June 30, 2011

E is for Ethiopia:

Hey y'all,
So last week's post was an asset to Project Interviews, and guess what, this week's is another asset!
Taking three courses this week has made it fly by so fast. So.very.fast. This morning Victor was asking what day it was and when I said it was Thursday he replied, "It feels more like a Tuesday!" My thoughts precisely!
 Anyways, also taking a course with me, is Seventh Day Adventist, Becky over from the blog Rebecca's Reality!
On the first day of the course we were each asked to share something interesting about ourselves, and Becky mentioned her trip to Ethiopia. She was there for a few months, and had come back a month ago.
Needless to say, I was curious. I had questions to ask! So, I formulated an interview because, seriously, Ethiopia? You guys so want to hear about that too!
So without further ado:

LFA: Where exactly did you go in Ethiopia?

Becky: Well I flew in to the capital, Addis Ababa, but then we drove about 10 hours south to the Gimbi Adventist Hospital. For seven of those ten hours we drove on extremely rocky roads!

LFA: Why did you go there? Was it a mission trip, etc.?

Becky: I've always wanted to do a mission experience in Africa, and the opportunity came and I took it. Yes, it was a mission trip I did by myself. It wasn't with a group of people, in fact I only knew one person there.

LFA: What was your impression of the people/country in Ethiopia?

Becky: The people are very very personable. They're the kindest, most caring, most sincere people I have ever met. I'd never met people like them before. It doesn't mater if you're rich, you're poor, how much you have, what maters is your heart. They're always ready to go out of their way for you. They can have barely any food left, but if you visit them they want to give you what little they have. They're amazing!
The government doesn't treat them as well as they deserve, but things are calmer over there now.

LFA: What's something that you'll never forget from your experience there? Something that you think of when someone says Ethiopia?

Becky: Definitely the people. They survive in the most dire circumstances with nothing but Jesus. Their excitement to learn, their openness to the truth and Jesus. If they're believers they're excited about the truth, if they aren't yet believers they have an eagerness and openness to learn. It was a really refreshing experience.
To see them rally together to gather money to take a random stranger that was in an accident to the hospital. The way they care for each other no matter who the person is, how much they care for each other.
I loved having the opportunity to go to places where no one knew of Jesus, and sharing Him with them.
I'll also never forget the children. I couldn't go out into the streets without having at least twenty children trying to get close to me, trying to touch me, look into my eyes with their big smiling eyes, calling me "Frangie" Frangie". (Frangie-white person) And I'd tell them "No, I'm just one of you."
I'll never forget them.

LFA: Given the opportunity, would you go again?

Becky: Hands down. Absolutely. I'm planning to go again as soon as I get my nursing degree.
I want to be a Medical Missionary overseas, and by overseas I mean wherever God wants to send me. I'm totally willing to go to Ethiopia, anywhere else in Africa, because they really need help over there and almost no one else wants to go.

LFA: Do you recommend an experience like this?

Becky: Yes! Especially to young people that have just finished high school and aren't sure what they want to do yet. It completely changes your perspective on life, how you view things!

LFA: What was food/water like over there. Was it easy to be a vegetarian?

Becky: Oh yeah, the vegetables there are mainly what people grow on their farms, lentils, potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage. And I love potatoes, I could eat them every day, and they cook them all different ways. The fruits are mainly bananas, mangoes and in and out of season: pineapples, papayas, guava. Their avocados and pineapples are really small. I think it's because the land over there isn't very fertile or they don't get enough water. Everyone eats out of the same dish, and we all eat with our hands. It was pretty fun!

LFA: So Becky, what makes you, ... you? Different from your family, other people taking this course...?

Becky: Well from my family it's that I have red hair, but I guess from other people, it's that I have a deep compassion for people. People that are being wronged, not treated the way they should. I'm very sensitive to people's feelings, like I don't care what happens to me as long as I know someone is happy. Knowing someone is happy is my greatest joy.
Becky thanks so much for the interview! It was great meeting you guys, and it was fun doing these courses together, thanks for the help. God bless, and good luck with your NLS! Thanks again!

June 28, 2011

M is for Masters.

 Swimming. My mother always wanted Victor and I to actually learn to swim. I wouldn't drown, but Victor, he'd been scared to go into two feet of water. So as soon as we got more or less settled in Abbotsford, Victor began his swimming classes, and I began mine. Then I went on to Masters swim class to improve my strokes. Somewhere in between there, Project Interviews was born.
Before I began Masters, I was told Sandra was to be the swim coach and that she was great.
As soon as I began Masters I agreed. Sandra pushes, motivates, criticizes and helps you improve.
A fitness center here in town is doing a project called: My City Guy/Girl, they publish it in "The News: Abbotsford" and Sandra was featured on it. And! Yesterday, during Maters! she took time out to let me interview her! :

LFA: On "The News" your job/occupation description was described as Swim Coach. I know you coach us here at Masters, is this your main job?

Sandra: No, this is a very very part time job. I work for a RV dealership company.

LFA: What's your job there like?

Sandra: I'm an Inventory Manager, making sure our prices are consistent etc. I also facilitate getting RV's into the country, I'm a corporate trainer, and have two staff underneath me. I also take over the accounting for the company.

LFA: So, you said you facilitate getting RV's into the country, where would these RV's be coming from mainly?

Sandra: The US.

LFA: How do you describe your job? e.g. Fun/stressful/boring/exciting..

Sandra: Well, I enjoy my job. I like my coworkers, and I really like accounting, and the training. The trianing would be my favorite part.

LFA: What kind of problems do you face/deal with in your job?

Sandra: A lot of bureaucracy getting the RV's into the country and government issues with that. And between the Economy and gas prices it's difficult to get the freights in on time. And of course, complaints.

LFA: How did you get to so many positions? How did you get all the way up there? Did you study accounting etc.?

Sandra: Nope, I started on the bottom and worked my up to the top. I've been with this company for eighteen years, I've had seven jobs for them, and am with them 'till today.

LFA: Does your company have a motto?:

Sandra: Making our customer's vacation realized!

LFA: Nice, do you have a personal motto?

Sandra: Always be honest. I believe in always being honest. It just makes life so less complicated. In fact, I'd rather tell a person the truth, that could potentially hurt them, than to lie to them. For several reasons, because they ask your opinion of something they have, you say you like it, and they can buy the same thing for you too. Or they can throw what you said back at you with "but I thought you said you liked it".

LFA: So Sandra, what makes you different from everybody else? What's something special about you?!

Sandra: That I'm straight-forward. I tell people what I think. I don't exactly care what people think of me. A little, but not really. I'm a leader. Not a follower.

LFA: Thanks very much Sandra!

Credits to My City Guy/Girl "The News: Abbotsford" Article.

Unfortunately Masters is over for the summer, but hey! there's always the fall to look forward to!
Sandra, thanks so much for the interview. Thanks for making the time, thanks for your help with my strokes. When I pass AWSI & WSI, I wouldn't have been able to do it without your help.

June 23, 2011

Punctuality + Weather

Daddy likes to be punctual. To everything. Actually he likes to be early. To everything. Doctor appointments, meetings, flights (we always leave the house about 3-4 hours before our flight time, and time and time again it's proven to be very less stressful to leave with plenty of time) and you get the idea.
Changing gears, let's talk about the weather.
Abbotsford's weather is somewhat special. I am quite convinced that in this part of the country it isn't Mr.Weather, it's Mrs.Weather because seriously! talk. about. mood. changes!
It rains, then shines, then snows. in. April! and then it shines again. But of course then it clouds all over again and the rain pounds down on you as if in penalizing you for enjoying the sun. Ai. Ai. Ai.
Until Tuesday.
Promptly on the first day of summer, Abbotsford's sun came out. And ohh was he beautiful!
Sunny, my dear, do come out more! You wear your yellow halo well you know!
Daddy likes Abbotsford's summer. Because he's punctual.

Life in a Box [2]

In January I posted a bit about our move, the boxes, the pandemonium, past moves, and everything...
As some of you may know, our boxes &&..."stuff", stayed in Toronto to be shipped over bit by bit. Eventually though, daddy decided to simply ship everything over. The company took longer than usual but finally, on Monday, the "stuff" arrived! Our basement was overflowing with boxes, bikes, furniture..and everything we hoarded for the past five years. As I've said before, Toronto was our record of staying five years in one place and boy did we bring a lot of things! As Crystal said "Y'all sure are pack rats!"
Sort of.
It's Thursday and we still haven't found places for everything yet. The basement is beginning to take shape though. (If you don't count the box corners sticking out in the most random places.)

The guys were so friendly and funny, and taught me to play Bingo! Well, moving delivery checklist bingo anyway.
Mommy made them some pineapple juice, (which he wanted "spiked" lol). 
So many things! Where...do....we....stash....them?!

We'll figure it out....eventually!
Anyways, it's great to finally have all our belongings and pieces with us after so long!

June 21, 2011


 I had to google it. I still do. I mean, how do you pronounce K-e-r-e-m-e-o-s?
We went over there last week to visit one of our brothers who lives there, because of his arthritis. (After all, according to Wikipedia, Keremeos' motto is: Healthy Living,, Naturally.) It's a lovely place, the weather was extraordinary last week. Cool, windy (reminded me so much of the open plains in Texas), but there it's actually quite the opposite. It's the valley.
One of the smallest town I've ever been to (I immediately fell in l.o.v.e! hopelessly in love (for I feed a terrible soft spot for small towns) it has a population of a grand total of 1,289!
Surrounded by nature, mountains, farms and kilometers of green..the Village of Keremeos is adorable.
 On our way there and back, we were delighted!! to see the neighbours of the people of Keremeos...but bears aren't the only neighbours they're blessed with.
Unfortunately ..We didn't get to see any badgers, rams or elk. But we did get to see the bears, deer..and a random yellow van I liked. When I stopped to photograph the sign for the deer (who happened to be in the 'bear zone', but as I reminded mommy, they probably have a hard time reading the signs and didn't know their zone was way back closer to Keremeos) anyways, the deer sign was in front of a house with a paddock fencing in a herd of horses. As soon as I got out of the car..they started running towards the fence. I couldn't help it. I had to go over and say hello. Aren't they adorkable?!

We chatted for a while, and then we went on....Abbotsford's pretty far from Keremeos..but we made it home safe and sound thank God.

And, we're almost there!

June 20, 2011


Someone once commented on us, "You guys get along pretty well don't you?"
I kind of stared blankly. I don't think about things I've never thought before. (..Um Duh!) I had never thought of any other way to get along with a mother. She's my mom! Of Course we get along well!
I now realize not everyone gets along with their mothers, but that's because their mothers aren't like you.
Someone also once said that mother is a verb not a noun, they're right.
You are so much, Mommy. You're a mother of two, a housekeeper, teacher, nurse, cook, but most importantly, my friend, my companion, my example and mentor.
I'll always cherish our jokes, our songs, the looks we give each other that mean paragraphs of words when we can't say anything out loud.
Many times you have to be both father and mother to us. You're never down, always up, and bringing others up with you. You believe in us, trust us and push us to be a better version of ourselves.
Mommy, you've made sacrifices, they haven't gone by unnoticed. Thank you. for everything! Happy Mother's Day, because everyday, ought to be Mother's day!


I don't know how you do it. How you manage. How you manage to travel all over the world my whole life, and still be here. For me. Always.
You're always here to tell me I'm beautiful, (that's where I take after you, you say), to laugh at my jokes, or to make me laugh. To taste my attempts at cooking, praise my victories, swallow and give advice for my failures, always.
When I told you people say girls marry someone like their fathers, you chaffed, "Then you'll never get married!" And it's true, it'd be pretty hard to find someone like you, Daddy.
To me, you're the epitome of a father, husband, man. With you I'm learning to question things, to see behind actions, to think for myself. I'm a slow learner Daddy, but I'm watching, and I'll learn.
I remember moments Daddy, I remember you trying to make a ponytail with my hair for me to go to school while Mommy was in the hospital with Victor. I remember how you used to get me up to go to first grade every morning, we'd race. To see who could get up and ready faster. I remember you allowing me to win.
I remember.
You've been through a lot Daddy, and through all the things I've watched you going through, my admiration just grows. You've always been here for us Daddy, we'll always be here for you too.
Thank you Daddy. For everything. For being mine. For being here. For being who you are. For being strong. For your support. For your trust. For your love. And most importantly, for leading me step by step to be able to serve my Heavenly Daddy better.
Happy Father's Day Daddy!

June 16, 2011

Bear Cub Flashbacks.

Every year I get multiple invitations to go to the July camp meeting in Denver.
Friends invite me, acquaintances I haven't seen in ages coax and ask if we'll be going, and every year I'm reminded again and again of the time we did go to the July camp meeting.
  It was the July of 2004, and we were up in the mountains in Colorado. Brethren were warning parents to keep children in sight, to not take food into the cabins, and the large black bell would be rung every once in a while throughout the day, its deep ring rushing through the forest and, hopefully, keeping any wild animals away.
 Mommy admits to have been a little skeptical about wild animals really coming so close to human existence and wasn't worried about mountain lions or bears. Until, that is....
  For some reason or other, our family stayed an extra day on the campgrounds after everyone had left. Everyone. We were alone. The silence that lingered was strangely deafening and as we were to leave only the next morning and everyone had left early that morning...Victor (3 years old at the time) and I (9) were quite..bored. So while daddy rested, mommy decided to entertain us with reading stories in our cabin. So, Larissa had to go bring the story books from the car. Now, I've always been a bit..jumpy, skittish, fearful. (I blame my overactive imagination), so when I came running and puffing back into our cabin claiming to "Have seen something moving in the woods beside the car." My mother wasn't worried. "When you're scared," she calmed me, "everything seems to be moving or dangerous."  And so the afternoon was spent with stories that took my vivid imagination far away from shaking bushes. Until...
  Before bed, mommy decided to take us to the main building to wash up, return the books back into the car and get ready for bed. We got as far as the car when the nearby bushes began to produce quiet rustlings. Mommy stopped. Victor clinging to her hand halted, and a skipping Larissa came to a skidding stop. Three pairs of eyes turned to a certain trembling bush which happened to be parting. And there, a little furry brown face appeared. First a wet black nose, then two beady black smiling eyes.
Mommy swooped Victor into her arms, clasped my hand and we ran as fast as our legs would carry us back to our cabin. (Obviously when panic sets in, you forget that bears can run alot faster than you ever could.) My father was awakened by my wide-eyed mother, and the next morning (after quite a sleepless night for my alarmed mother) when we again passed by the main building to ring the bell one last time and for the last bathroom stop, we could see pairs of little paws...beside pairs of..not so little paw prints. The bears' strong musk still lingered after them.
 We left, and arrived home safe and sound thank God, but when this story was retold to my uncle, his response, (to my mother's chagrin) was"Why didn't you take a picture?"
 So, this time on our trip to Keremeos, we had the opportunity to see bears...on the side of the road. And this time, we did take pictures! (Of course, we happened to be inside a car this time..and on the other side of the highway.)

This time, we took the warning quite seriously...except I made daddy stop to take a picture. (He stopped 3mtrs. after the sign...Oh well.)
On our way to Keremeos, we saw this big ol' fur ball. Which was quite exciting...
But on our way back to Abbotsford a guy waved us to a stop because he didn't want us to spook the bear. I say it was providence because he waved to nobody else later, and the cubs didn't spook, even when a large truck sped buy...Now I have questions. Are they grazing? Or tearing up roots. How come one's a black cub? Is the larger one a cub from last year..or the mother?! Any bear experts out there?

Mommy "with" the cubs. Honestly...if it weren't for her I doubt I would've stayed on this side of the highway...they were so close! I was dying to at least get to the middle of the road so as not to interfere with their "wild side". hehe

June 13, 2011

.Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down

"...I found $20 in my skirt pocket today (The beauty of finding clothes in the bottom of the suitcase you've been living from for the past 6mo.), then went to a orthodontist consultation. The orthodontist wants $11,000 to fix my teeth. Must make another consultation, his receptionist must have said I wanted gold teeth not braces. And let the week begin!"
As soon as I posted this on facebook, FB changed its suggestions on the suggestion bar and suggested I 'like' the page: Orthodontics.
Ai ai ai. Never thought so much money would be spent on crooked teeth.
Today's thumbs up and down go to:

Thumbs Down:
  • Extremely expensive orthodontic treatments && crooked teeth. In Brazil for a top orthodontic treatment it's about $1,400 Reals...and that's because orthodontics in Brazil are just as updated (if not more so) than North American treatments!
  • Not being able to smell or taste food!!! (My allergies && colds have kicked in with full force and the meds allow me to breathe, but take my smell and taste buds away :( Hopefully they'll come back soon!
  • Summer not being here.

Thumbs Up:
  • Finding money in my pocket on the same day as Andrew Yates did. (The same amount too.)
  • Philippians 4:13
  • Human genetics Pretty awesome actually, I think this has been my favorite Biology chapter so far!
  • Thinking Positive! (Like, thinking summer will eventually get here...the Stanley cup will be Canadian...)
  • To cooperative people that keep sending me their devotional contributions! Thanks guys!
As always, the good outweigh the bad! So SMILE y'all!
God bless!

June 7, 2011

Your friend Tarsier

Hello y'all!
Dad came back from his trip to the Philippines recently thus I shall be posting a trip on his Phillippine adventure.

I always bother my father to bring home pictures and souvenirs for me. I know traveling isn't really his "thing". Some people would take any opportunity to travel, and any excuse to fly, my father is quite content with not traveling. On his birthday, he likes a home-cooked meal, and a stay-at-home-quiet-day just fine. No eating out, no trips or outings or eccentric activities. Just a relaxing day at home.
When he does travel, my father is a minimalist. He goes where he's supposed to go. Does his job. Enjoys it. And then is quite happy to come straight back home. No souvenir shopping, no need to photograph. Quite simple really.
So, every time he does travel for his job, I remind him to bring home photos, and at least a souvenir of some type.
This time, he complied.
This little guy, a Tarsier monkey (the real one is below). Was a souvenir given to my father to bring home to us, buy some of our dear sisters overseas. I still can't decide if I think the Tarsier (below) (who's not a monkey at all), is cute or....NOT!
Please notice I did leave the picture below smaller than the others. I fear the eyes are a little too much for me to handle. 

I asked my father for one word to describe the Philippine brethren. "Friendly". He replied. Other people have also mentioned to me that the Philippine people are so open and polite! I don't doubt them. My acquaintances with Filipinos have been quite pleasurable!(:  

Children. They are so cute I couldn't help but post them. Daddy says they'd come see him sometimes, poking each other saying "You ask him." "No, you ask him!" For photos, or his card or anything he had on hand to give them as a reminder of his visit.

No doubt about it!The Philippines seem to be beautiful! Daddy says it is a beautiful place. (Hot! But beautiful.) The beaches are clean and blue, and the chocolate hills (below), made for a wonderful trip. The chocolate hills. (named thus because during the summer the lush green you see in the picture below turns a milky chocolaty brown.) "They're endless!" Daddy said when showing us the photos. "They stretch on over the horizon!"

All in all daddy says it was a wonderful trip. The meetings held were a blessing. The wedding performed was pretty, the scenery beautiful and the people warm, friendly, and furthermore, he was blessed to have met another part of our extensive SDARM family.

God bless y'all! && Credits of photos to everyone who shared their photographs with my dad.

June 2, 2011


Our little basement is finally taking shape. The couch, the piano, and the shelf in the living room. The table and chairs in the kitchen. The wooden spoons and wooden fish on the walls in the kitchen all add nicely to make our little place feel like home.
Yesterday mommy and daddy came home with a cupboard they couldn't resist buying.
Mother is panicking a little bit because our moving boxes are (or should be) (Fiiinaallly) arriving in one or two weeks, but she has no place to store her beloved pans and dishes!
So this cupboard was the perfect solution. Petite looking, but should fit most of her pans quite nicely!
(It extends down a bit more than I could get in the picture.)
It looks a little bear, but it will do until our things get here. (:
I find it rather cute!

P.S. Don't mind my flying hair.

S is for: Standard First Aid

For my job, (the one I'll hopefully be getting early 2012) I will need to complete a couple of courses.
The first on my list, was Standard First Aid (SFA together with EFA-Emergency First Aid, and CPR-C).

It was a two day course in which I had the pleasure of meeting fun people that made the trip to Surrey worth it. I couldn't take the course here in Abbotsford because they only had it available on Saturdays and Sundays, and because we go to church on Saturdays, I'd be missing out half the course (not cool).
Anyways, on the lunch break of the last day of SFA I asked Brittany (our awesome instructor) if I could interview her for a school project, and also post it on the blog. She consented. (Told you she was awesome.)
Brittany is a course instructor for L.I.T. Aquatics while she finishes her nursing degree at UBC. She is head guard at the Y in Surrey instructor for SFA and NLS courses.
Here is the short interview we managed to squeeze into our lunch break:

LFA: What is your job like, what responsibilities do you have?

Brittany: I'm a life guard, and head guard at the "Y". I relieve othe guards from their posts when necessary, I teach NLS and SFA, and overall conduct staff inservice.

LFA: And how do you describe your job currently? Is it fun or boring? Exciting, uneventful, stressful?

Brittany: Fun. We have fun with everybody. It's good.

LFA: How do you view the importance of this job? Extremely important..or not so much? Is it a work that is essential?

Brittany: Yes and No. Life guards do fall under the category of Emergency Personnels so yes.

LFA: What kind of problems do you face at the pool? People, co-workers, etc.

Brittany: Mostly people problems. Alot of complaints about pool temperature, hot tub tempurature, lessons. Everybody else working are all mostly on the same page, they're fun to work with and don't cause any problems.

LFA: There aren't many accidents and emergency problems are there?

Brittany: No.

LFA: How did you get here? Head guard, SFA instructor. What brought/ led up to your current position?

Brittany: I volunteered alot when I was younger, and I was always a good swimmer so my parents advised I take my courses so I did.

LFA: How old were you when you began your courses?

Brittany: 16. Six and a half years ago.

LFA: What would be your advice for students wanting to one day become a lifeguard/instructor?

Brittany: Complete all your courses. Keep your skills up afterwards. Definately take your job and responsibilities seriously and Enjoy It!

LFA: Does L.I.T. have a motto?

Brittany: I've only been with them for a year, so I'm not sure but I don't think they do. I mostly work at the "Y". I've been with them for 6 years.

LFA: Does the "Y" have a motto?

Brittany: Um, their current one is "Bringing people together."

LFA: Yesterday, the first day of the course you made us all introduce ourselves and say something interesting about ourselves. What's something interesting about you? What makes you different from other head guards?

Brittany: I have a strong interest in anatomy. I should be getting my nursing degree in December!

LFA: Thanks for your time Brittany!

Project Interviews.

Ok, so this blog's been pretty dormant. And I dislike that very much. Therefore I'm combining a Speech assignment to a blog project. In Speech class one of my assignments is to interview people. Therefore, I shall be interviewing local people here in Abbotsford, and if they give me their permission, I will post it here on Live From Abby for y'all to enjoy!
My plan is to do one interview/post for each letter of the alphabet. Because sometimes life throws us unplanned opportunities and curve balls, I won't be doing my interviews in alphabetical order.
I hope you all enjoy, and if anyone has any advice on interviews, the objective of this assignment is to learn (;
P.S. When I am asking the question, it will be posted as LFA (Live From Abby.)
LFA- What is your favorite Blog ever?
Interviewee-  Live From Abby of course!
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