Romans 1:20

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Birds come up to Frazier Park!

Scott is a good influence on Andrew! Here you see the boys cooking the lunch while us ladies just hang out an coo and kaa about Jacob!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Welcome Ryan and Elna!

Another South African couple arrives in LA for Seminary! I was so excited that they were coming out, both for Andrew, who knew them from Grace Fellowship, and for myself because I hopefully gain a new friend! Ryan was Joel James' secretary before he came out, and Elna is a GP. Their little daughter Calista is 19 months and a real cutie!!!

The Pot Plant and the Rules

Say no more...

Will it snow?

Align Center

Monday, December 28, 2009

My First Turkey!

A few more pictures from the afternoon first!

Holidays in Frazier Park

Align CenterWe are just so blessed to have been given this amazing opportunity! This morning we packed the car and headed off along the 5 to Frazier Park!

Frazier Park is a very small town in the mountains about 45 minutes from Santa Clarita. it gets great snow in the winter and last week was no exception!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Big 26 for Andrew!

Happy Birthday Andrew!!!

This is how the day unfolded!

First, while he's still sleeping (this is enough of a challenge!) I get all his prezzies together... Make coffee and then enter the room singing Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dropping Friends at the Airport

Andrew and I get a lot of requests to take people to and fetch people from LAX airport. So many of our friends have been heading home for Christmas and we happen to be one of very few who are sticking around to help with this! I am glad people feel free to ask us, and we wish we had a bigger car to take them! But we usually end up using their cars to take them since it has more boot and passenger space! I guess it can be seen as a blessing as gas is expensive for us... But we love seeing our friends off and welcoming them back!

An Undeserved Gift...

How is this for an amazing blessing!

Andrew called me this afternoon saying that an acquaintance of his had a turkey meal that they wanted to give to us because they understood we had no family to go to for Christmas, and that they know seminary students don't have much to spend on Christmas dinner. We were just blown away that they were thinking about giving in a season that seems to be so focused on getting! We didn't know what really to expect until they arrived later that evening to drop off the goodies!!! This is the wonderful couple - Jerry and Barbara Newbold, who attend Grace Community Church and live in Frazier Park, about 45 minutes away from us.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Andrew's Christmas Preaching Opportunity

Today Andrew got the opportunity to preach to an assisted living home for the Christmas service. he really enjoys these chances to open God's Word! Unfortunately I wasn't feeling well so I didn't go along, but I am sure it was a great encouragement for those who were there and could understand!

Welcome Phil and Melissa!

Meet Phil and Melissa! Phil is starting at Seminary in the Spring! They are staying with Anna and Lonngren until they get an apartment. Welcome!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Farewell Johnny and Jenny!

Today was the last day before Johnny and Jenny left to go and take a church back in Ireland (sob, sob...) I made Jenny a little box to store all the pictures from her time here in LA. I was horrified to realize that I didn't have a single picture with her and I! Weird how that happened! Nonetheless, this is the outcome...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

GCC Christmas Concert

This is my first opportunity to play with my new camera! Let me know how you think it went... Unfortunately the standard lens is not a very high quality one and this means that indoor shots and night shots are not going to be very clear. But all things considered, I like how they came out!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Early Christmas Present!!!

We finally have a camera!!! Andrew and I decided to try to buy one for a joint Christmas present and this is it!!! We are now VERY poor but at least we will have extra clear pictures to remember this short time here in the States, and I would like to get into Photography as we get the hang of this thing! In the package we got the body, a 18-55mm lens and a wide angle lens!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Time at Disneyland!

Andrew called me from work this morning and explained that today was the last day that Disneyland allows pass holders in before Christmas!!! We really try to make an effort to go for each time of the year, and I was so excited to see the Christmas fireworks that we decided we should go down in the evening and not miss our last opportunity! Andrew quickly came home after work, I packed some food and we headed off to Anaheim.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Party with SOS!

We just love our Bible Study! Park and Pam invited the group to have their Christmas Get-together at their TOTALLY festive home! Everyone signed up for food and I brought a good old Lemon Meringue pie for dessert! It was a sweet time of fellowship!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Local LA Mountains - A Hunt for Snow

So it's been a few days but we were really hoping to still be able to drive to some nearby snow... We took Sand Canyon road to the top of our closest mountain to see what we could see!!!

I could see snow in the distance...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The First Snow in LA

There's snow on the LA mountains!!! It has been really cold these last few days and I was so excited to wake up this morning and see white mountain tops!!! Enjoy this with me!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Chapel at TMS

Every year the seminary has a chapel for all the families at TMS where they can bring their kids and sing carols together and then fellowship over a hot drink and some cookies! Each sem wife has to bring a bunch of cookies along so I made some fall leaves with my adorable new cookie cutters!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Decorating

I really enjoy this time of year, despite a lot of negative feedback from some Christian circles. It is a time to remember the birth of our Lord, to get together with family and give each other gifts to show them our love and appreciation for them over the year gone by. LA becomes very festive here, many people decking out their homes with lights for the benefit of everyone else, and carols get played to the general public that are filled with the Gospel Story. It is truly a unique time of year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Discovery Kids

For one of Andrew's classes, he had to have two preaching opportunities during the semester and these are hard to come by here at Grace Church! But Children's Ministries is always looking for helpers so we signed up for two weeks for us to take the 3 yr olds for two Sunday evenings. I love kids and so does Andrew, and we are always learning so much from seeing how this big Church does things, and this is one thing I have not had much exposure to here yet! Last Sunday we just attended to see how things were done, but this week we were on our own! We did have a little helper though, Jeremiah, who knew the kids well and kept them occupied during the play times! Andrew did the 10 minute message on Noah and the flood, we played with them and took them to the restroom, fed them cookies and signed them in and out! We had one or two problem kids that I would handle while Andrew carried on, but all in all, I built some really sweet relationships with some of the girls, learned a bunch more kids songs and had a great time! Looking forward to next week!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Vegas Baby!

Andrew and I have wanted to do some traveling wile here in the States so whenever we get a chance we try to go somewhere we have never been before! This time we decided to drive a little further than usual and took off to go to Las Vegas! It is in the state of Nevada which means that I get to add another part of the US to my "Places I've Been" and I was excited to check out the architecture there! To get a place to stay is really cheap so we headed off to stay the night and then come back the next day. Starbucks in hand we ventured through the desert!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Night out with SOS

This evening our Bible Study had a night out on the town!!! We all came out for dinner to the Galleria, a super sleek new Shopping Center, and our plan was to go and eat at the Cheesecake Factory, the best place ever!!! Unfortunately, the center gets extremely busy on Friday Night so we ended up taking a table outside at the Townhouse Restaurant. We all had a great time hanging out and getting to know each other better, and made a quick stop to the Takeaway section of Cheesecake Factory on our way out! Andrew got a Banana Cheesecake slice, and I got a Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake one! Yummy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Botes' Break-in...

We were so sad to hear that the Botes' home was broken into today while the family was out for a few hours and their electrics and jewelry among other things was taken... The family is a little shaken up but the church has really come round them to help with the basics, and the police took fingerprints etc. Please pray for them and let them know you are thinking of them!

This sort of incident really is an important reminder that even if all we have is taken from us, the Lord is faithful and will provide for us all we need! Trials are designed, among other things, to make us long for our "treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal" (Matt 6:20). Often we can be so focused on these earthly treasures that we lose sight of our abundant inheritance as joint heirs with Christ! Come, Lord Jesus, come!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lunch with the Riccardi's, and Important Lessons on Gas Ovens

Mike and Janna Riccardi are a new seminary couple who live just down the street from us and have started attending the same Cornerstone Bible Study, so naturally we have been getting to spend some time with them! We had them over the one Sunday between Church services for a pizza lunch that I don't think I'll ever forget!!! So I learned a major difference between the Gas oven and the Electric one! Where the electric one has a warming drawer to keep the first pizza warm while the other one is cooking, the gas one has what they call a broiler (fancy name for a grill... who knew!) which makes pizza's black after a few minutes!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Women's Fall Event 2009: Spread the Glory

Today, 900 women gathered to enjoy an afternoon hearing from our keynote speaker, Chelsea Cameron at Grace Community Church. What a gifted speaker and godly woman Chelsea is! When I arrived I found an abundance of lovely South African ladies to sit with, and we got seats in the third row for the seminars!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Congratulations Josh and Michelle!

When I heard the news I was ecstatic! Michelle and I go way back to the first STM from Grace Church to Hillcrest Baptist, she was right with me the first time I met Andrew, and she was an integral part of our dating relationship! While all of this was going on I heard about a guy that she really liked but he was just laid back and a good friend! But now look! Congratulations on your engagement at Disneyland (good choice of venue, Josh!)!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Painting our Apartment

What do you do when you are given a $50 gift voucher for Home depot, Your house has been packed up for bugsprayers and the weekend is here? Well, that's easy! You go paint shopping!!!

The house is ready to be prepped!
Masking tape? Check!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Bug Ordeal...

These are the little guys that we have been struggling with... They don't get much bigger than this, but try as we have, we haven't been able to get rid of them... It hasn't always been this way...

A few weeks ago, our neighbors moved out from the apartment right next to ours. We are assuming that they left a bit of a mess behind, and while the place lay empty... they began to plot... and build their forces...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brian Biedebach's Birthday!

We were so excited to hear that the Biedebach's were coming to town! Brian recently had his 40th Birthday and they had an open house after church to celebrate with all their friends. This was the first time I got to meet them, but Andrew has known them from their South Africa days... Happy birthday Brian! Naturally, there were an abundance of South Africans at this party...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Helping out at the Iversons!

The Iverson's are moving in a few weeks and are having a massive giveaway in their back yard to all friends from Grace Church tomorrow. They also needed some help packing their boxes onto palettes so We decided to go over there this afternoon to help them sort everything out. I was put in charge of organizing the goodies outside on the tables and there was so much great stuff there!!! While the boys did the palettes, I sorted through everything, grouped things and laid them out nicely, and had a great time getting to know Dawn a little before they left...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Date Night in the Park

Since we now have a gas BBQ, I thought it would be a perfect time to do a date night where I don't have to cook! So I went to the store, got some steak and snacks, and then waited for Andrew to come home. Then I drove him to the park where we had some of our engagement pictures taken and we set up our first private American BBQ! We were just in time to catch the most beautiful dusk sky...

Daylight savings time ended on November 1st, which means that the sun sets a whole hour earlier now. This means that by the time Andrew gets home, the sun has already set! Although we expected the dark, we did not anticipate the cold! The wind was icy and Fall is definitely giving way to Winter here! Nonetheless, we had a great time!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Visiting the Van Straatens in Napa

We really do miss our dear friends, the Van Straaten's, since they completed seminary and are now at a church in Napa Valley.  But it is so great to know that they are only 5 hours away and we occasionally go up and visit them.  We decided it would be fun to spend halloween with them and their girls, so we made our way up there for a few days.

The first day, Anton took us for a tour around some of the local wineries and showed us the sites.  Napa valley has to be one of the most beautiful places in the whole world!

Andrew and I also took a few drives around the area to see what we could see.  Such breathtaking beauty in God's creation and man's subduing of it!
On the Saturday morning, Marietjie got Andrew and I out of bed super early to hit the streets looking for bargains at the garage sales!  She even gave me a $20 dollar allowance ;)  I got a lamp and Andrew got a little gas BBQ!  It was so much fun!
On Saturday night, Grace Church Napa Valley held a Halloween Fair and we all dressed up!  It's been years since I've done that!!!  I went as a pumpkin and Andrew as a Scarecrow, however he was promptly titled a farmer when people eyed him out.  My favorite memory from the evening was when a little boy came up to me saying "You're a pumpkin", but as he saw my "insides" (Balloons!) he said "Hey!!!  You cheated!!!"  lol.

 One afternoon we went to the Woodlocks, friends of Andrew's from the first time he came up here for a wedding, and enjoyed one of his gourmet cappucinos!
 Later that evening we went out to a pizza place with the Van Straaten's and had ice-cream after!
The next day we ventured home, taking the pacific coast highway as the alternative route which we thoroughly enjoyed!  Thanks for a great weekend!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween at Disneyland!

Disneyland decorates the park according to the major seasons here in the States: SoCal Sun, Halloween and Wintery Christmas. It's really cool to go down in the afternoon and catch a few rides, watch the fireworks and then head back home again. That way we don't get too tired and sore from walking around so much! Today we went down to see the Halloween theme for the first time together!

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Fall!!!

I was so excited to go and spend my birthday money on fall decorations for our apartment! Since I am starting late, there are tons of sales on at Jo-anne's, Target and Walmart. There are also such fun things given away each Wednesday night at Sem Wives at Grace Church, so now my apartment is kitted out! This is what I came up with!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Official Birthday Dinner

Another family tradition in the Ramsden/Dedekind home was a choice dinner for the Birthday girl or boy! Usually this was home cooked, but Andrew was not feeling brave enough to take on the kitchen and treated me to eating out instead!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Big 24!

Can't believe another year has flown by! I think this was my first birthday away from home, and Andrew did a great job of making it special! He held up longstanding Birthday traditions from the Ramsden Household which was really fun! I was woken to the sweetest rendition of "Happy Birthday" and a good cup of coffee, followed by an assortment of prezzies!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The First Rains!

It hardly EVER rains here in Santa Clarita, except for a couple of days in the year, and when it does, it pours! There is nothing nicer than a day at home with my husband, hearing the rain fall on the roof and snuggling under the duvet on the couch! What a lovely early Birthday present! I can't remember many birthdays growing up that were not washed out by rains, so it even feels like the right time of year to me!

Friday, October 9, 2009

On my Way back to LA!

Finally! I get to go home to my husband! I just had to get through the day!!! First I got a pic of the coffee shop I had been going to regularly there to use the internet. Then it was time to find a thank-you gift for the lady whose house I was staying with!

These flowers were perfect, since she seems to love plants since her house is full of them!
Here are some pics of the flat I was staying in...

Canadian money is way prettier than US money!

Then Judy came back to say farewell and take me out for lunch! So we went to the local sushi joint for the real deal!!!

These guys did NOT play around! every kind of raw meat you can imagine was available!

The whole place looked so authentic, and don't even get me started on how good the food was! Check out the spread!

Dear Judy

Then it was back into town to go and visit an old primary school friend that moved to Vancouver all those years ago! Unfortunately I got horribly lost!

But eventually I got there and spent a few minutes with Corinne catching up! It was so great to see her!!!

then it was a mad dash to try and get to pick up my passport in time!!! It was so stressful to navigate there and I called the transport company to give me the quickest route! I ran as fast as I could from the underground station and made it with only a few minutes to spare! Thanks to the Lord for grace to enable me to make it otherwise there would be big problems with me leaving later on this afternoon! After I got it, I strolled back to the bus and decided to try to get a few pictures that I never managed to get on the previous days, before heading back to the house to be taken to the airport.

On my way back, I stopped off at the beautiful local churches

J.I. Packer's old Anglican Church before the huge Legal Battle:

As soon as I got back we climbed into the car and I was delivered safely to the airport! I was so excited to get on that plane and see my husband again! But not until midnight tonight!!!

Last glimpses of the fall colours!

So when I saw this plane I was not convinced. They still use planes like this one?! Apparently its better for places where there is a lot of ice. But still!

And man was it NOISY!!! I was right next to the propeller and it caused the whole plane to vibrate! Next time I'll check on what plane they will be using!

The cheapest flight we could find for me was one that landed in Ontario Airport which is about an hour away from home, so Andrew had to drive a long way to get me! There was another flight that left an hour earlier to Burbank, but I had checked in my baggage so I couldn't transfer! It was so sad to see it leave and I had to wait longer!

but soon enough I was seeing the lights of LA shining below me and could hardly wait to be...

United again!!!