Thursday, June 20, 2013

Random March

(sorry the video's might not work but don't know how to fix that and thought that I shouldn't delay the March random any longer!)

A bit late but better than never :)!

As part of our Christmas present from, a very lovely family, we got tickets to a local ice hockey game. We went on a Friday night with the local team the Chicago Wolves playing a Canadian team. We had a ball (or should that be puck?) as a family. What a great family outing! It took us quite a while to get to our venue (about 1 1/2 hrs) as it was rush hour on a Friday afternoon.We ate dinner in the car and so we were ready to go! I was amazed on how fast the game is, and how often they change players. It's pretty amazing to see those guys being so confident with their skates on. The lightning wasn't that great for photo's (or my photography skills are severely lacking :) ) but video's did work, so all I've got are some videos for you. Enjoy!

Guns! (Well Nerf Guns!)
Through coupons I managed to get a Nerf gun very cheap as a 'I love you' present for Albert (I think he preferred the gun to flowers or chocolates!). I knew he would like it as he always 'played' with it when he was at Josh's place. BUT I had underestimated on how much fun our family would have with just one gun! Here are a few poses of Albert, targeting the family. (I know that might not be allowed in some family to shoot each other but I suppose when the 'head' of the house is the one with the gun, he makes the rules!)

Bubble Blowing!
As part of their GEMS (used to be Calvinettes) points night (ie they collect points during the year and then are allowed to 'spend' them on all sorts of things) the girls came home with 'Hubba Bubba' gum. The girls were getting frustrated with not being able to blow bubbles. Their very helpful and thoughtful mum said that she would teach them. (Surely I could fit this into my homeschool curriculum in some form? suggestions anyone?). After a fair amount of practising by the girls and having the right placement of gum and the right amount of gum etc, they finally succeeded! 

Can you blow one this big? 
One of the seminary wives organised a Sunday Easter lunch/dinner at their house and invited who ever of the seminary community didn't have some place to go. Unfortunately for her she got sick and so was unable to have it at her house. So we hosted it instead. Look at all the lovely food she made!  left to right slow-cooked  lamb, roasted sweet potato with feta, rice, a lovely lettuce salad with Parmesan and garlic dressing and some lovely bread. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Reenactment of Monmouth Battle 2013

Today was Albert's day off and we had decided to go to Morristown to visit the museum etc there as the girls are studying American history. As Albert was looking through the flyers he came across an reenactment of the Battle of Monmouth! We googled it and decided that would be fun to go today! What a day it has been I have NEVER seen anything like this. I took about 150 photo's after which my camera battery died. So I didn't manage to catch everything as there was SO much to see and look at. I've selected a few photo's for you to look at and here are some links should you want to find out more about it Battle of MonmouthWikipedianewspaper and for those you are very keen I'm sure that there would be some footage on Youtube. One interesting fact about this battle that most of the casualties died from heatstroke. Apparently it was about 100F that day with no wind and the soldiers wore full wool uniforms! George Washington led the battle. Question to the audience, what else was he famous for?*

I'm not sure how many people did the reenactment but at least hundreds if not thousands! They had set up several villages for the weekend and cooked on open fires and slept in tents. It was an amazing experience!

There were even horses!
Can you see the British (red coats) attacking the American's ?
Cannons with live ammunition!
See the blue to the right and the red at the far left?
Start of the battle in the field,
red at the far left, blue in the front.
See the muskets? They fire live ammunition!
British closing in 
American's ready to fire!
Getting closer to the Americans

and closer, see the cannons? (and smoke?)
British won today! Another battle tomorrow!
Lovely British Lady posed for us!
This one is for Paul A!
PS They fired LIVE ammunition although of course they are blanks. It make for a very real impressive reenactment! After the battle which took an hour, we had a tour of the American camp, very informative! 
PPS We learned another important lesson today, being frugal is paying for the toll road!! (The GPS Toll road function was off and so the GPS took us on a detour around the toll road adding about an hour at least not fun!) The road home after paying the $1.50 toll was so much nicer and quicker!
*He was the first President of America!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kate's Birthday!

On the 2nd of June our Kate turned 7! She was a bit sad that she couldn't have a party with her friends as we have just moved to Pompton Plains for the summer. As a compromise we told her that we could go out for dinner and that she could chose! She loved that idea. Unfortunately for her the day after her birthday which was supposed to be a day off for Albert, Albert had to work. We took Friday off instead and had a lovely time at the YMCA pool swimming and then meeting with our good friends the Warners. We had the privilege to visit the Warners in their tiny/teeny/small/micro/miniscule apartment! For dinner we braved the Jersey City traffic and drove to the local mall for our dinner. Kate chose Taco Bell for the girls, Albert had a lovely big shaved beef sandwich (American size of course!) and I had some lovely salmon sushi!

On Kate's actual birthday we also had a visitor staying with us from our home church as he had a conference in Columbus, Ohio. We appreciated him visiting us and we spend the Sunday with him. He also upon realizing that it was Kate's birthday, bought her a present also. Kate got VERY spoiled. Our lovely neighbors gave a present for her before we left, a lady in our church in Indiana also gave me a present for her and we received cards in the mail from various people (you know who you are, THANK YOU!). 

We gave Kate a new Patrick for her birthday and we were so excited about it that the night before her birthday we couldn't wait any longer and we decided to give it to her early. She was thrilled to say the least! The other Patrick was loved to death and so she had been making do with a small version of Patrick which when we gave it to her years ago she initially rejected.

A pony (sorry can't remember her name)
New Patrick on the left,
small Patrick on the right
oh YES Clifford is still big in our house!
Hairbands and hairties!
A Dora doll from our lovely neighbours!
(She also got some other Dora things )
A drawing roll plus pencils
Sticker art book!
"Hannah" Birthday cake and soft toy
 (She named her Clifford Hannah after her lovely buddy at Faith Academy, isn't that sweet?)

Red food plus chicken nuggets - Kate's choice
Our visitor - John Koolard
Dinner with the Warner Family
Opening one of the cards

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Albert Update 8th of June 2013

Greetings from New Jersey!

After driving for 12 hours on the first day, and 3 hours on the next, we made it here. The girls were excellent on the trip, and very excited to be here!

I am spending the summer interning at Pompton Plains Reformed Bible Church.

We are staying in the Ministry House, which is the old manse behind the church. We are well catered for here, and the congregation has made us feel very welcome. There were a number of meals waiting for us, and the house was all ready for us when we arrived.

Initially I was scheduled to preach on the Sunday evening after our arriving (We arrived on Wednesday evening). But Pastor Kuiken was unwell, and so I took the two morning services. My partner-in-crime from Seminary Aaron graciously agreed to do the evening services. They were due to spend the weekend with us, as they were waiting for their apartment in Jersey City to become available.

Aaron is doing an internship with Pastors Murphy and Perez from Messiah's Reformed Fellowship in New York City. I had joked with him previously about doing a pulpit swap, little did I realize that I would be calling him and asking him for real!

All of the Sermons that I will preach here will be on Sermon Audio. You can find all the Sermons preached at Pompton Plain at this link from Sermon Audio. (For my sermons you can simply search at the same site for my name as speaker).

It has been a busy introduction. Pastor Kuiken was away during the first week. The week was spent visiting, and preparing for Sunday. We had two members of the Church pass away, as well as another member who had a serious fall that required Spinal Surgery, so it was a very busy week. A good introduction into Pastoral Ministry.

Due to the large number of members they have two morning services. These are exactly the same, just to two different groups of people. It is a little funny to be preaching the same message twice, but I remind myself that the second group has not heard the message yet.

I am enjoying the challenge of preaching. The nerves are still there, but they are decreasing down to a healthy nervousness. The congregation here are incredibly encouraging. I've been told that I need to slow down a little bit more, and so I am working on that.

I found very quickly in class that when I read a full manuscript it kills my facial and body expressions. I also look like a chicken! (Imagine a chicken picking feed off the ground, and you get the picture!). So I am preaching with an outline of two pages. This seems to be going much better, and as I get more comfortable in the pulpit I am sure that this will continue to improve. There is so much to learn, and it is exciting to think that I still have another two years of Seminary to learn more.

We are also enjoying the local YMCA. They provide free memberships for Pastors and their families, and as a Pastoral Intern we qualify for this as well. So we are enjoying swimming, and exercise classes. The two younger girls will also be able to have swimming lessons as well.

So we are blessed. We are humbled with the Lord's continual provision for our lives. We are enjoying the privilege of being involved in a congregation's lives. We are weeping with those who are weeping and rejoicing with those who are rejoicing. It's going to be hard to leave here!

Have a blessed week,


Monday, June 3, 2013

Memorial Day Parade

Monday was Memorial Day. It is a day to remember and honor those who have served America in all wars and those in current or active duty. Apparently most towns put on a parade as well and so we took our girls and watched the parade! Daniel W you would have been proud of us, waving our American flags!

Our girls with some church friends before the parade
There are flags everywhere!
Couldn't resist taking a photo
of my favorite animal!
I hope you are proud of me Uncle Daniel!

Memorial truck

Marching bank, quite impressive.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Hike!

Monday was a public holiday and Albert took that day off and so after going to the Memorial Day Parade we decided to 'check' out the local bush! I had envisioned just going for a little bush walk but it ended up more like a hike. It took us about 2 1/2 hrs. The 'walk' was VERY well signposted and if we got lost, I would have just walked to the noise of the freeway. We weren't prepared that much (did take drinks for all of us and we had cellphone coverage for the whole hike), I had even taken Zara's backpack thinking that it would be more than sufficient to carry our drinkbottles for the 'walk'. None of this was an issue in the end although I will wear covered shoes next time! 

Starting our 'walk'
A Fern
Sisters on a bridge during our 'walk'
Our first glimpse of NY!!
If you look very closely you can see some
of the skyline of NY in the distance
Handsome Couple
Tour Guide and his ladies in training
Better view of the skyline at the top of the hill
Look what Kate/Zara spotted?