Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Photos!

Added some photos to the bottom right sidebar - check it out!

Nickie's Crazy Taiwan Scooter Video

Many of you know that I have a tendency to have a little bit of a lead foot. While in Taiwan, that translated to a lead hand. Traffic over there is particularly crazy and I decided that it would be fun to simply fit in with my driving.

So here is my crazy Taiwan scooter video!

New Mapping Feature

I installed a map that shows where all of my visitors come from. It's so cool!

Hopefully it will show how popular I am all around the world! Well, maybe not - but at least it will show that I have friends all around the world.

To put a map on your blog, go to Clustrmaps! Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas with Nickie's Family



Well, it's Christmas eve and already Phil and I have gone to 3 christmases with my family! One with mum et all, with dad et all, and with Kevin & Julia et all!

Last night we went to Alex & Susan's for dinner. Trevor Sinclair and his wonderful wife Angela were also there with their 3 month old son Brayden. He's so cute!!!!! He's huge so it's kind of weird to think that he is only a day older than Emmalea! Tony was also there and between him, Phil and Trevor - there were some pretty entertaining conversations!

After dinner, we got in the car, got venti drinks from Starbucks and hit the I-5 in Bellingham about 10pm to drive to Oregon. The first few hours were pretty bad because it was raining so hard that Phil could barely see! But later it cleared up and there was no traffic so we sailed right through. We got home at 3:30am, however I was still buzzing on cafeine so I didn't really sleep well.

So here are some photos from our first Christmas functions. Enjoy!




















Friday, December 23, 2005

I got told by a one year old!

Phil and I were babysitting the little Lucht ladies last week. We were having a great time - Phil was a horse, the kids jumped all over him, and I just watched.

I went to put Allie (14 months old) to bed. I opened up her diaper and found a lovely present. As I scrunched my face at the foul odor, Allie began to laugh. Glad she found it funny.

I cleaned her up and put on a fresh diaper. She started shaking her head profusely and pointing behind her. Thinking that perhaps I hadn't wiped good enough, I grabbed another wipe from behind her and cleaned again. After this she was still shaking her head!

Baby powder? I searched through the drawer on the changing table. I held up the powder, but the shaking continued. I found another tube of cream - still shaking. I grabbed the lotion off the change table and Allie began to say please in sign language!

So off with the diaper and on with the cream. "Ok now Allie?" More shaking of the head. I put on more cream - "OK?" Big smile from Allie.

Allie, who is just over a year, told me how to change her diaper! Go figure! Although I will say that this is a pretty good plug for teaching babies a few words in sign language since they learn to control their hands before they do their tongues. But that's a post for another time!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Finally Photos!

I have finally added photos! If you scroll down, I added photos to the posts about the box maze, the long overdue update, Arizona, honeymoon, wedding, and pre-wedding. Hope you enjoy! Make sure to leave comments!

My girls!

This morning I got to have breakfast with 3 very dear friends from University. Jess, Jess & Steph (and no, that's not a typo - 2 Jess's). I hadn't seen two of them since our wedding and it has been far too long since we all got together. We had a great time, ate lots (bacon and chocolate - but not together) and just enjoyed catching up.


Other than that, life has been going well. Work is busy but good for me. I'm learning a lot, particularly HTML because I do a lot of work on our work Real Estate Blog.

Phil is doing well at work too. He got a promotion at work so he is now in charge of the Warehouse and Special Projects, plus he is still doing all of his programing work and building databases. He is also finsihed one of his finals on thursday and now only has one left!!!

Thats it for now. As usual, I will promise to try and update more regularly....we'll see how that goes!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hello Canada!

That's right people - I can go back to the homeland! Last Thursday I received my "greencard". There is not a shred of green on it, in fact it's a cream color! The card is a pretty impressive little piece of technology. There are so many barcodes, holograms etc on it, not to mention my photo and fingerprints. Congrats to the US government on creating a card that is completely impossible to forge!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Box Maze!

Some of you many have heard of the now infamous box maze! Every year, Faith Community Church puts on the Fairmont Fair on Halloween night as an alternative for kids. There are all kinds of different booths and games, the kids dress up and everyone has lots of candy!

The main drawing feature of the fair is the box maze. The brainchild of Alex and Phil, the idea is to create a maze using refrigerator boxes. The kids (and many adults too!) crawl through the maze. And let me tell you - they make it big and they make it hard! It took me about 15 minutes to find the exit and I even helped build part of it!

Kudos go out to Wendell Feenstra who was the oldest person to finish the maze and he did it in only 4 minutes! I don't know how old he is, but he has grandkids, so we'll just leave it at that!

I'll post some pictures of the maze as soon as I can!

Blogging Conference

Last Saturday, I got up at the crack of doom and drove to Seattle for an all day Blogging Conference. Now I know what some of you are thinking - she barely updates her blog, WHY would she go to a conference!!!

The conference was called Business Blogging 101 and I went for work. Yes - that's right - for work! I get to blog for a living now! How cool is that! Check it out at The Johnson Team.

It was a fairly interesting day and I learnt a lot, although I must say that the coordinator, Steven Broback, and they guy from Windows - Robert Scoble, were both SO ANNOYING!!!!!!!!! First of all, they spoke geek which didn't really help us, the audience, much since 75% of us are marketers. Second, they not only dominated the sessions (even the ones where they weren't' t the speakers) but they INTERRUPTED the speakers which I thought was just plain rude!!!! So there is my rant about them.

Overall, a the blogging conference was cool. I got to spend a beautiful day in Seattle, which is always a good thing too.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

LONG overdue update!

OK - So I realize that it has been an insanely long time since I have updated this, and for that, I apologize. To any of the faithful who still check here for updates - you're the best!

So, here are the highlights of the last few months.

July & August
I couldn't work so I got to be a housewife - very interesting experience. I was surprised at how busy I managed to be with keeping the house. It was kind of nice to have a very clean house all the time and the time to cook and bake. There were days when I was a little bored, but Carissa and the Lucht girls were always there to keep me company and many a day were spent walking (7 miles!) with Carissa and hanging out with Mel and the girls.

The other thing that kept me busy was putting in our yard. Phil and I planted nearly 10,000 square feet of grass. Now for those of you who have never planted grass, you may be thinking as I did a few months back - how hard can it bed? Let me tell you - a lot harder than you think! We have 60 cubic yards of compost (fancy name for manure and other decomposing matter) dumped on our yard. For the front yard, we hand shoveled it into a wheel barrow and then dumped and spread it where we needed. Thankfully, we were able to borrow Alex's tractor for the back which made it 100 times easier! After that there is the rotatilling, flattening and leveling, rolling, lime, seed and finally peat moss. But, after days of hard work - we have the nicest lawn in the neighborhood!

September
The first week of September we got wonderful news - I was allowed to work again! Oh happiness and glee! I spent two weeks working at ProPack shipping ski jackets. I was just so happy to work again that I really didn't care that it was just warehouse work. I also interviewed for a position with a real estate team and was blessed to receive the job.


The other HUGE news for September is the addition to our family (no, not Phil and my's immediate family). Jackie (my sister) and Dave Pasko had there first baby. Emmaleah Faith was born around 11:30PM on Tuesday September 27th! She was just over 7 lbs and has a FULL set of hair! Oh course, being that I am trapped in the good old US of A right now, I couldn't go up to the hospital. But they came down here for Thanksgiving, so it's all good.

October

While I admit that I do prefer the way that Americans make Thanksgiving such a massive holiday and it's so important to them, the Canadians really got it right with the timing! October is a much better time for it than 4 weeks before Christmas! Anyways, Phil and I got to host our first holiday meal. After a few mishaps with finding a turkey, at 9pm on Friday night I finally purchased a 21 lbs turkey and prayed it would thaw by the next morning (which it did). 22 people gathered around our table to enjoy and partake of Canadian Thanksgiving. Although it was planned for us Canadians, I think that we had more Americans than Canadians there.

Work
As I mentioned before, I now have a new job that I love!!! I am doing the Communications and Marketing Manager for the The Johnson Team Real Estate. I get to work in an office in Fairhaven, an older part of Bellingham featuring beautiful brick buildings (a mix of old and new), cute but expensive shops and organic hippies. While I don't always agree with the politics of the people in the area, it is beautiful and a wonderful area to work in. For pictures go to
www.fairhaven.com

I am blessed to work with an amazing group of people and have work that I'm actually challenged by. I prayed all summer for a good job and the Lord has answered my prayer!

Phil's update
So this has been mostly about me so I'll update you on my wonderful husband as well. He decided to only take one course over the summer which ended up being an extremely wise decision for two reasons: we were insanely busy planting our yard and the prof of the class he would have taken was a real jerk!

He enjoyed his month off of school taking the time to relax, and of course hike. Along with his buddy Nick Page, they did a 47 mile trek over 3 mountain passes in just 51 hours! CRAZY!!!!! While they did manage to sleep both nights, they were pushing it to finish on Sunday and make it to the Rendezvous point with me. They were quite a mess when they got to the other side, but alive and mostly healthy.

This quarter Phil is taking two courses. One of them is an IT course which is perfect since it coincides with his project of building a freight database at work.

That's about it for now. Please leave comments as I would love to hear from you, and again, sorry about the length of time between posts - I'll make sure it doesn't happen again!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

It's hot in Arizona!

Last Thursday, Phil and I got up at 2am in order to drive to Seattle to catch our 6am flight. 3 landings later, we finally arrived in Phoenix, Arizona and got off the plane and stepped into an oven! It was about 115 degrees! Thankfully we were going to Tucson which was only about 110 degrees, and where we were staying, it was about 105 degrees.

We picked up our rental car and found out that for an extra $15 a day, we could upgrade from a crappy little Ford Focus, to a 2005 Mustang! It was well worth the extra few bucks and we had fun testing it's acceleration abilities.

We were in Arizona for our friend Reid's wedding. We stayed with his family and had a wonderful time! They live pretty far out from town, but have a beautiful view from their property.

Our 4 days there passed in a blur or wedding preperations, laughter and new friends. The wedding was beautiful and we all had a great time. Sunday we relaxed around the house and then went to see "War of the Worlds" (which was ok).

One of the funnier moments (OK - so its funny now that we look back on it, not necessarily at the time) was that the van we were riding in to go to the rehersal overheated on the highway a half hour outside of Tucson. So there we stood, at 4pm, in the swealtering heat, on the side of the road with a half a litre of water and 2 cups of ice cubes. That is when our hero arrived. He saw us while traveling the oposite direction on the freeway, took the next exit and came back to see if we were ok. He pulled 5 water bottles from his car and helped refil the coolant get us back on our way. John Hughes of Arizona - YOU ARE A HERO! THANK YOU!

The other bizarre thing about this trip is that I found a cat that I like. Now I realize that I am a declared non cat person, but Elvis was just too cute! He was the cutest kitty and he had so much attitude! Had to love the little guy!

On Monday we made the trek back to Phoenix, waited while our plane was delayed and finally landed back in Seattle at 6pm. We drove straight to Birch Bay to celebrate the 4th and had a great time.

A huge thanks to the Carlsons for all the generosity and hospitality to us!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Montana and normal life

Chapter 3 - Post wedding - the Honeymoon!

Before heading out for Montana, Phil and I stopped by his work to use the internet for a few minutes. On the way out, Phil crumpled at the bottom of the stairs and for the third time in 2 years, sprained his right ankle. Leave it to him to do this 5 minutes before we leave! We iced it down and then I got to hop into the drivers seat and start the long treck!

We made it to Mt. Vernon before we realized that we had forgotten to return Phil's tux. Back to Bellingham we go! Figuring that we were late getting on the road anyways at that point (It was nearly 6pm) we got Starbucks and headed out.

We took the northern route across the state and stopped in the tiny western town of Winthrop where we ate the legendary "mountain man" pizza. We pressed on to Spokane hoping to get a room. Echoes of our experience in Venice, Italy haunted us as we realized that everywhere was full. (Apparently Saturday nights in June are popular for high school grads, weddings and tournaments - go figure). We continued on to Idaho where we found the same plight. With the help of a hotel clerk, we found out about a mountain pass with logging roads not far away. At 2am, with the high beams on, we bounced along a gravel road until we found a turnout. We parked the truck, laid down the blankets and cudled up to sleep!

On Sunday we arrived at the Alta Meadow Ranch.
www.altameadow.com It was BEAUTIFUL there! We stayed in the cozy homestead cabin and enjoyed a week of doing NOTHING! We went horseback riding (6 hours on a horse = OUCH the next day), 4X4ing and slept. It was so great to unwind and relax.


We learnt that in Montana, if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes. And how true that is! In one day you go from sunny, to thunderstorm, to sun, to clouds and back to rain!

And now here we are back to our new normal life. Phil is back to work and starts back to school tomorow night. I'm submitting my next batch of immigration paperwork this week and then playing the waiting game until I'm allowed to work.

Thank you so much to everyone who was a part of our special day! Thank you for all of the help, support and love!

The big day is finally here!

Chapter 2 - the Wedding!

In spite of my attempts at wine induced sleep, I only got a few hours of sleep the night before the wedding. We all woke up to a sunny day, with a few puffy white clouds in the sky and a moderate temperature. We packed into cars and picked up Tess and Isabel (Phils young cousins) from their hotel to come to the hairdresser for us. They were pretty excited about going with the "big girls". After sitting in a chair for an hour and a half, Monica's creation was complete and my hair looke beautiful. The really fun part was that she had to attach my cathedral length veil at 10am......which meant that I got to carry it around all day long!

We next proceeded to the Woods coffee shop where Carissa got me hooked on a new drink (Grande caramel americano misto - yum!). Back at the house, I got the most pampering that I've ever had! I was attacked from mulitple angles: Julia doing my finger nails, Jackie doing my toe nails and Carissa doing my makeup.....this is all of course while I'm trying to eat lunch (not that I could eat much anyways!)

I got dressed at the church and was blessed to have my 5 closest girlfriends, my mum and Phil's mum all there to share in the moment of putting on my dress. It was beautiful!

Phil and I saw each other for the first time that day in the sanctuary of our church. Alone in the sanctuary, I walked down the aisle to the man I was marrying. I will never forget those 25 yards or the feeling of love welling up inside. The moment was beautiful and perfect. OK - enough sappy stuff!


We spent the afternoon taking pictures with our bridal party and having a great time. The ceremony was beautiful! The stage looked wonderful due to all of Roxie and Nancy's hard work with the flowers. The music was perfect, the pastor was great and our vows were the happiest moment of my life! We left the strains of the Hallelujah chorus behind us and walked out of the church as Mr. & Mrs Phil & Nickie Snyder!


After family photos we went on the reception and enjoyed the wonderful food (preparred by mum, Shelley and Shannon). After several heartwarming and funny speeches (the best line of the night coming from Phil's mum "Philip - you're a pill!") we danced our first dance to "When you say nothing at all".

To all those that were able to be there and share in our day - Thank you! To those who couldn't make it, I'll post pictures soon!


Immigration and Preparation

Well, I have a lot to write so I'm going to break it up into three chunks: pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding. OK - here we go with the pre!

On Sunday June 5, I left my land of origin and immigrated to the faraway land of ..... Sumas, WA USA. Yes, thats right - I now live in a house that is a whole 250 yards away from Canada. Thankfully, my immigration went very smoothly and they didn't search through everything and make a mess.

The week before the wedding was kind of a blur! There was so much to do, but it was fun and it was defenitely nice to have the time off work. Phil's little brother Peter was up that whole week and he was a HUGE help! Thanks Peter!

On Wednesday, my dear friend Jen Gilbertson arrived home from her stint in Asia and was crazy enough to try and get rid of her jet lag while hanging out with me for the last few days before the wedding! Jen was my accountability partner and best friend in Taiwan and it meant so much to me to have here there to share all of this with. Jen - thank you for everything!!! You are great! (If you want to hear/read her version of those crazy few days go to http://jengilbertson.blogspot.com)

On Thursday, we decorated the reception hall and the church and had our rehersal. We then packed 35 people into our new house for the rehersal dinner (sorry that there wasn't enough chairs for all of you!) Then, Carissa Brey (being the AMAZING generous girl that she is) opened her home to all of my bridesmaids, jen and myself to crash for the night and get ready for the wedding! See the next post for further details!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Work is finished!

I'm finally done! No more Keg...no more apprentices...no more office! I'm done!

The past few weeks I've been buried under a mountain of details, but there is now a very bright light at the end of the tunnell...and that light is only 1 week away! It's hard to believe that the wedding is here already, but I'm so excited.

I think that I've made about 50 lists in the past few weeks! I've gotten a lot done, but it will still be a busy week next week.

Well, I'm outa here! My next update will be after the wedding!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Landscaping Recipe

24,000 lbs (12 cubic yards) of pit run gravel
24,000 lbs (12 cubic yards) of pea gravel
28 feet of railway ties
1 tractor
3 shovels
1 hoe
1 rotatiller
3 strong men
2 12 year old boys
1 busy waitress
1 batch of oatmeal cookies
1 loaf of banana bread
1 Indiana Jones Movie

Bake cookies early in the morning. Have the men, boys, tractor and shovels arrive at 10am. Push, pull, dig, loosen, and flatten dirt on the side of the house (excess being pushed to the backyard). Rotatil the front yard. Insert railway ties from the edge of the house to the fence at either end of are to be gravelled.Use one strong man to drive the tractor and dump the pit run gravel alongside the house. Have the other two strong men spread the gravel. Repeat with pea gravel.

To ensure a smooth day, ensure that cookies and water are available all day. Be sure to prepare a large lunch (banana bread is best served here).

Allow gravel to settle for two weeks before driving on it.

Note: The Indiana Jones movie is for the 2 twelve year old boys come late afternoon when they are tired.

Note2: The busy waitress is the one who closed the night before, got up and baked the cookies, helped with the shoveling, went back inside to bake the banana bread and prepare lunch, before rushing back to the restaurant to open again.

A HUGE thanks to Alex & Wesley Snyder and Shon & Peter Smith for all their help in making our yard prettier!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Surprise!!!

Last night I went to what I thought was an end of the year Awana dinner for the leaders. When I rounded the corner into June's backyard, I was greeted with a hearty "surprise!" I was shocked to find out that it was actually a bridal shower for me! I had no idea! All of the ladies got a good laugh out of all the times they thought I'd figure it out - but no, I was completely oblivious!! Phil even knew about it and didn't let on at all.

So after eating from the HUGE buffet (Lynden ladies know how to cook!) I was treated to a Pampered Chef party. Everyone contributed and I ended up with serving platters, stoneware, a pie set and some other baking gadgets! I felt so blessed!

So thank you to the FCC ladies for a fantastic shower! And a special thanks to June for hosting the party the night before she left for the Bahamas!!!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

There's a whole world of blogging out there!

Ok - I will admit that until a month ago I had never even heard of a blog. I'm now realizing how big it is! Following links from one friends site to another, I was able to read up & catch up on how lots of old Taiwan friends are doing! Very cool!

Wedding stuff is still coming - I guess. Last night I managed to buy a bunch of decorations and stuff for the reception. My old attitude of "I'll do that closer to the wedding" doesn't really work anymore because it's only 5 weeks away! Yikes! I guess there are a lot of things I should really get going on. This weekend we're landscaping and I'm working crazy hours at the keg.....hmmm......I guess I will just have to put it off a little longer. Somehow it will all get done.....right?

Monday, May 02, 2005

I tried to act ladylike!

On Saturday night, Phil's cousins threw a couples shower for us. Feeling that I should probably look bridal and girly, I wore a skirt and heels. I arrived at Alex and Susan's house with all intentions of going inside and having a great time. And I did eventually do all that.....I just got distracted by a different path first - a muddy one!

On the way into the house, we passed by their son Wesley who was playing on his new four wheeler. Forgetting all decorum and girliness I immediately yelled out to him requesting a ride and grabbed the first helmet I could get. After a crash course on how to put it in gear, I hike up my skirt and hopped on! I had a blast! It was a little bit hard to steer and drive (particularly because I didn't know that there were 4 gears and was doing everything in first). So while trying to navigate a small hill, I got sent in the opposity direction into a pool of mud. I of course had no choice but to put my foot down and push myself out. While my pointy shoes had worked great on the toe shifter, my heel simply sank into the mud making it hard to get out.

I eventually got back to my starting point where Phil stood waiting for me holding my purse. I handed the 4 wheeler back to Wesley, hiked up my skirt so as to not transfer the mud from my legs onto my skirt, took my purse and walked as gracefully as I could into the house.

Phil and I posing with our new flags! We got an American one and a Canadian one! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

My first blog

Well Dana, I tried to add a comment to your site and ended up creating my own blog! Funny how websites make you do that....hmmmm.....oh well. I guess it will be a great place to do wedding and life updates. That's it for now - I'll add more later.