year and start my Christmas letter in August. I know what you are thinking... brilliant, right? Brilliant might have been saving it to the desktop. Not so brilliant was not being able to find it and starting over again.
Oh well... think merry thoughts!
Having 5 kids is CRAZY! Most of the time it is CRAZY fun and we are CRAZY in love but it is always CRAZY busy. Sometimes things get out of hand and crazy fun turns into insane crazy and occasional insane crazy becomes senile (which is NOT fun). Balancing homeschooling 3 kids with my regular mother and housewife duties is challenging and I have had to make some adjustments to our schedule. I am still fine tuning it but I think we are figuring it out. The trick is how to get everything done, squeeze in some fun and have a little room left over for sanity. 
I don't get a lot in the way of personal time but I do enjoy the occasional cup of loose leaf tea. In June I took (and passed) my driving test so that I no longer have to drive around with a “N” sign in my glovebox (I mean on the back of the van). I had my “N” for over 15 years, some sort of a record I am sure. I started a new devotional app in July called First5 which has been really good. This fall I had a lot of fun attending Zumba classes.
     A Major Milestone for us this year was celebrating our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary. After 10 Years, we still do! In celebration we had a family ring made so that is certainly a highlight for me as well.
     Jonathan was officially promoted at the start of the year to head store manager. He played soccer in the Spring on our Church team and this year they made it to the playoffs. He joined Karate this fall and has been attending classes with David. He is continuing to enjoy board game nights monthly.
     David took art classes in the Spring and we were really impressed with his work. He is training to grade for his white stripe belt in Karate. He started Grade 4 this fall which means he now gets letter grades. He is attending Soaring Eagle Nature School once a month where he spends an entire day in the woods. He joined DIY for kids and now has an online portfolio and is earning badges for projects. It's like a modern day boy scouts. Check out his page at:
     Angeline is now in Grade 1 and is continuing to do well. She attends class 2 days a week for about 8 weeks each term. She thrives at school and at home. Earlier in the year she attended a mixed dance class and she will be participating in Dance Week later this month. She is currently in swimming lessons. What we are most proud of is her gift of welcoming others. She has a natural ability to find a friend who is new, shy or struggling and taking them under her wing.
     Samara is just about to celebrate her 5th Birthday and is now in Kindergarten. A lot of change has come her way this year and she is now on her own for some of her activities where she is used to having her big sister. She has also had the opportunity to be the big sister as her and Rebekah took a Ballet class together this fall. She is in a K/1 split with Angeline at School and will also be participating in Dance Week. I really feel like she is coming out of her cocoon and we are enjoying her now as a butterfly.
     Rebekah is now 3 and enjoyed her first Ballet (or as she says "Balleray") class this fall. She has been waiting patiently for her turn and loves having a dance class to attend. She quite enjoys her time with Mommy and Joshua when her sisters and brother are at school. She will often ask me not to pick them up. :) We thought she had coasted safely through the accident prone 2's (Angeline broke her arm and Samara broker her collar bone when she was 2) but shortly after turning 3 she landed herself with 10 stitches above her eyebrow. Her bangs hide it, if I have time to blow dry them to the right.
Joshua is now 1 and has been walking about for the last month and a half. He is certainly in a very busy but also a very fun stage. Our Baby Boy is growing up too fast. We love his kisses, his car sounds and his growing vocabulary. He loves his bath time, the naked time that follows, cars, trains and going outside.
I am continuing to update our family blog if you are interested in updates throughout the year. Visit
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Love, Melissa, Jonathan, David, Angeline, Samara, Rebekah and Joshua Neufeld

PS- Our family Christmas Picture will come in a later post. I still have to pick up the boys shirts. For now here is a sneak peak of the girls in their Christmas dresses.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Joshua is 1!

Joshua is now 12 1/2 months so I thought it was time for his 1 year update. He had his check up today and is continuing to do well. He now weighs 21 lbs. He is near the 50th percentile weighing slightly less than average and measuring slightly taller then the average 1 year old boy.
He is talking A LOT more then the average 1 year old. I guess we have his 4 older siblings to thank for that? His newest word (yesterday) is "chair".
He has also been walking for the last 5 weeks. He walks as his preferred method of transportation. He only crawls when he is playing or if I put hard shoes on him (still has to figure out shoes).
Having a 1 year old has more challenges then I remember but we are soaking up his adorableness and enjoying each new stage as it comes.





Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rebekah Ballerina



Rebekah has been waiting a long time for her first ballet class and today was the day! It is nice to have her and Samara in the same class. Last year Angeline and Samara were in the same class together. I think it is nice for Samara to have a chance playing the roll of big sister and showing her little sister the ropes. This will be Samara's last "Tot's Ballet" since she will be 5 soon.

Some of you may be wondering about the bandaid. Rebekah fell of her chair 2 1/2 weeks ago. She landed on an upside down plastic container lid which one would assume is harmless. Somehow that harmless lid landed her in emergency. Two hours and TEN stitches later we were on our way home. There was no head injury other then the cut. Most of the scab is gone but she still has some stitches that haven't dissolved. She is doing well but it is definitely going to leave a mark.


Friday, October 9, 2015

11 Month Pumpkin


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Joshua is 11 months old. His first birthday is just around the corner. He can stand up without holing onto anything. He has taken a few steps independently and is really good with a walker, or a laundry basket, or the kitchen bench turned upside down. He is fast! He has learned to go down stairs properly (with supervision of corse)!
He is a had full, but so much fun! Love him!

Pumpkin Patch





The kids had a field trip at Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch today. It was lots of fun! Got some cute pictures of Joshua too which I will share next in an 11 month post.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

First Day of School 2015




Today is the first day of school for David (Grade 4), Angeline (Grade 1), and Samara (Kindergarten). David will be attending class once a week as well as Nature School once a month. He attended his first Nature School last week and spent a whole day in the woods. Angeline and Samara will be attending twice a week together in a K/1 split class. We have already began our school work at home with much enthusiasm but today is their first day in class.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

10 Months



As predicted these 10 month pictures were even more difficult to capture then the 9 month ones. At his last check up (about 4 weeks ago) Joshua weighed 20 lbs 2 oz and is charted at 50th percentile for hight and weight. As you can tell from the pictures he is growing a lot each month. His hair has gotten lighter, though not as light as David's was at 10 months. He LOVES driving cars. He LOVES buttons. He also LOVES his sock monkey from Oma and Opa. He does not LOVE nap time, being fed, or having his diaper changed. But he does finally LOVE baths! And we LOVE our little man.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Last few weeks of Summer Fun





We had a really enjoyable time at the cabin as our summer vacation neared its end. The weather was good and the mosquitos weren't bad so what more can you ask for in 100 Mile? David enjoyed riding his new quad as well as doing tricks on his dirt bike. Angeline made a caterpillar friend and enjoyed helping in the garden. We discovered Samara is part puzzle master and part animal whisperer... I think Daddy might have to take her on his next hunting trip as she seems to have a knack for spotting animals. Rebekah enjoyed all the extra outdoor time, making (pretend) tea for everyone and playing cards with her grandmas and sisters. Joshua, well he really enjoyed the pine cones... there was no shortage of things to put in his mouth. Jonathan and I enjoyed watching our children enjoy themselves and we snuck in a few board games and quad rides ourselves.

We spent 2 days at home and then headed to Port Alberni for 1 week. We took in the fireworks and the kids fished at the bullhead derby. Samara got skunked but entered one of her siblings extra fish and won a prize. Rebekah caught the biggest fish out of our four with no prize to be had and David who was convinced he wouldn't win anything got the very last prize.
We enjoyed a lot of visiting time during the week and then had one last adventure at the Fall Fair. Enjoy the pictures and if you want to see more just click on one and it will bring you to our flickr page.





Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Joshua 9 months

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This was the most challenging set of monthly pictures to capture so far. Joshua won't sit still! I was actually amazed to see how much he has changed in appearance this last month. Now that he has started his 10th month he is finally saying "Mom"... he has been saying "Dada" for a long time. His 5th tooth also recently poked through. As summer draws closer to its end these next few weeks are going to go by really fast and I will soon be updating with his 10 month pics. Soaking up all his baby love while I can.

Friday, August 7, 2015


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Rebekah JUST turned 3 and hasn't finished celebrating yet (family party postponed since mommy got sick). She did share some "Frozen" cupcakes with her Sunday School class who sang her happy birthday.
3 weeks before her Birthday she tripped and did a header. Instant goose egg, two black eyes and 3 weeks later she is fully recovered. Not much stops her or slows her down.
She is a good mix of stubborn, funny, determined, sensitive and adorable (of course).


David turned 9 at the end of June and celebrated with a handful of friends in early July. This Birthday was one of the hardest for me knowing that my Baby will hit double digits next year and that he is 1/2 way though to graduating high school (though he still currently claims that he wants to live with me even after he grows up).
He is currently reading through the Star Wars series and also continues to enjoy lego, bionicles, pokemon, minecraft, and board games. He is also continuing in Karate though his attendance has been more sporadic during the summer months.
If I could have a birthday wish granted and his behalf it would be that he wouldn't take life so seriously (sometimes) and that he would just enjoy being a kid... but alas, he is a first born.

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In March we celebrated Angeline's 6th birthday but we only recently added her party pictures to the computer. Even though she is nearly 6 1/2 I had to share an update and some pictures of our oldest daughter. Mature beyond her age (most of the time) she in an amazing helper with Joshua and her other siblings. She loves having a baby brother and if she had her way would have a bay sister next! (Tried explaining to her that she already has 2 baby sisters but "they aren't little anymore"). She does plan to grow up, get married and have five kids of her own. David has nicknamed her "second mom" and she carries that title proudly. She thoroughly enjoyed her first year of school (attending 2 days/week of class at HomeQuest) and is eagerly waiting to start Grade 1 in September.