Friday, January 4, 2013

First Post of 2013...

Hello faithful followers!

I've been wanting to do a "year in review" post for a few days now, but I've managed to bump it pretty low on my to-do list this week! (by they way, I'm on vacation this week and loving it!)

Just now I scrolled down to see a list of my blogs this year to help me make up my highlight list, but I was a little shocked to see I've only written 11 posts in 2012! 2009 was 84 posts, 2010 was 48 and 2011 was 39! Guess I've slowly been getting worse at this! It does make me sad though because I really do love to blog... and I love having a record of what's happened in our lives. I think the same thing has happened in my journaling life... I used to journal all the time... but I hardly ever do now! I guess you could say that is one of my hopes for 2013... get back into journaling! Bobby and I are going to be taking Mondays off starting in February and I'm hoping to use Monday morning as my "extended quiet time"... which will likely include journaling.

Anyway, Here's just a glimpse of what we've been up to this past year... I think if I had to choose one word to sum it up, 2012 would be the year of transitions!

January started off in a way I never would have expected... Bobby and I spent New Year's Eve (including the countdown!) in the ER in Regina where I ended up getting a blood transfusion! I have a feeling this is probably a but of a surprise for some of you to hear because I didn't say anything about it before, but I just didn't want to worry people... and it was kind of embarrassing to talk about! I won't go into details because I know that's too much info, but basically my body wasn't functioning as it is supposed to every month and I lost a lot of blood in a short period of time. I was so weak that I couldn't even stand up for longer than a few seconds and of course I was ghostly white (for the record, looking like a ghost can really get you moving in the ER!) I'm grateful for the wonderful care I received both in Winnipeg and Regina and I have a new appreciation for good health... and blood donors!!!

I also finished up working at Siloam (I was there over Christmas to help with the Christmas rush in Donation Processing) and that's about it for January. Oh, we did get the news that I got scheduled for a green card interview in Montreal in February!

February as mentioned, we went to Montreal for my green card interview! Although we hit some bumps that day, all went fine and we were surprised to hear that day that my application had been approved and we were cleared to move to the States! (we didn't know we would get that news so soon) While we were in Montreal, we were able to meet up with my old neighbours from Caronport who live in Montreal now. They were so kind and generous and showed us a lot of fun things! We got to go to the Snow Festival (I forget the name) which was really fun! It was really neat to catch up with them. My sister used to babysit their kids, who are now in University!
Looking out over Montreal
We love Barrier Bay!
We also got to go back to our honeymoon cabin for 2 days which was a blast!

March was pretty quiet... unless my memory is failing me! We celebrated our 2 year engagement anniversary on the 31st by going back to "our spot" at the Forks. This month was also the one year anniversary of the 3.11 earthquake in Japan.

Back in "our spot" 2 years later!
April was another quiet month according to my blog and picture files... We celebrated my 26th birthday on the 26th by going to Stella's for breakfast and going to the zoo (among other things I love to do!) I'm sure we were really busy this month getting ready to move out of our apartment for May 1st. I'm so blessed to have a husband who works so hard to make me happy! He had a lot on his plate when my birthday rolled around this year and yet he intentionally set aside the day to be with me and do the things I love to do :)

Breakfast at Stella's!
Enjoying the conservatory
the zoo!!
May was one of our busiest months of 2012! We lived in 2 countries and I can't even count the number of beds we slept in! At the beginning of May we headed west to Calgary/Edmonton. In Edmonton we represented the Winnipeg Japanese Alliance Church at a Canadian Japanese Ministry's conference. We were able to make a lot of connections there and had a great time. We also got to see one of my elementary school friends (actually I think I would have been 4 or 5 when we first met in NS!) and met her husband for the first time!
Rhoda! Fist time we've seen each other in 8 years!
After Edmonton, we headed to Calgary where we got to visit the Japanese church I did my practicum in before I went to Japan (while I was in CrossTraining) It was so great to see so many familiar faces and see some of the kids a lot more grown up than when I was there in 2007! After our church visits, we headed west to the Rockies and enjoyed one night in Canmore and did some sightseeing in Banff too. It was SO beautiful and we loved every minute of it! Here's just a few of our favorites...

Can't pass up an opportunity to have Cow's ice cream! 
So much beautiful scenery! 

Lake Louise (still frozen in May!)
Bobby got to say he's been to BC because we drove to the border , took a picture and turned around!
We also got to be around for "baby K's" first birthday which was really special for me. (We planned our move around this) I absolutely love being an auntie and can't get enough of this girl!

Shortly after K's birthday, we said our goodbye's and headed south! Everything went so smooth with my paperwork... and the guys at the airport were actually excited to process my papers because they don't get to do this kind of paperwork very often! I don't remember if it was May or June, but shortly after we moved, I got my green card!!! 

June had us in Texas for a week for our pre-departure orientation with Christar. It was a lot less stressful than I was expecting so that was great! 

We also got to attend my other nieces' dance recital which was really fun! She is so adorable and it was so fun to get to spend so much time with her this summer.

July was another busy month! At the end of June and the first week of July we went to Myrtle Beach with Bobby's family. Although it was a little crowded at times, we had a lot of fun and we made a lot of memories! We even got to have lunch with my aunt and uncle (Mom's brother). I don't remember the last time I saw them because they live in the States. We also celebrated our 2nd anniversary and Bobby's birthday this month

Uncle Dave, Aunt Roseanne, and my cousin, Dylan
Happy Anniversary!
August was full of summer fun... I'll let the pictures do the talking!

So special to witness Drew's baptism!
Helping at a supporting church's VBS- representing "team Japan"
We also got to zip up to Niagara Falls and see my best friend Angela and spent a few days with her and her husband one last time before they head to Spain and we headed to Japan!

September brought a big change for us! We said our goodbyes... (again!) and we landed in Japan!! Of course we are grateful for the last 2 years of "waiting", but it sure was good to be back! After a few weeks of waiting, we moved into our apartment which we now love! (after having dealt with the bats, that is!) We enjoyed being back in ministry again and reuniting with old friends.

October brought a little bit of routine to our lives... we got settled and our home started to feel like home. in mid October we had our annual Christar retreat and were joined by some Pioneer missionaries nearby (including a fellow Canadian!) I also started full time language study!

November was apparently an uneventful month because I don't have any pictures or blogs to draw from! I guess I was just busy with language study!

December was a very busy ministry month... we had the ladies' luncheon, kids' Christmas party, candle services and lots of other activities! 

Ladies' Luncheon
Mrs T (a former English student)
our tree :)
Nijigaoka Christmas Eve service
My language teacher came to the Christmas Eve service with her daughter!
Hirao candle service
I guess that's all I can think of for highlights of 2012... although I'm sure I'm missing some things! We are grateful for all the ways the Lord led us and provided for us through the year and are looking forward to what this year holds for us!! Happy New Year!! :)

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