Saturday, December 18, 2010

"C" What We've Been Up To!

We have had a great couple of months. Sometimes I find it hard to narrow down what I should share in our blog posts, so more often than not I just don't do one! In honor of the Christmas season, I decided to limit myself to only subjects that begin with "C"!

Carlyle Lake: We were encouraged to do something special during Micah's fall break in November, so we returned to one of our favorite camping spots. It was too cold for the tent, so we rented a cabin for the weekend. We hiked, bird-watched, sat by the fire, and watched the sunrise. We had a wonderful time, and we can't wait to go back once the weather warms up.

Chair: Micah convinced me to make a Craigslist purchase of a new/old leather recliner. He said it would be nice for him to study in. I can't vouch for how much studying is being done in it when I'm not home, but I know it's great for snuggling!

Christmas tree: Anyone who has ever been to St. Louis knows that Ted Drewes has the best frozen custard around. Last winter, we discovered by accident that they also sell Christmas trees! We went back for round 2 this year, and got ourselves a very nice little tree.

Christ Child: Last but certainly not least, we are celebrating the birth of our savior. We had fun at the seminary Christmas party, and got dressed up to pose in the manger scene.
Back at home, we've been enjoying a "progressive" manger scene, inspired by a faculty family. Our stable started out empty after Thanksgiving, with just the animals feeding at the manger. Then the Mary and Joseph figures made their way towards the stable. The shepherds are tending their flocks in the hallway, and the wisemen are still in the "East," also known as the dining room. Baby Jesus will appear in the manger on Christmas, and then the shepherds and wisemen will come to the stable to worship Him. The kids have really gotten into the story this year!

We pray that you and your family will be blessed this Christmas season.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sharing About Shutterfly!

I pride myself on being a bargain hunter. When I heard that I could get some free Christmas cards by sharing some information about Shutterfly, I had to jump on it! We've been sending out a lot of Christmas cards as we try to keep in touch with family and friends back home, as well as the new friends we've made here.

After receiving so many cute photo cards over the years, I started noticing that most of my favorites said "Shutterfly" on the back. A few years ago I decided to try it for myself for the first time. I found the process to be very easy. I can't wait to try out one of the new designs this year. Some of my favorites are the square ones that allow space for text, such as a top ten list of memorable moments from the last year.

In addition to cards, Shutterfly also has some neat ideas for photo gifts. Check it out!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Festivities!

I haven't done a new post since we got back from our summer vacation! We've been having a great fall. September kicked off with our big girl turning three. This led us to bring her new/old big girl bed up from the basement. Here she is reveling in her entirely hand-me-down ensemble (thanks to cousin Mattie and some generous neighbors).

Then it was time for birthday cake. It has become our tradition that Micah always decorates the kids' cakes. He's had a lot of practice with rockets, motorcycles and trains, but this was new for him...

Before Micah started fall classes, he promised that he would take Joel to visit the Harley-Davidson store. I think he enjoyed it.

Next was apple picking. We always need lots of apples to make caramel apples on the first day of fall and take them to the neighbors.

One of our favorite events is the Balloon Glow. The night before a big hot air balloon race, they inflate the balloons and fire up the burners. The pictures can't do it justice. We were thankful that my parents were able to join us this year!

October brought my second half-marathon that I trained for with a group of friends. Here we are at our celebratory dinner afterwards. (I forgot that we were all supposed to wear our race shirts!)

We almost feel like we're back in Lincoln on Husker game days. There's a great pub nearby that gets packed with Husker fans, and everyone sings and cheers like we're at Memorial Stadium. On Saturdays we still get all dressed up in our red, put out the "N" flag, and watch the games with friends.

We praise God for our healthy kids, our wonderful family and friends, and the opportunity to be on this journey to serve Him. We are so blessed. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

End of Summer Fun

Our summer officially ended last week, but not before we squeezed in quite a bit of fun. The highlight was a trip to Santa Claus, Indiana where we camped at Lake Rudolph. It's right next door to Holiday World, a really fun amusement and water park. There was an excessive heat warning almost the whole time we were there, but we found some memorable ways to beat the heat. One was "the avalanche" at Santa's Candy Castle.

This was a half gallon of frozen hot chocolate. It really hit the spot!

And yes, we were able to polish off the whole thing.

We rented a golf cart to get around the enormous campground. One of our favorite activities was to just ride around and enjoy the breeze.

We went fishing at the campground pond, but Joel and Maci mostly just wanted to take in the scenery. This picture was completely candid, we didn't ask them to do this! Before getting lost in their adorableness, notice that one of the roller coasters at Holiday World extends out over the pond in the background. We got a kick out of listening to the riders scream as they zipped by.

Once it cooled off enough to finally make a fire, we enjoyed roasting marshmallows. We couldn't end our trip before we did that! I included this picture, since it's apparently the only one from the whole vacation that had me in it!

After all of our fun, we were all pretty tuckered out and ready to head home.

After a day of unpacking and a few more outings, it was time for Jonah to start second grade. Here we are gathering with some of the seminary kids before we walked to school together on the first day.

Jonah was so excited to reunite with his friends from first grade, Jonathan and Leo. They all found each other within seconds of arriving on the playground.

Jonah had a great first few days of school. The rest of us are settled back into our routines too. We're looking forward to all that this next year brings, and the adventures that are to follow.

Blessings to you and yours!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

G is for Gratitude!

I'm realizing that I may have unintentionally turned this blog into sort of an electronic gratitude journal. I need to find a way to narrow down all of the things that I'm grateful for. Today I'm going to just share some of the blessings that start with G!

Guitar: Micah has wanted to learn to play the guitar for a while. For Father's Day, we found him a great deal on a guitar and some instructional materials, and he's been trying to teach himself some chords. This past Friday night, Jonah and I had a mother/son date to see The Sound of Music at the Muny. I love the song "Edelweiss," and we've been humming it off and on since Friday. This afternoon Micah taught himself how to play Edelweiss on the guitar and sang it for me. Golly gee, do I love that guy.

Go Fish: Today our favorite three week old was baptized. For her baptism gift, we gave her a copy of our most beloved kids' CD: "Snooze" by the group Go Fish. They're a Christian a cappella trio that sings beautiful kids' songs. Those songs have been played countless times in our home, we all have them memorized, and several of them remind us of special moments in our kids' lives. We played those songs again this morning before we left for church. Gave us goosebumps.

Girls: Specifically, the one that lives at our house. Now, don't get me wrong, I am absolutely crazy about my boys, but there's just something about that girl. She's only 2 ("I have a birthday coming up," she keeps telling me), but she is every bit of a girly girl already. Before attending the baptism this morning, she asked to have her fingers and toes painted, a ponytail with a bow in her hair, her prettiest dress on, and she had to try on nearly every pair of shoes she owns to find just the right look. However, mere minutes before this she was delighted to smear her entire face with chocolate. Micah made us banana/Nutella crepes for breakfast this morning. Maci decided to skip the crepes and bananas and go right for the Nutella jar. Gorgeous.

Grandparents: Last weekend Micah's parents and Grandma were here visiting. Next weekend my parents come to visit. It's so fun for the kids to have their grandparents here. They get so excited to see them, and count down the days on the calendar until they arrive. We always wish they could stay longer, but it just makes us look forward to the next visit with great anticipation.

Garden: The seminary installed several community garden plots this spring, and our family was able to plant one of them. We have cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and herbs like you wouldn't believe. We've been having so much fun sharing our harvest with other families, and coming up with new ways to use all our veggies.

We're so grateful for all of the gifts we've been given. God is good!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Perfect Saturday

Our family had a great day yesterday. After being up late Friday night at the seminary BBQ, we slept in - past 7:00! After breakfast we headed out to our typical Saturday morning stops at the seminary Food Bank and Re-Sell-It Shop. For a mere $6 we came home with arm loads of goodies, including a new/old "big girl" stroller for Maci. While we were out, we ran in to lots of friends, and by the time we got home, we had gathered a party of ten people who wanted to go visit Grant's Farm.

For those who aren't familiar, Grant's Farm is one of the many wonderful family attractions in St. Louis that charges NO admission!
We had a great time riding the tram, seeing the elephant and other exotic animals.
All of us love petting the Clydesdales before we leave.

After all the walking in the heat, we all took a nap when we got home. Then, Micah arranged for our friends to spend the evening with the kids so he could take me on an early birthday date! We had appetizers at PF Chang, dessert at The Cheesecake Factory, and a little shopping in between. I scored a purse and earrings from the clearance section that will be wrapped up as my "big surprises" next week.

At the end of the day, I felt so blessed to be living in this community, surrounded by wonderful friends, and married to my favorite guy. I feel blessed by those things every day. It's so important to take joy in the little things. I know I do!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Goodbyes and Hellos

We moved to the seminary one year ago today. Over the last couple of weeks I've been reflecting on all of the goodbyes and hellos that we've said in the last year, and the many more we'll be saying in the next few years.

Living at the seminary has been full of blessings since the moment we arrived. We live in a community where everyone is so supportive of each other. We have friends literally surrounding us. Our kids have always have lots of playmates nearby. Micah is able to learn about theology from brilliant professors who challenge and encourage him. I have a great job, we really enjoy our church here, and there is always plenty of fun things to do. This life fits us like a glove.

In the midst of so much joy, there are the occasional sorrows. Lots of hellos and goodbyes go with the territory here. First, we had to say goodbye to our families when we left the home we knew. But, we have gotten lots of visits, and it's always so nice to say hello again. My whole family was here this weekend, which was so much fun. Then we had to say goodbye, which doesn't get any easier over time.

What does make things a little easier is having our friends here that are as special to us as family. But, since no one stays here forever, there will come a time to say goodbye to all of them. The first few families have already left, and several more will be leaving in the coming weeks. Then there will be new families moving in. We look forward to the opportunity to meet new friends over the next few months.

I have attached some pictures of our weekend:
My family at Missouri Botanical Gardens.

The cousins at the pond.

Our family at the top of the Arch.

With that I'll leave you, not with a goodbye, but with a see you soon. Blessings to you and yours!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Marathon Day!

I have finished the race!

About six months ago, I got the idea that maybe I should try to walk/run a half marathon sometime. I didn't give that any more thought until a few weeks later when I saw an announcement that some people at the seminary were forming a half marathon walking training group. I still didn't give it too much thought, but then a couple of friends convinced me I should do it. So, off we went.

Since the middle of January, we have been walking up to an hour each night four nights a week, and doing long walks on the weekends. Those started at three miles and worked up to ten. Our group had so much fun getting to know each other, and having the support of other women was wonderful. After all of our training, we were ready for the big day today.

My day started at 5am. I got all of the appropriate gear together and met up with our group in our usual meeting spot. After prayer and pictures, we were chauffered down to the starting line by one of the husbands. It was a beautiful morning. We hit the porta-potties and went to stand underneath the enormous American flag that was hanging from two fire truck ladders. Then, we were off. It was a delightful walk, for the most part. Beautiful scenery, great company, nice weather. We ran a little, but mostly stuck to power walking. We were fine with our finish time, but mostly just glad to be done! The best part of the whole morning, though, was seeing my sweet family at the finish line. They had brought me flowers and the kids had made signs for me.

After some R&R, our group met up with our families for dinner. It was a very nice way to cap off a truly enjoyable and memorable experience. We're already talking about doing another half marathon in the fall, but we'll see!

I feel so thankful, for so many reasons. That my family showed such patience while I was doing all of those training walks. That we all got through this process with only minor injuries. And, most certainly that God was with us literally every step of the way.

To my wonderful group of ladies: Shayna, Kelsey, Molly, Heidi, and Laura. You all have blessed me in so many ways. I praise God for your friendship, encouragement, and support. I am so grateful that the Lord brought us together. I adore all of you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

Growing up in Nebraska, you often heard March's weather described as "in like a lion, out like a lamb." I don't find the weather here to ever be anything to complain about, but the phrase fairly accurately describes our family life over the last month. March started with Micah in California for two weeks for a cross-cultural trip, and we missed him a lot. On March 1st I started working full-time, which was an adjustment for all of us after my previous 3 day a week schedule. Once Micah came home and we started getting used to my new role, things improved.

The month got better and better as the weather grew more gorgeous. Micah's spring quarter of classes has brought a little less stress and time commitment than before. I'm enjoying my half marathon training so much. We fired up our backyard campfire with the neighbors for the first time this year. Jonah had a great spring break, and got to go on all kinds of exciting field trips with his school program. Then we got to have a fun visit with Micah's brother and his family. The month will end with my beloved turning 35, and a forecasted high of 80 degrees.

We're so looking forward to going home for Easter this weekend. It will be nice to catch up with family and friends. We wish you all a blessed Holy Week, and pray that you'll have time to reflect on the sacrifice that our Lord Jesus made for every one of us, as well as the miracle of His resurrection.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We Are Loved

It's Valentine's Day today. I could do without the cards and flowers, but the following, albeit partial, list of gestures of love make our world go 'round:
  • One of our dear friends used to leave homemade cookies on our doorstep from time to time, especially for Valentine's Day. A few days ago, a sweet care package arrived from UPS, complete with the Valentine's cookies inside. Loved that.
  • One of our seminary friends is very generous about giving out hugs. When she hugs you, she hums softly, like she really means it. Love that.
  • My dear sister helps Jonah with his homework many evenings via webcam. He loves that.
  • Micah's parents have breakfast or dinner with us regularly with the help of Skype.
  • Both sets of parents have been here several times to visit us. We all love that.
  • Our beloved small group back home still includes us on their prayer request e-mails so we can stay connected.
  • There is a group of wonderful ladies who are training with me to walk the half marathon in April. Even if I'm a little tired or crabby, their encouragement makes me delighted to walk six miles.
  • Micah took me dancing Friday night at the Valentine's Ball. It reminded me of all of the college formals and fun wedding receptions that we have enjoyed together over the years.
  • The kids around here have embraced our kids completely. Yesterday was the last "Sem Kids Basketball" game of the season. Afterwards a very talented seminarian dazzled all of us with his basketball spinning and dribbling skills. Jonah was watching while peeking over the balcony railing with a couple of his best friends, and Joel was laying on the gym floor next to a bunch of adorable kiddos. I was holding Maci, sitting next to Micah. At that moment, I thought it couldn't get much better than that.
I could go on and on, but our greatest gift of love comes from our Lord and Savior. We love, because He first loved us. Blessings, and love, to you and yours.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Our blog is one year old today. I took a few minutes to read back through the snapshots of the past year. What a year it has been. We have been through many questions, found a few answers, and relied on God and each other through it all.

In my first post, I shared some clarity that attending a funeral that morning had given me. This morning I had a similar experience through an amazing conversation with someone who has experienced the pain of great loss. Here's what I know for sure now:
  • God is SO good, all the time. Even, and especially, during the trials of life.
  • Our kids are amazing, and a far greater blessing than Micah and I deserve. They love the Lord with all their hearts. Seeing a child's unquestioning faith is so humbling.
  • My husband is, always has been, and always will be the Lord's best gift to me. I still get butterflies every day.
  • The Lord will provide for all of your needs, and most of your wants, often in very unexpected ways. Sometimes you need to watch carefully or you might miss a blessing in disguise.
So, we begin a new year, and yet another new chapter in this ever-evolving journey that the Lord has placed us on. I'll be looking forward to see what adventures this next year brings. Until then, blessings to you and yours!