Thursday, January 28, 2010


Today in the 'notes' section of the bible - Acts 20:24 - the following is written:

We often feel that life is a failure unless we're getting a lot out of it: recognition, fun, money, success. But Paul considered life worth nothing unless he used it for God's work. What he put into life was far more important that what he got out. Which is more important to you - what you get out of life, or what you put into it?


Last night I finally got back to the women's bible study at CrossRoads and Shirley said something so profound I had to write it down:

I don't need to be more - I'm complete in you (Christ Jesus).

Good stuff!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Keep on Keeping On

Just a quick break from my holiday postings to let you know Dr. Joy called today. Everything still looks the same and I will keep on with my current treatment for another 3 months!

Could you please keep praying for healing. I totally believe that one day they could do a scan and not see any cancer at all. All throughout the Bible there are accounts of healing so I know God has the ability to do that for me too.

Road Trip - Sequoia National Park

Carman wanted to go to a football game and I wanted to see the giant trees. Everyone thinks of Redwoods when they think of large trees. But the largest in volume are actually the Sequoia. The road up to the top was by far the craziest road either of us has been on including our adventures in Thailand and the Philippines. We were very lucky that the park we even open. Usually they are closed this time of year because of snow fall. By the time we got to the largest tree in the world, the General Sherman, the sun was setting and our pictures were grainy. I got upset because I really wanted a picture in front off the tree so we decided to stay up on the mountain for the night. At 7000 feet the air was thin. I was pretty out of it. We got up first thing and went back down the road a short ways to get better pictures. It was pretty darn cool to be the only ones there for about 10 minutes before another couple arrive. I don't think many people can say they have had that experience. I know we were breaking the rules by jumping the fence, but we just couldn't resist.
The giant sequoia and the coast redwood are often confused as the same tree. They are quite different although they are in the same family. The giant sequoia is the world's largest tree based on volume while the coast redwood is the tallest tree. The giant sequoia grows in the mountains and the more plentiful redwood grows on the coast and is harvested for wood. (I have totally plagiarized this from the back of a postcard).

Road Trip - La Quinta (by Palm Springs)

We enjoyed a night at Larry and Sylvie's in La Quinta. We loved the Palm Dessert/La Quinta area and would snowbird here if we ever get the chance. Larry and Sylvie have a pretty ruff life (not) so we thought they could use some company. I felt like a college student just stopping in to do some laundry, be fed, and soak up some sun by the pool - thanks Larry & Sylvie.

I did not like the road from San Diego to La Quinta - too twisty and drop offs. Just ahead of us was an accident of someone taking the bend to quick. That is was freaks me out the most - not Carman's driving, but the other guy. The young punks in the picture I think were all fine. I saw one of them retrieving his precious skateboard amongst the wreckage.

I also liked seeing all of the wind farms. I wish we were accessing more 'green' energy here in Alberta.


On a walk in San Deigo I saw this car and had to take a picture. I've always wanted to drive a Volvo! I have also wanted a VW Bus and a Vespa Scooter.


This chocolate malt was large enough to feed a family of 6.

They don't believe in strip of bacon on their burgers. They make a bacon pattie!

Road Trip - San Diego

We loved San Diego and look forward to going back some day soon. We stayed within walking distance to the San Diego zoo (even though we didn't go to the zoo) in Balboa Park at the Balboa Park Inn. This quaint old Inn was built for the 1915 World Fair. It was only $99/night and spotlessly clean. Yes the decor leaned more towards 'tacky', but we enjoyed its originality.

Have you ever watched the show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives? Carman and I love it and printed off a list of their restaurants before we left home. Our first stop was Pizzeria Luigi. You could get two large pizzas and a imported beer for $8! The place was hopin'!

On the Sunday we went to a Chargers game. Let it be known that I can't stand football. I know I am the minority, but it really is a stupid game. For Carman's sake I tried to make the best out of the afternoon people watching. I was quite intrigued with the whole cheerleader culture. When I think of cheerleaders I think of flips, lifts, and acrobatics. High school and college cheer teams wear practically turtlenecks and could compete in the Olympics with their tumbling skills. NFL cheerleaders are nothing more than pole dancers. I know sex sells, but come on.

The second restaurant on our list was Hodad's. We enjoyed a trip to Ocean Beach to watch the surfers and to check-out their Dog beach. Hodad's has the best burgers you have ever tasted. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Road Trip - Arizona

On New Year's day we flew to Arizona to start our road trip. Don't even get me started on the whole 'new baggage' restrictions into the States. Especially because they don't have the same rules when you are on a flight in their country.

Our flights getting there were delayed so we arrived extremely hungry. This was the start of the Rules List. Rule #1 We have to be nice to each other all of the time. This rule was broken daily, but it gave us something to strive towards. Rule #2 - Carman is responsible for controlling his hunger and shouldn't take it out on others (a.k.a - me). You know how men get when they don't eat every 3 hours.

We stayed the night at Ray and Anita's. Ray plays ball with my dad. Thanks Ray & Anita for the beer and accommodations!

The large sand dunes near Yuma are quite something. It was weird to see all of the people RVing along the sand dunes with their families. But campers could look at us and think sitting around a campfire drinking beer is weird. The checkpoint for smuggling Mexicans is also unsettling - I guess Carman and I looked unsuspecting because we didn't get pulled over.

Road Trip - Kelowna

Carman and I had a great time on our vacation. We first flew out to Kelowna to visit our friend Fred for two nights. I just love his parent's house - it is about 100 years old. Snuggling up by the fireplace reading my book was better than staying at a 4 star resort. Their cat Enzo agreed.

Carman and Fred went skiing for the day while his mom and I went for a walk. Thanks again Rod and Doreen for opening your home to us. We had the most amazing meal at RauDZ Regional Table. The next time you are in Kelowna you must eat there. My mouth is still drooling from their Char fish.

We met Fred at the dog park here in Red Deer but he now lives in the U.S - his parents live in Kelowna. Fred totally cracks me up. When he picked us up from the airport and we were heading out to he car, the guy in the truck in front of us was beaking-off about how he had parked. Fred's park job was fine considering who he had parked behind when he got there, but it left little room for this 'hot head'. Both Fred and I are not good at keeping our mouths shut. Of course I was the first one to pipe-up to the 'tacky-skido jacket wearing- redneck' which probably didn't help the situation. Then Fred flew off the handle. Poor Carman. You had to have been there, but it still brings a smile to my face.

Burning off Fat

I think just about everyone starts off the New Year thinking about getting active and burning off some pounds. Just about a year ago I got out of the hospital and stepped on the scale and weighed 114 pounds. According to the BMI at 5'1 this is what I should weigh. I remember not liking the way I looked or felt. Actually, when I got home and looked in the mirror I cried because I thought I looked half dead. I told myself when I gained my weight back I wouldn't get after myself. Well, I am back to my pre-cancer weight, I feel like a whale and I am not doing very well at keeping my promise to myself. I think the difference is my body used to be quite muscular and now I feel quite flabby. So, I have told myself I need to get more active. How are you keeping active these days? Carman has been shedding the pounds at a spin class. My body can't handle that level of intensity yet, but I hope one day to join him.

The picture is of Becky and I snowshoeing on Boxing Day. The snow seems to be melting very quickly around here, but I thought of buying a pair. It was a workout and enjoyable.

Merry Christmas

I know this is delayed, but it is never too late to celebrate Christ's birth. Christmas was a bit hard because we were so sad with Rudy gone. Our nieces and nephews, along with our crazy families kept us preoccupied. We spend one night at my parent's in Camrose- eating Ukrainian food and fighting over my auntie Carol's cookies (my grandma's famous recipe). My nephew Rykan is a little shyster (I know it is not nice to call little kids names, but he is quite the little boy and his mom agrees that he knows how to 'ham' things up) really wanted to play the board game Battle Ship. My loving and patient husband agreed to play with him and I wish we had it on video. You see, Rykan is 4 and knows how to count and the alphabet so Carman thought he could teach him. Carman would say, "do you see the letters along the along the top - A,B,C..." and Rykan would start singing the alphabet. And then he would have Rykan look for the numbers and Rykan would start counting to 20. Alex (my 6 year old niece) and I enjoyed playing with her sticker book - she is so smart. Jacob really didn't like Rykan taking his toys - I don't worry about him being bullied. Jacob also liked Auntie Carol's cookies wanted to go to be with 3 of his new trucks.

Then we spent 2 nights in Drayton Valley with Carman's family. Carman's dad made Ande and Kade (2) each a rocking chair. It was cute to watch them sit on their chairs and play only as two year olds do. Baby Tobi is so good and loves to cuddle (he must get this from the Park side of the family). Becky (Carman's sister) and I got out snowshoeing to try and burn of some treats. One of the gifts in the gift exchange was a game called 'Fart'. Can you imagine! It came with a CD and everything. For over and hour we had to listen to the guys play that stupid game.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I know this particular holiday can be quite stressful for many families. Family members not getting along, disappointments when someone doesn't attend, words said, words not said........ It really isn't worth it. It make take a compromise on your part, but family is family.

Here is a picture with me and my sisters - Tara bought me a matching sweater for Christmas

last year. Tara, Me, Jodi, Kari. FYI - Tara is 30, lives in Edmonton ans is single. If anybody has a great guy .... they can contact me to go through the application process - when we were in high school a guy came to take Tara on a date and I had him convinced that we had an application he had to fill out before they left!!!! In advance, sorry Tara for the embarrassment!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I just wanted to share that I passed my CFP exam!!! Of the 1272 candidates who wrote, only 44.7% passed. Of those writing for the first time, 50.3% passed. Tomorrow, January 14th, my name will be on the list published in The Globe and Mail. It feels so good to finally have that done!