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.