Saturday, August 15, 2009

Introducting Anneliese Grace

Karen and I are proud to announce the birth of our long awaited little one!

Anneliese Grace 言恩 Ng was born by Cesarian Section on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 @ 08:35am at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, BC. She weighed 8 lb, 5.5 oz at birth.

Both Karen and baby are doing well, and are now resting at home.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Planning for birth...

Having a planned C-Section birth (recommended by Karen's OBGYN due to her first C-section) is a so very different experience than a natural "wait until it comes" birth. On the one hand, you know when the baby is coming, so you can prepare. On the other hand, because you know the precise moment when baby is coming, you prepare almost too much.

August 12th had finally arrived. We had "everything" ready to go - the luggage packed for the hospital, the morning taxi pre-scheduled, the house clean, the alarm set for 6:00am when the taxi would arrive to take us to the hospital, and the soon to be older brother safely at Grandma and Grandpa's. Things seemed to be in order except that we had forgotten how tired and exhausted we were.

We slept right through all three alarms. Yes, I know - bad.... The curious thing was that the whole time leading up to this day, we had never missed a beat. Perhaps it was the problem with "over" preparing. Anyhow, we didn't wake up until the taxi driver called us. Apparently he had been outside waiting already for 10 minutes, and finally decided it might be a good idea to call us. A rather embarrassed me (still in my PJs) apologized profusely to the taxi driver - told him to please wait, while we hurriedly got changed.

When I told the poor taxi driver that we were going to the hospital, he must put two and two together having seen Karen's huge tummy. Well, he just shook his head, and drove us as fast as he could to the hospital where we had a scheduled C-section for 8:30am. (Needless to say, we tipped him well....)

We got to the hospital in time for surgery preparations. At least we'll have a good story to tell the grandkids...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Room to do new things

The Ngs had a pretty busy summer as we hosted a number of out of town relatives and friends then prepared for the arrival of our new one. This latter task was probably the most time consuming - expanding it from a two bedroom to a quasi three bedroom apartment.

Essentially this involved moving out of our master bedroom, into Erich's room, renovating the master bedroom, the moving Erich back into part of the master bedroom. It wasn't an easy task considering Erich is still very young and Karen pregnant, but after many late nights and packed weekends, it was done.

A special thanks to Laura (who inspired us with her incredible decorating ideas), Floyd of The Colony, Texas who helped with priming, and Dave who helped paint.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hans' Birthday

My father-in-law's birthday this year was extra special with the inclusion of some very special guests. All of his grandchildren were in town along with his brother and sister in law from Germany!

We had a great time, and as you can see, the kids had a great time hanging out with their Opa.

Farewell to the Bartletts

The Bridge said goodbye to the Bartlett Family this weekend as they prepared to move back to Kansas. They moved here seven years ago as missionaries to help launch the ministry of the Bridge. Rodney served as associate pastor and together with his wife Tiffany, worked to establish and sustain some of the key ministries of the Bridge - the Sports Camp, the worship team, Kids Bible Camp, children worship and nursery just to name a few.

We got to know their wonderful three children as well as Rodney's passion for volleyball as seen in this photo.

We will miss you Rodney, Tiffany, Caleb, Jesse and Emily! Wishing you all of God's blessings as you move on to new endeavors in Kansas!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Yes, we are expecting!

For those that haven't seen us of late, yes Karen is expecting... in fact she is 7 months pregnant! All of us are extremely excited. Erich now gives two hugs and kisses at night before he goes to bed - one for mommy, and one for baby! :-)

Friday, June 05, 2009

Congratulations Queenie!

Karen and I first met Queenie when she was in grade 6 as part of the initial group of youth that formed Joy Fellowship. Now, that fellowship has grown into a vibrant English speaking congregation at Coquitlam Christ Church of China.

It was an honour to be able to attend and witness her university graduation (my time flies!).

Congratulations Queenie on a job well done! We are so proud of you!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Bridge Church helping out at the Vancouver Marathon

As Christians, we are grateful for the redemptive grace provided through Jesus Christ. Our faith hinges on this one tenant - that God, not us, provided the means to salvation by first loving us.

Telling the good news of Jesus Christ to our community involves more than just words. Jesus calls us to demonstrate the gospel - to exemplify and dispense grace.

One of the ways we can do this is to serve our community in a way that demonstrates God's love for us. Every year, the Bridge Church (of which we are members) moves Sunday worship service to Alma & Point Grey road where about 70 volunteers hand out water, gatorade and sponges to the runners of the Vancouver Marathon. Our worship band provided hours of music to encourage the runners to 'keep pressing on'. It was a great time of mixing worship to God and service to our community.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Continuing a great Canadian tradition...

When I was a kid, I learned how to skate from a family friend at a local outdoor rink in Quebec. It was a memorable experience: I took for the first time my two skates and slid on the cold ice created by Montreal's famous winter weather.

I followed in the footsteps of so many other Canadians and learned how to skate.

When I was older, I took up skating again mostly as form of exercise. There were times when I would even take a book on figure skating and attempt to "learn" various moves in the rink during public skate. (It was the noon time slot which was usually empty.)

Now as a parent, I am pleased to announce that I am passing on this great Canadian tradition. Vancouver may not have natural outdoor rinks, but we do have some of the best winter sports facilities in the country especially with the Olympics fast approaching.

Erich took his first skating lessons at the local arena. Here he is learning how to "walk on ice".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009 Baptisms in the rain

This Easter, we had a string of baptisms at the Bridge. As a baptist church of course, we practice full immersion baptism. Had we observed the practice of "baptism by sprinkling" this would have been just a matter of marching each candidate outside in the pouring rain!

Congratulations to Paola, Jared, Giovanny, and Vickie.

See the full album here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A grand time in Seattle

Friends David and Laura Shepherd went with us to on an excursion trip to Seattle. We had planned for quite some time that the ladies would have some quality shopping time (and boy can they shop!) while the guys would hang out and do some quality guy stuff... like hang out in flight museums.

We ended up going in late March. It turns out it was a well needed break for all of us, and we had a blast. Whilst in Seattle, we stayed at the beautiful and antique Marqueen Hotel at a great rate thanks to Priceline. (Our stay was very enjoyable and the staff were excellent.)

I don't have too many photos of Karen and Laura's shopping experience (though from what I hear, they did try to outshop each other and they certainly filled up the car), but Davey, Erich and I did get some cool photos in. We decided we would visit not just the Children's Museum and Museum of Flight as Erich and I had done in the past, but also the Boeing Future of Flight museum in Everett. Although the museum itself wasn't as impressive as the Museum of Flight, Erich enjoyed being able to walk right up to certain components of the airplane. He also enjoyed watching the 3D films as evident in this photo.

I also got to experiment with off camera remote lighting....and ended up with this cool looking photo. Only problem was trying to get a rather bulky and odd looking radio triggered flash into the wheel well of an airplane without getting suspicious looks from onlookers.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Erich gets his glasses

Bittersweet day today. Erich got his first pair of glasses. Of course, it's an exciting time for Erich because he now looks "just like mommy and daddy" (plus it's a new, novel thing...). For us, who have been through the hassle of glasses, we remember what it's like when you lose them and are trying to find them half-blind. And then there are names you get called when you're a kid.

Unfortunately, seeing as both Karen and I require them, this was probably inevitable. Because Karen suffers from "lazy eye" syndrome, Karen's doctors had recommended early on that Erich be checked regularly. With early checking also comes early diagnosis, and so early glasses.

Well, at least back in the day "glasses" meant you were smart... :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Congratulations Tai and Tanya!

How often do you wish you could relive the best day of your life when you married your spouse? That's exactly what good friends Tai and Tanya Lee did on Valentine's Day. We were privileged to be invited, and I had the honour of photographing their ceremony!

One thing that really struck me about this ceremony was the great sense of community. Weddings are so often centred around the million and a half things that need to be done. Getting the chance to do it again meant Tanya and Tai were able to focus on what really mattered - a renewing of a covenant made before God in front of his people and their community.

Friends, family from past and present showed up to witness this incredible event.

Congratulations Tai and Tanya on your vow renewal!

-- * -- * --

Here are a sampling of the photos (and some of my thoughts) that I took during the ceremony:

I really like this photo above. A good photojournalistic photo shows context. As Tanya and Lucas (her son) walk down the aisle, family and friends are delighted to see her evident in the MANY digital cameras pointed at her... including mine! In case you're wondering how I took this photo whilst taking another one, I had a camera with a wide angle lens mounted on a tripod at the back of the sanctuary. It was triggered via PocketWizard from that camera I was holding at the front. I chose a slow shutter speed to show the motion of Tanya.

Loved the BIG open diffused windows in the sanctuary. I had to persuade the ushers to keep these open, but it provided the wonderful contrast you see here.

A shot of Tanya's extended family. This vow renewal ceremony was a reunion of sorts for them.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Old "Treasures" -- Paper

In our quest to purge our house of stuff, we have recently gone through our file cabinet. My wife was quite amazed at the amount of junk err "important" documents that I keep around. You know, things like telephone bills from back when I studied in Ottawa as a first year university student. Hey, you just NEVER know when that might come in handy! I had dutifully filed these bills for years, moved them with me when I got married, and of course never thought to purge them.

Enter in the new rules. Tax related documents, keep for 7 years max. Other important documents - 2 years. All else - 1 year max.

So with that in mind, I went through the laborious task of sorting out all that was older than 7 years, older than 2 years and older than 1 year.... *THAT* was relatively easy. The hard part was shredding the 4 foot pile of paper afterward.

Luckily we still have the half-broken industrial shredder that my employer gave away when they upgraded. After lubricating it full of mineral oil, we went about shredding over the next week. The photo above was the result. Yes, those two garbage bags that are already tied also contain shredded paper.

Of course when I showed up at the recycling depot with all this shredded paper, they must have thought I worked for Enron or something.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Erich's 3rd Birthday Party

Scheduling birthday parties for a child born on or near Christmas is always difficult. For the past two years, we have opted to do Erich's birthday party in mid-January instead of late December so as to avoid conflict with all the Christmas get togethers.

This year, we decided to host the party at our house. I experimented with sewing (by sewing each attendee an personalized apron) while all of Erich's friends from Erich's daycare and also from church came over and learned how to bake sugar cookies. Really yummy for the kids, and really messy for the parents to cleanup afterward.

Anyhow, they had a blast as you can see. Here they are in an attempted group photo. Notice Erich with his own camera too :-)

It's really funny how three year olds don't quite "get" birthdays yet though. Almost as if "bringing out the birthday cake" was synonomous with "blowing out the candles", one of Erich's friends tried to "blow the candles" when the cake came out instead of Erich! :-)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Old Treasures -- Roses

Roses are red, Violets are blue, these roses remind me of you!

Up first in our "old treasures series" is this wonderful vase of dried roses. They were given to my wife by yours truly, and she has been keeping all of them in this vase ever since she and I were dating. (That's a lot of roses!) They remind us of our courtship together, but lately they have also been accumulating a lot dust and perpetuating our allergies, so unfortunately they have to go.

Two interesting memories come to mind when I think of these roses:

The first was my practice to give her thirteen roses instead of the traditional dozen. Having started dating on Friday, October the 13th, thirteen was our "lucky" number.

The second is the most memorable time I have ever given roses to my wife: It was the day I proposed to her (May 30, 2001). On that day, I arranged for a scavenger hunt throughout the city. Along with several strategically placed friends, I handed her various clues and momentos as she criss-crossed across the city. I had the privilege of handing her a dozen roses at the site of our first date (GM Place). At that point in the scavenger hunt, there were still many places to go, but how exciting it was to hand her thirteen roses knowing that in a couple of hours I would be atop Burnaby Mountain asking for her hand in marriage!