Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Surprise...Hot Pot!!

Paul Tan turned 3_...well, perhaps I shouldn't say it on my blog...on November 7th. So, a bunch of us threw him a surprise birthday party that he still clims he had no idea about...which is amazing cause I'm a really terrible lier :S We took him down to China Town to this place that does "Hot Pot"...ever heard of it? No? I hadn't either! It's this sort of "raw buffet" where you go around and get all the bits that you wanna cook up, you take it back to your table and dump it all in this big bowl of soup broth (either the hot stuff, or the not hot stuff), let it cook all up, then spoon it out and eat it! Or, there is also a grill too that you can cook stuff on. It was pretty good! Of course, I was a bigger fan of the grilling as opposed to the soup-ing :D

We had some fun with the food...must say there were a few "interesting" items to choose from, my favorite was the little mini squids...whole squids... :P Scary tid bit of info?? When you put a fresh little squidlet on the grill all the tenticles curl up and it totally looks alive! eeeeewwww! We had a dare going to see who would eat it...Olga won, but then Scott (her husband) had to try and "show her up"...but hey, they both need to get their practice in anyway cause they are leaving to be full-time missionaries in China in like 6 months! :D

It was just a really fun night! Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of Paul...the only ones are tiped on their sides and I can't turn them! Anyway, Happy Birthday Paul!!! :D

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


After living out west for 5 years and missing the Calgary Stampeed 2 summers in a row...I finally made it to the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton!! :D Pam and I went on our "anual date" to the rodeo early in November...but unfortunately last year when we tried to go, there were no seats available so we ended up wandering around outside the Agricom and Rexall place buildings looking at all the animals. We still had fun mind's hard to be anywhere with Pam and not end up laughing and enjoying yourself! But...I must say that it was really nice to be indoors and out of the cold this year, have seats and actaully SEE the Rodeo :)
It felt really neat to be sitting in the Oilers arena (let me tell ya...this ain't no Halifax Metro's BIG), surrounded by cowboy hats (from purple to white to black and leopard print), with dirt and not ice in the center, and some good ol' Country music ("Alberta Bound" by Paul Brant of course) blaring through the speakers...I have to be honnest and tell you I was feelin' mighty proud to be an adopted Westerner ;)
It was the opening night so we saw a bit of everything...perfect! :D Now, I don't know all the "technical Rodeo terms" for all the I've made up myown :P We saw the calf wrestlers, the single calf lasooers and the pairs calf lasooers (what is your first hind that I'm a retired figure skater...?), we saw the barrell racers, the rodeo clowns, the "child cowboy perotegies" perform their tricks during intermission, and -get this...- the Rodeo Cowgirl Beauty Pagent!! ha! Then we saw the buckin' horse riders and then my personal favorite...the Bull Riders! :D I seriously remember watching Bull Riding competitions on the TV with Dad when I was growing up...I dunno but I really like's totoally exciting!! Pam (who took this fabulous, centered, picture of us...) also reminded me of how they get these horses and Bulls to get so angry and buck like that...poor little fellas ;)
After all that I can assure you that my desire for a horse of myown was re-established...but I can wait until I get to Africa and ride from village to village on mine ;)
So...Final conclusions? "Ya wouldn't see any a' this in Nova Scotia!!" :D

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

PG 14...contains sensitive material...and some animals were harmed in the making of this blog

So not even days after Kim left I discovered that "the Happy Place" appartment had mice :S !! I also discovered that they were camping out inside the matress of the big green bed in the living room that all our guests sleep on...oops-sorry Kim!!:D

How did I discover them? Well, the mouse terds and dried up yellow blotches in one of the cupboards was the first give away...followed by the unveiling of chewed up items...Jordan they loved that sweet potato...who would have thought! :D So later on that same night, I was sitting at the desk emailing and I saw the little bugger run along the wall from the kitchen to the green bed!

Now, truely, mice don't bother me...If we were infested with spiders on the other hand, I would move out so fast it would make your head spin!!!:D One night at 2 am my friend Amy and I decided that we should catch the little guy and put him in the dumpster! Needless to say the scene that followed was HIGHLY hilarious and involved a broom and a cereal box....we were unsucessful. We resored to the more drastic method seen in the photo above... We killed 3 in total and haven't seen any signs of more little mickey mouses in like 2 weeks!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Devine-ly Blessed...

The last month of my life has been such a blessing from the Lord. I have had 2 of my closest friends out here in Edmonton to visit...My Cup Runneth Over.

One of those people is this hot chick right over there...Kimmy DeVine. For a whole week Kim and I got to spend time together, enouraging one another, laughing, being rediulous, and enjoying the good gifts that the Lord gives His Children...Kim is one of those good gifts to me :)

There is just something about spending time-day in and day out-with someone who knows you so well, who understands what makes you tick, and loves you inspite of all your faults! :D

One of many reasons that I love hanging out with Kim is that I get to do things...random things...that I have only ever off-handedly thought of doing.... Like, going out an buying a whole Baskin Robins Birthday Cake and eating most of it in one night...what were were celebrating?? Well, we weren't exactly sure, but it was a happy night: Watching Run Away Bride ("our" movie) and eating icecream cake :)

I also just loved having someone that I love (from out side the Edmonton context of my life) come with me for some of my day to day stuff, like Navs meetings and going undercover as I met up with a few of the girls for coffee :D It's just nice to have someone understand that aspect from the "inside" and even to get their perspective on what they see....thanks Kim :P It's always both wierd and amazing to have 2 worlds Nova Scotia and Edmonton, or Edmonton and Ecuador, or Briercrest and Edmonton...or whatever! To have Pam and Kim in the same appartment makes for quite a few laughs, let me tell you! :D

We spent hours looking at picures of Kim's time in Ecuador, talking about the Mystery that IS our God, and hoping/dreaming about our futures... whatever He might have in store...

We carved pumpkins...really late at night, walked to the market, made the traditional trip to "the real Canadian Superstore" for old times-Moose Jaw's sake :) Ate every meal...I dunno it just happened that way...I had to take her to my favorite places!! Like out for Ethiopian is just an absolute must for anyone coming to the city!! We also both went and got our hair in numbers (not sure why but I always find going to get my hair cut a totally intimidating experience...??)--Thankfully I had Kim there'sjust more fun that way :D

The first few days of her visit here were beautiful...but, hey, what would a trip to Edmonton be like without some snow....especially for this Californian!?

I just never get tired of seeing the ways the Lord proves His Faithfulness to me over and over again. He truely cares deeply about our hearts...and He knew how much mine needed to spend some time with hers :) Love you Kim. xoxo

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Giving of Thanks


For any of you who truely know me, you know how much I love traditions. Living away from home for the last 51/2 years has required that I start some of myown traditions. My favorite one is that I have had Josh, my cousin, here for EVERY Thanksgiving since I've been in Edmonton...5 Thanksgivings to be exact :) I think it is safe to say that now, for me, Thanksgiving wont feel the same with out him :)

This year is the first year that he has come from Sask.with the same girl twice: year 1- Kim DeVine, year 2- Jenn Spen and Sheilagh, year 3- Suzanna, year 4- Krista (his girlfriend at the time), and year 5- Krista (his now fiance :D) and Keltie (and her friend Holly). I must also say, that Krista feels much like a cousin and I am very excited about their wedding in just...a month and a half!! Yay!

The weekend was full and fun...we went to the market, visited Krista's Gramma's house (and climbed this huge tree from Krista's childhood), went to Christian Publications (the best Christian book store-wish we had one in NS) spent forever at Ikea, went out for Ethiopian food, and stayed up late to talk and hang out.

Total people were Josh and Krista, Keltie and Holly, Jordan, and then on Saturday night Owen Marshand-who I han't seen in like 2-3 years came up from Calgary with 2 of his friends, Neil and Todd. Nine people total slept in this little appartment on Saturday night-a fun adventure! It was really great to have so many people from home here...did wonders for my soul! I have never cooked a big meal for 10 people and I was really worried that we'd run out of food...not quite sure what I was thinking though...either the 24 pound turkey was bigger than I thought or we had a little "5 fish and 5 loaves" miracle happening in my kitchen...cause the food kept going, and going, and going!! Jordan made a very impressive Pumpkin pie and a sweet potato dish, and Paul brought his Pumpkin soup...yumm!

Thereis just a lot to be said for having family around...and for having people that feel like family around :) We talked to Luke on the phone, we sat around and listened to music (picked out wedding music!), we sat and talked for a long time about the roles of churches, and church membership, and just ministry...I miss times like that.

It's wierd to think that this might have been our last Thankgiving tradition here in Edmonton...but hey, we thought that last year too :) Thanks every one for coming-it was a true Blessing to have you here in my little "Happy Place." Love you guys.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Edmonton Life

So September is now over (can hardly believe it) which means that many things are now underway...the biggest of which is the Navigator/University year :)

We were bussy with our Nav table at Clubs Fair week-telling people what small groups and activities we have to get involved with during the year and giving them an opportunity to ask questions and more inportantly to get to know what we are about. It's always a fun time of year...meeting so many new people, many of them 1st year's looking rather shell shocked and overwhelmed after their first University class...very cute :) This picture is of myself, my friend Grace from Malaysia, and Moriah from BC/Montana-apparently it was "pink day" as, seriouly, most of the girls that came by the table were wearing pink!

We had our "Year Kick Off" at the end of that week, along with our anual girls breakfast (which I had to miss 'cause I was in Whistler) and guys backpacking trip. We have some new faces out this year and we are really excited to see what the Lord will have in store for us all...He has been moving in big ways in the lives of many of our leadership team and staff and with Him is SO exciting.

Last weekend was our Fall Retreat (oops...sorry, it has been re-titled to "Fall Advance") with the University of Calgary gang. It was a wonderful weekend for me personally as I took a lot of time to be with the Lord, pray, read, and just BE. I fell asleep by the lake on Saturday for like 2 hours in the sun...just listening to the water...did wonders for my soul :) I also got to spend some good quality time with my Roommate is amazing to me how blessed I am because we still laugh until we can't breath and enjoy each other so much after 1 1/2 years...and despite so many things eh Pumpkin? ;)

Following the retreat I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Calgary with a couple from England (well, they are from Canada now...they moved 2 years ago to work with the Staff primairily by way of development and equipping). Anyway, Kath is also discipling me along with Paul, so it was great to have a few days with her-spending time in the Word and in prayer together...and to just talk and catch up. While in Calgary I was also able to spend time with Maike a friend from Germany that I met at our Somewhere Else Conference last May. She and I were instant good friends since that week and she has been a huge blessing to me.

September has really been a wonderful month as I have been doing more traveling and Nav-ing than working :) I certainly am not complaining about that since I felt in need of a break, and truely my heart, in Edmonton, is so much more on campus and in the Nav ministry than in the hospital-not to say that I don't like it, but it's just not what makes me tick in terms of Nursing :) However...I have WONDERFUL NEWS...!!

I am now a fully lisenced and qualified REGISTERED NURSE in the Province of Alberta :) I was very relieved to learn that I had passed my grueling exam from June and that I was clear from having anymore to do with University :) I can hardly believe that I really am a Nurse...4 years feels like they have flown and as if I was just magically handed these initials to place at the end of my name...maybe one day it will hit me that I am a professional with a career... ha! In the mean time, I will enjoy the pay raise and relief from no classes to attend! :P

So overall things are going very well here in Edmonton. I feel that the Lord is truely working in, and by His Grace, through my life. My development/training with Navs is going good-although I am torn with having to work full-time at the same timl...the 2 really don't go hand in hand very well and unfortunatly Navs usually gets the short hand. I am still praying and seeking the Lord as to what He would have for me next semester. I know where my heart is at, and what it desires most in this very moment, but all that means nothing if it isn't what HE has for me. I would greatly appreciate your prayers that I would be listening to the Holy Spirit and sensitive to His leading...but also that I would not focus so much on the future that I am hindered to do His work here in the present. He is very much Alive and Active and On the move among us...Praise His Name :)

Julia and the Bean Stalk

For those of you who have already read Julia's blog entry about our wonderful are the pictures!!

If you haven't yet been introduced...allow me to tell you the story.

Ally, Julia's fabulous little sister, mailed her out some "friends" from home-deeply concerned that Jules would have no one out here to talk to but me...poor thing-in the form of 4 little bean seeds. Julia forgot about them for a week or two and when she dug them out from their paper towel we were both surprised to find that they had already sprouted!

We quickly found some of my African Violet soil and planted them in this very chique yogurt container, said a prayer over them, and waited...

"Our" little plants were growing well in size, but Jules had to leave for home before the babies came... TA DA!!! We have Bean Babies! At first one of the stalks flowered then a few days later I picked it up for inspection only to completly FREAK OUT and scare my roomate at the JOY of discovering that we had grown a BEAN!! The Joy continues as just 5 days ago I came home from a few days away only to find 2 MORE BEANS! WOW...what good gardners we are!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Whistler with Ma & Pa Fox

A few weeks ago I had a dream come true...a week in the mountains with my parents...and no hospital :) I was SOOO much in need of a break from work (I now understand how these vetran women of Nursing are burnt out and unpleasant after years of working...and I've only been doing this for 3 months! oh oh!) Anyway, I flew from Edmonton into Vancouver to spend a few days there before heading to Whistler for Dad's Royal LePage Conference--mom and I were just tag alongs-- :)

The Irvine's, mom & dad's good friends moved to Vancouver about 10 years ago and we were able to spend some good time with them before the conference. Their kids were friends with Janna and I growing up so it was really great to see Joanna and meet her boyfriend Pierre after SO many years! (Caleb lives in Calgary) There was lots of laughter-as usual with these four-and we even had a lobster dinner (mom and dad brought them from home...yay!)

I was also able to spend an afternoon with Jeanette which I had been really looking forward too! We walked around China Town, in and out of all the little gerocery shops (actually trying to track down a specific coffee candy that Dad says is to die for...but no such luck)...I love looking at foreign (as in 'new to me') food. It is so interesting...dried scallops, dried sea cucumber, dried dragons on a! We went into this little flea market and both bought a belt for 5 bucks...nice deal :) Actually, "we" did more shoping than was intended...Jeanette found this absolutly georgous coat-wish I had a picture of her in it cause she looks wonderful-and it was a rediculous price :) Anyway! So we wandered around with our Starbucks in hand meandering through the streets (accidently crossing probably the worst intersection in Vancouver....Main St and East Hastings...oops!) and through a really nice little park with bamboo, big plants, ponds and the biggest gold fish I've ever seen--could feed a whole village seriously! Then we walked and talked along the waterfront, had dinner, and went back to her new was a nice day. Sure wish we'd had more time though Jeanie...just not quite the same after being apart so long huh?

We were off to Whistler the next day traveling up with a bunch of Dad's coleagues in a bus! If mom and I didn't feel "out of place" yet...we sure did when we arrive infront of our 5 diamond hotel with all the staff and conference leaders clapping outside with a literal red carpet for us to walk off the bus on! Swanky! woof... it was a bit over the top, but hey, when else in this life am I going to be able to say that I walked down a red carpet! (I'll not tell the embarising story about how I dropped/threw my Nalgeene at the pretty hotel consierge-man on the way off the bus!! :S) The "out of our league" feeling didn't go away as we talked into the Hotel...becuase Dad was on the planning comitte for this shin-dig we were put up all expenses paid in the Fairmont...picture name for it? Mountain Palace :) One day I walked out the loby doors to see a couple sitting (perhaps awaiting their limo) on a bench...he was wearing kahki pants and a purple sweater and she was wearing perfect gray hair a white turtleneck under a navy blazer with gold buttons, kahki pants and little navy and white tennis shoes...where is the yacht??? (*here's how 'high class' I am...I had to look up online how to spell that word!*) Good fun! Needless to say, it was the nicest...and cheapest!... hotel that I'll probably ever get to say at :) We made good use of the pools and hot tubs twice a day...steared clear of the gym though ;) Actually mom bought us goggles so that we could "do laps" while we were there-which we did. But, what do you think...Are my goggles a bit too tight in this picture!? Mom almost wet herself laughing at this :)

We were such hard-core swimmers that we were even in the pool/hot tub the day it snowed!! Gotta live it up while you can...that's the Fox moto :)

Unfortunately I have limitted pictures of Dad on this trip...he was "working" and bussy with conference stuff most of the time I was there, but mom and I got some good time in together during the day :) We poked around in all the little shops, did lots of walking, contemplated the zip line, enojoying the mountains, ate good food, and went up the gondola on Whistler Mountain.

So our first day there was the best weather...after that is was pretty rainy and even snowy..yikes! The day we went up the gondola, we couldn't even get all the way to the top-just the midway point due to weather conditions, but mom and I still had fun. I liked this gondola experience better than in Ecuador-the pillars were closer together which greatly decreased the "sway factor!" As much as I love summer, there is just something about snow that makes me happy-not that I am wishing winter upon us quickly, but to climb a mountain, have snow for an afternoon and then come back down the montain and leave the snow behind is NICE! :) Mom and I even had a snow ball fight on the top! We bought some post cards...which was depressing cause they were all of the "beautiful view" from where we were...but we could hardly see 20 feet infront of us! oh well...I guess it's just nice to know that its out there?? I'm trying to be positive on missing the view :P

We felt bad for this 'little' bear...all covered with snow -and can't even wipe it off! :)

There was this really cool looking inukshuk up there too, it was huge...and very patriotic-I really like these :) Like Biblical "Standing Stones" to mark a time/story about what God did--they're all throughout the old testiment.

Well, I think I've talked about most things, and showed you all the best pictures... no..that's not true...I have a few more...
Jenn Spen made be take a "Princess" picture...and this is the best I in these big white "robes" wtih the Fairmont "F" on the pocket :)... It was a pretty sweet vacation from "real life" and SO good to spend time with mom and dad. I cried when the bus was pulling out from Whistler...not becase I was leaving there, but because I've been away for so long dang-it, and I just love my parents :) The Lord has really blessed me throughout my life with them. They are wonderful parents-fun and funny, wise and caring, supportive and encouraging... I LOVE YOU!
Can't wait to see you at Christmas.

This last picutre is driving on the Grayhoundon the way back to the airport...back to real life... But, the sun's rays are shining through...God's Light and Hope permeates even the darkest clouds...He is Love.