Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lost and Found

The last two weeks have been full of ups and downs for us. We came back from our delightful trip to Lincoln for Thanksgiving with heavy hearts, knowing that my grandma would not be with us much longer. She went home to be with the Lord last Saturday. Since Micah had just started his winter quarter classes, we wrestled with whether we should pack all the kids up again to go back to Lincoln for the funeral or not. We finally decided that I would fly home by myself for a quick trip. Unfortunately, my flight was cancelled due to the blizzard in Nebraska, and there wasn't time to make other travel arrangements. So, I participated via speaker phone and picture messages.

We have a close extended family, and I was very disappointed that I couldn't be there with them. My grandpa died last year, and I worry that the occasions that will bring us all together are getting fewer and farther between. I suppose that's part of the cycle of life. It provides yet another lesson that you have to make the most of the time you have with those who are special to you.

During this time of traveling, starting Micah's new class schedule, waiting for news on my grandma, and anticipating traveling again, some things had fallen by the wayside in our household. As a result, I finally stopped procrastinating and implemented the "family schedule" that I learned about in a mother's class I'm attending at the seminary. We now have a complete picture of what has to be done and when it needs to be done in order for us have more family free time. It has been a beautiful thing. The kids have completely embraced it, and Micah and I both feel more clear on what our priorities are too.

Now that we have our ducks back in a row, we've been able to enjoy several special events lately. We visited Old St. Charles for Christmas Traditions. We were able to take a bike ride on the newly rebuilt freeway that runs near us before it opened for traffic. We participated in the seminary's Christmas tree lighting. We've been to two of our three adult Christmas parties so far, and the kids got to attend their first seminary Christmas party. We also got to see our neighbors play Mary and Joseph at a beautiful Boar's Head Festival. Now we're looking forward to our trip to Lincoln next week for Christmas.

Throughout all of our ups and downs, we have been blessed by friends who care for us, and by strangers who are so good to us. We will never be able to give back as much as has been given to us.

We wish all of you a Christmas filled with love and joy. We praise God for the gift of his son Jesus, the light of our world.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Startin' Somethin'

It might be that I've heard way too many Michael Jackson songs lately, but I really do feel like we're starting something here... Today was a poignant day for me. Prior to full admittance to the seminary, students have to pass qualifier exams in five subject areas: Old Testament, New Testament, Christian Doctrine, Greek, and Hebrew. Micah started that journey 15 months ago while we were still in Lincoln, and finished it today. It was the last day of the fall quarter here at the seminary. Micah sailed through his Hebrew qualifiers. I'm extremely proud of him for that, but I'm even prouder of him for the impact he had on others who were in a similar situation today. I'm not allowed to go into detail because it makes Micah embarrassed, but I, and many others, are blessed to have this man in our lives.

Micah will now spend the next two weeks hanging out with me and the kids, working around the house (which he actually enjoys), doing more with our field work church, and not studying. This Sunday, we're taking a day trip with friends to Hermann, MO to visit a church that has been very generous to both of our families. The following week, we'll head home to reconnect with friends and family that we haven't seen in a while. We'll be back just in time for Micah to start winter quarter, where he'll learn about Pastoral Ministry, Historical Theology, the Lutheran Mind, Hebrew Readings, and more Greek, just for fun.

As for the rest of us, we have good things going too. Even just today, I got a very flattering vote of confidence at work, Jonah got to take a field trip to the Science Center (his favorite place), and Joel and Maci's beloved daycare center received national recognition. The Lord continues to make details fall into place for us, with very little effort on our part.

So, for today, we're just thankful. For little blessings like a fire pit to share with neighbors in the back yard. For big blessings like support from friends and strangers alike. And, as always, for the promise that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. God is good, all the time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We're still here!

It's been more than a month since I've posted, and I'm feeling a little guilty about it! My excuse is that I've been waiting for my sweetie to put together some really fabulous video footage we've been accumulating over the last several weeks to share with you. I can see this really "wow!" post in my head, but it has yet to materialize.

While waiting for Micah to find some time to edit video amidst learning Hebrew, tutoring Greek, working in the Advanced Studies department, doing church field work and trying to stay connected with his family, I'll give you a teaser: We've been to the hot air balloon glow and race, been sprayed by a Clayton, MO fire truck, went apple picking, had a picnic literally underneath the Arch, the boys made apple cider, rope, sorghum molasses, butter and chicken feed at the Saxon Lutheran Memorial, and Micah stood in the freakishly high pulpit once used by LCMS founder C.F.W. Walther. I'm probably forgetting something, but trust me, we're having a fun fall.

We continue to feel so blessed in many unexpected ways. God is good, all the time.

Stay tuned for video, Lord willing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Early September Update

I wasn't able to come up with a clever "theme" for this post, rather it's just a mish-mash of random updates. So, here goes, in no particular order:
  • Micah did indeed pass his Greek qualifier with an impressive score, and is now hoping to be a Greek tutor this fall. He started Hebrew class this morning, and thinks he's going to really enjoy it.
  • I am two weeks into my new job, and it's going very well. The people I work with are nice, the environment is positive, and I like the work. I love working three days a week, so I can spend ample time on my full-time responsibilities at home.
  • Jonah is doing great in first grade. He's definitely a thinker, and comes up with all kinds of deep questions for us, which we get a big kick out of.
  • Joel and Maci have spent one day at their new "school" so far. Joel was like a duck in water there from the first minute. Maci will take a little time to adjust, since she's such a Mama's girl. It's very comforting for me to be able to walk down the hill at lunch and peek in on the kids if I want to. I love having them so close to my office.
  • We had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. There were lots of beginning of the school year activities going on on campus. One highlight was the opening chapel service, where all of the new students processed in together. I was very proud of Micah and his good friends that flanked him on either side. After that, we celebrated by getting pizza with friends. On Monday we took in a local event - the Greek festival. The pastries were to die for, and Micah was able to translate the words on some of the Greek souvenirs, which was funny. Then we swam and had a BBQ with friends, and it was all lovely.
  • We do have a prayer request: On Thursday afternoon Micah will find out where he will be assigned to do his Field Work. This will be the church where Micah will spend several hours a week learning and helping with ministry, and where we will worship while in St. Louis. Our prayer is that we will be open-minded about wherever we end up, and that we'll have peace about it. Also that our family will connect well with that congregation, that we can be of service there, and that Micah can gain valuable insight about ministry.
  • Micah is planning to start creating a newsletter with more specifics about our seminary experience, prayer requests, etc. and e-mailing it out once a month or so. If you'd like to receive that, post a comment below with your e-mail address, Facebook me, or e-mail us. (If we already know your e-mail address, you're probably going to receive the newsletter regardless!)
Thanks for reading! Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Smarter than the average bear?

We just spent a most delightful weekend camping in our tent at Jellystone Park, Yogi Bear's version of "roughing it." We made our first attempt at camping last month, and it wasn't entirely successful. We weren't ready to give up after our first try, so we decided to really put our brains to work and make some better choices this time around.

While I'm still a long way from being a camping expert, I feel pretty proud of myself for the wisdom that I have obtained on this subject! One of my main concerns last time around was starving my family, since I didn't know that you could eat anything but hot dogs and marshmallows off of sticks while camping. But, thanks in large part to, I learned about the wonders of the dutch oven, and we were able to try some really fun meals. We learned that taking our bikes with us allowed us to get away from our campsite more. The seminary let us take an ample supply of firewood with us. We slept much more comfortably after borrowing our friends' toasty sleeping bags. And, most importantly, we learned that opting for a family-friendly campground is definitely the way to go for us.

Let me set the scene for this delightful location I found while Googling: Drive less than 30 minutes from your front door. Travel up into the wooded hills, through a brightly colored gate with a sign that says, "Welcome to Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park, where families make memories together." Purchase a very reasonably priced "Boo Boo's bracelet" that allows your children unlimited train rides and mini golf, and tokens for the arcade. Spend the night in absolute serene silence, in about 60 degree temperatures. Sit around the campfire sipping hot chocolate until it's time to go wake up Yogi. Eat cinnamon pancakes while watching vintage cartoons under the veranda. Bike ride. Swim. Crafts. Ice cream social. None of us wanted to leave.

Micah's pretty impressed with himself too, since he mastered our new "toy." He documented our entire experience on our "Flip" video camera that was apparently my belated birthday present. Please enjoy his attached handiwork.

All in all, we feel pretty smart this week. We are so thankful for our family, and the time we have to spend together. We wish many blessings to you and yours as well!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lots of firsts!

August has been a whirlwind so far for us. After we recovered from our eventful weekend at the beginning of the month (see previous post), the following weekend we were blessed with a visit from Micah's mom and grandma. It was Micah's mom's third visit here with us, but the first for Gma. We had a wonderful time. It meant the world to Micah that his beloved Gma would make the trip here, and we were sad to see her leave. Micah's mom will be back later this week, and we hope that maybe Gma will come again sometime too.

This past weekend we were treated to our first visit from my parents. It was so nice to see them and give them a picture of our new life here. They got to help us get Jonah ready for his first day of first grade and see him off. The kids really enjoyed having lots of time with Mamo and Papa, and we did too. I just wish the goodbye part wasn't so hard...

On Thursday, we have faith that Micah will pass his Greek qualifier exam and ace his first seminary course. Then we'll get our husband and father back for the first time since we moved here, while we enjoy a two week break before classes start up again.

Monday will be my first day at my new job in the HR department at Lutheran Senior Services. I'm really excited to start working again, especially in a field I love, but I'll miss the kids a lot. They'll be home with Micah during his break, then the little ones will start their new "school" the first week in September.

We're thankful for all of the firsts that we're getting the opportunity to experience, and we're grateful that we get to share so many of them with loved ones.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First camping trip and first ER visit!

It was an eventful weekend for our family! At 7:00 Saturday morning, we decided to go camping. I had only tent camped in the back yard growing up, and Micah hadn't been camping in years. But, we figured it couldn't be that big of an undertaking, so we threw every camping-related thing we could find in the van, drove to Cabela's and picked up our tent, and off we went. We had fun, but we would do several things differently next time. We're looking forward to our next trip so we can perfect this budget-friendly family outing.

When we got home, we were unloading our stuff, and Joel was riding his trike on the back patio. He tripped while getting off of it and landed head first on the corner of our brick doorway. Micah and I were both standing right inside, and by the time Joel stood up, things weren't looking pretty. After a call to the nurse, we headed to the ER at the childrens' hospital for what we assumed would be a quick glue job.

After we were told that the injury would require a plastic surgeon, we left the other two kids with our wonderful neighbor so Micah and I could be with Joel. Things are done very differently at the childrens' hospital than they were back home. We both actually stood by Joel's bed during the surgery. That was the strangest 15 minutes of my life. We're thankful that we could be with him, but I don't know that I would make that choice again in the future. Nonetheless, the doctors and nurses did a wonderful job and we're very blessed that Joel is as good as new now.

One of the funnier moments of our experience was when the hospital's PR person asked if they could document Joel's visit in an upcoming hospital publication. So, she and the photographer also were in the room for the surgery. When Joel woke up, he looked at the PR person and said, "you have two heads." I'm interested to see what kind of article she comes up with! She said she'd send us the pictures and the magazine for our scrapbook. I'll scan it and share it with all of you!

All in all we're thankful that the weekend turned out as well as it did. There was a high potential for disaster from start to finish, but none of us are much worse for the wear. We hope you and yours had a blessed weekend. Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Family "Vacation" 2009

This past weekend was really just like any other weekend, except for the fact that it was in the 70's and gorgeous. Therefore, we thought we should take the opportunity to be tourists in our own town. By last night, I felt like we had been on vacation all weekend.

On Friday night, after our weekly BBQ we were blessed to be invited by our great new friends to attend "Godspell" at the Muny. If you're not from around here, the Muny is a huge outdoor amphitheater that seats 11,000 people. Fun show, excellent company, beautiful weather.

Saturday morning we headed out bright and early to the zoo, despite being up late the night before. We were able to see all of our favorite things before it got too crowded. Then we headed home for lunch and naps. In the afternoon we packed a picnic dinner and hopped on our bikes to try to tackle the Forest Park trail for the first time. Jonah is still getting accustomed to the big boy bike, so we thought this would be a good test for him. His little legs carried him for many miles (we're not sure how many). I was even a little stiff when we got home, but he did great. And the little kids had a riot making all kinds of mischief in the bike trailer. A beautiful day from start to finish.

On Sunday we checked out a new church, since we've been trying to take advantage of our opportunity to church hop over the summer. We enjoyed that. In the afternoon we went to Grant's Farm. I love the history of the place, the kids love the animals, and Micah loves the free beer. Afterwards we went to My Daddy's Cheesecake for my early birthday dinner. We ate outside, and again the weather was perfect. Jonah and I decided to walk home together while Micah drove the little kids. We held hands the whole way and shared very thoughtful conversation. He's a special little guy.

Aside from our dinner out, everything we did on our "vacation" was free, which fits our budget perfectly. Micah was even able to squeeze in quite a bit of studying, so I'd say it was pretty close to a perfect weekend for us.

We are finding a lot of joy in everyday ordinary things. If you are able to really immerse yourself in the moment, something as simple as a short stroll with your six year old can be extraordinary. We are so blessed that we have the time and opportunity to do that right now. We're not taking it for granted. God is so good.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lessons Learned

Living on campus reinforces for us every day that lifelong learning is very important. Here are some of the lessons our family has learned over the last month since we arrived at our new home.

Micah: Greek lesson of the day: Aorist indicitive passive paradigm requires the temporal augment plus the present indicitive stem plus theta eta minus sigma plus the connecting vowel pattern plus the secondary active endings. (Author's note: Say what???) Micah is doing great in Greek so far. He has learned so much in four short weeks. We praise God for giving Micah wisdom and stamina to get through this challenging time.

Darci: At the moment, the lesson at the forefront of my mind is that rolling the portable dishwasher over your big toe hurts more than childbirth and ruins the pedicure. Outside of the throbbing toe, lately I have learned a lot about priorities, and what is really important. The material things that I thought I might miss, I don't. We miss our family and friends just as much as we expected we would, but the webcam, e-mail and Facebook help a lot. I have learned that my kids are amazing, each in their own way. And, I have learned that I love spending every minute of every day with them a lot more than I thought I would.

Jonah: A very exciting lesson learned was how to skilfully ride his bike without training wheels. Once he got over the fear of falling, within ten minutes he was riding standing up and trying to do jumps. This led his Dad to say "woo hoo!", and his Mom to say, "whoa!!!" Thankfully God gifts parents with complimentary skills that help keep kids safe, but entertained at the same time.

Joel: Within days of our arrival, Joel had conquered the baby diapers once and for all. He's strictly a big boy pants guy now, and we couldn't be more pleased. Praise God for potty training!

Maci: With all of our opportunities to play outside, Maci has developed a hilarious wobbly run. She was merely a fast walker before, but now she's almost able to keep up with the boys. She's also learning new words every day, and showing off her personality more and more all the time.

We're all learning to make new friends, and about the blessings of being in the center of the Lord's will. Our prayer is that we won't merely rest on the fact that we left everything we knew behind to follow Him, but that we'll learn and grow in new ways all the time as we continue to seek His face.

Thanks for reading. Blessings to you and yours!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

These are a few of our favorite things...

It's been three weeks since we moved to our new home. I'm the kind that jumps in with both feet and gets familiar with the surroundings right away. Therefore, we've had more than our share of fun in the past few weeks. I thought I would highlight (with pictures even!) some of our favorite adventures so far.

Maci: Anywhere that she can find chocolate, she's happy. Needless to say, she's ecstatic here. We have started a tradition of going outside after naps to have a popsicle for snack. We made some homemade chocolate pudding popsicles one day. It ended up even worse than it looks.

Joel: "The bells," hands down. Each Tuesday evening in June, the campus offers concerts on their carillon, or bell tower. The highlight of the evening for Joel is that after the concert, there is a tour of the tower where you can climb to the top and even help ring the biggest bell. We have
been to the top of the tower five times so far (including during two campus tours), with our sixth and last visit for a while scheduled for this Tuesday.

Jonah: The Science Center was fun, and we all love that it's free. It's near Forest Park, very close to campus. Forest Park also houses the zoo, several museums, Turtle Park, great walking trails, etc. It's a great spot. Also, during our first bell tower concert, we had our first Ted Drewes frozen custard experience. Jonah quickly became a fan.

Darci: We live in a park. What more do I need to say? We explore as much of the 80 acres as we can every day. One of the many favorite places the kids like to visit is the fountain. We've also been enjoying our new shark pool. I'm so thankful to have so much time to spend together.

Micah: His favorite, least favorite, and everything in between is learning Greek, because that's all he does. He's doing great at it, so the time has been well spent. He does make sure to leave at least a little time for snuggling with us, though.

We're looking forward to see what new adventures are waiting around the bend for us. Although our lives are very different than they were a few short weeks ago, we feel so blessed to be on this journey. God is good, all the time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Blessed Beyond Measure

"My life is a dream," Jonah announced at dinner tonight, while eating his favorite tater tot casserole. Here we are, unemployed, living on a shoestring, we can't get our house to close, we miss our friends and family like crazy, and we'll hardly see Micah for the next ten weeks, but nonetheless, I have to agree with Jonah. Our last nine days here have been nothing short of amazing.

We have met so many incredible people here who jump at the chance to open their hearts and homes to us. Our neighbors have shared their possessions with us, befriended our children, and become our new community in every sense of the word. We have benefitted from the generosity of others through donations of food, and we were able to treat the kids to a shopping spree at the campus second hand store for a grand total of $2.75.

Our kitchen cabinets are piled high, our closets contain enough hand-me-downs to last for years, our gas tanks are full, and our cups runneth over. We truly are blessed to overflowing. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. We really can feel the prayers. Many blessings from our family to yours.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Where to begin...

I'm a little too tired mentally and physically to be terribly eloquent here, but I'll touch on a few highlights of our first few days in our new home. The actual travel went well. The kids were angels. The unloading was a little rougher than expected, but not too bad. We have spent the last two days trying to balance the need to unpack and organize with the need to get the kids accustomed to their new surroundings. So, we've done some sightseeing, played outside a lot, and met lots of neighbors.

We're doing pretty well with getting settled. We still have a long way to go to get everything put where we want it, but we're very comfortable for now. We like our place, and we're having fun in our new hometown. Tomorrow we have our first play date with other seminary families, and we're going to a concert on the campus grounds. As long as the weather holds out it should be a fun day.

Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Goodbye 2542

It's been a very productive Memorial Day weekend for us, thanks in large part to Grandma and Grandpa and Ash and Coley letting us loan out the kids for a while. We put a lot more stuff than we expected into storage, and took another big load up to my sister's for the garage sale. (Thanks Che Che and U.N.!) We have several boxes packed, and things are starting to look a little empty here at 2542.

We finally were notified of the actual unit number of our new home. Being able to picture where we'll actually be has really motivated me to get things going. The move is only 12 days away now. My checklist now has more things crossed off than are left to do. There are still some decisions to be made about what to take, store, sell, and buy when we get there. I'm praying for wisdom for that.

I'm also praying that we'll get some sleep around here. On Friday night, Joely decided to revert back to the sleep schedule he kept for his first two years - none. I can't even count how many times we had to take him back to his bed the last three nights. He knows something is up with us, but can't quite process what it is. I pray for peace and understanding for him.

We wish you a very happy Memorial Day. Blessings to you and yours.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Do Not Doubt

Oh, the pressure's on in our household. We move in less than three weeks now. We haven't really started packing, we don't have an actual address yet, we're not completely convinced that our house sale is going to come off without a hitch, we don't have my fall job plans or childcare lined up yet... But, the Lord tells us, "you must believe and not doubt."

What we have accomplished is a great deal of organization and purging of belongings. We have said a lot of goodbyes already. Micah's workin' the graph paper to determine what we'll have room for and where it will go. I have lists upon lists to get through, although quite a few items are already crossed off. We're not getting much sleep and the nerves are a smidge raw, but otherwise we're hanging in there. We have received some great encouragement in the last few days. We know that we will have so many people praying for us along this journey. Even so, it seems that as soon as we have peace about one area, something else pops up that we weren't expecting.

So, for today, we're clinging to this: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." James 1:2-6

Thank you for your partnership with us along this journey. Blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nightmares and Catching Puke

I apologize for being indelicate, but we've been dealing with a lot of throw up and other unsavory substances at our house this week. Ironically, Micah had a nightmare Saturday night that he got 15 minutes notice on Sunday morning that he needed to preach the Mother's Day sermon at church. So, I asked him... If you really did have to preach that sermon with 15 minutes notice, what would you say? He said... I'd talk about catching puke. I requested further explanation.

Micah said that the Lord's heart is a lot like that of a mother with a sick child. If anyone but your own child threw up, you would back away immediately. But, when your own child is sick, you rush in there with cupped hands at the first sign of nausea. That's what the Lord does for us when we're dealing with all kinds of ick in our lives. He wants to be there like the concerned mother with cupped hands, offering to bear the brunt of the load. I'm not sure that analogy will ever really make it to a pulpit, but it was an interesting picture for me to ponder.

As for us, this week we pray for health. That Joely will overcome his ick, and that the rest of us will stay healthy. We have a big few days coming up. We have a lot of goodbyes to say this weekend. We're thankful that no matter what we do or where we go, we will always have the One who has the whole world in His hands right there with us. God is good, all the time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

GREAT Fridays!

I have always loved Fridays, but the last two have been extra special for our family. Last Friday after a great deal of prayer and preparation, Micah passed his last seminary qualifier exam - eight whole days before the deadline! Now he is a certified beginner in the study of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Christian Doctrine. Bring on Greek and Hebrew! I pray for continued stamina and wisdom for Micah as he has SO much more studying to do in the next few years.

As for this Friday, earlier tonight we signed a contract on our home! We took the for sale sign out of the yard, and are so thankful to be able to spend this weekend doing something other than getting ready for an open house. Farmer's Market, fishing, and baseball here we come! We pray that all goes well with the paperwork and closing details.

The move is only five short weeks away. Things are coming together, and our anxiety level is staying pretty low for now. Our next big project is packing. We pray for physical strength for that!

Blessings to you and yours.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What a difference a year makes

Here I am, sitting at an open house in attempt to sell our home. One year and two days ago I never would have imagined that happening...

One year ago yesterday, on our tenth anniversary, Micah told me that the Lord has been tugging at his heart for years to go into the ministry. That started an unbelievable chain of events that is still only beginning to come together.

Over the summer, we visited the seminary, got most of Micah's admissions requirements out of the way, we told our families and employers that we were planning to move, and we started mentally adjusting to that life change. Micah started an interim position as our church's Business Director in August to help prepare him for church work, which has been a wonderful blessing. Micah took his first pre-seminary course in the fall. I submitted my resignation from the YMCA in January. Micah and I both started looking for our replacements in February. March 1 we put our house up for sale. In the middle of March we went back to St. Louis for another visit.

Yesterday, on our 11th anniversary, we got some disappointing news that a wonderful future seminary family we had gotten to know had decided not to make the move after all. That made us question a few things. Then the mail arrived, and in it was confirmation that the on-campus housing we had requested is available for us. So, we sent off a sizeable deposit check and felt encouraged to stay the course. We are planning to move the first weekend in June.

All of these details I mentioned are just demographics. These details pale in comparison to the unseen. What the Lord has been doing in our hearts and in those around us has been amazing. He has worked so many things together for good already, and we know His grace has only begun to be revealed to us.

We will treasure the next seven weeks here in our wonderful hometown, with our beloved family and friends. We know we will miss them terribly. But, we have faith that the Lord has so many blessings in store for us - more than we can even imagine. God is good, all the time.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Great Trip!

We're fresh off of a whirlwind trip. 72 hours of literally running from appointment to appointment, hoping to knock out as many pre-move details as we could before we started missing the kids so much that we could no longer stay away.

We were blessed to be able to meet and spend time with some of our "cyber-friends," the Thompsons and the Rays. They're all even more delightful in person than they are in cyberspace. We visited a church, Jonah's school, Joel's preschool, I had two job interviews, we opened a bank account, and learned a lot about the campus and seminary life. We feel like we now have a good grasp on this journey that's about to commence.

Grandma and Grandpa survived their stay with the kids, although they admitted they were ready to give them back to us. The kids were really happy to see us, and we were glad to be home. Although, we do realize that "home" is somewhat of a relative term right now.

Now our prayer is that our house will sell soon, and that things will come together with my job search. We have faith, and a sense of peace, that everything will work out just fine. God is good, all the time.

Blessings to you and yours!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here it is, February 15th. Another Valentine's Day come and gone. And, that's actually just fine with me. Traditionally, I have hated Valentine's Day. Way too many expectations, way too many opportunities for hurt feelings, and way too much sugar. I'm sure everyone could rattle off at least a handful of bad Valentine's Day memories. I could too, but for today, I am going to bask in my newfound appreciation, if not love, for this holiday.

I now take joy in making Valentine's Day all about the kids. Yesterday we made heart shaped pancakes with strawberry sauce and whipped cream for breakfast while the kids opened their trinkets. (Etch-a-sketches all around!) The kids drew pictures for each other, Jonah made little love notes for his mom and dad, and we had lots of hugs and kisses. Jonah thinks the most special thing in the world is to do "cheers" with sparkling grape juice in clear plastic glasses, so we made a nice dinner and had a toast. We ended the evening by putting the kids to bed and watching the Fireproof DVD that I bought Micah for the occasion.

So, as it turned out, we had virtually no expectations, no hurt feelings, and just a little sugar. I loved every minute of it. I hope you had similar success on this holiday. Blessings, and love, to you and yours!`

Monday, February 2, 2009

What does the groundhog know anyway?

Happy Groundhog Day! I should really research the historical significance of this day, because if you ask me, spring has already sprung in sunny Lincoln, NE! After two straight days of being outside without a coat on, and forecasts calling for the 50's again later this week, I'm thinking it's about time to bring out the baby pool!

To make spring's arrival official, I have started my spring cleaning. I have cleaned out nearly all of our closets, I have packed up and given away lots of things we don't need, and I'm feeling a little lighter in mind and spirit. Several months ago I spoke with a wise seminary wife who said, "if you don't love it, don't move it." So, I'm trying to take that advice to heart as we prepare for our move which is now only four short months away.

I'm sure as soon as my spring cleaning is done, I'll be smacked back to reality by the inevitable blizzard, and I'll realize that winter still does have Lincoln in its sights for a while yet. Until then, I'll enjoy the January/February thaw. I hope you are too! Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Our "baby boy" turned a whopping six years old this week. He's an amazing kid, and we're so thankful. I can't believe he's such a big boy already, although I can barely remember life without him. The night before he was born, I was sitting on our living room floor when we should have been driving to the hospital, crying in disbelief that I was really going to be a mom in a few hours. I had no idea what I was doing. Still don't, really. I just love them with all that I've got, do all that I can to keep them safe physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and try to have fun along the way. Of course there have been some bumps in the road, but by the grace of God, we're weathering the storms.

Our prayer is that we will be able to savor every moment with our kids, because time really does go by so fast. We're so excited about the years to come, and look forward to many new adventures in the future.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Here we are, send us...

Welcome to our very first blog. (Thanks for the encouragement, Kim!) We intend for this to be a snapshot into our lives as we prepare for the journey that will lead our family into the ministry.

As you probably know, we are planning to move in June so Micah can study for his Masters of Divinity degree. Coming to this decision has been a long spiritual and emotional journey for us. But, in the end, we are willing to step out in faith and say "here we are Lord. Send us."

The thought of leaving family, friends, jobs, and a church we love can be overwhelming at times. But, God is faithful, and He keeps opening doors for us to walk through. And, He provides encouragement in the most unexpected of places. Even this morning, as we attended the funeral of a wonderful woman with an amazing heart for the Lord, we felt humbled that we will have the opportunity to serve those who have lost loved ones in the future. It would be a blessing for Micah to lead a service that praised and glorified the Lord in the way that the service did this morning. Again and again, we are reminded that God is good, all the time.

As we go through this journey, both as we prepare for our move, and then adjust to seminary life, we would cherish your prayers. And, we would love to know how we can be praying for you as well.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for being a part of our family's life. God bless!

Darci and Micah