Saturday, December 30, 2006

Reasons To Celebrate!

Well, it is almost New Year's Eve!! Almost 2007. Almost time for us to resume our world travels. We have had a wonderful Christmas and a very relaxing break. Karmyn's first turkey turned out delicious and the left-overs are almost gone. Chad survived the day of shopping he gave Karmyn for Christmas and didn't even whine about the 5 hours in a mall! Knowing he was getting a Red Robbins' hamburger at the end probably helped!

We were able to talk to our families and lots of friends over Christmas which was so wonderful.

Perhaps the best news of today is.... I finally got my SSN!! This 'should' be the 'final' hurdle to start working. I have received my orientation schedule for January.

We will have a fairly quiet New Years. We will watch "The Sound of Music"- Chad is VERY excited to return to this weekly-viewed movie as he was growing up (his sis apparently loved it... but who doesn't, really?) And have meaty-cheesy nachos.

On the first we will drive to New York and on the second we head to ISRAEL!! We will be on a 10 day study tour with our school. We will be following the gospel of Mark. We are SOOOOOO excited about this opportunity. Please pray for safety as we travel. We will stay in Jerusalem, Tiberius, swim in the Dead Sea, have a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, walk in the Garden of Gethsemane, and see tonnes of cool Biblical sites! And don't worry, we will take a tonne of pics and we will try to post some stuff on here while we are there.

So, we are busy packing and getting ready to leave. We have a friend coming from Canada to do an intensive class at the Seminary, and he will stay in our place while we are gone, and we are looking forward to seeing him when we return.

Hope everyone had fabulous Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!

p.s. I have taken off the restrictions for commenting, so it should work for everyone now.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The REAL Deal

Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem- Luke 2:1-20

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;
11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.
17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.
18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

The New American Standard Bible, 1995 Update, (La Habra, California: The Lockman Foundation) 1996.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Did I Mention?

There is just something about this special time of year. The memories of this season make my heart smile! I love the REAL reason for the season along with everything else about it! I love decorating at the end of November and leaving it up well past New Years. I love sitting in the dark with Christmas lights on. I love falling asleep and making Chad unplug all the lights, night after night. I love the houses down here have wreaths on the door and all the windows. I love that they put a single candle in every window. I love wrapping and giving gifts. I love driving around looking at lights. I love getting a new ornament from my parents every year. I love carols. I love the cheesy music they play over and over and over and over again. I love the Charlie Brown soundtrack. I love the TV specials. I love the traditions. I love the baking (especially Nanimo bars...even though no one knows what they even are down here!), and chocolates (Tofifee, anyone?) I love all the special foods (Lefse, flatbread, Rossettes, popycock, tri-buns, layered salad, seafood dip, oranges, Grandma's punch, homemade icecream, turkey and all the trimmings, midnight snack...I could go on and on!) I love the Jello that melts into the hot turkey. I love pancakes, fruit and whipped cream for Christmas morning breakfast. I love wearing PJ's all day on the 25th and doing as little as possible. I love wishing (secretly) for a giant snow storm. I love studying the story of the birth of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. I love spending special time with Chad (though we wish we could be with our families and dream of the time we can be together again). I love remembering the warm feeling of Christmases growing up on the farm. I love remembering my Grandparents and our extended family all together.


Monday, December 18, 2006

What's in a name??

Well, names have been on my mind the last couple days. Why you ask?

For starters, another "Karmyn" found my bog! How crazy! It is fairly uncommon to say the least to run into someone with my spelling (outside my hometown at least!).

Secondly, we have been busy the last couple days working on our Church Planting stuff and have been throwing around different names and trying to settle on one. The main discussion is between a traditional name or a unique name.

Thirdly, we found out that Chad's sister and brother-in-law are expecting a boy! (Yipeee!) What a momentous task to choose a name for another human! In my SSN issues, I stumbled upon a list of popular baby names in the USA (

For Boys in 2005 the list is: 1. Jacob, 2. Michael, 3. Joshua, 4. Matthew, 5. Ethan, 6. Andrew, 7. Daniel, 8. Anthony, 9. Christopher, and 10. Joshua.

For Girls in 2005 the list is: 1. Emily, 2. Emma, 3. Madison, 4. Abigail, 5. Olivia, 6. Isabella, 7. Hannah, 8. Samantha, 9. Ava, 10. Ashley.

You can also check the top names for any year.

The year Chad was born the most popular boy's names were Micheal, Christopher, Jason, David. Chad was the 38th most popular boy name the year he was born but in 2005 was the 380th most popular name!

The year I was born the top girl names were Jennifer, Amanda, Jessica, Melissa. Karmyn (though not spelt properly!) was 183rd most popular girl's name the year I was born but in 2005 was the 270th most popular. And to think as a kid I wanted to change my name to 'Stephanie Amy'!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

You won't believe this!

So, this is unbelievable. After fighting for months to secure a job, interviewing, getting the visa issues sorted, doing a border-run to change my status, applying for a Social Security Number... I find out that because the hospital recruiter took sooooo long to sort me out, my temporary nursing permit has expired and is on hold until I receive my SSN!! So, we are back on hold. I attended a general orientation this week but there will be no other working until I receive my SSN. That will "take as long as it takes". We are praying for it to come asap!!

But all is not lost... Chad finished his finals yesterday. Karmyn finished on Wednesday. We were talking last night and figured that this is the first time since our honeymoon that we have been together- not traveling, not sight-seeing, not working, not moving, not doing a 'rush-visit of all family and friends', not studying (which are all great things we have been fortunate to experience!)... just having un-pressured time together! And it is Christmas! So we are going to relax and enjoy a bit of down time and count it is as blessing God figured we must have needed!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It just seems wrong...

Well,here we are mid-December, and the temperatures are in the double digits (Celsius), and I can unfortunately say that baring some freak snow storm (though not all together unheard of in 'these-them parts') it looks like it will be a 'brown Christmas'.

Although not all together brown... having grown up in the 'true North, strong, and free' I just can't quite wrap my head around this one nagging question that keeps coming into my head-

Do they pick up and move, or just mow around the Christmas lawn ornaments??!!??!!??

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Charlie Brown Tree

When Chad and I were dating, we were delighted to learn that each of us had grown up watching and loving 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' TV special. It was fun to come together and share an old tradition.

Last year in Korea, we were able to watch the show via the internet which helped us feel a bit closer to home, though we were a million miles away.

This year, we will only be a half-million miles away for Christmas, and we will for sure be watching the special once again, but we have also gone one step further... perhaps not on purpose...

We have our OWN Charlie Brown Tree this year. Being short on space and cash, I decided to hit the dollar store to 'Christmas-ize' our apartment. A few candles, table runner and mini-lights just weren't enough (though what is ever really enough Christmas-izing?), so I went back for the $1 tree! Good idea Karm! Let's just say it is 'cute' how it bends under the weight of the homemade ribbon star/bow topper, the mini-lights and the balls (12 for $1... not bad, not bad- too bad there wasn't even enough space for half of them on the tree!).

Even though it may not be an award-winner, it's ours, and there is just something unexplainably nice about sitting in the dark with a Christmas Tree all lit up at night...even if it is only 18 inches of beauty!

Virginia Christmas Spectacular

A week ago we had the privilege of seeing the famous Virginia Christmas Spectacular. It is an amazing Christmas show with 2 live singing Christmas trees (over 200 people per tree), over a half a million Christmas lights on the trees and stary back drop, lazer lights, hundreds of actors, amazing costumes, a live orchestra, brass band, bag pipers... you name it. It was incredibly well done and definitely helped us to get into the Christmas spirit.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I'm baaaack!!!

Well, I did my boarder-run yesterday to the Toronto airport to change my visa status. It only took nearly 20 hours of travels- thanks to delays (Chicago O'Hare shut down for a couple hours due to an 'emergency' during Friday 'rush hour'... can you imagine the nightmare?!?!), but Chad was patiently waiting on the other end with red roses (awwwww!). By the way, in case you were wondering, Toronto airport is not a very exciting place to kill 4+ hours... no Timmy's, no Starbucks, no Timmy's, no McDonalds, no Timmy's, no stores (other than a magazine and snack place), and did I mention NO TIMMY'S?!?!

I slept like a baby on most of the flights... and missed the pretzel snacks- doh!. 3 of my 4 flights were not full, so the extra room was nice to stretch out in. When I wasn't sleeping I finally got to read one of the books I got for my birthday. On one flight we had these flight attendants who were regaling each other with their stories. The craziest of which was the one about a man who actually flushed his pants down the airplane toilet! and came out in purple skimpy underwear!!

Thankfully, there were no issues securing my "Trade NAFTA Status" and I am clear and ready to start work this week! Bring on the orientation! I can't believe that after almost of year of getting all my ducks in line that I can finally be a Nurse in the USA! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Comments Still Welcome!

Due to a hillariously persistent annonymous commentor, we have been forced to enable comment screening on this blog (we have to approve every comment before it is published). However, we still would love to hear from our friends and family who we publish this blog for, and miss dearly!

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Excuse

Well, we know, we know, you have all been wondering where we have been, what with no posts and all. Busy? You guessed it. This week is the last week of classes, then onto exam week, and the semester will be finished! It has gone so fast.

We did however have a week off for American Thanksgiving. The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention flew us up to Canada to look at a church planting opportunity. It was nice to be 'home' for a few days, but all the miles, airports, and rental car left us a bit worn out when it was all said and done. It did however more than satisfy our curiosity as to who's winter is better... Virginia, or Canada??? Like that was a hard one!?!

The Majestic Rockies- doesn't get much nicer than this. (Though we had mixed feelings on our way back as we drove hour after hour though the snow and ice...)

We drove throught the Rockies into the Okanagan Valley, in British Columbia, where we visited the sponsoring church in West Bank (Kelowna). They have choosen Vernon, BC as a target area in need of an Evangelical church.

Vernon is about 45,000 people with the surrounding area population bring it up to about 75,000, but there are only 2 evangelical churches with any impact in the community that the scouts have been able to identify! We got to spend some time with the pastoral team in West Bank, as well as some time looking around Vernon and by the time we left, we were sure that this is what God was leading us to pursue. So, we have some hoops to jump through, but our plan is to end up in Vernon, BC to start a new church in about a years time! How exciting!!!

Who wouldn't want to live here?

And just for old times sake, we ran across a little "Engrish" on the way...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Lee Surrenders to Grant

It was the beginning of the end of the Civil War, which had for four long years tore apart the young republic. The horible cost in families and the economy, the devastation of beautiful environments, the animosity, the danger.

It was April the 9th 1865, just 5 days before Abraham Lincolm would be assassinated. And it was just 20 minutes from our apartment in Lynchburg.

We saw the fields were the last battles were fought and looked on the graves of the heroes of Confederacy and Union.

We were able to see the restored home in which Lee surrendered to Grant, under terms determined a few days earlier in a council of war at the newly captured St. Petersburg, with President Lincoln and the Union Generals wanting to create a reconciliation after the war.

As I looked at the actual table upon which Lee signed, I thought about the tradgedy of the affair, in which both sides had justifiable causes, the Confederacy seeking freedom from federal tyrrany, the Union becoming the champions of freedom.... Yes, I was deep in thought when suddenly Karmyn leapt unto the table and started dancing with the General Lee brand hooch in hand.

We are now raising money for bail and paypal donations will be accepted, if you can find it in your heart to help this poor girl, who never know that dancing on a historical monument was illegal (I mean who would?)

She felt really bad, and looked so contrite, that we were able to secure her release.... by means of a local barrister D. Richards whose luxiourious offices assured us of his profundity with the law and ensured our success in achieveing her release.

I had to plead and plead with him to give up his fanciful surroundings and come down to the courthouse. But he finally agreed

We were absolutely delighted and took Mr. Richards for a ride in our new ride, an official Civil War era driving machine!

The General Lee certified authentic cavalry scout vehicle.... Oscar Myer Special.

All and all a good day.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Did anyone say Football?

Like hockey to Canadians... these guys are nuts about their football!

We are talking over 15,000 fans to watch a University game. We are talking 15 minutes of the 6 o'clock news is dedicated to High School football. We are talking marching band and cheerleaders. We are talking about the big news around campus... we don't quite get it, but hey! It is fun none the less!

Gorgeous Fall

Apparently Virginia is know for it's autumn... and now we know why. The leaves and weather have been beautiful. The leaves first went yellow, then red and orange, and now finally they are turning brown and falling off. We just don't get the fire red and bright orange leaves at home anywhere close to this!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Waking Up In Virginia

So I woke me up a weeks ago and as I opened up the blinds, I saw a man pacing back and forth on our neighbors retaining wall... with a GUN! I said to Chad, "There's a man outside the window with a gun."
"Well," Chad said, "We are in Virginia".
"Do you think I should call the police?" I asked. I mean, I was worried.
"I think you should step away from the window," Chad replied!
So we are doing well and most of the time we feel pretty much at home. We never did figure out what he was looking at...

There was a 'mooose' in your 'hooose'?

Monday was not a good day. I mean I think I was quite brave about the whole ordeal... though Chad would probably tell you otherwise. I just hate animals that travel erratically- like birds, bats, mice...

So, I am sitting at the kitchen table (which doubles as my desk seeing as space is at a premium in our apartment) when I hear a SOUND in the corner behind the laundry hamper which we use as a garbage can. There are bags of cans waiting to go to recycling behind the trash. Chad gets up from his studies to come and check it out. He assures me it is just the bags of cans shifting. Fair enough.

15 minutes later it happens again. This time I draw my feet up onto my chair as my imagination starts to get the best of me. Nothing, 'just the bags again'. Ok. But maybe we should move the bags and see if it happens again. Chad humors me.

Like clockwork, 15 minutes later I hear the same small noise. "IT IS BACK!" I announced. At this point I am actually standing up on my chair! Chad sneaks over and tips the trash only to actually lay eyes on our new furry little friend, and quietly and calmly announces "there is your mouse". At which point I did what any rational person who has not even seen the critter would do... I scream! Chad just looks at me like, you didn't even see it. I assure him it matters not.

Out comes the traps (supplied by our landlords... apparently a 1905 house isn't exactly mouse proof!) and the peanut butter and we wait, and wait, and wait. What? Where is the little guy? Nothing. 3 times in a row and now nothing?!?!

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Until 6:30 am the following morning (and yes we slept in our apartment- see I told you I was brave!) We both wake up, look at each other, look towards the kitchen and Chad says, "I think we got him."

Sure enough. As I head to the bathroom and resisted the urge to lock the door (took some convincing that that actually would not help). Chad got his hockey sticks and did what any good hubby would do... apparently only one back leg had been caught and the mouse had hauled the trap around for a while. At least we were able to supply one of the anonymous neighborhood cats with an easy breakfast!

To make matters worse, I head off to school and regale my classmates with my horrifying story and they all start laughing at my funny accent...."there was a mooose in your hooose?"

Here is my humble attempt at 'blogging'!

Well, after weeks of 'bugging' from my beloved hubby, I for some reason suddenly (while stiting here alone on my one day at home) became compelled to start my own blog. I really don't know what came over me and I am sure that by tomorrow my senses will have come back, but for now, I'm jumping in!

I have not been good at writting emails to keep all our friends and family up to date. Life in Virginia just doens't have as many exciting and strange things to report all the time (I actually kept a daily list in Korea of things to put in our emails!) But, that said, some days we still do feel like we are in a foreign land and we are loving our time here.

So, for those of you who miss the epic email letters, hopefully this will help!