Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffettable knows nothing of the holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.


2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-maltscotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going toturn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!


3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point ofgravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.


4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk, or whole cream & butter. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.


5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?


6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and NewYear's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat ofeggnog.


7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.


8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? LaborDay?


9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with themandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, havesome standards.


10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the partyor get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.


Enjoy!

What Do You Think?

So for the last couple months, controversy has been swirling about the Golden Compass. Religious groups have been pushing school districts across North America to ban the book not only from reading lists but also from libraries in general. The pope has gotten involved from across the ocean. "Good" Christians are being encouraged to avoid the movie as it apparently pushes atheistic theology that would corrupt the minds of innocent youth and forever push them away from the truth of Christ.

Yes, I am being a little fecicous here. Truthfully, I'm tired of this kind of stuff playing out in the media. I'm tired of Christians pushing for boycott in areas that seem ridiculous. It seems to me that all this does is make Christians look bad...again. Frankly, I'm a little tired of it.

Last night on my way home I was listening to a podcast from Erwin McManus. He was teaching from the story one of the many sinners rejected by the religious leaders of the day and accepted by Jesus. One very poignant statement he made was that sinners of all kinds are safe with Jesus...always. I like that since I (gasp) fall into that category. The other question he asked, though, was this: why, as Christians, are we willing to throw the first stone and cast judgement? He sited examples of church 'stuff' that he's walked through, some of the public issues he's been confronted with as a leader of a large, North American church and just plain dealing with people scenerios that show that, yes, as Christians, people who are supposed to be loving and living in Jesus' example of safety for sinners are often the ones to cast the first proverbial stone.

Fast forward to watching the news. Sure enough, another newscast about the Golden Compass. Sure enough, more Christians saying the same thing. Now, I know this isn't new. In fact, it seems strangely remenicent of the reaction to another work of fantasty...can anyone say "Harry Potter?" My reaction, is the same.

Stop it!

There you have it. That's the shortened version however, given the chance, which I have right now, I might take it a little further.

Have you, dear critic, read the books or are you blindly making assumptions based on what you've heard someone say somewhere along the way and throwing your decision out into the public forum to not "make a difference?" Let me tell you, you certainly are but I'm guessing it's not the difference you were hoping for. I, for one, am more interested in reading the trilogy (yes, there are two more books for critics to get worked up over) than ever before. In fact, I might never have had any interest in either book or movie before all the media hype...and I guess I'm not the only one.

Furthermore, are we, and I lump the Church as a whole here representing all Christians in whatever camp, providing other viable alternatives? Really. We've had Narnia, yes, but realistically, are we providing alternate "acceptable" entertainment of the same quality and caliber to challenge the minds and imaginations of our youth and equally entertain the parents that will walk the journey with them? Here's my suggestion: rather than just complain and beg for censorship, how about we do something better?

Then I have to ask, since when are we giving up the educating of our children to someone else? Why is it that we fear the impact of books and/or movies so much? When the DaVinci code thing was brewing, I was asked by a friend why Christians were so upset and I honestly didn't have an answer. I don't know why. My take on it is that sometimes controversy is good. If we are doing our job teaching at whatever age group and whatever level, why should we be afraid? Aren't questions and controversy, then, just another opportunity to teach and guide, for Truth to be seen? Are we forgetting the inherent power of Truth? Man, this stuff gets me riled up. All these things that we find to cast judgement on, not just the work but the artist behind it in many cases, are fiction, friends, and should be treated as such. While there are truths and themes portrayed, please take heart in the fact that all Truth is God's Truth and the rest will pass away. Really.

I think at the core of it, though, is for me this idea of judgement. We talk alot about love and acceptance, about living the way that Jesus would (the guy who hung out with sinners of all kinds, by the way) and about grace. We even add in stuff about discipline, direction and teaching. I'm forced to ask, how do these situations of judgement and criticism reflect that nature of Christ? We can't expect those who don't believe in Christ to reflect his values and nature. We can't expect them to live by the same belief systems or reflect Him in their creative works. But we can hold that expection for ourselves. At least I think that's fair.

I don't know what Pullman's beliefs are or what sort of subversive message he was trying to portray. I do know that, according to several articles, this is what he said about his work and his "atheistic" views while hanging out with Letterman:

As for the atheism, it doesn’t matter to me whether people believe in God or not, so I’m not promoting anything of that sort. What I do care about is whether people are cruel or whether they’re kind, whether they act for democracy or for tyranny, whether they believe in open-minded enquiry or in shutting the freedom of thought and expression. Good things have been done in the name of religion, and so have bad things; and both good things and bad things have been done with no religion at all. What I care about is the good, wherever it comes from.

What do you think? Perhaps he has a point?

Now that my rant is just about over and my frustration level has lowered a bit, I hope that anyone reading this knows that my hope is not to cast judgement in kind. Instead, I hope to ask questions that encourage us to think about how we're representing the cause of Christ. I know that my opinion isn't the only one out there that matters, although sometimes that realization is a little bit of a hit on the ole' ego (ouch) so to finish it off, I'd like to throw out some comments by a writer for Relevant Magazine. She says:

I hope that all people (including myself) would want to be kind, to act for democracy, to be open-minded, and to feel encouraged to think and express themselves freely. I would of course also want them to love the Lord and develop a deep and long lasting relationship with Him. Christians, however, do not have a monopoly on good values. People do good things everyday. Not all of those people believe in God. Yet I believe that God is good and God is in all good things. I believe God can use people, even if they aren’t Christians, to further His Kingdom.

We should read books and watch movies that show what it means to be good and kind, to be brave and courageous and to love others without judging or condemning them. Therefore, I’d be more inclined to see movies like Harry Potter or The Golden Compass than I would some of the other movies that are released.

I also feel that if you want to encourage anyone’s imagination (especially a child’s), they should be allowed to see films like these regardless of if there is an underlying message or not. Children are not looking for religious or political undertones like adults are. They are looking for great films with a great story and cool special effects.

There is so much programming out there that really isn’t appropriate because of sex, violence, and language, so when a movie like this comes out we should get together and watch it, then discuss it afterwards; people should give it a chance. I, for, one am looking forward to seeing The Golden Compass.

There has been much debate as to whether the media influences culture or whether culture influences the media. I think it is both. This is the information age, and we as a society are constantly being inundated with images and messages—some good and some bad. So when there is good, as Phillip Pullman said, it shouldn’t matter where it comes from. Our God is good, and He has a hand in all things that are good. So when we see or hear messages of love, kindness and freedom, we should embrace them and encourage others to do the same.

Okay, so maybe our views aren't that different...she just says it better.

Now after all that, what do you think? I'm off to see if I can find part of the book online to start reading!

Looking for a gift for a Roughrider Fan?

Then check this out...

REGINA - If you want to celebrate the Saskatchewan Roughriders' Grey Cup win, now there's a special way to do it.
Wiser's unveiled a small batch of whisky on Thursday commemorating the Regina team's victory.
The green-and-gold limited edition, collectable label will only be available on 750 mL bottles of Wiser's Reserve sold in Saskatchewan, and ony 4,000 bottles have been produced.
"Wiser's has been a long-time supporter of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and this is our chance to share in the celebration of the team's recent Grey Cup win," said Roy DaCosta of Corby Distilleries.
"Wiser's Reserve Canadian Whisky is made in small batches in the tradition of a special blend that J.P. Wiser reserved for his close family and friends. It is only fitting then, that we release this limited quantity of Wiser's Reserve in a keepsake bottle to share with our friends and fellow Roughriders fans across the province of Saskatchewan."
The bottles will sell for $26.95.

*from http://www.cbc.ca/cp/Oddities/071220/K122013AU.html

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Welcome to Our World!



Christmas came early to the Tischer house...in two's! Congrats to my dear friends, Neal and Tina, on the arrival of their healthy twins, a bouncing baby girl and boy, Hailey and Colby. Can't wait to meet them!

Monday, December 03, 2007

CHRISTMAS CAKE RECIPE



You'll need the following:

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
4 large brown eggs
2 cups of dried fruit
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
Nuts
1 bottle of rum

Sample the rum to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the rum
again. To be sure it's the highest quality, pour one level cup and
drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a
large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again. Make sure
the rum is still OK. Cry another tup. Tune up the mixer. Beat two
leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on
the turner. If the fired druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it
goose with a drewscriver. Sample the rum to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the rum.
Now sift the lemon juice and strain the nuts. Add one table. Spoon the
sugar or something. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the
cake tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw
the bowl out of the window. Check the rum again and go to bed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today's Comic

I'll be Home For Christmas...I am, I am!

Yes, I'm home, sweet home again and, considering the weather I was greeted by, a title like "I'll be Home For Christmas" somehow seems fitting. Exhausted and only slightly battered and bruised (suitcases and bus aisles did a number on me!), it's good to be home. Looking back over my blog, I realize I didn't really keep up my part of the bargain in the blog update department. Let's see if I can redeem myself a little bit.

Now, where did I leave off? Belleville, Ontario. From there we carried on to a few more Ontario cities. It was a great run, finishing in Ottawa. I was reminded again how much I love Ottawa. It's such a beautiful city with such a different pace, even if it is the home of all of our politicians! We had a little bit of time so we wandered Parliament Hill. A bunch of us decided it was time to go for a tour of Parliament itself. Government was in session so we couldn't see all of it but it was still a fun adventure...the cynicism of the western Canadians in the crowd was barely contained...barely.

The Ottawa event was the last event for a bunch of our recruiters so goodbye's were also a part of the day. We had a pretty good laugh at our wrap up meeting as Robert retold of his adventures from earlier that evening in the cab he caught after he was left behind by the bus. Still feel bad about leaving him behind but we had to go...sorry, Robert! He was so good about it and had us all in stitches as he told his story. I don't know if it was so much the story or how he told it. So funny.

Next morning, the remainder of us were off to Montreal. It's probably not fair to say we were in Montreal since that would lead people to believe that we actually experienced Montreal. We didn't, really, although some of us were able to get a taste of real Montreal Smoked Meat and poutine. What more can you ask for? The event was great, too. Longer than any of our others but pleasantly surprising. It was the first time the CCUFairs had been in Quebec at all. Like a lot of other things, Quebec has it's own spin on the education system so we weren't really sure how we would be received. Our host, Jack Bauer (yes, that was his real name), had done a lot to make sure that it was good for everyone. I look forward to working with him again.

Then we had a big ole' driving day. Montreal to Fredericton. Who knew our country was so darn big!? It was a full day but, like our Montreal event, pleasantly surprising. My favorite part was for sure the camaraderie that we experienced...even with only 14 of us spread throughout a coach bus. I think it helped that our number was smaller. Oh, and the stop where no one in the town spoke English other than us was probably helpful to. I managed to get my order right at Tim Horton's mostly in French! There were movies, pictures, conversations, jokes, laughter and even some sleep. We hit a big snowstorm on the way but, as we expected, Wib, our driver was a genius. If we hadn't been looking out the window to see the beautiful winter wonderland (or treacherous roads, depending on your perspective), we never would have known!

Now, on to the maritimes.So excited! First impressions? Things to note?
  • Fredericton and Moncton were much smaller centers than I had expected seeing that they are major centers.
  • Our hotel in Moncton was fantastic! The Crystal Palace, complete with an Amusement Park, a themed pool, and a Chapters and Starbucks. To Tim's disappointment, the amusement park was closed but a few of us did get to take advantage of the video games. Definitely a highlight. Thanks, guys! And yes, having Starbucks in the hotel was not half bad...even if I did end up with a gingerbread latte minus the gingerbread.
  • The people. It really is a different feel in the Maritimes! All of our hosts at the different venues were fantastic and friendly people. If they are any indication of the type of people in that part of the country, it is definitely a good place to live and grow up!
  • Seafood. I've eaten so much seafood in the last couple weeks (and enjoyed it) and I don't even like fish! Scallops, lobster, shrimp, salmon, haddock, mussels....mmmmm....
  • Having the opportunity to see some of the sights of a part of the country I'd never been to:
    • Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick side
    • Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick
    • Magnetic Hill, New Brunswick...blows my mind, really!
    • Confederation Bridge, PEI - 13 km of bridge over ocean. Pretty incredible!
    • Cavendish, PEI
    • The ocean side cliffs in PEI with their beautiful red rocks...nearly lost Lane to the tide! Yikes.
    • Anne of Green Gables Provincial Park, PEI
    • Confederation House, PEI - I've stood in Canada's birthplace...so great!
  • Open mic night in Charlottetown, PEI. My friend's Tim and Shelly gave to peer pressure and shared their talents...and they are talented. It was pretty incredible. The locals wanted an encore even! Thanks guys!
I feel like I must be forgetting so much. It was just such a good trip in so many ways. Sure, numbers at some of the venues were not what we might have wanted but I think we can be thankful for the people that came, the conversations we had and the way that God will use the seeds we had the opportunity to plant.

It's been good for me too. I feel like, in many ways, it was the mirror that I needed to see some truths about myself and the talents I have. One of the personal highlights for me was the presenting that I did. It gave me the opportunity to find something surprising about myself. I love to speak. Not just talk. We knew that before. I'm a talker. I get that. I just had no idea how much I would enjoy that level of public speaking. My last presentation was at a Christian high school an was easily the most intimidating as all the reps were there for the first time. I was so nervous! It was, however, one of the presentations I'm most proud of. It was like the nerves fed me a little, actually. I kept somewhere around 70 grade 9-12 students engaged as I presented on college and finances for nearly 40 minutes. That's not an easy feat, I decided! And it was fun! Just one of many personal surprises along the way!

I learned a lot about community too. I guess you can't avoid it when you spend that long with the same people, basically doing life together 24/7. The trick will be figuring out how to find a way to live more 'in community' now that I'm home.

To finish off,I took advantage of being in a new part of the country and had a little sightseeing adventure. Sean and Cheryl met me in Halifax and we spent a couple extra days exploring. We decided we were not the average tourists! We ended up in all sorts of funny places, walked tons of the city and, we think, really experienced the city. It was fabulous. I could probably go on for hours but I won't. Frankly, I applaud you if you're still reading this novella I'm penning! Here's a point form itinerary of our adventures:

Wednesday
- foot ferry across the harbour
- pier 21
- garrison beer
- harbour walk
- The citadel
- found our hotel (no left turns, it seems, are allowed when driving in Halifax!)
- McKelvies delicious fishes dishes (supper). Isn't that a fun name!?

Thursday
- Peggy’s Cove
- Mahone Bay
- Lunnenberg...home of the Bluenose II, replica of the beauty on our dime.
- Beautiful drive!
- Tug’s pub (snack), where we got a heads up on all sorts of places to find traditional maritimer music in the evenings.

Friday
- wander city streets
- Freak Lunchbox, a super fun candy shop. Like a walk through my childhood!
- Rum Shop/Sugars on the water
- Chocolate shop…to make 3 candy shops by lunchtime!
- Economy Shoe Shop (lunch)
- Salty’s (supper)
- Lower Deck – Signal Hill, an up and coming maritimer band played. They were fantastic!

Saturday
- Saturday farmer's market - NA's oldest farmer's market
- Keith’s brewery
- Spring Garden Road
- Rogue’s Roost (supper)
- Lighting of the Christmas tree, complete with fireworks, in front of city hall...apparently a big deal in Halifax!

Sunday
- Victorian Christmas at the Citadel
- Spring garden road pt. 2
- Public gardens
- Maritime Museum
- Walk the McDonald Bridge from Halifax to Dartmouth and back
- 2nd half of greycup game – Saskatchewan!? While I was hoping for such an outcome, it leaves me with one question: has hell frozen over too?
- Triangle (pub for supper)
o Live music by the Wingnuts, a fun pair of maritimer musicians
- Halifax Alehouse (lunch), decked out exactly like you would expect an alehouse should be

Monday
- massages at a spa on Spring Garden Road for Cheryl and I
- wandering through the Ship yards
- Pointe Pleasant Park
- some last minute stops in downtown Halifax
- Bubbles eatery (drinks) - creepy sign had my attention all week. turns out it's the pub owned by the guy who plays Bubbles in the Trailer Park Boys
- Halifax Alehouse (supper) - a great group was just finishing as we walked in. Must have been some Christmas party before we got there that had them hired...a little disappointing they didn't stay on. They were great.

Tuesday
- up bright and early to fly home...

Add hot tubs, photo opps and lots of good conversation into that and you've got our trip. I'm really glad we took the opportunity and that Sean and Cheryl could join me. Adventures like that are much more fun with friends!

So there you have it. 1 1/2 months. Coast to Coast. 2 countries (did I ever write about my Chicago visit?). All but one of Canada's fine provinces. 6 out of 6 1/2 time zones. Lots of fun. Lots of learning.

*You can find pictures of the adventures at my shutterfly sight: www.spareparts.shutterfly.com

Current Read

The Memory Keeper's DaughterThe Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Beautiful Belleville

*written on Nov. 14, 2007...but again, sketchy internet access means it's being posted today...oh well.

The sun is shining in Belleville. What a treat. It's been rainy, cold and grey for days. It's amazing to me how much a little sunshine can affect a personality...or at least my personality!

That said, today was probably my first real meltdown of the trip. Grumpy, grumpy. I wanted to go home, I didn't want to do another presentation, I didn't want another hotel room and I didn't want another restaurant meal! I think the big thing was the presentations - that's what set me off. I got into my presentations and couldn't remember what I'd said to what group. Had I included the stuff about loans to this group or was that yesterday? How many times have I said the exact same thing!? I mean, I've become okay with the fact that I don't have a clue what day it is or what city I'm in but this seemed much more internal and, I felt, like it really did affect my actual job performance. I felt like it's getting worse not better. The perfectionist in me just can't handle that! I know I'm just cracking up - a little bit of momentary grumpiness that I need to vent about - but today I'm just ready to be done. Guess I needed to vent a bit.

Only 33 more presentations to go...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New tunes...

Thanks, Stephen! You're right, this guy's great!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another day, another dollar...wait, I mean, another fair

Today was another day. Go figure. I guess I'm just not feeling all that profound.

We spent the morning and early afternoon in the heart of Toronto. Kisses at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Lunch at the Richtree Market (a personal favorite!). A foggy view of the CN Tower. Christmas displays. Pouring rain. So much, in fact, that the Vancouverites among us felt right at home! Pictures. Laughter. And, of course, a stop at Starbucks. Mmmm...can't get enough of those no fat, extra hot gingerbread lattes!

Our evening event was in Ajax. I don't think we've been there before. The building was fantastic and the people were friendly. People were really engaged through my presentations today which always makes it fun. I made another lady cry today. Seriously, I don't know how that happens but some of the reps are starting to take bets on how many I can get in one night! They've also taken to asking questions (otherwise known as quizzing) folks on their way out to see what they've learned. Apparently, today, there were a couple of young boys that decided that I was one hot presenter and were more than happy to share that fact with the guys I'm traveling with! Hopefully they learned something useful too!

So there you have it. Another day that has left me thankful for my pajamas!

Time for bed. Good night!

Good news, Oiler fans...

Pisani skated today!

Sunday in Barrie

Remembrance Day. Sunday. It started with a rare treat for a recruiter on the road: a chance to go to church! We were at Emmanuel Baptist in Barrie. It was so refreshing to be in church. I was reminded of the power of community. Plus, it was just fun to watch how another faith community functions. People are friendly. They welcome visitors (although we did stand out since there was a bus load of us and we had all of our displays up). I don't think I've seen that many suits in church since going to Christmas Eve service with my grandparents at the German church they attend. One thing we all noticed was that the worship team was all women except for the organist and bass player. 4 vocalists, a drummer, piano...all women. Made me smile to myself. The guy that did announcements was able to make announcements fun! The pastor seemed a little over the top to me but it was a good message. They have a great little cafe with coffee and danishes that we all enjoyed.

We were there for the evening session as well. I did my seminars in their youth room. It was such a fantastic space. I got talking with one of the dads from that church and was encouraged to hear how much they recognize that the space is a blessing...that they are blessed to be a blessing to the community.

All in all, I think Barrie was a good event for everyone. Lots of people came through from all over with lots of good questions. I was pretty on the ball with my seminars even though there was a soccer game going on right next door that would occasionally come through the side door right into our room. If I wasn't wearing heels, I might have played right along to scoot them back to their side of the wall.

Finished off the day with great conversation in the hot tub with a couple of my recruiter friends. This, to me, is the highlight of what I do...yes, the hot tub, but more than that, the great conversations. Sharing life together, both the good and the bad, and hearing what God is doing in each of their lives.

Ah the life of an admissions professional...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Now announcing...

One of my favorite things about the actual fair events at the venues (translation meaning other than the people and the fun of traveling with great recruiters) is the variety of ways that my seminars have been introduced. I've had friendly shouting between two of my favorite reps (thanks Tim and Rob). There's been a Japanese introduction...followed by it's English translation fortunately. Words like "inspiring" and "stimulating" have been used which is always a little intimidating. You should really only set people's expectations so high!

Today's, however, takes the cake. Tim picks up the mic and says "hello." He must have startled someone because he followed that up by saying "don't be scared. This is not God speaking. It's Tim and I'm over here in the corner. I just wanted to let you know about a seminar..."

How do you follow that?

I remember!


So I have to confess that I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about war and our country's participation in war endeavors like Afghanistan but I do know how I feel about peace and living in a country of relative peace. Thankful. Because of that, today I pause to remember those who have sacrificed so much, in many cases their very lives, so that today we can experience that peace. Thank you.

Something to Smile About


Sometimes it doesn't matter how far down in the standings your team is. One win can make it all seem better. Yes, as an Edmonton fan, all it takes is to beat the rivals, those pesky Flames!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Current Read

Click for larger image.
How to Be a Canadian (Even if You Already Are One), Will and Ian Ferguson

Stuffed in Barrie, Ontario

Stuffed. That’s how I feel. Not even that relaxed and satisfied full but stuffed. We finished off our day by visiting a buffet and I was reminded why I don’t typically do buffets anymore. Too much food. Why is it that at a buffet you feel like you have to eat more than you normally would? Is it to make up for the cost per person or something? Anyway, my current condition is stuffed in Barrie, Ontario.

Besides that, the last couple of days have been fairly uneventful. Lots of fairs, lots of students and parents to meet, lots of seminars to give, lots of miles to cover, lots of lugging suitcases. The adventures continue.

We made a stop at Niagra falls a couple of days ago. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I’m here, I never tire of the falls! It was fun this year, too, because there were a few with us that have never seen the falls! I love experiencing first times with people. There’s such a sense of freshness about it.

The reason we were in Niagra was because of an event at Niagra Christian Collegiate for our first stop on the eastern fairs. My first presentation back was to the grade 11 and 12’s in their chapel. As I stood at the front, I realized it was mostly international students and I heard a cacophony of languages I couldn’t understand. I wonder if they could really understand me!? About halfway through the presentation, of which I was, at that point, feeling pretty good about, I noticed that several of the international students had fallen asleep. One in particular was enjoying something close to a deep REM sleep, I’m sure, and let me just say, he was a snorer! Sawing logs, as my papa would say! So bad, in fact, that the guidance counselor came up to me after to apologize, “Don’t worry, dear, it wasn’t you. The international students always fall asleep in the chapel. I think it’s something about the room.” And here I thought it was me.

Each day has been eventful in it’s own way. Numbers at the fairs themselves have been up compared to the western fairs which has everyone feeling better. I think everyone has had positive conversations with students and are feeling like so far this is a worthwhile endeavor. In some cases, work really has been what’s been making our days eventful! In other cases, though, it’s the traveling companions. Not Stephen Redekop “I dropped my pants’ eventful but there are some funny people on our bus! I’m learning to love each one of them dearly!

I’ve been having a blast with Julie, the director and my roommate, again. It’s been such a blessing to share this season of life with her! We have the same sense of humor and enjoy so many of the same things! One of the guys pointed out yesterday that he’s amazed that we don’t get sick of each other. I can’t imagine that! In fact, I don’t know what I’m going to do when the fairs are over and I don’t spend basically 24/7 with Julie. I’m seriously going to go into withdrawal! I think I’m going to feel that way about several of the people I’ve been doing life with over the last couple of weeks.

To finish off today’s post, let me leave you with a joke that Julie shared with me this morning…

So there were these two brooms and they decided to get married. A bride broom and a groom broom. They were happy together. On their wedding night, the bride broom looked at the groom broom and said, “I think we’re going to have a baby wisk broom soon.” Aghast, the groom broom said to the bride broom, “how’s that possible? We haven’t even swept together!?”

Groan!

I know. It’s time for bed! Night.

Thank You St. Arbucks!

Gingerbread lattes and Christmas cups are here!

It's like this is the sign that Christmas is coming!

Sure Macys, Nordstroms, and all the other major stores in Chicago were decked out for Christmas, sure there were radio stations playing Christmas music when I was there, sure there's been snow on the ground but this, this is the sign that Christmas is coming.

Time for Christmas music on iTunes!

Oh, how I love Christmas. Thank you Starbucks for letting it be okay!

South of the Border...

*due to incredibly sketchy internet access over the last couple days, this is a post from Nov. 5 but copied, pasted and posted today!

I’m sitting in a small cafĂ© that Katie has always talked about, Caribou Coffee. It’s got this quaint log cabin feel, the baristas are friendly and the coffee is good. It has to be. It’s not my first visit to Caribou AND I passed a Starbucks to get here! Plus, it's fair trade!

Just reflecting on what I’ve done since the last time I wrote. Yesterday, for one of Katie’s classes, we went into inner city Chicago to attend Sunday morning services at a Black Charismatic Catholic Church; St. Sabina Church. If it seems, as you read it, like that would be a fascinating combination, let me just assure you that you’re right. It is. I wanted to absorb it all but honestly it felt like trying to take a drink of water from a fire hose on full blast right from the minute we walked in the door. The church meets in massive stone cathedral that stood in stark contrast with the community it was in and yet somehow felt like it was in exactly the right place. It was fantastic. I couldn’t help but wish that I had my camera as I gawked at the stained glass windows, beautifully carved statues and intricate carvings adorning the walls. What was fascinating to me was how it had been “updated” to fit the community meeting in it. A unique melding of old and new. On the carved pillars at the corners of the sanctuary, speakers had been mounted and covered. There was not a crucifix in sight. Instead, there was a massive mural of a black Jesus being released from the hands of heaven. We knew it was Jesus because of the halo surrounding his Afro. It’s also the first church I’ve ever been in that has Jesus’ name up in neon lights! Seriously, I wish it had been appropriate to take pictures!

What I was impressed by was the amount of energy and passion the people brought. In some ways, it was exactly what I expected at a black church (thanks to Hollywood’s rendering in many a movie).

The music was incredible! An incredible choir. Worship band that would put a lot of secular bands to shame, fully pieced out with a trumpet, saxophone, drummer, percussionist, electric guitar player, keyboard player, vocalist and one of the most incredible bass players I’ve ever heard. It was such an interesting blend of R&B and the electric jazz that Chicago is famous for. It was so refreshing to hear music of that quality in the church!

I can’t forget to mention the dancers. Fully choreographed, they danced for at least an hour at the start of the service and from the alter call on, right until we left. I can’t imagine bringing that much energy to church. I have trouble getting out of bed. A mix, in my mind, of tae boe aerobics and interpretive dance. They definitely got their work out! I couldn’t help but think that most people I know would set aside time and pay big money for a work out like that where all these folks did was bring what they had to church to use as part of their worship. Right or wrong, I don’t know. Just different.

The preacher, too, was in many ways like the stereotype would require except (and here was the real surprise) he was white. Passionate and electrifying, he definitely knew how to bring excitement to Sunday morning. He expounded, for at least an hour, on the story of Zaccheus, the role of the Church and how Jesus is “on the move.” I have to admit that I missed some of what he said simply because I was distracted by the sheer intensity of it…and he “puts on a show” like that every week! I can’t image.

What else? Oh yes, the alter call. Like I said, it was a charismatic catholic church. I couldn’t, for the life of me, have expected how the two would be merged. They’ve found a way to make a home for liturgy in their mornings. It’s a beautiful addition. On the other hand, I observed an alter call that ended with people being slain in the spirit (at the extreme end). The charismatic side of it was also reflected in the way people…um… interacted with what was happening from the front. Lots of “hallelujahs” and “preach it pastor!” My favorite was this little lady sitting behind me who shouted at the top of her lungs and range through most of the service. I was convinced she was going to lose her voice it was so strained! She killed me, really. At one point, the pastor was talking about how if the church just does it’s own thing and takes care of itself it becomes inscestual. Completely caught up in the act of repetition, she burst out, “That’s right, pastor. Incest!” I nearly fell off my chair!

Oh man!

We talked after the service about how most of us there would describe ourselves as so much more reserved. If I took one thing away from that experience, it would be that that’s okay. I was reminded again of the beauty of the diversity found in the Kingdom. How we are all created differently and how our worship of the One true King reflects that. That we serve a living God who meets us where we’re at and rejoices how He’s created us.

That said, I couldn’t help but wonder if there is stuff that we could learn from each other. I wonder if there is room in the churches I know of to be more uninhibited in our worship, more unashamed in our devotion, and more unapologetic in our approach to the cross. On the other hand, I wonder what the role of silence and solitude would be in a church like this. How does that sort of intensity and passion continue through the week? How do you keep that sort of “show” from becoming a “show?” How does it stay genuine? These are some of the questions I couldn’t help but ask.

All in all, if I wanted a cultural “Chicago” experience, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I got one right there!

Today, Katie had class and some meetings so I spent a lot of the day wandering the Wheaton College and Seminary campus. So different from what I am used to!

Found out there's a lot of pretty influential alumni from Wheaton; Billy Graham (for whom they have a museum built on campus) and his wife, Rob Bell and Shane Claiborne to name a few. Wandered through the Billy Graham Evangelism museum. It's a pretty interesting experience. A general section on the history of evangelism in North America and then a wing on Billy Graham, his ministry and his family. I couldn't help but wonder what he thinks about that!

There's also a museum dedicated to the work of C.S.Lewis, Tolkien and the rest of the Inklings crowd. Apparently it's one of the biggest collections in North America. Something to do with a 1940's scholar and professor at Wheaton who took interest in the work of the guys! Pretty neat stuff. In addition to letters and other writings, they have the original desk that C.S.Lewis wrote on, the desk that Tolkien wrote the Hobbit at and (and this was my favorite), the wardrobe that influenced the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe! There were even fur coats hanging in it. I wanted to get in and see what was on the other side! It felt that magical. Really!

Anyway, now I'm taking a little bit of time to relax before I head back north of the border to join the Fairs in Toronto. It's going to be an exhausting stretch so I'm glad to have some time to relax now.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Current Read...




The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kid

All the way from Wheaton, Illinois...

So I promised that this time on the road I'd be a better blogger so here goes.

My travel day was, well, long but I arrived safe and sound. My first flight (Calgary to Toronto) was early and uneventful. So uneventful, in fact, that I managed to snooze on the plane. Even with all the travel I've done in the last 8 years or so, this is a nearly impossible feat so, yes, I'm quite proud of myself. Toronto to Chicago was a little more entertaining. First, there was getting from one end of the airport in TO to the other. Crazy that no one in that airport speaks English...come on people! Then the Air Canada attendant - the one who simply spends her life checking boarding passes and only the first of many I would meet that afternoon - told me I was overweight. That's how she put it. I wanted to be a smarty pants and point out that of all people, I am probably not one she should be describing that way lest she send me over the brink to becoming anorexic (not that there's anything to worry about...promise) but decided that maybe I would just chuckle to myself. I didn't get the impression she'd find it very funny and I didn't think that I wanted any delays to a)getting rid of my overweight bags and b) finding my way through customs. Missing my plane didn't seem like it would be worth it. But then again, sometimes life is just way to serious....
After what seemed like 6 more lines through the Air Canada process, customs turned out to be a breeze and I was back on my way.

It's been forever since I've flown AC. West Jet typically is my carrier of choice. Just a few thoughts on the service:

+ Air Canada beverage service includes the whole can of whatever beverage you choose. Not just a tiny plastic dixie cup. 1 can = 3 little cups.

- No little snacks or cookies. You can drink all you want but bring your own food or be prepared to pay!

- Air Canada attendants are not nearly as friendly or cheerful. Perhaps they're overworked...definitely no jokes from the crew on arrival!

- No adjustable "pillows" on the seats backs.

+ Gets you from point A to point B...and isn't that the point?

Rode the plane from TO to Chicago with a bunch of hockey parents and their kids, all heading for a big international tournament in Chicago. What a fun experience for the kids! They were all, parents included, so excited that it was no problem striking up conversation. The ride was over super fast and we were there...Chicago!

First thing I noticed...green grass everywhere. Saw that from the plane. What a beautiful sight after all the brown (and white!!) at home. Second thing about Chicago...they use their horns all the time. It's ridiculous. Here's my thoughts on this one, people: if you're on a freeway with hundreds of other cars and you honk your horn, how on earth do they know who you're "talking" to and what the heck you're trying to get across. Really!? Third thing...the freeways go everywhere. Truthfully, the infrasctructure has been something to see. The freeway into downtown Chicago just runs right into the lake. That's it. No more freeway. Coming out of O'Hare, I saw a bridge over the freeway for airplanes. Down town, there's layer over layer of transportation - road, pedestrian bridge, train on top of that. Sometimes that's even all on a bridge so that there's boat travel underneath! Pretty incredible!

Favorite thing about Illinois: hanging out with Katie! So great to see her again!!! It feels like she's been here (away from home) a lot longer than 3 months but I'm pretty proud of her for being willing and able to make the move here to do something she loves! Plus, gives me a chance to visit!

Saw the tallest building in North America - the Sears Tower - yesterday. It's so tall. Yes, I know, the understatement of the century! We were by the John Hancock tower - something like 98 stories and only slightly smaller than the Sears Tower - and I couldn't help but feel small and helpless. Katie and I talked about what it would be like to work in a building like that which turned into a conversation about 9-11. The Hancock is only slightly shorter than the twin towers were (and the Sears tower seems almost twice it's height!). Sitting at the base of this one gave me a chance to put that into perspective, perhaps for the first time. Can you imagine what it would be like to be on the ground and have that much building come tumbling down? What would it have been like to be up at the top when it happened? They really didn't stand a chance! You don't just "take the stairs" in that scenerio.

Other downtown Chicago highlights? Taking tons of great pictures in a very picturesque city. It's such an incredible combination of new and old. Churches, highrises, and a well endowed silver moose! The state bridge and the Wrigley building. Some incredible churches. The "bean" was an exceptional photographic treat! There's a well known popcorn shop that's apparently a tourist attraction in itself so of course we had to stop. I was pleased to share a bag of the best caramel corn ever with Katie. I wonder if the recipe is online? Trying to win tickets to see Wicked on Chicago's broadway. No luck. Maybe it will come to Calgary...

There's so much to see downtown Chicago that I don't think we even really scraped below the surface but it was a pretty cool day anyway. Convinced that we walked miles, we came home exhausted but satisified.

Today was Oak Park, a city just outside of Chicago. It's this quaint little town that's, again, very picturesque and the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway. There's this little inn called "The Write Place" and bookstores gallore. Guess who was a happy woman!? I could honestly wander in bookstores all day. Fortunatly Katie played along. Had a beautiful coffee at one of Katie's favorite: Caribou Coffee. So good! Did a little shopping since it seems that I'd forgotten how to pack in the short week that I was home...forgot to pack stuff with long sleeves. Seem to have forgotten what November in Canada can be like. Oops.

Back to Wheaton for some REAL chicago deep dish pizza for supper and let me tell you, I don't think we know what we're talking about back home when we talk about Chicago Deep dish pizza...you know, the company with the bright yellow logo and square box? I love my pizza and this was right up there as the best (I'm noticing a "food" theme here already)! So much crust but not greesy or gross. it's like a combination between pizza crust and pie crust. So tasty and flaky! So good! There's two layers of it too...with the cheese and toppings in the middle. Then the sauce is on top. so good!

For the rest of the evening, it will be relaxing back at the dorm. Katie's on duty tonight. Perhaps an episode of the Office is in order (Katie and her friends - who are incredible, by the way- are just getting into Season 3. It's been so fun watching episodes I've already seen with them and watching their reactions!).

So yes, I am enjoying my time here...few more days to go!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What's in a name?

I was reading the paper - the real life section, one of my favorites - when I came on an article about children's author R.L.Stein. Next to the article was a photo. Now, imagine my surprise when it was a photo of man considering for a lot of years I've assumed that said author was a woman!

You know what happens when you assume...

Somehow that name for me was always associated with a woman.

It got me thinking about names, though, especially since several of my friends have recently had babies for which they were choosing names.

What is in a name?

People agonize over what to name their children. Not only do they want to find a name that sounds good but one that is fitting for their child. Once the deed is done, people will make judgment calls like "oh that name is so fitting," "i wouldn't have guessed you to be an Albert" or "she doesn't look like a Mary" as if the name itself carries some sort of, well, something. There's all sorts of books written on the historical background of names, characteristics tied with certain names, Bible verses names are tied to and the astrological meaning of names based on the number of letters they contain. Okay, I made the last one up, but you get my point.

I do think that there is something to this whole name thing I just don't know what.

Biblically, names were quite significant. Names were very carefully chosen and a change of names often followed some sort of significant life event. I guess what I'm wondering is if some of that significance is carried into our current names, even if we might not be fully aware of it.

Is there power or significance in a name?

Do I come to "fit" my name or does it "fit" me?

Other than being the handle by which I will be known by for the rest of my life, what is the significance of a name?

I'm pretty attached to mine. I guess I'm just wondering.

Another good quote

“This is the true joy of life; the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of Nature rather than a feverish selfish little cloud of ailments complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” – George Bernard Shaw

As I navigate through this time of life I've "lovingly" nicknamed "my transition" (of which I know this will not be the last), one thing that rings true is this: I want to live life intentionally, choosing to live each day out of my God-given strengths and abilities not simply for my own gain but for a higher purpose, for something that truly matters.

What I "do," then, becomes merely a reflection of who I am and who I'm becoming as an adopted, cherished daughter of the King.

I do not want to live for what society deems as success or to gain all the goods of this world even though sometimes it's incredibly tempting. I want to live to experience the abundance that is promised to those who live as Christ. To find joy, purpose and meaning in life is of critical importance to me. To be able to find the subtle treasures in life and live in awareness of the moment is, in my mind, where joy and purpose are found.

I want to make a difference in this world because I am different.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lessons from St. Arbucks

"In a world where celebrity equals talent, and where make-believe is called reality, it is most important to have real love, truth and stability in your life."

- Bernie Brillstein, Film and television producer

This was the quote on my Starbucks cup tonight. As I live this transition that I'm in, these things - love, truth and stability - have become things that I not only am clinging to but am craving in new ways. As I sat at Starbucks with fabulous friends, sipping my tea and listening to the conversation, I was reminded again how blessed I am to be a part of the community of friends I am a part of. I know I've said it before but I know that God has brought them into my life at this time for a reason. They are just as much a part of this transition as I am. God's provision in advance, providing me with some of the love, truth and stability that I'm craving as I maneuver through this confused world.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Dash...

My friend, Steve, is preaching a sermon series at his church called "My Dash." The background to the whole series is one thought: on our gravestone is our birth date and the date of our death. In between the two is a dash to summarize all of our years. What will your dash mean?

Follow his journey of scripture and quotes here.
Join his community of faith in listening to his sermons here.
“This is our predicament. Over and over again, we lose sight of what is important and what isn’t.”
– Epictetus

Current Read

The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of TemptationThe Devil and Miss Prym

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Things I will remember from the CCUFairs-West:

  • hours of laughter at the front of the bus
  • sharing in many episodes of The Office
  • Patty's love of Denny's
  • So many Sandman hotels
  • Stephen Haineault's pink camera purchase
  • finding out that Saskatoon DOES shine!
  • Dan Donkers
  • "fergilicous" lunch in Fernie, BC
  • being reminded of the beauty and diversity of our country
  • Sunrise on the Ferry
  • Fun with photo booth on my mac
  • church on the bus
  • the Easter Egg hunt in Vegreville...I found it!
  • night time (and day time!) nuttiness with Julie
  • making each presentation better than the last
  • one great game of flip-flop keep away under a full moon
  • late night walk of the harbor in Victoria with Stephen, Clint, and Patty
  • our great bus driver, Derick
  • Clint and Patty's banter
  • playing McDonald's monopoly
  • not being a recruiter
  • great conversations with old and new friends
  • presenting in the 15000 seat auditorium at PA
  • speed bumps in the hotel...why!!??
  • being free to say exactly what's on my mind, sometimes speaking before my mind caught up!
  • "You could be a butt double!"
  • dining in a water tower
  • lots of reason and opportunity to play with my camera and hone my skills
  • Bumpy's - a new coffee shop for me to visit in Calgary brought to my attention by my friend Ryan...from Saskatchewan...go figure
  • being in locations that gave me the opportunity to connect with good friends - Duncan, Leann, Kelly (and meeting Logan!), Brian

12 days, 13 cities, 14 events.

So many great moments that all you get is a bullet point list. If you're looking for more than that, a few of my friends - Dunn, Sheryl, Tim, and Stephen - kept detailed accounts of the happenings of our trip. I'll try to do better next time!

Home, Sweet Home

I'm home and, yes, it is sweet.

I know, I should be sleeping, but, alas, instead I'm reflecting on the journey I've been on for the last couple weeks.

I was blessed to be warmly welcomed today by three of my favorite people (thanks guys) - Sean, Cheryl, and Brad - and then got to spend some time catching up over tea. It's amazing how much you can miss in two weeks but such a gift to know that time is really only time...and two weeks is short in the grand scheme of things...it didn't really feel like I'd been gone and I like that.

It's funny, though, to be back in my community, back with people that I love and am loved by, and feel a strange sensation of detachment. As much as it feels like no time has passed, I know there were two weeks that did. Those two weeks feel like an entirely different world, a time warp of sorts. If I didn't know for sure that they did, in fact, happen, I might be convinced that it was all a dream, an odd, intense dream There's no way to communicate to people here just what those two weeks were like. Only those of us that experienced them together will really know. It's a bizarre thing, really.

We lived fully and intensely while on the CCUFairs. The connections made in that context are forged fast and deep. Imagine 30 people doing life together, primarily in the confines of a coach bus, surviving both work and play play on a small amount of sleep, eating all meals together (there's something to be said about 'breaking bread together' and the power of shared food), and inviting God into the mix and you will begin to understand. For some of us, this is not the first time that we've traveled together and so, for those relationships, it's a matter of growing and maturing the relationships, taking it to a whole new level.

I have so many memories buzzing through my head that I want to hold on to - jokes we laughed at. Funny situations we found ourselves in. Conversations we shared with each other and with students/parents we met. Frustrations - but what I realized while I was out today is that I don't know that I have the words to describe it well enough for my "life" here to enter in and enjoy it with me. Inside jokes are only funny to those on the inside.

I experience this every time I come home from a trip like this. It's an exceptional challenge for me this time, though, because I'm keenly aware of the fact that this will very likely be my last fall of travel like this and, because of that, likely my last encounter with many of these people who have become friends. I'm thankful to have one more leg of the fairs left - watch out Ontario - and find myself absorbing and savoring moments in an entirely different way. Perhaps it's healthy. A new sense of living in the moment.

Perhaps it's all just this unique place of transition that I find myself in. I'm finished at the College, a reality that's sinking in more and more each day, and soon will be done my contract with CCUFairs as well. After that I don't know what I'll be doing...an adventure in obedience. I'm loving the freedom of that and the anticipation of the possibilities. I'm enjoying searching myself out too, reflecting on who I am and who God is making me.

I've realized just how much what we "do" does seem to define who we are...or at least how we see ourselves. I don't want to be defined by what I do but I'm realizing that it informs my perception of myself as I experience completely different sides of myself than I might in other areas of life.

I admit that in some ways I went into the tour with that in mind. I've been using the process to test myself - and perhaps to heal - and it's been good. I've been reminded of things I love to do and surprised by things that I'm good at. I've been blessed and encouraged by those around me who have affirmed good things in me. I feel, in many ways, that for the first time in a long time I have lived to the fullest of who I am and it's good. That is a 'me' that I am very comfortable with. That is a 'me' I hope I continue to be well after the last venue is cleaned up at the end of the fairs. Perhaps it's the me that others have seen all along. Perhaps I've known her all along but have just gotten to know her a little better.

Perhaps that sounds ridiculous. It's another one of those things, those experiences,I think, that is bigger than words. Without experiencing it, it may never make sense. For now, it's enough for me to say that I know I'm on a journey and I recognize that the fairs are playing a role in preparing me for whatever plans God has for my future.

So it's good to be home. Time to reflect. Time to reconnect. Time to be refreshed and rejuvenated. Time to prepare for one more leg of the journey.

Current Read




Night, Elie Wiesel

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Satisfied!

Ever have a day where you're just satisfied? That's where I'm at. It's been a couple long days of travel but today, as I'm winding down and getting ready for bed, I'm just satisfied.

Here's a few reasons why:
  • Starting the day by getting up WITHOUT the alarm
  • Starbucks cinnamon dolce latte and whole wheat croissant for breakfast
  • Buying a new, more work-trip appropriate bathing suit that I love...and was super inexpensive!
  • Supper. Seriously. After days of not really stopping or sitting down for a real meal - I even had a day where two meals came from 7-11 -we enjoying a relaxed meal at Milestones. Grilled chicken breast smothered in portobello mushrooms sauteed in basil, garlic and cream, served with a reasonable portion of capellini and seasonal veggies (beans, peppers and onion grilled to perfection...still slightly crunchy). So satisfied.
  • Wandering around outside in gorgeous weather...barely a chill of fall at all!
  • Hanging out in the hotel pool/hot tub...in my new bathing suit
  • Watching Bourne Ultimatum in the hotel, crammed into our room (which now smells suspiciously of popcorn, sun chips and decaf coffee) with 12 friends
  • Sliding into a bed that's been made up by someone other than me, knowing that there's potential for nearly 8 hours of sleep and that tomorrow I'll get to hang out with my good friend, Kelly, and meet her little munchkin, Logan.
All in all, it's been a good day. Man, this makes a work day in my world seem pretty slack...today makes up for 13 hours of travel time on a bus, pro-D and motion sickness.

We did have a fair today in the beautiful city of kelowna although I'm guessing that most of us would rather just focus on the rest of life...the more satisfying things of the day. It was fairly slow, to say the least. Putting a positive spin on it, we got some pretty good opportunities to visit amongst ourselves and we will pray that those that did come were able to take advantage of some good one on one time, gaining tools and information to make some good decisions about their futures!

Off to Abbotsford tomorrow...and possibly a more detailed "fairs" post to follow.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Current Read


Through Painted Deserts, Donald Miller


*Donald Miller is reading to me on my iPod 'cause I get sick when I try to read on the bus. I like the idea of being read to...
"Life can only be understood backwards, but it has to be lived forwards."
Soren Kierkegaard

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Random Comment of the Day

Stacey (introducing self to bus drive): Hi, I'm Stacey. Julie (the fair director)'s left hand woman.
Driver: Don't you mean right hand?
Stacey: No, left hand...and I'm right handed.

What does that mean and where do these things come from?!

That said, I think it sort of sums up how I've been feeling the last couple days. It's been an outright blur in so many ways.

Wednesday, last minute details and fighting with Staples. Man, they're irritating.

Thursday bright and early, jump on a plane, fly to Winnipeg. Get really disappointing news - really isn't a strong enough word to describe that- from home. Feel helpless because I'm here not there...not that I could do anything, I know, but still. Lots of last minute details with the crew here to get ready for the fairs. Up late studying my seminar notes to make sure I know what I'm talking about. Last thing in the day, praying with Julie as we shut of the lights. I like that. I could get used to that.

Friday, teach all day. Long, long day with lots of information. Small break and evaluation with my partner in pro-D crime. Orientation meeting for the fairs. So good to see old friends again. Like a family reunion. A powerful reminder of the impact and influence you have one people. Humbling, really. It's a great group of people...going to be a great group to travel with...old friends and new alike. Good energy, good feel. Get the last of our "stuff" together to start the fairs. Need to sleep.

Saturday, meet with a friend from high school for breakfast. Crazy that it's been 10 years since we've seen each other. How does time fly so fast and yet seem so unimportant when you get back together? Get phone call that baby Knutson has arrived. Amazing. God is good! Back to the hotel. Insanity ensues with loading, unloading, and moving materials for the trip. Our hotel room is doubling as a storage room. Yes, i can still get in the bathroom and into the fridge. Off to the venue. First four presentations done. Not bad, if I do say so myself. Back to the hotel. More moving "stuff" into our hotel room. How do we have so much "stuff"? For supper with good friends. Catching up with people is one of God's good gifts to us, I'm sure. Back to hotel room to work on presentations. Nearly done for the day...and hockey's on. Time to sleep. Need to be awake early so we can get all this "stuff" out of our hotel room and onto the bus. Need to be on the road by 8am. Phew...

Welcome, wee one...

My little buddy Justin (and his mommy and daddy , Crystal and Cory), welcomed Ryan Joshua Knutson into the world bright and early this morning.



Everyone is happy and healthy by the sounds of it - thanks wonderful friends, I've been kept in the loop and supplied with pictures even though I'm a couple provinces over!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

On the Road Again...

Well, I'm flying around today trying to get the last of my prep done to be ready to leave for one last (at least that's the plan) whirl wind trip as an enrollment professional.

Sidebar: that's a handy title isn't it!? It's what us poor enrollment folk call ourselves when we have no other idea what on earth our title is.


I'm excited. Really. I love to lead, I love to teach, I love people, I love to travel, I love to talk and I love the recruiters I get to hang out with. Seems like a good deal to me! I'm just now realizing how long I'll be gone this time but I'm pretty sure that I can handle it!

Here's where I'll be for the next bit of life:

October 11-13 Winnipeg, MB
Oct 14 Regina, SK
Oct 15 Saskatoon, SK
Oct 16 Edmonton, AB
Oct 17 Calgary, AB
Oct 18 Lethbridge, AB
Oct 19 on the road...Lethbridge to Kelowna
Oct 20 Kelowna, BC
Oct 21 Abbotsford, BC
Oct 22 Surrey, BC/Burnaby, BC
Oct 23 Nanaimo, BC/Victoria, BC
Oct 24 Victoria, BC

Oct 24-31 home...sweet, home

Nov 1-6 Chicago, Il
Nov 6 Toronto, ON
Nov 7 London, ON
Nov 8 Waterloo, ON
Nov 9 Niagra, ON/St. Catharines, ON
Nov 10 Hamilton, ON
Nov 11 Barrie, ON
Nov 12 Ajax, ON
Nov 13 Belleville, ON
Nov 14 Ottawa, ON
Nov 15 Dollard-des-Ormeaux, PQ
Nov 17 Fredericton, NB/St.John, NB
Nov 18 Moncton, NB
Nov 19 Truro, NS/Charlottetown, PEI
Nov 20-27 Halifax, NS

I'll try to post while I'm away, keeping you updated on all of my adventures. In the meantime, please pray for safety and health. Pray for effectiveness in my job. Also pray that this will be a great opportunity for me as I am living in a place of transition, that it will be a time of discovery and of clarity for me. Pray for direction as to what happens once I come back home!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oh Captain, my Captain...

Oilers name Moreau as team captain...read full story here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Every day I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well.

Mary Cholmondeley

Good Grief!?

I feel smarter after reading some of these...

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can ' t help but cry. I mean I ' d love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."
--Mariah Carey

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"Smoking kills. If you ' re killed, you ' ve lost a very important part of your life."
-- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become
spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign
.

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"I ' ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body"
-- Winston Bennett,
University of Kentucky basketball forward
.

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"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I ' m just the one to do it."
--A congressional candidate in Texas
.

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"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
--Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark



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"It isn ' t pollution that ' s harming the environment. It ' s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
--Al Gore, Vice President


And .


"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur."
-- Al Gore, VP

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"I love California . I practically grew up in Phoenix ."

-- Dan Quayle



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"The word "genius" isn ' t applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
--Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.



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"If we don ' t succeed, we run the risk of failure."
--Bill Clinton, President



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"Traditionally, most of Australia ' s imports come from overseas."
--Keppel Enderbery



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"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that
you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
--Department of Social Services, Greenville , South Carolina


Tee hee...