Merry Christmas from the McIntosh’s!

Our living room, Christmas 2021

Family Update

This year was a great one for our family! There were many adventures, lessons, trips, parties and projects.

Trips & Events: Pat and the kids took a fun vacation to Mexico in February while mom stayed home on a very productive stay’cation. In April we all went to Tofino for Easter, and to celebrate our 14th anniversary. In July we all took to the road and drove though the mainland to Sicamous Sands and left the kids with their grandparents whilst Pat and I returned home and caught up on some house projects (including the enjoyment of our new back patio!) In September, Pat and Fox went on a multi-day hiking trip on the Juan de Fuca Trail with a couple of friends. This year we saw friends get married, and held a couple of awesome parties in our backyard. Locally, as a family we spent lots of time swimming in the Nanaimo river and exploring the trails and beaches. We’re all looking forward to spending a month in Costa Rica.

Fox: Fox enjoyed his 9th birthday in February and spent lots of time on the ski hill with his dad. He had swimming lessons at the pool in Ladysmith and is now an accomplished level 5 swimmer. Over the summer Fox rejoined baseball and showed lots of dedication and determination, never missing a practice. The Black Panthers finished second in the league. In September, he joined the Aligned Learners alternative school and has made so many new friends, and still hangs out with his buddies from his old school. He’s now in piano lessons and is looking forward to the holiday season. He’s made lots of amazing art this year, really developing his detailed illustrations – and even drew his first piece of tattoo flash! Our friend Geli got a snake he drew tattooed on her. Big deal for a 9-year old.

June: June has had a big year! She went through her first round of beginner swimming lessons, and completed both jazz dance and ballet. She turned 5 in June and we had a big party for her and all her friends (lots of ours too!). In September, she started kindergarten at Ecole North Oyster and has absolutely been loving the activities and making new friends. Her interest in drawing has expanded a lot and will sit for a long time doing activity sheets, crafting, and colouring. She is starting swimming lessons again at the end of November and is so excited for the holidays. No teeth lost yet!

Me (Ashta): My company celebrated 2 years in March and is doing well, now supplying 12 retailers and filling orders through my website smokelorebotanicals.com on a regular basis. Im still doing a radio show every week, though in September the timeslot changed (for the first time in 11 years!) and now my show is on Friday nights at 9 PST on CHLY 101.7fm. We had an awesome birthday party for my 37th in September. I accomplished a one-year commitment to intermittent fasting for 18/6, and have since begun a practice of hiking for 30 minutes every morning and swimming in the ocean every week. Since I opted out of Christmas last year, having sent Pat and the kids to Calgary without me, this year I’m feeling the spirit! This is the first year I’ve sent out cards or wrote an annual update to share with you lovely reader.

Pat: Patrick is so great as usual. He can be found splitting an unending pile of wood for our woodstove, making some kind of cool project, digging, planting, and pruning as it were. He made an amazing outdoor shower for us on our new back patio, and crafted a gorgeous live-edge table for our living room. He’s always doing some kind of Wim Hof breathing and loves his regular cold water therapy. In June he got to enjoy a roadtrip with his buddies through the western US states, and is looking forward our trip to Costa Rica to visit his brother. His commitment to keeping the mood light is so helpful to everyone! Even if he is the stingiest with tv time.

Pets & Property: Our dog, Wilma, is doing very well in her 6th year, and towards the end of 2022 we got 2 new kittens, Peanut Butter and Peppercorn (brother and sister) who are thriving on our 5-acre property. We tore out the big deck out back which was full of rotten boards and hazards. Its replacement is a gorgeous multi-level patio made of pavers and river rock – my favourite part being our outdoor shower area. We lost some big trees in an early snowfall before the leaves fell, the saddest one being our mature Italian Prune Plum. Maybe we’ll add a baby prune to the newly cleared area of the food forest – the product of many hours of Pat’s labour to hack down a tangle of himalayan blackberry. We added a new hive to our bee yard, and this year were able to harvest about 30 kilos of honey and 20lbs of wax.

This website & contact: This site is mainly used as a host for my weekly radio show Ashta Made You a Mixtape, which you can hear any time online a mixcloud.com/ashta
If you want to see more pictures, I regularly post images on Instagram, though not much of the children, because I like to keep their faces off of social media. Below are some highlights of our year, with captions underneath.
I will add more photos as they come towards the end of the year.

Enjoy!

Pat and Fox skiing at Mount Washington, January 2023
At the airport on the way to Mexico to meet grandma and grandpa McIntosh, February 2023
Pat’s parents Bonnie & Randy – making the most of a broken leg on vacation, February 2023
Easter surfing holiday with Julie & Lucas plus all our kiddos – Tofino, BC, April 2023
On our Tofino holiday, we all hiked out the Canso Plane Crash site, April 2023
Fox’s 3rd year of Ladysmith baseball. Finished second place in the league, May 2023
Fox driving June around on his quad, May 2023
All of us on a work trip to White Rock, standing on the longest pier in Canada , July 2023
On our annual trip to Sicamous on the Shuswap Lake before Pat tried to throw me off the SeaDoo, July 2023
New dick!, August 2023
On one of many fishing trips on the Salish Sea, Fox holds up a Coho Salmon, August 2023
Pat, June, and Wilma. We’ve started letting her on the couch since getting cats, and now her life is complete. The dog likes it too. September 2023
Too-cool-for-a-picture Fox on his first day of alternative school. Mandatory equipment: pocket knife, compass, felting needles, high-vis, survival whistle, all manner of stationary etc. September 2023
June’s first day of school at North Oyster. Obviously stoked beyond belief , September 2023
September long weekend boys hike on the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail , September 2023
They grow up so fast, October, 2023
Pat and Fox hiked to the top of Mount Benson – and there was snow at the peak! How novel for Vancouver Island, October 2023
Halloween night pre-trick-or-treating. Cinderella and Jason with his homemade wooden machete, October 2023
A little snuggle with Peanut Butter and Peppercorn next to a fire. Our bee yard is seen in the background- insulated and protected for the upcoming winter. November 2023
June put all the stamps on each Christmas postcard November 2023
My favourite little guy on his drive to school one morning. November 2023
This cheeky monkey! November 2023
Our next-door neighbours always do quite a display, November 2023

Comments

12 responses to “Merry Christmas from the McIntosh’s!”

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  4. Jess

    Ugh now *I* have to get into the holiday spirit

  5. Grampa & Gramma McIntosh

    So proud of our Family !!!

  6. Brenda McDonald

    I enjoyed this very much. I see an amazing family. Always all the best to you Ashta and your family. Hugs and kisses

  7. Cheryl

    What a beautiful family! Sending love and Christmas hugs to you all xoxo

  8. Uncle Myles

    This is so wonderful, what a beautiful slice of life!

  9. Ken

    What a gorgeous and creative family! I’m sincerely happy and proud of you both for all the hard work you have put in to create such a lovely and rich life for yourselves.

    Have a great time in CR!

    Merry Christmas xo

    Ken

  10. Samantha, Isaac & Taleea

    Isaac & Taleea really enjoyed reading about their cousins and the many similarities that they all have. Isaac says him and Fox look like twins with their beautiful blonde hair & blue eyes and both seem to be true nature loving boys.

  11. I enjoyed this Christmas card! How refreshing and inspiring to wrap up the whole year in this journalesque ( not a real word but I like it ) year in review.. It’s so special. Your kids will appreciate this when the are older!

    Happy holidays ❣️
    Stacey

  12. Ashta

    You’re welcome to leave a message letting us know you visited! We hope the new year means joy and comfort for you and yours.

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