Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bush Babes :)

Check out these chicks :) Who woulda thought that they'd last all summer in the sun, rain, heat, mud, solitude and torture that IS tree planting!! I'm am so impressed with these girls every week when they pile into my appartment dirty, slightly smelly, but with smiles on their faces :) They have been a great blessing in my life the past 2 months when they show up on the door step for their day off. Between sleeping in, the worst Farmer's Tans ever, Keltie eating cookies, doing laundry, falling asleep in church, Sheilagh getting her wisdom tooth pulled, Krista using my phone to talk to Josh for hours on end, Keltie eating more cookies, trips to the Market, eating with Nadia, Mandolin saronades by Amber, Krista's "Christmas Toe" nail clipin at East Coast and Ethiopian Resturants, Keltie doing my dishes, Krista's midnight Birthday Party, Slushie runsgs, "Sheil's Morning Happy Song" on my keyboard, random matanee movies about Piarates, and dang good company and conversation...I have loved having them around!! :) Seriously girls I have been blessed watching the three of you (plus the other 3 girls) get along, encourage each other, make fun of each other, and genuinely love the people you are around this summer :) You have served Christ by serving each other. Thanks for the laughs and the memories, and for sharing all your are my bush wacking heros :) Only one Question remains... "Sheilagh and Keltie...what ARE you doing NEXT summer??" :)

HomeWard bound...

Well, it all started with driving a really sweet rental car down to Calgary to pick up my sister who had blown in on the winds from South America :) After having not quite enough time just the two of us (sorry Mom and Dad) the parentals drove up in front of my apartment building a few nights later...right after Jay and I got home from watching one of my favorite movies..."Live and Become"---seriously SO good. Anyway, after like 6 months the fam was all together again for my momentous Graduation from Nursing on June 9th :) Yay!! It wasn't overly thrilling at the time, and as I said to everyone who asked me once I got home...I think being a "real nurse" will only really hit me in September when I don't have to go back to school! :) We went out to celebrate at my favorite restaurant "Langano Skies" afterward. Then, the very next day actually, the four of us all piled into our Van and headed out on our week long road trip back across Canada and the US to finally land in Nova Scotia...

The trip was long but very fun :) We made as many stops as we could to visit friends and family along the way... We stopped in Regina, Sask to see Joshua (aka "Shua")-my cousin, who is a youth pastor at a church there, and to see Dr. John Barkman-the pastor of the same church, who was my dad's favorite teacher, football coach, and mentor when he was in high school :) We also got to see Deborah Hubble which was a wonderful surprise since I hadn't seen her in like 3 years, crazy!

We carried on from there down to the States to see my cousin Jennifer and Eric Dreier and their 2 boys Andrew and Devin. This was my first time meeting Devin...they are both very active, very cute, and provided quite a bit of entertainment...especially when wrestling with Dad on the floor...I wish I could put that video on my blog! We were also able to tag along to Andrews swimming lesson and Erik's Softball game! While in Iowa Janna got to see one of her good friends Sara (used to be Tyrell), who is pregnant by the way...very cute :)
**oh yeah, I drove in the scariest traffic ever when we went around Chicago...I've never seen so many 18 wheelers in my life...I was surrounded!! AHH! We also ran into car problems right after we got into Canada, dad burnt his hand on the wheel which was over heated from what ever was wrong, then we tried to track down somewhere to get it fixed where they eventually told us nothing was wrong! we carried on...

From Iowa we hit Toronto (after Janna visited with Angela from Ecuador for 45 minutes in a gas station parking lot--as you can tell we weren't picky as to where we met up with people...just so long as we got to see everyone on our list!) where we stayed with another cousin Sonya and Pat Watanabe and their gorgeous girls Sydney and Jada :) We went to gymnastics with the girls one morning-so precious-and then to Chucky Cheese, where I think Pat had more fun than the girls! :) That night for supper we went out with Luke, yet another cousin :), saw the computer that he built from scratch (wow! mind blowing for me) and then practically force fed the guy chocolate at dinner not remembering that he really doesn't like it! Sorry Lukie! Then we drove a wee bit further to one of the Great Lakes (that mom was convinced was Salt water...hilarious...sorry Mom, couldn't leave that bit out!) to stay with Mom's cousin Judy and her husband Roger...who I must say are some of the funniest people...ever :) We laughed so hard we cried :) Good times all around!...oh, and their dog rings a little bell by the door when it has to go pee...quite a sight let me tell you! :)

The next morning we hit the road really early, and I got to visit with my Friend Dawn for 45 minutes at a Tim Horton's in Kingston Ontario. That was a really great time since I hadn't seen her or talked to her in like a whole year since she left Edmonton! I sure miss having you around here Dawn. A few hours later we pulled up in front of yet another Tim Horton's in Hudson Quebec to hang out with Craig Silver for a while! I hadn't seen Craig in 2 years so that was a blessing, and he got to tell us more about the mission trip he was planning with his youth group to Argentina :) exciting. Our trip was almost ending as we neared New Brunswick for another meal at...yes, you guessed it...Tim Horton's (actually, I coped out and went to Subway...I can't do Tim's 3 times in one day!) We also basically Hi-jacked a cheese factory somewhere in NB about a half hour after they closed...we arrived in the parking lot-Dad and Janna were VERY excited for Curd...and dad went to go in and the place was locked!! Horrors! I've never seen dad look so desperate (we'd timed our trip around when this place would be open!). He pounded on the door and the very nice manager man came and let him in...he didn't speak too much english, but was extremely nice. They were make "tomorrow's curd" in the back so he packed up dad's order right on the spot!! Hometown Maritimes I tell ya! Anyway, it think that I've never tasted anything so "fresh" in my life...I was almost sick...that cheese was still "Mooing" I tell you!! Might as well have sucked on an utter..yuck! I couldn't eat it... Oh, we saw one moose and like 3 dear (alive) and a few dead... and dad almost got run over by a car when he stopped to...well, I'll spare you a few details ;) Needless to say...never a dull moment on a Fox Family Roadtrip!

We stayed in Fredericton the next night, went to the market (tradition) on Saturday morning-best Souvlaki in Canada, saw the rest of the cousins, and met Shauna's first baby Hannah, also saw Sarah and John for the first time after their wedding, got to see Steph Esson (Fox) but have yet to meet Matt, her husband. Anyway, we had lots of fun yet again, laughing and carrying on as we always do...I vaguely remember something about "tighty pinkies"?? It's all a blur of laughter anyway :)

Finally, I breathed a sigh of relief as I drove the van across the provincial line of Nova Scotia and saw the beautiful sign... finally :)

Janna drove as we winded our way through Fall River and into our drive way...only to find a big "Welcome Home Janna & Chrisitiane" sign and some of our best friends running out from our Garage...My Cup Runneth Over...I'm back :)

Happy Canada Day!!

Yay! Happy Canada Day (on July 1st)...

Went to watch the fireworks with Julia, Paul, Amy and her two friends, after a REALLY yummy meal that Paul made...only hours after landing back in Edmonton! The fireworks were really good, as you can see, and I got to play with the settings on my new camera...turned out not too bad! :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

California...5 months later :) I promised 5 months are some pictures from my time with Kim DeVine in California! I really do have a good excuse you know... I didn't have a digital camera, and after receiving one for Graduation I took pictures of my pictures so that I could finally put them on my blog :)

I spent a week with Kim in February and had such a great time! I hadn't seen her in like 3 years...way too long, and it was SO good just to have time to talk, go to Barnes & Noble (plan our big trip *wink*), and finally see her world down there :)

Every afternoon I'd go with her to the Tutoring Center which has been her heart beat for the past two years! The Center was started to provide a place for inner city kids to go after school, play with friends in a safe environment, get homework done with extra attention from volunters, have a healthy snack, and have FUN :) It was a really neat experience to meet these kids that I'd heard about, to help them with their homework, and watch Kim keep a "tight reign" and have a blast with 30 kids all at the same time :) She has a gift--but's that just my opinion :)

There was one little boy that I helped every day to learn english (quite a few of the kids come from Hispanic families and some struggle in school becuase they don't know enough english to excel). His name is Eduardo and we had a lot of fun :) I would hold up these english flash cards that he would have to read and tell me what the spanish equivalent word was (turns out he could read and pronounce the english words just fine...but had no idea what the meaning was...which was why I was trying to get him to tell me the spanish word too). I would go over all the words with him 3 times, and the ones he kept getting wrong we'd go over until he got it right! He would laugh at me when I made him do them again, but much to my surprise, the ones he kept getting wrong were the ones you'd think were the "I" and "you." One card I actually drew on to help him remember, it was "up" with an arrow...but he never would remember it anyway...and we would laugh alot...he has a beautiful laugh :) This picture is of Eduardo...he is pointing..."up" :)

Kim and I also had a little fun of our own! We went to San Francisco one day...did a little shoping, ate some clam chowder by the pier, looked at Alcatraz from afar, got lost trying to find some crazy steep & winding street that I don't remember the name of, ate some of the best chocolate I've ever had (then almost threw up :), went to the top of a hill where there was this lighthouse/church (can't remember!) and a really awesome view of the city and the stars ("Orion where's your belt!??"--that's for you Kim), ate more Salt Water Taffy than I ever could have imagined, and of course, crossed and took pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge :)

That wan't it though...we also went to a Farmers Market, had coffee with Sara (a girl from our Hall at BBC that I hadn't seen in 4 years), went to youth group, had a tour of the Jelly Belly factory, shopped some more, did some detective work on the computer...but that is top secret isn't it Kim :), went to the gym (had to do something healthy after all the Taffy, Jelly Belly's and Ghirrdelli Chocolate!!), AND watched "Run Away Bride"--an absolute must tradition :)

Overall, as you can tell, it was a wonderful time...This girl is a huge Blessing in my life...Highly Esteemed by God and me :)