Monday, January 26, 2009

25C to -44C in one flight!

It is a nice day today. The sun has been shining and the last time I looked it was up to -12C. Ray and I are still adjusting from being in Maui for 10 days with Janice & Max Graber. The weather was perfect while we were there...God is very good - all the time! We got up Monday the 12th of January and drove to Edmonton. We went to West Edmonton Mall (biggest in the world - don't you know). It was very windy and snowing hard. We decided to drive to our hotel in Leduc (where the airport is located and is south of Edmonton) when we spotted a Tony Roma's....yum. We stopped and had a wonderful dinner and then drove to our hotel in a blizzard. No lines were visible on the road with four lanes of traffic. We just hoped everyone would stay in their space! We got to the hotel and got our "stuff" all unloaded. Ray got the car plugged in as we were leaving it parked at the hotel while we were out of the country. The next morning a shuttle took us to the airport and we were off (after sitting for a couple of all know how that is). We went to Vancouver and had a 5 hour layover - ouch... it turned out to be 6 but we were finally on our way to Maui. We arrived at 10:30PM Maui time and Janice and Max picked us up at the airport....they had been up 22 hours and there was a 4 hour time difference for them (only 3 for us).

We pretty much just fell into bed for our first night. Slept like a baby but were awake and ready to go by 7:30. We had many days of going to the beach in the AM and then shopping, sightseeing, or eating the rest of the time. They did have a Cold Stone Creamery!! Don't you know that my swimsuit shrunk while we were there.... The guys got to play golf 3 times at 3 different courses...what beautiful landscapes ( Kahili, Wailea Emerald and Makena North ). We went on a whale watch trip (and did get very close to some of the 60,000 pound monsters), snorkeling trip (I chickened out and carefully watched over the other 3 as they snorkeled - someone needed to watch them!!) and we did see some whales breeching all the way out of the water on this trip. SUNDAY was the special day - Ed Peterson had planned a surprise renewal of their wedding vows for his and Nancy's 40th anniversary....he had kept this a surprise for almost a year...that must be some kind of record. He provided all the ladies in the group (12 of us) a SPA package - we had a loofa body scrub, soaked in mud, papaya, etc, got in hot pools, cold soaks, sauna, had a 55 minute massage, got our hair fixed and had our makeup applied!! Wow is Mr. Peterson our hero? YES... My first trip to a spa so I was very thankful for his desire to please us all. We had to be at the Chapel at the Grand Wailea at 3:45PM to be ready to SURPRISE Nancy. It was such a beautiful event. Seven other men that Ed knows also became a part of the service after getting on their knees and re proposing to their wives. Shawn (Ed and Nancy's son) performed the ceremony and his wife Cassie was there also. Ed told Nancy right before they walked in that she would either love him or hate him...... you know she just loved him. Her 5 sisters were in attendance (1 from Oregon, 1 from Ohio and 3 from Iowa) and Ed's sister was there from California as well as Ed & Nancy's daughter and her husband - Summer and Zach from down by San Antonio.

Our trip ALMOST seemed anticlimatic after pulling this off.... we had actually visited with Nancy at their hotel on Friday and it was hard to not say anything that would give the event away. She thought we were just there on vacation and it HAPPENED to be at the same time they were there. We also got to visit with them our last day on the island. We had a wonderful lunch and it was fun to catch up with them.

Jan & Max had to fly out on the 22nd at 6:00PM and we did not leave until 10:30PM. It was sad to see them leave us. They left us with a wonderful sleeping pill that we took so we could sleep on the flight to San Francisco. We got in there about 5:30AM and had about a 2 hour layover...ugh Then we took a flight to Seattle/Tacoma and had a 3 hour layover...ugh, ugh

Then we got on a flight that took us to Edmonton and we got in there around 5:25PM. We got through customs quickly and grabbed a shuttle to our hotel (where the car was parked) and started driving to Fairview (and 7 hours later we were home)!! I had on sandles and was surely glad I had a pair of socks in my backpack. It was -44C Saturday morning in Fairview. WE got home around 1:00AM.

It was such a wonderful holiday for us and the company was great.....but it was good to be home too. Our church service was so good Sunday. Ray preached a sermon on forgiveness that he had planned to preach in November but ended up in bed sick. We had an adult man profess his faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord and another adult male baptized....the music was great and I truly worshipped Christ in freedom of was a very good day. We had college Bible study in our home on Sunday night so we cooked some soup and made a rhubard cobbler. The boys living with us, Ryan & Shawn, provided a WII and we all got to playing games. I was also working on a large (1000 piece) LION puzzle - it is actually shaped like a lion..thanks to Mert - she loves to bring me hard puzzles. Several of the kids were in Grande Prairie at a Bridal Show so we only had 5 here last night... we had a study on DISTORTIONS of Community....very interesting study.

Ray is at Junior High Basketball practice right now and I hope he is staying awake. He did not sleep last night...not sure what that was about but we may get it checked out.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

In The Year of Our Lord 2009

Happy New Year! It is a cold start to a new year here in Fairview, AB CANADA. It has been -22C to -35C for almost three weeks. There is about 30" of snow covering most everything and the sun does not come up until 9:15am and goes down around 4:15pm. But in just 12 more "sleeps" we will be heading to MAUI and enjoying some warm days and nights. It will definitely be an escape for 10 days. Seeing the Grabers will be a big part of the FUN of the trip as we will be staying together. We hope to see some other friends while we are on the island as well.

Ray and I just talked to Riley COLE Shannon who turned 9 today. If you remember he was a millennium baby! Do you remember Y2K? Those were some crazy days and into that precious Cole was born. He had a party last night and Heather was just telling me what 6 boys could eat...

I am changing blogsites as the last one is just not working. I just finished writing for about 30 minutes, saved the draft and posted it and it is in cyberspace. That makes me more than sad!! I hope that this site will work better and let us express our thoughts on our life here in Canada.

This was our 3rd Christmas and I was so sick for the last 8 or 9 days. Christmas day was the ONLY day I felt human (that was a good day to feel good). We went to eat dinner at a friends home and enjoyed their out of town family as well. We had a wonderful meal and I came home and went back to bed. I am eagerly awaiting pictures of our family in Texas that were mailed BUT alas Canada Post and the customs seem to really SLOW THINGS DOWN.

Ray has led 3 men to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus in the last few weeks and we are so thankful to be a part of what God is doing. I just sit back and pray and watch Ray and our Lord do the rest. God is so good.

I am still teaching the 3-4 year olds in Sunday School and they are just the cutest kids. I love them so much. They were so cute in our Christmas program on the 21st. They sang the cutest song about "Baby Jesus". They spelled out MERRY CHRISTMAS too and that was just a riot.

Ray is still working with the 20 Something in Sunday School and we are about to begin our Sunday evening Bible study with them. Our ladies just finished their Tuesday night and Wednesday morning studies on the life of the Apostle Paul....loved it!! I am now reading through Romans (one of the books Paul had not visited prior to writing to them). It is a great read! I am also reading "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper - AWESOME BOOK. See if you read our blog you get a book review too!!!

I am going to try to post this and see if it works (in which case I will be most happy). So love to you dear family and friends.... Hope