Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Farwell to Nova Scotia the Sea Bound Coast...

There is ALOT to be said for that feeling of being home...
Where the dirt is Red...and not Black...and where the cows are Black & White...and not Red :) Where, when you breathe in deep you taste and smell the salt air...where your friends and family call you nick names that you haven't heard in "Tiane" and "Chrissy." Where the fog is so thick you can't see past the pier, where feeling sand under your toes makes your eyes well up with tears, and where, when those eyes are full of tears people look at you with a familiar and loving smirk on their face, give you a hug and say "it's so good to have you back." :) I love being home.

As you may have guessed 3 weeks at home in June was a Blessing to my soul. Don't get me wrong...I have greatly enjoyed (and am STILL enjoying) my time out West...but's been 5 years!! As they say..."you can take a girl out of the Maritimes...but you can't take the Maritimes out of the girl." :)

I was able to see so many of the people that I had wanted to...had some conversations that were MUCH over due, went back in time to a youth group that only had about 3 familiar faces...besides Glen's :)...spent quatilty time with family...returned to some my most favorite places in life...such as Malagash, Peggy's Cove, and PEI. Stayed up too late watching movies with Janna, had a belated Bryant/Fox Christmas Eve party, and talked late with Jenn Spencer, had great breakfast dates with the Marsh brothers, sang at church with people I always forget I love sooo much (and of course...the eyes fill up again!).

Walked the paths at Malagash, sang by myself in the empty chapel, meandered over the sandbars...yes, crying...and praising the Lord for the years of my life spent growing in Him there and thanking Him for those who so greatly impacted me from that place...and praying the same Blessings upon the throngs of kids that would come that summer...sigh. God is SO good.

Janna and I took a trip to PEI for a few days...there is just nothin' quite like belting out Praises (or Country songs) in the van on a road trip with your Sister :) We had some memories to make in Pictou for a few hours after missing the Ferry to PEI by 15 minutes... Down town Pictou...we should have had a chaperone let me tell ya-we hit up that Sobey's somethin' fearce! ;) Had a few photo shoots...not many "keepers" in the bunch...enjoyed time with Nanny and Pappy, went to our cousin's wedding shower...then stayed up until 3am with her (eating Pappy's peanuts) catching up on life and just being the good old days. Payed a visit to our "Family Pride Monument"...the most beautiful Lighthouse on the Island...met even MORE family for the first time (is it even possible to still be meeting MORE family from PEI at 23 years of age!?), went to our cousin Dan's High School graduation, and were finally able to find our way to The Shephard's Farm to visit with the Cousins Family. That trip to the other side of the Island was well worth the blessing for both of us to see the kids, and catch up with the ministry news, laugh and chase bunnies in the kitchen (well, Daniel wasn't laughing after he got bit!) and just to be with them all again :) But, the adventures of Janna and Christiane were not over yet as we left the Cousins (for the second time) and headed to the we had...yet again...missed the boad...the LAST boat. So...we laughed as only blonde sisters can and headed toward the side of the Island we'd come from in order to cross the bridge! Then phoned Mom and Dad, of course, to tell them we had "unexpected delays" and wouldn't be home until the wee hours of the morning!! :)

Sometimes it's just hard to put into words the way your heart is blessed by things so familiar...but you know what I mean :) It's so good to see that some things just never change, and hard, but good at the same time, to realize the things that do.

Really, I'm very much looking forward to the time when the Lord finally says, "Ok, Chris...go home"--as if I am some puppy in training, sitting on the floor waging my tail expectedly at the treat that awaits me, with pleeding eyes looking up to my Masters face...It'll be a sweet "treat" though-either long or short I don't know...but I do know that I will Highly enjoy it when the waiting is over :) It is a True reminder to me that this is the same way I should view Heaven...held, against my will, on this earth (so to speak), and eagerly waiting for my Master to say "Ok Chris...come home." :) But in the mean time there is much to be done...many joys to experience where I have been placed, many trials to grow me and strengthen my Faith, and many people who need to know of God's Love. Even 2 years later, after Africa, where this realization finally came to my heart, I am constantly reminded by the Holy Spirit that my Truest Home is where My Jesus is.

Favorite things from time in NS...
1) Conversation and Sunset at Peggy's Cove with Jeanette
2) Uncle David Fox filling Janna and I in on Life details, stories, and pictures (cried)
3) Seeing one of my all-time favorite campers/people Samantha...and that smile on her face:)
4) The 2 oldest Bryant boys leading the church in Worship my first Sunday back...(cried again)
5) ...That the News paper headlines were...the Mooseheads (our hockey team), Lady slippers-the official flower of PEI (which I don't think exists in the West), recent Whale Sightings off the coast, and Sunday Shopping :)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

~Ode to Julia~

Presenting..."Julia Churchill" ...beautiful blonde, highly talented, very hilarious, source of much joy and laughter in my life... :) We had some absolutly HILARIOUS times this summer and I would like to highlight just a few for you... There is a lot to be said for laughing so hard you almost pee your pants, and as only Julia can experience, laughing so hard her collar bone hurts!

Our VERY FIRST morning in Edmonton I forgot to tell Julia that the toaster is
frigged and doesn't pop naturally...the result?? Christiane jumping out of the shower in a towel, Julia standing wide-eyed in a room full of smoke, both of us running around, to the buzz of the fire alarm, waving dish towels & opening windows to disperse the smoke, Christiane opening the backdoor of the appt in hopes that the door down stairs is open to wisk the smoke out wasn't...So Julia & Christiane scream in unison as the BUILDING alarm FOG HORN goes off...Christiane tries to find clothes to put on, Julia yells "Well, we're off to a good start Chris!!" and we both fly out the door onto the lawn and wait for the trauma of telling the Fire department what happened!!...Thank the Lord, the firemen never did show up.

Do you suppose the leason was learned for us?....

...Well, not quite... (oh the laughter)
Rumor has it that Dorjan Draper also burnt toast one morning at the Happy Place, but I was at work, and Julia was sleeping, so we didn't get to photo document that event!

We also invented the "Guess Who? Psychology" version and stayed up until 1am playing it one night...

What is it? you might ask...well, instead of asking the same boring questions like "does your person have blue eyes?" you ask "is your person a youth pastor?" is amazing how often your interpretation of what profession someone might have according to how they look is the same as someone elses!! We laughed SOO hard that night, and ended up making up the life stories of every character on the board!

Then there was the night that we were up late waiting for the TreePlanter girls to come into was like 11:30 at night and we both were in the kitchen, I was cooking and trying out a new recipie...people, never put apples in your soup!!...anyway...we were chatting along, minding our own business when all the sudden we heard a VERY large banning on our front door...AHHHH!!...did we ever scream!! Then we laughed so hard and felt stupid, cause the girls were sucessfull in freaking us we grabbed the 2 biggest knives that I own and crept up to the door "Mission Impossible"-style to freak THEM out!! So, when we were in position we flung the door open and gave our most intense war cries (apparently forgetting that it was so late at night and eviction could have been an issue)...but the hallway was empty!! Julia went outside to find the girls while I was left in the appartment to think....we hadn't heard any footsteps rundown the stairs after the bang...the girls car wasn't outside...hummm....I was getting freaked out and finally Julia came up the back stairs of course finding no girls...creepy!! What are the odds that we'd be pranked really late at night...on the third floor...with no audible footsteps on a night when we were actually expeciting company...??!!! It was much later that Julia opened up the hallway closet only to find that my Bath and Body Works bag full of stuff had fallen off the shelf onto the floor....Banging the closet door the whole way down!! OHHH!! We found our Prankster, felt really stupid, & laughed so hard that Julia's "COLLAR BROKE??"....and the TreePlanters didn't even come until the next night :P Julia "took care of things" for us though, and that bag got the punishment it deserved!!-as you can see.

We had fun last week babysitting Julia's cousins: Jane-4 and Kate-2. We watched "A Bugs Life" with them and at one part when the scary grasshoppers came to get the ants Kate slapped her hands on her face and yelled "Oh, no...OH NO!!" it was SO cute! Then we gave them a bath and got them into bed. When I was helping Jane get her jammies on I asked her "Jane, don't you wear underwear to bed?" she answers, and I quote..."Oh no...I go comando!" :)

We spent a really fun day at the Edmonton Heritage Days Festival (like a Multi Cultural Festival) a few weeks was a SUPER hot day, but we took 4 hours walking around and in all these different booths from around the world...Seriously, this festival is Hudge...I'm pretty positive that almost every country in the world has a booth here...there are hundreds!!!

Umm good food. Collectively we ate, Ugandan, Ecuadorian(of course), Hungarian, Korean, Hawaiian, Fijiian, and I can't remember the rest! These pictures are of a really yummy "Elephant Ear" (pastry) from Hungary...Sooo yummy!!

On the walk home through the River Valley that day a golf cart came wizzing past us with 4 young guys on it who called out asking if we wanted a drive home...we were trying to maintain our dignity in case they were making fun of us or just being rediculous...and were doing alright by just ignoring them until Julia got a bit too close to the edge of the path and almost took a nose-dive into the Saskatchewan River!! She let out a good girly yelp, grabbed my arm and we both put on a good show for the boys in the golf cart! A day in the life of Christiane & Julia :) Not long after that we strolled past a big bush full of Choke Cherries...humm. I'd never tried one before so Julia convinced me...yuck! They are nasty! So then I dared her to take a handfull of them and chew them all at once...she did...12 of them-all down the hatch! It was one of the funniest things I've ever watched cause she bit them like 5 times, then opened her mouth so I could take the picture and she couldn't close it again!! Her mouth was so dry (choke cherry effect for those of you who have brians enough not to try them!) that her lips got stuck of either side of her braces and she was drooling all over her face...if I hadn't been concentrating so hard on not peeing my pants, I could have also gotten a picture of her bent over a bush spitting them all out with tears in her eyes! We still laugh at this story when we think of it!! haha.

I have quite a few pictures that we took from Julia's last day of work at Booster Juice...needless to say she was VERY excited. I'm afraid (although I'm sure you are relieved...this is getting super long) that I don't have any hilarious stories to go along with them...I think we'll have to convince Julia to start her own Blog so that she can tell you all about her cute and crazy customers and rediculous "Star Trek" boss!! Of FAVORITE Booster Juice photo is not quite "Blog appropriate" so I'm afraid you'll have to bribe me in order too see that one--just don't tell Jules :)

Just look at this crazy could you not have just an amazing summer with HER around!? My next blog post is our pictures from our incredible trip to Jasper...beautiful and breath taking... I love you Jules-hope you know that. My Cup Ranneth Over all Summer Long...the Lord knows how to give Good Gifts to His Children, and your presence this summer in Edmonton and the Happy Place was certainly a Good Gift Sent from Above for me (James 1:17). XOXO... I CLEARLY miss you already!