Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Well, Christmas is coming and instead of packing up boxes full of goodies for our families and baking yummy treats, we're packing up our house. Yup, December is going by quickly and since Christmas parties start on the 22nd, we're getting the jump on packing. Racheal, Ben's sister in law, is coming to help me (more of an emotional-keep on track help-but she's an awesome packer too!)
So, as much as I wish we were putting up a tree and laying out the garlands, it's pretty grinchy round these parts. We'll be packing up for real, into a moving truck, on the 28th, then heading off to Mt. Washington for some fun snowboarding fun over New Years. Then to our new apartment on the 2nd to unpack and start our new Island Life!
Monday, November 19, 2007
By 2pm, we had found an apartment with one bedroom and a den, a balcony, close to the hospital, with a nice manager we feel like would do something if something went wrong, and the building even has a guest suite for when we have visitors. (When, meaning we're hoping some people to jump the pond and visit!!!)
We're a short walk from Oak Bay, where they have some fun shopping and a great Tea House (the White Heather Tea House). It's just a short bus ride to downtown/tourist centre. We're excited to explore Victoria and we even bought an Entertainment Guide, so when you come to visit, we can do things 2-for-1!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I am also discovering my talents. They Photography Studio I'm working for is going to keep me on when we move to Victoria after Christmas. I'll be working from home and sending them the digital files of albums and whatever else I'll be doing for them. They're also excited to hook me up with other photographers in Victoria-maybe I can freelance working for a few photographers. I'm excited that I won't have to be looking for a new job right away.
This weekend we took a little get away and drove to Seattle-I've never really BEEN there before.. I've driven through it, and I saw a Mariner's game once. We went to Pike market and had an amazing seafood dinner, then on Monday we window shopped, then drove to Bellingham where we bought Ben some nice "Family Practice" clothes. (They don't wear white coats there)
Ok, so if you read this, please leave a comment, something like "yup, I was here" or something like you see in bathroom stalls " Sam wuz here" so I know that some one out there actually checked this Lazarus-like blog.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I love having a "cool" job. This is the first time that when I say what I do, people are interested to hear more. I guess I've been seeing a lot of science-minded people recently too, so to work in a photography studio is really cool I guess.
K, off to my "cool" job!
Saturday, August 11, 2007
July started with us packing up our house, and by the 15th we were moved in to our apartment just outside of UBC. Well, Ben moved us in for the most part, and I started my job at MacGregor's Studios. The first week was preparing for the Professional Photography School they put on, called Image Explorations, in Shawnigan Lake on the Island. I got to go along, help with registration, and take a photoshop class. It was amazing to spend 4 days among professional photographers from around Canada and USA. We were short on models, so they suggested I call Ben! So Ben came Monday night, and we did an 'engagement' model shoot together on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday Ben got to model for himself. The pictures look so great, and everyone commented on what a great model he is. Now if this Med School thing doesn't work out, he'll have something to fall back on :)
So, moved in and (I'm) working happily away, we've really enjoyed living where we are. We are surrounded by beaches and walking/biking trails, there is everything we need pretty much just a short walk down the street, and the bus goes right outside our building and takes us downtown. I used to think that there wasn't really a point to living in Vancouver, I could just drive in (or skytrain) whenever there was something that I wanted to do, but I didn't so much. I really understand why people live here now. We are just loving it.
We've also had a flow of visitors. Teralynn, who taught with JET in Japan when we were there came to visit last week on her way back to Winnipeg. It was so great to see her, and to touch base with someone who we shared our experiences with, we had a great time joking about the idiosyncrasies that we picked up in Japan.
Most recently (happening right now) Ben is on an Ambulance ride. He left yesterday (Thursday) at 6pm, and still isn't home (10:30am Fri). From his text messages he's having a great time. He met this parametic who will be doing the CPR classes for the UBC students, and he asked Ben if he'd like to teach CPR with him. Ben's happy he gets to teach his fellow UBC students, and not have to take the class (He taught for a few years as he lifeguarded).
Well, this is long enough. Hope we still have some readers out there!
Monday, June 25, 2007
While biking in the rain, I heard this mad rush, and although it had been raining hard, the skies suddenly wanted to outdo itself, and I think the sky fell! The last time I saw rain fall like that it was during a Typhoon in Japan. Yup, and I was biking along, mostly by myself, with my chain coming off at intervals.
So then there was the run, through some nice trails, except for the 4 inches of water covering the path. By that time, everyone was so wet, it really didn't matter.
I certanly didn't come near first, nor middle, but I didn't come in last. When running, I finally saw the most beautiful sight, my mom, yelling and cheering me on, then Ben's Dad, and then his mom, and then the finish line!! I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to the next one.. hopefully when I can do the swimming part too! After a hot shower and tea, we all went out for lunch.. and then to IKEA. Once we got home I collapsed on the couch, and was immovable for a few hours.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Let me start with my favourite "The Office" quote:
Dwight: So, are you excited?
Ryan: Yeah, I'm excited.
Dwight: Really excited?!
Ryan: Yeah, I'm really excited.
Dwight: Extremely excited?!
Ryan give Dwight a look.
Dwight: Just very excited, that's cool.
Well, we are VERY excited. This last Saturday we spent the day looking at apartments/suites in Vancouver. Ben starts at UBC at the end of August, and we wanted to beat the back to school crowd.. So, we found a great one bedroom near the "Gates" of UBC. We have the place as of July 1st, although we might not move in right away, so for those of you who we will enlist to help us, we'll let you know when that'll be (please, please, come and help us!!).
In other news, we went to see my friend Jessie's play "Maggie's Getting Married" on Saturday, and laughed ourselves silly. Great acting, great writing (Canadian writer), and great location. If you live in Abbotsford area, you should deffinatley check out Straiton Hall on Upper Sumas Rd. They have great entertainment all the time.
Last weekend we went to visit my sister Rebekah and her family in their new home in Courtney, on Vancouver Island. The weather was gorgeous and we spent most of the time on the beach, where my white, winter skin was exposed to the sun for the first time this year, and I promptly got burnt, and am now peeling Mmmmm. We had a great time chatting and eating and playing games. We went to church on Sunday, then spent Sunday night with Ben's aunt and uncle who live down the road from them. We had a terrific time!
Lastly, as it is the thing that might kill me, I'm doing a triathalon on June 24th. If we don't post after that, you know it killed me. I've been training, but I've never done anything like this before. It's a little one, good for beginners, and I've been enjoying the variety of training with the swimming, biking and running. I'm actually really excited about it, and excited that I have the next day off from work, so I'll have a chance to recover. Ganbaremasu! (I'll do my best!)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
It's funny, the experience of preparing, applying & interviewing to get into med school involves a lot of talking with almost anyone you know, and after all this, finally getting in, I feel like I have almost nothing to say. (You're asked about why you want to do it, what you've done, what you want to study, where you want to study, and what you think about this strange rash that just appeared last week. That last one always brings a smile to my face - especially given how often it's come up.) Anyway, it is nice to have all the speculative talk about '*if* I get in' over with. Now all I need to do is hunker down and let gravity carry me down to the beginning of the next mountain.
If any of you happen to know a house that needs to be 'sat', or a suite that would be perfect to rent out for a short term (Aug or late Aug to Dec) in the UBC or surrounding area, don't hesitate to let us know (it'll be a challenge to find something for that short a period, I'm sure).
That's the end of this adventure for now. Tscheus!
Monday, May 14, 2007
In other news, we're still waiting for news from Med schools, although they send out info on Tuesday, so we should know really soon! We've played every possibility over in our heads, every option on living, how we would move, but it doesn't do any good until we know where he's got in! It seems strange that we will eventually know.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
So, Ben finished his course on Friday, with his last exam of undergrad ever! Yay! He was taking a cell biology course that only UBC required. He is very happy to be done, and I am very happy to have my husband back. Ben works usually between 4-10:30ish, and I have normal office hours, so we don't get a lot of waking moments together in the week, so I'm happy to have those study times back! He'll be taking Saturdays off for the summer so we can have some fun.
I've been battling dizziness since February- I have Labrynthitis-isn't that a cool word! Anyways, it's something wrong in the Labrynth in the ear, which makes me dizzy, but it's getting better (slowly) and next Thursday I'm going for physio, to learn some kind of exercise that will help. I'm really curious to see what that will be!
Last night we had dinner with the ladies of my dad's family. It was so fun! We don't really get to see eachother very often, and I'm starting to get to know my older cousins as we're now all adults. My cousin Janice and I split a caraf of wine, and Grandma tasted it.. didn't like it too much though.
We've finally got our camera back. I love Cannon cameras, but can't say much for their waranty.. twice we sent it in and twice it was returned unfixed.. so London Drugs just gave us a new one. Kudos to them. So we should have new pictures to show soon.
This are from two weekends ago, when Keegan and Lauren took us out skeet shooting. Keegan is a hunter, and has three rifles. I'm not the right one to say what kind of guns they were, but it was my first time shooting a real (not pelet) gun. Arn't you proud Elisabeth?
As you can see we were shooting against a bank, so there was not worries. Ben and I both have pretty good shots too! We both hit the clay pigon!
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Well, thanks for asking.. Ben was in London (chips and fish??) Ontario (nope) last weekend for his last med school interview. He billeted with a house full of students, some med, some education, some 'other', and had a great time. He had a lady pay for is bus fare, because he didn't have the right change, because he tipped the taxi driver too much.. those Ontarians are setting up a good name for themselves (cough.. he wasn't in Toronto). He felt the best about this interview from all of them, so he's glad he went. He wasn't sure at first if he would go to a fourth, but hey, might as well not miss an opportunity!
He was greeted by snow on Monday coming home. Honestly, snow in April (prep for Ontario maybe?) I was in school on Monday and all anyone could say was how crazy the weather was. By the time school let out, it was sunny and all the snow was gone. Some of the students are starting to figure out that I'm not a teacher, or a student teacher, so.. who am I? The art teacher I'm working with was wondering if I could come in more often. Sure would love to!
Our day today will be bicycling around, maybe to Fort Langley. Yay!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Ange in her wicked 70's dress.
Laurie in a bridesmaid dress, Jessie in her wedding dress
Devin in his Star Trek tie
The Abbotsfordians guessing at charades
The Langlyites guessing at charades
Ashley in her grad gown, and Chris in his Halloween costume
Jessie and Lars-in Jessie's dress
Monday, March 19, 2007
I had my birthday party Saturday (yesterday). My theme was "this old thing?" and people were invited to wear that thing that they would never wear again, or haven't worn in a long time. I was amazed at people's creativity. We had 2 wedding dresses, a bridesmaid dress, a couple grad gowns, Ben and I wore our Japanese yukatas, a tux, a jail shirt, a Star Trek tie, and two beautiful men in dresses (which they promised to never wear again)
(I'll have pictures as soon as Beth emails them to me.. this picture at the top was a cell phone pic..our camera is out getting fixed.. crappy cannon warranty that returns a un-fixed camera and makes me miss taking pictures at my birthday...grrr)
It was also a wine and cheese party, so people brought all sorts of wine and yummy cheeses. Ben and I got a bunch of beads and rings so that people could make their own wine charm/dangley thing. This was good, as I was continually losing my wine glass, and asking people if they had seen a wine glass with a J on it.
People wrote about their outfits, and later in the evening we created a fashion show. I read out what they had written: what they were wearing and when the last time they wore it. Everyone hammed it up real well, and it was sort of an introduction for everyone, as we had people from different aspects our lives all together. I was impressed our basement suit held 20 people!
And then what's a party without charades? Bekah, we played that game you taught us at Christmas, it was actually requested.
All in all, it was a great time. Thanks for those of you who came and helped me celebrate the road to thirty.
It makes me wonder, what kind of flowers are nasty people? I wonder if that's an option in this quizz? Let's find out what the anti-Julia flower would be...
Kinda spiky.. figured that
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I'm really loving being at the high school on Mondays too. This past Monday I got to be in art classes in the morning. It was great to be able to walk around and talk with students, give them ideas for their projects, and get to know them a bit. The art teacher and I hit it off, and spent lunch drawing animal skulls for an example project for after spring break.
Ok, gotta go to work.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Have you ever had a dream come true? Not a day dream, or a "when you wish upon a star" -type dream, but a real, while asleep dream?
My sister's husband has applied, and is very much considered for a Youth Pastoring position on Vancouver Island. While they were still in the "we don't know if this is going to happen" stage, I had a dream that they were accepted, and they were looking for a house. The same night, I dreamed about people dressed up as crayons-like for Halloween. The next day we were at Ben's parent's house for a family dinner, and Ben's brother's girlfriend was saying how when they were little kids, they dressed up in crayons for Halloween. (and as they got older, they became the next colour up in size).
Flash back to YEARS ago-- I watched one of those mystic ghosts and dreams type shows, and this woman had dreamed about her daughter getting stung by a bee, and then she did. She also dreamed about something else that was way more important... and the dream about the bee was for her to pay attention to the second dream that was to come true. For some reason that always stuck with me, and now I was wondering.. did the crayon dream tell me that the dream about my sister's family moving was true?
Anyways, to what most of you want to know... BEN'S INTERVIEWS
He can re-write this later if he wants (he's at work right now). He had his University of Alberta interview on Friday. I drove him to the Abbotsford airport super early on Friday. He got a shuttle from the airport on that side to the school, had his interview. He said it went really well. He didn't endorse euthanasia like some other bloke who interviewed before him. He felt comfortable with the conversation style interview. They had this little square table, three sides of interviewers knocking knees with Ben. They asked a lot about his Japanese and Angola experiences. His friend Bruce lives in Edmonton, so they hung out, and Ben got to crash there for night, and he came home in the morning.
Sunday was the UBC interview, and I got to go with him. I hung out in the Lobby waiting, watching all these interviewees walking in with their mom's or dad's, or both. Thought it was a little funny to go to an interview with your parent, but hey. The interview was pretty much the same, except a larger table. They asked more about Ben's work with Autistic kids. I think they should have jumped up, and offered him a spot in UBC right then and there, but, alas, they didn't, and we have to wait until the middle of May to know anything more.
Oh, I also started school on Monday. I pretty much sat at the back of the class, and watched. I also got to hand out, and photocopy papers. I'm at Brookswood high school every Monday now. I'm really excited for this opportunity to learn from Lynie, who I met at Ten Thousand Villages. She's an amazing teacher, and you can tell that the students really respect her. My favourite quote of the day
"You are all ignorant. Luckily that's curable"
In response to the grade 11's who were trying to figure out what the cold war was about. They figured it was between the Americans and British, and had something to do with the Boston Tea Party. I had a good laugh at the back of the room. Precious.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
It's amazing how a little piece of paper in the mail, or an email in the inbox, can really brighten up one's day!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Ben has an interview at UBC in February!! We're super excited. We'd both love for him to get in to the medicine program at UBC. I've heard though that only 1 out of 3 interviewees get accepted, so, if you're in UBC Med, or if you WORK there, please comment and give Ben some advice for the interview. (If you're also an interviewee, apparently they love "alternative lifestyles" like goth or punk, and want you to really express your suppressed self during the interview. wink wink, nudge nudge)
The Bad News..
My Grandpa pass away on Monday, January 8. His last few days were at a hospice in Mission (which is such comfortable place, it was like a really, super nice hotel, and not hospitally at all) and he died in his sleep. He lived a solid, faith filled life. I've learned so much about him being around family these last two weeks. I wasn't as close to him as I'd have liked. I think because we spent our early childhood in Botswana, when we moved to Canada, we were used to not seeing them much, and didn't have that cuddly baby start with them. My other cousins were a lot closer with Grandpa and Grandma, and I'm jealous of their relationship. I know that Grandpa loves us, and when we miss a family event, always wonders where we are. Before we left for Japan, we went to IHOP with Grandma and Grandpa, and I asked them about their early times together, moving from Manitoba to BC. I think it was the first real adult conversation I had with them, just us and them. I think it was just before we left for Africa then we went for dinner with my parents, the grandparents, and Ben and I. Ben ordered a beer, and Grandma wanted one too, so we ordered one for her. She didn't really want it after that, so Grandpa drank it, and reveled in it a bit. It was so funny. My grandparents are very Mennonite in their ways, so to see them drink beer was just so, well, special is the word that comes to mind.
It's these kind of thoughts that allow us to celebrate his life, and not mourn his death. His funeral was really such a celebration of an amazing man-who loved his wife, his kids, and all the other people that came in their life-those who married in, and those who came around for a while and left. With 6 kids, 17 grandchildren and I don't know how many great grandchildren, It was a testimony to his legacy as 70 of us or so walked down the church aisle together, all of us a branch from his tree.
This got way longer than I expected.
Monday, January 15, 2007
- Ben has started supervising at the local community pool/centre. He's working Tuesday/Thursday evenings right now, and hopefully will get more shifts yet.
- I've been working out regularly at said local community pool/centre and feel really good. Can't say I've lost any weight yet, but I'm liking the routine, although it means I get up at 5:40 every morning.
- I've been driving my mom's car since she's stuck at home with a slipped disk in her back, and last Wednesday on my way to the pool after a night of snow, managed to slide into a fence while turning into the parking lot, denting the side and breaking the bumper.
- We've found a local bar that does karaoke, and had fun there last night with Jessie and Lars, who always manage to get called up to sing before me, and are always amazing. I always feel bad for the other people to have to listen to me sing after Jessie and Lars kick ass. Ben sang the Eagles "Desperado" which he does VERY well.
- We've had family over to see our new place. We've had people over a couple times a week, which means our place has been relatively clean on an ongoing basis. We're still trying to settle in the few last boxes. I feel like when we're finally going to be really in, it'll be time to move again.
- No news yet from prospective schools, medical or otherwise. But Ben is working on his final (cross the fingers) undergrad course, which only UBC requires, so hopefully it will pay off and we'll get to stay in Beautiful British Columbia.
- this picture is from when my sister and her family came for coffee, and the boys had a blast playing in the left over moving boxes:
- And this was our "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. We didn't want to bother getting a tree, but mom had a bunch of branches brought to her by a well-meaning friend. I took a bunch and we put them in a big vase. The ornaments didn't stay on the long needles, so light-less and ornament-less, besides some beads, we had a little greenery to celebrate with.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
We did a Bond photo scavenger hunt that Steve made up (who is a major Bond fan). There was an item from each Bond movie that we needed to find, like 2 grave stones with the same name- from You Only Live Twice, a picture with everyone playing poker-from Casino Royal, and that type of thing. We had to get a picture of a police officer, so we went to the Police Station and asked the receptionist if there was an officer with a good sense of humour that would take their picture with us.. and a young guy came out. We figure he was the rookie and got seniority pulled on him to go out. It was great fun. We also went to Newlands Golf and Country Club to get an ice sculpture picture, and the two other girls in our car and I walked in like we owned the place, looked around, and eventually asked where the ice sculpture was, and took our picture and left. We were dressed up so fancy, we felt like we belonged with all the other people there for their New Years parties (we didn’t really BLEND though, as we were 20 years younger than most of them). The rest of the evening was spent drinking Bond martinis and talking and playing charades.
We spent Christmas Day at Ben’s parent’s house. It’s so great to have two families that we love and enjoy being around. I know we are really lucky that both of us get along with the other’s family so well, not every has that. We had brunch, then opened gifts and relaxed. Ben’s Grandpa came for dinner, and we had a traditional turkey with all the trimmings. Our gift from Ben’s parents was helping us buy our digital camera that we took with us to
We had a wonderful Christmas. It was so nice to be home, doing traditional things. Last year Christmas Day we were travelling from Thailand to Cambodia, spending 2 hours in a taxi driving through country on pot holed roads in the heat. This Christmas Eve we spent with my family (Julia's). Since my mom is out-of-commissionish us girls had to take over the meal prep, but we still managed to have quite the spread! We opened gifts and chatted. Even the family pets were there, Bekah's cat and Beth's dog. Everyone has different things that makes Christmas feel like Christmas to them. For me, it's the fluffy apple pancake we have for breaksfast, and opening stockings and eating the little Babybell cheeses they put in. I guess eventually my parents will stop doing stockings for the grown up kids, but we still enjoy it. They still do Easter Egg hunts for us too... The oldest of us are in their 30's, and we still all hunt!