December 24, 2010

Traveling Home

Here we are, sitting in Toronto Pearson International Airport... Our flight is at 6, but we thought we better play it safe and get here early to have time to get through the check-in and security line.

We left home at 3pm, got here about about 3:25.... and Check-in and Security took us all of about 6 minutes... :)

So here we sit... and wait... thankful for clear weather and "on time" flight statuses for both legs of our trip. We fly to Montreal then sit there for 2 hours before our flight to good ol' PEI!

I get time to read blogs and watch people and wonder where they're going...  so many people from different backgrounds.  If I were more outgoing, I'd start conversations... but instead, I sit in silence and make up stories about fellow travelers.

We arrive at midnight...  lucky chauffeur who is picking us up and taking us to Summerside... ;)

Looking forward to seeing family!!  Merry Christmas everyone and trust you enjoy your holidays with family and friends.  We have so much to be thankful for.

December 17, 2010

Cold Medications

Oh, Cold & Sinus medications - how I miss you!!

I don't think I have ever endured a nasty cold without my good buddies Sinutab, Tylenol Cold & Sinus Extra Strength, and others for both night and day.

Until now.

Apparently there's a million things you can't eat, do and take when you're pregnant... for the most part, I'm ok with that (though I do miss my regular tuna sandwiches!)... Until now.

I have one doozy of a head cold. I have never missed work for a cold before. Until now.

My boss sent me home early on Wednesday because I looked and sounded so miserable... and he was scared of getting sick. I woke up feeling even more miserable on Thursday, so took a sick day... spent most of my day sleeping, drinking water, sneezing, going through tissues and running for bathroom breaks. I would have given a lot to take a daytime Tylenol Cold & Sinus to stop the sneezing, dry up the nose a bit and give me some congestion relief. But, for the love and well-being of this child, I refrained.... and continue to refrain.

While I continue to sneeze and go through tissues...  (thankfully my body feels a little more alive today than yesterday)

I just H.O.P.E. I don't go through too many colds in the next few months. Nasty.

thanks for letting me vent.

December 13, 2010

Christmas Tree Adventure

After the baby shower on Saturday, we joined our friends for our annual visit to the Christmas Tree Farm... it's always a fun refreshing time. This time we weren't shopping for ourselves, so we were able to  join their fun for the search of "the tree"... The wagon ride and hot chocolate are highlights of the tradition for both young and old! :)

There wasn't much snow this year, so the fields were kind of bare...


"Is this the tree?"

Mom and her boy :)

I love that grin :)

Not everyone's opinion of the perfect tree is the same...

hauling down "the one"

The kids are waving down our transportation

mmm... a fire and hot chocolate. Pretty much perfect.

Hot chocolate stand

Tree is tied on and ready to find its new home

Starting the lengthy process of "perfecting" the tree and finding the "perfect" spot...
the guys & girls often differ here...

Relaxing ... this makes my heart melt... I think he'll be a wonderful dad :)

Baby Excitement

It's hard not to get obsessed with all things baby... especially when we're eagerly anticipating a little one arriving much earlier than June! Try any day now... or early January! :)

We hosted a baby shower for Jersey Girl on Saturday... it seemed to go well, and because it was brunch - there was great food! :)

December 6, 2010

December... can you believe it?!

Weekends always go by too fast... before you blink, Monday is here. How does that happen??

And can you believe it's only 19 days until Christmas?? yikes. I am the world's worst Christmas shopper... I go into the frozen mind-blank state about mid-October, and I don't recover until January... I love many aspects of the Christmas holidays... the Christmas-y decor, family get-togethers, and of course ALL THE FOOD... but the shopping and gifts part?? That I could skip. But I'll try not to protest too much....

We finally had our first real beautiful snowfall...the roads and sidewalks are the gross dirty slush, but the yards and fields are all beautiful white! The first few snowfalls get me very excited... it must be all the childhood memories of fantastic storm days and hours spent playing in the snow. To this day, the sound of a snowplow or wind while I'm still laying in bed completely gets my hopes up. For at least the last week, before I'm barely awake, I have either mumbled to my man - "Is it snowing out??" or got out of bed, just to look out the window for myself... before crawling back under the covers. Nope - it wasn't snowing... at least not until Sunday. :) Mind you, I've never had a storm day while working that allowed me to stay home (maybe once in Halifax - can't remember), so not sure why I feel that anticipation... old habits formed as a kid certainly die hard!!

But after the first couple snowfalls each winter, the excitement wears off... and the adult dismay at such a long winter kicks in and... I moan and complain with the rest. But for now - I'll take the childish excitement for the next day or so! :)

My Dad popped in over the weekend... he was stopping over on his way home from Saskatchewan. We had a nice visit Saturday evening, and then some time Sunday afternoon while at a friend's house. He left this morning before I woke up, and is now... stranded at Toronto Pearson Airport. Lucky him. We have snow here, but it's the high winds back in the Maritimes that has flights cancelled. He's hoping to get out on an afternoon flight to Moncton (was supposed to fly directly to PEI) where Mom will drive over to pick him up. But so far, flights are being cancelled... if this continues, we may get another visit with him this evening! I know he'll be disappointed, because he is so looking forward to being home. So for his sake, I'm praying he gets out in the next couple hours.

I do love his visits though. :)

November 28, 2010

A day of Thanksgiving

What a fantastic Sunday.

We are part of such a warm and welcoming in assembly... and today with our news out, it spread quickly. We felt such love and joy from all those we fellowship with. I know news of a upcoming baby is always well accepted - I have been on the congratulating side many, many times... and I have always been truly excited for the new parents-to-be. But to experience the other side of it yourself... even though it's expected that people will be happy for you, it is SO heartwarming to see their big smiles and sincere congratulations.

There is just something so special about the miracle of new life.

My friend, Jersey Girl is due January 5th so it will be great to get all the newborn tips from her, as she'll be 5 months ahead of me... :) Until the Lord brings in a few more young couples, our children will be the only babies growing up in our assembly for awhile. I'm thankful we will have each other for support when our children are the ones making the noise... ;)   I can't wait until January to cuddle her little one and smell that new born smell...  it'll help tie me over until I can hold my own. :)

In addition to feeling so much love today, there were many other things to be thankful for. It was the first  night of a two week gospel series so we had seedsowers and invitations go out in the mail to the community last week. This morning a mom and her two teenage daughters came out for the Sunday School / Ministry. Jersey Girl and I teach the teen girl class, and these two visiting teens joined us. Now, we weren't prepared to teach a class at all since we were going to stay up and listen to the ministry (guest speakers often give us a day off! *smile*)... but since it seemed they specifically came for the teen class, we decided we better wing something.  We ended up playing Bible Trivia so it wasn't much of a class, but it was a good ice breaker and hopefully the girls come back with their mom. They're from Nigeria and only moved to Canada a few months ago. Just in time for winter... what an adjustment! They definitely have bible teaching background, as they knew many of the Bible Trivia answers.

Having them show up and join our class is an eye opener... we currently have 3 girls in our class - saved and baptized and one is in fellowship... but we ARE the teen girl class so we need to be prepared for new faces - saved or not saved. We have too few young people to separate into 2 classes... We pray for those from the community to come in, yet when they do we are completely unprepared and have no idea how to work outside our structured comfort zone. I don't really have any idea how to change that, but know that we need to figure something out. Do any of you teach an older class? How do you adjust to new class members when you're going through a topic or study? Do you do anything special for newcomers or do you try to melt them into the routine and continue on?

Tonight we had a delicious dinner at the hall - ham & hashbrowns... my favorite! We had a number of visitors in for the dinner and the gospel meeting. There were a couple connections to the Christians who came out that we have prayed for - for years... so we have much to be thankful for and to encourage us to keep praying.

If you have a moment, pray for us and our two weeks of meetings... for those who will come out and hear the Good News, and for us to have courage to invite others in.

November 25, 2010

Just what's new in my life...

Remember that wonderful trip to Vermont and NYC we had? Well, I haven't blogged about it or posted any pictures on facebook... mainly because the one thing I have to say about that trip - while it was wonderful, I was t.i.r.e.d.  Not just sleepy, but exhausted. Normally I would have no problems walking all day, taking in the sites, colours and smells of a new city... I'd love it! And even though my man is 6'4" and I'm only 5 feet and umm..1 'n a half inches, I'm usually pulling my husband behind me. If he's doing his "work" walk, which means racing people from the train to his office through the underground path, well, then I'm trailing him... but any other time I've ever walked with him, he is S.L.O.W. :) But not this trip... the poor guy, I was slowing him down... and moaning that I needed to rest... needed to sit... needed to eat....needed to sit... needed to sleep.

What was the difference?

Well, a little someone was making "his" presence known... yes, I'm trying to share our exciting news! I'm going to be a mom in June!! We're going to be parents! We're beyond excited, and so very thankful God has blessed us with this gift of life growing inside me.

I'm a couple days shy of 13 weeks along and we had our first ultrasound last Friday... so amazing to see this little one growing with his/her heart beating and little head bobbing ferociously! L.O.V.E. Our due date is "June 5th"... so in reality?? Likely 2 weeks after that. :D

We told our parents and siblings this past Saturday, and it was so wonderful to hear the excitement on the other end of the line. This is the first grandchild for both sets of parents... if they thought the distance was hard before, I can only imagine what it will be like come June!

I'm so glad to finally be able to share this news... every time I talked to my mom and she asked, "So what's new?" Ummm... "Not much"...  Totally felt like I was lying to her every time because in my head I'm singing, "Everything is new!!!" :)

We have so much to be thankful for... so far this first trimester has been a healthy one. God knows the future, and we leave our little one in His good hands.

You hear of children growing up unloved all around the world - orphans, street kids, or those from broken homes where all they know is anger, abuse and bitterness... I am so thankful for our loving family and friends who will welcome this child with joy and love. We should never take this for granted and give God thanks for our many blessings.

You can't see much in this picture, but... here's our little bean at almost 12 weeks. :)

So, that's the update. I'm going to be a mom, and my man is going to be a fantastic dad. :) And while the responsibility is beyond enormous, the privilege God is giving us is thrilling... and we are E.X.C.I.T.E.D! :)

Thanks for sharing in our news :)

November 16, 2010

Praying Together

Do you have a little prayer group? Sadly I feel like quite a few in our generation grew up without seeing little prayer groups in action, but the good news is - it's not too late to start!  A small group of ladies in our assembly get together every second Monday afternoon for an hour to pray. I can't make it every time because I work, but when I can take a late lunch I try to get there. What is special is the range of ages and backgrounds of these ladies... I'm the youngest - coming in at my early 30's, and the oldest would be in her late 80's I'm guessing. We  are a group made up of widows, mothers, grandmothers, single sisters and young married wives...We share prayer requests, burdens and thanksgiving for answered prayer at the beginning, then quietly bow our heads and take turns sharing our hearts with the Lord. It can be an emotional time (maybe because we're women?!) as the requests and burdens are real. It is a time when we pray for our little assembly, our elders, our various outreaches, our community, each other and the known trials dear ones are going through. It is a time when you know each one around the little table cares for your special request and are praying with you. It is a special hour in God's presence - together. 

I am thankful for this little group... and encourage other women to get together to pray. Sure - it's terrifying the first few times you hear your voice in the quietness, but the benefits soon outweigh the nervousness. The Lord has asked us to pray... for sure in our personal lives, but there are also many examples of when decisions were to be made or crisis hit that believers came together to pray. There is power in prayer, and we need to utilize this great resource God has given us!

November 11, 2010

Should I have a complex?

On a much lighter note...

I'm always bemoaning that I can't find boots to fit my calves... Almost anything with a zipper does not work for me. Well, I just came across a boot for "extra wide calf"... and guess what the name is?? rsvp Janna.

Yes, they even spelled my name right.

But the boot is rather ugly... and I don't think I need them that wide.

God's Purposes

I've come here to write multiple times since my last post... but what I'm able to put words to seems far too trivial... yet what my heart and mind has been mulling over for awhile now is still so jumbled that expressing myself seems next to impossible.

My heart is still so heavy for Duncan... while the "events" are over with and people go on with their lives, his life is still shattered. He is only at the beginning of a very long and lonely grieving experience. And that must just seem overwhelming. All words fail me when I think about this, but I know Christ hears the cries of my heart and brings them to the Father on my behalf.... and joins them with the prayers of others for Duncan's comfort and strength.

Tuesday night at my bible study where we're doing Beth Moore's "A Woman's Heart - God's Dwelling Place" (a study on the Tabernacle), the focus of the night was Christ as our Great High Priest who always lives to intercede for His own. I was reminded that Christ is never further than God's right hand, and there is constant discussion between Triune God as Christ brings forward our concerns, our prayers, our requests, our confessions, our heartbreak, our triumphs, our fears, our doubts... EVERYTHING that concerns His children, Christ brings before the Father.

It was pointed out that we have a skewed concept of God... we think that just because He is all-knowing means He doesn't think... deliberate... reflect upon... that if we thought He did any of these, than we're saying he doesn't know... completely false. God IS all knowing... He knows the end from the beginning. But He is THINKING about you. He is THINKING about me. He is reflecting and taking notice of what is happening every moment of our daily life. He makes conscious decisions concerning my life and your life to accomplish HIS purposes for our individual lives here, in our generation.

That hard blow comes... and in despair we wonder "Where is God in this? Does He care?"  Yes, Child of God. He cares. And this trial did not come on a whim... it was a deliberate decision by our Heavenly Father to allow this trial... But why? Because He has a plan and a purpose for my life here, and your life here... and this trial is critical to us accomplishing our purpose for God here in our generation. We may not see the fruit of it, but we can trust the all-knowing God who never makes a mistake. He is only good.

Jer 29:11-14
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.

God is talking to his people in exile. Here they were taken captive and carried away from their beloved Jerusalem to Babylon. You can only imagine what their pain was, their fear, their doubts in the God who promised to make them a great nation. Yet - this was part of God's plan. This was critical to accomplish his purposes for His people... This is what vs 4 says:  "This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon."  This wasn't the plan of the evil one... God takes credit for this trial to His people. It was part of a bigger plan.

Yet God never minimizes the pain His children are feeling... while He allows a deep valley, a dark trial, a painful experience - He promises to be there as the Comforter. As the King of Peace. As the Rock - a Firm Foundation. As the Shield. As the Wings of Shelter. As The Protector. As the Cleft in the Rock - a Hiding Place. He doesn't leave us alone to face these dark experiences. He is the Light in our Darkness. He is the Healer. He binds up the broken hearted. He sets captives free. He is our Saviour. And we must trust Him. He's got it under control. While we may feel shattered - He is not shaken.

Does he really take notice of your agony? Yes... here is just one example.

Ps 56:8 says: "You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book?" (KJV)

I like the message paraphrase:  "You've kept track of my every toss and turn, through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book."

Then, finally, in Mal 3:16 - "Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name."

So while each step of your life was predetermined by the all-knowing God before you were even born, He is currently paying attention to every detail of your life. Every pain. And every Joy. Remember that Christ - who gave Himself as a sacrifice for you, to Redeem you - is forever living at God's right hand making intercession for you. They are taking note of you dear one... and Christ is praying for you. Amazing!

Even in your pain - give Him Praise for who He is.

So, if you are going through a deep dark valley right now - remember that Your God is with you, holding your right hand. He is wanting to strengthen your faith and bring you through this victorious. His work in our lives is to mold us to be more like Him and to equip us with the critical "tools" to accomplish His purpose for our life ... here. Living in our generation.

Will I step out of the way, submit myself to God's perfect will and plan, and allow Him to accomplish His purpose for my life?? He saved me and left me here for a reason... time is short... I pray I will be molded to be more like Him and to live out His purposes for my life. 

Let's pray for one another.

October 27, 2010

Hold those you love close...

Because time is short.

This has become so much more evident to me this week, since a friend of mine lost his sweet young wife of four and a half months. Yes - you read that correctly. God blessed Duncan with four and a half months of sweet marriage to his young bride of 23 years old. Yesterday was to be her 24th birthday, but God had other plans. Monday morning He took her home to be with Himself...

And while we know Bethany is not in front of her Saviour pleading to be back here, this sudden loss is such a shock and heartbreaking for those she left behind. While she is praising her Lord and Saviour in peace... in a place where no tears fall and no pain is felt...  there are plenty of tears falling here. Plenty of pain. Grieving hearts wondering how they will go on without their beloved daughter, sister, friend and wife. A young husband who must wonder how he will continue to do the work he has been called to do in Mexico... yet, with God's help and strength - he will.

It is impossible to not wonder why this had to happen... but we will choose to trust our God. He is sovereign. Everything He allows has a purpose. And while the night seems very very dark now.... the morning will come... and in trusting God and leaning completely on the One who never fails - joy will come through the pain.

With a breaking heart for Duncan especially, though that in no way diminishes the pain her parents, her brothers, her sister-in-law, her parents-in-law, the Mexico missionary team and her friends are experiencing, I am looking for things to be thankful for.

1. Above all, and really the only thing that matters, is that Bethany knew Christ as her Saviour. She trusted him completely. She served Him with love and joy and faithfulness. She lived Christ before all those around her.  We can truly be thankful for that and praise God for this.  Her life challenges each of us.

2. I am thankful her death didn't result from violence.

3. I am beyond relieved that she didn't die alone. That she didn't pass out alone, didn't experience the health complications alone, and that they won't be left wondering "What if someone came in 5 minutes earlier?"

4. I am thankful for the love and support Duncan has around him with his immediate family so far away. I am thankful that Dan could be there that first night.

5. I am so thankful that her memorial service was packed last night with those who loved her and Duncan. And that Duncan was able to do as he desired - speak briefly at the service... if you know Duncan at all, you can only imagine how impossible that would have been... God alone could have given him the strength at such a time to do that.

We have much to pray for... Duncan is on his way to Phoenix, AZ to catch a flight to Washington tomorrow morning... but he must first stop in Hermosillo to sign papers for the transport of Bethany's remains to Washington. Pray that all will go smoothly and that the Lord will have her remains arrive on time. Apparently those in Washington said this would be a miracle with all the International red-tape... but our God is a God of miracles. He can do it.

While I never had the privilege of meeting Bethany, I was so excited for Duncan when I heard their news. Duncan and I lived in Halifax at the same time... with our group of friends we spent many hours hanging out, playing hockey on Thursday nights, eating nachos, working together in the children's work, practically living at Cain's... well he actually DID live there... I didn't, but felt like I did. :) Duncan is one of the most sincere, genuine and soft-hearted guys you will ever meet. He has a great sense of humour and the Duncan I knew never took himself too seriously. Duncan has the respect of all of us who know him... he has served the Lord for a long time now, desiring to live a life pleasing to his God and to share the good news of the gospel. It sounds like his sweet Bethany was a perfect match for him... sharing in this service for Christ and being the godly woman he needed by his side.  Again... it is so hard to wrap my head around why she was taken... impossible to understand. But God's ways are not our ways... His plans are not our plans... He only asks that we trust Him.

For God's glory, let's allow sweet Bethany's life and death impact us. To challenge us. To change us. To open our eyes. What are we living for? WHO are we living for? Are we doing what counts for eternity? Are we being a LIGHT in this dark painful world? Friends, if we have Christ as our Saviour, we have a hope beyond all hopes. We need to share this hope... we need to shine forth Christ. It can't be just words any longer - we need action... led by the Holy Spirit.  We only have such a short time to live for Him - how are we spending our time?

Oh God - I pray this won't be a passing thought... but that You will strengthen us to be courageous and to live for You. That we will let YOU change us. It won't happen by accident... we have to allow it. We need our time alone with you. We need a real prayer life. We need to be active participants... but our eyes must be set on You. And You alone. Father - help us to be lights, burning for You.

Do you know what the last verse was that Bethany wrote in her journal? Duncan spoke about it at the memorial service...

Jeremiah 9:24
"but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.

I know our God had great delight in Bethany. And now she is with Him.

So don't take your life for granted. And don't take the lives of those around you for granted. Love big. Hold close. And live... full out for Him.

And please keep praying for Duncan, the Kroeze family and the Beckett family.

October 22, 2010

One Day when Heaven was filled with His praises...

I think this is my all-time favorite hymn... there are hundreds of good ones, but the moment I first heard this one, it claimed a special spot.  This may be an old faithful of yours, but I first heard it the summer of 2006 when I came to Toronto for my first school work term. It was at a sing, and once they finished the first round, I begged them to sing it one more time. And they did.

The traditional tune is beautiful.  Casting Crowns has also recorded it with a different tune which I love as well... the words just can't be ignored... the contrast from where He came from and what He came to... what He endured because He loves me.  This always bring a smile to my face and a triumphant "YES! THANK YOU!" to my heart.

I am so thankful I can call this Man my Saviour... my Redeemer... my Lord... my Jesus. 

Take a moment, and read through... and praise Him for all that He is and all that He has done and continues to do.

One day when heaven was filled with His praises

One day when heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin—
Dwelt among men, my example is He!

Living, He loved me;  dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever:
One day He's coming—O glorious day!

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected;
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He.

One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o'er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He.

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore.

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;

Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever:
One day He's coming—O glorious day!
Amen. :)

Listen to Casting Crown's Version here...

October 4, 2010

A Fall Excursion

Well, we've decided. And I'm excited.

We're escaping on a road trip over the Thanksgiving weekend! We're using up a few remaining vacation days, and heading South of the border... The plan is to stay a night near Lake Placid, NY, a night in Burlington, VT, a night in Connecticut or NJ, and two nights in NYC.

In our travels, we hope to see some wonderful displays of nature's fall colours... maybe something like this?

I'm also super excited because I just confirmed plans to meet up with family in Connecticut for a few hours... it has been YEARS since I've been there, and I have such happy memories. I know the hours will go by too fast.

The Big Apple is our final destination, and one my man is most looking forward to. We'll see how much we can pack into a day and a half before heading home... we'll likely need a fix of those serene fall colours again after the sights and sounds of NYC!

Just 3 sleeps away.... yay! :)

September 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Sister!

It's my little sister's birthday today... I still picture us about the same age playing in Souris... but we're not. She's 28 today! We're two-and-a-half years apart - you do the math. ;)

My sister and I grew up together living in the most wonderful place on earth - Souris. A tiny little town (it doesn't even have a Tim's!) surrounded by incredible beaches. We were a beach family. A rare summer day went by when we were not at a beach... cloudy and a chance of rain? No problem - we hit the beach. We did our Red Cross swimming lessons at Red Point. I remember some of those days being so cold... but we stuck it out - us and our O'Brien friends... with the moms wrapped in blankets! :)

My sister and I grew up playing outside. Sure, we had dolls, barbies and such, but the majority of our childhood was outside in the fresh air. Climbing trees, riding bikes, digging for worms, floating boats (aka - twigs) down our rivers (aka - little ripples of water on the road after a rain), and building forts. Our closest playmates were the O'Brien siblings, so while we may not have been playing together, we were often in the same location (their house or ours... or anywhere in between!)... doing similar outdoors-y things.

If it rained - we were inside in our under-the-stairs fort/club house playing light-bright or reading books... or playing with home-made play dough. Or we may have taken over the entire upstairs hallway between the stair banister and the bookshelf and made it one long blanket fort... which meant Dad and Mom had to crawl through to get to their bedroom.

Our parents are such good sports.

Growing up, my sister was always the peace-keeper... and she was always generous. She handed out books, money, favorite shirts and time like no-one I know. My books are were my prize possessions, and I could hardly let them out of my sight, let alone loan them out... but my sister? Well, she's still missing books because of her generosity (and my mom's... she tended to give out only my sister's books because she knew she would live another day! ;))

My sister is a true explorer. She asks questions. She doesn't take much at face value but wants to know "why"...  which means she likes to learn. Her brain is far more active than mine. ;) She loves learning about the environment... I think before we had a recycling program on PEI, my sister was already advocating for waste reduction, no littering, and the use of green energy. ;) 

My sister is loyal. Once she has chosen to back you - there is no going back. I can think of many people, things and causes that she has vigorously supported over the years even when going against the grain.

My sister is an individual. Growing up she was often thought of as the quiet, passive, peace-keeping girl... and she was. But she is fiercely her own person. She's creative and unique. If she likes something, she likes it. Even if it doesn't pass the majority's approval. This shows in her cooking, her pictures, her style, her music and her interests. I think it's wonderful... because I'm not that brave.

My sister is a caretaker - especially for the underdog. If there was a kid getting bullied or picked on around the playground - my sister was there to be a friend. If there was a lonely unpopular kid in Sunday School - my sister was there to be a friend. If there is a group of people getting picked on and  discriminated against - my sister is there to be a friend and a supporter. 

She is my comfort zone... we may not talk often on the phone (I mean, hardly ever), but we can blame our dislike of phones on both our parents. ;) But if we are attending the same event - whether it's a wedding, conference, or just a get-together, I like having her close by. She knows me.

It's too bad I'm here and she's there. Our paths don't cross as much as they should.

I hope she has a wonderful Birthday - truly deserving of her. Happy Birthday S! I love you! :)

September 29, 2010

Random Fall Thoughts

Today is a beautiful fall day... sunshine and crisp air (no humidity!). The leaves are turning, creating a wonderful colour scheme. Another week or so, and those brilliant reds, oranges and golds will be turning heads! :) I love fall.

We're planning to take a few days vacation around the Thanksgiving long weekend... Where are we going? Well, we don't know yet. There are a lot of options!! High on our list is a scenic drive through the fall foliage... So, NY State, Vermont, Michigan... ? We'll see where we end up! I'm looking forward to it.

The only downside is ... we'll miss our Thanksgiving dinner... our Unionville family always includes us in their holiday activities, and it's a fun time with good food. We are beyond thankful for this family, since we live so far away from our own. God has blessed me with "adopted families" everywhere I've lived! :)

I've started another bible study on Tuesday nights. We're doing Beth Moore's study called "A Woman's Heart - God's Dwelling Place."  It's a study on the Tabernacle, and though we're only in week 2, I'm fascinated! If you have an opportunity to do this - I definitely recommend it.

Are you running out of things to pray for? (ha) I suggest you take a look at my friend's blog ... She and her husband are Christian missionaries working in South Africa, and they have lots going on right now. They definitely need our prayers!

Exciting news! After three years and 2+ months - we have finally received our wedding album! To clarify - this is not the fault of our fantastic photographers (Alex MacAulay Photographers), but the laziness of their subjects... :) Anyway, it is beautiful and we are thrilled to have it - partly to look at and reminisce; partly to finally not have it hanging over our heads! We are the world's best procrastinators... I mean, we are really GOOD at procrastinating!

So after those random disjointed thoughts, tell me, what exciting things do you have planned for your fall season? What is your favorite thing about fall?

September 23, 2010

Just a few pictures

Good morning friends :)

Since I am at a loss for anything to write, I thought I would post a few random photos from the Saturday we spent with Dad and Mom.

It started off a cloudy day...

But turned out much nicer as we drove south to walk the boardwalk at "The Beaches"...  lots of people out enjoying the fresh air. We saw a tiny little dog trotting along in a jogging suit - oh how I wish I had a picture! It may sound cute, but on this dog (with its pigtails), it was hilarious looking! :)

And it wouldn't be a a post without a shot of my handsome man :)

Next we raced the clouds that were coming in, and ended up at the
Shops at Don Mills for a visit at our favorite restaurant... Joey's. mmmm

An iPhone shot ... before we had food on our plates. :)

I hope you all have a great day! Thanks for stopping by.

September 21, 2010

Like a Vapour...

Sorry for the misleading title... there is no "spiritual snack" in the post... that's just how fast the visit with my parents went!

They arrived Thursday evening and left this morning. Unfortunately I had to work Friday and Monday, so the time seemed even shorter. Friday evening Evan and I came home to a deliciously prepared roast dinner and pumpkin pie. Talk about spoiled! We went for a walk and enjoyed a quiet evening. Saturday we had a great day together - breakfast at home, a little shopping, walking the boardwalk at "The Beaches", wandering through the Shops at Don Mills, supper at Joey's (YUMM!!!!!) and then a relaxing few hours at home before bedtime. Sunday was busy but we managed to squeeze in our Sunday afternoon naps between meetings! ;) Well, everyone but mom... she chose to make an apple pie. Poor her - lucky us!

Monday we came home to one of the best chicken recipes I've had in a long time... then again, anything with cream cheese is the best! :)  The recipe seems simple and Mom claims it's a "cinch to make"... check it out here if you're looking for a new chicken recipe. Delish.  Then another nice quiet evening just hanging out together.

I'm so thankful for the visit... but I hate goodbyes.

September 17, 2010

Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? I didn't... but thought I'd try my hand at starting one. I guess it has never really felt like a realistic thing to do, because "who knows what tomorrow may bring?" But that doesn't mean we can't and shouldn't plan... dream... and set goals... so that's what I'm taking a stab at here.

Not all of these are "pie-in-the-sky" dreams (though some are!!), but are goals I should be actively moving toward... I think you'll be able to pick those few out... :)

It feels selfish to continually start a sentence with "I want"... so I'll just do it here at the top! ;)

I would love to...

  • live with a water view. Again. The ocean preferred, but I'm not fussy! ;)
  • take piano lessons - again.
  • play in a piano quintet (chamber musical ensemble)
  • buy a rocking chair
  • have a cozy sunlit corner to read in
  • make memorizing verses a habit. a discipline.
  • follow a reading plan and get through the bible in one year. I always give up 1/2 through the OT.
  • travel to Europe... top of my list: Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, and France...but I'm not that picky. ;)
  • complete my Breaking Free study
  • travel to Nicaragua, and South Africa
  • be published. I don't have aspirations to write a book, but would love to write articles and speeches on social justice issues, ethical issues, hot health topics and feel-good community stories. I had a few articles published when I was a PR student, but would love to have it happen again.
  • run a 1/2 marathon... have done a 10k, but am currently not running. I want to get back into it, and go past my previous goal
  • so, in light of the above point, I want to run/exercise regularly!
  • go zip-lining 
  • visit a ranch and go riding... (too bad I'm allergic to horses! I love them...)
  • commit to clean eating (I am SO far from this goal, you can't even imagine! haha)
  • visit Cape Cod, Boston, NYC, Connecticut, Rhode Island... maybe in the fall - I think it would be a pretty driving trip!
  • visit CJ in Iowa.
  • have coffee with Beth Moore. :P
  • go on a "mission trip" with my man. Maybe this could tie in Nicaragua or South Africa??
  • become an early riser. and be productive in that extra time.
  • attend a symphony performance at Carnegie Hall
  • go back to the Okanagan, where we honeymooned... it was absolutely wonderful. 
  • cook/prepare a turkey dinner. (Because my Man really wants this...)
  • go sailing... in a real sailboat
  • learn how to wakeboard
  • get my motorcycle license
  • re-do the master bedroom and closet. And make it a cozy escape for us
  • have one 'red' wall in the house
  • take salsa dancing lessons with my Man
  • host a Christmas open house
  • travel to Îles de la Madeleine - otherwise known as "the Maggies"... we watched the ferry leave Souris daily every summer filled with tourists for that destination... and we always said we'd go! 30 years old, and have never been...
  • not find it stressful to entertain at home
hmm.. at least that's a start...  what's on your bucket list?

September 16, 2010


Today is a day to celebrate... despite the rainy grey depressing weather outside, and... the fact that I'm at work. :)

My Dad and Mom are arriving this evening! I got a text Monday night asking me if we'd be willing to have company for a few days...  my answer? Yes Please! 

Texting has become a favorite for our family... each of us hates to pick up the phone and use it, so this 'new' way of communicating, while brief, has allowed us to touch base much more frequently! You may think this is sad... but, it works for us! :)  Don't worry - we still use the phone sometimes.

But I digress...

Dad has to come up to visit someone, and mom wasn't really given a choice about whether she wanted to come...Dad and I both said she had to! haha  She's a homebody, but with my brother in Halifax now, she doesn't have many excuses to stay home... so we push.

I won't even pull out my list of "to-do's" for her this trip... we'll just prep her for the next time. Tantalize her with walls that need to be painted, pictures that need to be hung... she can join me in imagining what colours belong where, and how to dress up our walls. The fun stuff! :)

Maybe she can bake cinnamon rolls or something. Yes, I think we'd all enjoy that.

September 13, 2010

Loving fall...

Saturday was the perfect fall day. Absolutely perfect. And we had our ESL planning session booked... inside... we started off with brunch at Jersey Girl's home, and then cracked open the books and laptops to work on lessons for the coming weeks... but by 2pm, the sunshine beckoned us and we headed out for a break. We found this great trail within walking distance of Jersey Girl's home and enjoyed a lovely nature walk on varying terrain...  It's exciting when you find a new place to explore close to home!

This was the end of the walk...
when we left the "bush" and went through an adjacent park.

Everyone needs a little support every now and then... even trees... can you feel the love here? :)

Can you see her cute little belly???? January is going to be an exciting month!

I apologize for the quality of the pictures - I was using my iPhone. :)

After doing a bit more work on our ESL lessons, we headed down to the Shops at Don Mills for a little retail therapy (only window shopping) and supper at Joey's... we *love* Joey's!  Totally worth the drive.  mmm

... now I'm craving Joey's... great.

So yes, a fun, yet productive Saturday!

September 8, 2010

The baby moves out...

My little brother is all grown up... tonight he will sleep in his first apartment in a new city - away from home. If my heart is being pulled the way it is, I can't even imagine the pain my parents are in... sure there is pride and thankfulness that he has become such a great young man and is being diligent about his education, etc... but he has always been home. He's the last one to leave... my parents' life has now, once again, changed forever.... yes - all part of the cycle of life. But it still hurts. :)

Here are a few pictures as I'm feeling lonesome for my little brother tonight...  and praying for him as he moves on from UPEI to Dal tomorrow...On his way to an Industrial Engineer...! :)
Look how young he is... 

Not impressed with the camera following him around...

Lest I take any credit for the cool board - it's his... I was on skiis.... but we had fun! :)

Quite a few years ago...
 I was living in Halifax and they were over around Christmas time... 
and I may or may not have been a little clingy. ;)

Home for Christmas... a family game of Crokinole... 

I love this one!! so so much.

Having fun jumping PEI dunes... (yes, I *know* you're not supposed to climb on them...)

Poor kid... I went home for a week before starting University and he had to deal with me every day... and I wanted pictures... and poses... and stuff like this... this didn't happen frequently. :P

Cute, isn't he? :)

In his own world with his music... (self-taught)

More talent...

And... last one - eating at our family favorite place, Canton in Ch'town... the best eggrolls ever. 

Great. Now I'm craving Canton eggrolls and it will be Christmas before I get any!