Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bulk Mail Update

Here's the email update I sent out yesterday:

We're down to our last week here in Pennsylvania. Last night we had Jake's bon voyage party - young boys sure have a lot of energy! They had a really good time, but the goodbyes were very tough. Many tears were shed as he said goodbye to his best friend after the sleepover last night. Alinea's party is Thursday night. Her best friend will be spending the night and I'm sure they will both savour those last bits of time together. Watching Ali & Jake learning about love and separation is difficult, but we know it's part of maturing and growing up. It's just not very easy.

The moving truck is booked and we've been packing and packing. Keith calls it 'feeding the cardboard monster'. To that end we have planned Friday, December 30th for PACKING PARTY 2005 - all locals are invited to come finish up the dregs of the boxes and relocating furniture to make the big move on Wednesday easier. So if you're local you're invited! Oram's donuts for breakfast, pizza for lunch and a huge pot of chili for supper. Please drop by and say 'bye'.

Strong backs are also needed for Wednesday, January 4th. We saved $200 by bumping back to Wednesday - so even though it's a weekday we're hoping some are able to lend us a hand (and a back) and get us packed up and ready to move out ASAP on Wednesday. We're hitting the road and praying to get as far as Wilkes Barre, PA that night.

The next day we're heading up, hopefully, to Portland, Maine, sleep that night and end in St. Stephen on Friday as soon as possible. Praying for a smooth, painless border crossing and lots of volunteers on the Canada side. We spoke with them today and they are as excited as we are to get landed and tucked in.

To save another chunk of change (almost $1000) we opted for a Penske Truck instead of a U-Haul. The U-Haul horror stories and the extra cost had us choose the long route instead of the shorter cheaper route. We will have to return the Penske truck to Portland, Maine and get dad to the airport for Sunday. It's an extra 12 hours of driving - but we've got more time than $$ and we can sleep afterward. The kids start school on Monday morning, bright and early.

I know, it's sounds exhausting doesn't it? That's why we need you to pray please - no snow, healthy, strong constitutions and backs, strong hearts, kind boarder guards and no crazies on the road (including us,others and wayward moose!)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


We have one week left here in Pennsylvania - hard to believe it is so close to launching into our new lives. Very exciting. We had Jacob's bon voyage party last night and have Alinea's tomorrow. A dozen boys in a house can cause a lot of chaos, but we had a ball. His best friend Corbin spent the night last night and I'm sure goodbye in a couple of hours is going to be pretty painful. My heart breaks for him.

I don't think he's really conceived it yet, so maybe that bubble of being a 7 3/4 year old boy will protect him. Alinea on the other hand is old enough, and female enough to know what's going on. She's trying to be brave, although it's not necessary - I know her goodbyes to Megan on Friday are going to be really rough.

We have one last celebration on New Year's with friends from the old church and then there will be random goodbyes over the following days. Such mixed emotions, both of anticipation and loss, excitement and anxiety. Feeling each of the emotions as they come is key. Helping the kids through this is the most important.

Again, we covet your prayers. Thanks for thinking of us!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Our 'Next' Home

I'm trying this morning to get my mind around what's really happening in our lives. It hardly seems real. I thought maybe poking around the real estate website of the house we will be moving into would make it more real.

It's a big, beautiful home- 3 bathrooms - I have NO idea how we'll heat it - but god has provided this temporary stop on the Turner path for us to rent as we seek to place more permanent roots down in St. Stephen.

This house is being purchased by one of the incoming professors to the university. It was one of the ways we felt god confirmed our choice to move there. About 20 minutes after we 'decided' that Tuesday morning back in early November that we were really moving this man from Houston, Texas called and asked if we were the people seeking a temporary rental in St. Stephan, New Brunswick.

How god triangulates things like this is one of the great mysteries of the kingdom. They would be purchasing a home in January, but weren't able to move until June. With a greatly reduced (god bless them) rent we are able to have a soft place to land and re-establish our commanding credit (these cross border moves really need to stop) So we don't need the 35% downpayment instead of the normal 5% required of residents.

An even more interesting tie-in to this story is that he and his wife were integral in the beginnings of Trinity Episcopal Seminary just down the road from us. It is a small, small world sometimes.

So, in less than 2 weeks we will be calling this beautiful edifice our home. The kids are excited to see that driveway - bikes, skates and skateboards! yipee! The sidewalks here on college hill are so horrible that they've barely had a chance to learn all of those wonderful things. I'm sure some street hockey might be introduced into the mix soon too.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Well, things are moving along smoothly. It's a lot of work, but we've been purging through so much stuff that what we take with us will only be the things we LOVE.

We got a phone call this week from a friend who remembered me talking about my great hate of my furniture last spring. She told me that she was redecorating and that her sofa and love seat were ours if we wanted them. So I have the first set of matching (beautiful) furniture I've ever owned. Thank you Mary!

We've got the tree up and most of the shopping done, the kids are through school (and I am DONE with homeschooling FOREVER!!) YIPEE!! I sure loved having Ali and Jake around, but being the sole responsibility for everything they need to know was far too much responsibility for me - they need to learn from people who have it far more together than me! Ha!

The moving van is booked for January 4th and we're saving TONS by leaving on the Wednesday. It will be a tight squeeze to get everything moved in and the van returned and the kids to school on the 9th, but that deadline is what it needs to be. Hopefully God knew that the weather would be better during those days instead of earlier... we pray!

We're trying to put together a 'bon voyage' party for the kids before we go. Unfortunately each of the kids best friends have different travel plans for the week after Christmas - so we're having to plan b it and don't know exactly what that means yet. Getting this taken care of will be a huge load of my plate. I want to keep this promise and keep it well - maybe now that school is done we can work it out.

Hope all is going well for your holiday plans! Leave us a comment and let us know you're visiting!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Give the gift of freedom this Christmas

Now this is what Christmas is all about!

He came to set the captives free!

Please consider giving the gift of freedom this Christmas!

Watch This

Monday, November 28, 2005

Harts Full of Love!

We had the wonderful opportunity to say goodbye to one of our favorite families in the area this weekend. The Hart family is actually one of our favorite families on the planet! We will miss you all! Please come and visit us in Canada!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Boxes Galores!

I have been grieving the give-away of our last moving boxes these past couple of weeks. I know it's silly - cardboard, right? But these were professional moving boxes - the kinds for artwork and hanging clothes. I knew that we'd never be able to justify buying them for this move.

There wasn't any hits on the last blog post locally, so I was a bit discouraged thinking about scrounging dumpsters for boxes and having to make the rounds to the liquor stores and grocery stores begging for boxes. Then i remembered freecycle.

If you're not familiar with
, you should be. It's the most enviromentally sound, brilliant, global idea - it's amazing we all haven't been doing this for years. It's an email group you subscribe to for your area - if you have something to get rid of you send out an email, and others do the same. The first person to claim the item gets to go and pick it up - so simple, eh? We've passed on tons of stuff we no longer needed, and have benefited so many times from others doing the same.

It also works if you're looking for an item, say, like moving boxes. I put out an email asking for boxes or places that have been generous to others in the past. Really never expecting much, but the phrase 'you have not, because you ask not' kept running through my head. So, okay, I'll ask.

Guess what - a new subscriber to our local freecycle just got moved here by the government and they have EVERYTHING we need. Keith's going to pick them up today - closet boxes, dish boxes, packing supplies, everything! YIPEE!! God is good!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Alinea & Jacob in St. Stephens

Ali & Jake in St. Stephens, New Brunswick at the Ganong Nature Preserve, October 2005.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


"NEXT" is a big word in our family lately. Some of you may not even know that Keith has resigned his youth pastorate after almost five years at Chippewa E-Free Church. This was a painful, but important decision for us to make. We feel that it was for the best. We love "our" teens deeply and to loose contact with them feels like they've been surgically removed from our lives.

This decision has created a bit of an immigration glitch for us. Keith has been here on a Religious Worker visa. We had believed that after it's expiry at the end of September of this year, he would have met the requirements for citizenship (or so we thought).

When we arrived in the US five years ago we opted for the less expensive R-1 Visa. ($6.00) Instead of spending the $400 for the church (or Heidi) to sponsor him for Permanent Resident Status (a "green card") It was a no brainer for us at the time. We have since found out that an R-1 Visa does not convert to citizenship like a Permanent Resident Visa would. It was an expensive and time consuming mistake.

We have since approached our Congresswoman Melissa Hart to ask for her involvement in our situation to see if there could be any special circumstances that might apply to our situation. If there are that would allow Keith to apply for citizenship without starting the whole process over. So far the answer is "no". There is still a chance of a 'Hail Mary", but we're not putting a lot of stock in that possibility.

Needless to say, we are all fully enjoying Keith's sabbatical. It's been a time of growth, healing and figuring out exactly what it is we want to be doing "next." We've looked at every option - all the way from working with NGO's and various non-profits to pursuing a Masters degree in counselling or teaching. Each time our hearts came up short. We still both felt a deep call to ministry.

So we have been watching to see the open doors that will continue us on that path. As God opens some doors, and shuts others, He show us where He wants us to go. We continue to be willing for that to be anywhere.

To that end we have just returned from a whirl-wind tour of the east coast - 11 states/1 province in 8 days! The purpose of that trip was to visit a school in St. Stephens New Brunswick, Canada!!! There is a Masters In Ministry at St. Stephens University program that both Keith & I are looking to participate in. While up there we both had the sense that we had been there before. It was so familiar and warm. There is such a wonderful community atmosphere and we're so looking forward to the future God is arranging for us.

It is an enormous task to think about moving our family (again) internationally, but God has opened doors and been confirming this choice many times along the way. We are grateful for the direction and for having a 'next' to travel toward.

School starts for us all on January 9th. Keith & I will probably only participate in one class for this next semester, and Alinea & Jacob will be attending the public school up there. As a school, St. Stephen's is deeply committed to both exemplary academics and deep spiritual formation.

While it will bring great change we know that we're all up to the challenge. The kids are excited too - we've been making it quite the adventure along the way. Ali has already started her beach glass collection and we're all looking forward to whale watching in the spring.

The town of St. Stephens is glorious and located just over the border of Calais, (pronounced Kahl-is by those who live there.) Maine. It's right on the Bay of Fundy where the tides are the most dramatic on the whole face of the earth - moving in and out over 50 feet twice a day. Imagine bobbing in a small boat on water that is deeper than a five-story building, and then in six hours go back to that exact spot and walk around on the ocean floor.

Together the two communities support about 10,00 souls. The little bridge over the St. Croix River is only about 200 yards long and without any toll. The two communities share one life together - if you want to swim at the indoor pool, or go to the movies, you go to Calais If you want to go skating or bowling you go to St. Stephen's. there "crossing the border" is a way of life.

Heidi will be able to work in the US while we get the Canadian paperwork squared away.

Below we've posted our family picture from this summer's mission trip in West Virginia, if you could print it out and magnet it to your fridge as a reminder to pray for us we'd really appreciate it tons. We definitely have lots on the go right now, so we'd covet your prayers if you are the praying type.

And we'd love to hear from you, so leave us a comment below or shoot us off an email!

Please print our picture to remind you to pray!

Thank you!