Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Snowmen and Small Group

It's been snowing a ton here lately and so today during a break of one of our classes, Carlee and I ran outside to build a quick snowman. The snow was perfect for it and it was a nice little break! :) And the snowman was kinda cute so we took some pictures with it.

Monday night was small group night at youth, so Randi and I and our girls went to City Blenz for coffee and then to see the new Veggie Tales movie! It was a ton of fun hanging out and the movie was fun too. We were pretty much the only ones in the theatre so we went nuts! :) Here's some fun pics from our get together!

Mikayla and I

Randi and Mikayla

Natascha and Tawney


Natascha and Anna

The beautiful view of the snow from my bedroom window

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow, Stop, Safer

Sorry for not posting much of late-things have been busy. It's been snowing lots off and on lately. Makes me remember when I was younger and was completely enamored with snow-its beauty, its purity, etc. It was mystical and I was in awe of it. I could not ever comprehend how in the world adults could dislike snow. And now I am that adult. Funny to think that I have become that which I could not comprehend as a child. It reminds me that I have to stop thinking of the logistics of driving and other things and simply stop in wonder and awe and enjoy it. Good reminder for me.

I bought new tires today for my car so now hopefully I will have more grip on this beloved snow. I was still driving with my stock factory tires. The guy said normally people drive 40 000- 60 000 kms before their tires are completely shot and bald.. I had driven 70 000 kms with my car. No wonder I had absolutely no grip on anything. It's amazing how much nicer my car drives now!! It has made a world of a difference, even on dry cement. Yay for safer and smoother driving!! (without much speeding hopefully...)

In other news, I got another job!! I am a T.A. at TWU already but decided I had far too much time on my hands, so I got rehired at Starbucks (Mt. Lehman) for a few months! So come visit me! I figure it's only for a short amount of time so I will enjoy it while I can! Should be fun to be back there! I love interacting with everyone that comes through.

And that is all from me right now. Had a fun night tonight and took a bunch of pics, but I will post those tomorrow (hopefully) and tell you more about it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Forgot, Friends, Footwear

So, yesterday I got an email that stopped me in my tracks.. I was reading it and almost crying, because I was like "Wow, I have moved so far away from this and have completely forgotten about it". I had been talking about how I need to make God a priority, etc. and how I was making room for Him in my life.

I got a reply back soon after just reminding me of the things I have forgotten. That I need not make room for God in my life, because He is my life. In Him, I live, move and have my being. Sigh. Here I try to make time for Him, but He's there. What I need to be doing is surrendering and dying to myself and giving up my life to Him. To cease striving. So hard to do. But man, I needed to hear that. It changes my whole perspective.

After reading this email, I went to spend some time in my prayer room. A girl from youth called asking for a ride to church an hour early (she was on worship team) and I totally tried to deflect it, because I was "busy" praying. She called me back because the person I told her to call had no leads for a ride. And I was just kind of hit on the back of the head (figuratively speaking).. I was so busy going to pray that I almost missed out on being Christ's hands and feet in giving one of my girls a ride to youth. Anyway, served as a good reminder for me. Still thinking about the implications of it all and what that looks like. I was there at one point but have drifted so far away that I need to go look at it again. So those are my thoughts of the day.

Had a great weekend. Went to some friends' on Sunday night for dinner and hanging out-always lots of fun! Monday I went for a nice long walk around Mill Lake with Chrystal. Unfortunately I wore bad footware with no support and did something to my foot. Now I can't walk without wincing in incredible pain. Much fun.

Classes are good. Tomorrow I'm going to the Canucks game!! Here's hoping they break this losing streak they've been on! I'm sure my presence at the game will give them some good luck!! haha!!

Have a wonderful day!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Walks, Weddings, Wear

Yesterday I went for a nice long walk along the Mission dyke. It was a beautiful day (in Vanessa terms) and so it was fantastic to be outside!! I don't have my high-tech camera because I lent it to a friend for a few months. But here are some that I took with my point and shoot.

Tonight was the wedding reception for my cousin Kerry who married Greg back in December. They had a wedding in Mexico and then the reception tonight to celebrate! it was fun-always good to see extended family again. Had a bit of dancing afterwards as well which always brings some good laughs (only because I'm such an amazing dancer and come from a family with a strong heritage and tradition of dancing.. yay mennonites! haha)

My cousins Kerry, Nicholas and Desiree

My brother and sister-in-law, Bobbi and Chad

Desiree and I

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dry, Duh, Drain

The other day I was sitting in class and my hands were kind of dry. I had put a bottle of lotion in there earlier so I pulled it out and proceeded to apply it to my hands and my arms. It took me a second to realize that it felt kind of strange and it wasn't rubbing in that well. Then I looked at the bottle and realized it was shampoo!! haha.. So here I was sitting in class, rubbing shampoo on myself. It was pretty funny and it took a while to wash all the suds out before returning to class! Moral of the story: ALWAYS check your bottles to make sure you are using the proper product! HAHA!And here's a picture of me in case you forgot what I looked like. I'm off to read a textbook! Woohoo! Have a great day friends!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Grace, Gracious, General

No pictures today-sorry!

Interesting thoughts on grace though. Grace is something I do not fully understand, but I am hugely in need of way more of it in my life. (my understanding and giving of it that is). I'm not such a gracious person in a lot of ways, but I know part of it is me needing to learn God's grace in my life so that I can share it with others.

Anyway, in my philosophy class, we were discussing that if the world we live in is not the best of all possible worlds, perhaps the reason God created a world less than the best was as a result of His grace. Because had he created a better world, we would not be in it. So, God in His grace created us in this world. Much more to the argument, but that's a bit of it.

We got to taking about grace in general and how so often when we do things for others or do something nice, it is often seen as an act of charity that we did for someone who might have been "worse off" than us or something. However, no matter who a person is or whatever they've done, grace is seeing the value that is intrinsic in them as a person. And it is seeing that value and bringing it out in them and sharing life with them.

Ahhh.. so much in my head and I dont' do that great of a job of getting it out! But those are a few of my random thoughts for now!

I am glad for the weekend right now! I had lots of fun plans which all seemed to fall through, so perhaps for my exciting friday night, I will do some homework. fun! haha.. Have a good weekend friends!

Dang, Deer, Dent

So, Leslie just called and they hit a deer and it came through the windshield and the car's a write-off. She's okay, but needless to say the spontaneous trip to B.C. won't be happening, which is very sad. But hopefully I'll get out to Edmonton sometime soon! Now I am off to bed but just thought I'd update on the situation. Perhaps I'll take some fun pictures tomorrow just to make things exciting.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Surprise, School, Swim

Today on my way home from school, I had a message from my friend Leslie, saying "Hey Vanessa, I'm headed towards BC right now. I hope that okay. I want to come visit. Call me and let me know if I can. If I can't, I'll turn around." So, my friend Leslie is driving out from Edmonton tonight and will be here tomorrow morning!! I'm SO excited!! Leslie and I manage to see one another about once a year and it's always a lot of fun!

Leslie and I were roommates at Bible School in Quebec. We were two of the five members of the amazing room 12. Good memories and lots of fun was had in that room!! So, in the next couple days you can expect some funny pictures I'm sure. :)

Today I played some tennis with my friend Heidi and it was fantastic. I'm trying to get back into all my favorite outdoor activities again and it seems like the weather is holding up for it! I'm off to the gym to swim my 2km and then hottubbing with a friend before Leslie arrives at six am tomorrow!! Have a great night!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mail!, Mine, Midnight

Today when I went to pick up the mail, I was thinking that maybe the package I am expecting from Germany came in the mail. Instead, I got a package from a good friend of mine from Austria!! YAY! I love getting mail, especially when it is in box form! In it I got a scarf, some earrings and some other fun things along with a letter for my birthday! Made my day!

I just got back from the gym and feel great after a good workout. I dropped two of my classes and have decided to take it a bit easier this semester. I dropped Aquatics and Childhood Disorders. It will be nice to be home earlier than midnight and I will be able to enjoy my time more. I might even get another job!

Have a good evening friends!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bucket, Buy, B.A.

Today I had a day off school as I do every Monday. I'm starting to realize that I need to find some projects to do for my four day weekends, because I'm not used to having so much time on my hands! Chrystal and I went to go see the movie, 'The Bucket List' today. It was really good and I enjoyed it a lot. It reminded me of the list I made of 100 things to do before I die. In one of my psych classes we always made something called a 'Catch 27' list of 27 things we wanted to do in the next year. It's a great idea and kind of fun too!! So I thought I'd share some of them on here:

1. Get my B.A.
2. Publish a photography book
3. Read all my books
4. Go to Antarctica
5. Get my masters
6. Write a book
7. Do a triathlon
8. Buy a house
9. Learn how to ballroom dance
10. Go on a road trip across Canada and the States
11. Take a good picture of the stars
12. Paint a picture
13. Get a hole-in-one in golf
14. Go on the Kettle Valley Railway
15. Memorize a book of the Bible
16. Build a treehouse
17. Go to Wales
18. Learn to speak German fluently
19. Climb a mountain
20. Carve something out of wood
21. Build a labyrinth
22. Go to all seven continents
23. Paint a room

So those are just a few that I have thought of-I encourage you to think of some and see what you can do to make them happen!! :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Party, People, Ponder

Every year in January, Centre Ice has their big staff Christmas Party with all the employees who work in the building. I wasn't going to go, but last minute I decided it would be fun to catch up with and see all the people I love and used to work with and miss quite a bit! It was great to hang out with friends and catch up with people I haven't seen in a while! It reminded me of how much I loved working at the gym... I miss the members and getting to know them and part of me wants to go back. But then I remember that I'm learning to slow down and take time to stop and reflect and enjoy life. Above is a picture of Bindu, Kelly and I.

Marc, Age and Trish

Dan and Maria. As Kelly said, Dan was smiling with his eyes! haha

That's all for today friends. Did not do much else but relax. I am starting to wonder exactly what I am going to do with myself having four day weekends every weekend. I might have to get a job after all.. haha! Have a great week!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

More, Memories, Many

Five years ago, my dad passed away. This date always approaches with much apprehension on my part, because once it is gone, one more year has passed without my dad. Every year I become one more year farther from his memory. At times it seems like a distant memory that might not have even existed, because it seems so far away. Other times, the pain is so raw and fresh that it seems like just yesterday that we lost him. I have often avoided grief or remembering, but I realize that remembering his an integral part of keeping memories alive. It's funny how many times I still go to pick up my phone to chat with my dad. So, here are a few pictures of my memories to help keep the memories alive.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fun, French, Friends

Since I went to the French Polynesia, I have had an underwater camera I have been trying to fill up. So in Mexico Cheryl and I snapped aq bunch of them in the pool. Heres a couple from Mexico.

These are pics from snorkelling in Bora Bora. In the above picture, there's an eel. He actually came out a lot more and it was kind of creepy!! I'm glad he didn't come all the way out!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pain, Philosophy, Possible

So I have decided that my headache is actually a migraine, which is something foreign and new to me. It hurts when I move my eye, my eye is incredibly light sensitive and a few times today I have almost started crying because the pain has been so bad. I really just want this to go away so that I can enjoy the start of this semester and get into the swing of things. For now, I can't read, can't look at lights often and it hurts to talk because of my throat. Hmm.. perhaps I'll go to the doctor tomorrow.

Today in my Philosophy of Religion class, we were discussing the notion that this world that God created is the best of all possible worlds. And God's wisdom and goodness prompted to create the best possible world. A world that does include evil, but the good that is in it is much greater. Here's a quote from an article we had to read by Leibniz:

"The best course is not always that one which tends towards avoiding evil, since it is possible that the evil may be accompanied by a greater good. For example, the general of an army will prefer a great victory with a slight wound to a state of affairs without wound and without victory. An imperfection in the part may be required for a greater perfection in the whole."

Interesting thoughts. And I'm just scraping the surface of it. It'll be interesting reading the different responses and arguments against these ideas. Anyway, food for thought-sorry if it doesn't make sense.. it's a small piece of a bigger argument, but I have thought it really interesting.

Anyway, off to bed (before midnight!) and so that I can get better! Hopefully a picture post will come soon!

Optimal, Oops, Obfuscate

Yesterday, I decided I would defy being sick and would go out and conquer the world (okay, not quite). I've been itching to do some physical activity despite my inability to breathe. So, I asked my friend Chrystal if she wanted to go play tennis. We later realized that we must be avid players, because it was:

a) pitch black outside
b) freezing cold
c) wet

But, we persevered and got a good hour of tennis in there (the hour was good, not necessarily my skills). It felt so great to move and we had a nice chat at Timmy's afterwards. However, I don't think it did wonders for me being sick. Oops. I feel like the headache is waning slightly however!

I have decided that I am going to try and post daily now. It is a lot more effort to check my blog so I figure I will make it rewarding for my three faithful readers so far!

have a fantastic day friends! I'm off to school for twelve hours! (FUN!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

2008, 23, 2

My friend Kristen and I went ot Seussical the Musical the other night. For being full of kids, the musical and acting quality was actually quite excellent! I quite enjoyed the whole show! :) We went for dinner to the Cat's Meow on Granville Island before the show as well which was great!

Last weekend I went to a wedding in Vancouver. Carl and Tami got married and it was a lot of fun! They got married in a beautiful Catholic Church downtown. Jon and I got to sing during the ceremony and the accoustics were great! They carried our voices with ease!

After the wedding, I met my friend Amy in Guilford. I hadn't seen her over the Christmas holidays (probably because I was gone most of the time), so it was great to hang out!

Monday was a good hang out day. Went to Jugo Juice with my friend Carly and her cute baby boy. Then Tuesday it was back to the grind of school!! This semester is a bit brutal, but I'm really looking forward to it!!

Tuesdays and Thursdays I'm at school from 11:40am until midnight. Wednesdays I'm there from 1-4pm. And I have Mondays and Fridays off! YAY for four day weekends!! so it's not THAT bad..

I'm taking Psychology and the Law (forensic psychology), suffering and belief in God (philosophy of religion), disorders of childhood, mental health and adjustment, aquatics and interpersonal helping skills. They all look like they will be great classes and I have friends in all of them so that's a bonus as well!!

The new year is off to a good start.. I have some goals for this semester that I hope to stick by. Thought I'd share a few of them here:

1. Go to bed earlier than midnight (except on the two nights when i have class until then)
2. Don't speed excessively
3. Write my papers ahead of time (okay I say this every semester)
4. Eat three pre-planned set meals per day rather than grazing all day long
5. Get some daily physical activity doing things I enjoy
6. Floss every night
7. Phone and write one letter per week for out of town friends
8. Take time to rest, relax and rejuvenate

Those are the ones I can think of for now!! I am really working towards a more healthy, balanced lifestyle and just figuring out how exactly that will look! But I'm excited for this year and for this upcoming semester!

A couple days ago I was hit with some sort of illness. I think it is my yearly gift of bronchitis that I receive (YAY for not being able to breathe!) I wouldn't mind so much, but with it I have had a headache for four days straight. I have never had a headache longer than 30 minutes so this one is killing me. It's not a regular one either. I can't stand bright lights, rapid eye movements, reading, thinking, moving fast.. all that causes a splitting pain. If I sit still in one spot with my eyes closed, I feel fine. Great, I'll just do that for the rest of my time..

Anyway, since it's almost midnight I will try to sleep again (before I was wide awake and restless..) Hopefully my two readers that have so far received invites enjoy this post! :)