May 2002 Long Weekend Trip

Here are some of the memories that we captured from our May 2002 long weekend trip to the United States. We travelled approximately 530 kms to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to attend our friend's graduation from Calvin Theological Seminary. Our friendship with Andy and Yvonne Geleynse and their four kids Samuel, Benjamin, Karen, and Rebecca, developed when we all lived in Hamilton from 1994-1998. Combined family outings and our mutual spiritual growth resulted in a unique friendship that remains strong despite being separated in time and location. It was fitting to celebrate this pivotal moment with them and add yet another cherished memory to our relationship.


Picked up the kids from school to hit the road at 3:30 p.m. on Friday for the 5 hour drive to Grand Rapids

Calvin College

We arrived at Calvin College and checked in to adjoining dorms in the VanderWerp student residence


Of course, sharing a small bathroom with four excited kids can really try one's patience...


Continental breakfast was enhanced by eating with our friends from Canada - Ida MacDonald and Lyn Acke


Then the graduation ceremony... A sincere and inspiring speech by Dr. Plantinga

At Last!

And the moment we were all waiting for ... with a bit of tassel stuck behind the earpiece of his glasses

Proud Parents

Here is a shot of our grad with his proud parents. This brings the number of pastors in the Geleynse family to three


Andy's greatest supporter, his wife Yvonne, radiates with joy

At Last!

Eight years of study accumulate into a moment of introspection

Two Karlas?

Saturday afternoon we join about 80 others to celebrate the graduation with a barbecue at a home north of Grand Rapids. Karla befriends Heather, a daughter of one of Andy's friends from Hamilton. The two of them could almost be twins!


That night we were mesmerized and awed at the performance of the Grand Rapids Junior Symphony and Youth String Orchestra. Benjamin, Andy and Yvonne's second son, plays a Cello on-stage

Another BBQ

After an appropriate pentecost service at Maddison Square CRC, a lively inter-racial congregation in the heart of downtown G.R., it's back to Andy and Yvonne's place for another celebratory barbecue.

Too Cool

Of course, no event in the USA is complete without the attendant CIA agent in sunglasses... hey wait a minute, I recognize her.. of course, that's Joanne kicking back and enjoying the hospitality

Air Time

Here the boys catch air on the large trampoline that decorates the backyard of the Geleynse residence

On The Road Again

Then we're on the road again. This time it's a shorter trip. Three hours back to Sarnia, Ontario to spend the night with the Veenkamps


In Sarnia, we are cheerfully greeted by my sister, Wilma


.. and a little less cheerfully by Albert, her husband :)

Twins again

Karla does another twin impersonation with her cousin Nicole. I'm beginning to wonder, do all 13 year old girls look alike?

Wawonosh Wetlands

After breakfast, we went for a hike in the Wawonosh Wetlands across the road from where the Veenkamps live


The kids had fun feeding the geese


..which seemed to multiply before our eyes!


The enjoyment of the open trail and brisk air varies among members of the expedition


.. yet the astute eye picks out evidence that it is truly spring


Albert becomes animated by the fresh air as he attempts to impale one of the children with a reed from the marsh


After lunch we're back on the road for the final leg of the journey, the kid's energy finally spent, ours not far behind


The kids sleep through a couple of snow squalls on the way home. The weather all weekend was unusually cold


Of course, when it's all said and done... there's no place like home!