Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Caroling

A group from our church sang Christmas carols at a convalescent home yesterday afternoon. We had a good time sharing a little of the joy of the season with these folks.

The Carolers:

Eric & Darlene - a beautiful duet:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bill's Graduation - Part 3: Graduation Party

We invited our church friends over for dinner to celebrate Bill's accomplishment... I didn't quite get everyone captured on my camera (sorry Lukes!) but here we are, enjoying the time of celebrating with Bill.

Enjoying unexpected gifts!

Bill's Graduation - Part 2: Commencement Ceremony

Bill's graduation ceremony (aka "Commencement") was yesterday afternoon at 2pm. We enjoyed the ceremony and the time dedicated to bringing this chapter of our lives to a close.

The view from our seats. Bill is in the mass on right hand side.

Lee Strobel was the invited speaker.

Shawn & Dawnita came to celebrate with us!

All done!

Mum and Dad also joined in to cheer for Bill from the bleachers!

Bill and Shawn - almost graduated together!!
(Shawn finishes up in the next couple of months.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bill's Graduation - Part 1: Baccalaureate

Tonight we went to the Talbot Baccalaureate where they have a "hooding ceremony" and bless and dedicate all the graduates. Bill just finished his last paper today and tomorrow we'll be off to his official graduation ceremony at Biola University. Tonight was a special celebration just for the seminary graduates with their professors and invited guests. We invited the family and had a nice time celebrating Bill's accomplishment: two master's degrees in 4.5 years! A Master of Arts in Old Testament and a Master of Arts in New Testament. Yaye! I'm proud of my hubby!

Us and the local family! We wish everyone else could have been here too!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Reformation Party

We had a reformation party on October 31st this year with some people from our church. In memory of the day when Martin Luther nailed his "protest" to the door of the Wittenburg church.
I tried to dress up as a medieval woman and Bill as Pope Leo the 10th. We did our best to scrounge around and not spend money on the outfits! How did we do? =)

Jon as a vagabond... but a fully armed one!

Shawn as Martin Luther vs. Bill as the Pope.

All of us who came in costume: Carrie (as the door of Wittenburg church), Rebekah (as a servant girl), Jon, Bill and me.

Talbot Marriage Retreat

We went on the Talbot Couples retreat two weeks ago - held at a hotel in Costa Mesa. It was a really good time of learning how to better communicate with each other and just have some solid time to spend together without the distractions of work!

Courtyard of the Hotel

We enjoyed a small hike in Newport - just 5 minutes from the hotel.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

10 years ago...

... we were married.
We were living in Colombia, but flew up to California for three weeks for the wedding and honeymoon. It was back in the day before digital cameras... I am starting the process of scanning our pictures. Here's the first two...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

2009 Roommate Reunion

Here are a few photos from the afternoon we spent together at my parents' home in Long Beach:

Dana, Becky, Jennie & me

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back in LA

No pictures... I guess I could have taken a shot of my pile of laundry and pile of mail to sort through, but neither are a pretty picture!

We are back in Los Angeles, somewhat reluctantly - we had a great time in NZ and feel so blessed to have been able to go and spend quality time with so many of my old friends and family members. Thanks to all of you who prayed for us - it was an awesome trip!

For those of you who know how much I fear flying... the 12 hours each way were some of the best I've spent on a plane. I took a sleeping pill each time and was so drowsy and out of it I actually feel like I had fun up there!!

NZ: Ohinewai & Auckland

Our second to last day/night was spent on a farm near the town of Ohinewai with Liz & Fraser and their four kids. Liz & I went to high school and church together, I've known her for about 30 years!
This is their "backyard" where Bill went out for a spin on the motorbike and came back happy and very muddy (note the sheep watching him intently):
Last day/night were spent in Auckland with our cousins (on Dad's side) - here's Jon with Kenneth (Braydon & Georgia in background) :
Very nice walk around the coast below Robyn's home:
Farewell at the airport with Aunty Anne & Uncle Graham (Dad's brother) and George & Margaret (NZers who visited us in Colombia a few years ago):
Jon's last adventure in NZ - trying to eat a Weta:

Haere ra = goodbye (in Maori)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NZ: Rotorua, Tauranga & Nature

Rotorua: We spent one night in this city - famous for geothermal activity. We visited a Maori cultural village and they showed us some of their songs and games.
Tauranga: visited Great-Uncle Harry with my cousin Anthea.
We stayed with Tani & Anthea and their boys Dylan & Dior (not pictured) - went out for coffee and cake this morning.
Tui (bird) singing in a cherry blossom tree.
I was fascinated by the Ponga trees.
The famous NZ silver fern (green one side, white the other).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

NZ: Nan & her birthday

We took my Nan out to her favorite cafe for lunch last Friday:

Then Jon, Bill and I spent the afternoon playing games with her at the place where she lives. First it was about an hour's worth of a game called "Housie" - it's like Bingo. I won a dollar-fifty and then proceeded to lose it all playing the rest of the rounds! After that the four of us played Rummikub.

We had the family gathering for Nan's 90th birthday on Saturday. Here she is cutting her cake with Uncle Neil at her side:

Nan with five of her seven children (two other brothers were out of the country):

NZ: Visiting Family in the Waikato

We've spent most of the last week with Mum's side of the family. We stayed with Uncle David and Auntie Jean (Mum's sister) on their farm. Enjoyed lots of good food and got in touch with nature!My Auntie is very gifted in wool crafts and weaving... this is her workroom with the looms she uses. She gave me a beautiful sweater and scarf that she made.
They have a spa on their back veranda which we jumped in every night we were there. A couple of nights we were able to see the stars and located the Southern Cross.
My uncle is involved with a nature reserve where they have erradicated imported pests (like mice and rabbits and cats) and are reintroducing endangered native species in an effort to save them in their natural habitat. It was really cool to see it up close. We were really priviledged to see these birds below called Takahe. We also saw Kaka birds, which are like brown parrots - but I didn't get a picture. These birds roam wild but are tame enough that when their "keeper" calls them they show up for a snack.
A short hike through the Maungatautari Reserve:

We also visited my cousin, Pam, and her husband on their dairy farm. They raise Jersey cows. Here she is below with the calves that have been born in the past month. (Only the heifers are kept.)
Here's her husband and a helper getting ready to milk the cows.A cow with her new-born calf (only a few hours old here).
Dad - enjoying one of the many pets we've been meeting :)
We spent last night with Dad's cousin, Kevin, and wife, Trena, and enjoyed visiting their church in Matamata this morning.