Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Flying high on Christmas day...

A little glimpse at Callie showing off for her Auntie Naomi...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Can it be??

5 years ago today, I received the best belated Christmas gift ever. A proposal from Jon. I can hardly believe its been that long already! So much has happened over the last 5 years. So many memories have been created. So much has happened.
And I wouldn't change any of it. There is no one else I'd rather navigate through life with. I love you Jon. Thanks for "popping the question" all those years ago :)

For those that are interested in hearing about how Jon proposed, I've pasted a portion of the email that I sent 5 years ago to all our friends & family, to share the details of the big news. (*Note: Please excuse how "young" I sound in this email... because, I was ;))

Hey everyone,
Alright, so first of all, (in case you were unaware) I had been at home in Hepburn for Christmas and was there from Dec 15 til Dec 26. My whole family drove me back to my new home here in Chilliwack, BC because they wanted to see the place I had been living since May of 2004. So anyway....they were here and it just so happened that on Wednesday afternoon, Dec 29, we wanted to go into Vancouver to see a few "sights". But as far as I knew, Jon had to be at a big citywide youth night because of his internship. So I had just written the evening off of us being together and went off to Vancouver with my family. We went to the Lonsdale Quay (which is a very cool harbour side market type place in North Van) and just looked around at the markets and enjoyed the view of the harbour and all that good stuff :)
So I decided to go into this one store to look at bathing suits or something and while I am leaning over a rack, I felt someone come up beside me. I just thought it was my brother so i didn't bother to look up. But then they said to me, "Are you finding everything you're looking for?" So I look up and there stands Jon, all dressed up and holding this medium sized white cardboard box. Now this is the part that I have a hard time relaying because you seriously have NO idea how COMPLETELY confused I was. I just stared at him in TOTAL disbelief and could not seem to figure out that it was actually him standing there. I thought it just must be a really crazy look alike because....well.... he was supposed to be at the youth thing in Chilliwack. He kept telling me to come with him 'cause we were going on a date, but I refused to go with him because I didn't even think it was him. So anyway...I look outside the store and there is my whole family, laughing and smiling at me. Turns out that they were all in on it.....and then my mom says to Jon, "So what is in the white box?" My dad told her not to be nosy :) and Jon just replied, "Oh, its just a little treat for us later." So I didn't really give it much thought.
So Jon had had my mom pack me a bag and so I got changed into some dressier clothes and then Jon and I took the seabus across the harbour. It was INCREDIBLE because it was dark and all the lights of Vancouver were shining. We chatted and he told me about all the buildings we were seeing because I had never been to that area of Vancouver before. Then we got off the seabus and walked up to Canada Place and as we are walking up the steps I ask if I can see what's in the box yet. Jon told me that I needed to learn to let things be a surprise every now and then and that he would show me when he was good and ready. (Oh and by the way....this whole time I was COMPLETELY oblivious because Jon had given me the impression that we probably wouldn't get engaged til about March or April, so i didn't see it coming AT ALL!)
So we walked around the front of Canada place, with the harbour in the background and the beautiful Lion's Gate Bridge all lit up behind us, and then Jon gives me the white box and says I can open it now. I take the lid off and inside is a little clay man that looks just like Jon and he's holding a sign that says, "Will you marry me?" (he had it made while he was in Cancun in November). I could not believe my eyes so I slammed the lid shut and just stared at Jon in total disbelief. Then he got down on one knee and then I started to lose it and kept saying, "Is this for real!?!?!?" So he gave me his little speech (which is all a blur now! :)) and told me that he didn't want to spend another day without me and asked if I would marry him. I said, quite exuberantly i might add, "YES.....OF COURSE!!!!" and then we hugged and kissed and cried and it was simply wonderful!
Then he said that we had to go because he had made dinner reservations, and so we walked until we got to the Harbour Centre (a big tower that kind of resembles the Calgary tower). We took the long elevator ride up to the very top where we had THE most incredible dinner at "The Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant." I have NEVER eaten at such a fancy restaurant in my whole life and it was so amazing because the restaurant actually rotates 360 degrees every hour and so we had an entire view of all of Vancouver. It was honestly the most amazing night of my life and one that I will never forget. And the coolest part was how Jon included my family in the whole thing.....'cause seeing as I live so far from home now, they might have missed out on such a special occasion. Oh and in case you were wondering, Jon had asked my dad for my hand in marriage that morning at breakfast, while I was still fast asleep at home :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Well... we're home, we're sick, we're jet-lagged, but we're happy to be back and looking forward to a relaxing Christmas! I'll post as soon as we've had some time to settle in again. Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas & may you soak in this time of remembering Christ's birth and all that it means to us. Blessings!

Friday, December 04, 2009

One last update before we leave...

November was a crazy month to say the least. As many of you know, Jon's dad got very sick with H1N1 (it then turned to double pneumonia and became life-threatening) while on holidays in California and was hospitalized for well over a month. At one point, it got so bad that they called all the kids down to be with him, so Jon and his sisters joined their mom in San Clemente. Thankfully, he stabilized enough that they were finally able to air-lift him to Royal Columbian Hospital in Vancouver, a couple of weeks ago. After spending a few days in the ICU there, a bed became available in the Chilliwack ICU and he was moved closer to home. There have been SO many people praying for his recovery and those prayers have been answered in so many ways. Dad still has a very long road of recovery ahead of him but I'm excited to share that he was finally able to go home this week! Praise the Lord for his faithfulness through this uncertain time, and we continue to pray that he will give Dad a full recovery. Thank you to all of you who, have been, and continue to, pray for him & the rest of the family!!!
As I may have mentioned in a previous post, work has been fairly slow for Jon here in Chilliwack. So when the opportunity arose for him to build some cabins at Pines Bible Camp (near Grand Forks, BC), he had to jump at it. It wasn't ideal, considering its a 5+ hour drive but at least it was some more consistent work. Between several trips to Grand Forks, and the trip to see his Dad in California, Jon didn't have much time at home in the month of November. We added it up and I think he only had about a week at home, if we combined all the days.
Needless to say that when he had to go down for another 1 week stretch, halfway through the month, he really wanted Callie & I to join him. I wasn't wild about the idea of being all by myself, out in the sticks, with no internet or human contact during the day, but I also didn't want to have another week away from Jon. So we packed up and went along for a week at camp :) And to be honest, it actually ended up being a very relaxing and much needed break from all of life's crazyness. I watched movies, took Callie for walks, and read a fantastic book. Plus, we got quite a bit of snow while we were there and it was so cute to watch Callie's fascination with the falling snowflakes. She was completely mesmerized by them :) Here are some pictures from our time there...

Goofing off in her playpen when she was supposed to be napping...

Some of the cabins Jon & Adam built...
Enjoying a walk in the brisk afternoon air...
Our 'sun-bather' @ nap time...
(* I must mention that one of my favorite things about Callie right now is her predictability when it comes to sleeping. She ALWAYS sleeps with her hands tucked under her head, and the blanket either right up to her face or over her whole head-- much to my dismay :) You know she's in a deep sleep if she's sporting the "sunbather" pose. If not, chances of her waking up are very high. I love it that she's so easy to read!)

With all the chaos of life, and trying to keep up with everyday commitments, Callie has had many opportunities to spend time with her Grammy & Grampa Glen. They have, of course, been so willing to baby-sit when Jon & I needed to visit Dad Esau in hospital, or while I've had worship practice and Jon had work, or other things to do. We've really appreciated it and it is so fun to see Callie's face light up when she sees them. She definitely recognizes their faces. Thanks for all your help over the last month Mom & Dad! We couldn't have done it without you :)

Having a laugh with Grampa...
... and her more serious side... :)
Christmas will be very different this year, now that we have Callie. She'll be a few days shy of being 6 months old at Christmas, so although she won't really understand what all the fuss is about, it will still be neat for us to share the holidays with her for the first time. I set up the Christmas tree last week and so far, she loves to stare at it in amazement. All the lights & shiny ornaments have definitely captured her attention...
... and so have her toes! She's just recently discovered this new "toy" and loves to pull on her socks and suck on her toes when she's barefoot. :)
Love that wicked little grin...

All ready for the holidays...

Callie turned 5 months old on November 30 and it feels like she's suddenly just so grown up. She laughs and smiles at pretty much anything and is becoming so independent. She's still pretty lazy when it comes to rolling over (she'll roll from her tummy to her back, but doing the opposite doesn't seem to interest her all that much) but she loves jumping around in her exersaucer and has quickly mastered how to spin herself around in it. She tries valiantly to sit up on her own and comes very close with each attempt. And one of our favorite things as of late is her "singing." If you sing to her, or put on music, she quickly sings along. If you stop, she stops. Its hilarious, and very cute. She's really finding her voice and daily practices to see where her highest possible note is. She's not quite at a high A, but I'm sure she'll get there soon ;) We love her constant babble and bubble-blowing, and are endlessly entertained by her cheery personality.
She's also been teething like CRAZY for the last month or so. No teeth have made their appearance yet but she's certainly been feeling the pain of them. She gnaws on anything and everything, drools like a mad-woman, and night-time's with her haven't been as wonderful as they once were. :( But thankfully, overall, she's still the happy little munchkin she's always been.
I love this picture of her chomping on an empty Tim Horton's cup at Grammy's house...
Figured we'd start her young ;)

In other news, one of my very best friends, Ginny, got married on Nov.28. She and Steve tied the knot at the Alliance church here in Chilliwack, and though the weather didn't really cooperate, the indoor decor was absolutely stunning. Here are some pictures from the big day. (Sorry... some of them are pretty blurry as we were sitting in the back row-- Jon and I were ushers so we needed seats that we could sneak into discreetly.)
The beautiful bride making her entrance...

The reception centre pieces were unique & so beautiful...
The very attractive & very happy couple...

Well... this has turned out to be a bit longer than I had originally planned, so I better wrap it up. I'll finish with a quick update on our Thailand trip (which is quickly approaching!) We fly out this Tuesday, Dec.8 (flight leaves at 1:55pm) and travel from Vancouver to Tokyo. Our flight arrives in Tokyo at 5:30pm and our our next flight leaves at 6:35pm, so it doesn't leave us a lot of time (please pray that we make our connecting flight!). We then fly to Bangkok and arrive there at 11:45pm. From there, we will be driving to the guest house we're staying at in Bangsaen, and aren't scheduled to arrive 'til 2:00am. Needless to say, we could REALLY use your prayers for getting enough sleep on the flights, and energy to get us through the intense travel.
Our 10 days in Thailand are set to include anything from: visits to the different church plants (some as far north as Chiang Rai), time at the ALH orphanage in Chonburi, helping out with kids' soccer camps in Angsila, Praise & Worship times w/ the churchs we visit, visiting the Khmu villages, and much, much more. And although they have provided us with an itinerary, we've been told to be prepared for things to change. :)
So... for those that are willing to pray for us while we're in Thailand, here is a specific list of things we could use prayer for:

- good, restful sleep & good health while we are flying (**especially for Callie... but also for Jon & I. Quite frankly... if Callie doesn't sleep, neither do I! And I don't want to be useless due to exhaustion, once we arrive in Thailand)
- safety in travel (both air & land)
- flexibility from Callie during our busy schedule
- clear calling from God (ie: what he has in store for us.) We'd really love to receive concise answers as to whether to pursue missions or not, and whether it should be Thailand or somewhere else, or whether He just wants us to stay closer to home.
- open hearts & minds for what He calls us to.
- freedom from distractions & worries while we're there. To be able to soak in the experience, and then clearly debrief our time in Thailand.
- to have the opportunity to speak into people's lives while we're there (whether it be in word or action-- we want to be able to show God's love clearly to those we encounter).
- continue to pray for the missionaries that are already there (the Sanchez family, the Sinclair-Peters family, & the Owens family). We're excited to see the way God has been moving over there, through these faithful servants!
- and just continued prayer for a softening in the hearts of the Thai people. Thailand is only 0.7% Christian so there is still a lot of work to be done in sharing the Gospel with unbelievers.

We just want to say a HUGE thank-you again to everyone who has supported us both financially & through prayer!! We wouldn't have been able to do this trip without you and are so appreciative of everyone's support as we embark on this adventure! So... bye for now & we'll 'talk' to you in a few weeks!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I'll get around to it eventually...

Preparations for Thailand are in full swing (we leave in exactly 1 week from today!), which means there isn't a lot of time for blogging. But I have tons of cute Callie pictures from the last month to post, as well as some GORGEOUS wedding pictures of my dear, dear friend Ginny (& her new hubby Steve!) who's wedding was this last Saturday. I had a very productive day today which included finishing all our laundry, packing my suitcase and most of Callie's, finished the dishes and tidied the house. So as long as I get a bit more packing done tomorrow and can get to all the errands I need to run, I'll be sure to post something new, as well as give you a final update on Thailand and the prayer requests we have as we get ready to leave. Thanks for your patience and I'll be back to blogging soon!

I'll leave you with just 2 pictures of our munchkin :)
I took these yesterday... she turned 5 months old!