Jared & Jessica Kingswood

What a beautiful wedding! The first pic is my nieces (Berlin & Kaityn) who were the flower girls in the wedding. The second pic is my cousin Jessica and her dad (my uncle Maarten). The third pic is of the decorations at the front of the church. The fourth pic is Jess and Jared exchanging vows. It was a beautiful, beautiful wedding. The day was busy and long, but well worth it.

catching up

So, yeah, the last couple of days have been a bit busy - but what else is new.

December 27- we had our Janzen Reunion (mom's side of the family). The food (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes), the fun ($10 gift exchange) and the family fellowship was great. Almost everyone was able to come for at least part of the day (one cousin and her husband couldn't make it). It was great to see everyone together and having fun.

December 28- I went out for lunch with a friend of mine at the Epicurean in Niagara-on-the-Lake (amazing food!). We had a great time catching up with each other. In the evening, we hosted the rehearsal party for my cousin Jessica and her fiance Jared. Someone (Jared's grandparents) decided it would be fun to mix and match 40 pairs of shoes and tie them together. It made people laugh - so I guess, "mission: accomplished".

December 29- I spent the morning experimenting on the heads of my nieces. They are both flower girls in Jared & Jessica's wedding and they need to get their hair done. I think we figured out how to style their hair, so tomorrow it's just gonna be a matter of getting them to sit still long enough to get it done. In the evening I'll be working, so right now I'm just chillin'.

See ya soon!

Reflections of 2006

In the beginning of January, I was able to do quite a bit of scrapbooking. We had our annual “Jumpstart January” weekend with Jolene Klassen (my Creative Memories consultant) and I got a lot accomplished. My sister, Sabrina, returned to Winnipeg, MB and then traveled to Guatemala with her team (she’s a team leader for CMU’s Outtatown Discipleship School). My brother, Gary, also traveled the world as he headed to New Zealand to work at a winery as part of his undergraduate studies at Brock. For me, the month also quickly shifted focus as many of my assignments were due.

February also had an academic focus with many assignments due before reading week and many tests and midterms after reading week. My parents went to Paraguay, South America for a few weeks. I had the house to myself, sort of. My friend, Leah, came to stay with me, but our schedules were so crazy that we barely saw each other.

March came and went without too much excitement. There were more assignments and my parents came home. Ella, my “niece” (Jim and Tina’s daughter), turned one on March 15 and we celebrated with a big party a few days earlier. My church also had its annual VBS during March Break. This year, we had a Fiesta in Mexico. The kids had a great time meeting the different creatures who reminded us that Jesus is our friend, our life, our leader, our Savior, and our helper. I must admit, I did too.
April brought exams. This year’s exam schedule was a little crazy – one exam on Thursday, no exams on Good Friday, two exams on Saturday, no exams on Easter Sunday, one exam on Easter Monday. Needless to say, the scrapbooking weekend that followed was greatly appreciated. After exams were done, I was also able to spend some more time catching up with the friends I “abandoned” during the previous weeks. My sister also came back home for the summer and I got to hear all about her adventures in Guatemala. I also had to leave my job at Lincoln Appliance Service Centre Inc. in April (they needed someone who was able to work full-time, and as a student I couldn’t do that).

In May I found a part-time job for the summer with Visiting Angels Inc. (an on-call health care service). I did the staff scheduling and a lot of office duties. I took a Spanish course at Niagara College. Between school and work, I managed to spend some quality time with friends as well.

June was a busy month. My mom treated “us girls” to a weekend in Pennsylvania and a show at the Sight and Sound Theatre (very cool). I also traveled to Paraguay for some weddings (my friends Dennis and Mardi and Wesley and Rony). The traveling was quite an adventure (definitely a long story, so I’ll try to post it another time). My time in Paraguay was good – I got to spend time with family and friends I met while I was there in 2004. While I was gone, I was also blessed with the arrival of my nephew, Rowan, on June 28.
I came back home in the middle of July and life quickly returned to a routine of work, family, and time with friends. I also had the opportunity to go to a showing of “Shakespeare in the Vineyard” (an annual event at Henry of Pelham Winery in St. Catharines). This year’s production was “A Comedy of Errors”. My family went to a cottage for a week and that was very relaxing. July also brought the registration season for the new year at Brock and my brother’s safe return from New Zealand.

In August I began to look for a new job for during the school year (my class schedule did not allow me to continue to work for Visiting Angels Inc.). I went to several interviews, and accepted a position at NuComm International. At the end of August, I began my training and started working there part-time. I was also invited to housesit for my friend, Nancy, from August 11 until September 23. I must admit, it was nice to be on my own and have some independence.

The fall semester at Brock began on September 7. Between school and work, my social life dwindled. The Sunday School program at my church also started up again and, once again, I’m helping out with the Grade 1 class. My niece, Kaityn, started school this year as she’s in the Jr. Kindergarten class at Virgil Public School. And my niece, Berlin, turned two on September 10 and we had a big party for her on September 16.

October was busy as usual. My family did not get together for Thanksgiving this year. I was housesitting at my aunt and uncle’s place, so a few friends and I had a chicken dinner and celebrated Thanksgiving together. Right after Thanksgiving, I began my placement for my Child and Youth Development class. Once a week I go to Colonel John Butler Public School in Niagara-on-the-Lake and help out in the Grade 1/2 class. I’ve been enjoying that a lot.

In October and November, I was plagued with terrible headaches and many migraines. At the end of November, the doctor finally prescribed a medication that helped and I was able to get back into the swing of things. Austin, my “nephew” (Jim and Tina’s son), was born on November 14. On November 28, we celebrated Kaityn’s 4th birthday. She is a huge fan of Dora the Explorer and the theme of the party reflected that.
The beginning of December was busy and stressful for me. Because of the migraines earlier in the semester, I had several major assignments that were still outstanding. My professors, very graciously, gave me extensions for them, but they were all due during the exam period. To top it all off, there was the threat of a strike by Brock’s professors after the first day of exams. During the first two weeks of December, I got very little sleep between researching and writing three different papers and studying for five exams. But it all got done and now Christmas has come and gone. Family gatherings on December 17 and December 27, Christmas programs at church on December 17 and December 24, a wedding on December 30 and a Child Dedication on December 31 round out the month. And then another year begins.

In the midst of all the usual hullabaloo of the holidays, I hope this holiday season has found you with peace and joy. Take the time to reflect on the Reason for this wonderful season. I wish you a blessed Christmas and hope that you’ll experience God’s unending love, amazing joy, and perfect peace throughout the coming year.

Boxing Day

These are my nieces and nephew on Christmas Morning. Kaityn is 4 years old, Berlin is 2 years old, and Rowan is 6 months old. I am so thankful that they live just around the corner from us and that I get to see them very often. They are SOOOO cute!!! Anyhow, I just thought I'd get this out there so that you can see just who I'm talking about when I talk about my nieces and nephew.

Hope you're all enjoying your holidays!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Love ya lots!

Life in a nut shell

The holidays have been good. Everyone is home. We were together yesterday (Christmas Eve) for lunch and supper and opening gifts. Today we had a waffle brunch together and that was yummy like always.

It's been a nice break from school. Yes, I'm a full-time university student. I'm currently in my second year of the Child and Youth Studies undergraduate program at Brock University in St. Catharines, ON. I've been enjoying my time there and have made some new friends.

I am also working part-time at NuComm International. Yes, I am a dreaded tele-marketer. Well, not really. I call Nissan owners in the US and ask how their last service visit was and if there is anything we can do to improve the quality of the service they receive. It's not too painful.

I'm still teaching Sunday School at our church. The grade 1 class consists of 4 girls and 4 boys. I think we have a lot of fun. It's kind of interesting because for one of my courses from Brock, I'm at an elementary school for 1 morning a week and 2 of my students from Sunday School are in the class I'm with at the school.

So, that is my life in a nut shell. Family. School. Work. Church. (not necessarily in order of importance). I can't promise as to how faithfully I'll update my new blog, but I will try to "spread the news" as often as I find time.

See ya soon.

Fiesta Time

Our March Break VBS takes us to Mexico for a fun Fiesta! I had a great time as the "Craft Lady" and, judging from the smiles and the amount of laughter, the kids had a great time too.

Here is a link to a video that shows what happened to the blankets we made for Operation Kid-to-Kid.