Monday, June 30, 2008

the lagoon

We visited a place called 'the lagoon' today. We stumbled upon it while exploring downtown Cairns. It was right on the beach - it was this large shallow pool with water fountains. Bill & Jester were in their element.....and it was free! We'll definitely go back there before we leave for PNG. We are definitely feeling pretty jet lagged still. The boys were awake from 1am-3:30am last night. We finally got them back to sleep, but we were all awake at 6am. We decided to do an outing today and try and be as normal as possible even if it meant a very tired (and cranky) Bill and Jester. The lagoon helped with that. Tomorrow's big plan: the zoo (if we can figured out the bus system).

A few quotes from Bill:
the wheels on his suitcase had flashing lights on it when he pulled it and one stopped working....he said, "That wheel is a wittle bit wazy."

when we arrived at the lodge in Cairns he asked, "Is this Papua New Guinea?"

he frequently asks, "are Nana & Papa going to be there?" and "Is Madi going to be there?" and "Is Grandma going to be there?"

Today when he was feeling tired he asked, "can we go home to Nana's?"

we made it...

Instead of recapping our journey again I decided to post the email I sent out to our family after we arrived in Cairns:

Hey Everyone!

We arrived safely at the Tree Tops Lodge around 3:30 Monday afternoon (which would be 12:30am Monday your time). Yes, we are extremely exhausted and so happy to be here. Cairns is beautiful…very tropical and humid! Our trip went incredibly smooth. The boys did SO good. We only had one or two moments where things got a little tense with them. Andrew and I also did well. We were pretty relaxed throughout the entire trip.

The theme of our journey here was God's favor and grace. It started in Winnipeg when we checked in our over-weight bags. The lady who checked in the bags just said, "I'll look the other way on this one!" All but one bag was over-weight and we didn't have to pay anything! Our flight from Vancouver to Sydney was about 15 hours long. One flight attendant made a comment to us that she's never seen a family sleep so well on this flight. William & Jesse probably slept about 9 hours….Drew and I pretended to sleep…we maybe got in 2 or 3 hours each.

Arriving in Sydney was very exciting. I was glad to have the long flight over with. When we arrived we had to go through customs. We arrived just moments before a large stampede of people came. We were so thankful for that because we only had one hour to catch our flight. Then came some discouragement…..We collected our 7 over-weight bags (along with 2 children, 2 strollers, and 5 carry-on bags) and had to get on a bus (that was a performance in itself!) to take us to another terminal. The bus driver never announced the stop and nothing was labeled clearly so we got off when everyone else did. After unloading everything (and paying $20 for the ride) we discovered we got off at the wrong place. I had to fight back some tears at this point. We caught the next bus and did it all over again. I'm glad the bus driver didn't charge us! When we finally got to the right place we were running quite late and there was a long line up. When we checked in our bags they told us our flight had been delayed so we would have time to catch it. The man who checked our bags never charged us for having an extra bag (Jesse could have one bag on our air Canada flight, but not with this flight) and then handed us our tickets and said, "enjoy the service in first class! The flight is full and since you were running late you've been bumped up." Drew and I just looked at each other with big smiles (answered prayer!!) – that definitely made up for that crazy bus ride. We didn't even request 1st class! We were even in the 1st row of 1st class! It was incredible! The boys had so much room to play and we had such nice service and all those little extras. Oh, and I almost forgot….since the flight was delayed by and hour they gave everyone on the flight a $15 food voucher. Our little family got $60 to buy ourselves lunch! An added blessing. One last thing….since we were late catching our flight our bags never made it on our flight and arrived in Cairns 2 hours after we did. We were very excited about this because it was much easier in the long run. Lugging around our many bags and kids was almost impossible! Our bags were delivered to our door 2 hours later! We didn't have to lift a finger.

Thanks everyone for praying. It wouldn't have gone as smooth as it did without your prayers (especially those who prayed for 1st class…tee hee).

We are relieved to have that long journey over with, but at the same time God used it to show us how much he cares for us and loves us! The boys had a good 3 hour nap after we arrived. I felt like we were torturing them when we woke them up to eat supper. William was eating his grilled cheese sandwich laying down on the couch half asleep. Our plan is to give them a shower and then put them back to bed. Hopefully they won't be up at 2am!

Love you all, Lisa and Drew, W & J too.

And a little sleep update.....the boys came into our room at 1am...ready to go for the day! yikes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Today is the day that we've been hoping for, planning for, and dreaming about for 2 years. We said many difficult good bye last night and there will be more today. Sleep didn't come easily last night as my mind went through all the faces that I will miss so dearly.

Here are some pictures from our last family shin dig. We treasure these times!

We had a joint birthday party with Auntie Arlene, Nana, and Jesse.
The grease monkey.......the thirsty grease monkey. Jess decided to fix the tractor while we weren't looking. It's his party and he can be greasy if he wants to.

Jess had a very bee-utiful cake. He LOVED it.

Madi & William are the bestest of friends (just look at the adoration in his face). We attempted to say good bye to Madi yesterday, but it was just too sad and we couldn't do it. We will try again today.

Thanks to all our family and friends who took the time to say good bye to us! We will miss you all. Keep us in your prayers as we travel today and tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

our life in 6 bags.

Bill & Jester had a little r&r time at the cabin with Nana & Papa these past few days while Drew and I have been frantically (okay, that's exaggerating a little) running around doing errands and packing our suitcases. I kinda wish I was in Bill's shoes right now. Having Nana look after my every little need would be pretty sweet right about now. My stomach has never been put through this many butterflies at one time and for this amount of time. My dad always says, "you just need to get those butterflies to fly in formation." Realistically this will only happen when I'm on the airplane...after all the good byes have been said, after all our stuff is packed, after all the loose ends have been tied up. Then perhaps those darn butterflies will get it together.

I'm amazed that practically everything we need for the next 2 years all fits in 6 bags. It helps that Drew is a packing expert. You should see how small he can make a t-shirt by rolling it up. You probably would have trouble believing it. I'll admit my suitcase is the biggest and the fullest....all the more reason to be thankful for Drew's incredible packing skills. Women require more stuff than men.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Heart Ache Continued

My brother sent me a link for John Paul Jackon's 'Coffee Talk' a few weeks ago. He is doing a series on transition, which is totally what we're going through right now. He says there are 3 phases to transition; desire, discipline, and delight. As I read part one on desire I felt the Holy Spirit touching me, encouraging me and comforting me. This article pin-pointed exactly what Drew and I have been going through and experiencing in the last few months. To read it in words was very liberating for me! 'Transition' has been very difficult and even confusing because you're feeling two very opposite emotions at once.

I'd like to share the article with you. I hope it'll encourage anyone else going through transition right now or just give you better understanding of what we're going through right now. I'm looking forward to reading the next two parts on discipline and delight! Here's the link......

As the years have passed in my life and ministry I have gone through several times of “transition” I have noticed three distinct phases to transition, Desire, Discipline, and Delight. I’ll address the first, Desire, below and the other two in the next posts.

The first phase, Desire requires a very intense time of mental and spiritual reorientation. Here you experience one of two types of deep felt emotion, either elation or sorrow, as the reorientation becomes more defined.

Some, at first, experience elation only and with it a false sense of euphoria. I say “false” because at this time you sense the excitement of the future and seldom consider that hardship will eventually be mixed with destiny. You just want to get there - now - and like a bad penny, you cast any flickering thought that there might be a coming cost to your newfound destiny aside.

Some will experience sorrow because you are being directed to leave a place you have come to love. Others will have sorrow with the leaving of family. This might mean cutting the strings they have to you and/or you have to them. That cutting is often emotional and painful, but you cannot become a leader if strings of control are attached to you. In addition, you cannot follow the wind of the Holy Spirit if you are anchored to your friends or your family.

At this juncture in transition, it is as if God is taking you away from the desire of your heart and that departure often creates a spiritual quandary. So the Lord begins the process of making you uncomfortable where you are. Some might say, “He stirs the nest.”

Sometimes one feels both sets of emotions within minutes of each other as your desire for the location, job, or career to another location, job, or career.

One thing you can count on - when God orders you to go through a time of transition, regardless which emotion you have, God is bound to make you restless and uncomfortable to insure you become willing to leave where you are so you can become what He has created you to be. He is simply waiting for our “yes” to His direction and for our desire to become His desire. It is here that He gives us the “desires of our heart.”

Blessings,John Paul Jackson

On that note here are some more of our dear family that we will miss.

The Aunties:

Auntie AJ

Auntie Crystal

Auntie Julie

Auntie Arlene

The Uncles:

Farmer Mike

Uncle Chris

Uncle Joel

The Grandparents:




Friday, June 20, 2008

backyardigan fun

I had little H all to myself yesterday....well for part of the day and then I had to share him with Bill and Jester. I think H's favorite part was the gum and freezies I gave him (sorry AJ). My favorite part of the day was savoring every minute with little H.

It's hard to tell who is who since they're all wearing identical hats. H is the small guy, Jester is the chubby guy, and Bill is the tallest guy.

H enjoying freezie number 2.

Bill cooling off.

You could tell who is who, but the tallest guy is sitting down and the chubby guy looks all blurred and the little guy looks the biggest because he's closest to the camera.

Jester was in his happy place.
Bill.....wuzzz up.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Heart Ache Begins.

These are all the wee ones we're going to miss....a lot.
Gideon will be 2 years old when we see him next.

Ruby will be 2 1/2 years old when we see her next.

Hezekiah will be 4 years old when we see him next.

Madi will be 6 1/2 years oldwhen we see her next.

Isaiah will be 4 years old when we see him next.
Noah & Ari will be 4 years old when we see them next.

Justin will be 5 1/2 years old when we see him next
Samara will be 3 1/2 years old when we see her next.

2 years doesn't sound like a long time, but when you measure it by how much growing a child does it suddenly seems like a long a very long time. I'm sad we're going to miss those growing years, but look forward to seeing how you all change and grow while we're away.
to be continued......

Monday, June 16, 2008

another round of Dandy.

I wanted to try the dandilion shot again when the sun was a little lower in the sky. Unfortunately, I discovered a woodtick on my knee cap when I got home. And I'll admit I got a little hysterical and ran around the coffee table several times, then proceeded to jump up and doing a laugh-cry-scream combo. Drew tried to calm me down long enough to pull it off, but had no luck. My dear mother got out of bed (I probably woke her up) to see what was going on. Well, it takes a mother's touch. She pulled it off my knee and flushed it down the toilet....where it belongs.
Cast your you like #1(top) or #2(bottom) better? I'm just curious.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

All things Andrew.

Today is a fitting day to brag about my husband. "Blaze your own trail" is the motto he lives by. That's actually the reason I was attracted to him when I first got to know him. He's never afraid to take a risk. He doesn't care what anyone thinks. Nothing will stop him. He's not someone who lets life slip by without living out his dreams. That's what I want to be like.

"Blaze your own trail" is something I hope my boys will live by as well....something they will learn from their father. Chances are good that they will with a father like Andrew. Our boys will be world changers, not world watchers. The example Andrew lives out is the best gift he could give our boys.

Words that describe Andrew.......determined, leader, strong, manly (that's what his name means!) integral, loyal, generous, passionate, honest, courageous. I dearly love all these things about him.

Happy Father's Day, Andrew! We love you just the way you are. I wouldn't want to be on this journey with anyone else.....and you make my journey that much more exciting!

Just Dandy.

Friday, June 13, 2008

making the most of it....

We've had a lot of rain this week. Bill & Jester have made the most of it. In fact, Bill ' just wuvs' the rain.

R is for.....

Ruby! The next ANTM. She didn't even cry when we lay her on the cold, rough cement. You rock, girl. Way to work the camera.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

still trying.....

Making a prayer card is harder than you think. Getting four VBergs to look at the camera at the same time (and smile) is harder than you think. Drew is the best at it. Bill is a close second. Me and Jes? We're working on it (at least I'm smiling).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

a whole new world....

I got my new lens today....had to be interogated at the border to get it, but it was worth it. Here is my first attempt at macro photography.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Flyin' High @ the F.G.

We had our annual Loewen gathering on Sunday. The 'Air Hog' was a highlight. Here is Ari and a bunch of legs preparing the Hog for flight.

The Italian Stallion is the guy for the job every time, hey Heath?

Thanks to our own Italian Stallion that Hog took off like a rocket and almost shmucked an innocent bystander. It was truly something special to watch.

Those mini Italian Stallion's loved it.