Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mark's Birthday Pirate Party!

(for some reason the balloon makes him less convincing...)

Yep, that's me.

The jolly pirate Kate. We bake and play guitars together.

One of our pastors, the merry Katie.

The mischievous looking Pastor Scott, husband to Katie and brother of my friend Kate.

Marc. Not sure what look he's going after, but I will say he was fun competition when we went bowling the other night! I beat the boys (Marc and Mark) in both games, with the winning scores of 138 and 139 (no bumpers, of course). Not being an avid bowler, I was very proud of myself. Marc was giving me a run for my money. Marc and his wife Anne let Mark use use one of their cars Wed-Fri on many occassions when Mark didn't have a way to get to work in Donald and Horsham. Thanks guys!

This is Paulie, one of Mark's colleagues. He's from Norway. I think he's trying to go for the 'I'm guilty but trying to look innocent' pirate pose. Paulie also let Mark use his car Wed - Fri on many occassions for months when we didn't have one. Thanks Paulie!

Ahhh, Luke. He's saying, "The next round's on me, boys!" Thanks Luke! Luke has a beautiful wife, Rebecca, and 3 gorgeous little girls. We taught them how to play Settlers, he he he (the evil sort of laugh where I smile and think about my scheme to brainwash all of our friends into playing Settlers with us... Pastor Katie is already addicted to the game!).

The lovely Sarah. She is another of Mark's colleagues. Unfortunately for us, she and her husband are moving to Adelaide this Oz winter, US summer. They hope to start a family soon (woohoo!) and want to be settled close to their families first.

For Mark's birthday we went to a teppanyaki restaurant, one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook the food in front of you! It was a lot of fun. Kate baked some lemon meringue pies for Mark's birthday 'cake.' See below...

In the end our chef wrote this upside down using salt on the grill. Not bad...

Hope you enjoyed meeting some of our friends above.

In other news, in case you hadn't heard already, we bought a car! We got a 2002 Subaru Outback with only 86,000 Kilometres (55,000 miles) on it. It looks good and is in great condition. We think we got a great deal on it and are very pleased to have it. With winter approaching and a baby soon to follow we thought it would be wise to get one sooner than later. Also, with Mark travelling for work 3 days a week, it was getting increasingly difficult to keep borrowing cars. We still bike quite a bit and still want to. I have to anyhow on Wed - Fri when Mark is away with the car. It does make grocery shopping SO much easier, and now we can explore this vast country, at the least take weekend trips! Last weekend we went to Melbourne and watched U2 in 3D at the IMAX Theatre. We both thought it was fantastic, although Mark says the real thing is still better (of course). He's been to two U2 concerts. This weekend we're heading down to Melbourne again, and to Hoppers Crossing for a going away party for our friends Kath and Cliff (the ones we went camping with a few weeks back). They are going to work at a summer camp in Pennsylvania, and then to explore South America and/or Africa for the next 2 years! How fun!!

Now that we have a car ticked off our prayer list, we are focusing on finding a new place to live before my parents get here in 6 weeks! Our house is 2 bedrooms and COLD. We are looking for a 3 bedroom house with central heating, and we think we might've found one... right next door. That house recently sold, and the new owners are remodelling it to rent it out! They are putting a whole new kitchen and bathroom in, and re-painting the whole place. It should be really nice when they're done. Pray that the price is right, and that they accept pets (how could we leave 'pooper and the claw'?? more on that to come). If we have a 3 bedroom place when my parents get here, my mom can help me decorate the baby's room, which I'm sure she'd really love to do!

Another big prayer request is for our permanent residency application to be granted. The main hang-up at the moment is that they want me to have a chest x-ray, but being pregnant that's not a good idea. The thing is, I just had one less than a year ago (to be able to come here) and so I am going to petition to see if that can be accepted, or if they can just wave it for me.

Finally, just thought I'd let you know that the pregnancy is going well. I'm 15 weeks now. I'm still not really showing, although I'm just starting to get bigger. I've been feeling good and healthy apart from the cold/cough I had for 2 weeks (that Mark is now getting over), but other than that I've been fine! Thanks for your prayers. We'll be finding out the sex of the baby in 4 weeks now!