Friday, June 30, 2006

GPS: Don't Leave Home Without It!

Earlier this year my dad purchased a Global Positioning System (GPS) and to be honest I was quite skeptical. Oh yah...another toy! Well...I was so wrong! This thing was AMAZING and I think at least 3 times a day during our trip either Sharon or I commented on how thankful we were to have it with us! A GPS my friends, is absolutely wonderful and well worth the $ if you travel at all!

This great little system attached to the front window of the car and sat on the dashboard. Upon arriving in Alberta we programmed it to read where we were (ok....took this rookie 2 days to do so!) and then we were off. Too cool! If you haven't tried one of these...DO!

I would program in our main locations and the machine did the rest. When we were leaving Three Hills Sharon went into the address book and pulled up our hotel in Calgary that was 1 1/2 hours away. Within seconds we knew exactly how many kms it was to the hotel, how long it should take, what direction we were driving, what road we were on, what direction and when the next turn would be and much more! Too cool! As we would get closer to a turn 'LucyFits' (our name for the voice as she just had to have a name) would begin to calmly say, 'Right turn in 3 kilometers.' Getting closer she'd say, 'Right turn in 1 km' then, 'approaching hard R turn' then *ding, ding* at the corner and she'd prepare for the next part of our journey! What a blessing when travelling in unknown areas! A map was no longer necessary although I did find myself carrying the Calgary phone book in the car the entire week so we could look addresses up to enter into the system. Want to know where the nearest Wal-Mart is? LucyFits can get you there lickity split!

The only small problem we ran into was when I was trying to map us to Three Hills which is a very small town. So small that we finally figured out it didn't really exist on LucyFits' system other than by name! The whole time we were there it looked like we were driving through fields. (Hmmm...come to think of it, we almost were!)

If you're in the mood for lunch, look up restaurants and LucyFits could tell you every one in the area or, the exact location of one if you looked it up by name. Need Gas, an ATM or Shopping Centre...oh yah...she can get you there too!

I found I had so much more freedom this vacation and did a ton more than I ever would have if I hadn't had LucyFits with me! It gave me freedom and a ton of security to have her guiding me.
Another great thing about this system is that if you make a wrong turn, or miss a turn, LucyFits recalculates a new route for you and doesn't even make rude comments for missing your turn! :o) Surprise, surprise...I'd get talking and missed my turn on several occassions!

Also, when Sharon and I took the 'dry run' from our hotel to Rocky Mountain College 9 kms away, it was on a Sunday morning. We got there just fine. But, come Monday that wasn't to be the case as Calgary has traffic realignment during peak hours for traffic going into the city in the morning and heading out of the city at night. The route we'd taken had changed directions so we couldn't use it to travel to the college. We just went straight where we had planned to turn and LudyFits quickly calculated a new route for us to take. Here you can see the route I'd take to pick Sharon up at night. (Took a lot of pictures resting the camera on the dashboard while driving this trip. They turned out surprisingly well!) In the morning the lane I'm in in this picture was travelling in the opposite direction and at night they close it down with pylons and change it's direction. You just know I had to use this lane every single night as I loved driving the 'wrong way' down the street! (One night I laughed as I quickly realized I wasn't the only one like this! The lane that I was in was full of cars but not a single car could be seen in the 'normal' lanes travelling in the same direction. Guess there's a bit of rebel in many of us!)

While we were in Calgary there were a number of examiners staying at our hotel. There were 3 others who were examining at Rocky Mountain College so rather than them hiring a taxi each morning and afternoon I'd play chauffer and take them back and forth. After the first day or so I was comfortable with the route so didn't use LucyFits all the time. Not soon after leaving the college one of the examiners mentioned that the nice lady wasn't talking to us any more and could I turn it back on. It was fun and everyone who got in the car quickly saw the benefits of having a GPS.

If you have an opportunity to try one out or even better to purchase one, I'd say 'Go for it!'

June's Secret Pal Gift...WOW!!!!

I arrived home from Calgary to find a large, heavy envelope waiting for me! secret pal really outdid herself this month and I am so very, very thankful!

This month's theme was 'Pamper the Parents' and believe me, she thought of absolutely everything I'll need to pamper myself!

The first thing I found was a pretty, handmade card encouraging me to start my summer off right by pampering myself and enjoying the quiet moments I have because I'll be reflecting on those once Hannah arrives. I have a feeling she couldn't be more correct!

One of the first items I found was a magnetized pad of paper entitled, 'Catherine's To Do List.' The first page had been filled out with the following:

Pamper Myself
1. Relaxing bath
2. Facial
3. Pedicure
4. Manicure
5. Indulge
6. Sit back and breathe deeply
7. Relax and Enjoy

Along with that she had included a whole bunch of things that will help me do exactly what she suggested! In a cute gift bag there was: A Pillar Candle, Moisture Lotion, Facial Scrub, Foot Scrub and Lotion, Bath Salts, Foaming Bath Cream, Tea Bags, Nail file and polish (a beautiful soft pink colours with sparkes in it!) plus a Mango Curry Dip Mix...yumm! I absolutely love Mango and my time in India (which my secret pal didn't even know about!) gave me a love for curry years ago! What fun!

Also included in the package was a chocolate bar AND a HUGE box of Lindt chocolates! Oh yah...loving the single thing right now as I can enjoy them for weeks, one at a time. Mmmmm...

Believe it or not...she didn't stop there! Also included in the package was a beautiful soft pink scrapbook! Does she know me or not? I think she may be been reading my blog because she sure knows me well and couldn't have chosen more appropriate gifts!

Thank you Secret Pal!!! You're the Best!!!

I think I'm going to start the long weekend off right by pampering myself. Hmmm...wonder what I'll do first? Who am I kidding....I'm off to eat chocolate!!! LOL!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

June Referrals Have Arrived!

I'm excited to share with you that the June Referrals have arrived! 13 days of files were matched which is a good thing. Slowly the amount of referrals are increasing! (March: 5 days, April: 7 days, May 9: days then June: 13 days!) It means my referral of baby Hannah is still a long way off but she's coming!

This month's referrals are for families whose files were logged in China between June 16th and 28th, 2005. My log in date is March 23, 2006.

My online friend Mary-Mia of California is awesome at tracking the referrals. If you'd like to read some exciting news from new parents and see some beautiful babies, click here! At time of writing Mary-Mia has links to 24 referrals! And....the babies are so young! Average age is currently 7 months which means these beautiful children will be meeting their parents before the age of 10 months! Woohoo! The transition is often easier on the baby, the younger she/he is. The fact that the babies are younger, also supports China's information that they don't have enough babies 'paper ready' to meet the number of requests being submitted each month. As you know, I'm part of a yahoo group made up of families who submitted their files to China in March of 2006. Our group numbers close to 300 families which is just a portion of the number of files submitted to China in the month of March! So very thankful that these precious babies are being provided the opportunity to grow up with a family of their very own!

If you haven't already done so, go back up and click on the link. Be prepared to oooo and ahhhh at all the beautiful little faces you're going to see! Another exciting thing about the link above is that my friend Mary-Mia and her husband Rod may be receiving their referral in July!!! Their LID is only 16 days later than the current group! Should that happen, I'll be whooping, hollering and praising God for the precious baby/babies she and Scott are referred. (They have requested either a girl, a boy or twins so it adds an extra amount of excitement to the wait!) I'll be sure to post as soon as I hear anything! (Their website is a ton of fun to read! If you're looking for a laugh, check out her recent posts about Diet Coke and Mentos!)

Just think....maybe by this time next year I'll be shouting my referral from the rooftops?!!!!! Can you imagine??? :o) :o) :o)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Canada Olympic Park - Part IV

The last stop on my audio tour was at the top of the 90' ski jump. One of the many interesting facts that I learned was that this jump that was created for and used in the 1988 Winter Olympics can no longer host competitions for the best athletes. When it was created the ability of the jumpers and quality of the equipment was not as advanced as it is today, 18 years later. The problem is that the jumpers have improved so much that if the best in the world were to jump today they would overshoot the landing hill and land on the flat portion of the landing area, thus injuring themselves. Because of this, Canada Olympic Park is in the process of digging out 'the bowl' where the jumpers land and extending the landing hill.

This picture is taken from the top of the jump. The metal piece you can see at the bottom of the picture is the seat where the jumpers sit before pushing themselves off and speeding down the takeoff ramp. To give you an idea of how high up we are and how far these guys travel, do you see the small yellow dot in the upper right area of the picture? That is a full size digger with a dump truck in front of it! That my friends, is a long way up!!!

This is a picture of the jumps from below. Wow! Unlike the bobsled and luge, you could not pay me enough to try out this sport! They say it's one of the safest sports around and you're never more than 5 meters from the ground but I'll just take their word for it! The only flying I want to do is in a jet...preferrably on the way to China!

I mentioned in an earlier post about Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards and how he jumped for Britain. He'd only been jumping for a year and a half before the Olympics and I remember him saying all he was hoping to do was survive the 90m hill!

I have a picture of his helmet but will post it later...blogger is up to it's old antics and not letting me post any pics.

My day at Olympic park finished up with a couple of trips to the top of the hill and back on the ski lift. What a beautiful sight as it overlooks the city!

The hills are used for motorcross biking in the summer and the ski lifts have been modified to carry the bikes up. It was really busy when I was there on a Wednesday afternoon. I can't imagine what it would be like on the weekend or in the summer!

I hope you've enjoyed this brief trip to Canada Olympic Park. As you can tell, it was something I really enjoyed and would like to do again in the winter sometime when other athletes might be training.

Canada Olympic Park - Part III

As promised, I now give you Part III of my trip to Canada Olympic Park.

As promised (and I know you just couldn't wait to see this pic!) here I am in a 2 man bobsled. These things are so NOT built for comfort! Inside it's metal bars, wires and absolutely zero padding. (I supplied my own padding ;o) and was still uncomfortable!) I have a whole new appreciation for these guys when they leap into these metal tubes and catapult themselves down the track!

In the past you could ride a bobsled on wheels down the track (you know I wanted to!) but because of the damage the wheels were doing to the track, they no longer use the sled with wheels on it.

This is a picture of what a slice of the track would look like. The tubes that you see extending to the right and left of the track carry amonia gas piped into liquid which allows the entire track to remain frozen even when the air temperature is up to 30oC/87oF! As you can imagine it is quite costly to do so so with it being summer the track does not have ice on it right now so all training is done in The Ice House at the moment.

3 Month LID Anniversary!

Woohoo! Today I celebrate the 3 month anniversary of my file being Logged in China! Yeah! 3 down and maybe 11-15 to go. Regardless, it's 3 down and that's reason to celebrate!

It's hard to believe that recently 3 months would have been the half-way point between LID and Referral! **gulp** With the delay in referrals I haven't begun to do anything at home to prepare for Hannah's arrival yet. Her room is still full of my scrapbooking supplies and her furniture is safely stored in the basement. What an exciting time it will be when those 2 things switch places! Right now it would be just way too hard to see a crib every day and know that my precious baby girl was still a long time off from being in my arms.

Congrats to all my other March 23rd LID friends!

Pictures for Larry and the family

Hi Larry! Thought you might like to see more pics of Sharon. Here are a few for you to enjoy!

Sharon and Joanne

Here's the way she spends much of her time each evening. Carefully reviewing each and every exam. (I can't imagine writing the amount she has in the past 2 weeks! Makes my arm sore just thinking about it!)

Visiting with Heather and Bill

On our way to Lake Louise:

No descrption needed! :o)

Posing with one of the many beautiful hanging pots at Chateau Lake Louise:

That's all for now Larry. The remainder are still on my camera so I'll need to wait until I get home to download them.

See you Monday. Have fun at camp!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Day at Canada Olympic Park - Part II

Canada Olympic Park - Part II

While I was at Canada Olympic Park, I met Pierre Lueders and Lascelles Brown who won Silver in the 2 man Bobsled event in Torino, Italy earlier this year. (This is a picture of their medal. I didn't touch it nor ask for their pictures since I didn't want to be too much of a 'groupy!' I really wanted to touch the medal though! The volunteer was walking around and showed us their medals. Cool!)

Pictured to the right is another one of the lesser known Canadian Olympic Athletes who is proudly displaying both the Canadian and Chinese flags! :o) The torch she's holding is one of the official torches that carried the Olympic flame across Canada in 1988! What a fun experience.

After watching a video about the '88 Games I drove to a place called, The Ice House. It is the only indoor training facility in the world for bobsled, luge and skeleton athletes. It allows them to practice their starts which is as we all know, often where a race is won or lost.

Providing the tour to us was Ian Cockerline who competed for Canada in Torino and will be competing for Canada again in 2010 in Vancouver. He was quite funny and we learned a lot about the 3 sliding sports from him. Did you know that the little skeleton sleds actually weigh about 100lbs? Also, all the runners of the sleds in all 3 sliding sports are flat and about 3/4" wide, not sharp and thin like a skate. I'd always thought they'd be sharp. Had it been 2 weeks later I would have been able to try this little luge run but that doesn't start until July 1st so I'll have to do that another time. Until then, I decided to try my hand at the bobsled.

(Alas....unable to post a pic again so you'll have to wait for that one as my time is up again....)

A Day at Canada Olympic Park - Part I

After dropping Sharon and the gang (3 other examiners) off at Rocky Mountain College yesterday, I drove in the opposite direction from our hotel to see what kind of trouble I could get myself into! ;o) I remembered seeing the Olympic ski jumps in that direction when we returned from Banff Sunday so thought I might see what Canada Olympic Park had to offer. I ended up having a great time and spent over 5 hours there! Calgary was the host city of the 1988 Winter Olympics and Canada Olympic Park hosted many of the events. Calgary and the surrounding area is still Canada's number 1 training centre for many winter sports.

It was only 9am when I first arrived and nothing really opened until 10 so I grabbed myself a cup of coffee and read The Lost Daughters of China while looking up at the ski jumps.

I also wandered around the gift shop and saw the bobsled that was used in the wonderful Disney movie, Cool Runnings. During the 1988 Winter Olympics, Jamaica entered it's first ever bobsled team in the Olympics and they, along with 'Eddie the Eagle', became crowd favourites!

When 10:00 rolled around I headed back to get my headset for the walking tour just as a bus tour was beginning. You know me....I kinda strolled behind them and picked up a ton of interesting information! :o) The group were school superintendants from the states and most were very friendly as we spoke when looking at the Olympic Museum stuff. One moment was hilarious though. This one lady looked at me, put her hand out and said, 'I don't believe we've met.' I put my hand out to shake hers and said, 'Hi. I'm Catherine and not officially with your group but am just here as a visitor.' Well, she pulled her hand back so quicly you would have thought I had the plague! LOL! Her loss...I'm fun to get to know. :o) The others were very kind though and the tour leader told me to stick with them at the beginning so that I could hear what was going on. be continued in Part II so that I can attach more pictures.

I'm Going to Get Myself a Reputation!

Where I am...the rain is sure to follow! At least this trip anyway!

Last week in Three Hills (about 1 1/2 hours from here) there was flooding the day we arrived. As we sat in a restaurant eating lunch it began to pour like we haven't seen in a long, long time. The 'kids' working in the restaurant even went out and enjoyed the downpour and we had fun watching them have fun!

Yesterday was day 10 of our trip and without fail, the clouds have rolled in every single afternoon and the heavens have opened! When I picked Sharon up from work yesterday we both commented on how it was 6:00 and it hadn't rained...but we spoke too soon! We went down the street to The Old Spaghetti Factory for supper and thankfully we had chosen to drive even though it was only a few blocks away. Just as we finished eating Sharon said we'd better head back to the hotel soon because the black clouds were qyickly rolling in. As I turned around to look out the window we realized it was too late! Another big thunderstorm had hit and it was pouring out! We're not talking raining....we're talking a downpour/gullywasher! Once again the streets quickly flooded and the water along the sides of the road was almost up to the curbs and out about 5 feet! This time we were also entertained by a lot of hail! Sure glad we weren't outside when that came down!

While waiting for the storm to end, Sharon and I began to talk to a couple at the table next to us. It ends up they're from Pembroke, ON and had just arrived that day. They're heading to Vancouver today via the Rocky Mountaineer train (a trip I'd love to take!) and then heading out on an Alaskan Cruise! Ahhh....yup...sounds wonderful! We ended up driving them back to their hotel as they would have been absolutely soaked if they'd tried to walk it. Only 1 trip the wrong way down a 1-way street, and we got them home safe and sound! The streets were quite so we all just laughed. Hmmmm...I wondered why all the arrows painted on the road were coming towards me! :o)

Today is day 11 of our trip and guess what...they're calling for severe thunderstorms again. I'm not surprised...are you? I think it's going to be an afternoon of scrapbooking in the room for me!

Looking for a Job? Calgary is the place to come!

Just thought I'd post a quick note just incase someone is looking for employment. Calgary is hiring...everywhere! I'd guess 80% of the places I go into have 'Help Wanted' signs posted and it seems to be it's that way for a lot of employers in the city. Just this week they were saying on the news that they anticipate being short 225,000 employees by the year 2010! Calgary is a beautiful city so if you're looking for a change...think west!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Breathtaking Banff and Lake Louise!

Lake Louise:

Sharon and I enjoying our perfect day!

Downtown Banff:

Beautiful Banff Springs Hotel which is nestled in the mountains:

As we travelled to Lake Louise along the Bow Valley Parkway, we came upon 2 elk dining alongside the road. We were so close we could see their fuzzy antlers!

I'm sure you understand why I was SO EXCITED to get to the mountains!!!!!

Sunsetting over the mountains at 10:30pm.

Sharon is scheduled to finish work just after noon on Saturday. Our plan is to be surrounded by this amazing display of God's beauty by 3:00!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

On the Lookout for Noah!

Howdy...from rainy, rainy Calgary, Alberta! We're having the very best time in spite of the weather. Today is day 9 of our trip and we've had a thunderstorm every single day! It's more often sunny but we just keep laughing about the amount of rain that has fallen. This afternoon we even had hail! In the past, our June trips have often greeted us with beautiful weather so this year we just laugh and enjoy the change. Besides, the rain never lasts long and the sun is always close behind it.

We arrived in Calgary Saturday evening and went from one extreme to the other when it comes to accommodations. We were in our 1 room 'cell' in 3 Hills (with the kitchen in the bathroom) to a beautiful suite in the International Hotel where were on the 26th floor, overlooking the Bow River. I haven't taken any pics of the suite yet or the view but will do so before we leave.

Sunday was the very, VERY best day!!! We started out by calling our Dad's to wish them a Happy Father's Day. In the morning we went to Southview Alliance where we met Heather and Bill McAlpine who are friends of Sharon and Larry from years ago in Oshawa. We had a fabulous lunch with them and their great kids. What a hoot! There were 11 at the lunch table and we didn't stop laughing the entire time! Such fun!

After our visit with Heather and Bill we headed to the Rocky Mountains to visit Banff and Lake Louise! Ahhh....absolue perfection!!!!!!!

But, being it was this trip, it would be complete without raining on our way there! Honestly, we laugh daily about the rain! Notice the blue sky ahead...that was ALL around us, except for the big cloud above us!

Unfortunately, I'll have to leave you with just this teaser as I'm having trouble loading more pics and also need to pick up Sharon from work. (Was late yesterday. Who knew Calgary had a rushour?) I hope to be able to post more tomorrow if I can get some computer time.

Can't wait to tell you about Banff and Lake Louise and share some of the many beautiful pics we took!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Three Hills - Part 2

We arrived in Three Hills on Thursday afternoon. I was a little leary about the accommodations as they had us staying at the, 'Rest Easy Motel.' Uh oh....what would that mean? It ended up being just fine! We had a small room that had been totally redone recently and was very, very clean. That's the most important thing. The room was painted a light brown (not my favourite colour) and had 2 cement walls but they'd done a great job of using the small space wisely. There was a long cabinet that had drawers, a desk and the TV on it. Also another pine table with 2 chairs which we used Thursday night to make some cards. Sharon asked when checking in about a place for b'fast. She was told the Chinese food restaurant was open for b'fast. I know someday I'll be eating Chinese food for b'fast but we weren't quite ready to make that leap yet so picked up a few groceries at the local IGA and decided we'd do b'fast in the room. The good thing is that the room had a bar fridge in it. The bad thing was it was in the bathroom! Another good thing was that there was a microwave...the bad thing was that it was also in the bathroom! :o) Being a little more descriptive, there was a closet in the bathroom which housed the fridge and microwave. It was nice to have those added items, even if it meant there was little room to hand clothes beside the fridge and microwave! LOL! When I finished my bath Thursday night I laughingly appologized to Sharon that she couldn't have her snack while I was in the tub since I had the food trapped in the bathroom/kitchen! It does make for great blogging though!

Back to Thursday afternoon. After picking up the groceries we asked about a place to eat and were guided to a family style restaurant across the street. The food was wonderful and we each enjoyed a small steak dinner since it was lunch and supper combined. Mmmmm...Alberta beef!

While we were in the restaurant the heavens opened and man did it rain!!! We're talking flooding rain...or a gully 'warsher' as my Texas friends used to call them! The teens working the restaurant were out in it running, jumping and even doing cartwheels! We enjoyed the entertainment as we had another cup of coffee. We weren't going anywhere until it slowed a little! When we eventually got to the car I drove down the street through a 'puddle' that caused the water to spray higher than our car on both sides! We were laughing so hard and having a great time! I stopped at a corner of another flooded area, waiting to take pics of a car going through the water. That was a good idea until I almost got soaked by their spray as they drove by and I had my window down! Oops....gotta think that one through better the next time.

Friday we visited a local Christian bookstore in the morning and then I took Sharon to work. I ended up watching a great movie in the room, 'The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.' A fun, light movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. Found a 'Subway' for lunch and then scrapbooked a little in the room.

When I arrived at the Arts Academy to pick Sharon up she excitedly told me that we'd be going out for supper with a friend of hers who had been in her wedding party! Just that day she'd found out the Joanne was living in Three Hills! What a wonderful surprise that was! We had a great visit and Sharon and Joanne played the game I've entitled, 'Name That Pew!' It's fun to listen to them reminisce about old friends and people they'd gone to church with. As Sharon and I have travelled together over the past 7 years I've gotten to know many of her friends and always enjoy putting a face to a name I've heard about for years!

This morning we checked out of the hotel at 8:30 and I took Sharon to work. It was the town garage sale so Main Street was closed down for a pancake b'fast and everyone who wanted to sell their stuff gathered on Main St. What a fun idea! Small towns have such neat character. (We've also both commented on how 'clean' the language has been out here. What a wonderful treat not to hear foul language or more importantly, the Lord's name taken in vain, all the time. Ahhhh...even my ears have had a vacation!)

After the garage sale I headed about 45mins. away to Drumheller, the Dinosaur capital of the world! It's a wonderful little place that just sinks out of the Alberta prairies. You're driving along the prairies surrounded by fields when all of a sudden the road dips a few hundred feet and it's like you're in a different world! The scenery is unlike anything we have in Ontario and I was so glad to be able to see it. I remember it faintly from being there almost 20 years ago but it was fun to go again.

Tonight we'll move on to Calgary where we'll be for the remainder of our trip. We're going to be staying at the International Hotel Suites Calgary which looks beautiful! From a small room to a suite that may even have a balcony! Yeah! I'll post more from there and let you know what it's like.

Tomorrow we're meeting more friends of Sharon's at church, going to their place for lunch and then hopefully heading to Banff for supper! CAN'T WAIT to see the mountains! The Rocky's are absolutely beautiful!!! I LOVE the mountains!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Day in Three Hills...Part I

Sharon and I arrived in Three Hills yesterday afternoon. Still not too sure why it's called Three Hills (3H) as I've yet to have found them but I guess there must be a reason. 3H is a small town, located NE of Calgary. It's claim to fame is Prairie Bible Institute which brings back many wonderful memories for me. Back in 1986 when I was attending Bible College, we had a team from Venture Teams International visit our school. They presented a 2 hour concert featuring drama, music and puppets. Before their 2 hour visit was finished I knew that's what I wanted to the following year! About 3 months after the team visited our school I flew out to Calgary and travelled to Prairie where I was interviewed for a VTI team. It was a ton of fun, and I was accepted as a team member with VTI. I requested Australlia. God sent me to India! Man, I needed to work on my penmanship! :o)

I'd love to share more but have just been told the library is closing for the night. I'll write more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Quiet Day in Olds, AB

We woke at 3:30am to quite a thunderstorm! I don't mind storms so once the window was closed I was off to sleep again. It rained most of the night and into the early morning but stopped around 8am and that was it for the day.

Once again the time change worked in our favour so we were up early and able to hit the gym. My goal is to come home from vacation at the same weight or hopefully less than when I left. With the rumour mill churning about China possibly looking at adding weight restrictions, I'm doing what I can to shed some of my extra pounds. So far it's going well but I still have a long, long way to go.

My first goal of the day was to try one more time to get the GPS system working. I think it may finally be working. Yeah! Not sure what I did but at least it seems to be on the right track now. One thing I did figure out is that our hotel is located at the corner fo 46th Street and 46th Avenue and I think when I programmed it I put in the wrong one and threw it off. Not really sure but at least it looks like we'll have it to take to Three Hills tomorrow. That being said, I'm not sure we'll really need it as many of the places in Three Hills don't have addresses listed with them. Honest! I just looked up the address of our motel (Rest Easy Motel....sounds interesting!) and all it said was Three Hills, AB. I'm thinking we should be able to find our way around. I also looked in the phone book and there isn't a single Tim's in Three Hills. What's up with that? ;o) I will survive. Sure glad it's still not Roll Up time or I'd be in withdrawal!

The weather today was funny, although we didn't get the rain they called for in the forecast. (Surprise...surprise!) After getting ready for the day I decided to walk downtown (about 1 km) and pick up a few things. There was a scrapbooking store there but it wasn't open when I was there. I picked up a few things at the drug store, a salad at Sobey's for lunch then wandered back home. Spent the afternoon reading and scrapbooking in our room. Starting to work on Referral Announcements...even though that's still a long ways away. It's fun to be doing something.

It's about 9pm now and the hockey game is just going into overtime. Edmonton needs to win tonight to stay in it so everyone here is watching the game. Me...I'm blogging. Guess I should head back to the room before Sharon sends out an APB looking for me.

On the adoption front, I've added a link on the 'In China Now' section for my friend Val in BC who leaves tomorrow to meet her precious Olivia! Celebrating this wonderful time with her!

PS - Dawn - Does it get dark at night where you are or are you almost into 24hour daylight? I'm surprised at how late it stays light here and then how early the sun begins to come up again. You're that much further north that I wondered what it was like for you as the longest day of the year is next week. Enquiring minds want to know. :o)

Update: From the huge cheer that just went up, Edmonton must have scored and they're alive to play one more game! Go Oilers!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Greetings from Alberta!

Hi Everyone!

Sharon and I had a great flight to Alberta yesterday and arrived safely at our hotel in Olds, AB around 7pm. After a busy weekend and quick turn around to pack for our trip plus the 2 hour time difference, we were both bushed! There's a Boston Pizza attached to our hotel so we grabbed a bite to eat there, drove around to find out where she was examining and then we called it a day.

On the flight they showed a great Disney movie called, 'Eight Below.' It's a wonderful family movie that I can't wait to watch with my niece. (If you're watching it with young children, be prepared for a scary moment when they show the killer whale and a few other tense moments for younger children.) The movie is about a young guide in Antarctica who is forced to leave his best friends behind, his 8 sled dogs, when he has to leave. If you're looking for a good family movie (but not for young children) then this is a great choice!

Today we were up bright and early because our internal clocks were a couple of hours ahead. A quick trip to the gym, breakfast in our room and then I took Sharon to work. Spent the morning checking email, picking up some groceries and trying to figure out how to work Dad's GPS system. Think I almost have it figured out.

After picking up lunch I brought it back to the room and enjoyed it there.I was having my devotional time when I peaked out the window to see a horse right across the parking lot! What fun to look out and see him! I went down and took a few pictures. He came closer but once he realized I didn't have any food off he galloped. Wow! Such beauty!

I think I may check out a local scrapbooking store tomorrow and see what they have. Olds is a very small town but it's still fun to see what it has to offer. Sharon and I have such a great time together and I am so thankful for the opportunity to travel with her again. Who knows, with the delays in referrals we may fit in another session of examining next June? Wonder where they'll send her next year? So far we've gone to BC twice, Alberta twice and Saskatchewan once. Maybe a trip to the east coast is in order for next year? That would be wonderful! We'll know more as time moves forward and we get a better indication of how long referrals are taking.

For now, we're going to enjoy this time in Alberta.

PS: Dawn, Can you see me waving??? So close and yet so far!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Calgary...Here I Come!

I'm leaving shortly for a visit to western Canada! Looking forward to fun, rest and relaxation. I'm travelling with my friend Sharon who will be conducting exams for the Royal Conservatory of Music. The last time we travelled west together (Vancouver that time.) I greeted her after her day of examining with, 'I'm going to adopt a baby girl from China!' Wow.....she hadn't seen that one coming when she left for work in the morning! :o) That was 17 months ago and much has happened in the journey to Hannah. She's still a long way off but she's also much closer than she was that bright, sunny day in Vancouver when God laid it on my heart to adopt!

Have fun everyone. I'll be checking in and updating my blog from Calgary, just won't be able to post pics until I return home. I'll have lots of adventures to share with you I'm sure!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Women of Grace - Weekend #2

Another great weekend and lots of fun was had by all! This weekend’s speaker was Lisa Harper and she was great!

Friday night I missed the session as the bookstore keys had been misplaced before the start of my shift and the group of us spent 7 hours searching for the keys but they were nowhere to be found. We looked on shelves, under shelves, through drawers, went through every garbage in the area (Ewwwww!), cleaned the office from top to bottom (no small task I might add!) but alas, still no keys! Now, they’re not easy to lose. We’re talking a ring with 20+ keys on them and in the span of 10 mins. they were gone! Poof! Nobody had been in the store so they hadn’t been placed in a person’s bag nor lifted, they’d just vanished! Thankfully JoAnne had another set of car keys and her hubby arrived from the city in time to let her into her cottage but the mystery was still baffling. You have to know that I dreamt of keys that night! (I’ll skip to the good part now so that you know the finale.) Saturday night when the speaker’s book table was cleared off the keys were found under the tablecloth. The books and CD’s that were on the table had masked the bump because you have to know we searched there 5 times if we looked once! Oh well, all’s well that ends well and Shelly who found the keys, is JoAnne’s new buddy!

Again this Saturday I had the opportunity to teach 2 scrapbooking classes to about 35 women each time. It was lots of fun and every lady there left with a fully completed accordion album to show off to her friends and fill with pictures later. I really have enjoyed teaching these classes and look forward to 2 more this coming weekend. Many of the ladies have shared that they’re not ‘crafty’ and for some this is the first craft they’ve finished in a long time. It made me feel good for them to complete something and be so pleased with themselves!

Here are a few of the ladies showing off their handiwork. Didn’t they do a great job?

The other area I help out in during these weekends is the bookstore. I’ve been volunteering there for a few years now and quite enjoy myself. This weekend these 4 girls spent a lot of time in the bookstore! Just when they’d say, ‘I’m finished…I’m not buying one more thing!’ someone would find something new and the cards would come out again! :o) Sunday morning they came in and asked if we could have our picture taken together as we’d had such fun teasing about all their purchases over the weekend. Here they are handing me their debit and charge cards….one more time! LOL! Girls and shopping; we just go hand in hand!

Another fun part of these weekends is the Ladies Committee! These women are the best! They love what they do, have a ton of fun (can’t ya tell?!) and give so much of themselves. The planning for next year’s conferences will begin almost as soon as this year’s conferences are over, if it hasn’t started already! Over the course of 2 ½ weeks these 5 ladies plus their fearless leader Betty (who I need to get a pic of this week) welcome almost 1,000 ladies to the conference and together with a small army of support, ensure their each and every need is met and that every lady leaves having been refreshed, fed well and blessed. God is so good and he blesses these weekends over and over!

2 weekends down and only 1 to go. Sadly, Women of Grace June Conferences will be finished for another year. But, summer ministry is just around the corner! Life is never dull when it comes to the Women of Grace ministries! If you live in the southern Ontario area and have never had an opportunity to attend a WoG event, please consider doing so. We travel across the province and will probably be in an area close to you. Check out the link above for more details.

I am so thankful for the wonderful opportunities God allows me to have and all the fun along with it. It's helping to pass the time during the looong wait for Hannah.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Blogger Troubles

Unfortunately, Blogger is tempermental right now. I understand that they're working on the problem but while they are, posting is pretty hit and miss. More miss than hit me!

I have much to say (are you shocked??) but am unable to get pictures to post so have decided to hold off on some of the entries until the system is a little more stable and acdepting picture uploads. Hopefully soon!

I've had a few people email to ask if all is ok (thanks everyone for caring so much!) since I hadn't posted in a while. Please be assured all is good and I'll post more when I can. I have some fun posts on the go so hope the problems are fixed soon.

Until then, if I think of things to post that don't need pics I'll try to post those.

Take care friends! Hope all is well with you too!

Ideas Welcome

I'm going to you, my online friends for a little help. This month's theme for the March DTC Secret Pal exchange is pampering mom and dad. I have a couple of ideas for mom but dad has me stumped. I'm in a different country from my pal which make the gift certificate idea impossible.

Do you have any 'pampering dad' ideas around the $5-$10 range? Looking foward to hearing suggestions you come up with.

And One More

This cute layout was created by Sherry-Lou, a new online friend from Regina, Saskatchewan. I like the way she included so many symbols that are a part of the adoption. A Chinese flag, a Canadian flag, a panda (I'm part of the Marching Pandas DTC group) and also the ladybug which is the symbol for adoption from China. Thanks Sherry-Lou!

There Shall Be Showers of Blessings!

Wow!!! It's been raining Blessings for the past couple of weeks and I wanted to share them with you. They're absolutely beautiful and Hannah's book is coming together more and more with each one received.

This first one is the very FIRST layout I've received from a friend who I've known for years. (Thanks Shelley!) All the others in her book are from some great new online friends.

My local friends are aware of the delays in referrals (because I talk about it ummmm...all the time!) so I've mentioned that they have a year to get something together for Hannah and they're doing just that. It seems to be a busy, busy time of year so I understand completely. Kids here have about a month of school left yet at the same time summer sports have kicked into full gear while winter activities (piano lessons, etc.) are still going on. Add to that the long, warm sunny days and parents are busy, busy keeping up with their children. Summertime offers a little more down time to work on something for Hannah. I look forward to seeing other layouts people create as time permits.

So, without further adieu, I give you the 5 latest LO's received this past week:

Shelley, Domenic and their boys Luke and Joel live in a nearby town in Ontario. Shelley and I sang together for over 10 years in a ladies choir so I remember her little guys when they were just well...little! Now they're all grown up and quickly becoming young men! Thanks so much Shelley! It's extra special that you've included pictures of your wonderful boys!

Heather and family are from Carbon, IL. They are part of my March DTC group (as are the remainder of today's layouts) and are waiting for 2 little ones to join their family. Keira from Vietnam and Colby from China!

This next fun, colourful layout is from Carolyn of Bedford, KY. So creative and so very pretty! All the bright colours just make me smile!

This next layout features Miss Zoe. Isn't she precious?! She and her parents live in Ligonier, IN. I can't wait to buy a beautiful dress like hers for Hannah! Who am I kidding? Only 1? No way....2...3...4....more!

The final layout in this group is from Rusty and Georgette of Goodlettsville, TN. It's beautiful!!! Each of the dragonflies has sparkes on it's wings! So pretty! Georgette and Rusty are also part of the March DTC group and are waiting for their daughter Jaden Elise.

Thank you everyone for these beautiful additions to Hannah's book!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...