Saturday, September 30, 2006

Aubrey went to school today with his cousin, Kael. He doesn't get very many opportunities to do things on his own, so I think this was very good for him. His teacher, Mrs. Rogers, was so very wise and friendly. Aubrey had a great time.

When I dropped him off this morning he was still saying, 'I don't really know if I want to go.' But when I picked him up this afternoon and asked him if he missed me he said, 'I forgot all about you.' It's great--congratulatory mixed with nostalgia--to see him developing independence.

If you will, please remember Auden. He's been running a fever again since last night. I think it may be breaking a bit now; he's eating for the first time today. So we hope he'll get a good night's sleep.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The day after the wedding, Aubrey and I got to go golfing with my dad. The wedding was held in the lovely town of Rosebud, Alberta. Right across the road there is a very nice golf course. And we enjoyed all of it.

Then, we had to return some rental items from the wedding, so we went back into Calgary. We got a room there and had a very relaxing evening with my folks: swimming, watching football and eating leftovers from the reception dinner.

Unfortunately, when we drove from Calgary to Saskatoon the next day, we hit a deer and did considerable damage to the vehicle that has been loaned to us. We are in the process of figuring out how to deal with that situation. Very fortunately, no one was hurt (besides the deer), and the car is still drivable. Blessings to Keith and Caroline for their generosity in first loaning the car and now being gracious while we work out how to restore it to them. Thankfully, the insurance will cover all of it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The wedding was wonderful. Faith and Jae were radiant, and so relaxed with all the arrangements and personalities that make a wedding. We got to bunk in with them and their housemates for the week before the wedding, so we got a lot of time with them.

Then, Friday the rest of the family came in, and Faith took us all to the zoo for her 'bachelorette party.' Here's a picture of Charity and Noah at the zoo.

The radiant bride.

The Gustafson family: Noah, Donna, Don, Kevin
Charity, Jordane, Tim, Lois, Darren, Carl
Zach, Kael, Faith, Jae, Aubrey, Deborah, Auden, Regina

Hanging out with the bride and groom.

Family time becomes more and more precious as our family spreads out. Kevin's now in Regina going to the University. We hope to visit him there, but this will have been one of Aubrey's few chances to catch up with his uncle.

Monday, September 18, 2006

In the middle of our whirlwind trip, we've a day of rest. We're at the home of Ryon and Anna Holmedal, and they're both off to work this morning. Ryon is a friend from highschool days, and we have one of those special 'our steps will always rhyme' friendships. When we got to know Anna a couple of years ago it was like rediscovering an old friend because of our bond through Ryon.

He's a builder and plumber, and we're in their house that he built by himself--long-imagining every nook and cranny of it. It's amazing to see such vision and care embodied in a home. Makes it feel very homey.

Yesterday we spoke in the Blackfalds Christian Fellowship (George McKenzie was interim pastor at my home church in Melfort for about a year and Anna is his daughter). It's a very small and welcoming community and we were warmly received.

We flew into Portland on the 6th of this month and got to spend some lovely time with Joel and Jena and Paul (Deborah's brothers and Joel's wife) as well as making a lot of other connections. We were invited into the Calvin Presbyterian Church in Tigard on the 10th, and again very warmly received. We spent time in Seattle with Deborah's cousin, Randy, and his lovely family (Kristine, Nicole and David). Our children had a great time together.

Aubrey and Nicole both were excited for weeks about getting together. David's a little sweetheart, and followed the older two around like their mutual shadow. Auden's a bit younger, and his main contribution to the communion was screaming when one of his toys (i.e., anything he could see) was colonized by someone else.

We also got to make some more connections in the Seattle area.

Then we took the train accross Glacier National Park to Montana (though it was at night so we didn't see that much of it). Deborah took the boys off the train in a soft and lovely, huge flakes snow fall. Aubrey caught one on his tongue and Auden loved his first snow. We were met at the Shelby station by Dale Gunderson (Deborah's uncle) and drove across the border to Milk River. Keith and Caroline Dangerfield have loaned us their second car for this leg of our trip, so we picked it up there and continued up to Blackfalds.

I don't know how much we'll be able to update this blog while we're on the road (and it's new to me, so I don't really know how it will work for us), but it's one way to stay in touch. Of course, we'd love to hear from you. Write and we'll write back (


Darren, Deborah, Aubrey, Auden