Friday, February 25, 2011

For my sister ;)

Well, my sister told me she found my blog and read all of my posts a few days ago. I apologized because I knew it has been close to a year since I last updated. My excuse? I haven't figured out how to write posts from my iPad. My laptop kicked the bucket last August and the most wonderful, gracious, generous people surprised me with an iPad! (I had no idea what one even was until mine came in the mail!) I am able to comment on other blogs, but not post on those that I am an author. I am sure there is some techie answer, but I just don't get it. Alas, I am using my husband's laptop to write for now!

It seems like I wrote those other posts a lifetime ago. The events that were at the forefront of our lives are just a distance memory (and an old blog post) now. When reading back over them, I can remember many of our conversations about a very difficult time for us. The uncertainty. I was pretty terrified and desperate and nervous. My husband was finishing up five years of seminary, after four years of undergrad, and we were going to be homeless and jobless. (Homeless in a loose sense here because we had family and friends that were offering to help us.) Gone were the days of dreaming up some perfect place, fantasizing about call night and everyone gasping when they heard where we would get to live. It was tough to swallow. Missing out on the main event of your seminary career, packing up everything and not knowing how long it would stay packed, saying goodbye to friends who had made the same uphill hike through seminary but who knew where they were going now. I suppose more than anything it was just disappointing. And quite humbling. Nothing says swallow your pride like moving back into your old room in your parents' basement. With your husband. And kids. We will be forever grateful to our family and friends for helping us through those months.
And now I am speaking of it all in the past. Months and months ago. With a smile on my face! It was yet another learning experience in patience (I think that's lesson #9,854 that I've gotten in patience) and wow was it worth the wait. God has blessed us with a fantastic call. I am still in awe when I think about it, and there has been plenty of time for the newness to wear off! I could have never hand picked or even been able to imagine a place so perfect for us. We are in rural mid Iowa, surrounded by rolling hills and hardworking, caring people. There are several LCMS churches within a 30 mile radius, even a few of my husband's classmates. The church is just across the street from our parsonage (though somehow the kids and I are usually late) and the church office is in our walkout basement. Most of the members farm and/or own livestock and when we first moved in, it seemed as though every member had a vegetable garden from which to share! The house is only ten years old and has plenty of space for us to be creative and spread out. I haven't even felt much cabin fever through the winter because there is always something to do and the rooms downstairs to wander through and plan. It has been a lifesaver to be able to send the kids up and down the stairs, alternating between playing in the basement rooms and the upstairs rooms. Needless to say, their keyboards and music CDs are kept in the basement playroom. We have big plans for a vegetable garden and hopefully strawberries and berry bushes.
The kids love it here, too. They are growing like crazy and Cade has finally stopped asking when we are moving next (5 times in his 4 years of life, poor kid!) and now says he hopes we can stay here for a long time! The church has a big Sunday school so they are becoming friends with lots of kids and Ava has several adults wrapped around her finger. Cade goes to Wednesday school for two hours a week and both kids come with us to Ladies Aid meetings so they are learning a lot about interacting with all different ages. The church was trying to find a pastor's secretary before we came and after just a couple months, I took the job. So far it is working out pretty well for me to work in the office a couple hours a few times each week. We certainly need that bit of extra money I make. Most days it feels like I am constantly busy but accomplish nothing. The downside to letting the kids play everywhere in a big house is the mess! Something always needs wiped up, picked up, swept up, washed up. Homeschooling is going well, though I do wish I was much more organized and scheduled. And I still need to figure out the specifics for laws in Iowa. I don't think we will ever strictly follow a curriculum, though I do believe they are nice guidelines. Perhaps Ava will benefit from one, but Cade is definitely a self motivated learner. If he wants to know it, he will read about it and ask questions! Anytime I have wanted to teach him something that he wasn't interested in, it has just resulted in me being frustrated and him wanting to go play something else. I don't want to dampen his excitement for knowledge in anyway, so I am more than willing to let most of his 'book learning' come from him sit in his bed at night for hours (and hours!!) reading books and educational magazines. Today he told me a bible story that he read last night I had never heard before! I have a feeling that this blog will be turning into an 'adventures in homeschooling' blog!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Our friends from the seminary invited us to be their 'guests' at the zoo. They have a family pass that includes 2 friends for free. Since Ava is under 2 years of age, all four of us went to the zoo and we only had to pay for Cade ($8). Pretty awesome deal! It was kind of chilly and very hazy. The local schools had a 2 hour delay because of fog. The weather report said it would rain most of the morning and afternoon, but luckily it held off for the 3 hours we were there! I can't even believe that we've been here for 4 years and never made it to the zoo. Our friends go almost every week, so their kids were showing us around and speeding through everything. It turned out to be a good thing that we were moving along quickly because I think if we were on our own, it would have taken us all day to see most of the animals.

Kids and friends on a comodo dragon statue. Cade wouldn't go near it until we assured him that it wasn't real.

Ava's first carousel ride! She had a stunned look on her face the whole time, but when the ride was over, she didn't want to get off!

Big ole gator!

We took a train ride around a little lake. This friendly guy was just outside the station for kids to sit in.

The best part of the day - the goats. They stood on tree stumps in their fenced in area and waited for people to come and brush them.

The goats were very gentle and quiet animals, though I saw them nibbling Ava's fingers a few times. She really enjoyed all the animals and when she saw a new animal, she would let out her goofy little laugh or 'oooo' or 'whas at?' She learned how to roar like a lion and 'oo oo ah ah' like a monkey!

Finally persuaded Cade into the stroller for a little bit with a snack.

We had such a great time and the kids did really well. Cade did not want to leave even though it was definitely lunch time (and nap time!).

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Amazing. Nick and I were highly encouraged to get away for a while and spend some time with each other during this time of stress and change. It sounded nice, but we are certainly in no position to be spending money on anything more than necessities at this point. Low and behold, the individual who was encouraging us to take a vacation gave us a card that we later discovered contained the funds to do just that. We were totally blown away! We're heading to Hocking Hills (south in central Ohio) for two nights after Nick graduates. We'll be taking Ava along and leaving Cade with my parents. We're excited to relax in such a beautiful place. (We're also looking forward to spending time with just Ava. We've decided we would like to make it a tradition to spend time with each of our children individually.)
Time is flying by as our weeks are quickly filling up with lots of activities in the next month. Friends visiting, babysitting, going to the zoo, family wedding, Nick preaching every Sunday, Nick's graduation from seminary, packing to move to my parents', our newly added trip to Hocking Hills, and Nick's family's vacation to Kelley's Island!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


So Nick, along with 20 of his classmates, will be a 'part' of the call service tonight, but they will not be receiving calls. They will be recognized and walk across the stage. Thankfully we were already planning to attend so my parents will be here to watch our kids. I have mixed feelings about them being made to participate, but I suppose it will be good for everyone to see the guys still waiting patiently for a call.

Now what? We wait...AGAIN. Maybe there will be a call for Nick tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe next month, maybe this fall, maybe ? As of now, we are planning to move into my parents' basement. God bless them for taking us in. Nick will hopefully find a job while we are there. And we will wait! We will spend a week or so with Nick's family during their vacation on Kelley's Island. Hopefully that is relaxing and enjoyable for our family.

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Here's an idea, let's try to take a family picture right before naptime. Ready? Go.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's coming...

Pretty much the only thing on our mind right now, with the exception of 8 million other things, is the CALL SERVICE. April 28 we will finally find out where Nick will be a pastor. The culmination of 5 years of work. So much has happened in 5 years that it's impossible to remember it all. I'm sure I could write a book on just those years if only my mind would allow me to recall it. 2 dogs, 2 babies, 4 moves, 5 cars (seriously), 5 jobs (maybe more), countless churches, friends, and family involved. All trying to get us to where God wants us! I'm not sure how it will feel to move someplace and know that it 'could' be where we stay. For more than 2 years in a row. That idea just doesn't sink in and I'm sure it won't sink in until we are actually living in the same place for several years. Or maybe not until my kids are teenagers. Or going to college. Probably when they are married.

There is a lot of stress and anticipation leading up to the service, but in reality, we have no control. And that's a good thing. Sure we have our likes and dislikes. I might feel initial disappointment or excitement when they announce the city and state. I'll probably cry at some point (hopefully at home AFTER the service) but it will just be a releasing of all the emotional build up. It's going to be hard. Moving always is, especially when it's away from family and familiarity. I won't be upset, though. God has a fabulous sense of humor, as He has proved thus far in my life, so I plan to enjoy the ride. I know people want to know where WE want to go, what WE are hoping for, but honestly, MY hopes and dreams of the past have been totally blown away. I never wanted any of the things I have today, but they are exactly what God had in store for me and my life and it is perfect. And so, where He will call my husband is just another twist in our roller coaster of life.

I pray that God would grant us peace and contentment. I pray that He would help our families to be understanding.

Saturday, March 27, 2010