Yup, we've been bloggin' for a year. Those of you who read this (and actually enjoy it) should thank Lyla. A year ago I caved. I've never had the desire to get into the whole Facebook-online-community type stuff, but I caved when she made the argument that it would help us stay in touch with those back in Manitoba.

And, here we are.
Keeping in touch!

I've heard a few people say they enjoy it, and to be quite honest I really enjoy it too. I've also heard that I'm silly for doing it (then why do you keep reading it?)

I highly recommend starting a blog of your own. I'd love to hear more about you! Some people blog anonymously, giving themselves and the people in their stories made-up names. Some people hang it all out there. I think we belong in the latter category. But no matter how we do it, we all start out very awkwardly, taking days to compose our first few posts and even longer to get the guts to post them. Honestly though, it's a good time, but I'll warn you, it's a bit addictive.

(Click here to start your own.)

If your interested, here are my first words of personal exposure, and the second ones are some of my favorites.


Being "Used"

In moving to Montreal a lot of relationships from our 'previous lives' have vanished.

Although at times it's extremely hard to accept, some friends are involved in transient times in one's life -- placed there for a reason, and removed for reasons as well. I can point to very specific and unquestionable relationships that have formed in my life over the past few years that have made an incredible impact on who I am today. I have no doubt that these people were directly placed in my life for those very purposes. I can only thank God for what they have done, for thanking them directly (although I have tried) can never fully commend the deeds accomplished and the paths that were laid -- and, although these people were the ones to carry out the job, it was never their plan to begin with.

We can all be instruments to differences in the lives of others. We probably never know when we are being 'used' for greater purposes, but I have become more aware that this happens. It is my prayer that God will use me at any and all times for the good of others and His perfect will. Don't get me wrong -- I am well aware I fail everyday, and that I am barely anything more than a bunch of shortfalls when it comes to leading a Christian life. However, I take solace that the Bible says, (in my rough paraphrase from II Corinthians, 12:9-10) "in our weaknesses, His will is done" (or I would be as useless as they come).

Why don't you let it be your prayer as well?
If you think you're unfit for the job, consider this...

Moses stuttered.
David's armor didn't fit.
John & Mark deserted Paul.
Timothy had ulcers.
Hosea's wife was a prostitute.
Amos' only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
Jacob was a liar.
David had an affair.
Solomon was too rich.
Jesus was too poor.
Abraham was too old.
David was too young.
Peter was afraid of death.
Lazarus was dead.
John was self-righteous.
Naomi was a widow.
Paul was a persecutor of the church.
Moses was a murderer.
Jonah ran from God's will.
Miriam was a gossip.
Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.
Elijah was burned out.
John the Baptist was a loudmouth.
Martha was a worry-wart.
Noah got drunk.

...And think again.

[List found online. Believe me, I don't know the bible *that* well.]



Chocoholic: referring to an addiction to chocolate (wikipedia)

: a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful (Websters dictionary)

So, it's official. If there is a definition for it in Wikipedia, then you know it's true. It's a condition. I am a chocoholic. I eat it when I'm happy, I eat it when I'm sad. When I'm nervous. When I'm excited. When I celebrate. When I mourn. At times it isn't even about the marvelous taste (because there *is** such thing as junky chocolate), I'm pretty sure it's really just psychological at times.

I'll admit it. I ate 4/5 a box of truffles over the last 3 days. "That's not that bad", you say? I've also devoured half a box of Hagelslag chocolate sprinkles (What can I say? I'm Dutch!) Oh, you are not familiar with chocolate sprinkles? They are stored in a beautiful box of goodness, designed to be "sprinkled" over freshly melted butter on slightly toasted bread. The warm bread melts the chocolate, just a little, then the melty goodness happenings complete themselves in your mouth upon each bite. (After typing this I'm gonna have to go eat another...)

Yesterday, I ate 5 slices of bread with this ooy gooy goodness 'spinkled' ('poured' is probably a better word to use here, or maybe 'drenched'?) on top. Yes, this is in addition to the truffle fiesta that I've had going on.

These chocoholic phases come and go. I hope it "go"es soon, or I will be adding a wieght loss ticker to my blog too.

Does anyone out there have a cure? Beleive me, these happening are not the cute "oh I just loooove *enter cliche item here,* I'm addicted to it." No people, I've been known to get a bit scary during cravings when there is no chocolate in sight.

"Physiological symptoms upon withdrawal...
substance known by the user to be harmful."



New York, NEW YORK!!!

That's right...We went to NYC for the weekend!!!

For my mom's birthday, my dad, Tom, and I surprised her with a weekend trip to New York City. They flew to Montreal on Saturday (she knew she was coming to Montreal) then we whisked her away to NYC. She was super surprised, and all four of us had an amazing weekend.

We took the commuter train in,

and rolled into Grand Central Station.

Then we visited the Rockefeller Plaza (with the skating rink and all),

hopped the subway to Central Park,

and made our way to Ground Zero of the World Trade Center.

(No pic warranted.)

We had a NYC hot dog from a street vendor (how could you not?),

went up the Empire State Building (86 floors!!),

shopped at Macy's,

cruised Madison Ave.,


Took a cab through Times Square (note the neon NYPD kiosk)

to get to our dinner cruise that circled the Statue of Liberty, went under the Brooklyn Bridge, etc, while we dined and danced!

Awesome trip!
Happy birthday mom - thanks for spending it with us!!



Last night (our last night on the road!) we stayed in Ottawa with my cousin and her husband. It was nice to see familiar faces (and great home-cooked food!) We took off just after brunch this morning and headed 'home' for the first time. Oh the anticipation and excitement as we were driving our last two hours! I remember kind of not wanting to be there yet. With the bazillion changes in our lives over the last couple of weeks (both quit our jobs, got married, traveled, moved out of where we called home) we finally had a 'constant'- and that was the cab of the Uhaul truck.

After crossing the boarder to Quebec and seeing the signs switch to French, we knew we weren't in Kansas anymore! I remember coming over a hill and seeing a glimps of Montreal. Our new home!! [Did I mention that the both of us had only been here for about 30 hours before??? We were engaged for just 5 days when we boarded the plane to Montreal for my interviews for graduate school.]

We arrived. We stood outside our apartment block and met up with the building manager. I was a little anxious to see what our place looked like (I found it online and we signed a lease from afar, with only seeing pictures of one like it.) After checking it out (and doing a little dance!) I flew back downstairs to tell Tom that "God blessed us with a fantastic apartment for our first home!" I was thrilled.

We were home.



By far the looooongest day.




Although it doesn't seem that far, we made it from Upsula to Wawa (476kms). The driving conditions were extremely poor all day. Imagine driving through the rock terrain with a huge Uhual in ice/snow/slush with truckers coming at you. Originally we planned to be at Sudbury for our second night, but considering the roads were rough enough that they closed the number one hiway (we were traveling on), I was soooo happy to get checked into a motel.

Quite honestly, we didn't really care when we got to Montreal. Although it probably doesn't sound like it, we were enjoying the road, and the journey. It's not like we had jobs to get to or anything. Both unemployed, essentially homeless, and carrying all our stuff with us.

Wait, isn't that the definition of gypsy?

Wordless Wednesday

Today, we woke in Upsula.

Although we wanted to make it to Thunder Bay on the first night, we were exhausted, it was dark, and now starting to drizzle. We decided to stop at the next roadside motel; and that was in Upsala. We had made 560km on our first lag. (Not too bad for leaving town around 1:00pm and driving a monster.) The 17 foot Uhaul plus car combo was quite the deal to maneuver. It was nice of the keeper to let us park it in front, but I think he was kind of using the contraption as a "yes, we are open" sign to other travelers wanting to get out of the beginning rain.

When we woke this morning - we saw white.
Everything was snow covered.

And remember that rain that started last night? Well, those droplets were still around - just preserved in a frozen state under a blanket of snow. Snow had *not* hit in Manitoba this year yet. Well, we didn't think so anyways (we were gone for a week). So, no, we didn't have anything as useful as a snowbrush with us. I remember taking my sleeve and going around to all the brake lights, side mirrors, etc, trying to get the snow and layer of ice off. It was cold (like we honestly had our winter coats, mitts or anything of the sort with us in the cab!) My newbie husband took continual loads of 'stuff' that we hauled into the motel room last night back to the truck. We had brought our most-valuables in for the night, thinking that if the truck was stolen, we could actually survive, with sentimental value.

After we were all loaded up, we set off on day two.

(Honestly though, I would have been more than happy just staying there for another night, or heck, all winter if we had to.)


Today, we left.

Last year, November 4th, 2007, Tom and Candice Scatliff finished packing their Uhaul, and said goodbye.

I remember the morning like it was yesterday. It was Sunday, we had stayed the night at Tom's parents and they had a farewell breakfast for us in the morning. Imagine - a house full of siblings(-in-law), nieces and nephews (which I just, just began to have as nieces and nephews), and M&D Scatliff. I remember how everyone lined up at the door, children and all, one by one for a final hug. We drove away watching little hands and big hands waving through the side view mirror.

We drove the truck into the city and went to WEFC for church. My parents met up with us there (they drove in all the way from Dauphin to see us off that morning). My mother and I barely heard a word the pastor said the whole service - knowing after it was over, we'd be heading to a new province. We said good-bye to friends, church-family, and to my parents.

Before heading out of town we had to swing by Tom's old place (his brother's house), to pick up some things we had forgotten. Knowing his brother should still be at his parents, we figured the emotional rush would be over. I distinctly remember opening up the front door to leave, and meeting face to face with his bro. This guy was especially hard for us to let go of. Not only is he family, but also a great friend (to Tom for more years then I, but to the both of us none the less). We had grown so close to him over the trials of the previous year. He was the best man at our wedding, a label he suited well. When we got into the Uhaul truck for the last time in Manitoba, I turned to Tom, pointed to the third seat in the cab and through my tears asked, "Can we take him with us?" The answer was no.

Then, the two newly-weds of just 15 days, drove out of Winnipeg, and headed east.


Mission: Global - A Light for the Nations

Tom and I are very exited to be attending a Christian mission conference this weekend (Missions Globales) in Montreal. For those of you who have attended Winnipeg's Missionfest, it's pretty much the same thing.

This year in Montreal there will be 75 exhibitors, representing all sorts of ministries working in all areas of the globe; from Africa, to Columbia, to Montreal's downtown, to Canada's north. We were very inspired by Missionfest 2007 in Winnipeg a few Februaries ago, and we are very excited that one is coming to Montreal at such a timely-time!

And, for you Winnipegers, the next Missionfest is being held on the weekend of February 6-8, 2009, at Grant Memorial Church. You should go, but watch out, it's inspiring!


Well, I guess that's what you get for marrying an engineer.

Has anyone else been here?

It's the middle of the night, and you wake up super-parched. You would just love a drink of water, but you know that would entail sitting up, fishing around for the water bottle, taking off the cap, drinking, then doing the whole thing in reverse. When I think of all these grueling steps I would have to take, often I just go back to sleep and let my tongue shrivel up a little more.
I need a 'hamster system'. Those silly little fur-balls have it so good - if they're thirsty all they have to do is roll over and touch their tongue to a tube and out comes the water. No sitting up, no nothing. I told Tom this and, well...

Look at what I found rigged up in our bedroom...

Yes, a 'Hamster System.'
That beautiful long tube, complete with a squeeze-tip end, can be holstered to the side of the bed - inches from the hamster. All she has to do is roll over...