Saturday, December 31, 2016


It was a quiet New Year's Eve for three this year. Kiandra was off to her friend Morgan's for the night and Kaden was at a New Year's party with a few of his friends from school. After dropping Kaden off at the party, we stopped for dessert:

Then Conrad and Kezia booked up the wii to play a few games to close off 2016.

Farewell 2016....and hello 2017!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Before and After

We've been renovating for about 6 weeks now and things are finally being put back into place.

This is the living room before:

and now (curtains still need to be hung):

different angle of living room before:

living room now:

Front entrance before:

Front entrance now:

Our old dresser:

Our new dresser:

baseboards along that wall, ensuite sink, and removing Conrad's old dresser yet to come. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016


Conrad and I made plans today to have a spa day....

We were excited!

but when we seems like lots of other people had the same idea:

and we didn't :(

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Driving and Burgers

I drove Kaden to his LAST in car session...

....and then I met my cousin Lori for burgers and a time of catching up.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

She said yes to the dress!

Today we hit the stores to shop for grad dresses. It's hard to believe that Kezia's grad is just 6 months from yesterday.

Kezia didn't know exactly what she was looking for so she tried on lots of different styles including a few goofy ones that she humoured me with because she knew she wouldn't like them.

Store #1

This one REALLY caught her attention but she really didn't want to buy the second dress she tried on. It wasn't exactly what she was looking for but she did like it and tried it on two times. 

Store #2 was a bust...she didn't see anything that she wanted to try on.

At Store #3 she found 2 dresses that she wanted to try on and as soon as she came out in the first dress, you could tell that she loved it.

This was the second dress:

and then she put back on the first dress and wore it for a LONG time. She had Kiandra snap chat a few of their friends, we texted Conrad at work, and she just struggled to make a decision because the dress was a bit out of her price point. It is a stunning dress and even had a surprise feature:

Finally, she made a decision...she said yes to the dress! Not bad for a day's shopping. Three stops, 9 dresses tried on, and 1 winner!

Thankfully, I had prepped so much the day before that even with a full afternoon of shopping while Kaden was driving I was still able to have everything ready on time to host my side of the family over for our Christmas gathering. 

A full and productive day!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Letter 2016

Dear Friends,

Again the Christmas season is upon us and I’m taking the time to sit down and remember the year that we’ve had. It’s been a busy year and God has blessed us richly as we have been “on the move” in 2016.

In January, Kiandra moved to Rennes, France to be a nanny for a missionary family transitioning from a family of 4 to a family of 6 when they welcomed a set of twin boys to their family. Kiandra spent three months with them and helped with the children and other household chores. It was a great learning experience for her. After her time with the family was over, Kiandra spent a week in London, England by herself and then her friend Kara joined her and they went on a European tour for 9 days. It was so good to finally have her home in May. Kiandra returned to her job at Smitty’s and in July she moved from her host position to become a server. Also, in July, Kiandra completed her NLS and just over a week later was asked to be a lifeguard at a camp. She was able to move around a few shifts from work and in total she served for 3 sessions of camp during the summer. In fall, Kiandra completed her WSI (Water Safety Instructor) course and is now a certified swim instructor. Kiandra also had the opportunity to virtually travel the world as she was cast to do a voice over for a character on a new cartoon show called “Hogie the Globetrotter”. She was signed for a 1 year contract through the recording studio and has been able to do a radio commercial as well. It will be interesting to see what kinds of opportunities Kiandra will move through in the coming year but she will be able to get there in style as she just bought herself a new car in November.

Kezia has been on the move this year too. Her indoor soccer team moved in the right direction and managed to win city finals in March. It was a fitting end to the many years that Kezia has spent on the pitch with many of the same teammates over the years. Kezia moved through the outdoor season and then hung up her cleats and decided not to play for this final indoor season. She is focusing on her last year of high school and is still volunteering at our church’s kids club on Wednesday night and for crew for Glenlawn’s musical a couple hours each week. This summer, 17 of our church youth went on a mission trip to Hermosillo, Mexico. Kezia loved her time there and made some great memories. In September, Kezia was able to go to Ottawa through a program called “Encounters with Canada” and she spent a week learning about First Responders and even earned her first aid certificate. Kezia has been working at Smitty’s with Kiandra and recently has moved into a server position. She still has to get others to bring out any drinks since she won’t be 18 until next month but they wanted to promote her to server early. Kezia is looking forward to graduating in June and moving on to the next phase after high school.

Kaden has moved to Grade 10 this year and is still enjoying his decision to attend the high school close to where I teach instead of his catchment school. He was the captain of the Junior Varsity volleyball team and after winning Bronze in their league they secured a wild card playoff spot in Provincials. They were able to win their first few games of the round robin but didn’t advance beyond the second round of playoffs. Kaden was also one of the team members for the Mexico missions trip this summer and he takes great pride in being able to say he was the first person in our family to be in Mexico because he was seated in the front of the vehicle while Kezia was in the vehicle behind him. Kaden is still playing community hockey on the A1 team. His team, in spring, went to 5 games in the city finals and came in second place. This year his team is doing extremely well and have not lost a game so far this season. Kaden has also been moving on the floor hockey scene and has been able to join Conrad for his Thursday night games. Kaden is also on the move on the road since receiving his learner’s license in November. He is already eagerly counting down the days until he can go for his full license in August.

Conrad and I have continued to move along in our jobs. Conrad has been at his job now for 18 years and I can't believe that I started my 8th year of teaching this fall. The oldest class at our school now was my first set of Grade 1 friends. It's hard to believe they will be moving on from our school after this school year. Conrad and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in June with a night away and a special photo shoot where we dressed up and I wore my wedding dress. It was a great time to reflect on our years together. In July, while Kezia and Kaden were in Mexico, we flew to Las Vegas to celebrate this milestone. Conrad let me plan a side trip to Disneyland to celebrate my *cough* *cough* 40th birthday this year. When we got back from our trip and the Kezia and Kaden returned from Mexico, we added a cuddly little kitten to our family. Juilliard is an excellent companion for Princeton the cat and they have been moving and shaking the house since she arrived.

Over the last while, Conrad and I have moved into this crazy stage of parenting older children and we are realizing that everything we tried to teach our children is exactly what they have learned. The realization that we have been, and are, raising independent, resilient, and strong individuals is such a blessing but does make me a little sad to know that “the way things always were” is changing. In its place are many new stages that we have experienced this year: we welcomed a significant other into our home, we watched our girls set off on a girls road trip to visit a friend at Bible College, and we have seen our children grow and move to make good decisions. Kiandra even managed to convince me to move it a totally new direction when she suggested we take an aerial silk class together this fall. I never dreamed I would be hanging upside-down and enjoying this kind of experience with my daughter. What a privilege it has been to move into this new stage with our children.

On the subject of moving….we have been busy renovating our house this Fall. We’ve painted, put in new flooring, and completed some long overdue fixes. We’re exploring the possibility of moving in the next while. We plan to have our house ready to go and then we will keep looking for the perfect house that will prompt us to make a move to new and exciting things.

We wish you and your family all the best as you move through 2017.

The Doerksen Family
Conrad & Pamela
Kiandra, Kezia, Kaden

Sunday, December 25, 2016

So this is Christmas..

 Oil and Vinegars from Kiandra:

Camping socks from Kezia:

Matching coffee mugs from Kiandra-wrapped in the same bag and they pulled out each others!)

I think this picture is hilarious because Kiandra is just excited to give her gift to Kaden (gift cards to all the places around his high school) as he is to get it!
 hugs of thanks
 Again...Kiandra is just as excited to give her gifts (room accessories) to Kezia:
 Kezia and Kaden teamed up to give us this new waffle maker:

Again, we tried to stick to our 4 gift tradition:
something they want
something they need
something to wear
and something to read.

 Kezia's want was a "garbage bag gift" --too big to fit in our regular cloth bags:
 She was a little surprised to find a bedding set she had picked out this summer but I convinced her not to buy. I was able to have a friend buy it this fall and it was a big surprise:
 They were able to find the exact sheets, string of lights, and throw that Kezia wanted. Kezia had actually found the lights by accident in my dresser but she thought that was all. She didn't realize we had found all three things.

Her need was an external hard drive found on sale to keep all her Seven Sisters stuff.

Kezia's wear was a Jets shirt (something I never thought she'd want but they are allowed to wear it on game night at work and so it was a perfect gift...and I got a great deal on it!)

and her "read" was this devotional book.

Kiandra's want was also a "garbage bag gift" and was the set of car mats for her new car that she really wanted.

Her 'need' was a hot pink snow brush, hot pink snow scraper, and a hot pink cord to plug her car in:

Kiandra also got a Jets shirt as her 'wear' and it was the exact one she had looked at with a huge sparkly logo in the front.

Kiandra's read was a preorder for a book she had her eye on by Candace Cameron Bure's daughter Natasha Bure. It will arrive in March. 

Kaden's want was a gift card to the Jets store to put towards a Jersey.
His need/my need ;) is this alarm clock to get him out of bed in the mornings! It's designed for deaf people and has an attachment that goes under the mattress to vibrate the bed until he wakes up. It should be interesting to see if that works!

His "wear" gift was 2 parts because he also really needed a warmer winter coat (funny story...Maddy almost got the same one for Christmas too!)

 and this was a sneaky one that I had to be super sneaky to's a blazer that he tried on and liked and I went back to get it and sent him to another store while I bought it and hid it in the van after buying it. He was surprised to get it!

and his 'read' was this book.

 Conrad got a drill (actually opened and used already during our recent renovations)

a floor hockey bag:

and a year of massages!

 I got some amazing surprise gifts like these Ugg boots from Conrad:

and a bigger set of the markers that I love for journalling in my Bible:

The earrings on my wish list from Jolie Handmade Jewelry 

and Conrad picked out this great blanket scarf:

after gifts we had a cinnamon bun and fruit breakfast:

and then drove to Conrad's brother's place to celebrate with Conrad's side of the family. My sister-in-law put on an amazing spread of food!

We helped Conrad's parents with their shopping: Kaden got another card to put towards the jersey he wants:

Kiandra got an Old Navy card:

We brought "Lift It" (our new family game) to play

and finished the day with some pics of Conrad's parents:

and 7 of their grandkids:

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