Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Can you believe that it is almost January? This month has gone by so fast. I know I haven't posted about what we did for Christmas, so I thought this would be a good time to do a month-in-review because we started celebrating at the beginning of December :)!

Dec. 4th--Went and got our first Christmas tree.

Dec. 10th--Met my Dad in Lacombe and then drove to Rocky Mtn. House to have a German/Ukrainian Christmas with my Grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins on my Mom's side.

Dec. 11th--We drove to Calgary to get together with friends Marco knew when he cooked in Banff. Even though it was a short visit, I enjoyed meeting people that Marco has talked a lot about!

Dec. 17th--Marco and I drove to Edmonton to have a Norwegian Christmas with my Dad, Farmor and Farfar (my Dad's parents), Erika and boyfriend Arden.

Dec. 18th
--Marco and I drove back to Edmonton to say goodbye to my Dad who left early Monday morning to fly back to China.

Dec. 20th--I had a wonderful girls night with Carolyn x2 and Treena at Moxies in Edmonton.

Dec. 21st--We made the hard decision not drive out to BC to spend Christmas with Marco's family because of new, challenging things happening for Marco at Hertz.

Dec. 24th--Erika and Arden drove to Lacombe to spend Christmas Eve with us. Marco and I made a roast beef dinner with pumpkin and cherry pies for dessert. After supper we opened a few gifts and then went for a walk around Lacombe. We also phoned our family all around the world to wish them a Merry Christmas!

Dec. 25th--We drove to Withrow to spend Christmas Day with my Uncle Gary, Auntie Laurie, and cousins Jonathan and Amy. We had turkey and all the fixings!

Dec. 26th--For the first time, I went Boxing Day shopping with my husband. We bought a few more things for our reef aquarium: 3 trubo snails, a coral, and 1 crab. We also stopped in at Farmor and Farfar's for coffee.

Dec. 27th--We had friends over for dessert and coffee. Marco and I enjoy having friends come to our home. We always seem to have good talks around our table!

Over the month we've done a lot of driving! It's been good though to be able to spend time with family and friends. So, tonight Marco and I have decided on a "home night". After the dishes are done we are going to go for a walk and coffee at Kavaccino's.

Our First Christmas Tree

On Sunday, December 4th, we got bundled up and drove about 45 minutes west of Lacombe. We asked a friend who lives on a farm and has a quarter section of land if we could go out with their family when they went to find their Christmas tree. They told us we were more than welcome and so we met up with them later that afternoon.

It was the perfect day to find a Christmas tree. It started to snow as we drove out but it wasn't too COLD. When we walked through the trees everything crunched beneath our feet. The trees looked beautiful with a layer of snow on their branches. Marco was the one who found our tree. He knew the tall, full tree would look beautiful in our apartment. We didn't have to look any farther.

We loaded it into the truck and we were so excited to get it home to start decorating for Christmas. The hard part was waiting for it to thaw out. A while later Marco brought it up four flights of stairs :) and set it in the stand. While I got the decorations out, he started putting on the lights. I'm not a big fan of garland so I found some silver ribb
on to weave through the branches.

I guess you could say we were double blessed this year because we got to decorate our tree twice. Thursday morning that week, I woke up to a huge crash. I jumped out of bed and ran into the livingroom where our tree lay on the floor. It was a really hard morning! I cried because there were special decorations that my Mom and friends had given to us that were shattered. There was a nativity scene that I had bought specifically for our first Christmas and it was also on the floor in a million pieces.

Over the next few days, with the tree propped in the corner waiting to be re-decorated, I had a lot of time to think. My thoughts were all over the place. At times I was disappointed and hurt that it happened on our first Christmas. Other times I was disappointed in myself; it was trivial to care so much about a tree, decorations, and memories. Overall, I learned in a new way what Christmas is all about. It isn't about decorations, lights, ribbons, trees, and little gifts. It is about the wonder of God's gift to us in Jesus. He is our Saviour, Redeemer, and King!

After doing the dishes at night, I enjoy sitting in a chair next to the tree and watching the lights twinkle in the dark.
Because it is a real tree, the fresh outside smell fills the whole apartment. It is decorated mostly in blue, silver, and white with lots of snowflakes. How lovely and beautiful are it's branches!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus
by: Charles Wesley/Rowland H. Prichard

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee

Israel's strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of ev'ry longing heart

Born Thy people to deliver
Born a child, and yet a King
Born to reign in us forever
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne
Israel's strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of ev'ry longing heart

Come Jesus Come

Girls Night

Last Tuesday night the four of us met at Moxies on the west end of Edmonton for a girls night. We really wanted to get together before we all left in different directions for Christmas. Girl's Nights are not new for us. When we were all at the UofA, we would get together a lot to celebrate the end of exams, graduation, before a long trip, birthdays, or holidays. A girl's night usually includes margaritas, diet pop, or coffee, appetizers and/or dessert :).

These girls are really an answer to prayer. When I came to Edmonton to start university from my year at Capernwray I really had no close friends in the city. The last two years had been hard years of "saying goodbye": first to my friends and classmates I had grown up with in Papua New Guinea and then to my friends I had spent a whole year with at Bible School. My mom and I started praying together for a close friend. I met Carolyn my second year at Grant MacEwan. After a few short months of getting to know her it felt like I had known her all my life. There are so many things that we have in common and yet we are different so that we can encourage and challenge each other in our walk. Carolyn introduced me to her two other close friends, Carolyn and Treena, and I have enjoyed getting to know them as we spent time together at university, survivor nights, and girls nights.

THANK-YOU...for making me laugh, being there when I am discouraged, and supporting me through "big" life decisions. I really appreciate your servant hearts for God, your honesty, and your integrity. Your friendship is such a blessing to me!

(The picture is of the four of us at Carolyn's wedding June 26, 2004)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Parade of Lights

It has been awhile since I last wrote so I thought before I crawl into bed I'd post a few pictures. Tonight Marco and I went to the Parade of Lights in Rocky Mountain House. It was -17C so we bundled up in our toques and mittens and watched the parade with a latte in hand :). Thanks for peeking!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My Favourite Things

Yesterday afternoon I watched Oprah to see what made her list of favourite things. She talked about her favourite clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, food, electronic gadgets, etc. for the year and then gave each favourite thing away to every audience member. At first I was really happy for the deserving men and women in her audience; they were all relief workers for Hurricane Katrina. But after a while I started to feel jealous, greedy, and selfish. When is Oprah going to invite me to be a part of her audience so she can give me her favourites? Thank-you Father for forgiving me when I focus too much on my self and for showing me how blessed I truly am!

After reading another blog I started thinking about my favourite things...the simple things I enjoy, the meaningful things, the things that last, the things that are of eternal value. Here is my list:

* The amazing love and grace of God--it is unchanging, unfailing, and unending
* The blessing of my husband Marco--I love you!
* My family near and far
* Close friends that you can be honest and "real" with
* Towels and sheets that have dried outside in the sun
* Hearing rain fall on a tin roof
* Walking through the river valley when the leaves are changing colour
* Waking up to fresh snow on the ground
* Seeing the first patch of green grass or red tulip after winter
* Walking by the window and seeing the most beautiful sunset
* Shopping with a latte from Starbucks
* Taking good pictures with my camera
* Watching the Amazing Race, Lost, and CSI on the couch with my husband, maybe with a bowl of popcorn
* Lighting candles after supper
* The smell of a clean house
* An unprovoked hug and "I love you" from a child
* Hearing a child laugh--the kind that is way down deep and makes you laugh too
* Being a "kid magnet" on the playground

Well, I think I'm going to stop here. What are your favourite things?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Well, it is Sunday night and I felt like doing some baking. Lately Marco has been looking in the cookie jar hoping that while he has been at work I've replenished the cookie supply. I thought tonight would be a good night! One of my favourite cookies is peanut butter cookies. I love how the smell from the oven fills the house. It makes it warm and cozy inside. They also melt in your mouth and are just perfect with a glass of milk. Someone has just made their way over to the cooling rack...I think I should join him!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Tonight Marco and I went out for supper to one of our favourite restaurants. For our wedding, a friend gave us a gift certificate to Earls and she wrote on the card: "Marriage should be the beginning of romantic dates and not the end!" We really enjoyed her gift and the time we could spend together. Over supper we realized that Christmas will be a busy time as we celebrate with family and friends. We wondered when we would be able to have a Christmas together. Marco came up with a really good and romantic idea. Instead of giving each other our gifts on Christmas, we are spreading out our Christmas and gift giving over the four weeks in December; one gift for each week. I am really excited! I love surprises and Christmas secrets!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Our Home

Home is something I think about a lot probably because it seems I have many "homes" around the world. If I have counted right, I think I have lived in 24 different homes, in 6 different countries including Canada, the USA, the Philippines, China, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Marco has moved at least once for every year of his life :). After moving so many times you start to wonder where your home is and what a home really means.

There are many definitions of the word "home" but I really like this one that I found on a card as I was browsing in a stationary store in Edmonton: "Having a place to go--is a home. Having someone to love--is a family."

Marco and I are starting our first home. No, we are not living in an old, rickety, and crowded jeep on a bumpy, dusty road. We are living here...on the top floor of the brick building on the corner. After getting married, it took us awhile to clear a path through all the boxes, unpack the boxes, and find places for all the things inside the boxes. Now, our apartment is more than a physical house and just place to go. It is our home and we really enjoy the view!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


We are restless, we are ready
To be anyplace but here
And the waiting has a way
Of making one thing very clear
There is variance in circumstance
Direction and occassion
But the truth is we're all travelers
Who have not reached our final destination