Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Good News and the Bad News

Want the Good News first?

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

new picture

Hey, what do you think of the new header picture?
Too much? Not enough?
It' s from one of the Angkor Wat temples in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

January Fun

We've come through the new year well. It's been two weeks and the following have changed/happened:
  • 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

The Name's Bond, Ben Bond

New Years was so much fun. Our friends planned a James Bond themed party, so all the guys dressed up as Bond, and all the girls were bond girls. I, of course, didn’t have such an outfit so on Saturday I went looking in Value Village and didn’t find anything, but across the street was a thrift dress store that had lots of beautiful dresses and jewelry. When I walked in the lady asked if she could help me find anything. I told her I needed a Bond Girl dress. She immediately went to one of the mannequins and started taking off the dress it was wearing. I was a gold, spaghetti strapped dress, so sexy, and it fit me perfectly! I also found a little black dress, a pair of shoes, and a matching gold purse, and WALA, a Bond girl outfit!

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.

Christmas Day

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 Africa, so we’ve been enjoying our gift for a while already, which has been so great.


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!