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!