Tuesday, May 27, 2008

1 Day Left

So the time is finally here. My mind can't really seem to catch up to the reality and I am so excited and nervous and emotional. The journey to get this far has been long, and yet I've never doubted this is my passion in life, and Lord willing, we intend to do this for a very long time.

Our last few days have been filled with wonderful memories of family and friends and I am grateful for every moment. Please continue to pray for us as we spend our last day in Calgary, then fly out Thursday morning to spend 32 hours travelling. Pray for the flight and our sanity with two toddlers and all our luggage and transfers, etc. Pray protection for our luggage.

So I guess I will see you from the other side, eh! Next stop - NIGER!

Friday, May 23, 2008

6 Days

We only have 6 days left. I feel like we are making a dent in the huge amounts of packing, cleaning and organizing that we have to do, but I'm still bug-eyed at the amount we have left. And finding out that Royal Air Maroc (2nd half of our flight) only allows 1/4 of the carry-on luggage allowance than WestJet (first half of our flight) is disturbing. I had planned to carry my laptop, camera, external hard drive and camcorder with us as carryon, but now we wont be able to for the second leg. I'm nervous that whatever ones I pick to put in checked baggage will never be seen again.
*grumble* Trying to avoid paying any extra baggage fees, but I think we may also need one more than allowed baggage too. What makes that bad is we have to hand transfer our mound of luggage through the Montreal airport to check in with the second airline ourselves.

Our nursing of Arielle through the flu at 15 days left (my last post) turned into a 2 day hospital stay for her, we had an AWESOME sendoff from Sylvan Lake Alliance, I bought a guitar and bruised my fingertips learning to play, and otherwise all our time is packing and cleaning. We travel to Calgary again tomorrow for some last meetings, and then a Rockyview farewell on Sunday. Our passports and visas got here today...YIPPEE! But some books I ordered and a replacement camera battery are still M.I.A inspite of the fact they should have arrived LAST week. Murphys Law- I have no time to wait, so everything will be terribly late or not show up at all.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

15 Days left

We have 15 days left before we leave for Niger. In the next few days we are travelling to Wetaskiwin to say goodbye to Leanne & Colin, nursing Arielle's flu, packing and trying to get our malaria meds worked out. Thank you for praying for us during this time.

The views out the window home

We left Denver around noon and headed North. Compared to the awful drive down there with horrible weather and roads, this trip was a dream. The storm clouds in the distance, the sun above us and a great big blue sky were phenomenal. Once again our kids were such troopers! We stopped often during the day for photography stops (where I took pics and they ran around) and we hunted for some more geocaches. Here is Bennett holding one we found together that was sneakily camouflaged to look like a buried sprinkler head. But we found it!

This is another large format picture that was stitched together. It is 6 individual shots. I am getting this one printed on canvas to put up in Niger!

Another shot of the same tree. I had so many verses come into my head while shooting this tree. It was alone in this field and beautiful and strong.

Paul took this photo of me, while I am taking a panoramic series of shot of the mountain and skyline to blend into one large shot. The kids ran around in the grass and loved the break to stretch their legs.

Paul took this shot with our other camera while waiting for me to take mine and the kids played. I like his perspective and the blue sky captured.

A few pictures we took out the window while driving . I guess a big bonus of getting a huge rock smashed in the windshield a few weeks ago was that we had a brand new windshield to drive to Denver and had a clear view of the beauty around us! Paul and the kids were sleeping and I had my headphones in and worship music blasting. I had Shawn McDonald, Jeremy Camp, and Casting Crowns in my playlist and it was awesome to drive and see the amazing scenery and be close to the heart of God and rejoicing.

And we finally drove up to my parents house in Red Deer, our current home for a few more weeks. Check out the reading from our GPS unit of our total trip!

And I leave you with one more panoramic. I just started working with this one after stitching it. It is comprised of 14 seperate photographs and if I want to , I could get it printed at 10 feet long by 3 feet high because the resolution is high enough!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

1890 kilometres down...1890 kilometres to go

We just drove 1890 km straight. Right through the night, blizzard and wind storm to get from Red Deer to Denver, Colorado. We came to have one last visit with Chad and Michelle (my brother and sister-in-law).
Our trip down was long. and crazy. We hit the big blizzard and had bad weather for at least half of the way. We got stopped in a MacDonalds Playland for 3 hours since the highway south was closed from bad weather. We finally went to the gate to find out how much longer and to see if we should start looking at booking a hotel, when they told us they were just about to open it. So we waited right there and were the first ones on the empty road! It was wierd to drive so long without seeing anyone come in the other direction. There were windstorms and more closed highways and we finally made it to Denver about suppertime.

Paul spent most of his time while here helping Chad to frame and drywall a guest room in their basement and I think they enjoyed working together. The kids had a blast playing with their cousin Travis and enjoying the beautiful sunny weather. Here are some pics of the kids having fun.

Bennett talking to his "new friends" in the mirror room (see my facebook profile to see a video of it)

Arielle and Bennett playing with the costumes at the World of Wonder Kids museum.

Arielle loved the piano in the music interactive room and sat their the whole time playing the keys loudly, then softly and laughing.

Arielle climbing the ladder at the park. Not usually a big picture worthy event, but she is scared to climb or challenge herself and is even nervous going up the stairs at the park, so we were thrilled when Bennett taught her (carefully explaining where to put her feet!) and she did it alone, and repeated it 5 or 6 times! Yeah Arielle!

Paul and I outside their house

We went to Red Rocks natural Amphitheatre one afternoon. Cool place.
I love this picture for a few reasons. First of all, it was a really cool place. Secondly, it was huge. Way too big for a picture like this. So the trick is that this picture is 4 seperate pictures that I took from a tripod and then stiched together and blended to give us the whole scene is one nice picture. ENjoy all the work :)
I am working on another stitched photo, but it consists of 16 seperate photos, so that one is going to take a while. I'll post it at a later date

Bennett and Arielle - full of love for each other. I love the expression on her face!

Bennett came with me while i was shooting pictures and went up and down the huge sets of stairs. Quite a workout for my little man!

Travis sitting on the steps playing

And a thought to leave you with as we start our 1890 km trek home tomorrow:

Chantelle: "Bennett, be careful when you do that"
Bennett: "ok Mom. You go and be dangerous!"