Sunday, April 9, 2017

In Loving Memory of Frank Prunkl

With immense sorrow, our family says farewell to our beloved father, father-in-law, brother, grandfather, uncle, and husband Frank Prunkl, who passed away peacefully on March 22 in Kelowna, BC. His closest family members were all fortunate to see him, hold his hand, and express their love during his final days. Frank is survived by his wife Magdalena, his daughters Arlene Prunkl-Small (Bryan), Sandi Lovell (Tim), and Sue Alexander (Randy), his grandchildren Brittany and Brayden Alexander, and his sister Maria Wienberg.

Frank was born in the ethnic German village of Setschanfeld, Yugoslavia. After enduring extreme hardships during and after WWII, he immigrated to Vancouver with his mother and sister Maria in 1951. He always credited Canada for giving him opportunities to live a peaceful and prosperous life. Next to his children and grandchildren, perhaps Frank's greatest legacy is his 44-year commitment to his work for the Richmond School District and caring for the children in the classrooms of Richmond's schools. For decades he was beloved by generations of RSD staff and students and their subsequent families. After his “official” retirement in 1992 and a spectacular send-off, he continued to work part-time for 20 years, retiring only when he could no longer drive. Outside of his work, Frank will always be remembered for his love of playing the harmonica and accordion. He was a kind, humble, gentle, quiet soul who was invariably positive with everyone he encountered. A loving father and a caring grandfather, he will be immeasurably missed by his family and all who knew him.


“It was and will always be one of the greatest highlights of my life to see my beloved Dad accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in the last few days of his earthly life. What joy it is to know I will be reunited with him and spend eternity with him in heaven! Words cannot express my gratitude to God for His grace and for honouring me by letting me be the last person to be with my Dad. Tim and I had driven six hours from Whistler to Kelowna and I arrived at my Dad's bedside literally two minutes before he breathed his last—just enough time to gently stroke his head and quickly tell him I loved him forever, that heaven was wonderful and I would see him there soon, and to guide him towards Jesus' loving arms. This was not a coincidence but the power of Love—God's and my Dad's, who both knew I was coming and, I believe, waited for me. It doesn't get any better than that. What an awesome, wonderful God we serve!” -  Sandi

“And remember, whatever you do,
have a little fun while you’re doing it.”
-  Frank Prunkl

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Our 7th Wedding Anniversary

“Next to heaven lies my fate, my best friend and my soul mate.
God knows this kind of love, only comes from up above.
You're the answer to my prayers, nothing else compares.
I'm next to heaven when I'm next to you.”

The lyrics of this song ring so true for us. We love each other more every day. Seven years ago today we chose to be with each other forever. Growing old together is an honour we'll never take for granted and we greatly look forward to our future together as husband and wifey, excited to fulfill God’s plan and purpose for our lives. ❤

Friday, December 16, 2016

Merry Christmas

At Christmas we celebrate the nearness of our God, who stepped out of eternity and into time to interact with us. God sent a baby, His Son Jesus, to bring salvation to mankind so that we might know Him in a vital, personal relationship forever. Christ was born for this!

May your hearts rejoice in this greatest gift of all this Christmas season.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday. Love, Sandi & Tim

Monday, June 20, 2016

St-Rémy-de-Provence and Some News

We're back in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (previous installment here) for a few more days to relax and wrap up our trip. The Gounod Hotel where we're staying, steps from the historic center, is so pretty it's hard to leave.

The Gounod, the town's oldest hotel, takes its name from the 19th century composer Charles Gounod who wrote the opera Mireille here. The building was originally a post house in the 1600s and then converted in lodgings.

The vibrant, blue ceiling of the Church of St Martin was rebuilt in 1821 in neoclassical style after collapsing. Only the 14th century bell tower and chapel at the back remain from the original building.

The Nostradamus Fountain commemorates his birth here in 1503.

Our favourite square, Place Favier, and one of our favourite lunch spots, Les Filles du Patissier.

A beautiful, tufted-eared cat naps next to us by the pool.

Lavender is just coming into bloom.

Recycling chic at the Wednesday market—these items are made from the pull-tops of aluminum cans.

Originally created in the 16th century by potters inspired by the Medicis, colourful French Anduze terracotta pottery is one of the most iconic symbols of the French garden. Hand-carved garlands and medallions decorate the sides of these traditional French vases as they have for hundreds of years. The village of Anduze where they are created is about a 90-minute drive from St Rémy and the vases produced here are in seen in abundance throughout Provence.

A statue of Jesus crucified on the cross presides high over the main square in town, a constant reminder to passersby not only of the town's Christian heritage but also that Jesus died for them so they could have eternal life.

Tim tries a fish pedicure and doesn't know who's enjoying it more, him or the fish.

And the news?

We bought an old (c.1860) stone town house right here in the heart of St-Rémy, oui, oui, we did. A petite bourgeois maison as they call it. It's a diamond in the rough that needs complete renovating so our life over the next few years will be travelling between Whistler and St-Rémy and immersing ourselves deep into Provençal life. And that includes Sandi trading in her beloved Chacos (finalement!) for a fine pair of espadrilles. We're not sure what we've gotten ourselves into but we know it's going to be une grande aventure.

The house was previously owned by Christiane Boquet who owned and ran an antique shop in Paris. When she first moved into the house a stray cat often wandered through the property and having a great fondness for animals she adopted it and named the house “Maison du Chat”. We hope to restore this charming painting of the house which was left for us—a reminder of its history and previous guardian.

We've renamed the house “Maison Magnolia” because of the stunning 300-year old magnolia tree that graces the front yard. Sandi envisions a rose garden and fountain in the raised section—Tim is thinking boule court.

The one-bedroom maison des amis (guest house) in the backyard.

Le chambre de maitre (master bedroom).

The fireplace in the master bedroom.

There's even an underground well that supplies water for the garden. How cool is that?!

We've had a great time and will be back in Provence soon but for now are heading to London, Vancouver and home. À bientôt!
“If business is business in other parts of the world, here in Provence it is more fun. Let those who complain of the snatch-and-grab methods of commerce in this century, and the rush and hustle of modern life, come and shop with me in a Provençal town. Here there is a lovely leisure in all our doings. The sun shines so gloriously, the sky is so incredibly blue, and the scent of flowers, warmed by the sunshine, so drowsy and intoxicating that there is every inducement to be lazy and leisurely. A stranger without humour might perhaps be maddened by the ways of the Provençeaux, but he whom God has endowed with much patience and a little humour will enjoy them.” - Lady Winifred Fortescue, Perfume from Provence, 1935