Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our Lil' Phillip of Late

All because of the resident aunt...
Phillip is much taken by his kind Aunt Ruth. Because of this,
he has an obsession with wearing some of her clothes:
her hats, scarves, gloves, and socks(you can just barely see them).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Late as usual:Our Trip to Michigan & Mexico in Late October

1. Holland, Michigan After Steve & Amy's wedding, we gave up our dear lil' Phil to the care of Dad & Mom V and kids again. But this time we would be separated for almost two weeks. Some tears were shed... Then we headed out to Holland, Michigan to visit Messiah's Independent Reformed Church. Since an internship was being considered, they wanted to meet us, and we them. So, Curt preached for them that Sunday. We had a great time there. Unfortunately, we forgot to take pictures. Here's all we took!

Out on the beach.

2. Tepic, Mexico
On Thursday morning, we left early for the Detroit airport, and from there we flew to Guadelehara, Mexico. We then stayed for five days in Mexico: the first four in Tepic, the last day in Puerta Vallerta. It was a great experience!

We were struck by how different life is there for we who are pampered Americans. And we saw the great need for the gospel, and how God is working through the missionaries, Pastor Rich, Ange and family, and Pastor Zach, Sandy and family. We stayed with Rich & Ange and had a wonderful time, enjoying time with their sweet kids and enjoying some great excursions into the city.

We had the privilege of sleeping in a cute room on top of their main roof. Here we are looking out from the roof across the city.
This is the chapel room in the mission.
The Pastor Zach & Sandy took us out for the first full day we were there. It was great to meet them and to hear how God has worked in their lives, eventually leading them to Mexico.

Their two cute girls, Olivia and Brianna.

They took us to an indoor marketplace. It was so neat: crowded, cluttered aisles, full of people and stuff. I bought a lime/lemon squeezer there.

Driving in the streets was like stock car racing. Award goes to Pastor Rich for providing worthy competition for the Mexicans without any incident!

We drove up an outlying mountain and saw the city from a new vantage point. This is only part of the city. The city population is around half a million or so.

The picture on the left is the "backyard" of Pastor Zach and Sandy. Apparently, they really had to resurrect the house, which they did. It is very pretty. There is a little gully next to the house, which Pastor Zach has cleaned up and made into a little park (right pic).

A Roman Catholic cathedral across from the city square.

Pastor Rich & Ange's beautiful house! On the right, having dinner with their family and Paco. The food was great -- compliments to the cooks!

3. Puerta Vallerta, Mexico
On Monday morning, Pastor Rich drove us to the bus depot in Tepic, and from there we took a winding bus trip for 3 hours to Puerta Vallerta on the coast. We stayed overnight at a resort there: Americana Fiesta (we got the reservations for a great deal!)

Here's the lobby!

Curt took these pictures from the balcony of our room.

I took these pictures while having supper. The food was amazing!

Breakfast the next morning.

What a wonderful trip! Thank-you to our hosts and to the babysitters who took great care of lil' Phillipino!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Overview of our Fall

1. Charleston Lake Provincial Park
After a busy summer, we took off on a week and a half camping trip to Charleston Lake, a park between Kingston and Brockville, Ontario. It was a wonderful time, since this was the first time we had a vacation together for more than a couple of days since our honeymoon. Since this was Jen's first time camping, we left Phillip at home for the first 5 days or so in the competent and loving care of Phillip's Oma and Opa, uncle and aunts in Bowmanville.

Heading out in our canoe on the lake, watching the loons.

After one of our canoe trips, a heron was fishing near our landing spot. So, as we approached, we started flashing pictures.

On Sunday, we went to the Ebenezer URC of Brockville and had the privilege of sitting under Rev. John Roke's preaching. After, we drove up to Ottawa to visit our brother, Jeremy. We went for a walk around the Parliament buildings and then down to the Ottawa River.

Some romantic antics our camera captured along the way...

During the camping trip, Curt did a "little" fishing. Actually, we caught quite a lot of fish, but here are the two larger ones: a 2lb 13 oz largemouth bass

and a 3 lb 3 oz smallmouth bass. They both tasted very good! :)

Oma and Opa V. brought Phillip back to us!! How happy we all were to see each other again. Phillip really enjoyed it as well!

2. Prince Edward Island
After our camping trip, Curt preached for one Sunday in the URC churchplant in PEI. He had a great time there for the 48 hours he was there. Here is the view of the East River valley from the living room of the place he stayed at.

The group rented this little church building for their services. This is a typical maritime church building: white, clapboard, with a prominent steeple.

3. Dad & Mom's VD's 35th Anniversary Celebration
We, the VD kids, (helped) host an open house and reception for(with) our parents. We are thankful for the love and devotion they have heaped upon us! While, unfortunately, Jonathan was not able to make it since he is in Viet Nam, Laurie came from Washington state, along with her daughters Emily, Marie and Holly. Phillip had such a good time with Holly(although he did frequently bully her), and he still asks about "Olly!"

Shortly after this, Curt, Phillip and I went to visit my new midwife. (Yes, praise God, number two is on the way and due April 24, 2008!!) After, we enjoyed a delicious almost *free* lunch at Boston Pizza, using one of our Welcome Wagon coupons.

4. Steve & Amy's wedding
Lastly, we had the privilege of attending the wedding of our cousins, Steve and Amy.
May God richly bless their new life together!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Overview of our Summer

Here's just a quick look at the different things we did this past summer. As you might know, we spent the summer in Jordan, Ontario, where Curt had a 3 month internship at the URC here. It was a wonderful summer!
Just down the hill at the end of our street is Jordan Harbor, which really isn't a harbor, but a little bay off Lake Ontario. It's a shallow, marshy place that seems to be alright for fishing and canoing. The train track that runs close to our home crosses over the bay on a great trestle bridge, which you can see in the background.

A 10 lb catfish Curt caught.
For one Monday afternoon, we took an outing to a park in Welland. The Welland River is on one side, the Old Welland Canal on the other, and a strip of park land in between. A great place for a picnic! It was a beautiful afternoon.

Dad, Matt, and Curt also went for a fishing trip on the Old Welland Canal and caught a few bass and panfish.

A trip to Niagara Falls, while Mom babysat Phillip! Thanks Mom, for all the babysitting!

In August, we spent a few days with the Vogel clan during their traditional vacation at the "cottage" near Bancroft. It was a great time!

Phillip became even more accomplished in his jumping skills over the summer. Here is a picture of a combination jump/kick that required great agility and concentration and got the ball moving all of 3 feet.

Phillip having a bath in the jacuzzi in our apartment.

Jen had the honor of being a bridesmaid in her cousin's Melanie & Chad's wedding in Cornwall.