Sunday, June 27, 2010

Last Sunday

I know I've been writing a lot about lasts lately, but that is where we are at in the journey right now, so it's been something that we've been a lot of them. On the one hand, it's sad to say all these goodbyes, but on the ohter hand it means that we've established many strong relationships and therefore have several people and places to say goodbye to and that is a good thing.

Bethany turned 9 last Friday, so we had a birthday party for her at the pool. We combined that wit a farewell party for both the older two kids and invited their classmates to come and swim, have some goodies and ice cream, and share one last afternoon together. It was a windy but otherwise gorgeous day to be at the pool.

Today was also our last Sunday at our home church here in Sioux Center. It's been a great church home for us and we've enjoyed our years there immensely. Jessica and I have been quite involved there in a variety of ways over the years and we hope we've been a blessing to it at least as much as it has blessed us. We will miss you all!

Here are a few pictures from the party with the kids on Friday:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

As I type, I am in the midst of a good ol' fashioned midwest thunderstorm. The midnight sky is lit up like a Christmas tree, the contrast low rumble of thunder broken up by the occassional window-shaking boom, and rain falling in sheets. It's great! Unless, of course, you are my eight year old daugther, who is currently trying to sleep on the couch.

She's shook up, not just about the weather, but about leaving too. She came downstairs crying tonight and when I asked her if she was alright, she said, in between sobs, "I just want to go home." I guess reality is setting in for all of us -- this really isn't home -- for her or us. I asked her if home could be anywhere where Mom and Dad were and she wasn't sure. Sometimes, there's just no place like your own bed.

So, we'll all miss things. I'll miss the phenomonal power and awe-inspiring beauty that only a thunderstorm rolling across the prairie can provide. Bethany will miss the comfort of her bed. At least for awhile we'll miss these things and then we'll learn to appreciate new things.

Our new house will become our new home with her old bed and a new beauty will captivate my attention. Right now, though, I need to take a peek outside and watch this spectacular God-given light show. It could be the last one I see for a while on these windswept plains of Iowa.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hello's and Goodbye's

We've had a few goodbyes this week -- on Sunday, our bible study group at church threw a party for us and another couple in our group that is also leaving this summer. When we first started that group it was 1997 and all of the couples that we started with were there on Sunday except for one. When we first started we have six couples and no kids. On Sunday there were more than a dozen families represented with nearly 30 children. The Lord has blessed us all!

Tonight we had a 'goodbye grill-out' with some of our neighbors. It was great to get together with them as well. We are going to miss them. We've been blessed to have a great community to live in these last several years.

I've also had the opportunity to say some hellos this week. I received my first syallbus via e-mail from one my professors. I had a question about it, so I e-mailed him, introduced myself and asked my question. In the process my question got passed on to a few folks within the seminary so I got to send an e-mail hello to a few of them as well. I'm looking forward to introcuing myself to them and others in person.

So we have our feet firmly planted in both places right now and it all a little unsettling. We are looking forward to getting planted more permanently in a few weeks.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


We are officially out of our house and into our apartment. This apartment will serve us quite well for the next 30 days. Leaving the house was hard, though. We went back on Wednesday morning to finish up a few things and take a few pictures of us and the kids in front of the house. We said goodbye to the neighbors, shed a few tears, and drove off. It will be a long time before we own a home again which is strange to think about.

We had some great help from family and friends to get us out of there on time. Jessica had a few ladies offer to help her clean and I had a few guys help me load up and haul all of our earthly possessions away. My mom watched the kids for the day which was also a tremendous help.

Things continue to move forward on all fronts, in fact, I'm writing this entry from my brand new laptop that I just opened up and configured yesterday and I love it. This should serve me quite nicely for the next several years. If you want to know, it's a Dell Studio 17 (

Just a few minutes ago I ordered the software I need for seminary. It's called Logos, and from the way it looks it's got more bells and whistles than I could ever hope to use. It's basically a giant preacher's database that allows you to cross-reference a bunch of different commentaries, bible translations, and textual studies all at the same time in the same location. It looks pretty cool and I'm excited to learn how it works.

Tomorrow we are headed to Worthington for the weekend with my whole family. Mark & Kelli and the kids are here from Zeeland and we are going to have a fundraiser from them on Saturday morning at my parent's church. This is an opportunity for people here to meet them at an Open House and help defray some of their medical expenses associated with Ruby's care and treatment, since most of it is not covered by insurance. It will be good to be altogether one last time before we take off.

Time for some ice cream....good night!

Monday, June 7, 2010

One more night...

Tonight is the last night we'll be sleeping in this house and I've got very mixed emotions about that. On the one hand we know that God has new plans for us and we're excited about that. On the other hand, we love this house, this neighborhood, and this community and it's hard to leave it all behind.

There have been so many people that have helped us with the house over the years with the deck, the basement, the electrical, the landscaping and a host of other projects. Plus, we've put alot of sweat equity into it too. It's hard to leave that all behind. So if you were one of those people that helped us with this house...a sincere thank you. We'll miss this place, and you.

We're closing this chapter of our lives and opening a new one. And while it's always hard to leave a good chapter you never know what the next one brings. But we do know, that God is going to be praised in all of it, and that, my friends, is something we can all look forward to!

Until I write again from our new, albeit temporary, home....peace.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Moving out...

We've started packing and moving in earnest this week. Tonight my cousin, Gabe, came over and we got the piano moved as well as a number of large items from the basement...thanks, Gabe! Monday and Tuesday will involve more moving and cleaning and we close on Wednesday.

Our temporary quarters until we leave on July 9th are two apartments that Dordt College owns that we are staying in. They are part of an 8-plex and we are living in two one bedroom apartments. One is downstairs and one up and they are connected via a hallway. Jessica and I and Alex will sleep and live in one and the older two kids will sleep in another. Yep, my ten and eight year-olds are getting their own place. Maybe I should have them pay rent!

The kids have been doing very well with all of this. Today was the last day of school and they both received some nice farewells from their friends and classmates. Sioux Center Christian is a great organization and they will be missed and we will miss them. I'm glad we told the kids about all of this back in January. They've had a long time to process it and that's been good for them.

We are making other plans to move, like canceling phone and internet service. To that end, I should share our new contact information. As of June 9th you can reach us via phone at: 616-953-6116 or via e-mail at: . Our mailing address won't change until later in July.

That's the latest from here...thanks to all of you for your support and prayers!