Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We made it. After 2 days of travel from Altona to Toronto and then to Honduras. We had to spend a day in TO and decided to go to the Toronto tower. After hours of waiting in lines we got to the top and back down. It was a fun day. The kids have never been on a subway so evenm the trip down town was fun for them.

So yesterday when we arrived in Honduras it was sunny and warm. But within a few hours it started to drizzle on and off and ended up raining from about 2 and lasted all night. But in the morning we woke to sunny clear skies and we had a great day.

After lunch we headed down to the casa Roc orphanage. When we got to the yard there was no one around and so we just walked into the yard and found them in the house. They were happy to see us and were very happy we had arrived. I immediatly took the ten month old baby from Marie's arms and she told me the baby was blind. They had gotten her from the hospital after the mother had tryed aborting her. She was a tiny very adorable baby. Afer hloding her for a while she fell asleep and I asked where I could put her. They showed me the crib and I placed her in there and went to spend some time with the other kids.
Lenard and Marie are so open and welcoming. Its as though they know that God is sending people and they need help and so they live with an expectant heart. I felt like we have known them for ever and they acted the same.
After putting the baby down I asked the kids if anyone would like a hug. Well for the next half hour I was in my glory. I went from one child to the next holding them and hugging them and asking them about themselves. These kids are not shy and soooo luvable. Even Dean said thet it was hard to leave them and would be so easy to take one home. Good thing we can't because they can't be adopted. So we will come back still a family of 4.
While we were hanging out Marie asked what we do for a living and when I told her I was a hairdresser and I had brought my scissors, she looked surprised and asked if Lenord told me they needed someone who could cut hair. I said no he hadn't said anything and she smiled and said how great it was that God provides for them in just that way all the time.
They talked about their lives a bit and and how they run the orphange and it sounds just how I would do it. Tomorrow we will go back for the day. Miranda is excited to play with their daughter Joy who is also 9 and go swimming with her again.(We took the girls and Colton for a quick swim before we headed back for supper.

I will try to update more at the end of the week. Internet is hard to get to and very expensive.( I'm not proof reading this to save time so sorry for the spelling)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Honduras Orphanage

We are off to Honduras. We will be spending our time helping at an orphanage. Check it out at http://www.casaderoc.org/casacielo.html.

At this time we don't know what we will be doing exactly, but it doesn't really matter all that much. We know that it will be great whatever we do. We decided that we will not be bringing our laptop with us. We hope that our Ipod will be enough to check our e-mails and if possible we will update the blog at an internet cafe.

We ask that you pray for safety for our family as we travel for the next few weeks and that our time there will help us to grow and learn. Also that we can be a blessing to the people of Honduras.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Family Travel with Purpose

Have you ever wondered what is inside the shacks on the side of the road in Central America or Mexico?

We have traveled for 19 years to 8 different countries and many different locations in those countries, we have always talked about wanting to know more about who is behind those cardboard and tin walls. What is it like to live in a house like that and how can we help. We have always felt like there has to be a way to help even one person or to get to know their story.
A few years ago we started hearing more and more about Ray Loewen, Build a village and what a difference that they are making in a country called El Salvador. We thought we have to go, we have to go and make a difference in this world that we travel through instead of just driving by. To just go and sit on a beach was not enough anymore.
We contacted Ray and asked if we could go as a family to El Salvador and work there. It took a bit of convincing on our part and also on Ray’s part for MCC to give permission for us to go because we wanted to bring our 5 and 9-year-old children. But go we did and it will forever stay with us, the people we met and the friends we will never forget in the small town of La Linea, El Salvador. We spent 2 weeks digging trenches on the side of a mountain in 35-degree heat and living in a house just like the ones we had seen driving through similar countries. We fell in love with the experience of giving back to a God who so blesses us every day.
Since 2006 we have spent our winter vacations serving instead of just hanging out and we LOVE it. We love the relationships we make and also we love the hope that we can show the people we meet who possibly have never even heard of our God. Some of the people we have met live a life of hopelessness that we never really understood before and now we are in the process of learning and also of watching our children learn how we all have the power to make a difference in the lives of others.
We spent part of our time in the winter of 2007 on a remote island in Panama. We visited a small indigenous village of the Ngobe. This trip was geared for children to learn how they have gifts that God has given them to share with others and how these gifts can bridge the gap between culture and language. We saw how this is very true. The children (the indigenous and ours) spent days getting to know each other through play and song. We showed them love and acceptance that they have never received from many others in their country. We taught them “Kidz” style the story of Jesus. We also brought them gifts of “Beanie baby” and “Hot Wheel” cars that local people sent with us to give. With these gifts we placed a Spanish children’s bible story. They loved this Christmas present and loved to read the story.
We ourselves learned so much from the people in Costa Rica and Panama. We have always walked away from these trips having learned so much about God and His love for us. We pray that we have also left that same gift with the people we meet.
To see more about how your family can make a difference go to www.kidzreach.com and there is also a link to a YouTube movie you can watch about our trip.

To answer the question “what is inside the shacks on the side of the road”. There are real people inside of those homes, with real families who they love and they are doing what they can to survive.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why Travel?

I was given the gift of hearing two stories of parents going through one of the most trying times imaginable, the illness of a child. To most parents it would be the worst possible thing to have to go through. The first story was of a mother who has a little girl with Autism and many other serious health issues and the other is a family with a child named Elliot who was never supposed to live one day but lived 99 days. It is amazing to see how both families persevered through life and trusted that God would lead them through it.
There was no choice in either of these family’s lives, but to hope, pray and trust that God is in control and has a plan.
Once again it is a story that helps me to know that our choice is to spend time as a family. We don’t know how long we have on this earth. We have to do what we can to make memories and to do the best we can for ach other.
We were born with the traveling adventure in our blood. This is something, which is hard to explain – it’s just there. It’s something that happens to us. Maybe it’s even who we are. It’s not entirely rational or logical or explainable. It just is.

We have always been intentional about our own lives and our kid’s upbringing. We have listened to people talk about how great it would be to give their kids the education of living in another culture, but no one seems to actually carry through the dream (unless they are missionaries). We agree that the experience of living somewhere different, of living a life other than middle class suburbia is a great idea – so we are just going to do it! We want to show our kids something other, other than the “norm”. It feels like a gift we can and want to give them.
In many ways “the trip” will not be too different to our living here. We will just be our family doing what our family does! Only we’ll be in different locations. Instead of inspiring our kids through books, we will be living the story. Instead of a summer camping holiday, they’ll spend winter swimming in the ocean and hiking through the jungle. Instead of not buying toys here, we’ll not buy souvenirs there. We’re hoping to have the opportunity to serve at an orphanage on our travels. We will go and “be us”. We don’t think we will change the world, but we do hope to make a little bit of difference to people we meet along the way.
We love learning and learning takes many forms
. We love history. We can’t wait to walk on old cobbled streets, climb turrets of castles. We love language. It’s exciting to engage, to communicate, and to cross barriers, to understand. We have had fun learning how to do that in the past.

We love creation. Jungle and beach walks, sunsets, collecting things, shells, rocks, discovering geckos and bugs, snorkeling, fishing and scuba diving. We are learning to see God in all these things.

We want to bring to our kids’ attention the needs of the world. Of course we don’t need to look past our own community to find people we can serve, and our kids do take part with us in meeting the needs we come across. But there is also a bigger picture. And while you can see some of that bigger picture on a television screen, there is something about smelling the smells, seeing the sights, hearing the noises and actually interacting with real people that we hope will plant seeds in our kid’s lives that will grow with them and help lead them to a life-purpose outside of themselves. Although we talk about the conditions most people live in today, most kids do not understand. They do not understand *hunger* or *orphan* or *naked* or *homeless* or *war*. We cannot tell our kids what to do with their lives, but we can choose what we show them and pray that they will be even more grateful for the blessings they have and be moved to share with others, to live their lives for others.
Instilling gratitude in our kids is one of the jobs we have always tried to be aware of. We want them to be grateful for the country that we live in and the friends and family that we love. We also want them to be aware that there are many other people who do not know the blessing of freedom and peace.
Part of me is scared, that what we are teaching them will one day make it easier for them to move far away from us and I won’t see them often. But the other part knows that spending this time with them will also bring us closer as a family. Hope, trust and faith, these are the things that I continue to learn more about.

This Christmas we will be traveling to Honduras. We will be visiting an orphanage where we will learn another hard truth. The truth about God's little ones that are homeless and without a parent to take care of them. I know it will be hard to see in real. To see what we see on t.v. and I know we will once again fall in love with another culture of people and another country.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Crib sheets and God

I have a very cool story about how God talks to me.
We have been trying to figure out our trip this winter with the kids. It started out that we were thinking Thailand and it very quickly changed back to Central America. Central America was not necessarily our first choice as we thought it would be nice to do something very different this year. But overseas was seemingly not going to happen right now. Well, O.K. we thought than where, where should we go? There are lots of possibilities. Central America is huge.
During some goggling and research, we came across Honduras. Oh ya, we thought. We had looked into Honduras last year and there are some really cool things about that country that we had forgotten about in the excitement of Asia.
So still undecided but very interested we looked some more to see what kinds of possible things there would be for us. One thing that has been on my mind for a while is to visit and help out in an orphanage. We have been learning about kids in Africa that are dying of dirty drinking water and HIV and all sorts of other horrible things and in my mind I thought we were being called to help these little children who were so alone in the world. I saw a picture of us and these little kids playing and their little dark hands holding ours as we skipped and played and colored pictures.
I went to a web site of an orphanage in Honduras that I found near the area that we are thinking we are going to go. The first picture I see is of six little dark skinned girls smiling at me. This is the exact picture that I keep seeing in my mind. So I looked further into this orphanage and looked to see if they accepted help or visits from people like our family. Yes, they love to have people come and play with the kids and yes, they do need things like mosquito spray, sun screen, books, crayons, toothpaste and crib sheets. Well I have all these things at home already, other than the crib sheets but I’m sure that someone has some that they are done with or there is always MCC. So I got out my bag and went through our camper stuff and found 3 bottles of sunscreen and bug spray and the kids have tones of books they don’t read any more. Wow, before you knew it I had a big bag packed full of things for the kids. Other than the crib sheets I had lots of stuff.
As I was thinking this, my mom came over to pick up some freezer stuff that I had for her. As we were talking I asked what she was up to for the day. She said “ Oh not too much. I am on my way to town. I’m going out for lunch with my friend and I need to go to MCC to bring them a bag of crib sheets that I found in the closet”. Mmmm… God is so much fun. I love it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fishing Fishing Fishing

We had a very fun weekend fishing at Pine falls in October. The weather was a bit cool but we dressed for it and it was a great weekend.

We stayed at a hotel at Pine falls so when we weren't fishing we were swimming.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

potato gleaning

We went with a group of people from our church potato gleaning. It was a really beautiful day to be out side. We all met in town and off we went with our trucks and pails. I had no idea that there were so many potatoes left behind after the harvester was done. We ended up with lots of potatoes. They were then brought to the food bank and a few people around town who could use some extra food for their families. We also kept some potatoes to make potato soup for SOUP SUNDAY. ( Sept. 28 at Seeds church).
The kids had a blast running around the field trying to find the biggest potato. I think Dean won the prize of the biggest.

I wondered as we were out there if people who are hungry know that they could get potatoes this way. But the question is I guess how would they get to the field? I hope that these potatoes will bring nourishment to many.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Pond

This year we dug a big pond on our yard for swimming and for putting trout into. It has been very fun to swim in it and to have "pool parties. We invited our friends over for a wiener roast and some pond swimming.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Horse show and Fish fry

We decided to stay home this weekend. We had a very busy weekend anyway. On Friday the kids went to Tinker Town with their grandma. On Saturday Miranda and I raced in the horse show and Dean and Colton built the floating dock for the pond and raked sand. We invited 40 people over for a fish fry/pond party/ SURPRISE birthday party for Dean. This party would have worked without a hitch had I not fallen off the horse on SAt. and could have helped Dean a bit more with HIS party. It all went great though. We ate tonnes of fish,potatoes,cole slaw,macaroni salad,baked beans and birthday cake. The kids had a great time in the pond.

Miranda and I entered almost all the gymcana classes. We did barrels, poles and a few other fun races. It was Miranda's first horse show and she did very well. She was very brave and trotted and loped all on her own. She won 2 fifth place and 1 second place ribbon. every year at the Horse show I tell myself that I should be ridding like I used to do 20 years ago. This year I decided on the day before that I would do it and borrowed a horse from my friend. Miranda also borrowed a horse from her so we could both show. It was soo much fun to be back on the horse running through the race. Whoo Hoo I had fun. I had so much fun that in the last event I pushed the poor horse a little to much. He rebelled at my pushing and won. I ended up landing on my rump. Well, I guess he showed me. I am way too old to fall off I horse. Now I know. Being competitive can get you a sore ass.

Miranda and Wendy doing barrels and poles

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Grand Rapids

Going to Grand Rapids is always a trip. It takes about 6 hours to get there so it is always with mixed emotions that I go. I don’t really like to drive for so long but I love it once we are here. It is quite remote and one of the most beautiful places. The water in the lake is crystal clear and just huge in size. The surroundings are lush and thickly forested. When you leave the rocky shoreline it feels like you are going out to the ocean.

This trip we are meeting Dean’s brother Jann and his wife Tina and their boys Curtis and Randy. They are coming out from Edmonton and meeting us at the lake.
The fishing in the north is fabulous. We pulled in Pike after Pike. My arms were sore after reeling in those massive fighting fish. But oh, what fun. We realized after fishing for a while that in this lake you are not allowed to keep fish over 30 inches and luckily we have a live well so we could chuck them back overboard. We had our limits after the first couple of hours or so but didn’t keep them all. We tried to only keep the ones that were around 25-30 inches so that we could take home as much meat as possible to feed our hungry friends back home. As soon as we have a weekend at home again we will have to have a big fish fry bash.
The second day we went to a different spot and pulled in at least 20 walleye and just as many northern pike. The weather is better here than at it has been at home so we have been enjoying the hot sunny calm days.
As always Dean is the best fishing guide and brought us all to the best fishing spots around so we had the best fishing ever.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Snake hunting in Crows Nest Pass.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


We had a great time at my dad’s house. We drove up to the waterfall in the mountains and took the hike up the river to check out the falls. We took some great pictures of the falls and the stream. Then we drove through the burned out area that happened years ago when the government wanted to do a controlled burn and it got out of control and burned a big chunk of the valley and mountain side out. It was interesting to see because we had been down there 5 years ago or so and to see what a difference that passing time had made. I was surprised at how little it had grown back. There was nice green grass everywhere but the dead blackened trees were still standing without much re-growth. It was not very nice to look at.

The next day we decide to take in a round of golf. Dad dropped us off at the local golf coarse and picked us up 2 hours later. It was a fun time. Edie made us some wonderful meals while we stayed there. We also tried to help out by mowing there lawn and Colton had fun using grandpa’s battery operated wipper snipper.

On Friday Richard and Connie (Dean’s aunt and uncle) came down to dad’s for a BBQ. They stayed the night and we had a great visit.

Crows Nest Pass is a very beautiful place to visit. It is the next place on our journey. Dean’s brother just moved there and we decided to stop in for a night to see him on our way home. We left dad’s after having breakfast with dad and Richard and Connie and headed south. It is a 3 hour drive south from Sundre and we arrived in Crows nest at lunch time. We filled the day with eating, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, touring the mountains, snake hunting and checking out Frank’s Slide. Franks slide is a place where 100 years ago a huge portion of the mountain broke off and crashed into the town below killing almost 100 people. It took 90 seconds for 90 million tones of rubble to crash down the mountain. It is an awesome site. The boulders we drove by and stood on where the size of houses. The slide goes out 2 km from the base of the mountain.

At 7:30 am we left for the 13 hour ride home. I think we are all done with driving. I know I am

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fun at Dad's house

We are finally at my dad's house. We haven't been here for 3 or 4 years. We spent yesterday just hanging out and we drove over to the next town and did a bit of shopping. The today we went to Ya Ha Tinda. It is in the mountains and we went hiking up a river to a really nice waterfall. There are Elk and long horned sheep in the park.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Opal hunting in the B.C. mountains

One of the reasons that we wanted to go to the Okanagan Valley was to search for Opals. We contacted an Opal shop in Vernon B.C. and they do a tour up into the mountains to search for Opals. So on Monday morning we took the 1 hour drive up a logging road to the top of a mountain and began the search for the elusive opal. In my mind I thought a opal would look like the ones on their web site. Nice and big and shiny. Well, it is not like it may seem. We spent 4 hours in the 40 degree heat searching through rock and dirt and found rocks with traces of opal slivers in them. Not exactly what I had imagined. But I suppose diamonds don't look like they do on a ring either. So we will return home with slivers of opal and I'm sure Dean will make them look really cool.

Hogs and Horses

My cool dude cousin has a hog and a horse. Miranda and Colton each got a ride on the Hog.Then we went to Mable beach and the boys did a little fishing. They caught a rainbow trout that we cooked up for supper along with the Salmon that Auntie Helen made us. It was all so good.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hot Hot Hot

I can't remember the last time I felt 40 degrees in Canada. Wow is it hot. The last few days have been sunny and 40 degrees (102).
Dean and Colton and my Uncle went out for the day driving through the mountains looking for semi preshious stones. They came back mostly empty handed. But today we are going on a more sure thing. There is an Opal mine in Vernon that they take people to to serch for Opals. So hopefully we will have some luck and find some good stones. Everyone out here thinks we are a bit nuts I think. They look at us a bit like we are nuts to want to go looking for rocks. But we like it. We want to get an early start. So we are leaving first thing this morning before it gets to over 100 again.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Okanagan

We are off on a road trip. We have always wanted to go for a road trip into the mountains. So we decided to make it a visiting holiday and kill a few birds with one stone. Dean also wanted to do some rock collecting in the mountains. We researched some good rock collecting sites and found an opal mine near Vernon. Well that is right where my aunt and uncle and cousins live. I haven't seen my cousins in 28 years. I called my aunt and asked if we could come for a visit and stay with them for a few days. Of course they said sure. So here we are in the Okanagan valley.
We drove through the states and stopped a couple of nights and meandered through the mountains. We got to the valley and stopped a few times to do some wine tasting. They have some excellent wines all through the valley. We also stopped along the way to find some rocks but so far didn't find anything that great.
Another fun thing we did is go on a train ride through the mountains on an old steam engine. It was the kids and my first ride on a real train. It was fun but I'm not sure how far I would want to go on a bumpy train.
We also have never picked bing cherries off a tree. We are here at the very beginning of cherry season. We stopped at a U pick cherry place and had lots of fun picking cherries and eating cherries. Mmmmm.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fishing at Rock Lake

This weekend we pulled our camper and boat to Rock Lake. It had been raining most of the day before we left so we were unsure of how the weekend would turn out. We ended up having a great weekend. It was windy on Sat. morning and afternoon on the water but in the campground it was nice and sunny and warm. We sat outside in shorts and t-shirts enjoying the sun and the cloud shapes we had to look at. We made up a photo scavenger hunt for the kids and they had fun running around taking pictures of silly things. In the evening it became nice and calm and we headed out for the evening fish. We caught enough for shore lunch and ended bringing back 2 big zip lock bags of walleye home.
This is a picture of our new boat. Dean wanted a different style of fishing boat so he traded with a guy who wanted the one we had.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

camping and fishing at Shoal Lake

This is the double header Jack and Walleye the boys caught.

We have had a fairly cool summer so far. We like to try to get out and go camping every weekend of the summer from May to Sept. It doesn't always work but we try.
We went out the third weekend of may to Shoal Lake,Ontario. It was a great weekend. We caught over 100 fish at least 20 being master angler. Master angler fish are fish that are considered bigger than the average. Most provinces have a program that if you catch a fish of a certain size catagory that they have listed you can sign up for their program and they send you a certificate.
We also had a shore lunch of fresh fish. It was a great weekend that was full of family time that can't be beat.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Inner city Winnipeg Urban Plunge

This spring break we once again went up to Winnipeg, snuggled ourselves into a church basement and threw ourselves into learning more about the people of the North End of Winnipeg.
Wow, once again we got a chance to have our eyes and hearts opened to the hurting people on the streets of the inner city. We spent 10 days with over 200 people under 18 years old. It made me realize that the older we get the more sleep we need.

One of the cool things that we all did was an urban plunge in the north end.
We all broke into small teams and walked around learning about who the people are who live and serve there. It started out by everyone going to their first location. Some of the tasks at the different locations were, buying someone a coffee in Portage place mall,giving up a piece of clothing at Siloam Mission,learning about prostitution and the girls who stand on the street corners and also just walking the streets meeting people and talking to them. There were many very cool stories from everyone when at the end of the day everyone was given $2 to buy themselves supper.

We met so many great people during the 10 days. I was blown away at the kids who gave up the usual spring break that most youth get to teach VBS and serve in soup kitchens and work hard.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

scuba diving in Belize

Yesterday we went scuba diving to the blue hole,long island wall and half moon caye. We had a great time and dove to depths that we had never dove before. Our first dive was to 130 feet and then our next dives were 60-70 feet. We saw lots of cool fish and coral. It was really a great day. Today we are going diving a gain to Hol Chan and shark ray alley where we expect to dive with sharks and sting rays and hopefully manta rays and eagle rays. We are getting in lots of water time which is exactly what we had hoped to do. Tonight Dean hopes to go night snorkeling again so we can eat more fresh lobster!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Those who know us know that we are always ready for a new adventure. That came in the form of a quick last minute trip to Belize for a week. We have always wanted to come back to Caye Caulker and do some more snorkeling here. So now that we have our scuba cert. we decided we had better use it. So here we are.
We of course had a bit of an adventure on the way here. We had booked our flights fairly close together. Because we used air miles we had a bit of a milk run. But we were supposed to be here at 3pm. So we figured we could do it. We didn't check any baggage so we could run if need be from one flight to another. Well that all came to a halt when there was a bit of snow in Minniapolis and our flight was delayed an hour. So we missed our flight to Belize from Dallas. The option was that we could stay in Dallas and leave the next day but the only flight was through Miami. So we asked if they could send us to Miami that day and we would leave from there the next morning. That worked out o.k. and they put us up in a nice hotel and gave us meal vouchers for all our meals. So the first night we spent in Miami Florida where I had never stayed so that was fun. We made it to Belize at 11:30am the next day and we were on Caye Caulker by 12:45. All was good.
We happened to meet a couple from Australia within an hour who jokingly asked for a ride back to their hotel when they saw we had rented a golf cart to go for a bit of a ride. Well they were lots of fun and we decided to go for a night dive that night with them. We saw some really cool sea life. We saw octipus and huge crab that looked like Alaskan King crab and we caught 7 lobster and took it back to our place and fried it up in Garlic butter for supper. So we definatly have had our share of adventure so far.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Home again

We are back home and busy getting back to regular life. If you have interest in seeing more of our pictures or hearing more stories give us a call.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

name that fish

we had a successful morning of inshore fishing today. The question is. Can you name the fish we caught?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Name that critter

Here are pictures of some of the sea life on the beach in Costa Rica. Can you guess what they are? You can send us post and let us know your guess.

These squiggles are all over the beach. Can you guess what makes them?

We found these on the beach. Can you guess what they are?