21 September 2009

The last day of summer?!

Around nine o'clock this morning, winter officially came to Woodland Park. We typically have two seasons here... summer and winter! Last year was an exception to that, we only omitted spring and had a decent fall, but it appears this year we may just dive right into the cold season! The kids enjoyed watching the snow fall out the window, and after his nap, Joel played outside some.

Getting Joel ready was a bit dramatic, however! He wanted to wear his Crocs, so I explained to a very tearful boy that his feet would get cold and wet, and I put his boots on as quickly as possible. And then I brought out a nice warm winter hat, and he asserted that he would choose his OWN hat, and got a sun hat out of the basket. I guess he's not quite ready to give up the warmer weather either! He also wanted to eat all of the snow... he had quite an icy mouthful when I caught him. We only got a inch or two of snow, so he got a healthy amount of dirt out of the flower pots along with his handfuls of snow! Yum!
Oh boy, winter, here we come!

20 September 2009

Busy Weekend

Greetings... after a very busy weekend! Really ran the gamut of activities for me, and as soon as this is published, I (Jim) think I'm going to bed! Friday night, I spent the night at the high school with Student Council. We had a lock-in... four adults, 30 students for a night full of volleyball, sardines and team-builders. I finally crawled into a sleeping back at 5:00 am and then back out again at 7:00 to clear out. That was followed by some house cleaning and then grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for the MOPS family barbecue. There was a great turnout with about 100 moms, dads and toddlers in the park.

This afternoon after church, Faith and I got to get out and go fishing. The scenery was beautiful - the air cool and refreshing.

Back now to the daily grind. Please pray for endurance for our entire family as we continue to seek prayer and financial support, as we prepare to serve with AIM and as we prepare to travel to Minnesota to visit family next week.

18 September 2009

Family Hike

Yesterday afternoon, Jim was able to come home early from school, and we headed out for a hike before supper to enjoy the aspens that are already changing colors. Most afternoons we have had thunderstorms, however, yesterday and today have been wonderful and sunny. Helps it feel like winter is not quite here yet in the mountains.
It was wonderful to step away from our obligations at home and take time to enjoy each other, enjoy creation, and even to add to our trout stash in the freezer!

08 September 2009

Metamorphosis

While in Paonia last month, I (Jim) spent a lot of time helping Grandpa on the farm. In the down-times I pulled poison milkweed along the head ditches. In the milkweed I found a Monarch caterpillar for the kids. I brought it home and we checked it daily. Faith dutifully fed it each day until it made its chrysalis. It was a beautiful chrysalis; green with iridescent gold spots in places. For almost two weeks it looked virtually unchanged, but one evening, we noticed the chrysalis beginning to darken, and within could see the faint outline of orange and black wings. The next afternoon it hatched and we let it go in the backyard.

video

The transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to adult butterfly is incredible to watch... hard to even imagine how it's possible in such a short time. Heather says I could talk about all kinds of cheesy examples of Christian metamorphosis - and it IS a good illustration, but I'm going to leave it at this:

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(Matt. 6:28-29)

02 September 2009

The swing of things

Well, here we go! Jim is now on his sixth day of his sixth school year, I have begun my new MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) year, and we are already in September. Here's what this year looks like for us so far:

Jim is continuing to sponsor both the student council and the environmental club at Woodland Park High School. This is his fourth year of "STUCO" and third for the environmental club. There are quite a few extra-curricular activities that occur between these organizations, but it is also my fourth and third year of learning to adapt around those! When it is appropriate, the kids and I tag along for various activities. It is fun to be a part of Jim's job in that way.

I started my fourth year in MOPS yesterday. MOPS is a program that meets in a church, provides childcare and breakfast (and coffee!) to moms of kids kindergarten-age and younger, teaches them relevant, practical things, and gives them time to connect with other moms in the community. It changed my life three years ago, and I have been on the leadership team for the last two years. This year I started a new "job" in MOPS. I am the prayer and care coordinator, so I make sure the needs of our 60-some moms are being met. The last two years, I coordinated the creative activities, which is a little more of a practical job, so I am excited to have a relational role this year.

We are continuing a small group of four couples from last year, this year breaking into guys/girls small groups as well. I am excited to deepen these relationships together. We were never a part of a small group when we attended First Presbyterian in Colorado Springs, so this has been a fun new aspect of fellowship to participate in.

We just completed our fourth Bible course, which covered early church history. Only six left. We will complete about one a month, so hopefully we will finish up in March. I am taking classes while the kids nap in the afternoon (pray for long naps!) and Jim takes them after the kids go to bed in the evening. We completed our fourth course in just two weeks' time to catch up which was a little hectic, but now we should be able to fall into a comfortable schedule to finish the others.

We are starting a new training program developed by Africa Inland Mission, called "Timothy in Training". It looks at the Biblical model of Timothy, so we pair up with some mentors, and go through a workbook that gives us assigned reading, discussion topics and other things to think about to better prepare us for our move to Kenya. We asked our friends the Cormans to be our mentors. Chad and Nicole spent many years in Malaysia as missionaries, have two beautiful little children, and we are just so excited to have their wisdom and guidance in this stage of our lives.

Africa Inland Mission has created an online checklist for outgoing missionaries to keep our to-dos organized. Between communication, computer/email/website set-up, travel documents, support raising, and other logistics, it helps us complete all necessary tasks on time. Saves a lot of headaches all around I imagine! We keep up on that list every week.

So there's a rather mundane overview of our lives at the present moment, but now you'll know what we're doing if we don't blog for a week again!