Thursday, December 27, 2007

From way up north...

Sadly my big brother Ben could not make it home from Fairbanks, Alaska this Christmas. We missed him soooooo much. But he wrote an e-mail to my mom and I got a kick out of it. I think you will to. :)







Mother and Father, (and whoever else may read)

Thank you very much for all of the wonderful Christmas gifts.
They were all very much appreciated. Christmas morning here in
Fairbanks
was graced with many little flakes of snow falling from the sky as I
heard the same was true of the Gig Harbor area. I had a very nice
Christmas dinner over at the Sr. Cox's. It consisted of green bean
casserole, lazy man potatoes (with the skins still attached to the
meat), glazed ham, crammed canberries, and some really good pinkish,
purple, slimey stuff (the stuff served every year in every household
universe-wide even on the planet mars, but no one (martian) really
knows
exactly what it is but they eat it anyway because it's good) and of
course plenty of pies and cookies and other diabetic shock inducing
foods. I hope your Christmas was as fine as mine was, and I pray that
you have peace and joy as you ring in the new year. For those who might
be getting older don't forget to turn your hearing aides up so you can
actually hear the "ring".

With love,
(Benji in Alaska)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Starbucks Holiday Cheer Party


I just had my 6 month review at Starbucks (I can't believe it's been 6 months already!) and it went very well!

Every year our store has a Holiday Cheer Party for our customers. This year we had live music, crafts, face-painting and Santa even came for a visit. We are also doing a toy drive for the Starlight Starbright foundation. Everyone who brought in a gift received a raffle ticket and if their name was drawn they were able to choose a gift from our gift table to take home with them.




Sharon provided the live music.


The Majestic Pamm did her thing and sampled lots of yummy goodies both inside and outside to the cars in the drive-thru.



Ginger's lovely daughter provided the face painting. Everyone looked so cute!






























Miss Patty brought the crafts for the kids to make ornaments.

And this is Nancy our District Manager with Santa! :)


And Libby belly-danced!

Here is video from the party!


Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books





Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You Are Not in Darkness

My mom recently wrote a paper on Christ's return. You can visit her blog on the subject, You Are Not in Darkness.
Here is the paper she wrote. :)

“YOU ARE NOT IN DARKNESS”

By K.W. Hall



***

About a year ago I was encouraged to take a fresh look at the end time passages in Scripture using a simple, face-value hermeneutic and following the Golden Rule of Interpretation: “If the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense.” Put another way, “If the plain sense makes sense, you have the right sense.” The context of the passages should be considered as well, and always compare Scripture with Scripture. There will be no contradictions with other passages when Scripture is properly interpreted.

The testimony of the early Church fathers was that the Church would face the unprecedented persecution of Antichrist which Christ spoke of in Matthew 24:

* Tertullian: "That the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God....Since, then, the Scriptures both indicate the stages of the last times, and concentrate the harvest of the Christian hope in the very end of the world."

* Justin Martyr: "The man of apostasy...shall venture to do unlawful things on the earth against us, the Christians."

* Iranaeus: "And the ten kings...shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight."

* Barnabas: "Take heed, lest resting at our ease, as those who are called of God, we should fall asleep in our sins, and the wicked prince, acquiring power over us, should thrust us away from the Kingdom of the Lord."

* Hippolytus: "Now concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary. That refers to the 1260 days during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church."

* The Pastor of Hermas: "Happy ye who endure the Great Tribulation that is coming."

The popular teaching today however is that the Church will be raptured prior to the Great Tribulation. The men quoted above were much closer in time to the Apostles who received God’s direct revelation concerning the Lord’s return. Are we missing something in Scripture that these men clearly understood?

In my studying over the past year, I have come to understand as the early Church fathers, that the Church will face the persecution of Antichrist. The Lord’s coming (presence) and our gathering is a single, noisy, visible and glorious event. It is not a two phase event beginning with a silent, secret rapture. To my amazement and delight, passages that had often been murky and confusing have now come alive with exhilarating clarity. The greatest blessing of all has been the exponential growth in my yearning for “the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” What a day of rejoicing that will be!

***

It is important to state from the beginning, Matthew 24:36 says no one knows the day or the hour of Christ’s coming (presence). However, by the time you are finished reading, I think you’ll agree that Scripture clearly teaches we can know when His return and our gathering is near, in fact, right at the door.

***

To know where to place the Lord’s coming and our gathering on the prophetic timeline is tied to the day of the Lord passages. The key that unlocks the door: The cosmic signs associated with the day of the Lord.

COSMIC SIGN REFERENCED in Joel 2:31:

“The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and awesome DAY OF THE LORD comes.”

Joel says this cosmic sign of the natural lights going out falls prior to the day of the Lord.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, Paul ties together the day of the Lord with Christ’s coming (presence) and our gathering…

“Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming (presence) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the DAY OF THE LORD has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (the day of the Lord) will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

Taken at face value, Paul is saying the day of the Lord begins with Christ’s coming and our gathering, and the day of the Lord will not occur until sometime after the apostasy and the son of destruction exalts himself in the temple as God. Since Paul is obviously referencing the abomination of desolation found in Daniel 9:27, which occurs at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, he is saying the day of the Lord’s coming and our gathering falls sometime after the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week.

The plain sense makes sense, is it the right sense? Are there any other places in Scripture where this is taught?

This appears to be precisely what Christ is teaching in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.

Jesus had just come out of the temple. The disciples then come up and point out the temple to Him. Christ tells them that not one temple stone will be left upon another. Later on the disciples approach Him on the Mt. of Olives and ask Him when will these things be and what will be the sign of His coming (presence-the same Greek word Paul used in 2 Thes.) and the end of the age.

(It will become clear as we move along in our study that when Scripture refers to the end, or end of the age, it is referring to the Day of the Lord.)

The Lord begins with a warning in v. 4: “See to it that no one misleads you.”

Summarizing verses 5-14: He says false Christs will come as well as wars and rumors of wars. There will also be famines and earthquakes. He calls these things the beginning birth pangs. Then comes tribulation. v. 9 “They will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name.” (Israel is not hated on account of the name of Christ, His disciples are however.) False prophets will arise and mislead many. Lawlessness will increase and people’s love will grow cold. The one who endures to the end (the day of the Lord) will be saved, or delivered. The gospel will be preached in the whole world, and then the end (day of the Lord) comes.

Next Christ speaks of the abomination of desolation (what Paul refers to in 2 Th. 2 as the son of destruction displaying himself as being God in the temple) which we know occurs at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week.

Matthew 24;15: “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place…”

FLEE! (v.16-20)

Why does Christ give instructions to flee?

v.21”…for then there shall be great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall,

v.22 says that the tribulation days are cut short (the Greek word is amputated), for the sake of the elect. (The great tribulation is cut short, not Daniel’s 70th week.) “And unless those days (of tribulation) had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days (of tribulation) shall be cut short.”

COSMIC SIGN REFERENCED IN MATTHEW 24

Verses 29-31 tells us what cuts the days of great tribulation short:

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

Note the reference to the COSMIC SIGN of the natural lights going out. Here in Matthew the cosmic sign occurs after the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, after the abomination of desolation. The prophet Joel says it occurs before the day of the Lord. Paul’s teaching ties the day of the Lord to His coming and our gathering and says it will occur at some point after the son of destruction takes his seat in the temple. The plain sense (and it makes sense) is saying that this is describing the day of the Lord’s coming (presence) and gathering of the saints, the elect! It occurs after the abomination of desolation (just as Paul said it would) and it cuts short the great tribulation. It is a noisy event with a trumpet. It is not a secret event but a visible event as all the tribes of the earth will mourn when they see Christ. By the time we are finished, I think you will conclude as I have, this truly is a rapture passage and Paul and Christ were teaching the exact same thing. (The sum of God’s word is truth! Ps. 119:160)

You might say that you’ve heard Matt. 24 is for Israel. Matt. 24 is bracketed on both sides with references to the church. Christ told Peter in chapter 16 that He would build His church and the gates of Hades would not prevail against it. He gave instructions for church discipline in chapter 18. Then He gives a very precise and clear commandment at the very end of the book:

Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (The day of the Lord.)

The disciples were to teach ALL that Christ commanded them as they made disciples of ALL nations. That would include what was taught in Matthew 24. By way of application, we are to learn these commands and teach them as well. Matthew 24 does include instruction to the Church!

***

The classic rapture passage, 1 Th. 4:16-5:2 also teaches us that the rapture is a noisy event. There is a shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God. We also learn that the dead in Christ are also included in the gathering. When Paul wrote 1Thessalonians there were no chapter breaks. He moves right on into chapter five and ties the rapture to the day of the Lord:

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain (this word can also mean survive) shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. Now as to the times and the epochs brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the DAY OF THE LORD will come just like a thief in the night.”

Next Paul tells us that the day of the Lord overtakes a group of people like a thief. This group of people is the beast worshippers that are enjoying peace and safety under Antichrist’s religious and economic system, but sudden destruction will come upon them.

1 Th. 5:3: “While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they will not escape.”

In v.4 Paul says, “But YOU, brethren, ARE NOT IN DARKNESS, that the day should overtake you like a thief.”

Paul instructs the Thessalonians that they are to be alert and sober so the day of the Lord will not overtake them. vv.5,6: “…for you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”

Because we have the list of events in Matt. 24 given to us by Jesus that will precede His day of the Lord’s return, we can be prepared so that day will not overtake us:

1. The rise in false christs (v. 5).
2. The rise in wars between nations (v. 6).
3. Famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places (v. 7).
4. Antichrist’s desecration of the
temple of God (v. 15).
5. The period of severe tribulation for God’s people, more intense than any other in history (v.

21).

6. The triple sign in the sun, moon, and stars. (v.29)

So if Christ’s coming and our gathering begins the day of the Lord but cuts short the Great Tribulation, what remains for the rest of Daniel’s 70th week?

THE WRATH OF GOD!

***

Isaiah 13 tells us that the day of the Lord contains destruction, God’s burning anger, and the extermination of sinners.

2 Peter 3:10 also describes the day of the Lord’s firey wrath…“the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”

The day of the Lord cannot be taking place when the son of destruction exalts himself in the temple. It must occur later because Isaiah 2:11 says the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.

The Scripture is very clear that believers are not destined for God’s wrath.

1 Th. 5:9: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Once the elect are raptured, God’s wrath will fall.

I was taught that the seals were God’s wrath. When the fifth seal breaks, John sees under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they maintained. (Rev. 6:9)

Look at the question they ask God in Rev. 6:10: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

The fifth seal martyrs view God’s wrath as yet to come! They recognize their deaths were because of Antichrist’s persecution, the great tribulation, not because of God’s wrath.

We must differentiate between tribulation and God’s wrath. All of Daniel’s 70th week does not contain His wrath because the day of the Lord does not begin until after the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week.

Did you know Rev. 12:12b calls the persecution of the dragon via the beast the “wrath of Satan”?

“… Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

***

COSMIC SIGN REFERENCED IN REVELATION 6

At the breaking of the sixth seal in Revelation we see again the triple sign of the sun, moon, and stars. We know from Matt. 24 that these signs occur after the abomination of desolation. The great day of the Lord is about to occur!

Rev. 6:12…and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;

v.13…and the stars of the sky fell to the earth…

v.14…and the sky split apart…

v.15…and the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains…

v. 16…and they said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us and hide us from the PRESENCE of Him who sits on the throne, and AND FROM THE WRATH OF THE LAMB,

v. 17…FOR THE GREAT DAY OF THEIR WRATH HAS COME; and who is able to stand?”

This is the end of chapter six. The natural lights have gone out. The sky splits apart. The presence of God and the Lamb is manifested. Men see the wrath of God is about to fall. The gathering of the elect should occur at this point, correct? Does Revelation give evidence? The first half of chapter seven of Revelation is the sealing of the 144,000 before God’s wrath is poured out.

Rev. 7:2,3: And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”

Look what John sees next!

Rev. 7:9: After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches in their hands…

v.14b…These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation…

This multitude can’t be anyone else other than the gathered elect of Matthew 24! They are in their 1 Cor. 15 resurrection bodies. They are wearing robes and holding palm branches. They have come out of the great tribulation which was cut short by the day of the Lord’s coming! (According to 1 Cor. 15:51-53, what occurs in the twinkling of an eye? The changing of our bodies from perishable to imperishable, not the gathering of believers.)

Take note of 1 Cor. 15:22-25: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming (presence), then comes the end…” (the end of the age and the beginning of the day of the Lord’s firey wrath) “…when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”

In Rev. 8, the seventh seal is broken. There is silence in heaven for half an hour. Look what occurs next.

Rev. 8:5-7: “And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them. And the first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the grass was burned up.”

Now that is the Day of the Lord’s firey wrath, when He pours out His judgment on unbelievers after He removes His elect from the earth! He alone will be exalted in that day! God’s wrath then continues through the remaining trumpet and bowl judgments. At the end of Daniel’s 70th week, Christ comes down out of heaven this time on a white horse to fight the Battle of Armageddon. The beast is seized along with the false prophet and both are thrown into the lake of fire. The rest of Christ’s enemies are killed with a sword which comes from His mouth. Christ is clothed with a robe dipped in blood. He has been active in pouring out His wrath on the unbelieving world since His initial presence at the opening of the sixth seal. (Rev. 19:11-21)

***

COSMIC SIGN REFERENCED IN LUKE 21

Luke 21:25: “And there will be signs in the sun, moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among the nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,

v. 26…men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

v. 27…And then they will see the SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory.

I love verse 28:

‘BUT WHEN THESE THINGS BEGIN TO TAKE PLACE, STRAIGHTEN UP AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS, BECAUSE YOUR REDEMPTION IS DRAWING NEAR.”

For the unbeliever the day of the Lord’s coming will be terrifying. Men will cower and hide behind rocks, desiring for the rocks to fall on them, to be hidden from His presence and from His imminent wrath. But for believers, it will be the realization of our dear and blessed hope, a day filled with great wonder, rejoicing, and marveling. When the natural lights go out we are to straighten up, without fear, for our redemption is near and we will soon behold our glorious Savior!

Don’t the following verses come alive now?

1 Th. 1:10: “…and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.”

2 Th. 1:6-10: “For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these shall pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints ON THAT DAY, and to be marveled at among all who have believed…”

***

When you read the letters to the seven churches in Rev. 2 and 3 it is quite obvious that the Lord is addressing the churches as if they are about to enter into great tribulation. To the church at Sardis He warns if they don’t wake up He will come like a thief. He exhorts the churches over and over again to be overcomers. To the church at Philadelphia He promises to keep them from the hour that is about to come upon the earth, to test those who dwell on the earth. Why? Because they have persevered. Revelation refers to “those who dwell on the earth” nine times. Every time it means those who are beast worshippers, or unbelievers. The hour of testing then can only be God’s wrath, not the great tribulation. All beast worshippers will fail the test and be destroyed. The Lord will remove His faithful before He pours out His wrath.

When I first realized that I could no longer rest in a pre-trib rapture, great fear overwhelmed me. Since then the Lord has given me a wonderful peace. He willingly gave His life for me. If I am called to be in the generation that enters Daniel’s 70th week, I know He will give me the strength to do the same. I have already begun to pray for my children and grandchildren, that they will be overcomers.

***

I believe the next event on the prophetic calendar is the seven year covenant that is confirmed with Israel. It could be this year, or not for another one hundred years. Perhaps we will see before that the fulfillment of Dan. 7:24: “As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.”

I believe this to be in conjunction with the first seal in Revelation 6:2: “And I looked and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went conquering and to conquer.”

It is interesting to note that seals 1-5 in Rev. 6 fall right in line with the birth pangs in Matt. 24 and the persecution of Antichrist.

If we see the confirming of a covenant with Israel by a ruler who subdues three nations and then seven more fall in line under him, we know then that we’ll have 3 ½ years to prepare for the Great Tribulation, a time of unprecedented persecution. According to Rev. 12:13 it is aimed at the woman (Israel) first, v. 17…and then the rest of the woman’s offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (The Church…In Abraham’s seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed).

Rev. 13:7: “And it was given to him to make war with all the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.”

But we know who ultimately wins in the end and how that victory is accomplished!

Rev. 12:12a “And they (true saints) overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life, even to death.”

2 Peter 3:10a,11b,14: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God…Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless…”

Our greatest preparation should be spiritual. The believer needs to be prepared with Scripture dwelling richly in his heart. God's Word in the heart is the only thing that can provide true peace, joy, and strength. Now, as well as during time of persecution and during the greatest time of persecution that is yet to come.

At some point after the abomination of desolation, the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, during the great tribulation, the Lord will cut it short by His day of the Lord presence. A trumpet and a shout will sound. The dead in Christ shall rise first and then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord! (1 Th. 4:16,17) No man knows the day or the hour, but when the natural lights go out, the triple sign of the sun, moon, and stars, we’ll know His coming and our gathering is imminent. In the meantime, if we are told, “Behold, He is in the wilderness”, we are not to go forth. Or “He is in the inner rooms”, do not believe it. “I (Christ) have told you in advance.” (Mt.24:25)

Mark 13:13”… he who endures to the end (day of the Lord) shall be saved (delivered).”

***

SPECIAL NOTE: I do not believe that the Church has replaced Israel. There is coming a day when all Israel will be saved as Paul says in Romans 11:26. The 144,000 from each tribe will be the first fruits. (Rev. 14:4) The seal of God is placed upon their foreheads before the wrath of God falls. (Rev. 7:3) There is coming a literal, millennial kingdom in which Israel will enjoy the promises given to her.


Saturday, October 20, 2007


My Favorite Fall Things


  • Rainy days
  • Fall decorations
  • Burning candles
  • Fall scented Yankee Candles and Wax Tarts
  • Pumpkins
  • Thanksgiving
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Baking bread on a rainy day
  • Pumpkin Spice Chai Cream Frappaccino from Starbucks!
  • Learning new fall recipes
  • Fall leaves
  • Crocheting or sewing on a rainy day

Monday, October 15, 2007

A little vacation with Hannah...


I thought a post about a little trip Hannah and I took to Victoria, Canada would be perfect for kicking-off my entrance back into the blogging world. :)

Hannah treated the both of us to an overnight stay in Victoria this past week. We headed up to Port Angeles on Thursday to catch the 2pm ferry. As we drove in to Port Angeles we decided to stop at Wendy's to get some lunch. While we were in line a little old man came up to Hannah and asked what her Gold Star pin meant on her coat. He eventually asked if he could eat with us. He was a very sweet man and he told us all about his wife who passed away this last December. He cried every time he talked about her and he would cry every time Hannah would talk about Gabe. He wore two rings around his neck on a chain and I am guessing those were his and his wife's wedding rings. He showed us some pictures he had of his wife that he kept in his wallet. He was in his 80's. He and his wife had been married over 50 years. He was very sweet and I am glad we ate lunch with him.

The ferry ride over took a little over an hour. We went up to the the top of the boat and sat outside under a covered area. The ride got pretty rocky as we got farther out into the Straight of Juan de Fuca. It was sunny though and we enjoyed the ride. Once we reached the harbor we went out to the front of the boat and enjoyed the view as we came in to the harbor. Once we got off the boat we had to go through customs.

We walked past the Parliament building as we made our way to our hotel. We also passed the elegant Empress Hotel. All of the fall colors were so beautiful! Hannah picked a very good time of year to visit Victoria. We found our hotel, we checked in and dropped our bags off in our room. We were on the 15th floor and we had a great view of the harbor and the Parliament building. There was also lots of construction going on for the 2010 Olympics that are going to be held in Vancouver.

Hannah and I only packed one bag each since we knew we were going to have to carry our bags with us the next day when we checked out of the hotel. It was a fun challenge trying to downsize everything we would usually take on a trip like this. I wore a pair of jeans and brought an extra shirt for the next day and some pj's. I packed some small toiletries and of course some make-up. Hannah and I agreed it was really nice to have everything in one bag. The next day we literally had no packing to do when we left.

After we dropped our bags off we headed out to do a little shopping. We bought a couple souvenirs and went back to the hotel to drop them off. We asked the lady at the desk where the Spaghetti Factory was. It was only about a block away so we headed down there and had dinner. After dinner we walked over to the waterfront so I could get a picture of the Parliament building all lit up. On our way back we went in to the Empress Hotel to see what time High Tea would be the next day. We found out you had to make reservations though and the office was already closed.

That night in our hotel we ordered room service and two delicious pieces of chocolate cheese cake were delivered to our room on a platter.

The next morning we ate a continental breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We enjoyed Belgian Waffles, sausage, french toast, fruit and eggs. We were pretty stuffed after breakfast and new we wouldn't be eating lunch any time soon. We checked out of the hotel around 11am and we headed out to do some more shopping and sight seeing. We went to a Starbucks and I was very happy to find out I would still get my employee
discount even though we were in a different country.

We walked quite a few blocks to find a castle. We had to carry our bags and after several blocks they started to feel pretty heavy. But we made it and it was so worth it. The castle was located in the middle of a neighborhood which reminded us of North Tacoma neighborhoods. We really enjoyed walking the halls and the beautiful staircase. We both agreed it made us in the mood to watch a good Jane Austin movie.

After we enjoyed our self-guided tour we headed back down to the waterfront to catch the ferry home. We had enough time to go and get a quick lunch at a restaurant called Milestones on the waterfront. We had a perfect view of the ferry dock so we could see when the ferry came in. We asked for the check as soon as we ordered so we could pay, eat and leave as soon as possible. We ate pretty quickly and as we were eating the ferry came in. We walked pretty fast over the ferry dock and we made it just as they started letting people through customs and onto the boat. It is a good thing we made it as it was the last ferry leaving for the day!

On the ferry ride home we sat outside on the upper deck out in the open. It was pretty chilly but it was a beautiful day. In the middle of the trip home they stopped the ferry because of a pod of Orca whales that was swimming close by. They never came to close. They would come up about every 30 seconds and a big spray of water could be seen. This was the first time I had seen Orcas.

We had such a fun time. It was so much fun having girl time and getting to goof off. I am so blessed to have a such a wonderful friendship!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

I just want to let you all know I am working on getting a new template for my blog and making changes. I have not had very much time online lately so the changes are going to take me a little bit of time. My plan is to be back up and running by mid fall. So make sure you check back next month! I just want to have a new fresh template to kind of rekindle my desire to blog. I am still going to visit all the wonderful blogs I read already! :)
Stay tuned...

Monday, August 20, 2007

A year...



God looked around his Garden and found an empty place.

He then looked down upon his earth and saw your loving face.
He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest.
His Garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best.
He saw your path was difficult, he closed your tired eyes,
He whispered to you "Peace be Thine" and gave you wings to fly.
When we saw you sleeping so calm and free of pain,
We would not wish you back to earth to suffer once again.
You've left us precious memories, your love will be our guide,
You live on through your child, you're always by our side.
It broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you on the day God called you home.





Today marks one year since Gabe DeRoo was killed in Iraq by a sniper. It is so hard to believe it has been a year. Hannah, little Gabriel, her sister Ruth, brother-in-law Chris and I went up to the cemetery today with flowers. Gabriel even brought a little balloon that said "I love you" on it. Hannah is doing so good today and a bunch of us are going over to her house later on this afternoon for a little potluck. Hannah and Chris took pictures at the cemetery and Chris is going to send me some so when I get them I will post them for you all to see.

We miss Gabe so much and Hannah most of all. I would give anything to see this little family back together again, but we know God knows best and He is good. And we still have the wonderful hope that he is in Heaven and we will see him again. God has taken such great care of Hannah and little Gabriel. God is so good!