Here we are again, another Christmas in the books! I’m late to write this letter, not because I don’t have any good things to say about the year, but rather because I’ve been too busy living

Delightful Dynamics

Though having three children comes with its challenges, Ryan and I frequently find ourselves delighted in the dynamics of our family. Our kids are young enough to delight in simple joys. Watching the rainbow soap on our sunroof during car washes is awesome! Building snow forts is the best, and digging in the sand at the beach for hours is a thrilling way to spend the afternoon. At the same time the kids are growing in independence and creativity, self-orchestrating numerous home productions inclusive of singing and dancing, a “fancy dress” coronation for Ryan and I, and book readings (Allison is a prolific writer and has authored and shared several books including a three book Pickle and the Cloud series and the 15 chapter book: Pickle and Bird). We do not take it for granted that these magical moments are truly miraculous; sometimes Ryan refers to them as our “alternate reality”, a beautiful future we would never have imagined six years ago.


On that note, my brain cancer continues to be in remission. My physical health is great. I enjoy running along the river a couple days a week, on the trails with Ryan and playing soccer with a lovely group of women in fall. These activities help to keep my post-cancer anxiety in check. I also spend the hours that the kids are in school writing my memoir. It is coming along well and yet has so far to go yet!


Ryan has been busy overseeing the Blind Factory business, helping out with Garrett’s hockey team, and playing pickleball whenever possible – hoping to once again begin attending tournaments in the new year. 


Garrett continues to enjoy playing hockey. When he started his first season in the fall of 2021 he didn’t even know how to skate, but this spring he was awarded Most Improved Player! He loves shooting pucks in our basement and squeezes in soccer when he can. His musical skills are also being honed in piano lessons. Garrett is a sweet boy who enjoys asking unanswerable questions about nature and the universe (what would happen if lightning struck a volcano as it was erupting?). 


Rayna is clever as ever, devouring young adult fantasy books at a rapid pace. We make frequent trips to the library! She also participates in swim club twice weekly, volleyball at school and no longer loathes her piano lessons; during her Christmas recital she performed Mary Did You Know and That’s Christmas To Me absolutely beautifully.    


Allison loves both watching and presenting performances. After watching Cirque du Soleil with our friends in summer she asked to go to another show for a birthday present. So in November I took her to Disney on Ice in Vancouver. So much fun!  (but next time I’ll check the popcorn pricing before I promise I will get her some at the show. It was -gasp- $25). Our home is also filled with song and dance on a daily basis and Allison enjoys singing with the Fraser Valley Children’s Choir. She also plays soccer with gusto in both spring and fall.

Camping and Vancouver Island

The highlight of our year, however, was summer! Immediately after classes were finished we packed our van and set out for a camping trip to Kokanee Creek Provincial Park near Nelson with three other families. Those novice campers, we all enjoyed ourselves. We returned home, unpacked to repack for a trip to Victoria where we met up with our friends Brad and Ashley. Simply ferrying to the Island was a beautiful delight with sunset skies, but we also enjoyed Craigdarroch castle, the miniature museum, IMAX, walking along the inner harbour and Beacon Hill Park petting zoo. As we said goodbye to our friends, Ryan suggested that we continue on to Tofino, so we did! We boogie boarded until the girls were too cold to bear the beach anymore. 


A couple of weeks later we set off for our road trip to Saskatchewan, stopping overnight with Ryan’s childhood friend, Pam (and her two dogs that Rayna loved) before landing in Saskatoon. Here I visited my friend Erin and her baby boy, we went to Cirque to Soleil with Brad and Ashley, and set off to our next stop: Camp Oshkidee. As always, connecting with old friends and enjoying the lake was incredible. Though I had hoped for a motorsport filled week, our inaugural tube ride on day 1 left us swimming/screaming in the lake, so besides a waterski for Ryan and I, the week was full of (equally enjoyable) non-motorized activities: canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, frog-hunting, ping pong and digging in the sand.     

Returning to Saskatoon we stayed with and visited Ryan’s family before heading down to my parents’ in Swift Current for fun-filled cousin time inclusive of getting up close and personal with a Bull snake (you can ask Ryan for that story).

Back Home

We swung by Fairmont on the way home, picking Ryan’s mom up from her sister’s place and headed back to Chilliwack where we enjoyed many days at Cultus Lake, a trip to Science World, setting up a (profitable) rock shop on our corner, and hiking Lindeman Lake.   

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Now, the delight and joy of a slow-paced snowed-in Christmas season has given way to anticipation of what 2023 will bring. It’s hard to believe we’ve wrapped around to a new year already! 

Wishing you all a healthy and grace-filled year ahead.

Love the Rosteks:
Ryan and Cheryl,
Rayna (10 years old), Garrett and Allison (7 years old)