Saturday, December 20, 2008


Congratulations to Heidi Snyder (Noel's younger sister...not his wife) and Brian Wolfe who are engaged and plan to be married in June 2009! Welcome to the family, Brian! We're so excited for the 2 of you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Noel's Life

Do gnomes bring you good luck and help you finish faster? I hope so, because he received one yesterday as part of a white elephant gift exchange at the church staff Christmas luncheon. It's a good thing we have a white elephant gift exchange to go to next week; we can pass the lovely thing to someone else!

Noel says: Whew! I'm done! Plowed through that stack of books, wrote my first doctoral-level research paper, and finally had a good night's sleep. The gnome definitely helped me push through to the end. Quite a little task master.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Go Hope (and Cornerstone)!

We are so fortunate to know Bob and Carole Bos. They are both Hope alum and attend our church in San Marino. They invited us over for dinner on Friday for a Hope gathering. Tony and Christen, Katie, Noel and I enjoyed a great dinner, game time, and conversation with Bob and Carole. They are such a blessing to us.

Katie is married to Joey, who we have made an honorary Hope alum, but he went to Cornerstone. I guess that's an okay school as least he didn't go to Calvin! We try not to only talk about Hope when we're together so he doesn't feel left out, but its very hard!
It's neat to be able to make so many connections here just from attending Hope. We are very proud to have attended such a great institution!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


We had a fantastic Thanksgiving celebration this year. We've spent the past 3 Thanksgivings with large groups of people, which ended up being mostly people we didn't know. We felt like doing something a lot simpler this year and just had dinner with Tony and Christen. It was a really fun day. Tony and Christen brought a few dishes and I made a few dishes. We spent the day watching the Lions (quite depressing!), eating, playing Canasta, and watching Christmas vacation.

Sitting down to the feast.
Showing off both my new baking dish and my totally from scratch stuffing (it was an experiment, but turned out pretty well!).
We're so thankful the Bordenkircher's are here. We love hanging out with them and getting to know them better. Yea for fellow Hope grads!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not at fault!

I received a call from State Farm a couple of days ago declaring that I was NOT at fault in the car accident! Yippee! What a relief! I no longer have to worry about our insurance going up or having something on my record. As for the deductible, it's quite a long process. The total loss has to be completely settled (the car auctioned off), then go to collections, then work through disputes if there are any (which I'm sure there will be). So, we're looking at probably 6-9 months before we get reimbursed. By that time, it'll be a nice surprise in the mail since we probably won't be expecting it! Anyway, we are relieved and excited to be able to put this (mostly) behind us.

Monday, November 10, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, I felt very convicted to be vegetarian for the month of November. I can't explain where the feeling came from, but I couldn't shake it and so I decided to give it a try. It's actually something I've been toying with for a while, but just keep pushing it to the back of my mind. I don't eat a lot of meat in general, so it's not a big change, but so far I am really enjoying it. I'm using this month to read and research more about it and try and figure out if it's something I want to commit to 100% or maybe just 90/10 or 80/20. I just can't shake the statistics about how much more energy and land it takes to produce meat for human consumption than grain, veggies, beans, etc. Pretty shocking. Especially when there are millions of people starving in this world. Any thoughts?


I still have days when I hate driving, but yesterday I was feeling really good about getting in the car and running errands by myself. I felt like I actually even liked our new car, which is the first feeling of fondness I've had towards it. I needed to take the 210 highway to get to my destination. As I was driving along in the right lane of the 6 lane highway, suddenly a flock of about 6 big white birds (maybe seagulls, I don't know) flew up from the shoulder and started hovering just over the right lane. They weren't too far in front of me and I had no time to change lanes. I started panicking, but thought, "Birds always fly out of the way...I'll be fine". But, these birds were a bit slow or something and I NAILED one with the windshield and killed it. Luckily the windshield didn't break. The bird just left a big smear on the windshield. I am once again freaked out to drive. Darn birds.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Harvest Festival

The Residential Community office at Fuller puts on a "Harvest Festival" every year where all the families of Fuller come and enjoy food, games, prizes, lots of candy, pony rides, and even a "hayride". All Community Coordinators are required to work at a booth at the event. We have chosen the hot cider booth both years now since it's the most "fall" to us. It was a beautiful night and we had lots of fun seeing all the kids dressed up in costumes. It was a little warm for hot cider, but fun nonetheless! We really enjoy being a part of the Fuller community.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hello Honda!


Though it was sad to say bye to our Corolla, we are very excited with the purchase we were able to make this past Saturday. We are now the proud owners of a 2009 Honda Civic LX. It's a grayish, tannish color with beige interior. It's very nice and we love the new car smell!

Check out the cool split dash.

We hope to be driving this car for many years to come, which should be a possibility if no crazy woman runs another red light.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Apple picking

It's been a few years since we've done anything "fall like" and decided it was time we embrace "fall" in California. There's many apple orchards an hour or so away and we decided to go picking with some fellow Hope grads, Tony and Christen. It was nothing like Michigan apple picking, but still fun!

Tony, Noel, and Christen ready for an adventure.
Noel scouting out the trees looking for the best apple. He was VERY particular about the apples we were allowed to pick and put in the bushel.
It was quite an effort to get the best apples! Tony and Noel made a great team. Christen and I had a lot of good laughs.
As you can see, the "orchard" is not quite like a Michigan orchard. Mountains in the background, desert like terrain, and scattered trees that were NOT well labeled all made for quite an adventure. Another big difference in this orchard was the lack of donuts and cider! We were so looking forward to getting donuts and cider since that is part of the apple picking experience. However, the LINE...yes, line, was about an hour long for donuts, and the cider cost $10 a gallon! We were so desperate that we bought a gallon to share. It was definitely tasty, though I'm still not sure it was worth $10.
Studying the map...which was not very helpful at all.
Finally, a 1/2 bushel full of Granny Smiths and Romes (we split the 1/2 bushel). I've already made an apple crsip and hope to make to make some apple dumplings and an apple pie.

Goodbye Corolla

Well, it's been quite a week. The aftermath of an accident is time consuming and a bit emotional. We found out late Wednesday that the car was officially declared a total loss. We were not surprised, but it was still kind of sad. We decided we needed to go back to the collision place to say a final farewell, and check to make sure we didn't leave anything inside.

Pretty much wrecked, wouldn't you say?

Thank you for keeping me safe, Corolla! I'll miss you.
Thank God for airbags!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

A New Haircut and a Car Crash

Well, it has been an eventful day. Heidi got a new haircut, and it looks great, as you can see. Then she got in an automobile accident on the way home. No one was injured, but she and her passenger (and her husband) were quite shaken up. I will be surprised if they do not total the car. Both airbags deployed, so it is good to know they work! But they gave Heidi a nice little burn on her arms.
It doesn't show up very well in the photo, but it's there. Thank God everyone stayed safe and we'll see what happens with our car!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Noel turned 28 over a week ago and I once again threw him a surprise party. We had to celebrate his birthday early due to a community obligation on his actual birthday. We ate at a great English restaurant in town where Noel had "the best prime rib of my life". A couple days after his birthday he had new student orientation for his PhD program. I arranged for a bunch of our friends to be here to surprise him when he got home from the dinner. We all enjoyed singing to him and all of our friends enjoyed teasing him for being so old (for some odd reason, all of our friends our about 3 years younger than we are).

As always, Noel requests carrot cake for his birthday. I really enjoy making it for him since he loves it so much.

Here's Noel on his first day of school. Check out his new shoes and new bag! Perfect for "back to school".


I had a chance to go to Grand Rapids for a couple of days for a short work conference. It was great to see family and friends and so fun to see how big my nephew, Jett, is! He's walking all over the place now and loves his grandpa very much. He was a bit shy towards me at first, but I think we became friends rather quickly. All it took was feeding him part of my dessert each night. :)

He's very happy here because he was eating much of my sauteed peaches and ice cream dessert.
He LOVES playing with these rings.
So fun!
Here he's sporting his new jacket that I bought him as an early birthday present. Heather and I went shopping together one afternoon and I found a couple cute things for him (he'll never know that he didn't get a present from me on his actual birthday, November 1).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A new look

We decided it was time to update the look of our apartment since we'll be staying here for at least a few more years. Little did we know that painting takes forever...especially when you've never done it before and don't have a clue what you're doing. We thought we were embarking on a 1 day project, but it quickly turned into 4 days of work, 3 trips to Home Depot, 1 trip to a paint store, and 1 trip to a hardware store. We are definitely pleased with how it turned out and everyone who's seen it says that it looks so "homey". Check it out!

Our accent wall in the dining room is an eggplant color. We love it! The far wall is kind of a khaki color.

The wall on the left and the far wall are the same khaki color. The wall on the right is a pale yellow (a little lighter than I would've liked). It's hard to see the difference with our very poor lighting. Better lighting is next on our home improvement list!

We painted 2 walls in the bedroom the same khaki from the main room. Then we decided to be really bold and paint a red stripe at the top of one wall. We really like how it turned out! We also love the new curtain scarf we found for REALLY cheap at Target. It makes the big ugly window a little less ugly.

Again, it's difficult to see the difference in color, but the living room wall on the left is yellow, then the eggplant wall, then the khaki wall with brown curtains.

We're so glad it's all done!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Los Cabos Vacation II

It has come to our attention that the text that goes along with the slideshow below is not displaying properly. Here it is:

Hey all! We're back from a beautiful week in Los Cabos, Mexico. When we arrived, there were hardly even any signs that a tropical storm had been there the day before. The weather was sunshine (very hot sunshine) and blue skies the whole week. Highlights from the trip include: eating lots of seafood (salmon, mahi mahi, tuna, shrimp, scallops, eel, octopus, squid...), sitting by the pool with our drinks and our novels, sitting on our balcony with our robes and our coffee in the morning, karaoke night, and taking a glass-bottom boat trip out to the "arch" (the Cabo landmark at the division between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean). To cap it all off, we got up to watch a beautiful sunrise on our last morning there. Below is a little slideshow chronicle of all of that! Enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Los Cabos Vacation

Hey all! We're back from a beautiful week in Los Cabos, Mexico. When we arrived, there were hardly even any signs that a tropical storm had been there the day before. The weather was sunshine (very hot sunshine) and blue skies the whole week. Highlights from the trip include: eating lots of seafood (salmon, mahi mahi, tuna, shrimp, scallops, eel, octopus, squid...), sitting by the pool with our drinks and our novels, sitting on our balcony with our robes and our coffee in the morning, karaoke night, and taking a glass-bottom boat trip out to the "arch" (the Cabo landmark at the division between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean). To cap it all off, we got up to watch a beautiful sunrise on our last morning there. Here is a little slideshow chronicle of all of that! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We made it!

We realize it's kind of silly to do a blog post when we're on vacation, but we bought a block of time on the internet to make sure our return transportation was in place, so we thought we would update the blog after the previous suspense. So, we made it! We're here and we're loving it and we're staying an extra day to make up for the lost day. See you all later!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We're still here

Tropical Storm Julio is messing everything up for us. We were supposed to leave for Los Cabos, Mexico today. We stood in line for 2 hours at the airport only to be told our flight was canceled and we could not fly out until tomorrow afternoon! The storm landed in Cabo at about the same time we were supposed to! We are so sad. We'll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sushi in Old Town

Before last Friday, I (Noel) was not a big fan of sushi. That changed when we walked to a new restaurant in Old Town Pasadena called East. Quality. Not only did it make for a great send-off dinner with our friends Dani and Michelle, who are moving back to Hawaii this week, but it also makes Heidi very happy that I will no longer scrunch up my nose every time she mentions going out for sushi in the future. We'll definitely be back.
On the left is the Vegas roll and on the right is the spicy yellow-fin tuna roll. Both excellent. But my favorite was the spicy scallop roll. Do you like sushi? Vote in the poll on the right!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Niagara Falls

I had the opportunity to attend a conference for work this past week in Niagara Falls, NY. The conference was well worth it and the location was beautiful! I had been to the falls as a kid, but think I have a much bigger appreciation for them now. I arrived a day early and had lots of time to see the falls before the conference started.

This picture is taken on the bridge that crosses from NY to Canada. I didn't cross all the way into Canada the first day, but did a few days later. The falls on the left are the American Falls and the falls straight ahead are the Horseshoe Falls. You can also see the "Maid of the Mist" boats in the water below.

I went on "Maid of the Mist" on Sunday afternoon. I managed to stay mostly dry, but when the wind blew up my poncho, the bottom half of my pants got soaked. It was a great time!

This is a picture of the American Falls taken from Canada. Check out the rainbow! The Canadian side definitely has a better view and I'm so glad I walked over to get some pictures. The weirdest thing about going back to the US is that you have to pay 50 cents. I'm not exactly sure what the point of that is.

All in all, it was a great trip, but I'm definitely glad to be home. The only bad thing is that I missed the LA earthquake!


We celebrated our 4th anniversary on July 24. Noel had the day off from his internship and I decided to take the day off so we could spend the day together. We headed to Newport Beach/Balboa Island and had a fantastic day. The weather was great and we spent the day walking around the town, stopping in shops, and eating.

We were told by my friend, Meredith, that we had to try a "Balboa Bar" (vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and then dipped in a topping of your choice...we chose nuts). Thanks for the tip, Meredith! It was delicious!

Here we are on Newport Pier. We ended up eating a late lunch at a restaurant on the end of the pier. It was a great setting. We were sitting on the second floor, outside, overlooking the ocean and enjoyed a glass of Chardonnay with our fresh fish sandwiches. Yum!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


You may have heard that LA was hit with an earthquake yesterday. I (Heidi) am actually at a conference in Niagara Falls, NY, so I missed all the excitement (kind of a bummer after living there 3 years and never feeling a quake!). I just wanted to let you know that all is well in our home and everyone's okay. I talked to Noel last night and he said a few books fell over, but that's about it. He was at work when it happened, but everything is fine there as well. Needless to say, I was freaking out when I heard about it and wasn't able to get a hold of him, but am much calmer now. I can't wait to get home tonight!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Old vs. New

Since I started working from home about a year ago, Noel and I always planned for me to get a new desk when we moved. We didn't think it would be worth investing in for such a short time, since we never planned on staying here and wanted to move as little furniture as possible. Well, since we decided to stay for another 4 years, we thought it was about time to improve my workspace. No more working on a tiny desk and staring at a white wall all day. That gets old really quickly! My new desk is so much bigger, gives us much more storage and is in a corner by our front window. What a difference! I love it so much. And I've handed down my tiny desk to Noel, who can now work at a desk rather than the dining room table. I'm happy, he's happy, and life is good in Snyderville.

My old desk.

My new desk (to the left is a big window). Once we paint, the desk will stand out more and look fantastic. I can't wait!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Make it stop!

Busy day at the Snyderville blog, I know. But I felt like I needed to let out a cyber-scream. The occasion? Those wonderful red contraptions pictured above. Here goes: "Aaaaaaaaaah! Make it stop!"

Those red things are high-powered fans that have been set up at the base of the building next door to try to dry out its nether-regions after a big plumbing problem. They have been running non-stop for 3 days now, right outside our window. Imagine someone turned on a shop-vac in your living room and left it running for 72 hours. That's what it sounds like around here, with no sign of relief. They were just here checking it (they turned it off for a second and the knot in my stomach relaxed for a moment), but they decided it is still wet down there. Aaaaaah! I'm a seminarian on the edge!

A Great Heidi Lunch

Today Heidi decided to have a random assortment of who-knows-what for lunch. When she got it all assembled and sat down to eat, I thought it was so funny I had to take a picture of it. It was like her own little buffet. Included in the meal were (starting at the top and going clockwise): a bowl of yogurt with raspberries and granola, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, green peppers, two types of crackers, red bell peppers, a homemade fruit smoothie, hummus (for dipping the veggies in), and five layer bean dip. A great lunch, huh?

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Here's to you as you turn 52
Just a year ago we were at the zoo
Two years before we were on the shore
Downing fruit smoothies and asking for more
We took this picture of you in that haven
But of course you look different now that you've shaven
Have a great day and eat lots of cake
It's your fifty-second birthday, for heaven's sake!

Happy birthday, Dad!

Monday, June 23, 2008


I think my new watch has an attitude. I finally had to get a new watch after my old one of 5 years (which only cost $12!) gave out. I think I definitely got my money's worth out of that one! Anyway, my new watch stops every night while I'm sleeping. I don't think there's anything wrong with the battery because it runs fine during the day; it never slows down or stops. It doesn't stop at a particular time either, so I don't think there's anything wrong with the action. I think it just has an attitude problem. Maybe it thinks, "You're sleeping, so I'm going to sleep, too". Who knows.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Too hot!

Are these temperatures a joke or what? We're experiencing VERY hot weather that won't let up until tomorrow at the earliest. As we were driving to the store at 7:30 PM yesterday, it was 102 degrees...AT 7:30 PM!!!! I'm not sure what the actual daytime high was, but I'm sure it was higher than that. Today is supposed to be more of the same. We've become prisoners in our apartment with the blinds shut and the A/C on. It's too hot to go anywhere...even 21 Choices, which is a lot to say coming from me!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


He finally did it! Noel graduated on Saturday with his Master of Divinity. The service was great (a bit long to sit through), and it was so fun to see Noel walk across the stage and get his diploma. We're thankful Mom and Dad Snyder were able to come for the occasion and celebrate this milestone with us. What a great weekend!

Noel returning to his seat after receiving his diploma.
Dad, Noel, me, and Mom after the ceremony. It was a beautiful day!
Here's Noel with Clay Schimt, who will be his advisor in the PhD program. Noel's so excited to study under him and we're both looking forward to getting to know Clay and his wife a bit better over the next 4 years.

Overall, we had a fantastic weekend filled with celebration. The graduation ceremony was followed by a delicious lunch (thanks Mom and Dad!) at the Crocodile Cafe. We relaxed the rest of the afternoon, enjoyed a little champagne, and went to 21 choices later in the evening. We were able to attend church together on Sunday (Noel's first Sunday NOT on staff and his last Sunday he'll be able to be in church until September due to his summer internship) and then headed to the beach for a relaxing Father's Day. The day concluded with a delicious pizza dinner at Avanti Cafe. We sure are getting spoiled!