A few friends have written us recently and I haven't had a chance to respond to them, but hopefully if I blog everyone can read it and know what "we are busy" with! Check back in a few days-- I want to add pictures to this very post when I have time.
We are getting excited about Randy and Joy's baby boy coming... it looks like he will be born over-night tonight. We'll finally get to know this precious boy who's been veiled from view up to now while God was making him! Mother is staying with R/J and going to help with whatever she can as they do a home birth with a mid-wife. Emily is also in Joplin with Mother. Mother and Em will fly home a couple of weeks from now.
On Monday the 20th, Mother, Emily, Jason, and I drove to McPherson, KS for camp-meeting there (Kansas State Holiness Association camp). Jason and I were delighted to both be given vacation time for the same week. We were planning on going to this camp whether or not anyone else went with us, but we were really glad to have Mother and Em too. On Thursday afternoon we all drove to Joplin. We ate supper with all of our Joplin family and spent the night and a few hours of Friday morning with Grandpa and Grandma. Then Jason and I drove the four hrs. back to McPherson to stay the rest of camp. Friday's drive was kind of an exciting adventure for Jason and I, because we had to use our memory from the day before, watch for signs, take risks, and reverse the googlemaps instructions for going to Joplin. We stopped in Augusta at Subway, (happy to have a giftcard to use there) and got back to McPherson at the end of the afternoon service. We all really enjoyed camp: the services, seeing friends and making new ones, and working in the kitchen. Jason, Emily, and I, and about 15 other young "campers" did camp dishes for free room and board. We Albertsons mainly washed/put away in the pots n pans room, but Jason did get to help "tear down" the food line most meals too, and I got to help with food preparation a bit on Sunday. There are normally two meals a day, but three on Sunday, so cooks/helpers/dish-doers spend a lot more time there that day. As far as services, Jason and Em got to go to the youth services every morning, and I decided to go to the children's VBS so I could learn from the teacher and get ideas for Federal Heights. During the same time as youth/children's services was "Bible Study" with evangelist Rodney Loper (our online pastor at HobeSoundBibleChurch.com). Rodney and Melissa (and their children) were the song evangelists as well. Bro. Dan Stetler (president at Hobe Sound Bible School) was one of the other evangelists. We have heard him before and always appreciate the messages. Bro. Steve Mills from Ohio was the other. His wife has been working to make complete and full lesson plans for Jr. Church, Sunday School, and VBS workers to use. We enjoyed visiting with her, and purchased her lion lesson series to use at Federal Heights. Jason and Emily played their cello and violin in most every afternoon & evening service, which was a blessing to them, and those who heard them. This past Monday Jason and I made the long trek home (shorter than from Joplin though!!)... I was the only driver, because he can only drive with a parent in the car, and so his job was to help me stay awake, which was a big job! All of our driving days (Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Monday) we went through roadway construction, which slowed us down, but I don't mind it too much, as far as driving through it. I was really tired and really glad to be home.
I'm sure Daddy was happy to see us too, because he'd stayed home alone. He worked every morning, then came home to work on our upstairs bathroom renovation. We have wanted to replace the 70's cabinetry and counter set-up there that was getting old, and were watching for a way to do that. Then some home-schoolers we know were getting rid of their 90's bathroom set-up, and offered it all to us. We were thrilled to find that everything was exactly the right size. Dad's been working very hard on the cabinets: first stripping, then sanding, priming, and painting them. It's been a long, frustrating job, and he's our hero for getting it done. So while we were vacationing, he's been working. Now that J/I are home, and back to our busy work schedules at Ace, it's hard for Dad to have the time for the bathroom project -- two more people add more work to home-life!! ;)
We were really happy (and sore) to have 14 quarts worth of green beans to pick, snap, and can this week! What a blessing that will be to us later on. These last couple of weeks have been the biggest production time of green beans for the summer.
Yesterday afternoon/evening Dad and I had several errands to do in Greeley and also wanted to go to Loveland Chic-Fil-A for a chicken supper to show our support of their choices for morality. We got there, and first thing we got to do was sign a pro-life petition... my first petition. What a good cause. We stood in line for 15 minutes, maybe, and then were told they would be out of chicken by the time we got to the counter. We would have stayed and bought something anyway, but we had an appointment in the evening and had to make sure Jason and we were all fed sooner than later for that.
We had chicken sandwiches of our own at home, then went to test-drive a van for Jason or I to buy. It is a Chevy Venture, exactly like our currant family van, only a year older, and of a slightly browner grey color. It was listed on craigslist, and we were highly interested-- we'd like to have something else to drive to/from work besides Jason's truck, and we're already totally used to this model. Well, we drove there, and found out that the sellers were a couple we know as (nice) customers at Ace. That was fun. So we test-drove it, and loved how it ran so well. The price was right, and everything was good, so Jason bought it. Now we have two Chevy Ventures in our family!
Speaking of buying vans, Jeff recently bought one in Joplin. He knew he really wanted to have one when he goes back to God's Bible School this fall, and was going to come out here to get his adult driver's licence upon his 21st birthday, so he could also get a vehicle licensed at the same time. He and our nephew Quil (5) came out Saturday-Tuesday in mid-July for those purposes. Quil was very happy to get to come out here, and spend time playing cars, being read to, playing with Lincoln and Uncle Jason, and doing our Sunday with us. That Sunday we went down to Colorado Springs Tent-meeting, had lunch with Uncle Alvin and cousin Katie, had Federal Heights Sunday School (Quil liked that), and went on a walk here in town. We were amazed and glad that Quil didn't even get homesick while here. He enjoyed all the personal attention, but was surprised about things that were different from when we have the WHOLE family here at holidays (we don't eat in the living room, there's no snow!, etc., etc.)
Speaking of Jeff and God's Bible School, it was a huge answer to prayer when he was granted a full-tuition scholarship for the rest of his schooling in the Missions Division there. He's been living in Joplin this summer, working for Randy and Tim's painting company. He did all the sermon/story/lessons for VBS there with the sketchboard. So he's been living a busy life too!
That's all I can think of tonight, and it's getting time for bed, so I better sign off.