Joyska's Journal: December 2004

Monday, December 27, 2004

on to the next place

I am on my way to my brothers house for a couple of days. I obviously never got to the point of getting pictures on the blog, but hey, I tried, and I will try again when I get to Michigan. We are heading out this morning to Ajax to watch my niece in a hockey tounament... she rocks! They do not have a computer so my next entry will be from Michigan on the 29th or 30th! Have a great inbetween Christmas and New years week. I have lots of fun stories to tell and no time to tell them! Ah well, I'll get to them later!
Joyska at 7:05 AM

Saturday, December 25, 2004


Merry Christmas one and all! I have some fun pictures to show all of you... if and when I figure it out! My dad will help me later to get them on this blog... and if all else fails, I will send them to the webgodess herself to post them! (Thank you Yvonne, the computer idiot is forever grateful!) Anyway, so if you are at all inticed by all this picture talk, check out this same blog later this evening!

I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! It is an important day in the life of all of us who call ourselves Christians. Somehow, when you see the daily craziness of the stores that can be hard to remember. I went to the 1st Reformed Church in Harriston this morning to hear my Dad preach the Christmas service. It was great. I was very proud of my dad. He is a great preacher... and it was an honour to be there! He spoke on Joseph, the forgotten figure of Christmas, and how his mercy, faith, and obedience are an important part of the Christmas story, and our daily lives. Way to go POP! That was great!

Anyway, I am being summoned to play Rummicube with the women of my family... before the niece and nephew get here with my brother and sister in law... ah... family... it happens!

Again, Merry Christmas! (And stay tuned for pictures! God willing!)
Joyska at 11:44 AM

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Niagra Falls in the winter

I just watched the weather channel and was feeling sorry for my fellow Winnipegers suffering through yet another -40 degree morning. I'm so sorry. It's a balmy 0-2 degrees here in St Catharines, Ontario without a stitch of snow. We are on our way to the Botanical gardens, then to Niagra Falls to wlak around and have supper at Table Rock over looking the falls. It is my aunt and uncles (ome and tante) 38th Anniversary today, so we will celebrate with them.

last night we saw the falls in all their night time slendour. The ice is the incredible part to see. it is so thick on the railings, trees, light posts, everything. It really is a sight to see. If I can figure out how to, I will try to post some of the pictures family has been taking with their digital cameras.

Well, I should go and bundle up as we are heading out... oh wait... I don't need to!!! hehehehe
Joyska at 9:29 AM

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Ontario... home... family

Well, I made it to Ontario after a three hour delay, a two hour flight followed by 45 minutes of circling Toronto before we can land, followed by a crazy drive through Toronto rush hour traffic to get to Ajax, then head to St. Catharines in my brothers spiffy new van(complete with DVD). Got to my parents house, and finally rested with mom, dad, Ome Hans (Uncle Hans) and Tante Elsa (Aunt Elsa). It's good to be here, reconnecting, looking at old photographs, and enjoying lots of coffee!!

We have a little more Christmas shopping to do today so the ladies of the house will go on a little shopping adventure (4 days before Christmas... should be fun!)

I'm having trouble getting to my comments from this computer, but please keep commenting, I'll get to them eventually! Have a great day!

Joyska at 10:59 AM

Sunday, December 19, 2004

It is 6:30 am and my eyelashes are frozen!!

Day THREE here we come!! I've been envisioning this day since early July. That's when the planning and scheming began for this years 5th (or 6th) annual Children's Christmas Service! The hour is early and after a nice brisk eyelash freezing (as opposed to bone chilling) walk to the church, I believe I am almost ready for this morning. I'm so proud of our kids!! They have worked so hard, and I know that even if this morning isn't absolutely perfect, it will be inspiring!!

I will be glad when everything settles down however!

Yesterday was a very productive day. The dress rehearsal went without a hitch, (which makes me nervous because crazy dress rehearsals mean AWESOME services, what does an Awesome dress rehearsal mean???). My afternoon was spent watching the extended version of the Return of the King while wrapping Christmas presents... then off to supper and a movie... then talked with Christine til the wee hours of the morning (while writing out many names of Jesus... multi-tasking at it's best) Then dreamt I was on the Apprentice and that by turning my alarm off, rather than hitting snooze would disqualify me from winning the final prize... yes, I was "fired".

Okay here is a story that should make you laugh. I was bringing down the Nativity scene from the fourth floor yesterday. (are you laughing yet?) The stall or barn or whatever the backdrop is called is all wood, and all heavy. Being the brilliant person that I am (now you are laughing!) I stepped into the stall and used my head to carry the monsterous contraption. So, I get the thing onto the freight elevator (how many of you have freight elevators in your church?) and get back down to the 1st floor. I was navigating quite astutely through the laberynth of chairs and shepherds, wisemen and sheep that are strewn on the floor. All went well until I came to the stage. I confidently headed for the two wee little steps that are on the stage and as I traversed the first one, I felt the weight of the barn thing shift to the back, and thought that if I just moved quickly up the next step, I would be fine... Ah, but alas, the weight shifted even more to the back as I angled up the second tiny little step and yep... over I went, landing squarely on the side wall of the stall. Now considering I was the only one in the building, all that was hurt was my backside! But now that I have shared this all with you... I can also say I have wounded my pride!!!!

Have a great last Sunday before Christmas! Don't forget to light that advent wreathe today! There is much to do! Must go... my eyelashes are thawed, so off to work I go!!!
Joyska at 6:58 AM

Saturday, December 18, 2004

ONE day down, TWO to go

Yesterday... let's just say wasted energy, wasted worry, wasted time... wasted (not in a drug induced sort of way... I know you were thinking it) I left the house for a short half hour grocery shop. I bundled up, made sure I had the money, walked out the door, pulled the door shut behind me... and yep. I forgot my keys. So what should have been a half hour grocery shop, turned into a day of wandering, shopping, and waiting for my roommate to get home. I got back into my house around 4:00, wrapped presents, showered, and left for a party at 5:30. Didn't cook, didn't bake, didn't finish my January curriculm (that is needed before I leave on Monday for three weeks!) and didn't finish packing bags for the kids on Sunday. That was Friday.

So the brilliance of my brain devised a plan (insert evil laugh here). Stay up til 1:30 Friday night and come into the office early Saturday morning. Insanely, I have been here since 4:00 am. It is now 9:39 am and I am a little punchy! The kids will begin arriving in 20 minutes or so. We will do a dress rehearsal for tomorrow's Christmas service, they will all go home, and I will finish my long list of things to do (or attempt it) I will then relax and go dinner/movie with a friend I miss dearly, then back to the office to type up the Curriculm. That if all goes well... is my Saturday.

We will attempt to finish the madness on Sunday. I'll let you know how it fares!
Joyska at 9:42 AM

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Not much to say

BLAH BLAH BLAH... I don't have any exciting stories to tell, or crazy adventures or anything... I leave for home on Monday, The kids dress rehearsal is Saturday, then the kids service is sunday, there is two parties on the weekend... then I leave the province. Busy, but tis the season.

I woke up with a killer headache this morning. It was probably caffeine withdrawl, but it didn't go away after drinking Diet Coke or after the hotchocolate or after the coffee. Maybe it wasn't the lack of caffiene the day before after all. I tried this trick I've seen Deanna do, I tied a scarf around my head really tight. You know that could be a new fashion statement (among headache sufferers at least!).

Well, stay tuned to the blog if you are at all interested in the holiday festivities in Ontario and Grand Rapids! I'm sure I can think of more exciting things than this! Have a great christmas if I don't see you!
Joyska at 6:05 PM

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Suspicious Limos

Cheryl and I were driving back from the movie "Oceans 12" (GREAT MOVIE by the way) when we came across 2 (yes 2...not 1, but 2) white limos. Now this would have been fine if they had been in route to or from the airport, or heading to Tuxedo, or even to a hot spot downtown. But no, what made them suspicious, was that they were turning down Euclid and heading down Lusted. Now if you are not familiar with those street names they are located in the North end of Winnipeg... a block from where we live. This is not a typical area for limos... especially 2 limos... not to mention white limos... (why that is significant, I do not know... it's just suspicious).

Now I was content enough to leave it at that...hmmm, that's odd... would have been sufficient for my level of excitement. Now, I don't know if Cheryl is just more curious than I am (being a mennonite and all hehehehe) but she says, "should we follow them?" Again, there was no way I was all that interested, but it did sound like fun... stupid maybe, but fun. So of course, I say Yes... let's do it!

So we follow the limos (both of them) down Lusted. One of the limos stop on the corner by the park... the driver gets out, looks around and gets back in... we drive slowly by, and now we have one of the limos FOLLOWING us! Cheryl leads the guy on a wild ride through the back lanes at break neck speeds... (actually she drove extra slow through the main streets so as the limo could follow... the other way sounds more fun!) The limo continues to follow us up and down many streets. We drive past Lusted again and realize that the other limo is still parked there.

I'm not sure who thought it first, but we both started realizing this probably was NOT a good idea. In our neighbourhood, it could be a gang, the Asian mafia, the police on some undercover thing that we were screwing up for them, or just two limos lost in the North end following us as to get directions! Yeah that was it!

Anyway, Cheryl managed to shake the limo, and we inconspiculously (fun word) went home. As far as we can tell, it was a harmless couple of limos lost in the north end... or was it?! (dunt-dunt-dunt- dunt....think jaws theme music)

Word to the wise, if you see any white limos driving around in the North end... just leave em alone!
Joyska at 5:03 AM

The letter has arrived

I came home from work on Thursday, and there on my coffee table was the long awaited letter. This is only the letter I have been waiting for for months, the letter that will (hopefully) give me safe passage to the USA, the letter that means they really do want me to come and work in Kansas City, the letter that holds the key to my very future!!!!!!! Okay, so maybe the letter isn't as important as I am making it seem, but yes, I was glad to receive it!

On that same day, as well as both Friday AND Saturday, I spoke with Lenny for a significant amount of time! Miracles DO happen! It was really good. SOOOOO.... if I can prove support by the time I get to the embassy (which I am planning to do in the early part of January) I may literally be on my way by February first... or if the process takes lots of time, march, april, may? 1st. We shall see what happens.

Just a comment, the whole "I'm so angry I feel steam coming out of my ears" thing... had nothing to do with Kansas City... if you were wondering.

Joyska at 4:53 AM

Thursday, December 09, 2004

What do you do?

I need some advice.

What do you do when you are so angry and frustrated that you literally believe that steam is coming from your ears?

Sorry, that's all the details I can give.

Any advice?
Joyska at 8:49 AM

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Kansas woes

When to push and when to just let it go... that is a hard question! I have been waiting for quite a while for some documents that will make it possible for me to go to Kansas City. They haven't yet come. Now they may come even today... but?

Someone said to me that the start of the movie is the most important part. It lays the tone, the setting, everything. Even if it picks up after the first ten to fifteen minutes you still come out going... "well it was an okay movie, slow start, but okay" He was relating that to my start so far with Kansas. It's a hard call, because on the one hand, I know that I know that God said "go" back in August already, and have resigned from my current job, and am preparing to go. And I want to go, but there is this nagging fear that it may be more difficult than I anticipated, both to get there, and once I am there.

And yet, I trust in the hand of the Lord. I feel that he is reminding me through scripture and just in a general sense... TRUST his soveriegnty. I can do that. And I am. But I want to be obedient in the process as well. And that is hard when you aren't sure what that obedient step is. Do I push and call AGAIN? or do I let it go, or do I stay the course and let things fall where they may.

Don't get me wrong. My plans have not changed, Lord willing I will return from Ontario and Grand Rapids and spend three weeks, packing, tieing up loose ends and driving away in a little uhaul by the 1st of February. Or if not then, soon after. The process is just a little more frustrating than I wanted it to be.

Keep praying, and all will be well!
Joyska at 9:30 AM

Thursday, December 02, 2004

It's almost Christmas!

This is a statement that could be said many ways...

It's almost Christmas! Wahoo!
It's almost Christmas?!?!?
It's almost Christmas... BaHumbug
It's almost Christmas?! I haven't even started shopping, cooking, cards, baking...

Funny how one sentance can evoke so much emotion.

Me? All the above apply, it depends on when you catch me. Today is a mix of wahoo and frenzy. The craft sale is two days away and my house is decorated beautifully (if I do say so myself!). I love the season, and I'm looking forward to going home to Ontario (in 18 days!!!). It's been awhile since I've spent Christmas anywhere but in Manitoba.

I wrote my list of people I would LIKE to buy gifts for, and then the more realistic list of people I can afford to buy gifts for. Sometimes money (actually the lack of money) is evil!

Well enjoy the blue skies and crisp cold wind! Winter has finally hit with a bite!
Joyska at 8:12 AM