Friday, 20 February 2009

Grouse Mountain

today was a day off for Isaac and Matthew from school so Andrew took a day off work and we all headed of to the top of Hrouse Mountain, a local mountain for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports. I don't ski (I won't tell the long story of why here!) but Andrew, Ruth and the 2 older boys do, so the plan was that I'd look after Tom while they went skiing.

Tom and I wandered around the ski chalet for a while, checking out the soft toy animals (well he is only about to turn 2!), went and watched a bit of skiing and skating and then found a balcony out the back of the coffee shop to sit and wait for the others. We were probably there for nearly an hour, reading some books, having a snack and generally watching the people. Lovely as all that sounds, it wasn't the best bit - that was the fact that it was really warm and I was in danger of getting colour on my face from the heat!! It was beautiful - looking out over Vancouver city spread out down below, the mountains all round and it all being interspersed with Tom saying "look!" and pointing at pretty much anything that moved - especially the gondalas that seemed to fascinate him!

Definitely a great way to spend a Friday morning! I'll put up photos soon - promise!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I've been in Vancouver for 2 days now and its great!! Arriving by bus from Seattle was really interesting cos I got to see so much of the countryside on the way up. At the border I got sent into a wee room by myself which freaked me out a little but then realized I was the only non-Canadian/American on the bus and so the immigration procedures were a bit different! I was quite relieved!! When I got to Vancouver my brother was a bit late picking me up but I got to sit and get some fresh air while listening to the sounds of the city.

When we got to the house it was great to see Ruth and the boys - and feel really relaxed. Being here just feels so naturally and normal. Its great!! Yesterday I looked after Matthew and Tom for a bit while Ruth went to do messages. After Matthew went to pre-school, Tom and I read some books which was very special but also reminded me how much I miss out on with them, living so far away. I got to visit Matthew's pre-school and Isaac's school tho which was fun.

Today while Isaac has gone to school, ruth, Matthew, Tom and I went to Vancouver Aquarium which is a great place. The boys loved it and so did we. The only downside was getting the worst cup of coffee I've had in a long time from the coffee stand outside. We even saw a pregnant baluga whale and a baby whale - quite cool!!

Now just having a rest before walking down to pick Isaac up from school and I'll need my energy for him! Not sure what the rest of the day has in store but I guess that is half the fun of being on hols - no real need to plan ahead much!! :)

Saturday, 14 February 2009


So I arrived in Seattle late last night after a VERY LONG day!! I flew out of Belfast where their check in was down so I could only check to Newark and then the plane was late taking off. That bit wasn't so bad but then I had to claim my luggage and re-check it in Newark. That did however help to pass a bit of time in my 6 hour layover!! I do not recommend that in Newark. There is only so much people watching, reading and Masters work i can do when I'm tired and would like somwhere comfy to sit!!

I got here though at about 11pm last night - 7am in Northern Ireland time - which was 24 hours after I woke up! Its been a lovely day though with Caroline and Anna and we have done a lot of laughing and talking! Caroline is just putting Anna to bed to have a wee nap.

Tomorrow church with them and then the bus trip to Vancouver and some snow!

Monday, 9 February 2009


I was at a church last week helping them begin to think through their youth and children's ministry and how they can update it and make it more effective at reaching the children around them.

One person in the meeting made a comment about how when the youth and children's ministry are working well and are "successful" that the whole church feels positive, but when things are tough and not so good, it impacts the whole church - in a way that no other ministry in the church does. It got me thinking...what is it about our church that its health is determined by those under 25 and the ministry done with them? And if it is true, how can we help our youth and children's ministry effective so that its joy and effectiveness continues to impact our whole church?

Answers on a postcard.........!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The trip

So I'm off to Vancouver in less than 2 weeks and there is still loads to do. Travel insurance is a small thing to sort but there's the matter of getting from Seattle to Vancouver on the best form of transport and then I need to book a hotel at the airport for the last night!

So the bus/train saga - there seems to only be one train that goes up in the morning and back at night so that probably is not the best option so looks like I'm going to go on a bus! I found one that has wifi in it (not sure how that works but sounds interesting) which seemed like a good idea until I was thinking that I may not have something for wifi to be useful for but we'll see!! Hopefully I'll get that sorted!

The hotel problem is that I don't want to end up in a crumby dive that is really loud with planes all night but also don't want to spend a fortune!!!

It would be so much easier if I had someone to do all this for me and I just turned up but I guess there would be no fun in that!!

Anyway, today I'll be going to Newry - Rambling number 1: very exciting!