Thursday, March 24, 2011

March Newsletter

From Laura, 12 … Our life has been somewhat crazy the past few weeks and it is looking like this will be a full year! Wedding, baby, college, vacation, campout! I have been learning lately to just focus on what is happening today, and not spend all my time being excited about things a few months from now.

From Becca, 14 … I have enjoyed gardening this spring. I like working the dirt and adding healthy dirt, planting, and seeing the little ones pop up and grow. I like seeing the fruit grow and ripen and then picking and eating the beautiful produce. I like having us four (Anna, Seth, Laura, and me) doing it all together.

From Seth, 18 … This past week I had an experience that reminded me that any day may be my last. We have no real control over the day of our death. I was riding my bicycle around the neighborhood, just like I do every weekday afternoon. I neared the end of our street and noticed a man holding a rope hanging from a nearby tree. Thinking nothing of the sight, I continued on my way. Suddenly, another worker leapt up and frantically waved his arms and shouted at me. I squeezed down on my brakes, wondering why the man had so vehemently hailed me. Just after I had stopped, the nearby tree crashed violently across the street, only one or two dozen feet in front of me—exactly where I would have been in a few seconds. The force of the tree’s fall caused six-inch diameter branches to crack in half. If I had been under the tree when it fell, this entry would most likely have been written by someone else. Any day may be your last. Cling loosely to this world, but cling tightly to Christ, who is Lord over all and who is the only hope for a world lost in sin, a world in which every person will one day die.

From Anna, 20 … This past weekend, John and I went to San Antonio for a folk dance festival. There were informal dance sessions, workshops, and a performance Saturday night. The performance featured short segments from several different groups. John was directing a suite of German dances that the Houston folk dance group was doing, and both of us were performing in it. We all felt good about how the performance turned out, and we received a lot of positive feedback afterwards, which was nice. I had a great time!

Since we were sort of in the area, we drove up to Austin on Sunday to go to church with some friends there. I enjoyed catching up with friends, experiencing their church, and being reminded anew that the body of Christ is truly one. It’s refreshing to step into a new church and immediately feel that the people there are my brothers and sisters.

From John, 26(from Megan too!) Our engagement three weeks ago kicked off wedding planning in a flurry. It's exciting to see plans made and tasks accomplished each day. A facility was reserved and a date was set within days of being engaged, which was a huge relief and allowed other plans to be made. The wedding will be on June 4 here in Houston. It's hard to wait for the wedding, but this is a really special time that we are savoring as we grow to deeper levels in our walk with the Lord and our relationship with each other. We are eagerly looking forward to our wedding day!  Click here to go to their wedding website.

About Ray, Katie, and Peter(by Becca) Peter is changing quickly. He doesn’t talk, but he can definitely understand what we say. For example when we say goodbye to him he automatically waves. One time Ray told him to get his shoes because they were going out. Peter went and got them. His favorite things to do right now are eat and be outside. When he wants to go outside he gets his shoes and tries to open the door. He likes to play in the dirt. He will really enjoy the campout this weekend. Sometimes he is very sweet because he holds up his hand for you to hold.

(by Katie in an e-mail after a two-night stay in nearby Woodlands) “We enjoyed our mini vacation a lot. We played in the swimming pool, took naps, went to the mall (Peter loved the play area and the pet store), looked at fountains with lights and music, and visited a fancy, expensive grocery store. We had a fun time, but it’s always good to get home. One cute thing about Peter at the hotel was the way he got used to the elevator. At first he didn’t know what to think, but we went up and down so many times, that by the end he knew that you wait for the door to open, then walk in, then push a button, then go for a ride, then when the door opens again you walk out. It’s always fun to see him having a new experience.”

From Judith … I’m having one of those “life-is-so-full” seasons! Late April to late May needs to be kept flexible on the calendar so we can be available for whatever the Wades might need when their new baby arrives. In these next two and a half months, there is the transition of John preparing to be married and to move into his house. His renters will be moving out and he is trying to finish a bathroom and other work over there. (We’re very grateful that John and Megan will be just a 10-15 minute drive away!) I will be sewing three bridesmaid dresses, doing some altering of Gerald’s and Seth’s new suit pants, and making myself a blouse for the wedding. Seth is working hard to finish his high school studies in preparation for beginning work on a surveying degree at a local university this fall. (Thankfully, God has provided Seth a National Merit Scholarship.) Seth’s primary career interest is in land surveying. He just became a licensed driver and we’re trying to get him behind the wheel as much as possible to build his proficiency. Well, that’s the thumbnail version and only God knows what all the future really holds! We make our plans, but God directs our steps.

From Gerald … A co-worker asked me the other day if we have finished our house yet. I laughed and explained that we may never finish and we really haven’t even finished any of the individual projects. Our priorities keep shifting because we will focus on getting one thing to a state of being functional and then we move on to something else without really finishing the first project. For example, our kitchen island has the base cabinet and counter, but instead of drawers, we have cardboard boxes where the drawers will be. But, getting a sink in the half-bath downstairs was a higher priority than the island drawers, so my recent focus was building the cabinet and counter in the half-bath and installing the sink. It is a great improvement over the makeshift installation of a utility sink that we had been living with. However, the room still needs a mirror, baseboards, and a new door. Oh, and of course the cabinet in there does not yet have doors or drawers… I’m not sure whether this state of affairs is because we are doing most of the work ourselves instead of hiring someone to do it, or if it is just because it is me.

Actually, now that I think about it, we have finished some projects. They are the ones that Judith has done, for example, all the window curtains downstairs.

Our Love, Gerald, Judith, John, Anna, Seth, Becca, and Laura

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chocolate Wins!

Thank you everybody for voting on our poll!
It looks like we will be having chocolate for the rehearsal dinner.

Chocolate: 13 votes (56%)

Vanilla: 10 votes (43%)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Times

The future John and Megan Pedersen!

Meditations on Habakkuk

References in parentheses refer to the verse in Habakkuk from which each thought was taken.

The wicked do surround your folk
And Justice goes not forth. (1:4)
Why do you idly look at wrong
And judge not wicked men? (1:13)

Woe to the violent, wicked man
Who heaps up stolen wealth; (2:6)
Who thinks that he can dwell secure (2:9)
In town that's built with blood. (2:12)

Before the Lord stand silently
All you who dwell on earth!
For He is in His holy place, (2:20)
His brightness like the light. (3:4)

The'e-ternal mountains writhed in pain
As they beheld your gaze. (3:6,10)
You went to save your chosen own
And crush the wicked foe. (3:13)

Though all things be for me destroyed, (3:17)
Yet I will still rejoice.
I will take joy in Thee, my God, (3:18)
Who art my only strength. (3:19)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Seth!

Birthday dinner in the making...

Dough for rolls.

Beef for stew.

Parsnips and pears.

Potato dumplings.

The birthday boy, complete with pyrotechnics!

I'm so blessed to have Seth as my brother and my friend.  His sense of humor amuses me, his zeal for life delights me, and his passion for Christ challenges me!