Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy New Year...2007

Every New Year's Day, for as long as I can remember our Church has had a family skate :) It is yet another one of those traditions that makes my heart happy.

I love seeing everyone out doing something fun with all the other families. I love the impromptu races that take place and how every year my mother tries to see if she can still "shoot the duck" like when she was little (she always can too). I like to watch the little kids with their helmets on just waiting for their dad to put them up on his shoulders... oh, those were the good ol' days ;) I love the rosy cheeks and runny noses and the laughter when people wipe out and fall down. I like watching parents tie their kids skates and even more, how now, years later, those kids are tying other's skates (hence the first picture). I could just summarize that I love my Church Family :D I know I wouldn't feel quite the same if I were at another church's skate, I'm sorry, I have to admit it :) And...every year the fun continues on to the Fall River Rec Center where we have the annual Chili and Baked Bean Potluck. This year however, we christened our new ministry center the "Open Gate" and held our potluck there (pictures to come of the whole building). As always where was SOOO much food, but it was lots of fun. There are no people on earth who I would rather have brought in 2007 with :)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Traveling Circus

On boxing day Mom, Dad and I all headed out in our van to visit just about all the relatives in the Maritimes :D First stop was PEI, then on to Fredericton, Moncton, and back home...

Can you believe that we drove 31/2 hours just for seafood chowder?? Well, we did :) We were having a big Boxing day dinner at my Uncle Steven's place on the West Cape by Nanny and Pappy's farm. He made what has to have been the best seafood chowder I have ever had... seriously. It was a great time seeing all the cousins, playing crokenol all day long, eating... then eating again, Nanny and Pappy opening presents, playing touch football out in the snow, playing Taboo as a big family and watching Nanny's antics... sigh...I love being home :D

We weren't in the door 5 minutes before Aunti Paula beat Jess to telling us the news that Jessica was engaged! Mitchell, her now fiance, asked her to marry him over's a really cute story-very well planned Mitchell :) She was pretty excited needless to say, and I guess, so was Aunti Paula :) The wedding is next December... another winter wedding in store for this family!

Since the farm house and Uncle Barry's house was closed for the winter (they go to Charletown) we were dividing up family for sleeping which means that mom and dad and I got to go hang out at Jacklyn and Randy's new house! We had fun looking at their wedding pictures from the summer (which I just barely missed when I was back at home) and talking into the wee hours...Jack and I had a "for old time's sake" sleep over in the basement, where I almost fell through the hide-a-bed, but that is another story ;)

From the Island we headed off in the snow toward Fredericton, New Brunswick (were most of Dad's family is, as Mom's is all on PEI). I hadn't seen Sarah's new house since she got married to Jon in the spring and it is very cute, very "Sarah" :) While we were there Shauna and Hannah came for a visit... Hannah is just gorgeous! It was so good to see all these cousins too, even if it wasn't for too long. It's funny how both sides of my family (mom & dad's) are so comfortingly familiar and do wonders for my heart to be around... but both sides are SO different in energy, humor, and personality!! :D

While in Fredericton I was able to spend a few hours at the Longworth's house, who is the couple that headed up our team to Benin 6 years ago (although I don' t have pictures from this visit) and I got to see Don and Erin, who are expecting in the summer, for the first time in a few years! Also I finally got to meet Matt, my cousin-in-law of almost 2 years, Steph's husband! We met them at Cora's for breakfast before leaving the city. He seems like a really great guy, funny, and he sure makes Steph smile :D It was so nice to see them...

Then on to Moncton to see Sonya and the girls (Pat was at work). There has been a new addition to their family since I was at home last, so I was very pleased to finally meet Payton Faith Watanabe! She is very cute and very much loved by her big sisters! We had fun playing with the girls for a few hours... they wrestled with Dad, played "restaurant" with mom and I, and showed me around their new house. Jada got some new lip gloss for Christmas and Sonya is constantly reminding her to put on just a little bit... Jada however likes to lick it off and put on more! She was pretty cute trying to sneak more on when Son wasn't looking :P

Then we were homeward bound once more.

I have a pretty precious family... on both sides! And it blessed my sox off to be home long enough to see them all :) Love you guys! XOXOXOXO

Friday, January 12, 2007


I love Christmas time :D I love all the cultural things like decorating trees, and christmas carols, and buying gifts for people that you know they'll love, and seeing children all ligned up to talk to Santa with big wishes floating around in the air... It's such a hopeful time... Even the Christmas specials on TV are all about miracles happening and small people doing great things... Sadly the True HOPE and meaning of Christmas is often lost in all the hub-bub which gives reason to get discouraged and begrudge all the hype, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't still love it :D

One reason that I love Christmas time is that there is an element of predictibility, also known as tradition, things that you can count on to be the same (ish). Like our tree for example... the same decorations every year, the same popcorn and red shiney balls... mmm. And like Uncle Al singing "O Holy Night" every Christmas eve and the way that it makes my whole family cry :) And many others...

This year, after our Christmas Eve service we did things a bit differently. We went to the Frizzell's house along with the Bryants (and grandparents), the Monette's, the McNab's, the Churchill's, and the Marsh's :D It was lots of fun and we ate a lot of good food! After that we went over to the Bryant's for an hour or so for coffee and to complete our traditional yearly gathering of the two families (our families, even when all us kids were really little, would get together every Christmas eve until it was time for bed...Christmas just isn't quite like Chrismas without that tradition). It was very fun to get to do both new and old traditions on the same night :P

Christmas morning also was a cozy day of traditions as mom made fresh scones and cut up fruit (including fresh pinapple), and dad's coffee, all to be eaten in front of the fireplace :D These are our stockings, lovingly hand knitted by my Nanny (mom's mom) -I've had it my whole life (mine is the green Roudlof stocking). Actually, Nanny has now taken to knitting extras for the future and current spouses for all of us grand children :) They are very special to all of us... Please note that the "loyalist" in me has Janna's stocking displayed (altough empty) to demonstrate that even though she wasn't here in body, we had her in our minds and she was with us in Spirit :D Mom rolled her eyes at me a bit...but I don't care :) I just said, "mom, when the day comes that I'm not around for your Christmas celebrations, I would want you to put my stocking out" (the Stockings go: Janna's-red reindeer, mine, Dad's-snowman, Mom's-Santa).

This year for Christmas dinner the 3 of us headed over to the Romkey's (Dad's sister's family) along with Paul and Carrie Hat (an older couple that were good friend's of Gramma & Grampa, that Dad and his siblings have a lot of love for). It was so much fun and it had been so long since I'd seen Nathan, Raeleen, and Emily-who are very grown up now! The 4 "kids" sat on the living room floor and played board games for a few hours after dinner and laughed to kill ourselves... SO much fun! Good food + good family+ good fun = Blessings on Christmas :D

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"When God made you, He must have been thinking about me..."

Awe... This wedding was wonderful :D This is the first wedding (that I attended) that I can recall where I knew both bride and groom well and was convinced that they were God's best for the other person... it was so special.

Josh is usally a pretty happy guy by nature, but he had a goofey-proud smile plastered all over his face all day... and no wonder... Krista was just beautiful :D

Christmas is a great time to have a wedding, you can get such nice things for decorating... like christmas trees! :D And all the little white lights-well, I guess you could do that anytime of year, but they are just that much nicer at Christmas is seems... oh, and they even worked a Christmas Carol into the music... great ideas :)

Speaking of music, Josh actually wrote a song for Krista and then Brad, one of his groom's men, put it to music and sang it with Sheilagh at during the wedding. It was SO nice... well done 'Shua... and well done singers! Since I'm already talking about music, I'd just like to add my two cents worth and say that I just loved the amount of Country music that was in the wedding and reception :) Fun song to walk out to too... "There's a new wind blowin' like I've never known... I'm breathin' deeper than I've ever done... and it sure feels good, to finally feel the way I do-o-o... I wanna love somebody, love somebody like YOU..."

Just a warning you two, but there are a few phrases from your wedding vows that I just might steal for myown (one day far down the road). My dad said to me later, "I don't think I've ever felt so convicted by vows in a wedding." Interpretation?..."woa, those were good... and intense"! :D

I don't have super good pictures of the people who stood for Josh and Krista, but I'll put up a few pictures here... Krista's girls were: her best friend Jenna, her sister Shanna, and her good friend Erica. Josh's men were: his best friend (and roommate from BBC) Dalton, his good friend Brad, and his brother Luke. The other two in that picture are Josh's last 2 brothers Dan (beside Josh) and Ben (the youngest), they were ushers in the wedding.

As a family we all had a really great time being out there. I'm SO thankful that Nanny and especially Pappy were able to go. Pappy prayed at the reception and boy did I cry :D I pray that Pappy will be able to pray at my wedding one day... :) We all stayed at the same hotel and the cousins went swimming in the evenings and were able to lend some hands to help get things done... it was just all really good and fun :)

Oh, one thing that was so good for my soul was being able to drive by Briercrest (where I went to Bible Collage) going to and from Swift for the wedding... once in the evening, when we went in to Caronport to drive around (I got to go up to my old hall, and walk through the chapel...sigh...I miss that place-the way it was... I also got to spend a few minutes with an SIM couple that I know, which was nice), and once in the morning :D Truely the lighting there is always the same. EVERY early winter morning at BBC has the same crisp blue sky look, the one where your breath just hangs in the air and the sun reflects of the snow... oh, glorious :D

Well, I think that's a pretty good overview of everthing... in short, it was a beautiful day-very honoring and glorifying to the Lord :) I'm so excited for you both... I can't wait to see what He has in store for you as a team in His service :D Proud of you 'Shua... Love you two.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Man! I Feel Like a Woman

Check out my hot cousin-in-law at her Bachelorette party! :D Can I just say right now, for the record, that Krista is SUCH a good sport to have put up will all that she went through on this night! I was totally impressed... so was my Pappy, he met her for the first time looking just like this :)

We (Sheilagh, Keltie, Suzanne, Jen Bergren, Erica- one of Krista's bridesmades, and myself) took her to different locations all over Swift Current where she had to preform "tasks" (which I think Suzanna came up with). First up was the pool, where Josh and his fella's were swimming and where she knew a bunch of people from lifeguarding in years gone by. There she had to propose to Josh... he said yes, of course. From there we went to the Swift Bowling Ally where her task was to dance the Two-Step accross all the lanes singing Shania Twain's "Man! I feel like a woman!" The only problem was that the bowling ally was completely empty except for the lady behind the counter! But, Krista did it anyway... what a gal! :) Then we walked accross the street to the Bingo Hall, where the announcer introduced Miss Krista Osborne (for one of the last times) telling all the faithfull bingo dabbers that her friends were trying to embarass her on her bachelorette night! Krista waved at everone and shook hands with people down the aile... I think some of the little old people where confused... :D From there we went to Wal-Mart where her task was to come up beside 10 shoppers and say "hello, are you finding everything alright?" This would have worked wonderfully if Krista didn't already know 1/2 of the people shoping that night! The rest of us stood around hiding and waiting behind displays for her to stop talking to people :) She was so cute. Then we headed over to Boston Pizza for dinner, but not before Krista had to walk into the Lounge portion to do her task... "Hi, my name is Krista, I'm getting married on Saturday, and (singing)... I'm a little tea pot short and stout..." She was fabulous and even got an applause there :D The rest of the night we ate good food and talked and laughed. I have lots more pics of this, but for some reason blogger won't let me load any more... :( That's ok... on to the Wedding Blog!! :D


Those of you who know me, know that I am a person on tradition... I need it in my life :) After 6 years of living out west I have started a few of myown traditions (it's probably a coping mechanism). Every year I have gone to the Butterdome Christmas Craft Fair. It's really big, really Christmasy, and puts me in a good mood every time :D My first year there I even got to see Tracy and Debbie Hoffos! Anyway, I just thought I'd show you a picutre of my favorite Edmonton Christmas Tradition :)

I have been eyeing one booth inparticular for the past 5's called "Pressed Wishes" and they make artwork out of pressed leaves and flowers. It seriously is just so beautiful... I especially love their pressed leaves... the maple leaves make me so patriotic inside that I want to sing "Oh, Canada" on the spot :) Anyway, this year I used some Graduation money that I was given to buy a really beautiful picutre for myself... when I'm in Africa one day it will remind me of home and make my heart all the more happy :D This photo doesn't quite do my picture justice, but maybe you'll enjoy it anyway.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

So This is Christmas...

Mmmm... I love Christmas :)

Everything is so beautiful ...even cookies!! I love the first snow fall and when all the malls put up their Christmas decorations and when one by one houses in the city put their lights on :D It's such a happy time of year.

These pictures are from our Navs Christmas Party at the beginning of December. We had a really great night all hanging out, singing carols, reading the story of Jesus Birth-what Christmas is truely about, eating lots of good food, and exchanging gifts!

I am a fan of these people :P

We did a Yanke Swap (for those of you who don't know what that is... all the wraped presents are placed in the middle of the group and one by one people pick gifts- either a wraped one from the center, or one that has been unwraped that you can "steal" from a friend) which can get really fun to watch :) Jerad I would have to say had the funniest gift... he picked the heaviest present from the middle and opened up a package of six sented bubble baths! Haha... then he spend the rest of the night trying to convince people to steal it from him :D This is a picture of him trying to pon it off to Grace... It was a really fun night :)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night :)

He's Gone Country!!

Just in case you were worried, no I haven't cut my hair and grown a gotee...this is one of my best friends Criag! :) He came out west in Novemeber to visit me...lucky me, I'm had so much fun with visitors this semester!!

So! What to tell you about his visit...I have to be honnest and say that Craig has a way of effecting me like no one else has ever been able too... I can go from being totally frustrated with him to laughing histerically with him in milliseconds :D It truely is amazing!

I seriously hadn't laughed so hard in a long time before he came out...I enjoy his company muchly. He is both friend and brother rolled into one and I am blessed :)

I did however learn more about him in this trip then I ever wished to know... and now that I have your curiosity up... I really shouldn't share if I want to keep this friend :D (nice hair in that picture huh? Cyclone? :P)

After a while I started to compile a running list of similairities between him and my father which was really frightening... how many can I remember?

Similar humor (hard to give examples though), very similar things that frustrate them when driving or waiting in lines, coconut cream pie, Gaither Vocal Band, supposed "hate" for Country music (will expalin later), nose bleeds (had to buy Craig Rhinaris-which my dad uses... this similarity was a bit too much for me, I was wierded out slightly)... oh I know there were more but they aren't coming to me :D

While he was here I got to rent a car and take him for his first view of the Rockey Mountains... It was a perfet day-cold and windy but very clear and beautiful :) I think he really enjoyed it, seemed pretty excited at the time and that made for an enjoyable day for me too... I liked watching him see it brand new :)

This ranks as one of my top 3 road trips (where only 2 people are tripping). I'm still amazed that we were in the car for 12 hours together and we were still friends by the end!! We had good talks but mostly sang ALOT. We were pumpin' the Chris Tomlin through the Colombia Pass, and then the Shania Twain through Banff. I found it curious how Craig claimed to be so adimantly against country music with phrases like "who told these people they could sing!?" (exactly what my father says about country music) and yet knew all the words...humm!? He blames it on being raised in "hickville" Nova Scotia (his words, not mine), but I'm not convinced... these were very recent songs. I would call him a "closet country boy"... what about you :D?? At any rate it was a fun trip, even if our rental tires were bald (so he tells me) and we drove on sheer ice from Nordeg to Banff and he made me drive 60 miles/hour. Never a dull moment with Pastor Criag Silver!

Thanks for coming out to Alberta Craig. Please know that I am praying for you in this crucial time in your life. I pray that as the Lord guides you, you will have ears to hear and eyes to see what His good and perfect will is. Love ya Buddy :)