x-mas and since...

  • It snowed on Christmas: Bjørn and I had a bit of white for our first christmas together. And it's been snowing everyday since.
  • has anyone noticed that "x-mas" is fading out? Jeff noted that at dinner last night. 
  • I hate the movie "I am Legend" but i think that's mostly 'cuz my hand was sore afterwards from squeezing Bjørn's hand so hard for 2 hours. 
  • When Bjørn and I went out with Jeff and Whitney and Dad and Jeanette last night for dinner and a movie, we realized that couple-wise we felt a little backwards: Jeff and Whit are the old farts, Bjørn and I the newlyweds, and Dad and Jeanette, the young & the foolish (a.k.a. engaged)
  • I don't think I've heard "Frosty the Snowman" the entire X-mas season: maybe it as well is fading out of pop culture x-mas
  • Bjørn & I finally bought a standing lamp for our dark living room: but we did buy it half price. Jill called us "freaking bargain shoppers" and I don't know why I actually felt embarrassed. Apparently, I am slowly becoming Dutch, but not enough yet to be proud of it! haha.
  • Borders bookstore, the social hangout of Corvallis, has now changed the status for when you look up a book or cd from "in store" to "probably in store." Bjørn and I decided that status was useless. I could've already guessed that the cd I wanted was "probably" there. The whole reason I went to look it up, was to see if they did actually carry it. I wonder what situation brought upon the need to add the "probably"? Perhaps an angry customer that started yelling because the book that said it was "in store" was not on the shelf? Interesting.
  • Jeff & Whitney gave Bjørn a sign for our house that says: A good marriage is like ... It just keeps getting better and better.
  • The OSU beavers play at 5.30pm tomorrow, and thus Bjørn and I must make it to Southworth to start round 2 of x-mas by 5.30pm (at the latest!) 
*I purposely used "x-mas" for the entire blog--I'm SO cross-cultural ;)


Why I Love My Job

The Funny Moments
(while helping a kid during "writing workshop") 
"Oh shoot, I couldn't fit that sentence on that line." 1st grade boy
"Well you can just write it down here." me
"No, i'm gonna have to write P.S. That's what you write when you don't have enough space to put something!" boy

 (while waiting with 2nd graders for the bus)
"Let's talk about what we're going to do this weekend. How about you honey?" 2nd grade teacher
"I am going over to a friends house tonight, AND WE are going to have a sleep-over. Oh, and I'm the president of the United States." 2nd grade girl
"Take a bow." Teacher
[girl bows and everyone claps]

"Teacher, can I go to the office to get a new shirt?" 1st grade boy, again!
"Why is your shirt all wet?" me
"Oh well, you see I was going to the bathroom, and it just got in the way. There was nothing I could do about it." boy

"Mrs. B, my arm is broken." 1st grade girl
"Are you sure it's actually broken?" me
"Well, it hurts really really bad." girl
"Ok, well go tell Mrs. DeHoog." me (avoiding the situation, haha.)

And the touching...
  2nd grade students were writing a response to "If I were a gift, I would be a _______, and I would give myself to _________."
2nd grade boy: I would be a bible and give myself to my best friend Mark so he could learn about God. 
2nd grade boy: I would be myself. and give myself to my dad because he only gets to see me twice a year! (in good news, the boy is currently with his dad for a week in California)
  I would tell you more of their responses, but these 2 already had me crying. 

Merry Christmas to all the little children of the world, and of Sumas Elementary!


Back by popular demand

for those who have been asking [Bjørn's family] here is my Christmas list. And I'm doing it in true Bjørn style with links and everything ;)

mini swiss army knife in mint Urban Outfitters
ginger perfume (& other origins ginger products) Macys
gift certificate to Anthropologie
a new purse Urban Outfitters
rosanna plates Amazon
Women Behind Bars Amazon
The Radical Reformission Amazon
as well as theology and any classic fiction, esp. in hardcover, older/used editions
Carnival, Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant Wyclef Jean 
Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane


Why am I buying children's books?

I guess this is the result of working at an elementary school all day with primary kids, and having a book fair at the school! 

Fancy Nancy though, is an amazing books series, all about this little girl, who always wants to be fancy and use fancy words! Bjørn actually bought me the first book as an audible book online. For any mothers with young girls, read her these books! I just bought Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy today. 

The other book I bought today is called, Jazz on a Saturday Night. I 
didn't know they wrote good children's books about Jazz music. This book has an introduction about the history of jazz, and mentions the classics: Miles Davis, Max Roach, Charlie Parker, Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Stanley Clarke and of course Ella Fitzgerald. The book even comes with a cd with the song: Jazz on a Saturday Night. 

Up to date

  • It has snowed 2 weekends in a row in Lynden (and school hasn't been cancelled once!)
  • I have finally been on the Chuckanut Dr. (Bjørn took me as part of saturday date night)
  • Last night, Bjørn and I went to Bethel Christian Reformed Church for their advent service. This is the church that Bjørn's grandma has attended for years. She was quite excited to see us there
  • Bjørn's grandma calls me Jennifer: I think when I am a grandma I'm going to call everyone by their full names and say "that's lovely darling" like the grandma from Happy Gilmore--anyone remember her?
  • Bjørn and I are planning on going to Bethel every Sunday night during Advent.
  • We went over to Doug and Pam's (Bjørn's uncle & aunt) for coffee afterwards
  • Bjørn and I discovered after working out at Homestead at 10'oclock last night that the entire city of Lynden is dead after 10. As Bjørn said, "We OWN this city at night."
  • Bjørn-of all people!- dropped his iPod while running on the treadmill, and reacted by telling me that I was not allowed to use my iPod on the treadmill! (because if he can drop it, then I FOR SURE will drop it! I love my husband ;))
  • I think the staff was laughing at us while we ran side by side on our treadmills both wearing headphones and not talking to each other. 
  • why am i ALWAYS cold?


Ch-ch-check your self

"Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son." II John 8-9

Johnny (my pastor) did a good job of reminding me today how crucial it is that we cannot lose Jesus in our theology. Today, in so much of the emerging church people are "go(ing) on ahead" by presenting new concepts of God and church, and somehow so much of the time Jesus is gradually pushed to the side and slowly forgotten. Don't get me wrong, new ideas can be good and are important to challenge the church, but it seems that so many major doctrines that are the foundation of Christianity are being replaced today.

But the apostle John is so very clear that if we do not abide in the teaching of Christ, we do NOT have God. I don't often think of how easily I could lose God, but in our universalist minded society we must all constantly be watching ourselves. The second I start to acknowledge other ways of knowing God, I sacrifice my Jesus, and he "died for nothing!" (Gal. 2:21)

And that would be the most tragic mistake of my life.


Hello and welcome December!

Once again the snow has hit Lynden, just in time to welcome in December and the Christmas season!

But there's a "little" wind that comes through Lynden and Blaine from over the North Easten mountains, infamously named the "North Easter" which Bjørn and I just discovered is biblical! (those good 'ol dutchmen;)) This wind creates huge snow drifts and keeps very much snow from sticking on the ground. So even though it's been snowing all day only an inch of so has stuck on the grounds. Not to mention, this wind makes it absolutely freezing ALL the time!! Even though I've lived in Langley for the last 4 years, I was never told about this positively terrible wind that apparently only exists in Lynden. I've got to get an even warmer jacket!

The snow was a nice sight to wake up to, esp. since I've spent wednesday afternoon until this morning in bed due to a bad case of the flu. I have survived though and was able to go out in public for the first time today...just to the Woods coffee shop. But every bit counts! I also did a little more decorating today.

Bjørn bought the Charlie Brown Christmas album, so we're been grooving to that the last couple of days. I love this one:


Who needs Cabo?

when you got snow like this?!

Bjørn and I are waiting for the phone call we inevitably will get from Jeff, if not in the next couple of days, the day he is home, asking us how the weather is there. His answer of course will be, "It's 90 degrees here. I just got a sunburn."But it's nights like these where you step outside to do the recycling to realize the whole outside world is covered in a soft white blanket. The good ol Northern Northwest!

Bjørn is quite grumpy about going outside with me.

Ready to hit the snow

And here's a shot of the inside of our house: just the first flavor of Christmas.

The Kitchen

Check out the rest at my flickr.


Now that's the way to do Thanksgiving...

10 pounds heavier, 5 huge meals, and 4 family visits later, Bjørn and I just crashed from Thanksgiving weekend! We both had busy work weeks, Bjørn having to work 2 12-hr days in order to get black friday off (since he works in Canada) and me working late due to conferences (I had to translate a couple of them--stressful!)

Bjørn's parents pulled into town around 8ish on Wednesday, while I was making rolls at Aunt Marti's. My family arrived late, like 1 am style late, to Lynden Wednesday night. We took my family to the Eide compound (Bjørn's mom's side of the family) for Thanksgiving dinner thursday evening. I have always, always wanted a big family thanksgiving, but growing up hadn't ever had one. So this Thanksgiving was a huge treat to have my whole family there--totaling 18 people!

The next evening Bjørn and I went with his immediate family over to Bjørn's dad, Peter's, side of the family, the Bulthuis' get-together, also in Lynden! Friday, we again spent with the Eide family, and today was finished off with Bjørn's parents and brother, Calvin going to church with us in Abottsford.

I've never had so much family around to spend Thanksgiving with! It is a huge a blessing, but already I am getting tired again just writing about the weekend... ;)


loving the bennys!

Yesterday, I had my new employee orientation, which was summed up a 1 hr. meeting with the HR specialist 1-on-1 going over everything. Not only, am I able to get good medical coverage for Bjørn and I at a good rate, along with dental and vision retirement, but they offer memberships at homestead fitness center at the homestead member rate. I was THRILLED about this because the center includes a huge gym, indoor/outdoor pool, indoor/outdoor hot tub, pool and aerobics classes, and tanning beds. The best part though of course is that it is open 24 hrs a day. Oh yeah!! So now, Bjørn and I know exactly what to do when we're bored at home (esp. since it's about 4 minutes away).

You just gotta love working for the school district!


Jerry did it again!

Tonight I went with all the Eide girls: Kay, Bria, Marti and Marika to see the Bee Movie. Good ol Jerry Seinfeld was the lead bee character, Barry, and I must say it was pretty funny. I found the "bee jokes" to be amusing, rather than overdone, and the plot provided a good lesson in the importance of bees. Without giving away the story, the bees go to court to demand that humans stop taking away all their honey and forcing bees to live on huge bee farms. But the end result of returning the honey is not what the bees expected. There was a subtle theme I found rather applicable to our present culture. Barry demands for the complete freedom and separation of honey from humans, only to find that complete bee liberation and separation is not the best, not only for humans, but bees alike.

Some pretty good messages for being a "kids movie"!


Mark 7.21-23

"For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these things come from within, and they defile a person."

This was in my reading this morning. Pretty fitting for the blog I wrote this morning. Way to hit me with that one, God.


I guess I should introduce this video. Daddy Yankee is the biggest Reggaeton star today. He was named in the 100 Most Influential People article in the April 30, 2006 of TIME magazine. Reggaeton is a style of music that blends Jamacian reggae with Latino merengue and bachata with hip hop and rap. Most of the rap is done in Spanish, although Daddy Yankee uses a lot of Spanglish (English and Spanish mixed). It is huge in Latino America and growing around the world. When I was in Guatemala, everyone listened to Daddy Yankee, from out in the park to the dance clubs and bars.

I found this video on YouTube yesterday, and was pretty shocked at its seriousness. I admire Daddy Yankee's boldness to address such major world issues.
(I provided the English translation, so be forewarned that it is a combo of free online translation alongside my own interpretation, and thus quite imperfect. But for those who do not speak Spanish, a majority of you, it is sufficient.)

[text at the beginning]Annually, 80,000 Latin American children are murdered in their own homes

Situations of millions of hearts!
If the looks killed, To' the time I’d use a gavana (don’t know the translation)
A cure accompanied me
A caravan following me
If it was up to my enemies, by their hands, at the table they would take me
A viper of meat and vinegar drink
They would crucify me in a crude and murderous act
But they are mistaken, my God raises me with health and life
If it was up to the government, rappers would not exist
They would deliver us to jail and give us the death penalty
There is one that tramples and the one that helps all human beings
There is a good friend who is real as a brother
Blood weighs more than water,
And Dirty blood exists, set in each of us since Cain and Abel

Because there are...
Hearts with envy
Hearts with anger
Hearts with fury
Situations of millions of hearts with fear
sincere Hearts
warlike Hearts
treacherous Hearts

I am the capital of the capital of the crime
AND in the air a spirit of death is perceived that devours what lives
If I met all the hamlets
Proposing a truce in name of the ones that have gone Without fear,
I would tell them "My people, I, am the only brave one here. ..”
"That calls upon them that innocent blood not be spilled...”
"Settle things as men, and and do not fail each other ..”
But it is a lost dream
Like seeing the 3 united parties Fighting for the good of Puerto Rico

They do not see that education is poor in the housing projects
They need more teachers, need materials
To create more leaders and fewer criminals
There are hearts there with personal problems
If I were to give him back the time
He would heal the wounds of the teacher throughout his body
He’d stop the hands of that centurion with his spear
But within the same act, they would massacre me
The lowering of the cross remains morbid
But he had to die to save the world

It’s that the world's hearts ...
believed wise in their own opinion... ...
But perish at its end ...
Because they walk on the way to perdition ....
There are hearts that do not forgive their brothers ...
But, you know ...
That God himself will not forgive their sins ...
There are hearts that help without asking for anything in return ...
And their nobility seeks progress on a daily basis ...

[Spoken at the end]
There are treacherous hearts... That like to deceive the sincere hearts...
but more valuable is a second than all the money in the entire world...
And that heart exists that is harmful...
which torments us with fallen angels...
But there is a heart more powerful which protects us...
That never and will never be defeated ..
And the one that seeks will find it...
Forever you will be blessed...
You who take refuge in wisdom...

[text at the end]More small hearts, more hatred shelters. ~Victor Hugo

Original Spanish:
Anualmente 80,000 ninos latinoamericanos son asesinados dentro de sus propios hogares

Si las miradas mataran
To' el tiempo usara una gavana
Un cura me acompañara
Siguiendome una caravana
Si fuera por mis enemigos, a la mesa me trairían
Una víbora de carne y vinagre de bebid
Me cruzificaran en un acto crudo y homicida
Pero se equivocan, me levanta mi Dios con salud y vida
Si por el gobierno fuera, los raperos no existieran
Nos lanzan al calabozo y con la pena muerte nos dieran
Esta el que pisotea y el que ayuda al ser humano
Existe el buen amigo que es leál como un hermano
La sangre pesa mas que el agua, pero midela bien
Existe sangre sucia, fijate en Cain y Abel

Porque hay...
Corazones con envidia
Corazones con ira
Corazones con furia
Situaciones de millones de corazones
Con miedo
Corazones sinceros
Corazones guerreros
Corazones traicioneros

Soy de la capital de la capital del crimen
Y en el aire se percibe
Un espiritu de muerte que devora lo que vive
Si fuera por mi reuniría a todos los caseríos
Proponiendo una tregua en nombre de los que se han ido
Sin miedo, yo les diría
"Mi gente, yo solamente aqui soy un valiente..."
"Que les pide que no derramen ya la sangre inocente..."
"Arreglen como hombres, y no se fallen mutuamente..."
Pero se que es un sueño perdido
Como ver a los 3 partidos unidos
Luchando por el bien de Puerto Rico
No ven que es mediocre la educación en los residenciales
Necesitan mas maestros, necesitan materiales
Para crear mas líderes y menos criminales
Hay corazones allí con problemas personales
Si por mi fuera le daría para atras al tiempo
Sanaría las heridas del maestro en todo su cuerpo
Paraba las manos de aquel centurion con su lanza
Tambien en el acto me tendrian que dar matanza
Lo bajaría de la cruz estando moribundo
Pero tuvo que morir para salvar al mundo

Es que en el mundo hay corazones...
Que se creen sabios en su propia opinión...
Pero cavann en su fin...
Porque andan en camino de perdición....
Hay corazones que no perdonan a sus hermanos...
Pero, tu sabes...
Que asi mismo Dios no los perdonará por sus pecados...
Hay corazones que ayudan sin pedir nada a cambio...
Y por su nobleza encuentran el progreso a diario...
Hay corazones traicioneros...
Que le gusta engañar a los corazones sinceros...
Pero mas vale segundo que el dinero del mundo entero...
Y existe aquel corazon maligno...
Que nos atormenta con angeles caídos...
Pero hay un corazón mas poderoso que nos protege...
Que jamas y nunca será vencido...
Y el que lo busque y lo encuentre...
Para siempre sera bendecido...
Refugiate en sabiduría...

Cuanto mas pequeno el corazon, mas odio alberga. ~Victor Hugo



custom designed tombstones, originally uploaded by The Enforcer.

Bjørn and I decided to throw a Halloween party. We went all out decorating the house on a "limited" budget. Thus, I spent a lot of time on martha stewart online to find creative ways to create decorations. It was a lot of fun. I know Halloween gets a bad rap for being an evil time, and I know that a lot of bad stuff does happen, but I gotta say I really enjoy the neighbors being out, and kids and adults alike dressing up in costumes and having parties! It's got some fun stuff too.

Check out the rest of the photo gallery on my flickr.


Does the tree of life...

...in Genesis 3:24 still exist on the Earth? Is it still being guarded by cherubim and a totally awesome flaming sword that turns in every direction? -Ask Anything, Mars Hill Church

K, so I totally stole this post from Bjørn, but we did find this question together so I guess it's not fully a theft. right? Anyway, Ask Anything is Mars Hill newest q&a site, in which anyone can write a question to head pastor Mark Driscoll, and then people can vote for which questions they want him to answer, and at the end of the week, he writes a response to the #1 question. Pretty cool idea.

And anyone that knows Bjørn and I well, know that we are big fans of Mars Hill and Driscoll. Being somewhat techny nerds (Bjørn= way techy nerd; I =only a little bit. I try to balance him out!), we always listen in to the Mars Hill podcast. Nothing like a good sermon on a friday evening! haha kidding. Not kidding though: after going to the locally famous Nuthouse Bar & Grill last Saturday night, while i fell asleep on the couch, Bjørn and a couple of guy friends spent an hour and a half watching Driscoll and Piper videos on Youtube. The epitamy of theology meets technology nerds.

This video is pretty funny though. Worth checking out and laughing about.
"Be a Man"


Guess WHO came to visit?

Jill came up two weekends ago (I know poor form on the late blog posting-alas, i am human). The weather was amazing, and we had an awesome time. Friday, we went to an apple orchard, south of lynden on ten mile road, because I had observed the last time I was there that they had golf carts free of charge that anyone could drive around their orchard. Jill and I way took advantage of that and drove around for an hour. Most other people probably would have gone for about 20 minutes.
Yes, I stole an apple.
Crazy 'Ol Maurice
Saturday, we babysat 3 little boys from our church that Bjørn and I are good friends with. We started out with skateboarding-these boys are pretty hardcore, especially the 4-year-old. And then we took them to a local pumpkin patch (stoney ridge on the Van Dyk, for those of you that would know). I love these boys, and even get to babysit them again on friday.

Confession: I bawled after Jill left. There's just something about moving away from family, and getting to be around your best girl friend, that hit me after she was gone. But the whole familia will be up for Thanksgiving, so I can be patient. I think.


in the waiting process...

The principal at Sumas Elementary is finally back from her vacation in Korea. She said that today she will be talking with a couple of other principals to work out moving some $ around to fund my official job. She also said that hopefully within this week, she could get me going as a substitute until the official job falls into place.

It is good to have more security. But for now, I am still on the waiting front.

So far, I have only been working as an assistant in the after school program at the neighboring school, Everson Elementary, 3 days a week. It is already a lot of fun, and I can't wait to work more one-on-one with the ESL kids.


introducing Senora Bulthuis

That is right, may I introduce you to the head of the brand new ESL department at Sumas Elementary School, myself. In a somewhat bizarre last couple days, I went to Sumas Elementary for an observation/interview for a position working one-on-one with special needs kids at the school. During my interview with the principal she actually asked me how interested I would be in doing something ESL related and using my spanish skills to work with the 20+ new Hispanic students in the school. I was thrilled. She is in the process of figuring out funding and setting up the official job, but until that process is completed she has hired me on as a substitute para educator (which get paids a good rate, just no benefits yet).

My job will basically consist of working one-on-one and in small groups with the Non-Native English speakers from 12-3pm, adjusting the level of language to their comprehension levels, which involves some translation into Spanish. I will then be "shadowing" two ESL teachers at Everson Elementary who run an after-school ESL program. The hope is after a couple of months of shadowing this after school program I will start a similar program at Sumas Elementary.

Currently, there is only 1 other TESL certified teacher at Sumas, who has a basic level of Spanish. Therefore, I am as equally if not the most qualified ESL teacher for the school, which is quite a different feeling for me. But I definitely need to study some Spanish vocabulary and hopefully with a little practice, I will get back into the hang of speaking it. I'm SOO excited!


Mexican Fiesta

I completely forgot to take pictures today, but Bjørn and I threw one kick butt Mexican fiesta for the Eide clan as a thank-you for the honeymoon present they gave us. It was complete with homemade spicy salsa, mango salsa, guacamole, enchiladas, shrimp soft tacos, black bean-corn ensalada, mexican rice and cinnamon crisps for dessert! Just writing about it now, makes me hungry all over again. Luckily we have lots of leftovers.

Once again, thank you Eides for the King suite at the Grand Mayan, Cancun style. Increible!

signed Jenny & Bjørn


The New Vintage.242

So our church has moved not only to Sunday mornings at 9:45am, but we also decided to hit up a new spot, the Grand 6 cinemas on Fraser Hwy in Abbotsford. Bjørn and I have have a bit of a rough adjustment as we've had to be there at 7.30 or 8.00 am Sunday mornings for the past 3 weeks. So far, the new setup is great, and a bunch of different people have been coming.

Anyway, here is a picture of the "lobby"/theater concession stand. Click here, to see our friend, Chris Madge's shots of the theater. Oh and check out the vintage website that Bjørn is always updating. (He is working on creating a members site...very cool.)


After rejoicing about a canceled camping trip, Bjørn and I spent Saturday going to the bank to finally add me to the account. That's right folks, i have full access to Bjørn's $$ (well technically, i'm still waiting for the temporary debit card, but almost!) Bjørn then spent the rest of the day serving me by meticulously cleaning the kitchen, making me lunch, and setting up an "at-home-date." We made pizza, using my bread machine to make the dough, and as you can tell from the picture, it was quite delicious. We are both enjoying learning to make good food.

Sunday was again a very early morning as Bjørn and I did set-up, he played in worship team, and I lead Kids Sunday school. We went out to lunch at Swiss Chalet, a Canadian classic. After a busy morning, we again returned to Lynden to take a Sunday nap. Dillon Honcoop and his girlfriend, Tiff, stopped by later in the day to invite us to all-you-can-eat fish-n-chips at BossTweed in Bellingham. What a treat it was.


Wedding photo time.

Originally uploaded by The Enforcer


Guess who got flickr back?

It took a big long fight but I finally got my flickr account back, and it feels BEAUTIFUL! That means i got months of pictures to catch up on. Todays shots are the couple i got from my grad weekend up in B.C. Enjoy. Much more to come. (including Wedding shots, so be patient.)


down down down time

After a busy week and a quick weekend visit to Southworth to spend the day with Bjørn's family, Bjørn and I got up around 6am this morning to help out at church. I was in charge of leading sunday school today and Bjørn helped with set-up, clean up and running the powerpoint during church. We had about 15 new people at church today. It is cool to see a variety of people coming to Vintage. By noon, we were exhausted, and barely made it home to take a 3 1/2 hour nap. I woke up to Bjørn making dinner (and watching video podcasts of course).

Sometimes, down time can be the best thing before the beginning of a new week. Tuesday I am meeting the head of Human Resources for the Lynden School District to discuss a temporary 4-6 week fill in job as an ESL Paraeducator. Just getting my foot in the door ;) That's the latest from the land of the Dutch.


New house, new life.

Thanks to the help of Bjørn's family and Mike and Marti, Bjørn and I fully moved into our new house. I CANNOT tell you how good it feels! I am so glad we chose the house over an apartment. Having space is great. Anyway, here is a pic. or two of the outside so you can get an idea of what the place looks like. Unfortunately, no internet til next Wednesday, so don't expect any blogs before then!

(This is taken when I first saw the place, so this is the previous renter's decorations)


Becoming Dutch

After all the uncertainty with where we were going to live, Bjorn and I wound up living in Lynden, WA at the Eide compound (where Bjorn lived and worked for 2 summers).

Bjorn made such an impression on all the TWU computer science guys, that they hired him on as a full-time programmer, developing software for financial aid. We are staying with the extended fam for now. But we just set up a lease for house in downtown Lynden, which we don't get until Sept 1st. In the next couple of weeks I will be looking for jobs in Lynden and/or Bellingham and moving us in.

For now, it is quite fun living on the compound with all the Eides. Marti, Bjorn's aunt, even welcomed us with a poster and made Bjorn carry me over the threshold. It is pretty fun to be staying in the house that Bjorn's grandparents and great grandparents have lived in. As Marti wrote on the sign: "Home of hte wedded bliss...120 years and counting!" Check out the picture below.

Honeymoon memories

For anyone that didn't hear, Bjorn surprised me (as in I didn't know until the wedding night) with a trip to a resort in Cancun, Mexico. His aunts and uncles, the Eides, have a timeshare and gave us a week down there.

We were supposed to be put in a standard resort room, but for some reason, perhaps because they found it was our honeymoon, we were bumped up to the fanciest suite. So we wound up with 2 bedroom suite, complete with a kitchen, dining room, living room, jacuzzi tub, and infinity pool on the balcony. Needless to say, there wasn't much reason for leaving the room!

Lounging in the outdoor pools and palapas (the outdoor bed huts) and going to the spa daily is pretty much all we did. The flamingos outside our room was definitely my favorite part. I made Bjorn visit them with me everyday.

This link shows the 5 photos we have up so far: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bulthuisp/
(Due to a lack of wireless internet right now, I haven't been able to upload any more, but I will.)

Wedding pictures

ok, I don't have wedding pics back but a lot of people have been asking me for links to photos online, so these are the couple of spots where I know pictures are posted.

These are a couple of shots that our friend and photographer, Rhonda Fast posted. http://web.mac.com/earlfast/iweb/Rhonda%20Fast%20Photography/Blog/792442A5-96B3-4833-9F52-DF9B7FE84ECA.html

These are shots that Bjorn's dad, Peter, took and got from people. It includes week before, rehearsal dinner, day of, and honeymoon shots. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bulthuisp
(You have to search through his 3 most recent pages of photos.)

And aside from albums people put up on facebook, that is all i got. I will be getting my pictures back next week. My photographer is on vacation. So once I get those I'll put the best ones up.


I'm Getting Married in the Morning...

...ding dong the bells are going to chime. Feather and tar me, but don't use the army, and get me to the church, get me to the church on time!"

This song, taken from the classic movie and play "My Fair Lady", [you should all check out the scene--hilarious] properly explains how I am beginning to feel. Only 16 days...how exciting!!

That said, I can't wait til this next week is over and I end the planning and house cleaning cycle I am on! It's kind of a crazy time: Bjørn is up to Canada to hopefully accept a job offer tomorrow. I've become a full-time maid/wedding planner...

but soon the party will begin. And if there's one thing Bjørn says about me is that I "LOVE a good party!" And secretly, I know he does too. ;)


relaxed in the midst of stress

So tomorrow is July. The 28 day countdown for the wedding begins. And for some reason, I don't feel stressed. Is there something wrong with me? Is it because everything is finished? No. Is it because I am so organized that everything is under control? I WISH i was that person! Is it because I know everything will fall into place? perhaps.

Whichever reason it is, I'm glad to feel relaxed. There is a lot to still be done, but from now on, it is all details. The house doesn't have to be completely reorganized and perfect for the wedding; it'd be nice to have the decks stained but no one will think less of the party if they aren't; and true, our barn is a faded pink compared to its normal bright red brilliance... but these things are all minor in compared to the big celebration we have prepared. and the celebration is even minor in comparison to the reason for which we are throwing it, the beginning of a marriage.

I am more than excited for the wedding, don't get me wrong. But i am beginning to feel myself anticipating much more, the beginning of a whole new life. With somebody. the best somebody i know. so this one goes out to the bear ;)


Time for a makeover

With school finally over and 3 weddings down, it is time for the Christensens house to get a bit of a makeover, inside and out. Outside: This week the lower deck was completed by Steve Adams (family friend and finished carpenter).
He is now working to complete the stairway to connect the house level with the lower "wedding" field.
Jill has been out this week painting trim all around the house.

On the inside: I have been cleaning and organizing different areas, while Dad has been working to set up the shower in Jill's old bathroom, or I guess it looks like he's been setting up the phone in the shower...
Oh yeah, and earlier this month, Jana, Kevin, Whitney and even Bjorn helped to set up some lights in the trees outside our house.
It is a busy time. There is SO much to do! And even though a lot of people have been helping out, we are still in a terrible state. Please, send help if you can!! ;)

Jennifer Christensen


locked out

The sad truth is that I logged out of my flickr account one day, and now because I do not know my yahoo ID/email I can't get back in! When flickr switched over to yahoo, I waited until the end to change my account name. Yahoo didn't have my preferred ID names available, so whatever I chose, I now do not remember.

The recovering account section will not accept my gmail email address, so now I am stuck on the outside, as a non-flickr member. No more posting pictures, no more adding comments to other peoples' pictures. I MUST get to the bottom of this!

In other news, I finished all of my college papers, and now just need to send off the final portfolio for my practicum. I can't tell you how good it will feel once everything is sent off.



Call me crazy for writing another blog post so soon, or even for staying up til 12:30 when I have to teach 6-year-olds for 3 hours tomorrow, but I thought I'd actually post something up to date to the day! I know, I KNOW!
After teaching at my practicum today and writing lesson plans for tomorrow, Pamela came over and we went for a lovely late spring walk. We picked may flowers and made wreaths, or princess crowns if you will. We then proudly displayed them around all of Blodgett.

My dad kinda thought we were weird. but we didn't care.


The Classiest Graduation ever

~When at the Little White House, dress in white! [Jill & I]~

Graduation day itself was a classy affair. It started off with a little shopping around Ft. Langley, a luncheon at the Little White House [where my family stayed all weekend], and then graduation itself. All to be topped off with dinner at Fox & Fiddle, and a drink out with my sisters.

~hat shopping with Whitney~

Chucky Cheese: how could I have forgot about you?

Graduation weekend was the best time my family has ever had up in Canada. Dad and Jill arrived Friday morning, while Jeff and Whit got into Langley around 7:00pm. We went to Earls for a good dinner, before heading over to Colossus for an IMAX viewing of 300. Due to a huge wait at Earls, we all decided to ditch it for pizza and a party at Chucky Cheeses.We agree that we had forgotten how amazing Chucky Cheese's was. My favorite was the ski ball. Jill personally liked the helicopter ride. I think her personal favorite though, was dancing in front of the camera with Whitney for the whole place to see!

Guess who is finally back?

Now that I am done with school and able to relax a little at home, I can start on my blog again. Here is a picture from Engagement night at the restaurant Bjorn and I went to overlooking the inlet. I've been meaning to post this for awhile. Enjoy.


MY computer man

Dashboard Widget Proposal
Originally uploaded by iBjorn.
Date night is every Saturday night with Bjorn. That’s the way it has been the whole year. We were both gone the last two weekends, so he wanted to make it up to me by going out for dinner. Unfortunately I’ve been sick for a month (that’s for another blog) and didn’t feel great, so I had to muster up all the strength in me to get ready to go. As always, the date is a surprise so I didn’t know where we were going.

We drove through Vancouver and turned off towards Mt. Seymour. I asked Bjorn as a joke if he was taking me out to the Seymour cafeteria for dinner? He thought that was pretty funny.

We actually went to Deep Cove, this gorgeous little community right on the water that I’ve wanted to go to for quite awhile. The restaurant we ate at sits up on a hill with a view out over the water (which looks like a little lake) with snow covered mountains surrounding it. Bjorn got us a seat with the best view in the restaurant, so that we both sat looking out over the water. For dinner it just happened they had a special three-course meal for a set price, so we both ordered that. I absolutely loved the food. It was a delightful meal. And the dessert was straight from heaven—Belgian chocolate cake, sliced 1/8 inch thin—so rich you feel like you might pass out!

I had made Bjorn a deal that I would go on a short walk with him after dinner. It was extremely cold, but we walked down to the water and out onto a boat dock. At this point the night was incredible with the moon and stars shining, and standing with the water surrounding us, and the reflection of the lights floating all around. After a short kiss I told Bjorn I was going to remember this night forever. He asked why and I said, it was all just so great tonight, the perfect dinner, the perfect view, the perfect guy. He smiled and said good.

I was so cold Bjorn took me back to the car to get warm. As we were getting ready to leave he said he wanted to show me something he had been working on, on his computer. He gave me his computer and actually told me his password (no I will NOT repeat it!), which is kind of a big deal because we had an argument about how he never tells me his passwords! At this point, a lot of you have for sure clued into what is going on…me on the other hand, probably due to being sick, I thought nothing of the whole situation.

So I got on his computer and there’s a picture of him and me from last year. He then tells me to press F12 like a true Computer science major, and up pops a picture of the ring he’d bought for me, and a little proposal (you can see below). He then got on his knees and confessed his true love for me. After some convincing, I said yes ;)

Due to me being sick we decided to postpone doing anything else and instead called our darling friend Amy, who within one minute of finding out the good news was going crazy planning a celebration party with our closest friends. As much fun as the engagement was, I think the party might have been even more fun. Everyone was just so happy!! It was definitely the way to celebrate!

Sadly, but not too sadly, I have to wait another 3 weeks for the ring because it is being custom designed in my hometown Corvallis, Oregon. But trust me, it is going to be gorgeous!!


The Vision for V.242

Vintage Ministries
Bjorn and I have been part of a church for 2 years now, Vintage 242 that meets in Abbotsford, BC. It is a Mennonite plant, a part of Acts 29 network (through Mars Hill of Seattle), and a reformed church...quite the connections! Our church is roughly 100 people. For the past two years we have met Sunday evenings in a Mennonite church.

For about a year, our elders, Johnny and Kevin, have felt called by God to move to downtown Abottsford and become a part of the downtown community. After ignoring this call for quite some time because it seemed ridiculous (financially and etc.), they have finally acknowledged God's voice and have turned to our church to ask us very seriosuly if this is something God is calling our church to become a part of. The old, historic postal office downtown has been for sale for over a year. Johnny and Kevin have dialogued with the city, ABDA (Abbotsford Business District Association), and the owner for several months now.

The owner has agreed to sell the postal office to our church, as long as we follow the proper zoning codes and pay a sum of $1.2 million dollars. For a small, poor church like ours, a million dollars is a pretty huge deal.

This is the point, where our church has had to collectively fall on our knees and have faith that if God wills it, it will happen. On Jan. 31, we must make a first payment of $200,000 to the owner. We will then have until March 19 to pay the remaining million dollars. The Mennonite Brethern Conference is considering helping out church, but to what extent we are unsure.

At this point, our elders are dialoging with wealthier men to encourage them to have the vision we have for the downtown, as well as our entire church is praying as to what God wants them to sacrfice financially.

If we are to move downtown, we would hopefully transform the post office into an upscale cafe bistro, a conference center, and commercial offices. Vintage would use the post office for offices and on Sundays.

Check out our site that shows pictures of the inside of the post office and the vision our church has. And please pray as our church hopefully "goes postal."


The amusing Bjorn

As some of you are well aware, whereas those of you who aren't probably could care less, Macworld started today. For certain people, namely Bjorn, this day is more anticipated than Christmas. Stevie Jobs (ceo of Apple) announced an iPhone today, which I greatly restrain from explaining as it is Bjorn's parade (and I would never dare to rain on it!), which is quite impressive. It is worth checking out.

And as entertaining as the video demos are (which I have inevitably viewed 3 times!), my greatest excitement was Bjorn's reaction to this phone. He came in to chapel late and the first words he says is "it's even more amazing than I could have imagined Jenny!" I didn't realize what he was talking about at first, I thought, 'hmm, maybe he really likes chapel today!' Then when I clued into the fact that he was talking about the iPhone, I couldn't but help but laugh as I noticed he was breathing very heavy from the excitement.

Dan, his roommate, later informed me that he sent an email to Bjorn as they were both reading a liveupdate of Macworld (in separate locations) that said, "this is amazing." Bjorn's repsonse email was, "I can't even breathe."

When I teased him about the iPhone excitement, he said, "Jenny, let me have my one day a year that I'm allowed to go crazy!" He is crazy, crazy about Apple. This is his "excitement dance."


Long distance: avoid at all costs

I always told myself that I would never date long distance. Of course, then the boy I was sweet on didn't ask me out until the day before I left for Lithuania for 5 months...so I guess rules we set for ourselves don't always work out! ;)

5 months was a long time, even with daily emails and skype. But long distance is always the worst the 2nd time through, because at that point, you know how much being away from each other will suck. Bjorn and I experienced this last summer when I, again left, to study in Guatemala for 6 weeks.

Poor little sis, Jillio, is now going through the 2nd time post-dramatic loss of Mike leaving again to finish basics in Georgia. Mike, a.k.a. Private Lange according to the US Army, enlisted last September and left for basics a month later. He was not allowed to contact Jill for one month. Since then, all they could do was write letters, until he finally had a 24-hour leave for Thanksgiving.

Although, everyone is proud of Michael's commitment, Jill is not enjoying having an Army boyfriend. Mike finishes in two weeks, when Jill and my dad will fly out to Georgia to watch him graduate, and then all three will return to Beautiful and wet Oregon. Go Mike! (and hurry home!)


What I read...

So, I decided to take on the one-year bible reading that Peter recommended.

Today, the most interesting verse I read was from Proverbs 1:4, in which a list of reasons for reading the Proverbs is given:

"To give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth..."

As a youth, I found this specific instruction to be speaking directly at me. This was a significant reorientation for me as I am at an age and place (university) where I am surrounded by knowledge and learning and many temptations and choices. And people my age make a LOT of very dumb and sometimes damaging choices.

I was reminded this morning, that it is in proverbs and in God's word that I should seek not only for knowledge of the mind, but for guidance as to what is right and healthy to pursue, in contrast to what may be harmful or wasteful.