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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blessings in the Moment

Everyone needs to be occasionally reminded to count their blessings, so here's my list for today:

1. For the gift of new life. Yesterday I was able to hold a newborn baby, and I simply marvelled at how intricately the Lord has created us.

2. I'm grateful for quality family time. Whether it is hanging out at home, with my parents and youngest brother, or traveling far to be with my other brothers and their wives, I love it all.

Alysha, Dennis, Me, Brian, Melinda Sneaking in on a super fun moment!

Uncle John took me for a ride in his home-made Model T. I felt rather victorian when I was stepping out of the car in my African dress. He was proud to putt around at a gorgeous golf course as the Benjamins clan gathered for the wedding of his son Michael.
Meanwhile, I liked to "putt" around on the practise green before the reception started.

3. Recently, on one of the rare Sundays that I don't work, our new neighbour lady took us out for a delicious chinese meal. A truly cultural experience at the Dragon Dynasty. For anyone in the Scarborough region, I recommend trying the delicious food.

4. The opportunity to hang out with former college friends and missions team-mates. The Lord has truly blessed me with incredible friends.

5. Work continues to remind me that I should celebrate the gifts of speech, clear communication, movement, and independence.

6. It's a pretty cool feeling when a man picks up my dinner tab by surprise.

7. I love my new haircut. I've even received compliments that I look as young as 18 (actually, I'm not sure how I feel about that). And today a lovely friend mentioned that my eyes match the beauty in my heart. It's good to hear those words, but also a good reminder of how both our words and actions need to be honest testimonies that glorify God.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Power of Suggestion

Last Tuesday night, I caught up with my friend Jenn and her new fiance for a drink and dessert after work. We shared a warm chocolate brownie surprise that was scrumptioulyumptious. Jenn asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, and I'm absolutely pumped and honoured.
So last night I called Jenn to chat and to see how I could assist, since the wedding is coming up quickly. First, I need to find a black dress. Check, I think I can do that.
Then, Jenn was telling me that they've already booked a local Baptist church for the ceremony and how now it feels like it's actually happening. Jenn met with the Pastor to see if he could officiate at the wedding, and he quietly responded that he couldn't because he had a double funeral booked that day. Jenn honestly believed him for almost 10 minutes and was even informing her fiance that the wedding couldn't happen until the spring if the Pastor couldn't do it on the planned date. Finally Jenn realized that he was pulling her leg. No one books a double funeral a few months in advance. :)
Well, as I was chatting with Jenn on the phone, I thought that I should write her wedding on to the family calendar, so that I too could book the date. Writing while talking, I mistakenly wrote "Jenn's funeral". Ha Ha... I guess you can plan them in advance.

"Just One More Jump, Please?!"

This past Labour Day weekend I had the privilege of camping with my whole family. We had a blast swimming in the water or chatting around the fire. I want to share a few pics of the jumping experience I had with my three brothers. We all felt like kids again while egging eachother on in competition.
Dennis may jump the highest, but he is always the first one out of the water.
While Brian makes up the rules, Richard wins the race to shore.
It took me a bit to convince myself to jump... or maybe it was the three voices behind me saying: "Karen, if you don't jump, we'll push you!"
"Okay, Okay!! I'll go!!"
I jump straight down. Brian goes to the left. Richard goes to the right. Dennis goes further out over me. And within a few seconds we are all splashing eachother, grasping for the surface, and having a blast!
Emerald Lake is a great place to play. It has water activities for the young and the old. Here I am hanging out with my nephew Jaxsen at the splash pad.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

5 Minutes of Fun

There has always been a rule in my father's house that we are not allowed to have more than five minutes of fun a day. Sometimes I cheat and take some really miserable days, so that maybe I can have a half hour of fun. :) Just don't tell Dad! Last weekend I was able to get away to Grand Rapids for a few days. Crossing the border becomes more of a hassle, because I have too many stamps in my passport and the guard questions my reasons for travel. Thankfully, I was able to cross the border and head over to my cousin's house. I arrived in the evening, just in time to see the sun going down over the pond in their backyard.
A trip to the airport to watch planes depart and arrive filled some of our time. All of us girls wore skirts and we danced with joy whenever a plane came by. We were even able to watch a military plane in training, as it did fly by landings and take offs.
The kids are absolutely in love with Bones, who continues to sight see whenever possible.
One of my dear college roomie's was relaxing at a cottage for her birthday. Surprisingly, I was able to spend two days with Jeannie and her adorable family on the water at Green Lake. The cottage was too precious... a tiny green dwelling amidst these ritzy mansions on the waterfront. It wasn't any fun riding the Sea Doo!! I found out that I have a huge passion for speed, waves, and airtime. There is a rebellious side to me after all.
Mmm!! Corn on the cob.... my favourite.
On Friday night I went to Provin Trails behind beautiful (RBC) Kuyper College campus (my alma mater) to hang out in the dunes. I had sent out very last minute invitations for people to join me there if they could, but no one was able. Delightfully I was able to spend quality time with God. I read the whole book of Hosea, prayed, hiked, and had a picnic supper. I even collected a bag of acorns for Judy, who was trying to fill a decorative jar. The silence was wonderful, a much needed break.
Speaking of silence, Robert Shangle is a Live Statue whom I bumped into on Saturday. He was participating in Geek Aid, a festival to raise money for the public schools in Grand Rapids. Jeannie's husband also had a booth up at the event. He was selling his incredibly delicious Magnanimous Salsa. I scooped up some Barbecue 'Defender' and Pumpkin Mango Tango... which starts out creamy and sweet and then punches you with incredible heat!!