Friday, October 29, 2010

Leaves, Lined, Live

Every Fall I make a mental note to take some photos of the trees around my place because they're STUNNING. In fact, I think I live on one of the most beautiful streets around come fall, just because one side of the street is lined with yellow leaves, the other with red! Here are some photos from my little walkabout this afternoon- enjoy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Canvas, Caramel, Crawling

This morning was to be the morning I left for South Africa. Instead I got to drive my dear friends to the airport to bid them farewell on their wonderful adventure. And I think it was a fun first day to my unexpected month at home. After 3 hours of wonderful sleep, I headed to Dave & Adri's to drive them to the airport at 5am. Jannie came as well and we had fun hanging out at the airport with them.

My favourite was the fact that Adri messed up on filling out her first visa form. Then she started the second and started laughing. We walked over and noticed that under sex, she had written "male". Oops. After rolling on the floor laughing for a while, I just told her to add "fe" to the end of it and maybe they would just see that all six blanks were filled in and not look at it again. Hopefully that worked for them. ;)

Jannie and I wanted Tim Horton's after the travellers went through customs, but in the airport it was still closed, so we decided to go find one. Upon leaving the airport, we decided we felt like we had just come back from somewhere. We decided that we had just come home from Japan. So all morning we swapped stories in remembering how wonderful our trip to Japan was. Lovely. So here's a picture from our trip to Japan.

Then I got to go trade my mom vehicles again and it was filled with the perks of playing with my favourite little man for the morning. We enjoy chasing each other around the house and up and down the stairs. And he's pretty fast at sliding down the stairs.

And then I came home and ate some caramels. And felt a little sick. But was reassured that they are made with milk partly, so it must be somewhat good for me, right? And then I took my vehicle in to be serviced and fell asleep at the dealership while waiting. Nice to nap in public while holding the book I was trying to read.

And then I drove to London Drugs excitedly to pick up my photographs on CANVAS!! SO exciting!! One is wrapped and the others are just on canvas but I'm going to look into framing options or seeing if I can wrap them myself. I LOVE them! I'm super excited to give them away as gifts, hang them in my own house and perhaps sell them as well! I love the way they turned out and since this was just a trial run, I shall now send more to be printed! Can't wait!

All in all a wonderful day!

And here are some things I am looking forward to as a result of my planned spontaneity:
-concert on the weekend!
-friends visiting from alberta!
-hopefully going to alberta!
-going to the island!
-And of course, the best yet (okay this had nothing to do with my planning or lack thereof) is the arrival of a wee little one very soon!! Pink or blue? Hmmm.....

That's all for now! Enjoy the beginnings of the weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Conclusions, Canucks, Cleared

I've decided that the Canucks should hire me. Last year and so far these year (2 games), every time I'm at the game, wearing my jersey and I get on the big screen, they win. Some may say I'm superstitious, but I'm not. I just figure my positive energy at the game obviously makes them win all the time. So I'm thinking of sending in an application for the Canucks to hire me to go to every single game, home and on the road. I think it's a great plan.

Anyway, my friend Matt and I went to the game last night and enjoyed our free Orland Kurtenbach (first Canucks captain) pins and wore them proudly. And Canucks won. Well, they thought they'd trick us in the last minute when Colorado scored and it went to overtime. But thankfully, they came through. Phewf. Good thing I got on the big screen in the last 16 seconds of the game.

In other news, I absolutely love that I have a clear schedule right now. When does that happen? Usually i'm booked a month ahead of time. Now if people ask me to hang out next week, I say, I'm completely free, pick a day. Wonderful. Hoping to keep November clear so that I can do more spontaneous things the day of. And have relaxing nights at home. And put up Christmas decorations very very soon...

All for now, enjoy today! I know I will.. because it's cleaning day!!! FUN!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Choices, Clue, Canucks

It has always been my theory that as long as I am at a Canucks game, wear my jersey and get on the big screen, the Canucks win. They should probably hire me and pay for me to go to all the games just so they can win. The other night Kristen and I enjoyed the game and of course, we won.

This last week has been filled with so many wonderful things. Family and friends involved in most of it and it's been delightful. But also filled with some tough choices which hasn't been so fun.

Last night I ran a Clue Night at church with our jr. and sr. high youth. We had one last year and it was a great success so we did another one this year and it was great! We had 8 rooms and many wonderful and willing volunteers! The kids all had a great time and thankfully, the mystery was solved. :)

We had a kitchen, a bakery, a conservatory, games room, sports room, knitting room, library, and the professor's office. It was fun seeing the people in character and also to see the things that they made the youth do before they got an answer to their questions.

Some of the bakery's creations...

The fantastic ladies of the bakery

Some game challenges in the games room

Eating the pizzas that were made in the kitchen

All in all a great night and fun to be involved with the youth again. And as I alluded to choices earlier in this post, I have made the really difficult decision to not go to South Africa this Thursday. Was supposed to go for a month. And just realized for so many reasons that I wasn't supposed to go and that I need to be home right now. Very sad though because I was so looking forward to meeting my friends' families and spending time with them. But I know there will be other chances!

One of the things though that I am SO excited for in staying home right now is hanging out with this little guy lots and to meet a new little one very soon! Can't wait!!!! I got to spend the whole day playing today and it was tiring but so fun!

Beautiful flowers from my mom's garden.

Have I mentioned I LOVE this kid?

That's all for now. So you'll be hearing much more from me in the future. Maybe not about African adventures, but about the adventures I'm having around home. And tomorrow I have a big interview that I'm a little bit nervous for! We shall see how it goes! More on that to come...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alabanza, Affirmation, Add

Alabanza means to raise this thing to God's face and to sing quite literally "praise to this".

There are continuous moments in my days where my heart sings alabanza, praising God for His goodness and His blessings. And I realize now in the definition it could be interpreted that the thing is being praised.. but I see it more of looking at the thing and praising God for it in its entirety. So when I use the word, I mean it according to my meaning of it.

This last weekend I was blessed to have my friend Lindie visit and also to be able to go see one of my favourite musicals, In the Heights. It was wonderful. The music, the choreography, the themes, and so forth. I couldn't find 'alabanza' (my fave song from the musical) on my playlist, so I picked the main song from the musical instead. But I loved seeing it and being challenged by it and also spending a wonderful afternoon with two very dear friends, both of whom about I would say 'alabanza' because they are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made and I praise God for them and for His work in their lives.

Apparently Lindie doesn't think it's cool to pose with hot dogs for pictures. That's probably because she was eating a pizza instead.

And yesterday was another dear friend's birthday. And I am incredibly thankful for her and that I was able to celebrate her birthday with her and to be reminded of the blessing she is in my life. I always leave hanging out with her encouraged and affirmed and personally challenged as well.

So I praise God for these things and more!

Based on my last post, I have been continuing to think about this topic and want to invite my blog readers to join in. Not sure what I'm inviting you to join into yet, but the invitation is there. For me, I want to go through my books, movies, cds and other things and put a lot of it in boxes. I don't need these things and it's part of simplifying.

I was thinking of maybe donating it somewhere.. like MCC, but then I thought it would be cool to maybe have a garage sale and then donate all the money to something (to be determined), but not totally sure. But if others wanted to join, we could have a bigger garage sale and use the money for some project of some sort. Just an idea that has begun in my head. Any other ideas to add?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rich, Roofs, Ruminations

As a North American, I am incredibly wealthy and rich, along with many other people. We are incredibly blessed. We have roofs over our heads, running water, heating in the winter, food by the plentiful... and my list could go on.

Lately I have been convicted much as I have been pressing into God more with open hands and an open spirit. What does it mean to truly be a Christian today in our society?

Throughout the Bible it talks about the sheep and the goats (who I think are all "Christians"), how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, how perhaps it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, and so on.

It's easy to think that perhaps the "rich" in those passages doesn't refer to us, because we don't have it all, and there's a bunch of people out there with a whole lot more money than us.

Yet, I have far more than I need and am blessed beyond measure. What does it look like for me to sell all my stuff and go follow Jesus? I am not saying I'm going to go sell everything I own, but I wonder about this from a practical point.

I buy things. I hoard them. I collect them. I don't use them. But I keep them and admire them. A lot of stuff. My life is cluttered with stuff. Unnecessary stuff.

I need to declutter, to simplify, to loosen the hold i have on these things I so desperately try to collect. I'm not sure what form this will be in, but I have a few ideas that have popped into my head about different steps of obedience and surrender I need to take. Of letting go. I don't want these things to become idols.

On the one hand, I do want to bless people though. I desire to pour out blessings on those in my life and be able to share whatever i can with them. And so there are resources for those. Yet I don't want to share out of surplus. I want to sacrifice in sharing with others.

I want to find out more for my own study what the Bible says about wealth and money and such because i know it's a big topic. And it's one I have oft ignored. And I know realize the danger of praying prayers that mean my life will have to drastically change. The anticipation of the change doesn't look completely fun, but I am overjoyed at what will come out of it. So we will wait and see...

Tides, Trees, Trails

When people ask me how long I'm home for between travels, I say 3 and a half weeks but with all I have been blessed to be able to do and all the people I have been able to connect with, I honestly feel like I have been home for a few months! It has been a sheer delight and blessing!

This week I went to Vancouver Island with my friend Brooke. There is something recharging and renewing to the soul to sit by the beach and watch it for hours, while reading. To watch the sunrise from bed over the ocean. To walk barefoot on the sand despite the freezing cold water. The trip was wonderful and I came back incredibly refreshed!

Sometimes I find it funny to see what people have on the back windowsill of their cars. In this case it was matching dolls.. which I have to admit was a bit strange, so the moment definitely merited a picture. hope they didn't notice us following them in order to photograph their dolls.

I have decided that if I get any more dogs, they should be this kind... they're cute enough.

I stood almost knee deep in the water which was freezing... but so refreshing and wonderful at the same time! Especially since the sun was setting right then too...

Brooke and I stopped at random farms, including a pie place! Funny though because they only had frozen pies...

And we were lucky enough to pass by a GIANT hockey stick. And well, my newest life ambition is to find millions of oversized random things and take pictures of them.

And now my pictures randomly take a break from the island... Thanksgiving weekend, my lovely friend Anne was out and so we got to meet for coffee and go to church together and it was wonderful to see her again! I look forward to the next visit already!

Anne's Cedric had a nice tea with my Cedric...

And two days before that, Megan and I went to Seattle where we saw two musicals and just had a wonderful time catching up and hanging out! How wonderful. There's more pictures to come that are on Megan's camera.. actually quite a funny one that demonstrates how American portion sizes seem to be much larger than here in Canada...

Back to the island... we saw a GIANT GNOME!!! Amazing. I was in awe actually. And a little sad I had left Cedric at home.

The forests on the island are absolutely wonderful. We went for a lot of walks in the woods and it was delightful (except in those moments that we remembered the last time we were in the woods alone we ran into a bear...)

I like this picture because it looks like an abstract painting.. while it's just an out of focus picture of trees. :)

Oh how I love the colours of fall!

Can anyone find Brooke in this photo?

I discovered the joy of spinning forest photos...

Along with the joy of monstrous trees... makes you feel pretty insignificant.

And I end my post with a photo of a celebrity I recently met. Chrystal and I were unassumingly enjoying dinner at Red Robin's.. when suddenly Red came up to our table.. Wow. I was star struck. How many times have I been to Red Robin's and never met Red himself? I felt honoured and priveleged.

Enjoy your Monday!