great..... for once ben isn't online at night! i am grasping this oppurtunity! wow..... it has been an age and a half since i last posted! there's so much to update..... nthg of any real substance, of course..... never that! but just the summer highltes.... for me anyway!

end of june - july:
it has been a summer of travelling for my mum and sis.... two days after my last post, they went to edmonton for a week, then came back for a week, the jetted off to singapore for two weeks! how i wish i could've gone! i so much wanted to attend my cousin's wedding..... but alas! oh well, it was nthg out-of-the-ordinary, but staying home was nice too..... especially since it was so QUIET, minus kid-chatter and other miscellaneous noises attributed to mum and sis. *grin* another plus, we could watch movies in the house that we wouldn't've been able to had my sis been here! and of course with one less parent here..... *muahaha....* added freedom! anyway, they came back july 20 ('twas the end of the "reprieve"!), and brought back SOOOOOOO much stuff. hurray for clothes! *heehee*

july 29 - aug. 13
so...... mum and priss were back for like.... 8 days, and then we were off to vancouver! hectic huh? i'd been really looking forward to van-city..... i think it's gotta be one of the best cities in the world! it's definitely one of my favorites..... if i'm ever rich enough, i'm definitely moving there! anyway, it was soooo lovely to see familiar sights again.... and shop...... there's this store there that sells japanese things.... it's like the $1 store but waaaay bigger and everything for $2! i spent sooooooo much money there...... *heehee* new favorite!
in van-city we met up with my relatives, my dad's mum and his 3 sisters and their families! it was wonderful! on aug. 1 we boarded the norwegian sun, and set sail for alaska!
the cruise was absolutely great, and it was totally the best reunion of any type i've had so far..... it was so great and special to have all my aunts and uncles and cousins right next door to u! i think i have the coolest aunts and uncles in the world..... *heehee* it was great too b/c since i didn't room with my parents and sister (freedom!!!!!), they weren't too close to always control everything i did, but they weren't so far that i couldn't just find them whenever i wanted either! lovely! i roomed with my grandma, which was not at all bad! one of the great things is that she sleeps really soundly... and there are always these great movies on late at night. since she wouldn't be bothered, i'm free to watch! *heehee* and of course the added plus of going wherever i pleased, whenever i wanted was nice too..... *grin* i think one of the things i enjoyed most about the ship was the piano bar..... an extremely talented JAZZ pianist played there every night and i went almost every night to soak up the jazz.... man it was the best! mmm jazz..... *heehee* there were also cool productions to watch..... there was this thing called "cirque pan" which was the story of peter pan done in the style of cirque du soleil.... though nowhere as grand as that of course! and alaskan scenery is BEAUTIFUL...... i loooove the mountains! and glaciers.... i hadn't seen mountains in awhile since moving out east..... i'd forgotten how breath-taking they can be! our ports-of-call in alaska were ok.... some better than others..... a bit repetitive in terms of the shopping! (tourist souvenirs.... and jewellry stores were very hot for some reason! there were SO many of them in one town!) but all-in-all it was pretty good. we could've gone on special guided excursions, but those were sooooo pricey.... esp. since it was all in american dollars! i had signed up to go on a hike at out last stop, but it was all sold out, and no one cancelled even with the rain. *siiiigh!* i was sooooo diappointed, since there was nthg good to see in the last town. oh, and did i mention the food?!??? my GOSH there was soooo much..... and so much dessert! ben was super happy.... esp. after he found out that he could bring food to his room and the room service ppl would just take dishes away the next day! he stashed like 3 plates of sweets in his fridge to enjoy at night during movies..... ah that boy. his affair with sweet things baffle me. anyway, we got back to vancouver aug. 8. overall, my first cruise was an absolute blast! definitely smthg i want to do again. the biggest disappointment about the trip was the fact that a friend had gotten my hopes up, telling me that i'd see lots of wildlife up there. on the contrary! if u count 1 bald-eagle, lots of half-dead salmon, and seagulls "lots"! boo that.... no whales, no seals, no nthg. poo poo.
it was sad to say bye to my relatives..... we all said things like "see u again soon" but who knows when that will be?? oh there are sooo many ppl i would looove to take time and visit had i the funds!
on aug. 9 we flew from vancouver to edmonton. oh beloved edmonton! it was soooooo wonderful to see the familiar places and see faces i hadn't seen in soooo long. some ppl have changed alot in appearance! but it was still sooo fun to be able to hang out with everyone and catch up and chat. ben and i were both upset though that our stay there was so incredibly short.... a mere 4 days! we didn't even get to go to church! so there were lots of aunties and uncles and friends that i didn't get to see..... but i think i got to hang out with the REALLY important ppl..... the ones i went back really wanting to see. i hope they know who they are! and ben found his new favorite store.... a place most wittily called "death by chocolate". any guesses as to what kind of store that might be???
i also got to go to the tyrell museum in drumheller! hats off to my parents for that, b/c they drove to drumheller just for me...... (and my sibs too for coming!) saw lots of paleontology stuff! saw the new burgess shale exhibit.....it's all these little micro-habitats magnified like 12x..... it was freaky! and i saw the coolest model of a paleo-reef..... too bad my film and camera were absolutely sucky that day and the pictures that came out were not at all great! and of course... at the tyrell, u HAVE to see the dinosaurs!!!!!!!!! wheeeee! i took photos especially of triceratops dinos, b/c a friend is doing his thesis on them! very cool. ^-^ we were gonna go to the dinosaur provincial park, where u're supposed to see fossils still in the ground and other cool things like that, but i opted not to go since we were pressed for time and we've never been there b4 so wouldn't know where the good sights were. so we went to calgary for supper, at this yummy hong-kong style restaraunt that we always used to visit. the food was delicious, but there was soooo much of it! soup and ribs and spaghetti.... i couldn't finish..... but man was it ever good~!
picked up three cd's on my trip.... tammy trent's "set u free" which is from a few years back..... an oldie but goodie. although i'd forgotten how poppy it was! i just snatched it up cuz it was on sale for really cheap..... and then there's andy hunter's "exodus" (trance/ club/ whtever.... he's a christian dj from the uk! coolios, huh?). i've been waiting to get that one b/c it's pricey over here! but once again, on sale over there! and then last but not least (and the purchase i am almost most poud of), stereotrap. it's this christian band based in alberta or sask, but no one really knows about them and ben hadn't seen their music anywhere out side of those provinces..... he was disappointed that he couldn't even rip their songs off the net b/c he couldn't find them anywhere!

aug. 13 - now...
on the 13th we flew home to ottawa.... i was loathe to leave edmonton, but it was heavenly to once again sleep in my bed, chill in my room, and finally enjoy my cd's on proper speakers instead of just through my headphones, which are never turned up too much so as to be able to hear what ppl aound me are saying! but then it was crunch time, b/c i had a week to prepare for my piano exam on the 21st. it was brutal.... i sooo was not ready. i had three piano lessons that week, and tons of practise, and i still froze up numerous times during the thing, and i couldn't memorize one of my pieces, which almost gaurantees a failing grade. i don't feel good about that exam at all, but i'm sooooo happy i'm done now! i could care less if i failed.... i tried! i am officially a free woman! man..... it's soooo great when i realize i never EVER have to play piano unless i want to ever again. there is no better prize! at long last.... after.... 15 years of toil and torture.... *huge sigh of relief* ^-^
after the piano rush it was then time for the vbs rush..... rush to prepare and decorate, and this week, mon - fri, it's vbs! campcreation! i love the decorations this year, and i'm having so much fun so far! yey.... *smile* also starting to work more since it's getting crazy at the store.... i think a hundred boxes of books came in today and it was a mad dash to sort them, pice them, and try to find space to put them in our too-small store! it's great fun though.... my co-workers are all cool. ^-^

*whew!* that was looong.... but all caught up! tired yet? anyway, it's late. gotta go to bed and get ready for tomorrow!