Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Car is sold!

w00t! Now, I drive a truck.
Bye, bye, badeedle!

Asking Price: $4,850 OBO (Private Sale) Any questions or to view car, leave a comment with your contact info. Thanks!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Matthew 25:35, 40

In last week's edition of Cedar Grove's church enewsletter, they asked us to send in a story about how someone's act of kindness made a real difference and impacted our life.

"There's still time to submit those!! We'd love to hear YOUR story!" they said.


One of the acts of kindness I’ve experienced that impacted my life incredibly occurred halfway around the world in 2003.

In 2003, I went to Germany to be an au pair for a wealthy German family in Dusseldorf for one year. I had met the family, loved the kids and would be paid well for my adventure.

After just one week, I realized my expectations were way off and that life was not going to be what was promised. However, I stuck it out for three weeks, wanting to get involved in the International Baptist Church of Dusseldorf, where I had befriended many expatriates from many nations. I had even begun attending a ladies’ Bible study. For many reasons, I decided to leave the home where I was “nannying” and had no place to go but back to Canada.

Then, an American couple from church, John and his wife, Michaelle (who was in the women’s Bible study), took me in to live with them in their lovely Dusseldorf apartment with their six-year-old daughter. They were so gracious, taught me so much about the Lord and faith, and shared what God had done in their lives in the short time I stayed with them. I had just been baptized before I left for Germany.

While I was living with them – and sleeping on their couch – they included me on their family vacation: a roadtrip to France (it sounded far, but the town of Bussang, where we were headed, was only 4 hours away). I helped them in France by translating a little and also by keeping their daughter occupied and amused. In Bussang, we stayed with their friends (one German gal who had married a Frenchman and now lived in this town with his family), who ran a home church, since Bussang was a very “dark” town, influenced by the Occultism. These people (there were about 12 of them) fellowshipped every night. The women would cook together and when the men came home from work, they would sit around the table and talk for hours! There was craft night, worship night (which consisted of crowding into a small room to watch Michael W. Smith’s worship DVD projected on the wall), evangelism (visiting landmarks in the town to speak to people), and Bible study. This group amazed me and showed me what the early church must have felt like. They were full to the brim with joy and peace, even in such a dark place.

It was through the German girl who lived there with her French husband that I learned about a place called Teen Ranch France, a ministry, based on a horse ranch, that trains teens in leadership and responsibility. They are all over the world. She put me in contact with her friend, who was the cook there, and once I got back to Germany, I said goodbye to John and Michaelle and their daughter, and made my way – alone by train – to Le Chambon sur Lignon, where I spent 2 ½ months learning how to ride and care for horses, cook for 100 people or more, enjoy the French culture, and celebrate the diversity of the kids I met there.

But most importantly, I learned to trust in God. He knew the curveballs this trip would throw my way from the beginning. He knew what it would take to get me over there, but that if He had revealed to me His WHOLE plan, I would have let fear hold me back. He knew where I’d end up. He also knew I’d value that experience incredibly, and cherish it for the rest of my life.

I still keep in touch with Teen Ranch and hope to go back some day with Wayne and maybe even my own kids. If John and Michaelle hadn’t prayerfully taken me into their home and given me the opportunities they did, if they hadn’t followed God’s promptings to open their home to me, I would have come home terribly disappointed, humiliated and broke. And I would not have experienced what Jesus meant when He said: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in . . . I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:35, 40).” I came home that December far richer in faith, thankfulness and guts (!) than I was when I left. And I think about this blessing all the time.

Praise God!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The importance of trust

Sorry for all the dog posts - sickening, isn't it? But we recently decided to let Dora roam the house while we're at work - with many things picked up off the ground, with the couches barricaded (she likes to floss with pillow zippers, apparently), and with doors to the bedrooms closed. We figured she wouldn't get into anything, since the only thing she's ever chewed is the couch cushion zippers, which are now blocked off.

Until today.

In classic puppy fashion, we came home to find this:
Yes, that's Wayne's very expensive and classy pair of (newish) leather kicks...dead. The holes for the laces are completely chewed off.
The guilty party:
"What shoe? I don't see no shoe...I refuse to see dis shoe you speak of!"

"Ooooohhh, DIS shoe. Riiight. Um, I..."

Daddy Wayne is not a fan of expensive chewed shoes - especially when the puppy had special privileges. Now those privileges will be taken away - gates go back up tomorrow! As punishment, Dora had to hang out with the shoe hanging from her neck for about 10 seconds ... so I could take this picture. Because really, we laughed when we saw the shoe. :) Wayne hates these shoes.

Poor puppy and the chomped shoe - she just missed her daddy!

(Hey, at least it wasn't one of mine!)

Monday, February 18, 2008

A rainy walk in Campbell Valley Park

This is how Dora gets so much exercise. For a 28 lb. puppy, she has a lot of power in her legs.

Two hours of this, three times a week at least...she's going to be a fast one. This is late in the walk, when she's tired. All Wayne does is throw the stick backward so she has to run to catch up every time!

Man & his dog

Wayne loves Dora.
Dora loves treats.
Meghan loves capturing tender moments between her man and his dog on film.
Everyone is happy.
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Things I love

Yes, well, it is Valentine's Day, after all. Why not post about the things I love?

First of all, I'll say it now: I {heart} YOU!

Now, on to the more serious stuffs (ahem)...

Chocolate . . . anything, really, but particularly: Nutella by the spoonful, Skor candy bars, After Eight dinner mints, Lindt chocolate, Cadbury Flake bars, Terry's Chocolate Orange ("Whack & unwrap"), Purdy's hedgehogs and peanut butter daisies, fondu, freshly baked, homemade chocolate chunk cookies, fudge and rocky road bars (without the nuts)

My mom's tiramisu - she may not be Italian, but DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNGGGGG that's good!

Nana & Grandpa's homemade spaghetti sauce (they don't make it anymore but when I was little, I could smell it as soon as I walked into the house)

***why is this all food-related so far? Hmmm...

Pregnant bellies!

The sound of birds when I wake up in the morning (springtime!)

The way Wayne cooks salmon steaks ("slammin' salmon")

A hidden lake in the mountains


White-tailed deer

Europe and their fattening pastries

Dinner dates

Dancing with my love

My home

Good wine


Gingerbread molasses crackle cookies & triple grande extra hot no whip peppermint mochas at Christmas time from Starbucks

Worship music



My marriage to the love of my life!



Memories (I'm a romantic)

God's grace

Vacations in Beautiful B.C.

Time "wasted"

General shinanegans with the Wayner


Cold water on a hot day

A long drive on a sunny afternoon with a great disc in the player

Wayne's dimples

Staying up late and being creative

In the Motherhood

Seeing kids laugh

The SPA!!!

I'm sure there's more - what about you?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The way we were

So I entered a silly radio contest on Praise 106.5 FM this morning and I hope we win. It's a Valentine's Day "His & Hers" weekend:

Two nights accomodation at the ROSEDALE on ROBSON All Suite Hotel in Vancouver, the Vancouver Canucks Hockey Game and a delicious dinner at Zachary's Restaurant and the ballet!

As a Valentine's Day tribute to my hubby, here is what I wrote. (And obviously, this is the Reader's Digest version, as my mum would say.)

This may be a long explanation of our journey but we both consider it a testimony to God’s faithfulness and wisdom:

In January of 2004, I had just returned home to B.C. from a three-month trip to Europe. I got a job at an Irish pub-style family restaurant. We had to wear kilts, knee socks, sporrans…the whole get up. I think I was hired strictly because of my red hair and freckles – I fit the part perfectly.

As time went on, I noticed one of the regulars, Wayne, who was a real goof but nice anyway. I wasn’t attracted to him and actually found his attention a little uncomfortable. He took a liking to me right away, but, having learned my lesson the hard way, I had decided never to date a non-believer again. It was just too complicated. I was never really into dating much and I wanted to wait for the right time. Wayne was persistent, though, and although God graciously gave me kind words to continually turn down his requests to spend time together, he seemed convinced that we should “go out,” assuring me we’d have a great time.

That summer, because he knew the owner of the restaurant so well, he had booked off a Friday night for me and bought tickets to a concert he knew I wanted to see, even though he knew nothing about the band. I tried to get out of it, not really wanting to be alone for an ENTIRE evening with him. But it seemed I had no excuse left. So, being the individual girl I am, I stated I would only go if he let ME take HIM out for dinner first, because I didn’t want to owe him anything. It was a deal.

That “outing,” as I call it (he still calls it our first “date”), was the beginning of a deepening friendship that lasted about a year-and-a-half. The more we hung out, even in groups, the more he asked about my convictions and why I was able to hold so strongly onto my faith. As I went through a year of Bible school, starting that September, part of which was to refrain from dating, he backed off significantly and began attending a church of his own. I still had no feelings for him romantically, but as he enquired, I shared with him as platonically as possible (via emails and phone calls) everything I was learning, which sparked in him more and more questions. He began to attend Alpha and even went to a Men’s retreat. It was there, on April 16, 2005, that he gave his heart to Christ. My entire class had been praying fervently for him and we rejoiced together in his commitment. It was then that God opened my eyes to the man He had prepared my heart for – Wayne. I had never looked at him romantically before. And all of a sudden, when his spirit changed, it hit me like a ton of bricks. “I will marry this man.” Thankfully, I kept this to myself for a while, prayerfully considering how this evolution of feelings could happen!

At the end of our school year a month later, we went on a missions trip to the Dream Centre in L.A. and down to our sister church in Jamaica to build a house. Besides my parents, Wayne was the only person I kept in touch with. I prayed and pined away for him, begging God to be honest with me – was this really it? Was he really the one? It seemed too easy – I just couldn’t imagine my life without him. I filled almost an entire journal with prayers about him and wrote him a letter every day (which he didn't receive until I returned).

A week after coming back from the trip, we began dating and were engaged six months later. What an adventure!

We are so grateful to God for bringing us together in the most unlikely of ways.

Happy Valentine's Day, honey.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wings to fly

So, this is (going to be) my first weekend officially UNemployed by the Dublin Crossing Irish Pub. And I couldn't be more thankful. Although I quit to have more "free time" and be less tired when I have time to spend with hubby on Sundays, I promptly filled this first weekend with social engagements and foodie obligations. However, does anyone hear me complaining? Anyone at all? No. I didn't think so.

Thursday evening will consist of planning the bridal shower of a dear friend (who shall remain sans nom...) with her mum and other West Coast bridesmaid (the wedding is in Quebec, so we are Team W.C. (West Coast, not wash closet - sheesh) and the other gals are Team Quebec. This should be fun - planning a wedding is so much more fun when you're not the bride, and this is my first opportunity since my own! It has also nudged my best high school buddy, Mrs. Remy, and I back into the realms of an active friendship, and her lovely spirit has already blessed me beyond what I could have imagined. What an awesome way the Lord has of creating foundations - even if the structure is not meant to be built right away, the foundation will always remain strong. Anyhoo, it is a pleasure to be planning this special events for our dear Quebec transplant together.

Friday, the Remster is throwing a joint pub-night birthday extravaganza for her hubby, Tyler, and our other pal, Miss D (Dalaena, whom I've known since kindergarten). Even though this will be held down thte street at the Dub, I have no problem, as long as I'm not the one serving us. =) This should be splendid! True closure, as I realize my transformation from server to patron - and gladly.

On Saturday, I will attempt to cook my very first lasagnes (with a little help from my current favourite Brit, Mr. Oliver) as well as my first loaves of Mum's French Bread. Should be delish! The folks from Units 40 and 15 will join us for an evening of food & drink and we shall be merry!

Sunday will take us to church, and then I will muster all my strength and put that pub uniform back on to help out my cousins, who own Ritz Catering, so they can complete a function at Victory Christian Centre.

A full weekend, for sure, but so much fun! Any tiredness I have next week will be because I've overindulged in friendship, laughter, family and joy. And that, my friends, is a GOOD reason to be exhausted.

Last Sunday, I attended my first ever Women's Breakfast at church. I got to know Tamara, Le-Anne, Cindy and one other gals whose name has slipped from my memory. Having been terribly preoccupied the past year (renos, selling, buying, moving 4x, dog, money, hubby's jobs, etc.), it was awfully nice to do something for myself that involved the Lord. I really hope this next phase of just pure "living" will be stuffed to the max with opportunities to fellowship, serve and even get to know other young couples struggling to stay connected. I'm even thinking about starting a small group in our complex - I know 3 households for sure are Christian, but out of 96 units, you'd think there'd be more. It IS almost Langley, after all. But what better way to bless our neighbourhood than to gather once every week or two to get to know one another and pray for each other and our complex? I haven't broached the idea with hubby yet - I need to pray more first. It strikes me as something he wouldn't want to commit to - but that's where God comes in.