Sunday, September 27, 2009

Some family updates

Well, as a friend pointed out...I'm "officially" now into the third decade of my life as I turned 31 yesterday. It was a pretty good day. It started a little earlier than I would have liked as Brian had his first soccer (his favorite sport) game and had to be there early for pictures. It was what you would expect for little kid soccer; the coach yelling, "Spread out" and the kids all bunching together around the ball. It is comical to watch if anyone hasn't lately. They get about 8-10 kids around the ball and one kid kicks it as hard as he can. It bounces off about four of them and then goes out in some random direction -reminds me of pinball - the kids then chase it down and it begins again. Brian's team had a few all star eight year olds though - they are really good - and so they managed to win 3-1 and Brian was excited. All the parents make a tunnel after the game for both teams to run through...which seemed to excite the kids more than playing...and then they had I think both teams were happy at that point (win or lose). The afternoon was spent mostly relaxing...did a little homework...and then Red Robin for dinner. Mmmm, bottomless fries, burger w/ an egg, and freckled lemonade. So good...I haven't eaten so many fries in a long time. Back home and somehow fell asleep on the couch at 9...all in all a good day.

Kelly has now master how to pull up youtube veggie tales on my phone (I bookmarked it but she does the rest)...with play by play. "I push the world, then I push the star, then push veggie tales, then I wait for the red thing (that's the loading bar)". She even knows how to scroll up and down to pick the ones she wants to watch. So this is one of her favorite things to do now and so my phone is constantly requested. She seems slightly more perplexed by Allison's because it isn't a touch screen...despite her best efforts to prove otherwise. Her other new endeavor (Allison's really) is ballet class. But despite my wife's best efforts Kelly stands around and watches during class. Allison can convince her to dance here at home, but she seems a little to shy with the other kids and her teachers. Oh well, we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Aside from trying to encourage Kelly's dancing career, Allison has been enjoying her linguistics class...had a big project due this week though...and is really enjoying that I am a year older than her...for the next two weeks at least.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time with friends and the fam

It's been a busy but outstanding last couple weeks...sorry for the lack of updates. We got to see a ton of old friends during that time.

First, Pete came down from Michigan to visit us. It was quite a privilege that he drove down here to see us and we had a great time hanging out. We visited a number of places around Columbia...many of which I have never been to before. We found some great places to eat...I just took Allison back to Hudson's BBQ b/c it was so good. Sorry, choice for sides was still french fries and mash potatoes w/ gravy (so good).

Last weekend found us on a quick trip up to Michigan to hang out with family and a few others. It was great to be able to hang out with a friends and be able to hear about what is going on up in Michigan and to encourage one in particular who was going through a tough time. I also got to hang out with many of Allison's and my family. We stayed with her parents, who also invited my down to stay for the weekend. Allison's brother pointed out that this gave a 2:1 grandparent to grandchild much spoiling was done :) Saturday we made it up to East Lansing for the sad football game...but the good side was that I saw my little bro and sis for their birthdays that were coming up. We went out w/ my parents for Sushi and then hung out that evening at Bernie's house...thanks to her for putting us up so that we could see some more friends at church the next morning. It was fun talking to them and catching up. I also heard that my brother has been going to a few things and confusing people as he looks like me...although they all agree that they were slightly confused b/c he looks younger and ripped (I'd like to say more ripped...but...yeah).

All in all, it was a great trip, we'd love to have seen more people, but it was a short and focused trip. I also got to listen to some great messages by Ravi Zacharias on the driver up and down. I recommend them to anybody on a long road trip.

The one hard part was that several friends are going through some really tough problems with loved ones lately; deaths, illnesses, etc. Many of them are quite personal, so I don't want to share here...but if you get a moment, please lift them up in prayer.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thoughts of back home

1 Thessalonians 2:17 "But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while--in person, not in spirit--were all the more eager with great desire to see your face."

What do you do when you are a thousand miles away and one of your closest friends is going through what is probably the hardest time of his life? As hard as it was leaving family and friends to come down here I feel it is harder still when something like this happens and my first reaction is a desire to be able to run over to his house so that I can be there for him. I have been blessed so far with the opportunity to make it back home for the special occasions - Laura and Will's graduations - but now something sudden happened. I think I'm truly learning what Paul was feeling when he wrote about missing the Thessalonians.

But there is encouragement, as Paul said, we may be far away in person, but please know that ya'll are not far from us in Spirit. We miss you guys and constantly pray for you guys. It is awesome to be able to still connect with the father to bring our concerns before him. You will never be far from us in spirit. We are praying that God will comfort all involved in this situation. Because in the end, although we can help, it is truly God who is "the Father of mercies and God of all comfort" (2 Cor 1:3) And there is more, despite that I cannot be there for this friend, it is encouraging to have talked with some other close friends who I know are gathering around him to support him. What a blessing it is to be able to see God use others to do what I am not able to do myself.

To add to that, cell phones, texting, skype, and other things help to bring us a just a little closer to home. Looking back at the title, I find it funny because I am sitting on the couch typing this in my house. Yet, I think that we still consider our home to be in Michigan and we want you all to know that we carry you in our hearts...sharing both your joys and your sorrows. I have to thank God that he has given us this time of transition - moving a short distance away before we move far away - it has been a blessing to help us adjust.