Thursday, December 13, 2012

3rd annual Christmas at the Badens

Oh dear, my poor loyal blog readers! Blogging has fallen pretty far down on the priority list these days! So much to do, so little time to do it all :) (Facebook is so much less effort to update than a blog... I apologize to my readers without Facebook!)

We're finally settled and our home feels like home now. We're all decorated for Christmas! Unfortunately since I've neglected to take pictures for a virtual tour, this will have to suffice! :)

Our entrance display

out beautiful nativity wall hanging a supporter made for us

going up the stairs (our entrance is on the 1st floor but everything else is on the 2nd floor)

our dining room (the view from the top of the stairs)

our Willow Tree nativity and my snowman advent calendar (Bobby bought this for me when we were dating) (toilet and the office are to the left)

first time I've ever decorated my bathroom before! :)

I've had the 2 bigger snowmen for about 20 years... When we lived in Nova Scotia, I had a Brownies (like Girl Scouts) assignment to write a letter or give a gift to a neighbor (or something like that) and the neighbors I chose were so thrilled I had done that, they gave me these snowmen and I've kept them all these years! the "astronaut snowman" was a cute little gift from one of my teammates... oh the fun things you find in Japan :)

our little drink corner (the shower and sink and washing machine are behind that door)

cute mat our teammate found for us at Costco

our living room (the table has a heater under it... best invention ever!)

our card string waiting for cards to hang on it... we have 3 now!

If I can't have real snow, I have to put snowflakes on the window!

our tree in the light
and in the dark... nothing like sitting in a room lit by the Christmas tree and candles!
We're keeping plenty busy these days... I'm plugging away with language study and Bobby's been working on sermons and leading prayer meetings (to name just a few of his tasks!). Christmas is the busiest time here, but it's a blessing that the Lord uses this season to draw Japanese people to Himself.

Last weekend we went to Miyazaki to visit the church Bobby did a 6 month internship in 5 years ago. We had a blast and it was so wonderful to see just how loved he is! They even remembered how much he loves Pizza Hut and bought him one... which is really expensive here! It was my first time there so they had a special lunch for us (and made us sit up front like a head table) and did a little interview time after we ate. We felt like newlyweds again! :) (By the way, 2 1/2 years later we're still getting wedding gifts!!)

I have lots of pictures to post from the last couple months, but they're still waiting to be uploaded so it'll have to wait for now!

I guess that's all for now... I need to get back to studying! Thanks for my loyal readers for hanging in there! :)

By the way, it took me all the way to the end of this post to realize I need to update my look too since this is a Christmas post!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Coming along...

Well, we're much closer to settled than the last post! We got the apartment we wanted and everything all worked out with Bobby's foreigner card coming on time for us to move in when we wanted to! We now are proud car owners too! :) We are feeling very blessed these days! The settling in process has been a little bit more stressful than we were expecting, but I think we're through the worst of it now :)

Our home is certainly starting to feel like home now. We are still waiting on some furniture to be delivered (tomorrow and Friday will be the last deliveries). Soon we will be able to post pictures when everything is where we want it to be. (We ordered drapes and they don't come until next Thursday so you'll have to wait at least a week!)

proud new apartment renters :)
(2/3rds of our building)
For now though, I'll end with a picture of our new home (which is an apartment by the way... even though it looks like a house, there are 6 units in our building!) Our apartment is on the top left corner :) (our entrance is the door with the yellow decoration on the door)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Getting closer...

Well, things are starting to look a little brighter than they were in my last post! We were approved for the apartment I had mentioned and will hopefully be moving in on Friday. Unfortunately we've been running into many situations where something can't happen until such and such happens, but such and such can't happen before this other thing happens... and so on! Right now, we can't get the keys to our apartment until Bobby's "foreigner card" comes. We applied for it last Thursday and they said we should get a post card letting us know we can go pick it up in a week... which should work out fine, but we have our doubts! Please pray that we'll get his card before (or on) Friday so that we can move all of our belongings into one spot! (Right now they are spread out in various locations)

We also bought a car! We got an amazing deal thanks to one of our co-workers... Just because we know him, the seller took off about $1000!! Again, we are waiting for things to happen before we get the keys, but are hoping to have it by the end of the week. We sure will be thankful when this is all behind us!!

I must confess I am enjoying this "down time". It is nice to have time to just sit and read and have longer devotional times. Before I know it, we'll be into a routine and I'll be studying Japanese 30 hours a week! :)

Well, since we have a 7:00 am team meeting tomorrow, I better head off to bed! Thanks again for reading and praying for us!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Trying to settle...

Hello from Japan!!
We're finally here! It's certainly good to be back (aside from the ugly humidity that we are NOT used to yet!!) :) We enjoyed our first few days back in Japan visiting with friends that Bobby knows from seminary (they now live about 2 hours south of us!!). We had a great visit with them and are so thankful for their friendship... super excited to be so close now! They have 2 little ones... an almost 4 year old girl and a 1 year old boy which of course adds to the fun when we're together :)

Anyway, we're now back in our area (about 10 minutes outside of our "homeland") staying with our incredibly gracious co-workers until we find a place of our own. Unfortunately, the things we had counted on happening very quickly (finding a home and a car) are taking a lot longer than we were hoping and it looks like it will still be a little while before we'll be on our own. There's just a lot of technical things getting in our way... [for example, the company we want to rent from requires us to have a guarantor that has to be 1) family 2) living in Japan and 3) Japanese... none of which we have! so we will most likely have to pay a company about $600 to be that person for us!] that are making things go slower than we had hoped, but we are trying to be patient.

Apparently I'm not nearly as patient and as flexible as I thought I was! Definitely something I need to grow in. I'm struggling with a "poor me" attitude and I don't like it because I know it shouldn't be there... but it's hard to get rid of! I know the Lord is taking care of us and all these delays are not a surprise to Him, but it's taking a while for me to accept that. It's no fun living out of suitcases in someone else's space... especially after having spent the last 3 1/2 months in a similar situation! I know our co-workers are happy to have us and are providing wonderful hospitality, but it's no fun feeling like we're invading their space/routines. The good news is, they were expecting things to take this long, even though we weren't!! :)

But, like I said, the Lord is taking good care of us and I have no right to complain. He has been and still is so very good to us and this is just a good reminder to me that I need to keep my mind on things above... which I will confess is much easier said than done for me at the moment! ;)

On a little different note... I'm realizing that I did a terrible job of blogging this summer! Here's some pictures on Facebook for those of you who haven't seen them yet...

I'll try to update more often once we're all settled in... for sure will post pictures once we have a place to live, but no guarantees how often you'll hear from me once I start my full time language study! Thanks for keeping up... and being patient! Thanks for your prayers too! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Sunday afternoon looked like this...

Life doesn't get much sweeter than this!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Let the pictures do the talking!

We're on vacation in Myrtle Beach this week... figured it's more exciting to do a picture update than me babble on!

First 4th of July as a green card holder!!
trying to get a cute picture with the niece/nephews didn't exactly work out!
sweet as can be... our little Izzy!
couldn't be cuter!!!
snuggles with Uncle Bobby (with Drew making a grumpy face trying as hard as he can not to laugh!

4th of July with matching Myrtle Beach t-shirts! :)

 We're having a great time! Soaking up the family time while we can :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Mini Catch Up...

Well, apparently I am not very good at blogging these days! Having a limited internet connection doesn't really help with that much... but I guess I just need excuses! :)

So, we've moved to the States and everything went smoothly... I should be getting my green card any day now, as well as a social security card :) Just to clarify, since it seems to be unclear... I'm just a permanent resident... not a citizen yet! Eventually we'll do that, but for now residency is all I need.

We're having fun with Bobby's family! We're especially enjoying our niece and nephews... we just met our 1 1/2 year old nephew for the first time when we got to the airport so it's been really fun getting to know him. He's too cute!

Not too much is new... we've been speaking at churches and visiting a few supporters. Every Sunday this summer we're at a different church! (or traveling) This week is particularly busy... tonight we're having supper with the couple that did our pre-marital counseling and our ceremony which will be fun! Tomorrow we're heading to West Virginia for the night with Bobby's parents to see some of his Mom's family. Thursday we're going to BEAUTY AND THE BEAST!!!! Can you tell I'm excited??!! I'm going to be giddy as a school girl that day! Then Friday we have lunch with supporters and Saturday is our niece's dance recital which we're really looking forward to... she's SO cute! And then Sunday, bright and early, we fly to Texas for our final Christar training.

So, that about fills you in on our life these days... Sorry nothing too exciting to blog about! Thanks to those of you who are still reading and checking my blog so faithfully! :)

Until next time...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

2 Years Ago...

*I wrote this post last week, but I saved it as a draft because it wouldn't let me upload pictures so I thought it would be better to wait and try later, but then I forgot! And now it's still not uploading so... here you go...minus the pictures!!

2 years ago, on March 31, I was asked the most serious question I've ever been asked in my life... Bobby asked me to marry him! :)

On Saturday, we went to town with celebrations! First off, we got some A & W breakfast and went for a brunch picnic at "our spot" at the Forks. While we were there, Bobby read me the story he wrote for his proposal, and then walked over to the Basillica and took some pictures (like we did the day we got engaged) and then stopped for some cookies and cream gelato... also like we did the day we got engaged! (I didn't remember that part, but Bobby remembers teasing me that I should announce to the cashier that I just got engaged but I was too shy to do it... he says I was just giggly!)

After that, we headed to the cheap theater (with $1 coupons!) and watched "We Bought a Zoo" (highly recommended by the way!) Next we headed to Zellers and bought some kites! Then we headed to U-Putz and played a free round of mini golf (courtesy of an old Goupon deal we had that really was free... can't remember if I told that story or not) and then we headed to the park and flew our kites! Mine ended up being a dud, but we had fun with the one that worked :) Next we went home and had supper and then rented another movie and relaxed. We sure were busy, but we had a lot of fun! It was really nice to be able to relax and have fun together, taking a break from our t0-do lists and errand running.

I have been so blessed... not just in the last 2 years, but particularly since the day I met Bobby. I fall in love with him more and more as time goes by and I'm always thanking God for this wonderful gift He's given me. I feel so spoiled and well looked after! Bobby is so good to me and I love him SO much! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Video from Japan...

A couple months ago, I tried to post a video, but for some reason it got taken off of youtube... somehow it's back up again so I wanted to share it again for those who didn't get to see it.

I also saw these two articles a few weeks back and thought they were pretty powerful. A lot of the pictures are the same, but the effect is a little different.

You can find them here and here.

I thought they were really good reminders of how even though clean up and debris removal is progressing, there's still so much to do and the extreme loss is still evident in the remaining foundations and empty streets. Please keep praying for Japan for find the HOPE in the

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

This and That...

Oh my poor neglected blog... :(

I guess these days, blogging has gotten bumped pretty far down on my list of priorities! It feels like we've been really busy, but when I stop to think about what's been keeping me busy, it's kind of embarrassing how slow my life seems!

Basically, I've been plugging away at my required reading for Christar. I finally had to sit down and calculate how many pages I need to read per day in order to finish before our training in June (when I'm officially accepted as a member of Christar). I figured out that I need to read at least 30 pages a day 4 days a week and I should be finished by June 1st. I've been keeping up so far and I'm finishing books faster than I thought I would which is encouraging. It's such a good feeling to turn the last page of a book and be done one more! (I still have to write a one page reflection after each book, but reaching that point is still exciting!) Right now I have about 5 or 6 more books to go I think. I'm actually discovering that I like reading more than I thought I did... even though I prefer to be reading a book of MY choice!

Anyway, that takes up a good chunk of my time each day, along with Bible reading (trying to get ahead on my "read the Bible in a year" plan. I'm also still going to Curves at least 3 days a week. I've still only lost 10 pounds, (let's just say our trip to Montreal in Feb was pretty rough on my weight loss journey!) but I'm still enjoying it. I am really close to hitting the 100 time attendance mark which is exciting... I believe that I get a free Curves shirt that has a 100 on it :) Unfortunately I have to cancel my membership this month (ending April 21st) because we are leaving in May. It makes me sad to think about not going anymore, and I'm scared of the kinds of habits I'll fall back into when I'm not exercising anymore :(

hmm... what else to catch up on?!

I still have the cutest niece ever! I think she's pretty cute and she's at such a fun age where her personality is really coming out! It's hard to believe she's going to be one already in May!

By the way, my green card application was accepted! We are SO excited to have all that behind us now. Just to clarify, I'm not an American citizen yet- I'm just legally allowed to live and work in the US. We will likely apply for citizenship down the road, but I will hold dual citizenship. We're looking forward to that stage as well since it will make travels SO much easier! Because we're missionaries, we fall under the same category as military and I can actually apply for citizenship right away (normal cases have to wait 3-5 years) but at this point, we think we'll wait until our first furlough (after 2 years away).

At this point, we are planning to head to the States in mid May and stay with Bobby's parents in Maryland until August or September. We will be traveling a lot and visiting our supporting churches and individuals, as well as heading to Texas for a week for my final Christar training.

Before we leave though, we're planning to head to Edmonton and Calgary to visit some of our Japanese connections there. The first weekend in May there's an annual general meeting for the Canadian Japanese Ministry (I think that's what it's called) and we'll be able to meet some Japanese pastors from all over Canada. We're also going to visit and give a presentation at the church I did my internship in while I lived in Calgary which I'm super excited about! I haven't been to Calgary for about 4 years so it will be really fun to see everyone there again. We'll also visit one other Japanese church there (started by the former pastor of the church I did my internship in) in the afternoon and present there too. I'm sure it will be busy, but it will be fun to connect with old friends again... and go on a road trip with my bestest friend! :)

Well, I think that's about all for now... I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, but this post is long enough already!! Sorry no pictures or anything... I couldn't get the uploader to work for some reason!

Until next time.... :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I love being an auntie :)

Sigh... long time no blog... again! I've been a pretty lazy blogger these days, but maybe it's because I've had plenty to keep me busy lately! (Where to begin??!!... maybe Christmas?)

We had a good Christmas! Some parts were more eventful than others, but I won't go into details about the events because it's not really something I want to share with the world ;) We enjoyed a quiet Christmas morning (I slept like a little kid on Christmas eve, waking up nearly every hour!) We were able to join the Badens for Christmas via Skype which was so fun! We are getting really excited to see everyone again. (more details on that soon!) Then we opened our gifts to each other and headed downstairs to watch Mom and Dad open their gifts/stockings. Mom made a fantastic turkey dinner for us which we really enjoyed! I still can't believe she went to all that trouble for just the 4 of us!

Then the day before New Year's Eve we drove with Mom and Dad to Regina to have our second Christmas with Melissa and Brad and Kirsten! We had a really good time with them and especially enjoyed playing with Kirsten. She's so fun... and funny! She has a sweet laugh and she's always making us smile. 7/8 months is a fun age :) As you can probably tell by the picture, the highlight of my trip was getting to cuddle and hold Kirsten while we opened gifts "Christmas morning". We got her that book for Christmas and Melissa tells us Kirsten "talks to" all the kids/babies in the book!
Anyway, in my opinion, Kirsten is SUPER cute and I'm a pretty proud auntie!

I'm all finished work at Siloam now so I'm back to my "normal" routine (reading, cleaning, reading, going to the gym, reading, etc...) I had my weigh-in the other day and I've lost 10 lbs since I started Curves. I guess that's encouraging... but I'm discouraged that I don't feel/see any difference at all. (Unless maybe all my clothes have always been too tight and now they're just right or something?!) Obviously I'll keep going for as long as we're here because I know it's good for me to be active. Even though I always struggle to find the motivation to get out the door, I will miss not going. It's been fun to get to know some of the ladies there and build community with them. Everyone's SO friendly there. Actually, at the Christmas service at the Japanese church, I ended up running into one of the ladies who goes to my Curves! Apparently her and her husband have had a connection there for a long time but only visit occasionally. Small world!

So, our big news these days is that I've got a green card interview in Montreal on Feb 6th! We actually have to be there for 8 days because I have to get a medical done (there's only 3 qualified doctors in all of Canada and one is in Montreal so we have to get it done there) before the interview and they need to have 3 business days to process the lab work. We leave on the 30th and come back on Feb 7th. We are looking forward to a relaxing little break and making the most of this trip. If anyone has any recommendations of what we should do, feel free to comment!

That's pretty much all for now. Sorry I don't have more Christmas pictures, but I haven't uploaded them to my computer yet.

Thanks for keeping up with me even though I'm a terrible blogger! Have a great week! :)