Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Life's picking up

It seems as though the pace of my life is starting to pick up finally. This is a good thing. I know I still have a ways to go before my life is back to "normal", but it's nice to have things to do each day. I thought I'd share some highlights of the last several days.

Our church had a baptismal service on Saturday morning at a nearby lake. It was followed up by a picnic. The weather was fantastic and it was such a great opportunity for us to meet people from church in a more relaxed setting. No one was in a rush; we had time to just sit and visit for a while. That helps me so much when it comes to remembering new people, especially their names!

We've moved into our second house this week. Allie thinks she's died and gone to heaven because we are now living with THREE other dogs. The Bents have 2 dachsunds (Annabelle and Dexter) and an 11-week old retriever pup named Ellie. So we have an Allie and an Ellie. It's been a little confusing. We'll say "Ellie, No!" and Allie will look at us like, "What did I do?" Or we'll say "Allie, come" and Ellie will come romping up to us. It's been fun. Allie loves playing with other dogs. but it's taken them a couple of days to come to the point where they want to play at the same time. Usually, the other three will be playing and Allie will stand back and watch, or Allie will want to play and the others won't be interrested. By the end of the week they should have it all figured out...just in time for us to move to the next house!

David and I had the opportunity to participate in our first small group meeting EVER! None of our former churches have had small groups. We've really missed out; we had a great time tonight getting to know other couples our age. We look forward to continuing on with this group for a while and hopefully lead one of our own once things settle down a bit. We also look forward to recruiting their help when we unload our moving trucks! That's what small groups do, right? :-)

I continue looking for a job. The search is going well, though, compared to when we moved to Michigan. I've been able to meet the right people who are helping my resume move through a little faster than if I were on my own. I have an interview scheduled at one of the local puplic elementaries for Monday morning at 11:30 and then also a possible interview at the Christian school on Monday as well. We'll see how it goes. I figure I'll give it my best shot and leave it up to God. He knows what I can handle better than I do and He won't give me more than I can take.

I'll close with this picture of Ellie, the retriever puppy. She's growing up with dachsunds, which are a very small breed of dog. Ellie seems to think that she is also a small dachsund because she frequently tries to fit in small spaces or under low objects. Here she is "hiding" from Allie underneath a dining room chair. She's got a real clumbsy phase coming her way real soon as she discovers her true size! We've gotten a real kick out of Ellie and are enjoying the fun of the puppy phase without the responsibility of the puppy phase.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The "Green" Room

Greetings all! I know that it has been awhile since I (David) have posted to our little slice of internet heaven, but here we go! I've been here in Minnesota for about 7 weeks now, and the people have been fantastic! The church is very relevant to the surrounding community and the pastoral staff is clear to lead in the direction that the senior pastor has for us. I have the opportunity to lead a great creative team that works very hard to see extraordinary elements added to our thematic services. I wish you could all visit!

But I digress...

Our latest project which Melissa has illuded to in her last post is our greenroom just off-stage of our main stage. I really wish that we had a before and after picture to show you, but we just dove into the project without taking any pictures. (This is what happens when you live in a vacant house with no furniture. You look for things to do...) We started by working with various ministries cleaning out this little back storage room that seemed to be missing a purpose, and here's what it turned into after 3 trips to Ikea and a short jaunt to Target. We enjoyed our first visit to Ikea... Ikea's computers were down for the afternoon, and they were checking people out by pad & pen working from outdated source books. The average time that it took our distressed checkout assistant to check out one person was around 30 minutes. We were third in line and it took around 90 minutes for us to get out the door. Was it worth it? You tell us! We are hoping that our arts department volunteers will find it as a place to call home during our 4 weekend services this fall.

That's all for now, but more to come!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Embracing our new culture

After the two morning services at Five Oaks, David and I ran back "home" to change and we ventured out to experience a day of twin cities fun. We drove to the Mall of America, where we parked and rode the Light-Rail into downtown Minneapolis. We got off at the Metrodome, where we had great tickets to the Twins-Indians game that afternoon (Thanks, Chuck and Terri!) Though neither of us are huge baseball fans (or sports fans at all, for that matter...), we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed cheering on our new home-team. The Twins ended up beating the Indians 5-2. It was a good game to start being Twins fans:-)

After the game, we took the Light-Rail back to the Mall of America, where we met up with Dan and Angie. We spent a little while walking around the mall-- it was my first time there-- and then we left for a delicious Mexican dinner at Chevy's across the street. After that we headed over to Ikea for a couple of hours. Can I just say that I am so glad to FINALLY be living close to an Ikea? About 6 months ago I was thrilled to learn that an Ikea was coming to Detroit, only to be devastated that we would be moving as soon as it opened. Fortunately we're moving to another Ikea location! Yeah! Anyway, we had a fun evening with Dan and Angie and are just so thrilled to have some "old" friends close by that we can do things with.

Dan and David made some new friends at the Department 56 store...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I have arrived!

I'm here! It took 13 hours, but I'm here and the drive was uneventful; just the way I like it. Thanks everyone for praying!

Basically, we have a house lined up, which we will be renting (we'll explain more about that later), but it's not available until the middle of August. So in the mean time, David has made temporary arrangements in various locations until we can move in. If I actually enjoyed moving, I might just have David keep doing what he's doing because he keeps scoring REALLY nice houses; much better than anything we'll ever be able to afford! Our first home is of a family in the church who has sold it but not closed on it yet. They've already moved out so the house is vacant (except for a bed). And they are letting us live there until they close on the 24th of July. At that point we'll move on to something else. It's not ideal to be bouncing around like this, but it's DEFINITELY better than living apart.

Our realtor's doing an open house this Sunday, so pray hard that we get an offer out of it!

We'll post more later!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hittin' the Road

Well, the time has finally come that this Wednesday morning, Allie and I will load up and make the 12 hour journey to Minnesota. We're not very excited about the trip, but we are very excited about our destination. I covet your prayers as I've had a lot of anxiety regarding the trip. But it's something that I have to do and I will be glad I did once I'm there. I've spent the day running last minute errands and I picked up some "magic pills" to help Allie sleep the whole way there. Traveling alone with Allie in the car has been one of the major sources of my anxiety. This is one of the few times that I've actually been glad that I don't have a little one to care for as well. The dog is enough for me to worry about on this trip! I appreciate all of your prayers as we've been working through all of these transitions and I desperately look forward to sharing all kinds of wonderful things from Minnesota.

Oh, FYI in case you're wondering, this is not THE official move. That date is yet to be determined still based on the sale of the house. This is just a temporary trip. Just taking it one day at a time...

I will be sure to check in again when I get there! Thanks for praying!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Here I sit waiting

One of these days I'm going to post "WE SOLD THE HOUSE!" I wish it was today. Regretfully it is not. I can tell you however, that we've given up on FSBO and have listed with an actual real estate agent. Hopefully that will speed things along a bit. I'll be glad when I'm no longer the one fielding all of the calls about the house. Everyone wants a basement in Michigan. We don't have a basement. But we've got the square footage to make up for it. Don't people know that basements leak and they smell musty? Our finished loft above the garage is exactly like a basement only you walk UP stairs to get there instead of DOWN. And it doesn't leak or smell musty. This however is something that I've had a difficult time convincing people of. Let's hope our realtor does a better job than I did. (He better for the amount of money he'll be getting...).

We have absolutely loved this house during our 3 years here; but I've got to tell you, I can't wait to get rid of it. This house is the only thing standing between me and moving forward in life! Here I sit, no job, just waiting to sell a house so we can finally move. Any day now....really.