Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We made it

My last post asked for prayers, as Don was in the middle of the busiest week of the quarter. Praise God, we made it through! His week was hugely helped by Friday's Hebrew test being postponed to Monday and all the other papers and tests were finished and studied for on time. He even earned a 98% on one paper! We went out to sushi on Friday to celebrate. :-)
It's hard to believe that there are barely two weeks left in the quarter! Our first year has gone by so fast and I know that the rest will fly by even faster.
May will be busy, as Don will soon begin preparing for finals (5/13-5/15). Graduation for the concluding year students and (tentatively) Hannah's birthday party will be May 16. From May 17-25 Don will be in New York City for a cross-cultural module and my mom will be visiting from May 18-25. Then once Don returns, he has about a one-week break before beginning a full summer school schedule on May 27. And somewhere in there we'll celebrate Hannah's 4th birthday and my 31st. Whew!

Here are a few pictures from Bethie's first birthday. She really enjoyed her carrot cake!

Finger lickin' good!

This is about as messy as she got...where's the fun in that?

I can't believe I ate the whole thing!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fancy Nancy

My mom has informed me that I don't take enough pictures of Hannah (as compared to the ones I take of Elizabeth). So I thought I thought I'd show you some from last week - the Week of the Young Child. To celebrate this special week, Hannah's preschool class got to dress up as their favorite storybook character. Hannah's favorite character is Fancy Nancy (she even wanted to name Elizabeth Fancy Nancy). We own the original book and the sequel, Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy. Can you tell she had tons of fun?

Here she is with her preschool teachers. Mrs. V was Emily Elizabeth (from the Clifford books) and Mrs. Deidrich was the Cat in the Hat.

We have a few prayer requests. First, tomorrow (Tuesday) is "Call Day," when many of the men here on campus will find out where they will be spending their one-year vicarages or (an even bigger deal) learning where their first church will be once they graduate next month. Call Day is a huge deal around here as four+ years of hard work culminate in finding out where you and your family will be living and serving the Lord. So please keep all the guys and their families in prayer as they find out tomorrow and begin preparing for this huge change in their lives. (If all goes as scheduled, our Call Day will be in April of 2011.)

Second, this will be Don's busiest week so far. He turned in one paper today (on less than four hours of sleep) and still has three quizzes, two papers, two tests, and a partridge in a pear tree. Sleep around here hasn't been great lately between the earthquake, Elizabeth having an unexplained bad night, and Hannah having two terrible nights in a row. We could all use your prayers for sleep (!) and for Don to have clarity of mind and focus as he gets through the next four days. Thank you!

You and your prayers are all a blessing to us. We praise God for you!

Friday, April 18, 2008

An earthquake!? In Missouri!?

DR: We were woken up at 4:36am Central Standard Time this morning by an earthquake! Being a native Californian, I (Don) have lived through probably a dozen or more earthquakes in my life, including the big 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989. Some Californians think they're fun. I think those people are weird. If you're one of them, you're weird. After experiencing the big earthquake in 1989, I can't say that I am particularly scared by most earthquakes, but there are lots of other things I'd rather do with my time, given the choice!

We've heard here and there that earthquakes can happen in the Missouri area, though they are incredibly rare, particularly when compared with the activity along the West Coast and up into Alaska.

The earthquake this morning woke up both Stacye and Hannah, and they woke me up. I probably would have slept through it were it not for their "enthusiasm." :-) I have slept through earthquakes before.

This morning, I went in and got Bethie from her bed in the event this one kept going, but it lasted only about 10 or 15 seconds.

I told Stacye, "Well, depending on the location of the epicenter, my guess is that was about a '5' on the Richter Scale." Well, this one this morning registered a 5.2 and the epicenter was about 125 miles east-southeast of our home in St. Louis, MO, across the border in Illinois. After I reported the facts to Stacye, my loving and honest wife who does an excellent job of keeping her husband from becoming too proud said, "Show off."

No damage. We are fine. We gave a science lesson to Hannah, all the girls went back to bed, and I'm up now to study.

Here is a link to the U.S. Geological Survey online that details this morning's earthquake. I am amazed by the technology that exists to report these things. Any earthquake, anywhere in the world, up on the Internet in real time.

Have a blessed day and weekend --
Don and the girls

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


"The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity but its sending capacity." -Mike Stachura

Thursday, April 10, 2008


DR: this is a busy week for me academically (several tests and papers due), so perhaps more on family and sem life this weekend, when we have an opportunity to "come up for air" and give you an update on how things are moving along.

For now, I wanted to share a quote with you I came across this morning in my personal reading; this one from the book The Churching of America, 1776-2005:

"In all that is important, the Church must stand firm in its witness to the truth that is eternal and unchanging… If it is to remain true to its vocation, it must take its stand against the world, against the age, against the spirit of the age—because the world and the age are always, to a degree, to an important degree, in rebellion against God.” -Will Herberg


God's love and blessings,
Don and the girls

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

He is Risen!

He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!

As we reflect on the past Lenten season and the celebration of Easter, we are once again reminded of God's grace and love for us. How incomprehensible that God would send His beloved Son to inhabit a human body and be put to death on a cross, carrying the sins of the entire world with Him! And yet, even more astounding - Jesus didn't stay dead! He rose again on Easter day, proving that God has power over everything (even death!), sin has no hold on us, and we have a God who loves us more than we can fathom.

Hannah asked me in the car today on the way to school, "Mommy, when Jesus was on the cross, why did He say, 'Forgive Me'?"

What an awesome opportunity! I explained to Hannah that He actually said "Forgive them," and then I explained what He meant. On the surface, Jesus was asking God the Father to forgive the ones who had nailed Him on the cross and written his death sentence. But, much more importantly, He was asking God to forgive all the billions and trillions and zillions of sins committed by every single person who has ever lived on planet Earth. Every single one of us is a sinner. And the Bible says that even one teensy, tiny sin sets us apart from God. We are totally lost, helpless, and hopeless. BUT! God loves us so much, that He made a way for our sins to be forgiven - Jesus. Because the sinless, perfect Son of God took every one of those sins upon Himself, they have been paid for. God now sees me (and all believers) through the "lens" of Jesus - He no longer sees my sin and accepts me with open arms into His presence. This gives me the assurance of Heaven when I die. Praise God!

So anyway, I explained all of this in "3-year-old language," and Hannah was satisfied. But what a way to start the morning - I think I was still waking up at the time :-)

Okay, now that you've gotten through the theology, we have a new slide show below with Easter pictures. This was a really neat Easter in some ways. It's the first time that Hannah has been old enough to understand what Easter is really all about. She understands that Jesus died on the cross and rose again. She can tell you all about the empty tomb how the angels told the women at the tomb that He was alive. She knows that He appeared to and visited with many people over the next 40 days. It's really cool that she asks to read her Bible at night and is starting to get the idea that everything that happened in her Bible really did happen.

It was kind of a hard Easter though too. For one, it was the very first Easter of my life that I wasn't with my family. We didn't go to church on Maundy Thursday (too late at night for the girls), missed most of Good Friday service (traffic), and then our Easter celebration was actually on Saturday (our church has a big "Eggstravaganza" on Saturday and encourages members to worship then, leaving room Sunday for visitors). So on Easter Sunday, we didn't go to church, but spent the day together as a family, reading the Easter story out of several different books Hannah has and the girls were given Easter gifts from us. Hannah did get to hunt for her Easter eggs and she loved that. But to top it all off, it snowed on Easter! I mean, come on! Apparently this is one of the coldest, wettest springs St. Louis has had in a while. Great. Thanks. Can I please wear short sleeves one of these days?

So anyway, enjoy the pictures. I especially like the ones showing what happened when Bethie found one of Hannah's shiny new eggs and discovered that there was something inside!