We're Home!

We had a wonderful Christmas visiting with family and friends. Hope you did too!
We got home this afternoon after a two day drive back from Lethbridge. Today was a great drive. Yesterday was not so much. While driving just outside of Nanton, I told Marc that I felt the car pulling. I thought the roads were getting icy but they looked fine. He agreed that they were fine until we saw a car in front of us spin out on the highway, do a 180 in the ditch and go through a barbed wire fence into a farmer's field. I decided to stop and see if he was okay and switch drivers. I started to slow down by gearing down and then hit the brakes (very lightly!) when we were going about 60km/hr. As soon as I hit the brakes, we slid into the next lane and went right into the ditch in the middle of the highway. Luckily we were all fine (although my Grandpa who was in the back got quite squished by all our stuff but it could have been much worse). Thank goodness for tie downs! Marc's sister Julie also went in the ditch in the same area going the opposite direction at the same time! We must have just missed each other.

We decided after a stressful drive through Canmore and Banff that we would stop in Golden for the evening. We had a wonderful evening there going for a walk to Cedar Lake with Niko. Afterwards we went out for dinner to see our friend Julie who has so graciously agreed to take Niko while we are in Africa. We sat in the hot tub and then had a good sleep before going out for breakfast with Julie and heading out on the road. A much better drive today!!!

Here is a picture of Cedar Lake in Golden in summer '05. Marc and I lived there for two months as part of his rural placement. We did a lot of swimming and hanging out at Cedar Lake. Here is a picture of me by the lake in a picture we took for Marc's cousins who were coming to camp there.

When we walked there last night it was such a winter wonderland! There was snow up to our knees and all the trees were covered in snow. The ice was totally frozen and when we walked out into the middle of the lake the sky was pink with the sunset and it was absolutely beautiful. We wish we had our camera to show you all. Instead (grrrrrr) I will have to re-create last nights image in photoshop. (Or I shall say Marc will recreate the image in photoshop. I love it!)

Here are some other pics from Christmas. You will have to imagine my Christmas with my mom, grandpa, brother and sister in law as we had no camera. (We shamelessly stole Marc's parents and sisters camera during the holidays but alas could not sercure digital gold on Christmas Day. (I must apologize for all of the non-camera laments on this blog. I realize we discuss this much more than some other non-camera bloggers. Apparently I rely too much on pictures!)

This is me with my gingerbread house I created

Marc and his creation

Evil Christmas Niko

Christmas Eve

Marc's sister Shareen and her husband Craig couldn't come home for Christmas so we used Skype and a webcam to bring them to us. It was strange hearing Shareen's voice in the living room but not seeing Shareen! Here's Marc videoing us for S and C. You can check out Shareen's blog for pictures from her end.

Posing for a picture at my dad's

Cross Country Skiing in The Pass

Celebrating my birthday at my mom's

Okay this is a long post (as usual) but we were busy bees over Christmas. (As you can see I WAS sleeping in my birthday picture.) Happy New Year to all and to all a good night!


recent activities

cross country skiing near the base of crowsnest mountain with aaron my dad and niko

braving the descent of deadman's freeway

going for walks in the coulees

playing killer pingpong (thwack pong) with family friends

baking a bizzarly shaped angel food cake and deciding to make a trifle


Will you have a white Christmas?

Did you know that 2cm of snow on the ground constitutes a white Christmas??


Will you have a perfect Christmas? A prize goes out to the first person who guesses what the technical definition of a perfect Christmas is. And Julie you are exempt from this game!


Stacey G - Totally Dependent

Marc's cousin Stacey made this music video and it is the funniest music video we have ever seen. My stomach hurts from all the laughing. Stacey doesn't know that this blog exists and I hope she doesn't mind that I published this but I can't help it!!


How do you know your links? Part One

I am always curious when I browse through people's links that they have on their blogs and I always wonder how they know eachother. Are they cyberfriends? Did they grow up together? University friends? So for all of you who are curious about our links, here you go....

Tai Kuazhang le ba is our friend Aaron. Marc met Aaron in his last year of university in Lethbridge through our friend Vicky. They lived together in Edmonton in Marc's first year of med school. Their year of co-habitation consisted of many cheesy dinners (not bad ones, just ones with copious amounts of cheese!) and many annoying visits and phone calls from me. Aaron was living in Taiwan and Korea but is flying back to Canada and driving to Lethbridge with us next week. Hopefully we don't drive him nuts with our Canadian English!

Pastor Mike is obviously our pastor. We attend Heartland Fellowship and we love our little (but growing!) church. Marc has been mountain biking with Mike's son Levi several times and dangerously manouevered his long board down Chilliwack Mountain with his older son Matt.

Shareen is Marc's sister so of course my sister in law! Her and her new husband Craig live on the island. I met Shareen when she was 13! Wow that seems like a long time ago. We recently had a short but sweet visit with Shareen here in Chilliwack, and we hope to go to the island soon to see Craig too.

Stephen and Amber are friends from university. Although Marc did meet Stephen in highschool these two apparently did not like eachother. Their brazen, outgoing, personalities apparently were too much for the other to handle. Somehow they got over their differences spending evenings discussing solipsism and eschatology and playing saccer (yes that says saccer not soccer, long story, gross game) with Kevin. Now they can annoy Amber and I into the wee hours of the evening with their bantering. Speaking of Amber, we first met her in 2001 right before her and Stephen got married and sure enjoyed having these two in Vancouver our first year here!

Tyrn was also Marc's roomate in Edmonton. I first met Ty when he was dating our friend Josh's sister Havilah. We met Josh at the University of Lethbridge in our first year of university. Ty moved in with Marc and Aaron and Josh and is now marrying another friend of ours from university named Kelsey! Small world! Ty has a lot of funny stories, one I remember in particular involved silly putty getting stuck in his ear! hee hee

Shelley is my cyber friend! I have only met her a couple times in person (through our friend Chris) but like to read her blog alot. Shelley is a great commenter (I'm sure you think that's a great compliment Shelley!) and has since become cyber friends with Marc's sister Julie and Shareen and our friend Fraser.

Marc went to highschool with Jenessa. She was Shareen's (at what point do I stop putting the linky things in?) age so they were more friends than Marc and Jenessa. I remember that Marc put a kibosh on Jenessa and her mom's tanning competition one summer when he called it the "Cancer Competition." Do you remember that Jenessa? We met Julian at some point during university although I don't remember when because all the years blur together.

Michaelia has known Marc since he was an itty bitty boy. They have gone to school together since kindergarten (I think, well they don't go to school together now but up until grade 12!) I met Michaelia separate from Marc through my friend Jen, who lived down the street from Michaelia. Michaelia was instrumental in our dating life, as she accompanied Marc and I on our first "date" to play tennis. I had met Marc once before this and he phoned me to play doubles with his friends Michaelia and Rick. We went to the tennis courts by my house. After we played tennis we went to the Penny Coffee House for coffee (or maybe hot chocolate) and I forgot to phone my mother to tell her I would be late. When I got home I found out that she had phoned Marc's parents, Rick's parents, Michaelia's parents and sent my dad out to look for me! She didn't trust this new boy I was playing tennis with. Anyways I turned out to be fine (some might disagree with that!) and the rest as they say is history. I first met Jason in high school when he and Michaelia started dating. (They've been together for even longer than Marc and I have!) My most unnerving memory of Jason involves Settlers of Cataan and a pubic hair.

Apparently Marc met Katherine before I did, I did not know this until I was typing this. He met her at Pioneer Ranch Camps before she came to the U of L. I met Katherine at U of L when I was in my third year. Both Marc and I became good friends with her quickly and we soon found out we had another friend in common - Lisa! Lisa and Katherine met on Thetis Island. It's a small world!!

Last but not least for part one is Chris. Chris is Katherine's husband and we first met him when Chris and Katherine were dating. We played Cranium the first time we met and if I remember correctly Marc and Chris got a butt whooping! Chris and I also have crazy connections as a lot of his good friends are my brothers friends. I remember being at Katherine and Chris's wedding and feeling like I was at a party for my brother's friends. (I have no idea why one would have such a party but that's what it felt like.)

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, there's part one! I meant to do this all at once but we have a lot of links! Stay tuned. Here's to the creation of a meme!

I just realized I skipped Chris and the Wilsons! No worries you two, your time will come!


Hopefully not overheard at Starbucks today . . .

After ordering a chai latte today I had the following conversation with the Starbucks cashier.

Coffee grinding in the background.

Starbucks Cashier: That's $3.99, how will you be paying?

Kylie: Matercard.

Starbucks Cashier looks at the Mastercard. Kylie thinks she is looking at the front side.

SC: Heidi?

Kylie: Oh no no, my name is Kylie.

SC: Heidi?

At this point Kylie is thinking, wow what is wrong with the Starbucks cashier today? Why does she need to read my mastercard before she processes my purchase? She has no idea what she is doing!!

Kylie: No, my name is Kylie.

SC: (Much louder this time) No I need I.D.!

Kylie: OOOOHHHH! I.D!! That makes much more sense than you calling me Heidi! I have a friend named Heidi and often when we were together I would think they were calling my name when they said Heidi. (Luckily Kylie didn't go into how often she would think people were calling her when they yelled Patti in Home Ec class. Because then she would have to go into her teacher named Patti and that yes she called her teachers by their first names in highschool and ........)

Clerk is starting to look annoyed, when Kylie realizes she hasn't yet taken out her ID. Where is Kylie's brain today???

Kylie hands clerk her ID. The SC quickly looks at it and puts mastercard through.

Kylie: I could barely hear you because of the grinding! Sorry about that! Have a good day!!

Not sure where my brain was this morning but luckily I have it back and am enjoying my day. I took Niko for a walk where he rolled in dead animal. (I just said I was enjoying my day!) I gave him a bath, went grocery shopping and am just about to make some food for our small group tonight. Have a good day all!


I love my boots . . .

(Sung to the tune of In the Jungle)

I love my boots
I love my boots
I love my boots
I love my boots
(sung continually quietly in the background)

In the 'wack the rainy wack I bought my boots last year
In the wack the rainy wack I purchased hiking gear

I love my boots!

Up the mountains the craggy mountains, my boots help me to climb
Up the mountains the peaky mountains I get off the trail on time

I love my boots!

Through the river the Vedder River did I tread in my boots
In the river the Vedder River I love to wet my boots

I love my boots!

In the snow the thick deep snow my boots warm my feet
In the snow the fluffy snow my boots keep in the heat

I love my boots! (shouted the last time!!!!)

Here are some pictures of me wearing my hiking boots last week when we went to Parksville to visit Marc's parents for a couple days.
We went on a hike to Cathedral Grove. (A Forest of Douglas Fir trees up to four or five hundred years old.)Both Marc and I have been there before but it was great to see it with all the snow!

This is the biggest tree in the Cathedral Grove Forest.

I did a somersault in the snow.

We went out to dinner one night to the restaurant at the place we were staying. It was great food and we got to eat beside a huge 3000 gallon fishtank.

These are a couple pictures from the week before. This was from the night BEFORE the big snowfall. We thought it was snowing a lot then!

This is just a funny picture. I am not sure what Marc and I are doing. I love that Bette is pulling Suvi into the picture and Shareen and Craig are just smiling like nothing is going on.

I know my song is cheesy but keep in mind I am writing this at 1:30 in the morning when I really should be just going to bed!!


happiness is a warm camera

we have been missing our camera a lot. on sunday we trekked up through the snow to bridal falls. we have been there many times before, but never when it was half frozen. after visiting the falls themselves we ventured out onto the creek flowing from the falls, a torturous mishmash of ice, fallen snow, melted and refrozen snow, and partially carved rushing minicanyons.
no camera aaargh! here is a picture of bridal falls in the summer.

we also made a big snow cat in our backyard. i made the snowballs and kylie styled it into a cat. she did an excellent job with only snow, soot and twigs. quite recognizable as a friendly cat and much cuter than shelley's. it was dream snow man snow too ... the type where you start rolling in one direction for about 15 feet and then realize that by the time you get back the snowball will be too big to lift. each roll would expose a new section in a strip of crazy green grass completely cleared of all snow.
one of our neighbours made an amazing snow sculpture that put even kylie's cat sculpting abilities to shame. it was about 7 feet tall and depicted 2 human figures contorted into vaguely fetal positions and stacked on top of eachother. maybe they were in love or maybe they were twins. either way its art. again no camera. aargh!

a lady in colorado was recently ordered to take down her christmas wreath (pictured above) b/c several residents complained that it was antiamerican or that it was satanic. however after a bit of outcry it seems she will be able to keep it up fine free after all.

i finished "king leopold's ghost" a few days ago (see below) and my enthusiastic recommendation has only deepened. at risk of giving away the ending (can you spoil a history book? if you think yes then maybe skip to the next paragraph) i will say that this book neatly illustrates the history of colonialism by describing the initially highly developed albeit often brutal central african societies and the story of the congo's hostile takeover by white guys with guns and funny hats. it ends with a fine foreshadowing of neocolonialism when the first democratically elected prime minister of the congo is assassinated by the CIA for interfering with american mining interests and one of their pawns mobutu sese seko is installed in his place.

this book was just loaned to me by our hospital librarian. it recently won the giller prize and is the writing debut of a toronto er doc. i picked it up, read the first 2 paragraphs and thought, "whooaah... this is my life!" i'm 3 chapters in and that initial thought has been modified to "whooaah... this is my life and its really well written!" (the book's main character is a studyholic chinese girl with poor social skills, so dont take that too literally)



So I was just going to find a picture online of an ad I just saw in a magazine. (As you can figure from the long explanation following I could not find the ad.) Sadly it is for tampons and the ad shows a split image of a girl. In the first image she apparently is not wearing tampax pearl and she's laying on a lawnchair in the sun with white white skin, a pathetic fan in her hand and a peasly little drink at her side. In the next image she has discovered the "upgrade" to pearl tampons and it has changed her life!!! She is tanned, she has a hot cabana boy fanning her with a palm some sort of fun daquiri and a little dog. Wow who knew what tampons could do for you? As mentioned before I could not find the ad but I did go to the link listed on the ad in my search and found that my mouse turns into a tampon on the site. How freaky is this??? I am not sure what I find more disturbing - my mouse as a tampon or the claims that tampons are making about how this wonderful pearl upgrade will improve my life. EEK!


10 Random thoughts about winter during the aftermath of a Blizzard

1. I love having so much snow! I much much prefer 30cm of snow to pouring rain. (Granted, it is -1 here and not -35.) Marc and I have had so much fun in our snow dump. Yesterday we went for a walk with Niko in the blizzard and had a great time trekking through knee deep snow. We came home and made feta cheese bun pizzas and apple crisp for dinner. Why is it when it's snowy and cold we like to eat cheesy, fatty, warm foods? We watched the movie CARS while we ate dinner. It was really funny! After the movie I decorated for Christmas. Our living room looks so fun and Christmasy. I wish we had our camera. Soon. I hope.

2. Marc's parents were here this weekend and they showed us how to use our gas fireplace! Marc is not going to like this line, I should revise it and say that we know how to use it but we just don't but we had it going all weekend and I love it! It's going to be on all the time from now on.

3. One of my favourite Christmas songs is Jingle Bells by Barbara Streisand. Marc and Shareen both said it's an annoying song but it just makes me want to bounce and dance and shake and do all things associated with being in the Christmas spirit.

4. Niko had come alive in the snow. Now some of you who have met Niko will say that Niko is very much ALIVE and kicking! (Especially if you are one of those who Niko has jumped on.) But he just looks so happy bounding through the snow and stuffing his nose in deepdrifts and then taking his head out and shaking all the snow off. He also apparently does not like it when we slide down hills. Yesterday on our walk Marc and I were sliding down the hills our walk and Niko would run beside us and grab our hands and try and pull us. This usually just resulted in him pulling our mittens off. I have no idea what his intention was but it was really funny to see him go after Marc. It wasn't as funny when he went after me. We also found out that Niko really doesn't like it when you fall in the snow and will run to your aid immediately. Today when he started to chase some toboganning children I was afraid that he was going to go rip their mittens off so I yelled Niko and fell down in the snow. He ran like his life depended on it. I am not sure if this trick will work on dry ground but my fall will not be as soft and people may think I am a little strange.

5. Walking in the driving snow yesterday reminded me of a story from high school. When Marc and I were in grade 11 and he was I believe dating Lisa and I was in high school love with him we went toboganning for my birthday. After toboganning we were suppossed to go to my house where all our other friends were going but Marc convinced me to stop in at the Legg Christmas Party first. (My mother got mad at me for leaving all my friends at my house by themselves and I didn't understand why she would be upset. Hello! She was home. Now I understand. Sorry mom.) Anyways I asked Marc before we went in if I had any mascara on my face. We had been toboganning and it had been very wet but he told me I looked fine. So we went in and talked and chatted and met people and then on our way out I caught my reflection in the mirror - I had mascara lines all the way down my face! This was no little under the eyes blackness this was full on lines all the way down my face. I was mortified! Recently, I brought this up with Marc asking if he just couldn't see the lines because I did ask him in the dark but he said he just thought it would be really funny if I went to a party with mascara lines down my face. And I still married him!

6. Here are some pictures from Marc's parents visit this past weekend:
We went to Craig's basketball game and he gave Marc these EXTREMELY loud noise makers.

We also went for a walk up Seven Sisters and Shareen took these great shots after on the dock at Cultus Lake.

We also went up Mount Thom with Bette's cousin Gerry. Niko sure likes to catch snowballs in his mouth.

Marc's dad walked up with his ski poles but it looked like he had invisible cross country skis on.

Shareen took this awesome picture! I hope she doesn't mind me showing it.

Shareen and I made a snowman with a hat then I smashed it. hee hee

7. While we were enjoying a nice cozy evening here in the snow, Marc's parents and Shareen were driving on the crazy highways to Victoria! They made it safely okay after a 3 hour drive to Surrey and a four hour wait at the ferries. I'm sure Shareen will blog about their crazy adventure.

8. I love 4 wheel drive! I quite enjoy driving through snow drifts with big grippy tires. I also love lock de-icer (and the man who gave me some in the Save on parking lot today, well I don't love him but I appreciate him.) I couldn't get our locks open after picking up a gingerbread tasty latte on the way home from my walk with Niko today. As I was just about to crawl in the back with Niko and try and reach the lock through his puppy gate a nice man came along and just handed me some lock de-icer. How did he know what my problem was I asked. He said I was about the fifth person he had given it to this morning.

9. A quick poll (if you have gotten to number 9!) How many of you think that the "Santa" in the song, I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus is the dad, or is it actually Santa? I always thought it was Santa until recently when several people on several different occassions have said it's the dad. Hmmm, let's weigh in on this Christmas mystery.

10. I should have called this post 10 random paragraphs (or small essays) about winter in the aftermath of a blizard. If you are someone other than my mom or dad I congratulate you for reading the entire post! Good job!


non fiction week

in a rare concurrence of some free time on my part, a spontaneous lust for edification and the foresight of our friend dawn from lethbridge, both kylie and i are devouring some informative non fiction this week.

kylie is reading a history of god by karen armstrong which examines the course of monotheism throughout history and its branching into modern judaism, islam and christianity. she picked it up after reading the spiral staircase while we were in princeton. an excerpt from her introduction (which, along with a series of maps detailing the migration of religious thought over time, sucked me in for an afternoon even though kylie is reading this book right now and is very protective of it):

Despite my years as a nun, I do not believe that my experience of God is unusual. My ideas about God were formed in childhood and did not keep abreast of my growing knowledge in other disciplines. I had revised simplistic childhood views of Father Christmas. I had come to a more mature understanding of the complexities of the human predicament than had been possible in kindergarten. Yet my early, confused ideas about God had not been modified or developed. People without my peculiarly religious background may also find that their notion of God was formed in infancy.

this book is certainly not for everyone so dont rush out and buy a bunch of copies for your bible study group or you may just be banned as a heretic. on a related note, our bible study just finished a particularly cheesy book (luckily short) of the sort that occasionally sweeps the evangelical church and have decided to stick to actual books of the bible for a while (my vote was for song of solomon).

on dawn's advice and generous loan i am reading king leopold's ghost by adam hochschild, the story of how king leopold of tiny belgium subtley appropriated a HUGE chunk of central africa from the africans right under the noses of the more powerful british, french, germans and dutch and proceeded to shape it into a giant ivory and rubber farm fueled by slave labour and gunpowder. it is one of the most engrossing nonfiction books i have ever read and incorporates the life stories of various players including the explorer henry morton stanley, the politicians and royalty of the time and the first dissenters. i have made it half way through in 2.5 days and while it is a fairly light read relative to dennet's "conciousness explained" or dawkin's "selfish gene" (2 other recent nonfiction forays) it is a well referenced history book containing a lot of information and provocation to thought, which speaks to how much time i have put into it, which further speaks to how engrossing it is. another highlight is the book's window into a time when information did not travel as quickly as it now can and state sponsored misinformation was able to steamroll over any whispers of the truth escaping from the dark continent. the lessons of history in this book resonate clearly in today's global political situation.

one other piece of unrelated nonfiction is that kylie and i were surrounded by more than 15 adult bald eagles this week while walking niko by the fraser river. they were perched in trees all around us and swooping over our heads to the river and back while calling to each other. now i am not well versed in eaglish but even i clearly understood one repeated call as denoting "here come the stupid geese" i heard last year that chilliwack is one stop from squamish on the bald eagle migration run. apparently they follow the salmon runs right up to alaska. nice of the salmon to sequentially spawn like that.

lastly, in the spirit of nonfiction week and in the interest of full disclosure i am telling a story that kylie plans to tell my parents this weekend if i dont beat her to it:

one summer when i was around 10 or 11 years old i was playing with gasoline and other incendiary materials in a corner of our family's backyard sheltered by the juxtaposition of the playhouse and a canoe hanging from the fence. one of my experiments exploded with greater than expected vigour and spattered a burning gasoline mixture up the side of the cedar playhouse. the rough wood quickly caught and the entire outside wall erupted in flames. fortunately i was an extremely safety concious child and had prepared for just such an eventuality. i quickly and efficiently beat out the flames with a thick blanket kept on hand for just such an occasion. unfortunately i was not fast enough and the playhouse was left with a large charcoal scar besmirching much of its eastern exposure. fortunately this spot had been chosen as much for its lack of direct visual lines from our house as for the protected and still air required for my experiments (and difficult to procure in windy lethbridge). i quickly ran downstairs, gathered my supplies and proceeded to sand down the entire outside wall of the playhouse, clean it and revarnish it. it didn't look perfect, but it looked pretty good and i have never been disciplined for this particular bout of youthful pyroexuberance so i can only assume that my parents (and sisters) never found out.

did you know? if not you would have found out in 2 days anyways so i thought i should reveal this particular burning secret myself.


Freakazoid Rex!

Lots of people have been posting crazy pictures that they have taken of themselves that they have taken with their new macbook. Unfortunately we don't have a new computer but Lowell does so here are some of the fun pictures.